Lifestyle, marriage

Roberts Adventures: Camping in Kanopolis

Growing up, I remember loving the INDOORS. I hated bugs (ok, I still hate bugs), hated scratchy grass, and didn’t like getting all sweaty. Maybe that’s a typical girl thing, but I’m so thankful my love for adventure and outdoors has grown over the years. Now I truly love being out in God’s creation and seeing new places!

Thankfully, I married a man who also loves the outdoors, and his love has only helped me appreciate God’s creation even more. Brady had us register for a bunch of camping gear for our wedding and we finally got to put it to use a couple of weekends ago at Kanopolis State Park. We had a BLAST and truly found a gem in Kansas! (I am so sad to report that the pictures I took on my camera somehow got deleted. I’m super bummed! So please enjoy these iPhone photos in their place. 😉 )

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We pitched our tent at the Rockwall campsite and loved where we ended up! The lake is beautiful and there are rock ledges surrounding it. I’m glad we went earlier in the season because it wasn’t too hard to find a spot that wasn’t surrounded by big groups. I imagine it gets pretty busy though in the coming months!

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On our first night we found one of the hiking trails and did some walking. It was incredibly peaceful, we saw some wildlife, and we figured out that I take 12 steps for every 10 steps Brady takes, haha. These are important things to learn! The further we got on our hike, the more unique the boulders and cliffs around us became. It was stunning, even with most of the plants being brown still.

We came back to our campsite, gathered some brush and wood, and managed to build a fire with the windy weather. Brady did an amazing job! We grilled some brats and made campfire cones. We filled waffle cones with marshmallows, Reese’s, and banana and then wrapped them in foil and put them over the fire. They were so, so good! It felt pretty awesome to make your food on a fire that you created!

When we woke up in the morning, we brought out our camping grill to make french press coffee, eggs, and sausage. We were able to sit by the lake and soak in some time with Jesus as we sipped our coffee and it was wonderful. Those are my favorite moments! We then packed up camp and headed to find some more hiking.

We ended up at Horsethief Canyon after seeing some great reviews. The trail definitely didn’t disappoint! There were so many points where we felt like we were in an old western movie and not in the middle of Kansas. The rock formations were incredible, and the sand that had fallen off of the unusually soft rocks was bright yellow and so fun to touch. We ended up getting off the trail and semi-lost for a bit, but we found our way back and had a great 1 hour hike!

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After our hike we headed home! It was a quick trip, but so refreshing for us to get outside and do something new together. We would love to go back soon and explore some other trails and camp sites. Kansas is so beautiful!

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Ok, your turn! Where are your favorite places to find adventure? Have you found some great things to do outside in Kansas? We’d love to explore more based off your suggestions! 🙂

 

Lifestyle, marriage

Our Best Day Ever

December 10th, 2016

I remember waking up that morning with so much peace. I was going to marry my best friend that day. My accountability partner. My adventure buddy. The man who made me better and showed me Jesus. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!

Now that it’s been 2 1/2 months, I’m so sad that some of the details of our day are becoming a blur. This day wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect for us.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing Brady for the first time that day, or how cold it was when we took our pictures. I’ll never forget my bridesmaids and I getting stuck in a van right before the ceremony, or looking at our loved ones as I walked down the aisle, or Brady’s dad (who was also our officiant) tearing up when he talked about his son. I’ll never forget my sweet husband reading his handwritten vows to me, or the fact that we forgot about glasses for our first toast and used mugs instead (way more us anyway). I’ll never forget dancing with some of my best friends at the reception, or being COVERED in fake snow as we made our grand exit.

I don’t ever want to forget these things, and I’m forever grateful that Kelcy Leigh Photography was there to capture the day for when my memories fade. I found Kelcy through social media awhile ago. (Her Instagram is killer!) I have always loved her heart to capture the love present at weddings and her pictures are stunning. I instantly knew I wanted her to photograph our wedding and I’m so thankful it worked out, even with a short engagement timeline!

Brady and I got coffee with Kelcy before our engagement picture session and we instantly felt connected. She is fun, spunky, easy to talk to, and made us feel super comfortable as we shared our story with her and went over wedding details. As we took pictures we were able to laugh and be ourselves and felt totally comfortable doing something we weren’t super familiar with. Brady even had fun taking our pictures which is a big win! 😉

Our wedding day was no different. I loved having Kelcy there with us along with her second shooter, Conlee Arpin. Even though it was quite chilly, we had fun taking pictures before the ceremony with our favorite people. One thing I really appreciated about Kelcy is that she listens to what you want and is willing to take the pictures you feel you need!

