Saturday, July 28, 2007

Celebrating Kerwin

One year ago today, we acquired our cat Kerwin. I was walking to my car to go to work, and I heard this desperate meowing. I couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from at first. Finally, I looked up and saw this crazy-looking little black kitten stuck up in a tree. I could tell he hadn't had anything to drink in awhile, because he was panting. I stood under the tree and tried to coax him down a bit. He started to come down, but it was obvious he was going to fall if he tried to climb down on his own.

So I called Our Hero (Roy), who was still at home. He came out into the parking lot and started climbing on the stone wall that was right by the tree. Much to my shock, the stone wall literally crumbled and Our Hero fell on his back in the parking lot! Apparently it wasn't a hard fall, because he got right back up and climbed the wall, which made it easier for him to climb the tree. Our Hero quickly rescued the crazy black kitten, who didn't let go of the tree easily. He tried to hand the kitten down to me, but the kitten was pretty much clamped onto Our Hero's shoulder. Our Hero began climbing down the tree, and then the kitten just made a jump for it. I was scared at first, because it was a big jump for such a little guy. He just behind the stone wall that had crumbled, and I half expected him to run off, but he didn't. Instead, he let me pick him up. I held him against my chest and he immediately began purring. He was so friendly.

We put him on our patio with some food and water and figured that he could stay there for the day if he wanted to. He would have been able to climb the walls of the patio if he wanted to go on his way, but when I got home from work, he was still there. We pretended for the first day or so that we weren't going to keep him (we already had a cat). I put up an ad on Craigslist and asked around, but there were no takers. Slowly we assimilated him into our lives, which was great because honestly, we were attached from day one.

We named him Kerwin because it's Irish for "small and dark." Kerwin had a gigantic nose as a kitten, not to mention an extremely strange face and huge ears. He was (and continues to be) always hungry for attention, no doubt brought on by his time as a stray. He loves water and has a thing for hanging out in the bathroom, on my desk, on the dresser, or on my nightstand. He loves to lay on my stomach, and when he gets really excited and happy, he starts chewing on things, even human flesh. His nose, which he has since grown into, is as wet as a dog's. One morning he burrowed his way under the covers and stuck that freezing-ass nose of his in my bellybutton. Another time he jumped from the headboard onto my stomach, and another time he jumped from the headboard onto my face. He has gotten into the shower with me on more than one occasion. And he's not small anymore, he's quite a big cat. His teeth are so long that you can see them hanging out of his mouth. There are tufts of hair coming up between his toes. And he has a bald spot above each of his huge ass eyes.

Despite his many eccentricities and also because of them, I love Kerwin like he's my own child. He brings so much happiness into each of my days. I am so glad that I took the time to investigate the pathetic meowing I heard one year ago.

And now, a picture of the big boy:

Monday, July 23, 2007

The 14th Day

The wedding has come and gone, and now I am a wife. I've got a husband! It still feels so strange to say that, not because I don't like it, but because for 28 years I was single. All of a sudden, I am married. Life is approaching normal again. We returned from our honeymoon yesterday, spent today hanging out and working on the apartment, and tomorrow will be full of errands. On Wednesday we will both join the real world again - back to work for both of us. But before that, I need to venture back to Wedding Land to tell the story of our day.

Once I got to the hotel the night before the wedding, I realized in horror that I didn't have my debit card with me to pay for the hotel. I was pretty sure I had left it at the nail salon but it was way too late to call and check. I paid for the room with a credit card, and all these visions of my lost debit card were swimming in my head. I was afraid that it was truly lost and that there would be no way for me to withdraw funds before leaving on the honeymoon. If it wasn't for this issue, I would have slept through the entire night before the wedding without waking up. Other than that, I was pretty calm.

