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Our Wedding Day- 927

How do I begin to formulate the words to describe the day I married my best friend, my biggest fan, my confidant, my miracle, my representation of God’s restoration of the goodness of His love?

The truth is, I can’t. It’s impossible. Only heaven holds the worlds that my heart carries for this day. I dreamed of it, waited for it, longed for it, and often begged God for it. But it was in the waiting I gain the appreciation of the magnitude it held. I could tell you a million stories about keys and “coincidences” that lead us together. I could tell you that 3 years before I met him God told me September 27th would be the date. I could tell you about the reflections of his goodness we saw in each other and how we asked God for confirmations and during the process and He gave them to us long before we knew each others names. We found what He had left for us all along the way to tell us… this is it…and we felt His eager anticipation of the Good HE had set aside for us in each other.

He pre-planned this day, and we meet Him there at the alter when His timeline met ours. We stood together in purity and love and exchanged the vows that still make me weep.

That day was filled with imperfections. It was filled with less than idealistic moments, less than traditional fairy tale details. It was filled with the exhale of two royals exhaling from the hectic planning, gardening, rushing, and to do lists. But even in those details He was there because in them we found each other in a new way. We learned how to be open. We learned how to work together, and though this video and these photos don’t show the journey to this day, you get to see the fruit of the process.

What a gift this man is. I love him more now then I did then. May our story impact yours….

 CLICK HERE to see it and cry your eyes out..
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Here are just a few of our favorite images…. THERE are hundreds more.. trust me!!!
To see more photos visit AndreandJulie.com

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Thank you sweet husband for being the epically incredible fiercely handsome wonderful man of God that you are….

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A HUGE THANKS TOO!

My goodness I can’t thank our friends enough (Legacy FAM shout out). We have the most incredible group of people who poured their LOVE into this day. We couldn’t have had this with out you!

To our families in the natural- WOW, what a gift you are. THANK you for treating this day with such love and honor. You helped make this possible.

Kristen Booth- You blow me away with your gifts and heart. You made our day so much more amazing. I can’t thank you enough for your love!

Nate + Lori- This video. We tear up every time we see it. THANK you so much for such brilliance.

To our vendors- you made our day SO FABULOUS.

OUR VENDORS

Venue- Shiloh farm. WOW thank you for allowing us to use your home!

Photographer- Kristen Booth

Cake- Hands on Sweets

Second Shooter- Renee Rodgers

DJ- Brittany Sound, Jon Hopkins MC

Videography- Nate + Lori

Hair- Katie Charos

Makeup- Sarah Otero

Florals- Karen McDermott

Creative Besties Giveaway! Over $550 in prizes!

SO…. you may have heard- It’s my golden birthday. Ya know, the one where you turn the year of the day that your birthday is on? Yeah, that one. I have been waiting for this one my entire life. MY WHOLE LIFE.  In my world, birthdays are a super big deal. We go all out. The more glitter the better.  Right, Andre? 😉

I wanted to do something ultra amazing and inspring on my birthday because I was born to GIVE! To give love, to give encouragement, to give God’s perspectives and to love people.. like a lot. So I’ve decided to have a #CreativeBestie Giveaway. When I planned this giveaway, one of my amazing friends, Latasha jumped in and offered TWO of her prizes- one for you and one for you bestie and that totally inspired me. WHY not give away a few extra’s so not only you win, but a few of your CREATIVE ROCK STAR BESTIES win too! WHAT! YES PLEASE.

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If you’ve been around for a while, you know, encouraging people is my jam and love is my mode. So what better way to bless someone’s glitter socks off then to give something fabulous away to you and your best friends on my birthday (well, birthday weekend!)! Last year on my birthday, my man and I spent the day praying over anyone who posted on my facebook, declaring God’s love over my incredible social media besties.  It reminded me that I’m not here to get I am here to give, and give love radically…SO THIS YEAR, let’s go big all together, in one big creative community. Let’s celebrate giving together!

SO I wanted to continue the love and give some of my favorite things away. Some of the most incredible people in the industry even joined in to bless one person with the gift package. AND that means you get to chose who you share with <3.

