Saturday, July 25, 2009

What a wonderful evening! The countup is being momentarily suspended.

Amy is going to be a beautiful bride, and she is going to have a beautiful ceremony to match. Tonight was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, as well as the arranging of the gym for the reception. It was a big day, and tomorrow is going to be even bigger!

Diana and I went to lunch at Julep today - Julep is probably one of my favorite places to eat. We ate after 2:00 - due to me! Afterwards, I headed to the church where Amy was getting a manicure. When I walked into the building, Amy was sitting in the middle of a long couch. Lizby was sitting across a table from her working on her hand, and Amy was surrounded by a passel of little girls who were just entranced by the whole thing. I walked in to a barrage of questions, "Are you her maid?" "What color are your dresses?" "Are you her roommate?" The funniest thing was that Amy had been regaling them with stories of our roommate days and they had all kinds of opinions about what we should have done about "Killer Moth" or the bats. That had to be one of the best wedding manicures!

Afterwards, I headed over to the sanctuary. I was a little early, so I sat and listened to the musicians rehearse for a little while. That was when the wedding really began to seem both real and imminent. I realized that in less than 24 hours, Amy and Kyle would be married, and we would all be walking (gliding?) out of the sanctuary to the music that was being played so buoyantly. Everyone began to slowly gather for the rehearsal and meet and greet each other. It was fun to meet everyone's special people and discover the role they played in Kyle or Amy's life. Meeting Amy's people that I didn't know was really a special treat, because in some ways, it was like meeting old friends. These people have been such an integral part of Amy's life, and it was just fascinating to put faces with names and stories. The rehearsal itself went very well. One thing that made me laugh was the recessional - as each set of bridesmaids and groomsmen reached the end of the aisle, they would introduce themselves to each other. I really appreciate how the pastor began the rehearsal by putting everything into perspective - that this ceremony is really a worship service and ultimately all about God.

After the rehearsal was over, everyone headed to the rehearsal dinner. Most people were not exactly sure where we were going, so about 5 cars caravaned over. At one point, I was briefly stuck at a red light where I needed to make a right turn. When I made the turn and crested the hill, I was quite surprised to see several of the cars from the caravan about to turn into my old apartment complex! I'm not really sure how they got over there, but I just waited in the lane for them all to come back out, and then we proceeded onward. The dinner itself was absolutely lovely. We ate on a beautiful porch overlooking a gorgeous body of water. There were twinkle lights everywhere, and it wasn't too hot.

Afterwards, we spent a good hunk of time setting up the gym for the reception. It looks absolutely wonderful now - I wish I could say I helped more, but I just don't have the decorator talent. I helped wash chairs!

I can't wait to see the look on Kyle's face when Amy walks down the aisle tomorrow.

We need to have more celebrations in life!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Countdown - T-9

Nine nights until I depart for Tokyo, and eight nights until I leave family and friends. Boo. I don't like leaving. Wait a minute here! I'm going to start over:

New Post:
In eight days I will arrive at pre-departure orientation! Nine days until I arrive in Tokyo and orientation begins! Well, technically there is an extra day there somewhere - we leave on Saturday and arrive on Sunday - but who's counting (uh, that would be me). We are staying in lovely hotels for both pre-departure orientation and Tokyo orientation - or, the hotels just have really good webmasters! Heeheehee. I've never flown internationally before, so this will be a...trip. I crack myself up.

I found out some very good news today! I talked to my pred today, and my wardrobe sounds like it will be just right for working in Japan! I was concerned, because some people on the forums said they had to wear business suits, while others said they wore track suits. This is not what I've been wearing for the past 5 years. At all. I bought my first real suit for the JET interview (which, if you are a prospective applicant reading this, was an excellent choice), and I own NO track suits. Blaaaah! Give me a skirt and top anyday! Yes, I am slightly obsessed with clothing. I am not ashamed. After all, I am a discount shopper. True story: My sister and I shopped at the mall for hours yesterday and found no tops we liked better than one I bought last year at Ross. I think it was $9.99.

