Thursday, January 28, 2010

Officiator and Marriage Counseling

Hello all our dear followers. :) Today is a cold and cloudy Memphis day with a precarious lurking of a possible snow and sleet storm tonight and tomorrow morning. Yesterday was, of course, in the 50's. Sometimes I wonder how all the Memphians don't get sick more often from the extreme temperature changes. Currently I'm sitting in Starbucks drinking a doppio espresso macchiato "working on homework"/reading a summary online because I didn't feel like finishing William Paley's argument for the existence of God. I feel so ashamed. :)

On to more important news! Mark and I met with the pastor at First Evan, Cole Huffman, yesterday for our "interview." After agreeing to be our wedding officiator, he is going to meet with us for a few sessions of marriage counseling. We both are really excited and curious to see what kind of things we might not agree on and vice versa. Either way, we will be learning how to work out the future conflicts that are inevitable, but in a way that is honoring to Christ. Mark and I both are striving to have a marriage that exemplifies the model of marriage God intended--something that is only attainable with constant forgiveness.

One thing that we both have been learning recently is the "art of saving money." I have been shopping at Aldi (a really great place to buy groceries where all the money made goes to charities). Instead of spending money going out to restaurants, we have been learning how to make money stretch out by buying inexpensive grocery items and pairing them with frozen vegetables and so forth. We are becoming quite thrifty. :)

I would write more, but I have a trial run with my hairdresser for my wedding day hair! :) Til next time...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Honeymoon :)

After visiting the travel agency, my jaw dropped to the floor in astonishment concerning the cost of our ideal honeymoon to Rome. Between the costs of the flights, hotels, car rentals, food, etc., there was just no possible way that we could afford the trip. I must admit that I was really disappointed. It took me about an hour to shake off my disappointment and poor Mark was very kind and patient with me. He even offered to buy me ice cream, but at that point I was inconsolable and just needed time to get over it. We then decided that we needed to stay within the US to save money on airfare. The one place that stuck out to us both was New York! We both have always wanted to go there so we went for it!

We bought our flight tickets and booked the hotel and we are set to stay in a Holiday Inn in Downtown Manhattan, the SOHO area. It's near Greenwich Village, Little Italy, the Statue of Liberty, good shopping :), etc. I have been looking up some of the best restaurants and cafes to visit while we are in the city. I'm so glad to get the honeymoon booked though! I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. :)

Poor Mark is working at his store, heading up OBS, and doing his 9 hours at school. I know it's already hard on him, but he has a good attitude about it. I'm trying to be a good future wife and cook for him and help relieve stress whenever I can. I come and do homework at his store whenever I can because at this point we have to make time to see each other. We are both ready for May to be here. I must go to bed soon because 4 am soon calls! Til next time. :)

Honeymoon Booked!

Mark here! I'm sure Olivia will be posting all the details later today, but we booked our honeymoon to NYC! The original plan was Italy but plane tickets are already on the rise and we have a budget. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Updates and Thoughts

Hi to anyone who is reading our lovely blog! :) A few little things to update anyone who is interested in our wedding planning progress. Both of our wedding bands are sized and ready to live on our fingers. I had a hard time taking mine off at the jewelry store and now my engagement ring is lonely. :( This was our first week of school and apart from it being tiring, I think it will make us both more productive. It seems like the more things you have to do (like waking up at 4am and not getting home til 10) makes you get a lot more done.

We are scheduling a time to meet with our wedding officiator/pastor next week. We both hope that he will provide us with marriage counseling because he is one of the wisest men I know. Another bridesmaid got her dress last night. That means 3 down, assuming Kacie ordered her dress. :) Our charity:water shower is in the works for February and we are both really excited to donate our monetary gifts to the cause. I honestly can't imagine what it's even like to have to worry about not having water or getting raped or attacked carrying a huge jug of water miles upon miles to my family. This brings me to a small but saddening point. Starbucks has joined with many other wonderful businesses who are taking donations for the Haiti relief fund. Although we have had many customers joyfully give their money, I must say how disheartened I have been with the majority of peoples' refusals to pay. One man angrily told me that he has 6 kids and people like Bill Gates need to help out. My immediate thought, though I unfortunately couldn't say it to him, was that if he and his family are that short of money, why is he at Starbucks spending unnecessary money on such a luxury like coffee. Another man when asked for a donation replied with 'That's ok I'm good.' Of course you aren't the one lying in the middle of the street with debri and fallen parts of buildings lying on top of you and your cut off limbs.

