God rescues// Happy Birthday Joshua Grady Shave

God rescues//and he brought me Joshua. Happy Birthday, my love.

1998 SMCC when Josh and I met

Today is my sweet sweet love’s birthday. He is 29, strong, healthy, blessed, and wonderful. I wanted to spend today bragging on him and thanking God for blessing me with such a wonderful, loving, selfless, consistent husband.    Seriously.   I do not just spout off these adjectives like I am writing a greeting card. He REALLY is ALL  these things. Over the years I have become more aware of just how considerate he is. So many people, including myself, tend to take advantage of his kindness. At first I thought it just came naturally to him and he didn’t even have to think about it. But realistically, he does. He is the kind of person who makes a daily effort to build others up, to NOT always say what he is thinking, to go out of his way to help you with what you want, to think the best of people, to forgive, to put his plans aside when he knows you want him or need him for something. And all these things are not just for me.  They are for everyone: our families, his co-workers, his friends, my friends…

It is almost bad for other people because I see him sacrificing all the time and it just accentuates how selfish the rest of us are.

I love him for so many reasons, but the first one would have to be that he loves God so much and wants to live his life (our life) to please HIM. This is the most admirable trait in a man. It brings a constant comfort because I know where his priorities lie and I can trust him to LEAD us in the right direction.

I love him because he likes what I like…and even when he doesn’t he sacrifices and compromises.  I love that we can sing and dance and scream out the window in the car together. I love that when he is in front of me at a stop light, he opens his back window and says, I love you.

I love that we can laugh together.

Our 1st Dave Matthews Concert together

I love Josh for all these things and more. He is so strong. So athletic. So funny. So freaking talented at everything he tries; it might be a little sickening, but adorable at the same time.

I did find something I am better at than him……… and that is ice skating. :)

Pathetic for me I know, but seriously. He is good at EVERYTHING. And humble about it too. How lucky am I?

I love him because he makes me coffee in the mornings.

I love him because when I am tired and do not want to wake up and go to work, he walks around the bed, throws my arms around his neck, and walks me into the bathroom.

I love him because he always opens my door.

I love him because I know he prays for me every day.

I love him because when he travels I do not worry about his integrity. (but I pray about it nontheless to keep him strong and holy)

I love him because he thinks it’s cute when I look up new words.

Lol….. like the house we are buying is on Avocet. I didn’t know what that was and I didn’t want to live on a road that meant like “hoochie momma” so I looked it up :)
and this made him smile.

It means a long legged shorebird, by the way. How fitting.

I love that he can make so many people laugh and that he is not afraid to be silly.

I love him because he is passionate about so many things… our love, surfing, basketball, family, snowboarding, his work, his prayer life, God, wakeboarding…

I love him because he is not boring.

I love him because keeps me sane and eases my fears. He reminds me where my focus should be. He holds me accountable and teaches me love.

I love him because I want to. Should all these awesome things fade away. I will love him.

God rescues.

When I looked up his name last night that is what I found.  And its so true; God did rescue me. In the same way he rescued Josh and all of us who allow him to be our Savior. What  wonderful life we live, abiding in him and seeking his face.

Thank you for all of it, God.

And thank you for being a wonderful husband, Josh. I love you. Happy Birthday.


5 Things to do before Josh and I have a baby…

1. own our own home with a yard [April 2012]

2. go to Europe [estimated trip summer of 2013]

3. have a plant and a dog and keep them alive

4. take a surf trip as a couple

5. practice practice practice (Josh wanted me to put this)

*that is all I can think of for now :)

House hunters

Yes, I have been watching that show lately on HGTV.

Josh and I were going to wait until next summer -or the summer after that- to start looking for houses, but we found this adorable one in west Knoxville that woke us up from out slumber and started the house search. The one we found has a huge yard at nearly an acre but it not quite as west as we want, so we started looking.

Our goal is to move about April or May, because that is when the condo lease is up and I will have Spring Break/Summer to move in and nest :)

Also, we want a dog. So a big yard, preferrably with a fenced in back yard, would be ideal.It is a little older than I want and I did not love the front porch, but Josh and I already talked about how we would renovate that.