I woke up just before 8 AM the morning of the wedding. I hung out in my hotel room a bit, made various phone calls (which I didn't want to do, but had to because of the debit card issue), and had breakfast alone in the dining room. My family showed up and hung around for an hour or so. Once they left, I took a shower and got ready to get ready. That probably makes no sense to anyone who's never been a bride. :) Once I was all ready to get ready, I sat on the couch and wrote in my journal. I was amazed at how calm and utterly normal I felt. It felt like any other day, except that I was in a hotel. And time was going by at a reasonable pace, which made me happy.

Then my hair and makeup girl arrived and started working on me right away. Mandy and her friend (who was doing her hair and makeup) showed up afterwards. My mom also came by and took a few pictures:

And then Crissy showed up. I have to say that I am so glad that we hired her after firing our original photographer. She is just awesome. She quickly took all the pics of the inanimate objects I wanted (shoes, jewelry, etc.) and then helped my hair and makeup gal get my hair and veil just right. I thought it was so cool that she took an active interest in how I looked and helped achieve the goal. All of a sudden, it was 2:30, time to leave for the site.

Mandy and I drove to the site together, and on the way I finally began to get nervous. Once we got there, I was supposed to just hole up in the bridal room, since Roy was supposed to arrive at the same time. However, on the way to the bridal room, I got severaly distracted by the set-up of the reception area, not to mention our fabulous cake:

I was pretty overwhelmed by how gorgeous it all looked, and the only thing I could do was jump around in extreme excitement, screaming "Oh my god!" I was so happy. It must have been strange seeing a girl in a turquoise track suit with a veil on her head jumping around like a crazy person. I ran outside and found the memory table, which looked awesome (except that the place cards really should have been taped down):

And then I proceeded on down the path to the ceremony site:

At this point, I was in awe. I think it was the beauty of the fabric blowing in the wind that got me. I realized how perfect our colors were for the site and how glad I was that we didn't use tulle and/or flowers on the ceremony gazebo. :)

I went back to the bridal room. I changed into my dress and felt like a celebrity as both photographers snapped away. People kept coming in and out; it was really strange how everyone wanted to see me. Most of my time was spent with Mandy:

I realized that I had forgotten the card I wanted to give Roy, so I got a sheet of paper and pen and was writing him a note as Crissy walked in. It was almost time for us to meet before the ceremony, and I was kind of a mess writing him the note. I was at a loss for words - me, of all people. I read the note to Crissy, which made me cry even more and got her started. Finally I finished it up and went outside to meet him. I was pretty composed until I saw him sitting on a little bench with his back to me. And then I lost it as he turned around and saw me. All I could think of was how amazing he looked in his suit and how lucky I was to be marrying such a beautiful man. I think part of me has always been scared that our relationship has been too good to be true and that such a good person like Roy would surely not marry me. Seeing him there, waiting for me, made me realize how important it is to show up and be present for the important moments. I have no idea if that makes any sense or not.

Strangely, during that time when we were hugging and kissing, it was like neither of the photographers was there. And then we went to go take pictures, and we had a great time.

About an hour before the wedding, we went our separate ways. I hid out in the bridal room and watched guests arriving through the window. It was so exciting! Crissy and Rowena (her second shooter) hung out in the room with Mandy and me, and they retied our bouquets since my florist did such a crappy job with them (there's a shock).

I began to get really nervous. I was (and am) so thankful that I saw Roy before the ceremony because my nervousness might have led me to actually throw up if I had to deal with all of it at once. I remember thinking that I couldn't believe it was finally my turn. After all the months of planning and watching my online friends on the IE board on the Knot get married, I was finally going to be walking down the aisle.

Soon we all began to line up for the processional (but not before I took a gigantic crap brought on entirely by nerves). The rest of the bridal party lined up right outside the door, ready to walk down to Drifting by Enya. My mom and I stayed in the reception room alone. I'm not sure how it began, but we had a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my days. It, of course, involved tears and me telling her how much it meant for me to have her walk me down the aisle. And it also involved her telling me that she would love me forever. I suppose that sounds cheesy, but even in recounting this moment, I've got tears in my eyes.

(You see, my mom and I had some drama between us during the wedding planning. She had some major issues with things that I wanted to do in the wedding. Being a staunch traditionalist, it took my mom 4 months to think about walking me down the aisle and finally agree to it, being as the giving away of the bride is normally done by a male. I didn't understand why it took her 4 months to decide, and I was a little sad that she didn't say yes right away. That wasn't the only thing, but it was the first of a few things that really hurt my feelings. The moment with my mom before we walked down the aisle together cancelled all of that out. All of a sudden, none of it mattered anymore. All that mattered is that she was there, ready to present me to my groom, and offering her support and love.)

I let my processional music, the most beautiful version of Canon in D that I've ever heard, play for a bit, and then my mom and I began our slow walk. We walked down the path to the ceremony area. At this point I couldn't even hear the music. Everything felt so surreal, especially when everyone stood up and watched me walk down. It was, hands down, one of the most dream-like moments of my life. It was as if a veil and a hush had fallen over everything, kind of like when it first snows. In my mind this moment was perfectly quiet and simultaneously full of chaos. I kept my eyes on Roy, but I can't even remember what I was thinking.

When my mom presented me to Roy, I hugged her with all my might. At that point, I felt so emotional and didn't want to let her go. Imagine that - the girl who couldn't wait to move out 9 years ago, the girl who sees her mom only twice a year. But we did let go, and the ceremony began.

I pretty much looked into Roy's eyes the entire time, although sometimes I looked around a bit. A couple of times Crissy and I made eye contact, and I could see that she was teary - another reason why I love her: her investment in her clients. Saying my vows and hearing Roy's was so incredible. I cried, he remained stoic.

Here are our vows:

"I, Roy, take you, Leslie, to be my wife, in equal love, as a mirror for my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish, in sorrow and in joy.

Leslie, I choose you today and every day, for the rest of my life.

I have already given you my heart. Now I give you my life."

And mine were the same. The only difference is that we used our full names instead of just our first names. I left out our full names for obvious reasons.

All of a sudden, we were married. We stood in front of everyone while they applauded. I feel now like I should have done something photogenic like done a little cheer with my bouquet, but I wasn't thinking of it at the time, and plus, I wasn't even holding my bouquet. In fact, I almost forget it once we started walking down the aisle.

Once the time was right, we took off down the aisle to a much hipper version of Canon in D. Once we were down the aisle, we kissed, and I promptly burst into tears and cried into my bouquet for a few seconds. I reminded myself of a baby who falls down, bursts into tears, and then stops crying seconds later when he realizes nothing is wrong. Prozac, anyone?

While the guests snacked on appetizers and hung out in the reception room, all of the bridal party and family were hanging out near the back of the chapel, our designated portrait place. Doing all the portraits was actually fun, especially when all the ducks joined in:

However, during the hour it took to take pictures, I also became ADD Bride. I kept staring longingly in the direction of the lodge. I really wanted to join the party! Nevertheless, some good shots were taken:

Then it was time for the bridal party grand entrance. They walked into Battle Without Honor or Humanity, which was so awesome (from the little I saw). We flubbed our grand entrance by walking out before our DJ actually announced us, and he gave me an exasperated look. However, I think we made up for it by having a really cool song playing. During our first dance, all we did was tell each other how much we hated doing the first dance. We absolutely did not like having everyone staring at us while we were dancing. Good thing we look like the picture of happiness in our first dance photos!

Our first dance was to our song, Breathe Me by Sia. For some reason, letting everyone watch us dance to this song felt so much more personal than having them listen to our vows. Does that make sense?

Here are the lyrics:

"Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there's no one else to blame

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere else to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me"

Once we sat down, Jake, Mandy, and Wade gave their toasts. I'd like to say a few words about these toasts, because each one of them was truly well thought-out, genuine, and touching - definitely one of the most memorable moments from the wedding.

