Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"W" is for...

...Wednesday!  Or Wedding Wednesday!  Hooray for hump day!  I hope your week is going well!

Parker & I had our premarital counseling workshop at our church with other soon-to-be-wed couples on Saturday.  It was fun, entertaining, and helpful.  After 6 and half (yes, 6 1/2 years today actually!) of dating, there isn't a lot that Parker and I haven't talked about, so in that sense, the workshop wasn't that big of a help.  But we got to talk to a panel of couples, married from 2 years to 52 years, and hear their insight and advice.  Key comments:

Get married and move away from your families so that you can start your own family. Well, about that...  Haha.  Parker & I are actually moving to our hometown, so that we can be near our families.  Oh well.  I guess we'll have to "leave and cleave" near our families.

Joint bank accounts.  Each couple had a joint account, and one had started out with separate accounts but switched to joint.  Both sets of our parents have joint.  We've always thought joint and its never been an issue.  It's less complicated and we're in this for life.

Decide if toilet paper will be from the front or the back, if toilet seat will be up or down, and if clothes will be hung or folded. We thought these were funny.  We'll see how that goes, but you already know how I feel about the toilet seat. Haha...

We also caught our director and planner up to speed with our plans so far.  I never considered having a planner (I was totally okay with not having one), but Avis offered her expertise as a gift, and we appreciate being able to pick her brain.  Our director is *great* !! I love her to death.  She is all about doing what we want and she knows her stuff!

The next thing on The To Do List is to draft a guest (or guests?) list.  We're planning for around 200 attendees (Parker's family is HUGE), so hopefully our mommas can keep that in mind :)

How many guests did/will you invite?  That's the poll for the week!

Last week's poll suprised me!  I didn't think there would be so many $10,000 and less weddings!  That's encouraging!  4 for $5,000 or less, 3 for $10-20,000, 0 for $20-30,000, and 2 for More than $30,000.

Do you have any tips for drafting the guest list??

Oh, and we're still looking for a DJ if any of you Greenville folks have any ideas!

Gosh, this post needs some pictures, some eye candy, or somethin'... I'll work on that next week :)

Thanks for reading!
laura ann

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to "Not Me" Monday, a blog carnival hosted by Mckmama.  Want to join?  Simply tell of all the embarassing (or not) things that you did not do this week, click over to her blog, and link up!

I did not go to a rodeo with Parker and his brothers and their wives Saturday night.  And since I did not go, I do not have lots of pictures to share... which means I do not have to make up a lousy excuse for being too lazy to post them today!  Besides... its "Not Me" Monday!

I also did not eat two thirds of a box of girl scout cookies (peanut butter patties - yummy to my tummy!)... in two days.  That is too indulgent.  Ridiculous.  Gross.  It wouldn't matter how good they were. At. All.

At lunch today, the girls and I were working on the crossword puzzle in the student paper because its easiest on Mondays and the only one we can actually do
Clue:  Wimbledon's official timekeeper.  5 letters.  Beginning with "R." 
Answer: Rolex
Of course, I did not say "OH I GET IT!" upon realizing that "timekeeper" meant "watch."  I mean, who would ever think it was a person who kept the time?  Duh.  And of course, my friends, who are so encouraging and supportive, did not laugh and make fun of me.  Never.

What did you not do?  Check out everyone else's "Not Me's" here.
laura ann

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wedding Wednesday!

Wow!  Look at me posting 3 days in a row!  Yippee!  Welcome to Wedding Wednesday where there's lots of alliteration I discuss wedding plans... on Wednesdays.  Or maybe whatever day of the week I feel like it.  Or maybe just some Wednesdays.  We shall see!

Above all the plans, traditions, and "etiquette" of weddings, Parker and I feel strongly that our wedding is a time for our closest friends and family to witness our covenant with each other and with God.  We have strong beliefs about marriage and its meaning.  Ultimately, this is a spiritual celebration and worship service for our God in celebration of our marriage - not a performance or chance to "out do" others'.

