OVERWHELMED WITH THE LOVE OF FAMILY

I am overwhelmed with family love….a good kind of overwhelmed though, the kind that makes you smile. The past couple months, I have realized how much our family has grown and how much we have matured. Family isn’t always all smiles and cheer like seen in most photographs. Family is also about hardships, disagreements, loss and failures. But family is also about Love, forgiveness, grace and humility…these all can surpass any of those not so good qualities. It’s a good reflection of what God is to us, because he too, is our family..and love and forgiveness can overcome a lot. My family, like many others have had their ups and downs.. The downs being quite low. But these past couple of months I have seen how much we have grown. How amazing it is to forgive and let go…and how ahead it puts us in any relationship. We still have room for improvement, we still bicker and disagree at times, but we wouldn’t be human if we did not. I guess we are realizing that all we got at times is each-other. That it’s better to be at peace with each other than to be in any silly little disagreement. We are learning to let things go.

The past couple of months we have made it a priority to speak more and be more involved in each others days and lives. It wasn’t a talked thing but I think we’ve all realized how nice it is to be involved in each others lives. With my brothers this is a prime example. We have leaned on each other for help without expecting anything in return. My brother joe lend himself to us during our engagement party a couple of months back and it meant so much to us because he did it out of his own will and want. Thank you joe!

With my brother Chris it’s been special.. We have gone through a lot together… But we are learning to lean on each other when in need and when we want to share good things and that makes me so happy. We have talks with meaning and purpose, and we learned to listen to each other. Most importantly, I think we realized we have each other at the end of the day, no matter the circumstance. It’s been so nice to spend time with him on days off and share moments and build memories with him and his girlfriend Alexis, Xavier and I. The sweetness of it all is that we have come to see we are not just brothers and sisters, we are each others friends as well.

With my parents the relationships have also changed, and I think it has to do a lot with our age. Once we were kids, stubborn and thought we knew it all, yet they always had our best interest at hand and heart. We are growing and one thing I have learned now that I’m older is the unconditional love they give me, even when they disagree. We have had many uneasy moments in the past, but God has been good and we have overcome them all. Our relationship is stronger than ever, they are my best friends. They care for my heart more than any other physical human being and for that I am grateful.

My sister we all know is one that is dear to my heart, and I think she’s a reminder to our whole family of the joy we can find in the little things. She’s also a quick reminder of how different we all are and how differently we all have grown up. She brings us smiles and laughs only a child can and sends us “I love you’s and I miss you’s ‘” when we need them the most. While she may be strong-minded, she reminds me of how important it is to stand our ground, yet love with all our hearts.

The love recently has been one that even though we don’t talk about it on a daily basis and maybe my parents nor my brothers and sisters see. As I sat back to think and just take all the struggles we have gone through and all the memories in the past we hold dear to, they all just seemed to amaze me. We are growing as a family, and I really think it’s for the best. One thing I am so thankful for is that we all are here and live close to each other and that even though we don’t live under the same roof, were only a phone call away or a 10 min drive away. I’ve learned that while we are not a perfect family, we ARE a family and that’s good for me.

We have more family members being added like my fiancé Xavier and my brothers girlfriend and its so lovely to see how much we are a part of each others lives thus far. I know we have more to learn from each other and more to experience together, but so far its makes my heart warm. My family as whole is growing, and though some are far away, or I haven’t talked to in a while, I love them all because Ive learned something from each and every one of them. Today you were all in my thoughts, and today I am grateful for all those I call my family.

Jen<3

WEDDING WEDNESDAY: BRIDESMAIDS: HOW I ASKED MY GIRLS DIY

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetToday on Wedding Wednesday, it’s all about a little DIY for my Bridesmaids. I was very excited once I knew how I wanted to present my idea, that’s why I decided to share with you all, how I asked my girls! For those of you who have been following my blog, you all might know that I’m all about DIY and creating goodies and cute decor details. Asking my girls to be my bridesmaids would be no exception to the opportunity. So after some research and finding some cute ideas, I decided I wanted it to be personal. My creative side got excited and started going to my local arts and crafts stores like Michael’s, hobby lobby and one of my favorite places for small inexpensive goodies.. Target! Once I started visiting these stores I just began by looking around and just seeing what cute things I could find. I wanted it to be personal but not spend tons of money on random goodies either. So I picked up a couple of cute little pieces from wherever I found things and started my DIY! I spent time looking for things that would suit and go with our look for the wedding as well. Like mentioned before in my previous wedding Wednesday update, I’m trying to incorporate our colors and the feel we are shooting for that day! Simple, classy and personal. So away I went! The final product was definitely pleasing, personal and lovely!

