Our wedding pictures are here! That’s what I sang/squealed to my husband after dinner the other night when I noticed an email from our photographer announcing their arrival. We then dropped everything we were doing and went through each photo, mostly laughing and some crying (from me, of course) and just enjoying adding commentary to each photo. This is by no means a sponsored post but I will shamelessly and happily plug Caley Newberry forever and always for her incredible photography skills. She captured our wedding day in such a perfect way and looking through them all I can feel the love and excitement of the day in every shot.
1. Help keep those resolutions with this handy dandy diagram that makes eating healthy a piece of (gluten and calorie free) cake. (pulptastic.com)
2. These ten tips for working from home are total game changers. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)
3. As if I needed another reason to drink coffee. (washingtonpost.com)
4. I will definitely be making these this week. (sallysbakingaddiction.com)
5. How to sound smarter and more professional in emails. (bustle.com)
6. Three colors that can improve your well-being. (oprah.com)
7. Where does your money go? Let’s find out. (nycprgirls.com)
There’s a lot people don’t tell you about getting married, you know, the details of the actual day you say your vows then eat cake. Instead you get a lot of, “You won’t remember anything” and “I busted into tears at the most random time and ruined my lipstick” or my favorite “One of the groomsmen didn’t even show up!” I tend to worry about unexpected details that aren’t planned therefore cannot be controlled, so of course there was some worry buried underneath my immeasurable excitement for our wedding day. Like any rite of passage, everyone from my mom to married girlfriends to the lady checking me out at Target shared little nuggets of wisdom from their own wedding days which made me all the more curious as to what my day would be like.
The day after our wedding I laughed as I told my husband how worried I was over the silliest little things, like crying and ruining my make-up or tripping on my dress as I walked down the aisle or somehow the musicians not showing up on time. Of course I worried for no reason.
Our wedding day was perfect. Every single minute of it and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I tend to refer to it as our very own Christmas Hallmark movie, what with the fresh Christmas trees and so many loved ones in the same room, and while it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down, my favorite moments include:
The bridesmaids brunch
I am convinced there is no better way to spend the morning of your wedding than attending a brunch with your best friends, hosted by women you adore, while all wearing monogrammed oversized Oxfords and yoga pants and reminiscing over your friendships.
Putting on my wedding dress
I was freezing, naturally, and Mom’s hands were shaking because she was “nervous to mess up the little buttons” but it was the sweetest of moments putting on the dress we had picked out together a few months earlier. My matron of honor made sure my shoes were on just right as my bridesmaids and bell ringers looked on with the sweetest smiles. There’s just something about putting on the wedding dress on the day of your wedding that changes you forever.
First look with Dad
I loved him first, after all, and I will never forget the moment Dad walked in and saw me, veil and all. Mom soon came in to share the moment, too, and I will cherish those moments always. Yes, I cried.
Matron & Maid of Honor keeping me calm as I waited
I was calm, cool and collected – EXCITED and READY – until everyone was all lined up and I was by myself, waiting a few feet away from them all. I had too much time to think and I could feel the tears welling up in a big way and I did not want to cry my face off while the strings played “The Prayer.” That’s when my matron and maid of honor came to the rescue – they knew I was trying not to lose it, because they just get me – and started mouthing funny memories and “happy thoughts” until I was laughing and the nerves left the building just in time.
Hearing the girls ring their bells down the aisle
In lieu of flower girls we had the most precious sisters ring bells announcing my entrance. Sneaking a peak at the candlelit sanctuary and hearing only the ringing of three little bells was the loveliest.
Seeing Taylor’s face as I walked down the aisle
I had dreamed of that moment since he proposed five months prior, and when those doors opened I was so worried I would start the ugly cry. I had even warned Dad not to say anything nice before we started walking. The doors opened, I looked up and all I saw was Taylor, looking so handsome in his tux. I wasn’t worried about anything else any longer – this was the moment I had waited for. I didn’t even hear “Ava Maria!” It was definitely an out of body experience; I distinctly remember exactly how I felt during that walk down the aisle and the loving look on my now husband’s face.
My Brother and Dad officiating the ceremony
I still get choked up when I think about it, and I feel so incredibly blessed with two such Godly men in my family.
Charlie as the ring bearer
He stole the show, just like we knew he would.
Hearing “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
The strings started playing this little number and I knew two things for certain: a major kiss was coming and I was officially married to the man of my dreams!
Greeting everyone in the receiving line
This was well worth the extra time spent standing in my four inch heels! It was so nice to see everyone who had come to share our special day and meant so much to hug and quickly catch up. I also have never seen my parents so happy!
The ringing of the bells
My genius mom had placed little gold bells at each seat with a poem instructing them to ring the bells as we walked by and we would kiss. Needless to say, Taylor ended up wearing far more red lipstick than he expected.
