Wedding planning has been stressing me out lately.  The sheer magnitude of putting on a wedding hit me one day and made me panic just a little bit.  I’m not one of those women who has been dreaming of their wedding day since age 5, nor am I one of those women who enjoys being a hostess.  I have no idea how to plan a party, let alone an event as important and large as a wedding.  On top of that, I really don’t like being the center of attention.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shy nor am I afraid to speak in front of a crowd.  I just don’t like being the “main event”, if you will.  I’m very private when it comes to my personal life.  After I acknowledged these two personality quirks, I questioned my sanity in wanting a good old-fashioned wedding.  What was I thinking?!?  What’s wrong with a Vegas wedding?  But it’s too late to consider that.  Too much money has been spent, invitations have been ordered, plane tickets have been purchased.  I’m over-the-moon excited to marry my best friend and I didn’t want to put a damper on our special day (or the days leading up to it) by having a bad attitude about it.  So instead of fretting so much, I decided to talk to God about it:

Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I know this Bible verse by heart, but getting it into my thick head is usually the problem.  Immediately, God gave me peace.  He reminded me that first of all, He is in charge.  Whew, good thing because my life would be a mess without Him!  Then He reminded me that the people who will be coming to our wedding are friends and family.  Each one of them is special to us in some way.  It’s not like we’ll be the center of attention in front of a bunch of strangers.  They’re all loved ones who care for us and are there to support us.  Same goes for my hostess anxiety: our guests are loved ones.  They are there to celebrate with us, not to critique and complain about every little detail of the wedding.  It’s going to be o.k. because at the end of it all, we’ll be married!  I’m so thankful that God is in control of it all.  I’m not going to lie:  I’m still much more excited about just being married to Eric than for the wedding day itself, but I think that’s o.k..  Especially now that I have been given a better perspective on our wedding day… We’re just so blessed to have so many people who want to celebrate with us!

I do complain a lot about winter.  I’m not a fan of being cold, and it lasts soooo long.  This poses a problem because I love being outside.  Despite this, there’s just something about the first real snowfall of the season.  It’s almost magical.  It invokes childlike feelings and wonderment.  I woke up this morning to an inch or two of the white stuff, and big fluffy flakes floating slowly to the ground.  I decided that since it wasn’t bitterly cold or windy, it would be a perfect day to enjoy being outside.  I bundled up and walked Pasha to my local coffee shop and got my favorite foufou coffee, then we went to the park (I know it’s illegal to have dogs at the city parks, but since I think that rule is stupid and there weren’t many kids running around, I ignored it).  It was such a quiet and peaceful walk.  When we got there, I was so happy to just watch Pasha running around and enjoying herself.  Every time she plays in the snow, it’s like it’s her first time.  I think I can learn a few lessons from my dog about really living in the moment and finding the simple pleasures in life.  She is consistently, truly happy because she never worries about tomorrow, and she never worries about how goofy she may look.  She just embraces the here and now.  And aren’t those ideals that God teaches us to value?  Childlike wonderment and acceptance of His sovereignty are something that we should all strive for, but many of us (myself included) fail.  Sometimes I think dogs and kids really are the smart ones 🙂  All in all, it was a fabulous outing.  We played, we watched a family go sledding on the hills, we watched a child being pulled on a sled by his dog, we listened to the sounds of the last high school football game of the year, and we came back to a warm house.  I love the first snowfall.

Doggy joy

I absolutely love being active.  I love doing things like mountain biking, hiking, walking the dog, and cross county skiing.  Unfortunately, I have a lazy streak as well.  That means if I don’t push myself, my natural default is couch potato.  Embarrassing but true.  This has been a big problem for me lately.  I haven’t been going to the gym regularly for at least six months (probably longer), and it was glaringly obvious the other day when my brother and I went biking.  I couldn’t ride as long as I used to be able to, and I was so tired that I was starting to feel nauseous.   I was so frustrated with myself that I wasn’t able to do the activities I love because of my laziness.  Then the other day when I was trying on wedding dresses, I looked in the mirror and wasn’t happy with the weight I’d put on.  I realized that’s going to be a problem since I want to look my absolute best on my wedding day in less than 10 months.  I decided I need to make a commitment to myself to workout more consistently.