"For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one." Genesis 2:24

With this in mind, we want a simple, meaningful wedding with close family and friends.  We want it to be a celebration (we've waited a long time for this!) and we want to have a good time.  We are not caught up in what "should" or "should not" happen at a wedding and what we "should" or "should not" do.  People who are strictly by-the-book might faint over some of our decisions, but trust us - whether we have real or fake flowers will not affect our marriage.   :)

We are fortunate to have wonderful people in our lives that have offered to help.  Avis, my boss' wife, is helping plan as a gift!  What a blessing!  So if you hear her name, you'll know who I'm talking about.

One more thing - We're not spending the outrageous average of $30,000 on our wedding.  I was going to share the budget, but I think I'm going to let you guess at the end how much the wedding costs - it'll be more interesting that way.  I will share the tips and deals I find along the way though!  AND I hope you'll share the tips and suggestions you have!  :)

It looks like y'all were as indecisive as me in regards to heavy hors d'ouevres (I can never spell that word!) or a sit-down meal.  The poll ended up being 45% for hors d'ouevres and 54% for sit-down meal.  Close call - thank God Parker can make a decision!  :)

Here's a new question - What do people have against silk flowers!?!

Just kidding.  Kinda.  :)

How about this one:
What is/was/would be your budget for a wedding?

Poll closes next Wednesday so vote away!
laura ann

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We do not have a horse.

My mom texted me to let me know that we do not have a horse.  You know, just in case I didn't know. She also pointed out a typo in my last post (I wrote "coach" instead of "coat" - whoops!).  It cracks me up.

"I believe you may need to check your blog   I think we have a coat closet not a coach closet   we dont have a horse   love you"

Hahaha! Thanks Mom! I love you too!

It reminds me of the text from this post!  Remember it?
laura ann

Monday, February 15, 2010

The longest post ever - with transitions (kinda)

So, yesterday, before I left Greenville, I lost my cell phone. It took me 15 minutes to find it… between the couch cushions. Then, I realized I lost my keys in the process. I looked all over the house, in my bag, in my car… and found them in my purse. Then I drove down the street and realized I’d left my gloves in my coat pocket… the one hanging in the coach closet. Then I went on my merry way and listened to my book on CD (AWESOME!) and felt good about not wasting 2 hours of my life driving to Chapel Hill.

Y’all. I’ve been SO hungry lately. I eat and then I’m hungry. I’m embarrassed to say what all I ate for dinner (and after dinner) last night. Embarassed. But take for example, Wednesday night. I ate a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and some chips. Then we went to the game. I ate a hot dog. When we got home, I was hungry! Ridiculous! When I was a kid, I use to have a crazy appetite right before I got sick… so hopefully I’m not getting sick. Or losing my mind.  Or going nuts.  Who knows?

Oh speaking of the game. Senior year, Duke game. We lost. Boo. But it was still fun!!! Especially watching the Duke fans behind us… especially when we were winning or within reach. They weren’t so cheerful. Take for example:

It brought us such delight. We would score & cheer…

And look back and see this:

So funny. And I guess we can let them win one every once in a while so we can maintain the rival atmosphere. Sigh.

Y’all. It snowed. AGAIN. I don’t remember ever having this much snow in one winter. It just keeps snowing. And freezing. And raining. And snowing!   And this time, it snowed A LOT.  Like 5-7" at my parents' house.  It was pretty snow this time ... with icicles (isn't that a funny looking word?).

And it melted pretty fast!  Yay!  Haha.  Except we still had to clear off my car... again.

But Weston & Parker had a nice snow ball fight in the neighbor's front yard. Haha.  Oh and to sum up the craziness of this post...

Someone made a Valentine's Day Snowman.  Which reminds me...  Happy Valentine's Day!
laura ann

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Heels and Devils

Some people call them darts and ladders.  Some call them pros and cons.  Goods and bads.  You get the picture.  Well in honor of the Duke vs. Carolina game tonight ... here are "Heels and Devils" of the week.  (Don't act like you don't know which one's the good and which one's the bad... haha)
Heel:   Getting Duke vs. Carolina tickets... along with all my roomates!

Devil:  Having my senior year (guaranteed ticket) fall this year with this basketball team.

