When I grow up I Want to Be Like…

Ain’t nobody got time to write this post tonight. So, I’m going to keep it simple.

When I grow up, I want to be like…

1.) Jesus. Everyday.

2.) Elizabeth Eliot. Just. Wow.

3.) Jane Eyre (yes, fictional)

4.) My best friends. I admire them.

5.) Diane Fossey (save some animals)

6.) Condoleeza Rice (she’s bad ass) (and I can’t spell her name) ( And I don’t have time to google. So, just stuff it).

7.) Barbara Kingsolver. Homegirl can write.

8.) Mrs. Applegate (13 Days)

This Week’s To Do List…

Well, how convenient is this? I was just about to sit down and stare at this week’s to do list, mentally gear up for the day ahead, and then blog in addition. But, now thanks to Day 16’s prompt (conveniently 14 days away from the wedding), I just can kill two birds with one stone. Grand.

So, here goes (as I take a Xanax) Jk.

1.) Hit the gym and the tanning salon every day (except Sunday)

2.) Write lesson plans for when I’m gone from school for the wedding.

3.) Email the DJ all final “stuff.”

4.) Finish chalkboard decor and the ring bearer’s book (Jane Eyre just transformed into a lovely little house for our wedding rings, complete with ribbon and twine, and of course, our bling).

5.) Package all gifts for the wedding

6.) Resurrect my iphone5 that tragically got drenched in a water bottle downpour this weekend. If it won’t rise from its ashes, errrrrr rice, then file insurance claim and have new iphone5 here by wedding day.

7.) Buy Dad’s birthday card and present

8.) Start moving my earthly possessions into Zac’s house

9.) Prep Zac’s house for the wedding guests to arrive (clean, decorate, arrange, put beds together, etc.)

10.) Catch up on Grey’s Anatomy (probably just wishful thinking)

11.) Catch up on Bible study (this really needs to NOT be wishful thinking)

12.) Blog/List every day

13.) Exercise the dog a few days this week

14.) Add each other to our bank accounts in prep for the big merge.

15.) Continue honeymoon planning with travel agent

16.) Sleep. Yes, note that this comes last.

Things I’ve bought once or twice

I’m gonna make a confession right now. My wedding dress… was expensive. Like, for any other event in my life, I’d never justify that kind of cost in attire. But, it’s my wedding dress and I will only wear it once, which makes it kind of extra ridiculous but… it’s gorgeous. I mean, really, I adore it. And it’s price makes it all the more special because it will only be paid once. And there are only a few other items in my life of which I can say the same.

1.) The Dress. Already covered.

2.) My car. I’m marrying a man who is not about buying new cars, so my red 2005 Toyota Corolla may be the only one.

3.) My dog. I love her. She’s a pedigree chocolate labrador. I got the pick of the litter, and have invested  A LOT of money in her. I’m sure I’ll have other dogs, but Hermione Fancy was my baby when I’ve been motherless, and my best friend when I’ve been single. There will never be another I will spoil like I spoil her.

4.) My trip to Cancun. This summer, my 3 good girlfriends and I snuck away to the Mexican Riviera for 8-9 days. We got an awesome deal, and we called the trip our “Dirty 30,” or “Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving” because 2013 was the year we all turned the big 3-0. I’ll never have another trip quite like that again.

5.) My honeymoon. The hubby and I will leave for France and Italy sometime mid June and be there for 2 full weeks. I can’t even begin to describe my anticipation and excitement to behold the Vatican, wander in Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, roam around Monte Carlo on mopeds, and stand underneath the beautiful Lady Eiffel Tower while eating a crape. This trip is gonna be costly (like approaching 2/3 the cost of the wedding just about), but we keep telling ourselves it could be 20 years before we’ll get to do it again.

I guess, when I think about it, other than a few material items, what I hope I spend the most on in my life are experiences, which ironically, are priceless anyways!

My favorite vacation treat…

I really don’t want to write or blog or list right now. So not in the mood. Water damaged my cell phone this weekend, two weekends before the wedding, money is tight, and my fiancé is gone. I was going to get caught up on sleep, caught up on errands, and enjoy just getting stuff done. Now, I’m going to try and find out if I have phone insurance, if Verizon will release any info to me since I am on my fiancé’s account and he’s not here (and not reachable at all, camping for his bachelor party in the desert). If I have to pay retail value to replace my iPhone5 I will lose my ever loving mind (more than I already have).

I wish I could escape all of this wedding planning, no sleeping, constant anxiety-ing, now no phone-ing and no money-ing stress. I wish I could take a vacation. And if I did, here are the treats I would bring:

Candy, preferably Good and Plenties or Swedish fish

Dark Chocolate, with sea salt and caramel

Mango Mangos (Trader Jo’s — check ’em out)

Pistachio Nut clusters (from my fiancé’s Nature Box monthly shipment)

Starbucks (on the way there or home)

Banana with almond butter (you can buy the snack pack size)

Gum (Orbits, sweet mint)

Trail mix with dried fruit (three cheers for coconut and mango)

 

My childhood house

My childhood house is … still my house. After being on my own since I was 18 years old, living in college dorms, college apartments, and my own apartment and house with other single girls, I moved back into my parent’s home (the one they bought and moved us into when I was 2) the week after I got engaged in October of this year. So, it’s been an interesting experience coming full circle. I will go from my dad’s house to my husband’s, kind of a lot for this independent female to take in. Nonetheless, the house of my childhood was…

Small, but I always had my own room.

Filled with neighborhood best friends.

Right next to a community park where trees were climbed, basketballs were shot, and worms were saved (see a previous post).

Had (still has) a record player. That vinyl life tho.

At different points in time, included a pet rat (Stormy), more goldfish than could be counted, and my childhood mutt Paige Battina Lohman (may she RIP).

Involved watching Full House, Step by Step and Family Matters over pizza on Friday nights. Then, kids got to sleep in mom and dad’s bed with them. It was magical.

Had a swing set in the backyard, upon which I fractured both my wrists at the same time when I was five and wearing a puppet on my hand while I crossed the monkey bars.

Hosted a bunch of middle school girls’ sleepovers, and was the launching point for not a few high school tp’ing adventures. Needless to say, it’s also been covered in the bathroom utility paper.

Housed many awesome portable kiddie pools in the summer, along with sprinkler parties in the front yard.

Is on the same street where I first learned to ride a bike.

Used to be just down the street from a dairy and some good old fashioned silos for grain. Agrarian we were (not really).

Is now surrounded by a bunch of much fancier homes, which is fine by me, because it means we now have a Starbucks and these awesome walk/running trails in the posh “Riverwalk” area.

Will one day be Grandma and Grandpa’s house to my babies. And that makes me happy.

 

 

Things I always do for myself…

I thought at first the answer to this question was “Everything,” sans car repairs and yard work (I refuse. It’s the least feminist quality about me because I prefer, at least in these areas, to live in the 1950’s Cleaver family world where women don’t get dirty other than powdered sugar falling when they bake, and men are the ones slaving in the yard, garage, and dumpster). Small rant aside, when I actually started thinking about it, what turned out more interesting to me were the things I DON’T do for myself. So, I’m tweaking my list a bit…

1.) The lawns. Before, it was my roommate Sarah. Now, my dad. Soon, my almost husband.

2.) My taxes. My dad is an accountant. He does those too.

3.) Oil change. Once again, mi padre. I wouldn’t know how to if I tried.

4.) Car repairs. My sweet, handy man. He’s quite good.

5.) Car washing. I pay the guys at the corner station for, usually, pretty good work.. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

6.) My hair. That’s what hairdressers are for. Of course, I style my own hair daily, but I wouldn’t dare color, cut, or highlight it on my own.

7.) That one time I was in Oregon, I didn’t pump my own gas.

8.) Computer repairs. Apple store. Boom!

9.) A good portion of my meals. Once again, my handsome, slightly metro fiancé to the rescue (but this does not mean I can’t, it just means I try to be too fancy when I do and it takes too long).

10.) My nails. Nothing beats a solid pedicure, gel mani, and some good old fashioned time in the spa chair.

So, I think that about covers it. What’s not on the list is actually the answer to my prompt. Turns out, I have a few people I really should thank more often, most notably, the menfolk.

How I Focus…

Focus is not a struggle for me, usually, unless you’re talking about the period from 5:30am to 8am, when all life on earth should lay still and shrouded in the ground or in bed. Sadly for me, I’m a teacher, which means I wake up in those ungodly hours and instruct the lives of hundreds of poor souls. Aside from the god awful thing called mornings though, I can typically start on something and carry it through to the end. Interruptions are really irksome to me, but if ever I do get unfocused it can most likely be blamed on stress and a complete debilitating feeling of overwhelmedness, which leaves me paralyzed and unsure of where to begin. In this unfortunate, and somewhat normal occurrence right now, I try to take the following measures…

1.) Pray. Only Jesus can right this world, including my busy schedule and my idolatrous day planner.

