Friday, May 29, 2009

She's giving away buttons!

A blog I follow posted about this blog where the owner is giving away vintage buttons. I have recently renewed my love of buttons when my sister showed me that I could incorporate them into my knit/crochet projects. Maybe I'll get lucky enough to win here.

Check it out!

I am in love!

I am in love with this hat and flip-flops set! My sister and I are at it again with our charity work. Have you heard of the Relay for Life? It is full of people that have much more tenacity and discipline than I, but nonetheless, it is still something I am passionate about. These people set up "camp" all night from around 6 at night until 6 am. They are supposed to walk in shifts for the entire 12 hours, and they raise money along the way for the American Cancer Society. I was actually on a team last year, but I am a weanie. I wimped out at about 4 am and went home. I know! I know! It is a fundraising event. How could I have left early? Well, I did.

However, I chose not to be on a team this year. I chose instead to make things with my skills and put them in a sand pail along with other things my sister made with her skills and donate them to the Relay for Life Basket Auction. They bring in so much money with this auction, and it seems people really like hand made items. I love the way my sister termed our contribution. She said we are donating a little bit that will bring in much more than we could have given ourselves. That made me feel so wonderful because in all honesty, the basket and it's contents probably didn't cost more than $20 to make, but hopefully it will bring in much more than $20.

I am also in love with my fiance. I am sure you are all thinking, "Well, I would surely hope so!"

I don't know what is different, but I just feel different about him each day. I feel as though I learn more about his personality each day. I learn how to better compliment his personality. I learn that when he is truly happy, he gives me lots of kisses I don't even have to ask for. I learn that he must really be unhappy with his job, even though he never complains about it. This entire week he has been off work, he has been so happy and helpful. I even did the dishes for him the other day while he helped sort laundry and clean the house before our friends came over. In our house, me doing the dishes is completely unheard of, so it was a nice gift! ;)

I keep finding myself staring at him when he's doing things, watching tv, playing video games, being mean playing with the cat. He talks to our cat as if she is his own baby girl. It's really adorable to see a 6' tall man, weighing in at 350lbs sweet talking your cat. It melts your heart. I've been watching him while he sleeps, too. He is so peaceful when he sleeps. It's in those moments that I see why all the little ones pile on him. He is cozy. He radiates peace and warmth. He will forever have a child-like glint in his eye and his little grin.

He is going to be a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. He will be so strong for us yet so playful and creative. He will be so supportive for the family we will have some day and yet, he will be so tender and loving. I still look up at the sky sometimes and wonder how in the world I met in the world I could deserve him. I know for a fact I have not done enough good works to deserve someone as docile, sweet, and fun as him.

I am also in love with my new "Stellan" bracelet. To read Stellan's story, please check out his mommy's blog at . Oh man! Look at those freckles! My arm looks very strange from this point of view. ;) I don't often see it like this, so up close and personal. The bottom part is my wrist going into my hand. I don't have any weird disease making my arm huge at one part. I wish I had gotten my fingers in there so it didn't look so strange. Whatever! Can't win em' all. While you're reading Stellan's story, you can even buy your own bracelet. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Kitchen Set

I'm not sure how to rotate the top picture, but it is supposed to show you how these knitted...Oh yeah! I said towels hang. I am so so happy with this set. I made it for my friend and co-worker who is graduating high school and heading off to college and her first apartment.
It's a scary world out there, but I am particularly proud of this young woman. I know that I can hardly call her a young woman, being two years older than her, but she is extraordinary. She has surpassed all odds in her life and high school career, and she deserves to do well and be happy. I have high hopes for her, and I can't even explain how proud I am of her.
She is already aware that things are not handed to you in life. She is not afraid of hard work, and she is always in a good mood at work. She has a contagious good attitude, and even when she doesn't know what to say to make your day better, she stands near and smiles at you. You cannot be sad for long around this girl, and when she leaves us to head off to college, it will be hard to see her go. The next high school student that we take under our wing has giant shoes to fill.
Also, as a side note, check out the new items in my store if you'd like. There's not much yet, but I am slowly working my way there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"It's the smallest traffic violation we have."

This is what the officer proceeds to tell me after I am already a puddle in the driver's seat of the if he is trying to sell me a new top of the line miniature blender. Is anyone else feeling that I am cursed? Why is it that I am the constant victim of late night policeman boredom?

