Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fairytale Engagement Part III

It is bittersweet to write this post today as it will be the last one surrounding our proposal day (until we get the video back) but I am still so excited for y'all to read what Joshua had up his sleeve in the last part of our adventure. 

If you're new here and have missed Part I and II, no worries! You can read them here:

Engagement Part I
Engagement Part II

So flash back to last week and part II when he sent me all around my hometown searching for my next clue. I left you hanging when he sent me the last text on my tour of Greensboro and told me to read my next clue. So without further ado, we shall continue...

We were on top of the parking deck in downtown Greensboro when Leane handed me another clue from her purse which read:

With that, we left Greensboro and I headed back to Josh's home in Winston Salem as that was where the whole adventure had started that morning! Upon arriving I was greeted by a room full of candles, my dress hanging perfectly on the door, and my very last clue waiting for me on the table:

And yes ladies, all the music he had ready to play on iTunes were "our songs" from over the years. The funny thing was that this clue said I had till 5:30 to get ready...but it was already 5:32. If you remember from Part II, we got a little behind at the dress shop so that caused the rest of the day to be pushed back. Josh had been doing a great job communicating with all his helpers that day so Kellan informed me I now had till 5:45 to get ready. Only 13 minutes but hey, I'll take it! Everyone left the house except for my little sister Kristen and she helped me get into my dress, pin my hair back, etc.

The entire time I was trying to figure out who would be coming to pick me up and I was very confused when the door bell rang and I heard a male voice. My little sister told this person I was putting my shoes on and I would be ready in a second. Once I was finally done, I walked out into the hallway and for the first time that day the waterworks flowed. Standing in the door frame was the one person that I consider to be my little brother on this earth and someone I am so fortunate God placed in my life 8 years ago at mission camp. Sweet Dylan had driven 3 hours down from college to be part of our special day and it meant the world to me that Josh had remembered to include him in this moment. After all, I joke that besides my family, I had known Dylan the longest of anyone that helped that day. What can I say? He is my "little brother". So Dylan and his wonderful girlfriend (who had driven up from Wilmington) escorted me to his car and started driving.

At first I had no clue where we were going, as I am still trying to get familiar with the area of Winston Salem, but then I saw signs and my heart smiled. Joshua had brought me back to Tanglewood Park which was where I had driven him to see Christmas Lights on what we call our first "unofficial" date. Unofficial because we both liked each other then but were too nervous to tell each other and it was not until a few days later when we both admitted it. Driving through the park I was flooded with memories of that night when I convinced Joshua to ride 2 hours with me to see the lights and how I had made him stop with me along the way to meet my family. Talk about a nerve wracking first "date"!

Dylan kept driving and driving back through the park until we pulled up at shelter number 3. It was here that the park had just constructed a brand new lake and built a new walkway over the water. Dylan gave me his arm and he walked me down the steps to this area so pictured beautifully below. It was there that Dylan left me and the last part of this story happened.

Before I left on the journey of being a Traveling Leadership Consultant, Joshua wrote me a book of poems and bound it himself. I have carried this book of poems with me in my suitcase and every time I change schools I always bring the book out to read one or two. I guess Joshua had grabbed it our of my bag the night before because well, that book was laying on the ground along with the red rose he had been promising throughout the day. The rose was marking the poem titled "Have I told you I love you lately?" and so I stood in silence reading his beautiful words to me.

It was then after I read the poem that Joshua walked down in the most handsome suit and perfect blue tie to match my dress. At first I was just so excited to see him that I could not stop smiling and even though neither one of us remember everything he said (he talked for 6 and a half minutes) the one thing that made me start crying like a baby was when he told me: "Our entire relationship has been grounded on our faith and I know for a fact, that I will never be able to love you like God loves you because he will always be your number one. However, I promise to spend my whole entire life loving you in the best way that I can and showing you that love everyday."

And of course the picture that I love the most and the moment that my best friend became my fiancé!

After I said "yes"; Kristen, Dylan, Melinda, Shelby, and Kellan all came running down from where they had been hiding screaming and giving hugs. While I thought that was the ending of our special day, Joshua had two more things up his sleeves!

