emotions galore

July 28 2006

life is funny.  a year ago i would not have imagined what this past month would hold.  i have hit every emotion possible - that is for sure.  let's recap:

-moved home for 2 weeks before the wedding.  nervous, scared, annoyed, frustrated, excited, anxious...

-GOT MARRIED.  finally!  the wedding week was insane... but as i look back on it (and watch the video so that i can actually remember it all!) i realize that i would not change a single thing.  it was amazing!  i have never felt so loved and cared for!  my friends and family surrounded me with such an awesome support!  i was reminded daily how blessed i am and i was simply in awe. 

my daddy.

ALL of my BEST friends.

and my HUSBAND!...

THEN we spent an amazing week in Saint Maarten... which was more relaxing than i could ever imagine!  and much needed!

the day we got back from our honeymoon, reality was bittersweet.  but WATCH HOW GOD WORKED...

on sunday, we flew into atlanta, where we had a small layover until flying to chicago.  atl is insane, and darin and i have had experience with taking bumps here, so we volunteered for one, knowing we would be kindly taken care of for it!  and we were!  we spent the night in an amazing hotel in atl and each received $400 flight vouchers.  PLUS we got food vouchers.  now, we are newly married, and fairly poor.  so knowing that we can have a free flight soon AND not having to spend money on food for a few days really helped!  that's blessing #1.

So then... monday morning, while we were wasting time before our flight that evening, my parents called to let me know that my grandpa had passed away.  now, this has been a long time coming... but that does not make it any easier.  i couldn't stand not being there with my family, so we headed to the airport to figure something out...

i thought we might be able to get our flight to chicago switched to indy so we could be there that afternoon.  Delta (the best airline ever) was perfectly willing to do that.  BUT our luggage was already in chicago and they couldn't get it to us.  so she was going to fly us to chicago and THEN to indy... but we were flying into chicago midway and delta only flies chicago to indy from chicago o-hare airport.  (confusing, but stay with me!)

SO.  she decided to keep us on our regular flight and put us out of o-hare for FREE the next morning!  so we flew home, unpacked, repacked, and flew out the next morning. - BLESSING #2!

the problem came when we needed to get to the airport the next morning... everyone seemed to be out of town here that week... so darin called our pastor to see if he could help us problem solve.  after several calls and possible solutions that fell through, he finally just called back and said "ok, don't worry about it!  there will be a limo service outside of your apartment at 6:30am tomorrow morning to take you to the airport.  it's all taken care of - thanks for watching our house a few weeks ago!"  ABSOLUTELY FREE!  big blessing #3!

you might think i would stop there, but i won't!  see, i haven't worked for a month, and darin 3 weeks, so money is really getting tight at this point - and God was going to majorly take care of us!  our original plan was to fly to TN the weekend after we got back to pick up my car and all of our stuff from the wedding, then drive back to IL.  well, with being in IN for the funeral, this wouldn't work.  instead, we rode home with my parents after the funeral and drove back.  we got to cancel our flights, which saved lots of money - and we never had to pay for gas!  BLESSINGS 4,5, and beyond!

but in real life, the funeral was a really hard thing to handle.  i'm not sure that it has all even hit me yet, but that was a huge shift of emotion to go through.  the funeral and visitation was absolutely wonderful - so many friends and family came... and, once again, i was reminded of how much those people mean to me.  i will miss my papaw greatly - and i'll still cry everytime i think about it.  but i am so thankful for the support i have found.  God placed himself in the center when I lost all control.  I can't even describe how blessed i feel.  there's no other words.


