something awesome, something blue, and some bummers too

something awesome, something blue…

wedding dress shopping was this past weekend.

i was nervous. my mom and joe’s mom and joe’s sister were coming into town, and not only were we going to be going dress shopping together, and i was worried that everyone was going to expect me to find the perfect dress while they were there, but my family and his were meeting each other for the first time. eek! would everyone get along?

i shouldn’t have worried. everyone was amazing with each other, chatting and talking away and having a great time. i loved it :) seeing everyone together in one room (minus the dads, of course) was a really great vision of what things would be like in the future.

for the wedding dress shopping, it was joe, joe’s mom and one of joe’s sisters, and me, my mom and my sister (via FaceTime in Orlando, since she’s 8 months pregnant!)

It was so low stress. we had this big room all to ourselves and the employee Callan who helped us was so sweet and fun, helping me try on all the dresses. everyone was pretty much on the same page about what we liked and what we didn’t, and we ended up picking a sleek, icy blue number that is totally perfect. it was so great to find a dress at the first place we went, and all together and having everyone come out and show their support for joe and i and this big step we’re taking was awesome.

…and some bummers too

what hasn’t been awesome has been the way i’ve handled the stress of planning a wedding so far.

first there was discovering that just because joe and i wanted a casual wedding, it didn’t mean that it was going to be inexpensive. then there was me freaking out at joe when he offered to help look for photographers. then, there was a complete meltdown about all things wedding planning, and for whatever reason, i was specifically very worried about the chairs — “how will we get them from the ceremony to the reception!? WAH!!! (joe has since taken me off chair duty.) And then, most worrying, every time people have tried to make suggestions that i’m not 100% on board with or provide feedback that is constructive or try to help with planning, I act like a jerk. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I get mad, sometimes I just deal with things in a very non-graceful kind of way that makes the other person feel bad. and almost immediately after that, i go into a shame spiral for being such a jerk.

my sister warned me there would be things that i would lose my mind about, things that I would cry over for no good reason except that planning a wedding is a stressful business and there is a lot to manage. but for whatever reason, i kind of thought me and my casual wedding would be immune.

Psh.

so, this week, i am starting to make a conscious effort to stop being such a freak show by doing the following two things:

#1 – i am recommitting to meditating. it’s not lost on me that the moment I stopped meditating every day, i started having panic attacks again, and that my happy to furious switch flips faster than ever these days. meditation is key, and since nepal, i’ve stopped making it a priority. time to start getting back to it again!

#2 – i am reminding myself that as fun as the wedding will be, and as wonderful it will be to have everyone come together to celebrate in joe and my’s honor, it’s really not about the wedding at all. in the end, the details don’t matter — where the rehearsal dinner is, or the color of the flowers, or whether or not we have circular or square tables makes no. freaking. difference. what matters is joe and me and the fact that after that day, we’re going to be married. when i start to lose it, my job is to remind myself: it’s the marriage that matters.

hopefully, doing these two things will help me put bridezilla aside and be happy go lucky me again. if you have any of your own anti-bridezilla suggestions, feel free to shout them out all. i promise i won’t freak out at you ;)

 

 

Close like we used to be

A flash fiction piece of mine, Close like we used to be, was published in The Citron Review today. head there to see it, if you’d like: https://citronreview.com/2016/06/20/close-like-we-used-to-be/ 

 

 

 

 

 

engaged!

talk about a great trip!

In 6 days, joe and I biked for a total of 29 hours, a distance of 265 miles, climbing over 16,000 feet in elevation and got to see what’s been called one of the most picturesque areas of ireland.

Oh, yeah… And we got engaged.

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The moment was pretty darn incredible. He nailed it.

I had this inkling that he was going to propose that was a bit more than an inkling. We’ve been together for about seven and a half years, and while all those years were not sparkling and perfect (and in fact some were less than enjoyable), the last few years we’ve just been getting better and better and better. Enough to the point that both of us really wanted to be with each other, forever. However, joe’s a bit of a procrastinator, so I eventually had to tell him that if he didn’t pop the question, I was going to. I didn’t have a problem with that, but he liked the idea of doing it himself, so I told him he better hurry it up. :)

Anyway, I thought he was going to do it in Ireland. Especially when I weaseled out of him that the week before our trip he’d finally told his whole family that he was, in general, planning on proposing to me.

Each day that passed, though, I kept wondering when he was going to do it. As we started biking on our last day, I figured (and hoped) that the day had come.

Throughout the bike trip, Joe had pulled out the camera countless times to take pictures of me, him, us, biking, standing, smiling, kissing, the scenery, the sheep, everything.

