Farewell 2013.

2013

Psssst. You can check out last years farewell here.

When I initially thought of writing my little 2013 farewell I thought I might do a highs and lows recap of sorts – a highlight of the peaks and pits of the year. What I realized as I began listing my moments was that 2013 was the year where each low met its match with an unfailing high. 2013 was a year filled with great optimism, and even greater moments in between the milestones. 

In 2013…

In 2013 we moved… twice. (I, in fact moved three times, if we’re getting real technical and including that month I moved back home with my family to start my job while Clint wrapped up life in Raleigh). And it was unbelievably stressful and hectic and overwhelming, and on one particular weekend there in late February we had a mere seven days left on our lease and no idea where we were packing up our life to go . I cried… a lot. But after packing up all our stuff, unpacking it, then packing it back up 2 months later and unpacking it again, we’ve been blessed to finally have found ourselves in the place we had been yearning for, for so long… home.

In 2013 I finally stopped looking for jobs… because I found one. I started the year exactly how I ended the later half of 2012, searching and applying, searching and applying, searching and applying, and beginning to get awfully good at throwing over the top pity-parties for myself. After many, many months, I found the one, and it found me, and we’ve been pretty darn happy together ever since. It’s kind of like a match made in CareerBuilder heaven. I’ve been blessed to find a job I love.

In 2013 Clint celebrated his two-year work-anniversary in November… and subsequently quit his job. But only because he had an even greater opportunity awaiting him. An opportunity that doesn’t involve being out-of-town 20 out of 30 days of the month, or working until well after-hours the nights he is home, and it even means I can take back that little nook in my family room that’s only ever been the “home office”. He’s been blessed to be able to walk away from one experience and seamlessly into a new one that holds great promise.

In 2013 we celebrated a year of marriage… and I was attacked by yellow jackets to mark the occasion. On our anniversary we truly put “in sickness and in health” to the test (which actually, was not even in our vows) but “I hope others see His heart and love in the way I care for you” is, and boy did I realize on our anniversary, the day after I got stung, and the day Clint was supposed to head out-of-town for work but chose to stay with me instead, that my husband loves me with a love so strong it could only be a love that was gifted from God.

In 2013 we also celebrated eight years of being together… and had ourselves a little photo fun. I had actually wanted to do first anniversary pictures but as fate, and the yellow jackets, would have it, it was a pretty good thing I didn’t schedule to have those pictures taken. Instead we opted for an eight year anniversary shoot. You can (and SHOULD) go check some of those pictures out HERE. Because these photos show exactly how we spent the greater part of 2013. Together, and in love. I’m so grateful for this time of marriage with Clint – the time in between newlywed bliss and parenthood, the time of just the two of us.

2013 was a year filled with blessings and with that,
2014 will be my year of greatest praise. 

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The First Look.

Us Simpson’s have got a lot going on right now, and with a lot of things “up in the air” I am feeling extra thankful that I get to live life with my sweet husband. And since I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for months, I’m finally sitting down and sharing my absolute favorite moment from our Wedding day, our first look.

(All photos by The Schultzes )

(I should note, Clint and I have never actually talked about how our first look went, other than me saying I’m glad we did it, so this is all from my POV.)

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A couple of weeks prior to our wedding I started contemplating whether or not I wanted to do a first look on our wedding day. Photography was one of the top priorities for the wedding and I loved the idea of having that extra photo time. However, that traditional side of me was concerned that it would make my walk down the aisle less special. I ended up e-mailing our photographer asking for her opinion on the first look and she directed me towards this blog post. A take on the first look, on behalf of the Groom. This post conveyed just what I needed to hear, that a Bride walking down the aisle towards her Groom is going to special, and beautiful, and emotional, and unforgettable, no matter what happens before that. The first look would just be the cherry on top.

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When I talked to Clint about doing a first look I expressed how I wanted for him and I to have a moment together alone to bask in the glory of our day, just the two of us. Ironically, a wedding, a day that is about two people, very easily becomes about every other person there. Everyone warns you of how quickly your wedding day with come and go, zipping by in the blink of an eye. I was determined to make the most of every moment we had that day. So after a little bit of back and forth on if a first look was right for us, we made the choice to have a first look be a part of our wedding day. Now cue all those funny looks from our Parents who 1. Had never even heard the term “first look”.  2. Thought we were crazy for breaking such a traditional aspect of getting married.

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On our wedding day I found myself calm, cool, and collected- maybe even too much so. I had been so worried that I’d spend my wedding day a ball of nerves and overcome with anxiety that I actually ended up getting ready for my wedding feeling… underwhelmed? I didn’t have that spark of excitement. It didn’t truly hit me that this was our wedding day, that I was about to put on the big white dress, and marry my best friend. As I continued to get ready and watched as all the people around me got more and more beautiful by the moment I was craving the joy of being a bride.

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As I made my way over to do our first look I had a single moment when I was walking down to get in place and caught just a glimpse of Clint waiting on the docks and my heart could have just burst. For our first look I stood on one end of a dock while Clint stood on the other. He was to wait for me to call his name and when he turned to face me we’d walk towards each other and meet in the middle. It turns out my groom just couldn’t contain his joy as he ran towards me. Tears instantly came to eyes and love flooded every last inch of my heart. I’ll never forget the moment he finally reached me with open arms, as cheers came from the near by boaters, and the soft sound of water brushing up against the rocks, it was just perfect. In the moment of our first look, I became a bride, ready to marry her groom. For those next few minutes Clint and I stood together exchanging sweet words and having the chance to enjoy our wedding day, just the two of us.

