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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Share the Love...

Valentine's Day has been a transformed holiday for me. I used to dress in all black (I believe I've mentioned this in previous posts) and celebrate with my girlfriends by overindulging in libations. When I met Jason it was just after Valentine's Day 2012, so our first Valentine's was just shy of a year dating. When asked where I wanted to go the answer was easy, one of my favorites, BONEFISH GRILL! (insert yummmm sound) That was 2013 so for 2014 we decided on the same. Traditions are kind of a big deal for me and this one included Bang Bang Shrimp...I'm in!

2013
(Our first Valentine's Day)


2014
(Our only engaged Valentine's Day )



This year I was just finishing up an Advocare 24 Day Challenge and ready to indulge a little. (Don't judge me!) We booked our reservations and I began dreaming of Bang Bang Shrimp and multiple glasses of wine. If you have ever worked in the restaurant industry, or even visited a restaurant on a holiday, you know very well how these reservations work. It is more of a "suggested" seating time. Our reservation was for 7pm and around 7:30 they called our name. J noticed an elderly couple that arrive before us had not been seated, but we were being escorted to our table. (I rewrote that scenario three times, hopefully it makes sense) At first, we didn't think much of it but then I overheard the man say they had been there since 6:45. We sat down, ordered my dreamy glass of wine and I asked J if they were still standing there. He confirmed and I felt the Lord nudge me to invite them to sit with us. It just so happened that they sat us at a table with four chairs, sometimes God couldn't send a message more clearly unless he face palmed my forehead. I looked at J and we both agreed to invite them to eat with us...share the love.

God is so good. He knows when we need something, even when we NEVER imagined it to happen. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner talking and laughing with this couple. The woman was a teacher and the man was a lawyer, both are retired now. Needless to say we had plenty to talk about. They said the last time someone randomly asked them to enjoy dinner with them was in 1970 in Hilton Head, SC. (They still talk to that couple today!) When we finished our meal we were ready to pay for ours with sweet gift cards we received for Christmas, but to our surprise this generous man insisted on taking care of all of it. (Bang bang and glasses of wine included!) J and I were blown away by his giving heart and blessed by an enjoyable evening of good food and great company. 

2014 
No pictures. 
My phone was in my purse during the entire dinner, just the way it should be. 
Sometimes the best memories aren't on a camera roll. 

I titled this post, 'Share the Love' because we need to do just that. If you can make someone smile, do it. If you can reach out and make someones day better, do it. Whether you are sharing the love with your husband, fiancĂ©, boyfriend, best friend, brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, coworker, hair dresser, mailman/woman or a complete stranger...do it. A smile, an invitation, a hug, a note of love, anything. In a world of murder, hatred and terror, we need more smiles. More coffee dates. More hand written notes. More random acts of kindness. More random Valentine's dinners with strangers. More love. 


xoxo, 
mrs. r 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Best Night Of My Life...

Good morning y'all! It has been 8 months, almost to the day, since I last blogged. Planning a wedding, moving into our first house, bridal showers, bachelorette, starting two new jobs and now being a wife has kept me a little busy. (BUT) I miss blogging!

This post is literally going to be ALL of my favorite pictures from our wedding. I have to brag on our photographers because not only are they are awesome friends of ours but they also traveled all the way from Nashville, TN to shoot our wedding in Naples, FL. They are an awesome husband/wife team that captured every precious moment of our big day. If you need a photographer for ANYTHING, contact them...
Here is their site, check them out! www.ladolcevitastudio.com

Our wedding week, rehearsal, bridal sleepover, wedding day and wedding night were all straight out of a fairytale. Our friends and family traveled from near and far to celebrate our joyous day of marriage. We were (and still are) blown away by the love and generosity of our loved ones. 

My Mom, Dad and Les worked day and night to make this everything I have ever dreamed. I will forever be in debt to them for making all of my wedding dreams, a reality. There is something to be said for parents who will literally spend more time on your wedding details than you could even contribute. I am eternally thankful for parents that care about making moments into memories with me. (And now J too!) Planning a wedding from 4 states away made this process even more difficult. But with the help of my parents and our vendor friends we pulled it off without a hitch. 

My next few posts will be highlighting some of our AMAZING vendors and all of the beautiful details that went into making this weekend such a dream come true. 

After all, it's all about the experience. 










































xoxo, 
(for the first time on SSS) 
Mrs. Lauren Elizabeth Ritter