Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas with your families! We've had quite the eventful day here. This morning Z surprised me with a scavenger hunt around the house AND garage to find my Christmas present from him... a new diamond ring. Girls' best friends, I tell you. ;) When we got engaged we were pretty focused on some business goals, and all our $$ was going to that. Therefore, my ring was pretty.. conservative. Don't get me wrong, I still think it was beautiful, and I still loved it. Z had always told me that he wanted to upgrade it for me though, I just never thought it would be this soon. It's a beautiful 3-stone setting.. I attempted to take a picture of it, but I need to try again when it's not dark outside. It's quite a bit more to look at when I'm doing things, and I find myself just staring at it sparkle a lot. Ultimately though, I think it's big for Z. I think it's his way of telling me I'm worth it. That no business amibitions or anything come before each other anymore. Once you're engaged, and then married, the "can I see your ring"? questions never stop. He told me he feels much more proud showing people the ring he gave me now. Proud, in a good way (this is in no way an ego-thing for either of us- we're just not that type).

It was so great being back with family this year. I truly count it a blessing to be here. Oh, and did I mention we have 2 FEET of snow? Ridiculous! But, it'll make the skiing and snow-sledding much more enjoyable! Z got outfitted with a new snowboard, boots, bindings, goggles, season pass to the mountain in our backyard, and new boarding pants and coat. Let's just say.. no one in our families had to think too hard about what to get him this year. He plans on heading out to try everything out on Sunday.

Right now we're watching the old classic, White Christmas. It's kind of a tradition with Z's family, so we're adopting it. :) Any of you have a Christmas movie you watch every year?

Thanks for letting me share a little of our Christmas with you! I'll be posting about some of my fave gifts on Project Pretty this weekend, so pop over there if you're interested!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just Saying..

K so I know I haven't blogged since Thanksgiving. Terrible blogger? Yes. For those of you who don't follow Project Pretty, that's where I spend most of my time. So really, I've been blogging, just not here. :) But anyway, since Christmas is right around the corner, I had to share these photos of my little nephew... Seriously, I believe I have the most ADORABLE nephew EVER.

..just saying. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hope you all are enjoying a wonderful holiday with your families today! We all ate a ton of food, and there's a major Wii tournament going on right now.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll brave the black Friday shoppers tomorrow. My gift certificate to the mall is making me think it could be worth it.. :)

In other news, Z and I will be celebrating our first anniversary on Sunday. We're taking off for the weekend to a sweet little bed and breakfast on the coast of Maine. Sooo looking forward to it!

This is also post number 200 for Wedded Whims, and just the other day we celebrated 100 posts over at Project Pretty. Swing by if you want to get in on the giveaway action! I'm so happy to have met all of you through blogging. Thanks for all your encouragement and support!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Readers, thanks for sticking with me. I have been physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted lately. When I took this new job, I had no idea it would be the way it is. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely a blessing. And I do believe it's where God wants me right now. But, it's been very, very stressful.

If I didn't tell you before, I'm the financial coordinator for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. We do everything from wisdom teeth extractions to botox and face lifts. I'm pretty sure I'm the only Christian working there, so that makes it a little tough. The language is pretty rough. Okay, really rough. The pressure is on me pretty thick to be bringing in $$$. So, on weeks where the numbers are low, the stress really gets to me.

I've been pulling a lot of 10 hour days, going home with little to no energy. I've been dreaming about balancing accounts and fighting insurance companies almost every night. It's not a job I can leave my office and forget about. I'm constantly trying to think about ways I can bring my AR numbers down or prove my work ethic more.

I'm also having issues with stress-eating. I constantly get the urge to munch. I have pretty much been inhaling life savers. Thankfully, my thighs aren't showing the results of that too much yet. I'm trying to stock my desk with clementines, apples, and bananas instead. So far, that has helped. Next week I'm going on a sugar-candy fast. After my mom's lecture about how excess sugar weakens the immune system (yes, she's an RN), I've decided to cut down. H1N1 is EVERYWHERE now. 12 % of the local high school was out sick a couple weeks ago. I'm just grateful to be healthy right now.

Anyway.. that would be the reason for my lack of posting. I've just been feeling drained, consumed with work. And since I don't want to bore you everyday with my rambling about numbers, I haven't been posting. I sure would appreciate your prayers. I know it'll get better eventually. It has already started to. My numbers last week were much, much better. God is giving me patience and strength and is starting to reward all my hard work. Despite the circumstances, He is faithful!

I think I'm starting to get used to it, and I'm sure I'll get into a routine that works for me soon. I've missed you all like crazy!! I've been keeping up with your blogs, and even when I don't have time to comment, know that my prayers are with you guys! :)

And, just to make this not a totally pictureless post, here are a few from a recent family hike:

{gorgeous, eh? :)}

{haha, it's hunting season..}

{my goofball sister..}

{the whole fam}

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3 Blind Mice

Last Saturday night my sisters wanted to dress up for Halloween. Personally, I'm not into Halloween at all.. but I'm always up for dressing up & having fun. So.. long story short- their friend who was going to dress up with them bailed and they needed another "mouse" to complete the group costume. Z and I were planning on going on a date that night, but he decided he'd take all 3 sisters out instead. So.. being the good sport that I am (wink..) I not only made the "ear hats" and tails, but wore them too.

