7 Months Married- Things I’m Learning

1. Married life is such a blessing. I’m glad I waited for it. I’m glad I went for it too!

2. If you don’t do it, then it won’t get done. My hubby is tremendously helpful, but between the two of us, if we don’t do a chore, it doesn’t happen. Mom will not come to the house overnight and fill the sugar bowl for us. Those knives sitting in the sink will not clean themselves and go back in the holder.

3. If I was prone to laziness before the wedding, it doesn’t change much after the wedding.

4. Having someone else around shows you how many of your activities are exercises in futility.

5. We are each other’s spiritual encourager – we’re still working out the whole “spiritual leader” bit, but right now, encouragement is what is called for.

6.  Division of chores doesn’t have to be assigned by gender, but sometimes it’s for the best.

7.  Status checks are great. It’s always a good idea to know where each other is standing in the relationship and make adjustments accordingly.

8.  It’s ok not to tackle all projects at once. One, it costs too much money. Two, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Three, most projects can wait.

9.  If you do something the other likes more then there’s a good chance they’ll reciprocate when it’s something you like more. Car shows for a pro tennis match is an even trade. 🙂

10. Generosity is something that is not optional. It isn’t just about money; it is the unnamed fruit of the Spirit.

11. Cooking can actually be fun! I’ve always been a baker, but I’m really enjoying the cooking-side of the kitchen. I’m very grateful for a husband who is willing to try anything I make…even if just once.

12. Some TV shows are best shared. But be careful of introducing LOST to your husband’s repertoire…it will cause serial runs of the show for days. How my friends and I managed to wait for a week between episodes is beyond me!

13. Remembering is important. Remembering successes, fun times, bad times, mistakes, etc…that’s a good thing. Dwelling on them and not moving forward is not.

and 14. (because it’s 2014!) Cleanliness may not be next to godliness, but it sure is a good idea!

Time to clean up all this Christmas stuff!!

What all did you learn this last year? I know there is more to this list than just 14, but it’s all I could think of right now.

Wedding Details – Ceremony

I promised that I would put up reviews of the vendors I used for the smaller details of the wedding. I’m going to start with the ceremony first and then move on to the reception. First, I would like to say that most of these photos were taken by Sadie Hodge of Sadie and Jess Weddings. I did a pre-review for her here and you can find their Facebook page here.I’m going to include things that I bought as well as things that I made and was inspired by something on Pinterest, online, etc. I will try my best to site the resources for you. And here we go!


Ceremony001 I went simple with the programs. We printed them out ourselves and I designed the whole layout. The top image is something I designed and made into a stamp that we used on our invitations. (Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3) The bird in a tree stamp came from Hobby Lobby. I only stamped one program and then made copies of it. Yes, it was the easy way out, but I was still putting these together the week before the wedding, so I was loving “Easy.”

At the bottom, there is some text that I think was very helpful. It says, “Please do not use any flash photography during the ceremony. Be respectful of our hired photographers. Also, please put your phones on silent. Thank you!” We commissioned everyone at the rehearsal to mention it to guests. I had originally planned to have some sort of verbiage like this, but that was only strengthened after reading this.

The order of participants we chose was: Officiants, Parents of the Bride, Step-Mother of the Bride, Parents of the Groom, Grandparents, Bridesmaids, and Groomsmen. We listed our grandparents together with their spouses and any that had passed away, we put an asterisks after their name and a note “(* in loving memory).”

We worked out the order of the ceremony with my pastor and included instructions for communion. We (Matt and I) love communion and since we are coming from two different churches, not to mention the many churches represented by other friends and family, communion is a great way to draw unity with a diverse group of people. Different churches have different traditions in the act of communion, so we had to make sure everyone was on the same page. It worked out wonderfully!

We also invited the guests to sing along with our singers while people were walking down the aisle. The back page of the program shared the lyrics of the primary songs so people could join in. It was a lot of fun to walk down the aisle to people singing along one of my favorite songs, “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Ever since I heard it at Meg’s wedding in Little Women, I have wanted it in my wedding. We also had “Greatest Commands” which is a great acappella song that Matt’s church sings, “Blessed Assurance,” and “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”

Rings and Bibles

Ceremony194Matt and I have great love for our families. We both have lost two grandparents each, one from each side in the last 4 years. We wanted to include those who couldn’t be there as much as possible. We know they’re in heaven, and would’ve been so glad to be here for our wedding, but God decided to take them on home. What you see here is my Pappy Cook’s Bible and Matt’s Grandpa Charles’ Bible. It was inspired by this pin. My grandma decided to give Pappy’s Bible to my nephew, Jason, who was a junior groomsman in the wedding. It has his notes and everything and I heard that Jason just loves it. Pappy is touching our lives and discipling us even after he has left earth. What a testimony that man has.

