Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Planning Progress: 10%!

 has 50 backers and is 10% funded!  

More importantly, we've helped 3,082 people all over the world!  

Daniel and I feel so blessed to be a part of this whole deal, and so thankful for the 48 of you who have come alongside us.  We have a few exciting projects in the works to bring more people into our Pennies and Rocks community--I can't wait to share them with you! 

This week we're doing research on potential honeymoon trips.  We hope to have one nailed down soon!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty wonderful.  

Friday night Daniel and I went out for a SIX MONTHS TIL OUR WEDDING! date.  We got sushi at our favorite place in Bentonville and then wandered around the new Cabela's (similar to Bass Pro Shop) before heading back to my place to watch She's the Man. :)  Daniel built a fire with the last of my firewood.  It was a perfect rainy evening.

Saturday I visited The Handmade Market in Fayetteville.  I'd never been before, but I will definitely be back for more vintage posters for only $5!  I've been eyeing that same butterfly poster on Urban Outfitters for a while now, so finding it that cheap was pretty exciting. After that I picked up Daniel and we took a few bags of clothes to Plato's in Rogers, where we scored a little cash for the rest of the weekend.  We wandered around HomeGoods for a while, then The Fresh Market, where we bought stuff to make dinner. 

I made Shauna Niequist's mango chicken curry (from Bread & Wine) and The Sprouted Kitchen's mango mint lassi.  Daniel said he really liked both of them, so all the chopping was worth it! The Indian flavors and smells really took me back while I was cooking.

Sunday morning we had a full room of little ones.  They're so much fun.  After the morning service, I did a little reading and napping on the couch with Penny.  I prepared a salad before heading to the evening service.  Daniel grilled up the rest of the chicken we bought the day before--so good!

We ended the weekend with a little wildflower hunting, movie watching, and dark chocolate eating.  It really was a lovely couple of days.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Six Months!

Six months from right around now, I'll walk down an aisle to Daniel and we'll exchange vows.  I am so excited! I'm also in disbelief--our engagement is flying by, for the most part.  We still have so many fun things to do and plan in the next six months, but today I'm looking back on a very special moment in my life.  
Four months ago tonight, Daniel proposed.

Such a happy night :)
If you'd like to read our proposal story, go here.

Also, we are only $9 away from being 10% funded.  Go here if you're interested in helping out with that $9, or just interested in seeing what we've been up to :)

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Couples Who Serve Together (and Serve Each Other) Stay Together

I'm not here to provide a bunch of self-help book advice or anything, but I will write from personal experience.  Daniel and I are approaching our three year dating anniversary, and when I look back on our relationship and think about the things that have made it work and why we've decided to get married, I can't ignore service and the similarities with which we approach it.

Daniel and I met through our church in Tulsa when we were wee little middle schoolers.  We started getting to know one another better during the week of Vacation Bible School, which is when I remember first feeling attracted to Daniel.  He was so good with the kids, and they loved him.

Fast forward six years.

We spent the first year and half of our relationship managing the whole long distance thing, so we had pretty separate lives when it came to school, extracurriculars, and serving.  But when I moved to NWA last year, we got plugged into a really awesome church family, where we found a wonderful opportunity to serve in a preschool classroom on a weekly basis.  And again, watching Daniel interact with little ones makes it impossible to stay mad at him.  We are human, and we've had plenty of arguments and disagreements--even on the Sunday morning drive to church--GASP!  But no matter how angry we are with each other beforehand, seeing him love on and take care of other people completely melts my stubborn heart and kind of makes me want to jump up and down shouting, "I'm marrying this man!" even though I couldn't stand him five minutes before that.  So for us, serving has been a means to us not only falling in love with one another, but of reminding us why we love each other and the kind of couple God has called us to be together.  Also, serving in the two year old room every week is great birth control! :)  ...Sorry.  Maybe.

Aside from the preschool, a few months ago Daniel and I were given the opportunity to lead and host a community group of young professionals.  We said yes, but knew we wanted it to just be more of an opening of my home for food, fellowship, good conversation and prayer--and that is pretty much what it has become!  We just start the discussion and it sorts itself out from there, because we are all at the same stage in life and none of us have it any more figured out than the others. It is SO wonderful to sit and talk over a team-made meal and the Word every Wednesday night, and, again, to watch Daniel prepare food and love on our peers and hear him share his heart.

Since we finished up our first Bible study guide last week, we celebrated by going bowling and getting ice cream last night.  :)

Outside of church, I coach a middle school girls soccer team, and Daniel is really excited to begin helping me with that after he graduates.  I've fallen madly in love with this group of thirteen-year-old drama queens, and I wasn't expecting that.  I asked our athletic department early on in the fall if there was any need for an elementary school soccer coach.  Most of my babysitting/teaching experience is with reallllly young kids or older high schoolers--I've never been sure how I'd be with the in-betweeners.  In February I got an email offering me a middle school position.  Sixth and seventh grade girls--oh goodness.  Those were my weirdest years and resulted in my fuzziest memories--how would I manage all of the hormones?

God is funny, though.  While I'm writing this kind of easy, kind of boring story of little tiny sugar-plum fairy-like soccer players in my head, He's throwing a firecracker in my lap in the form of thirty loud, boy-crazy ladies who have mostly never played soccer before and are growing so quickly, they aren't sure what to do with their limbs.  But they are beautiful and hilarious and snarky in ways elementary schoolers aren't, and shouldn't be yet.  Like I said, I'm in love, and I can't wait for Daniel to join me in this new journey.

