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. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Thanks for all your questions on the last post! Please keep them coming in, and I'll start answering them over the next couple days! :)

So last night Z was trying to apply for a job. There were pre-screening questions asking his race and sex. After answering white male, he was told he was not eligible to apply. This company has certain quotas they have to meet as far as employing minorities that give them tax breaks, etc. Z was not happy.

My best friend in high school got a huge scholarship simply because she was latino. She had average grades, I had a 4.0, but I didn't receive any impressive scholarships. I'm white.

Is it just me, or has racial discrimination reversed itself? Have we not gone so far to help minorities, that we have discriminated against the majority? Why has it become increasingly harder for white males to get the same benefits a black woman would get? Why did so many people vote for our current President based solely on his ethnicity?


Note: Parts of this post have been deleted to protect certain entities.

Monday, August 17, 2009


There's a lot on my mind lately.. but unfortunately I can't share anything via the blog.. YET. So, stay tuned.. lots of large updates to come!

  • Z & I went to Indiana for the weekend to visit his cousin & his wife. They just bought a new house, so it was neat getting to see it.. and them, of course. Sat. night we went to Chilis, and then we hung out @ Lowe's. Us girls snagged some mistint paint and checked out paint colors and backsplash tiles for their new place (I'm living vicariously through others til we get our own). The guys looked @ power tools.. surprise, surprise. Sunday they taught me how to ride a [manual] four-wheeler. Let's just say.. I need practice. lol :) We headed back to OH around 2 & spent the rest of the day w/ his family & friends.
  • Z's poison ivy is recovering. It was BAD. Like all over his body! Sucked for both of us- He was miserable and I couldn't even kiss him.. or anything else. :) Within another week, I figure it'll be totally gone.
  • I swear if I didn't know better, I'd think I were pregnant! Of course, I'm NOT. See above point. :) I just feel slightly nauseous off and on all.the.time. Weird.
  • I found an interior design school that I'm going to start taking classes at sometime this year. SO excited. 6-8 months from starting, I'll have my certification. :)

Since I can't mention a lot of what's going on in our lives right now on here at the moment, I thought I'd open it up for questions [not about the not-to-be-mentioned news though :). Anything you'd like to know? Perhaps you're wondering if I stuck my finger in an outlet as a child? Or what it's like up in the Northern-most part of New England? Ask away!! I'll do my best to answer!

Friday, August 14, 2009


.. of my heart.

I've talked about some of them before, like:
  • Z
  • My family
  • Piano
But some of them I haven't really gone in to, like:
  • Design. There's just something unbelievably satisfying and rewarding about creating beautiful spaces. To turn the plain or ugly into something warm, inviting, relaxing, exciting... something that makes you FEEL.. is unexplainable. The pieces are slowly coming together for my future in design. I have found a correspondance program where I can get my interior design certificate in a rather short time frame, and I've got a pretty solid plan for a business in mind. Honestly, I've been scared to totally share my love for design. I don't just want to be another girl who drools over a gorgeously styled space, but never creates the gorgeous space herself. Let's face it, the prospect of going out on your own and starting a business is scary. I'm so proud of the ladies I've met through this blogging world who have done this. They're a great encouragement, and so are all of you. Thank you so much to those who have commented, emailed, and supported. I don't talk a lot of design on this blog, that's what Project Pretty is for.. but I definitely feel much more free to share here, and the tone here is much more personal. So thanks for that.
  • Ministry. God gave me a passion for people a long time ago. Specifically, teenage girls, and young women. The soul of a girl is so precious, so fragile, so beautiful- no matter what front she puts up. I did a good bit of work in youth ministry while still in high school. While I was in MI for college, I was flown back to ME to be the keynote speaker for a weekend women's retreat. I was in charge of the girls from 13-18. I've never felt so used before. Used as in, God was using me- big time. Do you know how touching it is to see the face of a 15 year old girl look up at you, and tell you that because of God speaking through you, she has given her life to Him? Amazing. That's worth living for. Since moving here, I haven't had a chance to be involved in this kind of ministry. But I think during this break, God has been refining my faith. I'm still so far from where I need to be.. but He uses broken vessels. And I'm so glad.
  • Honey Bunches of Oats. [I had to throw this in after the last two being pretty heavy :)] Seriously.. when my parents dropped me off at college, my dad put a case of this stuff under my dorm bed. Love that man. Oh, and I love Sam's Club. They supply me with family size combo boxes that I shamelessly polish off on. my. own. :) I could eat this stuff all. flipping. day. long. :)
So.. now that I've shared with you all, what do the pieces of your heart look like? Do tell!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Z!

Today I'm saying Happy Birthday to my hubby..

From back then..

To now...

You take my breath away

You make me laugh

You lift me up (sometimes literally)

You make me look good

You continue to sweep me off my feet

You are my leader, my inspiration

The reason for my smile..

