Tag Archives: blushing bride

What I Learned from 1 Year of Marriage

At the beginning of this month, George and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. This makes me a marriage pro….NOT. I know I still have a TON to learn about marriage. However, after reflecting on the past year, I have jotted down 10 things I have learned about being married. This past year has really been an incredible ride. Some days it feels like we have been together forever, and some days it seems like the wedding was just yesterday.

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So if you are looking for a little marriage advice from a newlywed, or just want a glimpse into my dream. Here goes!

 Every day is  like being on a date

I have had 365 (plus a few) date nights in a row. And it rocks. Every day, every night I get to spend with my favorite person. We have found that if we want to go out, we need to make an effort to make Friday night plans in advance. If we don’t, it will always be a pizza, a Redbox, and sweats. Here’s the catch though, I love Friday night’s like that 🙂 Don’t worry we are not hermits, we get out plenty, its just that I used to have a bad case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that has totally vanished.

Before: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix by yourself = lame

After: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix with your husband = a date night of relaxing bliss to look forward to all week long

If I want something done, I can’t be picky about it

I’m a control freak. I am particular about the little things. I have learned if I want the dishes (or enter any other chore here) done I can’t be picky or I end up doing them myself.  So what if he uses a little too much soap, I am not the one scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing after dinner.

If you don’t want to live in a battlefield, don’t start a battle.

Some things don’t matter in the big picture. If I got upset every time the toilet seat was left up, I would spend more time chasing him down to yell at him than it was worth. I can choose to get angry, find him, yell at him, ORRR I could put the seat down and go. (Middle of the night exception…if I fall in, you bet I’m gonna wake him up and let him know haha).

Also don’t miss understand me, its not about bottling up the anger, or becoming a push over. If something really does bother me, I try my best to have a sit down conversation about it.  The angry, heat- of-the moment, conversations usually don’t go as well.140104_560

Forgive quickly

I admit, this is one is very much a work in progress. One huge difference between a room mate and a husband, is after a fight, you know he still loves you. A fight with a room mate could potentially, hopefully not, but potentially, ruin the relationship forever. When the lease is over, you can move out, life moves on, and never see them again. Moving out/divorce is NOT an option in my marriage. So why stay angry? Anger is hard work, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to get rid of. Take a few minutes, cool down, think about the situation and what needs to be changed in the future, then forgive and move on. Heck, making up is the best part. Get there as soon as possible!

You catch more flies with honey

Some times when I am feeling like I haven’t been getting the love/appreciation I want/ deserve, I tend to get bitter and crabby.  I can really start to feel down when he doesn’t seem to notice me, appreciate something I’ve done, or hasn’t been particularity affectionate. I can either begin to sulk, snap at him or I look at myself and the way I have been treating him lately.  Getting angry sure won’t make him want to love on me. These things tend to go in cycles (he wasn’t feeling appreciated so he didn’t seem to appreciate me etc.). When I step back, I almost always see something I wish I was doing better in the relationship. Then I am honest and explain myself and my feelings, and bring up the items I want to work on along with those I wish he would pay more attention to. It’s kind of like  the saying,   “If you want to be treasured, be treasure.”  Work on yourself first before you point out the other’s flaws.

Love is not a feeling

In marriage, some days you don’t feel the giddy “puppy love” you felt on the wedding day. That’s okay. Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. No matter how I might be “feeling” inside, I made a promise to love, respect and honor him. He might not seem so “loveable” at all times, but its my job to love him, and his job to love me. Those moments (or days…maybe even weeks or months) pass, and uncover new amazing reasons to fall more and more in love with one another.

Respect

I read a book before I got married that talked a lot about how men yearn for respect in the same way women yearn to be loved. Of course it works vice versa, but something in men’s wiring associates respect deeply with being loved.

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

It doesn’t mean that women don’t need to be respected or men don’t need to be loved. Its simply drawing attention to some ways that God made men and women different and therefore

have different needs. This is something that I have kept in mind throughout  the first year of marriage. Poking fun of my husband or correcting him in public are big signs of disrespect. If something bothers me, its best to address it in private.

