Friday, September 28, 2012

Fitness Friday

Join my friend Jen today for Fitness Fridays!

Recipe of the Week: My recipes this week pretty much consisted of take out or eating out.  Yeah, I know, that's bad.    I had all intentions of cooking more than I did.  On Sunday, we had something that I cooked, but I can't remember what.  Monday night, I made hamburger steaks, sauteed onions, and sweet potatoes.  Tuesday was take out (Greek grilled chicken sandwiches with onion rings [delicious yes, good for us, no] for us and chicken with fries for the boys) before family night at Kaden's school.  KT had a work dinner Wednesday and brought me dinner (Chicken Pontalba [cheese grits, chicken, mushrooms, sausage, has browns, delicious] and a Caesar salad).  Last night, we grabbed burgers from a local place after soccer.  Tonight, we're eating in.  

Workout of the Week: This week, I decided to add in some leg workouts.  My right hip has felt tight during some of my runs, so I thought it would be a good idea to start adding in some leg exercises.  I usually don't do any because I count my runs as my leg exercise.  My leg is feeling much better today that it did on Monday.  I used two leg machines at the gym on Monday and then again today focusing on this muscle group.

I was also really excited about almost running a 5K in under 21 minutes.  My goal is to get down to around 20:30 and I hit 21:04 during my run Monday.  My fastest race time has been 21:10, so I think I should be able to hit this goal at the next race given adrenaline.  

Weekly Recap:  I've done pretty well exercising this week.  Below are my workouts beginning last Saturday.
  • Saturday: 3.1 miles/22:25 (7:13 pace)
  • Sunday: 4 miles/30:35 (7:28 pace)
  • Monday: Upper body, abs, legs, glutes at the gym; 3.1 miles/21:04 (6:47 pace)
  • Tuesday: 2 miles/14:12 (7:06 pace), 100 twisting sit ups on bench with 10 pounds, 50 flat sit ups on bench with 10 pounds 
  • Wednesday: Upper body, glutes, and abs at gym; 4 miles/30:38 (7:39 pace) 
  • Thursday: OFF-REST DAY!
  • Friday: upper body, abs, glutes, legs at gym; I plan to run today, too.

Total Miles: 16.2
Total Gym Workouts: 3
Total Ab Workouts: 4

Friday's Letters {September 28, 2012}

dear friday: You're here!  I've thought you were here yesterday and Wednesday.  dear fall weather: Where did you go?  It's not nice to visit and then leave so quickly and without warning.  dear kevin: 15 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dear weekend: We have a lot planned.  Soccer, baby shower, picking up my wedding dress, going over our ceremony, and Clemson football.  dear covert affairs: I can't wait to see what happens with Lena.  I regret that you kept me up way past my bedtime earlier this week trying to find out.  dear boys: You've (all three of you) changed my life in ways I couldn't imagine.  You make life more fun, more exciting, and bring infinitely more joy to me every single day.   dear chobani yogurt: I really like you.  dear readers:  Thank you for your comments and your e-mails.  It's so nice getting to know you!  I'm glad you enjoy my little space on the Internet!  dear spray tan lady: Thank you for making me look warm and toasty and like I just got home from a tropical vacation.  I do I have to say I was mildly freaked out when it looked as if my "tan" was washing off when I took a shower.  All is well though.  dear Jesus: Thank you for Your blessings, love, guidance, answered prayers, and presence every day.  How awesome You are!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ABC's and 123's

Since school has officially been in session for about a month, I wanted to do an update on the boys.

Kaden - 3K 

Kaden is doing such a great job at school! For the most part, he's been great at going.  Some mornings when Kevin is waiting to drop him off, he'll get upset because he wants to go home and play with us, but for the most part, he's been fantastic!

Overall, he's done really well adjusting to a new schedule.  Prior to beginning preschool at the end of August, he's stayed with our sitter all day and had his brother to play with after school.  He was also still taking a nap in the afternoon.

I love seeing how excited he is talking about school!  He likes to tell us all about it which makes me happy.  He says his favorite thing to do is to go to Chapel which his class does each Wednesday.  He likes singing during Chapel.  He likes to pick out his snack for snack time each night.  I think snack time is another of his favorite parts about school.  :)  He's also so proud of his artwork (and so are we!).  He likes to show us when he's brought home a new picture he's made in class or art.

He has made a few friends at school, too.  He tells us about John Wylie and Dmitry and how they are his best friends.

His school offers lots of opportunities for parents to be involved.  Earlier this week, we went to Family Night where the children had a scavenger hunt, we were able to see some things they've made, and purchase some books from the book fair.  They also have at least one or two special events each month.  Last week, he had Teddy Bear Day.  He got to take a teddy bear to school and go on a scavenger hunt.  Tomorrow is Cowboy/Cowgirl Day.  The day he's most excited about though is Donuts for Dads.  He talks about it almost everyday.  I know he and Kevin will have a great time at this event next Friday!

Kaden is so eager to learn.  In 3K, he doesn't have homework, but we do homework each night.  When I sit down to do homework with K.C., Kaden is always right behind me asking for his homework.  We've been working on drawing our shapes, the letters that he's learning (A,B, and C), and writing his name.  I hope and pray that his eagerness to learn will only increase.

K.C. - Kindergarten
Please excuse the soccer picture.  Our school pictures are in, but not on my computer.
K.C. is doing great at his new school in kindergarten!  I am so proud of him!  He is ready to go to school every day and has been walking in by himself since almost the first week.

It is amazing to me how much he seems to have grown up in the past months.  He's always been well-behaved, smart, and independent, but when I look at him now and talk to him, he's become this big boy.  I knew this would happen and I'm so proud of him, but sometimes, I just want my little K.C. to be little.  I'm sure we all feel like that about our kids.  

K.C. has become an artist.  He is doing a great job drawing.  He really likes showing us his artwork when he brings it home, but he's reserved when we ask him about what he's done all day.  One night earlier this week, I asked him about school and he said he didn't remember and proceeded to ask me how my work was.  I sat down on the bench beside our sweet and told him about my day thinking that when I finished, he'd tell me about school.  I asked him again and he didn't remember.  I love writing these little things down to have to look back on in the future.  

He is doing a great job writing!  His handwriting has gotten much neater.  K.C. is named after Kevin and goes by K.C., but at school, everything lists Kevin.  His teacher and classmates call him K.C. of course, but everything official says Kevin.  He's been writing Kevin on some of his papers.  I think it's cute!  

