Monday, November 30, 2009

6 months ago...

My loving husband,

In the grand scheme of things, 6 months is a very small amount of time. But in these past 6 months, we've become family, created a home, adopted a furbaby, and fallen more in love than we were the day we said "I do."

6 months ago today, we vowed to be together for the rest of our lives. That promise will always be the strongest vow in our marriage, yet at our weakest moment. 6 months ago was the day that I loved you the least, the way it should be. Our new life together has made my love for you grow and multiply in new ways that I never would have expected.

I want you to know that I always appreciate all of the help you give at home. Even though you take care of everything on the outside of our home, you never hesitate to help me out inside too. I appreciate all your hard work and willingness to pitch in so that we can finish up our chores faster and spend more relaxing time together.

I love our date nights. I think one thing that has kept our relationship strong over the years is that we have never stopped dating each other. We always make time to talk about everything, important and unimportant. Our regular dates to spend time one-on-one make it much easier to talk to you about the "big stuff" when it comes around. It's so much easier to get through stressful situations because we hold nothing back.

When we are 65 and looking back, I hope we do not remember the years. I hope we do not remember the months. My hope is that we remember the moments that have made our life together already so special. The moment we danced in our empty living room on move-in day. The moment that we first laid eyes on each other through a window on our wedding day. The moment of sadness on our last night in Mexico. The moment I called you screaming because of a silly centipede in the bathroom. Our moments of laughter. Our moments of tears.

I hope that we do remember our "off" times, so that we can appreciate our "on" times so much more. Although the days that we are "off" certainly do not reveal my proudest moments, they make me realize how wonderful our "on" days really are. I hope that we will always have more "on" days than "off."

So I just wanted to tell you that today, on our 6 month anniversary, will be one of the days that I will love you the least in our many years ahead. But at this point, it's a day that I love you the most. We've had quite an eventful first 6 months of marriage, and I can only continue to look forward to what the future will bring.

I love you!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy 26th Birthday, my sweet and loving husband.

I'm so incredibly proud of you and all of your accomplishments.  You never cease to keep following your dreams:

You always know how to bring life to any situation.

May your special day be filled with as much love and laughter as you bring to me every day.  I love you more than I can ever explain to you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top 10

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with lots of love and safe travels. This is the time of year that we begin to reflect on the past year and the things we are most thankful for. I've decided to name my top 10 "most thankful" things for 2009:

10. Riley is still a happy, healthy, beautiful little girl. She is learning so much!
9. I married the most incredible man in May.
8. I get to spend this Thanksgiving with just my parents, sister/brother-in-law/niece, and husband this year.
7. I get to use my college degree and work with children starting next week!
6. Jason and I have created a beautiful home that we have been dreaming about for a long time.
5. I have learned a lot of valuable lessons this year.
4. Fenway brings a lot of laughter and love into our lives.
3. My HEALTHY parents, and their willingness to help at any given moment.
2. My wonderful friends, that I get to spend a lot of time with over the holidays.
1. All of YOU! My fabulous bloggy buddies! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Random Tidbits

  • I'm really excited about Thanksgiving this year. We have chosen just to make Thanksgiving about Mom, Dad, Ashley, Adam, Riley, Jason and I this year. Yay for pjs, games and movies all day! We will definitely be well rested to hit the ground running on Friday morning!

  • My paperwork is complete and I start my new job on December 2!! I'm so ready to move on, I hate the limbo stage of wrapping up at one place and waiting to start another.

  • Jason gave me a huge surprise and is taking me to see The Nutcracker in Louisville in December! I'm so excited, because his mom bought us tickets to see the Christmas special of the Rockettes in Nashville too! I've always wanted to see the Rockettes, so I'm really excited. I've seen the Louisville Ballet perform before, but this is a brand new production, and I can't wait to see what changes are going to be made.

  • My bestie that is in NYC to follow her dreams as a Broadway star comes home to visit TONIGHT!!! I can't wait to see her, and hear all about her new job! That's right ladies, my BESTEST friend is a part of the Clurman Singers and will perform at CARNEGIE HALL in April. I'm so proud of her, and cannot wait to see her!!!

  • My house is FULLY decorated for Christmas now, and I plan on sharing pictures with you all soon.

