Saturday, June 29, 2013

one week

It has officially been one week since we said "I do!" I am currently sitting on our back porch in St. Lucia reflecting on all the goodness that I have experienced in the last week. I don't think I can adequately put into words how much I have been blessed in just 7 short days. To say that I am in love with being married would be an extreme understatement  I know we aren't back in the "real world" yet, but getting to wake up every morning next to my best friend is more than I could ask for.  I love getting to call Adam my husband, and I love hearing him call me his wife. I know I am exactly where God wants me. 

Before we left for our honeymoon we never really thought about what we wanted to do while we were here. To be honest, our honeymoon was the last thing on my mind (case in point: I left my camera and razors at home!!) When we got here everyone kept asking us if we were going to go on any excursions. We hadn't really thought about it or looked into anything prior to coming so we weren't sure. We looked at a few different options, but ultimately decided that we just wanted to take it easy and just be together doing NOTHING. I know that most people would want to go and do different things, but we're not that adventurous so we have really enjoyed our low-key honeymoon.

Every day for lunch we have eaten at the same pizza place, we have taken an afternoon nap everyday and every night for dinner we have just winged it (with the exception of the two places that required reservations). Being able to just relax and not worry about a schedule or being somewhere on time has been the best thing about this trip.

We still have a few days left in paradise before we head back home, but the vacation doesn't end when we land in Atlanta. On Wednesday my aunt is getting married out by the lake and we will spend the remainder of the 4th of July weekend on the boat and at the pool with my family. I think it will be a nice transition back into "real life."

I am so thankful for all the texts, Instagram comments/likes, tweets, & everything else from each and everyone of you about our wedding. I have been blessed by this blogging/social media community more than you will know.

Until next time..

Mrs. L

Friday, June 28, 2013

don't lose your wonder

Hey you. It is an honour for me to be here on Jamie's blog (such a huge congratulations to her!) and I am excited to share with y'all today. My name is Ashley and I lead Overcome the Lie, blog occasionally but you can mostly hang out with me on Twitter @ashleybeaudin.

I wanna chat today about not losing our wonder.

I know that sometimes we get so busy, sometimes we get really stressed out and sometimes we have this list scrolling through our heads that has no end. I know. And I know that sometimes when there are bills piling up, relationships needing work and people expecting things of you, you're not thinking of your wonder, you're thinking of how in the world you're going to make it work, how you're going to get it done.

But let's take it back. 

Remember when you were a kid, remember when even the little things held wonder? And how you always were thinking in questions even if you never said them out loud. Do you remember that feeling of awe that swirled in your stomach and how it was like if you just reached out your hand, your dreams were in your grasp? There was wonder in the first snowfall, in the dawn of Christmas morning, in floating on the waters of the lake, in watching flour and eggs became a cake.

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Image via Pinterest 

I can think of the wonder I had of being this little girl sitting in front of my aunt's mirror and trying on her necklaces and bracelets as the hung loosely like oversized coats. I can think of the wonder of waking up on Christmas morning and feeling like I just woke up a princess, not because of the gifts, but because of the love. I can think of the wonder of falling back in the snow before it had ever been touched, running through fields of long grass softly scratching my legs, climbing up on farm tractors and my heart being so happy.

Because I was so full of wonder. 

Wonder makes life a gift and it transforms life from a performance into an adventure. It inspires us to run harder, dream bigger, play more, dance longer, laugh louder. It makes life like an ocean, dive in, hide in the centre of the wave or splash the ones you love, just dance with it.

Something about it makes us feel so loved. As if this adventure was just for us. As if He was waiting for us to ask those questions. As if it was all to grab our hearts and say, "Woman, you have never been more loved in all the world." 

How do we get more wonder in our lives and how do we restore the wonder that has been lost? My thoughts are simply: 

  1. Try new things.

  2. Make room to play.

  3. Do art.

  4. Laugh even if it is just you and Him.

  5. Float in the lake, jump in a puddle, fall back into a snow bank.

  6. Ask questions.

  7. Let go of the dark stuff.

  8. Dance even if no one is around.

  9. Dream. Bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Like every one of those dreams will come true.

  10. Disconnect from social media and do what you love.

Image via Pinterest 

Let's try this, this week. I bet it will bring us alive a little bit. I bet it will release a little more joy, a little more creativity and a little more passion.

And I bet you'll feel more loved, more pursued because that's what wonder does. 

