This past weekend is something I’ll always remember.
For many reasons…

Emmalyn met her great-grandmother for the first time.
Emmalyn met many aunts, uncles, & cousins.
Emmalyn watched her mommy & daddy reaffirm their love for one another.

It was a weekend filled with
love, laughter, & happily ever afters.

…more to come…
{but click here for a little more in case you just can’t wait}




Congratulations to my beautiful sister-in-law, Michelle. Her boyfriend PROPOSED over the weekend! I’m soooo happy for them, and am excited for Michael to be my brother-in-law. 

I would tell the story, but I wouldn’t do it justice. Let’s just say, they were slow-dancing by the water and it was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. [So them!]

{fun fact}
Michelle is also my sorority sister, and Michael is Blake’s fraternity brother. 
How cool is that?!

I wish them all the best blessings–they’re going to have such a wonderful life together 🙂

Love you, M & M! 
Let the fun begin!

1 week…

…till the BIG day!

(our wedding!)

It’s odd to think that it’s finally here. Lately, B and I have been thinking and talking about the adventure that got us here. From being set up on a blind date our sophomore year in college, to packing up and moving further south for B to delve into 

People have been asking me lately, “Are you nervous?” And if I may be completely honest–YES! But maybe not for the obvious reasons. I’m not particularly nervous about forgetting something, or tripping down the aisle. 

[Both my parents will be walking me down so I think it would be pretty hard to trip… unless we all went down, in which case I’d send a copy of it to America’s Funniest Home Videos and win $10,000… so it would be totally worth it…]

But, I’m more nervous about all the attention on me. See, I’m the type of girl who likes to do things for everyone else. I’ve always been on the side lines, and I like it here. It’s comfortable to me. I like helping other people get ready, and do their hair and make-up. And so, people have said, “But you grew up dancing in front of hundreds and thousands of people.” Yes, but with other people on stage with me, and with bright shiny lights blinding me from staring eyes.

It seems weird silly, I know, for a bride to not want all the attention on herself. However, I should feel assured because I’ve heard from multiple friends, who have already been down the aisle, that you get a little nervous, but once you’re up there with your best friend, everyone else kind of just d i s a p p e a r s. 

I can’t wait for that moment.

Besides the fact I’m nervous about people waiting on me, I feel c.a.l.m. And ready. I’m ready to start a new life with my most favorite person in the world. I can go on and on about all the mushy stuff, but I’ll just leave it at that.

One more week. Til we say, “I do.”

One more week. Til I’m a wife.

God is truly great. 

p.s. Oh, and how can I forget!? 1 week + 1 day = HONEYMOON!!!!  😉

p.p.s. See y’all in two weeks, when we return as a married couple! 

I must confess…

…I’m a terrible blogger.

BUT… in my defense, I’ve been pretty busy.

“Why?” You might ask.

Because I’m getting married in 25 days!!!


So, needless to say, I’ve been a little preoccupied.

There’s a lot that’s been going on; and wedding planning, honeymoon booking, and vacation planning has all-consumed my life. No complaints here though. I’ve just barely been home; traveling back and forth between our little haven of love on the west coast, to our hometown, every other week. I cannot tell you how excited I am to marry the love of my life. We’ll exchange vows in the church his parents and oldest sister got married. You’ll have to wait for details of the wedding… I’m not giving away anything! 

I will let you in on our honeymoon agenda, though:
We fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico, the day after our wedding, only to catch a 7-night Royal Caribbean cruise to Curacao, Aruba, Dominica, and St. Thomas. Then, on the way back, we fly into Myrtle Beach where my family is having a mini-reunion. We’ve rented three beach condos for a week over the Fourth of July. I cannot wait! 

So, again, sorry I’ve been M.I.A., but this girl’s been busy! I promise, promise, PROMISE when all the commotion lessens, I’ll be back to normal

I hope everyone is having a safe and blessed summer! 

Love Story.

Would you believe me if I told you I have not been able to get to my computer because it has been covered with wedding “stuff”? Honest. I have just gotten around to clearing things up. I’m going to try to do my best at not getting so behind on blogging!

