This past weekend, my brother got married! It was so exciting to see him and his new wife make their vows to each other surrounded by our families, and on the top of a mountain no less!
They got married at sunset at the edge of a peak on the Rio Grande Village Trail in Big Bend National Park - how rad is that? We all hiked up the trail in our sun dresses, Chacos, boots, etc. and gathered around the happy couple as the sun cast gold ribbons over the river. It was absolutely stunning.
It was a long 8 hour drive for us to get there, and we wished we had more time to explore the park. Unfortunately, we drove down the morning of the wedding and had to drive back the next morning to be back for work and school on Monday.
We definitely want to go back again when we have more time to spend there! Daniel and I aren't super experienced hikers, but we enjoyed our trip to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon and we like trying our hand at it from time to time.
Nevertheless, the trip was well worth it, and we're so excited for all that's ahead for my brother and new sister-in-law!
I don't know about you, but when the weekend rolls around I am always looking forward to spending some quality time with my husband. He's in grad school and I'm an instructional aide, so we have to get creative to keep our date nights thrifty.
When the weekend is approaching and you're looking to make plans with your love, check out these 7 Date Night Ideas!
1. Game night
My husband is a board game fanatic. We have a closet dedicated to his games, so when we get the chance to spend some quality time together, we often put a game out on the coffee table and play in the living room. It's fun, cheap (or free if you already have games), and is great for a simple and relaxing night in.
You could couple game night with an easy dinner like pizza or a treat like ice cream! Game night is also a great double-date idea.
2. cook Together
Speaking of pizza, one thing that's always fun to do with your partner is cook. In college my husband and I loved cooking together at my apartment. It was cheaper than dining out and gave us something creative to challenge ourselves with.
You may already cook most nights, but there are plenty of fun recipes that you may not have tried. Make homemade bread or try your hand at making pasta! Endless possibilities.
3. Local Garden
If it's not too late in the evening, head to a community garden, local greenhouse, or farmer's market and pick out some fruit, vegetables, or plants that you like! I'm always itching to have lots of greenery around the house when spring hits. Even if you don't actually get anything, it's fun to smell the flowers and look at all the pretty fruits and foliage.
You may be thinking that sounds like something you would've done in college, but why not now? Take a blanket (and maybe a picnic?) and find a nice spot at a park. If that feels a bit too "hopeless romantic", take some lawn chairs! If you live in the city and it's just too bright out to see the stars well at night, you could opt for watching the sunset instead. Either way, it's nice to spend a little time outdoors.
5. Dessert & Coffee
A great evening date, especially spur of the moment, is to go out to a restaurant just for dessert and coffee. You could get a cheap dinner or eat at home and then go out and splurge on a delicious chocolate lava cake or apple pie with ice cream. Dessert dates are just the best.
6. Browse books
One of our favorite places to go is Barnes and Noble. We love hanging around at the coffee shop and browsing books (and board games).
Go to your favorite book store together, pick out something you've been dying to read, and snuggle up at home with your new books. You could make it more exciting by picking the other persons book for them.
7. Play Tourist
There's probably some restaurant or museum your town is famous for that locals rarely go to. Play tourist for a night and actually go there! Plan ahead and hit up your towns popular attractions. (Example: We live in Waco and haven't even been to Magnolia Market yet!)
Do any of these date night ideas spark your interest?
What other great date night ideas do you have?
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic, but this season has me thinking a lot about how much I absolutely adore my husband Daniel, how great the beginning of our marriage has been, and how truly excited I am for all the adventures ahead.
Today I wanted to share a little bit about our winter wedding, which went as perfectly as I could've hoped for and I am still dazzled by.
Since we got married in December, we decided to make the wedding kind of wintry and had burgundy, white, black, and dark green as our colors. My fantastic and talented friend Carol made my dreams come to life by decorating the place beautifully with floating candles, Christmas lights, cranberries, and eucalyptus branches.
I wore a cream gown, Daniel wore a black suit and his Star Wars tie, my bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses, and his groomsmen wore white shirts with burgundy ties and black pants.
Our photographer was Melissa of Through my Lens Photography, and we couldn't have been more pleased with how the photos turned out. She really met all of our expectations, and my mom's. Daniel and I are not the most photogenic people in the world, but she managed to make us feel comfortable and take some beautiful photos of our day
We had our reception catered by a cute local place called 2nd Street Provisions. They made a really delicious mushroom chicken pasta with bread sticks and salad.
We also served hot chocolate, coffee, and sparkling grape juice. My favorite touch was the coffee sleeves my sister Sara and I spent forever decorating.
We had a super delicious buttercream cake with frosted cranberries catered by Sweet Creations along with a Star Wars-themed red velvet cake for Daniel, which was totally my mother's idea! I hope the cake tastes just as good in 10 months when we eat a frozen piece on our anniversary. (What a weird tradition!
For the ceremony we went short and sweet with a mix of traditional vows and a bit of an egalitarian slant. We had a scripture reading, foot washing, some vows from Ruth, semi-traditional vows, and exchanging of rings. I almost cried during our vows, but I made it through!
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at our winter wedding. We are so thankful for how beautiful our wedding day was and for all the friends and family who were able to share it with us.
On Friday we'll be celebrating both Valentine's Day and 2 months as a married couple. I can't wait for all that lies ahead for us!
So I wouldn’t necessarily site Urban Dictionary as a particularly reputable source, but in this case I’d have to say that its definitions of “baby fever” will suffice.
I think I can say that my diagnosis is clear. I definitively declare that I have baby fever, and I’ve had it since I was fifteen.
And to make matters worse, this baby fever has only heightened since the chances of actually having a baby became possible when I got married in December.
Unfortunately, this baby fever poses a bit of a problem because my husband and I have agreed that it would be pretty impractical to have a baby before he graduates from seminary in the next 3-or-so years.
