Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Becoming

Hi there!

Yes, yes, it's been quite awhile.  I've decided to hang up my hat on The Lovely Days blog and start a new thing with a clean slate.  New blog, new chapter in life.

If you are interested in continuing to read my blog, I'll be at my new little home on the Internet, Becoming.

Hope to see you there!  :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's Next

I turned 30 yesterday, and I'll be the first to say - I've been a total grouch about it.

I don't quite know why, and in fact, I'm pretty frustrated with myself for the attitude I had over the last several months. You're probably thinking, "You had the best year EVER! You got married! So much to celebrate and be grateful for!" And yes, all those things are true, and yes, I've told them all to myself.

Regardless, though, I was a grouch. Instead of being able to celebrate all that God has blessed me with, both over the last year and over the last 30 years, all I seemed to be able to think about was the things I don't have. I was freaking out over this seemingly scary new number, feeling old, but mostly feeling behind.

I got married at age 29 1/2, which is certainly not that old but is certainly a bit older than most of my friends or most Southerners. And as I celebrated a new marriage, I became immediately obsessed with what's next. When are we going to buy a house? Where are we going to live? When can we get a dog? When are we going to have a baby? And what about the next baby, and the one after that? What's next for my career? What's next for our family? What's next, what's next, what's next?

That is a cursed question, I tell you. And it is NOT from God.

I'm not talking about planning or dreaming about what's next. I'm talking about worrying, obsessing, fretting. I'm talking about totally missing what's happening now because you can. not. stop. thinking about what's next. And for me, as my 30's became what's next, I just shut down, freaked out, or fell somewhere in between, depending on the day.

But as I inched closer and closer to 30, God welcomed me into my next decade with a tender heart. I was adamant I wanted no birthday celebration, but my loving husband knew better and threw me a surprise birthday dinner. I'm not telling you this so you think I'm popular or that my husband is better than yours, but just to share that it was an almost overwhelming blessing to be surrounded by friends and family from all of my circles of life - childhood, high school, college, New York, Atlanta and everything in between. God gently used that celebration to remind me that I not only have an adorable husband who loves me enough to plan an incredible, perfect night, but I also have a community around me that I've been surrounded by for three decades, who loves me and encourages me; who rejoices with me and cries with me; who points me to Jesus, runs my race with me, and makes me better, stronger, kinder. That is something to fall on my hands and knees and thank God for every day of my life.

So yesterday, as the clock struck midnight and I became officially 30, I felt an overwhelming peace. Yes, I'm still uncertain. I don't know what will happen over the next year, let alone the next 5 minutes. But God is reminding me, ever so kindly, that while I don't know what's next, he knows what's next. All I have to do is cultivate the garden of the day he's given me, be faithful, and pray for his grace, and he'll manage the harvests and the storms ahead. He's always been faithful, he will continue to be faithful, and his mercies will forever continue to be new every morning.

That's what's next. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The art of doing one thing well

"There is magic in doing one thing, and doing it well, with the full force of our focus. What if we allowed ourselves the freedom to become engrossed in one task, one project or one conversation, really giving it our best? Rather than saying yes to everything, imagine the gratification in saying no to things that distract us from our purpose, in favor of saying yes only to the most important things. Then, instead of wondering if we’ve really done our best, we’ll be gratified to know that we have."

- From "The Art of Doing One Thing Well" in today's Manner & Lane (Have you subscribed yet? Just lovely.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our wedding video!

Hot off the presses... we just got our wedding video from Stuart Atkins! Stuart is amazingly talented and so graciously shared his talents with us to capture our day. We're in love!

The link to the video on Stuart's blog is here: "The NY Dork and a Georgia Peach"

Or watch it below!


JAYSON + JAMIE from Stuart Atkins Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where do I even begin?

I have an itch to get back in the swing of things with the blog, but the last few months have been so overwhelmingly full and wonderful that I don't even know how to begin to sum them up.

Do I tell you about the showers and show you the pictures?  Do I recap the wedding weekend, the things we chose, the dear people we celebrated with?  The bridesmaids luncheon? Our rehearsal dinner? Honeymoon pictures?  Professional wedding photos?

Do I tell you about marriage, or at least the 3 1/2 weeks of marriage I've experienced so far? Our apartment? The crock pot that my grandma gave us that's cooking right now THAT I'M CONVINCED IS GOING TO BURN DOWN OUR LITTLE HOME?

I don't know.  There's just a whole lot of life that's been packed in the last 8 months and I can't decide how to get going. So I'll just start with this:

My husband is the sweetest person in the whole world.  I mentioned I didn't like the french vanilla-flavored coffee that I tried out this week, so, without asking, he stopped by Publix and bought me my normal Eight O'Clock beans on his way home yesterday. I tweeted to a friend that I want to see Ira Glass at Georgia Tech in the spring, and he put it on our calendar. Last night when I got home, he asked me if I wanted to watch So You Think You Can Dance together. (My favorite TV show.) (He doesn't even like TV.)

