One Month Away…

Yep! The time is here. One month from today we’re getting married. It’s crunch time. The next month will be filled with a lot of little things to prepare for the big day. Next weekend we have our bachelorette/bachelor parties. Scott will be in Des Moines with his brothers and friends. I will be in Omaha with my girls. I can’t wait. It should be a fun weekend.

I’m also currently intensely working on making sure I eat healthy so I can fit into my wonderful dress. It’s perfect but I can’t gain any weight. Which isn’t easy. They say most brides lose weight before the wedding because of stress. Here’s the deal…I’m not most brides. HAHA. If there is one thing I’ve learned about myself (though my job) when I’m stressed I eat…horrible. I eat whatever is in front of me and give in to whatever I’m craving. It’s bad.

So I’m giving up carbs. Limiting them if I come into a situation where I can only eat what’s in front of me. I’ve been eating lean. Making salads and only eating protein. It’s no fun though. HAHA I like sweets, I love carbs. Giving those up sucks. But I think it will all be worth it.

As for Scott, he’s got the tuxes all lined up. The men are going to look amazing. 🙂 I am waiting for my shoes to arrive. I got my TOMS last week. LOVE THEM! Can’t wait to wear them and support a good cause.

For those who don’t know, TOMS brand is a charity. They have a ONE TO ONE program. When I purchase shoes, I am also purchasing a pair of shoes for a child in need. It’s a really great thing. Not only am I making a fashion statement but I am making a statement about poverty. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I we haven’t been blessed with the opportunity to throw a great party (and spend money on ridiculous things) but I thought purchasing TOMS would at least show that I care and recognize that there are people in the world who are in need. It’s a small thing. But I hope in encourages others to do the same. I thought about buying TOMS for all my bridesmaids. We’ll see. They sure are comfy.

See there I go, going off on some rant that’s not wedding related. HAHA Believe it or not it’s helpful for me to do that.

As far as all the other details regarding the wedding. We are getting RSVP’s in. WE put a QR code on our invites so it’s been fun to see people reply instantly. It’s helpful for us and for anyone with a smart phone. 🙂

We’re working on printing place cards and getting party favors.  If I had all the money in the world we’d have a pretty sweet party favor but I think we’re going with pink Hershey bars. Should be fun!

I am also almost finished with out video.  As you may know, Scott and I have made numerous videos during our relationship.  We’ve captured moments and made little recap videos or music videos.  So, naturally, we’re making on for our reception.  First there are two videos of us as children.  Photos and videos from our early years.  Then we have a video of our entire relationship.  It’s been so fun to put together.  Though I think I need to shorten it because it’s a little long.  🙂  Maybe we’ll have two versions.  😉

This is my “one month till the wedding” blog.  I’m sure there will be plenty more to talk about.  I keep reminding myself that this all needs to be enjoyed.  Once it’s over…we’ll be wishing we were still planning.  Or maybe we’ll be thankful it’s over.  Either way, the next month will be filled with great memories and a lot of gratitude.  🙂

Showered With Love

This past weekend Scott and I had the joy of experiencing wedding showers. Friday night was a “couples shower” in Des Moines, hosted by neighborhood friends. Saturday was the Bridal Shower (for family and friends), hosted by Scott’s aunt’s on both sides of the family.

Fortunately my family flew up from Memphis for the weekend of events.
I was so proud to have my family in town and introduce them to so many of the people in Scott’s family and life.

I was also amazed by the generosity of so many people. You know the beauty of getting married is that you bring together two people, who then bring in all the people in their lives. I was amazed by all the love and support. We were literally showered with gifts and memories. It was amazing.

Friday night we gathered with friends and couples who Scott grew up with. They were a group of neighborhood folks who all celebrate weddings by hosting a shower for the couples who lived in the neighborhood. They welcomed my family with open arms. We opened dozens of gifts and received plenty of wonderful, insightful and humorous marriage advice.

Saturday morning we all got up early and drove 3 hours to Dubuque for Shower #2. This one was all ladies, no men allowed (except when we needed their help at the end for loading gifts). It was all of Scott’s family, my immediate family and a few Dubuque friends. I can’t explain how I felt sitting in front of all these people who have embraced Scott and I from the beginning. Family members who have accepted me as one of their own, loved me just like Scott and are now supporting us as we begin our marriage. Then to look around and see so many wonderful friend who’ve also helped us get there. It was a preview of what it will be like at the wedding.

I found myself wanting to chat with everyone, but never really getting the chance to talk long, before I headed over to the next person and said hello and ‘thank you’.

Here is a photo of my sister and I. She is doing a wonderful job being the maid of honor…especially from hours away!

It was a marathon of a weekend. But it was humbling and amazing to see the love and support from so many different people in our lives. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to be a part of both families and to have such amazing friends. We are about 5 weeks out from the wedding…36 days away! It hard to believe how fast it’s approaching. Each and every day I pray a prayers of thanks for everyone who’s a part of this journey. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible. 🙂

Shopping: Random observations and experiences

I think I’m wired differently than most women.  Just ask my sister! 😉  For some odd reason I don’t like shopping.  I just spent the last two and half hours looking for shoes and a bra to wear on my wedding day.