It reminds us how loved and pursued we really are and how blessed we are to be gifted with this thing called life. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

cheap summer fun

Hey y'all! I'm Eleanor and I blog over at Lilac & Anchor. I'm really thankful to Jamie for allowing me to guest post while she's in St. Lucia for her honeymoon! I've read Jamie's blog for about two years now, so I'm so excited for her and Adam that they are finally married!

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I'm jealous that Jamie and Adam are hanging out at some beautiful beaches while I'm at home working!  Even if you're stuck at home like me, there are still some ways you can have fun this summer for only a few dollars.

1) Rent a movie and throw a movie night with your friends! Have everyone bring their favorite kind of candy and make sure there's popcorn too. (PJs optional!)

2) Lay a blanket on the grass and stargaze. Or do this during the day and pick out the shapes in the clouds!

3) Host a chocolate party with your girlfriends; everyone brings a different kind and everyone wins. After all, it's known to have health benefits in small doses ;)

4) Go thrift shopping with your friends and see who can pick out the best outfit for the least money.

5) Go mini-golfing, which you probably haven't done in years, and embrace the fact that you might not even be that good.

So some of these are silly, but I hope it gives you a good idea of what you can do this summer if you're not able to go away. If you want to read more, head over to my blog, Lilac & Anchor.

Thanks again, Jamie, and big congrats to you and Adam!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

creative gifts for your man

Hey, y'all! I'm Megan, and I blog over at Life of a College Girl.

First off, I just want to say CONGRATS to Jamie and Adam! You two are so precious and I am looking forward to seeing how the L's handle life together! :)

Today, I wanted to share with you lovely readers about some gifts I've given to my sweet guy to show him just how much I love him! Gotta give full credit to Pinterest though, without that, I would not be as creative as I am!

First off, we have 'The Jar of Love' and if I'm completely honest, that isn't what I call it, just needed a catchy little title to go along with this craft!
What you'll need:
- 1 Mason jar
- Modge Podge
- Newspaper
- Scrapbook paper

Essentially, this craft is so easy. First, cut the newspaper how you'd want it to look on the jar. I cut out a heart, but you do what you want! Then use Modge Podge to stick it on the jar, but careful! It gets veryyy messy. Let it dry, and the hard part is over.
Then, using the scrapbook paper, write the things you love about that person, memories you have, little drawings - it's totally up to you! I cut my paper into fun shapes and used different colored paper. Once you're done, give it to someone who means a lot to you. :)

And then, there is the '52 Reasons Why I Love You' idea. 
What you'll need:
- New deck of cards
- Sharpie 
- Single hole punch
- Ring

All you have to do is think of 52 reasons why you love someone! It seems easy enough. I have been with my boyfriend for two and a half years, but it took me FOREVER to think of 52 things! Call me a bad girlfriend, but holy smokes y'all...forever. I suggest typing them out so you can double check to see if you have any repeaters!

After you have all your ideas, write them out on the red side of the card! But WARNING: you need to let them sit out and dry before stacking them all back up! Learned that the hard way, you're welcome. ;) Punch the holes in the cards, I used a smaller circle to punch it out, it was one I had in my crafting supplies already! Then you are complete!

There is nothing better than telling someone you love them, and sometimes we take that for granted. So by these craft ideas, I'm sure you will make someone feel very loved!

If you want to read more about me, visit my blog! I'd love to meet some new readers.

Happy honeymoon Jamie and Adam! 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

all about the Leakey wedding!

Hi, girls!  My name is Nicole and if you've been following Jamie for any length of time, then I should be a pretty familiar face.  For those of you who haven't been around Southern Simplicity for long, let me introduce myself!

Jamie and I met through blogging in the Fall of 2010.  We had a lot of things in common and commented back and forth on each other's blogs until SEC football brought us together in 2011. The Georgia Dawgs came to Oxford to play the Rebels and Jamie showed up at my apartment door with Jessica (her real life friend, another blogger friend of mine!).  We've been the best of friends since the moment I opened my apartment door and I can't imagine my life without my Georgia girls.  Jamie traveled to Memphis, Tennessee for my wedding just a few short months ago and we have both been looking forward to HER wedding weekend since then!  

My husband, Ty, and I arrived in Madison, Georgia on Friday afternoon so that we could be at Jamie and Adam's rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  Jamie asked me to be her proxy bride, so I walked down the aisle with her Dad while she made sure that everything was the way she wanted it.  Jamie and Adam's friends are top notch and both of their families have such big, sweet hearts.  Their rehearsal dinner was such a sweet time to celebrate the day ahead and I think everyone had a great time!  Here are a couple of pictures from the night and a little video to give you a closer look. :)

Her flowers were KILLER!  