Unity Candles

Ceremony007This is a two part mention. The candles came from The Oliver Company on Etsy. They have all sorts of home sweet goodness, beeswax coming straight from their own hives. I just checked the shop and didn’t see the unity candles on there, but I’m sure they will be back. In the meantime, check out the other great products they have from lip balm and honey soaps to burlap flowers and bows.

The stands came from Morgan Hill Designs. I was looking for something unique and something that could be customized to our wedding colors. Totally found it with this purchase. I loved the “His” “Hers” and “Ours” labels. I haven’t found a place for the His and Hers yet, but the Ours with the pillar candle is displayed with some other things from the wedding in our living room. It is perfect. There is a guide for paint colors on the shop and you just have to designate what it is you would like. I just took another stroll through her shop and there are 75 pages worth of items! all hand-carved and painted. So many unique finds and completely personalized. Be aware that there is a bit of a turn-around time. She is up-front with the prep time so be sure to read the fine print so you’re not disappointed or act too late.


Formals073We got most of Matt’s outfit from JC Penney. My original thought was that he would be in all red with the khaki’s, but he wanted to make sure he stood out from the groomsmen, who would also be wearing red and yellow. He chose a white shirt and we managed to find a red bow tie at the store. However, the red suspenders proved a little more difficult than we anticipated. I thought that with the hipster culture going on right now, suspenders would be super-easy to find. No go. I looked everywhere and it just wasn’t happening.

Naturally, I redirected to Etsy. Dapper Gent is THE place to go when you are looking for suspenders, bow ties, or matching sets. I found what I was looking for quickly and received our order in record time. It was good, we were running close on time. The cost was a little more than I was anticipating, but at that point I was willing to pay a little more to get what we (ok, I) wanted. They have so many cute sets for kids. Absolutely precious if you have a boy and he’s cool with stepping up his style.

Jewelry – Bride

Picture taken from Etsy.com

I chose to go minimal. My dress was so detailed and beautiful that I didn’t want too much else taking away from it. My makeup was minimal and done by my MOH. The hair complemented the dress (wish I had a good picture of my hair, but I don’t) but I still wanted a pop of color and a way to tie myself into the wedding besides my flowers. This necklace was just the ticket. It matched the dress perfectly and combined the wedding colors in a way that I swooned for. I bought it from Winter Garden Studios on Etsy. I had originally wanted to find a jeweler in my own area, but this was far and beyond what I could’ve wanted. Here’s the best picture I could find of me wearing it.

Jewelry – MOH and Bridesmaids

Picture taken from Etsy.com
These earrings were for my Matron of Honor. I fell in love with these when I saw them. If I could wear earrings, I probably would’ve got them for myself. I bought them from McKee Jewelry Designs on Etsy, which I would link for you, but Etsy says she no longer exists. That’s sad. Lanna (MOH) was wearing yellow for the wedding, so her accents were all in red.

Picture taken from Etsy.com
For Amy, my bridesmatron, dear friend. Her dress was red so her accents and flowers were more yellow. Yellow is our collective favorite color, so it worked out perfectly. I discovered IKE and Co through the Craft Weekend blog and fell in love with these earrings. They are perfect for Amy. Ike is the name of their dog, by the way. IkeandCo is on Instagram too and she puts up some great stuff. 🙂

Picture taken from Etsy.com
These earrings were for my two nieces who were the junior bridesmaids of the wedding. They were wearing red dresses so their accents and flowers were mostly yellow like Amy’s. JoMazing Accessories has quite a bit in their shop so I recommend stopping over for a visit. She’s currently on vacation, so give it about 3 weeks.

More on the Wedding

You can find more about the wedding by checking out the Countdown Post. I posted each week leading up to the wedding and detailed a lot of the preparations for the big day. Soon to come, Wedding Details – Reception.


We don’t have many pics from the wedding just yet. People were very gracious with not taking photos during the ceremony, and our hired photographer has been very busy, what with it being wedding season and all. We do have one preview from her and a few others though to share. Also, I apologize for the pics being stacked one after another; I didn’t have time to edit them into multi-images.

meandlanna sadiepreviewFirst Dance - Lanna cake

Isn’t that fun? I am dying to see more photos!! Honestly, pins and needles here.

We decided not to spend a great deal of money right off the bat (especially with all the money we spent on the wedding) and so we stayed put and had what we are calling, a Homeymoon. We didn’t go anywhere, get away from The House or anything, didn’t put any major time constraints on ourselves. And it was glorious! This was my first time living in The House and it was nice to get acclimated to the territory. Plus, I was exhausted. Very wiped out.

