June 13th, 2015 will always be remembered as one of the happiest and most special days of our lives. After all the months of planning, which was stressful and overwhelming at times, I was so happy to breathe and relax into the day. I could never write words to give justice to the day I pledged all of my love for the rest of my life, so I’ll mainly let the pictures do the talking. All the photos in this post are courtesy of our fabulous photographer, Amanda Castle.

laura meet virginia wedding hairlaura meet virginia wedding Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.23.53 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.24.08 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.24.20 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.24.31 PMJonathan and I decided to do a first look, which is untraditional for sure, but was absolutely perfect for us. I didn’t expect to cry on our wedding day, but when I walked down the sidewalk and saw Jonathan standing there waiting with his back towards me, I started crying big crocodile tears. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.24.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.25.07 PM We stood back to back and exchanged letters we had written each other, along with small gifts. Jonathan gave me the most beautiful pair of blush pink pearl earrings and a matching necklace. He told me that he had picked them out on a trip to China 6 years ago, always intending to give them to the woman that would one day be his wife. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.25.29 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.25.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.25.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.26.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.26.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.26.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.27.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.27.30 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.28.02 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.28.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.28.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.29.35 PM Above: Amanda got some absolutely wonderful shots of me and my mama. I know I will treasure these photos for the rest of my life! Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.30.08 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.30.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.30.53 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.31.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.31.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.31.51 PM Surrounded by our families and all of our closest friends, we were married by a dear family friend, Jeff Chetwood. Jeff and his wife, Jodie, are responsible for setting Jonathan and I up on our first date, and of course, we are eternally grateful. Jeff officiated my sister’s wedding several years ago and is also Jonathan’s brother-in-law’s father. It was so special to have him lead us as we made this covenant with each other and with the Lord. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.33.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.33.28 PM It was so hot outside and all of our guests were absolute troopers for enduring the ceremony in the heat. Luckily all of the reception merriment was air conditioned! Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.33.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.34.09 PMAbove: Two new families! We are so blessed.
Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.34.56 PM Our first dance was to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. One of the first times that I came to Charlotte to visit Jonathan, he surprised me with tickets to see the Broadway musical, Jersey Boys. The song has been special to us ever since, and it was fun to surprise our guests with a little swing dancing in the midst of a slow dance. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.35.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.35.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.35.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.36.25 PM I can’t express how special it is to have nearly every person that’s important in your life all together in one room. Elementary school friends, high school friends, college friends, Bible study friends, family members, sweet families that I’ve babysat for, and people that have loved me like I was their own child… It really was incredible. I just wish that there was more time to spend with each and every person!Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.37.06 PM

Above: Jonathan on Cloud 9 with all of his college buddies

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.37.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.37.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.38.53 PMAfter a wonderful night of delicious food – yes we did actually eat – and dancing with our friends, we headed off on our mystery honeymoon. I had no idea where we were going! But more on that in another post. Also, I’m working on a post with more wedding details and info on all of our vendors, so stay tuned for that. :)

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A few folks have asked where we are living while our house is still under construction, so I thought I’d share! Jonathan has been absolutely fantastic and lined up a storage unit for all of our furniture, and we are storing miscellaneous items in the basement of our house. [A moment of silence for the bowl we bought in Mexico on our honeymoon that was broken by workers at the house this week. I sobbed.] The two of us, along with a few necessities, are staying in a long term stay hotel room for a little while!

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We like to think of it as less of a hotel room and more of a studio apartment. It is actually fairly roomy and it has been nice to only have the things we really need. It felt a little sterile when we first moved in, but I brought my own lamp, pillowcases, bedspread, laundry basket, shelf, and jewelry holder and bought some flowers from Trader Joe’s and suddenly it was very “homey!”

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There is a small kitchen that has everything you could need – minus a dish washer – so we’ve been able to cook homemade meals at night, which we enjoy. Most nights we make dinner and eat while watching a show on the couch. The couch is a full size pull out bed, so you can come stay with us any time. ;) Right now our “shows” are Shark Tank, True Detective, and we’ve just started watching Sherlock on Netflix.

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I know the question on everyone’s mind is, “How long until you can move into your real house?!” The honest answer is that we really don’t know. We have a date that we would like to move in – at least to one room – but I’m afraid to say when that is because I don’t want to jinx it.

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For now, we are loving our cozy hotel home and we know it is a sweet time that we will always remember! Nothing like some newlywed memories, am I right?

Hello!! This is my first post as a married woman – kinda crazy! I have so much to share from our wedding weekend, wedding day, and our incredible honeymoon, but first I wanted to give an update on our house! It is moving pretty quickly these days so I don’t want to fall too far behind.

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When we last “talked,” I showed you where the roof had been taken off of the addition. You won’t believe how much progress they made while we were on our honeymoon! My good friend Sarah was kind enough to get our mail while we were gone, and she even sent us a few photos of the progress. On our last full day of the honeymoon, we were sitting in the lobby at the resort and we got a FaceTime call from Sarah. She was at our house and wanted to show us around! We loved it.unnamed-1

So, here are the big things that happened while we were away:

1. Second story addition framed and roofed.

Okay, this is a huge one. As I mentioned in my last post, we are adding an upstairs addition to the house. This something that we thought we would save for later on down the road, but the more we thought about it, the more it made sense to do all of the renovations at one time.

