17 Weeks

We had such a wonderful weekend for my “first” Mother’s day. We spent Friday and Saturday celebrating my brother’s graduation from NC State with his Master’s degree.  I always love attending NC State events – sports, graduation, all of it. Friday was the departmental graduation which was smaller in size (but still conferred around 450 degrees) and Saturday morning was the BIG graduation for all the undergrad/grad school graduates.  There are now 5,255 additional alumni in our NCSU family.  I am still so jealous that undergrads get to wear the RED caps and gowns (started just a year or two after  I graduated) for graduation!  I just can’t put into words how much I love that university.  It was above and beyond some of the best years of my life. I cannot WAIT to take our sweet little baby bee for a tour of my beautiful campus. One of my favorite parts of attending big graduation is when we always close the ceremony with everyone singing our Alma Mater. It just gives me chills to hear everyone shout NC STATE! and I always get a little choked up. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be completing my professional degree at Campbell, but my heart belongs to State.

In honor of my brother graduating, a picture of me at my NCSU graduation in 2008... hah! I was just a baby at 22, but I literally felt like I could do anything in the world that day.
In honor of my brother graduating, a picture of me at my NCSU graduation in 2008… hah! I was just a baby at 22, but I literally felt like I could do anything in the world that day.

One of my favorite moments this weekend was when my nephew, Dane, asked me and Uncle Dustin when we were going to the “baby store” to get our baby. Hah!  How sweet is that.  He definitely knows a baby is on the way, just a little confused about when he/she will get here. I think he is more than ready to finally have a little cousin to play with!

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Baby Dane proudly proclaiming that he wants to go to NC State too just like his dad (and mom and Aunt Gina)!
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With my gorgeous cousin Beth after Michael’s graduation. She is the reigning Miss Goldsboro and will compete for the Miss NC crown in just a few weeks. Can’t wait to cheer her on! Also, Baby Gurley bump is highly evident in this dress!!

Sunday was the big day – my first mother’s day. It was so exciting to be able to celebrate that event for the first time.  I felt a little like it wasn’t entirely for “me” since my baby is still growing in my belly – but I have had more than my fair share of sleepless nights and nauseated days to be able to carry the mommy title. At least everyone I saw that day still told me Happy Mother’s Day and confirmed that “it still counts”!  Mother’s Day morning we worshiped at Vintage Church in downtown Raleigh where we were lucky enough to watch Dustin’s newest baby cousin being dedicated to  the Lord.

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Jamie, Luke, and Baby Gage at the dedication. That is one gorgeous baby!

The service started out with the story of Abraham and Sarah being told they would conceive, and it was such a beautiful and fitting story for mother’s day. It is one of my most favorite stories of the bible and is a beautiful example of the Lord’s steadfast love for us AND his sense of humor!  If you haven’t read it, you should!! We also sang In Christ Alone, one of our wedding songs.  The Lord was certainly speaking to us that morning and I will always remember it as a very special way to start my first mother’s day.

Vintage did a super nifty thing for all the guests that morning – they set up a photobooth outside in the parking lot!  Here’s one of our shots.

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What a fun idea. :)

We then went back to Luke and Jamie’s for a cookout/hangout with the family for the afternoon.  It was so much fun! I loved catching up with Jamie and talking to her about all-things-baby. She has been a sweet source of encouragement ever since we told everyone we were expecting. She will randomly send me a text of some helpful pregnancy hint or a good book recommendation. She is awesome like that!  Luke and Jamie did a wonderful job hosting the whole bunch of us and I am so glad we got to spend time with them and the rest of our family on such a special day!

I had several sweet texts and calls from friends telling me Happy Mother’s day that morning. One of my favorites was from my bff Salty. She sent me this and I thought it was cute to share for all the mommies out there:

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Her text with this picture attached read “The future words of Baby Gurley” haha! LOVE that girl!

Hope your Mother’s Day was extra special as well!

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My own personal prophet

So, my little Salty/Spinner/BFF the Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Erin called it.  She emailed me on Wednesday, said I would hear something about a job that day, and I got a call for an interview a few hours later.  Interview was today, went very well, and I got a job offer for a position I interviewed for over a month ago.  Awesome!!  Looks like my days of being a housewife are coming to an end. Boo.  But having a friend with the Gift of Prophecy? Check. :)

What would I do without these girls always looking out for me? :) I am so blessed.

Going to the Chapel

March 19, 2011 — Wedding Day

In the months preceding the wedding, I spent a lot of time perusing  The Bride’s Cafe, Southern Weddings Blog, Snippet & Ink,  Millie Holloman Photography Blog and a handful of other top wedding planning sites.   I loved looking at the Real Wedding features and got excited reading the stories of the couples and watching their wedding unfold before my eyes in a glorious display of fantastic photography.

My thoughts often drifted to myself on my own wedding day.  What would it feel like?  What would I do when I first woke up on that morning and remember that today is finally the day?

