Book Nook: Three Stages of Amazement

Recently, I have rekindled my long, lost love of reading for pleasure!  I had forgotten how utterly enjoyable reading is and how relaxing downing a chapter (or five!) a night can be.  It has been an incredibly long time since I have been able to read for fun so, I may be the only one who encounters this, after a long absence from reading, I find it difficult to focus on the book's story... this book was no exception.

Three Stages of Amazement focuses on the faltering marriage of Lena and Charlie - two forty-somethings with two young children - struggling with economic hardship and the loss of a newborn baby.  The book jumps around to tell things from the point of view from many different characters - Lena and Charlie's son, Lena's hated uncle, Lena's former (and future) lover, etc.  

I'll be honest... 
I didn't like the book.  
I didn't like Edgarian's style of writing and certainly didn't like the negative picture painted of marriage (especially with my own wedding 2 months away!).  I applaud the honesty and rawness of the couples in the book, and I'm sure there are many, MANY couples in the world going through similar problems, but it was a complete downer.  However, I am thankful for the example it showed me.  I realize how important communication and continually loving someone, despite trying times, is.

Currently, the most trying thing I have had to encounter is being without Matt.  It has been extremely difficult being away from him since the beginning of May, and it is particularly discouraging when I realize I still have another month until I see him again.  I think we have done a good job communicating, but I know that I could do much better being patient and making the best of the situation we are in now.  I'm working on being thankful for this absence from each other because I know, when we are back together, this will have strengthened us and made us appreciate the time we do have together that much more. 

Instead of dwelling too much on that, I've thrown myself head first into moving all my belongings from my apartment to the house.  It is really incredible how much crap you accumulate in 3 years!  I think I've made some decent progress, but I'm not too thrilled about moving allllll of my clothes - that will be at least a day's worth of effort!  I also have some other minor projects I want to get done at the house (painting, organizing, etc.), so I have that and my babysitting job to keep my mind occupied...


A Ridiculously Long List

I found a list of questions here that I thought would be fun for me to fill out when I had some free time.  I enjoy completing surveys or questionnaires, but this one was longer and more in depth than I'm used to.

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
I love animals.  At one point I had:
a dog, 2 cats, a parakeet, a turtle, 2 geckos, 6 gerbils, and a pac-man frog
(if you don't know what a pac-man frog is, click HERE).

I have to wear ear plugs to sleep.
The room has to be completely dark and silent.

You should be too.

I like routine.
I'm pretty simple and don't like change.

I have a strange love for creepy, Halloween-y type things.
Skulls, cobwebs, black, pumpkins, thunderstorms - love 'em all!


I HATE cold weather.
As far as I'm concerned, snow should only exist in December
(and preferably only at Christmas time).

My favorite word is "oolong."
Its just so fun to say!

My least favorite word is poo... I can't even type it completely... p.

I love weird baby names (sorry, babe!).
 At one point in time, I wanted to name my daughter Kruger...
and, no, NOT after Freddy (see question #2).

I like doing things myself. 
Its the control freak in me.

I love family vacations to Virginia.
Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Water Country...
its impossible for me to be unhappy there!

I have a insatiable sweet tooth.

Every time I re-watch the Will and Grace TV series, I realize how similar Grace and I are.
except for the fact that she's Jewish and has a gay best friend...

The Harry Potter series is THE. BEST. book series there is.
I still hold out hope that the owl carrying my Hogwarts letter got lost and is still trying to find me...

I am a very picky eater and eat a total of maybe 10 things a week in rotation.

If anything would EVER happen to my teeth, I would be inconsolable.
It would be a loooooong road back to sanity for this girl!

I love quiet.
LOVE it.

I know every word to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and the Notebook.

I often have a craving for a soda, but won't drink any other kind than Diet Sierra Mist.
Aaaaaaand, it makes me burp...
which can be very scary for those who have never heard me burp before.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
Never liked them. Period.
If anyone enjoys having their skin punctured, you've got issues...

When I was little (probably 4th grade?), I was staying at a friend's house and her family was watching one of the Freddy Kruger movies - the one where he stabs a girl in the back in a hospital room, drags her up a wall, and then drops her.  Yea, I've been scarred since then.

I have no idea where this came from... but a legit fear of mine.
I shudder just thinking about lotus seed pods.

I love my life.  I would hate to forget a single thing.

