Everything Beautiful


There isn't just one word I can use to adequately describe this weekend. Here are a few that come to mind:

Many things are called beautiful. Sunsets. Paintings. Music. Words. People.


Can that, too, be beautiful? 

When your heart is breaking, and you feel burdened by the weight of a thousand memories, it's hard to call anything beautiful. 

Last night, as I stood around a quiet hospital bed with Jordan's family and said goodbye to his grandpa, it wasn't beautiful. It was difficult and painful and heartbreaking.

But then Jordan slid his hand into mine, and his mom pulled his grandma (her mother) close, and Jordan's dad said, "Let's pray." 

And it was beautiful. 

* * *

Jordan loves planes, and every time I look at the sky and see an airplane or hear the sound of one flying above me, I think of him. 

Jordan loves the Yankees. Much to my initial distress, because the Yanks are hated by all. But now, when I see someone wearing a pinstripe hat, I think of him. 

Jordan loves hunting and fishing, and when I flip past a fishing channel, I pause a second instead of quickly moving on, because it makes me think of him.

Jordan loves history, and when someone asks an obscure question no one else knows the answer to, I think of him, because he would know. 

And all those things I love about Jordan--those things that make him who he is--are things his grandpa loved too. Jordan's grandpa is leaving a legacy behind in his grandson, and that is beautiful.

Jordan's grandma said that over the past few weeks there have been people continuously streaming into the hospital room--the one with a sign taped to the door declaring that it's "Doc's Room"--to thank Papa Bob for his service to them. He was a doctor, a Christian, a strong witness of Christ, an amazing example of a loving husband and father who made an impact on many lives, and that is beautiful. 

As Jordan's grandma, aunts, parents, sister, and close family friend gathered around his bed, I thanked God for allowing me to meet him. And even though he won't be at our wedding, he knew we were engaged. He knew Jordan was going to be happy. He knew he had set up a firm foundation in Christ for his children, who had passed it to their children. He knew he was leaving his earthly home for a heavenly room in God's house, where he wouldn't be in pain and would be able to hunt and fish and fly to his heart's content. And he was ready to go. 

So as difficult and painful and heartbreaking as it was and is and will continue to be, it also was and is and will continue to be beautiful.

* * * 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

* * *

Engagement, Stage Five--Have a Bridal Shower


Two weeks ago, I flew to Illinois with my mom, sister, and Aunt Mindy because my three aunts (Kim, Kathy, and Mindy) were throwing me a bridal shower. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and left Monday afternoon. It was a quick weekend full of fun and seeing family and friends.

There was cake and punch and games! Aunt Kathy was in charge of those. One was a "who knows Amanda best" game, which my mom ended up winning (of course). She got 11 out of 13 and really showed everyone else up. 

Then, while I was opening gifts, there was a game that involved Jordan. Before I'd left for the shower, Jordan had told me, "There's going to be a surprise for you at the party." But he refused to tell me anything about it, so I completely forgot. Turns out, my aunt had emailed him to ask ten questions. Then, before I opened the first ten gifts, I had to answer a question about Jordan. If I got it wrong, I had to put a piece of Bubblicious gum in my mouth.

I ended up having only four pieces in my mouth, which is not as bad as it could have been. However, four pieces of that gum is a lot. And after all the presents were opened (and right around the time my jaw started cramping), they made me blow a bubble. If you've never tried to blow a bubble with a huge wad of gum, it's not easy, and I ended up with these lame tiny bubbles, which made everyone laugh.

Overall it was a good time, even if it is slightly awkward to sit in a circle of thirty people and have everyone staring at you. But I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the love and support of my family and friends, some of whom drove hours just to see me.

Here are a few pictures. They're from my camera, and since I was the one leading the party, I don't have a lot (or any) just candids. My mom and aunt have some good ones of me with the gum, so I'll try to get ahold of those at some point.

And...when we got home, it being Valentine's Day and all, my dad had flowers for all the girls!
It's silly, but we (females in general) really do like flowers on Valentine's Day. So thanks, Dad!

10 Things I Won't Miss (About My Apartment)


When I first moved to Oklahoma just over two and a half years ago, I moved into an apartment complex called Highland Pointe. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment for a year before randomly finding a roommate (she approached me) and moving into a three-bedroom apartment.

