Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I LOVE him...(part 2)

I know you're all on the edge of your seat from yesterday wondering why this girl loves her some Aaron Keathley.

Today is officially our 3rd Anniversary, or as Dillon calls it, "Kissing Day." That must be all he remembers from our wedding pictures. The two that we're kissing in. That's okay, at least he knows we love each other, right? He'll be grossed out soon enough over all of that...

I do love Aaron more today than I did 1,095 days ago. It's hard to imagine. That day was such a happy and full day. I literally could not have imagined it going any better.

Marriage is tough. I'm not going to lie. And those of you out there who are married are saying "Preach it SISTA." It just is. As my wise pastor says, "When two living, breathing people with opinions live in the same space, there WILL be conflict." Add this truth to the fact that I'm a stubborn, first-born, perfectionist who lived on her own for 6ish years before getting married...we have had a lot of conflict. And we still do. But man, I love that boy.

I love him because he is kind. Almost always, even in the midst of conflict, he's kind. I love him because he doesn't let me stay the same. I love him because he knows me. He knows my walls and why I put them up and when. He knows how to tear them down with kindness instead of hammers. I love him because he knows how to build me up. I love him because he encourages me. I love him because he sees me the way God sees me.

I love him because he puts up with my crafting obsession. I love him because he takes me to Mexican when all he really wants is a burger. I love him because he loves God deeply and desires to do his will. I love him because he is honest with me. He doesn't let me lose.

I love him because he usually knows just when I need a hug. And I love him because he not only knows when I need a hug but the kind of hug I need (because sometimes you just gotta have a hug that's tight and forever long). I love him because he's predictable. He goes to the same 12 websites a day. I love him because he's conservative and passionate about politics that matter. I love him because he is incredibly smart. I love him because he tries to fix stuff before calling someone...and usually succeeds, thanks to the WWW :-). I love him because he fixes me hot dogs on the grill (or my favorite dry rub bbq chicken) any time he has an evening free. I love that my hand fits perfectly in his.

I love him because when I told him I wanted to bring a 3 year old to come live with us and be his parents, he didn't deny me. He let me explore, and then eventually jumped on board. I love the way he loves D. I love how emotional he gets when we think about all that we missed in his little life. I love how D's changed the way Aaron views all things unfair...and all the children that are exposed to that. I love Aaron because he's letting me stay home with D. And on the same token, I love him that he gives me a "break" when he can and encourages me to do things outside of being a mom.

I love him that he watches at least one episode of the Office every single night before we go to bed. I love that he mostly just quotes it because he's seen them all so many times. I love that he watches random episodes now, even though I never know where we're at and if Jim & Pam are flirting, married, or dating. I love that he doesn't laugh a lot, but when he does, he usually laughs so hard he struggles to take a breath. I love that he always has a funny sarcastic remark about most things, especially the subject of marriage to me. :-) I love that he still makes me laugh.

I love that we cuddle when we sleep. I love that we love to watch SNL, even though we usually end up just talking through the whole thing. I love watching him grow in the Lord. I love hearing him speak passionately about growth he's experiencing or maybe a new concept from the Word.

I love that he humors me and my cooking. He's a good sport and will usually try something once. Then he rates it, and I decide whether or not to make that again. I love that. I love that he always notices all the work I do around the house. This is so affirming to me. It helps me feel like all I do is not in vain. I love that he helped me see I'm a dog person. I love that he cuddles with Gilbert.

He is an amazing man, and I am so blessed to call him mine. I am forever grateful to my Abba Father for watching out for me and helping me to wait for my Prince. I am thankful for happy endings, even when the middle gets kinda sticky at times. I didn't want to gross you all out and tell you that I love that he's the best kisser in the whole world, but I guess I just did anyway.

Well, it's true.

Happy Anniversary, Aaron. You complete me. I love you fully and can't wait to grow old with you.

I LOVE him...(part 1)

3 years ago, I had the privilege of marrying my best friend. I mean this in a totally non-cliche form of the phrase. Aaron Matthew Keathley really is my best friend.

(These wedding shots are taken by the fabulous Megan Williamson - aka my sis-in-law - of Rockwell Photography out of Indianapolis. You should call her.)

Who knew that one very sunny day in Clinton, IL (at the Nazarene church with the prettiest stained glass windows I've ever SEEN!), I'd meet MY Prince Charming while one of my dearest friends was practicing getting married to hers. Aaron said I walked up to him, put a quarter at his feet, said "Hi. You must be Aaron. I'm Joslyn. Stand on that quarter, would ya?" He says the first words out of my mouth were bossy, and I haven't stopped since. :-) He's funny, isn't he?

