• I want to look into getting my master’s degree in psychology;
  • I’m (once again) without a full-time job and don’t know when I’ll find another one;
  • I have to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance;
  • I need oral surgery to continue with my orthodontic treatment;
  • We want to travel before we have kids;
  • We don’t want to stress about finances for the next nine months;
  • We don’t want to make big changes to our lifestyle;
  • We refuse to start our life together in a pile of debt, so…
  • We’re having a small wedding. Same date, same place, much fewer people. It’s just our immediate family, and the only friends we’re inviting are the ones in our wedding party. Rather than rent a tent, dance floor, etc… we’re holding the reception inside the house, which only holds 60 people.

    I’m sad. Letting go of the big wedding idea has been difficult, but I know we’re doing the right thing. The stress I felt about everything was tearing me up. I was literally making myself sick. With this version of the wedding, I’m still wearing the pretty dress, will still be surrounded by people I love and my father is still walking me down the aisle. And most important, Allan is still going to be waiting for me at the top of the stairs.

    With a smaller wedding, we’ll be able to pay more attention to details and make it THAT MUCH more special for each guest. We’ll have absolutely no financial stresses leading up to the big day because we’ve already saved enough to cover this version. It’s shocking how much weddings cost, and each head adds to that cost exponentially. And unfortunately I don’t have parents or a fairy godmother who can come to the rescue.

    A few weeks after the wedding, we’re planning to rent a picnic area in Raleigh and throw a big, low-key party for all of our friends we couldn’t invite to the wedding, complete with fabulously tacky decorations from Oriental Trading Company. I can’t wait!

    Special shout-out to my Web Master/Host Thingy Extrordinaire, Shel: he recently popped the question to his perfect match, the lovely Tiffany. In my circle of friends, 2009 is going down in history as the year of love!

    My bruise is turning yellow, which means it’s healing. Thank goodness. Bruise? What bruise? Oh yeah, I haven’t written in here for a while. The bruise is the one I got when I fell through the floor/ceiling of the attic/guest bathroom on Sunday. I was up there on the walking platform – apparently at the edge of the walking platform – and I switched positions and fell through the floor/ceiling. Funny? Yes. Scary? Yes. And also potentially very dangerous. Had my fiance (hero) not heard my desperate screams and come up as quickly as he did, I would AT LEAST have broken bones. Potentially a broken back as well. You see, had I landed in the bathroom rather than remain wedged between the two floors, I would have landed on the edge of the tub… on my back. It could have been much, much worse.

    So, I move into Allan’s house and bring my messy nature. And then I bring a puppy (Allan’s never had a dog live in his house before). Then I break a whole lot of sheet rock that he now needs to replace (I’m providing the dollars, he’s providing the manpower). And he still wants to marry me. Whaaa?

    Part of the reason I haven’t written in here in a while is because I’m pretty down in the dumps. I did not like my job at all, basically. But it was still a job and I was uber thankful to have it. The lack of a contract extension blindsided me. Not a clue it was coming. And now I’m back in this awful situation again. I feel like I’m *always* looking for a job and I’m so tired of it. It’s frustrating beyond words, this lack of professional security. And now it’s seeping over into my personal life, derailing plans and thoughts and dreams I’ve had since I was a little girl. I can’t go into more detail right now because I need to personally speak with some people first, but don’t worry, I’ll give you all the gory details later.

    Where to begin? How does one say they are without a job for the fifth time in seven years? Ugh. My contract is up in two weeks. Although a six-month contract, I was given every indication it would be extended. Due to circumstances completely out of my control, it wasn’t, and I’m unexpectedly out of a job. Again. It’s never a good time to be unemployed, but this is an especially bad time for a myriad of reasons.

    I just turned 30 and I’m about to get married. Two major life changes. I think it’s time for another. A new career path, perhaps. Does anyone have any idea what I can be when I grow up? Anything not in the communications field you think I’d be good at or enjoy?