My materials included the following: -the cute little buckets I found at target and they were a dollar a piece! Score. -the little gold chevron goodie bags, labels, sewing kits and post cards were also all from target -the golden magnet frames I found at a cute little boutique called Francesca’s -the white Dolly’s, gold glittered clothespins, gold ribbon, golden glittered material paint, gold washi tape and notecards were from Michael’s arts and crafts -the small white totes from Hobby Lobby -the color paint paper samples from Home Depot – the sweet chocolates, your local food store lol – personalized notes by yours truly 😉

First thing I got to work on were these tiny little white totes.. I wanted to spark some interest to them and make them personal. I decided to get a dolly and place it on the tote and secure the edges down with some tape to prevent the dolly from moving. Once they were secured, I got my glitter fabric paint and traced the pattern of the dolly on to the tote and let it dry for only a few minutes to prevent the dolly from sticking to the tote. *Note..If you leave it to dry completely it will stick, if you remove dolly right away it may smudge the pattern.. so only let sit for a couple of minutes before removing dolly. Once that dried, I wrote each girls initial on the tote… They came out better than expected! 

Next step was wrapping these up once they were dried. I decided to sneak in the travel size sewing kits in between since they were a little of an eyesore. They didn’t really go with the colors so I hid them in between and used the pretty gold ribbon to tie it all together.

After those were done, I started gathering up all the other little details. One was labeling those cute little chevron goodie bags with a little sweet note and putting some yummy chocolates inside. I used the extra dolly’s I had to label each gift with the girls names and taped the pictures to each individual magnet picture frame. 

The Next step was the more personal aspect of this cute little Bridesmaid gift. I Included not only a cute little postcard that asked each girl to join me on my day as my bridesmaid but also sweet details about expectations and details of what my vision was for the wedding and information about the day of the wedding. My favorite though, was the individual sheet I gave all my girls that named each girl and I wrote a little sweet note of what each of them meant to me. It was sweet and simple, but it came from the heart. The rest as you’ll be able to tell was just arranging and making it look cute with gold and glitter and color samples of what the wedding colors would be! ❤

Now for this handsome guy, he also asked his guys to be his groomsmen, only in a more simple and masculine way lol. We arranged some of these Cigars with their names on simple cardboard paper with a simple phrase printed on them, “Your service as a groomsman is required.” This idea we had seen on pinterest and felt it suited well!

The Final Product was just what I envisioned, cute and simple but made with lots of love for my girls. Made to let them know how much it means to me for them to be there for me the day I say I do! ❤

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes

-Jen

WEDDING WEDNESDAY: SAVE THE DATES MEET CALLIGRAPHY

This Wedding Wednesday was a bit exciting for me to share! Our save the dates went out a couple of months ago, and although I’m a little late in sharing this, it was still exciting finding the pictures of these beauties to share with you all. As many of you know from prior post, I’ve been practicing some calligraphy on my free time. I’ll be honest, I haven’t picked up my nibs or my ink in a little while. But like I said, finding these pictures definitely sparked my interest once again to keep going and getting better at it! So what better way to share a new hobby with those whom are special to us and will be sharing our special day with us? Well.. By adding a little personal touch to our save the dates of course! I must say I was entirely excited for this project, it was two things that were special to me and I got to share them all at once!

To begin with, what bride doesn’t get excited to send save the dates?!? Umm… I’d like to think all brides do! It’s such a special moment, knowing that you are finally able to literally share that date in the near future that will be one of the best days in your life! It’s a love filled announcement to all those special people who will be sharing with you that day. To me at least, it sounds priceless. So for me sending these out was a big happy deal and being able to personalize them with my own personal touch made it more special.

Xavier and I wanted to make sure we sent out something that said “us.”  Our save the dates would have to be simple, clean-looking, yet classy and warm. So when picking the style for our save the dates, we made sure to find what fitted those wishes. I think we did a pretty good job at finding save the dates that defines us. I also wanted to make sure that we brought in our wedding colors in some way and start to kind of give people the feeling of what our wedding day will be like. Grey, white and Gold were all incorporated and these simple yet classy save the dates from wedding paper divas suited us perfectly! We were very pleased with them and the quality and most importantly their price! They always have such good deals going on. Perfect for bride and grooms on a budget!  The envelopes were plain white but this is where I got to be creative and add that little personal touch with my calligraphy. A little flourish and some pretty handwriting and pretty colors did the trick! I was in love with them! We’ve gotten so many compliments and couldn’t be more happy with them! Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did.

Some advice for your save the dates!

-shop around, many websites have coupons and special deals on amounts or specific dates along with free samples

-order extra envelopes, whether you’re the one addressing your envelopes or hiring a calligrapher, we all make mistakes. Ordering a couple more will give you some room for error with no stress

-return address stamps like our lovely stamp from littlemamapretties, will save your hand some tiredness and save you cash! Ordering return address labels can cost easily above $70 for maybe 100. Our pretty stamp cost us,$20. And we will be using it for our wedding invites later on! Score!

-pretty vintage stamps are hard to find, and can add up as well. Your local US post office has a variety of wedding/love stamps for your occasion. I loved our vintage like stamps we purchased at our local post office in sheets!

-envelope sealing stickers are a cute and easy way to spice up the look of your invites! We purchased our “love” stickers at our local Michael’s arts and crafts store for $5.

-make a wedding website online for extra information for your guest and add your wedding website to your save the dates, people will have a good idea of the arrangements they will have to make and some sites even have RSVP options, we already have a couple and haven’t even send out invites!

Did you personalize any of your wedding paper goods? If so, how so? We’d love to hear!

   Jen ❤

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes