Wednesday, June 20, 2012

23 was good...24 is going to be even better

So 23 was good.  Other than the fact that I hate the number 3 (and yes...I realize I have a whole decade of them coming up...and I will have to learn to deal) was still a good year for me.

Just before turning 23, Kevin proposed!!!  And then for all of 23 I got to relish in the excitment of being engaged to the most wonderful man I know.

That day will forever be one of the highlights of my life, and our life together, that I'll look back on fondly.  Even after being engaged for a year, I still look down and see that sparkle on my left hand and it feels so surreal that I am marrying "Kevin Lynn"!!!  Just today when I caught a glimpse of it, I allowed myself to drift off into a day dream about our future together and it reminded me of just how excited I really am about the thought of us being married and spending the rest of our lives together!  And while I have been getting caught up in all the planning hoopla, Kevin really is the person I could never imagine living without.  

In my year of 23, I decided to go back to school for my masters, and managed to survive the first third of that process. Working on tackling the second third!!!!  And excited to take on the last chapter of this process this fall!!! 

In my year of 23, after struggling with decision to change our date since my going back to school interfered with our first one, we decided on a new date...6.22.13!!!!   And wedding planning officially began right after I wrapped up my first semester of grad school this spring!!!  I'm thrilled to announce that we have the church, the hall, and an amazing photographer!!!  Oh....and I've got the PERFECT dress!!!  All the big stuff is done, and I look forward to putting all the little touches on that will make 6.22 our day and reflect us and the love we have.

In my year of 23, Kevin and I developed some great new friendships.  This added to the time we spent outside, around the grill eating delicious food, and led to developing our new hobby...disc golf!!!  (Note to self...need to take more photos at such outings!)  

So...since I have no pictures of us actually disc golfing...I googled disc golf led me to this photo on this site,, and now I officially want these!!!! 

In my year of 23, Kevin and I finally decided where to start our life together as husband and wife.  Well, I guess we didn't exactly decide.  It was actually our inability to decide that led us to the conclusion that....staying in Knoxville is what would work best for us right now.  

And with hindsight being 20-20, I'm reluctant to say I'm really pleased with our decision to stay.  While I have vowed for the last several years that at the first opportunity to get out of Knoxville, or Tennessee, I would jump on it, I'm beginning to think it's not so bad after all.  And, after doing some research on some of the cities we've discussed living, and comparing the cost of living there to the cost of living in Knoxville, I feel like Kevin and I will be able to have the type of lifestyle both of us would like, while still being able to save the way I'd like! Kevin has also voiced his desire to go back to school himself to get his masters degree, and this will allow him to head back to his alma mater...UTK! wrap up 23...I enjoyed my first year of engagement, I began grad school, I dove head first into planning the wedding of my dreams to the man of my dreams, developed great new friendships, and Kevin and I decided where to spend the beginning of our lives together.

And to make it official...a month and two days before 24, we made an offer on our first house together, and the following day it was accepted!!!!  

So that leads me to why I think 24 will be so much better than 23!  For starters, we are set to close on our new house on my 24th birthday!!!  Talk about one heck of a birthday present!!!  I think Kevin should get one of those big bows they put on cars in the commercials, and climb up a ladder and put it on our roof for me!  :)  

And not that owning our very first home isn't enough, 24 will also bring with it...

My Masters Degree in Accounting from MTSU...graduation is currently set for December 15, 2012!!!  

With my graduation from MTSU, I will then be reunited with Kevin, and we can officially begin life together in our new house since I have been spending this year away from him while in school.  And with that, I will get to really transform the house into our home!!!!

I will also begin my new career following graduation which I'm very excited about!!!  I've always been a career minded person, and I actually look forward to working!  The job hunt will start this fall!!!  Keep your fingers crossed I find something amazing!!!!

And then finally, come 6.22.13, nearing the end of my year of 24, I will marry the most wonderful man I know!!!!  Gotta save the best for last right!!

All Saints Catholic Church, where Kevin and I will say "I do"!

24 holds so much potential already, and I'm so excited to see where it takes me, and Kevin!!  I've never dreaded, or resisted growing older. I feel as though it is a privilege and a blessing to be able to have one more day, week, month, or year to be able to experience and enjoy life.  I take each challenge as it is presented to me, and look forward to what life has in store for me down the road!!!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

In the middle of the night...'s been a while since my last post and that's simply because life has just been crazy!!  And since it's 4 AM and I can't sleep...I figured it would be a great opportunity to catch everyone up!

