Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Wedding Party & Flowers

You may be wondering why I'm posting about this right now since it's not March (our wedding/anniversary month) and it's been 6 1/2 years since this blessed event. Well, it's because I'm participating in Kelly's Show Us Your Life tour this week and the topic is wedding party & flowers.

First, a couple pictures of the bridal party. I picked this color of dresses for them because my dress had a few amethyst-colored beads & crystals in it, so I wanted to highlight them. Plus, it was March, so I went for happy spring theme. I was so thrilled when we woke up to a beautiful sunny day and all the guests put away the dark & dreary black winter clothes and showed up wearing happy springy colors. We all coordinated so well!

Just me and the girls outside of the chapel before the ceremony:

And then everyone after the ceremony, inside the chapel.

Now let me introduce you to my bridal party...

Maid of Honor: Jodi

Jodi and I met in the summer of 1995 while we were contestants in the Lawrence County Junior Miss Pagent. We went to different high schools, but really only lived about 15 minutes away from each other. She was just the sweetest person I had ever met, so loving, kind, and at the same time athletic, smart, and has the most beautiful singing voice. We bonded over our love of God, our desire to get married and have children one day, Pittsburgh sports teams, and picky eating habits. We went off to different colleges (both were private, Christian schools), but reunited after we graduated. God certainly placed this wonderful woman in my life for a lot of reasons because for years we were both single and longing for our husbands. Then I found mine, and while I know it probably wasn't easy for her, she supported me as my maid of honor, and even sang at our wedding. It was so lovely. Then we moved away for a few years, but occassionally when we came back to town, we would visit with her and her husband. (I was in her wedding too, of course - the picture is below - but thankfully she didn't ask me to sing. haha) Then we both started trying to have a baby at the same time (without planning, because that's just weird.) And within a couple months of each other, we both miscarried our first babies. Then we both went through a couple really hard years of infertility. Now she has finally been blessed with a beautiful daughter, Chellsie, who is about 3 weeks old today. It's amazing how God places certain people in your life and I'm so thankful for my friendship with Jodi!

Ok, wow, that was just one. Fortunately for you all I had a small bridal party!

Bridesmaids: Kristianne, Mindy, & Lauren.

First, Kristianne.

She and I have been in the same class since first grade, and was one of my best friends all through elementary & high school. We played together at nearly every recess and we were so creative with the games we played. We made up companies such as pool & hotel management and a travel agency. We had customers, tenants, logos, slogans, file cabinets, briefcases, etc. And that was all before 6th grade! Once we got to high school, we were cheerleaders and twirlers together, shopping buddies, and carpoolers. Her older brother picked me everyday for high school until he graduated and I started driving, then I drove everyday and picked Kristi up and took her home. We had some good times in my Honda CSV and Pontiac Sunbird convertible! Once we graduated from high school, we went to different colleges but they were nearby so we saw each other occassionally. After college, we hung out quite often even though she was really busy living in Pittsburgh and attending grad school. (she is the second smartest girl I've ever met, for the record.) We had started growing apart (not seeing each other as much) when I got engaged and I was afraid that she wouldn't want to be my bridesmaid, but I just couldn't imagine her not being in my wedding since we had planned this event together since we were in the second grade. I am NOT kidding, I still have all the papers & pictures. So I called and she was in. Yippee!

Second, Mindy.

Mindy is Bobby's only sister so it was no brainer that I wanted her in my wedding party. I really didn't know her very well when we got engaged since we "dated" long-distance, (in other words, I didn't spend 4+ hours a day on the phone with her like I did her brother) but I knew she was a sweet Godly woman and it meant a lot to Bobby have her there. I am so excited to announce that she is getting married in just a couple weeks after searching for her Mr Right for a long time. Their wedding is just 3 days after we move to oklahoma, oh my. I am not in her wedding party, but that's ok. I'm an old lady now. haha.

Last but not least, Lauren. I don't have a picture of Lauren from my wedding because she wasn't there. Yes, a bride's worse nightmare (well, one of them) - a bridesmaid doesn't come to the wedding. Lauren has some chronic health problems even though you'd never know it by looking at her, she is one of the most fit, athletic, healthy-looking people I know. But she has dealt with colitis and kidney stones for several years now and on the week of our wedding, she came down with a kidney stone infection that put her in the hospital in Virginia. It was a last minute deal and her dress was with her, so we couldn't just slap it on someone else (I didn't want to do that anyway.) So we just went with the flow - 3 girls and 4 guys. No biggie! I really didn't stress about it and Bobby was shocked. He feared the worst and thought I would have a major meltdown, but I didn't. How could I? I was still getting married to the man of my dreams in the most beautiful chapel in America. At that point I didn't care if nobody showed up. Ha!

