Thursday, October 31, 2013

love story // the wedding (o2)

if you missed love story: the wedding (o1) you can find it here.

May 17, 2013 finally arrives! that morning i (attempted to) eat breakfast with my mom & maid of honor. after breakfast, we headed to the hair dresser to meet the other bridesmaids & my mother in law. we all got our hair & makeup done, then headed to The Loom! 
this is my dress hanging on the altar from my "Mrs. Black" hanger i had made!

my bridesmaids helped me get into my dress & we went outside to take some group pictures:

after my pictures were done, me & Thomas got some done (without seeing each other) pre-ceremony:

he prayed for us as we held hands around a corner. this was one of my favorite parts of our wedding!

after we were done the groom, groomsmen, and groom's family went outside for their pictures:

our pastor prayed over Thomas with all of his groomsmen before the ceremony:

& my maid of honor prayed over me with my bridesmaids:

we had mini wood cake toppers painted to look like us! i even had a sunflower added on my dress! 

we had sunflower cupcakes & every 15th one had a little ladybug on it!

i decided to do a fabric bouquet so i could keep it for years to come! it fit our theme really well & i love the pearl accents!

our guest book came out looking a little funky, since somehow the first one got started going down in straight lines. but we still love that it's something different!

cue the music & my wedding is starting! holy cow! i'm about to be a married woman!

Thomas & i chose to literally tie a fisherman's knot rather than do a unity candle.

after we "tied the knot" we also did a wine box ceremony. our photographer didn't catch pictures of this, but in this picture you can see the box (with a bottle of wine in it) sitting on a pedestal. Thomas & i both wrote a letter to each other the week before the wedding. during the wedding, we put the letters into the wine box & closed it. we will open the box on our first anniversary, drink the wine, & read the letters! then, write another letter, close the box, open it for the next anniversary, and repeat for each anniversary after that. then we will have a letter from each year of our marriage. it will be neat to look back & see how we changed & how our relationship evolved!

you may kiss your bride...

we walked out (as a married couple!) to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong!

the guy who owns The Loom was taking pictures also, so i love that we have a picture of us walking out from both vantage points!

we are happy to finally be married!

i love this picture of us laying our hands, with new wedding bands on them, on our foundation - God & His Word.

& you know it's not really a sealed deal without a pinky promise!

"love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."

(this is actually Thomas's car his grandpa gave him! it's a '73!)

our first dance was to "At Last" by Etta James. i have loved that song for as long as i can remember & it was a no brainer for us to pick it!

we had a night wedding, so we used sparklers!

introducing Mr. & Mrs. Black!!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gingersnap Dip!

this past Saturday we had a pumpkin carving party at our house! we asked everyone to bring their own pumpkin & favorite fall treat! we made my favorite fall dessert - gingersnap dip! & we also made Trader Joe's spiced apple cider in the crock pot. if that doesn't get you in the fall spirit, i don't know what will!

since i rave about this dip every fall, i decided i would share it! it is a really simple & delicious dessert!

Gingersnap Dip!

8oz cream cheese, softened
8oz cool whip
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
16oz package of gingersnap cookies (i used Murray)


step 1: in a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, & pumpkin pie spice. (it will look very brown before you add in the cool whip)

step 2: beat in cool whip until blended. (i usually divide the cool whip into 3 different sections - it's a lot to stir in all at once!)

step 3: when everything is blended, it will have a cream color with brown specks. refrigerate until serving time.

step 4: (optional) serve the dip in a cute pumpkin dish!

what are some of your favorite fall treats?

