2.24.2011

30DBC #11 - Favorite TV Shows









Ya know. The basics. =)

30DBC #10 - Something You're Afraid Of

I'm terrified of death. For myself, it's not dying, but the WAY I'm going to die that I'm afraid of. And for others, it's losing them altogether. That's the hardest part. Knowing I could lose them at any moment.

Spiders. Any spiders.

30DBC #9 - A Picture of Your Friends

Kyle and I met at a school music festival in 7th grade.

Tanya was my Big Buddy during my freshman year of volleyball.

Megan was the first friend I made when we moved to IL in 5th grade.

Priscilla was the first friend I made at my current job.

Julie is my oldest friend. We've known each other since she was born!

30DBC #8 - A Place You've Traveled To

New York City - Spring Break 2008

On our way!

Can't travel without a AAA tourbook!

Greatest Greek food I've ever had! Eat here!

Sunrise from the Empire State Building.

Familia on top of the Empire State Building.

NBC Studios.

Back when we were obsessed with The Office.

I LOVE APPLE!

Eat breakfast here!

The gorgeous Cherry Lane Theatre!

The Universal Soldier.

Lady Liberty!


Ground Zero.

Best touristy trip inside the United States BY FAR. If you've never been here as an adult, GO!

30DBC #7 - Favorite Movies

Hey everyone! Since I'll be out of town for the next 4 days I thought I'd leave you a continuation of my 30DBC posts. Some are a bit early, but I'd rather be early than late. =)

P.S. I have a surprise for you when I get back. ; )

Hm...this is one I can't give a solid answer for.

I love movies, rom-coms and comedies in particular, and find new favorites all the time.

A few of my current faves?





2.23.2011

30DBC #6 - A Picture of Something That Makes You Happy


I took this picture of a rose on our rose bush a few springs ago. I love vibrant, classic flowers. I hope to have flowers in our home on a regular basis (especially in the winter months) because they cheer me up just by looking at them or smelling them.

30DBC #5 - Your Siblings

 Back when he was young and innocent. 

Now that he's a high-schooler.

2.22.2011

Wedding Planning Updates

1. *Sigh* I just put the finishing touches on our ceremony. Typed up with timing and all. Can anyone say "Type A Maniac"??? It's so beautiful and I can't wait. I've only ever cried at one wedding, but I think our wedding will definitely be a crier. At least on my end. =)

2. I went "shopping" with Josh's best man this past Sunday to figure out what the groomsmen should wear, but we came up with nothing. The original plan was to rent tuxes from Men's Wearhouse, but the combo we loved was far too expensive for a group of non-working college students to afford. Back to square one. Any suggestions ladies?

3. I have my first dress fitting, the final meeting with our florist, a meeting with our venue, and my practice hair and make-up all in the first 2 weeks of March. All that on top of school and work and I'm gonna be a busy bee!

4. House of Brides is a PAIN IN THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT! We went in the store in January, had a great experience, and ordered the bridesmaids dresses on the spot. But after we forked over the money, their service has been terrible. My mom and I both called the store and left about 6 messages with the girl we'd worked with to see when the dresses would come in and NEVER heard back from her. Finally, after 3 weeks of waiting for a response, I called the store, complained to the manager, and found out our bridesmaids dresses aren't coming in until the middle of MARCH. Why in the world did I agree to pay a freaking rush fee?

5. We got 4 positive RSVPs and our first negative RSVP today. Yipee/sad face!

6. About a week ago I ordered a pair of wedding forks off Etsy for Josh and I to use (in lieu of the traditional serving set) when we feed each other our first bite of cake as husband and wife and I received them today! Let me tell you, Rachel VanNatten DEFINITELY knows what she's doing. They are absolutely beautiful and I'm psyched to show them off. =) It's hard to tell in the photo, but one fork says "Mr." and the other says "Mrs." on the top and our wedding date is on the bottom.


7. Only 47 days until we're hitched!!!

2.21.2011

30DBC #4 - Your Parents

Without these two incredible people I would not have finished high school or even started college. 

30DBC #3- Your First Love

My first TRUE love was definitely Joshua.