Sorry about the sidetrack. All week the baristas have been dealing with customers grumpily refusing to donate $1 to the fund, yet they spend $4 on coffee 1-2 times a day. Americans simply must get their priorities in check, and if an awful situation like Haiti won't do it, there is nothing stopping God from causing a similar disaster here in America.

I must say that though it is very easy to angry and annoyed with these people, I used to be one of them. My thoughts were on my life primarily, not globally as they should have been. That is where meeting Mark has increasingly enlightened and opened my eyes and heart to what is going on in the world. I've never seen anyone care as much for people who are hurting, suppressed, etc. as Mark does. Though I probably don't tell him this enough, I really do want to have a heart like his one day. Unfortunately my little heart hurts for stray animals I see on the sidewalk instead. When it got really cold here in Memphis I was worried that all the stray animals and homeless people would freeze to death. Thankfully Mark is helping line up my own priorities and open my eyes to see this vast array of people who are terribly hurting that I never really cared about until now. It's true that you want to marry your best friend, which I can %100 say that I am doing, but I am also blessed enough to marry someone who exhibits the love of Christ so apparently that I can't help but want to emulate it. So yes, I know I have rambled on and on...and not really even about wedding stuff. I promise the next post won't be as long. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Come Meet Mark's Career!

Mark and Olivia here! We wanted to invite all of you guys to Mark's next advocacy/fundraising event on February 20th. You can come get a glimpse of what Mark's career is focusing on and meet him as well if you haven't met him yet. Details here:

Let us know if you can come. All the money raised goes to charity:water too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wedding Bands and 1 Month

Hello all! Today marks an official month that Mark and I have been engaged. :) Yesterday we were both talking and were amazed at how smoothly and stress-free things have been thus far. We're also really glad that the majority of our wedding is planned already. Apart from a few things, such as booking the honeymoon and finding a good caterer (Jims Place East, you have my permission to read this and volunteer your services for free anytime you would like :)), we are pretty much through.

We went to get our wedding bands yesterday afternoon. I am not sure which was better, picking out our wedding bands together or having my engagement ring cleaned! It looks so much more sparkly now! I feel bad because it gets dirty so easily while I'm at work. :(

School has already begun and it is going to be a hard semester for both of us. Mark is taking 9 hours while still managing his store, and I am in my final semester before I graduate and just want it all done and over with. We would appreciate any prayers of endurance and simply energy to work, do school, and finish wedding planning. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Quick Thank You...

Mark here!

It's late and I'm working on Operation Broken Silence stuff. Olivia is asleep at her current home with the soon-to-be my cat as well, Cinnamon. I'm still convinced Cinnamon has it in for me, hopefully not though...

Just wanted to throw out a quick thank you to Olivia's parents for helping us out so much with our wedding planning! Olivia's rocking mom has been especially great at being there when we need her advice and help. For me personally, it's great to know I am going to have two amazing in-laws!

Back to work as my bed calls me...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Mark and Olivia here. As school will be starting next Thursday, Mark and I wanted to get as much wedding planning done as we could. We originally wanted our venue to be at our friend Eric's house, but expenses and weather backups got to us and sent us to the lovely Carahills II in Gallaway, TN. We now have our location set and we both feel a lot less stressed. :)

Before school begins, next week includes our cake testing appointment (which I am stoked about, but Mark couldn't care less because he doesn't like cake...weird I know) and meeting with our florist, a friend of Mark's. I'm really excited about trying all of the yummy cake samples. :) Picking out pretty yellow flowers is coming into a close second too though. The next stop for us is finding a good caterer for the wedding and finalizing the guest list.

We are both so ready for these almost four months to fly by so we can be married. :) Although the engagement time is definitely fun and I'm sure is just going to get better and better, the light at the end of the tunnel is saying that 'I do.' We are excited about our first wedding showers as well, though I don't know how many poor Mark gets to go to (it's sad how much grooms are overlooked). Til the next post! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wedding Location!

Here's a few pictures of where we are getting married! It's at the beautiful Carahills in Gallaway, TN: