The Date Night

We wanted to have a date night, so we scheduled is for a Tuesday. This way, we could get off work a little early to get ready and go have some fun! However, there were some odd-goings-on around the work place. Chris was being sneaky. He had his mother occupy me while he went outside and did “something” which he claimed was cleaning out the jeep. Then, when it was time, we went over to the house to get all spiffy for our date night, and yet again, he was being sneaky. I walked into the house and our bedroom door was closed (which doesn’t happen unless we have company). 

On the bedroom door, there were two notes. One of them said “DO NOT ENTER!!!” And the one below it said, “This means you, Michelle.” What was I supposed to think? The night before he went into an organizing and cleaning frenzy in there. When I asked him why he was doing it, he simply said, “I just want you to have a clean room for when we get home from our date night.” I’m thinking, this guy is full of bologna. Something is up. But I play his little game anyway. 

We get ready, and hit the road. We first went to The Whirl, which is my favorite frozen yogurt joint. It is awesome! Friendly people, awesome flavors and dozens of toppings! Yum!!! Then we went to Cato, which is my favorite clothing store. I usually don’t get anything if it’s not on sale though. But sometimes they have great sales! Once, I got a really cute little black dress for only $5! It was awesome. On our date night, there wasn’t really anything on sale that I was interested in, so we went on to dinner!!! (Yes I know we had dessert before dinner. We’re grown ups. We do what we want!) 

Dinner was amazing! We had some Buffalo Wild Wings. Oh my goodness. Talk about a mouth full of flavor. I got the Asian Zing wings and had Chris tried one. He had to get an extra glass of tea! Haha! We got some to go boxes and went to the movies where we saw the Expendables 3! Action packed and slightly comedic–the perfect date night movie! 

I love spending time with my husband!

We went to Walmart to do some late night grocery shopping and we each found some clothes on sale that we really liked! We packed up the car and went home. 

Finally. It was time to see what was behind that bedroom door! He had me close my eyes and he led me into our room. It smelled so nice. He said, “Okay, you can open them now.” 

As I looked around, I saw  the room was lit by several candles. Chris was laying on the bed smiling and I noticed the bed looked higher than normal. I got on the bed and it was awesome! Chris bought us a new mattress! I had been having such trouble sleeping and having back pain, and he got us a new mattress!!! “You are so sweet!” I told him. 

He reached up and kissed me and said, 

“Happy I love you day.” 

🙂datenight2 datenight3 datenight4 datenight5 datenight8-26-14

 

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The Headache

The past 3 weeks have been nothing short of painful and miraculous. 

I developed a strange headache. I am not one who usually gets headaches, either. However, I had a headache. One that would come and go with severe sharp stabbing pain. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, what was causing it, or how to get rid of it. I would be happy and laughing and energized one moment, then within a minute, I would be weak, drained, and feeling awful! The worst part was in incapacitated me. It would hurt so bad, that I would get weak, shaky, my vision would be blurry, and I couldn’t do anything. It killed me, because I am ALWAYS doing something. I don’t like to sit for long periods of time. There’s always something to be done. But this was out of my control.

These headaches would come and go for about three weeks. Then for 3 days straight, it was a constant shooting pain. We went to the emergency room because I was showing signs of a stroke. Well, the good news was I didn’t have a stroke. However, they couldn’t find anything on the cat scan. Everything seemed normal. How odd. They gave me some medicine and sent me on my way. 

After being home from the hospital and taking the medicine for a couple of days, nothing seemed to be working. One night, I got so weak and shaky, Chris carried me from his parents house to our house across the street and laid me on the couch. The family got together and agreed to pray over me for healing. 

Let me tell you this. The power of prayer works. Three days later, the headaches were gone. No more pain. I could function like a normal human being. I could be a help to my husband and his business. It was a miracle!!! And I don’t think that it was a coincidence that it was 3 days since the day of the prayer that the headaches were lifted. 

There is power in prayer. The Lord is good, and I am fine! 

WOO! Hallelujah! 

 

The Wedding

The day had finally arrived! Yes, the day that would take a new last name and start a new adventure with the love of my life…the adventure of marriage!!! 

I could say EVERYTHING about the wedding. It was everything I wanted it to be! There was dancing, bubbles, a zombie wedding cake, lots of family and friends, lots of laughter, tons of joy, many gifts, and a whole lot of other wedding day joys! But above all, God was there, and he was watching it all happen! 

