Life Lately

This post has been a long time in the making! Lots of big changes have happened within the last month and so I just wanted to update all of our loved ones on what mine and Kyle’s life is looking like these days.

Jobs

 First off, I GOT A NEW JOB! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been serving at a country club since January (I also worked there during my summers in college.) While the job was a blessing in itself, I knew that I needed a new job. On top of working almost every day, as late as 1 am sometimes, Kyle and I also had very opposite schedules. I was ready for something that allowed me much needed time at home, and for open weekends to see friends and to relax with Kyle. So, now I am currently working full-time at Black Oak Art Studio. I am learning pottery and getting to make mugs for businesses all over Waco, like Common Grounds and Magnolia!

When I was praying for a new job, God truly answered because not only is it an ~amazing~ job, but I get to work with Kyle! He started working there a few months back and encouraged me to apply. This is actually our second job together (we worked at subway in high school.) God answered all of our prayers with this job and we are both thankful for this slower season of life. Maybe one day we can make a mug for you 😉

Housing

Do y’all remember my post about our teeny-tiny apartment? Not long after that, we got an extremely generous offer to live in my aunt and uncle’s house here in Waco while they travel for a while! We are SO blessed by this offer and what it has done for our finances as well as how nice it feels to stretch out a little more 😉 It is 5 minutes from downtown, & we also get the luxury of a pool and the cutest kitty, Cece, who is currently curled up by me as I write this. We will be here at least until the end of the year, and then will see from there. Thank the Lord for family!!!

School / Career

Kyle is powering through his last semester at Baylor and is beyond excited to graduate in December! He loves his major (computer science) and is just ready to be able to start his career. Right now he has a few options regarding where he might accept a job at, and we are open to many path’s. Kyle has worked incredibly hard these past few years and I am so ready to watch him thrive in the workplace!

As for my future job, I am still learning what I want to do. We plan on letting Kyle’s job dictate where we live and I will find a job from there!

Praying

For those who would like, here are some deliberate ways that you can be praying for us in a season where things are constantly changing!

  • Prayers for direction in mine and Kyle’s future jobs
  • Prayers for an overflow of relaxation for us after ending such a busy season of life
  • Prayers for financial peace as we pay off some BIG student loans for Kyle

So there are my quick updates! I love blogging because it allows me to connect with everyone who cares about our lives, and to share what’s happening with us.

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(Yes, his hair is getting really long! 😉 )

 

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6 Things I’ve Learned in 6 Months of Marriage

Kyle and I have been married for 6 months (and something days) and I truly never realized how quickly time passes by until now. I am living my best life, and time is flying.

 

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I don’t want to pretend like I have everything about marriage, or men, or life all figured out. I’m so far from that. But I do like to think that these 6 months have made me a little wiser when it comes to all of those things.

I can’t wait to see how Kyle and I discover more and more of one another as we’ve been married 1, 5, and 20 years. I believe that there is always something new to discover about someone, even the one you are married to.

So, here are the six things I have (slightly) figured out. Hopefully this list only grows by the year.

  1. Find Activities You Enjoy Doing Together, and Do Them Regularly

Kyle and I are literally polar opposites. I love writing and English, he loves science and math. He is quieter and thoughtful, I am super chatty and will talk all day long about anything. He is a risk taker, I am much more cautious. He loves any and all sports, while I barely know how football works. He is an only child and I am the oldest of six. The list goes on and on and on. However, despite how opposite we are we have found things we both enjoy doing together. For example, we can now quote “The Office”, which has turned into our favorite show. I loved the show and so we’ve started watching it together. I’ve started gaining interest in rock climbing, Kyle’s absolute favorite activity. I love to cook, and so he has gained interest in how I cook and tips for when he cooks on his own. Kyle is a teacher by nature, and recently showed me how to write code (he is a computer science major). Even though some of these things I would not have necessarily chosen for myself, his love for these things inspires me to see the good and joy he finds in them. I cannot wait to continue growing our list of activities we enjoy together, for people who are so opposite 🙂

2. Don’t Be Afraid to be the First To Say “I’m Sorry”

Arguments happen, and you say things you don’t really mean. It’s inevitable and bound to happen at one point or another. Or you forget to do something *really really important* that they asked you about. Often we are so quick to defend ourselves that we forget that all the other person wants to hear is that we are sorry. I’ve learned that I don’t need to constantly defend myself if I’m wrong, because Kyle is going to love me every time I mess up (that’s the cool part about marriage.) Hearing him out is what he really wants, and as long as I let him know that I hear him and that I will do better, he is happy. He doesn’t need me to defend myself, because he isn’t looking to put me down.  A sincere apology is the key to almost everything.

