Background 3

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Entry-way Table

Ryan and I have been blessed beyond measure during our first year of marriage. One of the many ways that we were so richly blessed early on was to be given nearly all of the furniture that we have in our house. Seriously. The only thing we purchased was a  couch and a TV. One of the pieces that we inherited from Ryan's grandmother was an entry way table. I had been dying to get my hands on this baby and doll up a bit ever since it first made an appearance in the Fee home and I finally had the opportunity to do so a few weeks ago! Here she was before.

I waited so long to do something with this piece because I did not want to sand it...can you blame me? Look at those legs.  No thank-you. So, this was a perfect piece to try out my new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that requires no sanding. Yes, you read that right. No sanding.

A little light and dark wax and some distressing later and here she is! I feel like I should name her or something...

Ah...perfectly imperfect.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Welcome Wreath

So...I am back. Two months is better than four right. I smell improvement. Time is flying this summer. I feel like there should be another name for this season of the year other than summer for folks working the 9 to 5 in the "real world". I have been waiting for "summer" all summer-long and now fall is around the corner.

I have just completed my second rotation of my fourth year. Seven more to go and I will FINALLY be a pharmacist. Insert Hallelujah chorus. I don't want to say it was "easy", but was pretty easy. I got to leave early most days, which was wonderful. I mean, if you are working for free paying to work for 12 months, it's nice when they let you go a little early..

So, I should have taken advantage of this "easier" rotation and prepared for some of my "harder" ones that are to come BUT....I spent most of the month crafting. The hubs and I are scrimping and saving every penny we can (will explain in more detail in a later post), so my budget for all this diy-goodness was well...virtually non-existent. I decided to challenge myself to make do with what we have here at the house, so we will see how this thing turns out!

So, here's how my first project went. Our front door was pretty barren. It's not the quaintest door you've ever seen in the first place (Still waiting on black barred doors to come in style), and was in desperate need of some decor. A leftover wreath from a baby shower I threw back in the early spring (along with two other loves) for one of my oldest and dearest friends was begging for some TLC.

Here is what she looked like for the shower.
...LOVED the way it turned out for the shower, but not the most durable thing ever with paper pennants and all, i got to work one day while watching "Who the Bleep did I Marry?" on Netflix (no judgement please) and was surprised by how well it turned out. Gobs of hot glue, a painted letter F I had been saving, and some scrap fabric later, and here she is in all her glory! me some sweet rosettes

...know I am a little late to the wreath fad as with most everything, but happy with the way things turned out

...and this post would not be complete without a picture of our ferocious beast of a guard dog:-)

A much warmer welcome to our home I think...and the best part of all, it was fuh-ree!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

10 Reflections of God's Mercy...

I realize that I have not written for…err….months. I had every intention of being a faithful blogger, but I definitely have not been as with many other aspects of my life. I praise the Lord that I am not justified before Him because of my adherence to the law nor from the frequency of my blog postings because in both, I have, do, and would surely failJ.
So although my posts may be few and far in between, I pray that they will point to my Savior, serve as some sort of encouragement to a reader at some point in time, and that more importantly, they will serve as an outlet for me to reflect on what the Lord is and has been doing in my life whenever I am able to take a breath. I also look forward to having a living document that records the happenings of the few days in which the Lord has filled my lungs with breath and allowed me to live on His earth.
I mentioned earlier that I will write whenever I have time to catch my breath and that is very much the case right now. I am catching my breath… the Abacos islands in the Bahamas. Yeah, not too shabby of a place to catch one’s breath, right? The Lord has poured out His richest blessings on me in allowing Ryan and I to go on this trip with Ryan’s parents. We have been able to behold and enjoy glorious creation all around us that points us to worship our even more glorious Creator. I by no means deserve this trip, but I am so thankful for it.

