>Life has been busy, of course. Last Friday was my (Elizabeth’s) last day working at Yankee Candle. I worked in my classroom this week getting everything cleaned out… I ended up with eight BOXES of junk. Not measly shoe boxes, mind you. Aaron came and helped me on Tuesday, which was awesome. I ended up finishing everything and actually meeting some students on Wednesday. There was registration for the district at my building, so of course there were students roaming the school, even past the “Do Not Cross” tape. *Sigh* Adolescents. Gotta love ’em.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been married almost three months. It’s been great, though. Our apartment is finally starting to feel like home to me. I’m proud of it… especially when it’s clean. 🙂 We actually just cleaned the whole place in preparation for our trip to Honduras. We leave on TUESDAY!

We’re hoping to add a new member to our family soon… a Beagle by the name of Shiloh. We’ll be adopting him from a family at church that just doesn’t have ample room for him anymore. I’m excited… I really miss having a dog.

We’re both planning on going back to school in the spring – Aaron’s going to start finishing his Bachelor’s, and I’ve been accepted to Bradley’s school counseling program for my MA. We were very excited when we filed our FAFSAs and our “expected family contribution” for both of us combined was only $1000. Ah, the joys of being married AND both being in school at the same time.

Today, Saturday, we spent the whole day together. It’s been really nice, and now Aaron doesn’t have to go back to work until the day after we get back. I go back the 14th, and then I have my first day with the kids (that’s what I call them, haha) on the 18th.

Have a great night,

Elizabeth

>Life as newlyweds!

>

Life has been stressful, wonderful, rewarding… all at once! The wedding and ceremony were beautiful and everything went smoothly. We were given a one-night-stay at Stoney Creek Inn in East Peoria from the ladies I work with in the church coffee shop. We were at the hotel by 3pm, and we went to dinner at Jonah’s, a really nice seafood restaurant. We also took a stroll on the riverfront. It was perfect in more ways than one. 😉

We’ve obviously gone back to work since then. I quit Sylvan a week before the wedding since I got promoted at Yankee to an assistant manager (there are four of us… not sure why). Money has been really tight, as we knew it would be in these summer months before I start teaching. But God has provided thus far, and I really believe we needed this to humble us. Not because we were haughty or greedy, but just to “keep it real” and remind us Who we belong to.

Aaron’s job has been going well. He works full-time, 40 hours, and a few times during the week he picks up a few 12-hour days. When I’m home on those days, it gets kind of lonely. However, the alone time has been good for my soul and mind and keeps me in check. I occupy my time with cooking and cleaning, of course, and even though this is an apartment, there’s a lot to clean! I’ve been trying my hand at cooking, usually just using whatever we have. Aaron is satisfied so that’s good!

We’re very excited for our first trip out of the country together, and on missions no less, to Honduras. We’ll definitely post pictures on our return (we’re going in the beginning of August).

I’ve been having some major baby fever lately. I got to see our four-month-old niece this weekend, and that didn’t help matters any. Also, we’re taking care of our other two nieces and nephew while my brother- and sister-in-law are out of town with their church. Again, not helping matters. Aaron jokes and says that one quick look at the checkbook put us in our place. So true. I don’t know how people do it.

So what about kids? Our goal is to wait until we buy a house to start a family. By that time, we’ll be more mature (hopefully, haha) and more financially stable – hopefully we can afford for me to either stay at home or work just part time. I’m excited for when we do have children, though. Aaron will be a great dad. They will have a big happy loving family and lots of cousins to play with. It’ll be fun times. Though I’m not sure where we’ll have to have our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners…

…but that’s a topic for another time.

Good night,

Mrs. W. 🙂 [Weird.]

>For those of you who follow (not sure how many of you there are), lots of exciting things are happening in the next few weeks.

Aaron and I signed our lease this weekend and we get keys on Friday the 9th. I’m moving in first, and I am excited to have my own space. My car is full of boxes… it’s an interesting feeling, finally moving out after seventeen years of living in my bedroom.

Aaron and I are going to have a private ceremony at the courthouse on May 16th, just eleven days from now! We want to move in together, but we want to do it “right”. Also, he now has health/dental insurance through Cat, and as soon as I graduate (May 17th), my parents’ insurance kicks me off. With my luck, and also just to be practical, I can’t go over a month without health insurance.