But anyway, back to Lauren... she was my roommate for my junior and senior years in college and I lived with her & her family in northern Virginia the summer of '99 while I did my internship, so we were really close. She was just a riot, everyone enjoyed being around her in college, and she was a very giving person. My earliest memory of her was during her freshman year (she was one year behind me even though she is two years younger than me. Another super smart girl. and we share our birthday, we're both 11/11 girls!) - she was on the swim team and she always came to breakfast after practice with wet hair and walked around mingling with everyone while drinking coffee. I thought she was so cool! I'm so annoyed that we went to college before the age of digital cameras because I don't have any pictures of her and I on my computer to show you all the fun times we had. I guess you'll just have to trust me.

Here is a little (scanned) picture of us at her wedding.

And here's another one of me from her wedding holding the flowers that were the inspiration for my wedding (more about that later.) Hope you can see them.

To finish up this super long post (which was a great walk down memory lane for me) I'll conclude with my darling little (second) cousin who was my flower girl, Rachel. She was so pretty that day with her flower petal dress and her beautifully curled hair.

Oh shoot, I almost forgot to post my flowers! I had recently been in Lauren's wedding and wanted my flowers to look JUST like hers... the Martha Stewart style of bouquets, stemmed roses wrapped in satin. So I called her florist but they were going to be out of town during the week of my wedding. I was crushed. But fortunately I have a good friend from high school that her mom owns a flower shop! I called her and she was happy to do the job for me even though she specializes in silk flowers. So here is my bouquet, the girls' bouquets, and Rachel's flower girl basket. (our wedding chapel didn't allow you to throw petals.)

Ok, so I don't really have a close-up picture of my flowers, so you'll just have to look these ones. :-)

Oh, and I also had flowers on my cake.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Four more weeks

Today, well, yesterday, officially marks the beginning of our last month here in Pennsylvania. I hate saying that, I do. Because I know the days will just fly by. And speaking of time flying by, I can't believe it has been a week since we left for the beach. That is crazy! I haven't even had time to enjoy the memories of the beach (let alone unpack) and it's been a week already. What is up with that?! (whoa, 90's flashback there.) But we did have a great time at Bethany Beach. I kept thinking that I wished it would have been one day longer, but then we had a little scuffle between a couple of the kids on the last day and that reminded me why we arranged the trip like we did. If only we had left a couple hours earlier, that never would have happened... oh well. Everyone survived.

We rented a 15 passenger van for the 11 of us and we were packed to the brim when we left the church at 7:30 am last Tuesday morning. I think the only thing we forgot to bring was my toiletries bag, which remained on my bathroom sink the entire week. I didn't let it get me down though because that meant I got to make a trip to Happy Harry's Drug Store to get some supplies.

Kinda creepy, huh?

We arrived around 3 pm (we made just a mere 4 stops on a 6 1/2 hour trip) and as quickly as we could, ran in to the house and dropped our stuff off in our rooms (everyone had to have the exact same rooms as last year), put on our beach clothes and ran to the ocean (just like last year.) Isn't it funny how traditions are formed and cemented after just one year? I guess that is a testimony to how successful last year's trip was. Dinner was at 6, followed by walking around the shops on the BB boardwalk, a little basketball, and once nightfall came, we hit the beach with metal detectors and fishing poles. Ocean fishing was not successful, the wind & waves were too much for us, and the only treasures we found in the sand were crabs. But everyone had fun.

The next day (wednesday, our only full day there) was beach day and the weather was perfect. Sunny and 83! We headed down with all of our gear immediately after breakfast, stayed until lunch, and then spent the entire afternoon there as well. Everyone swam in the 70 degree ocean for hours. Some kids rented bikes to ride around town for an hour, two girls got old-time photos taken (they were so cute!), we ate DB fries and snowcones, I continuously sprayed sunscreen on everyone, read a few magazines, and took a nap. It was great.

As you can see, the beach was pretty crowded, but we didn't mind. Here was our little plot for the day (the tan colored tent.)

That night we ate dinner at Phillip's - just like last year. ha! After dinner we went back to the boardwalk, laughed hysterically while one of our kids got the word LUSCIOUS "tattooed" on his forehead, then played some cards at the house while eating lots of sour patch kids and twizzlers.

Thursday was a bummer... we woke up hoping to go back to the beach for a couple hours, but it was raining, so we decided to just start packing up and cleaning after breakfast. We made one last trip to the boardwalk shops (a couple of the boys were so annoyed with this), then had lunch, celebrated two of the kids birthdays which were that day, and headed out.

Speaking of the boys, here is a great picture I took of all of them. You have to click on it to enlarge it so you can see all of their expressions. So funny!

