new post!

I wrote today on The Laney Story. And posted a tasty recipe for this…

Lindsey writes tomorrow! Come check us both out and follow us on our new blog. Love to all of you. :)

 

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The Big News!

Happy Halloween everybody!

On this last day of October, I am so excited to debut a new adventure for me and Linds in the form of a new website!!

You can check out what we’ve been working on here. Make sure to subscribe to our new blog and follow us both as we write about life and living with quality! All my writing and art will now be on the new website, and Lindsey will now join me with her thoughts and stories!

I am so so very excited about this new chapter in our story, and I can’t wait to see all of you there!

Snow!

The big move is almost here! I am so ready. Yesterday I worked and worked and worked (for hooouurs!) till my muscles were aching, yet somehow I still felt like I didn’t do very much.

How does that happen?

In other news, we had our first snow here in Denver last night. I can’t wait to be out of downtown because I think the snow will be prettier outside of the city, but I did take some pictures today to document the year’s first snow. (Technically it snowed a little here Oct 6th, but Lindsey and I were in Florida, so it didn’t count for us!! :-P)

I just love the effect of snow on colorful leaves. It’s so dynamic!

Love!

Pumpkins and Peace

What do the Laney’s do when their house is full of boxes and there is always something else that could be done?

We go to a pumpkin farm, of course! And this isn’t just any old trip to a pumpkin farm, people. This is a treasured tradition in our family. Every year we go to a pumpkin farm, take lots and lots of pictures (naturally), pick out the perfect pumpkin or two, and then end the festivities with a trip to Starbucks for a tasty beverage.

There was no way we were going to skip this trip just because we’re about to move, all our stuff is packed, and everything is in a general state of craziness! So, we went, we took pictures, we selected a pumpkin for carving and some for decoration (which hopefully I can post sometime next week!), and we had fun together.

See? :)

Love! :)

Moving woes and opportunities

Moving is such a challenging task! So many things to pack, and we don’t even own that much stuff!! I’m trying to maintain my sanity during the process. It’s hard because I don’t like things to be out of order. I think that moving is a good lesson in patience, de-cluttering techniques and trust. I have to be patient with the mess; I get to spend lots of time throwing things away; AND I absolutely must focus on trusting the fact that I’m ok no matter what and that God has good plans for us no matter where we are or what state that place is in!

All of it is reminding me how important it is to take things slowly, think of the bigger picture, and maintain some semblance of a thankful heart!

Just writing this makes me feel overwhelmed, though! It feels like such a tall order. So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to add quality into our moving process, and yesterday Lindsey and I decided to go hang out by the lake that’s near our new place in order to do just that. I didn’t bring my camera, but I did take a couple phone pics!

It was near sunset, and the golden beauty and quiet peace were exactly what I needed to think about the bigger picture and take a break from the mess of a household in transition. We were out for maybe an hour or so, but it didn’t take long to add a quality moment to this crazy process. I’m so glad that we spent time at the lake yesterday because it really helped lift my spirits going into this week.

I’m learning that sometimes adding quality to my life is pretty darn simple. And oh so sweet. :)

back!!

Wowsers, people. It’s been a busy 2 and a half weeks for me! AND

I’m married now!!

So lovely, so wonderful. I can’t wait to share pictures.

We also had a fantastic honeymoon in Key West, which was brilliant and truly just beyond what words can describe.

I can’t believe we did it! It’s so amazing to come out on the other side so thankful, so in awe…so at a lack for words to describe how great and crazy and wonderful and dream-like the last two weeks have been. But here I am, Mrs. Laney, and ready for the next adventure, which right now includes packing up our place to move to a newer bigger place (where I’ll actually have an art studio!) in a few weeks, enjoying the beauty of fall and the start of the holiday season, and debuting some exciting changes to this blog!

I’m working hard and am very excited. :)

This is all going on in the midst of being totally obsessed with my new wife. :D Yes, we’ve been together for several years, but marriage changes things; it really does. To stand there with her, holding her hands in mine, and look into her eyes and recite vows that I meant and mean with all my heart in front of God and family and friends…

That changes things in a relationship.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like because I already knew in my heart (and had expressed to her) that I am committed to her for life, but speaking those sacred vows out loud and hearing her speak them to me and celebrating the wonder of our love and commitment with our family and friends…it was life changing.

And that, my friends, is why marriage is important. It’s pretty simple; marrying your life partner changes things. I don’t know that I had even begun to understand that before Lindsey put that ring on my finger and I said “I do,” but things are different now because we chose to vow our lives to one another in a special ceremony that both highlighted our commitment and celebrated it. There isn’t anything like it, and I’m so thankful to have those images and memories in my mind now.

I understand that there is so much disagreement around the subject of same-sex marriage in our country and around the world, but in looking back on this week, it all seems quite simple to me. Marriage is sacred and wonderful; it is an institution to be celebrated and a commitment to be held in high honor by all (not just the two people getting married). Protecting and honoring marriage isn’t about making sure the people getting married are a woman and a man; protecting and honoring marriage is about making sure we all realize what a sacred commitment it is, what an important decision it is, what a beautiful privilege it is.

