Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010

Passion 2010. The best 4 days of my life. Seems like a drastic statement, but it's truth. God really did a work on my heart in those 4 days.

I spent recruitment apart from my sisters being a Pi Chi with these lovely ladies.

which, unfortunately, ended in breaking my leg. the next 3 months were full of many tears, lots of pain, doctor and specialist appointments, and God truly doing a miracle and teaching me what it means to really trust Him.

our first big snow of the year! and the biggest snow man I have ever seen. the first half of the year was marked with spending much time with these precious friends.

and a few weeks later, camping. we went to the farm where Mary used to work and helped fix some things around the farm, spent time with each other, rode 4 wheelers, and slept in the barn. I'm not much of a camper really, but I love my friends and if going camping is how I get to spend time with them, I'll do it. and that broken leg was not going to ruin my fun.

more snow?! we were surprised with another snow day. what does a North Ga student do on a snow day? go sledding down the drill field of course. and the crutches still weren't going to hold me back.

I also turned 21 and spent my birthday and spring break here.
when I got back from spring break, I got to go ahead to throw the crutches down and start walking! a month and a half earlier than originally planned. 
and our AGD Lambda family grew as we initiated the youngest members.

AGD spring formal. the best one yet. lots of fun friends. lots of good food. lots of dancing. and we left early and had a game night at Sara and Melea's.

On April 26, I finished my junior year, which I thought would be the death of me. And that night my life changed forever when I met Cosbie Hollenbeck.

May was a big month. I spent the month in Panama and completed my Spanish minor. The people and children I met in Panama changed me forever.

on June 6, I went on my first date with this guy
and I knew I couldn't ever let him go.

my Big became Mrs. Shostak

and I headed to St. Simon's for my 3rd year working week 1 of camp

at the last minute, I was asked to work week 2 of camp.

the best group of huddle leaders I have ever been blessed to work with

senior year.
back to Dahlonega.
back Ruby Hollow.
without Linds.

I went to my first Georgia Tech football game. and got so sunburned.

and had to wear this thing

Alpha Gamma Delta Cheers for Charity

my last Gold Rush as a collegiate.

Cosbie and I went to spend the weekend with Coach and Jessica and meet baby Philip for the first time. and this is where we got engaged.
October 22. the sweetest words: "will you be my wife?"

my candlelighting.

my first hike since breaking my leg to my favorite place with some of my favorite girls.

our first Thanksgiving together.
and I bought my wedding dress but I can't put a picture on here :)

25 straight days with Cosbie. the most time I've ever had. and the best 25 days.

engagement pictures

my sweet friend Carrie became Mrs. Lee!

our first white Christmas together

Goodbye, 2010.
2011: the year of graduation and marriage.
bring it on.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Christmas morning I got up and hung out with my mom for a little while before getting ready and waking up my dad. We decided to wait on Cosbie to open presents and open all of our presents at once. Cosbie got a new GPS and was mesmerized by it for a good while. I got a new big jacket (perfect timing for the snow), some books for my classroom (including On The Night You Were Born- my favorite!), perfume, Just Dance Wii games (aka my wedding weight loss plan) and my favorite candle. I got Cosbie some Chacos, a new coffee cup, and made him a bigger blanket to take on the road. I've made a lot of blankets over the years, but never this big! What you need to know is that, while I am the creative one, Cosbie is the one who spoils. And spoil me he did, in his true fashion. He got me this black flower that goes on a sweater or in your hair that I saw months ago (I love a good flower) a brown Coach purse that I absolutely LOVE! The best part is that it has pockets for all of my stuff. Every time I dropped something into my old purse, Cosbie would tell me that it was going to get lost in that dark abyss. I have brown hipster purse that I have loved until it is flat worn out and is in pretty rough condition. He just couldn't resist and got me a black one to replace it. I am way too spoiled.

After presents and hanging out for a little while, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Hollenbecks' house. It was starting to snow so we thought it would be best to take my parents' Jeep instead of our little cars. Unfortunately, the snow was not letting up and we were only there for about 45 minutes before my dad called and told us we needed to get back. We got back to my house just as the roads were getting icy and ended up staying there for the rest of the night. I did, however, manage to get Cosbie to come out and play with me for a little bit.