The wedding and reception are still in place. It’ll be a fun time!

I graduate in less than two weeks… the day after we get married. 🙂

I got a part-time job working at Yankee Candle at Grand Prairie. I will supplement that with working at Sylvan Learning Center. My last day at County Market is on Mother’s Day.

Needless to say, we’ve been so blessed that everything is falling into place so well. Wish us luck as we move ahead with our plans!

>On my way…

>Here you go with some updates… Aaron’s full-time at Cat, now, with full benefits, paid vacation, all the goodies. We found an apartment in north Peoria, a great location for us since we still want to be able to easily visit our families but also need to be closer to our jobs.

We don’t want to move in together before we get married; however, the parents have no problem with it. In fact, my parents encourage it. It’s just not our style. So we’ve decided to tie the knot at the courthouse towards the middle of May with just our parents present and then have our church wedding the day we’ve been planning: June 21.

It’s not only for moving-in reasons, but financial reasons. If we wait until June 21 to get married, there will be a lapse in my health insurance. I’m not sure if the company kicks me off the day I graduate or if there’s a grace period. Regardless, we’re getting married the day before graduation. We are not going on a honeymoon; instead, we are going to Honduras on a trip with our church. WAY excited about that!

I found a job at the new-ish mall in Peoria for the summer and the upcoming school year. I will also continue working at Sylvan. Hopefully between both jobs our budget will stay the same.

I’m really excited to move out… one week from Friday!!

>Um, wow. LOTS has changed since my last post. First of all, I’m home sick today from school and therefore I actually have TIME to post.

Aaron’s working in Mossville now, at CAT. He’s making good money and I think he’s enjoying what he’s doing.

I’m five weeks away from my last day of student teaching. We just finished spring break. Crazy!

Now we have only two and a half months until the weddin’… how did THAT happen?

We’re going to look at a house for rent in a couple weeks. Woohoo! I get to move in first, ha.

>only six and a half months!!

>as always, things change constantly. that’s the only immutable thing. in a few weeks, aaron will be looking for a new job; his internship with the church ends at the end of january. the great thing is that pastor has gotten it approved to have his car paid off (appx. $1500).

i am student teaching next semester, which i am uber-excited about. however, i have to work 25 hours per week on top of 40 unpaid hours. hopefully i’m able to save some money. my plans for the fall have changed – i have applied to ISU’s grad program in social work with a concentration in school social work… i’ve talked to a school social worker and done some research on the program and it’s exactly what i want to do!! so excited to find a program for me!

during the summer i hope to work at sylvan, possibly evolving to full-time status due to some circumstances. because of new jobs and whatnot, we will probably not be going on a honeymoon. that’s okay; i’d rather wait until winter and rent a cabin in the smokies anyway.

my dress is really almost done! all i have left is the hem. it’s really pretty and simple. i would post a pic of it, but i don’t want aaron to see it yet! (he’s actually seen it, just not on me.)

i guess that’s all the updates i have for now!

>things are coming together…

>aaron and i have been able to make some plans regarding our ceremony and reception… we want to buy a house instead of renting an apartment or house. we want our own place (we have TONS of furniture and just stuff that we need space for!) and we’re going to stay in the area for awhile. both of our families live here and it’d be nice to raise kids where they can see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

here are the current plans:
wedding – at FCC; pastor rick is our officiant

reception – instead of dishing out a ton of money to rent a hall and all that jazz, we’ve decided on having an open house/housewarming party at whatever place we decide to live. people can come and go, enjoy food, be comfortable and casual… and since we’ll have so many kids coming to the wedding, they can go home and get a nap or lunch or whatever before they come over. that’s the plan, anyway.

my dress is almost done! i’ve gained a few pounds, but it fits wonderfully still. i won’t need someone to do my hair since i’ll probably keep it short. you know what it’s like when you find a cut and a hairdresser that you like.

we both have cars now; aaron bought one a few weeks ago. my car still has two years left on the loan, but his will be paid off right around the time we get married. hopefully his will last for a long time! (it’s a ’98 ford escort).

all in all, things are coming together and since we’ve been engaged for six months, some of the pressure is off. we’re just enjoying being engaged.