I cannot believe how absolutely incredible our wedding photographer is. Not only was she a JOY to have with us all weekend, but she took INCREDIBLE pictures! And some of them were ready last night!!! I almost fell out of my chair at work when I saw her e-mail saying some would be ready that evening. How incredible. Check out some of her favorites (and our favorites!) on her blog. (click here or here)
Jarrod and I went through the 43 she had for us last night. I couldn’t believe it. They were absolutely gorgeous. Carrie assures us that she has many many more for us, just needs time to edit. (Did I mention she also did like 5 mini sessions this weekend!) Even if the 43 were all we ever get, we’d be beyond thrilled. They are absolutely incredible. Someday I’ll make a new banner for this site. Or maybe I’ll switch over to “our” blog and begin life as a Johnston. Who knows. But for now, enjoy the beauty. 😉
If you don’t read our my blog at jarrodandleanne.wordpress.com, check it out. I haven’t decided if I am going to keep this blog, use that one, or create a new one for my new married life. I won’t decide today, but for now, I’ll be posting wedding photos and thoughts there. You can read the first installment here.
Can’t wait? Here’s a teaser…
The e-mail I received yesterday pales in comparison to the one I got today… It has (very few) details about my bachelorette party! Because the party is one week from tomorrow, one of my girls sent me essential info: where, when, and what. Or at least a little bit of what. 🙂 I am BEYOND excited. All my girls and I are going to gather at a hotel on Thursday evening to get ready, hit the town with dinner first and then one of my favorite piano bars, before coming back to the hotel for lots of fun, I’m sure. I’m most excited about spending quality time with my favorite girls. I’m missing having girls here and cannot wait to see them. I got so excited reading the e-mail that I thought I was going to burst. I cannot believe it’ll be here so soon!!!
I firmed up my last vendor today. Thank goodness. I’m basically all packed for the wedding weekend extravaganza, save some last minute stuff. I’m pretty well packed for our big move this weekend as well. And thankfully, I think I’ll get to stay out of the heat and organize, nest, and unpack while the boys pack up the heavy stuff and move it to the new place. I’m looking forward to that.
Then I recieved a sweet forward from Carrie, our photographer. Here are pieces that especially touched me.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
It’s OK to get angry with God. (S)He can take it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words ”In five years, will this matter?”.
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
In 10 days, I will be getting married and officially starting a new family with Jarrod. I am beyond thrilled. It has hit me several times today like a 2×4 how incredibly blessed I am and what a beautiful time in my life this is. I cannot wait to see many of you in 7-10 days. 🙂
Several months ago I filled out a form to be an online ambassador for the Breast Cancer 3-day. I was already blogging about my experience in the 2008 3-day. I wasn’t really sure exactly what I would need to do, but I was up for the challenge. The journey began with this post. It was about a month and a half after that when I discovered Twitter and the 3-day on Twitter. This was incredible! Before that, I wasn’t actually sure anyone was reading my 3-day posts. Once my posts hit Twitter and Facebook, I was motivated to write because I knew people were actually reading my posts!
It wasn’t about becoming 3-day famous. It was all about helping people. I was passionate about sharing my experience with others so that they could have the best 3-day experience possible. I wrote posts like these about fundraising, packing, my favorite products, and community. I love getting comments and feedback from other walkers, especially first-time walkers. Hearing questions, concerns, and fears of first-time walkers and sharing my experiences makes me feel like I’m helping ease some of their anxieties about the walk. Walking 60 miles, raising $2,300, and preparing for the 3-day is daunting. Thankfully teams, blogs, message boards, Facebook, and Twitter bring walkers closer together even before the event.
All this is to say, I love being a 3-day ambassador. A few weeks ago I ran out of topics. I didn’t get any questions, so I put posting about the 3-day on the back burner. Afterall, I’m getting married in 11 days. 🙂 Today, I received an e-mail that made me feel like a winner and brought tears to my eyes. The subject is “A Special Thank You” and it is from Celeste, Social Media Strategist for the Breast Cancer 3-day. I had just come out of a work meeting, so I scanned the e-mail, figuring it was “generic” (Sorry, Celeste!!). I had to read it three times before I realized what it really was!
