Getting Married: 16 Weeks – More Random

Ok, ok. I know I’m behind. I totally had a great post in mind for 16 Weeks, but then time just went crazy and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write it how I wanted, so it’s on hold. Here’s what we’ve got going on though.

I am so not a cook. I can bake up a storm, but cooking…eesh. I think it’s because there are no real set rules. There are loosely put together guidelines. I like rules. I like formulas. I loved Chemistry because things had to go in a specific way in order to get the right result. Baking is Chemistry. Cooking is…well, I don’t know…not a science that’s for sure. It’s more of an art form and while I love art and being creative, food is not a medium I’m well-versed in yet.

While we were visiting Matt’s grandma, she told me that she could barely cook anything when she first got married. She is such an incredible cook now. I told her, in my most Anne of Green Gables fashion, “You have given me hope beyond anything I could have imagined. I will always remember you as a benefactress.”

By the way, I’m in the fourth book of that series, Anne of Windy Poplars. It’s a sweet book. I love all the chapters that are just letters she’s writing to Gilbert. And how it shows where sections were omitted because Anne had just the right pen for writing love to him.

Back to food. I tried to make a pork chop dinner for Matt and I the other weekend. It was…alright. I think Matt liked it, but I know that it didn’t come out alright. Timing is such a hard thing. Mine and his mom encouraged me that it does take practice to get the timing of meals down. I will not lose heart. Matt says that he is looking forward to me learning how to cook. I reminded him that I will fail quite a bit, but he said he didn’t mind. We’ll see how that goes. There’s a pizza place and Subway just down the road. We might keep them in business – all by ourselves.

We got our invitations back from the printer so now I’m working on stamping them. It’s a process. I did a bunch of stamping while listening to the State of the Union address the other night. It helped me have the right amount of pressure to get the stamps pretty well even. I get fired up sometimes. And John Boehner and Joe Biden’s exchanges of looks were quite amusing. Usually with Biden grinning widely and then catching Boehner’s eye and slowly dropping his smile and clapping slower. It was humorous. Boehner’s eyes were daggers over his glass of water at times. I can talk about him like that because he’s from around here.

I have just 45 mins to finish Matt’s Valentine’s Day gift. Last year, I made him a cake loaf with red and pink heart sprinkles in the batter and icing. It was yummy. I’ve not had much practice with Valentine’s Day, so I’m still a little rough around the edges.

I scheduled my dress fitting! Now, I just have to get my hair scheduled and I’ll feel a little better about my appointments.

We had our first premarital counseling last night. It was mostly about the order of operations for the ceremony. It ended with me all jittery inside – in a good way. 🙂 I’m so looking forward to it and I’m hoping that we can fit everything in that we want to without making it too long. We’ve got some good ideas, but I will not stress about it. I.Will.Not.

This is the book we will be using during our counseling:

The Most Important Year in a Man's/Woman's Life

The Most Important Year in a Man’s/Woman’s Life

I’m pretty jazzed about it. I want to take it, and highlight, and write notes in the margins, and then keep it on my bookshelf for forever and ever and ever amen.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Now I have 30 mins. Eek!

Catch ya later!!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on


Getting Married: 17 Weeks – Prep Work

This post will be a bunch of random items. So, here we go!

week17 sailor

I found this on Pinterest and it is so true. I have no aspirations to be a sailor, or have any skill on the sea itself, but you know, it’s not literal, just representative.

week17 keys

It seems as though people have decided I should be the keeper of their spare keys. As such, I have a hard time remembering which key belongs to which person (maybe they should rethink their strategy! lol). After seeing this Pinterest project, I decided it was high time to work it out myself. I really enjoy the colors and the polish seems to be staying on without much issue. For those keys that are unknown, maybe I should just start going around to everyone’s house and start trying out keys. Hmm…I think the middle of the night would be the best time, especially if they have dogs. 🙂

week17 jars

We have all these baby food jars. Well, this isn’t even all of them and we have more promised to come! They have all this wonderful sticky gunk on them too. This was a great Sat avo project.

week17 cleaning

The tools. I will say right now that the acetone worked above and beyond the best. I don’t like vinegar because I’m allergic to it, but you know, it’s said to have amazing abilities at, oh, everything. So I gave it a try. It was a fail. Nail polish remover was the best. Our hands were a little sticky following, but that washed off. Fumes weren’t too bad either.

week17 bottle

We also have a whole bunch of glass jars and bottles. A WHOLE bunch. We’re repurposing them for the wedding. I’m excited. We tried spray painting this one months ago to see what it would look like and discovered the issue with the glue AND the little factory printing on them. That stuff bled right through the spray paint. Let me point out that the nail polish remover took that stuff right off too! I was so excited!

week17 bulbs

Remember this post when I said I planted bulbs in the garden in the spring and summer? With southwest Ohio’s goofy weather, they have begun pushing up early. Eeek! But hey, at least that means I planted them the right side up!

week 17 finds

Matt and I ran over to the antique mall and found 4 of these sunflower plates for $10! Yeah! We also found a glass jar in the shape of a bear and that super-sweet cranberry tin. I love them all.

