Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Survey

I am a huge lover of surveys! Back in the myspace days, I did about a million of them - whenever I had the chance. So I couldn't help but steal this Christmas survey from Kari at La Bella Vita. I highly recommend stealing it back from me too, if you feel so compelled. Thinking about Christmas always cheers my day up!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Not really either, unfortunately. If I had to choose, I would go with hot chocolate. I'm not a fan of warm beverages but it beats eggnog in my book.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? WHAT? Santa must wrap presents. That's just a give in. I would be furious if Santa ever got lazy on me like that!

3. Colored lights or white? I prefer white lights about 90% of the time. I recently saw some colored outdoor lights on a few houses and love them though. They were a mixture of reds, blues, greens, and yellows and they were smaller - not those gigantic old school bulbs. Those would be my exception to the white lights rule.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not yet - but I'd like to in the future!

5. When do you decorate for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving - we usually decorate a few days to a week after, but this year we had some spare time, so we decorated on Thanksgiving Eve. We don't have much in the way of decorations besides our tree, so it was pretty quick.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? I LOVE stuffing. We don't normally have stuffing at Christmas, but we do at Thanksgiving. Potatoes are another favorite - whether mashed or roasted, I'll be content. My husband's family also has an array of Polish dishes on Christmas Eve which is pretty phenomenal as well.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I think the year we went to Disney World at Christmas time was probably my favorite. There was just so much festiveness and decorations, and Christmas parades and the magic of being in Disney anyway made it so special. We also got to have a miniature Christmas on the actual day with my Grandpa (who lives in FL) and then also open presents when we got home from our trip (Santa had left them all under the tree while we were gone!) It was a wonderful experience.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I was about ten years old, I was watching an episode of Full House which was discussing the tooth fairy. I asked my mom "Is the tooth fairy real?" She asked me what I thought, and I decided that no, I don't think she probably was. My mom then asked me what I thought about the Easter Bunny, and I agreed that no, I don't think that he is real either. When my mom got to Santa, I bursted out "Well yes, of course SANTA is real!" My mom laughed and explained that no, he wasn't real either. I was a bit heartbroken at first, if you couldn't tell, haha.

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have a pre-lit tree already, and we decorate it in a red, white, and brown theme. Kind of earthy and modern. We have some chunky wooden ornaments in snowman, heart and star shapes, and some mini bells, in addition to regular round red bulbs and some white glass bulbs with glittery trees and red birds on them. I love the theme and can't wait to add more to it. I'd like to get some of those red berry branches for garland at some point.

10. Snow. Love it or hate it? ONLY at Christmastime. And it's looking like it won't be a white Christmas for us :(

11. Can you ice skate? Not well. I've gone a few times recently with my husband. He's huge on skating and hockey.

12. Do you remember your favorite gift? I'm not sure what would be my favorite. I got my very first cell phone when I was 15, and that stands out as a big one. As a kid, I'm not sure!

13. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Spending time with family, and remembering that Jesus is the real reason for celebration.

14. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Snowball cookies!

15. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching "A Christmas Story" a trillion times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It plays over and over again, all day long! We're starting to also play board games at every holiday and I really like that too. It's a more recent tradition though.

16. What tops your tree? Nothing! We're lame over here.

17. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I really like both. It's wonderful to give to someone and show that I care about them, but I also enjoy seeing the thoughtfulness that someone had for me too. I feel like a Grinch saying that I like both, though.

18. What is your favorite Christmas song? Lately I would say "Do You Hear What I Hear". I've heard some amazing renditions of it done and it makes me love it more and more.

19. Candy canes. Yuck or yum? YUMMY!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Yep, I'm already thinking about it. I'm big on those kind of goal-setting things (actually accomplishing the goal is a whole different story!)

I think that you could go back through my blog posts and find past resolutions that I have made, and I would venture to guess that none of them came to fruition. (Check here for last year's)

Hmmm. Actually, looking back on that list, I had some pretty realistic goals that obviously did come to fruition such as getting married and graduating, and applying for graduate school. This voids my whole argument!

I will continue anyway. This year my resolutions are more geared to bettering myself and my life. Too often I find myself caught up in this whirlwind of every day life, and I've been told by that sweet and endearing husband of mine one too many times that I do not have hobbies. Which is why I am bored. Maybe that's true. My New Year's Resolution is to explore more deeply into the things that I enjoy, but never really get around to. In the process I think these things will better my life in other ways as well.

1. Cook at least 4 times per week, and bake one treat or breakfast item per week
2. Try a new restaurant every month
3. Find an exercise program or class that I actually enjoy
4. Organize and decorate my house 
5. Plant a garden
6. Read more non-textbooks (I'm sure this will be easier said than done)


I think that is it for now! I will certainly update on my progress once things get underway. I've already bookmarked a ton of recipes that I want to try and a few restaurants that I'd like to go to, as well as a garden help website. I'm hoping 2012 will be a productive and enjoyable year and I won't get so caught up in the humdrum aspects of life.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm back!

Sorry for taking a bit of a hiatus! After Thanksgiving things were kicked into overdrive - I had multiple papers and group projects due all at the same time. I'm in the midst of finals week currently but I've already finished two of the three, so I'm much more relaxed now. The final on Friday shouldn't be too bad - our professor gave us a really good study guide and I'm feeling confident I'll do well (not like I've studied yet...but I will!)

It's hard to believe that I have basically finished my first semester. Crazy! That means I will have earned 12 credits thus far, out of a total 48 needed. Not too shabby. Since I did so well in my first 2 credit class, I am really hoping I'll get awesome grades in these others as well. I'd love to have a high GPA and possibly join the honor's society.

In work related news, I recently went on an interview for a full-time position. I felt like the interview went kind of strangely and I'm not sure what to think. I'm supposed to hear back later this weekend. At first I thought I would be crushed if I don't get it, but I'm happy in my current position. Though it would be nice to get some newer experiences and be able to work full time (better pay and benefits too!). If I did get this job, I'd be working with a totally different demographic of kids - much younger and more specifically with autism. Historically I have only worked with adolescents.

The Christmas season is upon us as well and we've decked our halls (a little). Our tree looks exactly the same as last year so I'm not bothering to take another picture. Next year we will start our tradition of chopping down our own real tree. It's about time too - the one we have currently is looking a bit forlorn and half of the lights are burnt out. Oh well. It's works!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thanksgiving eve

the Christmas tree is up and decorated.
pumpkin snickerdoodles are baked. (they aren't phenomenal, but they'll suffice).
the kitchen and bathroom floors have been scrubbed.
the living room has been vacuumed.
and dishes have all been washed and put away.

