Dim Sum Dinner Dates, iPhone Upgrades, Wedding Planning, and Snow Day Let-Downs.

I’ve been in a funk for the last week or so.  Alana and I had a bad fight last week, hurtful words were said and trust was breeched.  We’ve talked things out and have found solutions together, but I’m still processing and reeling from it all.

I kinda kept to myself last week, I didn’t tweet much or reply to texts.  We’ve had outstanding dinner plans with our married gay friends Nick and Kris that I badly wanted to cancel because I just wasn’t feeling up to going out.  But then I figured that laughter, drinks, and good company would be a good change of scenery, so I threw on clothes and trudged on out.

I’m so glad that we went out, everyone had a blast.  We went to our favorite dim sum restaurant in D.C., and then back to their apartment afterwards.  We played with the litter of puppies that their boxer recently gave birth to, we drank wine and beer, and played cards against humanity.  I was tipsy, and laughing, and the awful foggy week started fading away.

I’ve been fighting with Verizon all month because I was having issues “edging up” to a free iPhone six plus on my plan, but after three hours in their store Saturday I finally left with one! It’s perfect, and shiny, and it’s making me happy.  That, plus the fun time Saturday night has me in better spirits.

IMG_4074 Another cool things that happened this weekend was that we completed two major wedding planning steps!  We booked a photographer, which is a huge step, and also very uplifting after the let down with the first photographer we asked.  We also found an officiant to marry us, and it’s none other than our amazing gay friend Kris!

He offered from the backseat of Alana’s car on the way home from dinner, and we were thrilled right away.  We love him, and his husband.  He has good energy, a clear voice, and he’s an intelligent and thoughtful soul.  This wedding is really coming together, and much more smoothly than we anticipated.

I talked with and texted a possible DJ today as well.  We will be meeting with him the next time he flys into the area!

I’m definitely feeling better after dinner, the new phone, and the wedding planning.  However, our entire area was collectively hoping for a “snow day” today that did not come! It’s the third or fourth time this year I got hopeful for a snow day, and then had to end up cleaning off my car and driving into work on wet, gloomy, slippery roads.

The snow is really coming down right now, but I don’t want to get hopeful again.  This month has been a crazy knot of emotions.  I’ve felt simultaneously stressed, disappointed, and anxious about the wedding planning, but also delighted, excited, and pleased with it as well.  I’ve spent so much time with friends and family, but maybe not enough on my own.

I knew this year was going to be intense, but man am I on a ride! All I can do though is hold on tight, and try and enjoy the scenery.

I hope this last week of January passes a little less mood-swingy, I’m starting to get whiplash from all the highs and lows.

Book Review: New Spring by Robert Jordan

Today I finished the novel New Spring by Robert Jordan, and I couldn’t have been any more thrilled with it.

I’ve read all fourteen books belonging to “The Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan and Brian Sanderson, and New Spring was a perfect prequel.  It gave us an even closer glimpse into the world of The White Tower and just how the softly unspoken heroes Moiraine Damodred and Siaun Sanche came to embark on this nearly impossible task of finding The Dragon, reborn.

Moiraine and Siaun are two favorite characters of mine, and I loved learning more of what they were like as younger women.  I was surprised to find how interested I was in a younger version of Lan as well, and how much I enjoyed his back story and of learning who he was when Moiraine first met him.

I have a much deeper understanding now of who these characters are and who they came to be twenty years later when The Wheel of Time series starts.  I also found the tidbits and traces we see and discover of  Elaida Sedai and Cadsuane Sedai enjoyable.  There were a few more things you discover about the processes of being a novice, Accepted, and being raised to Aes Sedai in The White Tower.  There were small things that clicked in my mind in The Wheel of Time world that didn’t click before reading New Spring, as I got more back story on The Aiel War and the political standings between lands and races.

This book had Jordan’s beautifully quiet way of transcending you with fiction without unnecessary dribble and without drawing things out. (Like one might find in a fourteen book series, for example!)  I read the book both quickly and easily, wishing all along that it were much bigger and thicker like the fourteen books following it.

I honestly and truly give this book five stars, but I am a huge fan of this world that Robert Jordan created.  I can’t say that my five star rating comes without stars in my eyes, but in terms of prequels this was a really great one.

These First Fourteen Days

We are only fourteen days into 2015, and I feel like so much has happened.  I feel like I’ve lived thirty days, not just fourteen.  This year has been filled with family, friends, and wedding plans in high abundance, and the last few weeks of this month in my calendar are filled with exactly the same.

My Goddaughter’s first birthday party was last weekend and that was a blast.  Alana and I were the only two non family members invited, so it felt like an honor to be there.  It was small and intimate and full of food, wine, and my best friend’s family! Her parents, and their house are like a second family and a second house to me.  Our families have known each other since her and I were seven years old, and I always enjoy spending time with them and my Goddaughter.

We went out to dinner with my extended family the first weekend of this month, and then we went out last Saturday with my third bridesmaid and her new boyfriend.  Both nights involved drinking, love, laughter, and lots of wedding talk! So much has been planned this month, and is continuing to be planned.

We are having dinner with my extended family again this weekend, some friends the next weekend, and then Alana’s extended family the weekend after that.

