Devos for the Newly Engaged Girl

Day 1: Breathe

Everything was going wrong; bridesmaids’ dresses were coming in different colors, things I was ordering were sent to far away places other than my address, I was told my wedding dress may not be able to get altered after having it a year in advance, my engagement ring somehow warped from rough use (#agteacherlife) and the list goes on. I was freaking out, stressing out, crying all the time, and probably going overboard in the dramatic department. I want our wedding day to be perfect and all that I imagine it to be just as almost every girl in the world! But with all the hiccups in the way, I was losing sight of what mattered the most. It has taken me awhile to realize that crying about things going wrong won’t fix anything…coming up with a solution and handing it to God no matter how stupid I thought it might be would fix it all. I pray for patience because I struggle the most with being impatient, and I think God was using those little bumps in the road to show me to be patient and He would take care of it even if it seemed like it would take longer than I wanted. 1 1/2 months from now lies our wedding day. Regardless of what may go wrong, all will be right…I will marry the greatest blessing to ever walk in my life! So if you’re a future bride-to-be, a girl stressing and worrying because nothing seems to be going right, or a guy with a lot on his plate…there’s no need to worry about it. At the end of the day, God is in control and He’s got ya! Don’t forget what is most important! I believe our wedding day will be the most beautiful and important day in my life next to the day I received Christ as my Savior! Keep the faith, stay patient, and trust, trust, trust!!!

Day 2: Just Love

I researched, pinned, and read about 20 blogs on the hot topic of “how to prepare for marriage.” At the end of most of them, they made the statement that there isn’t REALLY a way to prepare yourself for marriage.
Whaaaaat?! Post after post and article after article I was becoming frustrated because I wanted to be the best possible wife for Brad by the time we got married. Now that I have been married for one month today, I understand what they mean…
Nothing prepares you for the happiness you feel each day that you spend with him. Nothing prepares you for the laughs you will share over late night popcorn and movie dates in your pjs. Nothing prepares you for waking up to him each morning. Nothing prepares you for the smile on his face when he eats a meal you cook. Nothing prepares you for how you love him more and more, and just when you think you can’t, he does something that makes you fall in love with him more.
No, you’ll never be able to prepare yourself for marriage.

Day 3: Satan Will Attack Your Marriage

It’s a team effort. Marriage doesn’t take two people; it takes God, you, and your spouse. It is a growing and learning process especially the first month together. You can’t have unrealistic expectations diving into marriage. You have to realize that marriage is two imperfect people serving a perfect God. You will both fail and make mistakes, but it’s learning to say “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong.” It’s forgiving each other every day and loving each other through it all. You need to admit how you feel and be open and honest with each other about everything. I’m a newly wed, so I’m freshly stepping into this whole marriage thing, but I have learned that the enemy tries to destroy what he sees as good in God’s sight. You need to understand the he will try to pry his way in your relationship with your spouse. He will intentionally place barriers between you to cause you and your spouse to feel distant. He makes a small, petty detail seem like it’s the biggest deal in your life at the moment. You can’t let Satan win. You have to keep God in the middle and pray for your spouse and your marriage. Remember, when troublesome times come your way, you need to let God handle it. Marriage is beautiful, and Satan hates beautiful. He loathes goodness, righteousness, and truthfulness. He despises seeing couples thrive in this world in which he roams like a lion to steal, kill, and destroy. Stand up for your marriage!!! Date intentionally. 👠Pray daily. 🙏🏻 Forgive easily. 👫Love always.💕

Day 4: Never Stop Dating

Dating intentionally isn’t difficult. Everybody has an issue with the amount of time they have on their hands, so not having enough time isn’t a good excuse. So what does it mean? Dating intentionally simply means to set aside time to spend with your special someone or go out of your way for them once in awhile to show them that you love them. For example, when Brad and I had been dating for a few months, he drove to my favorite coffee shop and bought me three large cups of coffee. Then, he dropped them off by my apartment as I studied for two exams the next day. See? It doesn’t have to be anything like wearing a tux and a dress for all your dinner dates. It CAN be watching Netflix but letting him/her pick the movie (not recommended for a first date)! It can be putting a sweet note on their car in the parking lot. It can be ordering fries to go with a frosty (if you haven’t done that, you should). Dating a person with intention can be full of little ways you display that you care for them and love them. Like I said, it isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t require a ton of money. Never stop dating the person you love when you get married. Brad washes the dishes, cooks, and washes clothes when he sees that I need help around the house. To me, THAT is dating intentionally. He is demonstrating his love for me in those ways. So whether you are in those early stages of dating, engaged, or married, date with the intention of showing how much you love your significant other.

