Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Things I've Learned About Having A Wedding

This "engagement" process has definitely been a learning experience.  Here are some of the things I've learned (and am currently still learning), in no particular order:

  1. Getting mail can be so much fun!!!  I get so excited on my way home from work every day to check the mailbox.  It's amazing how letters (i.e. RSVP cards) and fun boxes with presents inside magically appear every day while I'm at work!  I've always loved getting snail mail....and now I really love going to the mailbox!
  2. At some point someone is going to criticize a choice you made.  And even though you have thought about every. single. detail. of this wedding.....someone's going to come across as critical, even if they're trying to be helpful.  This is when you get to choose:  Do I become a Bridezilla?  Or do  I bite my tongue, and pretend I have poor hearing?  Word to the wise.....go with option B.   No one likes a Bridezilla.
  3. Somewhere in the world someone is actually birthing my wedding dress....or something like that.  Did you know it is supposed to take nine months (!!!!) to order a wedding dress?!  Are you kidding me?!  So rush ordering a wedding dress and then waiting on pins and needles for it to show up.....not so much fun for the bride.  
  4. Want your wedding to be about YOU and YOUR GROOM????  Good luck.  You gotta fight.  And I mean FIGHT to keep your wedding about the two of you.  People, vendors, venues....it somehow ends up being about them and not about the couple.  Next time I'm involved in a wedding (which will probably be my sister's), someone remind me that I've already had my wedding and this is her day.  
  5. It's definitely a good idea to put the groom in charge of (a select few) tasks.  For example, my man is an awesome planner.  So he was in charge of researching and booking our honeymoon, getting transportation for us on the day of the wedding, and getting the mens tuxes.  He was not, however, in charge of anything that even remotely involves decorating.  While it's good to delegate tasks to the man, be smart and know his limitations. 
  6. Weddings are friggin' EXPENSIVE!  Did you know that if you wanted a really yummy cake (and Michael and I did), you could end up paying $4 A SLICE?!  Ahemm? Along those same lines, it might be worth the extra expense to put a bodyguard next to the cake table to ensure one slice per guest.  (Just kidding!  Kind of.)
  7. I have an amazing man (with a pretty awesome family to boot).  Yeah, you're right.  I already knew that, and that's why I'm marrying him.  But this engagement has just continued to prove to me how absolutely right this man is for me.  Michael's grandma and I were talking on Sunday (actually she was bragging on him, and rightfully so!), and I said, "He's a good boy."  She corrected me (again, rightfully so!) and said, "He's a great man."  Yup, Grandma.  You're absolutely right.  He's a great man.  What I wouldn't give to give his mama a hug and thank her for raising such a great man.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Tomorrow is the first day of school in my eighth year of teaching.

Tomorrow is also the first day I will not be teaching in Raytown.

And while I'm excited to meet the new kiddos that I'll be teaching, I'm genuinely sad that I won't see the familiar faces of all of my babies.   I miss my home.  I miss knowing my colleagues.  I miss seeing my friends.  I miss feeling a part of the community and the history.  And, man, I miss my kiddos.  For eight years, I have given everything I have to the kids of Robinson.  Leaving them behind has been significantly more difficult than I ever anticipated.

...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
                                                                                       ~Psalm 30:5

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm Back!!

Hello again, blog world!  It's been a while!!  If you didn't remember, I spent the majority of the month of July in China where I had zero internet until the last couple of days in Beijing.  (And even then it was super slow.)  Instead of trying to tell you all the details of my trip, I'll just attach some pics at the end of the blog.  For now, I'm still trying to get used to being back in the States!  I've had a strange time unlearning some of my China "rules."  For example...

1.  When I got home it felt really wrong for me to use tap water to brush my teeth.  I had a mental conversation with myself, assuring myself that it was safe to use the tap.  (In China, I use bottled water to do the tooth-brushing thing.  You'll get super sick if you use their tap water.)
2.  Along the same lines as #1....I kept forgetting that it was okay to get the shower water in my mouth. When I'd shower in China, I'd all but glue my lips together for fear of "the sickness."
3.  Because of China's sewage system (or, in my opinion, lack thereof) you're not supposed to put your toilet paper in the toilet.  They put all their used tp in a trashcan next to the toilet.  Ewww.  It took me a few days to not think about the trashcan first.
4.  Jet lag was TERRIBLE!!!!  (So, it's not really a rule.  But it's a result of spending 3 weeks in China!)  It took me two solid days before I even began to feel normal.  The first night back, I was exhausted.  But I still managed to lay in bed with my eyes wide open until at least 4am.  I did nothing but lay on the couch my first day home.  On top of the exhaustion, I was seriously nauseous for the first couple of days, too.  Don't know what that was all about.  Thankfully, after a couple of sleepless nights and seriously long days, I finally got my body back on the central time zone.

I've thought a lot about my students since I've been home.  I'm hoping the Lord will really bless the seeds we planted there.  Hopefully I'll see them again some day, if not on this side of heaven.
At the airport before I left.  It was an EARLY morning!
Me and Bess (She was on our team last year)

LECHE FRUIT!!!  I love this stuff!!

Helping one of my students with a dialogue

Our teaching team meeting

Our students getting ready for the day

Our team

Lauren and Dave at an evening activity

Class 2

HAIRY PORK!!  (That's what I call it anyway.)  SO DELICIOUS!

I really should have an entire blog post about hairy pork.  YUM!

I just schooled some kids in UNO.

The Chinese kids L.O.V. E. UNO!

I was played a pregnant girl in one of our skits.

It's a strange looking baby.

My Chinese translator (Shane) and me after our Easter egg hunt

To squat? 
Or not to squat?  (I just NOT TO SQUAT!!) 

Tiananmen Square

Riding in a rickshaw

With our rickshaw driver
One of our sweet teens on the teaching team

Class 2