K.C. is also doing really well on his sight words.  While his homework hasn't included reading yet, his class is working on it according to the class notes his teacher sends home each week.  He was also reading in 4K last year, so I don't want him to lose anything he's learned.  We've been reviewing his sight words and he's also been writing them each night which I think really helps him learn them.  We also made up a game we're playing with them.  I drew some parking spaces on construction paper for the boys.  I had them get a toy car and on K.C.'s, I wrote his site words in some parking spaces while Kaden got parking spaces with shapes and a letter.  When I call out a word (or shape in Kaden's case), the boys drive the car to what I say.  

K.C. has a great teacher and one of his classmates from preschool is in his class, too.  He's also told us about a little girl who stands in line beside him everyday!  I'm so happy that K.C. has had a great experience so far!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's a Pumpkin on a Stick!

I don't know about y'all, but I love this time of year!  Don't get me wrong, I adore summer and would want it to be hot all the time if I could be at the beach.  Unfortunately, that's only in my dream world.

In anticipation of Halloween, I thought I'd share with you my Pumpkin on a Stick.  I saw one of these somewhere a few years ago, and last year, I had Kevin make one for me.  It's so easy and so cute!

What you'll need:
Carveable Craft Pumpkin (I got mine at Jo Ann's)
Sharp Knife or Pumpkin Carving Kit
Dowel Rod (I used a 3 ft. dowel)
Flower Pot
Decorative Ribbon
Spray Paint
Witch's Hat
Witch's Broom
Light (or lights)

6 Easy Steps to a Pumpkin on a Stick:
I can't take much credit for assembling the pumpkin on a stick because Kevin and his dad really put the pumpkin on the stick and in the pot for me, but I can tell you how to do it.

Step 1: Paint Your Dowel Rod and Flower Pot
I used black spray paint to paint the dowel rod and our flower pot.  I also used a touch of silver spray paint on the pot.

Step 2: Carve Your Pumpkin
We went with the traditional pumpkin face, but you can do anything.

Step 3: Attach Pumpkin to Dowel Rod (Stick)
Kevin and his dad this part.  They started by making a small cut in the bottom of the pumpkin.  They slid the dowel rod in slightly and bolted it.  They did the same thing on the bottom.

Step 4: Fill Your Flower Pot
Once your pumpkin is fully in place, fill your flower pot with sand or cement to hold the dowel securely in place.

Step 5: Decorate!
This was the fun step for me!  I attached a witch's hat to the pumpkin's head using my glue gun and some straight stick pens.  I then glued some orange grosgrain ribbon with white polka dots around the base of the hat and made a bow.  I picked up a "Best Witches" sign and a purple metallic witch's broom at Jo-Ann's.  We stuck a small nail in the dowel rod to hang the sign on and I leaned the broom up against the dowel rod. I used orange, purple, and black tulle to fill in the top of the flower pot and also tied some at the base of the pumpkin.  I then tied in several other Halloween ribbons I had on hand.

Step 6: Add a Light
We added a light inside.  Kevin made another small incision in the base of the pumpkin for the wire and we pulled in the lights.

Follow me on Pinterest and make sure to pin the Pumpkin on a Stick!

Monday, September 24, 2012

We had a great weekend!  I hope you all did, too!

I went out shopping for a little bit Friday night while Kevin worked on the yard.  I picked up some shoes for the boys as well as some ties for them to wear at the wedding.  I also wandered around TJ Maxx.  They have some great fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations.  I picked up Outback for us for dinner and then we watched The Hunger Games?  If you haven't read the books or watched the first movie, you need to!  I didn't think I would enjoy the books at all, but read them so fast.  We saw the movie on opening night and bought it a few weeks ago.  It was a nice night!

We had a soccer game Saturday morning.  Our team did well, and we tied our game.  K.C. and Kaden both did really well!  I'm so proud of how they're doing this year!

My three boys post game!

After soccer, KT and I went to look at wedding bands.  I wasn't sure if I wanted a band or not.  I really want a wedding band, but my engagement ring is so beautiful and it has a halo around it, that I was worried about a band taking something away from it.  I tried on several and the one below looks great with my ring.  

We went to Chickfila (it's a Saturday tradition!) for lunch after ring shopping and then met my mom at the church.  I had already picked out most of the marches and knew of at least one song I wanted sung, but I wanted to finalize everything.  Meredith, Kevin's sister, his mom, my mom, and I stayed at the church a few hours and got everything determined.  I love music, and in my opinion, the music (and of course my grrom :) ) are what makes a wedding.

I'll share our selections with you after the wedding, but for a sneak peak, we're using the following:

Kevin getting in on the action.

After we finalized the music, my mom and I picked up some things we're using for our dinner.  We got vases and candles for the tables as well as some other things my mom needed for something she's making for us (I'll share that after, too!).  We had a great time!  My mom is fun to shop with!

Saturday night, we watched the Clemson game at Kevin's parents' house.  Watching the game together is a tradition his family has.  While we weren't happy with the end result, all in all, the team played well.  I'm looking forward to hopefully going to a game in Death Valley with KT later this season.

Yesterday, we worked on some things that we just haven't had time to do.  Most of my furniture has been in storage, so a few weeks ago, KT and his dad moved it to his house.  We had some some pictures and mirrors that had to be hung, china to organize, a book shelf to fill, and some other things we needed to get done.  We got most of those done this weekend.

I was trying to find some some candles to go on a table under one of the mirrors Kevin hung and Kaden wanted to help.  While I ended up going with different candles, the picture below shows Kaden's edition.  I had to take a picture when he added the toilet paper rolls and GermX bottle!  The boys are too cute helping us with things.

I also fit in a trip to Target this weekend.  I go to Target a lot, but it's usually for a quick trip.  I needed to pick up some groceries, and decided to try theirs (yes, our Target just added groceries).  I was really surprised at how large the selection was as well as the prices on their fresh fruit and vegetables.  They beat the grocery store.

While I was there, I picked up some Halloween plates and bowls.  As I was leaving, I decided to walk through the costumes just to see what they had.  Kevin got out some of his old toys for the boys a few weeks ago and they loved his Ninja Turtle men, so we thought that would be a good choice for this year.  I didn't think we'd be able to find a Ninja Turtle costume that looked good if we were even able to find one at all, and had already asked my mom about making them, when I saw them in Target.  They look good and needless to say, the boys love them!

We're looking forward to a fun week with Family Night at Kaden's preschool, soccer practice and a game, a baby shower for Kevin's cousin, and I'm picking up my dress and having my portrait made next weekend.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fitness Friday: Mixing It Up

I'm glad to be linking back up with Jen for this week's Fitness Friday!

Recipe of the Week: Ok, ok.  I've been bad this week.  Besides only cooking two nights, I really didn't cook anything healthy (pizza and parmesean chicken).  My goal for next week is to make something healthy the nights I cook so I can share that with you next Friday.  Keep me accountable, girls! 

Workout of the Week:  I decided to mix up my routine some this week and also go back to doing some ab work.  Since I don't have pictures of these exercises, I'll describe them.  Please bear with me!  Also, these are things I do and since I don't really have/know a real name for them, I made up some!  

Flat Sit Ups on Bench
We bought a sit up bench a few months ago and I love it.  I use a 10 pound round weight and do sit ups with my back straight from side to side.  I usually do 50 of these.  

Twisting Sit Ups on Bench
I use my same 10 pound weight and do sit ups alternating from the left to right to middle.  I usually do 100 of these.

Crunches on Exercise Ball
I have a giant exercise ball and I do fifty regular crunches on it and then fifty twisting crunches.

Once I complete these exercises, I've done 250 sit ups.

Lean Overs with Kettle Bell
To work my sides, I use a 10 pound kettle bell.  I stand up with my legs shoulder width apart and lean to the right with the kettle ball in my right hand going towards the ground and my free hand going up above my head.  I do two sets of twenty-five each on each side.  I can tell a huge difference when I do these!

Weekly Recap:  I've done pretty well exercising this week.  Below are my workouts beginning last Saturday.
  • Saturday: 2 miles/14:15 (7:07 pace)
  • Sunday: 3.1 miles/22:30 (7:15 pace)
  • Monday: AM: Upper body, abs, glutes at the gym; PM: 3.1 miles/23:49 (7:40 pace - I did not feel like running this night and my legs felt like blocks of cement!), 30 reps on each side with 10 pounds of lean overs with kettle bell, 100 twisting sit ups on bench with 10 pounds, 100 crunches on exercise ball, and 25 flat sit ups on bench with 10 pounds
  • Tuesday: 3.1 miles/22:18 (7:11 pace), 100 crunches on exercise ball, 100 twisting sit ups on bench with 10 pounds, 30 reps on each side with 10 pounds of lean overs with kettle bell
  • Wednesday: Upper body, glutes, and abs (using the hangy machine) at gym 
  • Thursday: 4 miles (I forgot to write my time down and will have to check my GPS watch for time)
  • Friday: Upper body, abs, glutes at gym
Total Miles: 15.3
Total Gym Workouts: 3
Total Ab Workouts: 4

Friday Letters {September 21, 2012}

I'm linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds for this edition of Friday's Letters.

dear kevin: Thank you for being awesome, super, stupendous, loving, sexy, handsome, smart, funny, charming, happy, and a great protector ;)  I can't wait to marry you in 22 days!  dear kaden: I'm so glad that you are such a good eater.  We can share Chickfila sandwiches everyday.  Anna Belle loves you, sweet pea!  dear k.c.: Your big blue eyes make me smile.  And, we now know you're a much better skipper than me!  I love you!  dear self: Please try to stay awake today.  dear kevin (again): I think tonight should be date night.  Your choice.  dear sweet frog: Please open soon.  dear clemson: I want us to win tomorrow night.  I also want my commercial during your game to be the talk of the town.  dear fall: I think I'm ready for you.  I'm really ready to burst out my jeans and ballet flats.  dear God: Thank you for placing me here amongst other Believers who constantly build up, encourage, listen, and share.  This new, small community is impacting my faith deeply.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Wife I Want to Be

In 23 short days, I will become a wife.  What kind of wife do I want to be?  This question is one that I've thought about most of my life.  Not always consciously, but one that has always been there.  When reading about the Proverbs 31 Woman as part of She Reads Truth last week, I started thinking even more about my role as a wife, mother, and woman.

I like to think of myself as an atypical woman, and I think Kevin would agree.  I'm not moody, emotional, controlling, nagging, spiteful, or any of those other words that many use to describe women, especially wives.  Those are certainly not words I would ever want to be said about me by Kevin or anyone else.  So, what kind of wife do I want to be?  What kind of words do I want to describe me?  I've thought long and hard about this and these are the things I want to be me.  They're in no particular order as I think they're all equally important.

I want to be the prayerful wife. There is nothing greater that I can do for Kevin, myself, and our marriage than to cover it in prayer.  Turning our marriage over to God is the greatest thing we can do.  I pray daily for Kevin over all aspects of his life.  This isn't something I really talk about, but it's something I do.  I care about even the little teeny tiny things in his life and God does, too.

I found this great link on Pinterest about praying for your husband.   While it's about praying specific things for your husband for 31 days, I decided I'd get a jump start and pray the daily prayers for Kevin for the 31 days leading up to our marriage.

I want to be the happy wife.  I'm a naturally happy person.  It takes a lot to make me upset or mad.  I want Kevin to always view me as happy.  Sure, I know there will be times and things that upset me or bother me, but I want to be the happy wife and not just someone who acts happy, someone who is truly happy.  And I am.

I want to be the loving wife.  It goes without saying that I love Kevin.  I'm crazy in love with him, too!  I want him to always know by my words and my actions how much I love him.  I want my love for him to radiate in all I do.  I want him to see my love in the little things and the big things and be secure in this love.  I want him to know and see that my love for him grows and strengthens.

I want to be the desired wife.  As a woman, I think we all long to be wanted and desired.  I want to be the person he can't get out of his head and can't wait to get home to.  To be cheesy, I'm going to borrow a line from the song "I Want You to Need Me" by Celine Dion: I want to be your fantasy, and be your reality, and everything between.  Cheesiness over.  :) In all seriousness, though, this is what I want to be.  I want to look my best and take the best care of myself for him and most of all, I want to be desired by him.

I want to be the communicative wife.  Communication is so, so, so important in any relationship, but especially in marriage.  I want to always communicate my feelings, thoughts, desires, needs, and whatever else you'd like to add to this list to Kevin.  I think we do a good job communicating with each other about everything, but sometimes, there are things that are hard to talk about, but need to be said.

I want to be the honest wife.  This goes without saying and could really be thrown in above with communication.  Honesty and trustworthiness are two of the most important things in a marriage.  Kevin is the most honest person I know.  He always tells me how he feels about things, and it's one of the things I love most about him.  It doesn't mean that I'll like what he says or he'll like what I say, but it means we'll always be open with each other.

I want to be the focused wife.  Life gets busy.  We all know that to be true.  I don't want to ever take my focus off of Kevin and our relationship.  I want to do and say things that show Kevin I'm focused on him.  I don't think you can be the best for everything else, family included, if you're not taking time to focus on each other.  Even in the busyness of life, five minutes of pure focus on each other can do wonders.  And, besides, I've read that it's good for your relationship to kiss for one minute every day!  That only leaves you with four!  ;)

I want to be the healthy wife.  You know how I feel about being healthy.  I think it's so important to lead a healthy lifestyle in general and I want to be healthy for my husband.  I want to look and feel my best for us.

I want to be the respecting and respected wife.  I respect Kevin so much and I hope he always sees it.  I feel like the same respect he shows me, I show him, too.  I don't ever want to talk down to him and promise to not ever say anything disrespecting about him to others. I really think that if there's something that bothers me, I should talk to him about it and not others, and I know he feels the same.

I want to be the supportive wife.  Support is so important.  I want Kevin to know I support him in everything he does and wants to do.  It's amazing what we can do and how bold we can be when we know someone's there with us and beside us every step of the way.

I want to be the encouraging wife.  I like to think I'm an encourager.  We all need some encouragement sometimes.  Even me, and trust me, that's hard to say.  I want to always be encouraging to Kevin and build him up.  I want him to know he can always talk to me and count on me to listen and encourage him in anything.

I want to be the treasured wife.  I want Kevin to treasure me, and I know he does.  Knowing that I'm treasured, loved, and desired are the best things to me and it's those things that make me better.

I want to be the understanding wife.  I want Kevin to know he can always tell me anything with no judgement.  I want to be understanding of him, his thoughts, needs, upsets, and everything in between.

I want to be the wife who strives to be better.  Kevin and I are both the people who want to be better and do better.  I don't want to be a complacent wife.  I want to get better and do better for him, myself, and our relationship.  That might mean having some spontaneity, trying new things, letting go of old things.  Personally, there are two things that are sensitive to me and really, it's because of the past.  I know that they are things I need to work on to be better and I will.

I want to be the inventive wife.  I want us to come up with new things to do, special things, and traditions of our own.  I want to always be looking for new ways to show Kevin that I love him and share my love with him.  Making memories, you know!  I found the websites below via Pinterest that I think are just great.  Click on the image to go to the article.

All in all, I want to be the best wife that I can be for Kevin.  I want him to feel fortunate to have me by his side.  I want to be an example for the boys of what a wife should be and I want our marriage to be one that they want one day.  I absolutely adore this man and I can't wait to spend every day by his side!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

House of Rose Vlog (Week 24!)

I'm linking up with House of Rose to talk about the things I'm loving this week.  If you haven't participated before, you need to today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's a (Wedding) List Kind of Day

I can't believe that in 25 days, Kevin and I are getting married!  You'll have to excuse the wedding themed posts that will be scattered in over the next month.  With that said, we still have a lot to do to get ready.

  • Finalize Music: You may remember that I said my mom is going to play.  To say this thrills me is an understatement.  We've picked out most of the marches, but still have to decide on some pieces for the prelude and finalize what Meredith is going to sing.  Any suggestions on vocal music during the ceremony?  I will admit that I'm somewhat picky about this sort of thing, and with a classically trained mother and grandmother, you can rest assured that the music is going to be gorgeous.  I'm really just having a hard time deciding which vocal pieces I want to use.
  • Photographer: I'm so excited to meet with our photographer tonight.  I'll be having a portrait done before the wedding, and tonight, we're getting all of that determined as well as any specific shots we want during the ceremony/dinner.
  • Wedding Bands: We have to shop for these this weekend!  I can't wait to see a band on Kevin's finger.  I've always thought about how special it will feel to look over and see my husband wearing his ring symbolizing our commitment to each other.  I absolutely adore my ring.  Kevin did an amazing job with it and I'm loving showing it off.  I'm not typically a showy-off type person, but this is fun!  I definitely don't want anything to take away from the beauty of my engagement ring though.
  • Programs: The text of these are done and it will be easy to complete once we have the music finalized.  I work in marketing and have the luxury of being surrounded by designers.  A friend of mine graciously designed our invitations and is doing our programs as a gift.  The invitation was beautiful and I can't wait to see the elements that she pulls in for the program.  
  • Flowers: Everything is pretty much set with these, we just have a few final decisions to make.
  • Ties and Shoes for the Boys: I can't wait to see my boys (all three of them) on our wedding day!  The boys look absolutely handsome in their clothes.  We do need to get them some new shoes and ties though.  KC. has told us he doesn't want to wear a bow (he's referring to a tie) and Kaden wants to wear a boy bow (a tie).  At the end of the day, I want them to feel good, be comfortable and have fun, and if that means K.C. doesn't want to wear his bow, then I'm not making him.  
  • Caterer: We are having a local Italian restaurant cater for us.  They are going to cook/serve in our china and I just need to take it by.  
  • Favors: I can't talk about it on here because our families read this blog, but there is something I want to give to everyone and there's something K.C. has requested for the wedding that I think will make a perfect favor.  I can't wait to share!
  • Ceremony: We have to determine exactly how we want the ceremony to go.  Nana is going to make dinner for us one night and my granddad will go over everything.  We are pretty traditional and want a traditional service.  I keep kidding Kevin about writing vows!  I do have to say that I love the portions of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold's wedding vows that have been shared in People.  She promised to  adore him as he promised to cherish her.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our Weekend Via Instagram

We had a great, full weekend!

The boys had their second soccer game of the season Saturday morning.  Our team, the Tiger Sharks, won again 3-2!  K.C. had his first assist on the game winning goal, too!

After the game, we went to Chickfila for a late breakfast and let the boys play.  Have you tried their Southwestern Breakfast Wrap?  It was really good!

We just had an Ulta open in town and being out of foundation, we stopped by there.  I decided to try something new and went with Urban Decay Naked Skin.  Have y'all tried this foundation?  We also had a little more shopping to do for my granddad's birthday.

While we were doing some things and getting ready for the Clemson game, Kevin got out some of his old toys for the boys.  We have transformers, mighty men, mini machines, and lots of other things (I hope I got all of those right!).  To say the boys love them is an understatement.  I loved watching them play with Kevin's old toys.  Too sweet!

We watched the Clemson game Saturday afternoon and I made a wedding list.  We have things to do!

