Archive for August, 2008

The “Dog days” of Summer

So for Christmas this past year Brent got me a dog!  Her name is Nina and she’s a Yorkie-poo (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle).  I’m not sure if it’s sad or not…but I never thought I’d be so attached to a dog.  If having kids is anything like taking care of a dog, then I can’t wait to have kids.  Now I understand that you can’t leave a child home all day while you’re at work (or in a cage…though my nephew LOVES playing in dog cages).  Obviously having children is much different.  But it has to be somewhat similar, right?  I mean I hate leaving her, and love coming home to her.  She hears me and when I open the door her whole body goes into some tail wagging/body convulsions routine.  She even smiles…seriously!  She shows her teeth at us.  The vet even mentioned how odd it is that she shows her teeth when she gets excited.


So anyways, this summer has been great watching her go from 2 lbs when we got her to now 8 (I know she’s huge…right?).  I never thought I’d be a crazy dog lady but I think slowly I am becoming one.  But here are three things I would NEVER do to my dog (thus proving I’m not a “crazy dog lady”).

We don’t dress our dog (though I will admit I’ve tried), she doesn’t go into a purse, isn’t made into a purse, and isn’t a fanny pack.  But she is cute!  The last 6 pictures after the crazy dog ladies are her!


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Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

This poem always makes me stop and think about the kind of woman I want to be…and the kind of women that are out there.  I’ve been reading  a lot of Maya Angelou lately, but every poem of hers that I read leads me back to this poem. 

We talked in my “writing poetry” class yesterday about “What is Poetry?”  I think this poem in all aspects covers the bases.  It’s telling people what’s on your mind minus the bull plus the affection.


 Phenomenal Woman


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.



Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Maya Angelou

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Vacation/Boat Show/School

What a busy week I’ve had!


I got to go on vacation this week with a friend.  We went to Amish Country in Millersburg, OH (close to Berlin).  It wasn’t necessarily the greatest vacation I’d hoped it would be, but it was great to get away.  I went horseback riding for my first time, and now have a new appreciation for my friends who show horses…it’s a skill that takes much work and dedication! 


Of course I forgot to take my camera (though I packed in less than 10 minutes).  So, we bought disposable cameras once we got there, and I am waiting for the film to be developed.  I’ll post some pictures once I get a chance.


If you’ve never been down to Amish country, you should give it a try!  We stayed at Tranquil Acres Cabins…and oh my!  It was beautiful.  The whole cabin was hand made and almost everything in it.  It’s amazing how God speaks to you through nature, and your surroundings when you don’t have a TV to watch, and internet to check email.  God spoke to me through His creation, and it was powerful to see the work of His hands!


Saturday Brent and I helped out (more so him than me) at the Ramsey Boat Show (Toledo Boat Show).  It was great fun.  It’s so wonderful to see my friends shine at what they do. 


Other than that today was my first day of school.  😦  Not taking anything too exciting.  Three writing classes, one american studies class, and spanish.  Oh Lord help me with Spanish!!!


Pictures from my vaca soon…but for now here are some boat show pics!  Ellie and Chris are so cute in the pics, and the VW van was awesome…complete with a picnic table and chairs in the back.  The pic of Brent and me was on the Boyer!!!!!


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3 Year Reunion Pictures

Is it silly to celebrate your 3 year reunion from high school?  Oh well if it is.  I graduated with 7 people, 5 of which came to the reunion.  I’m so blessed to have these friends.  🙂


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$14,336 – $43,098 – Are you joking me?????

The national average of what couples spend on their wedding is $14,366-43,098 (  This is astounding!  People spend so much on one day, and (as the website says) their budget is usually 50% less.  MEANING….that people spend MORE than they have and then put themselves in debt! 

In Toledo, the average cost for a wedding is $15,220 – 45,659; above the national average!

Here is a list of everything a couple has to purchase.



Bride Accessories

Groom Accessories

Groom Suit/Tux

Hair/Makeup Service


Wedding Dress

Ceremony Accessories

Ceremony Decorations

Ceremony Location


Rehearsal Dinner

Ceremony/Reception Band

Ceremony/Reception DJ

Ceremony/Reception Musicians


Bride Bouquet

Bridesmaid Bouquets

Ceremony Flowers

Flower Girl Flowers

Reception Flowers

Gifts For Attendant

Gifts For Each Other

Gifts For Parents

Bridal Shower Invitations


Invitations & Reply Cards

Personal Stationery

Save The Date Cards

Thank You Cards

Engagement Ring

Her Ring

His Ring


Bridal Consultant/Planner



Reception Beverages/Bartender

Bride/Groom Hotel


Cake Knife Set

Cake Topper

Reception Decorations/Centerpieces


Reception Food Service

Reception Location

Reception Rentals

Car Rental

Limo Rental

Now I love Brent, and we are going to have a very nice wedding.  But let me tell you…we will not be spending $15,000 on our wedding.  Our goal?  $5,000.  Come to our wedding, and see how you can have a beautiful wedding and a fun wedding at a reasonable price.  Our wedding will not be at the Toledo Hilton, we won’t be married in a cathedral church, I don’t have a designer dress, my ring didn’t cost as much as a down payment on a house, AND believe it or not…we are still happy!


Thrilled is more like it.  We’re going to stomp on the national average (and Toledo average) and make our wedding one that no one will forget for much under the cost of the national average.  I’m keeping every receipt, and making a spreadsheet that I hope to look back on years from now with pride for how frugal I was, and still how amazing of a day it was!


