Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What It's Like Being Engaged...

Hey y'all!!

I told myself that I wouldn't be a blogger who takes a break from blogging while planning a wedding, but goodness, there are too few hours in a day! And definitely not enough mental energy!

Yesterday marked the halfway point in our engagement! Wedding plans are moving along, I've had one shower already, sewn most of the bridesmaid dresses, started on my dress, mailed the invitations, booked venues, and finished registries. It's all been a lot of fun and I'm enjoying getting stuff done.

I've read articles from courting and married women, but in all of the wedding excitement I think a lot of deeper questions during this engagement season get pushed aside for talk of bows and flowers. As soon as I set a wedding date, friends from all walks of life encouraged me to enjoy this sweet season as much as possible. I've been trying to take their advice to heart daily among the stressful decisions and emotional roller coasters. :)

What's it like being engaged? In my 52 days of experience...


  • It is completely natural. We both expected it to be more life-shattering, awkward, or unusual. It's not at all weird-feeling.
  • It is extremely emotional. Happy, sad, tired, excited, frustrated, confused, disappointed, unsure, bubbling over, joyful, content... all of these feeling at once is not uncommon. 
  • It is really hard to work on wedding stuff when we're together. We just want to hang out, talk, and do everyday things. 
  • Seeing each other just on weekends is plain awful. I'm thankful it's that often, and that I had a chance to spend a week down there in June, but having your main squeeze four hours away? Not fun. 
  • Not only should  you tell each other everything, but for there to be no tension, you have to tell each other everything: fears, doubts, concerns, joys, pains, how much you are about to burst from loving the other, disappointments, expectations, dreams, silly notions, e v e r y t h i n g.
  • The ring only gets more gorgeous as the days go by.
  • There's a difference between knowing everything about a person's day and connecting with your fiance'. When things feel "off" you need to drop what you're doing (however important) and t a l k  i t  o u t. 
  • There are evidences of God's providence around every turn. The more our love grows the more glory we want to give the Lord for bringing us together. His ways are perfect. 
  • Spending time with other couples is SO MUCH FUN. It's an awesome season of life that we are making the most of. :) 
  • There is a ton of hoopla around weddings. Showers, wedding party parties, moving, counseling, thank-you cards, gifts, spending time with family and meeting extended family, planning, apartment shopping... it's overwhelming pretty much all of the time. But good. 
  • These days of "lasts" at home with my family are hard. I can't imagine any other path for my life than marrying Calvin, but realizing it is the end of an era at home is extremely bittersweet. 
 I thought y'all might like a little glimpse into some of the things I've been up to. I'm really looking forward to getting back to consistent blogging after the wedding!

My ring is yellow gold, my absolute favorite! It matches my favorite gold Jessica Simpson pumps I got at Goodwill. :P 

 I had so much fun making these cards! I have 6 bridesmaids-- 2 sisters, a sister-to-be, and 3 best friends. All but my sisters live in Georgia so that's made excuses for trips there easy. ;)


Registry. I'm still very passionate about ethical, USA-made, eco-friendly, organic, etc so I spent a long time researching and choosing items that meet those qualifications. I get so excited when I know where something came from and that it's a responsible product, that it was totally worth it to me to put a lot of thought into our lists. I plan to share my choices after the wedding in case anyone else is looking for the best renewable-resource cutting boards or USA-made spatulas. :) 

Also, it's been super interesting to try to figure out how to combine mine and Calvin's styles into an "our" style. He doesn't know what he wants until he sees it, which has been a challenge for me to pull things out of the air for him to maybe give an opinion on. I love him so much! He makes it so much fun to be creative and then he takes joy in products that he knows I carefully chose. There's a lot of "so do you like this or this" texts. :) The dishes shown above are made-in-the-USA Corelle that I was afraid would be too girly, but he absolutely loves them. He especially loves that they stack so efficiently. :P

Wedding dress. Keeping with my fair-trade or second-hand convictions, I knew I didn't want to buy a wedding dress off the rack... even if I could find one I liked. Some girls dream about their perfect dress and know exactly what they want. Unfortunately, I was not one of those girls and had NO idea what I wanted. So my mom, sisters, grandmother, and I went out for a day in Nashville to second-hand bridal boutiques and David's Bridal for ideas. I didn't find any perfect dresses, but I had a good feeling by the end of the day of what I did not want. 

Until last week when I walked into Jo-Ann's and saw THE lace, I wasn't sure I wanted to make my dress. I figured I'd keep checking consignment stores until I found something good enough. But, when I saw that fabric I knew exactly what I wanted and decided to make my dress. I'm using a pattern I've used several times before and so far it's going so well! I'm taking pictures of the process so I'll definitely share those after the wedding! 

We ride around in the car a lot together and sometimes I have a neckache from leaning over the console so much. #engagementprobs

Sometimes we take outfit photos that just completely fail. 

