Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My first "What I wore" Wednesday: Chambray Shirt edition

I probably won't always do this (but maybe I will if it motivates me to dress cuter). But I love seeing the outfits that several bloggers post on Wednesday

And I'm in love with my new chambray shirt. I asked for one for Christmas but didn't get one bc they sold out. I finally found one on sale at Very Jane and it came it and I was so eager to wear it that I had to create a way to wear it to work.  I actually love it.  One of my goals this year was to learn how not to be matchy-matchy (rememebr my 30 by 30 goal of wear black and brown together???)  I think the chambray makes the wintery wool skirt seem a little springier, perfect for these in between days in late feb/early march.

PS this was pre- hair and makwup so ignore me and notice my new shirt instead!

Top: Very Jane
Jacket: Ann Taylor Loft
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Wedge Heals: from Judy's shoes, can't remember the name!
Neclace: Target

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random updates

I recognize that I have not posted in forever... I will try to do better. I know update posts can be boring, but I decided to give you an update list before returning to "regularly scheduled programming" :)

(1) I was so stressed Friday night for tons of different reasons...and stress makes my rosecea worse and I was upset about that too which wasn't helping matters.  Dave kept craking annoying jokes and I was so annoyed...until I realized what he was doing -- trying to make me laugh and calm down. He wanted me to quit stressing out and was trying to help the only way he knew how to. I sure am crazy about him. What a good guy. 

(2) I really liked Safe Haven, surprisingly.  I wanted to see it but thought it would be one of those movies I wanted to see and then didn't like. I liked it.  Dave was a trooper and sat through it - and actually enjoyed it, I think. It kindof has a fun twist which makes it more entertaining.  Certainly not a top ten movie, but worth a cold rainy friday night for sure.

(3)Isn't it great how God sometimes knows exactly what you need? Dave and I were scheduled for a jam packed weekend - I worked all day Saturday, then we were going to the Charity Ball with my family and then spending the day in the country Sunday with his family.  Then we had car trouble and had to spend a few hours replacing a part (okay, I just held the flashlight) and missed the Ball and ended up staying in town all sunday....

........and it was glorious! literally, best weekend in awhile. We have been grumpy with eachother with the stress of his job hunt and the wedding and marriage and we both agreed that a day curled up watching tv and movie and doing laundry and grocery shopping and researching san fran and stopping by the bookstore and cooking ahead for the week was WONDERFUL.  A day not stressing was just what I needed and God reminded me how blessed I am to be marrying sweet Dave. He truly is my favorite person to do anything or nothing with....and it was nice to have a day just being us, not reading about marriage or planning a wedding or looking up jobs.

(4) Wedding planning can be stressful. I am about to the point where all the big decisions are made and I am going to hand the rest off to my wedding planner and say, have fun.  I know what I like and don't like, but as far as specifics, she can make it work right?? I don't want to stress out so much that I miss the fun times with family and friends. 

(5) ARGO- best picture. Totally agree. Daniel Day Lewis - best actor. 100 percent agree with that too.  Seriously, see argo if you haven't. LOVED it and I really liked Lincoln as well.

(6) I've been back on my diet (yuck) -- I took literally a week to ten days off with family and friends in town, Vday and Mardi Gras.  I like sticking to a routine though and planning our meals ahead (I say our meals because Dave comes over for dinner maybe 3 times a week  --- he says its to see me, but I know its for the free food :) haha)  This week's menu includes: low carb chicken tacos, spaghetti (I make mine with zuchinni instead of noodles), chicken and rice/cucumbers, breakfast for dinner with turkey sausage instead of real sausage, lowcarb pizza.

(7) Before going back on my diet, I made this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Casserole (Dave loves Buffalo Chicken so I thought it would be a good fit) I actually really liked it!

