Trying a new Sunday schedule…

So John works every other Saturday and this was his Saturday to work. Normally he comes home, takes a quick nap, gets up so we can go to 9am service at church, and then comes home and goes to bed.

We’re trying something new today. He says that exercise gets him energized so he is on his way home and we are going to go to the gym, come home, shower, go to the 9am service, and then he is going to come home and go to bed.

I am hoping this will work better for him. I praise God for his willingness to sacrifice sleep to go to church with me and be the spiritual leader of our family. I know we’ll get it figured out eventually but I am hoping today is the day!!! 🙂

Always in Him and with love,

These are some “exercise = energize” words…

by Nicole

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Anniversary Adventure…

So we had this amazing trip planned for our anniversary to head to San Diego, back to where it all began. Well, not really where it all began. That is another story, one too intricate to write because it just has too many twists and turns and great, amazing planning on God’s part. All you need to know about THAT story is that it was all God, He did it, orchestrated it, and made it perfect, in His timing. What I am talking about now, is going back to where we got married. 🙂 John took Saturday and Sunday off, I took Friday and Monday. We had reserved a room at the Hilton Mission Valley, thanks to our awesome cousin Gary Germroth, and we were going to be able to stay for three glorious nights.  We saved. We had $700 ready to go to pay for the hotel, food, and gas. We tried to over save, just in case. 🙂 We had it all “planned” out.

Our plan…

Friday was road trip day. We would spend 6 hours in the car talking and laughing, enjoying the scenery on the way to San Diego. John and I road trip well together. Its fun. Even when things go wrong, like we are so exhausted and just want to find a place to sleep for a couple of hours and can’t seem to find anywhere, we still get along just fine and we find ourselves laughing and having a good time regardless of the circumstances. Again, another story to share, maybe I’ll work on that blog next. 🙂 Anyhow… When we got to CA, our plan was to relax at the pool and wait for check-in time. Saturday was going to be spent relaxing on the beach and doing whatever we wanted. I had the beach towel ready to go. It is huge, a two person towel. Ahhh. The beach. Then, after a day soaking in the sun, we would head to dinner at The Hotel Del, with sparkling wine to drink and delicious vegan cupcakes from Stephanie’s Bakery for desert, reminiscent of the day we were married. Sunday would be similar only dinner would be somewhere else but equally romantic. Monday, we would sleep in, check out at noon, and head home in time for John to go to work. It was going to be 4 days and 3 nights of wonderful, uninterrupted, John and Nicole time. It was going to be romantic and relaxing. It was going to be wonderful. We planned this trip for months and I for one, was desperately looking forward to it.

The “hitch” in the plan…

The week before our anniversary, the brakes in my car went out. I knew that they were getting bad. Last time I had my car in, the man said they were at about 20%, whatever that means, and that was a while ago. When John heard how the brakes were grinding, how bad they sounded, he said we definitely needed to get them fixed before going to CA. On Saturday we took the car to Brakes Plus, the one on Baseline and Greenfield, and had the brakes fixed. They did a great job, were fast, and really friendly! I would recommend them to anyone on the mere fact that they were so incredibly friendly. When we picked up the car, they pointed out how bad the rear tires were, they were down to the metal. Well, we obviously couldn’t drive to CA with tires that bad, that would be really dangerous, so we had to get the tires replaced as well. This was a little frustrating because we had just replaced three tires about a year ago. The good news was that the three tires were purchased at Discount Tires, and they give you a warranty! I was really hopeful that we would only have to pay for one tire and that the warranty would cover the other three! 🙂 Well, I took the car in on Tuesday and was told that the warranty wouldn’t cover the damage to the rear tires because the damage was due to an alignment problem. Bummer! So… the guy at Discount told me he would look at the other two tires and see what we needed to do. Long story short was that he could cover two of the tires with the warranty so that we would only have to pay for two. Not the best news, but better than having to pay for four!! 🙂 So our total to make the car safe for our trip to CA = $700. $330 for the brakes and $370 for the tires. There went our budget for our trip.

