Of things hoped for.

Today began with errands and ended with a howling low country thunderstorm-- and had the beach with Lauren and Kelly sandwiched in between. Out under the big sky we squealed in incredulity over dreams coming true, and come true. Kelly keeps saying this summer's on crazy pills. It's true, look it up. Our friends and family are splattered across the US-- a sister in Los Angeles and a brother in New York City, a dear friend in Connecticut and many more dear friends all over the expanse of this great country. We all have used this summer as a launch pad to get our dreams off the ground, but in the meantime it has been a last soak-it-up of childhood, whimsy, and summer sun. With August a hair's breadth away we're all feeling the push of the second hand and the marking of the calendar.

It's a wonder this Charleston summer has been so full of water. Not the salt of the ocean or the chlorine of the neighborhood pool--but in life, not just in leisure. I have never been more keenly aware of our world's universal solvent until these past few months. The drought is over (symbolic?) in South Carolina and it rains nearly every afternoon, like it did when we were kids. If this were the travel channel, it would indeed be dubbed "the rainy season". My parents exclaim over how many inches with our back porch measuring glass. Andrew and I washed each other's feet at our wedding in June. Andrew is going to study water filtration and sanitation at UNC. And Joshua had to step into the Jordan before its waters were staved off upstream. There's plenty more where that came from.

At the end of April, August was so far off my radar that I really had given it no thought. Now in its balmy hands it holds my new home, a job, and hope for the future and things unseen. Those hopes range from putting my house together well to learning to be a good--great--wife. And of course, the unspeakable--becoming a nurse. Let me just say, Chapel Thrill has a lot to live up to--these first 22 years have been quite a ride. The next two are yet unwritten.

For now, for the next week, I will scarcely blink as I drive around my hometown and spend the evenings with my family around the dinner table.

On the edge of nine, I should think most would head towards bed with a book and a cup of tea, but I'm off to Riveroaks on the Wando River to reunite with Jennigray, Lauren, Meghan and Kelly. Only in town for a moment, but long enough for a cupcake. ;)


So, this is how these things start.

So I decided to purchase a little piece of cyberspace for the Armstrong family (i.e. Andrew and me) to mark our comings and goings of this first year of marriage, moving, grad school, nursing, et cetera. The things written and posted here might be epic and monumental, or microscopic and inconsequential, but they will appear here all the same. I'm hoping that I can keep up with this enough to be able to look back and just remember.

Firstly, the name of our patch of internet is a combo platter of the Armstrong and Smith family mottos: Invictus maneo--I remain unvanquished--and Tenebras expellit et hostes--He expels the darkness and the enemy. I'm still trying to figure out what all that means, but I've always been into "knowing your roots", so to speak, and I actually have spent some time researching and talking with my parents about where we came from (my dad says I was just a twinkle in his eye, but I know better). And once I married into the Armstrong family, it just became a whole new adventure! On our honeymoon to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia we actually bought an Armstrong tartan, which is a Scottish wool blanket woven with the plaid of the Armstrong clan. SUPER COOL. I love it. Anyhow, back to the latin stuff: I feel like people's names and heritage (and family motto) are important, and --can I say it??--prophetic. I think it's awesome that my family name and my new name both speak against the powers of darkness in this world and I hope that I can live into my names and bring the Light into the darkest of dark places.

All that being said, we are moving to Durham, North Carolina on August seventh. Two months and one day after being pronounced man and wife. My emotions are all over the map--and can I say that I have a terrible sense of direction? I'm excited to get into our new apartment and "set up house" (you roll your eyes, but adventure comes in many forms) and I'm excited to find a church and meet people and hmm perhaps get a job (still prayin' hard on that one). But I'm sad, sad to leave home--to leave my family and friends and church and all things familiar. It's funny, I think I had a delayed reaction to getting married because now I'm lamenting that I won't be in my house anymore, or possibly be able to be home for Christmas, or be able to go to the beach any time I want--aren't you supposed to grieve those things, before the "I do's"? Hmm, guess not. But I'd say it's 60/40 excitement. or maybe 55/45. Sheesh. Good times behind, good times ahead.

Before we leave however, there will be a flurry of activity: Noah and Melody to New York City, wedding in Atlanta, seeing friends before we hit the road, and packing. Lots and lots of packing.

So, here's to day one: cheers!