Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Recap

With three checked bags, one extremely heavy carry on and a mandolin on my back, I made it to South Carolina and leg two of my around the country tour before the wedding. It was pretty hard to leave my parents (even though I'll be back up there in a month for Christmas) but I'd gotten so comfortable at home with them. Isn't it weird, and really sweet, how quickly you get used to being back at home. Having dinner with my parents beside me every day, shouting good nights down the hall to them,  I felt just like a little kid again and it's always hard to leave that behind. But I am so excited to be staying with my sister for the week and I'm loving every minute of my sweet time with her.

I got in late Friday night and we grabbed chick-fil-a and milkshakes on the way home to her apartment. We hauled all my gear up three flights of stairs and settled in for a fun week together. Saturday we slept in and then went on a date to the cutest little creperie called Tandem. I ordered a cappuccino and we both indulged in banana and Nutella crepes. It was a beautiful sunny day and we took our time over a leisurely brunch together.
After brunch we got ready and headed to a shower hosted by kind friends of my future mother in law. I have to admit I was pretty nervous as I didn't know anyone going in to it except my MIL and just one of the hosts. I was really grateful that sister was coming with me but, as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. They immediately embraced me, popped a veil and a tiara on my head, and were so excited to hear about our wedding plans and to just get to know me. They were so generous and I am definitely excited that they will be a part of our day. 
Later that night sister's boyfriend helped us unload all my new gifts and then made us chili and it's been so nice to also get to spend more time with him and get to know him better. On Sunday we went to church (at the church where T.J. and I will be tying the knot in just a few more weeks). I love her church, and even more so now that I'm looking at it through my bride-to-be eyes. I love that it will forever be a special place to me after our big day. And just like I love going to the church where my parents got married in Maryville, Tennessee, I can just picture coming back to town some years down the road and taking future littles there to show them where mom and dad got married. 

Later in the day I got to join sister at her community group. She has found such a great group of friends from her church to meet with each week. They share food, and their stories, and they pray for one another and laugh with one another- and that's just what I witnessed at one get together. It makes me really eager to get out to Washington and find something like that for T.J. and I to be a part of. A community, friends, a set apart group of people who will be like family while we're far away from family. People who will encourage us in our newlywed years and who will hold us accountable and pray for us and comfort us.

Hope everyone had as nice a weekend as we did!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday: Status Report

I've basically been on summer vacation these past two weeks at home with my parents. Who would have thought it be so easy to transition from going to work every day to not. Gotta say, I doubt it's going to be as easy going the other way.

But just because I'm not getting a paycheck doesn't mean I'm not doing work. In between lunch dates and shopping and mani pedis we've been busy checking things on the seemingly expanding wedding to-do list. So here's five things to keep you updated on where things stand just 50 days out from THE day. 
oneI've taken on wedding planning full time and I'm also in "wife101" with my mom as the teacher sharing recipes, words of wisdom and some tough love when I need it (I've needed it). Yesterday she walked me through homemade turkey stock and gravy and cornbread stuffing. We made a mini thanksgiving meal so I could practice before I head out to Washington to spend it with T.J. I'll probably still be calling mom with a bunch of questions when I attempt it solo in my new house (with my new roasting pan- thanks roomie) but I'm excited for our first thanksgiving together. 
two. The welcome bags for out of town guests are almost something I can check off the list and they have been so fun to put together. Thank you Amazon prime for making everyday feel like Christmas. Our guest room is filling up with boxes of treats and surprises that we'll be wrapping, personalizing, and hauling down to South Carolina. 

three. Speaking of personalizing, my favorite part of most weddings is all the little personal details. I love to see how couples make it not just a pretty event but something that is special to just the two of them. Now that all the big ticket items are booked and set, it's all about the little details over here and I'm having so much fun! But I seem to keep making more lists and adding on little projects. Let's see how much I can actually squeeze in to the remaining time. I can't wait to over-share after the wedding. 

