Tough Love

This past week one of Gianna’s lifelong friends from the Bay Area came down to visit us in San Diego. It was an amazing week that I was glad to be a part of. That is, until the last night of her friend’s stay…

After having a great night out on the town, Gianna and I got into one of those stupid arguments that, looking back, was so petty and ridiculous; in truth, I can’t even recall how it began!

Anyways, before long the argument had become a back-and-forth shouting match…in front of her friend. Embarrassing, right?!? As usually occurs in such instances, mean things we said by each party and feelings were hurt pretty badly. Thus, in the aftermath of this experience I decided to share some wisdom with you all!

But first…

To my beautiful bride-to-be,

Before I proceed with this post, I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the ways in which I fall short as a man, partner, friend and leader. Like many men, the world over, I like to think (and act) like I have everything together. Like nothing is wrong. Like nothing will be wrong. And like nothing has ever been wrong. But the fact is, I suck. I have an ego, a temper, and a stubbornness that almost certainly comes from my dad and grandma ūüėú. I’m needy, high maintenance, and kind of a princess. So, for all these things, and many more, I’m sorry. You’re an angel for putting up with me!

Now, to the official topic of discussion…

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Hosea. It’s a book that isn’t often quoted or paraphrased, but it’s message is of paramount urgency in a world where the Christian divorce rate is estimated to be anywhere between 50 and 80%.

Now, to briefly summarize…Hosea was a prophet who was commanded by God to marry a woman who was not to be exclusively his (she was a bit of a whore, to be blunt). Of course, it’s no secret that infidelity strikes devastating blows to relationships, but imagine vowing to be faithful to someone you knew (beyond a shadow of a doubt) would not be faithful in return. That would suck. Like, a lot. But that wasn’t all…Hosea was commanded to forgive her and take her back. Repeatedly. Constantly she cheated on, humiliated, and disrespected him. And each time Hosea responded with love and forgiveness.

DO NOT MISINTERPRET THIS! lol

Gianna and I have never done anything to violate one another’s trust in such a way, but the lesson in Hosea is beautiful, none-the-less.

There have been numerous times when I’ve been a miserable person to be around and vice-versa. Times when we’ve said and done things that have hurt one another deeply. However, Gianna and my personal convictions are such that we feel called to love one another unconditionally….until death do us part.

All this being said, if you ever want to challenge yourself in the context of your relationship, give Hosea a read…there’s some really good stuff in there.

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We’re Back!

Hey guys! Chad here….Sorry I’ve been absent from this page for so long! Gianna and I have a really awesome series of blog posts in store for everyone, so thank you for your patience as we paused to focus on our engagement/preliminary wedding planning procedures! ¬†That being said, here’s a little sneak peak into what we have coming on the blog:

 

1. Wedding Madness!

Occasionally, Gianna and I will post (as a couple) about the process of planning our wedding and all that joys that go along with that. ¬†Whether it’s planning, budgeting, venue shopping, cake tasting, or any number of other pre-marital events that I knew nothing about until about until very recently.

*Note to all unmarried men*

There is a massive amount of detail that goes into a wedding and chances are that your future spouse has been planning hers since long before she ever understood the value of a dollar! However, if you’ve got a good one, like I do, she’ll be understanding of the fact that¬†my money tree in my backyard hasn’t yet yielded a significant harvest. ¬†Thus, we are learning of a number of tips and tricks (which we will share!) on how to save a few bucks along the road to marital bliss =]

 

2. Life Lessons With Chad!

Due to the fact that I am an awesome, yet imperfect, human being, I am constantly learning new life lessons – most of which relate directly to my relationship! ¬†I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by some very wise people who are constantly reaching out to punch me when I’m being stupid and high-five me when I’m being smart. ¬†And, due to the fact that I am an incredibly transparent person, I will¬†frequently share some of my personal struggles and the resulting change that they’ve brought in my life.

 

3. Personal Stories of Success and Failure

Unfortunately, I suck sometimes.

Fortunately, sometimes I don’t suck.

I’ll share stories of both accounts =]

 

All this being said, Gianna and I sincerely appreciate your love and support!

