Archive for August, 2009

rant number 492: on bureaucracy and facebook idiocy.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 by drbolte

so i went to change my name today legally. wanted to do it at the two big gatekeepers of identity: social security and drivers license. i thought social security would be infinitely worse.

i think i was there for 10 minutes total. and i didn’t have an appointment. it was barely worth listening to the security guy and turning off my cell phone. except i did. because i am authority-respecting like that.

i went to the drivers license place and, when i pulled in, there was neither available parking nor anywhere to sit–inside OR outside, because there was a line out the door.

i have no idea why, but everyone in this stupid county was at this tiny office on this friday afternoon. i approached the counter and, despite having my birth certificate, social security receipt, drivers license, and marriage license in my possession, i also apparently needed a utility bill to prove my change of address.

(we won’t talk about how my address has been wrong on my license for MUCH longer than it should have been…)

so i went home, ate a PB&J sandwich, considered whether or not i wanted to go back, decided that i really wanted to get this done, and went back.

and saw the same people there that had been there when i left. an hour and something before.

i got a number this time but, upon hearing from the receptionist that normal days are very efficient, decided that this was a monumental and idiotic waste of time and that, were i called upon to have to stay there, i might lose my mind.

i may find that this was a very bad decision. but i am really completely perplexed by why social security, who deals with infinitely more complex issues, got me done in 34 seconds and the drivers license place is a operating on an insanely slow timeline.

i am also somewhat annoyed that i have to jump through these kinds of hoops. bah. good thing the bff (and his name) are worth it.

sweet mercy.

my other, and definitely shorter, rant is this: why is it that, once someone is married, every time they say anything tangentially (or directly) related to feeling gross, sick, or crabby, people crawl out of the woodwork to ask if they are pregnant?

if i was newly pregnant, would i REALLY be complaining about it on facebook in such obvious terms? really? i wouldn’t, you know, mask it as “tired” or “blah” or any other HOST of non-obvious, non-pregnancy related terms so as to, i don’t know, CONCEAL A PREGNANCY I HAD NOT YET ANNOUNCED?

and, following the same line of thought, dear well-meaning but really nosy and obnoxious commenter, do you really think that when you comment on my status asking if i am, in fact, pregnant (and it’s usually said obnoxiously like ‘prego’ or ‘preggers,’ terms which i really think should be banned forever), do you think that i am going to take that opportunity to announce to you and the rest of your newsfeed that i am?*


*i am not. this did not happen to me, but i have literally watched as it has happened to EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. of my newly married facebook friends, so i am just waiting for it to happen to me. depending on who does it, i may unleash my irritated ire. but probably not.

i have, however, known people who have announced their pregnancy on facebook when they were like 2 weeks pregnant. excuse me while i cringe. that will NOT happen.


Posted in bff, family, friends, Life on August 28, 2009 by drbolte

coming out of the haze of the wedding and the honeymoon and all of the attention focused on me, i am feeling like i have been a bit of a selfish beast.  i have tried to not be one, to not go crazy and make the world miserable, but to a certain extent i feel like i have absolutely missed so much that’s been going on with other people.

how could i have not realized? how could i have not been more in tune?

i think this intersects with the realization, which often hits me like a large truck, about how generous people have been. we got a couple more wedding presents yesterday, and i just sort of sat there when we opened them, slackjawed and in shock.

people are so kind.  people have been so kind.  generosity just POURING out from sources far and wide.  dinner ready for us when we got back from our honeymoon, a day that was so exhausting even though all we did was go out to lunch with family and drive home.  i was so tired, and i didn’t have to do ANYTHING.  generous gifts from people who i know–i KNOW–struggle and are having a hard time.  it’s absolutely humbling and absolutely awesome.

and i absolutely have a hard time receiving.

to a certain extent, i think i got over it a bit when all of the hullabaloo was going on. it was like christmas or my birthday on steroids.  it was fun times to open all of the cards, it was fun times to open all of the gifts. it was fun to imagine where that things would go or what we could do with that.