I had thought I loved other guys I'd dated, and even told one I loved him, but I didn't truly understand what love was until I was sitting in the uncomfortable seats in the terminal after my first trip to D.C. to visit Josh.

We'd only been "officially dating" for about 3 months when I took my first trip out east with my mom to spend a weekend galavanting around our nation's capitol with my new boy toy. We were there for 4 days and saw most of the major things there are to see in D.C.: the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, a Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and so much more. My honey even planned a nice dinner for just the two of us on our last night together and it has since become our favorite place to dine.

In Chinatown on Day 1.

My best friend, even then. Don't mind the goofy hood.

I love his kisses.

How I knew we were meant to be. =)

My mother goofing off at the American Art Museum.

Yes, he's grabbing my boob. In public. In a picture my mother was taking.

I knew I had fallen hard for this man (cuz he sure ain't no boy!), but I could never have prepared myself for that hour in the terminal at the Dulles International Airport.


There I sat, with my 2 carry-ons, a book, and my mother...surrounded by hundreds of bustling travelers...bawling my eyes out. That's when I knew I loved him. And that's when I knew I could never love any other man. It hurt me so much to leave him after that first trip and it's hurt me every time since, but I always know I'll have my dear, sweet, silly Joshua waiting for me the next time I step off the plane in Virginia.

2.20.2011

30DBC #2- Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

Today's Day 2 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, so in keeping with my new routine, I'm going to tell you a little bit about why I chose my name, Long-Distance Love.

It's not too difficult to explain or to understand. It's fairly simple actually.

I chose to name my blog Long-Distance Love because...drum roll please...I'm in a long-distance relationship! Ta-da! Not much to explain there. Haha!

But in all seriousness, the long-distance thing has been a huge period of growth and realization of what it means to really have to WORK to keep a love strong and healthy. Not many people my age realize that and end up in miserable marriages or, worse yet, divorced within 5 years. Having to make an effort to communicate and spend time together has taught us to value every second together and to cherish each other so much more than any other relationship we'd had before. Needless to say, absence does make the heart grow fonder...and wiser in love.

However, I can't wait until May 1st, when I move to D.C. to live with my husband and we never have to do long-distance again. =)

Please Excuse My Mess

I'm in the middle of giving Long-Distance Love a make-over! Yipee!
I would have finished last night, but I was falling asleep at my computer, so I figured I should just give the blog a break.

Hope you're all doing well!

XOXO,
Meagan

2.19.2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1

I've recently discovered and started following Lindsay at My Happily Ever After and she's recently finished The 30 Day Blog Challenge! I rather like the idea of a challenge, especially when it comes to blogging. And hopefully, it'll get me into a better routine of blogging daily, even if it's just a tiny tidbit of gibberish. 

So here we go...The 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Day 1- Introduction, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2- Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3- Your first love
Day 4- Your parents
Day 5- Your siblings
Day 6- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7- Favorite movies
Day 8- A place you've traveled to
Day 9- A picture of your friends
Day 10- Something you're afraid of
Day 11- Favorite TV shows
Day 12- What you believe
Day 13- Goals
Day 14- A picture you love
Day 15- Bible verse
Day 16- Dream house
Day 17- Something you're looking forward to
Day 18- Something you regret
Day 19- Something you miss
Day 20- Nicknames
Day 21- Picture of yourself
Day 22- Favorite city
Day 23- Favorite vacation
Day 24- Something you've learned
Day 25- Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26- Picture of your family
Day 27- Pets
Day 28- Something that stresses you out
Day 29- 3 Wishes
Day 30- A picture


Today will be Day 1, so we'll start with an introduction, a recent picture, and 15 interesting facts. 


I'm Meagan. I'm a twenty-something Chicago suburbanite (soon to be D.C. metro resident) and undecided student extraordinaire (more on that later). I love my better half, trying new foods, exploring new cultures, photography, giggly babies, worshiping the Lord through music, butterflies, organizing, researching random stuff on the web, anything related to interior design, and traveling (which just so happens to be convenient, since I'm in a long-distance relationship...but not for long). Exactly 50 days from today I will become a wife to my best friend and could not be happier! 

This is my recent picture...very recent. I took this this morning and the reason I look like crap is because I FEEL like crap. I'm getting over the flu to comfort is key...hence the sweats.


Now for my 15 interesting facts! 

1. My mom wanted to name me M-A-E-G-A-N (may-gin), but my dad thought I'd sound like a hick. So they named me M-E-A-G-A-N (crossing their fingers that no one would call me mee-gin), but everyone still calls me May-Gin anyway because that's the way I tell them to pronounce it when they ask.

2. In 2007, my dad and I took a month long trip to the Czech Republic with a group from our church. We spent the first week training to teach English, the second week actually teaching English, and the third week living with and experiencing the locals. Best trip of my life. Eventually, I will go back and I'll take Josh with me so we can experience Europe together.

3. I've been taking care of kids as long as I can remember. After high school I decided to avoid majoring in anything related to children because I thought I was burnt out from my 24/7 childcare lifestyle. But the more I avoided kids, the more I was drawn to them. And now, after interior design, music education, travel and tourism, event management, hospitality management, and dental hygiene I've finally given into the fact that I love children. Always have, always will. And I'm proud of it. 

4. Even though I know it's wise for us to wait a few years, I have baby fever like crazy. We're nowhere near prepared enough to start our family at this time, but I can't surpress that overwhelming feeling of wanting to be a mommy. We're young and just starting to establish ourselves, but when the time comes for us to start our family we'll be more than ecstatic. 

5. I'm obsessed with inspirational and relevant quotes. Every time I see one I like I copy and paste it into a Word document that's completely dedicated just for that purpose. I love quotes so much so that I subscribed to Real Simple's Daily Thought emails that have a quote and related content. Love!

6. Just like 99% of teenage girls, I wrote my fair share of love songs in high school. Maybe one day I'll post a few just to prove my teenage angst and hopeless romantic sides. 

7. Along with my obsession with quotes in my Inbox on a daily basis, I've also got a hunger for recipes. I've only ever made one recipe of the hundreds I receive in my email, but my excuse is that I have no one to cook for. So as soon Josh and I are married and have our own place (as well as our own dishes and groceries) I'll be cooking more and trying out these yummy emails. 

8. I love, love, LOVE country music and am never allowed to control the radio because of it. I always get made fun of, but in my world, country music is so heartfelt and makes life more enjoyable. 

9. Like most people do in their lifetime, I'm currently struggling with my spirituality. Explanation would probably require an entire post, but to sum things up...I'm split between believing in the Christian God and just a higher power setting things in place. I'm split between believing that the Bible is pure truth and that it's just another religious compilation. Now, I'm not stating my beliefs plain and simple here. I'm just opening up about this battle. I know what I've been taught, but knowing what I believe is an entirely different story.

10. My dad's job relocated us every few years when I was younger. We lived in 3 different houses in Indiana before I was 6, then moved to Minnesota until I was 10 when we moved to Illinois. Thankfully we've been in the same place for almost 10 years now, but my parents always made sure to take us on a trip every now and then. Now, whenever I'm in one place for too long I get the itch to travel or even pick up and move, and it's such a blessing that Joshua feels the same way. That means we'll be taking trips often and experiencing more of the world together!

11. Not to brag or anything...well actually, I'm gonna brag a bit here...but I've always gotten the nice guys. Every one of my 5 (large number, right?) boyfriends has been a gentleman. And I am very, VERY proud of that fact. Only 1 turned out to be the man of my dreams (thank God), but each and every one of them will be perfect for another woman and if dating required recommendation letters, I'd write each of them a great one. 

12. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but when I do it's typically on Netflix or Hulu. And the only shows I keep up with nowadays are Teen Mom, Glee, Parenthood, Raising Hope, Say Yes To The Dress, and any other random shows that Josh recommends to me (like Party Down and Arrested Development). 

13. When I moved back into my parents' house in August I started looking for a job. Any job except childcare (reference to #3). So I searched high and low, applying to about 40 retail, food service, hospitality jobs without snagging a single interview. So I finally caved in and applied for 1 (ONE) child care job and got it. Now I love my job and the girls that work there, but will be moving in less than 3 months. It makes me sad to think that I'm leaving them after I've made some good friends, but life is a book and this was just one chapter that I'll have fond memories of. Love you ladies!!!

