Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dallas Bridal Expo....

So as many of you know, this past weekend was the Dallas Bridal Expo.  Let me just tell you....there was some STUFF there.  Golly gee.  Mom, dad, and I set out on our Expo adventure pretty early on Saturday.  We weren't there right when the door opened, but we showed up about 30 minutes after the opening.  You would have thought they were handing out free cakes and dresses as many people were there.  Seriously.  At times, it was hard to even walk down aisles so we had to resort to just standing in the middle of the aisle and wait for an opening to begin walking again.  For someone like me who is a natural born mall-walker, this slow moving pace got me a little un-nerved.  :)

They handed out huge shopping bags right as you walked in the front door in order to make it easier to carry around the "literature" you would accumulate over the course of your time there.  Well, I got a bag and mom got a bag and we had those babies filled up with brochures and magazines within the first row.  Like any good shopper, we searched for more bags to fill with our literature.  The back of the expo center was entirely dedicated to a wedding gown designer....and they had more bags.  Again, mom and I got one.  Dad ended up for a second looking more like a pack mule and less like a dad.  After we got the bag situation figured out (me carrying 1, mom carrying 1, and dad carrying the remaining 2- his choice.  I tried to take one.), we continued the slow move down the aisles.  Mom had the smart idea of packing a lunch and taking it with us.  I didn't think that was such a hot idea and refused to do it.  Good thing I was defiant....there were soooo many dang samples of caterers and cakes none of us were hungry the entire 5 hours we were there.  Some of those cakes packed a major punch- like you could taste the sugar and feel your waste expanding.  I found my cake 2 feet into the expo.  It was on a tall stand in the middle of the room and I was in love.  It's almost exactly like the cake I pictured earlier in the blog.  It's perfect.  We'll definitely go and visit that cake shop in Southlake when it comes time to do those such things.  The last aisle of the expo proved to be the best, in my opinion.  I found my 2 wedding dress boutiques and got to try on veils!!  Geez that was the weirdest thing ever.  Seriously.  This lady sat me down on a stool and said, "Let's play".  Umm, yeah....ok.  She gave me one of those vintage/chic/modern/have-to-be-trendy-to-pull-it-off birdcage veils and then a long cathedral length one.  I loved both.  Who would have thought I would be a birdcage girl.  Hmmmp.  Whatever works.  :)

The final event of our stay at the Expo was a wedding dress fashion show.  Luckily it was presented by one of my 2 boutiques so I sat there on the front row like someone special and took notes.  I was straight out of fashion week sitting on that front row.  All I needed to complete the look was my sunglasses and maybe a cool hat.  Needless to say I found some dresses that will get tried on for sure in April.

All in all it was a pretty successful trip to the Expo.  Jacob and I now have to go through the piles and piles of honeymoon brochures and booklets.  I'm kinda pumped about that.  Maybe we can decide where we want to go.....maybe.

Oh- the 2 big purchases from the BRIDAL expo?  Jewelry cleaner and a Toll Tag.  :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Survived the week....

This past week was my first in my semester long internship at a hospital here in Waco.  I was actually quite nervous about it going into it, but it all turned out ok in the end.  I've learned a lot of new things this first's a little taste:

1.  How to correctly electrically stimulate someone's face.  (Yeah, you read that correctly- electrical stimulation)
2.  How to correctly swab the back of someone's throat and move out of the way quick enough so that you aren't wearing what they ate for breakfast or lunch.
3.  How to properly follow the physical therapist around with an oxygen tank and an IV pole while conducting a verbal test of cognition.
4.  How to write a report with the assistance of the pre-worded template and have a doctor comment to you on how excellent and professional the wording is.
5.  How to identify dentures in an xray.  (Don't ask where they were...)
6.  How to smile and nod my way through an exam conducted completely in Spanish.
7.  How to make it from one end of the hospital to the other in 2 minutes by mall walking.
8.  How to enter a restricted area unintentionally.  (Don't ask how that happened either....)
9.  How to correctly make a bed-to-toilet transfer and not get my shoes dirty.

And finally....
10.  How to be an excellent speech pathologist.  :)

Jacob is on his way here for the weekend.  We'll be taking down the Christmas tree.  I figured it was about time to take it down for the season.  I just like to look at's so pretty.

Monday, January 11, 2010

First day....

