Inside or Outside? Tuesday, Feb 22 2011 

Sooo….I’ve been planning the wedding to take place overlooking the lake on my parents’ beautiful property. But October in New England is not always outdoor-wedding friendly, so enter some major bridal anxiety. I had a nightmare about people wearing big red sweatshirts over their cocktail attire because it was so rainy and cold.

(photo courtesy of weddingupdate.net)

The opportunity has presented itself to possibly change the locale of the ceremony, and have it inside a church instead. I know this would make my dad really happy, but I’ve always, always, always pictured myself getting married outside.

Possible issues with church ceremony? My fiance isn’t Catholic, the Church could be booked, they could make us move the time to a ridiculously early afternoon ceremony, they could insist on certain music, they might not let us say our own vows, they might make us do a ton of Pre-Cana (which would be physically impossible since we will both be living in California, 3000 miles away until a few days before the wedding), I’ve never liked the idea of sitting with my back to the guests during readings etc, they might have décor restrictions and rules, they might have other ceremony restrictions that could add to even more anxiety. We’d have to transport everyone to the church, and then from the church to the house, and then from the house back to their hotel (my parents don’t want anyone driving after this sure-to-be-fabulous-champagne-flowing-party), which is added logistical dilemma.

Possible issues with outdoor ceremony? My parents are NOT going for the “Let’s hope it doesn’t rain and go with the basic tent as a back up” option. They want the full beautiful white tent draped with fabric, complete with floor. My dad’s exact words? “You will NOT be walking through the mud in your wedding gown!” We’re already having a major elaborate(aka expen$ive) tent set up for dinner- lighting, heaters, floor, dance floor, décor, flowers, draped fabric, the works- it will really look like a warm, beautiful room. The added stress of an additional tent, plus chairs, plus labor to set up tent and then move chairs to dinner tent for reception, is not helping my cause for a simple set-up. Ideally, we won’t have a ceremony tent- but we will need to already have paid for one to have it there for back-up in case of rain. In my mind, I’m seeing the ideal, beautiful setting of getting married overlooking the lake, with the sun coming through and kissing the golden fall leaves, everyone happy and smiling in their seats, sans sweatshirts, and then walking over to the reception tent for dinner. Oh, plus a cocktail hour (with tent) in between.

What to do, what to do? Inside or outside? Dream outdoor ceremony and worry about rain? Suck it up, deal with church restrictions, make dad happy and not worry about weather?

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Wedding Page Two: The New Title Sunday, Feb 20 2011 

I got engaged two months after Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton. Surprisingly, I wasn’t jealous that she was going to be a Princess, but I did wish for myself another title that she now had: fiancé. Again surprisingly, I didn’t want this title for myself. I wanted to call Bill something besides “my boyfriend”. I felt a little silly calling up Nimi’s vet and saying “my boyfriend will pick up her medication”. It either felt like we were still in high school and “going steady” or trailer park trashy people that aspired to be a common law “boyfriend” for life. It just didn’t encompass what he was to me. When we had first started dating, I couldn’t say it at first. Bill’s mom actually gave my dad the first of probably many mini coronaries by saying “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” approximately sixteen times during dinner one night during the week we had started dating. I just said “Billy”, because I never needed to qualify it to anyone. At school, all my friends knew him as my prom date. I never had to say “I’m calling my boyfriend” or “I’m visiting my boyfriend” until I got to college. And boy, there, did I get sick of that word.

Every weekend night- “I have a boyfriend.” “I have to call my boyfriend.” “Sorry, I have a boyfriend.” “Oh, my boyfriend goes there!” “My boyfriend is obsessed with Call of Duty too!” “I’m visiting my boyfriend.” “I can’t go out, I have to call my boyfriend.” “Hey, get away from me, I have a boyfriend.” “Can I borrow your car to go visit my boyfriend?” I got sooooo unbelievably sick of hearing myself say “boyfriend” over and over. Even the Ashlee Simpson song and hearing other people say it was a relief. Over the college years, I finally was able to use his name with the people that got to know him, but it was still “My boyfriend lives out in California” when a plane neighbor would ask me why the hell I was flying to San Jose at 10:00 on a Thursday night from Baltimore all by myself.

The word didn’t mean enough, maybe because I had used it and dragged it to the point of death a hundred times over, but I think it was also because everyone had one. Eighth-graders had “boyfriends”.  My sister had a boyfriend. Even Kim Kardashain had three different boyfriends during the span of Bill’s and my relationship. He was more than my “boyfriend” because he was everything. When I said “my boyfriend”, people didn’t know if we had been dating ten years or ten minutes; they didn’t know how madly in love and besotted I was, and how much I needed to be in his world.

I wasn’t going to visit my “boyfriend” on the weekends- I was going home where I felt complete and happy and warm and comfortable. I didn’t want to look for grad schools close to where my “boyfriend” would be living- I needed my life to be near his life, because I didn’t like my life without him. I didn’t want to be away from him, and I didn’t know why I should be. People search their whole lives for what I found when I was seventeen- why was I distancing myself and not taking advantage of what I had?

So he got the hint that I wanted to call him something besides my “boyfriend”. One of my favorite things about being engaged is hearing him say “my fiancée”. He’s so into it, and it’s the cutest, most delicious sound in the world. Right after we were engaged, like two days later, he was going out with a friend who had stopped by, and on the phone I asked him what he was wearing out for drinks. “The outfit I wore to propose to you.” It just made me giddy how cool he was, how comfortable he was with the new step. It eliminated all little doubts I had about dropping too many hints and pressuring him to put a ring on it. On the phone, it was “I have to talk to my fiancée about some stuff”(this was during an adorable awkward encounter where he had asked the wrong friend to be a groomsmen via voicemail) I had finally weathered the “boyfriend” years, and now got to start over with a new title, of “fiancé”, where people knew just by listening to me speak, how in love I am and how much my life is intertwined with his.

Sure, Kate Middleton will beat me to “wife” and she’ll always have “Princess”, but I sure am enjoying “fiancee” while I can.

Stop and Smell the Freaking Roses Monday, Feb 14 2011 

Disclaimer: This is cheery Valentine’s Day post. Blame the afterglow from 5 day fiancé visit.

(photo courtesy of flowerspictures.com)

I was at CVS this morning, and of course the line was extra long due to last-minute Valentine’s Day treat shopping. Surrounded by buckets of colorful roses, and guys debating which chocolate confection to bring home to their love, the spirit of Valentine’s Day was undeniable. Mostly everyone had some kind of red or heart or love theme going on, whether it was the store décor or people’s fashion choices.

But then…wait…..wait. What could that be? Peeps!!! Peeking out from the corner shelf, there they were. The neon pastel packaging was undeniable. Why????? It’s Valentine’s Day, people!!! Peeps are for Easter- we’re a good two months away from pre-Easter indulgence of sugar overload.

It seems to be the norm in stores- supermarkets and convenience alike- they start breaking out skeletons and pumpkins in August, turkey and pilgrim décor in September, and Christmas trees and tinsel have taken over before Halloween even has a chance to shine. Then the New Year comes, everyone’s happy, basking, working out, yay, a break from holidays for a while! Oh nope, by mid January, it’s red and pink hearts and flowers everywhere. Then, before Valentine’s Day even gets to enjoy its 24 hours of love, the stores and Hallmark are already making way for the Easter bunny.

Why do we do this? Why do we rush through each holiday to get to the next one? Whether or not you like Valentine’s Day, you have to admit that everyone’s in a slightly nicer, more loving mood, so even if it is a candy and Hallmark card holiday, why not embrace the happiness and hearts everywhere? Candy tastes the same when wrapped in pretty pink paper, so enjoy it nonetheless. Let’s slow down, enjoy each day as it comes, and stop to smell the freaking roses.

Wedding Page One: Rules of Engagement Thursday, Feb 10 2011 

I didn’t think much was going to change. I had been dropping hints about rings and colors and destination weddings and time frames and groomsmen and bridesmaids and music for several months before the engagement. I had even encountered the first (of many) wedding-related arguments with my sister,( soon to be exasperated maid of honor) before there was any ring in sight.

So I didn’t think my mentality was going to shift as literally as it did. But I have been blessed with a very “involved” fiancé, an exuberantly enthusiastic mother, and a supportive father who admits that he has been dreaming about this day longer than I have.

I was shocked when, the very day after the perfect proposal in the snow, everything became “wedding, wedding”. In my mind, it had been “wedding, wedding” for months, but now everyone else was jumping on my bandwagon too! Things moved at lightning speed, right away. I called Priscilla’s of Boston to try to squeeze in a bridal appointment before my sister and I would both head back to school for months. All of a sudden we had the engagement party, only ten days after the actual engagement. The “wedding, wedding” mentality had spread, and it was contagious. No turning back, or dialing down, now.

Cold Water Cure Sunday, Feb 6 2011 

Disclaimer here: Obviously, I am not a doctor. I’m not a nurse. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not even studying to become any of those things. I’m a Journalism major writing my own thoughts on this little blog on here.

(That felt like the scene in Father of the Bride II when Fronk’s shouting “I am not a husband! I am not a father! I am not a 911 man!” OK, wedding obsession subsiding, just had to throw that in!)

I’ve suffered from headaches and migraines in varying degrees of agony since high school. I’ve been to several doctors, consulted my gynecologist, neurologist, and everyone in between. I’ve been on several prescription medications that I take every day, and I still have the supply of what I call “horse pills” because of their huge size, always close at hand in my cosmetic bag.

There is nothing worse than a migraine. Anyone will tell you, who’s had one, that it literally feels like there are little people behind your eyes poking you with ice-picks trying to get out. The worst part can be finding relief, even when you’ve tried medications and home remedies, and everything under the sun and below the earth. So again, I am in no way qualified to offer any kind of advice or medical information about headaches or migraines, but when you’re in that pain, any little bit can help. Something that I’ve found that works for me is shockingly simple, and can be found in everyone’s bathroom and kitchen.

An ice cold bottle or tall glass of ice water.

Seriously.

In my opinion, there are few physical ailments in this world that can’t be helped, at least in some small minute portion, by drinking as much ice cold water as you possibly can force down your frozen throat. (One of these ailments would probably be hypothermia, so please, use common sense!) In any case, drinking cold water has never made any of my headaches worse. (Again, think hypothermia here and use your judgment for each ailment.) Sometimes, the solutions that work the most magic on our bodies, despite all the technological advances in modern medicine, are the most basic, simple elements. Literally.

Drinking cold water calms me down when I’m upset, helps me re-balance if I feel dizzy or lightheaded (this happens a lot with working out and the bridal stress), helps you feel refreshed after a long day outside, and really makes my headaches seem at least more manageable. Hey, we all know what a good cold shower is good for!

Maybe it’s the placebo effect. (this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, anyone?) I read somewhere once that laying on your right side helps digestion and all that, so when I have a stomach ache, I lay on my right side and convince myself that what I’m doing is helpful. When you’re in pain, and desperate, sometimes mind is over matter. So take a cue from millions of years of experience of humans living off nature and the water supply, and next time you’re in pain, try cooling off with some nice ice water. And then call your doctor, because I really have no idea what I’m talking about.

Namaste, everyone. Cheers to ice water!