Gifting the Perfect Personalized Watch.

It's no secret that I am (overly) excited about finally getting to be the bride. I have worked with so many amazing couples planning all the tiny details of their weddings. When we begin to work on their paper goods, I always ask lots of questions about their story, their personal styles and how they want their guests to feel at their wedding. 

It is always about personalization. And now that I'm going through the experience myself, I see how truly important that is. I, of course, had so many ideas of what I wanted on my wedding day, but all of that changed when I met the man that I would actually be marrying. We have so many quirky things between the two of us and it is going to be so much fun to invite our friends and family into that. 

So when Jord sent me their gorgeous wooden watch with a personalized box, I got so excited. We have been looking for gifts for our loved ones involved in our wedding and this personalized watch is the perfect find. Both the back of the watch and the box can be engraved. 

The unique watches are made out of wood and there are a lot of beautiful options to match many different styles. I got the Ebony and Sable.

They are perfect for parent gifts, bridal party gifts, or bride and groom gifts. 

I vainly chose to write my future Mrs. name (can't believe my name is going to be Erica Campbell!!!) 

I imagine writing "We love you, xx Paul and Erica" or for my husband "To my sweetest husband, I'll love you forever."

The best part is that Jord is giving one lucky winner $100 to purchase a watch of your own! And as an added bonus, the winner can have me to letter their message if they wish! Just follow the link below to enter.

What are your favorite personalization ideas for wedding gifts?

Then Sings My Soul.

A few weeks ago Ike and Emily were singing How Great Thou Art. 

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art. 
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art! 

My heart stopped at "then sings my soul." That's it. My soul sings. 

My soul sings in the difficult times. My soul sings in the joyful times. My soul sings when I don't know what is coming and my soul sings when I rest. 

I found this journal at my parents' house last weekend written for my future children by my 16 year old self. After reading the first part, I'm 100% sure that I will never give them that journal. I found a note from a particularly difficult time in my family life - a story that is not mine to tell - and in the anger and sadness, I ended the note with the love of God. Then my soul sings.

Another entry was after I lost the student council race for the FOURTH year in a row. I think back now and I have no idea how I had the guts to run after all the losses. And there in my junior year of high school, I worked through feeling like a total loser (actually wrote that). I let my sadness pour out. And yet on the next page I praised God for the beauty in my life. Then my soul sings. 

I got to live in Brazil and make so many beautiful friends for a year and a half that forever changed my life. There my soul sang. And when I left them and my heart was broken, oh boy did my soul sing then. 

I have gone through more heartbreaks than I can count on my fingers. I felt alone and wondered when it would be my turn. I lost hope and gained hope. I got hurt and I loved again. And through it all, my soul sings. 

And now I get to marry this man and I can't believe it's real life. And I say once again, then my soul sings. 

In and out, up and down, my soul sings. 

I wanted a big print of it to remind me, to see daily and say yes, my soul sings. It finally made its way from my heart to my head to my hands to you. 

You can purchase it in our shop AND now through the end of the month, you can get $20 off an order of $175 at Framebridge, my preferred framing method. (use code TWENTY175)

Taking the Leap.

This week I'm over at the Grotto Network sharing about when I took the leap to be an entrepreneur. 

"While running a business as a young woman can be a challenge and require risk-taking, I found it to be true that “with greater risk is greater reward.” It feels like such a privilege to get to walk this road of entrepreneurship, and it requires me to rely on God for daily support."

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This. Here. Now.

I have owned and worn every size from 0 to 16 at some stage in the last 29.5 years. 

I remember going into The Limited Too in fifth grade and having already sized out of their clothing. So we would go and shop for my cousin and she would find such cute things. Then I would go to New York and Company and get a button down shirt that looked like a middle aged woman. By 7th grade I began only wearing stretchy pants and large shirts. By 9th grade I became obsessed with working out and in 11th grade I’d be at the gym by 5am, work out for two hours, go to school, work and then run in the evenings. 

I did not want the body I had and no matter how hard I worked out or how diligently I kept my calories recorded, I couldn't get the one I wanted.

After a break up a few years ago, I lost my appetite and got very thin. I loved it. When people said ‘you’re looking very thin’ (come to find out - not in a complimentary way) I reeled. I loved when my therapist felt concerned that you could see every bone in my chest. That's not healthy.

Since dating Paul and consciously eating more, I've put back on the weight and then some.

Last weekend we went wedding dress shopping for the first time. I had seen a beautiful dress online and was set on it being mine. But when we began trying on dresses with crepe fabric like it, I was terribly disappointed to discover that the way it hugs every part of my body was not flattering at all. Couldn’t spanx fix that? 

No, the boutique owner said. You’d see the lines where they begin and end. Oh, I said, defeated. 

She reminded me that those images online are not only models, but also photoshopped. I work with photoshop a lot and I KNOW about those tricky things and even I forgot. 

We found this amazing dress. I felt beautiful in it. We bought it. And I’m struggling with so many feelings about it. 

When I started wading through them (something I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to do well until I met my therapist fiancé) I realized that it felt like my days at The Limited Too. 

Those dresses were made for the girls who had never been overweight, for the girls without curves and dimples. And instead of choosing to love the way my body is shaped, I fell right back into my old thinking patterns of wanting a different body. 

Instead of living in the joy of marrying the man who I love deeply, I am stuck here wishing my arms and hips were different. So that I could fit into the photoshopped image I saw online. 

I remember as a teenager flipping through SHAPE magazine wanting so badly to look like the women in there. I wanted to be a woman instead of the 14 year old that I was. I didn’t want a chubby face, I didn’t want my childish features. I wanted to be a 30 year old woman. 

There is a need for me to take care of my body. To celebrate the successes - like how I am able to do a headstand without the wall for the first time ever! Or how I conceded to the fact that I never made enough time to cook nutritious meals and have hit a place in the success of my business that I can order weekly meals from Thistle

I know I’ve posted this quote by Sarah Silverman before, but I need its reminder more than ever.‘Mother Teresa didn’t go around complaining about her thighs. She had shit to do.’ 

Instead of lamenting over how I can’t have that one thing I wanted and how having that thing also makes me want to have someone else’s body, I need to let go of my ideas and dress that one I have. There are so many better things to do with the life that I have and a vocational call that doesn’t have time to hate any part of me. 

How many times do I focus on what other people have rather than rejoicing in what I do have or my own unique gifts. The "compare and despair" of social media, the envy of others' lives. All the years I wanted to be married instead of single, have my own babies instead of care for other people's babies, own a beautifully decorated home instead of rent and have roommates. 

The only joy I will find in this life is if I find daily gratitude in the reality in front of me. This. Here. Now.

I would love for this to be a conversation. What has helped you? Any good books? If you have your own daughters what do you do to help them grow up to love their own bodies and care for them? 

The Enneagram

If you follow me on instagram, you've probably heard me sing praises for The Enneagram. My fiance, Paul, gives a good overview of what it is over at The Grotto Network

The Enneagram Introduction

I've been getting a lot of messages wondering how to dive deeper into the Enneagram. Here is a list of some of my favorite books:

If you need a free test to get you started and pointed toward your number, this is a good one

What number are you? I'm a 2w3!