Friday, July 31, 2009

show us your life: your wedding

i decided to join in on kelly's "show us your life" blog carnival and this week the theme is your, dresses, music, etc. sometimes it's hard to imagine that we've been married for almost 8 months and then other times, it feels as if we've been together forever...i almost don't remember what it was like NOT to be married. it's such a gift and the most amazing thing (i think being single since until i was 30 has really caused me to cherish and appreciate this gift...i don't ever want to take the awesome opportunity of being mrs. alley for granted).

okay, no more seriousness or sappyness...on to the pictures and some incredible memories! (note: these are pics friends and family shared with us...i don't have my professional pics on the computer, yet.) before joel and i were engaged, he asked me what my dream wedding would be like and i didn't hesitate to describe it because, like any little girl, i had been dreaming about my wedding for most of my life. i had always wanted a wedding in december mostly because i always loved how my home church was decorated at christmas. i always thought the sanctuary looked beautiful and i just love christmas....the music, the time of year, etc.
so, we were married on december 6, 2008 at parkwood baptist church. parkwood holds such a special place in my life and in my heart because i grew up attending there and all of the significant spiritual milestones of my life happened in that sanctuary. i came to know the Lord there, i was baptized there, i made my true love waits commitment there, and i accepted the call to full time ministry at that altar.

i love this before the ceremony picture. you can't see that there is also garland draped along the balcony and we had candles lining the center aisle pews.

joel and i felt strongly that a wedding ceremony is a worship experience and it was our desire that everything in our ceremony clearly declare that we were there to worship the Lord. we believe that becoming man and wife is a holy moment before the Lord and wanted our ceremony to honor and glorify Him. one of my favorite songs in the ceremony was sung just after the bridal party was in place and just before my entrance. our friend and amazing musician jason lanier sang travis cottrell's "forevermore". i loved that the song was all about the Lord and that we (joel and i) were in that place to be married only because of the Lord's graciousness and lovingkindness toward us and that we will sing His praise forevermore! we also had a family blessing where both sets of parents came forward before my father gave me away to pray a blessing over us and the beginning of our family. we practiced reading through the prayers because i just knew that when i heard my daddy pray, i would lose it! thankfully, i was able to hold it together :). after our family blessing, jason and our friend meredith (hello, incredible voice!) sang "the prayer" and it was simply amazing.

here we are exchanging our vows and rings.

after the exchange of vows and rings, we took the Lord's supper together for the first time as a married couple. it was such an intimate and incredible moment. jason sang "o holy night" and i remember being so overwhelmed at that moment at the goodness and graciousness of the Lord that He was allowing me to marry such a Godly man.

you may now kiss your bride :0)

the entire wedding party

up close of the wedding party
i loved my bridesmaid dresses...i thought they were flattering for everyone and very elegant. i also loved my flowers. the bridesmaids carried red roses and i carried a bouquet of ivory roses.
i had the best attendants a girl could ask for. everything about that day literally was absolutely perfect. we had the best time together getting ready before the ceremony while the girls were having their hair done and then i had the opportunity to just be with my mom, dad, sister, niece, and aunt while i was getting ready. it was such an amazing day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

the random rundown

maybe you've noticed a lack of consistency in blogging lately? or maybe not...either way, i've not been terribly consistent in writing. just know that i feel bad about that...well, kind of :). life is just really busy for us and the next thing you know, another week has passed with no updated blog post. i keep waiting for a magical blog fairy to write for me but she continues to fail me. so, since there appears to be no magical blog fairy i guess i will procrastinate cleaning the bathroom and just update it myself :).

paisley has been to puppy school twice now and is doing really well. she's caught on quickly to the commands they've been teaching (the commands have actually been quite helpful while we've been dealing with her at home, thank goodness) and she is having fun making new puppy friends. joel and i joke that if paisley were a person, we're pretty sure she would totally be a cruise director. she has a fun little personality and she LOVES people...even if she's never met you, she loves you. i'm thankful she isn't afraid or intimidated by strange people and glad we didn't plan on her being our guard dog. :)

other than that, there's not a whole lot of news. work for me is stressful (hello, new ss year...we need 175 ss teachers by august 23rd) but hubs is enjoying work and is really busy right now. we've gotten to spend a lot of time this summer with family and friends grilling out and at the pool which has been awesome. we've been so busy but have tried to take time to enjoy life and summer time :).

oh. my. word. i almost forgot one exciting bit of news...we're going to kenya!! yes, we're going to kenya on a mission trip in october. our applications have been turned in, i'm working on getting my passport and our team starts meeting next week. we're SUPER excited about this opportunity. we will both have the chance to use our gifts to minister to people in a village in kenya and we can't wait. i, however, am not excited about all the shots and what not but i'm not going to think about that today (hello, Scarlet O'Hara ;).

