How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.--Stephen Covey

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh how time flies when you are having fun

Did you know that Jake and I are are coming up to our 8-year dating anniversary?! Yea, I know. It's crazy. On December 8th, we are celebrating 8-years of being together. But it's also the 5-month mark until the wedding. Seriously, where has the time gone?? It's flying by!! Getting down to the nitty gritty with wedding planning now... I've been slowly buying my accessories for the big day and Jake needs to go in to order his suit and get information for his groomsmen. I can't believe in 5-months we will finally be husband and wife :) I am incredibly excited for our big day!!

Anyway, the apartment is empty right now. I drove Tara to the airport this morning and Mom left the same time as us. Jason is at work. And, I'm lonely. Okay, not completely lonely, I'm sort of enjoying having the apartment to myself--it's been awhile but after having everyone here all week, it's quiet and lonely. I have slowly been cleaning up and getting things back in order from the weekend. I've got to dust and vacuum and start some laundry... can I tell you how much I hate cleaning?? When I am making more money, I am hiring a maid to come in and clean our home every other week or so. lol.

I realized last night that I will be picking Jake up at the airport in the ATL morning rush hour. Joyous. That was poor planning on my part... I'll be going with traffic into and through the city to get to the airport. Hopefully by the time we have to go back through the city to come home, it won't be bad. If anyone has ever driven in or through ATL during either morning or evening rush hour, then you know that we have some of the worst traffic in the United States. Seriously. It's one of the reasons why I can't completely commit my heart to Georgia. It's awful. Plus, my heart will always be with Chicago... Anyway, at least I don't have to leave the apartment until 8:30-ish to go to the airport to get Jake and hopefully the traffic won't be as thick, but I doubt it. We'll see.

I should stop procrastinating now and get with the cleaning. ugh.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy [Belated] Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a success in the home of Liz and Jake :) It was the first year that I really cooked everything on my own and everything turned out delicious. I prepped everything Wednesday so that on Thursday when I woke up I would just have the make the first batch of stuffing without having to cut everything and put the turkey in with enough time to have Jake be able to eat dinner with us before leaving for Michigan. And, Jake did get to eat dinner with us before leaving :) Which was my goal!

Anyway, our menu consisted of:

Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Almonds
Cranberry Sauce
Chips and homemade Chip Dip (Jake's mom's recipe!)
a beautiful Veggie Tray
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Vanilla Bean Ice-cream

It was a delicious dinner. Jake missed out on dessert because I had to get him to the airport, but it was yummy. We'll be eating leftovers until at least the end of this week!!

Jake is currently in Michigan with his family. This morning was the funeral and even though I wasn't there with Jake, I made sure that I said extra prayers for him and his family and said good-bye to Jake's grandma from here. I'm sure that it was very difficult for everyone and I can't wait for Jake to get home so that I can give him a big hug and kiss--that will be 2 days overdue!! Remember that card that I mentioned writing him in the last post. That I strategically placed in his clothes for the funeral today... he didn't even read it this morning while getting dressed. Actually, at the point that I am writing this tonight, I'm pretty sure that he still hasn't read it. :( :( :( This makes me a very sad panda because I intended for him to read it this morning to help him get through the day... Hopefully he'll read it tonight and it'll have the same effect, but I doubt it since I wrote it like he would be reading it this morning. :-/

Anyway, today my mom, Tara, Sunny (my friend and bridesmaid) and I went up to the dress shop to order the bridesmaids dresses. I am very glad to check another thing off the list. I also was able to finally order my dress :) It should be in by March!! I got to put the dress back on as well to show Tara and I still absolutely adore my dress. I had no doubts or anything about the dress, but I still want to go and put it back on and not take it off!! It's just as gorgeous as I remember and I can't wait to wear it on our wedding day and I can't wait for Jake to see it. We're coming up quickly on the 5-month mark and I feel like these last 5-months are going to fly by quickly... it's make me feel a bit overwhelmed but I'm trying not to let it get to me. Completely excited and ready for this step in our lives :)

So. Enough for tonight. I'm going to go and enjoy the last evening I have with Tara in town. Mom is already sleeping...

Much love <3

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bittersweet holidays approach

This week has been quite a sad one for Jake and I. On Saturday morning, Jake's grandma passed away. So, as we've been preparing for the holidays, we've also been preparing to get Jake to Michigan to attend the viewing and funeral. You ask why I am not accompanying him?? Well, my family is in town for Thanksgiving until Sunday and we are not financially able to send both of us to MI at this time. However, I will be with Jake and his family in my thoughts and prayers and the family is being very understanding through it all. Jake will be leaving tomorrow evenings (T-day) to go up to MI for 4 days--the viewing is this Friday and the funeral is on Saturday.

Jake's grandma passing away is a very sad thing for me as well. And for my family. See, Jake's grandma and my grandpa knew each other long before Jake and I were even around--my grandpa was Jake's grandma's boss when she worked at a Ford factory in Detroit. My grandpa has nothing but fond memories of Jake's grandma and says that she was one of his best workers. Also, when our grandparents both had sailboats, they were parked next to each other. Even before Jake and I met, our families were already intertwined as friends :) If you believe in fate, you understand where I am going with this. Although, it never fails to amaze me how small the world actually is. You feel sooooo small in the world and then something happens that reminds you that everyone is connected in one way or another.

Anyway, I remember the first time that I met Jake's grandma--it was at Jake's high school graduation. I was already there with my grandparents and my mom and Jake's grandparents came walking in and Jake's grandma noticed my grandpa and yelled his name (it had been years since they had seen each other) and everyone hoped that they did indeed know each other. Every time that I saw Jake's grandmother after that, she would tell me about working with my grandpa and how great of a boss he was and to tell them hi. And my grandparents did the same. Jake's grandma was always welcoming, friendly, caring, warm and had a sincere laugh and sense of humor. She was a great woman and will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched by her presence. I know though, she is in a better place now and at peace.