{can you tell which one's which?? ..yeah, if it weren't for my more *ahem* mature features, no one could've either}

{caught mid-hip swing.. lol check out that tail!}

{getting a little cozy with the hubby.. (no, he didn't dress up)}

{gangster mice}

{walking into street lamps.. cause we're blind, of course}

{so glad to be back together again!}

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I LOVE having my own bathroom attached to my office at work.


Because I can sit on the seat without worry.

It's all in the simple things. :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

This land is your land... this land is my land..

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, guys. I'm just in a bit of a slump. I'm stresssssseeedddd with work, so when I get home I feel like doing nothing but snuggling with the hubby or watching hgtv. I've been there for a week now, and I'm just telling myself that it will get better soon. I'm feeling like "the little engine that could".. chugging up the mountain.. just waiting for it to level off. So.. it'll get better soon.. I promise. Or, I'll end up checking myself into a spa for like a week straight.

Wouldn't that be nice? :)

Anyway.. things are chugging along with the land. Want to see what it looks like?

It's pretty dead right now since all our pretty leaves have fallen, but it's truly a beautiful spot.

{nearly 1400 ft. of road frontage}

{pretty view of mountain}

The trees that you see would be a tiny portion of the 30 acres of forest.. the open fields are 19 acres of potential. I'm starting to have fun with the whole idea of designing my own home. I just need to work on the whole patience part.. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to Us!

Today is a special day for my mom and I- we share a birthday! Unfortunately, we both work all day.. but we're looking forward to celebrating together sometime soon.

And.. while I was too busy to blog a couple days ago.. my dad had his birthday. Yep, all 3 of us within 4 days of each other. :) So, happy birthday to you to, dad!! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Poll: White Coats

I've been having THE HARDEST time picking out a ski jacket. I've narrowed it down to a few criteria: North Face, no arm pit zips, 3-in-1 that zips together, and must have white & grey. I found one I love, and the store is holding it for me.. but there's just one issue- it's mostly white with a little grey.

I know, I know, that's what I said I wanted. But I'm starting to wonder how practical white is going to be. How easily will it get dirty? How hard will it be to keep it white??

So.. that's where you all come in.. anyone own a white ski jacket? How do you keep it clean? Are you happy with the white or would you go back & switch if you could?

Thanks in advance for your feedback. I need to decide soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We're signing a contract right now. The sellers accepted our offer and we have an agreement. Provided all the technicalities go well, we'll be the owners of 49 acres of beautiful land very soon.

So why am I not jumping up and down and super excited?

#1- My house / property hunting emotions are drained. I think I just stopped getting excited or sad. I'm just kinda of okay with whatever. It's too exhausting to commit to the journey 100%.

#2- We will have land. Not a house. Which means we will continue to live in my parents' "basement apartment" until we have a house. Living with the parents? Really much better than I thought it would be.. but still. We're not out on our own technically. Sure, we could get a separate apartment.. but we're saving fantastic amounts of money by staying here.. so we're torn. It's super smart financially, but I don't know.. maybe it's a pride issue. Probably.

#3- Building our own house is a LONG process. No, we're not just hiring a contractor to do the entire thing. We're acting as self-contractors. Another smart financial decision. Why, oh why do the smart ones have to be so.....difficult?

I think I'll be excited when I see the foundation getting poured. Although, in reality, that might be like another year and a half. We're limited by seasons around here. And the budget of course. So we might have the land in November, and the driveway, septic, well, power lines, and other details done this summer.. but realistically.. it might be the summer of 2011 til we have the finished house. Ugh. I'm trying to be positive because in the end we'll have a gorgeous, brand spanking new house.. but right now it's a little tough.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happenings :)

So remember how we've been house hunting for like the past year? Well, we might have come to a different decision. We were just about to put an offer in on a house we really liked, but Z had another idea. He thought we should build instead. To be honest, I was mad. Right now, I just want to settle down after so many ups and downs the past two years. But, I've been praying for an open mind, and for God's guidance.

We looked at a couple properties on Sunday. The first was 49 acres and the second was 98. Obviously, the 98 is a little bigger than we want (my dad is actually thinking about buying it as an investment). But, the 49 seems just about right. It's a beautiful lot with a large amount of road frontage, a big hilly knoll perfect for a house on top (with a great view), a big area of beautiful forest, and borders a pretty little pond with a view of the ski mountain. It's 5-10 minutes from the ski mountain, a couple minutes from the little town (grocery store, etc.), and about 15 minutes from work for both of us. We put in an offer on it today.

So.. your prayers would be appreciated! I'll be fine no matter what happens- if nothing else, I've learned that God's way is best. If he opens the doors for us to get this property and build, then I'll be happy. If not, I'll know he has something better for us.

My new job is going pretty well. It's been rather stressful so far. We're just so busy that I haven't really gotten the training I need, therefore causing me to get behind. And when I'm behind.. I'm stressed. The girl that was there before me left things very undone, and I'm having a hard time figuring out where she left off, and what things she did wrong that I need to correct.

Z's currently working with my uncle building homes (hence the decision to build our own), but he'll be starting a new position at the beginning of November. He's been working a LOT, and driving long hours back and forth, so we're only getting an hour or two per night together. Thank goodness I have my family right here.

My dad's birthday is Thursday, and my mom and I share a birthday next Monday. My sister and her boyfriend made us this fun cake the other night:

Cute, right? We were pretty impressed!

