…and this year!

4th of July this year was an absolute blast…and a total success! It couldn’t have been more different from last year, but it was wonderful all the same!  Last year we were on our honeymoon, just beginning married life together, and this year, we’ve just celebrated our 1st anniversary and we are spending our first summer in Grand Rapids.

We spent the morning doing some housework and cleaning (so fun, I know) but not of course until after sleeping in. Grin.

Then I attempted my first official recipe…I always have loved to bake and have perfected brownies, muffins, and even cheesecake, but I’ve never actually made a real meal.  After being married for over a year, I thought it was time I start feeding my husband. Ha. (For those of you who are worried about his well-being, I assure you, he eats plenty.) 🙂

Inspired by one of my summer resolutions, I attempted an easy and inexpensive first recipe.  I found this crock-pot sloppy joe recipe awhile ago on Pinterest, and was saving it for a day like yesterday.  It was super easy (only 3 ingredients – 4 if you count water as an ingredient) and once I got all of the ingredients in the crock-pot  I cooked it on high for 3 hours.  And that was it.  So does it really count as my first real recipe if it was that easy? I sure hope so, because I felt proud about handling raw meat!

Success with the crock pot sloppy joes.

Success with the crock pot sloppy joes.

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Jeremy was very excited and seemed to really enjoy the sandwiches.  I didn’t get fancy enough to make sides to go with them, but I’m taking this cooking thing one step at a time.

After dinner, we headed over to our friend’s house to claim our front-row seats to the fireworks in East Grand Rapids.

Family :)

Family 🙂

Roomies :)

Roomies 🙂

Love of my life.

Love of my life.

Our regal-looking, 4th of July-celebrating chihuahua :)

Our regal-looking, 4th of July-celebrating chihuahua 🙂

Optimus and I were slightly afraid of the fireworks being shot off by the neighbors, but we survived and saw some beautiful fireworks!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

So our first 4th of July spent in Grand Rapids was a success and we had a total blast.  Love the community that we’re a part of.  So where will we be this time next year? Your guess is as good as ours! We’re trusting God to lead us in the way He would have us go.  I guess my next year’s 4th of July blog post will reveal where that is!

Happy Saturday!

This time last year…

Last 4th of July, one year ago today, Jeremy and I were enjoying our honeymoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  It was wonderful and 4th of July was a complete blast as we got to walk outside of our resort, go down on the beach, take a seat and watch the fireworks.  Not before we got Rita’s on the boardwalk, of course. 🙂

July 4th, 2012

July 4th, 2012

Yummy Rita's water ice :)

Yummy Rita’s water ice 🙂

I love July 4th.  The summer is already so fun with beach trips, hanging out with friends, and barbecues, but July 4th is a day where our country puts politics and differences aside and celebrates as a nation.  And do I even have to mention how wonderful fireworks are? They’re my fave.

Watching fireworks on the beach with my love :)

Watching fireworks on the beach with my love 🙂

 

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A very happy fourth with my man :)

A very happy fourth with my man 🙂

For this July 4th, I currently have sloppy joes cooking (hopefully) in the crockpot… because I am attempting to learn how to cook this summer.  We also have plans to go watch fireworks over Reeds Lake later.  I love this holiday and I’m so blessed to live in a free country and have a day off of work to celebrate with family and friends!

Happy 4th to you all!

 

 

Grateful.

Today I am grateful.

I am grateful for my husband, my rock.  For those of you who don’t know Jeremy, he’s a solid guy.  He loves God and because of that he loves me so well.

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I’m grateful for the home we have been blessed with.

I’m grateful for the three little rascals (aka our furry friends) that inhabit our home and make life at home quite fun.

I’m grateful for my job, and for Jeremy’s job. I’m grateful that God continues to provide.

I’m grateful for my family, my biggest supporters. I’m grateful for our close relationships even from miles and miles away.

My momma and my sister , Kaleigh.

My momma and my sister, Kaleigh.

I am grateful for the start of a new Bible study. I’m grateful for the women who I will grow alongside of over the course of the next 12 weeks as we study Beth Moore’s “Daniel.”

I’m grateful that my soul is craving God and desiring precious time spent with Him.

I’m grateful for a spontaneous date night with my husband to get ice cream tonight… and I’m certainly grateful for Moose Tracks on a waffle cone. Grin.

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I’m grateful for my friendships and my girlfriends that God has blessed me with, both near and far.

My dear friend Kelsey, who resides in Nebraska.

My dear friend Kelsey, who resides in Nebraska.

My sweet friend Ashley, who lives in New Jersey.

My sweet friend Ashley, who lives in New Jersey.

My awesome college roomie and friend, Linnea (who is right here in Michigan with me!)

My awesome college roomie and friend, Linnea (who is right here in Michigan with me!)

I’m grateful for the summer. I’m grateful for a time of rest. I’m grateful for a break from homework and papers and tests.

I am so grateful for my God, my Jesus.  I am grateful that He has saved me from my sin and that He has given me new life in Him.  I’m grateful that I can put on a new self because of what He has done for me.

What are you grateful for today?

