Monday Inspiration

 

 

 What’s on my mind this beautiful day…

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This weekend my mother-in-law surprised me with the most enormous bouquet of flowers ever.

Not many things bring me joy like fresh flowers do, and I had so many I created multiple arrangements with more to share!

My current favs are hydrangeas and garden roses. I’ve never loved roses but those pastel pinks totally inspire me.

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Saturday we got to celebrate the marriage of one of the sweetest girls I know and a member of my Wednesday night dinner club!

Court & Nathan’s wedding had the most elegant and laid back style, and there were so many friends to spend time with. It was the perfect night!

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Yesterday Brent and I went on a countryside run near his parents home.

We ran 5.5 miles, which totally shocked and excited me because I’ve definitely being feeling a little “out of shape.”

I’m so thankful for a husband who loves me enough to slow down to my pace and stick with me on runs like that one.

The weather was truly beautiful and I loved coming home to see the evening light shine through the trees onto the brick wall of our apartment.

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We ended the weekend with a delicious fresh & local dinner, (recipe compliments of Martha Stuart herself) and watching the World Cup with friends. (Although I couldn’t really tell you much about the game since Amber and I took a walk that lasted for it’s entirety haha!)

Lately I’m learning to see the beauty in little things, and to truly enjoy moments for what they are. Our days are hardly perfect, but I find that when I focus on the pieces that I love I can cultivate thankfullness within my own heart and that of my husband, and those around me.

So here’s a recipe for you to try as you begin your week-

I really do love Martha Stewart…

A quote to inspire you-

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And a post to help you remember that Mondays aren’t so bad when you’re counting your blessings 🙂

LOVE YOU ALL!

(and sorry for the awful iPhone pics. Maybe I’ll get a camera someday!)

xoxo Katie

It’s Hard Work Being Yourself

12:30 AM and I am wide awake. Tapping on my sleeping husband’s arm and whispering, “hey Brent, are you awake?” (I totally knew the answer to that one). “I think I’m overstimulated creatively.”

That woke him.

I was met with a groggy, “you are so weird.” And he was out again.

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For those of you who know me, and therefore don’t believe this story, it is true. On Saturday I slept past 9 AM (which led to a major freak out because I never do that and my Saturday was completely wasted) and then I stayed up till 1. Another uncharacteristic move on my part. I spent my day loving the weather, sipping on the yummiest coconut breeze iced latte from cute little Corner Coffee Shop, strolling the grassy aisles of an inspirational craft show and planting flowers in my city garden. On top of that, I started reading an amazing book that encompassed, beauty, home decor, and all things I love.

Who needs caffeine when you’re hyped up on inspiration?

This is no exaggeration- once I finally did close my eyes that Saturday night, I was abruptly disrupted by my own dreams of rearranging the living room furniture, and could hardly stay in bed at 3 AM. Four hours of sleep later, we were up and I was jabbering about all the things I wanted to do. We took every picture off the wall and “re-did” our apartment, and it goes without saying that I totally crashed Sunday night.

I truly was overstimulated creatively.

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I am a creative person, and once my mind gets racing I just can’t stop. I breathe beauty, love life and want to hug everything for joy.

My creativity can make me feel alive and ridiculous all at the same time. While I can be creative, I can also get caught up in the details of things and fall into the trap of perfection. I can become almost paralyzed when I consider what others might think of what I create, write, decorate, wear, anything that speaks to my “style.” Being vulnerable and putting myself out there can be scary. I can feel silly- Like I choose to do things that have no meaning, or waste time with the menial. I can become insecure, that my brain doesn’t work as logically as some, or that I’m just coming across as over the top and ridiculous.

It is hard work being yourself. Especially when you care what others think.

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Just today I was thinking about all this- about life, our weekend, what was on my heart, blogging. I was feeling insecure, lost in the busyness of where we’re at right now and feeling like I have nothing to give or to say. The more I think, the more I spiral, and the more I spiral the worse my thought process gets. But I feel like that is exactly where the devil wants me.

