Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blogspot or Tumblr. ?

I have been posting a lot lately on Tumblr.  I'm not actually sure why.  I found a woman who I currently have a girl crush on on Tumblr quite by accident and since then have only been using it.

If you check THIS out, and you know me, you'll know exactly why I have a girl crush on her.

  • I want all of her outfits.
  • I want her NYC photographer life.
  • I just think she's adorable.

I don't want to leave blogspot in the cold, but I don't know how how to divy it up?  What goes on blogspot and what should be saved for Tumblr. Hannah DeVries, I need your blogging advice!!

News of the Day:  I submitted our wedding photos that I have on my Tumblr {}  to WeddingGawker and they put it on their site!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Writing My Vows.

It's Tuesday afternoon.  I'm sitting in my apartment that I still love two years after signing my first lease.  Plopped in the center of my bed with only my white twinkle lights that surround my wooden four poster bed frame to light the room, I am getting my thoughts together for writing my vows, which I will soon recite to a wonderful man on Friday afternoon.

I had written vows in my college years for whomever I would marry.  I wrote them quickly after viewing the ending of Shakespeare's Henry V in my Shakespeare class at ORU.  The first line of those aforementioned vows were from Henry V's pleading with the French princess to be his bride.  Some time after the ceremony and the whirlwind road trip - honeymoon, perhaps I will share the declaration of my love.  Perhaps not.  I am rather fond of the idea and reality we're making happen.  My fiance and I will take our vows in the presence of clergy and our single-moms, the only other people who know us as well as each other (probably better as this point) and love us unconditionally.

I do, however, want to re-share a piece I wrote while still living in China in the spring of 2009.  At this time in my life, I had really begun to learn what it meant to love someone because it was a decision, because of their intrinsic worth and not what they did for me, and to love them without having staked a claim, a love given freely.  Having really come into what it meant to love like that, I had tried it out on someone I'd known for years, but probably should not have trusted.  I don't regret loving that person with the best that I had, I don't regret them taking it for granted and abusing it, I don't regret them ultimately walking away from me.  That's what loving truly, openly, without expecting in return did for me.  I don't even hate them or need to do a forgiveness proxy.

I did still hope and continued to hope that one day I would find someone who was at the same point in their journey through the school of love who would love me for my intrinsic worth as well.  I wrote this piece to try to describe such a man and I wanted to share it again because in the light of getting married quite soon,  I think it is very profound how much I have been blessed by God.  The man I love today may not have all of these qualities in their full, mature, shining glory yet, but that's the beauty of a life-time commitment--I get to be there as he grows into having those.  Without further ado, here's the piece:

"You Will Come"

You will come one day from the coasts of love,
Tender as the dawn, strong as deep roots,
The heat of the sun will have kissed your skin,
Healing rains will flow from your sweet mouth,
And your stature will be of a mountain.

You will come, with your capable, extended arms,
With eyes even the stars will try to rival,
Sharing thoughts with a simple move of your brow,
Expressing ideas with clarity and smoothness,
Like the passing of a cloud,
Or the ripples that waltz upon water.

You will come one day from those shores of love,
Ambitious as the morning, wise as the evening,
The crashing of the waves will have trained your ears,
Discernment of the tides of time will guide you,
And your heart will burn from a fire within.

You will come, with your open, unclenched hands,
With shoulders that line up with the horizon,
Opening wide your storehouse of mercy,
Giving to all who have need
Like an oasis in the desert,
Or a father to an orphan.

You will come, O man of my dream,
You will come, one day,
And be more to me than this tenuous hope
Currently stuck in my throat 
Caught like a cry unable to be let out.

©Celeste Smith, May 2009

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Trip / Honeymoon

Well, I thought I'd share our plans with anyone who is interested...

We got our marriage license today!  Woohoo!

Tony and I are getting married in a lovely little service with our moms soon :)

We are then making our way on a Road Trip / Honeymoon to Vail, Colorado by way of Kansas.

The first night we are staying in Colby, KS which seems to be a small town, but just a stopping point for us.  If you are familiar with driving through or staying in Colby, KS and have a dinner suggestion, please comment :)

Then we are traveling to Denver, CO in the morning to have lunch and enjoy the city for a few hours.

By the mid-afternoon, we will be on our way to our main stop, Destination Resorts @ Vail, Colorado.
Their website is lovely:

We got an incredible summer deal on a condo for five nights...  We'll have a one bedroom condo with 2 baths, a kitchen, dining area, and living room.

The bedroom

Living area

Kitchen + Dining

Terrace Views

So Excited!!

Neither one of us have ever been to Colorado.

We've never been on a road trip together.

We've never stayed in a hotel together before.

There are so many amazing first things we're going to experience together.

