Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29th

I woke up in an amazing mood.
Maybe it's because last night, I kept telling myself, "You don't have to work tomorrow! It's like Friday night!" (I still feel like a kid playing hookie when I have a day off mid-week). It's also likely that my good mood can be attributed to sleeping with the 9 foot loft door open, allowing fresh spring air to mix up dust in my apartment. My nose was a little bit stuffy, but it felt like Spring, so it made me happy. The neti pot will take care of that...

This lamp helps the mood anytime it's turned on as well. The colors! The colors!!

Succulents. Ahhhh. Yes please.

Light entering my place.
Slippers still on. Comfy.

Snugglin' Ted.
Let the sunshine...let the sunshine in, the suuuun shine in.............(Hair, anybody???)

MAYBE it's because I've been asked to model for a styled shoot today?! At 5'4" and the high school title of "Most Spirited," rather than "Most Beautiful," I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised, and flattered simultaneously to be invited to participate! I usually TAKE the photos, I'm not usually the subject.

The theme is Ragtime Americana, and I'll have my hair and make-up done in about an hour and a half. There's a team of professionals; videographer, photographer, wedding coordinator, vintage rentals, florist, stationary team, the list goes on....my creative juices will be exploding just being surrounded by passionate, creative people.

I had mixed feelings on how to get ready...since they're doing my hair, I figure it ought to not be freshly cleaned, because then it's soft and limp and won't do anything! So bath only this morning, just to be fresh for the pros!!!! :)

The shoot will last until about 1pm, and then I get a day-date with my man. He was hired about a week and a half ago by a small-business in the entertainment industry, and I couldn't be more thrilled for him! Financial stability AND in an area he is passionate. We are so lucky! For right now, he is part-time, and can make his schedule fit around our busy wedding planning schedule!!! After the shoot we are going to the Fort Worth Court House and getting our MARRIAGE LICENSE (OMG OMG OMG)! Hopefully we will have some time to work on my taxes and/or our honeymoon projection, and then we have a dance lesson at 5:30! Full day!

I haven't seen George in a few days; can't wait to have some time with him!

The mornings continue to be my favorite part of the day. Knowing I have an entire day of exciting things ahead, and feeling the crisp morning air (but not too crisp; my sliding door is still wide open) while sipping my coffee...smelling my Volcano candle burning, and talking to my dogs like they're people...I'm just overflowing with gratitude and had to come to this space to share!

Mac/blog (reflection), coffee (necessity), and Volcano (pleasure)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Money Can't Buy You Happiness...but Anthropologie gifts sure can!

I kid, I kid.
Sort of.

I've been showered with gifts lately for our upcoming wedding on March 24th (less than a month away!!!).

My last update was at the end of December, and a lot has kept me busy since then!

I'm very grateful for my mom at this time. She has done so much, it is insane. My heart goes out to the brides who do this on their own, whether it's by choice or that choice was made for them...because if it weren't for my mom, I would be absolutely lost.

I'm also very grateful for our coordinator, Lottie, with Couture Events by Lottie. She is so great at nailing down details and keeping me informed with the latest and greatest.

I had an amazing bridal shower on February 18th, thanks to the help of my mom, sister, Jessica, Jen, Ashley, and Erin! 

Walking up to the shower, at Jessica and Monica's beautiful new house in Highland Village!
My mom, me, and sister, holding our practice-run bouquets! Thanks to Raquel for not only attending the shower as a personal friend, but also for her gift with these flowers! I'm obsessed!

It was the most creative, classy, and joyful party I've personally attended, and I didn't want it to end! It was at this shower that I was bombarded with fantastic presents, and they haven't stopped rolling in through the mail. I'm so grateful...

After the shower, I took 3 trips up the stairs, in the rain, unloading my car.  I stopped after 3 trips to take a breather and began nesting, instead. 

Imagine this setting, plus a little bowl that has scalloped pie-crust edging as well. Now imagine 8 of them. Thank you so much, Mimi and GrandDad! Love these "Lotus" dishes from Anthropologie!!!

Toaster oven, blender, butter dish, and monogrammed mugs. I have had the "L" for years; so nice now to see the "G" beside mine! I'm NESTING!!!!

A cocktail book I've been lusting after for years, but couldn't convince myself to purchase. THANKS, BUD!

Anthropologie whisk (teal and yellow, how cute?!), bowl, spice jars (I just need to get chalk to write the spice names on the black part!), and a sweet toaster oven!!!

