just another day’s work

Well, we have officially worked our first bridal show! Today, we hosted a booth at the Perfect Wedding Guide bridal show at Union Station. It was a blast! We handed out 500 bags of Topsy’s popcorn with our brochures and booked four weddings at our booth! I am SO blessed to be in a position to help my husband with his business. He is such an incredible, worthy man and I would run to the end of the earth for him. We prayed for God’s blessing on the way to the show, and He definitely delivered! It was five hours of non-stop standing and talking, but it was worth it! I look forward to the day when I can use my gifts in the ministry again, but in the meantime I adore helping Jeff and being faithful with what God continues to give us. 

2 is better than 1

Finally received some footage of our beautiful wedding day and I can’t wait to share it with you! I love how this video instantly takes me right back there. 

In other news, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our place…AND I LOVE IT!

 

 

wedding pictures!

The wedding pictures instantly transport me to the day that culminated the most wonderful fairytale ever told in which I played Cinderella. A week of rain and yet the clouds parted for our special day; and I couldn’t help believing that God was shining His blessings down upon us like the sun lit up the eyes of each of our guests. It was a day I will never forget.

I can still remember the details; the way the sand dollars chimed as they swung in the wind, the smile on Jeff’s face, how I forgot to spit out my gum; a certain woman in a red bikiniand the way I felt every single word I said while repeating the vows. Together, we made a covenant to one another before the Almighty. A covenant that will not be broken. 

I described the wedding to my father-in-law as perfect

But, as reality hits, the expensive clothing comes off, the beach fades away and we are left with real life. And that’s when love (commitment) really starts. However, I get to fall asleep every night next to the greatest man of all. It won’t always be easy, but he continually puts a smile on my face and simply put – I will love him; today and for the rest of my life

Here’s our love story, in case you missed it… (courtesy of Marlon Photography)

If you made it this far – thanks for checking out our wedding pictures! It’s been a wild ride, but God has been faithful and I can’t wait to see what He does next 🙂

I’m just along for the ride. 

-Jen

wedding recap

I love to write.

I love stringing words together as if stringing diamonds on a priceless necklace.

I love to make pictures with my words. I love to move people through words.

But, with that said, I’ve never been more nervous to write anything as I was to write my wedding vow for Jeff.

How could I possibly find the words to write what he means to me? Suddenly the thought of simple words didn’t do justice to describe how I feel and how deep my promises run. But, writing my wedding vow was also one of the greatest honors and joys I will ever experience.

This week, I am going to post about my wedding – starting with my vow…

Jeff:

How could mere words be used to describe my love for you? For what we possess was surely handcrafted in the heavens long before time began. Before God formed each of us in our mother’s wombs, before He saw every one of our days, we were created for one another. You, Jeffrey Vance, are my other half; in so many ways my better half. The Great Story Teller took His sovereign pen and wrote a tale more beautiful than any before it. You see, only God could bring us back together again. Only God could give me someone as perfect as you.

Jeff, thank you for loving me. I know it must sound clique, but everyday, you make me want to be a better woman. You make me want to be the person God has always intended me to be, and with your love, I am confident I will be that person.

 You found me when I was broken and so hurt, and you took my heart, every last piece of it and so masterfully put it back together again. You lifted me up. You taught me how to smile and how to dream again. You held my hand and led me through the toughest of days. You dried my tears and held me. You kept me going. Jeffrey Mullikin, you are my hero. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You are the most amazing man I have ever known. You have a heart that is unequaled; a smile that can light up my entire day.

 Today I promise to love you for the rest of my days. I promise to be faithful to you and to respect you. I promise to encourage you and to laugh with you. I promise to pray for you and challenge you spiritually. I promise to defend you. I will be your confidant, your cheerleader, your sidekick and your best friend. It will not always be easy, but nothing truly meaningful in life is.

 I love you Jeff; today and forever.

 I am most blessed of all women because I have you.

the big day

I’m getting married TOMORROW! Words cannot express how BLESSED and OVERJOYED I am. What an incredible year this has been for me. No would could look at my life – how so many pieces have fit together – and say there is no God. Only He could do what has been done.

I just gave Jeff the gift I spoke of in my last post and it was one of the best moments of my life.

So – tomorrow I wear the pretty white dress, walk down the aisle and pledge myself to the greatest man of all. THANK YOU God for giving me this joy. 

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow…

You’re only a day away.

 

 

 

 

solomon’s song

Maybe it’s in the spirit of love. Or maybe it’s because I never have actually read it. Regardless, in lieu of my pending nuptials, I decided to read Song of Solomon for my daily devotions this week.

This book is legit and it’s quite funny:

“I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.”

“an apple tree among the trees of the forest”

“his fruit was sweet to my taste”

It’s hard to keep a straight face reading this book. I’ve even burst out with a few chuckles here and there. Especially when Solomon compliments his bride for her teeth each having their own “twin”. Apparently, dentists were not plentiful in Solomon’s time and it was quite rare to find a woman without a toothless grin. (Am I the only one that thinks that is funny?)