You need these ingrediants:
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/3 c. hot sauce
  • 5c. red potatoes, grated w/ box grater
  • 1 c. light ranch dressing/ blue cheese
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. panko
 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Grate potatoes and lay out and pat with a paper towel to try to get some of the moisture out.
In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and buffalo sauce. Spoon into baking dish in a single layer.
In the same bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle panko evenly over the top.
Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
(8) I also discovered another yummy low carb lunch a couple sundays ago.  Pizza quesadillas.  I used a lowcarb wheat tortilla (4 net carbs) and spread a little low fat butter spread on one side and filled it with turkey sausage, parmeson and mozzerella and tomato sauce. If you have any fresh vegguies or chicken, you can add those as well.  Fold over like you would a quesadilla and cook in the skillet.  So good.  Like a healthy calzone
(9) My showers/parties are starting in less than a month...and confession: I am super excited about new clothes for these parties.  I am almost more excited about a few new sundresses than I am about my wedding dress.  Lets be honest, I will wear a new Lilly dress far more often than my wedding dress. I fully recognize that money may be tight the first year of marriage if we move and I have to take another bar exam and find a job, so I am fully enjoying the fact that I get new dresses now !!!
(10) My pillows for my new bedroom came in this week. I am super excited. Here is what it looks like.  I still have a ton to do - I want a white desk ( I found one that is a knockoff of the west elm parson's desk) and I want to paint my dresser gray (when we move)  I also need to add some artwork and get a headboard and this rug I am ordering from urban outfitters today. BUT atleast we have a start. Maybe I can get the room decor 50 percent there before I get married and we can do the rest later!
Can you tell the male influence?? I would never have guessed I would have a deer pillow on my bed, but since it will be our bed, I wanted a Dave pillow. (I am also considering one of those white deer heads from urban or west elm)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Picture Post: Valentines

Yesterday I had a fro-yo lunch date with this hunk.....

and had beautiful flowers delivered to work...

and made a yummy cake...

and had dinner cooked by a sweet man...

and most importantly, spent the day with this cute man....


Yesterday I read this article: You May or May Not Get Married.....   

I feel like you could title this article, "You may or may not have kids"  "You may or may not get into med school" "You may or may not have x job"  But even so, God is still good.

Sometimes this is hard to swallow. Sometimes the message is given flippantly by people who have no idea what it feels to miss out on something.  But its good to know- and remind ourselves-- that God still has a plan.

I like plans.  In fact I live for plans. I don't know what kind of love language that qualifies me for under the "5 love languages" but knowing Dave is making birthday dinner plans for me is almost more important than the actual plans. When he takes time to look up hotels, etc for our honeymoon, I feel special - not because of the trip per se, but because he is planning for me!  Likewise, when a friend makes plans to see me, as opposed to just dropping by, I am super excited.  I guess its because I like certainty and because, I, by nature, am pretty thoughtful and plan things out so I feel loved if you plan things out to be with me, see me, or celebrate with me!

So, I really related to this paragraph by the author:

"It’s a funny thing when we try and live out our idea of a plan.  We quickly discover that living out God’s plan is more of a dream come true than any Disney movie could have premiered.  It’s just a dream we never imagined."

Probably the most comforting realization that I came to during my single years - and constantly struggled with - is that there was a plan for my life.  Not my plan, but a plan.  In moments where you feel there is no plan, that is pretty comforting and amazing!  My life wasn't just in between chaos.  God was not surprised one moment by my broken engagement, recent breakup, lonely weekend night in, new romance, years of singleness, first date, etc.

I'll be honest.  I still get upset about once a week that I am getting married at 29.  I won't have kids til my 30s.  I never expected to be married at 22. I didn't even long for that as a child, but I also never expected to wait so long.  It doesn't seem fair.  And if life happened according to your plan, then you may not know the mixed feelings of joy and loss singleness and dating brings.  Consider yourself lucky.  Even now, while overjoyed to get married to such a great guy, I still find myself asking, "why couldn't it have been earlier?"  Mixed into the joy is a level of mourning that life turned out so differently than I anticipated.  Maybe it will be better, maybe I will love this plan more, but I still lost my plan -- and it was a good plan, not a sinful evil plan.  The thing is, God knew I would meet Dave at 27. He knew I would get married at 29.  He knew my single years would have ups and downs and rude comments and ministry and joyful moments and nights of tears.  He knew He would use it to shape me into the woman He is making me to be.  He knew he would use it daily to remind me of the gospel.  So its quite possible that I gained a lot more than I lost with His plan.  And, I find a lot of comfort in knowing He had a plan, even a plan that hurt me sometimes.

