Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Christmas Day!"

Because of our work schedules, yesterday we the only morning that Mark and I both had free to open our stockings. In the past we have just given each other an ornament each year but this year we decided to add small stocking gifts as well. It was fun to look for little stuff all year to surprise Mark with. I found him a Sheriff star, a grow-you-own lizard, some of his favorite candies and snack dips, a talking BBQ fork, and a tin Anheuser-Busch sign that I found at an antique mall. Mark did some excellent shopping as well and I now have lots of new stamps and stickers to create with, some wonderful shea butter socks, some foamy soap (I love to play with it!), and a beautiful painted cat!

Last night Mark also surprised me with a trip to the historic Artcraft Theater in Franklin. Last night's movie was, A Muppet Christmas Carol. The whole program there was very fun! Before the actual movie they had skits, contests, a little movie about bears, a cartoon, and THEN the movie. What fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bowling, Downtown, and Reindeer

This week is Mark's vacation week from work. So today we had a "Vacation Day!!" The day started off with a delicious homemade breakfast cooked by Mark and then we spent the morning getting some much needed laundry and stuff around the house done. Then we spent the afternoon bowling. It was fun, we hadn't been since our rehearsal dinner in May, but we both bowled really well! Dinner was baked spaghetti, a household favorite!

And then, the best part of the day, we finally went downtown to the circle to look at the Christmas lights - I have been asking since before Thanksgiving! I love when they turn the monument into the giant tree! It's amazing!
We made sure to take our annual Christmas light picture underneath the monument's light tent.

After that we thought we had seen the best parts of Christmas at the Circle until we saw REINDEER! I am not sure that I had ever seen one outside of a zoo before. Not only did we see it but we also go to pet it!! She was so soft and had the longest hair! It was an amazing day out!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Movie Project

I think it's time to mention our movie project. We decided over the summer that since we don't have television (we have the actual set but we just use it to watch movies) that we would take this time in our lives to watch every Academy Award Winning Best Picture together. Even though we've each seen around 30 of them individually, we have started all over to watch them together.

The first award was given out in we have quite a few to see. We've started with the ones that we own and that we were able to borrow from our parents. So far we've seen seven: The Godfather (1972), Rocky (1976), Dances With Wolves (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Schindler's List (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), and Chicago (2002).

After Chicago, one of my least favorite movies of all time, we decided to start doing theme nights to make the unbearable ones more fun. The first one we saw was Dances With Wolves which we watched in South Dakota where the events of the film actually happened and the filming was done. We had an Alfredo Pasta night when we watched The Godfather and then had brats, sauerkraut, and butter kuchen for Schindler's List. The theme nights have made it much more fun!!

Here's our invite to you - go through your movie collection, find an Academy Award winner, let us known when you're free to watch it with us and come on over - we'll supply the food! I'm going to try to take pictures and to post updates on how we're doing!

Monday, December 7, 2009

St. Charles Christmas

This past weekend I went home, while Mark visited VU to catch up with his college friends, and Mama, Lu, and I went to St. Charles, MO for the day. One of Mom's friends had planned the trip and the ladies were kind enough to let Lucy and me tag along. We enjoyed an afternoon of shopping, homemade lunch, a "parade" of Santas from around the world, and found an incredible scrapbooking store! In the evening, we went to a parade that followed Mary (on a donkey!) and Joseph through the town looking for a place to stay. In the end, a shopkeeper told them they can have the stable out back and then all of the parade moved to a park for the Living Nativity. Then we all sang Christmas Carols around the Yule Log Bonfire with carolers dressed in old fashioned clothing:
We arrived home late Saturday night and headed straight to bed so we could make it up for church. After church the four of us went to Pizza King for lunch and then to get our Christmas tree! I was excited because this year I got to pick it! I am so thankful that Mama and Dad waited for us to come home to get the tree and to decorate the house because now it actually feels like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Two Hours Later..."

As Mark and I were moving into our apartment, he went through each room with a checklist of problems and then made a list for the maintenance men to work on. One of the issues that he wanted addressed on move in day was the leak in the shower. The maintenance men took a look at it and said they just needed to go get some parts and that they would be back within two hours. That was June 1.

