Call me Mrs.

It’s been while! Just over 8 weeks since I last posted on here. It’s few and far between these days, with a full-time job, two kiddos, a new husband, and I’m also wrapping up a semester in college.

As the headline states… You can call me Mrs!

After six years dating, nearly four years engaged, and two kids later… Dylan & I finally tied the knot down south in Tennessee on 10/1. More to come on that, but I’ll leave you with a few photos from our special day!

I managed to put together our wedding & reception together in less than $10,000 (Todays average cost of a wedding is $30,000)!

More in-depth details to come later, but I wanted to introduce you to the new Chrissy Ruble 😊

It’s wedding week!

I’ve been casually MIA- for good reason.

6 days until “I do.”

I have planned our entire wedding in less than one year and under $10k dollars (which is nearly unthinkable today).

And did I mention… vacation?

Thursday morning at about 4am we will head to Pigeon Forge, TN where we will be married in the Smoky Mountains on Saturday. Send good thoughts, as the long travel (10-12 hour drive) we are asking of our families is what brings me the most worry.

I’ll be sure to update with plenty of pictures after the big day, but here is some of what we have been up to lately!! (Other than full time jobs, college, and wedding planning!

Pumpkin patch
Leon is almost 11 months old!
Our sweet Della Rae
Jeep rides!
And even time for a date night here & there!

Now for final preparations and packing!!! 🤍💍

Our garden: Year 2

Today marked the real start of planting for our 2022 garden. You may remember, I wrote about this last year– we had to plant all of our tomatoes and jalapeños in a pot since we were renting and couldn’t till our own true garden.

2021 actually brought us a pretty decent yield considering we grew everything in containers and kept them alive through the move into our new home.

But this year, we’re excited. We are making our plans to start a real garden sown outdoors since we finally own our own land. FINALLY we own a home and can do as we please, and a big part of who we want to become is becoming more self-sustained; which will be improved with the bearings of fresh, real food harvested from a garden less than 25 yards away.

We have big plans, but also understand that we are new to this ( and any advice is highly appreciated). We have plans for tomatoes, jalapeños, corn, bush beans, snap peas, onions, strawberries, cilantro, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, asparagus, carrots, mint, basil, and possibly more that I can’t think of right now. We also have an apple tree. I’d like to get some berry bushes and a couple more fruit trees planted this spring.

Now, if we actually get all of these to harvest? Who knows. We are new to this, so our expectations are in line with some disappointment but also some great fresh produce. I’m particularly interested in growing the spices and seasonings, and also hoping we can finally get some onion to harvest. We’ve failed with onions before, but I’d really like to venture into making homemade salsa, pickles, and spaghetti sauce!

Today I started the jalapeño and tomatoes seeds so that they can germinate indoors and eventually be transplanted out in the yard in 6-8 weeks.

Dylan has started with putting some stakes in the yard so that we can fence in the garden. The other night we woke around 3am to notice eight deer roaming our backyard. We watched them for a bit, as it was fun to watch them simply roam.

More to come on the garden front – we are so excited! I will update as the garden season progresses!

Kayla

I don’t have closure with the way you left

I probably never will

I thought I’d write a poem in honor of you,

But I’m not sure the words are going to flow

You told me several times that I was a good writer

It empowered me and made me appreciate the craft

Now here I am – writing with a broken heart about something I never saw coming. Something I cannot explain. Something I’ll never understand.

I’m losing my poem format, but my thoughts are jumbled and you taught me that sometimes I need to step outside of my comfort zone

You were my manager

For nearly fours years

I know we don’t always appreciate coworkers

But I can honestly say you had a light in you

That I’ve never seen

Bubbles and sunshine in the form of a human

Many of the thoughts and interpersonal conclusions I came to about myself and then wrote about on this very blog were because you pushed me to ask the deeper questions about why I act the way I do, how I appear to others, and perhaps most importantly how important it is to ask why.

Why did you react the way you did?

What were you feeling? Why did that upset you? What was correct in your reaction, and what do you need to work on next time you encounter the same feelings?

Yes, it often had to do with work

But you shaped it to apply to my life

And I’ll never forget it

Or you

My heart hurts

Every time I’m in the office

Or on a zoom call

I think of you and miss you

It was a simple relationship, but a very impactful one. The thing about loss is, you don’t realize that impact until it’s gone. Our team is slowly moving forward, but many of our hearts are shattered.

We miss you, Kayla

Her shirt 🥲🥺 and beautiful, infectious smile

My heart can’t rest

I just put my three year old to bed. Once I closed her door, I leaned up against the wall and sighed.

I’m disappointed with the lack of patience I had with her tonight.

I could have done better. I raised my voice.

Our son is four months old and just had his first two teeth pop through, so he cried a greater portion of the entire day. And no matter what I tried, nothing really seemed to soothe him.

I’m exhausted. Tonight is one of those nights where I miss life before kids. I know that’s a bold statement, but cmon. Every mom would admit thoughts like those if they were honest enough.

I’m fragile tonight.