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Do you ever feel like you use your gifts, be who you are, enjoy life (even if it seems “menial” or “silly”) and then have the worst day ever 12 hours later? Or you feel like you’re getting ahead only to fall back into whatever your “blah”-ness is all over again.

I have discovered, more and more, that the Lord totally wants us to

a. be who we are

b. have FUN!

Enjoy life! Creativity isn’t silly, beauty isn’t ridiculous, it is totally a gift. Being excited about life is ok, and not just ok, it is good for you. I just REALLY felt like I needed to write this to encourage whoever you are to BE who you are. It is so easy to fall into the fake-ness and false-self stuff, but nobody really believes or likes that side of you.

Don’t lose yourself to the pressures you feel or perceive.

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Some of the photographers at the studio where I work attended a workshop recently and came back with this quote. I feel like it pretty much sums up my heart in this perfectly-

If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the ‘raw materials’ to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.”

The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life, Edith Schaeffer

❤ Katie

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things [recently]

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{watermelon, feta, & mint. sounds so strange, but seriously the best combo.

oh and Rice & Noodle’s macaroons.. YUM.}

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{this little antique peach pitcher I found at the craft show last Saturday. perfect for planting a succulent…but what isn’t perfect for a succulent?}

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{this watercolor print created by my friend Abbey of In Colour. I love to look at it hanging by my desk.}

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{the adorable craft show I went to last weekend, called The Cottonwood House.}

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{peonies, my recent flower of choice. and the dinner party I got to throw for my dear friend Court (soon-to-be MRS) and fellow dinner club members!}

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{the book I’m reading- which inspired me to take all the decor off my walls and rework my home. and the author’s blogamazing.}

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 {my workspace. I figure since I spend most of my days there it needs to look ‘me-ish’- and let’s not forget my recent favorite iced drink, introduced to me by my sweet friend Brittne. Prince Street coffee with a little chai! }

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confessions of a control freak.

I have a confession to make.

Lately my life focus has been on one thing, and one thing alone. Getting us out of our little apartment and into our very own home. It has come to the point where Brent offered to pay me five dollars every day that I don’t bring up moving, buying a house, or my discontentment with where we are now. So far I’ve got an empty glass jar sitting on our dresser, but I’m sure that i’ll start bringing in the cash any day now… [since I’ve already ruined my chances by 1PM on a Sunday afternoon…]

If you are wondering why I would ever want to move, what could possible be wrong with my precious little abode, or how I could even wish more for my life, I have one word for you. Discontentment. Actually maybe nine words. The grass is always greener on the other side. 

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I say all this in humor, but seriously, in the process of all this house nonsense, our goals for the year, even for the summer, and me attempting to “pinch pennies” which is truly not me at all, I feel like a specific message has been made very clear.

The good things in my life are not produced by my own control.

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[1.]

My love story is the very most perfect example of this. Picture an 18 year old girl who is heart broken over the fact that her high school sweet heart just ended it for the last time, that her hopes and dreams of marriage and babies and not having to finish college are crushed, and in fact her very future is ruined. Wondering how she could pull herself up off the living room floor, wipe the mascara off her face and live her life like a normal person [have you noticed by this point that I am a drama queen?].

But let me tell you, this girl never thought that same high school sweetheart would walk back into her life two years later, she never planned that he would be her very own one day. 

I tried the whole manipulation thing with Brent, and it was not becoming. In fact it was icky and gross and looked clingy and pathetic. By my own control I could not salvage our relationship, or what I thought we had. It was not until I released my vision for life and said, Ok Lord. Do what you will because I am just a mess.

That was when he brought Brent back.

I laid him on the table, the Lord said pick it back up.

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21st birthdays, [2012]. 

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[2.]

Fast forward four years. Graduating college, something I never really thought I’d do. Searching for jobs in all the wrong places, being ok with time to rest and space to learn and discover. But not really being ok. Every time I sat in front of Lancaster Online job listings or dug through Chamber of Commerce boards I came up not only empty handed, but also very stressed. 

