Tie the Knot Tuesday, 10 Weeks and Counting

This has been a slower week than the past few weeks on the wedding planning front, but fortunately there are some things regarding my upcoming marriage that I would like to share with you all.

Everyone has heard of a bridezilla right? Wikipedia defines a bridezilla as a bride whose behavior is seen as demanding or unreasonable. There is a whole TV series about them! They’re mean, usually ungrateful, and make ridiculous requests of everyone involved. Their focus is primarily on ensuring that their wedding day is PERFECT. It must be exactly like they’ve dreamed since they were five years old. Well, I am literally the opposite of a bridezilla. Matter of fact, I’d call myself the brideCHILLA (where is the roll on the floor laughing emoji when you need one?).

With that said, let me share with you a list of what would make my wedding day perfect:

  1. God is glorified
  2. Our family and friends are there to support us, and celebrate with us
  3. Everyone has a great time

Anything outside of that list is not that important to me, which apparently is pretty annoying (haha). Whatever is suggested to me, if it sounds good, we’ll go with it. If it’s cute, lets do it, if it’s free, we can have even more of it. I’m not super princess-ey (yes I made that up), and I’m not high maintenance. This doesn’t mean I’m not excited about getting married, because I’m over the moon about it. However some things are more important to me than small details that honestly don’t even matter in the long run.

Now, when you get to the wedding and see how beautiful it is, don’t start thinking, “all that stuff Keturah was blogging about was bologna!” Just know that I have a rockstar wedding venue and a ridiculously talented wedding coordinator that have been on the verge of strangling me to make decisions! God is good and He is blessing Korey and I with some amazing people. We’re having a “dream wedding” on a reality budget.

A sneak peak of the wedding chapel:

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I also wanted to share that my wonderful future mother-in-love is a jack of many trades (y’all I really hit the jackpot! We all know that Korey is great, and I know exactly where he got it from. His mom is such a such a blessing) . She is a seamstress (and you’ll see her handy work at the wedding because she is making our flower girl dresses), she’s a gardener, home remodeler, and soap maker. She started making soap not too long ago and this stuff is already in high demand. It leaves you feeling squeaky clean (literally) but moisturizes your skin at the same time! Lucky for us, she volunteered to make some for each of our guests, thus we have wedding favors!

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Lastly, during our engagement season, Korey and I have been doing some pre-marital biblical training through our church. During this process, we have learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and what God expects from us as husband and wife. Now that we’re at the end of our sessions, we have been given an assignment to interview 4 christian married couples, who have 5 or more years of successful marriage, that aren’t related to us and don’t know us from childhood. This week we interviewed our first couple. They’ve been married over 30 years. Meeting with them was such a blessing. They shared so much wisdom with us, and gave us some very sound advice for ensuring that our marriage stays Christ centered, and life-long.

That’s all for now!

Until Next Week,

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“Water Park” Days

As far as I know, everyone faces discouragement sometimes. Hopefully, it’s not something that is encountered often, and hopefully it’s not something that we allow ourselves to wallow in, but discouragement does happen. For me, I feel like I am in a season in my life where I have felt discouraged a little more often than what I consider normal.

In the spring of this year, I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for the assistant principal pool in my school district. I did get into the pool which is an accomplishment in itself, and I praised God for that! I was well aware that I was not the only person in the pool of candidates. I also knew that there weren’t many positions available, and the odds were not in my favor. However, I also knew/know that I serve an Awesome God, and as a really great woman once told me, “favor ain’t fair”. So I felt like anything was possible.

In the event that I didn’t get a job as an AP, I did want to put myself in a position where I could learn more toward accomplishing that goal. In an effort to do that, I sought out educational positions that would give me a wider range of experiences. I even considered changing grade levels. Throughout the summer break I’ve been standing on my faith that a door would open for me to move into one of those roles. I felt in my heart of hearts that God had a different place for me, and it just didn’t happen. Not only did I not get a door to go through, I didn’t even get a window, and it’s really hard not to feel discouraged about that.

(Please note that discouragement and ungratefulness are not synonymous. I hope you understand that I am in no way ungrateful for my current position.)

