Thursday, August 21, 2008

Learning to be more gracious

I think God is trying to teach me be more gracious and not whine!

There have been several situations occur over the past few weeks that have brought my attention to how things seem to "just work out". Well, I believe 100% that God is in control and that there is a reason for everything. However, I still find that sometimes it's just so much easier to go straight to the thoughts "Why is this happening to me?" "Not now, God!" "There's just too much on my plate, I can't handle one more thing!"

Last Saturday, "B" and I were sitting in my living room talking about little Sheeba and discussing how I missed her already (after only just a couple hours) and how things were so quiet, etc. Then I said to him that one very good thing (other than Sheeba getting her forever home, of course) was the timing of her adoption. I said something like "Isn't it strange how no one has been interested in her until now, just 1 week before our vacation? Now I don't have to figure out who will take care of her while I'm gone!" And "B" just looked at me and said "Don't question when things work out. We (people in general) so easily complain when things go wrong or don't work out, but rarely thank God when things do work out. We need to learn to thank God more."

I'm in total agreement to what "B" said and already knew that it was God's hand in it all. But it made me reflect on how God's hand has been so visible the past few weeks...all of the hassle with my car that could have been crazy worse than it was (I haven't even shared the whole story yet!), Sheeba's adoption, and the latest is the destination of our vacation. We originally had planned to go to the Grand Canyon, had planned to leave on August 23rd and even got the days off work. Since then, we have changed our destination twice, having never made any arrangements for Arizona. Well, I was watching the news the other day and saw the crazy flooding and dam breakage in the Grand Canyon and I realized that we would have been going at a time when it's not quite at its best (nevermind the rafters and hikers that had to be rescued). So, just one more thing where God's presence is obvious and known.

With all of those events over the past few weeks I've realized that I think God is trying to tell me something. Ya' think?!?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Engagement photos

Here is a sampling of some of "B" and my engagement photos. Photos were taken at Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania on July 19, 2008.

A friend at work, we'll call her "Kel" took these photos (she also does wedding photography on weekends). I'm am 110% thrilled at how great they turned out. To see more of her fab photography, check out Kel's site.

Join in the fun on this Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A new home for Sheeba!

I had a very good weekend, productive and fun (most of which I'll fill you in on in a Wedding Update post later this week). But there was one event that happened which makes me super sad and overjoyed all at the same time. The event? Sheeba (my first foster cat) found her forever home and was adopted on Saturday!!!From day one, Sheeba had me wrapped around her little paw. Now my house is once again quiet and I don't have a cute little face looking up at me when I walk through the door. :( But my sadness is all around me. I am overjoyed for Sheeba. When dealing with my car troubles just over a week ago, I worked from home for a couple days and I realized just how much Sheeba would thrive in a home where someone would be home most of the day. Well, she was placed in the home of a retired woman who recently lost her dog of 15 years. I've also had the feeling that Sheeba would do best without other pets around and this woman stated that that is exactly her tintention (for Sheeba to be the only pet). The woman came to meet Sheeba and we finalized the adoption on Saturday. After meeting her, I know that Sheeba will be spoiled and treated like the queen that she is! Through this experience, I was reminded of how God takes care of even the smallest of creatures. Just think of Sheeba's case for a minute:
  • Sheeba was found by sewer workers and turned into the rescue for fear that she would get trapped and die.

  • Sheeba was given to me at the age of 9 mths to foster until she found her forever home. She was skinny but oh so lovable.

  • For 3 months, not one person inquired about Sheeba. She was difficult to take to the adoption days, because she would spazz out in the cages and needed me to sit with her. So, she only went to a few adoption days and we pretty much were hoping for some "hits" on

  • When her new mom starting looking at, she came to Sheeba's picture and just stopped. She just knew that she wanted "that cat". Then, when she saw her in person, the woman was smitten. And, don't forget that the home that Sheeba was placed in was the exact scenario that I thought would be best for Sheeba (based on my observations over the few months that I had her).
With that I have to ask...if God takes care and can find the perfect home for a small cat, how much more then does He care for us, who are made in His image? It's just another reminder to me of God's love and provision for me...a reminder that I need quite often.

So, what's next for fostering you might ask? I've decided that the foster thing may be a little tough for me...I just get attached too easily. So, when I get back from vacation, I'm going to start giving "cage breaks" to the cats that essentially live in the cages at the PetSmart that are with Res-Q-Pets (the rescue I volunteer with). I think this will be a great service to these little ones. It breaks my heart to see them in there for weeks on end in the tiny cages, even though I know they are visited often by the very loving volunteers and are very well taken care of. I may occasionally foster when there is an emergency foster situation, as well, but I'll have to play that by ear.

For now, I'm pet-less again and already missing the pitter patter of little paws:(

Friday, August 15, 2008

One more for Michael

Now that Michael Phelps has earned his 7th gold (by the skin of his fingertips, mind you), he just has one more to make some SERIOUS Olympic history. These have been some very exciting games.

You go Michael...we're rooting for you!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I just wanted to put up a quick post to my 7 bloggy readers to let you know that I'm on a brief hiatus from blogging. Not intentional, have just had too much other stuff going on the past several days to get on the 'puter with some bloggin'. I'll send an update on everything in the next couples days and will be posting some additional engagement photos next Wednesday.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Car update

I just got the call from the shop where my car is at and, although it's going to certainly be a blow to the pocketbook, the problem was nothing too major and they should be able to have all repairs done by the end of the day. I'll have to figure out a way to go get my car, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So, in timing belt broke and I need a new water pump (~$550 for parts and labor...yikes!); there are other belts that are about to break as well so they are going to fix those while they're in there (another ~$50); and I needed a new headlight and license plate lights which I had an appointment set up for tomorrow, so I'm going to go ahead and have them do those too (~$20).

