The Stones Roll into Year Four

On this day, three years ago, I woke up in a quaint bed and breakfast on my wedding day. Many girls dream of that fairy tale wedding, and I certainly lived it. The day started with breakfast with six of my closest girlfriends, then it was off to hair and makeup. Mimosas anyone?

We took MANY ‘getting ready’ photos before actually getting ready. Then it was time for a first look with my dad. (Definitely recommend!) Priceless. Next, I waited for my bridesmaids to finish getting ready (yes, I said it) so we could go take bridal party pictures. I didn’t do a first look with Cason, so it was just us girls and the family. Then we waited some more while the guys took pictures.

ec2c0203801be3fa36d14d033d4d47ab

Before I knew it, it was wedding time. I rode in a car down to the barn and waited with the bridesmaids and my dad for the processional to begin. I also remember that across the street a car had swerved into the ditch–thankfully they were okay, and it wasn’t anyone who was attending the wedding. When my dad and I walked to the end of the aisle, I remember feeling overwhelmed at how many people had come to see us get married.  Then about a third of the way down the aisle, my veil got stuck on the newly installed hardwood plank floor, tugging my head back. I stopped in the middle of the aisle, and my dad urgently whispered “Where are you going?” Honestly the funniest memory from that day, especially considering I’d always said growing up that I didn’t want to wear a veil on my wedding day. (I don’t regret it. It was beautiful, and worth the hang up.) After the wedding coordinator unhooked my veil from the floor, I walked down to Cason, and the rest is history! I only remember bits and pieces of what Cason’s dad said as he officiated the ceremony, but I remember how I felt–the prayers were beautiful and sincere, and the love was palpable. (Random side-note: the heaters were on and kept blowing my veil and hair.)

464b0d8e22d1b27b8fb42dad03c6d279

We kissed. People cheered. And I can’t believe it’s been three years. And honestly, I know this sounds cheesy, but believe me when I say that I felt like Cason was the only person I saw clearly that day. While I certainly remember talking with everyone and dancing, it was like I was seeing Cason with 20/20 vision and everything else blurred in the periphery. What a lovely way to feel on your wedding day.

Another thing I remember is that my bouquet was the most gorgeous arrangement of flowers I’ve ever seen. I LOVED them. Still do. At some point between the post-ceremony pictures and the reception, my bouquet was placed in a vase as the centerpiece for our table, unbeknownst to me. I remember saying that they were beautiful too! And someone gently informed me that they were in fact my bridal bouquet. (I did not toss that bouquet. Sorry bridesmaids, but I think I stole one of yours. Haha)

1a16722356f3fe5cce7041a6198cb30b

 

Well, if you’ve made it this far in my recap of one of the most beautiful days ever, you may as well keep reading about the things that have happened since then. Cason and I have lived in 3 cities in 3 years, got a puppy, got a rabbit, and that’s about it.  Kidding! But sitting here and sharing wisdom from three years of marriage sounds a little silly. I mean three years is more than one (duh), but it’s not 5 or 10 or 30. So how about I say this…with everything that we’ve experienced and learned in three years, I cannot even begin to imagine what the Lord has in store for us for the rest of our marriage. We’re just getting started, and I’m thankful for this stage of our marriage.

5ecb4577ca8c0aae53089dbaddf9c6e0

Thank you to everyone who believed and had faith in God’s plan for our relationship and marriage from the beginning. Thank you to those who have come along side us and stood by us to support us emotionally and otherwise. Thank you to my friends who insisted I leave Target and go home to my husband when I was upset. Thank you to the couples who intentionally give grace and mercy in their marriages and remind me to do the same. Thanks be to God, who has a bigger plan than I can even begin to fathom. And of course thanks to my husband who is still here after 3 years that included some of the toughest battles of my life. The Lord knew exactly what he was doing when he denied my heart’s desire to go to China and gave me you on a spring day in 2013. Here’s to year number four and all the growth, joy, and grace it may bring. I love you today, still.

 

Advertisements

taking a turn for the better

Sorry for the delay in posts; graduate school consumes about 70% of my life now (and that’s probably an understatement).  The first weekend of the month I actually flew home to see my cousin get married to her high school sweetheart.  It was beautiful, and it was wonderful to see my family.

casie

Last week I struggled with anxiety, and I was very sick on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thankfully I’m feeling better.  I definitely bounced back more quickly than I would have this time last year.  I’m thankful to have Cason here by my side.  The move to Texas has been a transition for the both of us, but we are making it through together.  Cason has a new job.  I have new friends, I think (which is a big deal for me).  I’ve even managed to stay in touch with some GA friends, and that’s honestly something I was most worried about; I’m terrible about keeping in touch, even with my best friends.  I’m blessed to have friends who reach out to me especially given that we are all so busy.

