foto friday

our family on Easter (because I haven’t posted this enough places on the Internet yet)

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{thanks to my lovely sister-in-law, Sarah for snapping the picture.}

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five years of bliss, bumps and blessings

Five years ago today, pretty much right at this minute, I was walking down the aisle on the arm of a very handsome tuxedoed man. First as Johanna Henderson on the arm of my dad, then back down as the new Mrs. Johanna Puelston with Kyle. It was a beautiful fall day, much like this one. The colors in the trees were as bright as the smile on my face that wouldn’t quit. I was HAPPY. I mean, CRAZY HAPPY. I was marrying the love of my life! And we were going to be together forever.

Today I am still so very happy. The past five years have honestly been wedded bliss. Not without bumps along this beautiful road called Life Together, but so chock full of blessing that I cannot for one minute dwell on the brief moments that have been hard or painful. In fact, those moments have shaped and helped us in ways that the super great days can’t hold a candle to.

The first three to six months of marriage were the bumpiest. We had to learn and study each other as we lived life side-by-side after a long-distance courtship. God worked mightily in both our hearts to teach us to extend His bountiful grace to one another, to love even when it was hard and to let the little things slide. The bumps smoothed out and with great support, wisdom from those around us and lots of praying for each other, marriage just got better and better.

I was thinking today that this is probably the life I pictured four years ago when we celebrated our first anniversary in beautiful California. A house, a couple of kids (one that has yet to appear to the outside world!), a continuation of Kyle’s funky, but lovable work schedule. But its SO much better than I could have imagined. And we’re better off in so many ways than on the blissful day our marriage began. God’s grace has been working in small and huge ways to bring us to a place of deepness and maturity in lots of areas of life.

So basically – I’m blessed beyond anything I could have pictured on the day I thought was the happiest day of my life. 🙂 It’s a joy to share life with my best friend and lover. I’d do it all over again in two seconds, Kyle!

august…so far

wow. My blogging skillz have gone OUT the window, apparently! Considering its practically the middle of August and I haven’t said a word or even posted a picture. Gasp.

This summer has just been crazy. I feel like its been one big event that requires all of my attention one right after the other. Shew! But I’m finally feeling like we’re in the home stretch…my Crossings friends are coming this coming weekend and then the next Big Thing is my sister-in-law Sarah’s wedding in the middle of September. ahhhhhh – big sigh.

We just returned from a WONDERFUL week Up North. Old favorites like cliff jumping (but not by me), hiking, World’s Best Donuts, smoked fish and cheese for lunch on the river landing, Sven and Ole’s pizza (oh. so. good.), throwing rocks into Grand Marais harbor and other traditions were indulged in. New memories were made with an epic sunset harbor boat cruise courtesy of the US Coast Guard and one Jesse Sullivan, fantastic live music on the roof of Gunflint Tavern on a chilly night, collecting 8 stamps in our State Park passbook and receiving our first patch (we only have 64 more to visit before we’ve seen ’em all!) and visiting Grand Portage, MN which is on the Canadian border. What a great time!

And the best part was being with our family. Jackson really loves his aunts and uncles and grandparents, all around. I don’t take it for granted that we can see them as often as we do and make memories together like we did this past week. It’s fun too that the Puelston extended family is growing so much this year with two in-laws and a new baby joining the mix by November. 🙂 Happy happy!

So that’s our August so far – recovering from July’s insanity and vacation. Hurrah for a lighter schedule of events for the rest of the month and the chance to enjoy the last weeks of summer in Minnesota.

and to sneak in “foto friday” – here’s one of my favorite “artistic” shots I took this week. This is at the Grand Portage National Monument and is a replica of the fort that once stood there in the fur trading days of yore.

foto friday: my rosanna

My friend Rosanna is a gem. When she moved here almost 5 years ago, we had no idea we’d become such good friends…or that she’d still be here five years later. The plan was a little shorter time in MN, but I am very glad God extended it and I’ve had her in my life for these years. Even when she and her husband Rob and son Jude leave for the wild West in October, we’ll stay close by any means possible. It’s just that kind of friendship – not one to be given up on just because distance gets in the way. 🙂

With our first pregnancies, our due dates were mere weeks apart. This time around, I’m further ahead by 15 weeks. I’m hoping our little missy makes her appearance before they move, so Rosanna can hold my sweet girl. We’re also betting on the fact that since Rosanna is so much sicker this time (like I was), she is having a girl too, but we won’t know that for a couple weeks still.

At any rate, its been so wonderful to share life with this beautiful woman. 🙂 The other day a mutual friend commented “I love how you guys do everything together!” And its true! We were married within weeks of each other and became newlyweds at the same time, started a small group with our guys and another couple (the awesome Gulbransons…I’ll talk about my dear friend Jes another time!), introduced each other to new music/places/fun, had our boy babies, did the new mom thing together, went to a MOMS group together, vacationed to Tahoe together, and now we’re awaiting the births of our second bebes. And believe it or not, we did NOT plan to match when we both showed up wearing the same. exact. dress. the other night. lol.

Many a fun girls night out has been had, many a cup of coffee and conversation at Starbucks and Caribou, many a chat on our couches, some tears shed as we bring our burdens to the Lord together, and many a laugh as we share the latest funny thing that our kid has done. I credit Rosanna with my vastly improved sense of style and makeup skills – she’s my personal shopping consultant and makeup guru. 🙂

Much has happened and changed in our lives over the past five years, but God’s love and faithfulness has remained constant and is evident in our lives. I will, without a doubt, miss her to pieces when she’s far far away in NV and CA, but thank God for FaceTime and text messages and Facebook and phone calls. Love you, Rosanna dear!