Last night, I agreed to babysit for my sister's small zoo. That part of the evening was smooth sailing...I know it's hard to believe. The kids were ready for a movie to be popped in even sooner than I thought they would be, and almost all of them fell asleep on their own, except for the two night crawlers and the littlest zoo animal. She had to be held and rocked to sleep, and when I stopped rocking, thinking she had fallen asleep, she sort of lunged her body in a way of saying, "I'm not asleep yet. Keep going!"

We watched Alvin and the Chipmunks, which resulted in some good, choppy, cell phone videos of the two littlest zoo animals bustin' their moves. Then we watched Madagascar 2, but it was quiet time for that movie. I know that was just killing little Boog. The music speaks to her soul, and she just has to shake her groove thing. She had to sit quietly, though, and for the most part, she did OK.

See? That part of the night was just fine...nice even.

My sister got home just about when I had asked her to. I did have to work in the morning, and I am already a bear in the mornings. We left without a hitch, besides the grinding metal against metal of the brakes. We were already planning on getting new ones today.

As we're driving along about a block from my sister's house, we pass a state cop car. We knew it was a cop because of the slow way he was driving by us, scoping us out. As if by instinct, we both checked the mirrors to see if he was turning around. (In the past year, I was pulled over multiple times in my own car for not having a front license plate on the car. Talk about not wanting to do what you are told!) Of course, he was turning around, and of course, we didn't even have our seat belts on yet. We weren't even a block away from my sister's house, and I know we should do it when we get in the car. We didn't, though.

We both scramble to get those on before he pulls us over. Thank God, by the way, because that would have been another $95.00 each. At this point, I have a massive, throbbing headache, which I assume is from allergies. It is about 12:25 am, and I am completely exhausted. In my young age, I am usually in bed by 10:30 pm. I get my license and insurance out, roll down the window, and he is there with his giant flashlight that I try desperately not to look at, for fear of my head actually exploding right there on the spot.

He takes my license and examines it momentarily before asking me how old I am. I had apparently lost all brain function at this point. I hate being scrutinized, and the power that a policeman holds scares me immensely. I'm not sure why, but policemen really scare me. I don't like how one man driving a labeled car can make me feel so belittled just by pulling me over. I have never been "harassed" by a policeman. I have never been arrested, and I have never even had a ticket. For some reason, though, they still make me nervous and sick to my stomach. I guess I just hate how much power they have. It's their story against yours, so you better just sit back and shut up.

I stutter out that I am 20 years old, but my initial reaction was to tell him that I was 16. See how they make me feel? Like a child all over again. Anyway, he then proceeds to ask Big T how old he is. He says he is 23 with no obvious lack of brain function. He is then asked to give over his license as well.

The policeman told us he pulled us over because our license plate light was out. The only problem with this story is that he wouldn't have known that because he was driving at us when he decided to pull us over. So in fact, he pulled us over for no reason at all, but lucky for him, he found a reason before he got to our window. How convenient, right? He also told us we wouldn't be getting a "citation" for not having that light. So, my heartbeat settles a little, and I feel calm, almost.

After about 15 minutes, and another policeman coming and going, he finally comes back to ask me what my correct address was. Another five minutes after that, he comes back with a ticket, and I am feeling sick at this point. He tells us our sticker is expired, by about three months, and he is writing me a ticket for it. He tells me he saw that the truck was registered to Big T, but since I was operating the vehicle, it was my responsibility. He then tells me that we can fix this in one of three ways.

1. He can take my license as bond for the ticket.
2. He can take $75 cash from us to pay for the cost of the ticket.
3. We can show him a AAA card, or something like that, and we can give him that as bond.

Well, I don't have a AAA card, and even with my babysitting money, I only had $70. I was kicking myself at that point for telling my sister $20 was fine when she tried to give me $29. It all could have been so easily fixed. Then it dawned on me that he was going to have to take my license, and I started bawling.

I have never had a ticket for anything. I have never gotten in trouble. I was always a good kid and a smart driver. I have always kept my car insured, and he is threatening to take away my license?! I told him that, too. I told him, in the middle of my tears, I had never had a ticket for anything.

He decided to give me my license back but told us we couldn't drive the car until it was taken care of.

I cried the rest of the way home. I cried because I have a ticket on my record now. I cried because he wasn't understanding at all. I cried because I have to use my money to pay for all of this. I cried because we don't have the money to pay for all this. I cried because Big T isn't going to have a job for a week this month, and then 2-4 weeks next month. I cried because we already had to get brakes and wipers this weekend with money we didn't have, as well as groceries. I cried because I wanted to use my babysitting money to go to a garage sale and see if I could find a bike or some more knitting stuff. I cried because my head was absolutely throbbing. I cried because I was so tired, and it would be 1:30 am before I could even get to bed, and probably 2:00 am by the time I got myself calmed down enough to go to sleep. I cried because I had to get up in the morning and go to work and call someone to come get me. I cried because I missed my mom. I cried because I am getting married and it is too much stress trying to plan a wedding and reception. I cried because I really want to have the "first dance" with my future husband, and shelling out $200 to $400 dollars this weekend to get a sticker, brakes, pay my fine, get windshield wipers, get a license plate light, and get groceries, and get cat food for my sensitive stomached cat, makes that feel impossible. I cried because it wasn't fair for him to mess up my weekend plans. I cried because it wasn't my truck, and none of this should have fallen on me. I cried because I am not 16 anymore.

I cried...and cried...and cried.

I took some Tylenol and cried some more, and somehow, I fell asleep, just to wake up to this nightmare.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

100 Posts and a Near Death Experience to Boot...Puh-Lease! That's only a little dramatic.

How exciting is it that I have stuck around long enough to post 100 blog postings? By now, if you are a regular follower of my blog, I am sure you realize I am a crazy, emotional, young, fun-loving, eager to learn, and ultimately loving woman. At least I hope those are adjectives you might think of when you think of me. You may also think, goof-ball, little sister, nut bag, naive, how-in-the-world-has-that-girl-not-driven-away-her-wonderful-quiet-handsome-fiance, and a few other choice adjectives. Honestly, it is all OK with me. I am glad you are at least thinking something.

These pictures are of my knew vast set of knitting needles, as well as an added bonus of about a handful of crochet afghan hooks. In the end, I decided to give $50 for all the knitting needles, and looking upon my collection, I believe this was rightly so. I have multiple straight and circular needles in every size from 0 to 15. I went from having one pair of knitting needles to having at least one pair of every size of knitting needles. I only have a few straight needles, but I have an abundance of circular needles as well as a handful of extra cables to interchange knitting needles on. As you can tell, there is a bag these items are neatly organized into, and I received this bag as part of my purchase. It has tons of pouches, so I went through the mess of needles I had and organized them from smallest to biggest. I can't wait to get more experienced and really get a chance to use these needles. The vast majority of the circular needles were not even taken out of their packages yet, though they smell overwhelmingly musty. It is obvious they are not "brand new," but they are at least from within the past 10 or so years.
I spent the day with my friend today for her birthday. We talked for hours, like we always do, about a thousand different things, like we always do. She is the one friend my age that I can cover so many antipodal subjects with. I really do enjoy her company.
We went to the guitar shop as well. We pretended for about half an hour that we could afford to throw down a few hundred dollars on a brand new beautiful guitar. We tested a few and harmonized together. We played around, and got to bask in the glory of our dream world.
The city was ridiculously flooded today. I also nearly recked our stupid truck. I thought that truck and I were finally done being at odds with each other. I thought we had bonded, and it was done hating me....I was wrong. I was driving along, leaving the community college after selling back my nearly unused books from the last semester. I am driving along and I spot an upcoming stop sign. I go to press the break, and because of all the water covering the roads, I started to fishtail. As the car is starting to turn out of control, I see a glimpse of a sign. The sign said, "Turning Traffic Does Not Stop."

Have you ever experienced your life flashing before your eyes? That is sort of what I felt. Knowing what little I know about losing control of a vehicle, I took my foot off the brake and took control of the wheel. I was completely panicked. I could only envision a turning car coming at me head on, not realizing I could not control the metal death trap I was currently sitting in.
So, of course, being myself, I proceed to wave my arm like a mad woman, hoping that the car that is coming toward me will realize they need to stop before hitting me, only to realize, the windshield wipers are crap. They have been crap for quite some time, and before it became "our" vehicle, I complained about them, only to be chided. The man coming toward me could not even pretend to see me waving my arm, but by some act of God Himself, the car just stopped. I only ended up a few feet from the stop sign, and when the windshield wipers finally cleared the windshield, I could see the a stop sign...staring at me with a bewildered look. It was then that I realized the "turning traffic" was turning away from me, not toward me.

So dumb.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And she gave me the shirt right off her back!

