Diaper Bags, Decisions, and Dollar Signs

Thanks so much for all your input earlier this week in regards to my diaper bag quandary. Quite a few of you chimed in to tell me what issues you’d faced with your own diaper bags, what qualities mattered the most, and what you liked to carry around with you in your own bag. (You can see all the comments and feed back here.)

Whew. There’s a lot to learn and wade through when it comes to shopping for baby, so I appreciate you all opening up in hopes that it will ease and guide my decision-making.

It’s not really that picking a diaper bag is a huge ordeal or life-threatening or any of that. It’s just that there’s so much to take into account with a new baby and I want to make sure that when we make purchases, that we’re making them wisely rather than on something that we’ll end up discarding or disliking soon after.

A few years ago, I learned about that firsthand when I went shopping for hair straighteners. I remember going to Target and picking out a $30 or $40 hair straightener. With daily use, it ended up dying after a year. So I went back to target and purchased another straightener, this time $40 or $50. It still ended up dying about a year later. Finally, I polled my friends, read reviews and bought a $100 straightener. It’s lasted me for more than 4 years now, effectively costing me only $25 a year.

Sometimes spending more up-front can end up costing less over the long-run. That’s kind of the same mentality I try to sort through when it comes to almost any spending decision: How can I make the most of this purchase?

Anyway, so that’s the approach I’ll be taking as we start making our way down this newfound buying-for-baby road, which is why I really appreciate you all taking the time to chime in on share your own experiences with me. It helps all the decision-making that goes into it a ton easier to have the firsthand accounts!

In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the diaper-bag suggestions post you offered up, in summary:
  • Yes, you definitely need a diaper bag. And you'll probably be better off buying a bag that's intended as a diaper bag, versus a random bag you have in your closet.
  • It doesn’t have to be huge but it will probably need to be bigger than you expect.
  • Pick one with lots of pockets and organization options, so that you can find things quickly without too much digging around.
  • Some people preferred backpack style vs. messenger-bag style. Which makes me interested in getting a convertible one that can do both.
  • Make sure it’s waterproof. There will be spills!
  • Plus, you can read all the other comments everyone shared here.
If you have any other insights (whether it’s to add more to the diaper-bag discussion or just about other best-buy baby purchases), I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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My Fourth Month of Pregnancy

“This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine…”

"This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…"

I am thinking of this Sunday School sing-along song right now, as I read back through some of the comments on the post about our answered prayers for getting rid of the mice that were in our house from last winter.

Comments like: “I love this story! Such a great reminder that God cares about every detail of our lives!” And, “I love how big and how small God is; big enough to speak our universe into being and small enough to fill a single heart. I always thought felt silly praying for ‘little’ things, but I'm not starting to realize that praying about those little things gives us faith for the ‘mountains.’”

As I ponder those comments, it just so happens that my Bible beside me is open to Psalm 22, which I’d flipped open to look something up for a Sunday School lesson I’m teaching. It’s the Psalm that Jesus quotes on the cross, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

Here, David is begging God to rescue him from his enemies. In verse 22 of the Psalm, he writes, “Then I will declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among all your people.”

There were times when I struggled with this verse because of one little word: “then.” I thought it was like a bargaining chip. “Okay, God, if you rescue me, then I’ll praise you.”

But as I read this in light of that post and those comments, I realize that I don’t believe that’s the case.

Instead, it seems like it's just a mere fact: Like saying, God, when you are active in my life, I will tell everyone about it! It will be an outpouring from my lips that I cannot contain! I will share my testimony of your love and grace and mercy in my life with everyone around me.

And I feel like that is one of the beautiful opportunities that this blog of mine provides: a place to do that, to “declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters.”

And not just the big things—like getting healed of a skin disease. But also the little things—like an answered prayer about having mice leave our house. Sometimes people can scoff at those little things, chalk them up to coincidence or roll their eyes at the fact that I would pray about a silly little mouse when I can just hire an exterminator.

Honestly, those are the excuses I have to fight when I post some of these testimonies.

But in those moments, I am like David, who cannot help but point to my God say, “Look! Look what he has done for me! Look at that love, at that mercy, even over a silly little mouse!” There is that yearning within me to share these testimonies about all that the Lord hath done in my life through this little blog of mine.

And that’s where I go back to that Sunday School singalong song: “This little light of mine…”

In its original context in Matthew 5, Jesus gives the Beatitudes and then launches into teaching about salt and light, saying: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

So it is really talking about how our actions and behavior will be “lights” for the faith that is alive in our hearts. As James says, “’I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.’”

Yet, as I think about this passage in, ahem, light of the mice and my answered prayer and the appreciative comments on that post, it got me thinking about light from another aspect: How our testimonies of what God has done in our lives give light to God’s glory, and how we must not hide them under a basket. As the Matthew passage says, “Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.”

This blog, humble as it may be, is a stand for me, a place for me to put those testimonies up on display and shout out, “Look! Look what God has done!”

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Diaper Bags: Necessary or Not?

As most of you know, I’m currently pregnant with my first baby (rounding the bend on the halfway point!). I know there’s still plenty of time to get my ducks in a row before the baby comes (I’m not due until late February), but of course I’m buzzing with questions now and, as a first-time mom, have been doing a fair amount of research to get ready.

But of course, I know that you all are a treasure-trove of information, whether you either have kids of your own, have helped raise siblings or are master babysitters, so I wanted to start posing some of my questions (from big to small) to you to chime in and share what you think on different subjects that I've had a hard time figuring out for myself.

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what things I want to make sure to get in preparation for the baby. As a minimalist (we don't even have a television!), I've been trying to streamline these things and not fall into that total consumerist trap of "I have to buy everything for the baby!"

However, on the flip side, I realize that there are some things that can really make your life easier. So today I'm wondering about...

What do you really need in a diaper bag? 

While I know that all you really need is love for a baby, I also know I'm going to want something to carry some baby essentials with me (a couple of diaper changes at the very least) when I'm out and about.

But, I don't really expect to be out and about all that much, since I’ll get to be a stay-at-home mom and we only have one car. Consequently, most of my outings are either going to the grocery store (gone from home for about 1.5 hours, max) or to church (which can be up to a 5-hour affair, depending on where my husband and I are volunteering that day).

Because of that, it makes me wonder: Given my lifestyle, what do I really need to carry around with me? Do you really need a devoted bag, or will a large purse do the job? How big does it really need to be? (It seems to me like so many bags are excessively huge!) How long do you actually use one? What qualities end up being the most useful in a diaper bag?

(You see my dilemma?)

The only thing I really get is that any diaper bag should have a wipe-able interior for the inevitable leak or spill (especially because I plan on cloth diapering). It seems like having a backpack style would be really nice since I'll already be carrying a baby on my hip. But beyond that, what do you need for a lifestyle like mine? Or should I grab a nice tote bag and call it a day?

So let me turn it over to you: What would you advise or suggest? Do you have any smart solutions or suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

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Explore the Archives: December 2010 on Life Blessons

I'm still plugging away at manually creating a browser-friendly archives page for all my past blog posts, month by month. Here's a look at what was going on in my life, way back in December 2010. That month, I talked about my holiday decorating plans, answered some questions about my homemade shampoo, and kicked off the Testimony Series where different people opened up and shared about how God has done incredible things in their lives. I hope you enjoy getting to take a little step back in time with me:

Archive Posts from December 2010

I'll share another post in a couple of weeks with the next installment of archives, but you can always jump ahead and browse all the posts in the archive.

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{ photo source }

My Fourth Month of Pregnancy

(In case you didn't know it, I'm currently pregnant and am documenting the pregnancy each month. See last month's update here.)

THE BABY. Saturday (9/22) I'll be 18 weeks pregnant, so, according to various pregnancy apps I’ve downloaded, the baby is currently the length of a bell pepper, measuring about 5.5 inches long and weighing 7 ounces. As the baby has continued growing, I finally have been able to feel his movements, starting the past couple of days. I know some people say it feels like butterflies or gas or tickles, but I'd describe it as a little bubble bursting or a slight flick against the inside of my stomach. The other night I felt it and had my husband put his hand in the spot and he was able to feel it, too, which was pretty exciting! 

