Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Mike & I hope that this Christmas & New Year's greeting finds each of you healthy & happy. As we have settled into celebrating the Savior's birth as a married couple we have juggled some busy days lately! As a result, our Christmas cards went into the mail without any kind of letter but with a note to check the blog for an update. Finally - here it is!

Last Christmas we were celebrating as a newly engaged couple. If only I had known how much wedding work lie ahead of me! January found me dress shopping. What a fun day! It really didn't take long for Mom, Beth & I to find THE DRESS.

This pic of me & Steph was taken on the day we got our dresses fitted. I just loved my dress. It was plain & simple - I still think it looks like fondant icing. Smooth & beautiful & white!

In the midst of all the wedding hoopla, I continued training for the Indy Mini. It was a much bigger than usual struggle for me as I worked both jobs, trained, worked on the wedding & we continued with some major house projects. I was sick on a fairly regular every six week schedule. I was just praying I could complete the race without getting sick the next day. The Lord answered my prayers & allowed me to finish at a very good for me finish time. However, there was one tiny bump in my running road that I always meant to blog about but never got down to doing it. I had been running/walking at a great pace. I was somewhere between mile 10 & 11 when the small crowd that I was running with had to turn a corner. We were all kind of bunched up & I was getting carried along with barely any room for my elbows. I couldn't see the pavement & caught my left foot on a uneven spot. I fell & I mean I fell HARD & skidded on my hands & knees. I was terrified I was going to get stepped on so I jumped up really quick. Man, did I come to a quick understanding of how road burn feels! There was no blood, but there was some major burning! All I really wanted to do was sit down on the curb, howl & cry but the other runners were all cheering me on. I. was. humiliated. And I was trying to cry while I couldn't catch my breath. I made some very interesting noises as I hobbled along. At that moment I had firmly decided never to run the Mini again - the race was too crowded, too long, too awful! Mike took this pic of me after the race. You can't really tell at this point, but my knees were black & blue the next day & I was walking like a 93 year old arthritic woman. Crazy stuff!

And I have not signed up for the 2010 Indy Mini. Although at this point it is not because of my spectacular wipe out. I've just been too out of it lately to feel like I can tackle a 13 mile race. I've got no enthusiasm for it this year but I've got my sights set on 2011. Right now my goal is a 5k with my sister & nephew in March. That's enough.

The weeks following the race we worked very diligently on wedding plans. I had no idea how many details there were to take care of. I made lists & then lists of lists. In the midst of it all I tried to enjoy myself but as the day approached (& has now passed) I have to admit that eloping definitely has it's positives. But I had so much fun, too. I had a wonderful group of girls standing up with me & a troop of special ladies at my church that took care of many things for me. It was a wonderful, wonderful day! I was tightly wound, I can tell you that! It's funny because the Lord did an excellent job of keeping my stomach calm. I didn't have any butterflies whatsoever. I was feeling pretty good but I felt an awful tightness around my rib cage. I told my mom that I was really unhappy with how tight my dress felt & how in the world had I gained weight around my ribs? She reached out & tugged at my dress to show me that it was not tight at all. Hmmm...then she put on her stern momma voice & told me to relax. My mom is so good at that. I love her for her tough love :-) So we proceeded with all the pics beforehand - such a great idea (especially if your groom is a nervous crowd-hater like mine is). Carmen did a wonderful job with the pics - it was so fun! We had a light lunch & then it was time for the wedding to start! I was so anxious for it to start that I remember dancing around on the landing in the foyer while I was waiting for Mom to walk me in. It was so silly, but I could not stand still! I was so excited to marry Michael; I was so excited to see who all had come; I was so excited to get it over with!
Then before I knew it, it was over with! Mom walked me in, I took Mike's hands, & a short 27 minutes later we were the new Mr. & Mrs. Pastor Jeff did a wonderful job of keeping the ceremony succinct - exactly how we wanted it! Actually, he left a little paragraph out about the rings b/c he was nervous, too!
Then once again, before I knew it we were running out the door in a cloud of bubbles! It was so fun...but I told my mom yesterday that leaving the reception was a little weird. It's kind of like leaving your own party first. I'm kind of used to being the last one there instead of the first to leave :-) We had borrowed Mike's brother's car as our get-away mobile. It's a fun Hyundai Tiberon & the girls had filled it with balloons, written some stuff on the windows & attached some streamers to the bumper. Mike was so embarrassed! We had never before or since made such good time getting home from church :-)
Unfortunately that was when I started to feel even a little more than tightness around my ribcage. I had figured that once the wedding was over & I relaxed that it would go away. Not so much. I actually woke up the next morning with strep throat. Mike took me to the urgent care clinic, I got a shot & a prescription, then we headed out on our honeymoon.
We actually had a wonderful few days in Brown County. We rented a lovely little cabin in the woods & we relaxed, shopped in Little Nashville, drove all over the countryside & I re cooperated from being stupid sick.
I have a zillion pics & I am so computer challenged...I've been clicking through the wedding pics narrowing down which ones I want to upload but I can't really figure out how to do it. *sigh* I am going to attempt to upload them to facebook. That wasn't really what I wanted to do, but at least that way maybe some folks can see them.
As far as any further news about our year...Mike & I are grateful that in spite of difficult economical times the Lord has continued to provide work for his company. Recently we have been assured of his employment for another couple of months. That is how it seems to go - about every two months they get another order & we praise God for answered prayer.
After much prayerful consideration (the kind where I finally listen to God if you know what I mean) I decided that it was time to let go of my second job. My last day was October 29th & I have to say that I have not regretted the decision once. It has been a very sweet blessing to be home evenings with Mike. It has allowed me to be quite a bit more relaxed schedule wise & that makes room for a lot more fun (and SLEEP)!
The rest of our year has been spent getting settled. It has been so much fun! For every tense conversation about socks on the floor or how we are going to spend holiday time there have been many more sweet moments. And the fun times filled with laughter just multiply. The Lord has given us a lot of joy in our marriage & I pray that joy only increases as time goes by.

This is kind of a lengthy, picture lacking holiday update - forgive my amateur blogging skills. The real message we were hoping to convey at this special time of the year is that the Lord has done many things for us in 2009. He has taught us many things, He has provided all our needs - including our greatest need of a Savior, He has blessed us beyond measure. He is a great God & we thank Him for a great year. We look forward to serving Him in 2010!
Michael & MaryAnn


Rebecca said...

Merry Christmas! So happy for your new life and God showing His grace and mercy to you!

Erin said...

Thanks for the update. I've been checking and checking since I got your Christmas card. At least you got cards out. Mine are just sitting here waiting for next year I guess. Love you!