Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wedding 101 and other happenings in Knoxville

Lessons I've learned so far while planning a wedding.

1. If you meet with a florist already know what flowers you want. If you have no idea they will look at you funny and say " haven't thought at all about this". When they say this you will feel unprepared and you will begin to think you have no business planning a wedding.

2. Life revolves around change. For example, if you and your fiancee plan a wedding for the only non-football weekend (based on your 20 year old brother's knowledge of the 2011 football schedule) you will be sad to find out that there actually is a football game scheduled for that weekend. I'm sure the UT fans in my family will be hoping for a noon game so they can get some football in before the 4:30 wedding. If it's a later game I'm sure we'll have a T.V at the reception.

3. I know nothing about Tuxes. Andy seemed shocked by this fact until I reminded him that I've never worn a tux. On the other hand Andy know nothing about I guess that makes us even.

4. If you are going to meet with a florist bring a shovel. That way when she decides that the colors that you spent weeks agonizing over (before finally deciding on the perfect colors for a fall wedding) are horrible and decides to change them you can whack her over the head and make a clean getaway. I mean seriously people I know it takes me 3.5 years to decide on a restaurant for dinner but I'm not a wishy-washy person when it comes to wedding stuff.

5. It great to include your fiancee in the wedding planning but for heaven's sake stop him before he tries to book his favorite band for the reception or decides he wants white tuxes for a fall wedding or tries to make your rehearsal dinner baseball themed....ok just kidding on that one. I actually let him pick the theme for the rehearsal dinner and it seems to fit since he's such a big Red Sox fan.

6. Picking a song for your 1st dance is really hard. Especially if you have VERY different tastes in music.

7. Letting your fiancee plan the honeymoon is AWESOME. I gave Andy a list of places I would LOVE to go so any place he picks off that list is great!......... Unless he makes reservations at a resort where the rooms have 3 walls which lets the huge lizards hang out with you (a little shout out to my grad school friend, Lindsey, who put her foot down for that honeymoon destination).

8. If your future mother-in-law says that she only will invite 75 of her friends to the wedding the number she really means is 100+. I'm taking deep breaths into a paper bag until Andy and his mom have narrowed the list down.


Around lunchtime today it started snowing. I love it when it snows and sticks because my boss lives in Maryville and if she thinks the roads will be dangerous she lets us leave early. YIPPIE!!

I had an adorable infestation of ladybugs in my apt. I said "awww...." before I sucked them up with the vacuum.

We had a patient come into the clinic today that was the cutest little old man ever. He gave me a hug when I went out into the waiting room, called me "darlin'", told me I looked great and was ecstatic to see me. The problem with this was that while I was talking to him I couldn't remember his name to save my soul. I tend to have this problem in clinic. I shock my boss by remembering the strange/ off the wall details about our patients but can't remember names, their type of hearing loss/ aid...etc.
Example from yesterday:
Me "I wrote as much as I could remember in the report"
My boss "but you were sitting right there when I was getting the case history from his mom what do you remember from that?"
Me "well I remember that I couldn't understand a word he said and he had a Joker action figure from Batman and a dinosaur toy"
My boss "??"
.....I suppose I should pay more attention.

I'm reading "The Girl Who Played With Fire". I would recommended it to EVERYONE!!!!! I've been reading before I go to sleep (which makes for some weird dreams) and at the gym while on the elliptical machine....much to the amusement of my friend, K-lo, who laughs at me when I gasp, do a fist pump (which usually happens when something bad happens to the bad guys), start shaking my book in anticipation or randomly exclaim "You HAVE to read this book". She knows I'm right about these things since for the past several months she's been reading books that I've recommended. I'm almost at the end of the book and I can't wait to see how it turns fact I'm going to go get ready for bed and read some more.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Well not all of us can come and go by bubble."- Elphaba from Wicked the Musical

Whew!! First let me apologize for not writing in such a long time. Life has been crazy post Praxis. Way too much has happened to write about everything. So here is a (hopefully) brief list of what's gone on since I wrote last.

I took the Praxis on Sept 18th (day of the UT vs UF game) and passed!! The lady that was handing out the tests was wearing a UF so I figured it wasn't a good omen for the game and I was right.

Andy and I decided on a church for the wedding! Church of the Ascension is now booked for the Stevenson/McFalls wedding for next year. My next project: find a florist.

My mom and dad came to visit for the UAB game so I got to enjoy listening to my dad yell and playing "Where's Ross" (kind of like Where's Waldo only Ross is wearing a trainer's uniform on the UT sideline) with my time they come to visit we need binoculars. The Friday before the game we had dinner at Calhouns on the river and listed to a GREAT band (RammaJay Intercostal). I'd never heard "Walking in Memphis" played with a steel drum before but it was awesome....and now my dad and I both want to take steel drum lessons.

I watched UT lose to LSU because we are incapable of counting apparently. I think the entire coaching staff needs tutoring and maybe for next season we'll be able to count how many people are supposed to be on the field.

Drove to Memphis to surprise my grandma for her 80th birthday. Andy and I snuck into her house while we were on the phone with her. My favorite thing was my grandma saying "People have been lying to me all day!" since my aunt flew in from NC and my parents, sister and brother in law flew in from FL and she had no idea.

Drove to Memphis (the next weekend) to see Wicked!!!! I LOVE WICKED. I could see it literally everyday. My secret dream (which I guess isn't a secret anymore) is that I wake up one morning with the ability to sing....not just belt it out, Broadway leading lady, make people cry I'm so good sing. The people that cast Wicked will hear of me and beg me to come join the cast. I will of course agree and move to NYC to be Elphaba and be painted green every night. Nothing would stop this dream of coming true except I'm forgetting the fact that I can't sing, the only time I've acted was at an acting camp (and I didn't have a speaking part) and I have horrible stage fright. So I suppose I'll resign myself to watching Wicked on youtube and singing loudly in the car. Anyway...I went to see Wicked (my 3rd time) with my friends Jen and K-Lo and they both loved it. I'm already watching the ticket websites for when Wicked it coming back near Knoxville.

I came back to work and my boss told me that we're moving our office 2 miles down the road. The new office is bigger than our current one and I'll have my own room!!! YAY!!! My boss also recently hired a part time audiologist.

What I'm excited about coming up:
-My parents coming to visit for the Ol' Miss game.
-Drs appointment with a kidney stone specialist in NC (yeah I know I'm a dork but I don't care I just want to not have kidney stones anymore)
-Memphis for Thanksgiving

Until next time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of menal illness" -Richard Carlson

Well I was going to wait for life to slow down a little so I would have time to post another blog but no such luck. Here is a run down on the last month since Andy and I got engaged.

Work, workout, trip out to visit family in their floating house on Norris Lake for the 4th of July (very cool), work, cleaning, visit from Mom, reserved the wedding reception location, booked a DJ, free fancy dinner at a steak house to learn about hearing aids, booked a wedding coordinator, work, played hooky from work to go to lunch with mom, work, talked to 3 different preachers at 3 different churches (still no closer to picking a church), work out, reserved a rehearsal dinner location, picked bridesmaids dresses, picked wedding colors, come up with an almost finished wedding guest list, work, cleaning, hanging out with my brother Ross who moved back to Knoxville for school and football, finished classes (YEA!! straight As...the last time that happened I think I was in middle school), went to Andy's nephew's 2nd birthday party, finished a baby blanket for a friend, had someone want to buy a blanket from me!!!!, signed up to take the Praxis exam on Sept 18th (exam I have to take and pass before I graduate) so now I'm busy with work and re-learning everything I learned the past 3 years of grad school

Whew...I'm exhausted just looking at that! I promise I will post more later.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" -Jane Austen

Well this has really been an exciting week. On Monday (June 21st) I started my first full time job at the audiology clinic that I will be working at until I graduate (and hopefully after). Andy knew that I was really nervous so after I left for work (which btw I got there 30 minutes early) Andy dropped off some pink roses at my apartment before he went back to his apartment to sleep for the day. I was SO excited to come home from work and find these waiting for me!! (We'll overlook the fact that he put them in the really cute water pitcher that Rachel gave me for being her maid of honor. )

