Friday, August 30

five on friday: anniversary edition

Sunday marks Jake and I's one year anniversary. I can't even believe that it has already been a whole year. It seems like it was just yesterday but also seems like so long ago, all at the same time. I am so thankful every day that I married such a wonderful man. We will be celebrating our anniversary in Austin, TX at a friend's wedding. We have never been to Austin so we're both excited to have a reason to go and to celebrate with my friend Christin on her very special day.

And since it's Friday, I am linking up with Christina, Darci, Liz and Natasha for Five on Friday. Also, in honor of our anniversary, today's five are my five most favorite things about my husband.

(1) There is never a dull moment with my husband. Whether we're starting a new project, he is rough housing with Winnie or one of our random conversations,  it is always a joy.

(2) He is a very strong worker. He is very dedicated to his work or whatever task he is doing. He doesn't do anything half way. He is a great example of how hard work pays off and I know that he blesses our family by being a person of such diligence.

(3) His faith. He is always striving to be a better person. He encourages me and guides our relationship to be one which honors God. This was one of the most important qualities I wanted in a husband and he does it well. And for that I am eternally grateful.

(4) He is tall, dark and handsome. I don't feel that I need to dwell much on this. But he's pretty easy on the eyes.

(5) He is my best friend. I never really understood what that was like until I met Jake. Life is just better with him by my side and I couldn't imagine life any other way. He brings so much goodness to my life and is a better husband than I could have ever hoped for. I am beyond blessed.

Happy One Year Anniversary J! I love you and can't wait for many more years together!

Wednesday, August 28

on loving well

Last night the hubs and I finished a four week book study at our church on the 5 Love Languages. I know a lot of people are familiar with the love language concept, but if you're not let me give you a brief overview. Essentially, there are five basic ways in which people give and receive love. Although the study we did was for married couples, this is not specific for marriage necessarily, so don't think that if you're not married that this doesn't apply to you. Because it does. Anyway, the five different languages are
  • words of affirmation
  • physical touch
  • quality time
  • acts of service
  • gifts
People tend to have a primary love language and often a secondary. This is how one feels loved by others. The book uses the term "love tank" to use as a way of measuring how loved your feel. There isn't a right way or a wrong way to receive love. There are just different ways. And, I think, once you understand how a person feels loved, it really helps you understand them in a new way. I really could go on for awhile about this topic but I'll spare you, so if you are interested in learning more check out the website or the book. I really enjoy Gary Chapman and his books and I think this is a pretty quick and easy read.

I had read this book before I started dating J so I was very familiar with my love language: quality time. I knew that was how I best feel loved by others and often is my ideal way to spend my time with people I care about. However, reading this book now after being married a year was insightful in a new way. Even though we're relatively new to the marriage train, it is still helpful to understand how I can show my husband how that I love him.

The hubs love language is words of affirmation, which is my lowest love language. And it is pretty common for you and your spouse to not have the same primary love language. So that isn't a big surprise. What has come as a surprise to me over the past year is how poorly I am with that specific language. As soon as I learned (thanks to my mom) which was j's love language, I knew why God had brought us together. While I love to write and love to talk, I am not so good with expressing myself verbally with words of affirmation. I always thought that I was awesome at pretty much anything to do with talking because, frankly, I do it a lot. But come to find out, I stink at telling my husband (or anyone else for that matter) how I appreciate them. And when that is the primary way your husband feels loved, it can be a bit of an issue.

I have worked some at trying to improve my skills in this area. Now after taking this class, I realized that just trying a little isn't good enough. My husband deserves to know how much he is loved in a way that speaks loudest to him. And while it is uncomfortable and somewhat awkward for me to express myself this way, it is something that I must learn to do and try to do well. Thankfully, I have learned this early in our marriage and hopefully I can continue to get better at it because my husband is great. He deserves to know that each and every day.

So if this is a new concept to you, I encourage you to check it out. It could really make a big impact in all your relationships.

Wednesday, August 21

weekend jet-setting

This past weekend we flew south to Tampa. We left Friday and came back Monday, so it was a quick trip but well worth it. The hubs grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and we had a weekend filled with family and celebration.