Stay tuned and please give us a follow or a comment if something we say resonates with you!

 

Blessings,

Chad & G

Happy Birthday, My Love!

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To My Beautiful Bride-To-Be:

God has blessed me with you beyond anything I deserve in this world. ¬†You’ve taught me to live and love differently than I ever knew possible. ¬†You’ve walked alongside me through extreme tragedy just as you have through times of great joy and happiness. ¬†I’ve prayed for you since I was young (although I didn’t know specifically who I was praying for)¬†and it’s amazing to see the way that God has preserved and protected you on your journey into my life. ¬†While I will today, and forever, choose to spoil and love you, I hope you know that I love you so much more than any gift could ever express. ¬†In fact, I am constantly learning to love you more than I ever knew possible. ¬†Today won’t be a perfect example of how I love you simply because I can’t adequately express it with words or otherwise. ¬†I can promise you, however, that I will never stop trying my hardest to show and share my love for you.

 

Happy birthday, my love!

-Chad Charles Baur I

SHE SAID YES!

The time that you all have been waiting for finally arrived in the form of a beautiful 75 degree San Diego day this past Friday, March7, 2014.

Location: Balboa Park

Time: Roughly 4:45 pm

There are so many things I want to share with everyone that I’m sure I’ll leave out some details, but here I go:

I began my day by wandering Balboa Park to find the perfect location to pop the question.  The entire park is absolutely beautiful, but I wanted to ensure that I had chosen a location that would provide quality lighting and scenery for photography.  Upon finding the perfect location, I notified the photographer (yes, I hired a fantastic professional photographer whose contact info I will list below) and I set the plan plan in motion.  

The Plan:

The plan consisted of two critical components: a reliable “assistant” and extreme secrecy. ¬†

I had planned for her close friend, Hanna, to organize a “girls night” that would consist of coffee and quality time together in Balboa Park. ¬†The two were set to meet up at 3:30 and proceed straight to Balboa Park for the afternoon. ¬†Upon arriving at the park Hanna would direct her to the garden that I had chosen for the proposal and the rest would be history. ¬†And, other than a few timing issues and a couple cases of misdirection, everything was executed as planned. ¬†The two came strolling into the garden at around 4:40 pm and I got down on one knee and asked the most important question of my life…

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As for our identities:

My name is Chad Charles Baur and I officially have the wonderful opportunity to call Gianna Nicole Faulk my fiancé!!!

Thank you to everyone who has followed and helped to make this website special for her and me.  I shared the website with her and she cried after reading through it.  It meant so much to her and serves as such an amazing way to remember this special time in our life together.  

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MORE PICTURES AND POSTS TO FOLLOW AS WE CONTINUE ALONG OUR JOURNEY TO MARRIAGE!

As for our photography, we had an amazing photographer capture this pictures and many others.  Her name and contact info are as follows:

Michelle Lillywhite of Lillywhite Photography

http://lillywhitephotography.com

Why Do I Love You?

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To my fiancé-to-be,

While you’re certainly far from perfect, so is everyone else. ¬†And, if being in a relationship means dealing with the imperfections of your partner, I wouldn’t, in a million years, wish to confront anyone’s imperfections but yours. ¬†

Recently I was reminiscing on watching movies in my youth and seeing how men have a tendency to withdraw in the midst of a fight while their partner grows exceedingly more frustrated with her man’s apparent lack of interest or concern. ¬†I remember watching and thinking, “my future wife is going to be so stoked to have married a man who rarely, if ever, fails to effectively communicate”. ¬†Well, I’ve accomplished the improbable: I – the one guy in the world who loves to communicate everything, all the time – have found the one girl in the world who all but refuses to speak when she gets frustrated, hurt, angry, irritate, etc. ¬†In fact, my love, there are times when I wonder if you enjoy communicating at all. ¬†

This blatant disregard for effective communication leaves me feeling so so so soooo annoyed/angry/frustrated at times, and yet, I still love you to the moon and back. Sometimes, in moments of excessive frustration, I ask myself the question, “why the heck do I love this girl? ‘Cuz I certainly don’t like¬†her right now.” ¬†

