Friends and Flowers

 
One of my dearest friends and I
worked and reworked our schedules so that we could have one last hoorah as
single women. I am so glad we did. Besides staying up till 3 am, laughing over the
chili which tasted of cinnamon because it was mistaken for chili powder,
drinking late night tea, laughing with my hilarious mama, and discussing all
manner of subjects (marriage, family, boys, and difficulties) we also put
together the boutonnieres and corsages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beautiful dear laughing over something … could
it be Marmee dancing in her pjs in the background?

 
The bunches contain dried
larkspur, thistles, tallow berries, and something which looks like a mix
between foxtail and wheat. It was fun finding flowers which complemented our blue, gold, and white theme–though they may be considered weeds I love how they turned out!
 
 
 

So thankful for these ladies in
my life!

 

 

 

Inviting You

Eeeee! It is with great jubilation
that I announce that the invitations have been sealed and stamped … ready for their
great adventure within the mailing system!

If you were hoping to receive one
of these little creatures, drop me a note along with your mailing address at authentic_virtue@yahoo.com.

I am so thankful to have each
of you in my life—you are quite wonderful, dearies! Wishing we could settle
into the sofa for a chat and some chai tea!

Frannie

An “Inviting” Glimpse

Planning our wedding has been
one of the most joyful, exciting and encouraging times in my life. I love
watching our ideas turn into plans and plans spring into actions creating
beautiful reality. The guest list transforms into addresses on envelopes,
wedding dress shopping turns into the
dress
fitting and discussing who will marry us blossoms into a fun, encouraging
appointment with our pastor.

One of the most exhilarating and
~challenging~ adventures thus far has been the making of invitations. We
had saved money by deciding on a local location, ordering dried flowers and finding
a dress on sale. {Eeeeeee!} Because of our so-far thriftiness, I wanted to make
the invitations ourselves.

To get started, I found a
pattern I liked and began, with the help of my wonderful mom, to create
something out of nothing. This proved to be (a lot) harder than expected but
I am very excited with the results so far! J

Next, we decided to have an
invitation assembling party! Woot! This was a lot of fun—I bought each of the
girl’s favorite candy, assembled the supplies in some sort of order while mom
set the counter for a baked potato bar (baked potatoes surrounded by toppings
like chili, cheese, sour cream and anything else your carb-loving,
starch-enjoying tummy could desire). Our friends worked so diligently and I had
so much fun seeing my piles of paper begin to become mail worthy.
 

 

 
( Haha! Looks like the camera caught us in a fit of professional seriousness. 🙂

There is about ten more hours of
work before these babies will be ready for debut (which I will of course let
you in on!). Until then I’ll share a few handy-dandy tips I have found useful.
1)  
Count the costs … literally.
I forgot neglected to calculate the costs which turned out to be
more than expected. I assumed that because I make cards I would have the
supplies needed. Wrong.
 
2)  
Have candy on hand
 
3)  
Have protein on hand (this
is more important than step 2 even though it isn’t quite as fun)
 
4)  
Let go of the little
details yet stick to the original beauty you envisioned.
 
5)  
Coffee, coffee, coffee,
coffee … COFFEE
 
6)  
Buy a lovely return
address stamp unless you tend to be like me … a wee bit over zealous and have
an attachment to the hand written appeal
 
7)  
Learn to laugh, go to
bed if need be, practice over-abundant gratitude to those helping and again …
go to bed if needed J
 
8)  
Pop in your favorite films
(Les Miserables, Little Women and Julie and Julia anyone?) or listen to a
sermon to help the time pass by
 
9)  
Better yet, pray for
each guest as they come to mind
 
10)
My favorite: use the time preparing your mind. You are a bride; a bride endeavoring to be prepared for the day you walk
down the aisle to meet your wonderful, sweet groom. Most likely, he will not
mind if the glue stick makes the vellum bubble a little or that the RSVP stamp
might be a wee bit crooked—he just can’t wait to call you his. Enjoy it, sweet
girl!
 
P.S.
I want to say thank you for
your wonderful notes of love you have given to Dalton and I! We truly
appreciate it!
For
each of you who have shown an interest in exchanging mailing addresses or
emails, yes, yes, yes! J Please grant me a few more days of work time and soon after
I will be back in touch. Ah, your friendships are so precious to me!
 

Dear Mr. Duncan

 

 hello, Dalton.

Yes, I know you are reading this post. You’re probably in some sort of coffee shop or unknown Wi-Fi spot. Do you know how much it means to me that you read my blog? How much it means to me that you are working so diligently on our future life and home? How your gentle, warrior spirit reminds me every day of God’s Husbandly/Fatherly love?

Right now I’m laying in bed, hair wild and unkept with a terrible fever. I’m wearing mismatched pajamas I haven’t changed out of in, oh, let’s see … the past day and night. My breath smells like sickness {{ewwwy}} and my spirit is incredibly needy.

Despite my disgusting, frustrating feelings I am so incredibly missing you. And I am thankful. Thankful for your self-sacrificing love. How you graciously listen to my joys and complaints. Your patience. Your big heart and big dreams. Most of all, I am thankful that our Abba Daddy saw it fit to let me join you in the adventure called life.

Fifty days may feel like a lifetime, but it’s fifty days closer to the day when our lifetime officially begins.

Love you so much,

Your Francesca
 

Only ~Fifty~ More Days

Hello dear ones!

Ah, yes, where exactly did I leave off? Oh yea.

I’M ENGAGED!

There are so many emotions crashing about. Positive emotions like delight and joy —> Finally, I will have someone to love and be loved by!  Negative emotions like fear and sadness —> What if I do not make a good wife? Can I live without seeing my mom every day?

But God’s grace is sufficient. Dalton and I are getting married March 7th. The plan is to have a lovely, God-centered evening wedding full of candlelight and good friends and family.  I. Am. So. Excited. 🙂

This means lots of (sudden) changes. I will not be attending college this semester but, Lord willing, plan to jump back into school this summer. Dalton recently moved to Jefferson City, two hours away, where he began his new job. He is renting/re-vamping a little house which we will both share in … fifty days! After we are married I will be moving to the big city with all my earthly possessions in tote. ((Gasp! I should ask D if bringing my rock collection is allowed?)) 🙂

Here’s the little kitchen D has been painting and cleaning. Doesn’t the green and yellow look so pretty?
 
Here is the living room you walk into from the front door.

The beautiful pots and pans my granma and granpa gave to Dalton and I! So sweet!

Which brings me back to the subject of wedding planning. There is so much to do! Last night I had nightmares on not being able to find the perfect invitations at an affordable price. (Don’t think I’m too weird–I’ve had a fever since yesterday which always makes me dream strange dreams.) 

One of the “Will You be My Bridesmaid?” bags I put together. They were full of goodies and treats corresponding with our colors, royal blue and champagne gold. These were super fun to make! 

In the meantime, Dalton and I are learning how to keep growing together despite the distance. It can be hard sometimes but we really want these last few weeks to be a blessing. My family and I also realize how short these last fifty days really are; my poor, dear mom is struggling most of all.

A picture I sent D the first week he was gone. I told him that the little red truck and I missed him lots. 🙂

So, dear readers, please keep me in your prayers. I would so appreciate it! Pray for:

– Dalton and I to find memorable, productive ways of staying connected and growing in love

– That the wedding planning will be full of joyous memories and come together in a way which speaks of God’s great care

– That my family and I would see how special these last  few weeks are and that love and patience would abound

– That I would seek God first and foremost during this incredibly busy time–He is the first Bridegroom!

– For our health

Oh, I love you all so much and am so glad to have friends all over the world cheering Dalton and I on. You each are so special!!