The smallest wedding guest who called us “prince and princess”
She told Taylor that he was “the most handsomest prince even with his fur face.” Classic.
Checking in with Dad amongst the craziness of the reception
Those were five minutes I’ll never forget. Just he and I, at the back of the reception hall, talking about the ceremony and what an amazing day it had been after so much prayer and hard work. It was perfect.
Ms. Paulette buttoning my dress
It was such a sweet moment to see the woman who altered my dress into perfection and ran the kitchen for all the amazing food at the reception. She means so much to me and my family so needless to say it was an unexpected emotional moment.
Holding onto my husband and running through sparklers into a car full of balloons
This was such a whirlwind – one minute I was eating cake balls and posing for pictures in the reception hall and the next Mom was putting my fur shrug on me and we’re running past friends and family to our car painted and ballooned. I looked back and saw Dad in his Cardinals hat and smiled as we drove away.
Today marks our one month anniversary and I must say, while it feels like just yesterday and forever ago all at the same time, I still get major chill bumps when I think of holding onto Dad and seeing my husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle. Our wedding day was far more than I could have ever imagined and I am incredibly thankful for the way God has blessed my life. xo
P.S. For a sneak peak at our official wedding photos taken by the very talented Caley Newberry, go here.
[ Buddy’s first bath. ]
Hello and a very happy Monday to you! Most of us are enjoying time at home and not at the office thanks to today being a national holiday. I remember in sixth grade being assigned a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech to recite in front of the class “just as he would have recited it” and let me tell you, I was terrified to a of all) mess it up royally and b of all) attempt to speak like a man in front of the cute boy I liked at the time. Ah, sixth grade love. What I did learn was how to deliver a good speech and what an incredible impact King had on this country! Anywho, this past week revolved around picking up the latest addition to our family and settling into our new home…this week will be more settling in aka unpacking my closet finally, doing some exploring and getting back in the swing of posting new material every day. Have a great week, lovelies! xoxo
[ The kitchen island that took my husband a while to put together due to the 200+ pieces that needed to be assembled – he’s a keeper! ]
[ Buddy likes to binge watch Friends, too. ]
[ Charlie didn’t want to play with Buddy so of course I told Buddy that it was Charlie, not him. ]
[ Baking quite possibly the greatest five-ingredient peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, ever. Recipe here. ]
[ My husband, ladies and gentlemen. ]
I realize I’m a little late to the “new year, new you” blog post train but in my defense, I’ve had a lot (of pretty exciting stuff!!!) going on. In the past month I’ve moved to a different state, MARRIED the most amazing man, Christmas-ed/recovered from said wedding with the family, spent eight glorious days honeymooning in Cancun, started a new job and gotten a puppy. Whew, it’s been a whirlwind for sure but I’ve never been happier!
Looking back on 2014 I must admit, it had a rocky beginning. Through many a “what am I doing with my life?” conversations with myself and lots of prayer – plus the love and support of good friends – I grew up and evolved into a better version of me. I took note of areas in my life that needed tending and did some pruning so I would have more room for GOOD STUFF…and OH how the good stuff poured in! Looking back, God had to wake me up so I would be ready and accepting of all the blessings He had in store. All in all, it’s fair to say 2014 was the most life changing twelve months of my life and while change isn’t always easy, everything always comes together in the most wonderful way.
Looking forward to 2015, I can’t help but feel a little giddy. It’s a brand new year with a fresh start! I have so much to share with you this year and over the next few weeks I hope to let you in on some of the good stuff with plenty of pictures, awkward humor and hopefully some inspirational thoughts thrown in. Are you with me? Here we GO! xoxo
PS. In case you’re feeling nostalgic like I tend to, here are a few of my favorite posts from the past year: Ladies Let’s Play Nice, Count Your Blessings, Mom and Me and the Wedding Dress, 7 Highly Attractive Qualities That Are Highly Underrated & This Is What Real Friendship Looks Like.
I do not claim to be a cook – just ask my fiancé about a recent Pinterest fail involving copycat Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets – BUT I do feel confident in my baking abilities so naturally I look forward to Christmas baking all year long! While wedding planning has taken over most of my time – 10 days! – I made time Sunday afternoon to crank up the Bing Crosby and make our family’s favorite Christmas cookies: Tea Cakes.
The recipe comes from an old JCS cookbook that my mom has used since I was little, and we’ve been making these tea cakes ever since with our vast collection of holiday cookie cutters. They’re amazing as is or iced with a simple icing (powdered sugar, vanilla, milk), and while I kept this batch chic with a layer of white icing and pearl green sugar sprinkles, feel free to get your creative on when it comes to decorating your candy canes and Christmas trees!