July 06 2006
in THREE days I will be MARRIED.
that's just plain crazy.  but i am waaaay excited!  and after that, it's the beach!  i hear it calling to me... man, i love the beach!
i'm not really all about updating any more.  maybe it's because, for a little while there, my life was out of control craziness!  but things have slowed down... except for this whole wedding thing... and otherwise life is back to real.  i think i lost it for a little while there.  but i feel like i'm fully fuctioning once again - yay!
darin and i hosted our first official holiday together yesterday - we had a cookout for people helping with the wedding - and it was great!  then we headed up to nashville for the best fireworks in the world.  i love this place.
welp.  that's about all i've got right now.  i'm busy trying to think of fun adjectives to describe all of our attendents.... and the creative part of my brain is just absolutely fried.  if i have to make another decision i think i'll

my papaw

April 09 2006

my grandpa is pretty sick - lots of prayers would be great.

he went into the hospital on Friday - they found that he had what is called "esophageal varicose" which basically means that the veins in his esophagus are bleeding.  friday night they gave him lots of blood and performed some type of surgery but, how I undertand it, is that it basically cannot be fixed.  it can be treated, but it will just come back and continue.  my family is up there now and my dad said that he has gained more than 15 pounds of water weight this weekend - things do not look good.  yesterday they gave him about 6 months

it's hard because i know he's in tons of pain - he always has been.  if you know anything about my papaw, you know that he's had lots of health problems.  please pray that God will wrap his arms around my papaw... and my entire family during this really hard time.

grandma cooper, tiny baby justin, papaw, little matt, goofy me

Happy Happy Birthday!!

March 22 2006

Happy Birthday to my original roommate... CARLA!  :)yay!  and happy birthday to my new roommate - HEATHER!  and my PAPAW!!  woohoo for march 22!


January 30 2006

so here's the thing.  this is our website.  it may not be completely finished, but - let's face it - between the two of us, it may never be!  so if you feel as though you need to see the final product, check it periodically.  :)  enjoy...

wifi and foxes

January 21 2006
i'm at starbucks.  downtown chicago.  waiting on darin to finish taking the GRE.  just a couple more hours left... but he graciously gave me his ipod and laptop - so this is actually very entertaining.  and i LOVE to people watch in the city!  i just sit here and stare.
you know what urks me?  i tried to get online when i first got here (at 8) and they have that t-mobile hotspot thing.  that stuff is EXPENSIVE.  then a couple hours later, as i was avoiding homework, i decided to search for other wireless networks.  there's like THREE free ones in this area.  why the heck charge me $10 when i can easily get it for free.  good thing i'm smarter than the average cassie.
last night it snowed - really big, wet snow.  i know y'all got out at home the other day for "snow" but really.  sometimes i just wish so badly that you could see this stuff.  it was amazing!
also - i ran into a fox in the quad on thursday.  they say there are actually 2.  a FOX.  no joke.  strange, huh?
so far i have all but 1 short paper finished for this week.  being this ahead of schedule is slightly scary.  i have plenty of time to finish that last paper right now, but i really feel like i just can't be that good.  it's an identity issue.
ok - maybe i'll try.


January 19 2006

so i was in the fitness center this morning and tv #3 caught my eye...

"A Houston pastor is putting a new spin on Apple Computer Inc.'s popular iPods, telling his Baptist congregation that the simple gadgets contain a religious lesson: Life can also be simple.

'The reason the outside of the iPod is so simple to use and so beautiful to look at is because of the way they designed the inside of the iPod,' Metropolitan Baptist Church Pastor Sal Sberna told his congregation Sunday during his second of four sermons on iPod Theology.

'All you do on the outside is push the little button, drive the wheel and pick what usefulness you want out of your iPod,' he said. 'And so when Jesus talks to us about simplification, it must start on the inside.'"

anyhow - fox did a big ole interview with him this morning.  very interesting.  i love a good analogy!  check out the  website!  you can download his sermons!


January 15 2006

well.  it's been a month.  i don't think i could begin to update.  how bout a top ten list...

TOP TEN HAPPENINGS SINCE DEC 16... (creative, i know)

10.  finals ended!  5 As, 2 Bs for the entire semester - pretty good for my second toughest semester ever! 

9.  spent 3 weeks in tennessee - the much-needed break i've been waiting for!  and much-needed warmth!