Sorry for the lack of posting lately! It's been a little crazy! It'll get better soon! Love you all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New England Runs on Dunkin'

So usually ad campaigns exaggerate the truth a wee bit. I'm sure most of you have seen the whole "America runs on Dunkin'" campaign from Dunkin' Donuts. I don't know how true it is that America runs on Dunkin.. however, I'm beginning to believe that New England truly does.

I'm going to need my NE (New England) girls to back me up on this one.. Where we used to live in Ohio, I knew of MAYBE one DD's in like a 100 mile radius. And, we were pretty close to some major cities. But here?? There's a DD's on pretty much EVERY interstate exit.. and then some. Pretty much anywhere you go you can find yourself some Dunkin. Though not everyone's as hardcore committed, we've got some straight up faithfuls.

I never realized it growing up here. But coming back after a few years away with a midwestern hubby, it really stands out. He couldn't believe how many Dunkin Donuts there were on our trip up here. Funny thing is, I think Z has officially been won over. He's on his way to being a true New Englander.. drinking a Dunkin' coffee almost everyday. Now, there's just one more point I need to get him to commit to...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fab News!

God is SOOOO good you guys! Let me preface this by saying when we moved up here (a more rural area) I figured I'd have to "downgrade" in job professionalism. I figured there would be less positions and even less good ones. So, I responded to an ad in the newspaper for an administrative assistant. I got a call for an interview and found out they also had a position for a financial manager open. So.. feeling that I was well qualified, I expressed my interest in that one. I got a call today for a second interview. I went in & met with 4 people (including the CFO) and walked out with a job!! WAhooo!!!!! How amazing is that? We've barely been here for a week and I already have a job- I start Monday. All of these blessings just make me feel like we made the right decision in moving here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It's so good to be back, you guys. I never realized how much I loved it here until I left. Nor realized that I'm a bit of a complex person.. lol. See, I've tried it all- country life, city life, suburban life.. And really.. I feel like I fit in each place.

Part of me LOVES the city- I love the energy, the constant buzz, the opportunity, the convenience & proximity of shopping options, the fashion, the design, etc. I enjoy it so much. I lived almost a year in the city. The only part I didn't like was the dirtiness, the bums, & lack of SPACE.

I spent almost a year in midwest suburbia, development-land, whatever you want to call it, as well. And really, I loved it there too. I loved the neighbors, the cute little neighborhoods, the perfectly manicured lawns and bushes, the beautiful bike path, & my running route. And, I'll admit- I kind of liked the stupid status-y stigma. However, I still felt like my wings were clipped.

I never would have told you I loved the country 5 years ago. Uh-uh, no way. I wanted out. And I got out... and came skipping back last week. :) Oh my gosh, this place is beautiful. I LOVVVEEE New England. I don't care if we have cold snowy winters, or if Cracker Barrell hasn't made it's way into Maine yet. This place is gorgeous, and I'm so thankful to be here. If I ever forget that, would you all remind me please??

Anyway.. call me a chameleon.. I can learn to love it just about anywhere. I think that's what God's taught me these past few years. I've gone through periods when I hated where I was.. only to lose precious time I could have been enjoying my surroundings. So seriously, if you don't like where you're at right now, learn to okay?? God puts us in places to stretch us sometimes. And I believe that if we learn to appreciate where we're at, it enables him to bless us through it. I missed out on several blessings I'm sure while I was in high school and hating northern Maine. Now that I'm back and my eyes are open.. God is blessing me abundantly. Just tonight he sent me a little message in the form of beauty:

This is the view from my parents' front yard. Gorgeous, eh? Oh, and Canada's on the other side of that mountain. We'll blame the "eh's" on that, okay? :)

Here's a quick rundown of what's going on: My parents have made their basement into somewhat of an apartment for us for right now. We're house hunting at the moment, and will buy as soon as God leads us to the right one. Z's got a job and starts monday. I've had two interviews since I got here, and I felt pretty confident about both of them (I'm a bit over-qualified for them..). I should know about both of them by Friday. I've said the same prayer before each- just that God would bless my words, and that I would be hired where HE wants me, not where I want. Sure takes the stress out of interviewing. I do my best, and if it's where he wants me, I'll get it. Simple enough. My dad's in Louisville on business and my mom and sisters left to visit a college in TN today, so Z and I are alone in this big house for a week. I plan to get lots of cleaning and fall decorating done for my mom while they're gone. I'm just feeling super blessed right now, even though things are in a big transition stage. Anyone else able to relate??

Oh, and a BIG shoutout to my fellow New England bloggers! Glad to be back with ya, ladies!! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We made it!

We've landed in Maine!! I'll be back with updates later, but finally, after 36 hours, we're here!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Burried in Boxes

I haven't blogged in almost a week and I have a billion things to update you guys on, but I only have a quick second to thank you all for your support lately. Your comments on my last post truly touched my heart, and proved again what I've known for a while: I have some of the best blog friends ever.

It's 9:30pm right now, and I probably have a good 3 hours of packing ahead of me before I can even think about laying down to sleep.. in a sleeping bag.. Because I washed our sheets and packed them. Oh boy..

This moving thing is rough. It's my 6th time in a little over 2 years doing this.. but I do believe this time is the hardest. We're not just moving to a different suburb.. we're moving 1200 miles away with a ton of stuff.