Well maybe I could make that work, maybe I could put up with it depending on the pay.

I don’t know, I could see myself doing that… Being that…Working for them. Anything to fill this void of who I am. I’m no longer a student, I need a job.

But I felt like I was where I needed to be.

It was once I laid down my expectations and took a little break [which in reality is not the end of the world to do after 15 years of some level of schooling], that I walked into the studio at Jeremy Hess Photographers and was offered a job that fit me perfectly. 

Starting this past week I took a position as Studio Coordinator for a business built around creativity, reallness, and a love for people. A position I couldn’t have dreamed up if I tried.

Release control, allow good things to come.

Because who ever really said, Good things come to those who control?

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[work with my favorite photographer and friend].

 

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**To those who are struggling, with relationships, with life decisions, with college and jobs and all that stuff.**

I totally get hurting from break ups, it really is life changing. I also get, in a very fresh-on-my-mind way, trying to figure out what life is supposed to look like. How will I support myself? How will I use my degree? What am I supposed to be doing in life?

There are practicalities to life, stuff you just have to figure out, go to the Lord and the people around you for guidance, and get decisive on. The question is, are you trying to control your life or are you trying to go where the Lord leads, listen for His voice, and are you willing to lay down what you have to, instead of pressuring yourself to make it happen?

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While I am dreaming of houses and backyards and more kitchen counter space, I am trying to choose looking back at my life and the patterns created. It isn’t until I do this that I am able to release the moment, and realize that the main good things in my life were not created by me and my planning, penny pinching or controlling of my circumstances/the people around me. Searching Prudential home listings like it’s my day job will not get me very far if I am not willing to just let it go

let go, 

control never brought good things anyway

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Hello, I’m Barbie and this is Ken…(says no one, ever.)

Saturday morning dawned with clear skies and a crisp chill in the air…and like any other weekend I was up and at ’em at 6:00 AM. By 7 AM I had succesfully created the perfect “pre-game breakfast” and was ready to wake my husband for his basketball tournament. All this while attempting to look like I didn’t try to hard but just woke up perfectly in tact, which never really happens (I cannot defeat morning breath and bedhead without a toothbrush and a hair straightener). I woke Brent up and the day went downhill from there.

Brent- “I think I’ll get sick if I drink this chocolate milk before the game.”

Me- Oh my gosh, Katie you are an idiot. How could you mix this up. Chocolate milk is for post workout. You are the worst wife ever.

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One hour later, I’m in the midst of working out with my best pal Jillian Michaels and I recieve a text.

Brent- Where are you? I only have two games left.

Me- You are freaking kidding me. This is why I bugged you for two weeks straight about game times. 

and then

I am the worst wife ever. Not only did I try to poison him with pre-game dairy, now I’m missing the game altogether. FAIL FAIL FAIL. And there goes that shower…

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The day just went downhill from there. I won’t bore you with the details of me crying and Brent rolling his eyes, all over very petty things. Or the fact that I pulled the I am a brat and will sit here non-responsive until you apolgize act on my very own husband. Or even the threat to skip dinner because I knew it would make him mad.

I am embarrassed to say that I was not on the ball that Saturday, in fact, I think I totally missed the perfect-little-married-couple train. But I would be remiss if I didn’t say that, at the end of it all- the tears shed, the words shared, the obnoxiousness on both our parts, I was refreshed.

We got on each other’s nerves that whole entire day.

And it was ok.

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So many things were shared on our wedding day…I couldn’t begin to try and remember them all. But I will never forget an ever-recurring analogy shared by the friend who married us.

You cannot be Ken & Barbie. Nobody even wants that from you.

We all know Ken and Barbie. Unrealisticly fit bodies, painfully white teeth, neon blonde hair and (although I never really watched those Barbie movies), perfect date nights.

Brent is a perfectionist, I am a perfectionist (as established in many posts past). But this message isn’t limited to Brent and I.

