Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birthday Bliss...

Saturday,  my GOOD LOOKIN' fiancĂ© turned 23! I wanted to do something adventurous and memorable for his birthday, something that showed him how much I LOVE and appreciate him. Chase is always going the extra mile to make me feel special so I was determined to make his birthday ALL about him!

I picked him up around 12pm, on my way to get him, I picked up a shamrock shake (had to fit St. Patty's Day in too). When we got to the car, I pulled out a bandanna and told him our destination was going to be a surprise! (He was such a trooper!) 
We arrived at our destination, a friend's BEAUTIFUL home tucked away from the city. Lunch was ready on the porch (hired the AMAZING Carrie Willink, you can check out her work here: ) 

Table display when we walked in....LOVELY! The menu for the  afternoon, was:

 A four course meal including Fruit Skewers with Sweet Cream Dip, Fresh Garden Salad, Lemon Pepper Taliapia, Zesty Rice, Green Beans, Garlic Butter Rolls... for dessert ~Key Lime Pie/Cream Puff Cupcakes!  


  The food was delicious! Carrie, was so thoughtful, she made us each a cupcake to sample for our wedding! (she is doing our wedding cake/cupcakes) This won't be the last time these cupcake make an appearance, they were DELECTABLE!

NEXT up....PHOTO scavenger hunt! As I mentioned before, Chase (and I) LOVES a good adventure, so I figured a photo scavenger hunt (finding his B-day gifts along the way, would be the perfect plan!) First up, MEGA JENGA...set up on the patio...BEAUTIFUL day to be outside!

 1st photo we had to take, was when we got our Jenga tower 24 stories you can see I forgot how cameras operate....we really only had 24 stories...NOT the "42" our fingers are saying! haha...

 #2...."take a picture in a park with no swings, holding a sign with the date of your birthday.
 #3..."Find a statue and take a picture of yourself doing the same thing...
 #4..."the girl proposes to the guy" -had some weird looks during this one!
 #5..."Find a garden gnome and take a pic. holding it" 
 #6..."Can't believe we all fit"-take a picture with both of you in it...

 #7..."fill up your car with $.50 worth of gas and take picture holding receipt. 

#8..."Take 3 random pictures with hat and mask....

As you can see we had some fun with this one! haha....                                             

 #9..."Act out a scene from a movie" Can you guess what movie we are in?...."Extreme Days" when the cast goes to grocery store to stock up on food for road trip:)
 #10... Take a picture sharing a drink"...

 #11..."Capture your reflection in a surprising way"...this was our attempt....if you look hard you can see us! 
 Take #2....a mirror, not surprising....but got the job done:)

 #12..." find an animal and take its picture" we aren't in this one because we didn't feel like being slopped on by a wet dog...but it was quite amusing to see several dogs take a dip in Lake Michigan!
 #13..."stand in a tunnel and capture your silhouette"...
 #14..."spell the word "LOVE" in a creative way"...

We had a wonderful day! Definitely a Birthday to remember! Filled with laughter, smiles, and memories! A HUGE thanks to Carrie Willink for helping me make this such a special day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March showers, bring BEAUTIFUL FLOWER....girls

The picture says it ALL! She is in all her glory, and can NOT wait to wear this dress for Miss Lindsey's Wedding! I can't believe the wedding is only 4 months away! WOW! That reality brings so many emotions....

EXCITEMENT....I am so thrilled and anxious to begin life with my future husband! He truly is the LOVE of my life, he is always reminding me what is so precious and wonderful about this life, as he continuously points me to our awesome Savior. Chase loves a good adventure, and always has time for a  laugh. He loves me and makes me feel beautiful, EVEN when my hair is pulled up and I am worn out from the busyness of life.

EXHAUSTION and ANTICIPATION....something with the theme "wedding" is ALWAYS running in my mind. Along with the other thousands of daily thoughts, ideas, and tasks that need to get accomplished. Like every normal person, I have lists, sticky notes, mental notes, planners, calendars, emails, voicemails, deadlines, phone calls, and commitments....But when you add that all together, with planning a wedding, and searching for a house.....the chaos erupts! And then in the midst of it all, I hear that still small voice, as it whispers... "Be still my child, and know that I am God."...I am your strength, come to me when you are weary and worn-out, I will give you rest." Ah....Yes.....breathe in his grace and breathe out his love......

...And steal a few more glances at the joy and innocence of this adorable (soon-to-be) flower girl....:) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I thought School was behind us...

In preparation for married life, Chase and I have chosen to participate in pre-marital counselling. We are already learning some things about one another that we were surprised we didn't already know:)

Along with our counselling sessions, there has been a good amount of reading and workbook homework. (HOMEWORK?? Thought we were done with school???) But it has been a good thing for both of us, and a tangible example, that the marriage relationship doesn't come easy. It takes time, effort, compromise, encouragement, communication, humility, and above all, LOVE.

It has been a very good experience so far, and I pray that God continues to use it as a guide in our relationship now and for MANY MANY years to come, as we learn how to love each other in new and different ways, remembering that Christ first loved us, and it is ONLY by his amazing grace that we can love Him and others.

One thing that has been a theme throughout our counselling so far, is the fact that neither one of us should be each other's 1st love. Our first love should ALWAYS be Christ. When Chase and I point one another to Christ, and keep our focus on the Cross first and foremost, we will be loving one another in greater and deeper ways. God desires to use our marriage to advance His kingdom, and bring Him Ultimate glory!!

We aren't even halfway through our sessions yet, and we would already agree that pre-marital counselling is a great tool to prepare our young, sinful hearts for marriage. So if you are engaged, dating or desire to be married one day, I would strongly encourage you to take the time, and invest a little thought and love into your (future) marriage, by participating in some sort of pre-marital counselling.

Even for you love birds who are already married, and have gone through these books or something similar, I would challenge you, to first open your Bible and devote some quality time with your Lord, and then dig those "marriage" books back out from the attic or from under the bed, and re-evaluate where your relationship with your spouse is. You NEVER know how a few minutes of meditation and reminiscing from your past, could  help strengthen your marriage today!

" We love- because he first loved us"
                ~1 John 4:19 

Preparing for Marriage God's WayTimothy Keller, Kathy Keller'sThe Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God [Hardcover]2011