Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More obsessed than even I knew...

Your Musical Tastes Match: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

See his whole playlist here (iTunes required)
I was just going to do this to see the results, but when I saw what I ended up with, I knew it was too good not to be posted. What did I say that was THAT redneck? I don't know, but this is funny. Dale Earnhardt Jr. At least I don't hate him. Matt, don't say a WORD about the kind of car he drives...this is only about music. I should go check out his playlist now.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Video Game Queen

For being a girl, I'm pretty good at video games. I think it's all the piano that gives me good hand-eye coordination. So today we ate lunch at the OP, and they have a Ms. Pac-Man video game. I played 4 times, and the one time I played 2-player against Bill, I beat the Hi-Score by about 2,000 points!! It must be the competition that brings it out in me. People must not play that game too much because I beat it about the third time through. That's not much warming up. But I was feeling pretty good about it. So I figured I would share it with all of you.

Last night, I listened to Chris Rice's "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)" at least 30 times on repeat. Have you heard that song? It's amazing. What a reminder that no matter what season we are in life, it all comes back to Jesus.

One more thing - we started our wedding registry this weekend at Bed, Bath & Beyond. We picked out a formal china pattern that is so amazing; I absolutely love it. It was $29.99 a place setting, so I was happy with the price, too. So when I looked up our registry on their website yesterday, it came up at $14.99!! I was so shocked; I called my mom immediately, remembering that she wanted to buy our china for us. Apparently if you find it in a store, it will ring up at that price, but if they have to order it in from the manufacturer, they will charge $29.99 plus shipping. This is the best part for the bargain shopper in me - to now call to every BB&B known to man with a Fine China department and see if I can hunt down 12 place settings. If you clicked on the link, you'll see that Dillard's charges $80 per place setting, so the $30 is a great price itself. But the $14.99 is too much to pass up. I don't know how much luck we'll have, but it sure will be fun to try!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Chalk One Up for My Baby

I wanted everyone (who has time) to check out what Matt wrote in response to a blog I read regarding abortion/war/the death penalty all rolled into one. I get really emotional about these issues and can have a difficult time clearly stating why I believe what I do, but he did an amazing job of clarifying the core issue in these situations, which is that evil exists, and God desires that we do our best to protect the INNOCENT, whether that be through outlawing abortion or warring against those who make it their business to take innocent lives. That's my really short summary, but he does a superb job of outlining the points in a clear, concise way. Excellent, honey. I'm by far your biggest fan.

Birth Order

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.
At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.
When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.
Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.
You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.
I'm not an only child, but the rest of this is fairly accurate. Bizarre. Sometimes firstborn children and only children can have similar characteristics, so I will cut them some slack.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Birthday #2

I need to finish my birthday list since I only had 16 out of 28 items. So here is the conclusion:
17. Latin ladies - the beautiful roses my baby gave me for my birthday. The picture doesn't do them justice; they are light pink on the outside and dark pink/red on the inside. Insanely beautiful.
18. New shirt - I bought a new shirt at Target the week before, and it is always fun to wear something new.
19. Matt's present - could I have a more creative man? He checked into buying me a few shares of stock in ISC (International Speedway Corporation). It's the company owned by the people who founded NASCAR, and they own about half the tracks they race on each week. He even asked me first, though, to make sure I would want that. How thoughtful is he? Does he realize how high he is setting the bar for the rest of his life? :-)
20. Shopping - I bought a few things at Old Navy that were 50% off the clearance price. And Matt even stayed by the dressing room to watch me try on clothes (after I begged). It was fun, though - I like to know if he likes something or not. He generally does like what I pick out, but it was still fun to put on a little fashion show. I liked it. I hope it wasn't too torturous for him.
21. More shopping - I went to the mall with my Mom; she bought me something for the wedding night, I bought a couple more things at, um, that store; I bought a shirt I had loved a few months ago when it was new at Limited (got it for $9.99, thank you very much, regularly $60) and two other tops for $6.99.
22. Cookies - we had cookies for a snack since we weren't hungry enough for lunch. Yum
23. Dinner - my grandparents and two aunts/uncles showed up for dinner. That was really fun; we showed them our engagement pictures and pictures of my flowers from that morning.
24. Dinner again - the shake was amazing - chocolate espresso. Oh. My. Word.
25. Phone calls - my friend Christy called at 8:30 a.m. - first person I talked to. Then my sisters both called in the afternoon. Maggie called. Leann called. It was nice to know that they all remembered me and took the time to call.
26. Cards - I had my Mom and Dad's card to read, Vern and Cyndi's, and Tyler's when I woke up that morning. But by far the best was Matt's. He made a little drawing even though his hand was impaired. But what he wrote was amazing, and I've read it multiple times every day since then. I carry it around with me so I can read it whenever I want. I'm blessed to have a man who is so eloquent with words, especially since I am one who appreciates that gift very much.
27. Driving - We had over 4 hours in the car during the trip to Des Moines and back. But it was good time to be able to talk, especially about the books we're reading for pre-marital counseling. I always appreciate deep, insightful conversation, and the books give us those things to dialogue about. So I enjoyed that time with Matt very much.
28. Overall - I have for years marked my birthday with some thought of, "Another year goes down in the record books, and I'm still single." And with some bit of wondering if this will be the year that will change. And this one was. So I was (and am) incredibly grateful to have Matt to share the day with. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do that day because I have high expectations for birthdays, but I had come to the conclusion that it didn't matter what we did as long as I got to spend it with Matt. And it was wonderful and special. I could not be more grateful for the man God has blessed me with this year. What an amazing 28th year of life it was. I am so excited to see what the next one holds.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Okay, I'll do it.

