Planning with Pinterest

I’ve been engaged for less than 2 months, and here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. My relationship with Pinterest has seriously changed. Sure, there are things about Pinterest that I still love. I can find a flowchart of the wedding processional line in a cinch. I can look at ideas for flowers, cakes, decor, etc. and save them simply. But let me tell you the things I dislike about Pinterest now that I’m actually planning a wedding.
    1. I need sub-boards! I have tweeted this to Pinterest; should I pin it somehow?? I pin different things on different days, so one day I’m looking at garters, the next I’m looking at “something blue” and happen to find a garter. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if within my Wedding board, I could have a sub-board, or even just a divider of some sort for “Garters” or “Cakes?”
    2. I hear the words, “Yeah I’ve seen that on Pinterest” so often – especially about weddings – it puts this weird pressure on the bride to make sure those words are not said. It also makes it so that every bride and Pinning guest she has, has this vision of what a beautiful wedding looks like, due to Pinterest and if you can’t replicate that, people will judge you. It feels like people base their opinions and their perceptions on what they’ve seen on Pinterest. Newsflash: Those Pinterest ideas aren’t even unique anymore (the shoe game is cute, but sometimes it just drags on). And those cute little save the dates, or favors that are handmade – take way too much time and money. I have a full time job and a budget (and no wedding planner) – something Pinterest seems to forget when it comes to weddings.
    3. It’s a smidge overwhelming. “Look at all these different variations of the same bridal shower game!” “Games that won’t bore your guests to death!” Do people hate games at bridal showers? Is it more fun if you don’t have the chance to win a prize just for knowing the bride’s shoe size? This is news to me, and if my bridal shower is boring to people, they don’t have to come! Same goes for my wedding – it’s really not about just entertaining people.
    4. People only pin the weddings that are over the top and oozing elegance. I know that my wedding will be perfect for my groom and I. If our aisle isn’t one of the most pinned aisles on the internet, we will still be happily married. I’ve learned to stop caring about what Pinterest has to suggest, unless I ask! 🙂
  2. Think big picture. Do you really need to spend $300 on an aisle runner? Probably not. Brides are bombarded with so many details it can be overwhelming and chances are, people won’t even notice many of them. (At least that’s what they keep telling me).
  3. Everybody has an opinion. People are sending me Pins, links, etc. all with “helpful” tips about what they think would be fun, or cute. I appreciate it, but again, unless I ask, I probably don’t need that help (and chances are, I’ve already seen it). There should be two opinions that really matter when it comes to the wedding: The bride and the groom. And if you’re a close knit family like Alex and I are – our parents’ opinions also matter to us.
  4. Engagement photos are treasures. Maybe this is just for me, because our photographer did such a spectacular job, but I am just cherishing every single photo she took capturing our love. We took our engagement pictures on our college campus – where we met in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s a 60-90 minute drive from where we currently live, but well worth it. Fort Collins is our home away from home, so when we arrived, we already felt comforted and cozy and we were able to be our total selves because of it. Our photographer did such a good job making us feel comfortable with her as well so she was able to capture some very sweet shots of the two of us.
    I have shared the photos with a select group of people, and I will eventually share them to the Facebook world, but for now, I’m hoarding them. I’m holding them close to my heart as my own little treasure chest. I can look at them, and know “this is just for me” and feel just as calm and at ease as we did in Fort Collins that day.
  5. Go with the flow. Our engagement pictures were supposed to be sunset pictures, but it hailed the day we scheduled them, so they are darker, and wet. And obviously, I still love them. There’s a very good chance it is going to rain (for at least a little bit) on the day of our wedding – at our outdoor ceremony. And I’m starting to accept this now so maybe it won’t be such a shock on the actual day. I have changed the picture we are using on our Save the Dates three times already. At first, that was stressing me out, then I thought about how lucky we are to have so many great pictures to choose from and realized I will like any of the choices we make. And I still have all the other pictures in my little treasure trove, and to use at the wedding. Stay on top of it all, remember what this day is actually about, and relax just a little bit. It will all be perfect in the end.

