Monday, January 31, 2011

Mountain Family Saturday

Family pictures on Vail Mountain!
Here are Chris and me with my nephews (Jake, 4 and Ryan 2)-- they are going to be the ring bearers in our wedding... well, we're hoping they will make it down the isle. We're hoping. :-D
Here are Jake and Ryan with they're parents, my brother and sister-in-law.
Ryan wasn't too sure about pictures...Jake and Ryan with Grammie and Papa... Ryan is still not sure about the pictures.What cuties!
This bear won the Vail snow sculpture contest... pretty impressive.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Father of the Bride

Tonight, after two straight nights of Guest List planning, debating and compromising, my parents and I watched -- well, felt that we earned -- Father Of The Bride.
This was exactly what we needed after the marathon planning we have been doing.We all have seen this movie a number of times but we love it -- and tonight, we LOVED IT! We were laughing harder than we have in years about this movie, and were tearing up throughout it as well -- because it was all SO familiar. :-D
We love when they meet the wedding planner and the dad cannot understand anything he says with his thick accent. "How was this guy going to coordinate our wedding? With subtitles?"
My parents are wonderful, and unbelievably generous and realize that this is the last wedding they are planning (third child, third wedding) -- and my only wedding -- and they are happy to do it. It felt wonderful to end our guest list process listening to each other laugh at this old, favorite movie.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday: Habukkuk 3:19

Habukkuk 3:19
What promises has God answered in your life as of late?

In what ways can I pray for you?

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5 Months to Go

Five Months from today will be Chris and my wedding day... we are so excited and yet these months are cre-e-e-e-e-ping by.
Details are progressively coming together and Chris and I are just so excited to watch these days tick by one by one (I think we're 151 days) as we get closer to beginning our journey as husband and wife.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beautiful Birthday Dinner

I haven't had a chance until now to post about my AWESOME birthday dinner down in Denver with Chris.

We ate a restaurant that used to be a bank called The Broker... first bank west of the Mississippi.
The restaurant is so unique -- you walk in at the old teller-level and walk down to the old vault. Here Chris and I are next to the vault door.The bar is made in front of the old rod-iron separation outside the vault... complete with the old Wall Street Ticker (on the left side of the bar just above the circular lamp).
A view from the inside of the vault looking out at the barOur dinner was AMAZING and my meal was complimentary because it was my birthday! This is a picture of our main course, but it was a four-course dinner. All entrees come with shrimp cocktail appetizer, soup or salad, main course, and dessert. (That's really the time you want to go -- when one of these very delicious, four-course meals is on the house.)I did not come close to finishing this meal... but OHHHHH it was good!What a great way to celebrate the start of my 28th year (my 27th birthday)!
This is the top floor of the restaurant -- the old bank.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night Randomness

A few short and sweet (well, maybe) thoughts...
How does salt lose its saltiness? Is it when it gets too old? Dehydrated? Ground too small? I was wondering about this question after reading Matthew 5:13 yesterday. After looking up some answer online through all of cooking, religious and scientific resources, the best answer I found was this blog post from 2007. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and it provides food for thought -- or salt for pondering.

In wedding news, I've come up with a system for marking ideas in magazines:
color-coordinated post-it strips.
Pink - Bridesmaid dress ideas
Green - Flower ideas
Blue - Cake ideas
Orange - Other ideas

Have a blessed weekend!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As of Late: January


Fellow blogger, Christy from CrittyJoy is hosting a monthly "As of Late" group, which asks "As of Late, what have you been up to?" I am excited to answer this because I've felt a little too busy to manage coherent posts at the moment... so this random, snippet-ty, kind of post is right up my ally right now. :-D

Lately, I've been a month into wedding planning bliss! Chris proposed just over a month ago and we are just over five months to our wedding.

Lately, I'm collecting wedding planning ideas. The below picture is really poor quality (taken from my cell phone on shiny paper) but I really liked the bouquets in this shot... Please share any resources you have found/used/seen used and would like to pass along.
Lately, I've been living in a big engaged love bubble! Feel free to groan, but I am SO over-the-top happy and excited about being Chris' Bride-to-Be! I used to hear ministers and older married couples talk about that blissful, love bubble when a couple gets married when they never think anything will ever go wrong (and then life happens and the bubble is no-more) -- but I never believed that bubble would exist. I was a realist - I was never going to be so blinded as to think nothing will ever go wrong -- BUT I AM TOTALLY IN THAT BLINDED LOVE BUBBLE!!!
Lately, I've been on a Bride-to-Be diet and exercise routine! I'm full-speed-ahead for ChaLEAN Extreme muscle building from Beachbody. If you are looking for a new exercise routine, I would recommend exploring the options available from Beachbody.

