Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Fun!

I love fall! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, too, but when the kids are back in school and we aren't able to go to the beach as much, I'll take fall.

There are so many things I'm looking forward to this fall and so many things I want to do. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Celebrating our first anniversary! On October 13, we will celebrate our first year of marriage. I'm pretty excited about that!

2. Taking the boys to the mountains and Clemson. They want to see a mountain. At their ages, it's easier to travel and we're looking forward to a long weekend in the mountains later this fall. We're also going to take them to watch Clemson play. K.C. has gone to a game before, but Kaden hasn't, so it should be fun!

3. Running my first half marathon. I should be able to cross this one off my list on Saturday.

4. Halloween. I love Halloween. The boys have already decided what they want to be. K.C. is going to be a red ninja and Kaden is going to be a Ninja Turtle. I tried to convince them we should all be Scooby Doo characters, but I think I've missed the boat on getting to pick out their costumes for them!

5. A great trip with my husband. We're going to Sapelo Island, Georgia soon and we can't wait!

6. Trying out this delicious looking pumpkin bread!

7. Celebrating Thanksgiving and remembering all the people and things I'm thankful for.

8. Roasting marshmallows and making Smores!

9. Going to the pumpkin path and corn maze with my sweet family!

 


10. Carving pumpkins - it's our Halloween tradition!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ninja Turtles, Homework and Other Random Things



1. This past weekend and this week has been great! Yes, we've been really, really busy, but it's been mostly fun stuff! I didn't recap our weekend, but it was great. The best race ever was Friday night. The boys had a soccer game Saturday morning and were so cute! We spent the day at my parents on Saturday celebrating my granddad's 87th birthday and just hanging out (and eating way too much food!). Sunday was church where we enjoyed teaching our sweet 4 year olds in Sunday School and then we had lunch with Kevin's parents and played outside with our sweet boys all afternoon and night.

2. I have the cutest Ninja Turtle in the world. Kaden has decided he wants to be a Ninja Turtle for Halloween again this year. He tried his costume on Sunday night when K.C. was trying out his new costume (he's been talking for months about being a red ninja and we were probably the first people to purchase a costume - he's just been so excited about it) and he didn't want to take it off. I finally convinced him he could wear his mask to bed (and we took it off as soon as he was asleep).


3. I can't believe that in almost two weeks, Kevin and I will have been married for one whole year. Where has the time gone? I guess that saying "time flies when you're having fun" is true!



4. I don't know who enjoys homework time more, K.C. or me. We are so proud of how mature K.C. (and Kaden, too) is when it comes to homework, studying (yes, studying) and school things. He makes us so proud everyday, any way, but I'm extra thankful and proud of how excited and enthusiastic he is about school and how well he's doing.

My mom gave us this little desk that she had for me when I was little. He loves doing his homework in it. This picture is from last night when he was correcting the spelling test he gave me. 


5. I'm so excited about a few things coming up! I can't wait to share!

6. I'm in desperate need of highlights. I get my hair highlighted about every 6-7 weeks and I need it. Now. Desperately. I had to cancel my appointment that was scheduled for two weeks ago and I couldn't get back into my salon until next week. I got a call this morning about an opening they have on Saturday morning and unfortunately, I can't make it due to the half marathon.

7. I'm really excited about this half-marathon! I know my husband will be happy when I stop talking about it. It's a big deal though! haha I'm going out with very minimal expectations and a goal time I'm tucking deep in my mind. I just want to have fun.

8. I really like the new iPhones. My phone is almost three years old. It's the original 4, not even a 4S. I'm not too high maintenance when it comes to updating phones. I think I want to hold out until a 6 comes out and then I'll upgrade. One thing I do know for sure - I want more space on my next phone.

9. I'm ready to pick up Meg Cabot's new book, The Bride Wore Size 12. I love her books and I need something new to read.



10. I can't wait to catch up on some shows. We've got Survivor and Shark Tank to watch from last week and I really want to catch up on Revenge. We watched most of the first season, but didn't watch last year. The preview for this upcoming season has sucked me in. I also can't wait for Covert Affairs to start back in a few weeks.

What are some TV shows we need to watch?

Have you read any good books lately that you'd recommend?

What's been your favorite thing this week?

Monday, September 23, 2013

One of the sweetest and proudest moments of my life.