On the drive back to Knoxville Andy and I had talked about going camping at Elkmont in the Smokey Mountains during the upcoming weekend and we decided it would be a lot of fun. Now when I say camping I don't mean the "hike through the woods, dig a hole for the bathroom, eat wild berries" camping. Andy and I are more of the "park the car at your campsite, sleep on an aerobed, buying ice for the cooler" camping. Andy went out and bought a new tent (the last one he had was a victim of mold/mildew) and we were going to take the really nice queen sized Aerobed that I gave Andy for his birthday this year. Well let the laughter ensue. When Andy bought his new tent he read the measurements wrong. He was so excited that he found a tent for a good price that was 7 feet tall.....umm try again the base of the tent was 7 feet x 7 feet....but it still said on the box that it would fit a queen sized air mattress. After we set up the slightly small tent we tried to blow up the air mattress with Andy's portable generator....oops what do you mean the generator doesn't have enough power to blow up the bed? Finally we got the bed inflated (not completely) and realized that when the box said the tent was "large enough to fit a queen sized air mattress" they actually meant "large enough to fit a queen sized air mattress and nothing else...seriously don't even try to put anything else in here".After setting up camp we walked down to the stream that's next to the campground to stick our feet in the water to cool off (apparently my feet regulate the temperature for my entire body). Then Andy and I drove to an old town that was right next to the campgrounds we were at to look at some old "rich people summer homes". We decided that staying in the car's AC was preferable to sitting outside around our campsite so we drove around the Smokeys eventually finding a grocery store and enough cell phone bars to check the score of the USA vs Ghana game (sad day). Then we made our way back to the campgrounds and Andy cooked dinner (for my own safety I don't cook over open fires) and we had hamburgers.
That night after Andy walked around the campground and met some of the other campers (Andy could talk to a brick wall) it started to get dark and Andy said that we should take a hike to see the fireflies which blink at the same time (the fireflies had stopped blinking together at this point in the year but I didn't know that) so we headed off on our walk. When we reached the place with the fireflies (which was unremarkable...since all the fireflies were gone) we started heading back to camp. Andy told be another fib...a guy from his work said that if you skip rocks off this particular bridge they make a spark. Apparently I'm really gullible. Andy told me to pick up 4 rocks and he only picked up 3 and when I was finished throwing my rocks off this bridge (dissappointed that they didn't spark) I turned around to find Andy down on one knee with a ring.Well DUH I said "YES"! Andy preceded to tell me about my ring. It was the ring my great grandfather proposed to my great grandmother in 1924. The diamond in the middle of the ring predates the 1920s (and now I'm terrified to lose it....not quite as scared as Andy was walking around with a very expensive ring in his pocket all day while camping).
The nice thing about getting engaged in the Smokey Mountains is the excellent cell phone reception. I'm being sarcastic of course but it was nice only having Andy and I know for the night. Once we woke up the next morning....after a very uncomfortable sleep on our 1/2 inflated aerobed....we packed up our stuff and headed back to Knoxville. Around Gatlinburg I was able to call my sister and her new hubby and then my brother (he was so happy to be the 3rd to know).
We spent the rest of the day with family members on the phone and on skype telling how it happened and showing off the ring. I'm so excited to start planning our wedding!!!

Not to switch to a dramatic note or anything but, honestly, I'm just trying to keep my head above water right now. Between full days of clinic, 2 online classes, trying to clean the apartment, spending time with Andy and all of the new projects my new boss is piling on it's getting stressful. Hopefully soon I'll have a weekend without any plans so I can really get stuff done. Really soon Andy and I have to pick a place for the wedding and reception and I haven't even thought about it yet...well it's time for me to head off to bed. Night everyone.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"You gotta keep your head on a swivel....remember that"- my brother Ross

Talk about your wild and crazy past two weeks. Since I've moved back to Knoxville things haven't calmed down one little bit. I am looking forward to falling into the routine of working, working out, spending time with Andy and my friends.

About two weeks ago I left Knoxville and drove to Gainesville, Fl to help out my family in preparation for my sister's wedding to her boyfriend/high school sweetheart/fiancee of 6 years, Travis. I love my family's home in Gainsville and because I am a horrible friend to all of my high school friends and don't keep in touch very well visiting Gainesville tends to include lot's of Wii games with my brother and sister and family dinners while watching "Deadlest Catch".