Koozies, of course!

The beautiful bride and mother of the bride! (And Adam...)

The three best blog friends!

bride and MOH

MOH and Jamie's precious niece and flower girl, CG!

jLa rehearsal from Nicole Cole on Vimeo.

And then... IT WAS WEDDING DAY!!!

I wish I could adequately put into words the feeling of this day.  It was relaxed and fun and sweet and all over just a precious day for two very precious people.  Jamie and Adam's friends and family came in and out of the bridal suite all day and you could just see the love they have for Jamie and Adam.  You could feel the excitement and see the joy written all over their faces.  Jamie was was so relaxed and cool all day long.  She laughed with her bridesmaids and walked around the venue just happy to finally be able to soak in everything the day had to offer.  I loved being able to be there with Jamie, her bridesmaids, and her family all day.  I was able to help out here and there and keep up with some of the littles throughout the day.  At one point I was able to head outside and jump in a few pictures with Jame and it was a TRIP when we told her photographer how we had met!  She was completely shocked and couldn't believe we were such great friends!  We always love telling people that "we met on the internet"! Ha!  Here are a couple of pictures from before the wedding!

Jamie writing one last letter to Adam before they became husband and wife!

All the girls in their monogram tanks!

Keeping little miss CG occupied before the wedding. ;)

This girl and her Diet Coke!  You know she was throwing them back all day long!  After her initial styrofoam cup from Chick-fil-a, of course...

Before the wedding Jamie and I got a chance to pray together before I went to find my seat.  I wasn't an emotional mess until that point.  Ha!  It just blows my mind that the Lord has given me such a precious friendship through the craziest circumstances.  I am so blessed that this girl is one of my very best friends and it was an honor to get to hold her sweet hands and pray over her and Adam's marriage.  I love those two so much.

Our last picture before she walked down the aisle to become Mrs. L!

I left the bridal suite to go find Ty, a few friends, and our seats.  Every seat was full and you could just sense the excitement.  We grabbed some aisle seats so that we would have a good view as the bride walked down.  

Hydrangeas, roses, peonies, babies breath... her flowers were breathtaking!

The ceremony started and a very talented gal from Athens Church (Emily Hearn- look her up!) began singing.  She sang a few beautiful songs as the grandparents, parents, and bridal party walked down the aisle.  As Jamie began her walk Emily began playing Christy Nockels' "For Your Splendor" and I immediately began to sob.  After the wedding I was talking to the photographer and she said that she had to snap a few pictures of me crying as Jamie walked down the aisle.  She said, "I thought, 'wow!  She really loves her!'"  Truer words couldn't have been spoken.  I love that others are able to see just how incredible our friendship really is.  God is so good!  Jamie just beamed the whole way down the aisle and Adam looked like he was ready to jump out of his skin he was so excited.  They had a really precious ceremony and their first act as a married couple was to take communion.  The Lord was definitely glorified through their ceremony and I am so grateful for that!

After their first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. they walked back down the aisle and their incredible reception began!  Wood stumps, vases of flowers, and candles made up the centerpieces and we dined on good 'ol southern food and drank out of mason jars.  It was a true southern affair!

Every good wedding has at least a couple of bloggers!

So thankful that Ty and I have friends like these!

It was such a fun night of dancing and laughing and celebrating the happy couple.  It was probably the most fun wedding I've ever attended, but I know that it's because I love these Georgia people so much! I was on cloud nine being with all my sweet friends that I only see once in a blue moon and I know that there are so many pictures that I wish I could have gotten!  But, I'll take the memories over the pictures any day.  You guys will just have to wait for the professional pics! ;) Which, will be amazing, by the way!  However, Tyler and I did happen to capture some of the day on video.  I hope that you enjoy seeing a peek into Jamie and Adam's day!  

Jamie + Adam from Nicole Cole on Vimeo. (Song is "Like Ships need the Sea" by Emily Hearn)

Jamie and Adam,

I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of your day and I will cherish the memories forever!  I love you guys so much and I am so excited that you are able to experience what Ty and I have experienced the past 3 1/2 months!  Marriage is such a joy and I am so thankful that we get to share this journey together.  I hope that you are enjoying every single second of your honeymoon!  I love you, Mr. and Mrs. L!