This Friday night, one of the things I've looked forward to came true. I had a 5K race (my last before the half marathon this weekend) which was great. It was humid as could be, but I ended up running it in 21:03. It was slower than I would've liked, but all things considered (night race, humidity, part trail), I was happy. I was the first female and fifth overall.




What was really exciting though was that K.C. ran his first race ever!



The race was for Celebrate Health Day and was held at my gym in conjunction with a member appreciation week. After the 5K, they were holding a 2K, but I didn't sign the boys up because I felt like 1.2 miles was too far for them. When we got there, though, K.C. had other plans (Kaden, too, but he's had a sinus infection and we didn't want him running around.). He asked if he could run it and if I could run it with him.


Jumping over the finish line!

He ended up getting to run it, and run it he did! I was proud of him! We ran almost the whole entire thing - and he held my hand the whole time! It was such a sweet race and by far my favorite run. He was so proud of his ribbon and tshirt.



This race was really fun. I love having my family there! When we went inside for the awards ceremony, Kaden showed off his athletic side on some of the gym equipment. It was too cute!



I can't wait for more races with my boys!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday: I got my husband back, it's racing time, and some theatre!

1. My husband is home!
Kevin has been out of town for work this week and I missed him so much! I'm so glad he's home! K.C. announced to me on the way to school yesterday morning that he wants to have a "Surprise! You're home from your work trip" party for him at Chuck E. Cheese tonight. These boys (all three of them) make me smile!

2. Race seasons begins again tonight.
I'm running a 5K tonight, a half next weekend and have three or four more races I plan to run this fall. It's so much fun!

3. The changing seasons make me so happy!
I love that it's gotten down into the high 50's early, early in the morning. I love summer, but I can't wait for fall. We have a whole list of things we want to do this fall and I can't wait to share them with you!

4. Les Mis was phenomenal!
My mom and I went to see our local community theatre's production of Les Mis one night this week. It was fantastic! I've seen quite a few of their performances, but I was really blown away by the quality of this one. The singing and acting was impressive. I won't pretend that I wasn't really ready for the Revolution to end (it had been a long work day plus soccer and dinner and intermission hadn't even started at 9:15), but other than the slight length (which I knew about anyway), it was great!

5. Exciting things are happening at work!
I don't post about my job or what I really do because I like to keep that totally separate, but there are so many exciting things going on around here! I am so thankful that I have such a fulfilling career that allows me to do something I fall more in love with daily (even if I sometimes want to just take a breather, turn off my phone and shut down my computer) and at the same time, allows me to have the home life I always wanted. That balance is really rare and I'm just really thankful for that today!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 87!

My granddad is most probably one of my favorite people in the universe. Scratch that. He is one of my most favorite people in the universe. And today he turns 87! I hope I'm as sharp, witty and caring as he is when I'm 87. (Who am I kidding? I'm 27 and I don't have the witty part down. And some days, I'm not too sharp!)

He is a man who has made a huge impact on my life and has been one of the greatest influences in my life. I'm thankful that I've had the last 27 years to know him, learn from him and most importantly, love him.

He is everything a man should be. His faith is his life. His kindness and gentleness is recognized by all he comes in contact with and he doesn't ever meet a stranger.

So Bruce, Happy 87 to you! We can't wait to celebrate!


That one Sunday when we did nothing... and the weekend we did everything.

This weekend was an epic one. It was one of those rare weekends where we did so much and yet so little.

Our weekend started out great. We had an extremely busy week last week with soccer, school things, church things and work which means I didn't get a chance to run quite as much as I wanted. Kevin had to cut the grass Friday night, so I took advantage of this and got in 8 miles (57:24). I felt great about my run because to tell you the truth, I've felt less than stellar about this half marathon I'm running next weekend. After I ran, I picked up Outback for dinner and we sat down and ate and watched TV and didn't worry about a thing.

My sister spent the night with us Friday. She got in late, so we stayed up and hung out with her some. I'm so thankful she's loving college so much!

The boys had their second soccer game of the season Saturday morning. The weather was beautiful! I can't wait until all of our Saturdays feel like fall, all day long.


The boys played great. K.C. really loves soccer. I'm so proud of how hard he plays! Kaden has fun, too, but sometimes, he'd rather sit in my lap than be on the field. He played for part of a quarter, and then near the end of the game, he was ready to play and wanted to go in right then. It's so cute to watch them run around! And I love that they wear our favorite numbers! Kevin's favorite is 4 and mine is 6 (I didn't even know that the boys remembered that, but K.C. told me that when he picked his jersey out!)

