Tag Archives: Zack

Celebrating 40 Years

Milestone birthdays call for special celebrations. And since Zack celebrated number 40 this past month, we thought it fitting to celebrate big!We started out with a few days with his brother in sister-in-law in London, and then flew to Athens, Greece.

Zack’s parents purchased concert tickets for us to see one of our faves, Zac Brown Band, in London. We spent a long weekend there and had a blast at the concert. But I think we’d all agree that the best part was spending time with Josh and Savannah!

After our London weekend, we flew to Athens, Greece. This was Zack’s main birthday gift: visiting a city that has been at the top of our list for quite some time. We had a great time exploring ancient sites, visiting with friends, and eating incredible food.

Here are a few highlights from both cities. I’ll try to add more details via future posts…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty Years and Counting

Friday was 20 years since Zack and I went on our first date.

20 years since we sat in a restaurant overlooking Atlanta, and talked about our backgrounds and our futures.

20 years since we saw the movie Dangerous Minds.

20 years since we first held hands.

20 years since I got back to my dorm room and told my friends that I knew who I was going to marry.

We’ve lived through a lot together in twenty years! Of course not every day has been easy. But the hard times pale in comparison to the seasons of fun and laughter, adventure and unknowns, excitement and opportunity. It’s been crazy, and it’s been great!

I love getting to spend each and every day with my best friend.

 

As we walked through our city Friday night, I looked around and once again tried to take in the fact that we’re living on the other side of the world, speaking another language (or at least trying to!), the parents of two pretty rockin’ kids, with friends and family from one side of globe to the other…

… and then I looked at Zack and said, “could you have imagined all of this twenty years ago?”

 

They say time flies when you’re having fun. And I believe it’s true.

Here’s to twenty more… and twenty more after that!

 

 

 

 

17 Years

Yesterday marked 17 years since we first said I do. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder. What did those two naive 22-year-olds think life would be like? What would we have done if someone would have come up to us and told us all that was in store?

 

Yes, we were young and naive. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We were holding on to that classic American ‘anything is possible’ spirit. And I think that’s a pretty good thing in fact! It takes a bit of that and a whole lot more to face trials and challenges.
(And I’ll admit that so far, our challenges have not been near as tough as many couples face!)
I could say that love conquers all. And we do have an incredibly strong love for each other, and for the Lord. But there is also respect, commitment, honesty, lots of laughter, true teamwork, and a promise that we’re in this for the long haul.
I am grateful that our good times far outweigh the tough times. We haven’t handled everything perfectly and we’ve both made our share of mistakes. But God has taken difficulties and challenges and made something beautiful. And the beauty of our years together far outweighs any brief not as glamorous moments.
Happy Anniversary to my partner in crime, the peanut butter to my jelly, the one who can finish any movie line I start, who tolerates my nuances and encourages my dreams. The one who laughs uncontrollably at my typos, serves as my food critic, motivates me to get in shape, and then sits down with me for the occasional eat-the-cake-right-out-of-the-box night. Although we didn’t meet in a chat room, I’ll still love you always and forever. Here’s to 17 more. And 17 more after that.

 

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Thanks to sweet friends and cousins visiting from the states this week, we got to have a date night last night. What’s even better was having a date night in Oslo, our first night out in the capital city without kiddos since moving here.

 

Our celebration included a long walk, incredible Indian food, coffee at our favorite cafe, and dessert on Karl Johan’s Gate with some great people watching.

Art with a Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, it’s a painting, and it tells a story that is near and dear to our hearts.

We asked our friend Anna to create something for us, and didn’t provide many specifics. We wanted it to have something to do with adoption, and at one point we had talked about the colors of Ukraine’s flag (yellow & blue).

We were already familiar with Anna’s work so we knew whatever she did would be good. But when we picked it up on Sunday afternoon, we were amazed. It is incredible how an artist can take a request and make it into something so personal and, in my opinion, powerful. That is exactly the case with this piece. I also think when it is an artist that knows you well, the depth and power is even greater.

It really does say a lot about us.

It shows the boys’ interests. And their individual background colors reflect their Ukrainian heritage.

Daniel, the artist
William, the athlete

The red at the top reminds me that it all started with a love story 🙂 And the rainbow reminds me of promises: from God to us, from us to God, in our marriage, and within our family.

I think the use of color symbolizes a lot as well. The colors are beautiful on their own. But their real beauty is seen when they come together. Kind of like our family: each of us holds gifts and talents that become more when we come together.

We are so excited about the way this turned out. As Anna pointed out, someone that didn’t know us would simply see it as a piece of art. But those that know us can see that it tells so much more!

Reunited: back on the same continent!

About 2 1/2 weeks ago, Zack boarded a flight and headed for Atlanta. There were a number of reasons that this was the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. I’m really glad that it worked out for him.For 17 days, he’s been able to spend time with his family (and some of mine), connect with some stateside partners, help with some practical things, and be there for the birth of his nephew. I think this visit has been really good for him, especially getting to spend some quality time with his mom and dad.

But with all of that said, can I just say how excited I am that he will be home with us later today? It has been quite an experience for the three of us still in Norway. I have a new and overwhelming appreciation for single moms. Seriously. How do you ladies do it? I’m not even working full time and I still feel like I’m barely keeping things running!

The boys and I have had fun, with some challenges mixed in. But we are definitely ready to get back to our normal craziness, instead of this unfamiliar extra-craziness!

Can’t wait to have him home tonight.