Saturday, August 25, 2012

good advice.

Over the past few months, we have been getting LOTS of advice from different couples, mentors, families, friends, everyone.  It's been so fun to 1. see who says what... and 2. think about ALLL of these different pieces of knowledge and how we are going to work at making our own marriage work well for us.

On our RSVP cards (which I love thanks to the beautiful and talented Jill Hartline... who also has a new website coming out soon in which I can't WAIT to order from... anyways...) there is a space to put some advice for us and our marriage.  I have absolutely LOVED running to the mailbox everyday to see who is coming and also what they wrote on the back.  We also had a sweet shower at Aunt Connie's house and there were cards made ESPECIALLY for advice for us.  

We also had Grow Class at Ethos with a sweet couple, Luke and Heather, that we adore, as well as Jon and Pam Shoulders, who if I could be adopted into a family, I think I'd pick them :)... We had supper with them and man, felt so blessed and humbled by how much we are going to learn together.  We loved it.

and we ALSO have been pre-marriage counseling... which I think it so so so hilarious. We are totally textbook in some ways, and then totally random on others. I feel like I leave laughing EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. hahahaha but it's been SO fun and SO good.

(You may not care about this, and that's totally okay... but...)
Here is just a tiny glimpse of what we've been learning :)...

From Grow Class

It's okay that some things don't work for you (us)... Finding what works well for us is better than trying to fit into the 'norm' (whatever that means).

Communicate about EVERYTHING.

Even after 25 years, there are still going to be things that you learn about one another. 
(WHAT?!?... I was just BEYOND shocked at this one)

Children ask.  Adults announce.

From RSVP Cards :)

Love God together, serve together, show grace, say 'I'm sorry' and play DBC -Nick

Be kind, talk softly when you're angry, LISTEN, turn off the TV, be selfless, pray together, dream together, tell great stories, be on the SAME TEAM, build each other up -My Meredith

Always keep laughing!! -Jill and Logan

Pick your battles, COMPROMISE, some days won't be 50/50, be each others biggest supporters, and even if she says she doesn't care where to eat, she does! -Peach and Mary-Beth

Never stop having fun, never be too old or proper to play in the mud and Love Jesus well. -Jake

Hold tight to one another always and forever and live for HIM! -Phill and Sharon

Always treat and talk to each other in a respectful way! -Rufus and Donna :)

Always make time to laugh together! -Maegan and John

Pray every day for your spouse's physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional health. -Chip and Jill

Say 'I love you' every day! -Uncle Al and Aunt Linda

Laugh every day! -Katie and Matt

Live on a budget. -Josh and Katie (we loved this one!!)

God first. Then love and trust each other.  You cannot love each other too much.  -Gene and Linda

Don't get so wrapped up in the details that you forget to enjoy the moment! -Bob and Kathy

Remember not to stress the day of... no matter what happens, enjoy your day! Savor every moment and remember it's about you guys starting your journey together! -Josh and Jenny

Choose well, and stick together! -Allen and Kaye

Love, laugh, and enjoy yourself! -Steve and Nancy

and a few that we have giggled at ;)

From the mad-libs at Aunt Connie's

Keela you should: respect Andrew
Keela you should: Be a better loser (whatever...)
Keela you should: forgive first
Keela you should: trust Andrew
Keela you should: respect Andrew's family
Keela you should: chill when Andrew gets home from work, don't spew (this is real haha)

Andrew you should: respect Keela
Andrew you should: never let Keela win (whatever...)
Andrew you should: forgive first
Andrew you should: stand up for Keela
Andrew you should: respect Keela's family
Andrew you should: tuck Keela into bed

Always remember to: make up
Always remember to: love the stage of life you're in
Always remember to: take breaks and talk, share each other's friendship
Always remember to: hold hands and kiss well :)
Always remember to: keep your priorities balanced

Make time for: the little things
Make time for: getaways
Make time for: each other
Make time for: date nights

On the honeymoon you should: relax!
On the honeymoon you should: be present
On the honeymoon you should: XOXO ---thank you Stacy ;)

Never: say "you always!"
Never: criticize each other in front of each other's family
Never: go to bed angry
Never: fight in public
Never: bring up his/her past mistakes

Celebrate: your own traditions
Celebrate: each other's victories
Celebrate: EVERYTHING!!!

Anniversaries are for: reflection
Anniversaries are for: remembering why you got married
Anniversaries are for: looking back and ahead
Anniversaries are for: Celebrating

Start each day: focused on being selfless
Start each day: talking to each other

End each day: centered together, having given your best
End each day: with no hurt feelings

Happy Saturday :) Can't wait to keep learning.

Friday, August 17, 2012

way beyond blessed.

