It’s been a week… Part I

Despite the overwhelming desire to sleep right now, I have to write this update before I have any more topics to cover than I already do. It has been an absolutely crazy week—filled with ups, downs, and turns every which way in between. We’ve had some incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, most of which are focused on topics I cover regularly, hence the need for a serious update. Let’s start from one week ago today.

Friday and Saturday

Last Friday, Nick and I made our way up to Stroudsburg, PA for the wedding of one of my best and oldest friends. I had the incredible honor of reading the “Love is patient” verse during the ceremony, so we went to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner on Friday. One of my bridesmaids (and fellow reader) hosted Nick and I Friday night, so that was, of course, wonderful. The wedding was the following day and we had an absolute blast. It was a breathtaking moment to see someone I’ve known almost my entire life get married and such an honor to be a part of it. Not to mention, I got to see some old friends and catch up, which is certainly not something that happens often. If I didn’t have so much to cover, I’d go into more detail, but alas. It was a magical start to the weekend, and I couldn’t be happier for my dear friend and her new and amazing husband!

Sunday

The weekend’s festivities did not stop there. Nick and I drove to Scranton the following day, after a lovely breakfast with some old friends and a beautiful walk around the venue, to celebrate my grandma’s 85th birthday. It always brings me such joy to spend time with my family, most of whom I don’t get to see often. We even had the honor of seeing my cousin, her husband, and their three beautiful girls for the first time in years. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be in the throws of having a new generation beginning to flourish in our family. My cousin was ahead of all of us, but I anticipate the number of kids in the family will be increasing a bit over the next few years, which is surreal, but wonderful. Minus some medical-related struggles, the day was lovely.

Monday

Yeah… Here is where the week went downhill…

After a stressful start to the work-week, Nick and I had a meeting scheduled with the team at Lenape, our builder. As most of you know by now, Nick and I have been in the process of building a home since February. However, the county has put a hold on all new building permits in our neighborhood because the original developer (not ours), hasn’t addressed issues with the “open spaces” of the community. We learned this could be something larger that he needs to build or fix, or it could be as simple as planting some trees—we don’t know.

So, our builder had us in to review how we got to this point, where we are, and to talk about next steps. The bad news: the county wasn’t giving any more information. More bad news: the timeline would remain indefinite. Even more bad news (even though it was gracious and for the best): we were given the opportunity to walk away from our contract without penalty. The worst news: We took it…

One year into the house-hunt, we are two failed houses in and starting from square one. It was a low blow and it took everything in me to hold back the tears until Nick and I were in the car, but we are firm believers that everything happens for a reason and that neither house was the right one for us, despite whole-heartedly believing they were. Luckily, we had an amazing builder, who let us out of our contract 5 months before they legally had to (and even looked into putting us up in an apartment until they could bring the project to completion), an incredible family and support system, and a dedicated realtor, so very ready to get us in a house. I am thinking a Part II might be in order, so I will hold on diving into next steps further until then, which are already set in motion.

Tuesday

Tuesday was the aftermath of Monday, not finding much relief. Spirits were pretty low on my end and the day reflected that. However, I was determined to take some time to soak it all in before picking myself back up and looking to the future. I let the first house completely dominate my emotions for far too long; I wasn’t going to do the same for the second. By Wednesday, I was at peace with the situation.

I think it wise for me to end this here. I’d love to continue going and get back to a higher note, but I also want to make sure I don’t overload a singular post. I will preface by saying the next post will be under the wedding category, as we have an update and plenty of engagement photos to share!! Part II of this post will likely go up some time this weekend.

Until then!

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Happy Father’s Day

Because there is a 99.9% chance that he will see this Father’s Day post (unlike the one I wrote on my old blog FOUR years ago), I will take my chance to reiterate.

As you all know (or should know), today is Father’s Day—a day when we honor and celebrate the often first man in our lives. Of course we all know being a father doesn’t always mean sharing the same DNA; in fact, I like to believe being a father (and mother) goes even deeper, whether genes are shared or not.


Let me tell you all about my dad.

