Tuesday, April 24, 2012

She'll always be our baby

Remember last year when I wrote about my favorite sister (click here to refresh your memory)?  Well, she's still my favorite sister, so that's good news.  

Lakeland School has a prom for the kids every year.  Laura was old enough to go last year, but my mom couldn't do it.  She couldn't send Laura to prom.  It's one of those things where my mom couldn't send Laura to prom not because Laura wouldn't have a good time, or because we were busy, or because Laura would be scared.  

My mom couldn't send Laura to prom because she's her baby.  Not just my mom's baby, OUR baby.  She's 17 years old, but her age will never matter - she'll always be our baby.

We want her to suffocate us with hugs and sit on our laps.  We tease her and tell her no, but always give in to what she wants.  We play with her and give her candy when Mom's not looking.  We teach her new things and explain why she needs to do something herself.  

We love her.  More than we love anything else in the world.  She's the center of our universe.

And because she'll always be our baby, it's hard to watch her grow up.  So last year, when Laura was old enough for prom, my mom couldn't do it.

When the note came home for prom this year though, my mom couldn't say no - as much as she wanted to.  

My mom couldn't say no this year because there is a whole team of people at Lakeland School that want the best for Laura, just like her siblings do.  So, my mom let her go to prom. 

And she was so unbelievably beautiful.

Laura's prom dates

Best mom in the world

Two of the many volunteers at prom making sure the kids
made room for Jesus when they were dancing.
And because Lakeland School is amazing, and our lives wouldn't be the same without it, please help support them, so that they can continue giving children and young adults the opportunities that any other child or young adult can have. 

Lakeland School's School Fest is coming up in the beginning of May, and they're selling raffle tickets!  Funds raised help the school sponsor great events like prom for the kids.  Trust me - it's well worth your dollar.  Just one dollar!  That's it!!

Raffle tickets are the same as last year - $1 for 1 ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets. 

You can visit my blog post from last year to learn a little bit more about Lakeland School and what a fantastic place it is.

If you do buy a raffle ticket (or ten...), you don't have to be in attendance to win!  School Fest is on Saturday, May 12 from 9-3 if you'd like to attend.  It really is an awesome day for an even more awesome cause!!!

Email me at sarajvander@gmail.com if you're interesting in buying tickets, and we'll get you all set up to help this wonderful school continue to change the lives of children with disabilities just like our baby sister.

Isn't she just beautiful?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My days are numbered

Numbers since February 13, 2012.  Except the ones that are like "number of days until..."   Because those are from today.  But the general ones like crying are since February 13.

Number of days until the wedding: 9

Number of months theknot.com tells me there are until the wedding: 14

Number of times I've explained that we won a wedding: 43287194021780

Number of times I told Peter we are not having a Star Wars wedding: 47

Number of times I've cried about something with the wedding: 3*******


Number of times I've had a complete meltdown about the wedding: 1

Explanation: Valentine's Day.  Poor Peter.  I had a complete meltdown about the wedding because we found out that we won, but we didn't know ANY details, and I didn't know if I would like my dress, if we would be getting married in the church that I grew up going to, or if anyone would want to even come to our wedding.  And a lot of other things.  But those were the main ones.  But I'm ok now.  Because everything is turning out perfectly!

Number of times I've cried about the wedding, but the crying didn't include heaving sobs, locking myself in Peter's bathroom so he wouldn't see my cry, snot running down my face, and drooling (those are all under meltdown): 2

Explanation: (1) I didn't think that I would be able to have any say in my wedding dress.  That is very scary.   (2) My bridesmaids' dresses aren't coming in until April 20.  Remember how the wedding is April 27th?  I'll give you a second to wipe your tears for everyone involved.

Number of times we've driven down to Lake Geneva from Green Bay: 12 of the last 13 weekends.  Lots of miles.  LOTS of gas.  TONS of money.  

Number of stress-induced zits I've had: 5

Number of times I've gone tanning for 7 minutes: 3

Number of times someone asks me if I'm going to go tanning for the wedding since I've started tanning: A lot.

Number of times someone has told me that I have "good color" after they just asked if I was going to go tanning because they want to try to make me feel better: A lot + 1

Number of swimsuits that I bought: 7

Number of swimsuits that I returned: 5

Number of times I've looked at my wedding dress online: 7895234785023475820934

Number of times I've looked at my wedding band online: 902934850394582039458309458

Number of times I've been to the Social Security Administration: 1

Number of guests we have attending our wedding: about 330

Number of scabs I've picked: 1.  It's bleeding right now.

