Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I love Thanksgiving. It's a pretty close tie between this holiday and Christmas in my heart. Maybe it's just the time of year that I love so much. Or that they both insist on a pause in the hustle and bustle of life to really think about the blessings the Lord has poured out. But either way, I'm really happy tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

And I get to spend it with this guy:

How can you have anything to complain about when that face is around?

It kind of snuck up on me this year. Maybe it's because I've been so busy trying to figure out this whole being married thing, but I turned around and it was Thanksgiving week. And as I pack for us to travel down South to spend the day in the desert hills with Mr. Ford's parents, I realize how very much I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a dog who loves nothing more than to snuggle up and just be close to you. He just wants to love me and be loved by me. He doesn't ask for much else.

I am thankful for friends who are so far away and yet we are still able to lean on each other when things get tough. I've been reminded yet again this week that my journey in life and in this world has brought some really incredible and faithful people into my story and I could not be more grateful for the role they play in my life and that I am allowed to play in theirs.

I am thankful for a husband whose priorities are in line and who works so hard to provide for me in every area of life...spiritual, mental, material, and physical...I am beyond blessed to have such a good provider. And it doesn't hurt that he's easy to look at. :)

I am thankful for a family that understands the reality of marriage and holidays...that they have to be shared...and that is okay with sharing us. And I'm grateful that we are able to spend as much time as we are, on a regular basis, since we live so close to them.

I am especially thankful for having married into a family that I am excited to spend the holidays with...that I don't have to feel like I'm missing out on too much not being with my side. I am so blessed with in-laws who are wonderful and celebrate holidays much like I'm used to...quietly, relaxed, and with lots of good food....grateful just to be together. I love nestling into Mom and Dad Ford's peaceful house in the hills, wrapped in a blanket and sweatpants with a good book and the love of a really beautiful family. It doesn't get much better than that.

I am grateful too, to be a part of a church that is never satisfied with what they have done to connect and show the love of Christ to it's community...a church that is always looking for something more to do and how to better reach a greater number of people. I am grateful that the Lord has blessed us in such a way that we are able to be a part of that and bless others through our church. Bayside Church is doing some really exciting things in the year to come and we are so thrilled to be a part of it.

But most of all, I'm grateful for a Father whose faithfulness and grace has seen fit to bless me with all of these other things. Life is so good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"There is never any ending to Paris..."

This is why I shouldn't work. It causes month-long absences, my house doesn't get cleaned, and my husband has to beg for clean underwear. Oh well. We press on.

So. We received all of our wedding pictures! Yay! And they are every bit as breathtaking as I had hoped and believed they would be. Seriously. That Jill DeVries is an artist of the highest caliber. Here are just a few of the beauties...and I do mean few, because there are over 1,000 photos in all.

 Offering our vows to one another.
 One of my favorite shots...just as the sun began to set.
 It just feels like a real-life fairytale.
 Some of our mom's genius come to life.
One of Mr. Ford's favorite shots. I have to agree.

It was truly the best day of my life thus far and I am so grateful for pictures that captured it so perfectly and will allow me to relive it over and over and over for many years to come.  If you are interested and you have approximately 85 hours to spare, here is the online gallery. The password is 091711. Just be sure to come up for air every once in awhile. :)

Our honeymoon in Paris and Nice was equally as wonderful. The thing I love most about Paris is that no matter how many times you've been, there is always something new and wonderful to discover. Paris is the perfect blend of nostalgia and new adventure. I've been a couple of times before...each trip different from any other. But this one was the best yet by far. Paris takes on a whole new shade of rose when you are alone with the one you love getting lost in it's streets. Paris truly is a city for lovers. Something as simple as a picnic on the Seine becomes the most romantic thing you've ever done. Oh heart thumps a little harder just remembering it. I could share anecdotes with you, but I think I'd rather keep the mystery and romance of my Parisian honeymoon between me and my husband. But if you really need a little more, check out the album on facebook for a few more anecdotes and pictures.

