Impromptu bachelorette parties

I’m getting married. Hopefully by sometime in September. But no, there is no set wedding date yet. And no, my fiance hasn’t moved to my area yet (which needs to happen so we can have a place to live together and so he can help support us as well – my part time job only pays so much). But we’re still hoping to get married soon! And if that isn’t enough stuff up in the air yet, my maid-of-honour and lovely sister got a job teaching in Honduras. And left for that last Friday. Nothing about this wedding is going to happen in the traditional way, it seems! But a week ago Thursday, my sister and I got to talking late at night and in the midst of us discussing her new job and how sad we were that she wouldn’t be able to stand up with me at my wedding, I also bemoaned the fact that I wouldn’t even get to have a bachelorette party with her in attendance. She asked what I would want if I did have one, and planned it all the next day (technically the same day, that conversation happened after midnight). All except one person I had mentioned inviting could come for it, we all meet up in Indy somehow, and somehow I got a rather traditional party planned in a day – complete with a bachelorette party hashtag, lingerie, live-music at a bar, calling the cops, and more. My cousins who live in Indy decorated for it, got me a bride shirt and more, and between them and my sister, had a whole party for me – one that actually changed as we went along, as watching a movie in the evening was discarded for a live-music bar.

The even started with a trip to a lingerie story, where I was expecting to pick out some and buy them myself but instead had my friends (including my sister and cousins) insist on buying me everything I was interested in or had liked! And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like walking around a mall, shopping for lingerie, and then spending the rest of the evening as well all while dressed in a tank top that proclaims “bride” on the front and with everyone in leis. We even had a friendly security guard ask us if we were back from Hawaii, and even say hi to us later when we passed him elsewhere in the mall. After the mall, we went out for some fantastic pizza and appetizers, then back to the mall for a bit when we had to lose a member of the party as she had to work. Live-music at a bar (which I’d been thinking sounded interesting to hear for a while now) finished up the main part of the party. But what bachelorette party would be complete with out a little wildness? And true to that, the police got called before we even made it inside the bar. But not on us – by us. Or rather, a couple of my friends with the compassion and caring to check on a lady passed out in the heat who proved non-responsive to even yelling in her ear. The police and then a couple of emergency response vehicles and people came to help the lady, and I could not be more proud of my friends for their commitment to help in that situation! I would have not known what to do and probably done nothing, but they may have saved the lady from merely being taken advantage of as the night got later or from a serious health issue.

Even though my sister can’t stand up with me, I am more than honoured by her and my friends’ willingness to plan and/or join an impromptu party for me! It may seem like a strange thing to say, but their willingness to give up their free time (or barely free time – at least one of them was extremely busy that day between a wedding, work at night, and the lengthy drive to Indy for this party) just because I asked shows what awesome and caring friends I have. I really am blessed. It’s just too bad I can’t have 8 or so bridesmaids. Instead, I asked yet another cousin to stand up with me in my sister’s stead – a male cousin so not one invited to the party. Poor guy. And not for missing the party…

 

Endings

…And beginnings.

Summer is often a time memorialized by carefree and sunshiney days, but as we become adults, we realize that is more of a wish than a reality. Some adults worked steady jobs, some like me worked (part-time in my case) and went to school, some had to find new jobs. My sister and my fiance are of the latter group.

While my fiance is still looking for that new job so he can move to my area and we can finally get married, my sister found her job and started it this week. In Honduras. It’s her first teaching job since she graduated this spring, and while I am extremely proud that she even got to turn down a job offer in order to take her top choice of jobs, it is scary to let my little sister go that far and know there is little we can do to help her except by way of some verbal encouragement. For us, this summer marked the end of a certain type of familiar security, and the beginning of a huge adventure for her. Because while this experience was scary for her and me, it is also just that: a huge adventure. every adventure or quest has risks, dangers, toils to undertake, and obstacles to overcome, but that’s what makes the end goal so much sweeter to reach. In every quest or grand adventure, the hero has to seek a prize or a goal, and often, the hero has to grow from a youth no one thought could do it into the true hero of the story. And just like in those, this opportunity for my sister will present numourous challenges and fears to overcome, but with large rewards for doing so. I look forward to seeing how much more confident, self-assured, and knowledgeable my sister is after this year, as well as all the other benefits this adventure will present her with!

So, to my sister… kick ass in your grand adventure! And don’t worry: every ending marks a new beginning, as some story or song or something once said, I think. Grow, learn – about yourself, others, and our world – and enjoy being cast as the hero of an adventure/quest! You can do this.

