Thursday, June 30, 2011

a true friend is the greatest of all blessings

I should've written this on Monday, but I have spent everyday in Baton Rouge, on my phone, putting the guest list in Excel, or sleeping. 

Last weekend, I left Clinton around 6:00 PM for Libbo's birthday celebration at J.Crew and Mint. Before I left, I accidentally sent Libbo a message that was intended for my mother. It said, "Mom, I really want to go to Libbo's birthday tonight and see my friends. She doesn't get off work until 8:30, so I could leave here at 6." It was quite humorous when she replied, "Ok. Be careful! Take your vitamins!" Then I realized, "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman (Britney Spears)." With all that being said, I loaded up and headed to J. Crew. When I walked in I swear my body released a million endorphins (haha). After 2 weeks of not seeing my friends and living in Clinton, I was overwhelmed with joy. I didn't realize how much I missed everyone. After Libbo's J. Crew party, we headed to Mint. There were probably a total of 30 people there for Miss Mississippi State University- I was thrilled. It was good to celebrate Libbo's birthday and tell people about the wedding. That night did wonders for me. It boosted my confidence and self-esteem. My friends are loyal, forgiving and understanding. I am so undeserving of a lot of things... especially my friends. Praise the Lord for Mississippi State. 

(Libbo loves when I do this)
(Happy Birfday, Libbers!)

When I moved home, I was somewhat worried about the public. I worked for a church, wanted to do the right thing, "live a life for Christ", obey, and went out of my way to love people when they didn't deserve it. My mom quickly reminded me, "No one is going to say anything negative to you. And if they do, they never cared about you. You don't need those people." So as people are finding out, I must keep that in mind and certainly... "child, you're forgiven and loved." And to be honest, I don't have time in the day to worry about it. Daniel and I are looking for a place to live, a job in Starkville, job in Baton Rouge, videographer (just found him!), silver, dress altered, etc. Please please keep us in your prayers as everything moves quickly. 

Saturday Julie and I headed to Starkville. It was MUCH NEEDED. With Daniel being in school and me at home (wedding planning), we get frustrated really easily. I'm not going to tell you everything is okay and life's great, because there are some major issues. We discussed these in pre-engagment counseling and it will be a learning process. For example, I want to buy everything for a new house. Daniel thinks we should save and live within our means (he's right). I have to learn how to be submissive (as Daniel loves the church- Colossians 3:18) and he needs to learn how to love me. We had a conversation last night that talked about both of those issues. It was THE BEST thing we could've done. You would think after 7 years of talking (except the summer of '07) we would have communication down pat- wrong. It will be a lifelong process to learn. 
(what Daniel thinks of my spending habits)

Needless to say, Saturday was very nice - we sat at his apartment and talked (not about the wedding) for 6 hours. We were reminded that we're the glue. Nothing works without us. We love each other and the devil will not steal our joy. If we are constantly nagging each other, our wedding is going to be a "have to" instead of a "want to".  I have to allow Daniel to do his job of leading our family. I'm hard headed so it's been a difficult lesson to learn. I think when the baby (still hard to say/type) gets here, we will be too happy to argue :)

(Biltmore in '09... where we wanted to get married- hey, nothing goes according to plan, but that's the beauty in it)

Communication is a beautiful thing. We are more than ready to see where the Lord takes us. I know for a fact He will use this situation in many lives. This doesn't deter us from the Gospel, but brings us closer. Daniel actually mentioned to me the other day he was wishing for a honeymoon baby - surprise! No honeymoon, but a precious child. He also said he was going to read the entire Bible before the little kumquat (yes, now a kumquat size) makes it's debut. That's 10 chapters a day. I decided to read the NT and a book. Sweet MK DeWesse suggested, "When sinners say, I DO". I'm thinking we both need to read it! We'll see. 

