Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tons of Surprises...

Well... just realized it's been April since I've posted last. April.... really?!

Okay, let's get right to it then. A few things have changed since April... just a few.

I've changed jobs. In November, I interviewed for a Graphic Designer position at Alphagraphics. Actually, applied for a Large Format Print Specialist AND Graphic Designer.... went in for the interview. Little did I know there was another Small Press Operator position open with their sister company, The Mitographers, Inc. The lady I interviewed with, Deb, had mentioned that if things didn't work out at Alphagraphics for any reason, that she wanted me to apply for this other position. Well, as it turned out, even though the interview went really well, Alphagraphics went in a different direction. In which case, I applied for the Small Press Operator position and now that's where I work. I left Capital One about the middle of the month. As of right now, I'm in my fourth week of training. It's been going great so far. Started out with post press work and moved to the press last week. Apparently, one of the cleaners irritates my eczema so I've been trying different things to make it go away. Started using gloves this week to avoid ink on my hands so I don't have to use the cleaners. We'll see...

Hm... I suppose I should talk about the biggest change that's occurred since April...

Okay, but before I do that... I need to talk about Travis and my 4-year Anniversary Weekend Getaway.

Our four-year anniversary was coming up and we had been meaning to have a weekend getaway since our three-year anniversary. We decided to take a trip up to Aberdeen, South Dakota to.... *drumroll*... STORYBOOK LAND! (Which also happens to contain the Land of Oz... and for anyone that knows me, I'm a bit of a fan....)

So, we left on Friday and spent the night in our hotel in Brookings. One, because there weren't any hotels open for that weekend in Aberdeen. Two, it was a closer drive home for Sunday night. Saturday brought the adventure!

We actually woke up relatively early to get on the road and make it to Aberdeen before noon. We ended up overestimating the length of the drive and got there by 11 am so it wasn't horribly busy when we arrived.

Of course, as soon as we walk up to the entrance, I start snapping pictures! Just had to get one of the entrance "gate", the signs, the statues.... I went a little crazy with excitement. We did eventually get into the park itself. Travis said we had to save Land of Oz until last. I just agreed and said, "Okay, save the best for last. I'm okay with that."

As we were walking through, all the Nursery Rhymes started coming back to me. Miss Muffett, Hickory Dickory Dock, Three Little Kittens who lost their mittens.... ALL of them! I'm glad I charged my phone... I took a lot of pictures!

So, we get through all of the Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales to finally get to the Land of Oz! For the first time all day, I handed over my phone to Travis so I could take pictures with the statues at the Land of Oz entrance: Dorothy, Scarecrow, Lion, Tinman, and The Wicked Witch. I totally cheesed out... just check out the pictures!

We started following The Yellow Brick Road from the beginning and just like in the movie, we met each one of the characters. The Munchkins, Dorothy, and Glinda were in Munchkinland and started our journey. The first shack we came to was Scarecrow's. It was here when Travis gave me my first surprise. He told me to close my eyes and reach out my hands. As I did so, he stated, "Some of aren't always smart about everything, but we can learn." That's when he placed my first gift into my hands: a graduation cap bead for my Pandora/Charmed Memories bracelet. (A graduation cap to represent Scarecrow's diploma) So... anxious to continue our journey, I put the bead in my purse and on we went.

The next place we stopped was Tinman's tinhut. This time, when I held my hands out, he handed me a red glass heart charm and said, "Some of us start out not knowing how to love, but once we find our heart, it's easy." *melt* 

At this point, I'm just enjoying the scenery and the time spent with Travis. He has done similar gifts in the past, giving the same number of gifts as the anniversary and having a theme. I wasn't trying to think too far into it. 

We keep following The Yellow Brick Road, past the apple trees, onto the Lion's Den. Same as before, I closed my eyes and held out my hands. To represent the Lion (King of the Forest), Travis chose a crown charm. With this one he stated, "Some of us are scared, but through a long journey, we find our courage."

We had just a little further to go. We went past the Wicked Witch's castle, through the rest of the Haunted Forest, and to the end of The Yellow Brick Road. Travis had been there as a kid, but he wasn't sure if Emerald City was built at the end or not. We checked it out and it was Professor Marvel with his hot air balloon. As I was walking over to see it, Travis motions for me to come back to just inside the trees. (This is the first time I started to suspect anything) I asked him why and he stated that he had his fourth gift to give for the four years we had been together. As I'm following him back, I could the butterflies start to flutter. It wasn't until he asked me, once again, to close my eyes and hold out my hand. To be perfectly honest, I blanked out his voice and started listening more to what he was doing! It wasn't until after everything was said and done that he had to re-tell me what he said.
"We've been together for four years now. I haven't always been smart, I haven't always understood love, and at times, I"ve been cowardly. But throught this journey, though it may have taken me a while, I wised up, found my heart and the courage to ask you (open your eyes)....Will you marry me?"

I completely lost it. The moment, the ring, his face... It's all a blur but it was perfect!
We were standing there trying to recompose ourselves when a family walked by. The mother of the group must have caught on to the situation because she asked, "Did you just get engaged!?" Standing there, wiping my face, with my phone in hand, I nod. Then, she asked if we wanted our picture taken. Nodding, I handed her my phone and she was able to take a few pictures for us. They were all a little blurry, but again, perfect for the moment. 

The rest of the day was spent on a cloud. Now, I was able to say I was proposed to at the end of The Yellow Brick Road! 

Our first picture as an engaged couple!

My gorgeous ring he picked out himself!

Now, we've been engaged for 6 months and we already have so much figured out.
     Date - August 12, 2016
     Theme - Beauty & The Beast
     Colors - Malibu, Plum, White
     Venue - Orpheum Theatre**
     Photographer - Little Cities Photography
     DJ - Nikolai Bjordal
     Cinematographer - Wholly Cowen
     Favors - Glass bottles with Sixlets, engraved with our names and wedding date
     Guestbook - "Be Our Guest" on the front of a converted scrapbook album
     Card Box - Stack of hollowed out "books"
**not yet confirmed.

We've been taking a little break from planning for the time being. One, because of the holidays and two, we can't really do too much more without having our venue confirmed. Only waiting on Becky, our contact, to get back to us to be sure our date is open. She's just waiting on the Community Theater to send her their schedule for Summer 2016. Before her maternity leave, they had sent her up to June 2016... It's been nerve-racking waiting to hear back. I haven't wanted to email her until I hear from her first. Do not want to bother her on her maternity leave... and I can't remember how many weeks it's been. *tries to wait patiently*

Anywho... I've been to a few Bridal Shows now. Travis has gone to one so far. I like going to them, but we haven't gotten too much out of them yet. We've practically had our photographer and DJ from day 1... Venue shortly after. We're still needing a cake, honeymoon plans.... and.... I know I'm missing something. Oh... transportation, but I'm pretty sure we'll go with Stellar Limos. I loved them at the last show. With how big of a bridal party we have, we'll need to have a bus. And we wouldn't need it for long... just travel to and from any photo locations since the wedding and reception will be in the same building. :)

After the new year, we will probably start planning again. Especially since there's the Gonna Get Wed Bridal Showcase on January 4! Just so happens... that's right before our week long cruise to the West Caribbean with April and Alain. Never been on a cruise! This will give Travis and me a chance to see if we would like a cruise for our honeymoon or not. Regardless, we are looking to go somewhere warm and close to the water. Well, you can't get any closer to the water than a cruise. haha

Well, after writing a novel.... I will close this post with the lyrics to our Processional Song.

"The Light" by Sara Bareilles

In the morning it comes
Heaven sent a hurricaneNot a trace of the sunBut I don't even run from rainBeating out of my chestHeart is holding on to youFrom the moment I knewFrom the moment I knew

You're the air in my breath filling up my love soaked lungsSuch a beautiful mess, intertwined and overrunNothing better than this, ooh, and then the storm can comeYou feel just like the sunJust like the sun

CHORUS:And if you say we'll be all rightI'm gonna trust you, babeI'm gonna look in your eyesAnd if you say we'll be all rightI'll follow you into the light

Nevermind what I knew, nothing seems to matter nowOoh, who I was without you, I can do withoutNo one knows where it ends, how it may come tumbling downBut I'm here with you nowOh, I'm with you now

Let the world come rush inCome down hard, come crushingAll I need is right here beside meI'm not enough, I swear itBut take my love and wear it over your shoulders

The lightThe light

Sara Bareilles - The Light 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nap Time Projects

Well... I haven't been keeping up on the weekly post like I was hoping, but I have time today. And it's not even my normal day off. I traded today for Saturday with someone who needed this weekend open. So, this week I work every other day. It'll be an adjustment. Lol

Today, I'm helping out a friend and watching her little boy. He's not feeling well and napping, so I'm working on some projects. One of which, obviously, is to post an entry. Been awhile and I'm due for an update. 

