Holy Cow.... Time Flies!!

WOW... I can't believe that it's almost Friday again! I've been so busy that the week has flown right by! I've been UBER busy actually! Our wedding invitations went postal. I worked on a few different design team projects (I'll post them later for your viewing pleasure!). I've been busy unpacking my boxes and slowly moving into Steve's house - make that OUR house (Sheri is teaching me to call it "ours"). We were able to pick up our engagement photos, and they are being put to heavy use in my Memory Trends projects! Melissa really did an incredible job.

Here are a few of my favorites:

It's funny and amazing (to me) to see the changes in myself from the set of photos Melissa took of us in the bluebonnets, to these. HOLY cow! My face is so small now! Seeing the differences makes me want to go to the gym instead of dreading it some days!

The end of another work week...

Here we are - at another Friday! Wahooo! I have so many things I want to accomplish this weekend. I hope I can manage to get most of it completed. Of course, there are plenty of wedding tasks to get done. There are a few papercrafting tasks I need to work on also. Finally, would my weekend be complete without some housekeeping and laundry? I'd hate to have an "uncomplete" weekend! :)

I talked to the wedding invitation printer, and they believe that the invites will be here tommorrow. They should have been here days ago, but that's another story. So, please keep your fingers crossed that they will arrive, that I can get them assembled, and that they'll go postal THIS WEEKEND!

Heather B. and I are **hopefully** going to go to a few local wedding supply shops and floral outlets to find the perfect flowers for my bouquet and everyone elses corsages and bout's. I'm using hopefully because if the weather gets too stormy, or starts to get too bad here because of Hurricane Rita, I'm staying in! I'd LOVE to get the flowers done this weekend, but I'm NOT into flooding highways.

Sunday, after church, I'm planning to visit with my fun friend & Dymo Queen, Virginia. I'm looking forward to spending some good fun times with her and the rest of the group! Then, Sunday evening, Steve and I have another meeting with our wedding officiant, Bishop Hall. We're going over the ceremony - that ought to be entertaining! :)

Slamming Fingers...

Years and Years ago.... when I was in third year or so... I think I was 8 or 9 years old, I got my finger slammed in a big heavy gate after reccess. It was a huge deal, and though I don't remember all of the details around the situation - I do remember that I blamed it entirely on two girls (who also happened to be my neighbors). I didn't just blame them though, I seriously blamed them. I told the principal that they put my fingers into the hinge, and then shut the gate... yes I made a huge story out of a simple (but incredibly painful) thing. In the end, I was even more embarassed when I had to admit that I lied. Both of our parents commanders were involved. It was a huge deal, both emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Why bring it up today? Well, last night I slammed my finger in the door leving Steve's garage. And, although I didn't blame it on anyone else (I might have tried if someone was around to blame), I was a serious drama queen. I don't know if its hormones, or just plain pain, but I don't think I've cried that hard in MANY many years. There's only one time I remember experiencing such pain, and that was a few years ago too. I was incredibly dramatic complete with wailing, thrashing, crying HUGE tears, screaming, and sobbing. I'm sure Steve was beside himself trying to figure out what happened, and what body part had been amputated.

It's kind of funny thinking about it now. I was SO upset that my finger was going to be ugly for the wedding. I kept thinking... I didn't want to get acrylic nails... I don't want my nail to fall off... I don't want to have to wear dark nail polish at my wedding... my pictures are going to highlight my finger... waaaah waaaah waahhh.

I seriously missed my calling in life. Broadway - Watch out!

Productive Exhaustion

WOW... I'm EXHAUSTED!!! Seriously, I could sleep today away and still be tired! :) This weekend was incredibly productive though! Here's a run down of what happened (and of course 99.9% of it is wedding related!):

Friday Night:

~ Reserved Carrabbas for our family dinner.
~ Went and purchased Steve's suit. MAN... I was UBER weak in the knees after seeing him all gussied up! Rawr! (that would be my imitation of a tiger growl!!)
~ Went to the Grapevine Mills Mall to look for potential engagement photo outfits. (Didn't find, but got a great shirt at Anne Taylor Loft!)
~ Had dinner at Carrabbas.

Saturday:
~ I went and had my dress fitted (it'll be ready on October 1st! Wooo Hooo!)
~ Steve and I finished up our Target Wedding Registry (Men can be SO unhelpful and unopinionated - except for when you absolutely love something and he doesn't... BLAH!).
~ We had our engagement photos taken at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens with Melissa Westlake (she is seriously an awesome photographer!)
~ We discussed having an Open House in lieu of a Reception next year. (didn't want to slight anyone...)
~ Picked up dinner from Central Market.