 I thought that holding his expensive camera would keep him from throwing snow balls at me, but he still got a few in

It was a wonderful day, but frustrating at the same time. We had planned to spend the afternoon with his family before heading to Christmas with my family. This was my last day with Cosbie before he goes out of town again. I was upset that he couldn't come to Christmas with my family, but was glad he was at least coming to part of it. But the snow kept us from going there, and also caused him and Rachel to have to spend the night at our house. Even though it wasn't what we thought it would be, it was still a great day. A memorable first Christmas together for sure. :) The only downfall is that it is the beginning of not seeing Cosbie much for a long time. I will get a few days next week, but that will be all for the month of January. This is also the case for much of February and March. After being able to be with him for so long, it was hard for him to leave again, especially because the wives got to go on this trip. But that's just something to look forward to after May 21. I can't wait until next Christmas when we can be together and have our first Christmas in our own house (or most likely apartment) together and many more to come. :)

Twas The Night Before Christmas

I'm not sure when our Christmas Eve traditions actually started, but we have done the same things as long as I can remember. We always start with Christmas Eve service at Noonday. We always eat a spaghetti dinner at my aunt and uncle's house, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and help the boys put out reindeer dust and carrots for the reindeer. And as we leave my dad picks up every carrot from the yard and takes a big bite out of it. #dedicateduncle

This Christmas Eve was wonderful, but required a little pep talk to myself. Change is hard. And not being selfish is hard when I want something so badly. In my perfect world, I wanted to be everywhere and see everyone and please both families... all at the same time. I wanted Cosbie to be with my family and didn't want to miss dinner with the boys but I wanted to be at church with him and with his family too. Truth is there just weren't enough hours in the day. Knowing that I would get to see my family the next day, it only made sense to spend the night with his family. I knew that was the most reasonable choice, but it was hard. Really hard. I loved spending every second of the day with Cosbie, but I missed my family.

It was a great but long day. Started with breakfast at The Flying Biscuit, aka my new favorite breakfast place, with part of Cosbie's family. From there we headed toward Briarlake because Cosbie had a meeting before sound check. Service at Briarlake, then to the Hollenbecks' for dinner and Christmas with Granny and Mike. They are such a generous family and I was so surprised at how they spoiled me: a new jewelry box, jewelry, scarf, sweater, personalized notecards. Even though mine and Cosbie's relationship has been very quick, being there feels right and comfortable. But the night wasn't over. Cosbie had to work a 11:00 service... that lasted until 12:40, making for a very late night.

Exhaustion on top of emotions running high anyway made for a bit of an emotional night. I was sad that I had missed my family, sad that I only had one more day with Cosbie, worried about the weather ruining our plans (which it did), and a little sentimental that this would be my last Christmas waking up a the house with my parents. It's just a lot of change. And change is hard. But good. And exciting. And even though there were a few tears, there were also tears of happiness, because this was the best Christmas Eve I've ever had.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Suitable Helper

Even though I've read every book there is about marriage and prayed for the man I would marry for so long, I'm seeing that I am far from being the perfect wife. I have a lot of work left to do, but am so thankful for a man who is so patient with me.

One of my friends who got married last fall sent me some verses that have helped her. I'm trying to memorize them and be able to quickly recall them when I need them the most. This week for me was all about learning to be a suitable helper. (Genesis 2:18) I didn't really know what that meant. How do I be Cosbie's suitable helper? There are moments when I remind myself of this and still can't stop being a brat (just being honest, even if I wish it wasn't true). I don't always know what to do, but I am learning what not to do. A suitable helper puts her man first, always. She compromises. She doesn't get upset when things don't go her way. She willingly helps him with whatever he needs. She can take care of herself and their house when he is gone. Some days, I can do that. And some days I struggle. Some days I just want to be heard and I am selfish. Some days I feel myself reverting back to the independent girl I had to be for so many years. But when I remind myself of who I am supposed to be and remember what the Bible says about a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 25:24 & 27:15), I know I don't want to be her and I know I never want to be a burden like that to Cosbie. I want to let him lead me (Ephesians 5:22-23) and I want to follow his lead (Ruth 1:16-17). I want to put him first (Philippians 2:1-5). I want to be as close to perfect as I can be for him. 

Marriage isn't always going to be easy. Some days will require more work than others. Some situations will test us more than others. I'm so thankful that we both live for more than each other. Thankful that we serve a God who won't leave us in the dark. Thankful for His Word that provides guidance and brings conviction. We're going to have to work at this, but there is no one else in the world that I would fight harder for. No one else that I want to stand beside. The best part is that even if we don't get it completely right at first, we have the rest of our lives to work at it. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We Got A King, They Got A Son

