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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Athens Shower


One of the sweetest things about my marriage to Dustin has been being welcomed into the Belue family.  Dustin's family has gone above and beyond to welcome me with open arms.  I have loved getting to know not just his immediate family, but his extended family and friends!  
As soon as we got engaged Dustin's moms friends begin preparing to throw me a shower.  I felt so loved by their excitement to celebrate us during this season!

The shower was held at the end of August at Athens State University in a beautiful building. 
It was hosted by these sweet ladies
(Regina C, (who was also our florist), Regina, Sharon, and Donna) and a couple other ladies not pictured.  
The building was very historic and the room was decorated beautifully.  Unfortunately I took very few pictures!  

It was an afternoon tea with delicious food! One of the places I registered was a boutique in Athens that has super cute stuff (that is owned by Regina who was our florist. Woman of many talents:-)) 
I received some fun and personal gifts from the store as well as many other gifts from the other stores we registered at.  
Although I don't have a single picture of all the beautiful gifts that were laid out, it was quite the spread of things to help Dustin and I set up our home.  
It was also really fun to meet so many friends and family members of the Belues.  
It was one of those surreal moments where I felt so loved by people who I had just met!  

My mom was able to drive up for the shower which was really special.  
I'm thankful for an amazing mom and mother in law!  
Each shower that we had was special for different reasons but with each one I just felt so loved and so thankful!  

Next up....
NYC Engagement Party and Shower!  
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Our Engagement Party in Fairhope

From the time I was a little girl I said I wanted to have my wedding reception at our good friends, the Fellers, backyard.  I've grown up at their house (even living there for 6 months when I was a senior in high school and holding my graduation party there) and it's always held a special place for me.  Since getting married in Fairhope wasn't the best option for Dustin and me, The Fellers offered to host an engagement party for us!  
Walking in to this backyard and seeing a wedding celebration for Dustin and I set up was a dream come true for me.  It was just another one of those times where I felt the Lord's kindness of answering so many prayers for me.  
Although it was August in Alabama, it was the perfect temperature and a beautiful night on the bay.  

Many friends who have known me since I was little girl came to celebrate with us.  

Paul and Flor were the best host and gave us such a special evening. 
They spend half of their year at their beautiful home and half the year serving in Ecaudor providing Orthopedic medical care through the non profit they started, Bayside Medical Missions.  My parents and I had the opportunity to go serve with them a few years ago.  It's an incredible ministry!



 Laura and I have been friends since we were babies (literally our parents grew up together). It was so special to have her and her husband Aaron celebrate with us at our party in Fairhope and even more special to have Laura be a bridesmaid in my  wedding.  
 It was fun to be at the Fellers home as a family and actually get a family of 4 picture!  

My sister left her husband on her 10 year wedding anniversary and drove down with the 3 littles to be at the celebration!  Matron of Honor and sister of the year award definitely goes to her!  

It was also so special to have the Belue's drive down for the party and get to show them a place that means so much to my family and me!  

It was such a special night with so many friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in years, and getting to introduce Dustin to them.  
I'll definitely always treasure this engagement party!  

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our First Shower

Over the years as I prayed and dreamed about marriage, I watched countless friends get engaged, hosted many showers, and went to even more! I always loved celebrating others, but each time I went to a shower there was a twinge of "will it ever be my turn". The thought of registering and receiving gifts, and just being celebrated seemed so distant to me yet something that I think almost every girl deep down dreams about!  

The Lord exceeded my expectations during our engagement. Dustin and I were spoiled to say the least, and all the celebrations and showers meant so much to us.  Not only was it fun to be spoiled with gifts, but connecting with so many friends and family made for some super fun and special months!  
My first shower was hosted by my sister and Birmingham friends!  It was held at my church, Oak Mountain, and was a sweet time to be showered and celebrated by Oak Mountain women.  
To be honest, making friends in Birmingham has definitely been one of the harder aspects of my transition to a new city.  The past 2 years have not been the easiest road for me in this area, so having 6 friends host a beautiful shower for me and many more come was such a sweet reminder of the friends the Lord has given me.  
Pictured above: (l-r) Katie, Angie, Morgan, Me, Kara, Meg, and Catherine

They decided to theme the shower around date nights in Birmingham and had everyone write down a date night idea for Dustin and I.  It's such a great keepsake for us to have as we continue to "date" in this city!  



It was so special to have my future mother in law and my mom in town for the shower!  


One of the sweetest parts of the shower was all the little girls who were so excited to watch me open gifts (and always willing to give a helping hand:-))
We received so many fun and special gifts at this shower!  It was so exciting to begin thinking about setting up a home together very soon!  

For some reason I don't have a picture, but one of my best friends, Katherine, who was a bridesmaid in my wedding drove from Raleigh to Birmingham to be here for my first shower.  It was the sweetest gift to have her celebrate with me.  Why don't I have a picture?!?

The hosts did an amazing job with food and decor, and just made my first shower really special!  


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Sunday, January 8, 2017

A New Year and A New Season

2017

A New Year 

A New Season

So many things to write about

I've let the blog go.  2016 was a whirlwind, and although there was much to write about, there was little time to do so.   But as I begin 2017 I remember how much I love to write.  How much I want this blog to be a scrapbook.  And how much I want to remember all that 2016 held.  Thankfully I did blog about Dustin and my engagement.  You can begin reading about it HERE  But then it stopped.  I want to remember the parties, the celebrations, and our amazing and beautiful wedding day.  

