I Said “Yes”!

Lifestyle

On August 23rd 2019, I met the absolute man of my dreams. I knew the night I met him that he was someone special, but little did I know that a year later he would ask me to be his wife. This past Christmas, my boyfriend (now fiancé) Clay gave me a letter that said “Open on August 23rd 2020”. For 8 months, I spent everyday wondering what it could be and even though I could hardly contain my excitement, I never even tried to peek to see what was in the letter.

The week of August 23rd finally came, and Clay had asked if I wanted to take pictures for our anniversary. I of course was all for the idea and didn’t think anything else about it. The day came and we had planned to take pictures that evening in town. He told me he wanted me to wait and open the letter when he gave it to me later on that day, so I did (even though I was DYING to know what it said). We spent the day together, got ready and went in town to take pictures. A family member of his had offered to take them for us, so she came along as well.

A little bit into taking pictures, he pulls the letter out of his pocket and says he wants to get my reaction on camera to reading it. I began reading the letter, and it hit me what was about to happen. I was filled with love, happiness and shock! I immediately began to cry as I looked up and saw him get down on one knee and ask me to marry him! One of the best parts is, as he was doing that, I saw our family come out from behind a corner, he had arranged for them to be there to see the whole thing!

It was one of the best days of my life, and I will cherish it forever. I can not even begin to describe how blessed I feel. I am so excited to be marrying the sweetest, most kind hearted, loving man I have ever met. He is my absolute best friend and I am ready to see where our future takes us as husband and wife.

#GoingGarris 5/22/2021

-Taylor J

Fun Date Ideas # 2: Homemade Pizzas

Lifestyle

So far, this series has been one of my favorite things I have started on my blog! As I mentioned in my first one, I love finding fun and inexpensive date night ideas! This past Saturday, my boyfriend and I were craving pizza (per usual). Most of the time when we order pizza for takeout, it can get a little pricy (we really love it and always eat a lot lol). We decided that making our own pizzas would not only be a cheaper alternative, but a lot funner then just driving to get take out.

We sat down and came up with what kind of pizzas we wanted to make, and wrote down the ingredients we needed. We also decided that we wanted to make our own dough so we picked up this kit, along with the other ingredients at Walmart!

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We had so much fun making the dough! Once you get it all mixed up, it does have to sit for at least 45 minutes, but this gives you plenty of time to sit and watch Netflix or dance around the kitchen while you wait! After we let the dough rise, we formed it and started making our pizzas! We made 3 pizzas (and the ones Clay made were of course way prettier than mine).

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The whole experience was so much fun. While we were putting the pizzas together, I put on some of my favorite records and took in every bit of the moment.

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We may have set off a few smoke alarms in the process, but the pizzas turned out great! If you have never done a homemade pizza date, I 10/10 recommend. My heart (and my belly) were so full after this night!

Make sure to give a follow and stay tuned for more date night ideas to come!

-Taylor J

 

Fun Date Ideas #1: Picnic Date

Lifestyle

I wanted to start a new series on my blog for date ideas! When we think of going on dates what usually comes to mind is the classic going out to dinner or dinner and a movie. While those dates are still fun, I also enjoy finding date ideas that switch things up a little bit! My boyfriend came up with the idea to go on a picnic date and it was so much fun!

Often times when I have seen pictures of “picnic dates” there is a huge elaborate meal and setup, and I am here to tell you that you can still have the perfect picnic without all the fancy stuff! My first tip would be to plan out a dinner or snacks you would both like to have. My boyfriend and I chose to make homemade crunch wraps to take with us (shopping for the supplies and making the food is a fun part of the date as well)! Next, pick your location. Picnic dates are great due to the fact that they can literally be anywhere. If it rains on the day you had your picnic planned, you can even have one in your living room!

Once you have your location set, gather things like blankets, your food of choice, and some drinks and head out! We chose a location where we live called “The Overlook”. It is absolutely beautiful and gives you a great look at the town and the mountains. We picked a spot in the grass, ate, talked and enjoyed the view. It was so nice to destress and enjoy each others company.

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I know life can get crazy and busy, but try to squeeze in a date night here and there when you can! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. We had the best time just taking a blanket outside and having a simple little picnic. Dates like these give you the chance to talk with your partner and spend quality time with them that you may not get as much of during the weekdays. Quality time together is so important!

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I am always looking for fun/interesting date ideas, so this is definitely a series I plan to keep up with on this blog! If you have any fun date ideas you would like to share, leave a comment and I would be happy to hear them!

-Taylor J

 

You Are Not Alone

Devotionals

I lay here awake, debating on even writing this. What you are about to read has been heavy on my heart for so long, and I finally feel ready. (This may be a sensitive subject to some, and I completely understand if you feel the need at any time to exit this post. This is part of my story and I pray that it can give hope to others).

With the state of the world right now and everyone in quarantine, I have had a lot of time to think. While this gives many people the chance to spend quality time with their families, for some this is a nightmare being played out day by day in their own homes. The thought occurred to me the other day… those people who are suffering mental/physical abuse from their partners have no where to go and I felt my heart breaking.

Years ago when I would hear about people in abusive/toxic relationships I asked the same question that many others do “Why don’t they just leave?” I never understood until it became my reality.

From the outside (for the most part), my relationship looked great. That’s what I wanted everyone to think, and part of me wanted to believe that it was as well. For a while, I was blind to the mental abuse that was taking place. Occasionally friends, family, and even teachers would see how I was being treated and try to warn me. I brushed it off as if it was nothing. Eventually it got worse, and I started to realize the effects that it had on my mental health. I was constantly being blamed for everything, accused for cheating (when he was the one doing so), called crazy, told that I wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough, and that no one else could ever want me.

I decided one day that I did not want to tolerate it anymore and said something to defend myself. By doing this, I caused the mental abuse to become physical abuse as well. My spirits were crushed and I was terrified. From this day on, any time that I said something that seemed off putting, I had to suffer the consequences.

I became drained and I lost myself. I wore more makeup and clothing to hide the bruises best I could. Those I couldn’t hide, I lied when asked about them. I did not know how to think for myself, I became isolated, I lost friends and worst of all I began to slowly lose the will to live. I thought about dying often, because I knew that would be my only way out. I wanted with everything in me to leave, but I felt trapped and it gave me the most sickening feeling.

My parents started to notice a big change in me, helped me get into therapy, and helped me through the process of talking to my family doctor. I was diagnosed with depression and was put on medication. Through all this, my parents begged me to get out of the relationship, but still I stayed. Though the abuse continued, my fear did not. I began to slowly realize who I was and what I was worth. I became closer to God and I prayed and prayed for Him to help me and to guide me.

After almost 4 years, I finally built up the courage and I got out. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth more than I could ever put into words. Since that day, God has worked so many blessings into my life. He put a man into my life whose hands and words show me nothing but love. I have found my way back to myself in many ways, but in other ways I have grown into a new woman…. a strong woman who knows what she’s worth and a happy woman who knows she is loved.

The fact that so many people all around the world are in abusive relationships absolutely breaks my heart. I hurt for them. I pray that I can use what I have been through to help others who may be in that situation or know someone who is. I pray for all of you. I pray that you find the love you deserve. Just remember, God made you beautiful and He made you strong, and with Him you can conquer anything.

If you made it to the end, I thank you for reading my story and I hope that it shines a light at the end of what may seem a never ending tunnel.

Love and prayers,

Taylor