Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where has the time gone off to?!?

When I last left you, I believe I was about to be consumed by final exams, not to mention the working full time and the wedding planning! How stressful! I apologize for my leave of absence! In the mean time, I have been out of school the month of May!

It's been a very nice month off from my most time consuming activity. Nursing school is so busy! I'm supposed to still be studying NCLEX while I am off, but I haven't been doing that as much as I should.

On May 3, Stu and I met with our charming engagement photographer Jenn Ocken! She and her brothers have a fantastic eye for capturing photography in motion. I hate traditional posed photography sessions, and Jenn was just the cure! We had our session in downtown Memphis, after a couple of cocktails at The Majestic to loosen up. When Stu and I first started dating, he lived on S. Main St., so it was our old stomping ground. We took pictures on the trolley, at the bar next to his apartment, at the location of our first "date", and on the roof of the Peabody, where he proposed! He even graciously re-enacted the proposal for me! I giggled through the entire session. It just felt a little silly. Now I can say I have made out with Stu all over Memphis! We joked later that Jenn kept telling Stu to put his hand in his pocket. Maybe he was doing an awkward Ricky Bobby impression?

You can view our beautiful photographs here by clicking the link and entering your personal email address. If you would like to share your favorites with me, which I would enjoy very much, leave a comment with their numbers, as I cannot view the favorites you select on the photography site.

Last Thursday I met with our wedding photographer, Bob Ocken. He also does amazing work, and I have been looking forward to working with the Ocken's for some time now. I'm the kind of girl that has been planning a wedding since I was 8 years old, and the Ocken family has been on my watch list for a few years. I like photography that tells it's own story. I can't wait!

I have picked out the bridesmaid dress, which I won't share, but I also found great shoes to go with them! I got these beauties at my friend Lindsey's store LuLu's in Oxford, MS. She has a great eye for style, and I can't wait to see the girls with these on! I love a great pop of color!

In other news, Stu and I have been working on a wedding website. It should be great, and I will post the address as soon as it is complete! I hope to have Save the Dates sent out by the beginning of next month. I am very excited for these, they should be beautiful!

School starts back Tuesday, but I am not so excited about killing myself again, even just for 2 more months. I will really appreciate the extra time and money I will have after graduation. It will mostly go towards our beautiful wedding, of course!

In the mean time, I am excited to visit with Stu and one of my best friends, Sam. She is about to start law school and I will be visiting her in her new apartment this week. I can't wait for some much needed girl time!

In case you aren't keeping track as well as I am (which I am positive none of you are!):

319 days until the wedding!

72 days until graduation!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sick and Tired

I am so tired of school! I only have next week and then finals before I am off! We get to be out the full month of May before we come back for two more months during the summer. It will be a much needed, well deserved break for me. May will fly by faster than I will want it to for sure.

I haven't updated lately, but there really hasn't been anything going on. I go to school Monday through Friday and work Friday through Sunday. I sleep when I can. I make myself workout after school even when I am exhausted. I am at the hospital 6 days a week, 3 with pay and 3 without (aka Clinicals).

Stu and I take engagement pictures in 18 days! I have been trying to eat 9 fruits and veggies a day and drink all of my 8 ounces of water. I workout and take my vitamins. Hopefully the pictures will be really good! I ordered 2 dresses for them from Urban Outfitters. I won't tell you which ones until after the pictures come back. We will hopefully be mailing out save the dates by the beginning of June.

I keep saying if the money and the clock could keep up with my ever planning brain, we would be having a wedding by now! Only 358 days until wedded bliss! If you get a spare minute today, please pray for my ever increasing stress level and for Stu that I won't drive him crazy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The One Year Mark!

Today we are exactly one year from the wedding! This time next year I will be an anxious, hopefully beautiful, mess! I'll probably be sleep deprived from excitement. I really can't wait! 366 days!

This past week has been a little crazy. School is winding down for the semester. There are 2 more weeks after this one if finished tomorrow, and then finals. I have to make sure my ducks are in a row! Today we have a regular class work day instead of clinicals as normal, because tomorrow the class is going to a wound care seminar in Harrison. I hope I can stay awake!

Tuesday night I came down sick with flu like symptoms. My temp got up to 101.0 and I felt like crud. I went to the Dr. Wednesday and got tamiflu and a steroid shot to feel better faster. I feel like those shots make a huge difference!

