Oh ... Really?

Category: Matters of the Heart

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Wedding

The deed has been done. We wed, we honeymooned, and now we are back to Real Life™

Now the real adventure begins!

The wedding itself, after all the stressing, fussing, hair=pulling and worrying I did, went beautifully. This is not to say that it went as planned, or expected ... at all, but in the end, we had a wonderful ceremony, surrounded by our family and friends.

Though we have been married since last summer, having made our Covenant with God, with our closest friends as witnesses, we also wanted to have an official ceremony, for our family and friends, and at the same time, create our civil union with the state ... making it a legal marriage. When we first announced that we were going to have a wedding, I was asked by everyone what kind of wedding did I want. At first, I did not know. I had no clue. I just let God guide me in planning the details, because what I ultimately wanted was a ceremony that would also be our testimony. Rich and I were put together by God Himself, as part of His plan. So our wedding could be nothing less than a celebration of that, for His Glorification.

For my flowers, I chose the dogwood. Not only is it strongly associated with East Tennessee in the spring, there is also the Legend of the Dogwood. This idea came to me as a flash of inspiration. That's just how God works. In the same way, I was led to choose the music for the ceremony, the prayers, blessing and litany, and, of course, my vows.

I was on my own, it seemed though, for my dress. What a riot that became! When I first started looking at dresses online, the very first one I found was it ... the one. But by the time I was able to order it, it was sold out. It came back in stock a couple times, but in the wrong size. It finally came back in, in my size and I ordered it. However, the order got glitched up in transmitting my credit card information to my bank, and the payment was refused. By the time I got that figured out, it was no longer in stock. I literally cried. It was a beautiful dress of ivory silk with embroidery over mesh. And I could not have it. Finally, I ended up choosing four dresses that I ordered to try on, and one that I ultimately chose. This one was almost as beautiful, in blush pink with lace and embroidery over a flared skirt.

Along the way, we encountered several other frustrations and set backs. The worst of which was that my father was unable to be at the wedding. He has been in and out of the hospital since Christmas with complications of myasthenia gravis, and had just been admitted to a rehab center the day before the wedding. While everyone was heartbroken by this development, we faced it with Grace. We also made plans to stop by and visit with him after the wedding, still in our wedding clothes, before hitting the road for our honeymoon. I just trusted that, for whatever reason, this was what God wanted to happen.

The second major crisis was the loss of our minister for the ceremony, mere days before the wedding. We had asked a friend of Rich's boss and best friend, who happens to be a preacher, to officiate several months ago. However, he forgot about it or had the dates mixed up, and made plans to be out of town at a conference that same weekend. To say that I lost it would be a vast understatement. I was quite ready to call the whole thing off at that point. Instead, I got a revelation.

Through all the stress and chaos, I kept thinking that God was convicting me ... us, of something. What, I did not understand. But I knew that we needed to be doing something different, needed to change something. As Rich and I talked it over ... or rather, he talked and I blubbered and sobbed, he said to me that maybe my idea of just eloping that I'd had a few weeks before might not have been such a bad idea. As I was formulating my response to this, that no, we had to have a ceremony ... for our mothers, and for our families, to have a public declaration of our vows, it finally dawned on me; we had lost our focus on the real reason we were having this wedding - for the Glorification of God.

We found another minister, one that was absolutely perfect for us, and for the ceremony we had envisioned. We wanted it to be deeply spiritual, but also fun, and he made us all laugh. We wanted our children to be part of it, and he was all about that. He also needed us as much as we needed him. Seeing God at work in all this has been awesome. We have truly been blessed.

The ceremony was great. My son escorted me, and my daughter was my maid of honor. Two of my sisters in God sang Amazing Grace (the "My Chains are Gone" version, by Chris Tomlin from the movie, Amazing Grace) and they had me in tears. Most of the rest of the music was J.S. Bach, starting with the Brandenburg Concertos as the prelude. I walked to Pachelbel's Canon in D, and we had two prayers to Bach's Air for Suite in D Major and Arioso. There was a bit of a mix up in the recessional, but by that point, it didn't matter. We had been joined as husband and wife before man as well as before God.

Rich's mother and sister arranged the entire reception, food, drinks, decorations, and it was fabulous. One of his daughters made our cakes, and they were beautiful. His nephew's wife took the pictures (which I hope to have soon!), and we were blessed by the presence of not only our family but some very special friends too. The weather, which had been threatening severe thunderstorms all day and ultimately led us to move the ceremony under the carport instead of out on the deck, cooperated at the last minute, the rain held off and finally gave way to the sun for a gorgeous afternoon.

