Wordless Wednesday (A Second Bridal Shower)


Thanks to Hannah for throwing me such a great party! And thanks to all my wonderful friends (and Mom) who either came or sent a gift.

Okay, I know I used words even though I said this was wordless.

So while I'm at it, I'll also say that this morning I started Jillian Michaels, 30-Day Shred. I'm no longer training for a run, so I'm too lazy to go to the gym. But I'll still do jumping jacks and lift 5-lb. weights in my living room. I know. Hard core.

Friday Night Basketball


I had planned for a relaxing Friday night, watching a movie with Jordan or something. Then, around 2:00 on Friday afternoon, he called to say that a friend of his had gotten three free Oklahoma City Thunder basketball tickets for that night and wanted to know if I was interested. 

Oh, and they were box seats with free food.

Um...yes, please.

So we suited up (by that I mean Jordan put on his Thunder shirt) and headed downtown. It was crazy traffic, and we had to pay $5 to park in a lot that has always been free, which was annoying. But once I saw the buffet line crammed with salad, two different types of chicken, lobster macaroni, veggies, rice, corn, and a tray of dessert, it was all worth it.

(Plus, we got to wear a yellow wristband. Anywhere you have to wear a yellow wristband is a place I want to be. I mean, unless it's shady.)

The tickets had a $101 face value, and I would definitely not pay for those myself, but they were free so...yeah. We'd gone to two Thunder games (one this season and one last), and both times we sat at the very top. I mean very top. So the closeness of these seats was awesome. No tinges of vertigo whatsoever, and we could even read the names on the backs of the players' jerseys!

The Thunder won, and we had a blast. I kept hoping that with our proximity to the court we'd be noticed by the cameras and, say, make it on the kiss cam. Then, when it actually came time for the kiss cam, I spent the whole time with my heart pounding wildly, hoping we didn't actually make it on. I was conflicted. 

We weren't on it, but that was okay. I love watching the super awkward moments where the camera zooms in on a girl and guy, but you can tell they aren't actually together; and while the girl shakes her head, the guy leans in for one anyway.

Our friend had to leave the game before it was over, but Jordan and I stayed till the end. Then after the game was over, we began the long trek back to our car, grumbling about how we had to pay $5 to park at the edge of the world. 

It was an unexpectedly eventful Friday night. Boy could I get used to box seats.

A Taco Ring


Last night Jordan and I made a taco ring for dinner. I found the recipe on this site (here's the recipe) and thought it sounded weird but easy. Since I was going for easy, I figured the added weird part was acceptable.

It turned out being super easy, quick, though albeit a little weird. Basically you cook ground beef, add taco seasoning, cheese, a little bit of water, and bake the mixture with a crescent roll on a baking stone.

After about 15 minutes of cooking, it came out looking like this:

source via
Jordan and I both ate our fill, and we plan to eat it for dinner tonight as well. However, we did make a few alterations. The recipe says to only use 1/2 lb. of meat, but we used a whole pound. Also, I used my awesome new Pampered Chef food chopper to cut up green pepper and onion, and we added that to the meat mixture.

I had sour cream and salsa, which we put on top once it was out of the oven. Seriously delicious, although the crescent roll taste took a few bites to get used to. I wouldn't recommend you but the buttery rolls; just use original.

Overall, I would recommend the taco ring, and I will definitely be making this again at some point.

In other news, tomorrow Hannah is throwing me a bridal shower (yay!) and my mom is driving up from Texas so we can finalize wedding details. I'm still working on the wedding slideshow.

Also, due to a recommendation from my good friend Audra, yesterday I stopped by the library and reserved Laura Hillenbrand's WWII story Unbroken, so I hope to be reading that in a few weeks. Then we'll see if it's really as good as she claims. Until then, I'm rereading The Hobbit. I forgot how enjoyable Tolkien is.

{And in the interest of full disclosure, I went tanning again yesterday after work.}

Wordless Wednesday (An Apt. Tour)


{roll over the photo to see the before/after}

Purple Flowers


I was all stressed out about it, but Jordan and I got an apartment. I did live with Hannah for a week, and then I was in the apartment for a week with most of my stuff still in storage. But my family came down two weekends ago and helped me move in. We unpacked a lot, but there were still a few boxes left to be opened.

So on Sunday, I put on some NCAA basketball and went to work cleaning our apartment. I unpacked the final two boxes just to get them out of the way and immediately breathed a sigh of relief. Boxes = no fun.

It was kind of fun, though, to see all my stuff again. I kept finding books and clothes I'd forgotten about and getting excited.

In my old apartment I hung pictures of my friends and family and had random knickknacks set up around my room. Now it's hard to have a different mind-set about this place. I can't just put up a picture wherever I want until I know what Jordan is going to bring over.

Even so, I did what I could and tried to be artsy and creative in my decorating; but it's harder than you think to not be girly. I mean, I wouldn't consider myself a super girly girl, but my eye is drawn to purple. And flowers. And for now my necklaces are all hanging in the bathroom. But I'm sure they won't last long.

It's okay, though, because Jordan's got a stuffed great horned owl and deer head that he claims he's going to put in our apartment. That'll man the place up quickly, so I suspect I'll need purple flowers to balance it out.

Still, I'm super excited to have a guy around to put things together and take out the trash and kills spiders and stuff. [Not that I wouldn't (and haven't) killed a spider. Because I have.]

I've been living here for a few weeks now, and so far I like it a lot. It's more open and homey than my last apartment, and I don't have a roommate anymore, so I can blast the music as loud as I want.  

It is weird getting used to "our" apartment instead of just "mine." I guess that's just the first of many to get used to in the months to come. 

In other news, I had my final dress fitting on Friday, and it went well. The hem is perfect, and my Italian seamstress told me the white shoes I brought were "one hundred perfect better than those pink shoes, no?" Plus, I have been slightly worried that I'll secretly gain weight and not be able to fit into my dress. (Yes, I'm that girl.) But then my brother asked me if I ever worried about fitting into my pants or my shirts. 

"Well...no," I said sheepishly.
"Then why are you worried about the dress? Do you worry about fitting into your other dresses?"
"Point taken."

So, my fears erased, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies on Sunday night and have been pounding them down. I think this batch is in the top five of most awesome batches.

Wedding Slideshow--A Preview


There was some debate, but it's been decided that there will be a wedding slideshow. I spent a few hours this weekend scanning pictures, and I found some good ones.

Here's a little preview: a gem of a photo circa October 1991. I was 5, and my brother Daniel was 3. 

This is the sort of awesomeness you should expect to see if you're going to be at the wedding. If you aren't, well, I'll just have to post more pics, or maybe even the whole thing, after it's premier showing.

If my smile is any indication, my mom says I was a problem child. I say she no doubt had more of a problem taming my brother's unruly locks than she did with me.

Flashback Friday--An Engagement Carriage Ride


After Jordan and I got engaged in Chicago, my grandpa paid for us to go on a carriage ride around the city. It was really fun and made me feel touristy.

My mom and I also took a carriage ride in Cozumel on our cruise. And I have now decided that carriage rides are definitely something everyone should do at least once. Totally worth it.

The Space Bed


I went tanning yesterday for the first time ever. 

And before you get all you're-one-of-those-brides on me, realize that I have built-in tan lines from years of summer tennising (a few years ago I made tennising a word) and really want to look my best for my wedding.

Thus, the tanning. 

I had no idea what to expect, but (strangely) it didn't occur to me that I would immediately feel like I was being baked. The lights turned on, and I had these thoughts:

it's really bright in here
am i going to go blind?
better keep my eyes shut
this bed is going to lift off
and take me into outer space
with the robots and black holes
and then i'm going to die

Once I'd convinced myself to calm down, I spent the next 10 minutes trying to remember if I'd told the girl ten minutes and not twenty. That led to wondering if it would, in fact, shut off after ten minutes. Which led me to start counting "mississippily."

I only got to twelve before I felt uncomfortable lying flat and tried moving. 
After hitting my right knee rather hard on the top of the space shuttle, I decided to just stay flat.

At some point I wondered if I was supposed to flip over, but then I remembered hitting my knee and realized that, no, I really shouldn't move. 

It was probably during the eighth longest minute of my life that I found myself wondering how on earth people fell asleep in these things. I just knew that if I fell asleep I'd never wake  up.

When the shuttle finally landed, I crawled out of my oven and had never been so happy. I got back to the apartment, and Jordan was there.

"Your face looks red," he told me. 
"It's because I'm flustered," I said.

All that to say...
I'm not sure what to think about tanning. 
It was mildly terrifying and mostly just weird. 

Can't say I'd recommend it.

Stage Six and Some Advice


I mailed invitations today.

{don't mind the creeper; he just won't. go. away.}

(Note: I have decided to personally hunt anyone down who doesn't RSVP.)

Also, here's some free advice:

Make sure that before you put stamps on 120 envelopes, you go to the post office and weigh the invitation.

Doing so will allow you to know if you need to get a $.44 stamp or a $.61 stamp.

This may or may not have happened to me. And after putting nice wedding ring stamps on 120 envelopes, I may or may not have discovered that the invitations were one tenth of an ounce too heavy and required an additional seventeen cents.

And the post office may or may not have had the ugliest seventeen-cent stamps I've ever seen, which unfortunately did not go with my nice wedding ring stamps. They did, however, have lovely wedding cake sixty-one-cent stamps, which failed to be helpful due to my large stack of already carefully stamped invites.

So take my advice and weigh your invite early so your envelope doesn't look like this:

Yes, it's just a stamp. I'm not insane enough to cry over a stamp. (Or am I?) And I'm sure no one will even notice (except anyone who reads this). But I will, and if I could boycott the post office and stamps, I would. But I can't, so that's that.

But the next time I see a ram, I'm going to punch it in the face. 

Flashback Friday--My Favorite Picture


This is my favorite picture of me:

I don't know why I love it so much, but it always makes me happy to see it. Maybe because it's black and white; those are usually the best pictures. The pile of leaves brings me back to the fun of jumping into a huge, crunchy mound of reds and oranges and browns. I have bangs, so I must be kindergarten or younger, because that's when I chopped them off and never looked back. Even then I had a drastic side part. That coat, which is so poofy and looks so warm. I can tell I'm in my grandparents' front yard, which of course brings back memories.

