Stir Fridays, Wedding-Free Wednesdays, and Tasting Tuesdays

You got married because you make a good team. You are good at doing things together; in fact you enjoy doing things together! Then the wedding planning comes along and suddenly “things together” often evolves into wedding things. I noticed when I was planning a wedding that it was pretty much always lurking in the back of my mind. I would be having a conversation with my fiancé about work, video games, or dinner and in one breath would say something relevant to the conversation and the next breath would be a question about the wedding, or a thought about the wedding. It didn’t matter if I was trying not to bring it up. It didn’t matter if the wedding had nothing to do with what we were talking about. It didn’t even matter if the wedding topic was relevant or not. It only mattered that the wedding leaked into all aspects of my life for the year that I was planning it. In fact, now the wedding is over and it is still leaking into everything. It is noticeable because of the vacuum it left in my life. Instead of constantly thinking, worrying, stressing, planning, organizing, and doing wedding things, I am not doing those things. And I notice. And it’s strange. And I don’t want it to be strange…but it is.

My wedding was almost a month ago and people have pretty much stopped bringing it up. But then I’ve found that I bring it up on accident. We will be talking about something and it will remind me of something that happened at the wedding and I will say it. Then sometimes I am embarrassed about it! How silly is that?! I spent a year planning something and am embarrassed that not even a month later I am still talking about it. I don’t think I need to be embarrassed because it was a big deal and now I’m married, which is also a big deal. It is important to remember that while the wedding is a big deal, so are other things. And while it is ok to think about the wedding, feel about the wedding, and even to obsess about the wedding, it is also ok not to do those things. Yes, I spent a lot of money, time, and effort… but I feel like I am ready to move on now. But while moving on, some of the things I (and my partner) learned and implemented while planning the wedding are going to carry over into married life. We’re still the same people, now we’re just married people with some bad habits and some good habits.

Here are three good habits my husband and I have carried over from wedding planning to married life: Stir Fridays, Tasting Tuesdays, and Wedding Free Wednesdays.

Stir Fridays:

Stir Fridays brings us back to us being a team. My husband and I make a good team. One of the things we enjoy doing together is cooking. So, on Friday (or whatever day “Stir Friday” lands on this week) we make stir fry together. It is an easy meal to make that has a big payoff! We shop for ingredients together choosing whatever sounds good this week. Next we chop vegetables together. Then one of us cooks while the other gets the dishes ready. It is an excuse to hang out together, to remind yourself and your partner why you make a good team. Bonus- Stir Friday can help you practice working as a team if sometimes you struggle with that!

Tasting Tuesday:

Tasting Tuesday came about because we wanted to try out different rehearsal dinner restaurants. We made a (and keep) a running list of restaurants to try. We tried going on weekends but the places were always packed and sometimes the prices were a bit higher. Also, we usually had plans on weekends so it became tough to coordinate. We decided that there was nothing stopping us from going out earlier in the week, thus Tasting Tuesdays began! We pick a new restaurant every week and go out for dinner on Tuesday. If we tried a restaurant but were not quite sure if we liked it or not, but we wanted to like it, then we add that restaurant back to the list for a later time. If we find a restaurant we really like, then we add that one back to the list too. If the restaurant doesn’t make it back on the list…well hey at least we had an adventure together trying something new!

Wedding-Free Wednesdays:

Wedding-Free Wednesdays came about because we both needed a break from the wedding planning. It was nice to have a no-pressure day. It was nice to have a day where we had permission to focus on other parts of our lives, where we gave ourselves a break from the stress and worry of our To Do Lists. It was nice to be able to forgive each other even if the wedding leaked into the day, which it often did. Wedding-Free Wednesday is a free day to just be together and not talk about the most stressful part of your life. While we no longer have to limit wedding talk, we take turns deciding what topic our Wednesdays will be free of each week. Sometimes it is family, sometimes its friends, sometimes its work. (Work is a bit tough because we still have to go to work, but at least we don’t have to rehash the problems of the workday when we get home.)

 

The most important things about these days is just to remember how much you love each other. When your love is overshadowed by wedding stress it can be a pretty miserable experience to plan a wedding. When you have islands of time where the stress is brushed aside, overlooked, and perhaps even forgotten while you focus on each other and your relationship without all the guilt or pressure, the wedding planning process because a lot more bearable, and sometimes even fun! Just remember, it’s the pressure-free part that makes these days a respite from the stress. If you make yourself feel bad because you called the florist on Wedding-Free Wednesday, you missed the goal.