Things that made this trip a huge success: taking five 18 year olds with us which included 2 eagle scouts, the beach/sun/ocean, several iPods which held thousands of songs for the ride home, a big, clean, air-conditioned van (unlike last year), and even though it was sad, knowing that this is our last big outing with all of these kids (some of them are going off to college anyway) so we really cherished every moment and made the best of it.

The entire group.

Now we have a lot of work ahead of us... packing, moving, settling everything here at work and home, and saying goodbyes. Ugh, I hate moving.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Go to the Beach

We now pause for a much-needed break from moving and medicating.

Tomorrow morning we leave for our second annual youth group trip to Bethany Beach, Delaware. This year we have the same cast & crew minus 2, plus 2 (yes, I know that equals out to be the same amount. The bad thing is that we lost two girls and they are replaced by two boys. but we like them a lot, so it's ok.) We are staying at the same awesome "resort" (really it is just church camp, but we will be the only ones there so it feels much more like a resort.) I am really hoping we have a repeat success of last year's trip.

So if you think of it, say a little prayer for us. We're leaving at 7 am (edt) tomorrow and hoping to arrive & be on the beach by 2 pm.

Keep checking this link and maybe you'll see us!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I am really going to miss these two

Beau Henry & Paddycake

This picture is two years old (BH is still a puppy here!) and not even my favorite one of them, but it's all I had on the computer I'm working at currently. I'm not sure we can fit a pot-belly pig and a basset hound in our new house, but maybe someday...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our first goodbye

Today we said goodbye to the staff at the fertility clinic we've been going to since last summer. They have seen a lot of me (no inappropriate pun intended) over the last year. And I (and my checkcard) have definately seen them more than I wanted to. But today was my last visit. I didn't even get to see my doctor because he was in the OR. I just went in for my last lupron depot injection and that was it. They gave me a copy of my charts (that I hope I never have to show anyone) and said I am on my own now. The nurse told me that the medicine from this last injection should stay in my body for about 3 months, so I guess I will be hot-flashing and gaining weight until Thanksgiving. I will have a lot to be thankful for when they stop, that's for sure. So as we said goodbye, I felt a tinge of sadness. Not because I'm going to miss the treatments and shots, but because I had hoped that when we left the clinic for good, it would be because we had a successful pregnancy and no longer needed their services. But unfortunately we are leaving as empty-handed as we were when began this journey. Our checkbook is a lot emptier, but not as much as our hearts.

I planned on ending this post with those sad words, but hopefully that is not the end of the story. We have some hope that the combination of the lap surgery and these injections will destroy the endometriosis that is plaguing my body and preventing me from conceiving. I know the Lord has good things in store for us.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Real Simple for $5

Right now, on Amazon (dot) com, you can get a one year subscription to Real Simple magazine for $5! Click here. I have no idea if there are any strings attached, but I bought it anyway! I told Bobby and he said, "get it" and I did. I love this magazine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When it rains, it pours

I just wish it would start raining money.

So you all know now that we bought a house. Well, we are under contract to buy house. Same thing. (Sort of.) Regardless, we made a decision that will cost us a LOT of money in the very near future. Then two days later I got a letter in the mail that my insurance is not covering all the costs of my surgery I had in April. So there is $5,000 we have to pay. Then a few days later we get another bill for $1800 for the same surgery. (we are contesting it by the way.) And then yesterday we took our car in to the dealer and found out that it needs 2 new tires, alignment, and something else, which will cost nearly $400. That's just super.

But don't worry about us, we'll be fine.

Let's talk about the new house for a minute. You know, the one that we don't really own yet, but that I'm acting like we do.

Since I still can't post any more pictures, I thought I'd give you a list of some of the features of it that I like most:

  • it has a nice sized "great" room - the living room, dining area, and kitchen are all connected. I'm thinking that maybe we'll be better at cleaning up our kitchen & dishes in a more timely fashion because we can still be in the same room as everyone else (and the tv) while we're doing it. Currently we just put it off because we are in a rush to get to the living room, which is on the opposite side of the house.
  • the location. the house is less than a mile from I-35, just across the highway from a super target (how many people have I told that to already!?!?), about 4 miles from OU, 15-20 minutes from downtown OKC, and 30 minutes from Bobby's parents. More specifically, it is on a culdesac in a newer (but not brand new) neighborhood and all the houses look very nice & clean. We liked it better than others we saw because all the houses do not look alike, it's not a cookie-cutter neighborhood. And the houses aren't mushrooms! (that's what I call all the new developments around OKC because they all look the same and have these huge roofs because of the attics, and that's all you see is roof, so I call them mushrooms.) I don't mean to offend anyone who might live in one of these houses, they're really nice, and if we stay in the area, I'm sure we might end up in one of those eventually. But for now, I'm happy to be in one that's a little less fungus-looking. ha!
  • there is a bow window in the master bedroom and I know the kitties will love laying there while looking outside wondering where all the little ground moles that they used to kill are. sorry kits, the ground here is clay, those little guys can't dig in that.
  • there is big, giant mirror in the dining room so you can watch yourself eat. oh wait, no, that is one of the features that I hate and hope that it will be gone by the time we move in.
  • the backyard, oh, I love the backyard, but you know that and already got to see a picture of it. I envision lots of parties and barbeques back there. oh athertonites, please come visit us!
That's all for now. Come back later for more!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We got house #2!

