Thursday, October 31, 2013

We did things a little different for our wedding. We had dinner prior to the ceremony! When I first heard the idea, I was like, "YES. Let's do it!" I was all gung-ho for it until about a week before the wedding when I was like, "WORST IDEA EVER." Well, as it turns out... it was a great idea! Having dinner beforehand actually helped with my nerves. I was able to eat a tiny bit of food, and hang out with some of the guests before slipping away to get ready for the ceremony.
 ^^We totally had a "meat carving station." Whatever that is. But as you walked through the line, my dad's BBQ pal hand carved tri-tip personally for you! It was a fun little touch.. and pretty cool! 
It was fun to be able to just hang out with our friends and have a few calm moments. The menu consisted of tri-tip, roasted potatoes, fresh green beans (my favorite!) and homemade rolls. I actually ate very little of that, but what I had was yummy! My dad's BBQ team made the food and they rocked it. They've been doing more and more weddings and events lately.. I'm happy for them! <3

Thanks for looking! Excited to share the ceremony on Monday!

(as always, thank you Elise for the photos. I treasure them more than you know!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Details and other such things

Ah, here we are again! We got all of the wedding photos back and I'm SO excited to share more with you! 
Let's be honest for a sec - all while planning this wedding, I was freaked out over details. If I would get them done in time, if it all would mesh well together, etc, etc. Jess can tell you all about the emails where I was worried over this junk. Anyway - my mom helped out a TON, and during set up, I barely had to do anything! Actually, let me rephrase. I didn't do anything. My bridesmaids, my parents, Blake's parents... they did everything while I moved from chair to chair hyperventilating. So... I owe it all to them. Everything turned out perfectly! 

^^This is one of my favorite things! Credit to my momma for this one, who found Disney coloring sheets the night before the wedding! And I'm pretty sure it was a hit with the kiddos! 
^^ notice the "to Haley" she wrote on it.. melt my heart!
^^ we did mix CDs as favors. My mom lovingly handstitched the CD sleeves... all 100 of them by herself! I burned all the CDs (and included the playlist at the end of this post! Yay!)
 I found the blank CDs via Verbatim, and it was the best purchase we made for the wedding, I'm pretty sure... 
^^My mom also made all of these programs! I assisted a tiny bit with the printing, but other than that, she put them all together. And my dad helped with stuffing the envelopes with lavender. Such great folks I have.
^^ our cake was homemade by a family friend, and the cake toppers were from Katie! We have such talented friends - the little bride and groom owls are proudly displayed on our record shelf now! 

I stressed and stressed and stressed over this wedding. I had such a specific vision for our wedding, and I was so nervous that I couldn't pull it off. Honestly, it wouldn't have turned out so beautiful had it not been for all of the fantastic help I had from my friends and family. Love you guys!

thank you Elise for the fab photos! Seriously, these are the photos dreams are made of! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

** I actually wasn't going to post this, I simply wrote it for myself to get a few frustrations out of my system (you'd be surprised how many drafts I have saved that I've never posted for the same reasons). BUT, yesterday at church, something was said that has pushed me to hit "publish" and make this public. The message yesterday was about being persecuted. While that topic doesn't exactly relate to this post, a few things were mentioned that hit home with how I've been feeling: as Christians, we need to be courageous and bold; we need to do what's right. And because of those two statements, I felt pushed to post this - to be bold and courageous. To shed light on what's going on with today's Christians. To shed light on why nonbelievers see Christians in such a negative light. 
 I mean no harm from this post, it is simply my view on things I've witnessed in the Christian community in the past few years. 

I posted this photo on Instagram a few days ago. I picked up this book a few months ago and haven't had time to actually sit down and read any book in a while - but as I was sitting in the car line to pick up one of my kiddos from school I managed to find a few quiet moments to start in on it. The very first page hit me hard:

"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. 
They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good." 
Titus 1:16

An immediate sadness consumed me. My heart felt so broken. Why? Because this is the state of the Church. I almost feel a sense of guilt when I say that, because that's not the way it should be, and it most definitely is not the way God intended things to be. His Word has become so twisted for each and every person's agenda - our actions are so clearly not obedient to Christ, now, more than ever. 

The verse was convicting. I couldn't make it past that page, to be honest. And I haven't picked up the book since opening it. I'll admit - there have been many times that my actions have contradicted my faith; I'm ashamed of this for so many reasons, but mostly because I want nothing more than to show Christ in my life. For my faith to be who I am, so much so that who "Haley" is, is simply an extension of the Christian faith. I want my life to be pleasing to the Lord. And my actions haven't always represented this. 

And what's more, and I feel just as guilty about this as well, but as soon as I read the verse, a few people came to mind. And I guess, what the point of all of this is, and what I heard when I read that verse, is that we are killing the Christian faith from the inside out. 

