Mark and Mandy Stenberg - enjoying the party!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Mark and Mandy Stenberg - enjoying the party!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The day began with a phone call to Dad from Mark and I who were "supposedly" in cold, cold Iowa. Dad kept commenting on how cold it must be up here for us. How were we supposed to know? We were 15 miles down the road from him in Waverly. But he didn't know that! I just played along, telling him how we wished we could be there to celebrate with him.
We rode with Angie B to the camp to see Dad. We stopped right outside the camp for me to jump in the backseat for the surprise. Angie pulled right up to Dad where he was outside visiting with his friend Charles. He never saw us in the backseat. So we popped out and said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Of course he laughed, he cried, he hee-hawed! It was fun! He just couldn't believe it.
So, we made our way to Monroe where he thought he was having a nice, simple dinner with Ginger and Buddy and us. But WOW, was he surprised and overwhelmed! Even we were a bit stunned at the number of people who gathered to honor Dad.
It was awesome!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
no, I'm not hyphenating. I'm not even normally including the "B" when I sign things. But for here, and for those who just can't stop saying "Mandy B" well, it is there. Mark's OK with that. He knows who he married! And he knows I'm super proud to wear his name.
I've been a little slow in getting new posts up. But for the two of you who read this, thanks for waiting! HA HA HA
Life is good. Our house is so much fun! We are still working on places to put things. Some more Pottery Barn stuff arrived today. We'll put that up later this week I'm sure. FUN STUFF.
Mark's parents are coming for dinner tomorrow night. YIKES. Cooking dinner for the in-laws. It will be fun to show our place to them. They haven't seen it all put together yet. So that will be a fun thing.
Work is going well. We are in the middle of a big campaign - YOUR MOVE. Check out the fun stuff at http://www.whatisyourmove.com . I would HIGHLY encourage you to check out the God STORIES section. You'll findat least TWO people in there you know - both under the name of STENBERG. As a part of the campaign, our church printed a nice magazine full of the stories of what God is doing in the lives of His people. It is very cool.
I'm hoping to put some more pictures up soon. I have a TON from the reception in Ruston. I'll get them up when I can.
here's hoping you are all doing well. Please drop in and leave me a note. I'd love to hear from you.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Friends and faithful readers:
I'm back! Back from the wedding, honeymoon, shower in Dermott, Arkansas, shower in Tallulah, Louisiana, and reception in Ruston, Louisiana.
And it was ALL GLORIOUS!
I'm back with a new name too!
Officially, I'm Mandy Bartholomew Stenberg.
Most days, the signature will read . . . .Mandy B. Stenberg.
But now I need a new blog title.
MandyBee just doesn't cut it. Do you think? PLEASE weigh in and let me know if I can still be known as MandyBee. I know, I'll always be MandyBee. But can my blog stay that or do I need to change it?
I put some pictures on my yahoo album page. Feel free to visit http://photos.yahoo.com/missmandybee. There aren't any "real" wedding pics up there yet. Those are still to come. But you'll see many albums titled "A WEDDING:..." and those albums cover pre-events and parts of the honeymoon.
If you have any photos from any of the shin digs . . . . please send them to me! I'd love to see them. If ANYONE happened to get a picture of my wedding cake, I'd really like to have a copy of that. Seems we didn't get that captured on any film anywhere!By the way, did I tell you that it all went GREAT? Flowers by angiebevents (www.angiebevents.com) were beautiful. Music was great. Preaching was out of this world. It was great to see so many friends and family - thanks for the surprise Kristie J. And thanks Tiff for EVERYTHING.
TOOOOO many people went above and beyond the call of duty. Two words for Jen Lee: ROCK STAR. Eve Doi - I don't think I'll ever know all that you did. Becky J - my friend, my hero! Angie Shepherd - always there to keep me in proper perspective.
I'm back at work. BUMMER. Hard to concentrate. Yep, still floating. Married life is good. What a great idea God had!
More to come soon.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
A. Um, yeah.
Q. "Are you getting nervous?"
A. Nope. Not one little tinge of nervousness.
Q. "Are you leaving right away on your honeymoon?"
A. Saturday morning departure for Boston, headed to Cape Cod! FUN FUN FUN
Just thought I'd clear some of that up for you all!
I have absolutely loved the last three weeks or so. I feel such ease and joy as Mark and I approach our wedding day. What a joy it will be to share it with so many of you, here at the Ames Shin Dig and in Ruston where we'll celebrate all over again! AND I look forward to re-living it all with those of you who can't be here.
To my Turkey friends: You will be missed. I hope Jen puts together the "Mandy wedding party" on Friday. You guys should TOTALLY get together on the 15th and have a party in honor of the nuptials that will take place later in the day. I would LOVE knowing that you were celebrating an ocean away (and that you have prayed for me too!)
I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. Just thinking about my past and how so many of you have been a part of who I am today, of the woman Mark will spend the rest of his life with. Thanks for being a part of my life. Thanks for pushing me to follow Jesus. Thanks for loving me. Mark thanks you too, but he just doesn't know all of you yet to tell you!
Pictures soon, I promise!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I had a very fun shower hosted by Eve Doi, Darlene Lubinus, Marie Nesbitt, Jen Lee, and Becky Jones here at Cornerstone on August 12. We had so much fun! They had arranged for my friend Alissa Dietz to choreograph a brand new "line dance" for our reception. She came to the shower and taught it to all the ladies. It was so much fun. Eve had put together a quiz entitled "Mark and Mandy 101." It was a multiple choice quiz with 101 questions about Mark and I. Some of them were hilarious! I felt very loved and had a wonderful time.
Feel free to visit http://photos.yahoo.com/missmandybee to see pictures from this and other showers. I'm having trouble loading photos to blogger. I'll mark them in individual albums starting with "WEDDING"!
The Friday after the Cornerstone shower, we were honored with a couples shower hosted by some of Mark's closest friends, the White family. Lynn White, her sons and daughter (Mark, Paul, Greg, and Amy) and their significant others (Jamie, Amy, Katie, and Rod) hosted an incredibly fun BBQ at the Ames Golf and Country Club. There was a WONDERFUL group gift of a BBQ grill, cover, and tank given to Mark and I. We also received several other fun gifts. It was a great night.
On Tuesday night of this week, I was given a Pampered Chef Bridal Shower. Talk about fun! We got to register for some GREAT pampered chef products and by the closing of the show will receive ALL of them plus some. This shower was hosted by Mark's mom's friends - Nancy Bundy, Genee Johnson, and Kay Stephan. It was really fun, and I got so much fun kitchen advice.
Mark and I have been working hard on our house. We are moving into 1115 Grand this weekend. I'm putting all my stuff there and then staying with some friends from church for a few weeks. Mark will go ahead and move into the house.
Let me just tell you . . . that man has worked hard to make our house a beautiful home. I can't wait for you to see it. He has made me a very happy woman!
We are on the fast track to September 15. If you are planning to attend the wedding OR Ruston reception and haven't yet RSVP'd . . . please take a minute to send me an email mailto: email@example.com
Thanks for your prayers and encouragement in the coming weeks!
Monday, August 14, 2006
We took them at our new house, which is in the process of a major overhaul. Mark's story is entitled "A Fresh Start" and that's how we feel about our marriage. God is so good!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Here's the scoop from Mandy B.
We made it through VBS (barely) and are now in full swing towards a four-day Day camp which begins on Tuesday, July 11. I did have a nice break over the weekend. I was up at Clear Lake (about 1.5 hours from Ames) with Mark and his family. It was nice to relax. We came back into town on Sunday night so that I could volunteer at the National Special Olympics on Monday. I was a softball announcer. It was fun!
So we (my summer intern and I) are now sort of in coast mode. Major decisions for Day Camp and Kids Camp in August have been made. So, now it is just the carrying out of those decisions. Which in reality is pretty easy.
Wedding stuff is going well. I got the fun phone call this week that my dress has arrived! It is in early! How fun! I'll have my first fitting on Tuesday, July 18. That will be a really fun day.
Mark and I picked out tuxes yesterday. Those boys will look NICE.
Next on the list is printing and stuffing invitations. Then we'll start the process of receiving RSVPs and getting ready for showers. Wow. It is all fun.
That's it for me. Would love to hear from you . . .
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I've been super busy at work. Not much wedding planning going on. VBS starts on Monday here at Cornerstone, so pretty much that has been my focus for the past few weeks. Admittedly, I feel a bit behind even in that. Not because of wedding plans, ok, maybe a little. But mostly I feel as though the summer has just snuck up on me!
We are doing TWO sessions of VBS this year, a morning session and an evening session. I told Mark last night: "See you at the lake July 4 weekend!" It really won't be that bad, but practically speaking I won't get to spend much time with him until after VBS. And that is a real bummer!
Wedding plans are coming along. We have a band for the Ruston reception. If you are in the Ruston area and are NOT planning to come to the reception on September 23, YOU ARE CRAZY cause it is going to be so much fun!
We are working on ceremony stuff too. It is fun to dream about making that a very fun ceremony with lots of "unexpected" ideas and with a big focus on the ONE who brought Mark and I together.
I bought Mark's wedding band last week. Oh, how I can't wait to put that on his finger and call him my husband!
My dear friend Eve is hard at work designing our invitations. She is a very talented and creative gal. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.
There is lots of talk too about wedding showers. How fun! You all know how I love a party. The next few months are really just going to be one party after another - and they are all about Mark and I!
I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a note. Give me some wedding planning advice.
Love you all.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Have I mentioned that this is all so much fun?
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
"I am so so so happy for you and Mark. Does he have any idea whatsoever what kind of roller coaster ride the rest of his life is going to be? With you by his side, my buddy who of all the friends I've ever had, is hands down the most fun person with the most infectious laugh and the ability to turn boring, hum-drum stuff like going to the grocery store, into a memorable, silly reachin-and-twirlin good time. That "don't know what he got himself into," lucky, blessed, red-headed Yankee brother is in for a trip!"
I just thought you would all enjoy her statement!
We have a block of rooms reserved at the Hampton Inn here in Ames, Iowa, for the wedding. If you are planning to attend, you can visit the wedding website to secure your room at the wedding party rate.
There are certainly other hotel options in Ames. We just chose this one to set aside a block of rooms. Of course it will be more fun if you are all staying at the same place!
Mark and I took engagement photos over the weekend. It was so much fun! I'll try to post a few when I get the link to the gallery. Mom and Jerry came to town on Monday. My friend Eve, mom, and I had a VERY SUCCESSFUL dress shopping day on Tuesday. I HAVE A WEDDING DRESS! Crazy. Truly crazy. It is beautiful. No photos however. Can't let Mark in on the secret.
We have the reception place picked out, are in the process of deciding on places to register, and continue talking through the ceremony plans. It really is fun to think about all this. It is even more fun when I stop to realize that at the end of all this I'll be married to one very incredible man. How cool is that?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Woo Hoo! We're getting married! You can read the previous post for the most romantic engagement story ever! And for those who have asked, we got engaged Saturday night, May 6. Here's a picture we took after the big moment Saturday night.
So, here are a few details. As the plan develops, I'll keep up the posts here. There's more to come so check back often.
