Thursday, December 17, 2009

The One Where I'm Done!!

As of 11:26 my semester is finished.

hip hip hooray!

The One Where I Show You How Gosh Darn Cute I Used To Be

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The One Where I Have Copious Amounts Of Homework

My list for today this week:

-1 Travel Article (I am doing it on the Dalton Threshing Bee) (writing this article really makes me want to go home for this again! It's been too long!)
-1 Interview (I did it with Tom Lutey from The Billings Gazette and now I just have to write it up and submit it) (he was really nice and was willing to talk to me for almost an hour. very interesting stuff to say!)
-1 Article on something major (I haven't picked a topic yet) (I am doing it on teaching at country school and have already asked 3 country school teachers I know to answer some questions for me) (i am really happy with how this turned out! hopefully my prof likes it just as much)
-1 Powerpoint Presentation on something of my choosing (must include animation and I think music). I am doing it on Luke and I for the wedding *cue awwwssss now* (oh and as of right now, wednesday at noon, the office scanner isn't working. so i guess our powerpoint will have baby pictures of luke and pictures of me from the last 3 months.) (this took forever! i literally worked on it for hours. and hours. and hours. and made my mom and his mom work on it for hours too, scanning. and there are lots of slides. i have a feeling i will be continually tweaking it between now and the wedding! however, it is good enough to submit. even though there isn't a table like there is supposed to be.)
-1 Test in Office 2007 (After 13 attempts I finally got 100%! Did you know that if you want to view a PowerPoint on another computer the best resource to use is the Pack & Go Wizard? Yeah, me neither. Oh and yes, I am a perfectionist. I will not accept a 45/50 on a quiz with unlimited attempts.)
-1 Massively, Giant Take Home Test for my Intro to Mass Com Class (my mid-term took SEVENTEEN pages to finish ....) (this puppy came in at 19 pages. oh yes, even though it was supposedly shorter than my mid-term, it still took more pages. some days i wish i wasn't so achievement oriented!)

I better get to it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Go visit Chelsea at Root & Rings for more 10 on Tuesday!!

1. Cost aside, if you could go (back) to college for anything besides what you currently “do,” what would you study?
            History or Graphic Design. History fascinates me, but there is not a lot you can do with that degree! And I am not creative enough to create, but I would love to know how!
2. What do you do for a living? Do you love it/hate it?
           I am a missionary. I mission (yup! thats a real word! at least in rachelease) through being a secretary at a Christian camp. I know that I am where God wants me, so therefore, how could I not love it? To be totally honest, I  do not jump for joy everyday at work, but it is more the overall peace.
3. What is your favorite Christmas ornament? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what is your favorite holiday tradition?
          I love going home and looking at all the ornaments from when I was a kid. Not the ones that I made, but the ones my teachers made for me. Cause they're so fun! A little snowman and a mitten and other fun, Christmasy things.

4. Name something you could literally do without for the rest of your life.

5. If you were going to have any kind of “cosmetic procedure,” what would it be?
         Laser Hair Removal 

6. Do you have any “collections”? (comic books, shoes, etc.)
         Not officially. I would like to start a moose collection but no one has chipped in on that yet.

7. At what age did you get your first cell phone?
          I was 16. I didn't have a cell phone and stopped off at a 4-H League softball game and ended up staying a couple of hours later than I was supposed to. After that, my mom got me a cell phone and grounded me.

8. What is currently in your purse (or pocket or backpack if you’re a guy)?
         I think its just my checkbook and pocketbook. After this weekend I switched purses, and I think those were the only things that made the cut! Normally I have *ahem* feminine products, chapstick, gum, random receipts, my camera and other junk I shove in there (like my fiance's tie for the wedding so we could do some shirt shopping and ribbon to match the tie and shirt to).
9. Are you a neat-freak or a slob ? *this applies to house, office, car, etc.
         I can't stand clutter. When I get stressed, I throw things around. So, at random times, I'm a total slob (like this past week). But in order to function, I need neatness.

10. What kind of parent do you think you will be? If you’re already a parent, what is your style?
         Strict. I can hear my voice in my head already. Ugh. At least I have some time to really think through that and develop what I really want to be. (no, I'm not pregnant! I'm not married yet am I??)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The One Where I Ask For Another Household Tip

Ok guys, I need your help with another household tip!

(by the way, the brilliant suggestion of vacuuming hair is so helpful!! definitely kudos to Lisa for that one!!)

So, the question for today is:

How do I store my brown sugar so it does not become hard and impossible to use? Not only with the bag I am currently working on, but also bags I might buy ahead of time, if its on sale. Does brown sugar freeze? Are there certain containers that keep it better? What do I do???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The One Where I Share Some Exciting News (pt 3)

Let's see, where was I?