Number of nosebleeds I've gotten: 3

Number of days until I'm on my way to the Caribbean: 10

Number of times I've practiced writing "Sara Romenesko": an embarrassing amount

Number of seconds I thought about hyphenating my last name: 1.4

Number of times/day I get all giddy because I'm marrying Peter next week: ABOUT A BILLION TIMES INFINITY.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Identity Crisis

I've been thinking lately, "Gosh, I should let the good citizens of the world know how the wedding planning is going, since they've been voting and being so supportive and wonderful."  

Then I remembered that I needed to finish my taxes.  So, like any good American citizen, I did my taxes and was honest about them.  And then I hit submit.  

For about 5 seconds, I was like "WHEW!  Glad THOSE are done!  And I'm even MORE glad that I'm marrying Peter so that next year HE can do the taxes!!!"

But then I got an email.

My tax return was rejected.  

So, naturally, I had a panic attack.

On this little rejection letter that they send you when your taxes are being rejected by the government, it gives an explanation of what you did wrong:

Rule Number: F1040EZ-524
Rule Number Description: The Primary Taxpayer's Date of Birth does not match the information currently available in the IRS Masterfile.

If there is one thing I know, it's my birthday.  If there's one thing PETER knows, it's my birthday.  But alas, sometimes my fingers type too fast, so I decided to look back and check to make sure that I entered my birth date correctly.

I did.  I knew I did.  And I did.  Anyways, I proceeded to call the Social Security Administration because that's what the email told me to do.  After being on hold for 32 minutes, I found out that actually, this happens all the time.  Someone probably just punched in your birth date wrong.  Even though I've been my mom's been filing my taxes for the last however many years, and this has never occurred before, this time, someone just punched it in wrong.  Complete faith in the system...

I'm sorry, this happens all the time?  I mean, it's only my IDENTITY that we're dealing with.  The lady on the phone proceeded to tell me that I'd have to go to the Social Security office, which closes at 3:30, asap to get this handled.  Do you have your social security card?  Your birth certificate?  Ironically, yes, my fiance and I are going to get our marriage license this week.  So I'd like to get this sorted out because I'm in my final days as a Vanderstappen, and now I don't even know who I AM anymore.

So of course, as soon as I got off the phone with her, I started to cry stayed strong because I'm an adult who files her own taxes now, and called Peter.  And my mom.  And then I went to the bathroom to make sure I didn't look like I was just crying went to talk to my boss.

Sara:  Chief.  You're not going to believe this.
*Note - I don't actually call him chief, but I would really like to start.  Maybe tomorrow.  Because it's AWESOME.

Chief proceeded to ask me about an important shipment that we've been having problems with.  

Sara: No news about that, this is more serious.

Chief: ... *concerned face*

Sara: So, I was being a good American citizen and filing my taxes.  But my taxes got REJECTED!!

Chief: Well.  That's not good news, is it?

Sara: So I called the Social Security Administration, and it turns out that I'm having an identity crisis.

Chief: I can't tell if you're being serious.

Sara: My birth date is wrong in the social security system.  And now I can't file my taxes.  And I have to go figure it out.  Chief.  Whyyyy me.  Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy me???  This is what I get for waiting until the last minute to file my taxes.

Chief: Well, Sara, this would have happened whenever you would have filed your taxes.

Sara: *Dramatic Sigh* This is awwwwwwwwwwwwfuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllllllllll.

Chief: Gosh, I could have hired an illegal immigrant and not even have known it!  Well, this is a first for me!

Sara: CHIEF.  I'm NOT an illegal immigrant!

Chief: I sure hope not!!

So then I went to the Social Security Administration office and took a number.  I was there for a total of 7 minutes.  The guy got it all taken care of for me, and then he felt bad that I was there, since I'll have to go back in SEVENTEEN DAYS BECAUSE I WILL BE CHANGING MY LAST NAME.

Which is crazy.  

I'll give you an update soon, but in a few words - things are going well and coming together nicely.  But I seriously cannot wait for one week of nothing except my Kindle in one hand and a margarita in the other.  

Oh, and quality time with my husband.