...I'm so grateful, but also perplexed...it's funny that in the happiest time of my life, I have the most support and love. When we were broken up and I was at a low point, yes, my mom was there (thanks mommy!)...but all of these gifts would've perked me up then, for sure! Haha! It's hard to even put into words how HAPPY I am right now. I want to be this happy forever, despite my left brain already going into protection mode and reminding me of hard times ahead.

I'm so grateful everyday that George is ready to be married (I've felt ready for a couple of years). I'm so grateful he has been hired by an amazing small business in the entertainment industry, and we have more financial stability, while he still has opportunity to pursue his dreams. I'm so happy our parents are supportive of this marriage, and I'm so happy to be spending time on our relationship! We started premarital counseling last week and will go for 3 more sessions. The extra help with communicating has already proved to be very beneficial. Thanks to George's mom, we also are taking dance lessons, and that is a very fun date to look forward to every couple weeks. So one can imagine that with all of this joy, to receive physical GIFTS just puts me over the top. I'm trying to soak this up and already am kicking myself for having a 4 month engagement...no wonder people draw this out! This time is pure bliss!!!!
Unconditional love from this man? Commitment after 7 years? A whole life ahead of us with no idea what's in store? Yup. I am definitely happier than I've ever been, and ever could have imagined.

Friday, February 10, 2012

PRK Follow-Up

Right Before Surgery and Immediately After (Needing to BLOCK OUT ALL LIGHT!!! And keep moisture in!)
I'm writing this post so people out there who've never heard of PRK (like me) can know what to expect, at least based on my experience. I found out I needed PRK the day before my scheduled LASIK surgery, and wrote about my response/anticipation here.  Overall, this surgery was not bad, and way better than I was anticipating.

They told me it would be 6 weeks before I see 20/20, whereas most people with LASIK see 20/20 the next day.

They told me it would be kind of painful, and feel like sand was dumped in my eyes for a few days.

They told me my vision would be different daily, getting better, then worse, better, then worse.

The night after my surgery, my sweet friend Jessica brought over Thai (my favorite!) for George and me. I was in a dark lair in my apartment, and even turning on soft lighting was sensitive. I want to clarify the difference between UNCOMFORTABLE and PAINFUL. I think being a nurse and working with patients in elective surgery helped me clarify what I was feeling. 

You know that feeling when you're SO THIRSTY in the middle of the night, you wake up almost in a panic to get water? Maybe not...haha...well, that panic-ridden, absolutely parched feeling doesn't HURT. It just feels super uncomfortable until you drink water...same for my eyes. I would put in my drops, and even then, it wasn't an instant cure-all, but it felt much better. And it never "hurt". If I drop something heavy on my toe, it HURTS. That's different.

On the left was a little note I left George when he was heading over one of the days of recovery. On the right was a picture in my old room in Flower Mound, after my mom so kindly brought me up coffee in bed! 

George took care of me BIG time during this surgery. It made me really excited for our upcoming marriage!!!! He makes a killer grilled cheese. Complete with avocado, pepper jack, and sprouts. Mmmm.
I wasn't able to read instructions or recipes, so while I would have been able to cook old familiars, I would not have been able to cook something new. Fortunately I didn't worry about cooking since my mom, George, and Jessica all stepped in and helped a sista out!

Lush bath products (my fav!) and shampoo/conditioner. Spent a lot of time in the bathtub, just chillin'.
Prior to the surgery, I was wondering WHAT I WOULD DO for 6 days, no work, but also...no vision. TV? Nope. Books? Sorry. Driving ANYWHERE? Out of the question. Honestly, my vision wasn't as bad as I was PREPARED for, but still wasn't that great. By the third day, I was ready to be busy, but couldn't drive, so I threw together some crafts around my house, and felt productive again. I was able to make these things:


I stenciled the letters. I could see the letters on the stencil but would not have been able to have free-handed this, even with 20/20 vision. Ha! 
I enjoyed time at my apartment hot tub. The weather was amazing, which was so nice. I couldn't handle sunlight very well for the first 48 hours, but then, with goggles and sunglasses and/or a big floppy black hat, I was fine to be outside. Actually, I thrived on it. My mood was euphoric with the time away from work. I think it was because I didn't feel pain, I didn't feel sick, and I was finally taking advantage of sick days from work (I've never taken one! Like, since graduating college!). Forced laziness is actually freakin' awesome.

Moonbathing at my apartment hot-tub.

Hot tub
 I felt some guilt because our wedding invitations came in, and were ready to be addressed, while I was out of commission. My mom was hard at work hand-addressing each envelope! I offered her company but no assistance until about a week after PRK.

Mommy hard at work!
(I think she's gorgeous even with glasses and no make up. Seriously check out her perfect profile and hair. )
BEST OF ALL I got lots of snuggle action with my pups and my sweet fiance.

About 5 days after the surgery, I didn't even need the floppy hat or dark sunglasses. Sunlight was no problem at all, but vision was still kind of blurry (but not awful! Probably 20/80). George took me to Bear Creek to play disc golf with the pups. PERFECT outing. I'm not the best even with 20/20, so I noticed no difference in my disc abilities. Ha.

My boys.

I spent more time enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, pups, and just being outside walking around on a Wednesday. The time off work was refreshing.

AND he brought me flowers. He took me to all my appointments, and surgery itself, then also found time and money to get me flowers. Total sweetheart.
 I would already do it again. And I'm not seeing 20/20 yet!!!! The pain is NOT BAD, the surgery itself is VERY FAST, and I already see so much better than without my glasses. Falling asleep while watching TV is the BEST. FEELING. EVER.

I took all of my hydrocodone, so that might be part of why I didn't feel pain. I'd encourage patients of ALL surgeries to take the prescribed pain pills in lieu of trying to be brave and tough. Nobody thinks you're brave and tough when you call complaining of pain, or complain to your significant other. Take your medicine.

I am still taking steroid drops, and will for 3 more weeks. They have a milky color to them, and it looks like I'm crying white paint. It amuses me daily.

I wake up with a very dry eye sensation, but the mornings are the worst, and even then, it's tolerable. I just have drops on my nightstand for instant gratification.

I was able to watch TV the second day (the first day the screen was just too bright...it's strange how much more light POURS into your eyes after this surgery; it's just blinding), but it was blurry. I've noticed even now, while watching TV or being on the computer, I need to look away at a wall or picture frame for a few seconds. It's like (and I know this sounds really weird) your eyes don't know which is dominant anymore. Like for my entire LIFE my right eye has been dominant, and if I closed my left, I saw everything pretty much normal. If I closed my right, everything shifted a tad. Well now, my eyes are deciding which will be the new dominant eye. And after too much TV or computer (like, for instance, right now...), it feels like they are crossed or just tired.

Anyway, that's where I am now! I'm 2 weeks post-op today, and I would guess I'm seeing about 20/60. I was seeing more clearly at the beginning of the week (maybe 20/40?), but expected my vision to get worse, so I'm hangin' in there.

Good luck to anybody out there going through this! And also, if you're on the fence, go for it. ESPECIALLY if you're young; I already feel like I've saved thousands of dollars on eye exams and contacts/solution.....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why I Love Jen.

I've blogged about Jen before, you can read some of those posts here

Today is Jennifer Bodin's 25th Birthday.
I thought I should maybe wait for another day to describe what she means to me, because how cliche to write about her greatness on the day she was born?!

But she's worth it.

Plus, I finally receive an image we had taken months ago by the amazing Norman photographer, Keisha Register. Since I got it today, I couldn't develop, frame, and mail it to her by today, so this is the next best thing. 

This is a part of the Wallpaper Series, and you can find out more about what this amazing project means here
When I moved to Oklahoma, I didn't take my comfort zone with me. I started fresh, which was the best decision I've ever made. It's a personal decision, but I'm very glad I made this choice.

Because I didn't have my friends from childhood, I was a nobody. I had to start from ground zero. I didn't make a pack of friends like I had in high school...I made two distinct friends that stand out to me. One is going to be standing as my matron of honor next month. 

We met in our pilates class. We each were required to take a physical education elective, and I'm glad for a multitude of reasons that we each were in that class. First of all, I realized pilates is one heck of a good work out. I should really pick that back up. But most importantly, I realized there was a free-spirited, yet grounded, humble, loving, caring, nurturing spirit in that class. Her name was Jen, but she was far greater than her toned little body. She was a spirit that I connected with instantly. It was after we became friends through pilates we realized we were in the same pledge class...Pi Beta Phi, class of 2009. She was hands down the best outcome of my sorority experience.
One of countless OU games.

