Archive for May, 2009

It’s that time…

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

AND I FINALLY GET IT!

Driving down the road today, I was unexpectedly choked up.  Why?  Because I had an armful of fantabulous peonies sitting in a bucket of water right next to me that made me smile, and suddenly, I got it.

I get it!  A, ha!

Some things you do because you must – parking,  tent rentals, chairs and tables.  Other things you do because they’ll mean something later – ceremony readings, honoring family and friends, nods to your past.  But the very very best things?  You do those because they make the people you love the most laugh, or dance, or hug with joy.

My shoes make me smile.  The peonies (that I bought at the Fresh Market from the nicest woman ever) are just happy fluffy wedding-y flowers.  My family spent all sorts of money to get here, but they’re here, and my brother and sister are practicing the songs they’ll be singing at our wedding (my freaking wedding!) while lounging in my freshly painted bedroom.

Life is good.

I gotta tell you, this blogging thing isn’t always rainbows and butterflies (what is, right?) and sometimes I wonder why I spend the time on it… and then I take a deep breath and decide to publish a post like “Doubting” post and I am so happily reminded that I am quite literally bouncing in my seat: I blog because everything’s a little better when you know you’re not alone.

I don’t know if this happens to everybody, but I very often get caught up in my thoughts, spiraling and obsessing on something until I can no longer view anything clearly.  And I have found that airing those thoughts brings us all a bit of relief.

I feel better, because your responses validate the normal-ness of my feelings, give me additional things to think about, or at the very least remind me that there are a whole lot of really wonderful women out there.  I like to think that at least some of you feel better to know that someone else is feeling the same way, and you confirm that with your comments. And while this is a really big reaching-for-the-stars goal, I hope that we all, this collective community of hopeful women (because you’re not getting married if you’re not hopeful) have a little bit more honesty and lot more openness.

The other week when I was doubting everything, I was reminded of a post by Mrs. Avocado about the day before her wedding when things didn’t go as she expected.  She took a moment to really consider what it was that made her believe that she and Mr. Avocado would have a good marriage.  I adore Mrs. Avocado for her frankness and sense of self, and in the middle of my OhMyGawdWhatAmIDoing moment, remembering that she had that moment made me feel less alone.

It’s taken a village to get me to this place, a happy (mostly) calm settled place where I can joyfully profess my love to a man and join with him in being a family.  And YOU’VE all been a big part of that.  Not once, not one single time, have I regretted sharing something with you all, and I adore you.  Isn’t it freaking fantastic, this crazy internet thing that allows us to learn from each other and care about each other across more miles than I can fathom?

So this weekend, as I gather my thoughts and memories in preparation for this fantastic new thing, you’ll be with me.  Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for being with me through the ups and downs of getting here.  I love you all.

I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine.
John Mu

Smoochies.

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Paying attention…

Posted on May 19, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I haven’t posted in a few days — Chez Cheese being a rather nutty place lately — but I was composing blog posts in my head while I painted and shopped and made endless lists.  I was going to come here and tell you all about how my life had become a never-ending attempt to cope with my quirks, all exacerbated by the stress of wedding + house guests + family visiting.

And then I realized: I was paying my attention in the wrong places.

Because there is a cost to attention.  Doesn’t focusing your energy on one thing cost you the ability to focus on another?  You decide the value of your experience by the attention costs you allocate.  And doesn’t “paying attention” really mean “spend time”?  When a child asks you to pay attention to them, they really mean they want your time and your energy.

I hate spending money and this last week is a flurry of writing checks and recalculating budgets.  My extreme budget goals are pretty much out the window; while our wedding spending remains pretty small, our total spending keeps going up as we prepare for 50 or 60 of our closest people to tromp through our house and property.  While choosing linens for our bed (because I’ll be getting ready in our master bedroom and it’s a total disaster), I found myself standing frozen with indecision.  I literally could not leave OR choose from three options.  I had to call my guy to pick (“Um, C”)!  Uncomfortable decisions can’t be put off any longer, so my main coping mechanism is off the table (procrastination).

I don’t want to be the Stressed Bride or the Meltdown Bride or the Too Worried About Details To Have Fun With Her People Bride.  I don’t want to, but I have been.  We had a big fight this weekend because we both forgot that people are more important than projects (even really big projects).

