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I'm an Okie native, but currently an Arkansan. Newlywed. Hairstylist. Lover of all things creative. Pinterest and blog addict. Wanna-be photographer and wedding planner. Jesus follower. I love meeting new people and I'd love for you to stay a while, read a lot, and follow along. I love discovering new blogs so leave me a comment and I'm thrilled you're here!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

What I've Learned in Our Second Year of Marriage!

 
Warning: this is another sappy anniversary post.

Today Aaron and I are celebrating our second year of marriage. It's so crazy to think that it's already been two years.....two of the very best years! Our second year of marriage has been just as wonderful as the first year of marriage, but they were both very different years.

Here's what I learned in our second year of marriage:

#1. If you can survive moving three times in the first two years of marriage, then you can survive anything! Not only have we moved three times, we've also lived in three different towns and between the two of us have had five different jobs. That's a lot of change and adjustment in just two years, but I wouldn't have wanted to go through it with anyone other than Aaron.

#2. When you move into a tiny love shack in the middle of 10,000 acres, you learn a lot about personal space, no privacy, relaxation, and being humble...and you make a lot of new memories that you will remember for a lifetime. There was no such thing as going into the other room to gather your thoughts/collect yourself/have some privacy because it was all basically one big room and it was really hard to avoid each other (which was a really good thing). We learned a lot in our marriage from living in the love shack. We learned that no matter what kind of house we live in, big or small, new or old, cute or ugly, all that matters is who lives within those walls and that whenever I'm with Aaron, I'm home.

#3. When you move closer to friends and family, it is a ton of fun, but it is a lot harder to balance each other's schedules and planning/communication is key. When we lived in Mammoth we basically went everywhere together and did everything together (we never really had to use a calendar or write each other's schedules down).  Since living closer to family and friends, there have been numerous times where Aaron had to go one place for the weekend and I had plans to be somewhere else. We have had to sit down and do a lot more planning to make sure we aren't supposed to be two places at once. We have learned that we are both really bad at telling friends and family no so we sometimes have too much on our plate.

#4.  Aaron is the most supportive husband. He challenges me and encourages me to do things out of my comfort zone. When I had a job that I wasn't happy with, he was so supportive and encouraged me to do something that I loved no matter how much money it made. He supported my decision to quit and he never nagged me the entire two months I was unemployed. When I discussed maybe branching out and doing only photography, or creating an Etsy shop, or opening up a hair salon, he supported all those ideas and was willing to support us both if that was my dream.

#5.  I'm so glad that I married a man that is laid back, goofy, funny, and very rarely serious. These are definitely my most favorite qualities about Aaron. He always knows how to make me laugh when I'm in a bad mood, he never stays mad longer than 30 minutes, and he knows how to go with the flow. He cancels me out and helps me relax and lighten up a lot! He is very hard to stay mad at. This might sound really weird but most of the time when I'm mad at Aaron, he does something goofy or funny and it reminds me of what Aaron must have been like when he was a toddler and I can't help but laugh and think it's cute and then I can't be mad at him anymore.
See what I mean....not every guy would do this for a Christmas card.


#6. Aaron's biggest pet peeve about me is when I nag while he is helping me clean. You know when your mom used to give you chores and you did them and then she came behind you and said "you missed a spot right there" or "you know you have to mop after you sweep" or "that's not how I fold the towels".....then it made you want to stop helping and tell her to do it herself.....yeah that's me to a T and it drives Aaron absolutely nuts. The majority of our arguments happen because of this. It's something I really need to work on.

#7.  The Art of Marriage is a really good thing to live by and read on the regular, therefore it is on a magnet on our refrigerator and we see it everyday, multiple times a day.
The Art of Marriage
"A good marriage must be created. In marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say I love you at the end of each day. It is never going to bed angry. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other a safe place in which to grow. It is not only marrying the right person, it is being the right partner."

#8. You never imagine on your wedding day that you can love your partner any more than you already do, but it really is true that as each day passes your love for your spouse grows even more. Every challenge, tragedy, and great/exciting time or experience that you go through makes you that much more in tune and in love with your spouse.
This is one of my favorite wedding pictures because it always reminds me of the pure joy and excitement I had to marry and spend the rest of my life with Aaron. He still knows how to put a smile on my face.

