Green Machine

First, can I say that I formally send my sympathy to anyone that’s currently building a house, and trying to figure out every last detail? I mean, it’s tons of fun, but it can also cause some legit analysis paralysis. I’ve been having the hardest time finding colors for this house, so I did something kinda crazy. I just snagged a color I liked from the deck at Lowes, pointed to it on the slip and had it mixed up right there on the spot. No color tester. No image google searching. Just grabbed it, and you know what? It’s one of my favorite colors to date. I love it.

Valspar Lyndhurst Celadon Green

Or maybe I’m just glad that the room no longer looks like this. ;) A shot of the crazyness while the paint was drying …

Rearranging_Bedroom_Furniture

Now, to be fair (for all you color connoisseurs out there) I did try to test paint swabs first. I had like six different colors up on the wall at one point in the guest room, and not a single one was catching my fancy. This is a sample of the colors that I tested in all the rooms pre-paint job.

Sampling Best Greige Paint Colors

One trend I’m noticing about my color selections at Lowe’s is that I’m having some crazy good luck with the National Trust series, which are colors that are authentic to earlier periods. I’m pretty traditional in my home taste (with some modern thrown in, but overall pretty classic in my taste), so it makes sense that I’d be drawn to the colors that are a bit more tried and true to the period of our home.

I used a color from the National Trust series for the office, and I love how that room turned out too!

Valspar Montpelier Madison White

To make things easier on ourselves, and to give our furniture a home right away now that we’re moved in, we decided to pretty much reuse most of the furniture we had in our last house. I almost sold this dresser before we moved out of state, and now that we’re settled, I’m so glad we kept it! I got this beauty for $10 at the goodwill years ago and it’s still one of my favorite pieces.

Lyndhurst Celadon Green

We did a small rug swap, since the last guest room rug was too small for this space. We used the matching rug from our old Master in this room. It fits perfectly and looks great against the Minwax Provincial stain.

Minwax Provincial Stain

Here are a few additional shots of the color, which reads as a soft grayish green in person.

Lyndhurst Celadon Green

This is a close-up shot, against the trim.

Best Gray Green Colors

And for old times sake, a legit before and after!

Guest Room Before

And a progress shot. That bathroom is still as ugly as ever, so that door is staying shut. ;) Now time to dig the sheets out of storage and back that bed.

Best Gray Green Colors

 

 

Born on the 4th of July

Every year, since I can remember, my entire family would head up to Racine, Wisconsin for the 4th of July and spend the day with my Mom’s parents and all her siblings. Seriously, if happiness can be summed up for me in one place in my life, one memory, it’s that Cape Cod on Wolff street where we would all meet every summer. That house, those people. Sometimes at night, when Jay’s long asleep and I’m trying to fade away, I’ll think of that little house and all the love that filled up it’s walls. It’s my safe and happy place – it always will be. As we’ve aged, as my Grandma moved on to a retirement home and away from her little bungalow off the lake, the only 4th I’ve missed was the week after my wedding, when Jay and I were on a plane back from our honeymoon. Alas, one of the hard things that kind of creep up on you living far away from family is that special days that were a given routine before, are a bit harder to swing. We didn’t make it up this year, and that kind of makes my heart break just a little.

Here we all are in 2012, keeping that tradition strong.

Dekoven_Center_Racine

Know what we did this year instead? We cleaned out the gutters ;) Cue Mary, saying the hail Mary as she sees how high husband must climb to clean said gutter.

How_To_Safely_Clean_Gutters

Yep, y’all – that’s high. I was positioned down below to hold on to the ladder while Jay climbed to the top of the roof. I asked him if he wanted to wear his biking helmet, just to be safe ;)

Safely_Cleaning_Gutters

Now, before you guys get to feeling too bad for us, we fit some fun into our day, too. And you know what made that fun extra fabulous? It included some of our favorite family members that would normally be chilling up in Wisconsin with us drinking beer and eating brats.