We scored our first goal at Tuesday's very cold, very wet game! Such a small victory, but so so sweet.

Anyway, this post is not to say Daniel and I are superior because we enjoy loving people.  Believe me, we are not, and we don't always feel like it.  But it is to say that when we man up, humble ourselves and serve others, we are always so refreshed and so glad we did because God loves on us right back and gets us back on track in loving one another.  And doing so multiple times a week is definitely right for us right now, because being engaged is tense and stressful, and we need that redirection all the time.

We need to be humbled just as often if not more than those we serve need to be helped.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wedding Inspiration: Food (Pt. 2)--Popcorn Bar

Since Daniel and I are planning a mid-afternoon wedding, we are not serving a meal.  But, we will have a little dancing, so we want to provide a small salty snack to compliment the cake and pie--does anyone else feel like they NEED salt after they've had a little sugar, and vice versa? Is it just me?

Anyway, who doesn't love popcorn?  And there are so many ways to flavor it, both salty and sweet!  Daniel and I are planning to have a few date nights between now and the wedding to try some new popcorn seasonings--we hope to find several we really like, and maybe a few our guests may have never thought to try!

After we decided we wanted to have a small appetizer or snack, I began brainstorming ways we could try to please everyone, but not buy a ton of different types of food.  I started thinking about what I like to eat on a crisp fall afternoon/evening, and then I remembered when I was little, we used to get those big ol' tins of assorted flavors of popcorn right before the holiday season. Aha!  I searched popcorn on Pinterest and sure enough--I was not the first to come up with it.  And that's okay, because I love seeing the ways other couples have set up space for this specific treat.  





So cute! And right up our alley, as far as budget goes.  There are several places you can buy popcorn in bulk for a very affordable price, including Sam's Club.  I'm excited to use these photo as inspiration to create a popcorn bar of our own!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Planning Progress: Save the Dates

Daniel and I are getting married six months from Friday. SIX MONTHS! 

I can't believe we've already been engaged for four months.  It's gone super quickly.  That doesn't mean we aren't ready to get married or anything--we've just stayed busy and haven't had time to sit around and complain about the ten months between him dropping the knee and our wedding day. This time has been wonderful, and I'm so thankful for this sweet, crazy season of our lives.

But...we're now six months out.  Some Pinterest lists would say it's crunch time, others tell me I can relax now that I've gotten all the booking and buying done.  I find myself feeling somewhere in the middle--I don't really want a "crunch time"--I'd like to start crossing things off my crafting list (it keeps getting longer, I have to start at some point) and not wait until it becomes a stressful few weeks rather than a series of fun, relaxing evenings. We do have most of the big things booked, but that doesn't mean my job is done since we aren't hiring a planner or purchasing already-made decor.  So I'm excited, but I need to get it through my head that time isn't slowing down and I really will be getting married and throwing a sweet little party with our favorite people here in half a year.

So, we're crossing off another list item this week! Save the Dates :)  And thanks to the ridiculously talented Kinsey Mhire and all of the beautiful photos she provided, they pretty much designed themselves.

Daniel and I knew we wanted something simple.  When we got our engagement photos back and began looking through them, he paused on this one and said, "This would be a cool save the date!"  

I agreed, and that was all the discussion we needed.  I threw some text on the photo through Adobe Photoshop the next morning, sent them to my uncle at VisualFX in Tulsa, and we had them by the end of the week.  Too easy!

The first thing my dad said when he looked at the proof was, "Did you know you cut your heads off?"  I realize it's a little different to not show our faces, but our names are on the back, and we really loved how this photo captured our relationship and our fall wedding with minimal text.  We turned them into postcards by drawing a line with a black Sharpie pen on the back, wrote out addresses and stuck stamps on them, and voila! Easy DIY Save the Dates. :)  
And cheap postage!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Recap :)

What a weekend! Daniel and I celebrated a small but very exciting victory Saturday night over Mexican food, cheesecake, and a How I Met Your Mother marathon.  We also started working on addressing Save the Dates--eek!  

Saturday was full--Farmer's Market, gift shopping, post office for the cutest apple stamps, bakery to look at cakes, venue to count tables and chairs (and a stop alongside the highway for wildflowers).  I had the pleasure of spending Saturday evening with a sweet friend.  We had Greek food and went dress shopping to start getting an idea of what she might wear to the wedding--she's in the house party.  

Sunday morning was very special.  Daniel and I got to hang out with our class of little ones for a bit, then had the opportunity to slip into the service to watch our good friend Mark get baptized.  :)  So excited and proud of him!  After church, Daniel grabbed us some lunch from a new Chinese food truck at Lake Fayetteville--we've finally found decent Chinese food here! Hooray!  We spent some time at Hasting's Sunday afternoon.  We're trying to soak it up while we can--they're closing in early June, and we're pretty upset about it.  From there, we headed back to church for a fantastic sermon on GENEROSITY that left us feeling full and excited about what God has done and is doing with this whole Pure Charity fundraiser.  After church we ate our food truck leftovers and headed to Louie's to watch the Thunder/Rockets game.

Cheers to a Thunder win! 
It was a full, happy and productive weekend, for sure.  Hope yours was, too!