Saturday, November 18, 2017

Glory Land // how thankful for Jesus I am

Many years I've been looking for a place to call home
But I fail here to find it, so I must travel on
I don't care for fine mansions on earths sinking sand
Lord, build me a cabin in the corner of Glory Land

Yes, build me just a cabin in the corner of Glory Land
In the shade of the tree of life that it may ever stand
So I can just hear the angels sing and shake Jesus' hand
Lord, build me a cabin in the corner of Glory Land


I was lost but Jesus saved me
He gave His life on Calvary's tree
Though I fail Him, He still loves me
Through His grace I've been set free

No I don't deserve a mansion
For I was born a sinful man
No I don't deserve a mansion
But Jesus built a home for me in Glory Land

It was our sins that He died for
For all mankind, He paid the price
Who are we that He should love us
Enough to give His life

No I don't deserve a mansion
For I was born a sinful man
No I don't deserve a mansion
But Jesus built a home for me in Glory Land

Some days I am so thankful for my Jesus, my eyes sting with tears. These two songs by my favorite male singer, Charley Pride, just hit the spot in my heart.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Just some sneak peaks // I miss him

I say it a lot, I know it. But, I can't help it. I miss my man.
Here are a few sneak peaks of our engagement session Josiah's sister Gwen did while I was still out there.

11 days and Josiah will be on a jet plane headed my way for Thanksgiving! I simply can't wait.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ballads of the American West // this girls heart

Somewhere my love lay sleeping
Behind the lights of a far off town;
So I gave my heart to a bend in the road
And off I went, a-yondering
- Louis L'Amour  

Lone and quiet they roamed the land, taking nothing. Leaving nothing, except, perhaps, a memory.
Tall in the saddle, with eyes that gave nothing away.
Rugged from years of experience.
The men of yesterday.
The symbol of the American West.

The cowboy. The mountain man. The pioneer.

All had a part in settling that great untamed country. From the dust filled trails and noisy cattle drives, to the stillness of the snow capped mountain peeks.

I grew up in a home that loved the American West.
The pioneer days of Laura Ingalls. The mountain man days of Davy Crockett. The cowboys of Louis L'Amour.
If you had taken a look at our bookshelves, it would be hard to find anything other than something taking place in the days of past.
My family wore cowboy boots and cowboy hats. Plaid shirts and belt buckles. It just was how we were. I never thought perhaps we were different. Until I grew up and ventured out of my little world, I didn't know that not everyone had a love for country music and cowboy boots. That there were other books out there, taking place in this modern day and age.
Talk about shocking information.

"You don't know who Jim Bridger was? Kit Carson? The Sagers?"
No. They are not those fantasy people you see on TV. Created in the mind of a storywriter. They were real true Americans who lived. Breathed. And died.

I grew up on Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and John Wayne. Actors, but ones who portrayed the men of old.

I always will have a soft spot for the days of old. The legends who once roamed this land. One thing I love so much are the old songs about and from those days. I wanted to share some of those songs with you. Ones that leave me feeling all warm inside. That tickle my belly and send shivers up my spine. Songs that tell stories of how it was, once. So long ago.

Marty Robbins.
This guy is the ultimate when it comes to
cowboy songs.

I know there are a lot of songs on this list! I could continue on, but I won't.
I will always love the American West. Have a soft spot in my heart for those rugged days.
Respect those who came before us, to create the place I now call home.

Friday, October 27, 2017

October 2017 // wedding planning // busy

Have you ever planned a wedding, long distance? Let me tell you, its stressful.

Since arriving home from New Hampshire, my life has been on fast forward.
I work.
Run errands.
Ortho appointments.
Try to keep a relationship going strong with my fiancé.
Crash into bed at night.

It has been so insane.
For awhile, I was very stressed. Poor Josiah got to hear it all during our nightly FaceTime visits.
(thank you for listening and understanding, babe.)

As I have done some traveling this past year, my bank account had greatly suffered. With the wedding approaching quickly, I knew I needed more work. I asked my sisters boss if I could work along with her, construction cleaning, until I married to make some extra money. She kindly said yes! Little did I know that having two jobs, on top of wedding planning and ortho work, would keep me busy 24/7. It has been good to keep busy though. It helps the days go by and makes it not as hard to get lonely. (ha! Who am I kidding? I miss my fiancé. Nothing can make me forget that.)
I have been slowly gaining my money back which too, is very nice!

School has begun once again, in fact, it began while I was on vacation. When I returned home I jumped back into teaching. Four kiddos now. Well, Spencer really isn't doing "school" yet, but we are introducing his letters and numbers more frequently now. I love watching him swing his little feet from the chair as he tries so hard to remember "A says "a" for apple".

