Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wedding | For the love of gold


Shout out to MINTED for sponsoring this post.

The house has been rather quiet in the mornings.
I find myself slowly crossing off all of the to-do lists that encompass the few days before the wedding and the move.
Ordering our cake, finalizing the timeline, finally getting my music to the DJ...it all can be overwhelming.
I knew that in order to help work through some emotions and just have some fun I needed to start creating the vision of what I wanted the reception tables to look like.

When I think of my wedding day and what I want it to encompass I find myself drawn to four words: God-centered, whimsical, fun, and GOLD. Seriously, please do not skimp on my gold love affair. I also want things to be simple. Nothing super fancy or overly complicated - but classy, spunky, and refreshing.
As i unrolled the kraft & gold foil table runner I found myself cracking a huge grin. THIS is what my guests are going to see when they hang out in our reception. These table runners will be a part of the day that will forever change my life. As cheesy and insignificant as that may seem - it just made my heart lift a little bit. This is one less thing for me to make, to loose sleep over, to worry about - I was able to just log onto MINTED and order something that makes a huge impact without having to stress about it.
EASY PEASY...oh, and gold.

Speaking of stress and loosing sleep and worrying about details - I was able to cross off yet another important detail using MINTED. After looking through all of the amazing options for programs I found myself drawn to the delicate ampersand. Being able to just type in all of my information into pre-designated sections made it so easy on my frazzled brain and i may or may not have given a squeak of joy when i clicked submit. I also really liked the fact that i was able to select for proofing from the professionals, because let's be honest, i'm a horrid speller and having other adults look over my words was like a nice warm hug.

So now that you've had a small look into a few wedding day details - what are some of the details you remember from your own wedding, or from the weddings of your friends? Oh and if you're in the season of planning a wedding (or helping plan a wedding) I would definitely suggest checking with MINTED first - they have so many great details that can help lessen the stress!



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Monday, January 16, 2017

Home | Charleston - Den


It's really hard for me to believe I'll be saying goodbye to living here.
I know it will always be there, you know with my brother moving back in, but for it to no longer be the place i come home to every day....it's just weird.
So as i've begun going through each room and purging items and figuring out what i'm packing to take with me to Maine and what i'm leaving to just get in a year or so when we (hopefully) come back around this way, i knew i wanted to document these spaces.

This is my den.
It's evolved over the 7 years i've been living here on my own and it has become the central hub for chill nights, board games, gatherings, movie nights, and the perfect spot for deep conversations. I've cried in this room, laughed, fell in love, and done countless DIY projects.
It isn't perfect, and there are still at least 10 things i would do to update it, but this is how it stands today. (well, right around Christmas ha!)

I can remember countless summer afternoons listening to records while mom, my brother, dad, and i all cleaned the house - or lounged around. I remember movie nights and building sheet forts, i remember being a child in this room, a teenager, a young adult, and now...well...an adult.
I'm sure all of my home posts from Charleston won't be SO sappy - but i just got all emotional when i really started thinking about how much this room means to me.



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Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday | Links


Y'all.
Can I be real for a second? I wanted to have a nice post ready for today, you know maybe something soul splitting or hilarious or even eye appealing...but i'm too swamped to even breath right now and I just don't have the time this week. You want to know the worst part? I feel like i'll loose readers if I don't keep posting. It's so stupid...the crazy thoughts that roam through your brain when they don't need to.

>>>><<<<

+ Just in case you needed a reminder today.

+ Bacon wrapped brussel sprouts = yummmmm!!

+ This silk spiked flower crown is just truly amazing. I would love to do a photo session with it asap.

+ Since I'll be moving to Maine - this may have to be on the menu soon! Creamy Lobster Gnocchi.

+ Mint hot chocolate for the win.

+ Reading corner for days.

+ Since i'm trying to not eat too many carbs right now - this recipe has me drooling for days.

>>>><<<<


Have a lovely Friday! <3 

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thoughts | New Seasons With Old Fears


I recently started a new devotional, I was feeling incredibly stagnant and I just needed something to help breath some fresh air into my lungs and light a spark within my heart. Have you ever been there? Just needing something to bring out the passion for the Lord again?

I got my hands on Jesus Always by Sarah Young and have been slowly working through it and feeling my heart unwind from being so completely bound. I was reading through the devotional for today and began to journal out my thoughts when this tug on my heart started whispering for me to post it. I was going to come up with something else for today - possibly another travel post or a wedding related post, but I felt like this was something i should really share.

