31 December 2010

Wedding planning update!

Just a quick reflection: Have I told you all lately how glad I am that Luke and I didn't get married back in August? Believe me, I'd love to be married to that man right now, but God's timing is perfect and I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out! I love that we're both graduated from college and fully employed. This definitely makes planning our lives together much easier! But most of all, I've been so thankful for the past 6 months of life after college without being married. Everyone is different and some girls don't need that time, but God knows my heart better than anyone and knew I needed that time to grow. Since May, I have moved back to Texas from New York, graduated from college, rented my first apartment completely on my own, took my first full-time job, lost my first full-time job, job hunted and worked part-time, found (and LOVE!) my second full-time job I'm at now, lived in the same city as my fiance for the first time in our relationship, and Luke graduated from college. 2010 turned out a lot different than I expected, but I know that this year was a year of big life lessons. It was a year of holding on to God as he molded me and taught me lessons I needed to learn so that I could be a better woman and wife. For this, I am thankful. End reflection. :)

I'm so proud of myself because over the last couple of days I've really buckled down on wedding planning. With tax season around the corner, I know that wedding planning time with my momma is slim, so I've had to get busy! I feel very blessed to have Aubrey in my life, because she's the wedding coordinator at another venue in town. Her expertise has helped me a TON! A couple of days ago, she went with me out to The Ranch at San Patricio to give my wedding coordinator the contract and deposit. Seeing the venue again got me SO excited! We were out there for over an hour and a half just planning and talking. Want to see a list of everything I've been working on? Of course you do!

1) Met with florists to get quotes and compare.
2) Met with a videographer.
3) Booked the ladies that will be doing hair and possibly make-up for the wedding.
4) Discussed ideas with a college friend that will be creating a couple of the details for the wedding.
5) I'm about 2 seconds away from booking the DJ and a _____ _____
(I can't give away all the secrets!).
6) Talked briefly with our photographer, Jade, about wedding photography.
7) Emailed the groomsmen. Gotta love those boys!
8) Researched fun shoes and jewelry for the bridesmaids.
9) Talked with and got quotes from Corpus Christi Liquor Catering.
10) I'm also about 2 seconds away from reserving hotels rooms for the guests.

This is so fun! Although I had planned quite a bit of my wedding prior to moving back to Texas, the planning then had been more talking and researching than actual meeting and decision making. Now, planning is in full swing! Since I don't have work tomorrow, I imagine that even more planning will be taking place. In addition to my list, Luke and I started pre-marital counseling a couple of weeks ago. We met with our pastor, Allen Frans, out at Camp Zephyr and it was really fun! I think Luke was a little nervous because he isn't really one for talking about himself or "feelings," but afterward he told me that he actually liked it. But who doesn't love hanging out with Allen?! We got to tell our versions of the story of how we met (they are EXTREMELY different, ha!), talk about why we want to get married, and what we want our wedding to look/be like. This meeting was simple, just the first few steps. It will get more in-depth as we get going. I'm so excited about this!!!

This about wraps up my wedding updates. I'm looking forward to updating you all as the many details fall into place. But now it is time for this bride-to-be to go to bed.

Happy last day of 2010!!!

30 December 2010

Home sick with a good book

Well, I've officially been sent home from work because I'm sick. Blah! There has been a popular office cold/flu/virus that has taken over the second floor of KRIS and for a while there I really thought I had beat it. But I guess I was wrong. Tuesday afternoon I started feeling a little nauseous and congested. And now, my doctor is calling in a prescription and I'm at home in bed with my kleenex, gingerale, and my puppy dog (Brooklyn is the best snuggle buddy!).

On the bright side, since I can't seem to sleep right now, I'm going to finish this blog post and then get back to Last Night at Chateau Marmont, Lauren Wiesberger's most recent novel. She is without a doubt my favorite author and I'm grateful to her and her novel for making this cold much more bearable!

If you haven't read a Lauren Weisberger novel, please please let me encourage you to do so! She's such a fabulous writer and I love that her books are based in New York (mainly because of my semester-long stay in NYC) because I know many of the subway stops and streets she mentions. Her books are perfect for any woman that dreams of taking on a big city, dominating her career, and chasing her dreams. I'm already looking forward to LW's next bestseller!