Because I have not written since January and all I have recorded thus far of “My life as a Wi-Fee” is….err…my wedding day, I definitely have some catching up to do.
There is no way I can possibly remember all of the details of this year, but I going to attempt to share the highlights and emphasize what the Lord has taught me through it all. Get comfy as I try to get comfy with you and give me grace for the long-windedness. Disclaimer: Some reflections will be longer than others, so skim when ya wanna.
1)      The Honeymoon came to an end…
a.       I don’t mean this in the way that most people mean when they comment that a couple’s “honeymoon stage is over” when they witness the couple fighting etc. — I mean that literally, the honeymoon ended. I remember so vividly this time last year. I had finally made it through my last final of the semester and could at last focus on checking things off my forever-long to-do list for the wedding. To say I went into wedding planning mode was an understatement. Ryan and I attended showers, engagement parties, I met with vendors, copied ideas off of wedding blogs, made lists, added things to the list, made schedules, moved out of my apartment (and in with my dear friend and mentor since my sophomore year in college), started organizing the apartment that Ryan and I would soon live in together, wrapped up marriage counseling sessions, etc.…this time of our life was hectic, yet so exciting. It came with times of stress, but the fact that the end result of all these struggles was to finally be Ryan’s wife brought overwhelming joy to each situation. Then it happened, our wedding day was finally here. And then it was gone just as fast as it came. That was ok though because at last, Ryan and I were able to go on a vacation by ourselves to SAINT LUCIA. I remember driving away in our “get-away” car and exhaling a huge sigh of relief. We were finally husband and wife and our gift was to go on an amazing honeymoon…one for the books. I also remember when our honeymoon ended, when it was time to pack up and start our life together in Alabama. We were sad to leave, but in up-beat spirits because the week we had known of married life was pretty sweet. It had been filled with beautiful island people serving us mangoes, kayaking, and being able to order any food or beverage off the menu at no additional cost—that is what real life looks like right? Then, when I came home to our wrecked apartment filled to the ceilings with rotting flowers, leftover wedding decorations, unopened gifts, etc. I had a moment. I remember I slept terrible that night in Ryan’s bed, not mine. I woke up that morning with the huge realization that the honeymoon was indeed over and nothing seemed familiar or planned for anymore. All my planning and pining had come to an end. Here I was in a strange place, in a strange bed (that I once longed to be in, but found was not as comfortable as mine) and though I wanted to be the trophy wife that hopped out of bed to go start a Saturday morning tradition of pancakes and bacon, I found I even more wanted to go back home to what was familiar and just dream of what marriage might look like. I wanted to wake up at my old apartment, drink coffee and chat with my amazing old roomie, and then go get ready for an amazing date that Ryan would plan. Ryan did not wake up to a trophy wife fixing breakfast that morning, I assure you. He woke up to a little girl crying her eyes out, afraid of the unfamiliar, who did not actually want to be married to him but wanted to pretend and daydream about what being married to him might be like, and who was not ready for the adjustment that was going to have to take place. When I say I married a true man of faith, I am not lying or exaggerating. He wrapped me in his arms, told me it was ok to cry and to be afraid of the unfamiliar, but that just as God was with us in those moments of planned joy; He is with us now in the unfamiliar. He then sat down and prayed with me and for us as we learn to embrace our new roles as husband and wife. We got up from that prayer, threw out the rotting flowers, starting de-cluttering our new home, had a blast opening gifts, started re-defining what new dates would look like as married folk, and started embracing our new roles as husband and wife. I am proud to say, I have not looked back or had another meltdown about being a wife since…

2)      We became true Duffbags…
a.       I encountered Allison Lewis back in December when I tried to change my wedding photographer to her after she came so highly recommended from people I both loved and respected. Unfortunately, $1500 non-refundable deposit will lock you in every time. Although Allison was not my main wedding photographer, she served me in so many countless ways in the days leading up to Ryan and I’s wedding, from shooting bridal portraits, to capturing the most amazing photo-booth shots ever, to in the end creating my wedding album. I could never re-pay Allison for how much and how well she served me during this time of my life through her amazing talent of photography. (My advice to anybody else is to not fall into $1500 deposit traps like me and book Allison for all of your wedding photography needs at from the get-go!) Besides enjoying the most amazing bridal photography session ever, I also found out that Allison and her husband, (along with another couple who happened to be the brother and sister-in-law of the wonderful folks who performed our marriage counseling and then married us) were starting a small group. We got the invite to “try it out” and fell in love with these people from the first time we met them.  We talked for hours the first time we were all together… I think we stayed at the Lewis’s house until at least 12am that first night. We were a decade behind them in years (1988 & 1990 babyJ), but the Lord weaved our hearts together. We were obsessed with our new friends. Ryan and I wanted godly marriages and families’ like these people had. It was such a blessing to have living examples in front of us to follow that were willing to open up their marriages and family dynamics to us so that we could learn from their mistakes and imitate things that worked for them. They were and are refreshing fountains of wisdom. I believe at the very next small group meeting, a wonderful family called the Duffy’s joined the clan, and we soon developed our small group name that we lovingly refer to as “The Duffbags”. We are all so different and come from so many different backgrounds and yet are united and knit together in Christ. We have a mechanic, an accountant/mom to 3 babies, a photographer/mom to 5, a part-time nurse/mom to 2, two guys that work for the same company and yet I still have no idea what they doJ, and then Ryan and myself. We have 4 adopted kids in the mix and have been able to walk beside 2 ½ of those adoptions. We have been able to experience the pregnancy and birth of twins through the Duffy’s, and baby #5 through the Lewis’. We have learned so much about being parents and have had the opportunity for them to lovingly pour into our marriage. We are so blessed and are so thankful to have and to have had this support group to walk beside us during our first year of marriage. They have played such a huge role in both of our lives this year…

