Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday's Musings

Hi, everyone! Hope you had a great holiday weekend.

I had a lovely weekend. Thursday after work, I taught a piano lesson after work, went to a bridal shower (which made me feel old....lol), and then stayed the night at my parents' since I took my mom home from the shower. Friday morning I got some car repairs done that had been needed for some time. (By the way, it's amazing how much better it feels driving when your car isn't shaking. Shocks, struts, suspension, and something I can't remember are all apparently quite important!) Then after lunch, I left for Ohio!

I spent the weekend visiting my aunt, uncle, and "nephews." I hadn't seen them since January, so it was great to see them! I got lots of cuddles from Cole, games with both boys, girl time/shopping with my aunt, watched the nephews and uncle test for their next tae kwon do belt, and more. Unfortunately, I did NOT sleep well. Complicated by not sleeping well last night. Contemplating taking a Tylenol PM tonight and going to bed early. (I hate taking meds to sleep, but part of the problem the last few nights has been a deep achiness! Hard to explain.)

Last night when I got home, I did my new Zumba workout DVD followed by my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. So despite my closed gym, I got a workout in. Then despite not sleeping, I got up early to workout this morning before work. I would have gone to the gym tonight after work, but I'm so tired and feel like I'm fighting a cold, so I decided to rest. If I'm feeling better later, I might do Zumba tonight.

One big change this week - in addition to blood work to test for gluten-intolerance/celiac disease, I'm trying a gluten-free diet for a couple weeks. A couple of my doctors think it might be the cause of my stomach problems. The blood test isn't always accurate, so we're trying the diet as well. Plus, if it is that, I'll already have a headstart of getting gluten out. Yesterday, I was gluten-free completely. It was a little hard once I got home... grocery stores were closed and I had no fresh fruit, few vegetables, and my options were limited. I settled for egg whites and cheese for dinner last night. Even my soy breakfast sausage turned out to have gluten so I couldn't have it!

Today, breakfast was just a hard-boiled egg. I'll have to find something I can eat in lieu of my usual oatmeal or cereal. Lunch was an office-lunch, so I used care in ordering - a bowl of plain chili and side salad. It was strange not being able to use the crackers in the chili! Kind of spicy. For a snack, I had low-fat string cheese. Now, I've just had dinner - chicken breast and a baked potato. I think dinner will be the easiest meal to do gluten-free. I can still eat my usual protein with either a potato, rice, or quinoa. I can also still do salad. But no pasta. :( Sad, sad day!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection




Happy Easter, Everyone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday and.... Bridesmaid Dresses


What I'm loving this Wednesday? As part of Jamie's link-up found here....

1. Three Day Weekend! Woohoo!
It's going to be a busy one. I'm currently cleaning and packing (can't you tell? hehe) because tomorrow after work, I'm teaching a piano lesson and then leaving for a wedding shower and then staying at my parents and then getting my car fixed and then going out of town. Yes, run on sentence because that's how I'm feeling at the moment. Busy weekend. And a 3 day weekend. Visiting family? Yes please! I've missed you!

2. Pedicure
So.... two weeks ago, I got a pedicure with a friend. My first one. Let me tell you, professional pedicures hold up a lot better than doing it yourself. Like, it's not all chipped and wearing off!

3. NOT having blood drawn
So, this shouldn't really go here, but I have a story. This morning, I had to have blood drawn. They had trouble finding my veins. The first person who tried "dug" for it when she couldn't find it. As in, moving the needle while it was under my skin. I have a line almost an inch long where you can see where she was moving it UNDER MY SKIN! I showed my friend who is a nurse while shopping today and her reaction was roughly "What was she thinking? It would never work at that angle!" Oh well. Everyone has to learn somehow. Even at the expense of my arms. At least it's still SO cold here that I'm still in long sleeves.

Today, I went with the Michigan portion of my bridal party to try on bridesmaid dresses. I had found one that I liked online. It was from David's Bridal, and it was the more affordable one. Once trying it on, it didn't really work. So we tried on more. And more. And more. I think we've found one we like. We'll see how the rest of the party feels about it. It's pretty. :)

Then I tried on a dress. My consultant wasn't exactly helpful on the matter, so I wasn't going to force the issue. But.... I have a determined bridal party. They stand up for me when I won't stand up for myself. And one of them? Is from New York City. So, she's tough! :) Needless to say, we got our way. ;)

Trying to make decisions is hard for me. Trying to make decisions that involve other people? Even harder. I want everyone to love their dress so it's hard trying to find the right one! By the end, I was getting stressed out! But it was still fun!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

5 Question Friday - April 15, 2011

See that post title? April 15th.... 15th!!!! As in, the nightmare of tax season would be over.... if it weren't a holiday in DC. Sigh. One more work day. (By the way, in case you were wondering, 4:45 Friday afternoon is not the time to stop by your advisor's office with a 2010 contribution ONE BUSINESS DAY before it has to be AT the fund company's office! They do not like dropping everything to OVERNIGHT your check at a ridiculous charge for a small check amount! Also, calling at 4:50 with questions? Also not charming. Just in case you were wondering.)

So, please excuse the lateness of the hour as I post this. As well as the fried-ness of the brain. After a crazy day at work, I went to Hobby Lobby, took full advantage of their 50% off all wedding items, and then played in a Euchre tournament where Linda and I won. We won Panera certificates!

Now on to 5 Question Friday..... as seen on Mama's blog here.

1. What is your favorite sign of spring?
Warmer weather.... blooming flowers.... no snow. I love spring. Lots of "favorite" signs!

2. What was your best birthday ever?
Hmmm..... probably my 16th? I have fond memories of my sweet 16 parties. Friends came. Gifts were given. My aunt brought me roses. It was great.

3. What is your favorite dessert?
Probably.... ice cream. I love ice cream.

4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?
I haven't had that much experience with this. Once, I made an illegal left hand turn, and I told the cop it had been a different turn the week before, so I didn't notice the change. (It was true.) He let me off with a warning.

5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?
Snooze..... snooze.... snooze!

So, part of my Hobby Lobby buys? Flower girl baskets. Including one for the flower girl I was unsure of last week. Well, she (okay, her parents) have agreed that she will be in it! Here she is. Isn't she adorable? She is my cousin's daughter and I am SO glad to have her in my wedding!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - 4/14/2011

Thursday Thirteen! Yay! :)

I'm excitable because..... well, I think it's because I'm so tired that I'm a little slap-happy. Feeling sick (allergies, I think) combined with late nights and non-stop days- I decided to cancel my plans for tonight and stay home (no one was counting on me and they were tentative).

Thirteen movies that I can watch over and over (and have!):

1) The Sound of Music - I can quote it, I can sing along, I can even play the songs on the piano. But that still doesn't stop me from watching it often!

2) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - I'm a sucker for old musicals. Especially these two. The storyline is absurd. It's completely unrealistic. And.... I love it!

3) 27 Dresses - Once again, ridiculous premise. Embarrassing at times. But I can turn on the tv, and no matter where in the movie it is, I feel compelled to watch it!

4) Gone with the Wind - Another old favorite. I don't watch the whole thing straight through often because it's so long, but I know the movie practically by heart!

5) Any of the Star Wars movies. I love the Star Wars movies. We're actually using a portion of Star Wars music at the wedding. :)

6) Pillow Talk - Rock Hudson and Doris Day are a great couple. This one is especially funny.

7) How to Steal a Million - Audrey Hepburn. Peter O'Toole. Hijinx. Art work. Great movie!

8) Sabrina - the Harrison Ford/Julia Ormond version. They make a much better couple than Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. It's also funnier - not as dark in places.

9) A Walk to Remember - Tear jerker, but such a sweet story! Mandy Moore's character is sweet, but not spineless!

10) Ever After - The "true" story of Cinderella. A very romantic story. Royalty is involved, evil step-relatives, etc. Watch it!

11) Sense and Sensibility - Emma Thompson's adaptation of the Jane Austen classic is spot-on. It feels so real and features fantastic performances by all of the main actors - Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, etc.

12) Beauty and the Beast - "Tale as old as time.... sure as it can be.... barely even friends....." Beautiful animated story with great music!

13) Pride and Prejudice (BBC version) - Another long one. But fantastic and so much better than the Keira Knightley version!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday - April 13th Edition

Once again, Jamie is hosting a Wednesday link-up! Feel free to follow the link to join!

What I'm Loving This Wednesday:

1) The weather we had last weekend - can it stay? Please? It was nice and warm and sunny. Since then, it's been colder, but no snow. No snow = no complaining. :) At least in April. By May it needs to warm up!

2) Next week is a 4 day workweek and I'm going to spend the weekend with family that I don't see very often anymore! I'm excited!

3) As previously mentioned in blog posts, tax season is ALMOST OVER! This is, in fact, the last Wednesday of tax season. Hmmm.... I guess I need to file my own!

4) As always, I'm loving my coffee.

5) Some friends on another message board are doing a Gilmore Girls rewatch discussion starting in just a few weeks (when the series restarts on ABC family). I'm joining in, and that sounds exciting to me!

What are you loving?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strange Wedding Dreams..... Already?

So, usually, I don't have dreams that I remember. I don't know if I don't sleep deep enough or if I just don't remember them. I just know that I almost never remember my dreams when I wake up. If I do, it's usually because they're bad.

However.... lately I've been dreaming. I've been dreaming about the wedding. Actually, I can't even say "the wedding" because there was one very vivid dream about a wedding that wasn't mine. And even the ones that were "mine" I'm hoping are nothing like my actual wedding!

First off..... the very night I got engaged, I had a dream. The dream was my cousins Jeremy and Kim's wedding. They've been married for years! So, I don't know why I dreamed of their wedding. But in their wedding in my dream, all of Jeremy's siblings and their spouses were in the wedding (including spouses that weren't spouses when Jeremy and Kim actually got married. In fact, kids that didn't exist then where there.) Anyway, the normal wedding was occurring. Someone from the crowd declared the wedding boring. Loudly. To the point that Jeremy and Kim stopped what they were doing and said their wedding wasn't boring and..... they and the wedding party of Jeremy's siblings broke out into song and dance. As in, like a musical. Note to self, don't watch musicals while thinking about wedding planning too close to bedtime.

At least that dream was amusing. Very, very amusing. I mean, the song and dance number was very good. Talented cousins, they are. Especially in my dream!

Then a couple of nights ago, I was apparently quite stressed out and planning the wedding a little close to going to bed. In one night, I had two bizarre dreams.

In the first one, there were these random ladies (2 I barely know and 2 I don't know at all!) that were my bridesmaids and they were helping me get ready for the wedding. And I kept thinking "But I don't know you? Why are you here?" And then even more embarrassing, they started throwing me a lingerie shower.... while I was trying to get ready. And, not knowing them, I was quite uncomfortable with the gifts they were giving me. And I kept telling them we needed to hurry and get ready because it was time for the wedding. But they weren't listening so we were running terribly late! They kept insisting the wedding was the next day, and I was thinking (but not saying because I have manners even in my dreams) "How do you know? You're not even supposed to be here!!!!!!"

Then in a closely related dream that same night, I was running late to the wedding. But I eventually get there and..... instead of John, there is some other guy there. I'm like "Who are you and why are you here?" He insisted we were getting married, and I was like "No we're not! I don't even know you!" And nobody else seemed to think it was weird either that this guy I'd never met was trying to marry me instead of John!

According to my friend Ashley, she had weird dreams leading up to her wedding and everything went fine the actual day, so I'll take it as a good sign. ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wedding Plans Update :)

I've been engaged for two weeks, and I feel like we're making progress on wedding plans!

As I've mentioned, we have our date. September 3rd. :) The church I wanted to use for both the wedding and reception was available, so that went well. Yesterday, I met with my pastor and he's able to do our wedding for us. I was so happy. I hadn't realized how much I wanted him to be able to do it until I thought there might be a scheduling conflict. Then when it turned out he could do it, I was so happy I almost cried. (I'm starting to think that I'm extra emotional these days!)

Tomorrow, I have a tasting scheduled with the caterer that I think we're going to use (assuming all goes well with the tasting). It will be good to get that settled! Another big part of the planning done.

And now, as of today, my side of the bridal party is complete. He still has one more to ask. Luckily, all of the members were not the skilled negotiators that my nephews were. I don't have to buy them all ice cream. :)

So, my bridal party is on the large side. I have so many great friends that it was really hard to even narrow it down to what I did!