Breast Cancer 3-Day sponsor New Balance is kindly allowing us to offer one Online Ambassador an outfit and shoes provided as a thank you for their dedication to the cause. Because you’ve done such an amazing job with all of your useful and relevant blog posts, I’d like to extend the offer to you.
Thank you so much for being such an integral part of the Online Ambassador program.
Celeste asked me to respond with my sizes, name, address, etc. to receive my outfit. I am honored, humbled, and in awe. First, obviously I LOVE New Balance. I have no idea what this outfit will look like, but I am thrilled. I feel like I won a contest that I didn’t know I entered! Beyond that, I had to really think about where to send this to and to whom. I don’t imagine that Celeste will have everything ready to go before Friday, so I had her mail it to Leanne Johnston at my new address. Crazy!
Another note, we’re moving. Jarrod gets the keys to our new place on Friday and we start moving immediately. Saturday we have friends helping Jarrod with the heavy lifting and I’m unpacking and organizing in the air conditioning. 🙂 Sunday we’ll do church as normal, continue unpacking and repacking, Monday and Tuesday are normal work days, and Wednesday I’m working until noon and then driving to Dallas to pick up my sister and stay with my future brother and sister in law in Dallas to prepare for our wedding!!!!! It’s absolutely nuts how quickly it snuck up on me. I’m getting more and more excited, but I’m also getting more and more absent minded. I’ve begun packing my bag for the wedding and have lists everywhere. I made a folder and printed out my schedule and any directions that I might need for the weekend. Organization for the win!
But I am. I guess it never occurred to me how a bride feels 17 days before her wedding. I’ve invisioned the moment before the doors open and I begin walking down the aisle about 1,983,727 times. But I’ve never thought about what it feels like to order business cards with my “new name” on them. I’ve never thought about what it will feel like to unpack in a new home. A new home I will live in with my husband. It’s a strange feeling.
I’m doing my best to live in the moment, not get too stressed out, and calm down. Unfortauntely, Jarrod has received the brunt of my NOT being able to do that 24/7. 🙂 Overall, I’m maintaining my sanity by making lists. (I made a VERY detailed schedule for myself from Wednesday at noon through the wedding on Monday night. I might go past the wedding if I start to panic again…) I’ve also been walking with Lucy-the-dog a few times a week. Not as much as I should be according to the training schedule, but I’m doing the best that I can. I’m sure once the wedding is over I’ll have more time to walk.
This post doesn’t really have much of a point… Just wanted to get some thoughts out there. Life is good. Chaotic, but good. Hopefully I’ll have some good news soon about a visitor joining me in the south. More on that later.
Jarrod and I had a crazy whirl-wind of a weekend. We planned this weekend several weeks ago because we discovered that we would need to make a special trip to Dallas to get our marriage license. We decided to make it the weekend our friends Jared and Alina got married! I took Friday off of work and Jarrod, who already gets Friday off, took Thursday off. Jarrod drove his pick-up truck and arrived at Tom and Jessica’s house in time to head to the Ranger’s game with his borther. I flew in after work and arrived at Love Field at 9pm, completely exhausted.
Friday morning we woke up early and got ready to go get our marriage license! We had absolutely no idea how long this would take, so we made a list of MUST DO errands and a list of WOULD BE NICE errands. We got to the justice of the peace before 10am and were out of there by 10:30am or so. Of course we had to take some pictures, even though there were signs everywhere telling us to turn off our cell phones. 🙂
After securing the marriage license, we headed to the mall to 1) return make up that I paid way too much for to hate as much as I did 2) get little bro a graduation gift and 3) get Jarrod a new cell phone. Check, check and check!
Then we headed up to lunch with our dear friend Laurie. We adore Laurie. I love that she and Jarrod would have had a lovely time and plenty to talk about even if I wasn’t there. We are so thrilled that she will be leading the music at our wedding. Besides the amazing company, we also had a delightful meal. No Pei Wei in Slidell, so we had to get it in Dallas. 🙂
After lunch we made a quick stop at Michael’s for a craft supply that they didn’t have… Then we visited with our favorite flower girls and ring bearer. We delivered birthday gifts as the twins are now THREE! We left 90 minutes later after jumping on the trampoline, lots of hugs, and with our engagement pictures and water color paintings for our fridge. From there, we went to visit with Jarrod’s aunts, our amazing florists. We cannot wait to see the incredible things they are going to do with our flowers. They will be vibrant, gorgeous, and striking. I am thrilled. And we really enjoy spending time with them, so that’s awesome too.