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Ending with Bliss

I’m married!  I’m now RealFirstName RealMiddleName NewRealLastName!!!!  We’ve had such a wonderful journey together and we capped it off with a wonderful wedding!  There were 98 people, a rocking DJ, excellent food, fabulous cake, amazing flowers, and Fiance/Husband!  Now, as I’m writing, I’m SO tired but I want to remember all the fun details about the whole weekend!  I’m not sure where to begin.  I’m so happy!  It was a beautiful ceremony filled with laughter and tears of joy!  Everyone had such a great time.  This event is the beginning of a New Chapter.  This journal is complete and I will begin a new one with my next entry.  This chapter has lasted three years.  I am once again in the space between chapters.  It is the breath before the speech, the start of the road towards happily ever after…

Brightest Side of Bright

So much has happened since my last entry!  (As usual!)  I filed for unemployment for my birthday.  It was extremely hard for me to do it but I’m glad I did because we need the money.  I should definitely have done it sooner!  I have been working for 10 years and never used it and that is what it is supposed to be there for… times when you are trying to find a job and are just unsuccessful. That about sums up what I’ve been going through.

I went on a bunch of interviews but it was all scams, collections, or a pyramid scheme!  I loathe people who take advantage of people who are already down!  I’m trying desperately to find a job and instead of real offers these fake scams keep targeting me and I keep almost falling for them!  It’s awful and scary!

Luckily I went on a real interview with a company that looks really interesting!  The position is an Inventory Administration.  I applied because I seemed uniquely qualified for the position with my past work history and my degree but I wasn’t too excited about it because I don’t want to go back to inventory… But I applied because I thought I could get it.  I hadn’t felt so great about an interview since my first job out of college, the warehouse job! I totally rocked the interview!  And I asked three different ways about the job to make sure it was actually interesting and computer based and not bin stocking or lame.  It really seems like the perfect fit for me!  It uses my degree AND my past work experience!  I’m SO excited!!! They called me back the next day and offered me the job!!!! YAY!!!  It pays a little bit less then my last job but that’s okay because it will not crush my soul!  Also it is Mon-Fri from 7-4!  And I will have my own desk and everything!  And there’s not even a ceiling support column sharing my desk space with me!  It’s a real whole desk!  Also- they are excited about my wedding!!  They wanted me to start that Monday and it was Thursday when they called!  I said yes and still have flexibility with my schedule and have time off for the wedding!  The job is awesome so far!  Lots of learning and organizing and data entry and cycle counts!  It’s like all the parts of my old job that I liked and I get paid WAY more to do it!  I really see this job as a blessing!  For the first time, I can see a future with a company.  I see myself on at least  a three year plan with them  It’s VERY exciting and doesn’t crush my soul!!!  Also, we totally live in the future!  There is some really interesting stuff going on at my company!  OMG! Also, on my 4th day of work, my boss’s boss let me know he volunteered me to look over the GIANT contract proposal people have been working on for months, because, you know, I have a degree in English and do technical writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I WAS BLOWN AWAY by this!  My old jobs never volunteered me for anything positive or interesting!

I’m so happy!  I feel like a champagne bottle filled with joy and excitement!  What an incredibly positive feeling!  Finally, I feel like things are looking up.  I sort of feel like I’d hit rock bottom.  I plan on using ti to build a foundation for my new, more positive, and less stressed future!

Also, I discovered SMASH Books! They are totes fabulous!  It’s like starter scrap-booking for dummies.  And I love it because it is a junk drawer journal that is messy AND beautiful! ❤ So wonderful!

And my cousin is doing so much better!  She’s dealing with stuff now instead of just using distractions to avoid her feelings.  I believe we’re helping each other heal.  I appreciate her friendship a lot and I’m continually surprised by how awesome she is!

Also, she and my future twin planned me an EPIC bachelorette party!  It was super fun!  I dubbed all us ladies the “Glitteratzi” We were!  8 girlfriends plus myself and NO ONE puked, cried, or had drama!!! Everyone just had a fabulous time!  And, I got “exactly as drunk as I wanted to be!” Wooo!  What a party! I was still drunk the next morning at 6am!  LoLz!  I was hungover that afternoon though… ugh!  LoL It was still worth it!