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These past few months of marriage have shown me so much. Some times, I’m just going to seem annoying and I can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, pretending everything’s ok really just brings lifelessness. Simply going through the hollow motions doesnt bring joy, fulfillment or love to my marriage. It causes resentment, it causes judgment, it causes me to lose myself.

When I feel it, my husband feels it.

Marriage might be the best accountability I’ve ever had.

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Unfortunately this post is not a DIY on having a perfect new marriage… or a perfect marriage ever. It is not an outline on what to say or what to do when you mess up, when your husband thinks your acting like a child, or when you know that if you say one more word you have crossed the border from annoying to just plain mean. There’s now “How to Dig Yourself Out of Huge Holes” section and I still struggle with beating myself up over menial things.

This is me saying to you- I’m where you are. If you can relate with me, then I can relate with you. We’re on this ship together and sometimes all we can do is look at each other and say, “I give up. I release control.”

Barbie & Ken make it look so easy…I, however, would argue- It’s not.

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I also have yet to master the art of fresh breath and perfect hair upon awakening. So for those of you who’ve got this down to a science, please share your suggestions in the comments below.

This is a lesson to all my newly married friends- from another newly married friend. One day you’re feeling all honey-mooney, and then BAM. Life happens.

my story {restoration}.

 

everyone has a “hard thing.” a hurdle they jump through, whether big or small, that defines them. it is in these hurdles that we learn to jump. high and long, we leap as we run, and we not only imagine-but bring to reality the conquering of things we never knew possible. 

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As I entered 11th grade I specifically remember health class. I remember watching a documentary about the detrimental effects of a certain fast food chain (think Supersize Me and Mickey D’s). I remember that tennis is the said-best sport for a good cardio work out, right up there with running. I remember eating snacks.

One specific lesson I’ll never forget was on eating habits. We learned about healthy eating, overeating and disordered eating. I remember my health teacher discussing bullimia and anorexia as “teenage girls looking in the mirror and thinking they’re fat” and consequently starving or purging over it. I specifically remember thinking to myself-

I could never do that. I love food too

See. I was a normal high schooler. I loved my friends, my school activities, my cute clothes and the way I was percieved by others was extremely important to me. However, in the area of my weight I was relatively confident. I mean, my favorite meal was mashed potatoes and ham. The healthy aspect? Lima beans drowned in brown butter. Yum. 

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My junior year was major. I was taking SATs, choosing colleges, practically determing my future (or trying to). On top of all that I had just started “talking to” a new guy (my husband), and I was struggling with digestive issues and awful stomach pain. We prayed, we visited doctors, I had so many tests done I can’t even remember them all, but nothing seemed to give me answers for my pain. It was distracting, and seemed mostly caused my stress (which there was a lot of).

In January 2009 I started being “more careful” with what I ate…and I started feeling better. I had discovered a cure, the way that I could control what doctors seemingly could have. On a diet of salads I started to “feel better.” 

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It didn’t take long for my new eating habits to begin catching up with me. My weight loss was slight at first, and initially I got comments like “Have you been working out? You look great!” and “How do you keep that body? What’s your secret?” I ate this up, what had started in a seemingly harmless way was suddenly becoming my latest obession. I had always enjoyed running (short distances), but suddenly I couldn’t live without it. I began to pay attention to calories, a whole new world to me. I had a little notebook and a website I used. Each day was like a math problem- 5 mile run ( burning ____ calories) + eating hardly anything ( ______ calories) equals NEGATIVE _____ calories. That’s right, at the end of my day the goal was to go negative in caloric intake. I was a mess.

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Every story has a hero. My mom is the hero in this one. You never want to admit that you have a problem, much less that your own child does. But if my mom hadn’t admitted I had a problem, if she hadn’t taken me to that first doctor’s appointment, the one where my pediatrician said “you’re on the verge of an eating disorder,” who knows where I’d be. 

In two months I had gone from a happy and healthy 145 lb high school girl, to a sickly and depressed, awful and mean 119 lbs. At 5′ 8” I could not afford this. 

