Archive for July, 2009

what happens when you’ve been packing for 7 hours.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2009 by drbolte

new lyrics for the cure:

i don’t care if monday’s brown
tuesday wednesday traffic all through town
thursday house is burning down
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s pink
tuesday wednesday clogged up sink
thursday washed my face in ink
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s white
tuesday wednesday barroom fight
thursday i just lost my sight
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s green
tuesday wednesday martin sheen
thursday ate too many beans
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s red
tuesday wednesday bumped my head
thursday oh my gosh i’m dead
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s black
tuesday wednesday got the sack
thursday aliens attack
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s blue
tuesday wednesday pinching shoes
thursday eating possum stew
it’s friday, i’m in love.

i don’t care if monday’s gray
tuesday wednesday bills to pay
thursday hey hey hey hey hey
it’s friday, i’m in love.

and that’s when we decided we were done.

the days are just packed.

Posted in bridal diaries, domestic goddess, forward my mail, going quietly mad, me, perfect brightness of hope, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, the joys of living in Florida on July 30, 2009 by drbolte

today we got our marriage license.

as we were sitting there, signing documents and giving social security numbers and attesting to the accuracy of the information we had provided by raising our right hand and swearing that it was all true, i realized that this is the one time i’ll do that.

that was cool.

tomorrow marks the beginning of the big move. because of a series of what can only be described as hilarious timing debacles, i have to turn in my keys for this apartment by noon and can only pick up the keys to the new place at noon. so we’ll be loading all of my earthly possessions, save a few essentials and my mattress, into a uhaul cargo van tomorrow night.

i had been a bit worried about the move. there’s nothing like smashed toes and heavy boxes to bring out the very best of your personality, you know? but we had a heap of stuff to take to goodwill today, in the death humid hot, and we did it cheerfully.  my beloved bff doesn’t even seem to mind my procrastination or my need to do things my way and in my timeframe.  in fact, he seems to understand it and quickly falls into whatever helpful role i need him to fill.

it’s been wonderful.

i opened my wedding dress garment bag last night and saw, right before my eyes on the bodice, a small stain. the stain saga with my dress has thus far been confined to the sash, which is a really long story not worth rehashing because my future mil picked it up and said it’s perfect now, but now apparently there is one on the bodice of my perfectly white dress.  it’s smaller than a pencil eraser and is tan, not black or red or anything absurd. it would probably not even be noticeable.

but i noticed.

and i cried.  in fact, if i have cried hard about anything related to problems, stress, and misunderstandings related to the wedding, it was this. as the bff held me and i cried for my two minute freakout, i said “i just wanted one thing to be perfect–and it was my dress.”

you well know that i am trying very hard not to sweat the small stuff about the wedding.  but i wanted my dress to be perfect–at least for those initial moments that he sees me, that we take pictures, that we bask in the fact that we are now married forever and for always, no ifs ands or buts.  i don’t care about much anything else. if it rains, okay. we’ll figure it out.  if something goes wrong with the sound system, we’ll figure it out.  if the cupcakes are hideous, we’ll figure it out.

but my dress. ohmydress.

so i freaked out a little bit. he let me. and then he told me that he was absolutely sure that i was going to be exquisitely gorgeous and that we’d figure it out.  he’s right about the last part. mom comes on tuesday, i talk to her on sunday, and we’ll figure out what i should do.

or maybe i’ll just forget about it and realize that it, like me, is a bit flawed but nonetheless perfect for him and for that day.

i wanted to write a deep post about leaving and moving on and the strangeness of a house that is now in transition, about going by the new apartment and seeing that it’s empty and beginning to picture us there and thoughts of flower boxes and decorating, about moving on and moving out and moving closer to the rest of my life, about how strange it will be to be the last one in my apartment, the last night of my old life essentially, about how awed i am by the generosity of people i don’t even know, about how all of my fears are systematically being eliminated because of faith exercised so often and begun so long ago that it is now as familiar and subtly essential as breath.

but i can’t really do that yet.  maybe when i’m sitting in an entirely empty apartment, those thoughts will coherently come to me.  but right now, like the rest of my house, they are sitting in heaps and piles, to be sifted through and organized.