(And to my mom, sorry about the language but it was fitting.)

Change: Faith through life, failure, and love

Change can be good or can be bad. And sometimes, it seems like it is both. My faith and relationship with God seems to be in that later category. While I want to grow and change for the better with that, it seems that some of the changes that did happen also have lead to a change for the worse there.

I’ve become a distant Christian, one who doesn’t know if they really want to pray about this specific thing because they just know they aren’t going to like the answer. One who doesn’t want to surrender everything, because of fear and the possibility of losing something “good”. One who seems to have forgotten love, both for and from God. One who lets sin win, and then only thinks to feel guilty afterwards, because of the distance.

How does this tie into life and failure and love? You see, I am only alive because of God’s love for me. I am a failure, and when all seemed lost, God used one of the very things I struggled with (legalism), to save me. And I owe Him my life in more than one way, because He also saved me spiritually. And over and over again, through out my life, He has shown Himself faithful and loving, even when I am faithless and/or loveless. And I am now on the verge of losing all grasp of that, because of change. A change of view on how I should understand Him and the Bible, changes in my life (including my loves), and more.

Addressing only the first here: Understanding God in a fuller sense should not also distance one from knowing Him, and while I can claim to want to learn more about Him through the historically accurate and contextually accurate Bible, He wants us to worship Him not just in truth, but in spirit also. And worship means bowing to Him, loving Him, and obeying Him. No matter how scary or unpleasant that seems now. He has saved my life before, it’s time to trust him to do so again and turn back to Him. With all that I am. And if what I was doing before wasn’t working to strengthen and correct my relationship with God, well then, it’s time for a change. Failure may be part of life, but it should not keep us from the greatest love there is. And that is what mine to be the sort of Christian I should be would be doing now, if I didn’t seek a new change and restoration.

I’m engaged!

Technically, I got engaged at the end of February, I’m just really slow at writing any posts. He had been originally thinking he would wait till we’d been (officially) dating a year to even bring it up, but then couldn’t wait that long. And then was thinking of proposing at some gorgeous nature filled location or a historic mansion (yes, we are both nerds) this summer, but couldn’t wait that long either… So after checking with me on what I thought about getting married over the holidays, he started planning his proposal. He planned it over the course of a couple of months, and even briefly considered asking me on our one year anniversary before deciding that was too much cheese even for us.

The time finally came for him to propose, and while he had been hoping for good weather so he could ask me on one knee at a river walk, the day proved cold. His proposal however, while the location had to be changed, was anything but cold. Sweet, simple, romantic… It was perfect even if not for the location. There is more to a sweet moment than a grand gesture, than the perfect location, than even saying the perfect words, and he had all the right things (and said some really sweet things). Even if the river walk would have been lovely, he was still there, and he was still asking me to marry him in the sweetest, kindest way possible. Life happens, things can’t be helped. But love and the important things can still win out and make things good. And that is how our marriage should be as well – life happens, somethings cannot be helped, and plans don’t go how we’d like, but so long as the important things are there, we will be fine. So what is important? Us being together, love, kindness and grace for each other and others, and a willingness to work through everything together as a couple, and to always end on the same side. In the case of this proposal, it definitely had us being together, love, and lots of sweet romantic-ness (which I’ll count as kindness, for the sake of adding more of the previous list to this list. Don’t question it, it really is arbitrary). Next to work on building a marriage that is just as good… Even when the circumstances impacting it aren’t (and they really won’t be at times!).

 

 

(Okay, that wasn’t too sappy, was it? Well… maybe just a little. So have some pictures.)

A New Semester

Ah, school. Paper, pencils, classroom lectures… The latter item is something I didn’t expect to have again, as my Library Technical Assistant degree is available completely online (handy for having a flexible work schedule that is prone to vary and has odd hours at times), but while registering for classes I was suddenly faced with having to wait a semester to take a math class online (as they were going to be converting it for the next semester), or take it in person. As the transition period to being an online class cannot be expected to go smoothly, I registered for an in-person, traditional, classroom class for this spring semester.