I would recommend Kelcy to anyone in need of a wedding or portrait photographer. You’re guaranteed to have a good time, make a new friend, and to get some beautiful pictures in the process. Visit her website if you’d like more information!

And now I will bombard you with pictures. 😉

Photos: Kelcy Leigh Photography

Hair and Make Up: Bri Bloyer Designs

Venue: Camp Hiawatha

Flowers: Susan’s Floral

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Yep. Our best day ever.

Lifestyle, marriage

Planning Your Hawaiian Honeymoon

Beautiful sunsets. Soft sand in-between your toes. Local fruit sweeter than candy. Ahhh.

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No wonder Hawaii is a popular honeymoon spot!

Brady and I were able to travel to the island of Hawaii (or the Big Island) for 6 days after we were married. It was the trip of a lifetime and an incredible way to start our marriage! We were able to stay in the cities of Kona and Hilo and truly loved every single day of our trip.

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We chose Hawaii because neither of us had ever been there, we got married in the winter and wanted to go somewhere warm, and we wanted to visit a place that we may never get to visit again. It didn’t take us long to choose these beautiful islands!

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I recommend this trip to anyone looking for a warm getaway. Especially couples! Planning a trip can sometimes be stressful, so here are my top tips for planning your trip to Hawaii!

 

Top Tips for Your Hawaiian Honeymoon

1. Do your research on the different islands to figure out where you want to stay. This was probably the most stressful part of our planning process because they all looked amazing! We decided on The Big Island because it seemed less touristy than Oahu and Maui and there were great beaches, hiking, and coffee farms. 🙂

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2. Check out Airbnb or VRBO to get more of a local feel to your vacation (and to save some money!) We absolutely LOVED the two places we stayed at. The hosts helped us know the spots to hit in the area, provided snorkeling gear, and gave us all the privacy in the world. I would recommend these two places to anyone! We stayed here in Kona and here in Hilo. The picture below was the view from our deck in Kona. Seriously breathtaking!

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3. Rent a car and go on a drive. You can’t really visit Hawaii without renting a car anyway… but make sure to take an afternoon or so to drive around the beautiful island. Our short drive from Kona to Hilo had me saying “oh my gosh this is so pretty” at least 20 times. The vegetation is incredible, so if you’re a nature nerd like myself, make this a must-do!

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4. Try new foods and restaurant specials. I had the BEST pulled pork/coleslaw/cornbread meal because it was recommended to me by our waitress. I’m usually not a huge fan of those foods, but I’m so glad I listened to her advice! Trust that your waiters and waitresses know what they’re talking about.

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5. Pick fruit off of the trees and eat it. #werenotinkansasanymore Also, please take note of Brady’s huge hat that we literally spent days searching for in all the little shops. 😉

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6. If you have a nice camera, take it. I almost didn’t take mine, but boy oh boy am I glad I did! Our iPhones are great, but if you have the option for higher quality photos, take advantage! You’re going to be seeing some of the most beautiful views of your life!
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7. Explore and be adventurous. Brady takes the credit for this one. He got me out of my comfort zone climbing rocks and ledges that I normally would have been fine passing on. But with these climbs we saw some amazing views and sights of the ocean!

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8. If you go to Hilo, visit the black sand beaches and find the sea turtles! This was amazing and we felt like we were at the zoo. 🙂 Can you spot the sea turtle below?

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9. One thing we noticed is that the Hawaiian culture is very relaxed. Restaurants and businesses close early (between 6:00-8:00 usually), drivers don’t seem in a rush, and the people aren’t as busy-minded as we were used to. At first this was honestly kind of annoying, but as time went on we learned to appreciate it. I think the Hawaiian’s understand more about a balanced lifestyle than most of us!

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10. Plan on making your own breakfast and lunches if you want to save some money and time. We ended up doing this almost every day (eggs and sausage for breakfast, PB&J’s packed for lunch) and loved it. We were able to bring food with us when we went to the beach or hiking which saved us lots of moolah and the stress of finding somewhere to eat when we got hangry. This also helped us enjoy our dinners out even more! They were special and extra delicious. 🙂

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Well now I’m ready to head back to the islands! Anyone else want to go?! If you have a trip planned I hope you have an amazing time! 🙂

Lifestyle, marriage

Love Your Spouse Challenge

Walking through Target’s aisle of glittery pink and red heart decor brought back the many mixed emotions Valentine’s Day has caused me through the years.