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So at the Gap of Dunloe, when he had us stop to take a picture, i didn’t think too much of it. I saw him scrounging around in his backpack longer than usual and I thought, hey, maybe, but maybe not. there was another couple there playing with their dog and we hung around for a bit before he told me to hop out onto this rock off the shore. as I hopped out there, i totally pulled a kate and half fell in the lake.

I don’t quite remember what he said after he pressed the timer and started hopping out after me (he didn’t fall in, mind you). I don’t even remember saying yes.

I do remember his hands shaking. I remember hugging him afterward and seeing that we had a miniature audience of a few other tourists audience. I remember them clapping for him. And after we hopped back across the rocks together, I remember hugging until we were both teary.

The rest of the day was a blur of happiness. For a little while, the news was just ours. everything looked brighter. joe was beside himself with happiness. He kept asking if I liked the ring, if he did a good job, if I was sure.

I was :).

In the last few weeks, I think both of us have been pleasantly surprised by how fun being engaged is. For me, there is something really heady about putting on a ring that I am supposed to keep on, forever, that symbolizes the commitment we are making to each other. Joe, also, has been surprised with how excited he is about being engaged, about how awesome it is to think of me as his wife. Joe, who didn’t feel any rush about getting engaged, has started looking at me every once in a while and asking, “what took me so long?”

we know it won’t always be pretty. we’ve certainly been through our own trials and tribulations over the last seven and a half years and we expect the future will bring both happiness and tough stuff.

but we want to face whatever comes, together, and we can’t wait to do it as husband and wife.

Ireland: The rings of Kerry and Dingle 

It’s Wednesday and we arrived on Sunday morning. Currently, we’re enjoying the start of a rest day in our hotel room in Dingle, a super cute village/town on the bay. 

The last few days, however, we haven’t rested much! 

When we arrived in Dublin at 8am, not quite well rested from our six hour plane ride, and we immediately downed some coffee and were off to find the Guinness brewery. We took a bus into Dublin (which we had to get off of way earlier than our stop since the coffee and water had caught up with me and I really really had to pee) and started trekking our way there. 

We happened into this cute shop along the way to eat breakfast before finally finding the Guinness brewery (it was hiding) and paying to go on what ended up being a very bizarre tour, in which we felt like we were being inducted into a cult (whose founder was the creator of Guinness). We chugged some koolaid (aka guiness) and were off. 

The main purpose of our trip here, and the main activity we’ve been doing everyday is biking! After taking a bus into Killarney in Kerry, Ireland, and getting a good nights sleep, we grabbed our rented bikes and headed off about 30-40 miles toward sneem. 

That first, and every day since, we’ve experienced incredible scenery. It’s gorgeous here, and though not as completely green as Scotland (which might have to do with the season), it’s colors and coastline and hills and mountains and animals have made for some jaw dropping, bike stopping views. 

We biked from Killarney to sneem, then on the recommendation of a biker we met, opted to bike around the ring of Kerry on the main road instead of across it, ending in glenbeigh, then yesterday took a taxi into dingle where we biked around the dingle peninsula and saw, perhaps, some of the most incredible views yet of our trip. Literally ever kilometer on our way to lunch we had to stop and take pictures or pay three euros to go see a built-in-BC stone structure. We kept saying “gotta get to lunch” but each corner left us so mesmerized we had to stop and take it in. 

It’s been really fantastic to travel by bike. We can pull off the road wherever we want (though we have to be careful of cars) especially to see cute little lambs, we can coast downhill, and though we’ve climbed about 2000-3000 feet total over the course of each day, it’s been a relatively easy ride. We only had to hop off our bikes once to get to the top of a hill and we blame that more on having just had lunch before versus our prowess on the bicycle. The only rough part of biking has been the rain and wind we experienced at the end of day two for 20 miles. It was rough and we definitely had to dig deep. Our only option was to go forward, obviously, but we did it with pretty good attitudes, despite the wind that made even going downhill difficult. 

We’ve even been doing pretty well biking on roads, even though we were worried about that. The roads are rather narrow, nothing like American roads, and very windy. But for the most part cars have been really respectful about passing and there’s been more than enough for everyone on the road. In bad weather it wasn’t our favorite, but it wasn’t that bad then either. The best part about being on the road is it travels right along the coast the whole time, so you have killer views the whole way. 

The best part of the trip has been traveling with Joe :). He’s my favorite travel partner, he makes me laugh so hard, and we both love the sheeps and cows sooo much. We both love stopping for pictures and singing silly songs and giggling at each other. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a bigger adventure like this and we’re just having the best time. 

In case this works, here are some pictures (last time I posted from the WordPress app it didn’t work but I’ll try!):