Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I really AM trying...

not to hate snow. When we were at Northland, I learned to hate the stuff. It made everything such a struggle. One time when we were walking to class I made the famous remark that the pine trees looked so tired. Their branches were drooping so low with the weight of the snow. My friends never let me forget saying that. Well, the tress here in my town are tired this morning! We have about 10 inches here & let me tell you, that is no fun to drive in. I took a broom out with me this morning to clean off my car so that I could drive to work. My little Corolla with ground effects doesn't get around so good in this much white stuff. I basically plowed my street with my bumper. The Lord was very good to help me not get stuck. Not so much for several of our work vehicles. My boss got a Ford Ranger stuck in our driveway this morning at about 4 a.m. Ed & I went out later this morning & with the help of a couple neighbors we at least got it back on the driveway & back in the parking lot. I have never pushed so hard in my life. My boots are a little slippery on the bottom so I fell at least once. Not a total face plant, but close! ;-) We had just got back inside, had some hot coffee & yummy fig newtons (thanks Ed!) when a couple of our drivers came back from their first run. They got both of their Vibes stuck in the lot. My boss went out this time & I've been alone in the office ever since. They are out there digging & pushing & making a time of it. We are all soaked, cold, & exhausted. So, I'm tempted to sit here & think dark, ugly, I-hate-it-so-much thoughts about the snow. Instead, I'm going to attempt an attitude change & try to come up with a little list of reasons why I try to like snow:
1. It gives the world a daytime glow at night. Last night I looked out my bathroom window & instead of seeing the somewhat scary dark alley, I saw a vast expanse of snow glowing brightly.
2. When there is snow on the sidewalk, I can look in the morning and see if someone has walked past my house during the night. Yep, I'm totally paranoid about being in my house alone. I like to know if anyone has been near me in my sleep. You can feel free to pray for my sanity.
3. It can be a good reason to stay home. Last night I got off work, went to the Y & did my training for the Mini, went home. And stayed there. Ahhh...uninterrupted hours in my own home. I should have done something reasonable like clean. But I watched a movie, visited with Mike, helped him do a couple of things in the kitchen...very nice, relaxing hours.
4. You get to check up on people you love. I talked to Mike (via text), my mom, & my sister this morning. I love those little check-ins. But it can get a little annoying to some people on a day to day basis. Nearly a foot of snow gives you license to call just about anyone to say, "Are you doing ok? Get to work all right? Need anything?" without sounding like you want to manage their life or smother them.
5. Although today has been very hectic as we have tried to recover stranded vehicles, had delayed delivery times, etc. there is still kind of a party atmosphere here in the office. When the drivers come in they are kind of jubilant. They have this attitude of "I made it! I'm a MAN! The snow shall not stop me!" and they tell their story a little too loud. We all listen very actively & oohh & aahhh appropriately. There is much more conversation to be had out of these men, on a day like today!
6. I can drink too much coffee without feeling guilty. I normally keep myself at a certain limit (3-4 cups) every morning. Not sure how much I've had today! When I'm cold & wet, I just gotta have something hot in my hands & a coffee mug is the perfect fit.

That's all I can think of right now. I was shooting for 10, but fell short. Oh well. I think I'm going to go look out the window. A co-worker is leaving for the day & he is parked right by my car. My boss just said something like, "I hope he doesn't spin & hit your car!" Not good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's A Very Small World

Monday night I went to work at my second job. I work as a technician in a retail pharmacy. Mondays are our busiest days & recently our pharmacy has really increased the number of scripts it fills. As a result, the company has been sending us a 'floater' pharmacist every Monday to help cover the busiest part of the day. Some recent Mondays we have been so busy that I have hardly had the opportunity to ask the floater what their name is, let alone have any time to chat. This Monday we were actually a little slow. The floater was a lady I had never worked with before & her name was Carmen. She had a lovely accent & I had kind of assumed that she was Latino. When I got a chance, I asked her where she was from. Turns out, she is from Romania. I told her that I only ever knew one other person from Romania, a girl that I shared a mailbox with in college. Then I said her name b/c I always thought that she had the loveliest first name - Simona. Carmen kind of stared at me for a second & then asked me to repeat her name. So I said, "Her name was Simona B~." Carmen's mouth fell open & then she proceeded to tell me that when her family lived in Romania they attended the church that Simona's father pastored & that she had even taught Simona in Sunday School when she was little. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? How funny! I haven't seen Simona since graduation from Northland & Carmen hasn't seen her since she was a little girl so it's not like it's a close connection, but still! I thought the story was very blog-worthy ;-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Dress Shopping Pics

I'm a very mean girl b/c I told you all about how I went wedding dress shopping but I didn't post a single picture of the event. All in all, it only took about 2 hours & 4 dresses. The 4th one was IT. And how I love that dress. I just looked at my mom's pics of me in it & oh my...a normal girl really can feel like a princess (sorry...I just watched The Princess Diaries & I'm in Disney overload).

