29 June 2011

The Beginning

Sunday,  August 29, 2010. The sky was overcast and then air was thick, not ideal for a pool party, nor uncommon for Mississippi weather. I remember that because I almost didn't go, I almost said the weather is too nasty and I've got things I could do here. I noticed him pretty quickly, he wasn't one of the normal Phase 2 people. I immediately felt self conscious, wishing that my skin was a darker shade, I'd bothered to put makeup on and made some attempt to control/contain my hair.  Nikki. WHAT are you thinking? The guy isn't gonna notice you AND you're not here to get one to notice you.... 

Throughout the party, I made sure to steer clear of him. But, then the clouds finally broke and all of a sudden there were about thirty people in a garage, eating tacos, hoping that storm would blow over within a few minutes.

I think he initiated the conversation but for the life of me I can't remember how it started. I know I asked him what his major was and he volunteered that he loved music and played that guitar and drums. He would have gone into music ministry but went with engineering so he could someday support a family. I'm not gonna lie, I was impressed, but I also remember thinking this guy is a christian (or so he says), he's handsome, smart, athletic, musically talented, not socially awkward, and single.....there must be something majorly wrong with him...moving right along.... The party ended and I went home and pretty much forgot about him.

And that was the end of it, or so I thought....

A Shopping Excursion: The Butterfly and the Bee

We'd planned on going couch shopping for a while. Matt had scouted out a few stores and after consulting with his parents we decided on going to wholesale furniture store in Woodland, MS. I expected it to be some little, dingy place with some bad smelling pieces of furniture. I was quite wrong :)

The store consisted of four or five separate building and while it wasn't air conditioned, the furniture was absolutely beautiful. My excitement grew exponentially (I used that word just for you, Matt) and I started bouncing around going "Oh! Look at the one! Ooo! I like that one!!" Then, I saw it, the perfect couch, the sectional we wanted, the color we wanted, the price we REALLY wanted. Just to be sure that was the best one, we opted to look around the rest of the store. That's when he said "Nikki, you're stressing me out. I have a method to shopping: walk up one row, then down the next. The bouncing is not organized and overwhelming." What?? Why on earth would you waste time going up. and. down. every. single. row??? BORING!!  "Nikki....." "Ok, ok. Matt, just hold my hand :)"

We got the sectional we wanted with the help of his brother, Matt got it through the door and into the apartment. I love that Matt is methodical, logical, an engineer. It helps balance out my ohmygoshilovethat!!wecandothisandthenaddthatandthatwillmakethisandthis..... However, I will say, at times, he's just too much like an engineer...Bless his heart ;)

And yes, I know that its a picture of wasp but, it's the only photo I've ever taken of a bee like thing....

27 June 2011

A Coffee Post

I have a healthy addiction to coffee; it treats me well, so I indulge in it daily. Here are some rather fun facts about :)

Coffee BERRIES grow on trees
Ethiopian shepherds first understood the effects of caffeine when their goats ate the berries and were a little more high strung afterwards
Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee in the Bean Belt, legit place, smack in between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn
Espresso is not a particular type of coffee bean, its just the way it's prepared :)

22 June 2011

150 Days of Anticipation

They say that the people who go crazy in jail are the ones who are waiting for the verdict, not the ones with the death sentence, nor the ones who will remain in a cell for the next ten to fifteen years. Now, in no way do I feel like I'm in jail, in fact, I'm feeling quite the opposite. However, there are so many things I'm anticipating, so many things I'm curious about and things that I have to decide. What will marriage be like? Is it like dating someone but living together? How my relationship with my parents change? I will no longer be under their authority, but for 20 years I've been seeking their approval, their guidance, I've been "working" to become someone they're proud of. How will my relationship change between Matthew's parents and I? I've already noticed how conversations get into deeper, more meaningful topics and its been wonderful. What will it be like to have four parents, but not be seeking their approval and not seeking out their "permission" but my husband's?

In an attempt to keep my head from exploding from all the questions,  I emailed one of my cousins who now live in Australia with her husband and three children. She gently offered kind reassurance saying that all the questions and fears I had were completely normal :) An awesome suggestion she had is to start reading the Psalms 150 days before the wedding.

"Blessed is the man...
[who's] delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water 
that yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither.
In all he does, he prospers. 
Psalm 1: 1a, 3-4

I guess that can be my prayer for mine and Matt's life together, that our delight is in His law, we bear good fruit in season, and that in all we do, we prosper. To God be the Glory.

19 June 2011

For My Dad: Mr. Lloyd

When I was two, I couldn't wait for him to get home, my knight in shining armor; except when I was in trouble, then I would dread his return. By the time thirteen came along I still wanted him in my life, just not telling me what to do. If I'm going to be honest, I really wanted him to be a serve as a 24 hour banking service. By the time high school graduation rolled around, all I could think was "hallelujah! Independence is finally mine! FREEDOM!!" However, in the same month that I graduated, my parents said I was still their little girl. I was like what?? You haven't called me that in forever....please.... Once I get to college, I'm gone.

A year later, after several painful experiences at college and realizing the I was as broken and messed up and any human being could be, my dad came into my room, knelt down to next to my bed, prayed for the Lord's blessing to be upon me and kissed me goodnight, just like he'd done when all those years before. I then realized that, yes, I still was their little girl.

16 June 2011

A Wonderful Change of Plans

When I was seven, I knew that I wanted to be a gymnast. No one was cooler or more talented than them. At thirteen, I was sure the I was supposed to be a fashion designer; that way, I would always look perfect. At sixteen, I was preparing for a degree in nursing. It was, without a doubt, the most logical thing to do. At 17, weeks before my high school graduation I found the perfect career: architecture, the ultimate combination of art and practicality.

At fifteen my plans were to get into some amazing college, OUT of Mississippi, work hard through some impressive degree program and then conquer the world, travel the globe, and have an amazing career all by 25, all done without a husband. I wasn't going to be one of those girls who went to college to get an MRS degree. I was never going to be a teacher, or do anything related to education.

At nineteen, I have changed majors from architecture to art, then out of art and moving into some sort of education, and I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to end up with. At  nineteen I got engaged, and I will be married before my twenty-first birthday. State wasn't the wonderful college I anticipated going to, but it has been wonderful for me, the degree dilemmas where never in my plans, I have yet to travel the globe (although I have been to Australia three times), and as for the career.......yeah, well.... Clearly, my life is not panning out as I thought it would, as I thought it should, and Thank You Lord that it hasn't!!

01 June 2011

Marking the Beginning

Let's go to Vegas this weekend. That was the text I sent Matthew yesterday afternoon after unsuccessful dealings with choosing a date, finding a church, nailing down a location for the reception and capturing a photographer. This whole wedding planning has given me a whole new appreciation and respect for women who plan a wedding and actually pull it off. It's funny (or humbling) because I used to think "I know exactly what I want for my wedding...." Now I'm like, "this is only gonna happen once, better not screw it up!!" I think the key is going to be remember that it's a marriage that I'm preparing for, that having one shade of purple rather than a different shade won't make any sort of difference at the end of the day. It won't matter what party favors there were, but rather the people who came to support us. I'm preparing to spend the rest of my life with someone, to have and to hold. Regardless of the colors and despite the stress that is inevitable, the wedding day will be wonderful, but it doesn't have to be the most wonderful day of my life; all it has to do is mark the beginning of some of the most precious years to come.