Kids are passed a lot of traits from their parents. While I can be honest and say I wish the whole temper thing had missed me, I now like to think I was given fire. This fire has transformed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It shows its red hot face in my dedication, passion, ambition, and heart. Let me explain.

I was always an observant person, even as a kid. I had the incredible advantage of being the baby of the family (even if it didn’t always feel like a blessing). I was able to grow up watching my family grow up around me, hitting milestones and dealing with aspects of life I wouldn’t fully understand for years—some of which I still don’t. I saw success, failure, stress, happiness, priorities, and mistakes. I took the things I could understand and used their experiences to my advantage when the time came. I took the things I didn’t understand yet, but would come to, and that understanding slowly pieced itself together.

When I saw my dad, I saw fire. Truth be told, fire has always mesmerized me, just like him. He taught me some of the most valuable lessons in life—value which has been proven time and time again for years now. I am the woman I am because of the lessons my dad taught me. Lessons of hard work, dedication, love, and family—lessons of fire.

I am heading into a brand new chapter in my life. This time next year, my dad and I will have done his first look, our arm-in-arm walk down the aisle, and our father-daughter dance. This is the next step of taking more things I couldn’t understand then and seeing them flower into the rest of my days. As Nick and I start our lives together as husband and wife and as we begin and grow our family, I will gain a new and more beautiful understanding of all my parents have done for me. My self-proclaimed success in life has everything to do with the fire my dad inspired me with. I can only pray that I can pass along the same to my children when the time comes.


To you Padre, thank you for giving me the foundation on which everything in my life is built. The fire you instilled in me has provided all the things that have brought me the most joy. While I know you may be apprehensive of June 9th next year, I want you to know my confidence in it is because of you and I hope to make you proud as I become a wife and, eventually, a mother.

I am grateful for all you’ve done, you do, and will continue to do. I am grateful for your guidance and your support. I am grateful for our father-daughter emails and for the friendship we’ve created. I love you very much and hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day today.

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Update 10: 357 Days to go!

As promised, I am doing a recap of our engagement photo shoot, which we had last Sunday evening with our photographer, Elizabeth Baxter. What a strange experience, but very fun! To give y’all a bit of background on how we found and chose Elizabeth; I reached out to my friend, who is both a fellow graphic designer and a photographer. I gave her some samples of photographers who I loved, but could never afford (starting prices between $7,000–$9,000—um, no thank you). She then sent me an Excel spreadsheet (clearly a woman after my own heart) filled with potential vendors. Not to be dramatic, but Elizabeth stood out from the bunch in every way for me.

If there was anything in this wedding I was not willing to compromise on, it was the style of photography I wanted. There are talented photographers everywhere—that there is no denying. But as with all artists, they each have a style. For us, I wanted light, romantic, and organic—not dark, heavily saturated, or staged. With that said, it fell into place with Elizabeth and I think we made the best decision.


So now for the shoot! 

We met up with Elizabeth at Brandywine Creek State Park, not far from where our first apartment was. We’d never been there and were quickly regretting that—what a beautiful location! I asked Elizabeth (or coerced—whichever you prefer) to choose a location since nothing came to mind that had all we were looking for. She couldn’t have picked a better spot. We went to two locations within the park and moved around in each a few times.

We ended up in the middle of fields, on the ground, in the woods, sitting and standing on a fallen tree (not an easy feat for a girl with vertigo and without her glasses on), on top of a hill—really all over the place. While I have yet to see the rest of the pictures, I’m sure the multiple locations and our two outfits created some great variation.

What was it like?

I don’t know about you, but it’s not often I’m in a photoshoot. The only other shoot I’ve done was for a “sexy” calendar with my packaging class—not exactly the same situation! It was definitely a strange experience; I often felt like maybe I wasn’t doing the right thing or needed to switch it up. However, I had such confidence in Elizabeth; I knew she wouldn’t let it get stale. Of course, one of the first things Nick and I said when we got in front of the camera was, “this is awkward.” It wasn’t awkward because there was a camera right up in our kisses or capturing our loving looks; I just wanted to make sure we were doing it “right.”