My loved ones being harmed or put in danger
an obvious one.
(and, yes, I realize this makes 5 fears instead of 3)

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
As I've gotten older, my relationship with my parents continues to grow and strengthen.  I think this is due to me realizing that they know what they're doing.  I've always considered myself blessed to have the earthly parents that I have.  I've seen too many people not have the love or support of their parent(s) like I have from mine.  For example, when I became a member of the church, they loved and supported me wholeheartedly (and have even received their own copies of the BOM to learn more!).  I also don't see my parents simply as my parents, but as my friends as well.  As I've gotten older, I've relied on them for help and advice that I couldn't imagine receiving from anyone else.  They're honest and trustworthy, and have never failed to always set a wonderful example for me and my brother.  I hope to be the type of person they are to my kids someday.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
Enjoy where you are now.
Stop over-plucking your eyebrows.
Listen to your parents.  They know what they're talking about.
Lauren, seriously, STOP with the eyebrows...
Work harder in school and at athletics.
Continue standing up for others and continue to be nice.
Love your family and spend as much time as you can with them.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
Our wedding
My faith
My family
Looking forward to this eventful summer

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
I'd rather not go into too much detail and introduce any negativity here, but there was a lengthy period in my college life when I had given up having faith in God and His plan for me.  I realize now how great of an error that was on my end, but how forgiving and loving Heavenly Father truly is.  As a result, I have such a strong testimony of His love and plan for each of us.  I encourage everyone that is going through a difficult time to have faith and endure the difficulties.  The result is greater than any of us can imagine.

7. What is your dream job, and why?
I would love to be a stay at home wife and mom.
Many ignorant people scoff at that as a "career choice," but I can only imagine how rewarding it is.

8. What are 5 passions you have?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
I'm in the process of learning and understanding it right now, but I hope to one day teach it.

Saving memories
I'm always the person on vacations or trips with the camera attached to her hand.
I've been known to take pictures of rocks, leaves, mulch, and water... 
for no reason other than to remember it.

Obviously I have never wrestled, but I am so drawn to the sport.
The principles found in wrestling are simple and can translate to every day life.

Spending time with loved ones


9. List 10 people who have influenced you.
 In no particular order...





Gram Magargle

Gram Hemrick

Pap Hemrick

Pap Magargle

Sue Paterno

Jesus Christ

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
I feel as if I don't get embarrassed that easily.  I almost enjoy the occasional awkward situation - it makes things interesting and can really lead to some great stories.  However, when I began my brief career at the vet clinic here in State College, I made a HUGE "oops!".  One of my coworkers at the clinic introduced herself and I noticed she was wearing maternity scrubs and had the tell-tale baby bump.  I didn't say anything to her, but noted the fact that she was pregnant and moved on.  Later, during lunch with my boss at Olive Garden, I mentioned in passing about my coworker being pregnant (since pregnant women should be careful around cat feces - toxoplasmosis risk and whatnot...).  My boss gave me a strange look and said, "She isn't pregnant."  I thought she was kidding since the "bump" was soooooo obvious... but the stoic look on her face told me she wasn't pulling my leg.  It turns out that the woman, who is very petite, had a two year-old and never lost the baby weight.  Oddly enough, all of her baby weight remained in her abdomen.  Thankfully, I had never said anything to the woman or any of the other people who worked there.  I couldn't enjoy the rest of lunch due to my error, but I did enjoy the taste of my foot.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
Barking dogs
Crying babies
Slow drivers or walkers
People who can't hear what I said after repeating myself 2+ times
Animal abusers
Loud chewers
Loud people
(not really... but, seriously...)

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
I'll admit, right now its pretty low-key.
I am able to sleep in and do what I need to do until 3pm when I have to pick up the kids and baby-sit.
After I'm done with the kiddos, I go home and work on my online class or wedding stuff.
That's pretty much it...

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
Sticking to a "budget"
I'm a control freak and I don't ask for help.
I get frustrated/angry very easily.
I'm not patient in the slightest.
I try to please others before I please myself.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
I'm loyal.
I am protective of the people and things I love.
I know how to present myself in a respectable and competant manner.
I have a great support system.
I'm compassionate.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Hmm... well, Matt seems to think I'd be a lynx and I don't think I would disagree! 

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
Attending Penn State University
Scoring a hottie like Matt! ;)
Not compromising my beliefs or dreams for others
... getting through this darn list...

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
I consider myself to be very blessed, but I do wish that I could be a better person all-around.
Obviously, no one is perfect and I am my biggest critic, but I know I can always improve.  