Yesterday, December 1, they came to fix the leak in our shower. Yes, true story, apparently in our little corner of the world a "two hour fix" is truly a six months and two hour fix.

So, now, mostly thanks to the hours that Mark spent in our bathtub yesterday, and the ten minutes of a maintenance man, we have a beautiful, shiny, newly caulked, leak free shower! And it only took "two hours"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Post: Reflections on Greenwood

Because this is my first Thanksgiving away from home, I've decided to give specific thanks for this new place that I call home.

Top 10 Things I am Thankful for in Greenwood:

10. Passing the "Wishing Well Motel" every day on my way to work. It's known for its prostitutes and, ironically, in the fall for its family friendly pumpkin patch. I also love that right above it, if you're driving south, you'll read this sign "Do you know Jesus?"

9. Days spent at the laundry mat. Hearing 7 different languages and watching every single kid love Sponge Bob on the back TV.

8. Living near two beautiful parks that are perfect for walking and reading books in.

7. Living very close to the wonderful Greenwood Public Library!

6. Being able to drive to downtown Indy or the middle of the country (by either driving north or south) in just a matter of minutes. Truly the best of both worlds.

5. Our new church! It was the very first one that we tried and it is a perfect fit.

4. The constant noise and entertainment (chihuahuas, fire twirling, the fire dept, etc) that our neighborhood provides.

3. Our FANTASTIC Goodwill stores! We have two are they are the greatest that I have shopped at ever!

2. Working at the county jail. I am thankful that in this economy that both Mark and I are employed at jobs that we love. I am also thankful for all of our co-workers who, in true police force fashion, have become our closest friends and our new little family.

1. The fact that after years of waiting, Mark and I (finally!!!!) live in the same place!

Thank you all for reading and for being incredible blessings in my life! May the Lord Bless and Keep you as you enjoy your Thanksgiving Weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week in Review

This week was Mark's Week Away/My "Amy-Time" Week:

While Mark hunted, successfully getting a squirrel but not the deer he wanted, I spent my Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at work. I did, however, make time Tuesday for an Amy day. After a quick clean of the apartment and a trip to the laundry mat. I took myself to the mall, not unusual because that's where I walk on rainy days, but that day I treated myself to a manicure! My first this year and wonderful! Then I spent lots of time at the library, bought myself a $7 Jimmy John's meal on the way home, and then proceeded to spend the afternoon watching a season and a half of "Sex and the City." It was selfish but oh-so needed and wonderful!

Saturday I went to the Lutheran High School Cheerleader's Brunch and Fashion Show with Mel. It was a great time and I was thankful to spend the morning with some wonderful ladies. Then Kristi, my mother-in-law, and I drove up to Sheridan to go to their library's annual craft bazaar. (Mark's aunt is the head librarian there and she invited us) It was amazing to see what people can think of and create! I thank God for the many talents of His people.

This morning was our last New Member Sunday School class. We will be joining Christ United Methodist Church next Sunday at 11. I am excited to have found our church home here!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Day Off/Away

Yesterday Mark and I both had the day off and, at Mark's suggestion, we headed down to Edinburgh. We spent hours at the Exit 76 Antique Mall and for the first time ever made it through the WHOLE thing!! Then we enjoyed the nice weather with a good walk, a little shopping, at the outlet mall. After dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, Mark said, "Hey. Want to go to camp for a lake walk?" Our original plan was to walk the whole lake, then based on the cold to go to our bridge, then we just made it to Elvira's house. She was home, baking with Laura Kat, and they were kind enough to share some cookies and some of their evening with us! We abandoned our lake walk plan at that point and stopped in to visit with John and Karen as well. Our night ended with a starlit tour of the new camp thanks to John. A great day/evening away with surprise visits with friends! Thanks be to God!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Whisper from God

Today I was driving home from work and all of the sudden I had the thought, "Try connecting to the internet at home tonight." I've attempted and today, for the first time since September, it just works! I think that little voice was an instant message from God! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Prayed the Internet Away

Since Mark began working nights in August, I have been looking for things to do to fill my evenings. Thanks to some neighbors who were unknowingly "sharing" their wireless, I quickly found the internet to be a great way to spend LOTS of time. At first it was just e-mail and facebook. Then I found blogs of friends. Then I found television shows on the internet (exciting because we don't have TV at home). And then I just kept finding more and more...One night I looked at the clock and realized that I had been online for more than three hours! I was appalled! I quickly shut the computer and began to think of all of the other things I could have done in that time. So that night, in my prayers, I said "Dear God, please let me find other ways to spend my evenings. Encourage me to find ways to help/give/listen to others during that time. Please help me not waste so much time online."