We were instructed to open our cards the very next day (well, at least one of them) and discovered a gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in downtown Cincinnati, a note of a reservation made for the next night, and tickets to the Reds game! It was our first time out of The House, since I had stocked us up with food. We really didn’t need to leave just yet. We had a blast. We got an appetizer of veal-stuffed ravioli. So wonderfully good! I got lamb chops for my main course and Matt got the steak filet. It was very upper-crust and way pricier than we would ever have done ourselves. They knew we had just got married too, so they came and chatted with us quite a bit, put rose petals on the table and gave us a complimentary dessert!

130608 ruthschrisdessert

The seats to the Reds game were pretty amazing too – just about 100 ft from 1st base. We only ever go if the tickets are free, or if there’s a large group of friends going and we’re sitting in the cheapo nosebleed section. They won, too! That doesn’t normally happen when I come to a game so that was a very nice treat!

130608 redsgameWe also went to Target and picked up a bunch of the bigger items we had wanted, but didn’t get in gifts. We now have a pretty good amount of storage in the bathroom and have most of our kitchen supplies and bed linens. It’s been great getting everything put together. Another great was checking out with $740 worth of stuff and only having to pay $40 above what the gift cards would pay for. We definitely made out like bandits! And Matt was excited because he had things to put together. 🙂

The only other big outing we did was to the Cincinnati Museum Center. The original plan was to go to the zoo, but it was raining cats and dogs. By the time we got downtown, we thought that was enough wildlife for the day and decided to romp around indoors.  130608 unionterminal02130608 unionterminal01130608 butterfliesThey are showing a special on the monarch butterfly at the Omnimax. It was really beautiful. They did a preview of the dinosaur show coming up, but there’s not much to report on that except for the baby in the third row’s reaction. She kept crying and saying, “Bye bye! Bye bye!” lol. Sad that the mom did leave with her right after the film started; I think she would’ve liked it once it got started, but I’m glad she wasn’t in there crying the whole time.

We also went up to Tower A where they used to control all of the many trains that went through the terminal. I love the art deco appearance of the building, but it was completely functional in its day. Now, there are still trains that come through, but not nearly the same volume. The tower has some really cool artifacts and an incredible view!

130608 trainsThe Huz and I love learning about how things work and the more technical and mechanical, often, the better! There were some really fun vehicles that would drive over the rail cars and pick them up then rush all over the place, sometimes putting them on a truck load. The guy driving was suspended way above the ground and it was crazy how fast they could drive!

130608 unionterminal03I love this city. Cincinnati breathes home to me and even though the highway system drives me nuts, I love driving into it and seeing that familiar skyline. I’m so glad that we chose to have a Homeymoon and spend time around the city and in our home.

130608 us

Getting Married: 9 Hours – Wedding Day

It’s finally here! I can’t believe we made it! I’m so excited and also so ready to be all finished with the prep, enjoy the party, and get on to the relaxing part. I might end up sleeping for the whole next week. I hope not though. Yesterday, we took everything up to the Barn for the reception and got it decorated. Then, we went on to the church and decorated there and had our rehearsal.

I’m not going to say much else. I wish that all of our loved ones could be here for our big day. There are so many who couldn’t make it because of distance, finances, prior commitments, health…whatever the reason, we love and will miss you all. And those who are coming, we are so excited to share the evening with you! Can’t wait to see you all there.

But mostly, I can’t wait to look into my beloved’s eyes today and promise my life to him and our lives to God. It’s going to be incredible and it’s going to be just the beginning!

We’ll see you on the flip side!!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com


Getting Married: 1 Week – I’m Really Glad That…

This last weekend was my bachelorette party. In tradition of my bff-MOH, Lanna, I would like to style this post in the same manner of many of our conversations where most sentences, if not all, begin with the phrase, “I’m really glad that…” So, here it goes.

I’m really glad that I have one more week until the wedding!!! Eek!

I’m really glad that I have a small group of close friends who are willing to come out for my bachelorette party for as long as they can until their wifey-motherly responsibilities call them elsewhere. It is entirely acceptable and I am just glad to be wedged into busy schedules that I myself am captive to.

I’m really glad for pastor’s wives who are dear friends and mentors as well who are willing to throw brunches for an unknown number of ladies involved in the wedding. What a blessing!

I’m really glad for flower girls who come to said brunches and refuse to kiss my cheek but want me to catch them to kiss theirs.

I’m really glad for flower girls who interrupt their mommy’s stories to tell them, “Why did you say you were still eating? You’re not holding your fork…”

I’m really glad for practical married friends who give comfortable and realistic gifts at bachelorette parties. They were all very pretty too. It pays to wait to get married when you’re a little older.

I’m really glad that my friends will try new ethnic foods with me. Eritrean/Ethiopian food is so yummy and communal – sorry Emily for all the spices.

I’m really glad that I charged my camera all day to just not take it with me and that I only took this picture the whole evening.

week 1 girls

I’m really glad for the tradition of The Blind Lemon in Mt Adams.

I’m really glad for ordering a strawberry colada with alcohol this time.

I’m really glad for Virginia. (I can’t explain this here, but it wouldn’t be right to not mention it.)

I’m really glad that I did not actually witness Virginia, though. Poor Lanna and Amy.

I’m really glad for a very dear friend who gets visibly angry that she hasn’t seen the new Iron Man movie …and upsets the baby.

I’m really glad for dressy flip flops.

week 1 flips

This is what I wore for the night. Disregard the feet marks and general wear.

I’m really glad that Friday was my last day floating to the other Cincinnati branches for work. I will now only be in two branches and the second is within 10 minutes of The House.

I’m really glad for hole-in-the-wall, Tardis technology antique malls. This place was bigger on the inside!

week 1 antiques

Clockwise from top left: hand-painted table; beer mugs; cardboard Titanic; C3PO Mister Potatohead.

I’m really glad for vanity tables to rehab for only $38.

week 1 vanity

I’m really glad (this one is kind of hard) that I have such an amazing church. This Sunday is my last regular attendance there and it’s going to be really sad (not really glad), but I am trying my best to look beyond that to what God might have in store for us. I’ve left the church before, but that was always with the knowledge that I would hop a big plane in a certain reasonable period of time and be back. Please pray for me.

I’m really glad for a fiance who takes pictures of the flowers at The House for me to see when I’m not going to be up there for a few days.

Such lovely tickseed. Our wedding colors AND it's a native Ohio flower!

Such lovely tickseed. Our wedding colors AND it’s a native Ohio flower!

I’m really glad for pottery that turns out exactly how you envisioned it when you first put the glaze on.

week 1 pottery

It’s a piggy bank and he has a cute little red tail to match his wings. I think I’ll call him Stewart.

Did I already mention that I’m really glad that I’m getting married in a week’s time? Because I am…

I’m really glad that Matt and I are staying home for the week after to get used to The House and relaxing together.

I’m really glad that I have to work only three days next week.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 2 Weeks – I Don’t Even Know

I don’t know what to call this thing anymore. I’m out of cute, funny or even informative titles for these blog entries. It’s a good thing we’re finally to 2 Weeks!

By the way, in preparation for the next phase of my life (our life…I have to use plural personal pronouns now, right? I’m no longer one person, yeah?), I have come up with a couple new categories for the blog. First, I have the “Making Home” category. I know the description says that I’m already married, but I just want to be ahead of the game. I’ve already added some posts to it since Matt and I really have already started making our home. I’m pumped.

Along with that one, I want to share the metamorphosis of the gardens and plants around The House. So, here’s Rose #1 (and Other Growing Things) because, who are we kidding, everything starts with roses, as much as I hate to admit it. There are already some posts in that category as well. We’ll see how it all goes. Hopefully, I’ll be more diligent about blogging after the wedding than I was before getting engaged. I am certain there won’t be a post every week like clockwork, just as often as I have something to share and can get it down for you.

Before we get going with too much other random stuff, I want to share another blog’s post with you. This blog is by a professional photographer and the post is about wedding guests jumping in front of the hired photographers, using their flashes and ruining special photos, and dictating the bride, groom, and party’s attention. I think it’s great! Having friends who are photographers, I have heard their angst about these situations, but I’ve never seen the failed photos before. There are some truly heartbreaking photos on this blog. Go check it out here. Ok, here’s one example from the site:

Oh, isn’t that awful?! I think this might even be just one camera flash.

Tuesday night, I finished up one part of the reception favors. So glad those are done! I’m thinking we will have quite a few left over, but that’s alright. I can just use the rest myself…while I eat our leftover cake. Yum! I won’t have to worry about fitting into my wedding dress anymore.

Which, by the way, we brought home on Wednesday. Everything looks great! We had a slight issue with the bustle. The hooks were a little too low so the train was still dragging, but they fixed it while we were there. We were out in no time and God even held back the monster storm that was warned to come in at the same time. YAY!!! We’re getting sooooooooo close!