This is five straight weekends of dinner and time spent with both our families, our friends, and my Goddaughter/2nd family.  My heart just feels about to burst at so much interaction.  We have such an abundance of people, love, and support all around us, and that on top of all the wedding planning has me filled with emotion to the brink.

For the first time since we booked the wedding venue five months ago my parents gave us an amount of money that they will be giving us to help with the cost of the wedding.  It’s more than we were hoping for, and it’s going to help a lot.  They’ve eased the financial stress we’ve been associating with this year.

One huge downside has been that Alana asked a friend of fourteen years, a girl who she’s been very close with, to be the photographer at our wedding.  This girl kindly said no, and that while she loves Alana her beliefs are stopping her from being our photographer.

Alana and I aren’t angry in any way, and we understand.  Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  It has been a bit of a disappointment for Alana though, and it’s set us back in our plans as well as our budget a bit.  We are on the hunt for a new photographer and that’s stressing me out a bit.  My Mom keeps adding family members to our guest list, and the cost of that is stressing me out a bit as well.

Things are definitely good, just a little intense.  But, we are really getting into the bulk of the wedding planning now, so I wasn’t expecting any less.

I just need to keep reminding myself to be thankful for the abundance of people and love in my life, as well as for the fact that I actually get to have this wedding! These are all luxuries, and things to be grateful for, and all my stress is something my generation refers to as “first world problems.”

Sigh.  Deep breath.  It’ll all be okay.

I wonder if the rest of this year will continue to be as intense as these first fourteen days.

What I Don’t Feel Great About Right Now

I’ve been such the little adult today.  I talked to our wedding coordinator at our venue twice today, and I left her the final installment of our security deposit.  I scheduled a tasting with her later this year, I got information about the hotels for our guests nearby, and I’ve already contacted a DJ and a photographer whom she recommended.

I’ve browsed the work of the photographer I talked to earlier today as well as three other photographers in the area, and I honestly and truly like the work of our own two photographer friends more.  One of them did our engagement shoot, and our other friend takes much more beautiful photos than these well established photography companies!

I feel so, so good about the DJ our coordinator has been raving about.  I’ve left him a voicemail, and even the personality and tone of the person on the voicemail sounds fun and energetic.

What I don’t feel great about right now is the financial aspects of this wedding.

I just need to sit down and talk with my Mom.  I’ve known from the beginning that I am paying much more for this wedding than everyone else involved in paying for it.  I’ve known it, for months and months, yet actually starting to pay for these things has me a bit stressed.

I think I also feel let down and kind of on my own in a way.  About having to pay for my own wedding, and for so much of it at that.  But what’s confusing about this feeling is that it somehow also feels good.

Like, I feel accomplished and capable, and like I really am an adult who can handle her own life.  Who can make her way in the world.  Combined with the realization that this wedding is actually happening, that I’ve found such an amazing woman to spend my life with puts me over the moon!

But then one single thought about the ten thousand or more we’ll be spending on a townhouse, wedding, and honeymoon by the end of the year takes those over-the-moon feelings and sets my feet back on the ground with slight anxiety.  The money is going to be there, so why am I stressed out about it? How can I start feeling better about having to pay for all of this?

I grew up as a lucky, comfortable millennial whose reality of paying for her own wedding has her world twisted upside down.

I think writing this post has helped, because I’m definitely laughing at myself/feeling a bit more relieved now.  I just need to remind myself to feel grateful to have all of this anyway, let alone a caring, supportive fiancé and a Mom who is probably doing her best to help out.

My New Happy/Laughing Buddha Pendant to Take Into My Wedding Year

As an ENFP personality on the Myer’s Briggs scale, I am hugely into symbolism.  I look for symbolism and meaning everywhere, and I am constantly linking things and situations in my life to the weather that day, or a dream, or a gut feeling.

As a female I am hugely into jewelry, and as a combination of these two things, I constantly link jewelry and new jewelry I acquire with new beginnings and new horizons, or as a token to something I’ve moved on from.

While spending the last day of 2014 seeing two different musicals and eating out at different restaurants I came across this happy/laughing buddha from a woman I’ve been buying jewelry from for over a decade.  She specializes in jade jewelry, and as you can see, this laughing buddha is wrapped in an enclosure that’s engulfed in jade.  The buddha himself spins, just like the dial of a compass would, seemingly magnetic.  I love this piece of jewelry.

Happy Buddha  2015 is going to be a year of huge changes for me.  My partner and I are going to be moving in a townhouse, getting married in front of our close friends and family, and then going on a honeymoon.  This year is going to be the most important of my life so far.  It’s also going to come with a long of planning, stress, and huge changes that I know will take some getting use to.

Moving into the year with this pendant is helping all the anxiety that I’m feeling today.  I bought it kind of as a positive affirmation for good fortune, happiness, and good times as I begin my wedding year.  I feel a little less shaky with this little guy swinging around like a compass on my chest.  Or, at least, I’m telling myself that he helps me feel less shaky.

Whenever times get stressful for tough this year, or I feel anxious, I’m going to close my eyes and feel the weight of this pendant on my chest.  I’m going to take a few deep breaths, ujjayi yogi breaths, and remind myself that weddings are supposed to be fun.  And that I need to enjoy this year and not get too caught up in my own head and my own anxieties.

Just typing all of that out made me feel a bit better.  Here’s to hoping that 2015, my wedding year, is a good one, not just for my partner and I, but for all of us.

Namaste!