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Happy New Year!

I know, I’m a little late but it’s still January which technically means the year is still new. Right?

Some journal doodles from the beginning of the year...

I’ve actually taken a hiatus from social media (sometimes you just need a break) so, I guess my blog got was on a break too but not intentionally…

I’ve been pretty busy with good things (mostly). I’ve been working on some New Year’s Resolutions, helping lead worship at church, working in general and I’ve been completely sucked into the show Nikita which got canceled- booo! Oh, and I just started a photography class at UT! So, I am a busy girl.

Anyways… At the start of the year I started to do some self-evaluation (the New Year tends to do that to us) and I came up with some goals and things I’d really like to put in focus this year. The top one being my marriage, second being my musicianship and third working on my skills as a photographer.

I broke that list down and came up with 6 things I wanted to work on specifically and I’m going to share a few with y’all:

1. Cook more- eat out less. Patrick and I would like to be healthier so we’ve started meal planning and we’ve gotten a lot better at grocery shopping. We eat a lot more veggies now. 🙂 This one falls under the category of marriage.

2. Social Media break. I started on the first day- it wasn’t a well thought-out plan- I just woke up that morning and decided I needed to focus on other things than Facebook & Instagram- one huge thing being my marriage. I needed to spend less time on the phone/computer and more time being present at home, in the car, wherever Patrick and I find ourselves. And you know what? Things have been a lot better for the both of us. It’s awesome.

3. Write one song a month. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written a song- before I was married was actually the last time. There’s a lot of excuses that I can use for that but NO MORE. I did this goal in 2012 and I wrote so many songs because “The more creativity you use, the more you have”. 2012 was my most productive year as a musician but I’m hoping 2014 will be even better. January is almost up and I still don’t have my song… But, I will!

4. One photo shoot a month– creative, family, etc… I haven’t done this one yet either because I just started my class at UT like two days ago. But, I’m hoping I’ll get some fun stuff in the next few days… I really want to do something with photography because I absolutely love it. I’ve always loved taking pictures and I want to take my knowledge and skills to the next level.

The actual page these resolutions came from... January 3, 2014

The actual page these resolutions came from…
January 3, 2014

I would love to know what your goals or resolutions for the new year were. Share with me! Post in the comments or post a link to your space in the blogging world.

Let’s hold each other accountable?

♥Gianna Joy

p.s. Today would’ve been my mom’s 59th birthday- Crazy. Happy birthday, mom! You are missed more than you could know. ♥♥♥

This post is dedicated to all the bride-to-be’s and wedding-lovers out there. I’m going to share with you the details of my dreamy wedding and hopefully it will help you plan yours, whether it’s near or in the distant future. Enjoy!

First off let me say that planning a wedding is no easy feat; it is not for the weak or faint of heart! There will be times when you will feel like nothing is coming together but, I promise you it does. Once you get to the week of the wedding there will (hopefully) be lots of people willing to help out anyway they can. You will love those people.

Second, I have the best mother-in-law, Bobbie, and without her I don’t think I would’ve seen my dream wedding come to be. She worked so hard on helping make the day totally beautiful!

Let’s get to it, shall we?

For our wedding location was everything. Well, that and cooperative weather. We chose Patrick’s backyard because I’ve always wanted to do an outdoor wedding and his parents had a beautiful, spacious backyard with lots of trees and a lake! We were blessed with INCREDIBLE weather the day of our wedding so our backyard wedding was an absolute DREAM. I’m not kidding or exaggerating, the whole day was stunning from start to finish. It wasn’t too hot during the day (thank the Lord), there was a sweet breeze and the night time wasn’t too chilly. We had lots of people praying for our day when it came to the weather- I can’t thank them enough!

Enough babbling… Pictures!