I'm feeling very accomplished and happy right now. Let the Thanksgiving break begin!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

stress dreams

when I'm stressed, I often have frequent headaches and stress-dreams. I feel like I'm making up the concept of "stress-dreams" but I think it's real. it's like where you are stressed in real life and that comes through in your dreams? at least I like to think that is true.

that basically sounds like my last few days. and whenever I have stress dreams I'm always waitressing. in all my 1,400 internship hours clocked so far in my life I have never had a dream about interning or any of my kids or co-workers. I'm always the lone waitress in a restaurant full of people and can't get around to wait on everyone.

last night I dreamt that I was the only waitress on the floor, although other girls were still there clocking out, including my sister (who does not work with me, but did work with me at DQ). a bunch of groups were walking in but I just couldn't get to them all.  I asked my sister to set some of them up for me (ie-give them silverware and drinks) and she did get drinks for one table but then left.

I went over to my first big party and all of the people in it were RIDICULOUS.  I asked for their drink orders and they started asking about what soups we had, and started ordering a bunch of appetizers. finally when they started ordering drinks they asked for the craziest things ever. one asked for some pink fruity girly drink, another asked for straight pineapple juice, and another wanted the drink with heart shaped pillows (???).  instead of telling them we didn't have such things, I rushed over to the drink station and started trying to make these beverages that don't exist. so frustrating.

the dream just went on and on like this. for the majority of it I was still trying to appease this one ridiculous table while more people filtered into the restaurant, inducing more and more stress.

I told Mark that we are going on a date tomorrow night. I need to get out and do something fun for a change.  besides the tv and internet, I can't even remember the last time I did something fun. it was probably when we went out to dinner 3 weeks ago to celebrate the end of my first grad class. we visited our families a couple of weeks ago but it was pretty brief on both counts since I had to work both of those days. le sigh. as much as I am happy to be a newlywed, I'll be really glad when this work/school combo stage of my life is over with.

Friday, November 4, 2011

nostalgic

for my developmental counseling class, we have to write a case study on ourselves.  which basically means we are to encompass our entire development thus far, from infancy until emerging adulthood (or adulthood, or wherever one might be).  I suppose you might as well consider me an adult since I'm married and financially independent and all, but being that I still don't have a technical career and am in school, I place myself in the emerging adulthood category. but I digress.

so far I've nearly skipped over infancy since let's be honest - it's the least interesting thing to write about and I don't remember it anyway, and dove into the preschool years.  thanks to my equally as nostalgic mother I have four different scrapbooks that she made for me, holding the keys to my childhood and adolescence - every school picture, report card, and random "superior athletics" certificate (that I certainly did not deserve, if you know anything about my athletic abilities).

I focused on two different elements of preschool development.  one - I have always loved to read and write.  I have this collection of short stories that I had written from ages 4-5, most of which my mom wrote down for me, but some of which I wrote myself that make literally no sense whatsoever.  as in, I think "urae" is supposed to mean "are" but what are we expecting here, people? I tend to think it's kind of impressive that I'm actually writing 1/2 legible words at age 4.

the short stories are mainly about twin sisters named Elliot and Toto.  no joke.  there is also a story where they meet a friend named Figaro.  I could't find anything in my textbook regarding making up weird names for people, though.  what I did find is that I was able to "decenter" meaning move away from egocentric thinking and becoming more able to use perspective taking skills.

boom. there's some smarts for you.

my preschool progress reports are kind of depressing.  my teacher expressed concerns that I was too focused on learning and that I was stressed with trying to be "perfect" and successful.  I guess depressing isn't the right word for it.  but it's pretty weird that I have been the same way since the age of 3, right?  she also said I was bright and that it was difficult to keep me busy. and that I would pout and sulk if I wasn't included in a group, which I find pretty humorous.

and for your enjoyment - my 4 year old preschool picture. I just took it with my phone on the scrapbook page, so it's a bit discolored.
awwwwww. note the weird pin/brooch. was that some sort of early 90s fashion thing?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

cleanliness

we are not the cleanest people in the world, I'm sure. I'd like to be cleaner, but sometimes when I actually have a spare minute to clean, I find that there are a million other things I'd rather do. like sit on the couch and do nothing. that in particular has become my favorite hobby lately.

alas, when you are married and living off on your own you have to keep your house clean. well, let me take a step back. you don't HAVE to do anything. I suppose technically you are free to make whatever decision about cleanliness that you want. but unless you are a gigantic slob without a care in the world, eventually clutter and filth will get to you. you might not pinpoint the state of your nasty house as the reason why you are feeling depressed, but hey. it's a likely possibility.

what I'm finding at our house is that we tend to let things get to that point. one morning I wake up and suddenly realize that the entire bathroom floor is covered in dirty clothes, there is a pile of grocery ads and granola bar wrappers next to the couch, and cat hair sticks to my feet as I walk across the kitchen floor. it's unpleasant to say the least. and the cat hair in particular makes me gag.

I'd love for us to get a system going so that we don't get to that point EVER AGAIN but I'm sure it'd bound to happen. we've done well lately with keeping the bathroom sink and toilet cleaned more often. ever since we boycotted paper plates we have been forced to do the dishes pretty much immediately after we use them, and I've been making a point of picking up clutter before bed.

for bigger (and more annoying) things like scrubbing floors and dusting I am at a loss. and distributing chores fairly is even more of a problem. usually whoever is working less or has less going on for school that week tries to pick up the bulk of the chores, but we've been relatively even lately. I'm not sure if it's just me being hypersensitive, but I feel like on weeks like that I'm the one picking up the slack.

things like this are a work in progress throughout all marriages I would imagine, which is unfortunate because in the grand scheme of things cleaning up doesn't really take that long. it would take even less time if we had a good organization plan in place!

how often do you clean certain areas of your house? how do you stay organized with when to clean what, and who cleans what?

Monday, October 31, 2011

bright spot

I went up to visit Mark during his lunch break just a bit ago. We went to McDonald's and I watched him eat (and stole some fries, of course).

It was then that I remembered the happiness that is all around me. Happiness is right here, in the home we built, with him. Even through all of the stress of our lives, we are blessed because we have each other. So we didn't get a chance to carve pumpkins this year or hand out candy to the kids in the neighborhood. At the end of the night he's coming home to me, and that is more than sufficient to make my Halloween -and every day- happy.

Halloween

This Halloween we are doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. We were planning to at least go to the pumpkin patch and maybe watch a scary movie, but never got around to it. Last Halloween we picked pumpkins, carved them, and went out to dinner. This Halloween - nothing.

Mark is working and I was supposed to be at class, but I stayed home today because I am just emotionally drained (not to mention swamped with homework that I never got a chance to work on this weekend). Life is really hard right now. We are both forced to work nearly full time to pay the bills, go to classes, and study. We don't have the time or the money to do anything fun. The spare time I do get is plagued with trying to keep the house clean, or feeling guilty that the house is a mess or that I have so much homework to do but would rather just veg out on the couch. It's really exhausting and I don't know how we are going to push through the next year and a half. It won't be easy, that's for sure.

I keep imagining the silver lining - the semester is nearly over! Christmas break! I can almost taste you! But after those few short weeks are up, it'll be right back to the grind. And same for over the summer - only at least I'll be taking one less class. It's hard to stay positive when everything that I'm looking forward to is so far away, and the near future is full of dread.