 Team work

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together”.    – Robert C Dodds

Such a great quote!  We are not the same person. We do not always agree, but we can come to a compromise. We often say to each other “Can you be on my team here?”. We might not totally understand each other all the time, but we do work to stand together. Looking at each other’s point of view, discussing the situation broadens our perspectives.  We are not that couple that does EVERYTHING together.   We both have our own activities, some of our own friends, and enjoy alone time.  I think this is really important in all relationships (dating and married).  We can exist without one another, but we are better versions of our selves when we are together and/or have each other’s support.

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 Blow money is essential

 I am a budget nerd. George and I have some lofty goals for our finances and savings, as a result, we keep a tight budget. I really think  having this “blow money” would help anyone who argues about finances even if you don’t keep a formal budget. In our budget we have a section for each of us that is called “blow” money (Dave Ramsey FPU Term). This is kind of similar to an allowance. This is a set amount that we have each month to spend on whatever we choose. As long as you stay in the limit, no arguments are allowed. It can be saved up over the months for something big, or blown on little items here and there. For example… I have a lot of cute boots. Do I need more boots? No. Does George want me to spend our money on boots I don’t  need? No. BUTTTTTTT. If I find  a pair I really want, and have enough in my budget for them, he can’t complain that I spend too much money on shoes.  If George decides to spend his blow money on remote control helicopters, or silly phone apps, I can’t get on his back (if he keeps it in his limit). The rest of our budget money is generally used on stuff we need, or purchases we decide on together.  We have some rules on determining what is considered a “blow” purchase, but I could write an entire post on that. (Comment or message me if you have questions on this). Overall, it really keeps us from having financial arguments.

It’s great to start off every day with a hug, kiss, and a smoothie.

My favorite place in the entire world is snuggled up my face in his chest for my morning hug before I leave for work. It’s hard to have a bad day when I start it off feeling loved, protected, and provided for by my man.

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Here is to many many more years of marriage to my favorite husband and to many many more life lessons to come. I pray that I remember these lessons years down the road and remember this feeling of love, gratitude, and excitement I have towards my husband. This year has been an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful for the family and friends that have been there as support to our relationship and as an example of love in our lives.

Do you have any advice for year two? Comment or message me please!

Something Old, Something New…

Something Old

Everyone knows that saying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and if a bride wears all four she will have good luck on her wedding day. Well I couldn’t risk the good luck! Here is my something old and something new 🙂

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I wore the same veil that my mom wore when she married my dad 27 years ago.

232323232-fp53489-nu=6284-798-239-WSNRCG=368953;99-32-nu0mrjBefore we went dress shopping, my mom, sister and I all tried on my mom’s dress and veil. The veil was attached to a huge head piece. My mom pulled it out of the bag and said something along the lines of “This is hideous, I must let someone borrow my veil and they sewed it on to this ugly thing. ” Well we looked back at the photos, and it was the same head piece my mom wore, but her hair covered most of it. Whoops! Her style has changed since then.

232323232-fp53882-nu=388--9;6-637-297;9;6728239ot1lsiBut it was in great condition and I loved the length and little pearls along the bottom. It ended up matching the color of the vintage lace on my dress perfectly. Needless to say, I removed it from the head piece and sewed it on to a clip. I loved having this special connection to my parents wedding on my wedding day.

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Thanks Mom!

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NEW

I absolutely love my something new!

IMAG1203This beautiful bracelet was a gift from my Godmother Aunt Ann. I was the Jr. Bride in her wedding when I was just three and it was special to have her read scripture at my wedding. She gave the bracelet to me before the rehearsal dinner and I was so excited. She picked out the most gorgeous bracelet ever! It is so my style and went well with the dress. Someone told me before the ceremony to make sure it was on my right hand so it would be in the photos. I don’t remember who said that, but thank you! I love these photos of the bracelet while we are holding hands.

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Such a special gift! Thank you Aunt Ann! 140104_258

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Click here for “Something Borrowed and Something Blue”.

More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

Music: Our First Dance

George is an easy going guy, and didn’t have many opinions on the wedding decisions (the colors, the menu ect) so when he made a suggestion for our first dance I was excited for him to have a say.

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We had heard the song at a Need to Breathe concert featuring Ben Rector.  Ben had also worked at the same camps that Geroge had work at, and was a bit of a local celebrity. The song is called “Forever Like that”.  It was a perfect soft song with sweet lyrics.