Sunday:
~ Meeting with the wedding officiant (Bishop Jared Hall).
~ Checked out wedding cakes (Market Street Bakery - beautiful cakes, and not too expensive)
~ Checked out printing costs for Thermography. (If you ever want to do thermography - Kinkos is THE place. Seriously, SO not expensive - even if you want more than once color!!)
~ Decided to have an Open House. So, heads up: there won't be a reception next year.
~ Basically created Open House Menu and picked up what decorations we'll be using (not much... really really just simple lights in plants and photos. I promise we will use real tablecloths though!)
~ Had my ATC books (PonderingATC's) spiral bound at Kinkos.

Man, I'm even more tired after typing it all out! Sheesh....

A big shout out...

If you've been reading any of the comments, you've seen my brother Roberts posts. He's the dude in the photo on the left (taken at my Grandmother Davidsons funeral in May) and he's HILARIOUS! Seriously! My brother Robert ROCKS! My other brother, Scott does too, but this post is about Robert. He is one freakin' hilarious, amazingly intelligent, thought provoking, make-your-heart swoon singing, computer fixing, awesome hair style, choir directing, great dressing, Harry Connick piano playing DUDE!! He seriously rocks! And, I know that if I ever need him, seriously need him, he'll be there. He is one fantastic brother, and I count myself blessed to know him. Even when his humor pisses me off (because it's about me... and TRUE...) I still love him! And, it made me happy to know that he reads my blog everyday. I seriously consider that a compliment - what a stud!

Plenty of rambling thoughts...

BEWARE: This post will be full of rambling thoughts....

I've come to the conclusion that my teeth will never be white-white. I need to learn how to be happy with ivory teeth. I've gone through almost every whitening kit available (and EVERY Crest white strips kit on the market) and I can't tell a difference. I've even done a professional kit from my dentist (a few years ago). I'm stuck. Ivory teeth it will forever be.

Who knew how expensive hotel accomodations could be?? My goodness! I'm trying to research rooms for two nights (checking in on 10/21 and out on 10/23) and they're all over $60 a night! I didn't think that my little town (or Steve's for that matter) was such a happening place. Nutso!

Why is it that clothing manufacturers can't keep their sizes the same? Why is it that a Lane Bryant 14 drowns me, but that a Dockers 14 fits? Why is it that an Ambercrombie large tshirt fits, but that an Old Navy large t drowns me? It is SO frustrating!!!

How is it that flights can vary so much from day to day? I found a flight for $180 on Friday, and today it's $240. It's the same freakin' flight, AND it's more than 30 days ahead of time. If I wait to buy the ticket, will it go up again or down?

Why do protein drinks have such horrible tastes? I HATE aftertaste!!!

Design Team Meeting with Magic Scraps

Last night I had the FUN opportunity to have a Design Team meeting last night with Magic Scraps. These are the coolest ladies! The other members of the team are Virginia Barrett (Dymo Queen on Two Peas) and Bernadette DeMoro. Our fearless leader is Emily Adams. She's awesome! Emily REALLY worked hard to get us some awesome donations from a few companies (Advantus Companies & Creative Imaginations!)

I left our meeting feeling totally jazzed and excited to work on my Memory Trends assignments for them. They really have some incredible new products coming out - I can't wait to work on them!

Talk about BUSY....

I am going to be running FULL throttle for the next week or so! One would normally think of the pending weekend as a time to relax and enjoy doing nothing. Not my weekend! Tommorrow, I have a list of things to do that makes my mind spin! For starters, they are:

