Monday, August 31, 2015

Ryan + Jackie's Wedding Day

This is the last post in Ryan + Jackie's Love Story, but I encourage you all to follow Jackie's blog as they are onto a new adventure in Boston! Which I'm so jealous of by the way. Their wedding day was just the start of their #ourbigadventure!

1} When + where did y'all get married?

We got married on December 29, 2012 at our home church of Berea Baptist Church in Augusta GA.

2} What venue(s) did you use?

We had our reception at this really neat old historical building called "The Old Government House" in Augusta.

3} Did either of you have any morning jitters?

Yes and No. I was nervous the day of our wedding mostly because of all of the details that had to come together. Everyone was wonderful about telling me that everything was taken care of and ready but I knew better. As a wedding event person myself, I know what it's like to set up for receptions and pull all of the last minute details together. So I was nervous for that but I wasn't nervous to marry my best friend.

4} What was the Best part about your wedding?

I would say the actual ceremony was my favorite part, but looking back it is all a blur. I loved walking down the aisle and holding hands with Ryan as we vowed our lives to each other. But honestly, my favorite part was our reception. It was so much fun to see all of our friends in one place together. We got to see long lost family and friends, dance together and then break it down with our friends! Also, we played the newly wed game which was so much fun. Everyone said the food was great, the music was fun and the night was a success in my eyes!

Let me say again, the Padillas & Cadles (Jackie's family) know how to throw a party! I went to her sister's wedding this past summer, and both were such a blast! Everyone always has a great time. 

Also, as Ryan + Jackie were leaving the reception, the best man had brought the car to the front, and the groomsmen had it all decorated {is this a southern thing?}. Then the best man had to leave to and took the keys with him! So when Ryan + Jackie ran through the crowd to the car, the door was locked! We were laughing so hard! I'm sure Ryan + Jackie were ready to leave, but thankfully the DJ was still there, so back to the dance floor we went :-) 

This is another one from their rehearsal dinner. 
Ryan + Jackie can get down!! 

 5} Where did y'all go on your honeymoon? What advice would you give about planning the honeymoon?

We went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was wonderful to get away for a few days and just enjoy some rest and relaxation. Although, I came down with the flu on day 2 (I know, so ridiculous), we were able to really enjoy ourselves at the different ports of call and then eat nice meals every night. 
If I had to give some advice, I would say make sure you plan your honeymoon early on in the wedding process. You don't want to get to the end of planning and realize you don't have any money left to go somewhere. The wedding is so much fun but you will be EXHAUSTED after it's all over and a nice relaxing honeymoon is a great solution to that!

6} Any other advice you would give?

I would advise future brides not to plan your wedding 4 days after Christmas. Those few weeks leading up to our big day were incredibly busy and stressful! Also, Ryan was still in school so it was his Christmas break and we were forced to cram a whole lot into a very little time. I'm so grateful we were married and able to start 2013 together but if I had a do-over, I would probably give a little more thought to changing our wedding date. Also- it was so cold! I always said I didn't want to get married in the Georgia summer heat but somehow I managed to get married on the coldest day of the year. My poor bridesmaids…. :)

As with each story I tell, I love telling it! I hope you are all enjoying them as much as I am!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ryan + Jackie - The Planning Process

I hope y'all enjoyed Ryan + Jackie's Engagement story last week as much as I did! If not, stop, and read it now. You can thank me later :-) 

1} Did you already have your dream wedding planned?

Absolutely… NOT. You know it's funny, I had never really planned out what I wanted my wedding to be like. I think most girls have an advantage if they get married a little later because they have been to other weddings and know what they like! I had a major disadvantage for 2 reasons. 1. I was the first of my close friend group to tie the knot and 2. I had only ever been to beautiful HUGE expensive fancy weddings. I thought it would be so fun and easy until I started pricing everything and doing the budget!

Ryan + Jackie had a hoedown rehearsal dinner. 
Let me just state, Jackie's family knows how to throw a party! 

2} What was the hardest choice you had to make?