Oh yes, I remember.

There was the part where I talked about what led up to us dating and then there was the tidbit of a warrant for Luke's arrest.

A warrant.

For his arrest.

Wow. So, obviously, things had gotten a little out of control. Of course Luke knew he needed to take care of things, so on Monday he made some phone calls and figured out the best thing for him to do was to turn himself in to the closest sheriff's office in SoDak, which is Deadwood. We do live in the county closest to SoDak, but it still takes over 2 hours to get there.

That day I happened to take a late lunch because our Director needed to use my computer to take a test for her online class and so I didn't leave until 1:00. I had to stop by another staff member's house and drop off some stuff and pick up some other stuff and didn't get out of there until close to 2:00. I had noticed on my way up to their trailer that Luke was still at home, but I didn't think much of that because I figured he was taking a late lunch too. On  my way down the hill I saw that he was still there, so I thought I would be a nice girlfriend and stop by and say hi.

He was on the phone when I stopped and as I got out of my car, he ran over to where I was. He got put on hold, so while he was waiting he told me that he had been trying to get a hold of me because he wanted to know if I would accompany him to SoDak while he got arrested.

Being the loving girlfriend that I am, I of course said yes.

We got the details figured out (he didn't want to leave just then, he wanted to leave after work at 5:00 and instead of meeting me in town, he decided he would rather leave from camp and we were going to eat after he was done being arrested) and parted ways. I ran home quickly, threw some trail mix (I was going to get hungry!) and my homework in a bag, gassed up the car and went back to work.

That afternoon I ended up talking to Pat (our Director) for a couple of hours for what we lovingly call "Pat chats".

They are good for the soul!

We were able to talk about a lot of things about marriage and some of the things I was scared of. It seemed to me that a lot of people make it their job to warn me of the "reality" about about marriage and no one was concentrating on the good things. While I totally understand the fact that marriage is hard and marriage is real and marriage is a life long commitment, where are the people who are remembering the romance that marriage is? Where is the joy, the commitment, the fun, the companionship? I am not so naive that I don't realize the hard exists, but I would like to know the fun exists too so I don't run screaming the other way!

Ahem. Rant over.

Anyways, after talking with Pat for awhile and working through some issues, Luke came to pick me up at camp. He had showered and shaved and was wearing a really nice shirt, nice jeans and dress shoes (I had noticed earlier when I saw him that he was wearing something different from the morning meeting, but figured he had just changed because he needed to take care of the legal stuff but this was even nicer!). We joked about how he had dressed up for his mug shot and we took off on our merry way.

On the way down to SoDak, we talked about what I had talked to Pat about and about different things about marriage. We also started to joke about him getting arrested, a theme that carried over into the whole start of the process of him getting arrested.

After driving around Deadwood for awhile and cruising the casino strip (Deadwood is a gambling town) and stopping at a gas station for directions, we finally made it to the sheriff's office. We walked up, laughing and joking around and a deputy asked us if we needed help.

I do believe the officer was taken a bit aback by Luke telling him that there was a warrant out for his arrest, but he took it pretty well. He just told Luke not to resist and to follow him. He took us inside and passed us off to another deputy, who also told Luke not to resist.

After that they separated us and stuck me in this creepy hallways. At least I had magazines to read!

Partway through my wait, I received a text message from Luke. Apparently they threw him in the communication booth for awhile and so he sent me a picture of the phone we would get to use if he was in there long term. After he was returned to me, he told me the rest of the story:

Apparently, the Deadwood Sheriff's Office takes their work seriously, because they did the whole shebang with Luke. They threw him in a cell for awhile while they got his paperwork figured out, fingerprinted and mug shot him (which he smiled cheesily for*).

*Disclaimer: we realize that what he did was illegal (he shot a turkey without owning a tag for it. however, he did not technically poach it because there was a tag to be put on it, it just was in his friend's name instead of his, which is a common practice - but that doesn't make it right!). He would gladly pay a fine, but when he talked to the game warden in Aug we were under the impression that everything was taken care of. We just feel that they are going above and beyond for the situation by taking him and his friends to court.

After they were all finished with him and released him on his own recognizance, we headed out to find something to eat. On the way down, Luke had told me that he wanted to go somewhere nice for supper. I was totally game for that! However, even though Deadwood is a casino town and the strip is all brightly lit and the machines were going, we had a really hard time finding somewhere to eat. After driving around and around and striking out a couple of places we settled on Mustang Sallys, a sports bar and grill. It was after 9:00 and we were starved! So, we didn't get the nice meal Luke was hoping for, but it was food.

We finally started back home around 10 or 10:30. I normally sleep when we drive that late, but for some reason Luke didn't want me to sleep that much. He kept telling me that we were going to have a dance party when we got back. Now, if you know my honey at all, dance and party are not two words I am used to coming out of his mouth, so I started to get even more suspicious.

(oh, I was already suspicious. he had been acting squirrelly all day.)

We pulled up to my house around 12:30 and right away Luke noticed that my outer door (the storm door) was propped open (the overhang over my front step is low enough that it will get stuck open if pushed far enough). He turned to me with big eyes and asked if I had left it like that. Of course I hadn't and so he told me that I should stay in the car so he could go and check for boogey men.

*cue the bells & whistles in my head!*

I lovingly indulged him and slooooooowly gathered up my stuff while he went in to check to make sure there were no bad men waiting inside. He came back out after a couple of minutes and got me from the car. On our way up the sidewalk, he gave me a hug and told me that he loved me.

*cue louder bells & whistles!*

Even though I had been suspicious, nothing prepared me for what I would walk in on.

Well, see* for yourself:

*these were taken with my flash on, so the ambiance isn't there, so you'll just have to imagine!

 two of the bouquets (12 red roses and 6 pink roses) and some of the candles he got me

 the balloons he wrote the reasons he loves me on

Not only had he gotten me flowers and balloons, he had also strung up Christmas lights across my ceiling.

When did he do this you ask? Well, as soon as our meeting was done that morning, he had gone into our Camp Director's office and asked for the day off (I saw him in there, but didn't think too much of it. I just thought he was talking about his legal problems). After that, he went to the closest biggish town (there is a town of 1000 about 36 miles away) and got the flowers and balloons and candles, which explains the reason he had run to meet me when I stopped by at lunch - all of this stuff was in his Explorer and he didn't want me to see!

Then, he came over to my house that afternoon and set up the flowers in the perfect spot (he also got me a bouquet of yellow flowers), put the candles out and strung up the Christmas lights (because he knew I loved Christmas lights), which explains why he wanted to leave from camp and not from my house!

Not only that, but he had worked together with his roommate to put together a CD of love songs. So, as soon as I walked in and my mouth dropped, he hit play and asked me to dance.

Now, as I said before, my honey is not much for dancing. But, he had always told me that he would make an exception for me!

The first song was from Enchanted (and the reason for the yellow bouquet) : How Does She Know? I really love that movie and particularly that song from the movie, and he indulges me (he doesn't mind it too much either) In fact, this fall I came home one day to find yellow flowers he had picked on my coffee table (yes, I am marrying a true romantic!).

When that song was over, he reached over to the stereo to turn it up because he wanted to sing it to me.

I pretty much swooned right there!

The song was by Monk & Neagle and called Wonderful Angel.

(if you scroll down, its the second to last song - you can listen to it for free by telling them you just want to try it out without having to sign up for anything)

Go. I'll wait.

I had never heard of the band or the song, but strangely enough its now my favorite!

As he sang these words to me, my heart just melted. By the end I was definitely crying! The look in his eyes told me that he believed every word that he said. I am blessed to be loved by a wonderful man.

The song finished and as it transitioned to the next one, he dropped down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him.

I said yes :-)


 I rather like him!

We had a wonderful time dancing, talking and cuddling the night away. It got to be a bit late ...errr ... early but so worth the sleep deprivation we felt the next day!

*Well, that's the beginning of our little story. I hope you enjoyed it!

Its been 6 months 25 years in the making, but I had no idea it would take me this long to tell it!

(and I summarized a bunch too)


Well, suffice it to say, I am one happy, lucky and blessed girl! God has been so good to me by bringing me this man. Not perfect, but perfect for me. He meets my needs with such willingness that I never could have imagined. He seeks after God and I know no matter the ups and downs we're going to be a team working together for God. That is what matters!

I will leave you with some of our engagement pictures. Enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The One Where I Share Some Exciting News (pt 2)

I left off yesterday with Luke and I starting to date. Needless to say, there is more to the story!

I went home with him and met his parents within 12 hours of us starting to date. It was a little nerve wracking, to say the least. However, things went really well and they gave us their blessing. What a great introduction to what would become my future family!

After family, I went to meet a lot of his closest friends at a wedding. Talk about a high pressure introduction to dating life! However, that also went well. I was able to spend some time talking with his friends and getting to know another side of Luke that I hadn't seen before. After all, these were the people who he had spent copious amounts of time with him for the past 3 years and to see how much they enjoyed him and wanted to see him. It was just another confirmation of the character I knew I saw in him.

taken at his friend's wedding, in front of some stranger's house. first picture as a 'couple'!

