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Friday, February 12, 2016


In the spirit of Valentine's Day, some blogger friends and I wanted to put together a little something special for you today, and we roped our other halves into playing along with us!  We all have a series of questions about the nitty-gritty details of our blogs and homes, and with no persuasion or coercing our husbands are spilling all of the dirt.  I feel a little bit like I'm on the old Newlywed Game TV show today...

I wanted to thank Claire from Claire Brody Designs for organizing this series today.  I remember reading a similar group of posts last year and it was so enlightening and entertaining to learn fun little personal details about some of my favorite bloggers, all from their husband's point of view.

Here's a quick background if you're visiting from one of the other participants today (Welcome!), or are a newer reader but don't know much about me personally.  We met in 1990 at Oklahoma Baptist University, and went on our first date (on Valentine's Day!) in 1992.  We married 3 weeks after I graduated in 1994 (he graduated the previous year) and when we returned from our honeymoon moved all of our possessions in a tiny U-Haul trailer to Ft. Worth, where we lived for 5 years while he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary then began serving in Youth Ministry,  and I taught school.  

Since then we moved back to Oklahoma and served at churches in Broken Arrow and Shawnee, before moving back to OKC (my hometown) in 2001.  We have 2 children, Caleb-15, and Emily-12, and Ray is the "Executive Pastor" at our church, which for us means he is largely responsible for guiding the staff, helping new members, some counseling, planning for the future and upcoming events, preaching on occasion, and whatever other needs arise from day to day (and they always do!). 

I had too much fun last night digging out some old photos to share today.  Most of them are from our dating/very early marriage years.  Disclaimer:  We met and later married in the early 90's.  ;)  The photos are grainy, the clothes are ridiculous, and the hair is big!! I'll try to let him talk but might add in my two cents in parentheses at the end of his response.

How involved are you with Jennifer's blog?

I like to think I helped her begin blogging.  I had a hunch there would be interest in what she does!  For all of our married life she has made our home beautiful and there was often interest (and ooohs and ahhhs) when guests came to visit.  Now, there are just a few more virtual guests!  
(Very true!  He encouraged me to start a blog for a long time before I actually jumped on board.)

Minutes after we got engaged... definitely a story for another day!

How often do you read the blog?  Are you an avid reader or do you see enough at home?

I do check in on her blog and social media posts.  Usually I have a heads up on a project so I get a kick out of seeing the finished product online. 

How much time does Jennifer spend on her blog? What are her hours like?

She does a super job of keeping a balance for her work with the blog and social media.  Our family has clear times that there are "no screens" and she often leads the charge on that.  
(Balance?  Hmmm, doesn't feel that way sometimes!)

Are you the cheap manual labor or is there hired help for that?  In other words, does Jennifer use you for your handy work?

I often joke that Jennifer is not married to any Chipper Gaines (I really am sorry honey)!  Jennifer's dad is an engineer, craftsman and builder; I struggle putting boxed furniture together.  Anyway, she keeps me around so I hope I am a hard worker when she needs it!  
(He definitely is and is always willing to pitch in and help!)

Describe Jennifer’s style.

Jennifer's style is comfortable elegance.  She creates things that are beautifully comfortable and familiar.  Everything, dining-decor-design, is done so well and all is meant to use and enjoy. 

Photo booth on our honeymoon.  
Why are silly faces always a requirement in those things?

Describe your style.

My style is probably a bit old school and frugal.  I drive a Honda well past its prime.  I proudly showed Jennifer a 1999 Old Navy July 4 T-shirt from my "wardrobe" recently.  That aside, I would totally be at ease in a mountain cabin: leather, cedar, firewood, fresh ground dark roast coffee.  
(I guess that t-shirt needs to get "lost" in the wash!)

How often does your home change?

In a big way, not often.  I have lived in our current home longer than anywhere in my life.  Within our home, things move around a bit; paint changes, fixtures change, furniture comes and goes...but no big deal.  

Hmmm, at my parents' house not long after we were married.  I think we were headed to a friend's wedding.

How many different sofas have you had since marrying Jennifer?

Ooo, somehow I feel like I am about to get in trouble.  4?  Love seats?  5 or 6?  
(True, thank goodness we have Craigslist now instead of the classifieds!)

How often do you offer decorating advice?  Does she consider your opinion?

I offer sometimes.  Does she consider it?  Perhaps.  Does it matter?  No.  I want what she wants.  
(Good answer. You girls that aren't married yet, pick someone who will answer the same way!)

Summer vacation in Red River NM ca. 1995

What’s your favorite room in the house? Why?

Now, our outdoor living room.  Power-napped there today.  I would live outdoors if possible.  
(I'm glad he and the kids are happy setting up the tent and "camping" in the back yard occasionally, that means I can still sleep in my bed!)

What does it really look like behind the camera?

What you see is what you get.  We have messes like everyone, but I would say we keep it pretty picked up.  There are often family get-togethers, so that keeps us on track.  
(Yes.  Messes behind the camera.  Always.  The kids always ask "Who is coming over?" when they see me cleaning.)

15th Anniversary Trip to NYC... another story for another day, we got to do a quick impromptu segment with Natalie! (And yes, we bought the party pic...this was PRE-SELFIES!)

What is a project that you hate but have never voiced (or maybe you have)?

Have you ever replaced a wax ring on a toilet?  Somehow the screw holes for curtain rods always need to go right past a stud.  These have likely been vocalized.   

Do you know of Jennifer’s blogger friends?  If so, who’s your favorite?

Emily Clark and Emily Dinwiddie are quite the bloggers and friends of Jennifer.  
(I talk about lots of blogger friends with my family, but I usually refer to them as "my blog friend from Atlanta," or "my blog friend from Denver", so they might not always know their names.)

What’s your favorite aspect of Jennifer being a blogger?  Least favorite?

I love that she gets to share her passion for home, family and life.  There really isn't a downside. 

What are your household chores? 

Trash, yard/outdoors, cars, big messes, bugs, snakes, kid and cat emergencies.  Shared dish-washing, laundry, floors and bathrooms (I should be better!).  
(True.  He's a keeper! And I feel like a slacker reading that response and knowing how true it is!)

What’s something about Jennifer that her readers might not know (but she would be okay with you sharing)?

 I always say to folks that I am excited about her blog and the content.  But, you may not realize her skill at photography.  We bought a camera some years ago, turned it on Manual, and now look.  She rocks.  
(Much too kind, I still have so much to learn.  Looking at all of these old photos, though, it IS encouraging to see how far we've come!)

What does Jennifer REALLY want for Valentine’s Day, and what are you getting her?

I learned early on (20+ years ago) to just say "no" to surprises.  Jennifer knows what she wants and I want to get it for her (somehow the guy with the 1999 Old Navy T-shirt isn't too trendy).  I hope to take her shopping, and I am also not ashamed to ask for a list.  Having been around pastoral counseling a bit, I know there are no mind readers, ever.  I do know I can't go wrong with bringing a Chocolate Almond Shake home from Braum's (hold the chocolate sauce and make it thick please).   
(All of those parentheses were still him talking, and all right on, although a surprise now and then IS fun...)

I hope you had fun reading through our post today, we had fun putting it together!  You'll want to make sure to hop over to read these friends' interviews with their husbands today, too.  We've all been looking forward to reading each other's all week, so I'm headed there now too!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Can I just say that I heart Ray Griffin? And, now that I've seen him in jean shorts and white socks, I heart him even more :)

  2. I love Ray, what a sweetie. And I'll just say it.... he's gotten more handsome the older he's gotten.

  3. AWWW! Your first date was on Valentine's Day?! Happy almost-first-date anniversary :) What an awesome interview!

    1. Yes! It was a spur of the moment thing, but still a fun fact!

  4. he is so sweet and i totally loved all of the photo flashbacks! i recall the jeans, t-shirt, belt look fondly. ;)

  5. Major marriage goals right here ^^!! Loved reading these sweet answers and seeing the photos. You guys have the sweetest family!

  6. You guys are so sweet together. I'd say the opposite of my husband and I LOL. I dying laughing! And I can't believe how much your daughter looks like you in your engagement photo.

  7. Aww you guys are so sweet together and clearly incredibly well matched! Love the 90's pics too - brings back some memories!! xxx

  8. One of my favorite couples ever. You two are the very very best and I loved this. I will also request that Ray wear the white socks + dress shoes ensemble on the next cruise! big hugs! xo

  9. Jennifer, what a keeper! This is such a sweet post! And I love all the 90's pics! :)

  10. Ray Griffin for the win. What a supportive and amazing husband. I love the respect and love. . .and I love that you have struck such a great balance, Jennifer. You are always inspiring me. xo

  11. This is the best idea ever!

  12. How did I not know that your hubby is a pastor?! I am a PK! :) Loved your hubby's answers-- it's obvious that he adores you! Hope you both have a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

  13. Oh be still my heart, a man who knows your shake order! Keeper for sure!

  14. That was fun! Loved the pictures and your husband sounds wonderful! Apparently you both picked a good one...

  15. Looking at you two, I see the love and your children are beautiful little minions of yourselves!!!!!! Happy Valentines' Day from Canada

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  17. What a great post! You two seem like such a lovely couple!

  18. You all are so cute! I love the pictures!

  19. So sweet! Jennifer, these photos are GOLD!

  20. That is such a cute post Jennifer, I love all your old pictures!!!!!! So adorable!!!!!

  21. Love this post. You two are a good example of love.

  22. Your 90s outfits are awesome! Ha! You and Ray are adorable!!! I really enjoyed this. :)

  23. That was too cute! Y'all seem like such a sweet couple!

  24. Jennifer,
    I post a comment for the first time on your blog even if I love to watch your amazing pictures since ...2015 ! I just want to tell you I love these pics of your couple, there is so much love in these pics, it's wonderful !!! I hope to read you for a long time ! Big hugs ! Brigitte. P.S. : Sorry for my bad English, I'm french, I live in the South of France (in Provence), so now you know a little bit of the Provence is following you !

    1. Brigitte, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for reading! And girl, if I lived in Provence I wouldn't have a care in the world about how good my English was! :) We won't go in to how bad my French is... that was a LONG time ago in college!

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  26. This is such a sweet post. He is definitely a keeper:)


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