On my special day, I woke up with the same euphoric feeling I have carried in my heart since the day Dustin and I became boyfriend/girlfriend.  Maybe that’s silly to some people, but we waited so long before we decided to enter any kind of relationship that by the time we “made it official” (read: put it on Facebook), we both knew we would never leave each other’s side.  The first person I saw on the morning of my wedding was my mom.  She came to my room to give me a special gift she had made.  She gave me a beautiful pearl bracelet made from my MaMa’s pearl necklace.  The original pearl necklace was long enough to have a bracelet and necklace made, so my mother wore the necklace on the day of my wedding and I had the bracelet.  It was so special and made us feel so connected to my MaMa the entire day.  I also chose to carry  MaMa‘s handkerchief and tied my bridal bouquet with my favorite brooch that she gave my mother.  The pearl necklace I wore on my wedding day was a gift from my dad the year I graduated from high school.  As you’ve heard me mention before, I am a tried and true “Pearl Girl” so there was absolutely no question what jewelry I would don for my wedding day.  That was one decision I didn’t have to make :)

Just before our makeup artist and hair stylist arrived to my hotel room, I finally completed my vows.  I am such a Type A person, so waiting until the morning of my wedding to complete my vows was incredibly stressful for me.  I couldn’t believe it took me so long to write my vows, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.  I have saved on my computer nearly 40 drafts of wedding vows that I have started and stopped throughout the planning process.  I finally discussed the issue with Dustin the week of the wedding to find out his thoughts and progress regarding our vows.  Since we were writing personal vows and reciting traditional vows, I thought he might be relieved to hear my struggle and decide to only recite traditional vows.  When I explained to him that nothing ever seemed close to good enough to recite to him, he put me at ease when he said “Of course they won’t be perfect. How can they be?  What will ever be good enough to say?  And knowing this, why not relax and just write the best you can.”   My immediate reaction was “GOSH I LOVE YOU! ”  Why didn’t I think of that?  I mean really…. So since he insisted on reciting the personal vows, I decided to relax and wait until the morning of the wedding to write what was on my heart.  That morning the Lord provided me with everything I ever wanted to say, and I am so thankful we decided to write them.  (I plan to share our vows in a post later on in the week.)

Around 11:30am, everyone had arrived at my room and we were all just laughing, reminiscing and enjoying the time together while the finishing touches for hair and makeup were getting finalized.  We had a Chik-Fil-A nugget tray and fruit tray and it was delicious!  It was so special to have my mom, my three best friends, my soon-to-be sister, my soon-to-be second mother, and my sweet, sweet soon-to-be niece in the room getting ready together.  Throw in our photographer, second shooter and videographer and we had one FULL hotel room!  But we made it work and it was beautiful.

Finally, it was time to leave for the chapel.  My bridesmaid and Lil Sis in Pi Phi, Averi, had her sweet husband drive me, Averi, Erin and Amy over to the Chapel.  It was so much fun.  On the way there, Erin reminded me of “Cheese fry Friday” in high school.  “Cheese fry Friday” was when one of us would leave for a “bathroom break” every Friday during our art class (Mrs. Smith’s class) and we would go to the Eagle’s Nest Diner, get cheesefries, and bring them back to class in our backpacks to share!  Hah!  I laughed and laughed because I can honestly say I haven’t thought about Cheesefry Friday since probably the last Friday before I graduated high school 7 years ago.

Once we arrived to the chapel, my maids and I quickly and stealthily snuck into the Bridal Room of the Chapel while the boys were out taking pictures in the church sanctuary.  Before I knew it, my dress was on, bouquet in hand, and it was time to walk down the aisle…

Tomorrow’s post will be all about walking down the aisle to this handsome groom!

53 days

The Tar Heel sent me these beautiful flowers last Wednesday on our “Two months until our wedding day” day!  He is always so thoughftul and sweet.  I can hardly believe we have only 53 days to go until our wedding!  The to-do list is winding down, and I am trying to remain calm but it is hard to stay composed with all these emotions floating around.  I am so excited/anxious/overjoyed and I am just so ready for the day to be here.  BUT, there are some wonderful events that are scheduled to occur between now and our Wedding Day that I am extremely excited about as well! 

– Two job interviews in Savannah!!!!!!! YAY! Praise the Lord and PLEASE pray for the Lord’s Will with me!! 
– Two wedding showers in February hosted by our sweet families.
– The Tar Heel’s first speaking engagement at a local conference.
– My Bachelorette weekend!  I am soooo excited to have my best girls with me for a weekend of fun in Charlotte!  I received this gorgeous invitation to my girls weekend last week, and got SO excited!

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life.  These girls are going above and beyond anything I expected, and to say I am excited is such an understatment!  And in case you are wondering, the Tar Heel is having a Bachelor weekend the weekend after mine in Charlotte as well.  It’s also his birthday weekend, so that makes me sad I won’t see him on his birthday — but I am sure he won’t mind considering  the fun they are going to have :)  We are both very blessed to have such great friends, and we couldn’t imagine getting married without these awesome people in our lives!

Whew!  Is it March 19th yet?  :)

Perfect timing

This blog needs a little less complaining and a little more good news.

Today, June 22, 2010, one of my very best friends, Erin, is traveling to Africa to Love on people just like Jesus did.  Please watch this short video about what she is doing and why.  It is awesome.  It is encouraging.  It is one of the many reasons I admire her as a person, friend and fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ! She is the cute girl with the scarf in the video. I am so proud of her!

Watch this: Love for the Sake of Love

She will be blogging her time there as well and it can be found here.

I love you and I’m praying for you, ELG!  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you there!