praise for new paths

babymeme

Today begins my last week of classes. No, this is not going to be another sappy post about all the things I’ve learned in grad school.  You’ve stuck with me through enough of those posts.  No, this time I’m writing about all the things that I’m looking forward to now that we’re wrapping up this path and beginning on a new-ish adventure. Here we go:

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  • Celebrating more than Christmas with family
    • Birthdays, EASTER, Thanksgiving, Softball games, Sunday lunches, life
  • Starting a “big girl” job
    • & praying for excellent supervision on my internship
    • & meeting new people who love working as school psychs
  • Living 2 hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountains
  • New town (and new food places) to explore
    • farmer’s markets, bakeries, coffee shops…yes, please!
  • Praying for community and a church to join
  • Meeting new friends in our same stage of life
    • We’re planting roots this time, y’all.  Whether we’re there for a year or more, we are getting involved and making lifelong friendships.
  • Doing life with Case, wherever it takes us
    • that’s our mantra: doing life together. & I can’t wait to see what life has in store

Things I will actually miss about Wacotown:

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  • Sweet friends to share war work stories with
    • And the piano man
  • Authentic Mexican food
  • Day/weekend trips to Austin (my favorite)
  • Common Grounds (caramel coffee crunch=life)
  • Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market
  • The place where Case and I got engaged, started our married life together, and shared our first “home”
  • Believe it or not, Baylor.

became the stones

Two weeks ago today, I married the love of my life.  It’s hard to describe a day like that, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  However, I will say that the things I expected to care about most didn’t matter (aka, all the little details), and certain things took me by surprise.  (When my dad and I walked in during the ceremony, I was shocked to see so many people there to celebrate our wedding–one sweet surprise I will treasure…then all I could see was Cason for the rest of the ceremony.)   Ultimately, the wedding was a sweet celebration of the path we will walk down together.  Here’s a sneak peek of the photos:

never-ending to-do list

Wonderful things happened in 2014: I finished my first semester of graduate school, and I learned so many new things.  I went to Washington, D.C. and Costa Rica for the first time, which satisfied my wanderlust for the time being.  I planned a wedding with Cason, whom I love dearly.  Our precious nephew was born.  Our time away in Texas made our visits with family even sweeter.  2014 was by no means a “bad year,” but it was difficult at times.

Despite all the wonderful things that happened this past year, the overwhelming theme of 2014 was “the never-ending to-do list.”  No, it wasn’t all bad, but there was certainly a constant feeling of taking two steps forward and one step back.  I felt it with my school work, my graduate assistantship, my practicum work, my relationships, and within myself.  I constantly has something I needed to get done, wanted to do better, or wish I had time to do.  Yet, it never seemed like things were finished, even for a moment, an evening, a weekend.  To say that 2014 was a busy year would be an understatement.  Perhaps I let little things get to me more than they should have.  Perhaps there were just a lot of changes to adjust to.  Regardless, the hope is that 2015 will be an improvement upon 2014.

One thing I learned this year is that expectation is everything.  When expectations are too high or fail to match reality, stress builds.  In the next year, my ultimate goal is to manage my time better and carve out specific time to be intentional with personal growth and with Cason.  During the latter part of this year, I spent loads of time stressing over things (mostly school) and not actually doing anything (studying, anyone?).  I stressed out about things so much that I was no longer productive.  The goal this year is to stress less over school and manage my time so that I will maximize productivity.  Better time management and increased productivity in school allows more time to devote to Cason, to family, to friends, and to myself.

Wow, talk about a new year’s resolution.  Time management is a huge task to take on, but I have lots of plans in the works to manage my time wisely and prioritize the things that need more of my attention.  Realistically, there are many more things on the to-do list for the upcoming year, but I want to find joy in all of those things.  I want to learn to set realistic expectations and helpful timelines for myself.  My goal is to grow personally in this area this year, and I hope you’ll stick with me as I walk down this path in 2015!

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Don’t forget about my 101 in 1001 list as well!  It runs through 2017, but there are plenty of exciting things that I will be updating about in the upcoming months!