Well, let's start with the fact that the weather has been fantastic lately. Last week, I picked up some capris to start wearing! So excited for the warm weather to stay. Flip flops are next! Don't need to buy any of those though... Have enough from when I stocked up last year.

Work is starting to look up. Been finally getting a grip on acknowledging on my phone calls. Since it is. part of my quality assurance scores, I haven't been doing too well. Well enough to get by, but not good enough. Looking to change that though. 

Hm. Travis and I getting closer to being together for 4 years. Hard to believe it's been that long. With our schedules now, (except for this week) we get to spend Saturdays together. Lately, we've used them for grocery shopping and riding around town. Pretty soon, we are going to have them filled up with weddings and trips. 

June is full! June 7 is Katie and Devon's wedding in Iowa. The weekend of June 14th, Sami and I will be road tripping to Indiana for Shawna's Bachelorette Party! The next weekend is up in the air at this point, but I am tentatively scheduled to go to Maquoketa for Dena's Bachelorette Party. The last weekend in June is open right now, but there's still going to Arkansas to the Lake House, Fair time in Maquoketa is July, Dena's wedding in the end of August. Also, Britney's expecting her baby girl by August 27th, so we need her baby shower in there somewhere. And I'm pretty sure I have a couple more events going on that I'm spacing on. 

Hm... Perhaps more later. :)

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spring Cleaning Early.


Today, I was able to work 5 hours instead of 10, provided that I work the other 5 hours tomorrow. So I took the offer. 

Now, I'm sitting at home with the uncanny urge to clean. Virtually, anyway. I'm taking this afternoon to clean up inboxes, plump out my music on my computer, and get rid of anything that is no longer needed in my virtual world. Contemplating getting rid of my Hotmail email address since it's mostly used for junk mail anyway. I really only use my Gmail account anymore. I can just have everything switched over to that, or better yet, unsubscribe from a lot of things. Deleting accounts is next. I don't shop at Hot Topic enough to warrant an online account anymore. However, I do have a card with them for points.... Wonder how many points I have. *shrugs*

Next, will be the apartment... some more. I know there are still things here that we don't need that we can get rid of. Especially if the move talk is going to actually move forward. Granted, I've started to hang up more things in this apartment... I can't really imagine setting up another one right now, but if Travis' brother is going to move to Sioux Falls, we will need a different place. We've all agreed on that. 3 bedroom. 2 bath. And the search... continues?

I'm off to clean.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Taxes... suck.

You know.... I really don't like doing taxes. News, right? No one really LIKES to do their taxes, we know this. I just... I have nothing to be nervous about necessarily, but I'm always scared something is going to wrong! Ugh. Stress that I don't need!

Anyway... other things. I've started another series on Netflix.... Trying to stay away from "New Girl" because Travis and I watch that together. My other shows aren't updated with new episodes yet. So, I've started "Burn Notice." I watched it now and then when we had cable so I know a little bit, but now I can fill in the holes that I've missed. :) Also, it's something I don't need to pay all my attention to so I'm able to still work around the apartment.

There are things that I need to do that require me to go outside.... But it's cold... and I don't want to.

I guess this is turning more into a post about what I don't like to do. Didn't mean for that to happen... Bleh.

Okay, I'm going to go work on a few things.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Puzzle Fanatic....?

Hello there!

Since Christmas, I've been a complete Puzzle Fanatic... First, I received a Thomas Kinkade puzzle from Travis' mom. 

Wizard of Oz!
Then... I found another one at Wal*Mart...