Hannah tagged me specifically, so I'll go for this one.

Four jobs you had in your life.

1. Long John Silver's. I was good - I didn't even need the cash register to tell me how much change to give people. I loved almost everything except the skanky guys ogling you in the drive through.

2. Dillard's. I loved working in the home department - towels, bedding, place settings, pots and was all so wonderful.

3. Administrative Assistant to the National Youth Director, Assemblies of God Headquarters, Springfield, MO. Much fun and much stress. I made amazing friends through this job and learned many great skills. And it was fun to walk around at big youth conventions and feel all important with the radio clipped on my belt and headset on my head. Yeah, we thought we were so bad.

4. Children's Pastor. Best job - I just got a note on Wednesday that reads, "Roses are red, violets are blue; Open Bible rocks and so do you." Does it get any better than that? Kids loving church and seeing the love of Jesus in me. Amazing.

Four movies you could watch over and over.

1. Raising Helen. So great, and I love the 3 sisters!

2. You've Got Mail. I watched part of it on TBS last night!

3. White Christmas.

4. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Four places you've lived.

1. Des Moines, IA. I lived in the same house for my first 17 1/2 years of life.

2. CBC campus, Springfield, MO. I'm glad I lived on campus for two years - it helped me to feel connected, make friends more quickly, and enjoy the craziness of late night card games and shaving cream fights on campus. (I know you're thinking, "Those psycho Bible college students; what will they think of next?")

3. Lake Shore Apartments, Springfield, MO. One of my 3 apartment dwellings in Springfield and the nicest and newest by far. We had a poolside apartment (yeah, it ruled). They had a hot tub and workout room, too! And the last time I had a dishwasher.

4. Waverly, IA. My home for almost 4 years.

Four TV shows you love to watch.

I do not really watch TV very much anymore. I'll watch reruns or DVDs of these:

1. Friends

2. King of Queens

3. Alias

4. What Not to Wear (hardly ever catch it, but it's great)

Four places you've been on vacation.

1. Indianapolis, IN.

2. Seattle, WA.

3. Washington, D.C.

4. New York, NY. (#3 and #4 in the same year!)

Four websites you visit daily.



3. My friend's blogs (listed on the sidebar)

4. Maybe not every day, but

Four of your favorite foods

1. Monkey bread

2. Papa John's or Casey's pizza

3. Grandma's corn casserole

4. My chicken enchiladas

Four places you'd rather be right now

1. On our honeymoon in Cancun!

2. Seeing my sisters in Springfield.

3. Seeing Maggie in Eugene!

4. With Matt. Always.

Four bloggers you are tagging

1. Natalie

2. Shawn (he won't even see this, so why not?)

3. Amy Carson (come on girl, you can do it!)

4. Anyone else who reads this and hasn't done it yet

My Birthday

I just got on Tina for not blogging this week, and then I realized I haven't blogged since Saturday. What a slacker am I. So I guess I'll follow Heather's lead and write 28 things about my 28th birthday (even though it's tomorrow and hasn't happened yet):