Day 5: Evaluate Your Focus

It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of having a wedding of your own, but when it clouds your mind of the real reason you are getting married, that big idea soon turns into an issue. Focus on WHY you want to get married. Focus on WHO you are marrying. Focus on who YOU need to become before you get married. Every girl has this perfect image in their mind. This picture is one I dreamed of for years. You deserve a wedding to make your own and to plan, but you also deserve a man who is going to love you unconditionally, protect you, and provide for you. Change your perspective, and fall in love with your spouse-to-be over and over again instead of obsessing over the wedding. The wedding is merely a celebration of the love and marriage between a man and woman. Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you may be in, the details are fun and important, but it’s the relationship of you and your future husband that takes precedence over the wedding!

Day 6: Don’t Get Lost in the Details

I wrote my letter to him two weeks from our wedding day. I spent at least two hours writing it because I didn’t want it to be any less than perfect. I placed a bow on the front of the envelope and attached a burlap flower on it. It was a ridiculously beautifully packaged letter. I mentioned to Brad that I wrote my letter that day, and he told me he had yet to write one to me. This was understandable. I realized I was ahead of the game, and Brad was more a last minute kind of guy, so I didn’t ask again until a few days before. He still hadn’t written the letter. Being the slightly crazy bride I was at the time, I ensured that he wouldn’t forget to write the letter by making him a checklist for our wedding day. Okay, I know…it may seem stupid that I cared so much about one little letter. But written words from Brad that I could keep forever serving as a reminder of our special day were of high importance to me. He did write the letter the morning of our wedding. It meant more to me that he wrote the letter our wedding morning because those were his thoughts on that exact day. There wasn’t anything special about his handwriting or the packaging of the letter. The contents of the letter, however, contained rich words full of love and looking forward to spending our lives together. The letter situation is just one of many that reflect our differences in handling our careers and life altogether. I am one to dress up things to the point that it’s almost hard to see the real purpose of it…like the letter. I was focused on completing it and making it pretty instead of setting aside the time to write it on our wedding day and having those thoughts recorded. I was afraid it wouldn’t be good enough or even worse, that I would forget to write it. I can’t rewind and make the decision over; what’s done is done and in the past now, but isn’t it funny how easily we become distracted by what REALLY doesn’t matter? We find ourselves lost in the details…lost in the busyness of life…lost in our jobs….lost in our education.
This is not to say that those things are bad, but if we aren’t careful, they can take all the time we have. Time is precious, and you can never get it back. If you aren’t carving out time to spend with God each day, is He #1 in your life like it may say in your IG bio? I’m not trying to be critical, but I’m just trying to get you to examine the depths of your heart. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to read the Word every day or to pray especially on days when you “just aren’t feeling it” or are tired. Do it anyway because if God is a priority to You, give Him the time that He grants you. Focus on the contents in your heart…not the packaging!!!!

 

Day 7: Family > Work

Through the hardest times, we have each other. When we visited Brad’s pawpaw in the hospital today, he commented about our wedding ceremony. He has been a man of few words lately because he is fighting pancreatic cancer. He looked at me and said, “You laughing was the sweetest thing.” He smiled at us.
It’s a moment I will never forget, and I would have missed it if I would’ve chosen to stay at work. Those simple words he said and the way he looked at us will always be in my mind. You are replaceable where you work, but you are irreplaceable to your family. It would have been so much easier for me to stay because I hate making sub plans and grades were due today, but I needed that time to be beside my husband and with our family. Please never take your loved ones for granted and cherish the time you have with them as much as you can. Remember that post I wrote awhile back about me wanting to move ahead all the time and not being present in the moment? I may not ever be a “wing it” type of girl, but little by little, I’m learning to take in every precious moment that God gives me.

