five years

Happy Monday, friends! No start of the week blues over here today, because it’s a special milestone for Eric and I. We’re celebrating five years together and we’re pretty excited about it.

This past Saturday also marked six months of marriage, so I guess you could say the past few days have been full of all the extra giddy feels.

E and I are by no means relationship experts, but after reflecting on these five years, we couldn’t help but think back on all that we’ve learned. The more we got to chatting, the more I realized there were a solid five lessons we were most passionate about when it came to our relationship.

five years

Since I’m always one for learning and growing, it was important to me to take time to reflect and share these nuggets E and I hold strong to.

So here they are folks, our five lessons for five years!

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{Celebrate the little stuff.}

I know some people might be chuckling at the thought of us making a big deal out of six months of marriage, but hey, that’s exciting to us! Half-way through our first year?! Time flies and we’re loving every minute of it.

My whole point here is even if it might be a smaller milestone, or a less significant event, always find reasons to celebrate! An anniversary (no matter how long), pretending to be adults with your very own phone plan, heck, even having enough willpower to only eat out once during the work week…if it’s a big deal to you, then it’s worth calling out.

five years

Our go-to is usually the donut shop at our corner, picking up a bottle of wine for dinner at home, or a good ol’ mini dance party. The point is take a second to cheer about the little stuff – it keeps life fun and exciting!

{Having different opinions is a good thing.}

E and I don’t agree on everything. We have different view points on a lot of things and I think that’s healthy. It brings fresh perspectives to our conversations and challenges us to learn from each other. It also encourages a healthy dose of respect.

I think being generally aligned in core beliefs is always a good thing, but thinking differently helps us grow and stay open minded.

five years

{Work towards your goals together and encourage each other.}

This goes for individual goals and mutual ones. I’m passionate about writing and blogging. Eric has really dived into his love for photography this year. We both get really excited in cheering each other on as we pursue these hobbies – and we keep each other accountable in not giving up.

This could look like us both heading to a coffee shop in the evening to knock out some posts or editing, giving one another honest feedback, or just reminding each other that we are kicking butt and making progress when we feel discouraged.

five years

All this applies to our mutual goals too. E and I want to move abroad in a few years. We would love to have our own business one day and/or be able to work from wherever our adventures might take us. We know these things take time and will challenge us, but how cool that we can work towards them as a team??

{You should always be “dating.”}

Even though we’re married, we still consider ourselves to be dating.

Dating, to me, means always striving to learn more about each other – after all, we’re still changing and growing with age. It means it’s important to carve out time for just us, without distractions or stresses. It means we genuinely love spending time together, and making each other feel noticed and cherished.

five years

Whether it’s planning special date nights that are more than just a dinner out, surprising each other with new adventures, or sharing sweet compliments – keeping the dating mindset alive is something we strive to do.

{Make each other the priority.}

This one’s pretty straight forward. Aside from our relationship with God, E and I’s number one priority is the other person. No matter what. Period.

As husband and wife, we’re committed to taking care of each other. We know if our relationship isn’t solid, than the other things around us will suffer. We make the choice daily to love the other unconditionally and invest in our relationship. In turn, we can love others well and focus on our other priorities together.

five years

***

I’m currently sitting across from E, dressed in a red plaid button up and a backwards Cubs hat, and thinking about how freakin’ awesome (and handsome) he is. Thankful for this human and the fact that I’m the lucky lady who gets to spend forever with him.

Have your own relationship lessons to share?? I’d love to hear ’em! As I said, always learning and growing – that’s my jam.

Days By Day

anniversary chicago

Last week marked Eric and I’s one year in Chicago. That is crazy to me.

We had dreamed of doing a big move to a new city after college. One that would challenge us, grow us, and let us adventure together, with new experiences and people.

I can without a doubt say our move to this city has done that for us. It has been the best decision we could have made.

Now don’t get me wrong, we definitely miss Texas, and of course, our family and friends. Also, very much miss real queso, breakfast tacos, and margs.

In the end though, we had grown up in Texas our whole lives, and we knew it would always be there for us to go back to. Which we will one day!