I've decided today, after feeling so upset that Halloween and most of the fall season has come and gone without me giving so much as a nod or a smile, that Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be big time events. I am going to treasure every moment of this holiday season. I don't want to regret the short amount of time that we have without school obligations by spending my break sleeping and watching TV (which is all I do lately apart from my current school and work obligations).

I thought I was pretty good with time management, but I realize now that I have a lot of learning to do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grad School Update


I am pleased to announce that school is going really well for me so far! I have completed one 1/2 semester, 2 credit class so far and aced it! My other classes appear to be going equally as well - we'll see when I get another exam back on Friday. I have a lot of bigger assignments coming up in the next few weeks, and have started on my next 2 credit class as of last night, so I will really need to be in the zone as far as discipline and organization. There is much studying to be done!

The newest class I started is on Multicultural Counseling, and while at first I was feeling a bit timid about it, I'm really optimistic that I'm going to learn a lot. Growing up in the suburbs and attending a Christian school from pre-K until 12th grade wasn't exactly helpful in exposing me to diversity. Thankfully, since coming to college, my eyes have been opened to lots of different kinds of people from all different backgrounds. I do acknowledge that I have a lot to learn, still. I think even if I had been brought up in a different setting though, my culture would probably be different, but I wouldn't necessarily know more about other cultures. It makes me feel like all beginning students are probably in similar places.

Anyway, it should be really interesting - lots of discussions, debates, and hands on projects and interviews. I'm a little nervous about the interview part. We are supposed to either choose a cultural event to attend or a person to interview that is outside of our own background, and it cannot be somewhere you've gone to before or someone you know. Talk about nerve wracking! Our professor talked about how this is meant to be scary and to take you out of your comfort zone, so I guess I'm in the right place feelings-wise.

It's hard to believe only about six weeks remain until final exams! I'm really hoping I keep my grades up, and am considering even joining the honors society if I'm eligible. I think you only need 12 credits, which I will have earned by the semester's end. Wish me luck!
photo credit

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Relaxing weekend

As far as weekends go, I usually don't have many good things to say about them because they are always so busy. But this weekend I actually got to relax some, which was so great! I think I ended up doing a little bit too much relaxing to be honest - today I have quite a lot of studying and assignments to catch up on so I'm definitely not excited about that.

Friday afternoon I had class, and afterward I came home and did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I watched the movie "My Sister's Keeper," as well as 3 subsequent hours of TV and went to bed. It was glorious, but I think it set the tone for me being a little bit too lazy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday I had to work in the morning, and afterwards I went over to my family's house. We had been planning on going to the cider mill and go apple picking, but by the time we got there and with other events going on that night there just wasn't enough time. We ate some Burger King and played Clue instead. I also laid around on the couch and watched yet ANOTHER movie. Wow.

Later that night my parents left to go out and watch the Tigers game at a restaurant with some friends, so I stuck around with my two youngest siblings, who are 10 and 11, to hang out. We played Clue again, and Yahtzee, and ate some pizza rolls. I don't get to spend a lot of time usually with just the two little ones and I thought it was really fun. Hanging out with kids is always a blast, in my opinion.

Today has been super lazy so far! I need to get a move on getting some homework done and going grocery shopping but I'm having trouble getting the motivation to do those things. We were supposed to be going to a birthday party for Mark's side of the family, but unfortunately he ended up having to work - so it's just me and my kitty, lounging in bed, without a care in the world (except the pile of homework on the bed next to me).

Hope everyone else had a great weekend, too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Once upon a time,

Once upon a time, there was a precocious young man, whom everyone liked, named Jimmy Brooks.
 He started out as your typical eighth grader at Degrassi Community School, and everyone loved him. He had a fabulous relationship with his girlfriend Ashley, and was a star basketball player.

One day, a crazed and psychotic student named Rick shot Jimmy in the back for humiliating him in front of the whole school. It was actually Jimmy's best friend Spinner who came up with the scheme. The result? Jimmy became paralyzed.

After high school, Jimmy disappeared for a short time but later emerged - no longer paralyzed and under a new alias...
Yep. Same person. My beloved Jimmy Brooks, from Degrassi, suddenly becomes a "hip hop artist/rapper"??? I just can't get over it.

I know, I know. He's been around as "Drake" for at least a year, if not two, right? So why am I still hung up over it every time I heard him come on the radio. It just feels wrong. This is not the Jimmy Brooks I know and love. This is not the sweet and perhaps slightly misunderstood paraplegic who I grew up with, who was in eighth grade when I was in seventh, who I watched on TV religiously even after high school graduation. WHY, Jimmy/Drake? WHY are you making these confusing transitions that I just can't comprehend!? I mean, you used to play the drums in that band with your friends, but this is just not the same!

I am trying my best to accept this new "you." I'll get there eventually.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why is it?

Eating healthy is so stinkin' hard.  Why is that, anyway?  I swear I have the best of intentions but success is allusive.  I'm about finished with tracking calories because I can never seem to do anything right.  If I'm on target with calories, then I'm too high in fat, or sodium, or didn't get enough fiber, or had more than one egg so my cholesterol is through the roof.  I understand these things aren't an exact science by any means, but it still really irritates me and I think I might be better off with a good old fashioned food diary that I write in daily.

I've been quite interested in the Paleo Diet lately, as I had heard about it from some of the girls from my wedding month club.  I started doing a little bit of research, but it's hard to get definitive answers as to whether is is healthy or not.  It does seem that many people have had success on this "diet" (more like life style), but I just don't know if it is right for me.  The basics seem healthy enough - comprise your diet of the basic fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts & berries that early people may have eaten before agricultural times.  Grains and dairy are eliminated from the diet, grains 100% and dairy for the most part.  I have read some articles which state that butter is sometimes used in this diet, and some full-fat dairy products are also substituted.  Potatoes and other starches are also eliminated for the most part as they wouldn't have been eaten raw in the paleolithic times, apparently.


If I do dabble in it, I would continue to consume dairy products - and probably not full fat ones, either.  Getting rid of grains is bad enough, you can't expect me to not have milk, cheese, or yogurt!  Those items are like three separate food groups of their own in my personal pyramid.  Giving up potatoes would be awfully hard for me too, but I'm sure that would be for the best.

PS - my only accomplishment in healthy eating and exercise lately was eating 3 pounds of apples in two weeks.  I don't know if I should consider that a success or not...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My cat has a shoe fetish

Anyone know what is up with this? Every single night my cat curls up on the rug by the front door and cuddles with our shoes! He's been doing this on and off for a while but lately he's been totally consumed by the shoes. I'm guessing it's the scent? Sometimes he'll stick his face in a shoe for a moment before hugging it and dozing off to sleep. Such a weird one.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healthy (ish) eating, days two and three

Day two didn't go so well. It started out okay but I was super hungry! Plus it was my longest day of the week (interning from 8:30 to 5 and then class from 5:30 to 9) so there wasn't much of a choice when I got hungry and ran out of food - I had to stop somewhere :(

Breakfast: crackers, a banana (running super late)
Snack: homemade apple sauce from a coworker
Lunch: turkey sandwich with miracle whip, doritos, baby carrots, apple
Snack: McDonald's grilled chicken honey mustard snack wrap, small fry
Dinner: homemade burger, sour cream and cheddar chips, dill pickle, glass of milk

I suppose my lack of a proper breakfast kind of ruined things. I managed to end up under 2000 calories, but over my 1700 calorie goal.