The images you see before you are to prove my witness of miraculous gift giving.

Today, at my job, my day started as any other Tuesday at a bank might start in a small town. It was quiet, except for the seven stuffed-full bags our local Dairy Queen sweetly left for us in our Night Depository.

My morning came and went, and when I came back from lunch, I was suddenly stricken with the overwhelming desire to search my family history, as this is something that is growing in attractiveness to me as of late. I want to know where I am from. I want to know for certain where it all started, and I want to be able to pass that on to my own children and family some day. It is a beautiful thing to be able to sit and dream up silly dreams about your ancestors living in the very beginning stages of the 1700s.

So, for hours, I chipped away at my mother's side of the family, falling short every time. I either had names wrong, birthplaces wrong, birth dates wrong, spouses wrong...etc. I am sure you are bored just reading that list, and I assure you, it was even more tedious trying to accomplish something past my own name.

Eventually, I moved onto my dad's side of the family, and things became much easier and very much more interesting. I am officially into 1712 of my ancestor search, and I am still finding more. I proceeded to send my half sister a text message questioning our grandparents names and birth dates, and much to our surprise, we found that even our closest ancestors were not quite so educated or quite so classy.

My great grandmother, Cordie Mitchell, saw her share of men. Her first husband, Harrison Marion Latham killed a man in 1921. He then was imprisoned and later released, only to die an untimely death shortly thereafter from Tuberculosis. He was only 35, but rest assured, Dear Cordie did not stop there. She married another man, but before doing so, she had a baby.

Now I have spent all day it seems searching for this baby, whom I know to be my Grandmother. I simply cannot find her. My sister found her birth certificate today, and that was the only reason I was able to find any information about one Harrison Latham. My Great Grandmother Cordie gave her daughter, my grandmother, the last name Latham. However, Mr. Latham would have had to impregnate Cordie right on the cuff of going to prison, that is if he wasn't placed in prison immediately and he had to wait ohhhh a year or so before going to trial. Hmmm...Really, Grandma Cordie? Is that how it went down?

All jokes aside, though, I am pretty sure there was a little crossing of the bloodline the further back I get into my father's line. Who knows? It was Kentucky in the 1800s.

Now seriously, all joking aside, my workday was, obviously, pretty laid back. Between texting my sister like a mad woman and desperately searching for my incestuous ancestors, I barely broke a sweat. By the end of the day, I was ready to wrap things up, pack em' up and ship em' out. However, that was postponed shortly...yet the same woman who always postpones my leaving...shortly.

I hope this woman never reads my blog because I am about to tell you the hairy truth. Normally, when this woman comes in, we all try to hold back our laughter. She is nice enough, yes. She can talk about anything and everything, and she really is quite personable. Eevveerryy ttiimmee (*long and drawn out people, come one!*) this woman comes in, her hair is a crazy mess. Her make-up is like one of those famous old ladies that puts their lipstick waaaay outside their lip lines and applies way too much BLACK eyeliner and eyebrow make-up. She always has dirt under her fingernails, and she says she has either been cleaning or in her garden.

It is perfectly understandable to be in your garden or cleaning. I personally don't prefer to ever clean, but hey, each to his own, right? What makes this situation even funnier is that she wears designer clothing to do all this in. So, long story short, she comes in looking haggard and somewhat crazy for dressing up to get dirty and grimy.

I'm done being a jerk now because after I finish this story, you will all really hate me for saying mean things about her.

Today, this woman came into the bank. Her hair was kind of messy, and her make-up was definitely crazy, but her top was very cute. She was wearing a really nice sweater over the top of her green and white striped polo shirt. The sweater happened to be knit, and because I myself am learning to knit, I simply had to ask if someone made it for her or if she bought it.

She then proceeds to remove the sweater. She says, "Well, let me show you this. I actually don't get these around here. I looked, but they don't have them. I get these when I go up to Minneapolis. Their TJ Maxx always has them."

I am standing in front of this woman, and I kindly say, in all seriousness, "It is really cute. That's kind of cool that you can only find them in Minneapolis."

She continues, so casually, and mind you, this woman doesn't know me from the mailman outside of the bank, " Oh, well tell me your favorite colors, and I'll pick one up for you next time I go up there."

Rather stupidly, disbelieving, and dumbfounded, I replied, "I really like that color green you are wearing. Fall colors. I like fall colors."