(at least we know our child will have blue eyes...)
(... and maybe blonde hair)

Another great part of the weekend was Crystal Springs' Tomato Festival - I know, I know... real exciting. I love participating in the 5k with Mrs. Misty Singleton, Mary Landrum Pyron, Elizabeth Pyron and the other CS people who come out of the woodworks. This was my ... 3rd year to run/walk in the tomato festival. I think I'm more concerned about the free t-shirt than walking. The night before (Friday) I visited with the Singletons and Will McBeath. It was exactly what I needed. I wasn't going to tell anyone the big news unless they asked. Well we were all talking in the kitchen about the wedding, and I just felt so comfortable. I ended up telling them right then and there. Will just patted me on the back, Shaw hugged me and Mrs. Misty said nothing but positive things. They were so uplifting and thoughtful. That showed me their true colors. They mentioned they loved Daniel and me very much. I now know 3 more people are praying for us. Mrs. Misty actually walked a little slower on Saturday for me :) I love their family and Crystal Springs. I ended Friday night by staying with Catherine Randall and her grandparents. She is the best listener and so genuine. I really enjoyed talking with Catherine. The Lord just showed me how wonderful life was, rather than soaking in my shame. I also bought 2 bedside/ towel tables for our new place! It was a great trip, to say the least. 

(Our favorite picture of Will- Chi O Camo junior year... the DJ was so bad he started doing MSU chants)

(Tomato Festival '10)

(Shelby Hailey and me)

(Mrs. Johna Tomato Fest '10)

(Tomato Fest '10)

(local vendors)

(Shaw at the Pyron's)

(Tomato Fest '11)

(the epitome of Jack Thompson- afro-sheen)
(so cute!)

(from consignment store in Brookhaven)

Change of subject - this weekend, my sisters and MOH, Betsy Bunch, are throwing me a bachelorette party. I didn't want anything extravagant (ever, but especially with the situation). I think these parties are awkward and uncomfortable. I'm super modest #1. So Riley, my oldest hardheaded sister, decided to combine the party with the "Red, White and Blueberry Festival" in Clinton. There's a blueberry cookoff, 5K (to which Riley got this great idea to have a Kocktail at every Km = 5 Kocktails), golf cart parade, bluegrass band, open stores, vendors, United We Jam, fireworks, etc. I wasn't too thrilled, but thought it was nice of them to plan one. I just want to see my friends and family! It will be a classy/trashy good 'ole Clinton time. 

(Red, White and Blueberry Festival '09)

The most exciting part of the weekend is ... DANIEL coming to Clinton tomorrow morning! We will pick up his ring, my ring, meet with the photographer and eat at our favorite place in BR, Flemings! Our favorite thing to do is go during happy hour and get 1/2 price calamari and wine/beer. We used to eat dinner there...... not anymore. Daniel and I both have champagne taste, but now on a beer budget


This week, I have been listening to a lot of Mandi Mapes (David Platt's Church of Brook Hills). Shelley Pensworth (my little penguin) left it in my car after an (eventful) beach trip in May. I have memorized the album and learned the meaning in the lyrics. My favorite song is, "Take Me Away" you can download it on iTunes, but I encourage you to read these few lyrics.

Take Me Away Mandi Mapes

I’ve got my share of past regrets, photographs of bad mistakes.
I cared what everyone thought but these days I just let the haters hate.
I was caught in the middle. Indecisive in my shame,
but my whole world came fallin’ down the night You called my name.

And sin was suffocating me and I could not see, my heart failed within me. 
But Your arms are not too short to save. 
And what else can I say?
Just take me away. 

Just take me away

I apologize for the long post, but continue to keep us in your prayers. If there is ANYTHING we can do for y'all, please e-mail me at Excited about seeing friends tomorrow! And... invitations go out MONDAY! And... if anyone knows a thing about formatting a blog, help a girl out!

Kumquat is still sleeping, but can't wait for dad to get here tomorrow. Have I lost it? I think so. 

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