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“I wanna love you, forever I do. I wanna spend all of my days with you. I’ll carry your burdens and be the wind at your back. I wanna spend my forever – forever like that.”

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Still leading up to the wedding I couldn’t kick the idea of a choreographed dance.  My sister and I worked on one for my cousins wedding a few summers back. It was just so much fun. I think it also brought some variety to he series of slow dances and kept the attention of the guests.

All my CJA girls know how I love a good choreographed dance . Our Junior year in high school  I helped to choreograph and teach 150 girls a dance to Christina Million AM to PM. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but it was  hit. Growing up my friends and I would love to create dance moves to the hot Backstreet Boys songs and practice our moves with Daron’s Dance grooves.

I came across a perfect song choice and some inspiration, and had to push a little to get the other half on board. We came up with the moves (loosely based off a dancing with the stars routine) and got them down in just a couple of nights pre- wedding. Since we were living in different cities we didn’t have the option of practicing much in advance. It was tricky doing spins in that dress and with big heels, but we made it work. It really meant a lot to me  when George worked so hard to take part in something I love, even when he claims not to be a good dancer. You be the judge.

 

 

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So we ended up with this as our first dance and then invited the rest of the bridal party to join us for a traditional slow dance to “Forever Like That”.

It turns out our DJ got a little confused and played the wrong song, then corrected himself. Our poor bridal party slow danced with each other for almost two songs straight. (Since most of them had significant others that were not part of our party, I am sure it was a little on the awkward side. Lucky they are all great sports!)

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Moral of the story we did both dances and it was wonderful! I also learned something new about George in the process. He has the moves. He was very hesitant about it at first,  but once he committed he worked really hard to make sure that everything was perfect. He practiced the steps until his footing was absolutely on point. Doing it half -way was not an option. Once I saw this in the performance, and I see it in his everyday choices . He made a commitment to me when we said our vows, and I know that he will continue working hard in our relationship for our marriage to be on point!

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More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

 

 

Songs: Father Daughter Dance

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This one was a toughie! There are so many great songs to choose from about the bond between a father and daughter. I went though tons of options to find just the right one to show off our special bond. I have always been a bit of a daddy’s girl. As he said in his speech (and many other times), when we thinks of me, he still pictures me a his little girl. I know it was really hard for him to believe that I was really getting married when he imagines me as his little Julie Bug. He usually refers to this picture

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Or this one.

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While I was at work, I had some updates to do. Usually I find a good playlist to jam to on my headphones and get down to business. I found a playlist of father daughter songs that are typically used at weddings and thought it would be a great opportunity to multi-task. If I heard one I liked, I could jot it down real quick. BIG mistake! I was listening and imagining the moment where I would dance with my dad, and all the great memories we have made together, and ended up crying at work. Like more than just a few tears. Like real crying. I had to go for a little walk around the office to freshen up my red face.

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Word of warning, if you are emotional and don’t want to cry in front of people, wait until you get home to click on the links below. These links were my top choices for songs with my dad. I sent them to him, but he threw me for a curve ball and chose “Tough Little Boys” by Gary Alan.

This video may have also made me cry at work. There is something about military dads and little girls in pink dresses that just brings a tear to my eyes. PS watch for the girl in the watermelon dress at 2:51. My sister and I had these dresses! A personal fav 🙂

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My dad and I.

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Like the song says “When tough little boys, grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again”. Yes we both shed a few tears during our dance. We kept trying to make the other laugh so we wouldn’t cry.

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“…Scared me to death when you took your first steps and I’d fall every time you fell down. Your first day of school, I cried like a fool and I followed your school bus to town…when tough little boys grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again…”

Photo by Teddy Menke
Photo by Teddy Menke

“…Well I’m a grown man and as strong as I am,sometimes its hard to believe, that one little girl, with little blonde curls could totally terrify me…”

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“…Well I know one day, I’ll give you away and I’m gonna stand there and smile and when I get home, and I’m all alone well, I’ll sit in your room for a while. Well I didn’t cry when Old Yeller died at least not in front of my friends, but when tough little boys grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again ”

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Here are the songs I had narrowed down. (Beware, may induce tears)

