Blunt Advice from a Newlywed

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It finally happened. The long awaited day finally came and went. I’ve been a very happily married woman for a whole 11 days. I personally think my husband and I have perfected this marriage thing already. I don’t know why people say being married is so hard…. **pause for smirk and exaggerated eye roll**

Obviously, I’m kidding. Honestly, being married doesn’t feel a ton different. Granted, my husband and I already lived together. We’ve been together for 3 and a half years and this didn’t change much of our every day life together. It feels a little different, a little heavier in a good way. He isn’t my boyfriend, or my fiance, but he is my husband and I am his wife. That is still a very exciting thing. And I have started the name-change process, so seeing a new last name on my driver’s license is super fun and weird.

But now that the wedding planning is over and the wedding day has come and gone, I figured I would maybe have some advice for people who are just starting the process. But I don’t want to give you the same advice you could find on an overly-googled cutesy list, so bare with me while I try to mix it up and dig a little deeper.

#1 – My Mantra for the Wedding Planning

“If it won’t matter five months after the wedding, don’t let yourself be upset for more than five minutes now.”

This one saved my but more than a few times. If something doesn’t go right, isn’t how you would have liked, or someone in your family, future family-in-law, or bridal party is driving you crazy, let yourself be upset but only for a few minutes. If you hold your emotions in, they will just explode out at a much worse time. If you dwell on them, you forget the important parts and let it drive you mad. So feel it, vent about it to your fiance or whomever isn’t driving you crazy, and then let it go.

I promise, it won’t matter if your processional music isn’t just right. You’re so in the moment, you don’t hear it anyway!

#2 – If you want to, it is okay to make your planning (and your Pinterest Board) PRIVATE.

This is a good idea for multiple reasons. For one, everybody has an opinion. Your mom, your sister, your friends, your future in laws, your fiance’s friends, your pastor or other officiant, and the list goes on and on. And some of these opinions you will want. Some you will ask for. And some you will politely nod and let it go in one ear and out the other. The only thing that matters is what you and your fiance want, and don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t or can’t do something you want. If you can afford it on your own (don’t ask someone to pay for lobster when you are on their chicken and fish dime, that’s just rude), then do what you want no matter what. Even if it isn’t “what’s done”. Don’t want to toss garter or bouquet, don’t! Want to go dress shopping by yourself, do it! Want to ride in on camel back, I don’t recommend it depending on your dress or venue, but who am I to tell you no!

Another example of a reason to make your board private, you probably know someone who is getting married around the same time as you. If you don’t want them to take your ideas, especially if they are getting married before you, then keep the shit on lock down. It’s okay to be private about what you want. You don’t own anyone answers or explanations.

#3- Don’t compare

Literally, anything. Don’t compare anything. Don’t compare your day to someone else’s. Budgets, tastes, etc. are all different. Don’t compare your dress to someone else’s. Especially if you bought it 12 months before your wedding like I did. You have a lot of time to sit and think about if it is really the one, but trust your gut. You didn’t do that with your fiance, don’t do it with your dress. Don’t compare your body to all the brides you see in the magazines and on the internet. Your fiance loves you exactly the way you are. Your family and friends love you. And guess what, they already know what your body looks like. They don’t look at you on your wedding day having completely forgot what you ever looked like before. They don’t look at you in that moment and think, “Wow, I didn’t realize she was _______ (fat, flabby, too thin, pale, etc.)”

No one thinks that. They think you look beautiful and happy and in love. That’s it! So relax! Enjoy your day and let it be the most perfect YOUR wedding day.

#4 – You may be surprised by the emotional things you have to work through on the way to your wedding day.

There will be the obvious emotions. Wedding planning is fun, stressful, and exciting. You’ll be happy, you’ll be overwhelmed, you’ll be all sorts of emotions. But, if you are anything like me, you may find that you will experience emotions you weren’t prepared for. For me, it was complicated family dynamics that caused unexpected emotions. Dealing with your grandparents getting divorced a few months before your wedding and losing the only grandpa who was still living because he decided to leave the family and not care if he ever sees you again. Trying to balance being excited for the father/daughter dance while also feeling conflicted about playing some overly emotional and sappy song that just felt like a lie when your relationship has been rocky over your childhood. The feeling of begging your mother to be more interested and present in the planning while watching her eyes glaze over when you start to talk about it. Then top that crap sundae with some whipped cream conversations the day before the wedding about how she is just a guest at the wedding because you were too “independent” to let her help.

These things suck, and they surprise you because you didn’t think what you thought were (mostly) resolved issues would bring up emotions. But they do. And that’s okay, you’ll get through it. I mention this as advice not because it will keep this from happening, but maybe it will keep you from being so surprised if it does.

And lastly, and most importantly

#5 – Remember what the day is truly about, but more importantly, remember it is only one day.

The day will be a wonderful party of all your friends and family. It is a great time! But it isn’t about the party. It’s about marrying the person across from you during your vows. It isn’t about the ending of the dating period or the wedding planning, it is about the start of your life together. And that is what you should be most excited for. Be excited about the wedding day, but be MORE excited about seeing the look on your partner’s face the first time they see you on your wedding day. Be MOST excited about waking up the next morning married to the person you love. Be MOSTEST excited about the life you are going to build together. Because that is what the day is really about.

So enjoy your planning. Enjoy your wedding day. And then enjoy it being over! I surely am!

Good luck!

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My (less than) Glorious Return..

It’s been a while since my last post, and there has been a lot going on. Let me count the ways my life is a bit nuts at the moment.

  1. As I mentioned in my last post, like a month ago, my fiance broke his arm in five places at the beginning of October. Was he doing some adventurous, something stupid, or something crazy, you ask??? No. He wasn’t. He was walking. He tripped. Boy, do I love that disaster-prone goofball. This broken arm has resulted in nearly two months off work for him, one very long surgery, one metal plate, three different slings, eight metal screws, thirty-one staples, and a fourteen inch scar that gives Frankenstein’s monster a run for its money.  That sounded like a really messed up version of the Twelve Days of Christmas song. So, all in all, that’s been fun.
  2.  Did I mention that all of number one happened only six weeks before our wedding?? We are in the final countdown of the wedding planning. We get married in 9 days, 21 hours, give or take some minutes.  Surprisingly, that planning has been going well considering all that we have had to worry about in the meantime. And, we were able to order a new sling that should match his suit better for the wedding, which is cool but pretty much a non-issue after everything else. Pretty much nothing else matters other than I get to marry this man who makes me stupid happy in less than 10 days!

Then just other general “My job is not really a Community Services Specialist. My REAL job is to piss off the entire community one non-delivered service at a time.” I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again, there is nothing glamorous about working a Social Welfare job.

Other than that, I can’t complain. Even if it does take attention away from other things. Life is good. Love is good. God is Good.

Hope you’re good too!

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Getting Shattered Ain’t Humerus

You know how they tell you that the last month of wedding planning is both joyous and wonderful, but also stressful and filled with last minute disasters?

Well, my fiance decided to make the last minute disaster thing a reality for us… by shattering his humerus bone near the elbow and back of the arm in five places six weeks before the wedding…

Yeah….

Oh, and he shattered it on the first night of his bachelor party..

So there is that too.

Couldn’t just break it once like a normal person… Couldn’t just give 100% effort, had to give 150% instead…

Poor guy is in so much pain, and of course, they can’t get him in for the needed surgery to put in metal plates and screws for two weeks.

So in the middle of trying to plan every last detail in the last month, I am now missing work and trying to schedule surgery and driving to his parents’ house to see him every two days because he is able to be more mobile and supervised there than he is at home with me.

It’s been a rough week and a half, but surgery is Friday.

They anticipate he should be much more mobile and in less pain pretty immediately after the surgery.