Besides, shouldn’t we focus on the marriage NOT the wedding???

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Slow and Steady…

So I work at the law school (for those who don’t know) and I’m around lawyers ALOT!  (Have we decided if ALOT is spelled like that, or is is A LOT?)  Anyways, there is a professor (and he’s a lawyer) who has been on crutches for quite some time due to some injury that I don’t honestly feel like getting an earfull about.


Well, he asked me how I was today and I replied “Not too bad, how are you?” Then he said “Getting along okay…slow, but okay.”  Then I said “Well, slow and steady wins the race!!!” (with a big dorky grin, thinking to myself, go Courtney, way to be an encouragement!!!)  THEN he said “No, slow and steady finishes the race.”


Hmmmmm……..  I’ve really been thinking alot (or a lot) about that phrase.  We all know the story of the tortious and the hare, right?  Well, the hare gets distraced thinking that the tortious is so slow, so the hare takes a nap and wakes up to find that the tortious is crossing the finish line.  The tortious never gave up, never stopped, and that’s why he won.


But now we come to reality; grown up life.  Most adults aren’t stupid enough (most, not all) to stop and “take naps” or take breaks in pursuing their dream when there are others competing (say for the a grade/job/raise/pride issue).  Most want to move up in the world, and will do whatever it takes to get there.  They will push, shove, belittle people, stomp on people’s reputations, spread rumors, lie, cheat, steal, and so much more just to get ahead.


Well my goals might not be as large as some people’s.  I guess I want to graduate, get married, maybe grad. school, then hopefully be a mommy someday?  I think about what I need to get there, what it will take.  Will I need to push people, shove them, lie, steal, etc…NO!!!  Absolutely not.


Instead of focusing on how difficult it is to be on top, have good grades, please all the people I can, I need to focus on finishing.  All I need to do is finish the race, not win it.  Why?  Because thankfully, through God’s amazing grace, I’ve already won the most important race in my life; the race to find Jesus Christ and hold him highest in my life.  Everything else isn’t worth hurting others to get.


So next time you think about the tortious and the hare, don’t think about winning your race as much as you think about finishing it.  Becaue how I see it, any race that you enter, whether you finish first or last, you entered it, meaning you are doing something with your life, which is awesome!  And if you’ve screwed up (all of us have from one time to another), pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going.  Ask for forgiveness if you’ve offended anyone, and move on…finish your race, whatever it may be!


I’ll leave you with a quote from my dad, who is very wise.


“The only people who don’t make mistakes are the people who aren’t doing anything.”

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I Love Weekends Like This One

First off, it was a good weedend because I had Thursday and Friday off.  I did my brothers garage sale on Friday and Saturday.

Friday night Brent and I spent with Chris and Ellie watching opening ceremonies for the olympics.  It was great fun, and Ellie made this DELICIOUS dessert for us all.

Saturday night my high school class (minus two people) got together and caught up for our “three year reunion.”  I can’t believe it’s already been three years.  Two of my classmates are married with one child.  One of my classmates is the Mayor of Waterville.  One is on his way to play basketball for Tennessee Temple with a full ride, and I’m getting married!!!!!  We are all growing up so fast.  It seems like just yesterday we were running around the school being idiots and immature, and now we’re adults.  So, I’ve decided to tell some of my favorite memories of high school at Monclova Christian Academy (btw, I graduated with 7 people, so it was a small school).

* when Derek would ask to go to the bathroom and grab the newspaper on his way 🙂

* doing our make-up and painting our nails in study hall

* when Amy K. and I switched names on a substitue and almost ended up getting suspended for it

* when Mr. Mohr drug Adam out of Spanish class by his ear

* our senior trip to Chicago when my mom fell asleep a door away and didn’t hear us…yet we had security called on us!

* being a statisticion for the guys’ basketball team

* skipping class with Amy R. to get coffee out of the teachers lounge

* volleyball practice

* Pep-rally’s (all 50 of us, lol)

* having to walk from building to building in the wind and our skirts blowing up (okay, that was something I didn’t like)

* Mrs. Fish’s senior drawer (we were allowed one candy bar per day if you were a senior)

* fighting with Mrs. O. in yearbook

* Giving my speech at graduation with my best friends right in front of me

* getting to school and having Dr. O. tell us that we were going on some random field trip

* Van rides to away games

* When our school purchased a bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Home-Ec.  When Alex got in trouble for blowing his nose while making cookies

* Almost failing my Science Fair project because I waited until the last minute to do it

* Sneaking out the back of the school to run in the rain!

* Singing “Ain’t No Mountain High” with Derek

* Passing around my Country Apple hand sanitizer to the guys

* Christmas time at school

* Moving my tassle from right to left (when we were supposed to go left to right)

* Eating food the entire day in every class and never gaining weight

* When Mrs. M. had Adam in a corner snapping him with a towel and then Dr. O walked in.  Haha!

* when Mrs. VDB left these instructions for the substitute teacher “just let Courtney teach the class.”

* distracting the teachers with prayer requests just so we didn’t have to do class (shame on us)

There are so many more memories I just can’t blog enough about them.  Needless to say, I had the time of my life because it was a small school. 

To finish off my weekend, Chris took us out on his dad’s boat, and then we went to see him give the message at the Western Avenue Mission.  It was amazing to see God’s hand at work through my friends. 

It really was a great weekend!!!  I’ll post pictures when I get home to my computer!

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