Archive for the going quietly mad Category

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.

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38.

Posted in bff, books are bliss, bridal diaries, etcetera, going quietly mad, i love my life, me, teaching, the engaged life, wish i may wish i might on July 1, 2009 by drbolte

i have a friend who used to be a roommate (hi friend!) who just moved to begin a grand adventure in a faraway state.  she just packed up her car and went. i am incredibly proud of her chutzpah.  i am not going to write about chutzpah, but i bring up this friend because her most recent blog post had the most magnificent title: “the days are long but the months will be short.”

(her titles are always wonderful and deep. unlike mine.  but that’s okay.)

i love that title because that, in short, encapsulates my life.

i have suddenly woken up with the very real, very visceral realization that i am getting married in 38 days.. i have less than six weeks left.  you know, the six week mark where you’re supposed to start all of those bridal makeover plans, where you stop drinking caffeine (done…like 15 years ago), start eating vegetables and fruits in rich abundance (i’m now in love with spinach salad, fyi…why is it so good?), and start exercising your face off (me and the gym are now friends again. i missed it.  i really did.).

this is the time when all the stuff you’ve put off because it was just too far away to do actually needs to get done.

this is also the time when i have started teaching. i really like my class. a bunch of people dropped, so i only have 26 students, but they’re intelligent and insightful and have much to say about jane austen already. i usually find that austen either creates not much conversation or a strictly reactionary discussion about plot and character. that’s not the case with these students.  they are making really rich connections between cultural expectations and character development, discussing thematic elements, and demonstrating a great deal of independent thought.

i really like them. i think they’re a different kind of class.

(it strikes me that i may be a better teacher than i was, but that’s neither here nor there.)

but this class requires me to make use of every moment of my time effectively.  for the past few days, i have been coming home and taking a quick nap after class, aiming to keep my goal of getting eight hours of sleep each day. if i can’t get it at night, i try to catch up during the day.

i just can’t do it.  there isn’t enough time, it seems, to do all my preparations for class (which includes about 100 pages of reading a day), to go to the gym for about an hour (which i won’t give up. i refuse.), to come home and prepare dinner, to spend time with the bff, and to get the other things done that need to get done. it just…i need like six hours more a day.

i literally and sincerely have no idea how everything will get done. i really don’t.  the bff, bless him, has made it his goal this week to make my life easier. he has told me that i need to give him tasks to do and he will do them.  so, i did. and really, the way i feel is that all of the important stuff has been done. the rest is just a series (a long series, to be sure) of little things that need to be done in order to ensure that things turn out the way that we imagined. but if things are different than we expected? oh well.

(i say this now. but i still really want things to be done and get done and all to be as we imagined.  but i’m trying to be chill.)

my mind is just crammed, but not coherently crammed.  if it were an actual to-do list in any sort of cohesive order, i think it would be easier. instead, it’s really just a big puddle of things that need to get done, often with an accompanying sense of urgency which doesn’t make much sense.

for example, i feel REALLY impressed that i need to get rid of all of my extra books, like, yesterday. that makes no chronological sense.  but there you go. it’s fairly indicative of where my head is at.

so i go about my days, which seem long and packed with running here and there and trying to finish everything that needs to be done each day.

and i look up and clap my hand over my mouth and realize that in one month, i will be moving into our new apartment. and one week after that, we will be married.

it will fly by.  it really already has.

i only hope i can make the most of each of those packed days.  i’m sure trying.

bridal diaries: DIY invitations = first bridal meltdown.

Posted in bridal diaries, drama drama drama, going quietly mad, the engaged life, you have to be a chick to understand on May 27, 2009 by drbolte

it’s invitation week.

i’ve been working on gathering addresses for weeks, and we have most of them. our goal was always to get them sent out the week after memorial day–before the end of may. it may seem early for an early august wedding, but it’s a) the summer b) dependent on the schedule of people throwing me showers (current count: 3. i have no idea what to say about that except wow.) and c) just really good because i shouldn’t do invitations when i’m teaching three classes.

rationale now explained.

we decided to print our own. it’s cheaper (it really is, actually).

so that’s what i did last night.