But what I love about Solomon is the way in which he creatively expresses affection for his beloved:

“Your eyes are like doves…your teeth are as white as sheep…your smile is flawless…your breasts are like two fawns…you are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.”

I imagine the young couple – after months of aching desire for one another – they are finally alone in the bridal chamber. And as Solomon slowly and gently un-dresses his young bride, he uses every picturesque word to describe her body; literally from head to toe. She naturally responds with blushing cheeks, but what woman’s heart wouldn’t melt after hearing the musical words he has used?

I hate it when couples talk about how they  used to write letters to one another. They used to hold hands. They used to bring flowers, and used to slow dance. Why is it that we work so hard to make our love feel adored and desired in the beginning only to get lazy and apathetic over time? Yes, loving another person eventually takes work, like all of the best things in life. But, it’s work that is well worth it.

When I pledge my life to my man in two days, I will be pledging to love him not only with a faithful, sincere love, but to love him creatively for my entire life. I will not stop after the ring is on his finger. It means I will spend a bit more time on his birthday. And to write him love notes for no particular reason. I will promise to never stop persuing him. It will take work…but he’s worth it.

On the morning of our wedding, I will be giving him a gift that I’ve spent hours making. Literally. (And let’s get real, I almost wanted to quit near the end, just from pure exhaustion!) Starting at 50 days til the wedding day, I wrote him a letter or prayer or a special note each day describing my love for him. So now I have a beautiful scrapbook filled with 50 letters. I just want the world to stop for a few moments – the wedding vendors, the family and friends, the stresses and anxieties to pause, so that he can have a reminder of why I love him the way I do.

the countdown

“You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears.”

CS Lewis, A Grief Observed

Yesterday afternoon, I read this book at the pool, and was reminded yet again, how much I love CS Lewis’ writing. This particular book is his journal after losing the love of his life to cancer. It’s so raw and real. 

I love the honesty of this quote. In the depths of sadness and hurt it’s impossible to see. It’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, things coming together for good, or the blessing in disguise. 

Because all of the truth and logic and encouragement is blinded by tears and deceptive, controlling feelings.  

However, if I can promise anything over time (hate that word), the tears dry and you may find out, like I did, that the blessing may have been standing right before you the entire time. 

*********************************************************************

As the numbers on the countdown get smaller and smaller, I have become consumed by last minute wedding plans. So here’s a sneak peek…

The venue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the bling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the digs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(sorry, no pics of my dress!)

the sweets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I’m getting really, really excited!)

Jen

the green monster

So my fiance has been a bachelor for some time now, which means most of his stuff is, well…very…boy. It’s been quite fun registering here, here, and here for new things. (Yes, I just shamelessly promoted my wedding registries…whoops…But, seriously, feel free to buy us a gift!) So, we decided his bedroom needed to be “CHICK-ed up”. Off we went to the Great Orange store (aka the Depot for Homes) to pick out some paint. Some would choose pink to add some womanly flare. Maybe even a little purple or magenta. But, just what did Jenilee choose?

GREEN!

I don’t even particularly like green all that much, but I just thought it would be fun! Reminds me of life and new growth. (Yes, everything in my life has meaning behind it!) We painted a light gray and the accent wall is now this lovely grassy color.

Just wait til you see what color we chose for the dining room…

one final shot

If you have been reading my posts, you should know by now that I am engaged to this handsome photographer:

He asked me to help him shoot a wedding this past weekend. Despite the 100PLUSdegree weather, standing in my uncomfortable shoes for hours, and carrying a ridiculously heavy lens (who knew photographers had to have “guns”?!), I had such an incredible time with him.

(Here I am taking a much needed water break, haha)

Isn’t it intriguing to watch someone thoroughly in their element? Jeff is that way while  shooting pictures; just completely in the zone. It’s as if everyone and everything fades away while he just creates. As my eyes followed him, I could almost visualize the invisible wheels perpetually turning in his head.

The evening wound down as bubbles faded into oblivion, jackets were discarded and ties had been loosened. With smiles and sighs of relief, the newlyweds finally released their pent-up stress and anxiety after months of planning. Pictures were done…and yet Jeff saw something. Shinning light burst through trees illuminating the horizon as the sun set and Jeff envisioned what could be.

Quickly, we pulled the couple away from their party inside to grab one final picture. They probably would have never noticed the magnificent light on their own. They were done holding smiles taut and posing. However, a few seconds and one final shot produced a memory that will live on. And in my opinion…it’s breathtaking. 

I see God’s fingerprints everywhere in my life. This moment pointed me to Him yet again. God envisions what could be in our lives. He sees the brilliance and sparkling light. He glimpses the awaiting masterpiece. If it were up to us, we would never leave the current party we’re attending. Because were tired of the planning and stressing. We just want to let our hair down. 

But do you see Him rushing in? Did you notice Him grab our hands and pull us alongside Him? He has something for us.

We just have to hold on tight and trust Him. 

“Ask me and I will tell you about remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Jeremiah 33:3