so much is happening. so fast.  and yet the miracle is that time has slowed just enough for me to do an insanely ridiculous amount of work in a short, short time.  but the true miracle is that i am recognizing all of the big stuff amid the petty chaos.

question of the day.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 by drbolte

do a series of life changes explain the desire to abandon one’s established blog and either start a new, protected, invitation-only one or forget about blogging all together?

i can’t remember who did it better…

Posted in bridal diaries on July 28, 2009 by drbolte

…but someone did.

they started counting down the things that happened right before their wedding that blew their mind.

like when they bought milk with an expiration date post-wedding date. or when the 10 day forecast was what you got to look at…and it actually included your wedding day (she did that, of a kind…i am pretty sure she did the other thing too, but i can’t find it…).

it’s starting to happen to me.

the plague of death flu is apparently whirling around UF, and i have what is probably a combination of “oh my dang i can’t be sick” hypochondria and allergic reaction to the mold spores (which are excessively high) and the tree pollen (which is also high).  nevertheless, post-class found me in winn-dixie perusing the vitamin-c infused juices.

and i realized…all of these cartons expire after my wedding.

people have been asking me lots of “are you ready? are you excited? insert are you something phrase here?” questions.  the answers are, in order:

no way in heck, unless you’re talking about mentally. i ordered cupcakes from the bakery that screwed up my shower cake. it was tasty but ugly. so it’s possible that i will have the ugliest wedding cupcakes on the planet. if this happens, i will send one or two trusted bridesmaids to the local publix to find sprinkles and squeeze frosting and we will make something beautiful out of the chaos.

or i’ll make an announcement and people will laugh and still eat all 110 cupcakes and like them and think that i am the most laidback bride ever.

because i just don’t care.

when we went to see the church on sunday with the bff’s parents, to plan what we would need/do for setup, i could finally picture, as we were turning off all of the lights, what it will look like with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of little white fairy lights everywhere.

and i felt the sudden urge to clap my hands and cry at the same time. i did one of those. i’ll let you guess which.

we have tablecloths and tabletoppers and a plan for decorations and all of the assorted stuff that we need for the reception.

i do not have all of my makeup, hair products, or the bra that i want to wear.  should i get on that? yeah probably. you know when it’s likely to get done? wednesday. of my wedding week.

it’s the only time i really have to breathe.

i do need to color my hair this week though. it needs a good week to settle in.

so am i ready? YES. and absolutely not.

am i excited?


but it’s hard to think about when i need to pack my entire house and move it and grade a million papers and read and plan the teaching of an entire novel that i don’t really want to read or plan.  it seems really far away, because the BIG.FAT.MOVE is standing in its way. i’m really hoping that once the boxes are into the house and my bed is set up and i have food in my fridge that i will be able to take a deep breath and start to get giddy excited about what will be happening the next week.

that said, i do get these crazy glimmers.

when we pull off our paper chain and realize how few links are left.

when his wedding ring gets shipped and he tries it on, just to be sure it fits, and it LOOKS like a wedding ring and ohmygosh we’re getting married.

when i pick up my dress and i’m scared to try it on because OHMYGOSH what if it doesn’t fit (it will. i know it will. i just get this way.) but it’s still hanging there, in a garment bag on my closet door, suddenly looking so very big and bridal.

when i realize that in two days we get our marriage license.

i get glimmers. and in those moments, i am so excited.

i just want, so much, to be able to take it all in.  there’s so much going on. i just want to have time to take it all in, to not let worry and stress and busy stand in the way of anything.  i don’t think it will. i don’t think i’ll let it.  because, honestly, i don’t care.

i don’t care if the cupcakes are ugly.

i don’t care if something goes wrong.

i don’t care about anything except marrying the bff.  once that happens? shucks. everything else is just a big story for the grandkids.

t minus 11 days, folks.


i have a brilliant idea.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2009 by drbolte

i need clones.

i picture two.

one i’ll call “working carrie.” she’ll only come out for classes, and all the rest of the time she’ll have a computer and a stack of books. she will read, grade, respond to student emails, and in her off time from that will peruse the databases for brilliant critical interpretations of the novels that she teaches.