Day 8: Why We Didn’t Live Together First

We didn’t live together before we got married…here’s why:
1. Marriage is sacred between you, your spouse, and God. Once you are married, you become ONE. Before you are married, you are not ONE. This means that there is 0 stability. Are you sharing finances? Are you sharing the same…everything? Are you okay knowing that someone who isn’t completely committed to you will have access to all your stuff & money? This leads to more arguments which is completely unnecessary and why cohabitation normally doesn’t work out in a couple’s favor.
2. Living together sends the message that you are doing a trial run to see if things will work out, but the thing is, it probably won’t work out if you already believe you have to go through a “trial run.”

3. God commands us to remain sexually pure and wait! Living together creates a stronger temptation to go against His plan of waiting until you are married. In addition, your witness of Christ will be broken to those you are trying to witness to because they will automatically assume that you are committing adultery (having sex with someone you are not married to) and going with the flow of the pressures from society!
4. Let’s look at stats too…”On average, researchers concluded that couples who lived together before they tied the knot saw a 33 percent higher rate of divorce than those who waited to live together until after they were married.” -The Atlantic.com
I know that this isn’t popular and cohabitation is disapproved by only 27% of Americans today. But if living together before you are married is something on your mind or if your significant other is pressuring you to consider it, look at the facts and for the sake of your relationship with God and your possibly future husband/wife, don’t live together before you’re married! 💋💕

Day 9: Treasure the Moment

I couldn’t wait to graduate high school to go to college. Once I made it to college, I was ready to return to my hometown to teach. When I was engaged, I kept looking beyond the sweet engagement season to finally getting married.
And now, here I am, graduated, teaching/working, and married. Don’t get me wrong, I love the season I’m in now! But if I could go back and tell myself one thing in all of those seasons it would be this: spend your time wisely & cherish the moments. I felt like I wished some of the time away. I was antsy for the next season of life instead of fully living in the season God allowed me to enjoy at that time.
I find myself missing my favorite coffee shop I huddled up in while in college. I like to remember what it was like to have my wedding dress on or trying out cake flavors for our wedding cake. I think back to when I would study for FFA contests more than school subjects. 😅
Time is precious & fleeting. Some of us try to plan it out (I’m one of those)! 🙋🏻‍♀️ There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and “shooting for the stars.” But are your goals set to build the kingdom? Were they created based on an eternal perspective? Are you so focused on meeting goals, especially earthly ones, that you don’t enjoy life & all its moments?

We can become obsessed with goals and planning our lives so much to the point that WE DON’T EVEN LIVE THEM. Don’t take this life that God gave you for granted. 💋

Day 10: This is Real Life

Burnt toast, dirty dishes overflowing the sink, clothes that need washing, floors that are begging to be cleaned, boxes still needing to be put up and organized…over and over I’ve been looking around our house and seeing nothing but failure my first week of being a wife (the honeymoon doesn’t count). Although it has been blissful and wonderful doing life with my new husband, I have been focusing on all that I’ve been doing wrong and what needs to be done instead of what I’ve done right. Where did I get this idea of what a perfect wife looks like and what she accomplishes? Who in the world have I been using to define myself? Social media, women in my family, women in my church? The reason I have been feeling like a failure is because I’ve been comparing myself to more experienced wives than me! I took snippets of what I’ve seen in womens’ lives and created a “perfect wife standard.” There is no such thing as a perfect wife, student, boss, teacher, blogger, or mom; the only perfect person to ever walk the earth was Jesus. And the cool part? He lives in you and me and He shows His perfection THROUGH our weaknesses and failures. Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy? God uses OUR weaknesses to say, “Look to Me for strength.” Quit trying to live up to this perfect *insert role here* standard that YOU created like I did. The one and only person we need to try to be like is Jesus!