  1. Steve and I need to get our wedding registries started. (My co-workers have already started asking me what they should get, etc. We've only been engaged for 6 days!!) We're looking at Target (they're everywhere), Bed Bath & Beyond, and Linens and Things. Do you have any reccomendations of other places we should shoot for? Linens and Things are basically the same store, right?
  2. Steve and I are going to head over to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens to scope out potential wedding sites. I know we can have it at the church for nada, but I'd love (and so would Steve) to have a lovely outdoor wedding. In October, it would be ideal weatherwise. The ceremony is going to be UBER short - like 15 minutes tops - so the no chair thing (well max of 10 chairs) probably won't be an issue!
  3. I really REALLY want to get over to a crop that some girlfriends are attending at the Lewisville Scrapbook Warehouse on Saturday night. I don't know if I'm going to be too exhausted though. It's starting to look that way!
  4. I want to list some more of my extra scrapbooking items onto eBay. Not only will it save me from moving them into my new studio, but I can make some money to pay for this wedding thing! :) I have a bunch of QuicKutz, Stampin' Up stuff, and other great items! I just don't need them all!
  5. Laundry, Laundry, Laundry
  6. I REALLY need to help out around the house! I need to clean my bathroom before someone does it for me. I need to tidy up my bedroom before someone else does that too! I'm sure it would be helpful if I actually vacuumed up another room too!
  7. Unpacking. Steve and I have been getting truck loads of my stuff from the storage unit. I wanted it all unpacked before we got married or even started registries so that we would know what we really need and what we don't. Steve was a total stud and picked up a load of stuff on his own yesterday. I have that load to unpack, and one that we had waiting! YIKES!
  8. Putting together furniture. Steve purchased a few items for me to utilize in my new studio, and they need to be assembled. We got this great shelf at Costco (it will go into the closet) and this awesome unit at Ikea. Have I shared my love of Ikea? If they had a registry, we would definitely be partaking in that experience. But, alas - they don't. Poor me, right? Anyway, the units need to be put together so that as I unpack (see bulletpoint above) I have somewhere to put the craft items away. (suprise, not everything was in my studio!)
    Scrapbooking! I need to get going on displays, projects, and samples for at least two companies. And, they need to be done SOON. Imagine that, something else that needs to get done SOON! :)
  9. Church and Church. This week, we're going to attend Steve's ward (Trophy Club) and my favorite ward (Hurst First). Thats like 6 hours of church if we attend all three hours of both wards. I'm going to be tired from just church if I'm not careful!

Can you see why I'm exhausted already? Put me in bed and call me DONE!

Random Things...

Well this whole tagging thing is running around like a game of "Duck, Duck, Goose". I've been tagged by Caroline. Now, I need to list 5 random things about myself (as if I'm not random enough as it is!)

  1. I was president of Future Homemakers of America... in GERMANY. I know! Deep down, you're shocked! I used to win contests with my cooking and other homemaking skills. Would you know it now?
  2. Both my left and right ear have been pierced three times, but I only wear earrings in the first hole.
  3. I was born with coal black hair. It went blonde almost instantly (what does that say about my intelligence level??). Everyone used to ask my mother why she would frost a babies hair. As if... she hates it when I color my hair. She always says "why, WHY do you insist on screwing with your hair??" I LOVE having different hair colors!!
  4. I have big, flat feet.
  5. The first time I met someone who rubber stamped (two women actually) I thought they were mad (as in crazy). They had oodles of rubber stamps, and they LOVED to play with them. I played with them a few times, but didn't catch the bug. Now, I have more rubber stamps than both of them put together! Who knew.....

Okay, so I know that one of them has done this already too, but I'm tagging two of my Heather friends. That's Heather B. and Heather H! You're it!

Wedding and Scrapboking

The word is slowly getting out! Yeah for technology! Well, we knew the first question we were going to be asked would be "Have you set a date?". And, we didn't have an answer until last night. As crazy as this is, and as wild as it's going to get, we've decided on October 22, 2005. Yes, that's right, 2005. Yes, we know it's in 6 weeks. Yes, we are out of our minds. But, yes we're happy.

It will be a small wedding, VERY small wedding. We're getting married in a small room, and it may end up only being family. As much as we love you all, it's most important to us that we have our parents there. We are going to try and make sure that all of our parents are there (go blended families!). We will have a reception, but it will also be small and not fancy. We're looking at gettting married at 11:30 am, and then having a light lunch (read: sandwich fixings/salads/chips/vegi tray) and SHORT kind of reception. There won't be any alcohol, but there will be an incredibly awesome punch!! We'd love to have you join us for the reception, and it's going to be very short, but nice.

We're hoping to get announcements out quickly (well with only 6 weeks, it's going to be quick!). Please make sure I have your mailing address. You can email it directly to me at hbeste@yahoo.com or to us at steveandheatherales@yahoo.com.

I finally had a chance to get a layout posted. It's photos from Arissa's last visit, and me. It's been posted to ScrapTalk (my new site of choice) and Two Peas in a Bucket (my other site of choice). It's a fun two page spread with my niece. All patterned paper, chipboard, and rub-ons were designed by Sarah Ackerman-Hale and Teresa Collins when they were part of Rusty Pickle. I sanded the edges of all of the patterned paper so that the white core will show through. Cardstock (green and pink) is Bazzill. Ribbon, metal photo corners, acrylic ribbon slides, and metal ribbon slides are part of the incredible product line by Maya Road. Scroll work stamp is an Art Warehouse by Danelle Johnson. White photo corners are by 3L. Paint used for stamp is by Making Memories. The stamps used in the journaling block are part of the Magnetic Poetry Love stamps line. The rhinestones are by Kandi Corp. Journaling reads: It's always special when my niece Arissa and I have the opportunity to spend time together. Because my sister Bekki and her family live so far away, we don't get to do it often. When we do, I always always make sure we get a chance to celebrate and have a little party for just the two of us. I love the one on one time we spend together. The memory that we create always makes me smile.

