Behind The Butter

Virtual Coffee Date

Have a cookie with your coffee!

If we were having coffee this Saturday morning, I’d tell you that Adam and I went to our first premarital class last Tuesday night and, man, was it ever good. A hard good. I can already see that we are going to grow so much during the next seven weeks {the class is through our church and we are reading through this book together}. I was telling a girlfriend the other day that I think this could be the best thing we’ve ever done together as a couple. I’m sure there will be lots of difficult heart conversations over the next couple months as we prepare for marriage, and I’m looking forward to jumping in and committing to grow…even during the hard moments.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that lately it’s been on my heart to be more of a giver. I want to give wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return. So often I feel like we just get consumed as a culture of wanting to climb the corporate ladder, becoming “the next big thing” and gaining success in the world’s eyes because that’s what boosts us up. I’ll admit I’m not totally there yet, but I really just want to be able to leave that mentality in the dust. Our worth as successful women shouldn’t come from how much money we make, how many blog followers we have or how high a position at work we hold.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that I recently discovered Emily Ley and love, love, love all her stuff. If you’ve never checked out her site before, you’re missing out. I ordered a new iphone case and can’t wait for it to arrive! All her stuff is super cute.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you again that wedding planning is super fun but I’m soooooo ready to just be married already. I think I said this last time and it’s even more true now as more and more plans keep forming. I’m looking forward to the wedding, of course, but what I’m REALLY looking forward to is the next morning when I roll over and see my new husband sleeping beside me and then head out on our honeymoon! I can’t wait to just “be married”.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you about our honeymoon plans! We’re going to Europe and I’m seriously counting.down.the.days. We’re planning to go to Paris first, then taking the train to Switzerland and Italy. We wanted to do a big Europe trip before kids and I just can’t wait.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that lately I’ve been on more of a strong black tea kick…with a splash of cream and sugar. Slurp.

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  • Kate @ Quarter Century Southern Living
    February 9, 2013 at 5:16 am

    I loved reading these! It would be nice to find a premarital class to take. I will have to look for the book that the two of you are reading.

    And I couldn’t agree with you more, I am so ready to be married! Dan and I aren’t getting married until the fall, and we still have so much planning to do, but I am so excited to marry him πŸ™‚

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    February 9, 2013 at 5:36 am

    I love these posts. And I love the sound of your honeymoon – SO FUN!! I really wish I could travel more so hopefully someday, I’ll find someone who wants to see the world with me. πŸ™‚

  • Malkire
    February 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

    When my husband and I were planning our wedding two years ago we kept looking at each other and saying, “We are so filled with love…let’s just elope now.” Of course, we waited and the wedding day was amazing, but like you said the next morning when you roll over and look into your husband’s eyes and you both realize this is forever is a truly so soul-warming morning. I truly felt like our relationship took on a deeper, more romantic turn. You could feel the commitment even though before we married we thought we could not possibly love each other more. Savor every minute of this amazing journey! And, thank you always for such amazing pieces.

  • katy @ just playing house
    February 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Read this while sipping on my black tea. πŸ™‚
    I’m right there with ya- I’m ready for June and to be married already! We are in the middle of our pre-marriage counseling also and it has been a great experience! I’m going to check out the book. Thanks for the recommendation, and enjoy the last few months of planning!

  • Becky
    February 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

    If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that, “as an old married lady,” I think the pre-marital classes are the most important part of the wedding planning. My husband and I still reflect on some of the things we learned in our classes 4 years later (ok, maybe I am not that old).

    Also, EXCELLENT honeymoon plans! I lived in Switzerland for a year and there’s no better way to travel than by train, and to wake up with gorgeous Alpine peaks in the background each morning. Italy is one of my favorite countries too. I could easily move there if the right opportunity presented itself.

  • Erika
    February 9, 2013 at 7:23 am

    My husband and I read that book while we were engaged. It’s just fabulous. It really made me view marriage with a much fuller perspective. You can’t go wrong with Tim Keller!

  • Jennifer Y.
    February 9, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I’m a long-time reader, rare commenter… I really enjoy your virtual coffee dates! If you stop in Geneva, the CNN Travel website has a great list of things to see: I highly recommend eating Mortimer’s majestic Fondant au Chocolat. It’s to die for! If you need any other tips, don’t hesitate to ask. I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

  • Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
    February 9, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Your honeymoon sounds to die for girl! I’m so glad you all are reading that book. My hubby and I are reading it together right now. I wish we had it for our premarital counseling! I also recommend Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. It would be a great first book for you all to read together after you are married!

  • Emily
    February 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Ahh! I forgot my coffee! Hang on …
    … okay! I love having these coffee dates. And I’m glad you are into your marriage classes. I really enjoyed ours, it gave us so many things to think about and really brought us closer together. So happy to hear what a great place you’re in right now!

