Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last Thursday

Some nights are just perfect for funny pictures, fingers stained purple from blackberry picking, accidental mimosas, and blackberry pancakes with just a little more syrup than normal. And when those nights happen, we just wanna grab em and hug em, snuggle with em and thank them for extra time to spend with our loved ones...
That's the kind of night we had last Thursday. It was AWESOME, and totally didn't feel like a Thursday.

Champagne! To celebrate Taylor's sister's birthday (Dani) This champagne was of asian descent, made from rice........... it had a unique taste, so we improvised.

a glass of champagne and orange juice, and a tall drink of water.

Taylor's dad began planting wine grapes on the property 4 years ago, and this is the first year that their Noble Knob vineyard will produce wine!

Some Pinot Noir grapes going through veraison (when they change color)

we decided to abandon the walk-about and just pick blackberries because they were just perfect for picking and eating.

Phoenix learned that when he forgets to put his shoes on for the daily evening walk through the property....he gets a piggy back ride from his favorite uncle ever. rough life.

By the way... I'm in love with those faces. 

 This was taken by mister artsy-fartsy himself while I was busy teaching Phoenix about hot things...

 You can try to tell me that those don't look delicious... but I know you'll be lying.

Blackberry stains... the best kind of stains.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A date night

It's tough sometimes, pulling and tugging at time in our schedule, trying to stretch it and make time for ourselves. 
Between work, Taylor's classes, school work, and our drive to and from work, we barely have time for anything, least of all each other.  

But its ok.....Because when those times do happen, they're magical! Filled with deep conversation and jokes and so much laughing.... with a sprinkling of hugs and kisses on top.  That's what we got last weekend. 

We spent the day getting sweaty and saw-dusty while cleaning out the garage. 

That night we went to a movie 2 hours later than we planned to around 10 pm, after we showered and prettied-up.  We saw Elysium! 
[opinion on the movie: the plot was a little underdeveloped, and there was way too many exploding bodies for my taste -5-, but the message was pretty good, and it was certainly suspenseful!]

After that we were exhausted, but we went to a 24 hr. diner and had some dinner.  [dinner at the diner. heh.]
Honestly... this was the best time we've spent together in a while.  Our schedule is always so busy, that one night of just US time was like a breath of fresh air.  

Now that all sounds wonderful, right? But the outtakes [or bloopers] look like this: 
-Erika crying all the way to the movie because she realized that she won't be able to watch her friends' kids grow up, because she's moving to Oregon in a year...
-Erika crying during the movie because she realized that she's leaving Oregon in a week...
-Erika crying during dinner because she's having trouble communicating all her emotions
-Taylor has no idea what's going on, and is just trying his best to fix all the emotional breakdowns.
Hormonal emotions. Let's blame them.

But let's also see what we learned from all of this:
1. Crying is not a problem... it does not need fixing.
2. Moving away from home is going to be more difficult than expected
3. The expression of real emotion...real, RAW emotion... is sometimes more life-giving and bonding than if I had just dismissed it.
4. I just needed to be understood.

You don't have to be afraid of possibly causing conflict [like bawling the entire time for a bit during the first date you've had in a while]... because conflict isn't a bad thing.  Conflict can be beneficial! It all depends on how the conflict is perceived by both sides.
Taylor and I weren't arguing about anything, we didn't disagree about anything...he just didn't know what I needed from him! His manly instincts told him to fix it, because crying is ALWAYS a bad thing in men's brains....  But my "don't even..." when he tried, told him exactly the opposite.  He was stuck trying to make it better, but trying to do it the RIGHT way.
 I finally realized that what I needed, rather than 10 solutions, was just for Taylor to understand and empathize with my feelings, and tell me that it's ok.

That's the beauty of the way God created men and women.  He created men to be a strong, protector, leader, provider, 'fix-er'... and women as an emotional, loving, nurturing, yet still strong and passionate caretaker.  And THAT is the beauty of marriage.  Two people coming together to be ONE, and bring all their strengths, weaknesses, talents, fears, hopes, and dreams together, to fill in where the other lacks, and work as a team...

I'm glad I get to be on his team.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Wanna laugh?

don't look at my legs for too long. they start looking scary.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Oregon Coast

Taylor and I drove out to Florence, OR this weekend for our engagement pictures, and drove up to Depoe Bay afterwards.  After numerous games of Monopoly Deal with the family, I fell asleep  we all went to bed.  Monopoly Deal is one of those games that you just have to GET. The strategy is somewhat complex, and the vultures (read: Jordan and Taylor) will take you DOWN if you leave yourself vulnerable.
I didn't win that night. 

One engagement picture :)
However the next morning I did win, and it was a wonderful, joyous morning!! Everyone was sulking, competetive, and jealous so happy for me that I finally won! [they weren't really sulking... they're good sports!]
After we got back from the tiny local coffee shop, where I had a spicy wench!!! [..... it was just a dirty chai, relax people], Jordan decided to take us on an adventure.

Although I like to believe and claim that I'm a pretty good hiker, and I can keep up, that "adventure" proved that I most certainly am not the former, and cannot do the latter.  But despite my protests and quiet complaints to Taylor [Shout-out to him for being patient and loving, and a TROOPER all during my tantrum bad attitude] I still had fun.  Taylor and I built a sand castle on the beach [our destination] and it was just a wonderful time.  [There was also this one point in the journey-adventure-torture, when we had to slide down a 70 degree hill, covered in small stones, on our butts, because there was no way we could hike down it without falling on our faces.  That happened too.]

You know those really feel-good times, when you're tired, warm, and absolutely have no care in the world if you get yourself or your clothes dirty and sweaty? Yeah. That was one of those times, and it was fantastic.  My legs were getting torn up by small bushes and vines, my hands got cut up by the rocks we had to slide down, and I got so much sand, dirt, and gravel in my shoes, but it was still fantastic.

Taylor's a lucky guy, no? 
Later we had a semi-potluck dinner, and showers.  I still don't know which I enjoyed better.  Then we had a fire on the beach, and somehow God provided enough wood for us to have a fire until past midnight.  We only brought like 5 small-ish logs, and quickly realized that our fire would be more short and sweet, than roaring and crackling.  Taylor found some abandoned logs from other fires, and we used them to start ours! 

Anyway. That's much more detail than you need.  The next day we played some more games, had some more food, Taylor got to snuggle with his two favorite cousins, more people showed up than were expected [but with the Boustead family, that's always expected], Taylor and I read the Bible together on Sunday morning, then we drove home! It was a lovely weekend.  

Coming up next: I've realized that being with Taylor is like trying to fit a large square peg in a round hole.... It shaves off all the rough uncomfortable corners, and helps me to become the woman that I know I can, and I will be.  It's kinda crazy, but I kinda like it... and want to talk about it, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sneak Peek

Hey all!
So as you may or may not know, Taylor and I spent the weekend at the Oregon Coast.  The first night we were there, we did our engagement photoshoot, and these are some of the photos!!! We love them!!! Thank you so much Jamie!!
Although it looks beautiful, it was cold... and windy... and the lovely fog that you see in this first picture was only there for a little bit.....................then it left.

I'll post more pictures from the weekend tomorrow! I forgot my charger, so a lot of the pictures are from Taylor's phone, but he's a pretty good picture-taker!!!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Round 2!

Today [in 5 minutes] Taylor and I are going to have our engagement photoshoot with Jamie Jones Photography!!! She's the same photographer who did that other shoot of us!  If you haven't seen her work yet, you should definitely check it out!! She's fun, talented, and super nice! We're heading out to the Oregon coast for our locations, so stay tuned!!!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

a crack in the wall... a window.... a door

We loved each other! and finally we said it out loud! It wasn't "Goodnight, I like you" anymore, it was love!

The next time I saw Taylor was in New York, for New Years.  That was the first time he met my parents, and it was a really fun, but rather frustrating week.  Both of us were discouraged, because we didn't see how my dad could possibly see our relationship favorably.  We continued to give our relationship up to God, and let Him work in my dad's heart if that was His will!

Throughout the weeks after Taylor left, before I went back to school, my dad brought up Taylor in a couple different conversations, and it was done in a favorable light!  I got kind of excited!! That door to a relationship previously dead bolted, and protected with machine guns of "She's too young" and "Online relationships don't work out", was suddenly opened a crack by "He's a nice guy", and the light of a future started peeking through.

Over those next couple of months, Taylor and I were tested, and it was really hard... but we came out of it stronger, and more in love with each other!  I visited him over spring break, and we were blessed with an awesome photoshoot with our friend-tographer, [everyone thought we were engaged].  We also went looking at engagement rings, and seeing if the styles that I thought I liked, actually looked as good in person.

They did. :)
Matching from 3,000 miles away. 

By the next opportunity I had at home to spend time with my dad, he was fully in favor of Taylor.  During a previous catch-up phone call, he'd told me that he was "getting more used to the idea" of Taylor and I having a future together.  [mind you, this is a year and a half after we first started talking...]  The last conversation I had with my dad before Taylor showed up in New York on June 8th, was during a daddy-daughter date. I told him that I  really really love Taylor.... and he asked me how long Taylor was planning on staying, [just 2 days] and wished he was able to stay longer.

Finally, when Taylor finally got there, the atmosphere was completely changed from the first time he had been there.  It was warm and welcoming, and people were happy.  We spent that Saturday at my younger brother's graduation, then the rest of the day preparing for the gradu-birthday party on Sunday.  Taylor was planning on asking my dad that weekend, for my hand in marriage.  I knew he had the ring, and I knew he was gonna show it to my dad and ask for his blessing.

After setting up a couple times to talk with my dad, and then everyone just being to busy for it to officially happen, He found the opportunity to ask, right before the party on Sunday.  Taylor told him that he doesn't want to proceed in our relationship without my dad's blessing.  My dad responded by saying...

"You know, I do think that 21 is too young to be getting married, but there's an exception to every rule, and you're an exceptional guy"