We did make it to my dad's bedside, bringing him food from the reception and a piece of wedding cake too. Then we stopped at my mom's, changed into travel clothes and then hit the road for our honeymoon. We stopped part way there, in Valdosta, Georgia, before continuing to Orlando the next day. We were too exhausted to even think at that point, but very happy and completely content.

I will write about our adventures with Mickey and friends in later posts. Pictures coming soon too!

Posted by LissaKay on 04/07/09 at 11:34 PM in ~ Happy Crap ~ Matters of the Heart
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Here Comes the Bride

Or is that Bridezilla?

Some folks (ahem) might agree with the latter being the case.

I am really, really trying to stay calm and relaxed about this whole thing. I am! I specifically planned this thing to be casual, laid back and unstructured so that I could just enjoy the months and weeks beforehand with no worries, no stress, no fuss.

Ha! Ha ha HA!

Instead I am stressed to the max, alternating between snarling and laughing hysterically. I freak out over the littlest thing and will burst into tears for no reason. There have been recent events that have me feeling angry, resentful and hurt ... but I have no right to be that way. So I am angry with myself for reacting like that. I feel like it indicates a weakness of faith. Mostly, I am just overwhelmed because I don't think I have enough time to get everything done and/or do it right.

The biggest thing has been my dress ... I haven't been able to find one. Well, I did, but before I could get it ordered, it sold out. Everything else I looked at after that did not measure up. I finally ordered four dresses, one of them surely will do. None of them particularly thrill me and/or I am concerned about the fit - being 5' 1" makes dresses hard to fit. Being a bit overweight makes it even tougher.

And speaking of overweight, that's been my #2 stress factor. I have been starving on a 1000 - 1200 calorie a day diet and busting my behind working out 3 days a week, and then limping around with sore muscles all the time. I have yet to lose more than 2 pounds (and then I gain back 3), and I am still the same size. I am perplexed, not to mention disgusted and depressed. I have recently changed my work-out routine to less emphasis on aerobics, more on intense strength training and, of course, yoga. There's not much more I can do with the diet, I can't go much lower than 1000 calories a day and I am already focused on lean meats, veggies, fruits and whole grains. This week I started a cleansing routine ... and that is all I have to say about that, lest we stray into TMI territory.

Oh crud ... we just realized we don't have a photographer yet! I hope Rich's nephew's wife can step up for us!

Anyway, the rest of it has worked out OK so far, despite my tendency to freak out. I designed the invitations and Rich got them printed up, and we got them sent out - and better late than never! I have purchased the silk flowers for the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and decorations. I know what I want the cake to look like, we have the ceremony written and the music for it as well. I had the reception food planned out but it looks like other family members have taken that over. It's just as well, I don't plan on being there for long because we will want to hit the road as soon as politely possible.

So, you're middle aged, the kids are grown (or nearly so), you've met your best friend and soul mate and now you've gotten married ... what are you going to do next?

We're going to Disney World!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/10/09 at 12:44 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, February 02, 2009

OK, this is it. No really. It is our final answer.

We are not joking, and we will not change our minds. Again. All the speculation, guessing, wondering, and all that is over. Said and done. And we do apologize for all the change, we hope everyone will understand. As for me, I blame Obama. As Commander in Chief, this is his responsibility. So, it's his fault.

March 28. Probably shortly after lunch, like around 1:00.

We shall be wed.

And if we have intimated that you will be invited, make sure we have your address for your invitation. Email or DM it to either of us ... and if you are friends enough to be expecting an invite, you should already have our contact info, yes?

So why blame Obama? Well, it's like this ... Rich's oldest son has been in Iraq since December '07. He was originally due to return home in March. That would have put him on leave in May, which was our original wedding date. However, since the coalition forces have done such a bang up job in restoring security, peace and democracy in Iraq, many of them are coming home early. We first got word of this change last fall, but we still did not know what dates Adam would be on leave. It took this long for his higher ups to let him know exactly when he could come home. We just confirmed the dates within the last week, and now have a firm date for the wedding, when we know Adam can be here. Now, since this massive confusion is due to the Army and Obama is the Commander in Chief, he gets the blame. See? I have learned something in the last 8 years.