The next day Mark and I got online to check to ensure that our paychecks had been direct deposited. Only...the internet didn't work. That was more than a month ago and we still can't find a wireless source to share with at home. As a result, I have found books to read, crafts to make, letters to write, and friends to visit. We now only have internet when we visit friends/family who are kind enough to share or on my weekly visits to the library (where I am now) At first, like the TV, we missed it. Now, I rarely think about it. One of the best prayers I've had answered with an immediate "I'll take care of that" from God.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stitches Story

Last Thursday I was making dinner, pasta and sauce were cooking on the stove, when I decided to open a can of peaches. The top rim of the can was dented so I could only get the can opener halfway around. Then I tried to pry it open with a spoon and when that didn't work I just stuck my hand in the can. As I did it I heard my Mama's voice, "Don't do that, you'll cut your hand." I managed to get it opened enough to get the peaches out and it wasn't until I looked down into the bowl, now full of both peaches and blood, that I realized that I had sliced my hand open.

I thought that maybe it wasn't as bad as it seemed, maybe there was just going to be a lot of blood at first. But after running my hand under the sink, I realized that I was wrong. That's when I started screaming for Mark to come help me. He jumped out of the shower and ran into the kitchen. I said, "Please look at it. See if it's that bad." He took one glance, ran and grabbed a washcloth for me to apply pressure with, and then told me he was going to put more than a towel on because I needed stitches.

Thankfully we live across from Community South and I was able to get in quickly. After seven stitches, learning that I am in fact allergic to lidocain, and Mark's gift of a cookie I returned home to rest.

I am thankful this week for God's amazing Grace. I am blessed because I cut down to all of the tendons but not through any of them. I am blessed because I missed severing an artery, by less than a millimeter, that would have required emergency hand surgery to fix. I am blessed because God has used Mark this week as an example of His unconditional love. Thanks be to God for my many blessings!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not moving yet...

Mark and I have been looking into moving. We have truly made our apartment home, however, because of Mark's work we know that a move is in order. We began praying about the prospect of moving and while we knew that we are not able to purchase a home at this point, we began looking at Rent to Own.

A week later, a friend of ours called to say that his house is on the market and that he is willing to do Rent to Own. We looked at the house and property on Thursday evening. The yard was beautiful and had a HUGE deck! We could have hosted many cookouts there! We also liked the large kitchen and two living rooms. Mark was most excited about the giant heated garage which would have become his "Main Lair." However, the dinning room, bedrooms, and bathroom were all scrunched together and didn't feel like exactly what we wanted.

So, in the end, we have decided not to continue to pursue that property. We are thankful that Matt was willing to consider Rent to Own for us and that we were able to spend so much time going over the house. We have decided to stay put for the time being as we work to faithfully pay down our debts as God has commanded us. We are trying to live by Romans 13:8 "Owe no man anything but to love one another."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creation Museum

All summer I have been begging Mark to take a trip to the Creation Museum. So yesterday we packed up and went. It was incredible! We were so thankful that the museum offers free admission to active duty police officers and half price to their dependents. Because of that we were able to visit with the gas to get there, my admission, and have lunch all for less than what would have been two tickets! Thanks be to God!

It was such a special experience to visit a place that tells history EXACTLY the way that I believe it. No ape men. No big bang. No "it just happened." But a museum that began with "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." It was such a great time, surrounded by other Christian families celebrating what is the true history of our world.

We were also excited that the museum featured beautiful gardens (with waterfalls and a lake filled with fish we could feed) as well as a petting zoo where I touched my first camel. I am so thankful for the blessing of a day away with my husband and for the shared knowledge of what is Truth.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"What Do You See?"