Actually the hardest choice was the date. Ryan was still in school and we just didn't want to wait to get married. When we first got engaged, we planned to get married the following April. Once we realized just how long away that was- we decided to move it up to Christmas Break/New Year's Eve. (4 months from when we got engaged!) I wanted a New Year's Eve party so badly but again- the budget came into play and quickly broke me of that dream!

Love this photo of Ryan + Jackie praying over their marriage with friends + family at rehearsal dinner

3} What was the easiest choice?

My easiest choices were the cake, flowers and beverages. We had a family friend who owns a bakery and our cake tasted delicious (even a year later when we ate the top layer!). The flowers were a breeze because my cousin (who is a FABULOUS floral designer and inspired me to become one myself) creates GORGEOUS designs. Ryan chimed in on this one and said beverages were the easiest decision. We chose to serve Cider because it was our favorite drink.

So gorgeous!! 

4} What was your favorite part of planning your wedding?

Being finished. I know that's a terrible answer but I really was so glad when it was all over and we got to enjoy the reception. I love planning other people's weddings and designing flowers for them but my own wedding was a diplomatic maze of decisions, family preferences and working within the budget was always challenging. Overall, it was only 4 months of planning and maybe that is why I didn't enjoy it very much. Maybe if we would have had a 12 month engagement it would have been more enjoyable. I think my dad was happy it was over too. Here's his favorite picture from the night.

Love this photo!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grace Tip #5 - Plant a Garden

The day before my 25th birthday, I came up with a list of 10 reminders for the next year. I just re-read them + want to share one of them with you. I've talked about one in Grace Tip #3 - "Always be a little kinder than is necessary" - J. M. Barrie.

I'm sure there are many people who feel stuck in a job or life stage + are wondering what's next.
No? Only me? 

When I lived at home longer than I wanted to I finally came to terms with living where I was planted. At first I really didn't want to. Like, really didn't. But then I decided to choose joy + to not only live where I was planted, but to water those roots. It made so much of a difference in my life + my attitude. I was so ready to get out of town, but after planting roots, it was really hard to leave. The time I spent with my parents, friends, girls I coached in cheerleading, Clemson church family - all of it, is so precious to me + is part of who I am

My Grace Tip #5 comes from Audrey Hepburn, such a classic lady. 

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"

Did you know God asks us to plant gardens right where we are? 

Many people use Jeremiah 29:11" 'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope + a feature'" as their banner verse when going through life changes. But I want to bring attention to the background of the story. 

The Israelites were in exile when this verse was written. It was a part of the "Letter to the Exiles." Let's start with the beginning of the letter. 

Jeremiah 29:4-5
"This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 'Build houses + settle down; PLANT GARDENS + eat what they produce.'" 

We can stop right there. The Israelites were not in a place they imagined they would be nor were they in a dream situation. However, God told them to build houses + plant gardens. Audrey Hepburn understood that when you planted a garden, it meant you were planning on being in the same place tomorrow. Why would you plant a garden and then leave it to fail? 

So, I'm encouraging you today - plant a garden, and water it. 
You may be surprised at what He allows to bloom there! 

Feel free to use this as a reminder :-) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ryan + Jackie - The Engagement

I was laughing so hard when I finished reading Ryan + Jackie's engagement story! She text a group of us girls shortly after they got engaged + somehow I've never heard parts of this story. I really wish this was a video recording of these two {hmm, maybe that's a good idea for the future!} so y'all could get the full affect.
This was their Facebook Announcement 

Prepare to laugh...  :-)

1} When did Ryan propose?

Ryan proposed on August 1, 2012 in Athens, Georgia. I remember the day well because it was eight months to the day since we had begun dating. I had mentioned to Ryan that I needed to go to Athens one day after work to pick up a table and he offered to take off work and drive with me there from Augusta.

2} Did you know it was coming? Were either of you nervous?

I had no idea it was coming that day. This is apparent because I didn't have my nails painted, my hair was a curly mess and I was exhausted from working. We had dinner with one of my dearest friends and then Ryan asked me to drive downtown. The sun was setting and Ryan kept suggesting that we pull over and enjoy the views of the countryside. At one point he pulled into my old apartment complex and mentioned that we should hang out there and watch the sunset. I told him I had to use the bathroom so we kept on riding. (Looking back - poor Ryan had tried to propose to me and I kept messing up his plans!) Anyways, we parked in North Campus and started walking towards downtown Athens. As we were walking, Ryan said he would be right back and he went back to the truck. As he was walking back towards me, I noticed something small and round in the front pocket of his shirt! When it finally clicked that it was a RING (eek!) I totally freaked out. Ryan walked with me all around Athens for 45 minutes and I was a hot mess waiting for the moment to happen.

3} Okay, tell us the details!!

After 45 minutes of pure misery (I was so anxious and nervous), Ryan suggested we walk to the Arch and take a picture under it (a post grad tradition). I agreed but requested a quick stop at Starbucks first to get my nerves under control. I can remember looking in the mirror of the restroom at Starbucks and giving myself a pep talk! I tried to smooth down my crazy hair and calm my nerves. (Side Note- Ryan was apparently doing the same thing in the men's restroom!) Then we walked across the street and Ryan told me to pose under the arch for a photo. I wish I could say that I was poised and graceful in those moments leading up to the proposal but that would be a lie. I actually told him "let's go onto north campus" (into the dark...where no one would see us) and I left him standing in front of the arch. As I walked away, I heard him calling "Jackie Cadle come back!!" I finally turned around to see my sweet boyfriend on one knee under the arch waiting for me to come back. (I can't believe I'm telling this story! I'm just so embarrassed that I walked away!) As I walked back towards him he pulled out a ring box. (upside down haha). When I finally got there, he told me that I was a crazy woman but he loved and adored me and couldn't imagine living his life without me. I just melted and immediately told him to get up and kissed him. He looked at me and said- so will you marry me and I replied "Yes of course!" A couple of minutes later he said " want to see your ring?" In all the commotion I hadn't even noticed the ring he was holding!

{I can't believe she left him standing there! Jackieeeee!! But I definitely would've requested a stop by Starbucks to calm my nerves, check the mirror, and then grab a white mocha latte, of course!}

4} What was the first thing y'all after the proposal?

Well, we sat down and just soaked up the moment! Then we decided to call our families and let them know we were engaged. As we were walking back to the car, a couple approached us and asked if we had just gotten engaged. When I replied yes, they laughed and said they weren't sure because they only saw Ryan under the arch on one knee alone and there wasn't anyone there with him! And then we had an hour and half to drive home. I was just on cloud nine the whole time!

The comment by the by-standers is hilarious!! I can just picture Ryan on one knee under the arch all alone. What would y'all do if YOU saw something like that? I'd feel bad for the guy or assume maybe he was practicing?

Monday, August 17, 2015

LOFT Sale - Dresses, Tops, Jacket Edition

Here's the code for the LOFT 40% off sale: SHAREIT

And here's a quick look at what I'd buy



I love earth-tones for fall!
I also love the blue color this one comes in :-)

Both colors are great! 

And of course, the Utility Blouse


Only in L left. GET IT NOW! I absolutely love this!

I bought one similar this past spring from LOFT outlet. Such a great jacket!

I love anorak jackets {can't ya tell?}

I can't believe this is back in style, but its kinda cute, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Love Story #3 - Ryan + Jackie Padilla

This next couple that I'll be introducing you to is very adventurous! They are embarking on a two-year travel nursing program that will take them all across America + maybe even over seas! I'm thankful they spent their first session here in Atlanta, so close to me! 

Ryan + Jackie 

1. How did you + your husband first meet?

Ryan + I met at a campus ministry when I was a sophomore in college. It was my first time visiting + we played a game that required one person to stand in the middle. When it was my turn to stand in the middle, I was mortified to hear someone yell out "FORE! Are we going golfing?!" He was making fun of my very fashionable argyle stockings + I was so embarrassed. After it was over, he came up to me + half apologized. I very confidently told him back "thanks for making my first time here so special." I'm pretty sure at that very moment, my sarcasm had won him over + he was secretly in love with me from that day forward. 