We are going to have the wedding out on the deck at Rich's mother's house. Risky to have an outdoor wedding in late March in East Tennessee in a year when we've had weird weather anyway? Why yes indeed! We like to live dangerously! It will be a fairly non-formal deal ... if I can find one I like, I will be in a dress, and Rich in a sport coat and slacks. So, guests can be comfy in dressy casual wear ... like you'd wear to a nice restaurant or party. The reception will be late lunch buffet with cold sandwiches, veggie and fruit platters, pasta salad and other finger foods. I have some ideas about my cake, and the groom's cake has already been planned. It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows us at all.

The ceremony we are planning will be deeply spiritual but also fun. We have a large family, and some really super friends, and we want everyone to be involved! We don't consider this to be the beginning of our marriage ... that began months ago when we first vowed our covenant with each other and God before some of our closest friends and our parents. This is a celebration of our commitment and our new life together.

Now, we just gotta put this lil shindig together in less than two months! Yikes!

Posted by LissaKay on 02/02/09 at 10:27 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

It’s a done deal ...

It's official now. We're (gettin')* hitched.

I talked him out of buying a gun at the gun show and get this instead ....


A little while ago, I realized that today is the 8th anniversary of a very significant event in my life, one that colored my perceptions of just about everything and changed the essence of who I am, which I have been struggling to come to terms with ever since. Today, I think I can safely say the healing is complete.

*We consider ourselves already married in God's eyes. We will have the public and civil ceremony in May of next year.
Posted by LissaKay on 11/09/08 at 10:04 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Two are Becoming One

So, these two geeks ... one a boy-geek and the other a girl-geek ... they meet (at a blogger meet-up), fall in love (while sitting side by side with their laptops, smart phones, handheld gaming devices, and a plethora of remotes that control the 62" wide screen rear-projection 1080p HDTV, DVD recorder, 3-disk DVD player, DTS-Pro surround sound system while they code their respective web sites, process video, write in their blogs and various other surfing activities ... when they aren't attending sci-fi cons, the latest hit movies or Twittering their lives for all to see) and decide to get married (of course announcing the engagement simultaneously on their blogs, and planning their engagement party using Evite.com). What's next? Why ... combining their lives!

We have started setting up our household. It's been a slow-paced process of moving my belongings to his house. For the last two months, I have been sorting, trashing, giving away and boxing up my stuff. Today, we moved the last load over and now we will begin to combine our two households into one. But that's just the stuff.

Other aspects of our lives are being combined as well, and in keeping with our geekhood, we started by setting up our cell phones on a shared plan (Sprints 1500 minutes shared, unlimited Everything else plan for $129 a month ain't too bad). We are moving his web site over to my hosting service (SurpassHosting ... awesome service, fantastic prices on generous shared hosting services!) and getting his new blogging digs set up in ExpressionEngine, too. My Amazon account is now associated with and can use his Amazon Prime for free 2-day shipping and we will soon combine our Netflix queues. Of course, we have our 6 computers networked and sharing files, printers, scanners and media ... ain't geek love grand?

Posted by LissaKay on 08/04/08 at 01:26 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little more info ...

We have a tentative date set ...

May 16.

Yes, I know it's a ways off, but we're in no rush. We might move it up sooner, if I decide not to take classes during Spring semester, and other practical, familial and financial matters can be smoothed out. Adam's deployment to Iraq ends in either February or March, so it won't be until then anyway. But, like Adam and Sasha's wedding, it will be out on the deck at Rich's mothers lakeside house (see pics in the previous post), so we also want the weather to be warm ... or at least not cold!

There will, however, be an engagement party very soon. Invites will be going out tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned! We do have to keep the guest list trimmed down a bit, please don't be offended if you aren't on it. We will be scheduling a Blogfest soon though, and all area bloggers and blog readers will be welcome. Feel free to suggest dates and locations in September - keep in mind that it is good to try for weekends without a home UT game.

Everyone keeps asking me what kind of wedding do I want ... I don't know! A preacher, some vows, some prayers, the "I do"s, with friends and family around. Mmkay? Gotta have some music too. And food. Lots of food. Other than that ... I'll have to think about it.

My parents are thrilled. I think they had given up hope on seeing me married again. I was quite stubborn for quite a while, refusing to even date for almost seven years, having become quite content in my singlehood. My kids think it's cool, and so do Rich's. Between us, we could have our own baseball team with my 3 and his 6, 7 to include the newest daughter-in-law, plus two grandbabies.

Oy! What am I getting into?

Posted by LissaKay on 07/29/08 at 03:38 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Asked and Answered

He popped the question!

Posted by LissaKay on 07/27/08 at 01:59 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Friday, July 18, 2008

The move is on ...

The work of moving ... the packing, sorting, trashing of all my stuff ... is well underway. When I moved into this place a year ago, I knew I would not be staying more than a year. At the time, I didn't have a precise plan in place, but I knew I would be leaving soon. I kind of had a small one bedroom or studio in mind, closer to the center of the city, where I would live alone with my two cats. That's not quite how it has turned out ... instead I am moving out to the country, into a huge 6 bedroom house, with 3 teenagers, a toddler, 3 dogs, 3 puppies and a noisy bird ... and my best friend, soul mate and life partner.

A major impetus to moving away from here was my unfortunate miscalculation of the quality of this neighborhood. Just off Cedar Bluff, in the heart of West Knoxville, this used to be a really nice apartment community with a mix of young families, single professionals and retirees - folks that seek out lower cost rentals. But it has also become attractive to some unsavory elements ... drug sellers and illegal immigrants. There is one apartment here that was housing what seemed to be about a dozen young Hispanic men. They spent most of the day sitting out on the front lawn, and every now and then a van or pickup truck would stop, several of them would get in and it would drive away. This routine repeated itself several times every day. Sometimes there would be women and small children about, hanging out with them. They clearly were not outside having a neighborly barbecue, they would quietly sit, speaking softly, watching other people come and go ... it was a bit creepy. No head nods or waves of greeting, just stares. Distrustful stares.

There were some other problems here as well ... several incidents of domestic disturbances, a carjacking and my own conflict with a neighbor. When I first moved in, I had arranged for garbage pickup at the curb. They told me the to place my bags by the curb and they would pick them up and leave a big trash can for me to use. However, they did not pick up the trash as promised, and it sat out there all day long while I was at work. Upon returning home, I called the waste collection company but they were closed for the day. I called first thing the next morning and was assured they would come get it that day. When I got home, there it was still ... but now it was in my parking space. I moved it so I could pull in, went inside and started searching for a number I could call to get this taken care of. While I was inside, someone had come out and threw all the trash bags back into the parking space, right next to my car!

I went out and at this time the next door neighbor came over and started yelling at me. He would not hear any of what I was saying ... that I DID have trash collection arranged and paid for, THEY just didn't pick it up like they should. He was aggressive, threatening and verbally abusive. Someone called the police, who came, heard my story and told the dude to simmer down. He did, for the time being. However, later on he exacted some revenge by having my son attacked by two thugs ... which resulted in his spleen being contused and a small tear in a kidney.

The trash collection company, after 4 days of my yelling and threatening to complain to the county commission, FINALLY picked up my trash. Without so much as an apology for my inconvenience, of course. I so look forward to canceling this service ...

Anyway, my new home is in a rural area of northern Sevier County, and I look forward to the peace and quiet and sense of safety out in the country. Or at least I did until I saw this:

KODAK — Dozens of officers launched a pre-dawn raid in Sevier County today, beginning arrests of 39 people indicted on drug charges.


Hopefully, this is just a one-off incident, they will get this cleaned up and the druggies will all be run off or incarcerated.

Heh ... who am I kidding?

Oh well, back to packing, sorting and trashing. We are taking this weekend off to rest, and spend time with family. Rich's son Adam is back from his honeymoon, and will be returning to Iraq next week. We are having a cookout up at the lake house with the whole family getting together for food, swimming and lying around the pool, watching movies on a big inflatable screen out on the deck and just chillaxin - as the kids put it.

Time to rest, relax, and reconnect ...

Posted by LissaKay on 07/18/08 at 11:13 AM in ~ Happy Crap ~ Local News ~ Matters of the Heart
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Busy days of Summer

I fondly recall the summers of childhood as being filled with lazy, carefree, unhurried days ... sleeping late, watching daytime TV in jammies, wandering about the neighborhood with friends, swimming in our pool, picking fresh peaches and making ice cream with them ... days in which my biggest complaint was "I'm bored" and wishing I was grown up so I could go and have great adventures. Now that I am grown up and having those grand adventures, I now wish for just a little boredom ... or just enough time to get everything done!

This summer is particularly busy ... it's one thing after another. At least I don't have college classes to worry about!

The second week of June found us at the beach in Amelia Island. Not the cozy, romantic trip for two we might have wished for ... we shared a beach house with two young adults, six teenagers, a baby and a toddler! Just keeping up with the mess in the kitchen was a full-time pursuit. But we had a marvelous time anyway ... the beach was great, the water was warm, the weather was completely perfect ... and the rest of the ginormous family was at another house a quarter mile down the road. At the end of the week, we ran away for an extra night all by ourselves - no kids, no teens, no messy kitchens - for a romantical birthday celebration for two. *grins*

Upon our return to the homestead, we started making the final preparations for the wedding of Rich's oldest son, Adam. It will be on July 6 at his mother's lakeside house. Everything is going well and to plan ... well, almost. Adam is currently deployed to Iraq and is coming home on leave. Originally, he was set to be stateside on July 1 or maybe earlier. We just got notice that he will leave Baghdad around June 30 for Kuwait and then it will be July 3 or 4 before he is actually in Knoxville! They will still need to get their marriage license, and with Friday, July 4 being a holiday, that is going to cut it very, very close! There are alternative plans if the marriage license can't be obtained on the 3rd though, but we could do without this little annoyance anyway.

UPDATE: We have found out that the Sevier County Court Clerk will be open on July 4 AND 5, and that the information we had that indicated one must get the marriage license in the same county in which the ceremony is held is not correct. We are good to go on that note! Yay!

After the wedding is over, our attention will turn to combining two households. We will have about three weeks before my lease is up to sort through my 15 year accumulation of crap, decide what will be kept, what will be thrown out or sold or given away, find room to put everything and get me settled in here. (Yes, I know ... things have changed rather rapidly lately, but it's all good). I also have to get my son settled somewhere ... he has a job, but won't clean his life up enough to be even marginally self-sufficient. I am really, really trying to leave it in the hands of The Lord ... I am sure there is some solution that I just cannot see, but will soon be revealed. Ms Thang is happily settled in with her boyfriend, working at her job and letting her life unfold. (No, I am not completely happy about the boyfriend ... being that he is so much older than she, but it is her life and if that makes her happy, then it's OK with me.) Then, it will be just a couple of weeks until fall semester begins for me. Somewhere in there, I hope that I will be starting a new job ... heck, at this point, just about ANY job will do!

And so, life marches on, the pages of this chapter begin to turn. I am still a little disoriented, my life has been turned upside down, back up again and then sideways. But I am getting steady on my feet again, my spirit has the Lord to lean on ... here on Earth, I have my best friend and soul-mate.

My friends ... "This part of my life ... this part right here? This is called 'happyness.' "

Posted by LissaKay on 06/21/08 at 10:59 PM in ~ Family ~ Happy Crap ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Depths of My Soul

A great man of music has passed today. My heart is heavy with grief and my soul cries in the silence.

And the morning will blow away
As the waves crash and fall
And the Reach like a siren sings
as she beckons and calls
As the coastline recedes from view
And the seas swell and roll
I will take from the Reach
all that she has to teach
To the depths of my soul --

I was introduced to the musical world of Dan Fogelberg on my 15th birthday when my father gave me a copy of "The Innocent Age" and from that moment on, I was entranced. His music has the ability to reach in and touch the soul, lift the spirit and make the heart soar. Beyond simply enjoying his music, it became part of the soundtrack of my life. Because of the association with a profoundly tragic episode in my life, I could not listen to Fogelberg for several years. Eventually, I let his music back into my heart, the healing began and I have moved forward.

But through the years, Dan was a part of my musical life. I played his music on the guitar and piano, and sang along while playing his albums on the stereo. His words spoke to a special place in my heart. I only got to see him in concert the one time, and a magical evening that was. The news of his battle with prostate cancer came as a heavy blow and I prayed that he would be victorious in his against that devastating illness, but this morning, he was overcome. His last wish, his legacy, is to encourage all men "to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR." Please see his Living Legacy web site for more information.

Condolences can be left here. Light a candle and let it shine ...

There's a light in the depths
Of your darkness
There's a calm at the eye
Of every storm.
There's a light in the depths
Of your darkness.

Let is shine
Oh, let it shine

Rest in Peace, Dan. God Speed.

Posted by LissaKay on 12/17/07 at 01:08 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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