Feeling accomplished

Like every break from work I always have this massive list of things I want to accomplish.

This time it contained a few of the following….

  • clean up the flower beds and prune stuff to prepare for winter
  • organize all my recipes…including Pinterest stuff
  • redecorate the house and get all wedding gifts put away and hung up
  • spend time with the littles
  • read, read, read
  • work on my TeachersPayTeachers site
  • blog
  • deep clean the house
  • organize the office and file bills
  • work on genealogy stuff and continue to fill and organize
  • shop
  • sleep
I’m pretty proud of myself and feeling accomplished because I tackled just about everything on that list.  I’ve avoided a few of the items and hope to do some things tomorrow, but for the most part I conquered the big tasks. 
The house is redecorated (more to come…..)
And the massive amount of recipe boxes, printed recipes, recipe cards, and Pinterest recipes are finally organized with the help of MamasGotItTogether from Etsy this little purchase changed my life…and made it cuter.  
She has a ton of other amazing binders that I’m likely purchasing very soon.  I love binders.  Just ask my teacher friends.  Everything has a file folder or a binder.  I’m a bit organized and OCD about it.  
I don’t know about you, but I love being in the kitchen.  My problem with being in the kitchen is 1) my kitchen is a tiny tiny space  and 2) my recipes are all over the place.  I had some pinned on the iPad, some pinned on Pinterest, some taped to the inside of a cabinet, some in a binder above the washer/dryer, some in a box in the garage cabinet….EVERYWHERE!  I was getting really sick of trying to find what I needed to cook a meal and relax in the kitchen. 
I needed a fix.  
I started by purchasing three smaller binders in my kitchen colors (turquoise, red, and yellow) at Target. 
I wanted smaller binders instead of one huge binder because I already had one huge binder and it got out of control easily.  
That last name still freaks me out.  
I’m way too old school to keep my name, but I had it for 30 years.  It’s so difficult to adjust to!

Each binder would hold 5 sections……
I purchased Avery tabs (16280) from Amazon Prime.  Everyone needs Amazon Prime.  It is life changing.  Seriously, stuff is at your door within a day or two.  
I used the Avery.com website to print up each of the tabs I wanted.  I could have easily handwritten tabs, but I like things nice and neat.  I know….I’m a freak.  

And then I began to organize.  
The organization consisted of multiple days and lots of space.  I used the coffee table, the floor, and many piles later….I had finished products with my recipes from ALL over in three binders finally organized so I can find them a bit quicker.  

My best friends delicious icing recipe

recipes from the old family cookbook

magazine clippings I had shoved here and there

written recipes shoved in a folder

Pinterest recipes that have been a success finally printed and categorized

These are the lovely Avery tabs.  Avery seriously makes a printable something for everything.  

I also purchased these from Amazon.
Mike and I were given a recipe box that was his grandma’s and I also had my mom’s recipe box.  I didn’t want to destroy the handwritten index cards with familiar handwriting.  Just wanted to sort through them so I could find them a little easier.  

They worked perfectly for all those handwritten recipe cards

Here are the recipe boxes.
I love old recipe cards with handwriting.
So so special.  

The piles

and piles

and VOILA!
Done. 
Finished.
And then I sat down and made a list for the grocery of a few recipes I was going to try before the weekend was over.  

Today I made peanut butter brownies. 
Tomorrow is meatloaf for Sunday dinner.  
Feeling accomplished, 

Said yes to the dress

Saturday was the day to find the dress and it happened!
I woke up nervous as all get out.  I cried a little in the shower thinking about doing all this without mom.  I have a feeling those tears are going to flow heavily throughout the next 137 days.  
Riding with my MOH and best friend was a major stress reliever as we talked about girly wedding things the whole way and listened to baby Walker coo.
We arrived at our first place hoping for success but we weren’t so successful.  There were SO many fun dresses to try on.  There were even some great prom dresses to look at!  Miss Becky has so much to offer!  It was the perfect opportunity for me to try on a huge variety of dresses and get a feel for what I liked and didn’t like. 
Before we left little Mr. MOH decided he needed a changing. 
I have never.  
ever ever.  
ever never ever. 
seen anything..
or smelled anything…
like it!
We ruined that place for sure.  
But he’s so dang cute! 