This year we are celebrating our anniversary with a date night in. I plan on having a candle lit dinner waiting on Aaron when he gets home from work (today is my day off so I'm going to surprise him). Our date night will probably also include some Bachelorette watching and maybe a movie pallet on the floor...nothing too fancy and exciting, but our idea of a good time.  Of course we will also include our anniversary traditions of:
- watching our wedding video
- dancing to our first dance song
- taking an annual anniversary picture similar to a wedding picture and putting it in a photo album

                                                                 
 Happy 2nd Anniversary, Aaron! Here's to many many more anniversaries together. I'm so excited to see what our 3rd year of marriage holds for us. I know it will be nothing short of an adventure and I'm so excited to see where the journey takes us. Love you the mostest ever!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What's Up Wednesday!

 
I'm linking up with Mix & Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday!
 
1.What we're eating this week: Nothing spectacular...lots of quick, easy meals. Aaron has done all the cooking this week so I don't have any new recipes to share.
 
2. What I'm reminiscing about: This special day that happened almost two years ago. Cannot believe we will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary in 6 days. I have been reminiscing a lot lately as I'm preparing my blog post on "What I've Learned in Our 2nd Year of Marriage."
 
3. What I'm loving: I'm loving this scent from Bridgewater Candle Company called Sweet Grace. Aaron's mom was burning it in her house this weekend and I stopped dead in my tracks when I smelt it. It is seriously the best candle I have ever smelt. I just had to sniff it every time I walked by and I loved it so much that I went straight home and ordered the scent in wax melts and a car fragrance. The great thing about this company is that every candle purchased feeds a child for a day in different international orphanages.
I'm also loving these DIY West Elm knock off dish towels that I made for a friend as part of her wedding shower gift. I found this picture on Pinterest as my inspiration.
You can find the tutorial on oleanderandpalm.com
 
And here is my version:
I found the dish towels at TJMaxx and I used freezer paper to make the stencils and fabric paint. Super easy and the possibilities are endless. I'm thinking about adding dish towels to my Etsy shop.
 
What we've been up to: Working & going out of town every weekend pretty much sums up our life right now! We enjoyed spending this past weekend with Aaron's family. It was great to spend Father's Day with Aaron's dad. We went to a delicious, famous Italian restaurant on Saturday night and then we had a fish fry on Sunday night. I ate an entire meal of crappy for the first time. If you know me, then you know I hate seafood and don't go anywhere close to it. I actually really liked crappy and didn't mind eating it one bit.  We also got to meet the newest member of our family. Aaron's brother got a new puppy and his name is Oakley. He is precious. He is part Golden Retriever and part Black Lab.
 
 
 
What I'm dreading: Catching up on editing all my photos and getting the discs out to clients.
 
What I'm working on: Editing these most recent sessions and finishing up a vow renewal.
 
 
What I'm excited about: Floating the river this weekend and hanging out on the lake with my family.
 
What I'm watching/reading: The only thing I'm watching on TV is The Bachelorette....holy crazy season is all I've got to say. I'm a huge Ben Z and Shawn fan!! I also just finished reading this book.
 
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess  -     By: Jen Hatmaker
My sweet friend, Rachel gave it this book to me on my birthday and I absolutely loved it. It's basically a journal that a woman writes about her experiment with seven things. For example, one month she only eats seven different foods all month. The next month she gets rid of seven things each day. Then, the next month she only wears seven articles of clothing for the entire month. You follow her on her spiritual fasting journey and it's really an incredible book. It made me really think about how fortunate I am and how much "stuff" we accumulate and think that we need. I highly recommend this book.
 
What I'm listening to: Blackhawk Greatest Hits CD has been on repeat in my car ever since we went to the concert. I think Aaron and I have listened to it 20x through on our last two road trips. We love belting out every word.
 
What I'm wearing: Nothing cute, just jeans and a V-neck shirt. It's not cute enough to share with a picture, sorry ;)
 
What I'm doing this weekend: We are having our 4th annual family reunion this weekend. I'm so excited to see all of my family and do all kinds of fun outdoor activities. We are going to float the river, hang out on the lake/do some boating, and compete in our annual family challenge. Here's to hoping my team takes home the trophy this year!
 
