Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's Wedding Month

It's officially Wedding Month and I'm trying not to freak out all of the time. Lately I've been having a really hard time falling asleep because my mind goes a million miles an hour and just won't shut off. I struggled with this when we first got engaged but thought I had gotten through it. WRONG. This time is my life is so wonderfully strange and it's even stranger to think that I only have 3 1/2 more weeks of "this time" left. Marrying Keith is quite literally a dream (or a hundred dreams) come true. I wanted this so badly for so long but never thought it would actually happen, and now it has. Oh geez, now I'm getting all emotional.

Another reason this time is strange is because getting married is something I've dreamed of for my whole life. Every girl dreams of her wedding. When I was a child getting married seemed so far in the future, and then there was a time when I couldn't see myself getting married and I was okay with that, but now here I am getting married. When something you've wanted for most of your life actually happens it's hard to know what to feel. I have spent so many dozens of hours looking at cute Pinterest-y ideas for being engaged and had so many conversations with friends about my dream wedding, and now it's here, and I have fears.

Am I doing it right? Am I making the engagement time as special and memorable and Pinterest-y as possible? Am I forgetting anything? Will I look back on all of this and have any regrets?

I know, all that matters is that by 4pm on September 26, Keith and I will be married and it won't matter what things went wrong or what things I forgot. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter if my chalkboard signs are perfect or if we have enough flowers or if I trip down the aisle (this will probably happen and I'm willing to bet money on it). I know it doesn't matter ... but at the same time it does matter.

I know I'll probably be able to look back at this laugh at the things that went wrong or how many times I cried out of exhaustion and being overwhelmed, but right now? Right now it's hard and it's overwhelming but I'm too overwhelmed to make it less overwhelming. Does that make sense?

It's really weird to be this happy but to also cry almost every day. And I can't even drink my sorrows away because I'm crash dieting to fit into my dress!

On another note, I'm doing my own makeup and possibly my own hair for the wedding and I think I found the winning style.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Great Wedding Meltdown

People keep asking me: "So, how are you feeling about your wedding being so soon?" I've been answering with a pretty confident, "Good, I can't wait!" and I was patting myself on the back for being such a calm, cool, and collected bride.

And then last weekend happened.

Things have been coming together really smoothly. My mom has been making all the vases, we got an amazing deal on invitations (and have almost sent them all out), my in-laws-to-be have been making wood cookies for the centerpieces, and the eyelash steroids I've been using have been making my lashes look like they're fake. I keep saying, "Sure, I don't know how everything will come together but I know it will all come together," and sort of shrugging.


My bridal shower was last Saturday and I started getting nervous about opening gifts in front of everybody. It just felt like way too much pressure. I mean, what  if somebody crocheted me a toilet seat cover with gigantic flowers on it and I had to pretend to like it?? That situation is entirely plausible, too, because it actually happened to my sister 5 years ago.

Then, I realized I had left all the invitations I was going to hand deliver back on our mountain. So I told like, 14 people over the weekend, "Your invitation is in my car! I'll give it to you at church on Sunday!" and then I discovered that I actually didn't even take them with me so it really just looked like I was a huge liar.

AND THEN, the questions began.

Have you called the florist?
Do you need immunizations for your honeymoon?
When are you getting your hair highlighted?
What do you want to write on this sign?
Do you want to use all of these 5 million different little tiny chalkboards?
Did you send out your invitations yet?
Are you going to register for more than 4 plates?
Did you book flight tickets with your maiden name?
Have you called the florist?
What color will you paint your nails?
What shade of lipstick will you wear?
How's your foot fungus doing?

At one point my mom and I were out in her craft room looking at all of the vases and she was asking me questions about frames, vases, and paper flowers and I just broke down.

"I don't want to do it anymore!" I wailed as I sobbed into her collarbone. "It's too much! We should have just eloped!"

And she did what mothers do best and she gave me a safe place to let all of my emotions out. She knew that I still wanted to get married but I was just overwhelmed. She knew the questions were too much. And just knowing that she knew made me feel a hundred times better.

Then we went inside and Keith saw my red and puffy eyes and when he asked if I was okay, I pulled him outside and cried into his shoulder as well. He held me and rubbed my back and said it would all be ok, and after I'd cried for a little bit, he told me I didn't have to do anything else that night.