My littlest siblings weren't quite sure what to make of Calvin for the longest time. We want them to realize that this is exciting and a good thing, so Calvin suggested we take them to the Adventure Science Center for the day. We had an awesome time and now they love him. :) 

Four-wheeler rides thorough the mud are 1000x more fun together.

During the week I spent in Georgia, I was able to take a few hours and shop for/ cook 30ish freezer meals for Calvin just because I wanted to. Plus it helps off-set the cost of Zaxby's twice a day. ;) 

My forward-thinking man already has a car for me, so we spent some time in the sweltering heat cleaning and vacuuming them. I was just fine temperature-wise in this long maxi dress I bought on ThredUP! 

One evening after an afternoon at the pool, we cooked spaghetti and ate it on his sister's balcony. There have been so many "picture perfect" moments in our engagement that I never want to forget.

June 11th we were in our good friends' wedding together! I helped arrange the gorgeous flowers into bouquets two days prior. I absolutely loved the variety Cami picked!

Thanks to Sabrina Fields for this picture!

The excitement of last week was beginning the bridesmaid dresses! 

The advice to "enjoy this season" to me includes not only sweet time with my man, but also enjoying the process of preparing for a wedding! I LOVE sewing unusual (but easy) dresses and wanted to take the opportunity to do just that. Thankfully several of my bridesmaids sew, so I'm not doing all six by myself. :) But I absolutely LOVE how they came out and how good they look on all the girls! Just a few more need zippers and hems, otherwise they're done!

We're using Simplicity 1606, view B, with an altered neckline. 

Calvin's church is awesome for several reasons, but one very hospitable thing they do is throw all incoming brides a shower! This past Saturday was that event and it was a great time! My sisters and mom came down for it, as well as Calvin's out-of-town sisters and nieces. :)

What's it like being engaged? Awesome. 

I have started "our story" at least 8 times already and each time I realize it's going to be harder to put into words than I thought. :P

I hope y'all have an amazing week! Blessings!


60 comments :

  1. Wow Olivia!! I love this you are such a thoughtful-thankful for every moment kind of girl! So excited to see your post about your wedding!!Blessings girly!-Shelby K.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy to hear the update and I'm so happy you're enjoying this time!
    www.thedivinepresence.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely enjoy this season! My husband and I have been married just over a year now after a 4 year long relationship. Always remember to communicate no matter the situation. Big, small, silly, upsetting, etc. Always keep communicating.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey sounds pretty much perfect! Engagement comes with so much security. No more back and forth, God's will is clear, the families approve, you can just relax and enjoy!

    Got to admit a little enviousness over how much time you get to spend with your man. My man was 1,200 miles, 3 states, and 19 hours away! We spent 4 hours a week on skype together in our 6 month engagement, and only 13 days in person! (Out of a total of 30 days in person since meeting.) I planned the whole wedding alone. We didn't get to have registries or showers, but God worked it all out perfectly. It made married life 100 times more fun! We got to do all those fun life things together for the first time- and we got to kiss whenever we wanted too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so sweet to read through, Olivia! "In-love-happiness" looks so good on you!! :D I wonder how your health has held up through all this excitement and busyness? You look really great and I'm praying you'll continue to feel great and energized throughout all the preparation and especially on your big day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you for your concern! My health has been the same (or slightly worse) through this season, which is another time-consumer. :) Calvin is super super sweet to me though and although I'm still rather sick, the Lord is sustaining me and it's not hindering my enjoyment of this time. :)

      Delete
  6. OMG!!! Olivia, that's awesome!!! So happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Olivia, you should do a video to share your story. That way you can just talk to the camera (and maybe even include Calvin in it if he is game!) So excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so glad that engagement is going so well!!! I am so with you on the "talk about everything" part of things. When my husband and I were engaged, there were some really emotional moments and difficult conversations, but it is so worth it and important to talk about fears, joys, pains, uncertainties, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your happiness just radiates from your words, Olivia :) I am so happy for you and Calvin!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks like you are having so much fun planning the wedding! :-) It must be so exciting!