One of countless costume-themed date parties with Pi Phi
Another date party-this one was with DU, Jen's husband's fraternity. Fun times all around!
Jen is my runner friend. I can't tell you how many marathons she's run. 5Ks, Half Marathons, whatever...she's done it all. Triathlons, even! Seriously!  As evidenced by those killer abs in the photo above....!
She has dedication and drive like no other.  She graduated with a 4.0 from OU in 3 years. She's been working and succeeding in her job with Chesapeake, and also obtained her real estate license. She's passionate, driven, and hard-working. In short, she has her stuff together! Yet inside, she's a painter. A yogi. A music lover. A bleeding heart. DOG LOVER. This girl has the perfect balance of hippy with successful business woman. She's one of my inspirations on a daily basis, despite the distance, now that I've moved back home.
Swimming in Barton Springs, Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Music Festival.

I was honored when Jen asked me to be maid of honor in her wedding. I remember hosting her bridal shower at Othello's, her favorite local restaurant in Norman. I remember August 1st like it was yesterday....and she was a beautiful bride.

Jen's beautiful family bridal shower
Gettin' down at her bachelorette party! Coyote Ugly in OKC!!!!
Helping her with her garter

Halo for the Pi Phi Angel! (The best thing I gained from Pi Phi is smiling in the white dress.....)
Giving my honorary Maid of Honor speech!
"And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take."

Summer 2011 Visit in Norman at my old stomping grounds, the Library Bar and Grille

 Jen was my best friend while I lived in Oklahoma and was long distance with George. Often times now that I've moved back home to Texas, I feel like I'm long distance with Jen. I was good about seeing her almost monthly after I initially moved, and haven't done as well lately. Fortunately, I'll be seeing more of her with my wedding festivities! She is my matron of honor, and will be down here on February 18th for my bridal shower! And of course, on March 24th for my wedding, she will be by my side. Through thick and thin...I know I will always be there for her, and she will always be there for me. I love Jen to the core, for who she is, what she thinks, and how she loves. I do not judge her for her mistakes or shortcomings, and she would never judge me for mine. I love her in a way that only a best friend can love...so often, with our significant others, we try to change them to make them better for ourselves. Or at least, I can catch myself doing that with George (sorry, babe, though I do think I'm improving!). I've never been that way with Jen. We accept the other exactly how we are, with no desire to change a thing. No matter what the future holds, I promise to continue to cherish this friendship, because it is so dear to my heart.

PS, while I was typing this, she called. Just figures. Our souls are still intertwined. Those coincidences happen to us all.the.time.

Dining at one of our local favs, Othello's, in Norman. Despite management changes and bad service, I can't imagine ever giving up on this little place. We've shared many thoughts, opinions, tears, and bottles of wine at this place. Love you, Jen!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why I Love Jessica.

There have been so  many times that I have thought to myself, "I ought to write a whole post on how great (fill in a friend's name here) is." And yet I go about my day and think I'll write later. I have literally thought dozens of times what a shame it is that usually somebody has to die before we will publicly profess our love for them...or at least we wait for once a year when we write something sweet in a birthday card.

Well, I'm making a resolution to blog about the people in my life, and explain why I love them to an objective reader. And I am going to start off with Jessica.

Pic from Jessica's 24th Birthday last May (You can see more pics or read about our fun time at the lake here)

I wanted to be Jessica's friend the first day I met her, at our Farmerette uniform fitting. We had just made drill team, and were the scrawny eighth graders at the big high school. I went to Hedrick Middle School, and Jessica went to Huffines.

This was me at the time...13 years old, 8th grade cheerleader (and flautist) at HMS. Go Wranglers! Ha!

The first time I saw Jessica, I thought she was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen in person. When I realized we would be on drill team together, I thought I could be her friend, and I was already excited thinking about shopping with her. This is truth. I really thought this, and I never said it aloud. But I really thought how cool I would be, if I could be friends with that girl.

After meeting Jessica, I realized how incredibly kind she was. She was ten times prettier than any girl around, but she cut back and relaxed, giving off an accepting vibe. I remember the first time she came over to my house, back on Firewater Circle! Her mom (who was only 28 years old...*sidenote! thinking that I'm only 3 years younger than Monica was on that day makes me have MAD RESPECT for Monica....that'll be for a different post!!!) dropped her off and picked her up. We went swimming and looked through eachother's yearbooks. We told eachother who the "cool" guys were and weren't. We even played a game where I would guess who the popular, cool guys were, based on their picture, and she would do the same for my school. It gave us an objective, shallow, way to decide who is cool based on other qualifying factors besides appearance! Ha! She told me about her boyfriend, and I thought it was pretty incredible that she had a boyfriend for as long as she did. I forget now how long they'd been together, but my longest relationship was only 4 months at the time...