Look, they’re even happy to see us! :D

4th_of_July_Party

In the name of being patriotic, Jay and I brought a fruit plate. Being kitchenless deems it difficult to whip up anything much fancier than fruit. On a plate. Easiest patriotic dessert known to man.

Easy_Patriotic_Dessert

Most likely because I was too busy drinking them, we forgot to snap a photo of our other patriotic addition to our American feast. Red, White and Blue drinks. YUMMMM.

I did snap a photo of our beer pyramid though, which is equally impressive.

Beer_Pyramid

If you know our family, you’d know that a picture of a picture is pretty much a necessity at any get together. It’s how we entertain ourselves. That’s my Uncle Igor, the family photog :D

Picture_of_A_Picture

And in case y’all missed the memo, the 4th of July was in the midst of the world cup madness, so we obviously had to pay homage there, too.

World_Cup_Party

What did you guys do for the 4th? Clean your gutters? :)

 

Tea Towels and Ticking Stripes | Giveaway!

I’m a total sucker for classic prints on every day essentials. Chic and understated, that’s my jam people. I recently spotted a local NC shop down in Greensboro that I knew you guys would be crazy for, too. This week’s giveaway is sponsored by the UnOriginal Americain – get ready for some sweetness, y’all!

Like these gorgeous make-up bags! Dropping some hints with the hubby for these beauties! ;)

Cosmetic Bags

And this adorable bag – perfect for beach season!

Cloth_Linen_Bag

And for one lucky winner, this week’s giveaway features some super sweet ticking stripe napkins!

Cloth_Napkins

Psst! Snag 10% off with code LGB10

Win:  A set of (4) cloth napkins from The UnOriginal Americain
When: Today, July 8th – midnight on Tuesday, July 15th
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Spark of the Dark

Oh man guys, for the record, I’m kinda missing the apartment. I know it sounds weird, it feels weird even saying it, but I guess that our little hole in the wall with the mattress chilling on the floor and the orange tabby always at arms reach, our house just doesn’t feel like home yet. I know it will, soon, but right now, at this moment, it still feels pretty construction zone and not so home sweet home.

That being said, painting progress we made last week has definitely moved us further along on the continuum of making this space feel a bit more homey. As my walls can testify, we’ve tested lots of paint. LOTS. Seriously, gray tones can be tricky! The first few I slapped up there just looked way to purple to me – and that’s definitely not the look I’m going for.

Gray_Paint_Reading_Purple

After lots of testing, and comparing the view between the Dining Room and the Living Room, I finally decided on Sandy Hook Gray, by Benjamin Moore. It’s a nice darkish grayish greenish color that I think will look oh so fine once we add in our nice bright cabinets and some trim work in the dining room.

Before we started painting, we had to wave farewell to some lovely lookers up on the windows. au revoir!

Outdated_Drapes

Since the Dining Room and Kitchen are more or less, one large room, we thought it made the most sense to paint both of these rooms the same color, to have some cohesion between the spaces. Truth be told, the kitchen barely has any paint that needed to go up, largely because the cabinets and back splash will take up a solid chunk of that space, so that helped to move things along!

It felt good to paint in the kitchen, since we had been living with some unsightly marks from the wood floor installation where the mallet hit the wall.

Marks_On_Wall_From_Floor_Install

Now seriously, if y’all know me, you know that I’m kinda color phobic. Something bad and brightly colored must have happened to me as a child. So going dark is kinda liberating for me! It’s not like I’m painting the room neon orange or anything, but I considered this color to be a bit of a deviation from the normal paint programming around here and I’m pretty darn excited about it. :D

Going up, I had a few panicked moments …

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint

But by the time we had (2) coats up on the walls, I was liking it an awful lot. Here’s a shot of the room, looking out from the Dining Room onto the Living space.

Benjamin_Moore_Sandy_Hook_Gray

The Dining Room also only has a little bit of paint going up, since the bottom half will be getting some board and batten action, just like our Master Bedroom upstairs. In the name of making sure everything jives just right, I think we will wait until the cabinets get delivered to install that though, just to make sure we have the right height, since we want it to match right up with the bottom edge of the counter.

