December 31, 2012

Meet our Baby (puppy)!

Friday evening we trekked over to Lafayette, Louisiana to meet the little fella who we now know and love as Louie, our Australian Shepherd puppy baby. He's been with us a few days now and is finally warming up to us. Translation: He's in to everything! I didn't grow up with a dog in our house so it's an adjustment for me to get used to hearing a crying pup in the middle of the night. He's so sweet but so BAD at times.

We picked him up and he was kind of smelly because it had been storming and he first met us when he was outside, so the first place we took him was PetSmart in Lafayette to get a bath so that we could endure the 3 hour trip back home. He'd been through a lot already at that point, I guess, because the poor little guy threw up all over Mr. K right in the middle of the store (immediately after his bath, mind you). Following that fiasco, we were ready to get in the car and come home. He threw up again on his Grandmama Wanda in the car, so we had to stop and clean that up. Needless to say, it'll be a little while before Mr. Louie is going on any other lengthy roadtrips.

Here are the basics on Baby Louie so far. :)

Name: Louis Kowalewski "Louie" or "King Louie"
Birthday: October 27, 2012 Yes - he was born on our wedding day, we think it's fate too.
Parents: Cezar and Kurus (Cezar's mom's name is Sheila, so yes, it's definitely fate)
Namesake: Mr. K's hometown of St. Louis
Fur color: Red and White tri color
Eye color: The sweetest shade of honey you've ever seen
Things he's learned so far: How to respond to the word NO!
Things broken so far: Sheila's Holiday Barbie Christmas tree ornament
Favorite toy: Duckie
First movie watched with mommy: Meet Me in St. Louis, he loved it!

Since he's pretty much Facebook's favorite puppy at this point, I want to share some of the never-before-posted pics here. I usually post pics from my phone to Facebook, so these were taken with my Canon Powershot Elph.
Right after we picked him up, Grandmama Wanda
helping hold back the smelly puppy.
Our photoshoot on the kitchen floor his first night at home.
His highness is ready for his close up.
Movie time with mommy while Mr. K was out shopping.
Notice Barbie's missing sleeve
and broken candy cane. Bad Louie!

December 27, 2012

One Week Post-Op

Hello peaceful followers! Christmas Day was the 1-week mark since my surgery and I'm honestly feeling  great (but don't tell my husband, I kind of like this Queen Sheila gig). I went to my ENT surgeon today for my post-op visit and he thinks the incision is looking great and we are still on target for the treatments to begin in 5-7 weeks like I was originally told. Have I mentioned how much I love my surgeon? I truly trust him as a doctor, and he's also Catholic and was our Eucharistic Minister for Midnight Mass at St. Alphonsus. Pretty neat to receive the Body of Christ from the same person who just days earlier cut your throat wide open! :)

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, bandages and bandage
removal and my 2 new butterfly necklaces :)
Mr. K and I had a pretty cozy little first Christmas as a married couple. I made my famous seafood gumbo for the Seymour family Christmas and we had lots of laughs playing Dirty Santa with the Humphrey family Christmas. I got a gold butterfly necklace from my sweet hubby and a silver one from my parents. I've never really been one much for butterfly items, but since it's the symbol for thyroid cancer awareness (your thyroid is shaped like a butterfly) it just kind of works now. 

If you're my friend on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter then you've noticed I have been posting a ridiculous number of pictures of my neck. Sorry! I am just feeling like I must have missed my calling in the medical field because I was absolutely enthralled reading the op-report and pathology reports I got from my doctor today and I'm obsessed with looking at what the incision looks like, I'm honestly not even concerned with what the scar looks like. I figure it'll be my battle wound to one day say, "Hey kids, wanna see proof that mommy kicked cancer's ass?" :)

Look for a quick post tomorrow regarding a fun announcement from the Kowalewskis. :)

December 20, 2012

Post-Op Report

Okay my faithful followers, I'm reporting in as a thyroid-less woman and so far I can say I don't feel that different. I do have an extremely heightened sense of smell, weirdly enough.

In true Project Chick fashion, I had an impressive showing in the surgery waiting room. I'm told there were fifteen people at the height of the day's crowd. Fifteen people all waiting for me while I was in lah-lah land with my throat cut wide open. Ahhhhhh, I had an audience and I wasn't even there to enjoy it. :)

As soon as I was settled in my hospital room for the night, my super sweet gal pal Jean snapped this pic for me for the blog... (check out her oh-so-cute-and-pregnant blog here)

Last night and this morning I began to really be able to feel the incision and become aware of the pain. HELLO, WHINY SHEILA. 