Yesterday, we went to church with my family.  The boys were so cute!  My mom made lunch and we celebrated my granddad's 86th birthday.  

Kaden helping Bebe make croissants!

K.C. is going to be our little engineer, I think.  My mom got out some tinker toys that were Stephanie's and he had a great time building all kinds of things.

I don't have an Instagram photo of it and haven't uploaded my camera pictures, but the boys and my dad had fun playing all afternoon, too!  He took them out riding on the mule (not an actual animal - Kawasaki Mule, similar to a Gator) and they had fun.  It makes my heart happy!  :)

Happy Birthday, Bruce Hall!  We love you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

She Reads Truth: Proverbs

I discovered She Reads Truth from someone's blog.  (I can't remember the blog or I'd share it with you.)  I didn't start at the beginning, but rather at Proverbs 22.  Below are my notes and thoughts from this book.

Oh, yeah, if you'll notice, mention of the Proverbs 31 woman is missing in my notes from that chapter.  Don't worry, it's going to happen.  Come back next week for my thoughts on the Proverbs 31 Woman/Wife as I prepare to become a wife in only four weeks from today! 

Proverbs 22
  • Verse 6: It is so important to teach our children about the Lord.  It's the greatest responsibility in the world.  How awesome is it that God has given us these precious little lives to mold and shape?  With that, the responsibility is great.  Yes, we all want our kids to excel at all they do and become happy, well-rounded individuals, but the greatest thing for them is to live their lives for Jesus.  I need to ask for God's guidance every day on how to show and lead our sweet boys to Christ.
  • Verse 7: Debt is not good. We do not need to be a slave to it.
  • Verses 17-18: I need to memorize scripture more.  I need to memorize it period.  God teaches us all we need to know and His Word is the guide for our lives. 
  • Verses 24-25: Good friends are important.  I need to be the kind of friend/influencer God wants me to be.
Proverbs 23
We aren't to work to get rich.  Every thing we do needs to be done as if we're doing it for God.  God wants us to seek his instruction, wisdom, and guidance.  The way we raise our children is so important.  And, it's important to discipline them and teach them right and wrong even though it's not fun and hurts us in the process.  We aren't to envy those or the lives of those who don't love God.  They may seem full, but they aren't.  We need to be zealous for the Lord.

Proverbs 24
Arguments and bitterness is no good.  Don't become close with those who plot things and try to stir up trouble and dissension.  Don't gossip or seek revenge.  The people you're talking about or feel vengence towards don't care.  The righteous are able to stay together and get back up after falling down.

Proverbs 26
We need to seek wisdom from God alone and not become wise in our own eyes.  Be humble.  What is in our heart is what  matters most and through it, our character is shown.

Proverbs 27
We aren't to praise ourselves.  We should live in a way that others see what/how we are without telling them.  Don't be prideful!  It's better for those who really know us to discipline us than it is for those who don't to flatter us.  What we spend our time doing and thinking about is what we become.   Good, Christian friendships are so important.

Proverbs 28
God wants us to be honest, forgiving, loving, righteous, and confess our sins to Him.  He does not want us going after quick riches or doing things the easy way.

Proverbs 29
Being upright, honorable, and seeking wisdom is the only way to be.

Proverbs 30
God protects us.  I need to pray that God will keep dishonest, hurtful, and wicked things away from my family and me.  It's better to have just enough than too little or too much.  We aren't to store up anger. 

Proverbs 31
It is our job to speak up and help those who can't help themselves.  Does this mean that we are supposed to help take care of those who bring it on themselves and offer no ways to try to be better/change?

It's important for us to put wisdom into our lives everyday. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fitness Friday: Fitting It In and Eating Right

I'm linking up with my friend Jen today for Fitness Fridays.  

If you've been around my blog for any amount of time, you know I love to run and exercise.  I really just don't feel good when I don't.  I believe that fitness should be a part of our lives and not just something we do because we feel pudgy or want to look good in a new bathing suit.  There are so many things we can't control about ourselves (genetics), but two things we can control are our exercise and eating habits.

Exercise Matters: Fitting It In
I don't think exercise should be something we should have to fit in our schedule.  It's something we should do as part of our daily lives.  Having a family, working, and other committments can make it tough to exercise, and I think that too often, we use these things as an excuse to not exercise when in fact being active makes these things so much better and easier (in my opinion at least).  

One thing that works for me is planning my exercise.  I don't plan down to the minute, but the first thing I do each Monday morning is look at my calendar to see what we have going on.  I first determine the nights that I know I won't be able to exercise and make sure that I mentally plan to run or go to the gym those mornings.  I then pick the day or days that I want to do more than my standard run.  I also have a goal for each week for the amount I want to run and the number of times I want to go to the gym.  Generally, I run at least 15 miles a week and go to the gym twice.  I also do ab work at home.

Each time I exercise, I log it in my calendar and through the Fitlinxx system at my gym.  Seeing the pink (how I code exercise in my calendar) on almost every page makes me feel accomplished and gives me an easy way to keep up with my miles.

Healthy Eating
I'm fortunate that I haven't had to worry about my weight.  I chalk it up to a good metabolism and being active.  With that said, I don't take it for granted and eat any and everything I want.  I try my best to eat healthy, but I don't give myself restrictions.  For the most part, I drink only water.  I love Dr. Pepper and an ice cold Pepsi, and of course, sweet tea, but I try to limit those to maybe 1-2 a week.  I'm also not a big snacker and don't eat many sweets (Kevin is probably laughing as he reads this given that I ate a piece and a half of chocolate cake Wednesday night!) generally.  I do love chocolate and I believe it's better to give into a craving (like Nutella and pretzels :) ) than to deprive yourself of it.

When I think about food, I try to eat and prepare things that are both healthy and filling.  With the boys, it's so important to me to feed them things that are healthy and to work my best to help them develop healthy eating habits at their young ages.  

Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast is key, I think, to eating healthy throughout the day.  I love Better Oats Oat Revolation Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal for breakfast.  The individual packets are so easy to prepare and the packaging comes with a fill-to line to make preparing your oatmeal even easier.  These are so filling and good, too.  

I make lunch for the boys to take to school everyday and also usually pack lunch for Kevin and me.  We usually have a salad and some kind of fruit.  I've also starting making some wraps that are really good.  I use a tortilla shell, some different types of lettuces, cheese, olives, and meat. 

For dinner, we have a lot of grilled chicken, steak or another beef, and pork chops, a good filling side like brown rice or au gratin potatoes (not the healthiest), vegetables, and fruit.  