  • Update: I have been terrible about this update, but wanted to let you all know since you were so wonderful to lift up prayers. Mom's episode in October was ruled by an epileptic specialist that she did NOT have a seizure. Thank goodness!! He feels confident that it was a spell of sudden drop in blood pressure or blood sugar, and gave her some diet adjustments to help with that. She had a couple of other small tests run as well, but thank goodness we aren't facing anything major anymore. Thank you all so much for your prayers and concern.

  • I have taught Riley to say "peace out." I find it quite comical.

  • Jason and I ordered our Christmas cards last week! Want one? E-mail me! We have a large amount of leftovers based on our current list, since you can only order in increments of 25 (and of course, we were 4 over.)

  • My husband rocks. I sent a "to-do" list for us to organize what needed to be done before the arrival of his parents this past weekend for him to add anything I left out. This was a to-do list that we were going to work on together when I got home from work. He got off work early, and had the entire list completed for me so that I could relax all evening. What a great husband!

  • My dog thinks my pillow is his now. He has a new found desire to wrap himself around my head for about 15 minutes each night before he jumps down to get in his own bed, on the floor.

Happy SHORT week everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Great News!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you've imagined."
I must say, I've always felt extremely blessed. I have a wonderful, tight-knit family, a beautiful home with a husband to share it with, the world's most beautiful niece, and the world's cutest dog. But today, I was given even more blessings.
I'm so excited you guys! I have been so ready to tell you that I have found a job that I will actually USE my college degree!!!
I've been offered a wonderful opportunity as a Behavioral Health Specialist! I'm very excited to begin working with children and really using what I studied so hard for. It was bittersweet letting my boss and co-workers know that I would be leaving, but I know that this is the right thing to do.
The best part about this job is that I will have the opportunity to join a reimbursement program for my Master's degree! I'm thrilled that I'm going to get the chance for my Master's program, education is just SO expensive! My parents were extremely generous by providing me with an undergraduate education, so I'm excited to put it to use as well and take it a step further. What a blessing that I will be able to do something that Jason and I otherwise wouldn't be able to afford at this time.
I just wanted to share my exciting news today, and I will definitely keep you all up to date on the new adventures I'm about to encounter!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sugar Doll!

Emily, over at show me Your way, gave me this really adorable award over the weekend! I just love Emily's blog, she is such a sweetheart! She writes about the most genuine things about the thoughts that run through her head during her very stressful college years. I can relate to some of her posts so well, and it is nice to know that someone else experiences the same struggles that I do sometimes!
The directions are to post this award, write 10 interesting things about yourself, and pass it along to 10 other fabulous bloggers!

1. I already know exactly how I'm going to tell Jason, and our families that we are expecting. (No, we aren't expecting yet, and don't plan to for a while. But I still know exactly how we are going to break the news.)
2. I have no idea what my natural hair color is anymore. It's been every *standard* hair color under the sun since high school.
3. I'm much better explaining myself to people by e-mail, text, letter, or any other form of "written" communication.
4. I once flung a hot dog at my sister's head because she made me mad. In the 5th grade, I wrote a poem about it, and submitted it for my portfolio.
5. I'm not ashamed to admit that I am ridiculously afraid of the dark. I can finally sleep with the lights off now that I'm married and don't sleep alone anymore.
6. I look at my wedding pictures all the time, but never once have I wished to re-live that day.
7. Although I truly believe no man will ever love me more than my husband, I feel the most loved when Riley gives me a hug.
8. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason, but I've never truly understood it until this year.
9. I sing extremely loudly in the car to some of the most embarrassing music ever (including Miley Cyrus).
10. I have to drink a Dr. Pepper by 9:30 a.m., or I have a headache for the rest of the day. My caffeine addiction is bad, I know.

I would like to pass this along to ALL of you, because I love reading the random statements about everyone! I think the random tidbits are often the most intriguing, hilarious facts that people can come up with! I love each and every one of you, and you all deserve this one! So get to it now! :)

Thanks again, Emily! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


"Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself." Harriet Nelson
My quote of the day on my iPod has been very (creepily) accurate lately!
Over the course of my high school and college careers, I have learned that forgiveness is truly for your own healing. Although forgiveness can create peace in a situation, the best peace you gain from it is peace within your own heart. It's hard work to hold animosity and bitterness in your heart about any situation. It's hurtful, it's exhausting, and it's time consuming. Why should we continue to dwell on negative incidents from the past when we can focus on our positive present and future? Forgiveness brings peace.
Sometimes, we must forgive others who hurt us even when they don't seek our forgiveness. Should we really hold on to hurt and struggle towards one another just because they don't see a reason for remorse? We are letting the enemy get the best of us when we will not allow ourselves peace by waiting for that apology. It may never come.
However, sometimes those apologies come long after forgiveness was given. Days, maybe even years, can pass by. This actually happened to me yesterday, and I realized that not only does forgiveness give us personal peace, but so do apologies. Of course we should seek forgiveness to admit our wrongdoings, just the way we seek forgiveness to God when we hurt him. However, I always thought an apology was mainly for the other individual. For example, when I say wrong things to my husband, I apologize and seek his forgiveness; but I always felt that I was doing it for him (gladly, but nonetheless, for him) to give him some peace and comfort that I recognize that I hurt him and want to show him that I plan to do better. I never realized that those apologies can also relieve me of my own guilt and remorse.
After a discussion with an old friend from high school yesterday, I realized that a lot was left unsaid that I never put much thought into. I forgave the actions from the incident a long time ago, and while this friend and I lost touch, I never expected an apology. An apology was owed on my end as well, but bitterness and pride prevented us from this for several years. In fact, it had been such a long time that I assumed that forgiveness had already been granted to me as well. However, when I received an apology yesterday afternoon, it was then that I realized that although we indeed had both forgiven each other, my friend felt it necessary to still apologize after all this time to relieve his own guilt and remorse.
We should always offer our remorse and apologies to our family and friends that we hurt. Unfortunately, this does not always happen for one reason or another. However, no matter how much time passes, sometimes offering forgiveness or apologies to something that has hurt us in the past might be exactly what we need to grant us a new kind of peace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trust in Your Heart

“Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.”

I wish I had found this quote years ago. I have always had issues of trusting others. Many always told me that you should always trust a person until they show that they are untrustworthy. I always viewed it to be the other way around. I have always protected my heart and my feelings from outside sources, for fear of deception. I've had many broken hearts by boys and other friends that resulted in a very careful selection of individuals to see the real me. Many of you have been with me through the journey of learning about true friendships this year, and I'm learning to be ever thankful for the beautiful ones in my life. If only it had always been so easy to trust them.

My gut always seemed right when it told me not to trust someone. Why is it always so difficult to go with your gut? Because I didn't trust it either. I wasn't trusting God to grant me the wisdom to avoid hurtful situations. Learning to trust God to put me where I needed to be was always a difficult lesson. Friendships, relationships, jobs, school, etc. require constant trust in God to keep you where you need to be.

Thank goodness for my two best friends you all hear me talk about so much. If they hadn't embraced my weakness for trust, I wouldn't have those two today. I spent so much time pushing them away during our first few years of friendship it is a miracle that we are the friends we are today. They accepted me for who I am, and because of that I have learned who to trust-and who not to.

Trusting God in my male relationships was the hardest thing to do. Jason and I have a very interesting route to our marriage. He and I met while I was dating another guy that I felt very strongly for. Meeting Jason opened up an entirely different world of friendships and experiences that our friendship quickly grew into something more. I found it very difficult to trust the instinct of a much healthier relationship, and actually reconsidered my decision with my previous boyfriend shortly after Jason and I began dating. We split ways, but remained close friends. The next few months were extremely confusing and difficult, and I finally had no choice but to give in and trust God to show me where I needed to be. Were either of these men for me to marry? Should I walk in a completely different direction? It wasn't long after I chose to completely give up all control in that situation when my eyes were opened-just in time for Christmas.

During this confusing time, I knew that I still wanted to do something small and special for Jason, even if we were only friends. I chose to find a vinyl album to add to his collection, but left it in his vehicle while working one day. That very night, I was supposed to have dinner and celebrate Christmas with the other corner to my confusing triangle. That evening, I received a hat from his favorite baseball team, and a sweatshirt from his college (that I did not attend). I was so upset, but tried not to show it. It wasn't the gift. It was the knowledge that he put zero thought into this time together, and I was very hurt by it. A few days later, after the English class Jason and I shared that semester, he gave me a small Christmas gift: two beautiful ballerina Christmas ornaments to go with my collection that my mother had so lovingly worked on creating over the years. It was that very moment that I knew exactly where I wanted to be, and who God wanted me to marry.

