Monday, May 23, 2011


I'm having a hard time thinking of what to write about this week. There is a reason, which I will now share.

I have several projects that I have either just finished or am working on this week (yay!). However, most of these people are family or friends or friends of friends, so I don't want to blog about their invitations before they're able to send them out. That just isn't right.

So even though I am so very excited to share what I've been working on, I have to wait. But I still have committed myself to consistently updating my blog, after listening to this Dani Johnson webinar. So I'll just blog about what I am doing right now.

Right now, I am printing out 120 programs for a very special wedding.

You see, my brother is getting married on Friday - the one I talked about in this blog post. He's the last of our three siblings to get married and I could not be more excited about it. My husband, my youngest brother, and I head down tomorrow right after work to make it in time for the Bachelor/Bachelorette parties that begin on Wednesday. On Thursday, we'll celebrate with just their closest friends and family at the rehearsal dinner. Then on Friday, they'll be married by my dad at The Mill at Fine Creek. My brother, Scott, will stand up as the best man. My husband is a groomsman and I'm a bridesmaid. My mom, as usual, will be a stunning mother-of-the-groom. We'll celebrate our third and final family wedding with good food, good company, and of course, dancing.

And then our family's wedding season is over. To be honest, I'm a little sad about this. But we've celebrated to the fullest. Each wedding has been wonderful and I have no doubt that this last one will be too. And now we move on to the season that my mother has been waiting for....babies!

To Jeff and Ashley!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Man

In honor of my husband's birthday, I thought I'd take a look at our own wedding (a fabulous occasion if I do say so myself). But first, let's take it back a little...

Luke and I met in 2005. I walked into my Michigan History class at UofM-Dearborn and saw Luke across the room. I had seen him before at the church we both attended but didn't really know him at all. Therefore, I promptly sat as far away from him as possible. (If you do not know me well, I am the girl who will duck behind a rack of clothing in the mall to avoid seeing the person I only partially knew from my 9th grade math class/church/old job/wherever.)

After class, I did the only rational thing to do. I made up an excuse to go talk to the professor so I could avoid awkwardly running into Luke in the hall after class ("um...professor...when you said that Michigan is shaped like a mitten, what exactly did you mean...").

Luckily, my man is who he is.

As I was waiting to talk with the professor, Luke came over, sat down, and began talking with me. It was as if he actually liked making friends. Who was this guy?

This was the guy that I would be great friends with for four months before we decided we couldn't go on as friends because we liked each other too much.

This was the guy that I would date for over two and a half years before realizing that I could not possibly live without him.

This was the guy that I would walk down the aisle towards after three and a half years, knowing that I had never been more sure of anything in my life.

This was him. This was the guy. The guy I'd been waiting for.

So let's jump to August 1, 2009. After 11 months of planning, our wedding day had finally arrived. We were married at five in the evening in my parent's backyard. This had been my dream and my parents and brothers worked tirelessly to make it happen. I am still, to this day, so grateful.

We were married on the back patio. My dad married us, after walking me down the aisle. The guests filled in around our pool. We had a 200 person tent set up in the back of the yard, complete with a dance floor. It was perfect.

After we were pronounced man and wife, the entire wedding party headed to a nearby golf course to take some pictures. 

Then it was time to meet our guests back at the reception tent. The fun was just beginning.

The wedding party was introduced to "The Final Countdown". You can guess who picked that song. :)

We made our way to the head table where we were showered with love by Luke's brother, my maid-of-honor, and Luke's best friend. Out of all the things we kept talking about over and over on our honeymoon, the speeches came up the most. Each person put so much thought into what they said. It was one of my favorite parts of the day.

After we listened to speeches, ate, and attempted to greet all 190 of our guests, it was time to party.

I have several favorite things about this set of pictures.

#1 - The fact that apparently my husband and I can't get enough of bumping, whether it be chest or side.
#2 - My brother, Jeff, and his girlfriend (now soon-to-be wife), Ashley, dancing in the top right picture. Jeff transforms into the life of the party at weddings. It's just delightful.
#3 - My mother, in the second picture down on the right. That woman doesn't mess around on the dance floor.
#4 - The little switcharoo that was pulled towards the end of the night. The bottom picture on the left is my brother and I dancing, while our significant others danced behind us.
#5 - The guy in the green shirt in the bottom right? None other than the pastor who said a prayer over our meal. You've got to love that.

I remember our DJ coming up to me at the end of the night, wanting me to make the call. I had to decide when the last song was played. It was up to me to end our perfect day. Even though my feet were so tired that I could hardly lift them anymore, I still wasn't done dancing. I wasn't finished with having my best friends, many who lived out of town, right there with me. I wasn't ready for the day to be over.

But I did it. It had to be done. We finished out the night by dancing to none other than "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie. And we would have done just that if we could have.

The day surpassed every expectation I  had of it. That didn't mean everything went perfectly. There were glitches. There were a few hiccups. But I was marrying my best friend and it was as great as everyone said it would be.

The best part is that it only got better from there.

Here's to my man. The one who felt compelled to come over and talk to me that day in Michigan History.

I cannot tell you how very thankful I am that he did. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

A year ago today...

A year ago today, I left my full time job to follow what I knew to be my true passion: teaching. Little did I know what a year it would end up being.

Anyone who lives in Michigan right now knows that getting a teaching job is not easy. Even so, I spent all of May taking the three classes I needed to make sure my certification was up to date (6 weeks/3 excellerated online courses = kill me now) and I was completely 100% ready to get a job in the fall.

Except....there were no jobs.

Well, to be fair, there were some jobs. But pair a social studies/history/psychology certification with no teaching experience and you have one super unattractive job candidate.

(Isn't it nice to just be honest with yourself every now and then?)

But I cannot even begin to tell you how assured I felt that I was right where I belonged. I just had that feeling. I remember leaving my job so unsure of what my future held, but being fully confident that I would look back one day and think "that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me".  Even in the midst of uncertainty and complete lack of interviews during the summer, I still knew that I was exactly where I needed to be. Of course, there were times where my husband, my mother, and friends would have questioned if I really believed that, but those were the moments when I just needed someone to listen to my fears and insecurities and then remind me of what a good move it was. And they did.

That was my year.  A lot of insecurities, fears, and uncertainties, but also a peaceful, calm feeling that told me that what I was going through would only get me to a better place.

It's a year later, and I'd say I'm in a better place.

I've learned more this year than I had in the previous three years combined...

I've learned that you have to be able to take risks.

I've learned that even when things are rough, you have to pick yourself up and move on.

I've learned that stepping out in faith and moving in the direction you know you're suppose to be moving in is a lot more satisfying than staying in a place where you feel safe.

I've learned a lot, but the thing that I am absolutely the most excited about is that another passion of mine came out in the last year. When I wasn't doing something that I didn't love 40 hours a week, I was surprised to find what I actually did love.

And if you're here on this blog, I think you can figure out what that is.

Looking back, it was a good year. Not easy. Scary. Lots of uncertainty. But totally worth it and really, really good. :)