Cason and I also believe we have found a new church home.  The worship music is an excellent combination of contemporary worship music and new renditions of old hymns; it reminds me of RUF worship at Mercer. (Shout out to the RUF band! Miss you!)   The sermons provide informative historical backgrounds for the verses each week, and I really like his preaching style.  It’s all very Bible-oriented, which should be a no-brainer for the church, but these days it’s harder to find someone who actually preaches the Bible.

hymnpainting

Anyway, now to school-related things.  The past couple of weeks I have advised my undergraduate students to evaluate their midterm goals, so I decided to make a few of my own.  I’ve encouraged my students to be open and honest, and I tried to do the same on my evaluation.  Writing these goals down helped me get the ball rolling in some areas.  I’ve already met a couple of goals on there, like talking to my professors, scheduling more time for coursework, and studying with my peers.  Perhaps I should add some more goals to this list!  Graduate school is bringing out a whole new side of me, and I like it!

midtermgoals
My brutally honest midterm goals evaluation.

I have my first exam in Ethics of School Psychology (<–short version of the course title) on Monday, and I’ve made a study plan to help me tackle all the information from 7 class days, an entire textbook,  our program handbook, 10+ articles, and multiple PowerPoint presentations.  Needless to say, I have a lot of studying to do, and it has already begun.  Hopefully my brain won’t be fried after class and I can keep studying this evening.  Even though I’ve only been there a couple of times, Common Grounds is one of my favorite places to study.  Expect to find me there all weekend.

studying

Lastly, today is my 1 year anniversary of this blog, and it’s Baylor homecoming week.  Sic’em.

there’s no place like Mercer

So today is my parents’ anniversary, and I wanted to take a brief moment to say Happy Anniversary!  I am very thankful to have parents who have done everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) it takes to stick together, love one another, and provide a wonderful home and life for me.  Their relationship has taught me that love is about committing yourself to another person and reminding yourself of the responsibilities of that commitment each and every day.  It’s not always about romance, gifts, and flowers, though there’s been a lot of that too.  Love is a beautiful balance between butterflies and commitment.  Any who, happy anniversary to my wonderful parents.  May there be many more.

lucybballThis past weekend I went back to Mercer, which I thoroughly enjoy.  Lately I’ve been hanging around at the house trying and failing to think of productive things to do.  So it’s always nice to head back to Macon and enjoy some productive time with friends.  I got to cheer on my Mercer Bears basketball team for a win.  When I first went to Mercer I was unsure of how this basketball thing was gonna go.  I have cheered for football, both on the sidelines and on the couch practically since I could walk and talk, so not cheering my school on in football was going to be new for me.  However, I soon found that standing court-side at a basketball game with some of your closest friends and cheering on your team is some of the most fun you can have.  I’m thankful for friends like Hailey Cox and Cassie Sanders who took me under their wing freshman year and taught me all I needed to know about basketball.  I’m also glad to have a student section like the Hoffman’s Hooligans, which beats any other A-Sun student section any day.  It has been an honor to be a part of the traditions that have grown at Mercer over just the past four years, and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue.

MollieKDThen the ATOs were having an initiation party Saturday evening, which I went to with my friend, Mollie.  A word of advice to you smarty pants out there who are thinking about graduating early: DON’T!  While you may not miss the classes, the reading, or the homework, you WILL miss the people, almost immediately.  This weekend a friend asked me how my Mercer experience was on a scale of 1 to 10, and I didn’t miss a beat in responding with an enthusiastic, “TEN!”  While college certainly had its ups and downs, it was all well worth it.  What made it worth it was the people, and I wish I had learned that earlier.  I worked hard to keep a good GPA to get into grad school, but if I had trusted myself more to balance work and relationships, I would have discovered sooner that friends are the key to keeping you sane.

MKI was plugged in.  I had 75 sisters I could call at any given time.  I had a community in RUF who had my back.  Yet it wasn’t until my last semester that it all really clicked for me.  Those were the things that mattered.  Looking back, I reflect on the nights I stayed up too late with my sisters or went on retreats with RUF.  The things I learned in the classroom are invaluable, but the things I learned about myself through my friends can’t be taught in the classroom.  I guess that’s why they call it the college experience; you need all of it in order to grow like you want to.  So take advantage of it, and don’t leave a moment sooner than you have to! I know that someday soon I’m going to have to acknowledge that I’ve graduated and learn to move on, but for now I’ll stick to going to as many games and events as I still can before the real world hits.