Category Archives: Personal

Reflections on my Music City Adventure

Seven months ago today, I posted a very personal post about the many things I had learned over the year and a half prior. I was excited to embark on my adventure to Nashville and see what life had in store for me next.

Funny, #5 on that list of things I believed I had learned was that God is in control…

GOD IS IN CONTROL. Sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan. I mean really…I can plan my future, I can plan my day, I can plan my work schedule, I can plan my outfit, I can plan a wedding….there are so many things in life that I can (and most often do) plan. But over the last year and a half I’ve learned that life will inevitably go according to God’s plan, which is typically not at all what I had ever imagined or envisioned. I’m 23, single, and I’m moving to a new, fun, crazy, beautiful city which I truly believe will have so much to offer me. As scary as not having a plan is to me, I believe that I will learn and grow so much from figuring it out and letting God guide me wherever He has planned for me.”

So much for my lack of planning! Whether I wanted to admit to it or not, I very much had planned out my entire adventure to Nashville. I planned to move here single (maybe meet a nice country boy). I planned to find a good church. I planned to dive into my event planning career in this new exciting city and see it flourish. I planned to find a regular full-time job in events. I planned to meet new people and fall in love with this city and never return to DC again. Little did I know, God definitely planned to remind me that He is in control.

The day that I officially decided I must move to Nashville was a Sunday while I was sitting in a church service at Life Community Church. There was a speaker who was talking about how God had led her to do missions in some third-world country. She mentioned during her talk that if you are feeling led by God to go somewhere, then you should go. Nashville is far from third-world, however at that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was as if God whispered in my ear, “Go to Nashville, Kelley.” In that moment, all my fears about whether or not I was doing what God wanted me to ceased. Clearly, God wanted me to go to Nashville. I called my parents and Taylor in tears as I shared the story with them. Finally, God had given me the clear answer I was praying for.

You can imagine my frustration, then, on the many nights I cried on the phone to Mike about how unhappy I was in this city and how many times I choked out the tear-filled words, “Why did God move me here? I thought this was where he wanted me to go!”

So here it is…the many things that have occurred over the past seven months that reminded me that God is in control and His plans for my life are often very different than my own!

1) I never stayed single in Nashville. I met Mike one month before I moved and one month after I moved here we decided we must make this long distance relationship work. Yea, that was not a part of the plan. However, I can honestly say that I now know the meaning of every single word written in “Bless the Broken Road,” because that guy I danced with all day at Seacrets in Ocean City, MD after having wayyyy too many Dirty Bananas over Labor Day weekend has become my very best friend and is the rock that got me through this adventure. I could not be more thankful that he was put into my life despite my plans (or that in 2 weeks we no longer have to be long distance any more!)

2) I never had one single full-time job here in Nashville. I started serving at a bar/restaurant downtown. Then, I got a full-time job at a hotel, an exciting opportunity for me as I wanted to see how I liked working in the hotel industry (I don’t know that I would do it again, ha! It is quite the customer service challenge!!!). Finally, I did start catering with Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and was privileged to learn a ton from their talented Banquet Captain. I must say, I worked more here in Nashville than I ever thought I was capable of. I will definitely appreciate working a job with more regular hours back home, which also happens to also be my (right now) dream job!

3) At the time that Taylor and I originally decided to move, we had grown bored with home. It felt like it was always the same…same bars, same people, same traffic. We needed some change in our lives. Since I’ve been away, I have really grown to miss and appreciate everything back home. I miss the big city (NEVER thought I’d say that) and my family and my friends and once I return, I never plan to leave again!

4) Moving to Nashville did prove to me that I was capable of much more than I ever thought I could handle. I never expected myself to move 10 hours away and have the courage to meet all new people who have been great friends to me since I’ve been here.

5) I did find an incredible church here in Nashville, but I had no idea the impact the church, my small community group, and Pastor Pete Wilson’s sermons and books would have on me. I’m in the process of reading Plan B, which is teaching me that just because life may not be going according to my plan, does not mean God is not using the Plan B situation to do some incredible work in my life! And believe me, if the entire reason that God whispered in my ear that day was to bring me closer to him while I was here, then I certainly have accomplished a lot here!

When I made the decision to move home, I started to worry what people were going to think. I thought people would think I was a coward for giving up before the year was up. I didn’t want to answer the questions that I knew people were going to have about why I decided not to stay. I didn’t want to listen to the assumptions about my reasons for moving home. I didn’t want people to say that I moved for nothing or that I wasted my time and quit my jobs for no reason, etc. etc. But then God reminded me that this trip was far from a waste. This trip was 100% purposeful and planned…just not according to my plan. He works in incredible ways. I can honestly say, in two weeks I will be moving home a completely different person. My life was changed in so many ways by this adventure and despite the moments when I felt like I was hitting rock-bottom, I couldn’t be more thankful that God decided to move me 10 hours away from everything I knew so I had no other choice but to turn to Him and so that he could rock my world in ways that I never could have imagined. Moving back home will be bittersweet, but I’m so thankful for the love and support I’ve had from those close to me (in Nashville and in DC) and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me next!

