Wednesday, September 28, 2011

so josh and i are in full swing for the semester. crazy how time flies. we have now been married for over two months. how sweet it has been to see the fruit that has come from it. it has not been easy. but it has been so good. we have pushed each other and are learning even more about each other than we ever thought we would. we are so busy. school. i have started subbing now. i can hopefully find jobs every tuesday and thursday. josh has not been able to work because of the rainy weeks we've had. we are still doing fine- but it makes us a little uneasy. as i type this i desperately refresh the subfinder page to see if any jobs have posted. its cut throat. i job will post and with seconds it is gone. it feels good to be working again- really good.

i miss my wedding. ever since i got the pictures back i miss it so much. i miss wearing my dress. my pretty hair. the endless smiles. the yummy food. so many people loving me all at once. i miss it. i do not know how to feel about this. i think most would think its silly. but i put so much work into one day and it turned out to be the sweetest day of my life. and i miss that time. trying to figure out if missing this is healthy or just dumb. i do not know.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

so i am going to post wedding stuff soon i am sure- especially because i have my wedding pics now. they turned out AWESOME. seriously- we love them. thanks joe & amanda @ innovatory photography.

apartment living has been great. we love it here. the hardwood floors. the really old windows. everything about it. we love our decor. and couch. and even have found that we make due pretty well with hardly any counter space. we love living here and here are our top ten reasons (listed in no particular order):

1. we walk to church. my yl girls think im so "hipster" for this. but this is pretty cool. we love the church we found and thinking we will attend regularly.
2. we are minutes from odu. josh can ride his bike, and we even take the bus. yup, the HRT. i never thought i would use it but the stop is right outside our apartment and doesnt take long at all to get there.
3. we walk to dates. weve had a few double dates here and birthday celebrations and such. and we meet here and walk to our date.
4. restaurants we can walk to. to name a few: no frill grill, colley cantina, cogans, and stella coffee.
5. doumars. i love this little drive in place, and we could walk to it if we wanted- but usually drive. i get a cheeseburger with a fried egg on top and large vanilla coke.
6. we have kittens. no josh would never allow us to have kittens in the apartment. but there are two apartments on our street that have kittens and they are often hanging in the window. yes i squeal when i see them.
7. carla. the squirrel who built her nest and had her babies right outside our window under the transformer box. we named her carla bc when we first dated i called all squirrels carl. not sure why. but this ones obvi a girl so i renamed her carla.
8. we walk to the grocery store. not when im stocking up of course. but when we need something- like chunky monkey icecream of course.
9. its beautiful here. the craftsman style houses. the old charm it all has. the city feel.
10. we do it all together. we love living here because its our first home and its new and we do it all together here. and we love this part of our new life as newlyweds.

heres the whole gallery of pics for ya: wedding pictures
happy sunday.

p.s. those muffins i posted last time? delicious. i mean like so good. but terribly unhealthy and call for a lot of ingredients so ill probably keep my eye open for another more cost and body friendly recipe. heres the link though. pumpkin cream cheese muffins.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

this weekend was one of the laziest weekends josh and i have had yet. it rained saturday and sunday- all day. and i loved it. i love the rain. as i typed that i remembered i posted last year about a rainy day in september. funny. anyways- friday brought a cold front in and i cannot tell you how refreshing it was. fall finally. and then the rain. josh always works saturdays. but not this one. so we were beyond lazy. cooked breakfast. then katie came over and we went to this new coffee shop on colonial ave called cafe stella. loved everything about it. we made dinner at matts house and watched arrested development- brilliant show i might say. we love it. were even having  a themed arrested development halloween party. pictures will be posted i am sure. sunday we went to church at trinity again and it was so good. we love it there so far and thinking we may have found our norfolk church home. we were lazy again and had an awesome leadership that night. and team meeting.

and the whole time it was fall weather out. i love everything about the fall. scarves, boots, jeans, bundling up, fires, pumpkins, coffee, hot chocolate, football games, holidays, the world series, pumpkin spice lattes, cookies, apples, hot apple cider, foliage. and then theres the smell. yes fall has a smell and i cannot explain it but i love it. i just love the fall and it is most definitely my favorite season. what better way to spend it than with a new husband in a tiny apartment. cant wait until thursday- itll be official.

also what i loved about this weekend was one of my good friends got engaged! weve all been waiting for this one- she dropped the bomb in the spring that they were planning on it. and so i have been waiting. sorry les i couldnt go to blacksburg- but i am sure it was absolutely beautiful. CONGRATULATIONS COLEMAN & LESLIE!

