magic and dreams and good madness in twenty-fourteen

via pinterest
twenty-thirteen was filled with much wandering and wondering and questioning and planning and transplanting, and at first i wanted it all to stop and slow down, but now i am not so sure that i do, as i find my soul somewhat secure in all of these fast-paced changes.

i am becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable, strange as that is to say. these soul-longing questions and newborn seasons are insatiable beasts - and i am finding myself willing to both befriend them and sate them as they come to the table.

this past year brought much room for embracing life anew, and departing from the old. twenty-thirteen also held the least amount of words written, ever. as a writer, i am saddened at this profound news. there are certain moments when i find myself wishing that i had blogged more throughout twenty-thirteen, but then i un-wish that wish just as quickly as it was made. because i planned and lived and embraced so much. i embraced life wholly.

and i think i may have found a bit more of my soul in the chaos, lodged somewhere in between the best birthday ever, stressful details of wedding planning, sacred paint-smears taught and Real Jesus Talks with dear art-heart friends, you-tube videos that cast ongoing cycles of illumination and sparked further questions, trips to southern isles and beautiful sweet mountain moments spent with blogging IRL friends, two hearts that became one in sacred marriage amidst autumnal glory, and intimate holy-day family gatherings that were lovingly shared.

so maybe, just maybe, i'll become better at sharing my heart out loud in this e-space in twenty-fourteen - but who knows, really - i'll go wherever the wind in the door takes me. and then perhaps we shall see. one thing is for sure, change is always on the horizon, so it is best to embrace it as it is, for what it is. it is the time to become a bit more fearless i think, to conjure up this hidden-inside brave heart of mine, in the midst of all this chaotic life-embracing. it's a tall mountain ahead, but not impossible for me to climb.

via We Heart It
twenty-fourteen // one word: brave-heart 
this is the year that i want to become brave enough to write that story of mine; brave enough to paint my dreams and sketch my pain, on canvas and paper and in words alike; brave enough to fill the world with a bit more grace and magic and mystery. it's time to embrace the questions and the restlessness, and make words and art and a life worth living.

this year my resolutions are . . .
to embrace life with a brave heart, to speak grace more boldly, and to love more fiercely.

embracing marriage

hello there! it has been quite some time since i've found my way here to this writing place; the nest. and i'm sure you have been wondering where i had gotten to . . . well, hadn't you? *teasing*  i have been up to much embracing as of late - okay, well, really this whole year has been pretty much that way - i got engaged, planned a wedding for half the year, got married, moved across the state, started a new job, etc. 

yes, i finally got to marry my other half on november second, twenty-thirteen! we've been married for a little over a month now. sigh. it is a heart-dream come true. jared and i have been through so much together over the last four years, and i am just so taken aback by the revelation that God alone carried our long distance relationship through and has blessed it infinitely with a beautiful marriage as our fought-for-reward. i am so blessed by my husband, and realize more and more each day that he was indeed created just for me; he is my better half. truer things have not been said, and they will forever continue to repeat themselves. for i have been blessed.

our ceremony, and wedding day, all-around, was so very gorgeous and intimate and oh-so-memorable. we had an outdoor, autumnal wedding . . .  and we beat the rain (thank you jehovah jireh!) . . .  that had us surrounded by our closest family and friends. that said, i thought i might share a few blurbs and photos from our wedding day, seeing as how i've been talking about this wonderful guy, who is now my husband for forever, and of our beautiful wedding-to-come . . . 

(left) my younger super-gorgeous and beauty-talented-expert-of-a-sister, mary, was such a blessing to me on this day! not only was she my maid of honor, best friend, and sister-by-my-side, but she also was the one who did my hair and makeup, and splendidly so, i might add.

(top right) all of our wedding photography was done by our dear long-time family friend, lynette, otherwise known as lynnie s. on her blog. you can find her on her blog at: invited to the king's table

in this photo you can spot my vow book, our wedding bands, the perfume i wore {wonderstruck by taylor swift} and on the (bottom right) you get a better glimpse of my lovely plum-n-white flowered lace-handled bouquet.

jared and i broke tradition and did a before hand "first look" with one another. it was a very sweet moment - i got to sneak up behind my man and surprise him - shared with both sets of our parents, siblings and a few dear friends watching us while doing so. i have absolutely no regrets about doing our "first look."

we took some photos together before our loved ones arrived. i am so glad we took photos beforehand, and not afterwards - afterwards it was crazy and the time just zoomed by.