As I finish babbling, she hands the sweater over the counter and tells me to try it on. So, here's the really embarrassing part where my face begins to turn red. I hate being the center of attention, and I can guarantee you, trying on this petite woman's very nice knit sweater, knowing full well, she is probably 20-30lbs lighter than me, was enough to make me die. I couldn't just say, " I don't want to try on your sweater. Thanks." So, I proceed to try the sweater on, explaining to her that there is no way this sweater is going to fit me. "It's going to be too small," I said.

All the while, I am thinking, it's fine if it doesn't fit. If she really does pick one up for me, at least she will know that I am a little more robust of a woman than she. However, I get it on, and leave it unzipped.

"Hmm, It fits my arms comfortably," I think to myself, "but I don't want to zip this up."

Of course, I thought to soon. She tells me to zip it up, "Zip it up."

Let's all remember the label we saw a few thousand words up. Does that label not say "100% Merino Wool" on it? Oh! It does...silly me. I hate having this much attention on me, especially in the scenario of trying on clothing, that doesn't even belong to me, in front of a woman that wouldn't know me from the mailman when I walk out that door. Yes...Yes. That is perfect.

I can feel my temperature start to rise. The zipper is zipped, and I'm standing there like a mute fool, waiting for a response, and waiting to be able to rip the thing off so people can stop looking at me.

All of a sudden, she looks at me and says, "I like it. I think it looks really good. Janet? Doesn't this look good on her?" I proceed to turn around and face my co-worker, Janet, with a look of horror on my face. I am so embarrassed. I really did like the sweater. It really was comfortable. It really was very warm, and also quite cute. However, I really didn't want more eyes!

Well, of course, Janet has pretty much missed all of what is going on, and she walks over to take a closer look. She agrees the sweater looks nice. So, finally, I feel as though I can take the sweater off, but as I start to unzip it, the woman says to me, "Nope. You leave that on. It's yours. You keep it."

Talk about dumbfounded. I just complimented a woman's sweater, and she hands it over to me. What in the world? That doesn't happen! So foolishly, yet again, I stand there with my mouth gaping. I manage to say a thank you as she walks away, and she turns to me and says, "You liked it. It's yours."

Then I look down at the tag and see that it was made in Ireland! It really was perfect. Janet realizes this, too, and asks me if I told her about my engagement ring. This stops the lady in her tracks, and she comes back to my desk. I then show her my ring, explain to her that I'm Irish and I am recently engaged, and also tell her the Claddagh story that I have grown to cherish. She thought it was so sweet, and when she found out I was trying to do a genealogy of my ancestors, she offered to set me up with a free genealogy record through her church and explained that I don't even need to be a member of her church to use it. I think that sounds great because I just paid $30 to use!

I also explained to her why I had asked about her sweater in the first place. I told her I am learning to knit, and I have a love of things handmade. She then proceeds to say, "Oh, what am I knitting right now? What am I knitting? Oh! Leggings. You know what, I will bring you in the yarn and some needles, and they are so easy to do. You just knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one. It's great. You can make them as gifts for your family. That's what I'm doing. They're one size fits all. It's really great."

Again, this lady's kindness is astounding me. She doesn't know me. We never would have met had I not been working at her bank, and yet, here she is giving me the shirt off her back, helping me to find my ancestors, and handing out knitting supplies to a beginner knitter. I simply cannot say thank you enough. I do not quite understand the giving spirit she has, but I know she is a blessing. I know I was a jerk for laughing at her crazy hair.

This was simply the most interesting day I have had so far, working at the bank in a small town.
Please check out this verse. After this woman left today, God was practically screaming these verses to me. I guess the truth is that I do understand her giving spirit, but I allow myself to live in fear and greed. I am afraid of losing something I worked so hard for. I guess that is proof that I am too materialistic. I always thought this lady was like that...materialistic. It just goes to show you, "You can't always judge a book by its cover."
Remember not to pass a judgmental eye on anyone but yourself. Remember to give everyone a chance to shock and awe you. Remember to enjoy life and the simple pleasures. Remember to love your neighbor.
This story proves it is still possible.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I've been thinking...

Honestly, I would love to have a big reception with the dancing and the toasts, but I don't think we can afford it. The wedding itself is the cheap part. I already have been blessed to have someone make my cake for me as my gift. My dress is already paid for as well as the rings and some decorations and invites. There is too much that is already paid for to decide we can't do a wedding.