Anyway, I've got oodles to do and a back that isn't going to hold up much longer, so I'll have to catch you all later. I'm working on catching up and commenting on all your blogs.. but I'm afraid it's hard to keep up when I have so many things to do here. It'll get better soon, I promise. Until then, I love you guys!! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So leah had a post titled this the other day, and I had to follow suit. For the same reason as her.. and then some.

Guys... I'm exhausted. My apartment is an absolute disaster. There are boxes literally taking over every room. Disorganization stresses me out. I've been staying up late trying to get everything done.

And what's worse... I don't even dare to talk about online. Let's just say I found out some information (that was no doubt meant to be hidden from me) today at work. I feel hurt, cheated, lied to, and downright furious. This would never have happened if my other boss were still here. I miss him so much... and now that he's gone, things just aren't the same.

I have never been more ready for a change in my life. What I found out today at work just put me at my wit's end. I wish I could just tell you all... and I wish I could have taken action today.. but I can't do either of those things because I can't risk it getting back to the wrong people and hurting me down the road.

I am trying so hard to give my anger and resentment over to the Lord.. but at this point, I feel I'm failing miserably.

I learned a hard lesson today... sometimes those you trust and admire will not only let you down, but be the ones that deceive and hurt you. And... as painful and infuriating as it can be, you can't say a word or do a single stinking thing about it.

I also learned that a full body exfoliating scrub is NOT for the timid.. but more on that later...

Can. Not. Wait.

After work today I'm heading to my fave spa to relieve a little "moving process stress". I've got one of these:



...And one of these


{Full Body Exfoliating Scrub}

..scheduled. This day cannot go by fast enough! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Recap

Friday night Z and I headed up to Michigan. We spent the night at my Aunt and Uncle's house. They live in the same town I went to college in, so the next day we went to church with some old friends from school. We got to see my gorgeous girl Tacyana. Here's a photo of Z, her, & I:

Love her! She's a religion major & totally a woman after God's heart. Although she's a couple years younger, we clicked back several years ago on a trip to Texas for a prayer conference.

We spent the afternoon with my aunt, uncle, and cousin at their house. My cousin Jonathan is thinking about switching his major & switching schools so that he can pursue a degree in furniture design. Yummm.. we've decided that he's going to design all my custom furniture for decorating clients once my little business is started. How fun is that??

Saturday night we headed to one of my absolute favorite cities in Michigan- St. Joseph - to meet up with fellow blogger, Kristen and her [super tall] hubby Jordan.

I have to tell you- Kristin proved her fab taste in food when she recommended the yummy little asian grill we went to. It was ssoooooo good! :) I definitely wish we were going to be living closer- we had a great time with them!

Sunday we headed to yet another friends' house & spent the day with them. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pictures. We got home last night at 11:30 pm and were exhausted!


Moving update:

We're set to leave one week from tomorrow. I'm into my second week training my replacement at work. Blah. I'll say no more.. [see mom, I'm being niiiceee!! :)] it's just not my cup of tea.

Our house is a maze of boxes. It gets worse by the day. I'm working on a little "packing tips" post for you all- gotta have something good come out of all this mess! :)

I've gotten 3 calls for different interviews back home.. but of course they want me there now.. and it'll be another 10 days, officially putting me behind any other candidates. Strangely enough, I've had total peace about finding a job. God is leading us to Maine, and He will totally provide. If any of those jobs are where I'm supposed to be, it'll work out. If not, I'll find something else. It's as simple as faith. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Big God or Big Government?

You're in for a treat today, folks! Since Z's been home with a hurt back, he offered to guest post for me. I've been crazy busy at work (training the new lady is nothing short of a headache.. but more on that later), so it actually works out well. One of the things I love most about my husband is his passion. He's just honest, raw, and sincere, and I wouldn't have him any other way. What he's going to share with you is something he's been learning lately, and has become quite passionate about. Enjoy! :)

My wife C has been asking me to do a guest post on her blog for some time now, and I have finally come up with what I want to write about. It’s something that’s been on my mind for quite some time now. I’ve been doing some reading and studying and now understand how we need to think about our government.

I believe in inalienable rights which are our rights given to us by our Creator. These rights don’t stop at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence. In Judges 8 vs 22 The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian." 23 But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." Here Gideon Respected their God given right to be ruled by God rather than men.

Again in 1st Samuel 8 it says, 6"But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king." Here we see proof of our God given right to be ruled by our God rather than men, and when we give that right away by electing a ruler, we reject God as our ruler.

I think our founding fathers knew this and that’s why they instituted a federal government that was very limited in power- just basic enough to do for the people what they could not necessarily do for themselves. It was also set up to be ruled by a body of people, not a sovereign king or czar. They understood that when we give power to our government it is a rejection of our LORD ruling us and shows our distrust in Him. This is why I believe in small government- that we keep the right for God to rule over us.

Every step we take in the direction of bigger government (who use their police force to take from those who have to give to those in need), we lose our trust in God to supply what we need. History has proven that when people have the power to take and give to whomever they please, corruption will gradually creep in. This corruption will ultimately destroy the nation from the top down. Because of this, the only One we can trust to give to those in need is our perfect Father in Heaven. We know that He loves us and has promised to supply our needs. Since He is perfect in every way and cannot be corrupted, He is the only one we should trust to rule over us.

