For anyone who has followed the Macallister journey through my dad's newsletters and ministry, my mom's Easter letters and personal communications, or my brother's spoken words and travels, here's my addition.
As a little girl, I loved to read the Betsy-Tacy book series by Maud Hart Lovelace. I still have each of my grandmother's original cloth-bound books that were printed between 1940 and 1955 and I still read them every fall. A major theme in the book is the main character's love for writing. She journaled every day and tucked away letters and keepsakes from her life's experiences in her uncle's old cedar chest she kept in the attic. Those books fueled my own romantic ideas of writing and were only solidified further once I learned that my grandma had a chest of her own where she hid her journals, and that my mom had boxes filled with photos and letters from her past as well. I dug through every box and read through every journal and then insisted on my own desk with a drawer for my pencils and notebooks. I couldn't fill them fast enough and I never stopped writing. Now when I look back on my journals as a young girl, I laugh at how ridiculous I sound and how many "feelings" I had. But I'll keep them forever and let my someday-daughter read them one day. All of that to say, I still think there's something beautiful about written words and shared experiences. I'm so thankful for my mom's yearly log of our family and I decided to start with my own yearly summary since I'm all grown up now. (Right?)
A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my one year anniversary with my husband, Chad. I'm married! I've been married for a year! Married.... for a year. So wild. If there's anyone who hasn't seen our wedding story, photos, or video you can find all of that here. It was a fairytale kind of day, all thanks to our incredible friends and family who came together to make it all possible.
After our honeymoon, we moved into our first home together in Nashville, Tennessee. Once there, I continued my nannying job and began working part time for Ruthie Lindsay, an event stylist/designer in town. I assisted her on several projects like photo campaigns for Charity Water, DSW and Alternative Apparel, dinner parties for Sisters of Nature and Tinker Street, and even week long events like Passport Express. In January, assisting took the back seat and I started working at a beautiful salon in west Nashville called True Blue. During this time, Chad was working hard on his jewelry business, and I have to say, his work is really amazing! If you haven’t seen it, you can see it here. Over the past year, Chad has handmade hundreds of incredible turquoise and silver pieces, as well as independently branded the business. We’ve also expanded to four stockists at amazing shops in Nashville, Atlanta, Bend, and Houston. Although I’m prone to my fair amount of freak-outs over the inconsistency of a brand new business, it’s a pretty neat thing to be a part of, and I’m so proud of Chad for his passion and drive to make it work.
In April, Chad and I decided that we wanted to head west. On June 1st, we had packed up two tiny cars and our friend Dan’s van, and we were on our way to New Mexico. We’ve been home for a month now and it feels so good! Chad is continuing jewelry work here (and just recently picked up on some impressive wood working too!) and I am back at my previous ABQ salon, AMPM, rebuilding my clientele there.
We’re in a season of “this or that” kind of decisions and there’s a lot of openness ahead of us. We have a lot of options. To most people that would be great and generally I’d say it is, but I personally function much better with a plan in mind! We’re home-hunting now as we pray for open doors and closed doors to help us discern our direction. For now, we’re trying our best to take it one day at a time and just enjoy where we are. (I’m trying. Chad’s already good at that. He helps me.)
Year One for the Barelas has been full and fun. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and each other; we’ve had a lot of adventures; we’ve fought it out; we’ve learned how to fight better; we’ve become a better team; we’ve practiced repentance and forgiveness; we’ve made a lot of good decisions; we’ve made a lot of bad decisions; we’ve been gifted with a renewed desire for the Lord; we’ve prayed and had prayers answered; we’ve been selfish and we’ve compromised with one another; we’ve supported each other and discouraged each other; we’ve traveled; we’ve been business partners and friends; we’ve invested in one another and others; we’ve tried to work out together and almost thrown up; we’ve watched a lot of Dateline before bed; we’ve gotten just slightly better at cooking; we’ve shared drinks and dreams and fears and nightmares; we’ve cried and we have laughed. A lot. Chad makes me laugh so much! There’s so much more where that came from, but Year One has been good. Not perfect, but so so good.
I’m so excited for Year Two and Three and Four and Five and beyond, but as I said, I’m practicing being present, and I’m really happy where I’m at.
Thank you for your love and support and prayers. Whether you were a part of our first year or you’ve been a part of our past years, you’re a part of our lives and we’re so thankful for you. We hope that you’ll pray for us as we continue on in life and in marriage. That we would continuously grow in our relationship with Jesus, that we would continuously grow in our relationship and friendship together, and that we would be a light to those around us. Personally, I would love additional prayer for my anxiety. That my heart and mind would be at peace increasingly and consistently so. I’m so thankful for my husband’s patience with me and his reassurance when I’m feeling my worst.
On that note, my mom recently encouraged me to read a scripture verse about peace every day. She said she did it herself during a season of anxiousness in her life, and it drastically helped. For any of you who may be able to relate, today’s verse is John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
That’s powerful stuff. Take heart!