There I've been for a year and half. Just me, Elizabeth (the roommate), and her dog, Toby.

On Monday, my lease is up, and this weekend I'm moving all my stuff to storage for a few weeks. Yesterday Jordan and I signed a one-year lease at a different apartment complex just down the road (it's cheaper and sits on a golf course. Win!), but I can't move in until March 5. 

Unfortunately, that happens to be the same weekend I'll be in Seattle running my second half marathon. So...I'll have to wait at least a few more days after that to move in. Thus, I'll be living with Hannah for a few weeks--and living out of a suitcase.

I've enjoyed my time at Highland Pointe, and it's been a great place to set up shop for my first stint as a real grown-up. But I am super freaking excited to move into this new apartment (two bedroom) and eventually live with Jordan (after we get married, of course). 

I know apartments as a whole aren't awesome, and you have to deal with rent and your neighbors and other annoying stuff like that. Still, there are definitely some things I won't miss about my current living location.

*Note before I begin: This apartment was a blessing, and having a roommate has allowed me to save more $ than I initially planned, and God is good to me all the time. This list is more just to be amusing than for actual complaining purposes.*

1. Parking. The parking suuuuuucks, and finding a space close to my building is as exciting to me as winning the lottery. In similar fashion, someone pulling into a close space right before me is as frustrating as...not winning the lottery? Maybe that didn't quite make sense.

2. The lady downstairs. We'll call her Smoker Lady. I love having the windows open in the spring, fall, summer, and winter to get some air and enjoy the lovely Oklahoma breeze. What I don't care for is to have my window open and get a waft of Smoker Lady's second-hand smoke into my bedroom. How the wind strategically moves the smoke over to my side of the building then up two floors is beyond me, but it's stupid and annoying, and if I'm going to die from second-hand smoke inhalation, I'd rather it not happen while I'm watching Top Chef marathons on Bravo. 

3. Smoker Lady's husband. We'll call him Smoker Man. He's tall and skinny and creeps me out just a little bit. Smoker Couple have these two huge dogs that Smoker Man takes on walks around the building. And when I say walks, I mean sashays, because that's what it is. Jordan and I can't decide if he's gay, and the two are actually brother and sister, or if he's just the girliest man we've ever not officially met.

4. The children. Don't get me wrong, I think kids are cute and fun, and I want some eventually. But apparently the two kids who live next door are friends with every. kid. in. the. complex, and for some reason our porch is where they like to hang out. And draw with chalk and run around and scream and knock down our flowers.

5. Having a pet (sort of). As a pet, my roommate's dog is awesome. He's so cute, and I've never met a more well-mannered, not-obnoxious dog in my life. If I ever do get a pet, I want it to be just like Toby. But he's still a dog, and sometimes I can smell him after he rolls around on the floor in the bedroom, and twice I've come home from work to find that he pooped on the floor. In my bedroom. Not Elizabeth's bedroom, mine. And since I don't exactly want to wait for another hour for her to get home from work, I clean up the poop. So...yeah. Does it make me a jerk that I don't want a pet at least for a few years? Maybe. But I will miss having a white furry animal greet me at the door, so I'm not completely heartless.

6. The drains. They're all clogged. Every. Single. One. Gross? Yes. My fault? Most definitely. But I'm still going to blame the apartment for their tiny drains that cannot adequately drain my long hair.  I'm moving out just in time, in my opinion. And no, I'm not going to unclog them before I move out.

7. The third floor. I guess it's good because I get exercise, but carrying grocery bags or my laptop bag or really just anything isn't so much fun when I have to walk up six flights of stairs. Moving in was a beast. Moving out won't be fun either, but in my (our!) new apartment, we're on the second floor. Booya. 

8. The gate. My apartment is a "gated community," which means it's supposedly safer and blah blah blah. But really the gate's just annoying, and Jordan hates it with a passion. It's slow and seems to take forever to open, and when I'm in a hurry it's just not fun. Also, it's difficult enough to explain to people where I live, but then there's a gate code to worry about, which tends to confuse people even more. Our new apt. doesn't have a gate. Do I not want to be safe? Perhaps. I like to live on the edge.

