12.31.2011

Make way for 2012!

Looking Back on 2011
  • My Godson was baptized!
  • I was offered a full-time position at my job.
  • My cousins Travis & Phyllis started the next generation with baby Hannah!
  • I bought a house.
  • I got engaged to a wonderful man <3
  • I repaired an old relationship <3
  • I strengthened new relationships :D
Looking Forward to 2012
  • My bridal shower!
  • I'm getting married!
  • Our friends Frank & Katrina are getting married!
  • Our friends Jon & Melissa are getting married!
  • We might start trying for a baby after the wedding :) Will we make the cut off for a dragon baby? (cue suspense)
Goals
My goals are always the same, to strive to be the best person I can be regardless of how others treat me - to be true to myself and not change who I am based on the actions of others. To continue to be that person who loves to take care of others whether it be humans or my pets and yet still remember to take time for myself and do the things that I enjoy. This is the person who I was, the person I lost for a few years and the person I'm slowly getting back to being. God's blessings, love and peace to everyone today, tomorrow, next year and always.

Love,
Michelle

9.30.2011

Less Boxes, More Furniture & a May Wedding

Well, we are certainly making progress with the move-in process. Thanks to my dear friend Sammy we've organized and unpacked many boxes but we still have plenty more to take care of. However, we take it slow and only open boxes when we feel like it. Some days we open boxes on days we don't plan on it and sometimes we don't open anything for almost a week. Thankfully the boxes can now fit in two rooms - the dining room and the guest room. The living room is almost empty and put away and most of the other rooms just have a few things here and there. It's starting to look really good. So... less boxes, now, onto more furniture.

My living room sectional finally came in. It's gorgeous and super comfortable and leather. It's amazing, has three reclining seats and a pull out bed. I'm in love with it. Worth every cent. I'm pretty sure our guests will love it too. It's nice to have seating again that hasn't been totally overtaken by our pets. In addition, Kristopher and I also got out desks in for our office. It's awesome. Once everything gets put away properly it should serve to be a very functional space for the both of us. He plans to use his mostly for his work and gaming and I use mine for my computing and crafts. I haven't added any other furniture, we had enough from the last house.

A May wedding! Last weekend, Kristopher and I went to Houston, TX with my mom to get some of the major wedding details hammered out. We've picked a venue, a church, solidified dates and put down deposits. This is really happening! Since then I've been scoping out live bands, sending out "Will you be My..." invites to our bridal party and even trying on some wedding dresses. I can't wait until May 12, 2012. I just hope my stress level can stay at a normal level until then. I know, highly unlikely, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Next thing coming up? Thanksgiving! My mom, sister and possibly aunt and grandparents are going to come down. That's my deadline for getting the house in order. Hopefully Kristopher gets to work on our entertainment center so there aren't any wires hanging out everywhere when they see the house for the first time.

8.30.2011

We've Moved!

So we've finally moved this past Saturday and Sunday and I'm exhausted! The house has turned from a nice, calm area into a cluttered mess of boxes, furniture and items scattered all about. I've thankfully been able to open quite a few boxes and get them out of the way thanks to the help of the best helper ever - Sammy and also to my friend Kayla last night who was lifting boxes like super woman. You guys rock. Luckily for me, they have not been scared off and will be back probably on Wednesday for some more box-opening madness. Today is my night off. As much as I don't want to take a night off, I know I need one so I don't get burned out; especially since I didn't plan to take any time off of work for this.

Speaking of work, I just have to say, as hectic as my job gets; I really love it. I don't think I've ever had a better boss than the one I work for now and I hope to be with this company for a long time. Thankfully I don't have to choose between my job and life and that is such a relief. Knowing your boss is understanding of life's situations really helps with the stress level. It's also nice to have a boss that recognizes the work that you do and is sincerely appreciative of it. I always knew working for a small company would be the best kind to work for!