Today has been much better :) I even managed to stop by the rec center at school after working! 30 minutes on the elliptical burned just under 300 calories (which was about how much that McDonald's was yesterday, woo hoo!)

Breakfast: banana, strawberry yogurt
Lunch: turkey and swiss sandwich with miracle whip, doritos, apple
Snack: nature valley cinnamon granola bar
Post workout snack: crackers (that were still in my car from yesterday)
Dinner: Meatloaf, oven fries, peas & green beans, garlic bread, and a glass of milk

Net calories for today: 1554! Nice job, me!
(Note: net calories is calculated based on calories consumed minus calories burned. So even though I technically consumed more than the 1700 odd calories that is recommended, I still came out okay because of my work out).

I know so many people out there are in the same spot as me - working hard, eating healthy, avoiding temptations as best as possible. I hope you all have success & become healthier, happier people.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy (ish) eating, day one

I've decided to start blogging about my "get healthy" efforts again. Today was the first day of getting back into the swing of healthy eating and so it wasn't a perfect day, but it wasn't half bad. I've decided to try and employee the 3 meals/2 snacks or 5-6 small meals/ whatever you want to call it and see how it works out.

I didn't eat much throughout the whole day and surprisingly didn't feel hungry until I ran out of snacks and had to wait until my class got out to eat dinner. And then of course since I was so hungry and since it was late, I didn't feel much like cooking, and the husband had apparently picked up a pizza sometime earlier today - so there is my explanation for that!

Breakfast/Meal One: Thomas's 100% Whole Wheat Bagel with 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
Side note: these bagels are awesome! I'm usually hard pressed to find a whole wheat bagel that doesn't taste too...healthy. But this one is really good and has 10 grams of protein to boot!
AM Snack/Meal Two: Banana
This wasn't really an AM snack. I ate breakfast at about 10:30 so it was after noon when I had my snack. But you get the picture.
Snack/Meal Three: Yogurt
Snack/Meal Four: Apple, Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles
The plan was for the Ruffles to be my one cheat of the day.
Snack/Meal Five: Nature Valley Bar (Oats and Honey)
Dinner/Meal Six: 2 slices of pizza, glass of milk
Oh well.

I did really great with drinking water, and the only downside was that I didn't get a chance to work out. I was supposed to this morning, but with so much studying that I'm trying to keep on top of it just didn't work out.

Speaking of which, I should probably remove the computer from off of the textbook I'm supposed to be reading - I literally am smashing all of the pages with my beautiful little laptop. Here's to hoping tomorrow will be healthier!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Commence Craziness

Blogging has taken a back burner for the time being, as well as much of my internet activity unless it has to do with academics because....GRAD SCHOOL HAS BEGUN!

I really like it so far but I'm a little overwhelmed with the course load. I am going full time though, so if necessary I can either cut back on classes or cut back on work hours (I'm working about 30-40 hours per week between both of my jobs). I'm really liking how I have an entire class focusing on getting us introduced to the profession of counseling and all of the different realms of possibility that we could study and eventually become employed in. I'm still leaning towards school counseling, but there are so many options that I know it will be hard to choose!

We also got our professional wedding pictures back and are in the process of working on sifting through and finding the right ones for albums, frames, and all of that stuff. I haven't shown off many yet but here is one of my favorites (our grand entrance!) - 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Versatile Blogger

Yay! Thanks to Frizby from Fun, Food, and Foolishness! for awarding me with The Versatile Blogger!

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Anyone receiving The Versatile Blogger award must follow the rules and share the award with other versatile bloggers.
Rule 1 - Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in the post.
Rule 2 - Tell your readers seven things about yourself.
Rule 3 - Give this award to fifteen other Versatile Bloggers
Rule 4 - Contact those bloggers and let them know about the award 



Seven Things about Me!
1. My favorite colors are pink and yellow
2. I love singing and consider it a hidden talent even though some people have heard me sing before.
3. I've been to Disney World 3 times in my childhood and am dying to go back ASAP
4. I could watch the movie Mean Girls over and over again.
5. I have never been to another country, not even Canada or Mexico.
6. I am the oldest of six children
7. Fall is my favorite season and I'm super excited for it to begin


Now, I'll pass the award on!
Mr. vs Mrs.
Our Transatlantic Love
Something Old, Something New
The Domestic Dugout
Mommy in waiting
It's Just the Beginning...
Forever and A Day
Chic Fit Geek
Aaron's Blog 2.0
[Iron] Bowled Over: House United
TwentySomethingLady
The Couple That Cooks Together
For the Love of Words
Wife on a Budget
Bride in Waiting

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pinteresting!

I've been neglecting my blog a little bit more than usual, which I'm truly sorry for.  Every time I log in and get set to write something, the inspiration just does not come.  I used to have so much to say when wedding planning was in full swing, but life has slowed down quite a bit apart from working.  I have umpteen stories from my internship that I could share, but none of which I feel comfortable sharing due to privacy reasons.

A new way to use my time has surfaced, however.  I have discovered Pinterest. And I am in love. This is about the coolest thing I have ever seen.  It is an inspiration wonderland for just about anything in life.  SO neat!

In just a short 12 hours I have already found my future bedroom...(via sparklethots.com)

I've started designing my pseudo-baby's nursery...(via blog.buknola.com)

And I've stumbled upon countless pretty and adorable little quotes and pictures...


It is love.
Follow me, if you would like! http://pinterest.com/sammichele/
If you are interested in getting your own pinterest, please let me know and I'd be happy to invite you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two weeks left of semi-freedom

My first semester of graduate school begins in just about two weeks. I can hardly believe it!  Honestly, it's felt really weird not having to go to school since my graduation at the end of April.  Since freshman year of college I've taken at least one class during the summer, so having no school or studying to do whatsoever has been really refreshing - but I'm ready to go back.  I'm ready to do this.

My future schedule will be a little crazy.  Mondays and Tuesdays will be long days for me - I'll be at my internship from 11 to 5, and then classes from 5:30 to 9.  Wednesday will be strictly interning from 8:30 to 5.  Thursdays will be my day off - yay!  Fridays will be a pretty breezy day, one class from 1:30 to 5.  I'm super stoked about having Friday nights to myself.  I've had to work nearly every Friday night since I started waitressing last November.  It gets really REALLY old.

Saturday and Sunday nights will be devoted to waitressing (sigh).  Can I please just quit working there soon?  PLEASE, someone give me permission.  I can't in all good conscience quit just yet - the money is too easy for the time and work put in.  My sanity is the only thing suffering.

Like I said though, I'm actually excited for school.  I'm ready to absorb knowledge and learn my future trade.  I'm ready to change the world! (sort of).  I'm ready to be on the right track to snagging a super awesome counseling job.  I'm ready to be a licensed professional!  I can't wait to see how all of this grad school stuff pans out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Heart Thursdays

In my world, Thursdays are like - the BEST day ever. It's like the weekend to me. My only day off - usually. But for the sake of this post we will just go with simple - Thursdays are my day off.

When I first started working six days a week, a combination of working at my internship Monday-Wednesday and waitressing Friday-Sunday, I was a bit of a wreck. I think I might tend to over-exaggerate a little and felt like having only one day off just wouldn't be enough to accomplish all that I needed to do around the house, plus relaxing, plus having fun. But so far it's working out just fine. Things will change once school starts in September - but I'm trying not to think about that much.

At first I spent my day off doing absolutely nothing. To the point that I didn't even shower, let alone leave the house. I would shuffle from my bed, to the couch, to the fridge, and back again. I would contemplate doing some chores, and then let the thought dissipate as day turned to evening, and I found myself waking up on Friday morning with a boatload of laundry to do before work at 4 (or some other similar chores). Not good.

The last few weeks have been better. I'm planning more errands, cleaning, and fun things to do during my spare time. I know that most of my Thursdays from here on out will be filled with studying, so I'm trying to enjoy the last few that I have.

Yesterday, Mark and I had a meeting with a financial representative to talk about my life insurance policy and have things switched over to my married name. It was a really interesting meeting and I'm actually looking forward to meeting with this guy occasionally. One of my biggest fears is not having enough money/savings and being in too much debt, and it sounds like he has a lot to offer in terms of advising and insurance and mutual funds and more.

Afterwards we went out to a metro park and rode bikes for a LONG time. A little bit too long for someone as out of shape and un-athletic as I am. Riding back to the car I was in some serious pain. Plus we should keep in mind that the bike I own is the same one I've had since I was 13 or 14 - so it's not exactly in tip top shape for mountain biking of any kind. But overall I enjoyed myself and I think we'll go back and do some biking again sometime soon.

We also went out to my parent's house to get my oil changed and have dinner. It was a fun, and although I wasn't planning on spending the majority of my evening over there, it ended up being a good time.  My dad's birthday is on Sunday so we'll be seeing everyone again in just a few days.

My other plans for Thursday-Funday? Greenfield Village, and one last trip to The Detroit Zoo. Can't wait!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Growing up

Growing up kind of sucks sometimes.  I've spent all morning leafing through paperwork and websites trying to figure out student loan repayments, paying off credit card debt, creating a budget, and attempts to answer my own insurance questions.  I was even dreaming about writing out a budget last night!

Google just doesn't seem to want to answer my questions either.  I just NOW figured out after months of expecting to sign up for a certain payment plan for my private student loans that only the standard one is even available!  I'll have to defer that loan while I'm still in school for sure now.  I was hoping to only defer my federal loans, but since so many payment options are available I guess I might as well start chipping away at that instead.  It's just frustrating to think about, though, because as I slowly pay off what I've already accumulated, I'll be adding more to the pot each semester I attend graduate school.  Sometimes I feel like I'll be swimming in debt forever.

If student loans were all I had to worry about, things wouldn't be so bad.  Thank goodness Mark hasn't had to take out a single student loan in all of his years of school.  I can't imagine having double the debt looming overhead.  We do have some credit card debt though, which is disappointing.  The saddest thing is that the majority of my purchases on my credit card were for school!  I paid for books and small portions of tuition on that stupid card.  This education is costing me an arm and a leg, and it better be worth it in the end.

Growing up is mostly awesome though.  Having my own place = amazing.  Being married to the most wonderful man in the whole world = more than I could have wished for.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

So what's next?

What crazy shenanigans will we embark on now that married life has begun?


TRAVELING TO AFRICA AND HEADING ON A SAFARI!?
No.  Not so much.  Not saying that wouldn't be amazing, but it's just not on my "what's next" sort of list.  Traveling is not something that either of us have a strong passion for.  

It seems that all of my real answers are just SO incredibly cookie cutter and boring that I debated not even writing a post about this.  But since it is on my mind so often, as a future-oriented person, I figured I would anyway.

DISCLAIMER - about a quarter of the way through writing this post I realize I'm becoming very long winded.  I wouldn't judge you at all if you skimmed through, or gave up all together.


1. School -
School is (fortunately or unfortunately) a major priority for us right now.  My vacation from school will be very short lived, as I'm starting up graduate school in September and the husband (hehe, I think I will call him husband from now on instead of Mark) will be heading back for another year of chipping away at his Bachelor's degree.  Graduation will probably be around the same time for both of us.  I have to meet with an advisor within the first few weeks to map out my course plan, so I'll have a better idea once that happens.

Basically in my counseling program, you are given certain options for tracks that you can follow.  The first decision is whether or not you want to follow along the Community/Agency Counseling path, or mosey on down the path of School Counseling.  I agonized over this decision for a long time before I learned at my recent orientation that you can actually do both! - you just have to start off with the School path and take some of the Community/Agency courses as electives.  Yay!

After finishing all of my coursework, I'll be able to graduate and be eligible for licensure in both types of counseling BUT, I'll have to go on for 12 more credits of a specialization.  Just calculating off hand, my graduation will be in spring of 2013, and I'll take the credits to earn my specialization that fall (and it is possible to be employed on restriction during the completion of those credits).

2. Buying a House
As any avid reader of my blog might know, we have been renting the same house for just over a year now.  The house does just fine for now, but it's incredibly small.  We're taking 10x10 bedrooms small.  Two of them.  And one itsy bitsy bathroom.  Of course, we can manage - but not for any serious length of stay.  I have much higher hopes.

We originally moved here anyway because it was the halfway point between our two colleges, but since we won't be going to school forever (or will we?  gasp) I'd much rather move a bit closer to our families. We're approximately a half hour from my family, and forty minutes from Mark's.  Not too far, but not as close as I'd like to be :)

With our little nest egg of wedding gift money, plus some additional savings over the next 7 or so months, we'll hopefully say goodbye to our current rental in May and be moving into a nice, bigger, possibly fixer-upper place of our own.  We plan to start scoping out the deals on the market around February of next year.

3.  Careers -
What else can I say?  Working an internship and waitressing on the side is not in my forever plan.  But the career can't really come until after grad school is completed.  I might still try my luck at the very few possible full time career related jobs that will accept possession of a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.  Meh.

4.  Starting a Family -
It's no secret that I love children, always have.  Being the oldest of six children has helped guide that along I think, although I can see in some circumstances how that would deter one from having children...but I digress.  Kids are definitely for us.  The problem is figuring out when the most opportune time would be for us to have children.  I have a few different time lines floating around in my head, but for now I plan to pass the time with getting ready whatever I can right now - mainly saving money, prepping my body for a healthier lifestyle, and researching a whole bunch.  And contemplating baby names, none of which Mark and I can ever agree upon.