Anyway...the first dress I tried on was so yucky we didn't take any pictures. But dress #2 was actually almost the one I picked. Here it is:

Obviously, it needs some help at the top. The salesgirl thought I was absolutely nuts b/c I kept complaining about how bare all the dresses seemed to be through the shoulder area. The front of this one is very pretty but it was the back that I really loved:

Never thought I'd be a fan of that illusion stuff, but I was. Anyway, we then tried to find some sort of fix for the front. The alterations lady took one of the 'sleeves' that they attach to the strapless dresses. Didn't work. Then she went & got a shawl thing. Here's what she planned to do with it:

Not exactly perfect. And I was starting to feel like we were trying too hard. And this is when they also made me try on a veil. And that's when I decided that I guess I have to have one. At this point there was one dress left to try on - you're right, THE ONE! I don't think I'm going to post a pic of it, though. Gotta have some surprises, right? :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Job Update

I have another update concerning Mike's job. Earlier this week I posted
the news that his hours have been cut to a four day work week. He
is right now enjoying his first 3 day weekend. Well, enjoying might be
too cheerful of a word. Anyway, the new news from the plant yesterday
is that they have scored a couple of small orders. Praise the Lord! So,
instead of having work scheduled out just until the middle of February, they are scheduled out until the middle of March. These new orders
should keep them running long enough to get some more orders (Lord
willing). Please keep praying with us! We know the Lord has a plan
for Mike's job; we're just waiting to see how He leads. Along the way I
am learning to be so grateful for what I have - my jobs seems to be very
secure at this point in time. Also, even if neither of us has job security, we have security in the Lord - in knowing that He never fails to take care of His children, in knowing that He always has good plans for His children, in knowing that He loves us. That's really all we need!


Alicia posted quite a while ago about resolving. I am the type of person who kind of hates New Year's b/c of all the resolving. I tend to view it from a negative perspective - remembering what I resolved the previous year & then seeing how I haven't quite made the mark. *sigh* My perpetual condition seems to be not quite getting it done, whatever 'it' might be.

So, I usually don't resolve. It just kind of sets me up for failure. Then when the next New Year's rolls around, I'm all ready to be defeated. Ugh.

But this year, I'm ready to think about things a little differently. Who says you have to reach your goal within 365 days? There is nothing magical about that time frame. So, I'm going to do a tiny little bit of resolving & we'll see how I do when January 2010 rolls around ;-)

  1. I want to finish the read-through-the-Bible program I started last year. I am not going to feel bad about not getting it all done in 2008. I might actually splurge & download the Bible to my ipod so that I can listen to God's Word while I drive.
  2. I'm going to be more moderate in areas of food, exercise, & rest. I always seem to be a little out of whack here. I need to be conscious of what I eat & when & how much but I don't need to obsess about it (seems I'm usually one extreme or another). I need to exercise regularly b/c I feel so much better when I do. Every system in my body seems to work better. I sleep better. I work better. The time can just be hard to find. But training for the Indy Mini will help with that. Also, wanting to have Madonna arms by the wedding is also motivation ;-) And as far as sleep goes, I'm going to not guilt myself if I sleep in on Saturday mornings. I've almost completely eliminated the Saturday morning sleep-in from my weekly schedule. I'm penciling it back in!
  3. Be frugal. Use coupons. Shop sales. Without fail. Avoid impulse shopping. Plan for purchases by saving. BTW, I almost always do those things, I just want to be more consistent.
  4. Save enough money to get both our moms Kitchen Aid mixers for Christmas. I know that probably sounds a little weird, but Mike & I have talked this one over. We both love our mommas (& our poppas, too). We both love their cooking (YUM!). And both of these ladies have always wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer. And neither one of them has one. So, we're gonna save loose change & whatever else little savings tricks we can think of to surprise those mommas next December!
  5. Finish the house & get all moved in and settled. This year I would like to make some progress on the yard, too. I really want a magnolia tree & an apple tree. I would love to plant a garden but I'm going to have to consult The Expert (my dad). The soil is riddled with broken bricks, chunks of concrete, & rocks. There must have been another house on this lot (it's an odd sized piece of land) at some point that was torn down. Lots of debris, people, lots of debris.