This is the back yard of our first love in west Knoxville:

I love the view to right that isn’t pictured either. It is about 2,280 sq ft, 3 bedroom Cape Cod 2 story with finished basement, Parquet foyer, Greal wood fireplace, formal dining room with triple bay window, finished basement, and did I mention great yard?

Our #2 is a lot smaller, newer, and brick-which I love. It is also in LC, which would be closer to Josh’s work. I am not sure how big the yard is though.

Finally, but surely not the end of the hunt, this is just the beginning, I like another one in LC. It is gorgeous on the outside, hardwood, bigger, but does not seem to have much of a yard.

I am so excited about embarking on this new adventure with my hubby. I am not sure what we are more excited about: a new home to call our own, or an adorable new puppy :)

Updates and wedding blog we’re in!

Ah! I wish I blogged more!

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things,  but for now, I am just blogging for my own sake as an update and reminder of what is going on in our world.

Josh and I are finally settling int to our new home :) We actually have stuff up on the walls and are slowly finding room for everything. We finished our bedroom (all the way down to the throw pillows)  and I am about to tackle a DIY project to manage some of my jewelry :)

Speaking of managing…He is making me throw more things away… or should I say just making me throw things away…. ?? :)

His new rule is that when I bring something new into the house, I have to get rid of something old….. right now it is easy, because it is just the beginning, but eventually I can see this getting more difficult… so I purge lightly :)

Once I get the house a little cleaner I am going to put pictures on here so I always remember our first home :)  awww

This should be a separate entry, but I know I’ll never get around to it, so I’ll just announce it now:

Our wedding was featured on my dress designers blog! Lea-Ann Belter

I was super excited when she notified me and asked me to tell more about my story about my wedding and my dress.

To read it, visit their site here.


Our wedding

Lori Hensley Photography

I am pleased to shared with you the pictures from our wedding day, June 25, 2011, taken by Lori Hensley Photography in Knoxville, TN.

You can see some of them she has put on her blog : http://lorihensley.com/2011/07/14/amy-josh-wedding/

and see them ALL  and ORDER at  http://www.lorihensleyclients.com/

Look foe Amy + Josh wedding, and the password is welch :)

I must say that I was absolutely thrilled, and that if you are planning a wedding, graduating, having a baby, getting engaged, or want to trash your dress, I can HIGHLY recommend Lori Hensley.

Every time I am with you, it’s a Holiday.

After finally uploading pictures from my camera after a couple of months, I was  inspired to write about something.
Yes,  I have one solid, constant, forever family by blood, and they will always be my closest and my favorite, but as time goes on my family is growing by leaps and bounds.
I have my Northern Family, my extended family, my in Laws, my outlaws, and of course my friends I love so much it’s almost better than family— if it were possible

And believe it or not I was able to see them ALL all over the last 4 holidays and it was wonderful.

I spent thanksgiving with the Welch family in Indiana. This is the second time lately I have gotten to hang out with my sister and the more time I get to be around her, the more I wish I was around her all along. I think we are going to be great friends :) —For all of you who don’t know my sister and I have not lived in the same place since I was about ten… she went off to college and then we moved to TN and she didn’t come :(
Both of our weddings have brought us close together. I am extremely blessed.

The clothing in this next picture was NOT planned… needless to say a few of us changed our outfits after the picture was taken.

great minds think alike

Christmas this year was about 4 holidays in one. I was so excited to induct Josh into his first ever Christmas Eve Eve at Momma Harris’ House. Every year she cooks tons of yummy foods and we watch movies. I loved having him there this year, and it sure beats texting him the whole time.

Then, Josh and I had Christmas eve with my immediate family in Chattanooga and woke up to a white Christmas as we drove through the snow to get back to Josh’s family in Seymour for Christmas Day. It was wonderful to be with them, they are great in-laws, and my parents came up for the fun too.

Families United :)

Oh it’s not over….

Then, Josh got to experience his first Jigga Christmas with the girls — and Chase :)  The guys are officially jiggas and I love that every time the girls send a message their names are on it :)

Jigga Christmas

Ashley was not able to make it :( but she was there in spirit… if you look closely you can see her left of Josh and Megan.

