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!

***

{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

wedding part I

I’m taking a deep breath as I sit here beginning to write about Eric and I’s big day. It seems like a big project because I’m so passionate about capturing the details, but I know having these memories written down will be so worth it.

My mind jumps from one moment to the next as I smile, laugh, and then tear up, all before smiling some more thinking about how it was truly my most favorite day ever!

E & I planned the whole celebration ourselves, with the support of some incredible vendors along the way! The party planner in me truly fell in love with the process. I know some couples say wedding planning was stressful or caused arguments, but even in planning a Texas wedding from Chicago, that was thankfully not the case for us.

wedding part I

So all that being said, to do the best day ever justice, I’ve decided a series of posts makes the most sense. Up first, Wedding Part I: Getting Ready + The First Look.

This day was a real life dream, and I so hope you enjoy reading about it as much I did writing it!

*****

{Getting Ready}

We got married just outside of Austin, in a small town called Dripping Springs. I originally grew up in the Houston area, and E is from Dallas. Since we met while attending UT, Austin was our place and right in the middle of it all.

On Wedding’s Eve, the girls and I stayed overnight at a hotel near our venue, where we did hair, make-up, and sipped mimosas all morning. The incredible Makenzi Laine helped some of us get all dolled up. Having her calming presence with me to start the day was a blessing. I was completely in love with my hair/make-up!

wedding part I

All week, the forecast kept switching between scattered showers and clouds – I had my fingers crossed the weather would cooperate. It rained a bit in the morning, which I was fine with (rain is good luck on your wedding day I hear!), but I hoped it’d go away once it was time to get this show moving.

When it was time to check in, we made our way to Memory Lane (ML). I can’t rave about this venue enough – every person there was so amazing and helpful throughout our planning. Our day was actually perfect, and largely in part because of them.

wedding part I

We wanted our venue to have everything in one place to avoid traveling between locations. ML had it all – a gorgeous outdoor ceremony site, next to a beautiful wooden reception hall, and right across the big ranch house we finished getting ready in. The house doubled as post-wedding accommodations for our groomsmen and bridesmaids.

The boys has spent the night in Austin and arrived first, heading to the groom’s suite attached to the house to get dressed. The ladies arrived next, dashing up to the second floor bridal suite to change and add finishing touches. Eric surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet awaiting our arrival.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

I loved these getting ready moments. It was so fun to laugh with my girls and bounce around in our robes.

These beautiful ladies are my family, friends, and some of my biggest inspirations and supporters. To have them alongside me in these minutes leading up to our first look will forever be one of my happiest memories!

wedding part I

wedding part I

During this time, E and I read cards and opened gifts from each other. He had been eyeing a Daniel Wellington watch for sometime, and I knew it would be the perfect piece for our wedding day.

E gave me my first set of real pearl earrings years back. They’re blush and he had handpicked them in Hawaii. I knew he’d gotten a third one then as well, but we never really made plans for it. On my wedding day, the gift I opened was the pearl set in a gorgeous rose gold band.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

After this, my mama and sister/MOH helped me get dressed. I opted to just change with everyone there, rather than walk out afterwards. I’m not one to be shy, and couldn’t bear to part from anyone!

I will forever treasure these special memories Feather & Twine (F&T) captured of them helping me slip into my dress and put on my jewelry. I’ve raved about Kelsey (last month’s #girlboss!) and Talon of F&T before – they’re beyond talented, funny, and felt like our long lost friends when we first met about a year ago at our engagement shoot.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

And of course, E got all snazzy too! *still swooning over these photos*

wedding part I

wedding part I

{First Look}

It was finally time! E and I were back and forth in the beginning as to whether or not we wanted to see each other before the ceremony. After chatting more with Kelsey and Talon, we decided a first look was something we definitely wanted – I’m so thankful we did!

It ended up being one off our favorite, if not our favorite, parts of the whole day. Having fifteen minutes to ourselves (with F&T and David, our wonderful videographer, of course) to freak out about everything finally happening and to soak up all the emotions…there’s just not a moment that compares.

The weather was cooperating – the sky was overcast and the light was beautiful. Kelsey and I made our way side by side through the grass, and I approached E from the back, embracing him with the tightest hug just before the big reveal.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

We laughed and talked and gushed over each other as our friends snapped away. I’ll never forget these feelings.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

Eventually, clouds began to roll in and the sky began to turn more gray.

