Tuesday, February 28, 2006

41 Useless Facts about Me

Amie posted a list of interesting facts about herself and asked us to do the same, so I will attempt it. I'll see if I can match her 41.

1. I lived in the same house for the first 17 1/2 years of my life.
2. I have two sisters (26 and 24 years old) and a brother who is 12 years old (I am the oldest at 28).
3. I taught myself to like coffee by beginning with Quik Trip cappuccinos with friends in college.
4. I attended a Christian school from Kindergarten through 9th grade.
5. I was my 8th grade class valedictorian and made a big speech at the ceremony.
6. I was a spelling bee queen growing up - I won multiple area-wide spelling bees for our Christian school association. My family traveled to Indianapolis twice so I could compete in regional spelling bees. (Wow, that sounds like the ultimate in geekiness as I type it out.)
7. I was 15 the first time I flew on an airplane (when Pastor Jim took us on a missions trip to Tijuana, Mexico).
8. My mom and I entered a Mother/Daughter Look-a-Like Contest at the IA State Fair (probably in 1995 or 1996) and finished in 6th place.
9. I graduated from high school a year early and was 17 when I went to college.
10. My mother was an in-home child care provider for a number of my growing up years.
11. My parents seriously contemplated moving to Colorado when I was in elementary school.
12. My parents have 4 siblings between them, and every one of them lives in Des Moines.
13. My sisters and I all graduated from college in Springfield, MO.
14. I lived on-campus for the first two years of college and off-campus for the last two.
15. I traveled with a drama ministry team for all 4 years of my college career.
16. I took high school courses when I was in 8th grade (which, in part, allowed me to graduated from high school a year early). And I still had the highest GPA in my class, enabling me to be the valedictorian. I showed those suckers!
17. My favorite birthday dinner when I was growing up was "roast beef heaven" - a slice of bread with roast beef on top and mashed potatoes and gravy on that. I think it's called an open-faced roast beef sandwich, but I like "roast beef heaven" myself.
18. My mom made most of our clothes growing up; the plus was getting to "design" your own things, choose the color, fabric, etc. The negative was having homemade clothes all the time; I think it seems worse now than it did then. Until about 6th grade, anyway.
19. I never went to a single dance in high school - not even prom!
20. I competed in the regional Music With a Purpose one year in piano solo, so I had to have the piece memorized. I was on the last "page" in my head and I blanked and had to stop. One of my most embarrassing moments ever.
21. I worked at Long John Silver's for over 3 years and returned for Christmas and summer breaks after I went to college.
22. I was the fastest drive-thru worker and cashier ever - I always figured out the change in my head before the register even told me.
23. I spilled blazing hot mop water on my foot at LJS on the same day I bought my new Ford Probe GT.
24. I have read almost every Nancy Drew, Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley High book ever written through 1993.
25. I used to sneak a flashlight in my room to read after bedtime.
26. We used to have a bowl of cereal before bed most nights as kids.
27. I have never broken a bone or been hospitalized overnight.
28. I hated NASCAR all through high school.
29. I painted with my dad once to earn some money.
30. My parents have a garage that has never housed a running car.
31. I started Weight Watchers in September of 2003 and lost about 60 pounds in one year.
32. I CLEPped out of 12 hours in college course credit - practically a full semester!
33. I woke up every Christmas morning of my entire 28 years in my parent's house (the home in which I grew up) until last year.
34. My parents switched churches when I was 10 years old so that we could attend a strong youth group with a good youth pastor. (If they had not done so, I would not have met Jim and Sharon...would not have gone to the college I did...who knows from there what would have happened?)
35. I led worship at the Assemblies of God Headquarters chapel service twice. (About 700 people attended each week, including department heads and the Board of Administration; talk about intimidating!)
36. I took two conducting courses in college and have the knowledge and ability to conduct a choir (which I love doing, by the way).
37. I chose my major at Central Bible College (Administration of Christian Education) at least 50% because it was one of the few majors that did not require Homiletics II (writing sermons and preaching in front of the class and professor for a grade).
38. I am left-handed.
39. The extent of my sports career was one year of volleyball in 7th grade.
40. My father was my first and only piano teacher (other than the one semester of lessons I took as a college freshman - that pretty much ended when she told me I had to keep my nails really short).
41. I once took an unofficial IQ test and scored a 132.

Is that it? I did it? Wow. Once you start thinking of stuff, it just flows I guess. Okay. I hope that was worth your time.

Oh, one more.