but i think now that we’ve settled in, that i’ve had time to reflect, that the world has stopped (absolutely and completely) revolving around me and my stuff, i have realized just how much people have sacrificed to do for us what they have.  it’s hard for me sometimes.  maybe that makes me less of a developed person, but it’s much easier for me to give, or at least to feel like the proportion is almost equal, than to solely receive.

but solely receive is what i have done, and my reaction is one of all-encompassing gratitude and an almost overwhelming desire to be the one to do the same for others.  i have a ridiculous schedule, which perhaps in other times in my life might have made me feel like i didn’t have time to love the way i want to love and to appreciate the way i’d always hoped to appreciate the ones around me.

that’s crap. we always have time for what is most important to us.

thank you to those of you who have been the source of much of this giving. thank you for focusing on me and my joy and my crazy and for doing all that you have done to make my life so much better.

now it’s your turn.

what can i do?

the wedding chronicles: i’m getting married in the morning, part one.

Posted in bridal diaries, etcetera, family, magic, me, superheckyes on August 27, 2009 by drbolte

i woke up friday pretty excited.  what wasn’t there to be excited about? my toes were all painted red, courtesy of an amazing bridesmaid who pampered me the night before. my bags were packed.  we were running late, but that was pretty normal, and i was giddy excited.

mainly because i got to wear this, officially, for reals:


see that? that’s a BRIDE shirt.  someone awesome gave me the iron-on, i found a shirt, and mom made the magic happen. i was pretty excited to wear it all day.

and it was a day, let me tell you.

we left late for orlando, deciding that we would divide and conquer our to-do list. mom would head to the hotel, pick up my family, take my cousin/photographer to the temple to scope out the sights and plan her attack for the next day, and mom would take care of getting a few things that i still needed. i would meet the bff at his parents’ house and we would go get flowers to do centerpieces.

the original plan was that my family would come meet us at the in-laws to help with centerpieces.  by the end of the drive, though, we decided that mom and the fam should just hang out and have a laidback afternoon, meeting us at the church at 3 to set up the reception site.

that ended up being a good plan, since the woman who never ever gets lost–EVER–spent the better part of the afternoon lost in the awesomeness that is orlando.  i got a call to get directions. i gave directions. those directions were circumvented by my aunt’s gps, which they realized only after listening to it had lost the will to live because of a lack of battery power.

(please note: if a bride gives you directions, and it’s the day before the wedding, and she sort of knows what she’s talking about because a) she’s been in the city more than you have and b) she’s sitting with someone who has lived in the city for the better part of his life, you should probably just listen.  it eliminates stress.)

during this time, the bff and i were scouring publixes and winn dixies around his house to find flowers for centerpieces.  when all was said and done, this was what we had to work with:


quite possibly one of the worst pictures of me ever taken, but a cute one of the bff and a good one to show how much yellow, white, green, and red awesomeness we had.  we had piles and piles of flowers when we got back, but i was quite worried that we wouldn’t have enough. in what can only be described as an amazing blessing from heaven, the first publix that we went to had 12 gorgeous sunflowers. we did not find another store with another sunflower in it, and we went to three more.  we bought them out, which allowed us to have some continuity in our centerpieces.  you probably don’t care at all about that, but it mattered–A LOT–to me.

it was 900,000 degrees, so after we bought some flowers, the bff stayed in the car with the a/c blasting while i ran into the next, all so the flowers wouldn’t wilt. then we would drop them off and head to another store.  when we felt like we had enough, we came back and started taking them out of the packages and started trying to create flower arrangements.

i have never done this before. i have never advertised myself as a floral designer. but i read in a book somewhere (how’s that for responsible citation?) that fresh flowers are beautiful, that you can’t mess them up, and if you just stay out of their way, it will all be gorgeous.

it didn’t feel that way when we began.  everything looked…odd.  we were putting flowers in the little vases that we had, which were more circular than elongated, and all i could think was that they were going to be ugly and i hated them and everything i did was crap.

(i may or may not have been seriously freaking out at that point about many things. the flowers focused my angst.)

the bff thought they looked beautiful. but i thought that if the 11 centerpieces looked like the first one we made, our reception was going to look like buford the slack-jawed yokel was our florist.

i was not pleased.

but somehow, i just decided to keep going. to get them all done and then revise as needed at the end.  that there? that’s the writing nature of me kicking in–push past the crap at the draft stage and make it pretty in revisions.

and boy did we.

the second arrangement was better. we figured out height and we figured out colors and we just both started doing our creative thing. and every. single. one we put together was GORGEOUS and unique.  we tried to have pops of color in each, and we ended up needing the bff’s mom to get us  more red flowers, but they were all gorgeous.

and it was kind of awesome to realize that we did it together, that we pushed past the panic, and that we did it in the midst of all of the chaos.

most importantly? they were exactly what we both pictured in our heads.


that’s how they turned out.  there are stories about the polka dots, but i’ll call it a serendipitous mistake that turned out to be probably one of my MOST FAVORITE things about how we decorated. i didn’t intend for the polka dots to start to take over…but they did. and it was amazing.

we had BARELY finished the centerpieces when it was time to go decorate the church.

next up: what do you get when you put 5 guys, 5 million strings of lights, and a lot of women in a room?


Posted in wifey on August 25, 2009 by drbolte

i imagine it in my mind as a theme park, of a kind.

it’s full of couples. and couple-themed things. like married couple double dates and a rolodex full of names like “JohnandCourtney” or “SpencerandIlene.” it’s a fun environment, and it fits pretty well, but every once in a while, you realize that you feel a bit out of place. that’s usually accompanied by one of the wildest rides in the place, the “OHMYGOSHwho’shavingababy?” rollercoaster.  when you find out that it’s someone you’ve known for a long time and recall conversations about how they didn’t really want to have kids (or if they did…it would be a LONG time), the ride gets even wilder.

before we got married, the bff and i were in a church congregation (for future reference these are called wards) exclusively for young single adults. while my age sort of pushed that “young” boundary a bit, i had been in that congregation for the entirety of my time in florida, so once it was pretty apparent that i was leaving, one way or another, they let me stay. what do these congregations consist of? young single adults. no kids. no families. just a bunch of single people your own age (or close to it), most of whom are going to school and doing their thing like you are.

it’s an incredibly interesting and engaging environment.

and when people meet, date, and get married, they leave and go to family wards.  because now they are their own families. when you’re single, you laugh and joke and tell that they are dead to you.  because usually? you don’t see those people much anymore.  for obvious reasons their priorities change and, often, they just don’t do the same things that they used to do.

i think it’s a good system overall. but i’ve never been on the other side of it.

when the bff and i went to our new ward last sunday, it was good. people were so genuinely kind, and it thrilled me a bit to introduce myself with a new last name and to be considered a family.  that was the first time that we’d done that, and it was lovely.

but a lot of the couples that i’d known or we’d known weren’t there for some reason (vacation, probably–it was the last weekend before summer classes began).  so we were sort of making it on our own as the new kids.  it was fine, but it was a little lonely.

this past sunday, it was remarkably different. suddenly there were all of these people that we knew.  tons of them.  and i was surrounded by other wives. and it was like i was part of the group.  and they were giving me all kinds of advice and suddenly i was struck with a moment of “wait a minute.  i’m a wife.”

sometimes it still hits me like that and feels strange. but most of the time i slip into it like it’s a position made just for me.  i don’t feel a lot of pressure to be someone that i’m not.  i try to do things that i think wives do and try to do the things that i need to do and, somehow, i’m figuring out what it is to fill this role.  it’s good. it’s easy, somewhat.  if you listen to those around you, it won’t be easy for long.  i am not sure how i feel about that advice, but i understand it.

i’m finding my way in this new world.  it’s a good world. i love it.

it’s sort of odd to realize that my identity is somewhat defined by the fact that i am half of an awesome team.  i pretty much love that.  i’ve had a long time to figure out who i am.  i am so excited to build up who we are.

i’m not dead. i swear.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 by drbolte

we got back from the honeymoon and pretty much started working. we’ve had plenty of downtime, which we’ve spent with guitar hero and each other, but we’ve also been settling into our house (read: organizing and reorganizing and finding places for everything) and, at least this week, getting ready for next week’s beginning of fall.


i’m teaching seven classes at three different institutions. three of them are online, four of them are onground, and all of them are different. meaning that for each institution, i need a different syllabus and set of teacher tricks.