The hubs and I are both big fans of family. We are truly blessed with wonderful families on both sides and we love spending time with them. This past weekend was no exception. Most of our time was filled with conversation and laughter. And after the stress of last week, it was very welcome. But the primary reason we were all there was to celebration in 50 years of marriage of Jake's grandparents. The whole time we were there, I couldn't stop thinking about just how fortunate we are. All of our grandparents have been married for 50+ years and our parents for 25+years. I think that says something powerful.

I am so thankful for the examples our families have set for us. We are so blessed to be surrounded by people who understand the importance of strong marriages and who work hard at their own. I just pray that maybe someday our grandchildren may look at us with the same admiration.

I didn't take my good camera so here are a few shots from the weekend via my iPhone.

Friday, August 16

five on friday and some exciting news

It is a happy Friday in this house. There is a lot of good things going on today. To share those things with you, I am linking up with some lovely ladies for Five on Friday!

I don't have a lot of pictures for today but I think this one is pretty cute.


 {ONE} The hubs had a very successful week at work. Long story short. He's a stud. It was a very important and stressful week for all the staff, but they came through it with awesome results. So thankful!

{TWO} We're leaving for Florida today. We're going to celebrate the hubs grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. We are truly surrounded by wonderful examples of marriage and we are thankful for it. We're excited for a weekend away with family.

{THREE} I am not sure if I told you or not but the hubs has brewed his first batch of homemade beer. Last night we bottled it and it will be ready in a week. So we have 42 of bottles of beer on the wall-- just kidding. But I am really excited to try it!

{FOUR} We are currently doing a book study at our church on the 5 Love Languages. We're really enjoying taking this class together and to learn more about one another and how to strengthen our marriage. It's also great to meet other young couples in the area. If you haven't heard of or read the 5 Love Languages, I would encourage you to do so. It is helpful not just for marriages but with all people.

{FIVE} And the most exciting news of the day-- WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! We signed the dotted line and got ourselves a house! Well, at least we signed the counter offer and so now we're in the process of going through inspection and financing details. So, it's not officially a done deal, but we're definitely on our way. We are SO SO SO excited. There will be lots more details to come once we get the process more finalized.

It has been a very emotional/scary/exciting/stressful/joyful week. And at the end of the day, I am just so thankful for God's faithfulness and mercy. But for now, I have to get packing because we leave in a few hours and there is nothing in our bags.

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, August 15

happy birthday baby brother

It really just blows my mind that you are 18 years old today. It doesn't seem like all that long ago when we visited you for the first time at the hospital. You are such a wonderful person and too darn adorable for your own good. But I am so proud of who you have grown to be and I know you will do great things in this life.

So have a very Happy 18th Birthday!

We love you very much!

Monday, August 12

monday musings

 Anyone else having a hard time believing that is basically the middle of August already? Where did summer go, seriously?!? School is starting back up again for all my teacher friends and before we know it they'll be serving pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. Although, fall is my favorite season, I have truly enjoyed this summer. There was nothing special about it really. No weddings or big vacations. No engagements, babies or anything of that sort. It has just been a great season of sunshine and normalcy. Not that I really know what normalcy is but if I did, I would expect that it look something like this summer.

I used to worry that I would get bored when there was nothing big to plan. However, it has been very much the opposite. I have so enjoyed this summer and the ordinary that came with it. I have realized that while I enjoy busy seasons, this one is a time of resting. And there is a time for both. This has been a time for the hubs and I to enjoy time with one another. To learn more about our new community and to explore it together. We have had weekends to do nothing and weekends with traveling. It has been such a great time. And while I look forward to exciting changes (i.e. buying a house), my heart is so content and grateful for this life. This season of resting has really allowed me to see just how blessed I am. I can't really find the right words to explain the sense of peace and fulfillment that I have. All I can say is that I am just so thankful that God's plans are always better than mine.