Not to mention, I’m trying to mend my broken heart from the tragic and sudden loss of a dear coworker I shared nearly the last four years of my life with. There are no words to describe the pain of losing someone so brilliant and bright and bubbly. The speculation is killing me, as this happened Monday night and we are still waiting for an obituary and services to be announced. This was a very tragic and traumatic situation, so I do ask for all good vibes, prayers, whatever you do – to be sent to their family at this time. Work will never be the same. I’m in shock and disbelief and this whole week just has me feeling broken and damaged. My heart is wrapped in wire.

We’re all just tryin to make it through. This shit is hard, and that’s a fact. We never know the battles, regrets, and demons that people carry with them everyday.

All being said, try your best not to be too hard on yourself.

Rest In Peace, sweet Kayla – Thank you for being someone that pushed me and helped me see deeper into myself. I will take what you taught me and continue to remember the light you lit for our entire team 🕊🤍

Check in on your friends!

We all have an old friend that we think about and say, ‘I should really hit them up sometime” but never do.

Life happens. We get busy. We don’t always prioritize relationships with our friends like we should.

Well, here’s your reminder: Check in on your pals. Even if you don’t know what to say. Even if it’s hard. Tell them you think about them. Tell them you love them.

You never know what someone is going through and life is too short to live quietly.

Enough is enough.

Today I want to touch on a topic that I have not yet written about on Between the Lens.

And unfortunately, a sad series of events has tugged on my heart enough to compel me to write this to all of you.

In May of 2021, a young woman attended a graduation party, where she drank alcohol and swam in a pool in her underwear before passing out. She woke to a pillow being pushed in her face while being sexually assaulted. You can read more of the details here.

This case is from my hometown, so this hits very close to home.

On January 3rd, Judge Robert Adrian reversed his previous guilty verdict and gave the following statements in open court:

“Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment.”

Let us note that the defendant in this case openly admitted to intercourse, claiming that he had consent. At the time of the incident, he was 18 and his victim was 16. By Illinois law, the legal age of consent is 17. So what I don’t understand is how this is statutory rape at minimum!

Judge Adrian went on,

“By law, the court is supposed to sentence this young man to the Department of Corrections. This Court will not do that. That is not just. There is no way for what happened in this case that this teenager should go to the Department of Corrections. I will not do that.”

“The court is going to reconsider its verdict, is going to find the Defendant not guilty on Count 3. And, therefore, the case — the Defendant will be released from custody.”

I also wanted to add that this young woman immediately went to her friends and told them what had happened, and the next morning they all went and reported it to her father who then called the police. This just backs up the fact that she was telling the truth. What young teenager would want to go through that just for attention?

But all of this is beside the fact.

People will bring up the fact that she was underage drinking.

They will bring up that she was swimming in a pool in her underwear.

Your outfit does not determine your consent.

Period.

So this case is infuriating, disgusting, and an abuse of power. It’s gaining national coverage for good reason. People are outraged.

As they should be.

Verdicts like this silence survivors of sexual assault. This is detrimental in giving victims their voice and power over their abusers.

I want to encourage all people, men and women, to have the courage to speak your truth. And even if you never gain that courage, you still matter and you need no validation. Do what is best for you and your healing. My heart goes out to all that have ever been in this situation. May you get the closure you need. We are loud in instances like this because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

The judge may not have held him accountable, but the public is. And I love to see it.

I’m curious as to what you all think. Drop a comment & let’s discuss.

………………………………………………………………………………..

Read more about this story here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-robert-adrian-drew-clinton-sexual-assualt-conviction-reverse/

https://nypost.com/2022/01/13/illinois-judge-robert-adrian-slammed-for-reversing-teen-drew-clintons-rape-conviction/

Read more about Judge Robert Adrian:

https://www.newsweek.com/judge-kicks-prosecutor-out-court-liking-facebook-comment-critical-him-1668868

Sign the petition to file charges against Judge Adrian for abuse of judicial discretion here:

https://www.change.org/p/illinois-courts-commission-file-charges-against-judge-adrian-for-abuse-of-judicial-discretion-and-power

#JusticeforCammy

Welcome, 2022

What do you have in store for us? For some reason, I’m very anxious to know.

2022. The year of our long-awaited wedding. 272 days until we say “I do.”

Our daughter turns 3 on Wednesday.

Who knows what the next 363 days will bring. I’m anxious and excited but also feeling cautious. Life seems so fragile and fast these days. I worry for our country and I worry about my family getting by. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.

But I remain optimistic because life is 90% about your attitude after life happens.

I have a few resolutions I’ve started for this year:

Drink more water. I have cut out most extra calories in drinks so far, but I still need to improve the amount of water I drink everyday.

Get healthier. Day two – haven’t missed a workout yet! Planning on getting a nighttime yoga session in before bed. I find great joy in exercise and it does wonders for my mental health. I feel most confident after a good workout. I understand rest is important, so this goal doesn’t relate to “working out every day.” I will work my body as hard as I can, within toleration. A healthier lifestyle also includes eating healthier, controlling my portions, and limiting unhealthy snacking. A lot of this will require mental toughness and discipline, because I sometimes have an unhealthy relationship with food. I want to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits.

Let’s all hold one another accountable on these goals. Plus, I’ve got a wedding dress to fit into! 😉

I hope we all have the best year yet!