Sunday, June 29, 2008

i am marrying a wonderful man.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

the years go on and we're still fighting it, we're still fighting it.
and you're so much like me, i'm sorry.
-ben folds

i never thought i'd be 21 years old and still fighting it, and i hope i am a different person.

exactly 4 weeks. 28 days.

can't wait.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

it occurred to me today that no one really knows exactly what's going on with this wedding but me.

and i should have delegated more.
Being at home during the summer while most of your friends are working means you get time to do things like:

-Sleep in a little bit
-Go work out
-Buy cleaning supplies
-Organize and label reception decorations for our wonderful friends who are decorating for us during our wedding
-Scrub the kitchen floor
-Prepare for tutoring this afternoon
-(Maybe) Pick up the bridesmaid gifts that are in!
-Pick up a now altered dress!

All in one day!

Seriously. I love vacation.
And I realize I am still pretty busy but this is all stuff that I really needed to do and it is such a blessing to have time to do it all.

I am so thankful that I was basically handed a job in the classroom I had been in all year, and I only had to work an extra month and I got as much money as I would have made working at the Y this summer. I also had plans to work in the autism lab and do summer research before getting married. What was I thinking? I am so glad that I didn't work (for once). With my classroom job I didn't have to take another job. Thank the Lord. It's so amazing to see how the Lord is making things fall into place.

yay :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting married means you spend a lot of money.


It's worth it.

We've pretty much stuck to our budget and the Lord has blessed us with some surprise gifts from our parents. It just seems like things are falling into place and I am so thankful.

Laura and I went to the pool and Joel met us there. I think I finally got some sun.

Then Joel and I met at Meredith and coordinated the ceremony logistics with Lauree's mom (so great that she is the event coordinator!)

We went to the arboretum and brainstormed for the reception and got one more hour added to the reception (YAY!)
We are also going to have a slideshow, we think, because there's a big screen and we figure we should put something on it. I hope we have enough pictures.

We had some time to stop at Whole Foods and Joel got this amazing plate of food from the hot bar. Ratatouille, scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, and tuna casserole. Mmmm. He bought some other groceries so we ran to his house to put them away before going to meet Patrick. Because Joel drives a stick shift, and we didn't have time for him to sit and eat, I was going to literally feed him while he drove. So I took the OPEN plate of food in the car, and of course I somehow spilled it ALL OVER ME. I was so mad I yelled a bad word. A) It was from Whole Foods and delicious and their food is expensive and I felt so bad that I had dropped Joel's dinner (he was really hungry) and B) It was hot.

So thankfully, I had a change of clothes so I ran back inside to change. When I came back to the car, all that food was gone. Joel had taken his fork and eaten it off the floor and seat of the car. He said it was delicious. I totally understood. It was not the kind of food you just throw away. And really, Joel was not in the least bit upset about it. He really is very patient. It seems like I spill things all the time!

Then we met with Patrick, got our program figured out and the logistics of the ceremony. We decided to have communion during the service, and I'm really excited about that.

Basically, we have really enjoyed spending time together lately. I feel like we are getting glimpses of what marriage will be like and we're working on developing a very strong friendship.

31 days :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So I'll start with the bad news and end on a high note :)

On the way home today, I turned right on red at a red light camera intersection...and it went off on me! I am FURIOUS. I am just praying that I don't get a ticket because Joel and I just did our budget and our insurance is low because we have no tickets...I will be so mad if my stupid error means I have to pay a ticket.

Now for the good news:
I found a wonderful tailor-Lee's Tailor at Triangle Town Center. I had a bad experience at David's Bridal because my dress doesn't fit right and I didn't think they understood what I wanted. So I went to Lee's and really, they are still working on it but it was so much less expensive and faster.

Joel and I both are on vacation this month before the wedding. We spent yesterday at the gym, then running at Lake Johnson and then going to my pool. We even had time to write thank you notes and get ice cream. Today we went to the gym, ran, and canoed (hooray!). It really is amazing how much better we feel about ourselves and each other and our relationship in general when we are healthy and active. It is so hard to believe that I will be single for 31 more days...and then we are getting MARRIED. I know people get married all the time, and it's not really that big of a deal to other people, but it is SUCH A BIG DEAL to us. I never thought I'd be getting married right after graduating, but I guess the Lord's plan was different than mine. And it wasn't really surprising at all to Joel ;)

I get to start moving things into my classroom tomorrow but I don't get to really set up until we get back from the honeymoon. I am teaching 3rd grade and really....I'm not sure what to start with, but thank the Lord I have a couple of friends who are also first year teachers in 3rd grade.

