Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No mas boyfriend

We are swimming in a sea of to-dos... reserve rooms, buy a tux, taste some cake. On top of actual work, it's another job in itself.

But it's nothing like I thought it would be.

It's so much better.

We cancelled our cable to save money for the wedding. But it's not a big deal, we do more talking now. We watch Netflix or Hulu, and drink beer, and talk about what color the napkins should be.

We're not taking anything too seriously. Sure, there have been hiccups. Hard decisions, fear of hurting feelings. But through it all, though it's only been a month, we have been experiencing a magical experience. Every now and again, in the middle of some discussion about whether to have heather grey or black suits for the groomsmen, one of us just stops and looks at the other. And we both light up with the realization that this is really happening.

I think for me, seeing him so happy is an incredibly happy surprise. And I guess for the last few years, I've felt a bit like I was in this alone. But I know now that that was never true. We may have been on different pages at points, but we were both equally excited to marry each other.

That's clear to me now.

The biggest surprise of this whole experience has been how he lights up when we talk about getting married. He's ready, like, right now. The venue we've chosen (yes, the contract is signed!) had a few dates available in 2015. And his response to me was, okay, let's do it! I don't care if it's June, July, August... let's do it! (It's October, I'm not THAT crazy.)

His enthusiasm has made this whole journey so much more than I thought it would be. We're in it together. Going to wedding meetings with vendors, even signing contracts... all of it doesn't feel like so much work when we're together. He's making this so much FUN for me.

I think about how long I've waited for this... how long WE'VE waited. And you know, I wouldn't take any of it back. It is so worth it to see the smile on his face when I told him I think I might have found the dress last night. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Floor cake and frozen wallets

Being engaged feels different than I thought it would. For the first week, K and I were so over-the-moon, Christmas-morning excited that we kept doing weird stuff. Sleep was heavy and dreamless, food didn't taste like anything, and K accidentally put his wallet in the freezer. I was constantly clammy and a volcano of exuberant emotions. I cry at the Kay commercials.

Other weird things we did:

- flipped half of our engagement cake upside down on the floor

- stepped on Linus' tail

- watched the Bachelor (and K liked it)

My sister told me it would feel different, and I didn't think it would. Neither did K. But something has just shifted between us. We're so much closer than we've ever been, and just so thankful for everything we have. We're CRAZY emotional (both of us!) and cry at the drop of a hat. 

I don't want to leave him in the morning. It's excruciating. And I'm more fearful when he leaves for work; he's carrying precious cargo now. My fiance! We feel like FAMILY. Actual family. And it's the most wonderful thing I've ever felt in my whole life. 

Being proposed to felt like all of the dreams I've ever had since I was little are coming true. To be asked to be someone's WIFE... what an incredible honor. I didn't think I'd really feel that much different. But I really do. Life has a color to it that it didn't before. And more than anything, I feel so so incredibly grateful for this season of our lives. 

But I'll ALSO be so happy when we get back to our normal world, where we sit on the couch and binge watch House of Cards with our mews. Because that's just always where I want to be. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Path of Life (An Engagement Story!)

My stomach just flip-flopped when I looked at the ring again. It's still so surreal. And you can see why, based on how I was feeling 12 days ago. 

But it's a beautiful place that I was able to get myself to, BEFORE the ring, and the overwhelming happiness. I'm proud of that place, because I did it for ME. 

And it made what came on Saturday so much more beautiful. 

The day started around 9am when we woke up. K made me a delicious breakfast sandwich, I gave him his valentine, and we read the police blotter aloud to each other. (It's a family tradition.) 

We cleaned up cat puke, put on snow pants, and packed up the growlers for the long drive to Windsor VT, where we were headed to #thelongthaw party at Harpoon Brewery. 

K had originally told me we were going to do a nice dinner somewhere, and then changed his mind once he found the event. I told him an outdoor beer garden was more up my alley anyways. 

On the drive, we talked about how we wanted our friends to be happy, how beautiful the scenery was, and I yelled at him again about how he had used a door that said "please use other door" the night before at Price Chopper. I told him he needed to learn to follow the rules. 

We arrived, grabbed a few Long Thaws and I kicked K's ass in baggo. (Or "cornhole", depending on where you're from.) We played some slightly-larger-Jenga, won a Harpoon scarf, and stood by the bonfire for a few hours. 

Then, Karl noticed they did sleigh rides through the beautiful Path of Life Garden adjacent to the brewery. Neither one of us had any idea just how beautiful it was. 

We saddled up next to a bunch of sweet L&D nurses from Boston into the sleigh, and it drew us away from the brewery through this garden. 

The garden itself ( is 14 acres, and the man who built it has been working on it for 16 years. The horse-drawn sleigh pulled through the tunnel into the garden, and we huddled under blankets as we viewed the sculptures representing the various stages of life. 