One of my biggest problems is staying motivated.  I’m fine for the first month of a new workout, but it takes a lot to keep me motivated.  I was looking online for helpful tips, and I found this article that inspired me.  I agree with everything the author wrote, but I know I have more personal motivators that will work even better for me, so I want to write my own list.  Hopefully this will help keep me accountable as well 🙂

  1. I want to look good for my wedding!  I don’t want to look back at pictures and be embarrassed.  I want to be able to be proud of the hard work I put in to looking good.
  2. I want to feel good.  There have been many periods of my life where I made working out a priority.  And I have never felt better physically.
  3. I want to be able to do my favorite activities without hating them.  When I’m out of shape, I hate my favorite activities because when I do them, I’m in pain!  There’s nothing worse than getting back into shape.
  4. I want to run a 5K next summer.  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  My brother will probably make fun of this one.  I’ve signed myself up for the Heart and Sole 5K for the past two summers with the intention of getting in shape, but I never put in enough effort to actually do it.
  5. I won’t have to “get in shape” ever again.  Getting in shape sucks.  Big time.  Staying in shape is so much easier.
  6. I want the health benefits.  I finally found the man I love more than anyone in this world, and I’d like to have a long, happy, and healthy life with him.  I want to be able to play with my grandkids someday.  I want to be able to sleep better.   I want less stress and more energy.  I could go on forever…
  7. I want to remember how blessed I am.  I’m taking this one from the article I linked to previously because it’s so true.  God blessed me with a body that can move easily and has no major problems or injuries.  It feels like I’m being ungrateful if I don’t take good care of it and use it to the fullest extent that I’m able.

I will probably have to refer to back to this post often when I’m feeling lazy.  Does anyone have any motivators they use in their own lives?

Just for funzies, I’ll leave you with this picture.  It makes me laugh every time.


As I write this, I am drinking from my last jug of sun tea for this year.  I made it the other day, sadly succumbing to the fact that it was likely the last hot day of the year, and therefore could be the last day hot enough to make sun tea.  That makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry a little.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fall.  I love the crispness of the air, I love the colors of the trees, I love Halloween, I love the clothes I get to wear, and I really love football.  But in Montana, fall really only lasts a couple weeks then we’re stuck with bone-numbing, snot-freezing winter for the next six months.  A logical person would wonder “Well, why do you live there?”.  Reasonable question.  The main reason is that I love being close to my family.  They’re weird and sarcastic and hilarious.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world and it makes me happy to be able to see them often.  A close second is Montana summers.  They’re incredible. In the dead of winter, when I think I just can’t stand another spirit-crushing day, I think about hiking in Glacier, camping in the mountains, biking with Pasha, road-tripping to Missoula, checking out historical sites like Virginia City, boating, baseball games, and barbeques with friends,  and I realize that hell has not, in fact, frozen over as it has seemed for the last few months.  I just have to suck it up for a little longer and I get to experience paradise when the weather warms up.

Eric, Jaci, Scott, and I with our dogs, camping on the Boulder River this summer

The stream by our campsite in the Beartooths. I mean, come on!

Nothing better than waking up in a tent on your birthday, and then coming outside to see this. I have the sweetest fiance ever!

This past summer has been especially eventful.  So many wonderful things have happened:  Eric proposed in June, my brother got married and I gained a sister in August, we got to watch two of my favorite musicians live (and got to meet one of them, as you can read here), we got to see tons of family that we hadn’t seen for a while, we nearly ran headlong into a moose while hiking, we got to do lots of camping, road-tripping, and were generally “tourists” of our own state .   Unfortunately, there was a tragedy also.  My poor dog Charlie of seven years was taken away from us in a drowning accident a few weeks ago.  That’s been very hard to deal with, but I’ve been slowly coming to terms with it.  I guess events like that tend to snap me back to reality.  No matter what happens, life keeps moving on.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve just had the best moment of your life, or the worst, time keeps marching.  It’s made me especially grateful that everything is in God’s hands and His timing is perfect even if I don’t understand or like it.  It also makes me joyful to think that someday, when we’re in His kingdom, we won’t have to worry about these highs and lows – the rollercoasters of life.  Knowing that makes the tough stuff just a little easier to deal with.

So, here we are, with the last little bit of summer hanging on.  You better believe I will keep doing my summer things until there is no getting around the fact that I can’t walk through the snow in my Chacos.  Because that’s how I get through the transitional periods: denial.  Does anyone else have these problems?  I hope everyone is dealing with this change a little better than I am!

I realize this isn’t necessarily a wedding related post, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for the past couple days.  I get a daily devotional sent to my email called “The Upper Room“, and they sent this Bible verse yesterday:

Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

-Luke 15:11-32 (NRSV)

When I was little, I heard this verse and couldn’t help but think “Well, that’s great for the prodigal son, but what about the one that’s been good the whole time?”  I thought it wasn’t fair, in the same way that I always thought my brother got more ice cream for dessert than I did and that wasn’t fair.  Now I read it, and I am so thankful for the grace God shows us.  The things that stick out to me about this passage are 1) God’s judgment and justice are perfect.  Whether or not we understand or agree with His reasons doesn’t matter.  2) No matter how much or how little we think we deserve, if we come to Him, He will give us much more than we really deserve.  God will forgive us for everything if we ask for it.  I know that in my life, I have made more mistakes than I can even remember so knowing he will forgive me is an incredible feeling.  Some days I forget how blessed I am, and I love reminders like this.