3)      I was changed by a lady name Debi Pearl…
a.       Yep, you read that right. Debi Pearl is her name and calling out women and challenging them to be godly wives embracing their God-ordained role as a submissive helper is her game. Comfortable? No. Life-changing. Yes. My dear friend and fellow Duffbagger let me borrow the book Created to be His Help-Meet by Debi Pearl. To say it rocked my world is an understatement. I learned so much about my role as my husband’s help-mate, so much about my husband, and so much about my sinful self. I literally can’t say enough good things about this lady and her book. Submission was transformed from something that I cringed at the very thought of to something that I find the upmost joy in. There are a few things we will probably never agree on (like waist long hair will never look good on me), but if you can look over these few preferences, her authority in preaching these hard truths comes directly from Scripture, and she give boo-coos of honest advice that you, as a wife, will do well to heed.
4)      God re-opened the door for East Lake…
a.       I say re-opened because we strongly feel that the Lord shut this door earlier in our dating relationship. For those of you who are utterly confused, let me attempt to clear things up. East Lake is one of the most impoverished and “least reached” areas of Birmingham. Back in the 1950’s it was thriving and “the place to be”. Howard College (now Samford) was located there and a 1950’s newspaper even referred to this area as one of the most educated areas of Alabama.  Those who have any clue of what this area is currently like, would scoff and find this so hard to believe. All it took was Samford leaving in the late 50’s and Birmingham’s decade struggle with racism to totally destroy this once thriving area. Now, what remains is the remnants of what was once “happening” in the 1950’s, a ton of poverty, a ton of crime, people with no hope, and people without Christ.  Ryan and I found ourselves in this area back when we were dating after having volunteered at an organization located in the area. We drove around afterwards asking ourselves “Where is the Church? Why are they not here? Why have we just now learned about this area of Birmingham after attending a Christian college in the area not more than 5 miles down the road?” The next day at church, our pastor challenged the body to go and make disciples of this area and that the best way to do this was to go live among the people and plant a church there. We immediately wanted to jump on board and join this church planting movement. I wanted to live in a house with single girls and Ryan wanted to live in a house with single guys and we wanted to serve together in this area. Our parents were NOT supportive. At the time we did not understand both sets of parents’ decisions, but we honored their wishes in not moving down to this area. Ryan still volunteered at the local middle school as the assistant football coach and I maintained a relationship with a family I met through a vacation bible school sponsored by the church. We now see the Lord’s sovereignty in all of this. We put the thoughts of moving to East Lake on the backburner, but at the end of August of 2011, Ryan and I volunteered at a local football camp and ran into Mrs. MC. I knew MC’s face as one of the families from Brook Hills who were planning on moving to East Lake back when it was first introduced, but did not know much more than that. After a brief conversation with MC over lunch, she was convinced that we were the couple whom she and her family had been praying for that would move into the house across the street from them in East Lake that they had purchased on faith in the hopes that it would be a house devoted to ministry. Ryan and I talked about this new proposal the whole way home. We left our apartment that morning content to be exactly where we were, and came back home with a re-kindled desire to live and serve in East Lake full time. The house had not been totally renovated yet, so we began helping most Saturday afternoons and we also joined the local house church that had been planted from BH to reach the people of East Lake. What we have learned while being a part of this house church is a blog post in itself, but let’s just leave it at the fact that the Lord has used this local body to grow and stretch us beyond belief, has lit a fire in our hearts for church planting, and has given us the most cross-cultural view of the church that we can imagine while living in the United States that we hope will prepare us for future cross-cultural work overseas.