I think maybe I'll stop at 5. It's a good round number & already I feel a little daunted by my ambitions. 2009 is already shaping up to be a great, life-changing year. I trust the Lord to lead, provide, teach, & bless abundantly!

Anybody else have any resolving to share? Let me know what you're reaching for; it could be something I need to do, too! ;-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Job Update

I forgot to post that Mike had a special meeting at work last Friday. Starting this week the whole plant (I mean, what's left of it) went to a four day work week. It's hard to enjoy perpetual three day weekends when you don't get paid for it & you're wondering if this is just a slow, agonizing process that will culminate in complete unemployment.

If you feel so inclined, please pray that his company will be able to sell some product & get some orders in. The work they have now is scheduled to be completed by the middle of February.

*On the bright side, he gets an extra day each week to work on the house ;-) The kitchen is coming together really nicely. Right now he's working on building the wooden counter tops. I love the way they look!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Dress

Guess what? I bought my wedding dress! After just one shopping trip, trying on just 4 dresses - I found the one dress that I really, really love.
I'm sure a lot of you are finding that hard to believe because I have been so terribly opinionated about what I don't like about most wedding dresses. And, no my dress doesn't look a think like either one of them pictured above. *wink*
I got it at David's Bridal & it only took us about 2 hours to get it picked out & outfitted. I walked in with my Mom & she said something about how she kind of knew right away what kind of dress my sister Beth would get but that she didn't have any idea what "my style" was. I kind of laughed & said that could be a problem b/c I didn't know what "my style" was either! We talked to the sales girl & she helped me pick out 3 sheath style dresses & one with a bit more of an a-line silhouette. The first one was yuck. Spaghetti straps & too naked. The second one was really pretty. I actually liked it very much. It had an illusion back with some beautiful beading & thin straps. The skirt was really chiffon-y & flowy. It kind of made me feel like another person. But it was LOW in front & the alterations lady tried all kinds of things to make me feel comfortable with it - including putting one of those lacy add-on sleeves across the neck like a modesty panel. I'm sure the sales staff thought I was nuts. We eventually decided that we could use a chiffon-y sash & make a slightly drapey inset. I think it could have worked, but it seemed so forced. We were going to have to change a lot to make it work. So I decided that maybe I needed to try on the others & that it probably wasn't The Dress. Dress #3 was kind of a trumpet skirt style that was all-over lace with some beading. It was way too low (I know you're surprised by that comment!) & really just too heavy. I couldn't imagine having to wear it for a long period of time. So then on to #4 -- drum roll!!! I put on this dress & it just fit. The shoulders need to be taken in a bit, but I didn't have to suck it in, the sales girl didn't have to use clothes just zipped right up, I stepped out of the fitting room & in front of the mirror. I just Loved it immediately. I read in several articles that you'll just "know" your dress when you put it on & that your heart will pound & you might even kind of catch your breath - I was so smugly cynical about all of that until the moment I saw myself in The Dress. I turned around to ask my mom & Beth what they thought & they totally agreed. Yeah! It was a unanimous decision.
So then, accessories. In no time at all I had my slipper shoes picked out (if I wanted to wear heels I would have had to order a Tall dress - no thanks!) & the sales girl asked me about a veil. I had firmly decided no veil before I went in there b/c I'm a little worried it would bug me by being all in my face, etc. I thought I'd just wear a pretty flower in my hair & call it a day. Well, they made me try one on & it was PERFECT. And if we hook it up under my updo like we did at the store, it won't be in my face at all. & comfort! more thing taken care of! I'm liking this planning thing (heehee - I know it gets more involved & probably a lot less fun from here!).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is probably just the beginning...