However, almost nothing is set or paid for on the reception front. At this point, I really am starting to feel like the smaller this shindig is, the better it will be for everyone, but mostly, the better it will be for my fiance and I. Neither one of us likes being the center of attention, him worse than me. We are already broke, anyway.

So far we have been so blessed to know so many people who can help along the way. My sister's husband can take beautiful photos, and my sister could even edit them if I asked nicely. She has a whole brood of children to participate in the wedding ceremony. (I bet she never realized that having so many children would bless someone. ;o) ) My brother's girlfriend offered to do my hair for the big day, and she does hair for a living. Friends of mine that have known me since I was born have offered to make my cake, professionally even, for my gift. I am going through Confirmation at my church which makes it free to use the building, once I am a member. The pastor has already agreed to do the ceremony.

We have almost everything we need for the actual wedding ceremony done. I still need flowers and someone to make pew bows for us, but other than that, we could pull of this wedding in a couple weeks if we needed to.

Like my sister suggested, we are not obligated to have a reception and feed people. If we are feeling up to it, we can go out with a group of our friends to celebrate, but we just can't do anything big right now. Marrying such a supportive, funny, easy going, loving, warm and helpful man is really all I care about. Also, like she suggested, having a big party with all our friends for our anniversary might me nice as well. In a society filled with divorce and failed relationships, a strong, lasting relationships is certainly something to celebrate.

I do appreciate the advice. I do feel more at ease about the situation we are about to enter into. I think I will make an official decision tonight after talking to my fiance, but I am sure he will agree this is the best route to take.

He is granting me Peace...somehow.

This weekend was pretty nice and so vastly different from this very same weekend last year. Last year, I was still in classes, frantically trying to catch up on all the homework I decided I wouldn't do all semester long before my finals. Last year, my very good friend Dusti stayed with me to ease the blow of spending my first Mother's Day without my mother. Last year, I was still angry and feeling a lot of pain. Last year, we had just moved back to our home town. Last year, we were cramped into a tiny apartment that I could never keep clean or feel at ease in.

This year is definitely different. I'm not in classes right now. I'm getting married. We have a much roomier apartment. I spent half the day with my Grandma and half the day with my fiance's mom. I finished a pair of fingerless gloves for a birthday present as well as one dishcloth that will be part of a set for a graduation/birthday/housewarming gift. I only cried a little, and I could feel my mom's presence around me all day, very much so when I was going to sleep last night.

However, none of these things are why I am in need of Peace. I am in need of Peace because my fiance's job is very rocky right now. They already let go of about 100 people about a month ago. They thought, moronically in my opinion, that the end of winter would bring them more business. A change in seasons does not bring a change in the wallet, though. Money does not bud with the flowers. In short, a sunny new season did not bring in more money for them, either. As of this morning, they have walked out another 10 or so people. They will probably continue walking out people through the afternoon and possibly tomorrow. The plant is closing for the week of the 25th to June 1st. They will then close again for 2 weeks to a month from about mid June to mid July.

Did I mention we are supposed to be getting married? I have already purchased a dress. He has already put a deposit on his tux. My bridesmaids have ordered their dresses for the most part. The groomsmen have put their deposit on their tuxes. None of that money can be refunded now. I am absolutely terrified we will have to postpone our wedding or get married in the courthouse, and all of our friends will be out their money. I don't want to put anyone else through the stress we are already dealing with just so we can pull off a wedding. At this point, things are starting to look really grim, and I can honestly say I don't know what to do.

Part of me wants to look deep inside myself and re-evaluate what I really want and expect out of this wedding. I never wanted a big wedding. I am really not fond of the idea of everyone staring at me. I don't like the pressure it is putting on people to come up with money they don't have. I don't want to make a speech.

I do want to look and feel beautiful. I do want to have a celebration with my friends and family. I do want to escape with my fiance/future husband. I do want to have fun and remember our wedding day fondly. I do want to experience the least amount of anxiety possible.

