Monday, April 27, 2015

one month of marriage + #morethanaframe + joy

there is a great new community blossoming. the hearts behind #morethanaframe [amber + cassie] came together with the idea of community and invited us to become part of it. i have this thing about instagram communities: I LOVE THEM. connecting with women all over the world makes my heart happy. this week's theme is JOY. guys, i'm "joyfulamber" on social media, so this is obviously screaming my name. literally. 

it has been a month since jared and i got married. what a whirlwind my life has been! 

[that's an understatement, y'all. i met him in january. got engaged in mid-march and married him two weeks later. 
oh, and i moved two and a half hours away to a new city and a new state the day before we eloped in vegas. WHAT the WHAT?]

through all the crazy and unknown and excitement, i have this certain joy that isn't some fickle emotion dependent on circumstances or situations; it's a deep, quiet [and sometimes beautiful, wildly loud] confidence in Jesus. 

in who He is. in what He has done. in what He is doing. in what He will do. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

exploring vegas.

we arrived in vegas on friday afternoon and spent the evening preparing for our wedding. we married under the stars in a twinkling-lit gazebo. [photos to come!] on saturday, we explored vegas from the moment we woke up until the moment we had to board the plane at 1 am. here are some photos i took as we ventured around our hotel as newlyweds! [the luxor hotel is amazing, people! we highly recommend it.]

 the luxor hotel

 the luxor hotel

 palm trees

 the luxor

 our hotel

the view from our hotel room

another view from our hotel room


new york, new york 

the luxor 

 the MGM 

the view from our hotel at night 

the vegas show, KA  
[one of the coolest things i have ever watched!]

 more palm trees

 one of the greatest moments of my life! 

 new york-new york hotel

  new york-new york hotel

 new york-new york hotel

our vegas wedding photos.

our vegas elopement story.


the weekend after jared and i got engaged, we were driving to church on sunday morning when he looked over at me and said, "let's just go to vegas." we had been joking about it while making a few wedding plans, but this time i knew he was serious. after church, we booked our flight and hotel for the following weekend.

the week leading up to our elopement was CRAZY. not only was i getting married, but i was also moving to wichita the same week. cuh-razy, y'all. on top of those two major life changes, my mama and i only had one evening free to find a wedding dress. yes - ONE DAY. by the grace of God, we found the dress at our last stop. and then we gorged ourselves on mexican food.

jared drove down to help me move on thursday. we picked up my dress and then headed back to wichita. we spent that evening relaxing and packing for vegas.


we had to catch our first flight out of wichita at 11:00 am. we made it to the airport and that's when i got suuuuper nervous. i have only flown once in my life, and it wasn't my favorite thing. we boarded the plane and took off. i had a death grip on jared's arm the entire flight. [all our flights for that matter!] we landed in dallas and had a three-hour layover, so we ate at TGIFriday's in the airport and browsed through a few shops. it was finally time for our flight to vegas, so we boarded and took off. that flight was the most fun for me. probably because of the excitement for vegas and marrying my best friend.

after landing in vegas, we had to take a taxi to our wedding venue so we could go over a few things before the ceremony. we then made our way back to the hotel and had a couple hours to get ready. the limo arrived to pick us up and that drive to the chapel was one of the memories i will never forget. jared was so dashing in his suit and all we could do was stare at each other.

with it being such a spur-of-the-moment decision, none of our family and friends could attend our wedding in person, but they did get to watch it via livestream! [vegas weddings is a great place!] it was time for the wedding, and i was giddy with excitement. jared said that moment he saw me walking down the aisle was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

during the ceremony, the presence of God was so strong that even our minister got a little emotional. those moments of standing there with jared are so precious to me. making a life-long commitment to him before God and our family & friends was one of the greatest moments of my life.

the next day was full of exploring all the awesomeness of vegas. i didn't want to leave! we had a 1 am flight out of vegas sunday morning followed by a 4-hour layover in minneapolis [that airport is incredible!] and then a flight to wichita. 24+ hours of no sleep after a such a crazy weekend was insane, but so, so worth it!

check out our wedding photos HERE.
see a few vegas snapshots HERE.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

our engagement story.

nothing about jared and i's relationship has been conventional, which is ironic given our strong faith and morals. maybe it has something to do with our age and knowing what we want in life or maybe after waiting for one another for so long, God didn't want us to wait any longer. either way, our engagement was so special.

it started out as a normal saturday. we spent the majority of the day at his niece's birthday party. after everyone left, we made plans to grill out with his sister and her family, so we went to town to get some steaks. on our way in town, jared told me he wanted to buy me a ring. that day. right then. [i told you - unconventional!] we had been talking about getting married and everyone kept asking where the ring was, so he wanted to make it official.

after we found the prettiest ring of all, we made our way back to his sister's house to eat. he told me that i would have the ring by the end of the weekend, so i was all eeeeeekkkk!