But it stopped feeling awkward pretty quickly. Elizabeth was amazing at guiding us, even if we didn’t always do a good job at following directions (I apparently didn’t know my right from my left at one point). I had the advantage of pouring over engagement photos for a long time prior, so I often knew what Elizabeth was trying to achieve, making it easier for me to run with things. Nick had a tough time getting out of his head throughout the shoot (which is safe to say for us both), but I think we navigated pretty well!

The funny stuff

One aspect I always thought about in looking at other engagement photos was how often the smiles appeared genuine and the couples appeared to be laughing. This was where I got caught in my head, “what on earth do they talk about and what the heck is so funny?”

The first time Elizabeth said, “make her laugh,” I couldn’t believe what Nick decided to do. All of a sudden, I hear Nick whispering unintelligible words in my ear, followed by cat hissing. It cracked me up and confused the heck out of me. As we went on with the shoot, it became harder to find genuine laughs, so I took matters into my own hands. Each time she told us to laugh, I let out a massive fake laugh. It was obnoxious, but always turned into real laughter afterwards. I hate to see any pictures she captured during those first few seconds, as they couldn’t have been cute.

We were able to poke fun at ourselves when we were getting too deep in our heads—it was our way of pulling us both out of it.

The mushy stuff

In a photoshoot dedicated to loving on each other and involving someone whose whole blog is about noticing the tiniest moments, there was bound to be some mushy realizations!! I had two notable ones throughout the process:

First, when things got awkward, our safe space was each another. When we felt like we were in a pose for too long or didn’t know where to look or put our hands, we’d just come back to each other. I’d look at him and he’d look at me and somehow, things felt calm again.

The second came when we saw our “teaser” photo. As I said, I’ve seen so many engagement photos and poured over how beautiful and utterly romantic they are. Standing on the other side now looking at ourselves in that kind of photo? Strange.

Nick made a comment about it being such an intimate, romantic moment—almost feeling unnatural. But then my wheels began to turn. In many instances, we see other people’s romances unfolding in front of us. Sometimes in movies, others in real life. As outsiders, we can pick up on that brief moment just before a kiss or the way two people look at one another for just a second or two, but when it’s your own life, you can’t see it from that perspective, so it doesn’t always seem to have the same magic.

Yes, it was a photoshoot and we were guided in what to do, but the tiniest nuances are all us. The way Nick was looking at me in that photo was all us (though I do wish my eyes were open hah). To me, we can finally get a glimpse of ourselves from an outsider’s perspective and I absolutely love it.


I will end the post with the teaser photo we have and will include some more of Elizabeth’s information below. We are so excited to see the rest and are waiting anxiously in anticipation!! I am spending the day finally starting our wedding branding, so more to come on that!!

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Website: elizabethbaxterphotography.com
Facebook: facebook.com/elizabethbaxterphotography/
Instagram: instagram.com/elizabethbaxter/

The Waiting Game

Good afternoon everyone! Combine wrapping my work day up early with feeling the growing desire to make more of my evenings and you have yourself an afternoon life-update blog post!

I have been trying to relinquish the desire to write first thing in the morning during the week. Experience has shown starting work first thing, in order to finish earlier in the day, is absolutely the ideal for me. I have more energy, my day moves faster, and I have an easier time meeting my hours. But, that can often mean I go some time without writing and I don’t want that either.

While I plan on writing all about our engagement photo shoot experience; first, I am tackling a life update (all the while noticing how empty my For the Future section has become). It’s going to start on a low note—sorry.

Our houseor lack thereof.

Approximately 1 month ago, I shared that everything was put on hold. I am disappointed to say that is still the case. For reasons known and others we believe are unknown, the county has a hold on all building permits in our neighborhood (even though ours is approved). Our settlement date has already been pushed from the end of August to the mid–end of October—extending with every passing week. Luckily for me, living in a house where new construction is flying up in the backyard gives a nice twist of the knife every day. *heavy sarcasm*

Before we started looking for a house, people were all-too-eager to share their horror stories. I couldn’t help but think, “No! This is going to be a great experience—we are so excited!” I’m sitting here, one year later, laughing at my year-ago self..