I don’t know what else to put up here this week. My brain is a little frazzled and there’s a lot going on today. So, I will leave you with pictures of *ta da!* our garden!


Enter impatiens and begonias


Even the Right Garden bed got some pretties. We’ll see if it looks any better through the season this year.


Whilst digging, I found a baseball. These gardens are teeming with strange things.


Rose 1 Week 5. I wish it weren’t so blurry, but you get the idea. We cut out the big towering annoying bush behind it. Yay!


I decided to take a picture of Rose 2 as incentive or encouragement for her to start growing now. We’ll see how it goes. She was covered previously by that big hosta in the back. I pruned it back a little. The begonia should enjoy its extra space.

Have a great week everyone!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 3 Weeks – Shower #2

Are you nervous?

This is the question I’ve been fielding since the final month started. I can honestly say, I’m not nervous…about getting married. That part is not an issue at all. I am so ready! It gets harder and harder to drive up to The House that will be our home and then have to leave at night. And usually that 40 minutes drive is after Matt and I have been cuddled up on the couch watching a movie – the perfect activity to get you all ready to go to sleep…and then I have to get in a car and be alert and responsive. It’s much the same when Matt comes down to see me some evenings.

But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel! We took one more big piece of furniture from my room – my electric piano. Hey, it’s looking for a good home, if you know of anyone who might be wanting one. We haven’t thought out a price yet, but if you let me know, we can start negotiating. Good piano. Privia. I love it, except that we already have a piano at The House. And when only one person can play it, that’s all you really need, right?

Back to the question. No, I’m not nervous. I’m anxious. There’s a difference. But again, I’m not anxious about getting married. I’m anxious about everything getting done. Of people having a good time. Of things and people being where they’re supposed to be. I’m anxious about money.

I could try and soften it and say, “Oh, the Bible says not to be anxious, so I’m not. I’m actually ‘concerned.'” But for transparency, yes, I am anxious. It’s not an overwhelming anxiety, but it’s there. I’m not asking for comfort or whatever, just being honest. The extra attention embarrasses me. I know, I know. I’m putting it out there on a public blog, so I must be fishing for something. Nope, just being real.

Anyway, just wanted to answer the question for any of you who might be wanting to ask that question up there. Hopefully, we’re all straight on that.

Back to the post title.

SHOWER #2!!!!!

Yay! I was so touched by how many people came to the shower at my church. I know how crazy the end of the school year can get, and there were a good few who weren’t able to stay because of that wild schedule. You know, the local high school planned their graduation on my wedding day?! Can you believe it?! And then they had the nerve to plan the arts fair on my shower day.

I’ve been there too. I graduated from the school myself, and was frequently required to be at the arts fair, what with art classes and being in the orchestra. I miss playing in a large group setting, but I don’t miss the time commitment. Especially now that I have this huge time commitment of a wedding.

Everyone did a great job of the shower. It was put on by our ladies group and my two bridesmaids, er, matrons, er…that term is awkward.

This is the only picture I got of the shower and it’s not very good at all. I don’t know if anyone else took any. It was beautiful, delicious, and fun. 🙂

Week 3 07

My dear friend Amy, made all those yummy desserts. Which reminds me…

Week 3 06

For real

We got a bunch of stuff for the kitchen. I’ve been so jazzed about this kitchen. I can’t wait to live there. Can I please just be barefoot and…in the kitchen all the time? Baking…I could move my project room to the kitchen and then I could do all that stuff in the kitchen too. Ok, ok…I’m just kidding. But check out these colors.

week 3 kitchen

We also got these.

week 3 house

Those elephants are from my dad and step-mom and they’re two pieces with trunks that wrap around each other. Cute, huh? Matt was excited to have something to put together and right now, it’s housing the bedding we’ve received so far until I get up there with some clothes to put in it.

And then we will move outside, to my next favorite thing…probably my favorite right now because it’s so green and alive and I have so much hope for it.

week 3 garden

That’s an azalea flower on the left. Yes, we have a beautiful little azalea bush and I love it dearly. I talk to it and I think that’s why it decided to have just one bloom early this year because it knew I’d be happy.  Top right are the pink flamingos my nieces and nephew got us for the garden. We think they’re a hoot and are probably going to keep them out indefinitely…and put funny outfits on them when the kids are coming up to visit. Bottom right is Rose #1 at 3 weeks. She is so happy where she is, it’ll be a shame to move her after we put together the raised bed in the back, but it’ll be for the best. Rose #2 isn’t doing so great. I had to relocate her to more sunlight. We had a hostas that decided to throw its leaves all over the back of the garden and shade her from the sun. She wasn’t happy. Hopefully, we can get her back in gear.