Joel called...later gators.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

33 days!

Just got back from a weekend with the Meredith Rita's beautiful wedding in Banner Elk, North Carolina. It's just this gorgeous place in the mountains...we were so blessed with wonderful hospitality from her family, and it was so much fun celebrating with them!

Currently, I'm kind of done. I've realized that after I am with a large group of people for an extended period of time, I need to schedule debriefing time. I think this makes me a true introvert, because while I love spending time with friends and family, I have to warm up to people and I have to spend time alone after. And when I don't, I'm just not a nice person. So I'm laying in bed on a Sunday afternoon just so I can relax after two days of lots of laughter and heart-to-hearts and small talk and social events.

I also have been thinking about presidents, and people in the spotlight in general. I used to be very interested in politics, and while I still have my opinions and beliefs, I am finding it more difficult to "pledge my allegiance" to a certain candidate.

And maybe I'm wrong on this, but I just think it's really easy to completely idolize a person (especially a president) because he/she aligns with your beliefs and affiliations, but they are still people. I thought this when Bush was first elected, with the "fan shirts" that Meredith students made and sold of him in a cowboy hat with the words "my hero is a cowboy."

It really disturbed me, because while I think I can throw my support to a certain candidate, I know they are still politicians. They aren't the Messiah. Or a rock star. But I feel like many people look at candidates in that way. And for the record, I feel the same way about Hillary and Obama. It's not a party affiliation thing. It just really bothers me, because when I do discuss politics with people, it feels like sometimes I'm insulting their mother.

I've really had a hard time with this lately, and for this reason have kept out of a lot of political discussion (unless I just lose my cool) and haven't kept up with the news. I think it's just a season. And I do think it's important for citizens to be informed voters. I just am struggling with supporting a candidate but understanding that he is still a person, and is fallible, and how to discuss that with people without getting upset or making others upset. It's really a conundrum.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today was a crazy day.

I babysat from 8-5:45.
I walked them to the playground, about 20 minutes away, in a 2-seater jogger. It was hot and I was wearing a black shirt.


We got to the school and it was LOCKED and took me 15 minutes of walking around to find the entrance.

We get there, and we are playing, and the little one (almost 2) gets too high on a playset. So I jump up to get her, and I hit my head HARD on a monkey bar. I really though I had given myself a concussion.

I sit down...and my legs cramped up. So I get her off the playset and I start walking around. I'm limping horribly and my head is throbbing and I am clearly distressed. I'm not sure if the other family there didn't notice, but they never approached me.

I almost start crying but it was too the point that it hurt too bad to cry.

And then I started to feel really sick. Like a cold sweat and I'm shaky and I sit down and everything goes really quiet, and I see white spots everywhere. And meanwhile the little girls are just playing. I thank the Lord they were ok and didn't get hurt. I couldn't do anything. I thought about calling the dad or my mom but I didn't want to worry them. I called Joel but he didn't answer.

I prayed that the Lord would help me.

I sat still for a while, and praise God, I was ok!

I have a bump on my head, but it's ok :)

We had lots of other adventures....included a big nasty diaper that cut nap time in half,
but I did get paid a lot so I will go buy my wedding accessories this week! ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Feeling blue.

I told Joel last night that I felt like I had broken up with someone. It was the same sort of feeling I had when I left Spain, although this one seems more meaningful.

He said he felt the same way last week.

We had to both say goodbye to our first classes of students. And there is a real feeling of loss associated with that.

Maybe we won't feel this way every year, but these classes were special to us.

Honestly, I don't think I have ever been in a classroom environment that special. I felt like every child was really known, and with three adults in the classroom full-time, we could better meet their needs. Parental involvement was high, and I think it was because the parents caught on to what the classroom was all about. We had an amazing man come in volunteer with the boys who needed reading help.

I remember one parent from another class really hated coming to our class. I couldn't understand it. She hated the noise and "unruliness" of our kids.