After two months (long time, I know), I think I can safely say that married life agrees with the Fords. We are of course still learning how to move in and out and around and meld our lives together, but we are enjoying that process immensely and I think for the most part it has been pretty painless for us. I am learning a lot about what it means to truly respect your husband and to defer to his leadership. I try to be very conscious of ways to do that, which is good since that's what I vowed to do before God and all of our friends and family. :) In all seriousness though, it is just one of those things that you have to be constantly aware of and conscious of. The words you say or don't say and in what setting and in front of whom can make all the difference in your marriage. Of course, I don't pretend to have all of the answers...I've only been doing it for two months! But I do know that much to be true. Marriage is a complex thing...the most beautiful and complex and wonderful and difficult task I've ever undertaken. And I am loving every minute of it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Most Magical Wedding of All Time...In My Humble Opinion.

I mean...just look at it.

It truly was an evening full of magic and more love and fun and blessing than I ever could have imagined or hoped for.

I had many ideas and dreams about what I wanted it to look like, how I wanted the evening to flow, and how I wanted all of my favorite people in all the world to be in one place and to get along and maybe even kind of like each other.

What actually happened was SO MUCH MORE than I anything I could have ever expected.

My mother, a complete design visionary though she has very little formal training, transformed a working walnut orchard, into a storybook fairytale land. She heard and understood my vision and found inspiration to set the course, had the knowledge and creativity to turn the projects into something we could do, and led the crew to make it all a reality. And the result was unbelievable.

Our dear family friend, Brenda, acted as our wedding cooridinater and made everything run so smoothly that I still have no idea if anything went wrong.

My husband and his loyal and unwavering groomsmen (who all quickly became part of that list of my favorite people...LOVE those guys...Eagle Scouts...cannot go wrong with an Eagle Scout. I'll preach it till the day I die.) did all the grunt work to make mine and my mom's vision come to life. Climbing in the trees to hang lights and dragging tables and chairs hither and yon through the dirt and hanging signs in the dark with only their Eagle Scout resourcefulness to make it happen. Jeremy, Josh, and Jon...and of course, my darling Mr. guys were my trusted rocks that week.

My beautiful girls who were my emotional and practical support through it all. The girls who have done that for me my whole life, were every bit as reliable as they have always been. They let me cry, laugh, remember and forget at all the exact right moments. Words cannot begin to adequately express what those girls mean to me.

Every single guest, family and friends from every corner of our lives, that traveled any distance at all to be there to share in that moment with Mr. Ford and I. This may have been the most overwhelmingly beautiful blessing of all. As a military brat, I know people all over the place. And Mr. Ford has people spread all over too. Probably two/thirds of our guest list came from out of state or out of town. The amount of love and excitement that poured out from these people still brings me to tears when I think about it.

So many of these beautiful people came to help with set-up on the morning of the wedding. They stayed to help with tear-down the day after. I will never know every single thing that every single person did. There's no way...there were too many sacrifical offerings of love for Mr. Ford and I for us to ever know every person we should be showering with gratitude. All I do know is that I have never felt more loved by so many people in all my life. Mr. Ford and I are unconscienably blessed by our Father.

And one of my favorite parts was the way that all of these people who have for so long only heard about each other finally had a chance to meet and not only were cordial, but made connections and new friendships were forged and they were all partying together even when we weren't anywhere around. At one point I just stood back and watched all of these people from so many different corners of our lives laughing, playing, and loving each other and I was moved to tears at the joy that the path of my life has brought to me. That the Lord has brought me. I'm still trying to process it all...I'll probably be processing it for a long time to come.

But, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the single greatest thing about the wedding, is that what Mr. Ford and I set out to accomplish with our marriage celebration, and also what we wish to accomplish with our marriage, was fully ways I'm still learning about and will hopefully continue to discover as our life together progresses.

In our pre-marital counseling we discussed the ceremony (and the marriage) as being sacramental as opposed to sentimental. Mr. Ford and I really latched onto this idea because of the absolute truth in it. We decided that our ceremony needed to set the tone for our marriage and lay out the path for creating a moment that was meant to reveal the love and faithfulness of the God of every good and beautiful thing. If any of the feedback we've received is any indication, then the Lord certainly blessed that offering. I was overwhelmed in the my promises as a wife to my husband, partaking in the Lord's Supper with him and our pastor, and reveling in the perfect beauty of the day, the nature, and the love that surrounded us and lifted us up to the sacramental altar of Christ. And I am overwhelmed by every person who has told me that it was beautiful and that they were touched. Our prayer is that our wedding, and our marriage, continues to have a ripple effect and reaches the people we love most and continues on to the people that they love most and so on into eternity. We wanted our wedding to have kingdom impact as well as having a heck of a lot of fun. I pray that God continues to bless that desire and that someday I will be able to have even a small hint at how He did bless that.