Day 11: Control Your Reaction

Crazy Sunday morning…good grief, there are times when I just KNOW that the Devil is out to keep us or me from making it to church & this morning was one of those mornings! My biscuits didn’t cook as fast as they normally do, my mascara wand touched my eyelid with eye shadow already on so I had to redo my eye shadow 🙄, a piece of my hair WOULD NOT STRAIGHTEN for anything so I had to turn my straightener back on to fix it when I noticed that it didn’t straighten the first ten times passing through lol, and then, I didn’t remember turning off the straightener! When we left the house five mins later than normal, I started to think back if I turned off my straightener. I was scared that we would come back to a burnt house, so I told Brad that “I guess I will have to come back and turn it off then.” He drove all the way to church, I dropped him off, and I drove all the way back home. Lo and behold, the straightener was unplugged. 😅 After I was relieved of that, I drove back to church again hurrying to make it to Sunday School. Just reading this makes me feel the adrenaline rush all over again. You may be wondering why he didn’t turn around for me to check my straightener, and it’s because he hates being late for church. I didn’t mind coming back if it meant he could be on time and I could actually focus on the sermon instead of worrying about our house the whole time. Now, I also could’ve prevented some of this by waking up earlier, but there were a lot of things that probably would’ve happened anyway. Haha.
For someone who loves preparation and cute planners with stickers, I don’t have it all together. WE don’t always have it together. There are circumstances that take us by surprise, but as Brad likes to say, “you just gotta wing it.” When these surprises happen, we can control our reaction. My first reaction was anger and aggravation, but when I put my hand on the door to walk into church, I silently prayed for God to get me in the right mindset and for Him to calm me. We must recognize when we are being attacked and I most definitely did driving back to church. Let God help you control your reactions to your crazy circumstances.

 

Flight Delay and Answered Prayer

I sat in the Indy airport watching the time to board my flight push up. I had a connecting flight from Charlotte to New Orleans to make it back home. The time of my first flight was pushed up too far for me to make my next flight, and I was so scared that I wasn’t going to be able to come home until the next day. As soon as the first plane rolled in, my first flight updated on my airline’s phone app. It advised me to cancel my connecting flight because the time of the flights overlapped. The app gave me directions to book the next flight to New Orleans and to confirm it. I was in line to board my plane at this point and for some reason, my phone app wouldn’t let me book the next flight. It showed me that there was only one flight left into New Orleans for the day scheduled to leave at 10:30 pm, and I just felt that I would be stuck in Charlotte. I thought I would need to get a hotel. The whole airport was delayed, and I became sick to my stomach knowing that the seats to the last flight in New Orleans were going to fill up before I would be able to book my next flight. I boarded the plane and took my seat. Earlier that day, another ag teacher showed me that she was able to receive a QR code on her phone to board her plane online. I hurriedly went online instead of using the app to try to book the last flight. I typed in my info, and it brought me to a similar screen like the app.
I prayed over it to work. I prayed that God would let me come home last night and to help me book this flight.
Unlike the app, the website didn’t tell me I had to see an agent to confirm my flight, and I was able to book it. In just that short amount of time, I saw that almost all of the seats were taken. Even though my connecting flight was delayed another hour and half and my plane pulled in late to avoid storms, I made it home at 3 am.
We may think that praying over something silly or small in our lives may not work, but I’m here to tell you that it does. God is listening. Sometimes, all it takes is for us to call out to Him for help and have faith that He will come through for us.

1st Anniversary Get-Away Recap: SC

It is no secret that my husband and I love to travel, so we decided to go on a trip for our first anniversary to South Carolina. Last year for our honeymoon, we went to the mountains in North Carolina. We enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains, the hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, and the beautiful landscape, but we chose the east coast of South Carolina for a totally different experience this year! It did not disappoint! We stayed at a Wyndham Resort in Santee, South Carolina which was about an hour and a half from the Charleston area and Myrtle Beach.

I researched attractions, all the beaches, fun activities, and must-see places before we went on our trip. I’m not a big beach fan, so I had to spend extra time researching beaches that would be more interesting for us to visit. I made a little itinerary before we left just to give me an idea of the places that were in close proximity to each other. I knew that we weren’t going to stick to it because the goal of the trip was for it to be relaxing and fun for us. I had so much in mind for us to do, but with our resort being far off from the main attractions and places, it made it difficult for us to get around to doing EVERYTHING! We would’ve needed two weeks with the list I made, haha! I had to prioritize what I wanted to do and see; Brad is easy-going thankfully, so he went with whatever was on my list.

I’m going to share with y’all the places we visited, give a description and review about it, and any recommendations/tips as well as the places that were on my list that I WISH I could’ve gone to!

