Thursday, April 30, 2009


We have our photographer! FINALLY! I am so excited to have this settled- it was one of our last major things we had to get done!

A quick re-cap of our photography issues..... A good family friend is, or was, a professional photographer and my Dad and I both assumed that he would shoot our wedding, as a gift to us, so in our original wedding budget we only accounted for the cost of materials ($500 or less). About 3 months into planning, my Dad actually got around to asking him about it, and he said he'd really rather not do it. Since he doesn't do it professionally anymore, he doesn't have a lot of the equipment he'd need and I wouldn't be happy with his work, and he would rather just come and enjoy himself at our wedding, considering he has known me my whole life. So we go to Plan B.... Will's parents recommend a family friend of theirs, saying that he does weddings all the time and they were sure he'd be more than happy to do it. A couple more months go by.... he basically says the same thing. So now it is almost March and we still have no photographer...... Plan C: I ask a friend from college, who was a photojournalism major, if her and her roommate, also a photographer, could do it and how much they would charge, explaining that we basically have NO photography budget. They email me back a quote, which seemed a little high, but I assumed it would be the best we'd find, since she was giving us a price break from what she normally charges, because we're friends. Will is shocked at how much photography costs and suggests that we just have friends and family email us their digital pictures..... umm... hell no? Sorry, but I am too obsessed with pictures and memories and scrapbooks to have no one there to photograph the most important day of our lives!

So, now I'm on a mission to contact other photographers and prove to him that the quote isn't bad, considering what others are charging... and low and behold... I find Melissa Smith! I had some business cards of photographers in a file, from various wedding events I've been to, and I just started contacting them. Melissa got back to me right away, and once I told her about our photography struggles, and about our wedding/honeymoon budget getting slashed due to the trips to Florida and me being laid off, she agreed to shoot our wedding for $500! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? I couldn't! I was so excited yesterday, I could barely contain myself!!! I probably shouldn't be advertising this, because it is not something she normally does. Most of her packages start around $700, but I think that's still a lot more reasonable than most of the others out there. To me, she is an angel, and if there is any money leftover when September rolls around, I will definitely be spending it with her! Her work is amazing and I absolutely cannot wait to have her be a part of our big day!!

Check out her work!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hanging Rock

was incredible! Will and I left Friday after work and had a great time! Matt decided not to come because he didn't want to be a "third wheel." I told him it wouldn't be like that, but he insisted. So we got a nice weekend together, with Sadie of course, without phones and computers and was wonderful!

We decided on Hanging Rock instead of Julian Price Park because it is closer (only about an hour and 15 minutes away) and there was no chance of rain there. So we got to the park around 7:00 and were able to get pretty much all set up before it got dark. Then we cooked bratwursts (that I had boiled earlier in beer for over an hour!) on skewers over the campfire. They were delicious!

Saturday morning we woke up and had bacon and pancakes cooked on the camp stove and then headed out for a hike. First we did the main hike up to the actual "hanging rock." The trail map said it was only 1 mile, but I think they were lying! Either that or we are incredibly out of shape and slow!

After a brief lunch break back at the campsite, we headed over to the lower cascades (a .2 mile hike...much better! lol) and took Sadie swimming!!! She's part lab, part beagle (we think), so she should like the water! But so far we hadn't had much luck. This time were successful at getting her to swim- Will carried her out in to the water and put her down! But she immediately headed for shallow water... she didn't seem to mind getting wet though- and willingly went as far as she could still touch. I think if the water had been warmer, and Will and I were actually swimming too (not just wading) she might actually enjoy it. We'll have to try again this summer, when it's warm enough for us to swim with her!

That night we actually got to eat before it got dark, which was much better, and we had the most delicious steaks ever! Marinated in one of Will's special concoctions since Thursday night and grilled over the campfire- YUM! But after our hiking and that big dinner, we were exhausted! Call us lame, but we crawled in the tent pretty much as soon as it got dark.... so like 8:30 LOL! I think we may have read for about 30 minutes, but that was it! Man, we're old.....

Sunday we packed up camp and went for one more short walk around the lake before heading home. The great thing about Hanging Rock is that we still got home around 1:00! We had plenty of time to unpack everything, and even got to sit out on the patio and grill out for lunch!

It was a great weekend and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadie is still exhausted though! And I am too, since I didn't really sleep that well either night. I think I was so worried that Sadie wouldn't sleep, that I stayed up listening for sounds that might disturb her! Ha! Oh boy, motherhood is going to be such a challenge..... lol.

Shout Outs:

  • Mother Nature: Still doing great- this weather has been absolutely gorgeous!

  • Will: I'd camp with you anytime! I love you and I had such a great time with our little family this weekend!

  • Our country, and the world in general: I've heard so many awful, terrible news stories related to senseless violence lately and it really makes my heart ache. I just pray that people will learn to put their differences behind them, love their neighbors, and live in harmony.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No phone call...

...from the staffing agency. I'm hoping that just means that the director-lady was busy and didn't answer the staffing agency back, and not that the staffing agency didn't contact the director-lady. Haha... got all that?

Anyway... since I haven't heard back yet, I think I should probably not leave town tomorrow, just in case she calls and wants to meet tomorrow or Monday. Plus, like everyone has said, that's a long drive just for a couple days and I'd rather go when Will can go too. And I'll see Owen some other time, when I can have him all to myself =) So.... camping it is! I'm so excited for Sadie- she is going to love it! Hiking and being O-U-T (yes, we have to spell it because she knows that word and gets excited, lol), and sleeping in a tent with her Mommy and Daddy. And today has been so gorgeous, I'm hoping the weekend is the exact same way! I spent most of today running around doing errands and shopping with my Mom, who took today off to get ready for her trip to Florida tomorrow! She is going to Ft Lauderdale to see her best friend from high school. They both turn 50 this spring- friends for 38 years!

I have a prayer request for today too... I have a cousin (third cousin or once removed or something) up in NY who is in first grade, his name is John, and he has been in the hospital since last Friday. I'm not clear on all the details but it started out as a fever and nausea Thursday night and Friday morning he woke up with a large lump on his neck. So far it sounds like they haven't determined what it is, only what it's not. It's not strep, it's not meningitis, and it's not a few other things. A CAT scan was done and showed some sort of abcess (sp?) on his throat and tonsils. He was moved by ambulance to a bigger hospital last night. He's still running a high fever and can't keep food down because the antibiotics are strong and keeping him nauseous. Basically, he's a very sick, scared little boy. What makes it worse is that before John was born, his parents, Peggy and George, had another son, named Skipper. Skipper died when he was 11 months old from shaken baby syndrome. His Nanny shook him, not hard and only for a few seconds, but was sentenced 3-10 years in prison for reckless manslaughter. It took Peggy and George a long time to even be ready to think about having another child, and now their second little boy is in the hospital and very ill. Please send some good vibes their way, I know they need it. And please, PLEASE.... don't ever shake a baby!!! I know it sounds like common sense, but it happens more often than we realize. They are such fragile, precious angels and it doesn't take much to do serious damage to their little bodies.

George "Skipper" III

Dec 24, 1999 - Dec 3, 2000

Shout Outs:

Mother Nature: Great job today, keep up the good work! =)


John, Peggy, and George, and our extended family: I love you all and am thinking about you and wishing John a quick recovery. Stay strong, little man, I know you're going to be okay!! XO

Mom: Have a great trip to Florida, and be safe!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I had an interview today! First one since I got laid off at the end of March. I was really just glad to know that someone was actually looking at my resume, since I have applied for several positions and heard nothing back! Well the "interview," if you can even call it that, was with a staffing agency. I was not impressed. I've never worked with a staffing agency so I guess I just wasn't sure what to expect, but my interview was at 2:00 and it was at least 2:15 before anyone acknowledged me. The receptionist was on the phone, so finally she asked if she could help me with anything. I told her why I was there and she handed me a stack of papers which took THIRTY freakin minutes to fill out! By the way, I hate when places make you fill out an application listing all the exact same info that's on your resume. So, I fill out most of the paperwork, even though it includes tax forms and an I-9 and stuff and I don't even know anything about the job yet. I felt like handing the papers back to her and saying I would wait to fill them out until I had actually accepted a position! But, like I said, I've never gone to a staffing agency before, so I didn't know if that was the norm or not. So I sit and wait while this woman hollers all over the office asking if anyone wants a soda cause she's running to the vending machine. The woman comes back and hands out the drinks. 5 minutes later, she comes back out to the "lobby" area to get me.... this is the woman I have my "interview" with. So by this time it's almost 3:00. I sit in her office while she basically reads me my resume and asks the same two questions that she asked me on the phone yesterday. So she says she is going to set up an interview for me to meet with the employer. And that's about it. Seriously. That was the extent of my "interview." Oh, and PS: She was on the phone with other clients for about half the time I was in her office. Rude?? I think so. I can't believe I bought a new outfit for that!

Anyway... I should hear back from her tomorrow about setting up that interview with the actual hiring company. The position sounds pretty good- The director of some sort of counseling center has been handling all the HR stuff herself, but is getting overwhelmed so she wants to bring in an HR Generalist. I love the fact that it is with a company that does something I'm interested in (hello, psych major), and that it is located near Friendly Shopping Center! But, the down side is that she is only looking for a part-time HR person for right now. 2-3 days a week, flexible scheduling. The pay rate is about what I was making before (hourly), but with only being 16-24 hours a week, I would be making less there than I would if I continued to collect unemployment. So, I'll do the interview and see if I like her and like the place and then decide. If I did take it, at least it would be experience to add to my resume, and would look better than having a large gap, and the staffing agency did mention the possibility of getting a salary increase/benefit options, so we'll see... I'll keep you posted.

In other news... I'm having trouble deciding what to do this weekend. Do I,

A) Go camping at Hanging Rock with Will and his friend Matt, and get to be with Sadie (the puppy) on her first camping trip; or

Me and the Sade-ster, cheerin on the Heels!

B) Leave Fri to drive 5+ hours by myself to see my extended family and be there for my nephew's first birthday party?

That's me and Owen on the right, and my Mom and the nephew who is 7, Mason, on the left. Mason was being camera shy and trying to squirm away!

WWYD? I'm almost hoping that my interview is on Friday so that will make my decision for me. I would love to be there for Owen's birthday and get to see all my nieces and nephews (ages 7, 4, 4, 2, and 1) but I also really want to take Sadie camping! She'd have so much fun =)

Shout Outs:

  • Katie: So glad we got to catch up today! Everything is falling into place for you and I'm so excited!! =)


  • Kelly: Hope you feel better soon! We'll do wine night some other time
  • Molly: I miss you and I hope that you are happy and safe, wherever you are!

hmm...all three of my b-maids today, weird =)

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm a bad blogger...

I know, I know... I've been TERRIBLE at keeping up with this... it's amazing how much more "computer time" I had when I was working! Now I just feel extremely lazy if I spend an entire afternoon blogging/emailing/facebooking! Not to say I haven't done it....

Anyway.... I'll try to re-cap:

Tuesday March 31st was my last day at my job. My boss and one other co-worker, both good friends, took me out to Chili's for lunch and I had a giant margarita! After lunch, I packed up what was still in my office and left. I went over to my Mom's office to hang out with her for a few minutes while I tried to figure out what to do with the rest of my day. I guess she took pity on me, because she ended up leaving work early to take me shoe shopping! No luck, but it was still fun and took my mind off work. Although, Friendly Shopping Center is full of nothing but Mommy's and small children at 3 in the afternoon on a Tuesday! Several times I thought "If I'm not going to be working, I wanna be pregnant!!" Haha... not really, I know we will wait a while on that, but that's just how I was feeling that day. Although we didn't find any shoes, I did find jewelry for the bridesmaids! I won't post pictures because it is part of their gifts from me, but I wanted them to know not to worry about jewelry, cause I got it covered!

Wednesday and Thursday I pretty much did nothing- some shopping and errands and laundry. Then Friday we left for Florida! We drove through the night and made it to TJ's at about 3 am, local time. We spent the week taking TJ to PT and OT appointments, doctors appointments and just hanging out. It was so nice to relax and enjoy the couple sunny days that we got. We watched the National Championship game with all the roommates and some other Navy/Marine friends.... it was great to see the Heels take the title again, but was definitely NOT as exciting as 2005. Michigan never had a chance. If it had been a close, exciting game, Will and I planned to run down to the beach, since rushing Franklin wasn't an option, but since there was very little excitement, we high-fived, sang the alma mater, and then went to bed! Haha.

Go Heels!! =)

While we were down there we went on a couple double dates with TJ, which was entertaining. We saw "I Love You Man," but missed the last few minutes since some idiot decided to pull the fire alarm in the movie theater. In trying to get out of the theater, TJ had a little fall on his crutches, but he handled it well and managed to catch himself before he did too much damage. We went home and checked things out, but it was okay, so no trip to the ER or anything. Just a little scary! I'm SO glad that he is out and doing things and going on dates though- proves that he hasn't changed a bit! There's actually another girl in the picture too, a nurse from the rehab clinic, that I am very excited about, but more on that later...

Anyway, TJ is doing really, really well with his PT and I can already tell that his balance has improved dramatically. Here's a test for you, just to prove what I'm talking about... Try to put a t-shirt on while standing on one foot! Yea... harder than it sounds! As soon as I close my eyes, I'm done for. It's little every day things like that where I could really see how far he's come.

Will and TJ at the dog tracks!

In wedding news, I picked up my dress from Bridal Mart the day we left for Florida- with only minor drama! Basically, when I tried on the size 10 sample in the store, it fit really well, so even though I measured at more like an 8, the consultant had me order the 10. Well on Thursday I went to pick it up and when I tried it on it was HUGE! The straps did not fit at all, it didn't fit my waist, and was several inches too long (whereas the sample wouldn't have had to be hemmed with 2.5" heels). The consultants measured my dress against the sample and it turned out that the sample was just plain wrong. It measured at an 8-10 in the hips, a 6-8 in the waist, and a 4-6 in the bust, even though the tag said "10," which is why it fit me perfectly!! So, they agreed to have the sample cleaned and to fix any loose threads and beading. I went back first thing Friday morning to try it on one last time and make sure everything looked right. They did a good job and I got a small discount for taking the sample (only about $25, but still). So I have my dress! There are only a few things that I will need to have done to it- the bustle, hopefully taken in a little at the waist, and I might add buttons down the back (over the zipper), but that won't happen until later.

Will also got all the suits ordered! I was impressed- all the guys got their measurements done really quickly and they all really liked the much so that they decided to all get the vests too! Originally I thought just Will would wear the vest, but it really makes the whole suit, so now they all have them and Will's tie will be different instead, and probably a different bout. I thought finding ties would be our next big challenge for the guys, but I stopped by Stein Mart the other day and found some I liked for 14.99! I bought all 4 (three the same and one a little bit different) and showed them to Will that night. I think they're going to work, but he wants to try them on with the suit before we decide for sure. (I left my camera at my grandparents house, so I'll post pictures when I get it back!)

Groomsmen on the left, Will on the right! What d'ya think? =)

I was lazy again for most of the week last week...lots of sleeping in and watching HGTV. I did spend Thursday with Carissa though- we had lunch at Friendly and then when I dropped her off, she realized she'd locked herself out, so we were forced to spend the rest of the afternoon shopping! Haha, we had fun though- we looked at houses, we stopped by the park where we're having the rehearsal dinner and found out about some possible "volunteer opportunities", and then looked at furniture and dresses in Graham! Oh, and I found reception shoes in Graham- they are exactly what I was looking for- platform white flops with pretty beading on the top, by Nine West. Once Greg got home to let us in, I totally crashed their dinner plans (sorry, guys!) and we had chips/dip/margaritas for dinner! (Will was having dinner with clients).

Friday night we FINALLY went and started our registry! It was so much fun! We went to Macy's at 7:30 and didn't leave until close to 10! We only wanted every day china, not formal, so we went with Fiestaware! Not what I was originally thinking, but since we have very different tastes, this was a good compromise. We're going to have a very bright kitchen someday! Cobalt blue, Peacock blue, and Ivory with accents of Scarlett red! I'm thinking weathered oak cabinets and a mexican tile backsplash.... =)

Saturday we spent a few hours outside in the gorgeous WARM sunny weather and then registered at Target before going to Box and Jill's engagement party! It was a great day! And Sunday we did absolutely nothing...didn't leave the house and didn't even change out of PJs until about 6:00PM. =) I love days like that every now and then....

WHEW! Okay, well bless you're heart if you are still reading this! I promise I will add pictures soon to break it up, and I will try to be a lot better about posting!

Shout Outs:

  • Carissa- thanks for a great afternoon!

  • Shannon- congrats on everything!!!!!!

  • TJ- for being so strong and never losing your great sense of humor!


  • Karen- I love you and I'm so sorry for all that you are going through right now

  • Cathy's family and friends- I'm thinking about all of you and praying for strength; Cathy was such a wonderful friend and mother and she had a very full life, but I know that doesn't make this any easier.