Monday, February 14, 2011

Segments of a Love Story...

As it is Valentine's Day, there are lots of peeps out in the blogosphere who will be sharing their love stories and I love reading about every single one! I have always been a hopeless romantic and there were many times I fell more into the hopeless half of that phrase, not really believing I would ever find my wonderful husband. Even when we did find one another, there were still some of those hopeless moments, and sometimes more than moments. But find one another we did and it's a few years down the road, we still face challenges and will face many more over the years, but I know that there is no one else I would rather face those challenges with and celebrate all of our joys with!!!!

My hubby and I met once upon a time when we were both working at the same college in Iowa. Our very first meeting was at a gathering of faculty (which he was) and staff (which I was) to discuss a book that all freshmen were going to be reading in one of their classes and which we were going to have our student staff read as well so that they could discuss the book as well. I remembered being so frustrated during that session at most of the faculty who seemed very put upon and unenthused about having to incorporate this text into their regular subject matter. The lone faculty dissenter among all the naysayers was my future hubby and it stuck with me though I had no idea who he was.

The school year commenced and I was deep into my job responsibilities which required that I live on campus with all the students. The job was such that I would frequently be up until very late dealing with student issues of all kinds which meant that I would try to sleep in a bit later to recover from the late hours. This was challenging as my on-campus apartment was in the middle of a hallway filled with classrooms.

One such classroom shared a wall with my bedroom. At least a couple of days a week, there was an early class that made it pretty difficult to sleep in as the instructor's voice was loud and powerful enough to carry through that cinder block wall. Eventually my student staff let me know that faculty member was the very same man who made an impression in that faculty/staff meeting. My staff eventually introduced us to one another and tried tirelessly to get us together to no avail. And then he moved away to work on his Ph.D. and I thought that was the end of that.

He came back to teach at the college for a couple of summers and we did meet for a few dinners and movies but he would then have to head back to continue working on his degree. After a few more months, we finally had our real first date once he realized that he wanted to be more than just friends (as I had let him know a few weeks earlier that I really couldn't continue to be just friends with him).

We dated long-distance and then were engaged long-distance for our entire relationship which brought lots of challenges but we made it through to our wedding day about three and a half years after we started dating. The photo is one of the many from our wedding day which was a wonderful and surreal event!

Our wedding day began with a call from our priest at about 6:30 that morning. When I saw the name on the phone I knew that getting a call that early from your priest the day of your wedding couldn't be a good thing. Father Dennis was calling from the hospital dealing with an emergency health issue and he was trying to find a replacement for our wedding. I called my soon-to-be-hubby to let him know and then called my mom and then had to try to start getting ready for pictures. Not an easy task when you're suddenly priestless and on the verge of tears and not having planned for your priest ending up in the hospital.

Eventually a replacement priest was found thanks to my aunt's brother who happened to be a local priest and didn't already have another wedding scheduled that June day. It turns out that we actually had two priests there to perform the ceremony at one point, which I was blissfully unaware of as Father Dennis had also found a replacement for himself. I didn't have a chance to get nervous or anything as the schedule for the day had gotten a bit out of whack with all the excitement prior to the ceremony.

The wedding mass went off with only a couple of minor glitches and then hubby and I drove off to the hospital to visit Father Dennis. We walked through the halls of the hospital to his room - I in my gown and hubby in his tux. This is when surreality set in - never in all the times I had dreamt of my wedding day did I imagine that it would include walking the halls of a hospital just after walking down the aisle.

My godchild, Rachel, was our flower girl. Her godfather is Father Dennis, our family friend who is now in the hospital. Rachel, Diane (my matron of honor and Rachel's mom), and the photographer all came along to the hospital, too, so we got a couple of pictures to record the momentous occasion. Again, not a picture I ever thought would be included our wedding albums!

By the time that we left Dennis' room, word had spread around the hospital about the bride and groom who were visiting. As we entered the hallway outside the room, it was lined with nurses all clapping and congratulating us as we left the building. One more event I had never imagined being a part of our wedding day, but all of these things combined to make it an event we will certainly never forget!!!!

I love you so much my honey!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Heart Swap

The mailman brought love to my door yesterday - my Victorian Paper Heart Swap arrived very nearly the moment after I finished my post from yesterday! I was so excited!!!! I sat on the couch admiring the lovely heart that Heidi Meyer made for me for the longest time. Then I very carefully opened and oohed and aahed over each of the little packets of goodness that accompanied the heart. I even used some of the lovely little pieces of ribbon and lace already in a wrist cuff I'm making!!!!

The big heart was quickly hung in the center of our fireplace mantel and will probably stay up loooooooooong past Valentine's Day as it is so beautiful! You can see all of the beautiful hearts crafted by this bunch of amazing women over at the Vintage Dragonfly and see more about Danielle Muller, the lovely woman who organized it all!

I also realized that this is my 100th post!!!! What a milestone!!!! I wasn't sure how I would like this blogging thing but I am addicted - it is thrilling for me to see where it is that people are stopping by from, all over the world, places I can only dream of traveling to at this point, all 50 states - I am amazed!!!! To celebrate this momentous occasion, I'm having a little giveaway. I made up an extra little packet of vintage-y goodness for the heart swap. If you want a chance to win the packet, become a follower of my blog and leave a comment here answering the question, "What is your favorite Valentine's Day food to make or eat?"

As for me, I have many and have tried many over the years including chocolate-filled croissants, chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and this year I attempted chocolate macarons. They didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, hence no pictures, but I will persevere and keep perfecting my technique. Even though they don't loo perfect, they taste super yummy! You'll also see there is a common denominator here - clearly I am a chocolate addict and so happy to be able to eat chocolate again again after my surgery!!!!

Happy Valentine's all and have a wonderful weekend - romantic for those of you with a partner and filled with so much love no matter who you are!!!! And don't forget to enter the contest by 10:00 pm EST on February 14 - Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's beauty

I've been stalking the mailman all week (not really, but I have been looking out the window about every five minutes since Monday). You see, back at the beginning of January I committed to taking part in a Victorian Paper Heart Swap organized by the lovely Danielle Muller over at the Vintage Dragonfly. Of course, at the time I committed to this very fun creative opportunity I didn't realize that I would be having surgery a short time later! This just meant I would have to speed up my creativity a bit and move up my own personal deadline to get everything sent off to Danielle.

The dozen of us that participated were each charged with creating a large hanging heart constructed of papers and other lovely vintage-y elements. We were also to create a dozen little packets of vintage-y art supply goodness to be contained in a space about the size of a postcard. Now each artist is anxiously waiting to get our fun mail with a big heart created by another wonderful soul and twelve little packets of new artsy stuff to play with! As we speak I am looking out the window at our mailman to see if he's carrying a box for me!!!

While I'm waiting, I thought I would share a pic with you of what I created to share with the others. After a fun trip to one of our great antique stores to supplement the supplies I already had, this is what I came up with. Bits of tulle and tatting, vintage french music sheets and a cute little couple of french children along with a touch of my calligraphy. I think I was trying to put myself back in my high school french classes! I only hope they like it as much as I LOVED putting it together!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm published!!!!!

OK, not really, though I have been published four times in some of Somerset's other publications. But imagine my excitement tonight when I was visiting our local bookstore and grabbed a copy of the newest issue of Where Women Create to peruse over my chai. As I opened the magazine and reached one of the very first articles which was recapping the fabulous Creative Connection Event from last September. In taking a quick glance at all of the pictures, I noticed a pic of my hero, Amy Butler, and realized it was me with her in the photo!!!! She's holding my business card and talking with me!!!!! You can't see my face or anything, but you see my arm, my Nikon camera strap, my blue dotted shirt and my hair. I was just so excited to see the moment I had been most looking forward to actually in print. Not that I needed a picture to preserve that amazing moment for me, but it is really exciting as Amy is the person I was most excited about meeting and hearing from at the conference. She is an amazingly talented person, so real and genuine and down to earth and most inspiring to me as she has stayed true to who she is and become a fabulously successful woman. Thank you for letting me share my ridiculously over-the-top excitement!