Thanks for having me today, ya'll, and be sure to come back the rest of the week because Jamie has some pretty great posts lined up!  

xoxo Nicole

Monday, June 24, 2013

marriage advice... from the Mexican restaurant

Hi girls! I am so excited to be guest posting for Jamie while she is on her HONEYMOON!!! I am sure she's soaking in the sun, the beautiful ocean with a cocktail in her hand, and precious time with her new hubby!

My name is Brittany and I blog over at Happy Is A Choice. I am in my mid-twenties, and recently I also got engaged to the man of my DREAMS! You can read our proposal story here. We met at church last year, he swept me off my feet, and 8 months later, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I am so excited! Some other exciting things going on in our life: we JUST bought a house. We closed on it yesterday, and today we get keys.

Funny story about Jamie-she tweeted awhile ago how she was trying to get her soon-to-be hubby's house ready for her to live in it, and it was right around the time Ronnie and I were deciding who would live in our new house until we got married. Well-after Jamie's tweet, I was more sure about our decision for ME to live there. So I will be living in our new house for a few months and then on October 5, 2013, he will join me for sleepovers EVERY NIGHT!

Last week I went to Iowa for my dear friend Sarah's wedding. We went to a Mexican bar/restaurant for her bachelorette party and we came across two little old ladies, sipping away on their margaritas that were bigger than they were! We chatted with them for a minute, and they offered us two pieces of marriage advice that really stuck with me, and I wanted to share these.

1. Always Forgive
Simple, right? Forgiveness sounds easy, it sounds like a good idea but when someone hurts you, and they will because we are all human, it just plain stinks. Sometimes, I just want to be mad. I want to hold that wrong above people's head as a way to get my way. Sometimes, you just hurt so bad, you don't know how to forgive. But as believers and followers of Christ, we are called to forgive. We need to forgive when it hurts. By God's grace, we were forgiven for our sin. We have been offered the free gift of grace, which we need to extend to our boyfriends, fianc├ęs, and husbands.

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” -Matthew 8:21-22

This isn't always easy, but this is one of the best ways for you to display the love and forgiveness of Christ to the man in your life. Holding a grudge, secretly harboring bitterness against someone, and constantly bringing up old hurts is going to be a path for destruction in your marriage. Forgive like Christ forgave you, and He will bless you and your marriage.

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15

2. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side

Doesn't the grass always seem greener in someone else's backyard? When I was just dating Ronnie, I was so jealous of all the engaged girls. I had thoughts of how great it would be when we finally got engaged. We're engaged now, and it IS great. But life isn't suddenly all rainbows and sunshine. I have new stresses and struggles that I didn't when we were a dating couple. Suddenly, we're wedding planning. We're making our guest list, and trying to invite everyone we care about, but wondering how we're going to pay to feed everyone. We're starting the process of combining finances, and that is just scary, and hard. We're having discussions about tithing, mortgage payments, and if Ronnie's dog is allowed to sleep with us. (He's not.)

Girls, whatever you think is the greener grass, I am here to tell you that it will bring its own problems and stresses in your life. Nicole from Bloom said it great when she said in her guest post that life isn't PERFECT once you get that ring, once you get married, once you have that house.

This is most important for married people, or us about to be married girls. The divorce statistics break my heart. God designed marriage as a life long covenant with our spouse. His heart breaks over couples who give up on their marriage and divorce. I look at the couples I know, the marriages I have seen end, and wonder how many of those ended because someone thought the grass was greener on the other side. How many people leave their spouse for someone new, how many husbands or wives long to be single and carefree again and think thats where their happiness lies?

I urge you to be careful and cautious of this truth. When you get trapped in that comparison trap, when you get fixed on something new and shiny that isn't what God has for you, ask God to search your heart. Ask him for contentment with the blessings he's provided you with.

"Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." Hebrews 13:4

God wants us to honor marriage, and our husbands and future husbands. Put your hope in Christ alone because our men will let us down from time to time. It won't be perfect, but marriage isn't primarily for our happiness. Did you know that God designed marriage as a way for both partners to become more and more like Christ?  Love takes work. Being selfless and laying down ones desires and expectations to serve a husband or wife isn't natural. Day by day, minute by minute we have to chose to love and serve our spouse well. Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ's love for the church, and Jesus provides an example of how we should behave in marriage.

If you're married or engaged, I urge you to be praying over your man and your relationship daily. I urge you to pray for protection, for wisdom, for grace, and for obedience. If you're single, I want you to know God has your love life already written. He has it under control. He has the best in store for you, I promise. It took me 24 years to find my prince and he was worth the wait.

Thanks for letting me take over your blog today Jamie. I am absolutely ecstatic for you and your new hubby. Enjoy your honeymoon pretty!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mrs. L

As you read this.. I am walking down the aisle to my forever.

"& so it was, that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised." [Hebrews 6:15]

Mrs. L

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Five

Happy Friday, y'all!! We have FINALLY made it through the week, which means only one thing for me.. I'm getting married tomorrow!!!

This morning is my bridesmaid's luncheon at the country club I grew up at. My parents moved my Senior year of high school, but we lived in the neighborhood and were members of this country club from the time I was 18 months old to 18 years old, so it definitely holds a special place in my heart. I am so excited to be able to celebrate my bridesmaids and all they have done for me throughout our engagement!!

Exactly 11 months ago yesterday Adam asked me to marry him : ) Tomorrow we will turn that proposal into a promise.

I will be having 6 wonderful guest bloggers while we are on our honeymoon! I am so glad to know that my blog will be left in great hands while we're away. {be on the lookout for a wedding re-cap from Nicole!!}

I am so excited that Adam and I will be getting to spend 8 amazing nights in St. Lucia for our honeymoon. I am going to enjoy the downtime SO much!!

I am so so so excited to be getting married tomorrow. Adam and I have looked forward to this day for a long time. Check back tomorrow at exactly 6pm (when I am walking down the aisle) for another sneak peek of my wedding dress : ) If you are on Instagram follow me (@jamielb_) and follow the hash tag #leakeywedding for wedding updates throughout the day!!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

All About My Groom

In honor of the fact that Adam and I will be getting married this weekend (are you tired of hearing me talk about it yet? haha!) I thought it would be fun to link up with A. Liz Adventures to answer some questions all about my groom.

{1} Describe your dating life prior to finding your husband/boyfriend/fiance. 

Prior to Adam I had one "serious" boyfriend in high school. We dated about a year and a half (middle of Senior year to about 3 months into college) until I broke up with him one day "just because" (if that tells you how "serious" it was haha) 

{2} Describe your husband/boyfriend/fiance in one word. How would he describe you in one word?

Adam: hard-working
Me: thoughtful

{3} You had a really silly fight. Embarrassing silly. What was it about?

Oh gosh. I am the queen of drama when it comes to stupid fights. I can get mad about anything. I'm a girl. It's what we do. Anyway, I'd say the most embarrassing fights were usually when I was so tired of not being engaged I would find any reason to be mad at him. I pitched so many fits it's not even funny. I can't remember a specific time but with the drop of a hat I would find something to be mad about back then. 

{4} In three sentences (and only three!), describe where you both hope to be in 5 years.

In 5 years I hope we are happily married with at least one kid. I hope to be teaching in my dream school district (and not driving an hour to work everyday!). I hope Adam has had a few promotions in his job, as well.  

{5} Tell us something about your husband/boyfriend/fiance we wouldn't know from reading your blog.

Adam is 100% the most OCD person I have ever met. This might make him sound crazy, but I promise he's not. He has different type shampoos for different occasions. Regular work day? $1 Suave. But if it's game day or another big function? He's whippin' out the Herbel Essence hahaha Hilarious. He does the same with boxers. He has nice J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, etc. that he wears on a regular basis, but if he is working outside or doing something physical he has "not as nice" boxers (TMI?? sorry). He is also very clean and organized (praise the Lord 'cause I am too!!). 

{6} What's one thing you never thought you'd do in front of your husband/boyfriend/fiance, but you did?

I seriously don't know. I've never farted in front of him. & never will. But maybe that will change after our wedding this weekend?? hahaha


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Wednesday {the last one!}

Today is my last Wedding Wednesday. As much as I have enjoyed this season of being engaged I have to admit that I am so relieved that in just 3 short days I will no longer hold the title of fiance. I will be a wife. I will have a husband. We will be married. I have been planning not only for our wedding, but for our marriage. I know without a doubt that I am 100% ready to spend the rest of my life with Adam : ) We're picking up the groom's suits & dropping by the venue to give the "ok" on the table layout today. This is getting real. & I am so happy. 

I thought for today's Wedding Wednesday I would give you sort of a "sneak peek" into the overall theme & feel of our wedding.. via Pinterest of course ; )