42. I know how to swing a hammer.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Our first February 18

My first Valentine's Day with Matt was spent feeling quite ill, eating a bland grilled chicken breast, and watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." However, our actual Valentine's Day celebration (February 18) was phenomenal. I bought a tablecloth, napkins, placemats, and even dinner and dessert plates that all matched at Target. Have I mentioned that store rocks my world? So I set our table, put up red and white Christmas lights, lit a bunch of candles, and set up a frame with a bunch of pictures of us.

I made brownies from scratch with peanut butter chips in lieu of the walnuts (did you know they're so much better than boxed ones?) and chicken fettuccine alfredo with cheesy garlic bread. Matt doesn't drink any kind of fruit juice but orange and doesn't like sparkling ones, so we had Hawaiian Punch in our cute wine glasses. I have to say, the food went over well. We ate the leftovers for two days.

Matt planned the remainder of the evening, so we headed upstairs. I heard much banging around when I was downstairs cooking, so I was curious as to what he had done. The picture above shows the winter scene he created - a 3-dimensional fireplace with real wood, red tissue paper, and a heater fan blowing behind it. We sat on the fuzzy blanket and played checkers. Not just regular checkers, though - that would be too easy for my baby. If you jumped someone's checker, you looked on the bottom and they had to do whatever it said. For example, I sang the national anthem. And yes, I know all the words (NASCAR's good for so many different things). Matt acted out a movie scene. I did the robot (not well). Matt acted like a monkey. It was the most entertaining game of checkers I have ever played. I was smoking him until the I have to admit that he won? Grrr.

He also printed off some dating disaster stories and read them to me. It was overall such a great night. One of my favorite dates (so far). I am so grateful that I have such a creative man - sometimes it's maddening, but it's good for fun, new romantic ideas!

37 DAYS!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back in Business

Being sick took about 5 days out of my wedding planning time. And now we have 40 DAYS TO GO, people! I thought I was doing well, but I'm not sure anymore. Making all the big decisions early (reception, cake, attendants, etc.) feels good and makes you feel that you've accomplished a lot, but as time goes on I realize that the details will be the time-consuming, insane part of this. Things just float around in my head all the time -

Why can't I find the matching flower girl basket for the ring bearer pillow I bought? Will Hobby Lobby ever have it or will I have to pick out something else?

Will I be able to find enough guys to help move and set up all the chairs and tables at our house? What about setting up chairs at the church? Do people really want to help with stuff like this or are they just saying it to be nice?

Do the bridesmaids have to carry flowers? Do the groomsmen have to wear boutonnieres? What if I don't want either?

When am I going to take in the deposit for the cake?

Is it possible to find shoes that are cute, comfortable, and not over $50?

These are the few questions that currently popped into my head...I understand now why people hire wedding coordinators. Someone needs to know what they're doing, and I don't often feel like that someone is me. I do know that it will all work out - everyone I've asked to help with anything has been very kind and more than willing. I just have to figure out what needs to be done! :-) So, we're moving on past the sickness and getting on with life as a bride. By the way, I don't know if I actually lost weight from being sick, but things are fitting looser, which rocks. Seriously.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wedding Stuff

I don't even know what to write today. A week is just too long to not have a new blog. We went to do some wedding registry stuff for the past 2 weekends, and it has been pretty fun for the most part. At Bed, Bath, and Beyond, they told us that you should register for 2-3 gifts per guest. I don't know if that includes children (since we will likely have the highest percentage of children at our wedding than anyone...anywhere...ever). But we are guesstimating at anywhere from 300-400 people for the ceremony. So, is he telling me that we have to pick out anywhere from 600-1,200 registry items? We are somewhere around 250 now, I believe. I know I won't be able to get Matt to care long enough to pick that many more things. They said that people like choices, though, so we need to have enough things that they can have a good selection. So we'll just have to keep checking it and add as we go along. We haven't fought about any of the choices yet, either, so I'd say we're doing pretty well. 51 days to go!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Jesus

My blog today is not complicated. Because I can only do simple today. Have you ever had a day where nothing on earth got you through except knowing that Jesus was there? I have certain songs I will listen to on repeat for an entire day just to remind that Jesus is there, and He loves me. Here are the lyrics from today's song of choice, "What a Friend I've Found":

What a friend I've found,
Closer than a brother.
I have felt Your touch,
More intimate than lovers.

Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, friend forever.

What a hope I've found,
More faithful than a mother.
It would break my heart
To ever lose each other.

Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, friend forever.

The simplicity speaks to me today. And on some days, simply saying Jesus over and over is all we can do. So I will. And be so thankful for the hope I have in Him.