To say that these past few months have been non-stop would indeed be a massive understatement. On June 15th, 2018, I married my best friend and now my wife, Nicole Kukieza. Official name change to come!
The day was beautiful, having all our friends together to help us celebrate and usher in this new chapter of our lives made the evening unforgettable.
We had one last get together of our friends and family the day following the wedding, and departed for our honeymoon the following day. We spent a few days in beautiful Lake Placid, New York, and even got to walk the bobsled track!
Once home, we quickly packed everything in preparation for our relocation to Georgia. Two days later the moving truck arrived, and we parted ways from most of our belongings. The next five days were difficult, both emotionally and logistically. Having to say goodbye to our New Haven friends was difficult, we have grown close over the course of these past two years.
Nicole and I decided to take three days to drive down to Georgia, this allowed us to spend a day in a beautiful horse ranch in the Shenandoah Valley, and a day with her cousin and her husband in North Carolina.
The last week has been chaotic! Besides getting the truck unloaded, and the house organized, (thank you to Dave Zerkel, his fantastic wife, and Trevor for your help!) I have also been swamped with yard work.
Nicole is away in Kenya, Africa, working with ‘Ghetto Classics,’ an ‘El Sistema’ program in Nairobi for the next two weeks, and I leave to teach the Cadets in two days (July 10th).
Oh yeah… what about the tuba!?
I haven’t had the time, nor the energy to do much playing these past two months. I started getting back in shape after Nicole left on the 5th of July. Things are coming back slowly, the most noticeable deficiency right now is endurance. As you can imagine, not playing for so long weakens the muscles. I’ve been doing a light two hours a day to get things in working order once again – it will take a few weeks.
Life happens… as life develops around you, prioritize. Be honest with yourself, what is most important in the long run right now?
I’ve chosen to have the phrase “family first” engraved on the inside of my wedding ring to remind me of my values as a man and a husband, and one day a father.