i plan on baking these thursday to commemorate the start of fall... ill let you know how they turn out:


washing our feet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

i said in an earlier post about how our ceremony was a little broken from tradition. about how people focus on the reception more than the ceremony. but crafting the ceremony was very important for josh and i. the key elements we wanted to portray were: loving Christ above all, serving each other, and remembering our mission Jesus invited us into. so we wanted our first act of marriage to be an act of service. for us to always remember to serve each other and count one another greater than ourselves (phillipians 2:1-11) so we couldn't think of any better act of service in the bible (other than Jesus dying on the cross)  than Jesus washing his disciples feet. a big custom for that time was washing feet for each other. people wore sandals and walked in dirt all day. so their feet were extremely dirty. so when you enetered a house, someone would wash your feet. usually a servant. so in John 13, Jesus washes his disciples feet. humbles himself to be a servant. it is remarkably beautiful. libby and ryder did this in thier wedding ceremony and josh and i loved the idea. so we couldnt think of anything more beautiful to do. we washed each others feet. literally. after we were pronounced husband and wife, our friend jacob read scripture that dipicted what josh and i want our lives to be about. what we feel the Lord has called us into:

matthew 5:13-16
"13"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

we want to be the salt of the earth and light to the world. that is our mission in life. love Jesus. and portray him in our lives together. and so josh and i washed each others feet with salt water [appropriate on so many levels]. and i cannot tell you how amazing it was. because the second half of that verse is about light and the time of the ceremony was perfect because the light came in through the big french doors just right. seriously just right. it was shining on josh and i perfectly and it was an indescribable moment. literally. indescribable. it felt freeing. and passionate. and loving. and right. i know God blessed us with that hot july sun in that moment. as we washed each others feet with salt water and the light came upon us. Jesus was there. his presence was there and it was very moving.

over and over people have told us how special and different our ceremony was. and they are right. it was special and different because in a society today that so often looks past togetherness and focuses on being an individual, we chose to focus on how Jesus brought us together. and for that the Lord blessed us and continues to. we are so blessed. 

we have some pictures on this website and there is one of us washing each others feet. check it out here. there are more pictures in that gallery too, check them all out here. more pictures to come- soon i hope!

ten years ago. one year ago. today.

Friday, September 9, 2011

ten years ago. the twin towers collapsed. it was a normal tuesday for me. only a few days into 6th grade. and i remember exactly where i was when i heard. i was walking through the hallway on my way to class and an announcement came on. a weary sturdy voice said to go to our home rooms immediately. i thought it was normal maybe for this to be happening- middle school was different loud and scary. so my friend sam and i went to chorus class. and i walked into a classroom full of teary eyes and the tv was on. twin towers. pentagon. that field. i saw the second plane hit. i am ashamed to say that i am not really sure i grasped reality of what happened. it was just a building right? i came to later realize that it wasn't just a building. it was people. dads and moms. sisters and brothers. cousins. best friends. family. lovers. police. firefighters. military. it was a lot of people. dying. tragedy all around. and today i realize- it was God's children. and there was nothing anyone could do. that day was a fog. i saw a magazine with the main article about 9/11 children. boys and girls, ten years old now. and they never met their dads. that never occurred to me until i saw that the other day. how tragic. tragedy happens. disasters strike. and we are left empty and wounded. but we are left with community. i remember the nation being together that day. and after as well. no matter republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, white or black. we were together. what a beautiful thing. i pray for families and friends directly affected by the attacks. and that the beauty of togetherness would be seen on sunday.

one year ago. 9/10/10. josh proposed. what a crazy year we have had. ups and downs. twists and turns. sweet and bitter. and now we are married and living it up in our beautiful apartment. learning and living and loving. i remember that day like the back of my hand and how beautiful and glowing i felt. he asked me at sunride on 79th street in virginia beach. he read me a letter and hid a wine bottle with a message. gave me a ring he had worked so hard to save for. and asked me to be with him forever. [heres the full story] i remember how excited and nervous and antsy we were to tell everyone. we went to camp silver beach that night with the yl leaders and announced in a ridiculously bright and cold formaldehyde smelling science lab that josh and i were gonna get hitched. i remember everyone cheering and the excitement we all had. it was a beautiful day. filled with smiles, a handsome fiancĂ©e, sunlight, a [beyond perfect &] pretty ring, and pocahontas pancakes. ill never forget those moments. that letter. the details. how hard you worked to plan it and perfect it. the excitement.

today. 9/9/11 we are off to spend a weekend with the chesapeake leaders in sandbridge. we are excited and cant wait to be with everyone. its all so uncertain with the new area director- but in the best way possible. we are excited to invite him into our community and start the year off right. i am learning today about the freedom of dropping off baggage. how to let things go by delving ourselves into Christ and allowing him to clean out the gutters. i am trying to look at the bigger picture. and today, today is beautiful.