Here comes the bad news:
Last night before I was discharged, we got the pathology results from my surgery. Unfortunately it was NOT the good news we were expecting. As well as removing that back-stabbing-skank-of-a-thyroid, my surgeon did a right central neck dissection. Meaning he took out 7 lymph nodes and 5 of them had the nasty cancer in them. I'm trying not to dwell on the staging, but it's at Stage 4, promise me you won't google it... it's freakin scary, trust me. My true outlook is not nearly as terrifying as what any google search will tell you. In 6-8 weeks I'll be undergoing radioactive iodine treatments to make sure the cancer hadn't spread to any of my other lymph nodes in my body. And hopefully that will be the end of the Sheila Busts a Cap in Cancer's Butt chapter of my life story.

The scar: Nowhere near as bad as I'd thought it would be.
Amazing to think of all the crap they pulled out of that
little opening in my neck.
Regardless, this was, of course, not the news we were hoping for and I'm still questioning WHY this is happening to me. I'm oh so thankful for my super supportive family and friends for the sweet notes, visits, and 'happies' during this time, but I just wish this were all a bad dream. With the radioactive iodine treatments come periods of isolation (no contact with ANYONE) and the worst part for us - no pregnancy for a year following the treatments, for my health and the hypothetical baby's health. Even if that wasn't in the plans for us in 2013, no one really likes being told when they can or cannot start a family and we were really hoping to just leave it in God's hands. But I am just trusting that this, too, is part of the master plan.

What is normal anyway?
Two years ago this Christmas we were sitting in the hospital dealing with my PawPaw's diagnosis and brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Last Christmas I was flying back and forth between here and St. Louis to see my love. With the wedding behind us, I was really hoping to have a 'normal' Christmas this year and do all the fun, jolly things there are to do as a young married couple. But rather, no presents have been bought, trips to Bellingrath Gardens have been skipped, and I'm just hoping to be able to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

The "fire" Mr. K gave me in an effort to lift my spirits.
Oddly enough though, I'm so thankful just to be here and enjoying this rough patch with my husband and family and friends by my side.

I'm thankful I know my body well enough to have found the mass in my neck before it had time to spread more than it did.

I'm thankful for skilled doctors to help me get through this.

And I'm thankful for an incredibly supportive boss and team of coworkers at my job.

I don't want to sound greedy, but please continue to pray not only for my health but also that I don't let this depression overwhelm me. I know I'm an event planner and all, but nobody likes a pity-party, especially at the holidays! I tell myself that I have every right to be a little pissed off but that I do need to remember my blessings and that there are so many people out there not as lucky as me. That's rational enough, right?!

December 18, 2012

T'was the night before Surgery...

... And all through the house, The Project Chick was scurrying around like a scared little mouse.

Okay - I've gotten the nightmares to simmer down and I've just accepted the fact that having the surgery in the morning is the right thing to do. I'm just grumpy about it. I haven't bought the first Christmas gift (so if you're on my list, I'M SORRY, my health is my gift to you)... :) I've bought 2 new pair of house shoes and 3 pajama sets preparing for the hospital stay and what I expect will be daily visitors to our cozy little abode.

I've seriously gained a ridiculous amount of weight since the wedding. I'd tell you what the poundage is, but I haven't reached that level of acceptance with this yet. I guess the weight gain is a combination of no longer being super-duper-low-carb-500-calories-a-day and my thyroid woes. Whatever it is, I hope I can get it straightened out ASAP. I have one pair of jeans that don't make me feel like a loaf of bread wrapped with thin twine and even then, it ain't pretty.