Sunday: Non-Stop Travel Day

This was our travel day and anniversary. We live in Louisiana, so we decided to take a scenic route on the way there. We stopped in Florida to rest for the night after traveling all day until 11 p.m.

Monday: Savannah, GA & Folly Beach, SC

We continued traveling to South Carolina. At about lunch time, we made a stop in Savannah, Georgia which I highly recommend! I would love to go back to this cute but large historic town for a whole week. The entire town had so much character, and I “ooed” and “awed” at the landscaping and architecture. The live oaks going over the brick-paved roads made Savannah seem like it was out of a fairytale.

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We ate at Crystal Beer Parlor, and no, we didn’t buy alcohol there even though beer is in the name. I had the best shrimp and grits I have ever eaten in my life at this place. Even though it seemed a little weird to step into a “beer parlor” to me, the food was spectacular. Despite what some would think, it was a family-friendly environment. The bar was separated from the main eating area like most other restaurants, and there is a unique history to the once grocery store turned restaurant.

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On the way to check in to our resort, we stopped at Folly Beach in South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. Finding a parking spot was somewhat troublesome because we had to park on the side streets or find a very small public parking lot. If you want to make a day out of visiting this beach, get here early for the sake of parking! There were many shops, boutiques, and restaurants on the walk to the beach which made it seem like the Hannah Montana beach town to me (if y’all know what I’m referring to…internet high five to you if you got this reference!) Brad and I grabbed an ice cream cone from Dolce Banana Shop to make the walk cooler for us. Folly Beach is known for its shells, and y’all, once we started walking along the shoreline, I could SEE AND HEAR why! Every time the tide would pull out, there would be thousands of shells scattered across the sand making a tinkling sound as they hit each other. The beach was a little crowded to me, but finding interesting and colorful shells was worth it. Brad even enjoyed discovering them. We actually brought home the majority of our shell finds from this beach. We sat on our beach towels just listening to the waves and the music of the sea shells hitting against each other for awhile, and then, we left to pick up quick Chinese food and check in to our room! FYI: Most of the Charleston attractions and shops are closed on Monday! If you are planning on going to Charleston, make sure that you don’t go on Monday. I was surprised by how much of the downtown area was not open for business.

Tuesday: Bull’s Island

Bull’s Island was my favorite place that we visited, and we made an entire day out of it! It is located around Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and is a one-of-a-kind place that is a must-see in my opinion. I recommend making reservations ahead of time. It costs $40.00 per adult to board a ferry that takes you to the island, and we were super grateful that they opened up more ferry rides on this day! They typically only offer a ride there at 9 am and again at 12:30. Then, they pick everyone up at exactly 4:00 p.m. There was actually a waiting list until they opened up more spots, and we squeezed in for a 10:15 am ride. You don’t pay online, so be prepared to pay before you board the ferry boat. You can bring a bike onto the boat that way you don’t have to hike the trails and get where you’d like to go a little faster. When you make reservations, you will also be given a list of items to bring, what to expect, and what to wear. After bringing everything recommended on the list, I still think you need to bring more! We brought one backpack, four water bottles, bread and tuna for sandwiches, two beach towels, fruit cups, and water shoes. I brought a book with me too in case I wanted to read, a hat, swimsuit cover-up, sunscreen, lip balm SPF 30, sunglasses, germ-x, facial wipes, band-aids, OFF bug spray (REQUIREMENT Y’ALL), and wore tennis shoes, a Magellan button-up shirt, swimsuit underneath, and Nike shorts there. I wish I would’ve brought napkins, an insulated lunch bag so I could’ve premade sandwiches and kept them cold instead of eating tuna sandwiches (ew), and flip-flops! . On the ferry ride, the men that ran the ferry were extremely knowledgeable and intelligent about the marine life and ecosystems as well as the history of the island. Every question that was asked was answered quickly and factually. They informed us that as we would walk the trail to the beach, we would see each type of ecosystem. On one side of the trail there was nothing but freshwater and cattails, and directly across on the other side of the trail, there was saltwater and marsh grass. Brad and I didn’t walk any other trails on the island because of the high heat index that day, but the walk to the beach was nice. There wasn’t much wildlife to see out on the trails as a result of the heat too. The walk to get to the other side of the island where the beach is located is a 1.5 mile hike, so it’s a good idea to wear tennis shoes on the way there. However, me and Brad walked the beach after the trail ended approximately 5 miles to get to Boneyard Beach, and at this point, I changed into my water shoes. It was a TERRIBLE idea. I ended up getting blisters on the tops of my toes from where a thread was running across and rubbed my toes the wrong way. By the time I realized I was getting blisters, it was too late! I wish I would have walked the beach barefooted or with flip-flops in the packed down sand by the water. Most people go to Bull’s Island for Boneyard Beach if they know about it. It’s one of those places that they don’t even tell you about on the ferry ride-it’s kind of like an incentive for those who took their time researching and looking up information! It takes you longer to walk towards it, but y’all, it is unbelievably beautiful. There was hardly anyone there at all, so it felt like it was secluded just for us. This beach is completely uncommercialized meaning that nothing has been moved, nothing has been messed with, and it is left as-is. There are no shops, no boardwalks, no restaurants like all the other beaches-it is in its own category. Fortunately, you can take shells and objects home. The reason it is called Boneyard Beach is because of the dead trees that sit along the sand, bleached white, and roots exposed.

