Yosemite

This past Saturday Aaron and I joined two of our good friends on a day trip to Yosemite. It was both of our first times going to the park. It was a day full of wandering around seeing the beautiful place. We didn’t have any plans just went and explored a bit. On our way up to Yosemite we were all talking about how places such as the park were amazing ways to see God’s work. How he planned for all the trees and mountains. Even the way the water flows off the top creating a waterfall. It’s so wonderful seeing such a magnificent place knowing God created it.

 

Music: Slow Life by Of Monsters and Men

Yosemite

My October.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – The Great Gatsby

I think it goes without saying I fell off the blogging planet. But as the quote says when fall happens it’s like you get a fresh perspective. In the fall I feel I tend to feel more motivated. It’s like a the sluggish feelings of summer fade away. October, my favorite month. This October marked my 25th year, and 6 months of marriage. The month was filled with birthday celebrations, a Disneyland trip, painting pumpkins with my nephews, and doing all things fall related. Favorite thing by far was Disneyland for my birthday. I hadn’t been in almost three years. Which is basically a big deal in my life since I used to go once a week when I lived in LA. Thanks to my wonderful husband I got to spend my birthday weekend in the happiest place. We got to spend time with our cool neighbors/ some of our best friends and their kids while there. Carving pumpkins was high up there in my “favorite moments of October” list. Even though Aaron isn’t your average holiday festivities person… he still carved a pumpkin with me. He truly is the best even in all of his grumpy grinch ways.

I think it’s safe to say this season of my life I am learning more about myself than I ever thought possible. Finding out what my weaknesses, faults, and strengths are. It’s a prettying awesome season of life. It’s crazy to think about this time last year Aaron and I had just got engaged and started the wedding planning process. Now, here I am sitting in our living room with my fall scented candle and I feel incredibly happy and at home. Thinking of these upcoming months… it’s the first holiday season as a married couple and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

 

 

My October.

Wedding Day

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It’s officially been three months of marriage. It feels like just yesterday I was getting ready to walk down the isle. Everyone tells you to treasure the moments because your wedding day goes by fast. I keep trying to remember the day exactly how it was.

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The night before the wedding we had our rehearsal at the church where would be wed the next day. Following the rehearsal we had dinner with our families, wedding party, and pastor. We chose Valley Brewing Company for our rehearsal dinner where Aaron and I have had many of our dates. Things we enjoy are good craft beer, and good conversation. It fit us pretty well. Once dinner was over Aaron and I parted ways. I decided to stay at my future home with my bridesmaids that night. It was pretty bittersweet. Laying on the living room floor watching a silly chick-flick with some of my best friends and finishing packing for the honeymoon was a perfect way to spend my last evening as Ms. Hamilton.

The wedding day. I woke up early showered and changed into comfy clothes and one of Aaron’s flannels. My friends left to go get coffee and pick up the flowers. I felt so restless I decided to just start cleaning the kitchen and BLAST worship music to keep myself pre- occupied. When it was time I gathered my things and drove to the University Waterfront Hotel where my parents had been staying for the weekend.

I had breakfast with my mom and dad the morning of the wedding. We had bagels and talked about normal family things and talked about how the day would play out. My mom read me an incredible letter she had written to me. It almost brings me to tears thinking about all of the sweet things she said. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my day.

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Not long after we finished breakfast my matron of honor had arrived to start my hair and makeup… and just like that the day was on it’s way! One by one the rest of my bridesmaids arrived. We got ready all together as we have done so many times before. Except this time it wasn’t for a football games, girls nights, or a girls dinner… it was  for my wedding day! I remember almost crying twice while Kristin (matron of honor) did my makeup that morning. I kept thinking about how our friendship has grown and how incredibly blessed I am to have someone like her in my life.

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Meanwhile, as us girls got ready at the hotel, Aaron and his groomsmen got ready at our soon to be home. They spent their time playing dominos and just hanging out before it was time for them to get ready. It wasn’t long until Shannon (Aaron’s dad) was dropping off a wedding gift from Aaron. I opened the gift and letter Aaron had written me. Of course  bringing tears to my eyes. I was now ready to get into my dress and head to the wedding photo location! My mom helped me into my dress and put on my wedding shoes. The button on the bustle of my dress had broken off (YIKES). Thankfully my friends came prepared with a needle and thread! I put my veil on and we were off to take photos.