We got married at Cave Hill Vineyard in Eubank, KY. This place is simple, yet elegant…and very beautiful! It was the perfect place for our outdoor wedding/indoor reception…yes, perfect. 

One of the things that I loved was that my family and Chris’s family were all together, all having fun, all smiling, all laughing. It was like a dream! 

Our wedding began with our 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen (inlcuding the Best Man and MOH) walking down the bricked aisle to the Cannon in D by Pachelbel, then I walked down the aisle with my Dad to Before the Throne of God above–a very sweet, almost celtic sounding song. I almost couldn’t stop myself from bursting out into laughter and tears of joy! This day was a desire of my heart being fulfilled by my creator who loves me very much! It was the craziest coolest day ever! 

My dad gave my had to Chris’s and Donnie, my blind pastor continued with the service. We washed each other’s feet to show an outward symbol of what we are supposed to be doing in our marriage–following God’s example, and serving one another in love. We said our vows and then it was the moment we had been waiting for for 8 months.

Our very first kiss. 

It was magical. 😀

And because Pastor Donnie knew it was our first kiss, he let us kiss twice during the ceremony! haha! It was great!!! 

Then, some upbeat Ukulele music was played and while everyone blew bubbles, we put on our sunglasses and danced down the aisle because we’re cool like that! haha! 

The reception that follow was filled with lots of hugs and even more dancing! Our first dance was to the Frozen song “Love is an open door”. It was a whole lot of fun, seeming how we winged the whole thing! (2 months of planning didn’t leave much time fore dance lessons!) We fellowshipped and had a blast! We had a potluck with some amazing brisket that my brother brought all the way from Missouri. 

We ate, opened gifts, and then walked out to find that our car had been ransacked with wedding ransackery! It was decorated with expo markers and streamers; it was filled to the ceiling with balloons, and the visors were stuff full with glitter so there was an explosion of pixie dust when we opened them up! haha! Needless to say, we had to do a little balloon popping and cleaning up before we went on our honeymoon! 

What an amazing day! Wedding6 Wedding8 Wedding12 Wedding16 Wedding25 wedding32 Wedding33 wedding34 wedding35 wedding37 Wedding40 Wedding52 Wedding59 Wedding71

The Wedding Planning

Oh boy, oh boy! It was time to plan our wedding. Planning a wedding, I find, is something almost every little girl, teenage, woman, does as some point or another before they even get engaged. Although, I was one of those women who was always determined not to do that, I found myself thinking, Oh, those colors would go great together for a wedding, maybe MY wedding. 

But there I was. It was finally time to plan my wedding! And I was stumped.

I mean where do you even start planning a wedding that you want to be low-budgeted, yet elegant, yet simple. Was there even a way to do that? Well, when there’s a will…

I started making a list of everything we needed to get done, everyone we needed to invite, every detail that had to be planned. I was on a roll! And it was a good thing, too, because our wedding was only a little over 2 months away from the day we got engaged. 2 months and 2 days to be exact. Not a whole lot of time to plan a wedding, but then here’s the cool part. 

Almost every single detail of our wedding worked out perfectly in the perfect timing. God’s timing. And because this was going to be a marriage that was put together by God, it seemed like he was putting the wedding together as well. I had already had my dress, we made our own invites, we had things donated to us left and right, and the place to do the wedding was an amazingly incredible, and sweet vineyard. 

It seems like now, the two months of wedding planning went by quickly, but during those two months, it almost seemed like everything was in slow motion. Haha. Funny how that works. 

Bottom line: God is good. When we listen, trust, obey, and follow him, He will make our paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” 

The Proposal (Part 2)

Does anything ever go as planned? I am not so sure. The day Chris proposed to me was damp and dreary. He came to wake me up in the morning and was distraught. We went for a walk and he said “I feel like God wants me to propose to you this weekend, but nothing is lining up. Nothing is going right.” I told him, “Chris, if God wants you to propose to me, then it will happen. What isn’t going right?” He started to explain to me that he wanted his family to be a part of the proposal and no one wanted to stop what they were doing, mainly  his parents who were helping him with his business in the office. It’s a business run from home, and they almost never stop working! I told Chris that he was the boss and he can tell them to stop…so he did. Later that Saturday, I had specific instructions to stay in the dining room and watch Frozen (which I LOVE!). I was sent on a store run to get bananas so that they could have a “Secret meeting.” 