Heel:  Hansbrough will be there tonight to celebrate the retirement of his jersey!

Devil:  Hansbrough isn't playing tonight.

Heel:  Finally a (Carolina) blue sky today.

Devil:  Cold as the devil.  Freezing cold.  Ice.  Messy, nasty weather for 2 weeks now!

Heel:  Getting my acceptance letter to UNC's grad school!

Devil:  FOUR papers due this week (Can you believe I'm complaining about that?  After last semester, it should be a piece of cake)

Heel:  Speaking of cake, 3 yummy birthday cakes in one weekend!  All for me! :)

Devil:  Superbowl on my birthday??? Boo.

Heel:  Marking off 50% of my mile long To Do List.

Devil:  Having 50% of my mile long To Do List still remaining.

Heel:  Going to look at wedding dresses this past Saturday with Mom.

Devil:  Still having forever until the wedding.

Heel:  Getting paid!

Devil:  Deposit for grad school.  Rent.  Groceries.  Gas.

Heel:  Girl Scout Cookies - especially the peanut butter patties. SO. GOOD.

laura ann

Friday, February 5, 2010

We're going to the chapel...

...and we're going to get married.

I guess you could say that we've "officially" started wedding planning!  In some ways, its still a bit soon, but who cares?  I'm ready, I've already waited 5 months!

So far, everything has been so easy.  I don't know what people complain about!  I mean, what's so stressful??  Decide on a budget (check), a date (check), a minister (check), a location (check) and that's all you need.  The rest is just for fun!  And it IS fun, let me tell you!  Or at least the planning is!   :)

The date was easy to pick - its the weekend after I graduate from grad school - Saturday, June 25, 2011.  The ceremony location was a given - it's the church we grew up in, met at, and still attend - Oakmont Baptist Church.
It's beautiful, so we don't need/want a ton of decorations and flowers.  The officiating minister is going to be Rev. Beth Thomspon, our associate pastor and close family friend.  The wedding director is a lady from our church that led a bible study we attended in high school.  So all things are going good on that front!

As far as a reception, we're planning on the Pitt County Shrine club - Parker's dad is a shriner and we can get a great deal.  We have the choice of heavy hors d'oeuvres (that word is so hard to spell) or a sit-down meal for basically the same price.  I couldn't make a decision, so Parker decided for some of our favorite food for a sit-down meal.  Which brings me to my poll - Which would you choose, given that they were the same price?  Vote in the poll at the top of my side bar!
Let's see... what else is there?  We decided on our bridesmaids/groomsmen early on...

Amanda (maid of honor) and Roman are 2 of my roomates and we've been friends since middle school.  Katherine, a roomate from last year, is one of my closest friends and we met in college.  Candice & Martha Lynn are Parker's brothers' wives and we've been close ever since we've met!

Mr. Jack (best man) is Parker's dad, Jacob and Preston are his older brothers, and Weston is my brother.  So those were easy decisions.

We've been super blessed to have wonderful friends/mentors, Beaty & Carrie, that are going to sing at the wedding (sing what, we haven't decided.  Any ideas??)

As far as other vendors - photographer (Les Atkins - one of Parker's clients), florist (I'm doing the flowers - I've got to do something over the next year and I tend to be a do-it-yourself-er), videographer (don't need one), DJ (No clue!  Know anyone???), printer (Morgan Printers - it helps when your in-laws own a printing company!), cake baker/maker (What are they called? I don't know... anyways... a family friend is doing it).

So yeah.  I think that's about all so far.  Now there's the details, the guests list, and the honeymoon to think about!  Here's my "inspiration board" (Did you know that they made these?  Its for like your ideas and such -- who knew?) 

So I made one to show my ideas, colors, and other "inspiring things." LOL! Now... only 17 months to go!
laura ann

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Thesis in Pictures

One of my best experiences at Carolina was researching for and writing my senior history thesis. Since a few folks have asked about it, I've decided to give the highlights of my work (with a few pictures). My research was on the GI Bill and the effects of its educational provisions at UNC.