9. The speed bumps. There are at least one hundred I have to drive over every day in order to get to my apartment. Enough said. 

10. Having a roommate. As roommates go, mine is great. Fabulous, even; let's just put that out there. A year and a half ago she approached me randomly after a tennis match and asked if I needed/wanted a roommate. I said yes, and the rest is history. She pays bills on time, lets me ride around with her in her awesome red Jeep, and isn't loud or obnoxious or has her boyfriend spend the night or anything like that. Plus, I enjoy having someone to talk to every now and again. But let's face it--sometimes it's nice to just be by yourself. And after a year and a half, I'm ready (and I think she is too) to be on my own. At least for a few months until I'm officially a Bumgarner, and then I'll never be able to get rid of my roommate. Am I excited? Heck yes! Nervous about living with a boy? Oh yeah.

In conclusion, I'm ready for the next stage. For now, that stage is living in a new apartment and getting set up as Jordan slowly moves his things in. And maybe, since now I get to play golf for free, I'll learn?  

I'll be honest...probably not.

Quote of the Day


It's only 8:45 in the morning, but I'm pretty sure I have the quote of the day, at least for me. It pretty much sums up my extremely busy weekend, during which Jordan and I picked out tuxes, tasted the reception food (and got enough leftovers for six people), and registered at Target. 

In between all of that, I made an appearance at a bridal show (those things are insane), and Jordan and I packed boxes and took two truckloads of my stuff to a storage unit. 

This morning I got an e-mail from my mom, and at the end of it she said: 

You are doing a great job with this wedding. Once it's over you might be bored :)

Might be bored is an understatement. I don't think I've ever had such a long to-do list. Once it's all checked off, the world might just spontaneously combust. 

A Game . . . and a Winner!


A few days ago I wrote out 4 lies and a truth. It is now time to reveal the answers. 

The truth was . . . . . . . . #2! 

2. Every time I start reading a new book, I first flip through and find each page number that's a multiple of one hundred (page # 100, 200, 300, etc.). If a new chapter begins exactly on one of those multiples, I get really excited.

Yes, I really do this. It's weird. I don't know how it got started, but now I can't stop. And I do get excited. I can't explain it.

Props to those of you who guessed correctly!
Now I'll tell you what was wrong about the other ones: 

1. I have never been a bridesmaid in a wedding, but I have played violin in a few. The very first time I played violin in a wedding was for a college friend. I drove to Ohio with a few other girls for the weekend. I was super nervous and almost messed up the wedding march, but it ended up being fine.

Why this is a lie:
I have played in a few weddings, and the first time I played was for a college friend. But I drove to Nebraska, not Ohio, and I didn't really mess up the wedding march. At least, not that I remember. Although it was my first wedding, so it couldn't have sounded great.

3. I first remember having a crush on a boy in the third grade. His name was Ryan, and he had blond hair. It was true love for sure, but that's really all I remember about him.

Why this is a lie:
I don't remember having a crush on any boy in elementary school. It wasn't until junior high hit that I remember caring about boys at all. I do recall having a crush on a boy with black hair who played basketball.

4. The only time I've been to Hawaii was spring break of freshman year of high school. I went with my family and paternal grandparents. I went snorkeling, parasailing, and I tried surfing. The last one didn't go so well.

Why this is a lie: 
First of all, I have actually been to Hawaii twice. Both times it was with my grandparents, and my family and I stayed in the condo they owned, which was right off the ocean. I did go snorkeling (where I almost died after a run-in with an eel), but I never went parasailing or surfing. I'm certain I would be terrible at the latter.

5. My copy of Little Women shows many years of wear. I've read that thing so many times that the front of my paperback copy is practically falling off. I've also dog-eared my favorite passages. I heart Louisa May Alcott. 

Why this is a lie: 
Although I have read Little Women multiple times, it is my copy of Anne of Green Gables that is completely falling apart. I freaking love that book. And (sigh) Gilbert Blythe. 

Congrats to those of you who guessed right! Now for the winner of the gift card . . .

*Note: this number was chosen using random.org. I am not biased in any way.*

Comment #6! 