I believe this truth is one of the most important factors to think about when trying to get a bill passed in congress, or even in daily decisions. We do the same thing when it comes to our employers. We not only rely on them for a paycheck, but for health insurance, retirement, and a number of other things. We should not so eagerly welcome these things into our lives without considering that we might be rejecting God like the Israelites did when they requested an earthly king. So, next time you're thinking about giving someone else more power over your life, stop and ask yourself of who's really in control. It's your choice. Me? I'd rather trust God.


Monday, September 14, 2009

:: Husband Down ::

I had plans to blog a bit more tonight & catch up on all of yours some more, but we had a little incident come up. Z hurt his back today at work. He came home early and once I got home, I took him to the ER.

Poor guy had to take a shot in the arm AND one in the... uh.. bum. They said it's probably just a sprain and put him on anti-infammatories & muscle relaxers. So.. he'll be out of work for at least a day or two.. or more. He's not doing too bad thanks to the drugs, but he's having a really hard time getting comfortable. No position seems to do it for him.. I'm afraid we won't get much sleep tonight.

Your prayers for his speedy recovery would be mucho appreciated. We'll be leaving for Maine in exactly 2 weeks, so we're really hoping he's better by then. A 21 hour drive would be NO fun with a bad back.


In other news, I've started training a new lady at work to take my place. And let me just leave it at this: You REALLY should know how to ATTACH a file to an email in Outlook, & know the difference between SAVE and SAVE AS in MS Word if you want to keep an office job. I'm seriously questioning why anyone would hire someone without these basic skills for an office management position. Drives me nuts. My guess is once I'm gone they'll realize their mistake. Oh well. 2. MORE. WEEKS.

My house is a disaster. It's covered in boxes. And if you've gotten to know me at all.. you can understand how this causes my OCD tendencies to go nutzo. Oh well. 2. MORE. WEEKS.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! I'll be back with more interesting updates later, & again, your prayers for Z would be much appreciated! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We had homemade pizza last night (yes I cheated and bought the crust), this is what it looked like:

Meat on the left. Veggies on the right.

Compromise is what happens when a former-vegetarian New England girl marries a meat-loving midwestern man. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Anyone else seen this stuff yet?? It's Maybelline New York Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara. I'm pretty sure Estee Lauder and Lancome have a vibrating mascara as well. I definitely don't see this trend lasting long.

Because really.. I equate this stuff to applying mascara while driving down a bumpy road in an old Chevy truck that's lost its shocks. If you don't poke your eye out.. you WILL get it all over your face.

FYI: If you're brave and/or have a super steady hand, you can buy it here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Well, all things are a go with the move. We've started to pack and plan. If all goes well, we'll be outta here in 3 weeks. I am incredibly excited about going home. About spending time with my family. But I think I'll be leaving a part of my heart here too.

The statement, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone" is so true. When I was growing up, I always wanted to get out of my small town & never look back. So I did. I moved to the midwest.. only to realize my heart was partly back home. I missed it like crazy.

It' been 2 years since I've lived in Maine. I spent a good part of that time missing it. Now we're going back.

And as much as I expected to feel only excitement, that's not all there is. Somewhere between wishing for my mountains and lakes back and wanting my family closer, I got attached here.

As many times as I complained to Z about my crazy co-workers, it broke my heart to tell them I was leaving. We all grew so close together because of the death of my boss 2 weeks ago. I'll miss them.. and I don't know if I'll ever have a better employer.

As much as I love my own family, I've fallen in love with Z's as well. I'm going to miss them so much. His sisters have become friends, and even those flat cornfields have become somewhat beautiful.

And as blind as I was to it, I've learned a great lesson.

1 Timothy 6:6 (New International Version)

6But godliness with contentment is great gain.

It's not enough to try and follow after Christ & be like him. Because how can we really be like him if we're not content with our lives?

It's tough to feel content when we're thousands of miles away from people we love, when we've lost someone close to us, or life's just seeming unfair.

But, God doesn't tell us stuff like this without a promise. The last part of that verse says ".. is GREAT GAIN". And really, God's pretty much the best at giving rewards. If he says that godliness with contentment is going to benefit me, I'll believe him.

I've wasted so much time in my life wanting what I don't have. Whether it's where I'm living, the career I'm in, or even petty stuff like new furniture or a prettier, more popular blog. What a waste.

So, friends, please don't make the same mistakes. You may look back on the little apartment you're in with wonderful memories someday. Enjoy where you're at. Be thankful for what you do have. Don't wish the moments away- embrace them. GROW because of them. Every single situation you come across is an opportunity to grow, and to inspire others. I only wish I'd embraced this lesson sooner. I want to live my life like Paul, and be able to say,

".. for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Phillippians 4:11b-12)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Official

Remember that certain something that I couldn't tell you all yet... Well, we've given our notices at work, and are planning on being moved back home (to Maine) by the end of the month! More details to come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Still Here!

Whew! Where were we again? Apparently I get an F in blogging lately. But then again.. life gets in the way, and sometimes it's good to take a break. What have I been up to?? Let me fill you in.