Jigga Christmas 2011

We rang in the new year in Roanoke, Virgina with my close friend and first college roommate Becky [Wood] Blankenship. She and Mike just had their first child, a healthy young man named Luke so we scooted on down there to meet him and catch up with them.

Even when we have not seen them in months Josh will start laughing out loud at something Becky did or a story she told a year ago, lol that is how funny she is.

Luke and his mommy

In January we got to see my long lost best friend Emily [Nix} Sneed. She is the kind of friend (Becky is this way too) that you can go months without talking to and when you get a hold of each other there is no bitterness and it is like you never skipped a beat.  [somehow I got off without taking a picture… that is very unlike me]

Josh’s birthday was about three disasters in one and I feel like a terrible wife to be… but I did somehow come out with a yummy tasting [although ridiculous looking cake].

Let’s just say I had to recover from someone eating half his cake the day I was going to finish making it and then give it to him. I had about 30 minutes to create this masterpiece:

Josh's cake- post surgery

Ashley’s Birthday: I cannot do it justice by telling the stories from the weekend, so you don’t get any… see facebook for the visual retelling.

Sing it or Wing it: New Zealand edition

The fun continued on with Valentines day at the Gala with our close friends Brett and Lee Ridens. We got to dress up for dinner, drinks, an auction and dancing.

At the Valentine's Gala

This post was just a really long way of saying, no matter what I do, or where I do it, when I am with my closest friends and the love of my life, I am happy. I am so blessed to have great relationships and such caring and wonderful individuals surrounding me.

Thank you.

I love these people

February 25th—4 months to go!

Okay, so  keep seeing all these awesome wedding blogs and wish I was that cool and savvy (and had enough time) to log all the awesome things I am doing and give you how to’s :)
But I don’t.
All I can say is I am working, teaching, planning and saving. I am trying to do practically everything I can to save money (yes, I am making things myself)  :) but you don’t get pictures or how to’s!             You’ll just have to come to the wedding!

Josh and I have officially booked everything “big” and he recently bought the honeymoon and his suit. Poor thing didn’t even have the option to rent because of his [if i may say so myself] awesome muscular build. He is like a 44 in his shoulders and 34 in his waist! Needless to say, the jacket has to be tailored. Now all we have left is wedding rings! We both pretty much know what we want we just need to go get them.
His guys are all excited and pretty much have all the guys things done. I think his groomsmen are in the process of getting measured and such. I am still working on the little things that drive me insane…you know like what color the table clothes are going to be and deciding on a “signature cocktail”… what is that about?? I might be a sucker for it though because, again, it saves money. SO we will see.  Suggestions are welcome. Long Island Iced Tea perhaps?

I am super excited about my girls weekend next month; it’s the family and bridal party. We found a way to incorporate our wedding wine tasting! and MOST of my favorite women on earth will be there with me! Of course there will be a spot in my heart for those who can’t make it.

Anyhow, I just got on to shout out and tell everyone I am alive in well. I miss my family in Indiana and hope they get to make it down in June.  We have a wedding website that I keep up to date much more than this blog, feel free to check it out. I am trying to keep it updated with wedding/reception details, hotel info and registry hoopla; Josh is trying to find a good place for tools but no place with tools even has registries! How crazy is that?! I would LOVE for Josh to be able to get the things he needs. We also registered for out Honeymoon! Josh booked a great resort in St. Lucia and I’m pretty sure I dream about it every night. Anyhow it’s cool because people can contribute and get us actual excursions (like biking or sailing) so when we get there we don’t have to do it; how cool is that!? The things they come up with… I’ll find some pictures for you all. Until then feel free to check out our wedding webpage. Love you!


First time to Ye Ol Steakhouse

I said YES

Okay okay okay, I know it’s been awhile, but I am finally going to put our proposal story (and pictures!) on here :)

It is a difficult story to start—only because there are so many details that are too funny and too “us” to leave out. First of all, for all of you who don’t know, Josh and I have been friends since we were 14. We met at church camp in 1998 and have not lost touch since; literally. We used to write letters snail mail, talk over IM, meet up when he came to Knoxville, and I even called him up in 2006 when I was down in Tampa, FL to meet.  We remained friends throughout the years and finally started dating a year ago when he moved back to Tennessee. I can honestly say I have never been happier. He is, indeed, a dream come true.

