The Marriage Chronicles: Year Two

Another year is officially in the books for the Hartsfields. I always love doing these posts to look back on the highlight reel of the past year–and the not so glamorous moments, too. No matter what’s happening or where we are, marrying that man is the best decision I’ve ever made. Whether we’re watching The Great British Baking Show or hiking up a mountain, I adore every minute we get to spend together.

So without further ado…


Our second year of marriage in review.


We celebrated our first anniversary at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. There were lots of barnyard animals, games of ping pong & shuffleboard, and a few forays into the lazy river. Not to mention the best pickles we’ve ever tasted at the local farmer’s market. Oh, and a huge slice of carrot cake to split in remembrance of a certain very happy day a year prior. During this month, we planted a garden and fostered Milo the terror–I mean terrier. It turns out puppies and gardens don’t mix, but he was the cutest little man and we still talk about his hilarious antics.


More gardening, more fostering, and just a brief visit to the ER for Scott because his wife may or may not have under-cooked some shrimp. (On a completely unrelated note, she ate the same meal and was fine, so…) The details are fuzzy, but thankfully he survived.


We attended our first Del Rio Cajun Fest, devoured some boiled crawfish, and made the local paper. Still laughing about that one. April brought another Crud tournament for me, but tragedy nearly struck about ten days before the competition when I took a tumble in a heated game of tennis with Scott. I went for a ball, my foot turned right out from under me, and I fell to the ground–hard. We both initially thought I’d broken my ankle and Scott gallantly carried me to the car. Luckily after a couple of X-rays, it was determined to be just a bad sprain, and I iced the crap out of that thing so I could have a chance at playing in the tournament. Thankfully, I did play, and both of our squadron’s teams were fierce competitors, but victory was not to be had. Crud is still one of my favorite things I’ve done here at Laughlin and I’m sure going to miss it when we leave.


We did Cinco de Mayo right this year, eating our way through all the food trucks possible in downtown Del Rio. Visits to the winery, evening softball games, and an air show at Laughlin made for a great month. It was bittersweet though, as Milo was officially adopted by a wonderful family in Colorado. (He’s now living the dream and being spoiled rotten, which makes our little foster parent hearts very happy.) Scott was also promoted to Captain! For Memorial Day, we spent the weekend digging up, tilling, and reseeding our backyard so we Ralph could enjoy a lush summertime lawn.


Swimming in the neighborhood pool, a short trip to the river with Scott’s Corps buddies, and Father’s Day in Houston for the two papas. I went on a spouse ride in the T-1 and got to see what it’s like for Scott to fly. Turns out, it’s even cooler than I thought (minus the air sickness). I proudly held it together, but let’s just say I’m glad he’s the pilot and not me. At the end of the month, our hard work paid off and a beautiful green lawn greeted us in the backyard. Ralph couldn’t contain his excitement and rolled around in it for about a week straight.


We made a road trip to Angel Fire, NM with Ralph and enjoyed a week in the mountain air. Hiking, horseback riding, a day trip to Taos, and a (mildly terrifying) ride in Captain’s plane were on the schedule. Ralph loved being off leash up there and established himself as a pretty decent mountain dog. Back in Texas, we crossed off a bucket list item for Scott and his friend Brian by going to an Astros vs. Tigers game in Houston. We got the itch to foster again and picked up our new pal, Skipper. His mustache completely won us over and he and Ralph became inseparable.


We celebrated Scott’s 26th birthday in much the same fashion as his 25th—a relaxing day at home complete with chocolate sheet cake. I did manage to surprise him with a brand new pocket knife. I made a quick trip to Austin to see Kameron, Emily, Alyssa & Casey, but the rest of the month I just remember waiting to hear about our next assignment. Rumors swirled for weeks until Scott finally texted me one morning to come to the squadron. I raced up there and thought I’d die from anticipation. When his commander told us that we would be headed to Ramstein, Germany—well, you can see the photos. We were–and are–ecstatic.


We took a family trip to San Antonio and Buda, wandering our usual path along the River Walk and into every delicious restaurant we can fit into a weekend. Skipper was adopted while we were gone, and we still miss that little cutie pie. I’d asked Scott several months prior where he’d like to travel if he could choose anywhere in the country, and he told me Boston. I quickly booked flights and bought tickets to an Astros vs. Red Sox game at Fenway. I think we’d both agree this was our favorite trip of the year—delicious food, baseball, historical tours, and the best bonus trip to Portsmouth, NH to see Jake, Jenna, and Baby Warren. It’ll be hard to top that getaway.


But wait—another trip! This time to North Carolina so that I could (finally) meet Scott’s sweet grandparents and visit his dad’s side of the family. We had a great time catching up with everyone in Winston-Salem, and then we took a little jaunt to Asheville. Almost running out of gas on the Blue Ridge Parkway was a pretty memorable event, but the views and mountains were stunning. Sadly the fall color was late this year, but we’ll be back to catch it another time. The rest of the month was crazy busy for me with Christmas tree farm preparation kicking into high gear. We did make it back to Houston to check another box—a Texans vs. Bills game for Scott and Brian.


I soaked up as much time with my boys as possible with home-cooked meals, Christmas decorating and hot cocoa before I left to work at the farm. Thanksgiving was a too-brief but welcome respite from the chaos. We had a fabulous Christmas tree season—maybe my favorite one yet, and I couldn’t have been happier to have made it through with flying colors. I was spoiled for my 27th birthday with pedicures with my mom and sister, flowers from Scott, and a family dinner in downtown Tomball. Gotta love being home.


Returning to Del Rio was as sweet as ever. We decorated our little tree, spent lots of cozy nights watching movies, and did all of our Christmas shopping from the comfort of our own home. Christmas was spent in Buda with most of Scott’s family (and an unfortunate stomach bug for all but me, somehow) and then Tomball for more merriment. The boys took their annual trip to the duck lodge and we rang in the New Year with champagne and black-eyed peas, of course.


Scott headed to Squadron Officer School in Montgomery, Alabama for six weeks and Ralph and I stayed in Del Rio to hold down the fort. Luckily, I already had a trip to Nashville scheduled with Emily and Marissa, so we spent three days galavanting (mostly just eating) through the city and staying up far too late, lost in conversation. Upon my return, I came down with a terrible cold, but Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Suits got me through.


I flew to visit Scott in Montgomery for a few days and explored the city’s museums and historic downtown while he was in class. We hated to part again, but I squeezed in a trip to Dallas to see my favorite people before heading back to Del Rio. Ralph and I also trekked to Houston for a quick camping trip with my parents and the nephews at Fort Boggy State Park.

Scott and I spent Valentine’s Day and now our anniversary apart, but I’ll fly to see him this week for his graduation from the program. We’ll make the road trip back to Texas together, stopping in New Orleans to celebrate all of our overdue occasions.

Well, we made it. If you got through all that, you’re a hero. Another year down, and some of the best moments of my life spent with my love.

Scott, I love you so much and I’ll see you in a couple of days. Ralph and I can’t wait to have you home. Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

[The Marriage Chronicles: Year One]

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