Love,~heather

We're Engaged!!!

Yep! You read right! We're officially engaged!!

So, Steve didn't take me out of town. I talked to him on Friday and told him how I was feeling bad for going out and having fun this weekend in Utah (or whereever he was going to take me), when there is so much going on with natural disasters in our country right now. He sympathized with me, and reminded me that the planes were going to fly whether they were full or not - so it really didn't matter if we went. Gas prices are the same all over the country at the moment, so that wasn't going to be an issue either..

We stayed in town and painted my soon-to-be studio. He had a few different plans/ideas for proposing to me, but with everything happening, he decided to alter his original proposal plan (to totally prepare a studio for me - furniture and ALL - as a suprise) because he knew he needed my imput. So, last night, (after Tom and Liz left - I'll tell you about them later) he and I were in the newly painted room. He said, you know, this room is kind of like life and relationships. You put time and effort into them to get them looking nice. You maintan it so that it keeps that way. I agreed with him. He asked me, with a cute smile on his face, if this was "my room" and did I think that this room was "mine". I answered with, "it could be" and "yes" and "maybe". He said that I had made him a better person, and that I was one of the greatest things that had happened to him. Then, he turned me around, got down one knee, (and I start getting wow'd... were the paint fumes going to my brain?? Was I hallucinatng?? Then, I realize...he's going to ask me...... he's really going to do it!!) and he asked me if I was his princess, and would I always be his princess. To which, of course, I responded with yes!!! He told me he loved me and asked me to marry him.

There you have it. It's official. We're engaged. We don't have a date set yet. But, it could be really quick (like 8 weeks) or 7 months. We're in "discussion" about it.

It's turns out that it's a good thing we didn't go out of town. So, after work Friday, I pop over to Steve's house. Tom (Steve's brother) is over, and they're deep in discussion. A friend of Tom's (Liz) is a nurse and was living in New Orleans, and her company (UHC) was evacuating them to Dallas. Their hospital was flooded, and everything destroyed. So, we're looking at logistics to get her what she is going to need when she gets here (all she was able bring/pack was her scrubs, a pair of pajamas, and some basic toiletry items), where she's going to stay, etc. etc. If we had gone out of town, we wouldn't have been here to help Tom and Liz. I'm glad we stayed.

Love,~heather

Finally! There's something I can do!

I've been feeling completely helpless watching and listening to the horrific Hurrican Katrina news. I want to do something to help, but even donating money doesn't seem to fill that need. THanks to Christa (her employer, Citi sent out an email with ways employees could help) I now have a handy list of things I can do, right here in North Texas, to assist with the relief efforts. Here's a list of some of the things you can do too!
  • North Texas Food Bank Need volunteers to help sort donations 214.330.1396 Volunteers are needed this weekend!! - Saturday, Sept. 3: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Monday, Sept: 5: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Catholic Charities Looking for volunteers who can help immediately by answering phones and directing people at both the Central office and the Brady Center If you, your family, friends, colleagues, co-workers or fellow parishioners will be able to volunteer, please contact Natalie Eckberg at ncampos@central.catholiccharitiesdallas.org or 214-520-6590 x.122. Thank you for spreading your wings and helping those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Volunteer North Texas - visit http://www.volunteernorthtexas.org/ (click on the Hurricane Katrina banner)
  • United Way Dallas - visit www.unitedwaydallas.org/
  • Carter BloodCare- Blood Drive Donor Center Locations: http://www.carterbloodcare.org/wsf/donorcenter.htm Carter BloodCare will be at the Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday in an effort to help ease the blood shortage in the Gulf Coast area. Blood bank workers will be on the upper level, in the center court area.
  • Tarrant County Resource Connection 1000 Circle Drive, Fort Worth Please volunteer your time to help this weekend!
  • The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter in Arlington - Asking for immediate volunteers as well as donations of supplies for assisting with the Louisiana evacuees. Currently, the Salvation Army reports approximately 100 temporary residents (and potentially increasing numbers) that have been evacuated here. Volunteers are needed for custodial work, sorting donations, playing with children, and answering phones. For more information, please call the Salvation Army at 817-860-1836.

There are also some local organizations who need donations of specific items.


RED CROSS

Clean Used Clothing (especially children)New undergarmentsSocks Shoes Toothbrushes Toothpaste Deodorant Feminine Products Water Gatorade

SALVATION ARMY

industrial-sized non-perishable food bottled water new underwear and socks diapers baby wipes work gloves plastic gloves baby formula hand sanitizer insect repellant Personal toiletries, i.e. toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc. flash lights

IRVING CARES

Breakfast cereals, hot and cold Peanut Butter in small to medium plastic containers Jellies, Marmalades, Honey, Syrups in plastic containers Stick Margarine Sugar, small bags Flour, small bags Instant Potatoes Instant Milk Pancake and Waffle Mix in smaller boxes Spam, chili, or other meat products Tuna Fish Macaroni and Cheese Brown Gravy Mixes Spaghetti Sauce Mixes Rice and Noodle Meals Canned Vegetables Coffee and Tea in plastic or metal containers Soups Cooking oil, smaller plastic bottles

Feeling Inspired.....

Why is it (and do you ever feel this way) when I'm inspired to create something, something specific too (and I'm talking REALLY inspired), that the time just isn't there to do it? I have 3 or 4 uber cool projects I want to work on, and I just don't have the time to sit down and sketch them or even start creating them.

Even if I had some free time to scrapbook or papercraft, I have other projects that are higher on the priority totem pole. That's one of the "blessings" of being on design teams. Deadlines. Assignments. Show Samples. Publishing Deadlines.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being on design teams. I LOVE getting to work with so many incredible designers and gleaning some of their artistic talent. Sometimes though, if I don't keep up with things, or let one thing slide more than another, things start to pile up and I get loaded.
My work, style, and way of crafting has been formed by watching so many other artists work. I love getting together with friends and just watching THEM work. Seeing how others create inspires me. Seeing how others have their designs come together gives me ideas on different ways to do the things I already do. Art is such a personal - yet public - thing. I LOVE it!

Steve's got a secret plan for me this weekend. I know we're going somewhere, but I don't know where. Thats one of the differences between the two of us. I'm a planner. I want to know where I'm going, what I'm going to do, what I need to wear, how much money I can spend, etc. Steve is totally opposite. He'll wait until close to the last minute, see what flights are available, quickly pack his bag, and he's on his way. He'll figure out the rest when he gets there. We'll see how I fare. I need to plan, but something tells me that if we're flying, I'll get the time to get some of my sketching done.

And, since I'm off on Monday - Wednesday I might actually get the time I need to get some of my projects done!! Woo Hoo! Happy prospective thoughts! Send energy vibes my way! I'm going to need them!

Overwhelming

I'm taking a break from scrapbooking (YEAH! My evening plans were cut short so I have a bit of time to work on catching up!!), to post. As I scrapbook or craft, I generally have the TV on for background noise. I'm watching Dateline NBC and am feeling such an overwhelming sorrow and grief for those who have been impacted. I wish there was something I could physically do. I see the thousands of people who have nothing - literally nothing - left of the life they had just last weekend. I've seen things like this, but it's always been in other countries - not in the US.

At first, I felt anger at the people who were stranded. They were told that the storms were coming. They were told to evacuate. They were warned as much as they could have been. But, they chose to stay at home.

And then I realized that although many of them chose to not heed the evacuation warnings, many of them did evacuate and they're also stranded. They went to shelters, and to safe havens. But, they're just as stranded as those who didn't.

I see so much sadness, and it envokes pain within me for them. What would I do if I was in their shoes? I honestly don't know. I feel like I want to do something, but all I can do is give what spare money I can to the Red Cross. I don't have much spare money. And what I do have, I ought to save to pay for the ever increasing cost of gas. I can't help but feel so badly for everyone impacted by this terrible natural event. It's overwhelming. Totally overwhelming.

A triple post kind of day....

There's a challenge on Two Peas to update your blog with 10 blessings or things you're grateful for. I have by far more than 10 things, but here goes:

1. My family. They have blessed me in so many ways that it would be impossible to count them all. They are THE biggest gift God could have ever blessed me with. I've said it once, and I'll say it over and over again - my parents ROCK!!!
2. Steve. He's the best thing that's happened to me - so far. I can't wait to begin a life (eventually) with him.
3. My health and the health of my family.
4. Dylan - and all of the experiences I've had because of him.
5. Sheri - for her sacrifice and the incredible blessing I recieved as a result.
6. A home, my car, beds, everything that provides me temporal support.
7. The opportunity to live in a free country.
8. My friends. They support me when I don't even realize I need support.
9. A job that not only provides for my needs, but provides enough to have some of my wants covered too.
10. The eternally encompassing love that God and Jesus Christ has for me.

Okay, thats enough emoting for tonight. I love you guys! Really - I do! Even those of you who don't post - i love you!