Why I Took my Husband's Last Name

One of the first things M told me after we got engaged was that the did not expect me to change my last name. Always jumping to logistics that boy. Anyways, it felt like one of the sweetest things M had ever said to me and it made me so happy I had just said YES to marrying that man. Yes, I did just say that.

The reason he said this had nothing to do with the fact that he didn't want me to take his last name. He did. BUT he was willing to overlook his desire for my best interest. See, in my field, women usually do not take their husband's last name. I don't know if it is due to the fact that the sudden change in last name is confusing publication-wise, or if it is just an academic norm. Either way, none of that mattered to me (plus I'm early enough in my career it wouldn't make a huge difference in terms of publications). 

Now, I know a lot of women that really struggle with "losing" their maiden name. After all, it was our identity for however many years prior to meeting our beaus. I never felt this. Sure, it was strange that I wouldn't have my maiden name anymore, but I was more excited to take my husband's last name then anything. Maybe it's because my maiden name is an adoptive last name, meaning I have no blood ties to it, or maybe it's because it is just a name. Or maybe it was because taking on M's last name was EXCITING. I couldn't wait to be a part of his family and to raise our kids with his last name. For me, taking on his last name was a privilege and I was proud to take it (even if my last name will be forever butchered now).

I know so many men who get upset when their wives do not decide to take their last name. This scares me. It is possessive and never turns out well for the woman, who often feels pressured to make what can be a very difficult decision. I am so grateful that M not only made it clear that it was my decision, but was actually comfortable with whatever decision I made. Because in the end it's just a name. A name is no reflection of the quality of our marriage, or our love for each other- it is just letters. What really matters is that we are one, whether we have the same last initial or not. 

I can respect whatever decision people make when they get married, but for us it was just natural that I changed my last name and I'm so happy that I did.

Did you change your last name? Why or why not? Was "losing" your maiden name a challenge for you?

If you're not tired of me yet I would encourage you to stop by Kimberley's blog to check out a little Q&A by yours truly! 


July Goals

June was such an amazing month full of wedding festivities! July will hopefully be just as fun because it is my last full month on "break" from graduate school.

Let's recap June's goals:

1. Build a chicken coop (the raising chickens part will come after the wedding).
Well, my dad made us a chicken coop and it's pretty awesome! I was planning on having a backyard update on here today which didn't happen because I failed majorly at uploading the photos in the correct format and our internet takes FOREVER. So that will be another day! Anyways, this goal is complete!
2. Celebrate our wedding with a content and faithful heart.
I would say we knocked this one out of the park. Our wedding was absolutely everything I dreamed and I loved every second of it!
3. Have dessert before dinner at a restaurant. 
This is in the plans for this weekend! We can call it a celebration of a week of marriage?
4. Be social media free for an entire day.
Again, this is happening TOMORROW!
5. Memorize a bible verse for realz this time. 
YA'LL I successfully did this! I memorized 1 Corinthians 31: 10- So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. IT'S A MIRACLE!

SO for July, my goals are as follows:

1. Read 2 books.
2. Have a bonfire party in the backyard (it's gonna be a hot one so we will see how this goes).
3. Since we already wrote vows, I'm in the process of getting them framed!
4. Visit Brie and Beau in Louisville (we are going for the Fourth!). 
5. Learn how to tie a tie.

What are your goals for July? Any fun plans for the Fourth?


On being a Wife

I'm totally one of those girls that laughed at those other girls for being all "OMGGGG I just love being a wifey," or "being a wife is the best," etc., etc. Before I met M I was pretty cool just dating the same person for the rest of my life. I was also pretty convinced that since we have been living together for the past year, we were basically already married and not a whole lot was going to change except we would share the same last name, I'd have a fat ring on my finger, and bed time would be a little more enjoyable (sorry family)...

However, I must say, that things DO feel different. I cannot put my finger on it exactly but it's just such a feeling of comfort, like this is where I was always supposed to be. M is my safe place, and now that he is my husband, I feel like I'm more full and complete. This might sound silly to some of you, and I cannot completely explain it, but I know that this marriage is right. Being a wife is wonderful.

Now, I know some of you are thinking we are probably still in the honeymoon phase, but I have always felt this way about M. Now, it's just more intensified and I have this peace about the fact that he's my husband forever. The love and support we saw from our friends and family over the weekend blew me away. I could not believe the nice things people had to say about our relationship, because to us it's just who we are and what we do.