With OVER $550 in prizes, this one is meant to bless some creative’s very pretty glittery socks off.

Here’s how it will work:
Giveaway runs from 9am January 29th-January 30th 11:59pm, with the randomly chosen winner announced Feb 1st to give more friends time to jump in on the fun! The winner decides who and if they want to share the prize (Sharing is caring though right? 😉

TO ENTER check out THIS instagram post for all of the details!

One of the reasons I wanted to do follow along entry is because community MATTERS. It’s the foundation in which we all live, grow and thrive. I want to share some of my favorite people with you and I want you to share your favorite people with me. WE ALL WIN with new friends.

If you are not following my friends who gave for this giveaway, you need to be. They are leaders and lovers, and they will inspire you, motivate you, empower you, and over all bless your life in BIG ways. I believe in building community together and I know you will be FAST friends with these ladies. Allow me to show you the prizes 😉

1.) George Town Cupcakes
What would a party be with out cake? And this isn’t just cake. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE CUPCAKES EVER!!!! And there is plenty to share. TRUST me you will want to eat them all… but maybe you shouldn’t. THAT’S A BIG MAYBE. No judgment ladies. 😉

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2.) Kat Von Dee Lip Stain: Ladies, this is my entre-mom GO to. A little mascara and some fabulous RED lips and I feel and look glam and polished. PLUS it’s totally kissable and doesn’t come off. Trust me, I know 😉

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3.) The Evan From H.H. BoogieThis will be your new favorite thing. TRUST ME. If you don’t know what H.H.Boogie is allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite things ever. This little beauty is for your printed photos. (Photographers eat your heart out 😉 #eyecandy)  It gives your memories a gorgeous place to rest while taking your home decor to the next level. As Evan Hunt says ” Small enough to hold in your hand, beautiful enough to display in your living room, and grand enough to make an impact.” Need I say more? LOVE!

4.) Her Success Tee’s- This is the gorgeous Latasha Hayes and she up this beautiful movement celebrating OTHERS. Fabulous right? In true Tosh love style, she is giving away TWO tees- One for you, and one for your BFF. SO BOOM. SPREAD THE LOVE GIVEAWAY- in action.

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5.) 2 Kay Rings– Yes, that’s right TWO. These two beauties are totally real gem stones and they make the perfect BFF rings. One is white Sapphire and one is Amethyst with white Sapphire and they both sparkle like cray! When I saw them, I knew we needed BOTH, right?!? NEED.

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6.) 1 8×10 Gold Foil Print From Jordanne Marie- One of my all time FAVORITE calligraphy artists is giving away this GORGEOUS print. I love everything she does and follow like crazy online and I am always swooning. Imagine having this on your desk to inspire you everyday! YES PLEASE!
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7.) $25 in Lush Cosmetics! Given by Latasha Hayes! Who isn’t in love with Lush and with $25 Lush Bucks you can be sure to spoil yourself (Or a friend! 😉

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8.) TWO Starbucks $10 gift cards! One for you, one to give away. <3
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Be sure to enter on this instagram POST!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!!! <3
Eat a lot of cake today!!!
Love always!
Julie

Hey Babe, It’s been two years…

Hey Babe,
It’s been two years.
Some days it feels like it’s been 12 years and sometimes it feels like we’ve just began.

We laughed the other night, saying we loved each other more than we did 6 weeks ago at the alter… but really how do you measure this epic love anyway?

I feel like I know you from the inside out all while not knowing one thing about you. Some days I feel like I’m your old -woman-other- half and some days I just feel like and old woman. You laugh at me being in bed by 9:30pm, practically watching wheel of fortune. Our life has that kind of consistent rhythm, but I love this life with you. You roll your eyes, make epic faces, and quote a million movies lines… just… like.. me. You get me, and even though I sing random Disney songs and narrate people’s lives like they are in a novel, and I do that out loud, you never try and change my uniqueness. You just get it, because you are THAT SAME kind of unique. (Ok maybe not the same level but SUPER CLOSE. You’ll narrative people’s lives one day….just wait)

You. You are always the same. Maybe this is a small thing to some people but to me, coming from a whirlwind tornado where I don’t know what is going to be thrown at me, you being constantly wonderful is the best gift.

I love that you smile with your eyes at me and it gives away how your heart feels. I love that we get lost in playful banter that always turns into an inside joke we use at later times. I love that we have hand signals when we are out in public that mean very specific things that no one else will know.

We have secrets, you and I, ones the world and internet will never know. Secrets that are less glamorous and filled with couch-sitting -pizza -eating- choclate-peanut-butter-battles-were-I-always-win- kinda moments. And I love them. (and I do, always win. 😉

You are steadfast and strong my life. I’ll never forget waking you up in the middle of the night to pray over me. I’ve never had a love like this that stays awake for me until I am asleep. I’ll never forget the simple things you do, like  making the kids lunches at night when I am so tired. I have never had someone to do their lunches for me, and you do it with love.  3 years ago I remember driving to CVS at 1am with both sick kids in tow. That day, among the juggling and hustling to help them feel better. I was thanking God for the day I would have you. I dreamed of you long before you came, writing love stories in my mind to Jesus while I waited thanking Him that one day, I would have someone to do simple things like stay at home with the babes if a middle of the night medicine run was needed. But you being you, are more than what I dreamed of. You are the kind of guy that does the hard things to help, allowing me to rest, take a deep breath and making me laugh in the journey. You’re the guy the does the 1am shift so I can sleep a little longer. You just have that kind of heart.

When I didn’t have you, I remember thanking God for my time to learn to be thankful for the small things a husband would add to my life. I remember thanking Him for you long before you came, because I knew, the season alone was a season and I wanted to feel every moment thankfully knowing I would never take the small things you did for granted. And now you are here and I get to celebrate you, inspire you, love you and swoon over you forever.

I’ll never forget you sitting on the edge of your seat listening as I read the novel God is writing together with me. Your eagerness to support me is unlike anything I have ever known.

Every time I describe you, the closest thing I know to this kind of love, is my connection with Jesus. You have made me understand His love in ways I couldn’t have understood any other way.
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I am so thankful for you, so honored to be close to you, so blessed to be your best friend. You are the coolest person I know, for sure. I like you, a lot.

Two years ago, God told me to say yes, because He knew the gift He had packed up in you for me. And even though I didn’t know I would be writing this letter, his YES was all over you from the very beginning.

Two years, babe.

I adore you.

Love you always
Julie

Dear Ikea, I love you, but you are wrong.

Dear Ikea,

A long time ago I decided I was going to use my platform of influence to love the world into a better place, to inspire greatness in people, to see the gold in people, and call them up into their destiny.Today, I get to use it to love you by telling you, this is wrong.IMG_9242

This is an ad in your magazine, with this short sentence represents a much greater issue you are adding to. I love your style, your store and even own these very curtains. I, however, will never use them to “hide myself from a mirrors on days when I don’t look as fabulous.” Everyday woman all over the world fight to have a good perspective of their bodies and often they loose. They loose because the world tells them they have to be a certain shape or be a certain age to be beautiful.

They loose because they believe they have to conform to a certain standard and when they don’t, they should hide. They hide behind their baggy clothes because they have curves or they they should hide because they don’t have curves. They hide behind make-up and beauty products or they hide because they believe they aren’t as beautiful as they should be. Every woman is an absolute miracle, fashioned and created to shift the world’s perspective, to glow with confidence and embrace her gorgeous body. The world needs to know, there is no one standard of beauty and I believe that you too would want to be apart of a movement that empowers women’s beauty. Is looking fabulous really the standard we should gauge ourselves by and when “we don’t” we should hide our mirrors? Isn’t it beautiful when a woman serves her family, as that is what this gorgeous lady was doing that is featured in this image? She is beautiful not because she has her hair done or not, or because she does house work or not, or because of what she wears.

It’s beautiful because she is a woman, made in the image of God, and designed by the ultimate creative genius, and regardless of how she feels, she is beautiful. Always. Every. Single. Day.

