Monday, December 29, 2008

End of '08

The end of each year always makes me sad, I have a hard time with letting go of the past 365 days. This year is like every other, I'm not quite ready for the newness, the unknown, of next year.

Highlights of 2008:
Jan: Ringing in the New Year by eating a pint of ice cream with the resolution to lose weight this year
Feb: Turning 21 without a single drink
March: Trip to Virginia and Tennessee
April: Celebrating the end of the semester with a patio dinner/bar night with Leah
May: First trip to California, Falling in love with San Fransisco
June: A whole month of camp love!
July: Starting the book "1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married" with Mark
Aug: Matt and Jenn's Wedding, Trip to Iowa, Graduating from college
Sept: Getting my first real job
Oct: Finishing "1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married" with Mark
Nov: Lakeview Dinner Auction, Counting Blessings
Dec: Time with my friends and family

This year, as a whole, has been defined by the development of my faith. I have grown closer to God and grown more in His word in the past four months than in all the time before them. I am thankful for His guidance, His grace, and His love. I am also thankful of His reminder from 1 Corinthians that LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This past Sunday I finally had a weekend day off and was able to go to Louisville to see Lu's new apartment and to visit with Rose. We took the time on our shopping trip to buy them bridesmaids' dresses. We found one that we all three agreed on (a miracle!), found one in each size, tried them on, they looked wonderful, and we got a great deal. One day, one dress, one time in the fitting room, FANTASTIC!

It was wonderful to have another wedding task completed but it also reminded me of one of the hardest decisions I have made since getting engaged - picking who I wanted to have stand with me at my wedding. I have wonderful friends from high school, two great girlfriends from college, and of course my collection of camp loves. In the end, it became obvious that I had to pick someone who not only knows and loves me but also knows and loves Mark...with that conclusion, Rose became the only choice. She was one of the first people I told that I wanted to marry Mark, she followed us creepily around the lake the night we started dating, and she was one of the first people we told the night we got engaged. And while I have been blessed with beautiful friendships in my life, my friendship with her is the only one that has spanned high school, college, and camp. I am sorry that I have friends that feel left out but I hope they also understand that I wanted my bridesmaids to be friends of Mark's as well. I am so thankful for all of the friendships in my life and for all of the ways my friends have helped, and are helping, Mark and I get ready for our wedding.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And God said "Let Go"

As Mark and I have been discussing plans for the next year, we've been talking about places to live and careers/graduate schools that may lead us to those places but we've also been discussing some mission opportunities such as Teach for America or Youth Encounter. With all of these choices, I have been struggling to stay calm and to remember that life is simple because I am living God's plan. So, as I prayed before bed I said, "God give me some kind of sign, some kind of hint of what we're supposed to do." Then I had the same dream I have been having a lot lately.

In this dream I am always hanging on to something, a ladder, some wood, a tree limb, and the only way to get down is to let go and fall. Each night in my dream the person I am hanging on with is able to let go but I never can. Last night in my dream it was my sister, and she just let go, and fell and laughed, and landed on two feet ready to take on the next challenge. I woke up right after that and said, "Okay God, I get it. I'll let go." This is me, letting go and letting God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pre-Holiday Madness

This evening Mark came down to visit for the night. We went to dinner with Mom and Dad and then took off to do some Christmas shopping. We didn't find what we were looking for but we did find a great Rice Krispie Holiday House kit. Thanks to a 40% off coupon we made it ours!

The evening that followed was wonderful. The kit makers included far too little marshmallows, far too much icing and candy, and directions that would have been good to follow. The marshmallows didn't make enough soup, the cereal was crunchy, and it all led to wild laughter. Thanks to Dad we have pictures of the fun...

And after a second trip to the store to purchase MORE marshmallows we were able to make a beautiful house and a scary snowman. In short, the kit itself was pointless but one thing the box didn't lie about was the memories... Since Mark and I are never actually able to be together on the holidays we have learned to treasure the holidayish moments that we do have together.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Into the BEING than the GETTING

Every time I have a conversation with someone about being engaged, they almost always respond with "The big day will be here before you know it" or "Just enjoy the planning process." I want to cry every time someone says that to me.

Mark and I have been together for more than two years and we have been engaged for most of that time. I knew I wanted to marry him long before we even began dating and so no, the big day is not coming fast enough and the planning process cannot possibly be as much fun as being married. I am thankful for all of the experiences that we have had as a couple in the past two years and I am thankful for the lessons that we have learned together but I am ready to begin having them while living together.

In short I am, as I have been for quite a while, ready to be married. I am far more interested in being married, in having a lifetime of happiness, than I am in the act of getting married. Is it May 23rd yet?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I have always, always been a HUGE lover of the holiday season. I start my Christmas shopping/crafting in August and the card writing process begins on Halloween. This year I have the pleasure of working retail during the holiday season. My co-workers tell me it will be one of the worst experiences of my life due to pushy people, coupons with too many exclusions, and the constant rotation of holiday music. But despite their claims, I plan on enjoying the next month and a half with all of my heart! Our store is fully decorated in Macy's red and silver, with stars and lights, and they've begun putting Christmas music into the music loop and I LOVE IT!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wedding Rings

Picking out a wedding ring was a simple task for me. I had no idea what I wanted so I just looked for months until Mark and I were in a store one day and I found the perfect one. We were planning on getting them as Christmas gifts this year so we made a note of it and left. Me, being me, thought about it for weeks and then one day rushed to the store to get it. The day was St. Patrick's Day - a fitting day for a girl who's marrying a nice German-Irish boy.

A few weekends ago, Mark was in town for the weekend and so between lunch and going to work we stopped at a jewelry store and found his perfect ring. I bought it today, he tried it, it fits and so one more task is complete.

I'm already so ready to give it to him to wear forever as my husband.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Six Months and 29 Days...

This past week, it dawned upon Mark and I that we are really getting married. After having been engaged for almost 16 months that may seem like a "Duh!" to everyone else but I think it's because we finally started wedding planning.

A few weeks ago, I was riding in the car with my mom and my grandmother (Momaw) and we drove past a dress shop. In the window of the dress shop was a beautiful wedding gown. So, after a huge lunch, we decided to stop and look at the dress in the window. It was not the perfect dress for me but I did have the privilege of spending an afternoon in a Victorian house trying on dresses with my mother and grandmother. In the end, we found the perfect dress, that one dress that made me sad to take off but more than just having found the perfect dress I had shared a wonderful afternoon with two women that I love.

This past weekend, Mark and I completed our wedding registries. People who know us will be happy to see items such as a sushi set, octopus soap dispenser, and a cat statue that holds the toilet brush on our list. Life is good.