Happy birthday to my main man. I’ll spare this blog the sappy stuff, so just let me say: My life is more beautiful with you in it. You make me laugh more than anyone else in this world. You’re awesome, and I love you. Here’s to the next 26 – may there be garages full of gear, tables full of friends, fridges full of beer, seasons full of UNC wins, months full of travel, and moments full of love.
Merry Christmas, bloggin’ friends! I hope this season of Advent has brought you a bit more hope in this time of grief, a bit more light in this present darkness. As part of our little Joyce family Christmas traditions (if you’ve done it twice, it’s a tradition in my book!), we sent out Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards. This year, we’ve hung them all up on the back of our front door so every time I leave the house, I’m bid farewell by all these beautiful friends and families. I love watching families grow through Christmas cards – new babies, graduations, weddings. This year when we finally had a moment to sit down and choose our card through Minted (we use them every year!), we realized that shoot! Not a single decent photo of the both of us from the whole dang year? Good thing I have such amazingly talented photographer friends. I quickly thought of Lucy of Lucy O Photo, and I’m so glad I did. Lucy graciously offered to take our photos one Sunday morning before church with one condition – she wanted red lips. My response? Duh.
Lucy was amazing. If you’re in need of a family photo or a wedding photographer, Lucy is one of the best. And – major bonus – she shoots film. In the 30 minutes we spent with her, I think we got some of my favorite, most authentic photos as a couple. Lucy made us feel comfortable in our own skin, and she just knew what poses were going to work and what backdrops were best. Ah, Lucy, I love you!
Now before you peruse our pics, I must warn you: my hubs is smokin hot. Like, I might have fallen in love with him all over again looking at these. So just be warned – you might develop a crush (it’s easier to do so than you might think). But… he’s taken, ladies.Gosh, I love that last one. My man is so handsome when he laughs. Such a perfect moment.
30 people. 3 sailboats. 1 week in paradise. We just got back from sailing around the British Virgin Islands, y’all! As you might expect, it was amazing. One part camping and one part Caribbean vacation, this trip was adventurous, beautiful, and pretty affordable. We are SO blessed to have incredible friends – Will & Carrie – who grew up sailing and organized the entire trip, including our itinerary, boat rentals, budget, and groceries. And thank you to more talented friends – Win & Mason – who captained our boat, L’Attitude II. I know nothing about sailing, and because of these awesome people, the trip was relaxed, carefree, and just about perfect.
I had never been to the Caribbean before and always pictured lounging at some resort, staring into the clear cerulean waves from a white, sandy beach. And we’ve done the resort thing before (our honeymoon in Costa Rica), and it is everything it’s cracked up to be. But I have to say – sailing is the way to go. It was just… gorgeous. And so fun. We had 3 boats between all of us friends, so we’d caravan across the waters each morning to our next destination. We saw giant turtles, flying stingrays (no idea they did that!), and lots of pretty fish. We snorkeled almost every day, played sand volleyball, hiked around for some amazing views, and drank too many rum cocktails (the rum is amazingly cheap down there!).
It was also our first real ‘friend vacation’ as a married couple. We’ve done trips by ourselves and trips with our families, but this vacation was entirely different. Most of the people were Michael’s friends from college, and it was a blast for me to get to know them better and to make some memories as a couple with them. Vacations with friends are something I hope we do every year.
I could go on and on, but I’ll hold off. Have you ever been to the BVIs? What did you do there?!
I was so thrilled this morning when I saw that our wedding was published on Style Me Pretty! Congratulations to our amazing photographer, Jon Schaaf! The day was seriously such a labor of love from so, so many family and friends. I get emotional just thinking about each of you, and I hope if you’re reading this and were part of our day, you know how deeply we care for you. It is amazing to see how all of the details (the jewelry, the bow ties, the lace tablescapes, the Nana’s-tea-in-a-mason-jar favors, paper suite, ceremony music – seriously, do you know my aunt and Sam Bush?!, my father’s prayer, the toasts, the candlelit sendoff) came together, but it is even more incredible knowing the beautiful faces who cheered our pronouncement and danced the night away with us!
I had so much fun designing, styling, and planning my wedding, and now with a few more styling jobs under my belt (you’ll be seeing them once they’re published!), I’ve decided to take on a few select weddings or events. If you’re interested in chatting, please reach out! I can be reached at email@example.com or by leaving a comment here! Let’s get a party started!
don’t you just love summer weekends? i am really looking forward to this one. i finally am beginning to feel a bit more settled in our newlywed digs. we only need a few more things, some photos on the walls, and one big dinner party with friends. it’s been completely wonderful to feel ‘home’ even among the mess just because m comes home every evening after work, and i get to run up and plant a big, wet one on him. i love that.
so the weekend started with the Harry Potter premier last night at midnight! did anyone else go? wasn’t it awesome? although i feel a bit sad – it’s the end of an era! i remember reading the first book lying in a hammock one summer at our summer house in Wisconsin. those books are the kind of reading you can just fall into for an afternoon – just magical (!). i’m headed to Wisconsin next week actually (sans m so i’ll be a bit sad), and i think i’m going to reread HP 7.
tomorrow i am throwing a little soiree for my dear little sis who is sadly leaving us to finish school in Illinois. you go, girl! one day, kirby is going to be traveling the world, caring for the impoverished, and making a difference – all while cooking incredible meals. at least that’s what i think. we’ll be celebrating her in style with some cornhole in our backyard and some sweet summer foods (i’ve been obsessing over watermelon this year!).