Here is Rose #1 Week 4.

Week 3 17

Such a happy rosebush.

Oh, and I told you about how I planted some tickseed, right?

Week 3 14

We’ve got buds! So excited to see them pop out all yellow and red and bright.

I debated showing you some of the things I had worked on this weekend, but I think I will keep it all a surprise for you. Unless you follow me on Instagram and then you will probably already have seen it. So, I’ve got a bunch to get done. I will see you again next week!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 4 Weeks – One Month Mark

We are under a month folks!

I can’t believe it.  As Mom says, “We’ve hit Code Orange-Red. Next week, we’ll be at Code Red.”

I had my second dress fitting last weekend. I forgot to mention that in the last post. They had to take in material at my back because I’m so short. The shoulders fit much better at the second fitting. However, my wonderful little (this time Brazilian) seamstress informed me that they might have to let it out because it was too tight. Have I really gained that much? Is it because I was working in the basement at work for so long and put on some weight? Can we blame the birth control for this too? Please?

I asked her if I walked around my block a few times a week and did crunches, would that be enough. She said, “You’ll be juuuuust fine.” (thick Brazilian accent)

She was great and actually knows/is family with, through marriage, a woman at my church.

My mom was out of town for this particular visit, so I called in Matt’s mom and aunt to come and be my designated adults. We stopped for Firehouse Subs before. Maybe that was my problem. Darn Firehouse…so yummy.

We had a good time. Nice time chatting. I haven’t had much, if any, one on one time with Matt’s mom so it was enjoyable to chat with “just girls.”

I’m watching what I eat right now. I’ve been doing crunches in the mornings and at night before I go to bed. I walked around the lake at a park near my work. I was severely distracted by the beautiful things though.

week 04 redbudweek 04 virginia springbeautyweek 04 white oakweek 04 ducks.

I love Spring. If only it loved me too. My eyes have been raging balls of fire this week.

Here’s a little something for you. I found the recipe on Pinterest. I don’t know if it’s really helping me lose anything. I feel like I have a bit more energy, though, and it tastes great!

week 04 detox

The original recipe calls for a pitcher of water – I think 2 liters, 1 apple thinly sliced, 1 cinnamon stick, and ice. I have my little 23 oz water bottle here from Matt’s work and decided I’d adapt it to my portion.

I filled the bottle 2/3rds with cold water (you should probably use filtered, but since I don’t care about tap water, I used that.) Dropped in the cinnamon stick and several slices of the apple (about half). Then, I filled the bottle the rest of the way with ice. Leave it in the fridge for about an hour and the flavor is incredible! I have only used red delicious apples so far, but I just bought some granny smith and I can’t wait to test that out.  Great thing is that you can refill the bottle about 3-4 times before the fruit and stick lose the flavor. The slices will stay nice and fresh in the water and not turn brown, so long as they are covered by the water. The pin says that it can last in the fridge for 24 hours. Oh, and munch on the rest of the apple while you’re waiting for the water to steep.

I love cinnamon. It does amazing things for your body. It’s zero calories too – boosts your metabolism, cleanses and regulates your blood. One of my favorite things is to have a piece of toast, drizzle raw honey on it and sprinkle cinnamon on top. It’s so yummy and I feel good after eating it. (You can click the picture above to go to the original link. You might get a warning that it’s a suspicious link. I don’t know why. It’s about the safest thing online.)

I don’t have much else to tell you. I have my second shower this coming Sunday at MY church this time. So excited for that. I bought these beauties in preparation.

week 04 stamps.

Yes, I’m one of those people.

I am hoping to get some things paid up this coming week too – our reception venue, cake, etc. Those are a big deal and not something we need to wait until the deadline of 2 weeks prior.

I’m also thinking ahead for some pretty things at The House. Namely, our lavender plants. 🙂 And tickseed (coreopsis)…and the strips of wildflower seeds that a dear friend sent me as a gift last year.  Why does it have to get cold again on the weekend when I can actually do stuff outside?! I want to get the garden to at least a mild form of chaos and then dial back from that after the wedding.

“After the wedding”…

That’s a glorious phrase.

We are so ready!

By the way, I’m not super concerned about losing weight. I tend to drop some mass when I just do a little more exercising. Probably won’t be that way for much longer, but right now, I’m grateful for it.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com


Getting Married: 5 Weeks – Marriage License and Blogs

It’s official now. We got our marriage license! We drove over to the Butler County Courthouse Thursday morning (after I got some new glasses!), filled out our application, laid our cash down and then were quickly on our way.