I had started the fall off working TWO jobs in an attempt to save up some money for school, but it was killing me. I would literally open at one place just to have about an hour break before I went and closed the other place. I was on my feet from about 8 AM until midnight every day and it was most definitely taking its toll. The two jobs lasted for about a month and a half before Kevin told me to just quit one already!!

While one would have thought that cutting back to just one job would have totally opened up my schedule and leave me with tons of free time, they would have been mistaken. As soon as I was down to one job, I began filling my time with everything grad school. I made several trips west, to MTSU, in search of the perfect place to call home for the next year. After finding a place to live, then it was time to review a bit since I haven't looked at anything accounting related since I graduated in May!!!

In the midst of all the craziness, Kevin and I did manage to fit in our engagement pictures this fall too!  Photographers were one of the first things I started looking at after Kevin proposed.   To me, the photographers and videographer is the most important thing to consider when planning the wedding, followed closely by good entertainment.  While a pretty location, good food, and a yummy cake are all nice, it's the photos and video that you keep forever, and it's the entertainment that makes the wedding a memorable one and the photos and video the best they could possibly be.  Luckily for me, I found my photographer with ease...well...with ease after meeting with nearly a dozen or so other photographers!  But she was someone I already knew about and didn't find through google or anything else like that which allowed me to be a bit more familiar with her work since I was already looking at some of her work before Kev and I were engaged.  Either way, below are some of my favorite shots from that day! 

Before I knew it, Thanksgiving was here...and then before I even had time to enjoy the was Christmas!!! I must say that this Christmas was probably one of the best ones I've had in a few years. This year instead of it just being my dad, Kevin and I since almost everyone else goes to Chicago most years, this year Jerry and Kate were here too, which lead to us actually preparing a Christmas dinner at our house. I must say, the task seemed daunting at first. In my house, we're used to my mom cooking most meals. And not that we can't cook, but my mom is seriously an amazing cook who definitely knows her way around the kitchen. Not to mention, she's been doing this for 30 years, and has her timing and everything else down to a fine art...well...with the exception of the rolls!! ;). So it's typically best if e cooking is left to her. But this year, it was up to us. I will say that our timing was definitely a little off. We made macaroni salad, and forgot to boil the eggs until all the ingredients were mixed together, we made baked sweet potatoes, but waited until everything else was almost cooked before they went in the oven (they take about 30-45 minutes to cook!). I will say that the biggest surprise, and success of the meal was when Jerry made gravy from SCRATCH after we realized we didn't have any!! And it was actually pretty good!!! Despite how successful the meal was, I think the best part was just having all five of us in the kitchen. It was definitely a sight to see, and I wish we had video tapped,it, because as much as we were laughing in the moment, we could have totally won some money on AFV!!! It was definitely something I won't soon forget.

Now...we're about 34 hours away from me moving to MTSU.  Last weekend for new years, my sorority sister Melissa got married in Nashville.  We had such a great time!!!  But before the party began, Kev and I took the opportunity to head to Murfreesboro a day early so that we could get the keys to my apartment, get my utilities set in my name, and clean a bit before we started moving stuff in. This weekend my parents came with us, and we brought all the big heavy furniture to move!  The place is starting to come together.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to really decorate and make it feel more like home.  Although, I don't think anywhere will feel like home without Kevin.

And speaking of...I will say that the idea of leaving Kevin for a year is pretty scary.  We are about to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, and of those 5 years, we've lived together for 3!  And while we did do things in a rather non traditional way moving in together before we were married, it cracks me up to think we just got engaged...and now I'm moving out! Hey, at least the Catholic church will be happy when we contact them about getting married and we have separate addresses!  Either way, it still makes me sad to know that the one person I love more than anything, whom I've created a little family with (with all of our little furry children that is!) will not be waiting for me when I get home from class.
Luckily I will have one of the dogs, Killer, and the two cats to keep me company while at school!  And I'm trying to distract myself with decorating the apartment to make the initial separation a little less daunting.

I'm sure once I get in the swing of things with school and work, and with the wonderful world of face time, it won't be as bad as I think it will be and the year will fly by in no time!  Only 341 days till graduation!  And I have wedding planning to look forward to which will resume in a couple months after I get this first semester of grad school under my belt!

Here is to a great 2012!!!!!