Saturday, September 15, 2012

the wedding

It's only obligatory that I mention a few things about the wedding since the few previous blog posts were about planning.  But after this, I'll be thrilled to have my normal life (void of wedding planning or anything wedding related) back, along with posting normal blog posts that are non-wedding related.

The good things:

-My now husband didn't back out
-The weather decided to stop storming at 1 PM and be sunny the rest of the day (considering we had an outdoor ceremony/photos, this was very crucial to our plan... as we had no backup plan)
-My biological parents didn't try to sabotage one another
-I didn't cry
-I actually had the most perfect single moment in my life thus far (I'll explain later)
-The bridal party really stepped up and made it fun, not to mention the toasts were great
-We got feedback that our food, cake, and music were all awesome (nobody wants to have their wedding remembered for having any of those be bad)
-Overall, it was a fantastic time

My mom also gave me a locket of my step-dad's hair to have pinned in my dress as I walked down the aisle, so he would figuratively still be doing so.  It was the only part of the day where I cried, but it was such a surprise and sweet gesture.

And now for the things that didn't quite go as planned/really took me by surprise:

My mother-in-law literally cried so much throughout the entire evening that one would easily confuse her for attending a funeral.  We brought up the wedding to her the other day (a few days later), and she started crying AGAIN.  What is she going to do if we decide to have children?  Burst into tears every time she sees them?  It'll be really awkward if we have a son and he brings home his first serious girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner and grandma just starts sobbing because it's a "moment."  I understand crying a little during the ceremony, but through the cake cutting and garter toss?  I just don't understand.

The bridesmaid I kicked out of the wedding decided to try to barge in on us on our wedding night.  If you don't think that's rude on its own, keep reading.  She apparently had been partying too hard with other friends of hers (I have solid reason to believe hard drugs were involved) and missed the reception that she assured me she would go to, so she thought it would be perfectly acceptable to visit us at our hotel to say hi.  Luckily, I had stellar bridesmaids that basically told her "hell no" and showed her to the door.  It's funny (and sad) to think that a few weeks ago, we met up to discuss things- she said she really didn't want to lose me as a friend, then turned around and skipped my wedding for drugs that could seriously hurt her one day.  I guess some things I'll never understand, although I'm sure she'll concoct an elaborate excuse after she's done avoiding me.

We actually got a few presents (although we didn't do a registry).  Overall we were very impressed: the people who got us gifts were very thoughtful and original, and they were all things we needed or could use.  I can tell we are going to use our kitchen-aid mixer (with the pasta maker attachment), hand blender, wine accessories (and tons of wine), and recipe book (filled with family recipes) quite a bit.  One of our friends gave us a recipe/story of the Moscow Mule drink along with the ginger beer, vodka, and copper cups traditionally used for the vintage drink, and I thought it was a really cool idea.

And the single perfect moment...

The day didn't go as quickly as people told me it would, nor do I forget as much as they said I would.  The only truly surreal moment was just before stepping out to walk down the aisle.  My parents stepped out first, then stepped to the side so I would take my place between them before walking.  Everyone stood; I remember it being so silent except for the music (Vitamin String Quartet's cover of "Stairway to Heaven") and just standing there for a moment to take it all in, but that moment felt like an eternity.  As I was walking, I looked at my friends, family, the bridal party, my husband, and the officiant (my brother), and felt something I had never felt before: perfection.  I hadn't really put much thought into what that moment would be like, but I never figured I would be lucky enough to have a truly perfect moment in my lifetime.  Not to mention I had no idea that I could feel so much affection from all of our guests as they watched me walk down the aisle; it's difficult to describe, but I'm sure other brides can agree that there's no other feeling quite like it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth.  But my Mac completely wiped it's own hard-drive (the "geniuses" at the Apple Store had never seen anything like it), so I lost everything, including the bookmark that reminded me to continually post on here.  I'll just cover the important things for now and then I'll update more frequently now that I've re-discovered my blog.

I got a new job as a legal assistant at a bankruptcy law office; finally I'm in a field that has something to do with my degree.  There was a point where I never thought I would make it here, and I have Craigslist to thank for that (if you can believe it).  I've only been here a few weeks, but I love it.  Every case is unique, with totally different terms, lawsuits, and other issues, so I'm literally never bored.  When I'm loading cases, I can turn on the 60's, 70's, & 80's playlist on Pandora (I strongly recommend it) and be focused and relaxed at the same time.  It's a very busy environment, but there's a consistency that I've been yearning for in a job that I've finally found.  Every day I'm learning something new, and I feel like there's still so much more.

I had my bachelorette party a few weekends ago and it was great.  I was really impressed with what my bridesmaids came up with and it was so amazing to see them all at once; they don't hang in the same crowd, and it's hard for me to even see them one on one very often because of our conflicting work schedules, so I was really touched that they all got together and planned that night for me.  I'm not the kind of person that is the center of attention very often, but they really made me feel like I was a celebrity.  I'm so grateful for my friends.

I was told that the last month of wedding planning is the most stressful, and I should've taken that more seriously.  I've never been stressed to the point of having full-on nightmares until recently, and I know it's all wedding-related.  We had to kick someone out of our wedding party, and it was definitely not something we thought would happen, so I feel really conflicted about it.  There are so many underlying issues with the situation that I don't even know where to begin with the person involved.  Side issue: one of the other stressful parts is that so many people are telling me I won't remember my wedding.  I mean, what?  How can I not remember my own wedding?  I don't plan on getting black-out drunk, and I understand if I don't remember each minute, but how could I not remember walking down the aisle, the song of our first dance, or what kind of food we ate?  Can I at least please remember what I looked like or how I felt?  There are quite a few people I've spoken with that literally remember nothing about their own wedding: they have no idea who was there, what cake they had, what the music was like, or anything.  That just blows my mind.  Is that really what happens when we get older?  We just forget things, even if it's one of the more important days of our lives?  I hope not.  I would be pissed if I put so much effort into tedious details like centerpieces and seating charts just to not remember anything at all.

I've been so consumed with working my new job and wedding planning that I've had no time to keep up with the election, which is very unlike me.  Hopefully once the wedding is over I can get back in the loop.  I'm so grateful to my bridesmaids for being so patient and understanding with me over the past few weeks, and I should probably apologize to them in advance for how I might be over the next few weeks, haha.  We chose the readings for our ceremony tonight, so I will leave my favorite one here:

THE ART OF MARRIAGE by Wilferd A. Peterson

The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating
gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wedding issue #2: the bridezilla awakening

So the ENTIRE time throughout my wedding planning, I've given myself credit for being the "cool, chill" bride.  I never got flustered over dresses, venues, photographers, nor did I tear my hair out due to being unable to choose a napkin color.  I let my bridesmaid choose their own dresses/shoes to accommodate their budget, and we're even letting our groomsmen wear suits instead of renting tuxes.  I planned everything early so that no major situations could happen where I am scrambling last minute to put things together.  All of this time, I've been patting myself on the back for being the smart, sensible, and fun bride, while scoffing at the last-minute, indecisive brides that couldn't make a decision about buttercream vs. fondant icing if someone had a gun to their head.  Well it turns out, even the laid-back, non-high-maintenance types like me are capable of having full-blown psychotic rage over things wedding related.  Allow me to elaborate in 3-4 scenarios that have all taken place over the last 4-5 days.

Saturday morning I went to open my Macbook after it was asleep for a few hours, to find that my administrator/username wasn't there.  When I typed it in, I couldn't log in; so I took it to the genius bar to have it fixed.  Well little did I know that the "geniuses" would crowd around my Mac like it was the ape responsible for HIV and be unable to do anything, let alone explain, how my entire hard-drive wiped itself clean.  3 years of information on this Macbook:  Finito.  At first I didn't think it was that big of a deal; my initial thought was that I had just lost pictures and old papers I wrote for college finals.  It wasn't until I was driving home that the following inner monologue took place:

Subconscious: FYI, Your wedding guest list is gone...
Subconscious: Yeah, sucks to be me right now.
Me: Well hold on... I can figure it out, I have an old hard copy in the wedding binder.
Subconscious: Oh yeah?  What about all of the addresses you had saved for those guests?

I did not have a hard copy of addresses... so I had to manually assemble a new guest list (because the hard copy was outdated) and I'm working on getting addresses back.  I realized I lost other way more important things (like my most recent resume) when my hard drive mysteriously committed suicide, but I was optimistic.  I started thinking "My moms and my fiance's mom are helping with addresses!  This is great!  Now I can relax and go back to smooth sailing!"

Apparently that's when the evil, dystopian wedding witch of the west decided to cast another spell at me in the form of another wedding taking place earlier in the day in the same reception hall that we booked.  The good part is that while one staff is cleaning, there's another staff setting up and doing centerpieces/tables.  The bad part is that the other reception ends at 4... and my ceremony starts at 5:30, which means people will start getting there around 5.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to deduce that this leaves about an hour for any hanging decorations to be hung up... which are outright breathtaking, so I'm not giving up on my hanging decor idea.
"Oh well that's what bridesmaids are for, right?"  Wrong again.  We are having our pictures before the ceremony, which means that myself and the bridesmaids will be unable to do any hanging decor.  This leaves moms, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends... I hope we have enough of them.  Right when I started to feel confident that we would have enough people willing to pull together to help us, I had 2 family members in a row make me doubt myself because they told me it was an outright bad idea to do hanging decor since I couldn't do it myself.  It's my wedding day; does anyone really expect me to do all of the hanging decorations in my wedding dress?  I was told that on my wedding day I don't have to worry about anything... it turns out that I have to worry about every little thing because nobody has faith in me.  My ideas aren't traditional or classic; others have "better" ideas they're willing to give me since they didn't get a chance to plan the wedding they always wanted.  They try to plan seeds of self-doubt so that I will succumb to their superior planning methods and ideas.  I would love to talk to a friend about it, but 1) I hate showing that things get to me, and 2) I know that many people legitimately do not care, so I don't want to waste their time.  Plus I can hear my bridesmaids getting bored with talk about weddings, so it would need to be an outsider... and most of the people I used to talk to (outside of bridal party) don't talk to me anymore.

Off-topic: I was scolded by a family member who got a one-sided story about offenses I didn't even know I was committing.  It would be like if you ate pickles around me, and I told a mutual friend that pickles offended me, so that mutual friend went to you and yelled at you about eating pickles in front of me.  Then that mutual friend tells you that you CANNOT tell me that you were confronted, because it would just upset me more and get you in trouble.  Now wouldn't you want to ask me why I couldn't just talk to you myself if I had a problem?  I know I would, but I'm not allowed in my given real-life situation.  So apparently my job is to sit pretty and keep telling people that my life is perfect, just dandy thank you, and nothing more.

The final offense: single people who are talking about bringing dates to our wedding when 1) I haven't sent anyone invitations and 2) I haven't told them they are getting a plus one.  For those who are engaged or in serious relationships: naturally they get a plus one, if anything, we know their significant other's name and have already added it to the guest list.  But I find it incredibly rude that young people (because all of the offenders are young people) just assume that although they're single, they get to bring a date.  I don't know how much money people think I have, but it's not enough to pay for total strangers to be at my wedding.  There are family and friends I can't even invite because we don't have that kind of money, so there's no way in hell some guy one of my friends meets the Tuesday before the wedding is going to be allowed to come.  Does Martha Stewart have suggestions for how to delicately handle these situations?  Or should I let my bridezilla fully come out of her shell and just be blunt about it?  I used to think I had all of the answers, but right now I only have one answer: Eloping would have been much easier.

