Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am procrastinating

All I want to do is play with pictures. Here are some from this past summer (Family night, Walking the Land at Cooper's) and Max at Valentine's Dinner.

This is Family Night. I can't wait to live here.

This is where the wedding reception is going to be.

Finished his chicken, drank his milk, and got his dessert.

Friday, February 26, 2010

so maybe not in red feather, but this is quite the day

I am about to go to Hobby Lobby in search of some wedding crafts. I am quite proud of myself, as I don't find myself to be that crafty, I envisioned this idea of a seating chart made out of chicken wire and paper doilies. I didn't know how they would look or even how to go about putting the two together. But these two blog sites (, )helped make the vision a little clearer. I'm so excited to attempt something like this. I need to learn sometime.

And I just figured out, kinda, the guestbook!

Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

love fool

The semester is certainly underway, I have not had the time or thoughts (other than about painting, art history, spanish, or drawing) to blog.

But I'm feeling caught up finally, i think, but i thought i'd share some more thoughts on marriage today.

This past weekend, Seth and I went to the Sanker family's house for dinner. They are a lovely couple from Christ our Hope with five little boys to keep us entertained thoughout dinner and church services ;) They feel like, as a couple, they should take young engaged or soon to be marrieds into their house to nuture and help answer questions about marriage and life together. We are very thankful to have such help and encouragement all around us, I am so thankful for people who care enough to help us prepare!

Seth gave me a piece of reading that I am embarrassed to say I don't know the source of but its practical and insightful writing about marriage has inspired me.

One of the biggest problems i think, and a reason for so many failed marriages, stems from this society's obsession with ROMANCE. Love to so many involves feelings, good feelings, and even some bad (under the ruse of "passionate") feelings, and all those actions that show that a guy (or girl) cares: flowers, presents, surprises, ostentatious displays of sweet affection. What happens when they end? Does that really mean that he's stopped caring? Actually, maybe it does. Because that economy of buying affection will end--there's only so much that can be bought.

hmm. maybe that's more of my "valentine's day is meaningless" lecture. Back to romance, which is completely founded in feelings (which are temporary...much like happiness), in David Matzko McCarthy's The Good Life: Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class (i found the source!) dating and romance is described as something that can bring a couple "to the alter" something that is "face to face." While dating, "We develop a romantic relationship, just you and I, and our best moments are free from intrusion, where we are able to look deeply into each other's eyes."
But this cannot sustain a couple. It feels needless to say that after a while, reality sets in. And McCarthy suggests that couples must be "side by side" rather than the "face to face" of a "You and I" relationship.
McCarthy then writes about the sadness presented in the media over marriage:

"Modern marriage is comic in some respects, but the picture given by the typical sitcom is ultimately tragic. In the typical television program, the foibles and misfortunes of marriage are resolved by a renewal of romantic appreciation. In other words, husband and wife are renewed by a face to face moment. They are able to turn away from the dishes and dirty laundry and focus on each other--on their relationship. The message here, I think, is that romance can overcome all troubles, and that youthful love can endure. This is the tragedy: marriage endures only if we never grow up, if our love never moves beyond the immaturity of dating...Christians, in contrast, are called to a higher love of friendship with God...Romantic love makes promises ("till death do we part") that it cannot keep."

That's long but way too good to condense. but there's more in the next paragraph:

"Friendship sustains the promise...Romantically, we desire to give ourselves over to another. In friendship, we are called to live side by side, animated by a common vision and progressing toward a common goal. If romance draws individuals outside of themselves, friendship draws the pair outside of "the relationship."

I really like that last sentance especially because it is so challenging. Friendship in this chapter is what takes romance's place in a marriage, and it is what lasts. "The friendship of God draws us to a love that we cannot sustain on our own in our private moments of loving face to face. We are called to join together to increase in faithfulness." As Christians, as I've stated alot, we pray that our marriage is beyond ourselves--that because of Christ, we, as a married couple, are able to give and love fully. And we plan to do this by modeling our future home after the Church (or what the Church should be): open to neighbors and strangers, a place for hospitality, and food and drink.

I get very excited when writing that last line. Because as a soon to be wife, I want for the first time in my life, to be home, to make our home these things. I want to make it cozy and inviting, always smelling good, with the raspberry bushes blooming and that little garden plot growing veggies for our salads--I need to start those seeds right now!

It's almost three months away. what what what what what! sometimes I lay in bed and try to think of the moment that Dave will say "husband and wife." It overcomes me. Then the other day I found this picture of the reception site :) I took it right after a storm on 4th of July last year. We are praying for no rain, but if it happens to rain on the wedding day, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, because if it'd clear, it could look like this:

A VERY happy tuesday to everyone. I wish everyone could see how beautiful Fort Collins is today. The sun's out! (After four days with no sun, I am baffled as to how I lasted through two Michigan winters, I didn't see the sun for month(s?). Wait, i know, tanning beds, julian, and some friends helped ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Valentine's Day was Sunday and it was the best one I've ever had. I don't care that I keep saying that.

I've grown up thinking (and still think) the day is kind of pointless. Shouldn't we show love towards our partners everyday? And isn't romance just...well...pointless? And also the day is just so blatantly consumer oriented, so that's dumb.

So this year Seth and I decided to make dinner for some of our favorite friends, rather than having a dinner all to ourselves. And it was sooo much fun.

I was completely sick and stressed out with the two tests I had to study for while steaming the artichokes, breading the chicken, and making sauce, but with Seth's help and his kind kind words, I was able to focus not on the things that are meaningless (getting an A on a test should not overshadow more important things), but on making something good to gather people together.

Maybe the Spanish Test didn't go the greatest the next day (I will blame it on the cold, for I did spend days studying for that thing), but I did get to laugh alot at Seth's video game instructions, flying Spaghetti, and pictures.

I hope we'll have "valentine" dinners all the time when we are married.

Happy Wednesday!

And here starts the Lent season......

Monday, February 15, 2010

Preview of Valentines Day

The family, and valentine's dinner. It couldn't have been better.

more later

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Too.much. art history. II

I have been studying all morning, all day, and am rewarding myself with a blog entry.

While studying Byzantine, Islamic, and Medieval European art, "Say Yes to the Dress" episodes played as my background noise (I've been finding that I need to be in the middle of the house, not stuck up in my room, on my bed, if I want to get any homework done).

It's weird how a show focused so heavily on bride worship and consumerism can both anger me and move me...perhaps that's the danger and why i should not be watching it. But I like seeing the dresses (which can be works of art) and marveling at the disgusting price tags.
But it's when they show the brides actually getting married that I lose it. And then Kelsey and Larissa came home from their old housemate, Brooke's (I'm new Brooke), wedding, and Kelsey started talking about the details and crying during it and I started welling up again.

But after watching a couple more episodes, (there must have been a marathon?), I'm just amazed at how people act around weddings and preparations...
It's hilarious, mothers and sisters and cousins of the bride who act terribly. I kind of think there is no room for a person to tell another person how to look.

I'm lucky that my mom is really good about not saying really anything, aside from encouraging words, about the dress or the way things look. Actually, both my parents have been great about both maintaining a balance of 1. accepting my personal style, (i don't know if i like that phrase, but i will go with it just because it seems to make sense) 2. letting us know what's acceptable. And when I say "what's acceptable" I think I mainly mean that they kept me and my sister's feet on the ground. I don't really ever remember being told, "don't wear that" and I certainly have NEVER been told "that's not flattering" or "that doesn't look good." At least not until I've admitted it first.
But they have both maintained a sense of humor that I feel my sister and I both have towards clothes, appearance, etc. From Dad's term: "bun head" (a big knotted bun on the top of the head) to Mom's "okay" and "it doesn't really even matter" attitude, I feel we've (Lacey and I) been raised around a really grounded pair of adults.

So it baffles me, like so many things in this wedding industry, when advice (advice that hasn't been asked for) is given. Advice like, "that looks terrible, that's not you, i don't like it." These comments are coming from somewhere that is insecure, jealous, or controlling (which is so often only a manifestation of insecurity, and self-doubt).

So this goes to Momma, thank you for just sitting back in that chair and saying "yes" "yes" "yes" to every gown I tried on. Lacey and I always say how good you guys are. You've made things pretty good for us :)

Last night, Seth and I went to Catalyst for a couple beers (mmmm stout) and we were pleasantly surprised by the nights' band; they were this bluegrass group that was amazing. I want to book them for our reception. The other night at prayer group, Eddie suggested we have a barn dance...which i have no problem with, just as long as there's time for Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, and MGMT.

I kind of doubt that there will be a live band, but it'd be nice, right?

The other night I had a dream that showed me pictures of what our wedding will look like. I remember seeing my cute nieces in sweet dresses.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ashley's coming to town

As I wait for my friend Ashley to arrive, I watch the light and swirling snow. It's pretty but it's cold and the branches are all bare and I wish the sun was out.

So, here's a poem just for today: (another Jane Kenyon)

"February: Thinking of Flowers"

Now wind torments the field,
turning the white surface back
on itself, back and back on itself,
like an animal licking a wound.

Nothing but white- the air, the light;
only one brown milkweed pod
bobbing in the gully, smallest
brown boat on the immense tide.

A single green sprouting thing
would restore me....

Then think of the tall delphinium,
swaying, or the bee when it comes
to the tongue of the burgundy lily.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One of the best parts about Planning a Wedding

One of the best parts about planning a wedding is knowing that you are going to get to see people you might not get to see as often as you did at one time.
For me, I am experiencing this as I facebook message (while writing this) my friend Anna in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We lived together for two years in this charming little house on Colorado Street. I loved it and I love her. And I am so freaking excited to see her again. I like to daydream about all of my friends (I have several traveling to the wedding from out of state) being together in this house I live in right now. I know it might be kind of crowded but after sharing 1 bathroom with five or six other girls I don't really think it will be an issue. Really I am just too happy to have everyone all together again: Hannah's coming! Sarah's coming! Christy, are you really coming!? Raeann's flying in from South Korea?! Joke, can we please dance to Kanye?!

I've told Seth this many many many times: I just want them all to come in one giant caravan.

So hurry up, get here soon! Let's live together again!

Now, if only there was a Marie Catrib's right around the corner.................

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

can i indulge? pleassssssse?

There are some days that I just think constantly about the wedding, about the marriage, about how joyful I am.

Moved, I'd say. Maybe it's because I had another wedding dream last night where everything went wrong (which seems to happen alot in my dreams) but I still wake up so happy and so ready for that to happen. Maybe it's because I go to Family Night every Monday night and am surrounded by laughter, children screaming, good food, and relationships that become stronger and more familiar with each week.

And maybe...I get this domestic fever. WHAT? did i say that? yeah. What a change from my hairy days, right?

And by domestic, I mean. Communal. maybe?

Like this (from what else? "Preparing for Christian Marriage"):

"Marriage does not set a couple apart, but puts them in the middle of things. The romantic attitudes of our culture picture moments of love in the isolation of exotic beaches or intimate dinners at expensive restaurants. In reality, marriage sets our lives within networks of family, friends, and neighbors. If we hold on to the romantic idea we will experience these deep connections as a threat to love rather than as a wonderful opportunity to let love and hospitality expand in our lives."

Isn't that great? And then,

"Through sharing our lives in community, we can have faith that our married love will be transformed and reach a depth that we could not have imagined on our wedding day."

And when I think about these things my mind starts going to how we're going to spend our first summer together, how we're going to have a "Jesus Room" in our house, how we'd love to farm someday and live simply, how we plan to have children that will grow up to care for their friends, family, and community, just as our community has blessed us as we've been preparing for our marriage.

I think about community and I don't have to think far: I think about the community I was blessed with knowing in Michigan (at "Camp Fitzhugh" and at the Colorado house) and I think about our church family at Christ our Hope and how everyone takes care of everyone else's kids (you never know who belongs to who in that church--it's. so. great.) and I think about Family night and the way Seth, Abby, Amanda, Emily, Sarah, Mel, Clint, Dan, Ryan, Chris, Nani, and Poppa all have different ways of interacting and teaching those kids. Everyone is responsible for caring for each other, and I think that is very good.

sigh. I actually started this not knowing what I was going to write about. I just like being in the habit of writing something. I was really only going to post some pictures--of my handsome husband- to- be, mainly :)

Caring for Grace. This picture (taken in 2005?) maybe my favorite picture of Seth.

Julian is my son.

The look alikes: James Andrew and Seth James

I need to photoshop my mom and dad, who took this picture, into this image. But here we are, the Forwood/Stoddard clan.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Too. much. art. history.

I don't think I've posted any pictures of the church we are getting married in.

We originally were trying to reserve the church we both grew up in, Faith E. Free, at it's previous location on Drake Road. However since it was booked, we found St. John's Lutheran.

The sanctuary is traditional and light will come through its stained glass and illuminate the space.

(i took this from the balcony around Christmas time)

And there will be bells ringing when Dave pronounces us husband and wife!

Now, I am off to Family night with my new family (all 21? of us...well...23 when baby Sawyer and Stewart Baby #3 arrive)!