Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Being Brave

People have been asking Tyler & I if we are excited, nervous, ready, etc., since the wedding is approaching quickly. And our latest response has been, "we just want the day to get here already." Sadly, we both say this in an exasperated, "let's get this over with" tone. Which is not really how we feel deep down. We are just both tired.

Tired of opinions, tired of changing plans, tired of disappointing & being disappointed. Tired of being surprised that, even though we thought every single person that we invited knew us just so well, some people seem to not know us at all. To think that Tyler & I want anything other than a wonderfully relaxed day with our closest friends & family & to just celebrate our love, is beyond me. There is nothing else we want. 

Getting married is a brave leap of faith. Madeleine L’Engle says it perfectly in "The Irrational Season" when she says "ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take.If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected."

As a daughter of a broken 20-year marriage, I really believe that getting married is a risk, and when you love someone as I do Tyler, you look at them and see that the risk of not being together, of not trying, far outweighs the risk of trying.

But having a wedding is also being brave, and I had no idea. We could have just eloped - and sometimes I wonder why we didn't. Well, we didn't because gosh, do we ever LOVE our family and friends. 9/9/12 not only celebrates how lucky we feel to have found each other, but how lucky we feel to have been blessed with such loving family & friends. 

BUT. But we are both the first to be married on both sides. And there are a lot of... opinions. And expectations. And I think most of them come from a place of people being excited for us, but sometimes that doesn't come through. It's a lot. It is A LOT to plan a wedding and get married and coordinate family and friends and to be the center of attention (even if, ahem, you usually love it). It really forces you to, at the end of the day, choose what makes YOU and your HUSBAND TO BE happy. Because that is what this is all about - that is what this new life we are embarking on is about. Making each other happy. I can honestly say that when I feel disappointed, or if someone feels disappointed in me, I look at Tyler and think, "Is Tyler disappointed? Are we happy with our choice?", and as long as THAT answer is "no" and "yes", I'm good.

So, Tyler - it's going to be worth it. All the little stresses will melt away when we see each other for the first time as Stewie walks me down the aisle. Because we make each other happy - we always have and we always will. And this wedding stuff (or "wedding poop" as we have so lovingly called it) will have just served as a stepping stone to where we both know that the most important thing is to just make sure we are both happy.  (And yaknow what? The important people will be happy no matter what our choices are, they will just be happy because we are happy. That is love.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let's Start Talking

Women: what's the deal? There are so many challenges & hardships & truths to life that we don't ever talk about. I don't understand. Things could be easier, or more bearable, if we shared our stories with one another. Feeling like you aren't "crazy", like others understand you, like you are not alone, is so comforting when you are facing an obstacle. The most comforting truth in a moment of sadness or despair is feeling that you are not alone.

Let me take a step back. & explain.

My FAVORITE blog posts are when the author takes a moment to get real. It usually begins with " I need to be real for a moment " or "sorry, this post isn't going to be pretty". It's the posts I relate to the most, and truthfully, the posts with the most comments. And most comments read like this, "You just read my mind, I can so relate" or "I feel the same way, thank you for writing this". All of a sudden, I feel a sense of hope, of community. An overwhelming urge to pour out my soul in the hopes that the person I am commenting to can feel that we are one & the same. Not only am I sad that they are sad, and not only do I empathize and relate to their sadness, but it makes me sad that they feel that they have to apologize for these "less than" feelings. Who says we are "supposed to" feel a certain way about certain stages in our life, or certain events? We are "supposed to" always be happy, grateful, appreciative, creative, etc? But sometimes we don't. And we need to give each other, and OURSELVES, some credit and permission to be however we feel. Because that is true. And true is good.

THINGS I'M AFRAID TO TELL YOU is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. But I think we need more than that. We need a shift in how we think about ourselves. I want others (and myself) to give ourselves permission to be sad, depressed, lost, hurt, whiny, excited, jealous, insecure, confident, whatever.

Big events like getting engaged, getting married, and having babies are portrayed as being happy & wonderful - no one talks about the stress and descision making that comes along with these huge events. No one mentions that it is a combination of wonderful & scary - and that it is OK to be scared! I'm finding myself worrying about children. If I want to stay home - can we afford that? Will I really want to stay home after the great jobs I've had? How will I feel? What can we afford to do? Will I/can I balance my life, and be the wife & mother I want to be? What about changing my name? That's not insignificant, that's huge. That's my identity. And while I want to (and will) change my name to match my husbands, CAN I GET AN AMEN ON THE FACT THAT IT'S NOT AN EASY CHANGE? That it will be weird to have new initials, a new last name? Am I the only one?

When you have the courage to post about something rotten, about feelings you are less-than proud of - thank you. You have no idea how much you may be helping someone, and giving someone the courage to talk about their less-than feelings. We aren't alone. Let's start talking.

"You move just a finger, Say the slightest word, Somethings bound to linger - Be heard." - Into the Woods

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ok, so this is me...

These are my keys.

Yup. The first is to the apartment complex, the second to my door. You know how I remember that? "First you poop, then you wipe."


Or, when leaving my house, "my home is not a poop..."

Thank you Messy Jessy for this lovely gift that only I would appreciate. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

R.A.K Challenge!

Thanks to Lindsey over at pillow thought for inspiring a great challenge - Random Acts of Kindness.