And So I will start back and I will slowly blog about it.  People may not read it, but it will help me remember and it will be something I will have forever.  

So here's to (hopefully) many blog posts in 2017.  

"For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer






Saturday, September 17, 2016

Engagement

6 Weeks from today will be my wedding day.  That sentence along with many other things right now still feel incredibly surreal.  I keep thinking maybe I will get use to being engaged, like it will feel normal or something...but nope.  Almost every day I have a "pinch me moment".  One of those moments where I am in awe of the Lord's sweet gift to me, in awe that this is my story, and in awe that years of prayers were finally answered. I know marriage isn't everything, I know it will never complete me, the hard things of life haven't and never will go away, but there is a sweetness that is this season that I want to remember.

My birthday is next week. For years i've always dreaded my birthday.  Adult birthdays are awkward when you are single.  As much as each year I am thankful for another year of life, and that alone is worth celebrating, it also represented another year of singleness, another year of getting older, and another year of wondering if this desire would be fulfilled.  But as this birthday approaches I am filled with hope, with excitement of what's to come, with a sense of peace.  and as I think forward to my birthday and to my wedding I wanted to stop and write.  Thoughts swirl in my head all the time, but sometimes it's good to get them out. To write them out and be reminded where I am today.  

Dustin and I said last week in many ways engagement has felt like a pressure cooker.  Maybe that's not the way to describe it as that may sound bad, but for us that's the best wording.  Since May 14th life has been a whirlwind.  We started planning our wedding right away knowing that Dustin was going to be leaving for a month (for work). As we got into the details of planning a wedding it felt like even more details piled on.  And then there is all the other things that come with engagement.  Parties, showers, premarital counseling, figuring out what life together is going to look like, learning one another, slowly merging our lives, and the list goes on.  And then there is just normal life.  Both of us are in full time ministry and after a VERY full summer August/September turns out to be our busiest months of the year.  Those 2 months happened to fall slap down in the middle of our engagement.  All that to say life has been going at full speed and as fun and exciting as most of it all is the pressure has been intense, the stress has risen, and the emotions have been all over the place. (well at least mine!) 

And so when people ask me on a daily basis "how's wedding planning?" or "how's engagement?"  99% of the time I say "great!"....because it really is..... but truthfully it's a little bit more of a loaded question than I ever realized.  But in all of IT my overwhelming emotion is thankfulness, is joy, is amazement, is contentment.  Because I am in awe that the Lord gave me that the man that he did, that I'm getting the opportunity to walk through this season, and that in just 6 short weeks I will be a wife to a man who is more than I could ask or imagine.  

I know the wedding will be here in such a short time and this season of engagement will come to an end.  And in many ways as much as I've ready for that, ready to get out of the pressure cooker of this season and live life with Dustin, I also want to soak it up.  There is a reason engagement is meant to be walked through once.  It's intense, it's crazy, but it's also so so fun!  I've dreamed about this season for so long, I've dreamed about planning a wedding since I was a little girl,  so as I make every decision for our big day or open every shower gift, or talk through pre-marital things with Dustin I am reminded how faithful God really is.  He knew all along I would be walking through this season with Dustin and he also promised to take care of us each crazy day that we walk through.  

So I enter my birthday week with in a very different place than years past.  I look back on this year with so much thankfulness and look forward with so much anticipation.  I know I don't know what the future holds but I'm ready for this new season and look forward to the journey of these next 6 weeks, and then of course all that comes after that.... 



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Celebrating with Family

It's been fun for me to blog about Dustin and my story.  If you want to read the whole thing start HERE and go forward.  

So I left off in my last blog post at the look out where Dustin asked to marry me.  After spending many moments enjoying this special night he asked me if I wanted to go back to my apt to start calling people.

What he didn't tell me was that my family and his family would be there wanting for us.  I can't tell you the joy and surprise I felt to see the people who mean the most to us standing in the room waiting to celebrate with us.  
It was one of the surreal moments where all the prayers and desires our families had prayed and hoped for us came to fruition and it was now time to celebrate.






I've had very specific prayers as I've prayed for my wedding over the last several years, one of them being that I would have the opportunity to plan a wedding with my mom and sister.  It was fun to realize on this night that prayer had been answered and it was time to start planning!  
My nieces had no idea what was going on, but they LOVE Dustin so I think they were ok with this night of celebration (despite what their faces might say:-))!  

We opened some fun gifts, ate some food, and celebrated this special night.  
Although everyone else had time to process that we were getting engaged, I was still taking in that I had just happened!  Dustin told me he felt a hug sigh of relief because he had been keeping this secret for about about 3 weeks since he had asked my parents.  
It was also super fun to call and text some of our friends and have them celebrate with us!  I loved hearing their excitement (and some tears) as they celebrated all that the Lord had done to bring us to this place.  
I went to bed that night with the fullest heart (and maybe staring at my ring just a little) and could not stop praising God for the way he brought us to this place.  I really believe our story is a sweet story of God's faithfulness to us in our in our singleness, in our waiting, in our dating, and now in our engagement.  

And now we are engaged and planning a wedding.  It's been 2.5 months since that day and such a fun (and busy) season.  In some ways we are counting down the days until we get married and in other ways we are wanting to soak up every moment of engagement.  I want to embrace the gift of this season God has given us and also prepare for what God has next!  
October 29th will be here before we know it!  
So that's the completion of my blog entries on our story, although in many ways our story is just beginning and I have much more to write.  

Here's to a new season and much more to come...

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