(The author has left the building for a shopping break)

Well, writing about shopping inspired me to do some more shopping. Honestly, I know this is difficult to believe, but I am actually getting tired of shopping. I've basically been digging through piles of clearance items - both in stores and online - looking for winter clothes. But, here is an inspiring story for you. You see, I had 2 beautiful chocolate brown cardigans. I bought one on sale for under $15 and the other one for under $5. They actually matched and were from Ann Taylor Loft. They went perfectly with so many outfits. I could toss one on over my favorite sundress or pair one with a teal top and chocolate brown pants. They were serious staples of my wardrobe. Actually, they were more like the support beams! Then one day I wore one while my hair was being highlighted. Sadly, my sweater was highlighted as well. But, things were not too bleak, as I had a spare just for this sort of wardrobe emergency. Several months went by with chocolate brown cardigan bliss until the next fateful day. I was in my office working and realized that all was not well. There was a giant hole where a hole was not supposed to be in a sweater. Well, I didn't know what to do, because as anyone who has shopped for a cardigan knows, it is very difficult to find one that is cheap, looks good, and is the right color. It's like the old joke about the automobile repair shop - you can only choose two of the three. For a while, I tried wearing my sad little sweaters anyway, hoping no one would notice that my sweater was dyed, or that there was a big hole, but I eventually had to give up because I was looking kind of pathetic. So, for quite some time now, many of my favorite pieces of clothing have been useless. However, today brought a moment of triumph! After searching for weeks, no, months, I finally found...are you ready... a chocolate brown cardigan! Tada!! And it was at TJ Maxx and not very expensive! And it even looks pretty good! But, I'm still getting tired of shopping!

On other fronts, Amy and Kyle's rehearsal is TOMORROW!!!!!! I cannot believe they will be married the day after tomorrow! OK, technically it is now 12:02 AM, which means that they will be married tomorrow, but that sounds even weirder. I am so excited for both of them - I really do think they will be very happy together. I know God has wonderful things in store for them.

The countdown marches on! Perhaps I will rename it the countup...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Countdown - 10 nights until Nashville departure, 9 nights until Jackson departure

OK, so today I didn't complete many tasks, but I spent some quality time with my family. I think I made a good choice! And I do have to say that my task list is slowly shrinking. This is a very good thing! Of course, I keep adding to it...

Good news! The weather forecast has improved for the day of the wedding! When it first came on the 10 day forecast, it looked like it might rain. Now, Saturday is listed as mostly sunny. No matter what happens though, it will be a good day! Also, I've decided what to wear to the rehearsal dinner, so everyone can breathe easier now. I still need to finish the necklaces for the wedding, but they shouldn't be too much of a problem now that I know what I'm doing (sort of).

One of the strange things about not working is losing track of the days of the week. A minute ago, I was sure it was Tuesday...but it is actually Wednesday. Weirdness.

In case you were wondering, these posts are not going to be anything particularly deep or amazing. I just thought it might be interesting to have a chronicle of the days before going to Japan. If they are too boring, I'll just delete them one day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Countdown - 11/10

No, my countdown is not until November 10! It is 11 nights until I leave for Tokyo, and 10 nights until I leave home for Nashville. Even though I just wrote that, and I know in my head it's true, I still don't believe this is really happening. This needs to start feeling real to me very soon so I can do everything I need to do! One of the huge things I need to be doing right now is packing all my work clothes that I'm no longer using. I also need to find some fun things that represent the good ol' U.S. of A. and/or Mississippi. Suggestions??

My sister and nephew are also in for a visit, which has been lovely! By the time I finish my JET contract, my nephew will be about to start kindergarten! Auggh! I really am glad to have a chance to spend some time with them before I head out.

I also can't believe Amy is getting married in 3.5 days!! I have some jewelry I need to finish making before the big day - bet you didn't know I could do that, did you? Well, honestly, neither did I. It's been fun, though!

Well, this is where things pretty much are at 11/10 nights out! I hope I will be able to get my act together soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

What I know about Wakkanai

It will be kind of fun to post what I know about Wakkanai now and see how my knowledge changes once I'm there. So, without further ado, here are some things I know about my future hometown.
  1. It is cold.
  2. It is cold all the time.
  3. It is close to the northernmost point of Japan
  4. There is a bus system
  5. It snows in the winter
  6. Most places I need are within walking distance
  7. It is a windy place
  8. There are at least 4 churches
  9. The population is 40,000...or 39,000...or 44,000
For now, that's what I know about my new city!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sincere apologies to my future Tokyo roommates

I would like to offer my apologies in advance to the ladies who will be my future Tokyo roommates. My brother and I just returned from some shopping, and I am now armed with 2 battery operated alarm clocks. One is especially annoying. In anticipation of jet lag, I decided that it would be best to go armed with an arsenal of alarm clocks. Apparently, if one is not present at certain orientation meetings, one's entire chain of command - perhaps all the way to the prime minister or the emperor - is notified of one's absence. Talk about utter humiliation, especially if one was peacefully sleeping in one's room because one was jetlagged from one's not-one-but-two early morning airport departures.

Right now, one's alarm clocks are being put to good use as cooking timers. One is in charge of making sure dinner does not burn (this is especially important, because it is one of one's favorite dinners). Life is also good, because one of one's favorite TV shows is about to come on!