exciting news!

Well, as the Monday winds down and becomes Tuesday, I'm here in our office where my side is finally starting to resemble a workspace. Ben's side, on the other hand, looks like he'll be living out of boxes for a little while.  We've finally gotten all of our things into the new place and are slowly putting things in order/where they belong and making it look like home (which it will be for a long time). I'm excited to get things all put in order and put things on the wall so it looks like a real home.

But that is neither here nor there. What I'm really writing about is the exciting email I got this morning.

So I've been going on and on about this wedding blog that I follow pretty religiously (as in it is part of my morning routine in the morning - who doesn't love a good wedding story to start their day?). A few weeks ago, there was a post about an online wedding invite/website that is pretty awesome and was created by a woman who wanted to make wedding planning easier/cheaper for everyone. Cheaper? Easier? Awesome! THEN they were having a giveaway for packages for these online wedding invitation/website. All you had to do was leave a comment about WHY you deserved to win. So I did. And I WON! SPECTACULAR! I got the email this morning! You should probably check out this website because these are some pretty fun/awesome invitations, too! This is really awesome because it will definitely save us money on postage plus it helps us in our cause to go green/be less of a drain on society/the environment. Plus, it's cool because I actually won something. and save for crane machines, I never win anything.*

Anyway...hopefully sooner rather than later, we'll have this place up and running like civilized people and I can take good pictures to show you what wonderful decorating skills Ben and I have. when that happens, I'll post them here and on facebook so you should check it out and leave comments about how much you want to come stay here so we can arrange that as well! ;)



Home is Where the Heart Is...Part Zwei

So last night was about moving away from my home for a mere four years. Tonight, I'll be reflecting on this monumental move out of my (mostly) childhood home.
This one is a little bit tougher and a little bit easier at the same time. It's a strange feeling of moving away and yet, I'm still moving closer. For instance, instead of driving 2 hours to visit home and staying here for days on end, I'll drive 15 minutes, stay as long as I like and then drive home to my own place. So while I may not be staying here relentlessly, I'll likely be visiting more often and actually get more facetime with those who matter (i.e. not "my" room).

That being said, it has been my room for the last 8 or so years (since DC moved out) and I truly made it my room. The walls are bright orange and the trim is blue - remnants from my obsession (and I don't use obsession lightly) with U of I. The sign outside the door says "Kaytlin's Room: Enter at Your Own Risk" - a truthful warning most of the time.

There have been a lot of memories made in this basement...from snow days with friends to every New Year's Eve in high school to summertime "crunchtimes" and all the spaces in-between. There have also been a lot of changes made to this basement that perhaps make this transition a little bit easier. For one, Rex and Mom have put in a bar. It's an addition I find fitting, signaling the maturity of our family, I think. While I was in high school, I "needed" a space where we could all be at one time. Where we could lounge lazily and watch a movie or six. Now, what we ALL need is a space where we can enjoy a drink while enjoying each other's company and watching the game.

I guess what I find myself thinking as I write this post is that this transition out of this home doesn't really seem that difficult. I imagine it is more difficult for Ma than it is for me. Not because I won't miss having a room here; not that it is going to feel "good" to have my room become the extra room but because I know that when I need it to be, it will be MY room. If I need to stay here sometime, I know (almost for sure) that I will be able to. And no matter what, this will always be home. This will always be where I grew up. And as long as Ma lives here, I can always come home.

As I've said before and will say again, home is where the heart is. My home is here, where my family is, but my home will also be where Ben is. And we're building that together. It's going to be something great, not just the house we live in but the home we make. We've been working on it for awhile now, testing those waters in college, but now we get to run the show and I'm excited to see where it takes us.
Stay tuned! Next blog: new place updates!


Home is Where the Heart Is...part 1.

So here's the highly anticipated blog about my transition into real adulthood. It's taken me awhile to write for a couple of reason:
a. The last couple of nights have been jam-packed with moving things. Packing, lugging, unpacking, building, packing more shit, unpacking...etc. I've been dog tired at the end of the night and the thought of writing this blog filled with emotions seemed more draining than cathartic (which I think it is supposed to be).
b. I didn't quite have what I wanted to say pieced together. I mean, there's a lot to say about moving from one phase of life into about a million more phases all at once. I should at least try to do it eloquently...and not in a jumbled mess of what my stream of consciousness looks like.

So here I am on a Saturday night after a lighter day of building and arranging and purchasing ready to sit down and think about what it means to me to be leaving a place that feels like home in so many ways, doing it again in my real home, and moving into what is about to become my HOME home. Confused yet?