IMG_4644IMG_4485IMG_9517After taking photos with the girls at University of the Pacific we hurried off the the church so the groom wouldn’t see me! It seemed like forever waiting for guests to start arriving. I sat hidden in an auditorium across from the church waiting. I spied on all the guests as they entered the church and tried catching glimpses of Aaron as he greeted guests.

IMG_4956IMG_0085 IMG_0126It was finally time. I was escorted to the church by my maid- of- honor where my dad was waiting for me. We both seemed so nervous. Hoping we wouldn’t walk too fast or trip on my dress. It wasn’t until I saw Aaron standing at the alter that all the butterflies went away. It was unlike any other experience. We were surrounded by all of our friends and family whom we love dearly. The pastor of our wedding was not only the pastor from our church by someone both Aaron and I consider a friend. I was convinced I would cry at our wedding. All I did was smile. It’s like I was just so happy tears didn’t even have a chance to come to the surface.

And just like that… we were Mr. and Mrs. Running.

We had a brief moment to ourselves after we exited the church. We sat in the same room I waited hours in just before the wedding. As we both sat there speechless the first things that came out of my mouth was “we are married”, “I missed you today”, and “how has your day been”. Not incredibly profound I know.. but that’s all I could mutter without crying.

The guests went over to the reception as Aaron and I took our wedding photos with the photographer. Then joined our guests at the Civic Auditorium in Downtown Stockton for the reception where we danced the night away. It was incredible dancing and celebrating with family and friends. The night was coming to a close. Aaron and I had one last dance to “Let’s be still” by the Head and the Heart. Our friends then formed a tunnel. We ran through as everyone cheered and yelled for us. Hopped in the car and we drove off as husband and wife.

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IMG_1592IMG_1689 IMG_1783 IMG_2018 IMG_2007IMG_2025IMG_2030IMG_1938IMG_2221 IMG_2224Three months later and I couldn’t be more thankful that God has blessed me with such an incredible husband. One who shows me Grace, and loves on me. Thankful to go through this life by his side.

Photos by Scot Woodman Photography

 

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My June.

It seems as if my videos are becoming an every other month thing. I’m not even sure why this happens. June, where do I even begin. Usually I have a pretty good grasp on what happens in a month before I even publish my video. This month when looking back on all the videos I needed to put into one… I almost forgot some of these moments happened this month.

I’m not going to lie. Not having any relatives living in the same town as me and Aaron is a little hard at times. Before the wedding I was living with my parents, then my sister and brother-in-law (who have three kids). So I was constantly surrounded by family and people. It’s been an adjustment to say the least. However, it’s a good adjustment to the pace of life. When watching my video for the month of June I almost cried. I realized that the people I surround myself with have become my family. Birthday celebrations, beach trips, and dinner dates the month of June was incredible.

People constantly ask me how married life is. I never can put into words how I feel or how I should answer besides saying “I love it”. It’s simple, yet true. I am so thankful  for Aaron and the grace he has shown these last two months of marriage. We are constantly learning, and growing together. I get to be with the man I love, my best friend, and partner in crime. So to put it simply… ” I love it”. I am so excited to see where July takes us.

 

My June.

My April.

April. The month of April was incredible. I’m thankful I managed to take some video because because some moments were such a blur I was worried I wouldn’t remember them. So many emotions wrapped up into one month. Moments of laughter, happy tears, stressed tears, and so many butterflies. April 2015 was full of wedding festivities. My bachelorette included with the most incredible women that God has graciously put into my life.

I don’t think I can adequately tell you how April made me feel. All I can remember is how loved I felt throughout the whole month. All of our friends and family coming together to celebrate our wedding was unbelievable. Remembering the stress that I felt leading up to the setting up of our reception venue.. not knowing if what I had been planning for months was even going to work. Then all of our friends were there to help and let me tell you.. I have never felt friendship like I did that day. To see our friends doing everything they can to help create the vision we had was amazing. My family was right there beside us as well. Getting the grunt of my stress like always and just loving on me anyways.