It is true, our class was extremely loud. Some days it would just frustrate me so much! I could not understand how a group of children could make so much noise, and seem incapable of quieting down. But they were so inquisitive, really really bright kids. They asked the best questions and got really excited about science and math and reading their favorite books to you.

It reminds me of this Brian Andreas story (which I gave to my cooperating teacher yesterday in a card, and we cried):

There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter & noise.

And it made me sad that she never got it. It wasn't about their volume and maybe lack of discipline. At 6 years old, they accomplished so much. And while they never sat still or responded to any "quieting down" signals (up until the last day of school), they were really free to learn in their own ways. There was very little whole group instruction or seat work. The majority of the day was spent in small groups, and I think that was the key to just really knowing each one individually. And I really truly think they got a lot of love from us. Kids who hated school in kindergarten and got negative reports from teachers flourished in this room. Isn't that more important? I am so thankful that my teacher taught me how to look at the big picture, the end goal.

Today, Joel and I took his students out around Raleigh. After yesterday's emotions and today's "lots of new people," I am exhausted. But I honestly think he is a wonderful teacher, and I hope his students realize how lucky they are to have him.

I'm so excited for my own class next year.

But now, I'm excited for vacation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So the last day of school went well. We played and cleaned all day long. I got lots of hugs.

When I was assigned to this classroom at the beginning of my Junior year at Meredith, I was so disappointed. I wanted to be in an upper grades classroom. For a while there, I considered requesting a classroom switch. I'm so embarrassed that I voiced my concerns to people around me. I had prayed before that the Lord would place me in the classroom He wanted me to be in, so I stayed.

That first year, I quietly came in once a week and tutored and observed. I felt awkward-like I didn't belong there. Even last semester, when I was only coming in a couple hours a week, I felt odd. I just didn't have the time, and I didn't invest a lot. As you can imagine, I was terrified to begin student teaching. I was not looking forward to it. I sadly ended formal classes at Meredith to begin taking over the teaching in the classroom. I'm not sure when it all changed, or if gradually I realized it was not about me. I started laughing a lot more in class. I went to bed earlier so that I actually had energy to do my job. I finally got to know the kids. And I really had the most amazing teacher I have ever met. I think it was just a matter of getting acclimated to something unexpected. And getting over fears and silly worries and stubbornness.

Today, I was sad to see them go.

I will miss the little girl with a toothless smile who rubs my arms all day long. Even when I wear long sleeves, she will slide her little hand up my sleeve and incessantly rub my arms.

I will miss the little boy who calls my name out every 5 seconds, or the one who squirms all day long but will sit still when read to or hugged.

I will miss the ones who write such beautiful stories or tell funny things about their lives. Like the girl who was absent for a few days and came back to tell me "I had the virus and my leg hurted."

Or the one who said her favorite part of the Bible was the beginning, when "we got invented."

Or when, in our reading class, a little boy called it the "Table of Continents."

Or the girl who told us today, after we read Thank You, Mr. Falker, that she hated school last year and almost went a new school, but now she loves school.

I have so many wonderful stories, so many wonderful memories.

Sometimes, when I'm tired or it's been a terrible day, it's easy to forget why I chose this profession.

But thank the Lord, I did. He led me here. And I love it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day of school.

What a wonderful experience. I love this we just laughed a lot. The parents came and we had a play, a slide show, poetry (written by the kids) and ice cream.

Some of the parents couldn't make it, and their kids were sad. I tried to spend a lot of time with them, but when you're 6 it's hard to understand. I think it ended up ok. I asked them later if they had fun, and they said they did with big smiles.

One child has been acting really defiant and disrespectful lately. There's really no other way to put it. I realized his parents are separated. Their family is being torn apart.

Sometimes I think it must be hard to be 6 and 7 and not fully understand the lives of your parents and what they are doing. And it makes me realize that what we do as adults has a huge effect on children.

I wish I could have given these kids more. I wonder if I will feel this way with all my classes. I hope so. Although this class is extremely special to me, I hope that I feel the same genuine affection for all the kids that come into my classroom in the future.

I wanted to give them so much more. They weren't even "my" kids. I was just another assistant in this classroom. I wrote them short notes that I'll put in their mailboxes tomorrow. I didn't know what else to do. I hope that I gave them some useful tools and a lot of love. I guess that's really all I can do.

