how I'm feeling and why I've been absent...

God bless you.


Back into hibernation I go.


that one time I wrote an article about our wedding for a magazine...

So, way back when, I was asked to write an article about my wedding. I completely forgot about it until I found it in one of my computer files. So, take a trip with me down memory lane...

(more "Getting Ready" pictures here)

I woke up on June 11, 2011 feeling like I never felt before. I wasn’t stressed out (which was a nice change, seeing how I spent the last 6 months/my whole life planning a wedding) and I felt completely at ease. I had every single detail mapped out and I had so much help in making sure it was the wedding of my dreams. My fiancé, Brandon, was with me every step of the way. He included himself in all decisions (without complaining!) and also helped bring me back to reality when I got too consumed with all the details.

(more "Portraits" of the bride, groom, wedding party and family here )

After receiving the ring (finally!) I knew right away that my brother was going to be my “man” of honor and my bridesmaids were just as easy to pick out. I had four friends that have been there for me my whole life. I couldn’t imagine my wedding without them there! Brandon also had his best man and groomsmen chosen. The best group of guys I’ve ever seen! We were blessed to be surrounded by such amazing families and friends throughout the wedding planning and the actual wedding day. The love was definitely felt!

I started my preparation with the two most important elements (besides the groom!) the perfect dress and photographer. David’s Bridal was a dream to work with! They took my online choices, picked out my sizes, gave me a fitting room, and we got to work! I fell in love with my first choice (same old cliché) but, being the indecisive person I am, I still tried on the rest of the 10 selections. Nothing compared to how I felt in dress number one. I was sold! (Plus, GREAT sale!) My mom and dad were there to compliment and help guide me in the big decision. It was such a sweet time to share with them; I know I’ll cherish that forever. I took a risk and ordered the dress one size smaller. I knew I wasn’t at my “ideal” weight, and fitting into my dress on my wedding day was the motivation I needed to get into shape! I was so relieved to cross out “dress” on my checklist. After finding the dress, I decided on a hairstyle and went with a big white flower instead of a veil. I found the perfect hairpiece on etsy.com. I ordered a pair of white Toms and decorated them myself to wear for the wedding. Going with the black, white, yellow theme, I told my bridesmaids to wear whatever black, strapless, above the knee, dress that they could find. I wanted them to be different, but still uniform. I ordered amazing necklaces from etsy.com that I gave to each of them to wear for the wedding. I’m particularly proud of my bridesmaid’s pomanders. I made them myself after brainstorming ideas with my Mom. They were the perfect pop of yellow against the black dresses! The men wore black tuxes with yellow vests and ties from Men’s Warehouse.

Next up, photographer! I spent days researching, emailing, and calling ANY photographer I could find within our budget. WeddingChannel.com was SUCH a big help to me. Not only was I able to search decoration ideas, hair examples, and décor ideas, they had a list of the top photographers in my area! I finally found a photographer with amazing quality of work and a reasonable price. Every time we met, emailed, or called Ashley Daniell, it was such a pleasant experience. My fiancé and I both felt that she understood our style and personalities. I knew without a doubt she would be able to capture all the special moments during the wedding (and she absolutely did!) After finding the dress and photographer, I could have stopped planning and been happy! But, the wedding planning was too much fun (and addictive!)

For the wedding invitations, I found it easier to make my own. Using vistaprint.com, I was able to customize the invitations to where they were exactly how I imagined. The prices were great and the process was easy!

(more "Ceremony" pictures here)

