Three years ago, I woke up ready to become Mrs. Raleigh Jordan Price.  The day started with a spinning stomach that was barely able to eat a blueberry bagel during my bridesmaids brunch.  As my closest friends gathered around me, we chatted about the day ahead while our hair was being curled, twisted, and pinned to look just right.  My puppy dog, Lu Lu knew that day would be a big one for me so she sat in my lap the entire time.  As the final bobby pins were put into place, we were ready to go to the chapel to get married!

After we finished getting ready, I rode to the church with my parents.  When we entered the building, I was rushed upstairs to put on my beautiful wedding gown.  The dress was adorned with satin and lace and my veil hung past the dress onto the floor.  The lace was so intricately designed and every detail was just as I had imagined it would be.  Sweet heart neck, buttons down the back, and scalloped edges made the dress complete.  I felt like the prettiest girl in the world that day. 

Before the ceremony began, I waited in the sanctuary for Raleigh to see me for the first time.  When he walked into the room, all I could do was smile.  Finally, after dating for six years, the day had arrived that we would be united as husband and wife!  Since we started dating in high school, we had dreamed about that day becoming a reality.  As my fiance admired his bride; I knew that God was smiling down on us at that moment. 

The afternoon was filled with taking pictures and hugging family members that arrived to give me well wishes.  My mom kept holding my hand; I could tell she was so proud of us that day.  Soon, the music began and it was time for my dad to walk me down the aisle.  While giving me away, he gave me one more kiss on the cheek and he put my hand in Raleigh's.  Glancing into my best friends' eyes, I knew that he was as ready as I was to be united in a covenant of marriage.  The ceremony was filled with humor and tears with the big finale being the official kiss to seal the deal.  Apparently, I didn't hear our preacher correctly because I went in for the kiss twice!  As our guests laughed and cheered, we proudly walked back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Raleigh Price.

After the ceremony, the party began.  Our wedding cake looked majestic under the twinkling lights of the room.  Our guests sampled food such as miniature grilled cheese sandwiches and to our surprise one decided to take a bite out of the groom's cheesecake before we were able to cut into it!  By that point, we were in such bliss and the adrenaline was flowing that we could have cared less.  Raleigh and I were grinning from ear to ear and hugging everyone in sight!  Soon, the dance floor was packed with movers and shakers that danced well into the evening.

Finally, it was time for us to depart from our reception.  As we dodged rose petals we jumped into our vintage car and waved goodbye to our family and friends.  The next day we traveled to the island of St. Lucia for our honeymoon.  That week we relaxed, explored, and ate pizza on three different occasions.  We had the best time and didn't want the wonderful week to end.

Now, three years later I get to wake up to not only my husband but my precious little girls.  Time passes so quickly but oh how I have enjoyed these years!  I could not have asked God for a better person to spend my life with.  One of the verses that we used on our wedding day was Philippians 1:3, "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God."  I truly am so thankful to have Raleigh as my husband and the father of our girls.  As with any marriage, we have had our lows and our highs but we have always persevered through our circumstances as one.  On the inside of our wedding bands, we have engraved the following scripture: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).  How true has that statement been the past couple of months!

To me, the most important thing in having a loving marriage is for the husband and the wife to have God as the center.  We hear it all the time in wedding ceremonies, but "a cord of three stands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  All marriages face adversity and if either the husband or the wife is not committed to Christ, that couple is going to have a harder time dealing with their circumstances.  With Christ being the center of the cord, He keeps the cord wound tightly so the marriage does not unravel when faced with trials.  Jesus loves us more than we can ever love one another and accepting His love for us makes our love for each other stronger than before.  When we have Christ, we try harder to be better spouses to one another.  We try to use kind words and have an understanding heart when the dishes are left in the sink.  He helps us through the small annoyances of marriage to the big battles that we face.  He created us to be joined together, man and woman, and with Him as the center we can't be torn apart.

Today, Raleigh and I aren't going on a luxurious trip or to a fancy restaurant.  All we are going to do is watch our wedding video while holding our girls.  That is all I want this year.  My family has grown and we are all together at last.  Currently, I am praying for God's guidance to this new year.  I don't know what the future holds, but I know that today is a good day and I am thankful.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

p.s.: Last year, Raleigh and I took the pups to Helen, Georgia, for a weekend camping trip.  I haven't shared these pictures yet on the blog so I thought I would show you the fun that we had!  Enjoy!!!!

Raleigh and I at the highest point in Georgia

Lu Lu loved to sunbathe on our cabin's deck

I have never seen Obi so happy!  He LOVED running in the water and the woods :)

The Prices (2009)