Okay there's lots to say/share/update/everything... but since school starts on Monday and that means life=CRAZY... I can only update with pictures...  We have been SO beyond SOOOO thankful/humbled/blessed/grateful for the past few weekends.  We had an amazing bridal brunch/shower in Cincinnati the first weekend in August and then TWO showers in Murray the following weekend (i'm anticipating my hand falling off from the thank-you notes haha)... All three were SO much fun (even though I wish we had slowed down a little bit more to enjoy them and take it all in) and we can't thank the wonderful people that poured so much time out enough.

Here are some of the pictures... 

Sweet little bear :) :) :)... couldn't have a weekend there without some sweet Barrett time :) :)  My parents got to come up to Cinci for Saturday and Sunday and we had a great dinner all together :) Barrett got to play in the pool outside after supper :) :)... this boy LOVES the water!

Next up, the 'Perfect Pair' shower at Aunt Connie and Uncle Larry's house!!! What a WONDERFUL day!  We felt so special and had SUCH a great time at the shower.  My Aunt is such a super hero (she had surgery on her foot a couple of months ago and STILL managed to throw the sweetest shower for us)... We were so thankful and had such a great time.

Tell me my sister isn't beautiful!... So thankful for her :) :) :)

My cousin made this cute little sign! I loved it and you can bet you'll see it on September 22 ;)

Ummmm... I think I was a little bit excited to open this baby... Tara and Stacy got us our cookware! Everytime we use it I KNOW (hope) that we will think of them... since I'm going to be cooking everyday apparently ;)

I don't even care that I look like Fatty-McSnackerson here... we were SO excited :)

My cousin had everyone invited to the shower send us a recipe from their home for us to use in OUR home... I got SUPER tired here and shed some tears.

How my Granny answers the phone yesterday: "hello? one hott momma to another"
I love her. She is beautiful from the center of her heart to the tip top of her gray hair.  

BAHHHH I LOVE THIS LITTLE GIRL SO STINKIN' MUCH!!!! She is developing the sweetest little personality and we LOVE to snuggle (she loves it too. she told me)... She smiles constantly and is the sweetest little girl. bah.

 Grady and Jeannie drove SIX HOURS to come to our shower on Saturday and then drove back for Grady to preach.  It was so cool to have them meet more of my family :) :)

Everyone who hosted/pitched in/made Saturday awesome :) :)

this is no-question my new favorite picture... my sister is so beautiful!!! :) :) :)

Sweet family!! I love this picture! :) :) :)

my home church, Glendale, had a shower for us on Sunday :)

everything about this picture makes me laugh... 1. i'm like a ghost. 2. andrew is nervous about breaking that dish. 3. tara is looking oddly at the camera. 

FINALLY!!! A good picture of both of us !!! :) :) :) Meri took a double-dip in helping out with showers this weekend :) :) We love her and her family so much and are so blessed by their friendship! :)

Happy Friday and...
-6 days since Andrew moved into our new home
3 days until school starts
4 days until the first Gathering
29 days til I move in our apartment
36 days til married life begins

much more to come soon :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


If there is one thing that GOD has been teaching me/shaping me/reminding me/showing me/SCREAMING at me lately... it is the importance of COMMUNITY!!!!!!

I feel like over and over in the past few months, God has completely been revealing the importance of living in harmony and community with one another and surrounding yourself with men and women that are seeking the Lord and obeying His will.  I feel like I could literally babble for hours about the small (and huge) ways that God has been showing me this and how thankful I am that He has been revealing Himself.

I have been spoon-fed great community for years now and this is the first time, really, in my life that community isn't (literally) just waiting in the living room, or downstairs, or on campus, or at the dinner table.  It's the first time in my life where God has completely been showing me that community isn't just something that is waiting for YOU to show up to, but a blessing that God may put on your heart to create, pour into, or give your heart to.  

We were created to live in community with one another.  We were created (I believe) to be in the lives of other people and share in the blessings, hardships, mountain-top times, and valley's of life.  I believe that we were created to share and encourage and challenge and learn from the people in our lives and I firmly feel so blessed by the calling to community lately.  

I'm thankful today.  Thankful for community and thankful that the Holy Spirit is truly convicting me, and showing me and Andrew, that we NEED that community.  We need people cheering us on and we NEED to be cheering others to thrive and flourish.  

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
-Acts 2

Maybe I'm taking this passage out of context, kinda, but I just have been thinking about it lately and really want to strive and learn to be more like this.  We need the people around us.  We need people on our team.  We are called to be in the lives of others and I'm thankful for that.

Sorry if this was a tangent...
Happy Wednesday (and only 45 days 'til I become the wife of Andrew) to all :) :)