And it's not just actions, as the verse points out. It's words. 
I've realized now, more than ever, that gossip is a relentless killer. It kills friendships, it kills professional work life, it kills your relationship with Christ. And THIS is what spoke to me within that passage. 
I've been to a lot of churches in the past few years. In each church, there's always been a clique or two; the popular kids. It's the same in every church! Judgement is passed, not just on nonbelievers, but on their fellow Christians. "Oh, they didn't vote conservative? Wow, they must not be a real Christian." "Did you hear about what so-and-so did this weekend, and then showed up to church on Sunday!?" "Can you find out what's going with so-and-so, they're private on Twitter on IG and I can't see their posts..." I mean, this is real life stuff that I've encountered throughout the years! It's frustrating to me because it's growing more and more evident that Christians judge other Christians more than they judge nonbelievers. 

The only thing I want to say to those people is
It is not your job to judge others. 
Who cares if someone sat by someone at church and it was deemed controversial?!
Who cares how a person voted?! At least they got out and exercised their American right. 
And if you want to see a person's social media so bad, just go ahead and click the follow button. 
I mean, really. 

The whole "Christian Atheist" title was extremely off-putting at first. But the verse included in the front of the book couldn't have been more perfect - it puts everything in perspective. 
Our words can do so much harm; the Christian lifestyle is in major jeopardy because of the words we speak to others. Someone on IG commented on my post, saying that they were agnostic, but what they hate seeing is judgmental Christians give the loving and open Christians a bad name. 
If someone outside of the faith says this, we stop and think, "hmm.. yeah, I guess so, but they aren't talking about me." 
But when a person that follows the Bible, that talks with God every day, that tries so hard to live a life pleasing to God, but fails on a daily basis, can look at this with a clear mind and say, "hey. You are doing. it. wrong." Then, truly, what does the Christian faith look like to the rest of America? To the rest of the world? 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are all Christian Atheists. 
We are all going to church on Sundays then living life our own way the other 6 days of the week. 
We are all speaking words of hate and judgement without realizing it. 
We are all meddling in others' business and justifying it because we "care" for them. 
I can bet you anything, this is not what God intended for us. He wants us to bring glory to His name in every aspect of our life. Our daily life, our actions, our words. And the judgement we are passing on other Christians? Nonbelievers? Democrats? It's wrong. It's not our job. And it's not bringing glory to the kingdom of Christ.

Now that my little rant is over, we can go back to regularly scheduled programming. Until next time! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Little Things

Life is settling into routine; Blake and I are figuring out our weekly schedules and how to make them work together. As things slow down and we get familiar with our new life, I have to force myself to stop and notice all the little things that make life so great. Don't get me wrong - even when things feel like they can't get any worse, life is still good. But right now? When married life is still so new and exciting? Things are great, and I'm content. I'm happy. It's all in the little details of life. 
Our Monday breakfast dates, watching Law and Order before going to sleep, sweet talking Blake into making breakfast for me. I love all of this. 
^^This is the "Ariel pose." After meeting Ariel a few times in Disney, we have perfected the pose, I'd say. ;) 
^^Real things that adults do on a Saturday afternoon, right? & someone mentioned on IG that the fork is his arm.... I lol'd quite a bit over that one.
Last night, Blake and I took Chloe to dinner at the Aviary (or, as we told her, breakfast for dinner), and then we saw The Little Mermaid at the Little Theatre. It was so much fun! And Chloe was just in awe of everything. Blake and I have done things like this before with the kids - once taking Hannah to see Beauty and the Beast, and once taking Chloe to see Mulan. It's just so fun to see their little faces light up when their favorite princess walks onto the stage. It makes me so excited to have our own children to do special things with. And seeing Blake carry a sleepy Chloe back to the car wasn't too bad either. He's going to be a great dad. <3 Sigh. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

B+H Private Reveal

The private reveal was something I knew I had to do. I mean, if you just even look under the wedding tab on Pinterest, you'll see a million and a half photos of private reveals (and every single one will make me cry!). So, when our day came, my dad and I had our own private reveal (those few photos were in yesterday's post!), and I cried like a baby. I quickly touched up my makeup and went outside to meet Blake. As soon as I saw him, I burst into tears. It took me a minute to pull myself together enough to even walk towards him! And as soon as he turned around... I burst into tears again. And seriously - I am an ugly crier. Ugly tears all the time, no matter what. So, without further ado... our private reveal and a few photos that happened after that. :)
Almost as soon as we finished up our reveal, it started POURING rain. We got stuck in a little section of the house that covers the driveway, so we took that opportunity to take a few photos of just us. And then... the rain never let up. So we ended up taking all of our posed photos in that one spot, excluding our family photos which we took in the carriage house. A few days ago, I started to get a little bummed out over the fact that we didn't get to take photos at all the really awesome spots around the venue (there are so many!), but as soon as I saw these, I didn't care - these photos are absolutely perfect.

xo Haley

Photos by Elise Abigail Photography
Venue: Miss Gilmore's Carriage House