As you all know, Ben I got married on May 29, 2017. This means that we have been married for five months and two days. All through engagement, people told us that even though we may think we know each other, we haven’t even put a drop in the bucket. Every time people said this I would think to myself, that cannot be true! Ben and I had been dating for four years before we got married. We have been through deaths, illness (my mom’s cancer), long distance, and doing life together everyday starting freshman year of college. How could I not know Ben as well as I thought I did? Well I will tell you. Ever gone on an extended trip with your best friend? Did you expect that everything was going to be amazing, because you know that person like the back of your hand? Did you find out your were wrong? Whether it was that they never do their own dishes or they gag every time they brush their teeth, or even something awesome like they are overly considerate and do things like get you a blanket when you watch movies, there was something you didn’t know about them that you found out after you started living with them. So this happened to me. Luckily for me, Ben and I’s marriage counselors (from Fellowship Bible Church Jonesboro) have been around the block and knew this would happen and told us that we needed another session about six months after the wedding. The thing I learned about my husband only days into marriage was more about me than it was him. You see, I discovered my secondary love language is acts of service and Ben’s love language is not. Ben would do little things like leave towels on the floor or leave closet doors open. Now these things were very minor things, but for an acts of service person it sent the message that I wasn’t valued and that I was expected to clean up his messes no questions asked. Of course, this was not Ben’s intent. He simply didn’t think it was need to clean up directly after use and did know that by doing those things would even affect me. At the same time, I am trying to learn how to love Ben through his love languages. I had learned that Ben’s love languages are words of encouragement and physical touch. An example of how I was not loving Ben through his physical touch love language was when he came in the door after work and I greeted him with list of chores and basic how was work instead of a hug and kiss. Although I did not mean these things to be hurtful, they came across that way to Ben. An example of how I didn’t love him well through his words of encouragement love language would be when he received a job offer and my first response wasn’t to jump up and down or tell him how awesome he is (even though he is awesome). My first reaction was to try to take it all in and quietly respond with that is great honey. However, as we all know the first step to fixing a problem is to recognize that there is one. In that last situation I quickly recognized that he needed more from me and I went to him and told him I was sorry for responding the way that I did and told him how proud I am of him and his God given talents. I also danced around the room with him to the song Celebration. We both know there is a lot that needs work in our marriage and we are excited to grow closer and know each other better through the process for working towards the best marriage ever.
Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Find out what your love language is using the 5 Love Languages quiz: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/couples/
Fellowship Bible Church Jonesboro: http://fellowshipjonesboro.com
I want to become a wedding planner. I am not 100% confident when it became clear that this was the path I wanted, but it was sometime during my sophomore and junior year of college. Growing up my mother and grandmother planned and hosted amazing events. This was never either of their careers. It was just something they did because they loved it. Looking back now, I grew up in a world of sparkling lights, pretty plates, customized napkins, and of course outstanding food. However, it wasn’t until my senior of high school that I had an opportunity to participate in helping with a large scale event. I worked a wedding for the wedding planner Mary Lewis. Since then I have worked almost every event that I have been given the opportunity to work. I guess I just never realized I could do my passion as a career. So I started college as a Speech Communication major and soon after added another major in Public Relations. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and find both of those areas interesting, but I do not want my career to be primarily either of these things. I want to be able to use the things I have learned to set me apart from other event planners. At the beginning of the my sophomore year the idea of becoming an event planner took root in me. So I met with Rachel Haynes, an event planner in Little Rock, so see what her thoughts on the career were and if she felt as though it would be a good fit for me. She recommend that I might be a good corporate event planner. She said this because weddings are very challenging because you have to work with women and they have extreme expectations for the event. Through this meeting, Rachel helped get me an internship with the Capital Hotel. During the internship I was allowed to help with all kinds of events. I helped with breakfasts, luncheons, desert parties, and yes weddings. I really loved them all, but I loved weddings the most. Once I got engaged I started helping Andrea Goodwin, owner of Goodwin Manor event site, with hosting weddings. My passion for event planning and weddings has continued to grow. As of yesterday I have added a Hospitality Administration minor to my education. I can not wait to see what the Lord does with my passion for events.
Link to Rachel Haynes Events website: https://www.rachelhaynesevents.com/
Link to the Captial Hotel website: http://capitalhotel.com/
Link to Goodwin Manor website: http://www.thegoodwinmanor.com/
Bridesmaid dress shopping
Wedding hosting at Goodwin Manor with my mother.
