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Wedding Planning – Part 2

1 Mar

This blog post is titled “Wedding Planning – Part 2”, but as you know, B. and I are nearing our 1st ANNIVERSARY!  It seems like our wedding day was just a couple months ago.  When I typed out this blog post sometime early last year, I didn’t find the time to post it.  In the midst of wedding planning a year ago, here were some of my thoughts, and here is a picture from our wedding day (We were getting ready for another pose, and by my mother’s windswept look you can tell it was a bit windy.)

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Here are some of my thoughts about wedding planning a year ago:

Thankfully B. and I are both frugal and we know how to shop for deals, so we are off to a good start there.  My mom has generously offered to make our cake (a friend of the family made the cake – I wanted my mom to enjoy the days leading up to my wedding and not be concerned with making our wedding cake.)

My youngest sister R. has also offered to make pies and cupcakes, which is a HUGE help and for which we are so grateful.  (We ended up just doing cupcakes, which kept it simple for my sister.) My other sisters and one of my cousins have volunteered their help with phone calls to rental companies and for getting quotes on invitations.

Some friends say that they are glad they got married in a park, or in the courthouse, and were glad they didn’t have to “deal with all that.”  But there is something so beautiful about having a full marriage ceremony at a church with all the dresses and suits, flowers, music and ceremony, and most importantly, in God’s house, in the Sacrament of Marriage.

There is something so sacred about getting married in a church with family and friends and the people that have been part of my life since day one.

B. and I knew we would get married in a church, have the marriage ceremony, and then have a big celebration with family and friends afterwards.  My dream of having a marriage ceremony in a church and doing all the planning and purchasing, may, to some, be seemingly “unnecessary”, but it all has so so much meaning.

The symbolism of the exchange of rings, saying our vows, wearing a white dress, etc. – it all has meaning.  We are getting married before the eyes of God and before the witness of our family and friends, listening to the exchange of vows and commitment of me & B. to each other, after all the planning, searching, worrying and praying, and to celebrate with all the glitz and glam and song and dance of a beautiful, new covenant.

(Picture below is my father-in-law congratulating us after the wedding ceremony.)

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2017 In Review

19 Feb

Hello, my friends!  It’s sooo good to be back into blogging.  I can’t tell you how many times over the past couple months I’ve thought of what I wanted to write about, share with you, and type out on my friendly little laptop.  All those stories and pictures got tucked away in my “things to write about” mental file.  We haven’t had internet installed at our house yet, so when I had some extra time after work today, I seized the moment, set up my laptop, and started typing away.

I thought it would be good to start with a “2017 in Review” so that I can fill you in on all the goings-on in the past year that I have been away from blogging.  So much has happened in a years’ time! 

(I have a couple pictures to share right now, and more to come later.)

January – House-hunting.  Need I say more??  House-hunting (for me) was so emotionally draining, It was incredibly time-consuming and tedious.  (The housing market was NUTS.  Houses were being sold nearly as soon as they went on the market.  We’d find a house we were interested in, and it would have an offer on it by the time we tried setting up a showing.)  Did I mention that it was also discouraging?  We prayed A LOT that God would help us find the right place.  Needless to say, we learned to lean on God more and learned how to trust His timing more.  (More about this below.)

February – Welcomed a new nephew into the world. 

Went to WI to visit my husband B’s two sisters and their families.

March – Marriage prep meetings with the priest who officiated at our wedding ceremony.  Our priest encouraged us to pray together, which we already were doing, but when we started praying even more intentionally together, we realized even more how important it was to pray as a couple because by praying more together, we grew even deeper as a couple.

April – Honeymoon finalizing (road trip out west!)

May – We signed the closing papers for our house the DAY BEFORE our wedding.  You don’t even know how stressed I was.  In hindsight, I’m not sure how I got through all the stress except by the grace of God.  In the four months leading up that that day, I took a class for my job in insurance, I combed the area for the best interest rates for our mortgage, researched and found good insurance coverage for our house, planned our wedding (with the help of my amazing husband.)

And then my favorite part ❤ ❤ ❤  On a beautiful spring day in late May, I married the man of my dreams.  We got married at a beautiful cathedral, had our family, friends and relatives as our honored guests, a gorgeous pipe organ playing our wedding music, and all the graces and blessings of Heaven flowing down upon us.

