Archive for the ‘Dear Brides & Wives’ Category

Dear Brides & Wives: The Inspiration Couple

April 10th, 2015

  Our closest “married couple” friends have been married fifteen years longer than us, they have triple the children we have (soon only double though!  Woohoo for August!), and they’re a generation wiser than us.  But this hasn’t stopped the growth of a dear friendship that’s closer than anything I could have imagined.  But more […]


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Our closest “married couple” friends have been married fifteen years longer than us, they have triple the children we have (soon only double though!  Woohoo for August!), and they’re a generation wiser than us.  But this hasn’t stopped the growth of a dear friendship that’s closer than anything I could have imagined.  But more than just friends, they have taught us so much about marriage and creating a relationship and a friendship and a family that will last a lifetime.  We stumbled on them a bit by accident, meeting at a mutual friend’s party and clicking instantly.  Now we live a five minute walk from each other, we see them at least weekly for shared meals, and when one of us is out of coffee or cream we show up at the other’s kitchen.  She helped me survive Piper’s birth (literally survive), she delivered Eaden on our bedroom floor when we couldn’t make it to the hospital (a year ago today!), and she asked me if I was pregnant with number three before I even had given the thought a second consideration.

 

We’ve grown this close because of how much they’ve inspired us, and how much they’ve taught us.  We love being with them because it’s a family that entrenched themselves in the values we share as well, and who committed themselves from the beginning of their marriage that this was a marriage that was going to work, there wasn’t any other option.  It’s easy to be with them because they understand what we’re going through at this five year mark of marriage, and we see what we have to look forward to at the twenty year mark.

 

We spent a few months while we were engaged going through the pre-marital counseling process that our church required.  We were partnered with a married couple, and met frequently to talk, and learn, and have someone to guide us and answer our questions.  That time was invaluable, and we’re still close with that couple, but as important as that was, this relationship we have now is ten times as important.

 

Pair yourself with a couple who inspires you to have a better marriage daily.  With someone you can look up to and learn from and ask the hard questions to.  Someone who will pray with you and help you through the hard moments, instead of simply hanging out and “husband-bashing” with you.  These are the relationships that will last a lifetime, and these are the ones that you want to last a lifetime, because they’ll help your marriage last a lifetime too.

 

We made a promise before we got married that there was no getting out.  We said our vows and made a promise that this was forever.  I have never once doubted that promise; I am head over heels in love with this man.  And I am so incredibly grateful for the support we feel from the community we’ve place around us, helping make sure we keep our promise.

 

xoxo, Katherine

 

 

 

Dear Brides & Wives is a series of letters, where I share my heart for marriage and my prayers for you as a wife, a bride, or a one-day bride.  Marriage is beautiful, and hard, and easy, and challenging, and sometimes it’s everything at once.  These letters are the moments that we’ve been through, and I hope that they can bless and encourage you even just a little, in whatever place your heart is in.  xoxo, Katherine

Guillaume and Katherine Bignon Wedding, Image by Richmond PhotographicsImage | Richmond Photographics

 

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True Hospitality vs. Our Instagram Feed

October 24th, 2014

We’ve had houseguests staying with us all week; my husband’s PhD supervisor, and his lovely wife, all the way from England.  So on Monday evening, just before their arrival, and about two hours into my frantic cleaning and trying to get the house in order, with one kid plopped in front of the tv and […]


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We’ve had houseguests staying with us all week; my husband’s PhD supervisor, and his lovely wife, all the way from England.  So on Monday evening, just before their arrival, and about two hours into my frantic cleaning and trying to get the house in order, with one kid plopped in front of the tv and the other one tied onto my back falling asleep, I realized that my mad-cleaning streak (while there’s nothing wrong with desiring a clean house!) was not much different than the standard so many of us hold ourselves to for our instagram profile…  We have this desire to only show ourselves as perfect, to only show the perfect side, the pretty side, the side that someone else might look at and think to themselves, “oooh, I want to be like that…”.  I wasn’t cleaning because I wanted to offer our guests a comfortable and peaceful place to stay, it was so I could say “look at us, we have it all together, there’s nothing for you to judge us about…”  And the truth is, we DON’T have it all together (otherwise, why would I have even needed to clean like a madwoman?!!).  But just because we still struggle with keeping our heads above water sometimes isn’t a reason to feel like we’ll be judged.  I don’t want to go through life only striving to show people the perfect side of me, because it most definitely doesn’t exist. (This post is being written at 2:30 am because it’s been on my heart to write it for a few days now, but it’s only just now that I’ve been able to sit down for the first time today without two kids on my lap, food to be cooked, and countless tutu’s to be made for a very special almost two year old’s party this weekend… I’m a last minute procrastinator type of girl, which drives my husband crazy, probably will never change, and will always mean that I most definitely don’t have it all together and am not perfect!)

