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  • 10 Year Vow Renewal

    (Dress by ASOS / Suit by The Black Tux)

    In one sense it feels like 10 years flew by and in another sense it feels like we're still those 22 year-old's saying our vows. 

    We met when we were 19. Just freshmen in college sharing the same class. I was the teacher's pet in the front row and he was asleep in the back. Two weeks before the end of the semester he asks me to lunch, via Facebook no less. (In his defense, Facebook had just hit our college campus and was all the rage). I had already been through several boyfriends that year and was done with dating for awhile but something about him made me say yes. He winked at me when I walked into class that day and I can still remember the way it made my heart skip a beat.  We planned to go to lunch after our mutual class but our class got cancelled that day and instead we spent 3 hours talking at lunch. We then spent every day for the next 2 weeks together before summer break. 

    We dated all through the next 3 years of college and developed a tight knit group of friends. Made so many memories and developed a strong friendship. We had so much fun together. 

    My college experience was one of my greatest gifts giving me forever friends and this man. 

    We graduated college May 10, 2008 and got married May 24, 2008.

    It was a whirlwind but everything we dreamed of. 

    Josh worked for the university we attended and so we settled in nicely to our college town in Virigina. Our closest friends settled in too and it was a dream.  We were all newlyweds living within miles of each other; enjoying the simple things in life and navigating adulthood and marriage together. 

    Life was fun. We dated and went away on long weekends. We bought a house and started realizing how good of a design + woodworking team we made.  We started talking about having a baby around our 3 year anniversary and by our 4th anniversary I was almost ready to pop with our first little boy. 

    Becoming parents was such a great adventure. It grew us and changed us in ways we never realized.

    It made things harder but life sweeter. Grady was the great joy of our lives. 

    By Grady's first birthday we started talking about another baby.

    And life started to get more and more complicated.  Josh started talking about making big life changes.

    And I started digging my heels into this life that I didn't want to change. 

    We got pregnant with Griffin not long after we started trying.

    And somewhere along the way our hearts got divided on what we wanted in life.

    We struggled through the next few years hard. Josh took a commuting job when Griffin was just 8 weeks old that left me single parenting weekdays and only having him home on weekends. 

    During this time, our hearts started to grow even further apart. And we lost ourselves. Lost us.

    But God was so faithful to us and to our marriage. Bringing in the right people to help us,

    exposing dark places and selfishness and helping us realign our hearts to each other and to Him.

    And that's why we truly have so much to celebrate at 10 years.

    There's SO much before getting here. There was so much life and love and pain 

    and heartache and healing and redemption. So much hard work and forgiveness.

    I look at these faces and I'm just so thankful.

    Thankful for all of it. Even the hard parts that end up changing us and making us better.

    (And these two sweet boys looking especially handsome in their Mini Swag bowtie and suspender sets - use code HONEYSUCKLE for 15% off)

    Saying our vows again in front of these sweet faces was so special.

    Looking in their eyes and giving them confidence was a beautiful thing.

    Finding ourselves the most in love and the best versions of ourselves 

    is the best 10 year anniversary present we could've ever wanted.

    The vows I said that day and meant with all my heart:

    Josh,  It's been a wild ride being your wife for 10 years. And one I wouldn't trade for anything.  We've fought harder than I ever imagined to get here, but not in vain. 

    We've seen the true, redemptive work of Jesus up close and personal and it's nothing short of amazing. W'ere a portrait of God's grace, and 10 years later, I feel more humbled and grateful than ever to pledge my love and loyalty to you.

    I promise to be your best friend and biggest cheerleader.

    To respect you as the leader in our home and never forget that we're on the same team.

    I promise to push you towards Jesus with compassion and grace everyday.

    I promise to be faithful and true.

    I promise to be love in it's truest form to you: to be patient and kind. To not be self-seeking or

    easily angered. To keep no record of wrongs. To always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere. 

    I promise to love you fiercely, for better or worse, all the days of my life.

    Josh's vow's were a little more like him - unrehearsed and from the heart.

    He promised to wait patiently for me in each season of life. To look to Jesus first and to lead and love by His example. 

    Then our friend Holly sang a beautiful song that really just said it all for us.

