Thursday, May 30, 2013

We get our keys tomorrow!

If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, 
a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, 
and the risk of love which is permanent, into that love which is not possession but participation.

-Madeleine L'Engle

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Honeymoon Contest!

As promised, Daniel and I have an announcement for you:


We couldn't be more excited to have a place to daydream about, and we want to involve you all in our excitement!

So...we're holding a little contest. 

We want you to guess where we're going!

Everyone who donates $10 to A Wedding for Pennies and Rocks and comments on this post between now and Sunday is eligible.  The first three people to guess correctly will get a special souvenir from our trip!  

But we want you all to feel included in our little vacay, so everyone who participates by giving and commenting will receive a postcard from us--we'll send it from our honeymoon!

To enter:

1) Set up a Pure Charity account (free and easy through Facebook!)
4) Enter $10 and click through until complete
5) Comment on this post with the name of a country

Again, the deadline is Sunday, June 2nd at 11:59 p.m.  
Sunday is our three year dating anniversary! :)

Let me know if you have any questions! We have some incredible projects on our fundraiser right now, including an intervention center for children with disabilities in India, malaria medicine in Kenya, clean laundry and housing for the homeless here in NWA, and refugee education in Dallas.  
We've helped 3,546 people as of today--let's reach more!

[The Most Wonderful] Weekend Recap (with LOTS of photos!)

Ohhh my goodness.  I am coming off of the most full, incredible weekend!  Looking through all these photos makes me so happy--I feel so full of love for so many people.  I got to spend a lot of time with Daniel, my soccer girls, our precious littles at church, and Daniel's parents this weekend. 

Daniel and I walked around the Springdale Spring Carnival Friday night to see what it was all about:

Saturday morning started early--my girls played their last game of the season at 8 a.m.  We didn't have a full team show up, but the refs still let us play.  I am bursting with pride for these girls. They are the best, sweetest twelve and thirteen year olds in my book, and I am so blessed to be able to call myself their coach. Daniel was able to come help coach the game, too, which was wonderful!

After the game, Daniel and I walked around the Farmer's Market for a bit.  

Saturday night Daniel and Ryan, one of our good friends and a groomsman in our wedding, helped me keep track of my team at the carnival.  We all had the best time! Watching these girls just relax, scream, and laugh on silly rides was so much fun.

On Sunday we celebrated being halfway through our engagement by going to church, hanging out with two year olds, and eating at a new Vietnamese restaurant.  Daniel's parents came to town Sunday afternoon and we showed them around NWA.

On Monday we met Daniel's parents in Bentonville for the last day of the Norman Rockwell exhibit at Crystal Bridges.  It was fantastic!  Then we grabbed lunch and sat down to work through some wedding details (ANNOUNCEMENT COMING LATER TODAY!).  

Daniel and I spent Monday evening out at Lake Fayetteville playing disc golf.  It was nice to unwind a little after a very busy long weekend.

If you made it all the way down this post, thank you! I should have another (very exciting) one coming your way this evening, and I promise it'll be shorter!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Groom Writes: On Fellowship

Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, I frequently attended fellowships, which were anything from a cookout during the summer with other church families to a youth lock-in inside the gym. It pretty much seemed like every church event was called a fellowship. 

Getting plugged into a local church during college changed my view of what fellowship based in Christ looks like. I got plugged into one of my church’s small groups and we met for dinner once a week in someone’s living room. I didn’t know anyone in the group when I first started. There were a few engineering students, a couple that were covered in tattoos, some couples in their mid-forties with kids, a guy who had just lost his job and was struggling to find work, and a girl who had just become a believer.

I barely had anything in common with these people, but after a few dinners, I felt like I was supposed to be with them. The only thing that was holding us together was that common bond in Jesus. We spent our dinner sharing stories on how we had seen God at work that week and being honest when we were going through humbling times. Spending intimate time with these people made me realize this is what fellowship should look like. This is how the body of Christ is supposed to function.

Jordan and I don’t want this Pure Charity thing to be about us. Our initial fear about sharing our story with people is that we might come across as a “look at this great thing we are doing!” couple. Then I remember all the people we are impacting together and that God is getting all of the glory, and for some reason He is allowing us to go through with this crazy idea for our wedding.

Every time a new person backs our fundraiser, it feels like he or she is linking arms with all of us backers.  We are all held together by our desire to help and change the world for others.   And in that way, this fundraiser has created fellowship. I may not know many of our backers or have much in common with them, but we are able to publicly stand together to glorify Christ through our giving. God is good. 

P.S: Jordan uploaded my post to the blog. Although I do love entertaining kids with Care Bear puppets, you should be a little concerned if I added that photo myself. I love you, Jordan! And if anyone from the BYX cool kids club read this post, leave a comment. But you probably won't because you are in the cool kids club. I was just curious. 


Check back tomorrow for an exciting announcement!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Five Months!

We are halfway through our engagement today--five months until our wedding! :) Yay yay yay!

We are having a crazy busy holiday weekend. Yesterday was full of a soccer tournament and end of season carnival party with my team.  Daniel helped out and it was SO wonderful.  I'll write a longer post on the whole day this week, but here's a photo of a few of us at the carnival last night:

We hung out with the little ones at church this morning, then Daniel's parents came to town for the rest of the weekend.  We spent all day showing them around NWA, including the lodge.  It was really special being at our venue exactly halfway through this whole process!

Get excited, because a very sweet someone will be writing to you all tomorrow. :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

$3K Raised and Wedding Rings

Hooray! Our fundraiser hit $3K today, and together 57 of us have impacted 3,458 people all over the world!

