Alive Part 2

The Alive festival was a blast!

We had spent the entire morning running errands in Amish country and getting my brakes fixed (rotors too… geesh expensive) so we were running a little late. Much to Pouty-Face McGee’s delight, we found a close enough spot to run right in and see Sidewalk Prophets start their set. The whole drive out she was worried we would be late. Fortunately for her, I have been to these kinds of festivals before and I know that rarely will people start when they are supposed to.

After Sidewalk Prophets we listened to a Q&A with Audio Adrenaline. I really like these guys because of their devotion and ministry for children. After their Q&A they played on the main stage. Here’s my favorite one of their songs:

After they played we listened to Tony Nolan and what a powerful speaker he is! His testimony was inspiring. He talked about his abuse growing up and how he came to Christ. After he gave his story he got the whole crowd up and praying. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. Thousands in prayer. People confessing and accepting Christ for the first time. Whoa! It was moving.

Then it was time for Matthew West! He was awesome! Jess wasn’t as big a fan as me before, but I think she is even bigger now. He puts on such a great show. This was my favorite part of the whole night:

Jess took that video so you can all thank her for that bit of fun.

Quick update on wedding news: We found a church! We may have a pastor! I really think that all we have left to do is get her dress. I’ll be writing up more on the church soon!

Alive Festival

Not a big update today. Jess and I are visiting churches in the area to find the one the ceremony will take place in. We’ve already narrowed it down, but who knows what’s available. We are also well on our way to getting a DJ and ceremony music. More on both of those later!

We are also going to the Alive music festival, which I am very excited about! I am most excited for Audio Adrenaline, Sidewalk Prophets, and Matthew West. If you’ve never heard Sidewalk Prophets check this out:

Pretty cool right? They are Jess’ favorite. 🙂 I’ll let you know how the day goes!


Hello and thanks for stopping by!

Why this blog started/How I proposed

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Backyard Vineyards

We Booked A Reception Venue

On Monday I had a long post typed out and was going to publish it before we left for the afternoon to go look at like 5 venues. Then Amish country happened…

What can only be described as a “God Thing” happened on the way to a thrift shop in Amish country. We had pulled over to scope out a nature conservatory and were driving up the old country roads when both Jess and I turned and saw a huge barn at the top of the hill. At the same moment we both say, “What was that?!”

It turns out that it’s a vineyard and barn that is being converted from an old amphitheater. We end up talking to one of the workers fixing it up and get the name of the person in charge of renting it out. Without even stepping inside we know it’s the place.

We meet the woman at the winery and she gives us all the details. Now, we had been looking at places that were pricey and I mean whoa-buddy-that’s-for-one-night-not-even-a-full-twenty-four-hours-no-thank-you pricey. Not only is this place gorgeous, the price is right. I can assure you that once we left, Jess and I sat down and prayed to thank God for this one. I feel like he is blessing our engagement/marriage at every turn.

Sorry to cut this short but I don’t want to get ahead of myself and I don’t want to give any details Jess doesn’t want spilled so I’ll just leave you with a couple pictures she took.

Inside the barn

Inside the barn


Inside the barn from the stairs

Inside the barn from the stairs


Hello everyone!

I will assume you are one of our friends and got here from the facebook link, but if you stumbled across this in some other way please feel free to read on.

Jess asked me to write out the story of how I asked her to marry me and that just so happened to work out pretty well with me wanting to start this blog, so here we go.

Yesterday morning I woke up around 5 to do a few last minute things to start the day. I got her favorite iced coffee, an awesome donut, flowers, a gift card to the salon, and cards and set them up in a scavenger hunt for when she woke up. I didn’t have great plans for her during the day but I knew that I would be able to keep her busy for a while. In prayer I wrote the notes for the hunt and the messages in her cards.

The day before I had made an appointment at the salon, where the gift card was to be spent, so that she would have her nails done for the photos. (And get a pedicure so she would be out of the house longer!) So after making my final stops at the stores to get roses, rose petals, a study bible, and another iced coffee (she is addicted to Tim Horton’s!) I stopped by the salon to make sure she was there being pampered.

After dropping off a single rose and the iced coffee I gave her a quick kiss and sped home to start dinner. Our menu for the evening was filet mignon, bacon tossed asparagus, steamed garlic spinach, and, her favorite, watermelon. I had just enough time to start the filet before I had to open the door for her.

At this point we both know what is going on. There are rose petals scattered everywhere. I have a playlist of our favorite songs going. I’m looking sharp and she is going to change into my favorite dress. Everything is going according to plan!

We enjoy a wonderful dinner and have a glass of wine between the kitchen table and our porch. While on the porch I give her the first big present of the night, an NIV study Bible she has been wanting for ages. After she looks it over I’m ready to get the ball rolling on the proposal and I can tell she is nervous for it to happen.

The whole week I had been saying I wanted to paint on Friday. The back story on this being, when I moved here we decided to take up painting. Over the past few months we had been collecting supplies and buying canvases and had actually just hung our other paintings earlier that week. Neither of us are great but it is a relaxing activity that we get to enjoy together. I forgot to mention earlier that earlier that day I had stopped at Hobby Lobby to buy a specific paint color for her and ones for me to paint her and her dress.

As we start on the canvases I say, “You aren’t allowed to see it until I’m done because I’m painting a portrait of you.” Lame? yes. I did end up painting her but I also painted myself asking her to marry me. It is not a great painting. Please don’t laugh…

What I painted to propose.

Anyhow, I go to the bathroom, where I had stashed the ring and text our photographer (THANK YOU JOYCE!!!) to be there soon. As soon as I return to put the finishing touches on the painting Jess says she wants to go outside. I agree only if she won’t look at the painting before it is finished. She walks outside, turns around and says, “Honey, why is there a girl with a camera out here?”

So then and there I think the jig is up. I tell her to go outside for a second and change the song to the one I thought would be best for the occasion. While she waits and makes small talk with Joyce I put the easel with the painting on the coffee table and get down on one knee as I call her back inside.

I spoke from the heart and saw the happiest I have ever seen anyone. Between the sobs and smiles she squeaked out a “Yes” and I slid the ring on Jess’ finger. I was nearly in tears because this was the happiest moment of my life!

After we took a few more photos and headed inside we sat down and prayed. We both think God should be the center of our marriage because marriage came from Him so, apart from Joyce, he was the first person we told. We asked him to bless our engagement and shape our walks to follow in Christ’s footsteps. I experienced the most raw and intimate prayer in that moment. We were both in tears and truly felt blessed to be in His presence.

After we dried our eyes we went to get ice cream and let our families know the good news!

I know it was a long one, but thanks for sticking around! There will be plenty more for me to talk about as we plan the wedding and continue our relationship through medical school! Check the photos page for more pictures of the proposal!