I thought I’d drop in and leave a quick update, because who knows when I’ll get back here next! The wedding is scarily close…less than 2 weeks away! WOW. After waiting for over 1.5 years, it’s finally almost here!!!
Last time, we were about to move into our apartment, so I’ll pick up there. I like our apartment a lot. It’s way bigger than Thomas’ Arkansas apartment, so it currently feels like a palace! It is set up well and flows nicely. We’ve gotten most of our shower gifts unpacked. Even better, we’ve been able to use quite a few of them already! I’m especially loving our Fiestaware. It’s beautiful, simple, and fun to use. (Who knew it was possible to have fun using plates?! I think I’m officially an adult now…) So far, I’ve only found a couple small downsides to our apartment. The first is that we are situated on the third floor, so it makes unloading vehicles full of groceries or wedding gifts a little more challenging than we’ve been used to. Also, every time I’ve wanted to go swimming in the complex pool (yes, we have a pool!) I have been foiled by rain, unseasonably cool weather, or inadequate time. That bums me out a lot more than you’d think, but I know I’ll have all the time in the world after I move down, right? Also, I figured out a workable solution to help us unload vehicles. I decided that it’d be useful to keep canvas tote bags in each vehicle, then load those up with grocery bags. That helped quite a bit and saved Thomas and me having to go up and down all the flights of stairs 4 times.
Quite a bit of my time this summer has been devoted to toting some combination of my nephews to some sort of day camp, whether it was for basketball, baseball, or Totus Tuus. They’re all done with summer camps for now, so it’s back to their carefree summers!
A few weekends ago, the Liese side of Thomas’ family had a reunion in Georgetown, TX. Although it seemed like a long drive down there due to traffic and construction, it didn’t stop us from having a great, relaxing weekend. Truth be told, it was like a mini-retreat from wedding planning. Friday was a travel day for everyone, so most of our activities were slated for Saturday. We kicked off the day by visiting Thomas’ great-grandparents’ original home. The current owner was sweet enough to let us invade her home, which was surprisingly well-preserved. She took a lot of pride in explaining the history of the house and comparing notes with the grandchildren who still had vivid memories of the house. During our tour, Thomas ended up winning a large bag of pecans that came from the trees his great-grandparents planted many years ago. We were quite excited about that, because we both love fresh pecans. (Store bought pecans taste like cardboard in comparison with fresh pecans…just saying!)
After the tour, our smaller group (us, his parents, his sister, his aunt Jean, and his uncles Jay and Mark) all went down to the Georgetown square to look around and grab lunch. It was typical of most historical small-town squares, as it was packed with antique stores, and other novelty stores. It was nice to roam around with Thomas, as it was the most carefree time we’d spent together in quite a long time. My favorite place we stopped on the square (besides getting lunch) was the chocolate shop. It was a little family-owned shop, and we had the privilege of having a good chat with one of the owners. He was a kindly older gentleman who was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary that day. He gave us his blessings for a happy marriage and told us the short history of their family chocolate shop. To make things better, their chocolate was absolutely amazing! We met up with our group after some time, when Thomas was gifted an antique nut cracker, found by Jay and Mark at the only antique store that Thomas and I didn’t go into to look for one.
We capped off the day by swapping photos and stories in one of the hotel meeting rooms and dinner at a quaint German restaurant in Walburg, which was a stone’s throw away from Georgetown. The food was comforting to me, as it is quite similar in flavor to many of the foods my family makes or has made. We ended the night out the in the beer garden behind the restaurant, just talking and enjoying the cool evening in the shade of the trees, listening to a polka band that gave us their best rendition of AC/DC songs. (I never imagined that I’d hear “Highway to Hell” with an accordion harmony line…)
We finished the reunion by traveling to some of the area cemeteries to visit the burial sites of various Liese ancestors. It was an interesting history lesson that was diminished for me only for the fact that I incurred a sunburn on my shoulders, thanks to the fact that I didn’t realize we’d be outside for so long, and, let’s face it, cemeteries usually don’t abound with trees. Oh well, story of my life! The highlight of our trip home was getting to stop at the Czech Stop in West, TX and get kolaches. They were heavenly, just like the ones my family makes. Did you know that in certain places, they call sausage rolls (pigs in a blanket) kolaches? For shame. They are wrong, but they’ll never admit to it, so life somehow goes on.