and a different kind of expertise rattling around in my brain.

and the online classes? i’ve never done that before. it takes a ridiculous amount of prep work that i didn’t really anticipate. once it’s done it will be a cake walk to prep for other online classes. but right now i just feel like i’m fairly drowning in to-do lists.

and all i’d really like to do is go buy the rest of our dishes and bake bread with my new mixer and make lunches for my new husband and blahblahblahdomesticgoddessstuff.

anyway. all this to say that yes, i am here. yes, i am planning on telling you EVERYTHING i can remember about the wedding and the days preceding it and following it. i have stories and they’re good. but right now i’m just trying to keep up.

don’t give up on me yet.

in pictures.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, family, i love my life, magic, me, superheckyes, wifey on August 14, 2009 by drbolte

i have lots to say, but am too tired to form words right now. it’s 5:53 a.m., and i’ve been having trouble sleeping more than about 3 hours at a time since about a week before the wedding.

but i didn’t want you to go much longer without seeing some of the pictures. (if you’re my facebook friend, you’ve probably seen them all, but i’ve chosen a few that i really, really love.) these are the pictures from friends/family who were there, the ones that i’ve seen thus far.  i haven’t even seen our official ones yet, but if these are this good? i’m excited.

6370_116132517383_636167383_2177917_1733477_ncoming out of the temple.  i love these pictures.

5340_10100198408674241_2054136_59729439_2969294_nthis might be one of my favorites so far.

5340_10100198408734121_2054136_59729448_2210852_nme and my mom.  this is when we were taking pictures around the temple. it was SO hot, y’all. i think we all thought we were going to die.

6370_116132712383_636167383_2177946_2449813_nwe took refuge in the shade.  i love this picture too.

n2035392_59572271_4741409we had a giant cupcake tower, but someone offered to make us a little cake.  this is what it looked like (it was really cute!) and it was a perfect showcase for our little penguins.  you can’t say those aren’t awesome. etsy, y’all.  etsy.

n2035392_59572334_5225121i was ridiculously kind to my husband when we cut the cake.  he? was not so kind. this is the face that i made when i saw the size of the piece of cake he was going to stuff in my face. i tried to be graceful about it, but i had to pull half of the 41 inches of fondant out of my mouth.  it wasn’t pretty, but it was very me.

n2035392_59572406_7409218he wrote me a song. and played it at our reception.

i cried.

of course there are more stories.  i have many to tell you.  but this will have to do until i can figure out how to not be completely exhausted in the most happy and wonderful way.  thank you for your good wishes and happy thoughts being sent my way. i can feel them, and they are lovely.

t minus one.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, disney princesses got nothin' on me, i love my life, magic, me, superheckyes, the glass is half FULL on August 6, 2009 by drbolte

that’s right.


i’d been worried, y’all, that things wouldn’t get done. that i’d be running around, being stressed rather than excited, checking things off of a list that seemed longer than probable or possible.  i feel like i have said this ad nauseum, but i really wanted to be excited.

after today’s class, where i gave a final exam, and some running around and getting caught in the rain and ordering pizza with mom and the bff and packing him for the honeymoon and grading said exams and finalizing those final grades and making fun little bridesmaid gift bags (i really love them! they were my favorite part so far of the immediate pre-wedding prep), i realized that there was not much to do other than packing.

and getting my toes painted and my feet rubbed.

because i didn’t have time for a real pedicure, or the inclination to go there, my wonderful fantastic bridesmaid gave me a night of pampering. since i can’t paint my toenails well to save my life or the life of anyone else, she made my toes red and pretty and gave me time to just sit and chat and remember that…guess what?


i’m nearly packed. i tried on my dress today. it fit and when i looked at myself in the mirror, i felt SKINNY. if you haven’t been around for very long, you won’t know how much that means.  if you have, you’ll know how very much that means about where my head is at and what this dress does for me.

i have a sephora bag, a victoria’s secret bag, and a whole lot of flip flops ready to go.  i have bobby pins and hair straighteners and fifteen kinds of curling appliances to gather together, along with random things like, you know, toothpaste and deoderant and all of the things that are important.

but blah blah blah, you know?

the important thing is that i am EXCITED.  jump up and down, giddy little girl grinning excited.

i am marrying my very best friend.

things have gone wrong thus far. things will go wrong tomorrow, i’m sure.

but we’ll make it through and we’ll make it to saturday and we’ll be better for it.

and then we’ll be married.

i can hardly believe it. it doesn’t really feel real.

but as i hit submit on my last grades, and i put those papers away, and realized that all i had to worry about was being a bride, it began to feel more real.

i’ll see you in a little more than a week, most likely.  i doubt i’ll be able to articulate any of how much everything meant to me, but…i’ll promise to try.

as a wife.