Ringing in the New Year

I have to admit, I am SO EXCITED to head home to DC for New Years!  I am looking forward to celebrating with friends and getting to see all the people I miss so much back at home.  But for those of you staying in and hosting your own party this New Years, I thought I’d share a little New Years Eve inspiration.

Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday

&

Happy (almost) New Year!

Inspiration Board: Winter Wedding

I saw my first snow in Tennessee yesterday.  Rumor has it that Nashville snow rarely accumulates to anything significant.  It snowed for at least 3 hours yesterday, but was hardly cold enough and the ground was too wet for anything to stick at all.  Still, it was pretty!  ((Although I have to admit, I am missing the 70 degree weather!!))

Anyways, between the snowfall and putting up Christmas decorations in our apartment (see above), I was feeling inspired by the upcoming winter season.  Winter weddings can be so whimsical and beautiful.  Enjoy this winter wedding inspiration board!

Happy Thursday!

Opryland

I visited the famous Gaylord Opryland hotel today.  It’s been over a month now since I’ve done an event and I’m to the point where I am “itching” to get back into doing events.  So you can imagine my reaction as I walked into the gorgeous Opryland hotel…I couldn’t stop squealing “Taylor, can you imagine how beautiful a wedding would be here?!”  There are so many gorgeous locations on the property for a ceremony and reception of any girl’s dreams.  They are also in the process of setting up all the Christmas decorations, which I plan to go see this weekend…I’ll be sure to post photos!  Oh, and for those of you who have never seen the Opryland hotel…yes, almost every one of these photos is from INSIDE the hotel!


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On a different note, this week I started a job at a Courtyard Marriott down here.  While it’s definitely not the Opryland, I am enjoying the job very much!  I have started working the front desk and am learning many of the basic skills necessary to work in the hotel industry.  I hope that this job will continue to open up opportunities for me to move into sales and catering and be working on events through a Marriott hotel one day.  Plus, I have heard such great things about working for Marriott, so this has been a very exciting opportunity!  I am still working at the restaurant, so I have been crazy busy to say the least.  I’m enjoying myself very much though, and hoping that once I figure out a healthy balance between hotel and restaurant, I will be able to get back to do events soon!

Thanks for continuing to check out the blog despite how terrible I’ve been at posting lately!

Hope everyone had a Happy Monday and has a very

Happy Tuesday tomorrow!

Wedding Fashion: Statement Necklaces

Wow, it’s been quite a while!  I even promised in my last post that I would get the blog back up and running this last week and clearly, that did not happen.  As you can imagine, our first week in Nashville was a little hectic.  Between our million trips to Target and Walmart to buy “things” for the apartment and starting a serving job at Cadillac Ranch Nashville on Wednesday after arriving in town, we have been busy, to say the least.  My room is still a disaster and I am still missing one essential to finish it up…a dresser!  Yes, a good majority of my clothes still remain in suitcases as I await the moment I stumble upon the perfect dresser!  In the meantime, I have focused my attention away from my bedroom to other areas of the house i.e. my bathroom and our kitchen, and our wall with the amazing quote on it (pictures to be posted ASAP)!  I suppose the room will come in later.

Anyhow, while I know that everyone enjoys a personal post here and there, I need to get back to my weddings & events posts.  After all, that is what this blog is all about.  And after spending the last couple hours Pinteresting, I am feeling quite inspired all over again.  Can’t wait to get my hands in some Nashville events!!!

Today’s post is inspired by a fashion trend I adore…bold statement necklaces.  However, they are not just for the fashionistas walking the streets of New York!  I love bridal statement necklaces and the way they compliment a bride’s wedding fashion.  Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

Ikea….

Hello blog followers ❤

Sorry it’s been almost a week!  As you can imagine, this week has been crazy with the upcoming move this weekend.  Yesterday was my last day of work, so I spent Tuesday cleaning out my desk and wrapping things up and yesterday I trained my replacement!  I have been spending my evenings with friends and family, trying to make sure I can see everyone before I leave.  This week has been somewhat bittersweet, as I try to adjust to the idea that I am actually leaving on Saturday!  I am nervous and sad..it’s hard to say goodbye to the people and the places I’ve known forever.  But I am incredibly excited.  I can’t wait to just get in our new apartment and decorate and experience the city.

Yesterday, I had a couple of hours to kill in Woodbridge before I had dinner with my good friend Courtney.  So, I decided to walk through Ikea and see if I could find any inspiration for my new room in Nashville.  Here are the things I found:

New Duvet

Decorative Vase

Table Lamps

Mirror (for above the dresser I PLAN to buy)

Things I’m saving up for…..

Dresser

Nightstand

Now I just need to find a fun accent color!  Any suggestions?

Happy Thursday loves!

This Crazy Ride

The last couple weeks have been somewhat surreal.  It’s finally settling in my mind that my big move is no longer something I am just talking or dreaming about…it’s happeningready or not.  I have been taken back with the thought that in 9 days, I will be driving 10 hours to start a new life in Nashville, TN.  This is crazy.  Life is crazy!

If you had told me a year ago that I would be doing this, I would have laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all.  Me move 10 hours away from everything I’ve ever known with no job or plan other than to move into my pretty apartment with Taylor and see what life throws our way?  Yea right.  No chance I’d ever be brave enough to do that.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…I still am not quite sure I’m brave enough now!

But over the last year and a half, I have grown and changed in ways I never imagined I could.  I went from having a perfect plan for my life (marriage, job, where we wanted to live, etc. etc.) to having my world flipped up-side-down in a matter of days.  It’s amazing how life works that way.  I remember last summer thinking there is no possible way I can survive all of this.  I never thought I’d see the day when I was truly happy and content with myself and my life.

AND HERE IT IS!

It’s so cool to reflect on the various chapters of my life & remember the good times, but know that I am growing and changing into who I am meant to be.

In the last year I have learned so many things about myself and about life…

1)  Weddings are fun to plan…that doesn’t mean I have to be the one getting married!

2)  Relationships (friendship or romantic) should be easy.  You should spend time with the people you enjoy being around.  Everyone will fight once in a while, but being used to fighting is never healthy.  And feeling like you’re the only one to make an effort in any type of relationship is also not healthy.

3)  Friendships come and go…it’s a natural part of life, like growing up and moving out of your parents’ house.  It doesn’t mean that someone did anything wrong or that you will never catch up/stay connected with that person.  But you get to a point in your life when you realize that life and work and socializing don’t always coincide with the schedules of every single best friend you had in high school & college…and that is okay!

4)  I have come to a point where I’m completely content with just me — this is a huge step for me and took a very long time.  I really believe that you cannot be happy with yourself or happy with someone else until you learn to be okay with being on your own.  (Notice I didn’t say “being alone”…I think the only way to learn to be okay with being on your own and learn to be happy with yourself is total focus on who you want to be and spending the time with the people who inspire and encourage you to become that person.)

5)  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan.  I mean really…I can plan my future, I can plan my day, I can plan my work schedule, I can plan my outfit, I can plan a wedding….there are so many things in life that I can (and most often do) plan.  But over the last year and a half I’ve learned that life will inevitably go according to God’s plan, which is typically not at all what I had ever imagined or envisioned.  I’m 23, single, and I’m moving to a new, fun, crazy, beautiful city which I truly believe will have so much to offer me.  As scary as not having a plan is to me, I believe that I will learn and grow so much from figuring it out and letting God guide me wherever He has planned for me.

6)  It is NOT OKAY to settle in life….in your career, in your happiness, in your relationship.  Find what makes you feel inspired & passionate!

7)  Say YES.  Don’t get so caught up in responsibility that you don’t have time to enjoy yourself.  Take that beach trip.  Go to the happy hour.  Do that wedding even though you’re supposed to have this weekend off.  Do the things that you enjoy and that make you happy.

8)  Say NO.  Don’t be afraid to say no when you need a break.  This is one that I know, but I have a hard time putting into practice.  I’m working on it…

9)  Don’t be afraid to look silly.  I’m learning that if I have to try to be a certain way for someone, then I don’t really want that person in my life anyways.  I love to be silly, that’s just who I am.  I like to dance like a goofball and I’m super sarcastic.  The people who make me the most happy and that I enjoy being around the most are the ones I can be my crazy, goofy, silly self around.

10)  Family & friends should always come first.  You know the whole “your girlfriends will be there for you long after any guy will”?  It’s totally cliché, but so true.  Make time to spend with your family and with your girlfriends.  Sometimes I’m not always the best at this (I’m not sure any of us are)…but it’s so important to remember.

Anyways, I know this post was weird.  I’d be surprised if half of you have even read this far!  But as I prepare to turn the page into the next chapter of my life, I think its important to reflect on where I have been, where I am now, & how I got here.  I’m looking forward to seeing where this crazy ride takes me in Nashville and beyond.  Who knows

And as I grow and change, I expect this blog to do the same.  So please take a moment to take my poll so I know what you want to see and read!

Happy Thursday!

xoxo

September Recap

Summer is over and September has come and gone…tomorrow is the first day of October!  This year just keeps flying by but continues to stay just as busy as always!  Let’s recap on September:

Wedding Recap:

On September 17, I assisted Ashley from Windows Catering with Kara & Brendan’s beautiful Meridian House wedding!