    If I think about my job(less) situation too much, I get upset. So let’s change the subject, shall we?

    Although I’m a terrible secret/surprise keeper, I managed to keep one from Allan for over two months. As part of his Christmas gift, I got him tickets to last Sunday’s Carolina Panthers game. It was his first time at a regular season NFL game, and he says he had a fantastic time. I did, too. It was nice to do something outside the box with him. We’re homebodies and the game was a great change of scenery.

    Also got a chance to spend a little bit of time with Liz, my lovely, newly-engaged friend from California, this weekend. She was in town for the annual Shelany holiday/birthday party. (Shel + Tiffany = Shelany) I got to meet her bestie, meet her fiance and see her super-sparkly engagement ring. I mentioned her previously here and here.

    My ortho adjustment was pleasantly minor. My teef don’t hurt at all like I thought they would. I’m still in shock and awe (not to quote Dubya or anything) about how quickly and beautifully my teeth are moving into place. I’m going to have to keep these suckers on for at least two more years, but it’s incredible to see how much progress is already being made. Being able to actually see the changes being made makes the process – and the financial aspect – much easier to swallow.

    If you had any idea how shy my fiance is, the video below of him as a dancing elf would be THAT MUCH funnier. The kid turns red at the drop of a hat. It’s one of his many endearing qualities.

    So, Thanksgiving was a success. We ate turkey, played shuffleboard and watched my beloved Mountaineers beat Pitt in the Backyard Brawl. Allan bonded with the men in my family while my mother bit her tongue and didn’t say a word about my weight. In all seriousness, I’m sure it was hard for her. It was the first Thanksgiving with my whole family together – my parents, my brothers and their wives and me with my fiance. Cheeseball comments aside, it was pretty special.

    Now I’m home and I’m tired. It was a lot of time in the car… and I wasn’t even the one driving! I’m not a fan of long car rides. If it’s over eight hours, I’m flying. Period. End of story. But, yeah, I’m tired. I had to work last night and I’m back at the arena tonight AND I’m on call tomorrow night. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that not a lot of people will want to go to the Trans Siberian Orchestra, as awesome as they are. If people don’t want to go, I won’t be called in.

    Tomorrow I’m getting my braces adjusted for the first time – yikes! I’m trying to figure out what I want to eat for lunch today because it’s basically my last meal for about a week. I’ll be living off of chicken noodle soup and raspberry sherbet. At least I’m prepared this time. When I got my braces on, I had no idea how much it would hurt. Excruciating isn’t too strong a word, people. Fo real.

    But, holy crap! My teeth are moving fast! My two front teeth – the source of my greatest embarrassment – are barely overlapping now. Just at the bottom. And there’s a little bit of space between nearly all of my teeth. I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me. As I’ve said a million times – maybe less – I’m terribly ashamed of my crooked teeth and ugly smile. So seeing it on its way to normalcy is making me very happy.

    And now, a little detour…

    Ten months ago today, Allan and I decided to make it official, to give things a shot. We did so after he got out of the hospital with a kidney stone. It was around 9pm and we were in my car on our way to Rite-Aid to pick up some heavy-duty drugs for his heavy-duty pain. He told me he wanted to date me, but not yet. I said the same thing: I was interested in dating him, but not yet. He just got out of a relationship and wanted to take some time to be alone. I agreed – it was the best thing for him. We picked up the pain meds and drove to his house with my Netflix movie – one of the worst ever, about a guy who lived with, and was eaten by, bears – and sat on his couch in awkward silence, both of us trying very hard to stay awake. I offered to stay with him that night in case he got sick again and needed to go back to the hospital. I thought he had two beds in his two bedroom house, but he didn’t. So we decided to both sleep in his bed because we could be adults about the situation. No need for anyone to sleep on the couch. So we were laying there in the early morning hours of February 1, talking cautiously about how we felt, and he held my hand. Then, when it became clear that neither of us really wanted to wait, I asked if he wanted to give things a shot, officially try a relationship. And he said yes. So we did.