Friday, October 10, 2014

Blair + Daniel

This is one of the sweetest stories I've shared! It's so sweet that they coined the phrase, " I yeah you" because they felt it was too soon to say love! ha! Also note the presence of God's magic in this story. The last thing Blair was looking for was a love interest, and then Daniel walked into her Sunday school class one random morning...

From Blair: I have always heard the saying, "Love will find you when you least expect it."  That is very true in our story.  Daniel and I actually met when the last thing I was looking for was love.

In January 2009 I had just gotten out of a long relationship.  I had been attending a very small church with my previous boyfriend so it was time for a change.  My parents invited me to their church, but before I agreed I asked to look at the church directory.  I wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anyone at their church that I would be attracted to or could be interested in.  I needed to go to focus on my relationship with God, not another boy.  I looked though the directory carefully making sure there would be no distractions at my new place of worship.

After a month of regularly attending, on a rainy February night Daniel walked into Wednesday night Bible study.  I hadn’t met him yet and assumed he was already with the girl he was sitting next to, so I didn’t take much notice of him.  But he sure noticed me!  The very next day, February 19, I got a friend request and a message through Facebook.  He apologized for not introducing himself the night before.  I was excited to be making a new friend but noticed that he was in a relationship on Facebook so I didn’t push it.  We exchanged friendly messages back and forth about how long I had been attending and that his work schedule had prevented him from being a regular attender but that he had gone to the church since high school.  Also, realizing that we had spent our whole lives living just 15 minutes from each other and attending many of the same youth events in high school.  He mentioned in one message that his schedule allowed him to be at church for both Sunday School and church that week.  I was so excited to have made a friend at my new church, (who I was kinda crushing on but wasn’t going to do anything about it because Facebook said he was in a relationship; however, he never mentioned a girlfriend).  I couldn’t wait to get to church the next morning.  Only problem was that it had snowed over night and the roads were ice.  However I was determined to get there!   I was not going to let a little snow get in my way. Halfway there, I felt so silly thinking he might not even show up and how crazy I was. But, he made it to Sunday School too! He was amazed that I made it too, since I lived further away.  Together we helped break up ice on the sidewalk and were the only students in class.  We ended up sitting together during the church service and he introduced me around (many church members assuming we were already a couple).  Miraculously, after church I checked Facebook and he wasn’t in a relationship anymore!

That was my cue!  I sent him my Instant Message screenname and we chatted even more that week.  He explained that things had been over with his ex for a while but he just needed a push to make it official (me being the push!).  He asked me out to lunch with some friends the next Sunday.  Our first date was on Sunday, March 8 we went to lunch with some friends and then just the two of us went for a hike Bowie Nature Park.  Our first date lasted 8 hours!  I didn’t want to leave.  When I finally got home and was gushing about Daniel, my mom reminded me of a plaque I have on my wall, it says "Do not worry, the Lord will provide."  And boy did He!

We both fell fast and hard for each other!  Coining the term “I yeah you” after just a few dates because we both thought it was too early to say ‘love.’  That didn’t last long.    We talked multiple times a day and saw each other as often as we could.  Even though it had only been just a few months I felt like I had known him my entire life.  He was so easy to talk to and made me smile and laugh more than I ever had before.

In May, Daniel picked me up for what I thought was just another afternoon hike.  It turned out to be much more!  Halfway though the hike I was talking about the song “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” and how funny I thought it was that prostrate and prostate are so similar.  At that moment we stepped on a bridge I had never hiked to before, only seen from another trail.  We took a minute to just look around,  when I turned around to look at Daniel he was on one knee!  I’m sure he said some lovely words about just being together for three short months but knowing that I was the one the night he met me.  But honestly, I have no recollection because I was beyond surprised and out of my mind excited!  However, my exact words after saying ‘yes’ were, “Is it real?”  To this day Daniel and I debate whether or not I was talking about the ring.  I stand firm that I was talking about the situation.  I was making sure it was a real moment and he wasn’t joking, since one week before I told him if he asked me to marry him I wouldn’t say yes because we hadn’t been dating long enough. :)

We raced back down the trail to find my sister and a photographer waiting to capture the moment and my parents waiting with our first wedding present... an egg slicer.