As far as the ceremony and reception decorations went, I wanted to keep things simple. Looking through bridal magazines, searching online, and using my own imagination, I fell in love with a “vintage picnic” theme. My fiancé is a youth pastor so we saw it fitting to have our wedding at our church. My colors were black and white, with some yellow thrown in different places. This part was the most fun for me. I spent way too much time (and money) in Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and Wal-Mart.
For the ceremony, I had two ladders on stage with green vines and yellow fabric draped throughout, making an arch to be the centerpiece. My Grandfather made 4 panels from wood and burlap fabric to place between trees we brought in. This took up space on stage, and hid the not-so wedding-like choir chairs! We had a small table under the ladders to hold our unity sand and a small picture of my Mamaw, who died a month before the wedding. I knew she had the best seat in the house and was smiling down on us! Down the aisle, we had black and white rose petals. Along the pews, we had lanterns hung by big black bows. It looked as though we brought the outside, in. Perfect for a picnic! My long time family friend did the beginning of the ceremony so my Dad could walk me down the aisle. Then, my Dad took over and completed the rest of the ceremony. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what was said in those thirty minutes. I was completely tuned into my future husband’s face. Seeing him so emotional and knowing that every tear and every smile was for me, was perfect.

(more "Reception" pictures here)

We dismissed the guests to head towards the reception and the wedding party and families finished taking pictures. When the guests walked into the reception area, they saw an old desk with small vintage items on top (my Mamaw’s gloves, children’s books from the 30’s, and a large plate with our initial on it.) We opted out of a traditional guest book and went with a guest vase. I had a basket of river stones and white pens for each guest to sign. After the wedding, I put all the stones into a large vase. It’s a beautiful piece I get to display! To keep with the “vintage picnic” feel, my Aunt made pennants out of my Mamaw’s old scrap pieces of fabric to hang from each window and across the food tables. Anywhere you looked, you’d find burlap, mason jars, chalkboards, wild flowers, and baskets. I loved the whole feel of an inside picnic (without the Florida sun!) On each table, I had white draping tablecloths with a square of burlap on top. The centerpieces were simple, a mason jar full of wild yellow daises, a birdhouse, and a white picket fence. My fiancé and I decided on having an afternoon wedding. That way, we didn’t have to bring in caterers for a full meal and we were able to keep things simple (and cheap!) We went with a dessert buffet and an ice cream bar. Ladies from our church brought in their favorite homemade goodies (free!) and we set up two kinds of ice cream with all the toppings you could imagine! I personally don’t like desserts, so we had a platter of Chick-fil-A nuggets for my fellow non-sweet tooth friends. We ordered our cake from Wal-Mart. Since we had many desserts, we weren’t too worried about having a cake big enough to feed all of our guests. It was the perfect size for the traditional “cake cutting” pictures. A friend of ours built a photo booth for the reception. I ordered some mustaches, glasses, etc. from etsy.com. It was definitely a hit! Our reception was short and sweet and after an hour or so of meeting and greeting, Brandon and I escaped through the bubbles and went off to finish our pictures with the photographer.

 (more "Couple Shoot" pictures here)

After spending an hour in the state park, getting the last few shots for our photographer, it finally hit me. I’m married! I had been told time and time again that your wedding day goes by so fast, and I never believed them until now! Driving to our honeymoon location with my husband was the best feeling in the world. It didn’t matter that we didn’t get our first dance as planned, it didn’t matter that my bouquet came to me completely wrong, it didn’t even matter that I forgot the bouquet toss, what mattered was I was married to most amazing man in the world and nothing could have ruined that! (P.S. The wedding dress fit!)


moving on

to move on,

you have to forgive.

to forgive

you have to let go.

to let go,

you have to forget.

to forget,

you have to choose.

choose to forget.
choose to let go.
choose to forgive.

choose to move on.

today is...

waking up early for no reason.
getting dressed up to stay home.
unpacking those last few boxes.
decorating the master bedroom.
snuggling with my furbabies and getting sweet kisses.
being lazy, but productive.
running on the elliptical.
painting my nails.
eating leftovers.
going through clothes to give away.
watching beauty and the beast for the millionth time.

 a pretty awesome tuesday.

and yours?


dug down deep

This past weekend was Disciple Now Weekend at our church. A weekend retreat for students grade 7th-12th. God did big things through His word, His servants, and Joshua Harris' book, Dug Down Deep. All pictures were taken by our lovely pastor's wife, Jan.

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent stuck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.

