Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our turn

Well, we just got home from the LAST wedding we are attending before our own! Praise the Lord!!!! It was (of course) beautiful. We drove all the way to Brownwood to see my dear friend Lindsey marry Brett. She looked gorgeous and he looked excited. I love looking at the groom as the bride walks in...his face says it all. And Brett was so so happy. After we went to the wedding, we went and had dinner in the thriving metropolis of Brownwood (hehe) with some other dear friends. Bridget and Jonathan got married last summer and are getting ready to move to east Texas. That dinner was one of the most enjoyable conversations we've had in a long time! Those two are so sweet and we pray the Lord keeps them in our life!

Today we went to sign our lease at our apartment. I dropped off a car load of stuff...and I feel like I'm coming undone at my seams right now!!! I'm trying to pack up the house I've lived in for two years and collected massive amounts of "stuff" in. In addition to the horrors of packing, I'm also trying to figure out what is going to Houston with us, Lake Jackson with me for the next two weeks, Mexico with us for honeymooning, and Lake Jackson permanently. I'm not a very good packer. Seriously...I will start to pack a closet, move on to another closet, then the bathroom, back to the first closet...etc. There are odds and ends everywhere and I have NO idea where this will all go in our apartment. I love moving into new places and this move is pretty much the highlight of my life (love you roomies, but it's true), however, it is downsizing. I'll have more space in the kitchen but much less space in the bedroom and way less "working" space. It's a sacrifice that is well worth it, though. ;)

I'm sitting staring at blank white walls right now wondering how I am possibly 2.5 weeks away from marriage. Just yesterday I was a girl who had never kissed a boy (with seemingly no prospects, either!) and today I'm almost my first kiss's new wife! :) God is good.

I had to choose an energy provider today (scary and intimidating)...and figure out how we are going to live without money until our first pay check...SEPTEMBER 15TH! It would be so nice to go to school forever...but that's not possible. The Lord is definitely using everything He can right now to teach me not to worrry but bring it to Him in prayer and petition. It's amazing how He comes through time and time again. The endlessly faithful God for an extremely faithless me. He is so good! (that just doesn't express it...it's so much more than that).

You should come help me move...if you can put up with a bewildered me!

--The (almost) Nichols

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rants and Raves of a Teacher

While I may not be an adept speller (bless you, spell check), there are things about people's grammar that drive me NUTS:

1. When people ask a question but don't put a question mark at the end of the sentence. Example: Are you going be there!! Or Are you so excited!!!!!
That's not right, people. If you want to express excitement, use a question mark and an exclamation point. But please be sure to include the question mark. It's vital.

2. When people misuse your and you're. It's not that hard. I know you can do it if you put your mind to it. You're is a conjunction of you and are. Your is possessive. You're getting basic English wrong when your sentences contain those words incorrectly!

3. When people misuse their, there, and they're. Now, we all slip up and our brain types/writes without thinking...but let's make a pact to check that more often. There is a place, their is possessive, and they're is a conjunction of they are. Not hard.

4. Alot is not a word! If you want to express a large quantity of something you should say "I have a lot of beavers" or "there are a lot of hippies here".

5. It's and its are not the same thing. While most often we tack on an apostrophe s to show possession, in this case, it's is a conjunction of it is.

I'm totally taking off for this stuff next year. My students will whine and complain because their papers that use texting language (and it's not a joke...they turn in junk like that) will be marked to shreds. Cry all you want, dear, you WILL write at least somewhat correctly. And yes, I am a biology teacher. And no, this isn't English class. But just because it isn't English doesn't mean you can write like a 2nd grader.

They're going to hate me...but they'll never ever forget again.

--The meanest soon-to-be Nichols (Laura)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Slow down life, we can't keep up!

We are now 24 days out. Crazy? Yes. I have a list as long as my arm of things yet to be done, decisions that need to be made, etc. Praise the Lord that wedding planning is only a tiny, tiny part of this whole thing. It doesn't help, either, that Justin still has a couple weeks of graduate classes left.

Two days ago, I created the slideshow for our wedding and it was so fun to see little baby Justin! He's way too cute (and still is...) for his own good. I had a lot of visions of my own little ones as I looked through the pictures. Hey, I'm a girl, I can't help it. Granted it may not be soon that we have some of our own, but it COULD happen. Scary thought... This picture could be my favorite of them all...the classy white diaper, ice cream up in his face (which adult Justin doesn't really like), and that cute, cute hair.This weekend, we went to what felt like our 100th wedding this summer. It is so fun to see everyone's take on a wedding. Every one that you go to is a little different, a little more custom fit to the couple. It's fun to see personalities come out in the wedding. This all got me thinking about how our wedding fits us--so much of it I LOVE, but I've had a breakdown about the location. It's at my church in Lake Jackson which is extremely special to me and my family but...it's in a shopping center. I just realized how odd that is...and began to wish that someone had told me that before a month out!! I've kind of resigned to the fact that I'm getting married in an old Weiner's (yes, an old Weiner's store...), but I still wish I had gone the more traditional route. The inside will be beautiful and we are going to work hard to down play the ugly paint color on some of the walls, but people are still going to drive up thinking "what the heck? this is ridiculous!!" And add to that the fact that the church decided to tear up the facade the week before the wedding (thanks for that). At the end of all of this, we will still be married, which is great. I still have that little insecure girl inside me that is freaking out about what other people are thinking about it.

We have been so blessed by the showers and pre-wedding gifts we have been given. While we are still panicking because we are lacking in some necessities (sheets, towels, and pots anyone???), we have been given some fantastic gifts. What's not so fantastic is that they are all sitting in my room taking up loads and loads of space. I've arranged and rearranged all of the stuff, but there is no way around it...my room is a mess. What's even LESS fantastic is that all of these gifts are still in their boxes. I love household items and Justin and I love to cook (you know how they say sex begins in the kitchen?? yeah...we'll be okay!), so it makes me sad that we can't use them just yet. But trust me, I look at them all every night before I go to bed. They're all so beautiful and they're all OURS. :)

Okay, I (Justin) can take it from here. Being in grad school has definitely been hard, mainly because I do not really have time to hang out with Laura that much. She is in Lake Jackson doing wedding stuff as you can see. I am excited about the wedding, (so, yes, to all the people who ask if I am excited about getting married) but even more than that, I am ready to move and get started on the next phase of our life together.

As you may know, Laura and I have teaching jobs in northwest Houston for next year. Sometimes it is a scary thought to know that students who are on summer break right now will soon be sitting in desks wondering how anyone could be that excited to talk about geography. I was sitting in one of my classes the other day, and it hit me that I have so many advantages over my fellow future teachers. First, I know that my success as a teacher has nothing to do with my own skills, and everything to do with God's. And second, I have the best support system anyone could wish for greeting me when I come home from work everyday. Not only is Laura smart and tells me how to do things, but she is so encouraging when it comes to me teaching and working with kids.

About the church being in an old Weiner's, I am not really that concerned. I think it is going to look great. No one will notice the building anyways. The only thing I remember about the past three churches I have been in for weddings is the hymn numbers posted on the walls and creepy floating baby angel heads.

--The (soon-to-be) Nichols