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
Ehh, not really "what," but more accurately "who."
I've had a difficult time forgiving myself, but have a strong testimony of the atonement as a result.

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Virginia Beach.  I LOVE the beach and could never get sick of it.
Living in a house on the beach would be so relaxing and perfect!

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
Christmas time always stands out to me:
picking out the tree (a Concolor fir), decorating it in our Hallmark ornaments, Christmas Eve candlelight church service, waking up to the smell of cinnamon buns on Christmas day, opening stockings before presents, etc.

I always remember spending time at my both of my grandparents' houses.  Whether it was at my dad's parents with my cousins, or regular Sunday dinners with my mom's parents, I've always enjoyed the time I've spent with my family.

The creek (by the way, that is properly pronounced as "crick").
There was a creek down from my old house, and I loved to go on "adventures" with my brother and our neighbors to it.  I'm sure I'm just thinking of the creek to signify my old house and the memories there.  A large majority of my childhood memories are at that house.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
I would love to talk to animals.
I would use it to understand them, and it would certainly be useful in helping them.
Imagine the amount of animal abuse and suffering that could be stopped!!

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
Hey, slow down!  I'm just trying to get through today!

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
It ties back in with having to save every single memory and not wanting to forget things.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a bad habit of over-spending or impulse shopping.
As dangerous as it often it, it is satisfying for me to buy new things.

It is an utterly relaxing hobby because it provides an escape.

C'mon... let's be serious. Who doesn't enjoy eating?!

Does going to wrestling matches, tournaments, etc. counts as a hobby?

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
I don't think all that much as changed.  Sure, there is always that ignorant bliss of being a child when you're protected from worry and fear and responsibilities, but that doesn't or shouldn't change a family dynamic.  

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
Joe Paterno.
Hopefully we would eat some of SuePa's home cooking!

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
Well, this is a deep question that I don't have the qualification to answer adequately...
I just think a lot of people's priorities aren't in the right place - I know mine aren't at times!
If people could understand how unimportant money, status, or power is in relation to how important family and God are, then I think a lot of problems could be solved or on their way to being solved.

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
My teeth because they're big and white and pretty.
That was such a 4th grade answer...

28. What is your love language?
According to the book, The 5 Love Languages, mine is "quality time," which is reallllllly difficult to do when your fiance is across the country and will be gone from you for another month :(

29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
I think everyone misunderstands another person's intentions.  We become so distrustful as we grow older.  For instance, I've had people question my intentions of joining the church!  They are free to offer whatever opinions or advice they want, but only when they ask me and trust my answers will they know and understand my intentions.

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.
My love
My faith
My family
My example
My resolution
My loyalty
My humor
My compassion
My kindness
My morality


Back Handsprings and Band-Aids

It has been an extremely hectic week full of countless ups and downs!

Since last Saturday (well, last Wednesday, technically), I have:
1) Interviewed for a full-time veterinary technician position in State College
2) Been offered and accepted the vet tech job
3) Moved back to State College
4) Began working at the veterinary clinic
5) Began babysitting for a 12 year-old boy and 11-year old girl
6) Resigned from the veterinary clinic (see below for details...)
7) Been host to my body's raging and uncontrollable hormones 
    (thus, frightening my fiance - I'm so sorry, babe!!)

Needless to say, it has been a BIG sigh of relief to be at home in the company of my family again, even if it is only for the weekend. 

To expand on the vet tech thing...
I had received an email from a veterinary clinic in State College Monday.  The woman in charge had found my resume on Indeed.com and reached out to me stating she would be interested in setting up an interview.  I called her Tuesday and an interview was scheduled for Wednesday.  Although I switched out of majoring in veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences my sophomore year, I still love animals very much and loved being a vet tech during previous employment.  I was also so stoked to find out that this was a full-time position!  The interview went well and I received a call the next day saying that I was being offered the job.  I'll be honest: I was hesitant about taking the job - ideally, I was hoping to find a pharmaceutical sales job in State College, but since I don't have my "official" degree until the end of August, that wasn't going to happen.  I was hesitant because I had my own "plan" for the summer, which included:

babysitting until June 8th in State College
coming home and working at Victoria's Secret until the beginning of August
having plenty of time to spend with my family and my "sisters" at work
being free and able to actively plan the wedding

However, I figured that there was a reason I was being offered this job, so I sucked up my reservations and accepted the position.  I started Monday, working again on Tuesday, and resigned on Wednesday.  I won't go into to much detail on here except to say that the position I was offered was different than the one I was actually training for.  I wasn't very thrilled about the job (the pay and the hours were less than desirable) and was also looking at a very busy summer and needed a good amount of time off (wedding, family vacation, etc.).  I told them that I thought it would be fair to both myself and the clinic if I didn't continue there.  Thankfully, it ended amicably between me and my supervisor.  I can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

One good thing about this week was that I started babysitting for two very neat kids, Ryan and Kate.  Ryan is a very intelligent, respectful kid and Kate is extremely talented and energetic.  I took over the babysitting responsibility when Rachael had to leave to support her husband in his soccer career (best of luck, Daniel!).  This week with the kiddos has been extremely eye-opening.  For starters, I need to get accustomed to their energy!  Kate is especially active and loves doing gymnastics.  She and I have been working on a back handspring and she did one all by herself on Tuesday!  Unfortunately, she's doing what I used to do when I was learning mine and overthinking way too much - she still needs me to spot her.  Ryan is incredibly passionate about everything he talks about.  He cracked me up on Friday when I picked him up from school by telling me he got his first girlfriend, but he doesn't know her name and already "has to" break up with her!  Ohh, the love life of a 6th grader!

I snuck a picture of Ryan sleeping after I picked him up from school.
Must have been a rough day!

 Kate and I went to her school's park on Thursday to swing and play on the equipment.
I'm so impressed by her strength and energy!

There was a blood drive in her school's gymnasium, so we snuck in and Kate showed me her classroom. 

We also made sno-cones!

I have been learning a lot about these kids, but even more about myself.  I used to be "anti-kid," meaning that I didn't see myself ever having any (mostly as a result of the customers at VS who would bring in screaming children and fail to discipline them or pay attention to their needsI still run to hide in the back room every time a kid comes into the store...).  To put it simply, I considered myself too selfish and immature.  Boy, does that change in a heartbeat!  Obviously these two are not my kids, but when I'm around them, I want to make them happy and make sure they are excelling in school and having fun and are safe.  For instance, Ryan has been constantly bullied at school and, from what their father has been telling me, it is becoming pretty severe.  Just hearing that makes my blood boil!  I can imagine being a parent is extremely difficult at times, but I now know how any fears or any "bad day" can be made better with a simple hug and a smile.  To me, the sacrifice is worth it.

I was sitting in the carpool lane on Friday and was looking around at all the mothers who were there in their SUVs or mini-vans to pick up their kids.  I thought about their lives as stay-at-home moms (I was assuming that's what they were...) and pictured them picking their kids up, helping them with their homework, taking them to wrestling practice (again, just assuming...), and keeping them safe and loved.  I am probably imagining a glorified version of the work these women really do, but I immediately felt this warm feeling of gratitude and desire.  I don't understand the feeling of gratitude yet, but I know that in that moment I desired to be able to do the things these women were doing.  

Don't worry, Matt... I'm not saying August 11th we have to make this dream a reality, but having a family of my own is now a heck of a lot more desired... in about 3+ years! ;)


Picture Potpourri

I don't know what it is about transferring my iPhone pictures to my laptop that I don't ever want to do, but I realize I haven't done it in quite some time and am putting a random assortment of those pictures in this post.


Reception Space

 Ceremony Space


Begin with four (4) purple walls...

Add two (2) awesome parents and a can of primer...

 Continue mixing one (1) can of gray/blue paint...

Add a random assortment of stuff you stole from your parents' house...

 Now add some awesome furniture from the best soon-to-be in-laws ever...

Serve to one (1) fiancé... and enjoy!


The house's upstairs bathroom WAS a hideous shade of blue... Sorry the picture quality stinks!

Matt was making a LOT of progress priming with the tiniest paint roller on Earth!

 We ended up painting the bathroom a nice, neutral tan color, but I didn't take any final photos since 1) we were exhausted and 2) we have some touch-ups to do!


 Matt's first experience with chicken and waffles!

 Being attacked by the Cunningham cuties.


 I love Tigger, but he just does NOT care where or how he stretches himself out...

 Momma Kitty is the cuddliest cat I have ever met


 Some of the brooches...

I started wrapping them with wire, followed by floral tape as per online tutorials.  I hope to goodness I did it right!

Tigger being a BIG help

Well, here's what I have so far!  Obviously they aren't arranged very nicely, and I will be looking for more to add.  I plan on filling in with ivory roses underneath to cover gaps and hide the wires.  I just hope and pray this idea wasn't a waste of time...