I cannot wait to see where our marriage takes us in the coming years, thank you all for your love and support!

Treasure Tromp


I am Officially a Wife

If you haven't heard already, I became a Mrs. on Saturday. The day was perfect; full of God's grace, wonderful friends and family, and tons of fun! I will be talking a lot more about the wedding in the coming weeks, especially when I get our photos back, but for now I wanted to share just a few photos I have from the day! Enjoy! I will be back with better content once I have fully recovered!











 You'll be able to see many more by following the hashtag #bonesswedding on instagram!

NC Belle in Boots


In the Word Tuesday: Joy

If you missed my little announcement about the changes that will be happening to the link-up come July, please look HERE.

You're also going to have to bear with me today for this week's post as I am still recovering from the wedding festivities of the weekend. I would encourage you all to still link-up and go read each other's posts! Today, I just wanted to leave you with a verse that has had me thinking lately so that you might be able to reflect on it as well. I would love it if you would leave your opinions or reflections in the comments below!

HAPPY TUESDAY! I look forward to reading all of your posts!

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The day is finally here. The day I get to marry the love of my life before God, our family, and our closest friends. The day that I have longed for since we got engaged over a year ago. Oh, how happy my heart is. I ask that you would pray for us today. Pray for wisdom; that we can keep God at the center and know HE is the reason we are being joined together as one. Pray that even if things go wrong, they won't matter, because in the end we will be married and surrounded by the people we love. Thank you all for your love and support over the last year or so. NOW LET'S GET MARRIED! You can follow along with the fun at the hashtag #bonesswedding. Be back next week sometime!


Tomorrow I will become a MRS.

TOMORROW is the BIG DAY! The day I officially become a Mrs. Please excuse the absence I foresee on this little place in the coming week (besides some scheduled posts that is). With that, I will leave you with some photos of my Mr. and I over the years. Check back tomorrow to learn how you can follow our big day!


I Like to Run, but I'm NOT a Runner

I literally just walked in the door from a run and came right to my computer to write this post. Before I get to explaining the strange title of this post, let me give a little background.

See, I was never a "runner" before high school. I played varsity soccer and THAT was my thing. My junior year (I think?), my best friend Kara convinced me to join the cross country team during the off season. Now. if you have ever been to Arizona during the summer, you can understand why running outside in that weather did NOT sound even the least bit appealing. However, I did it, mostly for her. It was hard, and I hated it most of the time. But somewhere along the way, I learned to love it. Senior year we both became captains. I also quit playing soccer and focused solely on running during my final year.

Kara and I ran our first half marathon after high school, something I never thought I would do, or enjoy doing. We finished with a 2:09 time. When I went to college, I fell out of running for a while as most people do. And living at 7000 feet did not make it easier. I eventually got back into it and ran my second half in November of 2011, making a PR of 1:55. This really fed my ego.

Once I met M, I started swimming and biking, and finally transitioned into triathlons. By this time I was a really strong runner. I trained hills, tempo, road, and trail at 7000 feet at least five times a week, plus swimming and biking. I defined myself as a runner.

Sometime in the last year when I was at my strongest, I decided that I wanted to try minimalist shoes (Mizuno). I have always had weak ankles, but I was at such a peak in my running I figured I had built up strength. The guys at the local running shop, whom I trusted, thought I would be OK. So I went for it. Within months of wearing the new shoes, my running took a massive hit. When I ran I would have pain all over, and I could barely make it 3 miles. I basically quit running last summer and haven't been consistent since. Every time I would go out to run (in my old shoes, not the Mizunos), I would suffer. Pain EVERYWHERE was something I had never experienced.

So, I stopped running. I focused on cycling because that was something else I enjoyed. Well, a few weeks ago I decided I needed to buy some new shoes and hit the pavement again. When I went to get fitted, my gait analysis showed I was heel striking terribly- which the guy at the running shop said could be due to the Mizunos. My form was also pretty bad. I worked REALLY hard to get good form over the last few years, so this was hard to take. But I took it, and life went on.

Over the last week or so, I have been running consistently. Not long miles, and not fast miles. Right now, I know my form is the most important thing to focus on if I want to get back to where I used to be. While I was running today, and pondering these thoughts, I started to think and pray about it. I tend to use running as my quiet time with God. He convicted me that I had been defining myself by my running. He made it clear that I AM NOT A RUNNER. I am His, and that is all. He knew that I was making running my idol and that I needed to give it to Him in order to get back to where I used to be. I am not defined by my ability to run, I am defined by my love for Christ.

