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!


  1. Hi MaryGene and Andrew,

    I love this, especially that you desire to keep your family and friends close thru a blog (funny word). You're "right on" in looking at this as an adventure - of a new life together, new place, friends, goals and challenges. You two are very well grounded in Christ and supported by family who love you dearly.... We will miss you mucho as you have been a part of our daily lives for 23 years, Andrew for almost 1 year. But, we know it is time for you to forge a new life together.
    Much love and hugs, Mama and Dad too

  2. You are a wonderful kid (I know, a wonderful young adult grown up type person). My hug-ah-bunch and all that. You're a good writer. I love you very much. We miss you. It was fun seeing all the "things." I hope it was like taking a little bit of home with you. You know that the mirror was in my room when I grew up. It was part of a set including a dresser, and bunk beds. I really don't know what happened to the rest unless my mother replaced them with antiques and trashed them. The table we worked on looks great. I love everything about you apartment. You and Andrew have a great start. I can't wait to hear about the new job, which will happen soon. God is great.

    Love you, Dad