In about 2 months, I will be setting up my very own classroom under a new name. I still don't know what I grade I will be teaching. But the Lord placed me in this wonderful room, and I'm sure He'll place me exactly where I need to be.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I know I will look back on this time of wedding planning fondly. It can be really fun to pick out pretty things and coordinate colors and, of course, spend time with my mom. It's fun to be the bride. It's fun to watch wedding shows and decide what kind of party I want to throw. But really. I think when that day is over, I'll be content to just get on with married life.

Speaking of, I have caught the nesting bug. I am dying to decorate. It's the weirdest thing.

Who would have thought?

Also. I was reflecting. When Joel Houston Orr appeared as my noonie that Tuesday afternoon, would I have ever guessed we would be married 4 years later?

Sometimes life is funny. I couldn't have planned this one out.

Today I also booked our hotel for the honeymoon in Charleston. I cannot wait.

2 more days left teaching as Miss Montagne!

The next time I enter a classroom, I'll be Mrs. Orr.

dat's crazy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I have misplaced my copy of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I love this movie, and thank the Lord it is on TV right now!

I think that sometimes when life gets hard and tense and you kind of want to cry, it's ok to go to Lilly's Pizza and get a Five Points pizza with a side house salad and an Ace Pear Cider and just talk.

That's just what I think.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

International night was wonderful. I love my kids.

My thoughts today:

The song "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead is perfect for today.

I should have gotten all my invitations out last week. I have now stepped on some toes.

I want to learn how to belly dance and walk it out.
tonight is International Night at Wiley and I am currently bummed at my extreme lack of summer attire, specifically pants. I suppose I really shouldn't complain, but all my clothes fit kinda funny because I am a different shape than I used to be. So I think my first big purchase when I get a real teacher paycheck is going to be good clothes.

I made an awesome mix last night of my favorite music, but I put it on a CD-RW. It didn't work in my car...does anyone know why? I went and bought some CD-Rs this afternoon so I could listen to the mix on the way back to school tonight, but I did get to listen to my favorite album, Caedmon's Call Share the Well. This album always reminds me to serve and love others because I get SO far from that.

P.S. 98 degrees (and I don't mean the band) hit Raleigh suddenly this week. Thus my desire for summer pants.

I am currently searching for a copy of the poem "Dare" by Langston Hughes on the internet, but I can't find it anywhere.

Back to watching Jon and Kate plus 8 and tearing apart my closet...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

let the wedding festivities begin

This weekend my wonderful bridesmaids threw me a lovely shower. I got some fabulous gifts for my newly found desire to nest. I'm pretty excited to put it all together, and I think we'll start with the story people print. Seriously, I might decorate our whole house with these prints...and just so I'm being legal, it's from

This one is so perfect for Joel and me!
And to stay true to my British roots, we had tea and finger food, which were, if I may say, superb.
Overall, I'm super thankful for the awesome friends and family I have. And I even got a tea set!

Later on that evening, we found a florist who is awesome. And then I went to see Joel. He surprised me with gorgeous sunflowers and a Whole Foods meal-bread, muenster cheese,
blue corn chips and pineapple and mango salsa, strawberries and blackberries, and red wine-all organic and delicious. So we fixed our spread and watched the Simpsons, which is so us. Then we went to Michael's and got freaked out at crafty people. I will never be a scrap-booker or candle-maker. Unless I decide I want to forever log family memories or make our house smell like citrus lemongrass.

In other news, my time at good ol' Wiley School is coming to a close. There are only 5 days left (not that I'm counting...) But seriously, I will miss my first class (even if they weren't really mine). But I'm also extremely, and I mean extremely ready for summer va-cay.
A month off with some odd tutoring and babysitting jobs, interspersed with tanning and spending large amounts of money on wedding festivities. Okay, so it's not totally vacation, but I will appreciate waking up a couple of hours later and spending some quality time with the fiance.

My funny story about a child:
I was putting my hair into a bun while reading with a 1st grader, and he stopped reading, motioned as if he was putting up his hair, and said "You know, I care about my hair-do, too."
It was incredibly difficult to hold in my guffaw.

Also, I have learned:
1) I would be a horrible music or kindergarten teacher.
2) This is because I do not know all of the instruments in the music box or how to conduct show and tell.
3) Kids step on your toes when you were flip flops and it hurts.

off to finish watching office re-reruns and get to bed at a decent hour!