What I'm thankful for...that it was nothing where I would need to get a new car (like my engine blowing up or something); that I have a job where I can work from home and a boss that is completely understanding and supportive; but most of all, that I know that God will provide both the means to get my car back and the funds to replenish my emergency fund. And, I'm just so grateful that, in 12 years of have my own car(s), this is the first time that my car has flat out broken down in the middle of the road. I have only had one other time that my car didn't start and it was probably because it was too cold and there was water in the gas. I think that's a pretty good track record (especially since my car has over 125,500 miles on it.

I'm looking forward to having my wheels back!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Scary situation!!!

Tonight I experienced a first REAL car breakdown! I was on my way home from work (running about 10 minutes behind, as usual) and my car was zipping along quite nicely. About 1/2 way home, I stopped at a red light then, when the light turned green and I stepped on the gas, my "check engine" light "binged" and my car the fast lane...on a main thoroughfare!!!

Well, I quickly tried to start it back up but, even though it was making a concerted effort, it just wouldn't turn over. So, dial AAA and I got a very slow talker. Very sweet but, when you have cars barreling down on you at 60MPH in daylight so that they can't see the hazards that start to get a little worked up and impatient. I finally had to let her know what a dangerous place I was in and she sped it up a little bit...though, I must say, not much! After about 10 minutes on the phone with her, we were finally done and she did put it in for a rush, which meant someone would probably be out within 1/2 hour. Well, by that time, I was starting to FREAK OUT, because there had been about 10 too close for comfort moments with other cars.

So, then I dialed 9-1-1 to get some cops out there to help. After an exasperating 3-5 minutes talking to the 9-1-1 lady, she FINALLY figured out approximately where I was. Even though I could tell her EXACTLY the road I was on and 2 cross streets within ~100 yards, she needed the town...which I wasn't sure of (UGH!). Thank goodness for the fastest police officers in the East...the first one was there in 3 minutes or less...amazing! And the 2nd was there about another 3 minutes after that! The lovely police officers helped move my car to a gas station across the fun ordeal with no power steering or power brakes when you have to cross not one, but TWO roads in heavy traffic. But with some stellar assistance from the nice policemen, I was in safety in minutes. I did have a dumb "blonde" moment, but I won't go into that!!!

Once I was in safety and waved goodbye to the officers, the tow truck driver came not more than another couple minutes later...about 20 minutes ahead of the estimate (yay!) He was able to tow my car about 10 miles closer to home to his shop at no charge (the shop waved the 9 miles over the AAA allowance...whew). Tomorrow they will run diagnostics on my car and provide me with an estimate (cringe). A couple people thought it might be my fuel pump, which I guess isn't a huge expense, so I'm hoping for something like that.

Well, this whole ordeal was very stressful. I was certain someone was going to plow into the back of my car with me in it, but God just did not have that planned for my day. What I did learn is how helpful people can be:
  • 2 cars stopped in the lane next to me to make sure I was getting assistance
  • The police officers were great and didn't even make me feel stupid with my dumb blonde moment.
  • The tow truck driver was ever so sweet and helpful and the other guys at the shop were so nice too.
  • My friend, who I was supposed to make dinner for, drove ~20+ miles to pick me up and take me home.
  • And thank good for the Vincentown Diner and for comfort food...diner's make the absolute BEST grilled cheese sandwiches!

Now car-less, I will have to work from home tomorrow (thank you God that I have a job that I can do that with!) but, unfortunately, I will miss our company's afternoon at the Phillies game. It's a free 1/2 day off work but, since I don't have any way to get there, I'll have to work the whole day and will not get the bonus of connecting with my colleagues. Oh well, again, I guess that's just not what God had planned, but still it's a little disappointing.

I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow...and for relatively good news about my car and the amount of $$$ that I'll have to fork over (another cringe).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wedding Update #6 - Save the Date

Wow! Has it really been a couple weeks since I've given an update on the wedding planning? How time flies. I can't believe that the big day is now only 8 months away...YIKES!!!

I still feel like I'm on target with the planning (for the most part), but I'm getting a little panicked about getting a photographer in place, so that's really my only real stressor at the moment. So here is the latest and greatest:

"Save the Date" cards: They are ordered and should arrive in about a week. I need to get these sent before I go on vacation (Aug 23). Totally do-able, but we're still gathering a few straggler addresses. Since there is a pretty good handful of guests that haven't seen either "B" or I, we decided to go with photo cards, which I did through Shutterfly. Here's a sneak peek of one of my favorite pics that is on the "Save the Date"!
I'm also trying to figure out if I can use labels or if I have to hand address the envelopes.

Photographer: My helper is currently gathering some information from about 6 or 7 photographers. Most I found on line, but a couple came recommended. My goal is to have all info gathered before end of this week and spend some time this weekend narrowing down to 3 photographers with which I'll set up appointments with to meet in person. I would love to have a photographer signed up before end of this month; however, with vacation coming up I'm not sure that I'll accomplish that.

Florist: I'm in the very beginning stages of gathering information about florists. I'll be using the same approach as with the photographer.

Invitations: I've been looking at invitations and am still deciding whether I will take on a little DIY here. Just doing some cost analysis and deciding what exactly I'm looking for. Invitations just seem so over-priced and I'd like to avoid paying too much, without compromising quality, of course.

There are a lot of other details milling around in my little head and I continue to watch the wedding/design shows to get ideas. Oh, and I need to schedule a Saturday in August (only 2 left) for my aunt and I to go try on the younger girls' dresses (my Jr. Bridesmaid and my flower girl). It will be much easier on them to get this taken care of before the school year madness begins!