Here are a few more shots so you can get a feel for how it looks in different lighting.

Sandy Hook Gray Benjamin Moore

This is what that same window looked like before we painted. Hello, yellow!

Painting_Over_Yellow_Walls

And here is a shot looking out from the kitchen, into our Dining Room and Living Room, so you can see how the rooms interact with each other.

Best_Dark_Gray_Colors

It was lots of fun to have the orange tabby back in our renovation extravaganza. Even though he’s a little bugger that’s often getting in the way, the house felt pretty empty over here without him.

Priming_New_Drywall

The next step, now that we have paint on the walls, is to upgrade our trim throughout the house. See this rinky dink crown? It’s really more like a small piece of trim, and y’all – it’s just got to go. We installed the final pieces of crown this weekend and it looks SO much better! I’ll have some official after shots of all the rooms later this week.

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint_Color

The best part about seeing paint up on this wall, is how much it helps to unite the space and make it feel like one, large room, instead of the segmented separate rooms we had going on before.

Has anyone else used Sandy Hook Gray before? I think I’m slowly before converted away from white! Baby steps people, baby steps.

Homey Hayes Barton

Y’all thought I’d buy a house and you wouldn’t see any more house hunting posts? Funny. This girl is always looking at Zillow and Trulia, pretty sure I have a condition. Every once and a while, I come across a home that is so stunning, I just have to share it with all of you. That is, after I wipe the drool coming off my face and gain enough composure to put a post together. ;)

If this house was my house, then I’m pretty sure I would have died and gone to heaven people. It’s stunning from head to toe and I think I kinda sorta need it.

Hayes_Barton

Shut up. Right? This house is a 1922 charmer, that’s nestled right in one of neighboring Raleigh’s best neighborhoods. It also cost $2 mill, so unless y’all got a mama or daddy warbucks in your life, I think we’ll all have to be content with this virtual tour (sad, I know).

When the first thing you see before you enter the house is this HUGE front porch, with charming details (the shutters!, the rocking chairs!, the ceiling!) you know the rest of the house is going to be good, people.

Large Front Porch

I think our bedroom is the size of this foyer. It’s huge! I love how they made it feel a bit more cozy with the addition of the rug and the side furnishings.

Formal_Foyer

My favorite spot in this house is by far the kitchen. It’s got an awesome eat-in, in addition to a formal dining space. I love how they made that structural support a focal point in the kitchen, along with adding that cooler to the right of the brick column. Perfect use of space.

Eat_in_Kitchen

This house has ginormous ceilings! Their especially evident in this drop dead gorgeous kitchen. The planked ceilings in this room are totally my jam people.

White_Kitchen_With_Black_Granite

Here’s another shot of the kitchen. Twice as nice :)

I love seeing the white cabinets with the dark red oak floors, since it helps me to visualize our kitchen, and how it will look once it’s all finished. (can’t wait for that day!)

White_Kitchen_With_Black_Counters

In addition to some formal spaces downstairs, the house has a beautiful family room along the back. Doesn’t it just look like the perfect place to snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn, and orange tabby and a movie?

Those windows, y’all. Ommmeerrrgaauuuddd.

Family_Room_With_Stone_Walls

Although I’m loving having my own home office, I think I can safely say, that I love this home office more!

Formal_Office_With_Persian

Let’s end our little tour with another shot of that amaze-balls front porch, shall we?

Large_Front_Porch_Swing

Tell me, what’s your favorite room? Oh, and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, America! :)

Officer Mary

Can I get a what, what for little nooks in your house that you’re able to convert into your very own tiny home office. Srrriously, you guys, I’m completely smitten with the concept of having my own space to stretch out to get my work on. Not to mention, it’s pretty nice to not have our computer chilling on our dinner table, like we had in the apartment. Well, doesn’t take much to improve off that situation, anyway. ;)

So this is what the room looked like pre-movin.

