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Day 3 - 9/17/10

Or “the picture in which Izzy and Katrina become Cylons”. Izzy looks particularly possessed.

So as I posted pictures, I realized that the usual size that I use for photos on here was a bit small to see the details of an outfit. Of course I decided to remedy this the day that I didn’t do crap with my hair. Behold the kink! Oh well. At least this isn’t completely an exercise in vanity. 😉

Shirt: Marshall’s

Jeans: TJ Maxx

Shoes: Sears

Necklace: Somewhere in Canada! 🙂 I bought it in 2001 when I went with a group from our youth group to the Le Brea conference. This was the first time most of us had heard the word postmodernism. Needless to say, it was a little over our heads. But I got a cute necklace and had a great time with friends!

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Day 2 - 9/16/10

This picture is proof of what I said about my tank tops. I didn’t wear one underneath this shirt and my little tummy is peeking out. By today’s standards of modesty, this is no big deal.

But I was raised in a church that was formerly Baptist. All those times where the girls got sent into one room, and the boys into another, so that the youth group leaders could reiterate, once again, that it was our responsibility to help our brothers not stumble by being modest is forever pounded into my head. (The boys, I found out later, were being lectured about porn. I think we got the less embarrassing end of that deal.)

Though apparently I’m not too scarred since I still posted it on the internet. Anyone thinking dirty thoughts because of my stomach yet? Thought not.

This is not intended, btw, to bash the standards I was raised with. I completely understand where they were coming from. Frankly, it’s probably in part due to those standards that I don’t dress like Paris Hilton and thus flash my lady parts to all when getting out of a car wearing a mini skirt. However, as with pretty much everything else in my journey of faith, I have come to seek a balance between what is acceptable (or, at any rate, photo worthy) to US culture and the near Puritanical standards held by some of my fellow Christians.

For more thoughts on dressing appropriately and relaxing some formerly held standards, read here.

See you again tomorrow!

Shirt: TJ Maxx

Jeans: TJ Maxx

Shoes: Sears

Belt: Target

Hat: Some cute little store in Seattle that I forget the name of.

Bracelet: A peddlers hut on the beach in Puerto Vallarta

Glasses: Lenscrafters

In looking for some new blogs to read, I ran across a blog called Kendi Everyday. Kendi is a fashion blogger and was in the middle of what she called a 30 for 30 Challenge. I was intrigued and went to read more about it. Basically she had come up with a challenge where she would only wear 30 pieces of clothing for 30 days. This would force her to get creative with her wardrobe instead of thinking “I have nothing to wear!” like so many of us do when, in fact, we have a closet full of clothes.

The other part of her challenge? No shopping during the 30 days.

I thought this looked like fun as I watched her and other women post their daily outfits and saw how they used accessories to turn ordinary clothes into cute outfits. So I decided to do the challenge too.

Now we don’t have a fancy shmancy camera. My husband is not a photographer like Kendi’s is (though he does just fine). And I am not Miss Up With Fashion. But I thought it sounded fun and I want to see if I can stick to it.

I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking “Some challenge. Does she realize that people around the world have *less* than 30 pieces of clothing to choose from?”

Well, yes. I do. In fact, there is a challenge to only use 6 items or less. But this is purely for fun. I am not a fashion blogger. I in no way want to promote consumerism or the drive to have more, more, more! Especially when I live in a country that has more than enough. But that is part of why I want to do this. I want to challenge myself to be happy with what is in my closet. I want to challenge myself not to shop for 30 days.

Is this going to change my life or someone else’s? Probably not. But not everything in life has to be for the greater good or intended to change the world. I’m sure even Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Teresa and Gandhi did things that were purely for fun. 🙂

So here are the rules: I have 30 pieces of clothing (this includes shoes) that I can pick from for the next 30 days. Underwear and accessories don’t count. You will probably see tank tops under most of what I wear and I’m not counting those either. They go under pretty much everything and counting them would eat up a good chunk of my 30. They are purely for modesty’s sake anyway. I will post a picture each day of my outfit. Please don’t expect high quality photos or me to look like a model. I probably won’t be wearing make-up half the time.

Finally, I will be posting pictures of the previous day’s outfit because I have to wait for Shane to get home to take my picture and sometimes I’m too tired to deal with the computer by then.