As soon as the soccer game was over, we rushed home to get ready to leave again. My parents bought tickets for Kevin and I to go with them to the Carolina-Vanderbilt game. We had a great time despite being Clemson fans. haha (I do have to say that my husband wore a purple RL polo with an orange pony on it though!)





Yesterday was an extremely relaxing day for us. We picked up some lunch after church and literally did nothing the rest of the day. We caught up on Covert Affairs (my favorite show) and Kevin watched some football. We even took a nap. Or two. And layed in our hammock. And watched a movie. I can't tell you the last time we have done nothing (We folded some laundry, but even that was while we were watching TV.). If you know me in real life, you know I'm an extremely busy body and I can't stand to sit still. It was tempting to do some things yesterday, but I really enjoyed our true day of rest.


What did you do this weekend?

Do you have a favorite number?

Do you ever have totally lazy days or do you like to stay busy?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why I Am Who I Am

This post has been on my heart for a long time. A really long time. I'm finally taking the time to sit down and write it after listening to a devotional my pastor shared during choir practice last night.

Why am I who I am? Why do I do the things I do? What keeps me going? It's Jesus. Plain and simple. It's Jesus.



From time to time I share bits and pieces of my faith - my story - on the blog. And I hope that in all my writing - all my words, pictures and actions - you can see Jesus in me. You see, I'm not perfect. I'm far from it and I know it, but it's because of God's great love for me that I am who I am. It's because of the redemptive power of my Heavenly Father that I can live the life I live - a life covered abundantly in grace by Grace.

My life isn't perfect. I've had my share of disappointments, tragedies and wrong decisions, but I don't look at those things as "bad things" that happened to me; I look at them as opportunities for growth. I've experienced first-hand Christ's love for me and it's because of this love that I want to be more like Him.

I'm not good. Sure, I may be considered a good person (and I like to think I am), but I'm a sinner who's been made clean because of His sacrifice. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good I am, how many hours I've volunteered for Junior League, the Heart Association and even my church, how many kind, unnoticed things I do for others, how selfless I am, how hard I try at things - nothing matters except my heart. And if my heart hasn't accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, the rest of it is all for naught.

I'm a Christian and I'm thankful that God sent His only Son to die for me. That's for me! The boys and I were talking in the car one day and somehow we started talking about heaven, hell and Jesus. This has been a while, but I remember this conversation and their questions vividly. They have hearts that want to know, minds that question and ears that soak in everything. During this particular conversation, we talked about how when Jesus died and rose again, it wasn't just for the people that were living then. It was for all of us. Those who have gone before us, all of us today and all those in the future - the grandkids with many greats in front of them.



It amazes me the selflessness of God. Really, it does. I can imagine laying my life down for my children, but I can't imagine giving my children up for everyone, people I don't know and people who don't even exist. That's exactly what He did.

For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, so whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

It amazes me.

Being a Christian doesn't mean I'm right all the time, it doesn't mean I know what I'm doing or have all the answers and it certainly doesn't mean I'm good. It just means that I recognize my need for a Savior - my need for someone to take my place and make all the bad good and lead me, guide me and direct me. It means all those things and so much more.

It means that I'm not ever alone. No matter how alone I may feel, I'm not ever alone. Believe me, I have felt totally and completely alone. I have been driving down the road, crying literally and out to God and I have felt His presence. I've felt Him assure me that's He's here and He's got this.

My God gives me direction and leads my steps. It's amazing to me to see how things work when I let go and I let God. And it amazes me still how often I hold on and when I finally let go, I'm reminded that I should've given up on my own way before.

My God restores me, and oh how He's restored me. He's restored me time and time again. He's pulled me out of the deepest pits and has shown me that His ways are greater than mine. That He has a perfect plan. That He knows my needs before I even know them.

He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17


He comforts me and delivers me all the time. I don't get too open about this on the blog, but as an example, imagine how it would feel if your children didn't get to be with you every single day. Yes, I know I'm just the stepmom (that word we don't use) (and He comforts me in that when it gets pointed out), but its literally like my heart has been yanked out when our boys aren't at home. God made me to be a mama to these two boys and God-willing, another one or two down the road, and not having these sweet children with us every single day is the toughest thing I have to deal with.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us! 
Romans 8:18

He's given me hope, promised me a future and has answered so many prayers (both ways I would like and didn't like at the time, but ultimately, I've realized His answers are far better than what I think I want and need).