5)      We adopted man’s best friend…
a.       I am currently writing this post while being away from my furry four legged friend, and I miss him like I think I will one day miss my own flesh and blood. Sure, he sheds on EVERYTHING, loves some good dumpster diving, always jumps on our bed even after repeated scolding, and is a huge food moocher/beggar whenever you are trying to enjoy a nice meal, but I LOVE HIM. This little bundle of joy came into our life on October 23rd after a weekend get-away trip to the North Georgia Mountains. Ryan surprised me on our way back to reality by making a pit-stop in Carrollton, Georgia, to go see a dog named “Oro” from a foster mom’s home. We were a little hesitant at making such a big decision on so spur of the moment, but as with many things in our life, plunged in headfirst anyway. What a great decision that was. If I ever need to smile or have my day brightened, all I need to do is say Boaz (no, we did not re-name him after a city in Alabama) and start running to my bedroom and jump on our bed. He will race right up there beside me in a heartbeat and will be in my lap for some good ol’ cuddle time. Also, every morning whenever I wake up, I always slap the side of the bed two times, and that is his cue to jump up there for a morning snuggle before we pull ourselves out of bed to face the world (or for Boaz to go back to sleep after Ryan and I go out to face the world). Obviously, I love to snuggle. He has the easiest life ever. He eats, sleeps, poops, cuddles, plays with his toys (a destroyed rubber chicken and a teal hippopotamus), and just looks cute all day every day. He brings Ryan and me so much joy and so much entertainment. Everyone who meets him loves him. If someone ever tries to steal him, I have some prime suspects in my friend group. He has the face of the lab, body of a beagle, has the color of a golden, and the softest ears ever! Ok…enough of bragging on my child…I think I do have some of my mom in me after allJ

6)      Seeing a dear friend come to faith…
a.       I started to disciple two girls at the beginning of my fall semester (still think it terms of semesters…don’t know when that will ever stop). We spent the entire semester breaking down the gospel. I felt like a huge failure in January….the details aren’t necessary, but I was really praying through whether I should even serve in this capacity anymore. The Lord kept me there though and I am so thankful. He is so sovereign and my view of Him and His work is so small. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit was working mightily in my dear friend’s heart in calling her to surrender her life totally to Him.  She realized that she had been deceived by religion and though she had incredible knowledge of the gospel, “Christian-ese”, and of the Bible in general, she had never really submitted her life to Christ (Our stories of Christ’s work in our lives are so similar). It was 100% of the Spirit’s doing and He just chose to use me as His vessel in small ways. I got a front row seat to watch the transformation process that went on in this girl’s life and let me say, redemption in action is a beautiful thing. I may try to have her recount her story on here one day…

7)      The Lord was faithful to humble the proud…
a.       This painful pruning process started when a dear friend who has discipled me ever since I came to faith my sophomore year of college asked me “What sin am I currently struggling with?” I shudder to admit this, but my sinful self-struggled to find an answer. Can you believe it? This lack of awareness of the overt sin in my life came from a proud heart, let me tell you. And, God was faithful to humble this proud heart by revealing the depths of my sin in a way this girl will never forget. The details of the situation are personal, so I will respectfully withhold those, but in a nutshell, I said a lot of mean-spirited and hurtful things to women that I greatly respect. These comments came from a proud heart. My sin being exposed to women that I greatly respected was embarrassing, shameful, and it….hurt. At the time, I would have given anything to go back in time and erase what I said so that my sin would not have had to be exposed and I could have tried harder to keep it under wraps, but now I see the beauty in not being able to. God does not want me to try harder to squelch my sin, but wants to instead completely rid me of it and transform me more into the image of His Son. This experience was traumatic for me. It hurt. It burned. It left scars. But I am so thankful for the scars because the scars are what serve as a reminder for me that I never want to go back to this point again. I still struggle with not being proud when it comes to this specific area, but I have a really inflamed and ugly red mark that continually humbles me whenever my foot begins to slip. Grace and forgiveness are good. So are scars.