four. Checking the mail everyday is the best thing ever. I love seeing those little sage green envelopes in the stack of much less important mail. Before we open the mailbox we all guess how many we're going to get that day. Then we try to guess just one person who will be in the pile. I've been wrong every day but it's so fun to check off names from our list. Picturing who all is going to be there on the day celebrating with us makes me even more ready for those 50 remaining days to fly by. 
five. I am flying down to South Carolina today to spend the week with my sister. We plan to have one big sleepover every night, get take out,  play with her puppy, and see Mockingjay when it comes out on Friday. Plus I get to go to her classroom and meet her kiddos and watch her do her teacher thing. Aside from all that fun sister stuff, while I'm down there I'm going to squeeze in as much wedding planning as I can. I have another shower tomorrow (yay) and I'm planning to do my menu tasting and my hair and makeup trial. Can't believe we are already at this point! 

It's getting so close y'all! 
Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last times and goodbyes.

I have been so busy/emotional/sick/excited/tired/crazy these past couple of weeks so there has been no time to blog. Let's see... what have you missed??

Well for starters, I had my last pizza night with my roommates...during which I burned my hand, making it a little easier to let this tradition go... We also watched Walking Dead together for the last time, but they did promise to skype me in this Sunday to ease the transition.
I had my last 2 weeks of work during which I trained my replacement, took a sick day with my roommate, packed up all my heels that I kept under my desk, had a surprise going away party at the office, and went to happy hour with my co-workers. Of course I left everything till the last minute and I spent a big chunk of my last day arranging for temporary health insurance until I can get on T.J.'s plan, which was fun... but it distracted me from being too upset about saying goodbye. It's so weird not having to go in to the office everyday. I still catch myself looking at my phone to check work emails which I no longer receive. But I'm sure that will pass ;)

My last day of work also happened to be Halloween so we threw a party at our house. Since this was my last time hosting a party with these girls we went all out. Chili bar, "blood" splattered cookies, cobwebs and bats and candy, candy and more candy! Like all our late nights this one also somehow ended with us sitting on the floor singing along to show tunes and Disney songs. It's weird and wonderful and how every night should end.

I didn't get too long to recover from our big night as I had a billion more boxes to pack before the movers came. You  don't realize how much stuff you own until you have to box it all up. I managed to purge and give a lot of things away but still... I hope T.J.'s ready for me. My room looked like an episode of hoarders and was a total obstacle course/maze/fire hazard for a couple days. Fortunately my mom came back to help me get everything sorted out on Monday.  She also provided much needed emotional support during all the tearful goodbyes.

Aside from helping me pack she hand addressed ALLLLL the invitations. And then we stamped, stuffed, licked, sealed and mailed them out on Monday! It is such a weight off my shoulders (and my mom's) having this checked off the list.

I had my last night in my bedroom before the moving truck arrived bright and early Tuesday morning.  They made quick work of all my boxes and soon I was looking at an empty room. The movers pulled away and my one roommate came home from work for a long lunch break and my other roommate walked across the street from her house.  We needed to hang out just a little while longer, and put off the inevitable for a little while longer.
Then the car company came to load up my jeep and send it West with all my other belongings. I was a big ball of conflicted emotions. Desperate to hang on to these last moments of my familiar life and my people a little longer, but anxious, excited, and ready to get on the road and start my new adventure. 
I've been so settled there for the past almost four years it just really hasn't set in that I've finished that chapter of my life. I'm up at my parents now for a little while and it still sort of feels like I'm just up here for a break and that after the weekend is over I'll be heading back down to my house and those girls and my job and picking up the old routine. But that's not the case this time. We've made lots of promises and plans to always keep a visit on the calendar, it makes the time in between easier. I'm so looking forward to all being together again for OUR WEDDING! And then there's talk of them coming out to Washington in the Spring. It will be so fun to have friends out to my new home. And there will be new traditions and more weddings and hopefully one day baby showers and joint family vacations. But I hope we still do pizza nights, only next time with T.J.