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By June of 2009 I had both dated and broke up with my (now) amazing husband. I had become an anti-social nightmare child. The summer of 2009 I don’t think I hung out with one friend. I was mean to my sisters, angry toward my parents and completely rude to my doctor, dietician and counseler. My mom didn’t waste any time getting me into treatement. We made countless trips to the eating disorder clinic at Hershey Med Center, my hero of a dietician here in Lancaster City and my amazing counseler on Lititz Pike. 

 

I remember my mom sending Carolyn out with me on my long runs, for fear that I’d pass out from lack of nutrition (or heat stroke considering I ran mid-day).

I remember when I was told I had to stop exercising for a time, I threatened to go out in the middle of the night, and I did sit-ups in the shower.

I remember Carolyn making me cookies, and writing me a note “I know you aren’t hungry very much, but here’s something I thought you might like.”

I remember my dad taking me to get my cartilidge pierced, in hopes that I would feel pretty.

 

Nothing worked. 

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There are SO many facets to my story. Obviously there is that “what happened with you and Brent?” (Maybe I’ll write a sequel). There is the me almost dropping out of Living Word and switching schools my senior year. There is the me finding value in anything and everything but the Lord.

BUT.

First I had to realize something. 

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There are moments of my journey that are just engrained in my mind. 

I was standing in my bedroom, looking in the mirror. I remember what I was wearing, a small white beater and my sister Amanda’s shorts. I was 17, Amanda was 10. I was staring at a family portrait hanging on my mirror. The picture had been taken for a church directory the summer before Junior year. We were so happy, I lookedhappy. I hadn’t seen a truly happy Me in a very long time. 

I looked in the mirror. I was sick. I was skin and bones, I was not pretty, I was sunken in and pale. There was no going up if I stayed on this path. I either get help or die. It was truly at that point. In that moment I made choice. I went to my mom bawling my eyes out. I needed help, I longed for help and I had been “recieving help” but not truly recieving. 

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Eating disorders are serious stuff. Anorexia is serious. There is so much more to it than just “a girl looking in the mirror and thinking she’s fat.” This Spring will mark four years since I was at my worst, lowest point. I cannot tell you that I don’t still struggle. Moments in life bring up fear in me. The thought of a wedding brought anxiety which brought control which ended with me in a too-big wedding dress four days before. That is not ok. 

 

SO many parts of my heart have been healed. SO many parts of my mind have been healed. But I am learning. I am on a journey, and I can’t give up. I can’t just give in and decide that I will let running get the best of me, or that I will stop eating out of control. Anorexia is complex, but it can no longer define me. We all have struggles, it’s part of that whole fallen world thing. But I want you, whoever “you” may be, to know that there is hope. I’m still on the journey. 

 

It’s a choice.

 

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Diary of a Married College Girl

When Brent and I first discussed wedding timing, there was one (seemingly) determining factor.

I was still in college.

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We got engaged in Februrary, knowing that I had one more semester until graduation. After considering the idea of a winter wedding I (being me) did not feel satisfied.

See, both of our birthdays are in December- a week a part- the 2nd and the 9th to be exact. Then comes Christmas.

I wanted to spread out my gift-getting. There was no way my anniversary was getting thrown in that mess.

[just kidding, kind of.]

So we decided to go for it, to have our wedding in August. I’d always much preferred summer weddings anyway.

All this meant one major thing- I had to figure out a schedule that would best fit my newly married lifestyle, AND figure out how to take five classes while trying to work.

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The Lord never ceases to amaze me. Somehow [ with the help of my personal registrar’s office aka. my mom] I crammed two of the classes into my summer [hence the procrastination of wedding planning until about one month prior], translated my job at Chick-fil-A into a paid internship [6 credits worth], and found a night class that I liked in walking distance from our little home.

I had life figured out.

But let me tell you something, it is not the breeze I thought it would be.