Friday, September 15 Wedding in Ames, Iowa
Saturday, September 23 Reception in Ruston, Louisiana
Friday, September 29 Reception in Ames, Iowa (Nevermind. Combined with wedding Sept 15)
This is so much fun! Thanks for all your sweet posts and encouragement.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Last Wednesday (May 6) marked six months that Mark and I had been dating. I left that day for a business trip to Atlanta. Upon my arrival in my hotel room, there were six GORGEOUS white roses waiting for me, along with a handwritten note from Mark. I was overwhelmed at the gesture and the planning it took for him to make that happen. It was a wonderful surprise. All the gals that were with me were super jealous. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night. I couldn't stop thinking about the incredible blessing God has given me in a man like Mark Stenberg.
On Thursday, we went to the conference and returned late to our hotel, where I found these even more incredible pink roses and another handwritten note. Now, by this time, I'm thinking, "There is a definitive turn in the tone of these notes. Something major is happening here!" I was once again humbled and thrilled at Mark's effort to send these flowers and shower me with words of love and affirmation.
On Friday we went to the conference again and had a great day there dreaming of ministry at Cornerstone. Well, I was trying hard to think about ministry at Cornerstone but it seemed that visions of roses kept creeping into my mind. And yes, to my sheer joy and delight, when I arrived at the hotel after another long day at the conference (and a very challenging session by Louie Giglio!), there were a dozen perfect red roses and a final note, signed "Love, Mark."
My conference friends and I arrived back in Des Moines on Saturday afternoon. Mark picked us up at the airport and boy was I glad to see him! We were in two separate cars after the airport run, so he dropped me off at my car and said that he would pick me up at 6:30 that night for our six month celebration. He told me we were going to dinner at The Cafe, here in Ames. It was the sight of our first date on November 3.
I was still trying to guard my heart, even to this point in the day. I mean, I was really convinced that we were not this close to marriage. Don't get me wrong, I knew that I loved him and that I wanted to marry him. I was pretty sure he loved me and wanted to marry me. I just thought it was still a little ways away. So, I told myself that this day was really mostly a celebration of the past six months. But yeah, somewhere in the depths of my heart, I wondered what the night held.
After a very relaxing, enjoyable dinner, we ordered dessert to go and headed back to Mark's parents house. They were at the lake for the weekend. He said he wanted to drop the desserts off there and then go to Borders to look for a CD. OK. Sure. Normal date night stuff. So we headed to Borders. He was buying some time for the sun to go down. Becuase . . . he had transformed the back deck of his parents house into a breathtakingly beautiful scene.
There were tons of candles, lanterns, and lights strung along the deck. There was another dozen red roses on the table. He lit a fire in the chimnea. The stars were out. The moon was bright. It was amazing. It was romantic. It was perfect. He asked me to dance - that is one of our most favorite things to do. He had carefully chosen songs for the playlist. We danced for a while and talked about the past six months. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.
Until . . . .
He asked me sit down on the couch with him. He read the poem that he had written in the three cards from the week before. (Sidenote . . . each stanza of that poem began with the word, "YES.") Then he read his life purpose statement that he had written 10 or 11 years ago. It reflected a heart that longs to love God, glorify Him, and serve others. He asked me if I could see my life lining up with that purpose, if I could see myself joining him on that journey. My answer? "I asked God continually to give me someone who I could easily follow, someone who I could put my hand in his and walk the road of life. If you are following God, and I'm following you, how could we go wrong?
Then, Mark got down on one knee. He said, "I love you Mandy. Will you marry me?"
And I said "YES!"
He put this amazing diamond engagement ring on my finger. It is white gold with a round stone. It is beautiful. And I can hardly believe that this is all happening.
I am so blessed to even know this man, much less to understand that God has given me a lifetime to know him more and to spend the rest of my days loving him. The most beautiful thing about that is, God alone will get the glory for that as He brings us into closer relationship with Him!
Mark I love you. And I'm so glad to finally be able to tell you that every day!
Details? We don't have them all worked out yet. It will probably be a early fall wedding in Ames, Iowa, with family and close friends. We'll have two receptions. One LARGE one here for our church family and Mark's Ames connections (he's born and raised here in Ames!). Then we'll have a BIG LOUISIANA party! I'll keep you posted on the details so you can make plans to attend one of the parties and help us celebrate just how good our God is!