"Yes, I do!" I practically yelled. "I have to set up a mock table and see how the centerpieces look and I have to make a list and choose the music and pick out all the chalkboard things and write on some of them AND I'M NOT GOING TO FIT INTO MY DRESS!"

He told me he'd help me and then he didn't say anything while I stuffed my face with leftover cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches. By that point, everybody at my parents' house knew I was having a meltdown, and they were all kind of just letting me melt, staying far enough away to not be within range of my misdirected anger but close enough that it didn't look like they were avoiding me.

THEN, we set up the centerpieces on a table so I could see what they looked like.

AND I HATED IT. "The table looks so empty! Why does it look so empty? Why aren't the vases taller? Why are the flowers so short? Why does it look so ugly? My wedding is going to be the worst!!!!!" My sister-in-law and mom were basically my saviors, because they fixed it and now I'm excited again, but for most of Saturday I was kind of a beast.

I did learn something through this though: on my wedding day I don't want anybody to ask me ANYTHING. We're having a family friend do the day of coordinating and I said to her, "Lynne, I'll go insane if people ask me things on our wedding day. Seriously. I don't care how things turn out, I just don't want anybody to ask me anything." Apparently I hate questions.

So basically this post just lets you see how crazy I've become. Keith is so lucky.

IF YOU HAVE ADVICE, PLEASE SHARE IT NOW. The comments have been my favorite thing about these wedding posts. You all have so much wisdom to share and I appreciate it more than you know.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

#SaveTheUndies with U by Kotex!

Lately I've been noticing a trend in the fashion world: white pants/skirts. I've noticed people neglecting the long standing rule of "don't wear white after Labor Day," and I love it! You know what I don't love? When a nice pair of white pants gets completely ruined due to a combination of Aunt Flo and poor protection.

Recently I went to a park to watch a local band and have some fun with friends, and I was wearing a white maxi skirt. All of a sudden... I just knew something bad was about to happen. Ladies, you know what I mean. When Aunt Flo comes, you just know. Luckily I had my U by Kotex products easily accessible in my purse, so after a quick trip to the restroom I was able to return to the concert and not worry about ruining a favorite skirt! 
I love that U by Kotex products come in a variety of styles. You can go with the traditional white wrapper, or the fun and funky multi colored designs! With the bright designs people don't know right away that you're carrying around pads. If you want to get your own [free sample alert!] simply go to ubykotex{dot}com and request some! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Did you catch that? U by Kotex wants to give you a free sample! Trust me, you want to take them up on this. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Honeymoon

Well, it happened. We booked our honeymoon!! In all fairness though, I should say that Keith booked our honeymoon. I had just about less than nothing to do with it, which is just the way I like it. I'm not a good planner (which is evidence by the fact that our wedding is 6.5 weeks away and I haven't sent out invitations yet) and the thought of coordinating flights, choosing the best deal, figuring out hotels.... it all just makes my head hurt. Keith, on the other hand, is great at it. It seems like he enjoys it, too, which makes it a win-win.

We had a really hard time deciding about the honeymoon. The most popular honeymoon destinations are all inclusive beach resorts or cruises, which are lower than low on our list of "things that sound like fun." Mostly we wanted to go somewhere we wouldn't be able to go for a weekend getaway. Our dream honeymoon was Italy, but there was just no way that was going to happen, because of money. We discussed New England (I've never been there and I'm dying to go), Canada, Costa Rica, and Thailand. Those all got nixed once Keith came up with the idea that beat out all the others.

Wanna know where we're going? Ok fine. Let me know if you're able to figure it out from just the gif:

We're going to Turkey - for two weeks! Well, Turkey and surrounding areas. Mostly Turkey, though. I decided to make a very professional looking map highlighting our route and where we're going.

The day after the wedding we're driving 4 hours to LAX, and going from LA to Paris to Athens. I'm really enjoying telling people we're going to Paris on our honeymoon.

