Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Derrick and I fell in love in fall and winter. While most people have spring flings and summer loves, we became best friends and something more as the wind grew cooler, the leaves began to fall, and jack frost nipped at our noses.

My Mom's birthday is in the fall, which normally means/meant a trip to the mountains as a family. The crisp mountain air, the unrushed roadtrips through the winding roads.

Fall means hoodies and boots. Cool nights and sunshine days. Leaves ablaze. Homecoming and whispers of football games. Orange and black. Halloween - scary movie night with my family. Perfect weather and the wind hugging you with the promise of peace.

Winter means family and friends and friends. Shopping and surprising people with thoughts of love wrapped in festive paper. Cheerful Christmas music and a break from the world. A celebration of Jesus' birth. Jolly sounds and smells and colorful tinsle. The smell of snow. Coats, scarves, jack frost, and fireplaces.

This October has sped past...The first day was my wedding day. A beautiful storybook day, written by God Himself and blessed by Him before I even knew who my costar would be. It was a perfect kind of day. Followed by a wonderful week of relaxation with my very best friend. The first 8 days of October were dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Green. It was wonderful.

Before I knew it, I was crying as I had to go back to work. I love my job. I am normally more-than-willing to go. But not after a week of Derrick.

The next two weeks sped by in a busy, peaceful, crazy, wonderful blur of getting settled in our home. Learning our routine. And planning a ball. Crazy at work, busy and blessed at home.

And then the other day that I had been looking forward to and dreading for 8 months was upon us. Campbell University's 125th Anniversary Ball. A day that I had talked about and planned more than my wedding. A day that had taken more thought and energy than my wedding. A ball. Just like Cinderella's. Only I already had my Prince Charming :)

Thanks to my amazing teammembers - the ball fell into place with only a few minor moments of stress. There was a timeline of Campbell photos throughout the years, which was fun to look through. The food stations represented different decades. The photobooth line was always animated. Old yearbooks invited people to find themselves and take a step back in time.

And I have never seen so many people do the electic slide in my life. There had to be about 400 people on the dance floor, dancing through the decades as the music evolved from the 1930s to today. I think that the students could have danced all night if we wouldn't have ended the music at the strike of midnight. My favorite part? Sitting up in the stadium seats with my husband, music feeling the walls around us, as we took it all in. Watched every moment. Every dance. Every smile of celebration. And just like that it was over.

This October has sped by. And crept by. I can't believe it's almost over - but I will take a million memories with me as it passes. This October was a lucky one. It held the most important event of my life and the most important event of my career...and it didn't disappoint. This October has been covered by prayer my whole life - and God truly blessed. I am sad to see it go, but happy to take it's souveniers with me forever.

Now, as I look forward to Visitation Day, a Communication event, and Johnson Family Halloween Movie Day to end a wonderful month - I say: Thank you, October...Bring on November and December!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Cousin Jacob

There are so many things I want to write about, but today there is something I need to share.

I have always loved my cousin Jacob. His sense of humor. His appetite. His handsomeness. His passion for firefighting. His spirit, his character, his drive. There's a picture from when we were little that I always remember. Jacob is about five or six...and he had taken his Christmas sweater off, thrown it over his shoulder, and did this little model pose. Adorable!

When we got back from our honeymoon, my parents sat me down and shared with me that Jacob had been rushed to the hospital. At only 19, he had B-Cell lymphoma. Cancer. And he was there - fighting.

The first week in the hospital he couldn't speak, due to his swollen throat. He just wrote notes to those he loved. And that thought broke my heart. He got his voice back though. He had his first round of treatments last week. They were tough. But he is so strong.

There are so many people loving him. Praying for him. Supporting him. I pray constantly - and am always in awe of Jacob's strength and God's faithfulness. He's only 19 - and he still has his whole life ahead of him. This is a test that God has sent his way - and Jacob is going to pass it.

Pray for Jacob. That he will have strength and comfort. That God will heal his body completely. And pray for my Aunt Teresa, Uncle Jay, and cousins Sara and Courtney - that God will give them rest and peace. God has a perfect plan - and there is beauty in His will. Even when its hard to see. God is faithful.

I love you, Jacob! And I am so proud of you! 

 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just Married!

As you can tell, my blog is currently under construction and may be that way for a little while. Thanks for your patience - it will be an awesome newlywed/wifey blog once it's all updated and finished.