I hope and pray that someday the people who claim to be fighting for marriage (the people who are really just focused on isolating an entire people group based on misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge, experience, and love) will return to and recognize the simplicity that’s at the foundation of marriage. Marriage is about love, about committing forever, about binding one’s self by word and by deed to another person, about building family where there wasn’t one before.

I’m so thankful that I got to marry Lindsey and that I get to be married to her “till death do us part!”

I’ll leave you all today with a pic from our honeymoon (there will be more of those to come later!). :D So in love!

And the madness continues!

Wow, a wedding is so much work!!

Add to that the fact that an old knee injury of mine has flared up so badly that I can’t walk around for more than an hour without severe pain. UGH. Ah well, I went to the chiropractor yesterday and he moved my shin bone back into place (as it had been pulled crooked by my IT Band) and informed me that I have ITB Syndrome, which comes from running. Hmmmm, given that I already have a weak knee, he didn’t seem to think that running should be my cardio of choice. He suggested I take up cycling instead. That could be a fun addition to my workouts, I think, but I also think I may have to get an elliptical machine so I can run with low impact.

Lovely timing for all of this right??

But, as if that wasn’t enough…Last Monday (not yesterday) Lindsey sliced the tip off her right index finger. Yep. It’s healing though! And I think she may be able to go without a bandaid on our wedding day! Also, Lindsey got a huge promotion, which sometimes seems to be leaving her mind somewhere in work world a great majority of the time. I finished my job nannying for the coolest little guy ever to begin working from home full time on my writing and art. AND we decided we needed a bigger place, found said bigger place (it’s a miracle!! can’t wait to show you all pictures!), and are busy de-clutter our current place so it can be shown for the next renter. Whaaaaat?

I’m serious; this really has all happened in the last 3 weeks.

It couldn’t be crazier right now, but I’m incredibly excited about everything wonderful going on. I really really really do think, though, that this honeymoon coming up is going to mean more to the two of us than anyone can imagine. :D

On Saturday we actually managed to spend some time relaxing by going with some sweet friends (really more like family) of ours to a Rockies Baseball game. Unfortunately the Rockies kinda (ok, totally) suck this year, but it sure was fun to get some non-wedding (or other stress) related time in!

It was so good to laugh! And I laughed a lot. :)

Some people might think we’re crazy for going to a ball game the weekend before our wedding (with all the other stuff going on in our lives as well), but we’ve got to keep the quality flowing in our lives, people! Even when it’s hard! Even when life tries to take those restful moments away from us. Quality time can still happen!!

In other news, I just CAN’T WAIT to show all of you the exciting new changes coming to A Better Story in October!! It’s gonna be some stellar fun!

I’m off to keep going on today’s to-do list. People start arriving tomorrow for the first day of our wedding week…tomorrow!!! Tomorrow people, tomorrow the festivities begin! It’s gonna be a crazy fun wonderful week, and I’m so glad it’s finally here. :)

Taking a break

2 weeks until our wedding now! I.am.so.excited.

The wedding work is definitely taking its toll on us! We’ve been doing such a good job of planning and staying organized, but (as I’m sure is normal) we are feeling the pressure and exhaustion of planning all the details of such a big event! This past weekend we both desperately needed a break. Since we have the Rocky Mountains in our proverbial backyard, we decided to spend Sunday in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so refreshing, beautiful, peaceful, and just what we needed. I took about 150 photos! That was heaven for me. :) Here are just a few!

It was so lovely! And, as you can see, we got quite close to a bull elk and several of his cows who were enjoying the river and foliage along our hiking trail. What a privilege!

The next two weeks are going to be crazy for blog writing (as this whole month seems to be!), but exciting changes are coming to “a better story” in October! Can’t wait to show you guys. :)

For today I’m going to focus on some more wedding day work that has to be done! Enjoy the pictures!!

Potatoes and shopping

This week one of the foods I’ve added back into my diet is potatoes. Wow, people, I freaking love potatoes!! I don’t know if I especially need potassium in my body or what, but I think that I missed potatoes and bananas (which won’t come till later) the most during the cleanse. Weird, huh?

Potatoes are a beautiful wonderful thing.

In other news we did some fall/winter wardrobe shopping at Goodwill’s 50 percent off sale this weekend, and man-oh-man did we score big (thank you Goodwill!).

 

Yeah that’s right! We know how to be fabulous!

Haha! But seriously, I am so excited about all the great mix and match pieces (and some with the tags still on!) and fantastic deals we got. Really, this is a true quality over quantity moment. I love shopping at places like Goodwill. I absolutely adore artistic expression through my style and clothing, and I love the process of researching ideas I like (check out my pinterest for some of my style ideas…¬†http://pinterest.com/jusstephaniejoy/) and then going to several different stores to create the looks (all on a budget!). It’s incredibly fun for me, and I think it’s fun for Lindsey too. When we first met, she hated clothes shopping, but she gets super excited now! (I should say that I actually really hate shopping just to shop…but when I have ideas and a purpose to put some looks together, then it’s another story!).

It’s fun to try my best to be me, to be real. How I dress communicates that. How I shop communicates that. And that makes me happy. :)

Oh, and potatoes. Potatoes make me really happy.

:D