The Way You Do

I’m sitting quietly at home waiting for you to come home while humming into my ice cream cone a song about waiting for you to come home. I know it’s confusing to most, but I know you can picture me with little Norah and my chocolate almond double dip. And that’s just because you love me the way you do.

At midnight last night for one second (or at least that’s the way I calculate it in my head) we celebrated the three year anniversary of our first date. Leap year days make it easier to remember anything, especially when it comes to first dates. I still remember coming to pick you up for a trip to Tulsa to hang out with our friends. There was so much tension between me and you, the kind that comes only from the sort of love that blossoms out of really cool friendships and a lot of coffee dates. This was the same driveway in which you would ask me to be your girlfriend several months later, but that day it was simply a driveway, now hopefully a home with kids who ride their bikes and play basketball every day. But then it was the driveway of 5 college boys who had no plans for the future and only dreams of winning the next tournament of FIFA soccer. But as we got ready to leave, I remember you stumbling through the fact that you thought of our 4 friend hangout as more than that. And I remember how I hugged you so tightly- our very first real hug- and then held my breath until you got in the other side of the car.

We were so late. Mostly because my taillights kept going out periodically, at which point I would pull over, jump out, and change the fuses. A moment, as I remember, when you were completely in awe that I knew anything about changing fuses or broken lights. I never told you that’s really all I knew about cars, though I would guess you’ve figured it out by now. And after many attempts at fixing the lights, we had to turn around and take your truck- the way I think it should have been from the beginning. Maybe it was God’s way of letting you lead me to Tulsa and into a relationship with you.

I think it was the most silent I’ve ever been on a car ride with you, except for the times when I’ve been severely frustrated. I just remember watching all the lights go by, hardly wanting the car ride to be over but so excited for our first date to begin. Happy three year anniversary of our first date on the invisible yesterday. I can’t believe you liked me then and still can’t believe you love me now.

All my love and all I am-
Your bride

You’re Beautiful

I know this is a re-post but since we last put it up we’ve picked up a few new readers who probably haven’t seen it. I wanted to post just the song/engagement that begins at 7:15 but I don’t know how to manipulate Vimeo videos like that. So if you let it download for about two minutes and move the cursor to 7:15 you can see all the good stuff.

I remember the first or second time I ever heard this song at church in Oklahoma in the Fall of 2009, I knew that it would be the song I proposed to. I never even thought about choosing anything else. After I moved to Dallas in the Spring of 2010 I found myself driving up and down I-35 what felt like 87 times in 2 months helping Jen plan the wedding. If I ever got frustrated or doubtful about what we were doing I’d just throw this on the iPod and let myself be moved to a place I never knew existed.

To my wife, you’re just as beautiful eight months later:

J5 from Kevin Porter on Vimeo.

Fritos and Other Life Stories

Dear love-

I know you get really confused when you come home and I’m half soaked in the kitchen, but we’ve got to start doing our dishes one at a time. Bathing myself with the dirties isn’t my idea of fun, though I know it makes you giggle. Cheers to our future dishwasher. Someday.

Thanks for using your college basketball dry erase bracket as our Christmas checklist. I know we’re really behind, but I can sew really fast when I put my mind to it and we have plenty of time to buy scarves for everyone if all else fails. I know I pledged to handcraft all gifts this year, but it’s going to have to wait for 2011.

I’m sorry for all the Fritos and milk I had last night. I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I generally don’t like Fritos and I hope it doesn’t mean we’re having one of these.

Also, I’m not quite sure why I’m getting ESPN emails in my inbox, but I have a feeling you had something to do with it. If you’re into sharing hobbies I can start forwarding the Martha Stewart Craft of the Day emails. Pure joy.

I love being your wife. And fritos. For tonight.


Comic Strips

I read a book one time by a guy my wife doesn’t like very much. It was called a Million Miles in a Thousand Years and it changed my world view of well…everything.

It is pretty simply written and it isn’t very long, only about 250 pages. It’s the kind of book you can easily knock out in a weekend, the kind of book that eats up your time. It is a story, really, and it’s mostly about the epic we’re living that’s made up of all these little tragedies and comedies and (mostly) un-sensational narratives. It’s a good book because it pretty much resonates with anyone.

At its core the book is about creating a better story than the one you’re currently living.

I don’t really subscribe to the whole ‘take control of your life and do whatever you want’ notion that is quasi-promoted in the book. The premise is good though. It’s good because God has given us the ability to create and love and the ability to be artists at whatever we’re good at. I’m all for unique. So is God.