??????????????????????week17 Maggie

This was my last week tutoring. I’ve been working with these kids since I came home from Japan. When I first started with David, he really couldn’t stand reading at all. He still stumbles over words and skips lines when we read out loud together, but what kid doesn’t? What inspires and encourages me the most is that this kid loves to read! We started with The Chronicles of Narnia, moved on to Moby Dick, The Hunger Games, and the Redwall series, plus a few others. He has learned how to identify the stories that will interest and challenge him and he “theater reads.” That is my description of when someone is able to read with inflection and in the character’s personality. He does it really well and I would often have to tell him to keep it down since we mostly read together at the family restaurant. I am so going to miss this kid and his 104 million stories and questions. He is a dear little Brother.

His sister, Maggie, hasn’t been with me as long. She is the epitome of the cute little girl who gets all the attention from patrons of the family restaurant. She has sass and personality galore. She and I have had a fun time getting to know each other and some dear characters in the books we’ve read. We like series books, most especially the Ivy and Bean collection and the Ramona books. She is goofy and can throw out one-lined zingers out with the best of them, but I will miss our spunky time together each week. I have such precious memories to keep with these two kids. I can’t wait to see what happens in their lives over the next years and onward. I pray for them and their family constantly. They have been a sweet chapter in my life.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on

Getting Married: 18 Weeks – Visits

Over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, Matt and I hopped in the car and headed down to visit his grandma in Kentucky. I’ve been to Lexington before, but I’ve always just carried on through on I-75 or stopped in the city itself. Matt’s grandma lives in a small town just southeast of the city and you have to drive through Red River Gorge to get there. I love driving through and stopping at this kind of country. It is so beautiful! It reminded me a lot of my drive through West Virginia on my way to Virginia Beach last April for some friends’ wedding. Lovely! I’m reminded how great of an artist God is. The way the late afternoon sun fingers its way through the leafless tree branches, and is hidden from the cliff walls by other cliffs.

One absolutely beautiful effect was that, in the cold temperatures, there were streams of water coming off the tops of the cliffs, running down the sides and then, once it met the forever-shadowed bottom of the cliff face, it would freeze again. Freeze, but not before it would drip to the forest floor and roadsides, making curly, twisty piles of ice. I wanted to take a picture of some of them so bad, but we both agreed that it would be too risky on the sides of those twisty, hidden park roads. I wish I could transfer the memory onto this for you though. Have you ever seen it before?

We had a lovely time while we were down there. Matt was enlisted to install a floodlight for her backyard and that makes things so much brighter out there. But other than that, we just had a sweet time together. A nice time getting to know her a bit and her to get to know me a bit more. She kept saying she’d like to keep me and send Matt back home, so I guess I did alright. 🙂

Matt had to take this bed because while it only comes up to his hips when he stands next to it, it came to my waist and I wouldn't have been able to climb up. But it was fun, nonetheless. :)

Matt had to take this bed because while it only comes up to his hips when he stands next to it, it came to my waist and I wouldn’t have been able to climb up. But it was fun, nonetheless. 🙂

One fun thing was that she had just got some new mattresses in her guest rooms. They were considerably tall, and I felt a bit like the Princess and the Pea, but I slept so soundly while I was there. Also, she keeps the house very warm…very warm. And I love warm, so I was very nearly in heaven. Speaking of, we picked up some postcards after Sunday lunch at The Lodge in the Red River Park and one said, “I wasn’t born in Kentucky, but I came as soon as I could!” Haha.

We had church on Sunday and then treated her to lunch at the aforementioned Lodge. It’s kind of up and around on a ledge looking over part of the rivers. So beautiful, the one side of the restaurant/hotel is window and you can watch the birds and squirrels play/fight for seed from the feeders.

week18 squirrel

I successfully identified a titmouse. I was so pleased with myself. I thought she was a stout, pregnant blue jay at first, but her tail and body just weren’t the right length. I thought she might be a titmouse and so I looked it up on Wikipedia and it was like someone had snapped a picture of the very bird in front of me. I don’t know all that many birds by sight, but I want to get better at recognizing birds and plants. I feel like it might someday be important and regardless, it’s like making new friends. 🙂

On our way back, we decided to stop by Matt’s grandpa’s grave. He hadn’t seen it with the new headstone. It was very lovely.

week18 grave 03

The graveyard is relatively new so there weren’t that many stones yet. It was nice to see, but when it got too much for us, we headed back to the house to relax until evening service. I have been working on a piece quilt since a bit before the holidays and so I took my needles and yarn down with me to get some more squares done while sitting and chatting. Grandma shared how she and Grandpa met. I love hearing those kinds of stories, they’re always bound to be interesting.