It started with being little and hoping my crush put a valentine in my homemade, glittery box. Then we move to high school, where having a boyfriend in February was a big deal, and if you were single you’d try and act like you could care less… when deep down you were heartbroken. Next was college, where I learned to enjoy spending the day with my best girlfriends and making ridiculous videos (Lion King music video, anyone?). And now that I am married, I can’t wait to show some extra love to my husband next week!

Wives, when you think about spoiling your husband on this Hallmark holiday, what feelings come up? Joy and excitement? Or maybe you’re more on the lines of resentment and pain?

Our marriages are all in different places and we’re experiencing different things. Maybe you are in a sweet spot where you feel blessed every day to have your husband by your side. Or maybe you’re experiencing trials, and you’re not quite sure how to keep loving the man in your life.

Wherever you’re at, I dare you to take the Love Your Spouse Challenge and see how your marriage improves.

Starting Monday, a few of my favorite ladies and I will be hosting this love challenge in a Facebook group.  Lindsay, Amber, Nichole and I range from married with kids to newly married (that’s me!) and can’t wait to work on loving our husbands and improving our marriages with you!

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Each day the group will consist of ways to pray for your husband, Scripture, date night ideas, and a challenge for you to do FOR your husband. I hear some husbands might be making guest appearances too, so that’ll be fun and entertaining…ha!

We will be in it together, wifey’s, growing to love the men God allows us to do life with. What can a little prayer and service do in your marriage?

This group is completely free! And there might be a fun giveaway at the end… *BONUS*! Comment below or message me on Facebook so I can get you added in! Let’s do this ladies. 🙂

Lifestyle, marriage

The Imperfect Bride

I got married to my best friend 12 days ago. I am now Mrs. Roberts. I have a husband. I am a wife. It’s so strange… but so wonderful. I’m a total newbie to marriage, but so far I love it!

The weeks leading up to our wedding day were fun… dress shopping, Pinterest-ing more than ever, planning our honeymoon, getting crafty… but they were also stressful.The world likes to tell us that engagement is the “best time of your life!” etcetera, etcetera. But for me, that wasn’t always true.

The world tells us a lot of things. It tells brides what our weddings should be and how we should look. The world has set a standard for us, and it’s pretty tough not to fall into the traps of comparison while we plan and then have our special day.


Here are a few lessons I learned along the way:

  1. Party planning may not be your thing. If you don’t absolutely love wedding planning, you aren’t crazy and nothing is wrong with you.
  2. Take time to make others feel loved during your planning process and at your wedding.
  3. It doesn’t matter where you get married. The whole point is that you are getting married. No matter where you are, it will be beautiful.
  4. You do not have to be at your ideal weight to be a beautiful bride. This one was hard for me to grasp! Your husband will think you are beautiful, because you are the woman he has chosen to marry. Don’t listen to the lies that you aren’t enough!
  5. You don’t have to get your dress at an upscale boutique in order to love it… and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
  6. Not everything will go perfectly on your wedding day. It’s ok! Take a chill pill and laugh about it with your bridesmaids.
  7. Sometimes your “honeymoon pedicure” (I’m talking bright neon orange here) will unexpectedly show through your burgundy wedding shoes. But you know what? No one cares.
  8. A button on your dress might pop off right before you walk down the aisle. But hey, as long as your dress stays put, you’re good to go.
  9. Take time to dance with your besties.
  10. You may not see your husband a lot at your reception. Soak in all of the people who are there to celebrate with you, and remember that you get a vacation with your favorite man in a few hours.
  11. When walking down the aisle take a look at all the faces smiling at you. I felt overwhelmingly loved in that moment!
  12. When you notice a little hiccup in your day, or get stressed about getting pictures done in time, or find out one of your groomsmen’s pants don’t fit, take a few moments to refocus. Yes, you want your day to be lovely, but all in all, it’s about so much more. It’s about Jesus uniting you and your husband in a way we can’t comprehend. It’s about bringing glory to your Creator and thanking Him for His good gifts. Everything else is fun, but don’t let it become your focus.