I was nervous about taking a math class, nervous about taking a classroom class for the first time in over five years, but not nervous about the schedule at least – it was the best I could get for the class being in person and with my normal work schedule. And then I got my work schedule for this month… Oops, someone was taking a vacation so I was scheduled to fill in on several of those days; one of those days being when I have my math class. That wasn’t going to work at all, so I had to talk to my library director about the conflict in times. When she asked why I hadn’t marked down that I couldn’t work those mornings, all I could say was that with our return to normal schedules after the holidays, I just hadn’t thought about it! Ah, the joys of school and work. At least I only work part-time! (And the joys of being a library director having to do all the employee scheduling when people keep changing when they can work and changing what days they want off. Sorry, boss!) I never expected the in-class time to be as enjoyable as the teacher makes it, or the homework as easy as it was at first (I still don’t expect easy and short homework to last, and this week’s work has been a bit heavier), nor did I expect for it to conflict with work at all, but this traditional classroom class did all of those and more.

 

A New Year

For the past several years, instead of creating New Year’s resolutions (okay, I never did create those), I’ve started a list of goals for the year that I start on my birthday and the number of which corresponds to my new age. These goals help to remind me do things, to try new things, to change to be more the person I want to be. They range from challenges of not buying over a certain amount of clothing (after I was spending too much on clothes one year), to hiking someplace new, to learning a sense of wonder which is so easy to lose when worried about life. But with each year, I want to take the chance to work on improving my life, on living the life I wish I had, on becoming myself and focusing on what is important – even if that is just to breathe more, or smile and laugh more (goals I have set). You see, life isn’t just found in the big things (learning a sense of wonder, trying something new each month, be unafriad to be myself, etc.), but in the small things such as smiling more, wearing red lipstick in public, wearing a hat in public, dancing in the rain, stargazing, or finding a new music group that is enjoyed. Life is made up of these and so much more.

Getting my associates degree may not have been on my list of things to do, but everything is geared towards growing, learning, or simply having fun and loosening up, and it did fit into those overarching goals for my life. I don’t normally finish everything on the list, but that’s not the point of the list, it is a list of goals and goals may not always be attained, but if in working towards even a few of them I can live a life of greater intentionality and enjoy life more, I will.

We all have the power to make changes in our lives that move us in the direction we want to go. What do you wish was different in  your life? What can you do to change that? Do it. It’s a new year, why does it have to follow the patterns of past years?

Change is scary, and so is taking control of my own life and living it in such a way as to become the person I want to be with the life I want (unafraid, filled with a sense of wonder at the beauty in the world, challenging myself with both adventures and reading, growing…), but you know what? Look at a storm. It can look ominous and scary, it can bring about changes if there is much damage, but there can also be a strange beauty in it, and fearing it does nothing. Being prepared and facing challenges and life’s storms head on though? That’s how to live intentionally and with courage. And that, is how lives worth living are made. One year – one day – at a time.

IMG_1015

Storm over the wheat fields

Library Tutorial: Checking-out an ebook on Kindle

For the same library class I created this blog for, I also did a  video tutorial (link to the video tutorial here), using Screencast-o-matic, on how to download and check-out a Kindle ebook from the Peru Public Library’s digital collection. While I can’t upload the video directly here, feel free to check it out via the link provided!

The tutorial is very basic, as I didn’t have time to cover everything there, but I would be more than happy to answer any further questions (if I can) on the topic, and so would the staff at the Peru Public Library! (Terri is, however, the one that knows the most on the topic, so ask for her specifically.)

The library is located at:
102 E. Main St.
Peru, In. 46970

But is temporarily located at (while the historic Carnegie building is renovated):
12 Broadway Plaza
Peru, IN 46970

And contact information is:
Phone number: 765-473-3069
Website: peru.lib.in.us
Email: perupubliclibrary@yahoo.com

 

Setting up a blog…

…More work than I’d figured. But maybe that was just because I am a bit technologically challenged at times and hadn’t realized that the widgets looked different based on the selected theme and that you had to save and update the blog regularly or you could very easily accidentally return your site to pre-edited states – I kept wondering why I couldn’t get the Widgets to work out and kept apparently losing edits… Well, turns out it just looks different than I was expecting. I also had trouble figuring out what kept happening to my menu as certain edits would make it disappear. Apparently I was changing it with some of my attempts to customize the blog, though I’m still not completely sure how or why it was changing it! All this means is that more exploring must be done and experience gained!

(Update) I was also disappointed with the trouble I had including a video in my second blog post, as I was informed that videos were not supported on this, so I had to just include a link to the video. But more exploring may reveal what I was doing wrong with that as well!

Other than those things, however, once exploring WordPress had happened more, everything look fairly simple and easy! This should be an interesting experience!