Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Name Game

Now that I am a Mrs., I have thought a lot about how I want to change my name. Don't worry, I am not one of those hyphenating types. Hyphenated names just leave too many questions...alphabetize by the first last name or the second last name? what name do the kids get? how many letters are there in her name, it's so long!?
You get my point. So you ask, why don't I just adopt Mike's last name & be done with it? Why make it complicated?

And here is where the story begins...
My grandma's name is Mary Louise.
My mom's name is Mary Lee.
My name is Mary Ann.

I also have a great Aunt Mary Margaret, a cousin Mary Elizabeth, & a second cousin named Mary Dale.

The really funny fact about it all is that none of us go by 'Mary'. We all use our middle names instead of or with the 'Mary'. In fact, you only call us Mary if you want to receive the Look of Death.

My mom & I are continually getting confused - mailings, medical records, credit history, etc. I know that if I take Mike's name a lot of that will clear up. But, that doesn't solve the problem of people wanting to call me 'Mary' all the time. This is especially an issue for me with my work b/c all of the corporate people just see my first name. Even when I refer to myself as Mary Ann in writing or even in answering the phone, they just don't get it.

Therefore, I came up with a brilliant plan. I would change my name to be:
First Name = MaryAnn
Middle Name = my maiden name
Last Name = Mike's last name

Voila! All problems solved!

Except for one tiny little thing - THE COST!

I went to the county clerk's office to request my name change fully prepared for it to have a price tag attached. What I was not prepared for was the size of the said price tag. The county charges $136 in court fees. I would have to appear before the Circuit Court (kinda scary, huh?). Then I would also have to pay the local newspaper $123 to run the name change announcement in the paper for three consecutive weeks.

grand total = $259! = TOO MUCH!

Yesterday I went to the Social Security Administration's Office to request a regular old I just got married and I need to change my name kind of name change (you know, the FREE kind!). I told the clerk my story as she was working on things just as chit chat & she told me about another free option. I can make my maiden name part of my middle name. So, now you can call me:

First Name = Mary
Middle Name = Ann + maiden name
Last Name = Mike's last name

I think that sometime in the future I will still do the legal name change. Just not right now when we are still recovering from the wedding expenses, the honeymoon expenses, & so on. Also, Mike is hearing lots of rumbles at his work regarding another layoff. If you feel so led, please pray that his company gets many orders & that his job will be protected by the Lord Himself.

***I promise that wedding pics are on their way!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Mrs. Is In!

We had the wedding (yay!), we had the honeymoon (yay!), and now we are back to reality (boo!). Mike & I are just finishing up our first week back at work & it has been really fun this week establishing new routines together. I am happy to say that neither one of us has overslept b/c we are totally tag teaming the alarm clock. He makes sure I get up & then I make sure he gets up - it's a fabulous deal! And of course it's wonderful to have someone to come home to & not have to be shoving him out the door at night. It's way sweeter to say good night than to say good bye :-)

I'm sure you're not really interested (heehee!) but I'll fill you in on some details from the actual wedding!

On the Friday before, I met Beth, Maddie, Steph, & Becky at a nail salon & we all indulged in manicures & pedicures. It was so lovely! While we were there Roxi got to town & joined us. Then we went to Panera Bread for lunch. YUM! After that we all kind of went our separate ways to run errands, etc.

The rehearsal dinner was at the church. We just ordered a bunch of pizza, had some salad & homemade cookies. We fed forty-some people. I have never been so nervous & keyed up in my life! I was surprised at my reaction to it all. Usually I am very at ease with people, but I have discovered that I take things WAY too seriously. I was totally fretting about if everyone was comfortable, was there enough food, should we have ordered different toppings, on & on. I also got nervous about talking to everyone as a group. But I persevered!

We had a fairly uncomplicated rehearsal. I think everyone had a good time & it was great b/c there weren't all kinds of opinions & ideas floating around. I have to say that Mike & I have the best families & friends. They are just not the type of people to throw their judgments & opinions around. The highlight of the whole thing was my nephew Aidan, my brother's son. He is four years old & I knew when I asked him to be a ring bearer that he would provide some major comic relief. He was throwing his pillow & pulling the ribbons. It was so funny! We decided that we would have to put both rings on Caleb's pillow (none of us realized that of course Aidan would realize he didn't have any rings on his pillow! More on that later...).

After the rehearsal I told Mike goodbye & us girls went to Dairy Queen. We were joined by Sandy & Sonia at this point & we had so much fun catching up & visiting. They all came over to the house to check it out. We had a bit of a slumber party with Beth, Steph, Becky, & Roxi camping out with me. I was so happy to have the company & spend even more time with my super great friends.

The next morning ~ THE WEDDING DAY ~ I had this super crazy idea that we should all go to the track for a run/walk. Yeah, no way that was going to happen with a 7:30 appointment at the salon for all of our hair. So we skipped the exercise. I was pretty tired, too. The week leading up to the wedding was just so jam packed. And I wasn't sleeping well - I hate to admit it, but sleeping in my house alone always left me a little too restless in my sleep, like I had to keep one ear open all the time. I am happy to report that having Mike with me at home has allowed me to relax & sleep much better.
Anyway, we had fun at The Parlor where my sweet friend DeAnn fixed all of our hair into gorgeous un-everyday updo styles. I gotta tell you, between getting my nails done & getting my hair done, I was feeling very, very, very spoiled. And I was loving every second of it! While I was getting my fabulous updo, it started to storm & pour down rain. I was looking out the window thinking how in the world am I ever gonna get from the salon to the church without getting drowned??? But thanks to the Lord's goodness, the rain cleared up just minutes before we left The Parlor & it just sprinkled off & on a little bit the rest of the day. The sun came out & it was warm & beautiful.
We did all of our pictures before the ceremony (thank goodness because it is a long process!). Carmen, a sweet friend of mine, was our photographer. She is going to give us all the shots on a disc & not copyright any of them. Shortly I will have a ton of pics that I will be able to share with you all (yippee!). I know the pics are really what you want to see anyway :-) We all posed & smiled & adored the flowers. My friends Abby arranged the flowers & they were breathtaking. I tried to describe to her what I liked & what I wanted & I have to admit that my description was woefully inadequate (partial names of flowers, generic color terms like lavendar-ish, & photos ripped out of bridal magazines). Somehow Abby took all that disjointed information & created EXACTLY what I had envisioned. The flowers were so beautiful; they really thrilled my heart! I know that sounds corny, but I just couldn't stop looking at my bouquet. Truthfully, it's still in a vase on my dining room table b/c the roses still look pretty from a distance. If you get close they still smell sweet but you can see the browning edges. So I take a deep breath up close with my eyes closed & then back up & look at the roses & enjoy the fragrance. Yes, I am a total nerd.
After the pics were fairly well done we had some time to kill before the ceremony. A couple of ladies from my church, Janet & Virginia, fixed a very non-messy lunch for us all. We enjoyed cheese cubes, wraps with turkey, ham, cheese, & lettuce, grapes, crackers, carrots, apple slices, & pretzels along with some leftover homemade cookies. We all stayed very clean & no one fainted from hunger.
All this time I kept thinking to myself, "goodness! this dress is tighter than I thought it would be - my ribs ache! and my nerves are making me so breathless! I can't hardly get across the room without panting like I just ran a mile!" yeah, more on that later...

The ceremony was perfect. The families went in, the bridesmaids & groomsmen went in, ring bearers went in, flower girls went in & then...

The Bride came in - escorted by her Momma!

I agonized over what to do since my dad decided not to be a part of our wedding. And then it just became clear to me that my Momma was who I wanted to be there with me. I told her no tears just smiles & giggles all the way down the aisle b/c I totally did NOT want an emotional wedding. I wanted a happy one!

We had a fabulous little ceremony that only lasted about 28 minutes. Aidan came through with his comic relief - including realizing that there was no ring on his pillow about 2 minutes before the ceremony. I hastily gave him my thumb ring which is actually a thin wedding band. He had it off that pillow & was playing with it in no time. So funny!

The reception was great, the cake was so yummy, & we got sent off in a cloud of bubbles. Stew let us borrow his fun sporty Tiberon & we were off with a trail of balloons!