Mandy B. (Stenberg!)
Monday, April 24, 2006
On Saturday, Angie and I played tennis while Dad hung out with Mark. It was a fun morning. We had lunch and did some shopping at Lowe's (thanks Mom for the giftcard.) Angie, Dad and I spent the afternoon planting flowers in my yard. It looks good!
Saturday night we had dinner in Ames with Mark and then went to Lake Robbins Ballroom for a little 50s and 60s rock and roll.
Sunday we went to church and then to lunch at the Stenberg's for Easter dinner. It was fun to get to spend the afternoon with Mark's family. My dad was of course the fun of the party. After some afternoon naps, we went back to the Stenbergs and played Mexican train. Dad and Red (Mark's dad!) visited in the living room, trading stories like crazy while Mark, Marilyn (mom), Angie and I played dominoes. It was a great day.
We spent Monday afternoon wandering around the Iowa countryside looking at corn fields. Well, Angie napped, I drove, Dad looked. Good family bonding time.
All in all, it was a really great visit.
You are all invited to come on up anytime.
Have a super day.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Here's Mark and I at dinner on Friday night at Brio . . . . Kansas City Plaza.
Here's the whole fam . . . minus Mark (he's taking the pic) at breakfast on Saturday. From left to right . . . . Thomas and Sonee, David and Melissa, Tim (married to Dawn), Marilyn and Red, Dawn and Mandy B.
Mark and I at one of the plaza fountains. Look at that blue sky! And that cute boy!
We spent part of Saturday at a park in Kansas City with my friend Amy. She took this fun photo of us! Thanks Amy!
It was really a great weekend. Sunday was Mark's birthday. Monday we had been "dating" for five months. All is well in the world! I'm loving this! Enough sappy stuff.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Saturday night (March 18) we threw a birthday party for Ben Bradley. He turned 28. It was a fun night - full of Ben trivia, games about Ben, cake with Ben's favorite color on it . . . well, you get the idea. It was all about Ben. Here's a photo (that's my Mark behind the Ben mask) . . . and a link to more pics if you know Ben and care to look.
On the first day of spring, it snowed in Iowa. There were 6 inches of snow on the ground on the second day of spring.
I drove to Iowa City (about 1hr 45min away) Monday afternoon to spend the night with Angie Shepherd. Yep, Shepherd came to Iowa and it wasn't even to see me! She was here for a job interview. You can pray for her as she seeks out what God wants for her in life. She'll finish seminary in May and is really trying to figure out where she will work after that. I wouldn't mind at all if it was Iowa, but only if that is where God wants her.
Yesterday I had lunch with Darlene Lubinus. It was wonderful to sit down with her and catch up. It is weird that she lives here now. I mean, good weird, but weird. Tim moved into his office today. We share a wall. CRAZY.
I had a wonderful date night with Mark last night! God is so good to me. He has answered so many prayers about this relationship. Mark is a great balance for me and is a wonderful leader for us.
We have a Time Out for Parents tonight at Cornerstone. Want to know how good I've gotten at delegation? I'm not even coming! I've given all responsibility to my two interns. They have my cell number if they need me. Isn't that wonderful?
Tomorrow is our next to last Upward game day. We'll have our Awards Night Ceremony next Sunday (April 2 - Mark's 35 birthday by the way).
I'll miss our final game day next weekend. I'm headed to Kansas City with Mark and his family for the weekend. I have not met one of his brothers and his wife and have only spent a little time with the youngest Stenberg and his wife. It will be a fun time I'm sure.
So, that's about it for me. Tired of reading? Feel caught up? Thanks.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Hey friends. My dad loves his job. He gets to do so much fun stuff. For example, this past week he was on hand as officials caught and moved 2 mama black bears and their four cubs from land close to the hunting camp to another parish in an effort to repopulate that area. These little guys are so cute!