Jake's toast was so sweet. He told a story that illustrated Roy's good character, and he said so many good things about me (things that I never thought I would hear come out of his mouth) that I got very teary. Mandy talked about how she was glad that Roy had given her a sister and a friend, and of course, I was very close to crying at this point. Finally, Wade started off very philosophically, and I was preparing myself for a lecture, but he ended up making a simple statement about how our wedding day would be the first of many happy days together. The toasts were just awesome; they totally made me feel warm and fuzzy.

So then it was time for dinner! We had lasagna, and I hardly got to eat any of it. The thing about being the bride is that everyone wants to talk to you and hug you. Eventually I gave up on trying to eat, so Roy and I started going around to all the tables to talk with all of our guests.

After dinner, we immediately cut the cake. Of course, I had picked an awesome song for the occasion. What a fabulous cake it was! I was actually a little sad to cut into that beauty, but obviously not that sad:

And then the dancing began, and here is where things got really good. Not that they weren't before, but you know what I mean. I honestly don't know if I've ever had as much fun as I did dancing all night. And dance all night I did.

We began with the bridal party dance, which I didn't really want to do, but our DJ assured us that it would help get people dancing. He was right. The bridal party (us included, of course) started off dancing to Come Away with Me by Norah Jones. About halfway through the song, Jay (our DJ) invited everyone else up to dance with us. Once the song was over, Jay went straight into In the Mood by Cherry Poppin' Daddies. What I remember most about this song is what a great time my mom and brother had dancing together; they looked like they had an absolute blast.

The rest of the night was just incredibly awesome. We all had so much fun dancing to songs like Baby Got Back, Lean Like a Cholo, Lady Marmalade, Good Vibrations, Now That We Found Love, Crazy in Love, Ice Ice Baby, Bizarre Love Triangle, and What is Love. My song choices made it impossible for anyone to take themselves too seriously, and so there was lots of funky dancing...and, in the case of my brother, lots of sweating:

Roy and I had a very special dance to Tiny Dancer, a song we both love and sang to each other as we danced. (It was also a contender for my processional song, but I couldn't find a good instrumental version of it.)

One of my absolute favorite memories from the entire day was when Jay played Family Affair. It was then that I noticed that Patty, my mom, and my uncle Charles were all out on the dance floor cutting a rug with us youngsters. I was so surprised and happy that they were all there! They all looked so cute dancing. Then Jay played O.P.P. and all bets were off. We had people from every age group on the dance floor yelling "Yeah, you know me!" It was so incredible. (I'm fairly certain that none of the older people knew what O.P.P. means.)

Another great moment was watching Mandy and Paul dance to I'll Miss You Till I Meet You. The way they danced together was very indicative of their deep love for each other.

Before I knew it, we had our last dance to Be Mine, and the night was over. I had gotten married, cried about 7 times, danced my ass off, and taken a shot of tequila and not felt it at all - all in the space of one day. My brother, mom, and uncle were leaving when I realized that we hadn't signed the marriage license yet. So I ran out to the parking lot to get ahold of my brother before he took off, leaving us officially unwed.

We were the last to leave, except for the venue staff. I don't regret not making a grand exit at all, because we got to stay until the very end (and we also got the leftover cake). It was sad, though, seeing the remnants of a very beautiful event that I planned.

When we got to the hotel, a man standing outside saw us walking up and yelled out, "Congratulations!" Even the good wishes of a perfect stranger mean something to this sentimental bride.

I expected to sleep like a rock that night, but I woke up in the middle of the night still totally pumped and excited. It was then that it really began to dawn on me that the wedding was over and that marriage had begun...


It is now August 8, and I have finally finished my wedding day story. I'm sure I'll be editing it and adding in pictures and links in the near future, but eventually I'll leave it as it is. The wedding is only a memory now, and sometimes I just don't know how to feel about this. My feelings are as conflicted as they were before the wedding. Nothing is ever simple, is it?