Another thing that I have mentioned before is the weight issue. I’ve expressed how I’m currently at a weight where I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. Obviously that is not a feeling that I’d like to stick around. With that said, my partner in crime (my mom) and I came up with a plan. We decided that we would get back to into a running routine (something that we both love). A year ago we were both in really great shape while we were running regularly, and were both happy with the progress we’d made with our weight and health during that time. So about seven weeks ago, we began running using the couch to 5k app to get us back on track (we’re actually in our last week now and are close to running 30 solid minutes non-stop). We also began tracking our food using an app called MyFitnessPal, which I’m sure everyone in the world has heard of and probably used before.

As I mentioned in my post, All About That Bass, I made a commitment not to weigh myself. The scale is a beast of it’s own, and I didn’t want to give it the power to make me feel any type of way. I didn’t want to put work into becoming more healthy and not see the evidence of my hard work in the numbers on the scale (which was really the best plan for me). However, after seven weeks of running and over two weeks of tracking my food, I did want to see what kind of progress I was making toward achieving my weight loss goals. So Monday I decided to weigh myself. Well what did I do that for? I actually weighed MORE than what I weighed before we started running seven weeks ago and tracking our food. When I saw the number on the scale, so many words passed through my head: waste of time, pointless, hopeless, ridiculous, the list goes on. Only I could cut way back on my calorie intake and increase my activity level only to gain weight.  After weighing myself I didn’t actually feel any motivation whatsoever to continue doing anything I’ve been doing.  I am literally the heaviest I have ever been. Ever. The majority of my clothes don’t fit. And I’m getting married in 80 days. I spent the majority of Monday sulking about it (seriously, ask anyone), and I feel like discouraged is the understatement of the century, but since that is what I am blogging about, that’s what we’ll go with.

So what now? As a christian, am I allowed to feel discouraged? It almost feels like I’m not. It feels like by admitting that I face discouragement or disappointment, I’m announcing that my faith is wavering or I’m admitting that I can’t rest in God’s truths… and maybe I am doing both of those things, but it doesn’t feel that way. Let me explain… Let’ say you tell a child that you are taking him to a water park “tomorrow.” Tomorrow approaches, but it’s not a beautiful day like you thought it would be, instead it’s pouring rain and you can’t go to the water park after all. You tell the child not to worry, you can’t go today, but you will make it to the water park before the end of the week. Now, even though the child knows he’ll still be able to go to the water park later, he is still disappointed that he can’t go to the park today as he expected. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t trust your judgement to keep him in from the rain, or doesn’t believe he’ll get to go later, he is just feeling temporarily disappointed about something that he was looking forward to, and I feel like that’s okay.

Summer 2011

Even in my discouragement/disappointment, I am still fully aware that God is in control, He knows what’s best, and that He does have a plan for me. I know my “water park” day is coming, but sometimes I still feel the rain, and I feel like that’s okay.

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Tie the Knot Tuesday, 11 Weeks and Counting

Hello There!

Tuesdays sure do have a way of sneaking up on me! This has been another eventful week on the wedding front!

Since my last post, we met with our Piazza coordinator and nailed down some actual ceremony/reception details (which was very exciting). We decided on the food and beverages we’d serve, as well as the details we would  like to include in our ceremony, and the order of the ceremony and reception festivities. During times like those I am hyper aware that the time until w-day is quickly approaching.

In the last seven days we also had a day of fun with our wedding party! The guys met up and got fitted for their wedding tuxes and did “man stuff” while I got to hang out with my closest friends (who also happen to be my bridesmaids). We solidified the bridesmaid dress choice, decided on sizes and got those bad boys ordered and paid for! Afterward we did what girls do and hit up day spa for manicures and pedicures!

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I’m so grateful that these girls took the time to come and spend this weekend with me, especially the two that traveled hundreds of miles, one by plane and the other by four hour road trip (we won’t even talk about the 6 month preggo one). My favorite thing about each of these women in my life is I don’t have to see them everyday or talk to them everyday to have a relationship where we can pick up right where we left off and never miss a beat!

In other news, last week in my haste and excitement to post, I did forget to include one picture and I wanted to share it with you! It’s a picture of Mrs. Frances (the shop owner), my mom, and I leaving the bridal shop with my very amazing wedding dress 🙂

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That’s all for now! Tune in next week for more updates!