Lately, I've become a coach with Beachbody... so if you are interested in more information about these programs, please ask and I'd be more than happy to discuss which one of these routines might work for you.

Lately, I've been struggling to read my Bible every day. I have been diligent about time for exercising but have lacked diligence about my spiritual health. Please keep this in prayer and I hope to post a better "lately" on this subject next month.

Lately, Chris and I were the big winners at a Bridal Festival in Colorado Springs and we had SO much fun! We won several gift certificates for jewelry, several gift certificates for DJ services (which we couldn't use, so we gave to other couples there), a tea kettle from Bed Bath and Beyond, a $50.00 Carrabbas gift card and a basket of shirts - one says "Bride 2011" and four say "Bridesmaid". Enjoy the pictures:

The Bride-to-Be mirror with my new name at the top
The sticker I got to wear all dayThe sticker Chris wore all day. :-DPracticing my soon-to-be signature!For more As of Late, visit Christy.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Engagement Pictures and Favor!

Hey Blogging Friends

Chris and my engagement pictures are viewable here.

One thing we love about these photographers is that we will own the rights to our pictures - the engagement pictures and the wedding pictures (a photo cd is in the mail as I type and Chris and I can print as many as we want). So I will be able to post pictures on the blog as soon as the photo cd gets here; HOWEVER, in the meantime, Chris and I can earn photo print credit for every comment left on our pictures (up to a limit).


Thanks, Gals.

Thank you also for the birthday wishes, I will write about what an amazing day and week I had soon.

P.S. All the engagement pictures were taken at my parents' house/on my parents' property -- the place where I grew up. They have a BEAUTIFUL spot on a little lake in Western Michigan. It was VERY special to have all our pictures taken there.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 13th; Adventure and Happiness

It was Thursday, January 12, 1984. Dr. and Mrs. Sanden had just bid their oldest daughter, Tracey, farewell on a Semester at Sea Cruise Around the World from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Tired and happy, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden piled into their 1978 Lincoln Continental to start the long drive back to Michigan. All was well along the old-fashioned, 55 mph interstate until they stopped at a gas station in Wildwood, FL... where Mrs. Sanden's water broke.

Now is where I should mention that Mrs. Sanden was 44 weeks pregnant with her first child (Tracey is Dr. Sanden's daughter). When the trip to Fort Lauderdale presented itself, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden weighed the risk factors, spoke to their obstetrician, factored in how much it meant to Tracey that they see her off, and decided to make the trip. Mrs. Sanden was not due until the end of February and their obstetrician had told them that Mrs. Sanden was right on schedule and to make the trip with peace of mind.When Mrs. Sanden told her husband, in the afternoon on January 12th, that she was pretty sure her water just broke, he couldn't believe it. Himself, a pediatrician, Dr. Sanden knew that in the worst case scenario, he could deliver his baby. But he also knew that the baby was 6 weeks early and if at all possible, he needed to get his wife to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit immediately!

Looking at a map, he saw the nearest children's hospital was 65 miles away in Gainesville, FL. He put Mrs. Sanden in the car and took off 70-80mph down the highway with his hazard lights flashing. He had hoped that a policeman would pull him over so he could explain his situation and the policeman might escort him to the nearest hospital... no such luck.

Dr. and Mrs. Sanden arrived at Shands Children's Hospital on the University of Florida campus in the early evening. Dr. Sanden marched up to the desk and explained that he had the utmost respect for this University, but that he was a Pediatrician from Muskegon, MI, and his wife had just gone into labor with their first child, "I do not want a student or a resident, my child is six weeks early and I want your head of obstetrics."

As Mrs. Sanden's labor quickly progressed, someone noted that they needed to get this baby born soon, otherwise it would be born on Friday, the 13th.
And Friday the 13th it was! A healthy baby girl weighing, 5 lbs, 13 oz, was born to Dr. and Mrs. Sanden on Friday, January 13, 1984 at 12:13 am.

Excited and exhausted, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden called a few close friends, and realized that they had NOTHING with them for a baby - no clothes, diapers, or car seat (although car seats were not so imperative in 1984 as they are now). Dr. Sanden went shopping for his new daughter -- diapers and clothes including a baby sleeper that said "Sweet Surprise".Expecting to have another 6 weeks to finalize their choice of names, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden had not agreed on a girl's name yet. Clayton Howard, if the baby was a boy -- but being a girl, she needed another name. Throughout the day on Friday, the Birth Certificate Man came to visit the Sandens and inquire about a name for their daughter. Time after time, they asked him to come back later.Finally, the man explained that it was now Friday afternoon; he would soon be leaving for the weekend and Dr. and Mrs. Sanden could not be discharged from the hospital until he completed the birth certificate -- including the baby's name.
Brooke Sanden would be her name -- no middle name, because when she married, Sanden would become her middle name, and she would always keep a piece of her father in her name. That is the sentimental and romantic explanation... The Truth: It was hard enough for Dr. and Mrs. Sanden to agree on ONE name -- forget two! :-D

With the baby named, they began the long and slow drive home to Michigan - Dr. Sanden driving and Mrs. Sanden holding baby Brooke in the backseat for the entire trip.

This story has become legendary for the Sanden family and those who remember that fateful day 27 years ago. This is the story of my coming into the world. I guess the Lord wanted to inform my parents from the very beginning that I would bring unexpected adventure and happiness into their lives.

Thank you, Momma and Daddy for leading me -- and allowing me to lead you through 27 years of adventure and happiness.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Engagement: The Permission

I started to post about Chris' marriage proposal and it was going to be REALLY long. It probably still will be really long, but I will start with how he asked permission, because it really sets the stage for the proposal 3 weeks (to the day) later.

To begin, Chris and I had discussed our getting married next summer (summer 2011)-- we were both completely in love with each other, we think we bring out the best in each other, we believe God has a plan for us as a couple, and we were both getting excited about spending the rest of our lives together; HOWEVER, Chris had me COMPLETELY convinced not only that he could not in any way, shape, or form afford to buy a ring before January or February, but also that he was not going to ask my parents' permission to marry me until we were in Michigan for Christmas.

Little did I know, Chris had spoken with my parents over Thanksgiving to ask their permission to marry me. I had gone into his room on Saturday morning (the morning of the Michigan v. Ohio State game) to awaken him and drag him to the gym. We had gone to the gym just about every morning of our Thanksgiving vacation, but this morning he told me he had tossed and turned and hardly slept all night and so he could really use a little more sleep and I should go to the gym without him. I told him, I didn't have to go to the gym and I would stay and get him anything he needed.

Well, I wouldn't find out for three more weeks that Chris wanted me to go to the gym without him as it was the only time he could get both of my parents alone to talk to them -- so the story about tossing and turning all night wasn't really a lie, because he really did toss and turn all night knowing that the next morning he was going to ask my mother and father for my hand in marriage. So, he had to get me to that gym... he told me that I should really go on to the gym without him. I got a little suspicious at his insistence that I go workout and started to wonder if he thought I was too large and needed to drop some weight (oh, a woman's insecurity...). When I asked him why he wanted me to go, he said, "Well... Babe... you're in a much better mood when you've been to the gym."

I took those words to heart like you would not believe. Which is pretty funny given that he just wanted to get me out of the house. For the first three weeks of December, when I did not feel like exercising, I would remind myself that Chris really sees a difference in my attitude when I work out, and I want to be my best self for Chris and so I'm going to the gym.

All of what follows, I have heard after-the-fact from Mom, Dad and Chris. Once he got me out the door to the gym, and gave a few extra minutes in case I forgot something and needed to come back, he went out into the hall of the condo and ran into my mom. He said that he knew it was a busy morning with company coming, but could he have a few minutes of Dr. Sanden's and her time. My mom later told me that those words were all she needed to hear! She knew what was coming and she was excited!

Mom hustled Dad into the family room, where they sat at the family room table - Chris at the head with Mom and Dad, all ears) on either side. Chris briefly explain that I had no idea that he was meeting with them now, and how he had misled me to think that he cannot afford a ring for quite some time. He said, in truth, money is really tight, because he had ordered a ring to be delivered in the next week or so. Chris described how well our relationship had been going, how much he cared about me, and explained he would like their permission to ask me to marry him. Evidently, my dad's grin was larger than my mom has ever seen it as he answered how happy it would make them for him to do so.

After a little more excited chat, my dad commented on how excited he was for me to come up from the gym. Apparently Mom and Chris exchanged a glance and both realized that, in the excitement, my dad had completely forgotten that this was a secret meeting and he was all ready to greet me at the door with a huge hug and smile telling me how happy he was for me. Chris tactfully reminded him that I had no idea that this was happening and he planned to surprise me with a proposal in a couple of weeks -- PLEASE DON'T SAY ANYTHING.

That all lays the groundwork for the rest of the story...

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Engagement: The Ring

I have to ask... am I the only girl who suddenly caught myself looking at my hands, oh, I don't know... 500 times a day once there was a beautiful, sparkling ring on it?

In my case, I not only do I look at my hand 500 times a day, but I also take pictures of my hand with its new, sparkling, symbol of Chris' and my commitment.

The following pictures were taking on our Christmas travels:

I'm just giddy with excitement and love every time I see it sparkling at me. I love knowing that I wear a symbol on my hand that I am Chris' intended, betrothed, bride-to-be.

Am I the only one out there completely joyful and giddy and photo-crazy about my ring, or have other brides-to-be experienced similar reactions?
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