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Beyond the fact that I have to drop my best-wife-ever status on Thursdays and purchase [for the first time ever] boxed mac n cheese and Ramen noodles for my husband’s dinners…besides the fact that I rush out the door as he’s getting home from work and don’t get back until he’s either exhausted or watching the game…my MOST major struggle as a married college girl?

identity crisis

Who am I? I ask myself this at least once a week. [by week I might mean day]. I struggle with the pressure balance, of wanting to be home, of wanting to do well in school, of wanting to work more than I am, of remembering i’m a student, of the desire to live up to my degree.

This week was one of those struggle weeks, and as I struggled, I also reminisced.

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October 2010– Brent and I just broke up. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know who I am, and I ESPECIALLY don’t know why I’m here. I hate school, I don’t think I will ever graduate. I’m barely passing science, and I’m never ever there. I can’t stop crying and I feel so anxious- four more years is a lifetime. I’m never going to make it that far. At this rate I’ll be graduating in six years…and I have NO motivation to pick up the pace. Who cares about school. All I wanted was to get married and have a family-and my dream life just broke up with me. 

I hate this.

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Three years ago I was a freshman at Millersville University. My high school love had just broken my heard, I hated education and thought going to class was for lame people, I wasn’t taking a full load of classes, therefore behind in graduating, and my parents actually reccommended I go to HACC-or put school on hold until I got my act together.

I couldn’t tell you when or what hit me. But somewhere in my journey I found my niche. I buckled down and took classes all year round. I worked ahead for no reason but my own self-drive, [and, little did I know, the Lord’s perfect plan].

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When I feel like I can’t make it through one more class, when I wonder what I’m doing with my life, what I will do with my life, I considere the contrast- October 2010 to October 2013. Same boy, same girl, same college, completely different story.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever doubt the Lord’s hand [working in my life].

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***On a side note***

My stomach turns at the thought of all that dye in boxed mac n cheese. I was not cut out for this quick dinner stuff! SO, I found this awesome, quick and easy recipe-

Brent’s eating well tonight 🙂

Baked Mac & Cheese  

MacCheese-Dinner_opt

Ingredients

  • 8oz. Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 2 cups Cheese, shredded (I used Sharp, but any cheese that you like is fine)

Instructions

Prepare macaroni according to directions on box.

While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce.
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter, add flour mixed with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk until well combined, gradually add milk, whisking continually.
  3. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes, until mixture is thick.
  4. Gradually add cheese and simmer until cheese sauce is smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in cooked macaroni.
  6. Place mixture in a 13 x 9 pan, and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden and bubbly.

my wedding was not the best day of my life.

here it is-

the once promised and long-time-coming post: wedding version.

I have to admit, the thought of trying to describe to you all the details of this solitary yet packed-full-of-emotion day is rather daunting. And I decided I don’t have to. Pictures speak for themselves, and I have a whole load of those coming from my sweet friend Amber and Jeremy Hess Photographers (so I just gave away the topic of my next post 🙂 ).

BUT.

I wanted to share some of the photos my friends took, AND say a few things.

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First- I loved my wedding (you are probably thinking, who doesn’t love their wedding? or else your feeling a sense of relief after seeing the blog title). But really, I just adored my wedding.

I will admit that there were points when the weather made me want to pull all of my perfectly done hair OUT, the rain held off and our wedding was outside! (Better late than never is my new motto).

My #1 tip to future brides with the image of an outdoor wedding- Add to it an image of an indoor wedding, do not rely on the iPhone weather for anything, ever, and stop checking the weather the week before your wedding. Let your future husband and stressed out dad handle that. (just kidding Dad). 

But really, what I LOVED about my wedding was the heart and soul behind it. How cliche can I possibly be is maybe what you are thinking, but if I could only communicate the amount of people who pulled this thing off. Without friends and family I would have said let’s walk to the courthouse and get ourselves a judge. (That came up a few times anyway).

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I love a good party. And (in my opinion) my wedding was a pretty good party.

Let’s just be honest. My wedding was not the best day of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, my wedding was beautiful, it was fun, I was the center of attention which (I will admit) I always enjoy. My dress was everything i’d dreamed of, my flowers were the exact look I was aiming for and my husband was so handsome.

But all that is gone in a fleeting moment. That day is simply a memory now, and it’s only been one month! That day you anticipate flys by so quickly that you hardly get to grasp all of its moments.

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The best days of my life, for me, have been the days after my wedding.

The mornings of waking up next to my husband and knowing he’s here. The days of keeping my home and folding our laundry and anxiously awaiting his return with a meal on the table. The evenings of togetherness, whether at home or away. And the nights of falling asleep knowing that I am not alone, of feeling safe.

I’m not saying that cleaning the bathroom is no longer a chore, or that doing laundry is my new favorite activity…that my meals always turn out as planned OR that Brent always loves them…but there is something to be said about having purpose.

And I honestly believe that I’m living my dream, to be a wife, to keep a home, to love and care for my husband and to throw my all into it.

Yea, I think that these are the best days.

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pathway to perfection [or lack thereof].

…and so it begins…

Another day in the life of me, starting out on a rough note. 

It’s 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning and I [literally] pop up out of bed, horrified.

How could I have done this? I slept through my alarm. This never happens.

And for one of the first times in my summer I have officially slept past 6:45, no turning back now.

Feeling terribly guilty and mourning the fact that I do not have time between now and 9 AM, when I plan to start painting my new living space, to fit in my morning run, I determine to redeem myself. 

Brent’s coming down, so I’ll surprise him with breakfast.

And so I set out to create the perfect yogurt parfaits, a specially iced coffee drink, and throw a quiche in the oven for a little lunch treat. All this while hoping that I look cute and domestic but also capable and fit in my painting outfit. 

[I don’t know where I get these ideas.]

9AM rolls around and Brent comes in. He likes the parfait, but things the coffee drink is a little too sweet, I can tell. I inwardly scold myself for messing up, as if my life depends on coffee drinks and creating them is my sole talent. 

[I’d be in trouble if that was the case.]

And so the day proceeds, me trying to be perfect in every way, wanting to be the perfect painter, the perfect organizer, the perfect wedding crafter. Wanting to be so efficient that I won’t take water breaks and sitting is not an option, only pacing. 

What is this strive for perfection in me?  

I asked myself this question on my run this morning, while simultaneously pushing for a new time on my run that, if I did not make, would cause the run [in my mind] to be a total waste of time. [3 miles is 3 miles, no matter how many minutes I shave off. Why can’t I just get that through my head?]

So I am criticizing my perfectionistic tendencies, while pushing myself in one of them. Seems contradictory, right? 

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So what am I getting at?

1. I am a perfectionist. In school, in relationships, in my interests, in my talents, with my body, with my mind, with my heart. 

2. I will never achieve this perfection that I insist on aiming for. Mankind was not made for perfection.

3. I was made for grace

As I write, I consider the quote that I constantly recited to myself as I ran my first half marathon, I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection

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My challenge- to you- to me- to all imperfect perfectionists, seek out grace, fall into grace, accept grace

Romans 11:6

And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

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And while your at it, that quiche I mentioned, it was pretty good too 🙂

PERFECT CRUSTLESS QUICHE

Makes 8 servings

10 oz of fresh, shredded zucchini

1/4 C. vidalia onions, choppe

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

Additional fresh herbs, use at your descretion (I added fresh basil)

4 eggs, beaten (if adding extra veggies, use an additional egg)

1 (16-ounce) container cottage cheese

2 cups shredded Paremesean cheese

1/4 cup chopped bread for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9″ pie plate or quiche pan.

Place thawed spinach in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft. Remove from heat and drain off any remaining liquid. Stir in green onions, other veggies if using (optional), eggs, cottage cheese, and Cheddar cheese. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crushed croutons (or bread crumbs). Return to oven and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until eggs are set (if you are adding extra veggies and an egg, your baking time may be a little longer).

ENJOY!