After going back and forth several times with negotiations, we have agreed to terms with the sellers of house #2. We received the contract with their signatures on it last night and faxed it back to our realtor this morning. Yippee! Now we just have to wait for the inspection and appraisal, and if all goes as planned, closing should be on August 17th and we will move in on August 25th. I wish I could show you all pictures of the house, but since it's not officially ours yet, I probably shouldn't. But... I'll give you one sneak peak of my favorite part of the house... the backyard.

That's not the entire backyard, but the picture does show the beautiful trees and shade that is back there. You know, in Oklahoma, trees are hard to come by. Coming from Pennsylvania, I need me some trees to feel "at home." The shade will be really nice too, and the cats will enjoy climbing them, I'm sure. This picture also shows the nice tall fence that we're hoping will keep the cats in... ha!

Friday, July 10, 2009

House #2

well, we have decided to move on and try house #2 (meaning our second choice.) at first I didn't think I would be able to survive not living in house #1, but after several hours of mental games (picturing myself living in house #2), I have made up my mind that I would love living there. the house is in really good condition and has hardwood floors and a great backyard. It just needs some paint (ok, a LOT of paint. in every room.) and new flooring in the bedrooms, and it will be more "my" style. #1 still isn't completely off the table, but since the seller's bottom line seems to be the same as her listing price, we decided to check out our other options. I am at a place now where I would love living in either house, and that is a really good place to be (emotionally.) we've submitted our offer to house #2 and we're waiting to see what they come back with. I am just so ready to know where we are going to live.

in case any of you are wondering how I am doing health-wise, well, I just ordered my third injection of LupronDepot yesterday and will get it next thursday. the menopause symptoms have kicked in BIG time and I have hot flashes all day long, and have been getting lots of headaches. other than that, I don't have too much else to report, symptom-wise. I was supposed to have a repeat HSG next monday, but I am going to cancel that. I have two reasons. The first is, if I am having it just to see if the Lupron is working, then what's the point? This is the last thing we are doing (IF treatment-wise). If it's not working, then my only other option is IVF, which we are not considering at this moment. If it is working, then great! But we're hoping we'll just figure it out on our own in a couple months... :) Second reason, no insurance coverage and it costs about $2K. And I just found out this week that my insurance is only covering a small portion of my lap surgery I had done in April. So we have to pay $5K out of pocket. Super. And when you're changing jobs and buying a new house, that is really bad news. So there you have it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

House Hunting

Finally my dream of going on my very own house hunt came true last week. I am hopelessly addicted to HGTV and especially the show House Hunters. I watch it all the time. And I love to not only critique the houses, but the house hunters. Usually the women are so mean. They seem to find fault in every house. Ugh, I hate the carpet. Ugh, the paint on the walls is hideous. Ohmygosh, I can't stand those countertops. And I sit at home yelling at them because they are being so superficial and unreasonable. You can get new carpet, you can paint the walls, and you can replace the countertops. Duh! I tell them to just look at all the good things about the house. Check out those windows or look how big those closets are!


I am so glad I wasn't being filmed last week.

Oh so quickly I heard myself saying all those mean things too. And I just couldn't help myself! We saw some really ugly houses.

But we saw some great ones too.

In fact, we saw a total of 19 houses. In one day.

Our poor realtor.

If you've watched the show, you know that they see a lot of houses, but they are narrowed down to their favorite three. Coincidentally (or not) at the end of the (extremely long & hot, yet fun) day, we had narrowed the 19 down to our three favorites as well. So we went back and saw them again the next day.

After a really hard decision, we chose to make an offer on one of them. I don't know how much time lapses on the show between the time they pick 3 favorites and when they decide on one, but that decision is a LOT harder in real life than it looks on TV. I know, shocking, huh? In fact, I am still slightly questioning the decision. I really hate buyer's remorse.

We met with our realtor (the awesome Rachel) late Thursday night - she drafted the contract, we signed a bunch of papers. After much deliberation we agreed on an offer and then the call was made to the seller. Long story short, unfortunately we are still in negotiations.

Here we are at the realty office signing our life away. Actually, no we're not, but it felt like it. haha

Beginning the paper-signing process.

Sign & date here.

Bobby was much more calm & collected. At least on the outside...