MXXIII

I have a little time before I need to get moving for the day. I’ve got a second cake tasting up in Wilmington, followed by a floatation therapy session afterwards. I was going to do the house update post; however, I do not think I have enough time. So if you follow me on social media, the title likely gave good indication of what my topic is.

On Monday, October 23, I got my second tattoo.

IMG_3758

The go-to question for a new tattoo without obvious significance is, “so what does it mean?” Well, MXXIII is the roman numeral for 1,023.

I’ve known I wanted the tattoo you see in that photo for years now. I’ve been talking about it recently quite a bit, but never had a push-comes-to-shove moment. On Monday morning, I woke up and thought to myself, what better day to get my 1023 tattoo than on 10/23? So in a wave of impulse, I made my way to the tattoo shop after work—it was exciting, exhilarating, and a very powerful moment for me.

But what does it mean?

There’s a phenomenon where many individuals find themselves looking at the clock at a certain time every day. They don’t plan to, it just happens. For many people, 11:11 is common and so is 9:11. For me? It has always been 10:23. I not only see it on clocks, I see it in my everyday life. I’ve been in stadiums where the clock is stopped at 10:23 left in the quarter. I’ve seen it in movies in the background. Heck, I did a mud run a few years ago and out of every single number I could have had, mine was 10230.

It’s always felt special—it’s always felt like mine. So a long time ago, I got it in my head that 10:23 was going to really mean something one day. Something significant was going to happen at 10:23 or on 10/23 or I’d glance around and see 10.23 somewhere. It would be my sign to pay attention to the moment.

Over the years, I put a lot of pressure on that number. I got my hopes up, often got crushed, and even swore to give up on it. But deep down I knew I always wanted 10.23 to happen organically anyway—I didn’t want to have a hand in it. But, as time passed, the number began to take on a different meaning.

10.23 is everywhere for me. Maybe there will be one defining moment, so clearly related to it. But at the end of the day, life does not boil down to one significant event and 10.23 is no longer about living for a singular day, minute, or moment.

It has become a symbol of hope and my ability to have faith in the intangible. It’s a reminder each time I see it that this is my life and it’s one worth paying attention to. So, I had it tattooed on my wrist…as a permanent reminder that every moment I spend breathing and loving and having faith is monumental.

To add another level, I got it in roman numerals. I could have done “10:23,” but wanted to pay homage to my time in Rome—a truly defining time in my life and one I will never forget. Only as I was getting ready to leave to go get the tattoo did I realize I studied abroad in the year 2013…

(In case you missed it; take a look at the numbers which make up the year.)

Some people may roll their eyes at my justification or the tattoo itself, and that’s ok. It’s concept is far out there, but that’s also the point and, more importantly, it’s mine. We all need a little reminder every now and then to slow down and pay closer attention to the details of our lives. I’ve simply chosen to get my most common and eye-catching reminder tattooed on my wrist…

 

Advertisements

Off-kilter Connection

This morning, I followed my usual routine: woke up, went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth and washed my face, got dressed, grabbed my coffee, and sat down at my desk. Before moving my cursor to the top right-hand corner of my browser to restrict Facebook for three hours, I did my typical 5 minutes of browsing.

I often have to be strict with myself about fighting the urge to write when I should be starting my day, but this morning, as I was scrolling through my newsfeed, I saw an article that genuinely made my heart skip a beat.

I’ve shared my story of vestibular migraines and have no qualms about continuing to do so when a good post comes along. This morning, an article popped up on my newsfeed: Vestibular Migraine Linked to Increased Anxiety, Say Researchers, from Migraine.com (of which I am now a member). Simply seeing “Vestibular Migraine” was enough click bait for me; I clicked, I read, and took a deep breath of fresh air.

In addition to referencing recent studies about the link between migraines (specifically VM) and anxiety, the author shared personal experiences that I really connected with. Despite the relief I feel in knowing what’s going on in that head of mine, there are things that make me anxious and even embarrassed. No doubt because I’ve had situations in the past that escalated because the people in my life simply couldn’t relate.

One of my biggest fears, referenced in the article, is driving. Vestibular migraines are sporadic—the triggers aren’t always the same and sometimes, things just…happen, without rhyme or reason. I am incredibly fortunate to work from home and Nick does most of the driving when we go places. I’ve limited my driving distance at night to no more than 15 minutes and often try to avoid it all together. But one area that still gives me anxiety is when I need to ask someone I’m going somewhere with if they could drive.

There’s nothing worse than feeling like someone is going to think you’re making it all up. My condition isn’t always tangible—it’s sneaky. I have four of my bridesmaids coming next weekend and I had to ask them—the girls who are already traveling hours to get down here—if someone would drive us. Is there a good chance I’d be fine driving? Absolutely. But do I want to take the risk? Absolutely not.

There was another point in the article that piggybacked another source anxiety for me: perception. When it is apparent, VM can often look like I’m unbalanced, uncoordinated, and frankly, drunk. We went to a rehearsal dinner where I had a glass of wine. My vertigo kicked in and I fell backwards out of nowhere and had to grab onto my friend. Then I continued to lose balance just standing there talking to the group. I must have looked like I had 7 glasses the way I was rocking. It’s one thing when you’re in a social setting—yes, it’s embarrassing, but not the end of the world. But what about when I’m in a professional setting? What happens if, heaven forbid, I was in a vertigo-induced car accident that looks like something else? That goes beyond embarrassing.

Right now, I’m afraid of driving. I’m afraid of people’s perceptions. I’m also afraid of what struggles I may face on our wedding day and when we start our family. I’ll have to figure out how to bend down to pick up my child. I have sensitivities to sound; what will happen when I have a screaming baby? If I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that I need to roll with the punches and try to find humor in the stumbles. Today, I found a community. I don’t know anyone personally with VM, so to share any sort of connection with others with migraine is incredibly comforting.

I got a welcome message just a minute ago; granted, I’m sure they do it for everyone, but it felt really nice. One of the comments even gave me a next step to manage my anxiety: a medic alert bracelet. I pray it never comes in handy, but I’ve done some additional searching and it comes recommended to those with VM. I know it would bring me a sense of peace to know it’s there.

I’m very excited this morning. I can’t wait to dive in and share my experiences with people who will understand and learn about the experiences of others. This turned into an incredibly dragged-out post and morning, but I feel really grateful and highly optimistic.

Until next time… ❤

Update 13: 230 Days to Go!

Good morning and happy Saturday, everyone! We are 230 days away from the big day and, my, do I have a lot of updates for you! In my last post, I shared the woes of having to cut the guest list and it received wonderful and supportive feedback. Since writing that post and making those decisions, we’ve worked hard to apply the sentiments across all areas of planning. The goal has been to put our happiness, well being, and marriage above all else. It’s meant pulling back when needed, sticking to our budget, and finding ways to lessen the stress of planning the day.

COORDINATION IS KEY

The first way to cut back on stress, particularly in the weeks leading up to and the day of the wedding: hiring a coordinator. We had multiple meetings with two coordinators (after doing a ton of research to narrow the focus) and our decision came down to a few things. First on the list was price (of course). We loved meeting with a local coordinator, but the pricing was too high for us to get on board with. After all we had gone through to make recent cuts, we couldn’t justify blowing the coordination budget (we’re talking a jump in price of $800 here). Beyond that, our other option—and chosen coordinator—felt right to both of us. She is younger, more hands-on in the ways we need her to be, and only slightly over budget.

So, what were we looking for? When it comes to a day-of coordinator (or in our case, a month-of coordinator), they are responsible for helping us create a timeline, keeping us to that timeline, and coordinating with vendors to make sure everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there. But here is where our coordinator had me: set up and break down. Our venue only books one event per weekend, meaning we have the place from Friday thru Sunday morning. The venue staff sets up tables and chairs Friday morning, our caterer comes in to lay out the floor plan and linens, then we will come in with a small army to do as much of the decorating as we can. My goal is to have this so organized, it gets done quickly and without too much pain involved.

But here’s the thing. At least until the next day at around 4:45, my last name is Kreischer… that means: what can go wrong, will go wrong. I can hope and pray for a seamless set up, but again: Kreischer. I wanted the comfort of knowing our coordinator would step in the morning of to oversee final decorating, floral placements, dessert placements, etc. If you know me, you know that my level of fine-tuning is not something to be implemented the day of my wedding. I need to be far away from “details” and enjoying a relaxing, exciting day with my loved ones.

On the other side of the day, I’d love to do a send-off with Nick. We haven’t decided on plans for that yet (and I’m still bitter they don’t allow sparklers), but we’ll figure it out. Once we are gone, I’d love to have someone step up as the ring leader to ensure everything gets where it needs to go (and not have that fall on my mother or other family members). So yeah, she had me at “set up and break down”—romantic, right?? Safe to say, Nick and I are continuing to create a team of vendors we trust and know will have our backs.

HOW SWEET IT IS

Just over three weeks ago, Nick and I ventured up to Wilmington for our first cake tasting! Through our catering package, a cake via and one of four bakeries is included, so we went to the one we felt came with the most recommendations to start. We sampled some lovely flavors and chose one for our cake. However, I will be going back next Saturday to taste some additional spring/summer-centric flavors that are more in line with what we’d be looking to do for the rest of the dessert selection. I’ll leave it there for now on this subject, but it was a very successful day!!

THE HONEYMOON

This weekend, Nick and I will be starting our honeymoon research over, as our previous choice is no longer a viable option. Nick and I have been to Aruba, Puerto Rico, and are going to Jamaica in a few weeks. We love island getaways, but have done them together before on multiple occasions. We’ve also been to Europe separately and, while that’s certainly on our list of trips to take together, it wasn’t what we wanted for our honeymoon.

What did the checklist include?

  • At least a pool, beach, or both
  • Yoga (would be a plus)
  • Things to do/see, but not so much that every second is filled—we’ll need some serious relaxation!
  • A culture neither of us have experienced before

So where did we end up choosing??

Bali.

And where is there now an imminent volcanic eruption?

Bali.

Luckily, we hadn’t booked anything yet—though we were a matter of days away from doing so—but we were definitely disappointed. Safe to say we accepted that a new location would be a better choice. After Nick had a brief love affair with Bora Bora (which averages $11,000 for a honeymoon—no thank you), we ended up going with our original tied-for-first location of…

Thailand!!! 

So now the more in depth research begins. We are both incredibly excited and know it will be the trip of a lifetime (that’s the goal, anyway)! More to come on that as we move forward, of course!

IN CLOSING

Planning our wedding continues to be topsy-turvy. It has its highs, its lows, and plenty of in betweens. We’re chipping away at our list and have just a few more things to tackle before we hit the lull, but one thing remains constant; I can’t wait to marry my best friend at the end of it all. We’re trying to get beyond looking at planning as just another collection of to-do items we can’t wait to check off, and are trying to find the excitement in it as often as we can—we don’t want these next 230 days to pass by in a blur of hazy memories.

Next up, we’ve got save the dates (which I’ve been putting off), honeymoon decisions and bookings, cake tasting round 2, a very exciting weekend with four of my bridesmaids to choose gowns, and then it’s off to the florist to button that up!

So sorry for the length, but I needed to play catch up! Until next time!! ❤

Gotta Start Somewhere

47 days. No, not 47 days until our wedding. Not a 47 day challenge. 47 days since I’ve last written in my blog! Yikes!

The past 47 days have been busy, to say the least. So busy that choosing my topic for today either meant crickets chirping or a blog post so long, I may as well call it a short story—and I wouldn’t even know where to begin. We have house updates, life updates, wedding updates, and everything in between. However, I needed a place to start and—thank goodness for my new habit of writing down blog ideas in my to-do notebook, because the last bullet item fits the bill perfectly.

As I mentioned, we’ve been busy. With that busyness has come a fair amount of stress—stress we are still working through. Our plate is filled and simply trying to get a grasp on everything has been a challenge in and of itself.

Procrastination is my middle name. I like to think I’m better than I used to be, but I know I fall prey to putting things off because I get too overwhelmed. That’s essentially why I’ve gone 47 days without blogging and have at least 8–10 posts worth content sitting in my head and on random notes all over the house. Other times, I fall prey to the opposite: I get a massive amount of motivation and decide to try and do it all. Fast forward a day or so, throw in a heaping spoonful of that overwhelm, and I am back at square one.

So a few weeks back, after an absolutely delightful meltdown, I was sitting on my square and decided to line the rest up in front of me. I could see the myriad of things to do right there before my eyes. It was messy, but I could see the big picture. I could also accept that “doing it all” at once wasn’t going to be an option. So, what did I decide to do? I stepped to the next square. It was one step—one item I could check off my list. Then I stepped to the next, and the next, and—well, you get the picture.

There have been many scenarios in my life where I’ve decided to take a challenge one step at a time. Some were individual steps towards a massive change and other times, towards a tiny goal. But when I commit to trying to be human, rather than Wonder Woman, I reach the end much quicker, usually with a smile on my face.

So, no. I am not going to try and cover it all in one blog post. I am going to start here and when I’m done, I’m going to move to the next square in front of me and continue doing so until we come out on the other side. Gotta start somewhere…

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.