One Saturday morning, a van load of gals headed out on the road to begin our wedding dress shopping. It was a fun relaxing day for me! Reconnecting with friends I have been neglecting.

When we first arrived at the shop, I was overwhelmed.
"What do you like? Do you like this?"
Everything was pretty. How was I ever going to choose?

If you ever have those same thoughts, let me reassure you, as soon as a dress is on your body, you know. This isn't it.

I quickly became aware of the style I preferred on myself, until it was narrowed down to two dresses.
The bridal crew all loved one, while I was torn between them. I liked the one they awed over, but something about that other dress wouldn't leave me. As soon as the lady had clamped it onto me, my heart fluttered. I wanted that dress so bad.

It wasn't exactly what I had imagined. I almost didn't even try it on!
My aunt had text me that morning, telling me to try anything on.
"The one you least expect to like may just be the one."
I remembered her words, so agreed to try that dress on. How thankful I am that I did.

Josiah has not seen the dress, and won't be until our wedding day. *smiles*
A part of me wishes so badly to share my find with him, but I know I would regret it if I spoiled the surprise.
Finding the prefect dress is so important to a bride, and for me, I share everything with Josiah. Not sharing something so special with him so hard!

Days turned into weeks and we had not found a place to hold the wedding. That in turn meant no permanent date. Which also meant family could not buy plane tickets.
I felt so bad for taking so long, but finally the Lord showed us the place and a date was set.

On top of wedding planning, I have come to the end of my braces. I also drove on the freeway, to my appointments, for the first time in 6 years. The one and only time I ever drove on the freeway was in Drivers Ed. It has been a huge fear of mine, and one I refused to conquer.
Josiah has given me confidence and with the help of him and God, I did it!
Also with LaKaysha encouraging me in the passenger seat. Without her, I think I would have panicked a couple times. Thank you for braving the road with me sister!

As weird as this may sound, I was afraid to see those wires come off. Afraid I would be disappointed in my appearance. I am not, though! It feels so good to be free!
I do have to wear retainers, on both top and bottom, for 6-9 months. That was disappointing, but now that my mouth is adjusting to them, I don't feel nearly as upset about it.

Slowly but surely things are coming together. Plans are being made.
I bought a cute notebook with colored pens to document our process, and make things easier and fun. I have actually really been enjoying it!

On another note, Josiah is flying out here again!
This time he will be coming for Thanksgiving. I am so excited to see him again, but especially to share a holiday with him. I want him to be able to experience being with my family.

22 days.

I can't wait to see you again, babe.

How is life treating you?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

the night I said yes // september 23, 2017

It started out like any other Saturday morning. I awoke to a "good morning" text from Josiah, saying he would be over soon to take me out to breakfast. I was up, showered, and waiting when he arrived.
I remember thinking that morning,
"I wonder if he will ask me to marry him today?"

This may not be for everyone but, I knew he had a ring for me.
How? Because I was there when he bought it. *wink*
Living long distance, you do a lot of talking. A lot. Seven hours worth on FaceTime a day. We discussed, planned, and dreamed together.
When I finally flew there, he told me he wanted to buy me a ring. I was a little surprised when he first said it. We knew we were going to marry, but due to finances, I thought it may be awhile.
Still, I was all for it. I hate being apart from him and "when you know, you know." I knew. He knew. Why wait?
Next on the list: finding a ring.
He asked a few family members advice on where to go. We browsed online. He had found a set he liked and showed it to me. Imagine my surprise when it was almost exactly what I had envisioned in my mind! And all I had told him was I wanted rose gold! We were already thinking alike. *smiles*

The Saturday before, we hit the road and drove an hour to a jewelry store suggested by someone. Walking in was a little overwhelming, but soon we relaxed. The lady there asked what we were looking for, and brought out a rose gold ring. Imagine our surprise when the set she brought together was the exact one we had looked at online! It was just meant to be.
Before we knew it, rings were bought, and we were heading back towards home.

My parents were flying out the next weekend, unexpectedly, and Josiah said he would just wait until he could talk to my Dad in person about asking for my hand. Made sense to me.

So why did I even think that maybe he would ask me the following Saturday? My parents flew in that night.
"I'm sure he will just wait and talk to Daddy in the next few days."
He made it to my Grandma's and we headed out to breakfast, hand in hand. The sun was shining. It was cold and crisp. A lovely way to begin a day.

That dimpled smile (yes. he has a dimple.) and baby blues? *gasp* I am one lucky girl.