Wedding planning is also moving along. It's a little slower than I'd like but at least it's going. The new target wedding date is May 12, 2012. I know, it's Mother's Day weekend but it seems the venue and church is going to line up for that date. Mom, Kristopher and I are going to Houston near the end of September to check everything out and book the event so I'll definitely know by then.

Now if I could only find an extra iPhone sync cable in this mess...

8.18.2011

The Beginning of Wedding Planning

Well, I have been engaged for not even a week yet and have immersed myself in wedding planning in addition to getting our house all put back together in one piece. Talk about stressful!

Here are the details we have hashed out so far:

Date: May 5, 2012 (may change due to venue/church availability)
Location: Houston, TX in either the Downtown or Uptown/Galleria area
Ceremony: At a nearby LCMS Lutheran church (depends on availability and venue selected)
Time: probably an afternoon ceremony and evening reception
Color Palette: Dark purple or plum, gray, black, white, silver accents
Bridesmaid Dresses: not floor length! (too hot for that craziness)
Groomsmen Tuxes: we may dare to have them in gray tuxes but have not decided yet
Music: Live band

So far, just from online research (thanks to my mom and my sister), the Downtown Aquarium, Magnolia Hotel and JW Marriott all look promising. I'm hoping one of those works out, so far they are my top 3 picks. Mom and I (and hopefully Kristopher is available as well) will be scoping out these places in September. I'm nervous and really excited at the same time. I have no idea what my reaction will be when I actually step into that reception location for the first time and realize that I am planning another wedding... and what happened to the first one. I've been excited while mixed with a bunch of emotions over the little planning I've done so far.

My sister has jumped right into helping out. Last weekend she went and tried on bridesmaid dresses already. She went to 3 stores! She was texting me pictures and I was still sleeping. What an amazing, helpful and great person to have helping you out! We found a few winners and definitely some losers (an Asian should never try on yellow; you just don't put yellow on yellow)! So we gathered a list of designers and style #s and my best friend in NY, Kelly is going to go out on the bridesmaid dress search next. She has the list two locations that I know carry the lines of dresses we are looking at.

So now that I've got CT & NY covered, I suppose I will need to do some dress hunting in Lafayette as well. I've ordered special invitations for our bridal party that I hope will be a huge hit. It's quite a big party but we know not everyone might be able to commit due to finances and less than 8 months notice. It's okay, as long as they know that we were considering them for our special day.

Due to the short(er) engagement period, we're also going to forego the engagement party. We see it really as a chance for both sides of the family to do a meet and greet but everyone is so spread out, I'm afraid Kristopher would just be meeting my family all over again by himself! Ha!

I've got plenty of details in my head and spreadsheets and bookmarks are being utilized to the fullest already. This will be an interesting next 8 months for sure!

8.16.2011

Bless the Broken Road

Bless the Broken Road
Songwriters: Boyd, Bobby C; Hannah, Jeff; Hummon, Marcus;

I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes He did

I think about the years I spent, just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there, you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

But now I'm just rolling home into my lover's arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

8.14.2011

An Engagement Story

So it would seem that everyone else has blogged about it, so I suppose I should update my blog too. So here is the short version of my story with Kristopher.

Kristopher and I met through an online video game that Mike had gotten me obsessed with called City of Heros. I'm pretty sure, at first that we actually disliked each other very much and I'm not sure when that changed exactly. Anyway, there was a set group of people that we would play with and considered "friends." One day I, knowing Kristopher was an IT professional, called him to ask how to install a video card into Mike's computer. Well he sent me a link of basic instructions, which I followed, and got everything working. He was QUITE impressed! (Apparently he thought I'd look at them and decide not to do it myself.) Anyway, we were just friends at that point and remained as such for a few years. When Mike and I got engaged 12.28.07, he was very happy for us, I even told him he'd get an invite to the wedding!