The Ceremony Decoration:

The Welcome. My best friend did a FANTASTIC job with the artsiness of this sign. #MrAndMrsKick  (Abby Floyd)

The Welcome. My best friend did a FANTASTIC job with the artsiness of this sign. #MrAndMrsKick
(Abby Floyd)

This was all Bobbie's idea. Patrick used to collect skeleton keys and Bobbie had saved them all and decided to incorporate into the wedding by hanging everyone's place card with a key. (Akins Photography)

This was all Bobbie’s idea. Patrick used to collect skeleton keys and Bobbie had saved them all and decided to incorporate into the wedding by hanging everyone’s place card with a key. (Akins Photography)

On the back of the cards we put where everyone was from. (Akins Photography)

On the back of the cards we put where everyone was from. (Akins Photography)

The programs. I orded them from HowLovelyPaper on Etsy. She put them together and I printed them out. Easy. (Akins Photography)

The programs. I orded them from HowLovelyPaper on Etsy. She put them together and I printed them out. Easy. (Akins Photography)

With the programs I put lyrics to the worship song "You Crown The Year" by Hillsong because my maid of honor and one of the groomsmen sang it while we did communion. I also wrote a one page version of our story so guests could it read it while they waited.

With the programs I put lyrics to the worship song “You Crown The Year” by Hillsong because my maid of honor and one of the groomsmen sang it while we did communion. Patrick & I heard this song when we first got to Australia in July of last year & it just had so much significance in our relationship and over our year in Australia. Also, I typed a one page version of our love story so guests could read while waiting. And get to know us a bit better since we’re both from opposite sides of the country.

(Abby Floyd)

Just behind the altar we had a row of leyland cypress trees. This was Bobbie’s  idea and I think it looked absolutely stunning. It was used hide the neighbor’s burn pile but really became a nice finishing touch. The area still felt really open but I think the trees helped bring some focus to where we were. (Akins Photography)

This was probably my favorite piece. I love that this burlap banner that says "FOREVER" hung above us as we said our vows. So perfect. I purchased this from TheGlitteredBarn shop on Etsy.  (Akins Photography)

This was probably my favorite piece. I love that this burlap banner that says “FOREVER” hung above us as we said our vows. So perfect. I purchased this from TheGlitteredBarn shop on Etsy. (Akins Photography)

Our Communion Table. ♥(Akins Photography)

Our Communion Table. ♥(Akins Photography)

Bobbie saw these bamboo chairs with the ivory cushion and decided it was worth the splurge. I agree. They looked gorgeous and were so much more comfortable for the guests than the normal white plastic chairs.  (Akins Photography)

Bobbie saw these bamboo chairs with the ivory cushion and decided it was worth the splurge. I agree. They looked gorgeous and were so much more comfortable for the guests than the normal white plastic chairs. (Akins Photography)

Magnolia Garland on the back rows. (Akins Photography)

Magnolia Garland on the back rows. (Akins Photography)

Blush pink and ivory lace bows were on the end chairs in the front two rows to reserve it for family (side note: We forgot tell our family about this so no one sat in the front two rows! They were empty aside from my dad, Pat's parents & grandma. Awkward.)(Akins Photography)

Blush pink and ivory lace bows were on the end chairs in the front two rows to reserve it for family (side note: We forgot tell our family about this so no one sat in the front two rows! They were empty aside from my dad, Pat’s parents & grandma. Awkward.)(Akins Photography)

Saw this sign on Pinterest and loved it. (Akins Photography)

Saw this sign on Pinterest and loved it. (Akins Photography)

So, this is one of my other favorite pieces. Because Pat and I are from different states and we met in Sydney. My father-in-law came up with this one all by himself and it turned out amazing!

So, this is one of my other favorite pieces. Because Pat and I are from different states and we met in Sydney. My father-in-law, Frank, came up with this one all by himself and it turned out amazing!

Such a cute idea. My father-in-law saw it online and decided to make it. Turned out so nice!

Such a cute idea. Frank saw it online and decided to make it. Turned out so nice!

