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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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!)

Our Wedding Vows

My sweet readers –

Here I am finally breaking blog silence!! I hope to start blogging again regularly, as I truly do enjoy it. However, a break was necessary as we started getting close to the wedding and I was completely overwhelmed putting the finishing touches on our wedding that was happening in TX, while I was still in Arkansas… yes, it was crazy! However now as Kyle and I have been finding our married rhythm, I am slowly but surely brainstorming new blog posts to come. A recap of our wedding day is in the works, and will be here as soon as I get the pictures back from our photographer.

In the meantime, I have gotten many questions about the vows that Kyle and I wrote for our wedding. If you plan on getting married any time soon, I would highly recommend writing your own vows! Special words said on your most special day is truly a gift. I have already gone back many times, re-reading the vows Kyle wrote to me. Eventually we would like to get them professionally printed on a canvas to hang in our home as a daily reminder of our promises, but that’s still down the road.

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Kyle’s Vows…

Jessica, you amaze me.

You are loving, kind, gentle, smart, and so many other good things that I can’t say them all. I am blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life alongside you.

I loved who you were when we met, I love who you are today, and I commit to loving whoever you become in the future. I promise to support you and encourage you in all of your endeavors, and I promise to be your best friend. I will be there for you for all of your successes and I will be there when things don’t go quite as planned. I promise to always listen to you and to respect your opinion, even if it is not what I want to hear.

Life is not always easy, and it is not always perfect, but there is no one else I would rather be with than you. I think Ben Rector said it best when he said, “Life is not the mountaintops, it is the walking in between and I like you walking next to me.” I cannot wait to start our adventure together and live life with you. Jessica, I love you.

Jessica’s Vows…

“Kyle,

Marrying you is the greatest honor.

I have watched our love beat the odds –  we made it through high school, long distance (428 miles, to be exact) and 6 long, beautiful years of building upon the love of two fifteen year old kids who couldn’t stand to be apart. I loved 15 year old you – determined, kind, quiet, and discovering the man who you were destined to be. I loved 19 year old you – broken out of your shell, full of laughter, and forgiving. Now, I love 21 (almost 22) year old you – courageous, optimistic, humble, radiating joy, strong-hearted, God-fearing, open, patient, and everything that I can only hope to be. I can’t wait to love you at 26, 48, and 75. I promise to love you for who you have been, and for who you will become.

Kyle, I promise to respect you as my husband, and to give you my heart daily. I promise to adventure with you, seek Christ on a deeper level together, help you pursue your goals, and to always be your biggest fan. Thank you for reminding me that every day is an adventure. Thank you for being my protector, for loving every part of my soul and only holding me closer as you discover more of my heart.

My love for you, Kyle, is more than just a feeling of inloveness, it is an unwavering confidence that we are so much better together than we are apart, and that unconditional love is real.

Kyle, we have it. I  love you so much.”

………………..

 

My Maid-of-Honor, Maddy, pointed out how similar our vows are, in the theme of loving each other at every stage of life. We reflect on what we have promised one another regularly, in hope that we never take lightly the promises that we have made. I love having these words as a reminder of our commitment, and it is an honor to share them with all of y’all! We love y’all so much, our wedding day was beautiful and I can’t wait to share more with y’all soon!

 

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Recently, I’ve come into the habit of journaling my prayers. Maybe it’s my inner English major coming out,  but there is just something special about writing out my deep, inner thoughts. I believe that we love a good God who listens to our prayers, even if it’s not how we might typically ‘pray’. Writing down my prayers helps me to focus on Jesus and to stay present. It also reminds me that Jesus is constantly working in my life. I can look back a few months and see what I was praying about, and how God has answered that prayer (in whatever way) today, even if it’s not the answer I was ‘hoping’ for. And then there are some things that I am still waiting on God’s answer for. But it reminds me that God is not deaf to our prayers. I just have to be patient.