And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.
Hebrews 6:15

He's faithful to me. He's never left me, disappointed me, upset me or turned away from me. How many times have I done these to Him?

Those who know Your Name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:10


He fills me up, He blesses my life and He gives me joy. I don't deserve any of the the blessings I have. At all. But God has blessed me tremendously and for that, I give Him thanks. I don't even have the words to tell you or Him how thankful I am for His blessings - my sweet family that is greater than anything I dreamed, a fulfilling marriage, career and things I love and so many other countless things both large and small.

Christ doesn't want us to come to Him with our perfect lives. He isn't looking for us to be all cleaned up, organized and together to start worshipping Him. He doesn't need for us to be able to recite a million Bible verses or be the leader of groups at church. He just wants our hearts and He wants our whole life.

He wants us to come to Him when we're happy, when we're sad, when we don't understand and when we're overcome with joy. He cares about the little things that make us anxious and the big worries that we have. He listens to our prayers for our children and their lives. He shows us He's here with us through His answered prayers. Our lives produce fruit - love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control - when we're living for Him.

He wants to guide each and every step we make and He wants us to be excited to spend time with Him. As I've grown older (and hopefully wiser), I realize more and more each and every day how important it is for me to be totally and completely plugged in and sold out to Christ. He has my heart and my best interests in mind. Those things that concern me - the hopes for the future, both ours and our childrens, the worries, the insecurities, the joys - concern Him even more. We are His. We are His creation. He knows every single tiny little thing about me - and you - and He cares about them more than we can ever imagine!

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:30-31

If you don't know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I urge you to give Him a chance, learn about Him and see what He's all about. The Christian life is not something that is boring, unadventurous and full of all these rules and rites. It's a life of abundance, joy and overflowing love. It's a gift that we've been freely given through no work of our own.


For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

As Christians, we will sin. Sin won't stop, but the punishment of sin will. Sin will still have consequences, sin will still hurt and sin will still give us problems, but as Christians, we have the assurance that Christ will wipe away our sins and we will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

There's no formula to be had, no exact words to be said, no ritual to follow to get to know Christ. It all starts with admittance. It's about admitting that we're sinners and we can't do it on our own. It's believing that God sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth to live a sinless life as a man, be crucified and rise from the dead for us. And it's about confession - confessing that you can't do it on your own. Confessing that you need help, guidance and forgiveness. 

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
Romans 10:9-10

God's invitation is open to everyone. It doesn't matter your color, your race, your past mistakes and what you'll do in the future. It's your heart that matters.

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved! 
Romans 10:13

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17

As Christians, we're not called to be perfect. We're called to be the light of the world. One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from Matthew 5.

You are the salt of the world. If the salt loses it's saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
I don't have it all together, I don't have all the answers, but I have a Savior who loves me, died for me and gives me grace abundantly. 

My hope and prayer for you is that you experience this same all-encompassing love, this abundant life and the glorious grace and blessings of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Midweek Randoms

1. This has been a busy week. I know I keep saying that I'm going to start blogging regularly again - and I mean to - but life just gets in the way. We're having fun, but we're in a busy season and I want to soak it all up!

2. How precious are they? I don't mean to brag, but is this not the most adorable picture ever?


The boys had soccer pictures last night and I asked the photographer to get one of them together. I had to take one, too.

K.C. scored his first goal of the season this past weekend. I don't know who was more excited - us or him! Kaden is liking soccer, too, but that's mostly because of the snacks. We love our snaky boy!

3. I think I've finally decided what I'm going to do for the boys' bathroom redo. I found the cutest shower curtain from Serena & Lily. I'll do a whole reveal soon!

4. The cool weather when I walked out this morning makes me long for fall. I love the heat, I really do, but since beach time is essentially over, I'm ready for the cool nights and mornings. Also, I decided to run outside during the day today and I'm still burning up. I think I burned as many calories on my 3.5 mile run as I would have had I run the 5 I wanted. It was just too hot.

5. Have you seen the new iPhone? I really like the choices.

6. I found out what it feels like to have three almost the same age kids. After soccer last night, we took one of the boys' friends with us to Chickfila. His mom is a friend of mine and asked me if I could drop him off after practice. All three boys had a blast and I had to explain to them that Henry couldn't spend the night on a school night. Kaden informed me that we could give him a bath, let him wear his clothes (he and Kaden are the same size) and take him to school. They really had fun.

