Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rings 'n Things

I've been wearing a very sparkly ring on my finger for exactly two weeks - give or take a few minutes - and I'm still not used to it being there. I've noticed different lighting makes it bling like nobody's business, and sometimes while I'm driving I get distracted by the reflection it makes on my car.

Before I got engaged my my mom was sneaky and mentioned that I should get a manicure while I was out getting a pedicure with a friend. My hands looked polished and pulled together after that, but now they're starting to head back to their normal, boring digits. Since I'm on the computer the majority of the day, the polish is chipped and peeling, and my nails have grown too much.

I never used to even notice my nails before. Sure, I'd cut them when they got to be too long, but that's as far as my primping would go. Now that my left hand is the subject of admiration (I know, I know, I may be taking this "ring" thing a little too far, but it's by far the prettiest thing I've ever owned!) I feel the need to get a manicure all the time. I mean, if I have this shiny thing on my finger, the rest of the hand should be just as pretty, right?

Alas, since I'm cheap and rarely have time to do anything these days, I think I'll resort to giving myself a manicure every once in awhile and treating myself to a professional one every few months. I think that seems like a fair deal.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Choices, Choices

Well, it's about that time again; I'm getting tired of this template/background, so I'm on the search for something different. If you have suggestions, feel free to share them. Should I go with a wedding theme? Something generic? Simple?

I have lots of things I want to talk about, but don't want to bore you so I'll list my topics and hopefully get to them sometime soon.

  • Rings and Things (Hands On!)
  • Training
  • Colors
Ok, so there aren't too many, but I'll get to them in due time.

As for now I'd like to talk about ceremony locations. In an ideal world, Kenny and I would like to get married outside, but seeing as how we have a February wedding and there's no way to predict the weather, picking an outdoor local is kinda silly. With that said, we're considering finding a venue where we can have both a ceremony and reception at the same location.

We both like this and I think my mom sees where we're coming from, but my dad will have nothing of it. He doesn't understand why we can't get married in the Catholic church - Kenny's family isn't religious and doesn't feel comfortable with it, and since he doesn't have many opinions about the wedding, I'm taking the things he requests very seriously.

I'm trying to talk him through reasons why I'm doing the things I'm doing (e.g., It's not just my wedding, it's Kenny's too; this is a celebration for us and our relationship, not about you), but I alos need to remember that A) he's paying for it and B) I want to respect him.

He also doesn't understand why a priest won't be marrying us (see reason above about the Catholic church). We don't have an officiant yet, but Kenny and I want him to reflect us and to be lighthearted and funny. I believe that God will be present at our wedding whether I get married at the Vatican, on top of a mountain, or in a hotel lobby. And as long as my friends, family, and Kenny are with me then that's all that matters.

It's still early in the planning process, so I'm sure things will all work out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Change of Plans

Ah, the military life. I'm still trying to get a handle on what it'll take to be a military wife...will I ever fully get the gist of it?

Long story short: Kenny's deployment got switched from this summer to the winter. This is sad news mostly because he'll be gone for his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (which is also our three-year anniversary). If everything goes according to plan, he should be back in the States at least a month before our wedding.

He told me about the new schedule this afternoon and I was strong; I didn't shed a single tear. In fact, I didn't cry all afternoon! Until tonight when I thought of all the special days we'll miss together. Such is military life. He was a sweetheart on the phone tonight and came up with all sorts of positive aspects of him leaving:

* He'll do nothing but eat healthy and work out every day while he's gone and lose another 30 pounds (hmmm...sounds like I'm the one who needs the "Deployment Diet" instead of him!)

* Since there's literally nothing to do out there, he'll be saving us money.

* My cell phone bill won't be as high because we won't talk as much.

* I won't have to buy an outrageously priced plane ticket to Atlanta this Thanksgiving.

* I'll be too busy planning the wedding to think about him.

* I can try my hand in the kitchen by baking new goodies to send him in care packages each week (okay, I thought of that one all on my own).

* He hopefully won't be deployed again for at least a little while after we get married, so we can enjoy time together as newlyweds., those are all I can remember. And truth be told, I see the immediate downside to each of those points and they all start with me missing him. Oh, and as he was trying to be optimistic about this deployment my strength became weaker and weaker until I noticed a tear streaming down my face. Now they won't stop falling. (The latest thing that turned my waterworks on again was me getting sad that we're going to miss our traditional Callaway Gardens weekend.)

