dream wall

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The wall above my couch consistently bums me out with its lack of art.  But I’ve found out through the process of trying to spruce it up through a gallery wall that I apparently have issues committing to art!  I either find something that I love but can’t afford, or refuse to pay for  since I can recreate it myself (but then never take the time to actually do it), or I can’t decide whether it’s the perfect piece or not.  So I decided to take a step toward facing my issues by creating a virtual gallery wall – no commitment necessary!  The prices range from free downloads to out-of-my-budget art, so check out their sources to find out more about them.

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meet poesy

About a month and a half ago, Tanner and I adopted our first puppy.  We’ve had our ups and downs – I have laughed so much, and I have shed many tears!  Here is a glimpse into our first moments with her the day we adopted her.

generations

As Tanner and I began to shop for our new home once we got engaged, we were suddenly blessed with an extraordinary amount of gifts – from kitchen items and furniture, to decorations and more.  One particularly special gift was our kitchen table.  Here is the story of its life, and how it fits into ours!

My mom is originally from Venezuela, so when she and her family moved to the United States when she was in her 20s, they bought new furniture for their house here.  One of those items was a kitchen table.  Several years later, after my parents got married, my grandparents gave the table to my parents since they were both in college and had a tight budget.  

I grew up at that table.  I have so many pictures from my childhood sitting at the table – eating in my high chair, learning to color, learning to read, celebrating every year of birthdays, and so much more.  During my engagement, my parents decided it was time to for a new kitchen table, so I jumped on the opportunity to take this special piece of furniture.

Here is a picture of it in my parents’ apartment in the 1980s…

table_old

…and here it is in our apartment today.

table_new copy

It is a constant reminder of beautiful memories and the love of family.

P.S. It is a complete coincidence that our apartments have a similar layout and that my mom and I decorated the table in the exact same way (doily+vase combo)!

until death do us part

As Tanner and I planned our wedding , we both agreed that our vows were the most important part of the ceremony.  For this reason, we decided to write our own (we read from the books pictured above for the ceremony).

First, we both researched wedding vows individually and collected our favorite lines and added some of our own.  Then we shared with each other the words we had recorded.  (This was probably the most interesting phase of the process, since Tanner’s closing line was “You are the droid I am looking for.”)  Next, we decided on the major themes – yes, I am an English teacher – that we found in both of our vows.  Because we still wanted to share the words through our own communication styles, we each worded our vows a little differently, while still expressing the same ideas.

Through his research Tanner had come across couples who intermingled their vows by each reading a phrase at a time, instead of the complete vows separately.  We both loved the idea, so here are the final words we spoke to each other as the promise that marked the beginning of our life together:

I, Tanner, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, take you, Meagan, to be my wife, my bride, and my best friend. 

I, Meagan, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, take you, Tanner, to be my husband, my partner, and my best friend. 

You are a gift - a gift that I receive from God and your family.  And I acknowledge all of your strengths and weaknesses, just as you acknowledge mine.

I am so excited to receive you as a gift from God, acknowledging your faults and your strengths, as you do mine. 

I vow to give you the absolute best of myself in poverty and wealth and in sickness and in health.  I will seek God humbly and be led by Him as I lead our family. 

 I commit myself to you from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, and I vow to seek God by your side in each of these circumstances.  

I will lay down everything for you, to serve you.

I will try in every way to be worthy of your love and to serve you with grace and humility. 

While today I dedicate myself to you formally, every day in the future I choose to dedicate myself to you in every act, every word, and every thought.  I will fight for our marriage until the day we meet our Savior.

Today I dedicate myself to you formally.  For every day of our future, I choose to dedicate myself to you in each act, each word, and each thought, and to fight for our marriage until the day we meet our Savior.

vows

As I reread these words, I am reminded of what a challenge marriage is and will be, but also how beautiful a gift it is that God created and has given me to experience.