After we had a delicious lunch at Mackenzie River Pizza.  Delicious food and wonderful family to celebrate with!
Have I told you yet how incredibly blessed I am to be surrounded by amazing women?  
Well, I am. 
My MOH is my best friend since practically her birth, Megan.  Her family is near and dear to my heart and always will be.  We may not be related but we practically are.  
My sister and Michelle are two of my bridesmaids and although Michelle isn’t technically a sister, she basically is.  Their little munchkins are flower girls and ring bearers.  I wish I had a photo of the girls from that day without me in it to spoil…but I don’t!
They were such wonderful little helpers.  They followed me around and picked up my train for “practice” for our big day.  They even had the chance to try on flower girl dresses and loved every minute of it.  
My Aunt Beth and Aunt Cathy are my momma’s sisters.  Together with Patty (mom’s best friend), Denise, and several other incredible women the empty spot of missing mom is always filled with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to me whine, and all the things a daughter misses from a mom.  I’m incredibly lucky to have them. 
I also wanted Michael’s mom to join us for dress shopping.  Since she has two boys she kind of misses out on all that girly stuff!  
It was an amazing day to say the least!

I found the dress at David’s and NO I am not telling you what it looks like, showing you a picture, nothing.  You’ll have to wait for wedding day pictures!

Getting ready to make the big purchase!  

Feeling the love as I make some serious game day decisions.  

They fail to mention to you the things they are going to throw in and charge you for.

Kind of like buying a new car.

A slip for this much, a preservation kit for this much, a garment bag that you must have, blah blah blah.

Nerves got the best of me and I bought it all.  Figured it was easier than second guessing and wishing I had bought it all!  Probably not necessary but in the grand scheme of things I’m not going to worry about it too much.

One little bit of advice for future brides:  Do NOT go on a Saturday to David’s Bridal.  They were friendly and helpful and did the best they could but that place is freaking nuts.  Ridiculous nuts.  Almost not fun nuts.  I would highly suggest going on a week night if you can!

Our next trip for bridesmaids dresses is on a week night to avoid that madness.

Photographer is booked.
DJ is booked.
Photobooth booked.
Tasting scheduled for a couple weeks.
Decorations are left to decide.
And all those minor little things.

And our website on The Knot….  http://www.theknot.com/wedding/Plank-and-Schenck

Oh yah…..and a honey moon too.

Hopefully the man decides or asks real soon if he can take some time off following the wedding.

Otherwise, this chic is going on a honeymoon alone!

Kidding…

Or, am I?

Booked!

We booked it!  It’s official!

I’m marrying the man of my dreams at the place that just a year ago I said I dreamed of getting married at!  I’m hoping the weather cooperates for July 19th around 5:30 p.m. so we can pull off an outdoor ceremony just like we want.  I don’t care what the weather does everywhere else but if it could be absolutely gorgeous and perfect in Pendleton at Blu Falls I would be so very grateful!
The planning process and final “let’s do it” considered me for my dad’s heart condition.  So, he decided to fake a heart attack for a cute photo opportunity.  

It was so much fun to meet with Cindy at Blu Falls today and get this party started!  The place is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to meet with my event planner.  Even got the invitations ordered tonight and engagement announcement submitted to the paper!  

Working on checking things off the list one at a time!  Hoping to stay calm and anxiety free….ya right!

Engaged

I have a fiance and for the first time today I had to say that out loud….and I gotta tell you it was crazy weird!

Not weird in a bad way….just weird in a different way!  Like the weird that I’ve been waiting on my whole life!

So here’s the story…..

Friday was Valentine’s Day and he always said he would never propose on a holiday so I was most definitely not expecting it.

Friday morning I set out a cute little scavenger hunt for him which led him to a card, couple of Rockstars, and some gift cards.  He loved it.

Friday night we had dinner reservations at the restaurant where we had our first date, Stone Creek Dining Company.  I kind of wondered if maybe he would pop the question at dinner but it was never discussed and I reminded myself he would never use a holiday to propose.

We came home from dinner and my usual is to go upstairs and change into “comfy pants” as we call them round here.  I didn’t head upstairs because I still hadn’t received a card or gift and kind of thought maybe if I hung around long enough on the couch something would magically appear.