A few minutes in, K turned to me and said, "we should go snowshoeing back through here when we get done." To which I replied: "that sounds like a lot of physical labor. I would rather drink beer by the bonfire." But he insisted, so once we were done with the sleigh ride, we compromised (I put on my snow boots instead of snow shoes) and we walked back into the garden the same way we had just come on the sleigh. 

He told me there was a distillery next door where we could get vodka after, and I said that was the carrot on the end of my stick, motivating me to walk through the snow.

I then insisted we take a selfie at the entrance to the tunnel, which would turn out to be the last photo we have on record of being boyfriend and girlfriend. 

As we entered the garden, K walked ahead of me, gripping my mitten as he steered me towards the first stage of life, "Birth". It was a huge hedge maze, a little overgrown since it was winter, and it led to the next stage, which is "Adventure". 

I stopped him at the entrance and said we were going to get lost in there. And since nobody else was around, I was frightened that we would be found in the spring, thirsty skeletons in the center of the maze. 

He turned around near the entrance, surrounded on all sides by hedges, pulled me into a hug, and held me close for a few seconds. Then, he said to me: "Honey, I feel like your strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are your weaknesses." Then he pulled back from me, looked me in the eyes and dropped to one knee. 

I held my mittens over my face and sobbed uncontrollably while he held out the ring. Then, I didn't know what else to do, so I dropped to my own knees and hugged him back for a solid two minutes. It was very Monica and Chandler. (Whose engagement, ironically enough, was what my sister and brother-in-law were watching at that very moment.) 

Finally, facing me with tears in his eyes, he said "well, is that a yes?" And of course I said... "YES!" He said, "okay, do you want to take off your Bear Paws so I can put this ring on?" 

Just as he placed the ring on my finger, we both stood up to embrace. And just like magic, the sky burst with a whitewash of big fat snowflakes that didn't stop until we got home that night. 

We called my sister immediately after and told only she and my brother-in-law. Then, we decided to save the rest of the phone calls for tomorrow. We walked over to the Silo, a distillery located next to the garden, and had our first gin/vodka tasting as fiance and fiancee. (I still can't figure out how to type those weird thingies on top of the 'e's.) 

After an insane journey through the last few years, many ups and downs, and lots of very difficult conversations between the two of us, I wouldn't take any of it back. It made us stronger, it taught us that we can stay together through hard times and support and love each other through it, and it has made me the most THANKFUL bride-to-be there ever, ever was. 

Friends and family reading this, I just want to thank you for staying by us and supporting us through the last years. We could not have done it without you, and we will continue to need your support through our engagement and marriage. After all, what good is your happiness if you can't share it with the people you love? 

PS: Browse this blog with caution, some of it is raunchy and curs-y. But it's all me, and I can't say sorry for that. Stay tuned for more enchanting stories of seating charts and cat vomit. 


(I wrote this on February 10th, but waited to post it. It's an important lead up to how I'm feeling today.)

This is what thirty-one looks like. 

It's happy. It's incredibly grateful. It's being surrounded by family and friends that really, truly care about me. (And knowing when to say goodbye to the ones who don't.) It's having a best friend post VERY OLD pictures from college. And my little brother calling me on my way to work to wish me happy birthday. 

It's calm. And centered. And focused. It's knowing who I am, and who I want to be. Strong, brave, kind. Direct. Honest. Compassionate. Supportive. Protective. 

It's having the biggest smile on my face on my way to work this morning, and knowing it's not because there's a ring on my finger or a baby in my belly. (Though I'll be INCREDIBLY thankful when the time is right for both of these.) But this happiness is mine. I'm giving it to myself. 

I spent much of last year feeling down and trying to control things that are simply out of my hands. I became bitter, anxious, ungrateful. I wasn't able to be happy for my friends, and I wasn't able to appreciate what was in front of me. 

But thanks to the help of my boyfriend and my family, I pulled myself up. And decided that I was tired of waiting to be happy. 

Thirty-one feels like a new person. Like an enormous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I'm living in the moment, happy for whatever life brings me. And most importantly, I'm happy for my friends again. And supremely thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Call Adnan

I've got an IV of Serial crack-cocaine connected to my arm just like the rest of the world. I can't get enough. Adnan, Jay, and Sarah are the only shining light in my hour-long commute home every day.

But a funny thing happened with the last few episodes. Half way through the podcasts, my car stopped playing and started dialing my PHONE.

Three times this happened, and thrice I swore and pounded the steering wheel with the rage of a withdrawling addict.

... WHO are you calling, Siri?

It wasn't until I realized that the voice recognition in my car thought Adnan was someone in my phone book, and was TRYING TO CALL HIM.

Not cool, car. I want to free Adnan as much as the next guy, but I don't particularly want a Global Tel-Link collect call.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Frowning Popes

I'm going to take a little break here from the pity party I've been throwing myself to regale you with a tale of an epic battle for women's rights. 