My dear ole dad, who guessed: #5. 

{He then later sent me an email saying that he knew the actual answer but wanted to throw everyone else off.}

Well, good job, Dad! For your lie, you get the gift card! Moral of the story: Sometimes cheaters prosper. 

Flashback Friday--A Bridal Shower Moment


I'm flashing back to last Sunday, which was the day of my bridal shower. This is happening for two reasons:

1. I wanted to finally post an actual picture from the shower.
2. This picture is hilarious.

Cori and Lauren were sitting to my left, using the ribbons off my presents to make the fake bouquet I'll use at the wedding rehearsal. I asked them to turn toward me to take a picture, and this happened:

Cori made me promise that I wouldn't show this to anyone, but...well, I don't care.

However, I'll try to make it up to her by also showing you this picture of her being perfectly normal.

Please don't hate me, Cori. I love you.

* * *

{Don't forget to comment on this post and play my game! I'm randomly choosing a winner from the commenters, and that person will get a gift card in the mail!}

A Game (and your chance to win something!)


Yesterday my east-coast blogger friend Lauren tagged me in a little game. It's the one where I tell some things about myself that aren't true, some things that are, and you guess what I'm lying about. Only don't be confused: this time I'm giving you 4 lies and only 1 truth, and you have to guess what's true.

I'll give you three days to comment with your guesses (for those who don't make reading my blog a daily routine [which you should]), and on Sunday (February 20) I'll tell you what's what. THEN I'll pick one random, lucky winner (even if you didn't guess the right answer), and I'll mail you something awesome. Like a $5 Sonic gift card or something. (Awesome, right? I think so. Hello, cherry limeade.) You can email me your address (if I don't already have it).

[There were a lot of parenthesis in that paragraph. That was on purpose. They were strategically placed to make sure you were paying attention. I get serious about gift cards, people.]

Unless, of course, there's only one commenter. Then I'll just accept defeat and stop blogging altogether. 

That was a lie. 
I enjoy blogging too much to stop. I'm kind of addicted.

On that note, I give you: 

4 Lies and a Truth
(the game: weed out the lies to find the truth)

1. I have never been a bridesmaid in a wedding, but I have played violin in a few. The very first time I played violin in a wedding was for a college friend. I drove to Ohio with a few other girls for the weekend. I was super nervous and almost messed up the wedding march, but it ended up being fine.

2.  Every time I start reading a new book, I first flip through and find each page number that's a multiple of one hundred (page # 100, 200, 300, etc.). If a new chapter begins exactly on one of those multiples, I get really excited.

3. I first remember having a crush on a boy in the third grade. His name was Ryan, and he had blond hair. It was true love for sure, but that's really all I remember about him.

4. The only time I've been to Hawaii was spring break of freshman year of high school. I went with my family and paternal grandparents. I went snorkeling, parasailing, and I tried surfing. The last one didn't go so well.

5. My copy of Little Women shows many years of wear. I've read that thing so many times that the front of my paperback copy is practically falling off. I've also dog-eared my favorite passages. I heart Louisa May Alcott. 

*Note: If you know for sure, don't spoil it for others. Just make your guess and move along.
*Note x2: I tried to make this hard. 
*Note x3: It's harder than you think to come up with four lies and one truth that all sound similar enough to be the answer. 
*Note x4: Good luck.

My Italian Seamstress


I picked up my dress yesterday. This is the most I'll let you see of it. 

Hidden under there is the dress that made my mom cry. Twice.

As I mentioned before, this dress fit me perfectly, and due to my short time frame I was allowed to purchase it off the rack. The only alteration it needs is some hemming. 

My mom's friend's mom is a professional seamstress. Has been for many years. She's legit. How do I know? She has an accent. 

People with accents are always legit. 

(Unless it's a guy using a fake British accent to woo women before taking all their money. I don't trust those guys.)

My mom and I arrived at Italian Seamstress's house (does it make make me a bad person that I don't know her actual name?), and the cutest old lady ever answered the door.