The Clothes:

Casual Pants and Skirt

Dresses and Dress Pants

Shirts

Cardigans and Sweaters

Shoes

You probably noticed that I wear a lot of black and neutrals. I also don’t get into things that are really fashionable. I don’t like to buy “high fashion” items because A: I think they are hideous/ridiculous looking most of the time and B: once they are out of style, they are OUT. I don’t like wasting money on things I can wear for one season.

My clothing philosophy is more Audrey Hepburn: figure out what your best features are and then dress to accentuate those features.

We’ll see how well I do at that over the next month. 🙂

Three times now (this week…) I have left the house in my pajamas. The first was on Wednesday when I went to pick Shane up from Sasha’s house. They were having Jew Appreciation night at his house since I had turned ours into the IKEA sale pictured in the previous post.

We had left Shane’s car at his work because A: he currently has no air conditioning and B: he was planning on dragging me out of bed at 5:30 to go get his Droid X. So that meant that at 11:30 at night, I was walking out to my car in a tank top, very thin pj bottoms, a robe, and my flip flops. Of course, this just happened to coincide with our next door neighbors arriving home so they got to see me in all of my glory. (Actually, the fact that I have trouble remembering that I shouldn’t walk by open windows before I get dressed probably has half the neighborhood seeing me in all my glory. I’m a peeping tom’s dream!) But I held my head high and walked straight to my car. Then when we got home, they were STILL out there. Probably hoping for a repeat performance. So before we got out of the car I told Shane to act drunk. “Then I can pretend that I just went to drag your drunk ass off the bar stool and bring you home to your family.” His drinking upsets the kitties.

The second and third times were yesterday. After being dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn, I was exhausted and working on a migraine so I stayed home from school. I finally decided that a nap was in order around 4:17. At 4:46, I woke up to a downpour that rivaled the rain I saw when I was caught in a hurricane in Florida. My first groggy thought was “Wow, it’s really storming out there.” Quickly followed by a not-so-groggy “Oh sh*t, my car windows are open!!!!” That is the last time I listen to wunderground.com. 30% chance of precipitation they said. Apparently in Indiana, 30% is code for 110%.

Worst times to not be able to find your keys:

1. You are in labor.

2. You have cut your thumb off with a kitchen knife.

3. It is a freaking monsoon and your car windows are open.

I fly out of bed and downstairs, dig frantically through my purse for my keys, finally find them buried under crap on the table, and go flying out the front door into the downpour in my bare feet and pjs. Thank God I wasn’t napping naked for once. (Just kidding.)

By the time I get to my car, I am completely soaked. Fortunately, the inside of my car wasn’t as bad. I rolled up the windows and then debated what to do. On top of the Ark building quantities of rain, there was also “frequent and dangerous lightening” crashing down around me. Finally I decided to pull my car around to the back of our house and at least park it in the driveway so someone wouldn’t hit it while driving in the storm. Not that I could actually park IN the garage since *somebodies* trailer is in my spot. (Love you, baby!)

So I park, open the garage door, and then wait for a brief pause in the lightening before I jump out of my car and make a run for it. As soon as I am out the door, I hear some guys voice yelling “HEY!” at me. As if I’m going to stop in my second (okay, first) shower of the day and find out what he wants. I continued my dash and made it inside without being struck by lightening. I have no idea who it was that yelled. Maybe it was one of the neighbors wanting to comment on more of my fine attire.

After my mad dash into the monsoon

These pictures do not do justice to how soaked I was. Or how hot my pajamas are.

The third time was later that day when it stopped raining and I went out to get the mail. Our neighbor who lives on the other side of us has a new girlfriend whom I have not yet met. She just happened to step outside to make a phone call as I was traipsing back into the house in my third set of pjs for the day. (The first pair got wet because I was washing our carpet and didn’t roll the legs up.) And of course she’s this really cute and nice girl who, even though I wasn’t even making eye contact (which all people who live in neighborhoods know is code for “I’m acting like you aren’t here right now!”), she gives a very chirpy “Hi!” I reluctantly lift my head, mumble hi, and hurry back inside. Sorry, Neighbors-New-Cute-Girlfriend. You seemed very sweet from our brief exchange and I promise to be nicer the next time we meet.

Assuming, of course, that I’m not in my pajamas.

Nothing about our big wedding is going to be typical. For starters, it’s not the day we’re getting married. We will have been married for a year (which will hopefully take at least a little of the stress out). We’re also not registering for gifts. We’re not renting a regular reception hall and we’re not getting married in a church. In fact, I plan to give the bridal industry as little of our money as possible.

