Thursday, May 24, 2012

the getaway.

In honor of our first year of marriage and due to a lot of generosity from some special people in our lives, we got to take a quick beach trip over our anniversary to celebrate. 

It was so sweet to get away, lay on a beach, eat good food, and be with my man. 
We spent a lot of time reflecting on how undeniably blessed we have been throughout this past year. 
Just a few things from our long, long list that we made..

A free to us wedding. That was perfect. And such a celebration.
A free place to stay for the first 6 months of being married. 
Getting to spend the first 6 months of marriage around our families, whom we adore. 
Perfect jobs that were provided for us during our time in Charlotte.
The overwhelming generosity we have experienced from so many people that love us well. 
Immediate genuine community upon moving up to Virginia.
A job that Brian truly feels called to. A place where we can use our marriage for ministry. 

This time was such a breath of fresh air, and such a reminder of the promise that our Lord truly desires good for those who serve Him and are called according to His purposes. Have we been perfect this year in serving Him? No. Has He been perfect in fulfilling His promises? Yes.
That is the God we serve, people. Grace. Mercy. Abounding love. Never ending. Amen. 

Never ending coffee and the most delish breakfast at the quaint little Bed & Breakfast we stayed at. 

Homemade pasta salad and halfsies on a $5 footlong. Just keeping it real and in the budget.

Solo shots. That's how we do when we are on our anniversary trip and don't feel like talking to people.

We were so thankful for this time together, even though it was a quick trip. I never, ever regret taking time to get out of the everyday routine and get intentional with my better half.  It makes me better, it makes him better, it makes our marriage better. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

year one.

This year has been the most fun, adventurous, fast, loving, beautiful, imperfect, perfect year of my life. A year ago today I married my best friend and I can honestly say that I love that man so much more today than I did a year ago.

I've learned so much about who I am as a women, and as a child of God through my marriage. I have seen good sides of myself and I have seen really, really ugly sides. I've experienced more grace and forgiveness than I deserve. 

My marriage pushes me to Jesus, and really, what more could I ask for? It isn't always pretty, actually it rarely is, but it is sanctifying and it is real and it's more than I could have ever imagined. 

I've grown to love this role I am in. I love getting to cook dinner and make a home that my husband loves to return to. I love that I am the one that gets to encourage Brian and remind him that he has what it takes. I love that I get to stand beside him through this journey that we are on. I love getting to play the supporting role. 

I cannot wait to see what year 2 holds for us. A new country, a new job, a new community. I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else. 

Pictures by Jenna Thomas

Monday, May 21, 2012


This weekend was a good one. 
One thing we LOVE about living near DC is that people love to come visit and stay with us. And really, there is nothing we love more than hosting people in our home. 
On this particular weekend we had my cousin Adam and his sweet girlfriend Liz stay with us. We had a ton of fun and laughed harder than I've laughed in a long time. 

We also took a roadtrip to Brian's Alma Mater, the Virginia Military Institute, for an engagement party of some good friends of ours. It was a beautiful day to roadtrip, and there was nothing but rolling mountains and fields for days on either side of us. Backroads, windows down, music loud: the best kind of drive.

It was so sweet to be back at this place that holds so many memories, good and bad, for Brian and I.

Like driving that 3 1/2 hour drive more times than I can count throughout college.
Like dreading Sunday afternoons when we would have to part ways for the next 2 weeks, 2 months, however long it might be. 
Like making trips to the next town over so Brian could take off his uniform and hold my hand. 
And mostly Lexington Coffee Shop, where I simultaneously fell in love with my husband and with coffee. 

(this totally looks like a recruitment ad.. Brian calls this "the power stance")

We loved getting to be in Lexington to celebrate our sweet friends that are getting married. We are big fans of marriage over here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the graduate

Brian graduated yesterday from the Basic School, the 6 month long officer course that brought us to Virginia. I could not be more proud of how hard and diligently this man works to be the best he can be and bring God glory in all that he does. His work ethic and determination challenge me to be better. 

We were so blessed to have BOTH sets of our parents here to celebrate with us along with Brian's oldest brother, Evan. We all got a glimpse into Brian's crazy days of TBS during family day.

After shooting guns and being awesome all day, we got all spiffied up for graduation. And let's just be honest with ourselves, there is nothing better than a man in uniform.

So proud of you Brian. You are going to do huge things for God's glory during your time in the Marine Corps. It's an honor to be your wife and stand beside you through this journey. You are the real deal.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


22 was a big year for me y'all. Well, more specifically May 2011 was a big month for me. In one month I turned 22, graduated college, and married the love of my life. Pretty much every big milestone within 2 weeks. So 23 has a lot to live up to. But, considering we will be moving across the world to start a new life together-- I think 23 will do just fine for itself.

I really love birthdays, like a lot. I love celebrating people, being with the ones I love most, and mostly I just love eating cake. I didn't have huge expectations for this birthday considering Brian had an overnight and couldn't come home that night, and many of my friends are packing up to move away. But y'all, my husband and my friends are awesome. They went all out and made me feel so special, loved, and honored. I am really blessed.

I woke up to the sweetest card from Brian with a gift card to treat myself to some glorious iced Starbees. My friend Kate brought me lunch and took my to my favorite coffee shop to get my favorite iced latte (see a trend here? The way to my heart, people..). I had a relaxing afternoon watching Netflix and eating strawberries with whipped cream.  Then dinner with some of my fave ladies followed by cake and fun times back at another friends house. The night ended with a good ole slumber party since all of our husbands were gone for the night and everyone knows I hate sleeping alone :)

I love these ladies A LOT. 

They even made me my FAVE, funfetti!

I got to celebrate with my man the day after my birthday when I ate my weight in sushi in honor of our big Japanese move coming up. I felt good about that. 

Thank you for all the phone calls, texts, cards, FB messages, tweets, instagrams, dutch ovens (thanks ERIN!), etc. etc. You guys rule and I'm just so blessed that I get to live the life I live. 

Here's to 23! Yee-haw!