“So when you make a living, do not merely make money. Why settle for cash when joy is on the line? You feel a thrill when you dance, when you sing, when you finish your poem; even when you sweep the room you see order pressing back against the chaos. So when you create, never settle for making a living — at least not the way that the world might define that phrase. When you make a living, you are speaking a new world into existence. You are creating grace within the confines, you are co-signing God’s blank checks.”
Category Archives: home
Sorry for being so absent. Finally living in michigan for good. So much more to write later… But for now enjoy the view from our balcony (crazy, right?)
Life’s been moving way, way too fast to blog about it, but I have a free moment, so let’s give it a shot. In the last three months:
- I got engaged.
- Matt and I commenced Operation Rapid Wedding Planning.
- We had a bunch of very full but fantastic weekends: we went to an Engaged Encounter weekend, my maid of honor visited and gave me a bachelorette party all on her own, and some very sweet people threw me THREE wedding showers.
- Mark got confirmed.
- Matt finished his last semester of graduate studies at Ga Tech and graduated.
- Matt moved out of his apartment at Ga Tech and back into his parents’ house.
- WE GOT MARRIED on May 14th (WOOHOO!)
- We went on a short honeymoon in Charleston, SC.
- Operation Pack As Fast As You Can began.
- We took a weekend trip up to Detroit to find an apartment. The shocked look on leasing agents’ faces when we said we were moving in a week never got old.
- The bulk of our stuff went into a moving van on June 3rd.
- My baby brother turned 16.
- Matt and I drove up to Michigan, stopping off in Kentucky to visit with the lady Matt lived with while he interned for Toyota.
- We signed our lease and the moving van arrived the next day at 7am.
- I flew home to Atlanta to finish my contract at my current job.
- Matt started work at Ford. During his first month, he works on the line at a plant learning how the cars are produced.
- I moved out of my apartment and back into my parents’ house to spend more time with my family before moving to Michigan.
Phew. I’m exhausted just typing it. In the next 35 days, I will finish my contract and sort through my childhood bedroom. Then I’m moving up to Detroit for good. School starts for me in September. Have I mentioned that yet? I don’t think I have. I’m going to get my Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan. I know, I know! Skunkbears. But they’re the 2nd best social work school in the country, and you can’t beat the location- half an hour from our apartment. Being married and living apart would be so awful! So I’m going to Michigan. Not rooting for the football team, mind you. And not sporting any large yellow M apparel anytime soon. But I’m so excited for classes to start!
Life has been stressful and fast-paced beyond belief, but Matt and I are incredibly blessed that everything has fallen into place. So many things had to go right for us to be at this point, and here we are, married, with a great apartment, and both of us doing exactly what we want to do with our lives career-wise. Our good fortune takes my breath away.
Well, my free moment is up. I’ll post photos from the wedding when I get them back from the photographer, and I’ll talk more about the wedding then. Love you guys!
Sorry to keep everyone waiting! Wedding planning complicates life, I’m learning, and leaves much less time for blogging. Who knew? Anyway, on to the story.
On the evening of Saturday, March 12th, Matt had asked if we could go over to his parents’ house for dinner. I was fine with that, but I had also had a long week, so I wanted to take a nap first. When Matt showed up at my place to pick me up, I had characteristically overslept and was still finishing getting ready. It only took me a few minutes, but I noticed Matt was a little antsier than usual. I didn’t think much of it.
We got on the road, but quickly hit traffic on the interstate loop that circles Atlanta. We were crawling- unusual for a Saturday evening- and Matt kept getting text messages. I assumed that he was telling his mom we would be later than we thought for dinner. We talked about lots of different things, but one thing I clearly remember telling him about was my coworkers’ conversation earlier in the day about their engagement stories. One coworker had asked his wife while they were dozing off on the couch- she had said “Huh?” and he was just glad he didn’t need to repeat it! My supervisor’s was even funnier. Her husband had a whole speech prepared and got down on one knee and everything, and her reaction was something along the lines of “Hmm, OK, this could work.” Matt reacted pretty strongly to that, something like “Please don’t ever do that to me!” Poor guy! I think I laughed at him and teased him a bit. Not helpful.
Anyway, we eventually got to the area where Matt grew up, which conveniently is also where we went to grade school and middle school. Our school is only a couple of miles from his house. When we got to the school, Matt pulled in the parking lot. I was pretty confused because I thought we were running late for dinner with his parents. I bugged him about why we were stopping but all he would say is “Pit stop” as he parked the car. We both got out and went to the main entrance. I was a little suspicious at this point that something was going on. Matt tried the doors. The first three were locked- much to Matt’s obvious concern- but the fourth and last door was open. We went inside.