If you walked up the stairs in the old house and turned left, you would have run into a wall (the outside of the house). Now you turn left and take two steps up into a hallway:

DSC_0333First, on your right, is a laundry room. If you remember, the washer and dryer were previously in the downstairs guest bathroom. I love the big window and am dreaming up a space that will make folding clothes rather enjoyable. Hint: our electrician wired it for a little TV!DSC_0315Across from the laundry room is a small guest bedroom. When we purchased the house it was only a two bedroom (although it was listed as a 3-BR because the dining room has a closet), so we knew we wanted to add a couple of rooms to help us if/when we ever sell the house. DSC_0316Here’s the guest room from another angle, looking into the hall and at the closet.DSC_0318The addition also includes a master bedroom for us! Here’s one angle:DSC_0320Since the house was built in the 1940’s, the old closets were teeny tiny. Here’s our new walk in closet:DSC_0321And a look at the master bath! That big square window will be right behind the bathtub. It worried me at first because I am vehemently against those windows made of big glass blocks. After a little inspiration hunting on Pinterest, we decided to do a regular window with plantation shutters on the lower half for privacy, like this. How did people renovate houses before Pinterest?!DSC_0322Here’s another view of the master bath. I know it’s hard to tell what’s what right now, but you’re looking at the space that will be a double vanity with tower cabinets between the two sinks.DSC_0325

2. Upstairs bathroom closed off.

Remember this little bathroom?

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Here it is today! The octagonal window was removed to form a wall between the new and old sections of the house, the floor was closed up, and the big heavy bathtub was taken out. The only downfall of this bathroom is that it will be fairly dark without a window. Also, 3 of the 4 upstairs bedrooms will share this bathroom. It will be a long while before we have kiddos to fill up all of those bedrooms, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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3. Pantry added.

Another thing that must not have been high on the priority list in the 40’s: pantries. This was a fairy easy thing to add, thankfully. We closed off the section of the yellow bathroom that housed the washer and dryer and combined it with a weird closet in the family room and ta-da, pantry! I have to give my husband credit for this one because my brain would never have thought of this solution, but it worked perfectly. We are hoping to have a sliding barn door custom made for the pantry! *emoji heart eyes!*

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4. Small, awkward window closed in.

The couple that previously owned the home did some interesting things when adding on this downstairs addition. One of those things was adding several bathroom-height windows to the family room. It was extremely difficult to figure out a way to arrange furniture with all of the strange sized windows, so we closed one in in favor of more wall space.

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5. New transom window in dining room.

When we closed in the window above, we knew we would be making an already dark room even darker. We wanted to add a window or two along this wall, but we also knew the view wouldn’t be great – on the other side of this wall is where our neighbors keep their trash cans. Our contractor suggested adding a high transom window and I’m so pleased with the way it turned out. Give me all the natural light I can get!!!

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6. Living room opened to kitchen.

This was another one of Jonathan’s ideas, and I have to admit that I was not a fan at first. Total honesty: I cried when I first saw it, haha! I have a big thing with symmetry and I didn’t like the fact that the walls on both sides of the fireplace were not even. However, it really opens that “old” side of the house into the “new” side of the house, making them feel more like they belong together. It’s definitely growing on me and I think it will look great once the walls are finished.

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7. Goodbye weird middle wall!

Remember the old wall in the middle of the kitchen? And the weird beam that separated the kitchen from the living room? The one with the shelf?

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Say farewell!

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8. Side portico added.

Once again, all credit to my husband! Jonathan dreamed up this little porch and even printed out an inspiration picture for our builders. I love the way it looks and I think it really gives the side of the house a more polished look!

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9. Front porch progress.

What do you think about the changes to our roofline?! This was something that happened while we were on our honeymoon and I think it changes the look of the house so much (for the better).

DSC_0297For a refresher, here’s a little before shot:

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And currently:

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10. A new roof!

I’m sure that anyone who has ever built or renovated a home can sympathize with me on this one – picking things out is TOUGH! Whether it’s tile, paint colors, or light fixtures, I’ve found that making decisions about the finishes for our home gives me some serious anxiety. What if I don’t like how it turns out? Will it still be in style 10 years down the road?

Picking out shingles felt like a BIG decision. In a perfect world, we would have had a sample of the paint we are planning on using on the outside of the house to hold up to both of the shingles we were picking between. However, we actually made a very rushed decision as we needed to tell our contractor what we wanted the morning after our wedding. We saw the samples for the first time that morning while waiting for an Uber to pick us up and take us to the airport!

We ended up picking the shingles on the bottoms left, which I think was called Pewter? You can see them on the house in the photo above. We think they look a little light right now, but are confident that they will be just right once the brick is painted.

DSC_0335Phew! That’s all for now. Hopefully we’ll have some new exterior columns to share soon!

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