8.  got to see my incredible little brother and his gorgeous girl in their homecoming presentation and basketball games

7.  hung out with some of the many greats of my murfreesboro past... man, i miss y'all.  i love my old roommates more than i can describe.  i miss the days when i could just crawl on their bed and pour my heart out.  but it always amazes me how easily we slip back into comfortable conversations.  those are true friends.

6.  booked the best reception food EVER.  and had lots of fun with flowers, cakes, chairs, dresses, tuxes, chicken salad, music... :)

5.  spent Christmas with my mom's entire family - it's been a while!  and it was great to catch up

4.  extra time with darin and the family is always fun!  not to mention showing off the fiancee more than usual around town

3.  spent almost 20 hours with laura!  less than one day in the past 6 months is sad... but it was an incredible 20 hours!

2.  PASSION.  different than any other thing like that i've been to, especially last year's.  i've never had an experience like this time before, but i sure needed it.  and it was also great to have kevin and emily drive down and join us! 

1.  found the PERFECT dress.  i mean PERFECT.  which is great because i have the PERFECT man.  i cannot wait for 173 days to pass!

there you have it!  and now it's back to real life... but this semester is going to rock.  i just know it...

see ya brit lit

December 16 2005

so i stayed up until 4 studying... then got up at 6:30 and did the same... pretty much solid until the final at 10:51... and i got a PERFECT SCORE!  pretty sure that is the most i have ever studied.  and i am proud.  :) 
2 more papers... and this semester is gone!  (like a soldier in the civil war... bangbang)


December 15 2005

photo from bouclee

let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!

December 10 2005

so i s'pose it's about time to update.  hate to move those amazing pictures down, but i guess it has to happen sooner or later!

life is absolutely insane right now.  there's so much to do!  but this time next week i will be school-stress-free!!  and i am SO excited!

there is SNOW here.  lots of it.  on thursday it just started snowing like CRAZY!  it's great!  cold... but i love it!  yesterday, while doing my loads of homework... i sat on the third floor of the library - right by the window - trying to write my unit plan, but mostly watching everyone in the snow.  it's really something y'all miss out on at home.  i love tennessee, but that is its one fault.  it's SOO pretty!  i just kept thinking of God's awesome power - the Creator - who does these amazing things.  Little things.  I mean, who needs snow?  It's wet and cold and dangerous.  but GORGEOUS.  and to think that he is responsible for every tiny, sparkling flake.  thursday night, i just curled up on the couch with some of my mom's great hot chocolate and watched Serendipity with Darin (ain't he a great guy!)... with all the snow outside... it was just this amazingly perfect warm feeling of the holidays... i know it sounds silly, but i just can't help but compare it to God's warmth and love.  it's this completely safe, cared for feeling that i love.  God's embrace.  perfect.

a little story for you...

November 26 2005

He took me to this place where you eat dinner on the beach - like, a few feet from the water... i knew we were going out - we had set tonight aside as a "date night" - but i had no clue where we were going.  we had our little table and then two beach chairs set up in front of it... right along the water.  there were maybe 8 other couples out there too...

we sat in the beach chairs first - as the sun set :) 

while the other couples were coming in and sitting down, our waiters were preparing our table behind us.  ( i didn't even know!)  at the perfect moment, one waiter came to us and asked if we wanted him to take our picture.  he kept taking more pictures and it seemed kinda strange.  then 3 or 4 waiters came to us and told us we could be seated. 

on the table there were these cocktails for us to enjoy before the meal.  on my drink, my ring!!  when i looked over, darin was on his knee!!!  (i was absolutely freaking out.) 

 he asked me to marry him.  i said "of course i will marry you!"  everyone around us was watching and began congratulating us... some were crying and talking about how they "got chills".. it was funny.  anyhow... to top it off, later we DANCED!  (freak out!!)  on the beach!  it was amazing!!!  anyway... that's the basic story!

WE ARE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So long windy (and stinkin cold) city....

November 19 2005

photo from bouclee
FINALLY leavin!  have a FANTASTIC thanksgiving!!!! 
see ya next sunday!  :)

the flakes are comin...

November 16 2005

                          it is SNOWING!!! 
and unbelievably cold... the wind is just so intense.  it literally hurts to walk outside.  saturday, at home, justin was wearing shorts and flipflops.  today - just 4 days and 500 miles later - snow.  good thing i remembered my winter clothes this time!

 from  sang in chapel today - good stuff!  there was a drama group too, pretty good, but they didn't let him sing much because of it - i'd like to hear more.  and you should check him out too

i have insane amounts of things to do before friday... grrrr.... back to reality.

3 DAYS til ARUBA!!!


November 11 2005


photo from Habas

i am nothing

November 08 2005

FYI - "the whitis" is the head of the english dept here at olivet.  i love her, but she is a very strong, powerful woman.  we all think she deserves a "the" for that.  kinda intimidating...
i am now officially done with my practicum!!  today i don't have class until 1230 - that is unbelievable!!  i didn't even set my alarm!  this is gonna be great...
fall weekend was amazing!  i am SO glad that i finally went!  i don't know why i ever feel llike i can't do things.  God is just really showing me that He can literally be my strength - in so many situations lately. 

Don't panic. I'm with you. 
There's no need to fear for I'm your God. 
I'll give you strength. I'll help you. 
I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

Isaiah 41:10

ps - i'm going home this weekend.  i can't believe i haven't been this semester!  it'll be a real quick trip... but i cannot wait!!!! 



November 04 2005

first and foremost - i'm going to wisconsin in about 30 minutes for YoungLife fall weekend!!  this is a kinda big deal for me - and definitely big for all these kids!  so prayers would be AWESOME!

"the whitis" (you can imagine the emphasis) came and observed me teach at school today - nerve wracking!!  i think i'm just now calming down from it all - but overall it went pretty well - its a tough class, but they really got into my lesson which WAY excites me!  so what if they were a little rowdy?  at least they spoke!!

AND i just found out that kankakee is getting a walmart SUPERCENTER!!  woah!!  no more being a trader and going to k-mart for me!  party with aubree!  :)

so have a good weekend... i'll be back sunday afternoon... just in time to start another insane week!

(((it's gonna be cold in wisconsin... with all my winter clothes in tennessee...))) 

new plan.

November 02 2005

i need to go home


November 01 2005

so... last friday, darin and i went to the
parade and rally downtown!  it was awesome!  don't get me wrong, i'm a  cubs fan.  i don't generally follow much baseball, especially the sox, but i did go to a game this summer and i did follow the series!  you gotta get excited when your city's team makes it big!  (and yes, i'm claiming chicago as mine)  and i figure, some day i'll be able to say "oh, i was at the celebration when the white sox won the 2005 world series!"  not a opportunity i wanted to miss!  it was crazy... but good times!
then we went to a graduate school fair at UIC... very interesting.  lots and lots of choices for darin... fun stuff.  the future is a scary thing to think about...
saturday i took tests all day - total poo.  that's all i wanna say about that...
sunday we took the cornerstone youth to laserquest!!  i haven't been since my own youth groupin days... i forgot how aggressive it can be!  the first round, our 10 high schoolers (and 4 of us "adults") played with like 50 little boys from some birthday party.  they were intense!  one kid just randomly kicked me!  what the heck?!  screaming "i hate you!  i hate you!" in my face (or as close as he could jump to my face anyway!)  anyhow... it really was fun...
this week is not quite as stressful as last... but it's still up there.  i'll hopefully be finishing my practicum my next tuesday!  my life will be SO much easier!  i cannot wait!
so... how was halloween??  we went and saw SAW 2 last night - great movie!  they're so disturbing and disgusting but yet intriguing to no end!  blows my mind.  seen it?  thoughts???
oh the life of a grad office worker.......

i hate oil

October 26 2005
is it really bad that i've been putting 10W-30 oil in my car for the past 3 months when the oil cap says 5W-30???   poo.  i have a giant box of the 10 in my trunk...