Monday, November 30, 2009

The Wedding Ring.

Saturday, Sean received a phone call. The phone call we've all been waiting for: my ring was ready.

We started our ring search quite a while ago, but we finally settled on a jeweler in the town over from us. We first went to him the first weekend of October, which I described here. We did end up going back, when Randy showed up the final design, but as I didn't have a picture or anything, I never posted about it. I supposed I figured it would be more interesting when we actually had the final product in hand.

Saturday, Sean got the phone call. And Sunday, we went to go get it. My jaw hit the floor when I saw it.

I swear, the jeweler put MiracleGro on my ring. The diamonds are HUGE. Grandma's ring wasn't in very good shape, and the gold was a strange color. It was almost an off-white, which made it look dirty. I think this altered my view of the diamonds. The new ring is a much cleaner gold, much more of a pure white gold color. Of course, it turns out the center stone is also .61 carats, rather than the .52 we were originally told. My head is spinning with all of this. It's beautiful. It's shiny. It's interesting though, how different, and yet alike it is from my engagement ring. Both of them are dainty, but the new ring does not have colored stones. After all, my engagement ring has color, because we knew from the beginning that it would not be my wedding ring. All in all, I think the ring actually came out better than my inspiration picture. Randy's jewelry has top marks in my book.

After Christmas, we're going to get it appraised, and then insured. Until then, Sean has it. Hopefully, it'll get put into a safe or safe deposit box at the bank. After all, I won't be wearing it until the wedding. We still need to get a wedding band made for it too, but we're doing this all in steps. All in all, we stayed below our $1,000 budget. I think the final cost came in just under $900. I almost don't want to know how much it's worth. But I'm also very curious. We'll see.

Let's start with the image of the original ring:

And THIS was my inspiration photo for the new ring:

And the final product? *drumroll please*


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life Changing Events. They're a-happening. Band Edition.

(Part 1: Band) I'm going to break up my life-changing blogs. Fyi.

It's been a big week. So many life changing events have happened, and it's getting kind of unbelievable. I mean, I knew these things were coming. But, when it all comes down to it, who is ever ready to open their arms and embrace change fully? On one hand, I'm ready to be moving on. I've noticed it a lot this last year - I'm more mature. I think a lot of it has to do with most of the guard girls being either freshmen or sophomores, but I feel a big difference between us. I can tell I'm ready to move on. But at the same time, I know that these past 3 1/2 years have been amazing. I've met some of the greatest friends I know I'll ever have, and I've had some of the greatest times. I know that I'm going to miss it.

Saturday. Saturday was the last home game that I will ever perform in. The last time I will be on.the.field. of Faurot. Since I won't be at the game this Saturday (MIZ-BEAT kU!), I will only have the opportunity to perform with Marching Mizzou one more time, at a bowl game. That will be the last time I will wear my uniform, and quite possibly the last time I will ever spin a flag, at least in performance. It's hard to attribute the term "last" to something that defines so much of who I am, and something that I enjoy so much.

Marching Mizzou has been my life. People ask how I can be defined by something like it, but it's easy. I've spent 20 hours a week with these people - they are my best.friends. I have spent countless hours writing routine, teaching girls, sewing flags, taping flags, assigning numbers, and dealing with uniforms. Hell, I only have 3 topics of conversation: band, football, and wedding. I have spent the last 4 years at Mizzou, the last 7 years on color guard, and the last 13 years in some form of band. Music. It's my THING.

I remember when I joined color guard. I've always been about music interpretation. Mr. Holland's Opus is by far one of my favorite movies. I feel like everyone should be able to understand the rush of a musician - the heart-pounding emotion that comes with playing. When I was younger, my aunt always used to take me to variety shows at her old high school. She had been on the dance team, and they performed there. But I was always more interesting in the winter guard. When I switched to South, I mentioned it to the band instructor. She pointed to towards outdoor marching, and I was hooked. You put a flag in my hands, and music in the air, and I feel what to do. It's there.

I don't know what I'm going to feel next fall. I mean, I stop spinning every winter and spring, anytime it's not football season. We shall see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My First Massage.

I've never had a massage before today. Ever. People have told me how great it is, and while I assumed they were right, I never had the desire to spend money that I deemed so unnecessary. While we're on the subject, I've never been to a chiropractor either. *shrugs* So wellness doctors aren't my thing.

The massage thing, however, changed today.

Last month, Tori and I were hanging out in the Union (per usual), and this woman walked up to us. Usually people walking around the Union just want to get you to go to seminars, so it almost became one of those roll-your-eyes-no-thanks moments. But I like to be polite and hear these people out, so I let her do her thing. She was selling promotional packages for a new salon. The packages were $50 a piece, and they offered 4 visits: a massage, a facial, a manicure, and a hair style. Considering that a decent hair cut ALONE in CoMo will run you near $25-30, this promotion caught my eye. I love manicures/pedicures, and I've been wanting to try a massage and facial. So I bought the package.

It. Was. Amazing.
Being on guard, I have a LOT of knots in my shoulders...I know that. The massage lady (masseuse?) was not prepared. The package offered a 30 minute massage, but really it was just the lady following a pattern of areas to work on. 45 minutes later, I left. I received 15 extra minutes of massage time, because she couldn't get the knots out of my shoulder! :) I was not complaining though. It was glorious. I tipped well, because she worked hard on my shoulders. I wouldn't be surprised if I have bruises tomorrow - but they'd be worth it.