We went back to camp and had a week of camp together (which meant I got to spent about 5 minutes a day with him, but I did really enjoy the notes that got left in my mailbox!). Then I went back to MN for my best friend's wedding. That week I got emails, but it still wasn't the same! At the end of the week, I got a phone call and soon enough he came to see me and meet my parents.

That was the real test for me, as I didn't know what my dad and brother would think. After all, I am the only girl! However, our time together went really well and my family really liked him. How couldn't they?? He's pretty much amazing. After all, not only did he pass my family test, he also willingly went along with me to see a ton of my friends. What a guy!

we went to Como Zoo in the Twin Cities with my friend Michelle

After all the excitement and traveling was over (not only did he come to see me in MN, he took me to Denver for the weekend for my birthday!), we settled into a routine at camp. Basically, every morning we have our staff meeting at 9, he comes in and says hi to me at lunch and then comes over as soon as work is over and eats supper and spends the rest of the evening hanging out with me. We switch things up every once in awhile and go to Bible study, hang out with friends at Ryan night, or invite Keith over for dinner and a movie.

hanging out at my nephew's football game in CO

So, time marched on. We went to SoDak for pheasant opener and stopped to go ring shopping on our way. We had talked about the future from the beginning, and had been planning on getting engaged late fall/early winter and getting married in March.
pheasant and duck hunting 

Well, we talked about that some more and I decided I didn't want to get married in March, because to me that is a muddy, yucky month. So, since we didn't want to push it back to April, we decided we'd get married in February. Since his friend's wife is having a baby in February, we wanted to work with that, so we decided on early Feb. Then, one day my brother threw out the idea that since they were already going to be home for New Years, why didn't we just get married then?

At first we blew it off, but the more we talked about it, the fonder we became of the idea. So, even though we weren't engaged yet, we were moving forward with that date in mind. Of course, people had a bit of a problem with me planning too much of the wedding before I had a ring, so there wasn't too much I could do.

Luke and I would talk about it, but I soon had to make it clear to Luke that I couldn't move forward much more without something changing. He laughed at me, told me to be patient and to trust that it was in progress. A little while later he told me that the reason it was taking so long was because the ring was getting resized.

Then came one Monday afternoon. I was just working, doing my job, answering phones and I received a phone call for a certain Mr. Luke. Since he doesn't just hang out the office all day, I asked if I could take a message. It turned out it was the lady from Zales, letting him know that his merchandise was ready.

I hung up the phone and did a happy dance, because after all it was my merchandise!!

So, for the next couple of days I paid special attention to the FedEx deliveries, but did not see anything come through. I figured that if Luke did have it, I didn't know about it and that was just the way it was. After all, there wasn't much in our relationship/future marriage that was going to be a surprise (after all, I helped pick out the ring and we already had a tentative date!) and I wanted something to be a surprise. So, I just "patiently" waited.

The next Sunday (Nov 15) he got a call from a friend of his. There had been a situation the December before involving two turkeys and two tags, but not the people who owned the tags shooting the turkeys. Apparently in SoDak turkeys are considered Big Game, as the toms have beards, therefore making them trophy worthy. Anyways, the game warden had a talk with Luke in August and we were pretty sure the matter was taken care of. Well, this phone call made it evident that was not the case!

Apparently the DA in SoDak has nothing better to do and so they are taking this situation to the furthest they can. So, his friend called to let him know that there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Ummm ... what???

A warrant.

For his arrest.

(this, once again is getting too long and I don't want to sear your eyeballs! no worries, the rest is coming!!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The One Where I Share Some Exciting News (pt 1)

Up to this point, I have not shared a big part of my life with ya'll. I have alluded, I have hinted, but I have never come out and said anything. Well, that is about to change!

Because ....


Oh yes, yes I am.

And I'm getting married Jan 2!!

That's one month from today for those of you wondering. 31 days to be exact!

So, since I am excited ecstatic and would love to share this part of my life with you, here is our story:

I met Luke at camp. The first time we met was when he came to TER for our Labor Day Family Camp in 07 with a friend of his, who was a friend of mine. We actually did not communicate much at this point, mostly because I knew that he was the ex-boyfriend of a good friend of mine and that made him off-limits. However, I did think he was pretty cute! He thought I was pretty, but also a little strange.

Such is the story of my life.