For starters, I have both a maid and matron of honor. Both named Ashley. :) They've both been mentioned in this blog multiple times. Here, here and other places throughout. Maid of Honor Ashley (oh, and they have the same middle name, so I can't even use that to designate them) is the friend who introduced me to John.
I asked her to be in the wedding just hours after becoming engaged.

I was waiting to ask Matron of Honor Ashley until I could see her in person, which ended up being today! I thought I was going to die having to wait so long. ;) We went to Olive Garden and for pedicures for her birthday, and I asked and she agreed! She's another very, very dear friend who I can talk to about anything, have a great time with always, and is one of the nicest people I've ever met. We also have a lot in common, and I'm so, so honored that she agreed to be in my wedding. :)
(Bad lighting in this picture)

I asked my soon-to-be sister-in-law Sarah first. If you read the proposal story, I got engaged at her house. So I ended up asking her pretty soon after the dramatic re-enactment. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of her to put on here. :) But I'm sure I'll get one at the shower or wedding. I'm definitely glad that she agreed to be in the wedding!

The next morning, via Skype, I asked my beautiful, wonderful sister-in-law Delia.
In addition to being my sister-in-law, she is a great friend. She's fun, funny, and a fabulous mother to the two cutest nephews in the world. :)

My long-time friend Lisa agreed to be in the wedding, as did her daughter Taylor. Okay, Taylor is only 1 (she'll be 2 the month of the wedding) so she may not have actually "agreed" but she's in it. I was in Lisa's wedding almost 5 years ago! It's hard to believe that much time has passed. She lives in Idaho, so like Delia, Sarah, and Ashley, she's traveling quite some way to be there for me and I'm so happy she's going to be able to do it! We met junior year of college (I think) and worked together at one point. We always have a lot of fun, and even though we don't see each other a lot, we're always able to pick up right where we left off when we talk. And we also have a knack for picking terrible movies to watch together. As in, we look at each other after watching a movie and say "Huh?" It's really a gift.

My friend Linda is also going to be in the wedding! I didn't think she was going to be able to as she's moving to Baltimore in July. (She was accepted into a very hard-to-get-into program at Johns Hopkins; so excited for her!) But while we were at Starbucks (after she told me she probably wasn't going to be able to come), I mentioned that I had been planning on asking her to be in the wedding, but I completely understood so I wouldn't ask. And so she decided to fly back! I was stunned. Have I mentioned how great all my friends are? (Linda is the one not in the wedding dress)


Last, but certainly not least is my friend Dyanna. She's the children's pastor at my church, and because of working with the kids, we've spent a lot of time together. We've also been through a lot together - surgeries, deaths, family sicknesses, etc. She's definitely one of my closest friends. When we hang out, it usually lasts for hours. Her reaction to being asked was pretty priceless! We were at her house about to go wedding dress looking, so it seemed to be the most opportune moment. She was in shock. I was kind of in shock that she was so shocked. But she was also happy and accepted immediately!

I might be having a second flower girl as well but am waiting to hear back for sure. I'll update once I know for sure. :)

Still a lot of plans to go, but there is definite progress!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Question Friday - April 8, 2011

Head over to Mama's if you want to link up!

1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Are we talking looks or personality? I'll go with looks, because that's easier. I would love to be skinny. :) Especially if I was one of those skinny, healthy looking people who eat whatever they want and don't work out. :)

2. Write about a time when you got lost.
Just one? This could be a blog series! I guess I will start with my most famous incident. Mother's Day 1987. Sigh.

My cousin Holly and I "went around the block." Much like Gilligan's fateful trip, our trip had unexpected consequences. You see, we decided to go "the long way." If I could go back in time, I would explain to my 7 year old self that there is no "long way" around the block. Well, we did technically take a very long way. 2 hours and a search party later, we finally were reunited with our very nervous families. It was a truly unforgettable Mothers' Day. :)

3. Camping or 5 star hotel?
5 Star Hotel. 1 star hotel. Anything but camping. Have I mentioned I'm not outdoorsy?

4. Have you donated blood?
Twice. Both times, I got kind of sick. I should do it again. It's good. And I have a popular blood type. (O positive) But, I don't. I guess I'm selfish. I mean to. I look up when and where drives are. And then I forget. Or they aren't near me when I'm available.