    ~Lydia~ <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND CALVIN!!!!! :) :) :) And thanks for the pictures too! I was just dying to see some more.
    I've been checking your blog lately and every time I am reminded of what a God-honouring lady you are. It inspires me!
    I've been praying about your health too. I hope you feel better. :)

    Best,
    Olivia (who reallllllllly wishes she could come help you)

    ReplyDelete
  12. So happy for you Olivia! Thank you for sharing with us! I hope Calvin knows what a treasure he is getting in you! Blessings to you dear one! So excited to see the dress you come up with and the bridesmaids dresses look lovely! May the Lord bless you both richly!
    Blessings,
    Victoria
    https://rufflesandgrace.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. congratulations and hope you enjoy this time it looks like so much fun and i hope one day to go through the same.

    just have to find my prince !

    love that on the bridesmaids card and the dresses

    ReplyDelete
  14. God bless you! - This was so fun to read!
    - Rachael

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow Olivia, you have been very busy! I love the bridesmaid dresses and I can't wait to see your wedding dress. I was so happy to see your post. I have been reading a lot of your old ones lately:)
    Best wishes to both of you. May God bless you and give you all the time, energy, and rest to get everything done that you need to.
    Riley

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you so much for taking the time to share in the midst of you engagement! And thank you for sharing the real-life stuff (including the failed picture that cracked me up :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Spending time with other couples is SO MUCH FUN. It's an awesome season of life that we are making the most of. :) "

    Don't forget your single friends. There is nothing more exhausting or heartbreaking than losing friend after friend (for 10 years now) because they're married/engaged, and would rather hang out with the other couples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the feeling! We always invite our single friends along, too. :)

      Delete
  18. I love your ethical emphasis! Just curious, how far do you take that? Do you follow those principles for makeup, hair products, normal household things like lamps, curling irons and candles?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As much as possible, I follow that for everything. In this season I've had to use conventional makeup due to time/reliability, but I do use natural hair products. Lamp I would go second-hand or research the company I'm buying from. I really wanted to put a nice-looking, lasting, USA-made, reasonably priced fan on our registry and, although it took over an hour of looking, I found one! Curling irons I've always gotten second-hand. Candles I definitely go for natural because of the toxins in conventional ones. :) So, I take it pretty far! But at the same time I don't cause myself unhealthy stress by being legalistic about it.

      Delete
    2. Wow! That is so inspiring!!!

      Delete
    3. Have you found natural hair spray or heat protectant spray?

      Delete
  19. Congratulations Olivia! God's blessings on your adventures together.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a fun post! What is Calvin's opinion on ethical shopping?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He completely understands and supports me! He wants to make sure we are also good stewards of our money though so he's not a fan of how much some ethical things cost. It's a good challenge for me to remember to keep costs down! :)

      Delete
  21. Thanks for posting! That is so exciting and I will be praying for you and Calvin!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I loved reading this and learning all about your engaged life, Olivia! That dress looks amazing. It's incredible that you're sewing them all yourself. And I'm so glad it's been such a fun ride overall! I'm also a huge fan of the cards you made for your bridesmaids!!! Such a cute idea. You and your man are really a beautiful couple. <3

    ReplyDelete
  23. Super excited for you, Olivia!! I love that you are so careful with money. People often don't take that into consideration when wedding planning but there are a lot of good deals and money saving options to be found if you have your eyes open!

    God bless!

    Kelsey

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just bought that same Corelle pattern today! (It's Bella Faenza, right?) We used Corelle in missionary housing we were recently staying in and loved how thin and unbreakable they were. We've been using secondhand dishes since we got married in 2010 - but today Target has them on sale + a 20% off discount code, so we are finally upgrading!! :) I'm so excited for you and your fiance and super excited to see how your dresses turn out! God bless!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so excited for you! Having been married a little over three years now, my advice would be to keep the Lord first in your marriage, keep having fun and laughing together, and never stop trying to get to know and help your man! :-) Enjoy this beautiful season of your life!!!

    -Alice Wright
    www.whatsoever-lovely.blogspot.com
    Www.thewrightfamilyfarm.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Obviously I would love to hear your story, but I think this type of a post is just perfect. Your dress looks gorgeous, and I can't wait to see completed Bridesmaids dresses. Thanks for all the pics.
    What a great idea to take your little siblings out! I don't have any young siblings like that, but I can imagine it would have been hard to figure out how to get them to know each other....
    Keep having fun!you look great!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very nice post that's a lot of fun. In regards to thinking your dishes might be too girly: I remember before my husband and I got married worrying about not making our house too girly. While your future husband does need some input, I've found after many years that my husband doesn't mind some girly items, like ruffled curtains, for example. While I would never do an all pink room, since he might feel out of place or uncomfortable, I do have a pink closet! The only area he really doesn't want a super girly item is the bedspread/comforter. It is a lot of fun getting to know what each other likes for decorating and activities and such.