Future brides, don’t fall into the traps of having the most “perfect” wedding possible. In the end, your day will be perfect because you will be marrying the man of your dreams with all of your favorite people surrounding you!

Focus on the beauty of marriage, and let the other standards fall away. 


Ladies, what lessons did you learn in your wedding planning process?

Lifestyle, marriage

Brady+Nicole

September 3rd, 2016 was a day I will never forget! Brady Roberts asked me to be his wife, and it was the easiest decision of my life to say “YES!” A handful of you have asked for some details from that night so I thought I’d share them here. We are in love! So keep reading if you’re up for a little mushy and gushy every now and then. 😉

Brady and I’s story is nontraditional, and I think that’s why I love it so much! We met a little over a year ago, went on one date, Brady called it quits (I love reminding him of this now, ha!), and then decided to try again this past February. Brady did an amazing job of focusing on our friendship and going through each step of our relationship very prayer-fully. I couldn’t ask for a better leader, and I’ve loved every step of this journey together!

Oh heyyyy Matt…

So now on to what you’ve been waiting for…

Labor Day weekend was going to be a busy time for us! I was traveling to Carthage (where Brady lives) at the beginning of the weekend, then we were traveling to the lake with my family, back to Carthage for church, and then to Junction City to be with his family the rest of the weekend. We had started talking about getting married a few weeks prior which made me think there was a possibility of a proposal over the weekend since we’d be with lots of family. Even with that in mind, Brady totally threw me off and I was shocked with how he did it!

Once I got to Carthage and Brady started talking about the weekend, it seemed like he had no plan to propose and so I tried to make myself stop thinking it was going to happen that weekend. I was advised by friends to not have expectations so that it’d be a great weekend, no matter what! I mayyyy have been a little disappointed, but was still loving time with my best friend.


We got to the lake on Saturday and had an awesome day relaxing and out on the water. We knew we’d be heading back to Carthage after dinner, so when the time came we packed up our things and headed out for the 3 hour drive.

Once we got in the car, Brady realized he had forgotten his wallet. He went back inside, I searched the car, and then we were really out on our way. About 15 minutes down the road I got a call from my dad, telling us that Brady had forgotten his phone. Ha! Since this wasn’t completely unusual (Brady and I are both super forgetful… oh boy) I laughed, Brady totally played it up on being frustrated, and we headed back to the cabin. He kept saying “Your family is going to think I’m such an idiot! I already went back in for my wallet.” to which I replied “No they won’t, I’ll just go in with you. You’ll be fine.” 😉

We got back to the cabin and headed inside. I went in before Brady, totally expecting to see my family sitting there playing games, to a dark room filled with candles. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on! I saw some red roses and a big golden R at the center, and that’s when it finally clicked. 🙂 Apparently, my first words were “What?! Are you kidding me?!”


From here, all I remember is turning around, hugging Brady, and non-stop laugh crying. 🙂

To give a little background, Brady decided that we wouldn’t say I love you or kiss until/unless we got engaged. This definitely wasn’t easy, but I am so thankful it is something we did!

After hugging for awhile, Brady went through a list of things he loves about me, and finished with saying “I love you, Nicole.” It was so refreshing to finally say those words back to him! From there he grabbed the ring, got down on one knee, and asked me to be his wife. It still seems surreal! I get to be Brady Roberts wife!


We may or may not have finally had our first kiss after this (which was wonderful) and then Brady told me all of the ways he’d been lying to me to make the night possible. 😉 It was so fun to hear about, because I didn’t pick up on any of it! From there we were able to walk over to my aunt and uncle’s cabin, where all of my family, Brady’s family, and one of my best friends were waiting to celebrate with us. It was such a fun night! So many hugs, pictures, and joy-filled smiles.


My beautiful sister helped Brady so much!
Officially part of the fam. 😉

Telling the story!
I love this picture! Love this guy.

Our engagement got to share the date with Connor’s birthday!
Totally normal.
The couple who saw this as a good thing way before we did. 😊

It means the world to Brady and I to have so many excited for us and celebrating with us through this process. God has been so sweet to us through our journey. He has made us best friends, accountability partners, and adventure buddies for life. I love learning alongside Brady, and it still blows me away that we will get to do life together… forever.

Thank you for praying for us! We want to honor God most through our marriage and can’t wait to see what that looks like. Love to you all! 🙂