Alright, back to bed. But not before I grab another kleenex...

26 December 2010

Christmas Reflections

{Christmas Eve 2010} 

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever, even though it has only been a little over a week. But I mean, I guess I should cut myself some slack. It has been a little crazy with Christmas and all! I just want to start this post out by saying that I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are looking forward to a blessed and happy new year. Both accompanied by family, friends, and other loved ones, of course. :)

The last few days have been filled with of some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life, holiday traditions that have continued to be some of the last constants from my childhood to now, my four "sides" of the family (including Luke's), and I must admit, some very fabulous Christmas presents! It has always been a personal goal of mine to take some time alone during the holidays to reflect on what this time of the year truly represents for us as Christians. More than good food, family, traditions, or presents, I'm in awe that God would so perfectly plant Himself in our flesh on Earth to save a people that didn't understand or want to accept who He was and still is. This love moves my soul and overwhelms me in a way that nothing else can. Most of all, I have been thankful for God's perfect gift this holiday season.

This year, I can proudly say that this was a Christmas full of "grown-up" presents! Luke and I had a great time opening joint gifts that will go in our future house! My parents bought us a flat-screen TV that Luke has (of course) already set up and plugged his Xbox in to at my apartment (don't even get me started, ha!). I was also given a wonderful vacuum that has worked wonders in my apartment already. Thanks mom!! Emily bought me the most perfect wine rack and Claire gave me a bunch of knick knacks for my kitchen from Ikea. My Aunt Amy gave me a gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond, which I proceeded to spend the day after Christmas. It was already burning a whole in my pocket! I bought a blender and some organizing racks for my kitchen cabinets. Don't worry now. I know that I need to be patient because with getting married comes wedding showers with which you receive many of these gifts. But these were a couple of things I've been needing for a while. Just call me Susie Homemaker. :)

Speaking of wedding, Christmas day was exactly 6 months until mine and Luke's wedding!!! Mom and I did a little wedding planning/talking over the break, so be looking for some wedding updates soon! I'm getting really excited because all of my ideas are coming together. Now, I just need to get some of my to-do list checked off!

For those of you that still have more time off from work or school, consider yourselves extra blessed (and envied!). For those of you who, like me, have to go back to work tomorrow, God bless us all. I know I'm going to need an extra boost in the morning! It's always so hard to go back to work or school after such a fun holiday.

Have a blessed last week of 2010!!!

18 December 2010

Luke's Graduation!

Luke graduated from college this morning! Yes, at 10:30 a.m., his graduation ceremony began and at 12:30 p.m. he was graduated and out of there! We had about 20 people at his graduation and about 30 at his grad party at B&J's. Not only did Luke receive his diploma today, but he also got a new laptop (from me!), a beautiful set of luggage (from my parents. yay for honeymoon luggage!), a new shot gun (from his aunts), and of course graduation money. What a good day! A huge smile never left Luke's face and my heart was so overwhelmed with joy. This is definitely a day I'll never forget!

{Luke getting his degree on the jumbo-tron}

{Luke and I outside the American Bank Center}

{Luke with my family}

{Luke with his family}

{Look at these buddies! So grown up!!}

{Luke with Baby Spencer at his grad party}

{So glad Jay and Morgan could make it!}

What a fabulously happy day!

16 December 2010

He Did It!!!

Yes, after 5.5 LONG years, Luke is FINALLY graduating!! I'm so proud of him! This is especially cool to me because Luke didn't have your everyday, "normal" college experience.

After high school, Luke was pretty much on his own financially. The first year or two he lived with his aunt and uncle and worked two or three part time jobs at a time. Then he was given the opportunity to live out at Camp Zephyr and work as a retreat season staffer while continuing school. But being 100% on his own financially meant that Luke has never been able to take more than 12 or 13 hours at a time. On top of this, half way through college, Luke changed his major. This cost him a semester or two in hours. So, after what has felt like the longest 5.5 years for him, he has finally wrapped up his undergrad. I could not be more proud of my hard-working, persistent fiance who has trusted God to carry him through this time in his life.