after dinner, jared and i went back to his parents' house to chill for a little while. he was sitting on the bed and i sat down next to him. he started telling me all these sweet things, making me melt into a big puddle of mush. he had the ring in his hand and then said, "this ring is like my heart. i'm giving it to you to have. forever. amber dawn kanady, will you marry me?" and of course i said YES!

the following days were spent staring at that gorgeous ring. i started making plans to move to wichita over the next couple of weeks. in the midst of moving, jared and i discussed wedding plans and dates and venues and all the details in between. we were both a little overwhelmed by the ridiculous cost of every little thing. we joked about eloping to vegas a few times. HA! but that would be crazy, right?!

riiiiiiight. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

our love adventure.

during one of our soul sistah friday nights, my best friend convinced me to sign up for an online dating app. she had been on there for a few days and raved about how cool it was. although a little skeptical, i signed up, but told myself i'd give it two weeks and if nothing came from it, i'd delete it.

four days later, i received a new message from a cute guy named jared. he simply said, "99% match is pretty good." we talked back and forth on the app for a little over a day when jared asked me for my phone number. we texted all day on that wednesday. the next day, jared wanted to talk to me on the phone. you guys - i was a nervous wreck. when the phone rang, i jumped and had a split-second freak out session. we ended up talking on the phone for two and a half hours about life and Jesus and our childhoods and all the in-betweens. when we hung up, i was giddy.

we made plans to have dinner that saturday night. oh mylanta. i was SO nervous! what if he didn't like me? what if he didn't look like his picture? what if he was a creeper who just wanted to murder me and wear my skin? all these thoughts raced in my mind. when i came around the corner and saw him sitting there, all those concerns vanished. yes, i was still little nervous, but the conversation flowed like we were old friends. [if you ask him, he'd tell you i didn't make eye contact with him until we sat down at our table.]

we made our way to my favorite coffee shop and sipped lattes and shared stories and lots of laughs for hours. he still had a two hour drive back to wichita, so we called it a night around 9. the next weekend, he came back down with his friends. we all went to dinner and a movie. it was fun and i hoped i made a good impression.

the following weekend was valentine's day. ohhhh boy. i didn't want him to think we had to do anything, but without missing a beat, he asked if i wanted to come up to wichita. of course i said yes, and made my way up there on a saturday morning. he showed me all his favorite spots in wichita and took me out to a really fancy dinner. we were driving when all of a sudden, he asked if i'd be his girlfriend. without hesitation, i said yes.

the following weekends were spent driving back and forth from oklahoma to kansas. we ate so much good food and desserts and coffee. we watched movies and i met a lot of his family and friends. it was getting harder and harder to leave on those dreaded sunday nights.

on a random friday, the weather was getting bad. jared was headed back to wichita that morning, so we had breakfast before he left. in the parking lot of the sunnyside cafe in my hometown, jared told me he loved me. my head was spinning and my heart was beating fast. just that weekend before, i got a terrible migraine. instead of leaving me be, jared took care of me and made sure i had whatever i needed. it was in those moments that i knew i loved him. so when he told me he loved me, i replied without hesitation: i love you, too.

this is part one of our love story. part two will be our engagement and part three will be our elopement.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

C U R R E N T L Y // A P R I L

EXPLORING:  this new city of mine! i am starting to become more familiar with wichita and all its places and spaces. it is so awesome to be able to go to a store/shop when i want instead of driving thirty minutes to an hour just to get starbucks or browse the aisles of target. [#smalltowngirlprobs] it's still a little crazy that i am a resident of kansas. but my heart is here and he is quite amazing.

SIPPING:  a salted caramel iced coffee with a double shot of espresso.

READING:  all the blogs. with all the craziness of moving and eloping, i haven't been able to keep up with everyone's blogs and social media posts.

WATCHING:  gilmore girls and movies on netflix. jared and i watched interstellar last night and it was so interesting! he also got me hooked on 'rules of engagement' and 'better off ted'.

WRITING:  our love story, our engagement story, and our elopement story. ahhhhhhh! i know everyone is eager to hear all the details. when life slows down, i'll get it all posted on the blog.

ANTICIPATING:  finding a job. i turned in my application to a bank, so i'm praying for an interview soon. if you live in wichita and know of an opening somewhere, holla atcha girl.

LEARNING:  i just moved to a new city/state and got married, so i'm learning a new life. HA! i had two major life changes in one weekend. but i'm getting into a groove now. i'm just taking it one day at a time. [i also just learned how to make espresso shots because, ya know - priorities.]

PLANNING:  a trip back to oklahoma. our reception. fun weekend plans. the decor for our home.

ENJOYING:  married life. [typing that is still crazy to me!] it is so wonderful and fun and exciting. i have to pinch myself to make sure this isn't all a dream. it's still a little surreal to both of us. i love waking up to find him by my side. or greeting him when he gets home from work. we bought groceries for the first time, and it was so fun. it's the little things.

MAKING ME HAPPY:  my husband. technology to keep me connected to those back in oklahoma. God's love. coffee. spring flowers. all the sweet comments from our friends and family.