Monday, December 3, 2012

First Christmas Together!

You're newly married, and anticipating your very first Christmas together, ready to create memories with your own traditions.

How about starting with Our First Christmas Together ornaments?

I found this idea on Pinterest originally. I had to do a little hunting, but I finally found its original source, with instructions (if you need them) on Spoonful. Saw off a piece from this year's tree, mark it with the date, and create an ornament for future Christmases! This is a super-simple project that even the craftily-challenged can accomplish.

Source: Spoonful

It's such a sweet way to commemorate your first Christmas together. My family is by no means celebrating our first Christmas, but we are getting our first real tree after many years of a boxed, artificial one! I can't wait (and the children are pretty excited, too)! We are definitely going to do this.

Do you have an extra invitation left from the wedding? Here's a lovely keepsake ornament that you can DIY!

Source: unknown

Is your only wedding invitation permanently adhered to a page in your album? No worries, wife of many years! Grab cardstock and a scanner and make some copies! 

Some of us are short on time, but love the homey feel of the handmade. Craft fairs and holiday boutiques might be the thing for you. Or, get acquainted with a site like Etsy, where you can shop handmade and vintage from the comfort of home! Many artists are delighted to customize an order just for you. I found this ornament there; two pieces of a puzzle, permanently joined, the perfect symbol of forever love:

Source: TheCreativeLaser

 And then there are also, of course, thousands of choices for store-bought mementos. I love this one just because it's so sweet, simple, and pretty, and it will match just about any Christmas tree theme throughout the years:
source: Macy's 2012 Lenox Always & Forever ornament

Wishing you a merry and bright tree-trimming!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Couples costumes!

I don't like Halloween in general. But I love parties, and I love fun costumes. The fun is doubled when your sweetie agrees to let you make a fool of him dress him up, too! Are you searching for the perfect costumes for you and your beloved? Check these out!

The fact that I think this costume idea is soooo funny probably dates me.... but I laughed out loud when I saw it! Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol. It definitely needs more and shinier balloons, and possibly a mud mask to go with "the winner's" hair-curlers-and-robe getup. Definitely easy to pull together, and I think it's genius!

Here's a tutorial for a Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood. I love the wolf costume. I wonder if my mister could be persuaded....

    Kinda dorky, but pretty great: Google Maps :D 
Sorry, I couldn't find a tutorial for this one!  You'll have to wing it!

How about lovebirds? Incredibly simple (or you can be as elaborate as you like!) Start with a pair of glasses frames and matching feathers, and see where inspiration takes you!

Other ideas:

News anchor and cameraman: 
Anchor: business suit, microphone, chunky necklace, and big hair  
Cameraman: jeans, t-shirt, headset and huge camera (raid the thrift stores for an 80's videocam and paste a station logo to the side)

Charlie Brown and the little red-haired girl: 
CB: a yellow t-shirt with a black zigzag painted, sewn, or glued on, with black shorts;
LRHG: a minidress and red wig, with Mary Janes

Peace and quiet:
Peace: (hippie) bell-bottoms, long, straight hair (or wig), flower crown
Quiet: (mime) white face make-up, beret, black clothing

Weatherman and "Chance of Rain": 
Weatherman: business suit, side-parted hair, an earbud, maybe a weather-themed necktie?
Chance of rain: (described in link above) a rain cloud, carrying a water pistol. 

I hope these ideas get you started! Have a great time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lifelong love: Debbie and Jake

30 years ago
Debbie and Jake are a shining example of college sweethearts turned forever love! Their first meeting was very Romeo and Juliet-esque, with Debbie sitting, reading, in a third-floor dorm window, legs dangling. Jake and a roommate were passing by on the ground below. The fellas hollered up to her, and went on their way, and Jake was already hooked. He had a bit of a job ahead convincing Debbie, however.

He was patient, and made an effort to be a friend to her, and it was with this kindness and friendship that he gained her heart. When she told him that her favorite M&M's were the green ones, he bought every bag in town and sorted every green one out to fill a shoebox as a surprise gift for her. She decided he was the man for her!

Now, 30+ years later, Debbie reflects on a life built together in Christ: learning to be patient with her spouse but quick to deal with her own sin, and embracing trials as a chance to grow in the Lord and draw closer to Him and to each other:

"Draw near to God. Cherish your spouse as a precious gift from God chosen especially for you. Treat each other with kindness and respect. Laugh together often. Enjoy the sweetness of each day as you walk through life together."

"Laugh together often..."
Debbie and Jake view their marriage as a precious thing, to be treasured and protected, no matter what it takes. And they're enjoying it every step of the way!

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at

Monday, September 24, 2012


Hello, lovely brides-to-be!

In honor of fifteen (beautiful) years with my Sweetheart, I'm sharing the love with you! Starting this morning, you can visit my facebook page and  enter to win your choice of a white or ivory ring pillow!  ♥ ♥ ♥ This giveaway ended on 10/3/12 ♥ ♥ ♥

Satin ribbons are interwoven by hand to form a lovely, textured pillowtop. It is accented with a sequin accessory for the ring ties and elegantly trimmed with lace; a classic and versatile design! 