There has just been nothing comparable to taking a leap of faith, moving off on our own – where we’d know almost no one – and making something out of it. Something that was ours.

All this being said, I couldn’t help but reflect on a few favorite memories from this last year in the Midwest. We’ve been pretty darn lucky to do life here with a group of amazing humans. Sharing some of the shenanigans below!

Memorial Day Trolley // What’s the best way to show your visiting BFFs around town? Gather good drinks, jams, and friends for a night of sightseeing via light up trolley.

anniversary chicago

Beach Volleyball // Playing volleyball not only lets me pretend I’m a cool athlete, it also offers a killer view of downtown. Same with runs along the lake. I love getting to enjoy the ah-mazing weather and pretend I’m on vacation, all while staring at the skyscrapers.

anniversary chicago

Michigan & Wisconsin Getaways // E & I love to travel. A big motivation to moving was all the new places we’d have the chance to visit. In January, we headed to a cabin with friends in Charlevoix, MI – so much snow. In July, Eric and I took a weekend trip to Madison, WI – so much cheese. Both so fun.

michigan getaway

F O O D // Just like all of it. I’ve consumed more Thai in this last year than in my whole life – so many good options. Basically every sushi place is BYOB. I’ve got my favorite neighborhood pizza place. Did someone say brunch? Always down to add a place to my long list of faves.

windy city eats

Go Cubs Go // It is impossible not to get caught up in the Cubs fandom up here. We love going to the games and eating foot long hot dogs and chanting along like we’ve been around the whole time. But seriously, it’s fun being a Cubs fan, and last season we got to see them go far.

anniversary chicago

St.Patty’s Day // Did you know St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday here? Not legally I guess, but basically. The day is famous in the city for turning the river green.

anniversary chicago

Sailing // We always see boats on Lake Michigan and think to ourselves we’ve really got to find a friend with a boat. We haven’t yet – but we have a friend with a friend with a boat. That led to spending a lovely day on the water to watch some intense sailing races.

anniversary chicago

Living with Bex // Honestly you guys, without Becca this last year would have been a struggle. Her, E, and I became three peas in a pod and took on the city together. Forever thankful for this friendship. Tip for moving to a new city where you know almost zero people: find a really awesome girl friend who will make you do bur-pees, but also suggest you frequent the corner 7/11 for pints of ice cream. Here’s us being ridiculous, per usual.

anniversary chicago

Seriously, what a first year. Praising God for all these blessings. Through the good times, and in the tough, He’s taking care of us.

Cheers to us Chicago – bring it on year 2!

Days By Day

4th of July

Happy FriYAY! Getting to sip coffee from my bed this morning because I’ve got Friday and Monday off in honor of 4th of July. Four day weekend?? Yes, please.

It’s no secret life has been pretty busy here in Chicago. It has also been totally wonderful. Chicago summers, man. Words cannot describe the way this city totally transforms to this magical place for this season. I mean, it’s always an amazing place, but all the humans just thriving in the sunshine and taking advantage after being cooped up in the colder months is something else.

This is actually from last Saturday when we played beach volleyball for five hours – not some far away beach where we went on vacation.

4th of July

With that, diving into this week’s Currently – new around here? You can see some past additions of this round up here, here, & here. 🙂

{Reflecting // On how wonderful June is}

I love November through January for obvious reasons – the holidays, my birthday, & our soon to be wedding anniversary months – but outside of all that, I think June is my favorite. It holds our Engageaversary, Eric’s birthday, the kickoff to summer, and will always bring back sweet memories of my first trip to Europe a year ago.

This June was especially fun, as it marked the one year anniversary of our backpacking memories and our first summer as real Chicago residents. I also was able to go home to Texas for some wedding festivities. Eric killed it at work – I’ve gotta brag, y’all – he was assigned lead engineer for a nuclear plant design project and has been traveling to the East coast.

All in all, lots to be thankful for as I look back on this month.