Yes, that includes my wedding dress. And my bridesmaid’s dresses. I told the 5 of them to pick out a dress that they loved and felt beautiful in in a certain color. I gave them some guidelines for what I’d like to see so that they don’t all look COMPLETELY different. But we are not going to David’s Bridal and picking out a style that everyone likes and looks good in. I don’t have the time or the patience to do that again. I’ve been a bridesmaid too many times.

Which is what led me to the decision that I am not buying my dress from a traditional bridal store. Absolutely not.  The practices of bridal salespeople alone make me want to shake them.

“No, I’m not going to tell you my budget because then you will bring out a more expensive dress than I told you I could afford because you know that women generally fall in love with the first dress they try on!”

Not to mention I have experienced the RUDEST women working in bridal stores. They suck up to the bride but the bridesmaids get looks and eye rolls and short answers to their questions. (I’ve also heard stories of the BRIDE being treated rudely. Um, she’s about to give you hundreds to thousands of dollars for a dress that she will wear ONCE in her life. I’d be nice if I were you.)

Originally I didn’t want to even enter a bridal store but I have since realized that I probably should at least try some on so I know what looks good. Then when I either A: order it online or B: make it myself, I can do so with much more confidence then I can right now. I generally know what looks good on me and what I want but that’s a lot of money to risk going completely blind.

Also, my mother-in-law expressed a desire to go with me when I try dresses on. So off the bridal store we shall go.

Though this will probably be me torturing whichever unfortunate associate gets stuck helping me. 😉

Him: Do you feel married yet?

Her: Not really.

Him: When do you think you will?

Her: Probably when we have our first big fight and I realize “Oh crap, I can’t leave! I have to stay and work this out.”

Shane and I had this conversation the day we got home from our honeymoon. I’m not sure why but I guess both of us were expecting some switch to flip and that we’d magically feel married. Shane does somewhat. It still doesn’t feel any different to me. (Maybe that says something about how hard of a time one of us has been giving the other? …..nah!)

In all honesty though, not much has changed. We have more activities to choose from when we’re bored at night (*wink wink*) and I am in the process of getting my last name changed. (Curse the man who decided that women had to take the husband’s last name! As if we don’t already deal with enough!) So far I have my new Social Security card and everything at my bank changed over. I’ve been putting off getting my new driver’s license because I’m vain and the picture that is on my current one is actually a really good picture. I can’t get that lucky twice! (Don’t think I didn’t hear that collective rolling of the eyes…)

Anyway….as I was saying, not much has changed. Shane and I already lived together (*gasp*) so even that isn’t new. We’ve already been working on the “How do I live with this other person who has different ideas about how things are done and what should go where and whether the clothes hang on the hanger this way or that without killing them?!” thing.

And no, I’m not kidding about the hanger issue. We have no problems with the toilet seat being up or down because we both think the seat AND the lid should be down when not in use! But he hangs his shirts with the tip of the hanger facing the left shoulder and I hang mine facing the right. And since I do most of the laundry, guess who has to remember which way to hang each piece of clothing! 😉 I know. Such a First World problem.

I’m sure we will hit snags. We are both sinners and can be selfish and eventually, that will have us fighting about something. But for now I’m thankful for my saint of a husband who didn’t kill me on Sunday when I dragged him to every store imaginable because I couldn’t find towels in the colors that I wanted. Or a dress for my cousin’s wedding. I was having quite a day.

For now I am going to enjoy our honeymoon period. And speaking of honeymoons, here are some pictures from ours!

And one from our wedding:

Because we are incapable of doing anything the typical way, our wedding is not going to be very traditional. For starters, we aren’t having the big ceremony and reception this year. Shane and I don’t want to have a long engagement. We know we want to be married and there is no point on dragging it out for years. (We have nothing against people who do this, it’s just not for us.) However, I am trying to graduate by next May and don’t want to be dealing with the stress of planning a wedding in a few months on top of getting good grades. Plus this will give us time to save money and not go into debt for a one day event.