I want to get to a world where I pay less attention to the negative and more to the positive.  Where most of my attention goes into fun and people and happy things rather than to risk, rain and stress.  Will we always have problems or last-minute changes?  Of course!  Funny thing is, the better my experience is (or, said another way, the more my attention goes to good things over bad), the less of those problems I have… because it’s only a problem if you think it is.

It’s a shift in thought.  It’s not about the basement floor paint or the structural soundness of the hot tub cover.  It’s about attention: do the things that matter have our attention?  Our people all want us to be happy – so I need to be happy.  ‘Cause when mama ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.  🙂

I’ll try to post again between now and Sunday, but until then, join me in this: when you’re stressed and upset and want to meltdown, REFUSE.  Choose to pay your attention to the joy of finding someone with whom you’re willing to hitch your future, to the people who have traveled from near and far to celebrate with you, to the shininess of your pink shoes, to the totally cheesy first dance song.

That’s right, we’re dancing to “Islands in the Stream,” people.  Beat that!

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Ignoring the best advice

Posted on May 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

We all gripe talk about the nuttiness of wedding planning, how our previously sane selves suddenly find ourselves in a heaping pile of sobbs over our invitations or color schemes.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t really find wedding planning fun and I didn’t really expect it to be, and you all know that I’ve been reduced to a snotty sobbing mess more than once.  How does it happen?  And why?

I think I have an inkling of an answer, everything suddenly coming together for me in recent experiences involving forgotten flowers, honeymoon plans and the photography schedule.  Let me explain.

You all know by now about the forgotten flower order, but I didn’t really forget, I just didn’t get around to it.  Why?  Don’t know, but every time I pulled up the website and my credit card, I felt weird and I’d do something else instead.

Mr. C and I spent hours and hours last night finally booking our honeymoon.  We’d known where we wanted to go for a while (more on that later) but we just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I’d start researching, get overwhelmed by all of the options, and do something else (now you know why I’ve been blogging so often — AVOIDANCE). Even with my excited fiance at my side, I struggled to think of it all as fun! and exciting! rather than stressful and overwhelming.

This morning I thought I’d use some t-con time to update my wedding day overview. My fabulous future sister-in-law (I say this with all honesty, she’s freaking awesome — helpful, sweet, smartassy, and smart enough to have booze at stressful occasions) gave me some feedback, having insider information from a photographer friend.  Essentially, she suggested we take all possible pictures before our ceremony to minimize the time spent taking pictures afterward.  Makes sense, right?  Of course!

I’d put off making the changes to the schedule, though.  Why?  I didn’t think about it much, but every time I pulled up my beloved Power Point, I felt poopy and I’d move on to something else.  This morning was THE morning to get it done.

But I didn’t do it and I’m not gonna.  She’s right, of course.  Getting 90% of our photography done ahead of time makes the most sense for the schedule, gives us more of an opportunity to enjoy our cocktail hour with our peeps, and ensures the least amount of stress for our photographer.

When I think about our wedding day, though, I don’t care so much about photography.  I mean, I do, but not as much as I care about having some real quality time with my peeps before I pledge my future to someone else.  It’s not a little thing to me (as you well know), and I want to drink in the discomfort and nervousness and worry.  I want to feel deeply the depth of the commitment I’m making, and I want to get all gushy with my friends and family, because it has taken a village to get me here.  I wish I was exaggerating.

Laura was my vet, one of many I’ve had over the years, but I loved her immediately.  She was funny and silly and brilliant, and at a very, very low and lonely time in my life, she gave me hope.  “See,” I thought, “If I just get a little braver, I can be friends with someone like her!”  A chance invite to a group gathering gave me that chance…

And at that group gathering, I sat next to Jennifer, who is my BFF and the closest female friend I’ve ever had.  We hit it off immediately, and I’ve gained confidence and the willingness to be as honest as you all often comment about through her example and understanding.  Without her, I wouldn’t be getting married.  My hang-ups would never have seen the light of day and would have long since destroyed any hope for a solid relationship with this man.

I won’t say more about my future sister-in-law because she reads this blog and I’m saving it for her.