What a realization. For so long, not being able to run haunted me. I had always been "the runner." And suddenly I wasn't anymore. It hurt at first, but now I know that being "the Christian" is far more important than being "the runner." So I will continue to keep working on getting back to where I was, but only by God's lead. I will not let it consume me like it used to. I might like to run, but I am not "a runner."


Living Your Happily Ever After

Hello all, my name is Cassie and I’m friends with Cassie. I don’t mean to confuse you even though it can be a little confusing. I blog over on Cloud Nine and was so happy that Cassie invited me to share a little bit during her BIG week!

For the past almost nine months I have been a wife. I know I have a lot to learn about such an important role but I like to think that I've learned a lot in the short time that I've been a Mrs. and I’m so excited to share some of that wisdom here today. Below are a few of the things that I believe every marriage needs to make the journey to happily ever after a lot less bumpy.

GRACE // So, I've been living with a man for almost nine months now. A man that sheds hair, leaves crumbs on the counter, dishes by the sink (when the dishwasher is empty) & loves me better than I ever thought possible. Out of all those, uh… qualities, which one means the most to me? The love. I can sweep up hair, brush off crumbs and load a dishwasher without feeling resentment because I feel loved. Trust me, I know I have my faults! I leave nail polish all over the place, a pile of shoes in the kitchen, and I almost always forget to defrost the chicken before dinner but I love that man to the core. It all comes down to love and grace but the sweetest thing of all is knowing where the ultimate love and grace comes from. The Creator of grace gives us the opportunity every day to mirror that love and grace for our spouse. When you stop to think about that before you say what pops in your head, you have a chance to love well and show grace willingly.

FOUNDATION // We are just two imperfect sinners living life together, but we know that our hearts don’t belong to one another. They belong to Him. He molded us and made us who we are, all the messy qualities and the wonderful ones, all of that is by His hands. Then He winded our paths together and made us one. We said our vows and made our promises but we did that founded in Him. We promised each other to never stop learning to be a better husband and wife to each other but the only way we can keep that promise is to stay founded in Him. That foundation is the most critical part of a marriage because it will never break. He will never crumble, let us down or lead us into darkness. We know that any struggle we have is given by Him and as long as we turn to Him with it, we can find a way through it.

SELFLESS // Probably the hardest part of marriage is learning how to be selfless. I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that I just turned to my husband and asked him what was the one thing he has learned in the past nine months and he said “if you are both selfless then marriage can be a lot happier than what the world makes you think it will be.”, and that pretty much sums it up. Making someone else happy always makes you feel happy, right? Making your spouse feel important and using their specific love language to speak into them selflessly makes all the difference. I’m not saying it is easy… it is work, probably the hardest work of marriage but when it is done well it is so good. 

Marriage is a journey. I know that I have a long way to go in this journey but the past nine months have been the craziest journey I've ever been on. Every journey has its ups and downs but it's all the little moments along the way that make the difference. 

Cheers to Matt & Cassie and to the beginning of their journey!! I can't wait to see where it will take you two and I'm crossing my fingers it will lead you a lot closer to Greenville, SC! ;) 


In the Word Tuesday: Contentment

Before I dive into today's post, I wanted to share a little change to our In the Word Tuesday link-up. The link-up will now be called "In the Word Link-up." This will allow you to link up with any of your posts from that week! As before, the content is totally up to you- no prompts. We just want to know how God is working in your heart! The change will take place July 1st! Spread the word on social media using the tag #inthewordlinkup. 

As I have mentioned about 100 times by this point, I am currently working through the Kelly Minter study, "No Other God's" with Lauren. This past week really rocked me. One of the sessions was focused on jealousy. We read through the story of Rachel and Leah in Genesis. I have read this story many times, usually interpreting it as being related to jealousy and some weird love triangle. However, this study has given me a completely different outlook on the story.

Kelly points out that both Rachel and Leah wanted something they couldn't have. Rachel wanted children, and Lead wanted the love of Jacob. "Both believed that their answer lay with someone other than God." And even though Rachel eventually got what she wanted (a son), she still ran to false gods.