Small Home Office

The room is 6×9, which in my mind, is just the right size for a desk and a few extra accessories. The location of the room is a bit different, too, since you actually have to cut through our extra bedroom upstairs to get to it. Here’s the layout to help refresh your memory.  Second Floor Layout Since I knew that I’d be more or less, using the office right after move-in, I moved painting this room to the top of the priority list along with the Master Bedroom painting. We went with a nice, calm gray tone that reads bluish green in the right light, and pure gray as the sun starts to fade. The color is Montpelier Madison White by Valspar.

Valspar Montpelier Madison White

I love how it looks against the refinished floors. So nice along with the nice, crisp painted trim.

montpelier_madison_white

This is my view from my desk these days. It’s in dire need of some accessorizing (artwork!), but for now, things are certainly feeling much more settled than when I was working off of the Dining Room table in the apartment.

Bamboo Office Desk

Right now, I’ve unearthed a few things from the boxes to add some organization in here. Our campaign drawer that was in the basement before is working great as office storage and a printer stand.

Campaign_Drawer_in_Office

I snagged the lamp from our old entry way to use for some supplemental lighting in here, too. That little storage container next to it is for all my pens and pencils – got it at the good will for .25. Zinggggg.

Seashell_Lamp

Now I’m on to picking out more exciting things, like a rug! I tried to re-purpose the one we had in our entry in the last house, but as you can see, it’s a wee bit small.

Picking_The_Right_Size_Rug

Here are a few of my top contenders! Tell me, which one floats your boat?

Best Office Rugs

Sisal Rug // Jute Rug // Blue + Gray Rug // Ivory Rug

 

 

Arranging Our Life

Now, even though we’ve officially been living in the fine state of North Carolina for 3+ months now, in all honesty, in our tiny little one bedroom apartment, we really weren’t able to unpack much at all. From silverware to underwear, you name it, we most likely have been living without it or with a greatly reduced supply of it. Like rotating 4 pairs of underwear short supply. mmmyeah. Let’s just say I was missing my undies.

Since our apartment pretty much prohibited any type of furniture arrangement, I’ve been having lots of fun as we unpack trying all sorts of new configurations in our living spaces. It definitely takes a while to get things just right, but I’m enjoying experimenting over here with new layouts. In the name of having at least one room that was not full of boxes, I decided to start in on the Living Room first.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

So nice. So cozy! Almost makes me wish for a cold winter night and a roaring fire. Almost. ;)

Now, truth be told, I’ve got a few instant mental objections to my first shot at living room arranging. In my mind, the photo has a bit too much tufting action happening – plus, it really bugs me that the ottoman and chairs are almost matching (tufting) but different colors. It just looks a little off in my noggin.

Here is a shot from the side, so you can see how it flows from this angle.

Living Room Layout Around Fireplace

Again, one of my favorite things is the cozy factor from this view. It just feels like a perfect little conversation area, and not like a walk-through room.

There’s a lot of space behind the couch right now, and that wall definitely needs a buffet of some sort, and some artwork up above.

Couch Location in Living Room

One of the first things that became obvious was that our 9×12 rug was just not going to cut it any longer in our new and larger living room. Secretly, this makes me happy, since buying rugs is my elixir in life. :D Jay thinks the 4 foot gap is hunky doorey, so I’ll have to work on my powers of persuasion on this one. (wish me luck…)

Right now, I have each of the Pottery Barn chairs nestled along the fireplace. For me, it’s also helpful that the chairs cover up the awkward gap you get with the rug and the wood floor as a result of the fireplace bump out. My dream for this room would be to get a custom natural fiber rug that wraps around the fireplace, but that is anything but cheap, so I’m just going to have to sit tight and camouflage with furniture a bit longer.

Tufted Living Room Chair

It made me so happy to rescue my first thrift find ever, and still one of my favorites, from the doom and gloom of our basement.

Carved Wood Mirror

Although this mirror has been placed above dressers in the past, we took a cue from our last house and popped that bad boy up above the fireplace and I’m totally loving it.

Here is a close up shot of the carved wood details on this mirror.

