Loving Now: Nostalgia

Mother Nature was onto something good when autumn happened.  The crispness of the weather makes me want to do nothing more than snuggle into my husband with our two dogs and perhaps a good book and cup of tea.  It’s also my favorite time to just rove around thankfully.  Which is exactly what I did the moment I got home.IMG_51421.  Fall Break Gifts -Fall break just ended, but with it came a lot of rest and renewal for the next nine weeks.  I received this little pin from one of my babies.  She is an absolutely adorable little girl who has the brightest light shining within her.  I promise you she will do something amazing for people one day.  I believe this about all of my children, but her special quality is definitely her love.  I asked her what was in the paper bag when she handed it to me, and she kind of chuckled at me and said “Oh, Mrs. Buis, just open and you will find out.” I gleamed when I pulled out this cute little New York pin.  My husband and I collect pins from wherever we go (more my husband than I, since he’s been doing it since he was a young boy).  I told her how he would absolutely love it as well, since he collects them.  What a sweet gesture.  It’s those small things that happen during the day that make life big.

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2.  Thrifted Gifted Goodness – Christmas.  I.LOVE.CHRISTMAS.  My friends from college can attest to my slight obsession with this holiday.  And also with the movie Mulan.  There isn’t more than I love than Christmas, but a few things come awfully close.  Goodwill would be one of those things.  So when I find Christmas deliciousness AT Goodwill, my mind does a little dance.  I was blastedly excited to stumble upon these cute Christmas decorations. Wreaths are a current weakness and who doesn’t love those sweet little pepper berries?

IMG_51333.  Asiago Pizza – For supper tonight we tried Asiago pizza.  I love the deep hues of tomato sauce in the colder weather.  Is that weird? Spices and herbs just seem more comforting during this time.

IMG_51244.  Honeycrisp Apples – AKA Food from heaven.  You will not find a crispier, sweeter, crunchier apple than this one.  I dare you to try.

IMG_51215.  Happy Tea Mugs – What more would you want from a seraphic tea, than a seraphic mug?  I fancy floral, and this cute little design has not disappointed in carrying my beverage of choice. Yogi’s Positive Energy Tea.

jkhjgfyhkljjkl copy6.  MPR – Ever since my time in England, I have been trying to find a store like Primark.  Well, hello MPR! Its a South African company and they ship to the USA for $10.00. Ahhh, life.

IMG_51127.  Marriage – There isn’t a more exceptional bond than marriage.  Every day I’m blessed with knowing someone will love me unconditionally.  Not only that, but that this person is so multifaceted, he isn’t only my husband, but one million other things. All for me. I don’t know of a better way to feel special.  Oh, and by the way – P.S. I Love You is one of my favorite movies (peculiar since I really love fantasy/thrillers).  This book was the first thing Tyler bought for me, and I haven’t even finished it because I always end up bawling.  Hey! It’s hard to read through puffy, watery eyes.

What a Lovely Day

It’s hard to believe I’m title-ing this post “lovely” when really I’m writing about the last day of fall break.  We’ve been very blessed this week to meet the world’s most help people. EVER.  We offered up the plants in our yard since we are wanting to do some landscaping this summer, and we had at least three different families/people come over and take all the plants we didn’t want.  I know the plants were free, they had to do the labor, but they were oh-so-careful at making sure the yard still looked presentable.  Deciding to take a break from working around the house, we took a little trip on the town.IMG_5089We started off our day going to a local warehouse/thrift/flea market store thing called Miss Lucille’s.  I LOVE this place. When we first moved into town, we were there almost everyday, and I was completely okay with that.  We even bought some furniture that was too big to fit into our Cruze, so they let us borrow their moving truck.  I think I was more excited about it than Tyler was, but those are the memories worth telling our children.  When we stumbled upon this booth, I could help but smile.  It was so bright and happy.  Those little mushroom canisters reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical.

There happens to be this magical store called Ross.  It’s pretty much like TJ Maxx, which just so happens to be down the street from Ross.  Here we found these cute little birdies, which I got way to attached to in the few seconds I saw them.  I also may or may not have put them on one shelf so they wouldn’t get lonely…

IMG_5084 IMG_5085IMG_5086Our budget now mainly allows for the words “some day” and stashing whatever pennies we have in a large glass jar, which is fine by us.  It’s an exciting time to know we are building a home our children will be proud to remember.  Every present moment we have is a memory we will be able to tell them.  We might not have the best clothes and ramen might be on the menu for the next few months, but we have something that is ours. A home we can put ourselves in to – every scratch, paint color, whoops, and aha.  It’s nice to be able to step back at something and know that it was God’s increase and our hard work.

IMG_5081 While it wasn’t an adventurous day, it seems like a great way to end fall break.  Together.

Sweet as Honeycomb

adc3d6d4c9c0dc2ae20575b50fb1ec0cObstacles become much easier to overcome when you realize that God gave it to you because you were the perfect person to handle it.  This is something I need hold closer to my soul.  Recently, it has been very easy to pull a massive, three year-old temper tantrum, stomping, sobbing and all.  Life comes at you fast and doesn’t let up.  Work can easily become your life and stress overtakes joy.  But only if you let it. That’s the key. So here is for today, making sure our hearts are full of all things good and pure.  Knowing that that word impossible is only a big word thrown around by small men, because we are already victorious through God.

Mason Jar Snacks

IMG_4952You know the feeling when you look at your best friend and they know exactly what you are thinking? You walk out of whatever awkward situation you were in and exclaim “OH MY GOODNESS! I KNEW YOU WERE THINKING THAT.”  That is exactly how I feel about Tyler, even though I am usually the one who gets caught up in the awkward moment.  I swear he knows how I will respond to any situation before I know.  Our ingenious plans usually come together without more than a few words, because we just know.

These Mason Jar Snacks are a prime example.  As I have said before, we have been yearning to develop a healthier lifestyle.  So when we are sitting on our porch, in our rocking chairs, at a whopping 127 years-old, we are still moving like we are 22.  We came up with the plan to make a snack for each day, put it into some sort of container – so we can limit what types of food we are eating. Brilliant?  Only we wanted to start this idea ASAP, and we had no containers! NONE!

Tyler remembered that we had some mason jars sitting in our garage from, you guessed it, when we got married.  We ran off to Aldis, Kroger, and Wal-Mart to grab the snacks we wanted and start rationing them out. Tyler’s mainly contain nuts, cereal, chips, and raisins.  I used mine to put veggies to dip in hummus. Ooooo, how good does organization feel?IMG_4953

A real love story

One of our many goals is to start a memoir of our lives. Our relationship has had its difficulties, but we find ourselves more appreciative and loving because of them. We want our life to be a role model, for our generations to come, of love and endurance it takes to make a marriage successful.  Love isn’t just a spark. It’s the ever-glow of a fire. It’s warmth spreads and it can be seen in the darkest of times.  Here is the beginning…

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“Let us all meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” -Mother Teresa.

Before I even know he was to be my husband, I knew in my soul that he was going to be something special to me. It’s amazing to think that a moment in time could change your life adventure.  A blink of an eye, a look in the wrong direction, a word, a breath – that is all our lives are built upon.

When I was a little girl, I knew I would marry a man who I’d met while doing something I love. Call it intuition, maybe it was God’s quiet voice leading me to my future, but it was something that was always rooted in my heart.  Without a doubt, I knew my forever was someone who’d share my life’s passion. And I met him in that math class, teaching lessons to a fifth grade class. I looked up and caught his eye, I couldn’t think of doing anything else but smiling, so I did just that. Smiles hold so much joy and love in them. Amazing, isn’t it? That muscles forming into an upward shape could lead to such wonder. I thank God every day for that glance, for the chance to give someone a moment of my happiness and love.

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It took a few days, and I had honestly forgot about sharing that small soon-to-be blissful moment, but that man became a quick friend.  Without knowing him for more than one hundred hours, I felt like I could bare my soul to him as if he had been my closest friend for one hundred years.

He wasted no time letting me know his feelings for me.  I didn’t know it until quite some time later, but he told his friends he knew he was going to marry me seven days after that smile. I guess I knew it too. We spent some time together.  It was the first time I felt like I could be myself around a man. With any other man, I was seized by the idea of trying to be the woman he wanted to love, instead of becoming the woman I was born to be because of his love.

The exact moment I knew I loved him is blurry, but the first time I remember knowing we were eternal was before we were even together.  He invited me a friend’s wedding. We had planned what we were going to wear to a few weeks, pretending like we were sixteen year olds attending our first prom.  I arrived at his house to meet his best friend and his best friend’s wife. As we drove to the wedding, I saw a side of him I had never noticed before.  I noticed how quirky he was as he talked to his best friend. I noticed the long dimple on his cheek that he only gets when he is truly happy.  I noticed how carefully he drove and how he knew the lyrics to every song that played over the radio. I noticed that he had been the man I had dreamed of meeting since I was a little girl. Did you ever do that? Just wonder what your future husband was doing right at that moment. Just wonder if he was wondering about you, what you were doing, or where you were? Only this time, I didn’t have to wonder in that winsome happening.

