B I T S + P I E C E S

So we went to the fair last week, which just so happened to be Elisha's first time to the State Fair! Crazy. So of course, we ate everything in sight and did all there was to do. We actually got to go with my work, because I drove a bus - yes, a bus. Me, behind the wheel of a 13 passenger vehicle. It was quite the sight and an experience I shall not soon forget. It was fun to go on a date with Elisha and to experience the fair in all of it's greatness!

Last night we had our first premarital counseling session, which surprisingly I really enjoyed. In all of our years together, Elisha and I have never met with someone to discuss us. Maybe seperately we've done so, but never together, to receive council - we've just kind of figured it out on our own. Which, is great and all, but to discuss "us" with someone else really gives a whole new perspective on our relationship. And I love it! All of that to say, if you don't have someone (or a couple) in your life, that you and your other can go and talk to, you should get one. It's like totally great.

We are less than two weeks away now. like whoa.

xo. melisa

W H A T W E W O R E // engagement one

on her :: dress/free people, sandals/target, flower crown/handmade
on him :: pants & shirt/urban outfitters, shoes/aldo

I'm happy to finally start sharing our engagement photos with you! First lets talk about how much I love these: I love how handsome Elisha is in his button up, I love that the lighting was superb, I love that Kalli captured our quirkiness, and I love how perfectly they embody "us". Now, let's talk about that flower crown that wasn't even supposed to be in but a few photos and turned out to be the best idea. I had gone to the store the night before the shoot, to pick up some flowers to use as a bouquet for the shoot, but decided to turn them into a flower crown about ten minutes before walking out the door, ha! Some quick crafting happening! I think it turned out okay, meaning it stayed on my head and looked pretty, and I couldn't be happier with how our first set of photos turned out. I'll be sharing more next week!

Today we're moving me into our new home! I am beyond words excited! I can't wait to start nesting and making it a place where we can be us, together. We're still currently looking for a couch and desks. Let me know in the comments below, if you know of any good places we should check out!


footnote: photography by Kalli Carr

L E W E D :: invitations (pt. 2)

When it came to our invitations, we knew two things for certain: they had to be special and Elisha was going to design them. I had the idea of creating a "magazine" when we were planning our engagement shoot. I wanted to to be able to tell a story through our photos and really share who we are as a couple. I sent our photographer home with a few Anthropologie / Free People catalogs so she could get a feel for what we wanted our photos to feel like. While gathering them, I thought, "how cool would it be if we created a "catalog" of us?" It seemed a little "look at me and all of my photos", but we figured it was highly likely that our friends and family would want to see them and this way they would have their own copies. I shared the concept with Elisha and he loved it! He totally ran with the idea and created the perfect invitation for us. I love that we were able to share more than one photo with our friends and family, and tell the story of us in the process. The last page is perforated and the envelope comes off, so everything fit like a little package - so perfect. I made the stamp for the return envelope and our beautiful swan stamp is from Native Bear (it has our new address, which I blocked out for obvious reasons) - I just want to stamp everything with it! The beautiful cups featured, were provided by Rosemary Paper Co. As I said, Elisha designed the invites and if you're interested in having him design for you, you can email him here. If you have any other questions about them, feel free to leave a comment below!

Now that our invitations are out and our friends and family get to be fully surprised by the photos; I can share all of our engagement photos on here too! I'll be posting them throughout the next week. 

While getting our invitations all sealed up, it hit me how blessed we are to have such incredible people in our lives. From our talented friends and family contributing to this whole process - photographers, musicians, ministers, crafters and the like - we know some cool people. I'm truly grateful for each of them. I know most people dread writing thank you cards, but I absolutely can't wait to get to them!

xo. melisa

B I T S + P I E C E S

This weekend Elisha and I went to one of our favorite spots in Ft Worth called Brewed. The food is great, and the environment is even better! We had fun working on a few wedding things, and planning one of our biggest youth events. We love working from coffee shops; maybe it's the creative vibe, or the constant flow of food and drink, but it's our favorite! Where do you work best?

xo. melisa

ENGAGED :: Month three??

I have somehow managed to go through two months of being engaged and am just now sitting down to write about my experience thus far. I fully intended on keeping an online journal of sorts to be able to catalog this season of my life - something I could go back to years down the road. And already, two months have passed me! But seriously, they just flew by!

So here we are in month three, we've accomplished quite a bit, but still have much to do. My to do lists seem to be ever-growing, but I have yet to reach a freak out moment. Pray it doesn't come! Every bride has told me that they had at least one; some even managed to make it all the way to the wedding day before their break. I'm just hoping mine is quick and painless for all involved. I feel so lucky to have such incredible friends and family to share this moment with. They've each been so helpful and supportive on every decision we've made thus far.

It's so fun planning something so big, like a wedding, with your best friend. This big project has really helped us see, even more, how well we work together. Each of us picking up where the other lacks and working through issues as a team. It's his birthday today in fact. It's crazy to think I've known him for 9 years of his life and through any and every change, we've moved in the same direction. I just love it! I'm realizing more each day, how lucky we are to have found eachother and how truly excited I am to continue spending my life with him.

Our big to do's as of now, are cake, flowers, invites and honeymoon. Once we check those off then we can start having more fun with decorations and such. Which, btw, I have so many fun ideas already and it's killing me not being able to share! 

Any of you remember this part of your engagement?? Any advice for me? I love any helpful tips!

xo. melisa

L E W E D :: the proposal

I'm so excited to finally share our full proposal story! To begin, here's a little back story... Elisha and I met when we were in high school. We "talked"for about a year, before we officially started dating. Our first Summer together was actually spent apart, while I was visiting my Dad in Houston and he was running an internship program back home. We emailed each other at least once a day & learned so much about each other! I actually printed off all of our emails and gave them to him as a gift for an anniversary. There were about 150 pages! 

After that Summer I came home and we started living a dream. Over the course of two years we had incredible dates, laughed so much, shared memories, went on trips, did ministry together, learned from each other, had rough times, grew up, and were better because of one another. Looking back on where we started and who we were then, it amazes me that we've been able to grow and continue in the same direction. Eight years later and it still seems like just yesterday.

Elisha was my first and only boyfriend. There were guys who I talked to, guys who wanted to date me, but for some reason I had the mentality that if I wasn't going to marry them, then I wasn't going to waste my time. Kind of a strange way to think when you're only 16, but I knew that I was going to date to marry. When Elisha and I started to get to know each other, I knew he was going to be my guy, the one I'd spend my life with. Again, strange thinking for a teenager - or I guess more common these days. 

From the beginning, we both knew we wanted marriage and that we couldn't wait to spend our lives together. After I finished my two year program, we thought it might be time. After some conversation though, I realized that I really wanted to go to college and move to Texas. That Summer he was offered a great job opportunity in Ft Worth, and I planned on attending college in the fall. Everything was lining up.

We decided that marriage while I was in school just didn't make sense. The idea of starting off fresh, with no debt, and with two jobs just seemed like the best option. So we waited. During that time Elisha was offered a Youth Pastor position in Wisconsin. He was there for over a year and needless to say, it was a trying time for both of us. Being in a long distance relationship is tough enough, but when you both have so much on your plate, it makes it even harder! I went to visit twice and spent a Summer there. This time grew us as individuals and made us stronger as a couple. Our time together was treasured and we learned to not take the other for granted; true appreciation for what we had together grew.

Elisha returned to Texas and began his new position as a Youth Pastor here in Mansfield. I graduated college and began working and helping out at our church. Our lives finally began to feel like we were on track and marriage could actually be real.

A year passed after having graduated and I was getting a bit antsy. I went through many seasons during our time together, but one thing I truly learned was patience. I knew that I knew, that we were going to be together forever & that our marriage was worth waiting for. So I waited. 

On May 31st, 2005 Elisha asked me to be his girlfriend. On May 31st, 2013, Elisha asked me to be his wife.

Elisha took me to eat dinner to celebrate our anniversary. He was acting a little funny, but I did't think much of it. We were on our way home and he seemed a little nervous - at this point I was hopeful, but thought, there's no way! We stopped to pick up some ice cream and he drove us into the park parking lot. I thought he was going to recreate our first date. We walked down into a a wooded area and once we turned the corner, I saw my family and some of our closest friends lined up with candles. I instantly started crying. I seriously could not even control the tears. He held my hand and walked me to the clearing. Our friend Branden was playing "I have and I always will", and Elisha was singing the words to me. When the song finished he whispered that he loved me, and I said I loved him too. This was the first time we'd ever said that to each other and we never meant it more. He got down on one knee and asked me what I had dreamt of hearing hundreds of times. I said yes (of course) and there was much rejoicing! 

Every part of this night was perfection. From the sheet hung to show our photos through the years to the giant wall created with Christmas lights, to the people I love most being there... perfect.

It was like an instant engagement party as we made our way back up to the park pavilion to eat cupcakes and toast with cider! To be honest the night is kind of a blur because I was so in awe that this day had actually come. Even now, looking down at my ring as I type, listening to this song... I'm the happiest I've ever been. I can't wait to be his wife, and I'm excited I get to share this with all of you.

xo. melisa

footnote: all photos taken by my sweet friend Kalli. We were so grateful she was able to capture this moment.


The Mr and I rarely celebrate holidays on the actual day. This Valentine's Day was no exception, so we celebrated today! It was a perfect day. It started with breakfast with the most delicious french toast! Then we grabbed some coffee and chai at our favorite cafe. We walked around the Japanese garden at the Ft Worth botanical garden - it was beautiful. Then we did a little shopping and bought each other our gifts! After grabbing some chocolate from Dude, Sweet, we went to the movies and headed home. It was seriously wonderful. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am, but today I was reminded of it. I hope you each had so much fun with your loved one!

xo melisa

CALI // pt. 4

The very last part of our Cali trip consisted of Elisha running in the Super Spartan Race, which is why we went in the first place! He did SO good and I couldn't have been more proud. He was in the top 10% of all that competed - which was a total of over 5000! He'll be doing another Spartan Sprint in May and hopefully The Spartan Beast (which sounds terrifying) later this year. The goal is to compete in all three race levels this year.

Elisha recently went on this whole fitness kick and his commitment to it has kind of blown me away. I love his passion for what he sets his heart to, and it pushes me every day.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and enjoy your weekend! You deserve rest and happiness.

xo. melisa

what we wore

she wore // pants: H&M, top: Anthropogie, sweater: sheinside , boots: Arturo Chiang
he wore // jeans: Levi's, shirt: American Apparel, tie: H&M, sweater: rag + bone, shoes: Aldo

A few weeks ago the mr and I took a few photos and I never got around to sharing some with you.They're pretty random, but I love em! I love looking through all of our photos together over the last seven years; it's always incredible to see how much we change. 

Tomorrow we're headed to California!! Elisha is taking part in another Spartan Race, that's twice as long as his first one. I'm so proud of him. We'll get to stay with his family and roam around the city; I can't wait! Any of you live in Cali? Any suggestions on restaurants or attractions we should hit up?

xo. melisa