May 30, 2014

We Trusted Jesus

(circa 2008, the start of our cliff jumping)

I was walking out of our apartment laundry room one day and had one of those moments. One of those, "wow" this is our life moments. Never in a million years did I think I would be living in Southern California with a husband as an animator and pursuing my dreams as a lifestyle blogger and handmade shop owner. We don't live a fancy life. We live in a little apartment which I truly love. It's filled with Christ and every section of it is comprised of mine and Tyler's style.

Yes we wish we could paint the walls and rip up the carpet, but we love it and we're so grateful for this life that Christ has given us. We do our best to center our lives around him, seeking him in all that we do. This life that he has given us would not be what it is now if it weren't for TRUSTING in Jesus.

I remember when Tyler was trying to decide if he wanted to go to Full Sail. It's an entertainment school and it would be the first step in him going after his animation dream. Full Sail is a private school which meant there would be lots of student loans down this animation road. We sat at a coffee shop and weighed the pros and cons. The biggest con was the student loans. I've always believed that when we step out in faith, Jesus shows up. I asked Tyler if he believed that this is where Jesus was telling him to go. He said yes. I told him the student loans didn't matter, Jesus would take care of them. I believe this was a defining step in Tyler trusting in Jesus and allowing him to prepare the road for him.

Early in our marriage because of the steps of faith we took, I now call us cliff jumpers. When you take risks you can't see the outcome. It's like jumping off a cliff, you just have to trust Jesus.

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May 29, 2014

Shaping Our Marriage

Moving thousands of miles away from our family and friends was tough. Moving to California was way harder then moving to Florida. When I moved to Florida it didn't necessarily feel permanent. I knew if anything happened and I needed to go home I could call my brother and he would come get me. Florida wasn't home and I knew that. After Tyler and I got married one week later we were on the road headed to California. That time was different, I knew we would be making California home or any other state we ventured to, because home was with Tyler now. 

Moving to California was hard, very hard. Though the transition to the city felt crippling at times, moving away shaped our marriage in incredible ways. Living in LA meant Tyler and I only had each other. There was no one there to press upon us their opinion of how our marriage should be. There were no obligations to visit family in town. There was no one popping in to say hello. It was just us and we had to figure it all out. I believe this was one of the best things for our marriage. If one of us got mad we didn't have anywhere else to go to be mad, because we didn't have anyone else.
Tyler and I became a team, viciously protective of each and our marriage. We were all each other had. Now, we love our families and yes, they came and saw us and we cherished every single minute of it. And yes we made friends and enjoy our time with them. And at times we felt very alone and that was hard too. But the marriage that we created, we created without any outside influence from friends and family that we had grown up with. I think it was amazing. We hashed out issues, we discussed traits that we would leave behind, and we decided on the legacy we would be setting for our family.
Do I think our marriage would have turned out great if we lived in our home town? Absolutely. I just think this experience provided an opportunity to shape our marriage in an amazing way.

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May 28, 2014

Handmade with Love

The handmade details of our wedding are one of my favorite parts. We made everything, seriously everything. Tyler designed our wedding canopy and his dad built it in Tennessee, dis-assembled it and drove it to Missouri. My uncle cut down trees so that we could use the tree stumps. He also built a cupcake tower.
My friend Caitlin and I made signs. I collected mason jar after mason jar. I had friends help me paint chalk platters or signs, I'm not sure what to call them. I had friends build signs, paint signs, and bake cakes and cupcakes. Everything was handmade. I knew exactly how I wanted my wedding to be and I knew the only way to make it happen was to make everything and to ask for lots and lots of help from friends and family. We had good friends handle all the food for our BBQ reception and we even had someone allow us to borrow hay bales. It was a team effort.
Everything was prepped and ready for the week of the wedding. It just had to be set up.  We had been making things for months and months. Tyler flew in a week before the day of our wedding to help set up. One of my favorite parts was putting together our bouquets. I had ordered fresh flowers and the day before the wedding my bridesmaids and I put together our flowers. I wish I could do that more often. What are you favorite wedding details? 