Receiving a special blessing from the priest during our wedding ceremony.

One of my favorite post-ceremony photos of me and B., laughing with delight!

Went on our honeymoon to the Grand Canyon and to a few other National Parks out west.  I got “hangry” a couple times.  We hiked down into the Grand Canyon, spotted lizards and deer, ate ice cream, and took LOTS of pictures.

June – I was in my older sister’s wedding. 

B. and I moved into our new house!  It was strange to move from the house that I had shared with my sisters for 8 years.  Sad, but exciting to start a new journey with my husband!

July – I was in the wedding for one of my younger sisters.  

B. and I hosted a 4th of July party at our new house, and found that our house is very conducive to hosting friends and family. 

A new niece was born! 

We enjoyed many evenings sightings of a deer and her baby twins wander through and frolic in the field behind our house.

August – I turned 30!  B. took the day off to spend with me, so we took a leisurely scenic drive through the countryside, and drove up to the State Park where, a couple years prior, we each had the realization that we liked each other 😊  My birthday was so special.  B. baked me a chocolate cherry gluten free cake (YUM!), gave me a beautiful potted flower, and made my birthday so sweet.  We packed a picnic lunch and road our bikes all around the park.

September – Hubby and I ook a trip to the Smoky Mountains over Labor Day weekend and went hiking.  On the way home, we were able to visit my older sister and her husband who live in Kentucky.

October – Another nephew was born! 

October helped me re-realize that baking is one of my favorite past-times, and a wonderful way to unwind and de-stress after a long day or a long week. 

B. and I painted our “office” room in our house.  It was a not-very-pretty pink before we painted, and now it’s a nice creamy-white color.

November – Thanksgiving and trip to WI to visit family. 

Went to a Notre Dame game in the freezing cold rain and unanimously decided afterwards that we are going to avoid football games in November in the future.  Brrr!

December – Our first Christmas as husband and wife (all the love!)  I absolutely LOVED our first Christmas.  I loved decorating our house and setting out the Nativity set we received for our wedding.  I loved putting up the tree with B., and playing Christmas music as we put up the tree.  We went to Mass at the cathedral where we got married. 

Another niece was born just a couple days before Christmas.  What a wonderful Christmas present!

 

Whew!  Did I mention that 2017 was a whirlwind?!  So many emotions, ups and downs, learning and growing a lot as newlyweds.  We learned how to trust God more than we new we had the strength to.  It wasn’t easy or perfect, but it was beautiful, grace-filled and full of wonderful memories.

 

 

 

 

Have yourself a Married little Christmas!

30 Dec

B. and I have been married for seven months already!  How did the time fly?!  This is our first Christmas as a married couple and very beautiful and special.  Two weeks ago we put up our Christmas tree, and gradually put up lights, ornaments, and our Nativity set that we got for our wedding from some of his cousins.  I thoroughly enjoyed decorating our house, and put something Christmas-y in every room (except the laundry room 😉)  It has been special to celebrate Christmas together this year and to reflect on our first several months as husband and wife.  

During the months leading up to the wedding, life was a busy time of wedding planning, house-hunting, mortgage and insurance rate comparing, and working full time.  It was pretty overwhelming to have all of that to juggle at once, but it was very rewarding because I married the man of my dreams, we bought our first house together, and have been blessed to be able to turn this house into our home.  We have been able to share so many moments together whether making dinner, taking a walk outside after dinner, working in the yard, paying the bills, or just sitting on the couch and catching our breath after a long week at work.  It’s been a busy busy year!!  We have traveled a lot, (including our road trip honeymoon out west!) and have lots of pictures to show for it. 

It’s been a beautiful year and a wondrous celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage as husband and wife.  From our hearts to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!

Christmas 2017

The wedding countdown!

21 Apr

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Right after work today I drove to my second-to-last dress fitting.  My car skipped happily through a spring shower, and raindrops pelted my windows as my car whizzed along the grassy countryside.  This springtime reflects my own heart, as I prune away the clutter of my heart and mind, and till the fertile soul where the seed of marriage is going to be planted.