In the week following my c-word news, I was blessed to receive some "happies" from some very special people in my life. See what's made me smile in the last week:

Shirt from the Kelsey Wynne Foundation,
via Sharon (Holcomb) McCrary, she
was one of my Big Sisters in Jesters at MUW
Kelsey's Story, check out her website

Poinsettia and wreath
Giant poinsettia from Mrs. Dana Corso,
sweet friend of the family

Wreath from my best frans:
Jean, Laura, Meg, Chelsey, Anne Franklin
Because of the wise advice of my uncle
telling me that to cure cancer I needed
to start "SLUGGING" lemon juice
my twin sister Erinn got me some! :)

December 11, 2012

1 Week Until Surgery

Getting my do' winterized and commemorating that it's
1 week until I say goodbye to my traitor of a thyroid
Well my Total Thyroidectomy is scheduled for one week from today and I'm pretty terrified. The one and only time I've ever had surgery was when I was 2 1/2 years old and I had my adenoids taken out. I am having nightmares about being given too much anesthesia and never waking up, being given too little anesthesia and waking up during the surgery; some nights I dream that I have a blood clot during surgery, other nights it's that the surgeon accidentally cuts a vital artery, etc. To say that I'm being haunted by this upcoming surgery is an understatement, I don't know how people do it who have a lot of time to dwell on things like this. I just try to keep my debby downer thoughts in perspective and how fortunate I am even in this situation.

So in an effort to raise my morale, I got my hurr did today, I'm sure post-op my neck will be sketchy as far as that weird angle you have to lay back in at the salon AND my roots were out of control! Not to mention that an appointment with the wonderful Christy Duhe at Grand Getaway is enough to cheer up even the lowliest among us.

I've also managed to finally get the Love Shack as decorated as it's going to be this year. Here are some pics of how I managed to reuse a lot of wedding stuff and some of Kevin's grandmother's antique ornaments on our tree. :) Y'all know I love old stuff!
Broken mini-tree star from apartment life, stuck down in some beans in Mr. K's
grandmother's milk glass vase and monogrammed vase we got as a wedding gift
with more antique ornaments I couldn't bear to see thrown away. #hoarder
This is actually a funny story. I ran into my high school exboyfran and his wife who makes pottery.
She was selling these adorable ceramic gingerbread men ornaments so I had to have one. <3

I'm pretty excited about our first lil Christmas tree of married life.
See that beautiful glittered, glowing ball? Yeah, I rescued about 30 of those from the trash.
Real vintage from Mr. K's grandma I never got to meet.

My reused twine from the wedding and reused
mini-tree ornaments made into a ghetto-fabulous garland.

December 9, 2012

Uncharted Territory

What better name for our
first home together?! ;)
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm clearly a fool to have thought the wedding would be the start of a new, stress free life for me and my sweet husband. I haven't even fully moved everything into our cozy little Love Shack, much less begun to decorate for Christmas. Since I'm not one for beating around the bush, I guess I better just get straight to the nitty gritty and share with my sweet followers what this new journey Mr. K and I are embarking on (no, sadly, it's not a baby, all in due time my friends)... I have Papillary Thyroid Cancer.

Photo by sheilamarie5
Right after biopsy #1 in Jul
If you're an Instagram follower of mine then you may remember back in July I posted this picture of me in a hospital room following a Core Biopsy of a nodule in my thyroid.  It's EXTREMLY painful to swallow while an 18-inch hollowed out needle is in your neck, btw. When the doctor and nurses say, "Don't swallow," DON'T FREAKIN SWALLOW. :/ After that procedure, I scheduled an appointment with an endocrinologist. That appointment just happened to be the Monday of the wedding.

As compassionate as my doctor is, that appointment was just too much for a soon-to-be-wed lady and I left the office in tears. He was ordering a second biopsy, a fine needle aspiration, of the tissue in my thyroid nodule. Apparently there are 5 indicators that make him suspicious of the c-word and I had 4 of them. The second biopsy was scheduled for January. Almost immediately after the appointment, the office began calling, saying that I was on a cancellation list, that my doctor wanted me in sooner than January. RED FLAG

My second biopsy was last week on November 30, and while doing the biopsy Dr. Frieze didn't seem optimistic that the results would be good. He even noted two other suspicious looking lymph nodes while doing the ultrasound-guided-biopsy. RED FLAG

Right before biopsy #2 last week
I got the official phone call on Wednesday, although, I think Mr. K and my family and I pretty much all suspected what the results would be. Have no fear, friends and followers, thyroid cancer is not a death sentence. I will undergo no scary chemo treatments, no loss of my lovely golden locks, and no radiation. I may have to have some radioactive iodine treatments depending on how I respond to the surgery. Regardless of how positive of an outlook this cancer has, it's still that word cancer and it terrifies me that it's a label that now refers to me.