HOW I’M FEELING. It comes and goes. During weeks 12-15, I had the surge of energy that they comes with your second trimester and my nausea abated considerably, compared with my first trimester. Around week 16, though, I started getting bombarded with fatigue and the nausea came back, not as bad as it had been but it did cause me to vomit for the first time this pregnancy. I think I figured out that it was because my body needed more food. That’s been something that’s been hard to adjust to, having to eat a lot and not necessarily when I feel hungry. I’ve realized that when I start to feel icky, it’s likely because my blood sugar is dropping, so when that hits, I go get something to eat and usually that perks me up, which has been a godsend of a realization, let me tell you! Speaking of food…

EATING. My eating habits have changed considerably since my pre-pregnancy days. I’m now eating about every couple hours, usually carrying a snack or two with me when we head out for errands or to church. There are still things that occasionally make me gag, but not nearly as often as they were in the first trimester. No cravings to note as of yet, though I still do have some aversions (most notably:  raisins). I have noticed that my desire to try any experiments in the kitchen has seriously nose-dived, which has caused me to take a break from my Adventures in Trying New Foods monthly challenge. The idea of okra and figs the past two months just didn’t do anything for me, so I took the initiative and skipped ‘em. Hopefully that will bounce back soon!

SLEEP. Around this point in pregnancy, they recommend that you stop sleeping on your back and stomach and start sleeping on your left side. This has been really cumbersome for me (typically a back sleeper) and has made sleep more restless while I try to stay comfortable. And I also usually end up getting up once during the night (usually between 4-5am) to go to the bathroom, have a drink, and sometimes get a snack. I'm actually getting used to it, so it isn't too bed. Plus, I know it's something I'm going to have to get used to, either now or once the baby's here, so I'm learning to just go with the flow and take naps later if need be.

PHYSICAL CHANGES. A bump is definitely starting to form and is particularly noticeable later in the day or when I wear shirts tighter around my stomach. I've also been quite aware of my body as it is growing, being able to feel my stomach and hips stretching out to accommodate the baby. It’s pretty interesting how all these different elements fit and work together to give the baby the room he needs. I've also noticed my skin and hair is drier than usual, so I've had to adjust to that.

CLOTHES. Thanks to that stretching and moving, my belly is indeed growing and I become aware of it every time I try to put on certain pairs of pants. By 10 or 12 weeks, a lot of my pants were already complete no-gos. Now, at almost 18 weeks, there are about half a dozen non-pajama pants that I can still comfortably wear (most accomplished by employing the snazzy rubber band-through-the-buttonhole trick!). As far as tops go, I’m pretty lucky that a lot of the clothes I already gravitate toward are maternity friendly with empire waists or tunics that flare out at the bottom. So far, I’ve avoided buying any maternity wear, but I would eventually like to pick up a good-fitting pair of maternity skinny jeans and some heavy-knit cardigans to get me through the winter (and that I can hopefully keep wearing in the future, too!). But that’s all that’s on my radar for now.

COMING UP NEXT. On October 11, we’ll get to have an ultrasound where we might be able to find out the sex of the baby. Currently, we do intend to find out, but I know that sometimes the baby doesn’t always cooperate with those things so if it ends up that the doctors aren’t able to be certain, I’ll be fine with that, too.

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Sweet Corn Salsa Recipe

Tacos have always been a mealtime staple around here, usually making a weekly appearance on our dining room table.

We’ve experimented with the different salsas we buy, testing out ones made with everything from mangoes to garden veggies. One of our favorites that we came across was a corn chili salsa from Trader Joe’s, and we always added a little spoonful of it to our regular tomato salsa.

The thing I loved about this corn salsa was that it gave the dip a sweet kick, a nice twist on your typical tex-mex. We went through jar after jar of this until I turned it around, looked at the ingredients and thought to myself, “I bet I could make that myself…”

After doing some research online (and a couple of trail and errors in the kitchen!) I finally hit the jackpot with an easy corn salsa recipe that is every bit as good as our favorite storebought variety, but made in my very own kitchen.

2 cups corn
1 cup onion
½ sweet bell pepper
½ jalapeno pepper
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground mustard
¼ tsp. Pepper
¼ tsp. cumin

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan on the stove, and heat until almost boiling. Let cool and then transfer into a resealable container. Store in fridge for up to a month.

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Some of the Parenting Books I’ve Read So Far

One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant was start pulling books out of our collection and out of the library that I wanted to read as we start this journey into having a baby and raising a family. There were quite a few of the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”-type books that go into the physical aspects of pregnancy and the birthing process.

But the books I wanted to share here were some of the ones that look more at the day-to-day elements of raising kids, whether they’re intended as parenting books or not. They're not for everyone, but I enjoyed them (particularly during the weeks when I felt like I could do nothing more than lie in bed!).

Here are my thoughts on some of the first parenting-type books I’ve read through, so far:

Bringing Up Bebe: I first read about the book long before I was pregnant and added it to my reading list purely because I’m interested in that sort of thing, looking at the “nurture” part of raising kids and the impact it can have. Turns out, the book came available at my library soon after I learned I was pregnant, so I was eager to read it before my time limit was up. I didn’t have a problem reading it quickly, though. In the book, an American woman who has moved to France with her British husband talks about the culture shock of raising a child in France—specifically, how the two backgrounds approach parenting differently. But it’s also pretty entertaining. She’s a funny writer, talking about her own clumsiness as a parent and the embarrassing antics her kids put her through. Where applicable, she included scientific study that may or may not back up the different approaches, along with plenty of anecdotal experiences. There’s plenty in the book that I thought sounded like things I’d like to try with our little one (assuming he’s cooperative!), others that are totally not going to happen, and others that, who knows? I really enjoyed the book and whether or not you adopt any of the “French” tactics or not, I still thought the humor of it made it a worthwhile read. I still laugh remembering some of the parts in the book!

A Love that Multiplies: I know a lot of people think the Duggars are crazy, and I certainly don’t agree with everything they believe or do. However, I do think that, from what I’ve seen watching their show for a couple of seasons, they’ve done a really good job of raising kids who appear to be respectful and well-behaved, traits that are important to me, which is why I was curious to read this book. It gives background on some of their parenting practices, although a lot of it is like a Dear-Diary version of what happened when their youngest baby was born prematurely and how they weathered that, spiritually and emotionally. I had already seen a lot of that on the show, so that was kind of boring to me. But later in the book is a lot more information on certain parenting practices they employ that I marked as some good ideas to try sometime in the future. Like the others, there’s also stuff I wouldn’t replicate, but I think that’s par for the course when it comes to parenting advice. Pick and choose what works for you and your family, and then move on.

The MoneySmart Family System: One of the things my husband and I have talked about is that we want to make sure to teach our kids how to handle money wisely and from a young age. But how do you do that? So when I got the chance to review this book from Booksneeze, I figured it could be a helpful resource. Their approach to teaching your child about money rests on having children from an early age earning their own money through a variety of different areas, whether it’s completing chores, finishing schoolwork, completing daily tasks, or showing initiative. Basically, they choose to replicate the real-world approach to money (in that it’s earned) and by tying the money as a reward to skills or behavior that they wanted to encourage in their children. Depending on what you want to reinforce in your own household, you could mix up the areas covered, such as tying them to spiritual aspects (listening and participating during Bible time, for instance), which was not an area included in their matrix but is something that is important to me. For the areas they do cover, they explain different ways to apply these tactics to children of different ages and what that looks like or what to expect. One of the things I really liked about their approach was that they put an emphasis on having children complete the tasks with a good attitude. For instance, when it came to schoolwork, it wasn’t required that they get straight A’s, but that they do the work and assignments with a good attitude. I really liked their approach to dealing with allowance vs. chores and I think it’s one I’ll strongly consider as our children get older.

Pray Big for Your Child: I am not officially done with this book, but praying through each of the sections on a daily (or near-daily) basis. I really like it because the author's premise is that we shouldn't merely ask that God keep our children "safe" and "healthy.' God can do far, far more than that, and he wants to. So shouldn't we be asking him for that, for all that he wants for our kids? He breaks it down into dozens of Biblical items and goals that we can pray for our children, from having a love for God's Word to developing godly character traits to learning how to use their talents for his glory. It is really helpful in breaking down what can be a huge amount of specific prayers into smaller chunks that you can work through, day after day. 

