Thursday, July 24, 2008

just because...

today i received the best surprise at delivered to me in person from my love just because he loves me (that's what the card said...amazing, absolutely amazing)! seriously, i had a moment where i thought i was just going to melt. he is truly the best. ever.
thank you, babe, for being so good to me and wanting to encourage me and love me in such a special way. i love you!

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135 days until

my wedding. just thought i'd share the joy with you...i know that december 6 can't come soon enough for me!!

we've spent this week working on our save the date cards and completing the wedding guest list; we're getting more and more excited as the days go by.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

sitting on the dock of the bay...

vacation...i miss it; today is my second day back at work and it was hard to get up and come in this morning. it was especially hard knowing the stuff and issues and problems that had been patiently (and some not so patiently) waiting on me to return to the office. i've had a pretty eventful last month or so with vbs, camp, july 4th stuff and vacation so it's been hard to return to business as usual today.

we had such a blast last week at the family (all 8 of us) plus joel stayed in the condo we ALWAYS stay in at north myrtle beach and we had so much fun.
i loved, absolutely loved the time i spent with my family and with joel; it was so neat watching him play with my nephews and my niece. they absolutely adore him; i can't tell you how many times i heard, "joel, come sit with me" or "hey joel are you coming with us?" it warms my heart that those three little people who have been the center of my world for so long love and enjoy being with joel. before i met joel, one of my prayers was that the Lord would provide a husband who not only loved me (that's important, though ;) but that also loved my family. it is such a sweet thing to be able to sit on the sidelines and watch those relationships grow and develop.

so, back to the beach (oh how i wish i were really GOING back!)...we (well, i endured the sand. i do not love the all. i try to be a happy vacationer and deal with it but i would rather have the beach and the ocean without the sand) played in the sand, in the ocean, in the pool, we went to the movies, shopped, had game nights, visited the aquarium, visited alligator adventure, ate out, etc. on wednesday, joel and i drove down to charleston for the day and had the best time. are you beginning to see a pattern? i think it's safe to say that we had fun ;) all week long! so, enough are just a few pics from the week. enjoy!

welcome to myrtle beach! :)

this is ocean creek plantation...the place we stay every year. love it!!

my awesome sister angela on the beach

joel on the beach giving instructions about building something with sand or digging in the sand. all i knew was that it involved i stayed far away ;).

stephen (the bro-in-law) digging in sand. ewww.

andrew playing lawn (or sand, ha ha ha) darts. they're very fun...these magnetic things that i, surprisingly, was very good at playing. just ask joel...i crushed him a time or two with my mad dart playin' skillz ;).

joel on the beach

oops. the zoom was a little off ;)

that's better (although, i have come close to deleting this picture a zillion times just because i don't think i should expose you to my "beach face" (actually, it's beach face and ocean hair...what a combo!) but oh well...why not expose the beach face to the entire world wide web?

in the pool...

playing with anna banana

in charleston...

standing on the observation deck at the south carolina aquarium

we tried and tried and tried and tried to get a picture of us in front of the deep ocean tank at the aquarium but it never worked. this is the best one (out of what seems like a million). such sadness.

at alligator adventure waiting to see utan, king of the crocodiles, eat lunch.

here he is...good ole' utan. he is the largest crocodile in captivity. he's stinkin HUGE! (that picture really only shows half of him.)

well, we tried more aquarium pictures at the ripley's aquarium at myrtle beach. no more aquarium pics for me.

obviously, this is a posed picture (meaning, i told him to look sad and stick out his bottom lip) but we were really sad to be leaving the beach. we loved vacation this year and tried to make it last as long as possible.

until next year!!!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

what a difference a year makes!

a little over a year ago, i kept hearing about this boy named joel alley. many people in my life were determined that we should meet and that we would be perfect, absolutely perfect for each other. i think it took some convincing on both our parts to allow these friends to set us up (i have never been a fan of the blind date scene and neither has joel); we really made them work overtime in order to make it happen but they were (obviously) able to pull it off and a year later i can tell you that i've never been happier!

it amazes me to look back over the last year to see how the Lord has not only changed and developed my relationship with joel but to see how i have changed over the last year. i cannot begin to express how thankful i am to have been blessed with such a Godly man. i have learned so much about God's love for me this year through my relationship with joel and all i can say is that i'm thankful that i will never be the same! it has been such an amazing thing to see the picture beginning to develop in my own life that is described in ephesians 5; i have a true desire to submit to joel (even though i can be quite the strong willed girl ;) because he loves me as Christ loves the church and i know without a shadow of a doubt that he has my best interest in mind.

i am beyond excited to start this new journey that will begin on december 6, 2008, at 6:00 pm. i can't wait to see where the Lord will take us and how He will change us, grow us, and use us!

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