Speaking of surgery, I met with an ENT Surgeon on Friday and I'm having a Total Thyroidectomy on December 18. However, there are some unique aspects about my case so it could become a Central Neck Dissection if they get in there and find more sketchy looking lymph nodes. There are quite a few more risks associated with the dissection, so let's hope they don't have to do it, but my surgeon has my consent to do it if necessary. I want all of the cancer out! There will also have to be precautions taken because of my blood clots back in April that are still hanging around, I sound like I'm 90, don't I?!

I appreciate your prayers and positive vibes during this roller coaster journey. My newlywedded husband and I are quickly learning the ins and outs of our insurance policies and are dealing with this pretty well so far. I'm personally having a hard time right now seeing God's plan in this, that I've had to deal with the blood clots and this all in one year (not to mention the same year that I've gotten engaged and married), but I do have faith that He is in control and there is something to be learned from this trial. When I ask myself how much more I can handle, I just remind myself I'm not alone. I have my AWESOME husband and the best, most close-knit family to help me when I have doubts I can help myself. I am definitely blessed!

Anyone want to help me decorate my house for Christmas? I want something pretty to look at while I'm recuperating from surgery!

November 20, 2012

Newlywed Nonsense

Okay folks I've finally emerged as your lawfully wedded Project Chick! It's been over 3 weeks since the big day and I THOUGHT life would slow down as soon as October 27 passed. But we've been busy unpacking wedding gifts and finding them a place to live in our home and moving my belongings from my parents' house to our house.

Needless to say, I'm itching to get my sewing machine situated and get on some of my projects that have been paused since February. Plus: It will be nice to do something at night that doesn't involve watching hours of Pretty Little Liars and eating copious amounts of my new favorite (no longer on serious low carb diet) snack, Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream. Seriously though, Mr. K and I need to get a grip, if they call college weight, "the freshman fifteen," then I'm afraid we're working on the "newlywed nineteen." If anyone knows where I can find motivation to not completely blow my pre-wedding weight loss, I'm interested. Do they sell it on Etsy?

Once I'm happy with the way it looks, I would love to show off how our cozy little house is looking. But at this rate, now that I'm 90% done moving in and organizing everything the way we want it, it'll be time for Christmas decorations! Ahh!

True Life: When Grooms Address Thank Yous
Did I mention we have TONS of very generous family and friends? Translation: We are about a third of the way through our seven thousand thank you notes we have to write...BONUS: There are a limited number of you who will be so lucky as to receive a special edition Kevin Kowalewski original handwritten Thank You note, with an added dose of humor.

Coming up: It's my turn to give back! Two of my bridesmaids are expecting little ones soon! I'm going to be trying my hand at being shower hostess!

Follow along with Jean's pregnancy on her blog. And the other bridesmaid/mommy-to-be will be revealed once I know she's made it Facebook official. :) Any shower tips would be appreciated!

More upcoming posts: Adventures with Natural Family Planning and The Quilt Square Guest Book project.

October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Blog!

For those of you faithful readers, I'm sure you remembered this, but in case you didn't - today is our birthday! The Project Chick blog has been up and running since this very first, infant post 1 year ago today.

It's only fitting that the 1st birthday should come only 2 days before the culmination of my biggest project yet (also, the project that's kept me from doing other projects).

Moving forward after the wedding, I want to really get the blog off the ground. I've managed to gain a nice number of followers using The Project Chick as my Twitter handle and I'd like to keep it growing. I'm even known by my Alma Mater's president as only "The Project Chick," so it would seem that the name sticks. :)

I'm sharing my goals so that I'll have a better chance of fulfilling them. I want to get some graphic design help and grow out of the Blogger-provided template. Content-wise I want to share the projects that I am planning and will plan for my first year of marriage. Cooking projects, organizing projects, any project I undertake in order to make mine and Kevin's lives easier, I will do my best to document and share with you.

How's that for a birthday celebration and plan for the next year?! Sure beats spanking The Project Chick! :)

October 23, 2012

4 Days: 4 Ways to Destress

It's getting down to the nitty gritty and we're doing the last minute details and finishing up any pre-wedding tasks. Needless to say, my mother and I who are both pretty high-strung at times are dealing with some major stress. We've got phone calls and questions coming from every angle, it seems like we keep finding out we owe someone else money and we're meeting ourselves coming and going. So at this point, I'm going to let you all in on a little bit of super secret Sheila advice.

