General Jessica | 25 Nov 2004
Andy and I spent Thanksgiving Day in Coon Valley, Wisconsin with my the extended family on my mom’s side. It was lots of fun. In the evening, they had a shower for me and Andy. Andy’s parents even came to it. That’s where my relatives played a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad (but hilarious) trick on me. They asked everyone to bring a gift that cost no more than $1.00. Everyone was in on the trick except for me and Andy. We got gifts such as a used rap video, a bag of assorted soaps (including 1/2 used bars in plastic baggies), etc. I tried my best to be grateful. It was hard. My relatives (especially my mom) were laughing like crazy. I felt bad because people were laughing at the presents given by others. But, at one point, while holding up a gift, I had to use the gift as a shield while I laughed myself. At some point, I realized that the gifts were so disappointing so I asked Andy to open them. My sister leaned over to me after I had opened about half the presents and said, “These are awful.” I said, “Shhh. They’re fine.” I also heard a cousin say, “I feel bad for Jessi.” I thought I wasn’t being grateful enough, so I tried to pick it up. I just remember how relieved I was when my aunt said that those were not my real presents. I think I started laughing and crying at the same time.
General Jessica | 22 Nov 2004
Lots of stuff transpired over the weekend. Here’s a summary:
1. Friday – Forbes Shower
My dad’s side of the family threw a bridal shower for me. It was fun to see everyone. We played a game that would determine how well Andy knows me. At all the recent Forbes bridal showers the game was how well the bride knows the groom (not the other way around). I was bamboozled! I had studied up for weeks on silly facts about Andy, determined not to eat a large piece of gum for every question I answered wrong. I learned Andy’s sizes, his social security number, license plate number, time of birth, etc. In the end, I got a mouth full of Hubba Bubba because Andy had incorrectly answered so many questions about me.
2. Saturday – Pre-Marital Class and Church
We didn’t do too much on Saturday. I worked a little at home and Andy painted some cabinet doors and installed them in a bathroom. We also had another pre-marital session before church. The sessions are now just Andy and me and the counselor and her husband (instead of us, the counselor and her husband and the other engaged couples). I just love pre-marital class and I didn’t want it to end. But, we had to quit on Saturday when we could hear worship starting in the church’s sanctuary.
3. Sunday – Brushes with Death
Andy almost died twice on Sunday. The first incident occurred during his flight lesson and the second (very shortly after) when he was driving his pick-up. Here is how Andy described these scary incidents on his blog:
Broad-Sided Answer to Prayer
Today ended up being a difficult day. I came face-to-face with my own mortality not once, but twice in a matter of just a few hours.
The first came during a flight lesson that otherwise went great. While doing a few maneuvers at the practice area, I came out of a turn and saw another plane just below the nose of my plane. Had we not been about 200 feet above them, we very well may have collided. I don’t have much fear in regards to flying, but my greatest fear is mid-air collisions. Other planes can come seemingly out of nowhere leaving very little time to react. Small planes like I fly, a Cessna 172 (Skyhawk), are very difficult to see.
The second brush with death came in a car accident on my way home from my flight lesson. I stopped at the auto parts store to get some anti-freeze to flush my coolant system. As I was pulling out of the parking lot when leaving, I didn’t see a mini-van coming and pulled out. I ended up hitting him on the passenger side. Had I pulled out just a second or two sooner, I could have very easily been T-Boned, and possibly killed as he would have struck me on the driver’s side.
It was very jarring. I’ve been in a few small fender-benders in the past, never my fault, and rear ended a woman while going about 10 mph when she stuttered while making a right turn at a stop light. I’ve never been responsible for this kind of damage.
I thank God that the only way this particular accident could have had a better outcome would have been if it had not happened at all, since neither I nor the other driver sustained any injuries.
I say that this was a broadsided answer to prayer for good reason though. I have been listening to a lot of Ray Comfort’s sermons lately, and have really taken them to heart. In them, he cries out that we, the church, need to ask God to teach us to number our days. It is easy, at 27 years of age, to see so much of my life ahead of me and not take my service to God seriously. I have prayed that He teach me to number my days. I want to live each day as if it could be my last, because one day I’ll be right.
Sometimes God answers prayer in the most unexpected ways. By allowing me to get into an accident that could have had a far worse outcome, I was forced to recognize that youth carries no guarantees. Young people die all the time. I am fully confident that had I been killed in either the car accident or a mid-air collision, I’d be with Jesus right now. In the sense of my eternal position, I have no fear of death. What jarred me most though, was the thought that I could have done so much more for Him in my life so far.
Get out there Christians – use this time you have to snatch sinners from the fires of Hell. So many are headed there, and it’s our job, while we’re here, to point as many to the door of salvation as we can.
4. Only 40 days left until our wedding! CRAZY!
General Jessica | 16 Nov 2004
I love my hometown of Litchfield, but one bad thing about that small town is that rumors swirl around quite fast. Apparently there is a rumor making its rounds about how Andy and I met at my sister and her husband’s wedding in June and were engaged three weeks later. Not true. I’m guessing that it is being portrayed as quite the scandal since people in town know me as being level-headed and responsible. This rumor paints me in a different light – much more impulsive. The true story is that Andy and I met on January 17, 2004. My sister and her husband (then boyfriend) were over at my house for the day. My sister’s husband called his good friend Andy and told him to stop by. Andy came over to my house and that’s when it all began. My sister and her husband got married on June 5, 2004. I was the maid of honor and Andy was a groomsman. About 7 weeks after their wedding, Andy and I got engaged.
General Jessica | 15 Nov 2004
Just 47 more days until our wedding. I lost count over the weekend. I thought there were 49 days left. I’m stressed, but that is nothing new. Andy is calm. We made some progress this weekend on our wedding plans. We got our engagement picture taken, we talked to the officiating pastor (my cousin’s husband) about the ceremony, bought some decorations for the reception, and worked on the vows. Andy has been an enormous help. He has helped me make every decision (even about the tiniest details). He is also in charge of some big projects, like putting together a slide show and designing our programs.
General Jessica | 08 Nov 2004
Andy turned 27 years old on Friday, November 5th. I don’t think he was that excited to get a year older, but I kind of was. You see, until Friday, I was 28 while Andy was only 26. (I am a year and 3 months older than Andy.) Now that I’m still 28 and he is 27, that sounds a lot better to me. Still, it kind of stinks that he will never catch up to me.
To celebrate Andy’s birthday, on Friday we went to Fuddrucker’s with his family. On Saturday, we went to church, then to Comedy Sportz and finally to Doolittle’s Air Cafe.
Almost needless to say, we barely made any progress on wedding plans this weekend because we were so busy. Just 53 more days!
General Andy | 02 Nov 2004
I’ve been getting a lot of spam in the comments for my main blog, and had to close off the commenting on all posts older than 20 days. It carried over to this blog as well, even though I haven’t gotten any spam on this one yet. We love comments, but can’t keep them open long because of the spam factor. If you’d like to leave a comment, and we hope you do, please feel free to leave it under a newer post if the one you wish to comment on is closed.
General Jessica | 02 Nov 2004
Many people have asked us why we choose to get married on January 1st. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how we arrived there, but I do know that it was the very first decision we made relating to the wedding. We decided firmly on January 1st before we had a pastor and before we had a place. This is how I think we arrived at the January 1st date:
Timing. Andy proposed to me on July 23, 2004. We didn’t want to wait too long to get married (1 Corinthians 7 teaches, “for it is better to marry than to burn with passion”). But, an August wedding wasn’t really possible and my parents would have killed me since they recently gave my sister away to be married after a 3-month engagement. September would have been too soon. Same with October. November would have been pushing it, but it would have been possible. December just wouldn’t have been very convenient because everyone is busy with Christmas. So, January it was!
Saturday. January 1st happened to land on a Saturday so that pretty much sealed the deal.
The holiday. January 1st never had much significance to me. As far as I can remember, I’ve never celebrated New Years’ Eve. I’ve never been to a NYE party. I remember trying to stay up a couple times to watch the ball drop, but I don’t think I was successful at staying awake both those times. So, I thought that I would transform what was otherwise a normal day to me into something exciting and special. (Sorry to all of you normal people who customarily have New Years’ plans. Hope you can still make it!)
Easy to remember anniversaries. Andy (or I for that matter) will not have any reason to forget our anniversary.
Andy’s lease. Andy’s lease was up December 31, 2004. How convenient!
Great start. We thought it would a great way to start the new year.