Until Then,

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Tie the Knot Tuesday, 12 Weeks and Counting

Believe it or not, SO MUCH has happened in one week.

Since last week, I’ve started the process of ordering our wedding invitations. The invitations that Korey and I both really like do not match our wedding colors (eggplant, lavender, olive, and grey) so I kept looking. I found, customized, and sent Korey about 4 other designs that do match our colors, and my mom and I asked him rate them on a scale of 1-10. The only invitations he handed out a strong ten to, we’re the non-matching ones. I’ve gone back and forth about whether we should order them or not, but you know what? We’re only getting married once, and whether they match or not, if that is what we love, by golly, we are ordering those black and gold invitations.

Now for the wedding dress! The dress came in last Thursday (I did mention it was coming last week on the first edition of Tie the Knot Tuesday). On Friday, my mom and I went to the dress shop so that I could try it on. Before I go into how that went, let me say that the dress is more beautiful than I remember, which is fair to say since I haven’t seen it since January. Second, let me remind you all, as mentioned in All About That Bass, that I have picked up some pounds since the first of the year (this also happens to be when I was measured for said dress). I had been talking with my mom all week, hoping, and praying that I could fit into the dress (it fit perfectly when I ordered it, so my concern was legit). Long story short, it zipped up, BUT it was a struggle. Had we not been running for the last 5 weeks, the dress literally wouldn’t have come above my thighs, so I am thankful for the dedication to running this summer. Now, the running must continue, so that I don’t have to be stuffed into my beautiful wedding dress on our wedding day.

I also ordered our wedding cake topper last week, which was a wonderful experience (I just love Etsy). While I was browsing and looking at all of my options (and there were many), I was having a hard time finding a bride silhouette that looked like me… mainly in the hair department. Most of the silhouettes had long and wavy hair, or some other style which were a far cry from my actual short, kinky, and curly hair.  So I emailed one of the shops, and asked if there was any way to customize the hair. After a few correspondences, they requested pictures, and I sent several. One day later… Wah-lah! Magic! You cannot tell me that bride doesn’t look EXACTLY like me! It looks like it could be an actual picture of Korey and I. Amazing.

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Last main thing, but certainly not least, my bouquet came in (shriek)! You may be thinking that it is way too early for me to have a flower bouquet (considering that the wedding is 88 days from now) and you’d be right! Next you may be thinking that the bouquet is made of fake flowers, but you’d be thinking wrong (I’m not knocking fake flowers). I’m not even going to guess what you’re thinking now, but I will say that this type of bouquet is totally new to me, I’d never even heard of these before I started wedding planning. My friends, when you see me coming down the isle, it will be with this gorgeous brooch bouquet. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is absolutely stunning.

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A couple small (but major) things also happened last week: Korey and I decided on our first dance song, and my dad and I decided on our father daughter dance song! Whew! There you have it! All in a week’s time! More to come next Tuesday!

Until Then,

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Seeds of Trust

More on “mini heart-attacks” from my mom’s perspective 🙂

Mom Knot Daughter

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When I read Keturah’s post “The Ingredients that Made Us, Us”. I had to chuckle.

Mini Heart Attacks” is an understatement.

Picture me driving and listening to Keturah tell me about what was happening in school and about some of the things her friends were doing. It was challenging for me to sit and listen without thinking, OMG.  But I wanted to demonstrate that I trusted her and I was there for her. One of the foundational principles of Keturah and I having a great relationship is “I purposed in my heart that I would always listen to her.”

I believe middle-school was the most challenging for both of us.  It is a time when young people’s peer’s approval take percedent over obtaining approval from their parents.  Times have not changed that much since I’ve gone to school. In today’s society, people want others to conform to their views and…

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Flashback Friday

Psalm 116

I started a blog about 4 years ago but never knew anything about how to get people to actually read it. I had one follower – my mom (always a faithful follower). Eventually, I just stopped blogging. My mom has been there with me through everything so there was really no reason for her to reread the experiences that she just went through with me, so I just stopped.

Today, I went back to my old blog and I found some pretty good treasures. I’m grateful to have taken the time to write my testimonies, and wished that I had continued to do so. After reading the one I am sharing today, my eyes started to water because I remember that struggle, and God has been so faithful.


June 16, 2011 – Blessings in the Apple Store?

I have been sitting around wondering what on earth is happening to my money! It disappears and I have no idea where it is going. I have written down so many budget plans that I should be a millionaire by now, so what aren’t I?

In the past, I paid my tithes… not faithfully, but I paid them. Here lately I haven’t been able to afford to pay them, so I didn’t. Recently I was sitting in church (Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church) listening to a message on stewardship, and I thought, maybe this is why I am broke. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been giving God what is his. So I decided – the next time I get paid (which is only once a month mind you), I am going to give ten percent to the church before I run out of money, I am going to pay it all at once.

 The following Sunday, I wrote a check, and I was having an extremely hard time departing with that piece of paper. I prayed and I said, “God, this is ten percent of my income – I am sewing faithfully into your kingdom, please honor this because I have no idea how I am going to make it otherwise.” Then I dropped it in.

A few days later the check cleared along with my rent, car payment, and utilities. I thought, “this isn’t bad I have plenty left for the month. I just need to pay my mom for my cell phone bill and my car insurance and I’ll be fine.”

Except, SURPRISE – my annual renters insurance is due! Oh and your quarterly loan payment is also due! There is only one word to describe this situation… Crap.

All day I sat around trying to come up with a plan unsuccessfully. I called my mom after work, panicked – she gave a few suggestions. I was completely at a loss. I told myself this will get better. So, I packed up my belongings, grabbed my cell phone, started walking to my car. I proceed to then drop my cell phone and shatter the screen (are you kidding me right now?). This wasn’t a cute shatter either, this was a, “use this phone and your face will be electrocuted” shatter.

The whole way home I was so irritated. I was mentally ranting, “Here I am trying to do the right thing. I paid my stupid tithes and now all this extra stuff pops up that I have to pay (I hadn’t quite mastered giving with a cheerful heart). To make matters worse, THE STUPID PHONE IS SHATTERED and I know it’s going to cost a kidney to get it fixed. I KNEW I SHOULDN’T HAVE PAID THOSE TITHES!!!”

I walked into my apartment, plopped on my couch, scheduled an appointment with Apple and got online to do some research. How much is this going to cost me? Scanning the page…. $199. Crap.

I called my mom and asked her if she would like to accompany me to the Apple Store – both she and my aunt came. We waited for about 45 minutes to be seen (in true Apple Store fashion). During that time I decided to share with my mother this tithing dilemma. I said, if I hadn’t paid my tithes, I would have money to get this phone fixed and still be able to eat for the rest of the month. Because there is no other way to be a Marilyn, she tells me a scripture about tithing – something about the ocean- and tells me not to think that way. I am thinking “yeah, yeah”.

The apply guy finally calls us over, assess the damage, gives us the “this is not covered by warranty” speech and lays it on me. This is going to cost $99. Okay that is better than $199…. I’ll pay it, who needs food anyway?

He disappeared with my phone for about three minutes. When he came back, it looked like new. He typed some junk on his computer, disappeared below the counter, and then popped up to ask me the most RANDOM question. “How has your day been today?” Really? Did you see what I brought you? I told him my day was pretty decent until I shattered my phone. Then he says, “how about now?” He points to my receipt of 0.00 balance and says, “free of charge”…. Did he just say free of charge? I asked him, “Are you serious?” He then says, “you ladies were SO NICE and SO PATIENT as you waited to be helped that I just want to do something for you.”

At this point my eyes start watering, I tell this man that he has just saved my life (life was a little of an exaggeration, but budget for sure). I told him he has NO IDEA what he just did for me. Then, because there is no other way to be a Marilyn, she says, “YOU OWE GOD AN APOLOGY!” Indeed I do.


As you can see, I haven’t always been faithful in tithing or giving, but what a way to get started! God showed up and since then, God has blessed me in more ways than you can imagine. The windows of Heaven have been opened to me and there has been poured into my life blessings in overflowing proportions.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Until next time,

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Tie the Knot Tuesday, 13 Weeks and Counting

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Last week I ran across a blog entry by Kaycie Vanden Top called “Wedding Wednesday“. Each Wednesday Kaycie tries to write a post updating everyone on what is going on with her and her fiancés wedding plans. I was inspired and wished this was something I ran across 9 months ago! Korey and I only have three months left! Nevertheless, I have decided to do the same, but I am calling it “Tie the Knot Tuesday.”

This will be a fun way for me to share what Korey, our families, and I are doing and have done to prepare for our wedding, and more importantly our marriage. That way everyone can be in the loop, and when you wonder how the wedding plans are going you’ll have a better answer than “it’s going,” which is usually what you’ll get if you ask me.

So, nine months ago, on October 29th, Korey and I got engaged. Hopefully you have taken the time to ready our engagement story, it really was my best birthday. Immediately after we got engaged, we started searching for wedding venues. We visited so many places, they all started looking the same. Several places we went to we liked but were already booked for the date that we’d chosen (and we were nearly a year out)! We were not willing to move dates, it is significant to us for several reasons, so if they were already booked for October 24th, we were out.

In total, I think we visited about 8 different venues. Korey, my mom, and I spent a lot of time in prayer because we wanted to make sure we followed God’s leading to the right place. Sure enough, we all felt our spirits leading us to one place in particular and we booked our date with The Piazza. The team of people at the Piazza are phenomenal to work with. They’re all God-fearing people and it’s very evident if you spend any amount of time with any of them.

After the venue was picked, we started working on finding the dress. I made an appointment at David’s Bridal and went there with my mom, soon to be mother-in-love (a term I’ve picked up from my church family), and two bridesmaids. The consultant asked me several questions to get an idea of what kind of dress I liked and she started bringing me dresses to try on. Each time I tried on a dress I had to give it a rating 1-10. It felt like I tried on a million dresses! I found a 9, but I didn’t find my 10. As we were ending our appointment time, the consultant told me I needed to go ahead an buy my 9, because I wasn’t going to find anything better. She tried to pressure sale me. Poor girl, she just didn’t know that I was not going to walk down an isle in something that didn’t make me kick my leg out (that is another story).

We ended up leaving David’s Bridal with a second appointment to go back. When we went back, I tried on a million other dresses and STILL DID NOT FIND A DRESS. My small entourage encouraged me not to give up and not to settle. Before we left, we scheduled a third appointment to take place. Before I went back to David’s Bridal a third time, I decided that I better look elsewhere. I had an appointment at a small bridal shop called Distinct Elegance. My appointment there was one week before my next appointment at David’s Bridal. At Distinct Elegance, I tried on about 4 dresses before I found one that I loved. It was fun and crazy, but it almost seemed a little “too fun” (if you’ve ever been to the Piazza, then you know it is very elegant and classy and I just didn’t think this dress would “fit” there). I expressed this to my consultant and she said that she did have a dress beautiful, elegant, but also fun, and she brought it to me to try on. That was it guys. That was my dress. It was ordered at the first of the year, is expected to come in this month, I will go try it on (this week actually – I am excited). Too bad you can’t see it until October – it really is beautiful.

The other things we’ve planned and booked so far have been much easier. We don’t have to worry about food or drinks because the Piazza is awesome and they take care of that. We have already booked a photographer (this was actually the first thing we booked after picking our venue) Tyson Pough, who is amazing, seriously amazing. We’ve booked our honeymoon- JAMAICA HERE WE COME! We have a DJ, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, bride and groom cakes – delicious, delicious cakes, and we also have one heck of a wedding planner who is about ready to strangle me because I’ve been a little too laid back during this planning process.

Although we have done a lot of planning on the wedding front, the most important thing to us is planning on the marriage front. The wedding (although it costs a fortune) will only last a few hours, but this marriage will last a lifetime. In our efforts to prepare for a lifelong marriage, we are going through the pre-marital sessions at our church, which really has been wonderful. We have learned a lot about what God expects from us as husband and wife. We have awesome mentors and have been in constant communication with our Heavenly Father during this entire process!

Thank you for tuning in to Tie the Knot Tuesday, more information coming next week!

Until Then,

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