My sister and I have a somewhat rocky relationship.  We each get on each others’ nerves fairly easily and deeply, but when I was trying to gain some relationship skills (ugg, dating), she was there for me.  The night I met Mr. C at a bar, I was there because she’d pushed me into it.  “Your life will never get any better if all you do is sit in front of Tivo and drink alone,” she said.  “Go somewhere, do something, have a drink.”  So I did, and I met him, and here we are.

My mom – I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Without her, I wouldn’t be me.  She handles me better than anyone else in the world and I’m doing my best to figure out how to do some of that for myself.  I fretted about not having “the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person/ Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words” with my husband; in fact, I have that with my mom, and if I’m very very lucky, I’ll figure it out for myself soon.

My dad is the best dad ever though it took me this long to figure that out.  He’s always there, always helpful, always sweet, and always willing to sacrifice.  I don’t consider myself a daddy’s girl, but I will say that he’s exactly the kind of dad I want for my kids and I think that’s even better.

{Whew, this is getting long.  Bear with me.}

When my grandfather died last year, I was given the opportunity to speak at his funeral. While I was drafting my notes, I got to thinking about what I was looking for in a relationship, and I finally realized that it was in front of me my whole life. That man would be a lot like my grandpa: loyal and devoted, honest and direct, and a silly smartass.  He was always willing to lighten the mood with a joke or a funny face, and he told it like it was… and when the rubber hit the road, he was there.

But I didn’t get to tell him that, not in those words or with as much love as I felt once he died.  Much like him, when things get uncomfortable I’m more likely to crack jokes and make small talk than figure out and say what I feel.  I made a pledge to be more emotional TO the people I love, rather than ABOUT the people I love.

So we won’t be taking many photographs before our ceremony.  In that setting, I’d crack jokes and make small talk and be outside myself.  I often say that I’m fabulous in a crisis because I don’t feel much, I just do, but on my wedding day* I want to feel more than do.  J can make his own decision about how he wants to spend his time, but I’ll be hanging out with my peeps, passing notes (which will say basically what you’ve read here) and giving hugs.

I’m going to ignore the best advice because I have finally figured out how I want to feel rather than what I want to do.  The flower forgetting and honeymoon avoidance reminded me that feeling bad is a perfectly valid reason to do or not do something… and therefore, so is feeling good.

Have you stuck it out this far?  Is what I’m saying making ANY sense, or have I fallen prey to Bridal Brain?

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Sooner or later

Posted on May 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

With nine days to go, I’m ready to unveil my super-duper effective prioritization technique, the one I use when “if I remember it it’s important” isn’t working (hi, I forgot to order flowers!): Sooner or Later.

I have a thousand things floating in my head, and I find myself feeling frazzled and unable to get anything done because I’m trying to get everything done.  Every bridal site and magazine tells you to make lists, but none of them tell you what to do with them.  Looking at a to-do list a mile long doesn’t make me feel better, it makes me feel worse.  And if I try to put a schedule around everything left to do, I end up losing my shit because we’re behind my schedule (yea, yea, I’m a project manager by training).  As Miss Meatball would say, no bueno.

{Brief aside: I hate running, and if I have to run, I’d prefer to be on a treadmill.  Why?  Because I cannot handle being on a track or trail and seeing how far I have to go.  At least on a treadmill, a mile is just a number.}

So I have this long long list and a headache.  Now what?  I divide everything into two groups (you guessed it): Sooner or Later.  If it has to be done before something else, it’s Sooner.  If it has to be done after something else or I can put it off, it’s Later.  Keeping the categories vague keeps me from getting caught up in the finer details of my organization method.  Organizing can be my main method of procrastination. 🙂

I look at the Sooner list when I have a few minutes to do something; I review the Later list when I feel like I need to do something but really just want to feel like I’m doing something. Ha.

I’ll show you a dump of my Sooner/ Later list below.  If it’s italicized, it’s in progress.  Once it’s finished, I move it to another section because I get no joy from crossing things off a list (though I know some of you do).