I love you

Happy 24th babe, I wish you didn't have poison ivy. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


FYI lovlies:

having a giveaway.

So is Summer!

Check them out!!

*Btw, they're both awesome girls who I've loved getting to know- so make sure you stop by & say hi!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Closer to Love

Just wanted to share this song with you all.. I absolutely love it.

Here are the lyrics as well. So true.. in all of our lives, there's something that breaks us, brings us to our knees, and pulls us closer to love.

She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away

She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me
I guess we're all one phone call from our knees

We're gonna get there soon

If every building falls
And all the stars fade
We'll still be singing this song
The one they can't take away

I'm gonna get there soon
She's gonna be there too
Cryin' in her room
Prayin' oh, Lord come through

We're gonna get there soon

Oh, it's your light
Oh, it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to shoulder the weight
Cryin' out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Meet me once again
Down off Lake Michigan
Where we could feel the storm blowin'
Down with the wind

And don't apologize
For all the tears you've cried
You've been way too strong now for all your life

I'm gonna get there soon
You're gonna be there too
Cryin' in your room
Prayin' Lord come through

We're gonna get there soon

Oh, it's your light
Oh, it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to shoulder the weight
Cryin' out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Cause you are all that I've waited for all of my life
(We're gonna get there)
You are all that I've waited all of my life

You pull me closer to love
Closer to love
Pull me closer to love (You are all that I've waited for)
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love
Closer to love (Cause you are all that I've waited for)
Closer to love

Pull me closer to love

Lord, It's Me... Please Guide..

Father you know what I've been through with this whole house process. You know that I've been broken and that I've given up my desires for Your will. You are my hiding place in the flurry of acreage, contracts, lenders, offers, and square footage. I've shut down my feelings and heart on the whole shebang. I've gone into a stage where I let You and Z do the house hunting and deciding.

So Lord, I need to know if it was You yesterday. Was it You that shut down another house opportunity we were looking at? I need to know if it was You speaking to Z. Did You give him that feeling that he wanted to get out of here? Did You help him find that awesome house back home? Why have you slammed the "doors" in our faces on all these houses? Is it because we're really supposed to move back home?

You know how my heart has broken over missing my home and my family. You know about the countless nights I've cried quietly (sometimes violently) into Z's arms. You know the guilt I've felt about missing out on my sisters growing up. Lord, you know how much I've wanted to go back.

And just when I'd all but given up on doing that.. a glimmer of hope surfaces. Z's on the phone with my dad asking about job opportunities up there, and looking into renting moving vans. It's too real. It's too close to perfect. It's almost too much to handle if it's not going to happen.

I know You don't tease Your people, Lord. But I'm so afraid this is going to feel like a big tease. Lord, please guard my heart. Please take it and protect it from being broken again. Take my hopes and my fears, and in exchange, give me as much faith as you can spare.

I know you're preparing me for something great. I know you're building my faith so that I can share it. I know that no matter where we end up, you've given me the greatest gift I could ask for in my husband. And I will follow Him anywhere.. especially because I know he's following You. So Father, please just hold my heart and guide us..


I'm sure you all get the gist of what's going on.. and I'd really appreciate your prayers. :)

& If you're a new reader & have no idea what's going on, you can look at the posts with the label "Houses".

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Pretty Night Out

Z and I spent Friday night hanging out with his grandparents. They're so fun, and we love doing things with them. They decided to drive our way, so we thought we'd show them a little bit of downtown. Care to take the tour yourself??

We ate at one of my personal faves- the Coldwater Cafe. The history of this place is just so neat. It was previously a bank, and has kept a lot of the original architectural features. There are private dining rooms in old offices, and even a dining room in the old vault.. which is where we decided to eat.

I have to hand it to whomever designed this place- it's beautiful! This was a hutch/wall display had the prettiest stoneware & china! (Sorry for the fuzziness!)

Although I'm not in love with the wallpaper, the bathrooms are beautiful as well, complete with REAL towels to wipe your hands, and a little settee.

Even the toilet paper is arranged all pretty!

On Friday and Saturday nights there is live music played in the lobby/bar area. (fuzzy again)

Some of the decor:

Perhaps my favorite part of the entire cafe is the entry, with this gorgeous old safety box display.

After dinner we took a stroll around town. There was a jazz concert taking place on a blocked-off street. I loovee jazz so we stopped and listened for a bit.

Free carriage rides were offered for kids.

There are some beautiful looking antique stores.. too bad they're only open til 5!!

I just loved the window displays in these stores, so I snapped some pictures! Too bad you can't really see them! Forgive my amateur skills!

This woman was doing watercolors of the town on the sidewalk.

Such talent!!

It was a great night! We just love our little town. If only we were looking at buying a house here.. but unfortunately, real estate prices are sky-high. Not exactly a newlywed's scene.

Here's the final group shot we snapped before heading home: