A Month of February or a Stint in Rehab Left

•March 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

On Saturday it was 28 days till the wedding, and Joel looks at me and says, “it’s only a month of February away” :). It only took a split second to realize he meant the number of days left and not the actual month ;). And when I saw 28 days on the countdown I thought of that movie with Sandra Bullock. So there you have it.

Now today we are down to 27 and in the past 2 days we have made much forward progress on getting stuff ready. We did some more painting – a lot more. Joel’s brother, Josh, came and didΒ  some on Friday. His initial painting caused us to realize the color I had picked for the living room, Manhattan Mist (a pretty cool grey) did not look good, as it showed all the imperfections in the wall – of which there are many, since it is an old house. So we switched to a lovely olivy green, Olvine – and it is BEAUTIFUL! I love it, way more than I thought I would. Joel of course loves it too – it’s green! We also got the upstairs hallway painted this amazing grey blue that we love. And the bathroom is a beautiful brightness of yellow and soft green.

Our downstairs bathroom is completely de-wallpapered, thanks to Ashley πŸ™‚ and now in need of some serious help since we discovered their was little to no plaster on the wall underneath it. But we planned on doing this cool textured thing anyway, so all is well. We also got some of the downstairs hallway and the stairwell painted.

LeeAnn (Joel’s mom) has been a rockstar working in the yard these past 2 weeks, it is looking so much better. And just today she and Roger (Joel’s dad) cleaned out our basement – it was a scary ladybug graveyard and spider habitation! My mom has been coming down every weekend to help too, so we have been so blessed!

Today has been a much needed day of rest before we hit the ground running again next week.

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30 Days and Counting

•March 25, 2010 • 3 Comments

Well what a day today was! Not much happened yesterday – I had an interview for a merchandising job with Hanes Brands. I’m not really looking for a job right now, with all the upcoming travel planned, but this sort of fell in my lap, so I’m seeing where it goes. Could be really great – could be totally lame, hard to say at this point ;).

Ok, so started the day off with a little reading and after my shower decided to start some laundry since the underwear situation is approaching critical. At Joel’s parents’ house, where I am staying, the laundry is down in the basement. Now the basement door is kept shut when LeeAnn is not home because of Caden, the psycho kitten, so in an effort to keep him down there I always pull the door shut behind me when I know he is supposed to be locked in. I throw in the laundry and head upstairs to find that Caden’s pawing at the door to be let out, has caused the loose door handle to fall off on this side. I try to find something to open the door with – no avail.

I remember that there is a storm door that I can open. Now it requires me to go up dark steps and reach up into darkness where all kinds of spiders can be lurking, but I have to get out of the basement! So I do it. I get outside and remember that I locked the kitchen door after I let Molly out this morning. So now I’m outside (in the rain, mind you), but I still can’t get in the upstairs. I go back into the basement and ponder what to do. I try the door again; yep, not going to open. Then I think, a ha! I can use the computer. And those of you who have been on Facebook today will I’m sure have seen my succession of “Help me” postings. I know Joel gets my status updates sent to his phone, so I send out the call for help. He gets it, but has no car, so he has to walk over to the house (fortunately he works close to their house).

In the mean time I decide I should shut the storm door. Go I go pull it shut – thereby shutting out all the outside light, and as I’m walking down the stairs I totally miss the last one (because I can’t see!), twist my ankle, and fall on my butt..and hand – which gets all scraped up. At this point my funny little adventure is kind of a drag because I’m in pain. However, Joel arrives to rescue me shortly thereafter and all is well.

At this point I have totally lost 3o or so minutes to “throwing my clothes in the washer” and am still in wet hair with no makeup on. So I finish getting ready, switch out my laundry (being sure to take my phone with me this time!) and head out to face the day, which is the afternoon at this point. πŸ™‚

I had a second phone interview – went well I think; we’ll see. Called about Joel’s suit – it came in, but the jacket is too tight through the biceps (he’s just too buff!), so we need to exchange it. Then I looked outside where, low and behold, there was our stage for the ceremony – built to utterly beautiful perfection by the amazing Tony Galloway! (By the way, he did this is 3 days! Can anyone say, Rockstar?!) Another fun surprise was a wedding gift in the mail. I love getting gifts in the mail – it is so much fun! I should maybe let Joel open some, but I can never wait. I figure I’ll let him open a lot of the gifts we get at the actual wedding :).

I then proceeded to record the RSVPs that came in, as I do every day, when I was hit by the advertising on the home page of The Knot:Β  Bridal Handbags. I need a bridal handbag! So I start browsing. And bridal handbags leads naturally into other bridal accessories, like jewelry. Now, originally I thought I’d just go with earrings because I’m wearing a rather fancy tiara, but when I tried it on the other day, and the last time I had my gown fitting, I thought to myself “I think this needs a necklace”. So I thought, why not start looking for necklaces and see if anything catches my eye.

