About Me

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I live on 6 deeply wooded acres in the boonies of Middleville, MI. I'm married to an amazing man, Brian. He's pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a big animal lover. I have 5 cats; Bella (6), Cognac (3), Georgia (3), Maggie (2), & Auggie (8-9mos.) We recently lost our kittens, Aesop & Amelia, to a battle with Feline Leukemia. I feel the need to mention them. They were amazing beings that showed unconditional love like no other cats I've had. I also have Cheech (9) that I'm fostering. We have two puppies; Charlie & Henry. Having a blast! I'm a dabbler in photography, photo shop, & crafts. I'm kind of a bookworm/nerd/geek. Yes, I have read the Twilight Series. No, I'm not obsessed. I love Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, C.S. Lewis, and L. Frank Baum - among others, obviously.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Love My Friends!

A co-worker of mine, Gina, took it upon herself to make a wedding gift for Brian and I. I'm a sucker for keepsakes. She took a cigar box and totally redesigned it using our wedding colors. She sent it to Brian and I and there was a note inside that made me shed a few tears. Gina is leaving HPS in September and I am honestly going to miss her.


This is the outside of it.


This is the inside of it.


And she even made it so we can have a picture on the outside. Genius.

She also mentioned me on her blog. Click here.

And speaking of blog... Laura, our predominately awesome photographer for the wedding, put a few engagement pictures of Brian and I on her blog. Click here.

This weekend I finally selected my flower girl dress.



I'm pretty excited about it. I looked at so many places... Most weren't in my price range. I mean, it's the 4th of July... I didn't need anything that would make her overheated. So, I got this for an amazing deal at JC Penney.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Am Just a Bloggin' Fiend Tonight...

Yes, Yes... I know, it's my second blog tonight. I can't help it. I have just completed all of the necklaces for the wedding. I made seven total; 4 for the bridesmaids, 1 for Colleen, 1 for my flower girl, and 1 for ME.

And since I always have to take pictures of everything...


What have I been up to...?

Well, I believe Brian and I are procrastinators. We haven't made one full pinwheel yet. We have several made and we have several sticks... We just haven't done them yet. sigh...

This past weekend, after constructing that totally awesome practice bouquet from my last post, I helped Brian clean out his garage. Oh my goodness was it crowded with junk. Sorry, Bri... It's true... But it wasn't all of Brian's junk... There were some pretty questionable things in there from the people that lived in his house prior. It was a pretty big task...

Yesterday I had gotten a quote from my friend on the wedding cakes. It was a number that was very startling. And Brian and I both decided that we could not pay the amount and that we'd most likely have to find an alternative. Which we have...

Coming up with wedding stuff...

Thursday: Brian and I will be dropping off our four sand vessels to a friend of mine that will be doing some etching into the glass. There are three small vessels for the three colors of sand. My sand color is a calming green and my vessel will have "Amy Faith" etched into it. Brian's sand color is a calming blue color and his will have "The Brian" etched into it. Our officiant's sand is a cream color and his will have his name etched into it and he may keep that forever and ever... And cherish it. ;) Then our main, larger vessel will have "The McKinley's" etched into it.

Friday: Brian and I have dinner with Colleen and Johnny; the Master and Mistress of Ceremonies. I'm pretty excited about this. I specifically wanted them for this wedding role. Along with being my time keeper / BFF on the day of, they will be making a speech at the wedding. I'd like them to include a few pointers for Brian and I or a "what to look out for" kind of thing in their speech since they themselves were recently married. And also, I think it's pretty neat that they'll be the first people to announce us as "Mr. & Mrs. McKinley." :)

Saturday: Since Brian will be busy making a website, my brother Robert will be going to GR with me. I have several stops to make. I'll be stopping at David's Bridal, Michael's Craft Store, and several other dress shops so that I can FINALLY find a flower girl dress. I haven't really been too impressed with some of them that I've been looking at. Then, later that night we'll be meeting the DJ again to go over some more music.

Sunday: The only thing on our agenda is church. Which I'm sure we'll end up either making another trip somewhere... Or we might actually get that time to stop procrastinating and actually finish a pinwheel.

Then next Thursday Brian and I will be taking a few hours off of work to go apply for our marriage license. YAY! It's getting down to the nitty gritty now!

And on the 6th, we'll be having our final meeting with John, our officiant. We're exited, so I'm sure that John is super excited. :)

And now... A random picture...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Practice Bouquet!

My Mom helped me make my practice bouquet today...


I was very impressed with it.


It's gorgeous.


So pretty...



After the practice bouquet was constructed, my cousin came over. Brian and I were helping her with some photo editing. And she brought little Natilee Rose with her...


Look at her little chunky legs. :)


And this was the result after lots and LOTS of crying and milk.

I know this isn't much of a blog. I was just too excited and had to post pictures of my practice bouquet.

Also, here is one of my favorite professional pictures of Natilee...


Friday, May 22, 2009

"Last Night on Earth"

Last Night on Earth is a song that I'm absolutely in love with right now...

This week has been a busy one. My co-worker in my department had two back surgeries this week to fix scoliosis. She will be out for three months or more. sigh. I wish her a speedy recovery. So, while she's out, I'm currently trying to do BOTH jobs in the time it normally takes me to do my job. My boss hired part time work to come in and help me out. Her name is Christine and she is absolutely awesome. She's only in the office 4 hours a day, but I'm still feeling the crunch of these two jobs. Pray for me that I'll be able to complete all of my work tasks, my new work tasks, training the new girl, AND plan a wedding...

Oh yeah... Wedding talk...

This Tuesday my maid of honor, Sara, came over and did a trial run of my hair. She'll be doing my hair for the wedding. C'mon, $50 for a "wedding" updo?" I swear, they'll tack on $20 because it has to do with a wedding... Which it turned out beautifully...


This is the front view. It'll look much better on wedding day. Sara didn't use any product on it to hold anything in place better... My, look at all of those freckles...


And this is what the back looked like.

And earlier this morning, my cousin, Scott, brought in two dozen roses for me. (I'll be making a couple practice bouquets.) His wife picked them up for me on Thursday since she was in the area. Thanks, Addie! And since HPS was generous today, they let us leave at 2:30 p.m. to get an early start to the holiday weekend. So, I got to Brian's house and started taking pictures of these beautiful flowers...


Red roses...


And white roses...


Georgia was pretty interested in them...


... A little too interested...


She started to creep me out a little bit...

Ok... Just a couple more pictures and then I'll get back to blogging...



So, coming up...

Tonight: Brian and I meet with the DJ for the wedding to go over songs for the wedding.

Saturday: I have a hair appointment! I'll be getting the "spa" treatment, whatever that means. But I'll also be getting about a half inch trim. YAY! Then my Mom and I will be at Brian's house... She'll be helping me with practice bouquets... (2 cats at Brian's house are better with flowers than the 10 at my house...) And my cousin Sara will be coming to Brian's house and we'll be helping her do some photo editing... Then her and I will be making a trip to "The Wall" Walmart... to print them off for her.

Sunday: Church in the morning... And then we're going to be in GR most of the day. We'll be making some stops around there; Stopping at Rachel's apartment to feed her adorable cat, Clover, while Rachel camps out this weekend. Then we'll be at Michael's to get more beads so that I can finish the bridesmaids necklaces... And then we'll also be at Burlington Coat Factory. People have been telling me to check there to look for a flower girl dress.

Monday: I believe Brian and I will be in GR to go to this free Sam's Club day thingy...

And lastly, May 13th would have been my Grandma Hayes' 93rd birthday. She passed away almost three years ago July 1, 2006 at the age of 90.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

47 More Days To Go

First off, my dress fitting went really well. My dress fits absolutely perfectly. It's gorgeous. My Mom went with me. Oddly, she didn't cry. Though, she admitted she cried later on when she was at home by herself just thinking about what I looked like in the dress.

Brian and I also managed a couple trips to GR this weekend. Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale on their bridal items. So, Brian and I bought several decorations and items for the wedding; tulle, floral tape, gift card box...

Then we went back to GR on Friday night to pick up the trellis that we wanted for the wedding. As we're getting out of the car, this African American man comes up to Brian and starts talking. He starts off really polite to Brian. When he looks at me he says, "That's an ugly frown." Which confused me. I mean, I wasn't even frowning. I was just trying to listen to him because of the noisy traffic in the background. And then turns back to Brian. And he starts telling Brian this story about how he had car trouble on I96 and that he had walked 7 miles. Which, I96 wasn't even in the direction he pointed and he was holding a cell phone. So, why walk 7 miles? Brian instantly knew that this guy was a grifter. Which meant that he was probably going to steal money from us. So, after this story that he says to Brian, he moves toward Brian as if to shake his hand. We didn't know if he had a knife or gun or anything, so Brian just started walking away really fast. He whipped his head over to me and I got as close to Brian as I could. The guy starts yelling rudely at us and saying that we're afraid to "touch black skin" and Brian yells to him, "Do you have a cell phone?" And the guy says he does. Then Brian says, "There might be a phone inside that you can use to call for help." Then the guy gets really mad and is shouting to us about why would he need to go inside and call for help if he has a cell phone on him. Which, was Brian's point exactly. Why would he be asking for help when he could easily have called someone on his cell phone? Also, during his "7 mile" walk to get help, why wouldn't he have just stopped at the nearest gas station? Why go to a Hobby Lobby parking lot?

Anyway, after that we went into Hobby Lobby Since my car was vandalized last year, I was freaking out that something was going to happen to my car again. and told the manager that there was a man outside that was suspicious and most likely a grifter. And he had just gotten a call from a woman in the parking lot and that he had already called some sort of strip mall security to get him off of the premises.

People like that really upset me.

Brian and I walked around Hobby Lobby for a while and bought a few items.
Then we dined out at Yen Ching in GR. And came back to Barry County.

This weekend I'd been having trouble with my right eye lid. Being swollen and sore. I lifted up my eyelid and saw a bump under it. I know it's gross, but I was freaking out. So, I took bendryl, put ice on it, and rinsed my eye out... It's gotten better... So much better that Brian and I were able to do our ENGAGEMENT PICTURES! Yay! My eye isn't back to 100% yet, but it's a ton better.