Sooner

Write wedding ceremony
Honeymoon research
Update overall timeline
Timelines for each person
Email photog, hair person
Transfer money into checking account
Paint living room above fireplace
Paint bedroom
Slipcover couch
Cover hot tub
Paint basement floors
Cover unpainted wall in basement kitchen
Adhere wall thing in basement kitchen
Move furniture around
Mow back property
Later
Make signs for rest stops, pointing to ceremony
Paint canvases for above fireplace with our monogram
Figure out where to put family pictures
Finish scanning pictures
Buy pens for crossword puzzles
Print crossword puzzles
Buy more plates and glasses? Need final guest count
Buy candles and matches
Buy trash bags
Buy flowers and centerpieces
Buy ice cream and bowls, plates and cups for rehearsal pizza
Buy sheets for our bedroom and one queen bed
Buy rug for bedroom?
Buy cake mix
White muslin in seating area so people’s feet aren’t in the greenery?
Create ceremony programs (opt)
The main benefit is the ability to ignore some stuff (like everything I have to buy, which I can do in one trip later) and get other stuff done.  I use Evernote because I can access it from my phone when I’m out; the “buy” prefix helps me scan quickly when I’m on a shopping trip.
My wedding planning strategy is really about building coping mechanisms to short-circuit my shit-losing triggers, so my method may not work for you.  Love to cross things off a ginormous to-do list?  More power to ya.  Feeling like your to-do list is growing and itching like poison ivy?  Try this.  It might help.  At the very least, you’re giving yourself permission to NOT think about a few things, and that’s gotta be a good thing.
Any other suggestions for dealing with Wedding Planning Overwhelm?
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Oopsie (full stop).

Posted on May 14, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It was bound to happen.  Really.  If you know me, you know I obsess and freak out over details, then hit a point where I stop obsessing and start avoiding.  That’s what the Oopsies begin.

I forgot to order flowers.  Well, technically, I didn’t forget, I just didn’t get around to it.  My plan was to order a couple hundred bucks’ worth of flowers from Sams Club — they sell stems of roses, daisies, carnations, and other flowers in bulk and ship them directly to you.  That was the plan, and my lovely FSIL even lent me her Sam’s card.

But I couldn’t decide which flowers to order, or in which colors, or how thye’d look together, so I just didn’t do it.  When I logged on, full of determination to push through the discomfort (seriously, it all makes my tummy hurt), I remembered they have a 10-day advance requirement.

Oopsie.

So, new plan.  I’ll either buy out the whole flower stand at the Farmer’s Market the Friday before our wedding, or I’ll hit up the grocery store or Walmart for bunches of flowers (Real Simple did a pretty cool article on turning grocery store flowers into wedding flowers) and use potted plants or herbs to spiffy up the tables.

source

Frankly, the new plans seem more fun!  Our friends and family can take the potted plants with them at the end of the evening (I’ll make a sign or something) and fewer plants will have been harmed in the making of this marriage. 🙂 Ah, yes, and shopping is involved.

With limited options, creativity happens, so I’m enjoying this.  Last night I watched my favorite guy dance a little jig because he felt so good in his wedding attire.  And he looked goooood.  My bff and I are going last-minute dress shopping for her this weekend.  My future sister in law has been the sweetest, offering to run errands for me to places like Hobby Lobby.  My siblings will be singing at our ceremony.  Life is pretty freaking good.

So it all just makes me giggle.  Hi, I’m a bride and I forgot to order flowers. Oopsie. Have you forgotten anything big?

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Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Posted on May 13, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Because I’m pretty honest about my first marriage — both good and bad — I sometimes get messages or comments from women who are marrying as young as I was the first time, wanting to know what I would have done differently (other than, I suppose, not being young).  I suspect other readers have been turned off by the same topic, figuring I just made stupid decisions that had little to do with my relative youth.  In my last session with my fabulous therapist, he asked me the same thing: what could I have done differently?

Thing is, I didn’t think I needed to do anything differently, not at 21. There’s not a thing you could have said to me that would have made me doubt our ability to make our marriage work.  We loved each other, we’d lived together, we knew each other’s weaknesses.  How could we fail?

So accepting that waiting to get married wasn’t gonna happen, I would say to myself: decide that no matter what, you won’t get divorced until you’re 31*.  Wish for it, consider it, but then set it aside until your 31st birthday.  On that birthday, take stock of your relationship and then decide.