Here are 4 ways I've found to stay relatively stress-free:

1. Pamper yourself - Yes, I realize as the bride, we automatically think we're entitled to it, but expertly time it so that you're getting a facial 2 weeks prior, getting any waxings done 1 week prior, and I'm scheduled for a hair appointment tomorrow and mani/pedi with my ladies on Thursday.

2. Remember the Groom - Since most grooms are relatively uninvolved in the stress of week-of wedding execution, hanging out with them is a surefire way to escape it for a little while. Go on a dinner date or just go do something un-wedding related. Mr. K and I went to dinner tonight and Sunday night after church we just went down to the beach and hung out on the pier for a little while. We even practiced our dancing. :)

3. Drink up! - Okay I know you're probably heading for the wine bottle, but really I mean drink up the pure H20. Water makes you feel better and look better and if you're too busy to eat, chances are you are also dehydrated. So keep a bottle of water with you while doing those last minute errands and DIY projects and you'll thank me later.

4. Just let it go - This is coming from someone who's an absolute bonified control freak. And I'm the daughter of one, too, so we are 100% hell-on-wheels when it comes to this wedding and our vendors and what we expect of pretty much everyone. That being said - I recently came to the realization to just let it go. I decided early on in the wedding planning process what things were my MUST HAVES. Once I got those things, the decision-making became easier. I've had to let go and realize that the right people for the job are already doing the job (like, Sheila, maybe you should let the caterer decide which foods should go beside each other in the buffet line) and I told myself that there are quite a few things that if they don't get done, it won't be the end of the world.

I'm obviously not completely stress-free, but I haven't pierced anyone through the heart with a shepherd's hook yet this week so in my book I'm doing okay. :)

If all else fails, I'll encourage you to enact the same back-up plan I have... MEDICATION. I've got a little bottle of Xanax just waiting for me to enter meltdown mode and my family and friends will thank me later for indulging

October 22, 2012

5 days: 5 fun facts

Today I worked my last day as Sheila Humphrey! I'll return after 2-weeks of wedding and honeymoon time as Sheila Kowalewski! I was thinking I should post quickly tonight.

We're at our 5-day countdown and as I was finishing up our wedding programs I discovered 5 fun facts:

1.There are 3 bridesmaids with the middle name, Marie. Including me, there's 4 of us. Sheila Marie. Amy Marie. Jean Marie. And Nicolette Marie. Thanks, mid-80s, we're all super glad to have such a unique middle name! :) (Did I mention my Aunt Suzy and future mother-in-law Shelley are also Maries?)

2. There are 3 groomsmen with the middle name, James. That's also Kevin's grandpa's first name.

3. Kevin's grandmother's nickname was "Tillie" - our photographer for the wedding is Tilley Photography. ;)

4. We will have two priests at the wedding: Father Henry McInerney, who baptized me on November 16, 1986 and Father Paddy Mockler, who married my parents over 32 years ago. They're both Irish and they will both make you laugh. Fact.

5. Our altar server, Johnathon Goff, was my homecoming date my senior year, I had a crush on him for a little while in high school... He's now in his 4 year studying to become a priest.

October 17, 2012

10-day Forecast: Plenty of Sunshine

"Plenty of sunshine" headed my way ;)
So I know I'm not alone when I say this, but hitting the 10-day mark IS A BIG DEAL. It means that Mr. Groom sent me first thing this morning the accuweather forecast for #October27 (yes, we have a hashtag, please use it if you tweet from the wedding).

There happen to be nearly a million reasons I love October, and the weather is just one of them. I'm not trying to jinx anything, but the weather is just perfect this month. Here in South Mississippi, our Halloween weather ranges from needing a long-sleeve t-shirt to being able to wear shorts, so I know that no matter what, it. will. be. perfect.

Things are coming together quite well. All of my last minute etsy and online orders have been shipped and are on their way to my eager hands.