So if you don’t like the story your life is telling, maybe it’s time to mix it up a little bit. Maybe God didn’t mean for you to be bored or discontent. Or maybe mixing it up isn’t the problem. Maybe you need to be more disciplined and fervent in your pursuit of Him and more dedicated to your friends and family (I know we do…). You tell me, it’s your story.

Who am I to talk about storytelling though, I sat down to write a new ‘about’ for our website and somehow just spouted 300 words on Donald Miller and his book. My story looks like a comic strip right now.

What’s your favorite Donald Miller book?

Photo Attribution

Revelation Song

It’s embarrassing that I haven’t posted this before now. This was the song Jen walked down the “aisle” to: Kevin Porter & Ali Morgan singing “Revelation Song.”

2 notes:

  • It looks like Kevin is wearing swanky headgear right out of the early 90s…he’s not, he’s just awesome at the harmonica
  • If you’re in a hurry, the 2:00 – 2:40 section is the best part

Only 719 to go…

Yesterday was our 1 month anniversary, or onemoversary as we called it. We celebrated by doing nothing. Get back to us when it’s been a year…or ten.

Nevertheless, we have learned quite a bit. I would say I’ve learned more than Jen has because it’s much easier to live with guys than it is with a girl she’s so wise and wonderful and has so much to teach me. In all seriousness though (kind of) here are a few of the things we’ve learned in 4 weeks of wedded bliss…

  • World Cup + 4 AM = bad idea
  • Wives are not to be thought of, talked to, or treated like cooks, dishwashers, or maids. (You’re shaking your head back and forth saying ‘it’s so intuitive Kyle…it’s so intuitive’…well my question is “Where was your advice BEFORE our marriage started?!”)
  • Two people getting ready for church at the same time on a Sunday morning in a 32 sq. ft. bathroom is like casting Jessica Simpson as the lead in a movie. It sounds cute and fun in theory but it always ends badly…
  • We’d give up 1 hour of sleep every night, fast twice a week, and possibly go without air conditioning at night in exchange for a washer/dryer in our apartment…
  • Our definitions of “yeah, let’s go pick up a few things at Hobby Lobby” are very different from a financial perspective…like worlds apart different.
  • Apparently plastic Masters cups don’t carry the same aesthetic weight in my wife’s head as they do mine…many a war will be waged on this front in the next 11 months…
  • One Shining Moment is “not an appropriate song” to have my alarm play in the morning. I don’t really understand this rule and, frankly, my respect for it is waning by the day…
  • This blog and the people reading it have been one of biggest blessings (if not the biggest) we could have hoped or dreamed for. Thank you to everyone who has participated and helped create community on here, if it weren’t for you we’d only be typing words into oblivion. We’d still do it, we just wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

I told Jen in a letter I wrote to her on our wedding day that I was going to give her 60 great years, Lord willing. That means I’ve got 719 months left. That means we’re going to have to solve this Masters cups/One Shining Moment thing…

See y’all tomorrow.

Photo Attribution

Till Death (or OSU) Do Us Part…

In lieu of our semi-redneck, somewhat windy, extremely sweltering wedding ceremony we thought a few of you might not have been able to hear (or pay attention to) our vows to each other. Or maybe some of you weren’t there and would just like to read them…

We decided some time ago to write our own vows. The rest of the wedding was homemade, why not the ceremony? Another moment of full disclosure (MOD, if you will) – I wasn’t aware that when you write your own vows you have to read them to each other, I thought you repeated what the pastor said until my brother and sister pointed out how awkward it would be for the pastor to say “Jennifer, I love you.” Thanks guys.

Anyway, we tried our best to write to each other, from deep within where only our love for the Lord resides. Here’s what resulted:

“In centuries gone by men have fought wars over love.
Men have sailed the raging seas over love.
And men have gone to the grave, over love.

So I stand before you today
With a seemingly easy task
To simply profess my love and commit my life to you.
And yet, it is so much more complex.

For in the days and years to come
That profession will become a realization
That through each other
Sanctification in Christ will come to fruition.

Because of this it is my honor to protect and provide
My passion to lead with integrity
My desire to plan and to pray
My duty to pass on wisdom to our kids
And my honor to humbly love.

I know there will be fights
I know there will be struggles
I know what lies ahead.

But I choose you
And I want you to know
Even though I don’t understand how marriage works (what guy does?)
I DO understand the magnitude of it all.
I understand that Christ is enough, for both of us.