This got me thinking a lot about contentment. Society tells us that we should always be working towards the next best thing. Whether that is a job, bigger house, nicer car, children, or whatever. The world tells us we should always be striving for the next best thing. I have completely internalized this. I used to think: oh my life will be so perfect when M and I are finally engaged and I get into the graduate program of my dreams. Wrong. Those things made me happy, but only temporarily. Now, don't get me wrong I LOVE being engaged and I LOVE my graduate program, but these things do not complete me in the way I had assumed they would. And STILL I catch myself thinking: things will be even better when we are married and I have my PhD. But that is not truth. Jesus is the only one that can fulfill my longing and my desires.

I will never be content if I continue trying to find fulfillment in things of this world. It will never be enough. It doesn't matter if I have everything I think I want or need because without God I will be left hungry and desiring more ALWAYS.

I don't want to be like Leah or Rachel. I want to give my life to God because he knows the longings of my heart. He knows what will fulfill me- HIM.

I want to place my trust completely in God knowing that where I am right now is exactly where He wants me. THIS is His big plan for me. I am living it RIGHT NOW. If I keep desiring more I will never love and appreciate the things He has done to get me where I am TODAY. How convicting, encouraging, and hard to deal with all at the same time.

How is God working in your heart this week? Are you struggling with being content where you are?
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Summer Book List

Since I have a [sort of] break from graduate school over the summer, I have been trying to do a lot more reading. Since my "break" started I have finished "Inviting God to your Wedding" (a second time), and "Love & Respect." I'm also hoping to get a lot of reading in while we lay on the beach on our HONEYMOON!

The following is my running list of books to [hopefully] read this summer; trying not to get overly ambitious here:

"The Fault in Our Stars"
You know, I have heard such mixed reviews about this book but after reading Chelsea's post about it I think I am ABSOLUTELY going to go for it. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and she said reading it actually made her feel optimistic about her situation. If that doesn't make you want to tear up I don't know what will. 

"Bread and Wine"
I'm not sure this is at the top of my list, but I have read such great things about this book that I'm curious to see what it's all about. I pretty much love food and wine, so that's convincing. However, bread is not my friend (gluten free problems) so this could end badly for me...

"Plain Truth"
Jodi Picoult is my guilty pleasure. I have not read one book by her that I did not like. 

"Packing Light"
I found this book via Amber's Goodreads page. It's all about learning to live with less baggage, especially in our 20s.

Come along with me via Goodreads! What are your favorite reads lately?


Moderation > Restriction

Disclaimer: I am not a food expert. I don't consider myself to have any formal training in nutrition or health, just wellness and what makes one's body and mind thrive. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is food restriction. Whether paleo or whatever. Now, coming from someone that is gluten free, I can understand that certain foods make us feel ill, and I am by no means condoning that you should eat something that makes you feel bad. In fact, I want to argue the opposite.

It really pains me when friends won't indulge in a glass of wine or a small dessert because they are on a "diet." I don't believe in diets and I never have. I do, however, believe in moderation. I think that when we restrict ourselves, it is a punishment. We are punishing ourselves for eating things that we enjoy (usually). Additionally, restricting often leads to wanting something even more, and over indulging when it is actually available. How does this even sound healthy?

Why does society tell us that we need to diet? Why can't we just learn how to indulge in the things we enjoy with moderation? What if we taught our daughters and sons that food isn't something to fear and restrict and is instead something to enjoy as long as it is in moderation (like most things)? I can only imagine the positive impact this would have on our society, who places their worth in how their body looks.

People sometimes see me eating and ask "how I eat like that and look like I do." This often comes from people that I know diet or restrict. The answer is simple: I eat well, I eat what makes me feel good, I don't eat things that don't make me feel well, I exercise regularly, I drink a lot of water, sleep often, I don't keep chips in the house because I know I will eat the whole bag in a sitting, and I splurge every now and then because it's not going to kill me (OK maybe it's slightly more complicated but that's the short version). Now, I know many people struggle with their weight, and I am not trying to make it sound like my lifestyle is simple, because it's not. I was not healthy for a long time. I have always been active, but haven't always made good food choices. I restricted, and I learned the consequences.

Now, I am not perfect and I am still guilty of negative self-talk. BUT I don't get down on myself when I eat something that others might try to restrict because IT MAKES ME HAPPY. I like to eat cookies and drink wine. And I do. Just not all the time and not in large amounts. We have to learn that telling ourselves we cannot have something is not healthy. Cutting out whole food groups like carbs or fats has detrimental consequences for our brains.