Beauty & The Beast

And now, thanks to Travis, I have another one! It's in progress right now, but it's Cinderella. Looking to go out and grab the frames for both of the new ones. ^_^ Yea... the first one took 5 days and the second one took 4 days... Currently, we're on day 2... and it's almost done... Soooo, I did take some time to work on a long-overdue graphic design project. A couple actually. 

But I'm still pretty obsessed with puzzles. :P

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Post of 2014 to honor 2013... Makes sense, right?

Hello to 2014!

I've had a very sad realization... I posted a total of 3-4 times in the entire course of 2013.... Whoa.

So, I've actually implemented a calendar event to remind me to (try) and blog at least once a week. Granted, I may not get to it EVERY week, but this may help me to post more often... I hope.

Nothing like starting off 2014 with a review of things that happened in 2013, right? Especially since I didn't blog about them. Okay, let's have one thing from each month....maybe... Be prepared for a few... A LOT of pictures. :)

January - Started my "One A Day" Calendar Journal. Made it one whole year and kept it up. There was a time there when I hadn't filled in anything for about 2-3 months. I went back and filled in what I could by looking at posts on Facebook, going through my text messages and calendar and finding anything that I could. There are maybe 2-3 days out of the 365 that I wasn't able to find anything for. I'd say that's pretty good... Still have it going, 3 days strong for 2014!

February - Hm... Nothing monumental happened during February that I can remember. Travis and I celebrated Valentine's Day, of course. I got him The Complete Star Wars Saga on blu ray, so he was pretty excited about that. He bought me Open Heart earrings to match my necklace and then a new charm for my bracelet. ^_^

March - Started lia sophia. Jen had been hinting since Christmas 2012 that she wanted me to start up with lia sophia. Great incentives, work my own schedule, etc. So I started up...

One of my latest pictures of my collection thus far... October, for Halloween.

April - This was the month that I ended up getting a few inquiries about MelJean Designs, but most of them ended up falling through, mostly due to my part. I had one guy ask for a t-shirt design, but when I emailed the designs to him, I never heard anything back. Granted the designs here kind of weak.... At the same time, he really already had someone doing his designing.... I wasn't really sure why he asked me in. Another was the chance to take some photos for a wedding reception, but then it was cancelled because the wedding photographer became available. That is one I'm okay with canceling. I would have done the same thing if I were the bride. I'd only want one photographer handling both events, even if they're a few weeks or months apart. Sami asked me for a logo for her Looms of Love project she was helping with and Britney asked me for a logo for her Etsy shop, Maybe Baby World. I've been dropping the ball on those. Part of me thinks that I'm losing my drive for graphic design since I haven't been consistently designing... :( I just need to make time and work up that drive again. And soon.

May -

June - Changed full-time jobs. I went from Wal-Mart to Capital One. It was a pay increase, steady 40-hours a week with the same hours, and 10 hour days. Also, it came with monthly bonuses, $500 sign-up bonus, paid time off, and holiday pay. Couldn't really pass that one up considering my next promotion for Wal-Mart would have been 2 years out and a lateral move anyway... Yea, good choice. Never thought I would work in a call center, but it happened. I don't mind it... I know I don't want to do it for the rest of my life, but it's great for right now.

July - I had the privilege of taking Alex and Margaret's engagement photos over the summer. July was the last session we had. They were so natural as a couple and comfortable in front of the camera. It was the best photo shoot experience that I've had. It helped that I knew them and we were friends, but they made it really enjoyable... Sort of helped me realize that I do like taking pictures more than I probably had realized in the past. Here are just a few of my favorites...

August - If I remember correctly, I had quite a few parties for lia sophia this month, so that turned August into a busy month for me. Between my two jobs (Capital One and Aero), my lia parties and the design work that I was going, it was jam-packed. It was nice though... kept me moving and earn money so that was nice too, but exhausting all at the same time.

September - Callie and Nick's Wedding. Travis and I drove down for a few days, of course making a pit stop at the Lake House. Travis loved it there. It's just so relaxing. Planning on going back sometime this summer. Got to spend time with Grandpa Bob. Then, we made our way to Olive Branch and it was all hustle and bustle from there until we left. Running between the hotel, Callie and Nick's place, and the wedding location. Rehearsal, nails... We had her bachelorette party the night before.... The wedding day was chaos, but in the end it all came together.