The educational provisions of the GI Bill were to prevent the flooding of the job market by returning GIs at a time when wartime industry was transitioning back to peacetime production. The WWI solution to this problem was basically to provide "bonuses" to soldiers to accomdate unemployment. The Great Depression came and threw a wrench in this plan, causing soldiers to march in Washington, DC demanding their money - one of the most unstable, chaotic events in our nation's capital. So the GI Bill promised to pay for at least one year of education for GIs - or match what they served if it was more.

Ok. Boring stuff out of the way.

Long story short - what happened was the GIs were older than the typical student. Many were married and had children. Despite that, they proved to be some of the most active, studious students the university has ever seen.

I found these pictures in a scrapbook that a local woman, Lizzie Freeman, made in the 1940s and 1950s.  (Freeman and her husband built an apartment onto their farm house to rent out to veterans and their wives/kids.)

This picture was taken on this couple's wedding day after the veteran returned from service.
I don't know the story behind this one, but its funny, don't you think?

One quote I especially liked was from William Friday.  He said, "The GIs wanted their afternoon beers and you had better get out of their way."  So as you can imagine, privacy regulations at the university were a big issue.  Many GIs were well-travelled, matured, wise beyond their years and they were fed up with regular undergrad activities.

Another surprise was the sheer number of veterans that took advantage of the opportunity.  To put it into perspective - pre-war enrollment was about 4,000.  During the war, despite a navy pre-flight school, enrollment had dwindled to 1,500 (mostly women).  After the war, in 1946, the university turned away 9,000 students because it could hardly accomodate the 5,500 students it had already enrolled.  CRAZY.

A huge problem was how to accomodate all these students.  Three major things happened:

1. The university allowed prefabricated housing on a mud slab where UNC hospitals is now. Trucks literally dropped off the housing and the veterans built them for their families. It was like a little "mini" town called "Victory Village"

2. They put 3-4 people in a dorm room.  NUTS!  Can you imagine?

3. They created barracks anywhere they could fit them. (ie. the gym, the rec center, the tennis courts - yes, the tennis courts, in fact there were 26 quonset huts that held 600 men total - on the tennis courts y'all!)
So, cartoons like this were quite common as you can imagine.

There wasn't enough housing, library space, classroom space, laundry service capabilities, and the dining hall had to limit its service to veterans only.

The curriculum changed to a more liberal foundation - there was more of an emphasis on modern languages and science as a result of WWII and the upstart of the Cold War.  The university's bureaucracy expanded a great deal to accomodate the veterans' programs.

Another long-term and major result was the permanent tie between the federal government and higher education, especially in regards to funding.

So, what does it matter? 

Pretty much anything that involves the modern day university goes back to decisions that were made in the mid 1940s - early 1950s when the GI Bill changed the landscape of campuses forever.

So that is 5 months of research and writing summed up in one blog post.  With a few pictures.  Hope I didn't bore you to death.
laura ann

Monday, February 1, 2010

I walked uphill, in the snow, both ways...

When I have kids and they complain about going to school, I will tell them, "Look, when I was in school, I walked uphill in the snow, both ways!"  Remember last year?

My journey started with these two helpful men clearing off my car so I could drive to Chapel Hill.  Luckily the main roads weren't so bad.  Am I lucky to have such good men in my life or what?

This morning, UNC decided to oh so generously give us a 2 hour delay (sarcasm people, sarcasm).  Luckily, by 10, the sidewalks looked like this:
Oh you can't see the sidewalk?  I thought it was just me.  Fortunately, it was packed tight enough to be somewhat solid ice.  I mean, what would we have done if UNC had not decided to wait until a "safer" hour of the morning.

And thank goodness all the roads had been scraped.  And since the buses couldn't stop in the middle of a hill, thank goodness they reminded us to walk to the nearest stop where the bus could safely come to a stop.  I'm glad the Chapel Hill transit realized that the buses couldn't operate on full routes/schedules - though I'm sure UNC felt that they could.

Oh, freezing rain tomorrow should be fun.  No snow ball fights this year, that ice ain't budgin'!
laura ann