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May 27, 2014

Wear: Wedding Style

It really is true, every girl loves their wedding dress. Funny story. Tyler and I had set a budget for our wedding and my wedding dress. I found a dress online and I took it in to have it altered. Everything was good. When I went back to try it on it was to small. Not just a little to small. It was so small that we couldn't zip it up. This was actually a blessing, because I was able to purchase a new dress, one that I liked even better. I love, love, love my wedding dress.

Prior to getting my dress I decided I wanted to make my wedding jewelry. I made my earrings, my necklace, and my bracelet. Everything was super cheap and super easy to make. I think picking a hair style was the hardest part. I knew I wanted it up. At first we tried a low up do. That didn't' really work for me. Luckily, I had an amazing stylist. I had shown her two different pictures. She basically combined both and it was perfect.
I finished everything off with a pair of cow girl boots. That's how mid-west girls do it! What is your favorite wedding style?

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May 26, 2014

Celebrate With Us!

Today is the day! Tyler and I are celebrating our two year anniversary and we are so excited! We're celebrating from afar today and we love that. Usually Tyler is much more elegant at  putting into words the past years we've been together. I say that because I wish I had those words now. I've loved every minute of our life together. I love the laughs, the fights, and the everyday moments. This week I've decided to subject you to all things wedding related. Your welcome. I knew that secretly you wanted to see our wedding photos, right? A shout out goes to Angela J. Martin Photography! Her photography will be gracing these pages for the next couple of days. If you're in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, or Oklahoma (hello 4-states!) you should check her out! If you're anywhere else you should check her out too! She loves to travel!

Tyler and I were married at a dear friends house. They graciously let us take over their property and home the week of our wedding. I had stuff stored in the attic for months. I dropped of vintage doors and wooden spindles. They built signs, let us cut down trees, and built door frames. We were blessed by them in huge amazing ways. We were surrounded by wonderful friends and family and had an amazing time. Stick around this week for more photos of wedding style, all of our DIY details, and how our marriage was shaped once we moved away.

I love this photo of our wedding party! It's full of people who we love and who have covered us in love. They have been with us through ups and downs. We have been in their weddings and they have been in ours.

Are you ready for this wedding week?

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May 22, 2014

A Bit of My Story

A while ago Amanda asked me if I lived in Joplin during the EF5 Tornado. I was living in Joplin, so I decided to tell a little bit of my story. We lived in the path of the Tornado. Technically, while we were in the path we weren't in the direct line of total devastation. We were two blocks away. Which meant we had broken windows, a whole in our roof, one totaled car, and nearly all of our trees were up rooted. However two blocks down there was nothing. We were very blessed and I believe God's hand was over us.

I decided that today would be a good day to share since it marks 3 years since that day. When you read this, please don't apologize, because these moments I'm sharing have healed and passed. Here is my story.

I was living with my mom at the time. It was Sunday evening and I was cooking dinner. My mom had just finished some yard work and we watched the storm roll in. I went outside to let Zoe in and then went back to cooking dinner. Storms are no big thing in Joplin so we didn't think much about it. The lights started to flicker and my only response was, "the power better not go out until I finish cooking." Like I said, no big thing. So the power went out and my mom and I started to pay a little bit more attention to the weather. I cracked a joke and asked her if she remember where we were supposed to go in a tornado. Her response was wrong and I replied in a joking snarky voice. Our tornado room was my mom's closet. It was in the center of the house and the safest place. We decided that we would at least put the dogs in her room to be prepared so that if something did happen we wouldn't be looking for them.