“I loved her first”- Heartland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg8Z69B6RFQ

“My Little Girl”- Tim Mcgraw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz6xBobaqZg

“You are my sunshine” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29eHk_H_hHc

“In My Daughter’s eyes”- Martina Mcbride http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vafzteL3FBE

“My Father’s Eyes” Amy Grant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECqVbfdreE

“Cinderella”- Steven Curtis Chapman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWMBC6yoME

“Stealing Cinderella”- Chuck Wicks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KHAaRxyuQk

“Just Fishing”- Trace Adkins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IheODRwalEw

“Daddy’s Hands”- Holly Dun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q_E6pUwySg

Oh and check out these great pics of my daddy walking his little girl down the isle.

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I think he was imagining me more like this.

From my Aunt Ann's wedding. I was 3
From my Aunt Ann’s wedding. I was 3

More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

Music: Mother Son Song

Photo by Teddy Menke
Photo by Teddy Menke

Neither George nor his mom are really huge dancers. Okay let me clarify, George can DEFINITELY bust a move, but he has to be in the mood/ with the right people/ the right song/ be a full moon. Haha.

My point is that they were a little nervous about being up in front of everyone dancing at the wedding together. I had an idea in mind, that might make them feel a little more confident. They were a little hesitant about it at first, but it turned out great!

George is rather skilled in his two-stepping abilities from his days as a camp counselor (The camp had a county western themed party each year).  So George led Kathy onto the dance floor to the song “Wagon Wheel” (The Darrius Rucker version) and they two stepped to the appropriate lyrics “Rock me mamma like a wagon wheel”. Everyone thought it was super sweet and let them have fun rather than the slow traditional song.

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They did a great job, and even threw in some fancy spin moves.

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If you are looking for some Mother/Son songs for your wedding, here are some others I was considering. So many great choices!

“Wagon wheel” by Darius Rucker

Never Alone Jim Brinkman and Hillary Scott

“Perfect Fan “By: Backstreet boys

  • Ignore that it’s a BSB song (or embrace it) VERY sweet song thanking Mom for all she has instilled in him including faith and grace and independence

“You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins

  • From Tarzan. Great song about mom promising that the bond will never be broken. Who doesn’t love Phil?

“Then They do” by Trace Adkins

“I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack

  • Classic wish to live life to the fullest

My wish by Rascal Flatts

  • A wish for a wonderful future

“Thank you mom” Good Charlotte

  • Cool mom song…not sure if it’s a slow dance but I’m sure you could figure something out if you liked it

I turn to you Christina Aguilera

Awwwwww
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More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

The Cake

You know what they say about eating desert first? Well I’m getting a little out of order here…but I have a sweet tooth. Take it as it comes!

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Like most girls, I spent hours on Pinterest  gathering ideas for the wedding. I like to say that theme for my wedding  was New Year’s Eve meets Winter Wonderland. My sister just called it the Ke$ha wedding. I wanted royal blue and lots of sparkles.  I found this picture on Pinterest  and it was perfect!

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My mom and I went to a couple different bakeries and made other phone calls and ended up choosing McAurter’s Bakery. Their cake was DELICIOUS and they gave me a lot of flexibility with the design, flavors, and filling. To be completely honest. I don’t even remember what flavors we chose. The top layer that I ate was white cake…I think we also had lemon and chocolate and had some strawberry filling too.

Here was the final product! ( We also had a few “kitchen cakes” that were kept in the back so that we could have maximum flavor choices! )

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I was so happy with how the cake turned out! The ribbon and bling on the cake were perfect!

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We used this silver cake cutter that was a wedding gift from my parents wedding. I loved using little pieces of history incorporated in our special day. Isn’t it pretty?

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My mom found this cake topper for us at a craft store (Michael or Joann’s?) Loved the shiny bling!

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It was so fresh and delicious! 140104_523

We are not the best at cake cutting….140104_532
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We choose to play Sugar Sugar by the Archies while we cut the cake. It was very fitting and fun.

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We got a lot of compliments about the cake. McAurther’s was a good choice, we would recommend it for sure.

Some how, we ended up with lots and lots of extra. We brought some of the leftovers back to the hotel for those who were snowed into STL.

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More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!