the second i call “bride carrie.” i will lock her in a closet with a crossramp, yogurt, low-carb bread, and distilled water. she will spend her time drinking heaps of water, ridding her body of toxins, and working her butt off…as literally as possible. she will periodically sit under a sunlamp for 15 minutes at a time so as to ensure the lovely bridal bronze…but not enough to ensure more freckles or skin cancer. i will only bring her out on august 8th.

this will ensure that real carrie can pack, sleep for the next two weeks so as to possibly get rid of the bags under my eyes, and not feel the least bit guilty for eating chocolate chips and pizza.

i think it’s a good plan, actually.

Protected: an open letter to students of the world.

Posted in books are bliss, etcetera, teaching on July 24, 2009 by drbolte

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the incredible blessing of cluelessness.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action on July 21, 2009 by drbolte

i find that now, 18 days out, a blissful sense of euphoric idiocy has descended upon me.

i was counting time based on event milestones prior to this past weekend: first was the first shower in orlando, which marked the beginning of summer b and the chaos that i was sure to descend. (i wasn’t wrong.) then came my flight to NC for my bridal brunch there.  the last real pre-wedding festivity that i had on my bride radar was my gville shower and bachelorette party (all PG fun, i promise. well, there was a moment of pg-13ness, but that’s neither here nor there.  no salacious stories is my point.).

those things have come and gone and now i’m left sitting here, still with a large list of things to do (although, granted, it’s getting smaller) and no real motivation to do them.

know why?

i just don’t care that much anymore.

i have what i absolutely need, or i have lined up the things that i need.  the place will look good.  we’ll make it look good.  and honestly…if things go wrong, which i’m expecting, we’ll deal with it.  because you know what? i am a problem solver.

and i would much prefer to be very very busy with actual tasks to do than sitting around twiddling my thumbs and thinking about everything that will happen the next day. i’m not nervous. just EXCITED.

but what’s most important isn’t whether or not everyone else is happy or if the red and yellow lanterns hang by themselves or with white lights or if we have greenery where we are doing our ring exchange.

all that matters is that we are going to be married forever.  that’s all that matters.

so now i just go day by day. i have a few goals: keep up with my class, and maybe even work ahead. pack my house BEFORE it’s time to move (and find boxes in which to stuff all of my stuff). check off a few things here and there on my big long list of things to do.

but the stress? i have it.  most every day, the day is crazy busy.  right now i feel compelled to multitask–ordering the memory card my bridesmaid photographer needs because i’ve forgotten for something like two weeks and looking at my to-do list at the same time.  and very very soon i need to turn off gilmore girls and put away the blog and the facebook and the internet and read charles dickens as quickly as possible.

but overall i really have this ‘i don’t care’ sort of fog that has descended.  it’s lovely.

it’s a blessing. and i really appreciate it.

Protected: you know you’re ready to graduate when…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2009 by drbolte

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Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action, family on July 15, 2009 by drbolte

there are moments very recently when the way i feel can only be described as the world hitting me from all sides.

(i know that i have been way angsty of late here, mainly because i don’t have time to blog all of the awesome that happens every day (although after friday, i will most definitely be recapping you on my THREE bridal showers…all of which were VERY different, i can assure you). )

people told me that things were going to be crazy. i thought they meant to-do list crazy (which is most certainly true).  i thought they meant getting things done crazy. i thought they meant being organized and deliberate and taking care of the small stuff.

i thought that, yes, it would be hard but that i have juggled crazy before and survived well.  i figured this would be the same.

this is nothing like the same.

i literally feel like the bff and i are in the middle of a storm.  every day, it seems, the stress descends, even on my mild mannered and adorably untouchable bff who rarely, if ever, cracks under pressure.  and it’s not just one thing, and it’s not just the wedding.  it’s everything.

school. work. wedding. moving.