I got a text from him tonight saying, "I got all of my grades back today. It's official! I'm graduating!!!" Not that we had any doubt, but it just feels SO GOOD to get those last few grades locked in. Graduation is Saturday at 10:30 a.m. You better believe we'll have a big crowd there! After graduation, we're all going to B&J's Pizza for a lunch party. I can't wait to give Luke his graduation gift, a NEW LAPTOP! I took my time picking it out and really researched. I can't wait to give it to him!

Congrats baby! I love you so much!!!!

 {He never was one for studying, ha!}

In other news, wedding planning has officially commenced! After picking a new date, I kept thinking to myself, "I'm good. I have time." And then I had a huge revelation today that on Christmas day it will be exactly 6 months until mine and Luke's wedding. AHHH!!! I better get a move on! I made myself a wedding to-do list today and e-mailed it to my mom. Looks like we have a lot to do over the holidays! Get excited because I'm sure much wedding talk is on it's way to my blog. :)

I hope that Christmas shopping and holiday cheer is in full swing in all of your lives! Please stay tune for pictures from Luke's graduation this weekend and many more wedding updates! And remember, you can always get caught up by checking out our wedding website at:

12 December 2010

Prayer for Luke

Hello friends! I have a quick favor to ask of you. On Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., Luke will take his second to last final of college EVER! Then, later that same day at 5:30 p.m., he will take his last final of college EVER. He is super nervous, because neither one of them are going to be easy and he needs to do well on both of them. Would you please join me in prayer for him?

Please pray that he'll truly soak up everything he has studied and remember it for the test. Please pray for peace because I know his heart will be racing. Please pray for steady thought and confidence in his choices (A, B, C, D...ya know that good ol' multiple choice!). And please just pray that everything will go smoothly so that we can get these tests behind us and move into the celebration of his graduation.

I know that Luke would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!!!!

11 December 2010

Praying For a Church Home

Some of you know this and some don't, so I'll just fill everyone in. Luke's work schedule does not make much time for the two of us on the weekends. He's always having to work at camp because that's when most groups go on retreats. It's just the way it is. But this aspect of his work has been really tough on us when it comes to finding a church. I've lived in Corpus Christi for 8 months now, and we still haven't found one that really clicks for both of us. Yes, I know that it can take a while to find a church, but of the 8 months I've lived in this city, Luke and I have probably made it to church together 4 or 5 times. So yeah, I'm slightly frustrated about this. I just really want Luke and I to get plugged into a church before we get married so that we can have a church family in our lives as we take this next big step.

Last week after church, I was talking to my dad on the phone and he asked me what I was up to. Poor ol' dad, he had no idea what was coming. I jumped right up on my soap box and started telling him how frustrated I was that God hadn't showed Luke and I a church to call home here in Corpus. Now, my dad is a very godly man that offers solid advice, but even he was like, "Uh...uh...I'm sorry?" I felt bad for him after I hung up, ha!

But I know that God's timing is perfect. And on Friday, after what has felt like forever, He just might have revealed to me what church Luke and I are supposed to attend! I always thought that Luke and I would "choose" this church together, but God sort of just laid this place in my lap and I got that feeling like He was leading me there. I called Luke freaking out! Again, poor guy (God bless the men in my life for my freak out moments), he was working and could barely hear me. I told him, "Luke! I want you to be excited!!!" and he said, "I am. But I can't hear you, I love you and I have to go back to work. We'll check the church out this weekend because I have Sunday off." WHAT?! I was thrilled!

So, I hope I'm not building this Sunday up too much. But the feeling I had when I was talking to a couple of people from this church last week was very similar to the feeling I got when I found my home church in college. It's the most peaceful and joyous feeling! This new church has a Newly Married and Engaged Couples class, which is something we've been looking for. And the worship service sounds like the size and style we've been working for. I've already laid out my Sunday clothes for tomorrow. Yup, that excited. :)

Will you please do me a favor and say a prayer for Luke and I? We just barely ever get to go to church together and I'd really like for us to find a church home we can plug into here. Please pray for discernment and peace. I'd greatly appreciate it!