After our flower appointment, we went to run more errands. We picked up the craft I was looking for at ANOTHER Michael’s, got a wedding gift for Jared and Alina, and picked up a take-and-bake pizza. Before we got to Tom and Jessica’s, we stopped by my old house to get the last of my wedding supplies to organize them in the room I’ve taken over… 🙂 We baked the incredibly delicious pizza and crashed. I was asleep by 11pm. Lovely, but busy day!
7am Saturday morning my alarm went off and I jumped into my work-out clothes and Jarrod and I headed to my old house to load up the truck with my bed and a few chairs. I’m officially moved out, but don’t want to talk about it because it’s very sad. 😦 Then we ran back home and showered up for breakfast with the family. We had poor service but great food and fun with Tom, Jess, the boys, Will, and Jarrod’s parents. Awesome. After breakfast we ran back to the house to finish packing up, changed clothes into wedding attire, and drove downtown to watch Jared and Alina get married!
The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. Alina was stunning and Jared was beaming. Jared’s parents (my Jarrod’s pastors) looked so proud. It was incredible to see them officially join their lives together. However, just 3 weeks before our own wedding, I was a basketcase through the ceremony. I balled. The bridesmaids processed to Canon in D, my own processional. I couldn’t hold it together. Hearing them share their vows, knowing that in just days Jarrod and I will be making the same promises was too much for me. I hope that sobbing through their ceremony means that I will be able to hold it together for ours. I pray there won’t be ugly crying like there was about 11 months ago!
Life is busy, but definitely wonderful. It’s going to be a busy week of VBS, packing, work, and cooking. I’ll update you with our new favorite recipes soon!
When I was younger I imagined what my engagement and wedding process would be like. I imagined being engaged at 22 and married 10 months later. I wasn’t living in reality about money and assumed that I’d have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a gorgeous wedding for everyone I know. I dreamed of mashed potato martinis, a carving station, and romantic lighting at our evening reception. When I wasn’t even seriously dating (not for lack of trying!) at 22, I began to wonder if I would ever get married. By 24 I was thrilled to be living alone with my cats. I loved my job and was enjoying my relaxing life.
Then BAM! I left my job, started dating someone seriously, and was suddenly an adult. I started seminary and was living a life I never thought I would. I was back dreaming about weddings again, but this time it was location (and groom!) specific. When our relationship ended I was crushed for many reasons. However, it only took a month or so for me to come (back) to the conclusion that the single life forever wouldn’t be the end of the world. I settled back into the single life. I got excellent grades, grew spiritually, and had a very full life. I was planning trips, taking interesting classes, walking a TON, and spending time with friends. Life was grand.
Then…BAM! I went to a best friend’s wedding, was reunited with a friend, and fell in love. That was late July 2008. Less than a year ago. Jarrod and I dated for 3 months before we got engaged. Unlike my earlier fantasies of wedding planning, we had limited finds, focus on the important things, issues of distance, and family dynamics. Somewhere in my idealistic mind, I thought that once a ring was on my finger all issues of family relationships and finances would be erased. Sadly, no. These issues are highlighted under the stress of planning what is essentially a huge party for everyone we know. Not everything has been stressful about being engaged, but it certainly has been more difficult than I imagined. Don’t get my wrong, I am THRILLED to be engaged and in 27 days will be marrying the man of my dreams. I couldn’t be happier and I thank God everyday for this incredibly rich life.
But… Being engaged is hard and I’m SO ready to be a wife. I’m more than ready for this glorious wedding to be over. I don’t think there will be wedding withdrawal around here. I’m ready to throw myself into other things…like church, work, and the 3-day! All that’s to say that being engaged is not entirely what I thought it would be and I’m excited that it’s about over. I care very little about dresses, shoes, sparkles, makeup, flowers, etc. I care very much about seeing all of my friends and family in the same room having a great time. I care about the communion liturgy and the hymns. I care about spending the rest of my life with the love of my life. I am so excited to be an official family. With Lucy, Sophie, and Oliver, of course!