Left for Kentucky Friday. Got there just before dark. Set the tent up All.By.Myself. Tried to sleep even though my back was yelling at me for the minimal padding between it and the ground. Woke up. Jumped on the back of Z's 4-wheeler, and rode around for a few hours. Held on for dear life while getting covered in dust. Had fun though. Went back to campsite for lunch. Washed grit out of my teeth and ate a PB&J. Took a nap with A (Z's cousin's wife) while the boys (Z & said cousin) did some "real" 4-wheeling. [sidenote: apparently it's not real 4-wheeling unless you're doing like 55 mph in the woods] Drove to the "lake" with A, only to find out it was filled with algae & would no way get me any cleaner than I was. Went back to campsite. Took "shower" in little water spiget that came 2 feet high out of a concrete slab. Felt fresh again. All was well. Boys got back. Made supper over the campfire. MMMmmm, pizza pie! Made s'mores. Colapsed into sleeping bag. Woke up, ate muffin. Packed up all our gear. Took the tent down All.By.Myself. Did a wee bit more 4-wheeling. Headed home.

If you just read that, you're a trooper, and I love you. :) The only pic. I have with me at work is this one, of our campsite.

Once we got home we showered & went to the viewing for my boss. We waited in line for 3 hours just to see the family, but I wasn't annoyed at all. I was so happy that many people were there. The estimate was 1,000 people. Crazy. It was pretty tough, not gonna lie. Seeing so many pictures of him, and momentos from his office on display was such a stark reminder that he wasn't there anymore.

I had monday off for the funeral, and so Z took it off too. We went an hour early just to get seats. If I thought the viewing was tough.. whew! The funeral was way worse. They opened it up for people to share memories of him, and several people barely choked through theirs to get words out. Like I'd said before, he crashed with his good friend, who survived the accident with minimal hurt. Well, his friend was there, sitting a couple rows in front of us. He got up spoke only a few words because he was so choked up- he said that he didn't understand, didn't know why he hadn't seen him that night, that he was such a good friend, etc. Oh my gosh.. there wasn't a dry eye in the place! The line of cars to go to the graveside was so long they had intersections blocked off and police escorts. It was hard, but I'm doing well. Please continue to pray for his family- It's going to be a long time before anything feels normal for them again.

After all of that was over, my WONDERFUL hubby took me south for a little retail therapy. We hit up a new outlet mall, and somehow I only walked away with one shirt from JCrew. Don't know how that happened! We went to Ikea after and let's just say.. I walked away with slightly more than that. :) Check out Project Pretty in a day or so to see what we scored.

Now, we're all unpacked, the house is cleaned up, and we're back to work. Still feels eerie looking down the hall at a closed door, but life is going on. And that's what he would have wanted.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Catching Up

I feel like I'm so behind right now. It's nuts. But today I'm going to try and do some catching up on a couple awards I received.

The first is from Kristin. This girl and I were totally meant to be friends. Somehow we found each other on facebook through mutual friends. Then I think I messaged her because she was looking for wedding songs or something. Then we discovered out mutual love for theknot/ Then we discovered we were both bloggers. lol. Oh, and we're going to meet up in person next month hopefully. So anyway, she's a sweetheart & I can't wait to meet her! She gave me the Fab Blog Award.

For this I have to list 5 current obsessions & tag 5 others. So here's the obsessions.

1. Prayer. Seriously. God has been testing me lately, and I believe trying to make me stronger and more faithful. Prayer's the only thing that's gotten me through. Oh, and you know what's great?? He ANSWERS. :)

2. Natural-ish design elements. Stuff that's raw. Like jute, linen, burlap, unstained wood, tree branches.. you name it.

3. Subway. Z would tell you it doesn't count because I get veggie subs. :) I would get something with chicken if it didn't look like something put in the blender, mashed together, and labeled chicken breast. Eeek. Sorry if I just ruined chicken subs for you.

4. Paint. But really, what else is new??

5. Tissues. I've had a cold. My nose is masquerading as a faucet. Tissues are my lifesavers. Sorry if you just got a nasty mental image. :)

Now, for the tags..
Three Men & a Lady

Also.. Courtney tagged me for the Premium Meme Award. This girl is just too cute! I also think we were destined to be friends.. after all, we have the same name, right?!? (oops, just let it slip!) She's new to blogging, but I've totally enjoyed getting to know her!

For this award, you're supposed to list 7 random things about yourself and tag other people you want to know more about.

Weeeelllllll.... you all have been getting a good dose of "About me" lately, and I'm beginning to feel a bit.. self-consumed. lol So just read a few of the last posts to catch you up, k? I also added a link to the about me posts in me left sidebar.

And for the tagging..
Holla! to one of my blogging bffs, Roeshel.
And I'm tagging a new follower, Lauren Kelly.

Spill it, ladies!! :)

Tomorrow after work Z and I are headed to Kentucky with his cousin & his wife for a weekend of four-wheeling and hiking. Say your prayers for me people. Four-wheeling and I DO NOT have a good history. Oh, and since we'll be camping and "roughing it", Z thinks we're going to eat gorp (trail mix to most of you) all weekend like we did in the Rockies that time... ha! Not for this chika.. I'm going grocery shopping this afternoon. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All About C&Z

Thank you all for your sweet, caring comments. You've been such a comfort. Love you guys!

I figured I'd do this little quiz popping up all over blog-land to lighten the mood. [I know I still have Part 2 of the questions to do. I swear I'll get to it!!]

♥ What are your middle names? Alyssa & Alan. [Now, you know our middle names, and not our first names.. lol]

♥ How long have you been together? 2 years

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating? About 5 years

♥ Who asked whom out? After having a long distance "phone relationship" for 2 months, we sealed it with a kiss and assumed it was official. :)

♥ Whose siblings do/did you see the most? His. We're 1200 miles from mine.

♥ Do you have any children together? Not yet.. give us ~3 years.