I'm super sad that I won't be able to be at the funeral on Saturday since I consider her a part of my family now too. But, as I was packing Jake for the weekend (I've been trying to take some of the weight off his shoulders), I wrote him a card of support and love for him to read on the day of the funeral :) Shhhhh, don't tell him!! [He doesn't really read this, so I'm not worried about him seeing it before Saturday...] I hope that it helps him through the day and his time in Michigan. I hate not being able to be there for him... that's really killing me. At least he understands. And everyone else does too.

Much love and thoughts and prayers go out to Jake's family in their time of pain and healing. xoxo

Friday, November 19, 2010

Excuse me while I get excited for a moment

But Jake and I have a whole week of vacation next week :) :) :) Originally, I wasn't going to have the whole week off, the family I am nannying for was going to find me stuff to do (organizing stuff, I guess) but decided to give me the week off. What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?? Having a week of vacation time and having my fiance to myself for the week. It's much needed time together since our schedules are so out of whack right now--Jake's been working 13-ish hour days and I'm working in the afternoons and evenings and haven't really gotten home any earlier than 7:30/8pm each evening. It leaves very little time for quality time together. Sooooo, it'll be nice to have the week off together.

I'm also thankful for other things, but I'll post those on (or around) Thanksgiving. You must wait for those :P

Anyway, I don't have a whole lot more to write about... I'm excited about holding Thanksgiving at my apartment this year and actually planning a menu. [If anyone has good side-dishes or other Thanksgiving dishes to share, please do so!! I am open for suggestions and making changes to my menu. Looking for yummy things to make!!] The next couples days will consist of getting things ready for family to come into town--grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.

Oh! I'm also excited to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sometime in the next week!! I know, that makes me a major dork, but I don't care. I loved the books and I'm super excited to see how things are going to come to an end. It's also a super sad thing because it means that after next summer there will be no more HP movies to look forward to :-/ Although, I'll have one more Twilight Saga movie to look forward to, but then I'll have to find something else to follow. Or not. Anyway, Jake and I are going to go to the IMAX theater in the area to see it--and not just the IMAX at the local AMC, we are going to the Mall of Georgia to see it in the actual huge-screen IMAX :) :) :) I'm sort of dragging Jake along to it--he just wants to see it at the AMC IMAX, but I want to see it on the huge-screen. Okay, I know, that makes me even more dorky. ::shrugs:: It is what it is :P I guess it would be too much to say that I am re-reading the books...

I'm also going to say that I am excited to announce that Jake and I are going to get a new Christmas tree this year :D I'm super thrilled about this since we've been using our "Charlie Brown" Christmas Tree for the last 5-ish years and we want to upgrade to a fuller, nicer tree ... with lights already on it. We love the tree that we already have and it's really served us good the past couple years, but it's time for a nicer tree. Well, we think so anyway. Tradition in my family is that we put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, so I'll post pictures then. A picture update is long overdue since I haven't done one in awhile. We may go out shopping on Black Friday this year, but it's pretty doubtful. We were planning on going, but we're tight on money this month due to unforeseen financial stuff, so we probably won't go. Unless there is a great deal on something that we want.

Anyway. I'm exhausted and need some sleep before I pass out here on the couch and my laptop. It was a LONG week...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Insert Clever Title Here...

I meant to update on Monday because it was the 6-month mark until the wedding. I mean, OMG, can you believe it?! We're finally getting married!! I has a momentary mini anxiety episode on Monday (I don't want to say attack, because it wasn't that, just, anxious) about the wedding because it's getting sooooooo close and I feel like I haven't done anything in so many months that I'm going to have to rush to get it all done. The reality of it is that I have plenty of time but as it gets closer I get excited and nervous and anxious. I fear that as the day gets closer I am going to have a nice little bundle of excited-nervous-anxious butterflies constantly floating around in my stomach.

Anyway, half a year until the wedding [well, now a little less]. I can't believe how time has flown by!!

In other news, Jake and I started a new bible study at the church called The UNION. It's for newly wed couples and engaged couples and basically all-things marriage related are discussed. I know, maybe we're overdoing it with all the marriage "prep" stuff, but honestly, it's made our relationship grow sooooooooo much. And when we're doing something like this together, I feel like we're unstoppable. I think that Jake feels the same way [I wish I could get him to chime in sometimes too... he has access to the blog...]. We're also taking steps to become members of the church. Yea, wow! Never thought that I would say that. But it's great and it makes me feel good to be a part of something :) Last Sunday we had lunch with the Family Minister and his wife and then we went to a VIP dinner for visitors to the church that have expressed an interest in church membership. This Sunday we will go to a meeting about how to become a member.

Jake and I are trying to get used to us both working. It sucks because I haven't been getting home any earlier than 7:30pm (mostly after 8pm) and Jake has been working extra long hours with this new 4-day workweek thing that they have going on. He's supposed to only work four 10-hour days, but he's been working 13-14 hours per day and also going in on a lot of his days off. It's a huge adjustment because we hardly see each other anymore. I hate that we are down to one car right now but it's also a bit of a God-send because I've had to get up in the morning [might I add the butt-crack of dawn time of morning] to drive Jake to work so that I can get to my job. It's a God-send because commuting gives us some extra time together in the day that we wouldn't have if we had the 2 cars. Well, we still have 2 cars, Jake's little 1985 BMW is out of commission at the moment... Yea, that car is as old as me.

So. That's life for us right now in a nutshell.
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