The Day We Met 1 Year Ago

I met my husband one year ago. For the first time.

We’ve been married for 3-1/2 months now.

September 26th I remember it so well. I was an independent girl, working full-time as a freelance writer in the midst of a big project and pursuing other dreams on the side (starting a flower business and my personal blog) while giving myself to others (a few big families I nannied for). I was busy, life was full and my heart was overflowing- besides a dream I had put on hold for many years, patiently waiting for, but totally out of my control. 

Wayne popped up out of nowhere a couple weeks before, when he contacted me (he found my blog and lost his heart). Although he grew up in the same town I attended high school in, I had never met him, and he was in West Virginia at that time. He looked interesting, different, perfect; maybe. But I didn’t know him, never seen him. I threw myself into a ball of anxiety in the week from the time he asked me out for coffee. By Friday night, I had convinced myself that he wasn’t the one and my heart was broken already at the stress of starting and ending another relationship. I let it all out on a trip for ice cream with Dad and he tried hard to tell me not to worry. It’s just coffee. Just have fun, Shyla! – I can hear him now. :)

Wayne and I went out for coffee again this morning to remember. And it all came back to me. Pulling in, I saw him sitting in his black truck and almost knew right away – all my guards fell down. He came around, in such an approachable way, opened his arms to me for a hug like it was second nature (unlike an Amish boy ;) and we went in for coffee. Besides his kind, gentle nature and the way he listened and asked questions- what I remember the most was him, in his light gray Kaufman shirt, and the tenderness in his steel-gray eyes. There was a world of history there, one I could relate to and be understood by. This was it.

It was all over after that. I had no idea how my life would change, but it happened fast and wonderfully. We had some of the most wonderful experiences in those first months, falling in love… I remember the first date and walk under the stars, the meet halfway at Seneca Lake, the hike and promise at Cuyahoga Falls, my first time to West Virginia and a stop at Mark & Noreen’s, our road-trip that ended up in Bethany Beach, Delaware… it was a dream.

Then the holiday’s started, we spent most of our time integrating ourselves with family and friends…and talk of marriage started. We booked a winter trip to Hocking Hills, where Wayne asked me to marry him… I said yes, we planned our wedding in four months and here we are – in West Virginia, I’m a wife and we’ve been married for three months.     

I barely remember being a single girl. Everything changed after that Monday morning coffee at 8am in Sugarcreek, Ohio and I had no control over it.

If you’re hoping to fall in love, make sure you’re ready because there’s no turning back. Haha – just kidding. God knows the PERFECT time and you’ll be ready. This is my advice: live to the fullest, whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever you’re waiting for. And never live like your waiting. Pursue another dream while you’re waiting on one.  

As I looked into his steel gray eyes again this morning, I fell in love again. He is just as incredibly tender and more precious to me than I could’ve ever imagined. Being married is such a wonderful thing, the best way to be with another, and the purest, most beautiful gift from the Lord.

I can’t say that being single was less, I was just as happy. God gives us grace wherever we are at. I pray that you find the peak of happiness just where you are and that we all lack just enough to long for heaven.

Love Shyla

A Wild & Wonderful Table

A Celebration of West Virginia Appalachia Food & Culture

The Bridgeport Farmer's Market put on their third annual farm to table dinner, named A Wild & Wonderful Table, last Saturday night, September 23rd at the Raine's residence in Clarksburg, WV. 

If you were there, it was a wonderful celebration of food, drink, beauty and community!

I decided not to take my camera because I wanted to fully enjoy the experience (not work) so we're left with the best of my cell phone photos!

It started out with jam jars filled with your choice of local craft brews, wines or my personal favorites - apple/ basil or watermelon cocktail- Summer in a glass! Sargasso from Morgantown, WV served the delicious drinks and locals who all came for a beautiful experience socialized in the setting sun while people filled up the beautiful farm, trees surrounding large open spaces and a glistening pond. 

We found our spots at long, natural wood top tables, handcrafted and designed by Mr. Raines, the homeowner himself, under twinkling lights as local musicians, Annie Neeley & Friends filled the air with beautiful acoustic tunes and lyrics. 

Local farmers and merchants were invited to create fresh, local dishes, which ranged from pumpkin curry, bloody butcher grits & ground mutton, mountain paella, burgoo stew with corn fritter and tomato bacon jam, empanada gallega with braised pork, candy onions & hot peppers, with smoked corn creme and tomato sorghum sofrito. Finished off with gooseberry pavlova, plum clafouti, & gooseberry macarons! 

You could practically taste the garden in the extravagant display of color and flavor adorning a plate full of an array of dishes. 

No dish was comparable, but dessert was my favorite. The gooseberry Pavlova won my heart! Compliments to Pamela Delaude, chef at Bridgeport Conference Center!

Photo: Compliments of Katie Willard

Afterwards, guests slowly made their way down a candlelit path to a lounge and fire by the lake where Hilary Kay, Morgantown musician, graced us with her beautiful folk/ bluegrass voice and guitar. 

F L O W E R   A R R A N G E M E N T S

I had the opportunity to provide the flowers for the event and it was more than a delight. 

I chose dusty green pumpkins as vases for a neutral fall setting and filled them with complimenting blue/greens, deep burgundy dahlias from my garden and antique roses. 

Thank-you Bridgeport Farmer's Market for a wonderful experience. 
If you didn't make it this year, you'll want to mark your calender for the next one!

Love Shyla

See the full album of these florals
and other arrangements here on the Beauty page.


Featured Farms: Jennings Brae Bank Farm, Harmony Farm, Richardson Farm, Green Acres Farm, Indian Creek Farm, Radabaugh Farm and more.