{Luke and I took Brooklyn down to the bayfront this morning to play in the fountains. It was just too beautiful!!!}

08 December 2010

A Christmas Treat for Bloggers

 {Photo from shutterfly.com}

Attention all of my blogger friends and family!!
I have a sweet holiday treat from Shutterfly to share with you! :)

Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers who write a post about Shutterfly and all of the amazing creations you can make through this website. 

I've loved and used Shutterfly for a few years now. As a college student, Shutterfly helped me to store and print many pictures from sorority events and my summers at Camp Zephyr. With its very reasonable prices, speedy delivery, and quality customer service, I've constantly been impressed by this service. Although I have never ordered any of these myself, Shutterfly allows its customers to create desk calendars, photo books, birthday cards, and much more! As a bride-to-be with many showers, a bachelorette party, a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, a wedding, and a honeymoon ahead of me, I know I'll be putting Shutterfly's photo books to use!

I wasn't planning on creating Christmas cards this year. However, after I received a couple of them in the mail from friends, I decided I should endeavor to create a 2010 Christmas card. As luck would have it, I heard about Shutterfly's promotion the next day. I was thrilled, to say the least. And get excited, because there is a very good chance that Brooklyn's sweet face will make it into the Christmas card this year!

Don't miss out on this opportunity yourself! Registration for Shutterfly's Christmas promotion ends this Friday, December 10th.

05 December 2010

2011 = 12 Days Paid Vacation

I'm looking forward to 2011 for many reasons. Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing December away by any means. I love this time of the year! But recently I've had an itch to travel and now's just not a good time. *sad face*

Since I just started a new job back in October, I've only accumulated 1 vacation day (you don't get vacay days for the first two months). Once 2011 hits, vacation days start over. SO, I'm anxious for 2011 to get here so I can book a couple of trips! Since Luke and I have picked a new wedding day, I need to save at least a week for our honeymoon. But I want to go back to New York something terrible and my sweet friend Christine will be living on the east coast all next spring. You better believe I'll be making a trip to stay with her and travel into the city! Luke and I also want to take a trip this next spring with Jay and Morgan (Luke's bf and his wife) to San Diego to visit a navy seal friend of ours that is stationed there. So many trips to plan!

Now is the time to be strategic. I cannot waste any vacation days and I need to not spend any money on unnecessary items. I have to start saving my money and looking for cheap plane tickets. Do you know of any special ways to find cheap flights?? If you do, please share! Because I miss this place dearly...

{At the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, looking at Manhattan}

03 December 2010

List-making boredom

I HATE being bored. There is actually nothing I hate more. As a kid, I knew better than to tell my mother that I was bored because her immediate response was always, "Well, I have some laundry that needs to be folded and put away, or there are some dirty dishes in the sink you could wash..." Get real mom, you knew what I meant.

Unfortunately, tonight I'm hella bored. Want to know the funny part? I, too, have laundry that needs to be done and dishes that could be washed. Oh, how it always comes full circle. I always get bored on Fridays because I'm tired, Luke is back at camp for the weekend, and my friends are either working or studying. Blah!

So, instead of finding something productive to do, I'm blogging. It's just difficult for me after a long week of work to do much more than lounge around the apartment boring myself. I did start my research of the gift I'm buying Luke for graduation. I can't tell you what it is; you might spoil the surprise! But I want to get the best deal that I possibly can on the best item I can find. I think I'm off to a good start. I also sent out e-vites for Luke's graduation lunch, which is slightly productive. But yup, mostly just bored.

I have made a To-Do list for tomorrow. Hopefully this will motivate me to have an extra productive Saturday! Would you like to see it? Do you really have a choice? ;)

To-Do List for Saturday
1) Work out
2) Get quarters for laundry and do 57 loads (I'm that far behind)
3) Clean the apartment
4) Pay electricity and cable bills
5) Buy Christmas gifts for the sisters
6) Make a Target run for a couple of life's essentials

This is all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll think of a few more things. Sorry I subjected you to this lackluster blog post. But I couldn't help myself. There was nothing else to do. Now, off to bed. This is the best cure for boredom, BTW.

here we go again:)

updates. check 'em out. :)