Thanks for reading! I know the topics of my writing has changed in the last few months, and I hope you all stay with me through this journey!

P.S. I will update about my children’s books soon!

P.P.S. I have two lines of my vows already written! I would have forgotten the exact wording if I didn’t write them down right that moment 🙂

 

Currently Doing

It’s been awhile since I’ve written, (longer than I like to admit) so here are some updates as to what I’ve been up to!

I am currently….

reading: Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. Next up: If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

watching: Still Star-Crossed, and Drop Dead Diva (again)

planning: a trip to Seattle with Alex. (And our wedding of course!)

writing: a piece called “You Matter Too,” my novel, and just finished writing my second children’s book 🙂

obsessed with: my new cast iron skillet and any recipes that allow me to use it.

in need of: a new vacuum.

wanting: a dog and a big, long thunderstorm.

proud of: my 2nd children’s book and getting a raise at work.

dreading: money issues. We need a new vacuum, a shoe shelf (surprisingly not for me), and a date night.

looking forward to: a day off from work 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-M

Thoughts Before Bed: Building a Marriage

I did not get enough sleep last night. I had very little caffeine today, I have a 7AM appointment tomorrow, my body is aching like it does when I am really exhausted, and yet, I can’t fall asleep.

Most of you already know, I got engaged a few weeks ago. The proposal was so perfect that I keep reliving it in my head over and over again, wishing I could just go back to that night. The ring is so beautiful that I cannot stop staring at it, still in shock that this is all real. And the man is so incredible that I cannot believe how lucky I am to marry him.

I have always been a sap when it comes to weddings. I cry at wedding movies and books, and don’t even get me started on real life weddings. What can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’ve dreamt about my wedding day for years. I’ve had most of it already planned, I just needed the perfect man. And now, I finally have him. And you know what is keeping me up tonight? This damn wedding.

Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the planning process, and am very much enjoying it. What I fear is making the wrong decision. I thought I had my color scheme, and my backup color scheme figured out. Today, I came up with a totally different color scheme, equally beautiful, but equally hard to decide on. I’ve had second doubts about the venue, that I’ve seen weddings take place at since I was a little girl. And then there’s the photographer. Do you know how many photographers there are out there? How do I know we’re spending the right amount of money on the right things? How do I know if we’re making the right decisions?

So today, I stepped back from Pinterest, and Instagram and I took a moment to look at an old picture of Alex and I that I had basically forgotten about, but absolutely love. And the picture not only reminded me of how far we have come together, but how far we have yet to go together. And I teared up at the thought of saying our vows, and growing old with each other, and then I was able to refocus on what this is really all about. The only thing that will truly matter to me on the day of our wedding is that I get to marry him. Everything else is just decoration. In the end, the marriage that we are building is a million times more important than the wedding that we are planning.  The vows that we say to each other are more important than the picture of us saying them.

I can think about all the choices we have to make, but as I fall asleep I’ll focus on the one that actually matters. I choose him. And that is one decision that I know is the right one.

Love this

We fell in mutual weirdness.

 

 

What it Feels like when You Finally Find The One

When Alex proposed, there was no doubt, or fear, or anxiety in my mind. It was amazement, joy, and relief. Because that’s what it feels like when you’ve finally found The One.

There was no doubt in my mind because I decided years ago that he was The One. I can’t pinpoint the exact first time I thought, “He’s The One.”  But it occurred to me many different times in the course of our (almost) five year relationship.

It occurred to me when he told me he would follow me to law school when that was the dream I was pursuing.

It occurred to me when he said the biggest compliment he’s ever received was when I told him he would be a good father someday.

It occurred to me when he reacted to seeing my newborn niece’s little feet, “They’re just so tiny!”