Nine months later on February 6, 2010 (less than one year from the day we met) we were married. Four years later, I am still the happiest I have ever been and so glad Daniel’s directory picture did not do him justice.  He makes me smile and laugh everyday.  The verse engraved inside our wedding rings is Mark 10:9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  Because it was truly the Lord that brought our hearts together.

We now have a house and a dog and are living out our happily ever after!

Friday, October 3, 2014

My 10 Commandments for Wedding Planning

My final blog for Wedding 101 was my favorite to write. I didn't have to write about a certain company. I didn't have to write about anything generic or "typical" for a wedding blog. After spending 4 years talking to brides, I have learned a lot about how a wedding proposal and the planning process can consume a woman...and the relationship. Being that I have never been engaged or been through the process as I bride, I can't imagine the stress one would be under. But, what I do know is what kind of bride I would be because I know what type of person I am.

 Truth is, you don't have to be wedding planning to follow these 10 commandments.

1. Be Nice- While you should be nice all the time,  make sure to be extra nice to all of the people helping you with your wedding planning, especially whoever is paying. No one has to help you, but people do because they are excited and happy for you! Don't snap on people during times of frustration. Take a deep breath, smile, and be a sweet Southern lady.

2. Be Thankful- Not everyone gets to have the wedding of their dreams. Be thankful for the amazing man you call your fiancee, your supportive family and friends, and this moment in your life.

3. Don't Bend to Pressure- You will be getting pressure from everyone about your wedding; family, friends, wedding professionals, and yourself. The process can be difficult and challenging, but have the wedding that's perfect for you and your groom. Include what's important to you, your fiancee, and both of your families.

4. Don't Make an Impulse Buy- Ladies, you don't have to book a vendor at a bride show because they are offering an amazing deal. If you book on the spot, you are making an impulse buy. I once bought a hair straightener from a woman off the street because it was a "great product at an affordable price." It was terrible. I'm not saying that those vendors are terrible...I'm saying sleep on it before you make a final decision.

5. Love Your Body- Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT decide to start dieting during your engagement (which happens to be an emotionally and physically stressful time). It will not work, and you will be so disappointed and hard on yourself. You are beautiful, and your wedding dress will be beautiful...both of those together makes you a beautiful bride. Love yourself and your body. In fact, shake what your momma gave ya.

6. Don't Worry About Crowd Pleasing - News flash! You are planning one of the biggest parties of your life. There will be music, drinks, food, your friends, and YOU! That is pleasing. Your guests will have a blast. It's not about pleasing them. You are inviting your friends and loved ones to a free date night. Don't put your focus on that. Your guests will have a blast.

7. Mandatory Date Nights- Make sure you and your beau have regular date nights during the engagement...and do NOT talk about the wedding. Couples can lose themselves in the process, so this is very important. The wedding doesn't define your life or relationship. It defines one day that starts the rest of your life. So keep up with those date nights where ya'll can relax and unwind!

8. Consider Your Groom- While he may pretend not to care, he really does. He wants to see you happy. Be open and keep him in the loop of the planning. Ask him for his opinion and input on  He is your partner...share the planning details, but also share how you are feeling. He will be able to help you take on the stress.

9. Laugh- Whenever you feel like crying about how stressed out you are, find something that makes you giggle. Get on Pinterest and look up "funny baby animals" or "wedding planning ecards." You'll laugh. Don't let this get you down. Keep on smiling and laughing, and remember, things could be worse!

10. Remember Why You Are Doing This- Ladies, remember the reason you are doing this. It's not about the wedding. The wedding is a symbol for the bigger picture, which is a marriage of two people and their families. You are doing this because you have found the one you want to share your life with. Not just share your life, but you want to create a life with him. It's hard to find that these days, ladies. You are about to embark on one of the happiest and most difficult challenges of your life.

While I targeted brides for this article, these are commandments that I try to live by on a daily basis. I should've called these " My 10 Commandments For Being A Nice Person." I needed a reminder of the type of person I want to be and continue to attempt to be each day. Thank you, Wedding 101 for the love, lessons, experiences, and amazing opportunities over the past several years.

Now, cheers to moving onto the next chapter carrying these lessons and aspirations with me! :)