Sunday, August 19, 2012

Open Heart Surgery

I'm overjoyed to say that I am home from Cleveland.  My parents, Riley and I all ventured to Ohio so I could have open heart surgery.  The surgery took place on Thursday, August 9th.  I got out of ICU by Friday night and was released from the hospital on Monday night.  We spent two days traveling home back to Kansas.  Luckily, everything went well and there were no complications.

Needless to say, I am very sore and in lots of pain.  My surgeon said that he had never seen a case quite like mine.  He also commented that I have only been using one lung my entire life because all of the function of the other lung was being completely wasted.  I'm very anxious to get healed up and see how I feel with a properly working heart.  Dr. Petterson said that once he was done with me, I would have to run full marathons instead of just halfs.

I missed the first day of school at my new job.  I'm kind of heartbroken about it (no pun intended).  I was really looking forward to meeting my students and new co-workers.  According the the doctors, I am suppose to take off 4-6 weeks.  Lesson plans are written for four weeks; I'm hoping that will be plenty since I only teach part-time.

I had big plans for working on lots of wedding stuff ... but I'm a lot more sore than I thought I would be.  We shall wait and see...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Unexpected Changes

It has been way too long since I have last posted, so I'll be updating you about the past two months.

I finished up teaching at Atchison Middle School.

I was happy to pack up my classroom and move on to another school.  As my last day approached, I began to think about all the things I would miss.  Looking back, teaching there was a great experience; I learned many things and am a better teacher than I was when I began there.  The last day was a rough one, filled with tears and hugs from the staff.  I'll greatly miss the wonderful people who were more than just co-workers.

I moved out of my parents' house and to Randolph.

I couldn't believe how much stuff I had until I packed it all up to move.  Moving day went well.  Luckily I had lots of help including Riley, his parents, and my parents.  Once moved, Riley and I spent several weeks getting things put away and making our house a home.  It is still a work in progress and I have lots of projects in the works.

I started my new summer job.

My summer job started out at the end of May.  I am working as a preschool teacher which is a huge change after spending the last two years teaching middle school students.  I'll admit, the first week or two were rough.  The kiddos were a bit crazy, but now things are going smoothly and I'm really enjoying the job.  The little hugs, smiles, and I love yous from the kiddos make it all worth it.

I traveled to Ohio to visit the Cleveland Clinic.

After dealing with costochondritis for 3 years, a doctor suggest that I have an echo to make sure that it wasn't anything serious.  When the echo results came back, they were not normal so I was referred to a cardiologist.  I went to St. Francis in Topeka to have a transesophageal echo followed by a cardiac MRI.  These tests showed that I have anomalous pulmonary venous return which is rare.  Because of the rareness, I was sent to the Cleveland Clinic this week.  I had a couple echos, a cardiac catheterization, and met with a cardiologist.  While there, I found out that they would be able to schedule open heart surgery at the beginning of August.

This medical issue was totally unexpected and everything happened all at once.  However, I am relieved that I know what is going on and that it can be fixed.  The timing is pretty terrible as I just moved, am starting a new job, and am planning a wedding.  Oh well, there probably is no real good time to have surgery.  I'm hoping for the best and trying not to stress about it

Monday, May 7, 2012

Moving Day is Coming

As the school year is ending, moving day is approaching.  We are down to 9 more days of school.  I have enjoyed this teaching experience but I am very ready for the school year to end.  I'm probably more excited for the move and the new things that are to come.

In a matter of weeks, I will be living on my own and teaching preschool for the summer.

In a matter of months, I will FINALLY be living in the same town as my fiance.  Even better, we will be living together when August rolls around.  After dating almost 6.5 years, I would say that it is about time.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Mail Call

When I came home today I was greeted by two packages.  There is no other way to turn a bad day into a good one than getting stuff in the mail and another thing crossed of the mile long wedding to do list.

The first package was from Shutterfly. I had a coupon for a free 12 by 12 photobook; I just had to pay shipping--SCORE.

I decided to make a book that can be used as a guestbook.

I used our engagement photos and was sure to leave lots of blank space for well wishes to be written.

Now I just need to find some pens that won't smear or bleed through.

My other package was from VistaPrint.  I got 100 free postards to use as our Save The Dates, all I had to pay was shipping -- SCORE again.

The Front of the Postcard
 (blurry--difficult to take a picture without getting a major glare.)

And the Back of the Postcard

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Engagement Photos

Riley and I got our CD full of engagement photos this past weekend. When I say a CD full of photos I mean full.  Our photographer gave us 2 CDs with a total of 129 photos, so many pictures they wouldn't fit on one CD.

Now we will struggle to pick out our favorites, but such a wonderful problem to have :)

Here are a few more for your viewing enjoyment...

