Monday, February 13, 2012

the story of us

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
we have been together since june, that's 5 years and 8 months.

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
we actually met several times before we "met." {i know that doesn't make sense...let me explain.} at the time i was working at hickory grove baptist as the preschool ministry director and several other staff members from our north campus kept telling me about this great guy named joel alley. my response was always, "well tell him about me and we'll see where it goes. i'm not going to chase a guy." well, they encouraged me to attend a Bible study joel taught and i did {not just to get to meet him but it was definitely a perk ;) } . he didn't notice me AT ALL. so i thought, well, this guy just isn't interested in me at all. little did i know that at that time, joel wasn't even remotely considering or looking to date anyone. i also attended several other singles events and joel alley didn't so much as look in my direction. sigh.

fast forward two years {I KNOW...and those staff members kept raving about him throughout that time} the single's minister and his wife decided to just take charge and they invited us both over to dinner at their house. we had a great time and joel even chased me out the door to get my number {shoes half on, untied and everything}. like they say, the rest is history!

3. How long have you been married?
we've been married 3 years and 3 {almost} months

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?
we were married at my home church, parkwood baptist church, in gastonia, north carolina. i'm not really sure what qualifies a wedding as big, medium, or small but i'd say we had a big, traditional church wedding.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
we're not that creative as far as nicknames go...
joel's nicknames for me: baby, sweetie, sweets
my nicknames for joel: babe, hot husband {it's how he's listed in my phone contacts ;) }, hubs, my love or love, mr. safety

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
1) he is the most selfless and giving person i've ever met 2) he loves me completely and shows it through his words and actions 3) he can make me laugh like no other person...he is hilarious.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
we'd been dating for 9 months and i knew he already had the ring but he had made a big deal about wanting to wait to get engaged until we'd been together for a year. of course, i hoped he would propose sooner but he seemed pretty determined to wait until june. so, i was trying really hard to not get so excited and not to start booking reception locations, look for dresses, etc. :) the really challenging part of this situation was that joel was so excited about the ring that he kept bringing it up and wanting to talk about it...which was NOT helpful in my whole trying to not let my excitement get out of hand. so i finally had to tell him that i didn't want him to talk about the ring until he was proposing and he agreed.

the next weekend he had asked me to clear my schedule for that saturday for a day in the mountains {one of our favorite places}. so i thought...maybe he'll propose then! a picnic in the mountains sounds like a perfect proposal idea {and i was secretly hoping he was being so adamant about a june proposal to throw me off to surprise me with a proposal much sooner}!! well, i woke up saturday morning to RAIN. ugh. i'm not gonna lie, i cried and not just a few glistening was the full on ugly cry. i'm pretty sure i told my mom that i didn't think that he was ever going to propose {dramatic, much??}.

joel came to pick me up and said that he thought it would be nice to just go for a drive since it was supposed to rain all day in the mountains. i had already resigned myself to the fact that i wasn't getting engaged that day and i was trying so hard to enjoy the day and not be grumpy. we drove around for awhile {think back roads} talking and listening to music and at this point, it had stopped raining. so we stopped to grab some sandwiches for lunch and i still had no idea where we were going. we ended up at a botanical garden to have a "picnic." we had lunch and i was seriously trying to fight off the tears and not be a grumpy girl {i'm not proud of it, just being real}. after lunch joel suggested that we walk over to the orchid conservatory so that's what we did. we walked through and joel stopped at a bench in front of a beautiful water wall with orchids and everything. we sat down and he said, "i know you don't want me to talk about the ring but what if i wanted to show it to you?" {still not cluing in to what was going on...i know, i know but i had done a great job convincing myself that he wasn't going to propose} i said, "no, i don't want to see it, either...not until you're proposing." at that point, he got down on one knee, said some really amazing and beautiful things and asked me to marry him. obviously, i said yes! :-)

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne , and rose petals?
i don't really think that he is either...maybe kind of a mixture. he's a flowers, nice dinner out, and thoughtful gift kind of guy :).

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
i am definitely a pop in a movie, relax on the couch kind of girl. {i like romantic dinners but i'm not a fan of the beach. at. all.}

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
we love to travel and have been to a handful of fun places {pictured below} but we have a list of places we'd like to go; i'd love to get to be a parent with him someday {hopefully sooner than later}; i'd also really love to be able to go on a mission trip with my love someday.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
we are going to have a romantic dinner at the melting pot {one of our favorite spots}. i'm working on a surprise for hub's gift...hope he loves it!

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
only to get to spend time with my love :)

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
after only 3 years of marriage, i definitely know that i'm not a marriage expert but first i would say that while i love, love, love being married, it's more than flowers, gushy feelings, and hearts. it's about comittment and dedication even when things are's a daily decision to love another person and put them before yourself. also, you can't expect another person to make you happy...that's not their job {and happiness really isn't the goal of the christian life but that's another post for another day ;) }. bottom line, to have a strong marriage that is full of love, you have to live by the Spirit allowing His grace, love, mercy, and compassion flow through you. i also think it's really important to laugh and laugh a lot. :-)

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


i'm not a fan of anything messy...whether it is describing a room or a difficult situation, i'm simply not a fan. you see, i'd rather have things nice and orderly tied up neatly with a pretty ribbon but that simply isn't the way things are in life right now. {for reals, though, is life ever NOT at least a little messy?}

messy. i think i'm pretty good at looking put together on the outside but the inside on most days? messy. it's been four months since i last blogged {almost to the day} and it's been four months since my life and my family's life was turned completely upside down.

i've followed Jesus for 26 years and have walked through challenges, difficulties, and struggles before but i've never had to face anything like this. i'm going to be honest {why stop now, right?;) } that it's the hardest thing i've ever dealt with to this point in my life. sometimes {most times} i'd rather keep the messy stuff to myself and most times that's appropriate, but sometimes it spills out on the "pages" of this blog and i'm learning to be okay with that. i'm learning to be okay with messy. this journey we call life? it's messy and if we're going to live it, we're going to have to face those difficult situations and challenges.

so here i am, four months {almost to the day} later and i'm still pretty broken and raw from everything my family and i have walked through, but the Lord has been so gracious, patient, loving, compassionate, and merciful to me. over and over i end up before Him with my hands outstretched offering up "the mess" because i've learned first hand that He is close to the brokenhearted . can i say that i'm thankful for these trials? i can't say that i'm there, yet, but i am so completely thankful for the Lord's goodness and patience while i've wrestled and struggled through all of this.

a lot of things have been uncertain over the last four months but there are several things that are certain. my God has been faithful, gracious, merciful, and compassionate as i've faced this messy, difficult journey.

praise Him...He is good.