Thursday, November 6, 2008

Finally, November

A month of crying and a month of joy, all wrapped up into a package called October. The month started out joyous... The annulment finally came through with a YES and now Scott and I can be married in my home church and I can become "real" Catholic again! (JOY!) It's been a long, tedious, and very tiring journey, but faith in our Father is all I can say got me through it, along with all that have prayed so fervently for it!

Then it was my 29th birthday! Wow, I am getting old! We celebrated at the New House.. yes, that came in August/September, and my girlfriends from Gainseville came up for some festivities. (Joy!) Then sadness when I fell and tore my elbow up! (Cry!) It still hurts and for the first time in forever I was honestly embarrassed!
After my birthday, it was Fall Break (JOY!!) No school for an entire week. Scott and I went to Orlando while he worked and then had play time at Universal Studios. Here is where my eye becomes swollen shut and I get a nasty raunchy case of conjuctivitis! Only I would get this on vacation! (Cry!) It clears up by the time we leave, thank God!

I return home to a sick dog at mom's house. Lola and Frannie (my former chihuahuas that loved my parents too much to part with them so forever stayed when I moved on) were sick. The next morning I was up early (JOY! really, I never get up early) when Heather called to say Lola died in the night due to her sickness. (CRY.CRY.CRY.CRY.CRY.) Pretty much I think that is all we did. Still hurts, still crying, but going to get better.
Then the video grant I was writing for $25,000 did not make it in by the deadline. I am still bummed about this one, but, I didn't cry!

While this month will definitely go down in my history, I've learned lessons and become stronger. Isn't that what God is really using things in our life for? Because if I honestly said I didn't learn anything, I could not call myself a Christian. His plan always trumps mine.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Praise Him!

I just wanted to give a quick note and let everyone know that God is good! I met with Father Gallagher last week and he informed me that the first part of our annulment has finally gone through with a YES! Now, we hold our breath as it is sent to Louisiana. Once they give the yes, we can then have our blessing in the Catholic Church and I can begin receiving Communion again! I am very excited and blessed from all of your prayers. Please keep them coming! And while you are praying for us, could you pray also for a house for us? I told God I wasn't trying to be selfish, but I would really love to get out of this townhome! Thank you everyone and special big thanks to our God!

the picture above is from a church in St. Thomas. We visted it on our honeymoon. I spent a little time praying in there for our annulment!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

It is now 17 days after the wedding, and I sure can tell you how sad I am! I adore being a new wife and I want to do everything right, but the void of no wedding planning sure has sunk in. I found my bridal book that I carried literally everywhere with me for almost 2 years and while it is breaking and pages are falling out, I could and would not throw it away! Planning a wedding had become my favorite thing to do and putting it all away is really very sad to me! I told Scott months ago that I would go through some sort of post-partum with not carrying around that book, not scouring magazines, not thinking and shopping and doing all that fun stuff. His response was a "Thank God!" You see, while I remember all the good and fun things that went into planning a wedding, he saw all the negative stressed out things it brought out in me. His biggest happiness was knowing he did not have to see that "filthy" bridal notebook again (yes, he's right, it is really dirty and so torn up!) But I had really forgotten all the stressful times of planning a wedding and I miss it so!
As for the wedding, not to toot my own horn, but dang, that was one awesome wedding! All that planning sure did come in handy. And the thing I loved about it was how close I became to the people that helped out the most. Mom and I have become much closer. I see pics of my dad beaming from ear to ear and get so excited. Watching Heather get so wrapped up in it all made it all worthwhile. I have an amazing support system in my family, and it was evident on my wedding day as you could just feel the love in the air.
I have so many memories of that day. My mom looking AMAZING, my dad walking me down the aisle, my bridal party being so supportive, John Kramer telling me how excited he was, partying until I couldn't stand up, Mrs. Debbie just being Mrs. Debbie and thankfully taking care of everything in the background, Bro. Tim leading a beautiful wedding, family and friends from far and near coming to celebrate the fact that true love is what matters most.
I am sad it is over, and I think the reason I am so sad is not because all the planning is over, but that all of those moments that were shared are now just memories. I wish I could lock them away and relive them everyday, but each day that passes I forget one more thing. I know that more memories will come and new challenges will lay before us, but that day was so magical, so full of life, so full of love. I didn't want it to end.
I don't know what more to say, as I sit here misty eyed, but I do know one thing. I love all of you. You who opened up your pocketbooks (aahh.... that one's for you mom and dad) who opened your hearts to the love that Scott and I share, you whose presence made the day so special. You are the one's who need to be thanked, you are the one's who God put in my life so my life will be better.
And with that... when can we party again? (In our play clothes this time?)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