At this point it was only about 4:30 or 5ish. We got outta there quick! We had to get Stew's car back to him & pick up the rest of Mike's things from his parents house. So we went home, changed clothes, opened all of our cards (holy cow, are people ever generous!) & then went over to Mike's mom & dad's. Then we went to my mom & dad's to pick up leftover cake. Then we went back to Mike's mom & dad's so that we could share cake with them. By this time, I'm feeling kinda funny still. Except now I'm not nervous so I had nothing to blame it on. We went home, I put a few clothes in a bag for our honeymoon, took some Tylenol, & went to bed. Isn't that sad? I knew something was wrong & the next morning I knew exactly what it was - Strep Throat. So Mike took me to an after hours/weekend clinic where they gave me a shot & an additional prescription for an antibiotic & then we went home. I went back to bed while Mike continued to get us ready for our trip. We decided we would go ahead & leave that day just like we planned b/c our honeymoon was a super laid back plan. We went to Brown County where we had a cabin rented until Thursday. I'm so glad we went ahead with our plans. I was almost totally back to normal by Monday afternoon. I just had a pesky cough & got tired easily. We ended up having a wonderful time!

And now it's back to the real world & I have to say that being married so far has been great! God has given me a wonderful, thoughtful, hard-working husband & I love him!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We Could Count By Hours Now!

IF we wanted to...but that just kinda freaks me out. Not b/c I'm getting cold feet - no way! - but b/c I have LOTS to do!

We have the programs to do, the church to set up, haircuts/colors/practice do's, dresses/tuxes to pick up, last minute shopping to do, notes to write, gifts to wrap, a house to scrub from top to bottom, a honeymoon to pack for, and lots more!

At this point I kind of have lists of lists. I asked Steph this morning to specifically pray that I could be organized & know what I want. I have a terrible time knowing what I really want. A people-pleaser through & through I keep worrying about how I communicate what I need/want to everyone else & whether or not they will be happy with what I ask & where I put them & what resources I give them. It's not easy for me to be putting something this big together; thank God we didn't want a huge wedding. If I had to organize going to another site for the reception & a full meal deal I would spontaneously combust!

I am getting so excited about my friends & family all being around! My brother & his family are coming in Friday morning. Sonia & fam/Sandy & fam are coming from PA on Friday, Roxi comes Friday, the bridesmaids girls will all be here Friday. I'm almost as excited for Friday as I am for the Wedding Day!

My goal is to have my house all cleaned (the bridesmaids & Roxi are all spending the night with me there Friday - FUN!!!) and the church all set up by Thursday evening. Then I can get up Friday & go meet the girls to get out nails done & just enjoy ourselves until the Rehearsal Dinner. We can meet up with folks as they come to town & just visit & laugh & have fun! Poor Mike has to work all week this week...grrr! Crazy factory had summer shut-down last week. Talk about your bad timing.

And this is my last day of work until July 20th! GLORY! Now don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate my jobs & most of the time I find a lot of joy in my work. But I need a vacation. Bad. Partly b/c of the pressure of the wedding planning but also b/c of all the illness I had this winter & the ongoing house remodeling/situating. It has been SO LONG since Mike & I had any downtime together to just relax & have fun. And be silly. I can't wait!

Here are a couple of specific things you can pray for regarding the wedding:
*that it would be fun. I used to want an emotional/dramatic wedding; now I just wanna run down the aisle, giggle & ENJOY it. Pray this especially for Mike; he has a real struggle with being in front of people. Poor guy - the things he will do for me!
*that my mom won't miss my dad too much. I'm perfectly over his refusal to come; the Lord has really taught me some great lessons through it. But my momma will miss him...
*that it won't be too crowded/uncomfortable for the guests
*that I won't stress myself bald over the next four days (I shed like crazy when I'm under pressure)
THANK YOU! probably won't hear from me until after the nuptials. I might pop up if by some miracle I have some free time over the next couple of days of preparation. I'll miss all you bloggy friends!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Counting Down!

Yahoo! Only nine days to go! I'm getting super excited and with my super excitement comes the need to count other things down, too!
*Only about 27 hours left to work before I am on vacation for the wedding & honeymoon!
*Only about 4,578,392 things I need to get done before the wedding & honeymoon!
*Only 4 errands I need to run in between jobs today (with only 30 minutes to run them in!) don't worry, I won't try it ;-)
*Only one major holiday left to celebrate before the wedding & honeymoon - the 4th of July! Here's hoping it's hot for a swim & that there are spectacular fireworks!
And that's all that I have to the strength to count...seriously, if anybody can think of anything I need to do, check on, not forget, need to know, etc. TELL ME!
Have a super 4th of July, everybody!