God dwells in me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the phrase "you learn something new everyday" always puzzled me. do i really? i always thought of myself as a pretty smart person. i know some random quotes and some random interesting facts. and i know my right from my left [in theory, i actually usually mess it up when im in conversation, but i really do know it] i know a lot about history. i know basic math. some science. and a lot about proper grammar. i know how to bake cookies. how to check if brownies are done. how to cook- just follow the recipe and add some twists if you want. i know a lot about directions- i am not directionally challenged like my best friend caileigh [sorry cails... but you are.. ily] i know east from west. i know the basic stuff. what else do i need to know? but i believe in that phrase more than ever lately. you really do learn something new everyday. lately i have been discovering new things everyday. new thoughts. new things about myself. about my husband. and about life. and how to set your cookies to bake for less time in an old, small oven.
i used to think i knew everything. but i dont know everything. i actually hardly know anything. im discovering new parts of me and life and everything under the sun daily. i have been spending a lot of time with the Lord lately. every day. its typically the first thing i do after brushing my teeth when i wake up. i hit the journal. and bible. and have been so blessed. i have realized my severe need of that this year and have truly dedicated myself to it. i am not in the best place in my heart right now, but the Lord is making me thrive and grow and he is taking care of me and teaching me so much.
i blogged earlier about how i stayed home from saranac. and recieved a lot of response about how cool people thought it was. i didnt really think it was cool at the time. i wanted to get away. to flee. because it is easier than staying here and dealing with things id rather not. things mostly i keep inside. but the Lord has taught me so much in our time this past week.
this past sunday josh and i went to church. as i was getting ready, i was thinking how i have not felt the Lord lately and how I would really like if that would change. but as i was putting on mascara i doubted and thought this would just be another day. we walk to church (how cool is that?!) and started singing. [this song] i cried immediately.  the Lord spoke to me directly. i know it. when we prayed silently as we were confessing, i prayed he would forgive me for not feeling his presence because of this deep sin i have been dealing with. then that prayer time was over and the sermon began. it was about feeling the Lords presence. about how Gods personal presence isn't just with us but in us. i cried pretty much the whole sermon and worship after. i felt him that day. and i have been noticing him creep into my every day life more and more as the days go by. he has spoken to me through josh, other friends, and his Word and even silence- it has been evident. and i have learned so much. about fear. and my own sin. and about forgiveness. and about grace. the Lord wanted me to hear the sermon that sunday. i know it is a top reason why he didnt want me to go to saranac. i have learned a lot- one thing mainly has been that we tend to justify our feelings because in our heads we think it is right. i always think im right, and a lot of times i am. like when someone does something to you to hurt you- you blame them rather than looking at it from another perspective. but just because my feelings are legitimate doesnt mean someone elses aren't. and thats where grace comes in. communication is key. i am learning that too.
im continuing to learn and am very excited for this upcoming year to learn what Jesus has in store for me and for josh and i too. what he will teach me and josh. josh has a rough stressful day yesterday. so im off to bake him his favorite cookies.

oh and p.s. heres that picture of me eating a pickle before i said i do.



Monday, September 5, 2011

i cannot begin to describe what it feels like to say your vows. one of the best feelings in the world. and to listen to your best friend promise a life time of love to you is the most amazing thing. josh and i broke form tradition for a lot of our ceremony. and we wrote our own vows. we used the same outline for each but decided to keep them a secret form each other until the wedding. we were both worried about saying them. nervous. anxious. unsure of what to expect. we were especially nervous we wouldnt be able to get the out because the tears would be too much. but that was not a problem. i think because in our hearts we knew we wanted these promises to be read to each other and for everyone to hear. and everyone did. through our tearful eyes our voices came out. i am pretty sure everyone was able to hear. it was beautiful. as he stood there with his ripped graph moleskin paper with his blue ink written all over it, he read the sweetest words. he read them and i knew they were from his heart. his promises made to me in that moment made me think of how safe i was going to be. how firm we would be in jesus together and how he would never let me down. he would always lead me and provide for me. i knew i would always be his second priority next to jesus. i knew he would love me as the Lord has loved me. then it was my turn. ryder handed me my computer paper, typed to a 5x7 format in Courier font. i guess that was funny compared to joshs, so everyone laughed. including josh and i. it was funny- because i am a planner (just wait until you see the wedding details & crafts) and josh is a more go with the flow. it was quite funny. so i read them. they were unconventional and josh loved it. i could tell when i looked up into his eyes as i read every line. we were both smiling and crying and on the inside dying to embrace each other.