4th of July

{Missing // a book that you can’t put down}

I shared a few months ago that I finally gave into the idea of a Kindle, and I was loving it. I flew threw the first book – Bossypants (SO good) – I read on it. Lately, the book I’ve been reading hasn’t been the page turner I thought it was going to be…

In my opinion, one of the best feelings is when you just cannot put down a book, or get super excited to read it every moment you have a chance. I’m usually not one to abandon books, but I might jump ship here in search of something that brings that back for me.

That being said, anyone have a book they love and can’t put down?? With trips in the coming months and a beach to lay out on, I’m in the market for suggestions!

{Pumped for // Mini-getaway with my love!}

Last minute, Eric and I decided to take advantage of long 4th of July weekend with a road trip to Madison, Wisconsin. As Texans living in the mid-west for the first time, it still amazes us how easily you can just pop over to another state for a couple days.

We all know that’s likely a no-go in Texas. When we went skiing in Colorado with Eric’s family, we did the road trip over two days. The first leg was like 10 hours…and we hadn’t left the state.

Being the travel bugs we are, we love the idea of being able to escape to a new place for a mini getaway! Looking forward to lots of cheese and brews and exploring on foot. I’m really excited about a winery a little outside the city that we’re going to tour and taste at too. See previous road trip shenanigans below.

4th of July

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend filled with your favorite people, fireworks, and all the yummy American food there is!

Days By Day

engageaversary

You guys. This moment was one year ago. I cannot believe it – my heart is still fluttering.

Today marks Eric and I’s Engageaversary! Is that even a word? I don’t know. Who cares! Any reason to celebrate, am I right??

But seriously you guys. Eric did an I N C R E D I B L E job planning this sweet surprise. I literally had no idea that he was going to propose on this trip, let alone propose in front of the Eiffel Tower.

engageaversary

Sure, we had talked about it a few months before. We knew we loved each other more than we ever thought we could love another human. We knew there was no one else we wanted to eat chips and salsa with, or run up to meet every dog in sight with, or spend hours upon hours laughing away at dumb inside jokes with. We knew we’d be getting married sometime in the next couple years, but I thought our engagement would happen towards the end of 2015 to be honest.

Once we announced it, it felt like everyone else knew though – so a big round of applause to family and friends who kept it a secret! That was one of my favorite parts post-engagement actually, hearing from some loved ones gush about how excited they were and couldn’t wait to celebrate with us now that the cat was out of the bag.

engageaversary

We’ve been so fortunate to have a wonderful engagement season of life. From traveling, to the move to Chicago, to starting real jobs, to figuring out this “adult” thing together – all while working to plan a special celebration of our love – has truly been a blessing. It’ll be just over a year and a half by the time we get married, and for us, the long engagement has been 100% the best.

engageaversary

I’ve blogged all about this incredible day and it’s one of my favorite posts ever. Did you know I had a dream the night before that we got engaged?? Crazy. Or that we were sipping champagne, as I gazed up at the Eiffel Tower for the first time ever in complete awe, just moments before? Or that the first guy we asked to take a picture of us didn’t know how to hold a camera straight…and the guy that captured the actual moment was a total rando??

I’d love to share all these details and more with you, because they mark one of the happiest moments of my life – check out the story right here! And if you might be new around here and are wondering what the heck is going on, you can check out our story too.

engageaversary

I get to marry my best friend in just a little over four months and I can’t freakin’ wait. Thankful for today, and the sweet reminder it brings of that blissful day in Paris one year ago.

Days By Day

our story

This Sunday not only marks a special day to celebrate all the amazing mommas around the world (Happy Mother’s Day, mom!) – but it’s also significant to me for a whole other reason. Eric and I celebrate four years of being together on Sunday! I can’t believe how time has flown, these past four years have been the absolute best. I could’ve never imagined love being so wonderful, or finding someone who loves dogs and tortilla chips as much as I do.

Um, something really cool about this actual very Friday?? It’s officially six months from our big day. Eeeek! That makes me so giddy inside.

I figured these exciting milestones were good excuses to finally share the story of how we met and started this shindig four years ago. Reading people’s “stories” is one of my favorite things on other blogs, and I was already writing it up for a wedding website, so it seemed only natural to make sure I shared our story on this little space!

our story

***

Before I jump into our story though, you’ll notice throughout the post I’m sharing some of my favorite photos from our engagement session with Feather & Twine. Kelsey & Talon (with us below) are unbelievably talented, kind, and such a beautiful example of what being best friends in a marriage looks like.  Fun fact: We both got engaged in Paris! We had a total blast chatting and laughing away – Eric and I truly felt as if we had stumbled across some long lost, close friends. If you’re familiar with Austin, you might recognize South Congress or the Mayfield Nature Preserve in our photos. We could not be happier with them…and are counting down until we get to hang out with this couple again!

our story

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Okay, now let’s get to talkin’ love…

So the reason Eric and I have chosen to get married just outside Austin, TX is because the roots of our story start right in the middle of this wonderful Texas capital. We lived just three doors down from each other in San Jacinto Dorm on The University of Texas campus – I was a freshman and Eric was a sophomore. Talk about meant to be – he almost chose to move off campus into an apartment for his second year!

We were fortunate enough to have been placed on a dorm floor where a group of about thirty students became very close – some will most definitely be life long friends, and there are even a few in our wedding party! Eric and I first hung out as part of this little UT family, and instantly clicked. Neither of us remember the exact moment we first saw or spoke to one another, but I do remember all the girls thinking he was soooo cute – including me! I wasn’t going into our friendship thinking of anything more than just that though – a friendship.

We started talking and hanging out more and more on our own outside the group – grabbing breakfast before class, taking long walks to explore downtown, attending Sunday church service, etc. Pretty soon everyone was wondering if this was more than just two college kids being pals, but we were pretty content with being the best of friends we had become. This continued all the year.

Come late spring, as finals were approaching and summer was just around the corner, the romantic sparks and obvious connection were no longer deniable to anyone else, or ourselves. We had a conversation about it and ended up opting to just leave things as they were to avoid ruining our friendship…which looking back now, we both agree was so ridiculous haha.

Despite these talks, the easy and natural chemistry between us continued. A couple weeks later, I invited Eric to my Texas Lonestars’ Boat Party formal. Texas Lonestars is one of the female Spirit groups at UT – basically meaning it was a chill, awesome, fun non-Greek sorority for lack of a shorter description. I could go on all day about how the group was incredible and gave me life long girlfriends, but that’s a different story. 🙂 Anyways, Eric and I had a grand ol’ time that night cruising with friends on Lady Bird Lake.

You can take a total trip back in time with me with a little then and now below – I’m honestly looking at that formal picture thinking oh my gosh who are we?!? + feeling sad about how much we have lost our tan.

our story

our story

The very next day, after meeting up  for breakfast, we headed back to the dorm to procrastinate studying for finals with TV. It was right after this that Eric asked me to be his girlfriend. He claims our impromptu slow dancing to She’s Like Texas by Josh Abbott Band on the boat is the moment it all clicked, and he knew that’s what he had to do.

Sunday morning, May 8th, will mark four years from the moment that officially started it all…C R A Z Y.

We dated for the rest of our time at UT – supporting each other,  being ridiculous best friends, growing together and as individuals, and eating a copious amount of Tex-Mex.

our story

our story

kiss garden

After graduating from UT last May, we set off to backpack western Europe for a whole month as a graduation gift to ourselves. On June 15, 2015 in Paris, Eric got down on one knee right in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was the most magical, wonderful, best surprise ever. We had just finished a champagne and sandwich picnic, got a random man to capture the whole moment, and spent the rest of the day exploring the City of Love.

I’ve blogged about that day in France and it might be my favorite post ever. You can read it here and get all the details – like the fact that Eric carried the ring in his backpack for a whole TWO WEEKS prior, through three different countries.

our story

our story

our story

Eric is the queso to my tortilla chips and I’m so darn excited to spend my life laughing, loving, and adventuring with him. Let’s keep this countdown to 11.6.16 going! Happy Anniversary, love!

 

Days By Day