That was 3 hours ago…at least.

I’ve lost track of time. I was just going to hop online really quick to check things, and then go do the dishes and maybe do some painting today. Yeah, that is NOT going to happen :). My new goal is to tape off the trim in the living room while watching Grey’s (I mean we do have to have our priorities ;)) and then talk to my best friend, and amazing maid-of-honor, Christina.

Much love everybody! And for fun give me your vote on which necklace set you like better:

Baby Steps to April 24th

•March 22, 2010 • 3 Comments

Yesterday was a much needed day of rest after our painting adventure. We went and saw Alice In Wonderland, worked on our premarital counseling book and then watched a movie. All in all a restful day.

Today I jumped into the week ready to tackle a myriad of tasks and have gotten some of them done so far. I called our caterer for the rehearsal dinner to have her put together a proposal for us, and I met with a lady we were introduced to at Joel’s brother’s church when we were there a few weeks ago for his niece’s dedication. She is a wedding coordinator and does wedding flowers, so I was talking to her about ideas, questions, etc. It was all good for the first hour, and then I really started to fade. She is one of those people that can just talk and talk and talk πŸ™‚ and wants to tell you all her stories. She’s very pleasant, but I wasn’t feeling really well, and I just wanted to lay down for a bit, so the last hour (yes, I was with her for 2 hours!) was a bit tedious.

I do feel really good about my decision to do my own flowers though, and I feel very well researched for everything we are going to be creating. Plus I have a great team of creative people helping me, so it’s going to be awesome. I’m going to go to the flower mart in St. Louis sometime in the next week or so and start checking out what I want because it’s so much better to see things live than just online or in photographs.

Baby steps to April 24th is our new mantra ;). We hit the just-over-a-month mark, and we were both like, OK we’re ready to be married! Thank goodness for short engagements. Although on the flip side they are WAY more stressful in the planning, even for someone like me who knows what she wants and is extremely organized. I’m feeling very blessed that I’ve not had to work the last few weeks; it has helped me get so much done and feel so much more at peace!

And I have to give Joel a shout out, because he is my rockstar. He is such a strength to me and knows how to calm me down and bring balance and truth to me in this stressful time. I could not ask for anyone else because he is sensitive beyond compare, so gracious, full of strength and pretty much they guy every girl wants to marry. I love you baby!

Day 34 – Painting Day!

•March 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

So today was the first (of I’m sure many) painting days here at Joel’s house. Joel and I have rather differing tastes about decor, so there are quite a few (make that all but 2) rooms in the house that I want to repaint. However, I have made my list of priorities for what I want to get done before the wedding to have a somewhat realistic picture of what we can hope to accomplish. Today was working on the bedroom, bathroom and up-stairs hallway. We had picked out colors a few months ago, but hadn’t looked at them much since, so when we went to Home Depot last night to get them mixed up, we hadn’t seen them in awhile. All seemed to be fine. Then we started painting. We were immediately concerned when the pinkish white I picked started looking quite pink and the lavender accent color made it all the more so. Neither of us want a pink bedroom! So we quickly decided to ditch the lavender (more like a smokey plum) as an accent and see what the pinkish color looked like after it dried. Turns out it looks fine (whew!), and we are going to use a cool gray as an accent instead.

We got the bedroom walls paintedΒ  – except the accent walls, all the trim in the bedroom done, the hallway & stairwell trim done, the hallway primed, the doors painted and the wainscoting in the bathroom painted (a cool sage green for Joel). We only have the upper half of the bathroom walls, the bathroom trim, the hallway and stairwell, and the little bedroom walls and trim to do and the upstairs will be done! πŸ˜‰

But I’m happy with what we got done today, and except for our cat Aiden rubbing up against the wet paint and needing an immediate bath, all went very well. Our wrists hurt and we’re pretty tuckered out, but all in all a good day! We finished the day out watching “The Breakfast Club” for the first time (yep, neither one of us had seen it – crazy, right?). Now it’s a little bit of Harry before calling it a night.

35 To Go…

•March 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Not too much happening today. I did make calls to dance studios about taking lessons for our first dance. Joel is not particularly keen on this idea, but since I REALLY want to do it he is going to. (Isn’t he just the greatest!) He’s not particularly fond of being the center of attention, but I just keep he telling him it’s our wedding day, we are the center of attention that day. So at least while we’re dancing we should look like we know what we are doing. Plus I have always dreamed about taking dance lessons and dancing with my husband.

On other notes I flagged pictures of flowers I like for my meeting with the flower lady on Monday. I’m doing all our flowers with my small army of helpers, and I met this great lady last Sunday who does flowers and weddings, and she’s going to meet with me, so I can pick her brain. Yay! Now if I can just figure out a way to keep what I want in the budget… πŸ™‚

I also met with our friend, Heather, to talk about the ceremony since she is going to be our service coordinator. That all went well, so overall a good Friday. We are starting to paint the house (inside) tomorrow, so that will be an adventure! Talk to you soon.