It occurred to me when he told me not to keep applying to jobs that weren’t going to lead me down the path I wanted to go.

It occurred to he when he owned up to his mistakes and it again occurred to me when I knew deep down that we could make it through anything.

It occurs to me each time he holds my hand during moments that he knows are hard for me.

It occurs to me each time he gently pushes me to open up because he can tell I’m bottling something up again.

It occurs to me each time he holds me and it feels like home. Each time I long to put my head on his chest, simply to forget the world around us.

But when he finally got down on one knee surrounded by rose petals in a candlelit blanket fort, it finally occurred to me that this would be forever; that all my hopes for us would soon be reality; that all the struggles we’ve been through together have only made us stronger; that I finally found someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me.

So when you finally find The One, who makes you feel safe, comfortable in your own skin, confident, and believes in you even when you don’t believe in yourself, and who honestly makes you realize why all the others didn’t work out, don’t let them go.

And when you finally find The One, you’ll just know.

So this happened

This twenty-something is engaged!

It’s Okay to be Sad 

“I’m sad.” Go ahead, let yourself say it. Say it out loud to the world you’re surrounded by. How often do we actually allow ourselves to admit that we’re sad? “I’m fine,” “I’m just upset,” “Don’t worry about it” are all just substitute that mask the real emotion we’re feeling.

Why are we so uncomfortable with sadness? When someone is angry we tell them to calm down or take deep breaths or go workout. When someone is happy we tell them we’re happy for them, or that their smile is contagious. But when someone is sad we try to stifle that emotion. Of course we don’t want to see our loved one crying, but they’re crying for a reason. We say, “I’m sorry…” But why do we use the same words to comfort someone when they’re sad that we use when they’re angry?

Why is sadness so often viewed as weakness? If you’re mad at work it shows you care and you’re passionate. If you’re sad, it means you’re emotional and weak. Our society is just not okay with sadness.

So what I’m here to tell you today is let yourself be sad. Let your head fall. Let your eyes close. Let your chin quiver. Let your tears fall. Let your heart feel. Give yourself a break. Cry until your face is scrunched up, your eyes are red, and your breathing is labored. Cry until you fall into a deep sleep. Cry until you fall on the floor in fetal position. Cry until your tears are all dried up because you deserve it. And you need it. Cry because it’s okay to feel sadness. The fact that you’re feeling at all makes you alive. And it’s even okay to ask for help. The fact that you’re asking at all makes you brave.

Once all your tears are dried, and you’ve run out of tissues, and your eyes feel so heavy you can’t help but close them, pick yourself up off the floor. Stand up. Hold your head high again and remind yourself that this too shall pass; that you survived that storm and you’re stronger on the other side of it. Be brave enough to face the world that tried to break you. And when you’re ready, smile again. And breathe easier knowing that you are strong enough to allow yourself to feel. 

A New Generation of Lovers

Every generation seems to love differently. Our grandparents married young, and for many, divorce wasn’t an option. Their love was disrupted by wars, famine, and economic downturn. They only knew hard work, so a marriage wasn’t any different. They worked hard in life, and in love. They fought in wars, and for love. Many of our parents were the products of war-torn love. And our parents loved a little differently than their parents. Divorce was more acceptable, so many of them fought and fought, and forgot what they were fighting for, or why it even mattered, and so the fights ended the marriage. Some, of course, still fought for the love they saw in their own parents. Our generation are products of blended families, second marriages, and still, a lucky few, of a love that endures all other hardships.

Our generation loves differently. We hardly even acknowledge love. We stare at our screens when we should be staring into each other’s eyes. We don’t even look up enough to see a certain someone cross our path. We refuse to label anything so we wander around, unwilling to just commit. And we say it’s because we’re scared of getting hurt. That too is just another mask for us to hide behind. A label-less love can be just as hurtful, if not even more so, than a love that is clearly defined. We say we’re scared of someone leaving, but we don’t do anything to keep them around. We use all the excuses we can to justify bad behavior, even when we know we deserve better.