120 announcements. 60+ invitations.

and on at least 35 of the announcements? black ink smudges on the edge.

i nearly lost my mind. i was already stressed beyond reason about these stupid invitations. the pictures aren’t exactly what we ordered, meaning that around the black collage there is a white border. there was not a white border around the original collage. but i reprinted them and apparently that’s what happens.

i would really like to trim the 200 pictures, but who has time for that?

(not me.)

i didn’t know how to make the black smudges stop. they were erratic–not always happening at the same time, but happening fairly consistently. i tried to google it. it told me acetone. i tried it. it ruined the paper.

commence the beginning of my first bridal meltdown.

i was tired–still am. all the time.–and stressed–it’s the last week of job training and i am barely hanging on, i swear.–and feeling the pressure of all of the things that have yet to be done but have to be considered soon and was just trying to get through the invitation printing so that they would be done in time for tonight, when one of my bridesmaids and me and the bff have a homemade pizza/stuffing invitations/addressing invitations party.

i just wanted it to go smoothly.

and i was already really nervous about it. i don’t know why. i just was.

the bff came up with a plan to fix it, and he did a brilliant job. and eventually, once i had to change the ink cartridge, they just stopped.

but by that point it felt like me alone, waging war against the dragon that is DIY invitations, and i was mad and frustrated and dissolving very quickly into tears and irrationality.

it was not pretty. i hope to never repeat it.

i tell you all this to say that i’m pretty tired.  and i am pretty bad at asking for help.

but after last night, i’m pretty sure that i need to start doing it.

and i’m pretty sure that i will be really, really happy when all 190 of those envelopes are in the hands of the USPS, complete with a white bordered black collage that i’m sure people will still think are adorable.

and if they don’t, in the immortal words of my bff, stuff ’em.

started the “jillian michaels kicks my butt six days a week for 30 days shred program” again.

did level 3 yesterday. i’ve been on level 3 for a while. i have yet to master rock star kicks, but i’m working on it.

am willing myself to do level 3 again today.

ironically? i worry that my dress will be too big.

cross that bridge when we get to it, i guess.

i have given myself eleven minutes to blog.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action, going quietly mad, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, me, the engaged life, will work for food on May 14, 2009 by drbolte

lucky you all, eh?

what’s new with drbolte? well, i’m tired. i’m working now again, so that’s good.  the job prospects haven’t dramatically changed, but i’ve had a few nibbles, so that’s a good thing. i’m still actively seeking and in the process am selling my skills in ways that i haven’t done in a while. i’m trying right now to decide whether to hold out hope for a full-time public school job or jump on the multiple part time opportunities that are funnelling themselves my way.  i really, really want benefits that i don’t have to pay for, but i feel like right now it might be wise to jump on what is available rather than waiting around.

waiting around hasn’t proven fruitful of late.

but i don’t like to settle or to demonstrate a lack of faith, so i guess i’ll keep thinking and praying about this and pursue everything equally right now. i’m not in the position to have to make any decisions right now, so that’s good.  but if i get enough part time stuff, i might just call the job search a day.

it’s exhausting and stressful and as long as we have sufficient for our needs, i’m good to go.

in wedding news, i’m trying to finalize my look in my mind. i thought i had it down–i’m speaking specifically of hair here–but upon running it by my mom, who brought up some sad realities about my very fine and thinnish hair, i am sort of back to square one.

which saddens me.

i want thick, long hair and to look like a supermodel.

IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?

but i found some hair things on etsy, which is where i had been recommended to look, and i think it will all work out. maybe i’ll end up doing a whole host of things. i found one set of three hair pins that are gorgeous, but i’m not sure if they’re enough. maybe i’ll ask if she can make me some smaller versions of the hair pins special order.

and if you can’t tell, i’m just spewing information at you. i hope you don’t mind. and if you do…well, i really don’t know what to say about that.

i ordered engagement pictures today. we found a feature on walmart.com that makes collages for you. we made a bunch of different ones, since they’re completely random and you have no control over the positioning of the pictures (argh…let me tell you), and then chose our favorite. i had been keeping some of the pictures that we were thinking of originally using as a single print a secret from facebook so that no one would see them before they got their announcement/invitation. but now we ended up using seven pictures, so heaps of them were already on facebook.

sigh.

oh well.

those 200 pictures? only cost me 32. i am a budget wedding balla. or so say all.

i’m now on the hunt for another joann’s 50% off coupon so that i can get my other box of invitations and get these bad boys done. how is it halfway through may already? i have two weeks to get these done without missing my timeline.

you know what would help with that?

if addresses weren’t so fetching hard to get.  when they tell you start ahead of time collecting addresses?