I don’t think the reality of our wedding hit me until our rehearsal at the church we were to be wed at. It was the moment Aaron and I practiced the “repeat after me” vows. All of the sudden stress, worry, butterflies melted away. Reminded of the covenant we were making to each other that very next day. We spent that evening with our family, and closest friends eating yummy food and enjoying our last ‘single’ moments. Aaron and I then parted ways to hang out with friends. Him with all his closest guys and me having an old fashion girls sleepover.

April 25. Our wedding day. I can’t even explain how this day felt. When people say it all becomes a blur until you are walking down the aisle they really aren’t kidding. I was able to have breakfast with my mom and dad that morning. I remember my mom reading to me a letter she had written and it instantly brought me to tears. I spent the rest of the day getting ready with the girls and trying to soak in all the moments.

So many amazing memories from April 25 that seem so far away now. I will never forget the moment as I walked down the aisle to meet my groom. Saying our vows to one another. Remembering that our love is a gift given to us by the grace of God. I still can’t believe I married my best friend, the man who encourages me, challenges me, and who has shown me a love I never knew existed in human flesh.

Portland will forever have a special place in my heart. It was incredible getting away from everything with my husband. Coffee, beer, and walking around the city was the best way to spend the first week of our marriage.

April was something I couldn’t have really ever dreamed of.

My April.

My January.

January has been a month of change. This month I learned that I don’t do well with change. I like to control situations and when it’s something I can’t control I pretty much don’t know how to deal with it. This month God showed me nothing is ever in my control. I think it goes without saying January was a busy month. It’s now mid February and I am just now posting this month’s blog!

Change is not always for the worst.  Aaron and I got the house that will become our home in April once we are married. Words can’t even explain how full my heart is. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t counting down the days until April 25th (70 days if you were wondering). Wedding planning is getting less stressful and finally seeing most of all the details fall into place. In the month of January I had my first wedding dress fitting which was extremely surreal feeling. We celebrated my dad’s birthday and spent time with my family.

I honestly don’t know how else to explain my month. There is so much I want to say but have no idea how to put it into words. If I were to scan my journal and post the page in here it probably still wouldn’t do the month of January justice. When looking back on January all I can remember is feeling every emotion possible. Excited and giddy about getting the house and one step closer to marriage. Sad for things going on within my family and loved by those around me. On the days I was feeling completely pulled in every direction I found comfort in not only God…but in my family, friends and fiancé as well. One friend in particular has had me over a few times letting me rest and have dinner with her and her family. Rest hasn’t really been possible at my house lately.  I am so thankful for the people in my life. I would have never gotten through this month with out prayer and Grace.

My January.

My December.

Some months bring more happiness than others. Just like some months bring more sorrow and tears. The month of December brought so much happiness to my heart I can’t even describe it. There were moments of struggle, but that’s life. The month of December was a time for family and friends.

December was filled with so many sweet moments. Oakland with my fiancé was one of the highlights. Thinking about how a year ago I was completely falling for the man I would spend the rest of my life with. Only 109 days left (but who’s counting)! Holiday parties with friends, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with my family was wonderful. Seeing cousins from out of town and seeing how happy it made my grandma to just have everyone together was pretty great. Spending the holiday with my sister, her husband and my baby niece was wonderful. My sister and I haven’t always been close and our relationship has had it’s serious up’s and down’s… I couldn’t be more happy to see how well she is doing. It’s been a blessing to see our relationship mend itself over this past year. I have no idea how I would have gotten through 2014 without the wonderful people who fill my life. I am so excited to see what 2015 will bring. It’s been amazing knowing and seeing God work in my life and in the ones around me this past year.

My December.

My November.