one month...four days

All right... the home stretch is coming for the wedding and as each day passes, I get more and more stressed out! I didn't think I was stressing, but my stomach tells me otherwise! And those beautiful hivey things I get on my face when I am thinking about the wedding. Those are great, they look like mosquito bites that only last for about an hour. I know that I am also super stressed about buying a house. Things just aren't working our way on getting a home loan, and because I am so financially challenged, I have no idea what Scott is talking about, even when I try! I try to ask questions, but I feel I just frustrate him! Just say a little prayer that we make it through this!
On another note, I have always been a fan of pre-marriage counseling, but I am a super advocate for it now! We had our first session last week and in that hour we covered the major topics. I really thought Scott and I communicated, but boy, I was wrong! We were missing some major issues. I like going, because I can't cop out and walk away from the things that scare me the most. I really left that day with emotions running wild and more in love with Scott than ever! Don't get me wrong... it was such an emotional meeting, but I did really love every minute of it, even when it got very uncomfortable. Having the counselor there to mediate was great. He made the questions just flow and gave us lots of advice. I can't wait to go back next week!
I am very excited to be starting my life with Scott. I truly believe that this is who God created just for me. I look back at my crazy life and I'm sure as we all do, I wish that I had done different things (like have PERFECT credit and really paid attention in finance class!) but in the end, this man is going to accept me for all that I am, as I will accept his constant "huh?" when I ask him a question and his slow southern drawl when he tells a story!
As for now, I cannot believe the wedding is in one month and four days! It seems like just yesterday I was so upset I was waiting a year and half to get married! As sad as it is that I am not getting married in my home church, those who will be there with us are the ones who know how important Scott means to me. It is going to be a wonderful day! Now, if I can just figure out how to get rid of those hivey things!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wedding hoop-la!

It is very hard to believe that the wedding will take place in just a month and a half! I have been so happy these last few weeks externally, but internally I am so stressed! I love the way things have really been coming together. Last week mom and I went and got the invitations designed from local printing place. I promise they are not like anyone else's! I am hoping everyone will LOVE them as much as I do! I have also had my dress for a few weeks. It was as beautiful as I remembered it and it does look smashing on, if I do say so myself! Today Caroline and Emma and I went to Troy to get E's flower girl dress made and designed. Yet again, something you will just have to wait and see! E is going to look absolutely amazing and I hope she doesn't steal the show too much! There are only a few little details to take care of now. The boys need their tux's and I need some shoes!

Keep your eye out on April 27th in the Dothan Eagle as our engagement announcement will be in the paper! I am so excited about that one! Invitations will follow the paper announcement so start checking your mail that week!

I just wanted to really thank my parents on this blog. You guys have been so supportive and so willing to let me have exactly what I want. I know this is going to be the best day. I also appreciate you putting up with my indesciveness! I know I can't be easy to work with. I know I try to show my love, but I want to really thank you for all you have done and continue to do for me. I love the way you have opened up your hearts to my love of Scott and how you have welcomed him into our family. I feel like he just belongs now.

Mom, I have loved helping you find "That PERFECT dress" and I hope the most recent one is it. You looked gorgeous and I can't wait to have you help me get dressed that day. I have loved sharing this time with you. It has been so much fun! I thank you for understanding my quirky non-traditional ways! I also want to thank both you and dad for showing me what real love is all about. Not many kids can say that about their parents but I can. You two are a great example of a good marriage and what I can strive for with my relationship with Scott. I love you both!

Monday, March 31, 2008

You get it...