Now, I'm not just preaching this message because I think everyone should do what I do. No. I am sharing this message because research has shown that food restriction has negative consequences. "Starvation and self-imposed dieting appear to result in eating binges once food is available and in psychological manifestations such as preoccupation with food and eating, increased emotional responsiveness and dysphoria, and distractibility. Caution is thus advisable in counseling clients to restrict their eating and diet to lose weight, as the negative sequelae may outweigh the benefits of restraining one's eating. Instead, healthful, balanced eating without specific food restrictions should be recommended as a long-term strategy to avoid the perils of restrictive dieting" (Polivy, 1996). If you would like the full article please e-mail me.

I know this post is a little jumbled, but I cannot seem to organize my thoughts on this issue clearly. My point is, we need to spend more time learning about our bodies and what makes them feel good. We need to focus on moderation, and not what we cannot have. This needs to become a way of life and not just a way to lose a few pounds for your next big event (which will likely be gained back shortly after anyways).  And most of all, we need to love ourselves and realize that our worth is not in our body types or diets. BAM!


Taking Stock / 01

I've seen most bloggers participating in this lately, but I think it originally came from Meet Me at Mike's. So here goes nothing.

Making: Wedding crafts galore! I recently made cute little "Mr. & Mrs." signs for the back of our sweetheart table bench, advice cards, and I am about to start putting together program fans that my mom designed (thank GOD for her).
Cooking: Anything and everything that we can get from our garden. Right now we have an abundance of spinach, green onions, and chives. Soon we should have some zucchini, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, basil, and tomatoes!
Drinking: LOTS OF WATER. Trying to limit my intake of anything else as I know I will probably over-indulge a little with the wedding coming up.
Reading: Love & Respect. If any book will wreck your heart, this is the one.
Wanting: To keep my eyes focused on God during these last few days before the wedding.
Looking: Forward to marrying my best friend.
Playing: The Civil War's station on Pandora ERRRRR DAY.
Wasting: lots of time watching Gossip Girl and Scandal. Oh Netflix.
Sewing: HA! Good one, good one.
Wishing: for everyone's safe travels as they fly out for the wedding.
Enjoying: these last few days of being an engaged lady.
Waiting: to see what the weather will be like the day of our big day.
Liking: the fact that SO many people are calling and texting me asking how they can be praying and what they can do to help.
Wondering: what it will be like to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams.
Loving: God's faithfulness.
Hoping: to feel God's presence continually throughout my wedding day.
Marvelling: at how much more I love my fiance than I even did a year ago when we first got engaged.
Needing: to remember that my wedding isn't about me and M, it's about glorifying God.
Smelling: all the blooming Missouri flowers!
Wearing: workout clothes, everyday I swear.
Following: Not a whole lot because let's be real, my attention span right now is nonexistent.
Noticing: how selfish I am sometimes.
Knowing: that despite my selfishness I am loved.
Thinking: how ready I am to see all of my friends and family and to meet M's side of the family finally.
Feeling: every emotion possible!!!!
Bookmarking: just about every blog post on how to make changing my last name after the wedding easier.
Opening: SO MANY WEDDING GIFTS. Gosh our friends and family are totally spoiling us!
Giggling: at myself- I am ridiculous.

Pretty much all of my taking stock items are about the wedding and I'm not even sorry! Happy Thursday!

Treasure Tromp


Wedding Brain Wednesday

I think the title of this post pretty much sums up the state of my life. Since that is the case, I am going to recap some of my favorite wedding moments over the last year.

When we first got engaged, I talked a lot about glorifying God through wedding planning. I recently reread the book, "Inviting God to your Wedding," and it was such a nice refresher to have in the final countdown. I would highly recommend this book to anyone getting married! Glorifying God is still a constant challenge because it's so easy to get caught up in the politics and silly little details. I am, however, really making it a priority to get my heart right before God in time for our big day in just under a week and a half.

I shared with you all how I asked my bridesmaids to be a part of my special day. I'm really looking forward to putting those oversized tees to use soon! You even met my MOH.

I bored you all with a million engagement photos. I also gave a little sneak preview into our honeymoon plans and my honeymoon essentials for the trip!

I talked (well, ranted) a lot about our wedding venue and our various trips to Kansas City for planning (complete with an overload of photos). I also have a little sneak peak into some of our DIY wedding details.

Some advice I gave included what not to say to a bride and wedding hacks to make planning a little easier. 

As the day has grown closer, I have documented my "Taste of Home" themed bridal shower and my bachelorette weekend in Vegas!

Next will be details from the actual day! IT'S SO CLOSE!!!

NC Belle in Boots