When I run in the morning, I end up starving during the day.  I always eat my oatmeal and have a glass of water before I run, but by the time I get to work, I'm famished.  This week, I started packing some snacks.  I've used snack size bags and filled them with grapes and pretzels and brought in a banana.  

Weekly Recap
I've had a good week exercise-wise.  We had something to do almost every night, so I'm pleasantly surprised that I was able to get in as many miles as I was during the work week.  I'll recap from last Friday until yesterday.
  • Friday - 5 miles/38:53 (7:46 pace)
  • Saturday - I took this day off as we had soccer and I had my second dress fitting.
  • Sunday - 4 miles/30:02 (7:30 pace)
  • Monday - 3.1/20:34 (6:38 pace)
  • Tuesday: Early morning weights at the gym
  • Wednesday: 3.1/21:48 (7:01 pace)
  • Thursday: 3.1/21:24 (6:54 pace)
Total Miles: 18.3

I think I've done pretty well eating breakfast and lunch this week, but our nighttime eating hasn't been very good.
  • Friday: KT and I ate Moes
  • Saturday: Chicken Salad, Watermelon
  • Sunday: Homemade Pizza
  • Monday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
  • Tuesday: Chickfila
  • Wednesday: We ate at church and had baked ham, macaroni and cheese, peas, bread, and my piece and a half of chocolate cake :)
  • Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad with Cheese, Onion Rings, Ranch Dressing, and Sweet Tea from one of our favorite local places after soccer practice

Friday's Letters: September 14, 2012

I'm linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds for this week's Friday's Letters.

dear friday: You've taken a long time to get here this week, but I'm so glad you've come!  dear weekend: We're spending a lot of time together.  We have soccer, shopping, football, church, birthday partying, and playing to do.  dear self: Stop beating yourself up for saying how you feel.  Feelings are real.  dear kevin: 29 days!  I can't wait to be your wife! :)  dear technical support people: Thank you for finding K.C.'s book!  You don't know how relieved you made me.  dear my sweet boys: You have no clue how incredibly proud of you I am.  You both bring me so much joy every day!  dear honeymoon: Please hurry up!  dear today: Please turn yourself around and be nice to me.  dear God: Thank you for your grace, mercy, guidance, and provisions.  Thank you also for giving me subtle reminders to spend time with You.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Wedding: One Month

I can't believe that in just one month from today, Kevin and I will be getting married.  Yes, you read that right: it's in one month as in October 13, 2012!

I know that seems really fast, and I guess it is, but we have everything planned and under control.  Not wanting a huge wedding (and lots of pre-engagement planning) makes the thirty short days until the wedding just right.  

We knew we wanted to get married this fall.  We actually set a date back in early July.  We wanted to keep it a secret until we got engaged, and only shared it with our family.  Originally, we planned to get married on the beach.  It's a special place to us and was even the place we got engaged, but then we changed our minds.

Here are the details:
  • We are getting married in our church.
  • My grandfather, a retired minister and someone who means the absolute world to me, is performing the ceremony.
  • My mother, who is an incredible musician, is playing the organ.  My mom was actually asking someone to play for the wedding and mentioned to me that as long as she could see me walk in, she would like to play.  She plays beautifully and I can't imagine something as sweet as having her play.  We have picked out some of the music already and I want to try to get everything else decided this weekend.
  • Meredith, Kevin's sister and also an incredible musician, is singing. We haven't decided exactly what she's singing, I'm just glad she is.  It will be so special to have her do this.  One thing I know she's going to sing is "Come Thou Fount."  This song makes me think about Kevin and our relationship and how God has given us so many blessings.
  • Stephanie, my sister, is going to be maid of honor, and Roy, Kevin's dad, will be his best man.  This was a last second decision.  Initially, I didn't want to have anyone in the wedding because I wanted it to be simple and about us.  I changed my mind and I'm glad I did.  It will be so special to have them standing there with us.
  • The boys are going to look so handsome (not that they don't always)!  They aren't wearing suits, but rather khaki pants with white shirts and navy blazers.  I want to find a cute tie that will match Kevin for them, too.
  • My co-worker designed our invitations and is designing our program as well.  She is so talented! 
  • After the ceremony, we are having a dinner in Kevin's backyard.  We're having an Italian restaurant cater it.  We ate Italian on our first date and all love it, so that's what we decided to go with.  
  • We are using round tables with ivory table clothes and chair covers.  We're doing burlap table runners and ties on the chairs.  For the table centerpieces, we're using hydrangeas.  
  • Our cake is going to be delicious!  We had a cake tasting a few weeks ago and it was good.  
I can't wait to share all the details with you after the wedding, but until then, these will have to do.  We have family who reads the blog and I'd like some things to be a surprise!

I know that all of this stuff is fun, but it's not really important.  I feel so blessed and fortunate to be marrying Kevin and sharing my life with him and I want this day to be about that.  I pray that it radiates our love for each other and shows the goodness of God.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's List

I'm writing a list today because there are several things I want to say, but there's not enough about one of them to justify a whole post.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the well wishes, sweet comments and e-mails, and excitement regarding our engagement and our love story!  
  • I can't believe that there's only one month from tomorrow until we get married!  Full post on wedding details is coming tomorrow! 
  • School lunches make me stress and stressed.  The boys are each taking their lunch to school.  K.C. has the option of eating cafeteria food, but let's face it, who wants to eat that.  He has lunch really early, so I can't blame him for not being hungry, but gummies and olives can't really count as lunch especially if you're not hungry at night.  Kaden doesn't go to day care, but he does participate in lunch bunch which allows him to eat lunch and play with other kids from his preschool for about an hour and a half after school is over until he's picked up the woman who keeps our boys.  He does better eating his lunch, but then again, he is our little eater.  I am really just stressed about this.  It makes my heart sad to think about K.C. not eating (much of) his lunch.  For his lunch today, I sent two dinosaur sandwiches (maybe they'll be more appealing), some orange slices, a small bag of pretzels, and a juice box.  I hope that he's eaten it!
  • Speaking of food, I have been so hungry lately.  I've been adding extra miles to my runs and adding in an extra day of running each week  All these extra burned calories are translating into one hungry Anna.  
  • Do you ever feel like you get obsessed with something?  I think I have a tendency to get a little obsessed with running and fitting in exercise.  I normally give myself two days off from any exercise, but I find that I'm not as productive, don't feel as energized (trust me, I'm really, really energetic all the time), and just don't feel accomplished when I take days off, especially when those days don't involve running.  I feel like I'm a better person for my family and myself when I do some form of exercise with that preferred form being a run.  I've also noticed that I like exercising better in the morning.  When I do that, it allows me to not feel stressed about fitting it in after work and interfering with other things we have planned.  It does make me rush in the mornings, but all in all, I think it's worth it.
  • Kevin started softball practice last night.  He loves playing softball and hasn't played in a league in over a year.  He organizes our church's men and co-ed teams, but unfortunately, due to some arson at the field we use, this past season was cancelled.  He decided to put a team in a city league with some guys from church.  I'm so glad he did that because I know how important it is to have time to do something you love and be able to socialize with other guys.  I think it's hard for both of us to step outside and do things like this, especially when we have our sweet boys (every other week and all Wednesdays) because we don't like missing time with them, and quite truthfully, we really enjoy being together and doing things together.
  • I am so thankful for my new job.  I feel so fortunate to be working with such a great group of individuals within a strong institution.  This new job has also given me a new habit: coffee every afternoon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Love Story: How We Met