3. Wake Up Together

Each morning, Kyle needs to get to work before I do, so naturally he is the first one up. However, I’ve learned that having an hour together before work is the best part of the day. Instead of just sleepily telling him bye, I love having that early morning hour to connect and talk about the day to come, and to be able to make him breakfast. There is so much joy in sacrificing an extra hour of sleep in exchange for really sweet quality time together, especially since our schedules are often so conflicting.

4. Date Nights

Date nights don’t just rock because you don’t have to wash dishes, but it gives me an awesome excuse to wear all the cute clothes that I don’t get to wear during the week (#serverlife). Most date nights lead us to some sort of Mexican restaurant (we can’t help ourselves) and going on a walk around the park or our neighborhood. Simple, but wonderful. Especially being on a budget, elaborate date nights aren’t realistic. However, we love driving down the road to Austin every month or so where we get Mexican (we are creatures of habit) and explore one of our favorite cities. Ever checked out Barton Springs? It’s a spring fed swimming hole in downtown Austin that is perfect for this ridiculous heat. Fingers crossed that we can go again soon!

5. Love Languages

Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet, you’ve probably heard about the ‘Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. Basically, it assumes that most people fall into one or two categories that describe how they feel most loved. Kyle’s love language is words of affirmation, so I am constantly thinking of ways that I can verbally affirm him, because this is how he best feels love. I love to build him up with what I say, write him letters, and tell him how proud I am of his work. And on the flip side, I am very cautious of using too harsh or belittling of words, because I know that that is what tears him down the most. Telling him how much I appreciate him is how he knows I really love him. For me, I am a total physical touch girl. My parents and siblings are all the same, we love hugging, so I’m totally convinced this is why touch is my love language. Kyle knows this, so when he wants to make sure I’m feeling extra loved he’ll give me a back massage, or hold my hand during church, or give me a really long hug. Take the quiz online if you want to find yours out. It has made our relationship 10000 times better because we know how to pick one another up when we’re feeling down, and what makes us feel the best. (Take the quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/)

6. Make Goals Together

Before Kyle and I got married, we sat down one day and wrote a list of our marriage goals. We have that list taped on our fridge so we are always reminded of what we want our marriage to look like. Recently, we have been working on making a list of 5 year goals, financial goals (no more student debt!!!) and future family goals. While we cannot always predict what will happen, it’s so special to come together and decide on what we as a couple will strive for.

I encourage you to sit down with yourself or if you’re married, with your spouse, to decide what you want to strive for in life. Life will throw us curveballs, but we want to be on the same page. We are a team for life and setting goals together is part of an awesome marriage.

Let me know if you have any awesome marriage tips. I would love to hear from y’all as I’m still in the newlywed stages of our marriage 🙂

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Five Friday Favorites

So, I want to start blogging my ‘five friday favorites’.

It might not be every week (I don’t think I have 5 new favorites *every* friday)

But I will be posting these every few fridays, so be on the look-out!

I’ll be sharing my favorite products, discoveries, or new things that have taken on a greater meaning in my life. I think this is just a fun way to show y’all some things I’m passionate about.

