Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i am blessed.

as i sit here, curled up in my chair with polarbear polar fleece wrapped around me, eating my slightly too stale fruitie cheerios and ignoring our unmade bed, the clothes tossed on the floor and general clutteriness from a weekend lived, watching the sky change colors to the west as the sun rises over the mountains from the east and tinge the house across the street, i realize how blessed i am.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The One Where I Say I Do (pt 4)

Need a refresher/catch-up? Check out part one, two and three.

Our wedding day finally dawned. It was bright, clear and cold. And when I say cold I mean C O L D. It was -27 (yes, that is a negative number). I had asked my dad to go out and start my car for me while I was getting ready and he came back in to tell me that it wouldn't start. Luckily my parents' car has an engine heater and was plugged in all night so I could take that. That left them and my brothers' family without any transportation, but well, I was the bride and I had a hair appointment!!

I headed out to Fergus (20 minutes away) to meet my bridesmaids for our 8:00 appointments. I hopped into the chair and let Patience work her magic. A mere 45 minutes later and I was done! Karla was kind enough to do my make-up and so I was ready to go! A few last minute items (arranging flower pick-up) and I was ready to head back to the church (another 20 minute drive).

A few pictures:


On a side note, if I didn't already know that I had the best friends in the whole world, this time solidifies that. After they found out about the ring debacle they went to WalMart late Friday night and brought me 3 fake rings to choose from so I would have a ring on my honeymoon. Love them!

So, anyways, I got all beautified and loaded up in my car with Rondi and we headed down to Dalton. At least I think Rondi was with me. If not, she was close behind me. Or I'm just crazy. One or the other :-)

Fern was being awesome and already there waiting for me when I got there. She helped lace me into my dress and Bethany helped with a few last minute blotting issues before I headed down to see my man:


After we did the traditional first look, we went on to take hundreds of pictures. Luckily I am a huge hambone and didn't mind at all!

{sidenote: i always always always wanted to have the first time my husband would see me that day be when i walked down the aisle, but logistically it is a lot harder to that. especially when you're having the reception at the same place and it's a midday wedding. so i didn't even mention it because it made so much sense not to. but still. sigh.}

We took pictures with just the two of us:

We took pictures with our parents:

I took pictures with my girls:

He took pictures with his guys:

I took pictures with the guys:

He took pictures with the girls:

We took pictures with all of us:

We took pictures with all of my family:

And all of his:

I even made the wedding party take a couple pictures outside:

Then let them go inside while we stayed outside for a couple more shots:

Pretty soon we had taken every picture combination possible and it was time to hurry up and wait. The girls all headed upstairs to wait for our cue to come down. I snuck a couple of peeks off of the balcony to watch the church fill up and chatted with a couple of different people. Pretty soon it was time ....

and we were officially married!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The One Where I Participate In 10 On Tuesday (#10)

Go visit Chelsea for more!

1. Where did you go to college? & 2. What did you study?
I am currently on my 4th college. Decisive much? Since I have studied something different at every school I decided to combine the two questions.
My freshman year I went to Northwestern College in St Paul, MN where I studied Psychology.
My sophomore year I went to Minnesota State Community & Technology College (MSCTC) in Fergus Falls, MN (aka the local community college where I SWORE I would never go) and graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts.
{insert several years where I "took a break"}
I took one class through Capella University (the one that is always popping up in your sidebar) for a Business degree. I quickly convinced myself of the error of my ways (I am SO much more an English person).
My junior and hopefully senior year is being spent doing online classes through Montana State University - Billings where I am studying Mass Communications. This lovely school has gotten the most loyalty out of me since I have been enrolled in its hallowed halls for the past year and a half. Funny that I have never stepped on campus, don't know how to find the campus, and only have a vague sense of our mascot (Yellowjackets I think?).
3. Was college really all that it was cracked up to be?
No. No, no, no. My first year I struggled a lot with some paralyzing insecurities and did not get out much or make many friends. My second year actually was great because I shared an apartment with my best friend and my other two best friends were also in town so we got together weekly for Perkins and Gilmore Girls. That was a wonderful year - except for the 50 hours a week I worked at Taco Johns/The Jazzy Fox Bistro. My other two experiences have been a little less than college like.

4. How far were you from home?
Freshman year I was 2 1/2 hours from home (without a car). Luckily there were several of us from the same church so I always knew who to talk to to get a ride home. The second year I was 20 minutes from home and the other years I am literally in my home.

5. Did you have the same roomate all four years?
Obvs not. Freshman year I had two roommates I got placed with randomly - one of them is still one of my dearest friends. Then I lived with my best friend (who is still my best friend today!). Since then I've been rooming with Miss Millie and now my wonderful husband.

6. Where did you order food from at 2am?
There was only one pizza place that would deliver to NWC (Papa Johns) and I don't think anything in Fergus is open at 2:00 besides Perkins and they don't deliver. And there REALLY wasn't anything open in Ekalaka at 2:00. Now there are most definitely places open at 2:00 here in Anchorage, but ummm ... well I'm an old married woman and I am sleeping by 10:00.

7. Did you date in college or were you tied down?
Baahahahahaha. Bahhhahahahaha. Dating schmating is what I say. Except for Luke of course. Cause technically I was doing school while dating and now married to him.

8. Funniest drunk college moment?
True Confessions with Rachel: I did not have any alcohol until my honeymoon when I had a sip of wine and found it to be disgusting. I have now tried a couple more sips of wine and a couple of sips of beer and have not found anything I care for. And I'm ok with that.

9. Did you make it to class on time?
For the most part I was one of those people who showed up way early. Mostly because I wasn't exactly life of the party and didn't have any friends to hang out with between classes so I was always early.

10. What was your favorite class in college?
My sophomore year I took a 20th Century American History class and I loved it. I had the professor for back to back classes and he was a really great lecturer and he loved what he was teaching.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The One Where I Say I Do (pt 3)

Some of you may remember a day many moons ago when I started to talk about my wedding. You know, the one that was a mere six months ago? Well, here I am with the next installment. Hooray for you! If you're just tuning in you can read part one here and part two there.

So, I had lived through 10 days of wedding franticness. I might be sugarcoating the moment, but I think I kept it together pretty well. Until this day.

But I'll get to that.

We are now up to the day before the wedding, also known as decoration/rehearsal day.

I woke up a bit late but made it to the church mostly on time. My Fern was there (everyone needs a Fern. she is amazing. she is the only reason 1. i was able to pull together a wedding in 45 days 2. i didn't lose my mind 3. i didn't have more questions on  my wedding night ... if you know what i mean *wink wink*) as was my awesome sister-in-law to be, Katie, who was SO great at getting me things from the city when I was stuck in the country.

This is Fern (and me too of course!)

Fern and her husband (who happened to be the pastor who married us) had pulled into Fergus the night before, bringing with them most of the wedding stuff. We got to work unloading the suburban and setting things up.

Now, if anyone knows me you know that decisions are not my strong suit. And if you're married you know that a wedding is all about decisions about THE MOST MUNDANE DETAILS. Do you want this straight or kitty-corner? Do you want lines or squiggles? Do you want white or off-white?

I don't care! I just want to be married! But I want it to be beautiful, perfect and wonderful and you can bet your boots I'm going to cry if I don't get what I want! Even if I don't let you know what I want.

Man I was a peach to work with. That just makes Fern all that more of a saint.

Anyways, we spent the morning/afternoon setting up tables, deciding how things should look, deciding what the front altar should look like. Everyone was incredibly helpful and nice to me, which is awesome! However, it was still decisions. Finally my mother told Luke to get me out of there and take me home so we could pack.

We didn't argue too hard and headed back to my parents farm (which was only 3 miles from the church, which was nice!).

We worked on gathering up all of our stuff that had gotten spread out over the past 10 days and packing what we wanted to take with on our honeymoon (which I still didn't know the details of) into two suitcases while putting everything else in the car to take back to MT with us (more decisions! hooray!).

Soon Luke got a phone call from our friend Dave, who was one of the ushers (sidenote : I give Dave the credit for bringing us together. he and Luke were good friends from Bible school and I got to know Dave and his sweet wife Lydianne when they worked at camp my first summer. Dave is the one who brought Luke to TER for family camp two years before and is the one who convinced him to come back as a counselor.).

Anyways, I could hear that it was Dave on the phone. He, Lydianne and their ADORABLE child Eli were driving in from MT that day and we had asked them to do us a favor as they came through Fargo. So, when he called I figured it was just to let Luke know they had made it. But then I heard him ask Luke if he was alone and then when he found out I was in the room with Luke told him to go somewhere private.


So, I kept rolling and tucking clothes into the suitcase and waited for Luke to come back. Soon enough he came back into the room with a serious look on his face and told me he had some bad news. You see, the errand we had asked them to do was to pick up my wedding ring from Zales in Fargo. I had taken it in the week before to get soldered and they assured me it would be back in time.

It wasn't.

Instead it was sitting at the FedEx building in Fargo. Apparently FedEx wasn't running that day (it was Jan 1st), but Zales didn't know (or so they said). So, when the Jurica's went to pick it up, it wasn't there. Zales and FedEx spent time pointing fingers at one another and ultimately told them there was nothing they could do. The ring was sitting on one of the trucks and there was no way of knowing which truck it was on (I'm going to tell you the truth and say that 6 months later it still gets me a little worked up to talk about ... the customer service was horrible!).

Anyways, Dave & Lydianne totally went to bat for us and did everything they could. The best Zales could offer was a loaner ring that looked identical to mine. Dave had to sign it out and insure that he would get it back to them, which he was willing to do. The only problem was the ring was a size 7 (or so) and I wear a 5 (or smaller. I'm actually not sure of my ring size because we have to keep resizing my ring because it's too big), but they put a sizer in there so it would stay on my finger.

When Luke told me I took it pretty well. I knew Juricas had done everything they could and it was Zales fault (I was a little upset with them). I didn't even cry.

That is until I walked into our rehearsal (late) and saw everyone and they started asking me how I was. Then I lost it. In a big way. And had to run into the bathroom to cry. After a little pity party I pulled myself together (with a lot of help from my girls!) and went back to the rehearsal. Everyone was really great and my pastor was really good about diffusing the situation with a little humor.

So, we rehearsed and got everything figured out (it took a little bit because we hadn't been able to have our last session with Tim & Fern where we finalized everything in the ceremony because of the snowstorm that brought us home early). After that we ate and hung out before the party broke up.

Luke was heading out for his "thunderstorm" (women have showers ... men have thunderstorms)/bachelor party, so we said our goodbyes before his groomsmen confiscated his phone and hurried him off. There were still some things to do at the church, but Fern, Katie and my mother-in-law took care of that while I went home to finish packing and just decompress.

Soon enough I was tucked into bed and slipping off into dreamland on my last night as a Nelson.

Up next: the wedding day!

I leave you with the only pictures I have from that day:

{lovely veil no? bethany (on the far left) made it for rondi's wedding (just to the left of me) 5 (5!!) years ago. 
we didn't use it for bethy's wedding but it ended up in MT with me and then I brought it back for this. 
we will definitely be breaking it out for karla's wedding in august!
 it's a little smushed and missing some flowers, but it's ours.}

{These are my girls. We've been together since jr high/early high school (as in the first day of 9th grade early). We have fought, laughed, stayed up all night, cried, celebrated, shopped, eaten so much junk food we've gotten sick, spent countless hours watching Gilmore Girls and Coyote Ugly, talked about boys, memorized the Perkins menu, celebrated 3 weddings (the 4th is only a month away!!), and welcomed 4 kiddos into our circle. We're all spread out and we don't talk as much as we should, but they will always be my Cronies.} 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The One Where I Participate In 10 On Tuesday (#9)

Go visit Chelsea for more TOTers!

1. What was/is your favorite live action (meaning not animated) kids movie?
Newsies. Love love love that movie. Definitely one I could sing along with.

2. What is a bad habit you have? Are you working on breaking it?
Compulsively checking my social media sites (Facebook, Google Reader, Twitter). It seriously cuts into my productivity and time with my hubby. I try to be better (and for awhile was REALLY good about only checking my Reader once a day), but normally fail. It makes me feel really awesome about my self-control :-)

3. Describe your father in 3 words.
Hard-working. Social. Reader.

4. Which character in the Breakfast Club were you most like in the ’80s?
In the 80's I was 0-6. So not really like any of them. But I would probably be most like the nerd. 

5. Name 5 songs you know ALL the lyrics to.
Fishin' In The Dark by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 
Shout To The Lord by Hillsong
The Star Spangled Banner
The ABC's
Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Fight Song (I was a cheerleader. it was my job)

6. Do you make pancakes from scratch or a box mix?
Box. But that's because I am trying to get rid of the box mix so I can start making them from scratch.

7. What was your worst job ever? Why?
Toss-up between server at a fine dining restaurant (the owner would scream and yell and then make us all food. he was a little too up & down for my taste) and customer service rep at a catalog company (the other customer service rep really disliked me and i counted teeny tiny itty bitty pins into separate bags for fun. it was awful)

8. What was your favorite class in high school?
AP History. We started with the Renaissance and ended somewhere in the 1900's. There were only 7 or 8 of us in the class and it was a ton of reading but I loved it.

9. Favorite summer guilty pleasure?
To be honest it's been so long since I've had a normal summer (well ... 3 years) that I can't really remember. Probably sleeping in and laying out while reading a book.