If you are a praying person, or a positive vibe person, please send some our way for his surgery and healing!

And pray I don’t lose my mind balancing everything.

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The Lies of Social Service Jobs

I’ve worked in the Social Services field for about 5 years now. My first job was working with foster parents and my current job is working with a Community Action Agency. Both of these jobs required me to collect personal data and information on clients to be able to move their applications forward in the system, if you want to really simplify it. Every day I ask people about their families, their homes, their jobs, their lives.

And it still amazes me how often people lie.

Small lies, big lies, lies that don’t even matter in the scheme of things. It doesn’t matter how big or small, they all surprise me.

My first job- you are here trying to take on a foster child. You are trying to help- whether it be a family member or a complete stranger- but you still lie.

My current job- you are here trying to get help, trying to get a food voucher, a bus pass, prescription assistance, rental assistance, financial assistance of some sort. We don’t judge why you are behind on your rent. We don’t judge why you can’t afford a $6 prescription. We don’t judge that you don’t have an education, a job, or a home. My job is not to judge; my job is to help.

So that is what I do. I listen with empathy and compassion. I do whatever I can to help you and your family get through this situation, to give you a hand up to help you move forward. I try everything I can think of to help.

But when you lie, I judge. I feel played. I take it personally, (even though I shouldn’t), because I take your story personally. I take your hardship personally. I feel that stress and pain with you. So when you lie to me, when you trick me to get what you want out of me, I feel that too.

I can’t understand it.

Our situations do not separate us- because we are all a lost job, a bad accident, or some other hardship away from needing help of our own. That, I can understand.

But the lie, I can’t understand. The lies make me wonder why I bother sometimes. They make me feel more like a pawn than someone who cares and is trying to help.

The lies make these Social Welfare jobs hard to do.

So, here I vent. I release the anger of being lied to over and over again.

And I meet the next client with the same compassion I had for the last, hoping this time will be different.

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Tiny = Big Adventure

This past weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. My fiancee and I went to Indianapolis for a weekend away. The wedding is right around the corner, so it was nice to have a weekend away for just the two of us that had nothing to do with the wedding.

BUT. More Importantly. This weekend was a bucket list weekend. This weekend was TINY HOUSE WEEKEND.

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And, it was amazing!

What a cool experience! The tiny house was so cool. The loft was a little rough, but I figured it out. My fiancee, not so much! He decided to sleep on the floor instead.

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Some of the thoughts we had over the weekend:

  1. Compost toilets are odd.
  2. Tiny house showers are a lot like dorm showers, so that wasn’t too weird.
  3. It was a little weird to be sleeping and showering in a stranger’s driveway.
  4. I couldn’t do a tiny house for long, but it was super cool to get to try it out.

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Then, the second item on the bucket list was crossed off. This was one of those items that you don’t know is on your bucket list until you find out that it is something you can actually do. Rather than tell you about it, I’m just going to show you!!

This weekend was one of those weekends you know you will never forget. It was a weekend that just left me so, unbelievably happy. It was a good for the soul weekend. I’m so excited to get to share some of it with you!

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Wedding Showers Bring Pretty Flowers

The Wedding Festivities have begun! The beginning of many wedding-filled weekends started this past weekend with my first Bridal Shower. It was such a beautiful day put on by my future family. I am so blessed to be joining such a wonderful family.

I mean, just look at this place!!

My Fiance and my Future MIL

Also, not that it is what is about, but we made it out GOOD!! SO much stuff. More than half of it will be living in my in law’s basement for a little while. But we certainly will have fun playing with all of it!

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The Slap-in-the-Face That Is Social Media

page_5_social_mediaI’ve made a life-changing realization recently. This is a realization I’ve made several times before, but for some reason, needs to be rediscovered every so often. I thought I cannot possibly be the only person who needs this, so I figured I would share it with you all.

Are you ready?

Social Media representation of life is not real.

I’ll say it again, in a different way, just to help it sink in.