    You Hold it All Together By All Sons and Daughters

    It feels like an ocean of sorrow is under my skin
    Even the ocean eventually meets with the sand
    Sorrow on sorrow, I’m waiting
    Heavy I’m anticipating
    Trusting the current, will carry me
    You are my strength
    You are my song
    You are my salvation
    You hold it all together
    You hold it all together
    We come with great expectations, and fears in our hearts
    Send us Your light, as we’re making our way through the dark
    All of the earlier troubles
    Chaos and pain they unravel
    Looking ahead we rejoice in You
    You are my strength
    You are my song
    You are my salvation
    You hold it all together
    You hold it all together
    Like a stone, in the wasteland
    I was useless, until You
    Lifted high, in Your mercy
    Out of sorrow and made new
    Oh this mind, it can't measure
    All Your favours in this world
    So we shout in adoration
    Holy, holy are You Lord

    Then the people who had journeyed closely with us surrounded us and prayed over us.

    It was so sweet and I'll never forgot how Grady kept kissing my hand, I could tell he was so filled with joy.

    Then we celebrated!

    With good food and great friends.

    The beautiful fresh greenery that was used on our the mantel and on the table was by Lynch Creek Farms. It was sent with such care and so beautifully constructed. I highly recommend them for fresh wreaths or greenery for events.

    Thank you for your beautiful attention to detail, Lynch Creek Farms.

    Everything else we borrowed and brought from home. 

    And I designed wine labels to fit the occasion.

    We had our meal catered by Ryan Noblitt and everyone raved about the food. We highly recommend his services!

    We felt so incredibly blessed and loved by our friends that celebrated with us. 

    The night was one we'll always cherish. Simple and meaningful and filled with such joy.

    The best is yet to come.

    Super big shoutout to this friend + photographer who took time to come celebrate with us but also to take all these absolutely beautiful pictures for us to cherish. 

  • How I Want to be Remembered as a Mother

    I think about this alot - about how I want my children to remember me. I know that might seem weird since I'm only just shy of 6 years in, but it helps me to keep a big picture perspective of my legacy and the great responsibilty my role is in their lives. 

    I think about how I hope they remember me having fun. Getting down on their level. Belly laughing. Tickling them til they can't breathe. Getting up from my desk when they asked me to do a puzzle together. 

    I hope they remember me laying in bed with them at night and really trying to hear their hearts. I hope they remember feeling safe and free to be themselves. I hope they remember me apologizing to them when I was short and unkind. 

    I hope they remember me going the extra mile to make their world brighter. The pancakes with sprinkles on a Tuesday. Their names written in Jell-O. Picnics with their favorite foods. Dropping everything and heading to the park. I hope they remember our ordinary days with a bit of magic in them. 

    I hope they remember me loving their Daddy something fierce. Being excited when he walks through the door after work. I hope they remember us kissing. And that my respect for him is something they look for in a future wife. 

    I hope they remember me in front of my Bible. Praying together for big things and for little things. Singing my little heart out in church, albeit off tune. I hope they remember me with a strength that could only come from relying on Him for our daily needs.

    I hope they remember me serving people around our dining table. Gladly opening our doors, and often. I hope they remember playing with new kids because I invited their mom over for coffee. I hope they remember me loving other people well. 

    And oh how I want them to remember me delighting in them. Truly thankful to be their mother. Tracing their faces and trying my hardest to etch their sweet baby faces into my memory. Kissing them more times than they can count in one day. A love so deep and so secure that follows them their whole life long.

    ////

    For Mother's Day every year, Josh gives me the gift of pictures of me with my babies. And this year my request was for candid, unposed photos with no begging for smiles or bribing with candy. Just us in whatever we were doing. So he brought the camera along as the boys picked out flowers for me at a local nursery. 

    Such a gift, indeed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



  • J+S=10

    There's SO much before getting here. 

    So much life and love and pain and heartache and healing.

    And a few years ago I wasn't sure we'd ever make it here. To celebrating 10 years of marriage.

    But our God specializes in bringing dead things back to life and that's our story. And not just an okay life but an abundant and full-of-life life.

    But the bigger story is for another day. 

    And the real truth is that we have so much to celebrate being here - to making it to the day we're sending out invitations to our vow renewal in honor of our 10 year anniversary. And I don't take any of it for granted.

    If you know me at all, you know that vintage has my heart.

    So I was super inspired by this vintage flash card that was sitting on my desk when designing these invitations.

    So instead of 2x5 = 10, J+S=10 

    After I designed these, I started looking at paper options and all of a sudden it hit me that my manila folders were about the right weight and color for a flash card so I cut those to paper size and printed them myself at home! 

     

    I ordered these kraft envelopes from Amazon with the cute tie closure and dug through my washi tape and gift tags to add some flair to the front.

     

    I almost love sending real mail as much as I love getting real mail. 

    So I couldn't wait to send these off.

    We are having a very small intimate ceremony with a dinner party for those

    people who have walked closely with us through our journey here. 

    (Dreaming of something like this)

    image via

     

    image via

    Nothing too fancy or costly but incredibly meaningful.



     

  • Look Book Styling with Give with Joy

    I was in a creative rut in the beginning of this year. It happens often after the holidays die down and those long winter months hit and it's super cold and I'm indoors a lot. I just feel uninspired and my creative juices run low. And I hate feeling like that. 

    I prayed for a new project to come my way that would energize and inspire me in a new way. 

    Enter Aneta with Give with Joy.

    I've been following Aneta for a long time via instagram and had gotten to know the heart behind her business and always loved her illustration style. So when we approached me to style and photograph her product in my home for her next look book, I was thrilled! 

    It was JUST the creative project I was praying for. 

    Her artwork is inspiring in and of itself but then to have the opportunity to style it in my own home and push myself to move things around and see things with fresh eyes was so fun for me. It definitely got my creative juices flowing again.

    She also encouraged me to use items from my own shop in the photos and she included some of my styling tips in her look book! It became this beautiful collaborative project.

    I'm just so proud of how it all came together. 

    Aneta puts so much heart and soul into her artwork and you can just see it. 

    Check out the full look book here. And snag some of her new spring items while you're at it!

    The Fresh Fruit No. 1 is probably my favorite! Close second would be the hand drawn florals!

    And I'm so thankful to Aneta for thinking of me for this project, as it lit a little fire in me. I feel alive when I'm making things beautiful and using the gifts God has given me. So if you think I'd be a good fit for your next project, please don't hesitate to contact me!

  • Baby Shower Gifts That Keep On Giving + Printable Baby Shower Card

    *This post is sponsored by IncrediBundles.com. All images and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!*

    Something that I was SO thankful that people did for me at my baby shower was opt to sign books instead of cards.

    Not only did it help us quickly build an awesome library for our little guys but even now when we read some of their favorites, we see notes from loved ones and even pray for them before bedtime!

    I didn't know about IncrediBundles.com at the time, but if I had, I would have definitely added them to my registry! You can quickly and easily go on their site and pick a gift bundle of classic books, bath essentials, sleep essentials, or even diapers!

    They have themed book bundles, like the Eric Carle classics, which are some of our personal favorites. Or you can customize your bundle to your liking!

    Which is exactly what I did! I chose a few favorite board books and also a couple perfect baby toys to gift to a friend. (My boys loooooved this brand of carseat toy, it kept them occupied better than any other toy we owned!)

    IncrediBundles.com makes it super easy on you too, as their gift bundles come beautifully wrapped.

    And bonus, your gift box is reusable! And all moms know, we need all the extra closet storage boxes we can get!

    Helping start a baby's book library is the gift that keeps on giving. My boys are still reading the books they were given at their baby showers! And IncrediBundles.com helps you take the guess work out by making the perfect packages. They offer way more than just books, too; you can find bath toys, swaddles, and even Sophie the Giraffe!

     

    And talk about the gift that keeps on giving, they also offer a diaper subscription!

     This is such a foolproof baby gift! 

    (Here’s how an IncrediBundles.com Diaper Subscription works. Upon your purchase of a 3, 6, 9 or 12-month Diaper Subscription, IncrediBundles.com sends an adorable announcement package with a teddy bear holding a certificate that announces your gift! This certificate features a unique code your recipient will use to activate her subscription. Then, each month, your recipient can log in to their subscription and select the brand and size diapers they would like delivered straight to their door that month. The subscription features all of the major brands – Pampers, Huggies, Luvs and Members Mark.The announcement package can be sent directly to your recipient or to you, the purchaser, to present at a baby shower. It’s that easy!)

     

    So the next time you're getting ready to host a shower for someone, please include this printable insert with your invites to prompt people to opt for purchasing books instead of cards!

    (And if it's your shower, go ahead and share this post with your hostess as a not-so-subtle hint!)

    Download here

    And remember IncrediBundles.com when you're getting ready to think about your gift ideas! I highly recommend their great products, beautiful packaging, and great customer service!

    Also, yours will be the best gift at the shower!

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    BONUS: We're giving away a $50 gift card to IncrediBundles.com over on our Instagram later today so be sure you're following along!