8)      “[Insert Explicative], that’s over where I stay!” –moving guy
a.       Our moving guy uttered those hilarious words whenever he asked us the address of our new home across town. The day had finally come. We were finally able to move into the house that we are currently renting from the C’s. Many a weekends, many a volunteers, and many a prayers went into this day and it was finally here! We moved the week of my last Spring Break ever. My daddy is a saint. He drove over to Birmingham and spent the week with us to aid in this moving process. We were trying to save Ryan’s vacation time for an actual vacation and there would have been no way I could have done everything by myself. Insanely busy weeks of school prior plus a pharmacy conference in New Orleans the weekend before equaled absolutely nothing being packed up in our apartment. Here is a snapshot of the week. That Sunday, our faith family came over to dedicate the house. Monday, my dad and I packed up everything. Tuesday, the movers came. Wednesday, we unpacked everything in the new house. Thursday, mom came in and worked her magic on a few curtains while dad and I decorated. Friday, our new house was a home.  Ryan and I were able to take the weekend to rest before I started back to school the following Monday. My parents are pretty amazing people. So blessed. It has been such a huge blessing to live in the area that we care for so dearly. We are blessed to live seconds away from folks in our house church, to live a block away from the middle school where Ryan plays football with neighborhood boys every Sunday, to live on a lively street where a conversation is one step out on the porch away, and to be able to build closer relationships with those we are trying to share the gospel with. I have not found my niche yet in the area meaning I have not found something to fill all my time that I can volunteer at and cross of the list (such a recovering legalist), but the Lord is teaching me to rest and just be His child living in the area looking for opportunities to serve and love His children. I feel like the Lord has used me the most by just being Ryan’s wife. Ryan brings a few boys into our home to eat dinner with us and share life in some senses and they come from homes where they do not see biblical womanhood in action. I pray I can be an example of a Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 that will serve as some kind of standard when they are pursuing girlfriends, fianc├ęs, and wives, in the future. Sure, precautions, neighborhood kids testing out our alarm system, and watching a few drug deals go down come with the territory, but WE LOVE OUR NEW HOME! Thankful that the Lord has put us here for such a time as this.

9)      After 5 years, my days of long nights, pots of coffee, and exams are finally over….
a.       Man, it never stops feeling good to write that. I finally finished the academic portion of my road to becoming a pharmacist about a week ago. Can’t believe it. I remember struggling through my undergraduate chemistry courses thinking I would never make it in to pharmacy school much less finish the academic portion of my pharmacy career. All I have remaining until I become a pharmacist are 9 month long rotations and 1 final research project. I really don’t know what life will look like with me not having to study. I never had the normal college experience. I gave up sororities and spontaneity for pharmacy. Can’t say if I think it was worth it yet, but it at least feels good to hit this milestone that I have been striving after for so long. I have longed for normalcy for 5 years, but I don’t think I will find it now that I am done, nor do I think I want it when I really sit down to think about it. My greatest desire is for the Lord to use me in whatever way he sees fit and from my experience thus far and the experiences I have drawn upon from others, a life laid out as a blank check on the table for Him to use as He sees fit is far from normal. I pray I will have more time to invest in pursuing biblical womanhood and that motherhood will be on the distant, (yet not so distant) horizon. Ready for those experiences as well and I have more than paid my dues to pharmacy.

10)   The Nations…
a.       Number 10 is last, but definitely not least. The Lord has been preparing Ryan and me for long-term missions ever since the summers we spent away in Basque Country, Spain, and Senegal, Africa. Our first year of marriage has been no different in terms of the preparation process. We have thrown around so many different ideas to each other. We are open to a lot and are still waiting on direction. We have considered being mission mobilizers or church planters in the states, working with unreached people groups that the Lord has settled on US soil, and yet we still can’t squelch the desires in each of our hearts to go to the least reached of the world who have no access to the gospel and share with them the good news of Jesus Christ. Though we have a hazed picture in our minds of the future with some parts of the picture being clearer than others, we are continuing to walk forward. We are going to start the application process with mission agencies and a non-profit agency that helps pay off medical student loans while serving overseas early this summer. We can always prolong the process of going overseas, but can never speed it up. A lot of things will determine when and if we can go and we are fully confident that our heavenly father is sovereign over them all. He knows how everything will work out even though we feel totally in the dark about it and we have been promised that it will be for our good and His glory. We ask for your fervent prayers in this process and to be prepared for plans to change and then change again because that has definitely been the road we have been walking on thus far and don’t expect it to change any time soon. So, #10 is really a “to be continued…”

Ok, well that’s it. If I had to sum up to the 10 most influential happenings of our first year of marriage thus far, these would be them. What a crazy, sometimes hectic, sometimes re-defining, but insanely blessed year it has been. So thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a great man of faith that I both cherish and respect to walk alongside me during this journey. His very life is a gift. Thanks for reading and for caring and thanks in advance for the prayers that we hope you will lift up to the Father on our behalf! Until next time….(with my track record, you never know how long that might beJ)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections of Our Wedding Day

Is anyone else as thrilled by a wedding website, blog, TV Show, etc. as I am? Long before my own wedding day and 6 months after, I still love them all. Sit me in front of a wedding photographer's website (like the amazing Allison Lewis photography at and I will be content for hours. Yes, I am one of the guilty ones who recorded Kate and William's royal wedding and my heart often swoons for any beautiful girl in a big white dress.Weddings sure do appeal to many of my senses, but I have to sound the alarm that, at least in my personal experience, this love can soon be totally marred by sin if you allow it to be. 

Most of my struggles when planning Ryan and I's wedding were not the countless to-do lists, coming up with the guest list, planning the ceremony, etc. By far, it was so difficult to NOT become consumed by the what the world tries to sell every young bride concerning their wedding. There are sites and sites dedicated to informing you what your wedding should look like if it is going to be beautiful. When, on the contrary, biblical marriage is already the most beautiful thing ever if you ask me. God designed it, He enables you to be married, and He created it is such a way to bring Himself glory....obviously He is a big fan. (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24-25). Marriage is so wonderful because it provides another opportunity to display God's glory through you and your husband's lives together. Ephesians 5:31-32 says that marriage is patterned after Christ's covenant with His church. Christ is the bridegroom of His church. He paid a high price to redeem His bride. Your husband has the unique opportunity in marriage to love you as Christ loves His church, and you have the unique opportunity to submit to your husband as to Christ. You were created with separate needs that fit perfectly in tune with Christ's design of marriage. Men were created with a need for respect and you were created with a need to be loved. "Marriage is patterned after Christ's covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. and therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and His church on display. Staying married is not mainly about staying in love then. It is about keeping a covenant. This is why divorce is so horrific in God's eyes, it is not merely that it involves covenant breaking with the spouse, but it involves mis-representing Christ and His covenant. Christ will never leave His wife. Ever. Christ keeps His covenant forever, marriage should be a display of that. Keeping  a covenant with our spouse is as important as telling the truth about God's covenant with us through Jesus Christ. Jesus died for sinners. He forged a covenant with us. He made an imperfect bride perfect through his blood and covered her with the garments of righteousness. He said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Matt. 28:10). Marriage is meant by God to put this gospel reality on display to the world. That's why we are married." (John Piper; This Momentary Marriage).

For the world who does not embrace this reality and the purpose that Christ brings to marriage, it is no wonder that they clings so tightly to the wedding celebration itself. Why wouldn't you try to have the biggest, the flashiest, spend the most money, impress the most people, etc. if your wedding's only purpose is to celebrate yourself. So, if you are a Christian preparing for your wedding day, this should bring you a lot of hope. The wedding day pressure is off. You are free from what the world tells you to do or to have. Create a celebration that will bring God the most glory and will be a lovely day for you and your husband to look back on and recount the blessing and responsibility of marriage. What is going to go on that day is already going to be God-ordained beautiful-ness. It is already going to have great purpose. This should be the message that you proclaim to your guests. You don't have to prove that you are the best wedding planner ever by filling their tummies with the most scrumptious food, or providing the best atmosphere for them to get down on the dance floor, etc.

I have tons of other observations and advice based on the things I did right and did totally wrong, so message me for details or lets grab coffee:-)

Ok, the point of this post was to showcase some of my favorite wedding pictures, but as you can see I am making a quick habit of rambling, so here we go. 