Our picture session with Laura was awesome. We drove the '68 and '84 El Caminos to her house and got several great shots. Then we walked around on state land and finished our session at Fish Hatchery Park. Then, because Laura's awesome, she treated us to Dairy Queen. We'll definitely have to take her out somewhere sometime and she will NOT be allowed to pay. ;) I should be getting pictures back in a couple weeks. So, yippee! I know my Mom is dying to see them.

Also this weekend. We met with John, who is officiating at the wedding. We had to go over a more extensive Q and A so he could get know us better. I don't know if Brian and I talk too much or what, but we weren't able to finish our answers before the restaurant closed. ;) I enjoyed the time talking with John. Hopefully he enjoyed it, too.

Lastly... Picture time.


I bought some flowers to "pretty up" Brian's porch.



Red flowers are compliments from HPS.


This is the gift card box for the wedding. I spruced it up with some tulle and bows.


Close up of it...


And this will be right in front of Brian and I on our head table at the wedding.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Changes and Updates

So, our engagement pictures were re-scheduled for the 17th, Sunday. Thanks, Stupid Rain.

Coming up this week:

Tonight: Dress fitting! Yay! I'm pretty excited about that. My Aunt's Sister, Waneta, will be making the alterations on my dress. No, she's not my Aunt. She's my Aunt's (by marriage) sister... Although, I do think of her as family. My Mom's going with me. I'm sure she'll cry... And afterward we'll be gettin' some Subway!

Wednesday: Tanning. And then making a trip to GR to get to Hobby Lobby. I've got several 40% off coupons that I need to use before Sunday.

Thursday: Nothing!? Nah, that's not really true... Brian and I need to finish up our Q and A paper that John, the awesome guy who'll be officiating, will be discussing with us...

Friday: Same has Thursday pretty much. Brian and I are going to try to relax as well. We may even watch one of our favorite shows together; Adam-12.

Saturday: We meet with John! We'll be going over the Q and A. We won't see him again until the 6th of June for our final meeting before the wedding. Then Brian and I need to get back up to GR after that so we can use a couple more of those 40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby. And then when we get back to Barry County I'll be going with my cousin, Sara, to help her out with some picture editing.

Sunday: Engagement pictures! You hear that, Mother Nature!? Don't rain! Please pray that it won't rain...

That's the line up for this week.

Last week, HPS threw Brian and myself a wedding shower! We were a little overwhelmed to say the least. And I was actually a bit shy because we had to open presents in front of so many people. But we got some great items that Brian and I will definitely be using in the future; convection oven, toaster oven w/ a spot for toasting bagels My FAV breakfast item! Brian and I will be working on those Thank You cards soon enough. I'll just have to pencil that in somewhere...

And since it rained last Saturday... Brian, Robert, and myself went and saw Star Trek. It may be nerdy, which I don't really care... but I grew up watching many Star Trek episodes. And it was a fantastic movie. Definitely will have to buy that when it comes out on DVD.

Live Long and Prosper...

And since I don't have access to all of my photos right now, I'll leave you with and oldie but goody ...


This is a picture of me at the Warren Dunes State Park at Lake Michigan. This is the morning after Brian proposed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So, Things Are Kicking Into High Gear

So, this past weekend was a busy one. Brian and I spent most of the day on Saturday in GR in Michael's craft store. I bought what I finally decided to use to put the bridesmaids gifts in. Which, if I must say so myself, are pretty awesome. :)

We also bought the glass that we'll be using for the sand ceremony. There are four glass vessels all together. One for moi, for Brian, for our pastor, and then the main large vessel in which we pour the sand into.

Also this weekend, we went and saw the new Wolverine movie. 'Twas pretty awesome.

There's a lot coming up, especially this week.

Tomorrow we'll be going to Grand Rapids to go cake testing. Yay, cake!

Then on Thursday HPS is being awesome and throwing Brian and myself a wedding shower! Thursday night I'll be meeting with Sara (my MOH) in Middleville to discuss the wedding shower that she'll be throwing me. She'll be bringing my Goddaughter, Natilee. So, I'll grab a camera and try to get some pictures of all of us.

Then on Friday Brian and I will be meeting with Ever After Banquet Hall and getting things more finalized and signing that darned contract! Seriously, I couldn't remember to sign it and get it sent to her for the past 7 months! Isn't that bad? I'm pretty horrible. I'm going to blame it on the holidays... Yeah... That's it...

And probably one of the most things I'm excited about that's coming up; ENGAGEMENT PICTURES! We'll be gettin' our pics on on Saturday at 2:00. Brian and I will be incorporating the El Caminos and hopefully, if I can finish one, a pinwheel. YAY!!!

And now I'll be leaving you with some pictures. I may have gotten a little carried away while taking pictures of the bridesmaids gifts and sand ceremony glass. ;)


This is one of the boxes that I'm using for the bridesmaids gift.


And here it is with the gift(s) ;) inside. Can't peek though. If my bridesmaids didn't read my blog, I'd post an inside picture.


This is a cool angle of one of the glass sand vessels.

And, at this point, I've gotten carried away...