Friday, April 6, 2012


There have been a lot of changes in the past 7 days.
I had an interview with Blue Valley Middle School for a part-time teaching job last Friday. It went really well and they called and offered the job to me on the following Monday. I happily accepted. Since it is only part-time, I plan to be a para in the afternoon.
The next day, Tuesday, Riley County School District called asking for an interview on Thursday. This interview was for a summer pre-school position. I received a phone call today and I got the job.
Riley and I are very excited. We will be looking for a place to me to live this summer and then he will join me in the fall. Finally after dating for almost 6 1/2 years we can begin our lives together.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Engagement Photos

Riley and I had our engagement photos taken this weekend.

We originally planned to take them in the late summer or early fall. With Riley's internship in Concordia this summer and the possibility of me having a job change, we wanted to get them done.

We won a free mini session with Kayla Stallbaumer from Capture. We wanted to turn our mini session into a full session so we could use it for our e-pics. Kayla agreed to do this for an additional cost of $60. So we set up a date (Friday, March 30th) and met in Manhattan.

Kayla was wonderful to work with and we had lots of fun. When we finished the session, Kayla told us that she didn't want any payment at all, she wanted us to win the whole session. Talk about generous!!!

Anyway, enough rambling... here are a few photos from our preview. We will get the rest in about 3 weeks.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Dress

I have found THE DRESS!!!

Yesterday I had an appointment at David's Bridal. My mom, my MIL to be, my MOH, and I drove to Topeka. We met my sister and Kerby, one of my bridesmaids.

Our first stop was Dillard's were my mom found a dress, jewelry, and shoes. I LOVE her dress. It is a short red dress with rose-like details at the top of it. It is really cute and flattering on her.

After Dillard's we headed to a Mexican restaurant for dollar margaritas and some yummy food. Once we were stuffed, we had a little time left before my appointment at David's so we ran to Verizon to get my parents new phones.

When we got to David's Bridal I met my consultant, Leah. She was super nice and really easy to work with. Here is a group shot of my ladies (minus Krista who is taking the photo).

Krista (MOH) and Kerby insisted that I try on a big poofy dress. It was pretty, but SO not me. I love the look of everybody's expressions in the mirror. You know it's not the one, when everybody starts laughing when you come out of the dressing room.

Another dress...not the one.

I tried on several others but once I tried on THE DRESS I knew it was the once. I still tried on a few more and kept going back to the favorite. With a smile on my face, I rung the bell signaling that I was saying yes to my dress.

I have photos of myself in THE dress, but I'll be keeping them hidden.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Successful Bridal Fair

Yesterday, Riley and I went to another Bridal Fair. This time we traveled to Seneca. Again, we came out big winners.

When we first got there, my name was called about 15 minutes in, for a photo album.

We walked around, hit up most of the booths, and ran to Subway for a quick bit to eat. We came back after eating because the big prizes were being drawn at 3:00. There weren't many people there from 2:15-2:45 so we had a chance to make it around to the booths that we hadn't prior to eating. During this time, my name was called again for 20% off a bridal jewelry set.

My name was also called for a free photography session from Capture. The session includes a CD with full resolution pictures and print release for all images. We will be using this for our engagement photos, probably in the summer or fall.

Here's a photo of Kayla from Capture. We are super excited to work with her.

Photo Source

As it got closer to 3:00, more and more people starting showing up for the big prize drawings. They drew for the biggest prize first--a 32-in flat screen TV. To our surprise, they drew my name :)

Photo Source

It was a great day and I don't think Riley will be giving me a hard time about dragging him to bridal fairs :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Maids

I didn't have a difficult time in deciding this. In fact, it was probably the easiest decision of all, besides the groom of course :)

MOH High School BFF: Krista
She has been my best friend since 2nd grade. We were very close in high school and stayed in contact while in college. We are both teachers and relate to each other very easily.
It was a given that Krista would be my Maid of Honor. I'm pretty sure I asked her about an hour after I got engaged :)

Bridesmaid Sister: Haley

I love my sister, but we are complete opposites. I am organized and serious. Haley is crazy fun and a more go with the flow kind of girl. She agreed that she didn't want the responsibilty of being MOH, so she was happy to be a bridesmaid.
Since I only have one sister, it was a given that she would be in the wedding. I believe her reaction to me asking her was, "Uhh, sure I guess."

Bridesmaid College BFF: Kerby

This girl is a ball of fun and always makes me laugh. She and I became great friends in college and lived together our last year at Emporia. The reception wouldn't be the same without her there.
Bridesmaid Riley's Sister-in-Law: Jaime
Bridesmaid Riley's Sister-in-Law: Heidi

Technically, she is Riley's sister-in-law, but I feel like that seems too distant. Jaime has been my shopping buddy time and time again. We never walk out of a mall together without armloads of shopping bags filled with good deals. Jaime and I seem to be able to talk for hours. She and I have spent many nights up late talking while the boys are snoozing away.
Again, Riley's sister-in-law, but still seems too distant for me. Heidi has always been super sweet and made me feel comfortable at those awkward family things.  She's really easy to relate to and always fun to hang out with. Plus, she made me the CUTEST ring bearer ever :)
I asked Jaime & Heidi while we were at the bridal store in Wichita. They were looking at some hideous prom dresses. We were discussing how awful the dresses were. I casually said something about when I go shopping for bridesmaid dresses, they will need to come so they can pick out what they want to wear. To be honest, they had the best reaction. They both gave a little squeal and we had a little group hug right there in the store :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Dress Hunt (Part 2)

After falling in love with the Adorae, I was excited to find a much cheaper dress made by DaVinci. They look very similar to me, but of course I had to try it on.

This past weekend, Riley and I went to Newtwon. (Riley's brother Derrick lives there with his wife, Heidi and their son, Tyson. Riley's parents and other brother, Shelby and his wife, Jaime were also there for the weekend.) Every year there is a swap meet that the guys like to go to. While this is going on, the girls do what they do best-- shop.

I found a bridal store in Witchia carried DaVinci and they had the sample dress that is similar to the Adorae. All the girls agreed to go, so off we went with little 2 year-old Tyson in tow.

I tried on several dresses. This first one is the Adorae-look-a-like made by DaVinci. I really liked it and so did the girls.

(I'm not going to post a photo of myself in the dress. It might be "the one.")

I really didn't think I wanted a "big" dress, but I agreed to try this next dress. Looking back on it now, there are several things that I really don't like about it. However, when I came out in this dress my future mother-in-law got teared up along with Heidi too. I think I was just so overwhelmed by their reactions that it made me really really like the dress.

(sorry for the poor quality of pics--cell phone is to blame)

I do still like the back quite a bit, but it's a lot of dress.

As of now, my front runner is still the DaVinci, but I do have an appointment at David's Bridal, so the decision has not yet been made.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Hunt Begins

This past weekend was a busy one. My best friend from college, Kerby came for a visit. On Friday, we went to the casino and I won $50.00!!! I was super excited about that.

On Saturday, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to drag our butts to Atchison for the launch of the BodyPump class at the Y. It was a great class, but my body was so shakey and I was SO sore.

After the class, we headed to Seneca so I could try on wedding dresses! I was very nervous and unsure of what to expect. The two ladies there were very helpful and put me in some goregous dresses. I explained which parts of each dress I liked and they decided on "the dress" that I wanted. They put me in "the dress" and didn't tell me how much it cost. Well, of course I fell in LOVE with the dress and its WAY out of my budget! This little beauty is about $1,300.

Kerby and I left the bridal shop, and I'll admit I was a bit disappointed. Here, I found this dress that I love and it is way out of my budget. When when returned home I started googling dresses that are simlar the the Adorae. I'm happy to report that DaVinci makes a dress that is very similar for about $800.

The weekend ended with an afternoon at the Topeka Bridal Fair on Sunday. I didn't win anything, but I did get lots of great info.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Announcing Our Engagement

Riley proposed the day before the last day of school before Christmas Break. (Does that make sense? Read it slow, that helps me!) I was excited to share my news with my students.

When my 8th graders came in, I handed each one of them a word scramble and let them solve it. The first person in my class to figure it out was a sweet girl named Carly. I'll never forget what she did. She looked at me, she looked back at the paper, she ran up to me and asked, "Is this for real, Ms. Wellman?!" So priceless!

I had SO much fun seeing my students' reactions to my little secret message. I have 6 different classes and they all had such fun reactions. They were so excited for me!

One boy, sitting at the back table, came up to me at the front of the classroom and high-fived me and said, "You Go Girl!" Of course, all the girls wanted to know the story with all the details; they oooed and awwed. They all wanted to see the "Bling" and made the connection that he must be "rich" because his name is Richling and he got "big bling!" :)

It was so much fun and a great way to end the semester before enjoying Christmas break with my fiance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Not Official Until It's Facebook Official

As everyone knows, nothing is official until it's Facebook official, at least in today's world. I was very excited to make our engagement official by announcing it to Facebook. I couldn't do it right away because we had to make sure that all of our family knew. I had to work the following day, so I went to work and gave Riley that responsibility. While I was at school teaching, Riley made sure to tell the last few family members that we didn't want to call so late at night the prior evening.

Once I got the okay from Riley, I was ready to post!

My big announcement said:
Riley always gives me a hard time about my lowest grade in college, which was a B+ in Marriage and Family. Well, apparently a B+ is good enough for him because he proposed!!! :D

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wedding Planning-The Very Beginning Stage

I have started planning and I have a to-do list a mile long.

Cathy, the librarian at the middle school, gave me this awesome magazine. My FIRST wedding magazine. Let the planning begin.


To update you, over the weekend Riley and I went and met with our photographer, Lisa Marie. We got lots of good info and saw awesome products that we want to buy. Cost is obviously a factor, a huge factor actually. Riley said he would sell plasma-haha what a caring fiance!

Today was MLK Day, so we enjoyed a 3-day weekend. We did get the reception hall booked. It was actually a little less than expected, so that was a nice surprise. We also worked on some small DIY projects together.

I never knew that wedding planning could be this overwhelming. I think I've already suggested eloping several times already ;) I'm excited to be planning and am having fun searching for ideas.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bridal Show Winner

I went to Manhattan to visit Riley this weekend. On Sunday, I drug him to a Bridal Fair. Actually, I really didn't have to drag him which was very surprising :)

I wasn't feeling very well all morning. I spent most of the morning in my pjs with an upset tummy. I took a little nap and we headed to the Bridal Fair at about 2:00. Throughout the fair, I wasn't feeling much better but I did make it to the 4:00 fashion show... well kind of. In the middle of the fashion show, I got sick. I almost made it to the bathroom, but was slightly mortified as I threw up in the lobby and all over in the bathroom. :S

After, I felt much better and was determined to make it through the fashion show because they were giving away DJs at the end. I didn't win a DJ, but I did win a PHOTOGRAPHER. Riley and I were so excited. Every photographer we saw at the fair was way out of our price range. I was secretly dreaming that we could afford photographers like the ones we saw. Then my name was called for an $800 photography package.

2 of a Kind Design Photography

These two ladies are the photographers who gave away such an awesome package!

I'm very excited for them to shoot our wedding!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Date Set

Riley and I have a date set for the big day!

We met with Father Earl on December 27th. It is very important to me to be able to get married in the church that I grew up in. We will be tieing the knot on the 1st of June in 2013. That gives us plenty of time to plan and hopefully time for me to find a job closer to him.

We (probably mostly me) have lots to do before the big day. I'm very excited and I'm sure it will be perfectly organized with a hint of chaos :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Proposal

This is definitely a story I don't want to forget...

On Sunday afternoon, I helped Riley to load his car to head back to Manhattan for the week. I watched him drive off, thinking he was headed back so he could work the next day. Little did I know, he had surprise plans for the following day. Instead of going to Manhattan, he went back to his parents’ house.

The next day, I was staying after school to help students with missing homework assignments. At about 4:00, I turned on my phone and saw a text message from Riley saying, "Do you have a warm coat with you?" Needless to say, I was confused so I text back saying "At school? Yes." Riley sent a text saying "Well put it on and lets go!" More text messages were exchanged with me questioning what they heck was going on and Riley not giving any details. I knew something was up, so I got my things ready to go and rushed my last student out by 4:30.

When I reached the school parking lot, Riley was there waiting for me. He asked for my GPS and put in an address, but wouldn't let me see where we were going. I started looking around the car to try to figure out where they were going. In the backseat of the car were several of my coats, a pair of jeans, tennis shoes, boots, and gloves.

Riley drove me to Kansas City. I requested that we eat at Taco Bell on the way because I was starving to death. (We laugh a lot about this choice now, because Riley took me to Taco Bell for our 5 year anniversary last year.) I really had no idea where we were going the entire time as I'm not familiar with Kansas City. He ended up taking me to The Plaza. The drive was rainy, but he was hoping it would turn to snow so they could take a horse carriage ride and he could propose then. Instead, we walked around The Plaza looking at the Christmas lights in the rain. I had an umbrella so I was quiet content, but Riley did not. Eventually after a cold and wet walk, we stopped in front of a fountain. Riley got down on one knee in the pouring rain and asked (twice!) if I would marry him. I said YES!

(My best friend proposed with a gorgeous ring in the pouring rain.)

(The rain ruined his snowy carriage ride plans.

The check engine light came on in his car and we had to stop at a gas station in the ghetto so he could get a quart of oil.

Nobody would answer my phone calls to tell our news.

The weather back home was getting bad, so the drive home was a bit stressful and very long.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012!

One of my many New Year's Resolutions is to start and maintain a personal/family/life blog.

Riley proposed on December 19, 2011 and we are very excited to start the next chapter in our lives. I hope to use this blog to share the ups and downs, laughs and screams, perfections and chaos as we begin merging our lives together.

Currently, Riley is finishing up his degree at Kansas State University majoring in agromony. He is set to graduate in May of 2013.

I'm teaching math and reading to 8th grade students. I'm hoping to find a new job for next school year closer to Riley.

"Perfectly Organized Chaos"

I chose this name for my blog because it just seemed to fit my personality. I love everything to be perfect and organized. However, no matter how much I plan there always has to be a little chaos involved!