1. It's a Saturday! Yeah!
2. I get to see my parents and Tyler.
3. The last time I saw my parents on my birthday, they drove to Springfield, and surprised me when I was playing piano in chapel! I saw my little brother running in the lobby, and I knew it was him! I started crying right there on the stage. I was sick that day, but it was so cool that they drove SIX HOURS to surprise me. Wow.
4. We're driving to Des Moines for the day.
5. I think I'm making monkey bread for breakfast. Although I am debating now on whether or not to stop at Panera for coffee and pastries instead. Yum.
6. The only wedding thing I want to do all day: make the decision on where we will register. We have to get that figured out!
7. I HOPE I get my birthday card from my mom in the mail today (she sent it Wednesday).
8. For two years now, I have saved any early birthday cards I received and opened them in the morning when I woke up. It's a great way to start the day, especially when you live by yourself.
9. I am going to Jordan Creek to shop!
10. Maggie called me last night and said Old Navy has half off all the clearance prices, so I hope I can get Matt to come watch me try on clothes. It IS my birthday, after all.
11. Probably one way or the other, we will get to stop at the new gas station on the Eldora exit off I-35 and use the ballistic hand dryers. They rule. It's a Kum-n-Go - I want to say Exit 133.
12. My Grandma sent me $20 this week and a card in her barely legible British handwriting. So cute.
13. This is my last birthday before I get married!
14. I usually have a few friends who remember, so I'll look forward to talking to a few of them tomorrow.
15. Heth's right - this is a lot of things to think of. Maybe I should have waited until AFTER the birthday. Hmmm. I'm halfway through now...
16. I get to spend it with Matt. This will be my first birthday with a "special friend." Ha ha...seriously, never had a boyfriend for a birthday, and now I get a fiance and get to spend the WHOLE day with him. That is SO super-duper cool!

Okay, here's the plan. I will continue the list tomorrow since I highly doubt I'll be able to come up with 12 more (relevant) items today. But it's a start.

And since there were some questions, here is the picture from my birthday one year ago. The fun never ends when a cop's around...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Nice to meet you, I'm Ms. Pigpen

Isn't that the name of the gross, dirty boy from Charlie Brown? If it is, then I should be his sister. I just read Tina's new post, and it reminds me of the current state of my living quarters. I, like her, am not sure why I'm choosing to admit it, but my house (apartment, whatever it is) has been for at least one month in a perpetual state of disarray. I understand that most of you reading this have children, quite possibly multiple numbers of them. You are saying to yourself, "How does one single woman make much of a mess? It's just not possible." Oh, my friends, it is. I don't feel like going home and actually taking the pictures, but let me just say that I live in a pig sty at the moment.

When I walk in the door from work, the options facing me each night (that I don't have other plans) are as follows:
a. plan a wedding
b. read books for pre-marital counseling
c. work out to lose those stinkin' 5 (okay, 10) pounds before the wedding
d. clean the house

Guess what wins? Usually (a) or (b), occasionally (c). Never (d). So I live with bridal magazines, wedding planners, bills, and pictures covering the kitchen table; a box of invitation paper and more pictures on the stove; pre-marital counseling books, a couple's memory book, and yet more pictures on the coffee table; a bunch of wedding flowers, frames, and more invitation supplies strewn about the kitchen floor; a kitchen sink full of every bowl I own and other cups and flatware. And every other surface available is covered with random items that I cannot currently think of but drive me absolutely crazy. The Christmas decorations are still up, which adds to the chaos and clutter. I believe I am resigning myself to the fact that there will be little progress made to remedy this state of chaos until...well, I'm not sure. We return from the honeymoon on April 9, so...maybe April 10? 11? I don't know. I will have to move out at some point, and I will need to clean the place when I do so. It would be nice to have some of it accomplished before then. But for now, I must stop thinking about this or my head will explode.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Horse Sale Stinks

I'm so bummed - I just found out that the Horse Sale is the same weekend as our wedding, which will make it nearly impossible to get a hotel block for our out-of-town guests here in Waverly. Grrr...I need to get on the horn and call about a room block in Cedar Falls before I'm out of luck there, too. I really don't want people to have to stay at the Star Motel.

I gave my blog to some friends tonight, so if you're reading this, hi to Hannah, Marissa, Kasey, and Camille! :-) Love you girls.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Hannah is awesome!

Hannah took some engagement pictures for us on Sunday. I wish I could post them all because they turned out great, but I can't. So here's a cute one - pretty natural-looking. I wouldn't mind cropping it down to our faces and using it for the "engagement" photo if we put one in the paper. There are a lot of good ones, so thanks so much, Hannah!! I'll be sending you a CD of them as soon as I get your address.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Just stuff

I suppose the wedding preparations are now in full swing. It's pretty insane, but I'm getting some big decisions made, so that's a relief. Big announcement: the colors are hot pink and silver!! Yeah - I am SO excited. I did a mock-up invitation today, so I think I'll be ordering the components tomorrow. Picked out fabric for the bridesmaid's dresses and the pattern as well.

Today was amusing - at the dentist's office, I mentioned to the dental hygienist that I was tired. She asked if the holidays were busy, and I said that they were and that I am also planning a wedding. She immediately asked a million questions - where is it, when is it, what colors, where's the reception, and so on. She's been married for 6 years, so it wasn't as though she was living vicariously. It just seems that whenever the word "wedding" is mentioned to a woman, she responds with such enthusiasm and gusto it's as though she's asking about her best friend's wedding or something. We are so enamored with weddings and everything surrounding them - it all comes back to that desire in the heart of every woman to be someone's princess, to be lovely. I tell you what, I could find something in every day of my life that brings me back to Captivating. The relevance of it never ceases to amaze me.

