Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Wedding Planning Update

Here's an attempt for me to get my head straight about what I've done & what I need to do as well as an opportunity to fill you in on the planning (if you are curious about my progress). Right now I feel as if I have 6,438 things Half done. Not such a great feeling. Anyway, little baby steps every day, right?
* I just ordered our cake topper. It looks like this:

I love it. I love birds & these two just look so cuddly & adorable. We also have talked through our ideas for a cake & decided what we want for sure. NEXT STEP: call the cake lady & make sure she can do what we want.

*I have e-mailed the lady we want to be our photographer. She actually does the cleaning at my workplace. She will graduate in May with her degree in photography & she has already done several weddings. I'm excited about having her take our pictures b/c she is going to give us a disc with everything on it & then we (i.e. Mike) can play around with it & create our album.

*I have my hair girl booked. DeAnn does great work!

* I have my beautiful dress. And shoes & veil. So pretty...can't wait to wear them!

*I have my flower girl booked. My friend Abby is doing all the flowers & I get to meet with her on Tuesday evening for dinner, flower planning, & a super fun visit. Can't wait!

*The wedding party has been decided.

  • Maid of Honor - Beth (my sister)
  • Best Man - Stew (Mike's brother)
  • Bridesmaids - Stephanie A. & Becky L. (sweet friends)
  • Groomsmen - Jason & Stevie (Mike's brother-in-law & cousin)
  • Greeters - Amoke' & Sandy G. (sweet, friendly friends)
  • Ushers - Von & Victor (Mike's cousins)
  • Piano player - Joyce (even the music is all picked out!)
  • Vocalist - Gwen, accompanied by Jackie (Mike's sisters)
  • Flutist - Aunt Ruth (she plays so beautifully!)
  • Reader - this is still undecided. I have someone in mind that I would love to have involved & I would love to have a passage of Scripture read during the ceremony, but it hasn't been officially decided.
  • Cake & Kitchen helpers - I have four lovely ladies in mind, but I've only actually asked one - my sis-in-law Valerie. Still need to ask Roxi, Virginia, & Janet.
  • Reception Host - I really want someone to be the person in charge so that there is a natural flow to the reception. I want my brother to do it. He's very charming & is good at being in charge. Still need to ask him.
  • Reception music - I asked my g-ma to record a little lovey-dovey song that could be played while we cut the cake. I love to hear my g-ma sing & I have so many sweet memories of singing with her, I really wanted her voice to be part of the wedding somehow. We need to pick a song & record it.

* The guest list is coming together very nicely. Except for the fact that it is HUGE! I'm a little worried about the facilities being big enough but my family keeps saying that the ceremony is going to be short, blah, blah, blah. I guess if we have people standing in the back & in the foyer that will just make the whole thing more memorable, right? Note to anyone reading this that is coming to the wedding - get there early! This is your warning that you may not have a seat if you don't!

* Meet with the girls to have their dresses fitted & ordered (looking forward to that - girl time!)

*Tentatively scheduled counseling sessions with Pastor Jeff.

So, that leaves me with a list of things yet to do...

*Engagement pictures & announcement for the local newspaper

*Selection of tuxes

*Selection & ordering of invitations

*Select & purchase wedding rings

*Finalize decisions regarding set-up & decorations for reception.

*Make final plans regarding the honeymoon.

*Call two hotels & reserve 2 small blocks of rooms for out of town guests.

That's enough thinking for right now. So exciting, so tiring, & so much fun. Only 142 days to go!

Good Morning!

Those of you who know me well, know that waking up in the morning is an arduous thing for me. I used to be one of those sleep in until noon kind of people. I'm not that bad anymore, but I do have a hard time dragging my sorry carcass out of bed (especially in the cold winter-time) to get to work by 7:00 a.m. The last couple of weeks I have needed to be at work by 6:30 a.m. That little half hour is a cruel thing. As a result, I need to get up somewhere between 5:15 & 5:30. I have to give myself a little leeway & a little snooze button time. The problem is, I kept turning my alarm off in my sleep. So I moved it across the room. Then I just didn't hear it at all b/c it's really not frighteningly loud. I also use my cell phone alarm. It wasn't doing the trick either. After several more-hectic-than-I-want-to-admit kind of mornings, I decided I MUST have another alarm clock. So I bought a beauty similar to this one:

Of course, mine is much more stylish b/c it's a brushed nickel kind of color instead of the bright gold. And boy, can that baby howl! Let's just say that it is a bizarre symphony in my bedroom early in the morning. The old alarm clock, the new alarm clock, & the cell phone are all in an insane chorus together, begging me to turn back the warm covers & start my day. Here's to no more running, screaming, hectic getting-ready-for-work sessions!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Answered Prayers!

Since I posted about my tax fiasco & resulting financial woes, I just have to post these two answers to prayer:
1. Mike will have a 40 hour work week next week! Hallelujah, I hear the angels singing! The plant manager guaranteed them all that he was doing whatever he could to keep it that way. We'll take whatever we can get.
2. My car has been making a strange rattling noise ever since we had that huge dump of snow. Let's face it, when you plow the streets with your front bumper, you're bound to do some damage up underneath. I've been putting off getting it checked out b/c I was worried it would be expensive. Mike & I kept saying that it was probably a chunk of ice stuck up underneath. This week we couldn't say that anymore b/c it's definitely been warm enough for all of that stuff to have melted off. So I took it in this morning. I have to say, the Lord has really blessed me with a trustworthy garage to take my car to. We take all of our company vehicles there, I know all the guys & they know me, & they always give me a great price. Anyway, turns out that there were just 3 trim clips missing from the right front inner fender. $16 later, I'm good to go. Thank you, Lord!
Isaiah 65:24 says,
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
I saw this verse referenced on someone else's blog, & I thought it was a wonderful promise. I am grateful that the Lord I serve is actively at work in my life, anticipating my needs & hearing my prayers.

Training Update

In her comment a few posts back, Alicia asked if I was still training for the Indy Mini. Yep, I'm still slogging away. I did not realize how lazy I had become. The problem is that there is just not time to fit a workout in when we are going to be doing a lot of work on the house or if I am working an extra shift. I just got really lazy about it. Then training started. I have managed to stay new-injury-free (for the most part). This last Saturday we did five miles & I have to report that I have had sore shins all week. Hello, shin splints if I'm not careful. I'm following basically the same training plan as last year. Through the week I do all of my miles on the elliptical with a treadmill or bike warm-up & cool down. On Saturday when we are supposed to put in the long miles, I walk. Super duper fast (about a 14 minute mile, which for me is super duper fast). At the beginning of March I will start running on the treadmill through the week. Hopefully this progression will keep me from really aggravating the bone spur on my left heel & keep my right ankle from getting too tendinitis-y. It's never been officially diagnosed with tendinitis, but it sure acts like that is what's wrong with it. I hope to work on putting in some cross-training, too. I would like to be toned up for the wedding (hello, Madonna arms!) but I don't want to sacrifice too much on the cardio or I won't do as well as I want to on the race. I'm trying not to give myself too much mental pressure. I really would like to beat my time from last year, but truthfully NO ONE CARES but me. No one else will even know unless I post about it. And I probably will ;-)
So yes, the training continues. In fact, I've got a hot date with the gym this afternoon!

Yummy New Snack

OK, I'm probably totally weird b/c I have never eaten a fresh pear until
this week. When I was a kid I was a super finicky eater when it came to fruits & vegetables. If it felt funny in my mouth I wouldn't eat it. For a while I would eat canned pears but then I decided that didn't like them b/c they were mushy. The grocery store had red organic pears on sale this week so I decided to give one a try. And I liked it! It's good to have another yummy healthful food to eat. Plus, they are pretty to look at in your fruit basket!

I am now eligible to run for office!

Yep, I am now among the ranks of tax evaders who have been caught! That makes me totally qualified to run for public office, right? ;-)