The Reception Decoration:

Akins Photography

Reception Tables (Akins Photography)

(Akins Photography)

Our Centerpieces:
5x20in vases with White hydrangeas on top (we wanted “blushing bride” but every florist we called couldn’t get them so we bought pink floral spray and lightly dusted them to give them the same effect) and three pink orchids inside the vase with glass marbles at the bottom to hold them down. We also tied ballet-pink, double sided satin ribbon on the top for a little extra touch. {Akins Photography}

Head Table (Akins Photography)

Head Table: We got a bit creative with the head table to make it stand out. We used white lace on top of a blush-y colored runner and added extra small vases (which was a last minute decision I think) filled with roses and babies breath along with the giant vases with hydrangeas. (Akins Photography)

Head Table (Akins Photography)

Head Table: Creamy white pumpkins were on top of every place setting for all the tables. We thought it was nice festive, fall touch. My colors were blush pink and cream so we did lots of blush decor with accents of cream. (Akins Photography)

Pumpkins! (Akins Photography)

Pumpkins! (Akins Photography)

THE Wedding Cake. I love, love, love everything about our cake. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and it tasted AMAZING. PUMPKIN CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING. It made me so happy. Because I love pumpkin and it was another festive, fall touch. (Akins Photography)

THE Wedding Cake. I love, love,  loved everything about our cake. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and it tasted AMAZING. PUMPKIN CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING. It made me so happy. Because I love pumpkin and it was another festive, fall touch. (Akins Photography)

(Akins Photography)

(Akins Photography)

I'm a huge cupcake fan. I love baking them and eating them and Patrick loves strawberry cupcakes so we had to have them with the cake.These were just as delicious as the cake and went way too fast! My mother-in-law decided to splurge on these beautiful lace cupcake holders. A lovely touch. (Akins Photography)

I’m a huge cupcake fan. I love baking them and eating them and Patrick loves strawberry cupcakes so we had to have them with the cake. These were just as delicious as the cake and went way too fast! My mother-in-law decided to splurge on these beautiful lace cupcake holders. A lovely touch. (Akins Photography)

The Menu Board. Seriously, my best friend nailed these chalkboard signs. Her writing is much better than mine. (Abby Floyd)

The Menu Board. Seriously, my best friend nailed these chalkboard signs. Her writing is much better than mine. (Abby Floyd)

The Gift Table. Another burlap banner ordered from TheGlitteredBarn on Etsy. (Akins Photography)

The Gift Table. Another burlap banner ordered from TheGlitteredBarn on Etsy. (Akins Photography)

A cute little gift prop made from a moss box thing from Joann's.(Akins Photography)

A cute little gift prop made from a moss box thing from Joann’s.(Akins Photography)

Loved this mini suitcase. It was in the guest room in Patrick's house so I decided it would be perfect for the cards. (Akins Photography)

Loved this mini suitcase. It was in the guest room in Patrick’s house so I decided it would be perfect for the cards. (Akins Photography)

Hay couches! Such a fun, rustic idea. Bobbie was the mastermind behind this one. Loved the G & P initials and the green chest that we got from a local antique shop.

Hay couches! Such a fun, rustic idea. Bobbie was the mastermind behind this one. Loved the G & P initials and the green chest that we got from a local antique shop. (Stolen from @Kazval’s Instagram)

Bushel of Babies Breath in between two hay couches! (Akins Photography)

Bushel of Babies Breath in between the two hay couches! (Akins Photography)
How cute were these books? Nice touch!   (Abby Floyd)

How cute were these books? Nice touch!
(Abby Floyd)

Kicklighter (291 of 483)

This Birdcage was originally what I'd planned on using for cards but it looked great with the hay couches! (Akins Photography)

Before the books were laid out… (Akins Photography)

Iron gate in the little courtyard area decorated with music sheet heart-shaped garland. Another sweet detail because we are both musicians. (Akins Photography)

Iron gate in the little courtyard area decorated with music sheet heart-shaped garland. Another sweet detail because we are both musicians. (Akins Photography)

♥♥♥(Akins Photography)

♥♥♥(Akins Photography)

I hope that this post fun for you (it was for me), whether you’re planning a wedding or just reading because you love weddings or had nothing better to do. I hope it helps spark some creativity & helps generate ideas for your wedding or for your sister’s, your friend’s, whoever! Feel free to pass it along. Also, if I can offer any advice to you when it comes to planning it would be this: details really are everything; make sure you incorporate as much of yourself & your hubby-to-be into the wedding. It’ll make the wedding special & unique.

