Saturday, June 22, 2013

sunroom living

yesterday we kicked off the weekend relaxing in our new sunroom.  our living room couch finally arrived thursday, which means the sunroom finally has some seating!  i am loving how the sunroom is starting to come together.  it gets gorgeous light in the afternoon and since we are on a hill you can actually see it setting between the beautiful old magnolia trees.  sitting in there before dinner was so peaceful and relaxing, it was almost like a vacation. hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

remembering our wedding day

i always get nostalgic near our anniversary and start looking through our wedding photos, thinking back to that day, what has changed, what has stayed the same.  a wedding day is so significant because it starts the beginning of a story.  it starts the beginning of a new family and it is something that you will talk about for the rest of your life, tell your children stories about, and hopefully grandchildren.  everyone's day is unique and special to them, and i hope i can always remember the details and look back to that day when love is tough, when marriage is work and life is challenging.  so, i've decided to carve out some time and blog about it.  not really for you, but more for me, my family, my friends, and future babies.  see, our day was extra unique - yeah yeah yeah that's what every past bride says.  no, i promise, the story will be worth the read.  i know this because it impacted so many people and was unforgettable to so many.

june 20th, 2009 was a beautiful day in tampa, florida.  it was the hottest day of the summer thus far.  it was muggy and it even rained for a few minutes as it tends to do every day in florida summers.  all of tyler's friends and family had flown in from texas, all of my georgia friends had come down south, and all my tampa people were ready for the party.  we had been planning this day for twenty-one years ten and a half months.  i'm the oldest grandchild on both sides, so the family was excited for their first wedding.

after starting the morning off with a much need prayer breakfast, hair and makeup ensued, and i had a very enjoyable morning with all my girls relaxing and prepping. the first glance went well, and my nerves were then calmed.  i was ready to walk down that packed church aisle and marry my best friend.  the ceremony could not have been more perfect.  the music was just like i had imagined in my head over and over again.  it was like a dream.  perfect. sweet. and most importantly focused on glorifying our God. i had prayed so much that our marriage would not just be an event, but a worship service, blessing everyone that attended and focusing on the one thing that really matters.  i struggled with balancing the material things of the big day with the real purpose and meaning of marriage.  of course i wanted it to be beautiful just like any girl, but i didn't want people to walk away just thinking about the flowers.

little did i know that prayer would be answered in a huge way.

so, fast forward to the reception.  we pulled up to the yacht club and my adorable wedding planner greeted us by saying, "we have a little problem".  going through my head i was thinking "little problem, lets see...the linens don't match.  the flowers fell over. the cake didn't arrive."  then, she lowered the boom. we had no power.

no power? wait, what? how?

i can remember a rumor going around that a squirrel had fallen in the transformer and blew the fuse.  haha.

in actuality, the fuse had been blown due to too much power being used all day in preparation for the reception. very unfortunate, i know. so here we were, just married, and faced with our first big dilemma.

ironically, i had just said to my new sweet husband that i didn't even care about the party.  i had survived the nerve racking parts and the purpose of the wedding had already been accomplished.  we were married and that's what mattered.

i knew everyone would be watching us to see how we reacted and i knew it was time to practice what i preach.  so, despite this huge set back on this reception that i had worked hours and hours on (and spent dad's money), we walked into the ballroom and decided to have a party and celebrate the start of this new story.

since it was summer, the sun didn't set until late, so we had plenty of light, along with all the candles that i had asked for.  there was a slight breeze coming in off the bay, which helped a tiny bit in the ghastly heat. the food was already prepared, we just needed some music to get the party started.  our good friend matt murphy hopped on the piano to get the party going while the band tried to figure out how to play their instruments without power.  it was a group effort miracle, but we suddenly had a party.

now, the one thing i kept thinking about is how we had to have a first dance.  one of the groomsmen, colin bates, had played the guitar at our ceremony and thankfully had it in his car, so he offered to play for us.  it had to be a song he already knew and we had to pick quickly.  a few months before the wedding i had been visiting tyler in texas and had heard colin playing shane and shane's vision of you and thought to myself, "gosh, i love that song - i wish we could play it at our wedding".  unfortunately, i had already chosen the songs and we didn't have room in the ceremony for another.  little did i know that that song would be used in a very memorable way.  once it was decided, the dance floor cleared, and the most intimate and real first dance began.  i remember holding tyler's sweaty hands, hearing colin's voice praising our God, and the echo of the guitar strings bouncing off the silent and still ballroom.  i kept telling myself not to cry, to enjoy this moment, and to remember that this was what marriage is all about.  two imperfect people in an imperfect world, coming together to worship and give glory to God.

over the past four years we have read some good books on marriage, my favorite being tim keller's meaning of marriage.  i have learned that marriage isn't about being perfect or happy. it's about finding someone who will make your more like Christ everyday and realize that all that really matters in life is glorifying God.  my stubborn and wondering heart is overwhelmingly blessed to have such a defined memory of our wedding day as a constant reminder of what this crazy life is all about.

thank you family and friends for making that day so special for us.  for dancing (and singing!) despite the heat and for more importantly loving and praying for us along the way.

also, thank you erik clausen for snapping all those photos in the heat, let them eat cake for using icing that doesn't melt, marble slab for the much needed ice cream, jodi anderson for using great makeup that didn't run, my friend lindsay for putting my hair up so beautifully, my sister for not choosing long dresses, colin bates and matt murphy for music entertainment, wedding party and guests for your sweet dance moves, and zoe gallina for coordinating everything so well despite the circumstances.

husband, i love you and our crazy wedding day.

below are some of my favorite black and whites from that day.


see more details here and more photos here


look at those babies.  i just want to hug them and squeeze them and tell them that whatever you hope and dream for, life together will be even better than you can imagine.  also, don't sweat the small stuff. pun, intended if your know the story of june 20th, 2009.  happy 4 year anniversary, my love.

Monday, June 17, 2013

summer cookout

last night we had our friends the daniels over for a last minute sunday supper.  we had told them at church all about our new grill and our first night grilling, so we decided to pull our sunday suppers together and dine al fresco with one of our favorite meals :: grilled portobello burgers.  the recipe was adapted from here and it is amazing.  highly recommend you add it to your grilling rotation this summer!