Archive for the family Category

naked.

Posted in bff, faith is action, family, i love my life, magic, the glass is half FULL, wifey on September 16, 2009 by drbolte

at moments, the degree to which i am grateful for my life overwhelms me, in wave upon wave of memory and realization of how many dreams have come true.

some nights, when i have a bad dream usually relating to something bad happening to the bff, i roll over and squeeze him, over and over, as if to try to convince myself that nothing will ever happen.  the depth of how much i love and depend on him is most clear to me then.

in some ways, marriage has really surprised me.  i have been surprised by how comfortable i am being my whole self in my marriage, being unafraid of who i am in every way.  it don’t feel flawless, perfect, or like i’ve achieved all that i want to be.  some days, as i face them, frighten me with their intensity and the responsibility that comes with them.  the future still remains murky and unclear to me.  we live lease term to lease term, week to week, while planning for eternity.  it’s a strange place to be.

but the things that i thought that i would be worried about or uncomfortable about are not even a concern.  what i thought would make me feel exposed makes me feel secure. what i thought would frighten me makes me strong.

the only walls in our home are the ones that surround our love.

that realization, i think, fills me with the greatest joy.

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selfish.

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:

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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.

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.

have you left me?

Posted in bff, family, forward my mail, Life, me, my amazing mother, superheckyes, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL on June 17, 2009 by drbolte

…or are you just melting somewhere in the death hot?

my main goal every single day lately is to stay alive in this heat and to stay hydrated at the same time. it takes effort, i want to tell you.

i’m off to nc tomorrow morning to spend a week with my family. it will be wedding preparationspalooza, with a side of going to the apple store and forcing them to replace my shorted out power cord and some time spent at the gym and blissfully asleep in the seriously air conditioned house, hopefully with a cat or two by my side. i feel like naps are definitely going to be in order.

i’m very excited. i don’t think i’ve been this excited to go anywhere for a while, and that makes me very happy. i can already feel the weight of stress leaving me.

changes of scene are good.

the bff is not so excited to see me leave, for which i feel a bit guilty.  i will miss him, of course, but i am thrilled to be able to go hang out and get taken care of by my mama.

i need it. i’m not ashamed to admit that at all.

the bff will be here, finishing classes and working at a new job and probably playing a lot of ncaa football 2009 and (i hope) doing fun things with his friends too.  i am hoping he will catch up on his sleep as well. and i am really hoping he will eat while i’m gone.

(i feed him a lot.)

come what may, it will be good. when i return, i will return to my first bridal shower and the start of the summer class that i will be teaching up until the wedding and the sprint to the finish.

the finish, of course, being the absolute bliss and blessing of starting our lives together.

i’m not sure if i’ll blog this week. i imagine i might, but i’m not sure. so keep me on your readers and i’ll pop back in when i’m back, when my computer is fixed, and with heaps of updates on lacy, frilly, pearly, gorgeous things i bought and fun times i had.

it will be good.

take care of yourselves and each other in the meantime. and drink some water, will you please? it’s hot out there.

tangential thoughts.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, drama drama drama, faith is action, family, going quietly mad, me, perfect brightness of hope, the engaged life, will work for food on May 11, 2009 by drbolte

meet my mimi.

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(and yes, that’s me. adorable, eh?)

i have told you about her before. i’ve told you about the last few months of her life, too. i’ve told you about how all of my baking and cooking skills come from her, and about how i miss her.

this weekend, we were in orlando for mother’s day. and on sunday, one of the bff’s grandmothers came over to eat dinner with his family.  i’ve been around her several times now, and really very much like her. she’s scrappy and fiery and i dig that about her. i see how his dad is who is he because of her influence.

but i came away on sunday night feeling oddly tired and somewhat sad, which i realized is kind of common after a big bff family gathering. and i only yesterday realized that it was because i miss my family.

i really do. i miss my family.

but being around his grandmother makes me miss my mimi even more.

she would LOVE this time of my life. i feel certain she loves it from where she is.  but, at her prime, she would have been all up in the preparations, taking over the sewing of table squares and the construction of my bolero and the alterations on my dress. everything that she could have done, she would have done because that’s who she is.

i miss her very much.

my days are much busier now.

i am in training for a new part-time online job, and it’s going pretty well i think.  but it is a timesucker if ever there was one, though i can’t say i wasn’t warned by my recruiter that that would be the case. i think i’m managing quite well, but i don’t know how to fit everything in. i haven’t touched my dissertation in a week and a half because of it, and now i’m beginning to wonder how to fit everything else in.

my days go a little something like this: wake up. read my scriptures. shred if i’m going to shred (my goal is now to do it three days a week..it really does get results). breakfast and emails and google reader. training. shower and dressed.  usually about this time, i have to be somewhere, like an appointment or something. errands need to be run or something needs to get done. then it’s bff time, with dinner and assorted other activities taking up the rest of the night.  lately, it’s been wedding stuff.  i feel certain that more wedding stuff will continue to take up time.

i am tired.

already.

and i haven’t even started work yet. and it isn’t even summer b, when everything really hits me.

sigh.

i’m still going though. often, the bff and i look at each other, when we’re exhausted but don’t want to leave, and say that it will be nice to be married because then we can sleep.  sounds less romantic, perhaps, than what you would think of with newlyweds, but it will be nice to just be able to not ever leave.

ever.

nothing says your wedding is getting close and really real than going to get a birth control prescription–and knowing that you’ll actually be using it for its intended purpose.  what the heck.

i’m still looking for jobs. i know i’m not alone (holla job seekers! we should commiserate someday. is the exhaustion from that? are you all tired too?), and i know that i will be taken care of.

walking by faith is hard.  i’m not whining.  please don’t read that with whining voice.

read that as a bit of a determined, stoic “walking by faith is hard” and then a full stop.

and then a moving on.

have i mentioned my new penchant for burning myself?

in the last 48 hours, i  have burned myself twice while cooking and pinched the heck out of my finger tonight using tongs.

(another reason why i hate tongs. they are my kitchen nemesis.)

i may or may not have said “i give up.” and cried a little in the kitchen while i did the dishes. because there was really nothing else to do or be done. sometimes, you just have to give in.

directly after giving in, i got some really good hugs from the bff, who told me that today had not been the best day. he basically gave me permission to cry and yet the moment he did, i felt the need to cry go away. instead, i began to smile a little and pretty soon he had me laughing.

it was a classic awesome husband move, if i know what classic awesome husband moves are.

and i may not–yet.

but that, in a nutshell, is why he is the most amazing, most wonderful, most perfect-for-me guy there is. and why everything that is hard and difficult and uncomfortable and stressful and crazy about planning this wedding is worth it. because, in the end, it matters not what the twinkle lights look like or how much tulle is draping the food table. it doesn’t matter if i use an aisle runner for our ring ceremony or if everyone loves the look of the reception hall.

what matters is that, forever, we will be there to hug each other when we’re having bad days and cheer for each other during the good days. what matters is that i can cry on his shoulder and he doesn’t tell me to suck it up. he just hugs me harder and tells me it’s okay.

that is why i’m marrying him.

that is what matters.

and that’s my monday. how’s yours?