Since then, I’ve been in OK working on tying up loose ends for the wedding and soaking up my last bits of living here. In the time from then to now, we’ve had a fun evening talking wedding plans at Liz’s house. (They recently moved into a beautiful new home and have volunteered their home for a wedding day bridal brunch! They’re the best!) I grabbed lunch with my teacher friends and met the teacher who’ll replace me. (She seems nice!) We also had an impromptu dinner with my immediate family and a few cousins and family friends. It was such a nice evening!
The million-dollar question these days seems to revolve around people wondering if I have all the plans done and if everything is ready. The overwhelming answer to this is a resounding “kind of.” I’ll give you a run-down of what I’ve accomplished!
I had my pre-bridal pictures taken last week. This helped me to have a run-through of my hair, makeup, and pictures. (Fun fact: Liz has been so sweet to volunteer herself to do my makeup for the wedding. Have I mentioned lately that she’s the best?) I’m anxiously awaiting the text from my photographer letting me know that she has finished editing my pictures! This past weekend, I celebrated my last shower and bachelorette party with some of my favorite ladies! My sisters, Mom, Liz, and Tonisha did an amazing job putting everything together and making it happen! It was absolutely perfect! Ladies, if people tell you that you have to have an all-out booze fest/wild night for your bachelorette party, know that they’re wrong. We ate at a Mexican restaurant and went to a painting studio and consumed absolutely no alcohol in the process. After the painting studio, everyone went their separate ways. I was with my mom and sisters, so we went to Target (extra crazy), and capped off the night with appetizers, dessert, and a drink from TGI Friday’s. It was the perfect night! During my events, besides the people I already mentioned, I also got to see Sierra and Rebecca (my St. John’s bffs), Mary (my other high school bff), Laura and Aimee (my teaching bffs/classroom neighbors), Robyn and her girls (my flower girls who I used to babysit), Aunt Pat, and my cousin Tim’s wife, Silvia and their daughter. Everyone had a blast together, and I loved getting to see/talk to everyone!
Speaking of my flower girls, I have to giggle a little bit, as one of my flower girls pulled the classic little girl stunt—I don’t want bangs anymore, so I’m going to take matters into my own hands and actually prolong having bangs. (Long story short, she cut her bangs.) Surprisingly, I wasn’t concerned by this at all. It happened almost a month ago, and they’ve grown out alright. Life goes on, and hair grows back.
We also put in our flower order with our florist. We opted not to use one of the bigger florists in Enid, so we went with a smaller florist. I’ve come to realize that the only downside of utilizing small businesses is that they are prone to greater instability since they aren’t backed by a larger corporation or copious amounts of money. About a week after ordering flowers, it was announced via social media that the shop was being put on the market to be sold. I wasn’t too concerned since it never came up in conversation during our ordering session, but to be safe, I called and checked in with the owners. It turns out that there is nothing to worry about, as they are slowly starting to step away from accepting new jobs, but will fulfill everything they’ve signed on to date. All things worked out well, no crises here!
Last week, my mom and I were fairly productive. Our crowning achievement for the week was that we finished making up our punch. Since the recipe calls for the punch to be frozen, it can be made quite a while in advance. It was nice to cross that item off of our list!
The last item of note is that I am currently without my beloved engagement ring, as Thomas repossessed it yesterday. I say that, but really, he’s taking it to the jeweler to have it cleaned and to have my wedding band soldered on to it. I won’t be able to wear it again until the wedding, so I’m going to miss it quite a bit over the next two weeks!
Today (I guess now I have to classify it as yesterday) was a good Fourth of July. It was much simpler than our celebrations in most years (for obvious reasons). We assembled wedding programs, then Scotty grilled delicious hamburgers for us. After dusk, the older boys headed out to the pasture and set off our fireworks. We also were able to see displays for miles around us in all directions. It was a simple, perfect night with my family. I really love nights like these :)
I’m hoping to get at least one more post in before the wedding (which could be a tall order to fill), but if I don’t, the next time you hear from me could be after I am a married woman! Here we go!