It's been a little bit of a waiting game on the wedding planning lately. Stu ordered the supplies for the invitations a few days ago, and I am excited to start making them at a leisurely pace. At least then I will feel productive! If only the money and the clock would catch up to my brain's pace! I have so much planned already and it's just a waiting game to implement it all. I think most nursing students would cringe at planning a wedding during school, but it really breaks up the monotony for me and helps keep me sane. I miss Stu with all my heart, and this reminds me that I won't have to miss him for too much longer. By the time of the wedding we will have been a long distance couple for 3 of our 5 years together. It's really hard, but I feel we have grown so much in our communication skills since I moved back home to finish school.

Mom and I go to visit a potential wedding site this afternoon. It is very lovely, and hopefully I can add some pictures after my long day of maternity tests and class work!

I hope y'all are having a great week!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birthday Girl!

My Birthday has always been my favorite holiday. My mom always made sure to make it extra special for me, and this year was no exception! I woke up this morning to a message on my car windows on my way to clinicals.  I didn't get a picture because of the rain, but it said, "Happy Birthday Jacey! We Love You!"

Clinicals was pretty good. I got to start an IV, take out some staples, watch the Dr. do some stitches bedside, take out a central line, and give some IV push drugs. It was my idea of fun these days! I talked to my Fiance afterwards and then got a little nap before dinner. Mom made me sweet potato casserole complete with marshmallows, breaded, baked chicken breast, scalloped potatoes, and a chocolate birthday pie! When I blew out the candles I couldn't think of a single thing to wish for, since my wish for so long has been to be engaged. I used every shooting star, wishing well penny, and birthday candle to try to make it come true! My parents said now maybe my wish should be for money to pay for this wedding.

She and dad got me 2 of 4 pieces of artwork I've had my eye on for my bedroom. They will look great on the wide white walls of the apartment.

I put down a deposit yesterday, so we officially have a photographer for the wedding! His name is Bob Ocken, and I am very excited about his work. He has a very journalistic view, which I enjoy. I don't want to be posing for pictures during my entire wedding, I want pictures of events as they happen.

I have some birthday homework to do, and then I plan on sleeping amazingly well! Thanks to all who sent me birthday wishes and good tidings for my engagement!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to Reality

I'm back, doing the every day grind! We had a great weekend. Saturday we went to Birmingham to visit my future in-laws! They have a great family, and we had a lot of fun playing Settlers of Cataan (The greatest board game of all, I might add!), making guacamole, and jumping on the trampoline. That evening, Stu and I started our trek back to Oxford. I had just checked the weather on my phone and commented on a ll the ugly looking storm cells that seemed to be hovering all along HWY 78, when all of a sudden the tornado siren went off. We made a u-turn and went back to the house. As we watched the weather we learned of a huge wall cloud, with rotation and nickel sized hail, right where we were going!  I was so glad we turned around! Sunday morning, Stu and I woke up at 5 AM to drive back to Oxford.

All of my furniture is in Oxford, since I now live with my parents and there is no room for it in our house.  My box spring kept falling off the support brackets on either one side or the other, so I called Home Depot Sunday to have them cut me some 1 x 4 slats. I wrestled the double sided queen sized pillow top mattress off bed. Then I wrestled the box spring, measured for my slats, and called to see if the slats could be cut for me and I could pick them up. The man on the phone was a little snarky about my request, and told me the saw wasn't accurate, and he couldn't guarantee the cuts would be 60.25". I asked him how much of a variance there was and he old me 0.25- 0.5"! I told him never mind then and hung up, but the more I thought about it, the more determined I became to get my slats. I traveled to Home Depot with my measurements and requested my wood be cut. After the first pieces were cut, I stepped over to them and whipped out my own tape measure. After that, they realized I meant business, and magically my wood was cut to perfect standard. I made up my bed with the new duvet cover I had ordered from Crate and Barrel months ago. It looked very lovely, if I do say so myself!

I arrived home late last night. Mom waited up for me, and to see my ring! Today I am back at school. I go to class 40 hrs a week and work about 32 hrs each weekend on night shift. It gets tedious, but I am almost finished with school, and it will be much better then. I am glad we are giving ourselves a year to plan the wedding. I think trying to go to school, work, working out, and planning a wedding, along with eating and sleeping may be a little too much for me to handle!

My next big projects are starting a pre-wedding bible study, tackling the guest list, and saving up for the photographer deposit. I am getting excited about some engagement photos! After we get those, save the dates can go out! Only 376 days away!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Beautiful Fog

This whole week so far has been one big, jumbled, beautiful dream! It all started out last Monday...