For a glimpse of some professional wedding photos, click here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

1 Day: Conscious Bride

Today didn't feel like my last day of being single. I wasn't nearly as rushed as I thought I would be. I had time for a massage, to hang out with my friend Genevee (who I hadn't seen in almost two years), to clean up the house a bit, to finish packing, to get manis and pedis with the gals, and to have dinner out with my family and Roy's. Roy and I exchanged our wedding presents today and will give each other cards tomorrow. He loved the book I made for him, and I really love the crystal bracelet he gave me. I can't wait to wear it tomorrow.

Once I'm done with this blog entry, I'm off to the hotel to check in. I'm a little later than I originally planned. I hope to have some time to myself to think and reflect before all the chaos begins.

I have to say that I'm proud of myself. I've come a long way from last summer, when I constantly beat up on myself for not being a bubbly, happy bride day in and day out. Then I read The Conscious Bride, which really made a difference in how I viewed the wedding process. Once I read it, I decided not to deny myself any of the feelings I was having, even if they were viewed negatively by others. No matter what our fairy tales tell us, preparing for marriage is not simply a happy process. It's a bittersweet and highly complex one. People will let you down. They will disappoint you. They will hurt your feelings. But they will also offer you love and support and guidance. They will surround you in warmth and safety. They are fickle creatures, people are.

Tomorrow is my last day of being a bride. I'm not sure how to feel. Apprehensive, happy, and even a bit sad is a good way to describe it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself once this is all over. I'm not sure who I'm going to become. The scariest thing is that I don't know what the future holds. All I know is that I have a beautiful man to walk the path of life with. What more could I possibly ask for?

But I am happy to announce that after one year and two months of being engaged, I am fully conscious and fully aware and ready to experience the wedding. I am open and ready to take it all in. I am ready to accept Roy as my husband and let him accept me as his wife.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

2 Days: Almost a Bride

Today was incredible. It didn't start out that way. I got up early and immediately started working on various wedding related things. Then I left and ran quite a few errands, including picking up my new set of glasses! They look fabulous and definitely will be much more photo-friendly (less glare). Roy and I had lunch with his mother and then went back to work, trying to complete everything before rehearsal. Everything was very hectic, as we were trying to coordinate the schedules of nine different people.

But we made it up to the site, and all our stuff for the wedding made it as well. We went over the details with Tarin, our coordinator, and then ran through the ceremony. My brother Wade is officiating the ceremony, and I just know he's going to do an awesome job. I know this because I was crying tonight during the practice ceremony and especially during our practice vows. Yes, we said our vows, and truly, the whole world disappeared. After all the hustle and bustle, it all fell away, and all I could see was the face of the man that I am going to marry in less than 2 days. The intense emotion I felt was incredible. It was so incredible that I already know that the wedding is totally worth it. If we would have had our rings and signed the marriage license, Roy and I would have been officially married tonight.

We then went to Roy's mom's (Patty) house, and she and her partner Cherie had set up an incredible spread for our rehearsal dinner. A few weeks ago, we told Patty that we just weren't going to be able to pay to have the rehearsal dinner in a restaurant like we originally planned and asked her if she could think of any cheap alternatives. So, she decided to take on the entire project. She got the neighborhood involved too - several of our friends and neighbors cooked different dishes and then dropped them off. Their kindness and generosity amazes me. It was an amazing candlelit dinner on their back patio.

We also gave out all the presents we painstakingly selected for each member of our bridal party (and even some non-bridal party members). To all brides everywhere, I highly recommend getting each member of your bridal party something selected especially for each member, not all the same thing. The looks on everyone's faces and their reactions were priceless. Hugs all around, even from Roy's brother Jake, who, up until this point, has had a hard time making eye contact with me. I really love giving gifts, so this was a really high point of the night. Of course, there weren't any low points.

What can I say? I'm just so happy. And I am so ready to get married to Roy. The latter part of the day totally put everything in perspective for me. Wow, what an incredible journey this has been.

