Category Archives: personal

A different kind of Happy Anniversary post

I started to put this on Instagram. Then it got really really long so I decided to blog it. It’s a different kind of happy anniversary post. Not your typical, “Celebrating 22 years with the love of my life” post. Just real life here folks. Although, I sure do love him a lot!

So, I’m sitting here working away when someone pulls into my driveway.  I don’t recognize the car and I’m not expecting anyone so I just sit here for a minute.  Watching carefully, I see my old boss Steve hop out…and he’s got a big huge bouquet of flowers!

Steve was Brad and my boss at the floral shop in the old IGA when we were in college.  I made arrangements and Brad drove the delivery van. Working with Steve was always an adventure, usually with lots of laughs. I remember when I requested off for Mother’s Day 1993 and Steve was so frustrated because it was such a busy time and he needed me at the shop, and I remember how comforting he was 6 days later when I called and told him through tears that I needed flowers for my Mother’s funeral.  He didn’t bat an eye when I told him what I wanted for my wedding flowers (all the gardenia’s in the world please) and he delivered them to Tulsa himself and made sure everything was perfect.  Eight months later, when I left the flower shop to start a new job, I showed up for my first day to a desk with flowers on them from Steve and the flower gang.

I remember so many details from that time in my life and it seems like yesterday.  Which makes it hard to believe that Brad and I are celebrating 22 years of wedded bliss-ishness today. TWENTY-TWO, what?!

This is Baby Brad making our wedding bird seed roses at the flower shop in between deliveries.

Young friends, I won’t lie.  It’s not always easy.  A marriage is work.  There are compromises and arguments and tears and sweat and selfishness and frustration.  Oh, but friends, there is also joy and happiness and sharing and laughter and love beyond your wildest dreams!  God designed marriage to be a partnership between a man and a woman.  You know that fairy tale where you are embracing and staring into each others eyes and one of you says, “you complete me”? That’s just not how He intended it to be.  GOD completes us.  If you start your relationship looking for your new husband or wife to do that for you then, sorry friends, it’s just not gonna work.  We are called to find our fulfillment and purpose in God and if we try to find it in our spouse, they will fail us every.single.time.

Did I know this when Brad proposed to me back when we were 19?  Nope.  Why?  Because although I grew up in the church I would say I was still a baby Christian.  Also, NINETEEN YEARS OLD.  Luckily, the man-child I was getting ready to promise the rest of my life to knew enough to sit me down and say, “Look..  I’m only doing this once.  So if we get married that’s it.  You’re stuck with me.” and I was all “Ok, deal.  Now give me that ring I know you have around here somewhere.”

We went into this marriage knowing that divorce was not an option.  Ever.  So throughout the last 22 years we have compromised and shared, argued and agreed, cried tears of happiness and sorrow, we’ve felt frustration but also laughed so hard our cheeks hurt.  We’ve gone through so many seasons in our marriage and the one constant has always been God.  He never leaves us, He’s always by our side.  Even on days that I forget that, He is there.  So with that constant, there has never been a time where wanting to poke Brad in the eyeballs for being a man has turned into me wanting to throw in the towel.  I believe that’s the way it should be. (Not the wanting to poke someone in the eyeballs part, cause that’s not nice.)

Twenty two years ago when Brad and I returned from our honeymoon and got back to the flower shop, I had lots of hopes and dreams for our future.  So many days working next to Steve, wondering where Brad and I would end up.  I can honestly say that never in my wildest dreams would I imagine then that I’d be sitting here today to see Steve pull up with a delivery of 22 beautiful.  You know what I can say?  I can say, that I knew without a doubt, that save from something taking one of our lives, Brad and I would be married today.

Happy twenty-second anniversary my love.  Here’s to another twenty-two!

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Making Over Cancer

A few months ago I was approached about providing photography for an upcoming event. A local salon was hosting a Survivor Glam Squad day and wondered if I might be interested in being a part of the team. Um, yes! It sounded like such an amazing project and I was instantly led to participate. As the date of the event approached, we realized we were in for a big snow storm and sadly had to reschedule the day to be sure that everyone coming from out of town would be safe. Luckily, I was available for the rescheduled date.

