Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We almost didn't register for wedding gifts, because we didn't want to buy into the materialism surrounding weddings.  We didn't want to invite guests as an implied exchange for gifts.

In the end, we did register. Because, we can't make it all on our own, and we didn't want our friends and family to feel it was our aim.

And can I just tell you - we are so glad we did.  Planning becomes overwhelming, and you can easily start to feel you are doing a terrible job, especially if you are two perfectionists who really love so many people and hate hurting other's feelings.  A midst those cycles of thoughts, conversations and feelings, we'll often open the door to find some box sitting on the front steps, or the chair next to the door, or right out in the middle of the front walkway like it snuck inside the gate all on its own.  It feels magical.  It feels frivolous.  Gifts just appearing at your door from all sorts of friends who have never bought you a birthday gift or a Christmas present.  And you've never before received a gift "with someone".  But here we are, us two, getting all sorts of fun surprises from all these fun people, like a three-week long scavenger hunt constantly lifting our spirits, making us laugh and dance and celebrate getting married and building a home together, and all the special people we will get to see on that life-altering day.  It's exciting.  I'm so glad we didn't skip this part of the lead-up.  We would be just fine without all the amazing serving trays and copper bar wear.  We'd still get married.  And we'd still have dishes and forks and glasses like we do now.  But this process and lead up - we wouldn't have that - this increasing excitement, ongoing celebration of not just our decision, but our community, we might have missed.  It's such a blessing you guys.

And it isn't only the gifts - last night, our friend Erik brought over his amazing new girlfriend, and they helped us with house chores for an evening and ate pizza and drinks with us around a messy table. This girl I've spoken two twice before, grabbed a paint brush and sat beside me for hours laboring on my new home.

Last week, my life-long best friend Elise picked me up at my house at 5something AM, with a homemade latte and drove me to the floral shop, where I wandered and strove to make decisions for hours.  She then dropped me off at work and invited herself back over to the house to help in a few more nights.  She helped cut runners, make decisions, sort through the missing details, and encourage me.

Two mornings ago I had a voicemail.  Aunt Linda, my neighbor for the past 20 some years, my elementary teacher at times, one of my best friend's mom's, eventually one of my friends had just called to tell me how she felt about me, to express her excitement and encouragement, and to let me know she was praying.  "No need to call back."  The voicemail lifted me up that day as I worked through another painful day in the office.

Esther dropped me a beautiful card in the mail that I love! My sisters have both written cards, sent emails, texts and calls. Elsa spent a morning with me touring the venue and dreaming about decor.  Her and Ty threw us an amazing party along with my parents, and the whole neighborhood it seemed. My parents painted for hours, unbeknownst to John and I at premarriage.

My mom has come back many times, laboring for hours and hours on our home and yard, running errands trying to get everything ready for the wedding and family visitors.

Today, I feel incredibly blessed by these people. I'm so happy they will be with us on our wedding day. I'm just so blessed by each of their gifts.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mallory MacDonald Photography

Let's continue the 'wonderful' woman crush posts - shall we? This lady. There is no one like her. Her grace, humor, kindness set her apart among the women of our generation. And her skill at noticing and capturing the unique qualities and personality of a child, a family, or a moment define her. Love this woman. And I could not be more grateful to have her as a part of our wedding.

Go vote for Mallory, nominated for King 5's Best of the Northwest Photographers!

Are you kidding me!?

A worthy woman crush if ever there were....


All About That [Upright] Bass - Jazz Meghan Trainor Cover ft. Kate Davis

Monday, September 15, 2014

My mom is far better than I deserve. 

I am pretty sure she has been at my house this morning since 9:30am, with a shovel, leveling dirt, fixing water drainage problems, and laying out bricks to make a beautiful walkway.  Just like she was until after dark yesterday. And Friday, painting. With my dad.  While John and I were gone...

