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Alex and Ani  My Alex and Ani bangle collection.  My reiki jewelry.  My positive affirmations.  Something to catch the sunlight during the warmer months.  A way to decorate my body after releasing it to my yoga practice a few times a week.  Something to make me smile whenever I look down at my arm.  Not all of these I purchased myself-some of them were gifts.  Notice the one that says “daughter”.  The Tree of Life one was given to me as well.

It’ll All Be Over Soon

We finally got some things accomplished this weekend.  We finally got some wedding planning done.  We finally found time to enjoy a few beers, and lay around marathoning Netflix contently. (FINALLY!)

We chose flower girl dresses, baskets, and jewelry.  We finally completed the ever-daunting step of finalizing our guest list.  We got hotel information, we started looking at townhouses in the area, and we even started our first wedding registry.

And, on top of all this wedding planning we completed our 4th Maybe Baby class.  We only have three more classes to go.  We’re more than halfway through the program!  And while these classes have been amazing, and helpful, I’m looking forward to getting my Sunday afternoons and evenings after work back.

I’m finding wedding planning to be an interesting adventure.  I never want to do the wedding planning, and all the steps to be completed just weigh on me and make me feel anxious.  But then once we’re actually doing the planning, I end up having a blast and enjoying myself.

It feels great have gotten so much done, but it’s Monday already, and it feels like so much more needs to be done! Will it ever be done? Why do we, as people, do this? Why did I decide that I wanted this? Why did I sign up to do all this work?

Aside from all the wedding planning and baby class, we got a chance to visit my Grandfather who is dying from Parkinson’s disease.  We visited with my Mother, one of my brothers, and his entire family.  This is the second time this month I’ve gone to visit him, and I’m just happy I’m able to see him so often.  I think this may be his final year with us.  We all went out to lunch afterwards, and it was pleasant, and the weather was gorgeous.  Having so much family close by is a reminder of why we wanted this wedding in the first place.

I’ll be trying on my wedding dress for the very first time with all three of my bridesmaids and my Mom on Wednesday.  My parter “A” just called and told me that she got rooms blocked off for our guests in a hotel.

Less than six months until the big day.  It’s all dwindling down.  It’ll all be here soon.

  It’ll all be over soon.
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Stressed Out Bride-To-Be

We still have to choose flower girl dresses.  We still have to register for our wedding gifts.  We still have to finalize our wedding guest list, design invitations, and send them out…

Next week I’ll be trying my wedding dress on for the very first time in front of all three of my bridesmaids, and my Mother as well.  My partner “A” and I will be hosting my 2nd bridesmaid next week while she’s in town from Georgia.  We just finished hosting a friend of mine from Australia this past weekend, and so we’ll need to clean again.  We’ll need to get ready to host all over again.

We’ve got social engagements booked all over our calendars, friends and family asking for our time.  We need to start looking at townhouses, we have to give notice for the lease on our condo.  Our parents still haven’t met each other yet.  We still need to book our honeymoon.

I’ve worked on my day off for three weeks in a row now.  I’ve been giving my parents, who don’t live close rides to the airport, which also isn’t close.

I’m exhausted, worn out, stressed…and there’s still so much that needs to be done!

I have to keep reminding myself that I signed up for this stress.  That I asked for it, in a way.  I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up to plan and pay for my own wedding.

But still.  This stress is eating me alive right now and I feel so silly about it.

Because it’s a good stress.  It’s a positive stress, or at least a positive situation.  I get to have the wedding I wanted! We get to have a big day to ourselves!

…I just hope in the end it’s worth all of this stress.

Sincerely, a very stressed out bride-to-be.

cherry blossoms

The National Cherry Blossom Festival With My New Australian Friend

This weekend I met an online friend from Sydney, Australia for the very first time! It went extremely well and it wasn’t awkward in the least bit.  The six year friendship that we’ve mostly maintained through text messaging, gmail chat, and social networks translated perfectly to an “in real life” friendship.  My new Australian friend “N” kept repeating all weekend “It’s like I’ve known you my whole life!”

I picked her up Friday afternoon and then we high-tailed it to a liquor store.  We bought a couple things, and then went junk food shopping at a grocery store.  My partner “A” came home from work, and the three of us watched a Harry Potter movie and made homemade butterbeer. We talked, and laughed, and stuffed ourselves silly, and compared the American life to the Australian one.

Saturday we hopped on the D.C. metro and headed down to The National Cherry Blossom Festival where we met our good friends Nick and Kris.  The five of us spent the afternoon enjoying the cherry blossoms, taking way too many pictures, and tramping around D.C.  The weather was gorgeous and the day was perfect.  I feel like I’m still flying from all the fun and excitement of the weekend.

After tramping around all day we went to an awesome dim sum restaurant for dinner.  We ordered drinks, stuffed ourselves silly, and had a great time.

Nick and Kris kindly drove N, A, and I back to our car at the metro, and we talked politics and Hilary Clinton the whole way.  The day had been amazing, and we were all quite tired.

