hey neeson » a creative lifestyle blog

beautiful life || grace and growth

Change is good. Those three words have been on repeat in my head for the past few weeks. I have so many beautiful and wonderful and exciting and amazing things ahead of me. Change is so good. Never before have I felt so incredibly thankful for and confident in the path laid out in front of me.

In the days before and since I first wrote about change, however, I was hit by a giant metaphorical truck. It wasn’t necessarily a bad truck, but more of a “you’re an adult now and you’re going to realize all at once just exactly how immensely your past decisions have affected you” kind of truck. {Who knew that it’d take nearly 26 years to fully grasp that lesson.} I won’t let myself regret how I got here, because “here” is amazing and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. The truth is, never before in my life have I felt both so incredibly thankful for and in such need of forgiveness. Maybe that’s part of  growing up-self awareness; the understanding that you are not a perfect person; that you are flawed and messy and hurtful and human. With that knowledge, I have found it’s so much easier {and so absolutely necessary} to apologize, to admit wrong, and to ask for grace.

Years ago, I made a choice that changed the entire course of my life. It was something that, at the time, I felt I needed to do to get back on a better path. I’ll never know for sure, but I don’t think I ever could’ve found myself “here” otherwise. I was in the middle of my college experience, loving and hating every second of it. I had no idea how to balance, and found myself in the middle of both the best and worst times of my life. Completely overwhelmed with disconnect, I walked away from a lot of really great people. At the time, I was certain that it was my only option, and looking back, for me, I fully believe that.

Since meeting David, I have been in a constant state of self-improvement. It’s both hard and wonderful. He makes me want to be better, and that has opened my eyes to so many ways I need to repent and grow. It’s all water under the bridge at this point, but I needed to share my most heartfelt apology, and by God’s grace alone, old friends have become new friends again. I will forever be amazed by the incredible healing power of time and growth. The simple words, “I’m sorry” never hurt either. 🙂 Sometimes people fall apart, only to be brought closer together later in life. I’m grateful for that, too. My prayer is that from here, I can continue to live in a forward motion, that all can be forgiven, and that what is broken may be mended.

Yes, change is so good.

celebration box

Mushy-gushy super cheesy post ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Sentimental value has been hugely important to us in the planning and creation of our wedding. Weddings are Dave’s job and I just plain ol’ love love, so I’m sure no one is surprised. We found our vision early, and have aimed to keep everything we do in line with it. Sticking with exactly that, we wanted to do something special and symbolic during our wedding ceremony, to celebrate the becoming of husband and wife. 🙂

We didn’t want a unity candle or to pour sand into a vase. Instead, we created a wooden box, using imperfect but strong wooden boards. They don’t align exactly right. There are knots, and the edges are rough. It is well built, and beautifully flawed. This is important to us – as we are exactly the same.

We also made two mason jar goblets and chose our favorite bottle of moscato. They fit snugly inside, surrounded by kraft crinkle paper for padding. On our wedding day, we’ll add letters to each other, and during our ceremony, we’ll nail the top on together. In our future, during a joyous time of celebration {one we have yet to choose}, we will crack open the box, share the wine, and read our letters. Maybe we’ll celebrate closing on our first home, or our child’s first day of kindergarten. Maybe we’ll choose to open the box on the 5th anniversary of our first date, or maybe the 10th, or 25th. We’ll know when the time is right, and we’ll relish in the memories of the day we close the box up and all the days in between.

Ooofta. All mushy-gushyness aside, I’m really excited about this! It suits us and the theme of our wedding so well, and what a wonderful way to celebrate our love and the joy our marriage will bring. 🙂

beautiful life || books, wine, and good friends

I’m in a book club. And it’s awesome. We call it MANS Club. Free hugs to whoever figures out our clever acronym. 🙂

All four of us are total book worm, English nerds, so it works well. We often get distracted, drink lots of wine, and don’t always talk specifically about what we’re reading, but, we try to choose books that blend nicely with real life, so at the very least we can fake it. 🙂

Currently, we are reading The Defining Decade, a book about how to make the most of your 20s. There’s a common misconception that your 20s are an extension of your teens, only with more freedom and {hopefully} money. This book argues otherwise. It’s been good for all of us, now in our mid-20s, to read and reflect on what we’ve done “right” so far, and what we could maybe use a little kick in the butt on. I have found a lot of truth in it and it has sparked great conversation. It’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend it! If you ask nicely, maybe I’ll let you borrow mine. 🙂

As I mentioned, wine is distracting, and so are wedding projects and especially a freshly engaged book club member – YAY MELISSA!! We had a wedding crafts and wine party last night, and I won’t even pretend that we tried to talk about our book. No time for that! I’m thankful to have friends I can be silly with at one moment, and sort out real life stuff with the next. I’m also thankful for friends who like to read and craft and drink wine with me. 🙂 Here’s a sneak at what we worked on! THANK YOU so much for helping, you guys!!