I’ve realized that it’s not being the hostess with the cleanest house, and the most perfectly crisp sheets, it’s about being genuine.  Having a place to offer where someone can sit down and have a heartfelt conversation, and feel loved and accepted, and at home.  It’s not about offering the most perfectly plated food, it’s about offering a meal that is shared by people loving on each other.  It’s not about the most perfectly color coordinated decorations, it’s about making someone feel welcome and giving them a place to feel like they belong.  Yes, I do desire a clean house, but I so much more desire to be genuine with people, and to truly be seen as I am, and not be judged for who I can’t quite manage to become.  My instagram feed isn’t “perfect”, but it’s perfectly me, and that’s all I can strive to show, there and in my home.  We’ve made it a place where people can come and cozy up on our couch to talk, where kids can play and make memories, where meals can be shared and a kitchen can be cleaned later, and where messes happen and aren’t the end of the world.  And while that may be something I struggle to remind myself of from time to time, especially when I fall too much into the trap of comparing myself to what I deem to be those who are perfect around me, it’s true.

Friends, I want to encourage you to truly be genuine and be proud of who you are.  Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s virtual reality, to someone who only shows the perfect moments.  Don’t be the host that only lets your guests see the perfect side, the side that is gone as soon as they walk out the door.  Be real, and they will love you for it.

In the end, our house was not spotless when they arrived on Monday, and they got to know some of my true kitchen colors when they came home the first night and I had used literally every bowl and utensil in our kitchen to process and can two bushels of apples, and they loved me all the more for it.  They were so excited that I was taking the time to provide for my family, not upset that the kitchen was a little (or a lot!) bit cluttered when I served them their food.  They were grateful for the meal, and the conversations that came with it, and the mess sparked a great conversation, not judgements!  Your mess is your story, and it’s your beauty too, don’t be ashamed of what makes you you!

 

p.s.  My mom is coming to visit this weekend, so I will have to do a little bit of constant reminding to myself that a little mess is ok…  Why do we hold ourselves to an even higher standard around our moms?!!  xoxo, have a great weekend friends!

 

photo-21

Look at all those apples!

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DBW: Take the Time

February 22nd, 2014

As soon as you have kids, life changes.  It goes a little crazy suddenly…  And it took us a long time to get back to finding our “us” rhythm.  Our chance to be adults, relax, and be in love with each other without worrying about baby this and toddler that and when does the next […]


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As soon as you have kids, life changes.  It goes a little crazy suddenly…  And it took us a long time to get back to finding our “us” rhythm.  Our chance to be adults, relax, and be in love with each other without worrying about baby this and toddler that and when does the next diaper need to be changed.  To just sit back and breathe and think about just each other.  I wouldn’t change adding Piper to our lives, or our soon-to-come baby #2, not for a heartbeat!  I’m just finally admitting to the amount of adjustment it took for our marriage…

All in all, we’ve had a pretty easy and oh so incredibly enjoyable marriage.  But adding a baby to the mix will throw anyone for a loop, and you have to have a strong foundation.  You have to still find ways to talk to each other about the things you talked about pre-baby, you have to still date each other, you have to still have moments to connect with your best friend.  And you have to open up and truly share what’s on your heart.  (That’s a hard one for me still!)

Chatting with a friend recently, I got some amazing advice that inspired me and has been wonderful for us.  At the end of Piper’s day, once she’s in bed, we sit down with a drink (it’s been juice lately, but the wine will come soon enough again… haha) in our new “parlor” chairs and just talk for a while.  We catch up from our day, we talk about goals and dreams, and we’re just us.  We sit down in a peaceful corner of our house and breathe for a minute.  As soon as weather permits, I can’t wait to move down to the front porch for our nightly “adult time” as Guillaume calls it.

These peaceful minutes have become one of the highlights of our evening for both of us.  We don’t make it to those chairs every evening, but every evening we do I can see the positive effect it has on our marriage.  When you love your children with all your heart, sometimes it’s easy to put your marriage on hold for a couple “minutes”, which easily turn into hours and years.  I can’t stress how absolutely important it is to yes, love your children with all your heart, but remember that you loved each other first.  Every night when he gets home, Piper squeals “daddy!!” and runs to the front door, it makes my heart melt!  And every evening, he picks her up and carries her into the room where I am, and tells her (in French!), “first, a kiss for mommy, then Piper.”  And without fail, every time he kisses me when he’s holding her, she has to make sure she’s not left out, so she leans in to make sure the next one is for her.  I can’t get enough of this kid.  Or her dad.