That being said, there will still be mourning (and I know my single ladies understand that)  I have wrinkles on my eyes that weren't there at 22.  I wanted a few years of marriage before thinking about kids.  But God had a plan, and it will likely turn out that this plan is far better than I imagined.  Its still a loss that I have to accept slowly, and if you walked down the aisle the summer you graduated college and have 2 kids now, you don't understand.  Just like I won't ever understand someone who does't get married til 35 or who applies to grad school a few times before being accepted or tries for 10 years to have babies.
I know so many people who are mourning a life that isn't what they wanted.  Waiting for kids, a spouse, a job, etc.  In the midst of the mourning, while grieving the fact that our good plans failed, I pray we find comfort in knowing someone loved us enough to have a plan.  He knew the pains and losses before they happened and He knew how He would step in and provide.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

1000 gifts: the VALENTINES edition!

10 things I am thankful about regarding DAVE and our relationship:

231. I am thankful for his hard working personality
232. I am thankful for the fact that he is not super emotional.  Sometimes this drives me crazy, but I am glad he's stable.
233. I am thankful for his pretty blue eyes.  Seriously, they are so cute!
234. I am thankful for weeknight dinners and tv shows together.
235. I am thankful that we booked our honeymoon to San Fran/Napa!!
236. I am thankful that he loves to travel like I do.
237. I am thankful that although he's not romantic, he is learning to be more romantic since I like it!
238. I am thankful the yummy meal he is cooking me tonight
239. I am thankful for his servant heart. He would really stop and help anyone out who needed it.
240. I am thankful that he makes me laugh.  It truly makes my days better!

10 things I am thankful for about my friends:

241: I am thankful that we were eachother's support during single years and pray we keep it up.
242: I am thankful for the sweet men the Lord has been providing for my friends the past couple years.
243. I am thankful for what will be a year full of happy weddings/marriages starting with Marriana in March.
244. So many sweet friends are throwing showers for me and rejoiced with me this December in my engagement. I am thankful for friends that celebrate with me.
245. I am thankful for fun friends to take tennis lessons with! Who are just as bad as me.
246. I am thankful for text messaging....its always fun to receive a sweet mid day text from a friend when you need it!
247. I am thankful for my roomies. All 3 make my life happier! ( I am also thankful for their BF's!)
248. I am thankful for a weekend visit with my friend Ashley this weekend!! It's always good to catch up with her.  We have the perfect balance of serious convos with laughing!
249. I am thankful for friends that pray for you-- pray you through broken engagements, heartaches, sickness, job search, etc.
250. I am thankful for my sisters and the fact that we get along well enough to be good friends. Not everyone has that luxury!

10 things I am thankful for about my Family:

251. I am thankful for my yogurt date with Jack Attack today!
252. I am thankful for all of us living close this year, specifically since it was a challenging year.
253. I am thankful my Dad works hard to give Dave and me a wedding and I am thankful my mom helps plan it (254)
255. I am thankful that Ansley got into a school she is excited to attend! Baylor next fall.
256. I am thankful for family dinners, even when Jack throws food.
257. I am thankful for family text messages.
258. I am thankful for my brother in law and pray my other siblings find great spouses too.
259. I am thankful for silly family sayings "BSB" and "fun and funky" and "baby pool"
260. I am thankful that we grew up singing les mis on the way to school! Fun memories!


I have been an awful blogger and I'm sorry!! Life has been busy, not just wedding/marriage prep busy, busy in general...although the wedding and soon to be marriage counseling etc does take up time!!

I want to say Happy Valentines Day!!! Specifically to my single readers.  Valentines was never a hard day for me as a single, probably because I find the holiday to be cheesy and fun-- a good excuse for chocolate and wine with friends!  Maybe a chick flick and a margarita (what does a marg have to do with Vday? Nothing, I just like margs a lot!)  Christmas was always harder.  Birthdays. Thanksgiving.  But valentines is hard for some people.  And for y'all, I want to say happy Valentines Day, know you are LOVED and celebrate even though you are single.  Buy your friend a rose. Send a card. Enjoy a glass of wine and splurge on some chocolates.

This is a Valentines post mixed with a "stupid things people say to singles" post.

Also, I want you to know that you aren't single because you don't love God enough.  I read an article this week by a girl who married her high school sweetheart and wrote to singles talking about how they need to be more focused on loving God than loving a man, how she was more focused on falling in love with Jesus than falling in love with her husband when they were dating.  It gave the implication that those who are mature don't care so much about love and marriage (easy to say when you are married) and that also that silly implication of when you love Jesus enough, he will give you a spouse.

This is simply not true.  I am engaged and let me tell you the truth: I do not love Jesus enough, I will never love Jesus enough.  I am sure plenty of singles love Him better than I do. I did not, finally, at the age of 27, love Jesus enough so he gave me Dave.  And when married people say this (and sometimes single people say it too), it's a lie. Additionally, it makes our love for Christ very self-motivated.  I need to love Him more and belive He is enough, so He will give me a man to love and to love me. (so I guess I didn't love Him enough because I needed more eh?)

And, I doubt this woman during high school and college and dating her husband always loved Jesus more than him (like she said that she did).  We are sinners. We struggle with remembering WHO is the most important and we slip up.

You will NEVER love Jesus enough. Single. Married. No kids. 10 kids.  You will always fail to love Him like you should.  Your love will never be great enough to appreciate or repay what He has done for you (thankfully, His love is not based on our shortcomings)  Thankfully, for this woman, whos message was intended to be good (albeit a little arrogant), God has grace for her too.  Because her love for her Savior may be great, but its not enough.

Secondly, don't feel badly for wanting to not be single.  I think its so silly for someone who never knew a long period of singleness to sit there and lecture us on finding our fulfillment in Jesus and not looking to love for fulfillment.  Is it true that we should strive to LOVE God despite our circumstances and LOVE Him most, even when life isn't what we should.  She was very right on that point.  BUT, if you wish you had a man today or tomorrow or next month, you aren't a failure, you aren't necessarilly failing to loves Jesus or trust Him.  It's okay to want these things.  It's easy to have those things and act like its no big deal. 

I'm not posting the link to that article because I don't want to attack this lady.  I truly believer her intention was to encourage you to remember your Savior's love for you and to grow in your love for Him.  Her presentation wasn't the greatest.  So here's my advice (which is probably flawed in presentation too): Marrieds, Singles, Cling to your Savior.  Yes, grow in your love for Him. But don't be so awed by how much your love is growing that you fail to miss the greatness of His love for you.  Because where you fall short and will fall short, where your husband falls short, where life falls short, His love does not.  If you wish you had a spouse, run to the cross with that.  If your marriage is rocky, also run to Jesus!!  It's okay to want those things to change. Additionally, set out (as the author said) to LOVE your Savior, to grow in love and relationship with Him daily, but cling to the incredible reality that His blessings and grace are not based on your perfection and when you do fail to love Him as you should (and you will fail, daily), His love for you never changes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Most Romantic Place in the World

Do y'all watch the Mindy Show?  I do and it's so funny and although she's a bit crazy, I think most single 20-30 something gals can relate to her attempt to balance work, friends and dating....and her desire to meet someone.  In this week's episode, Mindy was trying to make a romantic moment happen at the Empire State building because many romantic moments happen there (in her opinion, based on chick flicks) Mindy believed the Empire State Building to be the most romantic place in the world.  In fact, she would occasionally hang out in the lobby, hoping to meet someone.

Her friend took her to this hole in the wall pizza joint (with the worst pizza in the city) where he had his first date with his wife and said this:

"The most romantic place in the world, you don't know it's going to be romantic ahead of time."