Since being a graduate student is a pretty full-time commitment for him, along with his part-time job at the university’s library, I have a big responsibility to help provide for us while he gets through school. At the moment, that looks like substitute teaching, but hopefully soon that will look like full-time teaching.
Alllll of that being said, Daniel has this huge dream he is striving towards before we consider starting a family. Me, though… one of my biggest life dreams is to be a mom! Please don’t misunderstand – I have lots of goals for myself as an individual and dreams for Daniel and me as a couple, but being a mother is legitimately something I have always wanted and look forward to very much.
That’s also not to say that Daniel doesn’t dream of being a dad, but he has a very tangible, present life goal ahead of him that will be much easier to accomplish before we have kids. My biggest goal before children was to graduate from undergrad and become a certified teacher, which I did (yay!). I have other visions and hopes down the road, but none of them have to happen before we have children and a lot of them actually can’t happen until we get through this season of our life with Daniel being a student.
And I’ve gotta say, I really miss being a student. I mean, I was a student for 15 years of my life! That’s a long time. Granted, the latter 3 ½ years were a lot different, a lot more challenging, and a lot more growing than grade school. I miss the routine, challenge, goal-oriented mindset, and social aspects of college.
So baby fever is raging!
In the end, though, these circumstances have got me thinking about what short-term, smaller goals or projects I want to accomplish before having children. A lot of them truthfully aren’t that child-sensitive (I could very easily put them off until we have little ones running around), but crafting up some smaller dreams has given me something to focus on while Daniel pursues his current big dream.
In fact, I’d say this blog is one such dream, even though it wasn’t one thought up for the express purpose of baby-fever-distracting.
Take a look at my “Adventures Before Baby” list!
(Keep reading for more ideas on how to combat baby fever!)
So far I have been working a lot on improving my Etsy shop. With student teaching and planning for our wedding my senior year of undergrad, I unfortunately let it fall to the wayside in 2017. Now I’m back with a brand new fervor, and I’m really excited to see how it will grow and change over the coming year.
I have also started writing a book (!!) that I hope to finish this year.
I haven’t taken up cross-stitching, planted a garden, recorded my songs, or started writing a devotional with Daniel, but it’s just the beginning! I have plenty of time to take on these projects as the time comes.
I’m really glad to have some of these plans underway, as well as other projects that have just sprung up over time, like this blog.
Here is a list of other adventures and projects that just might curb the baby fever:
Do you have any projects keeping your creativity flowing in this season of your life? Anybody else have baby fever? Hopefully some of these ideas will help you out! I’d love to hear from you!
Maybe you haven’t heard, but I totally definitely married my very best friend one month ago (!!!) Not to be cliche, but our wedding was beautiful and magical, and I honestly couldn’t have hoped for it to go better. I haven’t written a post about that yet, but I’m going to get around to it!
Update: Here's that post about Our Winter Wedding!
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a bit about our lovely honeymoon at the Grand Canyon!
We decided to make it a road trip, which made for a 16-hour drive stretched over two days, plus three nights at the Grand Canyon, and another two days back. We like to listen to a lot of different kinds of music, as well as podcasts, and we packed some good snacks, so we enjoyed the ride.
We started out in a little town in Texas where my parents live and where we had our wedding. It took us about 9 hours to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico where we stayed for the night and where we saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which was super rad!) We stayed at a very cheap hotel that night, which we admittedly decided not to do again (ha!), but it saved us some money for the rest of the trip.
On a friend’s recommendation, we also stopped in the little tourist town of Williams about an hour away from the canyon where we strolled around some shops and had a burger and milkshake at an old-school diner. It was very cute and worth the stop!
When we finally made it, we were pretty pleased with The Bright Angel Lodge, where we stayed for three nights. It was right on the South Rim of the canyon, so we woke up bright and early the next morning and walked just a few feet to the edge. It was absolutely breathtaking!
That day we enjoyed strolling around the top of the canyon where all of the touristy things were, like gift shops and museums. The views were incredible, the shops were cute, and we took a lot of pictures. We had lunch at the lodge, which was cozy. Later we caught up on Stranger Things then went into town to get some snacks for the week.
That night we walked just a little ways down a trail head to sit in a little nook and look at the stars. The sky was just so clear! Unforgettable. The next morning we went down to that same nook with hot coffee, lots of layers, and a blanket and watched the sunrise over the canyon. We also enjoyed seeing a buck saunter up the trail and stop right in front of us!
Since we were totally ‘wowed’ already by the views from the top, we had a seriously good time when we hiked down the Bright Angel Trail on our third day. We put on some layers, packed a backpack, and headed down. We stopped at a rest house on the trail and had lunch and a thermos of hot tea while chatting with a nice Australian guy we met, then we went back.
We only hiked three miles in all, but we are not experienced hikers whatsoever, so it was plenty for us. The hike back up was killer! Obviously it was uphill, the whole way. We laughed to ourselves as we passed cheery, gung-ho people on their way down the trail. "That was totally us an hour ago. Turn back now!"
Not going to lie, the thought of getting to see the Indian Gardens nine miles down sounded pretty tempting, buuuut, that wasn’t really happening for us. (Maybe someday?)
The morning we left, it was snowing, which was honestly the cherry on top of the whole trip. We got a few more Christmas gifts at the gift shop, snapped some pictures of the snow, and prepared for the long journey home. While we were really happy to be home and were so ready to start our new life together, it was bittersweet to leave the beautiful scenery and relaxing environment behind.
We hope to go back for an anniversary someday and/or take our future children there for a vacation. I wouldn’t mind going back in the winter again when there aren’t so many people and it’s not scorching hot. It was perfect!
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? I’d love to hear about your travels!
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Kindergarten teacher
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.