Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's the Lesson?

So it kinda sucks for this to be the first post of 2015, but it is what it is.

Last week I had an interview for a company that does benefits administration.  I did all the recommended reading about the company and asked my brother-in-law to give me his perspective of working there.  I went over the practice questions the recruiter provided.  I refreshed myself on my past call center experiences.  I prayed.  I got there early.  I was personable and engaging.  I answered all the questions thoroughly.  I gave firm handshakes and good eye contact.  I asked follow up questions relevant to the business and policies.  I felt good afterward.

Buuuut... I got an email this morning saying, "after careful evaluation of your qualifications, we have decided that our current opportunities will now effectively utilize your skills and background."  It really sucked to see that as I started my day.

I'm really glad that when I woke up this morning, I had a little conversation with God about helping me stay on top of my anxiety (which has been threatening to flare up recently).  Then I did an hour of yoga.  During that time I meditated and focused on aligning my chakras and calming my mind.  After practicing, I had breakfast and a nice cup of green tea.

Then my peaceful state was shaken by that email.  After reading it and resisting the urge to cry/crawl back under the covers I started thinking "what's the lesson"??  I mean, there has to be a lesson or some point to any struggles that God allows you to go through.  So I'm sitting here, watching Tia & Tamera trying to figure out what the lesson could possibly be.

So far... I have..
  • Maybe He's trying to get me to focus on working for Him more than to better my current financial situation.  Maybe I need to look for employment that will allow me to be more Christ centered. 
  • Maybe He's trying to tell me that He is going to provide for my needs.  I've been looking for a new job so that I can make more money so that Lamar and I can move to our first place.  I've been taking a lot of responsibility to do that on myself.  Maybe God is saying 'remember Philippians 4:19'...
And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
  • Maybe He's just saying find a way to enjoy this time of ease.  Use it to do other things.  You're picking up more interest in your handmade goods.  Use this time as a gift.

That's all I've got.  I am feeling better after thinking of these lessons.  Please keep me in prayer while I continue pondering what lessons I can learn from these setbacks.

Oh! Happy new year :) *chuckle*

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bootstraps: A How I'm Feeling Post

So it seems that I have managed to stumble myself right into quite the down day... :(  Although it wasn't really a surprise since I've been feeling a bit... murky... for the last few days, it still sucks.  I'm having a time with my anxiety as well, AND I am suppose to be doing a digital interview for a customer service job today.  Whoop-De-Flipping-Do...

I honestly feel like I might burst into tears in the middle of one of the interview questions... *sigh* but what can you do?  I was sitting in the bed this morning trying to snap myself out of my funk with a little instagram and a bit of youtube, but it didnt work.  It only led my mind to wander aimlessly, which ended up with thoughts of how useless I am and wondering if wanting to be happy at work is selfish.  I dont know.  The most frustrating part about days like this is that I cannot pinpoint a specific thing that sent me down.  Normally, I can have a bit of self talk and work out what's bothering me and figure some way to remedy it, but no matter how much self talk I did/do I'm still stuck.

How am I feeling right now?  I'm feeling like an island engulfed by fog...  I'm feeling very um... alone.  I feel like I'm all by myself in this day.  I know that down days always pass, but that knowledge does little to lessen the fierceness of the day itself.  I know I need to pull it together to do this interview.  I know I cannot collapse.  I know falling apart isn't an option.  But it gets hard.  Pulling yourself up by broken bootstraps is hard.  I just want to hide in the corner.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thrift Haul! A return to Thrifty Thursdays

A few weeks ago I had to run an errand all the way out to Babe's school in Clermont.  I say "all the way" because Clermont is a good... 45 minute drive.  So while I was up that way, I stopped at a little thrift store called Angels of Mercy.  It looked to be either a mom/pop shop or a church owned stored.  I love coming across those because they always have great finds at great prices if you're willing to take a while and pick.