We realize things aren't moving all that quickly--we are halfway through our engagement and 12% funded.  But we are not giving up hope! We are committed and excited to be a part of this, whether we raise the $25K or not.  We've already bettered almost 3500 lives, which makes it hard to get down about this whole deal. Our dream in this is people, not numbers.  So thank you, givers, for coming alongside us to fund so many incredible projects!

I stumbled across a few of my favorite fall things on my run yesterday.  Between these and the beautiful weather, I was in a really good mood and feeling excited about our wedding and the fall aesthetic we'd chosen.  So I asked my boo if we could sit down and do a little planning.  We haven't talked about details in a while--Daniel graduating, moving, and starting work were more pressing priorities, for obvious reasons.

But we were able to spend yesterday evening wedding planning at Mama Carmen's, and it was wonderful!  It's nice to be on the same page since we are marrying each other at the end of all of this. :)  We think we nailed down all of our honeymoon and travel stuff, so we hope to be booking the trip soon!  

We also looked through wedding rings and found one on Etsy that looks like it was straight up made for my engagement ring.  We really didn't know if that was possible, since my ring is so old and most rings in that era came in sets.  But we may have found the match--it's my size and everything! The pretty little thing is in the mail, and I can't wait to see what it looks like with my ring.  I mostly just can't wait for Daniel to slide it on my finger in October, because that will mean I'm his wife and we get to start really doing life together.  Eeeek!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home Inspiration: Moving on My Mind

I start moving next weekend, and I'm pretty pumped.  Except I really wish Daniel and I were already married so he could join me.  But I am excited to slowly furnish and decorate our new space so it's already a happy, cozy home after the wedding craziness.  I'm also really excited for friends and family to visit and to have space to host all my lovely ladies the night before the wedding!

Here are a few photos I find inspiring lately:




I have to remember this is just a rent house--we won't be able to majorly modify anything, like stripping the carpet or painting the walls, but I'm still dreaming of turning it into our space.  :) I foresee lots of thrifting dates in our first year of marriage!

We've been a little silent on the fundraiser front lately, but it still exists! In fact, I just added a couple of new projects--one in India (I've been waiting for one to come along! :)) and another adoption project in Uganda! Here's a little info on each of them:

1) Early Intervention Center in India:

"99 Balloons is partnered with a program in Northwest India that is changing the perceptions of disability in their community. In India, individuals born with disability are seen as cursed. Most people in Northwest India are of Hindu background and believe in Karma, which means that a person born with a disability is thought to have done something wrong in a previous life.

"There is a great program taking place called "Samvedna" which is providing resources and services for families affected by disability in over 100 villages in Northwest India. They are helping these families see the value and importance that their children have, and helping educate them on particular diagnoses as well as providing support and therapy equipment."

2) Meet Emily!

"Emily is 12 years old, and goes to Kutamba school. There, she works hard every day at her studies & loves every minute of it! She hopes to become a doctor one day so that she can help others. Although she tragically lost her father to AIDS at a young age, Emily still has a strong support system with her mother and her siblings. Emily is super close with her siblings, saying that her favorite part of being at home is being a sister.

"At home, Emily helps her family out with chores like fetching water. At school, she likes reading books and playing netball in her free time. Her goal for this school year is to do well so that she can get promoted to the Primary 4 class. With you cheering her on, we know that she will be able to accomplish that goal-- and any other goals she has!"

To give to these projects or any of our others, go here and click BACK THIS FUNDRAISER.  Type in the amount you'd like to give (as little as $5 impacts more people than you'd think!) and click continue.  It'll ask how you want to spread out the amount among the projects.  Finalize those numbers and click continue, then complete transaction.  TADA! You just helped ___ people--thank you!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I bought this flag Saturday.  
I planned on giving it to Daniel as a little anniversary gift next week--for our new place. We've talked about getting an Oklahoma flag for a while now--we're both from Tulsa.  
Then Sunday and Monday happened, and it just didn't feel right to leave it folded up in a shoe box any longer.  

As a wannabe writer, I feel torn in times of tragedy.  Part of me feels like I should have something poignant to say, but most of me feels stunned to silence.  My words cannot undo anything, nor can they touch tangible needs.  

Some of my favorite writers find ways to turn ugly, disastrous things into beautiful calls to action and community.  I appreciate them, because we are all in this life thing together.  Some of my favorite people wrestle quietly with their grief.  I appreciate them, too, because sometimes these things just hit too close to home. 
And then sometimes they hit home.

Sending prayers and love and hours of sleeplessness your way from NW Arkansas, Oklahoma.

And I'm not the only one doing so.  I just drove back to work from my lunch break, and two guys about my age are standing on the street corner of main street Springdale in the pouring rain holding handwritten signs that say, "One Nation, Under God.  #Oklahoma."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebrating Daniel's First Day


Daniel and I went out for Mexican food and snocones when he got back into town last night to celebrate today, which is pretty much the first day of the rest of his life! :)  He officially started working full time at his company today.  I'm so proud of him!  His job is almost too good to be true, and we both feel so thankful he didn't have to struggle to find solid employment like I did.

I have so many things to look forward to right now!  Although summers don't look like they did when I was a student, this one will still be full of adventure--I am so excited! Our three year anniversary is less than two weeks away, and one month from today we'll be landing in Orlando for a little weekend trip for Daniel's cousin's wedding.  Can't wait!

I hope everyone is staying safe in this crazy weather.  Sending love to my sweet home state today.