well, as much as i've enjoyed updating the old blog, the bathrooms are waiting to be cleaned and there's a puppy trying to hop up in my lap for some attention. hopefully, i will actually sit down and think through something of substance to write for next time. or, i'll just wait two weeks and write another boring and non-informative blog post. either way, i'm sure you're thrilled :).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

puppy school

well, our little paisley is headed for her first day at puppy school tomorrow night. don't let the cuteness fool you...while paisley is adorable, she's also a spunky little stinker who has a lot to learn. her favorite activity is biting...anything, really. hands, toes, feet, clothes, baseboards, bugs,, we're hoping that puppy school will really help turn things around for her. :)

we love her and wouldn't trade her for anything, though. we'll keep you updated on how things go with puppy school...apparently, at the end, they have a little graduation complete with a little hat and everything. we'll make sure to send out graduation announcements if she makes it to graduation :).

Monday, July 6, 2009

nature is dead to me...

it's really no secret that i'm not the "outdoorsy" type of girl. i've never been camping, i don't like bugs (at all), creepy crawly things, and if i'm being brutally honest, i don't really dig being dirty. now, there have been times in my life where i've tried so hard to enjoy the outdoors (one tubing trip comes to mind) and while i had fun, it was clear to me that nature isn't exactly my element. (on that trip in particular, i'll never forget my youth minister telling me how proud he was of me for sticking it out and being a good sport. seriously? i didn't know it was THAT obvious that nature and i aren't bffs.)

like i said, every now and then i try to make up with nature and give it another chance but i always come away either injured, sun burnt, or covered in insect bites. this past weekend was one of those attempts at reconnecting with nature and i'm here to tell you...nature has gone too far this time. i'm sitting here covered (and i promise, i'm not exagerating...just ask hubs) in insect bites and just for my itching pleasure, not just one type of insect violated me nope...three. in the past two days, i've received more than a handful of bites from three different types of insects and i won't wait for you to ask, i'll just go ahead and tell you...i'm kind of miserable. i don't remember itching so much in my life (even with the chicken pox) and in a dramatic moment of disdain, i announced to hubs this evening that nature is dead to me. i'm done with it...this incident has been more than i can stand. so, i'm going to go cover myself in calamine lotion and enjoy being indoors (until the next time i give nature a try...i've done it before and i'm sure i'll do it again). it's more of a love hate relationship that nature and i have together...but with not a whole lot of love unless it's in a controlled, creature free environment :).

pass the cotton balls and the calamine!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

if only i had something exciting to share

life has been pleasantly quiet for us in the last week or so and it couldn't have come at a better time! considering the first part of the summer (june) is spent prepping for and executing vbs (aka...the BIGGEST children's event of the year) the second part (july) is spent recovering from the first :). (we're not even going to discuss august right now which for me = sunday school promotion and that's enough to make me break out in a, moving on ;). blog reader warning: i just want you to keep your expectations in check for this post...i don't want you to be disappointed from the lack of excitement or well, substance.

i mentioned in the last post that we were visiting a resort/spa in our area as a nice little getaway AND it just happened to fall on our two year dating anniversary (yes, we still remember the was only two years ago ;). we stayed at the ballantyne hotel and truly had the best time. i think that i had the best massage i've ever had in my life (oh. my. word). they incorporated hot stones and a scalp treatment into the massage and i truly couldn't even stand up once she was finished (btw--apparently, if you have longish, curly hair a scalp treatment can make you look like the bride of frankenstein which is not recommended when you have to then walk around this fancy, shmancy hotel to get back to your room. i'm just wasn't my hair's finest hour but i was so relaxed i didn't care...well, maybe i did a little ;). that little 24 hour trip was just the best...we rested, we relaxed, we had some yummy food, an awesome massage, and really great conversation.

while we were gone, our little paisley, got to host a fun sleepover with my best friend, marissa. she graciously agreed to come stay at our house with our spunky little schnoodle and ris reported back that they had the best time, too. unfortunately, i forgot to pack the camera, so we have no pictures of our little 24 hour vacay. :(

the rest of our week has consisted of working, spending time with family, spending time at the pool, going to movies, playing outside, and the pool (did i mention the pool? we are LOVING our neighborhood pool this year!;). again, no pictures...such a tragedy, i know.

if you're still awake at the end of this completely boring and uninformative post, call us and we'll take you to dinner because you certainly deserve a little something for sticking with it this long.

hopefully, something exciting will happen between now and the next time i least i hope so for your sake. :) until then, we'll try to keep the mediocrity to a minimum.