Here are some photos:

Wade (my brother) and me

My mom, me, and my soon-to-be niece, Gwen. She has called me Aunt Leslie for a long time though.

Me and Patty (Roy's mom). I look evil in this pic. I think it's the eyebrow.

Paul (usher) and Mandy (woman of honor)

The table set-up. It was very intimate and personal.

I love the random psycho faces that Roy makes. And people think he's shy!

Look, I can make psycho faces too! And you can actually see my eyes!

Wade with his Angelina Jolie lips. All he has to do is adopt about 10 kids from third world countries and then he can steal her identity.

The bride and groom. We were drinking Dr. Pepper out of champagne flutes that both said "bride" on them. They were from when Patty and Cherie went to San Francisco to get married. I love how my soon-to-be husband's masculinity isn't threatened by drinking out of a "bride" champagne glass. :)

My mom and I at rehearsal. My uncle's in the background. Nice bouquet, eh?

Mandy, my almost seester. Hey, she stole my bouquet.

Jake, my almost brother, who did not steal my bouquet.

At rehearsal.

All of us at the end of rehearsal. What a fabulous bouquet I'm carrying.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

3 Days: Speed-Racer Bride

A surefire way to throw a kink into the many last minute errands that a bride must do is to add her family to the mix. I was so happy to see my family today, and we had a great time, but I definitely did not accomplish all I needed to. I did, however, drive quite a bit. From the start of the day to the end of it, I felt like someone shot me up with adrenaline. Sooner or later, I will crash and burn.

And I am way too tired to write any more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

4 Days: Zen Bride

Today was my last day of work. I managed to address everything work-related that was pending and make sure my desk was clean. I hate leaving for even a short period of time and coming back to a messy area.

I got our programs, bookmarks, and annoucements in the mail today. Everything turned out beautifully. Tonight Mandy and I tied all the programs to the fans, and then once I got home, I addressed and stamped all the announcements. It felt good accomplishing things, though there is still more to be done.

I have finally reached the point where I don't feel very stressed. Someone described it to me like this: this whole time, I've been building momentum, and now I'm riding it out, and it will carry me through the wedding day. I certainly hope so, but at the same time, I hope to be fully present all day long.

Our apartment is a mess, and Roy isn't feeling well, so I'm up early tomorrow to clean before picking up my family from the airport. Here's my to-do list for tomorrow, in no particular order:

Pick up family
Buy flowers for centerpieces
Clean apartment
Shop for honeymoon
Buy more picture frames
Balance checkbook
Get more or less organized
Pay bills
Make signs
Pick up my new glasses
Make place cards
Prepare my little speech/toast
Make info packets for family and bridal party
Wrap bridal party and parent gifts and write out cards

Okay, so I probably won't get all that done tomorrow, but I do think it's doable. I will have people helping, so that will help me out a bunch. But yeah, it definitely helps that I feel calm.

Monday, July 9, 2007

5 Days: Grateful Bride

Over the course of planning my wedding, I've complained a lot...and with good reason. Unfortunately, weddings tend to bring out the worst in people.

Fortunately for brides everywhere, weddings also bring out the best in people. Today I got direct evidence of that. When I got home, I almost immediately began making dinner when Roy said, "Oh yeah, we got a box in the mail today." (Leave it to a guy to not bring that up first thing!) Anyway, I tore open the box and found a gift from someone very unexpected. (This person shall remain nameless for the time being.) All I could say was "Wow." I felt this surge of emotion at this kind gesture by someone so discreet. I was very surprised, to say the least...and also very touched.

It feels strange to say that some of the people who have supported me the most through this process of marriage are people that I didn't even know when I got engaged. People like Melinda, Myra, Kristy, the IE knotties, and this person who shall remain nameless. You know who you are. To all of you, I just have to say thank you. I am so grateful to have shared this time with you.