Our builder gave themselves a 90-day extension in our contract. Good news for us is that many builders usually give an extension of 12–18 months. We will only be locked into this contract until the end of November. With that said, I am praying every single day that it comes through long before we get to that point. There are some differing opinions on where to go past that mark and, quite frankly, I don’t even want to toy with the idea of starting over. Are there more houses out there? Obviously. Are we looking at a high probability of getting a house with our desired upgrades, at the price we want, and in the school district we’re in? Nah.

In the end, there isn’t much we can do but wait, hope, and pray. I send this out into the universe to gather as many good thoughts and prayers as is possible—we want our first home… preferably before our wedding.

In happier news, we have some very exciting events coming up. Next week, we are celebrating the marriage of one of my best and oldest friends. I love weddings to begin with, but to know I will get to watch one of my favorite people in this world—someone I’ve grown up with—marry the love of her life? Bring on the tissues. I’m already hyper-sensitive to wedding-talk, so there’s no hope for me on her wedding day.

The next day, we are celebrating my grandmother’s 85th birthday, so we’ll get to see the fam squad and family we haven’t seen in a longggg time (I’m lookin’ at you, Jenn!) It will be a busy, but very fun weekend.

Not much else to report in the life-update vein. I would love to keep this section more populated than it currently is, but I clearly cannot make any promises!!

Keep an eye out for our engagement photo shoot recap and have a wonderful night!

Update 9: 363 Days to Go!

Holy Hannah! Two updates in a matter of two days—I’ll take it! Today’s update is brought to you by a beautiful Sunday morning—oh so perfect for writing—combined with an insane excitement for today’s agenda, but the need to wait until this evening!! As I mentioned in Update 7, we are doing our long-awaited engagement shoot today!

When it comes to having a longer engagement, I personally feel there are more perks than disadvantages. It was the right decision for us, but there are times when I wish that timeline was a little shorter. Take today, for example. I’m so excited for this day because it’s been just shy of 6 months since Nick proposed. While we’ve kept very busy since then (and it often feels like time is flying), it can sometimes feel like so much time is passing between wedding-related milestones.

I know what y’all are going to say: “don’t rush this time in your lives,” and, “it’ll be over before you know it.” Yes, yes. I hear you. I know these things. I don’t want to rush through it either, but time is going to pass as it shall. In the meantime, I will comment on my excitement for the next step—experience tells me that it won’t speed time up or slow it down haha.

THE SHOOT

It’s not every day you get to do a photoshoot with your best friend, especially in the hands of a very talented photographer. We are so excited to start working with Elizabeth of Elizabeth Baxter Photography, who we met with for the first time a few months back. Photography was not something I was going to compromise on, as I really wanted to be sure we had, not only the right look and feel, but the right photographer with the right eye. Everyone knows I’m A-Type and, as a fine arts major and designer, I know what I want from a visual perspective. To walk into what is, in my opinion, a creative shoot, and have absolute confidence in our photographer makes me feel so at ease.

We playfully joke about Nick’s “forced” smile—the one where someone says, “smile for the camera!” It generally reminds me of an episode from Friends (shocker, I know), where Monica and Chandler are getting their engagement photos taken and Chandler cannot put on a nice smile for the camera. Nick is nowhere near the level Chandler is, but as an obsessive Friends fan, I can’t help but think of it.

With that being said, Nick’s smile is my favorite feature of his, besides the jawline that can cut glass; but it’s his natural smile that still gives me butterflies. It makes me happy to see him happy and to finally capture those kinds of genuine, real moments has me through-the-roof elated. Combine that with a natural setting and sunset and you have a girl that cannot contain her excitement, even finding a way to make a whole blog post about it!

THE OUTFITS

This afternoon, we are putting the finishing touches on our photoshoot prep, as I finally picked out my second outfit yesterday. After two full days of what felt like endless shopping, I finally found a really sweet dress to wear during the second part of the shoot. As a girl who, for the most part, operates in navy, brown, gray, and black, the likelihood of stumbling across a light, flowy, floral dress in her closet wasn’t promising.

I cannot bring myself to admit tell you all where I ended up purchasing said dress, but it works and that’s all that matters! Shout out to Nick for putting up with Day 1 shopping last week and to Brittney for getting me through Day 2 yesterday! Today, we are choosing Nick’s outfits and doing some final shopping and primping—oh woe is me!

Safe to say, we are really excited for this evening and can’t wait to share the sure-to-be-amazing photos with y’all!! I’m sure nerves will kick in, but we’ll find our way!

Until next time! ❤

Here we go: 365 Days to go!

Our first major milestone has officially arrived—let the countdown begin!!!

That’s right! We are exactly one year from our wedding day and I have been sitting on the brink of happy tears all morning just thinking about where we’ll be on this day a year from now. I will, no doubt, be yelling to my bridesmaids and anyone within a 50 mile radius, “I’m getting MAAAAAARRIEDDDDD!!!!!” (which they already have experience with, of course—Lord help those girls).

THE DATE:

I know I covered this in another post after we picked our date, but I’ll reiterate. Originally, Nick and I were looking to get married in the fall. It has always been part of my vision and I was adamant about it. When we got engaged, the first venue we were interested in didn’t have a single date in September or October. It was at that point where I started to let go of the fall requirement.

The venue we chose had fall dates available for 2018, but after getting engaged, neither of us wanted to wait almost a full 2 years. So, we chose May 19. It was the perfect day for us because it was the day before the anniversary of our first date (and falls on a Saturday). But, because our luck isn’t the greatest, May 19 was the only date taken at the venue. We ultimately chose—you guessed it—JUNE 9!!!

It worked out beautifully because June 9 is four days after my parents’ wedding anniversary and four days before both Nick’s parents’ and grandparents’ anniversary. Our wedding date becomes symbolic: the products of these marriages coming together as one—we kinda like it 😉

IT ALMOST STARTED WITH A HANDSHAKE…

I began writing about this on our 3 year anniversary (which was three weeks ago), but today is the perfect chance to get it out there! One of the great anecdotes we have from our first date was at the very end when Nick was dropping me off back home. We both felt that awkward tension as our minds raced to figure out how the other wanted the date to end. Was it a, “thank you, I had a great time,” and get out of the car? A hug? A kiss, perhaps?? I settled on the hug and we both began to move in.

I looked down and, though he swears otherwise, I saw him going for a handshake… a handshake?? Nah. I verbally shut that down and gave him an awkward car hug as we both laughed about the whole thing. To this day, he insists I was the one moving for the handshake, but we all know the truth.

It’s a silly little story, but one I came back to on our anniversary this year, as we sat in the restaurant where we had that first date. I couldn’t help but think about how symbolic that almost-handshake was. That day, I not only met the love of my life; I met my partner. Nick is many things to me, but what I believe will help us through all of life’s adventures is that we are partners in everything we do. We are each others’ support. We are each others’ lifelines. It’s one thing to have someone who will hold your hand through the tough times; it’s another to have someone who will lift you up and help you forward.


Our wedding day will be one we continue to painstakingly plan for, a day we will look forward to with such eagerness, and a day that will likely come and go way too fast. But on this day, 365 days from now, we will embark on one of the biggest adventures we will ever go on. It will be the foundation for the rest of our lives together and all the exciting challenges we’ll face.

We have a crazy number of things on the horizon for the coming year, but it fills my heart with such excitement to know that one year from today, I will be getting ready to marry my best friend.

Spinning into Control

This is by far one of the most exciting blog posts I’ve ever written and it’s because this story started 3 years ago without an end in sight. It is by no means over, but I got the best worst news I’ve received this whole time. I decided to write a post about it because there have been SO many people who helped me get to this point (especially in the beginning) and I’d love for them to know where I stand today.

Three years ago, I began getting a sharp, hot pain in the lower right occipital lobe; I could only ever describe it as lightning. It would come and go without warning—and with a vengeance—rendering me useless for the 10-15 seconds it would last. Nothing I did could anticipate or prevent it, often leaving me feeling afraid, saying, “this isn’t normal.”

Fast forward a few months to me crashing down in a bathroom during one of the most painful headaches I could remember and watching things spin out of control more severely than they ever had—all of that was meant literally, by the way. That day, after weeks of seeing the school doctor, a family doctor, an eye doctor, and a neurologist, I was on my way to the ER. 7 hours later, my long awaited CT scan came back clear. A relief? Yes. Enough relief? No.


Remember just before when I hit fast forward? Well, there was more to it than that. There was pain, sickness, lots of tears, tons of fear, scary words being thrown around, and an urgency that wasn’t being met. The stress of trying to figure it all out was doing more damage than good, so when that scan came back clear, I stopped trying.

I learned how to manage the pain, figuring out what made it worse and trying to do less, figuring out what made it better and trying to do more. But about 10 months ago, a new chapter really kicked in: welcome to the world of vertigo. It started out minimal, getting dizzy here and there, nausea coming and going, but over time, it got harder to control, harder to anticipate, and affected me every day. It was so sporadic that going to the doctor simply wasn’t a priority. When I finally paid attention, I noticed how much things had changed. I was constantly off balance, couldn’t move quickly, had trouble driving, and motion sickness was part of the daily routine. Then this past Sunday, in a situation I had yet to experience up to this point, I was glued to my bed all day because nothing would stop the spinning. A gentle turn of my head, a quick flicker of my eyes, and even laying down would have me spiraling off. It got a bit better, but not by much, and hasn’t improved since.


Today, I picked up where I left off in 2014. I hit the next stop on my list of specialists: the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat). Kudos to my mom, who knew all along I’d find some real answers here. I want to preface by saying the quest isn’t over; I have a series of tests and an MRI scheduled for three weeks from now at Christiana Hospital, but for the first time, I got a potential diagnosis I can get behind—a diagnosis that makes sense and doesn’t just continue to chip away at possibilities and maybes.

Dun-dun da-dun! Vestibular migraines.

“No, no, no. I’ve had migraines. This is not migraines.”

^ That right there has been my feeling since day one. I’ve had migraines before. All this? Nothing like the migraines I’ve had. So I had to understand what it really meant. Turns out, there are many types of migraines. The traditional migraine is what I grew up getting: aura (for me, it was visual wobbling/undulation or dark spots that would eventually fill in my vision until I couldn’t see), followed by 2-3 hours of the most excruciating headache I could imagine, only getting relief after a nap I would struggle to fall into. Vestibular migraines? Apparently much different.

They are sporadic. Some can last 3 minutes, while others can last 3 days. The headache can be horrible or nonexistent. The differentiator is vertigo, which can happen with or without a headache (and is common in people with a history of traditional migraines—who knew?!). Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea: ✓
  • Motion sensitivity: ✓
  • Balance Issues: ✓
  • Visual and auditory sensitivities: ✓

I have more tests to take and other issues to rule out, but for the first time in three years, a doctor has finally said something that makes sense—finally listening to everything I had to say and looking beyond the tip of the iceberg. Does sitting behind a computer make it worse? Yes. Does getting stressed out make it worse? Yes. Are those things the cause? No.

*Lets out huge sigh*

Finally. Finally someone heard me. It’s a neurological condition made worse by various triggers. Bad news is it’s one without a cure. Good news is there are going to be things I can try to make my life better and to alleviate the problems. Am I happy to hear it can’t be fixed with one visit to an ENT? Not really. But it’s easier to live with a condition when you know what it is. Today, I got my first real taste of peace of mind.

I’ve got some researching to do, more issues to rule out, and, not to mention, a long road ahead of finding the right path for me, but this has changed my life and to have a better understanding of what and why has me over the moon today.


A shout out to the family and friends who got me this far. I kept the problems as much on the DL as I could, but confided in a number of people that looked out for me along the way, whether it was making sure I took care of myself, giving me a shoulder to lean on, both physically and metaphorically, sitting with me for hours in a busy emergency room, being the one to finally get my ass to the hospital, and especially to my parents and Nick, for not allowing me to let it go on any further without action. To all you amazing humans, I thank you so much and love you all very dearly!

Update 7: 369 Days to Go!

Good afternoon everyone! It is a rainy Monday here in Delaware and I am unfortunately under the weather, but itching to write. I have about 3-4 blog posts sitting in my head, so there is a good chance you may see a few of those today/tonight!! First up: the wedding!

Our Wedding Team

Throughout our meetings, emails, and phone calls with potential vendors, I got in the habit of referring to them as our “team.” When it comes to the day of our wedding, I see the people we choose to have on our team as the pillars—the ones responsible for having our backs, so we don’t have to worry. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many when I say I am a Type-A personality and I genuinely believe that may make my wedding day hard. With so many details that need to come together, I know we need a strong group of professionals who I can hand things over to… a feat that I do not consider easy.

I am really happy to say we have our biggest, on-site, day-of vendors booked! That’s right—venue, caterer, photographer, and DJ are all set. We still have to find the vendors like florist, bakery, and officiant, but to have the others set one year in advance is a weight off our shoulders!

The Real Stress

Now here is where I get as close to “real talk” as I can without getting too specific. Nick and I have faced some hurdles throughout this process; that we all know. But some of our hurdles go deeper than finding the right vibe for a DJ. In every wedding planning story, you have the people—the friends and/or family that can sometimes make their way into the horror stories. Maybe “horror” is a bit dramatic, but it’s certainly no picnic.

We have been very fortunate to have a ton of support, but not without some hiccups. We’ve already experienced the reality of getting input we aren’t huge fans of—which is really only an issue when not properly and/or respectfully given.

I love having people involved; it’s truly one of my favorite aspects of all this—I want people who want to have a hand to have it. But sometimes, the delivery of input isn’t as graceful as one would hope. I’m referring to the comments such as, “You’re not having [blank]?!” or, “Why on earth would you do [blank]?!” etc. Yeah, those really don’t sit too well.

However, I will follow up with this: recently, I had to make a very, very hard wedding decision regarding some people I love. It was something I didn’t anticipate and something I wish I didn’t have to do; but it needed to be done. I spent weeks and weeks deliberating, stressing, getting looks of disapproval, and yeah, there was plenty of the kind of “advice” I’m not a fan of. But it was finally resolved last week and here is what I have to say about it:

I am constantly humbled by the amount of love and support we’ve received. This decision was so hard because we’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the best humans we could ever hope for in life. While the situation wasn’t ideal, I was reminded of how lucky I was to have that kind of problem—to have so many amazing people by my side.

People may make this time a tad more stressful, but people are also constantly reminding us of how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much love, support, and friendship.

Next Steps

Up next in the planning to-do list, we have some smaller things and some very exciting, big things. The most exciting thing coming up is that Friday will mark one year until we say I do! To celebrate, it worked out that we could get our engagement photos done Sunday, which we are both SO excited for. We spend so much time together already, but to have an afternoon dedicated to capturing our love and relationship sounds like a beautiful way to spend a day! We officially chose a location, thanks to our already-amazing photographer, Elizabeth and we are all set for a beautiful sunset shoot!!

After that, I get to move to our wedding branding—yes you heard that correctly. As a designer, I’d love to have a cohesive “brand” for our wedding so that every single element works in tandem, from monogram, to website, all the way to our thank you notes. I’d love to have that up and running by the end of July so I can get our Save the Dates out in August!

In Conclusion

Being a year out means we aren’t crazy busy planning for the wedding. We have things on our to do list, but nothing to drive us too nuts. We’ve tackled quite a number of the hard items, so it’s a relief to head into summer with that all settled. Now, we are moving towards the “fun” stuff. Having a long engagement is the best wedding decision we’ve made thus far, but it also has a downside: we have to wait!

I’m hoping to find my way back to this section soon to tell y’all all about the engagement shoot and our one year mark! Until then!