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(This is a long one… so brace yourself).
Planning this wedding has really gotten to me. It’s so stressful when you’re on a budget and the wedding is out of town (to save money). We haven’t been able to find a venue for the reception in Camden that is large enough to hold everyone. It has been so frustrating because everything I’ve tried has fallen through. Every glimmer of hope I had just dead-ended. I’ve spent so much time crying and stressing and asking God why He can’t let SOMETHING go right for us with this wedding.
One of my dad’s close friends in Camden has been looking around for venues for me. He called Monday evening and said we could come look at a hunting lodge… it was one of the last places large enough. Not attractive, but large enough. So I was afraid of having a repeat of my last unsuccessful trip to Camden, but at the last minute, my dad and I decided to go.
We get to Camden yesterday around 5pm and we show up to the hunting lodge to take a look inside and the man with the key doesn’t show. We can’t get in touch with him at all. So my dad’s friend keeps trying to get in touch with the guy while we go take a look at a few other last resorts. Everything is way overpriced for the quality of the facilities. We also talked to a person my dad knew that does interior decorating… just to have extra helping hands for that day. She’s really classy, but much older and pretty old-fashioned. Everything I told her I wanted, she shot down. When we left her I was ready to throw in the towel. I was sick to my stomach and fighting back tears. I even told my dad that I was beginning to think it was a mistake to have the wedding there since nothing was working.
Even recently, talking to a friend about my wedding plans, he notices how I keep saying things like “its not what I wanted, but it’ll have to do because our time and money are very limited”. He asks me “Are you getting anything you want in this wedding?” It really made me stop and think. No I wasn’t getting anything I wanted. I don’t have to have my dream wedding to be happy, but not one aspect of it was anything I had ever wanted. I was having to compromise and settle… beggars can’t be choosers. Well then I thought, why am I spending all this time, energy, and money on something I don’t even want?? What a waste. I should just elope.
So my dad and I had to stop by my planner’s store to drop something off for someone. We weren’t going to stay long because they were super busy with prom stuff. It’s just her (Vickie) and her daughter (Erica). This is their busiest time of year and it’s the most profitable time for her, even though she’d rather just focus on weddings. I felt so sorry for them and I hated even having to stop their work for even a few minutes. My dad told her how badly things were going for me, and when we were about to leave, she remembered something.
A few days ago a woman had stopped by to leave some business cards for her to show to brides. This lady had recently bought a huge historic home (The O’Donnell House) and completely renovated it. She’s super classy and a perfectionist… she’s only used the very best to furnish it. The grounds are dreamy with large shady oaks and beautiful gardens. Vickie saw the website and told the lady she had a bride that it would be perfect for.
She knew right away it was exactly what I was looking for. She knew I’d love it, but she didn’t know if I could afford it. She showed me the website and immediately, I was hooked. It was everything I’ve ever dreamed of for my wedding day. I just wanted to cry. I didn’t want to look at another venue. It is over my budget, but it was the only thing that has made me feel at peace about this whole wedding. Aside from the money issue, it wasn’t just a glimmer of hope… it was more like a beam.
Vickie asked me if I wanted to give it a try even though its over my budget. My dad and I considered it and we figured we’d end up spending that much to dress up a cheap, rinky-dink venue, so we decided to give it a try. The first thing was to make sure the house wasn’t already booked for July 17th. Vickie couldn’t get in touch with her while we were there. Vickie said we’d pray about it and if it was God’s will, the house would be available and He’d provide the money. She knew how disappointed I’ve been through this whole process and she was trying everything she could to help me.
My dad and I left her store and went to see his late brother’s new headstone on his grave that had just been installed the day before. We were talking about it on the way and my dad said he really felt like our trip had been ordered by the Lord. He knew there was a reason we had to stop by Vickie’s store, and he felt like this was God giving me the desires of my heart. We decided to pray right then going down the road that God would work it out if it was His will. I know that sounds silly to ask God’s will about a wedding… its really just a glorified party, but we did.
After dinner, we left Camden and headed home. About halfway home, Vickie calls and says she finally talked to the owner and the house is available!! I was so happy I could’ve jumped up and down. She told me I had to pay half of the price as a deposit to secure my spot. Thank God one of Caleb’s family members sent me a check this week to help pay for some of the wedding expenses. The check doesn’t cover the whole deposit, but it covers 75% of it. And I just happen to have enough to pay for the rest of the deposit in my checking account.
I talked with the owner today. I am going down this Saturday morning to meet with the owner to see the house and the grounds, and to put down my deposit. There’s a reception there that afternoon, so I’ll be able to get a good idea of how things will be for our wedding. But praise Jesus… we have a venue!!
The O’Donnell House is everything I’ve ever dreamed of for my wedding. It’s beyond perfect! I’m going to have the wedding of my dreams! Just thinking about it makes me feel so fortunate and blessed! I’m so thankful to God for answering prayer and guiding our steps yesterday. If we hadn’t gone, we probably wouldn’t have found out about this place in time to book it. Thank you Jesus for answering prayer and giving me the desires of my heart!
By the way… here’s The O’Donnell House website… check it out!
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Today has been extremely counterproductive. Such a disappointment. My mom and I traveled all the way to Camden to get some wedding stuff done. I really needed to have a church and/or reception site by the end of the day. Didn’t happen. But at least I chose a color. And a caterer… IF we can even have the wedding there.
We spent most of the day riding there and back, and riding around Camden/Lugoff looking at wedding sites. With the wedding being less than four weeks away, I needed to have a venue weeks ago. The problem with the Camden/Lugoff area is that there are no nice/reasonable venues with capacities over 150… and most don’t even reach that.
Everything we consider seems to dead-end. Nothing is working out. Nothing. I’m so frustrated. I fought back tears and bit my tongue all day long, and now that I’m home and its okay to cry, I can’t. Ugh.
On a slightly more positive note, I think I decided on the bridesmaids’ dress color… and I’ve narrowed it down to two dresses (I think). I know I should involve the girls in the decision, but we’re all scattered so much and we have very little time to get this done. Maybe I’ll email them pics of the two dresses and they can give me some feedback. Regardless… both dresses can easily be worn again, so thats definitely a plus.
Another very positive note… the caterer. IF the wedding can be held in Camden, I’ll get an AMAZING deal on the catering and cake. Thank God for nice, helpful people.
On my way home I called Caleb really upset. I shouldn’t have because he just worries. Now is when I need him to be strong for me. When my problems worry him too it just makes me worry that much more.
It’s nice to have a friend to talk to about all this junk… someone who won’t worry about it. Someone who is rather indifferent to all the little details that bug me. They just let me vent and get it out, then give some advice and let it go. It helps.
I do know one thing. I cannot wait until July 18th (< my dad's 57th bday) when Caleb and I are chillaxin' on the beach. Oh Jesus please let that day come soon! Although it will be kinda sad getting married the day before my dad's bday. However, my dad did say he would love to have the wedding on his bday… but I'm not sure why.
Alright… I need to get to bed. It's late and I have to sub for 5th graders tomorrow.
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I’ve been putting it off… but I have to set aside a day to do some spring cleaning soon. I’m beginning to look like a hoarder. I have NEVER let myself get this unorganized… EVER. I gotta get a grip on my mess or I’m gonna end up on one of those awful TV shows. What happened to my OCD?? I miss it. I really think this has all accumulated from moving in and out of college and then to Warner Robins and back. I have so much stuff and no where to keep everything. It will probably take more than one day. Then I have to go to storage and figure out what is mine and what I’m shipping to Alaska. I don’t even wanna think about it. What is wrong with me?? I used to LOVE to organize things.
Last week I substituted 4 days. It was really fun. So far my favorite school is Belvedere Elementary. Its one of the oldest, but the people there really make the difference. I hope I work more this week.
I subbed for a 1st grade class there. I gave them a worksheet about identifying different coins. I thought to myself, “This should take a while. In my student teaching my 2nd graders still couldn’t identify coins after 4 weeks. ” Boy was I wrong. They were done in less than 5 minutes. Either I am an awful teacher… or TN’s math standards are much lower than SC’s.
I think I’ve lost just a tiny bit of weight. Hopefully I’ll get to go to my meeting tomorrow. I’ve been motivated for the past week or so more than I have been since Christmas. God has really helped me. I prayed a lot to regain my motivation and self-discipline and He has definitely done that. Thank you Jesus.
This past week there has been even more evidence of God’s work in my life, my family’s lives, my friend’s lives, and Caleb’s life. There’s no way to explain it all on a blog (it would be 50 pages), but I have to give Him the glory for all that He is doing for us. It is very encouraging and uplifting to see the evidence of God’s work.
I can’t wait to get paid… hopefully soon. I have a lot to do for the wedding and I’m kinda stuck until payday. But I’ll have to make it last because I’m not used to monthly pay periods.
Church time now. Gotta go. Bye!
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There’s been so many little things I’ve seen God’s hand in lately. I see God working from here to Kotzebue. It’s too much to explain on a blog… and even if I tried, most people probably wouldn’t believe it. But it is nice to see the evidence of His work. Very encouraging.
Lately a lot of people have been coming to me with their problems. I’m not complaining at all. It’s just odd how many people want to talk to me about personal issues lately. People I’m not even close with. It’s kinda hard to help people when you don’t know much about them. I feel like God wants me to use this as an opportunity to share His love and His Word… so I try. If nothing else, I just listen.
I subbed today (technically yesterday) for a 4th grade teacher. I go back tomorrow (technically today). I had good classes. No behavior problems or anything. My only problem is I really don’t know what to do. The teacher was great about having plenty of work to keep them busy. That always makes it easier for the sub. All in all, it was a pretty good work day. Hope tomorrow goes smoothly also.
I came home and was so exhausted from insomnia last night that I just laid down. I woke up 12 min before church and realized I hadn’t eaten since 7am. My blood sugar was so low and I had an awful migraine. I’m still up because it just now eased off.
I worry a lot about Caleb. Please keep him in your prayers. Life is pretty difficult for him right now. He has never had to live life like this before. I know that in the end, he will be so glad he did this. This is good for him even though it hurts. I just hate seeing him like this. I want to move up there and make it all better right away. But God has him there (without me) for a reason. So I have to stay strong for him. It isn’t easy, but it will be worth it.
I should go to bed. I have to get up in 4.5 hours. Ugh. Goodnight.
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Today (or yesterday since it’s technically the 21st) was a weird day for me. It was beautiful outside. I would’ve loved to have spent the day in the garden, but its pointless this time of year. I was in a bad mood most of the day… but I’ll keep that part to myself. It’s hard to explain why today was so weird. It just was.
Found out that the guy finished school early by getting his GED.
I gave my 1st red velvet cake (Sis. Hughes’ recipe) to Matt Ames. It was too tempting and too yummy for me to resist. I hope they enjoy it.
I’ve had a certain friend on my heart for several years now. I have been praying for this person probably more than anyone else in the past few years. Through these past few years I haven’t felt like I could approach this person about my burden for them, but I knew that God would open the door when the time was right. That happened tonight. My friend IMed me asking for prayer. This friend is going through a great deal spiritually, I’m not sure I was any help. I said all that I knew to say. I even went against my better judgement and I was pretty straightforward. Usually when I see a person is down, I try to just be nice. But my friend needed more than nice. My friend needed the honest to God truth. It didn’t go over like I hoped, but it went over. It had to be said… like it or not. Sometimes we need someone to tell us what we NEED to hear… not what we want to hear. Especially those of us who are strong-willed and hard-headed. If the tables were turned, I’d want someone to tell me straight-up. No beating around the bush. I love this person so much. I know God has a plan for my friend… if He didn’t, He wouldn’t have placed such a strong ongoing burden on my heart for her. There’s something about sacrifice and desperation that really gets God’s attention. Made me think about my own spiritual health…
I’ve missed Caleb a whole lot today. Fought back tears all day. Just one of those days.
I better get to bed. Church in the morning. I hope everyone has a blessed Sunday in God’s house. Goodnight.
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I started my new substitute teaching job on Tuesday. I subbed for a music teacher at an elementary school and I had two really good days. I admit… I was worried because I know how kids tend to treat substitutes. I am happy to say I didn’t have any real behavior problems… nothing I couldn’t handle. It was so refreshing to be back in a real classroom working with real professionals. Hopefully I’ll work more this week.
Caleb also started his job on Tuesday. He loves it. I’m soooo happy for him. His work schedule is weird. There’s so many things he can’t talk about and knowing he’s sworn to secrecy makes me want to know that much more. However, I know how psychotic the government can get and that makes me not want to know anything at all.
Anyway, I miss being able to talk with him. He hasn’t even been gone a week yet and I feel like I’m going to go crazy. I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep my sanity for 5 or 6 more months. I have a lot of respect for military families… I don’t know how they do it. I’d lose my mind.
Caleb also started playing basketball up there with the church guys I think. And guess what… He didn’t get hurt! Praise the Lord! Then he texts me this morning and tells me he pulled a muscle in his back this morning… in the shower (of all places). Bless his heart. Jesus help him.
I haven’t been sleeping well all week. So I haven’t really felt too great. I just don’t want to get sick. My mom has that really bad stomach virus. I don’t want that again.
I was looking through a friend’s facebook pictures tonight and saw some of their wedding shower pictures. It made me realize something… Caleb and I won’t have a wedding shower. I might get a bridal shower or something, but we won’t have one together. I’m just frustrated right now. It’s not the end of the world… I know.
Ever since I went to Alaska, I knew I would go back there to live one day. Words cannot express how extraordinarily wonderful it feels to know without a doubt that I am in the perfect will of God in my life right now. I have so much peace about my life knowing that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do. I haven’t been at peace about this area of my life since deciding to go to Lee. I have direction. I know (pretty much) where I’m going for now. I know its God’s plan. It feels good.
I hope everyone else is having a great week. I should get to bed. Goodnight.