5. Adopting a New Pet!
We might get another cat.  Probably when we move into our (hopeful) new house.  As a housewarming gift to ourselves.  OMG I'm so excited to have kitty friend for my kitty!  If they end up hating each other I will be so upset.

Ah, yes.  Starting our lives together "officially" has me planning and organizing and freaking out about things that are so far in the future that I can't even picture what life will be like.

Obviously I'm probably a little bit too excited about all of this adult/married stuff.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Married Life

(taken on our honeymoon while we were out to lunch at the boardwalk)

Now that I'm married, the question on (apparently) everyone's mind is "how does it feel?????"

And my answer - "the same."

I guess this might be the downside to living together before marriage, although I'm certainly not complaining. "The Same" old stuff is a happy, fun, and loving home with the two of us and our kitty.
-We've begun to tackle more organizational skills like setting specific goals for keeping the house clean.
--We've merged our bank accounts and have started paying bills out of one lump sum instead of splitting everything down the middle like roommates. We've also begun to tackle saving vs spending, credit card debts and student loans, and all the fun things about marriage (gag).
---We've changed my name on at least the most important and most pressing documents, but that's been an hassel and a half trying to finish. Next on the list is the title and registration for my car, and mailing in proof to my student loans. I'm still baffled by my credit card name change and have been avoiding calling because they always try to sell me all sorts of protections and whatnot whenever I do.

And we've been out having fun and living up the newlywedded bliss! Between our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach, heading out to the zoo, shopping, out to dinner downtown, and crossing our fingers that a camping trip might be in our future before summer ends.

The only problem is that I've been working a ton lately, and with school starting up in about a month I'm starting to get really stressed. I'm worried that since I'm taking 12 credits, which according to advisors from the program is a very full load of coursework, and am working an internship plus waitressing on the side, that studying time will be futile. The problem is that I don't want to give up the internship because I love working there and it's great experience - but it pays so poorly! I guess I'm lucky to be paid at all, people tell me, but I honestly don't know if I would have accepted the job if it didn't pay or if I had known the pay had been reduced since I last worked there two years ago. I'm going to stick with it for as long as I can, but I definitely won't be staying longer than a year.

I'll leave you with honeymoon picture or two: most of them are somewhere floating around the husband's desktop but he's been so picture crazy lately I don't even know where I would begin to try and find one.

View from atop the Sky Wheel
Beach!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

wedding recap (final part)

I feel like I'm getting way too long winded with my wedding recaps. There is so much to say, and every detail feels like it is somehow important, but I guess i need to draw the line somewhere so that I can start blogging about life as a newlywed!

The basic jist of the rest of the night:

1. Our first dance was super sweet. I serenaded Mark a little bit.
2. Dancing with my dad was funny and nice. He was really uncomfortable being in front of everyone (again).
3. The bouquet and garter toss were the most fun! If you have a lot of singles at your wedding (which we did) I highly recommend. I didn't think that it was going to be our thing, but it ended up being a blast. Mark accidentally took off the wrong garter though, and I made him put it back on and retrieve the correct one (anal much?)




4. My friends made the night. They really did. We had so much fun, I wished it would never end.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

wedding recap (part 3)

We still haven't gotten our professional pictures back yet, but my neighbor took a bunch of pictures during the wedding and recently gave us a CD of some 75 photos. I've been having technical difficulties with some of these pictures but I'll post what I can!

Our grand entrance was really fun. The wedding party walked in to "Welcome to the Jungle" and Mark and I walked in (sort of danced in) to "Yeah 3x" by Chris Brown. We got up to the head table, and I tried to make my way over to my chair behind everyone, but there was very little space available and my dress was huge! Attempting to sit down and then scoot my chair in was even more difficult. Eventually we tried just laughing a little to break the tension of the room because it felt like a good 5 minutes that I was trying to squeeze behind everyone and then somehow sit down.

Josh, the best man, gave his speech afterwards, but not until the DJ rushed over to rearrange us a bit at the table. Instead of sitting bridesmaids on one side and groomsmen on the other, everyone was scattered in the order that we walked in. He quickly shifted the best man and maid of honor next to us and left the rest alone. Josh's speech was pretty funny - he was "winging" the entire thing and I think he did a pretty good job! He tried to retell the story of how we met and got it a little bit wrong, though. He ended up saying something along the lines of "Waved to this girl on the street, and next thing I know he told me he brought her up to the apartment..." which sounded a little scandalous, and that's definitely not how it happened :)

Dinner was really yummy but it was too hard to eat. For one, I wasn't hungry, and secondly, my dress wouldn't allow much room for food. I at least at most of the bow tie alfredo which was to die for and ended up being a huge hit amongst many of the guests that I talked to. I considered walking around and visiting tables during dinner but it was so hard to move around in that dress, squeezing out of my own table and then between tables and all of that. There was plenty of glasses clinking and lots of kissing at the table too; this picture turned out adorably.

Shortly after dinner we went and cut our gorgeous cake! It was dessert overload at our reception, between the cake, the cupcakes, and dessert trays provided by the venue, it was just crazy! I managed to eat one of the cupcakes and ate some more later in the night as well. I am still just so pleased with how beautiful the cake turned out - exactly what I hoped it would look like! We were nice to each other when we fed each other the cake - I have a picture but I'm holding out for a better one.

There is still much more reception recap to come!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

wedding recap (part 2)

Where we last left, we were about to walk down the aisle (my dad and I). Everyone was outside already and we started inching our way up to the doors and then outside near the cobblestone pathway. I was obviously terrified. My dad kept trying to calm me down, but I must have looked like I was about to faint. For a few moments there I swear I lost feeling in part of my body. It was so surreal to be in that moment! As we got closer to Mark and the "altar" of sorts, I was apparently heard saying "I really just want to sit down right now" of which I have no recollection. Talk about nervous! I'm turning into a basket case that doesn't even remember my own words.

When I reached my mom, we stopped to hug, and as I turned to her we both burst into tears. This was the biggest crying moment of the whole day. I'm surprised that we were able to compose ourselves so quickly afterward. After the hug, we walked a few more steps and here my dad gave my hand to Mark's (awww). It's hard to describe the flutters that I felt looking into his eyes - I definitely felt insanely giddy and a little big giggly, but I tried my best to hold it back. Mark told me I was beautiful and that he loved me dress! I was so worried that he wouldn't like it because it was kind of princessy and poofy and he doesn't typically like dresses like that. He even told me that this was "exactly the dress I would pick" which was really sweet.

The ceremony was a little bit mishap filled. For one, our microphone wasn't working whatsoever. Occasionally it would spit out some horrible feedback sounds, but nothing helpful. So I'm not sure what anyone heard, or if our video footage will pick up any of the sound for the first half of the ceremony. Honestly though, I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't notice we were having technical difficulties until the Pastor pointed it out to everyone.

I pieced together a lot of the ceremony myself, but the pastor added in little tidbits of a joke or a comment here and there. It kind of annoyed me that he wasn't sticking to the script I worked so hard on, but I won't dwell on that.