Source 1: In 2012 the New York Times published an article titled “Why Gas Prices Are Out of Any President’s Control.” The author is an economist and stated that the United States is consumes twenty percent of the world’s oil. The U.S. only holds two percent of the worlds oil reserves. Oil is a global market and our influence within that market is to small, due to our limited reserves, to make a difference in the average price of gasoline. This article was written during the Obama administration. Many were complaining about the high gasoline prices at the time and blamed Obama for the problem. The author of this article presented the point that even when Bush, an advocate for low gasoline prices, was president gas increased from under two dollars to more than four dollars a gallon.
Source 2: Business Insider stated that the according to the EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance), two-thirds of the cost of gasoline is determined by crude oil cost. This means one-third of the cost can be a result of taxes, refining, distribution and marketing. Overall, this means the President has very little if any control over gasoline prices.
Source 3: Investopedia published an article that echos source 2 by stating that crude oil’s price plays into about sixty-eight percent of the retail cost of gasoline. This information was published in 2010. Taxes were the second largest factor, coming in at about fourteen percent of the retail cost. The article also stated that when crude oil costs were down between the years 2000 and 2007 the taxes were up to twenty-four percent of the retail cost. This makes it clear that the government has tried to combat the increased cost of crude oil with lower tax rates on gasoline.
What Determines Gas Prices? http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/08/gas-prices.asp#ixzz4wSQzg0yk
After Ben and I left Ashville and the conference behind headed to the northern Atlanta area. We stayed in Buford with Ben’s aunt and uncle. Our overall goal for this entire trip was to see if there were any places that we felt like we could live and thrive in after college. So Ben’s aunt and uncle gave us the grand tour. They took us to a hip restaurant called Rico’s. The food and service was wonderful and it was a delightful experience. After dinner they took us to Suwanne town center where we visited a candy shop, cupcake parlor, and a doggy boutique. I loved it. the area was full of young families, activities, and wonderful food. The area also seemed very dog friendly which is very important for a girl who loves taking her dog everywhere she goes. The next day we went shopping and had breakfast at local coffee and pancake house. I had a fabulous stuffed french toast. We then said our goodbyes and got back on the road in route to Columbia South Carolina where we stopped to go to the Thomas Rhett concert. It was a great concert and was held in an area much safer and more inviting than the Verizon Arena. After the concert we drove all the way to Winston-Salem North Carolina where Ben’s grandparents live. The next day we went to lunch at a fancy restaurant with his grandparents. After lunch Ben had an interview with BB&T, a banking company, and I went shopping with Ben’s grandmother. We all met back up at dinner were we had the pleasure of meeting and dining with Gary Chapmen the author of The Five Love Languages. He encouraged us in our marriage, gave us advice on how to keep our marriage on the “front burner” and answered some questions we had about his work. After dinner Ben’s grandparents took us to a local bakery named Dewey’s for desert. We then headed back to their house for the night. The next day we had breakfast with the family and did a short tour of the town. After that we came back to the house loaded up and started our long journey back to Little Rock. It was an exciting, adventures, whirlwind trip and I would change it for the world.
Link to Thomas Rhett’s website: http://www.thomasrhett.com/
Link to Gary Chapmen’s Website: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/gary-chapman/
This past week my husband and I traveled along the eastern region of the United States. About a mouth ago our church’s worship leader came to my husband with a proposition. We were presented with the opportunity to travel to Ashville North Carolina for a conference and help lead worship. The conference was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center. The conference was put on by the Accord Network. This is a network of faith based organizations that meet once a year to discuss new technology for the mission field, network with others, deeper there relationship with Christ, and discuss issues and trends within their organizations. Ben and I truly enjoyed the experience. We not only got to visit a part of the country we had never been before for FREE, but we also had the pleasure of networking with people from organizations we have learned about all of our lives. For example, we met people from Food for the Hungry, Hope International, Living Water, Trans Radio, Wheaton University, and many others. Our arrived late Sunday night and had breakfast at Biscuit Head Monday morning. If you are ever in the the North Carolina area make sure you stop at biscuit head! It has specialty biscuit toppings and jams. I liked it so much I bought myself and my mother two of their specialty jams. That evening our band played their first set and I ran the AV computer in the back. We mingled had dinner and then went to Walmart to pick up a few things we forgot at home. The next day we woke up and got breakfast at the retreat center’s coffee shop. All of our snacks and meals were provided by the conference we are helping with. We then had our morning session, breakout session, lunch and after lunch session. After this Ben and I went to check out the commercial shopping. We visited the mall and Barnes and Nobles as well as doing a short car tour around the town. Then we headed back for dinner and the evening session. The next day we had a very similar schedule, but instead of going commercial shopping we went downtown to check out the culture and the boutiques. We found a wonderful like chocolate shop and tried out some infused chocolates. We then wondered around and stopped at an organic skin care shop, where I purchased some facial toner. That evening the conference served hors d’oeuvres that turned out to be very tasty. After dinner we all set and talked in the coffee shop until bedtime. On Thursday we woke up had our morning session and then packed up our equipment and said our goodbyes to our hosts and our other band members. If you want to know where Ben and I went next stay tuned.