So here is a look into my journal - a small little piece of where I truly am in this journey and what all my heart is feeling. I love personal posts...the vulnerability attached to them; so heres to embracing the vulnerability.



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"Moving from a comfortable season of life into a new situation can feel scary - especially to those who dislike change. However, I want you to trust Me enough to cling to Me and follow Me wherever I lead, wherever I choose. Your times are in My hands." 
- excerpt from Jesus Always

I have been in a comfortable season of life. I know myself, i know my singleness and my daily schedule. I know how I fill my time and how I waste it. I know my friendships and the places I enjoy going. I know Charleston - my hometown, the beaches and the drive to Edisto.
This has been my pattern - my worn path.
Taking the first small step off the path was scary. Quitting my job and really focusing on what was coming next was terrifying; but I can still see the worn path next to me. It's as if i'm walking one foot in and one foot out. In just 17 days I will be jumping into a completely unknown abyss.

The not knowing, not being in control, is scary for a heart like mine.
These are the seasons in life where I know my faith is either grown or stunted. I want it to be a season of growth. I want to trust the Lord with my fear and my controlling desires. I want to find home in Him when I have no idea what the future will hold. I want to find comfort when my fears start to add up. What if I don't make new friends? Or my home friends no longer invest because of distance? Or we don't find a church? Or I get down because I miss my family?  So many fears roaming in my heart looking to devour my joy.
I don't want that. 

Not in the slightest. 

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1

I'm about to close one season and start a new one.
As scary as it is - I am also so incredibly excited.  

New adventures, new stories, new experiences all with Eddie.
Even when this fear starts to settle in and I realize how much I am not in control of what happens next - there still has to be a recognition of the joy that is being intertwined.
So here I am, laying it all before you in hopes that getting it out will not allow it to continue in it's festering.

Lord,
Please continue to remind me to find solace in You. You are my place of comfort and direction.
When I focus too much on the fear of the unknown remind me of the joy and love and the trued adventure Eddie brings to my life. Help me to hold fast to Your promises and to take a deep breath and let go of the things I can't control.
Help me to be free.
 



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Monday, January 9, 2017

Portsmouth | Night Time Fun


When Orlando & Emily came into town to visit Eddie & I's new place we wanted to take them down to Portsmouth. It's quickly becoming one of our favorite places to walk around town, view the shops, eat the delicious food, and see all of the pretty buildings.
With Eddie's work schedule we're mostly free to do things while the sun sets which means i'm getting even more used to the freezing temps (hello, my southern butt can hardly handle it!), and attempting to take pictures at night.

Two of my most favorite shops we've discovered so far are Gus & Ruby and Off Piste.
They have this whimsy, modern, off-the-wall AWESOME feel full of beyond amazing items. I've joked with Eddie that whenever I go into Portsmouth it would probably be wise to leave my wallet at home.

Exploring this new city, is opening my eyes to so much.
Eddie and I will have many more times in front of us where we will be exploring new cities and making new memories. As terrifying as it is to be leaving the home I've known for 28 years and to move to a new city and make new friends...it's also incredibly freeing and exciting. There is so much of this world I want to see and so many people I want to meet and talk to.

& total side note (since that's my jam) how cute are those mountain earrings?!?! <3



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Friday, January 6, 2017

Wedding | Floral Decor


psst: This post is sponsored by AFloral. They are awesome and sent me some silk flowers to use in my wedding and share with my readers!  

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 
― Claude Monet


Now that I have a little more time on my hands I've been working on some wedding stuff. It's actually really cool to see some of the dreams I've had in my mind and the images I've scoured on pinterest merge together into something that will help make our wedding even more aesthetically beautiful. As I was hanging the garland and cutting the stems of the peonies I kept thinking, wow I'm getting married.

It's surreal to really stop and think about how life will be changing and new adventures will be unfolding. As I wrestled with the wires to shorten the stems I started pondering all about the stuff I've walked through in my life; all of the hurtles that I have crawled over to bring me to this point. I thought of past loves and heart breaks, of my parents and how I wish they were here, of school and the lessons I learned. My mind was going a thousand miles an hour and I just continued to arrange the flowers into the garland. I am sure that I will have many moments in the future where I stop to take stock in where I am within our new adventure, but these few moments before the wedding just seem a little extra heavy.