So without further ado, here are this week’s Five Friday Favorites

1) Kombucha Ohhhh my goodness where do I even start. So I’ve been hearing about the kombucha rage for a while now, mostly from the super crunchy/granola/hip instagram accounts that I follow and vicariously live through 😉 A few weeks ago when I was in KC for my friend Emily’s wedding, she showed me her favorite kombucha brand. When I got home to TX, I bought 2 different flavors and I am now OBSESSED! I feel like the kombucha flavor is definitely an acquired taste. If you’ve ever made any drinks with apple cider vinegar, the tart acidity flavor is very similar (but one that I can’t get enough of!) Emily showed me the Kevita Master Brew Kombucha, which is the only one I’ve ever tried, but it’s good enough where I don’t want to venture out to different types. I’ve had the tart cherry and pineapple peach (both super yummy.) I got a few at Target where they had 2 for $5. The bottle is two servings so one bottle lasts me for two days. I don’t buy them all the time (#newleywedbudgetlife) but it’s such a yummy way to treat myself every once in awhile!IMG_1115
2) Waking Up Early Anyone who knows me knows I have a really hard time waking up anytime before 9 or even 10 in the morning… (ask my college roommates). I have always wanted to be an early riser, and once I’m awake I love the quiet of the morning. But getting up, that’s the hard part. Since Kyle has started his internship, however, he has had to be awake around 7am each morning. I have been getting up with him and it has been totally life-changing for my mornings! Not only do I get to spend a little extra time with my husband each morning, but I get to make him breakfast, read or watch netflix, and sip on coffee. Before, I would wake up 30 minutes before I would have to leave for work, and throw on some clothes with little or no breakfast. This new routine is glorious. With that, I encourage anyone out there who needs a little re-vamp in their life

 

3) Old Navy Soft Linen-Blend Shorts So I got my first pair of these shorts last summer on sale and they were all. I. wore. I literally lived in those shorts, but wasn’t able to find any more. As soon as summer hit this year I went back and sure enough, they were re-stocked! For some reason, finding the perfect pair of shorts is nearly impossible for me. Jean shorts stick to you in the Texas heat, and I prefer my shorts to be a little looser, which is also very hard to find for a reasonable price. But these shorts, I’m in love. I have a forrest green, blue, and chambray pair, and at $20 I will continue buying Old Navy out until I have alllll the colors. I’ll link the shorts down below!

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4) Drinking 150oz of Water… With a Trick I’ve always had a hard time drinking enough water. I either forget, or I just want to drink coffee and orange juice all day long. But recently I was scouring the internet for ideas and came across this game changer: rubber bands on a water bottle. So here’s how it works. My personal goal is to drink 150oz of water a day, which is roughly five of my off-brand yeti cups. So I put five bands on my cup. Each time I finish a cup, I move one of the rubber bands to the bottom, and I keep on going until alll the rubber bands are at the bottom! It’s an easy way to keep track of your water intake without using an app, and it’s like a game you can play with yourself. It has totally worked, and I’ve seen results! More energy, clearer skin, and less mindless snacking. Try it, it will change the way you drink water!

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5) Origins Skincare I’ve always had temperamental skin, and especially last year while I was planning a wedding, getting ready to graduate, getting ready to move, and continuing long distance, (haha can you say stressed?!) my acne got to an all time high. My skin was horrible, and I was in a rut. I had tried every skin care option available, every pinterest-y idea and every facewash known to man. I looked like a puberty-stricken teenager. It did get better after all of my stress-points went away, but I needed something to bring me full circle, to give me back the skin I knew that I had… somewhere. I have a few friends that have used Origins facewash and skincare products and I had always noticed a drastic difference from before and after with them. So I took the plunge, paid for an expensive facewash/moisturizer and waited for the magic to happen. Let me tell you, IT HAPPENED! My face is in a totally new place. Breakouts are rare, my inflammation has gone way down, and I feel 10X more confident in my own skin. Plus, I can go makeup free now and not be self-conscious, which is a huge bonus! The face wash I got is called ‘a perfect world’. It’s a ginormous tube and while it did set me back $30, it’s supposed to last close to a year ( a little goes a long way.) I also use ‘a perfect world’ moisturizer. They have a range of skincare lines so go with what works best for you! My skin is extremely sensitive so I wasn’t able to use their citrus scented gin zing line. If you need any more info about this reach out to me! I have been in your shoes before and am happy to help anyone out with more info if they are in the same boat I was in.

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Link for Old Navy shorts: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=508243052&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=soft-linen-blend-shorts-for-women-3-1-2-P508243&brandCvoSid=RDJM4FJRH5UU&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oldnavy.com%2Fproducts%2Flinen-shorts.jsp

 

Tiny Apartment Tour!

Having a home (apartment) with Kyle is the absolute best. There is nothing better than living with your best friend – and what makes it even better is that we are living with only 425 square feet!!