Posted in bff, domestic goddess, etcetera, faith is action, ghetto life, i love my life, Life, magic, superheckyes, the engaged life on August 3, 2009 by drbolte

when we saw the apartment for the first time, it was only for about 10 minutes–long enough to tour a 500 some-odd square foot apartment and to briefly talk to the tenant about utilities and such.

for the most part, it was a drive-thru tour, but it didn’t matter.

the minute we walked into it, we knew it was the one. it had an incredible vibe to us.  the bff and i both knew it–we just looked at each other and communicated, as we so often do, without speaking that this was the place.

that was the only time we saw it.  being occupied, as it was, there was no real chance to go back, take measurements, make plans. the mental picture was all we had, and even that was somewhat hazy.

or so i thought.

i drove by a couple of times in the latter part of last week. the place was empty by thursday, and so on friday i drove by again, looking in the windows, noticing that the outdoors looks sad and needs some tlc.  i thought the living room looked bigger than i imagined it. in general, i just kept trying to see if the snapshot in my mind was true of reality.

when we arrived on saturday, after what can only be described as a miraculous weekend of moving*, and opened the door to our first apartment, the same vibe was there.  the spirit that’s here is so amazing.  i don’t think i’ve ever felt anything like it.

i’ve moved several times. i’ve lived in lots of different apartments, between moving with mom before she bought the house and moving during my very long college career.  usually, it takes time to feel at home. usually, you have to grow into a place.

that is not the case here.

i’ve never felt so absolutely suited to a place, and like the place is absolutely suited to us.  everything fits.  it fits us. our things fit into it.  we love it. completely.

and i think i love it more because of its flaws.  it’s this lovely diamond in the rough.  the closets are fantastically huge and there are shelves for miles, but the metal bifold doors are a bit wonky and tempermental.  the kitchen has one million tall cabinets, but the stove is probably older than me and probably hasn’t seen a decent cleaning since i was in elementary school.  the living room is much bigger than i thought it was, but the deadbolt is seriously screwed up and there’s this strange spot near the door where i think the rain might leak in (see earlier comment about the deadbolt).  we have a mailbox that’s a real mailbox and a trash can that’s a real trash can and the beginnings of our very first home.

i am in love with this life. i am in love with this place. i am in love with this time, when i feel absolutely and one hundred percent the confirmation of the Spirit that the decisions we are making are right and true and when the pieces are falling into place in the most beautiful ways.

i’m not sure i ever really imagined what my life would be like as a married person.  yesterday, when i spent the whole day with the bff in our new house, cooking dinner, unpacking the kitchen (in order to cook said dinner), talking to my mom on the phone with him next to me, playing monopoly for hours, i realized that i really love it.

it’s nothing whatsoever like i would have expected.

it’s better.  so, so, so much better.

and i’m not even married yet.

*the two of us packed an entire van full of my stuff, got rid of truckfuls of stuff, and kept going for 8 hours straight…on friday. then we got up and did it all again–but kept going for probably 12 hours that day. and we didn’t fight, squabble, bicker, or get upset with each other once.

i swear.

the miracle of that isn’t that it’s unusual. it’s that it’s not.  we are the best team ever.

and that’s just the start of the miracles.  rain held off. things got done. keys were turned in on time.  keys were picked up on time. utility confirmations were gotten. in short, every worry that i had was eased, every problem solved, every minor glitch dealt with quickly and with cheerfulness.

i actually had a good time moving.  my feet STILL hurt and i am bruised like someone beat me with an ugly stick, but it was incredible. i am ridiculously grateful.