We jump in the car with Dylan and Melinda to leave the park. As we are driving Joshua had them pull over at Starbucks and he ran inside. He then came out with my favorite drink and for the name they had written "Future Mrs. G_______" ekk, make my heart smile!

We then drove to a wonderful restaurant in Winston and as we walk in we hear clapping and laughter. There stood everyone who had helped with the process that day; from our families to our closest friends, Joshua had them all gather for dinner!

And that my friends, is the story of how our 11 hour adventure across the state ended with the proposal of my dreams!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tastefully Tuesday Recipe: Kale Chips

One thing I am looking forward to about coming off the road is being able to try out different recipe's and share them on here with you all! Today I thought I would start by giving you a sample of some healthy and delicious kale chips. It seems like this time last year is when kale became all the rave on every social media sight and I'll admit, I did not try it out till a few months ago but now I am hooked. Since then I have made kale chips several different ways but today I can share with you the one I feel is personally the best!

Fresh Kale
Olive Oil

1// Wash and dry the amount of kale you plan on using

2// Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees

3// Tear apart the kale into 1-2 inch pieces and lay them flat on a cookie sheet

4// Drizzle the desired amount of olive oil over each kale chip

5// Sprinkle desired amount of salt onto the chips

6// Bake for 10 minutes at 275 degrees

7// After 10 minutes, take kale chips out of the oven and turn them over to the other side

8// Place back in the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes

9// After a total of 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side) the kale chips are ready to be tossed in a bowl and served!

Don't forget you still have a few more days to enter in the amazing Hunter Rainboot giveaway! 

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Motivation Monday

Often times we find ourselves so worked up on Sunday nights with the thought of "tomorrow is Monday!" Now I'll be the first to admit that I love me some relaxing weekends and nothing can compare to having those two stress free days off from work or school but why do we always take the time we have on Sunday nights for granted? So many of us waste precious time with loved ones worried about the day that is to come next. I know it is not the most fun thing in the world to have to set your alarm early for the next day, but what if instead of dreading Monday we looked at it as a clean slate? A new day and a new week to start fresh and make it ours. So while some of you might be on your third (or fourth) cup of coffee and still dreading that today is Monday, let's all put a smile on our face and be thankful for the day we have been given. I am a firm believer that a smile can change a whole person's outlook on not only the day, but on life! 

If you need a little more reason to smile you still have plenty of time to enter this great giveaway for a pair of Hunter Rainboots! So what are you waiting for? Make your Monday a little happier and enter :)

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Friday, April 11, 2014

5 Reasons I Love April + Giveaway!

Before now, I have never had a "favorite" month. I have always loved spring and increase that love by ten and that is how I feel about fall. For some reason though this year it has just hit me that for now, April is my favorite month! For today's "Five on Friday" I thought I would tell you my top 5 reasons why April is my current favorite...

The beautiful weather has finally arrived! I'm in Pennsylvania for another 48 hours and it isn't quit warm enough yet to pull out the shorts but I am just loving soaking up the spring air. 

Today marks one week till I get to go home for 3 days to spend Easter with my family! I would be lying if I didn't say I'm excited as a little kid in a candy store. Delta won't be able to get me home fast enough next week to see my family and handsome fiancé!

I feel like this month just holds so much promise. I am officially done with being a Traveling Leadership Consultant on April 29th and while I am sad that the journey has come to an end, I am gushing to know what is coming next in my life. You best bet the applications and cover letters have been in full swing the past two weeks! (Shoutout to JKG for proofreading every single one!) 

April showers truly bring May flowers and I just keep soaking up that phrase, which leads me to.....

The biggest reason that I'm loving April is because I've paired up with 7 other amazing bloggers to give away a free pair of Hunter Rainboots! Yes, you read that correctly, we are giving away the one and only Hunter Rainboots. Y'all, in case you have never heard of these, they are the greatest thing since slice bread and a fashion accessory that every woman should have! Not only will one person be winning one standard pair (Valued at $140) but you get to pick your color from all the choices below. So what are you waiting for? See the rafflecopter below to start racking up entries! 

Lisa Loves John // Perfectly Scrubbed // Tattered to Taylored // Southern Abundance
Jessi's Design // Mary from the Mitten // B Loved Boston // Perpetually Daydreaming

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Linking up with my Favorite Five on Friday Blogger today! Thanks April :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fairytale Engagement Part II

Happy Wedding Wednesday loves! I am sorry for not posting more the past few days but until I get off the road in three weeks, my time on the blog might be a little scarce due to finishing up cover letters, resumes, etc. for future job applications. But without further ado, here is today's wonderful story for you all! First up, if you missed reading part one of my engagement you can head back here to read that before continuing on with part two.

When we last left off, Josh's clue had told me to say goodbye to his family and head out of Chapel Hill with my little sister. We get to my sisters car in the parking garage to find out that Josh had already paid for her ticket to park there...seriously, how sweet was that? Kristen drives back out on the highway and after about 10 minutes she tells me to close my eyes so I do not see what exit we are getting off out. 

Low and behold, Kristen got off at the Hillsborough exit where the Formalwear Outlet is located. We pull into the parking lot and she pulls this clue out of her purse:

Yep, you read that right. Joshua had included a prepaid card in my clue with the right amount of money to buy a new dress and shoes! How did I get so lucky y'all? Now reminder, I'm a huge fan of the Bachelor so that is why he told me to pick out a dress that I would wear to my very own rose ceremony. The catch was I only had one hour and let me tell you, with prom season already here the place was packed. Our scheduled leave time was 1:00pm but I did not even get into a dressing room till 12:48pm. Needless to say I've never changed out of so many dresses in such a short amount of time! A few minutes after 1:00 I finally headed to the counter to purchase my dress. And yes, you will have to wait till next week to see exactly what it looked like :)

When we got back out to the car, there was a cooler waiting inside on my seat that Josh had dropped off while I was buying my dress. He had packed my favorite snacks and drinks for me to munch on as we had about an hour drive ahead of us to the next stop. This clue was inside the cooler: 

As soon as I saw the words "WEND" and "OVER" in capitol letters, I just knew we were going to my favorite nail salon in my hometown of Greensboro. Kristen did a great job driving us there and once we arrived in the parking lot I was given my next clue:

PRAISE! Through the years Joshua has picked up on the fact that I always wanted to have my nails done when I got engaged so he made sure to check that off his list when planning out this special day. Not only were Kristen and Shelby still with me, but two of my very best friends joined us as well. Leane, "my sissy", who I met through work at mission camp, and Sara, my ZTA sister, who I met on the very first night of recruitment when I was a freshman. We went inside to pick out our nail color and relax in the company of each other.

At the end of that clue above, Joshua hinted that my next location would be Center City Park in downtown Greensboro. Shelby, Kristen, Leane, and Sara headed with me to the park and of course Kristen had to eat her Moe's as we were walking. 

To my surprise when we got to the end of the park, my parents were there waiting for me!

Since our family loves the show "Amazing Race" my parents had come up with this cute little saying pretending I was the first person to arrive to the destination. (I later learned that Josh had no clue they did this so props to my parents for having fun with their "leg of the race"!) After they said their lines, my dad pulled my next clue out of his pocket.

Two years ago, Josh and I competed in the Finks Diamond Dash that happened in downtown Greensboro.  This "race" sends you around downtown Greensboro on foot to search for answers to clues that have been sent to your cell phone. Needless to say, Josh and I did not win and while I was sad that day about losing, I'm so glad now that we didn't win. If we had won that diamond ring, I probably would not have gotten the experience that I had on this special day! Anyways, Josh sent me my next clues through text message...aka "Diamond Dash Style":

The first clue sent me to the water wall fountain in the middle of the park:

Clue number two sent me to a historical marker for an old Methodist Church:

I then headed to Fincastles Diner:

And my last clue sent me to the spot where Josh first told me he loved me some four years ago!

Of course as you can see, he wanted me to actually go up to the parking deck to the actual spot where he had told me he loved me for the first time as we had watched the sun set over the city:

And that my friends is part II of the story! I cannot wait for the third and final part to be posted next Wednesday! I hope you all have a wonderful "Wedding Wednesday" and until then I'll leave you with a little behind the scene's photo that you'll see pop up on our proposal day video :)