June 16, 2013

Marriage Blends Worlds

“Perfect speed.”

Blake’s lips part, a wisp of a smile shows through. His eyes are distant, looking past me into the crowd of people standing around the hole. They are silent, waiting for his next move. Up and down, he scans the distance, the slope, and the putter in his hand.

“Perfect speed.”

Whispered words, quiet instructions, one last thought before the final moment. Standing, one glance at the target, he straightens his back. Focusing in on his breaths, in and out, one and two, strike. Gently, the ball rolls down the slope. A slight turn to the left, and then, the smallest, most beautiful noise, the quiet “clink” of a perfect shot.

Eagle. The crowd claps. And Blake grins.

For a good portion of my life, and by good, I mean, 80% of it, I never knew that an eagle was anything more then a majestic bird. Golf was a sport that old men played and Tiger Woods dominated. It is the irony of ironies that I now find myself daily starring into the eyes of a man who reminisces of glory shots and replays perfect putts in his head. It’s not unusual for me to walk into the living room and see him standing there, swinging a club (whether it be a real club or an invisible one) back and forth. When I go run at Lake Hefner I can usually talk Blake into practicing while I run. Of course, I usually end up sitting on the grass for a solid amount of time after my run waiting for him to finish going through his drills. And for the record, I can run for a pretty long time.

There is something to be said in not just finding your true passions in life, but in acting upon them. I know so many people who say, “I am passionate about XYZ…”  and yet, I never see them pursuing those things. It is so easy to get stuck in the rut of “getting by” that we forget to pursue. Seeing Blake’s eyes light on fire when he talks about all the golf things that I really don’t have any interest in is often compelling enough to make me want to know more. How that works, I have no idea. You don’t run across passion everyday. When that passion is mixed with talent and hard work, sometimes you get to see amazing things and you can’t even begin to say how proud you are for what has been accomplished.

My passions are less tangible. I can’t pick up a golf club and swing away. Even running, something that I love completely is not my passion.  My heart beats for travel and my passion is in knowing other cultures, other people, and connecting the dots of humanity. Words can’t begin to cover the amount of love I have for what happens inside of a person when they expand their horizons. This call on my life led me to an early high school graduation, an internship with a company that let me shake hands with the world every day, and the pursuit of an International Studies/Business degree. My love for travel and for people has pushed me to graduate college in three years instead of four with the hopes of continuing on with a master’s degree in International Business. My pursuit of travel will take me and Blake to a foreign country next spring, and the world thereafter. My eyes light up when I think about what is to come.

And yet, this summer finds me surrounded by golf courses. On Monday-Wednesdays I work at a public golf course, driving the cart around selling drinks all day long. Thursdays- Sundays I am back in the tennis shop, with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the country club’s golf course. I am beginning to understand the love of the course. The greens. The perfect sound of a club hitting a ball. It’s quiet. It’s intense. It’s frustrating. It’s…passionate. And slowly but surely, I am watching Blake’s eyes light up as we make our travel plans and talk about the places that we will go and the things that we will do. Two worlds blending into one.

“Perfect speed.”

Quietly, we whisper these words. The shot is lined up. The target is before us. We’ve been working hard to get here. Our hearts are filled with fire for the pursuit; we are steady handed and yet still nervous.

“Perfect speed.”

Quietly, we are straightening our backs. Standing up. Focusing in on the target. The world awaits. In and out, one and two, our breaths are long and slow. Looking ahead, lining up the shot…we cannot help but grin. 

June 15, 2013

Thoughts From a Newly Wedded Wife

I laughed during our wedding kiss.

Is that a confession? Highly possible.

I laughed at the look on Blake’s face two seconds before he kissed me. There is a great picture of that moment.

It was his little tilt of the head and the “Finally!” expression on his face.

Full out Mandy giggle spree.

First kiss as husband and wife = mouth open laughter/trying to kiss/complete happiness. Blake says that the kiss was perfect, I say that I was laughing too much and I don’t even remember it too well.

There is a little bit of complete and utter amazement to be writing this as a one-month married woman. 4 weeks ago we said our vows and took an oath that is summed up in the words, “Until death do us part.”

If I could sum up the past month in any sort of way, all I can say is that it gets better every day. There are those moments when I think to myself (okay fine, and I tell Blake too), that I'm living with a messy boy and that there is toothpaste in the shower (gross) that I did not put there... but even in those icky moments, it's still really nice to not have to say goodnight and walk away from my best friend every night.

We're trying to develop habits to last a lifetime. Praying together. If you cook, then I clean. Not going to bed angry. Little things. Big things. 

I hardly have the experience or the right to say anything about marriage yet. After all, we are still supposedly in the honeymoon stage. And yet, I am so excited for the lessons to be learned and the things that we will work through in the future. We're in this for the long haul, obviously. We have words that aren't in our vocabulary. We have all the tools before us to create a thriving marriage. And we want that more then anything. 

So here's to a great first month of marriage. Tonight, we're testing out our new little George Foreman grill and making hamburgers. This might sound normal to you...but hey, we're excited! It's the little things guys, the little things. 

As soon as I close up the tennis shop (only 27 minutes until I can lock the door), I'm getting out of here and grabbing a movie to turn on later. A normal sort of night, happy and chill, celebrating one month down and a lifetime to go.