Learning that level of trust has given me so many opportunities to know when I should and should not trust others. It is still a very difficult task for me with new friendships, but I feel that I am still learning. I have learned to keep God right in my heart where he belongs, and to trust my heart when it tells me something. "God will never deny you of a blessing, only to give you something better."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Of Course Not!

Before I get started, baby Stellan and his whole family need your prayers this morning. He was set for a serious surgery tomorrow, but the circumstances have required that they bump it up to now. If you feel driven to do so, pray for them today. Go here to read more about this story.

I'm not doing a Not Me! Monday this week, because I want to show you all the beginnings of one large "not me" that began this weekend. I did not start decorating my house for Christmas this weekend! I know, I know, it's crazy early. Jason and I intended on waiting until after Thanksgiving, but after reviewing our chaotic holiday schedule, that would mean waiting until only be a week or two before Christmas. Since I've decided to do more than just a tree, I really don't want to spend all that time working on it, only to take it down a couple of weeks later. We are one of those weird families that takes their decorations down pretty ASAP after Christmas day. So we began. The tree is not up yet, we plan on doing that this coming weekend or the next, depending on plans.

Anyway, I wanted to share photos with you all!

Our mantle:

Close up shot of one side of the mantle. That black mini-pedestal that the large ornament is sitting on will be spray painted silver in the next few days, so that it blends more.

The large ornament. I found this at Target, how cute is that!
The other side of the mantle. I LOVE that tree! Our console table in the living room:
Coffee table:
Side table between the couch and loveseat. I'll try to post a whole room shot once the mess is all cleaned up and the decorating is finished.
In the foyer, we have put up a small tree that is really special. Each year, my Mom has always bought Christmas ornaments for us, and my "theme" was ballerinas, since I danced until I graduated high school. Eventually, we could no longer find any ballerina ornaments that were my style or already owned. So she switched it up to snowflakes, and now on to the bright colors that we have chosen, but these ballerinas will always be very special to me. I decided that these ornaments needed a special tree of their own, so we put it in the foyer:
My Nutcrackers surround it. I performed in the Nutcracker for many years, and it is one of my favorite shows.
There you have it! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wishful Wednesday

(In my best game show voice) From Kelsey's blog, it's time for:

This week, I wish I would relive my honeymoon over and over again.
If you want to read more details about our trip, click here and here. For now, I'll leave you with some of my favorite photos. We loved this resort, and we can't WAIT to plan a trip back as soon as we can! You can't beat the Aventura Spa Palace, or all of the FUN things that came along with our all-inclusive package!

I feel like I'm cheating this week, since I talked about ASP for my Wishful Wednesday vacation segment as well. But NOTHING beat a full week in paradise with my husband to unwind from all of the chaos that our wedding caused! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween in Pictures

For Halloween, we kicked off the celebration with a viewing of "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" with Mom, Dad, Ash, Adam, and of course, Riley. Riley decided to wear my scarf for part of the day, and play with Fenway:
Riley and my Dad in the floor with Fenway:
Jason and I gave Riley some candy, but also a really cool book that does a "spooky laugh" when you open it. She LOVED it.
My sister made a dirt cake as a special "Trick-or-Treat."
Riley's ADORABLE costume: A sock monkey ballerina! She LOVES monkeys.
Look at that little tail!
My Mom and Me in the front yard.
Riley and her parents, aka my sister and brother in-law. Aren't they precious?
We went to eat with my parents, and were going to go with Ashley and Adam to show Riley off to grandparents and family friends, but Jason wasn't feeling well so we came on home. After a while, he started to feel better, so he carved Riley's pumpkin for her to have when she got home.
Scooby Doo! Riley picked out the design herself with Jason, and was so cute sitting next to it after her very eventful night!
And I just couldn't resist. At first, Fenway was going to be a banana. But the costume didn't fit. So we took it back, and decided not to dress him up. I went to Wal-Mart Halloween morning, and they had some costumes already marked down. I couldn't resist. My little clown!
He HATED this costume. Check out the video of him trying to escape the evil hat! So funny! And his butt looks HUGE since he is so fluffy! HAHA! Hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween weekend!