Saturday, January 29, 2011

Remembering....our engagement!

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, my best friend Jay met my dad at a local restaurant and asked him a very important question.  My dad's reply was "what does Amy say?"...not really.  That's what my grandfather said to him when he asked if he could marry my mother.  Dad told Jay that as long as he treated me right and took care of me, and he thought he would, that it was okay with him.

While my dad was enjoying his Sante Fe salad with my future fiance, my friend Valerie was distracting me with some shoe shopping.  Of course I knew what was going on and so I was a ball of nervous excitement.  As soon as I came back to the house, I found a dozen red roses and Jay told me to get dressed that we were going to dinner.  (It was like 2:30 in the afternoon)  I don't think that either of us stopped smiling as we got in the truck and began driving.  I talked the entire trip.  Every time I said "Jay, where are we going?" I think Jay giggled harder...which made me giggle harder.  We FINALLY stopped on the Natchez Trace at the cypress swamp that we had ridden Jay's bike to on our second date. 
It was beautiful!  We stopped and Jay helped me out of the truck and we started walking...I think I was asking obnoxiously "why are we here, baby?" and "what are we doing?" just to make him laugh.  We were both so nervous.  We walked about halfway across the bridge and Jay pulled me in to hug him.  And that's when I felt the box.  I stepped back as Jay got down on one knee and told me that he loved me, that I was his best friend and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  Jay fumbled with the little box as he asked "Will you marry me?"  I think I said yes.  I either said yes AS I grabbed the ring, or I shook my head yes a million times.  I couldn't believe it.  I mean, this man had told me the second week that I knew him that he was going to marry me....and it had never scared me away.  This was something that we had waited on since we met.  He was the one for me.  I was the one for him.  And that's all that there was to that.  The ring has its' own story:

My engagement ring is from the Mississippi Heritage Collection at Juniker's.  This is the ring that I have wanted since I saw it in Mississippi Magazine when I was about 13 years old.  The MS Heritage Collection consists of jewelry that is designed after places and landmarks throughout the state of Mississippi.  My ring is called the "Meadville", which is my hometown and where my family still lives.  Jay said that he shopped at several different stores but that none of the others were as perfect for me.  :)  He did so well.

I actually began writing this post in order to display some of our awesome engagement pictures...I didn't mean for it to turn in to a whole story-telling event!  So, without further ado, here are some of our AMAZING engagement pictures done by Sharon Coker Photography.  (The "paint pictures" were all Sharon's idea.  She told us to bring old jeans and a t-shirt...we were clueless that we were about to get to have a paint war.  It was THE most fun.)


These next are a couple of our favorites, although they are a little more scandalous!  We wanted some on Jay's bike and they turned out very well:

This last one was so much fun.  Anyone who knows me knows that I CANNOT JUMP.  Thankfully, Sharon Coker photoshops very skillfully.  Jay, on the other hand, LEAPS like a frog.  This was our best one.  Thank you Sharon. :) 

Here are two unedited fun pics from the paint war:

Once again, Sharon Coker, our amazing photographer and friend, really captured Jay and me as we are.  I would recommend her to anyone wanting original, beautiful photographs for any event...I would only suggest to them that June is NOT a good month for outside photographs.  Whew, it was HOT!!

(Jay- "I'm a model.")

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whoooooo's there?!

Here's a little known fact about Jay Jordan....he likes birds.  He studied birds in high school for fun, and had aspirations of being an or-nith-olo-gist.  (That's the scientific name for an expert bird man.)  When he first revealed this tid bit of history about himself, I thought, "hmm, that's cool, he likes birds."  But it wasn't until I started pointing to every bird I saw and him giving me the name and detailed description of each, that I realized how passionate about it he had once been. 

Unfortunately, I did not share the same passion and the extent of my knowledge on the fowl subject (hee hee) extends to knowing the difference between a blue bird and a red bird.  SO, it has been a real learning experience for me...and my hands-on learning began last October when Jay discovered an owl nest with eggs in one of my dad's deerstands.  Jay returned to the house so excited to share the news...and his excitement shortly spread throughout the family.  Before long, you would have thought that we had us a family of pet owls that we were raising. (That's just what we sounded like.  Jay informed me that it is illegal to "raise" a predatory bird; i.e. an owl.)

Now Jay was in charge of keeping us all updated on the family, and no one was allowed to use this deer stand ALL DEER SEASON.  I can't believe that no one protested this, but we were all too interested in our little owl family.  Every weekend that Jay and I went to visit, he would go to the deerstand and take pictures....and that's why I am writing this post.  I want to share these pictures.  It was amazing.

Here's the little guy!  He was the only survivor out of the whole nest of eggs.  You can see the food that his mama was bringing him...

The white feathers that they have when they are young are down feathers.  You can see that in the coming weeks the baby starts to lose its down...
 This is its regurgitated food.  It compounds in its stomach, I think, and comes back up as a hard pellet.  When Jay broke it apart (GROSS) you could see little mice bones etc.
The heart shaped mask on his face is actually bone...supercool.  And he has lost most of his down by this time:

These are the last pictures of our feathered friend before he took off.

A full grown Barn Owl!  Amazing.

Thank you Jay for opening my eyes to a subject that I never before found very appealing.  These amazing creatures are beautiful and I look forward to many years of learning and watching and listening.  Thank you for being interested in something so unique and fun.  You constantly impress me and I have no doubts that you will continue to dazzle me for the rest of our lives. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Avocado Antique Dresser

First of all, thank you Jay for your sweet blog entry!  You always do so much that reminds me of how lucky I am!  I love you!

Happy New Year!  We know that 2011 is going to be amazing.  We already have many plans for the year.  Among all of these plans is included finishing up the guest room.  Since we only have one extra bedroom, it has to serve many purposes.  The Murphy Bed was the biggest hurdle that we had to jump and it has turned out to be such a unique and useful feature in our home. 
Our first 2011 project was to revamp a hand-me-down dresser that was at my mom's house being used as a catch-all.  We needed a small one for the guest room and it was the perfect size.
The drawers in this thing were covered with old flowery wall paper and fabric...So we stripped them and used black pleather contact paper to line them. (This was way harder than I think it should have been and I think that we are going to address the drawer lining with a different material and method, ASAP.)
And here we are making use of the black pleather contact paper scraps:

While I was at work, Jay sanded away the 6 layers of paint including the colors black, white, light pink and blue.

I chose the initial colors and Jay whittled down our choices until we both agreed on light avocado.  We also agreed to keep the original antique hardware...

It looks fantastic!!
I think that this is our hobby.  As a couple.  Its so fun discovering things about each other as we go.  Jay and I love to make something more "us".  I've never met anyone as talented as he is...and he makes me feel like I am the best supervisor in the world.  Until he returns, the projects are all on hold.  Although I am threatening to drag out his power tools and make some crazy awesome birdhouses...I think that I could do it, and I just might!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Update from Jay

As it's now the middle of January and  I finally made it back to work in Africa. This is the first time Amy and I have been away from each other since our wedding day.  It feels so unbearable, like the world has stopped spinning. From the day I arrive it feels like sixty Monday's in a row.   I'm always waiting on that single digit countdown that moves at a even slower pace.   But back at home the clock keeps ticking. Amy is challenged with real  life.  I'm such a lucky man to have found someone that loves me  and fully supports me no matter what. She is truly my best friend and the love of my life.  I can only imagine the things she worries about with me here.  Along with the added stress Lil's and Bill's are going through as well. :) One day at a time is all we can do. At least we have some form of communicating.  I love you Amy!  UGGG I miss you soooo much!