Sunday, May 29, 2011

Engagement Pictures and Alabama Shower

Hello, neglected blog!

I've started to write. I've tried to write. But I haven't written. Sigh. Friday, I was all pumped to finally do a 5QF post, and then my day fell apart. But it's okay. Just a little office craziness. No worries.

Last weekend was a VERY exciting weekend! Back over a month ago, my future mother-in-Law and future sis

ter-in-law started planning a wedding shower in Alabama for us. Very nice. Over the course of time, we decided my parents would go as well, we would drive (room to bring back gifts), and then we decided that John would be coming back up with us! He had two job interviews up here that he couldn't make as he wasn't up here, so we decided it was just time.

We also scheduled our engagement pictures for that weekend as my maid of honor who lives in Tuscaloosa does great amateur photography.

A couple things stick out from the trip:

-The destruction in Tuscaloosa (and other places while driving) is so much worse than in pictures.

-Taking a ton of pictures is hard work, especially in the heat.

-Showers, while a blessing, can be a little uncomfortable when you don't know many people and they're all staring at you. :)

-Overall, I'm not a big fan of dressing people up in toilet paper as brides, but if it must be done, using the groom, 2 groomsmen, and father of the bride makes it much funnier!

-Living in the same state as your fiance' is a big plus! Especially on the weekends!

Here are some pictures.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Weekend..... Wedding Plans Update

I've been trying to post about last weekend since Monday. But since I wanted to include pictures, I kept getting error messages. And then yesterday? The Day Blogger Stood Still..... I couldn't get on at all!

Last weekend was busy. Last weekend was wonderful. Last weekend was stressful. Last weekend was beautiful. Last weekend was full of love. Last weekend was full of life. Last weekend was full of friends.
See them? They're my friends. Jason and Jessica. Last Saturday was their beautiful, fun, wonderful, loving wedding.

I had offered about a year ago to help with the wedding. They asked me to be a hostess/coordinator. Pretty much, help them both the day of the wedding. This included everything from taping unity candles to helping Jason's pants stay up to greeting guests entering the reception.

Friday night was rehearsal.
As with most rehearsals, it was a little crazy. There was trial and error. Everything was running late. But you know, it all worked out!

Next day, the wedding started at 2. I got there a little before 12. As mentioned before, there were many things to do. Greeters and ushers to organize, place cards to punch out, a bride to help, a groom who needed lots of help.... ;) But I loved it. I was with two of my closest friends on the biggest day of their lives helping them with anything they needed that I could help with. The wedding was beautiful. Jessica entered to "Only Hope" (the song from A Walk to Remember) right at the dramatic place. Jason burst into tears of emotion.

The wedding was at the church I'm having my wedding at. Coordinating theirs also gave me a chance to get a few more ideas, see the bride's room, etc.

After the bridal party took their pictures and left, we went into serious "clean the church" mode! Then it was off to the reception where I needed to help finish setting up. As guests started arriving, I greeted them, answered questions, etc. Fun stuff.

The wedding was fun. Everyone, including the bride and groom, seemed to really be enjoying themselves! I was not excluded from the fun - I had a lovely time!

Then the end of the reception came about..... um..... well. This is where things got a little crazy. You see, when I left the church, I was supposed to bring the guest book, the card box, some decorations, and Jessica's luggage. Somehow I ended up with a bridesmaid's purse as well. In the craziness, I mistook this for Jessica's purse. So, Jessica's purse was still at the church! After debating about the best way to handle this, eventually as Jason and Jessica left for the airport, the best man and I went back to the church, which he was able to open. I then got the purse and delivered it to the hotel at the airport hotel they were staying at. I then got their tux and dress from them. Keep in mind that as I'm leaving the hotel, it's about 1:00 a.m. I had to carry the tux and dress past airport security checkpoints, garnering some strange looks!

As I was riding home, I knew I really, really, really needed to stop for gas. But 1:30 a.m..... Saturday night.... Detroit. See the problem? Yeah. But a bigger problem? Would have been running out of gas in the bad area. So I stopped at a gas station right off the expressway. There, I had a lovely conversation with a high lady who wanted to discuss how men are pigs and whether she could buy a smoke from me. (No such luck for her! I don't smoke....) After about 3 gallons of gas, I decided that was enough to get me home, got in the car, and left.

The next morning, I had to take the tux to the best man and then I tried getting some rest before meeting my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday/Mother's Day. Then I went home to crash.

That was last weekend. Today was a very big day for me and my wedding! I finally decided on a wedding dress! After going back and forth, trying on about 50 dresses in about 7 shopping trips, it is finally over. :) I have a dress that I love! And in 16 weeks from tomorrow, I'll be getting married!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday - So Much to Be Thankful For

What I'm loving Wednesday....

There are so many things to love this week. There has been so much going on, not just with me, but with the world in the past week. It makes you really grateful for all the blessings in life.

For example, last week about this time, John went to his grandma's house to check on it as a neighbor had called to report a tornado in their area that night. This is what he found.
That was what used to be his grandma's bedroom. Thankfully, she was out of town on a last minute trip for 3 days. Otherwise, she would have most likely been in that very bedroom when the tree came through. It's funny to see God's hand in things like unexpected trips to the beach.

Later that day, as I'm sure most of you have heard, devastating tornadoes swept through Alabama. Again, no friends/family of mine were killed or injured. Property, yes. But lives? No. It's still very unsettling to look at pictures from Tuscaloosa. Remembering the times I've riden down those very streets. Remembering what it looked like just about a month ago when I was there last. Here are some pictures from the downtown area taken by a friend the next morning.

In some ways, it still doesn't seem real. The pictures look like something out of a movie. But they're not - they're reality for the people of Tuscaloosa. Other areas were hit also. Pray for Alabama. My friend Lauren, who lives in Hamilton, wrote a blog entry about her thoughts on the storm as she lives next to a town that was completely destroyed and her mother's house suffered damage as well. If interested, you can read that here.

There are still something like 400 people missing in Tuscaloosa alone. Please keep the whole region in your prayers. God alone has a way of bringing good from tragedy. I keep thinking of the Chris Tomlin song "Our God." There is a line in there that says "Into the darkness You shine; out of our ashes we rise." Alabama is going through darkness (When power was still being restored, the town didn't even look like a town. It was so dark you couldn't see anything. Thankfully, power has been restored). There are ashes, there is rubble everywhere. But God can and will shine through it all, and the region will rise again.

Sunday brought more surprising news - the death of Osama Bin Laden. This turned into quite the facebook controversy. While I'm thankful for our soldiers and military, I am not celebrating his death. Celebrating the fact that he was brought to justice on this earth? Yes. Celebrating the fact that he, who was made in the image of God, is spending eternity separated from Him? No. People say "He made his choice" or "He did terrible things; he deserves it." I'm not saying he didn't make his choice. He did. I'm just saying, from my perspective, I can't celebrate the fact that he is in hell. It's a fine line. I have mixed feelings. (If you're reading this and disagree, that's fine. I'm not trying to upset anyone.)

So what am I loving today? I'm loving the safety of my loved ones. I'm loving our American military. I'm loving the many, many blessings we have.

Oh, and on a more shallow note, I'm loving the fact that today is May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you all. :)