June 26, 2014

bridal shower.

Y'all. This week. It's draaaaggggiinng. Most of that statement probably has to do with the fact that Peyton has been on the road for the past six days and is still gone for another four. We both love what we do, but this week has really tested my patience.  He and I are not in a long distance relationship, so we see each other almost every night during a normal work week. But, then comes this thing called work travel that we both have...and it takes our precious time away from each other.

We both LOVE traveling.  Love is probably an understatement.  We love seeing new things, going on adventures, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures.  It's something we are passionate about and cannot wait to travel more as husband and wife. Travel for both of our careers is fun and exciting...it energizes us and makes us even more passionate about what we do, but, it takes us away from each other.  That right there folks...is the kicker.

Hats off to all of the folks in long distance relationships and to the men and women in the military.  You deserve a standing ovation...even if it is just me standing there and clapping. This being away from the person you love is for. the. birds.

Anyways, this weekend was a such a special weekend in regards to our upcoming wedding. My Mom, sister Katherine, and friend Genia hosted a bridal shower for Peyton and I and we had so much fun!

Let me start off by saying that there is just something about how a white dress makes a woman feel. It's just that clean crisp feeling we get as soon as we put one on...it goes with everything and looks super cute on just about everyone.  Even on pasty white girls like myself.

Back to the real story...Genia and my Mom and one of the guys at our feed store helped make these super cute signs for the roads.  Our home can be kind of hard to find, so it was such a lovely addition.  Peyton and I cannot wait to use them for the wedding. 
While we were out taking some pictures, guests started arriving and it was time to start the party! The house was decorated beautifully... and my mom had prepared fruit salad, chicken salad croissants, and cheesecake for a light lunch. My daddy and brother did a wonderful job of moving furniture and setting things up.  They obviously had other plans when the sea of estrogen showed up at the house!
It was so nice to socialize with girlfriends from near and far during lunch. Several of the girls wanted to hear the proposal story and hear about all the plans that we had made for the upcoming wedding in July.  Lots of laughs and joy were present and are some moments that I will never forget.  I do wish many of these girls would have had the opportunity to meet Peyton, but there is no doubt that they will in the near future!

We received so many wonderful gifts from family and friends. It was a complete surprise to see gifts from friends and family in Michigan...what a special treat to hear from them! Many of the gifts we received were for our kitchen; these ladies must think I am an awesome cook. Oh how wrong they are...but at least I will look cute in the kitchen!
Such a beautiful day and wonderful way to get the wedding festivities kicked off! So much love and many thanks for all the wonderful people in our lives.  We are truly blessed!

P.S. In 30 days, I will have a husband, another momma and daddy, and another brother and sister. I am so excited to be part of the Holland Family!

June 18, 2014

birthday girl!

I happened to get a year older last Thursday.

I turned 24 and it is probably the best birthday I have ever had.  

I have really never been into celebrating birthdays, but lately, I have realized how important they really are. Every day, we are blessed with the opportunity to live on this earth and make a difference in the lives of others.  We have another chance to make someone happy, another chance to be the best that we can be.

My day started off with a text from my daddy and a wonderful call with my momma on my way to work.  We caught up, talked some wedding stuff, and laughed about life.  It was a beautiful sunny morning, so in the middle of my call, I pulled down my sun-visor and a sweet card from my fiance' fell out. Needless to say...I was completely surprised and loved the card.  Hoops and Yo-Yo cards from Hallmark are my all time fave. Actually, I love just about everything in Hallmark....that's probably why I am a gold member...moving on.
I came into work and saw my cubicle, completely decked out by my friend and co-worker Amanda.  Work is so much more fun when you have balloons and a big party sign! I had some candy from Amanda and a wonderful gift from another co-worker and friend named Karen. A couple ladies decided to have a pot-luck at work which was a huge hit! We had meatballs, BBQ, salads, cakes, brownies...and the list just goes on.  I contributed a key-lime pie just so I could partake in all of the wonderful homemade goodness. All of my co-workers sat around our conference table and talked about life. Office bonding is extremely important to me and it was so nice to be able to have it on my birthday.
Throughout the day, I found all sorts of little notes from my fiance'. He is just so sneaky....and knows exactly how to put the biggest smile on my face.  I am not super emotional, but the big smile is a pretty good indicator of how I am feeling.
I patiently waited until about 2:30pm when I left work a little early to head down to Chatham County to do something that is very important to my future.  I love celebrating huge milestones on my birthday.  For example, I graduated high school on my birthday back in 2008.  For my birthday in 2014(this year!), we went to the Register of Deeds to get our marriage license!  It was such an exciting moment for both of us and so special to celebrate on my birthday!
After getting our marriage license, we walked through downtown Pittsboro.  We stopped at our friend's new dance studio.  Jenna went to East Carolina to be a dance instructor and is now opening her own studio and program called 7 Dance Centre.  We are so excited for her!  After catching up with her, we walked down two buildings to S & T's Soda Shoppe, where we caught up with her husband TJ.  We were so excited to tell both of them about our engagement. I met both of them at the beginning of our relationship five years ago.  

Peyton and I were going to eat supper alone, but my mom called and asked where we were, so we had my mom, dad, and sister join us for supper and ice cream!  I really like living close to my family as well as his family. Family is so important to both of us and I have really been soaking up every moment I can spend with them.

