The year of the “1st’s”

The month of December will forever be even more special to myself and my family.  If buying Christmas trees, getting time off work, and buying presents wasn’t enough; it is now a stand out month in my life.  Last year on December 28th, at roughly 10:30am in the morning my life drastically changed.  Cue Beyonce…..

“Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”


On the ski mountain at Lake Tahoe I proposed to my now wife, Emmy Jo.  One year later we are married, living together, and dreaming about what’s to come in our life together!  But as we dream we also want to look back and not forget the beginnings of our marriage.  The BEST “1st’s” of our first 6 months of marriage.  So please enjoy this as much as I did writing it:

    1st house together:

We have both lived in houses before.  We have both also had roommates before.  However neither of us have a three bedroom home to decorate all by ourselves.  We learned two things really quickly…One.  How awesome wedding presents actually are! And two.  How little stuff we actually had.  So, shout out to everyone who was gracious to provide us with gifts to fill our empty home.  Side note, first fight in the house… Garrett for some odd reason got opinionated about something stupid.  He learned real fast that Emmy Jo knows best.  Point Emmy.

  1st time sharing a bathroom:

Girls make everything smell better.  End of story.  I love the fact that when I wake up in the morning and get ready in the bathroom, it smells like flowers and fairy dust.  However, I never realized how much hair the female gender leaves behind.  It’s like a war zone in our sink.  Emmy Jo is learning that boys smell bad, don’t flush the toilet and certain boys (aka Garrett) are absolutely useless to fix sink clogs… all he knows how to do is call a plumber.

    1st sharing a bed with a good looking warm body:

Who knew that you could tell so much about a person by how they sleep?  Case and point; when Emmy Jo climbs in bed, she is ready to sleep.  When Garrett climbs in bed, he is ready for pillow talk.  Lesson learned, Garrett should do that earlier because his wife wakes up at the butt crack of dawn.  And Emmy Jo should learn how to not steal the freaking covers!

   1st time managing our own money together:

We hate budgets.  They are no fun.  Garrett likes eating out too much.  And Emmy Jo likes dresses.  However, in reference to the top of our letter., we are poor.  So we deal with it.  We have learned something in this process though.  Garrett has found an affinity for mutual funds, and playing the stock market.  And Emmy Jo doesn’t like opening the statements and seeing that we have lost money.  I blame Italy and Greece’s markets!  But seriously, we are thankful for our jobs and the fact that we have some cushion to live comfortably enough to do what we want to do and go where want to go.

   1st  time learning how to communicate well:

Walking into marriage, one thing we learned was that we both brought expectations to the table.  Because of the way I was raised, and lived I expect things a certain way.  Emmy Jo brought expectations as well.  We are learning that at times those expectations don’t match up perfectly.  Thankfully, Emmy Jo and I both love each other and see that if these expectations are not vocalized there can be division.  One of my highlights of these first five months has been two tough but life-giving conversations on our couch.  These conversations have led to two things that I hope to always remember, waking up the next morning more in love with my wife.  And two, encouragement and confidence that we both pushed each other on to be more like Christ after those nights.  It’s in those moments that we both get to lay our heads on our pillows at night and confidently thank the Lord for giving us a teammate, cheerleader, and ally in this part of our lives together.

  1st time praying every night before bed together:

Well…almost every night, we both have been known to fall asleep real fast when our heads hit the pillow.  But, Emmy Jo and I believe in the fact that our lives together are writing a story that is much bigger than our own.  We trust that our relationship is covered in the grace of God and he is shaping us and using our marriage to make us both more like His Son.  And we both recognize that this task is daunting.  So we have loved the fact that every night we make sure that we are coming to the source of hope for guidance, discernment, wisdom, and endurance.

  1st time asking others to join us in prayer:

Emmy Jo and I both know that everyone receiving this loves us and believes in us.  And we need and desire that our ministries and jobs would be covered in prayer.  We ask that you pray for Emmy Jo’s job as a 4th grade teacher at Hillsboro Intermediate.  That she will be salt and light for her co-workers.  That she finds His grace in the small victories throughout her day.  And that she will continue to stay faithful and obedient to His way for her.

And pray for my ministry with K-Life.  That the Lord will continue to humble me and remind me that this is not about me.  That He will use K-Life for the sole purpose that His name will be lifted high.  Pray for direction and vision for the next year.  Pray for salvation in the lives of youth in Waco.  Pray for continued financial stability within the ministry.  And pray for the Lord to be preparing the way for the next leader to step in after my time here.

These past five months have been nothing short of an eye-opener.  We have loved every second of it.  It has been covered in laughs, saturated with joy, and occasionally had some tears.  But there is nothing more encouraging than knowing that we have a co-pilot along for the ride.

It’s been a great almost six months.  Let’s keep the ball rollin’.



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