Why hello friends, family, & internet friends! It’s been wayyy too long since I’ve written a blog post. If we’re being technical, it’s been over… half… a year. Ugh! I’ve missed writing to y’all so much! I will say that it feels soooo good to be snuggled up, & typing away my thoughts again. So, let’s jump right in with an update!
Why I Stopped Blogging
Let’s see, where did we leave off? Ah, yes. In summer 2018. Feeling overwhelmed with life, I decided it was best for me to take a step back from social media. I needed space to clear my head, so I did just that. Another very important detail – we finally found a teeny tiny gap in time that we could have our wedding. & that gap of time was only three months away. T H R E E .
While Zack was away for work, I started planning our wedding at lightning speed! *Insert fast playing orchestra music here* Calling venues, making appointments, finding a wedding dress, flying to Vegas to tour venues, buying decorations, cake tasting, meeting with the florist, picking music, finding bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits, designing programs/ seating chart/ kids activity pages, etc. etc. etc!!! (Click here to see everything that I designed — I’m very proud of my work!!) & in the blink of an eye… I woke up, & it was our wedding day!
Our Fun/Perfect/Hilarious/Beautiful Wedding
Our wedding was perfect, it truly was. I get the biggest butterflies just thinking about it! Something that was really important to Zack & I was that we made our wedding fun. Not just for us, but for our guests, too. We know that a lot of people feel awkward at weddings, or think that they can be boring. So we decided to spice things up a bit. 😉
To set the tone for the day, we had Zack & the groomsmen walk out to “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. The groomsmen were Zack’s bodyguards as he greeted guests. LOL. Yes, you read that right. Did you really think we would just have everyone walk out to serious music?! Come on!! You know us! Then we had my bridesmaids walk out to “Love on Top” by Beyonce as the groomsmen took pics of them on disposable cameras. They were paparazzi for my girls hehe. Plus Zack’s little brother was our ring bearer, & my grandmas’ were our flower girls.♡ It was so unique, & fun. Those entrances definitely set the tone for the day. (Oh, & I guess my entrance too hahaha)
After the ceremony, our family had pictures taken by the wonderful Bagshaw Photo & Video couple Taylor & Alexa (Who I cannot recommend enough!) Y’all. Our wedding party kept us laughing the entire day, & especially during these photos. We were almost done with pictures when Tim, one of our groomsmen, said, “Alright let’s get some golf carts,” Glancing around, I didn’t see any, & he goes, “Look, there’s one over there!” & just started running towards this random isolated golf cart. A golf cart that was pretty far away, I might add. He kept going, & going, & going… & finally we saw him hop in. I mumbled, “I don’t know if it’s going to start…” exactly one second before it did, in fact start. Everybody was cracking up as he sped back over to us with the biggest smile on his face.
Tyler, another groomsman, spotted a worker driving by that he knew. Tyler called out his name, & said, “We need another one!” Then hopped the little fence, got in the golf cart with the worker, & they sped off around the corner. We were all giggling as we waited. Fifteen seconds later Tyler flew around the building on golf cart number two. We all started cheering, & laughing as he also sped on over with the biggest smile. The photos are still so hilarious & legendary.
Our reception also was perfect. There’s just no other word to describe it.
1. The room was full of positive energy the entire night. Everyone came together — some reconnecting, & some meeting for the first time.
2. Everytime we looked at each table — all we saw was smiling faces, & lots of laughter.
3. My dad surprised me during our first dance. At the end of our dance, the music cut to a scene from a Clint Eastwood movie we love reciting. We of course had to act it out!
4. Zack & I had the best first dance ever (& I’m not just being biased) We planned our first dance the same way we planned the ceremony — doing our best to make it fun, & unique. We surprised our friends & family by doing something completely different than we had ever seen. Zack & I remixed our song to a mix — playing one song from every decade from the 1940’s to present day. We thought this would be fun, because our guests were literally all ages. No matter what age they were, we did a fun dance that they probably grew up doing. For us, that was the perfect way to make every single person feel more connected with us. It was by far the toughest secret to keep, but seeing everyone’s reactions made it worth it. It was priceless.
Our first dance:
All in all, the whole day was everything I ever dreamt of, & more. Being surrounded by all of our favorite people meant the absolute world to us. It was honestly surreal. Surreal because Zack & I not only both have family from all over the country, but friends too. Our childhood friends, high school friends, college friends, & Army friends were all in the same place at the same time. We have always surrounded ourselves with great groups of people, & to see all of our different little worlds come together that day was just… the best feeling ever.
Our wedding video:
Fun fact: Zack & I started editing our wedding video at 11 AM as soon as we were back home. Before we knew it, it was already nighttime. Determined to not stop editing, we each drank a cup of espresso (it was my first time ever trying it teehee) Boy oh boy, did that wake us up! We ended up working all through the night, & finished editing at 5 AM. Yep. Again, yes, you read that right.
We Moved Across the World
After the New Year & my birthday, we started wrapping things up in Fort Benning. Going to appointments, de-cluttering, getting our household items shipped, & saying goodbye to our friends. Before we knew it, we were on the plane to Europe.
I’ve felt so much peace & hope since I’ve been here. I truly feel like we are here because God trusts us, & knows that we both can succeed. Everyday I wake up excited to explore & learn — documenting each step of the way. Documenting to inspire you, to teach you the things I’m learning, & to hopefully just positively impact your life in some way. I have so many big ideas, & I can’t wait to share them with y’all. Stay tuned!!
♡ Valerie Karen.
P.S. On the 15th of every month is when I will be posting personal blogs! That way you know exactly when to come back for more 🙂 OR — you could always become an email subscriber, & get notified when I post! To do that, enter your email on the top right hand side of this page, or underneath this post if you’re on your phone. Email subscribers are also going to get more special things from me here very soon! 😉