Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September Goings-On

Let's see what's happening today...
Ignore the bathroom in the back. Lazy night enjoying dessert in a mug!
Last time I wrote, I talked about our upcoming trip to OK to see our friends Michael and Kendall get married. We had a good journey--safe and fun! Their wedding was absolutely wonderful. It was apparent that they are over the moon for each other and overwhelmingly ecstatic to finally be married! Mom, Dad, Thomas, and I all made the trek to Tulsa to attend the blessed event. We saw a multitude of friends and danced the evening away. So happy for them to begin this new phase of their lives.
Love this groom's cake...perfect for a wheat farmer!
Aren't these beautiful centerpieces?
On a separate note, we also loved getting to see my family! The boys continue to grow like weeds, which is always a good thing. Word on the street is that their first round of parent teacher conferences went well, so I'm happy to know that they're doing well! Jakub, who is as inquisitive and stubborn as you'd expect a three (almost four) year old to be, has started to adjust to the structure of preschool. His crowning achievement is learning the Pledge of Allegiance, which he gleefully recited for me and Thomas last night on the phone. Now, he just has to recite it for his class to earn his official certificate...here's hoping today's the day! The two older Moody boys are loving football season, as expected.

In typical newlywed fashion, we have managed to upgrade a few more furniture pieces in our apartment due to family members acquiring new furniture themselves. Our new acquisitions this time are a couch and matching (!) nightstands. Thomas' aunt, Jean, just finished a massive remodel of her house and was sweet enough to offer us these pieces, among a few others that we'll likely acquire in the coming days/weeks. It is a huge upgrade, as our previous couch was a jewel-toned plaid couch, circa mid 1990s. (We all know the type, right?) That couch was a little smaller than we cared for, and the cushions weren't as plush as they once were. It was free to us also, so we never complained too much, but this couch was a welcome change! It has the same basic dimensions as the old couch, yet it somehow seems to take up less space, while having deeper cushions. (And it looks a little more modern, so that's always nice!) The nightstands are perfect, if only because I didn't have one before this. (Thomas did, though. Yes, yes I was a little salty about the previous setup. Life goes on.) Having matching pieces is an added perk, as most newlyweds receiving hand-me-down furniture usually don't get that luxury!
Look at it! Isn't it beautiful?!
Yes, getting the couch was nice, but getting rid of the old one remains a bit of a debacle. We found out relatively quickly that we'd be acquiring our new couch, so we didn't have much time to research options. (To be expected, since Jean could only inform us as her contractors completed their work...and we all know how sporadic that could be, I'm sure.) All in all, we had about 3 days to part with the old couch, because there was no conceivable way to fit both couches in our apartment. I made a few calls to charity organizations to see about having them pick up our couch. That was a real eye-opener. First of all, it takes a lot longer to get a response than you'd expect. (Then again, maybe not, since they're predominantly volunteer-based organizations.) It turns out that most organizations don't do pickups that require their movers to go up or down stairs. (Also fair, since they're probably not insured for that.) That was a huge snag, since we're on the third floor of our building, which ruled out about 2/3 of the organizations I contacted. Many places didn't accept upholstered goods. (Bug infestations, smoke, and overall condition probably play into that and they want to weed out receiving pure junk.) The biggest limiting factor I found in the two places that would agree to all of our needs was that they couldn't do a pickup until mid to late October. Say what?! Times like this make me very glad that we live close to Thomas' parents. They have a two-car garage that only holds one of their vehicles at the moment, so they had ample space for us to store the couch for the meantime.

Yes, we could have dropped the couch off (and we will soon do that), but we were further limited by having access to a vehicle that can easily accommodate a couch. (I miss my pickup for that reason.) Also, most places quit accepting donations between 5:30 and 6 PM on weeknights. Seeing as Thomas doesn't get home til almost 6 every night, that wouldn't work either. We were grateful for Thomas' friend Matt, who offered his moving services/pickup bed for us to switch out couches in return for dinner. (This is the third time that he's helped us with a move. We're really going to owe him one of these days...)