but those are the to-do list things. i think the things that are hitting us where we live are the more intangible things.  feeling like what we do isn’t good enough. feeling the pressure to please certain people who, in all reality, might never be pleased–but still feeling pressured to do it.  finding a middle ground between what we want and what will make others happy. finding a way to do everything when we both feel absolutely and completely inadequate.  disappointments. frustrations.

last night, after what can only be described as a bad day for both of us, we talked for hours.  we talked about lots of things–things that we needed to talk about, things that we will continue to talk about, things that we want, the way we imagine our lives–and after a peaceful lull, i looked at him and quietly asked him why he thought things were so hard lately.

it’s not that we haven’t had hard before. i feel like, in some ways, the degree to which we have not had to fight with each other has been translated into fighting for our dreams externally. neither one of us is wimpy. neither one of us shies away from struggle.

but now? it just feels so much…harder.

the moment i asked it, i realized the answer. a quiet voice in my mind and in my heart told me why.

we are about to get married. for forever. we are about to create a family that will love the Lord and honor His commandments. we are about to promise to fight for each other and fight for our family come what may. we are about to promise to never look for an individual exit, but always look for the path we can walk together.

we are about to do something miraculous.

it’s no wonder the opposition has stepped up its assault.

all of the sudden, it became clear to me.  i suppose i expected the opposition to manifest itself in ways that i had predicted–i said as much, sheepishly, and the bff sort of laughed and said “oh yeah…because that’s always how it happens.” i was expecting it to be hard to fight certain temptations. i was expecting to feel bewildered by the amount of things to do. i was expecting to feel stress.

but i wasn’t expecting that stress to be coming from the areas that it’s coming from. and in those times, it’s hard for me to come up for air.  i begin to think, in my limited perspective, that struggling struggling struggling to get through every day with some measure of peace and some degree of accomplishment, to meet the expectations of my job and my relationship and myself, is the only way that life will ever be. sometimes, i begin to think that i’m not really getting anywhere. sometimes, i worry that i never will.

on the bad days, it feels like the weight of the world is holding me back.

it is the moments when i reach out, and find the bff, and he understands and he feels the same and for that brief moment, or for those few hours, the whole world lifts off of my shoulders.  it is in those moments when i feel the peace return, when i realize that all of those prayers that we’ve been praying about being prepared in every way for our lives together are being answered in our struggles. in those moments, i feel like i can fight another day and i commit to fighting well and struggling on and doing all i can to do all i can.

in those moments i can breathe.

often, they are preceded by true and honest difficulty. but in the face of incredible opposition and struggle, i will reach out for the hand of the man that i love and reach up for the hand of the God that i know knows me.

and we will walk through it together.

let’s make a list, part two.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2009 by drbolte

ways in which my choking, crying, meltdowny prayer for help was answered today, in spades:

1. my friend beth is going to take my books. this makes me happy because a) problem solved. and b) i get to help the libraries. it does my book-loving heart good.

2. my wonderful bff forgave my crazy and just said he loved me and asked what he can do. what he can do is run stairs with me after institute tonight.

3. i sold multiple things on craig’s list yesterday, part of the reason why i was all YIKES about how much i had to do today. i had to clean it all out and get it ready for pickup.  as i was doing it, though, i realized something that i didn’t expect.  do you know that moment when you realize that the pre-moving chaos has actually morphed into pre-moving things accomplished?  that happened. this afternoon.

4. did i mention that most everything that i have put on craigslist has sold IMMEDIATELY? that’s a huge blessing. i’m not making bank off of it or anything, but i am slowly but surely getting rid of the extraneous furniture from my life.  it’s so good.

5. i took the time i spend trolling the internets and put it to good use–reserved a cargo van for moving (i think…stupid page never finished loading…) and ordered utilities for our new place. it’s like we’re actually moving or something. amazing.

6. a friend of mine noticed my facebook status and, being newly married herself, offered so much advice. she also came by and brought me a book that i really wanted to get and read with the bff, and i’m excited about that.  it was SO NICE to be able to just ask questions and get advice from someone who had been there.  i only hope that i can pay it forward.

i am grateful for this day. i am grateful for answered prayers. and i am grateful for the reminder that, sometimes when you ask Heavenly Father for help, he sends in his human troops.