The most amazing love story since Romeo and Juliet haha

A once-in-a-lifetime love.

So I have kept myself pretty busy since Luke has been gone (Yes, this is Amanda again. Luke will probably never write a post and it’s somewhat debatable if he even reads this haha.) But anyway, since he left, I have been able to spend lots of time with girl friends and lots of time studying for the GRE. We just completed the Command Inspection at work, so up until Friday, I was super busy there as well. I am starting a new project on Monday, so I doubt that I will have any time to be bored between now and when I see Luke again in just 19 days! (19..I LOVE writing that! We are down into the teens on our countdown now, people…)

I spent one weekend in Mobile, Ala. visiting one of my best friends from high school, Christian Motz (formerly Phelps.) I was a bridesmaid in her wedding last summer, and she and Ben have since moved to Mobile where he is completing medical school at USA. Sadly, I hadn’t seen Christian since her wedding last June, and that was simply unacceptable! So last weekend I road-tripped it down to Mobile and spent the weekend with them.

Christian and I in Mobile Ala. July 2012

We had a blast hanging out again, and even though it rained so we couldn’t hit the beach, we still had a ton of fun! We stayed up until like 1 a.m. on Friday night when I first got there just talking, and then slept late on Saturday and went to lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen. We shopped some and then rented The Vow to watch that afternoon since it was raining. We then met Ben at this really great Mexican place for dinner and went out to The Bicycle Shop for drinks afterward. It was so fun to meet some of their best friends from med school.
All-in-all, I had a great weekend visiting with them. On the five-hour drive home, I had plenty of time to reflect on ‘The Vow,’ and how Channing Tatum (gosh that man is incredibly talented actor) never gave up on Rachel McAdams and the love that they shared. When they got married each of them acknowledged that they were embarking upon a “once-in-a-lifetime love” and that they would go through life together no matter what challenges they may face. I, along with millions of other girls in America, love that line, and it made me realize, yet again, that true love is not always easy. In the movie, the characters faced so many obstacles when “Paige” got hurt in the car crash and lost her memory. She did not remember her husband anymore or the love that they shared, and yet, he never gave up on her. At the end of the movie, they found each other again (or so the audience is led to believe..I still hate how that movie ends with the two of them holding hands and walking away so it’s not extremely conclusive.) But, I believe they got married again and lived “happily ever after.”

See, here’s the thing about happily ever after. It doesn’t begin with a diamond ring or a fairytale wedding and a perfect kiss. It begins from the time you meet your significant other and commit yourselves to one another forever and ever, and let me tell you, the going isn’t always easy, and life is not always a fairytale. It takes commitment and hard work. There are days of sadness, challenges and sorrows, ups and downs, but it is that commitment to stay together and go through all of life’s joys and sorrows with hm by your side that really creates that perfect “once in-a-lifetime love” that  Luke and I share. God has truly blessed us by giving us each other, and even when we are far apart and I am missing him like crazy (like I have been every minute of every day since he left on July 5th), I am just thankful that we have each other to go back to at the end of every countdown.
This summer we were extremely blessed to spend nearly six weeks together in the same place, and we were actually able to fit in a vacation to Panama City Beach, where we had an incredible week soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean.

Getting drinks at Oceans Grill, Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City

That night he took me to a nice steak-and-seafood restaurant right across the street from our resort!

Heading out to Firefly for dinner. We are standing outside our cute little golf villa at Edgewater Beach Resort.

When we embarked on this vacation, we had heard tons of warnings about bad weather with Hurricane Debby scheduled to strike PCB on the day or our arrival. Despite one afternoon of rain though, we had perfect sunny skies the entire rest of the trip. We even got to swim in the ocean that first day after they changed the double red flag to a single red flag, which made the trip all the more interesting, in my opinion– bigger waves = more exciting swimming! Haha We were just so thankful to have beautiful weather when we had been told we’d more than likely have to evacuate due to the storm. God had other plans for us however, and we enjoyed a wonderful 5 days at the beach instead.

View from our condo after storms from Hurricane Debby cleared out

To me, there is such promise to be found in those glorious rays of sunshine that come out after every single storm. Yes, long distance relationships are challenging, and the military adds another interesting aspect to that challenge. You never know what the Army will throw at you on any given day, but that’s part of the fun. As Luke says often, our relationship certainly isn’t boring! We get to travel all over the place and eagerly  fly hundreds of miles to see each other month after month, even if our actual time together on the ground is only 24 hours or so. And we have been willingly doing this for more than 2 years now. Doesn’t that sound crazy to you? haha it sounds like our version of “happily ever after” to me.

I would guess that at this time three weeks from now, I will be happily snuggled in his arms in Lawton, Oklahoma. But for now, I can just be thankful that I have him at all– through all of the missing him and the difficulties of being so far apart, I know that we will continue to love each other and endure any challenges life (or the Army) sees fit to throw our way. I am so thankful for my once-in-a-lifetime love.


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