We introduced ourselves, and she slowly led us toward the back of the house. 
"Dis is, eh, my room. You change now."
I pulled my dress out of the bag and slid it on. They had a bit of trouble zipping it up, but we got it on, and when I walked into the living room, she looked at me over her spectacles and pointed a wrinkled finger in the direction of the kitchen.
"Good. Now you stand on my kitchen table."
Apparently she was serious, because within minutes I was standing in my wedding dress on this adorable woman's kitchen table. She made me circle slowly, while she peered through her glasses with a critical eye. 
"You want, eh, to wear dese shoes?" She looked pointedly at the flats I was wearing, which peeked out the bottom of the dress.
"Yes, these are the shoes I was thinking about wearing."
"Dey no good."
I looked nervously at my mom, who shrugged.
"Oh, really?"
"Yes, because, eh, dese are pink, no?"
"Well," I said, trying not to sound stupid, "they looked cream in the store."
She grimaced. "Oh." Then she waved her finger in the air. "Turn."

It took her less time than I thought to pin up all four layers of my dress. When she was done, she helped me off the table and made me walk slowly for her to see how the hem fell at my feet.
"It is, eh, better, no?"
"Yes," I said, "much better."
"When, eh, is de date?"
"May 14."
"Good. Because, eh, I need some time to, eh, work. En you want eh bustle too?" (When she said it, it sounded like bousle.)
"Yes, I need a bustle."

She fixed me up just right, and a half hour I left, feeling confident that she was the perfect lady for the job. Now I just have to stick to my strict diet of eating whenever I feel like it. It seems to have worked for me so far. 

And I definitely need to get different shoes. Judging from her reaction to my other shoes, she probably won't even let me take the dress unless I promise to wear something satisfactory to her taste. I'm not messing with her. 

After all, she has an accent.

Why I'm Freaking Out


I'm back from my weekend in Illinois! My first bridal shower. There are lots of stories to tell and pictures to share (and bags to unpack), but first I made the mistake of checking my email.

One of the first things I saw was an email with IMPORTANT information about the half marathon I'm running in three weeks in Washington. I opened the email, followed a link, and found this: 

Course Description

Short answer: hard as hell. Long answer: This course was designed to give you a run for your money. As one runner in the training group said, “Don’t even think about a PR here.” Truer words have not been spoken. The course starts on approx. 1 ½ mile of gravel service road, from there it’s mostly technical single track trails for an out and back course in both events. Both races will climb 4 miles out of the start. The half will continue for approx. another 2.5 of rolling hills and turn around to come screaming down the mountain. This is what fun looks like, right?

The trail in March will likely be VERY muddy. There will likely be standing water in some places – up to a foot deep (might not be a bad idea to pack an extra pair of socks to change into at the turn-around). The trails are some of the most technical (roots, rocks, cinder blocks, etc.) Capitol Forest has to offer.
Please be SAFE! There are a number of steep sections of both courses on highly technical trails. We can’t emphasize enough that the trails are not like a ‘run in the park. This is a technical, challenging, and, of course, REWARDING course. We want you to finish happy and strong!

* * *

Now I'm freaking out, and Jordan, who tried his best to talk me out of registering for this race, is trying (rather unsuccessfully, I might add) to hold back repeating "I told you so" over and over again. I might die on a mountain in Olympia. 

Not really. I know I'm just being dramatic. 

But really.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day. 
P.P.S. Remember this moment. It might be the last time I am alive to spread the love.
P.P.P.S. I'd like someone to go up in a hot-air balloon and sprinkle my ashes over the city of Chicago. Then bury my urn under home plate at Wrigley.

Flashback Friday--A Country Concert


While driving to work this morning, I was randomly reminded of the Brad Paisley concert that Jordan and I went to just over a year ago. It was one of my Christmas presents to him--two tickets to see his favorite country artist. Jordan's uncle actually works for CMT, so I called him, explained the situation, and ended up scoring amazing seats.

Justine Moore opened the concert.

Then Miranda Lambert sang. Awesomeness.

Brad Paisley came out! And winked at me. Then he played his guitar just for me. 
No, really, he did.

Okay, maybe he didn't. But whatever. It was an awesome concert. Although, in general I'm not a huge concert person, I did enjoy this one a lot. Brad Paisley can really put on a good show. And I freaking love country music. 