So what we are going to do is get married this coming May. We’re going to do a very small thing, without a lot of fanfare or fuss. Just family and a few close friends who have been an important part of our relationship together. It is probably going to be a 10 or 15 minute deal, no one standing up with us, no party afterward. Then NEXT year, somewhere around our first anniversary, we want to have a “vow renewal” where we do the big ceremony with everyone there and a reception afterward. This is the one that we want everyone to be at. Neither of our mothers will probably be able to come to the one this year but we want the celebration next year to be the thing that everyone puts on their calendars. (Not that our actually getting married isn’t important. That’s kind of the entire point. But it’s going to be so short and we want everyone to come have fun with us next year.)

Another thing that we’re doing differently is the “gift registry”. Shane and I have discussed this and we both feel as though there isn’t much that we need. Shane has his own house which is pretty much furnished. While new sheets and towels and dishes would be nice and pretty, we really don’t need them. We are incredibly blessed. So we have decided that we aren’t going to register for these things. We are still working out the details of what we want to do but we think it is going to involve a charity of some sort. (Which will make wording invitations that much more fun! I’m sure Emily Post will be having my hide.)

That’s really all we know for now. We will keep you updated as we figure more things out!

Yes, I realize that we are more than halfway through January and I am just now getting around to writing this. I’m busy, people! The time I spend on the internet is much, much, much less than it used to be (but we’ll get to that later).

2009 was quite a year for a myriad of reasons. I made many mistakes and it has made me grateful for 1 John 1:9. But I hope that I learned from those mistakes and was able to grow from them. Time will tell.

In 2009, I continued with my education at IUPUI. During the Fall semester, I took a full load for the first time since Spring ’08. I came through with 2 A-minuses, a B-plus, and a C. (The C was in Sociology which was one of the most boring classes I’ve ever taken. Hard to learn when you’re counting the holes in the ceiling.) This is better than I did the last time I had a full course load and without a “tutor” so I was quite proud of myself.

Shane took me to my first ball. This was for breast cancer awareness. Hence all the PINK!

I completed my year as treasurer for The Moving Company.

My parents got divorced and my mom and sister moved to Arizona. While this was tough on all of us, I do think that it was in the best interest of everyone’s happiness. Joshua, Shane, and I just got back from visiting in AZ and we had a wonderful time.

I made many mistakes in my dating life and have many regrets. People were hurt who shouldn’t have been and for that I will forever be sorry. That situation taught me a lot about needing to speak my heart, even if it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings, and not letting anyone but myself and my significant other have control of the relationship. Ladies, if you have met someone who likes you but there is just no chemistry for you, you need to flat out tell them. They’ll probably be hurt, they might get angry, they might not want to be your friend anymore. But that is better then letting them think there may be a chance when you know there isn’t because you want to spare their feelings. Do not lie to them or yourself.

I freed myself from 4 years of being caught in a spider’s web of manipulation, guilt, emotional blackmail, and lying. I now consider April 18th to be my own personal Independence Day. That is when I finally told someone the truth about what had been happening and made it end. I never thought that the words “You are dead to me” could bring me such joy. Since then, I have learned that I am not crazy or over-dramatic when I stand up for something. I know that I am not a bad friend because I don’t call or otherwise contact someone every day. I know that I don’t need to feel guilty when I need time to myself. I know that if my school work, spiritual life, circle of friends, and church all revolve around one person, there is something seriously wrong. I know that someone who truly loves you will do what is in your best interest. I know that no one “has to” know where I am every second of the day and that if somebody wants to, they are probably trying to control me. I realize that all of this may seem like “duh” to you. But when you are slowly pulled into a relationship like this, you don’t realize what is happening until it is too late. This entire situation has given me so much compassion for people. As Shane Fuller always says, “You are one person, one choice, one event away from making the same mistake you vow you never will.”

As for the spider, they are out of my life for good. I am working on forgiving them, not for their sake, but for mine. Right now I swing back and forth between wishing them well and hoping they rot in hell. But through the strength of my Father, I will forgive them and I will one day be able to love them. From a distance. Toxic people have no place in my life anymore.

Author’s note: Please understand that I am not blaming this person for my actions and responsibility to make it stop. I should have ended it when it first began. I had decisions and choices and I made bad ones for a long time. That person did inhibit my ability to make good choices by lying to me about certain things and making me feel guilty when I did try to take a stand or make changes. In trying to keep the peace, and in fear of losing my friends and church, I allowed bad things to happen for far too long. But I also made them end and for that, I will forever rejoice.