In case my wedding wasn't enough of a big deal in my life, I've also been planning (at work) the christening of our biggest ship yet at the shipyard. It's a pretty big deal and I'm living off of protein and coffee these days. Check it out here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr for Navy/shipbuilding/patriotic related posts. You MIGHT know the girl who writes some of that stuff. ;)

Anyway - I have to keep posts short right now since I have eleventy billion things to do right now - currently taking a break from choosing my bridal portrait, sending my MOH the pics for rehearsal dinner slideshow, and writing thank you notes - BUT I do plan on updating a few more times before the wedding.

Did I mention I'm madly in love with the groom and seriously cried last night while we were at the church and the organist played the Bridal Chorus? Yep. It happened. 

Love to you all. XOXO.

October 9, 2012

Dance Dance Dance

Okay friends, I'm pretty sure I've already asked you this, in fact, I know I have... Way back then, yes, I did. But that was a long time ago and not very many of you gave me your input so I'm putting it out there again:

What music choices do you think are MUST plays or DON'T YOU DARE plays?

Comment on this blog post and tell me what you would like to hear for both slow dances and fun fast dances. I really want to know what it'll take to get you, yeah you, the one reading this blog, to get up and dance with me. Because that's all I really want! :)

Annnnnd GO!

October 1, 2012

Power of Social Media: Praise for David's Bridal

If it's not obvious to you by now, then let me just say it: I am all over social media. I Tweet, I pin, I'm a tumblr, I Facebook, I'm LinkedIn, I try to Google +, I love YouTube and you know I love my Blogger. I track my every move on Foursquare and I photograph every move I make on Instagram. Oh and did I mention I do most of those for work, too? Sheesh. I started playing with social media back in the days of Xanga, LiveJournal and MySpace, oh and I was all over AIMing back in the days of dial-up internet.

So it should come as no surprise that turning to social media to solve (some of) life's problems is kind of second nature to me. Anyone remember this post, you know, the one where I said a few unfavorable things about David's Bridal. I had a terrible experience with their Hattiesburg store and didn't hold back telling you, my faithful followers, all the gory details. I had better experiences at the Mobile store; hence, that's why I got my bridesmaids' dresses from that location.

Okay, that was way back months ago. Fast forward to 6 weeks out from the wedding and my bff/bridesmaid Jean, who's just announced her pregnancy, comes to the revelation that her bridesmaid dress may not fit on October 27. No judging, y'all, she's got lots of changes happening to her body while she plays host to another human life. Anticipating drama at David's Bridal, I sent one little tweet to @DavidsBridal... I could have never imagined the response I received. Feast your eyes, my friends:

Needless to say, I was amazed at the quick response of their Corporate Social Media person. I understand that it's impossible to get to every tweet to a large corporation's Twitter account, so I was pretty excited that I got some attention from them. Not to mention the fact that Jean was treated like a  VIP when she arrived, they rolled out the red carpet, gave her a fake belly bump to try on and everything. True CUSTOMER satisfaction.

So I'm here to say this: I owe David's Bridal a big grown-up-I-mean-it-for-real apology. As far as I'm concerned, they've righted the wrong I experienced at the Hattiesburg store. They helped one of my bridesmaids glide with ease through an experience that could have been stressful, keeping her happy and thus, keeping me happy because I'm not worried about if she's going to be comfortable in her dress.They truly used social media to represent their company's value of customer service and considering I'm a social media practitioner myself, I'd call that a success any day of the week.

So for the naysayers who see Social Media as nothing more than a waste of time - (which I doubt any of them are reading this blog, otherwise they'd be hypocrites, right? WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING MY BLOG?) - one little half-joking tweet sent by me on my lunch break saved my pal Jean and I both a bunch of headaches. So there. :P

Have any of you had pleasant experiences with a company as a result of reaching out to them via social media?

September 28, 2012

Licensed... To Kill ;)

Votin' and marryin'. God Bless America.
One very sweet Mr. Groom and I paid a visit to the Jackson County Circuit Clerk's office today to sign away our lives as we know it and become legally able to marry each other. :)

We'd intended to do this on the 1 month mark, yesterday, but well, you know how that goes...

The office was bustling with youngsters registering to vote, other happily engaged couples applying for marriage licenses and the booming voice of the Circuit Clerk himself, Mr. Joe Martin. Good Lord, that man has a loud voice. We could barely hear our clerk over his loud ass voice telling someone all the business that was going on in the office during lunch today. That's when I realized, he was talking to a Mississippi Public Broadcasting reporter. It's a shame Mr. Groom was in a hurry to make it back to work in our scheduled lunch break time, otherwise I was trying to make us stars by getting interviewed by MPB. Well, until I realized she was doing a story on voter registration.

