Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten of 2013

Happy New Years Eve, pretty people!  What a freakin' fantastic year 2013 was.  I'd be scared if I were you, 2014--you have a lot to live up to!

I had a lot of really wonderful moments this year I'll definitely remember for years to come.  
But, for your sake, here are my top ten:


TOP TEN OF 2013:

1. GETTING MARRIED. Of course.  I mean, the way Daniel looked at me as I was walking down the aisle is a memory I will hold onto fiercely for the rest of my days.

2. OUR FIRST TRIP.  Just the two of us.  Our honeymoon was wonderful and memorable, for sure.  The most euphoric hike followed by finding out we were robbed on the first day made this one a trip for the books.

3. BACHELORETTE/BRIDAL SHOWER WEEKEND.  I don't mean to make this all about wedding stuff, but these girls traveled from all over to be here for two days I'll seriously treasure in my heart forever.  I have THE BEST friends, no matter how far away we've moved from each other.

4.  FINDING OUR SMALL GROUP.  Oh man, our little Wednesday night Bible study crew has turned into the biggest blessing in the friendship department.  We LOVE these couples and their hearts.

5.  DANIEL'S SURPRISE PARTY.  I finally kept a gift a secret until his actual birthday, and it was SO MUCH FUN.

6.  THE PURE CHARITY CHALLENGE.  We learned SO MUCH and overall felt SO supported, mostly by people we hardly knew! What a sweet time of community, and our budget wedding turned out to be everything we had dreamed!

7. POESY.  Adding another pup to our little family was so worth it.  She has the weirdest personality and fits in perfectly!

8. COACHING MY GIRLS.  I LOVE coaching soccer, but even more than that, I love my sweet, snarky little ladies.

9.  MOVING INTO OUR HOUSE.  Even though I lived there alone for five months--it was still so exciting!

10.  GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. Ha.  What a MEMORY.  It'll become even funnier as time goes on, I'm sure.


Goodbye, 2013.  You've been SO SO good to me.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Out with the Old

I'd be lying if I said I don't take New Years seriously.  I love any excuse to make a list of goals and dreams.  I love the idea of a fresh start, because honestly I can be kind of a dud of a human sometimes.  And I love a good reason to reflect on what I've learned and how I've grown in a specific period of time.  

2013 was NUTS in the learning and growing departments.  I permanently added on another half to myself, and before that I spent most of the year attempting to prepare to do so.  It was a big change.

My annual little reflection session changed this year, too.  Daniel sat down with me last night and we went over our favorite moments together--goodness, we've had a full year! I'll share that list with you tomorrow :)

We also came up with a list of goals and dreams for 2014.  I'll share some of those, too!

But for tonight, here are a couple of things we did this weekend to prepare for the big ONE-FOUR. 

Saturday we finished cleaning out our closet and got all this clothing out of our house.  We hope to continue to declutter and minimalize our stuff throughout this year, and I can't wait!

Yesterday we stocked up on our new and improved grocery list.  I've known about my gluten and dairy intolerance for a while now and became fairly decent at taking care of my body in the months leading up to the wedding, but cheating has become a little more frequent since the cheese-and-bread-loving boy moved in.  But, after a couple months of post-wedding Braum's ice cream bliss, my sweet man wants to cater to my health needs and go fully gluten and dairy free with me! At home, at least.  I told him he can eat whatever he wants when he goes out or eats at someone else's house.  But he's being really supportive, and I know this is what's best for me based on how my health improved this year when I was eating right.  I'll talk more about all of that later this week :)

I hope 2013 is closing softly and sweetly behind you, friends! Be safe tomorrow!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jake & Lindsey Are in Love!

When we were in Tulsa for Christmas last week, I got to do a short photo session with my baby brother and his sweet sweet girlfriend, Lindsey.  They've been dating for three years now and my family has absolutely loved having Lindsey in our lives.  I know she loves photos of the two of them, so I thought it'd be a fun little Christmas gift.  The ice storm the day before made it look pretty stinkin' cool outside, even though it was absolutely freezing!

Seeing my brother so happy makes me happy :)

Daniel and I have stayed busy cleaning up Christmas decorations and preparing for the new year this weekend.  A few big changes are coming our way, and you all get to come along for the ride!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Still Christmasing

Daniel and I are still celebrating over here, but for good reason! As Nat mentioned in her post yesterday, my husband asked me to marry him one year ago last night after taking me to dinner and driving me around to look at Christmas lights.  

I had no idea at that point what this year would bring us (especially THIS whole deal), but I am so thankful Daniel decided to trust me with his heart for the rest of our lives.  To remember that crazy wonderful evening, we went out for our favorite thai food and drove around to look at lights last night. :)

It's such a blessing to have things to celebrate!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy 'Gotcha Day' Gunny!