What I'm looking forward to next month: We don't have a whole lot planned for next month so I'm really looking forward to that. We have a few fun weekends planned in August that I'm really looking forward to. We are spending a weekend in Omaha for a friend's wedding and we're also spending a weekend in a cabin by the lake with a bunch of other couples.
 
 
Hope you guys have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!
 
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mammoth Spring Trip

 
This past weekend we took a short, but very sweet weekend trip to Mammoth Spring. It's crazy to think that it's almost been a year since we moved away. Almost exactly this time last year during our family reunion was when Aaron got the call for an interview back home. It's amazing just how much things can change in a year. We promised ourselves when we moved from Mammoth that we would come back in the summer to visit.
 
We left Thursday after work and arrived around 3am. That's definitely one thing we don't miss....the 8.5 hour drive. We did that drive so many times while we lived there. Aaron woke up early Thursday morning and went to his previous workplace to visit and say hi to his co-workers. You know he must miss them when he goes to bed at 3am and wakes up at 7:30am to go see them. I was enjoying my vacation and I slept in :) We met back up around lunch time and went to my previous workplace for a delicious lunch and to say hi to everyone there. After lunch we did a little bit of shopping, relaxed, and took a walk around the spring for old times sake. We definitely wished Samson would have been with us. He would be so jealous if he knew we went without him.
A selfie at the spring.
 
Friday night we met up with this dude and his mamma and had dinner at Fred's Fish House. That was a requirement of Aarons.
 
After dinner, we went to a get together at our friend's house. We sat outside and watched all the kiddos play while the adults got to catch up.
I adore these mammas and their precious children. When I first moved to Mammoth a few of these girls had just found out they were pregnant. They're going to have a fun group when they all start school!
 
Saturday we went to the fishing derby at Aaron's old work. It was great to see all of Aaron's co-workers and Aaron loved getting to help out with the event.
Look at these adorable babies. Have you ever seen an Albino deer? Me neither. They were so sweet.
 
Saturday afternoon we went down to the river. I attempted to float around in my inner tube and get some sun, but the rain quickly ruined that idea :(
 
Saturday night I went to a girl's night get together with my co-workers. One of my co-workers hosted it at her house and she had a delicious spread of food. We sat on her back deck by her pool and watched the sun set, had food & drinks, and girl talk. It was perfect! They also surprised me with a favorite things party. I hosted one for Christmas when I lived there so it was really sweet of them to do that. They even brought my favorite thing (succulents, they know me all too well) for me to exchange with everyone. They are the best and I loved every minute of it!
 
And of course we drove by our old house and reminisced on all the great memories made there. Coming back made us both miss it so much and we can't wait until our next trip back. We both agreed that the next time we come back it will be for a much longer trip.
 
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to hang out with us. We loved getting to see each and every one of you. We wish we could have had more time to hang out with all our friends that we didn't get to see this weekend...we missed you! Until next time Mammoth....see you in a year!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Most Eggciting Birthday Present Ever!!!


So back in April I got the best birthday present ever!! My best friend called me and asked if she could come have dinner with me on my birthday and stay the night. Of course I said yes. We met for dinner after work and had a good time catching up and talking. She had already given me a birthday gift a couple weeks before so I wasn't expecting anything else and she didn't bring anything else in with her, or so I thought. After we sat and talked for a long time she said, "okay, I have one more present for you." That's when I knew exactly what that present was!

Yup, I knew it!
The cracked egg.
This little piece of paper was rolled up inside of the egg.
 
I thought I would have cried at this moment, but I was just so stinkin' excited for my best friend that all I could do was hold my hands over my mouth with my jaw dropped and say "no way, ugh uh, seriously?" I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed for this child and I am so thrilled that God has answered those prayers. Alli and Matt are going to be the best parents to this precious baby. I cannot wait to spoil the thing rotten. I am so anxious to find out the gender because everywhere I go I just want to buy stuff for the baby. I haven't seen Alli since she told me the exciting news and I'm so anxious to see her and her little belly. I keep bugging her all the time about how it's all going, how she is feeling, what her belly looks like, begging her to send me weekly bump date pics, etc. I'm so excited for her, I can't hardly stand it. Hurry up December, I can't wait to meet this sweet little babe!
 