Being engaged has given me a whole new perspective of Mary and Joseph. A few days ago we were riding in the car, listening to a Dave Barnes (can you tell I really love him) song called Mary and Joseph. For just a minute I put myself in their shoes. What would I do if I had to tell Cosbie that I was pregnant, when we both know that is impossible? How would he react? What would I do? Not only is the whole thing crazy in and of itself, but no one had heard from God for hundreds of years. The Old Testament, silence, and then BAM, Jesus. So many emotions must have gone through Mary and Joseph. Fear- they were about to be subject to so much criticism. Excitement- the whole world has been waiting to hear from God for so long, and now He has spoken. And not softly, He has sent the Messiah that the world has been waiting on. Hope. Life. Salvation. Freedom. All in the form of a baby. A baby that most people didn't even think twice about. A baby who was going to save the world. Cradled in Mary's arms. I wonder what it felt like to hold the Savior you have been praying for. Mary's whole life she had been told that a Messiah was coming, that He would be born of a virgin, and crucified. Of course there is no way to know exactly what Mary was thinking, but my guess is that she never in a million years would have thought that she would even live to see His coming, much less be the one to give birth to Him. How humbling to be the one God chose. How terrifying to know that His life would end in so much pain, and to know that His death would be the hope of the world. That small baby changed the world. Changed my world. And gave my life meaning.

"long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the soul felt its worth"

Friday, December 24, 2010

God Gave Me You

 I've been a walking heartache
I've made a mess of me
The person that I've been lately
Ain't who I wanna be
 But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through 
And I need you
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
 For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you
 There's more here than what we're seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me
You'll always be love's great martyr
And I'll be the flattered fool
And I need you
On my own I'm only
Half of what I could be
I can't do without you

 We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I pray we never undo
 God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

-God Gave Me You, Dave Barnes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I have officially become the worst blogger. (however, my sweet friend Savannah has come back to the blogging work! click here) I don't know what's gotten into me, but I just can't seem to get myself on here and write. Then I feel like I have so much to write about that it's overwhelming and I just don't do it. So I will do my best to recap almost a whole month of home.

Cosbie has been home since December 1st and I am getting way too spoiled by dinner dates, Starbucks, tons of time with him, and watching Dexter (don't judge) and drinking hot chocolate every night. And somehow 25 days doesn't seem long enough. It went by way too fast. For months I've refused to look at the calendar for January because it means hardly seeing him at all, but now January is here and is reality and I'm not sure that I'm ready for tour season after all.

We started registering at Macy's and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It was a little overwhelming at first, but so much fun. For some reason I can't seem to make any sort of decision about dishes. Of all things- dishes. I didn't think I would ever care about dishes this much. Though I did get pretty tired of it, and I'm sure we will end up adding some more things here and there, it was fun to pick out things for our future house/ apartment. 

We started out Christmas break with a bang in the form of the most wonderful weekend. We started out with our engagement pictures with Joy. Neither one of us really love getting our picture taken so much, so we were not exactly thrilled about it if I'm being honest, but we had so much fun! I've been following Joy's photography for so long now that I felt almost famous seeing our pictures on her blog. Here's a little taste (more to come):

after pictures we met up with Brittany, Patrick, Tim, Rachel, Crimson, and Matt for a quadruple date, if you will. Dave Barnes was playing at Center Stage in Atlanta with Drew and Ellie Holcomb, who I now love. After the concert we went to Cafe Intermezzo (my favorite and mine and Cosbie's first date spot). Not only am I thankful to be spending the rest of my life with someone so wonderful, I am also thankful for the sweet friends he has brought into my life. It is so wonderful to have other couples to hang out with. They are such a blessing.

Saturday night my sweet future in-laws took us to see The Nutcracker at the Fox. I was beyond excited because I had not been to the Fox for a show since I was in the 6th grade, and I had never seen The Nutcracker before. We had so much fun and the show was wonderful! 

At the end of every semester, our Bible study goes to Michelle Pope Funk's house for dinner. When you have a name like that, you use them all. We love going over there and her 3 boys always entertain us. MPF and those girls are most definitely what I will miss most about college. They have been my rock over the past 3 years. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful group of girls to grow in Christ with and an amazing Godly woman to lead us.

Last weekend my sweet friend Carrie Ross became Carrie Lee. I went to South Carolina Friday morning for the bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and just to help get things ready. Driving up there I was overwhelmed with how faithful the Lord has been in mine and Carrie's lives. Over the past 8 years, we have endured our fair share of broken hearts, tears, and prayers over things of the past and for the men we would marry. Who would have thought that we would be getting married so close to each other? I'm so thankful for friends like that. Her wedding was absolutely beautiful and I could not be more excited for her and Micah as they begin their life together in Boston. 

2 months ago Cosbie asked me to be his wife. It feels like a lifetime ago and just yesterday at the same time. Some days I look at him and am completely overwhelmed by the fact that I get to marry him in 5 months. I can't wait to spend every day of my life with him. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us, for better or for worse. sometimes I still can't believe that, after so many years of praying, he is finally here. Forever. 5 months until I walk down the aisle and become Mrs. Caitlin Hollenbeck.