My first memory of Nick:
I was at Junior High Church Youth Camp, and I was the typical junior higher - glasses, really long hair, permed-like bangs, slightly overweight, and definitely not one of the cute cheerleader girls. We've probably all seen girls in junior high, and we look at them and think, "Poor thing. She is not going to be pretty."
That was me.
But, Nick was the opposite. All the girls in our dormitory were seeking his attention and giggling late into the nights about his good looks and his camp girlfriend, Mandy. Mandy was the opposite of me - tall, blonde, beautiful.
Needless to say, Nick didn't notice me. I don't think anyone did.
As I entered my freshman year, I decided to change. I was tired of everyone having at least one boy interested in them EXCEPT me. I got contacs, I started to run and diet. And, I lost weight fast. And, although I wish I could say it was different, I started to get noticed.
That year, Nick noticed me. I was 14; he was a mature 16. At the end of that year's camp, Nick was already telling me that I was exactly the type of girl he wanted to marry.
I know; I can see your eyes rolling here.
BUT, there truly was an immediate connection that we knew was deeper than a camp romance. It appeared like we immediately understood each other, had the same values and dreams. From that moment on, we were a "long distance" couple (which my dad was VERY HAPPY about).
Five years later, we were married. I was 19 and Nick was 21. God help me if Ava tries to get married that young! What was I thinking?
Thankfully, we flourished.
Nick and I have grown together, matured together, finished college together, moved overseas together, survived the first year of culture shock together and created a family together. He completely understands me; more than I do myself. I trust him, and I am one of those fortunate women who has a man who is completely confident enough to dream big dreams for me and not be intimidated by my giftings.
It is Nick that has really encouraged me for years to get back into writing. He has been hinting at it by buying books on how to write prose for years. So, he was very excited when I announced I already had two posts written on my blog.
He anxiously opened up my blog, and said, “Ohhhhh, Liv. 'The Road Less Traveled' as your blog name? Really? Can you get any more predictable than that???”
I had to agree.
After thinking a while, he asked, “How about 'Summer to Autumn?'”
Nick: “Think about it. You are in the summer of your life. You are still young, your life is beginning to blossom, you are becoming, learning, changing. And, ahead of you, you have the best part of your life where all your giftings, life changes, and choices will come to fruition and allow you to flourish.
And, your middle name is Autumn. You’re becoming everything you were created to be.”
And thus, the blog name has changed.
It’s not cliché.
It’s not easily understood.
It’s me – Olivia Autumn Puccini.
Here’s to the best years ahead!