I can't believe Kyle and I have had our first dog-child for 1 year today! Since we don't know his actual birthday we are going to celebrate the day we got him.
It all started when I was working at the Vet clinic and these two girls brought in this cute black scared puppy came in to get his shots. I will always remember these girls, they were about my age and would use whatever money they could to help dogs and cats they found on the streets get the shots and food they needed. They would house them themselves or with friends until they could find homes for them. 
They told us Gunny, formally known as Captain to them, ran into one of their friend's backyards and hid under the table and they couldn't get him out. They had a friend keep him for awhile until I couldn't stand it any longer and I told them I would take him. 
It was not a planned thing, the day they brought him to the clinic for me to take I had plans that night to go hide in some bushes and take pictures of Daniel proposing to Jordan! I wasn't about to miss that, (p.s. Daniel, I'm so glad you included me in that moment) so I left Gunny in my apartment bathroom and told Kyle who was getting home in 30 minutes that there was a dog in our bathroom.
From that point on we have had the best dog-child ever! It hasn't always been easy, especially living in a third story apartment, but it's all worth it because he brings us so much happiness! You know what I'm talking about dog lovers.
Here are some pics of our baby starting with one from the first night we got him. He was just a baby...okay he was like 8 months old we think but he was sooo sweet!


Happy Gotcha Day to our big baby Gunny!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Silent Night

Daniel and I are back home after five days in Oklahoma.  We're spending the last hours of our first married Christmas with our feet up watching my favorite movie for this time of year, The Family Stone.  
I can't say our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. was perfect, and I won't try to portray it to be so.  Figuring out where to be when with both of our families in the same city was a little challenging, but overall we're thankful for the time we were able to spend at each home.  

But most of all, we're thankful for this sweet, sweet news:

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, 
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

Merry Christmas, dear friends. Soak up these last few moments, and sleep in heavenly peace tonight.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

O Holy Night

Merry Christmas Eve everyone,
I hope everyone has been filled with joy knowing tonight was the eve of the birth of Christ so long ago.
I have felt so much peace tonight as Kyle and I attended our candlelight communion service at church. The love on everyone's face has been a testament that Christ is alive and his light is shining bright, we just need to reflect this extraordinary light through our lives to help the ones around us know the Savior of the world.

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and to remember to keep in your hearts and prayers those special friends and family that may be desperate for peace and joy this holiday season.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Feeling Christmas

Daniel and I are soaking up every sweet minute of family and friend time during our stay in Tulsa.  We've watched Thunder basketball with his family, taken photos of one of my very favorite couples and their pretty pups for Christmas, and seen a Christmas musical that starred one of my closest friends.  Last night I got to hug the neck of the friend I've known the longest, who lost her mother to cancer Friday morning. We laughed and grieved and listened and changed the subject and loved on one another while sitting on her floor in a circle of friends she's collected as early as birth and as recently as a couple of months ago.  It was really beautiful, despite the awful situation.

And today I took more Christmas gift photos--for my brother and his adorable girlfriend.  These photos and the pow wow last night have me thinking a lot about memory and what I'll remember about this Christmas season years from now.  Will I remember how the break began a little early, with news of death Friday morning and my failed attempt at returning to work after locking myself in the bathroom to double over and cry? Will I remember realizing I'd never felt SO strongly on behalf of another person, and subsequently realized how very connected our shared childhood caused us to be, even into adulthood?  Or will it be staying at Daniel's parents' house and feeling part of the family for the first time? Or the gift several families have given me in asking me to preserve a few moments of their time in photos?

I'm not sure what I'll remember--I haven't really been taking any personal photos on this trip, but I don't think what I'm feeling can be captured in that medium.  And that's okay.  I don't always let myself stop to really FEEL life, and I think that's catching up with me on these last few days of the year.  And let me tell you--feelings are PAINFUL, but they are WONDERFUL. 

I got to celebrate a life sitting in that circle of friends on the floor last night, and in two days I get to celebrate THE LIFE, Jesus Christ, with an even bigger circle of brothers and sisters.  I am doing a lot of feeling, for sure.  


Let yourself feel Christmas, you guys. It's okay.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Home for Christmas

Daniel and I packed up the car and headed to Tulsa this morning.   As soon as we crossed the Oklahoma state line, we were greeted with this:

The whole drive looked like a painting.  Daniel kept saying he felt like we were in a snow globe.  We made it safely, though, and now we're sitting in Daniel's parents living room waiting on a very delicious-smelling chicken pot pie to come out of the oven.  

Cheers to our first married Christmas, and finding this sweet thing hanging from the Rocks' mantle upon our arrival!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Baillie & Taylor (Pt. 2)

I have been excited to post these all week! Baillie and Taylor are the sweetest couple and although it was freezzing when we took these, I had a blast! I can't wait until May to photograph their wedding with Jordan, it will also be warmer, which I like :) I also want to say congratulations to Baillie for graduating this semester!

Jordan and I are continuing to look for more beautiful people in the Tulsa and Fayetteville areas to photograph so don't hesitate to message or comment if you are interested!