Low and behold it did.  I opened the card.  A sweet card with a sweet message.  That man always writes love notes and never just signs his name.  Love that about him.

Then I pulled out the tissue paper of the red sparkly bag with heart on it and it was a mouse.  A computer mouse.  A wireless freaking computer mouse.  My response……”Ummm….thanks” with sincere disgust.

I huffed and puffed and pouted on the couch for a bit and he decided to head upstairs to put on his comfy pants.  Not long after I decided to head up as well.  As I was putting on my pajamas he came around by my side of the bed.  I thought he was going to grab some pants or underwear from the dresser but instead he GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE and I about passed out.

He stunned me.
He shocked me.

He said, “I love you….will you marry me?” and opened a ring box to behold this GORGEOUS and FABULOUS ring….

 I said….YES!  Covered my face to hide the tears approaching then I held his sweaty, shaky face in my hands and kissed him.  He placed the ring on my finger.  Of course it didn’t fit at first but we took the spacer thingy off and it fits perfectly.  Just perfect.  
Then, I thought I was going to puke.  Not the kind of puke like, “OMG what did I just do!” the kind of puke that is from absolute shock.  People always told me I wouldn’t know when it was coming.  Heck, even he told me he wanted to surprise me…but honestly I didn’t know if he could pull it off.  Trying to hide things from me is probably extremely difficult. 
But, he did it.  And he did it perfectly.  And he proposed to me in our bedroom in the midst of putting on pajama’s and I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.  It was just us.  It was perfect. 
Now….for some more of the details.  
Then I loaded him up with questions….like…did you ask my dad? Of course he did!  He asked my dad just earlier that morning.  My dad (a man of many words…ha!) replied with, “Sweet.”
I asked when he bought the ring.  He told me he had purchased it on Wednesday because he felt like if he had went to get it any earlier he wouldn’t have been able to not give it to me.  He even took his dad’s truck for fear that someone at the jewelry store may have seen his work truck and let me know he was at Kay’s.  Smart man!
We spent the rest of the evening trying to make phone calls and being extremely excited that we were engaged!  Like giggly…giddy excited. 
I did make the comment about being so excited to get married and have babies.  His response, “Can we just enjoy the engagement for a day or two?”  hehe  Sorry buddy! 

And we took this to capture the moment….Pinterest idea.  And so true…

My best friend answered her phone first.  Although I didn’t full on cry when he actually proposed….when I had to actually tell someone what happened I sure did.  And she cried!  And I kind of realized how real this whole thing was.  
We finally fell asleep early Saturday morning and got up early again to start the next round of phone calls and Facetime calls.  We wanted to tell all the special people in our lives over the phone or in person before we committed to the big announcement on social media.  It was fun to make the phone calls and Facetime calls together.  Hearing everyone’s excitement.  Shedding a few more happy tears.  My niece’s response of, “Can Kynsey and I be FLOWER GIRLS?!?!”  Lynn telling me how my mom was right there with me and how happy she would be.  
Just straight up pure bliss.  You can’t package that stuff.  Those feelings of forever love.  
I always knew he was….but that bling makes it so official and ready to take the next step.  
And the best part of it all…he’s just as excited as I am.  He told me he loves how I can’t stop smiling. And I seriously can’t.  
Yes, we’ve discussed dates, venues, and plans but we have nothing set yet.  We’ve sent out inquiry emails to a few places and hope to book a place soon so we can go from there.  I love how interested he is in the whole process and I’m very thankful for that.  
I also can’t get over how excited everyone is for US!  I’ve always known I was loved but the hugs and messages and texts are incredible.  We are so blessed to know so many wonderful people and have those people to share our journey with.  
This blog may become totally weddingfied and I hope y’all don’t mind.  I’ll have lots to share and definitely want to track these memories as we go.  
I’ve struggled a bit with sadness today at the thought of doing all of this without my mom.  I know she’s here with me along the way.  I know I have an incredible sister, aunts, and best friends to help me out.  I’m also going to be blessed with an awesome mother-in-law (woah…weird to say…again!).  I’m not alone in this…but I sure can’t help but think about how she would help me if she were here.  
The love of my life proposed to me on Valentine’s Day.  I can’t stop smiling. 
This man is a man who sent me this picture just last week. 
A picture of a cardinal right in our front bushes.  He knows I believe that’s my momma.  
He knows me so well. 
That picture made my whole day. 
And this man is going to make the rest of my life. 
Yours truly….
an Engaged Fortunate Girl

You win

Dear Sister,

You win!  Yes, you  win!  I may not say it very often that you’re right and that you win…but you definitely did it this time.

