it's hellos and long goodbyes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I have been extremely inspired by reading the love stories of various couples on the internet. It's the most special thing to be able to read the chick flicky romancey goo and have the knowledge that all these people actually lived these events and are happily married growing old together. So much better than random movies that I watch that all kind of have the same plot anyways.

Here are some love stories I have really enjoyed reading, late into the night:

Elm Street Life
Oh, My My My
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
Take Heart's Love Story series (there are a TON of shorter ones here)

Recently, as I read stories like this, my eyes are filled with tears of gratitude. I have one of these stories. I am twenty one years old and I know and love the man that I want to grow old with. We get to plan our vows and celebration together, we get to pray for our future children together, listen to Song of Solomon sermons together in an appropriate manner, and talk about the features we want included when we one day build our forever home.

This morning I cried in the car on my drive home from the Fed Ex store (glamorous errands!) listening to a song by Joy Williams called "I'm in love with you".

I remember listening to this song with my dear friends Elizabeth and Kristen in Liz's bright lime green room back in high school, giggling and dreaming of what it would be like to have a husband. Five months from today, I will have woken up for the first time as Mrs. Ben Strader.  I will be marrying the boy who I've admired since I was seventeen. This time in life is truly surreal. 

I've been waiting all my life for this morning
Just to wake up next to you holding me
And your head is resting gently on my shoulder
Like you're whispering to me
I'm in love with you
I'm in love with you
So glad I found you
I'm in love with you
When we're leaving dreams and rolling back the covers
All at once we're getting ready for the day
It's when you look at me in the mirror while you're shaving
Before I go on my way, you say
I'm in love with you
I'm in love with you
You're the one I choose
'Cause I'm in love
Love is joy and love is pain
It's kissing in the rain
It's doing dishes when it's late
Isn't it, baby
It's the art of compromise
It's hellos and long goodbyes
It's the picture of our lives
Isn't it crazy
So I'll call you when I get to where I'm going
And I'll tell everyone we know you said hello
And without fail they'll ask me if I miss you
Of course I do, you know I do
'Cause I'm in love with you
I'm in love with you
You're the one I choose
I'm in love
I'm in love with you
I'm in love with you
I love you just the same as I did the day
I fell in love with you.

Our Engagement Photos

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eek! Such excitement. I have literally dreamed of taking engagement photos for years. I think because of all the time I spend on photography blogs, I had built up pretty high expectations for what those photos would finally look like!

When beginning wedding planning, the first detail I wanted to nail down was our photographer. I have been so pleased with our decision to choose Caroline Rector of Caroline Joy Photography to capture our engagement photos and our Wedding Day! After following Caroline's blog for over a year, I felt like I knew her and she was just as precious, friendly, and accommodating as I could have thought!

We took the photos in Austin, Texas, at Barton Springs- and we were BLOWN AWAY by how comfortable and fun taking pictures was. I expected to feel shy about all the PDA, and worried about how I was standing and how it would look in the photos. I soon forgot about all of those things and we genuinely had such a fun evening loving on each other, laughing and chatting with Caroline, and getting a look at the incredible city of Austin!

Here are some of my favorite images from the day:

Ah! I am so incredibly blessed.

See Caroline's favorites here.

Summertime Avocado Salsa

Friday, July 27, 2012

Here's the thing about recipes.. these days about 98% of them come from Pinterest. Apparently, the other 2% come from trashy reality tv people.


My mom made this delicious Avocado Salsa this week after seeing it on Live with Kelly. Gotta love Kelly Ripa. Again, unlikely recipe source. This came from "the Situation" from Jersey Shore and I have literally been eating it with a spoon or on any chip or cracker I can find. SO delicious! 

Here's the recipe: 

2 Ripe Avocados (peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes)
½ C Fresh Lime Juice
1 Large, Ripe Tomato (diced) or Grape Tomatoes (diced)
Small Can of Corn (drained)
½ Red Onion (chopped)
¼ C Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
½ t. Salt
1 T Sugar
3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk lime juice, olive oil, sugar and salt in a bowl until blended. Add avocados, tomatoes, corn, red onion and cilantro. Chill in your fridge for a while and then serve! YUM IN THE TUM! :)

Original, full recipe found here

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