By 10pm, I just felt like everyone was avoiding me. I asked if I could help anyone with anything, so I scanned some things onto a computer for business purposes. When I was finished scanning, they said “time for dinner!” We all met in a room, held hands and prayed for the food. Then Chris said, “follow me.” We went upstairs onto a deck, where they had set up a table for two surrounded my glowing lights. There was romantic music playing. Chris pulled my chair out for me and had a nice puffy blanket sitting in it. (Boy was is a cold night!) His family worked as “waiters and waitresses” to serve our 3 course meal, complete with some “Proposal wine.” (It was actually California wine, but Chris’s brother owns his own printing company, so they fixed a special label for it.) 

After we were full, Chris’s dad came out and gave us tickets to the “Waterford Arch”. Seeming how Waterford is a tiny town and doesn’t have an arch, I started to wonder where we were going. “This way, please,” his father said. We walked through the upstairs and took another stair case into the attic. There were “watch your step” signs all over the place. When we were in the attic, there was a ladder and part of Chris’s family ushering us to go up. we went up the ladder and we were on top of the roof! It was crazy! Chris’ family lit some flying lanterns into the air (yes, I’m a Tangled fan!) Once again, there was romantic music playing and Chris had me sit in a chair as his sister handed up some wrapped gifts. 

The first gift was a willow tree musical figurine. It was beautiful! As I thanked him, he handed me another box, it was a decorative plate that said “be happy for this moment, this moment is your life.” I thanked him again and he handed up yet another box. In this box, was a beautiful puzzle jewelry box. I told him thank you again, (gosh, he is so sweet!). Then he said to me, “look under the box.” Lo, and behold under the box was an index card that he had written. It said “will you marry me?”

I looked up at him, kneeling before me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out the ring box and said, “Michelle, will you marry me?” By this time, it was midnight.

I was frozen. I thought I had planned out everything in my head for this moment. Yet, in this moment, I was speechless. I finally said, “Hmmm…let me think about it–YES!” We embraced and it was WONDERFUL! There on the rooftop, in the freezing cold, was one of the most romantic times I have ever experienced in my life! 

We went downstairs and everyone congratulated us, then we all went to bed. What a day! What a proposal! 

God is so good!!! 

The Proposal (Part 1)

After about 8 months of courting, and finding that Chris and I were people who were simple “made for each other,” Chris and I took another trip to Missouri, but this time, it was to ask THE QUESTION. We stayed at my sister Dawn’s and my brother-in-law Tom’s house. They gave us some good advice on how to ask dad the right way. 

It was another short weekend trip, so there was no playing games. However, my dad didn’t think that playing a FEW games would hurt anything. So naturally, he tried avoiding times alone with Chris and tried to put every distraction he could into play. By Saturday night, there was still no time to ask. So my brother in law, Tom, retired from the navy gave Chris some advice.

Tom: Alright, here’s what you gotta do. You just grab him by the arm…

Me and Dawn: No! no! You NEVER TOUCH Dad. 

Tom: Well, I do. But I guess for you, you just walk up to him and say “Charles, I need to talk to you now.” 

Just in case your wondering, when Chris and Dad finally did talk, it did not go this way. Haha. 

On Sunday, Chris took Dad out to dinner. Almost immediately, my father gave Chris his blessing. 

The day after, Chris ordered the ring.

The weekend after, we were at Chris’s house. And things were not going so well. It was rainy and cold, and although the guy at the jewelry store said that the ring shipments come in on Thursdays, it was Thursday evening and ours had not come in. Chris had lost his voice right after he called the Jewelry store to see if the ring had come in. 

Friday morning, Chris comes in to wake me up. “We have a bit of an emergency here.” Chris owns his own business in appliance repair. One of his technicians, took a ridiculous road that the GPS told him to take and was stuck in the mud. Badly. So I went with Chris to search for his technician and the stuck in the mud. Yes, we found him…on a road maybe only meant for four wheelers, or monster trucks. At the bottom of the road, there was a creek, that was flooded and had a strong current. It was at this point that the technician tried to turn around and got stuck. With heavy chains we hook the van to our vehicle and prayed every second of the way up. Some of the prayer included, “Lord please send your angels to keep us safe. Lord please help us get over this rock, please. Help us to the top of this hill. Thank you, Lord.” 

We made it to the top and the very second we made it to the top, we, covered in mud and soaked to the bone, cheered and praised the Lord, and the phone rang! It was the guy from the jewelry store! The ring had come in! 

We went to his parents house, shared the story, got cleaned up, went to pick up the ring, and had dinner…

…but that is only the beginning of this story…

Stay tuned! 

The Courtship

The Courtship1

635 feet in the air in the St. Louis Arch, right after Chris asked me if he could court me and I said, "Yes!"

635 feet in the air in the St. Louis Arch, right after Chris asked me if he could court me and I said, “Yes!”

We started courting on September 22, 2013. There’s a funny story about that. My dad lives in Missouri. Chris lives in Ohio, and I live in Kentucky. However Christopher is an astounding my in my most modest of opinions, and he is a gentlemen who has always wanted to do things right. So just in order to COURT me, he found it necessary to ask my father first. Which is amazing!

Yes, my husband rocks!

No, you can’t have him, he’s already taken. 🙂

So we planned a weekend trip to go see my dad so that Chris could ask him if he could court me. My father can be very intimidating. He houses a lot of guns and is very stern and strict with his children. Long story short, when we first got there, they sat down, had a talk, but didn’t really settle anything except, my dad was protective over his children and that he wasn’t afraid to do anything necessary in order to protect them. We played some horseshoes, had a cookout, roasted marshmallows, visited some family, walked around my hometown, Rosebud, and by then it was Sunday, and already time to go. In the morning, instead of going to church, we spent a little more time with each other, it was such a short visit (it was a 12 hour drive from Ohio, and a 6 hour drive from where I was in Kentucky). Chris REALLY wanted to talk to Dad alone to get his permission to court me. Although they had talked about it when we first arrived, no real conclusion was made. So my sister, Chris’s dad (who came with us), and I took a walk to the park.

When we got back, it was time to go. We loaded up the car, said our goodbye’s and went to the Rosebud General Store and Gas station to get some gas and some snackage for the car ride. While we were in the gas station, I prompted Chris,

“So…how did it go!?”

He gets a big grin on his face and says “Well, I guess it’s official now.” 😀

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Chris: “What?”

Me: “I don’t remember you asking me anything.”

Chris: “Oh…I guess your right. Hmmm….”

So on our way back to Kentucky and Ohio, we made a pit stop at the St. Louis Arch. Although, I had lived in Missouri and traveled back there for years, I had never gone up in the St. Louis Arch.

September 22, 2013–Chris and I go to the top of the St. Louis Arch and overlook the amazing city landscape and the river. We sit down next to each other and Chris says “Michelle?”

“Yes?”

“Would you give me the honor of courting you?”

“Hmmm…..let me think about it.”

This is the funny pause, where he just froze, and I could tell his heart had to have skipped a beat! Then I said,

“Yes, you can. Of course you can!”

Then for the first time, Chris said “Michelle, I love you.”

“I love you too, Chris.”

In the months that came, our love for God and for each other only grew more and more. There were some trials. We only got to see each other for the weekends every couple of weeks because of the distance. However, we talked with each other everyday, multiple times a day. We never stopped growing. We knew, that God had made us just for each other. We read the Bible and other devotions to each other, asked all the hard questions, and started solving some of life’s little mysteries. I loved going to visit him and I loved getting to see him when he came to visit me! Hands down, it was amazing.

God ALWAYS knows what he is doing. He ALWAYS knows what is best for his children.

And I  am glad he does!

The Meeting

This was the first day we met in person. We were hiking to Flat Lick Falls! This is our first picture together.

This was the first day we met in person. We were hiking to Flat Lick Falls! This is our first picture together.

Chris and I were two different people in two different places, who would have never met had it not been for something called the internet. Yes, I know. Cliche, but it’s real life. Totally out of both of our characters, as we both would have never joined any online dating website without the help of some extenuating circumstances, we just happened upon each other by a quick browse. A smile was sent. A message returned. From there, well, you know how the story goes…or do you?