Nobody said this would be easy, but I really hope you guys will all be here for me, because I'm not just marrying the love of my life, I'm marrying the Air Force, too, and unfortunately they don't care about feelings or "special" days.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Quest For "The" Dress

Before I walked into a local bridal boutique I had to take one of my peppermint pills to calm my nerves. There was excitement, butterflies, and fear all at the same time. I've heard so many stories about girls finding The One the first time they slip a dress on. Man, talk about pressure.

After the little bell chimed above the door a nice girl came and told me to browse their book and paper clip dresses I like. That was easy enough, and I soon had several gowns "picked out." I stepped into the dressing room and fear started to creep up. You see, for those of you who don't know me, I'm not usually the smallest girl in the room. I was worried about how all the size 4 dresses were going to fit over my not-so-very-sized-four hips.

I slipped the dress over my head and the sales lady came back to lace the corset back. And a few clips and pins later, she made the dress fit me like a glove. Actually, better than a glove - it was like the dress was made for me. But it wasn't The One. In fact, none of the dresses I tried on were The One. A few came close, and I'll definitely try them again, but the overall experience was so much more pleasant and exciting than I ever could've imagined. I felt like a princess and didn't want to take the dresses off.

.......... and then I went to Alfred Angelo tonight.

I'm usually not one to bad-mouth businesses, because I'll usually give them a second try to redeem themselves, but this place got under my skin and I won't be returning. To try on dresses I needed an appointment, so I had one set for today at 5:30. Finally around 6 pm they were able to see me. I couldn't try on dresses right away, though. First the lady wanted to know my bra size, shoe size (what?!), clothing size, etc.

I was already getting an uncomfortable feeling about the place - just one of those vibes, ya know? - but I wanted to check out the dresses. After the woman gave me one of her bras, even though I insisted I would be wearing the one I brought with me, I started looking through their dresses. Well, wouldn't you know it - the dresses I wanted to try on were sizes 8 and smaller. After trying a size 12 the woman told me I needed a bigger one. We got a bigger one (in a style I didn't like to begin with) and I tried it on. I felt gross in it. The saleslady insisted it looked good ( I took it off and tried on the next one. The material made my skin red and the dress didn't flatter a single part of me.

Long story short, I tried on a few more dresses and decided I had had enough. I left the store feeling defeated, fat, and frustrated. I cried in the parking lot and I'm thankful that I had good, quality service before stepping foot in Alfred Angelo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Writing About Weddings

I have a wedding Web site that comes with a blog, and if you know me then you know I can't turn down an opportunity to blog! I'm trying to decide if I want to keep wedding-related stuff over there, or just post it at both places. If I keep it here I'm changing up the design of this site again. Any thoughts?

From Feb. 15:
I'm Getting Married!
I've only been engaged for a little more than 24 hours, but I already can't stop staring at the sparkling ring on my finger. Every time I look it just reminds me that this whole experience wasn't just a dream.

It's one thing to think about weddings and to be in love with the idea of falling in love and getting married, but as I'm soon finding out, it's an entirely different experience to be involved with creating a wedding. Oh, and did I mention that I'll be doing most of the planning without my fiance? He'll be stationed in Georgia for most of the time and deployed for another few months.

My approach to this whole thing—like many brides-to-be say they'll be—is to remain practical, calm, and open to suggestions. I'm incredibly excited to make this as unique as possible and can't wait to see how this whole experience turns out.

I hope you'll stick around for the journey :)

From Feb. 16:
A Long Road Ahead
Like most long-distance relationships, couples can only manage to see each other during short periods of time. With that said, my diamond ring and I are currently sitting on an airplane flying back to Albuquerque, and my fiancé is driving the lonely two hours back to Warner Robins from Atlanta. He’s going out of town for work during (almost) the entire month of March, so we’re hoping to see each other in April or May before he deploys again in June (gotta love the Air Force)!

We’ve only been engaged for two days, but already I can tell the bridal magazine industry is going to receive a large chunk of my paycheck each month. I currently own four wedding magazines, and let me tell you, these suckers are not cheap! In fact, one of them actually says “Book” along the spine and set me back $14 at the airport magazine shop! Turns out it’s my favorite go-to guide so far…money well spent. I have a feeling the wedding industry isn’t seeing a large dent in their pockets due to the economy.

Even though Kenny and I are envisioning a wedding in late January, February, or March (…that’s at least 12 months away for those of you who are counting, and once again we can thank the military for such a long engagement), it seems like so much planning needs to have started, oh, about five minutes ago. Not only do I need to decide what my colors will be (because without my colors how can I pick invitations, flowers, cake, dresses, etc.), but I also need to find a location for the ceremony and reception. I also need to set a budget, which will most likely be one of the first things to cross off my list. Allowing myself to be flexible and frugal are two things I’m counting on during the next year.

this was my mom's dress...she hasn't touched it since 1980!

Here's what it looks like:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The Proposal:

My flight from Albuquerque to Atlanta on Friday the 13th was supposed to get in at 11:40 pm, but instead had me taxing into the airport at 12:45 am on the 14th. Kenny was there to pick me up, and by just shy of 3 am we arrived at his house in Warner Robins.

On Valentine's Day morning we woke up after a few hours of sleep, and while I was in a sleepy daze Kenny took my rings off my fingers. Kenny's a fidgeter and often takes off my rings to twiddle around with them, so I didn't think anything of it.

A little while later he put the rings back on my fingers, like he usually does. But as we were laying there I could feel his heart start to race.

Kenny and I have a running joke about getting married in 2012; don't ask me how or when it started, but two thousand twelve became the "magic" year for us.

So when Kenny said, "Will you marry me tomorrow?" My response was to giggle and say, "no." Then he said, "Will you marry me in 2012?" Since he also always asks me this, I laughed and this time said, "Ha. No. That's too far away." Then he said, "Well, will you marry me sometime?" I said, "Of course!" Then he said, "No. I'm serious. Will you marry me? Look at your hand." I looked at my hand, and instead of the ring he made me was a gorgeous diamond ring.

this is my attempt to be creative with a photo of the ring!

THE ring! I tried, and tried, and tried to take a decent picture of my ring, but none of them did it justice. Luckily, I work at a magazine and have some amazing photographers about ten feet away from me. This is an 18 karat white gold, forever-style, one-carat diamond ring. I LOVE it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Story

If you're visiting from my TNT site, thank you and welcome! I want to share my reasons for running again with Team in Training:

It was a dark and rainy night (as it so often was in Britain) and I was well into my sixth month of studying abroad in Bournemouth, England, when my mom called from back home. Her tone of voice told me she wasn't calling to chit- chat about the weather.

Instead, she told me they found a large mass near my Papa's liver. The silence, emptiness and loneliness that hit me after that sentence was almost unbearable; it felt like my air was sucked out of lungs and someone punched me in the stomach. The rest of the conversation was a blur.

After hanging up with my mom I felt alone and isolated, and as the days and weeks flew by so did results from countless number of tests, which all came back inconclusive. My parents canceled their first trip overseas in order for my dad to take more tests to see if the tumor was cancerous.

On May 5, 2005, a month before my plane departed from London, my mom called me. My Papa was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin�"s lymphoma, and would start chemotherapy immediately.

Chemotherapy and cancer. I tried my best to wrap my head around what was going on, and through hot tears streaming down my face I tried to give my mom the support I knew she needed from over the phone. The reality of what was going on made me realize it was time for my adventures and traveling to end. There were more important things to worry about back at home.

Emotions overtook my senses as I stepped onto American soil for the first time. I was anxious to see my friends who promised to meet me at the airport, and of course, to see my family. As I walked out of the security section I scanned the sea of heads for familiar faces. Instead of seeing any of my friends I spotted my dad walking towards me with open arms.

I stopped in the middle of the airport as he was walking towards me. Just from looking at him I could tell his first chemo treatment had already started taking a toll on him: he had lost a lot of weight, was using a walking stick, and his thick black hair was gone, replaced with a smooth bald surface. A few weeks later his eyebrows and eyelashes disappeared. The chemotherapy treatments took a toll on him both physically and emotionally, and changed me forever.

Now, four years later, my Papa is in remission and my hope is that families should ever have to go through this, but if it should ever happen, I hope they know there are organizations out there like LLS that will help them every step of the way. That is why I am doing help pay it forward and get rid of cancer for good.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My TNT Walk Group

I wanted to post a picture of my walk group for TNT this season! The group is larger than pictured here, but not everyone showed up to the first practice yesterday. I'm off to a good start - I did two miles yesterday and another two today. Woohoo!

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