So that's it. Sorry if my blogging is inconsistent - I hope you'll give me some grace as I try to balance all the areas of my changing life and still remain a member of our lovely blogging world. Glad to see I made the cut on Heather's links. He he...I just had to throw that in there if only to amuse myself.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Heather posted this, and I figured it would be a good way to not think about the wedding for 10 minutes, so I'll give it a try.

1. What did you do in 2005 that you had never done before?
My first kiss comes to mind...I fell in love...everything related to that was a first for me. I also preached my first sermon here (not ever, but here in Waverly).

2.Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't recall making any, so that works. Mine for right now is to lose 5 or 10 pounds before the wedding. I'm not worried about pulling it off - Lord, please let the birth control not sabotage my efforts!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Mandee and Heather are two I can think of right now.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me - Matt's grandmother and Ivan and Evelyn Epley are the three I can remember from last year.

5. What countries did you visit?
No new ones - some fun trips, though!

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
How about a husband?

7. What dates will remain etched in your memory and why?
Too many to count, but I'll try to remember as many as I can.
January 21, because my birthday was very fun.
May 15 - I had a kidney stone.
May 22 - Matt and I went to coffee and hung out for the first time.
July 4 - Our first REAL date
July 18 - My first kiss! (Sorry if that's too much information, but I won't be forgetting that one!)
October 1 - My sister Beth's wedding
October 14-17 - Our trip to New York
December 10 - Our engagement day!

So many other great memories, but I'll leave it at that for now.

8. What's your biggest achievement of the year?
I was pretty proud of children's ministries training sessions we held in April. Public speaking has been a fear of mine, but I felt that I learned a lot through that experience and made some headway in feeling more confident at speaking in front of other people.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I can't think of anything I really bombed at. And if I do, I'm not totally sure I'll tell you.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'm generally fairly healthy - the kidney stone came out of nowhere. But it would definitely fit in this category.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
I could say clothes (too many to specify). Maybe my wedding dress. But I really enjoyed buying the corner shelf for Matt's new house and surprising him when I gave it to him. And shopping for his Christmas presents.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Our staff came through the pastoral transition closer than we were before - that was quite a feat, and God was so good to us through it all. I am proud of every one of my fellow ministers alongside whom I am so privileged to work.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
Can I just say Democrats in general? And the many celebrities who exhibit such a lack of wisdom at character that it is quite appalling...

14. Where did most of your money go?
Clothes...bills...all that jazz.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?
Getting engaged more than anything else. But also about going to New York, Christmas in general, and all the fun things about dating Matt.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
I am so music-oriented that it would be impossible to choose one song for the many moments of 2005. I could list a few, but it would become a mile-long playlist, so I won't even start.

17. Compared to this time last year are you?
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) fatter or thinner? I think I weigh 5 pounds more or so...not sure. I'm better off not to check.
c) richer or poorer? richer in many ways

18. What do you wish you had done more of?
Loving, forgiving, hugging, sharing, trusting.

19. What do you wish you had done less of?
Worrying or stressing.

20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I spent it working on wedding stuff, cleaning around the house, having dinner with Matt and Bill and Natalie, and hanging out with some band-related people.

21. Did you fall in love in 2005?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I'm not sure on this - maybe "King of Queens."

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I hope not.

24. What was the best book you read?
I've read a bunch of great relationship books, but above all, Captivating was the most impacting book I read.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
It might be Queen if you can believe it.

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted someone to love, and God brought him.

27. What did you not want and not get?
Umm, bird flu?

28. What was your favorite film this year?
I don't know, honestly. Was "The Phantom of the Opera" this year? I want to say it was; if so, then that for sure.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Worked, ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse with my dear friends, and had coffee and dessert at Bil and Natalie's. And was handcuffed by a policeman for the first time in my life. I was 27.

30. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
Trusting God more and worrying less would always make life more satisfying for me. But not much else - it was a pretty amazing year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion in 2005?
Maybe...clearance chic?

32. What kept you sane?
My relationship with God, my friends, and Matt

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I read Karen Hughes' book - that's the only public figure I can think of that really fascinated me (in a good way at least).

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Immigration gets me going...and always abortion.

35. Who did you miss?
Maggie. My sisters. My parents and Tyler. My Ethe.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Does Matt count? Do I have a one-track mind or what?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
God has once again proven Himself faithful, and I learn it more every single year. This one was no exception.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime;
Say the word and I will follow you.
Share each day with me, each night, each morning;
Say you love me.
Love me, that's all I ask of you."

That's it - like Heth, I'm tagging everyone who is reading this, so join in if you want to. It's a nice opportunity to reflect on a year before starting into the next one. Happy new year to all.