Where were we? Ah yes, honeymooning in Louisiana.
Now, it's important to note, we had no clue we'd be moving to Louisiana a few short months later. We ended up honeymooning there partially due to convenience.
We got married in Franklin, Texas and we needed to be in Houston a few days later so we didn't want to go too far. And Dusty also happened to know of a cute little riverside cabin owned by some sweet friends of ours.
Our honeymoon was lovely and peaceful and so US.
We left Rolke Ranch around 4pm and drove a few hours east to Louisiana. Our first stop as a married couple was Buc-ee's which is just pretty great if you ask me.
Once in Louisiana we spent the next few days enjoying the view of the river from the cabin, eating leftover wedding food (thank you bridesmaids for boxing food up for us), riding horses, taking photos, playing board games, and looking at cows.
By far the neatest thing we did was tour the Gray Ranch. We brought our cameras along and got some of the coolest photos. This little excursion deserves a post all to itself because it was just so awesome. Gorgeous place. Good horse flesh. Awesome people. Cows. And the chance to learn about ranching in a very different part of the world. Have you ever seen folks move cattle from pasture to pasture on barges? So cool.
We also made a quick stop on the coast and found some pretty seashells before getting back on the road to Houston.
At the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Dusty worked a booth in the International Room for Beefmaster Breeders United. What a place to be right before a global pandemic, huh? Meanwhile, I wandered around the trade show, watched mounted shooting competitions, looked at cows, and ate good food. We finished up the week with the Beefmaster sale where we received a few wedding gifts from kind friends. You just might be a cow person if you've opened wedding gifts back in the pens at a sale.
After the sale we stopped back by Rolke to grab our wedding gifts and headed home to Fredericksburg, Texas.
Here's the thing about our first home... Dusty signed a 12 month lease with his roommate/co-worker, Lance, the month we got engaged. That's one reason we'd originally planned to get married in July. Had we followed through with that plan we would've moved into our own place after getting married, but that wasn't the Big Guy's game plan. So there I was, moving in with my husband and his roommate.
While, thankfully, Lance is a great guy, I can tell you it was not an ideal situation for any of the involved parties. Married people don't want roommates. Roommates don't want married people. End of story.
So those first few months were a bit uncomfortable.
I was in full blown "nesting mode." I wanted to turn the bachelor pad into a cozy little cottage and that just doesn't work well. Plus, it's very difficult to not wander around your own house in PJ's. At least for me... I love PJ's. I love not wearing pants even more (be honest, you know you don't want to wear pants at home either) and that's just not an option when there's a third wheel around all the time.
There's no telling what the neighbors thought was going on, but I'd decided if anyone asked I was going to tell them Lance, a grown man older than both of us, was our adopted son. I find this explanation hilarious.
All that being said, honestly, while not ideal, having a roommate for the first few months wasn't all that terrible. Thanks for being a nice person and putting up with us, Lance!
Other than the roommate part, I was so excited to be living in Fredericksburg. If you haven't been there, it's the cutest little town. I figured I would be spending a lot of time window-shopping on main street, going to the German bakery, wandering through wildflower fields, and floating the rivers in the area.
But then that dang bat flu that held up my bridesmaids' dresses in China showed up and ruined everything.
The week after we left Houston, Covid-19 (Corona, Covid, the Rona, Coronavirus, whatever you wanna call it...) hit the U.S. and everything shutdown.
Apparently if you wanted to live, you had to quarantine.....So now we were self-quarantining with our roommate.
For history's sake, I must include my HEB experience when the Rona first hit... People were saying some crazy stuff so I figured I'd at least get food for the coming week. I now shop for two weeks at a time just because I don't like going to the store very often. However, living in town we'd gotten in a habit of just shopping for a day or two. Anyways, I wasn't stock piling just getting a reasonable amount of food. We also happened to be almost out of toilet paper so I'd planned to get that too.
Lord have mercy... HEB was a warzone. I have never seen so many people in a grocery store in my life. Until that day, I had never been hit with a cart intentionally while shopping...
I turned around expecting that little lady to apologize for her accident. But she did not. She just huffed at me and exclaimed, "I'm TRYING to shop." I politely notified her I too was "trying to shop" and continued on my marry little way down the aisle as slowly as I possibly could because I was not feeling like Jesus that day.
It was ridiculous. I guess people really thought this was the end of the world. Canned goods - gone. Dry goods - gone. Toilet paper - gone. Milk, eggs, meat - gone. Hand sanitizer, medicine, vitamins - gone. I got what I could and got the heck out of that madhouse.
For the next few weeks I tried to do grocery pick-up instead of going to the store.
I imagine the first few months of marriage are a bit of an adjustment for everyone, but this was a pretty dang huge adjustment for us.
We'd been long distance our entire year-and-a-half-long relationship. We were used to seeing each other for a couple days and then going a couple months before we were actually around each other again. Sure, we talked on the phone daily, but that's not the same as living with someone day in day out. There were a lot of little things we had to learn about each other. Some of those little things were quite annoying initially.
We had figured life would continue as normal and honestly didn't plan on seeing each other much that spring. It would be sale season which would mean I'd be busy with clients and traveling and Dusty would be on the road for BBU. Instead we were in quarantine.
Lots of life and relationship lessons were learned in the process, but wow what a blessing. I know covid has been a terrible thing for a lot of people, but for us it's honestly been a gift in many ways. If it weren't for covid, we wouldn't have had this time together to really get to know each other as husband and wife. And if it weren't for God leading us to move the wedding up, we wouldn't have seen each other at all that spring and likely would've had to postpone the wedding. Our entire lives would look different and I truly can't imagine not being married when we were. Thank you, Lord.
Here enjoy these engagement photos from a simpler time in the world.... Circa July 2019. Someday I'll share our engagement story because, boy, it's a doozy!
Anyways, more on our adventures in Texas coming up in PART THREE.