It's sad to see that the weekend is over already! With 4-day weekends like this (thanks to Veterans Day), I think time flies twice as fast as normal. Typically, we try and get out of town for a day or two and do something, but we chose to spend this one here at home. No complaints there. Due to it being a Military-based holiday, there were lots of deals going on for active duty service members, so we soaked up some of those. Who can pass up a free meal? Thank you, Chili's, Outback, and TGI Fridays for providing us with some cheap date nights over the weekend!
Of course, there was more to our weekend than eating out. It also happened to fall on Livy's 11 month angelversary. We thought about that a lot over the weekend. It's hard to believe it's been 11 months since we last held her, kissed her, and said our goodbyes. I think with this new baby, we've been longing for Livy even more. It's so hard to believe that this time next month will be when we launch a balloon release in her honor...
Speaking of which...As it turns out, Liv's 1st Birthday/Angelversary probably won't be as we had once thought. James is due to head to another base for 2 weeks of training -- ironically during Liv's 1st Birthday. I had originally planned on staying here during that training, but once we realized the dates, I decided it would be worth it to pack up the basset and go with him. We've been apart way too much, and Liv's 1st Birthday is one day where I definitely want to be in the same town as him! This particular base is somewhat near a beach, so perhaps we can hold a little balloon release there on the beach -- just the 3 of us -- while my family holds another one at her grave in Indy. I hate that we even have to think about this stuff...wish she was here with us instead. Don't we all?
Well, on to a more uplifting/brighter topic...we made a big step today. It wasn't purposeful that this fell on Livy's 11 month mark, but I find it kind of interesting that it did. Earlier this week, we both brought up (at separate times) the idea of finally hunting down a church here in Columbus, so today was the day. This was huge. It may not sound like anything huge just by reading about it, but it was a rather massive step for us. Since Olivia passed away, I've probably only been back MAYBE 5 times max -- one of which was 3 weeks after her death when I made James go with me before he left for A-Stan. I didn't want to go alone on the first time back -- sadly, we didn't make it past the first song before being so uncomfortable that we left. It's just been so hard for both of us, and we've struggled a lot in this regard. It's not that we've lost our faith by ANY means, but anger has far surpassed all else, and we've just struggled with being comfortable in that environment since Liv's passing.
So yeah...today was a rather large step for us. I spent last night researching churches online -- let me just say, either Columbus churches lack reputable websites or I'm clearly looking in the wrong places! Once I finally found one that looked like it would suite us -- large (at least 2k in attendance) and modern in their style of worship -- we looked up their location and made plans of when we had to be there.
Even though plans were made -- and we fully intended on going -- there was still a bit of hesitation on the drive this morning. James even asked if I was sure I still wanted to go -- I could tell he was more hesitant than I. Even with that hesitation, we continued on and headed on in for the service. While their denomination label was different than what we typically prefer, everything reminded us of what we're used to, so I felt somewhat "at home."
In the end, it turned out to be a really good service. The pastor was great at getting his point across without looking like he was just reading from his notes (we both hate that!), and the worship was right up our alley. Plus, with the size of church that it was, we were able to blend in easily without looking like we held up a blinking neon sign saying, "We're new!" Neither of us like the attention that comes from going to a rather small church where everyone knows everyone, and you stand out like a sore thumb if you're not a member. I guess we're just alike in that regard...we want to blend in and do our own thing -- observing as we see fit. So this worked out well for us.
Overall, I could definitely see us going back to this church again in the future. I don't know that we're going to jump right back into weekly attendance, but I could see this being the place that we call home. We still have a few issues that we struggle with -- not specific with this church, but just in general -- but we'll work through those in time. On our way home, the first thing James asked was, "So...what'd you think?" Just as he asked that, I was about to ask the same thing to him. We shared our thoughts -- both good and bad -- and I felt good about where we were. We've made a lot of progress in the last 11 months while dealing with this grieving business and getting back to where we were before in regards to church. Liv's death really tested us and while I feel no rush or pressure, I'm glad to see where we are now...