Add caption
The winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, October 3rd ♥

Best wishes for a blissful wedding, and an even more blissful marriage, with many happy years and memories!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lifelong love: Kimberly and Tim

Kimberly and Tim were chosen to play a version of The Newlywed Game at a couples' shower, against three other couples (including the shower couple and the host couple). The competing wives were asked, away from their spouses, the following question:

"If your marriage was a movie at Blockbuster, what section would it be in? Drama? Romance? Action? Or Top Ten?"

Kimberly said, "You didn't say, 'Comedy.'"

This same question was posed to the husbands at the very end of the game, when Tim & Kimberly were tied  with one other couple.

Tim answered, "You didn't say, 'Comedy.'"

Ha! They won.

In marriage, when you're dealing with struggles and crises and just plain ol' reality, a sense of humor can really go a long way. Kimberly: "You have to be able to laugh ~ at yourself, and at difficult times."

Kimberly and Tim have had plenty of opportunities to exercise this theory. Their early years were rough ~ they even contemplated going separate ways. But on their 8th anniversary, they welcomed God into their marriage and renewed their vows and their commitment to each other. Together with Him they have overcome health issues, parenting struggles, financial troubles, and problems with family. Rather than blaming each other, they have resolved to be on the same side, "holding hands instead of pointing fingers."

They've now been married 23 (and a half!) years, and they give God the glory for holding them together. "A marriage is made of 3 people - the husband, the wife, and God. It doesn't work without God. We know; we've tried it."

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lifelong love: Katie and Jeremiah

A gorgeous wedding scene!
When Katie and Jeremiah happened upon each other online, Katie knew she'd found the man of her dreams. From their first conversation, she decided she wanted to be his forever.

These two wasted no time! After two months, Katie spent a week in Jeremiah's home state. He fell in love on the spot, and proposed that very week. Fast-forward (and I do mean fast!) less than one year: married and expecting a brand-new baby girl!

Katie and Jeremiah can tell you about challenges:

They have moved their household 700 miles... twice.

They have five children, and two of their babies were born only one year apart!

They were both let go from their jobs at the same time, with a newborn at home, and had trouble finding new work.

Katie can't exactly explain what it is that makes them work together so well. She believes that she and Jeremiah are meant for each other. She tells him that God gave him to her to be her guardian angel, and without him, she doesn't know where she'd be. He stood by her while she was going through difficult personal issues. They pray together, study the Bible together, and go to church as a family. He supports and encourages her, and he makes her laugh. She cannot imagine a life without him.

Seven years have given Katie a little insight:

Seven years later
"Compromise. You must be willing to meet each other halfway. Also, never go to bed angry! They say it all the time, and it is so true. We've done this too many times, and I can tell you, you will regret it. "

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lifelong love: Tanya and Brandon

Tanya and Brandon "met" on a blogging site several years ago, and began an online acquaintanceship. After losing touch for a time, they accidentally found each other again on facebook! (Gotta love Friend Finder!) They picked up right where they left off, and then began to pursue a long-distance relationship: they lived more than 800 miles from each other.

They met face-to-face for the first time on Valentine's Day, 2008, when Brandon braved a Minnesota winter and a Greyhound bus to see the woman who had stolen his heart. (No worries; they met in a very public place! Safety first!)    

Brandon and Tanya married later that year. At 19 and 20, a lot of people didn't believe that they had what it would take to make love last; but here they are, four years later, and going strong.

They have endured the indescribably painful trial of losing their first child to miscarriage, not long after they married. They had not yet had much time to just be newlyweds, and enjoy and study each other, when they were faced with heartbreaking reality. Their fledgling marriage was shaken to its core. They were unable to cope. For a while it seemed their story was over before it had even begun.

Brandon and Tanya made the decision to fight for their love. They sought counseling from their church family.  They began to work through some problems. They made a little progress.

Current photo,
complete with a brand-new blessing!

Used with permission from 
They reached a turning point at a Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conference. Tanya says that they learned so much, and whatever was discussed among the men's group really seemed to make an impact on her husband in a positive way. They are falling deeper in love every day. Tanya believes that it is God that kept them together.

"Always put God first. The rest will fall together."

They have since been blessed again with a healthy baby boy! I wish them many, many more years of happiness and love. This is only the beginning!

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lifelong love: Sarah and John Paul

On the wedding day
The stage was already set for romance when Sarah and John Paul met... at the wedding of friends. It was well known that Sarah had a weakness for red hair, so when a church friend saw the two of them talking there, she predicted marriage!

Sarah and John Paul have been married a whopping four years.... are you wondering why I'm including their young love in a lifelong series?

It's because their marriage is a miracle.

Seven years ago, Sarah was involved in an awful car accident, and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that left her comatose for one and a half months. By the grace of God, she lived, and began to recover, spending the next eighteen months in hospitals.

Against expectations, she is living a full and blessed life. She has met the man that God had for her, even while her family wondered if she would ever breathe on her own again. Not only has she learned to walk again, she was able to walk down the aisle, and she was able to speak before God, and her family and friends, to vow that she would love John Paul for life.

They have gone one to be blessed with three beautiful, healthy, energetic children!

Sarah's daily life is a testimony. She is a bright (and sassy) example of diligence, perseverance, thankfulness, and strong faith to those around her. She has physical and emotional struggles to this day, as well as communication and memory difficulties, but she rises above a pity-party and glorifies God. She looks for the positive in each of her trials, celebrates her blessings, and presses on.

Sarah is an inspiration; but she gets stuck sometimes. John Paul has been there for her, with "great patience, quick forgiveness, and generous compassion," to help her work through her frustrations and limitations. He inspires her to find different or better ways to accomplish her goals. He shares her faith, and he encourages her to know not just what she believes, but also why. He makes an effort to listen to his wife, and to be sure he understands what she has said. He is patient to repeat important information that may slip her mind, and to re-answer her questions, if necessary.

Now; with their three blessings
Sarah will tell you that their love has lasted, in part, due to their mutual efforts to defer to one another, and her willingness to obey her husband.

Her wisdom for newlyweds: Be quiet, and really listen to each other.

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lifelong love: Julia and Andrew

The wedding day

Julia and Andrew have been together for over 10 years. Their romance has survived numerous military separations.

They met when she was 16 and he was 21, but they didn't start dating until three years later. Even then, she told him it "wasn't a date." But 2 weeks later, they knew they wanted to get married.

They had a whirlwind wedding less than a year after Andrew joined the U.S. Marine Corps ~ there were 5 weeks to plan it and pull it off. It was a tight-knit affair, with only 22 guests, and there was no rehearsal. It went off with only minor snafus. They did it!

Three days after the wedding, Andrew was off with the Marines, leaving Julia to work and wait until they knew where he would be stationed and where they would enjoy their married life:


Wow, talk about living a honeymoon!

When Andrew returned home from a deployment in Iraq, Julia calculated that they had been married for 569 days.... and had spent only 153 of them together.

How in the world did they manage to keep their romance alive during all that time?

Julia knew that Andrew was often going to be in harm's way, so she leaned on her faith in God, and believed in His perfect will. She chose to not worry, and placed her husband in the hands of God.

Andrew and Julia now,
with their beautiful new baby girl!
She sent him a package every week, containing something she'd made, photos, things he liked, or things he was missing. Before deployments, she would write notes or Bible verses on the backs of photos of them and their dog, and hide them in his luggage and in his uniforms for him to discover once they were apart. They were able to talk about every two weeks or so.

Julia, now married six years, credits choosing to love, and God's grace, for keeping them together during difficulty. Her advice to you?

"Lasting love is not that warm mushy butterflies you feel all the time.That warm mushy butterflies feeling comes and goes in lasting love. Don't question your love when things are just the normal day to day.

Hardships and heartache will happen and those are the times that love must be a choice. Forgiveness is truly a cornerstone to make marriage work. To forgive your spouse and never bring it up again is difficult but must be done so you can move on in your life together. 

Be sure to set aside time to truly love and appreciate your spouse. A walk on the beach or in the woods together can make you pause and just be together without distraction. 

Have your life outside your husband/wife. Keep your own hobbies so you can nourish yourself and when you come back together you have been able to care for yourself and in turn, love your spouse all the more for it."

If you'd like to share your lifelong love story, please email me at

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lifelong love

I am starting a series about lifelong love.

Would you like to tell your story? I am hoping for a full year (52 stories, once a week) of encouragement for married couples and soon-to-be-marrieds.

I am looking for:

♥ couples reaching a milestone anniversary
♥ couples whose love has survived extenuating circumstances (deployment, severe illness, crises, etc.)
♥ widows/widowers who loved their spouse for life and love him/her still
♥ couples who married very young and are still crazy in love
♥ a couple who thinks their love story is special because ________________
♥ high-school or college sweethearts
♥ couples who met while serving the Lord

If you are interested, please email me at and I will send you my questions, for you to answer at your leisure.

I am just so excited to get started on this project, and I hope it will be uplifting to all who read it!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to Forever Sweethearts!

About me:

I've been married to my high school sweetheart for over 14 years, and he is still my beloved to this very day. We have seven children together.

I enjoy the great privilege of staying home and raising and schooling my children. 

I believe in the sacredness of marriage; that it is a high calling to be a wife and a helper to my husband. 

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." ~Proverbs 31:10-12

I desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman. 

If you are visiting my blog while designing the commencement ceremony of your own love story, I wish you the very best, and a lifetime of devotion and happiness. 

About the work of my hands:

I made a ring pillow for a friend years ago as a wedding gift to her. I made another for my sister when she got married. I enjoyed the process, and loved the product. 

I am first a wife and mother, but I enjoy taking some time to be a little creative. I love the classic, white, lacy wedding, but I also really love a ceremony that isn't traditional; that exclusively represents the hearts of the two and reflects something unique and different... something that is just theirs. I design ring bearer pillows that are just as unique and personal.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to have my work be a part of the momentous occasion!