Here's the sad, sorry story. My mom & I always figure my taxes. She's a financial whiz & has always done their taxes which are a little more complicated due to the fact that my dad is self-employed. Anyway, in 2006 I received a sizable refund from the state. That should have been a huge red flag. It wasn't; I was probably gleefully planning a trip to Hawaii while that red flag was waving right in front of my eyes. The dreadful news arrived via mail last week. The State Department of Revenue sent me this awful letter saying that the income I reported on my state return did not match the income reported on my federal return. Silly people, of course it matches! That's what I thought. However, when I pulled out my records (thanks Momma, for making me file all that junk!) I was WRONG. You see, when you report your federal income, you get to subtract something like $7800 from your total income to create your adjusted income (it's like claiming yourself as a tax exemption). The deal is, you are not supposed to use this adjusted income amount on your state return as your total income. Say it with me, people...oops! Anyway, the state now wants me to pay taxes + penalties + interest on that $7800. By March 6th. WAH!!! Yep, I cried. It's pathetic & it's just money, but don't they know that I'm remodeling my house? that I'm planning a wedding? that my fiance's job is in the balance? Don't they know? Of course they don't; & I'm sure they really wouldn't care if they did know. But my God knows. And that's all that really matters. We've been praying about how to meet this new financial ordeal & already the Lord has provided me with an extra shift at my second job. Not exactly what I was hoping for (I mean really, is it possible for me to work MORE?). And they have allowed me to pay just $100 by March 6th & after that I can go on a payment plan. Plus, my boss at the full-time time has mentioned that there may be a Saturday morning shift I can work sometime soon. That shift is a booger b/c it starts at 2 a.m. but all 5 hours would be time and a half - glory! I'm praying that one works out soon!

Anyway, this guy was looking for me & found me. At least all he wanted was my money & not my life!

Ever Had This Done?

My sister Beth, & I have been dying to get our eyebrows threaded. There is a pretty little booth set up at the mall where you can get it done. I am totally fascinated with all things Indian, so I have wanted to try threading for a long time. Beth is fascinated with perfect eyebrows, so Tuesday afternoon we went & got it done!
Beth's brows were virtually perfect before we went. She is the eyebrow expert in our family. My brows were a little on the wild side. I never really know how to keep them from looking kind of like commas. After a few minutes in the chair, the commas were gone! I really like how they turned out & the girl that does the threading is super sweet. Even though it kind of hurts (think tweezers times 12) I think I will get it done again. But probably just before the wedding.
Anybody else out there had their eyebrows threaded?


What to do, what to do! Valentine's Day is TOMORROW & I have no clue what to do for Mike. I'm not always super good at being the gifty girlfriend. We don't have tons of cash to throw around at the moment & without a kitchen, I can't even cook for my man. *sigh*
He has mentioned that he would like a t-shirt for a Big 10 team, preferably Minnesota. I had about an hour between jobs yesterday so I started out on my t-shirt quest. I went to a sports store in the mall & told the sales guy what I was looking for. No joke, he said to me - "There isn't a Big 10 t-shirt, but we could sell you a t-shirt for one of the schools in the Big 10 Conference." Ummm...I know I'm a girl & not totally into sports or anything, but DUH! Anyway, all they really had was IU (& he already has a bunch of their stuff) & Michigan State (which is his least favorite team). So I moved on. And the other stores in the mall had even less to choose from, i.e. they had zilch. So, unless they got inventory overnight, that idea is a no-go.
That's where you come in, faithful readers! Please help me by leaving comments with suggestions of something sweet I can do for Mike for Valentine's Day! Thank you in advance for sharing your brilliance ;-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bittersweet Blessings

Recently, I was blessed to receive a Kitchen Aid Mixer as a gift. When it was offered to me my jaw hit the floor. The story goes like this...
My friends were in the process of packing up their parent's home. The momma & poppa have had some health challenges in the last year or so. As a result, they have moved out of town to be closer to their children. Anyway, while they were in town packing up, I stopped by for a little visit & they surprised me by having a small collection of things they thought I might need for setting up my house. In this collection was a beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer - cue spotlight & angels singing! Did I maybe need this mixer? or a beautiful Pampered Chef stoneware casserole dish? Let's just say that they blessed my heart in a major way. I'm still a little shocked that I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer! I've always wanted one, but I don't think I have ever even said that out loud. The Lord is so very good to meet our needs, but He is so beyond good to care about our little wants & desires.
This picture is just a random one I got off of the Internet. The mixer that was given to me is just slightly off-white. And the great news is that Mike & I have been painting in the kitchen this week & the off-white is going to be perfect sitting on my kitchen counter! The painting process is going slowly - neither one of us is very proficient at painting (I think Mike is actually very good but he insists he isn't). Our personal painting professional (a.k.a. Virginia a.k.a. the lady who has painted the whole rest of the house) is currently on vacation with her hubby in Australia & New Zealand where we hope they are having a fabulous time! Thus, we are on our own with the painting in the kitchen. Which means it's going to take a lot longer to get done ;-)
I promise I'll post pictures eventually!