Fast forward to spring of 09. One day I retrieved a voice message off of the camp phone that was from a certain young man who was looking for a job for the summer and he was wondering if it was too late to apply to be a counselor. Of course I immediately flashed back to my mental picture of this rather good looking man and admittedly got a little excited. Normally I give messages like that to our Director who is in charge of hiring, but I made sure to be the one to call him back!

After calling him and sending him a couple of emails and watching the mail for his application and making sure his contract was in the mail, I decided that this could not be the man for me. After all, he was still the ex-boyfriend of one of my friends and it just seemed like a situation that would not work.

However, when the day came for him to come for staff training, I must admit to dressing up a little bit nicer than I might have otherwise and really wanting him to notice me. During meals I would manuever to sit by him and made sure to sit in testimonies until he gave his (which he took his sweet time about I might add!). I struggled with not wanting to like him and thinking him off limits, but enjoying times spent talking with him and looking at him ;-)

As time went on, I became more and more impressed with him. His mature faith, his quiet spirit, his ability to converse, his beautiful GORGEOUS blue eyes and his sense of humor became more and more attractive to me. Soon I could not deny that I had fallen and fallen hard. So, after fretting about it for awhile, I finally talked to my friend (she was not at camp this summer but we talked via Facebook quite a bit) and told her what I was dealing with. She was really great and told me to go for it!

I wish I could say it was that easy and happily ever after from that day forward, but life doesn't quite work that way!

I spent the summer wondering if he did or he didn't like me and whether or not I was crazy. We spent every weekend but one hanging out, sometimes one on one, most of the time in a group. He seemed to enjoy my company, but there were days where he would not give me the attention I thought I deserved. There were definitely some tears shed and some sleepless nights spent, but it all came together in the end.

(acting in a skit about using Satan-B-Gone on dates, so we wouldn't be tempted. it was funny, trust me.
 this is pre-dating, but definitely flirting stage)

He was heading home to SoDak for the weekend for a wedding and I kind of REALLY wanted to go with him. He had hinted at me possibly going with but I wasn't sure if he was serious or not. After loosing sleep for a couple of nights, I finally went and talked to our Director, who is amazingly wise. She told me that if it was to that point, I needed to do something about it. So, I wrote him a note, encouraging him with some things that were happening that week, and then oh so casually throwing in at the end that I would be willing to be his road trip buddy if he was interested.

At that point he needed to spend some time talking with our ever wise Director to figure some things out, namely whether or not we would work for the long term. I had sat in chapel watching him run to catch her before she left and just knew that he was talking about to her about us. After we were dismissed, I nonchalantly walked by, straining to hear the smallest morsel of good news. I knew I couldn't linger, because it would be really obvious, so I made my way up to the Snak Shak. During their long everlasting conversation, she gave him the encouragement he needed and so when I was finally able to track him down, he was ready to talk.

I had hoped that he would find me when he was done, but because of how long they talked, he was late for the night game. I was sitting on the porch, chit chatting with a lady from town when he came walking up to get his assignment, but he just smiled at me and walked off. My frustration and anticipation levels went a little high at that moment!

So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I went walking around and around camp and tracked him down. It's a bit hard when it's pitch black out but never underestimate the determination of a girl in like!

We sat on the hillside while the campers played Mission Impossible. The spot we were in was pretty quiet, so we only caught a couple of campers the whole time, which worked well for us! It was during this time that he told me that he had actually liked me all summer and had found himself to be quite distracted by me.

I didn't mind.

We continued to talk and talk and talk some more. There was a lot we had to figure out! Namely, if I did go home with him that weekend, what did that mean? Were we ready for that type of commitment?

So, while I sat there and stared up at the stars, he asked me what he called "a hard question"

To me, the answer to "would you marry me?" seemed to be the easiest and most natural in the world. As butterflies threw a party in my stomach and my palms moistened with sweat, a soft "yes" tumbled off of my lips.

No, we weren't engaged, but we definitely knew that was what we both wanted out of this relationship.

So, the next day we packed up his Explorer and headed down the road to his parent's house. It was during that trip that he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. It was a new term to apply to myself, but I was rather fond of how it rolled off my tongue!

That weekend I met his family, his friends and learned more about this man I had spent so much time admiring from my window. There were times of panic, of absolute freaking out because of the magnitude of what we were doing, but there was also a peace that went with it. It wasn't Luke I was freaking out about, it was the giving up of my freedom. The more we talked, the more I knew that we were pursuing the right path. Our life goals were lining up, things were meshing and it just made sense.

(I meant to write the whole engagement story tonight ... but this is way long and I have things to do! So, come back tomorrow for the rest!)