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 Also, to be terribly honest, knowing myself, part of why I wanted to have a first look was because of all the things I knew I’d want to say to Clint once I walked down the aisle to him: How do I look? Do you like my dress? Are you nervous? Excited? You look so nice! I can’t believe it’s our wedding day! Except you can’t exactly get down the aisle and start-up a conversation with your groom, you kind of have a ceremony to get on with. I knew if we didn’t do a first look I’d feel like rushing the ceremony so that Clint and I could speak candidly with one another. Because we did do a first look, and because we were able to get all of those things out-of-the-way, I was able to enjoy our ceremony like I never thought I’d be able to. I feel like for so many people a ceremony is just a technicality, you know, the actual act of getting married and all. For me, I soaked up every last second of our ceremony. It was almost like Clint and I had this special little bond of our special moment just prior, that made us each smile just a little sweet at one another as we exchanged vows.03_Portraits_0326

Now obviously every couple and every wedding is different, so a first look may be completely right for one couple, and couple wrong for another. For us, it was right. And it completely set the tone for the rest of the day between the two of us. It allowed us to get excited, together. 03_Portraits_0330

These pictures are so incredibly special to me. When I look at them I can so vividly remember the way my heart sped up as Clint looked me up and down, taking in the lace trim of my gown, the sparkle of my earrings, the softness of my flowing veil. The first look was one of the most emotional moments of the day the photographs snatched up that emotion and put it in a place for us to hold onto forever.
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I love this man so very much.
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And I just LOVED our first look.03_Portraits_0342

Six for six.

Clint and I got married six months ago, today. And since he’s currently snoozing it up big time on the couch and I’m getting increasingly more anxious about how we haven’t had water all day and that 5 o’clock estimated fixed by time has now come and gone (because our apt complex is now giving us reasons daily to get excited about moving out of this place in a month), I thought I’d share six pictures of my Mr. and I on the day I became his Mrs. And because quite honestly, I’m always just looking for an excuse to scroll through all our pictures and find few new favorites. [[FYI- they are all by The Schultzes.. go check them out!]]

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03_Portraits_0320One of these days I’ll get around to writing a post about our first look- and how I couldn’t even imagine that day without it.

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I am so thankful each and every day that God chose to put a man so much better than myself in my life and led me to be his wife. I’m still completely unaware of my new last name and I often find myself wanting to call him my boyfriend, but I figure old habits die-hard and I’ve got the rest of my life to get it right.

Farewell 2012.

2012

 

The days of 2012 have gone by and 2013 is just on the other side of a setting sun.

Apparently I decided that my 2012 was going to go out with quite a literal bang. You see this…

TreeWell just a few moments after this was taken I fell off this log, while holding a stack of firewood. And I fell all my 5’10” + however high that log is off the ground straight on to the cold, hard, stick and thorn-covered ground. I cried. Then I went to go inside and panicked when I realized how I couldn’t barely walk up the hill because I was in so much pain. So I started crying even more. Oh and did I mention I was wearing a sweater headband with whiskers and cat ears? Because I was. So just imagine me wobbling up a hill, crying, looking like a kitty cat. And you’d have to ask Clint but my face was basically that of sheer panic… is it possible to actually break your butt?! Because I think I just did it. I’ll now be bringing in the new year sitting on a heating pad and making noises every time I shift my weight (which I know makes my sweet husband want to pull his hair out) but hey, he loves me. And we’ve had a pretty fantastic year, even with all the clumsy moments (like two days ago when a wine glass literally leapt out the cupboard at me and shattered all over the kitchen, and our dinner). There certainly is no one I’d rather pick glass up off the floor with then my main man. If 2013 is even a fraction as good as 2012 then we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Now I know that some people don’t like resolutions but I, myself, LOVE them. And I am very excited for this years. So what’s my New Year’s Resolution?! In 2013 I will complete 113 hours of community service. You see, I’ve done my fair share of service hours over the years. Between clubs and what not at school I’ve always found a way to stay pretty involved in the community. However, since graduating from college, and especially since moving to Raleigh, I have not completed hardly any community service- and I hate that! So, for 2013, rather than doing something that is just about me, I want to do something that allows me to help others. Plus, I’m kindling hoping it’ll help me feel a bit more connected up in my new city, and maybe even allow for a teeny tiny bit of networking to get this lady a job (But that would just be a bonus). I’ll be keeping track on my own but I’ll be sure to keep you guys, my super faithful readers, posted on where I’m serving, and hopefully you guys will find yourselves motivated as well!

What are your new years resolutions?!

Cheers to 2013!

 

Fashion Friday.

I’m pushing it a little bit, but it’s still Friday and these pictures have finally found themselves cropped and in the same place so I’m sharing… and I kind of got some shots of my fashionable better half and I can’t let those go to waste.

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And now.. as promised (and despite the fact that he said they better not end up on the blog) here’s my mister. He’s such a natural.

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What’s been your holiday style?
Comfy patterned sweaters or glitz and glam?