Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Times that Change

Chris and I had a wonderful part of the weekend (Friday night and Saturday) hosting my parents in our little Rifle home.  We so enjoy having them as our guests and enjoying our home to contrast all the times we stay at their home and enjoy being their guests.

Marrying Chris has changed the dynamics of how I relate to my parents.  When we are without Chris (either on a car ride or a walk), we easily slip back into our old three-person family dynamic, but when Chris is there, our conversations are different simply because Chris is there to provide a fourth-person perspective and insight.

Specifically, I notice that we share more "couple" stories... I have heard more stories about how my mom and dad relate to one another as husband and wife since Chris and I became husband and wife (so seven months) than I have in the past 25 years.  My parents are still my parents, of course, but they relate to us as a young married couple as opposed to "our little girl and her boyfriend" -- I have really noticed a difference.

Last night at dinner, someone we began telling stories about before each of us were married, there was one or two occasions where someone was "this close" to throwing in the towel and saying "This relationship is not for me!"  Chris and I shared how each of us had that moment in the Summer of 2010 while on our baseball road trip and I heard a few stories I had never heard about before my parents were married and when my mom was ready to say, "Enough!  I surrender.  Relationship over!"

Now, when I say they were stories I had never heard, you need to know, Sandens are MASTERS of telling stories OVER AND OVER again!  I have told Chris several times that he has married me, and therefore, married my stories.  He is going to hear stories more than once because sometimes they just need to be told again.  I get this re-telling trait directly from my parents.  So for me to say that at age 28 years old I had NEVER heard these stories is REALLY SOMETHING!

While discussing where God might take Chris and me in the future, and while my parents were reflecting on where God had brought them over the years, my mom brought up the irony of their annual January trips to Vail.

My parents have traveled to Vail in January every year since they were married (except for the January I was born).  For years they have always said, it is their yearly honeymoon trip for just the two of them in their favorite spot.  For the past three years, ironically, their January Vail honeymoon is now the Sanden Family Vacation.  My brother and his family come from Seattle, and I live in the area.  They see more family and stay busier on their two week "romantic honeymoon" than they do in February and March combined!

With sweet satisfaction and contentment on their faces they explained how Vail used to be such a needed getaway for just the two of them... and now, they have most every day just the two of them, and Vail is such a nice family vacation to spend with their two children and the children's spouses and their grandchildren and grand-critters.

How much time changes things... how precious these times with my parents are to us.  We praise God for every memory like the ones made yesterday that we are given.

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