Tag Archives: wedding

Cherish Your Grandparents

8 Oct

I miss not having my grandparents around. I have written about them before and all the wonderful memories I have of them. I was fortunate to be able to spend a large amount of time with them throughout my life but like many things in life I think I took them for granted. I look back at my teenage self and wish that I spent more quality time with them. Of course now I see they weren’t gonna be here forever but it is hard to make a teenager comprehend such things.

I lost all of my grandparents pretty suddenly. My grandmother had a stroke and died shortly after due to complications caused by the stroke. My grandfather Overholt, my dad’s father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and his health had started to decline rapidly. My grandfather Hodge, my mom’s father died from cancer of the mouth that appeared suddenly and was simply too strong to fight against. He was my last living grandparent. He was able to see all the preparations for my wedding and I was able to show him my wedding dress the day before I got married. He wasn’t able to be there the day I was married because he was so weak. He held on long enough to see pictures from the ceremony the next day but then he passed in his sleep not long after.

I have enough memories of all them that I could probably write for an entire year straight about all the things I was able to experience with them. I know I was incredibly lucky to have them around so long and for them to be such a crucial part of my life. It doesn’t make it any easier though to not have them here now. I wish they all could have had the opportunity to meet Lila just one time. I know she wouldn’t have remembered but I know they would have loved her and been so proud.

Shew, this is making me super emotional and teary so I am going to end it. If you have your grandparents around go spend some time with them. If I had one more day I would make it count.

Perfection Isn’t Necessary, At The End of The Day Life Goes On

4 Oct

This day 4 years ago, I was about to walk down the isle to marry my best friend.

Months and months of planning had all been put into that big moment. There had been moments of frustration and times when it seemed as though everything wouldn’t get done. I had a vision of what I wanted the day to look like and I wanted it to have a very personal touch. With the help of my friends and family we decorated the reception area, created handmade pom-poms, built the centerpieces and put every bit of energy we had into making things just right. I know on that day there were more little projects that didn’t get completed and items that didn’t end up in just the right spot. But, you know what? We still got married that day. And it is one of my most cherished memories. We didn’t need everything to be perfect and there was no need in me lying awake thinking of all the things that could go wrong. The reason our friends and family came together that day was to celebrate our love.

And celebrate we did! I wouldn’t change anything about that day except I wish I could of realized the only thing that really mattered was the people surrounding us and holding us up. I guess no matter how much you try and treasure each moment, your wedding day is one of those times in life that passes in a blur. It is wild that so much time and preparation is put into the planning and when you finally get a chance to look up and breathe it is all done.

These pictures have afforded me the opportunity to immerse myself back into that day and re-live each part. I hold all these pictures close to my heart and had so much fun looking through the almost 4,0oo of them! Can you believe that, 4000? Not one of them is a wasted image to me though, they each capture some small element that added up to a great day.


Today, I reflect on all the amazing things that have happened over the past 4 years and it makes my heart happy. Obviously, our biggest accomplishment is Lila and I hope that we can share with her what this day means and why it is so important. I don’t think we could ever really envision what the future had in store for us or what it holds. I’m just so happy that I get to hold my best friend’s hand today and know that he has my back. Things will not always be easy and perfect but I know with each of us looking out for the other we will get through whatever comes.

I love you Josh and happy 4 years.



Steppin Out – Mother’s Day Weekend

14 May

Mother’s Day weekend was filled with lots of friends and family.

I got to attend a good friend’s wedding and hang out with my best girls:)

Lila and Josh had a daddy and daughter afternoon and went to see family in Newport. I hate I had to miss it but the wedding was lots of fun!

We had some JLJ time. We have called ourselves this since high school. (Jamie, Laura,Jamie) Baby Bray is making his presence known though, so he got to be included:)

What I’m wearing: Dress> Francesca’s Belt>Francesca’s

Sunday morning we had brunch at Copper Cellar with my parents. This was our best attempt at a family photo. Lila was exhausted and ready for a nap so she wasn’t up for picture time.

My loves.

My sweet girl.

Me and my mama. Love her.

What I’m wearing: Dress> thrifted  Belt> Francesca’s

I hope all you mama’s had a wonderful Mother’s Day.



6 Mar

I looked down at my hands today and got really sad.

When Josh proposed to me over 4 years ago he slid my grandmother’s ring on my finger.  She had left it for my mom to give to me to use, if I wanted when I got married. As things got more and more serious with Josh and I my mom told me about the ring. I couldn’t remember what it looked like but my mom said we could use it however we wanted. Before I actually set eyes on it, I was imagining different designs that the diamond could be worked into. However, once she showed it to me I knew it was perfect just the way it was.

It was a beautiful antique style ring that I can only imagine my grandmother was thrilled to have. Her and my grandfather had been married for over 50 years. They were something to truly aspire towards and had always been a huge part of my life. For my grandmother to leave her ring to me was an amazing thing.

Here is the only really good picture I have of it from our wedding day.

Fast forward to 9 months after our wedding.

Josh and I went to the lake with a group of friends. You can probably already imagine with the words lake and wedding ring that this is not a happy ending. We had spent the day riding on the boat, swimming, and had planned on camping overnight at a campsite we had set up. Towards the end of the day we made our way to a bridge. We decided it would be really fun to jump. It wasn’t a huge drop, just enough to get your blood rushing. Why I ever even wore my ring to the lake I’m not sure. Looking back, I never took it off though so I guess it didn’t occur to me to do so then either. We all took our turns to jump in the lake and swam back to the boat. As I was climbing back on the boat my adrenaline was pumping and I was talking enthusiastically with my hands about how much fun it was. I stopped mid-sentace and looked at my hand in horror. My rings were gone. They were now floating somewhere at the bottom of the lake. I turned white, I was sick to my stomach and couldn’t be consoled. All of my friends were trying to make sure I hadn’t dropped it some other place and were re-tracing my steps for me. All I could do was stand there frozen.

I realize the ring was a material possession and that no one was seriously injured or worse. I still have to remind myself of these things when I think back on that day. However, it was a family heirloom and probably the only thing of real value I had ever owned besides our house. As I would have one thought the next one would be worse. What would my grandmother think? How could I be so thoughtless? Are you not too old to be jumping off bridges? How am I going to tell my mom? Trust me, if there was a horrible thought, I had it. Needless to say we didn’t end up camping. We got our things together and headed back home. I think I was in shock and just sat and stared in-between moments of tears. Josh did his best to console me but there was really nothing that could be said. As we drove back home I decided I needed to call my mom. I had a pit in my stomach and I all I could think about was the disappointment I had in myself. My parents were out to dinner with friends and she missed my first SEVERAL calls. Once she realized I had called so many times, she obviously knew something was wrong. As a mother, she thought the worst. So I guess it came as a relief to her to know no one was hurt. She was amazing. Even though I know she had to be upset about it, all I heard were reassuring words. “Things like this happen, it’s ok. The important thing is that you are ok.” How do moms always know the right thing to say?

The ring that I wear on my hand today looks similar to my grandmother’s ring. However, it is hard to replace the spot it held in my heart. The ring still stands for love though, heirloom or no heirloom, the feeling of love can’t be replaced. I know my grandmother would be proud of the love I found and the family that has been created. So even though my heart still breaks for that day, there has been no love lost.