I’m getting married next week! HOLY SHIT! I’m getting married.  Next week! WOW!  It’s hard to believe it’s finally here!  Time seems to have passed very quickly but it is strange because so much has changed in the time I’ve been engaged!  I feel ready for marriage and to “begin” our lives together.  I am also definitely ready for the wedding to be over!  It’s turned out to be nightmarishly expensive!  Also, people have gone crazy about it from the stress.  I just want the spending to stop and the love to flow like it used to!  My poor mom and mother in law… I am saying special prayers for their health and sanity and happiness!  The amount of money we’ve spent on the wedding is staggering…and beggaring… I literally don’t know how my parents have done it!  The final payment for the venue is due a week from tomorrow and we’ll need to “find” another few thousand dollars.

I wish my grandparents could be at the wedding.  My heart aches a bit with their absence.  Lots of other people are coming but I will really miss them.  They have always loved and supported me and Fiance. They actually knew he was the one even before I was ready to admit it to myself.  I hope we can travel like they have.  It is something I aspire to and admire about them.  Fiance and I can’t afford a honeymoon right now.  I had initially thought the wedding would be  a certain price.  It is more then twice that now so there is no way.  Fiance still never got his passport.  I’m still mad about it too…

We are talking about buying a house.  I don’t know if I want one or if I would rather travel, or if I want a newer car… The AC on my car is out.  It will cost $700 to fix.  All the money I’ve dumped into that car… I could have bought something new for sure.  I don’t really have a plan after the wedding past paying off the wedding and not doing more wedding stuff!  Maybe we’ll get a cat… I still would rather have a dog.

It feels like I’m nearing the end of another chapter in my life.  I can see the white space just ahead.  I am apprehensive and excited about it.  I will release the cork and pop/shoot my excitement and my joy into that black space that I can finally see is filled with optimism.

 

To Grandma or Not to Grandma

So a weird thing is going on and I’m not sure how to feel about it.  My dad’s mom has gotten in contact with me recently.  She sent a card and $50 after I got engaged.  I sent a thank you card in response.  Then she sent us a $100 and a card around Christmas.  Again, I sent a thank you card in response.  Then my dad starts telling me she wants me to call her.  I haven’t and I’ve resisted his attempts to make me, just like I have for years.  My feeling has always been that she is the grown up in our relationship.  If she wants a relationship then she needs to initiate it.  Then in February, she sent a card and a heart shaped thing of decorative pink plastic rosebuds.  They are completely useless in every way!  They don’t smell good, they’re not good for anything, and they’re pink!  WTF?!?!?  Then she called me and left me a voice mail.  I am SO CONFUSED!  I finally mailed a thank you cared today after two (at least) conversations with my dad about it and one with my mom (on his behalf (she later told me)).  I don’t want a relationship with this woman.  I’ve always felt like her and her husband tried to buy my love instead of actually loving or spending time or showing affection or interest in my life.  I’m really upset because graduating from high school wasn’t enough for them to care.  Graduating from college in four years, debt free also wasn’t enough to get her involved with my life.  Now I’ve closed that door and moved on and now that I’m getting married, now suddenly she’s interested in having a relationship with me?!  Last time I spoke to her was around my college graduation three years ago.  She didn’t want to talk about anything other then the fact I’d been dating Fiance-Then-Boyfriend for over two years.  We haven’t spoken since.  I finally purged the negative guilt inflicting me about my relationship with EXBF and it feels like my dad’s mom is trying to slide right into that unfulfilled “gap” in my life.  I’m not sure I want that to happen or if I’ll even allow it.  I’ve always said all she had to do was call me.  Well, after almost 25 years of life she finally did call me and it turns out it’s not good enough. It’s too little too late.  I don’t need or want her in my life.  I’ve been so hurt by that woman and her husband that I won’t even call them my grandparents.  I don’t want to open myself up to that again.  Even though my grandma (my mom’s mom) is not doing well, she is still the Grandma Standard in my life.  She has always loved and accepted me for who I am regardless of what’s been going on in my life.  She has always embraced whoever I brought with me to her house and made them feel welcome, whether it was a friend growing up, a college roommate, or a boyfriend or my Fiance.  her and Grandpa were the first ones tot totally accept and love and embrace Fiance as my future life partner.  Their acceptance helped me realized how Fiance was going to be that future in actuality.  My parents love and accept Fiance even if they all have had some rough patches in their relationship.  I miss my grandparents so much!  My dad’s mom will never fill the void that grandma has always filled.  I don’t even want to give her the chance to try.  Maybe someday I’ll regret it but for now I don’t want to open that door to my heart and let her back into my life.