It was dark in the atrium. Matt took my hand and led me towards the grade school side of the building. Our kindergarten classroom is the very first room on that hallway. Matt opened the door to the classroom and turned on the light. The first thing I noticed was a book lying on the center table. Matt led me over and we sat down. Matt explained that the book was a collection of our kindergarten class’ drawings. We paged through the book together, trying to remember who some of our classmates were and laughing at the pictures by those people we still know today. Then I noticed that my page and his page were paperclipped together. I smiled looking at them- mine featured stars (typical for 5 year old me) and Matt’s had dinosaurs (VERY typical for 5 year old Matt!). Matt took my hand and told me that as far as he could tell, this was our first collaborative work. He said, “The story never said ‘The End,’ and I never want it to.” Then he got down on one knee, took the ring out of his pocket, and said, “Laura, will you marry me?” I pride myself on the fact that before I gave him a huge hug and kiss, I said yes and let him slide the ring on my finger. (It fit perfectly, by the way- the kid had stolen two of my rings days ago without me noticing so he would get the right size). We exchanged I-love-yous and walked back towards the front doors, pretty giddy and giggly.
Out of the dark of the atrium, there was suddenly a woman hugging me and congratulating me. I couldn’t see her face, but I was pretty sure I didn’t recognize her- I think I said thank you and I hope I hugged her back. It turns out that Matt had been in cahoots with the assistant principal at our school so that everything would be unlocked and ready for us. She was the person he had been texting in the car while we were stuck in traffic! He wanted to make sure she wouldn’t leave and mess up his plans.
While Matt had been proposing, the assistant principal had been sneakily taking photos of us from her office across the parking lot. None of those really turned out, which is fine with me- I’m glad we shared that moment just the two of us. Anyway, the assistant principal was very excited about our engagement, saying that it was a great story for the school, and she ushered us back into the classroom to take staged photos of the proposal. Best of both worlds- we have photos, but the moment itself was private 🙂
We thanked her profusely and headed back to the car. I still thought we were late for dinner. I called my mom to tell her all about it while we drove the last couple of miles to Matt’s house. When we got to his house, I said I had to go, I needed to go eat dinner with Matt’s family. I was totally surprised when we went inside and my family was waiting there for us along with Matt’s parents! My parents even managed to get my little brother to come along. We had a huge family meal and everyone had a great time. I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate my engagement than to watch my family and my fiance’s family share a meal and bond. It helps that our families have known each other for so many years, I suppose.
I think that’s everything. Oh, and the assistant principal is writing an article about us for the archdiocese newspaper- I guess it’s good press if you can boast that a kindergartener might just find her soul mate among her classmates! 😀
Probably everyone already knows from Facebook and word of mouth, but… I’M ENGAGED! 😀
Furthermore, I’M GETTING MARRIED IN TWO MONTHS. Which is no time at all in wedding world, and explains why I haven’t been around to blog about the hugest news ever. I want to tell you the story of the engagement… it’s so cute… but until I have time:
Matt and I went to a funeral at my church today, for my mother’s friend Carol. It was very beautiful, by the way- the perfect mix of grief and joy. This was Matt’s first time visiting my church, and given that the event drew many parishioners in my parents’ circle of friends, it was bound to be an interesting encounter. But I wasn’t quite prepared for just how interesting. Some sample quotes:
- (Looking at me) “And he’s cute!” Matt, hesitantly: “Thank… you..”
- “You know the two most important words in a marriage? Yes, dear.”
- “This is my boyfriend, Matt.” “Another one? How many do you have now?” ( That one was my pastor. Yep.)
- “So, is this your fiance?” “Um, not quite yet.” ” You brought him here, he must be your fiance.” “Ha.. ha..” Matt: “We’re working on it.” “You’re working on her or she’s working on you?” “Yes.” “When’s the date?” Me: “Um… my family’s leaving me, I should go catch up with them…” And then we tried to extricate ourselves for another five minutes before running away.
- “You better treat her right. I’m gonna beat you.” (Yeah.. not “if you don’t treat her right, I will beat you”… just a straight-up promise. )
As usual, Matt handled it all with grace. Thank goodness I have a boy with a sense of humor.
Yesterday I came home from work, fell asleep, slept until 11, woke up, went to eat Waffle House with my boyfriend, came home, showered, read for a little while, fell asleep at 1 and slept until 7. Yes, that’s 12 hours of sleep.
On a completely different and much more serious note, I would like to ask your prayers and good thoughts for my mother’s friend Carol. She was taken to hospice care last night after a long battle with chronic leukemia. Her family is flying in to be with her, she’s comfortable, and it’s finally time for her to rest. My mom put it well- she has given so much to others, it’s awesome to see her getting it back now as she slips toward Home. Those of us left behind will miss her presence, but it’s selfish to want to keep her confined in such a sick and exhausted body. Rest in peace, Carol. May angels lead you in.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8