Completely, Perfectly, and Incandescently Happy

Last week, Brandon and I celebrated our second anniversary! It’s crazy how fast these past two years have gone. Being married two years seems like forever and not long enough at the same time. 
We have had a lot of adventures in our two years of marriage- moving 4 times, living in California, working in the redwoods- teaching science classes and running challenge courses-, working completely opposite shifts, etc. 
In celebrating our two year anniversary and being a part of some of our best friends wedding, I can’t help but reflect on our wedding day. 
Our wedding day was a close to perfect as possible. The weather was amazing, we were surrounded by friends and family and we finally going to be married!
That morning we spent time with our respective parties (bridesmaids and groomsmen), eating breakfast and getting pampered. Brandon got a straight razor shave (how fancy!) and I got my nails and hair down by some friends. It was great spending time with some of our closest friends and family as we got ready for the big event. 
Waiting in the pastor’s office for the ceremony to start was on of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I could not wait to see my groom at the end of the aisle. I had constant butterflies in my stomach and could not sit still, I was too EXCITED!
I always thought that I would be really nervous being the center of attention as I came down the aisle (I am not someone that likes the spotlight) but all the excitement took over and I was beaming! I loved looking around and seeing friends and family there supporting us. And at the end of the aisle, was my groom!
The ceremony went by so quickly with funny little slip ups and lots of smiling. As a more shy person and someone who doesn’t like PDA, leading up to the wedding I was also really nervous about kissing Brandon in front of everyone, but just like walking down the aisle, excitement took over and it did not bother me at all. 
The reception was such a blast! We had Famous Dave’s cater our wedding and that was one of the best decision we made for our wedding. It was so freaking good!!! (although, I only ate a little bit of it.) We also had a bib decorating contest since we were having messy food and people would be dressed nicely. It was so fun to see everyone’s creative ideas for the bibs. 
Walking around, officially a married couple and talking to all of our friends and family was such a special thing. Weddings are so amazing in that way, they aren’t just a big party, they are a public declaration of your life being joined to another person’s. So having both of our families in one room was really special.
After visiting with friends and family, I danced the whole night away. I really don’t remember being off the dance floor for any large amount of time. The dance floor is definitely the place to be at a wedding!
Like all other weddings, of course we had things that went wrong, but nothing that was so major. Our card box was stolen that night, we almost didn’t have music for the dance party because I forgot my laptop at my parent’s house, and some underage relatives had been served alcohol…… but all in all, it was a great night!
I am so thankful for the advice that we got– that things were going to go wrong, but the wedding isn’t about all the add ons. The wedding is about us, and as long as we ended the day married, then everything went right! 
That night, as we were heading to the bed and breakfast that we booked for the night, we let the windows down, breathed in the cool air and reflected on how absolutely ecstatic we were to be married. No amount of mishaps could ruin the fact that we were married and had our whole married life ahead of us. 
Being able to celebrate Ben and Lizzie’s wedding last weekend was such a delight! Not only are they some of our closest friends, but it is so exciting to be on the other size of a wedding day- having already gotten married- and knowing what pure joy rests on the other side of the wedding. 
Two years in, we are more in love than ever and have more adventures and memories to share and reflect on. Marriage doesn’t mean everything is going to be perfect forever, but I find that no matter what, I have an amazing partner in this crazy life we live and I am completely, perfectly and incandescently happy. (Thank you Pride and Prejudice!)

Revealing Moments

There are some moments in life that show you the quality of the people that surround you. Sometimes, these moments show you the people that don’t meet your needs or expectations. And sometimes, these moments show you the people that hold the qualities you value most.

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“Take Heart, I Have Overcome the World” John 16:33

Being away from home last year (2016) for Easter was hard on me. It was the first Easter I had ever been away from my family. For much of my life, Easter was about time with family, Easter egg hunts and going to church as a family. Growing up, I may not have realized what Easter was really about– Christ’s sacrifice, death and resurrection, however I knew that it was a Christian holiday and that my family gathered to celebrate it.

Growing up, we would go to church, then have a family meal and find our Easter eggs and Easter baskets. Even when we grew older and it was my nieces’ and nephews’ turn to search for their Easter treats, my older sister always got things for us “older kids”. She is so thoughtful in that way, for all things.

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Our First Anniversary Adventure

We had the unique opportunity to spend our one year anniversary in California (which we never thought would happen.) We ended up working on our actual anniversary– duty calls– but we were able to have the morning off together and decided to go to my favorite beach, Goat Rock. My wonderful sisters had the foresight to have our guests write advice to us for different anniversaries to be read on the day of that anniversary. So, we packed the year one wine bottle of advice, a blanket, and our gifts for each other into the car and headed off for the beach. We found a spot and got settled in to enjoy each other’s company and reminisce on the year we had.

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Six Things We Learned While Spending a Year in a Trailer

 

If you are like me and watched the Tiny Houses documentary, you started a pinterest board immediately after and thought through all the things you had that you could live without.

In 2016, my husband and I accepted jobs in the christian camping field and as part of our contract housing would be provided. However, in order to accommodate us (being married and living together) the camp asked if we would be willing to live in a trailer. Being excited about our work opportunities, we gladly accepted.

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God’s Provisions Over Difficult Travels (Part 2)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with the surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

(Read Part 1)

January 1st, 2016– Day three we awoke to below zero temperatures (-16 to be exact) and a delicious continental breakfast. While I finished my food, Brandon headed out to crank the car up so that it would be nice and warm when we started driving again. THE CAR WOULDN’T START! Jumping it didn’t work, the fuses looked fine. We were stuck. Thankfully, we were able to get a tow truck fairly quickly but, we knew that no garages would be open since it was New Years Day. All we needed was a warm garage for the car to be in, in case lines were frozen (which was our hope.) After a tow to Walmart, a new battery, our car being pushed back out into the parking lot, & still un-repaired; we checked the fuses again and found that one that had given us trouble before, had blown. A quick drive down to the car shop and a $4 piece, we were back on the road…for now. Feeling relieved to be done with this ridiculous issue, we were ready to finish our final day of driving.

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God’s Provisions Over Difficult Travels (Part 1)

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me.Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Oceans- Hillsong United

Brandon and I were about to embark on the longest road trip of our life together as we moved from Wisconsin to California. In true Chappell fashion, we had less than a month to pack up our apartment and hit the road to California. (This quick decision, quick action scenario has played out a number of times for us.) Moving outside of Wisconsin was a huge challenge for me personally, as I had never lived outside of Milwaukee county in my 22 years of life. For my honest account of the emotions of making a big move for the first time in my life, click HERE.

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Moving Away From Your Forever Home

“You get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.”
-Azar Nafisi

In my 22 years of life, I had never planned to live anywhere but Milwaukee, WI. I had grown up in the same house from utero to 18. The furthest I had ever lived from my parents was 20 minutes when I lived on the east side to go to college. I love my city, the fact that Lake Michigan was a mere 20 minute drive from my childhood home, how I could walk anywhere that I wanted to go, that almost everyone that was important to me lived within a half an hour drive. Growing up, I imagined getting married and living in my hometown, starting a family, working for companies in buildings that I had seen my whole life. Never being more than 30 minutes from my parents, siblings, nieces or nephews. And all of these thoughts made me happy. Milwaukee is my home and has my heart.

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