Though Mr. Keathley didn't have much to say to me that weekend, we began to get acquainted long distance through a mutual friend and the lovely world wide web. Though those days were exciting and fresh, I never once toyed with the possibility that anything would last. After all, I lived 4.5 hours away. How would this work for 2 strangers?

But God had a bigger plan. After 5-6 weeks of emails, internet conversations, and eventually phone calls, we planned a date. We would meet 1/2way, in Terre Haute, on a Sunday afternoon. I was excited (of course!), but still...didn't let the girl part of me take over yet. However, when I got a call on Friday afternoon to interview at a school 20 miles away from Aaron's hometown on the following Monday, I at first got the creeps and then got God-bumps. I ended up coming to IL Sunday a.m. and got to spend most of the day with Aaron, including dinner with Ryan & Bethany (whose wedding we met at). That was so special.

The rest, as we say in the cliche world, is history. I got the job, moved here, kept on dating Aaron and eventually fell in love. Our dating life was quite uneventful. We rarely argued, and I rather liked the "rose colored" view of life pre-marriage. The engagement and next 3 months were kind of a whirlwind. I had 96 days to plan a wedding, pay for a wedding, all while working and also relocating to a new home. I don't remember much about those engaged days, though I do remember finally having some disagreements. I know that I tended to be a "Bridezilla" in some forms, as the perfectionist in me wanted everything perfect AND free (which is mostly impossible). Thank God Aaron didn't back out on me.

(I love this pic! 2-3 months into our dating relationship at a cook-out. Taken by EE.)

Though I don't remember much about the engagement, I do remember every moment of the night before the wedding and the wedding day. I remember the text he sent me at 10 a.m. (1 hour before we were supposed to meet for pictures): "Will you marry me today?" I remember coming to our rehearsal with curlers in my hair (:-), all the pictures, Diet Mt. Dew, laughing and getting excited through the ceremony, seeing all the people I love in one place, hugging strangers, Kennedy all over the place up there on stage (including having communion with us), seeing Donna's face when we played James Taylor as our exit song, not getting to talk to everyone at the reception (sadly), getting cake smeared on my face (I kid you not), ice cream, bubbles, Nate speeding down country roads to see how fast Marmi's car would go, and then the whirlwind to get outta there...

More tomorrow...I wanna tell you why I love Aaron Keathley.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Touchy subject

I have a friend named Ann. She is an amazingly beautiful soul with a passion for adoption. I just read a post on her blog that moved me, and I hope moves you, as well.

Read Ann's blog that boldy asks if we, as believers, are REALLY against abortion. Touching.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Win Free Stuff

Check it out, girls! I'm selling 31 Gifts and Accessories now! I'm telling you - this stuff is great, which is the #1 reason I signed on!
First things first - what is 31? It's a great Christian-based company selling affordable and personalized (and cute) gifts, accessories, organizational tools, bags, purses, wallets, cards, etc. Please check out my website to look at the products yourself. Just click on the catalog button, and it will show up. You can zoom in on pages while you're there if you want.
Now, for the October special. This stuff is awesome, and I can't pass it up! I'm offering a door prize of 1 of 2 bags that I have. I have a mini organizer (awesome for many different things - I use mine for scrapbooking, one for cards (and cute pens that I use to personalize them), or you could use it for many different things) OR - I use mine for scrapbooking paper (it holds TONS), library books tote, clothes for an overnighter, etc. It's large, and also folds up for virtually no storage space (if needed).
So - here's the deal. You can qualify for the door prize in multiple different ways (as listed below):
* Spend $31 and get the Organizing Utility Tote for $5. Seriously. This bag is so versatile. I want 12. (Think Christmas gifts - I know I am!)
* Refer a friend to spend $31 and get the Organizing Utility Tote for $5 (just tell them to tell me your name, you will be entered in addition to them)
* Book a party for November or December (can be a book party or a home party - or somewhere neutral if you'd prefer)
* A friend you refer books a party in November or December (also can be a book party or home party). In this case, you'd both be entered, as well.
You can be entered to win multiple times, depending on how many friends you lure in (:-) or how many orders you can get! I will close the offer on 10/29.
Please help me start my business off with a bang. My goal is 12 of you to put in an order! These gifts are functional, cute, personalized, and did I mention ADORABLE?! Great for gifts or spoiling yourself a little bit. Let's do it! Send me an email (joslynranae@yahoo.com) or a message on FB to get in the drawing!