vows. they often get overlooked as another piece of the ceremony. just another step. we all know they are promises to each other, but when you sit back and really think of what they mean- its utterly beautiful. for two people, two sinners. two imperfect people. both making promises to put the other person before him/her. when i think about that, it goes against everything the world tells us. over and over were taught to look out for yourself. take care of yourself first. never let go of your heart because you cant trust anyone with it. marriage in the Godly sense, goes against all of that. that day josh and i promised that we would take care of each other first and foremost. that we were a team now and that we would fight and die for each other. i gave my heart to josh that day, knowing that he is not perfect and that sometimes he would still hurt me (he is not God.), but knowing that his intentions are to love me completely for the imperfect person i am, just as Christ did. and he gave his heart to me knowing that i am imperfect as well, and that i would sometimes still hurt him. but that my intentions are to submit to him, just like the church submits to Christ. were a team. the best kind of team there is. and were not perfect. but our vows that day meant that we would strive to be more like Christ in order to love God, love each other, and love people more.

saranac. oh and i guess im 21.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

God is really funny.

i was supposed to go to saranac this weekend and see some of my best friends. i have been planning on this all summer. insisting i needed to go. excited to go back and breathe the mountain air and sit on the lifeguard stand, shivers down my legs, and twirling the whistle just to make marsh mad. but the past week i have felt a little voice inside me say "dont go" no. i refuse. i love saranac and i love my friends. the Lord kept pushing me though. i kept thinking over and over. but i packed my things this morning and left. and immediately started crying. pulled over at wawa to go to the bathroom because i forgot to when i left home. pulled myself together. pressed on to the interstate and the water works started again. what was going on? i knew. deep down. i shouldnt go. but i didnt want to let anyone down so i didnt say anything. i knew i shouldnt go because of the following reasons in no particular order: we wernt home last weekend, and wont be home next weekend. i have not been able to spend time with the yl girls in a long time. also, today is my 21st birthday. and its really special to be able to celebrate your first married birthday with your husband. also money. my job doesnt start until the end of september and although we have enough for me to go, i want to be wise and save for unexpected expenses. my niece and nephews birthday party is this weekend, and i miss them. if my heart is not 100% in it, than the Lord does not want me there. i could go on but ill spare you.

i am sad. i was looking forward to seeing my best friends and relaxing and being there and having community with them again. but God is funny because although i dont really like home  right now (the transition from summer to school along with the area director switch ahs been weird and hard) i think im exactly where im supposed to be. there will be other times to meet friends. i think were trying for a trip to rochester in the fall and knoxville again in winter. but for now i am home and i will be content here. this was a really hard decision and maria i love you for making it that much easier. part of me wants to get out and leave but i know i shouldnt. so ill stay and see what the Lord wants to teach me this weekend here at home. sometimes what the Lord calls us to do and places he calls us to is hard and we want to fight it. but in my heart i know he knows whats best. i felt peace rush over me as i drove back.

all of that is why i said God is funny. because you think you want one thing. but really, you need another.

on a really cool note- first day of school was yesterday and it was long but good. im geared up i think. and as i was sitting outside of BAL waiting for my class to start reading my book, a girl walks up to me. i figured she would ask me where something is, as i got about twelve of those questions that day already. but she asked if i was involved in norfolk young life. i said no but i lead in chesapeake. and she said well i hope this isnt creepy but i read your blog and want to say congratulations on your marriage. her name is miranda and she graduated in va beach. so shout out to her because that really brightened my day! it wasnt creepy at all- i put myself out here on my blog so the fact that you see my face and know me isnt creepy. its actually really cool. it may of may not have gotten to my head a bit. luckily i have a hubby that brings me back down. :)

im 21 today. hummm

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