We headed into my mom's room with the dogs and as we entered I went to look out the window. "If there was any time to get into the closet, it would be now." I couldn't see past our shed outside because of the debris. We sat crouched in the closet holding the dogs and waited. Debris started to hitting the house, we could hear the windows shatter and I heard all the trees hit the ground. My mom and I started to pray and kept waiting for it to be right on top of us. Which, thankfully never happened. The tornado passed and we exited. I called Tyler and all he heard was... "A tornado just went over our house, a tornado just went over our house!" Then the call dropped. He was living in Tennessee at the time.
A lot happened on that day. My brother who was living across down was not affected. He drove over, but had to park a couple of blocks away because nearly all the streets were blocked. I remember things so vividly. Once my brother arrived we walked two blocks dow. The photos above are what I saw. I have many pictures; cars upside down, people searching for others in the debris, people broken and crying. I didn't want to post any of those photos... that was the hardest part, taking those photos. 
Below is a photo of my mom's house. When I see this photo I think about how blessed we were and I think about how Jesus was really with us. Every house surrounding us took on more damage then we did. Every house around us was full of debris. Many people were unable to stay in there homes, but my mom and I still had our beds to sleep in and a roof over our head. We were without power for 9 days and the section of the city we lived in was under curfew because of all the damage and lack of power. When you drove in my neighbor at night it was pitch black. I was stopped a couple times driving home for a vehicle check to confirm I lived in that area.
Over time things started to look up. People came from all over the world to help Joplin rebuild. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. People helped us clean up our yard, people helped us board up our windows, people dropped off food and supplies. The photo below is a wonderful representation of how many people came to help. So many of them signed the inside of this home.
I wanted to end this post on a happy note. So I've include photos from when Extreme Home Maker came to Joplin to build 7 homes in 7 days. I have tons and tons of photos from the tornado and from when Extreme Home Maker was there, but that's TOO many photos. It was crazy, it was amazing, and it was so fun to see!
If you  have made it to the end, you rock! That may have been one of the longest posts I have ever done. Props to you my friend!

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May 21, 2014

The Circle: Setting Goals

Goals have been a part of my main vocabulary these days. I'm not quite sure if I would get anything done otherwise. With all my goal setting I was super stoked to co-host The Circle with Kiki and dream up a goals related post. For me, goals keep me focused and on track. They help me work through my dreams and where I want to go next.

Kiki and I would love to to share our goals with you and for you to share  your goals with us! I've decided to share my goals for June, but we would love for you to share you goals for the week, for the month, or for any time.

JUNE GOALS:

1.) Sign up for a Skillshare class or two or three or four. I should probably stick to one class for June. I've recently found a slew of classes I want to take so for June my goal is to narrow it down to one and sign up.

2.) Launch blogger worksheets. If you were here yesterday you got a sneak peek at the new worksheets that I'm dreaming up. I'm still in the process of designing and testing them, but my goal is to have them launched by the end of June.

3.) Update my sidebar to 300px wide. This is basically maintence, but I've been slowing updating all my sidebar images and will make the switch by June.

4.) Order new business cards. I'm almost out of business cards and a new design is in order. The goal is to have new business cards order by the time the worksheets launch. I am crazy excited about all these new changes!
So what are your current goals? Kiki and I cannot wait to see what your dreaming up!

To join, all you have to do is write your post, grab a button, link-up and meet some other bloggers in The Circle! If you're social media savvy, you can also use hashtag #thecirclelinkup, too!



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May 19, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 09

Three words. Blog Life hangout. I got together with Meg and Beth to chat about Blog Life. It was crazy fun! If you haven't done a Google Hangout I totally recommend it! It's totally cool to chat with bloggers in real time and I always get super pumped to hear their voices.
Our most recent biking adventure took us to Noah's New York Bagels. Tyler and I headed to downtown Burbank again and met one of our friends at Noah's. It was really fun and yes, their bagels were so good!
Tyler and I received this book as an anniversary gift and we're really excited to dive in. Tyler has already started and the first night he started reading it he kept stopping to tell me how amazing it was. I can't wait to be inspired by this read and share it with all of you!
Last week it was in the high 90's and 100's. Everyday I just told myself it was 100. Crazy hot! And you know what crazy hot days mean, don't you? That's right, Magnum bars with almonds. They are basically amazing. If you have never had them you need to go to the grocery store and get some. For Reals. Get on this.
Tyler found this tiny praying mantis on our last photo shoot. It was so little. It was a little windy that day and I kept wondering if he was just going to fly right off of Tyler's fingers. God's creation is beautiful.

Other things:
I updated my sponsor packages! Check it out here! I'm super pumped about it and would love to work with you! It is one of my favorite things to do collaborations, so let's do this! My largest ad is pretty booked but there is still opportunity to get on board with one of the other packages. Don't miss out!

(Do you want to stay update to date with more everyday moments? Follow on INSTAGRAM)

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