♥ What about pets? Not yet. Once we own our own house, it's on the agenda! :)

♥ Did you go to the same school? Nope (again, the distance thing)

♥ Who is the smartest? book smarts- me / critical thinking & ingenuity- him

♥ Who is more sensitive? Me. Oh lord.. me. If you ask him, he'll say too much and grin. :)

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? We have a fave mexican place that we go from time to time.. but every Saturday after church we go to Culver's

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Maine from Ohio (home for me, 21 hours from where we are now)

♥ Who has the craziest exes? Um.. neither of us have a whole slew of exes, but I'm pretty sure I'd take the cake on this one..

♥ Who has the worst temper? Neither of us have much of a temper.. but me if it comes to getting upset over smaller things.. him when it comes to a really deep issue making him mad

♥ Who does the cooking? Me. The only meal he's cooked since we've been married is grilled cheese. Although, when I make hamburgers or chicken, he does the grilling.

♥ Who is more social? Me.

♥ Who is the neat-freak? That'd be me again..

♥ Who is more stubborn? Me.. but of course it's hard for a stubborn person to admit they are..

♥ Who hogs the bed? Neither really.. but I have gotten whacked in the face a time or two. :)

♥ Who wakes up earlier? Me. I start work a half hour earlier.. but he does get up and eat breakfast with me. :)

♥ Where was your first date? Silver Beach on Lake Michigan

♥ Who has the bigger family? Me

♥ Do you get flowers often? Not a lot, but when I do, it makes me flutter :)

♥ How do you spend the holidays? Well.. we've only been married 8 1/2 months so we don't have a tradition yet, but I imagine we'll be alternating between Ohio & Maine w/ both families.

♥ Who is more jealous? neither

♥ How long did it take to get serious? uh.. on his end- he told his bff he was going to marry me before we started dating. For me.. still quick, but after 2 months of "phone dating" and a few weeks of real dating (meaning him driving to MI to see me on the weekends), I was serious. Guess we had to either 'do it or die' because of the distance.

♥ Who eats more? Him. But I can keep up better than is probably lady-like. :)

♥ Who does/did the laundry? Me. Once in a while I can convince him to switch a load over or fold his boxers.

♥ Who’s better with the computer? Him. I married an under-cover genius.

♥ Who drives when you are together? Him. Always him.

That was fun! Def. helps get my mind of things! :)


Can I be real with you all?? [I just don't feel right being a New England girl and saying ya'll, even though it's easier..]

Stupid question. You all get the real deal in every post. Maybe a little more transparent than normal is a better way of putting it.

Yesterday sucked. I went into work on 2 hours of spotty sleep. I walked by my boss' empty office all day. I look directly at it from my desk. And I was just waiting for him to walk out.. To hear hear him laughing or have him give me a hard time about something and nudge my arm the way he always did. I broke down a couple times in the bathroom and cried on the tile floor. I couldn't eat lunch. I did manage a bite-size snickers bar, though. [I'm really trying to ignore the fact that that might be a sign of comfort-eating.]

I had to answer the phone and hear, "Hi, is [boss' name] there?" a couple times. I then had to keep my composure and explain to them that he had died. I can't say passed away, because he didn't. He didn't just "pass away". He crashed mid-air, was thrown into a cornfield, and had the life ripped from him. Passing away is when you're 90 and you simply go to sleep. My boss was killed. No one's fault, but I just can't pass it off as something that sounds so everyday and easy. It was tragic. Unexpected. And it's left so many people just reeling.

I left work 45 min. early because I wasn't getting anything done. I'd sit at my desk and just zone out, imagining what must have gone through his mind in his last moments.

I got home and tried to do 'normal' things. I started cooking Z supper, and hit my elbow on something. Normally, I'd just grit my teeth til it started feeling better. But for some reason it triggered a wave of emotion and I collapsed on the living room floor, sobbing.

I pulled myself together and got dinner going. I had on the TV in the background (I have to have background noise when I'm home alone). Bad move. The 5 o'clock news came on, and guess what story they started with? Yeah. They showed the spot in the cornfield where he went down. Of course this started me bawling again.

And of course the UPS man had to choose that exact moment to knock on my door. Poor guy. Then one of my bff's called for a friendly chat.. only to hear me all choked up and tell her what had happened. Poor girl. Then Z came home to find all this happening. Poor guy.

Being in Z's arms seems like the greatest comfort right now. We ate dinner and went into our room to lay down for a while. Well, I fell asleep at 6pm-ish.. and woke up this morning around 6am. That helped. Today's a little bit better. Still hard, but better.

Now.. I'm not going to end this post here. 'Cause honestly, I have a hard time when other people write posts like this. You know they're hurting, but what can you possibly say that's going to help?!? Seems like I never have adequate words to comfort anyone.. and I'm sure some of you feel the same way. So don't feel like you have to say something to make me feel better. I know you all care. And I appreciate every one of you so much. I'm sure if you all were here in person, we'd all hug and we wouldn't need words.

This morning, something dawned on me. What would he want us doing after his death? Probably working hard, and going on with life. He'd have rather died doing something he loved (flying) than suffering with some disease. He'd want us to excel the business, enjoy our off time, and hold on to Christ. He wouldn't want a lot of flowers at his funeral- he thinks most of them stink. Oh, and he'd want the office to stay especially clean. :)

So, that's what I'll do. There are still going to be tough times.. probably more than I'm anticipating.. but over all, I'm going to try and live like he'd want us to. I think I owe him that. And I'm looking forward to seeing him in heaven. 'Cause I know without a doubt he'll be there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When Our Hearts Just Don't Understand..