My grandma told me recently that around the time of my parent's wedding my uncle Brooke made an observation that weddings are a lot like water circling around a drain. The water starts off moving slowly and then gradually picks up speed. My sister's wedding was no exception to this because as the big day got closer more and more people arrived and we had event after event to attend.

The wedding week started with the bachlorette party for Rachel and her bridesmaids (me, our cousin, 2 elementary/ middle/high school friends from Gainesville and 4 friends from Knoxville) when we left Gainesville on Wednesday morning and headed to the beach at St. Augustine (with strict instructions from my mom that with all the money being spent on pictures we were not allowed to get sunburnt). After applying sunscrean liberally we enjoyed laying on the beach and cooling off in the water. Once our hotel room was ready we headed up for showers before heading into St. Augustine. At dinner the waiter looked at us funny when we all ordered Amarillo Sours but he dutifuly brought all 9 of us our drinks and dinner at Oasis ended up being delicious. Per Rachel's request our next stop was Sangreas (sp?) where we tried two different kinds of Sangreas before heading out on a walking ghost tour. I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts or not...we didn't see any on our trip but we did get to hear a lot about the history of St. Augustine (America's oldest city). Our second (and last) day on the beach was mostly spent huddling under a tailgating tent that we brought. It seems that no matter how much sunscreen we put on the sun sill left her mark on all of us on the first day and we would have rather sat under the tent than suffer the wrath of my mom. A little after lunch we headded back to Gainesville after stopping to check out Rachel and Travis new apartment (very cute).The night we got back to Gainesville all of my mom's side of the family had arrived in town so a cookout was held at our house. I loved getting to see my two young cousins (ages 2 and 4) who were the flower girls as well as the rest of that side of the family.

Friday morning was the bridesmaid's luncheon and it was fun to see all of my aunts, cousins and both my grandmothers. Rachel handed out the gifts she put together for the bridesmaids which included: earrings for the wedding, flip flops for the reception, a hankerchif from Europe with our name embroidered on it and underwear that she got for us when she was in Paris. I was helping Rachel pass out gifts at this point and had COMPLETELY forgotten about the underwear until the first bridesmaid pulled hers out and the aunts, grandmothers, and cousins let out a "wooooah" and started laughing. I have to say that one thing I never though I would do is show my newly obtained scanalous French underwear to a table which included 2 women I had never met, my aunt from Las Vegas, my cousin, and my 80 year old great aunt.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner where I got to catch up with everyone from both sides of my family. This was strange for me because until I was about 9 or 10 I didn't realize that my families had ever met...well now I know that is just dumb because they all met at my parent's wedding but when I was 9 it just made sense. Now would be a good time to point out that I have been maid of honor in a wedding before for my friend K-lo. The differences between being the MOH in a wedding when you're not part of the family and being the MOH when you're in the family are really big. The two biggest things I noticed were 1)you don't get to sit down....I only sat down to eat at the rehearsal dinner and stupid me I wore really tall shoes and 2) you talk to EVERYONE. At my friend's wedding I only knew the other bridesmaids and the bride's immediate family. While I did have a blast and I got to introduce Andy to everyone I'm tired just thinking about it. After dinner my uncle Catsby (a singer/ songwriter) sang a song for Rachel and Travis and the dad's gave a toast. I don't know how I'm going to handle it when my dad gives a toast at my wedding because he started crying and then it was downhill for me.

Saturday morning all the bridesmaids met at the church at 11 am to do hair, nails, makeup and pictures. The wedding didn't start until 5pm so we had some time to kill. Surprisingly we had all 8 bridesmaid's hair done with time to spare. On a side not I have found a new favorite hairspray for up dos!! YAY! A family friend came with lunch around 12 (it was very yummy) and Rachel came and we got her into her dress. Ah...the dress. This dress was originally worn my grandmother in 1951 and has since been worn by my mom, aunt and now Rachel (I plan on wearing it too). My sister was also using our other grandmother's blue garter that had a small pocket for a good luck penny. When we looked inside we found a penny from! I have realized that being the maid of honor is all about doing things you never in a million years thought you would do. For example, at my friend's wedding I got to help her now mother-in-law into her strapless bra and got to see a little more of her than I would have liked to. for her wedding my sister had bought very cute blue underwear to wear under her dress but once the dress was on she discovered that it wasn't that comfortable. Guess who got to change her underwear under the dress. Thank GOD we told the photographer no photos for that part. LOL
The wedding we off without a hitch at thank goodness Rachel had gotten all the bridesmaids hankerchifs because we all needed them. No one tripped, fell down the stairs or passed out (although being the prepared MOH that I was I had smelling salts hidded in my dress just in case).