Are there any parenting books you'd recommend or are reading? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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The Latest from Vanity Fair, Plus a $100 Giveaway

This a sponsored review from BlogHer and Vanity Fair®

In July I got the chance to partner with Lily of France to show off some bras they’d sent me and share some of my professional dress tips for those who work in the creative industry.

Lily of France’s parent company, Fruit of the Loom, was so pleased with the response you guys had to that post that they wanted to pair up again to show off some more of their latest products, this time from their Vanity Fair® brand.

First off, they've released a new Modern Coverage line of bras, which means that they’re cut and shaped a little differently from the traditional bras. The whole purpose behind these bras is that they’re as invisible under your clothes as possible (which you’ll remember is a biggie for me!). So, they’re cut a little skinnier so that there’s less chance that your bra might peek out from beneath a V-neck top, for instance. And they’re made out of a really smooth material that skims over your body so that it won’t pucker beneath even the lightest weight blouse.

Each of the three bras in this new line are a little different: The Vanity Fair® Advanced Support Underwire Bra (pictured above, top left) counts as my favorite because the entire thing—even down to the straps—is constructed of a super silky material that makes it uber comfortable, the perfect everyday bra that you can easily wear all day long. The Vanity Fair® Look Lifted Underwire Bra (pictured above, top right) has some lace detailing on the band and a couple of tiny rhinestones on the front that jazz it up. And the Vanity Fair® Front Close Underwire Bra has the clasp in the front, so that if you don’t want the hooks in the back to show, you’re set.

Vanity Fair also sent me a trio of panties from their Illumination® line, which features a silky and super-comfortable material that makes panty lines unlikely. The underwear comes in a variety of cuts, depending on your needs, including Illumination® Hipster (a full coverage pair that is my favorite of the bunch), Illumination® String Bikini (fashioned so it won’t ride up on you), and Illumination® Hi-Cut (which sits higher on your waist with a comfortable elastic band, making it a pair that I imagine will come in quite handy as I continue on in my pregnancy!).

Plus, like last time, they want to give one reader the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, which you can put to use picking up some of these new bras and panties or for anything else that strikes your fancy!

To enter to win the $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Vanity Fair, Visit the Vanity Fair on Facebook page to see the styles, then leave a comment on this post telling me which bra you like the most.
Sweepstakes Rules:
This sweepstakes runs from 9/10 - 10/7.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
No duplicate comments.
The Official Rules are available here.
Be sure to visit the Vanity Fair brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Exploring the Beauty of My Backyard: September Edition

When we bought our house last November, it was the interior that sold us. (You can see a sneak-peek at what the house looked like when we first bought it here.) We loved that the outside was filled with tree after tree, but all the leaves had fallen and hidden the rest of the yard beneath a blanket of fallen foliage and pine needles.

So now that we are rounding the bend on almost a year of living here, it's been like a secret garden to see what pops up as each season segues into the next, to see what has been lying hidden beneath the surface.

Back in February, I spent an afternoon exploring all the natural beauty that was hidden throughout my yard. And then in March, I shared an update of the new things that had sprung up. In June, I looked at the new sights that had come to pass as summer was heating up.

Now, about three months later, there's still more popping up! I love the fact that even though spring, traditionally the season when we celebrate all things made new, is long past, there's still one thing after another showing up around our yard.

Here are some of the new sites we've been pleasantly surprised to find spring up around our yard most recently:

We had some chrysanthemums come up a couple of months ago, but when the heat shot up, they stopped flowering. Now that temperatures have tapered a bit, the rest of them have been unfurling a few pretty buds. Once they brown, I'm hoping to harvest the seeds to plant more for next year!

This is pretty much the only kind of "grass" that is growing naturally in our yard, known as liriope or lilyturf, which has been throwing up pretty flower stalks the past few weeks. It's a really hardy grass that lasts through the winter and is known for spreading so I'd like to transplant some of it to the more bare spots in the yard to bring in additional greenery.