6 Days: Awake Bride

It is technically 5 days until the wedding, because it's past midnight, but I missed writing for the 6th day, so here I am. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling pretty crappy. I went to go get my dress - it looks great! Then I came home, climbed into bed, and pretty much stayed there. I slept some and also watched quite a few episodes of one of my favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The idea is to not get sick if I can help it. As of right now, I am feeling better than I was when I woke up yesterday morning, but I did develop a bad headache later on in the day, and it's still around. I'm not sure what to think about that, except that I could probably use a good massage. I have a regular massage therapist, and I'm going to give him a call to see if he can fit me in before Saturday.

I actually started packing for the night before the wedding, the wedding itself, the wedding night, and the honeymoon. It may seem silly, but I'm staying in a hotel alone the night before the wedding. I think I may hang out with my family some, because I never get to see them, but otherwise I would like to devote the night to some serious reflection. This is always what I do before a major event happens in my life. I remember sitting in my bed in my old room the last night I was alone before Roy and I moved in together. I wrote in my journal and made note of how my life was not going to be the same once we moved in together. Then again, ever since Roy came into my life, nothing has been the same. He truly turned my world upside down from the get-go. I expect no less in marrying him.

I have gotten to the point where I am more excited than anything. At this point, I don't feel anxious or stressed, although I think my body is. I am so excited to have my mom walk me down the aisle to Roy. I get chills thinking about it, and I hope I'm not blowing it out of proportion in my mind. You know, like when people expect so much from a certain event that they end up being let down (i.e., losing one's virginity).

I only have two days of work left! I don't know how I'm going to make it through them as I am so incredibly unfocused on anything outside of Weddingland. After that, my family flies into town, and then it will get chaotic. Bring on the chaos, I say. After the past 14 months of chaos and drama, I can handle a few more days.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

7 Days: Relaxed Bride

Today was really great. I went to Glen Ivy Hot Springs with Mandy, who is Roy's sister and my wonderful Woman of Honor, and my friend Myra. We swam, laid out (in the shade), sat in the steam room, sat in the hot tub, and played with mud. By the time we left, I felt so relaxed and very sleepy. We grabbed lunch at a little Mexican restaurant nearby and then walked around this little craft fair. After that, we came home, and I took a nap. I thought it was a very satisfying end to my bachelorette day.

But then my friend Melinda texted me and then she came over and picked me up. We went to a nearby bar and had a few drinks. A rockin' band was playing, and we couldn't hear each other talking, so we wrote notes back and forth. It was rather appropriate considering our friendship began online and through typed emails.

I was home a little after 10 PM, and Roy was home from his bachelor party by then. I think it's pretty interesting that we are so old that we get home from our bachelor/bachelorette parties by 10 PM.

Something else: I wore the bikini I bought last night and didn't feel self-conscious all day. There were so many different body types there at Glen Ivy that I couldn't have easily felt self-conscious. Plus, it is an entirely different story when you're not in a dressing room under flourescent lighting.

So, today was really affirming in many ways. A new way of looking at my body, good times with good friends, and more time to bond with my new sister. Thanks for the great day, ladies. :)

Friday, July 6, 2007

8 Days: Self-Conscious Bride

I often wonder if the lighting in dressing rooms is designed to purposely make people feel bad about their bodies. Tonight Roy and I went shopping to find a bathing suit for me. I found out very late that I need a bathing suit to go to the spa tomorrow. I haven't owned a bathing suit in years, because I avoid the sun as much as possible in the summertime. It was truly not a fun sight seeing myself in the different bathing suits I tried on. It actually made me a little weepy.

The strange thing is I haven't gained a pound. But I apparently have lost muscle and gained quite a bit of cellulite in its place. I made the effort to work out to get in better shape, but most of the time I have chosen not to go to my yoga class over actually going to it simply because of the nature of it. It's hot yoga, and every class leaves me completely useless afterward. That's fine if you're not planning a wedding. But I've had to skip classes just so I don't collapse afterwards.