I've now seen Tim McGraw/Faith Hill, Keith Urban (w/Jason Aldean), and Justin, Miranda, and Brad. (We're on a first-name basis.)

Okay, not really.

Dear Jordan's uncle,  
Please get us tickets to another concert. That can be our wedding present. Second row or closer, please. 
Amanda (on behalf of Jordan too)

Rings and Things


Sometimes I freak out because I can't feel my ring.

Oh crap, I think. I lost it. 

Then I look down and realize it's okay. It's still there.

Then I start thinking about how I got the ring, and it doesn't seem real that Jordan actually knelt down in front of me and asked me to marry him. 

It means I'll be a bride, which is weird, because aren't brides supposed to be older and more mature than me? Maybe not. All I know is, sometimes I forget that soon I'll be changing my last name and living with a boy.

Then I remember that we don't actually have a place to live. 

Deep breath.

This weekend, I'm flying to Illinois with my mom and aunt (and sister? I can't remember if she's coming) for a bridal shower. It's my first. I'm so excited, because there will be college friends and high school friends and family all together. People gathering just to see me! Not to sound conceited or anything, but they will be there just to see me.

Unfortunately, that means I'll have to remind myself how to put on makeup and find something to wear besides sweatpants.

This whole blizzard thing has really cramped my cute factor.

Still, I'm excited to see my grandparents and hang out with my girlfriends for the weekend. I'll get to show them my ring! I didn't have one the last time I was there. No, the last time I was there I didn't have any news to report. Yes, my job is good.  Yes, church is good. Yes, Jordan is good. Not super interesting.

But now I have news. And there will be gifts.
And maybe cake?

I love cake.

Since I Last Posted


I last posted on Friday. Since then, I have been busy doing this:

{just to make it interesting (because, let's face it, it really isn't), these are listed in no particular order}

Went to two different libraries
Watched two movies at two different theaters (The King's Speech and The Fighter--hello, Oscar nominations)
Ran 13.5 miles on the treadmill (9 on Saturday, 2 on Monday, 2.5 this morning)
Drank a very bad chai tea
Put two quarters in a parking meter
Made two loaves of Amish friendship bread (the kind you mush for a week in a Ziploc bag)
Watched the Superbowl (and rooted for the Packers for the first [and last] time ever)
Mailed a package to a friend
Finished a book (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
Started a book (Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)
Ate alligator (yes, the animal. I'm not kidding.)
Tried (and failed) to resist the urge to stalk my wedding registry online
Went to my first pre-marital counseling class with Jordan

I didn't learn anything I didn't already know about my betrothed. (I think it sounds cooler when I say betrothed. Maybe it's just me.) At one point, our pastor looked at me and said, "Did you know this about him?" (Him, in this case, being Jordan.)

Yes, yes I did. Good thing too, because I don't want to be thrown for a loop. I hate loops. Which reminds me...

This morning, when I was trying to find the coffee shop where I would ultimately order a very bad chai tea, my GPS was zero help. The stupid thing must have short-circuited, because instead of taking me toward the coffee shop, I was told by the stupid GPS lady to make circles in the round-a-bout.

"Turn left."
"Turn right."
"Go around the round-a-bout."
"Turn right."
"Turn left."
"Go around the round-a-bout."

What the crap! 

Don't worry. It only took me two circles to realize what was happening. Then I gave up, turned off my GPS, and called my friend, who I was supposed to be meeting. Turns out, she'd woken up late and wasn't even going to be there for another twenty minutes. Still, she safely led me to the shop, where I waited for her while drinking a questionable cup of chai. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but it was bad.

It was so bad, I almost wished I'd continued to circle the round-a-bout. Almost.

Flashback Friday--My Tennis Story


Freshman year of high school [shout-out to Wheaton North folk! woot!] I played tennis. I barely made the team, actually. We had tryouts, and it came down to one spot left. It was either me or Lindsey Bodenstab. I was annoyed, because it wasn't as if this was my first time on the court. I had started taking lessons when I was somewhere in the six, seven, eight range. I took private lessons and started getting really good. That's when they made me play with the boys...because I was too good for the girls. 

That's when I quit. 