10. Please share your best money saving tip!
Live far away from civilization. When you're two hours from fast food and walmart and any store larger then 2 aisles you save so much money!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Come on in ....

and check out our new digs! I apologize in advance for the blurriness of the photos. however, I am too lazy to fix them. mmkay? kay.

first up we have our living room:

the chairs were provided, which was lovely as we don't have any furniture of our own. the large window was also provided, which is also lovely. there are several trees right in front of the window that sort of blocks my sunlight, but it's still nice to have that much.

as you can tell miss millie is really excited to show off her house!

our next stop is our kitchen:

fun fact: the duplex we are living in was built by luke's great uncle in the '60s (we live next door to his widow Lavonne). all of the cupboards in the house were custom made by Vernon. so that's pretty cool. it's also really cool that it fits all of my kitchen stuff (barely, but it still fits!)

yes, that is a card table and folding chairs masquerading as a kitchen table. we're classy. or just poor newlyweds.

next up: the 'master' bedroom

anyone who was at our house in Ekalaka knows how much we've upgraded in closet space. makes my heart happy.

and we got the desk for free off of craigslist. any remodel suggestions are more than welcome. as are any suggestions as how to get gunk off of fake wood as my GooGone is letting me down.

moving down the hall we encounter the bathroom:

no, you're not seeing things. that is a lavender sink (and tub). the only reason our toilet isn't lavender is because the pipes froze a couple of years ago and they weren't able to find a replacement.

oh and those cupboards were made by Vernon too!

and I took down the curtains. the glass is frosted so no one can see in and it just makes me happier.

our final stop takes us to the guest room:

as you can see we're ready for you whenever you want to come!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Operation Alaska Move (Days 7 & 8)

After paying our two loonies (Canadian dollars) for our showers on Sunday morning and gathering up our clean laundry (!), we headed back out on the highway. 

Our first stop was just up the road:

According to the guidebook this was a not to be missed attraction and I think I will agree with that. Apparently a homesick GI posted a sign pointing to his hometown in 1942 and it was a tradition that quickly caught on. There are now thousands of signs. Pictures cannot really describe how many rows upon rows of signs there are behind these posts. There are a lot of families/places represented here!

{sidenote: yes, I am wearing blue camo gauchos. awesome no? 
i got them on sale at Target 4 or 5 years ago and they are just so comfy. and highly stylish of course.}

Luke wouldn't let me take his picture until we found a sign that he liked. We agreed we couldn't get much better than this!

{he grew up a mere 50 miles from the world famous corn palace}

After this stop we hit the highway for real. We had picked up a free guidebook the day before so I was busy scouring the pages for places we simply couldn't miss. This was the next one we reached:

Johnson's Crossing "World Famous" Cinnamon Rolls.
{according to my husband they are not as good as the ones his classmate's mother makes}

After being on the road for 7 days, someone revolted over the seating arrangements:

In case any of you were feeling sorry for her, I am here to show proof that she didn't have it so bad:

The rest of the day was filled with a lot of this:

That night we reached Kluane Lake:

I had read a rave review in the trusty guidebook about a campground located on the lake and we decided that we would stay. I am so glad we did because this was the view from our spot:

{sidenote: this was taken at 6:30 in the morning. look at how high that sun is!}

On Sunday night we got the camper set up in our spot and decided to head out for a walk along the beach. As we were walking and talking and just enjoying being with one another, we both agreed that we were just ready to be done. Ready to be off the road, out of the car and in a real bed in a real room. So we decided to set the alarm for early and drive until we got there. 

So that's what we did. 

Apparently it was the wise decision as someone else was feeling the weariness of the road:

{she pretty much refused to leave the front seat the whole day}

Let's get a close up on this woebegone creature:

Heartbreaking no?

So we hit the road and hit is hard. Soon enough we saw something pretty exciting:

After an incredibly easy border crossing (God answers prayer!), we hit the road for more driving. While the wildlife was lacking (all we saw in these two days was 1 wolf, which I didn't actually see), the scenery was beautiful:

Soon enough, we reached our destination.

(and by soon enough I mean after a looooong day of driving, driving and driving. it seems that every time we calculated the mileage we had left it wasn't getting less)

We met Luke's Great Aunt LaVonne, who is letting us crash in the other side of her duplex and then started to get settled into our  new home. Unfortunately I had a paper due right away the next morning that I needed something online for, so we headed out to find wifi. We eventually found it and I got to see what I needed to see (I was doing my paper on a specific episode of Parenthood) and headed back so I could finish up my paper. Then, we had to drive BACK to where we found it the first time so I could upload it. It was a very exciting end to our adventure!

Now that we've been here for awhile (and yes, I will take pictures and post them soon of our new home!), it feels like the trip just flew by.

However, we are both in agreement that we would like to be here for awhile because neither of us are ready quite yet to pack everything up and repeat that trip very soon.