The reception was held at the country club next to my family's house and by that time all of the bridesmaids were more than ready to change out of their high heals and into the flip flops. We danced the night away (I even saw my grandmother dancing to the Cupid Shuffle). I got to see EVERYONE...I'm not joking I'm pretty sure 1/2 of Gainesville was there. I got to spend some much needed time with Andy while we danced, ate cake and had a few drinks (half way through the night my mom told me I could put drinks on my dad's tab...thank God because I had only been drinking water). I caught the bouquet (thanks to the exceptional aim of my sister) and Travis's brother, Scott caught the garter. Since this is the 2nd wedding I've been to where I've caught the bouquet Andy is a little nervous but according to him the 3rd time's the charm so I might have to find a Knoxville wedding to crash just to catch the bouquet again. (I'll keep you posted about how that turns out).Rachel and Travis (after a small delay were I had to race home to get Rachel her purse which was in my car) were on their way to Jamaica and I am extremely jealous. I can't wait to talk to her about her honeymood!!

Well it's time for me to turn it since tomorrow is my 1st day working at Appalachain Audiology for my externship and I guess it wouldn't be good if I walked in late. I'm sure I'll get more pictures soon from the wedding since I realized I don't have any of myself...oh well. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"If we weren't all crazy we would go insane"- Jimmy Buffett

I know that people have different theories about dreams and how to interpret them. After the last 4 nights I apparently need some professional help from a dream interpreter/ psychologist because my dreams have been crazy. Maybe if I put them on here someone can give me some much needed input.

My sisters Bahama's wedding:

I know it's normal for the bride to have strange dreams before her wedding but I didn't think that as the maid of honor I was going to have weird dreams too. I dreamed that my sister's wedding was being held in the Bahamas (My families favorite vacation spot). I was working at an aquarium and was watching a stingray swim around a tank. My "aquarium boss" came and told me that I was in trouble for because my work assignment was to come up with new story ideas for Family Guy and I hadn't come up with any. I hurried back to the house where the wedding was supposed to take place and was stressed because I thought I wouldn't not having enough time to curl my hair. Suddenly I was on an airplane with my dad and brother going to pick up the wedding guests but we were grounded because of weather. I went back to the house and the house next door was on fire.

Any guesses?? Maybe I'm supposed to follow my dreams and start working on Family Guy or maybe I just worry too much about my hair for Rachel's wedding.

Moving again:
The next night I dreamed that I had to find a new doctor for my kidney stones and in order to find a doctor I had to move to Pennsylvania. Since I grew up in the PA some of my neighbors and friends were in my dream and that was interesting but all I really wanted was to go back to Knoxville and see Andy again. I was trying to get my mom on the phone so she could get my Knoxville apartment back. Isn't it strange what we remember from dreams and what we worry about in dreams that is relatively insignificant in real life. During this dream I was sad because I just finished hanging the last of the decorations and pictures and I was so sad that I had to move and take everything down.

Spy work:
This dream is probably the strangest dream I've had in a while. I was on a boat (and now after typing that 1 line I have the "I'm on a boat" song stuck in my head) and it was at night. For some unknown reason I was sneaking onto a bigger boat. The next thing I remember Ellen Degeneres was trying to turn me into a spy I remember not wanting to be a spy. There were other people in the room (I guess she had convinced them to go into the spy business) and I was tied to a chair. Whenever my phone would ring Ellen would answer it and I remember deciding that when she left I would put the keypad lock on my phone so she couldn't answer it anymore. (Yeah I know what you're thinking....I've gone off the deep end and believe me I think so too). Suddenly I was riding on a the back of an ATV and it was some weird version of the Wizard of OZ. That's when I woke up and told Andy all about my dream. Andy is used to this sort of thing becuase when he gets up (very early) to go to work I'm usually out of it and entertain him with my crazy dreams (this is usually at 5:00 so my dream explanations are usually not in complete sentences and I tend to jump around a bit but I think he gets the general idea). On this occasion he probably thought I had been sampling some questionable/maybe illegal substances....I assure you I was not.

So...does this mean I yern for a more exciting life? Maybe I worry about being forced into a decision. Maybe I have an irrational fear of Ellen Degeneres answering my phone? Who knows? I welcome any and all input into my crazy dreams.

Life is moving along smoothly in beautiful Knoxville. I've gone to observe a few days at the clinic I'll be working at starting June 21st and I really am enjoying getting to know my boss and the other women at the office. Andy's birthday is right around the corner (June 4th) and I've already bought his present (this means I am giving him confusing hints about what his present is). Right after Andy's birthday I'll be heading to Florida to help out my family before my sisters wedding. I look forward to days of working out, lying out by the pool and of course running errands all around north central Florida in preperation for the upcomming wedding.

This past weekend Andy and I went to a sorority sisters wedding which was so much fun. Here are some pictures. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"To me anyone under the age of 60 is wildly exciting"- My great aunt Netta

I know it's been a few days since my last post but quite honestly I haven't had a moment to myself since I posted. Here's the rundown of my past week.

On Monday the 10th my dad and my sisters fiancee arrived in Hattiesburg (an hour earlier than expected I might add because my dad forgot that Hattiesburg is 1 hour ahead than Gainesville). We immediately began packing all of my worldly possessions into a U-Haul trailer, my dad's truck and my Honda CRV. In case you had any questions about how long it takes 3 very determined and focused individuals to pack ever piece of furniture in a 1 bedroom apartment the answer is 3 hours.

The rest of the day was spent napping on my floor, having dinner at Old Athen's Grill and watching the movie Airplane (my dad in his infinite wisdom didn't pack the TV or DVD player so we would have something to do that night). The next morning we crammed all of my random stuff into every available space and took off for Knoxville, TN. Travis (my sister's fiancee) and I rode in my car while my dad drove the truck/trailer.

After a 7 hour drive which included playing the alphabet game twice, Travis talking in his sleep and a dancing chicken at a Guthries in Alabama we arrived in Knoxville. We were met in Knoxville by my brother, sister, my boyfriend Andy, my friend Katie Waldrop (K-lo) and my grandparents (in town for my sister's college graduation) and preceded to unload things into my apartment. Again in case you were wondering how long it takes 9 people to unload a U-Haul, truck and Honda CRV the answer is about 1 1/2 hours. Special thanks goes out to my sister and grandma who unpacked and organized my entire kithen!!!

The next day we packed up my brother and sister's stuff (she shared a house with 2 roommates) into the trailer while waiting for my mom and grandma (Gran) to get to Knoxville for the graduation festivities. On Thursday we all got dresssed up and headed to the UT campus for Rachel's graduation. The ceremony was really nice and then we took pictures at the UT Botanical Garden and in front of the Torchbarrer.Since my sister's graduation also happed to fall on my dad's 50th birthday we went out to dinner at Ye Old Steak House and had some wonderful food. On Friday everyone dispersed with the exception of my parents who were going to stick around for part of the day to watch the track and field meet (my dad was on the Track and Field team at UT back in the day). Andy and I went with my parents for lunch at Gus's Goodtime Deli (the best steamed subs ever) and watched some of the track events before heading back to my apartment to watch movies.

Last night (Saturday) I went to a "welcome back to Knoxville, K-Steve"/ K-Lo Graduated Law School dinner at Soccer Taco/ Ray's. I really enjoyed getting to see all of my friends and I'm excited that now our visits won't have to be crammed into a weekend visit. I also got to meet some of Andy's fraternity brothers who were all very nice.
So now were pretty much up to speed with my life. Today is going to be spent hanging out with Andy, working on arts and crafts and watching "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" which is playing on TV.