You can't plan these things.  I spent 3+ hours talking to the cutest guy in a hamburer joint last January.  I still smile every time we eat there or when I drive past.  I knew he was the one at a gas station in Meadville, MS (I believe they have just one gas station) and I'm tempted to stop there every time I drive by.  I love movies.  I think because for us, the movies have become this fun place where we can sit together for 2 hours and hold hands-- when you date long distance, you miss those things so on Saturdays, we loved it.  So it seems silly and unromantic, but some of my fav times with Dave are sitting next to him and chatting during the previews.  I love Dave's parents living room because I would try to visit him once every other week (mid-week) and after they went to bed, I remember curling up on the couch and watching tv and talking and having a few minutes alone.  I have many happy memories and a couple different ponds where we went fishing this spring, (yes, I went fishing, hard to believe)

We do actually have a couple true "romantic-y" the MS river and a field in Church Hill. When we had just been dating for a few weeks/month, I was in Natchez for work and decided to stay for a dinner date with Dave.  Afterwards, we walked by the MS river.  We actually drove across to the Louisiana side because they have swings and talked and kindof mad our feelings clear.  We both remember that spot with such fondness that we've gone back a few times. One of my favorite spots with Dave is this field in the country where we went to talk and have drinks and had our first kiss.  In fact, I can't wait to go sit under the stars and the same truck this spring.

No Empire State Building.  A few romantic spots: star lit skies, sitting by the river...but mostly, happy moments happen in ordinary places.  And that's been the case in most of mine and my friends' relationships. You can't just make these things happen. 

So, where are your unromantic yet romantic places??? Anything off beat and different? Anything Ordinary?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Midweek Confessions 2-6-13

Linking up with E, Myself and I for midweek confessions

- I get uber annoyed when people have to attack my ex fiance/engagement in relation to my current engagement.  I don't mind if its brought up. I'm not secretive about it, in fact, I try to use it for ministry purposes, but recently, I've had many people go on and on about annoying things about my ex.  The reason I don't like this (altghough I agree: I don't like my ex either) is that it kindof questions my judgment...IE, remember how horrible he was, glad you picked better this time.  It implies that there were all these warning signs I missed when truth is, hindsight is 20/20. Even the people bringing this up did not see signs because if they were really worried, they would have mentioned it.  Also, can't I enjoy the present without being reminded of the past?  Congratulate me, heck, even mention my past in a way to say, "You've been through a lot, I am glad God has been faithful."  Glad to get that off my chest, but even so, I try to look at this through a more positive lens...what people are trying to say is they love me and support me and are happy for me.

- I am an old lady now. I can't handle crowds.  I went to the gym after work yesterday (I usually go later).  It was too crowded so I just drove away and said I would come later (and I really did).  Too many people!

-Last week, I must have been half asleep when I dressed because I went to work with black pants, a navy striped top and a green cardigan.

-My get skinny for our wedding diet is going ok, not great.  I am eating a lot less and maybe 6 pounds down but I need to be more dilligent.  I think its going to take me maknig a very strict meal plan and packing all food and snacks for the day when I go to work.  Sadly, this is a happy time and not that I want to pig out, but I do not want to limit wine and sweets at parties etc.

- I started Tennis. I am bad, but not the worst in my class!

-I ordered new bedding. Its still on its way (30 by 30 goal: check)  One of the pillows has a deer head on it (I blame Dave)

Any Confessions for you? Join in the fun.

PS-- I have been doing a lot of pinterest-y things including recipes and workouts.  I will do a Pinterest post soon!

Friday, February 1, 2013

**Our Story** (and proposal!)


I promised it awhile ago, didn't I? The engagement story! And life got hectic with work, Chris's death, Christmas, New Years, wedding planning, etc.  So hear you go....  A not so perfect love story. (but a perfectly wonderful love story)  Our story is greatly romantic and oh so ordinary, all at once.

Our First Date....

I met Dave late December/early January of last year-- our first date was January 11th at mugshots and was one of those first dates you don't want to end, although it was just dinner and burgers and great conversation.  Something you should know about me: I am not the type of girl who constantly thinks I met "the one".  My friend Alexandria calls me the best casual dater she knows.  I was always hoping to meet my husband but didn't quickly jump to the assumption that I had met him. When I was younger, a date was a chance at something  and I was always hopeful for more, but the older I got, a date was just a date which meant *hopefully* a good time and a free meal.  I didn't ever come home assuming that we would seriously date or get married.  And I didn't think Dave was "the one" on the fist date, although I spotted the potential that he was. (and he felt the same way)

 But, when my mom asked how the date went I said: "Good, we're going to end up in a relationship."  I later asked my mom if she believed me that night when I said that and she said that she did, that a comment like that was very unlike me. But I know that I wanted to see him again... and again ....and again.