If you're just joining, we got engaged (!!) last week!  On Friday, I shared Our Love Story: Before We Met.  Thank you all for the kind comments and e-mails on my story!

It all started with a house.  My former house, specifically.  About a year before we met, I was getting ready to put my house on the market and had met with a realtor.  I wasn't living there and the tenant left without paying all of her rent.  She also destroyed what a few years earlier was a new house.  Having to put in new carpet, interior doors (yes, seriously), repair sheetrock, and paint almost every room and the ceiling in the kitchen, I obviously couldn't sell at the time.

Fast forward about six months and I contacted the realtor to list the house.  The realtor I had been working with had moved away and I was sent an e-mail by the broker in charge that another realtor, Katie, would contact me.  Katie and I met shortly after, and given the situation, she heard my story.

We met at the house and after looking through it and talking for a few hours, she asked me if I was dating anyone at the time.  When I told her not really, she said would I be interested in meeting someone because she had two guys in mind.  One of them happened to be from here (my house was in another town about an hour away).  She told me that her parents and his grandparents had beach houses side-by-side in Garden City and they had grown up together.  She told me he was a great guy and from what she remembered about him and knew about me, she thought we'd get along well.  She said he had been married before, too, and had a little boy (she didn't know about Kaden).  She said she would send me a friend suggestion on Facebook and I could add him as a friend.  I said no.  I told her she could tell him about me and if he wanted to meet me, he could contact me.

Later that night, I had a friend request from him.  We were having Vacation Bible School at my church this week and the next day, he sent me a message saying something about it because he had just finished helping at the same one at his church, where we go.  After several back and forth messages, he asked for my number and gave me a call.  I didn't know it at the time, but he hates talking on the phone.  So much for that!  We ended up talking several hours each time we talked and about a week later, we went on our first date.  We've been together ever since.

It amazes me sometimes thinking about how it worked out.  Having both gone through some pretty bad times, it made it easier for us (or at least for me) to talk about the really important things.  I also knew I didn't want to get involved with someone unless I knew it was God's plan.  I knew that with Kevin.

Shortly after we started dating, I met the boys.  We were all very fortunate, I know, that we formed a tight bond so quickly.  Kevin and the boys are the greatest gifts I have ever received!

I'm looking forward to sharing wedding details with you later this week!  And, if you haven't seen the date already, it's October 13th!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Full Weekend

We had a full weekend!

Saturday morning, the boys had their first soccer game of the year and Kaden had his first soccer game ever.  Kevin is coaching our 4 and 5 year old team, the Tiger Sharks, and the Y let Kaden play on his team rather than on a 3 year old team.  While he is younger, I think it's going to be great for him in the long run.  He really seems to enjoy it!

It's amazing to me what a difference a year has made in K.C.  He is really into soccer this season and was very aggressive going after the ball on Saturday.  Even though we don't keep score in this league, we keep score.  Our team won 5-0 which made for some very happy children and a very happy coach!

After the game, while we were standing around talking and the boys were finishing their snacks, a SNAKE slithered over my foot!  It was crazy!  Just that morning, KT and I had been talking about snakes.  It was a little snake (maybe 10" long), but it was a SNAKE.  I don't think I could've moved faster!

After lunch, I met my mom and Nana and we went to the Little White Dress for my second fitting!  I know, I know, you're ready for details.  They are coming very soon.  It was fun!  I love, love, love my dress.  And I hope KT does, too!  :)

Dress fittings/weddings/any days are ocassions for frozen yogurt, so we stopped and had some.  Yogurt's supposed to be good for you, right?

We went to our new Sunday School class again yesterday.  Our church service was especially good, too.  The music was beautiful and the sermon was great.

We spent the afternoon getting ready for the week ahead.  We have an insanely busy week, but it's going to be a great one.  I've started trying to meal plan each week.  I found a great. blank meal calendar online and modified it.  This is only my second official week using it, but I think it helps.

I'm looking forward to lots of good times this week!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our Love Story: Before We Met

Now that you know how we got engaged, you may be wondering how we met.

I'm not one who likes to dwell on the past, but to know our story, you have to know some of the past.  It shaped us into the people we are today and has given us a great foundation for our relationship.  I think our pasts also made each of us more certain and grounded about our desires as well.

This post is mostly about me as Kevin's story is not mine to share.  I've contemplated sharing this before, but haven't.  Why I haven't, I don't know.  I'll admit that as much as I don't want to admit it and as much as I don't share it especially with people I meet now, it is a part of me, a part of my testimony, my faith, and ultimately, a part of my story with Kevin.

A few years ago, I was married.  Briefly, very briefly.  For less than a year.  That period of my life was the darkest, worst time as you can imagine.  I'm not a proponent of divorce and I really grew a lot during this time.  It was during this that I really had to dig deep to accept God's grace and forgiveness.

You see, I grew up the good girl.  I accepted Christ as my Savior at nine and have always been actively involved in my church and have strived to strengthen my relationship with God throughout my life.  Naturally, there have been times when I was closer to Him than others.  I was the director of youth and vacation Bible school at my church and involved in the sanctuary and handbell choirs.  I didn't give my parents trouble growing up and also tried to make the right decisions.  Then this happened.