2. What/where was your first date?

Our first official date was a day in Savannah. Ryan + I were best friends long before we ever started dating (FIVE years long), so once we decided to be more than friends, we weren't sure how to act. We held hands as we drove into Savannah from my family's house (we were there over New Year's) + I had 45 minutes of pure bliss. Once there, we walked around enjoying the historic + beautiful city of the Georgia coastline. We ate lunch at a seafood joint + visited all the shops along the river. We then decided to take our first photo together as a couple, to make our relationship official on Facebook. I was giddy to announce to the world that we had finally figured it out! I smiled so much that day my cheeks were hurting once we got home. Here's our first "Facebook official" picture! CUTE FACT: Ryan has had this as his profile picture since that day!

{way to go Ryan!}

3. What is your funniest memory together?

I will never forget our wedding day. I told Ryan I didn't want to do the garter + that whole garter toss thing at our wedding so I didn't buy one. I thought the issue was settled but on our wedding day, while I was getting my hair done, someone shows up with a bottle of champagne + a garter wrapped around it. It wasn't the classy kind - it was red + black lace with a UGA emblem on it. I was not having it! In fact, I tried to leave it at the salon + pretend I had forgotten it in all of the madness. So, we get married + are at the reception when I get yanked into the bathroom by my sister. She forces me to put on that atrocious garter + shoves me back onto the dance floor. Ryan is waiting there in a chair + leads me to sit down. Then IT happened. The DJ played "I'm too Sexy" + my new husband put on the show of his life. He panther crawled, booty shaked, took off some clothes, + pretended he was a chippendales dancer all the way up to me. I was dying. Then he looked at me in his charming way, made me smile, + attempted to climb under my dress to retrieve the garter. Looking back on that moment, all I can do is laugh + be grateful I have such a fun man to do life with!

{I think this is one of my top memories from their wedding!!!}

4. What has been your favorite date?

Actually, I think one of my favorite dates just happened a couple of weeks ago. Since I'm such a planner, Ryan always enjoys taking the reigns + surprising me with fun dates. He told me to be ready by 6:30pm + then he took me to a fabulous dinner at a local restaurant called Going Coastal. It was a delicious meal (I had the swordfish which was AMAZING!) + we enjoyed it immensely! I love when I don't have to cook, so I felt special + loved. As we left he mentioned the night wasn't over + that's when I knew I was in for a treat. As we drove through downtown Atlanta, my mind was racing to figure out where we were going. I had no clue until we walked up to the ferris wheel AKA SkyView that looks out over Atlanta. We got in line + they gave us tickets as well as a box of chocolates. The sun had just set so we enjoyed views of the city as it got dark. It was purely magical + I love that he planned it. After that we walked around Centennial Park + talked about our future. :)

{I bet this view was gorgeous!!}

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One Year in Atlanta!

As each month passes I keep feeling "where has this month gone?" but y'all I've been in Atlanta for


as of August 1st! {cue the confetti + fog horns!!!}


I've grown a lot over the last 12 months. My mom kept calling last year {and this season of my life} as my "stretching year" + it definitely has been! {Mom's know best right?}

New city, no job? CHECK
First Triathlon? CHECK
 Becoming an aunt? CHECK
Quitting one job & interviewing for others? CHECK {pre+post ATL}
Buying a car + paying car taxes? CHECK {pre + post ATL}
Turning 25?! CHECK CHECK CHECK! 

Here's a post on some of what last year taught me - Choosing Joy

Instead of creating one long posts with everything from the past 12 months, I'm going to link to a few of my favorites!

I just realized I've never done the post on hosting my sister's baby shower. 
That will happen ASAP + one about becoming an aunt. Two of the funnest things from the past 12 months for sure!! 

If you follow me on instagram, you've probably seen my newest adventure, but if not, take a look here! This will definitely continue the "stretching" theme in my life! 

 Thanks for following along in this journey I call #valleylife.

What have been your favorite moments from your own past year? I'd love to read them below!