On September 25, I coordinated Nicole & Michael’s wedding for A Sweet Soiree Events at the Hendry House in Arlington.  I was very busy in the 2 weeks before the wedding & was so busy on the day of I wasn’t able to get even one photo.  Astrid Photography has agreed to share some photos with us as soon as they’re ready though!

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Personal Recap:

This month, my personal life was jam-packed.  I have been taking a lot of time with my friends and family since I will be moving soon.

I had a great time in Ocean City, MD for Labor Day weekend with a lot of good friends!

I remembered 9/11 with a Military Wedding Inspiration Board and a Toby Keith concert with friends that weekend.

Taylor‘s family threw their “Final Derwood Derby” farewell party at their home in Derwood, MD.

FOOTBALL SEASON STARTED THIS MONTH!  & I have been cheering on the Indianapolis Colts, despite their rough start so far.  This photo is from last Christmas — my family of Colts fans 🙂  Looking forward to MNF this week!

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October Plans:

Tonight I plan to visit my Gamma Phi Beta family down at Christopher Newport University 🙂 Looking forward to seeing a few of my favorite people in the world!

Tomorrow, October 1 — I have a wedding at Briar Patch with Henriette.  I haven’t worked with Henriette in a while and am excited to spend some time working with her one last time before my big move!

October 8 — I’m having a going away party with all my friends and family in DC!

October 9 — My sister Diana, brother-in-law Chris, and niece Jaden are visiting…looking forward to spending some quality time with them before I move.

Columbus Day, October 10 — I am taking my dad to a Washington Capitals game…some good ol’ father-daughter time & a BIG THANK YOU for everything he has done for me (and Sadie) over the past 2 months.

October 11 — I will attend my last A Sweet Soiree team meeting.  I am so grateful for everything Courtney Swierczek has taught me over the last 9 months.

October 12 & 13 — Spending time with girlfriends aka dinners and happy hours galore!

October 15 — Nashville-bound!  Taylor & I will have keys in hand in 15 days!

Photo courtesy of Taylor Herrgott

October 16 and beyond  — The very scary but also very exciting thing about Nashville is that I have no idea what’s in store for me when I get there!  Taylor & I plan to get settled in our apartment over the first few days & then being the most serious job hunt EVER!  We are so excited to embark on this journey together and I can’t wait to share the experience with everyone!  I can assure you though, I plan to find coordinators and caterers in Nashville to work with so I can keep up with my weddings & other events!  October will be a very exciting, emotional, wild month & I will keep everyone posted every step of the way!

Farewell September…

Happy October

&

Happy Friday!

2 weeks before….

Timeline at work!

This week has been difficult to do blogs.  Between my regular full-time job and upcoming weddings, I have little time to research wedding history or fun inspiring things.  The remaining 2 weeks prior to the wedding are so fun & so busy as we wrap up final details.   This week has mostly been dedicated to preparing the final timeline and layouts for Nicole & Mike’s wedding on the 25th (in addition to work for my full-time job).  Since I want Nicole & Mike’s wedding to run flawlessly, my time needs to be focused on them.  But I promise, their wedding will be beautiful and there will be great photos to share of it!

Layout at work!

Happy (busy) Thursday!

My last beach trip for a while…..

This weekend, I headed up to Ocean City with a ton of great friends to enjoy our long weekend & celebrate Amanda‘s little sister’s 21st birthday!  It was quite the fabulous way to end the summer.  Here are some photos…enjoy!

Amanda & I with our 2 "Taylor" roommates!

Ready to celebrate with the birthday girls 😀

I just love all of them so much!

My best friend Amanda also happens to be the best big sister ever!

My great friend Brandon

Me and Amanda arriving at Seacrets.

Kevin...I had to put up with him for 4 years in college but finally we love each other 😉

Taylor G (Amanda's Roommate), Me, & Amanda getting ready to head out on our last night there!

Kevin, me, & Eric -- Eric flew from Delray Beach, FL to come to the beach with us...he was one of Taylor G's friends from college!

The worst part of the whole weekend was realizing that once I move to Nashville, I won't be seeing a beach for a very long time 😦 So long Ocean City!

It was a great weekend with many great friends that I’m going to miss a ton once I go to Nashville.  But so glad we got to do that…I say we make it an annual occasion!

Oh, and to keep all you blog-followers up-to-date, Taylor and I found out Friday that we were officially approved for our Nashville apartment.  So, October 15!

Happy Tuesday!

All photos courtesy of my amazing best friend, Amanda…since my camera disappeared last weekend in Nashville!

Ps. Check out Taylor G & Taylor H’s fabulous blogs! 😀