Take the time, it’s the things you fight for the most that are the most worth saving.

xoxo

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My “Real” Valentine’s

February 14th, 2014

Good morning and Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!  That day when society tells you to binge on chocolate, smell the roses, and spend lots of money on an expensive dinner, and that if you don’t have someone to give you all those things then you might just not be loved or pretty enough…  ouch!  I never […]


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Good morning and Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!  That day when society tells you to binge on chocolate, smell the roses, and spend lots of money on an expensive dinner, and that if you don’t have someone to give you all those things then you might just not be loved or pretty enough…  ouch!  I never actually had a “real” Valentine’s until I was dating my now husband.  I loved valentine’s day in elementary school, you know the kind, when everyone in the class brings something in for everyone in the class, and they get in trouble if they skip someone, so you’re safe, and you go home with a massive sugar high!  And then came middle school, where suddenly valentine’s were only from a “boyfriend” or if you were best friends with THAT girl.  And me, well, I never was…  High school calmed down a little, the pain of being left out wasn’t as bad because we were partially over our awkward middle school gangly zit covered stage.  But partially not…  Anyways, I was never the one to get the roses or the gold necklace or the box of chocolates, it apparently wasn’t my calling in life… I did spend one valentine’s eve making adorable DIY valentine’s for all my friends with one of my cousins, sitting on her floor, wearing super cute pj’s that we went out and bought specially to wear.  No big surprise the career I chose is it?!

Flash forward a couple years to real life, and “real” valentine’s.  Our first valentine’s together started one of my favorite traditions- we went out to breakfast.  (Fewer crowds than dinner, and oh so relaxing.)  It doesn’t happen very often that we get to keep the tradition, usually the day falls on a week day work day, so it’s off to the office with a hug and a kiss and a see you in the evening babe, but every once in a while…

So yes, I have found my Valentine, and my middle school fairy tale dreams of what the day should be do actually come true now, and yes I love it.  But if he forgot valentine’s day all-together I would totally forgive him in a heartbeat, because being married means that each and every day I get to be his valentine, regardless of whether that means a gift or not, and each and every day I have someone to say I love you to, without being scared in that middle school way that they’ll laugh in your face and talk about you on the bleachers.   I couldn’t ask for anything better…

xoxo

vday cover

Coming soon… Part 2 of the mini-series on finding the perfect wedding dress, and a new Dear Brides and Wives!

 

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The List

February 1st, 2014

What is it that you miss doing?  Do you write a million things on a list to do during the day and sit in bed at night and realize you barely got to any of it?  And then when you do count up the list of what you did, it’s full of diapers changed, meals […]

 

What is it that you miss doing?  Do you write a million things on a list to do during the day and sit in bed at night and realize you barely got to any of it?  And then when you do count up the list of what you did, it’s full of diapers changed, meals made, faces washed, furniture washed because little hands didn’t get washed, books read, and read and read again, toys played with, toys cleaned up (sometimes), baths given, bottles made, and pacifiers found…  I think “vacuum and dust” has been on my list for the last two weeks, along with laundry and making/hanging curtains.  Maybe tomorrow, at least for the vacuuming and dusting.  And I have a never ending list of things I want to sew- things just for fun, just for me, and I can’t even remember the last time I got to pull out my sewing machine for something other than school and work.  I’m living the life I never could have imagined, and sometimes I can’t tell if I’m running ten steps ahead of myself, or ten steps behind.

But what I’ve come to realize, is that it’s ok when baths and books are the most exciting thing I do all day, because they’re two of the most exciting things for one of the most important people in my world.  And lists, well, they were made to have things crossed off and added, and sometimes it’s just the list in general that needs to be crossed out.

I’m learning to be organized, and still figuring out how to keep a clean house, and I will admit that the days I get the most done around our home are the ones when people are coming over because I feel like I’ll be judged.  And I sit down at the end of the day and look at my lists and have to remind myself that it’s ok that three quarters of my goals didn’t happen, because Piper’s books got read, and she cuddled with me and showed me where her toes and fingers were, and the pretty nail polish that’s on them, and then she said “pretty”, and signed “thank you momma” when I gave her her lunch.  So all in all we’re doing ok; business may not be moving forward as fast as I wish, and the lack of curtains in our house is getting a little ridiculous considering how long I’ve had the fabric sitting in my office, but we’re happy, healthy, and we’re a family, and we’re figuring it out together.  I hope you do too, and that you never feel overwhelmed and underaccomplished when you’re doing the things that really matter…  I struggle with it, and I’m slowly learning and growing.  It’s my prayer that you can figure it out a little faster than I did/am doing!  And coming soon, as I’m working through this learning process, a new list of goals and a new calendar schedule and a new way of planning our life out.  I’m tired of sitting down at the end of the day and having to remind myself that an unfinished list doesn’t mean failure, it just means another chance tomorrow to keep moving forward.