Link to the Accord Network website: http://www.accordnetwork.org/
Link to the Biscuit Head website: http://www.biscuitheads.com/
Once Ben and I got home from the cruise and had time to settle in to a normal routine we decided to take one more trip before senior year started. Neither of us had ever been to 6 Flags Over Texas so we decided it was the perfect time to try it out. One of my very best friends lives in Waco Texas so we asked if we could stay with her for one night and then the net day we played on down to Flags and staying close to the park that night. When we got to Waco we made it a priority to visit the Magnolia Market owned by Chip and Joanna Gains. It was amazing. They have set up the store in such a way that you feel like Joanna is personally showing ideas of how to decorate your home. They also have a very attractive outdoor space. It features a grassy area for kids and multiple food trucks. That night Ashlan (friend in Waco) and her boyfriend took us to a fun bar and grill for dinner. Waco has GOOD food. We slept on a blow up mattress that night and then got up went to fabulous breakfast place where I ate ginger bread french toast. YUM. Then we got on the road and headed to 6 Flags. Once we arrived at 6 Flags and decided upon the new Justice League ride. Then we headed for the roller coasters. I have always been a fan of roller coasters, but not these! Throughout the day I completely blackout out four times. I have never blackout before and do not want to ever do it again. Other than that we had a very good time. Once we got hot and tired to headed to our hotel. We stayed at an Embassy Suits Express. We were very impressed with the hotel. They had a nice indoor poor, full bar and restaurant, and the room was very nice. We cleaned up and then decided that we couldn’t be in Texas and miss out on going to the Cheesecake factory. I had the fish tacos. That meal made it to my top five best meals ever list. Overall, we had a super fun trip to Texas.
6 Flags Over Texas Link: https://www.sixflags.com/overtexas/store/landing/fright-fest?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz-HKsojV1gIVxlqGCh3S2AOtEAAYASAAEgLVfvD_BwE
The Magnolia Market Link: https://shop.magnoliamarket.com/
So on day 4 we went to the beautiful U.S. territory St. Thomas. The buildings are brightly colored and it is so fun to interact with the locals. When you get off of the ship locals are waiting to help escort you to where you are wanting to go. Ben and I decided to do St. Thomas just as a couple instead of going on the island tour with the rest of the family. We started off shopping for a wrap skirt for me and a cheesy Hawaiian shirt for Ben. Once we found what we were looking for we got aboard a taxi to Megans Bay. I have been to this beach once before and wanted to share the place with my husband. It was relaxing and beautiful. The water was so clear! I could take waist deep and still see my feet perfectly. They only thing we could have asked for is that our family could have seen the beach. After the beach we went back down the island and boarded the ship. We had another excellent dinner, went to a show and headed to bed. On day 5 we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was so fun. We walked around and ended up at Fort San Juan. It was cool to step back into time and see how soldiers lived. Their kitchen was the size of a large closet and had to feed the hundreds of men living within the Fort’s walls. Once we left the Fort we headed to lunch. We ate at a local cafe. The food and experience was very fun. We then went and walked around the town. I found a cute outfit in one of the local shops and Ben’s Aunt found some fun things for her children. As we all know these two area were hit pretty hard by hurricanes in the past few weeks. Although these areas see a lot of terrorists they do not have the money required to recover. Please consider donating to their cause.
Donate to the Red Cross Now: https://www.redcross.org/donate/disaster-relief?scode=RSG00000E017&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInZKA0t3I1gIVk4NpCh1F0w0mEAAYAiAAEgKIf_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMaAztrdyNYCFYw2aQod7D4AKQ
Info on Megans Bay: https://www.visitusvi.com/stthomas/attractions?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Bst.%20%2Bthomas%20%2Bbeaches&utm_campaign=St.%20Thomas%20Activities
View from the top of Fort San Juan