We sit on our back porch, watching the sun set between the saddle of the hills as its vibrant hues of oranges and pinks challenge the fire sparking next to me. My children laugh and giggle as they roast marshmallows for their s’mores. I wrap my hand tightly around my glass of wine as my dog races between my husband and myself trying to grab the fallen morsel of marshmallow. We give each other a knowing look. It’s the look that we both recognize—how grateful we are for our love and this humble moment.
This past year, my husband retired from the military. We moved to Tennessee to be closer to my family—who lives in Alabama. My husband began a brand new career, had two brain surgeries, and we bought a home. Simple moments like watching the sun set around a fire with our kids mean so much. We don’t take these simple moments for granted.
More importantly, we don’t take each other for granted. As a mom, we easily get wrapped up in our children, our careers, our laundry… We simply lose focus because—let’s face it—we wear multiple hats and try to please everyone. For us, this past year has been a never-ending roller coaster. We have had highs and lows, but we made a special effort to hold hands, share a glass of wine on Friday nights while gazing at the sky, text each other during the day to let each other know we are thinking of each other.
Effort. Love takes effort. Marriage isn’t easy, and life is hard. The amazing thing? The more effort we make, the easier love and life become.
We have been so very blessed and welcomed in our small community of Lascassas, Tennessee. From the local farmer’s market to the neighbors that all jump in and help when a tree falls during these crazy summer storms. The music on every corner and the casserole for every celebration (or sad occasion) reminds us that we picked the right place at the right time to call home. And so, at a time when we could have gone in a very opposite direction, our new hometown became a refuge. No one moment defines this. The collective support of a community makes our new home a place of comfort and healing for our family. We finally discovered what I think many in this community already know. A simple life filled with lots of love equals a happy home. Sunsets, s’mores and spending time together is home to me!