So, I’ve made you wait long enough. Here is my love story…

I was planning on going back home to visit my parents for my dad’s birthday. My mom calls me Thursday night to ask if I could come home Friday after work instead of Saturday because she won tickets at work for a behind-the-scenes tour of Epcot on segways. Okay! Sure! Sounds fun. Meanwhile, B said he had a lot of studying to do and really wishes he could come, but he’ll keep the puppy. So, Friday after work, I had dinner with B, then was off for a two-hour drive back home. Saturday morning, my parents and I headed out to Epcot and I was really excited about the tour. We were to meet a man named Pete at 10:30a.m. who was going to take us to the segway tour guide. He drove us behind Epcot to Italy, where apparently the start of the tour was. At this point, the park wasn’t open to the public yet. Pete was talking to us the whole time, asking us if we’ve ever been on segways before. 

He leads us to Italy, where there’s a bridge over water with a gondola. It’s all really pretty. He tells us the tour guide should be here any minute. I’m anxious so I’m looking around and instead, what do I see….???

Blake. Coming out from behind a building.

And the look on my face was…
“Babe… what are you doing here?”

Even when I first saw him I honestly didn’t suspect anything. But once he came up to me and grabbed both of my hands, all I could hear was, “Oh my God, Oh my God, is this really happening right now?”
The rest was all kind of a blur… I had to ask him later what he said to me. I was just in shock! 
What would an engagement be without some water-works?
So happy and surprised! And in love!
After I said YES! I asked him what he did with the puppy! (lol) And when a Disney photographer was taking our pictures, I asked my mom, “Aren’t we going to be late for the segway tour?” She grins and politely says, “There’s no tour.” Clearly, I was oblivious. 

What was really special about the whole day was our parents were there to share our joyous occasion–something I told B a long time ago I’d really like. We spent the whole rest of the day (12 hours!) at Epcot. 
Gotta show off the bling ring…
Our engagement was truly memorable and oh-so-special! I never thought B would be able to pull off a surprise like this… I’m too nosey! =P
Hats courtesy Mickey & Minnie 🙂

What a blessed day. 

When in Rome…

Picturesque seaside scenery, unique natural beauties, tantalizing wines, and carb-free pasta dishes…

…this is how Blake and I plan to spend our vacation this summer.

That’s right, B and I are going to Europe. Italy and Paris, to be more specific. We booked our flights last week and will be arriving in one of the most marvelous places on Earth come the end of May. For two weeks we’ll be witnessing breath-taking views and soaking up the rich culture. We’re fortunate enough to be traveling with another fun and wonderful couple.

I’m very excited for this adventure, and even more blessed to be sharing it with the love of my life.

My friend Megan and I have been anxiously planning the destinations, while Blake and her husband are busy studying for med school. Essentially, this is B’s last summer for the rest of his life and we decided to do it BIG.

In the beginning, our hearts were set on going to Greece, too, but apparently Greece isn’t doing well economically and are on strike. We were disappointed, but understood it wouldn’t be feasible. Tentatively, Megan and I have come up with the following destinations. 

We fly into Rome, but will take the train to Sorrento, located along the Amalfi Coast. A thirty minute boat ride will lead us to Capri, where we’ll spend the day bronzing in the Mediterranean sun.

Peaceful landscape full of serene rolling hills, olive groves, cypress trees, vineyards, and medieval towns and castles is what attracts us to Tuscany. A wine-tasting tour is a must.

Cinque Terre is the unique part of our trip because it’s one of those “Back Door” destinations that not many tourists know about. A seven mile hike (including a “Lovers Lane”) will lead us through unforgettable views of it’s National Park. There’s just something charming and romantic about these “Five Lands,” which is what Cinque Terre translates to.

What is there to even say about Paris? I think it speaks for itself.

With it’s infamous architecture and as a home to Romeo and Juliet, our trip would not be complete without Rome. It’s an Eternal City; a cultural icon filled with secrets and romantic sneak-aways. Love is everywhere in Rome.

…do as the Romans do.

My question to you is: Have you been to Italy or Paris? Do you have any suggestions, ideas, regrets? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Ciao, Bella