but I'm thinking that this blog is shortly going to turn into a wedding blog. It seems that is the only thing I'm thinking about much lately (go figure!). The biggest decisions I need to make at this point are:
  1. who will my bridesmaids be? My sister will be my Maid of Honor. And then there are two slots up for grabs. I let Mike determine how many couple would stand up with. I know that I have quite a few friends that I could choose. I have totally underestimated how difficult it is to narrow it down. My Aunt Ruth suggested that I put all of their names in a hat & draw them out ;-)
  2. what kind of dress do I want? In the brief discussion that we had with Pastor Jeff about him officiating & having the wedding at the church it was mentioned that strapless was out. That is fine by me b/c I am not a lover of strapless. The problem is that 98% of all wedding dresses seem to be strapless or halter tops (which should only ever be worn on the beach, in my opinion). Plus, I am not a big fan of the lace 'sleeves' that they like to attach to modify the dress so that it is no longer truly strapless. I'm just not a fan. And I think I already mentioned in a previous post that I don't like the big full skirts. I wonder if I can go shopping with a list of things that I don't like & be successful in finding a wonderful dress?
  3. what colors do I want to choose? My favorite color is red. And frankly, that is the only color I ever thought I would use in my wedding. However, Mike does not like red (he assures me he really doesn't care, but I don't want to use a color he doesn't like!). Plus, our church carpet is kind of a teal color. So red just won't do. I really like blue, but I've been in 10 weddings & I wore blue in 6 of them. Because I am crazy, I really don't like the idea of using blue. So I've been thinking, what about a lilac color accented with a light green? I spent some serious time on the David*s Bridal website today trying out that color combo. I like the lilac idea b/c it will look nice in the church. Also, the first roses that Mike ever bought me were lavender. Mike & his brother got me 25 lavender roses for my 25th birthday. Even though we weren't dating then, it's still a super sweet memory for me. I was really surprised & just loved those roses. Let me know what you guys think of that color combo. I was trying super hard to copy & paste a pic of the dresses & the colors but the computer just wouldn't cooperate. I also chose this font color b/c it's kind of lavendar & my blog is green - I didn't want you to assume it was just a happy coincidence ;-)
  4. What music do I use? How much music do I use? We're going for the short & sweet ceremony version. I think we will just have Mike's sister, Gwen sing. What about a reading of some sort?

And just in case you think I've got nothing decided, here's what I've settled on:

  1. My wonderful friend Abby is going to do the flowers.
  2. We have a location & a pastor.
  3. My Aunt Ruth is going to play her flute.
  4. Joyce is going to play the piano.
  5. I have an appointment to dress shop this Saturday with my sister & my mom.
  6. My parent's & I have had the "this is how much we're willing to kick in" conversation. They are being much more generous than I had thought possible.
  7. I know that I'm going for a semi-formal vibe. Early afternoon, knee length bridesmaid dresses, suits vs. tuxes.

And that's about it. Gotta keep scheming! In between jobs today I'm making a quick stop to buy a planner - gotta have a home for my massive to-do lists!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Is Gonna Be Crazy!

This just might be me for the next couple of months. I went to a meeting last night for the training program that I do to prepare for the Indy Mini (my 3rd year in the program - it's a great one...I love it!). Anyway, I met a girl there & we were talking about what else was going on in our lives that we would have to plan our training around. She's in her last semester of nursing school - big time busy, especially since she also has a job. Then I told her what else I had going on & as I listened to myself I started to FREAK OUT just a little bit in the back of my head. Here's what I listed for her:
  • I work two jobs (about 51 hours a week)
  • I am finishing a complete remodel of my house
  • After the house is done, I have to finish moving & unpacking
  • I'm planning a July wedding

Oh. My. No point in totally losing it now. I already signed up for all of this. I've paid the money & now it's time to get the job done. Let's just say that a planner is on the top of my shopping list. I'm going to need to be super organized (ha ha ha) to get it all done & not loose all of my hair in the process (FYI, stress really CAN make your hair fall out).

I'm going to become a SUPER DUPER To Do List Maker!

* this post is actually a clever plea for your prayers ;-)

It's Official!

Drum roll please...I would like to announce that Mike & I have finally decided on a date for our wedding! And it's totally official b/c I've added a ticker to my blog ;-)

The big day will be Saturday, July 11th. I think with an anniversary date like 07/11 neither one of us should ever forget our anniversary!

I hope to take my first dress shopping trip this Saturday with my mom & sister. I'm totally encouraged by the fact that I found two whole dresses on-line that I actually liked. I had started to feel some dismay when I had looked through several magazines & web-sites only to say yuck, yuck, yuck to almost every dress. I'm just not a fan of strapless. or lots of lace. or lots of ruffles. or big full skirts. I want to be able to stand close to the man, for goodness sake!

So, let the preparations begin in earnest. Any of you married (or just especially knowledgeable) folks out there should feel free to pass on any tips for me. Especially if they involve saving money or getting things done quickly & easily ;-) Or any suggestions about the program - songs that can be sung, or readings, or anything. I am kind of shocked at my normally opinionated self - I don't have any idea what I want when it comes to this wedding! Help!