I came down from Arkansas and arrived in Oxford early early Monday morning. I was exhausted, and slept until after 2pm! Stu and I decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Texas de Brazil, in Memphis. We try to eat there 2-3 times a year. It is so good!

Memphis Main Street Trolley
After eating a wonderful dinner (the lamb was to DIE for!), I mentioned to Stu that we should ride the trolly around the downtown Memphis area. It's a really nice loop that goes by the river and around several old buildings. The trolleys are very old and lovely themselves!
Texas de Brazil Memphis

Texas de Brazil is included in the courtyard that includes the main entrance to the Peabody Hotel. On our way out to the street, Stu said, "Hey, why don't we go to the roof of the Peabody for a while?" I thought that was a great idea. It is beautiful up there. It is a popular place for rooftop parties, weddings, fancy dinners, etc, and has beautiful views of Memphis, and the Mississippi River.

We were looking at the New and Improved Duck House and the beautiful views when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Stu fiddling around in his pocket. I continued to look out over the city as I wondered to myself what he was doing. Then I saw him take a knee slightly behind me. I was stunned! I couldn't move! He finally called my name when he realized I wasn't turning around!

The Peabody Hotel, Memphi
He looked into my eyes (we are much more eye level when he is kneeling) and said, "Jacey?"

And I said something dumb in my shocked state like, "Are we really doing this?" In my shocked state, what I really meant was, "Oh my goodness! This is such a wonderful surprise!"

Stu smiled and nodded to my open mouthed gasp and continued to say, "Jacey, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

The Duck House on the roof of The Peabody
I was so stunned. I explained to him later that night, I had, as all women do, prepared for this day my whole life so far. Every time I got ready for a date I thought in the back of my mind, "Will tonight be the night?" But in the entire 4 years of our relationship, that moment hadn't happened so far, until just then. Time was standing still.

My mind wondered back to how I always thought I would burst into tears immediately at the sight of Stu on his knee with that magical black box. In his nervousness, Stu had placed the ring into my palm instead of onto my ring finger. I looked deep into the face of the man I loved, the man I couldn't imagine spending life without, and I said, "Yes!" At the utterance of that magical answer, the flood of tears I had expected arrived. We hugged, and kissed, and laughed, and I cried, and then I smiled.
The view from the Peabody Hotel rooftop

My smile lasted the remainder of the evening. We rode the Trolley around the Main Street Loop. I didn't even know where we were. We called family members. I smiled. I told Stu how I felt like shouting to everyone we passed that we had just gotten engaged. He said please don't. I continued to smile. I stared at my gorgeous vintage style ring. I joked about none of my patients having eyes after I cared for them from either being blinded by my diamonds, or being knocked out by them.

Stu told me he had driven to Flippin last Wednesday to meet with my Dad and ask for my hand in person over dinner at the 178 Club in Bull Shoals. I recalled that my Dad had told me he had a business dinner at Western Sizzlin' in Mountain Home. I had felt sorry for him, and Mom and I ate macaroni and cheese and fish sticks. I had been in bed by 6pm that night.
The inside of the Trolley

I called my parents and they asked how he had proposed and told me how they knew about the secret. I stared at my ring and smiled. We called grandparents, siblings, and best friends. I smiled. We drove back to Oxford, smiling and talking. I never had thought it possible until that night, but the muscles in my face that allowed me to smile were hurting. I kept on smiling, as I was completely incapable of doing anything else.

In Batesville, MS we got a flat tire. We continued to smile, and it was fixed in less than 10 mins. We made a joke about trying out for a NASCAR pit crew. When we got home, we made the engagement "Facebook Official," and got excited by all the comments we were receiving.

2 Very Happy People!
When I woke up the next morning, I could have sworn it had all been a dream. I kept looking down to my ring to reassure myself of reality. Stu took me to breakfast. We showed my sweet friend Lindsey at her store on the square. We bought "Will you be my bridesmaid?" invitations from the stationary store next door. My ring was a little big, so we went to the jeweler's, about 30 mins away to have it resized. While we were there we picked out wedding bands.

Throughout the week, I have visited friends, seen the dentist, and still can't believe I am engaged. I look at my hand constantly, in between bites of food and looking online at wedding things. I forget my phone. I lose my computer. I don't remember what I had been doing 3 seconds before. All I think about is how excited I am to be the future Mrs. Edwards.

I have wanted to blog for a while now. I love reading other blogs, and never felt I had anything to blog about. I hope to use my blog as a memoir to Stu and my journey to our new life. I hope you enjoy coming along with us! It won't always be fun and games, but it will be fantastic, no matter what!

-- Jacey