2.) Acquire more coffee. Next to Jesus, this is the best solution to focus issues.

3.) Talk to my best friend. She always manages to lift my spirit, put everything back in perspective, and at least distract my mind for a bit (sometimes, distraction is a paradoxically necessary part of focus).

4.) Set up a good music playlist, John Legend, Alicia Keys, and maybe some soulful folk music.

5.) A good, sweaty, heart and iron pumping workout. Nothing really refocuses and refuels me quite like the completely physical concept of a tough gym session, or a clarity-imbued run. Sometimes, a break from the mental is necessary to return fresh.

6.) My booboo. I love my pooch. Time with her is always well spent, even if she is ornery. She reminds me of life’s simple pleasures.

7.) Goals. I like to set goals for myself, mostly because I’m competitive. If I’m grading essays, I plan out how many I must  get through before I can reward myself with instagram, or a treat, or even just a peak at Facebook.

8.) Make a list. Then a plan to conquer the list. Get started. Go.

9.) Time with Zachary. This can also be a distraction, but it’s a welcome one.

Sometimes, what my focus really needs, is to be shifted.

 

If I ruled the world…

I can’t help but think of the Beyonce song when I summon my list of “If I ruled the world.” She sings about girls running the world, and of course there’s the age old joke that if you want something done right, ask a woman. I’m sure it applies and all that jazz. But, I’m just as sure that if I ran the world, things would go horribly awry, and quickly. Mostly, I would go horribly awry, and quickly, because who wants THAT responsibility?! No thanks.

Nonetheless, all other things being equal, if I ruled the world…

No one would ever be put on hold over the telephone.

Taxes would be unnecessary.

School would start at 9am and end at 3pm, Monday through Thursday only.

Everyone would find their spouse at a young (ish) age.

Dogs would live forever… AND go to heaven.

The word orphan would be obsolete, the concept nonexistent.

Walls would paint themselves.

Animals’ minds would be readable, similar to how they can talk in Narnia.

Criminals would be punished via their own sin.

Friends would never move.

Writers would never have blocks.

Ice cream would contain no calories.

And…

Lists, in their entirety, would be crossed off daily.

 

Keep Calm and…

I’ve been to foggy London town twice. I don’t recall ever seeing the iconographic “Keep Calm” sign until long after I arrived back home in the States. Moreover, the irony doesn’t stop there. The phrase “Keep calm” is like some kind of a farcical joke in my life. I am your classic stress case, workaholic, OCD planner, Type A, to-do list control freak. The laissez faire attitude behind this cliche phrase “Keep calm” is anything but simple and halcyonic for me. So, in those moments of overwhelmedness, these are the kinds of means I must employ in order to truly keep the peace. They include, but are certainly not limited to…

Keep calm and wedding plan on…

Keep calm and read on…

Keep calm and coffee on…

Keep calm and Jesus on…

Keep calm and repent on…

Keep calm and pray on…

Keep calm and teach on…

Keep calm and write on…

Keep calm and travel on…

Keep calm and dream on…

Keep calm and hope on…

And these days… Keep calm and List on

How I Feel Today

Today was the last of my three bridal showers. It was also my good friend’s (former college friend, roommate and now current bridesmaid) baby shower for her son, their first. So naturally, today, as I approach the last 22 days before my wedding, I feel…

Showered, with love, gifts, and incredible people

Blessed, by God’s goodness, His timing, and the sweetness of His grace in my life

Inspired, by many new fun house items and ideas for decorations and crafts

Overwhelmed, with the number of things still to do in these following three weeks

Tired, especially considering we “spring ahead” tonight

In love, with my best friend, laying on the couch next to me, who’s been preparing his house to become our home

Excited, to go from a Miss to a Mrs.

Hopeful, starting a very new, unchartered journey

Anxious, to get to Europe this summer and taste gelato, vintage Italian wine, and stand in the Colisseum and shadow of the Eiffel Tower

Happy, to be writing again.

Thankful, that my list looks like this on March 8, 2014, a far cry different than it would have looked like this time even just two years ago, which leaves me feeling…

Sentimental and grateful beyond words.