My dad cracks me up with stories of his work. Mostly I laugh when he talks about his hard day with the nap right in the middle of the day! I'm so happy that he is so happy and I'm thankful for the Maddens who take such good care of my dad as he works for them. The first photo here is my dad with one of the mama bears. The second is John Madden with three of the cubs.
Friday, March 10, 2006
We went to the show with friends Andrew and Holly. Holly is expecting twins in May.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Go here to see pics of Bailey . . . SHE IS BEAUTIFUL
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
OK, a little clarification for my friend Becky . . . . . THIS is the real man in my life. While "pink shirt guy" is indeed a super fun guy . . . . . Mark is who has stolen my heart. Seems that my earlier blogging of our relationship has been pushed to the bottom of my blog and new friends don't get the chance to "meet" him. So, here you go . . . . .
Mark and I have been together for 4 months as of this coming Friday. He is an incredible man. He is a servant. He is stinkin' hilarious. He is an amazing leader in our relationship. He likes to dance! We have a great time together. We are learning more and more about one another AND about God because of the time we spend together.
Yeah, we need to take a new picture. This one is from this past Christmas. I'll work on that.
Life is busy here in Central Iowa. God is at work at Cornerstone. Upward Basketball is going great. D6 (Wednesday night) stuff is strong. Summer is quickly approaching which means VBS and day camp and camp and day trips and a new add for me personally . . . . weekends at the lake with Mark and his family! Yippee!
So, that's me in a nutshell. Drop me a line to say hello. I love to hear from you all.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
So my friend/co-worker Ben and I were dressed alike today at work. It was a little bit planned. But funny nonetheless. Ben and I first met when we were both living overseas in Turkey. Now we both work at Cornerstone Church. He's a super funny, smart, SINGLE guy . . . . . Anyone????
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I worked at a local florist doing deliveries for them. It was so much fun. I loved seeing the reaction of ladies (and a few gents) as they received flowers and goodies from someone who loves them. It was a neat reminder of the spot created in each of us that longs for belonging and love. Sadly, many people don't know that it can only be filled by our Creator, and that only He can completely fill your soul with love for another person because He first loved us.
After working all day giving others flowers, I was certainly thrilled to be showered with a dozen reds of my own . . . . Thanks to my very own Valentine sweetheart!
Friday, February 10, 2006
So, today I talked on the phone to my friend Elizabeth in Central Asia and she made me promise to update my blog. Here's a picture of us from days gone by. I don't really have too much to say, but I am true to my word, so here goes.
Elizabeth and Billy are expecting their first baby in a few weeks. Well, we all hope it is quicker than a few weeks, but none of us more than Liz! It is very exciting to know that Billy James Johnson will be a dad. And believe me, that baby girl has him wrapped already! You'll do a great job Billy and Elizabeth. Your little princess is already loved by lots of people!
I'm getting over a cold this week. It took me off guard and put me down for several days. (See how I'm reaching for stuff to blog . . . . )
We have our second game day for Upward Basketball tomorrow. There are 224 players involved this year. It is so much fun. Last week went really well. It is neat to see so many families from outside our church community involved in Upward. It is a cool ministry for our church.
Mark and I are doing great. He is really a gift from God in my life. We've been "dating" now for three months and each day is better than the last!
So, there you go. A little glimpse into my life. Happy Liz?
Monday, January 30, 2006
Good stuff. Good challenges. Oh I want to follow this King and please Him!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Woo hoo! I love my birthday! Really, I do. Before I ever left home this morning I had text messages and phone calls wishing me a happy day. When I got to my coffee shop, the workers said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY." My sweet friend Jen had stopped in and purchased my morning coffee for me and left a card. There have been well wishers, gifts, an overseas phone call, flowers AND a cake - all before 11:00AM. And there's more to come!
Thanks to those who have called, messaged, blogged, and thought about me so far! Bring it on!