See, I was afraid of boys. Boys were cute and scary, and I didn't want them to think I was stupid. Plus, I was kinda sick of tennis anyway. So I quit for a few years until I decided I wanted to play for the high school team. That's why this whole barely-making-the-team thing was annoying me, because I knew that if I hadn't quit, I wouldn't be sucking up tryouts.

Turns out it was okay, because they let both Lindsey and I on the team. Something about positive attitudes and word ethic. So I practiced hard, and eventually worked my way to first doubles by junior year. I loved playing on the varsity team, but there was one problem: my intense rage upon losing or while I was losing or at the thought of losing. 

My doubles partner, Jessie, and I didn't get along so well. I blamed her, but my parents say I was the one who wasn't being nice. I guess she didn't appreciate me yelling at her when she missed a shot. Bottom line: I wasn't a good sport back then; don't let my cute hair clip and big smile fool you. I broke a racket once because I slammed it on the ground after a loss.

Luckily, I've completely changed my ways, and now I am a mature adult who doesn't get grouchy or sulk when I lose. I've grown, trust me. 

Just don't ask anyone who knows me to verify this information. They'll lie to you and say I still hate losing.

I played tennis throughout college and had a lot of good times. Tennis is awesome, and playing it makes me happy. Actually, tennis was my saving grace in Oklahoma. It's what keeps me active and in shape during the spring and summer. It's why I started making real, solid friends when I knew no one. It's how it found my roommate. And it's what Jordan and I did the first time we ever hung out.

One thing on my bucket list is to see a Grand Slam tournament live. And to be in one of the old lady leagues when I'm older. I'm sure I'll be used to losing by then.

Engagement, Stages Three and Four


Okay, so I've got the books, got the bridesmaids' dresses, got my dress, sent out Save the Dates. Now I need to order invitations! I asked bunch of married people where they got their invitations. Did they make them, order them, what? I checked around some different stores and finally settled on an online place to create my wedding invites. 

To be able to order invitations, however, you have to make sure you know all your information. Information such as: date, time, location, reception time, reception location, your final guest list (obviously very important), and where you're registering. 

Which brings me to....
Engagement, Stages Three and Four: 
Invitations and Registering

I'm not actually sure which one comes first, but you have to make sure you register before people get the invitations and head to the store to buy you something off a registry that doesn't exist. You also need to keep in mind that if someone's throwing you a bridal shower or engagement shower, you have to register at those stores earlier. 

Jordan and I decided where we wanted to register, but Jordan wasn't sure he really wanted to go. And I'm like, "How could you not care what kind of stuff we get? This is going to be so fun!" But this is, once again, the difference between males and females; and I suppose the appeal of picking out place settings and bath towels is lost somewhere around the Y chromosome.

Still, he was a good sport and went to Macy's with me. We almost had a breakdown while choosing plates, but we recovered and ended up having a good time. I'm going to say it's because I'm nice and let Jordan hold the scanner. 

Once we headed over to the bedding, he got pretty serious about pillows. Fluffy but firm.

Then I told him to hold the scanner up so we could take a picture together. Somehow we both just ended up looking creepy.

We're also registering at Home Depot, which I think he'll have much for fun with, seeing as how he'll get to register for whatever he wants, and I'll be the one following him around. Maybe he'll let me run the scanner this time. It's only fair, right?

Update, A Blizzard and 3 Eggs


I did, in fact, make cupcakes. I ate seven. They were delicious.

The end.

A Blizzard and 3 Eggs

Well, it's here. The snow apocalypse of 2011 hit Oklahoma last night. That's why I'm snuggled up in my bed, wearing pajamas, trying to convince myself to work. Ewww....I never worked on school stuff when there was a snow day! Once again, being an adult is lame.

Anyway, here's the view from my window:

Exciting, I know. You can't tell, but the wind really is blowing fast, and there's snow flying through the air. Still, this isn't anything I haven't seen before. 

I won't lie. My first instinct when faced with the prospect of snow in Oklahoma is to be all I'm-from-Chicago-and-not-fazed-by-the-so-called-blizzard. This comes across as somewhat snooty, which isn't really what I'm going for. But it does make me sound awesome and important, so maybe it is.

