Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mid-Winter Update

Life is crazy between November and January. I'm sure you know that, but I'm just restating it for my own sake. So much has happened since I last posted. I really should be better about blogging, but I tend to be so busy living that it can be tough for me to take the time needed to come back and chronicle my goings-on. Such is life, I guess.

For the sake of condensing everything, I'm going to go for more of a bulleted list of what I've done and accomplished!

  • The second quarter at school was over almost as soon as it started! I ended the semester with slightly more sanity than I did last year, so I like to think that that's an accomplishment! 
  • Christmas break was very relaxing and full!
  • Thomas moved back to Dallas on December 23.
  • I spent Christmas eve/day with the Lieses.
  • Cole (aka Dino-man) turned 5!
  • We started planning a Dallas wedding shower with Jay & Mark (Thomas's uncles)!
  • I had a lovely brunch with Rebecca!
  • I got to catch up with Tonisha :)
  • Wyatt broke his arm :( 
  • The Hladik Christmas on New Year's Eve celebration was phenomenal!
  • Thomas and I completed our gift registries! 
  • Save-the-dates are all sent out!
  • School started again, and I'm back to being stressed with that.
  • I've put in applications at a few schools in the DFW area!
  • We're in the midst of the 2017 ice-pocalypse.
Sheesh. So so much has happened. I'm slowly starting to realize how stressful planning a wedding can be when you have lots of other things on your plate. I'm fighting a constant battle of not knowing when to do certain things and worrying that it's too late or too soon to complete certain tasks. I also tend to think that we really don't have much left to decide on, then my mom and sisters remind me of about 5 other details that I never thought of. (I'm grateful to have them along for the ride to help me to remember what needs to be done or to offer advice of what went wrong or stressed them out at their weddings so that we can try to avoid or improve those things.) My current worry is finding formal wedding invitations that aren't stupidly expensive that I can use my own wording on since we're having a full wedding Mass. If anyone has any suggestions of websites, designers or anything of the like, I'd love to hear them, especially if it's someone local! (Seriously!) I looked at a few online the other day only to realize that for the quantity we need, it would cost almost $1000! That's when I realized that this process won't be as easy as I'd hoped. 

We registered at a whopping five places, which is a little more than I ever thought I'd do. We're registered at Wal-Mart, Dillard's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate & Barrel. I've never shopped at the last two stores before, but at the suggestion of Thomas's family, we registered there. It seems like most of our registries are small, but since everything is spread among five stores, it all adds up. Also, Thomas and I have a lot of things from college or apartments, so there are certain things we really don't need. It was tough to register, especially since we don't know yet where we'll be living, which means we don't know how much space we'll have. Even so, we thought of about everything we possibly could think of to put on there. Sometimes it was tough for us to compromise on certain things. Who would've realized that picking a vacuum or daily silverware would be a difficult choice for us to completely agree on?! (It seriously took us about 30 minutes to find a vacuum that we both liked.) The biggest difference in all of our registry process was that we did it all online. Since time is a limiting factor for us, it didn't make sense to try to go into the stores and chase down everything. Also, we've heard that most stores encourage couples to look online, so we didn't even bother. It was a little disappointing for me because I remember Gina and Emily spending a Saturday with Scotty and Jeremy going through stores with the scanner. As a child, that seemed like it would've been so much fun! However, we were able to do all of this in the comfort of my house while sitting in comfy clothes. Maybe it was a fair trade after all. A personal highlight from our registry process was registering for a KitchenAid mixer, which I have waited for for a LONG time! 

We also need to start thinking about flowers, because that alone will help with our inspiration for decorating at the reception. Although this may not be the most popular choice, we have decided that for all of the secondary wedding party members and for most (if not all) of the small children in our wedding party, we are going to make our own corsages and boutonnieres out of silk flowers. The florist has already quoted me prices of $12-20 for each, and considering how many people we'd want to have those for, it would add a lot to the overall cost of our flowers. (Heaven knows they'll already be quite pricey!) 

I know that it'll all work out. I'm really not *that* stressed about everything...yet. I have a team of awesome people to help me navigate the waters of wedding planning, and I have an amazing man who I'm ecstatic to marry! That's really what it's all about at the end of the day! Heaven knows I'm ready to make it there! It seems so far away, but at the same time, I know it'll be here in a flash...I mean we're already at the 6 month mark, so we're starting to be on the downhill slide. Some days I feel cynical (maybe borderline depressed) because it feels like I'm just waiting for something that'll never get here, then some days I realize how far we've come and really just how close we are to the big day! It's a never-ending cycle, I guess!

I've officially resigned from my current job, which will go into effect at the end of this year. I've started applying for a few jobs (as I mentioned above). My current plan of attack is try to teach in one of the shockingly many Catholic schools in the DFW area. Believe it or not, I'm surprisingly well-connected when it comes to the Catholic school systems down there. Between Thomas and Elizabeth being a part of them for a combined 18 years and a distant cousin of mine who's a principal at one, I have LOTS of good contacts...pretty much all principals, which is a great thing! I'm scared, but I'm trusting that the right thing will come to me soon enough. I wasn't looking for the job I have now when I found out about it, so surely it'll work. The bummer about teaching jobs is that you can apply all you want right now, but they won't know anything about openings until March or a little after in most cases. It's fairly frustrating, but would it really be my life if there wasn't some sort of chaos? Still trusting God on this one! (Even if it's really hard!)