Other than the fact that we first went to the wrong office (ironically enough, the office where you file for divorce), I think our marriage license application process went super smooth. We're definitely thankful that the blood test requirement was lifted beginning July 1 as a result of last year's amendment.

One note, I think I made the joke about being glad to now be, "Licensed to kill," a few too many times...

Did any of you have any funny stories from your experience applying for your marriage license? Please share, if so!

Enjoy the pics, y'all!

Little Kev signing his life away! To me! :)
Success! Licensed and ready!
Almost official, all we need now is the priest's signature on October 27!
Well, at least one of us is excited!
I think he's really bothered by my, "License to Kill," jokes. :)

September 27, 2012

What a ONEderful World

Where has the time gone?! I can't believe we're only 30 days from THE big day. So much has happened since this wonderful journey of engagement and wedding/marriage planning began 7 months ago. I've moved, Mr. Groom has moved, he's changed jobs, and we're adjusting to life actually having each other in it every day.

As previously indicated, we're so busy our heads are spinning and as I type this I'm meddling through things in my head and trying to decide on what shoes I'll wear for my friend Meg's wedding NEXT WEEKEND.

One month out and yes, most of the big items are taken care of... I'm still going crazy with details though, since I'm a top notch procrastinator and have yet to complete tasks that could have been done months ago.

I'm pretty pleased with how RSVPs are rolling in and I really hope I don't have to call and harass those people who I know are coming but find it impossible to stick a prepaid envelope in their mailbox. Don't make me throw my Emily Post book at you, really... Don't.

I plan/hope/really want to post some more in depth posts as the countdown continues. Don't worry though - once the wedding itself happens and I'm settling into wifedom, I definitely plan to post LOTS of recaps, especially on a few secret projects I have for the wedding. :)

Picture of us, the almost-weds, last week

September 26, 2012

Blogger Dodger

So as it turns out, I’m probably the worst blogger in the world. Either that or I’m still mastering my ever-on-the-resume-as-a-weakness time management skills. Now that I’m burning the candle at both ends with wedding planning, parties, showers, and work events, I’ve little time left to actually sit down and reflect on it and how exciting all of it is. And so it happens, that I have even less time to sit down and blog about these events. So in a few following posts I’ll try and catch y’all up. Try.

Here's an overview, but I PROMISE to devote an entire post to each shower individually.
In the past few weeks I’ve had so much excitement! The last weekend of August (8/26), I was given a shower by my aunts on my mom’s side of the family, Aunt Debbie and Aunt Sharon. The week following that we had an unexpected WEEK off of work due to Hurricane Isaac. 

That first weekend of September (9/1-3, following Isaac) Mr. Groom and I went to St. Louis for Labor Day weekend. We attended his pledge brother’s wedding. The bride, Ashley, is a crafting queen, and her wedding looked like my favorite blogs, magazines, and Pinterest all got together and had a big, beautiful baby. She and I have a lot of the same styles and ideas, so I loved it. There was another engaged-and-soon-to-be-married lady sitting at our table and we gushed over how inadequate we were feeling while checking out all of Ashley’s well thought out details and pined over how we wished we had the time to put it all together!

Sunday afternoon, I was given a shower by my ALMOST mother and sister-in-law, Shelley and Nicolette Kowalewski. It was especially sweet for me to meet a lot of the women for the first time that day, as they were bringing us nice gifts without ever having met me!

The next weekend (9/8-9) Mr. Groom headed out of town for another friend's wedding in Kansas City, MO. I had planned to go, but since my invitations were shipped late (and messed up with Isaac), I I had to sit that one out and spent all weekend hand-addressing each invitation. I did recruit some help for the stuffing, stamping and sealing stages of assembly. I may or may not have bribed my helpers with pizza and buffalo chicken dip. :)

The next weekend (9/15-16), I was given my third and final shower, by my Aunt Suzy and cousin/bridesmaid Amy Gibson and very special friend of the family, Mrs. Anne Blair. The bridal shower brunch was attended by almost all of my bridesmaids and it flowed right on into my BACHELORETTE PARTY! My Matron of Honor, Laura did an awesome job coordinating it and I never had any stress about it at all! We had an awesome time on Bourbon Street and I'll leave it at that. ;)

The following week (feeling all bloaty and regretting the weekend's diet splurges)on Wednesday (9/19) I took my bridal portraits with the super amazing Lisa Tilley-Newman. The worst part of that experience is waiting to see them! The very next day I helped my family pull off a surprise party for my Grandpa's 80th birthday!

