So recently I've been reading several blogs (and realizing how much I enjoy them), and lamenting the fact that it's nearly impossible to keep in close touch with everyone I want to, and thinking that half the time my Facebook posts/pictures might as well be put in a more "mature" forum. Is this more mature? I'm not sure. But in any case, I'm hoping it will have more substance and give a better glimpse of mine and Mark's life here in Denton.
I'm also slightly insecure about how to make a blog interesting, seeing as we have neither pets nor kids, and let's face it, the blogs I love are either by people with adorable, awe-inspiring, and chaotic lives devoted to raising children, or are wholly DIY projects and crafts. Alas, this is neither, but I do hope it will be a way for friends and family to get more substantive updates on us.
As of last week:
---School started back up here in Denton, and our lives are radically different than last year. Mark and I are both teaching two classes of freshman composition in addition to taking three classes of our own.
---I started babysitting for two kids who live about 15 minutes away. I pick Austin up from 4th grade, then half an hour later pick Jessica up from 7th grade, take them home, and help them start their homework until their mom gets home. It is pretty low-key, and totally a provision of God when we were praying for some extra income! Mark is going to watch them two afternoons per week and I will do the other three.
Other things we've been up to (well, were up to before school started):
---Moving in to our house! Last year we lived in a one-bedroom apartment---our first place together---and we just loved it, and had such a wonderful year there together. But it wasn't walking distance to campus, and it really didn't have a lot of extra space (at all), so we hunted around this summer, hoping for a house to rent near campus that wouldn't be a complete dump. And honestly, we have been living here for over a month now, but every day when we pray together, one of us expresses our deep, deep gratitude to God for providing this home for us! We are an eight-minute walk from campus, a two-minute walk from our church, and in a quiet, sunny, settled area of town with sidewalks and no smelly dumpsters or Mexican restaurants (which frequently plagued us at our apartment). I've had a great time doing projects, repainting our bedroom furniture, thrifting little items here and there for the house, and seeing Mark put his handyman skills to work on a few different things. Now all we need are VISITORS! My hope is for our home to be open and inviting, and for our friends to feel welcome here anytime!
---Taking advantage of all the green spaces and parks around Denton for our various early morning sprint workouts. It really makes the town feel like ours.
---Arrested Development. Mark's been maneuvering me through the first two seasons...it's pretty funny!
---Soccer. Mark made the UNT club soccer team! Congrats to him, and I'm super excited to watch him play...one of my very favorite things to do. So if you're Denton people, you should come out to his games and hang out with me and cheer him on!
And to close out my first blog post, an explanation of the title. When Mark and I were dating long-distance, he once texted me a picture of a snowy field as he was out walking, and the caption read, 'a paradiso wherever we are.' I'm pretty positive I was waiting tables when I got the text, so I was probably about to carry somebody a diet coke or a plate of cheese fries, and just about anything would have seemed terribly romantic and poetic compared to that. But even now, sitting at my kitchen table at dusk on a Sunday evening with my husband in the next room, I still love the phrase...and I think it wonderfully encapsulates how we feel about each other. So that's where it comes from: Mark. And this morning, as we were having tea before church, I said to Mark, "I think I'm going to start a blog." Twenty minutes later, as I was braiding my hair, I said "I'm going to call it 'a paradiso wherever we are.'" He stared blankly at me for a moment, then said, "your braid?"
So there you have it.