the weekend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

this past weekend my mom and i headed up to amherst, va (in between lynchburg and charlottesville)  for a bridal tea his grandma and sister Jess planned for me. it was so sweet. my mom and i got into a fight before we left- but it was left at home and that was good. the ride up was relaxing despite the car sick feeling. i got some wedding things done. we changed when we arrived and people started coming. it was so sweet. none of these people are related to me. only josh. how sweet. they will soon be my family and i cannot tell you how absolutely awesome it is to be marrying into a family that you just cant get enough of. i love spending time with his family and that does not happen sometimes in marriages. sometimes family is an issue. but not for us. i felt so loved by this family i will soon call my own. thank you everyone for coming. the food, the tea, the gifts were amazing. heres some pictures. why this computer insists on having three of these tiny photos- i dont know. and im sorry.


bridal shower.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

libby ryder through me the most amazing bridal shower last night. the details were beautiful. i mean- really beutiful. and perfect. i am a very crafty person and i love perfecting details with crafts (yes. that means my wedding will be very crafty.) so everything was truly me. it was more than i could have ever imagined. what a blessing to have a people that truly love and care for me enough to do that. my family does not live around here which is hard. but the friends i have here i consider my family. they love me so much. its insane. as i drove home last night the thing that kept running through my head was "wow God- I am truly loved. thank you." over and over. the music (drew & ellie on repeat of course), the decor, the food, the gifts, the games, the laughter and smiles were overwhelmingly joyous. i loved every second of last night. thank you everyone for making it so special. i cannot thank you enough. i cannot thank God enough- i am so blessed. here are some pictures.
mason jars- my favorite.

a few of the greatest people youll ever meet

same people- just minus katie and libby

beautiful drink set up

mason jars. A & J rocks. perfect.

i was shocked walking up. "all this for me?" then i walked in. wow.

pictures of us and a polar bear.

beautiful bunting

the cup should read "the best host ever."

i cried when i read them fyi.

the whole group- beautiful.

thank you libby so much.

i love them.

were funny

katie hackett and our first picture together. that took a while.
if you would like to know how libby did all of this- check out her blog here. it is extraordinary.

also, if you would like, ryder (libbys hubby) had the courage to film around a bunch of women all night and made a video of it all. check it out here.

cant wait to celebrate with joshs family this saturday for a bridal tea.


to my parents.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

today is fathers day. and i cannot say how thankful i am to my dad- the worlds greatest. he has the most patience with me than anyone i know. countless times i call him because i need something. transfer money. need an oil change. need lunch. need pretty much anything and everything. especially with this wedding. i have needed so much. crafts. print shop. and not to mention the big bucks for that dress and the food. but he does it all. he has told me no once in all of this. yup. just once. i am loved and i am spoiled. i do not forsake that. my dream wedding is possible bc of his graciousness. dont worry- i am not forgetting mom either. they both have just been so wonderful in all of this. despite a few fights. i have no patience with my parents sometimes and i hate it. if i could change something that would be it. i do not know why my patience is so low- but it is. mom dad i am sorry for that. please know how grateful i am. i really really am. none of this would be happening if you had not raised me into the women i am today. thank you for long nights when i was a baby would not stop crying. thank you for dress up and tea parties when i was little. thank you daddy for learning to braid and do my hair when my mom was deployed for a long time. thank you for the patience of being single parents when the other was deployed. thank you for my jeep. thank you for your patience in the brat years. thank you for countless dance classes and recitals. thank you for paying out of pocket for me to go to school- you guys are my motivation in school. thank you for my new car. and thank you for your support in all of this. if it were not for your consent, this would not be as fun as it is. i love you so much mom and dad and i promise i will not ever forget that. after all i am your guys little PITA.

happy fathers day daddy & momma happy belated mothers day. you have no idea my gratitude.

