Finding Florida

Hello faithful friends!  I see that it has been way too long since I updated, I’m sorry!  My Crohn’s was not treating me kindly the last few weeks, and a dear friend took me for a much needed retreat into sunshine and quiet.  I’ve missed your feedback in my life, so I’ll briefly share some of what is going on.  Specifically, how grateful I am that we landed where we did – and only God knew how perfect it would be.

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This month I had planned for my husband to be gone at training – however, a minor injury kept him here for the time being.  Bonus – I don’t have to miss him yet!  However, I had planned an ultra busy Girl-A-Thon to keep my mind off his absence, so now he’s here in the midst of it!  First, our dear friend Michelle came down to stay for the month and help me manage the house and animals.  It’s been cool to show her our organic market, juicing, and starting garden.  I think she’s still in a bit of shock at our health-focused life-style, but that’s ok.

Next, my MOH4LIFE, (maid of honor, Lorri), came down to wisk me away to a nearby resort so that I could lay in the sun and get some R&R.  We’ve found in the past that whenever my disease gets bad, a few days of complete rest, stress free, with lots of sunshine make a huge difference.  So we hit the pool, took naps, and braved the “lazy river” for a week.  The most excitement we had was seeing a real live Alligator!  Trust me, as a new Floridian, that was a mile-stone for me.  We  got so close! And then a passing golfer offered to get even closer and took a great picture.  I feel much better – but still have a ways to go…

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Finally, we’ll finish the month with my new sister-in-law, Rachele, spending her Spring Break with us.  She’s a senior at the Air Force Academy now, so I warned her our lives are not conducive to an MTV-style vacay.  She assured me she’s looking for the rest and peace we hope she’ll find here in our little oasis.  Sigh, I feel so incredibly fortunate that we landed here.  Since we were married in November, we’ve had at least 1 Chicago visitor a month – sometimes their work brings them, sometimes it’s just for fun, but we’re always glad to see friendly faces and share life while we can!

I think back to this time one year ago….Ed was leaving Europe for good to come to the states, and we’d found out he was going to be stationed here.  When he originally put in his request, we were only a few months into dating, but he asked me to list the top 3 cities where’d I’d like to visit my boyfriend.  We put Chicago, then places in Florida and Texas, (I have other family there.)  When he got the email with his final destination, he was disappointed, and I had mixed emotions.  I’ve always loved Florida  and savored the excuse to visit…but we really had to talk about continuing to make the long-distance work.  That was a hard conversation, I felt laid bare as I humbly asked for his thoughts on the future, bracing myself for the possibility that the reality of dating a girl so far away would lose it’s appeal next to the tanned and toned bodies readily available in his new home.  He never wavered – and I was relieved.  As it turned out, I only flew south once before moving down here – most of our visits were him coming here, (I had to work weekends so it was harder for me to get away), ironic right?

Yet, now that we are here, we’ve met so many people who have made us feel welcome.  The first hair-cut I ever got, my stylist has Crohn’s that she’s healing naturally.  My massage therapist practices homeopathy and grows all her own organic food. Our church teaches taking care of the soul, and the body in natural God-given ways.  How could we ever have known that these individuals were waiting for us?  It’s true what they say, home is where the heart is, and ours is certainly happy right here.

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My First Sister

ImageI am Megan Reynolds, not to be confused with Morgen or Marcia.  M’s seems to be popular for the Reynolds women. I am the bride’s sister in law.  I married Morgen’s younger brother, Austin, in 2012.

Becoming a part of the Reynolds clan has been a wonderful experience.  I remember when I first met Morgen, about 5 years ago.  She is tall, perfect hair, just gorgeous.  I was very intimidated.  Would she like me?  Would A.J. care if she didn’t?  I had no reason to worry.  Morgen hugged me and said “I expected you to be bigger, like a super buff swimmer or something”.  She made me feel like part of the family right away.  I can only imagine how in awe Ed must have felt when he met her for the first time at our wedding.

A.J. and I met Ed through a mutual acquaintance years ago and have kept in touch ever since.  We may not see each other often, but when we do, we always have long and meaningful conversations to get caught up.  It is like no time has passed since we last spoke.

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Ed was an usher at our wedding and Morgen was one of the bridesmaids.  While we cannot reasonably take credit for the relationship they have built, we can say we saw it start.  It has been a joy, for both A.J. and I, to watch 2 people we care about finally find happiness.  It is a bonus that we love them both!  Knowing Ed and Morgen separately and together God could not have found two people more well suited for each other.  With love in our hearts  A.J. and I are looking forward to welcoming another branch into the Reynolds clan.  I look forward to watching Morgen and Ed continue to grow into each other as a couple and build a family of their own.

Soon to be Sisters!

The one and only, Rachele Szall

The one and only, Rachele Szall

Most know me as Rachele Szall and throughout high school it was “lil Ed” but I am really the one and only little sister. I am currently a First Class Cadet at the Air Force Academy and next year I will hopefully be following in my brother’s footsteps of taking care of people.

I first met Morgen at a Christmas Party she was hosting at her church. I had just landed in Chicago before my brother whisked me off in excitement to meet a very special someone. I witnessed what a kind, loving person Morgen is and how independent she is; which is a trait I love about her.

Since then, I’d keep up with her busy life and her relationship with my brother through the traditional method of social media stalking and I was always happy to hear about the new experiences they had shared. Something I find fascinating is how your love for someone can make changes in your life for the better without you even noticing it. Having known Edward for quite some time now, it amazes me how happy one person, the lovely Morgen, has made him. I am extremely excited to see where the future takes them!