Don’t get my wrong, when I need something I’ll buy it but I don’t like shop on a regular basis. When I have a successful shopping trip I feel very differently.  But it always seems like work! haha.

Today I went to Westroads in Omaha. This used to be the nice mall with a lot of choices but I think recently it’s turned into the mall where everyone goes to hang out. Kids everywhere, crowds and terrible customer service (except in Express and Victoria’s Secret).

Last week my sister took me shopping and while it was frustrating I also really enjoyed it, we stayed away from the mall. Maybe sometimes it’s really about shopping at the right time, in the right store, with the right person.  In fact, I think I just realized a benefit to working nights…I can shop in the morning and there are no crowds.

Here’s the deal, I’m a tomboy. If it was socially acceptable I’d wear tennis shoes all the time, a hooded sweat shirt and jeans. But unfortunately I’ve gotta look somewhat presentable most of the time and I can’t wear those kinds of things on my wedding day. That being said…I can’t wait to get dressed up for the wedding festivities.  I like getting dressed up…it’s fun for occasions.

So I ventured out to find shoes. No such luck. Most stores were picked over or had heels that were so high I’d fall over standing in them. (Trust me on this, Dancing With The Omaha Stars taught me how to walk in heels but these ones were too high). The one place I did have luck…Victoria’s Secret. The women working were a great help. I showed them my dressed and told them what I was looking for. It was great and they had good customer service.

Another random observation: when did VIctoria’s Secret become a place for tweens and teens to shop? SEriously the store was packed with teeny boppers. They were getting all these sexy bras and underwear. I’m thinking to myself, why do you need these? Just sayin’.

Finally, today I am thankful for social media and website. That is where I will be shopping for a while. Haha. In a matter for 45 minutes I had a list of places to look online, thanks to my Facebook friends. Perfect! First stop…ZAPPOS.COM

I’m even considering getting some Toms for the reception. Check it out!

We are six weeks out. Can’t believe it…and now I go back to writing Thank You’s. Stay tuned for a post about last weekend’s wedding showers. A lot to reflect on and share. Gratitude all around.

International Women’s Day: What It Means To Me

Today is International Women’s Day. I found this video by GOOGLE a very good explanation of their logo graphic today.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know it was a day until I got on Facebook this morning and saw many of my friends had posted comments and links about celebrating the day. I even found an article that gave 10 ways to celebrate.

When I read it, I got to thinking about how I wouldn’t likely do any of those things to celebrate. But I also got to thinking about what it means to be a woman and how so many women before me haven’t had the same lifestyle. I know many women choose to stay home and raise their children. In fact, I know a lot of women whom I respect dearly and admire, have stayed home. Truth is, it may not be for everyone, and it may change. At this moment in my life I know I am focused on my career. But I am learning that sometimes the focus changes in life. Either way I am proud to be a working woman and I recognize the challenges that may come with that. I have a passion for storytelling and that may change and mold into something else.

One woman in my life who is a perfect example of this is my very own mother. When I was born she worked as a hair stylist. She did this for years and then we moved to Cedar Rapids. For about a year she stayed at home with us, which I we loved. But then she felt the desire to go back to work. Briefly she sold make up and jewelry. But soon she had a desire to go back to school for something she’d never imagined: criminal justice. It turns out, during her time at home she spent a lot of time reading true crime books. She started at community college, attended Mount Mercy and went on to get her masters degree. All the while she was a mom, student and cancer patient. She was proof that you can do it all but it’s not easy. And I guess that is why she is my hero. She has learned to balance her love and passion for her family with her love and passion for her career. All the while living with purpose and setting and example for her daughters.

As for females in the workplace…as a female who works in news and sports I have felt first hand what it’s like to be a woman in a “man’s world”. It’s definitely an uphill battle. That being said I now work in a newsroom with a female boss. So all theories are out the window. And I enjoy the female leadership.

As far as me and my career, it will be a struggle. In a society that has always told women they are supposed to stay home and care for their children, it’s rare that you see women last very long in our business. When we all start having kids and want to spend time with family, it quickly becomes a matter of choosing between the two. Unfortunately that is not the case for men. In our newsroom alone, the men all have wives who are the primary caretaker. In the course of 30 years we’ve had the same male co-anchor and three female co-anchors. Same goes for Cedar Rapids/Waterloo TV. Male anchors stay, female anchors go. Many of them left on their own, some left because they were forced out. But sometimes I believe that it was truly that the women were force out by the culture and expectations placed on women. It’s a tough world out there. I keep reminding myself that leaving the business isn’t failure, it’s a change of direction (should I choose to do so…or be forced out). Besides…when I think about how we are all here to do God’s work, I often wonder where he’ll lead me.

At the end of the day, today is just a reminder of how far society has come. Women now work.

As I type this at work, I find myself saying ‘thank you’ to all the women who’ve paved the way for people like me.

Keep on paving!