Feature Photo Friday

I took this photograph in an old house I came across back home. Most of the rooms were empty except for a few abandoned pieces of furniture, like this chair. I was inspired by the way the light filtered in through the window creating this contrast between light and dark, as well as, really defining the texture of the walls, the lines of the chair and the debris littered floor.

Dream Wedding Giveaway

Back in February, I entered a contest to win a dream wedding through our local radio station, Hot 102.7. They wanted to know your "story" and so I wrote mine and Justin's love story, emailed it in and forgot about the contest. I didn't really think we would win, but I figured it couldn't hurt to enter. About a month later, I get a call from the radio station informing us that we were chosen as finalists to win the dream wedding! I was shocked yet so excited! I called Justin to tell him and he didn't believe me! The radio station said they were now going to post our story, along with two other finalists, on their website for people to go vote on who they thought deserved to win.

I read the other two couple's stories and I was torn because I felt we all deserved to win. Whatever the outcome, I knew someone would be blessed and was just thankful for the opportunity. During the two weeks of voting, I was overwhelmed by all the love, support and encouragement we received from our friends and family, even people I had never met. It made me realize how blessed we were to have these people in our lives, and even if we didn't win, the knowledge of how much we were loved by our family and friends was a blessing in itself.

I tried not to be anxious during this time but trust that if it was the Lord's will for us to win the wedding then we would. I kept thinking about 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 hope and a future.", as well as, Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I still struggled with being anxious, but I prayed ALOT and gained a peace about it and knew deep down that God would provide us a way to get married, whether it was through winning this contest or not.

It was around seven in the morning on that fateful Monday when I got a text from a friend congratulating us on winning the contest. My heart stopped. I think I may have stopped breathing as well. As quick as I could, I got on the computer to check out the website and sure enough! We won! I couldn't believe it! I called or sent a text to everyone.. Justin, my mom, grandma, future mother-in-law... This was the best gift anyone could hope for and the greatest blessing. The Lord is so good and I'm still thanking him every day that we won.

I'm sure you're wondering what all this dream wedding giveaway included. We won the following:

So basically the only items left that we have to pay for are my wedding gown, invitations, reception entertainment and reception food. Winning this wedding has been surreal. We always hope and wish for great things to happen to us, but never really expect them to. This experience has helped cement for me the truth that God is our gracious provider and will always make sure we have everything we need if only we put our faith and trust in Him.

Wedding Planning

For the past year or so I have been addicted to reading wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Once Wed and 100 Layer Cake. They are full of inspiration and ideas for brides, and they also feature real weddings and the latest fashions. I visit these sites daily to soak up every bit of their loveliness and find inspiration for my own upcoming wedding.

A few elements of our wedding we are planning to do ourselves, such as the invitations, centerpieces and decorations. We want an elegant feel but with rustic, country charm.

We are so lucky to have friends and family who are more than willing to help us create and execute our ideas for the big day, and who have been instrumental in the planning process. My future mother-in-law is an amazing woman and has been a huge help in keeping me sane! Just when I feel like I'm about to stress out about something, she mentions a way of helping me or that one of her friends wants to be of service to us and help with the wedding.

Did I mention we entered a contest through our local radio station and won our wedding for free?? More on that later..

Our "daughter"

Meet Addie. My terror sweet german shorthair pointer. She is just over a year old and definitely spoiled rotten. She travels with us everywhere we go and loves hanging out the window, as you can see below. Justin and I are on the road every weekend seeing each other (he lives 240 miles away in Fort Walton Beach and I'm in Valdosta) and visiting our families in Florida, Alabama, south and north Georgia. So Addie is no stranger to the road trip.

She is very intelligent and understands alot of commands, but she is also very hardheaded and stubborn. Sometimes when I call her she will just stand there and stare at me, or take off and run laps around the yard. She passed the beginner training class at PetSmart last year, and I have to say, that was defintely money well spent! Dogs such as Addie, who are sporting breeds, have tons of energy and need alot of exercise and training, otherwise they can become unmanageable.

She knows when you're taking her picture. When the camera is pointed her way she will hold real still... Also, you hardly ever see her without a toy in her mouth! Which I suppose is better than my shoes...