As we sat on that bench in the rolling hills of West Virginia, looking up at the trees, we talked about how many children we wanted, if we were able.
We were newly engaged. Nineteen and twenty-one, with big dreams and so much excitement for the future.
In an attempt to be the organized and prepared people we enjoyed being (once upon a time, these words actually existed in our lives), we purposed to discuss many life issues that we would likely encounter in marriage. There would be few surprises this way, we surmised. And that’s partially true.
When we moved to St. George in January of 2017, we didn’t have a place to live. We’d seen options online that seemed probable but realized quickly that property managers often use old pictures to advertise homes. So many houses are gorgeous right after they’re built, but a few years’ worth of renters living in them resulted in dirty, unkept places. The smells within these homes ranged from strong pet odors (and hair everywhere, even in air return vents in the ceiling!), to obvious moldy/musty smells.
So, our home for the first 8 weeks in the southwestern desert was in a hotel. This arrangement with a 5-year-old was less than ideal, although it did force us to get out and spend time exploring area parks. And it was expensive. God has provided for our needs, but living in hotels eats through resources pretty quickly!
It was at this hotel that I met my friend, Linda. I had seen her once or twice around the hotel, but I distinctly remember seeing her and her husband on Valentine’s Day. In this city where we knew no one, my son, E. didn’t have any friends to share his little Spider Man valentines with. My suggestion to him was that he share with the housekeepers, who had now become quite familiar to us, as well as other people working in the hotel.
Once upon a time, if I had an ache or pain that I felt needed attention from a pain reliever, I thought Tylenol (acetaminophen) was a great option. Of course, with things like menstrual cramps I never relied just on Tylenol and usually went right for some form of ibuprophen instead. But for lesser ailments, my view of Tylenol was that it was the “lesser evil” and a safer choice, especially in situations like pregnancy.