I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be great. I hate feeling such dread when I think of a day that is supposed to be so wonderful.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

Yesterday, my "long" awaited joy arrived exactly on schedule.
My morning started out somewhat sadly when I checked my mailbox only to be disheartened to find it empty. Little did I know, it was actually sent via UPS, not USPS. There was still hope.
On my lunch break at work, I nervously went home.
"This is a big deal," I thought to myself. "This ring finalizes my engagement. This ring is making history for me. This ring will most likely become a family heirloom. This ring symbolizes an eternal bond, love, and friendship with the man I am about to spend the rest of my life with."
So, I walked up the stairs of my apartment complex, forcing myself to look forward even when I got to the threshold where I could have easily turned my head back to see if there was in fact a little brown box waiting for me. I had to allow the excitement to saturate the moment, a moment I would allow to change my life.
With a bounce in my step, I rounded the corner and looked down...and there it was! A little brown box sat before my doorstep addressed to me, sweetly waiting for me to pick it up, and I beamed with joy! I bent down, grabbed that little box in my arms and burst through my door. I sat on the couch in my living room, breathing in the moment, feeling love permeate around me. All the while, in those few seconds, I saw a blurry future flash before my eyes, and the joy I was feeling bubbled over.
I started to pull at the corners of the tape, peeling them off in strips, one by one until the box could open, and it did just that. It popped open, as if it had been waiting to be near me as long as I had been waiting for it. There, in the middle of the box, in the midst of environmentally unsound foam popcorn, wrapped in two layers of bubble wrap was another box. This one was blue, and it was a familiar sight as I remembered getting Big T's ring in the mail weeks ago.
I pulled the bubble wrapped little box out of the popcorn mess and popcorn cascaded to the floor. I set the previously beloved little brown box aside and again, very gently, pulled the tape off the bubble wrap and proceeded to unwrap my very sweet little blue box. Emotions were rising inside of my body. My soul was stirring, and I could feel joyous tears filling my eyes. I kept smiling through it all, thinking only of the man I am so fully in love with and how wonderful and crazy our life together will be.
I closed my eyes, holding my little blue box firmly with one hand beneath it and one hand upon it, and I slowly opened the box. Slowly, ever so slowly, I opened my eyes and looked down, and there sat my precious brand new, shining, sparkling symbol of my eternal love for my fiance. It was just a giant perk that this symbol just happens to be of Irish tradition and made in Dublin, Ireland.
When I saw my ring in front of me and could feel it on my finger for the very first time, I cried a few joyous tears. It fits absolutely perfectly, like a glove. It shines, and the diamonds-- yes ladies, I said diamonds-- blind you in the sunlight, as I would know because I had to see it in every backdrop possible yesterday.
I am so happy with my unique wedding ring. I am so happy with the story I can tell with it. I finally have my very own Cinderella story that will only continue to grow as my wedding day draws nearer. I have my Prince Charming, who just so happens to be a Prince Aggravating some days, as I'm sure I am not always the sugar and spice my packaging said I would be.
This is Our story. It is not traditional. It is not perfect. It is not always even clean, but it is Our story. It is very much Us.
P.S. This ring is called a Claddagh. I meant to mention it in the first posting, but I was too wrapped up in my joy. :) There are about three different stories about the origin of this ring, but I choose to believe the version with Richard Joyce, the enslaved fishermen. Just type "claddagh meaning" into google to do your own research.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I just got an amazing deal on a huge lot of knitting supplies. I was reading in my Stitch N' Bitch Knitter's Handbook that I should try to find garage sales selling knitting supplies because people practically give them away. It's not quite garage sale season, though, so I checked my local thrift store. I didn't find anything, but they assured me that they do get stuff in, so I should keep checking back.

Well, today, a very wonderful friend of mine sent me an ad that someone had posted on their job's classifieds page. Here is what it read:

"Do you knit or know someone who does? My father-in-law brought all of my mother-in-law's knitting supplies to my house after she died in case I wanted to learn to knit. I don't. So, in my basement currently are many, many knitting needles of all sizes, tons of patterns and books, a knitting machine mounted to a metal desk, and well over 100 rolls of yarn, most brand new in all different colors and textures. Evidently when Kmart went out of business she bought out the yarn department. So, please take this stuff off of my hands! Any offers for these things will be accepted."

How fantastic is that? I sent the lady a text message, and someone had already made claim to the yarn. That was quite alright because my stash is overwhelming already. But she had 14 knitting magazines, a stack of patterns, 30 sets of mostly aluminum straight knitting needles in varying sizes, and a good amount of varied size circular knitting needles. The best part of all is the price.

I am only paying $30 for all of it!! How amazing is this? It is a huge blessing, and I hope that in my learning process, I can use this huge blessing to bless others with gifts I will be able to make from my new supply. I am absolutely thrilled! There will be pictures to come. :)