As I stood in front of the mirror in my wedding dress, I had this feeling of this time in my life being a bit surreal.  Every day I take a moment to review the day and take in my surroundings.  And today as I twirled in my wedding dress, I thought “we are getting married in 30 days from today!”  The boy I met when I was about 7 years old is going to be my husband!!!  (YIPPPEEE!!!!!))))  I’ve known him nearly my whole life, and after we started dating a couple years ago, realized that this is the man I want to marry.  All the years and all the prayers, all the hopes and dreams of getting married and raising a family with the man of my dreams is coming true!!!

This is the man I’ve prayed for.  For lots of years, I prayed, sacrificed and cried tears hoping and praying for a good and solid man to marry.  I begged and begged God to send me a man with whom I can spend my life, growing as a couple, cherishing, and working together.  This is the man to whom I’ve written lots of little notes, even before I met him, beginning with the words “dear husband of mine.”  My eyes can’t help but get a little teary-eyed just thinking of how good and how faithful God has been.  Not only has he answered my prayers – he’s filled them to the brim and now my heart is overflowing.

In just 30 short days, we will stand at the altar of the cathedral and will enter into a covenant with each other and with God, professing our vows of love and fidelity to each other.  We have been praying with and for each other.  And you, my dear reader, will you join us in prayer, that we will receive all the graces, indulgences and blessings available to us?  This is one of our favorite prayers, the words that the Archangel Gabriel spoke to Mary when he announced that she was going to be the Mother of Jesus:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.”

 

Marriage Preparations – Part 1

7 Jan

As I sit here on the couch, there is a Labradoodle-Irish setter (Teddi) resting on the floor to my right.  There is a Yorkie/westie (Molly) sitting to my left.  Both of the dogs are staying at my house for doggy-sitting (Teddi will be here the whole month, while Molly will be staying here until tomorrow.)  My kitchen is *mostly* clean.  There is a fresh pile of laundry sitting on my bed waiting to be put away.  The furnace is quietly rumbling while outside it’s about 20 degrees.  What a welcome presence this peaceful time is.  This is a welcome break from hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

It’s 133 Days until our wedding!!!  Engagement – how do I describe it?  It’s brings with it so many emotions.  It’s a beautiful, busy, stressful, lovely and hopeful time.  My wonderful fiancé B. and I have been planning our wedding (soo many details!)  We have been house-hunting, praying together, growing together as a couple, and learning how to soak it all in in the meantime.  It’s wonderful.  It’s beautiful.  It’s a lot of hard work.  (And yes, I’ve shed tears.)  Our engagement has been a good opportunity to work on character building (which is a nice way to say we are far from being a perfect couple, which I know being a perfect couple isn’t realistic, which is a post for another day…I digress.)

Engagement is a good time to cleanse ourselves of rust that’s accumulated in our hearts and minds and to cultivate the Spirit of God who has brought us together and who wishes us to grow together in love, joy and wisdom.

As of late, I’ve been working on patience.  Marriage planning is pretty much guaranteed to test any couple’s virtues.  For example, I thought I was pretty patient, but you know, not so much.  Case in point: B. and I have been house-hunting.  As we look at houses both online and in person, I tend to get my hopes up for each house.  “We could paint this room, put new carpet here, add a porch there” etc.  But each house is either out of our budget, too far from town, doesn’t have the open floor plan that we both like, needs an overhaul, or just doesn’t quite fit the bill overall.  I had these grandiose plans in my head that after we got engaged, we would find our first house, fix it up and have it ready to move into by the time we’re married.  *Reality check*  Realistically we may not have a house by then and probably won’t have one that’s ready to move into.  Being patient through the house-hunting process has been very challenging for me.  I can’t wait to have a house to call “ours” and to have a place of our own to decorate and to call “home.”  I’m learning to let it go and pray “Thy will, not mine” and to TRUST in God’s timing. 

B. and I are asking our family and friends to pray for us as we prepare for marriage, that we grow in virtue, and that all the house-hunting, scheduling and coordinating goes smoothly and stress-free.  Will you join us in prayer?  Thank you!  We appreciate all the prayers!

 

 

 

 

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