So, one of my classroom children had one of those moments last week when she "just got it." I was going over a new standard of doubles and doubles plus one in math. I asked the kids what 6+6 was and without missing a beat, she said "12." Now, most of you are probably thinking that this is no big feat, but for this girl it is. She has been a struggler all year. Then, she procedes to go over the entire doubles family, just smiling away as she did it. I started to cry. She had it! It's one of those moments in the life of a teacher when you get so excited because holy moly... they ARE listening! I loved it. I say all this in movement into what this whole scenerio made me think of. So many times I get these "A-ha" moments with God. I really feel like God is like "duh Nikki, I have been trying to teach you this. I am so excited you finally got it!" If only I could have the faith of a child every day in every situation, my life would be so much easier. My classroom kids trust me whole-heartedly that I am going to teach them everything they need to know and even if I have already taught it before, they still listen like it's the first time, and learn something from it! Why can't I be like this?
I am reading a book called "Dangerous Wonder." It's all about finding your childlike faith. I was on the chapter about Wide-Eyed Listening and came across this quote. I absolutely loved it and wanted to share it with you. My prayer today is that we can all find God in our lives and love him with a childlike love.
"A four year old was overheard whispering into her newborn baby brother's ear, 'Baby,' she whispers, 'tell me what God sounds like. I am starting to forget.'"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Say Yes to the Dress?

Today was a unproductive and lazy Sunday. The kind of days I really love! I honestly slept most of the day but I did lay on the couch and watch TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress." If you haven't seen this show, it profiles girls who are looking for a wedding dress. It takes place in New York City at Kleinfeld Bridal Shop, an amazing place with millions of wedding dresses. A girl could get lost in the taffeta, satin, and sparkles of that place. I absolutely love the show. But, as I was watching it, I started getting a little panicky. I could hardly remember what my dress looked like! It has been a few months since I have seen it and I started worrying that maybe I made the wrong decision with the dress I picked out! So I immediately pulled out my computer and went to the website my dress is on to take a breather and see it again! I was watching these girls pure crying over the dress when they put it on... and I just didn't have that experience! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my dress (why else would I have chosen it?) but I just got worried maybe I should have cried! Maybe I will cry when I see it again in April with the veil, and the shoes, and the tiara. Maybe I am just getting worried because the wedding is 3 months away and there is still so much to do! So, I titled this blog "Say Yes to the Dress?" because right now I am going crazy wondering if I said "yes" to the right dress!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Take it to Jesus

I knelt on the cold carpeted floor of a hotel ballroom last night and met my Jesus face to face. He passed me as I prayed fervently for a peace and understanding. I lifted my hands to Him in utter still and awe. I needed comfort. I needed to hear His voice. I sang out to Him, telling Him that there is and was no one like Him. He took my broken, hurting heart and molded it. I remember looking up as the Archbishop brought the monstrance by my humbled body and thinking that this was an awesome experience that other religions just don't get. How amazing that we can truly believe without a shadow of a doubt that when Jesus said "this is My body" it really is just that. He did not say, "just pretend this is My body." He said "this IS my body, take and eat." Oh.. how I get chills just thinking that he was right in front of me last night! Jesus, the "lover of my soul," the "most Holy Lamb of God," and the "Great I Am" passed in front of me! I could truly understand how the woman in the new testament felt when she just wanted to touch his garmets to be healed. How I would have done the same thing just to be close to my Lord!
As the Eucharist passed my way, I stared directly at the blessed body of Christ. I cried out to Him my prayer that has become my anthem lately. "Please Lord, take our annullment. Bless it, burn into the hearts of the men in charge. I want badly to be married in my church."
I have been torn. Yes, I sit here with a complete love for my church, but a hurt for the things that must be done for me to get married. I know that it is acceptable for me to be angry and upset with the religion that has defined me since birth. I can love my religion but still be hurt. This process is draining. I hate looking for other churches to get married in. I want my church. I want the church that has meant so much to me. The church that I sat in for years dreaming about the dress, the priest, the man. While I could never see Scott's face, I thought of this day since I was old enough to see over the pew! And now, this might not come to pass and my heart is in a million pieces. Until today. I gave it. It is not mine. When Jesus walked by me last night, I threw it at Him. I pushed it and moved it right into His hands. What can I do with it?
I will continue to pray for this. But for now, it has moved into a world I do not understand with my earthly thoughts.
I will be married in my church. Jesus has taken it.