my dad on my sisters wedding day '07

my mom and i at a red sox game '10


minorly freaking out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

there is a lot to do. thankfully i do see an end to sight. but these nitty gritty details stress me out to no end. waiting for money to get things i need to make crafts i have to do so that everythings perfect. i have learned that i am a perfectionist- at least in this way. in things that i love. i do not love school so i do not perfect it. but i really do love planning this and i have a vision so i want it to be perfect. josh has not had a lot to do with it- he knows mostly whats going on but he has had so much. i am so thankful for a man that works so hard even when he hates his job and he is tired and taking classes nonstop all so that we can get married. that is love folks. i paused for a really long time after i just typed that- i normally just type and type and dont think but i thought about that a lot after i typed it. it is so true and i do not show my appreciation enough. josh works harder than any man i have ever seen. he is so focused on shcool and making money to support us it is crazy. i admit that i get frustrated when i think about the fact that josh has not been completely in on this wedding... im mad at myself for ever thinking that. he is focused on our marriage and i am selfish. this wedding will be perfect i know it- i know i know that not everything will go as planned and ill have to let it go blah blah blah. really i know that. but even if things go wrong- which i am told they will- i will look back on that day and it will be perfect. 

there is a lot to do- some of which i would rather skip (calling people to get rsvps back- seating charts- finalizing "lists" and orders to send to vendors- oh it is stressful. but i refuse to let it get the best of me. it will all work out. please pray for patience- i am the type of person who starts doing something then i feel unsettled when i do not finish it right away... i.e. this wedding.

josh- thank you for your love and your hard work and leadership. i cannot thank you enough.


welcome home jason.

Friday, June 17, 2011

okay so i really need to blog about this. last night as i felt my face i felt little bumps in random places. acne. is it stress? i dont know. ive never really had bad acne. just random whiteheads and pimples but it has seemed worse in the past month and im over it. im really insecure about it- and i will probaly here comments about this from my friends "oh my goodness ally you dont have acne at all!" or "your crazy." no im not. most people just arent that up close and personal with my face so i can see it and i can feel it and i hate it. maybe i am crazy and i maybe nobody sees it the way i do- but on july 24 there is going to be a whole lotta camera action up in my face so i care and i can tell. i want it gone. suggestions anyone? i went a little overboard with the acne cream last night... kind of a bit of a freak out. maybe it will work though- i dont know.

just tried to lay out- fail. my pool isnt ready to swim in (i know my dad has been busy so its hard to get things ready) and its really hot. but my main issue was the wasp harassing me... maybe another day.

 josh and i babysit our niece Emma tonight bc his sister and brotherinlaw are in for a wedding. i cant wait!! we have not seen them since christmas!

on a happy end note: my brother-in-law is home from his deployment on the USS Carl Vinson.(yes- the ship that buried Osama Bin Laden... crazy.) Welcome home Jason! thanks for everything and your willingness to serve. i know it has to be hard to be away from it all for that long- especially my dear niece and nephew. they were so excited to see daddy- they ran up to him and it was so darling. have fun on a little needed family vacation.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

lately i have been thinking about saranac. a lot. i did summer staff there last august and it changed my life. seriously it did. it changed everything for me- my relationships with people, my drive for leading, my relationship with Jesus. if i were to say the biggest points in my life saranac would be one of them. it was hard being there at first- i had to swim really far in really cold water, libby was not there and had just got diagnosed with cancer, i didnt have any friends there. i felt alone. that was good for me though. it was hard for me to trust girls- and guys for that matter- and i didnt like not knowing anyone. some stuff happened with my best friends from high school my freshman year and it changed me. i became insecure-more insecure than a teenage girl already is- and i was afraid. afraid of breaking walls down. afraid to get close to anyone- i even had a hard time with josh. i caged myself up in a box and couldnt let anyone in. then i went to saranac. and jesus spoke to me more than ever. i made my best friends and lived with girls who truly cared about me and accepted me for who i was. it was amazing. i tear up when i type this. if it weren't for Jesus orchestrating everything at saranac my experience would have been different. we heard a thousand times that august and after that our summer staff was different and loved each other unlike any other summer staff they have ever seen. (im not saying my susta experience was better than anyone elses- it was just perfect for us) its summer now and the warmth outside and the pictures online of my summer staff (susta) friends interning have made me miss it so much. i said that once i came back from susta that i would not dwell on what the Lord taught me there but would rather apply it to my life and look at what the Lord would continue to teach me. but i never thought that it would happen this late in the game. almost a year later i am dwelling and not applying. i am trying to fix that. actually thats a lie. im not trying at all. so i will start to try. thank you friends for last summer- it will always be dear to my heart. thank you Jesus for giving me that opportunity last minute.