When I got to the door there was a sign that said "all clothes on hangers 50% off" 0.0 and naturally I thought Thrift Store Win!  I ended up not buying any clothes because I have no real closet space, but I did kindly load myself up with a few other things.  Books being a huge portion of this haul.  SO Angels of Mercy has a books/media room and while drifting about in it I saw another sign... "Bag of Books- $2" and considering one paperback was $0.50 and a hardback was $1 it only made sense for me to get a bag.  Even if I only found like 4 books it would have been a good deal.  I ended up with 11!  Slight overkill, but whatevs!

After the book room, I ventured over to the bags and purses.  I got one tote for $4.  It's huge and bright yellow... my own bit of sunshine ^.^  It just needed a bit of a clean, but other than that it was in great condition.  I'm now carrying it as my work bag and lemme tell you I love me some big bags! (I almost said I like big bags and I cannot lie... ::rolls eyes at self::  -___-)

I also picked up a few things for the kids at work: a couple puzzles and some crayons.  Just cuz I'm nice like that.

All things considered, I spent $9 before tax for 11 books, 2 puzzles, 2 new boxes of crayons, and a large tote/weekend bag.  Oh! They gave me a free loaf of bread too. :)  This thrift trip really brought back my love for independent thrift shops.  I mean, I do enjoy shopping at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and St. Vincents Du Paul's, but there's just something about mom/pop/church thrift stores that feels so nice... Am I crazy... probably not ^.^

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Wedding Day!

So it's been.......... 5 months since I last wrote on here! Holy Canoli!!!  That is a bit ridiculous.

I totally thought that I'd be able to keep up with non-wedding blog posts throughout the wedding planning process... turns out I didn't do so well on that front, lol.  Anywho, I have returned to blogging... I may not be a frequent as I'd like (multiple posts per week) but I will actively write. Scout's honor ;-)

Since my ghost-mode was brought on by wedding planning stresses and whatnot, I figured that my "comeback" post should be the wedding story.  I'm sure I'll post more photos later.  So here goes.

Lamar and I got married on Sunday, June 15th.  It was Father's day and we had LOTS of friends and family in town.  That morning I got up super early (for my standards...) and had a blast getting ready with my girlfriends.  My bestsisterfriend, Amber, did my makeup which made it feel that much more special.  At random times throughout the morning I remember thinking 'I should eat' but be it nerves or excitement or forgetfulness I couldn't sit down to do it.  (Later on my cousin told me that she was sneaking me apple slices by calling my name and shoving a slice in my mouth.  lol! seriously!?)  Soon it was time to get cinched up into my dress.  In hindsight I should have told them it was too tight, but at the time all I was thinking was 'at least it's not gonna slip down'.

After a few hours of primping, all the ladies were ready.  We rode to the church in a stretch hummer (which I am still trying to decide how to like *shrug*).  Oh and it smelled like smoke and the AC was horrible.  We got to the church but couldn't go in because the guys hadn't made it there yet.  So we waited.  When it was time for the wedding to start and the men still hadn't arrived, I got worried and called Lamar.  He told me he was on the way.  I knew that meant he was not just going to be a couple mins late... but I said ok.  Soon it was half an hour past the scheduled start of the wedding and he still was missing.  Good ol' freak out me went just like this: wonder what's taking him so long... I hope he's OK... What If He Got Stuck In Traffic... WHAT IF HE GOT IN AN ACCIDENT!?!?!?!?!?!  OMG! HE'S BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT! ON OUR WEDDING DAY! HOLY CRAP! ::frantically dials phone:: 
He was fine. And soon arrived at the church.
When I saw him I was like c'mon yall, I'm getting out of this limo NOW!  All the guys were in the church in their places and we were FINALLY able to get out of the limo. 
First look with my dad :)
My cousin Marquita beautifully sang 'From This Moment' for the wedding party's entrance.  My friends Ricardo & Tasha sang 'God Bless the Broken Road' for my entrance.  I know it sounds super corny, but when the doors opened I only saw Lamar.  He looked so happy.  He also looked a little like he was holding his breath.  I wanted to speed walk down the aisle.  My dad and mom gave me away without crying and then we were walking up to our huppah.