However, even in the worst of fights between us, I have always and will always CHOOSE to love you. It isn’t always easy but in those moments I try to, mentally, return to the early days of our relationship. ¬†The days that we spent woo-ing one another and attempting to win the undying affection of one another. ¬†Well, I’ll tell you what my dear‚ĶYOU’VE GOT MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. I love you so much and thank the Lord daily for the wonderful role you play in my life. ¬†Our fights are sometimes brutal and our attitudes towards one another sometimes suck, but I want you to know that I will ALWAYS fight for¬†you. ¬†

You are wonderful and I love¬†you so much, even when I don’t particularly¬†like you. ¬†

 

God In Our Marriage

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“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and¬†gave Himself up for her,” – Ephesians 5:25

To my fiancé-to-be,

The words “I love you” are terribly overused in our society. Love is many things, but I believe love’s greatest attribute is selflessness. The above verse in Ephesians supports this belief by reminding us that it was because of Christ’s love that he gave Himself (died on the cross) for us. I can’t think of anything more selfless than sacrificing one’s self in order to save someone else. Now, I’m not equating myself to Christ, but I want you to know that I would give my life for you, my love. I promise to love you and defend you selflessly for the rest of my life.

While I am originally from the south-east part of the country (can’t be too specific for the sake of anonimity), I was raised with respect being a vital part of my parents’ household. ¬†Unfortunately, this is not the standard amongst our nation’s youth (or adults for that matter). ¬†However, I want to assure you, my love, that I will not let chivalry die as long as I have you to spend it on.

To the rest of mankind out there,

Please, STEP YOUR GAME UP!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a guys’ guy at heart; I like to shoot, play xbox, hike, ride motorcycles, and rock climb, but I also treat the women in my life with respect. ¬†You see, being a man isn’t about conquering and ruling, it’s about loving and protecting. ¬†It’s about opening car doors and buying her flowers for no reason at all. ¬†It’s about standing up for her, NO MATTER WHAT. ¬†It’s about putting her first. ¬†Whether it’s your mother, sister, wife, or total stranger, treat her with the respect that you would want a man to treat your mother, sister, or wife with.

Bottom line: be a gentleman to the women in your life because there’s nothing more tough and no calling more noble than loving and protecting the women in our lives.

When You Know, You Know

If life were a book filled with cliches, the story would contain everything and nothing all at once.

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To whom it may concern,

Cliches, in general, are dumb. No way around it, but there is truth in them, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. ¬†The problem with finding the truth in a cliche is that there must be a precise, given context. ¬†For example, if I say, “it is what it is” but fail to give context to the phrase, then I’ve just made a completely nonsensical comment that doesn’t mean anything. ¬†However, if I’m speaking to you about a French test I’ve just failed and proceed to say, “it is what it is”, I’m essentially conceding the fact that I failed the test, but it’s now in the past and nothing more can be done.¬†

Having briefly called out our society on an excessive use of cliches, I must admit that I find some of them to be exceedingly useful. Their usefulness lies in the fact that, like an idiom, they are understandable to those who who share common cultural/social roots with me. Returning to the above French test example, the being able to simply say, “it is what it is”, is significantly easier than explaining my determination for acceptance of the fact that I just failed a test. ¬†

Why am I rambling about cliches, you might ask?

BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO REFERENCE A MASSIVELY OVERUSED CLICHE

Growing up, my parents used to tell me that, when you know, you know. ¬†As many of you probably know, this phrase is supremely obnoxious when you are persistently dating people that you sincerely like, but don’t “know” about. ¬†Well, if you’re one of these people who feels stuck in a perpetual state of unknowing, I wish to throw my two cents into this fountain of wisdom: there is, in fact, hope.¬†

You see, I dated a lot. During my dating escapades, I dated a number of quality girls, but even with the best of matches, something was always slightly off.

To my fiancé-to-be,

I love you so much. I’ve told you in the past that I knew within the first month that you were the one, but the truth is that I was afraid I knew you were the one well before that. To be precise, I might have loved you within the first hour of knowing you. It sounds so stupid, but at my parents encouragement, I had been praying for my “future wife” since I was a child. I dated dozens of girls, and treated each of them with the respect that I prayed you were being treated with. Upon meeting you, I was overcome with the craziest idea that you were the one I had been praying for. ¬†I can’t describe it adequately, but it was like God saying, “here she is, I’ve been waiting to introduce you two”. ¬†

My dear, I write this because I want you, and everyone else to know, that you are “the one”. I’ve been praying for you, and continue to do so. ¬†

 

I love you.

3 Things To Consider Before Buying the “Perfect Ring”

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I would like two begin this post by addressing my male and female readers individually:

MEN:

I know this process is terrifying, confusing, anxiety-provoking, and nerve-racking, but I promise you’ll survive!

Women:

I know you’ve dreamt of the perfect ring/dress/wedding all your life, but if you’re in the process of getting engaged/married, please stop to thank your perfect guy who is working so tirelessly to meet all your dreams.¬† It’s exhausting, but so worth it to us.

The 3 Things To Consider:

1. Timing

People often wonder when the correct timing is¬†to begin discussing ring shopping/engagement.¬† Unfortunately, I don’t have a textbook, mathematical answer to this question, but I have an answer, none-the-less.

DON’T RUSH!

Spontaneity can be romantic but foolishness is still foolishness, regardless.¬† Therefore, first things first: TALK ABOUT IT TOGETHER! If you aren’t in a place in which you two are comfortable discussing the topic of engagement/marriage, YOU AREN’T READY.

While thoughtful consideration is more of a reminder than a news flash to ya’ll, this next tip is SUPER important:¬†don’t use the topic of engagement as a means to lift her spirits or get yourself out of the doghouse.¬† What I mean by this is that it’s wise not to insert a proposal into an exceedingly tense time of life.¬† Of course, life happens and nothing is ever perfect, it might be wise to postpone the topic if one of you are dealing with a death in the family, divorce of your parents, personal tragedy, or any other significant personal struggle.¬† The reason for this is simple: you don’t want the beauty of this time to be¬†associated with¬†the memory of an especially difficult part era in your life.

2.  How much do I spend?

Because men often feel a need to be a provider in their household, the topic of money is extremely important when choosing a ring.¬† The reason this financial decision is so vital is twofold: first, a man wants this purchase to be glorious, without breaking the bank because he still must have enough disposable income to maintain his providership (not a real word, but it has a nice ring to it).¬† And second, society has convinced us (men and women) that degree of love is determined by the size and quality¬†of the ring.¬† Now, while both reasons are completely understandable and common, the first is the only one that should truly be considered seriously.¬† The bottom line is that society has lied to us.¬† We¬†live in¬†a capitalist society which, essentially, means that we thrive on materialism and acquisition.¬† That being said, don’t be caught by the lie that you don’t love your woman if you don’t spend 3 months salary on a ring.¬† If she’s a quality girl, she’ll care less for the money spent and more for the time/energy invested.

3.  Where do I start looking?

My girlfriend is pretty smart in general, but when it comes to wedding stuff she’s BRILLIANT, so while this question stumped me I was sure she would know the answer; she did not.

When we began discussing the idea of engagement, we made a spontaneous decision to go ring shopping, but neither of us had any idea where to go, so we went to the mall. ¬†We began where any lost soul might begin: Kay Jewelers. ¬†I recalled the mantra “every kiss begins with Kay” and I decided that sounded pretty good to me. ¬†Turns out, while we didn’t find anything that she liked there, I gained one piece of valuable wisdom: they have a version/variation of nearly all popular styles. ¬†This is beneficial to us men because it clues us into the general idea of what our women want.

So, STEP ONE: find out what general style your woman wants and then do your research on the 5 C’s of diamonds (not discussed here, but simple to understand if you spend 10 minutes on google). ¬†And then, the rest is up to your financial provider instinct‚Ķgo out and find the best quality ring for the best price in the style your woman wants!

**Personal Note** I found that small, family owned jewelry shops are more likely to be flexible on price and more eager to work with you.