Carved Wood Antique Mirror

The last part of the room to get decorated was our front facing wall. It’s definitely not finished – but I’m going to put it in the “good enough for now” category. I feel like the table is too small for the lamps, so I might need to upgrade for something larger under this window. Long term, I’d love to add some custom built-ins over this entire wall. A girl can dream, right?

Bamboo Living Room Chair

Along with my craigslist chairs, I found some small Restoration Hardware style lamps at HomeGoods the other night. I love the lines, and at $25 a piece, the price was right, too.

Restoration Hardware Style Lamp

Moving cross country, there sadly were some casualties in the furniture department. In all honesty, more than I’d care to mention (sad face). One of the smaller little blemishes was this scratch that the front of our couch is now sporting. It’s a chenille sofa, so overall the scratch blends in pretty easily, but still it’s a bummer to have the furniture get nicked up for sure.

Damaged Furniture From Moving

Overall, we’re all settling in nicely though. Malcolm especially, is loving his new home! He’s not camera shy, that’s fo shizzle.

Malcolm the Cat

New to the journey? Read all about our new house, here!

Botanical Beauties | Giveaway!

Big, large, botanical prints are like, the best thing ever in my book. The bigger, the better. If you guys remember my Dining Room inspiration board, you’ll pick up what I’m putting down. So when Kristen from K Sarah Designs offered to give up two of her sweet 16×20 botanical prints for a lucky reader I broke out the boom boom fire power stance and said, rock on, let’s do it.

Botanical Chart

Botanical Chart And up for grabs, two 16×20 botanical charts to beautify your space!

Botanical Chart Here’s how to enter:

Win:  Two 16×20 prints from K Sarah Designs
When: Today, July 1st – midnight on Tuesday, July 8th
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ContestHeat

 

The Great Migration

Moving all your stash twice in 3-months, it’s not recommend y’all. It’s also not recommended to move all your goodies when it’s 99 degrees outside (actually not exaggerating) but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles. Fact of the matter – it had to be done.

Lucky for us, we’d been moving most of our stuff over slowly, but we knew that we’d need to bite the bullet and get another U-haul to finish off the deed. Namely, our couches were most definitely not going to fit in the Prius ;) So, enter U-haul movin’ round 2.0.

Moving with Uhaul

Another happy quinkie dink was that there is actual a U-haul rental location a half mile from our apartment, so our total cost to move our last leg of stuff was just under $40. We paid a $29.95 fee up front, and then they charged us .59 per mile after that.

Since our route was only 8 miles round trip, the mileage fee really didn’t set us back all that much. Rock. Here’s Jay, all ready to test his truck driving skills once more. I think he was pretty happy that there were no mountains on this leg of the journey ;)

Moving from Apartment to House

The U-haul was definitely a bit less packed this time around … they only had a 14 footer, so we had ample space to stash our goods. Conveniently, we were able to get rid of one of our couches that same day via craigslist, so we didn’t even have to load this one into the house.

Selling Furniture

Our small doors made it rather tricky to move in some of the furniture. In the end, for the larger items we had to use our side kitchen door, which was a pain in my bondonka donk, since couches are heavy, and I really prefer to not lift them for sustained periods of time.

The first whomp whomp moment. That couch and that door are not made for each other.

How to fit couch through door

After we moved all the larger items over, we still had a few days left in our apartment to pack up the odds and ends. We still had all our kitchen essentials, and clothing. Oh, and our mattress and our dining room table, too. We wanted to wait until the final day to move over our bed, since we don’t have a washer or dryer, or kitchen, at our new place yet. (y’all, I may be pulling my hair out over here with a few said conditions that are out of my hands right now. Uggh) With a few ratchet straps on the top of our little car that could, we we’re off to the races.

We had our doubts about this process (ok, I did. Jay seemed pretty confident), but we made it to the new house with mattress and table top intact.