The Proposal

•March 18, 2010 • 2 Comments

So I know I have been woefully overdue in blogging anything about my relationship with Joel or my new life in Collinsville, but that’s what happens when you go from casual friends to I’m moving half way across the country for you to engaged to having a wedding all in under 10 months! Crazy, huh?

Joel and I have been engaged since January 14 – his 30th birthday. And as we are only 36 days away from the wedding I’ve decided to start chronicling some of this :). My friend Pradeepan had the brilliant idea to start a 30-day Blogrimage (What is a blogrmiage you ask? It’s a chance for you to pick something to do for 30 days and blog about it everyday.) and I have decided to participate after a fashion. I have decided to blog about the last 36 days (random number, I know) leading up to the wedding. But first I wanted to include the story of the proposal for those who haven’t heard it yet.

So as I mentioned it was Joel’s birthday. We both had to work that day and were already planning on going to Joel’s favorite restaurant in St. Louis. So we drive over, and it’s this cute Irish pub where we have dinner. It wasn’t really busy, so it was a pretty intimate setting. Then we went over and sat in the bar to listen to the live Irish music, which was totally fun. It was all gazing into each other eyes, sharing bread pudding and listening to the music. Once we got back to the house, we were sitting in the living room, and Joel gets up saying “I have something I wrote I’ve been meaning to give you”. Ok. No big deal – this is a very Joel thing to do.

So he comes back downstairs with this letter and journal. I assume the letter was in the journal. So he sits down on the floor (I’m laying on the couch at this point), so we’re eye to eye and starts reading to me. This was a letter he wrote the night before I came out to visit, back in Sept., and in it he basically says he’s been waiting for his wife for so long, and in his heart he knows his wait is over. It was full of much more romantic sentiments and wonderfulness, but that’s the general message. I thought it was so beautiful and special, but I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

First, let me clarify. I knew he would be proposing soon, in fact I thought it would be that coming weekend, but I knew he was waiting on the ring to come in and the details to be finalized. Once he had finished reading the letter, he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised; I started crying. I, of course, said yes and in my excitement I didn’t even wait for him to put the ring on my finger – I totally just took it and put it on. It just seemed like the thing to do (I mean he was holding it out to me in his fingers, not a box or anything). Anyway… a few minutes later after the excitement died down a bit I did take the ring off and let him put it on me.

It was a very intimate, beautiful experience – not the rather grand buildup, where you know it’s coming, that I was expecting, but it was very us. Joel really felt there was something special about asking me on the day he turned 30 and entered into a new decade in his life, and I agree.

So here we are, just over 2 months later, with the wedding just over a month away. There is a lot to be said for planning a wedding in 3 months (although I did do somethings before), so I think this next month’s worth of blogs will be interesting, to say the least.

I Love You THIS Much (1,967 miles worth)

•November 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A week ago today I was getting ready to load up my car, after shipping 2200 lbs of the stuff that is my life, and drive 1,967 miles across the country to be with the man I love. Let me tell you about it. First of all, we made the decision early on to sell my furniture and ship my belongings via the Greyhound Bus Package Express system (way cheap way to go I must say), so I had been trying to sell my furniture on Craig’s List for some weeks prior to the move. I had relative success. I also had several people try to scam me (welcome to Craig’s List) and one coworker, who shall of course remain nameless, tell me – assure me – that he was going to buy my bedroom set for his mom, so that I even turned someone else down, only to have him no show – 3 times. 😦 Yeah, I’m still a little pissed at him. But c’est la vie. Day of we are loading up our rented 10-ft U-haul to drop off the remaining furniture and garage sale items at a friend’s house (thank you Shawn!) to try to sell for me and then take my 60 boxes of stuff to Greyhound to ship. Joel quickly realizes that we are going to be in for 2 trips because there is no way all of that is going to fit in the truck at once. So we load a loveseat, bedroom set, dresser and secretary desk along with about 5 garbage bags full of random sale stuff, and all my shoe cubby’s and other random organizational things you buy at Target that are simply not worth shipping. This is a full truck load. In the process I only drop one piece of furniture on myself (I slipped my grip on the loveseat and have 2 lovely bruises on my thigh), but all is well!

We get all of that delivered and are back up to my apartment by 1pm – Did I mention we started all of this at 10 am where we told the U-haul people we’d for sure be done with the truck by 2pm? πŸ™‚ So yeah, we’re not even close to done. So we finish up labeling the boxes only to realize they shorted us 10 labels. I call them to ask them what to do, and meanwhile we go buy more tape for the box Joel is building to encase my hope chest. They let us know that they have resent the labels – ALL of them – and that we need to relabel the boxes because now it has a different id number :(. Seriously?!? Yes. So, ok, we can do that as we unload them because at this point all but 10 boxes are loaded in the truck and there is no way we are taking them out again. Oh yeah, and did I mention that we no longer have internet or a printer at the apartment to print said labels? Yeah, the great people from Charter, who although they provide worst DVR service ever – do provide great customer service, have already come to pick up my modem. So it’s off to Kinkos to print new labels! By the time we get the labels printed and the rest of the boxes loaded it’s about 4:45 pm. We arrive at the Greyhound station at 5, and I kid you not, we are there for over 2 hours!!! There is only one lady working, and she has to weigh all the boxes (60 of them) and check people in all by herself. Joel totally helps her move them around inside the workroom as I relabel them before pulling them out of the truck. At the end of it all we have been there so long that the pickup order on one set of boxes has expired, and we have to call and request a new pickup. (Funny side note: the employee told me to call to request that, but then when I got on the phone the lady was like, “Are you the customer or the employee?” And I replied, “The customer.” “Why did she have you call me? Put the employee on the phone please?” So yeah there they were doing business on my cell phone, my minutes for something I should have never been involved with!) At this point I kind of have a mini meltdown. We are supposed to be at our friends’ house for dessert at 6:30, then I changed it to 7:30, then 8:00 and we still haven’t eaten dinner, and I am just about to loose it. I leave to go grab some food and by the time I’m back she is almost done (Praise Jesus!) and we leave by 7:45.

We make it to the Jackson’s by 8:15 still having not cleaned the apartment, but hey we’ve made it! We had a wonderful time hanging out and just having one last night together and them getting to meet Joel, and visa verse (does anyone really know how to spell that?). So by the time we get back to the apartment it is after 11 pm, and we still have to clean and load up the stuff that is going inside my tiny convertible with us and Molly. Somewhere around 2 am I have another meltdown. Joel is handling my meltdowns rather well (that’s just one reason why I love him <3), but at this point I am kind of an emotional wreck not to mention tired. But we get it all done, and we're all in the car by 3 am…there are no grocery stores open in Rancho at 3 am. We try 2 different ones, and finally find a 7-11 that's open where I stock up on some chips, water and 5-hour energy. By now I've gotten my second or third wind, and I am doing great, so I take the first leg of the trip (which ends up being the only one I drive – not for lack of volunteering though) so Joel can sleep.

Our first leg of the journey was to get to Raton, NM where my Dad and grandparents live. It was pretty uneventful. We wanted to stop at the Grand Canyon, but with our late start it just wasn't possible. 😦 So we arrived there at 8:45 pm Friday night. Joel met my Dad, Terri, Nan and Pop, and my Aunt Chrissy and everybody liked him :). By Saturday night we were up in Colorado Springs to meet all the peeps up there. Went to church that night and saw tons of people, enjoyed the service and went out with a few friends afterward. Sunday we spent the bulk of the day with my brother and his family. All his kids loved Joel (I knew they would), and by the end of the afternoon Brandon and Bonnie liked him too :). Then it was off to one more dinner with some other close friends and another late night. Monday we said our final goodbyes and made a quick stop at Garden of the Gods before getting on the road again.

Joel was quite the trooper and drove all the way from Colorado Springs to Collinsville, IL!!! Going through Kansas was quite the adventure though, let me tell you. We saw our first deer oh, sometime after midnight, just on the shoulder of the road. But then about 3 am there was another one right in the middle of the road. I saw it first and rather calmly, but aggressively said, "Deer! Deer!" Joel had to swerve hard to the right to avoid hitting it, but then in order for us not to go off the road, had to pull the car sharply back to the left, causing us to almost go into a spin. At this point Molly is starting to fly off my lap, so I grab her and hold her close thinking, "We are totally going to spin off into the ditch". But miraculously he is able to keep the car on the road and slide to a stop facing the right direction off the left shoulder of the road. We just sit there for a minute. Major adrenaline rush. Praise God for keeping us on the road and for not hitting the deer because there is no way we shouldn't have been in the ditch, and likely rolling the car in the process! We saw one more deer, a buck, but no more close calls. What's up with all the deer in Kansas?! We made it into town about 10 am Tuesday morning, said our hellos and went to take a much needed nap!

Since then I have been getting settled in at Joel's parent's house, which is where I'm staying for now and trying to start unpacking some things here at Joel's. We still have to pick up 17 more of my boxes, but so far everything has gotten here with only 2 broken mugs to report. It's rather cold here compared to the lovely, temperate California weather I am used to, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Molly is adjusting pretty good – she's still a little nervous, but I know she'll be fine. All in all it's a good thing. I'll post some pics of my new town soon, and as always keep you up to speed on my ever changing life!