Okay, this is long overdue, but I'm finally finding enough time to string together what I've been up to over the past few months! (Yikes, I cringe at that...it's literally been months...oops!)
So much has happened, where shall I start? Let's start with the good stuff...wedding plans! A few weeks ago, mom and I found the flower girl dresses at Burlington Coat Factory! They're absolutely beautiful, flowy, and perfect. Even better, they were much less expensive than we were anticipating! On a related note, the bridesmaids dresses finally arrived! I was oh so excited about them until I let Liz, Gina, and Emily try theirs on. Much to the dismay of me and my mom (and dad for that matter), the dresses weren't fitting anyone, and they didn't lack that much space of zipping. We were beside ourselves, knowing that it already took almost 3 months for them to arrive initially, wondering how on earth we could possibly finagle reordering them. Then, Mom decided to manhandle the dresses a little, and a small miracle occurred! With a little effort, the dresses zip and fit beautifully. Thankfully, all the dresses will need to be taken in and hemmed a little bit, but those are all quick, easy fixes! Whew! Also, I went for my makeup trial with my makeup artist. She didn't go all out on it since it was just a trial, but I was still pleased with the results, nonetheless! The last big development is that Mom and I talked to our florist and have picked out flowers! So many big things have been taken care of, and the big day is quickly approaching! (Not that I'm excited or anything 😉)
Now that it's getting closer (we're close to the 4-month mark), it's time for the next phase--showers! We just celebrated our first shower, which was thrown by Jay and Mark (Thomas' uncles). It was a lovely evening! It was a fiesta themed shower thrown at a Mexican restaurant in Dallas. The shower was thrown especially for Thomas' family so no one would feel especially obligated to attend a shower in Oklahoma (as at least 2 or so are likely). All of our families were in attendance, which was especially awesome! It was my family's first time to be down here to meet the remainder of Thomas' family. It was a bit of a treacherous drive down last Friday, as we were in the midst of the mass exodus from Oklahoma to Texas at the beginning of spring break. It felt as though we spent more time in standstill traffic than we did driving at highway speeds. For reference, a drive that should take about 4-4.5 hours took us almost 6-6.5 hours. It was frustrating to say the least. However, we ended up having a great time once we all made it! I've come to realize just how much I love getting the two families together. It makes me a little sad to think that that will take quite a bit of orchestrating to make that happen in the future. I still just consider myself doubly blessed to be marrying into a wonderful, loving family!
While I'm thinking about Dallas, I guess I should mention some of the developments that have taken place in our "resettling" process. Thomas is still staying with his parents for at least another couple of months, but, have no fear! We have put down a deposit on an apartment! We spent one painstaking Saturday driving all over town trying to find an apartment complex that was safe, clean, well-managed, and affordable. We're hoping that we have chosen well. Thomas is hoping to move in sometime in May so that he'll have plenty of time to get everything settled before I get there. From a location standpoint, we are confident in that, as we are right by the intersection of 2 major toll roads. It shouldn't pose too much of an issue for any commutes either! Speaking of commutes, I've interviewed with a few schools down here and am feeling fairly confident. Of course, I'd appreciate some prayers. I'll elaborate more when I have some definite good news, but for now I'll just leave it at that. Hopefully you can understand that. Let's hope I have lots of great news in the coming weeks and months!
As for work, it's going. I was very happy to make it to spring break with my sanity intact. Really it wasn't too stressful until the last week or two, but then everything (and everyone) started going crazy all at once. Now that we're at spring break, we're officially in the home stretch. That is equal parts exciting and terrifying. State testing is rapidly approaching, but so is summer. Keeping my students reined in for the next 8 weeks could be fairly challenging, because in their minds, nothing matters after spring break. I'm also slowly realizing that my time there is quickly coming to an end. I'm also quickly approaching my last day with my students. I'm sure that they won't miss me that much, but I know that it'll make me at least a little sad to part ways with them.
My family has been up to all kinds of things. Wyatt celebrated his 11th birthday, and a few weeks later was healed enough to have his cast removed! He was happy to go back to the two-armed life! The boys are all growing so much...Cody is now officially as tall as I am! I feel a little bit old (and short). In other birthday news, my mom celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago! We had a lovely day putzing around in OKC, taking care of a few things. I so love the days I get to spend with her. They make me happy! Thomas also celebrated his birthday last week! He's still doing well and enjoying being back in Dallas, thanks for asking. As of late he has become re-involved with his old Boy Scout troop as an assistant scoutmaster. (He is an Eagle Scout, did I ever mention that?) I think he likes being able to give back to an organization that has given so much to him, not to mention the fact that it gives him a little more purpose. During Thomas' birthday weekend, we celebrated the first quarter birthdays with the Liese family. We had a lovely evening feasting on brisket and chocolate cake, among other things!
Of course, now that it's March, we're only about a week out from my birthday! I have started to realize that since I turned 21, it's hard for me to remember exactly how old I am. Oh well, as long as I'm still alive, that's all that matters to me! I really love my birthday, but it also makes me a little sad anymore, because I'm so used to celebrating it alongside Mimi, whose birthday would be on the 18th. If she were still alive, she'd be 99 this year. This also means we're coming up on two years since she died (the 26th). It makes me have a love/hate relationship with the month of March. I guess I'm glad that Thomas is a March baby as well, so that it can somewhat help me to get my mind off of being sad about Mimi. Two years later, and I still cry over Mimi's death. My heart still stings when I think about her and how wonderful of a person she was. My heart still longs to hear her voice, to hold her hand, to tell her about my life, to laugh with her, to just share life with her.
I'm sure you wonder why her death affects me more than the death of any of my other grandparents. Yes, I miss them all. The thing is that both Grandpa Rudy and Grandma Hladik both died when I was eleven, within a couple months of each other. Grandpa Rudy fought long and hard with skin cancer, Grandma fought with dementia. They weren't in the best of health for most of the time I was around them, and they died when I was a child. Grandpa Hladik died back in 1987, long before I was ever thought of. He died of lung cancer, as he was a lifelong smoker. I would have loved to meet him, as we had many common interests, so I've been told. I would have loved to hear his war stories, as I'm fascinated by WWII. We both love(d) the rosary. But Mimi was different. She was alive and well for almost all of my life. Really, up until the last 1.5 months of her life, she was easy to talk to and full of life. For 11 years, she was my only living grandparent and was a true rock for me. We learned so much from each other, and we really were able to just be there for each other. I guess the old saying is true that when someone you love dies, you never get over it, but you get used to it.
I'm going to try to stay on the bright side and focus on the here and now. Life's too short and too good to focus on what makes you sad! Love and peace to you all!