Disclaimer: This day was not as perfect as it may seem through pictures. Heck, my pictures aren't even perfect. I have to daily keep my perfectionist self in check from not picking apart my pictures. You may see beautiful, but my eye always seems to find the dress hanger tag that came out during Ryan and I's first dance, the strand of hair that came out after the ceremony, and the bulging vein on my forehead shining so brightly in most of my pictures outside. You probably would never know that I had major breakdown the morning of my wedding after a sleepless night and a no-show make-up artist. I spent a lot of time creating an outdoor garden game area that was never used, my caterer overbooked and sent the "rookie" staff to cover my wedding, and my photographer forgot she had ever met me prior to the wedding day morning. But ya know what? Nobody probably noticed, cared, or thought twice about it. I am the only one who can ruin the memories that I have by dwelling on the small and insignificant details. Way more went right than went wrong and I often fail to give those things the credit they deserve. We had an absolutely incredible day! The gospel was presented through our ceremony, family and friends gathered to support us as we made a covenant in marriage to one another and to the Lord, we danced the night away (Yes, even some of the Baptists), and I was able to drive out of the church parking lot that night married to the man who surpasses my fallen dreams. He is truly evidence of the Lord's undeserved and unmerited blessing in my life and I am so blessed to be his wi-Fee's. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we do. 

We waited one year to see if we could be married here! It was definitely love at first site when we stumbled across this beauty. Since we were non-members, we had to wait 6 months before we could book with them. I called the church January 9 at 8am and everything ended up working out!

Would love to remember what I was thinking here...

This picture turned out so organic...Love!

My Grandmother made home-made peach preserves as our wedding favors...such a sweet and meaningful touch.

I understand nothing about architecture, but this is just cool:-)

I may be a little biased since these are my new precious cousins, but these could be some of the cutest flower girls ever!

Those are some handsome fellas'

Will is not the cooperative child when it comes to photographs...good thing he has a cute serious face!

My parents blessed me with an amazing wedding day! I could never repay them for all that they did, but thankful that I had the opportunity to give them a little token of my appreciation before I walked down the aisle.

Ryan opening his gift from me before the wedding. We decided Our parents decided that we would not see each other before the wedding, so hearing from each other in these small ways was comforting.

Finished product.

My grandmother's pie chest + our grandparent's old wedding pictures = a great way to display Ryan and I's legacy

One of my favorite wedding day elements....turned out better than I envisioned!

Ryan made a photobooth for the wedding and here were some of our props! Thanks to the amazing photography skills of Allison Lewis; this turned out to be a huge success.

On the way to meet my groom...

I love this. I feel like it depicts how I am walking away from the life I know and into a new chapter of my life...cheesy I know.

These turned out so much better than expected! Lauren Benion from Sorelle Printing did a beautiful job!

Instead of unity candles, tying ropes, or pouring sand...I opted for this!

This was a requested photograph. Ryan's grandparents have a timeless photograph of them walking down the stairs of the church they were married at in NYC and I had to have my own version.
The Kiss!

Clearly excited about what just took place...

So blessed to have all these folks stand beside us in support on our special day!

Seems very wedding-y!

Walking into our reception.

First dance to "Unfailing Love" by Jimmy Needham.

There are not many pictures circulating in the world of my dad smiling this big, so this one's a definite keeper!

Finally married!

I can say this now because he is my husband, but he pretty freakin' SEXY  and he is all mine!

"How Sweet it is to be Loved by You"

I know my dad was nervous and a little apprehensive about giving his speech, but he did an amazing job. We really appreciated his kind words.

World's best-best man speech ever!

Pi Kappa Phi's rose song!

If you know how much I love to dance, then you know how much I love this picture!

Ryan's "Nanny Jane" and one of my mother's best friends provided our assortment of pies for our pie bar!

The rain thankfully held off the entire night, but the lightning sure did make for a pretty picture!

All the single ladies...

I wish this picture could have sound attached to it! If it could, you would be hearing R. Kelly's "Bump N Grind"...priceless.

Pure Joy

We were able to share one last intimate dance after everyone was ushered out of the reception hall...such a sweet moment. Would recommend this to anybody!

Thanks to Ryan's wonderful parents...we were able to drive away in this baby!