 There's nothing sweeter than going through every season of life with your best friend. It makes me so happy to think that back in the day we used to play with our baby dolls and dream of one day becoming a mother and now that's actually happening for Alli. By the way, we were odd children and we used to stunt our baby dolls (pictured above, haha).
We go way back!
 
They are going to make one pretty baby!!
I'm so excited the secret is finally out because it was killing me not to tell anyone!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

More Recipes & A Weekend Recap!


Last weekend was a really good weekend. Aaron went out of town to attend the wedding of his friend's sister. I had to work and I had a photo shoot so I  spent the weekend with my friends and family back home.

Saturday night about 15 of my best friends from high school all went to dinner and then we went to the city to continue hanging out. It was so much fun to see everyone and catch up. The last time I saw most of them was around Christmas so we were long overdue. I completely failed and didn't get a picture on my camera to share.

Sunday I got to take this little cuties 6 month pictures. She was such a ham and cheesin' it up for the camera. I grew up with her momma so it was fun to see my friend and love on her sweet little girl.

 
Sunday afternoon I got to have lunch with my friend Katie. I haven't seen Katie since our wedding which has almost been 2 years ago. We were WAY overdue. It was so great to see Katie and her little boy. We got to catch up for a few hours and I loved every minute of it. Sometimes I feel like a terrible friend and I hate that so much time goes by without seeing some friends, but when we do see each other it feels so good to pick right back up where we left off.
I failed again and didn't take a picture with Katie, but this is an old one from the last time we were together.
 
After lunch I got to spend some quality time with my mom. I cut her hair and we worked on some crafts/gifts for a friend's baby. We had a very productive day!
 
Sunday evening, we met up with my brother and his wife and some of their friends. My cousin and her two boys also joined us at Bleu Garten in the city. It was my first time to go there. The weather was perfect and the food trucks were delicious!
 
This week I tested out a new Mix & Match Mama recipe and once again, it was a success and very simple.  
I made her Pulled Pork Sandwiches....so yummy. You can find the recipe here, you should definitely try it!

I also made a Nacho Cheese Dorito Taco Salad. I have made this recipe before. My roommate in college introduced me to this recipe and I used to LOVE it, but then I forgot all about it until I saw it come across my Pinterest page.
 The Catalina Dressing makes this salad complete. I used red kidney beans, but you could also use ranch style beans or black beans.
You can find this recipe here.

Last night Aaron and I went to the Sand Bass Festival to watch Blackhawk perform a FREE concert. It was AMAZING! You see, I am a huge Blackhawk fan. My dad used to play their CD on road trips. Eventually I heard it so much that I knew every word to every song and we would belt it out as loud as we could on the way to my mema's house. When I met Aaron he didn't know who Blackhawk was. It didn't take long for that to change and he is a pretty big fan now. Anytime Aaron hears them on the radio he will call me and make sure I'm listening because he knows they can immediately cheer me up and change my sour moods. We were so pumped when we found out they were playing a free concert close to us. I thought since they are an older band that they might have lost their signature sound, but they've definitely still got it. They far exceeded both of our expectations. Aaron was laughing the whole time because I was singing all the songs so loud and really geeking out. He said he's never in his life seen me so excited about a concert and I get really excited about all concerts. He thought at one point in time when they first got on stage that I was going to either cry or faint and to be honest with you, I probably could have cried I was so excited. I'm so glad we went and I will definitely be seeing them in concert again.
Tonight we did a whole lot of nothing besides hang out on the back patio and play a lot of fetch with this tired dude.

The sweetest boy!

We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home. Aaron plans on doing a lot of fishing and I am hoping to get a lot of editing done. I'm finally all caught up on my Etsy orders and I've got two photo sessions left to edit before I'm all caught up...WOOHOO! We are also looking forward to a cookout with family from out of town on Sunday :) Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!!