lukeandmanda

The most amazing love story since Romeo and Juliet haha

The silver lining in saying goodbye…

It’s only “see you later.” 3.5 days ago I sent Luke off to Fort Sill with a forced smile on my face and a big kiss.

Goodbyes are never easy! But true love endures anything.

Luke preparing to hit the road for the next 13 hours, en route to Fort Sill, Oklahoma

I thought I would lose it after he climbed into his truck and drove away! But besides tearing up a little, I actually did pretty well. We only ran back for ONE more big hug, and then he followed me out of the neighborhood. We kept waving at each other and blowing kisses at traffic lights, and I am pretty sure all of the drivers around us thought we were insane. We finally split off though — me to go into work and he to hit  the interstate and head West.

We have experienced many “countdowns” in our 25 months of dating, but I have found that the hardest time to say goodbye is after we have spent a long time together in the same place such as this last time. We experienced almost 40 days together as a “regular” couple, and now we must transition back to a “distance” couple. I’m not saying it’s easy because it really, really isn’t, but I am trying to have a positive attitude as we start this new chapter in his Army career. In the process, I have uncovered a silver lining in being hundreds of miles apart once again:

1. I get a sweet, romantic text message from him every single morning once more. (It’s like West Point 2.0)

2. I know that we will get to talk on the phone at the end of every day. When you are far apart, you find that you actually TALK and LISTEN to each other a lot more! Therefore, I feel like we are even more emotionally connected than close-distance couples most days.

3. Web cam dates! It’s so cool to be able to see him from so far away. We are planning for our first one at BOLC tonight, and I cannot wait to “see” him while we watch a TV show together.

4. A renewed commitment to couples’ Bible study and praying together. We have a Bible study book that we go over every Sunday evening, and we make sure that nothing distracts us from this. When he was down here visiting though, we forgot the book a couple of weeks and kind of fell off the wagon a little because we were so busy with worldly things. Now, I know we will be able to commit wholeheartedly to our joint study of God’s word.

5. More time to study for the upcoming GRE/focus on work for Business Executive magazine. I am looking forward to acing the GRE on August 3rd (I hope!) and I know that this distance will give me plenty of time to study and prepare as well as write a couple of magazine articles that are due. At the same time, I know that Luke will be able to focus on BOLC much more as well.

6. Time with girl friends! I have seriously missed all of my girls and had so much fun hanging out, shopping and getting my nails done with Katlin Baugh and Chelsea Coggin this weekend.

Chelsea, Manda and Katlin. Gotta have “The Barnes and Noble Picture” haha. Bridgestreet- 2012

I also got to spend last night with Jessica Belue, and I have road trips planned to see Christian Motz in Mobile and Lauren Killen in Tuscaloosa during July.

7. Our next trip is already booked! That’s right — I never let him leave without booking the next trip so he cannot get rid of me haha Just kidding. But seriously, we are already looking forward to spending a few days together in August before I go back to school.

8. Awesome memories. Let’s face it — his graduation leave was seriously epic. And I am going to be busy editing pictures from our time together, finishing up his West Point scrapbook with pictures from Grad Week, and reminiscing with him about all of the fun we had.

Speaking of memories….

Two nights before Luke left, I planned something of a “serial date” for him, where I surprised him by taking him to a whole bunch of different places scavenger-hunt style. At each place, I would give him a clue about where we were headed next.

I tried to make it as “manly” as possible, since he has planned so many romantic dinner and movie dates for me. I was thrilled when he said it was one of his favorite dates EVER at the end of the night! Here’s a glimpse into what we did:

First, I handed him a sheet with “The Rules” of the evening.

After I made it clear that he would NOT be able to guess our next destination, I handed him the first clue. Remember: “Manly date” haha :]

Now, I know I am clearly not the best at coming up with these clues (as you will see) haha It is really difficult to make them rhyme. But, even I wasn’t expecting Luke to take one look at this one, glance up, and yell.. “CAT!”

I was like Umm…noo??? haha “Read it again, babe.” He claims he only read the first line and was picturing a lion or something. Needless to say, this activity did not, in fact, require him to catch our cat Lucky for a game. Instead we played a game of HORSE in my driveway for about 20 minutes, during which, this former high school basketball star promptly kicked my butt.

The next clue led us up to Monte Sano Mountain for an “evening stroll.” We went up there once before when I was Christian’s bridesmaid, so he knew the general area, and we loved hanging out up there for about an hour.

Such a pretty date location! I grew up going to Monte Sano and just love the curvy roads and walking paths. We also got to swing for a few minutes on the playground.

Manda and Luke- Monte Sano in Huntsville, Ala. July 2012

Next, up: dinnertime!

I took him to Dreamland for ribs! I have been promising to take him there forever and am glad we finally got the chance to go.

Just me! I think he liked this a lot better than some of the fancier places we usually go to on date nights.

And we just so happened to pick a booth with the following sign:

Yes, the ever present elephant in the room. This was totally not on purpose either! OK, you can have him for 5 months, but then he is all MINE :]

After dinner, we headed to Barnes & Noble so that I could buy him the next book in the Sharpe historical fiction series that he is reading authored by Bernard Cornwell. I figured he’d have a lot of downtime in the evenings and might have time to read during BOLC.  Sure enough, he told me he started it last night!

Going to buy “Sharpe’s Prey.” He is so sweet! It was HIS date, and he even bought me a book while we were there, as well.

After B&N, we went on to Target to buy some ice cream so that we could make Captain/Coke floats for dessert. (Surprisingly good if you like sweeter drinks..)

Picking up a pint of good old vanilla Haagan Daz ice cream.

We headed to the pool in my neighborhood for the final stage of our date, and a neighbor just so happened to be shooting off fireworks for the 4th of July a night early. We sat back in the water and enjoyed a really neat fireworks show, while sipping our drinks. It really ended up being such a perfect night!

Luke at the pool in Greenlawn- July 2012

Looking forward to many more nights like this! After all, it’s really only “see you later!”

“I don’t want this night to end.”

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One thought on “The silver lining in saying goodbye…

  1. Macie on said:

    Hi Amanda,
    I saw your post about this entry on the USMA WP GF group and it gave me great comfort and inspiration. There are so many reasons distance will be wonderful for my own growth, but I’ll also have time to plan awesome surprises for Brett-like your date! Love the idea!!
    Thanks!

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