I have been non-stop going to school at Marian and student teaching at Irvington since early August.  Needless to say, I have gotten quite burnt out – so I was excited when I found out that October 5th to the 9th was Irvington’s fall break.  I finally got a couple days off!!  Of course, you’re probably thinking that I should need days off – I spent the last three years at IUPUI, and if you know anything about them…THEY DON’T GIVE THEIR STUDENTS A FALL BREAK.  Well, this is a different situation!  I needed it and I am so glad I got it!  Anyway, Neil decided to take Monday and Tuesday off with me.  We were going to plan this great and elaborate vacation to Chicago for the entire weekend, but after looking at the cost, we decided that we’d rather take that money and put it into our house!  Of course, that didn’t stop me from insisting that we at least did SOMETHING out of the ordinary over the weekend!  So, yesterday after church, we decided to head down to Nashville, Indiana for some shopping with the puppies!

Yesterday was such a perfect day – not too cold, not too warm.  We strolled around the little shops (there are soo many cute things for fall at the little Country Stores!  If I were made of money, I’d probably have it all!!).  Because I’m starting full-time student teaching in a couple weeks – and because I chose to do a 2 week unit on the history of Indiana – I decided that we should stop into this little bookstore.  I figured they would have more down-home Indiana items than say, Borders or Barnes & Noble.  We strolled around looking at all the children’s books and were starting to make our way back out the door when an older couple strolled in.  The man went to the counter and asked the bookstore attendant if they had a certain book.  She looked at him with a blank stare and asked him to repeat.  He did, but he also included this, “I’m from Scotland – sorry if you can’t understand through the accent!”  Whoa.  What?!  In the middle of Nashville, Indiana and you happen to stroll into the same bookstore Neil and I are in?  On the same day?  At the same hour?  Get out!  When we heard this, Neil and I looked at each other and kind of snickered.  We didn’t know what else to do!!  So of course, in traditional Amanda fashion (I couldn’t let this one pass through my fingers), I walked right up to the couple and told them straight out, “You’re from Scotland?  My fiance and I (as I was pointing to him) are getting married there next year!”  And like all the Scots I have either met or had a brief conversation with, they were so excited to hear we were marrying there – but they were even more gentle and down-to-earth.  I swear, we have yet to meet a Scot who isn’t willing to talk!!  Either way, we got to talking, he mentioned they were from Perthshire, which is right centrally located, and coincidentally in the same vicinity of our dear Wendy.  He also mentioned that he used to be a police officer, then a dog trainer, and now works in the golf department at Gleneagles.  Okay – if you know ANYTHING about anything in Scotland, you know Gleneagles.  Aside from The Old Course, it is one of the more famous golf courses in Scotland.  They have the Centenary course, which is home to the 2014 Ryder Cup, the King’s Course which opened in 1919 and the Queen’s Course, which is much more secluded.  Gleneagles is also a beautiful and majestic resort offering everything anyone could ever want!  Of course, after I heard Gleneagles, I immediately started name dropping!!!   Wendy was the event services manager for four years at Gleneagles before departing to start her own business.   Unfortunately, through the over 800 employees at Gleneagles, our new acquaintance Harry couldn’t quite put a face to our Wendy’s name.  Bummer!!  But, he did tell Neil that when he gets to Scotland, call Gleneagles, ask for him, and he’s make sure that he got on the course to play!!  What more hospitality could you ask for?!  Needless to say – Papa was pretty excited to hear this news, too!!

During our conversation, we also found out that their son is also an engineer, but at a different place in Columbus than Neil is at.  He worked for the company in England and they asked him to move to Columbus (ugh, bad trade-off!!) to do some work here.  Harry and his wife visit every so often and were in Nashville for the day waiting for the theatre to open…yes, they were going to the theatre.  Remember the little words I said earlier that Wendy uses?  This is one of them!!  They were so excited to go to the theatre to see Driving Miss Daisy!!  How precious!

Of course, last night after we got home, I just had to let Wendy know the good news!!  She was flattered that I mentioned her name, but she understood the possibility of not knowing her!!  As for our Minister search, we’re still at a dead end.  Wendy has checked with several and no one is willing to step up to the plate.  😦  Wendy did say, however, that if worse comes to worse, she has some contacts that would definitely do the ceremony, they just live further away and Wendy was hoping for someone more local.  Anyway, we’ll see what we find out.  She has contacted the registry office to see if they have any leads.

In regards to our rehearsal dinner, we’re getting closer to making a decision.  I really had thought I mentioned this before, but after looking back at previous posts, it’s become obvious that I have not!  My sister has been toying around with the idea of Catholicism and in order to make her way into the church, she must be sponsored by someone.  That’s where Julie comes in – she’s my sisters sponsor.  And quite honestly, she’s making quite the positive impression…on me at least!!  According to my sister, she hasn’t even met Julie yet – just had conversations.  She mentioned to Amy that she was going to Scotland for 10 days, so wouldn’t be here to talk Catholic-talk until she returned.  Of course – Amy jumped on that train!!  She emailed me right after she left and told me that “someone she knew” was going to Scotland, so if I have anything I want her to check out, see, etc., she’d be willing to.  She was a lousy 10 minutes from St. Andrews!!  Of course I wasn’t going to pass that up!  So I immediately emailed Amy back with a list of requests.  I felt as though I was completely taking advantage of this poor woman – I mean, she was on vacation afterall.  I’m sure the last thing she wanted to do was to scope out some random area for someone she doesn’t even know – and may very well never even meet!!  I tried to sound as polite as possible and left everything up to her.  If she didn’t want to do it, fine!  I wasn’t going to complain!  A couple days later, I got this email: “She was so excited to play “Wedding Planner” for a day!  She said she has lots of information.”  Get. Out.  So the information started pouring in.  Literally!  Everyday there was something new!  I had specifically asked her to look at these two little hotels that I had included on our planning sheet for all our guests.  I was worried about these two hotels because they were the smallest and I wasn’t finding much information online about them.  Julie loved them.  She said the people were nice as could be (and even suggested photography and hair/makeup services for me!!) and they gave her all kinds of information.  So – now that I’ve made a complete 180, this is where I was going with all of this!  At the hotel she visited, they have a little restaurant called the Oakroom.  Ellen had looked into and was contemplating it and Julie confirmed that it was just a beautiful and the menu was do-able!  Wendy has offered to book the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, pending Ellen’s approval of course!  So as soon as I know – you’ll know!!  Oh, and Julie is also going to send Neil and I a disc of all the images from Scotland that she took!!  Some people are just unbelievable!!!

Our wedding is creeping up there…and before we know it – Neil will be my HUSBAND!!

P.S. 247 days…7 hours…46 minutes…2 seconds until our wedding day!!! 🙂

P.P.S. HAPPY ONE MONTH, ERIC & EMILY!!!  Who knew you’d beat the odds and make it a full month?!  Phew!!  Talk about a MILESTONE!!! Do they have Hallmark cards for this occasion?!

P.P.P.S. And because I love you all…here are some gorgeous flowers I just happened to fall upon.  Who wouldn’t love to have these at their dinner table?!