Moving Mattress on top of Car

Our little orange boy hates kitty carriers and any type of car trip, but he was an absolute trooper. I told Jay he must have known he was headed to his forever home. He is so happy here. This little guy has just been crazy about exploring every nook and cranny. Happy as a clam in the salty sea. He even got to take his first trip outside this weekend. That’s a cat on the move.

Bringing_Indoor_Cat_Outside

Although we are beyond elated to finally be officially moved in to our new home, things are most definitely not finished yet. We’re started to get pretty frustrated with the kitchen process (cabinets were supposed to be delivered last Friday, the 27th … can’t get a hold of anyone after leaving multiple messages. Customer service at it’s finest), but all and all, we’re loving calling this new space home.

Our “kitchen”, currently looks like this.

Renovating Kitchen

No where to put anything, which is bad when you have a curious cat that would like to open your potato chips for you. We need kitchen cabinets, y’all. Badly.

Our other dumping ground for the time being is our upstairs guest bedroom. We started out with boxes just distributed throughout the house, but over time I realized that I’d feel the most sane if we just pushed all the clutter into one room, vs. spreading everything out, and seeing boxes in every space you turned.

Not going to lie, one of my favorite things about unpacking was being reunited with all my clothes. I feel like I went on a shopping spree! It’s awesome!

Unpacking all clothing

It was odd, closing the door at the apartment last week and realizing that a chapter in our life was coming to a close. That apartment. That mattress on the ground and that tiny little kitchen – it was good to us. I know that Jay and I will always look back at that place and smile. Thanks for the memories, little apartment that could. Home ownership, here we come! :)

Empty Apartment

To You

Today, I’m celebrating 5-years of blessed matrimony with my dear, sweet, loving husband, Jay. 5-years, people – where does time go. I guess time has gone a lot of places – it’s gone into building our home, building our life, building this marriage. It’s been such a beautiful ride with this man. Not always an easy ride, but I’m beyond blessed to call him mine. There is no doubt in my heart that he will always be the only one for me, and I’m so thankful that our paths crossed in this journey of life. This is our first like, legit anniversary, so I wanted to take a quick second to tell our love story. Our love story, according to Mary :D

Wedding Photos

Alright, sit down y’all, Jay and I go way back my friends, way back. I remember the day I met Jay. I remember him carrying in his saxophone case into our middle school band class (I know, right?). I remember his long plaid button up t-shirts (that were too big for him) and his Tommy Hilfiger shorts he used to wear. I remember his bowl cut, and his gelled hair. I remember announcing at the dinner table that I’d met myself one handsome chap (and by met, I mean like, was in the same room as him). I officially announced that it was a close tie between saxophone Jay and Oboe Joe. Saxophone Jay won out in the end.

God, I loved that kid from the first time I saw him (after I ruled out Oboe Joe, that is) and I just watched him, like a legit creeper for 3 solid years as we both went through the awkwardness that is middle school. Seriously, is there anything more awkward than middle school? Me thinks not. I would scornfully watch from the sidelines while he dabbled with other girls (snicker) and went on movie dates. There was the 8th grader that took him out once – when we were in 6th grade! A cradle robber if I ever saw one. Then there was his friend’s neighbor. She seemed like legit competition, so my 6th grade self took pretty careful notes on her. Finally we had – wait for it – the other Mary. Holy Jesus, I thought to myself, how could he possibly ask out the only other Mary in practically our generation – definitely the only other Mary in our school. That one just pissed me off. She was way to cool for him though, popular girl, Jay had a pen collection and was on the bowling team by this age … (we’re in 8th grade now). Jay went off to lick his wounds while I formulated a strategy. 3 years on the sideline was enough for this girl. This girl was ready to make her move.

Jay in Middle School

Swear to you, I really was never the least bit interested in anyone else throughout those middle school days. I totally, totally wrote Jay’s name all up and down my binders. Mary loves Jay is definitely scribbled on the downstairs closet in my parent’s computer room. Probably since been painted over. I don’t know, he had me at hello. Keep in mind, I’m pretty sure he hadn’t even said hello to me at this point. He was like Brad Pitt and I was like, his biggest fan. With pimples and greasy hair.

