Monday, December 31, 2012

another year

At the beginning of this year, I said I was going to do a lot of things. Now, it's time to see how I did and plan for the upcoming year. 

So a little recap for 2012…

live healthier
Yes. I've lived one of the healthiest years of my life, but not really because I've done so well with eating healthy or because I've worked out every day…because I haven't…it's more because my mindset changed. I'm conscious of what I'm eating and doing. I know that nachos aren't a food group, but they are delicious and I'm going to indulge in them every once in a while. I don't believe in depriving yourself, but as the year has passed, I've grown more responsible for what I'm putting into my body and how active I am, and I'm healthier because of it…both physically and mentally.

create more
Yes. I did some freelance work for a while, created simple design work for my Etsy account, and learned to crochet. I dove into several DIY projects, including making some Halloween decorations for the door using stuff I had laying around the house. Creating things has helped make me less stressed, but has definitely made our house a little messier.

start planning the wedding
Yes! In case you didn't know, I'm engaged now. Weird! So now I'm officially planning the wedding for September. 

get a bike
Nope. Where we live really isn't conducive to bike riding. We basically live on a strip mall, so a bike might be dangerous. Maybe next year…

plant a garden
Yes. Kinda. I started some plants in containers, because when I tried to dig up a part of the yard, I found that the dirt was basically clay. Not really good for plants. So I had several plants on the porch. Some grew nicely, some didn't. And any time I had to leave to go out of town and leave Kyle to take care of them, he would forget to water them and they'd dry up and be dust when I came home. So again, maybe next year…

Nope. I did take a part time job working for a nonprofit organization, though. But yeah, not really volunteering because I get paid.

start running
Yes! I haven't kept it up like I'd hoped, but I participated in two 5Ks with Kyle and my family and friends. Super fun. And I got a North Face jacket for Christmas, so no excuses about the weather being too cold now! 

write more letters
Yes. I joined something called, but I need to keep it up!

learn to take a compliment
Kinda. I'm working on it. I honestly think about this all the time and make a conscious effort to take one gracefully. But yeah, I still need some work.

learn to be patient
Kinda. Kyle would probably argue with me here. Some things just don't require a fit of impatience, and I'm trying to deal with that.

write more
Kinda. I have written less blog posts this year, but I've written more in other ways. For instance, I started writing about the conversations that Kyle and I have before we fall asleep. I'd try to remember them each morning and type them into a document. Sometimes they are sweet, and sometimes they are hilarious/ridiculous. I've found that to be a nice way to keep track of memories and allow me to write some each day. I need to keep that up, too.

travel more
Kinda. We went to Nashville and Savannah, and we've driven back to Huntington about a bajillion times. So I guess that counts. 

pay off credit cards
Yes. Well, two of them are paid off, and I still have two more. Progress, I guess.

update blog
Kinda. I decided to create a new website altogether, so that's what I'm working on now. I'm hoping to have it up in the next couple of months!

read a book a week
Nope. I would say I read a book about every month. Which is NOT what I wanted to do. Work harder on this one, for sure.

be more thoughtful
Kinda. Since Kyle is basically the only person I see on a daily basis, this mostly relates to him. I try to remember to do tiny things for him that will make his day nicer or easier, but I definitely need to do this more. And I think I should make a bigger effort to text or call or send people things in the mail, just to let them know I'm thinking of them. 

love deeper
Yes. As you grow up, I feel like you realize how important your people are more and more. I have never loved Kyle more than I do right now, and I will probably love him more with each day we are together. And my family and friends…I can't say enough about them. Being away from them makes me love them more all the time, because I've realized how much I need them. 

read bible/pray more
Kinda. I pray a lot more than I used to, but I still don't read very much. I've got to make time for that. 

be more organized
Kinda. Kyle is really good at organizing things. I'm not. But I've done an okay job at making sure things have a place…even if that place is the coffee table.

drink more water
Yes. Absolutely. I have finally started drinking enough water consistently, and now, if I go a day without drinking very much of it (like at Christmas, when it was all coffee, iced tea, and coke zero), I almost feel sick. And my skin is dry. And I wake up feeling like I'm stranded in the Sahara. So yeah. I get an A for water drinking.


Overall, I give myself a C. Not that great. If this were high school and this were a real report card, I might have cried. But whatever. I'm not going to forget about these goals for 2013. I have new goals, plus my old ones, so I guess I'll be busy again this year. 

For 2013…

I feel like all of these are pretty self-explanatory, and mostly just extensions of last year's. But "stop keeping score" is definitely going to be a hard one.

I've realized this year, that I like to keep score. If Kyle asks me to do something, I sometimes come back with "I did it last time" or "It's your turn." I'm not really sure why it even matters, but I do this. And I don't like that about myself. It goes beyond "turns," too. I'll even say "I swept the floors, so you can change the lightbulb." That's just not how I should go about things. It's like I want recognition for mundane crap that doesn't matter. Who wants to hang out with someone like that? So I'm going to try to work on that this year. 


New Year's Eve may seem stressful sometimes, but it's a time of hope and opportunity and change. It's a new year and now is the time to make a change if you want one. 

I hope everyone's evening is fun and safe, and that 2013 looks bright for you.



Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'm really not your typical bride. Or maybe I am, and I just have these preconceived notions about brides.

I don't really care about feeling like a princess or whatever on my wedding day. My hair is probably just going to look like the best version of itself for my wedding, nothing new or done up. And I would rather not have "two hearts become one" printed on our programs. Kyle and I have our own, separate hearts, that make each of our bodies work. So that's that. I mean, obviously we love each other, but I think there are cooler ways for us to express that to our families and friends at our wedding. I don't want to walk down the aisle to the Wedding March or have vases of sand or dance with my dad to "Butterfly Kisses." All of those things are all beautiful and wonderful for the right people, they just aren't right for me. So, yeah, I'd say I'm sort of an antibride.

Well, then I ordered my wedding dress. 

I think I said I wasn't going to order it just yet. I think I said I wanted to just try some on and then think it over. That's what I said. Then, something magical happened and I became a bride while standing in front of the mirror at The Rose Tree. 

Here's the story.

I was in town staying with my family for the week of Thanksgiving, so we figured that would be a good time to go try on some dresses. No work or school for anyone, so, yeah, perfect. I'm not really sure why I thought this was a good idea, but I decided that David's Bridal would be a good place to start. Nothing against David's Bridal, but this was just not a good experience for me. The night before we had decided to go, I started getting some serious anxiety about the whole thing. I was manically texting Kyle, who was still in Tennessee at the time, and he's all "Chill out, crazy lady." He didn't understand! I was going to have to go try on dresses and come out in them for everyone to see, and then have everyone tell me their thoughts and feelings about how I looked in them. Who the eff wants to do that? Not. Me. But I know it's just part of this whole wedding process, so I had to bite the bullet and move on.

On Monday morning, I chose a comfortable but cute outfit for shopping that was easily removed and put back on in dressing rooms. Little did I know how handy this would be when I was ready to fly out of that dressing room and GTFO of there. My mom drove my sister, brother and I to David's Bridal, and the whole time I'm getting increasingly more nervous. I get there, register, get a consultant and talk to her about what I'm looking for. As I'm talking to her I realize, I have no effing clue what I want. I'm telling her a million different things, and somehow I've become one of those crazy people from Say Yes to the Dress who want everything and nothing at the same time. My mind is whirling, but I see some really beautiful Vera Wang gowns and think "This might not be so bad."

My consultant picks out a few dresses for me and makes sure to tell me that she has to pull dresses that are actually way bigger than I need because of how they are sized and tries to reassure me that she's not trying to offend me, when what she actually did is just make me more nervous and self-conscious. Awesome. I've bought formal dresses before, I know the drill.

So I go into the mirrorless, coat-closet-sized dressing room and begin to put on the undergarments she gave me. A corset and a weird slip thing with some tulle on it. The corset is too big, the slip is too small, and there's gum stuck onto the walls in the dressing room. This is off to a great start.

She put me into 6 dresses in the hour-and-a-half's time I was there. I tried on the Vera Wang one, and as beautiful as it was, it just wasn't right for me. It was too big on the bottom, too much going on for an outdoor wedding, and while it was beautifully made, it was not the most flattering thing for me. Three of the others were ok, and the other two I hated to my very core, but still put on a nice smile and tried to be polite and stand there for a respectful amount of time since it took her 10 minutes to get me into one of the because it had a lace-up back, which I hate.


At one point while the consultant was going back to pull more dresses, I turned to my mom, sister and brother and said, with a few more choice words, that I was ready to go and became more frustrated when my mother informed me that I'd only been there for half an hour. I survived and was so glad to get that corset off and my leggings back on. Flustered and frustrated, we went to Panera for some lunch and regrouping. My family didn't really understand why I was on the verge of breaking out in hives, because the consultant was indeed very nice and it was the first time I'd tried on dresses. The entire thing was just not what I'd expected and I was already feeling defeated and self-consious. Honestly, there is nothing worse than trying on formalwear and bathing suits. 

After lunch, we started driving back toward Huntington, and decided to go to The Rose Tree because my friend Jessica was working and there weren't really any customers there to bother us. We arrive, me with a newly sore nail that I have nervously chewed to the quick in the car after the David's Bridal fiasco, and I think to myself "You just need to try some on and see what you like. Just stay calm." Here's the thing about The Rose Tree. They have horror stories of their own. Alteration mishaps, ordering the wrong dress, snobby workers, etc. I've heard them all and even been involved in some, and while I understand that these things happen sometimes, I just really wanted to avoid dealing with any sort of dress shop altogether. I'd order my dress online and that would be that. But the problem with The Rose Tree is that no matter how many bad things you've heard about them, the truth is that they have REALLY great stuff and really know what they're doing. Their lighting is better, they have nicer dresses and the experience of trying on dresses there is just an overall better one. Since Jessica was there helping me, too, it was so much better than David's Bridal. She knows me and knows what the wedding is going to be like, she's been married already and knows what goes into it and how stressful it can be, and she's my friend so there was no fear of hurting her feelings if I hated a dress she picked for me to try. She would just say, "Ok, you don't like it? Next!" Just what I needed. 

So here I am, all "Not getting a dress today, dodododah," and she puts me in the first one. Something happened. I know people say you just know when it's the right dress, but I never believed them. I always thought that was a crock for those princess-y brides. Well, people, when you are put into a dress that is flattering and beautiful and you're standing on that little white box with the nice lights hitting your face and making everything sparkle, then you know. It's real. I even had the hugest zit ever on my chin and it was like it just sort of disappeared. Or I just didn't notice it anymore. The weirdest thing was that this dress was not at all what I thought I wanted. I said I didn't want beads, it has beads. I only tried on strapless dresses at David's Bridal, but this one has straps. I thought I wanted lace, but this dress has none. But somehow, when I put this dress on, I went from being a grumpy, stressed out, engaged girl with a gnawed off fingernail, to a bride. I tried on a few other dresses after that one, just to see, and I just kept thinking about the first one. So we put that one back on, and it was like when Flora, Fauna and Merryweather make Aurora's dress in Sleeping Beauty and she goes and dances with the Prince. As princess-y as that is, it is true. It was like it was meant for me. Jessica picked out a jeweled hair comb for me that matched the dress and stuck it in my hair and I just laughed and said "Who am I?" My family was crying. It was the weirdest and best thing ever. 

I told Jessica I was going to sleep on it that night before deciding anything, and then I literally had dreams about the dress. So I took that as a good sign. I waited until their Black Friday sale and went to order it with my mom and sister and one of my oldest friends, Zachary. I want to take all of my girlfriends and cousins to see it when it comes in, so that will be wonderful. I've already showed most of them a photo, but I'm anxious for them to see it in person. 

Now that the dress is ordered, I feel so much better. I didn't expect to feel so relieved, but I do, and now I feel like Kyle and I can really plan things. It's starting to feel a little more exciting and a little less stressful. I'm still an antibride, just an antibride with a dress.