Friday, October 25, 2013

real talk // too busy to pray.

in 2011, i worked & lived at a camp in Alaska for 3 months. during that summer, a boy named Cody came to 2 different camps. i remember the first day of camp he seemed shy & distant, so i made it a point to talk with him every time i saw him. during the first week he was there we struck up a friendship. he was so sweet & one of my favorite campers. ('re not supposed to have favorites!) he wrote a sweet note on my board before he left & i have always remembered him. since i moved back to the lower 48, i've spoken with him a few times through facebook, but nothing extensive. 

i told you that little story, to tell you this... 

so, i had this whole post planned out about prayer. & how i've felt so extremely busy this past year that i haven't made prayer the priority it should be.... then, yesterday i found out that Cody killed himself this past weekend. & my reaction seemed to shape this post...

last weekend i saw a facebook status that Cody put up in my newsfeed. it said "Bye everybody, I love you all. We will meet again someday." i paused as i read the status, contemplating what it could mean. was he moving from Alaska to another state? joining the army? (he is, afterall, around that age) or perhaps, is something more serious going on? is he depressed? is he contemplating a decision that will affect everyone around him?

i checked to see if he replied to any of the comments left on his status. he hadn't. then i scrolled through his page to see if he had any posts about moving or going into the military. he didn't. i thought about sending him a message to check on him. i didn't.

i guess when you hear a story like this.... you tend to look back and see the warning signs. you also look back and think of what you could have done better. if i had sent him a message on facebook, would he even have read it? i don't know. would it have changed anything? i don't know. i don't know if i could have done anything to change what happened or to help him in any way.

but what i do know, is that i could have prayed for him. i was so busy doing whatever i was doing, that it didn't even cross my mind. which brings me to my point....

i remember hearing this when i was younger: if we are too busy to pray & spend time reading scripture.... we are far busier than God ever intended us to be. that comes to mind today as i think about how busy i have been these past few months. if i'm honest, i haven't done the best job at intentionally making time for prayer. i've learned that if i don't make a plan to do something, it most likely won't get done. i'm a planner, so if it's not on my's most likely not on my radar. 

i've also learned that if i'm not intentional about something, it won't become a habit. if it doesn't become a habit, it won't cross my mind during times that it needs to. if i'm filling my life & mind with things that don't matter in the future, i am missing opportunities for Kingdom work. i see myself get so focused in the here & now, that i don't often think of the big picture. i get so caught up in my life, that i don't get involved in other people's lives.

my challenge to myself is to pay more attention to the details outside of my little world. when i see someone around me & i can tell they are struggling... i want to ask them questions, give them encouragement, & pray for them. when i am in a rush & i hear or see someone in trouble... i don't want to think "i don't have time to help them" - i want to think "nothing is so important that i need to pass up an opportunity to share God's love." since i'm a planner, i also want to remember that it's okay to let God's opportunities change my plans. i want to do a better job at praying for the people that are in my life. & i want to do a better job of making prayer a priority in my life. afterall, if i'm spending time in scripture & praying to the Lord.... i will handle all of the busyness better. because i'm allowing the Lord into that area & not relying on my own strength.

 if we think we are too busy to pray, then we are too busy NOT to pray.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY // monogrammed chevron pumpkin

we are having a pumpkin carving party at our house this Saturday, so i was inspired to make some pumpkin decorations! recently, i got a full year subscription to Family Circle... the white pumpkin with black chevron stripes in the October issue is what inspired my take on the chevron pumpkin!

materials needed:
-any size pumpkin
-paint brush (i used a foam one)
-paint pens
-tape (i used painters tape)

step 1: cut several strips of tape about the same length. once you have your strips cut, cut them in half longways. if the tape is too thick it's really hard to get a good shape on the pumpkin. start layering them on the pumpkin to make a chevron pattern. continue this all the way around the pumpkin. 

step 2: do the same exact thing on the bottom, making sure the orange chevron stripe inbetween is even all the way around. you can make the stripe as thin or as thick as you want to. you could also do multiple ones by adding more layers of tape. 

step 3: once your tape is ready, paint away! if you're like me & you got the cheap may need to paint 2-3 coats. i painted 2 & it still looked streaky, but we decided we liked that look. 

step 4: let your paint dry completely, then peel off your tape! the edges won't be perfect because some of the paint gets under the tape. 

step 5: to clean up the edges, draw a border around the stripe with a paint pen. i chose silver, but any fun/bright color would look great! 

step 6: once the border is dry, finish your pumpkin off with a cute monogram! i drew mine free hand, but you could make a template using your favorite font to have something to follow. 

there you have it! your very own monogrammed chevron pumpkin! 

what are your favorite pumpkin decorating ideas?