If I could tell any bride one thing, it would be this: don't beat yourself up over your body the way I'm currently doing. It just isn't going to do you any good to pick apart your flaws. I wish that I would listen to my own advice, but unfortunately, whenever I look into the mirror, all I see is a very physically flawed bride looking uncertainly back at me.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

9 Days: Shopaholic Bride

Now that the planning is winding down, I have some major shopping to do. I haven't bought new clothes in what feels like forever, so I went out with my friend Myra to do some shopping after work. I would just like to say that normally I hate shopping with other people, but Myra and I shop well together. We move at the same pace, and of course, many jokes are made. Anyway, I can't buy too much, being as we're broke and all, but I thought it'd be nice to have some new things for the honeymoon and after.

In other wedding related news, our presents for our mothers and my main present for Roy came in today, and they (photo albums) all look beautiful. Also, we received a wedding present from my uncle Charles, who always gives the best gifts. He is really into art, so we got some hand-carved nesting boxes. I think that's what they're called anyway. One box fits into another box which fits into another. Very cool.

There are more things to be done, but I will get to them as I can over the next week or so. I can't believe that our wedding is almost here. It feels both surreal and very real at the same time. I am more excited than worried, and I thought I would never get to this point. Whatever happens, happens. At the end of the day, I will be married to my very best friend.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

10 Days: Bed-ridden Bride

I spent a good portion of the day in bed with a nasty headache. I have scoliosis and am more likely to experience tension in my neck and shoulders, especially when I'm stressed. Sometimes this leads to tension headaches, which I got today. It was absolutely no fun. It only went away once I took a muscle relaxer, which knocked me out for a few hours.

So, nothing done on the wedding today. Oh well. We are so close to being done that missing one day isn't going to kill us. Most of the projects that are left are very small ones. I did realize that my family will be flying in a week from today. I'm getting nervous about having them here, even though they've been to visit before. I don't see myself as much of an entertainer, and our apartment certainly isn't conducive to it either. I spoke to Roy's mom about it and she told me we could do meals at her house, which is awesome. Another great thing she is doing is having her friends set up our rehearsal dinner at their house, and we will not have to worry about a thing. I am very happy about that, as this rehearsal dinner issue has been hanging over my head for quite some time now.

In other news, happy birthday, USA. And I am reading a fantastic book. More on that some other time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

11 Days: Disappointed Bride

I have to constantly tell myself that my wedding is not as important to others as it is to me. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, I am always reminded of that fact again....the hard way.

Monday, July 2, 2007

12 Days: Bride of Few Words

Today I received the CD of our engagement pictures. I know I posted some earlier on, but there are some awesome pics that our photographer took that she didn't originally post on her blog.

We are so lucky to have found her. She really does amazing work.

This is all for tonight. I'm running out of things to say. There's only so much you can say about a wedding, and honestly, my life revolves around that right now.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

13 Days: Good Time Party Girl Bride

Today I witnessed an incredible event. I saw the bottom of our hamper for the first time in probably about 2 months! We have been doing enough laundry to just get by, but now all our clothes are clean. Is it wrong that this excites me?

Today I got to escape from being a bride, for a few hours at least. I went to my friend Melinda's bridal shower. My shower was truly an awesome experience for me, and I hope hers was just as wonderful for her. It was a really fun shower, and the food was good too. Here are some highlights:

The food.

The bride with her awesome veil.

Melinda showing off her inherited china. Very beautiful, if I do say so myself.

I just love this one. Her expression is priceless!

Melinda and her bridesmaids.

Melinda and Alyson, who made the rehearsal bouquet.

The bride and the bride. Yes, that's the same outfit I wore to my work shower. I did wash it though.

Oh, and I would like to add that I won the who-knows-the-bride-the-best game. I also got her the naughtiest present, hands down.

People who think that bridal showers are about gifts are wrong. I remember how I felt at my shower: just genuinely happy and loved. It is the most awesome feeling to be surrouded by people who love you. Best wishes to Melinda, aka the Worm!