But by the end of 8th grade, I had my stuff together and I had a bit more confidence. So I befriended Jay and his friend Joe (confusing twist, another saxophone, not Oboe Joe – he moved, I think) and we became best buds. That summer between 8th and 9th grade we started to hang out, and by the 9th grade, we were all a legit possy. I really liked them both, and I loved hanging out with them.

Ok, y’all ready for this. No, that’s not a lion second from the left. That’s me and my lovely lady locks. ;)

Band

Flash forward – here is the original 8th grade band possy at our wedding :)

Wedding Photo

We were all in marching band that first year, and if my heart didn’t pitter patter for Jay Sell before now, you better bet a week away getting to be social at band camp just made me that much more interested. It was full on obsessed by this point. I had to date this kid. I’m totally smitten. Jay – Jay’s totally oblivious to it all at this point. And another year goes by … we’re in highschool now and I’m in love with a boy that just thinks I’m a fun side kick. Oye, men. Thick sometimes I tell you.

But 9th grade – it was so much fun you guys, so much fun! I got to spend every day in band class next to this kid, I got to see him in the halls and have him acknowledge me (I was his friend now!), I got to hang out with him after school in Marching Band – I even had a few classes with him. What luck! I remember each day in band class, trying to pick a seat in the low brass section that was as close to his as possible. I played the baritone, it’s a mini tuba – he he he ;) He started playing the baritone saxiphone in 8th grade, so I was able to edge in a bit closer, sometimes sit next to him and share our music stand. That was a good day when I could share a music stand with him.

Lockin

Friday night football games were the absolute best. We dressed up in awful wool mustard colored uniforms (with a plaid sash and buffalo hats) and then we went and cheered on the football team. I could usually sneak in next to Jay and Joe for this, too, and grab concessions with them at half time. Man – it was the best of times.

So, 9th grade is coming to a close, my future husband is still painfully oblivious that I’m in love with him, but he thinks I’m his homey, so I see that as a significant improvement. The band trip this year is Disney World – I know, shut the front door. To my 9th grade self (heck, to my 27 year old self) that’s a legit trip! And Jay is coming along for the ride. A week, on vacation, with the man of my dreams. SCORE. Since I was totally in love with this kid, I went out of my way to join in on his “group” going around Disney. Hanging with them, trying to blend in. (pretty sure I was the only girl). A few days in to the trip, with no recognition from Jay, things are starting to feel dire. I can forever thank our friend Brandon, who Jay was rooming with who kinda laid it out for him. Jay – if you haven’t noticed, I think Mary is in to you. Nah, really!?!

Homecoming

We got back from Florida, and waited a few more weeks, and decided to start dating come summer. Man alive, is that the planner in my coming out or what. I guess I wanted to make sure everything was signed sealed and delivered, since I’d been waiting on him for 4 years now … We started dating the beginning of that summer, and from that point on, there was no turning back in my mind. I knew what I wanted, and that was Jay Sell.

Band Trip

He broke my heart once, broke it off with me the summer between 11th and 12th grade. I wailed for days on end like I’d never see another tomorrow. Dad came upstairs and told me I really had to pipe it down, because ya know, the neighbors were starting to worry. Same as before though, by summer’s end, I had my strategy to get Jay back into my life. I swear, something deep down in that 16 year old self of me knew that I just wasn’t willing to let this guy go. I never have since that day, and I never will.

Wedding Picture

Being married is so different, in many ways, than I imagined it when I was that young little lassie chasing after Jay. Marriage is complicated, it’s hard sometimes. Sometimes you just really need that person to move their booty (fast) into another room so you don’t stab them with a fork. I did that once. Jay yelled at me.

But marriage is also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of. Each year that goes by, I know that I couldn’t be luckier to have such a solid, hard working, handsome, dedicated and considerate human being by my side. I love him so much. I’m so lucky to call him my husband, I’m so lucky to call him mine.

Happy 5th anniversary Jay Thomas Sell. I’ll always be your girl.

Wedding