And it wasn't long before we were official, although we jokingly say that we were official from date one.  I even broke my rule that you should not cancel dates with other guys until you are someone's girlfriend...but after meeting Dave, I didn't want to see anyone else.

Small side note: Dave was 30 minutes late for our first date. I am pretty sure everyone in that restaurant thought, "Oh sweetheart he's not coming" In fact, these college guys kept snickering at me in their booth because every time the door opened, I looked up thinking it was Dave! But, he did show up (we were coming from two different directions and he didn't exactly know how long it would take, obviously) and he charmed me, despite his tardiness!

When I knew I would marry him....

I can still pinpoint the moment that I knew I would marry him.  It was February and we were sitting in his truck at a gas station in meadeville, ms riding out a huge storm.  We met halfway between Brookhaven (where I work) and Church Hill (where he lived) in a town that literally had one restaurant and a gas station.  (after that, we realized it was best for one person to drive the full hour to the other ha!)  We had our first fight (over a subject we had bickered over a little bit a few days earlier) and he was being stubborn and we kind of dropped the subject.  Five minutes later, out of nowhere, he hugged me and said, "I'm sorry. I was wrong.  I am bad at saying I'm sorry, but I want to learn to be better at it for you."  At that moment, I realized that he was changing (hopefully for the better !!) for me and I knew I was changing for the better for him.  If we could bring out the good in eachother (most of the time) and if we helped each other improve our weaknesses, the we would be good together.  By the way, a week or two later, he brought up that he thought he would marry me, although he still can't pinpoint the moment he knew. And from then on, we went through our relationship with the end goal of marriage. 

Not so perfect...but perfect
I think that knowing you've met the right guy 7 weeks in is certainly made our dating intentional.  But, it is hard when you can't get married for awhile.  At first we talked about marriage like it would be a lot sooner, but then some known hindrances came our way (school, jobs, etc) and some unknown hindrances (tough times for my family) and things slowed down.  I won't lie, waiting to be married when I already knew was hard, and even now, I often wish we could skip over the wedding and be married.  I think that the waiting was particularly hard for me because I am out of school so I had always figured when I finally met the right guy, I would know quickly (check) as would he (check) and we would be planning marriage early on (check) and end up married within a year (ummm.....) But the same timeline does not apply when you are in school like Dave is.  We started out approaching marriage like it was a lot quicker (but Dave was out of school working for the semester) However, as school got closer and closer, we realized it would be longer. 

As I said about our love story, it's far from "perfect"  We fell quickly but could not have a whirlwind romance.  We had plenty of struggles and hardships to work through, some of them involving our family, some involving school or work and some were just normal couple struggles.  I also see how God used the past year to teach us how to love eachother better, trust God in our circumstances and prepare for a lifetime together.   We both have been hurt and we both have fears and I am glad we used our time of dating/engagement to address these fears. 

our story isn't perfect (whose is?), but its good and happy.  I think what made me certain Dave was the guy I wanted to spend my life with was that although things weren't perfect, they still just worked.  We weren't trying to make it work.  We also weren't brushing over conflict.  Things weren't perfect, but as a whole, we just really clicked together

The proposal...

Was I surprised??? Um,yes but not really.  Dave told me in August or September that we would be engaged by 2013 and well, it was the last 2 weeks of 2012 so I was expecting it every single time we hung evidenced by how stylish and put together I looked almost every evening for 3 weeks.  However, I really assumed it would be Christmas Eve with my family.  Dave tried to throw me off a bit by a couple fun evenings including a night where he texted me to cancel my plans, put a pretty dress on and be ready at 7.  He took me to the theater....but I did briefly think, maybe this is it!  However, the next week, he made plans to take me to Walker's, my favorite restaurant which he had never gone to before.  We were waiting to go until the holidays or a special occasion because its pricy.