 

p.s.  I am most definitely the person that adds something to my list that I’ve already done, just to have the fulfillment of being able to cross it off…

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Dear Brides and Wives: It’s Not The Things

January 8th, 2014

It’s not the things that matter, aka- what if everything from your registry was suddenly gone?  We woke up Saturday morning to a leak coming from our roof, through our attic and dropping into our entryway.  By the time we went to bed Sunday evening we had cracks in the roof, a drainpipe leaking into […]


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It’s not the things that matter, aka- what if everything from your registry was suddenly gone?  We woke up Saturday morning to a leak coming from our roof, through our attic and dropping into our entryway.  By the time we went to bed Sunday evening we had cracks in the roof, a drainpipe leaking into our attic, and a living room ceiling that had to be completely replaced, AND it was still raining…

It makes you think, and really focus on the things that matter…

I was the bride who was obsessed with her registry.  I checked it all the time, so excited to see what had been purchased, and unable to wait for the shower or the pile of gifts waiting when we get back from our honeymoon.  I knew what had been purchased, the only mystery was who bought us what.  The registry was a huge defining point of what getting married meant for me.  And I’ve realized in the last 3 years of marriage, that it really shouldn’t matter at all.  Those are the things that people are blessing you with as you start your new life together, and they are definitely such a blessing, but the point of the whole day is WHO you’re marrying, and the life you’re starting together, not WHAT you’re getting and which one of the guests showed up at the reception without a gift.

There are a lot of things in this life I hold precious, and a number of them are things from my registry and things we’ve purchased, but if I had lost any of them in the ceiling downpour, we would have been ok.  We’ve broken plates and glasses over the years (I think we have 4 left out of the original 16 glasses… oops!  We’ve switched to mason jars since they tend to not shatter when they hit the floor!)  But what I know I can’t lose or break is the strength of my husband’s love, and the joy I have every time I see my daughter, and the fact that the home we’ve created together isn’t defined by or limited to the 4 walls of our house, but by the family we are that live in it.  Those aren’t things that were on our registry 3 years ago, but they were the real things that mattered on our wedding day.

Thankfully nothing was damaged beyond the ceiling and a pile of old notebooks that I’d been looking for an excuse to get rid of anyway.  The roof was fixed yesterday morning, and we’re slowly working our way back to having the house in order again with no buckets lying around to catch drops and waterfalls here and there.  And yes, I do still have momentary moments of terror over losing everything in a fire or other catastrophe… But none of that really matters, because wherever my family is, there I’m home.

xoxo

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Dear Brides and Wives

December 29th, 2013

Dear Brides and Wives, This post has been started so many times; with Piper on my knees trying to type her own letter to you, in a classroom in the middle of prep for finals, and I don’t know how many other times over the past few weeks.  But, here we are, she’s playing with […]


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Dear Brides and Wives,

This post has been started so many times; with Piper on my knees trying to type her own letter to you, in a classroom in the middle of prep for finals, and I don’t know how many other times over the past few weeks.  But, here we are, she’s playing with my mom and I finally have a free minute to get my thoughts out on a belated Christmas post and the start of a new series addressed to all you lovely brides and wives out there.  (And, the semester is over so no more finals!)

[…back from interruption #1: Dad just brought a deer home from hunting and we had to take a picture of a terrified Piper with it… anyways…]

Piper and deer

Whether this was your first Christmas spent with your new last name or your tenth, or you spent your holiday dreaming about what life will be like when you’re married by the time Christmas rolls around again, I’m thinking of you right now.  Christmas is magical, and the whole spirit of it changed for me once I got married and had my own family.  Popular culture has made Christmas about gifts and wanting a whole list of things that hopefully someone gets us, not about celebrating the one gift we’ve received that truly matters.  And I don’t think it was until I got married that I truly understood what giving really means, and how powerful the spirit of Christmas really is.  True giving is SACRIFICE.  It’s not about selfishness and a list of things we want and frustration about holiday shopping lines, it’s about a true sacrifice that will bless someone else in return.  And for me, that wasn’t something I understood until I wasn’t the one on the receiving line at Christmas anymore, I was helping to give.  I can’t help but think of the woman who poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet, to the frustration of countless others…  It was all she had, yet it still needed to be given.

I’ve been drawn to the Proverbs 31 woman lately, and I think she has unfortunately become an overused symbol of the unattainable lifestyle a perfect wife should lead, but look at the sacrifices she makes for her family.  And it’s not just once a year, it’s daily… She reminds me of my own mom, and the kind of mom and wife I would love to become.

Short and sweet, but Merry Christmas and more soon!  I would love to hear what some of your family traditions are at Christmas!

xoxo

Katherine

Christmas postcard72