Monday, May 28

{sec champs}

For those of you who don't know, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are your 2012 SEC Tournament Champions. 

Immediately after we beat Kentucky on Saturday, I was on the phone with Mart making plans for our Sunday trip to Hoover for the championship game. We were Birmingham bound on Sunday morning, and met the 10,000+ Bulldog fans at Regions Park to cheer the Diamond Dogs on in a 3-0 win over Vanderbilt. 

The 100 degree weather didn't stop us, and Regions Park looked a lot like our Dudy Noble covered in a sea of maroon and cowbells.

It's a bad day to be a Commodore. 
Congrats Bulldogs. #hailstate

Saturday, May 26

dress shopping

I bought a wedding dress. 

Let me say that again, just because I can--I bought a wedding dress. 

We went to Low's in Brinkley, AR for what we just assumed would a fun first try-on-dresses session, but I most likely wouldn't find anything. Low's is an absolutely stunning, old antebellum home turned bridal salon with white and ivory around every corner. After we met our wonderful consultant, she had me pick out three dresses, each with a different style, to try on first. 

Two of the first three were hilarious failures--beautiful dresses but completely swallowed me up with fabric and poof. But the third was more along the lines of what I thought I was looking for, and it was a helpful push in the right direction. 

I tried on one more dress downstairs that was something I would have never picked out, ever, and when she added the veil I definitely got a little teary-eyed. It was beautiful, and not what I expected. 

So we held on to that one and moved upstairs, where we picked out three more stunning dresses. I tried on the first two, and they were gorgeous. But not knock-me-down gorgeous.  And thennnn.... my consultant just snatched a dress of the rack and stuck me in it. 

And that was the winner. I didn't immediately have that "oh my gosh this is it" moment. It took a little tweaking and twisting and moving belts and tightening, but the more I looked at myself in that dress the more I knew I couldn't see myself in anything else. 

I loved my dress when I left, but I love it so much more two days later. 

I've decided to keep it a secret until next June, but you better believe you'll be seeing every detail when the time comes. 

Holy smokes, I'm getting married. 
Hurry up, June 8, 2013. 

Tuesday, May 22

{thoughts on loved ones}

All of this wedding planning over the past few weeks has led me to spending a whole lot of time thinking about those that I love. Martin, our families, our college friends, our high school friends, my camp friends, my grad school friends, our grown-up friends, and everyone else that could possibly fall into this spectrum. I think about each of them when envisioning what I want for our wedding, because all of the delicious food, great music, and beautiful flowers in the world wouldn't mean a thing to me if our loved ones left the reception without knowing how much each of them mean to us. 

Mart and I are blessed beyond belief with an incredible group of friends, stretching from freshman year friends that have turned into our support system, to sophomore frat boys that have quickly changed from Mart's job to Mart's friends, to 9 girls that I met less than a year ago but have been my rock, to those that have been there for everything since kindergarten. Each and everyone has shaped my life in their own way. But even when I think about the ones that are most important to me, I sometimes question how well I communicate it. 

I am aware of and openly admit that I am not a great communicator. I was raised in the country. I did not have the chance to 'run to a friend's house' every afternoon after school. I wasn't 'connected' unless I really wanted to be. This was all before the birth of cell phones and text messaging and Twitter and Facebook, of course, but I can still feel the force of those days. I enjoy, too much I suppose, disconnecting from the world and diving into a good book. I love my twenty minute drive to and from school without the radio or Ipod. 

But in each and every passing month, my friends continue to spread out. To Atlanta, to Memphis, to Jackson, to Washington D.C., to Oxford, to Chattanooga. I am all too guilty of not making the effort often enough. I am so very grateful that I do have friends that are better than me. And that love me anyway. But still, Kels, come on. You've gotta do better. 

Much too often lately, I've caught myself analyzing what others think about me. What they think about my reaction to this, what they think about the way I respond to that, and how they might have interpreted what I meant when I said this. But really, why does it matter? 

My prayer lately has not been 'to be a better friend' or 'to be less self-conscious' but to love with all my heart. Love better. Love often. That's really all that matters right? Yes, a great fancy wedding and reception and food and flowers is all great and wonderful... but if our guests don't walk away knowing that we love each other and love them--it doesn't mean anything. 

So I'm challenging myself to love better. And making it known to all of you. 
Y'all are the best.