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Mile Markers

12 April 2013

My daily life is often one thing after another showing me how far I have to go and how much I have to learn. Every so often on the road trip of my life I hit a mile marker: a sign along the way that shows me how far I've come.

Today I suited up for another day on the road of life and saw a mile marker on the side of the highway. At 6:30 a.m. I woke up in a hotel room in Fort Worth and sent Markus off to take his Professional Engineering exam. Eight weeks into us dating, Markus received a life changing letter in the mail. After taking a two year hiatus from his studies at SMU due to health reasons, the school of engineering was accepting him back and reinstating his full scholarship. If he accepted their offer, in two years he could finish school and four years after that, if he was excelling professionally, he could sit for the PE exam and be a real engineer. At eight weeks in we planned six years out. I cannot believe that all of those conversations and sacrifices and trust in each other that we would really see each other through to the end really got us here. I am overwhelmed with love and pride for my husband and best friend today. And if he doesn't pass, the past six weeks of studying has proved that he'd make a great barista. (Coffee detox begins tomorrow. Or maybe Monday.)

I'm spending the day with my best friend from college. He's the most positive and loving person I know. We were the quintessential, inseparable crazy kid power houses of our communications college. Our professors saw us as a unit so much that they lovingly called us Cheech and Chong (I have no idea how they landed on that famous pairing...) We closed out the library together, road tripped together and ate so many rice krispie treats in the dining halls the kitchen staff was about to lose their minds. When Markus and I got engaged, my family was supportive but stunned and therefore not the flood of positive emotion that they write about in rom coms and fairy tales. On Monday at school, Ben saw my engagement ring and cried in the middle of the Student Union. It's one of my favorite parts of my engagement story, and the story of our friendship. Cheech was getting married! This morning when we hugged we cried together again, not for the beautiful beginning of something new but to grieve together. Watching a special childhood friend lose a parent has aged me and brought us closer. It's one of the hardest things I've had to do as a friend, especially with someone who brings me back to my youthfulness. It makes me realize we're still our same selves, but farther down the journey than I expected us to be.

Supporting a spouse during a licensing exam and getting a friend through the grief of losing a parent seems like things I'm unqualified for. Things that people more on the adult side of adulthood do. They're things that I knew were on the horizon but didn't realize were so close.

Of course, that sneaky little minx Stevie Nicks came on the radio as I drove to meet my best buddy. Children get older, and I'm getting older too. Ain't it the truth.

I'm really thankful to have a day to take pause and recognize the changes in my life, how I got here and the people I have in my life.

One finish line is a new start line, so it is fitting that I started my morning making headway with my copy of Jon Acuff's Start. What will happen next? My favorite takeaway from the morning's read said, "The surprises life gives are always better than the things you see coming." I'm ready for the next surprise.

I've spent the past six years counting days to here while trying to make sure I was cherishing the moments in between. Today is all about cherishing the moments with no desperation to get to tomorrow.


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