I haven't blogged in a while...I was busy getting married, becoming a wife, and loving my husband! I've also been really busy at work - this next month is probably my busiest of the year. But, of all of my faithful readers, I wanted to update you on life. More wedding/wife blogs will be coming.

The week before my wedding my mind was more on work than the dream day quickly approaching. I was hardly as excited as I felt I should be - and that made me sad. And worried. In fact, the Thursday night before my wedding - I was more depressed than excited. But that all changed on Friday. I was off work - and it was the day before my wedding. The day before the moment I had prayed for my whole life. God was already there blessing it.

Friday was wonderful, relaxed, blessed...and then busy. Rain at the rehearsal didn't get us down. Everything went as smoothly as it could have. And Derrick and I quickly realized that we had the BEST wedding party ever - as they all chipped in with eager and positive spirits to help make our reception site into a fairytale setting. They moved tables, put out tablecloths and centerpieces, and hung dozens of paper lanterns. All the while my head was spinning as I tried to take it all in. At the end of the night, I dropped my future husband off - and headed home for my last single sleepover with my best pal. We whispered into the darkness like we've done for the past 13 years - in anticipation of the next day.

My wedding day was calm. Peaceful. More perfect than I could have imagined. It began with Bojangles with my bridesmaids and mom, then we headed to get our nails done. I tried to make sure to sit with everyone. Talk with everyone. Have wedding day moments with everyone. After nails, we headed home to get our hair and makeup done. Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, A Walk to Remember soundtrack, and Lady Antebellum filled the background as we talked and laughed amidst a shower of hairspray.

My one moment of stress came when we were a few minutes behind heading to the chapel for the pictures. And the guys were a few minutes early. We had to hurry with pictures and get them to stall so that they wouldn't see me. It worked, but that would have to be my one almost-bridezilla moment.

Then back to the brideroom where I hugged and took pictures with a steady flow of grandparents, cousins, aunts, bridemaids...It was a blessing to keep me busy, because the moment I wasn't is when it all hit me. Thankfully Jessi decided we should play a game to keep me from crying. Which worked for a little while. Then my bridesmaids and mothers surrounded me in prayer - such a blessing to have amazing Christian woman as best friends. Next, I remember being in a circle with three of my best friends - as they spouted off funny words to keep me from crying at the alter. And then it was time for them to go...

Leaving me in the bridal room all by myself.

And that is when the tears came. Not a flood. Just a whisper of tears. And I wiped them away and joined my Daddy, as we prepared to walk down the aisle. Walking down to the man I had prayed for my whole life, walking away with my husband.

For months, I had feared that Derrick wouldn't look happy. But the moment the doors open and we saw one another, that fear evaporated. There he was. Looking handsome and happy. Waiting for me at the end of the aisle. No more tears threatened my eyes after that. I couldn't help but smile.

When I got to the end of the aisle, I remember asking him how he was and whispering a conversation. We hadn't seen each other all day. I remember looking into his eyes and speaking without words. Taking in the moment together. I remember playing with this hands, as I held them in mine. I remember the kiss being perfect.

The reception was perfect too. Of course, there are little things I wish I had done...but, overall, it was better than I could have imagined. All of my favorite people were there. Everyone danced. I got to dance with all of my favorite men (my husband, my Daddy, my brother, and Derrick's dad). The music was exciting. Derrick had a blast with his best friends. My Best Pal gave a great speech. Derrick's sister caught the bouquet. Everyone had a great time. And I was finally married!

It was a perfect day. A perfect night. Many perfect moments. It was blissfully energizing. Exciting. Peaceful. I didn't want the night to end. But I was happy to be going home with my husband. My best friend. (Random fact: We stopped at McDonalds on the way home. I was so thirsty! If only I had a picture of me in my wedding dress at McDonalds). Perfect.

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So there are the highlights for the best day ever. Here are a few details that you're all wondering and that will be further covered in future blogs:  

- The honeymoon was amazing. Lots of sleeping (actual sleeping), eating, shows on the boat, and being married! The weird thing was how normal it felt to be together. To sleep together. To get ready together. It just fit.

- Our house is great! It's so fun to have a home and a partner. To cook dinner and go to bed together (we get tired at, like, 9 p.m. now - no joke). To have a cozy living room and a beautiful kitchen. To watch television together and just be together. Married life is such a blessing!

- Preview of future blogs: CU 125, Honeymoon!, Married Life, My Amazingly Strong Cousin Jacob...

Stay tuned!