Standing With An Army

Currently, my Army is 4,381 miles away, including Kevin who also happens to be in Frankfurt as I type this post. I cannot believe it’s been six months since I’ve said goodbye. Only a few people know this, but during the flight back to the U.S., I cried for a quarter of it. It wasn’t because we would no longer travel Europe. It was because of the people. We started out as complete strangers, and yet in the end, they became family.

It’s not easy moving abroad. You’re surrounded by another culture, a foreign language that you barely speak, and in a city full of new people. It took four days after moving to Frankfurt to realize I needed a purpose. I walked to the nearest yoga studio, asked begged for a job teaching yoga, and that ‘yes’ opened the door to meeting so many wonderful people.

These relationship didn’t end when we left Frankfurt. No, that was only the beginning. “Standing with an Army” comes from a song by Ellie Goulding and every time I hear it, I think of our crew. Our Army. I’ve lost count how many times it’s been played while driving, and always with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

I’m so thankful.

Before moving from Frankfurt, we wanted to celebrate with our friends. To help us capture the moment, we hired a photographer who snapped some really gorgeous photos of our farewell party. She was completely discreet that we barely even knew she was there!

Meet Rachel – she’s such a beauty – inside and out. She came to visit us in Charlotte during June and we saw Ellie Goulding in concert. During the show she, of course, sang her song “Army”, and when she sang the chorus it got me thinking.

Living abroad took us out of our comfort zone on the regular. It became our norm to feel uncomfortable at least once per day, and took a good six months before everything just sorta clicked. Then over time, one by one, all of these amazing people came into our lives.

The funny thing is majority of them were linked through yoga. This is pretty remarkable considering five years ago as I started teacher training, I had no desire to even to teach. In fact, in order to graduate it was required to teach a 60 minute class, and it was that class that opened my eyes to teach more. So, I did it part-time on top of a full-time job.

Little did I know that my part-time teaching would lead to lifelong friends in Frankfurt….Life is great in the way things just work out. These friends not only made our experience abroad, but they helped to complete it.

Thank you guys for always being there to call up.

FFM3

And yet you understand, yeah like no one can.

FFM4

When I’m with you.

FFM5

When I’m with you.

FFM6

I’m standing with an army.

FFM7

I’m standing with an army.

FFM8

When I’m with you.

FFM9

When I’m with you.

FFM10 (2)

I’m standing with an army.

FFM11 (2)

Standing with an army.

FFM12

Dark times, you could always find the bright side.
I’m amazed by the things that you would sacrifice,
just to be there for us.

FFM13

And yet you understand, yeah like no one can.

FFM14

When I’m with you.

FFM15

When I’m with you.

FFM16

I’m standing with an army.

FFM17

I’m standing with an army.

FFM18

When I’m with you.

FFM19

When I’m with you.

FFM20

I’m standing with an army.

FFM22 (2)

Standing with an army.

FFM21

But, before the friends – this is how the story began.

Looking back on our journey of life abroad, we can clearly see the whole experience unfolded in a perfect way. Less than two weeks after we married in San Francisco, we were visiting Frankfurt in search of our new home. We found a cute little apartment that was shockingly 350 square feet, and in this semi-furnished place there were a few pictures hanging on the wall. Seeing a picture of the city where we just married, completely felt like a “sign”.

In the end, we were so grateful for this beautiful space. Small, yes, but filled with so much love. Believe it or not, I miss it. Looking back, one of my favorite moments would be us waking up on Saturday morning and making a couple cappuccinos. We knew this time abroad would not last forever, which made it easier to fully take in the beauty of the present moment.

Everyday, this guy amazes me. When he speaks it’s full of animation and intention. He has my back, no matter what. He’s funny, sweet, generous, kind, and trustworthy. He checked every box and then some. He is my best friend, and I feel like I’m the luckiest person alive to be married to him.

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Would my life be fine if Kevin wasn’t in it? Yes, of course.

But it’s so much better with him in it.

The pictures in this post were taken by Abbi Wensyel. Before leaving Frankfurt, I was in search of a photographer that could take pictures of us in some of our favorite spots. I came across Abbi’s website and really liked her work. After the initial email exchange, I discovered her parents live in (….wait for it)…CHARLOTTE! Some things in this world are simply meant to be 🙂

4 thoughts on “Standing With An Army

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