We love our small space, but whenever it comes up in a conversation, we are normally told that we’re crazy, or they ask how we manage to fit everything! Honestly this might be normal sized for some downtown NYC apartment, but we’re in TX where everything is usually big (including homes) so I understand the shock. 

So with curiosity surrounding our living arrangement, I figured I would give y’all a little home tour and some side notes about our space!

First off, the living area.

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This built in bookshelf is one of my favorite apartment features, because it also doubles as a dividing wall between the living space and bedroom space. It’s also where we just put a lot of random knick-knacks that we don’t really know what to do with 🙂

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Above is the table located by our front door. Usually is not this clean, it’s typically cluttered with papers and bills and cups (just keeping it real!)

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In the frames above our TV are our wedding vows. Eventually I would love to have them blown up and on a canvas, but this is my budget-friendly version of displaying them for now. I just found a fancy font, printed them on card stock and put them in some dollar tree frames. Cheap, easy, and a nice reminder of our promises to each other.

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This couch is our Facebook marketplace steal! So proud of my bargain hunting skills – we got in for $160!

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Our wine cabinet and a view into the kitchen.

Next we have the kitchen. It’s super tiny but it gets the job done!

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(personal plug: if you’re interested in the wall weaving above our table, I’m actually in the process of stocking up an Etsy shop with weavings. Hit me up if you want to know more!) 

Since the kitchen is so small we are actually using my patio table/chairs from college and it works perfectly! Just throw a cute tablecloth over it and you don’t know the difference. unnamed (10)

And from here, we go to our bedroom area (not technically a room since there’s no door leading to it, but you get my point.)

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Trust me when I say we aren’t typically this clean 😉

And lastly, we have our bathroom. Outside the bathroom door there is a little vanity area and a coat/everything else closet!

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You might notice that we are lacking a dishwasher, and a washer and dryer! At first we weren’t sure about not living with those ~necessary~ appliances, but soon realized how hand washing dishes is not bad, especially with only two people. It might sound silly, but it also gives us more time together and good opportunities to talk if one of us washes and the other dries 🙂

For laundry, we take it over to my parents home 30 min down the road every Sunday. So not only do we get to do free laundry, but we get some yummy food and we get to see all of my siblings and my parents. It’s really a win-win situation. Since we don’t plan on being in this area forever, we know this is treasured time.

One of the perks of living in such a tiny space is that we are able to clean up suuuuper quickly! Since mine and Kyle’s schedules are quite opposite, it’s nice not having to spend the time we do have together cleaning. Instead we can speed clean when necessary and then relax together 🙂

And finally, a quote that my sweet friend Emily sent me on Pinterest a while back. Never has a quote applied so directly to how we are living right now.

“Love grows best in little houses

with fewer walls to separate

where you eat and sleep so close together

you can’t help but communicate

oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss

love grows best, in houses just like this”

– Doug Stone “Little Houses”

I really want to get that printed on a canvas, so that when we move on to a bigger space, we have a reminder of how special our time in our first home has been together.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to come and explore our little home! Remember to leave comments or shoot me an email  (jess.lanmon@gmail.com) if you have a question, comment, or just want to chat 🙂

Grocery Haul

HEB is the best grocery store. Ask any Texan and they’ll tell you the same. Always clean, relaxing, and well organized with the best products. Shopping at HEB in the mornings is especially therapeutic. There’s just something about being one of the 8 people lazily strolling through aisles sniffing candles and deciding which cheese to buy. Call me crazy, but HEB shopping is some of my favorite ‘me’ time.

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I especially love HEB brand products. Not only are their products well priced, but the quality is simply unbeatable. I always know what I’m going to get. (This isn’t any type of ad or plug for HEB, just want to mention where and what products I get when I grocery shop.)

I stick very closely to the same shopping list each time I grocery shop.  It might vary from time to time, but the groceries I buy are versatile items that are well liked by both myself and Kyle. I try to stick to the edges of the store where fresh produce and products are located. Besides processed foods I buy for Kyle’s work lunches (like granola bars or occasionally, chips) we stick to whole, fresh foods.

Here’s a general idea of what I get at the grocery store!