Your mid-twenties are going to be turbulent years, years spent trying to figure out how to extricate the threads of your own being from the cloth of your family.  You’re going to feel lost, and alone, and not very sure about anything… and you will blame your husband and your marriage for that.  You’ll believe you have lost yourself in him, are alone because he’s not with you, would know yourself better if you didn’t have to worry about him, and while that may be a little bit true, it’s mostly not.  Without a pact — a real, honest, boots-on-the-ground commitment — to not actually leaving until those years are behind you, you will lose a wonderful man who was a great husband.  You’ll discover that your life is just as crazy without him as it was with him and you’ll suddenly realize that it wasn’t him, it was you all along.

I love the wedding ritual Miss Cowboy Boot blogged about because it’s so real it’s mind-blowing.  In my determination to learn all I could to recover from my divorce, I’ve talked to countless married couples, all of whom confirmed there will be times you will contemplate divorce.  Really?  Yes, even the ones who’d been married for decades.  Without preparing for them, you might believe — like I did — the problem was in your choice of mate.  And you might be right… but you might be wrong.

So we’ll be building our own little Lifeboat Box, and I’d love to hear other ideas for how to make it through rough times.  I’m also asking guests to share words of wisdom rather than the more traditional well wishes.  I’ll even provide envelopes so nobody feels uncomfortable being honest. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with a new bride? Please share.  I’ll take all the help I can get.

*For some reason, 31 seems like a good grown-up age to me.  I suppose it might be different for you.

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Outdoor/ home wedding necessities

Posted on May 13, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When we first decided to host our own outdoor “garden wedding,” I was annoyed at the lack of boots-on-the-ground information about them.  I wanted a list of things to know and do so that I’d be prepared, but I couldn’t find one.  Consider this my first attempt to remedy that situation; I will update this again afterward as well.

In addition to the “normal” wedding items, don’t forget:

  • You’ll need to have a pet plan! We have two dogs, both of whom are very sweet but incredibly friendly.  Ya know, they’ll knock you over to give you smoochies.  IMG_1233We’ve decided to send them away for the entire wedding weekend and our honeymoon week.  Don’t worry, they’re going to a fabulous doggy daycare facility that also boards.  They’ll get to play with their peeps all day and sleep in the enclosed playroom overnight; they might not want to come home!  As the mister said, we’ll all be on vacation, just not together.  As far as the cats go, we’re going to set up a cat room with food, toys, and litterboxes and try to keep them there.  Their stress levels will stay low and we won’t have to worry about cat hair everywhere.  {Though I suspect Frank the cat will make at least one appearance.}
  • Figure out how you’ll deal with bugs and other unwelcome critters. We’re using a fogger ahead of time plus citronella torches and bug repellent lanterns on the day of.  We’ll have a “welcome station” at the entrance to the ceremony trail with a whole bucketload of mosquito repellent sprays and wipes in different scents.  I briefly considered dividing up a big jug of the stuff into individual spray bottles, but a) who am I kidding? and b) I’m not sure giving someone bug spray counts as a favor.  Plus, this way you get to make your own DEET decision.
  • Ugg, yard work. We’ve primped and prepped our yard to death (not really, but you know what I mean).  We’ve fertilized and raked and seeded and mowed and trimmed and mulched.  We’re about to go on one last Round-Up extravaganza to get rid of poison ivy and encroaching greenery, and we’re throwing a bunch of annuals in the ground the weekend before our wedding to spruce things up.
  • Check with your city and county. In our case, because we’re putting a tent IN the street, we had to secure agreement from all of our neighbors (who are fabulous) and then file a traffic control permit to notify fire and emergency personnel of the detour.  We’re also renting barricades and detour signs for the weekend, and we’ll be dropping by our local firehouse with a yummy sweet treat of some sort and a detailed map of the road blockage.  On the bright side, if people are parked everywhere, we’re already covered by the paperwork we’ve done.  If you’re not going all crazy like we are, check in with your local firehouse and police station anyway so they’re not surprised by the sudden increase in traffic.
  • Decide what you’ll outsource. When people are descending upon your home, you can’t trash the place… and we’re slobs.  We’ll have someone come in to clean right before our wedding weekend, and we’ll do our best to pick up after ourselves.  We’ll also hire neighborhood teenagers to deal with trash and other setup issues on our wedding day. {Isn’t that what teenagers are for?}
  • Have a trash plan. Seriously.  We’re lucky in that our neighbors across the street will be out of town for a month and have graciously allowed us the use of their trash cans and driveway.  We’ll put our four cans and their two in their driveway to keep it all out of our hair until trash day.
  • Build a bonus day in between your wedding and honeymoon. Rather than ask our friends to deal with returning the rentals and general clean-up the day after our wedding — in our home — we’re not leaving for our honeymoon until two days after our wedding.  We’ll be able to pack, feed the cats and sleep late.
  • Decide what the limit to your hosting willingness will be. Strange sentence, but what I’m trying to say is you must remember that hosting your own reception is hosting, so offering to host your whole family as well might be pushing it.  Luckily, my family is brilliant and kindly extricated themselves from my offer to have them stay with us.  While we have the room, I think we all lack the level of sanity that would require.  My family will be staying in hotels, giving us all a much needed break from each other.  We will, however, host our rehearsal dinner — pizza and beer on the back deck.
  • Take advantage of delivery options. While the plan isn’t locked down, we’re probably going to order pizzas from our yummy local pizzeria.  They’ll deliver to us while we’re rehearsing, and since we’ll have rented chairs in abundance, we’ll set up some tables along the back deck.  We might also order pizza for a quick bite on the day of our wedding, but we’re trying to find other options so we’re not all sick of pizza.

