How I am since you have been gone:5 years

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Well Uncle Ozzie, it has been 5 years since you have left this world. In some ways I catch myself when I think about going to family gatherings and you are no longer there. Sometimes I wish I said more, saw you more….but even if I did everything I wish I had done I still would have found more that I wish I had done.

Pictures that nobody takes because that was your thing. We have all changed within the last 5 years. I hope that your proud of me.

I hate thinking about the hours that led up to saying good-bye.

The drive to the hospital, pulling up and seeing my grandmother waiting by the door.

The numbness I felt walking through the halls. Praying that a miracle would happen and that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I have always hated good-byes…it feels so final. Seeing you lying in that hospital bed and knowing that the man laying there wasn’t really you.

The only thing I could think to say as my last words to you, was that I loved you. I am glad that in the shock and numbness that I had even clarity to say those words.

5 years today. Has it really been 5 years?

You always thought to take the pictures, always wrote LOVE ME in our cards. The train gardens, and driving around to look at Christmas lights. Bear hugs and the threats of the tickle monster. To you squeezing my hand right before I walked down the aisle. Memories that I will take with me. Keep with me forever.

I am so thankful that I had you in my life, for the 22 years I had you in it.

I miss you.

Dear Lisa

I have already posted a post on Instagram and Facebook and yet for some reason I feel like the words I typed out are not enough. So here I am typing out a blog post.

You had a light about you. You were loving, kind, and you poured yourself into others. I know you never knew how much you meant to people, and I know that you had no clue of the impact you had on others. You loved Jesus, your family, your church…and while I don’t blame you and I am not mad that God took you too soon, because I know that His plans are not mine. Even as I try to wrap my mind around it all, I keep hearing you telling me to be kind to myself. I know it will hurt for a bit, but goodness the things that you have taught me! I don’t know if I can begin to count or recount all of those things. You seemed to see the “Me” that God intended me to be when I couldn’t see it. The cards, the texts, the hugs….there is just so many things over the few years I have had the joy of calling you friend on earth. To be honest if I can put one word to the feeling I have in this moment it’s lonely. Walking into Church today was one of the hardest things I have done in my life, I stared at the missions office hoping that if it truely were a bad dream you’d walk through. I could barely get through the hymns this morning because all I could picture is you singing the same songs in eternity in the presence of our Savior. 

You poured so much into; not just myself, but to so many people. I promise to try to be brave. I hope you’ll understand that I simply don’t feel so brave right now. I will try to be the Pastor’s wife you saw me as.  

Today when I got home, I got into my comfy clothes and I grabbed the coloring book you gave me simply because you saw it and it made you think of me. I colored for a bit and thought of all the good times. I smiled because sending cards or seeing something like a coloring book for someone was something you did. You were a giving person, you never asked for anything in return. 

I thought of how on Friday night, I was putting on the dramatics with the storm and the electricity out. I was home alone and had brought out an extra oil lamp and when I ran out of fire wood, I went out in the whirling wind to bring some in and then felt the need to have coffee. So of course I found a way to make coffee and I laughed to myself because I felt like I was in Little House On The Prairie. I couldn’t wait to tell you because I knew you’d laugh and find it funny. 

No matter how many tears are shed or how much I wish you were here for longer, you are home now. How can I possibly wish you back after all the beauty you are seeing. You are in such a better place and in time I will start to understand that. 

I love you my friend, you have left footprints on my heart and for that I will be forever thankful. See you soon!

Williamsburg Part 2 |Jamestown|

In the past few months have I really gotten to find a connection to Jamestown. Through studying my family and finding some of my relatives who had lived in Jamestown before settling in different parts of Virginia and Maryland. 

•Indian Village•   
    
    
   
The first part we walked through the Powhatan Indian Village. 

•The Dock•

   
    
   
These were the replica ships.

•The Fort•

   
    
    
    
    
 
The Fort that the English built and settled.

  After we did all of the outdoor museum, we went inside to go through the museum inside. 

To be continued….

~Brandy

Williamsburg Part 1 |Colonial Park • Busch Gardens|

  
Our vacation crew this year was Colin and I with Dan and Jen, and Colin’s sisters Maddy and Chloe. 

We were there for 6 days and while there were some hot days, we loved being down there. 

   
    
    
    
 
We also went to Busch Gardens. 

   
   
I also snapped a few shots from our last walk through the Colonial Park.

   
    
   
I love pink clouds! Don’t be surprised to see some of those cloud pictures in another post! 

To be continued…..

~Brandy 

4th of July

I am finally sharing my pictures from Independence Day! I hope you all who celebrated the holiday had a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating the freedom we have because of the brave! 

   
                         

~ Brandy

Frozen In Time

Would you like to know what I have on my handy flash drive? I am actually surprised I have been able to keep this secret for as long as I have. Mainly because I about exploded out of excitement when I found what I did. With any good secret there is always a story that goes with it. So I am just going to start of from the beginning and then you can join me in my excitement.

When my Uncle Ozzie and Aunt Diane passed away ( he passed January 2014 and she August 2014)there was the process of going through their things. My Uncle took not just a ton of videos, but a ton of pictures. I volunteered to sort through the pictures and video. When I sort, I mean sitting at my TV, at the laptop, going through disks and disks of pictures. I knew he had my Poppy’s WWII pictures and I started to look for them. I got very frustrated when I couldn’t find those pictures! I ended up popping a disk into my TV and didn’t just find those pictures but landed on the mother load of old family pictures! I was beyond excited to find these treasures. Blessed to have been able to put them on such a little device for me to have and pass on to my future babies… I will finally be able to have on of those old fashioned fireplace mantels filled with old pictures. I treat these like I’m Gollum and their the ring ( bonus points for you if you know what I am talking about!!) I want to share some with you. I have really gotten into looking into my family history and it’s been fun pointing faces with the names. With that said, I am going to be putting a watermark on the pictures I will be sharing and ask that you respect that these photos are not just mine but they belong to my family. Please don’t take any photo without my permission. Thank you!

Don’t you just love old photographs?! It is amazing to think that these are moments that are frozen forever. Makes me want to do better in taking pictures!
~ Brandy

A Letter To My Future Daughters ( If I am Blessed with Little Girls)

    I just came back home from seeing the movie Cinderella. First off I loved it1 The little girl in me loved seeing one of my favorite princess movies come to life on the big screen. Don’t even get me started on the dresses! I loved the message in the movie; Be Kind, Be Courageous. There was forgiveness, kindness, accepting who you are and hope in believing. I could not help but think that if I were to be blessed with daughters I want them to know not only to always be kind, and to willingly forgive others that have wronged them. But to know that they are loved and cherished.

Even though I don’t have any little girls (yet, Lord willing) I want to write this note for them. and even if I don’t ever have little girls, I pray this will bless you and your little girls.

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Dear Daughter(s),
I pray that you know how beautiful you are. That you are comfortable with who you are, no matter what anyone else thinks. You are a princess, not only in the eyes of your Mom and Dad, but in the eyes of a loving God who gave His Son to die in your place. I want to share with you my heart for you.

Always be kind. It doesn’t matter who you interact with, I pray that you will extend kindness to them. Even if they are mean to you, still treat them with kindness. It is hard, and there are going to be people who will treat you unkindly. That should never be your excuse to treat anyone with unkindness. The world we live in sadly encourages unkindness. There are going to be people who are different, believe differently, you may even disagree with someone. Still treat them with kindness. Even Jesus was kind to those who hated Him.

Always be brave. Being courageous is not always the easiest thing. Especially if you are scared. You are going to face trials, and seasons that will be scary. I pray that you will meet challenges head on with courage and grace. God will never allow you to go through anything that he doesn’t think you can handle. He will never abandon you nor will He forsake you.

Forgive those who do you wrong. It is hard to forgive those who have hurt you. However, forgiveness is a powerful thing. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. Also forgive yourself. There may times where you have felt like you have failed, or let us down. You must not let Satan use it to hang over your head. Seek forgiveness and remember that God forgives you as well. Asking forgiveness is hard but it is worth it.

Marry not only for love, but marry someone who loves you for you. You were knitted together by God, and every bit of you was not an accident. I pray that you find someone who loves you for all you are. There is only one you and no one can take your place. The man that loves you for you, will not want to hide your light, will help you achieve your dreams, and will love you as an example of how Christ loves His bride. He won’t be perfect, and there will be dreams that may not play out the way you hoped. The man you are meant to spend the rest of your life will dry your tears and treat you like a queen. Treat him as a king. Love him for who he is, and the way God created him. Don’t seek to change him but learn to love him just the way he is. The way he was knitted together was not an accident either, and when God wrote his story who were already thought of. Trust God in your marriage, always!

Know you are worth much more then you think. You are a precious treasure. You have a place in this life. You are not only apart of my story or your dad’s story. You have your own story that God is writing. It may not look like you will have a happy ending some days, however if you put your trust and faith in God, happy ending’s are actually just the beginning of something wonderful.

You will always have your mom and dad who love you. As well as a God who loves you even more then you can ever imagine.

Love always, Mom

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I highly recommend the movie! It had some life lessons that are important, and it was nice to see a movie that was stunning. I hope you all have a wonderful night!

~ Brandy

Winter Wonderland

Sitting in Dunkin Donuts with some ladies from church, when I looked up and saw it was snowing. I am not a huge fan of snow, but it does remind me of God’s grace covering sins.

When Colin got home from running errands, he asked me to go for a walk with him. Now anybody who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of being cold. However, Colin looked so excited that I decided to just suck it up and go with him to one of our favorite parks.

As cold as I was, it was a pretty place in the snow.

I think most of all the important thing is that we got to spend the time together. We also finished up our Christmas shopping and everything is wrapped. It is coming up fast this year. It is so nice to be able to enjoy the rest of the holiday just with family and friends. Over all we had a pretty stress-free season, which is nice. Last year ended up being last minuet!

We also decorated the tree the day after Thanksgiving:

My brother Michael had his first choir concert and I was so proud of him! He did an amazing job!

Took a selfie with some of my siblings 🙂

(Sorry the picture was fuzzy; I had my three year old brother in my lap)

So far the Christmas season is in full swing! How is your holiday preparations coming along?

My Wedding Day: June 1,2013

I love weddings, I rejoice with those who get engaged and pray for every girl to have their wedding dreams come true. I want to blog about my wedding. (7 months almost 8 months after) I am going to share what I felt was worth the cost and ways that I saved money. As well as something things that I did that I feel made my day special. Our venue was at Deer Creek Overlook.

                                                            Decorations:

I did some major DIY. I did all the flowers, and between me and my mom we purchased some a little here and a little there. I had a theme, southern garden.

Here are a couple of Instagram pictures of what I did on my own as well as pictures from the wedding.

My mom bought the cake stand from HomeGoods. I bought the ribbon and the button from Walmart. Then I weaved the ribbon through and put the button on it.

Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The small chalkboards I got from Etsy ( I don’t remember the vendor) I bought the liquid chalk from Michaels in the wedding section.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I was having an outdoor wedding, and there was no way I was going to wear heels. Not only that but I wanted shoes that I could easily kick off and dance. I got the shoes from Walmart, and the decals from Michaels.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Instead of programs we did a poster board. We made it look like a chalkboard. One side had the bridal party and on the other side order of ceremony.

Our favors were S’mores. S’mores is a huge part of our love story. It only made sense that a piece of how we met was a favor for our wedding.

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Our center pieces were a framed table number, a lantern, a flower in a glass, and a thick piece of scrapbook paper underneath. Then have the s’mores around it. I love lanterns and used lanterns for the aisle as well.
I did the flowers myself. I got the flowers from Walmart and Michaels.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren by Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
 Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
For my throwing bouquet, I made a small bouquet that broke apart and more then one girl got a flower.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I did not do a seating chart. I bought a sign from Etsy and it is universal that I can use it in my home as well.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

We had some loved ones that have passed that we wanted a way to honor them. I made a table to display photos and have a candle lite.

 

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My mom made this marker so that people could find the venue.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Instead of doing the ring pillow, we made a sign. I painted the sign itself and my mom did the lettering.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The ceremony we kept it simple at the beginning of the aisle and at the end, we put a lantern on each side and a small pot of flowers.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
We did a sand ceremony as a nod to my love of the beach. I got saved on the beach and it only seemed fitting to use sand to symbolize our unity together in Christ using sand. The sand and the sand heart shaped holder is from Michaels. The flowers were something that was at our house. even though our colors were pink and navy, I did not want pink sand, but chose the natural color and blue.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I had two cousins serving overseas at the time of my wedding. They both wanted to be there. So as a way of showing thanks for serving our country and knowing they were their in heart, we had a table in honor of them.
I made small cards for significant others of some of our bridal party, inviting them to sit with their loved one. I didn’t get a picture of them but I was thanked for the gesture. 🙂
It was worth it:
There were some things that I bought and things I decided to invest in that really, looking back I would do it all over again.
1. Having a wedding coordinator.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I am so happy I had wedding coordinators at my wedding! It was so nice to know that there were people who helped to make my day run without a hitch. They did such an excellent job with my wedding that I highly recommend them, and if I ever have a party and need planners I will go back to using them. Courtney and Rebecca were amazing!
I used: Moore & Co. Event Stylists http://mooreandcoevents.com/#/home/  
2. My Wedding Dress and Veil.
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
The first time I saw this dress I knew it was the one. The dress was what I was excited about. I love this dress and it fit perfectly with my theme, and the venue.  Here are some of my favorite dress shots.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My Veil was another love at first sight.. It was long and beautiful. I pray that my daughters will love it and use it. The beauty of this veil is that I plan to have it as an heirloom. Here are some of my favorite shots of my veil.
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I got my dress and veil at :K&B Bridals http://www.kandbbridals.com/
3. Hair and Makeup
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I got my hair and makeup done at Salon 23
Special Moments:
Then you have all the wonderful memories that you make.
1. First Looks.
Colin
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
My dad
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
2. First Kiss
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
4. Happy Birthday Aunt Diane
(Our wedding day was the same day of my Great Aunt Diane’s birthday and we say Happy Birthday and presented her with flowers)
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
3. First Dance
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
4. Parent Dances
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
5. Cake Cutting
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Music:
I love music and I love dancing. Here is a list of some of the songs that were played.
1. Ceremony
From This Moment by Shania Twain ( instrumental)
Making the Movies Jealous by Kristen McNamara
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (Instrumental) * I walked down the aisle to this song*
Stuck on You by Elvis Presley
The songs above were played off of my iPhone by our friend Shawn Cappron
We had our friends Aubrey and Amanda Roach sing In Christ Alone
Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
2. Reception
The Way You Smile by Newsong ( first dance)
I Loved Her First by Heartland (father/daughter dance)
Handprints on the Wall by Kenny Rodgers (mother/son dance)
I See the Light from the movie Tangled (cake cutting)
  and of course dance music!!
our DJ was Bill Braun

Photo by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of  Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography

Photo by: Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
Our videographer was my Uncle Ozzie
Our Photographer was Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography http://www.shannonmcferrenphotography.com/
We were so blessed to have Mrs. Shannon do our wedding. She did such a fantastic job. She did our engagement photos as well. Here are some of my favorite shots.
All photos below were photographed by Shannon McFerren of Shannon McFerren Photography
I know this was a long one! I hope you enjoy this post and I hope you have a blessed day!
~ Brandy

Rough Waters

All I can say is this week has been an interesting one to say the least. The scary thing is; it’s only Wednesday! Here is the run down of my week so far.

My Uncle Ozzie’s viewing was on Sunday. I chose to stay home from church that morning just to have a moment just to pray and read. My husband was sick. The past couple nights leading up to Sunday morning, I had a difficult time sleeping. Saturday night I was exhausted. So I was able to catch up on some sleep. So my morning quickly turned into playing nurse before leaving. On top of my husband being sick, the Durango wouldn’t start. Thankfully my mom came and got me, and my grandmother brought me home.

Family is very important to me. It is something I want to teach my own children. Importance of family. Even though the circumstances were not the best, but I have always loved how close knit my mom’s side of the family is. I love walking in and getting hugs and the words I love you is used. That is the kind of family unit, I want to bring my children into. I am so grateful that I had to share a room with my sisters. My sisters and my mom are really my best friends. Life is too short to hold grudges, be snotty, rude and unloving towards each other.

The funeral service was the next morning. The day was tough. One of the things that ticked me off was when people were cutting through our procession to the church after the service at the funeral home. I couldn’t believe people were so rude! Later that afternoon as we sat together and ate. I decided to raid the snack table. Okay, I didn’t really raid it. I just picked what looked good. Originally I wasn’t going to. Sitting there and in my mind just going through my archives of memories. When I was little, and I would go over to any family functions. I always had my eye on all the goodies. So I would tell Uncle Ozzie, that I ate at home so I could have dessert. It seemed fitting that I should eat dessert.

Now we have come to Wednesday. The Durango had to go back into the shop. Just the amount of things going on trends to feel just over whelming. I believe that God is really just preparing me for what is to come. I love the song, It Is Well. I pray that my attitude reflects those three small words. Everyone says that God doesn’t give us more then what we can handle. I on the other hand think He does. In those moments where I just feel like everything is going wrong, He wants me to cling to Him even more. More so in the moments when it’s too hard. It doesn’t make sense why everything is happening in the timing that it is. It really never does. I pray that I will take the time to count my blessings instead of my woes.

Tomorrow, I will be blogging days 2 and 3, of my favorite things. Day 2 is books and day 3 is hobbies. 🙂

~Brandy