We avoid awkward conversations, or moments of silence by just pulling out our phones and entering our own world. Family dinners have become collective electronic time. We face so many distractions that we fear missing out on something, so we stay distant. And then we complain about our anxiety and depression and wonder why we don’t feel whole. Because we’re scared. And while we have good reason to be, with all the tragedies we’ve seen in our lives, we’re the generation that won’t face those fears. Because we don’t have to. We face our phones and our false sense of importance through social media. It’s so easy to hit a button to show that we “love” something that we don’t understand why real love isn’t that easy.

I don’t think it’s easy for our generation to find love. We have all sorts of apps and websites and hang outs designed specifically to help us find people, and feel connected. But what do we do with them? We take them for granted. We take each other for granted. And that’s why if you’re one of the lucky few to find a true, meaningful love, you fight for it. Things get tough. In today’s society, the distractions are seemingly endless and it makes it easy to be distracted from our love. But we fight through that. We fight for what we want and what we deserve because we don’t want to go back to swiping through images that have been edited to show our best selves, or going on more terrible first dates, or trying to decipher emojis and text messages from someone who won’t even tell us how they really feel. So when we find our someone, our generation fights. And yes, we take longer than our grandparents to find someone, and no, we’re not as traditional as our parents in the way we find and keep someone. No, we may not do everything in the “right” order, or even handle difficulties in the best manner, but we fight for love, just as much as we yearn for it. We don’t care what society tells us to do, or who to love, or how to meet someone, we do it our own way. And we love in our own way.

 

Give it a Try

This quote is the only way to describe the process I’m starting.

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As of today, I have sent my children’s book manuscript (unsolicited of course) to three publishers. My goal is to send the manuscript to all the publishers on my list before the first rejection letter can come in. The act of placing the envelope in the mail, is not nerve wracking, even the waiting isn’t nerve wracking yet. It’s the first envelope that comes back that will be nerve wracking. But hey, I can’t complain about the way things are going in my life if I don’t at least try to change them.

I’m trying to figure out what caused this big push to send out the manuscript. Sure, I want to change my career path and get my writing out there, but I think it was more than that. I think I just got tired of hearing the negativity surrounding this industry. I’m aware that it’s a tough industry, and it’s even tougher to try and break into it as a new, unknown writer. And I’m also aware that even though I did my research and revised and tailored each query letter I sent with my beloved manuscript, I will still almost undoubtedly get rejected. I get it. I hear you. But just like that quote, my heart is whispering “Give it a try.” And my heart is whispering, “What if they love it?” and “It only takes one.” So I’m sure I will be cursing myself and my hope once I read that first, second, or fifteenth rejection letter, but for now, I’m going to take a chance, and give it a try. I listen to my head over my heart far too often anyways.

I also started my second children’s book. I’m about one third of the way through and I’m having to remind myself that the process for writing this one, likely won’t be the same as the first one. The first book I wrote in one sitting, beginning to end. Then, I sent it to a few people, then I revised it based on some of the feedback. This new book I have the beginning, middle, and end laid out in my head, but I’m starting to get caught up on little details. I don’t want this one detail to change the overall meaning of the story. I stopped writing because I had to re-visit those details and decide how/if I wanted to change them.

I want to take a minute and thank all of my readers and supporters. Being an aspiring author is really hard, and I couldn’t continue on this path without all of the support I get. For those of you who read my first blog and followed me here, and those of you who follow me now and knew nothing about me before this blog existed, and those of you who read my posts every time you see them on Facebook, and my loved ones around me who have never once doubted my ability, even when I have, thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, you still keep me going, and keep me writing.

-M

P.S. Meg Cabot responded to my Tweet 😀 (And yes, I know it was probably her assistant and not her, but don’t take this away from me, it’s the most exciting thing to happen on Twitter ever in my mind!)