A few months ago, K joined a pool league at the local Knights of Columbus. Our neighbor is running it, and we thought it would be a fun Thursday night activity with cheap beer. The place looks like my childhood home's finished basement, carpeted poles and all. Also, there are lots of pictures of popes on the walls.

I am one of two women who show up to this sausage fest; the other is a wife of one of the other players. We give each other the quintessential vagina nod when we see each other. Hey, you have one, TOO! 

Last Thursday, K's team was short two players. They all take this league pretty seriously, so they were pissed that they were going to have to forfeit. Naturally, I raised my hand and offered to sub. 

Suddenly, the room started moving in slow motion as each man's eyes lit up with fear. They glanced at me in horror, then back to each other. Arms were crossed, feet shuffled. I slowly lowered my hand and glanced around the room. Did someone just walk in with a gun? 

One man spoke up: "oh, I don't know. This is a MEN'S league. We don't allow women to play."

Good thing I'd had a few beers and no fucks left to give. I put my hair up in a ponytail and turned to the guy to my right, a jolly guy who would be my first opponent. "Did you know we can even VOTE now, too?" He laughed nervously, then turned away. I could not believe what was transpiring. Was the alternative of forfeitting the game really a better option than letting a GIRL play? 

Finally, a progressive jokester and my new personal confidant, Jeff, spoke up with a courtesy laugh at my bold joke: "Listen to that! Can you hear the roof shaking?" We shared a giggle, and I turned to him with grateful eyes, thankful to have someone else recognize the ridiculousness of this situation. 

Grudgingly, I was allowed to play. The room stopped and stared as I got up from the bar to start my first game. Some people were curious, some were downright angry. The popes frowned in fury. 

In the end, I lost two games, but won the last--I have never been prouder. 

As an interesting afternote: the legitimacy of this game is still being debated by the elders. This is not a joke. They are in the process of determining whether or not to count my game... because I have a vagina. STUNNING. I bravely returned last night mostly out of curiousity. (Plus, the cheap beers.) It really is amazing who cares and who doesn't. And to be fair, there are a handful of the guys who totally back me and think it's funny, too. I like to think of them as the Frederick Douglasses to my Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

On the walk home, I turned to K. 
"Ow!" I said, rubbing my head. 
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I think I hurt my head when I jumped through that glass ceiling."

Monday, December 1, 2014

Game Genie

Apparently, people go to Walmart for two things: to punch each other over $30 TVs, and to heal relationships. My experience was, thankfully, the latter. 

We had just loaded the car with many bags of goodies for Thanksgiving dinner, which we host with both of our families each year. Happy to have made it out alive and with minimal injuries, we were driving home. I'm not even really sure how the conversation started, but we started talking about getting married/having babies, and K turned to me and said: I just have seen a change in you lately. You seem so sad and it seems like a bitterness has just settled inside of you. It's not like you to not be able to be happy for your friends. He said, I need you to know that I am ready for all of these things, marriage, babies, everything. But I'm afraid it's not going to fill the hole inside of you. I'm afraid you'll get all of those things and it won't be enough, because someone else will always have something more. He said, I want you to be happy with our life now, before we're engaged, and to be happy for our friends. Because that's what life is all about. In true nerd fashion, he likened our engagement to a video game. "It's like when you're trying to get to beat Mario 3 and you can't get past that damn warship. You try and try, so frustrated, and when you finally plug that Game Genie in and beat it, you just feel like... FINALLY. Not like... YAY!" 

I froze in my seat, unable to speak. Never in my life had someone besides my sister been able to so acutely recognize what was going on inside of me. I felt astonishment over everything else, that he was able to see what was happening to me. And everything he said was with love, not out of frustration or anger. It was with a kindness and an ability to view my heart and circumstances existentially, without bringing in his personal feelings. Which I can't imagine is an easy thing to do, when the two things I want most in this world directly involve him. 

I just looked at him, tears welling in my eyes. And for the first time I realized how my feelings have been affecting other people. It felt like someone had shined a light into my heart and exposed all of the awful feelings in there. But it was like a release occurred, and I was suddenly able to see the situation from the outside a little bit. 

We talked in depth for a few hours, and even though my face was puffy from crying, I felt hope for the first time in awhile. Not for getting married, or achieving any of these things that I've pinned my future happiness to, but for choosing the right partner who is able to see me, and help me out of this hole I've dug myself into. Which I'm sure will happen many more times for each other over the course of our lives together. And over this weekend, with both of our families in our house, I had several moments where I stopped talking and just felt a wave of overwhelming affection for everyone... and I started to feel like the old me again. I still have work to do, for sure. I see many yoga classes in my future. But I think this is a very good start. Maybe I just needed someone to recognize what I was going through, and validate it. Maybe it was just that I needed HIM to recognize and validate me. But whatever the case, I know more certainly than ever now, that I've chosen the right person for me.