Make sure you check out these photographers who took care of our wedding photos:

www.akinsphoto.com & www.abbyfloyd.com 

♥Gianna Joy

 

p.s. If you have any questions or need some help or advice for you wedding let me know in the comments below!

Thirty Days of Thankful… Part Three

Day 11: Today is Veteran’s Day which reminds me of how thankful I am for not only our awesome Vets but also for the privilege to be born & raised in America. When I lived in Australia I had lots of people from Thailand, who I worked with, tell me how lucky I was to be from America. That hit me hard because I never really thought about how blessed I am, I just took it for granted. So, thank you, God, for this blessing. Thank you to the Veterans who fought so hard to protect my freedom.

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Day 12: I’m thankful for so many things today! One being Emmanuel. I’m thankful that Jesus traded Heaven for hay and came for me. Which is why Patrick & I recorded this song:

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On iTunes now!

Day 13: I’m thankful that I got a job at the best preschool ever! I had an interview on Monday and another “working interview” yesterday and shortly after that my new boss, Katie, gave me a call and offered me a position! I’m so excited and thankful because I really feel like it was a door that God opened.

Day 14: I’m so thankful for Gary & Alura, the beautiful couple currently hosting Patrick and me. They are kind, generous, genuine & constantle filled with a contagious joy. They are loving and so easy to be around. I’m so thankful that God has brought our paths together.

Day 15: I’m thankful for rainy days. I could go deep and try to make this thankful moment an emotional one but I’ll keep it simple. I just love rainy days. I love rainy day drives through the mountains (although that could get scary). I love rainy day drives with my husband. I love listening to “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie on rainy days.

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♥Gianna Joy

 

 

 

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Taken from my other blog…

Keeping Up With The Kicklighters

Hello friends! We hope this post finds you well, wherever you are!

Patrick and I have something really exciting we’d like to share with y’all!

NO, WE ARE NOT PREGNANT.

Anyways! We have been working really hard on a special project…  our first musical collaboration as a married couple! It’s something that we are both really proud of and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it! We’ve been working on a few Christmas songs with plans to release one a week (hopefully) starting today! The first song we are releasing is O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time because of it’s passion and sincerity. It’s a song that has always filled me with joy despite it’s melancholy tone, because it declares Hope that overcomes desperation. It declares Love that came to rescue.

Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, God with us. He…

View original post 72 more words

Thirty Days of Thankful… Part 2

Day 6: I’m incredibly thankful for this period of time where while my husband & I are searching and waiting for jobs to come we get to spend 24 hours a day with each other! It’s such a good way to get to know each other even more within this first month of marriage. It’s a very unique season and I know that not every couple gets this so I’m thanking God for it and doing my best to not take it for granted.

Day 7: Today, I’m thankful for my health. I feel like I really take it for granted because I’ve never known what it’s like to lose it & I’m not sure how I would react if I lost it. So today, I’m really thankful for it.

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Day 8: I’m so thankful for FaceTime! It’s such a wonderful gift! It’s kept me connected to family for the last two years of my life; during the time I spent in Virginia, the time I spent in Australia & now that I’m in Tennessee. It’s allowed me to watch my nephew, whom I love more than anything, grow up! It’s allowed me to hang out with my family on Sunday mornings at Starbucks. It’s allowed me to just catch up and talk about life with my older sister. It’s allowed me to keep my best friend. It’s allowed me to capture the most disturbing, yet hilarious screenshots of my younger sister.  l love it!