Luke 6:46-49

There are two houses in this analogy. 
The first one came to Jesus and lived his life glorifying Him. 
His house was built a solid foundation, Christ. 
The other man came to Jesus, knew the right way, yet refused to live as he should. 
He built his house alone, on no foundation. 
In both stories, we read of a storm coming down on these houses. 
Divorce. Bankruptcy. Job-loss. Miscarriages. Death. Sickness. 
Even as Christians, Christ-followers, we will face storms. 
The outcome, how we deal with our storms, how we survive, all depends on our foundation.
Only one house remained standing. 
The one whose foundation was built on Christ. 

If you build your life, your foundation, on money, what happens when it disappears? 
If your foundation is built on your boyfriend/girlfriend, what happens when they leave? 
If your foundation is built on your job, what happens when you lose it? 
If your foundation is built solely on family, what happens when they are taken away?
All of these; success, relationships, friendships, family, careers, are fine building blocks for your life,
but cannot support you as your foundation.
Christian or not, there will be storms in your life.
What will support you when everything fades?
When you fall, who is catching you?

What is your foundation built on?


So... it's Thursday.

Here's a cute picture that has nothing to do with this post.

How in the world did Thursday get here so fast?
It's actually Thursday evening, so it's practically Friday.
Seems like yesterday I was wrote my last post "hello, Monday."


I think I know the problem.
Tuesday night, I was in bed scrolling through Facebook and I kept seeing people talk about the show "Catfish." (Any readers watch this?)
Being the Hulu obsessed person I am, I checked it out.

And watched every single episode.
Until 5:30 am.

I repeat,
5:30 A.M.

I don't know what happened.
I was sucked in by these bizarre situations and I completely broke through my Grandma-like tendencies.

Problem is, I can't seem to go back to my old ways.
Bedtime at 8? Whaaaat?!
Let's be crazy and run a mile on your elliptical, watch 4 episodes of "My Fair Wedding",
then go to bed...at 2am.

What am I, 24?

Well, the answer is yes.
But this is not normal behavior.
I miss the 80 year old me.


good morning, monday

Picture from yesterday's tornado-like weather.

I do realize that it is well into the afternoon hours but I just woke up.


1 Because I'm not working yet. (Keyword...yet.)
2 I stayed up until 1am finishing our wedding album (thank-you shutterfly!) Then proceeded to stay up until 3am to catch up on Hulu.
3 Because I hate myself.

It's a love hate relationship that I have with sleeping in.

I love that it means I can be lazy.
I hate feeling lazy.

I love getting extra sleep.
I hate having too much sleep.


I also hate that I feel less productive on days that I sleep in. Husband wakes up early and goes to work. What do I do? Sleep in. Not fair at all.

Now, don't think I'm this "diva-housewife."
It doesn't happen much, but there are days that I truly sleep til noon, wake up, and hate myself for it.

So, to prevent that from happening (and to keep me from "diva" status.)

I am setting my alarm.

I will wake up early everyday and work on things.

I'm almost done unpacking the house.
So, I'm not sure what things I will work on all day.

But I will get up, get dressed, do my hair and face
And I will work.



1 Good-bye old house, Good-bye FL 2 Little girls so worried Daddy won't be coming back from the gas station 3 FL winter 4 Ready for the move!

1 Sunshine and rain (which eventually turned into snow) favorite. 2 Unpacking...also favorite. 3 Husband's new office. Sorry TN, we're still Gators to the bone. 4 I know that name!

1 Lunch with the family. Surprisingly good (despite the name...and no, we didn't order those) 2 Happy New Year! 3 Olive helping Mama by taking care of that pesky bean bag. 4 Bailee helping Mama by guarding those scary boxes.

1 New favorite sandwich place 2 Bailee chillin' between her Daddy's leg and the couch 3 Spending our gift card at Husband's favorite place! 4 My favorite place because of the free desert (plus, Husband hates them...bonus!)

1 The little things make unpacking more fun. Example: shiny, new, red hangers! 2 Frost on my little bug 3-4 Olive being so like her Mother, an anti-morning and anti-camera person.

While getting this post ready, I have come to two conclusions:

1. I really like the new instagram effect, willow.
2. I need to get better at taking pictures of things other than my puppies and inanimate objects.

Sorry about that.

Happy almost Friday!