Then, on 5.21.08, life changed drastically. As most of you already know, Mike passed away from a brain tumor and I was left pretty much shattered. That morning I called both my best friend and Mike's but neither picked up the phone. I think they were probably both getting ready for work at that hour. In desperation, I called Kristopher just to have anyone to talk to (my mom was still en route with my brother to the hospital). Thankfully, Kristopher picked up the phone and I told him what happened. Since that day, Kristopher has always been there, supporting me and helping me get through Mike's death. Being an insider looking in and not having to grieve Mike's death in a personal way, he was able to offer lots of insight and unbiased support.

Maybe it's not the fairytale way to start a relationship but it just happened. We talked all the time. If I needed to cry or was having a difficult time at work I could always call Kristopher and talk to him about Mike. He was, and still is, so understanding and supportive and not once has he ever expressed jealousy over Mike or acted like he was in competition with him. Of course, our friendship grew into something more and I was not having an easy time being by myself in New York. I flew to Louisiana to meet Kristopher for the first time and it was like all my burdens were temporarily lifted.

A few more visits back and forth and I decided to leave NY and move to LA for a chance to move on with my life. Some people felt it was way too soon and they may still be bitter about it now but I know I had to do what I needed to do for me. I wasn't going to hold back and wait like I did when I was with Mike and miss out on everything we had planned. So I moved.

It's been almost three years since that move. It hasn't always been easy. Learning to be in a relationship with someone new had it's difficulties but we persevered. Kristopher has helped me realize that the grieving process is different for everyone and he was open about his own grieving when his brother passed away many years ago. He continues to support me and Mike is not a forbidden topic in our lives, in fact, he enjoys hearing stories about Mike.

Well on 8.8.11 I was having a particularly difficult day. It was the 2nd anniversary of what would have been my wedding day with Mike. I pretty much zoned out for most of the day and just thinking about how excited Mike had been about the wedding we were planning. On 8.9.11, Kristopher proposed -- online. At approximately 4pm in the afternoon I received a push notification to my iPhone with a proposal and a picture of the ring we had picked out several weeks ago. I didn't cry but smiled big and laughed a little. He knew me so well! Most people might think that is the worst proposal ever but I know the meaning behind it and I loved it. It was perfect. When I got home after work, he got down on one knee with box in hand and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes.

So now you know our story and I hope that although it grew from such a sad event, that you see the positive in it. God truly has blessed me with not one soulmate but two. He made sure that when he took Mike away to heaven that I would have someone to help me through it. A few weeks before the proposal, when I was doing a lot of work on the house, I noticed several rainbows appearing. Ones that reminded me of the rainbow that comforted many of us on Mike's funeral day. I knew it was Mike smiling down on me, reassuring me that it's okay to settle down, move on and be with someone else. I just knew it. It was like he was hugging me from heaven. Then a few days before the proposal I heard Tears in Heaven, the song his friend sang at his wake. I felt like he was telling me, "Go, you can't stay here with me." And so, I went with his love in my heart.

8.10.2011

Final Wrist Update

Final? Why, do you ask, is this the final update?

Simply because it's healed! It's finally healed! The only issue is that it lacks a little bit of the flexibility I had before and some strength but with some daily stretching and some exercises, I'm sure I can get that back into shape in no time!

I saw a hand specialist named Robby LeBlanc here in Lafayette. He works out of one of the Lourdes Regional Medical Center office buildings. We talked about my options and decided on another round of cortisone. He made sure he dug around with that needle in my wrist and put the cortisone in all the right spots. It was slightly painful (I was numbed before he started) but totally worth it. After the shots it took about 3 or 4 days before everything really loosened up and the pain went away. I was so happy I could cry! Especially since we were starting to do a lot of work on the house and I needed my wrist to get better. It took about another week before all the bruising from having a needle digging around in my wrist went away but it was totally worth it. If you ever have any sort of hand issues, this doctor is the doctor to see!

8.08.2011

House Update

Wow, sorry I haven't updated on the house lately! Kristopher and I have been really busy prepping it for our move and we have been quite exhausted the last few weeks. Me especially since I've been working on the house until 11-11:30pm at night in addition to my normal work day. We closed on the house on July 21st and I immediately started to get to work.