After breakfast we headed to Josiah's house, and said hello to the family. His Mom and sisters were having a garage sale so we browsed through the items. After awhile, Josiah disappeared on me. I just hung out in the house, watching the activity outside. I thought he had gone off to use the bathroom.
When he finally emerged, he said we could head out. We planned to go tour a local historic mansion.
"Oh! I am going to use the bathroom first."
I looked at him funny.
"Well where in the world were you before?"
He just grinned at me and took off down the hallway.
Even after that little thought I had that morning, nothing crossed my mind.
We headed on the road and toured the "Barrett Mansion". It was breath taking and a lot of fun! I absolutely loved it.


We had to put little wraps on our shoes to protect the floors. *giggles*
After the mansion, we stopped at an old cemetery. Maybe I am odd, but I love reading old headstones. We don't have such old history here out west, as we are still "young". It's exciting to see dates like "1786".

Soon we grew tired and hungry so we headed back to Ed and Rachel's (Josiah's parents). We hung out, drank coffee, and Josiah taught me how to shoot his '22.

We did not have to pick my parents up until midnight from the airport, so we had some time to kill. At first we watched some movies, but Josiah became restless and wanted to do something. We finally decided to go hike Kidder Mountain. We had not been yet this trip, and its a sort of special place for us. The last place we went together on my trip out there before, and also where he carved our initials in a tree.
As we walked up the trail, I'll admit I peaked at his pockets to see if I could see a ring box. I couldn't.
"Stop thinking anything. He isn't going to ask you yet!"
This time, I believed myself, and just enjoyed the stroll.

Josiah seemed a little more serious, but he had a lot on his mind. We just walked along, and I talked his ear off about who knows what. I do that a lot. *wink*
A beautiful sunset filled the sky and Josiah played Alan Jackson hymns on his phone. The air was cooling and everything felt right.
As we headed on up the trail, coyotes decided to start yipping. Loud. And close. I became nervous and wanted to turn around. So turn around we did, and headed back down the road.

Josiah strayed off the trail and sat on a large rock, facing the sunset. So I followed suit. We had time to kill before the airport.
We were just sitting there quietly, when Josiah softly said,
"So I talked to your dad."
I think my eyes nearly popped out of my head! I was so surprised!

You always imagine your proposal. How it will go. What you will say. But it all happens so quickly, you don't truly have time to absorb it. He asked, I said yes, he slipped the ring on my finger. Some tears were shed, and smiles were shared. It was amazing. Finally. I was going to truly be his. Now we could plan.

I later discovered that when he disappeared at his house, he had been talking to my Dad.
He had wanted to ask me at the Barrett Mansion, and then at the cemetery, but none of the "right moments" came.
I am happy it happened on Kidder, beneath a red and yellow sunset, with hymns singing through the crisp air. It was a night I will never forget.

A message from Jesus was sent from above
He sent me you to have and to love
He didn't send money, wealth, or fame
He sent me you in Jesus' name.
- country song

The Lord has blessed me far more than I deserve. I praise Him daily for this precious gift of love He sent me in an earthly companion. Someone to share my joys and struggles. To help me fight this world and someone who always points me to Jesus. Josiah is my other half. My best friend. The one who completes me.
We aren't perfect, but who is? I always like to tell Josiah,
"We're two imperfect people, perfect for each other."

I pray I can be the wife Josiah needs, and that Jesus will always be our guide.

I love you, Josiah Karl. Thank you for asking me to be yours.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

New Hampshire // babysitting // just relaxin'

Life in New Hampshire slowly just became routine. Mary brought the big boys to school in the mornings, and I crawled out of bed to watch the twins. A couple times Mary had to be gone all day so I watched the babies for several hours. Josiah would come over on his coffee break, and occasionally for his lunch as well. Works pretty good to have him live within walking distance from where I was staying. *wink*

Love this guy.

Ever had a turkey sub with sweet and sour from Pizza Haven Too? Amazing.

These kids are crazy.

I did do some cleaning for family while I was there, to make a little money. That felt good and it was a little exciting driving the roads by myself for the first time. I got pretty good at figuring out where I was and where to go. *high five*

In the evenings Josiah would come over after work and we would decide what we wanted to do. Ice cream? Coffee? Drive? Walmart? Movie? We just enjoyed being together again.

 One day on Josiah's lunch break we ran to a nearby farm and got raw milk. Yum.

 Just what we do. "Chill-ax"

Since Josiah's work was also within walking distance, a few times when I wasn't babysitting or cleaning, I walked over and followed him around while he worked. I really enjoyed that!

 One night we didn't have supper planned and didn't really want to eat out, so we went to the store and bough groceries to make some. Greek Kale Salad and Pound Steak.

My Grandma did not want to sleep at home alone one weekend, so I ended up staying over. Josiah came bright and early the next morning to make breakfast with me! Way too much fun.