(Kyle Spencer!)
...and I was so ready for a long-term boyfriend. Little did I know, there would be plenty of boys that would come and go for each of us, but what I was really gaining, was a long-term best friend.

Going to LHS North was a fun and exciting time, because we felt we had a slight advantage over the rest of the kids, having been through drill team camp together, and bonded over the summer. The next four years would provide some of the BEST of my entire life, with too many drillteam memories to even recall...everything from getting initiated (by picking up roadkill and jumping in the lake...in a Wonder Woman costume...then being dropped off at the drill team director's front doorstep!) to staying at our mutual friend Ashley's lakehouse (Ashley will definitely warrant a blogpost soon, she, too, is an angel)...we had nights that people write books about. Nights that movies haven't even thought of yet. Walking through a fast food drive through lane, backwards. Befriending a transvestite and running up and down the aisles in a cozy-coup-cart at midnight. Sticking our heads out of the sunroofs at night, with Fat Joe and Ashanti bustin' the speakers....We were there through thick and thin. I saw her long-term boyfriend go, and new guys come around. She saw me fall in and out of love with my "high school sweetheart" (who will NOT receive a blog post in the future). We both had boyfriends that our parents despised, and we both helped eachother date them anyway. And we both were there, drying the other's tears, when *our hearts* (I'd previously accidently typed 'her' but it was definitely both of us at one time or another!) ended up broken, just as everybody had warned. We were there with family issues, and we confided in one another, in the way that only best friends really can. Thank God I had her, and I'm fairly certain I can say she was glad to have me, too. We wrote letters to eachother almost every day, and I still have about 50 folded up letters with Jessica's adorable handwriting. I'll never throw them away!!!
Making our own nicknamed-pants
(We were crafty WAY  before Pinterest)

Go Sooners!!!!

Go high school metabolism!!!!!

Our birthdays are 5 days apart. We are both strong Geminis. With our two distinct personalities (each!), there's always fun times to be had, especially around our birthday. May 22 and May 27 are some of the best birthdays in the entire year, by the way. Actually, no offense, Jess, but my birthday is probably the best day of the entire calendar year. It is so evenly spaced with Christmas! And this year...it falls on Sunday before Memorial Day, a paid holiday. SCORE. It usually fell around the last day of school when I was living the dream back in high school (sigh, I miss those days)...anyway, I got off track there, but yes. Our birthdays are always happy times.

I particularly remember and love our 16th birthday, when we called the other the day we got our cars. Picked eachother up and went joyriding. I wonder how many times we drove around, listening to music, just to feel free. Back then, that was the most freedom we'd ever known. And we experienced that transitional time together.

Drinking before and after our 21st birthdays...ha!

When I moved to Oklahoma, my friendship with Jessica really faded. I'll take the blame; I moved and didn't put forth a lot of effort in maintaining strong friendships back home. But I have to say this...perhaps my favorite quality of Jessica's...was her ability to pick right up where we left off, and it seems like no time has passed at all. I feel so comfortable around her. I can be sad, happy, angry, confused, or giddy like a little 14 year old girl all over again. She gets me, I get her, and there is a level of comfort there.

Okay, as much as I love that, that's not my FAVORITE quality about her. I think Jessica's best quality is her GENEROSITY. And I don't just mean with money (though she is the most generous friend I have. Bar none. And yes, I mean with money...and lunches, drinks, presents, gas, everything!)...Jessica is also generous with her time and love. This past Monday night, all the girls got together. I couldn't drive because of my PRK eye surgery, and Jessica called Sunday asking if she could pick me up. Mind you, I live a good 30 minutes from Jessica's work, and a good 40 minutes from Erin's apartment (where girls' night was). She picked me up, took me there, and took me home. The gas alone was probably $10, the time spent alone just to get/drop me off was at least an hour (probably way more), and she didn't even seem inconvenienced. It was like she wanted to.
Jessica also came over the night of my PRK surgery, and brought both George and me Thai dinner (my favorite).  Just another example of how generous she is with her time and money!

I remember one time we were at my place, and a friend in need called Jessica. Jessica left immediately. I thought right then, "What a good friend to have in crisis." She is totally dependable and generous. She is one of the sweetest girls I know, and I'm lucky to have her as one of my best friends. Moving back home was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I'm so grateful to have Jessica close to me again.

Why do we wait until something bad happens to tell people what we think of them?  I hope you know RIGHT NOW how much you mean to me and how I want everybody in my life to know how great you are, Jessica!

I love you!!!!!!