We're so excited.

After being in the mountains that week, we'll come back to Tulsa by way of Wichita.  We got a super cheap hotel for that last leg of the trip home since we'll barely be spending any time there.  We need to return the rental car one of my aunts gifted us with by noon that day.

Wish us well on our first road trip and hopefully first honeymoon together as well!

P.S. any out of state friends/family who would like to send us into the blissful state of marriage fully stocked can find us registered at Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

Thanks for all congratulations and well wishes!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

We're Not Cleaners...

Anyone who's known me for a long time (& my mom) knows that we are not the most organized of women.

We are hard workers.  We are super responsible.  We are sincere.  We are committed.  We are avid readers.  We are consistent.

We are not quitters.  We are not fake.  We are not unimaginative.  We are not extroverts.

We are also not cleaners.

Keeping in mind that Tony and I will be arriving in Jersey this Thursday afternoon to stay for sixteen glorious Shore-filled days, I know that my mom has been "readying" the house for at least two weeks ahead by the time we land in Philly.  We both work and then relax when we come home + I cook, which my mom does not have much need to these days since my brother is well-fed by his pretty fiance.  Even at work, my desk is often overwhelmed with papers, essay, graded tests, projects, etc., which is to be expected I suppose of English teachers, but mine are not always in pretty or distinguishable piles :/  I do, however, plan each class well, rarely have extra time at the end of a class period (meaning I teach bell-to-bell), and fit a lot of literature into two semesters.  My mom can probably name a list ten times the previous one that she is able to accomplish at her management position that she's held for over thirty-two years.

We're just not cleaners...

So, today when Tony was looking for his car keys in order to leave for a free-lancing job, I started scouring my (little messy) apartment.  I opened my backpack that I guess I haven't used since the last time I went to Jersey (for Christmas) and found two pairs of glasses.  I was so happy because I just recently broke (for the second time) my awesomely huge brownish glasses from China (all of these are prescription by the way).  I was down to my small brown ones (from the States).  I had a black wire pair (China) that had lost one of the plastic nose pads, which I finally had fixed...because I had misplaced the small brown ones too (Sheesh).  I now have the repaired black ones, the small brown ones, and today in the backpack I found my beloved red pair (China) and bigger black pair with the violet inlay frames (States).  I am back to FOUR options of glasses again...still waiting to see if Black Optical on Brookside can fix my huge, obnoxious brown ones.

I'm trying to console myself for feeling guilty at times for not being more organized by taking in this grand feeling of finding two pairs of glasses and saying that finding things randomly is cool too, you know, instead of always having what you own all the time...

So This Is Love...

I just need to say that signing up alone for Pre-Marital Counseling at our church, Sanctuary, has REVOLUTIONIZED our relationship.

We had to buy this book:

Now, I honestly thought we had to buy it, like we were going to use it for the Pre-Marital Class the next day after I bought it.  Then I realized that it was a suggested read, which I'm glad I didn't know before, or else I wouldn't have bought it...or at least not right away... I would've looked for a dirt cheap one from  Anyway, soon after purchasing the book, we both took the profile assessments to see our main love language.  We both have Acts of Service and Quality Time as the top two ranked languages.  You can take the quizzes here:

We have read through over half of the book since last Saturday.  I am not big on self-help-ish kind of books.  I am not big on cheesy stuff at all, but I am pretty sold on anything that makes people actually see each other and talk about important critical things, especially when it comes to relationships, and of course, especially when it comes to marriage.
Within one week of reading and recognizing each other as certainly an "other," someone who is not me, we have begun to handle conflict so much more effectively.  We have spent hours at a time talking about the issues this book brings up, what it really means to be selfless, and when we knew that the "in love" fuzzies had gone away and this was for real.  Tony and I faced a lot of external conflict when we first began which forced us to put an unfathomable amount of value on each other and the relationship.  Though I did not enjoy the conflict as it was happening, it helped us to get through the time a new relationship could lose its luster or feeling of novelty.  We had "fought" to be together, so we decided we were worth sticking around, even when it got to be mundane and everyday-ish.
More and more, I find us becoming partners...not just in the romantic sense, but in business, life decisions, and finances.  We just recently worked together while taking engagement photos for his brother and his fiance.  Before reading this book, or perhaps just before we'd really had a starting place for serious, intimate conversations, we might've treated the day as a "work only" experience and not as a perhaps unorthodox way to build our relationship.  By Tony noticing when I was getting tired after 3 1/2 hours of strategically holding a light reflector and by him not letting himself get annoyed by my not maintaining the level of excitement he's able to keep during a project until it's totally completed, he showed me a lot of love.  His understanding and refusal to treat me as just an assistant and not his partner in life really showed me that he sees me...