After Athens we're going to Izmir, Capodocea, Kayseri, Ephesus, and then Istanbul. Apparently we're going to be really busy the first week of the trip, flying places and exploring, then flying another place and exploring, then flying again and you get the picture. Once we're in Istanbul Keith says we slow down a bit, and we hang out there and I feel like I'm missing some places. After Istanbul I know we're stopping in Budapest (which is in Hungary which is Southeast of Germany and NOT north of Germany like I originally thought) and then heading home. But first we have a TWELVE HOUR LAYOVER in Moscow. And we will not be exploring Moscow because 1) we're getting there in the middle of the night, and 2) to leave the airport you have to spend like $250 on a visa and there's just no way that's happening.

When Keith first told me he booked our flights (there are eight of them) to Turkey I was like

and then people said to me, "You know Turkey is in the Middle East and kinda close to Syria" I was more like,

and then I found out about the 13 hours flights and 12 hour layover and I immediately knew what my face would look like on the plane:

but then Keith told me that we're taking a hot air balloon ride in Capodocea and I was a confusing mix of excited and terrified.

I'm absurdly excited for our honeymoon - all my married friends who told me that "about a month before you'll just be ready for all the planning and stuff to be done so you can go on your honeymoon" were definitely right.


I'm an inexperienced traveler. The last time I was on a plane was almost ten years ago, and I don't think I've ever been on one for longer than four hours. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TRAVEL.

What do you do on a plane for 13 hours? Should I take a sleeping pill? Or four? Should I trust the airplane quesadilla I've been promised or will that just send me to the airplane bathroom?

How big of a chance is there that while sitting on the toilet, I'll get sucked out? That would be a bad way to go.

Will they give me a pillow and blanket? Is it highly probable that the pillow will be invested with lice?

What do I wear in Turkey in the fall? I think sundresses are frowned upon because of religion. Are long khaki shorts the worst idea ever? I tried some on at the Gap the other day and when I looked in the mirror I felt like all I needed was a fanny pack.

How am I supposed to pack for a 2 week trip? I take three bags with me when I go visit my parents for a weekend.

Will I still be able to post to Instagram? What about Twitter? And Facebook? Is there internet in the Middle East?

Should I capitalize all three words, like The Middle East, or is the Middle East correct?

I appreciate all of your advice thank you very much.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When a job just isn't worth it

I earned my first actual paycheck starting at 11 years old. When my brother left for college I got to take over his paper route, and I have fond memories of hanging onto the back of my parents' station wagon while my mom drove me through the mobile home parks in our little town, slowing down at all the right homes so I could toss a paper in the driveway or hop off to "porch" the paper. It was a twice-a-week route, and for an 11 and 12 year old I made pretty good money.

When I was 15 I got my first "real" job where I punched a time clock and had co-workers and learned the hard way that a bad work environment can be draining both mentally and physically. Thankfully I only worked there for about 6 months, and then I smashed my hand through a window and went off to live on a bus for 3 months (another story for another time).

Since then, I've enjoyed most of my jobs. I've had some pretty cool jobs and I've had some pretty crappy jobs, and I just want to tell you that some jobs just aren't worth it. So because I'm so kind and generous, here's a list of things that, if you agree with one or more of them, mean you need a new job like, yesterday.

...If you cry at work multiple times a week purely because of work and not because of hormones or the fact that you just watched an episode of Parenthood, you should probably quit your job.

...If you stay up really late at night because you know the sooner you go to sleep the sooner you have to go to work and you just want to put it off as long as possible, you should probably quit your job.

...If the employees at 7-eleven make more money than you per hour and you would rather be refilling slurpee machines for half what you make now because you hate your job so much, you should probably quit.

...If you're afraid to complete any task given to you because you know your boss will find something wrong with the finished product no matter what, you should probably quit your job.

...If your boss does nothing but criticize you and blame the company's failures on you even though you're not responsible for any of it, you should probably quit your job.

...If your job makes you an angry, cynical, bitter person, you should probably quit.

...If you've ever said the words, "My job is sucking my soul out of me," you should probably quit.

...If your job is not fulfilling you or making you feel good about yourself and the work you're doing, you should probably quit.

...If your boss has cut your hours down to 8/week, you should probably quit.

...If your boss sends you emails at 4am and expects them to be read and responded to before you've even gotten to work, you should probably quit your job.

Obviously you shouldn't quit your job if you have nothing else lined up. I did that once. In the middle of a shift I went to the parking lot with the assistant manager, sat on a curb, and sobbed about how miserable I was. I never went back. The next couple of months sucked royally but I will always feel that quitting that job was one of the best decisions I ever made.

The job I have now is stressful and busy and exhausting, but I love it. The people are great, the work is fulfilling, and I never dread going to work. If you hate your job, if your job is making you miserable, if you dread Mondays with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, change your circumstances. Just do it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Traditional Registry vs. Honeyfund

I've been enjoying discussing wedding details with friends, family, and the entire internet. I haven't gotten very many shocking or unwelcome opinions, and the ones that I have I've been able to mostly ignore. However, there have been a couple of decisions that have resulted in some debate. One of those things was whether to have Keith and I stand inside the gazebo or outside of it during the ceremony (we're going with outside), if we're going to do a first look, and how we should handle our wedding registry.

Keith and I are currently registered at Bed Bath & Beyond and on Amazon. Going to BB&B and scanning all the silicone and collapsible kitchen gadgets (collapsible funnel! collapsible measuring cup! collapsible dish dryer! collapsible lettuce keeper!) was a lot of fun for me. I've always looked forward to being able to do that. To be honest, I was more excited for that than to go dress shopping. But, in talking about our registry and what sheets, bathmats, and baking pans we should add, we began discussing a honeyfund.

Have you heard of that? It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like: people give you funds for your honeymoon. From what I've read you can create your a honeymoon website and people can go on there and give you money to go toward certain things, like fancy dinners, a sky diving trip, a night in a hotel, and the list goes on and on. Your guests can even print out a certificate to wrap or place inside a card and then they're sort of giving you something tangible for your wedding.

I've heard a lot of differing opinions on honeyfunds vs. traditional registries. The other day someone sent me a link to this article, which is not in favor of honeyfunds. The author, Rachel, says she hates honeyfunds because she wants to give the bride and groom a gift that will stay with them forever. She wants them to use the gift for the next 50 years and think of her when they use it. Rachel argues that when we think back on our romantic dinner we had on night 3 of our honeymoon, we won't be thinking of her.

Rachel is probably right. However, I can't think of anyone who remembers what gift every single person gave them for their wedding. In fact, I can't think of many people who can remember what they gave a bride and groom for their wedding. So why should I make a traditional wedding registry just to appease Rachel? It's not Rachel's day, it's our day, right?

Then there's this article, in which Marianne argues that it's silly and pointless to register for things you don't want or need when instead, you could ask people to contribute to the first trip the two of you will take as husband and wife. She says that for a couple who doesn't need much to build their life together, a honeyfund is very practical. Trips are expensive, especially if you want to go out of the country (like we're planning to do) and be gone for more than a week (which we're also planning to do).

But is a honeyfund tacky? Are you basically just asking your guests to give you cold, hard, cash? Is it greedy? Is it wrong?

I'm conflicted. At first, the idea of a honeyfund seemed really tacky to me and I was just like, "But I want the STUFFS!!!!!"

But now that I've thought about it more, it makes sense. I understand why people would be opposed to a honeyfund, and I also understand why it's a really great idea. But I want to know what you think. Does the idea of a honeyfund turn you off? Do you think wedding registries are basically archaic?

Either way, you're pretty much charging your guests admission to your wedding. (Although I have to say, if someone showed up to our wedding sans gift, I wouldn't be offended at all.) So, since they'll be spending the money anyway, is it really a faux pas to dictate even more specifically what you'd like? Or, are you robbing your guests of the job of purchasing you a gift that you'll be [theoretically, unless it's a pair of ceramic cows or something] using for the next 50 years? How likely am I, twenty years from now, to serve salad with a pair of tongs that Susie gave to me at my wedding? In twenty years will I place salad on a plate and think to myself, "Susie sure was a gem for giving us these salad tongs!!" I mean, really.

I'm pretty sure we're going to end up doing the regular registry and a honeyfund, but I'm really curious now how other people think. Is it just a generational thing? Am I asking too many questions? Should I go to bed now?


Also, in case you were wondering, 59 days. #ReamTeam2k15