Lamar and I talked and laughed a lot during our ceremony.  We held hands the whole time.  These are the sweet little things I remember.  Lamar's younger brother, Jason, sang 'I Want to Spend Tomorrow Here with You', my old roommate, Cherie, shared a reading called 'The Art of a Good Marriage', and our friend, Brianna, played violin while we lit the unity candle.  I loved having them participate in our ceremony.
One of the highlights of our ceremony was the kiss.  And not for the kissy face reason.  Lamar decided to "choreograph" a bit to Kiss de Girl from the Little Mermaid.  The bridesmaids were dancing and the groomsmen were encouraging him to get on with the kiss.  The best part was that our guests didn't know it was coming so there was a collective whaaat?? at the beginning. :) 
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This is probably one of my favorite kiss pictures because of Allan's epic fist pump!
Just before we were pronounced husband & wife we had a 37 seconds moment.   I wanted to do it because SO many people kept telling me that my wedding day would be a blur of smiles and people and I wouldn't remember hardly any of it or who was there.  I figured that if I could take a bit of time to look at everyone and consciously make the memory I should.  So based on the quote from Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium "37 seconds well spent is a lifetime", we stood and looked out on all our friends and family.  I am VERY glad we did it.  It's the only time I remember seeing my best friend Ricky :)
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We were then pronounced and everyone clapped and cheered.  The last part of the ceremony was a blessing read by our fathers.  Well it was supposed to be read by our fathers... Lamar's dad read the part I gave him, but my dad decided not to read the one I gave but to make up his own instead.  I'm so glad it still went with the theme of the blessing.

The reception was pretty standard, I think, well except for the appetizers and drinks during the cocktail hour.  Those were all created by Lamar and put together by him & the groomsmen (which was the reason for his late ceremony arrival). They were delicious.  We had toasts to our parents, toasts from the Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor, mother son dance, father daughter dance, first dance, cake cutting... all the necessities.
All the toasts were really awesome. We're so blessed to have such great friends and family.
There were a couple surprises such as, my Maid of Honor, Sheree's toast was a poem she wrote to Eminem's "My Name Is" and that was really cool.  She even had these christian folk doing the call and response (HI - my name is - WHAT - my name is - WHO - my name is mrs. mrs. mrs. ryan!) Lamar changed our first dance song at the last minute to 'At Last' and Tasha sang the mess out of it.
I always have so much fun dancing with Lamar :)
He also asked Marquita to sing 'Fever' and we chair danced along (a la Cosby's). Ricardo and Vincent also sang during dinner.  When Lamar and his mom danced, they looked so sweet ^.^ I remember he was wondering if she would actually dance.  I'm glad she did.
Look how cute these two are!
The father-daughter dance was definitely a surprise for everyone because not only did my dad put together a choreographed dance segment to 'Billie Jean'... it turned into an impromptu dance battle between us! lol! Then when we got the the actual dance to 'Daddy's Angel' there are now quite a few pictures of my dad's crying face. hehe :)
I honestly thought my dad was going to have a tearful breakdown.
When we cut the cake, I remember thinking that it looked exactly like the drawing the baker did.  It had 3 tiers each with their own color and flavor (yellow amaretto, green velvet, blue lemon). I'm pretty sure the blue layer may have confused a guest or two.  The groom's cake was a stack of donuts topped with an Orlando Magic logo (please excuse the fact that the logo is upside-down in the picture) and sculptures of Kiva & Toot done by my aunt Margie.  Lamar was soo excited. :)
Yum! All the goodies!

The rest of the night was spent dancing with friends and family and having a good time!

So that was our wedding day.  To be completely honest, the first month after I had a hard time feeling like it was the "best day ever" because I could only see all the things that went wrong.  The expected wedding day was SO different than the reality and that made it hard for me to be happy about it.  One night I googled 'wedding day gone wrong' and read story after story of wedding fails.  That helped me to see that ish happens... even on your wedding day.  Everyone has some horror story in the files of their wedding, but you have to focus on the whole day and not the bad details in order to see that it was the best day ever.  Now, four months later, I am consistently laughing at most of those bad details.  But I see the day as I should: the day Lamar and I promised forever. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Small Stones: A How I'm Feeling Post

Recently I've been feeling quite overwhelmed with all things wedding.  It's warranted because our wedding is 3 weeks away and there is still SO much yet to be done... or at least I feel like there is. 