Mark's Grandma Pat was taken Home Sunday, August 16 by our merciful Lord and Savior. I am so thankful for the comfort and peace that He gave to us in our final week with Grandma.

As I was taking care of her daily, I was able to witness so many beautiful moments between Grandma and her family that she loved so much. My favorite was her last words which came on the Thursday before her passing. Kristi (Mark's mom), our friend Jenni, and I were the only ones home with Grandma. She had been gazing into space and reaching up with her arms all morning. Finally Kristi asked, "Mom, what do you see? Do you see Grandma?" (Kristi's grandmother has been gone many years now) And Grandma Pat whispered, "Yes." Kristi asked again, "What else do you see?" And plain as day, for the first time in weeks in a clear voice, Grandma said one beautiful word, "Heaven."

For a tiny instant she was Grandma again, her eyes looked just as they always had and her voice sounded just like her. I am so thankful for that moment of reassurance from Grandma that our Lord was taking her home. Thanks be to God for the incredible, and undeserved, blessing of eternal life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Half Birthday Surprise! :)

Yesterday was my half birthday!! After a long day at work, Mark took me out for a surprise. He bought me beautiful opal earrings! :) I'm not always a fan of surprises...but this is one I can live with! I am so thankful to have a husband who listens when I say I like things and watches as I point to them in stores. I love him!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

July Recap

Mark's Grandma Pat is still home and doing alright. She spends most of her days in bed now and is, sadly, quickly deteriorating. I am thankful that while she is awake God is still giving her joy and positive words to say and that for the most part she has been able to remember her family. My prayer is that she feels little pain and my selfish worldly want is that she will continue to remember her daughter and three grandsons. She can forget the rest of us but I know how very much they need her to remember them. I pray that God continues to make that a reality.

In other news, I have started a new job at the Johnson County Sheriff's Department. (Yes this is where Mark works, no I do not see him) In the mornings I assist the jail nurse. Mostly that means doing all of her paperwork, listening to inmate complaints, and giving/reading TB tests. Then after lunch, I go up front to the Jail Administration Office and I do tax warrants and I help with Sheriff Sales. So far I love it! I am so thankful to be working again and for new friends! God is truly great!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Mark officially started work this week at the Johnson County Jail. He is loving it and it is wonderful to watch him live out a dream. God has been so amazing in blessing Mark with the talents and desire to do this job and I thank Him for the opportunity He has given Mark.

As our week was filled with the joy of Mark's new career but it was even more so defined by the news that Mark's Grandma Pat has two brain tumors. At the moment, the assumption is brain cancer, although we will not know more until additional tests are run later this week.

It has been such a strange turn of events. Just two weeks ago, Mark's mom and Grandma Pat and I went to the movies. We ate popcorn and laughed at Sandra Bullock and now Pat is a completely different person. Her mind is so changed in that short time. My prayer is that while her mind is going, she holds fast to her faith. She is a woman of God, who has loved Him and served Him with inspiring passion. She is good to everyone, especially those who have never even been good to her. She is patient and an amazing listener. It will be difficult, even just as the granddaughter-in-law, to watch her mind go. My prayers are for peace for those of us who are aware of what's happening, for peace in Grandma Pat's heart, and most of all for the constant reminder of the gift of eternal life. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The 23rd!

Mark and I have been married one month today! In honor of that I'll share the words from a wedding card we received. We've kept this one out in our living room as a constant reminder of what marriage is to be.

Marriage is God's Plan

The joy that a husband and wife find together
is part of God's wonderful plan
to bring the most perfect fulfillment
that life ever gives
to a woman and man.

Together they honor and cherish each other,
together they worship and pray,
their home life is founded on
faith, hope, and love,
and their happiness grows every day.

There's no greater joy for a man and woman
than to find the real meaning of life
in the beautiful presence of God's Holy Spirit
that joins them as husband and wife.