The decision…

We had a choice at this point, use savings for our trip or cancel it. To use our savings, money that is intended for emergencies, to go on our anniversary trip seemed irresponsible. John was a great leader for us in this difficult decision. He felt that we should honor God. Although I agreed, it was still a little hard for me. I wanted to honor my husband and God, and even though I was sad, I knew John was right and this was the right thing to do. We canceled the trip. Ultimately, what mattered wasn’t the trip, what mattered was that we were so blessed! The trip didn’t define the anniversary. We had each other and we have God, Who loves us infinitely more than we love each other. We were celebrating a year of marriage and what we did to celebrate that didn’t matter. We were praising God for this wonderful gift He has blessed us with.

Our anniversary adventure…

We began the day with a drive with no destination.
We came home and John shaved Buddy, I watched, and now Buddy has a new nick-name, Buddy Big Head.
We went to As You Wish and painted a picture frame together to commemorate our first anniversary.

We then went and watched “The Other Guys” at San Tan Mall. We parked by the theater and then walked to Brio for dinner. It was a GORGEOUS night. We had dinner on the patio at Brio. The service and treatment we received was amazing and it was a very special evening. One we will never forget.

Even though this anniversary didn’t exactly follow the plan we had in mind, we had a ton of fun and we enjoyed what we have been blessed with. We praise God for the blessings He has given us. This marriage is truly a gift from God and we are thankful.

Always in Him and with love,

These are some “adventurous” words…

By Nicole

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One year ago today…

I started the day off single.

I woke up early.

I headed to the Hotel Del Coronado from down town San Diego.

I decorated chairs and put out flowers.

I put on make up, did my hair, and put on a white gown.

One year ago today, I walked down the isle towards my future husband, holding my father’s arm.

When I first saw John my heart fluttered with joy.

I took the hand of John and we said our vows, he said I do.

I said I do, over, and over, and over again, just to make John laugh.

When it was John’s turn to put my ring on, he forgot.

When it was my turn to put John’s ring on, I pretended to drop and lose the ring.

When I revealed it was a joke, John reminded everyone that his ring is Tungsten and indestructible.

One year ago today, we prayed for God’s guidance and presence in our marriage.

A sand ceremony to symbolize how two will become one, and will be inseparable, was performed.

Jeff said to John, you may finally kiss your bride.

John and I shared our first kiss ever.

One year ago today, we praised God for the wonderful gift of marriage!

Today, we celebrate one year of marriage.

Today, the excitement I feel when I see John, still makes my heart flutter with joy, but the feeling is amplified.

Today, I am married to my best friend, John.

Today, the man I knew was strong, hard working, smart, funny, and such a wonderful blessing in my life, continues to amaze me every day.

Today, I can kiss him any time I want.

Today, we continue to praise God, seek His guidance and presence in our marriage, and thank Him for the wonderful gift of marriage He has blessed us with!

Always in Him and with love,

These are some “first anniversary gift for my wonderful husband” words…

By Nicole

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Some wedding photos for your enjoyment…

A wedding album with commentary by the bride, hope you enjoy! 😀  So, in case you couldn’t tell what this picture is, it is a picture of the sign for our wedding. I know, crazy, really hard to tell, I know. But that is what I’m here for, to state the obvious. Haha. It was so fun seeing the sign when we first got to the hotel. Our wedding celebration! I love it! It truly was a celebration but really, what would have been better on this sign would have been “Marriage Celebration” because this wasn’t just a wedding, this was a celebration of John and I getting married!! I think there is a difference. It was our wedding day yes, but it was, more importantly, the beginning of our marriage, and it was the 2nd best day of my life.

The wedding was held in the Garden Patio of the Hotel Del Coronado at 5pm on Thursday, September 10th, 2009. The Hotel is located on Coronado Island, off the coast of San Diego in Southern California. The back story as to why we had the wedding at that particular hotel, when neither of us are from California (I’m from AZ and John is from HI) is that I had always dreamed of getting married there. 😀 When I was 11 or so, my mom took me to the Del for the first time and I simply fell in love. It is such a beautiful, historic hotel. Beautiful gardens, architecture, beach, ocean views, etc. From my first visit to the Del my dream has been to get married there. I never thought it would be possible, since rooms there range from $300 to $1200 a night, and because I was sure it was way out of my price range. I’m not really into spending a year’s salary on one day so I expected that it wouldn’t work out. Well, God’s plans were perfect and I was able to have the wedding of my dreams, in the hotel I had always wanted, to the man I couldn’t possibly dream up because he is better than any dream, and we didn’t break the bank!

This was my bouquet. 24 white roses. It smelled so beautiful. Ahhh. Just thinking about it makes me wish I had a dozen rozes on my desk right now to sniff at will. Shown also in this picture are our wedding bands. Mine’s the really large one… Just kidding 😀 It was really important to us that we had rings that we could wear at all times. My parents never take their wedding bands off and I wanted John and I to do the same.  I also really wanted our bands to match.  John wanted something that wouldn’t scratch or get damaged when he exercises. So that is why we went with Tungsten. We just need to make sure we don’t damage our hands or we’ll lose a finger 😛 We had the rings engraved with scripture. John’s has Ephesians  5:25 and mine has Ephesians 5:22 . If you read my About section you will see why we chose to have the symbols of our marriage engraved with those verses. 😀

Baillie, Tricia, my Mom and I made all the flowers the night before the wedding. It was so much fun. My mom and I had done research during the wedding planning months and found tutorials on how to make wedding bouquets. 😀 It was actually pretty easy. We saved so much money that way! One bouquet at a “florist” would have cost as much as we spent on all of the flowers we had for our wedding. They turned out truly beautiful as you can see. Making the flowers ourselves was hard because we had so much to do, but it was tons of fun. We had 100 white roses to work with.  We had gotten an AMAZING deal at Costco.com. We had the flowers delivered to our hotel and they were in water in my room by the time I arrived. Wow! The room smelled amazing!!! I love roses.  My bouquet was 24 white roses with white ribbon. Baillie, my maid of honor’s bouquet, Emily, my flower girl’s bouquet and the centerpieces had white roses and blue forget-me-nots. They turned out so beautiful!

On a side note, if you don’t know, my parents were amazing and such a blessing, they paid for our wedding. So you will notice a lot that I talk about what things cost. This isn’t because I am obsessed with money, it’s because it was very important to me to not spend too much and I am proud of how little we spent. Like I said, I can’t justify breaking the bank for one day, regardless of if it is my money or someone else’s. This whole thing was such a great experience. I can’t praise God enough for everything He  provided for us. My family was so wonderful. My dad was super supportive and did a pretty good job of trying to keep me stress free. My mom was wonder woman and helped me with EVERYTHING! She was an itegral part of making the wedding everything it was. She was such a big help and huge support. Praise God for my wonderful parents. We can’t do enough to pay them back for all they have done for us but we try! 🙂 We are trying to plan a trip to Hawaii for the four of us. Hopefully we can save enough to bless them for their 35th anniversary! So I got a bit off topic there but I feel it is necessary to give thanks where thanks are due.

This is my mom helping me with my veil. The funny thing is that, originally, we were going to do the wedding on the beach at the Del and I was going to wear a knee length dress and flip-flops. When we went to the Del for our engagement photos we decided the beach wasn’t where we wanted to do the wedding. It was to big, impersonal, and public. I thought that a 5 star hotel would have an area set aside on the beach for weddings, nope! Yuck. Thank God that everything worked out okay and we were able to move the wedding. (check out my old blog for a story about that whole situation) Anyhow, God worked everything out for the best. I was able to wear a beautiful gown to our wedding and wear a veil.  😀 My mom and I had so much fun dress shopping and doing the whole wedding planning thing. God really did work it out all for the best. His plans are ALWAYS better than my own 😀 He knew my mom and I needed that experience together. Praise God!

This picture doesn’t need much explanation I’m sure. My sweet mother, kissing the bride. I love this picture.

Here I am with Emily and Stephanie. Emily is my 2 year old niece and Stephanie is my beautiful, wonderful sister in law. I love them both dearly. Emily was the flower girl for our wedding. 😀

These are the ladies of the wedding. From left to right, Judy Neilon, Tamie Hall, me, Baillie Statler, Emily Hall, and Stephanie Hall. You’ve already been introduced to my niece and sister in law. Judy is my maternal grandmother. A brave woman, a strong woman, just like my mom. I am very thankful she was able to come to my wedding. She did everything she could to make it there and I really appreciate her love and effort. You’ve also seen my mom already but maybe you didn’t know her name, it’s Tamie 😀

This is my dad and I. He doesn’t smile much. He sure is handsome when he smiles. I suppose this was a hard day for him, letting go of his little girl. I like this picture but it isn’t my favorite of my dad and I, you’ll see that one later. 😀

This picture, as every picture of John does, makes my heart melt. His smile can brighten my day any time. How handsome is this man?!?! It’s okay, you can admit it, I won’t be jealous cause I know he loves me 😀

Juan, John, and Jeff. Juan was the best man and Jeff was the officiant for the wedding. Jeff is the pastor for 5th and 6th grade ministry at our church, Momentum. John and I did ministry with Momentum for a couple of years. Recently we have stepped down from the ministry to focus on our marriage. It is sad because I miss my girls but ultimately it was what is best for us right now. With our work schedules being so different we have very limited evenings together, 3-4 nights a week. When we were doing Momentum that was cut to 2-3 and it was really hard for both of us. For me, I felt overwhelmed. I felt like I couldn’t give 100% to either ministry, John or Momentum. John is my main priority so something had to give. Hopefully we’ll be back some day, God willing of course. 🙂

Nicole’s angels? Hmmm. No Charlie around so I guess they’d be my angels. I don’t know though. John is really my only angel! 🙂

Cheers!

Oh my GOSH!!! That smile! So cute. I know, he’s a man, he’s not cute. He is handsome. This is a picture of Tricia putting on his boutonniere.

Praising God. I think this is one of John’s favorite pictures. I really like it too. We really like how he is back lit, looks so angelic. 😀

Walking to the ceremony. That is Tricia in front. She is one of John’s friends and she was awesome enough to step in and be our wedding coordinator. It worked out perfectly. She was amazing and was such a huge help to me.

Here we go!!

Everyone who came to our wedding was asked to wear our wedding colors, silver and blue. I’m not sure if you saw that trend already or not. We had a very intamite wedding. 17 people including John and myself. Because of this I knew everyone would be in pictures so I wanted everyone to match the wedding.  In this picture is my brother, Matthew, and my grandma. Matthew escorted her to her seat. This is the beggining of the wedding processional.

My Uncle Jamie escorted my mom.

This is Marty and Mary McIntire. They were our pre-marital counselors. Basically, when we both felt like we knew God intended for us to meet and be married, we felt like it was too easy. So we went to Marty and Mary and said, “break us up.” We wanted them to give us the tough questions and challenge us. They tried. We had already touched on everything. Apparently it was that easy. Praise God for this divine appointment. 🙂

Matthew and Stephanie escorted Emily down the isle. She was only 19 months old at the time of our wedding so I had made a bouquet for her and Stephanie threw rose pettals. It was hilarious because you could tell Emily didn’t understand why her flowers weren’t falling on the ground too. You can see her frustration in this picture 😀 We also weren’t sure she would make it on her own so that is why they escorted her down the isle.

Aparently we were right 😀

Matthew ended up carying her bouquet for her 🙂

So this is Juan and Baillie. I guess I thought that Juan was supposed to escort Baillie up the isle but  I realize now that this was not how it was supposed to go. Juan should have been up there with John already, haha. I’m not sure what we were thinking.Oh well. Now we have this funny picture to laugh at. What was he doing with his hands?! We tried to ask him that a few months back (It is July as I write this) and he said he wasn’t sure.  They do look good though.