If you are getting married in Ohio, here are the requirements (as of 4/2013):

Official US ID. Driver’s licenses work just fine.
$40 cash
Any divorce decrees

Since Matt and I live in different counties, I was concerned about where we needed to apply, BUT the lady said we could apply in either county. That was great! I don’t know much of anything about Warren County, but I’ve worked and been through and around the Butler County seat of Hamilton, so we went there.

It’s a beautiful, old building.

We sat on a bench that might have been there since the building was put up.

It creaked…and twisted, when we sat down.

I didn’t move much.

Matt had his pocket knife with him and we had to go through the metal scanners before we got into the courthouse. The deputy confiscated it from him until we were done with our visit. When we came back to the entrance, he was nowhere to be found. He must have cameras, though, because he soon appeared from a back room…with a toothbrush in his mouth. Fun times.

(Matt got his beloved knife back too…amidst our stifled laughter)

Thursday continued to be a busy day. We stopped by a friend’s restaurant downtown called Pappa Luigi’s. It’s fab. You should go…unless you don’t live in the area, and then you should travel here and go eat there. 🙂 Next door is a little shop called Jelli’s Fudgery. I bought some pizzelles and some fudge for Matt and I. He got the Dark Chocolate Rocky Road while I picked up some Inferno.

IMG_20130425_125809Doesn’t that look yummy? The ingredients say that there is Habanero powder mixed in. Love me some chocolate with some spice mixed in. Gives it a kick.

Don’t be fooled. This stuff gives you a kick, then punches you in the face a couple times, throws you to the ground and sits on your head while you are gasping for air…it might even pull your arm back and make you cry “Uncle.” Notice that only a smidge of the corner is missing. That little corner left Matt and me crying for some UDF shakes…which we promptly got.

After a little time we drove down to KY to meet our photographer. You can find more about her in this post. For now, I’ll just say that she’s awesome and I’m way excited!

We met at a Frisch’s and decided to grab our dinner there. I had a kid’s meal…then Matt wanted dessert. The waitress was so sweet and brought out two forks for us to share, but I never had a chance.

IMG_20130425_173053Someone gets a little excited about chocolate and ice cream.


We stopped over at Florence Mall to do a little shopping. I found some cute things for certain people who are going to be in a certain big event of mine. Ahem. Also, we found a replica of the water tower nearby in the kids area.

IMG_20130425_185428Then, we almost got run over by a train…in the mall…twice.

The only rider was the man driving it. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

So, I wanted to share some fun things with you. I have a sickness, see? I mentioned before a sickness of buying Thank You notes. Ok, that’s legit. THIS sickness is that I like to read other artsy, creative blogs. Right now, I have five ladies that I follow. I get their latest post shot through my email to me and most days my eyes widen with delight, drinking in the wonder of their lives, and my heart whispers promises to someday be like them.

Ok, not exactly like them, but they are pretty fab – women of God, creative, and REAL! They don’t really sugar-coat anything and that’s refreshing.

I will share them with you now.

It started with:

I found Alisa on Pinterest and fell in love. Her photography urges me to run for the west coast, the deciduous rainforest of the northwest. *sigh* I really AM a gypsy at heart.

Then I found:

I’ve shared Meg’s shop with you before in this blog series. She is fab. Has a brood of kids that I can’t keep straight, lives in Kansas, loves sunflowers, has chickens and a dog named Waffle, and hosts a craft weekend for ladies all over the nation to come and create together. She loves Jesus too, and shares some raw stuff.

I stumbled on this blog mostly by accident.

This blog is very sweet and intimate. With Matt and my crazy schedule right now, this kind of communication has been an inspiration to us. We might not have a lot of time to say a lot, but we definitely have time to say a little, and sometimes that’s all you really need.

Now, this one:

I don’t really know how to describe her. She is quirky, creative, passionate, admittedly full of faults, and committed to striving forward. She emboldens me.

And the last one is a new find:

I’m still learning about this lady. She seems really cool though. I love her DIY home creations. She’s not afraid of a hammer and nails. Geez, she’s building a chicken coop with her dad! I’m enjoying this blog a lot.

Let me leave you with one thought, too.

Do you have a God-kiss? You might not know what that is…especially since I think I made it up.

I have several, but let me explain a little bit. Sometimes, often out of nowhere and very subtle, I will have an experience that will point my mind overwhelming to how much God loves me. I call it a God-kiss. It can be a sight, a sound, a smell, a touch, etc. Here are some of mine: cloud shadows, most anything yellow, fog, laughter, reunions, sunflowers, first times…

To go with the “most anything yellow,” I will share that we got a mesh bag filled with seed as a gift at our first shower. Matt put it up in te back, near the kitchen window. Since I don’t live there yet, it didn’t bother me much that the birds were taking their time finding it. But find it they did, and there has been a lovely little goldfinch couple enjoying the bounty of that little pouch. The other day, I was up and got to see them hanging on and pecking for the seeds. As soon as my camera came out, they flew off. Seems to be a trend for me. Red-wing blackbirds are notoriously shy of my camera.