So I promise to choose you over OSU games
Promise to love or sons even if they hate sports
Promise to revel in arts and crafts with our daughters
Promise to let you be free and to guide us with wisdom
Promise to always write to you and date you and cherish you.
I promise to always climb through your bedroom widow to kiss you, tell you stories and make you laugh.

I commit myself to you
Mind, body, spirit, and soul
You have all my love, for the rest of time.”

“You make me more of who I already am. By your side, I am more confident, more creative, and more secure in Christ. I know I can fight any battle, but trust you to lead me through them.

Your discipline is something I have never known. It makes me more confident in you than you will ever know, and I will trust you with everything in me until the Lord is finished with me on this earth.

I will strive all my days to make you proud of me, to raise your children as ambassadors for Christ, and to honor you with my words in all situations. While my identity does not hinge on the words you say, you are continually shaping how I perceive this world and where I put my focus. So go forth this day, knowing that my confidence is in Christ, but that every word you say is truth to me.”

For those of you wondering, “when will this ever end?!?” you’re in luck. This is the last wedding post you’ll have to endure. Tomorrow, it’s all about you guys, the readers. We’re having our first giveaway. See you then…

Kickin' Back
Kickin' It
Ignoring usual
(Some of) The Boys
(A lot of) The Girls

As always, pictures taken by Shari Hatfield…we can’t recommend her blog highly enough.

As We Promised: Part II

The things I love most in this world are not new or shiny. They’re used, maybe a little torn or discolored, but they have a story – even if I don’t know what it is. Thus begins the tale of our wedding. We spent hours scouring antique stores & flea markets to find the perfect combination of old things. From the quilts we had for eating dinner on the lawn (made by my great grandmother…or someone else’s) to the banner made from vintage handkerchiefs to the old doors we used as tables, very few things were new or sparkly.

Among those old things were a collection of used books. Because there weren’t even 100 people coming to our wedding, we could afford (economically and emotionally) to make something special for each guest. The books were by far my favorite part of everything we worked on, and they turned out to be even more beautiful than I had hoped. We got the idea after running across this blog about 2 months before we got engaged, and I found most of the books at an estate sale. Then I called my friend Sydney (a book hollowing expert) and she helped get me started on this tedious endeavor.  We started working on them about a week after the engagement and finished about 26 hours before the wedding.

Each included a personal note on a card handmade by me, a picture of us at our new home with our address on the back, and our marriage statement: see the card here. The back of the small card also had information about the blog we were starting and how to follow us on Twitter. Each was adorned with ribbon and a mix of eclectic buttons. Here are some visuals:

Books we handed out to everybody at the wedding
Books & Buttons

I also made my veil with a little help from this website and my mother. I planned only to wear it for the ceremony, but loved it so much I couldn’t take it off. If only I had an excuse to wear it every day.

My birdcage veil

Tomorrow: Envelopes! Bartering! The Cash System! How we pulled off a low-budget wedding…

Why The Surprise?

So in case you haven’t figured it out yet (I think some of our friends are still trying to figure out what happened), our wedding was a surprise. We invited about 100 friends and family to what we were calling an “Engagement Party.” Except that when they arrived, we showed them the video of our engagement that happened 6 months prior and actually got married that day. Some have called it brave, some call it crazy, but we just call it love.

So why the surprise?

Our general love of weddings never quite existed. They were something we both participated in because we love our friends dearly, but neither of us had a desire to spend our engagement ordering bridesmaid dresses, tuxes, registering for gifts, going to showers, or talking to caterers or DJs or florists. We just didn’t. Nor did we have a desire to burden others with cost or hassle. (One of our friends just dropped $280 on a bridesmaid dress, $50 on shoes, $50 on alterations, $150 on a shower, and one evening of awkwardness at a bachelorette party. For one wedding.) What we did have was a deep desire to honor God and learn to love one another at an even deeper level. So through much prayer and creativity, we spent our 6 months of betrothal in a state of secret anticipation and joy, pouring into one another and into our marriage. We never looked back.

Most of the wedding was handmade, with hours spent scouring vintage flea markets, second hand stores, and DIY websites. Over the next few days, I’ll post about some of the things we worked on and how it all came together. Here are a few pics to tide you over. Happy Tuesday.

"Engagement Party"
Twinkle Twinkle

All these photos were taken by my beautiful friend and Tulsa photographer, Shari Hatfield. Find more of her work here.