That is, until our car died unexpectedly and I realized the date of the event was one of the only times we could really go looking for a new car. I put a request on Facebook and contacted another local photographer to see if maybe someone would be able to cover for me. No one was available and I’m not sure I’ve ever been more glad. Spending the day with the team and the survivors is something that I won’t soon forget. Seeing everyone come together to make it such a special day was simply amazing. There were facial treatments and cuts and colors and massages and new outfits and makeup…the whole nine yards. I asked to take “before” shots of each of the ladies and I’m fairly certain each one of them made a comment about dreading that part. By the time we took the after photos, they were simply beaming. And they hadn’t even seen themselves yet!

Thank you to Stacy of Hairstatis in Stillwater for seeing the need for this type of event in our town. Oh, and for finding me worthy of documenting such a special event! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

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What I’m Reading : January – February 2015

Do you guys remember last year when I posted this blog about how I wanted to read more? I wasn’t very good at sharing it here but I did end up meeting my goal. I mean, the goal wasn’t to read a certain number of books but just to actually rekindle my love of reading and I’m pleased to say that it happened! In the end, I ended up finishing 24 books. Including two that I never shared because I’m a bad blogger. Those two were: The Outsiders because Sadie was reading it for class and I’d never actually read the book (Loved it. Stay Golden Pony Boy!) and also Unbroken because I wanted to see the movie but had to read the book first and it was a phenomenal story. If you’d like to see all of the books that I finished last year, check out my Pinterest board here.

This year my reading buddy Courtney found a new challenge for us.


Fun, right?  I started today off reading to my friend’s Pre-K class in honor of Dr. Suess’ birthday.  I figured now was the perfect day to share my new challenge and what I’ve read so far this year to mark off on the challenge.  Hopefully I’ll be better at updating my reading this year.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – I used this for “A book that made me cry”.  It doesn’t take much for me to cry so it’s not surprising (at all) that this was the first thing to be able to mark off.  I really enjoyed this book.  It’s about a friendship, started as teens and followed through the years.  Really good easy read.

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah - This was the sequel to the first book I read and my “A book by a female author” book.  Again, made me cry.  Surprise, surprise.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Ugh.  I can’t stop crying!  This book.  Man.  SO good.  I really liked it a lot but it sure did put me in a funk.  By the time I was finished I decided I needed to read something that was not at all likely to make me sad!  This was my “A book set in a different country” book.

Prophet by Frank Peretti – Eh.  It didn’t make me cry, so there’s that.  This “Book with a one word title” was hard for me to get through.  It just didn’t really capture me like some books do.  I kept thinking I’d not finish it and then try to give it a little bit longer before abandoning it.  Eventually I was too invested to not finish so I did.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Ok, Courtney said that her son liked this “Book with magic” so I thought I’d give it a shot.  I will admit that right off the bat I wondered if it was wrong for me.  I love the teen genre but this seemed a little too young at first.  However, it didn’t take long for me to get to the point where I couldn’t put it down.  I texted Courtney when I finished and said it would make a great movie and then she told me it WAS being made into a movie.  Yes!  Can’t wait to see this one in theatres.

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks – I’m a sucker for a Nicholas Sparks love story.  This was “A book recommended by a friend” when Courtney gave it to me after her Nannie read it.  It may have been a large print edition which made me feel a little silly at first.  It was really good though and I zoomed right through it.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – This is “A book that became a movie” that I’ve been wanting to watch.  I have this thing though where I really prefer to read the book first so that’s how I ended up with it.  Plus, a few different friends said it was funny and I should read it.  I will say that it has a lot more bad language than I like.  It was really good though.  REALLY funny.  What a dysfunctional family.  Totally makes me feel better about my own crazy fam!

Nothing Is Terrible by Matthew Sharpe – Guys, guess what.  I got a library card!  I decided that I needed to have one so that I wasn’t spending so much money on books.  Although I’d really like to own all the book.  All of them.  I’d be pretty happy with one of those rooms with high ceilings and books lining the walls all the way around and a ladder that you have to use to get to every last book.  So, a library I guess.  Anyway, I got a library card and went to the nonfiction section and found the S’s.  Then I scanned all the books with “An author with my initials” and decided on this one.  Um, skip it.  SO weird.  I read the whole thing and am pretty sure I had a “what the WHAT?!” look on my face the entire time.  No lie.

So there ya have it.  I’ll be back in a month to report what else I’ve marked off the challenge.  Hopefully!



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