Let's start here. What it means to leave Champaign-Urbana, the magical place that I came to love. At the beginning, I despised that hell hole with every fiber of my being. Being in Chambana meant I wasn't in H-town. It meant I was away from my mom (which I'll get to later). It meant that I had to focus on school, I had to communicate less with my friends, and I had to think about the future. Major bummer. BUT THEN! And it's a BIG 'but then'...I met my campus family. Ross had asked me what I was going to miss the most. I couldn't quite articulate what I wanted to say. I wanted to say a lot of things...
I'll miss the quad even though I didn't spend a LOT of time there.
I'll miss the WRC (of course).
I'll miss Espresso Royale.
I'll miss Green Street (and everything that entails).
I'll miss the fact that I can usually call any number of my friends if I get bored and at least one of them will go get coffee with me.
...But instead I said I'll miss the familiarity. Which is true. But not entirely true. I'm not unfamiliar with our new locale...I'm just not four straight years familiar. And by familiarity, I think I really just meant FAMILY. because that's what everyone there is to me. There are my friends who are like these long lost brothers and sisters that I like to cook for and hang out with all the time. And we can party and be stupid and then the next day show up to class and take exams and all that good stuff. There are those people that were supposed to be supervisors or professionals, but instead treated me like their daughter, sister, and/or friend. There are those professors who care enough about me (one of 500 of their students) to ask me to get coffee with them or to stop by their office and just chat. And there are the people that have quickly (or not so quickly) become my role model and who I strive to emulate and make proud. Those are the people that come to mind immediately when I think about leaving that place and moving on. I just want to make those people proud to have known and taught me nearly everything that I stand for now.

I imagine that these are all or mostly all of the same feeling I had four years ago when I went from high school and college. But I was a different person then (thankfully, I think) and I will be a different person 1 year from now, 2 years from now, and 5 years from now.

I know that all of these things do not simply exist in the Champaign Urbana bubble. I know that I will eventually find these people here and at Wash U. and later on in life, whatever that may be. Hell, I may become one of those people to someone else someday. But that doesn't change the fact that these are people...: Anna, Jeremiah, Ross, Teryl, JennScott, Michelle, Bethany, Leslie, Ryan, LauraGrace, VivS., Sarah, JessicaE., Janel, NickGooler, Chantal, PatGill, and ALLLLLLLLLLLL those other wonderful ones*: who have MADE my four years at U of I something I will cherish and never regret.
I will never forget the first semester of hell. But that first semester of hell will never tinge the feelings of joy I feel when I think about my experience there. 

That's what I'll miss. Those people. and many more people. because yes, I can find a coffeeshop in St. Louis that I love (I already have one in Eville..CHECK!), and yes, I will make my own imprint on Wash U the way I did with U of I..but I can't replace those people and memories I have, nor would I ever want to. It's time for a new couch...and I'm getting one**, and I'm excited. I have butterflies. I'm sad, scared, excited, happy, antsy, nervous, etc. I have moments where I cry. I have moments where I shake with happiness. I wouldn't trade ANY of it for the world.

*clearly I'm missing people. It's bound to happen. Sorry.
** Ross had an analogy about Chambana being an old comfy couch that has your ass grooves worn in and you know exactly where all the springs stick out, etc. but sometimes, it's time to get a new couch because that old couch has been used past its prime (or something like that). It made sense.

So clearly this is part 1. I'll do part 2 another time. I'll discuss my feelings on moving out of my childhood home, too. Be ready for tears, Ma.
And maybe part 3 will be about the new place. because I can.



The boxes keep piling up..

We're gearing up for our move south in 9 days. NINE DAYS! Holy crap. and while it's been fun and all, I hate packing and moving and leaving people and packing. And in all the hustle and bustle of moving, Ben took a look at his Dental School schedule for the next few years.


Which means 2 things:
a. I'm probably going to have to get an animal mate so I can avoid discussing my days with walls and tables, and
b. we're moving the wedding to NEXT summer. 2011. WHAT?!

Oh man.. this means that legit have to start booking and planning things. Which I wasn't  prepared to do yet but I'm getting there.

We've been deciding a lot of things. And actually MAKING decisions. We found an awesome reception place (keep your fingers crossed) - the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton. It's an awesome little art gallery/event venue that I'm sorta in love with...for now. We haven't been there...but the pictures of this place are adorable. We have to go check out the event room and figure out what the extra costs are going to be, but this would be perfect for me. PERFECT.

this is the gallery. beautiful. I hope this works out.

Also we're looking at July 16 or July 23rd (which depends on availability of church/reception site).

Man look at all this wedding stuff. It's for real now. Once I've had some time to process this all, I'll come back and write about the readings, etc. that we are considering and how the ceremony process looks. But for now, I'm too amped on all this aesthetic stuff and these big details. the "small" stuff will come later (because that stuff will come pretty naturally, I think...)

Anyway..just an update.