    ReplyDelete
  28. looks like ya'll are having an amazing time! and you look so happy! i'm sure my sister would have LOVED her man being four hours away, because he lived twelve hours from her!
    Clo, Is.53:5, #UNASHAMED, heresclo.blogspot.com, YouTube channel-Clo Hale

    ReplyDelete
  29. Olivia! Congratulations! My fiance' and I became engaged just a couple days before you and Calvin! It is definitely amazing being engaged and having someone who you can serve God with the rest of your life and who loves you unconditionally. We have our wedding date for early next May, which is disappointing since it seems so far away, but we will both be working on our graduate degrees (me on my masters and Mr. Wonderful on his doctorate), so that should keep us busy. :) Congratulations again! (My proposal featured an appearance by a cicada who landed on my ear and screeched while Mr. Wonderful asked me to marry him!)
    -Rebekah

    ReplyDelete
  30. Olivia I hope you have a joyful Christ centered marriage and I hope it will be a day you'll remember forever

    ReplyDelete
  31. I cannot WAIT until Shreyas and I are engaged and I can start "officially" planning! Y'all look so happy and that makes me happy :) Also, I hope you're feeling okay and that everything's going well!

    ReplyDelete
  32. This post makes me so happy! I love marriage so much I actually published a book about it this year! (For the Love of Marriage by SK Bell, because I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it here of course =]) It really is the most wonderful blessing. I think you have a beautiful attitude about it and I have no doubt that God will do great things for the two of you… and that someday you will be shocked by how LITTLE you loved him during this engagement period compared to what you’ll feel for him in the future. <3
    Congratulations again! Wishing you lots of happiness and crossing fingers for a few more blog posts before the big day =]

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow, busy yet amazing times! So excited for you, you look so happy in each of these pictures. Thanks for sharing, and best wishes for you and your upcoming wedding!

    Ocean

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was smiling and aww-ing the whole way through this post. Just beautiful. I really admire your commitment to ethical shopping and appreciate how your husband-to-be feels about the extra cost at times!! Sounds like you're both striking a good balance and serving each other so beautifully <3 Bless you hun xxx

    ReplyDelete
  35. This post was so sweet and made me smile so much! I'm so happy for you and that you have such a loving family and man:) The pictures are adorable, and the dresses are looking lovely. I can't wait to hear more about this journey you're on:) Also glad you spent some time addressing the real-life side of engagement and not just wedding planning. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I missed this! Congrats Olivia! Can't wait to see the wedding pictures! <3

    ReplyDelete
  37. My hubby and I have been married for 7 1/2 months after a beautiful 4-month courtship/engagement! My biggest tip - communication! :) I know you have heard it a gazillion times. But not making assumptions can keep you from a lot of misunderstandings. Guys and girls think drastically different, and something he may say and mean is probably not the way you would take it. Thus talking it out :) This is a sweet time of life! God is so good!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love your ring, Olivia! So pretty! And your bridesmaid dresses are STUNNING! I can't wait to see your wedding dress and, of course, wedding pictures!! God Bless you both! :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a lovely person you are, Olivia! So glad to see you enjoying this incredible time in your life. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks so much for posting! What a fun one to read.

    Even though my now-husband and I adored each other and had been confident about marriage for over a year, our six-month, six-hour-distance relationship was so. hard. Even though he was doing everything he could for me, on a crazy hard work schedule without indulging in much physically, I even found myself wondering if I should go through with it -- I was that afraid that he didn't love me as much as I loved him. Whether y'all go through anything like that or not, I just want to encourage you that those kinds of difficulties DO disappear after your wedding day! You still have to remember each other's love languages and be patient on grumpy days... but it's so much easier.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gold sequin bridesmaid dresses!? Heck yes! I seriously can't wait to see the wedding pics :)

    How on earth are you pulling together a wedding in 3 months!? Wow. That is impressive.

    Best wishes to you both!

    ~Esther of Oz

    ReplyDelete
  42. I read your blog since few months and i love your articles and your outfits.

    Im really happy to learn your engagement and give you my best wishes from France.

    Congratulations!!!

    Koko

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow! I'm so happy for you! I knew that God would give you an amazing friend/husband/partner in crime (whoops, did I say that? I mean, life :D). Congratulations!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. This is so sweet! I look forward to the day when I can plan my own wedding! God bless you both. : )

    ReplyDelete
  45. So glad you are enjoying your engagement!

    -Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  46. Congratulations Olivia! So happy for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your rings is so elegant and classy. Congratulations and God bless you, Olivia! Selfishly, I miss your posts :), but please enjoy yourself and God's blessings!! All the best.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So happy for you, cant wait to see more blog posts!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Please start blogging again soon!

    ReplyDelete
  50. We're waiting to hear the rest of the story!!! What is it like being married?? Take first things first, but, I know we're all itchin' to hear everything!!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ahem. . . so, I know you've been married for a little while now. . . we're all missing you, I think it's safe to say. And, speaking for myself, I'd like to see some wedding pics :) How are you?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Congratulations! Loved the Bridesmaid invitations :) How'd the wedding go? How are you doing now?

    https://teensliveforjesus.blogspot.ru/

    ReplyDelete
  53. Many many congratulations to you. You look like an angel. The guy who will marry you is the most luckiest person.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Girl, you need to post!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!