this summer is all about learning too. im learning to let things go and how to be a wife and how to be a good leader in all of this. our summer camp trip is coming up in a couple weeks and im so excited- ive never been more excited to lead a trip.

josh- thanks for understanding everything and loving me when im not lovable. almost only a month and ill be your wifey. heres some nostalgic photos for your enjoyment.
disney world 09'

Kaitlins wedding rehearsal 09'

valentines day whale watching 10'

asheville 10'- my hair looks really blonde

thanksgiving 08'


this is true love- you think this happens everyday?

Monday, June 13, 2011

yesterday was full of sweet sweet memories. i knew it would be a great day and i was anticipating it. josh picked me up and we went to church. grace presbyterian. its a fairly new church (a year and a half or so and we like it because its close. it was good. after church we ate at jimmy johns (my favorite sub place ever and a summer favorite of ours) we ate at the one in norfolk. then we headed to the NARO. the naro is a movie theater in the historic ghent section of norfolk. and we love it. its a tiny one screened theater that plays good movies- you know those movies that dont come to regal or cinemark but are nominated for academy awards. those kinds of movies. its old and i love everything about it. its not cheap- only a little less than movies cost nowadays (expensive.) but its so  much more fun than a regular theater and so worth it.
old picture of the naro

anyways, a little over a month ago i saw a flyer that the naro was playing the princess bride- one of my personal favorites. so we set a little date way ahead. and we went. and i loved it- seriously if you have not seen this movie- see it. its the best, pretty family friendly too. its really funny- i own it on dvd. one of the few movies i own on dvd actually. so see it. for reals. heres the trailor
in the movies buttercup asks westley how he knows it will be okay. and he responds "this is true love- you think this happens everyday?" that got to me. cheesy i know- but lately i have been anxious about marraige. whats right and how things will work. its been crazy. but josh and i know this is all worth it because we have the Father's blessing and he will not let us down. we know it will be hard. but we know it will be okay. so i remind myself that all now.

after the movies i went to my first bridal shower. my sister and one of my moms best friends Donna Hardy (her daughter is one of my bridesmaids) threw it. everything was beautiful and perfect. yummy egg salad sandwiches, five different flavored cupcakes, refreshing punch. it was beautifully set-up. i received gifts from women i have known a long time now and it was so nice to celebrate with them. thank you so much ashley for helping plan and mrs. donna for opening your house and helping as well. thank you everyone for the gifts- i loved it all and am so honored. momma & daddy thanks for the coupons- i loved that. again i am so loved. hopefully ill have the pictures soon. i need a new computer really badly- mine wont upload pictures.

we sign on the apartment tomorrow- crazy. we also just bought a couch and a coffee table all for $34. wow- someone asked me the other day if i ever just wake up and think "wow. this is really happening. i am getting married" the answer is yes. and i have a million different emotions about it all. if you would, please keep praying for health care stuff.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