  • Heather @ Heather's Dish
    February 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

    SO jealous of the honeymoon plans – that’s one thing I wish we had done before having Wes. And marriage is the best…so hard sometimes, but really the best. I could not be more excited for you sweet girl!

  • Desiree
    February 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Love these posts. If we were having coffee together I would tell you that I made the rice Krispie treats from your post yesterday and I’ve eaten almost half the batch!!! YIKES so yummy. Love me some white chocolate. Your honeymoon sounds so wonderful. I dream of going to Europe one day.

  • Elisabeth
    February 9, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I live these coffee dates! And I love the thought of a honeymoon in Europe, especially Switzerland πŸ™‚

  • De @ Cooking for the Other Half
    February 9, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I love your virtual coffee date posts!

    Your honeymoon sounds awesome– that’s the kind of honeymoon that I envision having one day. Lots of traveling and seeing different places in Europe. Perfect!

  • Karen
    February 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

    From an “old married woman” (of almost 15 years!), my best unsolicited advice to you is take each of these days one at a time and savor them. Your wedding day will be here before you know it and you will want to look back and remember your planning and preparing days, and the feelings of excitement and anticipation, just as you will want to feel that same way about your wedding day and honeymoon. It’s easy to want to rush on to the next chapter, but with time, kids, and age you forget some of the little romantic and silly things that happened along your journey to engagement and marriage and what made the two of you who you are as a couple! All the best to you Jenna!!!

  • Libbi
    February 9, 2013 at 9:02 am

    A book that we loved and used for part of our marriage prep was this book:

    our marriage prep counselor was very happy with us that we read it and we still go back to it periodically and gift it to friends on the road to marriage. best wishes!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    February 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I love so much that you are looking forward to being a WIFE. That’s beautiful. I recently blogged about this, but I find that most of my friends always talk about marriage as far as the wedding day- but we never look at the life-long commitment of the marriage. I feel like the fact that you can’t wait to be married really shows the love you guys have for each other. Hope the next few months fly by for you πŸ™‚

  • Clizia
    February 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Are you going to Milan on your honeymoon? If you are and need any suggestions as to where to eat, please give me a shout – I lived there for four years during university! x

  • Katie @ Livehalffull
    February 9, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I totally felt the same way leading up to my wedding! I will say though, your wedding day will be everything you hoped for and more and it will be sooo worth it. Especially when you can look back on it and just BE MARRIED! πŸ™‚

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    February 9, 2013 at 9:30 am

    i loved our marriage class. it was so good to have a place to facilitate all those “hard” discussions. and girl, i was only engaged for 7 months, and i know what you mean about wanting to just be married. and let me tell you, the wedding is great, but the best feeling is waking up the next day to say good morning to your husband!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Jenna I can only imagine how strong that feeling of ‘just want to be married’ is for you right now but it sounds like you guys are making the most of this time with the classes and reading you’re doing. And your honeymoon….wow, that sounds just incredible! Congrats on such a wonderful adventure coming up!

  • Joelle ( on a pink typewriter)
    February 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Europe?! Super exciting!

  • Melinda
    February 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Switzerland is awesome! I’ve been living near ZΓΌrich the last 6 months. So much to see and do and so close to everything in Europe. Also the trains are a really nice way to get around. Excellent choice for a honeymoon!

  • Lelde
    February 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Resonating other readers, if you need tips for either Italy or Switzerland, give me a shout. I’ve lived in both countries (In Trieste, traveling extensively throughout the rest of the country) and in Geneva). It’s going to be amazing! πŸ™‚

  • Jen @ Twenty-Something and Starving
    February 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    My husband and I got married in September and I totally understand how you feel right now. Our premarital classes were such a wonderful experience and they really helped us to grow together, enjoy them. Your wedding will be amazing – but it will fly by! It’s hard to believe after you spend so much time planning it’s over like that! It’s so great that you’re looking forward to being married and not just “getting married” like so many people I know today. I love your blog and your recipes and I wish you the best wedding (and honeymoon) ever!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    February 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Waking up next to my husband this morning on a cold, snowy winter day was so peaceful.

  • jan
    February 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hey, it’s never too late to elope and wake up next to your husband tomorrow! πŸ™‚ I love being married. LOVE LOVE LOVE it, all 10 years! Well, maybe toss out a few days of that, but 99% of the 10 years. LOL

  • Kate
    February 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Love Emily Ley too!

    • jenna
      February 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      I found her via your site and now I’m obsessed! πŸ™‚

  • Hannah
    February 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    What a sweet post. Thanks for sharing! I enjoy the virtual coffee dates from you.
    Best wishes with your marriage preparations- both for the wedding and with your class.

