The Cotton Year: Our Second Anniversary

When looking back upon the wedding, what is the first memory that comes to mind?

Helen: When we first walked into the ballroom and were first introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Harm!

Steven: First thing I think about is being nervous, waiting in the room behind the alter before the processional because I knew your on your way.

What was the highlight of this past year?

Helen: All the travel! We went to 6 new states!

Steven: Obviously, buying the house.

Things the other person can't live without?

Helen: Steve cannot live without all his apple products, country music, and our Amazon Alexa (aka his second wife).

Steven: She cannot live without M&Ms, twifigram (my combination of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Copyright pending :P ), and Real Housewives of any city.

Any favorite traditions?
Helen: We try to have proper dinners as often as we can. I cook a full meal, we sit down together, and take our time eating talk about our day and future plans. Between his travel and my evening yoga schedule, we actually don't get to do this as often as you'd expect.

Steven: We have this recipe for Chex Mix that I love. It's the perfect road trip snack. It's reserved specifically for road trips and we make it every time we have to drive a long distance. It's small, but its our own silly, little thing.

What have you learned about marriage or your spouse in the last year?

Helen: We've learned how to argue better. It's an odd thing to say, but we have somehow learned to remain calm and have a conversation, rather than an actual fight.

Steven: We have to support each other in every possible way. Big or small, it doesn't matter, we always have to appreciate the other.  Something as simple as saying "thank you" can make a huge difference.

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What do you hope the next year will bring?

Helen: I want us to stay open to new adventures and opportunities.

Steven: I hope to see a lot of growth with us as a couple and as a family overall. 

 

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like Kaleidoscope Spinning Turns One! and The Paper Year: Our First Anniversary

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What We Gave Our Bridal Party

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In our wedding, we had 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen. Each one of them were so supportive and helpful during the wedding planning. Because of this, I took what we gave our bridal part very seriously. They deserved something thoughtful and useful. It took some time, but Steve and I, and our bridal party, were very happy with what we chose! The Bridesmaids: I wanted to give my bridesmaids two different types of gifts:

  1. Something they could wear while we were getting ready before the wedding
  2. A piece of jewelry they could wear to the wedding

But here is the catch; I wanted the gifts to be something they could wear again.

I searched for a long time looking at tshirts, robes, pants, and tank tops. Then the thought came to me; a zip-up hoodie! It would be perfect for getting ready that morning since they wouldn't  have to take it off over their head. I found an Etsy shop that would monogram each hoodie and had a variety of color options! My bridesmaids got heather gray hoodies with purple thread. JHL_9898

I got myself the same hoodie in white. It had the monogram of my new name! HJHDSCN4517

For the jewelry, I went to one of my favorite Etsy shops, Bip and Bop. I found this beautiful, delicate necklace. It matched the theme of my wedding, and the bridesmaids dresses perfectly! The girls loved it all and even a year later have told me they still wear both gifts! Hearing that just warms my heart! :)

The Groomsmen: Steve wanted to make sure the groomsmen's gifts were functional and practical. We thought for a while about what they would want. Then I remembered when my cousin got married, they gave the groomsmen duffel bags. I told Steve about this and he loved the idea! We found these great overnight bags on Etsy and they guys loved them!

For their second gift, I wanted to add a little fun to it, while still remaining functional. It didn't take long to think of flasks. (Thought process was basically, "What do guys in their 20s like to do?" Drink! Haha)

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It's probably clear by now that I turned to Etsy a lot when it came time to look for bridal party gifts. I highly recommend it because you can basically find anything and everything you'd be interested in. And while you're perusing Etsy, make sure to stop by my page! I'm adding new prints all the time.

As always, thanks for reading, Helen

P.S. If you liked this you may also like The Paper Year: Our First Anniversary and My Etsy Page!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Friday Finds: Business Travel

Happy Friday Everyone!

My husband travels a lot for work. This past week he was in Boston, and he has so much more travel to come in the next few weeks. He loves it! He gets to see other parts of the country, from big cities to middle-of-nowhere towns. He's gotten to explore New York, San Francisco, D.C. and the Grand Canyon, just to name a few.

Of course we miss each other when he's gone, but we do embrace the alone time. A silly example would be television shows. We both get to watch our shows that the other hates without protest. For him, it's superhero shows; for me, it's reality TV. There are also benefits. Because of all of the travel we have racked up the air miles (which is how we got to Alaska) and hotel points! We love using those!

Below are some of my favorite finds this week!

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Oreos are getting meta.

Who doesn't love Snapchat filters?!

#LegallyBlonde15 A perfect description of a millennial's life in Kansas City.

Truly the best Vine I have ever seen, ever!

An powerful essay by Jennifer Aniston.

The bridal store where I bought my dress featured our photo!

So I'd like to know what about you. Do you, or a significant other, travel for work? Do you like it? Where were your favorite places to visit?

As always, thank you for reading, Helen

P.S. If you liked this, you may also like Friday Finds: What Are You Watching? and Friday Finds: Do You Hike?

Our Gallery Wall

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My husband instilled something in me when we first moved in together. At the time we were recent college grads and newly engaged, and I wanted this first apartment of ours to look amazing. My instinct was to go to Target and buy wall décor to fill space and cover our ugly beige walls. But Steve stopped me when I was discussing my plans. He told me how he prefers the décor in his home to be personal. Rather than picking up items because they "looked cute", he wanted to have items I created or prints that had meaning to them. With this in mind, I abandoned my original plans and took a look at what we already had. A few worthy item according to the new criteria and some obvious gaps that needed to be filled. Given how I now wanted everything to have meaning, I didn't rush the process. It's now been three years and we've gone through 4 versions of our gallery wall. I think this one is the best by far. In those three years, I've added items and taken some away, but the purpose has always remained the same.

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      1. #Stelen2015 was our wedding hashtag. Inspired by the "celebrity name" given to us in college (Steven and Helen) and the year of our marriage. The Stelen2015 canvas was a wedding gift from a sweet college friend.
      2. A Valentine's Day gift from me to Steve, in the middle is a photo from the first time he visited me and my family in Chicago. Around the photo, I wrote the lyrics to "Crazy Girl" by the Eli Young Band. We considered it our song and eventually had our first dance to it at our wedding.
      3. Another gift from me to Steve. I took a wooden plaque and hammered in nails in the of the state of Iowa. The heart was placed in the center for the location of Iowa State University in Ames, where Steve and I met.
      4. A print from an Etsy shop. I originally was planning on purchasing one for some friends, but I felt it applied to Steve and I as well. In his job, he travels at least once a month, but usually more. Steve was also grew up moving every other year because his dad was in the Air Force. Because of this he believes in taking advantage of living in new places.
      5. A gift from Steve to me on our very first dating anniversary. The frame, from an Etsy shop, says. "I Love You to the Moon and Back".  The photo contains a picture of us a couple of days before our first date and a photo a us exactly one year later.
      6. A photo from our engagement shoot.
      7. The Kansas City Skyline print from Etsy. When we moved to KC, I wanted to buy a bunch of KC artwork to commemorate the move. The Skyline is made up of words that have to do with Kansas City.
      8. A print we picked on our honeymoon in Antiqua. It is of a part of the island that holds the National Park.
      9. A How I Met Your Mother print from Etsy. It has the famous "yellow umbrella" on it. This was a show that Steve and I loved to watch (except for the last season!)
      10. A gift from Steve to me. It says "Steve Lassos to Moon" with a image of a man actually lassoing the moon! He gave this to me because "It's a Wonderful Life" is one of my favorite movies. But the best part? It's not a print, its all sewn onto a canvas!
      11. An abstract map of Ames, IA.
      12. The cutest little print I picked up from Paper Source.
      13. This is actually a lawn sign from Iowa State's 100th Homecoming celebration. Steve and I were both on the committee to plan Homecoming that year.
      14. A photo of the Northern Lights, taken in Alaska, which is where we picked it up. If only I had seen them myself!
      15. Yes, that is a very tiny photo from our wedding, but we have much bigger ones in our living room!
      16. Another photo from our engagement shoot.
      17. This is a fun little item. I took the top off of a shadow box and left the glass and backing on. This is where we put old tickets from concerts, movies, and games.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at our gallery wall and learning a little bit more about me, and my life!

As always, thank you for reading, Helen

P.S. You may also like Not Your Typical Headboard and International Shadow Boxes.