Our new couch is a light neutral color, much like the rest of our apartment. I decided that we needed a splash of color so that it isn't so drab in here. My solution was to get colorful throw pillows, but I wanted to be able to switch them out through the seasons. Thomas didn't want a ton of throw pillows clogging up our apartment, not to mention that they're stupidly expensive, so I came up with a workable way to bypass this. I found an online pattern so that I can make covers for throw pillows using my sewing expertise. Storing the covers won't be a big deal, and it won't cost as much on a long-term scale! In my excitement, I also managed to find a cute local quilt store, where I could buy some nice, high-quality fabric. (Yes, it costs more, but you get what you pay for, fabric-wise. Also, I always support small businesses when I can.) I never realized how big the store in Hennessey was until I arrived! This store was considerably smaller, but they still had an ample inventory. Also, they were every bit as friendly as the purple-shirt crew is at my beloved Prairie Quilt. I think I surprised them with my knowledge of the quilt shop industry that I gleaned through my time working at one. I also put in a plug for it...who wouldn't brag about the largest quilt store in Oklahoma? I digress...I ended up buying some fabric, a lovely orange and black plaid. Imagine my surprise when I saw our couch again, just to realize that there is a pronounced scroll-type thread pattern in the otherwise tan upholstery. Obviously, the plaid is now a no-go. Thank goodness I'm resourceful with fabric, as I'm sure that one will be good for some other project I decide to tackle within time. Now, I need to return to the store to buy the orange tone-on-tone fabric that Thomas and I almost bought the first time around.
Our pick was the fourth from the left. See what I mean? It will definitely clash...
Enough about couches already! Last weekend, Thomas and I celebrated two months of wedded bliss! I decided it was high time that we broke in our fine china, crystal, and nice flatware. What's the point of storing it away forever and ever? We had a lovely dinner at home, just the two of us. It was perfect in every way :)
Check out those table settings!
Last week, I also decided that I had become very lazy. The final straw for me was that some of my clothes were starting to not fit so well (and I can't just run out and obtain a new wardrobe), so I decided to make use of the workout facility at our complex. The facility is nothing special, but it has enough to make it useful. I decided I needed some cardio in my life, so I hopped on the treadmill. I wanted a good workout, so I looked to YouTube to find one. It was nice because it told me when to up my speed and/or incline. Then the peppy girl on the video started skipping on the treadmill. That's about when I parted ways with her plan. (Seriously, who has the coordination to skip on a treadmill that's supposed to be moving at 4 mph? Also, that's a broken ankle/concussion waiting to happen. Nope. No way. Not happening.) That night, I thoroughly researched apps to find one I liked. I opted for one that had workout plans for all levels of fitness, multiple types of workouts (treadmill/elliptical/stationary bike/outdoor walking/race training plans). Even better, each workout comes with its own playlist. So far I'm happy with it. Here's hoping I can keep up my motivation and make a little progress.

We've had lots of fun get-togethers also! Last Saturday night, we had dinner with our newly-engaged friends, Alex and Haley, in celebration of Haley's birthday and their new engagement! It was a lovely evening, and I foresee many nights like that in our future! On Sunday night, we had Steve and Diana over for dinner, since they were just getting back to town from their country property. We figured it'd take some of the stress of stringing together a meal on the heels of a weekend trip off of them. Also, Steve had been out of town on business last week, so it was nice to see and catch up with them. In my opinion, Sundays are made for nice family meals. If I can't have my Sunday dinners with my family, I want to do the same with Thomas' family. I hope to keep and pass on this tradition through the years.

This weekend is the beginning of a few event-filled weekends. We will be dog/house sitting for Thomas' parents, who are off to visit Elizabeth for parents' weekend in the STL. (Pray for peace in that town, by the way. Protesters occupied the outskirts of campus for most of Sunday, and I worry for the students' safety.) During our weekend, we also hope to attend the Plano hot air balloon festival! I've never seen an actual hot air balloon in real life, so I think this could be lots of fun! Thomas hasn't attended in years, so he's equally excited!

On Sunday, Thomas also surprised me with a bouquet of beautiful hydrangeas, some "just because" flowers, which are always my favorite type! Love him and the life we're building together!

I'm continuing to love my church women's group! We have a great time each week. Last night, I led a session that detailed the life and ministry of Fr. Stanley Rother, who will be beatified on Saturday morning! They loved learning more about him and his example of Christlike love. I loved seeing their enthusiasm. What can I say, a teacher's always gotta teach about something!

Oh yes, tutoring is continuing to go well. Fingers crossed (and prayers sent) that this month will bring about more inquiries and more business for me! Can't wait to report back about our life's happenings next time! Love to you all!!!

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