I have no idea where the month of November went. I guess it’s pretty normal for time to fly during the holiday season… but man o’ man I wish it would slow down a little. This is my favorite time of year and it already feels like it is over. The month of November has been full of so many things. So much… that half of the time I forgot to take out my camera to capture the small moments. I’m just glad I have a good memory for the most part at least. This month has been insane. At moments I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. My emotions seemed to be in every direction.

Honestly, as I am writing this it’s December 8th and looking back on November all I can think about is just thankfulness. Pretty fitting since November is a month we spend talking about what we are thankful for. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone in my life. I am thankful for those that support and encourage me. I am also incredibly thankful for those who challenge me. I would never be taken out of my comfort zone if I didn’t have anyone like that in my life. This Thanksgiving was the first year I didn’t spend with my family. Instead I spent it with my fiancés family and my soon to be family. As I was sitting with them eating our meal we went around the table and said what we were thankful for. As I was listening to everyone I realized how incredibly blessed I am that this wonderful family has accepted me as their own. And when it came to my turn to say what I was thankful for I was able to thank them for just that ( of course in my mumbling and awkwardness). It’s hard to put into words.. but I am just so thankful for them and my fiancé. I am also incredibly thankful for my parents. This month has been a roller coaster for my family. I remember early in the month talking to my parents about things we were struggling with and I remember spending a solid amount of time crying, arguing.. and finally just talking about everything. I know it’s a little strange, but I am so thankful I can even have a relationship like this with my parents. A relationship that I can talk to them and just tell them how I am feeling. It’s something I take for granted way too often. November you were crazy but I am thankful for all the craziness. Beyond blessed.

My November.

My October.

October. I really don’t know how I can actually sum up my feelings from this month. There were moments I could feel my heart growing. It goes without saying October is my favorite month. However, this has been my favorite October yet.

The month of October started off by saying ‘yes’ to my bestfriend and love of my life when he asked if I would marry him. It was one of those moments where I felt like I was observing it rather than living it. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. The amount of love I felt that day was incredible. Not only did I feel love from my now Fiancé, but I felt love from my family and friends. Their support of our relationship was incredible. I remember going home that night falling asleep and waking up feeling like the day before didn’t even happen. Then I glanced down at my left hand and saw my engagement ring and instantly all the feelings from the day before came rushing back.
I think the theme I felt in the month of October is definitely feeling loved. My birthday reminded me I have some incredible people in my life. I spent it celebrating with my nephews and parents over breakfast. Then spent it with amazing friends in the evening just painting pumpkins, and just hanging out.
I started this project one year ago. To see how much can change in only one year is incredible. I started my 23rd year single, kind of a mess. Recovering from feeling pretty empty in LA, and then feeling thankful after moving home. I was finally having the realization the smallest moments in life are the best. Even one year later I still have a hard time holding onto those small moments but I would like to think I am getting better at it. The year had it’s up’s and down’s but goodness God is so good. I can’t wait to see my 24th year unfold just as God has planned.
My October.

My September.

I honestly have no idea how I survived September. It might sound pretty dramatic… but September seriously kicked my butt. Finished one job, and moved onto the next with no break in between was insane. Not to mention everything else that was happening during the month. For someone reason I felt like I was constantly being pulled in every direction. I felt the constant need to be everywhere and do everything even if it meant me being exhausted. However, looking back on the month of September I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am. I am so incredibly thankful I even have the opportunity to be tired of starting a new job. I have only been working in Stockton for a few weeks and I can already feel my heart growing even more fond of the city.

The month of September was full of celebrations. Birthday, baby showers, and of course celebrating Fall. I am so happy I was able to spend as much time as I did with my friends and family this month. I honestly don’t realize how much being around my family helps keep me sane sometimes. This month was full of so many amazing moments that seriously warmed my heart. It amazes me how much God is working in my life and in the lives of the people around me. With each month there are always going to be “low’s” but it’s how I respond to them that I find to be very important.

I can’t believe I have been posting videos for almost a year. September marks my last full month in my 23rd year. The whole point of this project was to be able to remind myself to cherish the small moments. The moments we laugh, and even the moments we cry. I am so incredibly blessed. I can’t help but feel so incredibly thankful for everyone who is in my life.

My September.