  • Mary
    February 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Last summer I did the exact same trip! Landed in Paris and immediately took the train to Switzerland, then trained it all over Italy, and finally spent our last bit of time in Paris before we flew back to the states. It was fantastic–you’re going to have so much fun! You must go to Cinque Terre, Italy, when you’re ready for a relaxing beach break from all the travels!

  • Brianne
    February 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for sometime and I just love these virtual coffee dates! I’m getting married in 1 month from today. Up until around the 40 day mark I was feeling like you are…. let’s just get married already! But once we got to 39 days….OMG we’ve been planning this for a year and it’s coming together SOOOO fast! I too can’t wait for the wedding, but am so looking forward to the honeymoon with my husband. πŸ™‚ Cheers to you and yours…and keep writing, I love it.

  • Ashley@cupcakesncrunches
    February 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I love these posts!

    And a honeymoon to Europe sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read all about that!

  • Sara Nickel
    February 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Marriage is the best part of the deal; but, my best advice is to live in this moment. We learned so much about each other and who “we” are through all the planning and premarital stuff that really gelled who “we” are. Enjoy this moment. There is more to come; however, you will only have all these prerequisites once. It really sets the canvas for the best to come my friend:)

  • Emily Ley
    February 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Well, goodness gracious! Thank you so much for the sweet, sweet mention here! Your blog is just amazing and I’m beyond honored for the sweet note! Can’t wait to get your iPhone case to you! xo Emily Ley

  • Jen
    February 10, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Would love to hear more about what happens during per marital classes if you can share?! πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    February 10, 2013 at 1:42 am

    If you are thinking about leaving mainland Europe and heading to Ireland, I’d be happy to give you any tips! I’ve lived in Dublin all my life, it’s an amazing city! πŸ™‚

  • Jenn
    February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Does this mean kids are in the not tooooooo distant future?:-)

  • Nina
    February 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Oh wow, you are coming to Switzerland, how exciting, I am a Swiss follower, let me know if you if you need any tips! πŸ™‚ And so true what you were saying about not making our worth depend on superficialties.

  • Bonnie
    February 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

    My fiance and I just began an 8 week marriage class. Our class consists of dating, engaged, and recently married couples. We are reading the book The Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life/The Most Important Year in a Man’s Wife. I can tell you my fiance was not terribly excited about pre-marriage counseling, and was worried that it would be a “drag” of a “talk you out of it” kind of deal, but we have both really enjoyed it. The book sets up some really good scenarios and focuses on just loving the other person. Sounds so simple, but sometimes I recognize in myself not being the nicest person and for the silliest reasons. I also feel like we are learning what is really important to the other person. You think you know, but sometimes it’s good to just hear. I will have to check out your book. This marriage thing is worth investing in!!

  • Kay
    February 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Hey, Jenna! So wonderful to hear that you and Adam are going through pre- marital counseling ! And Europe honeymoon!! How wonderfully exciting! πŸ™‚

  • The Mrs. @ Kitchen Doesn't Travel
    February 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I discovered Emily Ley’s stuff last fall and I am OBSESSED!! I got one of her Simplified Planners last November and am in LOVE!! Enjoy the items you pick up from her. Congrats on your pending marriage. You going to love it when you finally get there!

  • catherine (FOOD SNOB)
    February 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Even with my (slightly less than) two-month engagement, I agree — I’m ready to be married, too! We attended an eight-hour premarital counseling class yesterday, and it was great. Good luck with what’s to come for you in the next few months!

  • Laura @FoodSnobSTL
    February 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Tim Keller is solid. We listened to his sermon series on marriage before we got married. It was so helpful, and we’ve even gone back and listened to them again.

  • Jamie
    February 11, 2013 at 12:29 am

    My husband and I just went to Europe this last summer and stayed in Paris and took the train to Zermatt, Switzerland (we also stayed in Lucerne) and then headed to Italy as well! We LOVED every day of it (we, too, wanted to backpack Europe before kids!). If you need any advice, I would love to help out! It was an amazing trip; you will fall in love with every city!

  • Pam
    February 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Sounds like an amazing honeymoon! My husband and I went to Paris years ago but did not venture to other countries while we were overseas and totally wish we went to other places. You will love visiting more than one country, make the most of this trip as I’m sure you will.
    Sooo are you going to have kids relatively soon, just asking since you are making the Euro trip before kids… πŸ˜‰ You’re going to be an amazing momma!

  • Colleen
    February 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

    The career track item speaks most to me this morning….you will find that after kids, it’s harder to think career, no matter how your husband and others help you try to strike a balance. Enjoy, enjoy, 2013 is your year!

  • Mandy
    February 11, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I was so there with you a little over two years ago. It’s THE BEST when you’re married and you go on your honeymoon and don’t have to worry about anyone else or even talking to anyone else for awhile. My husband have been blessed to do two Europe trips since we got married, and let me tell you, seeing the world with the one you love…no one can ever take it away from you guys. And, can I reccomend a book? “Italy for the Gourmet Traveler” by Fred Plotkin. It talks about the history of food in Italy and what food to get in each region. I think you’ll love it!