Happy 2015, y’all!

wedding wednesday: the honeymoon

I planned to do a recap of the wedding shower this week, but with the chaos of grad school starting back, that post is on hold until next week (hopefully).  Coming to you this week is an overview of our honeymoon plans.  I booked all of the flights today! Hooray!  So what are we doing for our honeymoon, you ask?  Drumroll please…

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We’re going on a 7-day cruise with Norwegian!

 

Cruise
to Ochos Rios, Jamaica; the Grand Cayman; and Cozumel!
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in the Spa MiniSuite!

We are so excited to go on our fist big vacation together!  I think a cruise is the perfect way to spend the first week of married life together! We love food and spas and adventure, and we can’t wait!

Wedding Wednesday: A guide to our registries

I’ve had lots of family and friends asking my mom what Cason and I want, to which my mom replies, “Well they are registered at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kohls.”  However, I’ve heard that the response usually goes something like, “Yes, but what do they REALLY want?” So, I thought I would make a quick guide for the guests who want to know what we REALLY want.

A few quick things to give you an idea of us as a couple:

  1. I am the sentimental one.  In ten years, Cason and I will be standing in the kitchen trying to get rid of old things and the conversation will go something like this:
    C: “Jess, this wooden spoon has a crack down the middle.  I will buy you another spoon if we toss this one.”
    J: “Yes, but my aunt so-and-so gave that to us for our WEDDING gift. Can we frame it?  Keep it in a box at least?”
    Moral of the story: I will cherish any and all gifts and attach sentimental value to everything.  However, I am a fan of the personal gifts–the ones that we will use forever and likely not have to toss.
  2. Cason is the memory-maker and story-teller.  He likes to experience life and look back fondly on memories.  So even though including a check in a nice card may seem impersonal, he’s likely to look back on our honeymoon in 5 years and say things like, “Remember how much fun we had zip-lining on our honeymoon?”  And he will be thankful that our family and friends contributed to that experience.
  3. We both like things that are practical and good for everyday use.  And we both love food!  So, organization and kitchen items are always a good fall-back.

For the Sentimental Gift-Giver:

For this type of gift, our Etsy registry is a must-see!

For the Practical Gift-Giver:

Many of these items can be found on our Target and Bed Bath & Beyond registries.

For the Best of Both Worlds:

These are probably some of our favorite gifts on the list, and we will likely use them for years to come!  Check out TargetBed Bath & Beyond, and Kohl’s registries for more details.
As a footnote, please feel free to take advantage of each store’s savings programs!  Sign up for 20% off coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond, and use the Target and Cartwheel app for extra savings!

Wedding Wednesday: date days

 

Last weekend Cason and I visited Homestead Heritage in Waco. We enjoyed the cafe for lunch then toured the village shops, which included the potter’s house, gristmill, forge, and fiber arts buildings. I’m hoping to go back and take some fiber arts classes in the fall, if my schedule will allow. Please check out their website for more information and enjoy our photos below! We had a truly fabulous date day (as we like to call them), and we are looking forward to going back!

Side note: Expect more posts soon about my first year in graduate school as well as my upcoming study abroad trip to Costa Rica!

 

Wedding Wednesday: save the dates

My talented future mother-in-law designed our Save the Dates and sent me a proof last week! Here’s a sneak peek:

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Super tiny sneak peek, but isn’t it pretty? Somehow during this busy weekend I managed to find time to order them! (Imagine that!) I cannot wait to see them in print! They should come in sometime this week, and I think it will be a pretty sweet end to a busy two weeks!  Now we just have to finalize the guest list, and as soon as this semester is over, I’m going to address these babies and get them in the mail!

It’s the little things that make everything seem real.  I mean obviously getting married is a very real thing, so I’m sure you’re wondering how it may not seem so real at times.  Well, here’s the truth: life is crazy busy and in living day-to-day with my fiancé I sometimes forget that there’s a wedding coming up and a honeymoon and a new life together.  Plus it’s so super far away (255 days, to be exact) that it’s easy to forget that it’s “coming up.”  But the save the dates are real, and they will be delivered to me so soon!  Then they will be coming your way, so be on the lookout!

Happy Wedding Wednesday!