Friday, October 21, 2016

From Pages to Nepal

You know what books do? They inspire. They introduce you to friends, enemies and role models. They hold your hand and guide you through the Chamber of Secrets and allow you to walk through the wardrobe endlessly. Books open worlds, minds and hearts to unknown passions. And the people that love books never keep the good ones to themselves.

In 10th grade my favorite trick was slouching in my seat and propping the text book between my stomach and the desk. But sandwiched in between myself and my education was often a book. I'm sure my teachers noticed, because what teenager looks that engrossed in a text book?

Whether they noticed  or not, I only remember one teacher recommending me books. She didn't just recommend good books, she suggested ones that she thought I would enjoy. And, as every excellent teacher does, she went above and beyond by recommending books that jived with existing passions I had.

But no book could compare to SOLD by Patricia McCormick. Suddenly I was sitting beside a Nepali girl in a dirty, Indian brothel, fighting for her freedom. I reread her story. Her hike through Nepal into India. Her days of being broken into the sex workers world. Her longing for hope when none was visible. Suddenly I had an unlikely friend that I had to set free. I had to meet her. I had to walk the roads in Nepal, a country I could barely locate on a map.

So I went. In 2015 I carried my own copy of SOLD into the very country that birthed the main character. I put the book in my purse and waited for the right moment. I wanted to take a picture holding the book with some Nepali girls. When my moment happened it was even more beautiful than I had planned.
These girls surrounding me are from a people group that was enslaved until just 10 years ago. Some of them were born into captivity, but because of those willing to fight, they no longer have to live enslaved. They are free. And I got to meet them. And hold hands with them and dance with them.
They're real, not held to the pages of a book. But without a book, I would have never met them. And without a great teacher I would never know what a giant impact a good book can make.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Closer Look At Our Not Very DIY Wedding

Here are some pictures from our very not DIY wedding. Enjoy!

Warrenwood Manor, Danville, KY, Venue
Gourmet Goodies , catering
Sweets By Cindy , cake and cupcakes
Molly's Flowers and Things, bouquets and boutonnieres
Morie Lee, dress designer
Henri's Cloud 9, Minerva OH, dress and belt 
Angela Karla Bridal,  custom veil and all alterations
Men's Wearhouse, groomsmen's outfits

Kara Smith and Betty Miller were our coordinators
Kelly Taylor did my hair and Taylor Morris did hair and makeup for bridesmaids
Meredith Glover MC'd our reception and Elle Smith was our DJ
Kaylee Morin was my bridal assistant 
Anna, Elijah, Kristen, Will, Anna C, Ian, Kara, Betty, Ed, Mom and Dad helped with set up
Libby Thorngate was our ceremony pianist and Mike Harper ran sound
Pastor Jeff was our officiant and marriage counselor
Ben Fitzwater and Elijah Gates were our ushers and Courtney Raymond was our greeter
Our niece was our flower girl and my second cousin was our ring bearer
Tons of friends and family helped clean up

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Skip The DIY Wedding

My wedding day is very much a blur at only six months since. I was warned it would be and those people proved to be right. It wasn't perfect like they turn out to be in the movies, and it wasn't a disaster, like they turn out in the movies. It was ours. It was our day. And although I felt like I waded through mud (very thick mud, similar to quicksand) throughout the preparations I was glad I did a lot of it on my own and with  the help ( a lot of help) from family and friends.

There were pieces of our lives scattered throughout our wedding. The windows from my childhood home were painted and propped up as decoration. The table that held our communion bread and wine (just kidding, it was juice) was built by Will over the summer. The spray painted mason jars came from camp and the sweets on the tables were Will and I's favorites. Every decoration had thought because almost every decoration was made by yours truley. What we didn't save on time we saved on money.

A Do It Yourself wedding isn't for everyone. It's stressful, even if you enjoy crafts and projects. But a DIY wedding is laced with you and those around you. It felt like everything that made up our wedding was held together by those sitting in those cheap plastic chairs (sorry, tight budget). Alterations done by a lifelong friend and music played by an old roommate... I guess our wedding wasn't really a DIY. We didn't do it on our own. Screw DIY. DIY is the opposite of what a marriage represents and it's not what the church represents either.

Skip the DIY wedding and allow the tribe around you to lend a hand and hold you up. A wedding day really does go by in a blur, and who better to spend that blur with not just the one love of your life, but the many.