And my squinty-eyed grin. My mom tells me I was quite the trouble-maker in my younger days. 

Which leads me to wonder what I was thinking right as this picture was taken. No doubt I was plotting something. They say I was a plotter.  

The Aftermath


I'm glad I didn't go to Seattle. Not only because I'm glad I stayed for the funeral, but also because right around the time I would have been flying out of Chicago, my friend (whom I was going to vacation with) sent me this text: 

Plane was struck by lightning. Flight to Seattle was canceled. Not kidding. Trying to get rescheduled.

I called Justine the next day to check on her and found out that she finally made it to Seattle after a 10.5-hr layover in Chicago. And believe me, O'Hare is not the sort of place you want to be stuck for almost a dozen hours...although it does make for some interesting people watching. But how long can you really do that for before you consider selling your earrings just to get a seat on the next flight to anywhere? 

Meanwhile, I was sharing a bed with Jordan's twelve-year-old sister in this bed and breakfast in small-town Hobart, Oklahoma. 

It was actually a really cute house, and the owner fixed us some delicious sausage and cheese quiche in the morning. Then we headed off for Hollis, OK, where, to my surprise, it got even more small-town Oklahoma. (Jordan says Hobart, a town of 3,600 people, is a "bustling metropolis" compared to Hollis, a town of just over 2,000.) 

That's where Jordan's grandparents grew up and met, and that's where both sets of maternal great-grandparents are buried. 

It was a long, emotionally draining day, but I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't love being introduced as "Jordan's fiance" to everyone we saw. No sarcasm. I really did love it. It's fun being a step up from girlfriend. I'm officially legit. And meeting all his family and friends and seeing the love for his grandpa and grandma was something I would have hated to miss.

Here's us looking stellar, as always.

Jordan wrangled a pair of his grandpa's cowboy boots and a hat and wore them all weekend. Even though I'd never seen him in either before, they don't look half bad. (I'll have to take a picture and post it.)

We arrived back late Saturday night, and I spent Sunday and Monday cleaning up what I could of our new apartment. My brothers, sister, and parents are coming this weekend to move the rest of my stuff in so the apartment won't look like this anymore: 

I'm trying to be nice and leave space for when Jordan eventually moves in after we get married, but it's hard! I have a lot of stuff, and it seems to have multiplied since putting it in storage. It's all threatening to spill everywhere, but hopefully I can hold it together for a few more months. Sixty-six days, to be exact. Yeah, it's that close. 

The Time Has Come


To get a haircut. It's so long already, though, that I doubt anyone will even notice I got three inches cut. It certainly won't be like when I donated my hair to locks of love. That was crazy. 

I haven't gotten it cut in...oh...at least six months. Probably longer, in fact. I just forget, and it's long, and I'm cheap. Really, though, it's because I just don't care all that much about it. But then there comes a time when I absolutely must get it cut lest I take scissors to my own head and attempt trimming it myself. Which would be a complete disaster, so I grudgingly sigh and write a check.

And since I'm getting married in two months, I figured I needed to do it now so it has time to grow back in case I hate it.

And now I've spent way too long talking about my hair. 

After Much Deliberation...


I have decided to cancel my plane ticket and stay in Oklahoma this weekend instead of flying to Seattle to hang out with Kristin and Justine and run in the Hillbilly Half Marathon

If you don't think this is a good idea, too bad, because I already did it. 
And you would be wrong anyway, because this is a good idea. 

As soon as I found out that Jordan's grandpa's funeral was Saturday at 1:00, I knew I had a decision to make. And it was hard, because just because Jordan isn't actually officially my family for another two months doesn't mean he isn't family. And more important than any plane ticket. 

I thought a lot about it, though, because I had to decide what my motivation was. Was I canceling because I was scared of running the half marathon? Was I canceling because I was tired and stressed and wanted to move into my apartment a week earlier than planned? 

Was I canceling because I wanted everyone to see what an awesome, self-sacrificing fiance I was? 

I'll be honest, that last question made me pause.
Because staying here because of what other people would not be right.

But ultimately I realized that the real reason I wanted to stay was because if it were my grandpa, staying or going wouldn't even be an option. I would stay. End of story. And Jordan's family is my family now, so whether or not other people thought I should or shouldn't stay didn't matter. Because I didn't feel right about going.

And it honestly doesn't matter to me if anyone even knows I'm there. I'll know I was there, and I'll know I stayed; supporting someone you love takes sacrifice, and I know that might sound a bit dramatic for the circumstances, because it's just one little weekend. But I was really looking forward to it, and this decision was difficult for me.

I realize writing a post about staying might seem contradictory, because if I really wanted to do what I just said, I wouldn't tell anyone I stayed. But I've been posting about the race, so I at least felt the need to explain why I won't be writing a post-race update.

Today, I feel completely confident that I made the right decision; and I know that weeks or months down the road, I won't regret not going to Seattle was much as I would have regretted missing Papa Bob's funeral. And being there for Jordan and his family...my family.