The weekend following those two exciting events (9/22-23), I traveled down to Fort Walton Beach for my bridesmaid/friend/fellow bride Meg's bachelorette party. I'm in her wedding just 11 days and she'll be in mine 3 weeks later. 

I don't need to attach a screen shot of my calendar to tell you I've been absolutely bonkers. The hardest part for me is actually letting myself ENJOY these things I'm going through, and not just merely looking at the tasks and events as check-offs on my task-list.

September 5, 2012

Dinner Blogger Fail

So I've got some lovely drafts of posts I'd started for our first week on Emeals. Posts that you may have noticed never made it past Day 2... It went great, but I'm remembering why I decided to devote the blog to just wedding stuff until after the big day: it sucks up all of my time! Mr. Groom and I are having an awesome time "playing house" as I go over to our little "Love Shack" every afternoon, we cook dinner together, eat, then I leave to come home and do wedding work and he's left to clean up the dinner mess. :) I could get used to this!

This did not happen to me, but thought the pic was funny.
Now here I am having to do something I rarely do and that's confess my failure and defeat by not even completing one week of showing my devoted followers what we cooked each night! I know, I can hear the sobs you're bellowing from here. ;)

I'll fully recommend Emeals as it's working out great for us and a couple friends who joined at the same time as us, but I won't be blogging about it until after #October27.

August 27, 2012

And the TWO shall become one - 2 MONTHS left!

I absolutely cannot believe we're officially hitting the 2-month mark until the wedding. I had my first shower yesterday and it was lovely. I always enjoy getting to visit with my extended family including so many aunts and cousins. I'll have to post a more lengthy shower recap once I'm not in STORM PREP MODE.

The current path of #isaac
Note: The worst place to be is the North East quadrant of the spinning storm...
I'm trying not to be a drama queen about how this threat of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac affects me. But honestly, I really don't want to deal with a storm while I'm 2 months from our wedding. My invitations are due to be shipped any day and I've got a list of tasks a mile long that I've got designated for everyday.One plus is I'm about to have two days of being trapped inside, so I can go ahead and start tackling some invitation addressing.

Anyway, we're battening down the hatches and Mr. Groom is 4-hours away at a training workshop for work. Can you believe it? He's lived here 3-weeks and we're having a hurricane and he's not even here!

August 21, 2012

Project Dinner Night 2: Eggplant Casserole

While the name of this dish may be casserole, as I was making it, I have to say it looks and seems a lot like a lasagna, minus the pasta, of course. I used a classic #momzilla trick and prepped all of my ingredients last night. So today when I got to the house, my casserole was ready to go in the oven. I did actually remember to snap a few photos of layering the goodies.

Bottom layer of eggplant with the meaty goodness spread on top.
This was the second layer of cheese. Mmmm...
Construction complete, ready for fridge!
Once again, your struggling cooking blogger has failed you! I forgot to take a picture of my beautifully finished baking casserole. I remembered after Mr. Groom and I had already gotten our servings out, so I did snap a pic, but I tried to hide the gaping hole in the horizon of the melted cheesy eggplant goodness.
Mmmm... Behold the cheesy eggplant goodness!
Speaking of which. My goodness, was this good!? For a cheese-loving-girl like me, low carb dieting isn't TOO bad. I can still have cheese! Well lasagna is one of my favorite dishes and pasta is a big NO-NO on low carb diets. So my expectations for how yummy this dish would be were met and exceeded! It had the meat, tomato sauce, and cheese of lasagna and the eggplant makes a wonderful substitution for pasta.

We WILL be keeping this recipe for future use. I did decide that for my next time making it, I would not use my lovely Pampered Chef stone baking dish. While it's awesome for a lot of dishes because it holds in the moisture of whatever you're cooking, we did not like that it kept all the excess juice from the eggplant and it left our casserole kind of watery

Up next tomorrow night: Hamburger Steak!

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