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There is driftwood scattered around the beach, and sea turtles lay their eggs in the dunes. I found where some had hatched out closer to the beach than normal!

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Because this beach is more secluded, there is a higher chance of finding more unique shells and objects. Brad and I adored this place and the natural beauty of it. Make sure that if you decide to go that you go as early as you can to get on the ferry because it does take about an hour and a half to walk to Boneyard Beach non-stop, and of course, once you get there you will want to take a million pictures like I did and eat your lunch/snack!

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Also, don’t plan on any activities after this trip except eating somewhere. You will be tired once you walk back and the ferry picks you up. We ate at the Rusty Rudder on the way back from Bull’s Island to our resort, and the food was spectacular but pricey. Their Seafood Mac-N-Cheese was to die for! I guess I’m really good at ordering food because it was the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever eaten! Y’all, you have to get it if you aren’t allergic to seafood because it is so original with a special sauce on top of crunchy pieces of shrimp and crab. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Wednesday: Santee

After traveling and spending the day before hiking and walking the beach, we decided to stay around Santee. We biked to McDonald’s for breakfast which was an epic fail with all the hills, haha. Then, we went to Santee State Park where we sat on a blanket under the trees and ate PB & J sandwiches.

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We hiked a trail that led us to a pond formed by a sinkhole caused by limestone, and on the little hike, we saw a baby deer, a creepy lizard, and a blue heron.

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Brad drove about 30 minutes to the Santee Wildlife Refuge where we saw another deer and a raccoon. There are normally alligators that sit out in the middle of the road, but we didn’t see a single one. It took about 45 minutes to drive slowly through the refuge. I loved looking through the trees trying to find animals and studying all the swampy areas for the alligators. For some reason, they were hiding that day. I still found it enjoyable and relaxing. Plus, there was no hiking involved and it was optional. It reminded me of Cade’s Cove in Tennessee if any of y’all have ever been there! We stopped at a little ice cream shop that literally serves like fifty flavors of ice cream, and we thought we were in heaven. Then, we watched a movie at our resort and headed to the nicest restaurant in town, Clark’s Restaurant. The restaurant has been a family business for years, and when I say they perfected their biscuits recipe, THEY PERFECTED THEIR BISCUITS RECIPE. I don’t think those biscuits could get any better, and I’m not one that eats bread at restaurants! I could’ve eaten just the biscuits and been full! I ordered a steak with potatoes, and unlike most restaurants, my steak was not overly seasoned and didn’t have too much salt. I could taste the meat and the seasonings complemented it. The patio area was nicely decorated, and I had to take a picture! I’m sure it is a great place to eat brunch or breakfast too in the cooler months outside on their patio.

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Thursday: Charleston

By the time we arrived in Downtown Charleston, it was lunch time, so we ate at Kitchen 208. I ordered their Cobblestone Sandwich, and Brad ordered a salad. He isn’t much of a salad person to begin with, but he claims the salad wasn’t great. The dressing was too strong, and I agreed. However, my sandwich was awesome, and the fruit was a refreshing side. This restaurant is perfect for a lighter lunch especially on hot days. We strolled around town and made our way to Battery Park. We noticed that the downtown area subtly changed from shops and boutiques to old homes. The old homes and the beautiful window boxes make the town so charming. I was nosey, and I would peer into the alley ways full of gorgeous landscaping! Every inch of the town was put together.