The end of the card reads: Many years from now, may you look back and say to each other, "God has truly blessed our lives." That is my prayer this day, for every married couple, to realize that their marriage is a blessing from God.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


My parents and sister are in town for the weekend so yesterday we hit the Trinity Garage Sale and the Boy Scout Car Show. Then we made our way to Waterman's Farm Market for what the newspaper advertised as a "Refuge Fair." Filled with fair trade goods and authentic ethnic foods - we were in heaven. Our first stop was for Egyptian food where two Egyptian sisters fed us the best pita of our lives! We asked if they had a restaurant, they do, and so at about eight o'clock last night we found ourselves in Fountain Square (after adding Mark and his brother Luke to the group) at Luxor restaurant. All of the other regulars were already there so seating our group of six took about ten minutes as the sisters fussed over us and the DJ spoke every word, whether she needed to or not, into her mic. The menu is AMAZING - a good blend of Italian, Greek, and Egyptian dishes and the food is even better. While it took us nearly half-an-hour to order seeing as the shot gun restaurant was jam packed, we listened to white, nerdy people sing karaoke. THEN! came the belly-dancers - including Cocoa a waitress who just minutes before had been serving dishes. She was the best - beautiful costume, great dancing. And then, after her dance and a bow, she returned to her black and white servers outfit and brought out the next round of plates. Belly-dancing was followed by more karaoke (this time the good people came out to sing) and a dedication song to Mom and Dad for their 25th Wedding Anniversary. I have fallen in love with eating out, with hole in the wall places, and Egyptian Food. Luxor, on Virgina Ave in Indy will be seeing me again, next Saturday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Perfect Day

Today I had a perfect day.

I have been struggling for the past week or's been difficult to adjust to a new place (especially knowing that I will be living here for a while so I have to like it) and a new way of life (as Mark's wife). I have also been struggling with no news on the job front. As someone who always succeeded, life since losing my job in February has felt very much like one, long failure. I realize that I have taken two great vacations, seen more of my family and friends, gotten married, moved, etc BUT on a personal-professional level, I feel like nothing.

So, I was very much in need of a perfect day. I woke up to rain (which usually causes me to have low days on the depression scale, but not today! Thank you God for JOY!) Following my breakfast of a grilled cheese sandwich I went to the grocery, alone with my coupons and spent a hour there. (I love going to the grocery when I can be alone and take my time. This love began in Louisville when it was my few moments of alone time each week. I love it even now.) After putting away the groceries at home, I went to the public library to get my new card. I fell in love -- like I always do at bookstores and libraries. I picked just four books, so I can back sooner, and then proceeded to spend the afternoon reading one. ("Knit Two" by Kate Jacobs the sequel to "The Friday Night Knitting Club") I finished just in time to make dinner and to eat with Mark. Then I sat down with a bucket of Baskin Robbins cookie dough ice cream and watched "You've Got Mail." A perfect day.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us REJOICE! and be GLAD! in it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


We are fully moved into our new apartment. The couch and mattress/box springs came on Tuesday! Thankfully! It's wonderful to not just exist on the floor. This week I've finished hanging all of the pictures and finished all of the decorating. Tuesday, after the furniture came, I built the tv stand -- quite the accomplishment! :)

Mark goes to Johnson County Jail tomorrow to take his lie detector test. He knows what they are going to ask and said that he should be fine. So...after that we'll just have to wait and see.

Other than that, I've spent my days getting the apartment done, cooking (just a little), and applying for jobs. I am anxious for Sunday to come so we can try a new church. I miss having friends. I had imagined becoming friends with our neighbors -- however, they are all Hispanic and my Spanish is pitiful making it difficult to form a conversation, much less a friendship. And after last night's failed attempt to talk to the kids downstairs about their Cheetos I've just resorted to "Hola!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wedding, Honeymoon, Moving

Whew! What a hectic couple of weeks!

Our wedding was absolutely wonderful! Thank you to everyone who sent warm wishes, came to help move things, and came to celebrate! It was exactly what I had imagined marrying my best friend would be like.

We left before 8 am the day after our wedding to drive to Madeira Beach, FL for our honeymoon. Tom and Debbie Steinmetz were kind enough to let us use their condo there for the week. It was such a wonderful blessing to have a free place to stay so that we could save our pennies! The week was wonderful and I am already wishing to be back at the beach again.

We came home the 30th and then we moved to Greenwood. We are all the way unpacked but the furniture will not be delivered until next week so we are sleeping on an air mattress and eating dinner on lawn chairs. I have a feeling it's something we'll laugh about for many years!

We are also thankful for God's humor and timing. The day after moving in, Mark received not just one but TWO phone calls for job interviews! He interviewed at the Johnson County Jail (the job he wants most) yesterday and will also interview in Edinburgh next Tuesday. Johnson County will have him back next week to complete stage two of the application process. It is definitely a week of celebration at the Riley House!

Monday, May 18, 2009

God's Time is NOW!

For months and months we've been patiently praying and waiting for God to reveal His plan to us. The time has come! Last Saturday, Mark found a job, he will be working through a temp. agency while we look for other jobs. The blessing of Saturday's job meant finding a place to live because the job is in Greenwood. So Saturday we toured an apartment and filled out the application. Today we received the good news that we have been approved and we have a place to live! I do have our new address so just message me if you'd like it for snail mail. We move June 1st. I am so thankful to have a plan for our post-wedding day life!! Thank you God for taking care of us!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where It All Runs Together

I've found that sometimes too many things hit at once and all of my emotions run together. This is one of those weeks.

Mark and I are both still applying for mad people like jobs -- no news. The stress is nearly killing him and I'm not doing much better. Pray for us please.

Wedding adjustments have overtaken my life due to my previous guest miscount. Today I'm fixing the cake and then hopefully I've resolved those issues.

Mark and I are going 13 days without seeing each other and then we will just briefly in the two before the wedding. It may seem ridiculous to be this upset, obviously we'll see each other everyday after we're married...but if you've never been in a long distance relationship you cannot begin to understand. I dream of the day when we can actually have discussions, solve problems, and pray together - face to face.

I am also struggling, more than I ever knew I would, with the prospect of not being at camp this summer. After my second summer on staff, I was so sure that I was finished I could never think of going back, and then one day God put it in my heart to work again last summer. I did and I loved it. This year I know that I'm not meant to be there but it's the most difficult thing I have ever let go of. I am praying for peace in my heart and for the joy of those who are spending their summer there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life's Still a ?

For our friends and family who are following this blog in the hopes of staying up to date with the Kuhn/Riley family, my apologies for not updating enough.

We are down to 18 days until the wedding and still praying for jobs. It is amazing the peace that God has placed in our lives despite the complete and utter uncertainty of our lives. We have each sent out lots of applications and we are still waiting for those "yes!es" But as we have been saying for months, we know that our lives our in God's hands and that He will provide for us in His time. My prayer is that some kind of answer (preferably in the form of a job offer) comes in the next 18 days and if not I will continue to pray for patience and peace.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


No less panicked than in my last post BUT I am excited because today is April 23. I woke up this morning thrilled with the thought that when I wake up a month from now, May 23, it will be our wedding day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trying Not to Panic

We are 6 weeks and 5 days away from "THE BIG DAY"

We have been counting down the days since we got engaged on June 30, 2007 and while it feels like it has taken forever...time suddenly feels like it's going to fast. With just a month and a half left to figure things out it's become overwhelming.

Mark is waiting to hear back on all of the applications that he has turned in. He's heard quite a few "No's" but we are still confident because we know that in His time God will give us the "Yes" that He wants us to have. In the meantime, we're trying not to panic.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Week Things Got Done!

This past week was filled with actual accomplishments:

1. I went through my dresser and my summer closet again to rid myself of more things I don't need. In turn I had big bags of things to sell at Plato's Closet and to take to the Goodwill truck. It feels good to know that almost everything in my room is something I am going to keep. This week's cleaning is for the winter closet and under the bed.
2. Mark and I had our second meeting with Pastor Mike. We discussed the order of the service and preliminary Bible verses and themes.
3. Yesterday we met with Nancy Noon to pick our music for the ceremony and reception. Working with her is so wonderful - she has such a passion for music. It was a blessing to just sit and listen to her play!
4a. I finished addressing ALL of our invitations this week!
4b. In double checking our invitations and doing a final head count, we realized that we were off by about 50 people. As in I thought we had 120 and we have 170. This week will be spent adjusting food and table arrangements.

All in all it was a good, productive week which I had been really needing!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sheridan Shower

This past Saturday Aunt Kim and Shelby hosted a Bridal Shower for me at the Sheridan Library. It was the first time that Mama and Lu had met most of his family so it was good to all get together. I am excited to have a place to live so that I can use all of my new kitchen gadgets and so Mark can build me the neat shelving unit that we got!

On the job front: Mark has applied to what seems like a hundred places and we are just waiting and praying to see where we end up. We have complete faith that God will lead us where we are meant to go, when we are meant to go there. I am still waiting for an orientation session for substitute teaching but until one happens I am getting lots of wedding things done. The big day is just 8 weeks and 5 days away!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week In Review

This past week has been a good one. Here's the highlights:

-Tuesday was Mark's 21st Birthday. Even though I am not much of a party person and I am definitely not a drinking person, Mark was kind enough to invite me along to his birthday dinner. It was fun to spend some time with his friends (something we rarely do) and to celebrate with him on his big night. After dinner I drove home so that he could have some real fun.
-I got word from the school corporation that my substitute teaching permit has been approved by the state. Now I am waiting for an orientation session so that I can really teach. I am very ready to begin working again so I am hoping the orientation will be soon!
-Tonight Mark and I began pre-martial counseling at church. We met with Pastor Mike for an hour or so. The discussion was based on why we want to get married and budget/financial planning. It was nice to have the advice and input of someone who doesn't know either of us. I'm looking forward to our next meeting in a few weeks.

I am excited for this upcoming week as well! Mark and I leave Saturday morning bright and early for South Dakota. I am so excited to spend a week with Matt and Jenn!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unemployed Life

I am still waiting for the state to approve my substitute teaching feels like it is taking forever but I am learning patience. I am also enjoying freedom to do whatever. To recap since my last post:

-I spent last weekend in Louisville. Friday was shopping with Leah so that I would have a dress for her wedding. She picked out a pretty red one that I can really wear again. Saturday began with a morning massage - a Christmas/birthday gift from Brittany. It was amazing! Then Saturday afternoon was my shower in New Albany hosted by Rose. I was happy to spend time with friends from college AND to see some of my camp loves (a HUGE surprise!) A special thanks to those who made some long drives - esp. Laura who came from Pittsburgh!
-Tuesday Mama, Grandma, and I made the trip to Amish Country to take my quilt blocks to be quilted. I am so thankful for all of the hard work that Grandma put into making the blocks and am excited to see it when it's done for our wedding gift.
-Wednesday I went to see Mark in Vincennes. I conquered my fear of bridges and had a wonderful afternoon of just playing around.
-Today Mama and I went to Owensboro to visit with Momaw. I had my final wedding dress fitting and it is finally perfect! I am so glad that it really feels like mine now! Then it was lunch at the club and a trip to Macy's. I finally bought new sunglasses. It's been since high school and mine keep peeling off on my face. So, it was time.

I am excited for this next week as well. It's scrapbooking this weekend, Mark's 21st, and then the beginning of marriage counseling with our minister. Happy End of February and Beginning of March!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lakeview Love

Every year of my life, since I was about twelve, I have dreamt about Camp Lakeview. I would go for a week each summer and by two weeks later I was literally having dreams about going back the next year.

Camp has always been such a happy and safe place. It has always been the physical place that I have been drawn to most in the world. I have had the priviledge to attend camp as a camper for four summers, serve three summers as a JC followed by three summers on staff. In all of those years, camp was always in my dreams and my thoughts.

This year is different. I feel my heart and mind longing to spend another summer there, to serve God there for 11 more weeks, but I do not feel called to serve there this summer. Many nights this past month I have dreamt of being at camp but no one can see me or hear me. In those dreams there is a new staff, carefully chosen by God to carry out His will this summer. So, to the new staff, whoever you may be, "May the Lord Bless and Keep You, Make the Lord Make His Face Shine Upon You, and Give You Peace"

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Last Friday was my last day at Macy's. I cried on the way home. I am not sad about leaving the job as much as I am sad about leaving my friends there.

Last Monday I went down to the EVSC office to apply to be a substitute teacher. I have all of the paperwork finished so I just have to wait for them to get my reference sheets and UofL transcripts back, then I have to wait for my permit to come from the state, and then I have to watch videos and attend a class. I am hoping this whole process only takes two weeks because I only have one more paycheck and then my severence pay from Macy's.

I am trying very hard to stay optimistic and not to worry too much about all of this. However, Mark and I are now under the "3.5 months unitl our wedding" point and with both of us not working it feels scary. Thank goodness we have faith. God will be our guide.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No More Macys...

Last Thursday, just minutes after walking into work, I was called into the Executive Offices to receive some bad news. Due to budget cuts Macy's Corporate has been eliminating positions in their stores - mine was one of them.

Considering the economic condition of our nation at the moment, it was not a complete surprise to hear that the company was cutting back or to hear that my position was being eliminated early on. I understand that I am the newest member of the team and that means I am the easiest to let go. So, I am now, once again, searching for a job.

Despite my frustrations, and worries about money, I am comforted by the knowledge that my life is in God's hands. I am thankful for all of the people that I met while working at Macy's and for the ways that each of them touched my life. I am anxious to see where God leads me next...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fair Trade AND Organic!

One of the things I loved most about living in Louisville was being able to shop at so many different studios of local artists. I loved Bardstown Road shopping but also the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Glassworks downtown. I loved the Louisville Stoneware store. I loved that driving almost anywhere in the city led me to local artists and fair trade goods from all over the world. In moving home, I have really missed that.

Today I took advantage of my day off and went to a store I've been passing by on my way to and from Vincennes each week. It's called "Imagine That." I fell in love with fair trade goods all over again! You can shop at the store (12100 Highway 41 North, Suite 3) or online at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cake and Flowers

Yesterday we were able to get the cake planning and flower planning finished! I am very proud of my first week of true wedding planning.
CAKE: Mom insisted that the cake come from Piece of Cake on Main Street. So, we went and had an appointment. I had already found a picture of the perfect cake and mixed some of my ideas with some of theirs and now we have a wedding cake! We also designed the groom's cake which is really fun and is perfectly themed for Mark and me. Special thanks to Cara at P.O.C. who was amazing - she answered all of our questions and provided yummy cake samples! :)
FLOWERS: The flowers are being designed by Pat Ingram. I am so excited to have her as part of our big day because she was my middle school speech coach. I credit her for ALL of my public speaking skills. She is also a wonderful artist and was full of great ideas. I am excited for the earthy, organic feel that our decorations will have.
The to-do-list is getting shorter...which must mean the big day is getting closer! Just 17 weeks away!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We're FINALLY planning!

This past Sunday Mom and I went to the Wedding Expo at the Centre downtown. We went with two goals in mind:
1) Taste Wedding Cakes
2) Find the perfect photographer
We succeeded in both. I had mentioned at work that I was beginning to look for a photographer and both Joyce and Tina shared that Michelle Forche had photographed their daughters' weddings. So, at the show we made a point of finding her. She has taken some of the best wedding pictures I have ever seen. I was so excited to see that all of her pictures are different - they way I think wedding pictures should be because every couple is different. As soon as we started talking, we just clicked. She is so energetic and fun and was even full of decorating ideas and tips. My other favorite thing: she's a flute player! After that, I was sold! I am looking forward to working with her on our big day. Please check out her website: to look at her photo galleries AND to see Mom and I signing our contract on her blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pie, Dresses, Pie

Tonight was just what I needed. Arrika is still in town and so we met at the Pie Company for dinner. We ate way too much (I recommend the rice krispie treats to everyone) and then decided to check in with Nicole about bridesmaids' dresses. We called, she happened to be at the bridal store, and so we went and met her and Meagan, tried one dress, and found "the one!" Because the dress process took about twenty minutes we decided to all get coffee together. So...we ended up back at the Pie Company. I am thankful for a night filled with laughter, wedding planning, and ridiculousness. I am so thankful for the friends that God has given me and for tonight's reminder of Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times.