this past sunday i went up to fairfax to visit caileigh. it was a semi-impromptu visit- i decided i was going the wednesday before. it was fun- we didnt do much (sorry i was kind of boring) but we layed by the pool, did a little shopping, made tortellini. it was refreshing. ferguson her cat is a little brat but he reminds me of sunny gump and i love that. (sunny gump was my cat for 5 years and were not sure what happened to him, he disappeared during a storm one saturday) we watched movies every night and painted our nails and made brownies. oh so girly- we watched under the tuscan sun the last night. and it is now our favorite movie. i would like to own it one day because i can tell its a sick day movie. its funny because this is what caileigh and my summers looked like throughout high school. (i would go visit her and she would visit me too- but mostly my dad drove me there) and we would take the bus to the mall and spend all day there. literally. avoiding mrs. fields cookies because caileigh used to work there and thought they hated her after she quit. getting smoothies. digging through 5 dollar shirt sales. and now when we do that we are tired after an hour. it was funny though. i loved my little visit even if it was "uneventful" although i took my first ikea trip- overwhelming. and we ate lunch there. i got 2 hotdogs, chips, and a drink for $2. what a deal. it was good to go a clear my mind- i was worried about apartment stuff and health care. so it was good to get away- the only thing wedding we did was look for jewelry. a little break never hurts. thanks cail for letting me visit. youre the best friend ever.

apartment 10B

Thursday, June 9, 2011

well- God works in funny ways. josh and i had our hopes up about a little apartment in chesapeake. it was small, beautiful kitchen, our own driveway, all in great bridge- where our friends live and we we do ministry. but deep down i was uncertain that it would or would not work out. it was confirmed when the realtor said the owners were very serious about a maximum occupancy of one. so we move on from that idea. that confirmed that we were not supposed to live in chesapeake and thats okay. we love Ghent and everything about it. the little  mini-city feel. riding our bikes to the grocery store. walking to get coffee or ice cream or dinner. living near odu. we are excited. so josh put in the application to an apartment. governor spotswood apartments. its small, one bedroom, big old windows, tiny kitchen. all of that- and its perfect. josh got the call today and he is approved for the apartment. the credit check went well. and everything panned out just as God intended it to. so we will most likely sign the lease on tuesday (actually only josh will be on the lease for now because we are not married i did not apply) this is all so crazy. a million things are running through my mind. decor, furniture. i have a million emotions too- scared, excited, anxious, ecstatic. everything. the apartment came together. and i know health care will too. so josh will move into apartment 10 B on July 15. one week before our nuptials. i am so excited. i cried when he called me and told me- just simple tears. but good tears. the Lord truly does provide when you follow his will for your life. we are crazy young people getting married in college and i love that. i used to hate when people would comment on that (refer to this post) but Libby told me i need to own it. and so i have been. although i still cant stand when people say i physically look young- but ill get over it when im 30 and people still say that.

more to come later on my visit to fairfax to see cail- shes the best.

the married life.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

so josh and i are busy busy putting together things for the married life. i have been planning this wedding non-stop for the past ten months. and the logistical stuff has been in the back of our minds but its here now. sorting out life is hard. where to live, health insurance, financial aid (for me), credit, the whole shabang. ive been nonstop trying to get an appointment with a financial aid advisor. i finally emailed someone about it because all lines were busy whenever i would call- which was at least 15 times a day. so i have to get that done next week. then there is health insurance- which we really have no idea what to do about. living in america is great, but i think we can all agree that the health care system sucks. unless youre in the military, then youre set. but not us. at least not anymore. so were trying to sort taht out, but first somes the place well live. we have some prospects- one even in chesapeake. so we will see. were praying really hard for that to be off our backs soon. credit- were waiting to here back from the bank. please pray for all this if you read this- its stressful and we often feel like we have no guidance. but we know we do. and we know He is working everything out for us. good thing we both have very supportive parents- wed be lost. thanks moms and dads.
invitations are out- despite the mishap with the post office and some of the invitations were too thick to process with only one stamp. my dad took care of it, thank goodness because i would not have been nice- those invitations took my friends and i a VERY long time to put together.... but theyre out now and i cant wait to get the rsvps.... its all happening. and its crazy and i love it. ...on a good note, justin ryder officially received his papers from the state allowing him to officially marry us. which is so exciting. now its up to us to go to the deeds office and obtain a marriage license- wow. its a month and a half away (plus some change) were so excited. more than ever. i cant wait to marry my best friend, my partner, on july 24. and to go to ocracoke with him. and to come back and live in our apartment with him. to cook meals with him. to travel with him. to live life with him. to do ministry with him. to be a parent with him. to grow old with him. i cant wait. its so close.

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