You know the term "rain on my parade?"  Well it's pouring.  I could use an umbrella or somebody to shake the confidence and defiance back into me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

wedding issue #1

I'm getting married in September.  I'll be 24 when I say "I do," which makes me feel old (because I feel like married people are old) and young because other people my age are saying they couldn't think of being married at our age.  I got engaged this past December, leaving me a cool 10 months to plan.  This will be the first of a few wedding issues.  Let me give you a glimpse of what you'll run into...

The day you're engaged:

Yay!  You're engaged!  You're so excited and just want to tell EVERYONE!  When I called a few close friends/siblings within an hour of the proposal (after calling parents first), this is what I was faced with from my single friends:

Me: Hey I'm engaged!
Friend: "Omg!  No way!  Congrats!  Tell me how it happened!"
Me: I tell them the story of how creative and thoughtful the proposal was and what the ring looks like.
Friend: "So when's the wedding?  What's the theme of the wedding?  Do you have colors picked out?  What kind of dress do you want?  Are you having chicken or beef?  I personally prefer chicken, pairs so well with white wine... what kinds of white wine are you having?"
Me: ".... This literally happened 40 minutes ago, I have no idea, haha."
Friend: "Well you better start planning!  I watch those wedding shows and those brides are so stressed out!  If you need anything let me know (when what they really mean is "if you need me to give you things to stress out about, let me know").

Seriously?  Right after Justin proposed, my reaction wasn't, "Yes!  And by the way, we should do a ____ theme wedding with _____ colors.  How do you feel about fondant icing?"

I'm guessing due to Pinterest and Etsy, most girls are planning their dream weddings before they're even in a relationship (I won't even go there), so maybe they already know the answers to the questions that I was faced with on my first day of being a fiancee.

Here's the reaction I dealt with from people who are already married:

Me: "Hey I'm engaged!"
Married person: "Congrats!  Have you started planning?  You know the sooner you plan the better it turns out.  When's the date?"
Me: "Oh sometime in September we're thinking."
Married person: "THIS COMING SEPTEMBER?!  Can you even get a dress in time?  Mine took MONTHS to get in.  You need to figure out a venue and catering FAST before they're all taken!  And don't forget about a photographer and DJ."
Me: "Yeah I'll figure it out."
Married person: "Ha well you better figure it out fast, I don't even know how you'll get a wedding planned in less than a year!  When I was planning my wedding... (goes into a long winded story about their wedding planning)."

Let's get one thing straight: just because you planned your own wedding and got married does not make you have a Ph. D. in wedding planning.... yet almost every married person I've dealt with has acted like just because they booked this one fabulous photographer or had a really great DJ that their wedding is the only way to do a wedding.  I imagine that first-time moms face a similar experience from their aunts/sisters (who already have kids) about how to raise children.

For instance, tradition dictates that bridesmaids are to be shoved into the same frumpy, boxy, ugly satin dresses that aren't flattering so the bride will be the most beautiful one in her wedding party (hint: doesn't always work that way); they also must agree with the bride that they are "totally cute" and "oh yeah we can totally wear these again!" although deep down they can't believe they have to wear them in public.  Well, I decided to deviate from the norm because I hate doing things like everyone else; it's just how I am.  I don't believe in doing something just because some societal norm that is rooted in superstition says so.  I'm confident enough in my identity to know that my chances of tying the knot are not going to be thrown off by my bridesmaids looking hot.  I want my friends to be happy, confident, and pretty in what they're wearing... not to mention I can't stand the thought of them spending $100+ on a dress they don't even like.  So I decided after choosing my colors to let them pick their own dresses as long as it was in the given color.

Reaction #1 (mostly friends/bridesmaids): "THANK YOU for not making us all get the same dress!  This way we can each get a dress to flatter our figure and show our personality... not to mention we'll pick something we actually like!"

Reaction #2 (mostly those already married or older people): "Oh so they won't be wearing the same dress?  Won't it look uncoordinated?  I mean, it's YOUR wedding and everything, but I wouldn't be surprised if people think it looks messy.  So you might want to reconsider."

I'm not taking anything personally; everyone's entitled to an opinion.  This is the way I see it: it's our wedding, so we're going to do things the way WE want to.  We're only getting married once, so we want to do it on our terms.  Not to mention that no matter what we do, someone will find an aspect that they don't like... especially when a few family members figure out it's a non-religious wedding.

Within 5 weeks of the proposal, I had the venue/catering, photographer, DJ, and wedding cake booked and deposits paid.  I have my dress and shoes already; those came in a few weeks ago.  I honestly can't understand what all the fuss is about with planning.

Taste testing commences on Thursday evening with my fiance and future in-laws.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random thoughts

I haven't posted recently (work, exercise regimen, new book series, and random errands/chores have kept me preoccupied)... so here is a list of a few random things about me

1) I have to check my flat iron/curling iron/waver 3-4 times before I leave my apartment to make sure it's unplugged and completely cool or I'm afraid it will spontaneously catch on fire.  This also applies to the stove and toaster oven
2) My fiance and I motivate each other to reach our goals, exercise, and eat healthier... which is good since we're both stubborn and tenacious
3) I have to lock my door 5-7 times when leaving, always on an uneven number.  Psych majors - eat your heart out
4) I can't stand creme brulee or saffron because of the texture and aftertaste
5) I have to arrive to any meeting, appointment, or work at least 5-15 minutes earlier than I need to be.  If I am running late for any reason, it causes massive anxiety
6) I have road rage... especially when running late (see above)
7) I love singing, but I'm terrified of anyone hearing me so I only do it in the car when I'm by myself
8) Pregnancy freaks me out; it's like something out of a sci-fi movie to me.  Wouldn't laying an egg be easier?
9) I am very guarded with my emotions and do not wear them on my sleeve; I do not gush over Nicholas Sparks novels or other uber-girly things
10) My biggest irrational fear?  Tornadoes.  My biggest rational fear?  Living a life that is so boring that I am easily forgotten.
11) I wish wherever I lived was like Oregon: where no employer can refuse to hire me because of my tattoos/make me cover up my tattoos... that way I could get really awesome tattoos on my arms
12) I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life besides traveling, and I can't make a career out of that, so I need to figure that out... then I end up distracting myself with something else.  Like exercise, my fiance, or my current job.

I accidentally applied a double tanning elixir instead of sunscreen today, so now I'm exhausted from my sunburn.  I promise for a better post next time.  Off to bed I go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

You can't just want something to happen

I've been thinking for a while now that I want to be in better shape; I haven't gained weight and I'm not overweight (I'm actually at a healthy weight for my age and height), but I want to be toned.  Every bride wants to look thin for her wedding.  Today I finally got the push I needed to hit the gym for the first time in months.  And what gave me the final push?  Pinterest.  How did Pinterest motivate me to get in shape and randomly sign up for a 5k in July?  Well, let me just show you.

Holy shit!  Who wouldn't want to look like her?  Sign me up.  I'm only going to be in my 20's once; just because I'm getting married doesn't mean I'm going to let myself go.  Why not be the best version of myself now?  If I worked hard enough and continued with my reformed diet (healthier, whole grains, no soda, no fast food) that I adopted when I found out my mom was a diabetic a few weeks ago, I can totally be this toned and shed a few pounds.  Let's see how Pinterest practically bullied me into my workout goal (but has valid points):

Well when it's worded that way...  Why haven't I started this sooner?  I want to look the best I've ever looked.  I would love to randomly run into someone from high school that hasn't seen me in years and have them do a double take because I look a lot better now than I did back then.  Although other girls won't admit this (but we all think this way), I want to look so good that guys will kick themselves for not trying to date me back in the day.  I'd love for my fiance to be able to show me off like I'm some sort of trophy wife.  So I'm going to use Pinterest to push me, the Color Run in Columbus as a goal (to run the whole 5k), and this handy little app called "my fitness pal," which assesses your goals based on your height and weight to give you how many calories you're allowed to eat every day while also incorporating how many calories you burn during workouts.  I've only been using "my fitness pal" for a few days and I've already noticed a huge difference in how I eat.  My days off will not be spent like they have been in the past; they will be intense cardio workout days.  Right now I'm only working out 4 times a week, but I want to turn it into a part of my daily routine.  I know these things take time, so I don't want to overwork myself.  But I like having goals in mind.  Right now, I have one goal and I'm not stopping until I accomplish it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Books you should read

