There’s No Place Like Home

  

Thursday morning I finished packing my bags and came back to the place I grew up. I always love coming back home. I love pulling up the drive and seeing the familiar barn, the sound of the gravel crunching beneath the tires. The sweet clean air and the over grown Christmas trees that could probably tell a story or two. 

I came back to help my mom since she had a procedure done. This morning I walked my younger siblings down to the bus, waved goodbye and went back to watch over my youngest brother. Together we watched his favorite shows shared fruit snacks and went outside to play in the sunshine. 

In the process of taking care of my siblings, I got a small taste of what motherhood is like. It’s a calling on my heart that I have had since I was 16. It’s been the last few years where I started to really see that while the old familiar places feel like home. The people who live there, that is home. 

I have personally chosen to not be overly transparent in regards to TTC. I have made a couple of posts, but I never really opened up my heart and exposed every little detail. Mainly because I felt like it was personal. Even though I share a little here and there, there’s so much more behind the scenes. 

I have chosen to write this post. I have tried writing it so many times and I think I have finally come to a place where I can write it. 

I didn’t know what to expect when trying to have a baby. I didn’t know it would take a little longer, and I certainly didn’t expect the mother load of emotions. No matter how many negative pregnant tests you have, it hurts. Even when you expect it to be negative it hurts. To love someone so much who hasn’t been created yet. This was also the first Mothers Day I got to experience first hand the heartbreak and the joy that day brings.    Colin had gotten me red roses and a sweet Mothers Day card and wrote a sweet note inside. 

I had decided a few months ago, that I wanted to take more pictures. In this case I wanted to take a picture of the flowers Colin gave me. 

  
I posted on Instagram and decided to be honest. To allow myself to be transparent. To allow myself to feel the hurt the last 6 almost 7 months have put my heart through. Then something I didn’t prepare for. The love and support from those that love me. I suddenly realized that these sweet people who are willing to cry with me, will be rejoicing with me when I finally get my BFP ( Big Fat Postive). 

However, I realized something else. Now is the time to build a home for my sweet babies. To prepare my heart for every set of sticky fingers, and every boo-boo. To prepare a place in my heart for the footprints that will stampede it. To prepare to teach them the Gospel. To encourage them, to wipe tears. To rarely hear thank you’s and to rock to sleep a sick little one. Because these little ones will be my home. 

My home is in Colin. Lord only knows no one else could handle being married to me. My craziness as well as my geekiness. To make him my main human priority. To make our marriage number 1. Because when those sweet little faces grow up and start on the paths God has for them, I will still be growing old with my best friend. 

A house is a building, the people you love inside makes it home.

Cause let’s face it, there really is no place like home.

~Brandy

A Day with My Love

Colin never has off on a Saturday. So we made it a date. I think one of the most important things to do in a marriage is to continue to date each other. We went to Lifeway and we got some books. I love to shop in the clearance section. Normally I can find books that I have been wanting to read for a great price. Colin shops more in the commentaries. He started getting books to help with his pastoral studies.  Here is a picture of the books I got:

Sorry for the glare on the bottom right there! I am including a list of the titles:

  • Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis
  • Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke
  • A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I am going to give my reviews on the books as I have finished them. In all honesty, I am pretty excited to dig into these books and see what God reveals to me. The first book, I am reading is Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus > Religion. His wife Alyssa Bethke has a book coming out soon and I love her blog !  I love reading other blogs.

I will be giving you an update after each chapter 🙂

Colin and I Skype chatted our friends Dan and Jen in England for a bit. It is always wonderful to talk to them! September can not come fast enough!

Colin and I also decided to go to Cracker Barrel! We LOVE Cracker Barrel!

Huge fan of their French toast breakfast!

Colin wanted to tease Dan with his steak. We look forward to introducing Jen to Cracker Barrel!

Then after dinner we went to go see God’s Not Dead in theaters. First off, I loved this movie. It is one of those movies that I highly recommend! It wasn’t a weak movie. There was a lot of deep topics in this movie. It was moving. If you have seen the movie let me know in the comments your thoughts! \

I love date nights!

~ Brandy

Crazy Life

This week has been crazy! I have felt like this week has just went right past me and I haven’t had the chance to sit and blog. I am so excited to be able to finally sit down and actually blog!

This Tuesday, Colin and I will be married 9 months! It is really amazing how fast time can go by. All the different experiences ( I have mentioned them before) and ways that we have both grown. This Tuesday, is also the start of the new Ladies Bible study and I will be leading it. I am so excited and even a tad nervous. In more ways then one, I am just eager to see what God reveals in the hearts of myself and the ladies joining me on this journey to Discerning God’s Voice. It is a study by Priscilla Shirer. With this study, as I was previewing it, I think that it will really speak to everyone in the different seasons. I know that this year has started out a little rough. You know what though, God has been preparing my heart and shaping through the difficult times this year has brought. In Isaiah 43 this chapter talks about how much God loves and protects us. No matter how big the wave is that comes up to wash over you and sweep you up, God is so much bigger and He promises that in the tough times He won’t allow it to take you. You hear so many times that God doesn’t give us more then we can handle, but at times I think He does in order that we may learn to cling to Him in the tough times and not relying on our own strength. We are not promised easy, breezy lives. We are promised that when the winds pick up we have an anchor to keep us in place.

Last Sunday, Colin went up before the church to announce officially his calling to preach. It means that things will be moving forward and he will be sharing the Word of God officially. This means also, a whole beginning. The next chapter of our lives and I wouldn’t want to go through life with anybody else.

I am still doing some décor work on the new place, so I will eventually be doing some pictures… I smell a trip to HomeGoods!!!

~ Brandy

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

Finding My Todd, and My Hapily Ever After

When I became a Christian at the age of 15, all I wanted to do was please God with my life. I changed everything, from my attitude, to my thoughts on modesty, to what I chose to read. I love to read. I love to curl up with a good book and just get lost in it’s pages. This was when I discovered the Christy Miller Series. These book came at the time where I needed friends. From the moment I started reading, I felt like I was friends with the characters. In a sense, I grew in my spiritual walk right along side Christy. I could relate to Christy, mainly because we had the same personality. So for my Sweet 16, I got the four volumes.

The Christy Miller books also set the standards for guys. The Godly example of what I should be looking for. Todd Spencer. Any girl who has read the and loved these books knows what I am talking about. Todd loved God first and foremost. He loved Christy the way the Jesus loves the Church. Reading I made up my mind to find a “Todd”. Well I can say that I have found my Todd.

Colin and Todd has similarites. They both play guitar, are easy going, have a heart for ministry. They both have a heart for God and encourage others. Those characteristics were what I wanted in a husband. Colin and I didn’t have a long courtship. Our engagement was longer due to the planning process. When I said “I Do” and became Mrs. Colin Strong. A whole new chapter opened up.

Now that I am at that point in my life, where my friends are getting married and having babies. It is so surreal. Colin and I have talked about having kids. One of the things we talked about godparents, we have talked about when we would like to start trying. All these different topics and I can’t help but laugh. If you can only see my Pinterest!! How did we get here? How in the world did I get from dreaming about marriage and kids to being married and talking about kids. This year is going to be interesting, and it’s the last day of January.. Already.

I can not wait to see what God has in store!

~Brandy