I knew that God had forgiven me of my mistake just as He has forgiven me of all the other sins I've committed, but it was hard to accept.  It was hard for me to accept the fact that I had made major screw ups and hadn't followed God.  His grace pulled me through this time.  I'm also from a very small town where everyone knows everyone which added some pressure to this decision. If you have gone through a divorce or even a bad breakup, I want to encourage you to get the book Happily Ever After by Kristin Armstrong, Lance Armstrong's former wife.  This book was a huge encouragement to me.  I'm also willing to share more and talk with you.

For a while after everything, I didn't want to pray, read my Bible, go to church, or talk about it.  I wanted to work and reconcile things in my head and then go on.  I didn't know how to recover from this blemish, this scar.  Then one day, things changed.  I started praying and asking God to help me learn to accept His forgiveness and to make me whole again.  I wanted to grow with the Lord and I needed His protection.  I knew that He could use my story, my pains, for His glory and I especially wanted to be able to talk to my little sister and her friends and help them to avoid making the same mistake I made.  I wanted to be able to encourage others and began to realize that the grace the Father extended to me could be shared in every situation, not just with those who experienced something similar to me.

I realize now that even during the time after my divorce when I wanted to desperately follow God, I was shaky.  I only wanted the familiar and I was still scared to let God completely control.  I thought that I could work things out the way I wanted to which obviously hadn't worked before. When I finally got the courage to let go, I was changed. There was a peace and a burning hope for the future.  My life felt like it had purpose again and I knew that God was going to see me through and provide for me in all areas.

I mentioned in our engagement post how shortly before Kevin and I met, I spent time praying for my future husband and children.  Waking up the next morning, I had an even more renewed hope.  I didn't know it, but a few short weeks later, I would meet the man who is my fiance and who in 30 some short days, I will call my husband.

Friday's Letters

I'm linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds for this Friday's Letters.

dear kevin: I am so unbelievably excited and happy to be marrying you! Thank you for the most perfect proposal, the most gorgeous (!!!!) ring, and most of all, the best love story in the world!  You are my better half! October 13 can't get here soon enough.  I love you!  dear k.c. and kaden: I am so proud of you and everything you do! I am so excited that you love school so much and are both doing so well!   I can't wait for your first soccer game tomorrow!  I love you both to the hot planets and back! :)  dear mama: I can't wait for you to see my dress tomorrow!  You are going to love it and it will be so special to be with you! I also think that El Cerro is calling our names! dear friday: I'm glad you're here!  This has been one of the happiest, most exciting weeks of my life.  Thank you for being good to us!  dear Lord: Thank you for your grace.  Thank you for your blessings.  Thank you for the thirst you give me to know more of You.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our Engagement

I am so excited and couldn't be happier than to be marrying Kevin!  We got engaged on Tuesday, September 4!  The day could not have been more perfect!

I'll share our love story next week and focus on our engagement today.  I'm including lots of not important to you details, but they're all important to me!

After work on Tuesday, I sent Kevin a text about dinner plans.  Really, I was trying to bait him.  :)  We have wedding plans made (more on those later, too!) and I knew that he was having a ring made and it was coming in that day (we're really bad at secrets) and I really just wanted to see what he'd say.

When I walked in, he met me at the door and told me we had dinner plans and I might want to change clothes.  Of course, a million possible scenarios passed through my head, and I ended up putting on a flamingo Lilly skirt with my pink ruffle top.  I happened to wear this on our first date, too!

I was parked behind him and he said we needed to move my car or he would have to put some things in the back seat.  I moved my car and got in with him.  After driving a few miles, I asked where we were going and he told me it was a surprise.  I kept trying to figure it out, but couldn't.  On our final turn towards our destination, he told me we were going to the beach.  We live only about an hour and a half from the beach, so it wasn't too long of a drive.

The beach is such a special place for us.  We both grew up going there a ton, and for Kevin, it's a place that was a constant in his life.  He moved a few times around the state growing up, but always spent a lot of time at the beach, especially during the summers, at his grandparent's beach house.  Through the time that we've been dating, we've spent a lot of time at the beach with our families, too.  There was not a more special place to get engaged for us than there!

When we got down to Garden City, we parked at the Inlet Joy, his family beach house, and walked out on the beach.  He had picked up some sandwiches, broccoli salad, potato salad, and some red velvet cake from the Butcher Shoppe and had it packed, along with a blanket, in a picnic basket.

We sat out on the beach and were able to enjoy our dinner as the sun set.  The beach was gorgeous!  The tide was falling, the weather felt perfect, and there weren't any people around.

After we ate, we started talking about us: how we're perfect together, how blessed we feel, and how fortunate we are to be with each other.  He got a note out of his pocket he had written several years ago and kept with the attributes he wanted his future wife to have.  He had told me about this list before and had said that I was all of them, but I saw it for the first time that night.  It was so special!  After that, he told me how he couldn't wait to marry me and how much he wanted to marry me, and then he asked me to be his wife!

We kept talking about how blessed we are and I shared with him something, too. Shortly before we met, I sung for my childhood best friend's wedding. After her wedding, I went to the lake for the weekend with my family and that Saturday night, I stayed up most of the night praying about my future husband and children.  I (and Kevin, too) had gone through some unpleasant things in the years prior to our meeting and I just had faith and knew that God was going to bring me through.  I distinctly remember praying that I didn't want to get involved with anyone until God placed the person in my life He had made to be my husband.

Every thing I had ever prayed for in a man is in Kevin.  I also know that while God was preparing Kevin and me for each other, he was also preparing our family for each other.  Since I was a teenager, I've prayed for my husband and future children.  Little did I know I would get to become Anna Belle to the sweetest, most precious little boys in the world!  I couldn't love K.C. and Kaden more if I tried, and I firmly believe that God, in His goodness, grace, and always perfect-timing, put us all together just as He wanted and allowed us to form the greatest bond nearly instantaneously.

Getting back on track. After I shared that late-night lake night story with Kevin, he asked me if I wanted my ring and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.  We talked about and looked at different rings, so he knew the types I like, and what he designed is more gorgeous than I could have imagined.  It's a beautiful round diamond with almost a cushion cut halo around it and pave diamonds around the band.  I love the way it sparkles and I've found myself staring at it all day!

After this, the fireworks started going off.  There were some people down the beach shooting fireworks and we watched from our beach blanket.  It was great just being able to soak up the moment together.  We hadn't taken a camera, but we took a self-portrait with Kevin's iPhone.  The Instagrammed version is above.

I am just so excited and thrilled to be spending my life with Kevin!  God is so good!

I have found the one whom my soul loves!  Song of Solomon 3:4