I've been having a super hard time going to sleep as of late, and that is starting to catch up with me.  Meaning, I'm starting to sleep smooth through my morning alarms which is not good.  Especially when my to-do list is way way longer than the done list.

Tonight, a few minutes ago, I checked my email and opened a message from a daily positivity thing I signed up for a long time ago.  This was the quote:

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." ~William Faulkner

This is actually the second time I've come across this quote in recent days.  It gives me encouragement.  It's saying, "just keep moving small stones, one project at a time, and when you look up, Kilimanjaro will be moved."

I need to keep this quote nearby.  It applies to so much more than to-do lists or wedding planning.  Any area of life can benefit from the mindset that a mountain is nothing but a pile of small stones.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wedding Spot: DIY Wedding Veil

Hey there, it's wedding diy time again ^.^  Crafting my wedding one detail at a time (I'm corny, I know)

One of the first things I decided to definitely try to DIY was my veil.  I figured that a veil is, at its base, a piece of tulle, a comb, and a bit of trim.  I can handle that. I was an apparel and design minor in college after all! If I can't make a wedding veil, my teachers would be SHAMED! lol

In the midst of my dress search, I tried on a veil and unfortunately it weren't pretty... I totally felt like I couldn't breathe! I went all panicky and what not.  Afterwards I thought, "well I guess I need to walk around with a sheet over my face as practice..." *shrug*

So back to the DIY.  I first took pictures of veils that I liked to figure out what style to create.  In the end, I chose a 2-tier elbow/fingertip length design.  This would allow the top tier to double as the blusher.  It would have a comb attachment and a nice floral trim.

Inspiration veil from David's Bridal

Of course, like a good DIY'er, I did quite a bit of pinteresting to find a usable pattern.  I found and really like this one. The instructions were clear and super easy to follow. Two thumbs up!  I got my tulle from Joann's because I cannot justify not using a coupon on my crafty purchases... The hair comb came from my local beauty supply store and the trim was from the fabric shop I wrote about a little bit ago <original post -here->.

So yeah, I jumped right on it.

Picture 1: Determine the length you want for your blusher/top tier and back tier.
(I rigged up my dressform to simulate me with my wedding hair :) and draped the tulle over to determine how I wanted the veil to fall.  My dress is also on the form so I could make sure the details showed the way I wanted.)
Pictures 2 & 3: Lay out the tulle and cut to the desired length.  Round the edges.
Picture 4: Fold top tier over bottom tier and clip.
Pictures 5 & 6: Pin along the fold line and sew a wide running stitch to gather.
Picture 7: Gather tulle along the stitch line.  Sew back and forth a couple times to secure.
Picture 8: Attach the hair comb to the gathered area.
Picture 9: Sew on trim

The first hard part I ran into was gathering the tulle. Who woulda thought... It was SO fiddly and trying to hold and sew a straight line down that wispy fabric was enough to set my teeth on edge!  But eventually I got it done. [imagine accomplished face Caleisha here ^.^]  After I successfully gathered everything, I began the super-tedious task of pinning the trim to the edge.  Once I made my way about half way around, I noticed that there was way too much ruffling happening in the front.  That caused me to have to remove the whole gather -___- and redo with less material.

It took quite a bit of back & forth and trying different things before I had a veil that I could be proud of.  I'm very glad I decided to make my veil instead of just buying one.  There is just something about knowing that you yourself made aspects of your wedding details.

One of my favorite details of the finished veil is the price comparison to the inspiration veil.  As a thrifty gal, this seriously warms my heart *.* BOOO-YAAA!!!

I can't wait to see the veil with my dress on our wedding day! (1 month 4 days & counting ^.^)