Sorry for the short break from blog-land.  I've been a mover-and-a-shaker between Grapevine, Waco, and Austin the past few days.  This past weekend I didn't do anything wedding wise.  Nothing.  That's the first weekend since our engagement that I haven't done anything wedding related.  I'm such a slacker...  :)

Today I started my internship at Providence!  It was really fun!  (As much fun as sitting around and just watching stuff can be....but- it beats class!)  I thoroughly enjoyed going to work in my pajamas scrubs.  After I got home from the hospital, I checked my mail and found a little blessing from my church.  It's great to know that the Lord sends little needed blessings the moment you need them.  I'm talking about the exact moment.  It's good to know that his provisions are perfect and so is his timing.

Up next in the wedding area: The Dallas Bridal Expo!  Get excited!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Grand Ol' Year In Review....

After seeing more than my fair share of picture year in review posts, I decided I needed to do one too.  I'm a sucker for peer pressure.

So without further ado, here's Jacob and Kristen's Year In Review:

After officially starting our relationship January 1st, Jacob and I spent the month figuring out more about each other.  I don't think I've laughed that hard about random stuff in a long time.  Grad school started for me in January as well.  This month was full of "new chapters" in my life.  My first serious relationship and grad school.  Here's our first picture together the night we became official:

Also that month, we took our first "vacation" together for the weekend.  Jacob ran the Houston marathon and I sang at a police officer benefit in downtown.  That was the first time Jacob heard me sing and he said he was "hooked".  :)

Ahhh the month of love.  Jacob planned a romantic dinner for Valentines day.  He also wrote me a beautiful poem and had it printed and framed.  I didn't let him in on it at the time and I'm still not sure he knows now, but I cried the first time I read it.  I can't remember exactly the first time I realized that I loved him, but I'm pretty sure it was then.  After our dinner at Romeo's on Valentines day, Jacob took me ice skating!  For those of you who know me really well, you know that I broke my tail bone last summer working at Day Camp.  Probably not the smartest idea to go ice skating with a semi healed butt, however, I was up to the challenge.  Jacob used to play hockey so he's a natural on the ice.  I, on the other hand, could barely stand up.  I resorted to hanging on for dear life to him.  I think he thought I was better at skating than I really was so he let me go and then next thing I knew I was looking up at the ceiling of the rink....and my butt hurt.

Also this month, I got to officially see Jacob run the Austin half marathon!  (I couldn't see the Houston in January because I was sound checking at the venue I was singing at.)  He ran the Austin half the day after Valentines day and made me so proud!  I never realized how hard it would be to find someone in a crowd...but it was.

Happy birthday to me!!  For my birthday, Jacob bought us some pretty awesome sweet tickets to the Austin Rodeo to see my favorite country group, Eli Young Band.  To help get in the true rodeo mood and fit in better with the crowd, Jacob also bought me my first pair of real cowboy boots!  Yeehaw!!  I love those boots.

March also brought our first extensive time apart.  I went to visit family in Louisiana for Spring Break and Jacob stayed in Austin.  It was rough---but it also made me realize that I really wanted to be with him for the long haul.

April showers brought in the season of weddings.  My friend Lindsey got married in the middle of the month and thus kicked off our summer of weddings.  I think we ended up going to a total of 6 by the end of June.  Maybe that's when we caught wedding fever.  Lindsey's wedding was also the first time that some of my most valued friends got the chance to meet Jacob.  All approved and gave me the go ahead to continue my relationship with him.  Everyone loved him....including me.

Weddings weddings weddings.  Sheesh.  Seems like everyone we knew was getting married.  May also brought to a close my first semester of grad school.  Jacob was a great support to me during my first semester.  I remember a certain phone call one night where he said that he wanted me, above all, to succeed. He also said that if my success was going to be inhibited by him, he would step back and wait for me.  How can you not love that!??!?!?!  I would have taken him up on that offer had he lived in Waco, but seeing that he lived in Austin and we only saw each other on the weekends, I had plenty of time during the week to focus on school and plenty of time on the weekends to be with him.

The weddings continued.  My childhood friend Ashleigh got married this month!  We first met in gym class in 6th grade and were inseparable from that point on.  This was also the month that Jacob got me tickets to see Rascal Flatts in Dallas!  He knows my love for that group and got awesome tickets really close to the stage!  Summer session of grad school started this month too.....and so did the most stressful month of my life.  This was the month that I made my decision to work with the adult population and leave kids to someone else.  I couldn't mentally handle everything that got thrown at me.  I also learned this month that I stink at dealing with stress.  Jacob learned that about me too....

Happy 4th of July!!  I spent the holiday weekend in Austin with Jacob and we watched the downtown fireworks from the parking lot of a mall that overlooks the downtown Austin skyline.  July also brought to close the end of the hardest summer session of grad school clinic wise and brought me into the hardest summer session I had ever encountered academic wise.  Who would have ever thought that a neurological based class would be as difficult as it was.  I survived and lived to tell about it.  :)  This month I also got to meet my friend Ashley's new little baby, Ruth!  Lauri and I traveled down to Houston to visit Ashley and her husband Jessie and their beautiful new little baby!  Ruth was such a trooper to go shopping with us girls that weekend.  This was also the weekend Jacob got a "break" from me for the weekend.  Lucky him.  :)

August is when I started my last semester of graduate school.  I was so relieved to have made it this far in grad school.  The light was at the end of the tunnel!!  This month was also the month that all the weddings drew to a close.  Looking back, August wasn't really all that eventful for Jacob and I....hence to absence of a picture taken during that month.  :)

September proved to be a traveling month for us.  First we went to Longview to spend a long weekend with Jacob's parents, his brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and younger brother.  Our weekend in the country included doing things like sleeping in late, eating like royalty, and shooting guns.  We also traveled to my parent's house to meet my cousin Lauren's new little baby boy, Parker.

Hallelujah we made it to Chicago!!!  I had been looking forward to this vacation ever since it was planned early in the year.  Jacob and I left late on a Thursday night and had all day Friday, Saturday, and part of the day on Sunday to just relax and be tourists.  Some highlights from the trip included:  deep dish pizza, the Shedd Aquarium, the BEAN!, and the public transportation system.  Sunday morning, Jacob ran the Chicago Marathon and finished like a champ.  I thought finding him at the Austin half was difficult....multiply that time about a billion.  The distinctive feature that made him easy to spot were his awesome Texas flag running shorts I got him for his birthday.  Jacob also celebrated his 25th birthday this month!  Welcome to your mid-20's babe!

This month Jacob and I went to Longview for Thanksgiving and spent some sweet time with this family.  It was my first major holiday away from my family but I felt just like one of their family the entire weekend!  Jacob and his brother had the bright idea of building their own Aggie bonfire in their parent's backyard.  At first I thought this was a dumb idea...just build a fire in the fireplace.  But in the end, it was pretty stinkin cool.  I stand corrected Aggies.  Your bonfire is pretty awesome....even in miniature form in someone's backyard.  This month was also the month that I got to be the recipient of my very own Comps Lunch.  Being in grad school we have to take a test to graduate.  The Thursday before the big test, the younger girls give the older girls (me and my 6 other classmates) a big lunch as a way of wishing us good luck on our test.  It must have worked because we all passed the test the next morning!  That next weekend we all traveled down to Austin to take the state Praxis exam.  You talk about a stressful, big deal- this was.  But, I passed that one too!!  Apparently I know some stuff!

I love December!!!  Now I love it even more!!  This is the month that Jacob and I took the next step and got engaged!  I can't tell you how much I'm in love with him.  I can't picture my life- past, present, and future- without him!  He truly is one of my biggest blessings!!  December 4th will forever be my favorite day- not only because that's the day we got engaged, but because that will be the day that we get married this year.  I'm pretty stoked- if you didn't already know.  :)

....if you made it to the end of this- maaaad props to you.  :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Reception- CHECK!

Well, good news blog readers- we have a reception venue!!  We visited the Chateau at Forest Park this afternoon.  It's pretty much the coolest thing you've seen in a long time.  Think old white barn on the outside and fantastic space on the inside.  The room was set from a New Year's Eve party so we got to see it semi-decorated.  The tables obviously weren't my colors, but we used our imagination and it was awesome.  The dance floor is covered with paper lanterns.  Before you judge, I thought it had the possibility of being a little on the cheesy side, but once I saw it I loved it!  Pictures don't do it justice:

The blue shades of lanterns will be replaced by purple shades.  :)

Also, on that long wall on the left of the picture they are going to put up lights in the shape of snowflakes- truly winter and I love it.

All in all, the search for the ceremony and reception site wasn't as painful as I expected it to be.  I was prepared to stay up day and night worrying about it....and now I'm not going to have to!  Yessss!