July in Instas

Can you believe July is over?? This month was so much fun, but went by way too quickly! 

We had our last hoorah of the summer this past week and were able to see some family and friends before reality kicks in again. It was a great way to wrap up the month, but I'm so not ready to get back to the real world... I told myself I have to get serious this week. That means organizing and setting up my classroom, getting on a running routine, and starting to eat right. 

I'm determined to make August my month of motivation! But for now, here's some highlights from July:
We took a little day trip to a nearby town to see Dorothy's heritage, tried the "Best Burgers in Kansas" {though I'm not completely sure I agree}, and reminisced about our big day. So hard to believe it was a year ago!! Read about it here, here, and here.
We were able to spend some time with my parents both here in GC and in Missouri. We love having company, but hardly ever do since we're so far from everyone. Our visits included a trip to the zoo, movie night, and a piece of our "wedding cake." My mom had one made for us since we weren't able to save our top layer {didn't want to transport it 9 hours!}. So sweet!! 
We celebrated our first year by taking a trip to Kansas City... I surprised Derek with an original page of a  Captain America comic by an artist he likes, we went to a Sporting KC game {so much fun, we love soccer!!}, and Derek indulged me by taking me to a fancy restaurant and letting us stay in a nice hotel! We had a blast!! {And I may or may not have made up for the fact that I never shop in Garden City... shhhh! Teachers need new school clothes too! ;)}
After Kansas City, we decided to head down to the Springfield area to visit family and friends for a few days before heading home. I was able to spend some quality time with my favorite little girls, kill myself relax at the lake with friends, and stuff my face full of the best Chinese food ever. If you live anywhere close to Marshfield, you've gotta get yourself some Oriental Inn!! It's sooo good, people!

Such a great month!! What were some of your July highlights?


Year One...

{via Twin Town Studios}
This is the year I moved nine hours away from "home" to build a new home with my love.
This is the year I probably cried everyday for six months.
This is the year I started a "big girl" job, and didn't think I would make it to December {let alone May}.
This is the year I realized that marriage is awesome! But it's not always awesome.
And this is the year I learned that I might not be as perfect as I probably thought I was.


This is also the year that I realized even a couple hours with the man you love is better than 24 with anyone else.
This is the year I learned to truly appreciate my family and friends and not take a single minute for granted. 
This is the year I realized that joy, happiness, and gratitude are decisions I must make everyday.
This is the year I learned that it really is the small things that make life great... and that a dance party with the man you love can turn your whole week around.
And this is the year that confirmed I've found my other half.

Crazy, crazy year one, you have taught me so many lessons in your short 12 months. Thanks for the memories!

Love you Derek, thanks for choosing me!!


Best Day Ever, part 2

In honor of our anniversary month, I've decided to share some of my favorite pictures from my favorite day. Today I'll be sharing our more "traditional" wedding pictures. I shared our wedding details here and the story of my wedding dress here! Be sure to check them out if you haven't already!

We definitely wanted to get the pictures out of the way before the ceremony. It was nice to be able to simply relax and enjoy ourselves at the reception and not have to worry about extra pictures.

We decided to keep our wedding party pretty small. Derek chose his two brothers and a friend he's had since middle school {Josh was actually in all 3 of the Thompson weddings, he's practically a brother}. I chose my 3 bffs who are all basically sisters, since I don't have any of my own. I've known Maryl since I was born, Kimberly since she was born {6 weeks after me. We're cousins, too}, and Anna since first grade. Don't know what I'd do without those girls!! Our flower girls were Kimberly's oldest daughters, Addie and Emme and our ring bearer was my cousin Eli.

Here's Derek, Brady, Josh, and Chris making sure we're on schedule. They all wore antique pocket watches passed down from their grandfathers. How cool, right?!

 Maryl, Kimberly, me and Anna chillin' at the reception. We just pose like that naturally.

I didn't want a boring traditional family photo, so we made a heart! :) Everyone in this picture is related to us, but there's a lot more that couldn't make it. Fun fact: out of all these people only 6 of them are from Derek's side... I have a big family!

We had a community prayer with our immediate families and wedding party after we lit the unity candle... maybe my favorite part of the ceremony.

Don't let this picture fool you, we lasted on that bike for about 15 seconds... that's why we don't have a better picture!

I hope you've enjoyed a peek at our special day. I can't believe it was already almost a year ago! Do you have your wedding pictures posted? I'd love to check them out! I love weddings!!

Our photographer was Adie Gateley of Twin Town Studios and I absolutely loved her! We had a horrible experience with our original photographer after our engagement pictures and were fortunate enough to book Adie pretty late in the game. She understood exactly what I was wanting and was so great to work with. I would definitely recommend her! 

*Some of these pictures were also taken by our friend Les. He doesn't have a business, just a nice camera and a good eye. Thanks Les! 


Wearing Wednesday: Wedding Style

With our anniversary coming up, I've decided to make this week "Wedding Week!" I wasn't able to blog about our special day last year because I literally got married, honeymooned, moved to a new state, and started my first "real" job within a matter of 3 weeks. If that's not stress, I don't know what is {and I don't want to find out}!!

You can see the detail shots from our wedding here, if you haven't already.

I found my wedding dress at Karl's Bridal in Springfield. 

The funny thing is, I actually saw it on their website and loved it before I was even engaged {yes, I started planning before I was engaged, who doesn't?!}. My mom and I were browsing some different dresses online and we both loved it, but in the picture it looked more formal than what I was wanting... definitely bummed.

When the time came to actually look for dresses {after we were engaged}, Karl's was about the third place I went. I had found a dress at David's Bridal that I really liked, but didn't want to commit too soon, so I ventured on to my next appointment at Karl's. 

This dress is one of the first they brought me and I really liked it, but then when I realized it was the dress from online, I knew it was the one! 

The reason I had loved the dress so much was because it had a really unique feature...

See how I'm wearing a short dress in this picture? It's the same dress from above, but the bottom portion comes off, leaving a cute, lace cocktail dress!! How cool is that?! It wasn't necessarily the easiest transition {ask my mom and cousin!}, but definitely a fun idea!

The only problem was that the dress I liked at David's had a really cute flower at the waist... the dress from Karl's didn't and felt a little too plain to me. 

I could have bought a custom-made flower for around $100 {no thank you!!}. But fortunately the staff at Karl's was amazing and did some calling around. They remembered a girl who's dress came with a flower, but didn't plan on using it. Sold for $30... that's more like it!

When I first started wedding planning, I would have never guessed I would end up with a dress like this {I was envisioning long, lacy, and simple}, but I'm so glad I did! I absolutely love that dress!! Simple, unique, and somewhat difficult to figure out. Definitely me. :) How did you know your dress was the one??

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy today! 


Best Day Ever, part 1

Since I wasn't blogging this time last year, and in honor of our anniversary month, I've decided to share some of my favorite pictures from our lovely day. Today is for detail shots! 

With the amazing help of my wonderful family and friends, we handmade almost every detail of the wedding, from the invitations to the food at the reception. 

I know I couldn't have pulled off my dream day without the help of my family, even though the perfectionist in me probably rubbed them the wrong way a time or two. ;) 

These details, in my opinion, are what made our wedding my absolute dream day. They also kept the cost waaaaay down {I'm talkin' less than $6000, people!!}. Thanks family!

Oh, I just loved this day!! 

I'll be posting more "traditional" wedding pictures on Friday! Be sure to come back and check them out!

Our photographer was Adie Gateley of Twin Town Studios and I absolutely loved her! We had a horrible experience with our original photographer after our engagement pictures and were fortunate enough to book Adie pretty late in the game. She understood exactly what I was wanting and was so great to work with. I would definitely recommend her! 


Current Obsessions: July

I thought it would be fun to start a monthly feature about things that I am currently loving/obsessing over. I'll tell you about products, recipes, activities, etc. that I just can't seem to get enough of. The list may seem kind of random, but it will include several different things that I currently feel like I couldn't live without. 

Here are a few of my July obsessions:

1. Garnier BB Cream
Can I just say, this stuff rocks my world!! Apparently this stuff {BB Cream} has been around for awhile in Korea, but is just picking up popularity in the US, and I'm so glad! I would describe it as a mix between moisturizer and foundation, but sooo much better than tinted moisturizer! It gives your skin a pretty glow {which mine never has on it's own} and smells oh so good. I seriously love it!

2. Carmex Lotion
Who knew Carmex made lotion?! I found this stuff while browsing Dollar General of all places, and had to try it out! I personally love the smell of Carmex, but hate the taste and feel of it on my lips... this stuff I love!! It has the yummy vanillay-mint smell of Carmex and leaves my legs sooo silky! My favorite part: I usually can't put on lotion {for like a day} after I shave because my skin is so sensitive and I end up with razor burn... I used this lotion about 20 minutes after I shaved the other day and had no irritation whatsoever! Sold.

3. Homemade Iced Chai {from this recipe}
I LOVE iced chai! It's my happy place. But I'm always so conflicted at coffee shops because I know a lot of them just pour it from a concentrate and add milk. Lame. I found this recipe earlier this summer and it. is. awesome! It also saves me from going to Starbucks as often as I usually want to. Double plus! The recipe says to use 4 tea bags/ quart, but I prefer 5 so it's nice and strong. Do yourself a favor and use good quality chai, I've tried Tazo and a Coconut Chai I found at World Market, and they both get 5 stars in my book!

4. Kristen Billerbeck books
Heard of her? She's a Christian Chick-Lit author. Let me tell you, her books are the epitome of a beach read: easy to read, funny, and a little bit predictable. They're not very deep, but definitely entertaining! I think I've read about 6 of her books at this point and I just keep going back for more.

5. My new iPhone!!!
This might sound materialistic, but I just love Apple products! I had an iPhone 3g back in the day, but when we switched to Verizon I had to get a Droid {they didn't have iPhones yet}. I've spent the last two years annoyed with my phone and am happy to say I finally have an iPhone again! I honestly don't think I would have mined having a Droid if I hadn't had an iPhone first, but I just couldn't get used to it. 

On that note, I also spent about a week and a half without any phone whatsoever {my Droid had a run-in with some Dr.Pepper :/} How in the world did we ever live without this technology?! I felt like an invalid and constantly noticed that it was missing. Our society has become sooo dependent on technology, but I'm just as bad as the next guy, so I won't even begin to lecture on the injustice of it all!

So there you have it, my current must-haves. What things are you obsessing over this month?