So now it is August and it is 2 weeks away from our first anniversary. I can’t believe that almost a year ago, this was my view coming up the isle. When I saw John in his suit… Oh man… He was amazing. I remember seeing him and thinking how HOT he looked. I look at him today and can’t believe how blessed I am. He is my dream, only, I could never dream of someone so perfect for me. God is so faithful. God provided me with a wonderful husband whom I adore and admire more and more every day.

Here I am. I am glad my dad was smiling in this one. 🙂 I asked John what he was thinking when he first saw me. He said something about me looking beautiful and then some other silly stuff that I don’t think he was really thinking but who knows. 🙂 I love how he can make me laugh so easily.

Giving the bride away.

Taking his bride.

Baillie, my beautiful cousin. As I am writing this, she has started college at University of Arizona. I can’t believe that she is in college now. I remember when she was born and I could hold her in my arms. I remember babysitting her and her brothers. She is the closest thing I have to a little sister and I love her so much. Gosh she is so pretty. I love that my wedding was so beautiful and that my maid of honor was so gorgeous.

Here is Mr. Juan. 🙂 I don’t know much about him but I do know that John cares about him a lot. From what I do know, he is funny, kind, and quite most of the time. I am really glad he was at our wedding and was there to support John and I.

If you look closely, you can see John reaching back to Juan to get my wedding ring.

The funny thing about that was that he actually forgot to put my ring on. 🙂 Jeff started talking to me about what I had to do for John’s ring. Poor John.

When I turned around to get John’s ring, apparently you could see his embarrassment or frustration, I’m not sure what that look is. 🙂

As you can see, I dropped John’s ring. In actuality I just faked it. 😀 While Baillie and I were waiting for the wedding to begin, I was thinking of ways I could make John laugh. This is what we came up with.

I think it was effective, it made everyone laugh.

Reading Ephesians 5.

We did a sand ceremony instead of doing a unity candle. We used blue and white sand, along with sand from the beach at the Hotel Del. Now we have it on display on a shelf along the stairs in our home. You know, we don’t look at it often enough and really think about what it means. All that sand, now combined, and you can never separate the colors again. It is like us. We have become one. God has given us this amazing gift and two have become one.

Prayer

Our first kiss ever!!!!!!! I’m not sure if you all know this, I find that people are still surprised when I tell them, but John and I saved our first kiss for our wedding day. We wanted to honor God with our relationship and we knew that we needed to wait to kiss in order to do that. Many people questioned our reasoning and were worried that not kissing before we got married would be a bad thing for us. We were faithful though, and we knew that everything would be perfectly amazing because this was a divine appointment made by God.

JOY!

This is how I felt, the ENTIRE day, just full of joy and excitement. 😀 This picture perfectly shows how I felt.

Strike a pose.

Praise to God! We’re married!

I have more pictures to share, but it has taken me so long to write this and post these pictures, that I feel I should post this now and share more later. I apologize for taking so long. I really did mean to post this sooner but apparently, being a new wife, having a new, full time job, starting a new master’s degree, and trying to set up a home, makes blogging difficult. I started this blog about 2 months after we were married and now it is August. Like I said, our anniversary is in 2 weeks, less than 2 weeks actually, and this has been the most magnificent year of my life. God has truly blessed us and we are looking forward to many years to come.

Thanks for reading!

Always in Him and with love,

These are some “this blog took me forever” words…

By Nicole

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Trying a new blog…

So I know quite a few people who use wordpress now for their blog and I thought I would give it a try.

You can link to my old blog here.

Depending on how it goes here at wordpress I may switch completely so the blogger web page won’t get updated much.

Thanks for checking in! 🙂

Always in Him and with love,

These are some “trying new things” words…

By Nicole

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