All that to say, being engaged, I have taken care to carve out deliberate time to pray for mine and Kyle’s future marriage, and for Kyle as my future husband. In an attempt to be vulnerable, I am going to share one prayer I recently wrote out. There are many reasons why I want to share. Ultimately, I believe that to reach others we are called to be vulnerable. We are not called to fake perfect lives. We are called to admit that we are inherently flawed, but that we have a perfect God. I also know that sharing prayer can be scary. I mean, do any of y’all remember sitting in Sunday School and being called upon to pray? I don’t know what y’all did, but I would straight up panic. It’s scary to talk straight up from your heart. When that would happen to me, I would often give a generic prayer so that I wouldn’t have to be made uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have to be vulnerable. You don’t want to say the ‘wrong’ things. You don’t want to pray about the ‘wrong’ things. You don’t want to be judged.  But once again, we are not called to comfort as Christians – we are called to much more. And with Jesus, he doesn’t care how ‘fancy’ our prayers are, he just wants us to sit and talk with him, to acknowledge him, to thank him. He doesn’t want the perfect prayer, he just wants us to pray. img_7324

……………

“Jesus, thank you for Kyle. Thank you for giving me a soon-to-be husband who knows my heart so well. He is someone who truly loves me more than he loves himself. When I look at Kyle, I am reminded of your faithfulness. I am reminded of the promises you make to your people. He is much more than I deserve most days. Something I love about Kyle is that he always reminds me that his love is unconditional. We might be arguing or upset with one another, but he always reminds me “Jessica – when I say ‘I love you,’ that is not only when times are good.” The love he shows me each day is a gift.

Jesus, I pray that Kyle is constantly reminded of how much love you have for him. I pray that he will turn to you first when times are hard. I pray that struggles in our life will strengthen him to be a stronger leader for our family, and for those around us. I know how hard it is to be a man in today’s world, there is pressure everywhere to be a certain ‘type’ of man. Constantly remind him of your will, Jesus, molding him into the man who you know he will become. I pray that as his (future) wife, I will always be reminded of the trust and respect I should have for him on a daily basis. I pray that as we live our lives, that we will run after you faster and faster until we fall into your arms at the end.

Jesus, I can’t wait to be his wife. The anticipation is insane. You know my heart, you know how deep my love runs for him. He will be the best husband for me.  And one day, he will exceed all expectations as a father. Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that I get to have Kyle. Thank you for loving Kyle. Thank you for changing his life as his Savior. I am literally pumped to do life with my best friend every day. I am the luckiest.”

……….

Honestly, I am still jittery when I write my blog posts. It is HARD being open with everyone on the internet. It’s hard not knowing what others might be saying about what I post. No one wants to be laughed at or judged for what they think. But I am not called to comfort. I am called to live for Jesus, and to let his word saturate into every aspect of my life. So if I’m going to blog, you better believe that I’m going to blog about what Jesus has done for me.

I challenge everyone to show vulnerability in their lives this week. Whatever that may look like for you, there is no wrong answer.

xxoo, Jessica

 

Our Story

Hello again! I haven’t posted in almost three months. Between working and wedding planning, it’s been difficult to make time for the fun things, like blogging! Hopefully with this next semester coming, I’ll have more to update on. Yesterday (the 13th) was mine and Kyle’s SIX. YEAR. ANNIVERSARY. Like, I am in complete awe at the life we’ve had together, and how much life we have ahead of us. So in honor of our 6 year mark, and today being 5 months away from the wedding, I have decided to post the story of how we met & how Kyle proposed. You can also find this on our wedding website (theknot.com/us/meetthelanmons).

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                                                                ……….

Kyle & I first met in Sunday School, the middle of our 8th grade year. I had just moved from Weatherford, TX to Valley Mills, TX and we were visiting FBCVM for the first time. I never would have guessed that I would be meeting my future husband that very day!

We didn’t talk much that year, but when we entered 9th grade we had a math class together (which wasn’t a surprise because we both went to a very, very small high school.) We ended up sitting close and throughout the year we developed a growing friendship. He always helped me with homework, and I realized that I had a huge crush on the boy who was really, really good at math. Later we realized that during this year we both liked each other, but being high school freshman, we were too nervous to admit it!

The summer before 10th grade is when we developed our friendship to a deeper level. That summer we were in the same friend group, so we were spending time together almost every day. All summer long our group went to movies together, swam in the creeks, and attending our church’s youth camp. I got to see Kyle’s heart throughout the summer, and I am so grateful that God gave us that sweet, sweet time to become friends first. At the end of the summer we were finally able to tell each other how we felt, and on August 13th, 2010 our life together officially started. I know people say that on the wedding day is when a life with someone starts, but ours started a long, long time ago.

We continued to date all throughout high school – it was hard to find us apart! But we were (and continue to be) each other’s best friends. Even from an early point we both knew that we never wanted to be apart, and I continued to hear God’s voice telling me that Kyle was someone worth holding on to. So when we both neared the end of our senior year, we chose colleges. Kyle chose Baylor, and I chose Arkansas – 8 hours away. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew that Arkansas was where I needed to be. I was scared going so far away from my family and from Kyle, but God has done beautiful things through us both because of our obedience to his plan. Long distance is a hard reality, but we were both determined to make it work. By no means are we experts on long distance, but it has taught us to love and treasure the time we do have together more than ever before.

Kyle & I had come to a point in our relationship where marriage was something we deeply wanted. All throughout long distance we knew marriage was what we wanted, but throughout this past year we continued to talk about it and to pursue the idea on a real level – not just a fun future idea. I knew that we were going to be engaged at some point in the near future, but little did I know, Kyle had been planning the proposal starting in November 2015 when he bought my engagement ring.

This past February, Kyle had a trip planned to come to Fayetteville for the weekend, but I didn’t know anything like a proposal was going to happen, I just thought it was going to be a relatively normal weekend. He got to Fayetteville on a Friday night after his classes, and in the morning he took me to my all-time favorite breakfast place, Grandma’s House Cafe. It’s an adorably quirky diner nestled in the depths of the Ozark Mountains. We were so happy to be together, I think we laughed the entire hour that we were there! We looked out the windows upon the gorgeous mountains, and admired an older couple eating together. I remember talking about how one day, we would be just like them – old, married, and happy!

Later on that day after a bit of relaxing, we drove an hour and a half to Whitaker’s Point, a breathtaking lookout upon the mountains. Kyle & I both have a love for the outdoors, and we’ve both remarked on how close we feel close to God when we’re breathing in fresh mountain air and surrounded by His creations. We hiked to the lookout point, talking and pointing out the beauty of the evening. Little did I know that I was about to be proposed to!

Once at the top we stood, smiling and at complete peace. It was a moment I will truly treasure forever. We were hugging and watching the sunset as he began to tell me the kindest words that I will also, cherish forever. Kyle then got done on one knee, asked me to marry him, and I said YES! We were both laughing and hugging and completely overwhelmed with love for one another. Little did I know, he had invited a few of my dear friends and they popped out from the bushes with their cameras! From that point on the night was a whirlwind of joy from calling our families, going to dinner, and then enjoying a surprise engagement party!

Kyle is the most selfless, kind-hearted, Jesus loving man that I have ever met and I am so lucky that he chose me to be his wife. He serves me on a daily basis, and his heart towards the lost, broken, and sinful is something that I can only hope to have. We are excited to have the opportunity to spread the gospel of Jesus through our marriage, and to learn to love each other and God more than ever before!

Thank you to the family, friends, and loved ones that have poured into Kyle and I throughout the years. We are so grateful for y’all and cannot wait to celebrate together on our wedding day. More than anything, we are thankful for a God who pours out His perfect love onto us day after day. Marriage will truly be our greatest adventure.

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Here We Go

So, if you’ve read the title, you’ll notice that I’m not a Lanmon – yet. But, in 251 days (to be exact) I will be, and I am excited to document my journey along the way. God has already taught me so much through the season of being engaged and I am so grateful for this sweet time Kyle and I get together before being married.

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There are a few reasons why I’ve started this blog. The main reason is that Kyle and I are going to be making huge life changes + decisions in the upcoming years. We’ll be graduating college, getting married, and starting jobs. I desired for there to be a way for loved ones to stay up to date on what’s happening in our corner of life, and a blog was the perfect solution. It’s a more intimate setting than Facebook, and I’ll be able to provide more details than I would with a Facebook status. I’m excited to share our life with y’all & the ways that God is working in us. I’m currently majoring in English (hence a love for writing) so I’m also excited to have a creative outlet to come to each week.

A while back I posted this online – how I want to live out our marriage.

“I want a marriage that looks less like the world and more like Christ”

“… It is such a sweet reminder of what can be accomplished in God’s kingdom when united. It’s a sweet reminder that marriage is for a lifetime. It’s a reminder that through marriage we can share & spread the gospel of grace & love in a way that we couldn’t before. I am so thankful for a man who loves me so deeply, but for a God who loves us even more.”

We aren’t perfect. We’re born as sinners who have inherited God’s grace as a result of following Him day after day.  We are flawed people, but our life is meant for Jesus, as well as our marriage. We believe marriage is a wonderful platform given by God to share His gospel, and we plan on using it to bring Him ultimate glory.

I’m so excited to give life to this blog & to dive deeper into what it means to be a follower of Jesus, a wife, and to constantly pursue the best version of myself. Thank you for reading, I hope you continue to go along this journey with us in the future!!

XO, Jessica