(Note: we don’t buy ALL this food each time we grocery shop, but these below are what we choose from each time)

 

Meats & Protein

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey bacon
  • Breakfast turkey sausage
  • Salmon fillets
  • Tilapia fillets
  • Shrimp
  • Hard Tofu
  • Turkey lunch meat
  • Eggs (we usually buy the 36 pack… we LOVE our eggs)
  • Veggie burgers
  • Ground turkey meat
  • Tuna
  • Feta & Spinach Chicken Sausage

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You might notice that we don’t have any type of beef or pork on our shopping list. Kyle cut out red meat many, many years ago – mainly for health reasons, but he also feels better when he eats leaner cuts of meat. Even though I enjoy red meat, I don’t eat it unless we’re at a restaurant every once in awhile.

 

Dairy

  • Almond milk (we do buy skim milk every once in awhile, but I prefer the taste of almond milk!)
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Gogurt (we freeze these, our FAVORITE treat!)
  • Mexican shredded cheese
  • Fresh mozzerella
  • Feta cheese
  • Parmesean cheese
  • Provolone slices

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Fruit

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Clementines
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Pears
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pomegranates
  • Avocados

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Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Fresh green beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Snap peas
  • Edamame
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh rosemary

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                                   Canned/Jar Foods & Pantry Staples

  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Coconut milk
  • Pasta sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Pesto
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Pretzel thins
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Banana chips
  • Larabars (the lemon ones are to die for!!)
  • Popcorn kernels
  • EVOO
  • Canola oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Spirulina powder
  • Almond butter
  • Almonds
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetable stock
  • Raw honey

 

Grains

  • Whole grain pasta
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Blueberry bagels
  • English muffins
  • Brown rice
  • Granola
  • Pita bread
  • Tortillas
  • Veggie pasta

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Drinks

  • Topo Chico
  • Sparkling water
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut water
  • Coffee (the darker the better)
  • Multitude of tea (favorites are green chai and orange spice)
  • Lemonade
  • Wine

 

 

Miscellaneous

  • Multitude of spices
  • Hummus
  • White, wheat, and coconut flour
  • Baking soda
  • Ice cream
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar (white, brown, and powdered)
  • Yeast
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Capers
  • Daily vitamins
  • Hair, skin, and nail vitamins

 

 

Notes

  • We don’t follow any certain type of ‘diet’. Kyle and I are both invested in eating healthy diets, and we grocery shop to mirror that goal in our lives. We try to eat protein + vegetables for our meals, limiting sugar and bread. But we also love eating right out of a tub of ice cream together and chowing down on extra buttery popcorn 🙂
  • Mostly everything listed is H-E-B brand. Some exceptions are chocolate chips (Hershey’s), coffee (life is too short to drink bad coffee), and bagels 🙂
  • I usually spend around $60 a week at the grocery store (just for a frame of reference.)

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Our Wedding Day

January 4th, 2009, I walked into the same room as my future husband for the first time. There was obviously no way to know that it was my husband at the time, but I am able to distinctly remember many specific things about the day when I first met him.

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It’s funny, because I don’t know if we even talked to each other that day. My family had recently moved to Valley Mills and this was my first Sunday at FBC Valley Mills. I walked up the wooden steps into the quiet attic where youth was held. Among a circle of worn out couches sat Kyle, a quiet boy who looked to be about my age,  and who I remember having a straight across haircut. I took my place next to the only other girl in the room. There was also a boy there dressed head-to-toe in camo (I would get used to the camo obsession after living in the little country town a few more years, where it was common for boys to wear camo tuxes to prom.) Kyle was not a camo boy, however. I noticed that right away.

One of the sweetest ladies, Angie Whitney, was asking us about how we spent our Christmas break. (Angie actually was a huge part of our wedding day, helping us pull everything together!) Kyle quietly told the group about how he messed around with some friends and played with some fireworks below a bridge a few days before (haha, it sounds so sketchy the way I describe it.)

Vague, but I remember it specifically: the day I met my husband.

On a rainy January day I married my best friend, Kyle Lanmon. It was the most beautiful, most grace-filled day of my entire life.