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P.S. Our amazing wedding picture at the top was taken by a very talented guy named Noah. Click on the picture to see more of his work! 🙂

Today I’m linking up to…

Summer Resolutions

I love lists.  I love making them and I love crossing things off them even more.  So I decided to make a list for my summer.  Things that I have time to accomplish, things that I hope to accomplish, and maybe even some things that probably won’t get crossed off.

So here is my list of summer resolutions:  (New Year’s Resolutions are a nice thought but make no sense.  Who has time in January to get things done?? Not me. So my resolutions start now.)

1. Learn to cook. (Okay, I know this is broad and big… I’d like to at least try a few new recipes, learn to master crock-pot cooking in time for the start of school in September and maybe even learn how to plan a weekly menu.)

2. Become more than just a “good Bible-study girl.”  This goal is based off this book that I hope to read this summer.  I want to dig deeper in my faith.  I’m craving growth, but I’m craving it now more than I have in awhile.  My soul is longing. And my soul knows that I have some time on my hands.  I want to be more than a girl who does Bible study.  I want to know God and be known by Him. Yes. Good stuff.

3. Eat better. (Not diet, by the way…just be more intentional with what I put in my body and how it makes me feel and function.)  My body is a temple. I want to eat better and exercise and strengthen my body.

4. Visit the zoo. Deep and thought-provoking, I know.  My husband is aware of this “to-do” item because I’ve asked him to take me to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids this summer (we’ve never been in the three years we’ve lived here.)

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5. Spend at least one day at a Lake Michigan beach.  Sorry Michiganders, your “beach” does not compare to the Jersey shore.  Yep, I went there. Your water is not ocean and your boardwalk should not be called that.  But I’ll forgive you because the lake-shore in Michigan is beautiful and I’ll take it.  Yep, spend at least a day there. Check. (Hopefully.)

6. Take a trip to Chicago.  Hubby and I plan to do this later in the summer to celebrate our anniversary.  Really hope we execute this goal because there are some stores calling my name in that city!

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7. Date my husband.  We’ve had a wonderful first year of marriage, but during the busy school year as two full-time students and each of us working 20+ hours a week, finding time (and money) to date can be difficult.  Now we have more time on our hands and a steadier income.  Let’s date! (We’ve already been working on this one – last Friday night was mini golf and shopping at the mall.)

8. Read more books.  I’ve been doing good on this one.  My goal for the summer is to read all the books that are currently on my Goodreads “To-read” list.  It’s a lot of non-fiction that I really don’t have the brain power to process during the school year.  Perfect summer resolution.

9. Be more intentional with my blogging.  I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really mind when I go forever without blogging.  It is okay in my book.  But what I do mind is looking back on the past few months and the many situations and circumstances that I’ve processed and realizing that they were not put into words.  That’s why I want to blog.  As a method of process and reflection. So I want to do more of that this summer.  And use the blog as a way to document my above resolutions.

I think my list of resolutions is good for now.  Edits can and will always be made.

Any summer resolutions on your to-do list? I’d love to hear about them!

Chicago image: http://nixietale.com/tag/chicago/

Zoo image: http://thewmeacblog.org/2012/04/18/earth-day-event-party-for-the-planet-at-john-ball-zoo/

summer reflections

So I meant to do this post last week, before school began but time got away from me!  School came up so fast – I have no idea where this summer went!  

This past summer was one of my most random, craziest summers of my life.  I’ve been trying to process events as they’ve come along but here are my written words, as another (but definitely not final) attempt to process my summer!

I got home from college at the end of May and then wedding planning kicked in full force.  I had my wedding shower in the beginning of June (shout out to mom and Kaleigh who gave me the most wonderful shower!)  The entire month of June was a whirlwind – and frankly I don’t really remember much of it!  Wedding week is pretty memorable – my best friend and bridesmaid Kelsey flew in from Nebraska and so my time spent with her was so special and such a blessing.  Wedding week also included hair and nail appointments, a marvelous bachelorette party, (compliments of Kelsey and her mom) and our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

On June 29 I married my best friend!  It was a surreal experience and such an amazing day.  It was incredible to be surrounded by family, friends, and our church community who love and support us as we committed the rest of our lives to one another.

Following the wedding was our 2 week honeymoon in Atlantic City, which was an amazing wedding gift and such a blessing as we began our marriage as newlywed, poor, college students 🙂  We lived in New Jersey for 2 weeks following the honeymoon and then it was the big move out to Michigan – to our new apartment and the official beginning of our life together!  

The past month Jeremy and I have been slowly moving in, unpacking, and making our new apartment home.  We also have a puppy named Optimus Prime who we adopted back in May and recently added a kitty named Sanford to our family.  To say our apartment is a little chaotic at times is an understatement but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

As far as the amazing journey called marriage – I’ll save that for another post!  Marriage, when done God’s way, can be hard but it is also so right and good.  Stay tuned for more on that later 😉

For now, I’ll leave you with some pictures! 

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My bridesmaids and me at my bachelorette party

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Our rehearsal – with VBS decorations in the background 🙂

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Getting married!

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We had a beautiful reception in Jeremy’s parents backyard

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Our honeymoon in Atlantic City

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Our little Optimus Prime

Have a good weekend everybody!