We had four rooms total to repaint. When I say "we" I really mean "I" since Kristopher is not a good taper, painter and the paint fumes give him severe headaches. I however, seemed to be immune to it all. So we took his mom's room from aqua to "winsome lilac", her bathroom from hot pink/purple to "lead-cast" gray, and her 2nd room from light pink to "stony path" which is a light gray with the slightest hint of green. They all turned out beautifully, except for the fact that the last homeowner was pretty messy with her painting and you can see a slight line of the old color peeking through near the molding in each room. Painting the molding was not on my list and so, we'll have to deal with it for now. I also repainted the upstairs room (our office and my craft area) which was purple, to "rolling sea" blue.  
Side note: Valspar's Hi-Def paint, the one with the primer and color in one, is FANTASTIC. I only did one coat for each room and then just touched up areas that were showing through. 
I didn't paint the ceilings so on some of the lower parts of the ceiling, you can still tell it used to be a playroom for two little girls. It's somewhat bright, but since the space was small I didn't want to make it too dark. So far that's the room to hang out in. Probably because it gets so cold.

Now, we were going to try and move this weekend, the 13th but, it turns out the movers aren't available to start packing until next Monday, pushing the earliest moving date to Wednesday of next week. Then I would leave for New York (to see the sweet, adorable Hannah be baptized), that weekend. I don't think I want to leave the house, even if it's only for 3 days in such disarray. So, I think we will wait until I come back and maybe move some little things every day until then. At least, that will make the actual cost of hiring packers and movers a little cheaper. I was really excited to possibly sleep in my new home this weekend. We shall see, Kristopher and I are still discussing it.

In addition to painting we have...
  • replaced all the locks with Schlage locks which work so much better than the previously installed locks
  • removed the mantle and cut it in half with hopes of getting it back up soon
  • set up our cool Z-Wave deadbolt lock and thermostat (we can now control these devices form the Internet. Yes, we are geeks and we love it).
  • cleaned the house from top to bottom with the help of my wonderful friends Kayla and Sammy
  •  mounted the TV and some of the speakers with the help of our friends Scott and Blake
  • had LUS Fiber installed! (yay for Internet!)
but we still need to...
  • run all the network cable (some will be saved for winter)
  • run all the entertainment center wiring
  • fix a small hole in the front door
  • replace the weather stripping on the front & back doors (help?)
  • get the tile cleaned and re-sealed (Tuesday)
  • have LUS TV installed (Tuesday)
  • take care of any exterior work (most will probably wait until winter unless severe)
  • MOVE!
I'm so excited! I can't wait until it's all done so we can have a wonderful get together with our friends in our new house. A bunch of my family is already planning on coming down for Thanksgiving!!! Thank you to everyone who has helped us so far; we really really really appreciate it. Look out for more exciting news coming soon! It involves something sparkly.

7.11.2011

Closing Date Coming Soon!

So it looks like we'll be closing on the house soon! I can't wait! The current owners will be moved out and out of the country (one of them has a job in Brazil) by this Wednesday! THIS WEDNESDAY! So all we are waiting on now is the paperwork. Yay!

I can't wait to get to work on the house and start making it feel like home. It's been a long time coming and I'm excited for Kristopher, his mom and I to move into a house that will really be ours with enough room to accommodate the humans and the animals without feeling like we're going to trip over something. I've already brought up tons of paint chips; most of them for his mom. Her rooms are a priority to get painted first since they used to belong to two little girls and are currently painted really bright aqua and this candy purple color. Their bathroom is also half hot pink and half purple. It's kind of loud.

In addition to that I want to replace the locks. No, it's not that I don't trust the current homeowners, I just don't like the type of locks they have on the doors. I want to put a dual-cylinder deadbolt on the front door and change up the deadbolts on the back doors. After that, I want to get the floors checked out and make sure that if they need sealant it's taken care of. I have no illusions that the dogs might have accidents and want to prevent any of that from seeping into the floor.

I really do have a list of things to fix before we move in and I'm starting to get a schedule together of how we want to move in. I want to try not to do it all in one or two days, even if we have a moving company. I want to try and move the bedrooms first, probably with the help of some wonderful friends and make sure that mom is comfortable and set up in her rooms. Then, I'll having the packing/moving company come after everything else. This way there is no rush to get mom set up while a bunch other things are going on at once on the big moving day or she can go take a nap if she needs to when she gets tired.

I'll keep you all posted!


7.09.2011

Wrist Update

Well I had an appointment with my orthopedist the other day, Dr. Williams and he wants me to go see a hand specialist, Matt LeBlanc about my wrist. The one spot on my wrist that still hurts he's unsure of hence the new doctor. I hope Dr. LeBlanc can figure this out. I really miss being able to use my left wrist. You never really realize how much you do with your non-dominant hand until you can't use it.

Hopefully I get a good diagnosis and the words surgery aren't mentioned. Keep your fingers crossed!

7.08.2011

Google+ for Mishy

So I've finally gotten invited to use Google+ (as if I need another social network to spend my time on) and I have to say it's nice. Now as we all know I'm a pretty avid (read: addicted) Facebook user so I'm not sure if Google+ will be able to change that or not. I think the advantage that Google+ has over Facebook is that it's had time to see Facebook screw up.

Anyhow, I now have all my Circles set up with all my little groups of friends that I can share with. It's very similar to having friend lists on Facebook if you use them. You can control the visibility of everything on your profile or that you post. Facebook lets you do this too but Google+ seems to be easier to figure out. It's nice that Google+ has privacy options built-in from the get-go so it's not all or nothing and separate tabs for profile info, posts, pictures, videos, +1's and Buzz items. It's pretty interesting. However, there's not many people to be social with right now since they are "throttling" their invites to avoid masses of people joining at once. I understand the reasoning but it makes it somewhat boring at times.

I'm also writing this blog post in Blogger Drafts which gives me a preview of what the updated Blogger will look like. It pretty matches the look and feel of Google+ and the new GMail. Minimal, clean, a little boring. Even so, I like it.

What would I like to see? Google Reader integration with Google+. Right now I have the Reader items that I share or like showing up in my Google Buzz feed and then those show up in the Buzz tab on my Google+ profile. I'd like an option though to +1 something from Reader or something that let's me post a link to said item from Reader to Google+ in the posts section. I'm sure it's all coming but that's just my thought. Also since Photos pulls from Picasa, I was expecting to be able to pull Videos from my YouTube account - not so, or I missed the option.

What are your thoughts so far?

Also, maybe it's just the journalism major in me, but seeing the terms: +1'ed, +1'ing is somewhat hitting a nerve. Anyone else or am I just weird?

7.05.2011

New Happenings

This post is going to be different. It's not going to talk about the past it's going to talk about the future... I know, it's a change, prepare yourself. In the beginning of the year I said I was going to try and blog more, I lied. I knew I wasn't. However, here I am, new design, although simple and just a standard template. Nothing fancy. Anyway, on to the new stuff shall we?

New Job! (sort of) - I went from being a contract employee to a full-time employee. I'm also the Project Manager now which means I get to try and keep everyone on schedule and make sure projects are completed in a timely manner. It's a pretty good fit for my organized self. Seriously, I love working at Alien Marketing, I love the people I work with and the office I have. It's great and if you need a website, you know who to call! :)

New Pains - so I have something called Tenosynovitis DeQuervain's Syndrome. In short - tendonitis in my wrist, specifically the tendons that my left thumb uses. I've been going to occupational therapy at LaBorde Therapy for quite some time now. It's eating up lots of work hours which I feel guilty about but hopefully it gets better soon. I have a follow-up orthopedic appointment today, so hopefully it tells me something positive.

New House (almost) - I'm buying a house. It's gorgeous. It's only 10 minutes from our current location and it's big. Big enough to for me, Kristopher, his mom, our 4 dogs, 1 cat, 10 gallon fish tank and at least two of our future children. I'm totally excited about this and can't wait to move in. Hopefully we will be closing sometime in July and moved in by mid-August if all goes well.



New Baby - Okay, how many of you did I get? Seriously. It's not mine; it's my cousin's. A baby girl, Hannah Grace born on the 4th of July. She is super adorable people. Travis got me on Facetime to see baby Hannah in all her glory - she was sleeping, of course; but still just the sweetest thing I've seen this July. I don't think anything is going to top that.




Also my Godchildren are turning 1. Okay, one of them has turned 1 already, the other this weekend; they are only 2 weeks apart. They are walking and looking like toddlers and not babies already. Where did the time go? Where? I unfortunately did not make it to Rylee's birthday and I can't make it to Jayden's either but I made sure to spoil them both with plenty of gifts!

Life in Lafayette, LA is starting to pull itself together I think. I have a good feeling about it. It's only taken 3 years but I'm starting to go forward with happy memories and a smile on my face. There will always be pain in my heart from losing Mike but I just KNOW that it's going to be okay and I know he's happy for me too. I just do.

1.12.2011

2011 is Here!

I really want to remember to blog more. I really am going to try in 2011 to do that. For now, here's a quick recap of my Christmas holiday.

Friend's Christmas - our friends the Randolph's hosted a little Christmas get together a few weeks before Christmas. We had a great time hanging out with everyone, eating food, drinking wine and of course, opening gifts. Sammy and Kayla got me a pretty awesome scrapbooking rolling tote organizer that I wanted. I think I did very well with gifts this year. Everyone seemed to be simply ecstatic with what I got them. It makes me feel good to see that joy and know that I am THAT good at finding the right gift for each person.

New York Christmas - it is always great to see my family. After some last-minute wrapping we jumped right into the festivities. Again we ate... a lot. We opened up presents, we laughed, we talked, there is no other way to describe what my family does when we get together than to just say - we have a great time. Christmas with both side of my family was just awesome. I received some wonderful gifts but I have to say the best gift of all was learning that Baby Yee will be arriving in July. That's right, we're starting on the next generation! My cousin Travis and his wife let everyone know on Christmas that they are expecting! I admit, I cried. I'm a huge sap.

Visiting Friends - I stopped to visit my best friend Annemarie's mom first. I have not seen her in over two years and it was great to sit down and catch up with her and finally introduce her to Kristopher. Next was to visit Kelly and my super-adorable-way-too-cute-for-words Godson, Jayden. We talked for HOURS. It was great. There is no better feeling than knowing that despite distance and lack of conversation, a true friendship always just picks up where it left off without skipping a beat. That's what it is like when I get together with Kelly. It's like I never left. Did I mention how cute Jayden is? He's getting so big! I love my munchkin.

Visiting Mikey - Of course I had to make a very special stop to visit Mikey Jr. As always my visit was a surprise. Seeing him grow just melts my heart. He is getting tall, he is losing baby teeth and adult teeth are all coming in - he has the cutest smile right now because of it. He's also starting to get too heavy to lift in the air every time I see him but that certainly won't stop be from trying. We talked a bit and then played some Wii Mario Kart (pretty nifty). Eventually I had to leave but I'm so glad that I got to see him again. Oh for the record he doesn't like Science and Music at school! He's such a chatterbox. I love him, I never stopped, it's a blessing to be able to still be a part of his life.

Lafayette Christmas - we were delayed in New York due to a snow storm and there was much shoveling that needed to be done but we eventually made it back to Lafayette and did Christmas with Kristopher's mom. She knitted me this amazing blue shrug cardigan. I love it. The yarn is also super soft yet very very warm. She also got me a purple craft bag. She has one and I always thought it was very nifty so she bought me one! I love it! Kristopher got some pants that he's been needing and some car mats for Layla. It was a perfect compliment since our buddy Blake had gotten him the trunk mat.

Oh and my sentimental part of the month? December 28th. Three years ago on that date, one of the most wonderful men I've ever had the pleasure of loving, proposed to me in Las Vegas. I still miss him dearly.