Two of my brothers did readings for us (and one put up a huge fight but finally came around), and afterwards the mic was handed off to the pastor and the rest of the ceremony could be heard (I think?) just in time for our vows.

This moment ALMOST got emotional. There were some tears in our eyes, but nothing major. I was still feeling generally giggly and giddy, which was pretty surprising. I thought I'd be sobbing all over the place but I guess my happiness was expressed differently. We exchanged the rings, which was a pretty funny moment because neither of us knew when to actually slide the ring on. Finally, we are pronounced husband and wife! Sorry, nobody (at least that I've seen) got a picture of the kiss (which we did practice, so I hope it turned out okay!)
This is quite far away, but here we are walking back down the aisle. It was so crazy to look at all of our family members and friends and cameras and gosh - so hard to describe. It's not often that you see all of the people that you love in one place, and all in support of you and your new spouse. An amazing feeling, to be sure. God is so good.

After the ceremony is when the real frustrations started. I was still quite serene for the most part, due to the severe happiness of the occasion, but we weren't quick enough after the ceremony and somehow fell into an impromptu receiving line. We weren't planning on having one because our time for pictures was limited to only about 45 minutes or less, so this definitely put a damper on things and is probably one of my biggest regrets/worries at the moment.

Picture time was also cut into because I unfortunately had left my engagement ring in the getting ready room, and NONE of the groomsmen or Mark had put on their boutonnieres! So we were a little rushed as there was some frantic running around courtesy of my maid of honor/sister and then the waiting of the guys actually getting the bouts on. Since the guys were late getting there, there has been some speculation of no pictures with groom and groomsmen only. I'll be sort of upset if that is true, but I'm even more upset that we had little to no time to get pictures with our grandparents. Much later in the night we finally got a chance to get some with my grandma and grandpa, but we didn't manage to get any with Mark's grandparents. I spotted them snapping a few with their own cameras during the father/daughter dance, so I guess there is that.

After pictures, our DJ came out to start lining us up for the grand entrance! Reception time was already almost here...


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

wedding recap (part 1)

I've been waiting for the moment when I can finally sit down and try to write everything I remember about our wedding day. It was really such an amazing and special day and I wish sometimes that it wasn't over so quickly. I would love to relive every moment (and plan to we get our pictures and video back).

We went the non-traditional route and decided to spend the night together in our own house. It felt like the right thing to do for us and made me less nervous. That morning I was awoken by my (now) sister-in-law calling my phone at 8:30 AM. She had let her daughter play with the phone and it somehow randomly dialed me. Ha! What are the odds of that, I wonder?

Mark slept in a bit longer than me but I was far too excited to sleep after that. I showered and tried just watching TV and relaxing. After Mark woke up we got in the car and headed to a little place down the road for breakfast. The morning with just the two of us alone was really emotional, and I definitely am glad that we were together and able to have those moments because they were few and far between during the actual wedding.

After breakfast and getting home, we parted ways and I drove out to my parents' house. I was a little early and just hung out with my brothers and sisters, watching TV. I was hoping that some of my bridesmaids would be earlier to keep me company, but most of them got there between 12:30 and 1 for our 1:00 hair appointments. We got to the salon and got started right away. I got both my hair as well as air-brush makeup done.

After the salon, we had some downtime at the house for the other girls to get their makeup done and to get dressed. I was so anxious to just get going at that point. Minutes felt as though they were ticking by more quickly than usual, but not quickly enough for me.

But then FINALLY, it was 4:00 and we could get me in that dress!




We got a few pictures with my family beforehand, then packed in the car and headed to our venue. The day was GORGEOUS, I have to say. Sunny, upper 70s, perfect. I was so worried that the weather would cause us to move the ceremony indoors but it was just fabulous. We arrived at the same time that Mark's parents were arriving and so we all went into the reception hall to get our flowers and see how everything was set up.

O. M. G.

I cannot describe to you my happiness. All of my planning, all of the turmoil, come to fruition! It could not have looked more perfect. I was in love. I can't wait to get some pictures back of our decor. I was especially blown away by our gorgeous cake table and our bouquets! Here is one of our teaser professional pics of my bouquet. I was extremely pleased with the bridesmaid bouquets as well.
After getting settled, we went out into the garden and took some formal pictures with my family and my girls. Our photographer was a tad late, and I was worried that Mark would show up too soon and see me too early, but it all worked out well. I made sure to call him and let him know that if he could make a short pit stop and arrive 15 minutes later it would be in his best interest :)

He apparently did not hear me say 15 minutes, though, because he was a bit later than that. Guests were already beginning to arrive even while we were taking the formals, and so my girls and I headed into the getting ready room to wait it out until the big walk down the aisle. We had a good time blowing off steam by dancing around to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and taking pictures.



Soon my dad would come back to wait with me as the girls went to line up, and we'd head out to walk down the aisle! ...

Monday, July 4, 2011

wedding week recap

Mark and I just got back from our honeymoon late last night, so it's time to begin recaps of the wedding week! My facebook is blown up with pictures and I'm excited to share some of them with you all.

Wednesday was our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The weather was absolutely crazy that day, and so our outdoor rehearsal and rehearsal dinner barbecue were forced to be moved indoors. There was a tornado warning (one that actually touched down not too far away from our venue), torrential downpours, power outages that caused traffic jams galore, but we still managed to rehearse (albeit a little later than scheduled). I was a little nervous that we didn't get to practice everything in the actual garden, but the layout was really very similar.

Our dinner was great. We had it at my parents' house and got fried chicken, and my mom made a slew of side dishes and a few different types of brownies. Later after everyone left Mark and I relaxed in the hot tub with my mom, dad, and sister.

Thursday was my bachelorette party. It took quite the blood, sweat, and tears to plan exactly what we were going to do, but we finally ended up with a plan. We started the night off at PF Chang's (our go-to place for a nice dinner), then went out to a nearby bar & grill that my sister knew of (and could get into, since she's still an under-21). I was somehow forced to sing karaoke, drink a few things I probably shouldn't have, and take some posed pictures with nearly every young guy in the bar. Later we attempted another bar, but unfortunately the Thursday night scene wasn't too exciting. We went back to my friend's house for a bonfire and girl time instead. Here are a few pictures of the night!

The girls at dinner.

Oh nooo.
Not tequila!

Sorry, boys!

Friday was basically a rest, recovery, and preparation day. We also had a birthday party for a friend (who's birthday was actually on our wedding day) and so we headed out that night to the pre-party and a baseball game before calling it an early night. We needed our beauty rest for the big day, and excitement and nerves were running high as it was.

And so to bed we went in high anticipation for our wedding day...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

We're Married!

The wedding day was absolutely beautiful and we are so happy. I'll do a full recap of everything later on, but for now I'll leave you with a couple of sneak peak pictures, courtesy of our wonderful photographer!