I suspected, but then again I also really thought it would be over Christmas.  We had a lovely meal and looking back, I can see how nervous he seemed.  We talked a bit about marriage and the future and I gave him a gift (I was doing the 12 days of Christmas and it was day 7).  He didn't let me order dessert because he was "full" but really we were late to an "engagement party" with family and friends.  On the way back to the car (we parked way far away!), we stopped in front of Duling Hall where there are lights and he said "I have a christmas gift for you too" and got down on his knees and asked me to marry him.  I said yes and kissed his forehead then we put the ring on.  We didn't spend long hugging, kissing and celebrating before he rushed me along.  I said "wait I want to look at my ring!"He said "we will look in the car"  At that point, I realized that we were going somewhere else, most likely to see my family, because he was hurrying us along so much.  We drove around the corner and he said, "Let's get some holiday coffee" (really, we just got engaged, we haven't called our parents and you want holiday coffee??? suuurrree....) We walked into a local coffee/beer place with my friends and family in the back room ready to celebrate with drinks and petit fores.

We hurried because bless his heart, even with reservations, it took them a long time to seat us.  Our engagement party group had been waiting 30+ minutes.  Also some of my friends were cold in the bushes to take pics of the proposal but they didn't really turn out due to the lack of light.  Poor Sarah (who helped plan my engagement) had to go to the hospital for an asthma attack in memphis and couldn't make it last minute) As I said, life is rarely perfect, even when planned out!! But we had a wonderful time.  So many people have loved me for years, good and bad, and I am glad I got to see a lot of them afterwards.  I always wanted a private proposal with famiy celebration afterwards. And my sweet Dave gave me that.  He also gave me the loveliest ring.  Marley said it was adorable how he had researched and knew exactly what I wanted and what he should get.  One of my favorite qualities about Dave is that he listens.  He wanted me to have what I want.

When I saw my sisters and family, I teared up.  It was the first time in all the hurry that I had a chance to get emotional.  But mainly I was just estatic, so glad to announce to the world what I already knew: I had met the one for whom my soul loves! (song of sol. 3:4)

Dave and I then went home and contacted a few friends and family and my sweet roomie (who had to miss the party) had a bottle of champagne and we all drank some.  Then Dave and I had private time celebrating and talking about the future, probably my favorite time of the evening, because I finally had time to stop and realize my blessings!

My thoughts...

I know, I know, you're thinking, aren't the rest your thoughts too? Well yes, but hold on, you will be getting a lot of my thoughts on singleness/marriage/God's faithfulness these days. In fact I want to do a whole post on it.

Dave and I don't have the perfect love story in that whole "Christian fairytale" sense.  He wasn't my first love, my first kiss, etc.  Bless his heart, he isn't always the most romantic.  And bless his heart even more, I certainly am not always the sweetest girl who doesn't nag or bicker.  But he is good to me. So good to me.  And I have dated the boys who say the right things but then don't stand by you (and your family) through good and bad. And I would rather have the one who sticks by you.  Sure I wasn't his first love, sure he has a little baggage and goodness knows I do, but I am his last love and his favorite love and he is mine, and if my past heartaches made me the girl he loves then I am grateful for the pain.

Also, I am just in awe of God's faithfulness.  I see why the moms who struggled to get pregnant seem so much more enamored with motherhood.  All moms love their kids (well, most atleast) but these seem to have a true appreciation that only longing, prayer, tears and trusting in God's faithfulness can provide. I feel the same about Dave. I am seriously so stinking excited to be Dave's wife.  And as opposed to my previous engagement where I was in love and happy, I am now in love and happy and GRATEFUL.  Seriously, I don't think I have ever been so grateful in my life. I probably praise God every day for bringing me through hard times and providing far more than I deserve.  Pain does make Joy even more sweeter and makes you even more grateful because you realize what blessings you have. 

I wish I had gotten married younger. I wish I met Dave earlier.  But I do love approaching marriage from this viewpoint: God has been with me, good and bad. God will be with US in our MARRIAGE both good and bad.  Pain will come our way again, but I have seen God's faithfulness in sustaining and providing.  I will hopefully look back at my 20s and know that God is trustworthy and present.