hope your weekend is full of popsicles and slip n slides!
happy monday, dears! over the weekend, m and i pretended to be models for a bohemian-styled photoshoot with joyeuse photography. (isn’t m handsome? and the light!) it was so much fun to work with tahni – photographer, stylist (she handmade the boutonniere and headpiece!), world traveler, visionary – the girl is a powerhouse. and, ahem, her own wedding was none other than Green Wedding Shoes most popular wedding of the year! we were so glad to help her business, and i think it helped us feel more comfortable in front of a camera (less than 3 months until our big day!).
if you are a creative, vintage, or bohemian bride-to-be and would like to work with someone who shares your unique vision, i cannot recommend tahni more! head over to her website to check out more of her work (and to enter her anthropologie giveaway!).
have you written any valentines? as much as i love receiving them, i think i love writing them even more. this year, i bought some cards from rifle paper co. and last night i set to work writing small notes of love and gratitude to some key people in my life: sisters, mom, soon to be mom-in-law, co-worker, friend, and of course m. it’s good to remember how blessed i am.
have any fun v-day plans?
are you a fan of The Civil Wars yet? i started listening to this duo last year, and i am still wholly obsessed. their new album, Barton Hallow, came out this week and was #1 on iTunes (if my opinion alone couldn’t convince you they’re worth a listen). i love the new tunes, but my favorite song continues to be Poison & Wine (see video above). this song causes me to stop. literally. stop what i’m doing. and just listen. it moves me. rich, soul-quenching melodies. the combination of Joy Williams’ (previously of CCM fame) haunting birdsong with John Paul White’s folksy vocals is intoxicating.
in a recent article, Joy says of her music: “Beauty can be bittersweet and truth can be hard to swallow, and I think we inadvertently write within that tension with what we do—though it’s never actually discussed. It is different, but it seems like such a good space to be in.” as if i needed another reason to believe, the girl expresses what i hope all art might: that tension.
and, joy upon joys – m surprised me (or, he tried to surprise me… i guess i am more difficult to surprise than i had thought) with tickets to see them this Friday in cville. this may be my favorite Valentine’s Day of all time.
are any of you fans? have you seen them live? i’ve heard they are even more incredible on stage than on my iPod.
i can’t get over these photos taken of me and m at a friend’s wedding. can you tell how much we like to dance? truth be told, one of the things that most attracted me to him was his ability to bust a move on the dancefloor (one of our first dates ever was a salsa lesson – so fun!).
and though we often have very different music taste (me: indie and sometimes girly; him: rap, country, and beach music), we’ll dance to just about anything. and we do so (obviously) with quite a bit of abandon. m grew up shagging (a Carolina dance set to beach music), and his parents actually fell in love while on the dancefloor (i know, cute). it’s in his blood, and i’m so thankful. dancing always makes life a bit more fun, wouldn’t you say?
when we sat down to plan our wedding, m and i discussed what mattered most to us. and both of us agreed that dancing was one of the top priorities. come june, my dancin’ shoes are on!
if any of you are planning a wedding, i’d love to hear what you decided would be your priority! flowers? food? do tell.
hello dears, i’m so sorry i’ve been quite m.i.a. and inconsistent lately. the past week or so has, quite frankly, been full of wedding planning and decision-making, and my energy has been exhausted by it. i am beyond excited to marry m, and i feel incredibly blessed by the generosity of our families in the wedding planning process. there are so many fun, good things to look forward to (not least of all, actually being married !!!).
sometimes, though, i must admit that wedding planning can rear its ugly head and cause me to become a stressed, unfocused crazy person. if you’ve witnessed this, i do apologize. i think a lot of the anxiety that i allow to creep in comes from my tendency to lean on perfectionism as my defining state. and, big news – i’m just not perfect. my wedding will not be perfect. and my wedding planning will not be perfect.
i won’t be able to make my perfected, shiny original vision for the wedding come to life in every single way (for instance, i originally envisioned everyone sitting at one long barn table together… but hello! we are expecting 250 people. one table? not happening.)
also, m and i disagree. this has been perhaps one of the most surprising things about planning a wedding for me (i’m not sure why, as m and i tend to have different tastes and make decisions in different ways). it’s not always easy.
so this week, full of decision making and to-do’s, has been messy. and yet, it has been wonderful.
it’s been wonderful because i finally allowed my perfectionism to die. and i received the best gifts – grace and love. my parents graciously told me i would never be perfect but i was still beautiful and very capable of making good decisions. m affirmed that it was ok we disagree, that it did not mean we were less excited to marry each other, and that the wedding is about so much more than our decor and desserts. it’s about celebrating God’s provision in our lives and for bringing glory to His goodness by committing our lives to each other.
i’ve been thinking about that a lot this week – how profound it is that when i’m wrinkly, gray, and weathered by life’s difficulties, i will still be committed to the promise i made when i was 23. i will still be committed to m, in his mess and in mine. at the end of the day, no matter what happens at my job or how miserable my day is, i’ll be coming home to m, my best friend. the wedding will be amazing. i’m so excited. but marriage will be life-changing. my life for his. laying down my desires (even my perfectionism), in order to love m. i’ve hardly a clue what that means in real life besides what i’ve experienced through Christ’s love for me, but i am anticipating a life of adventure and fierce, fierce love.
ps – i love the above picture, taken at our surprise engagement party. such joy.