we took photos of us holding our parents' wedding photos - 'twas such a wonderful, sweet idea! hopefully future generations will do the same. ;)

i walked down the "aisle" to the instrumental version of turning page by sleeping at last with my daddy on my arm. daddy shook like a leaf, just like he did 28 years ago to the day when he was wed to my mother. i admittedly was pulling dad down the "aisle" to get to my groom faster - so daddy kept on telling me to slow down! ( ha - like that was gonna happen! )

my father-in-love officiated our wedding ceremony. it was the most special thing ever to have my dad walk me down the "aisle" and for my new dad to speak at and officiate our wedding ceremony for us. special, special, special, i tell ya!

a few random wedding facts

jared and i originally wanted to get married on november eighth, because that was our four year dating anniversary, buuut it was a friday . . . so we decided to get married on november second, which just so happens to be my parent's wedding anniversary, my great grandfather's birthday and also jared's great grandfather's birthday. there was a lot of special-ness and love borne on this day, and so we chose it to be our wedding day ultimately without hesitation.

the only thing that went "wrong" on our wedding day was that there was a ton of dew on the grass in the morning when jared and i took our first look photos together. annnd my ballet flats were died plum. needless to say i dyed my feet a lovely shade of plum without realizing it - looked like i went on a grape smashing rampage right before the wedding! for real. thankfully, my shoes dried out just before the ceremony, and i was able to comfortably slip my plum stained feet back into my dried out shoes, which were hidden beneath my dress. it'll make for a funny story someday. i just know it.

jared and i both wrote our own vows to one another - it is what writer's do, right? we write - with all our heart. jared had a vow book too, but to be honest he didn't even use it . . . yes, he held it during the ceremony so i wouldn't be the only one holding a vow book, but what no one, including me, realized was that he, being the thespian that he is, had memorized his vows he'd written for me. i however needed my vow book, as i tearily read through my hand-written vows to him. needless to say, my vows are in a book and my husband has yet to jot his down for me as a keepsake - i'll face it, my memory is not as good as his is. ;)

this was right after the ceremony and pronouncement of mr. and mrs. ^ and that is our second married kiss. our pronouncement song was 500 miles (i'm gonna be) by the proclaimers. it is a favorite, classic, memory-filled, funny-song of mine and my husband's - he had no idea (only suspected) that that was the song i chose. it was a surprise. i'm sneaky like that. and boy oh boy, we laughed so hard when it started playing after our first married kiss! and then on the walk back up the hill i pumped my fists in the air and yelled out "yatta!" yes, like the phrase said by hiro nakamura from the sci-fi tv show heroes. in case you don't know, it means: " i did it!" in japanese. ;)

these are a few more favorite photos of us . . .

two of my best friends in the whole world . . . my beautiful mother and my baby sister. 

my two amazing families. i love them all so much!

here are a smattering of photos from our wedding reception. it was breezy and sunny and gorgeous and sociable and laugh-filled and photo op worthy. the food was scrumptious (or so i've been told) - we had sandwiches and veggies and cupcakes and legit mountain apple cider and bacon/raspberry/key lime pie/amaretto truffles and of course southern sweet tea. our music drifting through the air was an acoustic instrumental guitar set of tracks homaging of monsters and men. 

two of my best blogger friends, turned soul-sisters and best irl friends, rachelle rea and meghan g. came to my wedding(!!) these soul sisters helped set up our lovely wedding alongside my mother, sister, our photographer, lynette, and her mother mary (lynette and mary were sadly not pictured). 

these two beautiful gals took smashing photos, prayed over me before the big day began, turned our wedding music [which was done via boom box] off and on cued to perfection, laughed with me constantly, adventured with me the day before the wedding, and absolutely blessed me every single second they were by my side. 

you can find them on their blogs at: and

well, we're married, folks. jared and i are a forever-once-in-a-lifetime-love-cemented-thing. yup. we're hitched for life and so happy about it. i found the one my soul loves, indeed, and he is now my own flesh and bone, heart and soul. i have been so very blessed by this year full of embracing. i'm looking forward to what twenty-fourteen brings for my husband and i, and our dear family and friends.

^ ah, it feels so great to type all of that out, finally,  you must know.

(above) here are a few candids from our honeymoon as well. we honeymooned up in the mountains - where else!? we stayed at a small mountain cabin that was nestled in just next to a thrumming stream. there were hammocks. mountain cat tour guides that were adorable. we ate a lot - cheddar's twice anyone? talked a lot about us, our future, family and God. shopped for books at a few old haunts. went and saw a movie: ender's game. bought artsy stuff for our new "nest" at earthbound trading co. ate chocolate ganache cake in bed. sat by the roaring fire. snuggled lots. got to know one another. we had a memorable, sweet, very us time on our honeymoon. and i loved every moment of it!

( btw - these are only a handful of photos. we have over 900 photos from our pre-wedding set up to our honeymoon. so, if you'd like to see more photos, find me on facebook!)

- until next time -