Here is my "must read" list (in no particular order):

  • "50 Jobs in 50 States" by Daniel Seddiqui
    • This guy was in his early 20's and couldn't find a job that had anything to do with his degree, so he had the brilliant idea to get a job in every state's major industry for 1 week and document his experience.  He was a coal miner in West Virginia, a weatherman in Ohio, a model in North Carolina, and a corn farmer in Nebraska, amongst other things.  Although people he knew originally scoffed at this idea, check out how impressive his resume is now.
  • "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
    • Unlike modern-day romance authors who set their romances on the North Carolina coast and gives movie roles to eye-candy like Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum, Jane Austen has truly original plot-lines and character development.  Her novel can be easily placed in modern times and still make perfect sense.
  • "Harry Potter series" by J. K. Rowling
    • I know they're technically children's books, but the series deals with many adult issues.  Plus, it's set in a universe that allows your imagination to run wild.
  • "Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse novels" by Charlaine Harris
    • "True Blood" found its inspiration and characters from these novels, but after the second season started deviating greatly from the plot lines in the novels.  I love "True Blood," but the books offer somewhat of an alternate universe to what's on the show.  Something about the way Charlaine Harris writes makes it impossible for me to not read an entire book in one sitting.
  • "The Harper Connelly Mysteries" by Charlaine Harris
    • I'm actually starting to like this series better than the Sookie Stackhouse novels.  Harper Connelly was struck by lightning when she was a kid, and as a result can sense the dead.  She can sense the final location of a person who's passed and see their last moments on Earth when she finds them, so she uses this ability to solve murder cases and provide closure to families as an independent detective.  
  • "The Hunger Games Trilogy" by Suzanne Collins
    • There are pros and cons to the movie and the book.  I loved the political implications of what our world could turn into and the complexity of how the government/districts operated (better explained in the book than the film).
  • "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
    • Religion vs. Science = favorite interest of mine
  • "The Venetian Betrayal," "The Alexandria Link," and... well everything by Steve Berry
    • Steve Berry's novels follow the life of Cotton Malone, a former Justice Department operative, in his quest for uncovering secret ciphers, societies, etc.  Many compare his novels to the likes of Dan Brown, but I think Steve Berry does it better.  He writes novels not only dealing with American history conspiracy theories, but also incorporates world history.  
  • "The Postcard Killers" by James Patterson
    • James Patterson does excellent thriller novels; if you have a long flight, I suggest bringing 1 or 2 of his books.  Couples are killed seemingly at random and the killers send postcards to the police from where they will kill next to taunt them.  This one is my favorite of his writings because of the location (all over Europe), suspense, original plot, and unpredictable ending.  
  • "Garden of Eden" by Ernest Hemingway
    • I love Lost Generation writers; in many ways, I feel our generation is the "lost generation" of the new millennium.  "Garden of Eden" was Hemingway's last work, published posthumously because it was unfinished.  Coincidentally, the book "ends" right at the climax, leaving the reader's mind racing at how Hemingway would've ended it.
  • "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Great Gatsby," anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "The Sign of Seven Trilogy" by Nora Roberts
  • "Written on the Body" by Jeanette Winterson
    • Read this for my film and literature class; I promise it's unlike any novel you'll ever read.
  • "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
  • "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" by Salman Rushdie
    • Another book labeled as a children's novel, but has amazing metaphors for political situations and censorship.  
  • "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini
  • "Who Goes There?" by John Campbell
    • This is a short story that was the inspiration for "The Thing."  The story is much more suspenseful and scarier; worth your time.  
I'm sure I'll think of more later.  I had fillings done so the entire right side of my mouth is completely numb.  I'm trying to give myself things to do that don't require me talking/sounding like Sylvester from the Looney Tunes.