Also, I think it's a good time to take a look back at my summer bucket list and see what all we should try to cram in these last couple of weeks.
  • take a cooking class (planned for the last week of August)
  • go to the beach (maybe this weekend?)
  • have a picnic in the park
  • go to an amusement park
  • go boating with my cousins
  • have a dinner party
  • take Winnie for a walk along the river
  • go blueberry picking with my mom 
  • take a winery tour
  • find a house (working on it)
  • go to an outdoor concert
  • have a movie marathon with the hubs (on a rainy day)
  • eat as much fro-yo as possible 
  • have a bonfire
Ok, so 7 1/2 out of 14 is a little over half. For my typical bucket list evaluation, I'd say this one was definitely a success. Plus, there are a couple of opportunities for a few more to be completed. But what it tells me is that this as been a pretty great summer so far. And that is all that really matters.

Wednesday, August 7

i would work for a...

Happy Hump Day! Today I am linking up with Erin at Living in Yellow. If you've never read her blog, you should hop on over there and check it out. She's also an Indiana girl and she is so very funny. Anyway, she is hosted a link up about things that you would work in, get paid in these things instead of money. Enough said-- here is my list!

I would work for...

A never ending cup of Starbuck's skinny peppermint mocha-- or at least unlimited number of them.

Frozen Yogurt-- preferably cookies n' cream flavored. But I'd really be happy with whatever.


A personal masseur-- so I could get a massage every day. That would be awesome.

Chocolate. And the ability to eat as much of it as I want-- no calorie counting here.

A brand new kitchen-- white cabinets, white back splash, an island. the works.


All our family to live in the same place-- no more  long distance. no more good byes.

A constant tan-- I hate being pale and I hate tan lines.

Unlimited access to a tropical location-- Fiji anyone?


Winnie to live forever-- or as long as me. Which she is going to anyway, right?!?

Good health for my family and friends-- although that may put some of my family members out of work. But I'll take it.

Ok, so most of them are a bit trivial and materialistic. But it's fun. What would you work for?

Tuesday, August 6

on house hunting

 I've been a little absent the past week. Our computer decided that it just didn't want to work very well; half of the keyboard works and half doesn't. Such a love/hate relationship with technology. But it has also been a very busy couple of weeks at work and when my schedule fills up, blogging tends to take the hit.

First off, it's August. Can anyone else not believe it? I am just stunned that summer is already almost over. As much as I am not wanting summer to be over, part of me is ready for these next couple of months. First off, we have a lot of fun traveling coming up. We're heading to Tampa in a couple weeks, Austin for Labor Day and we just found out we'll be going to Phoenix in October. So that is all very exciting! I've never been to any of these cities and I love going to new places!

But to be real honest, one of the reasons I am secretly ready for fall to get here is because it means that we are realistically closer to moving into a house. Now, mind you, we don't have a house yet, nor have we put in any offers. But I feel like I have been thinking and waiting for the time to come when we are actually ready and in a place to do so, and that time is coming quickly.

The past couple of weekends we have looked at houses, eight total so far. Last weekend was tough. The first house we looked at was, well, gorgeous. I fell in love with the kitchen instantly. I loved the white built-ins and fireplace. The backyard was huge and it had a willow tree, too. Against my better judgement, I quickly fell in love with the house. But just as quickly as I fell in love, we had to break up. We found out the owners accepted an offer the night before. Ugh. Needless to say, I was a bit heartbroken. We were finally in a house that we could really see ourselves in. But, it obviously wasn't the house for us.

The second house we visited was out of our budget. And the third house...well, we didn't even get to see it because the current owners were home and informed us that they sold the house on Wednesday. Seriously. Talk about a hope crushing house hunt. Although deep down inside, I know that God's hand is in all of this and that He has the right house for us. And these were not it. But my humanness was disappointed and sad. I am so excited about having a house of our own. I am excited to have a yard and a place where we can settle and feel like we are putting down some roots. I know it will come, but patience is hard sometimes. God's plans are always, always better than my plans, but waiting for it to unfold can be a challenge.

Thankfully, I learned to reassess my expectations a bit about the house hunt. And my wonderful, very patient and understanding husband, gently reminds me that it's just a house. It's a material item and while having one would be great, it does not define our joy. He's a smart one, I tell you. We're off again this weekend to look at some more houses and this time I'm trying to be just a little more patient.