I also mentioned above about Wyatt breaking his arm. Yes, he really did. Right before New Year's Eve, my parents and I had all 6 boys over here for the day. Although they knew full well they shouldn't have been, they were playing where they weren't supposed to, and Wyatt ended up getting the brunt of it this time. He fell from a fence panel, got his left arm caught in it mid-fall, and landed weird. Now, he is learning how to navigate life with one good arm. (Thank God he's right-handed!) He was pretty bummed out for the first couple of days, but he finally came around and realized that life goes on, even if he has to go it with one arm! Another silver lining was that he had almost a full week at home before having to go back to school, so he could figure out how to do simple things like get dressed, eat, carry things, and go to the bathroom. After two weeks of being in a splint with a sling, he got his hard cast a few days ago. It's looking like he'll be in the cast for another 6 or so weeks, which will probably take him up to Spring Break time. I think he and the rest of the boys gleaned a valuable lesson from this incident, but it's still a bummer that they had to learn it this way. So goes life, right? 

We're finally at the end of the first 2017 ice-pocalypse. After a week of hearing our meteorologists predict a cataclysmic event that would cause a total societal breakdown, it came and went without much ado. I'm not complaining! Please don't think I am! After the stupid 2002 ice storm, I never complain about not receiving a major winter storm! Our saving graces this time were the fact that the winds never came up, and we didn't receive as much ice as was predicted. I'm happy about both! Our power didn't ever waver and the roads weren't ever too terrible! Personally, I'm really happy that never happened because I literally spent the majority of the past week in a funk because I was certain that we'd have another '02 storm situation on our hands, and I was in no mood to repeat that. Very, very grateful for this small win! Now for the sunshine to return so that I can get more Vitamin D so I can really be rid of this funk.

I'm trying to find bright spots to focus on, as I'm tending to be quite negative these days. I know I haven't seen Thomas in person since New Year's, which is starting to wear on me more than I want to admit. It's been a while since we've gone this long without seeing each other. (I know, 2 weeks, big deal...soldier's families would kill for that amount of time. These are small potatoes. I. Know. I'm still just missing him.) An obvious short-term bright side is that, barring any other catastrophes, Thomas will be back here on Friday! A slightly longer-term bright side is spring break and the shower that Jay and Mark are planning for us! It will be one of the first "big" wedding events we'll have! Also, it'll be the first time my whole family will be in Dallas to visit Thomas's family. I'm so, so excited about it, but at the same time I also know that I'll probably feel awkward/nervous at the shower. I like the idea of being the center of attention. What can I say, I'm a teacher, the youngest child, and I'm usually an extrovert...being the center of attention should (and usually does) come naturally to me! However, if the past is any indicator of my future actions, I will likely feel slightly overwhelmed and will want to cling to Thomas all night. (I felt inexplicably "off" at my high school and OSU graduation parties.) Honestly, I'm glad that I get to share these things with him...maybe I won't feel so weird if it's for both of us, where I can deflect attention to him or other people. I just know that if I feel nervous in a crowd at a small-ish shower, I'm going to feel mega-overwhelmed at the wedding! Maybe I'll treat these smaller events like training courses for the wedding! Ha! 

One last bright spot before I wrap up this post is that, as a family, we're going to try to take some dancing lessons! Scotty's boss and his wife teach country dancing classes at a very reasonable price, so we're going to try to arrange a lesson or two in the springtime! I really, really hope we'll get to make those lessons happen! I'm already excited! :)

Oh yes, Scotty and Emily got a new dog after mourning the loss of their beloved Libby. Their new dog's name is Stormy, and she's pretty great :) She's a rescue dog, part black lab & part bulldog. It sounds cliche, but I think she's really the one who rescued them! :)

Okay, her name was Rhonda, but now it's Stormy.
(Who names a dog Rhonda...just saying?)
Picture was taken from the FB page of the organization Scotty adopted her from :)

Alright, I'll end it here with a few pictures for proof that many of these things happened! Have a great's hoping we'll be done with bad weather for a while!

Me, Thomas, and Elizabeth after Christmas Eve Mass
(Poor Elizabeth was recovering from shoulder surgery!)
Christmas with the Lieses!
Front: Elizabeth
Middle (L-R): Michael, Nicole, Katie (cousins of Thomas's)
Back: Me & Thomas (in case you didn't recognize us 😉)
Cody, aka Tex, tipping his hat during our Christmas celebration

Me, Cole, and Thomas
(Side note: We're convinced our children will look vaguely like Cole. Does anyone else see it?)

Wyatt with his sling. He was (obviously) very worn out from adjusting to his arm. 

A random, gorgeous sunset from a few nights ago.
We need something pretty to give us hope in dark times.