Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Other Side

After the planning, the prepping, the dreaming, the praying, the vow exchanging, the dance partying, the picture taking, and the adventure memory making...

Mr. & Mrs. and back to the real world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Recap

Ginger got married.

There are... no words.

So instead, I put together this video about my weekend trip to Phoenix for Ginger and David's (GORGEOUS) wedding!


The Wedding Trip from Val Mae on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

By Tomorrow

This blog is written and shared by two sisters.

By tomorrow, one of those sisters will be married.

One half of this blog will be part of a new half forever.

(And ever.)


I couldn’t be happier.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And so it begins.

Big weekend.
See you on the flip side... the side where my name changes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Using My Daily Allotment of Exclamation Points All in One Place

By this time tomorrow, I will be IN PHOENIX.



And I am SO EXCITED!!1!!!!1eleven

I am unbelievably happy that the trip is finally here! And I am so ecstatic for GINGER! GAH! MARRIAGE!!! WEDDING! FAMILY!! FRIENDS!!!

This is going to be. So much fun.

The wedding and trip have been taking up more and more of my brain power the closer it has gotten. At work it’s all—internety stuff! weddingweddingwedding Meetings! weddingweddingwedding Big emails! weddingweddingwedding WEDDING!!!!

I’ve been on the phone with the bride nearly every day, and with my mom SEVERAL times a day. I’ve been in constant communication with other bridesmaids and friends flying in. Joey even helped me Facebook-stalk the best man so I could send him a message! ZING!

Even as you read this blog entry, I am on the first leg of the trip,* driving to Houston and staying the night with my parents, so that in the morning the three of us can hit the airport and actually get to Phoenix!!!!

*(Thank you, blog scheduling gnomes, for making this blog possible.)

Ginger's getting married.




See you on the other side….

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Red Shoes

Yesterday was my last day at work. It's not a leave of absence or a vacation. I'm leaving the job I've had since moving to Arizona four years ago next month. I'm moving to the other side of the city to be with my (almost) husband. We figured that once we were hitched it might be nice to live in the same house. The commute to my old job would have been at least an hour each way and up to two hours in traffic. It wasn't practical. But that doesn't mean I won't miss the people and the place terribly... because I will. I was showered with love and kind words (and incredible food) all day yesterday. These are the co-workers who became my friends and then became my family out here in the desert.

While change brings grief it also brings... well... change. New church. New friends. New creative opportunities. New home.

Can I brag on the man who will become my husband in 9 days? He came home from work late after a long meeting and still insisted on taking me out to dinner. When we returned home he casually handed me a box from Amazon and said, "Sorry. I accidentally opened it and I think it's for you." I opened it and found a card with LOTS of words! (My true love language) In it D thanked me for all the sacrifices I am making to be with him - and his pledge for us to see my friends often and to help me adjust to all the changes in whatever ways I needed.

If that wasn't enough... below the card I found a box... that held these:
Yes, the shoes are super cute and a pair that I've been eyeing for months. But more than anything these shoes remind me that we are in this change TOGETHER.

New page. New chapter.

And for the WIN: A man who is always finding new ways to show me love.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hey blog world, what up. What’d you do for lunch today? Oh, really? That’s cool, I guess. What did I do? Oh, not much. You know, just WENT OUT TO LUNCH WITH MY AWESOME MISSIONARY FRIEND AMANDA.


What up NOW, blog world?

Let me tell you something about my pal Amanda. God most definitely knew what He was doing when He put her in my life. Amanda is one of the sunniest and most sparkling people that I have ever been around. I met her nearly three years ago when I first started working at my current job, but we didn’t become “besties” until a fateful trip to Six Flags.

Even though Six Flags is ALWAYS super fun, for me the best part of that particular trip was actually the drive home. Amanda drove our group, I provided the tunes, and we just clicked. Song after song, musical after musical, Amanda knew every. Last. Word. Moulin Rouge, Oklahoma, Chicago, and everything in between. We sang our hearts out to every musical you can imagine. But the best moment came at the verrrry end of the trip, when it was just the two of us in the car. And a certain song came on, and I started apologizing for the randomness even as I reached to skip it. That’s when SHE STARTED SINGING ALONG.

To this.

I know. I nearly died too.

After that it was OVER for us. We bonded over our love of musicals, our love of FUN, and our love of anything and everything CHEESY, including Glee, Twilight, High School Musical, you name it.

She constantly left sweet notes for me on my desk at work (notes that I saved and still have even in my new office!) and did fun things like call me and leave voicemails with her singing at the top of her lungs just to make me laugh.

Amanda and I also both LOVE to dress up in costume and, of course, DECORATE! Here we are last Halloween-- Veruca Salt vs. the pirate:

We LOVE going to midnight movies together! Here we are at the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last year:

Amanda is also an incredibly Christ-like woman, and last December she and her husband Shaun heard the Lord’s calling and packed up their lives and headed to Peru to be missionaries! They are so faithful to follow where He has led them, and I am constantly encouraged by their obedience and love for their Savior.

It was incredibly hard for me to watch her leave, but thankfully Amanda is a big time BLOGGER and also stays in touch over Facebook. And while I know she is where she needs to be, I still miss her loads every day! Even my college roommate knows how close I am to Amanda, and soon after A first moved we were talking on the phone she said, “So I know Amanda left… how are you doing?”

This past May Amanda made a SURPRISE visit back to the states and nearly gave me a heart attack when she popped up to give me the shock of my life! Apparently all I did was scream and not breathe for a while, and made her think I was going to pass out. Awesome.

Of course I wasn’t able to decorate for Amanda’s birthday this July like I did last year (a musical theme of course!), so instead I was able to get this little birthday box in the mail for her that included some American necessities, sure, but also some non-essential fun, like Twilight bracelets and a Twilight card game. Huzzah!!!

And she arranged to have a PINK LLAMA show up for mine, not to mention a SECRET MESSAGE in CODE. What more could a girl want???? OMG. Loved it.

I am so grateful that I got to have some one-on-one time with my pal today. She is one of the easiest people to talk to, and I always find that conversation with her makes the time go by in a FLASH. I am always able to lose all the pretenses with my fun friend and just be real and share things with her that I have not been able to share with many people. She is definitely a “haven” friend! I'll be sad to see her return to Peru again, but am blessed to have gotten time to hug her neck while she spent time in Texas.

I love you SO MUCH, Pal!