I’ll never forget how sweet and detailed Talon was, not wanting to stop David and Kelsey from documenting, but counting down the seconds to the very moment he knew it’d began to rain according to his phone! He was spot on, and quickly whipped out a big clear umbrella.

At this point, we’re all laughing and hurrying as gracefully as possible back up to the house. I’m so glad we’ve got some snaps from this. If you would’ve told me this was going to happen two days before the wedding, I would’ve been worried.

In that moment though, nothing could feel wrong.

wedding part I

{Counting Down to the Ceremony}

The rain began to come down hard. Our families and wedding party gathered in the big house, chatting and waiting to see if it would let up for the ceremony to start in a half hour.

Unfortunately, it didn’t. Guests began to arrive and the ML staff ushered them into the dry warmth of the gorgeous wooden reception hall.

Kelsey, our day-of ML coordinators, and I began to discuss how to proceed –

Do we move the ceremony inside? How much longer could we wait on the rain so that we could still have time for photos after? Would it even stop?

wedding part I

I had no clue how to predict the rain or to know what was best! I remember a brief moment feeling overwhelmed and saying “What do you recommend? I’ve never gotten married before…Wait, where’s Eric?? I need to ask him what he thinks!”

This was another moment I was really thankful E and I had seen each other already.

He was able to come up to the bridal suite (making a ridiculous dancing entrance the resulted in screams and cheers) to help sort everything out. We all talked more and set a time when we’d make the final call. If it was still raining, we’d move the ceremony into the reception hall.

wedding part I

wedding part I

wedding part I

Spirits were easily kept high with jokes, more pictures, and lots of chatter. I expected to feel stressed, but I felt so at peace with all my people around me.

I was marrying my best friend today! No matter what, it would continue to be the perfect day.

And then, in a matter of seconds, the rain stopped and the clouds cleared. Sun showered into the room and graced the scenery outside with warm light.

Everyone jumped up. Our coordinators gave the signal to wipe down the outside seating and get us all ready to go.

It was time. We were doing this, people!!

wedding part I

*****

Whew, I knew Part I would take some time to write up, but I’m smiling from ear to ear. I have this little diary of the day and I’m so happy to be sharing it with you. So, if you’re still with me, props to you, friend!

New around here and want more? You can read about our engagement in Paris and the story of how we met.

Can’t wait to share Part II with you…hint hint the ceremony may or may not have involved a double rainbow!

Days By Day

married life rocks

Wowow well a lot has happened since my last post – the biggest thing obviously being that Eric and I are finally married! It’s been so awesome to soak up every moment of the last few weeks, from the best wedding weekend ever to our first one back home in Chicago as newlyweds.

Married life rocks so far.

That beautiful photo up top is a sneak peak from our talented and wonderful videographer, David Le. I cannot wait to see more! *internal screams*

We’re headed back to Texas again tonight to do what we do best, bounce around to as many places as possible in the shortest amount of time. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. It means we’re getting to see lots of people we love so much.

married life rocks

I really can’t wait to write about all the wedding things. Sorry in advance, but actually not sorry, because it’s our wedding and I’ll never get over how perfect it was. To that point, just having more time to blog in general now that all the planning* is over will be so wonderful.

*But also I loved wedding planning so plz pick me if you want help. JK. Or am I?*

For now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos I’ve been sent of our big day so far, and our week long trip in paradise that followed. Aka Jamaica.

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

We rented an open air photo booth from Pixter Austin and looooved it! At the wedding & took some photo booth snaps? Digital gallery here – I’ll be uploading them soon and you can snag them for free. 🙂

Below Eric and I pose with our incredible photographers turned friends, Kelsey and Talon, of Feather and Twine!

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

married life rocks

All original MARRIED AF gear by the lovely Taylor of The Daily Tay! We got so many compliments – check out her shop here.

Wishing you and your loved ones the happiest of Thanksgivings! It’s been a year full of the most incredible moments, and some very challenging ones – for all of us I’m sure. But we’re still here celebrating and persevering through it all! For that, I am thankful.

Now to pack all the loose sweatpants so I can stuff my face tomorrow, who’s with me?

Days By Day