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One of the happiest times of my life happens to be that night.  After the wedding, we took a walk in the park under the falling snow. Being with an almost stranger had never been so easy.  We laughed and talked. Talked for hours in that little Sunfire he had parked right outside his house. There were no expectations, just honesty.  We learned of past relationships, false loves, and future hopes. We even joked about eloping to Paris one day. However, the quick reality of exams not studied for tugged at our minds as time lingered. My presence strongly begged for a goodbye kiss, but I left with a delicate kiss on top my and my heart feeling so full.

We spent all of our winter break talking. I’m sure we had to have a satellite reserved just for our correspondence over those three weeks. And by three weeks, I mean three thousand years. Time moved as slowly as a grandmother in molasses. I don’t know what that means, but I bet it would be slow. He stayed with me the whole weekend as soon as we were in the same state

We shared more love in two days than most people share in the entirety of their lives. The comfort of being with someone who brings nothing but peace, compassion, and forgiveness to your life is gorgeously inexpressible. We shared our first kiss while watching Beauty and the Beast, like two little children destined to be connected forever.  That weekend was full of memories we will forevermore tease each other about.

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I’ve always had a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’ve known myself as an heir to his love, mercy, grace, and kingdom, knowing that I could conquer any mountain or impossible feat with his voice to guide me. I would never have imagined that loving someone with my whole heart would bring me closer to the Lord. I quickly forgot all of my past mistakes and misfortunes. Loving someone made me realize, if not only an inch, how much God loves and cherishes us.

Within one month after our winter respite, marriage plans quickly began to unfold. His devoted words were honey to my spirit. Never had I been told how beautiful or amazing I was. We woke up in the still of the night to remind the other of our feelings. My heart had a song.  He constantly made me aware that he was becoming a better man everyday he had with me. Each day with him made me feel anew. This love was incomprehensibly deep with no limits to stop it from growing.

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As our lives intertwined, so did our future plans. There was not a day for two years that he didn’t ask me to marry him.  And there was not a day for two years that I said no.

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One home to rule them all

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Is this home?

After living in seven cities, eleven houses, six states, and two countries (I can count two months in England living there, right? – probably not, but it makes me sound so much more cultured than my village upbringing) it is so nice to have a place to call my own, our own. My mother was very transient growing up, but insisted my brother and I grew up in the same town as soon as we started our education.  That is something to be thankful for.  I graduated with thirty-four students who I had known since I was five years-old. I’m sure you can imagine the memories we shared.  But, I’m sure you can imagine the need to find my own, a place to grow without the notions of what I was like when I was five.  And so began my real expedition: college.  The pinnacle of my college career wasn’t filling the fountains with detergent, trying to make my way through a military class (really, WHAT was I thinking), or sending an e-mail to our president that had a rather unfortunate end.  Nope.  It was meeting my friends. One of which became my best friend, my all time favorite person, and now my husband. Our relationship went a little warp-speed, but that’s how you know its real…right?

Fast forward three years, four majorly different hair cuts, a few arguments, and whole lotta love, we became homeowners.  Since next week marks our school’s fall break, a time cherished by teachers, we ventured out into our brand new city.  The downtown area is cute and quaint with lots of small shops, a farmer’s market, and some beautiful old(er) buildings.

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We even drove past this baby. The OLDEST bank in Tennessee.  I hear people travel from all around the world to visit this historical landmark ;).  We ended our outing by visiting some of the local art and decor shops, which I wish I would have taken pictures of.  However, we did come home to some pretty cute faces.

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To put it mildly, we are very excited to begin forging (I feel my adoration for LOTR just came out) this into our home.  A place for hundreds of birthday parties and holiday dinners.  A treasure box of all the memories to come.

Dinner time and stuffy noses

There are 1,000,000,000 bacteria in a gram of poop. Fact.  At least thats what the posters in my hallway tell me. I believe it.  Recently Tyler came down with the common cold, which is all too common in an elementary school.  I spent the evening making different snacks and meals for him to pop into the microwave since I had to go to work anyways.  I always feel so bad when he is sick and I am not. Is that weird? Maybe it’s just love, but I would rather be sick than have him sick.

After a VERY long day at school – I swear it’s a full moon or something! I came home to a very delicious home cooked meal.  Now, before you shrug this off, let me explain why this was so amazing.  My husband does not cook.  If my husband cooks it’s along the lines of cheese sandwiches and hot dogs.  But let me tell ya, I came home sweetly surprise by my favorite dish.

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I was so completely impressed there were not enough kisses to show it.

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To say it short, I am a lucky one.