Little Happies: Joyful Photos

April 7, 2014

This week’s Little Happies is inspired by Blessed to Be’s post last week. Here are some Joyful Photos that made this week’s Little Happy list. They are in no particular order.



Last Spring, I was having a particularly off morning. I told Jonathan I was mad at life and I just wanted to stay in bed all day and mope. He told me in a firm yet gentle way that he wouldn’t accept that. I should go get showered and ready for the day.

Angrily, I got out of bed and walked into the bathroom – seeing this on the mirror. “Happy 500th day of marriage! We’re NOT going to work today. Instead we’re going on an ADVENTURE!” Needless to say, my spirits were soaring and I went from moping to sheer excitement in a matter of moments. We spent the day eating great food, touring the Celestial Seasons Tea Factory, and checking out some cool areas of Colorado. Great day.



I hope these sorority sisters can forgive me for posting this here! The above photo represents only one reason I love being an Alpha Phi.



Jonathan and I won a chili cook-off at the FOCUS Denver Support Center last the first year we started at the office. It was a great day!



During our first summer dating, Jonathan and I made a sort-of imprudent decision. It was about 7 PM when we decided to drive from Champaign, IL to Saint Louis, MO. The reason for this was to visit the famous City Museum. If you haven’t been there, imagine the MOST FUN adult playground. Why this was imprudent, was that the trip took 3 HOURS….one-way!!!

After closing the playground down at nearly 1 AM, we then hit up a Steak N Shake, snapped this photo, and were on our way back north. We didn’t get back in Champign, IL until 7 AM…just as others were going to morning prayer. Whoops!!!



The day we got to do our DEBT-FREE SCREAM live on The Dave Ramsey show….and meet Dave himself!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂



Ever heard of a Viking Dinner? Think of eating only with your face. Hands have to be behind your back at all times. If you get thirsty, you can drink with a straight arm above you and pour with your best aim. It basically turns into a ginormous food fight. Wonderful memory!



Getting our precious godson ready to become a little saint!!!



My first year as a missionary, I ran my first (and only to date) half-marathon with a few students at Illinois and a teammate of mine (the blonde next to me). I finished in just over two hours and couldn’t believe I had actually accomplished this. Prior to this, I may have run two miles in a row but never close to thirteen.



Halloween. I dressed as Belle – my favorite Disney Princess. Next to me I have Amelia Bedelia and Little Bo Peep.



Halloween again. This year, I apparently went as a nerd. Next to me is the one and only Kari Strugg and some random college student with a great hair boof.



Canyoneering with Andrea in Las Vegas a few weeks back! It was quite the adventure!!!


hip hip

Just got hitched! I love how happy Jonathan looks. If this were video, you would see him do some weird hip-hip-hooray-hands-over-the-shoulder-pump. Don’t know how to describe it but it was hilarious.



Hipster Party.



On our Honeymoon, Jonathan entered two contests on Halloween.

The first was a pumpkin carving contest. Our pumpkin was named “Mo” and he got FIRST PLACE! We won a bottle of tequila with a worm on the bottom. Authentic.

The second was a costume contest. Jonathan dressed as a Barber, again named “Mo” and made me be his “customer”. On stage, in front of hundreds of people, he draped me with the towel, lathered my face, and began “shaving” me with a butter knife. I pretended that he knicked me, and squeezed red hot sauce all over. The audience was rolling in laughter. We beat our all the other competition by a landslide. Get this – the prize? One night stay in THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE! AKA the best room in the entire resort. It was phenomenal.



During our engagement shoot, Jonathan caught the giggles. It lasted a good 10-15 minutes. These are the only types of photos we could catch.


made it

El Camino de Santiago!!!!!!! This is the group I walked the Camino with during the Summer of 2009. This photo was shot when we finally reached our destination. Walking into that plaza, after weeks of injuries, pain, and bonding was like getting a glimpse into what walking into heaven will be like one day. Only I am sure heaven would be infinitely better.



This. Actually. Happened.



A partial glimpse at Jonathan’s proposal. All during Lent 2011, Jonathan was sending me these cards in the mail. Each one had a meditation/quote/scripture verse. He was helping lead me spiritually through Lent. I had NO CLUE the first letters meant anything when lined up.

On Holy Thursday, he flew in early and surprised me in the adoration chapel. I was in shock to say the least. He got down on one knee, began laughing profusely, and eventually proposed by laying these cards out one by one next to one another – spelling out what he was trying to say. I said “yes” obviously. 🙂



Last year we ran in a race together – the Rugged Maniac.

I love this photo because we look like total BA’s. We are jumping over fire!!! It’s like a physical manifestation to our infertility journey in a photograph. Covered in dirt. Tired. Nearly beat down. Jumping over fire. Persevering. Pushing forward. There was an end to that race though…where as in infertility I wonder if there is an end before heaven. Only God knows that one.



Jonathan bought mustaches for our entire wedding party to wear for a few photos. Turned out to be some of my favorite pics of the day!

That’s a wrap folks.

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  • Reply Stephanie April 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    These Happy pictures are fantastic! I feel like I just stepped through time with both of you and learned lots about you both. So fun! It seems like you have lots of great adventures together. And there’s clearly a lot of love between the two of you. It’s awesome! I especially love the Halloween costumes, the wedding mustaches, Jonathan’s super creative and romantic proposal, and the Viking dinner! (Sounds so messy!)

    • Reply Amanda April 7, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Stephanie – thanks for inspiring the joyful photos post! 🙂 It was really good to go back down memory lane via Facebook photos. And you have to do a Viking Dinner sometime. =)

  • Reply Steven Bruce April 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I remember crossing my 500th day. In a couple weeks we’re going to be celebrating five years. The infertility issue has been hard for us but we’re in a better position than six months ago. I hope you and Jonathon can be happy with your lives together.

  • Reply Amanda April 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Steven – Congrats on five years! It’s truly a beautiful milestone in any marriage…but when dealing with infertility, things like anniversaries also bring with them some pain of the years gone by. By the time we got to 500 days, I was already thinking I was supposed to be a mom like 200 days ago! 🙂 We are in an interesting place…thinking about adoption but still pursuing medical treatment – kind of like a fork in the road. I am glad to hear you are in a better place than 6 months ago. I wish you and other couples didn’t have to know this cross too. Thank goodness Easter is around the corner – a time to remember that God has redeemed all our brokeness, even if we can’t experience that fully yet.

  • Reply Emily H April 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Hi Amanda! I’m new to your blog but wanted to say that I LOVE your take on this idea. I have a few good friends that joined FOCUS after school, and one that met her husband through it! Also, your husband sounds awesome–the 500th day of marriage is adventure is great! What fun it is to be married to someone you love and like 🙂 Prayers for you guys!

  • Reply Happy 1,000 Days of Marriage! July 19, 2014 at 6:31 am

    […] of you may remember Jonathan pulled something just as creative on our 500th Day of Marriage. So this trick was right up his alley and I am so grateful for […]

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