Archive for the bridal diaries Category

reason why i win.

Posted in bridal diaries on September 8, 2009 by drbolte

look at this picture and tell me it’s not amazing.

i dare you.

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i love everything about this picture, but most especially the posture of the bridesmaids. it’s so awesome.

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:

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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:

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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.

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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?

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.

ONE DAY.

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 GETTING MARRIED ON SATURDAY.

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.

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.

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?

YES.

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.

whew.

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.

reaching.

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.

in which time magically stands still but i still don’t have enough.

Posted in bridal diaries on July 13, 2009 by drbolte

it’s the sand slipping through your fingers phenomenon, or the waterwatereverywhere curse.

time seems to have screeched to a grinding, tire-shredding halt here in counting-down-to-wedding-day land.  those of you who are planning or will be planning soon?  know that once you hit a month, and you think that everything will be a blur of speediness, you’re wrong.

it crawls.

CRAWLS, i tell you.

but at the same time, i have not enough time to accomplish everything that i need to accomplish. every day i read and plan. now i have 26+ papers to grade, which should be really, really fun.

(she says sarcastically.)

desperately need to start putting things on craig’s list and finding places to dump my BOXES of books and other stuff that i don’t want and going through all of my stuff and starting the packing process.

but instead, every day i spend doing the same things–waking up, getting ready, teaching, planning, working out, hanging out with the bff at night, and sometimes doing something related to wedding planning in that time.

i don’t understand this weird time vortex.  it’s oddly perplexing.

i’m afraid–oh so desperately afraid–that i will begin to make to-do lists in my head for things that need to be done AFTER we get married and get back from the mystery honeymoon (yeah, i still don’t know where we’re going, but i am pretty sure i have a solid idea) and the wedding week and most especially the wedding day will fly past without me really enjoying it.

i really just want to take it all in.

and that’s where my head is at.

the hardest thing about 33 days left…

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action on July 6, 2009 by drbolte

…is leaving to go home every night.

I want to be married.