And those are all little things, but the little things add up to one big thing, which is that I'm married to my best friend, my favorite person in the whole world. He loves me and I love him, and all the showers and weddings and honeymoons on earth aren't worth as much to me as that one simple fact. And I am very, very grateful to the Lord for entrusting him to me to be his wife for the short time we are on this earth.  :)


photo by Stephen DeVries

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An appetizer for the feast

"I thank God for friends who have shown me Jesus’ kind of love. They have been an appetizer for the feast of Jesus’ friendship." 


- Noel Piper 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A little wedding update :)

Just popping in to say hello!  Also, to share that our wedding website - jamieandjayson.com - is alive and kicking. Hop on over and check it out!

And while you're there, we'd love if you'd click Video (or click here) (or, why not, just watch it below!) to see a short little film that our friend Ryan Shove put together for us. He captured our love story in such a special way, we are so grateful for his generosity!

143 days til we get married! Yay!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our engagement story!

We're getting married!!!  Here is the slightly overdue (very detailed) account of the best weekend of my life:

Thursday

On Thursday night, December 8, Jayson and I went to his company's Christmas party.  We had a lovely, seemingly normal time with his friends, and headed home afterwards.  I commented in the car, "I wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow," simply because it felt like the weekend after such a fun holiday party.  We pulled into my driveway, and Jayson walked me to my door.  Right as I was about to walk in, he said, "I have a present for you," and handed me an envelope.  I was so caught off guard, that I responded, "Is it bad?!"  (Don't ask me why...I have a strange tendency to respond oddly when surprised. :))  He affirmed that it was not bad, and told me to read the letter once I got inside and he had left.

As soon as he pulled out of the driveway, I opened the letter.  It was a letter with detailed instructions, a letter that said that I was not going to work tomorrow and the appropriate people knew; that I was to pack a bag immediately upon finish reading the letter; that I should pack for three days, that the weather was 40-70 degrees, that I needed two nice outfits, that we may be flying, so pack accordingly; that I was to be on my front porch at 6:10am; that I was to tell no one and to ask no questions.

I was ECSTATIC.  I ran around my room in circles.  I read the letter 10 more times.  I pulled out my suitcase immediately and started throwing things in my bag.  I talked to my roommate Mandy for a few minutes, and almost told her, but I wanted to follow all of his instructions to a T, so I awkwardly said nothing and then abruptly stated that I was going to bed. I didn't know what was in store or where we were going (I admit that I thought it was a likely possibility that we were getting engaged, but I wasn't certain), but I was thrilled for what was to come.  Somehow I fell asleep.

Friday morning

I woke up at 4:00am on Friday, December 9, and was wide awake.  I made myself stay in bed until 4:30am, but then bounced out of bed and got ready.  It was probably the first time ever that Jayson came to pick up me up right on time, and I was already ready. :)  He didn't tell me where we were going, but we made our way to the airport.  I would jokingly ask for hints, but he would just say, "No questions."  We managed to make it through baggage check and security without me seeing where we were going, but when we got to the gate I saw that we were flying to LAX.  I did a little jump in the air and said, "California!"


We boarded the plane, and Jayson was asleep within about three minutes.  I, on the other hand, was like a little kid on Christmas morning.  I attempted to read, I watched a movie, I ate a snack, and it was still the longest flight of my life. We finally made it to LAX, and headed toward baggage claim.  As we came down the escalator, I was so excited to see three of my best friends in the entire world, Jessica, Erin and Jen, along with Jess and Erin's husbands Matt and Sean.  The Hughes and the Hills live in California, but Jen lives in Atlanta, leading me to say, "Jen doesn't even live here!!!!" the second I saw them.  We had a fun reunion, and Jayson had even been so thoughtful to tell them in advance what my favorite Starbucks drink is so that they would have it waiting.

Jayson informed me that we were splitting up for the afternoon, but that he would see me later that night.  I then went with the girls, while Jayson went with Matt and Sean.  We got in the car, and Jessica said, "So what do you think is going on? Do you think you're getting engaged?"  So began an afternoon of LIES by my friends (primarily Jessica, who I later learned had been tapped as the best liar in the group and thus the conversational lead).  They told me that they didn't know what Jayson had planned, only that they were supposed to pick me up at the airport and entertain me for a few hours.  I totally believed them all the way!

They drove us to the incredible Pelican Hill Resort, and we enjoyed a relaxing lunch by the pool and manicures.  It was beautiful at the resort, and it was so special to spend the day with best friends!


The girls then told me it was time to get ready and to wear one of my nice outfits.  At this point, I didn't know exactly what was going to happen, but I started getting anxiously excited.  :)



Friday afternoon

The girls drove me toward Laguna Beach but didn't tell me where we were going.  Eventually, we pulled into the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.  They pulled up to the front door, and I said, "What do I do now?"  They pointed at a lady with a clipboard standing by the door and said to meet her.  I hopped out of the car, and Jessica said, "We don't know what you're doing next, so please call us if you get engaged!"  Sneaky little friend.