What if women believed they were the most sexy when they were serving others not because they are wearing mascara? What if they hung more mirrors in their house because they celebrated their bodies no matter what the world standard said? Wouldn’t it impact us all to inspire more woman to embrace their beauty every single day? In order to impact the world, woman should be encouraged to love themselves, and this love will spill over into society and change the world. Beauty should never be hidden. In one sentence, you used your influence to communicate an agreement with a much greater issue – There is a standard of beauty and when you don’t reach that, you can hide your mirrors so you don’t see how you don’t meet the standard. This needs to change in the hearts of society, and influence brings change.

IKEA, we need your help, your love and your influence to help change the perspective. Ladies, it’s time we stop hiding… Let’s all work together to inspire the celebration of woman’s beauty together.

Love always,
Jules

August 25, 2015 - 6:23 pm

Elyse Alexandria - I love your perspective on this. I also noticed this in their catalogue, and my first reaction was almost the same as yours. As I thought about it more though, I tried to put a more positive spin on it. I know how much time I waste doing fruitless things that don’t add to my day, my time, my life, my goals. And looking at myself in every mirror I come across is certainly one of them. Inspecting my face, my body, my makeup or if I have none, the dark circles around my eyes. When perhaps I could be doing something better than worrying about my looks. Thank you for sharing this!!

What Pintrest Won’t Tell You About Wedding Planning

When you start planning a wedding the first thing that comes to your mind is: “I’m not going to be one of those brides who stresses out.” You imaging the process liken to holding hands walking into the sunset with rose petals floating down around you: absolute bliss. Besides you have an entire pintrest board of wedding plans and a hundred desires and dreams from your childhood that seem nearly possible. What could go wrong?

Everything.

Now, I love planning for things. I am the ultimate planner. I turned into this hybrid woman when I became a mother of 2 under 2 before I was 22. Planning was the only way I could survive and keep the house kept while making homemade meals every night and also being able to shower. I had to be a planner.

So I’ve had years of practice. Now, by the time Andre and I got engaged, we had already begun to plan. We began planning 7 months ago, looking for a venue. This seemed like such a small piece of the wedding day puzzle but every single time we found a place, there were issues.

I joke saying the first 6 months of wedding planning was real, raw marriage prep. And those are the blogs most newly engaged couples don’t write. So I’ll write it.

We ran into huge issues trying to make decisions because we both had junk inside of us that needed to be worked out. Fears, expectations, desires, dreams- all of it came crashing down every time one of us put our cards on the table and made a stand for what we wanted. How could this be happening? It occurred to me 3 months in that I had overlooked a minor detail dreaming of this day for 20 years.-  My future groom’s opinion.

Wait, you don’t want EVERYTHING covered in glitter? You actually want a cake and not just thousands of cupcakes? *Mind Blown*

And so I turned into that girl. And back again, many times. I metamorphosed often. Sometimes, many times a day. Back and forth. There have been more tears in this process than joy sometimes because, I have a lot of areas of growth. Perfect. The one time I want to skip happily down the road of unrealistic expectations has turned into a journey of enormous pressure that I know will create a diamond one day.

I’m still mid process here, folks.

That brings us to the contest we lost.  After months of getting no where in our plans, we entered to win a $35,000 wedding fully paid. Could this be why we had run into so many walls? Why nothing was moving forward….?
But we lost. Big time. We lost it so hard. We lost by miles. There’s a ton of happy go lucky phrases that I could fit here but in reality, we felt the loss. I felt like the biggest public rejection I’ve ever walked through, ever.  And to top it all off, I had many circles of friends who didn’t know we lost until we saw them in person and they all asked if we won… Over and over again.

And CHEERS- I still get asked now.

My personality thrives on accomplishment. It thrives on success and pushing myself but this wasn’t a contest based on the effort put into something we had done. It was based on people’s votes, and we were not chosen.

Even still, we blessed what God was doing and celebrated the couple who won, but the contest had a very important role in our story.

We only entered because of one tiny detail. One small, very small huge detail that made me gasp when I saw it.

The date.

If we won we had to get married on a certain date. A date they chose. I don’t even love contests but for this one, we entered simply because of the date. 4 years ago God told me a date. A date that was in connection to my wedding. I had been praying about my husband, ok more like whining because I was alone. Really being prostrate and if I had sackcloth and ashes I would have had them all up on me. But in the middle of my emotional Juvenal breakdown, God told me September 27th. The same date of you had to get married on if you won the contest.

I couldn’t make this story up.

God told me that date so I wrote it down and forgot about it. I dismissed it really because nothing ever came of it. I thought I must had misheard God. September 27th came and went 4 times until I saw the contest. It was in the explanation of the contest rule and I told Andre about what God told me years before and we decided to enter.

When I told Andre, he reminded me a few years back long before I knew him, God gave him a number, the number 27th. We only entered because of that date and before we knew we lost hard, we decided no matter what, that was our date.

Crazy, right?

So after we lost the epic wedding and after a roller coaster of emotions, our pastors reminded us to  Keep the main thing the main thing. Our covenant. Let the ideals of the wedding go and move forward with what we have.

Yeah that was easy… Until more things surface and needs to be addressed. I’m telling you, the pressure and trust in God of this season means I will be one huge sparkling diamond on that day. If we hadn’t decided on September before we lost, we would have moved the wedding to relieve some of this pressure, but instead we remain. We allow what needs to come off to melt away. We are learning how to stay in peace in the process together.

When two lives are coming together and learning to work together, it gets messy. Things come up, tears come out and trust is built. We have learned far more about each other then we would have on a straight road. I would rather a straight road more often if I’m honest, but I am thankful for our foundation as a couple. Wedding planning has not been blissful. It’s been challenging, painful, stressful and full of unknowns. It had not been like movies where there are always smiles and perfectly ironed table linens.

In the middle of enormous challenges, in trying to make choices for the day, God gifts us two beautiful wedding gifts through some amazing friends. We were so humbled and honored. It reminded me, that I am seen, and help dismiss lies of rejection from losing the contest. We were contacted by so many friend in my community and some even offered to give their time for us, for free. (More about those gifts once the entire wedding story is written.)

But the main thing, our connection, it’s stronger than ever. It’s more real than ever. I feel more safe then ever. We are proud of how far we have come and there are certainly parts of me that wish we could have gotten her another way, but we couldn’t. The roots of the season have gone down deep. Something I could have never pinned on my wedding pinterest board.

It’s not a common thing for brides to be to share the True Hollywood Story of the behind the scenes wedding planning. Wedding planning is marriage boot camp in a way. Muscles grow, and immaturity is bound to surface if it’s in you. In the end, you can either learn to work together or choose to hold onto self preservation. It’s amazing to grow a connection, but a few limbs get pruned along the way to make room for new fruit in the next season.

What I’ve learned is that staying close to God’s heart in a place of thankfulness protects me. It keeps me focused on what He is doing and not on what He is not doing. I don’t understand some timing of this season. Goodness, how I would love every detail planned and ready a few months ago, but I know He has been planning the details of this time so long ago and I trust His plans. Everything changes when we stay in a place of thanksgiving for what God is doing. It’s easy to compare our process to someone’s but we don’t know the journey and the root system it took to get them there.

At this point we have a handful of things decided but when it all comes together it will be a miracle. So remember this blog when you see the pictures and the video.

No one walks the same path, but the path may be more bumpy than you would like. Embrace it. Get everything out of the season you are in so you don’t wonder around the mountain.

A Note to brides to be: Stop. Wait. Listen. Ask God for His vision of your wedding. Co-Dream with God and let the details come together in a way that honors your connections with Him and people. Don’t forget your groom’s heart. If he desires something, listen. Love him by listening and be willing to change your ideas. Remember- it’s not about things, or stuff. It’s not even about our dreams- It’s about what God is doing. Keep that the main thing!

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May 29, 2015 - 12:32 am

Suzy VanDyke - I love you and I am so excited for what God is doing!! ❤️

May 30, 2015 - 3:25 am

Dacy Medina - Amazing story! Beautiful legacy!