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

My personal experience in all of this is simple. ¬†I took an idea that I thought my girlfriend would like and I reached out to a number of family/local/non-franchise jewelers until I found someone willing to custom design a ring that was a perfect combination of my girlfriend and I. ¬†We looked at a number of rings of all shapes and styles and, with Pinterest’s help, I concocted the perfect ring for my fianc√©-to-be.

 

I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE PICTURES AND MORE DETAILED STORIES WITH YOU ALL AFTER I ASK FOR HER HAND!!

Thanks for following!

Requesting His Blessing

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To My Love:

I want you to know that, while asking your dad for your hand in marriage was one of the most nerve-racking parts of this entire scheme, it was also something that I took very seriously. ¬†You see, while I strive to constantly look out for your best interest, I’ve only been doing so for a couple of years; your dad, he’s been doing so since your birth. ¬†He has watched you grow and stood by you every step of the way. ¬†Whether you knew it or not, he has defended and protected you since the day he and your mother took you home from the hospital. ¬†He has laughed with you and he has cried with you. ¬†He has put his best foot forward in life to secure a better life for you. And he’s done all of this without ever requiring a “thank you” or an acknowledgement. ¬†He’s done all of this because you are¬†his¬†daughter. ¬†His beautiful, magnificent, innocent, and precious daughter.

Now, HOW THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO JUST WALK UP TO THIS GUY AND ASK HIM TO TRUST ME, COMPLETELY, WITH YOUR WELL-BEING???

Well, I can tell you that one does not simply “walk up” to his future father in law and ask him kindly for his daughter’s hand. ¬†In fact, I’ve pretty much been plotting this since the day I decided I was going to marry you. ¬†However, when it finally came down to it, it was as simple as confessing, to him, the truth. ¬†The truth that I love you. The truth that, like him, I think your the most beautiful woman in the world. ¬†The truth that, while I don’t deserve you, I’m going to work my tail off to provide for, and care for you. ¬†The truth that I’m the right guy for the wonderful job of loving you.

And you know what?

HE SAID YES!!

And that, my dear, was the story of the second most important question I will ask of anybody, in my life.  Now, I must continue to prepare for the first.

An Open Invitation

Hello, and welcome to my journey.

 

Everything is in motion.  

The ring: purchased.  

Her father’s blessing: granted.

 

While Youtube and Facebook are littered with proposal/engagement videos, and television incessently rants and raves about the latest wedding trends, I want to invite you to join me on a rather unconventional journey. ¬†A journey full of love, hope, joy, and sadness. ¬†A journey that doesn’t flaunt the truth and mask the tears. ¬†Rather, a journey that celebrates the struggles as vivasciously as the victories. Because, while reality shows inflate petty drama to boost ratings, real people, like ourselves, are immersed in real struggles. ¬†

 

I love my fiance-to-be, but our life together is not perfect. ¬†We fight and we argue, but we also forgive and we love. ¬†It pains me deeply to hear of our societies “idols” partaking, publicly, in casual sex and 72-day marriages because that is not love. ¬†True love is not often found on prime-time television, although it is certainly sold to us as “reality”.¬†

 

Reality, in this case, is that I plan to ask my girlfriend to marry me in just over two months time. ¬†She has no idea, thus, our names will remain anonymous until¬†after I pop the question. ¬†Additionally, I will need to be somewhat cryptic in the way that I describe my journey on here in case she were to stumble upon this (she’s always finding some new proposal video or story online). ¬†And finally, you must know that my primary reason for doing this is so that she might have a journal, of sorts, to look back upon after I have asked for her hand. ¬†However, it is also important to me that friends and family are able to follow this journey because I know it is something she would want. ¬†

 

With that being said, this is not meant to be a “reality” blog. ¬†This is simply me sharing, with you, my proposal to a woman whom I love with all of my heart. ¬†A woman whom I have prayed for since I was very young. ¬†A woman whom I have saved myself for despite reality television’s insistence that casual sex is common and healthy. ¬†And a woman for whom I would do anything for.

 

Consider this an open invitation to follow me in this grand adventure,

 

Welcome to my proposal.