Mark keeps repeating "you're my wife!" over and over again. I could get used to this :)

We leave for our honeymoon shortly, so I'll have lots more to share very soon. Stay tuned!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

6 days.

Only 6! Wow.

I don't have much else to say. I feel like there is a lot to do still, but really there isn't. My aim is for everything to be finished by Tuesday. Wednesday is our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and Thursday is my bachelorette party. Friday I'm going to get my nails done and Mark and I have a birthday celebration to go to that night - hopefully it will help us relax and de-stress a little bit. Then Saturday is the BIG day!

I will update all of the upcoming events with posts and pictures accordingly, I promise!

Friday, June 10, 2011

No time!

Life is going crazy right now and I feel like I have no time to do much of anything anymore! I'm working at an internship in addition to waitressing, finishing up last minute wedding details, and in the interim I am basically asleep. In fact, I apparently work at either job for the next 13 days straight with no day off! Not to mention some double shifts thrown in there. This could not come at a more horrible time of course, since we're talking about the 1-2 weeks before my wedding. It just figures, doesn't it?

Accomplishments this week:
-Final head count
-Seating chart finalized
-Supplies purchased for escort cards
-Final meeting with florist - paid in full
-Final meeting with venue - paid in full
-Mailing out payments for bakery and DJ tomorrow
-E-mailed photographer and will be sending that payment once balance is finalized
-Purchased veil & earrings
-Received marriage license

Next Week's To-Do List:
-Complete escort cards
-Purchase remainder of wedding party gifts
-Help mom decide on rehearsal dinner menu (we're having a BBQ at their house)
-Purchase garter
-Still need a necklace - perhaps that will be my "borrowed" or "old" item
-Final hair cuts & verify hair appointment times for day of
-Finalize & final payment with videographer
-Tweak song list
-Mark's bachelor party weekend in Chicago

After that, there will only be the wedding week remaining! Let's start praying for some good weather, shall we?

Friday, June 3, 2011

3 more weeks!

Are you getting sick of me posting about this wedding yet? If so - click off of this page, and hurry!

3 weeks from tomorrow is our wedding day, and with no shortage of tasks to complete before then! I am actually a little bit behind on some of the things that I am supposed to have already accomplished, but it's okay. Everything will get done eventually.

We still have a few RSVPs that are outstanding as of right now, but for the most part everyone has responded. Right now we are at 131 attendants! (This includes Mark and me). This means that at most we will have 168 attendants which is perfect for me. I was hoping for 175 or less, so I am very pleased with the outcome here.

My mom and I started working on the seating chart a bit last night and it is a HUGE pain! I'm going to have to get together with Mark's mom too and see what ideas she has. It annoys me that some tables might not have a full 10 people seated at them.

I also went out last night with my sister (who is also my maid-of-honor) to shop for some jewelry. I didn't find a single thing that I liked! Very disappointing. I am pretty picky as it is when it comes to shopping in general, and I almost never shop for jewelry, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. I'm going to go back out tomorrow and see what I can find. I might end up using some form of jewelry as my "something borrowed" in the end.

I found a PDF template to use for escort cards, so now I need to drag myself to Michael's or Joann's and get some cardstock and start my first and only DIY project. I am not a crafty person by any means, so I've tried to avoid doing any projects, but this one I can't justify spending too much money on. So we'll see how this goes.

Yesterday we met with our videographer, which I am pretty excited for considering we thought we wouldn't be able to afford one. It turns out Mark knew someone that he worked with who went to school for such things and she is giving us an AMAZING price, and in turn using the video for her portfolio. I can't wait to see how it all turns out, and I think that in the end I would have regretted not having any video footage of our wedding day. As far as other vendors go, next Thursday we meet with our venue for our final headcount and payment, and I'm in the process of setting up a meeting with our bakery to choose our final cake and cupcake flavors and also pay that. I think we need to set up a meeting with our florist as well.

Our DJ will be calling us the Monday before the wedding to go over our song packet (which we have yet to choose any songs! gasp!). I've been in correspondence with our wedding officiant making sure that our ceremony wording is all set. And I'm not sure if our photographer requires a final meeting, or if we can just call/e-mail for last minute details. I've been working on our must-take pictures list as well.

Besides all THAT, (as if that wasn't enough!), I have 2/3 of the bridesmaid gifts completed, just need to add one more element and get some gift bags. I need to choose a gift for our jr. bridesmaid and jr. groomsmen, and help Mark choose gifts for his groomsmen and the ushers. My hair cut and highlight appointment is already scheduled, and I am planning to meet up and purchase a used veil next week. I also need to get a garter as my "something blue" and then decide on whatever I'm going to wear for "something old." We've done the majority of the shopping for the honeymoon, but I think I want to get another new pair of shorts and maybe some sandals. We also need to get some sun screen and maybe a cooler or picnic basket.

ANYTHING ELSE? I'm sure there are other things that will pop up in the next few weeks. I thought that planning a wedding for two years would leave less to do in the final weeks, but apparently not! Some things just have to wait until the end, I suppose!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

On holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day and the like, I think that we often take for granted the day off from work/school and miss the point of reflecting on those people whom we should remember - those brave men and women who fought and died for our country. I hope we all take a few moments today to reflect on the sacrifices made for our country and for us.
I had to work for the vast majority of this weekend, but today I have the day off - which means time to get things done (like blogging?).

I never really got around to buying gifts for my bridal party yet, so I plan to do that today. I just finished all of my bridal shower thank you cards, but of course I ran out of stamps AGAIN, so I'll have to stop by Meijer and pick some up. I also need to go grocery shopping and plan meals for the week (we haven't been very good about cooking dinner at home lately).

Mark is working until around 4, so when he gets off we'll be heading over to my parents' house for a good old fashioned barbecue. They have a hot tub now and I'm thinking I might want to test it out. It is supposed to finally be nice out today and not rain! Gasp! I thought it was going to rain every day for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1 MONTH

Sorry for my rather weird post last night. I was in one of the moods, you know. Plus I felt guilty deleting a post, so I wanted to put something in its place. (Yes, I am a post deleter. I have the power).

But in other news, we are ONE MONTH AWAY today. From the wedding. With a gigantic to-do list looming overhead.

{HA HA. When I first typed that sentence I actually put "guest list" which shows you all where my mind is right now. Waiting on an absurd amount of RSVPs when the date to return them is in two days...that's where}

Here's what we plan to accomplish for the rest of this week:
*Return a few bridal shower gifts
*Pick up a guest book and thank you cards
*Pick up my birth certificate
*Mail out a random lost invite (sigh)
*Apply for our marriage license
*Pick up my dress
*Buy gifts for the bridal party
*Buy accessories for myself (possibly including a veil?)
*Work on our music selections
*Write and hopefully send out thank yous from the shower

I can tell now that Mark is finally starting to feel the pressure. He gets this all excited face going on and makes comments like "Tomorrow we're going to sign my life away." (as in apply for the marriage license). He's funny. It's interesting to me how much longer it takes for men to get excited for things. I've been counting down the days until this wedding for like 2 years!