Straight to True North

Happily Fifteen Years After

Our celebrations were small and simple this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve isolated at home to protect ourselves and others, so that meant we weren’t able to leave our kids with the grandparents. As disappointing as it was, we’ve had anniversaries in the past where we had to change plans last minute, and those experiences have taught us not to hold on too tight to expectations or else they become entitlements.

For our anniversary day, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Our kids humored us as we wandered on new paths to find a suitable place to eat our sack lunches.

The next day, after school and work, we drove up to Cory’s house to drop off our sequoia tree. We bought a sapling years ago after we visited Sequoia National Park. The tree had outgrown its pot, so we gave it to Cory to plant in his yard.

On our way home, we stopped by one of our favorite restaurants, Nicholas’ Mediterranean Restaurant, to grab takeout for dinner. We feasted on their saffron rice, kabobs, and pitas.

Sunday morning, we woke up early before the kids were up, and made a private trip back to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park for a photo walk. I’m grateful Jenni and I share photography and videography as a hobby, something we cross-pollinated in our marriage.

We invited our kids to experience our first date movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Jenni spent the afternoon editing out some PG-13 specifics while I prepared a pasta salad dinner with sous-vide chicken breasts, pepper bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and broccoli.

The kids didn’t take to the movie as well as we hoped, but perhaps they’ll appreciate it more when they’re older.

Each year together has brought new challenges. By God’s grace and wisdom, He has carried us through each one and faithful when we learn the lessons from them. And we grow stronger as a couple through the journey as well.

One of God’s biggest blessings this last year was the opportunity for Jenni to homeschool Kadie for her first year in middle school. I’ve admired how Jennilyn rose up to the challenge of being a teacher and invested in our daughter’s education. She’s had to learn the curriculum quickly herself in order to guide Kadie through a multitude of subjects as well as take on technical troubleshooting around online school. That experience has proven invaluable when Violet and Bruce transitioned to remote learning.

For me, God is still leading me through a difficult transition at work. I was excited to rejoin the marketing department to redesign the website. Unfortunately, the project did not deliver the outcome I had hoped for and the marketing director, my boss, left the company two months after. I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way and He will continue to shape my attitude as I clean up the mess in the foreseeable future.

With the world seemingly upside down at the moment, there is a lot of uncertainty as to what the next year (let alone, next week or month) will look like. I rise up each day trusting God to lead my next steps. He has been lighting our path all these years and will continue to be our true North in the years to come.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.