Sunday we woke up and ran a few errands with our lovely friend N in tow.  It was really lovely finally meeting her, and I really enjoyed having her around.

We dropped her off at the bus station and then went over Nick and Kris’s apartment.  They made homemade brunch and mimosas, and we enjoyed ourselves before our Maybe Baby class.

For this weeks Maybe Baby class the men had a class on surrogacy options, and the women had a class on fertility options.  My parter A and I met Nick and Kris after class, and we caught each other up on what we learned, and what our own class was like.

These classes are honestly a blessing for the four of us, as same-sex couples. Kris and Nick married last July, and A and I are scheduled to marry this Fall.  Both couples know that we’d like to start a family someday, but we are unsure of where to start and what our options are.

The fertility options class A and I had taught us a lot of new information, and we both left class feeling really positive, and lighter.

It was a jam-packed weekend, and not surprisingly I’m feeling a little tired and worn.  The friends and fun were great, but now the work week is here and I never got a chance to really relax this weekend.

Still, I wouldn’t trade this weekend for anything in the world! I think it’s been the most enjoyable weekend of the year so far.

Yay for long-distance friendship, and for N and I finally closing all the miles between us.

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This Weekend I Will Be Meeting A Long-Distance Online Friend From Australia…For the VERY First Time!

And when I say “meet”, what I really mean is host her here in our home for two nights and two days!

…I promise that you have the same initial thought I do: What if we don’t connect in person and the whole weekend is awkward?

My initial anxieties are: What if we don’t connect in person the way we do through text, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram? What if talking through gmail chat proves to be easier than holding a real conversation with one another? What if she doesn’t like me? What if she’s bored? What if she regrets taking the time off work and spending the money to meet me?

But then the yoga-doer in me remembers that these things are beyond my control, and that the best thing I can do is try to relax and enjoy her visit.

Some back story to our friendship:  “N” and I met online in 2010 on a blogging site named LiveJournal.  So our friendship began with us reading each other’s intimate life details and thoughts.  The friendship spread from LiveJournal to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and gmail chat.  For years we chatted on gmail chat every day for hours and hours upon end.
 
Our friendship began when we were both in our first serious relationship with a woman.  She watched from down under as I left my physically abusive ex, moved back in with my parents, started massage school, and basically tried to start my adult life over.  I watched from the United States as the first love of her life broke her heart, and then I watched her mend, and start to find herself and become more social.

We bond over many things, such as not being heterosexual, being obsessed with the same fantasy series (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and A Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games…the list goes on), liking the same books, and tons of other things.

Flash forward to the present.  She took an overseas position at her company in New York last year, which has given us a chance to finally meet!

We plan to take it easy on Friday since she has a long bus ride. and we have a big day planned Saturday.  We are going to get Indian Food, come back to my home, and watch Harry Potter while making butterbeers!

On Saturday N and I will be going to The National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. with my partner A, and our friends Nick, Kris, and Amber.  We’re going to stop at our favorite dim sum place n D.C. for dinner!

It was really funny, because when I first asked N if she had any interest in seeing D.C, she replied that she did.  So I asked her about all these famous places and sites to see, and it turns out that she’d never heard of any of them! (Of course not, she’s not American, duh, the world doesn’t revolve around your country!)

But she had heard of the cherry blossom festival before, and had always wanted to go! So it worked out beautifully, and the weather will be actually quite nice.

I’m really looking forward to her visit, even if it’s a little nerve-wrecking as well.  As a person who was born in American in 1987, I grew up with the internet.  I’ve been meeting online friends like it was nothing since the age of 17 when I first started driving.

I’ve met people from Myspace, dating sites, and even the old eating disorder forums I use to frequent as a teenager.  I’ve started many relationships with women I’ve met online, and my fiancé A and I actually met online!

So meeting online people I’ve done before.  That’s nothing new, or scary.

But meeting an online friend from another Country and then hosting her for the weekend is another new journey to embark on!

Something feels very adult about this visit.  Hosting a foreign friend for the weekend and showing her around D.C. seems like something an adult would do, like something my Mom would do.

N and I met in our very early 20’s, so it will be quite and experience to meet for the first time in our late 20’s, and see the woman that we’ve watched each other grow into from afar!

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Kale, Strawberry, & Pineapple

Simple Strawberry, Kale, & Pineapple Smoothie

I’d like to start off by saying that I absolutely despise kale, along with any other green vegetable.  I’ve had a strong disdain for vegetables ever since I were a small child.

I cannot, however, taste any kale in this delicious smoothie!

Ingredients: 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapples
1/2 a banana.
1 cup stemless kale
1 cup almond milk (I use Silk-vanilla almond)

Directions: Blend and enjoy!   If you use fresh pineapples and strawberries, as oppose to frozen, you can try adding 3/4-1 cup of ice to help give it that smoothie temperature/texture.

I drank this smoothie today between a seventy-five minute heated baptiste power flow yoga class and a full book of massages on my schedule.  It tasted great, and I felt clean and empowered throughout the day!