Travis playing with Mika at the Lake House.

Mom, Hope, & I at the wedding.

October - Halloween was the main focus of the month. Travis put together a great costume to go with our themed party - Alice In Wonderland. I was the Queen of Hearts and Travis was a Playing Card, but not from the cartoon. His inspiration was more from the live action movie that had armored cards. There was also another big event - Alex and Margaret's Wedding! It was beautiful and amazing to be there. Travis was a groomsman so I tried to match the wedding colors a little. I think it worked. ;) They are moving away in a couple of weeks so this was one of the last time we got to spend time with them.

Posing for the camera in our costumes

Too matchy-matchy?

Mr. & Mrs. Wollman

Such a beautiful bride!

And I caught the bouquet! This was her actual bouquet!

November - I'd say this is the month that I either discovered new likes or ended up re-discovering some old ones. First, this year was when Wizard of Oz started putting out their 75th Anniversary Collector's Edition of everything... Back in August, I bought the Mattel Pink Label Barbies of Dorothy, Glinda, and The Wicked Witch of the West. I started to see Wizard of Oz merchandise EVERYWHERE. Christmas ornaments, calendars, books, games, etc. Luckily, Travis made that his theme for my Christmas gifts this year... so I have the ornaments, a calendar (thanks to Mom), the behind-the-scenes book (that I actually found at 50% off and had an extra coupon on top of that), and The Collector's Edition of Monopoly and Oz Fluxx. So, I now have a whole shelf for my Wizard of Oz/WICKED collection. Also, it was WICKED's 10th Year Anniversary.... so yea. On November 5th, Twilight Forever was released. I have NOT picked it up yet... I wanted to wait until after Christmas because I hate having to admit if a gift is a duplicate one... (Which ended up happening with the Wizard of Oz book... Mom actually bought me two because the label on it said "1 or 4" so she thought there were 4 different versions to collect. I felt horrible.) Over the year, my Twilight doll collection expanded... Now, I'm only missing 5 of 14. There are more books that I'm looking into getting, such as the illustrated novels of New Moon and the combined one of Twilight. (The original illustrated novels of the first book was split into two, but now they have it into one book! Yes, I need it.) There are a couple of Hallmark ornaments that I'd like to get.... more calendars... Yes, I am addicted. I know this.

All my pretties!

$40 + 50% off + 20% coupon + Barnes & Noble Membership = $14.40

The ornaments... at Lowe's of all places.

Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine... in the Empire Mall!

The yellow dot is where my picture fits into the mosaic!

My Twilight doll collection minus Carlisle and my Breaking Dawn Part 1 Hallmark ornament.

December - There was lots of traveling this month. I took a trip down to see Grandpa in the hospital. It was a little last minute because we weren't sure on a time frame. I feel very thankful that I was able to make it down there at all. It was more than worth it.

Holding Grandpa's hand

Then, Travis and I went to Iowa for Christmas with Mom, Randy, and Hope. We even got to see Charlie for a little while too. It was a nice four days away from home and time well-spent with family.

"I can't even feel that."

Dog pile!

Charlie and Hope chatting about Vines at lunch.

My "big" little brother!

Aw, Hope's cuddling with Maggie. 

75th Anniversary Edition of Wizard of Oz Monopoly that Travis got me for Christmas. It's awesome!

Hope, Mom, and me at HuHot for lunch with Travis (taking the picture)
Then, we traveled to Huron (actually in January, but it was for a late Christmas) to spend a weekend with Travis' family. ^_^

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fresh & Clean

Today has been a day of cleaning and reorganizing. In the past few weeks, I've become a little messy and lost, figuratively and literally. Time to get back to normal.....

First, I started cleaning up the kitchen. Got rid of food that we weren't eating (or shouldn't be) and washed the dishes and counters. Now, I'll be able to do some baking and cooking later. Cupcakes to be made for tomorrow and a few salads that I can make up for the upcoming work week.

Then, I moved into the livingroom, getting all my lia sophia stuff sorted out from the other things just lingering around. Finally made room for my iMac to sit alone on my desk and put my MacBook Pro/Acer screen set-up off to the side so it's still accessible, but not in the way.