My boss died tragically last night in an accident. He was up flying his ultralight and crashed into his good friend, who also flies. His friend went to the hospital, but is going to be fine. My boss died before emergency crews arrived.

We have a small office staff of 6 people, and we're all like family. He was a great man. After seeing him almost every day for the past year and a half.. it's just.. hard. He was very fatherly to me.. and to many. I wasn't going to come in to work today.. but I felt like they needed me. I knew it would be hard.. but to see my grown men co-workers fighting back tears.. and to answer the phone over and over answering the questions that yes, he did die last night.. it's heartbreaking. Every call and email I get it brings fresh tears to my eyes.

8 days ago his father died as well. His father was 83, and they all got to say goodbye.. but this was so unexpected. I'm sure his family is torn apart. I know his daughter pretty well, and I can't imagine being in her place- losing her grandpa and father within 8 days of each other. I can't imagine being his friend who was involved with the crash. I pray he doesn't feel guilty. .

Part of me just wants to ask why?? He was young (56), had a wonderful family, and was an amazing business man. It's just not supposed to happen that way. But the other part of me knows without a doubt that God is in control. My boss was a strong Christian. There were several occasions when I'd walk into his office in the morning and see his daily devotional book sitting open on his desk. He's okay now. He's not suffering. And the next thing that he'll see will be Jesus coming to take him home.

So while my heart doesn't understand, and my eyes are raw from the tears.. I am thankful for a God who is preparing us something so much better than this life. I'm thankful for my boss' example. And I truly hope you all never take one moment for granted. I hope you know without a doubt that you'll be in heaven with him. And please.. just keep all of us who knew and loved him in your prayers. These next few days won't be easy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Answers: Part One

Lucy asks:
What is your favourite/least favourite DIY project you've done?

Hmm.. Fave DIY project would have to be my glass lamp. It was just such a spur of the moment thing- the idea just came to me in the store, and it ended up looking like a million bucks!

Least fave.. Probably my mid-century modern dresser. What Project Pretty readers didn't see is what happened when I applied a coat of Polyurethane. I had 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of white paint on that baby and it was looking good. And then I applied a THIN coat of poly. And the whole thing turned yellow. I had to paint all over again. I might have been so mad I cried on that one... ;)

What does a day in the life of C look like?

I wake up at 6am & cuddle with Z for about 10 minutes. Then I shower, get ready, eat breakfast, make Z lunch, and leave for work at 7am.

I start work at 7:30am. I always start by checking email. Then, depending on the day, I work on payroll, billing, various contract work, etc. til I get off at 4.

On my way home I run my errands- which are usually either to the bank, post office, grocery store, JoAnn's, Menard's, Marshalls (that's an errand right? :)), or Target.

On a good night, I get home and cook dinner. If something's in the oven, I usually run out & get a project set up in the garage. The food's usually ready by 6, then Z helps me clean up & we're done by 6:45.

I usually spend the next couple hours working on some DIY project in the garage or at my sewing desk. The rest of the night is usually spent reading design books, blogging & reading blogs, or Z and I will settle in on the couch for a movie about once a week. When we're on the internet or reading, we like to do it in the same room so we can chat about what we're doing. Oh, and if it's a really good night, I go for a run just before dark. :)

And ... are you SURE you're not pregnant?? ;)

Ha! No, I'm not 100% sure. But I will be in a couple weeks. :) Although, I HIGHLY, highly doubt it's possible.

Carol asked: What is your fave meal to cook?

Hmm.. If I'm feeling like super-wife, then Bruchetta stuffed chicken. If I feel like a quick meal then either Corn Chowder or Baked Ziti.

S asked: Have you always been into design?

When I was a lot younger, I always thought about being an interior designer.. but figured I'd have to move to a big city to do it. I never saw myself being too far away from family so I put the idea out of my mind. As I grew up, I made my own purses, and designed my own skirts, etc. I spent hours playing the Sims game. I'd design the houses and then quit. I didn't care what the "people" did as long as I made the house look pretty. :) I have always found a creative outlet somewhere. I thought I wanted a career in Marketing, so that's what I started going to school for. And I hated it. God showed me that being a kick-butt boss lady in some corporation wasn't going to make me happy. It would've turned me into someone less than my best. It was then that I fell in love with wedding design. I did a little bit of wedding planner work. Then that turned into falling in love with interior decorating. It almost became an addiction. When I realized that I could work towards owning my own wedding design & interior decorating business, I was ecstatic. The idea of getting to share my love for design with people and give them an event or space that they loved made me feel so... full. Whew! That was probably more than you asked for huh? ;)

How long did you and z know each other before you got engaged?

Z and I met in 2002 at a summer leadership camp/conference. We kept in touch somewhat & went to camp for the next 5 years, but had no romantic interest whatsoever. That changed the last year we were there. We started dating in Sept. of 2007. We told our families we wanted to get married that December (yes, after barely 4 months of dating). Z proposed in April of 2008, and we were married November 29, 2008. It was a whirlwind, but I've never been so sure of anything in my life.

That's the end of Part One! I'm sure some of you have got to have a few more questions, so fire a few more off, and I'll answer the rest tomorrow. :)