My bridesmaids had spent the night at my house, so on the 14th we woke up early and drove to Waco to get ready. Our ceremony was at 1pm (which is earlier than most) so we were up around 5:30 am. My bridesmaids were such solid supports for me throughout my engagement and my life, and I am so thankful for the role they played on that day for me.

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We drove to Waco in multiple cars. I drove my car with my sister Erin next to me. We sang songs together on the way there, mostly Bethel Music and Hillsong. I drove and prayed and cried tears of excitement and awe. I was on my way to get ready for my wedding day.

We arrived at my aunt’s house to get ready, where we snacked on breakfast foods and started glamming up. My photographer (Sarah Thompson, such a talented lady) arrived at the same time as us and did an amazing job of capturing the day from the very beginning. One of my high school friends, Kennadi, did my hair and makeup. It was a sweet time getting to talk together. 

While we were getting ready, the guys arrived at the chapel to take pictures with our second photographer. During that time, Kyle’s best man, Moises, gave him the journal I had been writing to him since 2014. It was a gift I had poured my heart into, and it was incredibly special for him to receive it on our wedding day. (Now, we both have journals for one another and write in each other’s.)

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Most of the day is a blur, to be honest. I remember getting to the chapel on Baylor campus and waiting in a side room, shaking and praying. The joy I felt was intense and surreal like nothing I had ever felt before. I could feel the thick presence of God surrounding us that day.

I remember the moment I saw my Dad. It is a moment I will never forget. The man who loved me first, and the man who has always reminded me of how proud he is of me. It was a truly sincere moment filled with tears, and I was honored to take his arm and walk down the aisle. There is no one else I would have wanted by my side.

When those doors parted, it felt like the sea parting for Moses. A moment when Moses saw God’s full faithfulness in the flesh, providing him with something so tangibly evident of how good our God is. The aisle that led me to my husband. I remember almost gliding down the aisle, feeling airless. Kyle and I locked eyes, streaming tears of awe. We both knew how sincere, how real, this moment was. Six years of ups and downs, of the best time of our life, of pushing through long distance, it had led us to the most grace filled day of our lives. We don’t deserve the joy we had, but through redeemed hearts and the promise of the Bible we were reminded “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It was a moment when we were both fully known and fully loved.

I remember feeling like we were the only ones in the room, like Kyle was staring straight into my soul and speaking to every bit of my being. It was the most intimately personal moment in my life. The ceremony, the vows we promised to each other, I had never been so fully aware of myself. I know God was fully present in those moments. I had never known a love like the one I felt for my husband on that beautiful, rainy day. Reading my vows to Kyle shook me. I was fully aware of how sincere of a promise I was making. I wanted to scream my vows on a mountaintop, and that still would not adequately describe how deeply I meant what I said. The feelings were pure, raw, and perfect.

My Uncle Mark, a pastor, performed that beautiful ceremony, gave us the go-ahead on the best kiss ever, and watched as I became Mrs. Kyle Lanmon. It was beautiful.

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We walked back down that aisle, crying and grinning ear-to-ear. We spent some time alone together before going to take family pictures and leaving for the reception.

Our reception was located in a simple, beautiful, white building in Cameron Park. We danced and kissed, gave our guests a million hugs, and got to look into the faces of everyone who had loved, supported, and prayed over us since day one. We are still so thankful for the many people there to celebrate with us on our very best day. The reception was a blur between all the faces and smiles, but I do remember the intense joy we had during those few hours after our ceremony. We were and are lucky to be loved by so many. Not only did my uncle fly from Alaska to perform the ceremony (!!!) , but a dear family friend, Carolyn, and her daughter Erin, baked the cakes and organized the food – the same friend who made my parents wedding cakes! My parents were so generous, giving me a beautiful wedding and providing me with everything I’ve ever needed.  Angie Whitney and Stephney Gaidusek, sweet, sweet ladies, volunteered so much for us, truly giving life to our day. My grandparents provided so much for us, and our families were so involved every step of the way. My best friend Maddy’s husband, Matt, DJ’d our wedding and Maddy, bless her heart because she poured blood, sweat, and tears to make our day how we envisioned it. It was a day full of reminders to be thankful for your people – the ones who would cross oceans and move mountains for you, just because they love you.