We left Monday afternoon to come back home and avoided all the crazy accidents on the highways around Cincy. Wow! We kept getting a bunch of texts and phone calls about them from friends/family. I monitored the news on the drive back and everything was pretty well cleared out of the way by the time we go to I-75. Unreal to see some of the pictures of the accidents and a coworker later told us that she was driving by as they were giving someone CPR – she thinks the little girl who died.

On other news, Tues morning, I had my very first ever gynecologist appointment. I have some friends who highly recommended The Bowen Center in Cincinnati and I scheduled the appointment with Dr. Wall, an associate there. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has raved about the personal attention and sensitivity they offer there. We just had a consult about birth control methods, though. He offered several ideas, but shot a few down himself. The one option he wanted me to consider was an IUD called Paragard. An IUD was one thing I was certain I didn’t want to get because I’ve heard terrible things about them going through the muscle wall and such. Mom also told me that if you do end up getting pregnant while it’s installed, you have to abort the pregnancy to have it removed. That sounds crazy! He still gave me a DVD to watch and consider. I’m still pretty sure it’s off my list of possibilities. Plus, I don’t think my insurance covers it.

He gave me a sample pack and a year’s prescription of Lo Loestrin Fe. I didn’t know much about it but I took to the pack and script and decided I’d check into it later. Seems to be a toss up on people loving or hating it. Has a low amount of estrogen and other hormones. When I got the script filled, it didn’t cost me a penny, which is amazing since it’s reported to be one of the more expensive kinds. I figure that I have a few months to try it out before the wedding so I can see what MY side effects will be. I’ve never been on birth control before or any other kind of medicine I’m supposed to take every single day.

I guess we’ll see how it goes. I plan to start it tomorrow.

Here’s hoping I don’t turn into a hormonal mess, but if I do, you’ve been warned. Haha.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on

Getting Married: 19 Weeks – Single Advice

I feel very blessed with the path of singleness and relationships that God brought me through (even my mistakes) before Matt and I finally got together. From my boyfriend at 2 years old, to the puppy love boyfriend of junior high, through those awkward years in junior high too that extended into my high school years, to my liberation of college when I embraced my singleness, to those years when I didn’t…it’s been everything I could have wanted it to be and even those things I didn’t enjoy at the time, I know that it was for my benefit.

But even now, I know that I can’t comprehend the blessings of that time in my life fully. However, I’m still close enough to remember the painful evenings, or the times when my friends were getting married and I was going to the wedding by myself, again. I’m close enough to remember the pangs, even though they are greatly diminished, of longing to be with someone who I was certain had no idea I existed or was interested. Of dreaming of some kind of idyllic future that played more to my selfish wants. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I am in a Sunday School class with some very sweet young women. I enjoy the class so much and cherish our time of fellowship, study, encouragement and admonishment. We were talking about relationships this week, as we often do, and it reminded me of just how much God has taught me throughout the last 10 years, especially about being single in this world and dating, etc. I am not without faults. I very often balked at what God was showing me, determined that I knew a better way. And very often, God would show me that He did indeed know better and I’d realize it was better to submit than to stubbornly push on my own way. Sometimes it was painful, sometimes it just made me feel ashamed, sometimes I was so relieved to be out of whatever mess I got myself into.  That’s been true in other areas of my life, but I think I’m learning to submit more readily than before.

I thought I would give some advice. Rather, some strategies I found that worked when I was feeling sorry for myself, missing someone I hadn’t met yet, and nursing a bruised heart. The strategies are for those who are single and have never married. I can’t speak to those who have been divorced or widowed as I’ve never been either of those. There might be some parallels in here for those situations, but you will have to glean them out yourself. I also do not claim to be an expert. These are just some tools I found to help.


I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I was amazing at falling to my knees whenever temptation or loneliness tried to overpower me. Nope. I will freely admit that my prayer life is not what it should be. BUT, I have witnessed in my own life that when I am eager to turn to God to talk things through, I am ten times better off than when I turn to Him as a last resort. Also, God is not afraid of emotions. It’s ok to sit and mean to pray to God and just cry instead. Been there, done that. God created us as emotional beings and I’m sure I’ve been more afraid of my emotions than God ever could.


I have been journaling since I was in high school. I never thought much about it at that time. Most of it is the typical sappy, angsty stuff of teens, but I am one who likes to flesh out my thoughts on a page. I avoid journals with lines because sometimes the best therapy is to write something down and then have the pleasure of scratching it out again. Now, I write down my sermon notes, reflections to things I’m reading or just thoughts throughout the day, important events in my life, etc. There are lots of little gems in those books throughout the years, and it’s good to know that I have that book handy when I just need to write something down, whatever it is.

I also had a friend recommend journaling to her future husband. This has been such a fun thing to do. I’ve taken the journal with me to other countries, I’ve written dreams, hopes, disappointments, life changes, prayers for him, etc. I can’t wait to share it with him.

Pray FOR him (or her)

I know I didn’t come up with this myself, but I can’t for the life of me remember who I got it from – no doubt one of the many books I’ve read on relationships. Whenever I felt like I was totally completely ready to meet The One, but God hadn’t brought him to me yet, I would get this image in mind. Imagine the two hands of God. You are in one hand, while The One is in the other. You are in one place and they are in another. You are both having your own life experiences, your own triumphs and challenges. You might be on a mountaintop, but they might be in a valley and desperately in need of prayer. I’ve noticed that when I am becoming too self-minded, it’s best to start praying for someone else and God has an amazing ability to turn our hearts and prayers to something uplifting to that other person. Maybe your One needs you on your knees while he faces one of the biggest challenges of his life. Maybe he is on cloud nine and would like you to rejoice with him. When I had these times of prayer with God, I liked to document them. Maybe I can compare notes and find that I really was needed at that particular moment. It might not be something we know until heaven, but I’m a firm believer that our prayers are effectual and when we pray in faith and in God’s will, He can do great things.

Find a mentor

I have been blessed with some wonderful mentors throughout my life. They have come in a wide variety of places and relationships, I can’t even begin to share who they all are. Find yourself an older “you.” Someone who is firm in their faith and actively living out the commands of God. They don’t have to be perfect; no one is, after all. In fact, someone who doesn’t “have it all together” is great because they can show you how to seek God’s will when you struggle. Mentors are great because they’ve been in a similar place as you and have the benefit of hindsight. Take advantage of that and use it to your benefit. Learn from their mistakes and successes and ask them to pray for you. Look for ways to serve them as a way of thanks.

Be a mentor

This is a big deal. You might not feel like you have it all together yourself, but investing in someone else’s life is a big distraction from any heartache and loneliness you may have. It’s not a cure, but it’s a command of God – when Christians mentor someone else, they are to be building a disciple of Christ. When you are following God’s commands, you are in a better place. Period.

Find accountability partners

What’s an accountability partner? It’s someone who is a peer and willing to help keep you on track to avoid temptation. You know what will trip you up. You know what kinds of things feed into your pity parties. For me, it can be love stories. I love Jane Austen, and I still read her books every so often, but for a time, they were a stumbling block for me. Certain movies too. Facebook can be a stumbling block too, especially if you have an object of affection and find yourself spending an increased amount of time “checking in” on them. Oh, you know you’ve done it! Share those things with a close friend and ask them to help you avoid them and keep tabs on you. And you do the same for them.

You know, God has made us creatures of community for a reason. We thrive on relationships. Yes, the relationship between a man and a woman in marriage is a special thing, something God made with a specific purpose. But there are so many other relationships that should have our attention, relationships that have an eternal purpose. Focusing on these things not only gives us a healthy distraction from any loneliness we might be feeling, but also prepares us for any future romantic relationship. Every season has a purpose and every relationship has a purpose as well. Make the most/best out of each one. Some will fail and some will endure.  This feeds right into the next tip.

Embrace it and serve God

When you are single, you are in a unique stage of life where you answer to only one: God. Take advantage of your freedom to live drastically for Christ. I was able to do some amazing things before God called me back to Ohio, I believe, to be ready for Matt. I spent a summer in China, graduated college, served in my church for several years, taught in Japan, etc. I was free to travel around to build relationships with dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ around the globe. There have been so many things I can’t even remember them all to list here. I wouldn’t trade those opportunities for anything. They were an important season in my life and have grown my faith.

Also, as someone who had ever so many crushes on guys until now, I have witnessed the benefit of unanswered prayers. Some of my crushes went on to meet and marry amazing women. They lead a life now that I could never have been prepared to handle. Some of them turned out just awful and I’m grateful that God didn’t allow me to get into a relationship with them because I would probably be in a terrible state now. If you are struggling with why God is keeping you from someone, ask Him to reveal the reason to. God loves to illuminate dark places, and a question is just that, a dark place. Keep in mind, He won’t always reveal it on your time, so be prepared to have to wait a bit. The waiting is hard, but hopefully, there are enough strategies here to keep you occupied.

So in summary: Pray, get your focus off yourself, love God, serve God, love others, serve others.

Do you have any advice or strategies you used while you were single or are single?


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on