On a lighter note, this year I finally learned how to cook. Shane has been a huge help in this endeavor. We bought a magazine that gives recipes that make enough for two people and this took a lot of the stress out of cooking. Math is not, and never will be, my strong point and having to figure out how to halve 2/3 of a teaspoon makes my brain want to explode. I have made a number of meals and have been expanding to recipes outside our magazine lately. I am actually enjoying cooking!

Don’t I totally look like I know what I’m doing? 😉

After a brief (yet all too long) absence from The Dwelling Place, Shane and I were able to return in October. It has been a spectacle having to juggle going to two different churches but we are so grateful for both of them that we don’t want to leave either. Both helped us walk through a difficult time in different ways and both are dear to our hearts.

Shane and I joined a small group at Trinity called JustFaith. It is a group specifically brought together to go through the JustFaith curriculum which focuses on social justice. It has been extremely eye opening and I highly recommend the curriculum. It does entail a lot of reading though, so if you are a slow reader, you may want to read the books on your own. We get assigned about 100 pages of reading a week and it’s tough on the slower readers in the group.

I turned 25 and wasn’t dreading my birthday for once. Shane completely spoiled me, as did the rest of my friends, and made that whole quarter of a century transition so much easier. 😉

Shane and I took our first vacation together to Los Angeles. We didn’t kill each other so I suppose that’s saying something.

I took Shane to his first ballet and he didn’t hate it.

I took him to his second ballet and he didn’t hate that one either. So far so good!

Shane and I hosted my family’s Christmas dinner. That was my first time being in charge of a family holiday gathering and while it was a little stressful, it was also a lot of fun. I may not have Martha Stewart quaking in her orange jumpsuit but I’m working on it.

Most importantly, I fell in love with the most amazing man I have ever known.

These are just some of the highlights of the year. Some good, some bad, all working to shape me into who I am supposed to be. As Douglas Adams said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I was meant to be.” 2010 looks to be a promising year. May it be covered in God’s blessing and redemption. May we all strive to go where we are meant to be and to become the children that God created us to be.

Listening: ‘Why I Am’ by Dave Matthews Band

Reading: ‘Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You’ by Susan Forward (Oh how I wish I had read this 4-5 years ago!)

Thinking: Between my Sociology class and our JustFaith curriculum, I may become permanently depressed.

How to Annoy Me: Have a HUGE sign proclaiming Pumpkin Spice Lattes and then not have had the foresight to order more in anticipation of the holiday so you run out. (And yes, I realize that this is totally a First World problem.)

How to Charm Me: Sit on the couch with me all weekend watching NCIS because my medicine is making me sick.

Quote of the Day: Love is willing the good. We love something or someone when we promote its good for its own sake. What characterizes the deepest essence of God is love – that is, willing the good. – ‘Revolution of Character’ by Dallas Willard with Don Simpson (I have an entire blog on this quote floating in my head!)

Yesterday Ro and I took her kids and went to the Indiana State Fair. As previously blogged, we both have a problem when it comes to elephant ears. During fair time, it’s our reason for living.

We got the lemon shake-ups. We got her kids a huge corn dog and chili fries. We got these fried, powder sugar covered dough balls that promised to be as good as elephant ears. (SUCH. A. LIE.) And then we got Emmy a funnel cake and us an elephant ear. Needless to say, after all that, we were a sticky mess. (Especially after *someone* decided to dump sugar all over my leg… 😉 )

So off to the hand washing station. Whoever came up with this is a GENIUS! No more futile wiping with a dry napkin that just shreds and sticks to your hands. No more digging ice out of your drink and hoping no one sees you being so uncivilized. No more planning attacks on unsuspecting mothers who are carrying baby wipes. There are now stations with running water! And soap! And paper towels!

Now here comes the snag: both Ro and I have very specific hand washing habits because people are disgusting. So we don’t just turn on the water, wash our hands, and then USE OUR CLEAN HANDS TO TURN OFF THE GERM-RIDDEN FAUCET! We both push down on the paper towel levers first, then wash our hands. I then rip off the first paper towel, use it to turn off the faucet and to get another paper towel down, then dry my hands. Ro, on the other hand, leaves the water running while she dries her hands, then she uses the same paper towel to turn off the faucet.

She then turns to me and says: “Do you ever have to fight with yourself over which is worse to waste: the extra paper towel or the water?

YES!

It’s sooooo much work being this neurotic. But at least we have each other. 🙂

Sisters at heart