Don’t compare yourself or your life to people online, because no one puts all the bad stuff on Instagram. 

No one puts all the times they feel like they are failing on their inst-story. No one takes a picture of their college rejection letters proudly on their Facebook page. No one writes about all the times they feel inadequate, fat, dumb, or not enough on twitter.

Sure, some people do post these things every once in a blue moon, but if they do, it is attached to some feel good message about never giving up and, more often than not, it is followed up by some achievement they have made since this rejection. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t help remind us all that, really, we all feel like we are failing at times. We all feel like we aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, or just enough in general sometimes.

When I look online, I see all the people who are getting promotions, buying houses, having babies, traveling the world, and a slew of other things that I wish I had. I get caught in a rut of feeling like my life isn’t enough. And the worst part, feeling this way doesn’t make my life better. Sure, some people run with this feeling and make great changes, but most of us don’t actually need to change. Because most of us aren’t there… YET. Don’t rush your life because you want something that isn’t there yet. Because you don’t hate you life the way it is, and by wishing for what you want to have in the future, you take for granted what you have now.

Sure, I want to own a home. But right now, I have a very nice two bedroom apartment that keeps me safe, dry, and whatever temperature I want to be. I am blessed.

Sure, I want to have a family. But right now, I have an amazing fiancee, who will someday be an amazing father. I am blessed.

Sure, I want to travel the world. But right now, I am saving money to marry my favorite person in the whole world and making plans for a future with him (that will definitely involve traveling eventually). I am blessed.

Sure, I want to make so much money that I don’t have to worry about things. But right now, I am growing as a professional. I am taking risks and establishing myself in my career. I make bupkis- but I help people in need. I am blessed.

There is time for all of those things I want to happen.

I have so much to be grateful for and happy about.

And all that happens when I compare my life to those around me is I lost sight of those things and forget how truly blessed I am.

I may not have everything I want, but I have enough.

I may not be everything I want to be, but, even if I never am, I am always enough.

And so are you. 

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National Black Cat Day

Apparently, today is National Black Cat Day. Seeing as I have a black cat, I figured what better a day to tell some of the best cat stories I have of my little “bad luck kitty”.

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This is Jax. He is five years old, but a complete goofball kitten at heart.

He is the sweetest cat I have ever met. His brother, Leo, is much more of a snuggler, but Jax does not have a mean bone in his body. (Unless you are a bug, then you are going down). Other cats, including Leo, will swat your things off the counter, like our toaster last week. RIP Toaster. But not Jax. Jax has never met a person he doesn’t like. He is timid at first, but before long, he will be on your lap refusing to get up.

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But don’t let that fool you, because he has gotten himself into plenty of trouble.

Here are some examples.

I got a phone call from my fiancee this afternoon. It is important to note that Jax loves the bathroom. He likes to sit on the counter and rub your arm while you brush your teeth. He comes in to hop on the closed toilet seat when you are getting out of the shower to come check on you. And he LOVES the tub. He sits in the tub and licks at the faucet, all the time. He never destroys the toilet paper or anything else, so I don’t see any reason to deny him his happy place.

But, today did not go as smoothly as most bathroom interactions. My fiancee calls to tell me that the cat decided to hop from toilet seat to bathtub…. while my fiancee was in the middle of peeing. So, guess what little black kitty got peed on…… YEP.

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Story number two. Jax is actually famous. He went viral a few years ago. If you google “Cat stuck in vase”, Little Jax shows up on the first page. Two years ago, I ran home from work in the middle of the day. I just had this odd feeling. When I get in the house, I find a vase knocked over and broken (it was a wooden, plaster type material vase) and I see Jax hiding under the coffee table with part of the vase around his head. Best guess, Jax hid his toy in the vase, reached in to grab it and got stuck. I assume he threw his head around and hit the vase off the couch and the coffee table until it broke. Thankfully he could breathe, because this could have been a much different story. Anyway, I had to take him to the vet’s office to have them saw the rest of the vase off with surgical wire.