5. Do you have a budget or do you 'fly by' most months?
Somewhere in between. I have a budget but I don't always stick to it exactly. And I always leave wiggle room in it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday - April 6, 2011


Lots to love this Wednesday! :) Even if it is taking me until 9:40 at night to get around to posting.

1) The fact that it is April 6th. That means, April 18th (tax day this year) is only 12 days away! And 4 of those days are weekend days! I'm so ready for the craziness of 2375 phone calls a day to be done. I'm so ready to stop dealing with socially inept, cranky CPAs for awhile. I'm just done. :)

2) I'm loving the fact that this weekend, I'm going to get my very first pedicure. I'm celebrating a friend's birthday with some girl time, and she has ruled that includes pedicures. :) So.... we'll see how I like a pedicure!

3) I'm loving the fact that I didn't wear a coat today. It was a little cold, but still..... I didn't die without a coat!

4) I'm loving the fact that I found invitations for the wedding for the price I'd been planning on paying for ones I didn't like as much. This new place I found has nice ones for the same price. www.annsbridalbargains.com. Seriously, for the price of 123print, I'm getting much prettier ones. I'm happy.

Hope you're all having a great Wednesday!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Week Ago.....

A week ago today, a wonderful thing happened.

This sweet, kind, wonderful man asked me to marry him.


Last Friday, I flew to Alabama for 5 days of time with my sweetie. It turned out to be quite the memorable weekend.

On Friday, we had a great night. He made me dinner (okay, so he heated frozen pizza, but it was sweet all the same). Then we went to Riverwalk in Tuscaloosa, which was a beautiful place I'd never been. The weather was perfect. After that we went to Starbucks. Just a perfectly lovely night. We weren't out to late (I'd had to get up to leave for the airport at 2 a.m. after working 14 hours the day/night before!)

Saturday morning was pretty relaxing. I slept in, and then we watched old home movies with his mom. We had plans that night to go to dinner with his mom, sister, and grandma. He said it was a little dressy, so to get dressed up. So I did.

We left the house around 2 or so I think and drove to his sister's house. We stopped at one store on the way, but probably got there around 3. After chatting with her for a few minutes, she went to get ready for dinner. While she was doing that, John asked if I would go outside with him for a minute. So we did. His sister and her husband have a nice patio/garden area. Once I sat down out there, John said he wanted to talk to me about something. Then he went behind the patio wall, and got a rose. Then, in true Bachelor style (which he teases me about watching), he told me the rose represented our love and would I accept the rose. :) Of course, I said yes. Then he reached into some flowers that hang in the area and pulled out a ring box, got on one knee, said some very nice things, and asked me to marry him!

Of course, I said yes to that as well! It was sweet and a beautiful moment.

After a few minutes, we went back inside. Once his sister was finished with what she was doing, we took some pictures, including a re-enactment of the "big moment."



Our dinner at the restaurant was actually a surprise engagement party. The restaurant, Wentzels, was a seafood restaurant right on the water. It was a lot of fun.

After dinner, we stopped by my friend Ashley's house. She had invited us to a party she was having, but we hadn't been able to go since we had alternate plans. Since she's the one who introduced us, it seemed fitting to go to her house!

Once we got home from her house, we sat outside and looked at the stars some, as well as lightning. There was a lot of lightning! But it was far away, so it was fine.

That night, other than my parents, we didn't really tell very many. I just wanted to enjoy the night before we made the many, many calls. 4 of my friends found out when I sent them a text message of the ring, but I wanted to wait to really spread the news until I could tell my brother. So we arranged a time to talk to my brother and family via Skype the next morning. We asked Evan and Caleb to be our ringbearers. They agreed...... if we promised them ice cream. Sigh. Skilled negotiators, those two! :)

After church, we called much of the family. (A.k.a. my aunts that I actually had phone numbers for..... note to self- update address book in phone!). After that, I told a few more friends via personal messages and texts before it went public on facebook. After that, it was a blur of congratulations. :)

On Sunday, we also set the date. We had wanted September 3rd for a lot of reasons. But we wanted to check with my parents because it's their anniversary. While I think that's cool, I wasn't sure if they would. But they did! So September 3rd, here in Michigan, we'll be getting married. We'll be having a separate reception in Tuscaloosa a few weeks later.

So now on to wedding planning! :)