Where has the time gone?! I’ve been married for one year and 3months. Between our wedding and now, Wes and I have circumnavigated the US, moved to the Midwest, moved back to Oregon, started building a house, had a baby, finished three out of the four quarters left in my degree and moved back to the Midwest where I write from today.
I have loads of content to unleash! The ‘where to begin?’ is a bit overwhelming, but I’m willing to sort through the adventures had and the adventures that are on-going. To start, it would seem sensible to begin where I left off before blog-cation, and that would put me at my wedding in Nicaragua.
Wes and I were humbled to be featured on Green Wedding Shoes, all thanks to two guys who captured our day, Eric Hires and Parker Young. We invested in the simplest form of time travel; and every time we journey back, we are reminded that our wedding was the craftsmanship of communal hands. Supported by two generous families and a rootstock of friends – with Jesus at our center – it was an honor to have publicly vowed my love to Wes in front of such kinship, even though my heart for Wes was his long before he had me trembling with the words, “I give you my life” at the altar beneath the tree of our dreams. We met in Nicaragua the summer of 2010. For four years we scarcely saw each other and talked only a handful of times. Regardless of the distance between us, our relationship was rooted in Christ, as He had us walk out a journey of faith and surrender that revealed His mercy and His might to all. One day I’ll unravel the details, but for now, there is no understatement when I say that our wedding was the fruition of a vision birthed from fervent prayer.
We had a fun celebration with family back in Oregon two weeks after our Nicaraguan ceremony and 3 and a half weeks before leaving our tiny cabin in the woods for 30 days of life on the road – aka our honeymoon extención and cross-country move to the Midwest.
The night before what we thought was going to be our biggest adventure yet as a married couple, I went to Walmart. Walmart, where the place turns otherworldly between the hours of midnight and 4am. I found myself in an aisle that I didn’t think I would be in for possibly years to come. As I stared at an overwhelming assortment of brands and advertisement, a kind lady leaned over and said, “This is the one you want. It’s cheaper, but is just as accurate.” I replaced the box that was originally in my hand and reached for the one she pointed to. As I glanced back at her, she looked into my eyes like a sergeant to a cadet and said, “Good luck.”
Wes waited for me in the living room with his head between his hands and his mind somewhere beyond his stare at the floor. I peeked at him from down the hall and avoided the following question as I quickly ran up the stairs and threw myself on our bed and under the covers. Wes came up behind me with a very inquisitive tone, “So?….” I peeped from beneath the covers and found him anxiously waiting my response with a smile. ”You’re pregnant?” he asked. I squeezed the sheets in close to my mouth and nodded yes as the corners of my mouth lifted. ”We’re pregnant,” he repeated. After a few minutes of being in total shock over two lines on a pee stick, Wes said, “Ok. Let’s just go to sleep and talk about it in the morning.” I laugh about his comment now and the fact that we were even able to sleep that night. Only married for 22 days and pregnant already!
We didn’t say much about it the next morning as we packed up our Toyota, said good bye to our Oregon family and hit the road with the first stop just hours away, the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. It was on our way that we decided we were going to keep the news of our growing family a secret till our first big holiday, Thanksgiving. We had the whole thing set up perfectly. We were moving to the Midwest where we had no blood relations, so hiding the physical changes was easy because there was nobody around that would actually notice. For six months we relished in answering the infamous questions asked to all newlyweds, “how’s marriage? How’s newlywed life?” We knew that throwing in our baby news would only cast a shadow over our newlywed season and it would quickly be forgotten. Looking back, it was such a fun season where we were able to pray, dream, discuss our future family exclusively between each other, which was something very special.
After five weeks of traveling through Victoria B.C., the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Dakotas down through Iowa (I’ll be unpacking memories and stories from these trips over the next coming months) we made it to Illinois and received our first ultrasound of our baby at nine weeks. I laid on my back while the technician placed warm goo on my belly and Wes sat in a chair across from me. As soon as the heart beat filled the room with it’s stampeding sound, Wes jumped to standing and came over to the monitor were we saw our little peanut for the first time in black and white. At the time we didn’t know it was a boy, but we always compared the sound of his heart beat to that of a stampeding stallion -strong and charging life.
When our 4 month stay in Illinois was complete, we made our way back to Oregon through way of Texas and California where we baby mooned for a few weeks. During our travels we finally announced that we were pregnant with a baby boy, who we named Milo Roark Scheler on March 6, 2015. We celebrated his 3 months on our one year anniversary and he is now pushing six months in a few days. To say that he has rocked our world is minimizing his amazing presence in our lives. He is a heavenly gift. Seriously, heavenly.
Although it has been a very full and exciting year and 3 months, it hasn’t all been bliss. We have mourned the passing of life from elderly relatives to unborn children and friends grieving the great loss of their firstborn child. Somethings have been extremely difficult for me to digest emotionally and mentally, as I have wished for a step by step guide that shows me “the how to” mourn with those who are mourning and when to give encouragement to the devastated to not lose hope. As a new mother, the joy I have in parenting and caring for my own child has come with the massive awareness of the loss experienced by many mothers that I can only imagine. Our world is so broken. It grieves me deeply.
I’ve come to learn that as the bible says that there is a time for everything under heaven (ECC. 3), even a time for mourning, to grieve is to welcome in healing. When we grieve, we give room for Jesus to do supernatural things in our hearts. It is in this process of our brokenness and vulnerability that our hope is restored and in a way fortified. It’s a journey no doubt; but a journey that we don’t have to take alone. The bible says that God is near the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18). And we can call on Jesus, who calls himself Immanuel – the reality of grace meaning, God with us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23)..