But, due to his coloring and the color of the vase, Jax became famously known as Cleocatra, the Cat God. I’m sure you can figure out why.

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(Disclaimer: He is not as large as he appears. He was scared, so he is very fluffed up!)

This little goober makes me smile more than I could have ever imagined. He cuddled me when I was in pain from a kidney stone, and he is hilarious. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to have him in my life.

And to think, the shelter almost didn’t want to let me adopt him. Because I came to adopt him in October. Shelters usually don’t let people adopt black animals in October, because bad people use them for Halloween jokes or worse, satanic rituals. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t been told it by the shelter. And it just made me want him more, so I could protect him forever.

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Black animals are the least likely to be adopted. And black cats are even less likely due to superstitions. I’ll tell anyone time and time again that this little “bad luck kitty” has brought me the best luck and the most happiness.

Happy National Black Cat Day to all the best black cats and their owners!!

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If you have a black cat, drop a picture or a funny story in the comments!! #blackcatpride

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Feeling the Love

This week has been a big week in the wedding department.

First, Wednesday was the 100th day till the wedding on the countdown. We have gone from 447 days down to under 100 now. We are in double digits instead of triple! It is crazy. There is so much left to do in under 100 days!!! AHHHHH!

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Second, today is ring-iversary! It was a year ago today that my best friend in the whole world asked me to be his best friend forever! It was a year ago today that he ate his sushi in a panic-driven record because he was nervous. It was year ago today that the weather was absolutely beautiful all day, up until he was about to propose to me outside, and a storm started to roll in. It was a year ago today that I said “yes” and two people came out of their houses across the street from the marina where he proposed and clapped because they saw us. It was a year ago today that I said “yes” to forever with the person I love more than anything in the world.

So today is a pretty exciting day!

He’s been pretty sweet today already too. He’s a teacher, so he is still off for one more week. But today, on his last Friday of Summer to sleep in, he gets up early to bring me breakfast at work because there was traffic on the way and I didn’t have time to stop myself. I got a good one, folks.

And…

Third, this Sunday we are meeting with our pastor to set up arrangements for the ceremony. We will make a plan so we can start ordering invitations! We are also meeting with my future in-laws to show them the reception space and have dinner at our rehearsal space so they can see what it is like. Also, we get to do a cake tasting on Sunday afternoon. So it will be a big day in the wedding department.

The closer it gets, the more excited I am getting. I’m not super excited about all that is left to plan, but I am excited for the day. I cannot wait to marry him. I cannot wait to wake up the next morning next to my husband (and not have any more wedding planning to do)! The countdown is really on now! 11.17.18 ❤

Also, tooting my Fiance’s horn right now, how gorgeous is my ring!!

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Glow, Baby! Glow!

On Saturday of this past week, I had an opportunity to cross off one of my bucket list items- Go to a Balloon Glow.

Several towns within a two hour drive have been doing these Balloon Glows for a few years, and I had always wanted to go. I’d never seen a hot air balloon up close. While riding in a hot air balloon is a separate, unchecked item on my bucket list, I was super excited to get to cross this one off.

When we arrived, I was hopeful that the balloons would be there already. I thought they would be set up, and we would be able to talk to the pilots about them. But this was not the case. We arrived at 3:30 p.m. and the balloons did not arrive until 5:30 p.m. When they did arrive, they arrived in trailers attached to trucks, and were not set up until about 7 p.m. They were supposed to fly before the glow, but something was not right with the weather, so that did not end up happening. They only ended up glowing at dusk for about 40 minutes. It was not really what I had in mind, but it was still pretty cool.

Since we only ended up driving an hour, and we were able to get loaded brisket french fries and a lemonade shake up while we waited, I will still call the event a success. After seeing them in action (minimal action, but still) I am both more excited and more terrified to ride in one someday.

Enjoy some of the pictures I took from the event!

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