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Day 9: Today I’m thankful for my camera and the ability to use it to capture different moments. Specifically, tonight. I was able to use it to help document a friend’s benefit concert to help raise money for his upcoming album. It is GOOD stuff. Good job, Jake! Excited for the things God is going to do with this album!

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Day 10: I’m extremely thankful for our host family, Gary & Alura. They so generously opened up their home to Patrick & I so that we were able to come to Knoxville. They are the sweetest couple who genuinely love the Lord & people. They are such a great joy to be around!

 

What are you thankful for?? Please share. 🙂

♥Gianna Joy

Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve first posted because I’ve been pretty busy… To see why I’ve been so busy click on this link ☞hereBut, guess what…

NOVEMBER IS HERE & it’s already moving so quickly. Which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner! I’m even more excited than usual because this will be my FIRST THANKSGIVING AS A MARRIED WOMAN! Woo hoo!

Anyways to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving I’ve decided to join everyone in the world of Facebook and do a Thirty Days of Thanks, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving or what have you. I’m doing it on this blog because I want the freedom to be lengthy & sincere without having to think about how many likes I could get (let’s be honest). I want to be able to save every moment of thankfulness so I can come back to these posts on the days that I’m feeling less than grateful. I want to get creative & share pictures & moments that made me thankful. I’m also doing it on this blog because it just feels more intimate than Facebook or Instagram & these Days of Thankfulness are coming straight of the pages of my journal!

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My plan is to share five days worth of thanks in each post but we’ll see what happens…

Day 1: I’m so thankful for my husband & the opportunity we have to serve our Creator together in worship. It is an extreme honor & privilege that neither one of us takes lightly. It was always one of the desires of my heart was that my future husband and I would be able to do music & worship together so to be living out this dream is way too exciting for me.

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☝ Pat & I leading worship at Calvary Chapel’s U-Turn For Christ, Greenville, TN. 11/1/13

I tell him on pretty much a daily basis that there is NO ONE else I would rather be married to and I truly mean it. God has definitely brought us together and I’m seeing why more & more each day.

Day 2: I’m thankful for the Elder’s. I had prayed for friendships before Patrick & I made our way to Knoxville and God has totally blessed us with Ebo & Amy. We really love hanging out with them and their girls.

☝ A picture I took of them at a party on 11/2/13

☝ A picture I took of them at a party on 11/2/13 (how good looking is this family?!)

Day 3: I’m really thankful for Calvary Knoxville, I’m thankful God has brought Patrick & me here. It’s so awesome to be apart of a church that is healthy and full of people that are hungry for God’s word, that they show up to not be entertained but to be taught. I’m thankful that the teaching is done verse by verse so I get the full counsel of God’s word. I’m also thankful that though we’ve only been here a couple of weeks it already feels like home.

The church sign right off the highway.

The church sign right off the highway.

Day 4: I’m thankful for Tennessee autumns! I’ve truly not seen any season more beautiful anywhere. Pat & I kind of live in the mountains right now and it has been a stunningly, stellar season. The mountains have turned this fiery, fierce orange color that literally takes your breath away when you just stop and stare for a bit. No iPhone or camera could capture the beauty and do it justice.

This captures the joy that I too feel for fall!

This captures the joy that I too feel for fall!

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The giant oak trees I’m sitting under.

Greenville, TN.

Some body of water in Knoxville… Can’t remember the name. I just made Pat pull of the highway so we could go explore.

Day five: I’m thankful for God’s word. I’m thankful that it truly is a lamp to my feet & a light unto my path. I’m thankful that it is living & active and full of power. I’m thankful that it discerns my thoughts and intentions. Thankful that it brings change and correction.

Rainbow bible pages. ♥

Rainbow bible pages. ♥

Well, there are my first five days! What are you thankful for? Feel free to share in the comments below or give me a link to where you’re sharing!

♥Gianna Joy