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Battery Park was shady with humongous live oak trees and breezy since it was next to the water. There were a few artillery war pieces scattered around the park, and a gazebo in the middle.

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We walked from this park to Waterfront Park next which is known for the large pineapple fountain. When you visit it, you are supposed to place your feet in it (at least that’s what I heard). I took advantage of the opportunity. There was also another fountain for children to run around and play. There were many families at both fountains because the pineapple fountain is large enough for kids to swim.

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After this, we walked around aimlessly just admiring the scenery. If there was a shop we wanted to visit to get relief from the heat, we wouldn’t think twice about it. I actually went into a Kate Spade store for the first time, and I freaked out. I didn’t buy much from around town, but if you love boutique type clothes and name brands, save your money because Charleston has a wonderful shopping atmosphere! If you haven’t noticed yet, a lot of walking is involved, so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes or sandals.

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Brad and I started on the Notebook movie “mission” after I grabbed a tea from Starbucks. On the way to our first Notebook stop, we came across the Charleston City Market. We walked through the whole market, and I didn’t know if there was going to be an end. It was full of unique products, gifts, and hand-made items, and of course, food and drink. Brad bought a black tea lemonade at a lemonade booth, and oh my word, that lemonade was unbelievable. They squeezed it right in front of you. The market was fun to look through although it was a tad crowded. The plus side of this long stretch of buildings is that there are segments air conditioned or with fans. With a heat index of over 100 degrees that day, the coolness was appreciated.

We walked for about a mile beyond the market to the American Theatre where Allie and Noah from the Notebook had their first date at the movies. You should watch the Notebook before going to Charleston, and if you are bringing someone that has never seen it, FORCE them to watch it! Haha!

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Not far from this place is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Shop. Brad ordered a waffle cone with the ice cream flavor “cream puff” and claims it’s his favorite ice cream now. In front of this store is where Allie pushed her ice cream cone on Noah’s nose and kissed it all off of him. I was going to do this to Brad, buuuuut…I’m too clumsy to make a movie scene like that one look cute (LOL). High Cotton is another place to see that was part of the movie as it is where Noah saw Allie with her fiancé.

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When we were done going to our Notebook movie scenes, we walked back to the car, and drove to see Angel Oak Tree about thirty minutes away from Charleston. Angel Oak Tree is a true gem. It is estimated to be about 500 years old which is dated back to just a few years after Christopher Columbus founded America. Crazy, right? Our ag teaching hearts were happy to see this tree in real life.

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I changed at a gas station before our cruise since our resort was far out of Charleston. I know, I’m so classy. Anyways, I made reservations for the cruise online two weeks in advance. Every day was full except for Thursday, so I jumped on it when I saw that there were some spots open. We went on the Blues & BBQ Cruise on the Carolina Queen. There were three decks on the ship, and I have to say that my favorite deck was the top one. I could hear the music, feel the breeze and keep cool, and see all the sights in Charleston Harbor. The cruise lasted from 7-9 p.m. The Coast Guard was conducting a training during some of the cruise which was interesting to witness.

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After the cruise, I was feeling a bit spontaneous because Brad told me he had never walked the beach at night. I looked up the nearest beach, and it happened to be Sullivan’s Island. We parked our car a few blocks from the beach, and we followed the light from the lighthouse plus our iPhone GPS if we’re being completely honest. The lighthouse was sitting right next to the beach. I had never seen a lighthouse before, so I was practically jumping up and down. The moon and the lighthouse worked together to provide just enough light for us to be able to see without any flashlights. It was breathtakingly beautiful to see the lighthouse, moon, stars, and water reflecting them all work in unison.

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Perfection.

What made it even more perfect, is that there was only one person we could barely see walking the beach.

So my advice to you is to walk the Sullivan’s Island beach at night. You’ll be blown away.

Friday: Resort

We needed to rest up before a full day of traveling on Saturday, so we watched about five movies that we chose from the DVD collection at our resort, made smores by the pool, and swam. Then, we packed to head home! I didn’t want to leave.

