Saturday, May 16, 2015

Quick Takes Friday (on a Saturday) [vol. 20]

seven quick takes friday 2

Happy weekend, friends!! It's a rainy day here but the temps are climbing to the 80's today so I'm going to order some sunshine and some outdoor time this afternoon!!

What's new with you? How was your week? Here's what I've been up to in pictures...


Don't mind my loooong didn't look like that in the square instagram camera, haha!!
My dad invited me to a coffee date this morning!! So beautiful to have this one-on-one time
as his single daughter before I become his married daughter! He is amazing, so blessed
to have such a solid father in my life. I know his love and support are what helped keep me
on the right path in life-- in education and career decisions, in my spiritual life, and even
in chastity-- I knew I was loved by my dad and did not need to seek it in unhealthy ways
from other men. Thank you, Jesus, for this gift.


Baby K is peeking through the front of the's like a Where's Waldo picture but I'm giving you the hint.
My sister and I took her three littles to our town's lilac festival last weekend! I'm treasuring these purposeful moments with friends and family. And I really can't get enough of my always-joyful nephews and niece.


Speaking of lilacs, I received this one five years ago at the first festival I went to. It was the same year I moved out of my parents' home into my apartment (fresh from a broken engagement, too). I planted it and cared for it these last several years and this is the FIRST year it BLOOMED!! What a beautiful gift to have it bloom the year I'm getting married. If you're struggling, don't give up! Keep hoping, keep persevering, keep watering your will bloom for you. God is at work in the soil. 


Enjoying my last days of coffee on this deck in the morning. Oh, the memories at this sweet little place!!

--5-- of joys...

The front porch of our new home! 

I'll have a new coffee place in a month!


Lots of burlap, lace, and chalkboards. Thanks, Pinterest!

I'm so done with society's expectations of a wedding. As we near our day, I'm grateful we choose to do a lot of things ourselves. It added memories and subtracted costs. :) And though it's been tough to swim against the current of the wedding industry, there's a sweet joy in focusing on simplicity and the Sacrament of marriage. Here's a sample picture of our reception table decorations (on my carpet instead of the linen tablecloth ;) ). 


The babies are just chilling out on their "deck" to the left of the nest.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my posts of this robin's nest and babies! The nest was just outside my sliding door, so I had the most fun watching all the stages of this life cycle-- from the momma on her eggs to the babies outgrowing their nest! What a miracle! Yet another delight during my last spring here...a small gift from my Heavenly Father, perhaps.


Thought I'd share a peek of our engagement pictures. We had a lot of fun with these! I'm so happy with our photographer! 

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Why, hello there

Helloooo, my precious blog friends!!! And happy Friday night! It's been too long.

I think I'm back. And here to stay for awhile.

It's not that life was horrible and I needed to hide. It's not that life was all flowers and chocolate and I didn't think about you. I think I just needed a break.

But my fingers are itching for the keys and my heart is wanting your friendship again.

So I'm here. I can't fit all the details of the weeks into a single post (nor do I want to! That would be an exhausting read for you!), but I can tell you it's been a crazy, beautiful ride these months of engagement. And if I were to summarize it into one sentence, you know what one I'd choose?

I really need a Savior.

Isn't that a crazy sentence to describe an engagement? But it's so true! Because as P. and I have walked this new path together, I've realized it all comes back to Christ. When the going is good and life is brimming with joy and's all the more sweeter to remember the Giver and the purpose He has for our marriage. The joy is multiplied when we invite Him in, and when we work together for His people. And when the going gets tough, I can step back and remember that marriage isn't mean to make us happy, it's meant to make us holy (Thank you, Sacred Marriage!). And that involves some serious sanding of rough edges, let me tell you. Both of us have grown already during these seven's actually really awesome to look back and see it over such a short period of time.

Our engagement season has been anything but perfect. And in our secular culture, there's an overwhelming amount of pressure that both the engagement and the wedding must be perfect. (Funny they don't seem to focus on the marriage part, though...). But guys...though our engagement season wasn't perfect, it has been absolutely beautiful.

Because I see how we grew through trials. We chose love time and time again. We held each other up in stress, grief, and fatigue. We learned more about sacrificial love. We honed our communication skills in the big decisions and discussions (like house hunting!). We held on to each other and let go of what wasn't important-- including the culture's expectations of engagement and weddings. It was messy. It was funny. It was difficult and exciting and overwhelming and fun. And so, so beautiful. Because grace is written all over it. Every moment.

Our wedding is two weeks from today. I don't know if it's all going to come together (I hope so!) but I do know God will be there. Marriage is going to take all three of us. And I couldn't be more grateful (or excited!) to be vowing faithfulness to the one I love, knowing he will lead me closer to the Heavenly One I love.

(It's midnight and I'm headed to a local festival in the morning with my sister and her littles, so I am off to bed! Next time I'll try to share some of the fun the house we closed on today! Rest in His love tonight!)