The next day, Matt, knowing how much I wanted to have a pic of them, emailed me the following.

IMG_20130425_101044Isn’t he just the sweetest thing?! Yes, I mean Matt…of course! But that goldfinch is such a handsome little guy. I’m smitten, and so excited that we have goldfinches up at The House. I can’t wait to get up there and make it our home!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 6 Weeks – Shower #1

This last Sunday, Matt and I had our first wedding shower. I say “we” because it was at his church and since I’m still meeting people there and a bit hairy on faces and names, it made more sense for him to be there too. His lovely aunts, mom and some ladies from the church threw it for us. It was great! Here are some shots for you.

week6 collage

Talk about sweet! There were some other photos too for you.

week 6 shower photos

Wall of photos of me and Matt over the early and recent years of our lives. We were both pretty cute kids.

week 6 shower frames

We get to keep that frame on the left. I love it! Matt’s mom had it specially made for us.

We got so many great gifts. Several came off our registries, but some were extra and I loved them! We got some stone cookware from Pampered Chef, which I’m super jazzed about, and an appetizer tray with a compartment underneath for ice. How cool is that?! Lots of gardening tools too. I was quite a bit excited about the long-handled pruners and the hand-held ones too. What can I say, I like tools. One gift was entirely handmade, even the bag it came in! I love handmade things, being a handmade kind of person myself.

week 6 cutting boards

Can I even use these in everyday life?!? They’re so beautiful!

So many people were there too. Like I said, it’s Matt’s church and even though I’ve met a lot of people there, seen them at least once, and met most of his family, I had to stop introducing people to my mom and MOH after about 10. After we opened a gift, I wanted to make eye contact to thank them, but Matt was having trouble locating them in the sea of faces. It was great though. I was so touched.

week 6 shower people

Top: MOH Lanna and me
Bottom: Grandma Charles and her sister Mary

I was so glad that Lanna could come up to the shower. Of my clan, it was her and my mom who could come. No worries, in a couple weeks, it will be completely flipped with the bulk of guests being from my crew. Can’t wait for that! And Grandma Charles got to come up from Kentucky! And her sister Mary is one of the sweetest ladies. She gave us such a great gift of two rose bushes! They are already planted in a temporary home out front of The House until we get something set up for them in the back yard. I’m already planning on the gardens taking a good three years to get in any semblance of order. But oh! I’m so excited for rose bushes! My mom has some baby lilac trees growing in her garden and said that we can relocate one to The House. Can you say, “Woot!”? Go ahead, say it.

When we got all the loot back to The House, I wasn’t going to try to unload it all right away. But then I just couldn’t contain myself.

week 6 bath rugI pulled this out of its bag first, threw my flip flops off and ran to the bathroom. It immediately replaced the brown one that’s been in there and I stepped on it with my bare feet. So soft! Matt’s comment, “Huh…it’s thicker in some spots.” Oh, men…

In other news:

  • I love Thank You notes. Correction: I love buying them. Cute ones. I have a stock-pile. I thought this would be to my advantage, but it’s hard writing Thank You notes to people you don’t really know. I think I’m doing alright though. Matt says I am. He gets to just sign his name on the card without much more than saying, “I agree with everything you said. *big grin*” Lucky cuss.
  • This week has been an emotional roller coaster. I’ve decided that my world travels are a blessing and a curse. I love having gone to so many places and meeting so many people across the globe, but it makes it hard when something bad happens. My chances of knowing someone affected by it has increased dramatically. I’ve had to watch from afar as friends/family have gone through emotional turmoil, natural disasters, accidents, extreme weather, political uprisings (Egypt, Thailand, Bangladesh, etc), serious health issues and death, and terrorist attacks. This week has been an emphasis of the “curse” part. (I realize that’s a selfish way to look at it all…but since everyone is fine in the recent events, I feel at ease to introspection.)
  • Friday night, I was commandeered to help sing for a youth event at my church. Naturally, I commandeered Matt to help too. This was our sentiment of the evening.
    week 6 throw down youth event.
    I’m not really built for teens. But it was fun taking lots of pictures and vids of the kids doing goofy things. Some of the games were pretty fab. And there was ice cream afterwards…with chocolate chips inside. So yum.

Have a great week everyone!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com