You and the whole crew surprised me like no other.

And YOU WIN!

Your loving and adoring little sister,
Ashley

Sisters

Wow….all I can say is WOW when I think back to last Saturday evening.  I was more than surprised…I was shocked that she and Mike and friends and family all pulled it off to surprise me for my 30th birthday.

But, just to be clear…I am not 30 until Friday.

The blonde in me didn’t even notice the cars in the parking lot.  I thought one of them was my cousin Tracy’s car…but then thought, “Nah, he wouldn’t be in Greenfield.”  His sticker supporting Kammy’s Kause should have given it away!

Our plan that evening was to go and watching Shai dance at the basketball game.  When we got there and it got closer to the dance my sister suggested dinner afterwards.  I wasn’t really feeling like eating pizza AGAIN but when you want to spend time with family you do whatever is suggested.  Then, Mike drove REALLY terribly slow leaving the game to the pizza joint.  That was annoying…and again maybe I should have known something was up.

Walked in the door and….TEARS!  Tears of joy!

And a “30” tiara to put on of course as well!
My hands were shaking!  

All these people…for me!

Sammy and Holly

Me and Ash!  

Baby had his first beer!

The Pacer game on the TV….

My favorite kids everywhere!

Games to play!

My amazing cake and awesome candelabra!  Thanks Holly and Krista!
I couldn’t even think of a wish to make.  I know this sounds slightly corny and ridiculous but I had so many I loved right there with me.  Was hard to think of anything else!

Courtney and I

Enjoying all the pictures around!

Cheese from Mallory!

Photobombers…

Me and Sam

The Hill family!

Me, Jen, Meg, and Court!

Me and my love…he helped pull it off!

Stuffed Haygoods.  Sam has an excuse.  What is yours Brando?
Teacher friends came too!

I don’t want to know what life would be like without this crazy family of mine!

This BY FAR was the perfect birthday surprise.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Looking back, I probably had quite a few hints that gave this event away.  I guess being blonde makes it possible for me to be completely clueless to some things.

For example, where did Holly disappear to at the game?  Never figured that out….until I got there.

Another example, why did Brody keep asking me where my tiara was?  I don’t wear one every day (that you know of) so I guess I should have found that odd.  He also stroked my face softly on the way out of the game and said, “We gonna have cake tonight.  We gonna have a party tonight.”  Again, I had no clue. As my sister said…the kid who still poops his pants was about to be the one who gave it away.

Another example, why were all the little people ignoring me and trying to stay as far away from me as possible?  Come to find out….they were all terrified they would spill the beans.  So much to the point that Shai actually refused to sit next to me at dinner on Thursday and made me think she had a headache or was mad at me!

And I still….feel terribly….terribly….guilty for ever doubting anyone to pull something off.  For being a brat and saying I had to plan my own party.  I wanted 30 to be special and I should have NEVER doubted that my sister would make that happen.

She makes everything happen.  Ask anyone.

She’s definitely the best sister ever.  Without a doubt.

Now, I’m still going to rock the party I had planned for myself this Saturday if anyone wants to join me!  Not really a party, but a gathering of friends.  An excuse to get out of the house and see a band.  To try and forget that I’ve turned 30.

By the way – Great place in Greenfield to have a party….Hometown Classic Pizza.  Highly recommend it!

Two men

I’ve been blessed with some amazing influences….men and women.

Lately I’ve been working on organizing photos and memories from my grandparents.  I am extremely fortunate that they kept so many memories because I treasure each and every one of them.

It’s actually been quite therapeutic as well.  I’ve shed quite a few tears seeing pictures I’ve never seen before.  So many happy that moments were captured long ago for us to treasure today.

I’ve found photos of my grandpa who I loved dearly and miss so much.  Photos of him I’ve seen and many I’ve never seen.  I wish now, of course, that I had sat down with him before he left to ask him so many questions.  To just listen to his stories.  Oh, his stories were the best.  I’ve heard his dad’s stories were even better.

I can sit and listen to my uncle for days because he reminds me of him so much.

Oh, how I miss the days he was around.

Then, I ran across this photo…

And then I really shed the tears.

This photo has two of the most influential and kindest men I’ve ever known.  One who always made me feel special despite the fact that he had tons of other grandchildren and another who told me I was one of his own even though I wasn’t.

Two men who taught their children and families the importance of family and working hard.
Two men who left behind legacies we are forever grateful for.
Two men who I called Grandpa and Pappaw.
Two men who had the most caring and understanding voice and demeanor I will ever know.
Two men that I always hoped my someday children would meet.
Two men who had characteristics that I hope someday my husband will have.
Two men who taught me what it means to love yourself, your family, and most of all the Lord.
Two men who could talk farming for hours.
Two men who basically broke the mold.  They just don’t make them like that anymore.

Two men who I miss so much.
It was hard in 2007 and it seems just as difficult, if not more difficult now.
I can’t understand why they’re gone and I can’t figure out who I will go to for that feeling of a grandfather.

I know I was blessed beyond measure to have had an amazing grandfather and one who always acted like one for so many years.

It doesn’t make it any easier…

I miss them both and hope they’re having one heck of a celebration with my mom.

Park or Neutral?

I want to be really honest with all of you and fill you in on a terrible blonde moment I had…and still have at moments.

Now, technically I’m not legit blonde but I tend to have my moments.

A few years ago (or 10+) when I first took my car through a car wash I had no idea you were suppose to put the dang thing in neutral.

So, I rolled up…quite nervous…and put it in park.

Needless to say it caused some serious issues, men yelling at me, a few tears…and total embarrassment.

To this day I think about that moment every single time I drive up to a car wash.  I actually don’t like going through car washes at all.  It isn’t the fear of being trapped inside at all.  It isn’t the noise.  It’s actually the set up that absolutely terrifies me.

Every single blessed time they yell at me.

Rightfully so I suppose….I can’t ever seem to do it right.

Some how I can’t get the tires lined up correctly.  I’ve also been forgetful and left out the part of putting my car in neutral before.  Yes, even after the first incident of putting it in park.

Thursday was really terrifying.  It was bitterly cold outside but I knew the Jeep needed washed to at least get the build up of salt gone.  So, I decided I would stop in at the car wash before heading home to the nice warm garage and she would be fine.

A little bit of panic set in as I rolled up but I was on the phone with my sister so that helped to calm my nerves.  I paid the guy and rolled up further and immediately knew this jack hole with the hose was going to yell because I never get it lined up right.  And he did.  First he pointed left.  Then he pointed right.  Then he was shaking his head almost wanting to say to me, “Stupid lady pay attention.”

Finally I got it done and threw it in NEUTRAL.  Yes, neutral this time.

Deep breath and I’m in.

Until……

my battery light goes on.

I mean instant panic!  What the heck do you do when your battery light goes on in a car wash?  Sure those roller thingies will push you right out…but what if they don’t?  It’s not like you can get out of your car to go and get help!  I would be drenched!

I’m telling my sister and she’s laughing hysterically as I explain that this is the kind of crap that happens to me.  She trumps me with the card of, “Oh you didn’t have to pull frozen poop out of your dog’s butt yesterday!”  You win sister, you win.

The whole 2 minutes it takes me to go through seems like an eternity as I sit and wonder if I’ll really make it out or be the laughing stock of the Mike’s Car Wash.

Finally, I’m close to Elmo on the swing and that stop light and it’s a green….and the car goes!
HOORAY!

And the battery light finally goes off.

I’m thinking my jeep didn’t like the cold….to hot water….back to cold deal and she complained by throwing up some snotty warning light that freaked me the heck out.

Either way…I’m alive.

And I still hate car washes.

And I have no clue why they always yell at me and can’t just line up my car for me.

And why isn’t there a sign that says PUT IN NEUTRAL….or is there and I just don’t pay attention?

Who knows.

For now I’ll be thankful that I’ve finally figured out the park and neutral deal and also be grateful I made it out of the car wash alive this week.  It may be the last time for a while.

Peace,