We brought E along with us to Barnes & Noble the other day.  The Barnes & Noble where T told me he had a crush on me for the first time.  It was a cold night in January of 2006 & I can still remember how happy it made me to hear that.

We brought her to the little cafe there, and told her that our love story had it's baby steps there- right over there- at that very table! And that for that the next 6 years as our love continued to grow, we'd share coffees there & look at books there.  And now here she was!  Two plus one equals three.  Our little family.  Still at that tiny Barnes & Noble over on Rush St. next to our favorite Chipotle.

Walking there we passed by our very first apartment & it brought back a hundred memories.  If you count up 1,2,3,4- there it is.  Our little first home in the big city.  We lived there for 2 years.  2 years with the tiniest kitchen you ever did see.  Of hearing the LaSalle bus day & night.  Of meeting at Whispers for coffee.  2 years of no air conditioning & running down to the laundry room vending machines to grab a coke for long nights of Friends marathons. I could go on.  It was such a special two years.  And I get teary thinking about how much fun we had & how young we were.  21 & 22.  Just babies.

But it was hard too.  We fought a lot in that first apartment.  Mostly because we were broke as jokes & I wasn't used to being poor.  I had an extremely hard time understanding why my husband would want to use a thing like a budget. Just didn't fit my vocab.  Funny thing is though- when we passed by it- those moments that I remembered feeling so heavy- seemed light.  And I looked back on them with thankfulness.  And I could look at my husband now of 5+ years & see why God had us go through the trials we went through then.

It's always easier to appreciate the trials on the other side, isn't it?

We're in a new apartment, in a totally different part of the city, but we're still building special moments & living through hard moments too.  If I have learned anything over the years it's that you can't look back wishing for it to return, and you can't look forward wishing for it to arrive.  You have to just be where you're at.  Not wishing any of it away.  If you do- you miss it.  You miss what God has for you right in that moment.