And in return, I am typically too short and too impatient with her. As John often says, she is probably one of the most patient, and hard working people we know.  As I said, my mom is far better than I deserve.  I'm really grateful for that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today is a great day.  I am going to take a lunch.  I cleaned my desk.  I cleaned and organized the print station.  I have time to work on long-term work tasks.  The skies are cool blue.  I have tomorrow off.  I googled how many days until my wedding (24).  I used the calculator to find out how old I am again (27).  A pleasant surprise, since I've been walking around as a 28 year old lately.  I still have 2 years and 3 months to knock off my "Before 30 Goals."  It's fall, so of course I'm thinking about goals.  I can't really remember any of my before 30 goals except to buy a house.  Which I guess John already took care of for me? Not really sure if it counts.  I don't feel the sense of accomplishment.  But maybe that's part of it.  It goes hand in hand with a lot I have been learning  - or rather - am trying to learn.  Like being less independent and overpowering.  Learning to respond with "Perhaps, but here's why I'd rather not" rather than with "No" and an intense expression.  Learning to be okay with not feeling that sense of accomplishment.  Being okay with sometimes just needing someone else to help. Being okay with others needing help too.

We're reading through a marriage book right now and I found myself in the chapter entitled "Loving the Stranger."  The author discusses the season in every new marriage when you lose the glasses and see all the flaws in your spouse.  The "honeymoon" phase is over and you find yourself wondering "Who is this person? This isn't who I married."  This will probably happen to John and I, and it will come as an absolute surprise, because right now we both really feel like we're pretty aware of each other's flaws.  At least the little ones that tend to drive you mad about each other. And a lot of the big ones too.  This didn't strike me much in the chapter, but what did was how the author talked about those changes.  He said, you change.  You are one person.  Then you become another person.  Marriage changes you.  Babies change you.  New careers change you.

It shouldn't be so shocking to me, but it was.  For the past two years, I've been telling John how I just don't feel like myself.  I even started a private blog where I began writing just for me, hoping to remember myself.  It could sound humorous, but it's actually kind of a frightening feeling.  Not feeling you for so long.  At times it made me worry that I shouldn't be in this relationship - like maybe I couldn't "be me" - though I knew it wasn't anything John was doing.  Never before have I had such an amazing friend who allowed me to be myself and encouraged and forgave and listened and loved.  It couldn't be him.  It had to be work.  Or all the other changes.  As I've likely said here before, we came to realize that in a matter of months, I'd moved out, changed jobs, entered my first committed relationship and grown a year older.  It was a lot of change at once.

I've been waiting ever since for me to remember me, somehow fall back into stride with myself, or crawl my way back to that ease and internal sense of self. And that is what struck me yesterday as I read.  I won't.  I've changed.  It's not about waiting or finding. I'm just the person I am now. I'm not as kind.  I complain more.  I'm really strong though, until I'm not.  In fact, I'm much more strong and consistent, I don't let things shake my emotions. I don't work out a lot.  I have a hard time waking up early, but when I do, I find I still love it.  I like porters and not really blue moon. I sometimes drink my coffee black and actually like it.  I order vanilla lattes. On hot summer days, I love to sip cold gin and often choose it over whiskey at a bar. If I have more than two drinks, I'll know it. I get angry if I spend a whole night with a group of friends and come home feeling as far if not further away from them. I don't keep my room clean.  I love gardening.  I can even put up with seeing a few spiders out in it without tossing in my gloves and going inside.  I have chickens.  I freaking love my chickens. I don't know if I want to be in marketing.  I hate saying something I don't believe is true. If I do say something, I hate saying it weak or unconvincingly. I cuss sometimes.  I rarely ever write.

This isn't who I was.  But I just realized, it is who I am. I get to choose to change, but who I am right now is really who I am.  And that will always be true.

Yesterday, I made a choice toward one single change.  And I'm going to make it again today.  And hopefully one day I won't complain much.  And I'll be kinder.  I'll be gentle again.  I'll respond openly.  I'll laugh more. I'll drop this new habit of cussing.  I'll put my clothes away and not toss them on the floor.

Marriage is going to change me.  Our tiny house will have to change me.  And a dozen other things along the way will change me.  I won't be the same person I am today.  I will be a new me.  And hopefully a better one.