I've been so stressed out with wedding plans, insurance, money, and class work, that I really needed this. I was planning on scheduling the facial meet today, but the lady who does those is only in the salon on Wednesdays and that visit might not happen until after Christmas or something. We'll see. I'm just glad that I was able to pamper myself, and now I feel a lot better.

Tonight is Culver's night supporting TBS and KKY, which are the band service sorority and fraternity (respectively). A lot of my friends are in them, including Jayme and Lyndsey (two of my fabulous bridesmaids!), so Allie (another fabulous bridesmaid! *giggles*) and I are heading out to Culver's to support them.  10% of any purchase goes towards the groups, so it's like ice cream for a good cause. No guilt here!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

44 Days. Of Doom.

44 Days. Fourty-Far. Or, in STL speak, Farty Far.

That's how long I have until graduation. Scary, isn't it?

This last week, I've been bombarded with final papers and projects. Absolutely slammed. Each semester, I line up my impending doom in a blog post. For the most part, it helps me visualize it. It helps me prioritize. So here it goes:

November 10th
 +Case Studies Folder (12-16 pages, plus advertisements)

November 13th
 +Business Law Exam 3

November 28th
 +Moni's Wedding

December 1st
 +Capstone presentation preview (Presentation/powerpoint must be done by this date)
 +Online course must be finished -> 3 papers (total of 15 pages), 2 exams

December 2nd
 +Lambda Pi Eta Inductions (I'm in charge of food)

December 3rd
 +Political Comm paper and presentation (20 minute presentation, 8-12 page paper)
 +Capstone Presentation and Paper (30 minute presentation, 12-15 page paper)

December 8th
 +Campaign Project due (12-15 pages)

December 11th
 +Business Law Final
 +Capstone Personal Assessment Paper (1-2 pages)

December 14th
 +Persuasion and Theory Final

December 16th
 +Political Comm Final

December 19th
 +GRADUATE! (hopefully)

Can I say, DIE?! Jesus. That's a total of 60 pages. In 6 weeks. I can do that, right? Maybe? I'm really worried about the first week of December. But I have to do it. I don't have the option. I WILL graduate. I'm not sure if it will be with honors (and honestly, it doesn't bother me if it's not), but I will. By hell or high water, I will. *gulp*

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekends and Moving Talks.

I love weekends. Not because they mean no class and no work and usually mean football games, but because the weekend means that I get to see Sean.

Sean and I are in a long-distance relationship. We have been for almost our entire dating career, minus 1 semester. That makes 4 years of long distance. We're apart more often than we are together, but in the long run, it's made us a better couple. I've had many friends look at our relationship and assume it's not hard, but they also don't see the tears and the fights that Sean and I have had together (we keep our fighting very private). I've seen too many instances where one or other doesn't want to put in the work. Early on, Sean and I would only see each other once every 3 weeks or so. But, we were young and our relationship was young, so it wasn't a big deal. We've progressed to seeing each other every weekend, come hell or high water. Yes, it means that occasionally I miss out on plans my friends have made, and yes, my grades could be better if it wasn't for the 3 hours I spend in a car when I go see him. But it has made us stronger. I don't regret the thousands of miles put on my car, even though it essentially was the reason that both Sean and I have bought new cars in college. One this it has done, that I really like, is that it's made us sure that we're going to make it - no one works this hard for a relationship they're not absolutely sure about.

One thing we've learned over the years is to not make big decisions or talk about serious subjects apart. If we think of something we need to talk about in person, we write it down and discuss it at some point over the weekend. It really helps, because it allows us to see each other's reactions, and we don't make decisions based on what we think the other wants.

This weekend we discussed moving. I want to live with Sean as soon as possible. I'm tired of being apart. Once we find out where he's going to school, we'll be moving - together. However, Sean doesn't find out until February, and we both graduate in December. We've been toying with the idea of him moving here as soon as school was done (well, right after the new year). But in thinking about it, we came across the job issue. Yes, Sean is qualified to a job as an assistant manager somewhere, and probably make the same that he's making now back home. But it seems silly that he only works somewhere for 3-6 months, and then leaves. We've both been on the trainer end of employment, and training someone who leaves right after sucks. He could also just stay in StP until we move, but then we'll basically be playing a game when we take a U-Haul from his house, to my house, to my apartment before finally trekking to wherever we might be going. That doesn't really sound appealing to either of us. But we might have found a solution. Sean is going to stay in StP and work, at least until he finds out what school he'll be going to. After that, he'll slowly move down here (being an hour apart means it doesn't have to be done all in one trip). We want him out of work as little as possible, since he won't be working for 3 years. But if he's in StP there's no rent or any payments or the like, so it'll be easier for him to save and add money to our joint account. Meanwhile, I'll be job hunting wherever we plan on going (and figuring out how to do that will be another step...). When I get a job out there, or by June (whichever comes first), we'll pack up and go. We'd like to stay here as long as possible too, cause I'm still paying rent through July.

In the words of Peter Pan, "To die would be an awfully great adventure"- I'm hoping moving will be just as great.