Married in Cleveland

This weekend K and I headed to Cleveland to celebrate the holy matrimony of a college friend/roommate and her fabulous man.

Amanda and John are two of the classiest human beings I know. John is the definition of “Renaissance Man” and Amanda is a pie-baking, dress-wearing, tea-loving feminist. They are also two of the smartest, nicest people I know- and they totally deserve each other.

This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.
This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.

Cleveland, Ohio is a two hour drive for the husband and I, so we loaded up the car around 11:30am last Saturday and made our way north.


We looked pretty darn good…


They asked that no pictures be taken at the wedding, so I refrained, but it was a beautiful ceremony. Halfway through the groom tried to kiss the bride and she held him back, telling him “not yet” while the preacher jokingly reprimanded him. Instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, the bride and groom washed one another’s feet, similar to how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and hosts. They cleaned off the dirt from their pasts so that they could move forward washed anew. During the feet washing ceremony my college pal Dana sang “Where I Land” by J.J. Heller and played ukelele. It was an incredible moment.

I messed up and didn't get a picture of the program, but here's Dana and I!
I messed up and didn’t get a picture of the program, but here’s Dana and I!

The ceremony ended around 3 and the reception began at 6, so we decided to wander around the little “village” of Coventry. We visited a thrift store, game shop, and an antique store.


While perusing the antique store a little stray dog wandered in.

Other Shopper: Um I think a dog wandered in.
Dana: What happened to [Louise]?
K: Well, if there’s a dog in here, she’s probably with it.
Not a second went by before I came through the door with the dog in my hand.

We didn’t find his owner, but a wonderful woman offered to take him and walk him around the area and look for his parent(s). Thank goodness for her, or we’d have a third dog.

Knowing the dog was in good hands, we left Coventry and hit up Starbucks before making our way to Night Town for the reception!

Dana & her hubby, Jamie

We had a short cocktail hour, then headed to our seats. Table 11, y’all!


The atmosphere was excellent and the food was AWESOME. I had the Dublin Lawyer.


The evening was filled with cake, dancing, and some really adorable family speeches.

John comes from a Lebanese background. He also has a deaf mother and father. During the speeches his grandfather read a beautiful letter to John and Amanda, saying how the day was the happiest of his life and he could now peacefully pass on. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry…

John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.
John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.

The cake was yummy, the card box was crafty, and the couple was 1920’s perfection.

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The newly weds are now headed to Arizona to begin their life together!

Thanks for letting us witness your beautiful day, Amanda and John!

photo 1

Here’s a bonus (Snapchat) picture of my adorable workaholic husband taking a business call during cocktail hour.

photo 2


7 Years & 7 Pieces of Marital Advice

My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary in April, but my old-favorite anniversary is October 21st. Seven years ago K & I started dating (and 3 years ago he proposed!). Needless to say, today is the day that started it all.

Seven isn’t a celebratory number, but considering we got here without any break-ups or tragedies, I definitely believe in a few relationship “rules”…

1. Be Honest- especially if it’s troubling you
This is a total cliche, and I’m really sorry to start the list off with it, but I am such a strong believer in honesty. Don’t hold back from your significant other. When things are bothering me- especially if it’s something K did or said- I find a way to talk about it and tell him how I’m feeling. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but being honest about how I feel or what I did diffuses the future blow-up.

2. Compromise
K wanted to stick with one dog and I was hell-bent on getting a second. It’s not that he doesn’t like dogs- he LOVES them- but he knew it’d be more money, more responsibility, more time. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, K works long hours and spends some weekends on the road. Since Lylee and I were the ones at home, he agreed to another fur-baby. We have compromised on television programs, cars, dinner, and housework, among other, more important, things. Compromise makes the world go round!

3. Knowing Your Limitations
K and I do many things together, but we’ve identified problem areas and we try very hard to avoid them. Need an example? Some couples dream of opening a bakery together or starting a marketing business. Not us. K and I do NOT work well together in a professional setting. He’s very aggressive and I am very competitive- it’s like a power couple gone bad. Long story short, if you can avoid volatile situations, identify what they are and avoid them!

4. You Don’t Have to Like the Same Things
I love asparagus, but K doesn’t. He’s a huge fan of Chipotle and I am definitely not (I know, I know- I’m weird). K likes Taylor Swift’s older stuff and I’m a fan of the new jams. I like theater and K likes Nitro Circus. What I’m trying to say is it’s ok to like different things and it’s even more ok to enjoy these things on your own or with someone else! That leads me to my 5th point…

5. It’s OK to Do Things Without the Other
Most of my friends are unwed. They also tend to live all over the state. I travel at least once a month and stay a night or two with friends… without K. He travels for business and I stay home with the dogs. Heck, last August I went to Williamsburg with my family and K went to Indianapolis to network. We need time together and we need time apart. Time apart makes the time together even more awesome. This works for us and it doesn’t work for everyone, but make sure to squeeze in some “me” time every once in a while.

6. Don’t Let Outside Pressure In
Oh man… I wish I would’ve learn this early on. K and I are +3 years apart and we started dating when I was 17 (he’s older). Needless to say, there has been a TON of pressure throughout our relationship. Now that we’re married, the pressure to have kids is ever present. We feel pressure to see family, work less, vacation more, have sex 8 times a week (newly-weds, right?), etc. Guess what… do what works for you and your boo.

7. You Don’t Have to Have it Figured Out
When you get married/commit to someone it’s essential to know who you’re marrying, but you don’t have to have a 20 year plan. K and I know we want to have kids, but we don’t know when and we don’t know how many and we have no idea how we’re going to discipline. K has a business and I have a very good job, but we have NO idea where we’ll be in 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve definitely got goals, but we’re learning along the way!

I hope I capitalized in all the right places…
I’m not a love guru and I make SO MANY mistakes when it comes to “us”, but these have been such important lessons throughout our relationship. What would you add?


A little bit of everything…

Hey! Hopefully you’re willing to invest in this blog-relationship with me!

I said “goodbye” to 23 three days ago and I’m ready to take on 24 (years old) with new recipes, devotionals, advice, organization tricks, pet adventures, and, someday, parenting trials. I’m so excited to kick this off and share my travels, tricks, and triumphs with you! There will probably be some serious failures, too… And, of course, I want to hear from you along the way.

This is Life as Louise. Tell me what you think!