The last time it snowed was the day Jordan asked me to marry him. I woke up at my grandparents' house on Sunday, the day after Christmas, to a good amount of white covering everything I saw out the window. 

Yesterday, when I considered the prospect of a snow day, I decided that would be a good time to make cupcakes. I knew exactly where my muffin cups were, and I happened to have cake mix and frosting. The only thing I didn't have were eggs. 

That's where my brilliant cupcake plan went horribly awry. 

Blissfully ignorant, I grabbed my cloth shopping bag (because I want to save the world) and headed to Walmart for some eggs. What I found instead was everyone in town, empty shelves, and NO eggs. Seriously. No eggs in the entire store. Not only that, but no canned vegetables, no frozen food, no milk. 

Was I missing something?

I wandered around and found a few other items I wanted then got in line. I think I was eleventh in line, maybe twelfth. That's how I found myself in line at Walmart, holding my five items, sandwiched between two carts that were packed to the brim with bottled water, canned goods, and five cartons of eggs. While I contemplated whether or not I had time to snatch three eggs from the top carton before the person noticed, I heard a loud crash. 

Some idiot three people in front of me had dropped a twelve-pack of bottled beer on the floor. Before I even had time to glare at the guy who looked barely older than twenty-one, beer was pouring out onto the floor.

Apparently the Walmart in my town has never experienced a spill of any kind, because no one knew what to do. A few workers milled about, offering non-helpful suggestions, to which I wanted to respond (but didn't because it wouldn't have been polite): No, you cannot soak up the liquid from twelve bottles of bear with one roll of tissue paper that might as well be Kleenex. And no, you cannot try to form a levee with your feet. And no, kind older greeter lady, you cannot use a broom to SWEEP UP BEER INTO A DUST PAN!  

I wondered if I was the only one watching this insanity. Mind you, this entire time I hadn't moved forward in line because the guy at the register was continuing to argue with the cashier about a coupon for chicken. Dude, if your electricity goes out, what good are five pounds of raw chicken? (At least, that's what I thought was happening. I couldn't see too well because I was so far away from the actual front of the line.)

All things must end, however, and I was eventually able to sidestep the beer, and someone competent finally got a mop. I paid for my food and left the store, clutching my bag in my arms, fearful that someone would somehow notice that I had found the last can of corn on the shelf and fight me for it. 

I was still eggless, by the way.

"I know!" I said to my steering wheel once I was safely in my car with the doors locked. "I'll go to Homeland for eggs."

I'll save you the trouble of an involved story and just say this: the egg situation wasn't any better. Apparently, when faced with the prospect of two days stuck inside your house due to a blizzard, people cook...omelets? Or maybe everyone was baking cupcakes? I have no idea.

My last option was Jordan's mom. Surely she had eggs. Turns out, she did. And yes, I could borrow three of them to bake cupcakes. I carefully placed them in a Tupperware container and hopped in the passenger seat of Jordan's truck. We were headed to Bible study at a friend's house, and I don't know why I felt the need to take the eggs right then instead of waiting until later to bring them home. I think I was still in survival mode. Take it now, or it won't be there later. 

We were driving along, me happily cradling the container holding my precious eggs, when Jordan reached over to hold my hand. (I love when he does that.) Just as I held my left hand out, he said, "It's too hot," and reached his right hand for the heat knob on the dashboard. 

The next thing I knew, my container of eggs was upside down on the floor of his truck. 
I let out a horrific screech the likes of which has never been heard before. (Okay, so maybe I just yelled, "Ah!") 

"Did I break them?" he asked, looking guiltily at me. 

I held the see-through, round container up to the light and saw six white halves floating in yellow yoke.

"Yes. They're all broken."

Yeah. He should be sorry. He didn't know what I went through earlier what with the empty shelves and the broken beer and the raw chicken. 

In keeping with my pattern of anti-climactic endings, I'll just say that Lory was nice enough to let me take three more eggs. I have since continued to feel guilty about having taken half her carton when there's a chance we might never be able to buy eggs again. But what I feel even worse about is that now, happily at home with eggs in my fridge, I don't actually feel like making cupcakes.