I was living in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Kentucky, and had a job at a drug rehabilitation center. (Many adventures there!) However, I was alone. Except for God, and a few people who I saw at my workplace and at church each week, it was just me. I was away from my family (God made the job possible right when I needed it, so I moved because it was a job where I lived). It was a job where I basically had to start life over. So, it got lonely. And although I tried to make the best of it and even had a positive outlook most of the time, I got depressed from time to time. (Winter was the worst!)

In February 2013, I was in my room sleeping, when all of a sudden, I had a crazy amazing and awesome dream that I was in Heaven and I was getting married to Jesus! I can’t even explain all of the intensity of that dream, but it was AWESOME. So naturally, I woke up with marriage on my mind. However, I didn’t know anyone who was even a potential for marriage in the future, so I tried to wave it away and focus on the day ahead. But soon, the feeling and urge to be married became to overwhelming. After all, I knew that I wanted to be married one day. I wanted to be the perfect wife, and to take care of and support my husband, whoever he was! I had also prayed about it immensely. God pointed me to the verse Psalm 37:4 that says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart!” I WAS delighting myself in the Lord! I was more in love with the Lord than ever! I mean, I was having dreams of MARRYING the Lord! haha! SO I ended up online looking at wedding dresses. Let me make it known here and now, that I am not super girly and looking at wedding dresses just for the heck of it was never something I would really do, but yet, there I was. After an hour and a half of looking, I was ready to give up. I thought What are you doing, Michelle? You don’t even have a man! You are wasting your time. But you know what? I wasn’t wasting my time. I was believing in God’s word that he was going to give me the desires of my heart. I clicked over one more page and there it was. MY DREAM DRESS. I was like “WHOA.” And even better, it was 50% percent off at the time.

So I bought it.

Yes, I bought the dress.

No, I am not crazy, I am a believer.

Fast forward 2 months.

One day in April 2013, I was sitting in the living room with some volunteers and some students and we were talking about relationships. Only one of the people in the room were married, so the rest of them were complaining: “Where are our men at? We tired of waiting!” So with a smile on my face and a joke in my heart, I simply stated, well girls, sometimes you just have to go look for them yourselves! So let’s take a look! I got out the laptop and logged onto Christianmingle.com and joined up to create a profile and “go looking” for men. We all had a lot of laughs that night. But that joke turned into to something serious–and fast.

In that next month, I went into the chat rooms and checked out some profiles. And some….less desirable people…were checking me out. I can’t believe how many old men just wanted to marry a younger woman to have babies. I was about fed up with the site. I could see it wasn’t going anywhere. But God knows a lot more that I do, and I am thankful that he does! It was in the first couple of weeks in May that the Wedding dress I ordered in February came in the mail, (from China, of course, but it was only $225, and shipping was free!) The next week or two, I was browsing through profiles and came to one that was HUGE. Like 3 pages long. I do not like to read, and yet, I could not stop reading this man’s profile. He seemed so genuine, so real, so not like the others. His profile picture was him on a jet ski with his sister in a life jacket, smiling a crooked, yet adorable smile. So I sent him a smile. Then he sent me a message.

We met the first day of July, after chatting a month and a half over the internet and on the phone. He was from Ohio, close to the West Virginian border, and I was in Southeastern Kentucky. A 6 hour drive. He drove down to meet me. We met in a Walmart parking lot. As I  was driving to this Walmart, I was on the phone with Chris, asking him, what car he drove and where he was parked. “Oh, you’ll see me.” He said. I turned at the light to the Walmart parking lot, and I noticed a man standing on his car with a camera. Yep, it was Chris!

It was a fun couple of days. We went fishing, hiking, waterfall climbing, ice cream eating, card playing, and had an absolute blast. This man was amazing. He was everything he said he was. And he radiated Jesus. I mean, his love for the Lord was so evident, you had to see Jesus before you saw Chris. I just couldn’t believe a man like him existed. But he was here, right in front of me. Crazy…

He left for Ohio, and came back with his two sisters, Rachael and Emily, the next time he visited. Then I went and met his family. And they were awesome!!! I mean, I am an odd person and I don’t really fit in in a whole lot of niches, but it was like I was part of the family already. We had a blast! And I could totally be myself around these people! In short, God rocked my world. The Bible said that “God sets the lonely in families.”

I am living proof of that.