Dairy really hates me, but I love dairy...and calories don't count on your birthday so I ate the famous S & T's Soda Shoppe banana split. I did have a couple of helpers, but I do have to say I was a major fat kid for a few minutes. We put that lovely thing away in less than 10 minutes.
After supper, I spent some time with Peyton's family.  His momma had bought a chocolate cake for us to eat (which had the best frosting ever!).  She even got a 24 candle for me to blow out.  It was such a fun and special moment with them. Her and Peyton had asked me multiple times what I wanted for my birthday. After thinking about it, all I wanted was to get our marriage license and have his mother put together some of the recipes that we have every evening for supper.  When we get married, I want to be able to cook some of my favorites, some new ones, and some of his momma's.  His mother and father got me a 3 quart casserole dish and carrier as well as a recipe book.  She and I are going to start cooking together so I can learn and write down the recipes as she cooks supper each evening.  I really can't wait to spend that time learning from my other future momma. She is an amazing southern woman.

Later that evening, Peyton gave me a new Willow Tree figurine that means "Promise".  The figurine is of a couple that looks like they are kissing from one angle and dancing from another. It is a really special piece that I cannot wait to put on our mantle near our wedding and engagement pictures.  The Willow Tree figurines are something that I really love...each one has it's own special meaning that warms my heart with joy every time I look at them. 

So, twenty-four...I think you and I are going to like each other. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, cards, and emails!  I loved them all!

June 11, 2014

let's talk bachelorette parties.

I have been engaged for about a month and wedding planning has been in full swing, especially since our wedding is just a mere 45 days away!!  Anyways, considering all things in my life seem to revolve around this wedding, I wanted to take a few seconds to discuss something: 

the bachelorette party.

This is something that has been on my heart lately...probably because I have had several people ask if I wanted one. I have always known that I didn't want one...ever since I knew they were a thing for newly-engaged women my age.

There is something about a bachelorette party that just gets to me.  I love a good get-together with girlfriends, but what bachelorette parties have become today are really disrespectful to our future husbands. We celebrated most our lives as single ladies...what makes that weekend any different from every other weekend we spent as single women? 

Many bachelorette parties have turned into weekends of drunken nights flirting with random men in bars and staying out late in places we probably shouldn't be. I don't understand how all of these things allow us to be respectable women of God and honorable women for our future husbands.  

I am about to get married to the man of my dreams...why would I ever put him in a situation where he is questioning my where I am, what is going on, and how late I would be out. Yes, it is important that we have our girlfriends and sisters by our sides, but as a future bride, it is so important that we respect the man that we are going to marry.

When your future husband got down on one knee and asked you to marry him...he wanted you to be his wife. He wanted you by his side for the rest of his life; he wanted you to love, respect, and honor him.

So ladies, when considering a bachelorette party, think about ways that you can honor your husband during this period of engagement.  There are so many respectful things that you can be doing with your girlfriends.  When I think back to some of my favorite moments with girlfriends, it didn't involve drinks and bars or inappropriate places.  Some of my favorite memories have involved late night ice cream cones, re-runs of Friends and Boy Meets World, and even running a couple 5Ks. A bachelorette party doesn't have to involve an entire weekend...it can be a night of painting, a corn maze, a game, or an afternoon shopping.  It can be getting your nails done or doing dinner at a fun restaurant.  There are so many fun things for women to do together.
There won't be any crazy bachelorette parties happening here, but the night before the wedding will be a fun night spent with my bridesmaids in the comfort of my home. Late night chick flicks, pans of brownies, and laughs with girlfriends will be the best way to spend my last few hours as Ms. Miller before becoming Mrs. Holland.

What are your thoughts on bachelor/bachelorette parties?

June 2, 2014

proposal story: part II

If you didn't read proposal story: part I, take a few minutes to catch up.

"He opened the door to the truck, I stepped out and..."
I saw this. It was the most beautiful scene I had ever seen in my life. I couldn't believe how pretty my family's feed store looked...for a second I had to check and make sure I wasn't on a movie set. I saw my favorite flowers, twinkling lights, place settings for two, and music playing in the background. I was in awe as he pulled out my chair and told me he had to prepare supper.  He went inside and came back out with a pot full of Spaghettios and meatballs (the same meal we had on my birthday five years ago).  He poured us Mountain Dew from old glass bottles and we ate supper while talking about the day.  Soon, I began to realize that the picnic table and chairs, the picnic basket... were all things he used for my birthday five years ago. I couldn't believe that he had remembered so many of the little things that I loved. After supper, he went back inside and came out with two plates of smores...one of my favorite desserts.  To say the least, they were messy and we laughed at the amount of chocolate and marshmallow all over our fingers.  

He mentioned that he wanted me to go out front with him to pick out a hanging basket for his momma for Mother's Day (just like old times), but before that, I insisted that we went to see the baby ducks we had gotten in earlier that week.  He and I both love animals, so we spent some time looking at the sweet babies before we started walking out front to get a hanging basket.  

As I was opening the door, twinkling lights turned on and our favorite Elvis song (Can't Help Falling In Love) started playing. Peyton pulled me in close to him and we started dancing under the lights. He began telling me how much he loved me and how life was full of happiness with me in it...next thing I know, he is down on one knee asking me to be his wife.

In complete shock I responded with a YES and wrapped my arms around him. I was so excited to know that this man, my first true love was going to be my husband, something that I had written about in my diary five years earlier.  
Afterwards,we hugged, kissed, jumped up and down, danced...you know, all those things that newly engaged couples do right after the proposal. At this point, it was close to midnight and I knew it was too late to call anyone so we spent some time together discussing all of the lies he told me that week, how he asked my momma and daddy, and how he got a set of keys to the store before I ever did. 

We both decided that every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

Ours just happened to be in the form of a hanging basket.