But the biggest new sight that's made an appearance in our yard recently has been a slew of mushrooms! All shapes and sizes and colors have been spotted:

I'm also pleased to report that the compost bin I started back in late June is going really well! I've been faithfully adding to the bin every week or so (adding plenty of "browns" each time) and turning the interior about once a month. And it hasn't been smelly or attracting flies at all, even in the Atlanta heat, which was my biggest concern.

Much of the refuse has broken down quite quickly (probably owing to the hot temperatures), although when I turned it the other week, I did note some corn cobs that might take awhile. Also, a couple of fruit seeds (probably from an apple core or the like) had sprouted in there, so it seems the mixture should work out well for spreading around our yard next spring!

How are things faring in your yard? Any new surprises lately?

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Our Love Story: Becoming Husband and Wife

(This is the story of how my husband and I met and fell in love. If you are just now jumping in, you can catch up on last week's post or start back at the beginning.)
Over the course of this Our Love Story series, I've been looking back at how my husband and I met and fell in love. To give you something of a timeline of everything that's happened so far: We met in June, started dating in August and dated long distance for the next nine months. During that time, we had our share of ups and downs, but through it all, we became more convinced—even after less than a year—that we wanted to be together. Like, get married.

To some, it might seem that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and that we were letting our emotions rule our heads. I understand the sentiment and the fear, but the truth is that there was more at work in this relationship than just me or him. I truly believe that from the very beginning, God was at work here, too.

So in May, after nine months of dating with a 16-hour car ride between us, my husband asked me to marry him. By this time, we had gotten to know each other very well through our daily phone chats, which weren’t just limited to how you spent your day but also what you think about this aspect of faith or how to deal with this dilemma or that hope. We also had gotten to know each other through even the conflict that comes hand-in-hand with relationships.

Through it all—the ups and the downs—we knew that this was the real deal. We saw in each other things that made us both want to be better people, to love God more deeply, to have a more humble and compassionate spirit. In some ways, we were very different (I talked a little bit about that here), but we saw in each other complements—that we had so much to learn from one another and be inspired by and be challenged by.

So that night in May, when my husband got down on one knee, I said yes. (After inquiring multiple times, "Are you serious?" because I had convinced myself an engagement wouldn't be happening for a few more months and was actually shocked it was happening! Plus, I'd also gotten upset at him earlier in the evening so the fact that he still proposed even in spite of that added to the shock.)

As I’ve said all along, this relationship was nothing if not humbling for me. How he could keep loving me after the things I said or the way I behaved just was proof to me again and again that this man really practiced what he preached. He loved a compassionate God, so he showed compassion. He loved a forgiving God, so he forgave.

It was truths like that that made it easy for me to say yes to him and be ready to marry him. Ready to marry him, like, tomorrow.

But of course, that’s not how weddings work. They take time and planning. And so even if you’re ready to get married tomorrow, you usually don’t. You print out invitations and buy a dress and make cute little crafts and have everything look picture-perfect.

So since tomorrow wouldn’t do, we settled for ten weeks. (If you're doing the math, we got married just a few weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of our first date and only a year and a couple weeks after the first time we met.)

I think a lot of people probably thought we were crazy for that, too! But for us, we were simply ready. It wasn’t a wedding we cared about, but a marriage and a life together that we were after. It’s kind of what we’d been after all along; neither one of us were dating for the fun of it. We were doing this thing because we thought it had potential, and for us, that potential all along had always been marriage.

That was just over three years ago. And now we're getting ready to add even more love to the union with our baby-on-the-way!

It’s thrilling now to look back on all that’s happened between us and to see how the Lord wrote and directed this love story of ours from the very beginning, when it seemed like all I could do was put my foot in my mouth and make a fool of myself. But of course, God is bigger than that and he always has a way of working these things out, whether it’s overcoming our own mistakes or hundreds of miles of distance.

And here we are today, three years in and it keeps getting better every day. Thanks, one hundred and ten percent, to the grace of God who cares about every detail of our lives, even who we fall in love with.

Thanks for reading along in the Our Love Story series. You can catch up on all the posts in the series here.

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