Josh and I had been talking about marriage for a little while and I hoped it was coming soon. He had been telling his friends and family for months that I was the one :) and he was not ashamed to admit he was just as head over heels for me, as I was for him. So, when we started talking about getting married, I of course was very VERY EXCITED. I swore up and down he had no chance of surprising me with the proposal since I already knew it was coming. After all, it’s awfully hard to surprise a girl when she is waiting every second of every day for you to ask her to be your wife :) (the poor man couldn’t bend down to tie his shoe, for crying out loud, without getting my hopes up!)

When he went to talk to my dad (which was way sooner than I thought—the day he proposed I still didn’t think he had—) Dad pretty much told him it would be impossible to surprise me. “I’ve been married to her mother for nearly thirty years”, he said “…and I’ve surprise her twice.”

So Josh was doomed… or should have been, but he is abnormally awesome at surprising me and still pulled it off. :)

He proposed May 7th 2010 and took me completely by surprise! I thought he was going to propose at church camp, where we met, in July of this year (and at one time this was his plan, but both my dad and his dad said not to wait, so he didn’t and that is a good thing.) As I mentioned, he said originally he was planning on July at church camp, then June for our anniversary, then he got the ring in his possession May 6th and lasted about 36 hours :)

Josh and I had plans with Kyle and Christin to go downtown to first Friday. We were going to eat at Oodles (one of our favorite places) and then walk the town. Godmom called me after school that day and asked if I wanted to get my nails done. I said sure. I also invited another friend of mine out with us, Sara, to meet me at the salon. Normally, this would have been fine, but I was slowly putting kinks in Josh’s plan. After getting my nails done a worker volunteered to freshen up my hair, and as soon as she finished, Josh walked in to pick me up.

When he saw me he thought for sure I knew. My hair was down and blown out very pretty and of course my nails looked great. (I really had no idea) Josh, Sara and I got in the car to head downtown and Josh handed me a book.  Now there is a lot of background to this proposal so bear with me… I had written to Josh in a journal like notebook about how much he meant to me and MY SIDE of the Florida visit in 2006. To me, Josh  was stunningly good looking , muscular, college basketball player that I did not think I stood a chance with, so I spent the whole weekend thinking we would hang out and never talk again…but Josh swears he was already in love with me, so I asked him to write his side of the story [months ago…]

I get in the car and he is like, “guess what!” and hands me the book. I am very excited he has written and I want to read it, but Sara is in the car, so I don’t want to be rude, and I toss it in the back seat! He is thinking at this point, “you’ve got to be kidding me…”

One good thing is, before I threw it in the backseat I turned to the last page he had written on, and saw the message:

“July 26, 1998” is the best day of my life so far because that is the day I met you.

Awww… I thought that was so sweet but still didn’t think anything of it. Josh is always sweet. He told me he got a hold of Doug, who was the Dean of that week of camp and both of our youth ministers, and researched the date.

Well after dinner downtown with Sara, Kyle and Christin, Josh wanted to go for a walk. We started walking out of Market Square and into the gardens and I was confused…. These people don’t walk to talk around here, I thought we were going to window shop” I am thinking to myself…

At that point the three, who are in on his plan, say they want to look at this dress shop and miraculously disappear… Josh and I start walking down this path and I am still clueless for several minutes until I realize neither one of us is talking, we are kind of jogging, and I am officially sweating…

About the time I started to ask Josh why we were running, he is taking my stuff from me and sitting in on a bench under a tree.

At that point, I knew————————— but was in totally disbelief.

I think I might have gotten my name out and I was like “no way!”

Hahaha I said that about 5 times he says :)

I’m pretty sure I blacked out, but I do remember him telling me how much he loved me, that he had given me his whole heart and that he wanted to take care of me and take me as his wife.
He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him :)

I, of course, said yes.

He put the ring on and I instantly hugged him. I couldn’t think straight. My face hurt from smiling but somehow I was crying. When I realized this was REALLY happening I screamed at the top of my lungs and my friends came running. This is the first picture Sara took when she rounded the corner: