Settled and confirmed

On this Sunday, the 29th day of January in the year 2012, whereas our family life was previously so uncertain, I do declare us ...


We've got a great house. All of the necessary boxes have finally been unpacked, and the belongings are put in their rightful place. And we have our dream television.

I completed our taxes today. And we had a good year. Better yet, I finished them a good two weeks before the Valentine's Day weekend, which has typically been the weekend I've done them the last few years. But best of all, we only had to file one state form this year -- a nice change from the two or three Kates and I have filed together every year since we married.

I'm free-writing and journaling regularly again, which is a good sign of how content I am. So far, I'm sticking to my resolutions.

Life is pretty good right now. We're comfortable enough with where we are that I no longer feel the need to call this latest chapter our "new adventure," as we've done since the transition to this point started a little more than two years ago.

Rather plainly, we're entering a phase now where we're just here. Navigating life in The 'Ville. It's where we live now. It's home.

Sure, I still have those mind-blowing moments when I look around and think, What the heck am I doing here? I had one of those moments yesterday when Phoebe and I walked over to campus for the basketball game. As I sat in the bleachers, watching the game with Phoebe on my knee, there was a moment when I felt the surreality of me watching my college alma mater, in the same arena I'd watched so many games a dozen years ago -- and now I'm doing it with my giggly 3-year-old daughter, who is totally in love with the college mascot. I had another moment this morning as we walked into the same church I'd attended during my college years, and now I'm attending the church as a full-fledged adult with a family in tow.

I wonder how much different it would be had my parents not moved to Wisconsin as I finished up my first year of college. The rest is history: I headed to Wisconsin that summer to work with my dad and help him settle into his new job as the manager of a camp. I met Kates that summer. We finished college three years later, married and settled in Wisconsin. We figured we'd stay in the state for life and never set a foot in The 'Ville again.

The twists and turns of life.

Our lives are hardly perfect, though. Kates and I have never felt the insecurities about our jobs that we feel at this moment, amid looming budget cuts and the lack of union protection we enjoyed in our previous jobs. It's going to be a trying spring. ... Then you throw in the complexities and burdens of living so far away from our extended family and the tug-of-war that inevitably comes into play with every holiday or significant milestone. Suffice to say, had we know that part was going to be so difficult, our decision to begin the adventure might have been quite different.

In his sermon this morning, our pastor discussed these themes. He quoted an old saying that goes, Worrying works -- 90 percent of what you worry about doesn't happen. So true. ... He went on to talk about how we're just living out this drama of life on God's stage. To follow him is an adventurous journey. ... Will it be easy? Probably not, but it's worthwhile. The journey is loaded with signs of confirmation along the way.

As my life's mantra goes: Take nothing for granted. It all happens for a reason. Relax, God's in charge.

It always works ... out.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to start my 120-page journey of reading in my graduate book for this week.

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