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While it was a celebration of Kyle’s and my love, it was also a celebration of family and dear loved ones, because y’all are the ones who have shaped our lives. We loved having all of our people together in the same place for a day of celebration.

We ended the night with a sparkler send-off as we drove away in my Dad’s truck (thanks Dad!) for San Antonio (we could only get away for a weekend since Kyle had school that Tuesday!) We sang, kissed, and stopped to get Chipotle on our way to a peaceful and golden weekend spent together as husband and wife. Those next few days were spent strolling along the river walk hand-in-hand, exploring downtown, getting massages, and eating a whole lot of a lot of Mexican food!! It’s been five months since that day, but the joy and sincerity of the promise I made to Kyle and God that day has not ceased. It is an honor to love Kyle with my whole heart, for my whole life. He is an honorable and caring husband: my absolute best friend. There is no one else I would want to walk through life with.

“Life is not the mountaintops, it’s the walking in-between and I like you walking next to me.”

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(P.S.: I will be uploading a whole lot of wedding photos to Facebook within the next week, so if you would like to see more, add me on Facebook!)

Must Haves: Spring Edition

Hi friends!

In Texas, there are no distinct seasons (except for hot; hot is definitely a season of it’s own.) And lately, I’ve been thinking about what products I find essential when it gets warmer here. I love reading other bloggers’ seasonal favorites, so I thought it would be fun to make my own list!

Without further ado, the four items I currently cannot live without.

1. Sparkling Water

I know, I know, sparkling water is a ~trendy~ favorite these days, but for years this has been a drink I adore. I get some fizz and flavor without actually drinking a bad-for-you soda. My mom and I are both in love with the HEB brand of coconut flavored & grapefruit flavored sparkling waters. They are AMAZING (and much cheaper than La Croix.) But I will splurge on La Croix every once in a while. I also normally have some Topo Chicos in my fridge (lime is my favorite!)
                                                      

2) Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Baking Soda Cream Cleanser

It’s a mouthful to say, but this is by far one of the best cleaning/polishing products I’ve ever used! It is the only cleaner that has successfully removed burnt on stains from our stove top, is perfect to wipe down the sink when you’ve finished a load of dishes, and did I mention that the Lemon Verbena smell is to. die. for. I don’t know about y’all, but a fresh smelling home totally uplifts my mood and gives me a sense of relaxation.  I got mine at Target for $2.99, and a little goes a long way so it’s worth the buy any day of the week. (Not being endorsed, just seriously love this stuff!)

3) Thayer’s Witch Hazel

My skin has always been incredibly sensitive. Put too much product on, and I have breakouts for days. If I don’t put on enough lotion, my face becomes the Sahara desert. Don’t even get me started on scented facial products (I learned to stay away from those a looooong time ago!) But I found a product recently that has been totally revolutionary for my finicky face – Thayer’s Witch Hazel. Not only do they have an unscented type (yay!) but it is also alcohol free (double yay!!) Facial products with alcohol never mix well with my skin. I am able to clean, tone, and refresh my face without worrying about the side effects. With all the harsh chemicals in normal toners and witch hazels, I love being able to make a good health and beauty decision for myself by splurging on this brand (most toners are only a buck or two.) It’s super refreshing on a hot day – I just pour a few drops on a cotton ball and swipe around my face. For y’all with less picky skin than mine, they have scented varieties that smell amazing, like lavender and rose petal. I got mine on amazon for $8 but Target also carries this product.

4) Chacos

This has been true for a while, but I live in my chacos. I even converted my husband over, who now wears chacos every chance he can. Not only do they come in a cute prints and patterns, but they are soooo easy to slip on in a hurry and are comfortable for hours on end. They get a lot of hate for not being *cute* but I rock mine proudly! Even though they are a pricier buy (most run for around $100-$120) they are shoes that I will buy again in a heartbeat once my current ones have worn out. Did I also mention that they last for waaay longer than most shoes these days? I had my previous pair for over 6 years!

Thanks for reading!! Let me know if you use any of these products, or if you have any suggestions for products I might be into. I love sharing tidbits of my life with y’all

Have a question? Contact me at jess.lanmon@gmail.com

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Want to chat? Reach out! I love hearing from y’all.