R.A.K is a "random act of kindness" - Lindsey provides little cards that you print out in the hopes that once you do a RAK for someone, they pass it on! There are lots of fun & creative ways that you can do something nice for someone, and I think this world (especially Boston) needs a little more NICENESS.

I've done one so far - and it wasn't as "magical" as I had hoped, hah! I saw this girl walking down the street with her dog, and she tripped a bit over the leash and dropped & spilled her whole iced coffee. I quickly rummaged through my purse and found a "RAK" card & a few dollars & ran up to her & said, "I just saw that you dropped your coffee, here's one on me." She looked at me like I was trying to push POOP in her hands and backed away (almost scared!) saying "No, no! Oh, no! No..." but I persisted (am I creepy?) and said, "It's OK, it's a random act of kindness... I'm doing this, so now you pass it on." She took it, I can't even recall if she thanked me, and I walked on.

I felt good - handing her the card helped, because even if I totally freaked her out, hopefully later when she read the card, so got what was going on. (I swear I gave the poor girl a heart attack. Maybe I was too excited??)

I want to do more of these.

I read somewhere that EVERYTHING we do is selfish, even helping others. Because why do we help others? It makes us feel good. That statement doesn't bother me. I sometimes think that it's GOOD to be selfish. And if helping others is being selfish? Well gosh. That's just fine with me. I like feeling good, especially when others do, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I believe..

...in walking at your graduation. Because it's something you've earned.

... that everyone gets to decide exactly how they feel. 

... that not all grown-ups are grown up.

...in lattes, hot tea with lemon, and animal crackers. And that they solve problems.

... in true friendships. And that you need to put a lot of effort into them.

... in babies. And children. And the ups & downs. And that you can be the EXACT kind of mother you want to be.

... in marriage. Not that it's easy, but I believe in it. 

... in second chances

... in soulmates

....in reading. Reading is SO important.

... in the future & the unknown.

...in asking for a raise. Whether you believe you'll get one or not.

... in going after something you think is impossible.

...in having important conversations however they feel the most genuine. Online, on the phone, in bed, in the bathroom. Whatever.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

To blog, or not to blog?

So, I'm confused.

There is this big community of amazing women out there, bloggers, a few of whom I've made contact with recently, and I am in awe. There are these amazing, honest, GOOD, ever-learning, sharing, excited (I could go on and on, just awesome) women out there, and all are connected because they blog.

When I say "they blog", I don't mean what I do here. I don't mean they picked a free template on blogger, and randomly post pictures/thoughts whenever they feel like it. These women are BRANDS. If they don't know html themselves, then they have a professionally designed template from somewhere. They are all photographers in some sense of the word (even if it's just taking pictures with instagram, these chicks are always snapping photos of something!), and they all write. Beautifully. I mean, I was an English major, I can certainly write a thing or two when prompted, but these women love it enough to write a lot. About anything & everything. And everything they write is coherent to the entirety of their blog. It doesn't feel random at all. (No wonder some of them make money off of these blogs!) Check out my list of favorite blogs to see what I mean.

Now, I don't get it. I don't get how amazing photos/articulate & creative writing translates to good/fun/entertaining person. Perhaps it's the type of person that is ABLE to blog tends to be similar? Young struggling artist, stay-at-home mom, writer? But I feel similar to these people, I certainly feel connected to them and think that they would like me if they knew me (hehe), but I can't join the "club" unless my blog is snazzy & I post regularly?

Well, I have a (demanding) full time job and am planning a wedding. I spend a lot of time with family & friends, and when I veg-out, it's usually with a glass of wine & a good book (or old movie). I don't (as of yet) see "blogging" as this great sense of release. I much rather be face-to-face with someone and interact. Job & time aside, I'm also just not the kind of person who can sit still & spill their guts in such a well-contrived, poetic way. I hardly ever take pictures (which I hate & am trying to get better at), and 99% of my blog posts are written quickly  hastily during my lunch break at work.

What I am wondering is, what do I want more: a pretty blog that I update regularly, or a connection and "pass to the club" with these great women? Can I have one without the other? Can I want one, but pursue the other?

Someone please explain...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

things i've learned this week

 trust your gut, and your intuition

 be honest, or be quiet

teaching others is almost always the best learning experience

be open

play good music often

don't let others dull your shine

pray for & support others

DO those things that you think of, and then say, "nah.. it wouldn't work because...." JUST DO.


let things happen

that person you wanna be? be her.

Now, I am off to go dye coffee filters for pompoms & to eat a balanced dinner of stuffed zucchini & strawberry nutella milkshakes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bridal Shower, part 2

A wonderful day filled with tea sandwiches, bellinis, good friends, family, gracious gifts & girly excitement. It was a perfect, lovely day. I can't say thank you enough to everyone. I will never forget how I felt that day - I felt like people were really proud & excited for me, and were just so hopeful & full of well wishes for tyler & my future together. It was amazing. 

Charlotte, Meg, Jackie, Me, Jess, Jenn & Dana

Patty, Aunty, Mrs. Haroian, Joanne

Walking in the door & seeing my future mother-in-law coming all the way from Nebraska!

Greeting Grandma Jean, Aunty Marilyn & Nannie

Me, Jenn, Jess & Jess

My table. Isn't the room the sweetest? It looks just like the Dragonfly Inn!

Opening gifts

Meg made this bouquet from ribbons, to be used at the rehearsal dinner!

Me & Mom