The woman - Lynda - met me and said, "Jamie?  Please follow me." For what it's worth, when I think about our engagement story, those few minutes with Lynda are one of my favorite memories.  I was filled with such anticipation at what was about to happen! She led me through the gorgeous hotel and made small talk (about what, I have NO idea).  We eventually made our way outside, and she walked me to the corner of the hotel.  She told me to walk around the corner by myself and to have a great evening.  So I walked around the corner and was immediately greeted with this view, only Jayson was looking right at me:



He immediately started crying.  I cried too.  (But he cried more.) He said he wanted to read me something - a prayer to the Lord from both of us.  Jayson had written the prayer and named it, "Father, We Dream."  He tearfully read the prayer - line after line of things we dream for our future together, from learning to make lemonade and lattes together to having a cute house in a fun neighborhood to our future kids and dog to, most importantly, a marriage that glorifies the Lord and is rooted in his nature.  As he finished the prayer, he got down on one knee and said the sweetest words I've ever heard:

"You are my soulmate, and you have become my best friend, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?" I of course said yes. :)


What followed was a joyous celebration in THE most beautiful spot I have ever seen.  The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel has been named one of the most romantic hotels in the country, and Jayson chose the perfect spot.  It was right after 4pm, and the sun started to set as we celebrated.  Matt and Sean were strategically placed to capture everything on video and in pictures, which is so, so special.  And a guy from the Ritz popped out to bring us champagne within about 4 seconds of me saying yes.







 And the girls were, of course, in on it all the whole time.  ;)


Friday night, Saturday and Sunday

We spent the rest of the evening celebrating!  We had champagne with our friends at the Ritz.  We excitedly called our families and friends.  And Jayson and I shared a special dinner at Raya, a phenomenal restaurant in the Ritz.




On Saturday and Sunday, we walked on the beach.  We had lunch at the Ritz overlooking the ocean.  We wandered around the hotel.  We drank coffee on my balcony. We uploaded pictures on Facebook and updated our relationship status. :) We had a fun celebratory dinner with friends at Watermarc in Laguna Beach on Saturday night - one of Jayson's best friends was even able to come down from Pasadena, and my friends brought fun engagement gifts.  It was the most perfect weekend I could ever imagine.





I am so grateful to the Lord for the blessing that is Jayson, my sweet fiance and soon-to-be husband.  He has been so good to us, far more than we could ever deserve, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the point of tears for giving us such a precious love!  I am also so thankful for the best friends in the whole world who helped make the weekend so perfect.

Thanks for sticking with the story!  And Happy New Year! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soul mates

Oh my, I have not done a very good job with this blogging!  Oh well.

I have so many fun things to tell you about - Lauren's WONDERFUL visit (but you can read about it here!), Halloween in our sweet neighborhood, concerts and football and friends.

But for today, I'll just return to the blog to tell you about Jayson and my one year anniversary weekend.

One year!  That's 365 days together!


We watched the UGA/Auburn game, which could not have been more perfect (for a Georgia fan, at least).  We spent time with friends.  We went to brunch at Sun in my Belly and drank pumpkin spice lattes.

On Sunday, we drove over three hours to Plains, GA to go to Maranatha Baptist Church, where President Jimmy Carter teaches a Sunday school class that's open to the public.  According to the bulletin, the church has 23 members, but there were people visiting from all across the country and world.  We laughed at ourselves for driving for almost seven hours back and forth through (literally) cotton fields to go to a one-hour Bible study, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  We love to do weird things for the sake of the experience.  :)


We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Tantra, for our anniversary dinner.  We gave each other sweet gifts that made each other cry. Also, we gave each other the exact same card.  And we weren't surprised by that - in fact, we kind of expected it.  The card said, "Soul mates - when two hearts beat as one."


I suppose the idea of soul mates can be somewhat controversial.  I'm not a crazy mystic person by any means, nor do I think that if I had been born in the 1700's in London that I would be searching the world, lost and lonely, for my other missing half who was unfortunately fated to be born in America in 1985.  But what I do know is this: that God divinely authored my story and Jayson's story, and He designed us to be together. He knit us both together in our mothers' wombs and uniquely crafted us - from our quirky, similar senses of humor to our complementary dreams and desires - to fit together.  He orchestrated our paths for decades to bring us to the same city, in the same circle of friends, both single at the same time. Then, in each other, He gave us our person, the person who just gets you, the person who makes you the best person on this side of eternity that you can be.

To me, that's a soul mate.  And I thank our good and gracious and loving God for mine.

One year down, many more to go!  I love you babe!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

"When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, 'After all this time?' And I will say, 'Always.'"


- Alan Rickman