Bonus reminder for everyone: start wearing bug repellent all the time at least a week before your wedding.  Mosquito bites aren’t particularly photogenic, if you know what I mean.

That’s all I can think of for now, but I’ll do a big pros/ cons/ things to remember post after the big day.  Can you think of anything I’ve forgotten?

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I should be doing something productive right now

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

That’s how I feel all the time.  With just over 10 days to go, the proverbial shit is hitting the fan.  Our house is trashed, owing to trying to get things done without stopping to breathe.  Paint this, clean that, run to Hell Depot for the nineteenth time.

But it’s okay.  Really.  It’ll all turn out okay.  I’m sitting on a chair under a tree blogging working in a slight breeze and brilliant sunshine on the green, green lawn.  Even the dogs are cooperating, having taken a break from wrestling to lay in the sun.  I’m taking nice deep breaths and starting to believe that it’ll all be just fine.

Last night, though, was a rough one.  I was bone tired.  Instead of taking a 30 minute nap like a smart girl should, I dragged myself around with a coffee cup in hand, going and going and going until I realized I was on the verge of tears for no good reason.  And then suddenly I was on the verge no more, tears streaming down my face and “I just wanna give uuuuuppppp” in my head.  This whole wedding thing can do that to the laziest most balanced of souls.

Take my advice: suggest to your man that when you hit this Suddenly I’m Crying For No Good Reason stage, telling you that Nothing Is That Important Or Worth All of This is not the way to go.  While he’ll mean well, it just feels like Nobody Cares But Me And It’s Supposed To Be OUR Wedding And I’m The Only One Doing Anything (this might be true if “doing anything” = “freaking out”).  Suggest instead that they take your hand, tell you they’ll marry you even if ___ isn’t finished, and ask for your to-do list.  Much more effective.  Mr. Cheese tried the former and then (thankfully for everyone) opted for the latter.
Thank goodness men (most men? some men? or maybe just my man?) don’t take these things personally.

In fact, if you’re more than two weeks from your wedding — and especially if you have months to go — take a moment to think about what someone else can do to calm you down and reassure you when you’re overtired, overstimulated and overcommitted.  Right now, make that list, then send it to your fiance and your best friend.  Tell them to open the attachment (or read the email or whatever) and file the information away for later use, just in case you find yourself with a paint brush in hand and tears running down your face while proclaiming the necessity of some cool but unnecessary DIY project.  You’ll all thank me later.

Now I’d better run.  My conference call is over so I have no excuse to sit in front of my laptop and blog.

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Lucky

Posted on May 11, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This post has been brewing since long before I was a Weddingbee blogger, and it bubbled up to the front of my mind while listening to the radio this weekend.  You know that song, “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colby Callait?  “I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend….”  Yea, that one.  That song’s not for me.