Mom and I stopped at a really nice Amish market on our way to run some errands Friday and stumbled upon these beauties!  They're hanging baskets now, but after talking with the incredibly nice lady that owns the market, she is willing to plant some in white planters that we can sit on pillars for the ceremony.  She said she will plant 20 (!!!!) so I have my choice of which ones turn out the nicest, and I can check back on them as they grow.

This is the general idea - two pillars at the beginning and end of the aisle, each with a planter of supertunias in them.  We bought two of the white stands pictured in this photo.

I had to sneak a picture of the nice Amish lady to send to Matt since he is obsessed with their culture.  I was so thankful for her enthusiasm and willingness to work with me for our wedding!




99 Things... and then some!

Like Sarah, whom I got this from, I love lists... but I love talking about myself more!  Just kidding!  But seriously...
Feel free to copy and paste and then bold the things you've done!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Okay, so I'm not the most exciting person in the world, but this has encouraged me to get off my butt and do more interesting, spontaneous stuff (you hear that, babe... SPONTANEOUS!).

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to accomplish just a bit more in the wedding planning department:  Mom and I met with a potential vendor for cakes/cupcakes - Linda Hill.  She is so energetic and knowledgeable, and willing to work with us in developing Matt and I's cupcakes + cake vision with a VERY reasonable price tag! 

Tomorrow I have a job interview for a full-time veterinary technician position at Animal Medical Hospital in State College!  It was a completely unexpected offer, but I could not be more thrilled to be a vet tech again... possibly!  I have worked as a vet tech previously while I was pursuing veterinary medicine as a major and have always missed the vet field since switching majors (that may just be the only thing I will ever regret in my life: not pursuing my dream of being a vet).  Now, this wonderful opportunity has fallen into my lap and I am just PRAYING that tomorrow's interview is successful! 


50 Days?!

This was the dumbest thing for me to do in the midst of missing Matt:

*Insert Witty Title Here*

Whoooooof! (that was me letting out a very deep sigh of relief)

I have graduated!  Well, technically, I won't "officially" graduate until August since I have to complete 2 online classes, but I was able to walk in PSU's graduation ceremony on Saturday.  My original graduation date was set as August 11th - the day after my wedding!  Obviously, I had a bit of a conflict with that, but was fortunate that I was granted permission to walk early.

Jenna and I have been together practically since Day 1.
We met our first semester of freshman year in Bio 110 in a lecture hall of over 700 people - talk about fate! It was totally awesome to be able to sit by my best friend of the past 4 years at our college graduation.

DONE... almost!

Me and my parents.

The family (minus Matt who was taking the picture).

I am so grateful to my family and their support they have shown me over the past 4 years.  Without each and every one of them, I would not have been able to enjoy college and mature into the young woman I am currently.  Thank you, everyone!

So... now what?!

Currently, I am at home in my bed with my fat, Garfield-look-alike cat curled up beside me snoring away.  Ahhh, what a life!

Ohh, by the way, I have finished updating our wedding website: http://hemrickbrown.ourwedding.com/




Literally half an hour ago I finished my last final exam at University Park EVER (hopefully).  Scary, right?!  I'm still waiting on a few grades to come in before I know without a doubt that I can walk this Saturday and officially graduate in August.  I'll admit: I didn't work as hard as I could have/should have this semester, so I'm praying that one or two of my harder classes end in passing grades or else I have to retake a course next Fall - something I DEFINITELY cannot afford.  Prayers would be appreciated!

But now... the fun begins!  I can take a nice, big breath and jump head first into planning this wedding!  101 days to go!  Matt and I were fortunate to have our photographer, Tara, come to State College Sunday evening to take our engagement photos.  We saw a preview yesterday on her blog (click HERE to see) and I absolutely LOVE them!  Here are some of my favorites:

We took a lot of photos at various places around campus including Old Main, Rec Hall, and the wrestling room.  I cannot wait to see the rest of the photos!!!  I do have one more prayer request: our photographer, Tara, is pregnant and I would appreciate if everyone could pray for her to have a healthy pregnancy.  Thanks!

My plans now include relaxing, reading magazines, watching all 8 seasons of Will & Grace for the 900th time, and not stressing out whatsoever!  I do have a good amount of "to-dos" to accomplish this week - painting the bathroom at the house, cleaning, etc - but it is all stuff I enjoy doing... yes, I ENJOY cleaning!  I'll be going home on Monday to spend a week at home until the 14th to begin babysitting for the most talented and energetic 10 and 12 year old kids I know!