More Excited then Stressed

Today was a good interesting day!  The final wedding invitation proofs came (version 3 for the record) and I am excited about them again! I think they look great and I’m thrilled with how they’re going to look!  Also, one of my mom’s younger friends who I’ve always been close to has offered to let me use her veil as my “something borrowed!”  Apparently it cost her $1500!  I don’t remember it specifically from her wedding 9 years ago but I do remember how beautiful she was!  Also I talked with my mom and my future mother in law about the wedding budget so we are all on the same page.  Things are looking up! 

i’m finally feeling more excited about the wedding than stressed!  YAY!  We also had our second premarital counseling session.  It’s going really well and is quite interesting.  It is also harder then I thought it would be at first.  That is the whole point though, so that’s good.  I love Fiance SO much!  I’m so happy we’re together!  He really is amazing!  Today I also finished our “WedSite!”  It looks awesome but my favorite part is the “Attractions” page.  Since the wedding is going to be in BigCity and we are the only people who live here and since the wedding is on a Friday, I spent a lot of time finding other BigCity “attractions.”  I included laser tag, the zoo, the science center, and other great places to visit including lots of great restuarants for a range of budgets.  I really had a fun time putting it all together.  I hope we get the invites out by the 15th!

 

Exit Maid of Honor

Today was a hugely intense day!

Today we FINALLY received our first proofs for the wedding invitations!  They were not quite right so we made some changes and hopefully will be able to send them out into the world by the 15th!

Today I also kicked my Best Friend (BF), my maid of honor, out of the wedding!  She has been a terrible friend in the last year.  Ever since she got a boyfriend.  Her first boyfriend ever, in fact.  Her secret boyfriend she couldn’t tell me about because he was married. Also ever since that fight we had about illegal immigration she hasn’t been the same.  Basically, she’s stopped talking to me since I’ve been engaged and that was almost a year ago.  We’ve talked -maybe- once a month.  We used to have standing Tuesday phone dates since we live across the country from each other and we would also text throughout the week.  I literally have not heard from her since January when I asked her to buy the specific bridesmaids dress my Maid of Awesome and I picked out.  All of my wedding planning books say to make sure the bridesmaids dresses have been purchaed by 3 months to the big day.

I’ve been more and more anxious and stressed about stupid BF and her dumb dress and breaking our friendship then I have been stressed by my mom or future mother in law!  I finally realized that I literally cannot deal with this much stress.  Not physically, mentally, or emotionally.  So I called her, texted her, and Facebooked her.  NO ANSWER!  I left messages with each form of communication that I tried asking if she had bought her dress yet. So since the last form of communication I had from her was a text message, I tested her again today asking her if she got my messages, and also her dress.

She FINALLY responded via text by saying, “No.  I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.  I’m at the doctor’s office now but will try to call you later.”

It made me incredibly angry all over again. Now she’s seeing a doctor and didn’t even tell me she was sick?  Now I even feel guilty because OMG my BF is sick.  Then I remembered that I’ve been reaching out a few times a week since JANUARY so it’s not like she’s been too sick to respond even once.  Not. even. once. We have been friends since we were freshmen in high school.  We have been friends for 10 years.  We made a high school promise to be there for each other on our wedding days and I honored that promise and asked her to be my maid of honor.  She was so excited in that initial conversation and then everything just fell further and further apart.

She doesn’t want to be in my wedding and it doesn’t feel like she even wants to be my friend either.  So I gave it until after 5pm and called her again.  STILL NO ANSWER!

So I texted her, “Hi.  I know you are incredibly busy and have  a lot going on.  Maybe it was unfair of me to put so much pressure on you about the wedding.  Don’t worry about getting a dress.  I hope you can still come as a guest.  We;re still friends and I know if you could do it, you would.”

She called me two hours later and we talked for the first time in months.  She said she really can’t afford the dress and I said I knew and that it was ok and that I hoped she could still come to the wedding anyway as a guest. (It wasn’t ok and she could afford it.  She makes more then I did an hour at my last job and I made bank!  Also, I had already offered to pay for the dress five months ago and again three months ago, so that was a bullsh!t excuse!)  We talked for an hour and a half.  It was actually nice because I miss her!  I miss our friendship!I hope we will still be able to be friends and that she’ll stop being so selfish!

Also, exciting job prospect in the wings!  But I’m tired and going to sleep for the moment!  I think I may actually sleep tonight because as awful as this day was… at least now I know.  At least a decision has been made so I can move forward without something that should be so positive instead weighing me down all the time.