My fiance is not my best friend.

My first husband was my best friend; he was my everything.  When I was with him, I depended on him completely for emotional support.  He helped me carry the burdens of my job, my stress and my dramas.  If you’d asked me then, I would have told you there could be no other way.  How could you be loyal wife if you had another best friend?  Was I supposed to talk about him to other people?  No way.

Times have changed, lessons have been learned.  I have a best friend — who is my MOH — upon whom I rely when my eyes are puffy from crying and I can’t see where I screwed up.  I have a mom who has a knack for sifting through the crap and pulling out the important stuff.  I have a dad who can always be counted on as an example of how to do it; he doesn’t even need to say anything.  My brother fields frantic phone calls over petty crap (even wedding stuff… he will be a perfect groom someday) and my sister dispenses relationship advice with her particular brand of directness.  Oh, yea, and I have a therapist.  I’m a very intense person, and it takes a village to get me through life, but I’m lucky enough to have a whole host of people who are willing to do that for me.  Because it’s about me.

We’ve survived — thrived, even — in this relationship because of my willingness to air my fears to people other than him.  When I look back to my first marriage, I see clearly how many of my hang-ups could have been avoided had I been willing to talk about them with someone… anyone.  Perspective is so important to keeping my Crazy under control.  This blog proves that point.  Not once have I regretted being completely (and sometimes painfully) honest about my fears and doubts.  Not once.

My fiance — soon, husband — doesn’t have to be my everything.  I suspect he’d do a bang up job, but I’ve found it healthier for me if I have a community of support rather than ask one single person to bear that load.  He’s the person to whom I’m closest; I carry him in my heart.  But I’m not in love with my best friend, though she is pretty freaking awesome.

I suspect this is a matter of semantics, but I’m curious, do you consider your fiance/ hubby your best friend?

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Woo, hoo!

Posted on May 11, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

I’ll be honest, I’m beat, needing a weekend to recover from the weekend, so this post might be a bit lacking in style.  However, I have decided to post as often as possible in the few weeks leading up to our wedding, be those posts good or bad, up or down, exhausted or giddy.

Here’s why: lately I feel everything more than usual.  I go from excited and enthusiastic to exhausted and emotional in the blink of an eye.  I alternate between looking forward to the party to that butterfly thing that makes my hands tremble slightly.  And I’m betting that every bride feels this way with two weeks left to go.  Heck, I’m betting that any woman hosting 50 of her closest peeps feels this way.

And yet, we sometimes act as if the only acceptable non-Bridezilla emotions are calm zen and excited joy.  I have high hopes for overwhelming happiness on our wedding day but realistic expectations of everything else between now and then. I feel less alone when I know I’m not alone, but bridal blogs are often lacking in emotional detail in the days leading up to the big day because brides are getting stuff done.  So I will blog about them all, and I’ll limit editing.  Or so I tell myself.

We had a crazy-busy weekend packed with painting (what else?), hanging with the FIL’s, bench-building, and other stuff I can’t remember right now.  What I do remember was a beautiful moment between my guy and I: driving back from his parents’ house, he said, “You know, I really feel married now.  I didn’t before, but lately I do.”

“Does that freak you out?” I asked.

“No, it just feels normal,” he replied.

That, folks, is the point of our engagement.  Because lately, I feel married too.  Woo hoo!

I went on a research extravaganza when we were first engaged, trying to get a handle on how long an engagement should be (yea, yea, go ahead and laugh, I’m a dork), and one of the gems of wisdom I found was that you shouldn’t be married until you felt married.  Yea, yea, and you get what you want when you don’t want it zen bullsh*t, blah, blah, I thought.

Nine months later, I get it.  All of this wedding planning hasn’t really been about planning a wedding, it’s been a ritual teaching us to be a team, make decisions jointly, spend money together, be a family. Oh, the skills I’ve gained, the things I’ve learned — that’s a post for another day.

“I’m glad you’re my team,” he remarked, relieved at my dog-wrangling skills.  “Thank goodness I have him,” I thought, thrilled to not have to knock on neighbor’s doors myself.

I’m suddenly caring less about our lack of color coordination and the prospect of rain.  How are you feeling at this point in your engagement?

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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