Now, I have the bedrooms and bathrooms left. Taking a bit of a break for my back. I haven't had an all-day-marathon cleaning in a while. I'm really going to like having 3 days off a week, that's for sure.

Short and sweet entry. Looking to do more of this, again...

Stay Tuned!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Waaaay too long....

Sooooo, a LOT has happened in the... 6-7 months since I've posted last.

January, right? Hm... Well, I'll try to remember as far back as possible. HA

Okay... I guess the biggest change is my recent job change. I no longer work at Wal*Mart and haven't since June 14th. A week and a half later, I started at Capital One. :) No dine details needed, but it's an overall better decision for me and my life. I will say this, after training, I will be going to four 10-hour days. I can't wait to have 3 days off a week!

A few other smaller changes... I'm selling lia sophia jewelry now. That's been since the end of March. It's been going pretty well so far! ^_^ When I started, there was a program in placed called "Excellent Beginnings" and consisted of different levels of accomplishment to be rewarded with jewelry premiums that can be used for supplementing my jewelry display. :) I made it all the way through all 3 levels! ^_^ $1500 per segment lead me to earning $200 in premium. That's a total of $600 in free jewelry! YES! Which reminds me that I need to make that post in Facebook, on my lia sophia page. Anyway, I'm averaging between 2-3 shows a month, but that's only because it's summer. I plan on grabbing up a couple more as fall rolls around. Soooo, if anyone reading this would like to hear what this is all about and/or plan a party, you should let me know! ^_^

Then, we can move on to my third job... Aero. Haven't hardly worked there in about a month... Actually, I haven't worked there in a month. Not since I started at Capital One. Mostly my fault, I did't fix my availability. :( Now it's fixed though... and I've only had one day scheduled. *sigh* Hopefully, more hours will become available....

Hm... I've taken a few more photo shoots for MelJean Designs. An engagement session as well as a wedding! ^_^ Beautiful pictures! It's hard to narrow down the choices! It's actually taken me a while to get to editing them because....

I bought a new iMac! That's right! An actual desktop version instead of my laptop-conversion kind. LOL I've been settling into it rather nicely. Also trying to keep it nice and clean - internally. Still have a few things to transfer over and what not, but it's awesome nonetheless. ^_^

Travis and I are still going strong. :D We celebrated our 3 year anniversary on June 30... sort of. That weekend was the same weekend of the Clark Wedding that I shot. We tried staying in a hotel and it turned out horrible. Not romantic at all. :( We're going to try for a "redo" later on down the road. Hopefully.

*sigh*... What else? Been catching up on just a few TV shows on Netflix.... Like, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother, Drop Dead Diva... Yea, I have some time. Or did. Time is definitely filled up now... Or, more overlapped, rather. I tend to have Netflix playing in the background while I'm doing other things... I think I have a multi-tasked problem.... As in, I have to have more than one thing going on at one time otherwise I don't feel like I'm doing enough. Weird?

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Motivation, ahoy!

Thankfully, I've been found with motivation and creativeness again. Yes, I will admit I felt that I had lost it. So glad to still have it.

Life is going well in other aspects too. Work is still going. I've been working every other day for the last week.

Travis and I celebrated our 30 month anniversary last month. For some reason, I kept saying it was our 18 month. Completely just left out a year. Not sure why. Lol

Tonight, we are sitting at home. I'm watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Well, I am watching them and working on my brochure. Travis is working on his walk cycle for a contest ending on the 30th, which is our next anniversary. :)

I suppose I will keep this short and sweet. Thank you all for reading!

Stay Tuned!

Friday, January 4, 2013


You know that feeling you get when you've gotten too much sleep and you just end up going back to sleep?

Yea... that's kind of how it's been all day for me. We went to bed relatively early... around midnight. It was a great night of sleep... that lasted until about 9-9:30. A sufficient amount of sleep, really. However, it took more will power than I care to admit to actually, physically get myself out of bed. Why? No idea. And I've felt like I could fall back asleep so easily at any moment. No motivation, no will to do anything, nothing.

Just really annoyed. I have so much that I could be doing, but my mind won't see reason. I'm hoping that the little trip to Iowa next weekend will be a nice relief. Hoping...