14. I shop on Amazon and Etsy WAAAAAAAAAAAY too much. A majority of the things I've purchased recently have been wedding-related, so those are justified. But on days when I hear about something I'd love I promptly search it up on Amazon and fight with myself on whether to purchase it that moment or to add it to one of my many categorized wish lists and beg Joshua.

15. Pointless tattoos and gross piercings annoy the crap out of me. Snake bites, tongue piercings, gauges, etc.? EW. Tattooing a butterfly on your hip just for the heck of it? DOUBLE EW. 


Care to join me in The 30 Day Blog Challenge? Let me know if you do! I'd love to follow. =)


Wedding Woes

*Sigh* Aren't you supposed to be excited to have a wedding with all the bells and whistles? Aren't you supposed to enjoy looking up florists and cake bakers and tuxes? Aren't you supposed to fawn over every little detail like place cards and registries?

Well...I'm not.

When Josh and I first started talking about the kind of wedding we wanted we had decided on simple, sweet, and small. Nothing mattered to us except that we were marrying each other and that our closest friends and family were there to support and celebrate with us. But that's not how things turned out.

Our "dream wedding" would take place on a sunny spring day, in a quiet, secluded park filled with greenery and flowers. I would be wearing a knee-length white dress, holding a small purple bouquet, and he would be decked out in his dress blues. We would be married under a small, white gazebo by a close friend of ours with about 30 of our closest family and friends standing nearby. Then afterward, we would have lunch in the private dining room of a local restaurant, just enjoying our new marriage with the people who matter to us the most and reflecting on this new adventure we had just entered into. It would be all about the vows and the two of us. It would be perfect. Our "dream wedding."

But that's not the way things are happening. When I told my mom that's what Josh and I had planned, she just about cried. And not happy tears. She got extremely upset and said, "That's not a real wedding. You can't get married without all the family and friends there! You're breaking my heart. I want all of my brothers and sisters and my best friends to see you get married. After all, they've known you since you were born!" After that, Josh and I were ready to just elope. Seriously.

We wanted nothing to do with all of the hype that society puts into "real" weddings these days. What with the expensive flowers and place cards and caterers and venues and so on and so forth...we just wanted nothing to do with it. That's not what a wedding's about anyway! It's about two people who've fallen in love with the good and the bad in each other and who are committing their lives to loving and supporting each other until their dying days. THAT is what mattered to us. And THAT is the reason we refused to have a "real" wedding, as my mother put it.

But after weeks of arguing and begging and fighting and yelling, I finally just said, "You know what Mom? If you and Dad can pay for it, we'll do it!" At this point I was just so fed up with my mom guilt-tripping me that I would do ANYTHING to get her off my back so that I could just ENJOY the fact that I was marrying my best friend.

So we found a "real" venue and a florist and a dress. And we chose colors. And we invited our friends to be in our wedding party. And we made ten thousand phone calls. And we agonized over invites. And we spent hours addressing invitations. And I HATE. IT. ALL.

There have only been 3 times during this whole process when I felt more like a bride and less like a wedding planner for someone else: 1. When I tried on THE dress. 2. When my best friend and her mother threw me a lovely bridal shower (more on that later). And 3. When I finally saw mine and Josh's names on the actual invite. I'll admit, there have been some times when planning this all-out wedding has been fun. But it's not me. It's not Josh. It's not US. It's all for my mom. And the real me is just dying to go back to square one and stand up for herself.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom. She's an incredibly loving and hard-working woman and the perfect mother for me (thank you Lord!), but her stubborn, old-fashioned view of what a "real" wedding should be has suffocated what's truly important to Josh and I.

I am so thankful that my parents offered to pay for our wedding, but every time there's another wedding-related decision I have to make I have this overwhelming feeling inside me just wishing we weren't doing ANY of this. But it's too late now. Everything's paid for and under contract now. And we've only got 50 days until the wedding. And I'm sitting here, getting over the flu, and bawling my eyes out because I came across pictures of our dream wedding on a friend's Facebook and wish it was OUR wedding.

What's a girl to do?

2.17.2011

Another Day of Randoms

1. Oh. Em. Gee. You guys. Google just made all my dreams come true. They launched their own wedding planning site! All of their nifty docs and tools all in one place and tailored specifically towards planning your wedding. I'm in love.

2. I just received our cake topper in the mail today and our third RSVP! Considering the invitations went out less than a week ago, this is pretty exciting. =) And the cake topper is adorable. It's made in porcelain and the couple is pinching each others rear. Super cute and totally us.





 3. Today feels like spring. It's dreary and wet and rainy, but breezy and about 50 degrees. Love the temps, but the actual weather...not so much. I'm also loving that the 2 feet of snow we had last week is pretty much GONE. Woop woop!





4. Yesterday my mom and I went shopping for wedding shoes! I love shoe shopping because, as Rose points out in my favorite movie, "I get something out of them! When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good... food just makes me fatter... shoes always fit." No matter how much weight I've gained since my first year of college or how much weight I'm attempting to lose, the gorgeous shoes will always be gorgeous.

Anywho, I found 2 pairs of shoes that could be potential winners with my wedding dress, but I'll show those off later. But in the meantime, I wanna show off these babies!




They're Life Strides and I'm in love. I can't wait to wear them! I'm thinking of wearing them when I'm in D.C. next weekend with the future hubs and for my next bridal shower. =) 

Hope everyone is having a great day despite the dreariness! 

XO, 
Meagan

2.16.2011

Three Things

1. When I went out to get the mail today I didn't even have to wear a coat. It's like 45 degrees today!!! And a bonus...the warm, sunny weather is getting rid of most of the snow we got in our great Midwest Blizzard a few weeks ago.

 The view of the backyard from the kitchen.

2. When I brought said mail inside I noticed our first two RSVPs!!! And they were both YES!!! Hip hip hooray!!! (I apologize for the excessive exclamation points. I'm just so psyched!)



3. Does anyone else systematically load their dishwasher? I'm very OCD/efficiency-minded about how I do my chores, and loading the dishwasher is no exception.

P.S. I wish this was my dishwasher and that those were my dishes, but I actually found the image here.

2.15.2011

Thrifting

For as long as I can remember I've been a bargain hunter. My mom taught me early on that very few things were worth their full price and that "couponing" and searching the clearance racks were just as good as buying things for the full price. I caught on pretty quick and over the years I've accumulated many garage sale finds and clearance rack bargains.

But only recently have a truly gotten into "thrifting." I've avoided thrift stores (until now) for one reason; If I go in, I'll come out spending more than I can afford and that kind of defeats the purpose of thrifting in the first place. You see, I'm kind of an impulsive shopper. I'm not the type of person who sees a beautiful, $100 chest of drawers at Thrift and Dollar and says, "Let me sleep on it." No. I'm the type of girl who sees what she loves and has to take it home. That. Day.

That's why it was extremely helpful to drag my parents along this weekend to a hotel closing sale and Thrift and Dollar. If it weren't for them, I think I might have brought home an entire apartments worth of stuff I don't need. Thankfully though, the only things I came home with were two lamps (from the hotel closing sale) and a simple tray coffee table (from T&D). All need a bit of TLC and I'm excited to get working on them once the weather gets a tad warmer, but I'm happy with my purchases.


I purchased each lamp for $10, in perfect working condition, for a total of $20. I'm going to spray paint them a sort of ceramic white/off-white color and add a light (possibly lime?) green shade to each.


I bought the tray coffee table at Thrift and Dollar (a local thrift store with tons of great finds) for $35. I probably could have paid less for it, but I was so in love and just ready to get home after a long day of wandering warehouses that I paid what the tag asked for. I'm going to sand and prime the table and paint it a deep espresso color, on the verge of being completely black. And once we pop it into our new place in May I hope to top it off with a cute bowl and some travel books.

When the weather gets warmer and I finally get my hands on these babies, I'll be sure to show off the results. =) Stay tuned!