  • deva by definition
    February 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about wanting to just “be married.” As we have gotten closer and closer to the wedding date, my fiance and I have really grown together as a couple, which has us both surprised – we’ve been together very nearly seven years! He has gotten a lot more romantic as we have gotten closer to our wedding, and our conversations about our future and our growth together as (soon to be) husband and wife have become a lot more frequent!

  • Melissa Baltz
    February 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I was so in your same position about six month ago. I just had to keep telling myself that once it is over, it is over and that we then had the rest of our lives to just “be married”. Try to enjoy every stage as it comes.

  • jones
    February 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I find your comments about being a giver and not climbing the corporate ladder interesting b/c it seems like from posts that you must make a pretty good living, come from a family with money or Adam makes quite a bit of money b/c you live in one of the most expensive cities in the US and seem to travel very frequently.

  • shannon
    February 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    If we were having coffee this morning, I would say “Don’t rush it”, I got married at 19 to my soul mate, and we will be celebrating 23 years this year, and it goes by so quickly. We had kids, they are all adults now, and when my husband and I talk, we wonder where on earth the time went, though we are looking forward to our next chapter in life, and maybe some weddings and grandchildren in our near future πŸ™‚

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    February 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    From Paris you could take the train to Lac Annecy, then over to Yvoire, France which is one of THEE most picturesque little towns in France pop 800, and 40 min drive to Geneva. It’s on Lake Geneva (Lac Leman on French side): info

    Yes, being married is soooooo much fun when you have a true partner, as you do.

  • Kate
    February 12, 2013 at 6:41 am

    My husband and I went through that book last year with our church’s premarital counseling program and it was HUGE in our relationship. We vowed to read it at least once a year. Such truth and such an encouragement of realistic marriage expectations.

    Love, love love your blog and so excited for your journey through premarital counseling. I totally get the “hard good.” We were also so encouraged by the growth and tremendous amount of fruit born from each session. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Kristy
    February 12, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Please go to interlaken when you’re in Switzerland! And then go paragliding off a mountain. You’ll never forget it!

  • Allyn
    February 12, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Oh man, I so know that “just ready to be married” feeling! I think we really would have eloped if I hadn’t known that his mother would never forgive me. Enjoy it all, don’t stress, and keep your eye on the prize! At the end of it all, all that matters is that you guys are together and happy.
    We did a tour of Scotland for our honeymoon, and it was worth every jet lagged minute! 10 of the best days of my life.

  • Melissa
    February 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I love your virtual coffee dates – it is so fun to catch up and hear what is going on in your life outside of the kitchen (and I like that, by doing them, you acknowledge and accept the ‘friendship’ we’ve all feel is there by reading blogs). I just wanted to throw out a recommendation for your Paris planning – I just moved back to San Diego after four years living there and in that time, I discovered a lot to love (and some not) about the City of Light. The girls that run PbM are some of my closest friends, and it is the best English language restaurant/food guide out there for the city. Plus, wine + cheese tours of the city! If you want any prioritizing tips, drop me a line! So excited for you!!!

  • Makenzie Ann
    February 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I really really like how you remind us that our worth isn’t equal to our job title or how much we earn…..or our weight or physical beauty…I think it’s hard sometimes to know what makes us feel worthy…but giving is a great place to start πŸ™‚ thanks jenna

  • sarah
    February 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Great coffee date! I am getting married next march and reading your post gets me excited about being married!

  • Jacki
    February 14, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I love the fact that you are actually putting some thought and time into the actual act of getting married. Yes, you acknowledge the wedding and the honeymoon will be fun but you seem to actually get that the marriage is the important part and takes real consideration. I wish more young people would realize that. I also love that God will also be a part of the equation!

  • Mags Pomichowski
    February 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I love reading your virtual coffee dates! I love reading (or hearing) that people are working on their relationship. As you said it’s hard but will be worth it!

    Congratulations on your engagement and best of luck to you both!


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  • Kim
    February 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Your virtual coffee dates are so much fun. Girl, I totally know that feeling of just wanting to be married. The anticipation is the hardest part! My husband and I were just married 6 months ago. As you can probably imagine from your pre-marital counseling, it’s crazy how much deeper your relationship will get just in the first year. I can only imagine what future years hold. And chiming in with the others who said pre-marital counseling was one of the best things you can do. It totally changed our relationship so much for the better. We have Tim Keller’s book but haven’t read it yet. Another good one is the “Love and Respect Devotional: A Husband Friendly Devotional that Wives Will Love.” Your big day is almost here!! It’s going to be great!