Happy Holiday Baking!
[ Festive storefront while shopping in Old Town Spring ]
Happy Monday and I hope you’re all recovering nicely from your Thanksgiving food comas. My Thanksgiving holiday was spent in Houston with my future mother-in-law and co, which was made all the more fun when my brother decided to come along with us for the week! Driving 12 hours through the night wasn’t super but thanks to caffeine and plenty of bad pop music we made it there and back without any speeding tickets or major fights. Since everything is bigger in Texas, we had to pack in all the good stuff into five days, including all the homemade amazingness cooked daily by my future mother-in-law. Not ideal for my pre-wedding “diet plan” but so worth it! My favorite moment of the week was when we paused during our Thanksgiving meal to go around the table and share what we’re the most thankful for this year- it was perfect.
[ Getting our golf on and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather at TopGolf]
[ These two weren’t too interested in shopping ]
[ Mom went to school with Tay’s mom at the ole’ FHU so of course we pulled out the annual ]
[ Festival of the Lights at Moody Gardens got us all into the holiday spirit ]
[ The first of many Thanksgivings with this handsome guy ]
Well it’s December 1st which means roughly 24 days until Christmas and 19 days until our WEDDING! It’s hard to believe it’s almost here but I know the Christmas tunes and my wonderful fiancé will keep me jolly during the inevitable mad dash of last minute wedding planning. Have a great week and Merry Christmas!
1. Not a morning person? Here are 8 things happy people do every morning. (mindbodygreen.com)
2. I love a good holiday duet and this one is spot on. (hellogigles.com)
3. How to survive Thanksgiving (in gifs). (huffingtonpost.com)
4. Cozy outfit inspiration as the temperatures continue to drop. (glitterguide.com)
5. Ideas for giving back this season, from cleaning out your closet to hosting a pajama party. (laurenconrad.com)
6. Grown-up glitter accessories for Brides-to-be = Obsessed. (brides.com)
7. THIS! Meet the adorable 5-year-old who is combating homelessness with her “little bags.” (today.com)
[ Perfect work lunch send-off from these lovely ladies ]
Truth be told, I could have used a personal assistant this week. Between packing up the old house, finishing strong my last week at HCCP and moving to a different state – it was a lot. The wonderful thing is that friends, family and my loving fiancé made the week a little easier and dare I say FUN. Other highlights of the week included two wedding showers, a lovely send-off dinner with friends at a favorite spot, watching the first snow, and getting some love from Ms. Zooey Deschanel. Have a great week!
[ A huge thank you to my friends at HCCP for a super wedding shower ]
[ …and for capturing this classic shot ]
[ We’re pretty much pros when it comes to paint touch-ups ]
[ Gorgeous co-ed wedding shower for us at our new church home ]
[ Favorite shower detail ]
When I hear females saying things along the lines of “I’m not friends with too many women because they’re too much drama” or “I don’t really get along with women usually,” I can’t help but cringe. After years of experiencing all kinds of female relationships both good and bad, I’ve asked myself the same question over and over again: Why can’t women just be nice to each other?
The truth is, most females, no matter how old they are will tell you that they’ve survived at least one type of mean girl in their past. Whether it was a situation that dealt with putting someone down, being dismissed or just plain ignored, they all seem to boil down to one thing- hatred. The opposite of nice. I just don’t understand it. Why is it that we feel so threatened by the way another woman dresses, speaks or acts that we feel like it’s our job to play polite police? Why is it that sometimes it seems easier for us to speak about what we think is wrong than all the wonderful things that are right?
Ladies, we could run the world if we started showing a little kindness towards each other. As women we should be each other’s greatest allies, not competition, at home, in our circle of friends, at church and in the workplace. Let’s be real, none of us are perfect, so why judge each other so harshly? For starters, we’ve got to change the way we speak to each other. We’ve got to stop saying things without thought of how we’ll make her feel, including:
I could never do that
How are you even managing that?
Oh, did you stop going to the gym?
Do you eat anymore?
You look exhausted
Let’s change the conversation into one we actually want to be apart of, that is uplifting and leaves both parties feeling more confident, like:
You look so happy
I’m proud of you
That’s a great color on you
Great job with _____
You make it look so easy!
Kindness is contagious, so let’s make it our goal to be kind to women everywhere. Maybe you don’t click with her or maybe she happens to be your boss who you rarely understand or hey, maybe she’s the woman in line with a newborn who could use an extra hand – show her some kindness! As women, we may be terrible at receiving compliments but we’ve got to get better at passing them out – one genuine compliment has the ability to carry us for the rest of the week!
Ladies, let’s stop picking each other apart and start supporting each other…only then will we truly run the world.