I've walked through most of my twenties single and now I'm about to walk into a marriage. There will be lots of changes and lots of moments to remind myself to be selfless and not fall into the selfish trap. There will also be lots of beautiful moments; moments of growth and laughter and full of joy. As I placed the flowers into the garland I found myself focusing on all of the joy that will be ahead of us. Y'all I am beyond excited - I don't even feel like i can put it into the right words!

Oh and just in case you're wondering - this is how I'm looking at decorating the huge mantle in our venue.
Woohoo for big statement pieces that you can use over and over and over again! ((yes, these are silk flowers! AND the tall gold lantern is also from afloral!)) I'm already dreaming ahead of how to use this in our new home!
(& in case you're wondering, the painting is mine (it isn't finished) and eddie built the frame!)



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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 | Blog & Life Review


Well, I meant to hit publish back in 2016 - but hey, life happens. So here we are, January of 2017 and I'm going to recap all the awesome and craziness that happened in 2016! Whew, let's get going shall we?

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milestones...
This year was full of HUGE moments that will forever stay in my heart. Between going to visit friends all the way in Colorado (that was a seriously huge step for me and my anxiety), to exploring Maine, to learning more about myself and getting engaged! To say 2016 was a big year would be an understatement. 

// OMG we finally completed the back hallway (can i get an amen?!)!!! 

// I contemplated what it means to do more.

// When small moments whisper big truths.

// I felt like it was time to give y'all a backstory on Eddie & myself. 

// God started to prepare my heart for seeing some friendships hit their ending. It's still a struggle.

// I reminded myself to take a moment for creativity.

// This random summer night was magical. For me it was because Eddie was getting to spend more time with my family and for Eddie it was when he asked my grandfather and brother for their blessing to ask me to marry him.

// My brother got a puppy! <3 

// I took a moment to look back at a situation i had viewed so skewed for so many years. 

// We got ENGAGED! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

// You. Are. Enough.



travel...
...ahhhhh wanderlust.
Looking back - i traveled a lot more than i realized this year. I think it was like i almost didn't always count Maine - since Eddie lived there and i was going to see him not traveling "just to travel"...does that even make sense?!


// Hiking in ceasar head state park - part one & part two 

// Exploring York, Maine - which will now only be like 20 minutes from me! 

// Travling to Acadia National Park

// Starting to explore our new city - Kittery, Maine.

// Exploring Twin Lakes in Colorado.

// We went into this sweet little town in Colorado, Leadville.

// Salem, Massachusetts in October = bucket list item scratched off!

// The Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado! <3


blog...
This past year was really really interesting for Taking Steps Home. I think i got away from my roots a little more than i meant to. I got caught up in just posting to post and not taking my time to really think things through. I think i forgot that this blog is my voice and i can write from the depths of my heart regardless of who reads it. I really learned a lot about who i am NOT as a blogger, i'm still figuring out the who i am part. It will all take time.  

// My brother took a day to post about what he believes love is all about

// That dang numbers game will get you every time. 



fitness...
2016 just knocked me on my butt and kept me there. I started off strong - really into my workouts and eating healthy...and then if i can kind of pin point the time *cough* dating eddie *cough* i started to slack. Not because we are un-healthy together - in fact we love cooking healthy meals and going to do activities together (like hiking!); but more so because i was finally with someone who loved me for my soul - not my body. Even right now when i've put 10lbs back on he says i'm beautiful and captivating. 

// When weight-gain happens.

// I believe in cheat meals - and this one was amazing.

// These protein (and gluten free!) pancakes are still some of my favorites!


// I shared some ways i attempt to stay healthy at a 9-5 job. 



2017 goals...

// Embrace grace. With all the changes happening this year - I need to offer myself, Eddie, and others grace. With change comes frustration and joy - that beautiful ebb and flow - and i hope for grace to be interlaced always. 

// Make healthy choices daily. Not just with food but with God, love, relationships, work, etc. 

// Keep the Word of God deep within my heart. I'm not sure why, but i've just been floundering recently and i need to dig back into the Bible with fervor. 

// Take risks. This will be a non-traditional year for me! I won't have a full-time job, i'll move twice, and will hopefully grow my photography and blog business. 

. . . . . . . . . .


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