7. We're going to Columbia this weekend to watch the USC vs Vanderbilt game. My mom has bought tickets for most of the games now that Stephanie is there and she called me yesterday to tell me to get the tailgate on - she had gotten tickets for us at the last minute. I can assure you Kevin won't wear Clemson colors, but I can't tell you that he'll root for Carolina.

8. I really want and need a pedicure. I like to think I do a good job of this myself, but it's always more fun to go. With all my running, I hate to dish out money every few weeks when my pretty pedicures don't last. I have a black toe (thank you, running) that can almost totally be covered up if I use a dark polish, but it's because of this that I don't want to go get one now. I'm sure you really wanted to know all of that. It's called random for a reason!

And because I can't write a post today without mentioning the day, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragedies that occurred in our country twelve years ago. I was a freshman in high school and remember the day - every detail - vividly. I'm thankful for God's provision and comfort through that tragedy. I pray that our country leans on our Heavenly Father for guidance and direction in all that we do. I really dislike the way many things are going, but my faith and trust is in my Savior above. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To my Kaden at the start of 4K.



Dear sweet Kaden,

I can't believe you're in 4K! It seems like we were just talking about you starting preschool and you've already been in a year. I'm so excited for you and I know you're going to have a great year!

You are such a smart boy and you're always eager to learn. Last year, you begged me for homework each night as we worked on homework with your brother. This year, you'll get homework yourself, and you know what? I think you're going to love it. You're so interested in everything!

You make Daddy and me so proud every day! You are so kind, sweet and generous. I hope your heart always stays the same. You're an encourager to us every day. I get tears in my eyes so many times when I see and hear the encouragement and love you share with all of us.

I can't wait to watch you grow this year. I know you love growing and learning more, but it's also so exciting for Daddy and me to see you as you discover new things for yourself (even if it's really bittersweet).

I'm so proud of the big boy you're becoming. I hope you always know how much you're loved and cared for. Getting to be your Annabelle is the most special job in the world! God has awesome things in store for you, and I'm so thankful I get to be right here with you!

I love you!

Annabelle

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Midweek Randoms: A Catch Up on Life


It has been way too long since I've blogged. We're talking almost two weeks. I have so many things I want to blog about and so many posts written in my head that I need to type, so I thought I'd start with a little life catch up as I'm pulling those together.

1. I can't believe it's been a year today since Kevin asked me to be his wife! What a great year it's been! And I really can't believe that next month, we'll be married a year. Time flies!



2. I can't believe the boys are already in 1st grade and 4K. They both love school, thankfully, and are doing great! K.C. started a few weeks ago and had his first tests last week (which may have been slightly more nerve-wracking for me than him!). Kaden started last Wednesday and loves his class!

3. I can't believe that I'm running my first half marathon in a little over 3 weeks. (Maybe I should have titled this post "I Can't Believe!") I'm really excited about it, but I'm nervous as well. And I'm not training for it. More on that later.

4. Last week, I joined the choir, the boys started RA's with Kevin as one of their leaders and Kevin and I taught our first Sunday School class. It was fun! I can't tell you what a huge blessing it was to me to be back in the choir. For as long as I can remember, I've sung in the choir and been in the handbell choir at my home church. The past few years, I've been sitting in the congregation. While I've absolutely adored it, I've also had the itch to get back involved in the choir. I love that I'll be able to sing and then go down and sit with Kevin and the boys during the service.

5. You need this. I love the Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey granola bars and bought the crunchy granola the other day. It is good!


6. We had a great Labor Day weekend! Friday night was a fun family night with lots of playing and snuggles. Saturday, we spent the day at my parents which we all enjoyed and then watched the Clemson game with Kevin's family. We had a great time at church Sunday and had a fun afternoon. On actual Labor Day, we went down to my parents and Kevin went on a dove hunt with my dad while I hung out with my mom and sister. It was nice!


A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, I was asked the best and sweetest question I've ever had to answer: Will you marry me? It's hard to believe that Kevin and I got engaged a year ago today and will be married for a year next month. 

In honor of this day, I thought I'd share what I wrote (and said) about our engagement last year! 

And Kevin, thank you for making me the happiest girl in the world - today and everyday. I love you more than words can say!

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