There is so much more I could say about it. But we would be here all day and on into the night. Suffice it to say that I know this to be true: This wedding, this group of people, and this husband are the very, very tangible and real evidence of how perfectly faithful my God is. This is our story and it is a story that we intend to tell over and over to our children and our friends and our friend's children and all of their children and anyone else who will listen.


"This is my anthem, this is my song, the theme of the stories I've heard for so long. God has been faithful, He will be again." -Sara Groves, He's Always Been Faithful To Me.


PS - As soon as I get the rest of our wedding pictures from our incredible photgrapher, Jill Devries, I will post some of them here. The picture at the top is the sneak peek we've gotten from her and we are anxiously patiently waiting with bated breath to see what magic she created for our memory books. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Beautiful Beginning

It's strange, to finally be living the reality of a dream you've had for 25 years.

It's surreal and wonderful and lovely and overwhelming and weird and mostly just a bundle of emotions that span the spectrum. Indescribable, really.

Three weeks ago today, I married the man who gave the face and the life to the faceless man in my dreams for so many years. His name is Mr. Ford and I am his Mrs. And we have embarked on this journey called marriage, the journey that inextricably links two people till death do they part in an attempt to do life together. It's exciting in ways I knew it would be and in ways I never expected.

It has always been my lifelong dream to be a wife and a mother. Simply that...though not so simply, really. I have never been a career-minded woman. I have never felt any desire or drive to climb any kind of ladder, social or corporate, in the way that the feminists think I should want to. It doesn't appeal to me in any way. The deepest desire of this heart is to make her home her work. To, as our fantastic pastoral mentor admonished in our pre-marital counseling, create an environment in the home where intimacy can flourish. That is my true work. My worthy work. My kingdom work. Intimacy with my husband, with our future children, and with any person who walks through our front door. And as a strong, independent woman, I CHOOSE to make this my life's work. To make this the ladder I climb, the ladder of ever greater intimacy with my God, my husband, my children, my family, my friends, and anyone else I am given the opportunity to know. I CHOOSE to forgo the idea that true personal fulfillment comes from work outside the home, because for me that fulfillment comes from making the home my work.

I have always known that's what I wanted for myself. I have always known my dream and embraced it. And now that part of that dream has come true, I am surprised by just how much fulfillment I truly do get from it. I have found in the very short week that we have been back from our honeymoon that I derive a great deal of joy from making our home a place that my husband is excited to come home to. I thrill at the idea that the fact that the kitchen counters are clear of clutter and there are no dishes in the sink and his laundry is done and there is fresh pumpkin bread waiting for him when he comes home from work makes him happy. I have never felt more fulfilled at any other work than I do at this work.

Maybe that sounds archaic and sad to some of you. Maybe you're pitying me right now for my clouded and blind grasp of how a woman should be fulfilled. Please don't. Remember, I CHOOSE this. I could choose to have a high-powered career, if I wanted that. But I don't. In my strength, my independence, and in the deepest parts of who I am, I CHOOSE to be at home. And the Lord has seen fit to bless me abundantly with a husband who supports my choice. And please know that is precisely what it is...MY choice. This is just my experience, my story, my journey. I in no way wish to demand that it should be so for all women...I'm just grateful that it is possible for it to be so for me.

Granted, for now, I still work outside the home, mostly out of necessity. There are some other things in our life that we must take care of before I can make the home my primary workplace. And that's okay too. I am still blessed beyond comprehension to be living out one of my dreams. And this blog is basically an attempt to chronicle that dream come true and all the dreams to come true in the future that are possible because the Lord gave me my Mr. Ford.

There is much to share with you already...beginning with our wedding...our magical beyond words wedding...but for the moment please accept this introduction and bear with me as I learn how best to make use of this thing called blogging. Accept it as an invitation into our home and an offer to join the Fords in their search for ever greater intimacy with the world and the people around them.