More Places on My Wish List:

-Myrtle Beach-I chose other beaches ahead of Myrtle Beach because Brad and I both don’t like crowded areas very much, and Myrtle Beach is the most crowded of them all. Therefore, it fell down on my priority list. It was also farther out of the way for us to visit. I still would like to go just to say I’ve been, and I would love to see the fireworks. There are also many restaurants, shops, and attractions surrounding the area.

-Charleston Tea Plantation-This is the only tea plantation in the United States, and it is free to visit. You can try all the different teas they make here and take a trolley ride. It was next on my priority list, but we just couldn’t swing it!

-Cypress Gardens-Unfortunately, Cypress Gardens was closed and under construction due to flooding a couple years ago. It will be opening again at the end of summer 2018. I seriously want to take a trip back to South Carolina just to visit this place. It is known for the iconic swan Notebook movie scene which is my favorite scene in the movie. You can rent canoes and kayaks too.

-Boone Hall Plantation-This place is on my wish list because once again, another piece of the Notebook movie was filmed here! Haha! I’m not big into visiting plantation homes, but to me, this one looks more unique than the rest I’m used to seeing in Louisiana.

-Huntington Beach State Park-It’s a laid-back, uncrowded beach with hiking trails, picnic areas, and more. The Marshwalk isn’t far from this park where there are plenty of restaurants!

-Of course, more days in Charleston to explore!

Keep on being adventurous, y’all!

Love,

Emily

 

That Time We Lost Each Other On the Honey-Moon

Where did Brad go?” I looked over my shoulder when I reached the bottom of one of the waterfalls, and he had disappeared. I stayed there admiring the view wondering where he was for awhile, and then, traveled back to where I thought I lost him. The trail broke into four different parts, so I lingered in that section for the longest time beginning to freak out after not finding him for 30 minutes. I started going up the mountain trail straight in front of me hoping he may be on it trying to find me, but there was only a 25% chance I would get it right. The trails were long and arduous, and I didn’t want to miss seeing any of these beautiful falls with him for the first time. I trekked for a 1/2 mile, & there he was…his arms were crossed and his eyes were glaring at me but he broke into a smile. My heart danced in my chest! “I found you!!” I exclaimed, loud and proud. “Emily, you left me. I walked over 2 miles looking for you!” Whoopsie…
I’m almost too adventurous for my own good to the point that I get lost in my intentions and goals that I forget about others on my way to the destination. Then, I have to backtrack to find where I went wrong. Don’t get so caught up in pursuing your dreams and goals that you forget about the people “following” you. You are a light and an example to everyone around you, so make time with them. Strong relationships and friendships don’t grow overnight. Besides, if you have no one with you when you make it to your destination, what good is in that?

The Adventure of Not Knowing

One week in advance we set up a date to a beautiful place in Mississippi. My parents had taken me there when I was little, and I was itching to go back with Brad. The view was spectacular; it was like looking at a miniature version of the Grand Canyon. We took a few pictures, but the adventure seeking spirit in me took over. Regardless of the humidity and the hot temperatures that morning, I started trekking down the ravine on tiny trails that others had walked along before me. The trails faded away, Brad was wandering somewhere else, and I ended up at the bottom of the ravine. Then, I heard water which urged me to go further past the ravine and to find the source. Lo and behold, I discovered a natural spring that turned into a creek. I called out to Brad, who followed me down to the creek when he realized my excitement. If I would have stopped when I became unsure about the path ahead of me, I would not have experienced our date to the fullest. I didn’t let the heat tempt me to turn back. I kept going even when I wasn’t quite sure where Brad was at one point. It’s crazy to me how I will do this in real life, but not my own spiritual walk sometimes as much as it hurts me to admit it. I may witness and pick up on the clues and hints that God gives me in the life adventure, but I turn away and let the struggles of what may lie ahead get to me. When I can’t see the end of the trail of my future, I don’t always press on. Y’all, it’s easy to stray from the path that God wants for you especially when it’s a path made just for you that maybe no one has traveled before. Use those God given clues to get you where you need to be. Let Him lead you on the right trail for your life. Because, let’s face it, none of us can make it without Him guiding us through this life adventure.