THAT’S COMPLETELY TRUE.

(lindzml…i’m looking at you. start now. and actually, if you are going to send invitations to some and announcements to others, start even earlier, because the list will balloon out…it’s nuts.)

i wish people would just respond. but, to be fair, most people have been fantastic. it’s been awesome. i got TONS on the first day i started asking. and as they now trickle in, i just pop them into my word documents with my codes for who is getting what and it’s good.

i have a feeling that the lingering few that i don’t have are going to BUG me.

oh well.

in other news, i think i may have found some shoes that are dance-friendly (LOTS of dancing happening at my reception…oh how i wish i could talk about it…) and look comfortable and are white. i thought about doing the whole colored shoe thing, but i think it would look weird. and i’m too matchy matchy to pull that off really.

but they’re like 40 dollars. if they’re dyeable, so that i can turn them into something that i can wear later to work or something, then i will do it. if not…i might keep looking.

oh shoes.

i found a florist, though, for a RIDICULOUSLY cheap price. my bouquet? about 75. and it’s exactly what i want. bff’s completely matching bout? 10. groomsmen? 8.

i love my life sometimes. it was meant to be. the first two florists wouldn’t even talk to me because it was mother’s day weekend.

(i get it. busiest time ever. but one of them? wasn’t even doing anything. and i can’t help it that i don’t live there and i don’t want to drive back down to orlando for no purpose other than to look at flowers. that’s a duplication of effort that is unnecessary.)

i brought in pictures and i feel fairly certain that my flowers will be GORGEOUS. i am not worried. they won’t look exactly like my pictures, but they will be beautiful and bright and i won’t have to do it myself. and they’ll order the flowers for the bridesmaids’ bouquets for us so that we can do them ourselves.

fantastic.

so that, combined with training for a possible new online teaching job, has been what’s going on. you are sufficiently updated, i feel, although i don’t know that i have properly expanded on any of these things but have instead given you a stream-of-consciousness deluge.

but it’s now been 14 minutes.

oh well. dangit. back to some kind of work.

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?

third interview. good grief, can i get a JOB already?

Posted in etcetera, going quietly mad, Life, me, perfect brightness of hope, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, teaching on April 21, 2009 by drbolte

so i went on a third interview this morning at 8:30 a.m.

yes, i got up at 7 a.m. for the first time in i legitimately don’t know how long unless it was when i had to wake up at like 3 a.m. to go to arizona.  or when i had to wake up at 5:30 to go to orlando.

okay, so maybe it’s not that rare of an occurrence, but it felt like it so i was impressed with myself.

(but you don’t have to be.)

i got there on time and i guess i felt fairly confident.  i had done very well in the previous two interviews, really quickly striking up a camaraderie with the two other interviewers which put me at ease and made it feel really like it was just a good solid conversation. this one wasn’t quite as easy, but by the end i felt solidly like he liked me.

i think it’s a good sign when they start talking about the position as if it was already yours (i.e. you’d be an advisor, etc.). i had grand and probably misplaced hopes that somehow, miraculously, it would turn into a full-time teaching position, but those were fairly substantially rubbed out today. i’m not upset. i think part time will be good so that i can still work elsewhere/get my dang dissertation done.

as i was thinking back over the interview as i was driving home, i realized that i think the turning point for me was when i spoke fairly passionately about how when you’re teaching middle school, you’re teaching not just subject matter but how to be a citizen, an adult, a person in the world.  that you have to model the behaviors that you hope that your students will adopt. that it’s okay to apologize to a parent when you’ve done something stupid or shortsighted–that, in fact, that can be the best thing to do.  that these middle school years are some of the best and most important years of a child’s life.

and i wasn’t being at all insincere. i genuinely believe all of that, and i really very much want to put into practice the things that i talked about.

now if only they would just give me the chance.  i understand why this process has been long and protracted–i have learned very much about myself and about leaning on the Lord and about developing my faith–but i am growing tired. not fearful. i know everything will work out. i’m just tired. i would like to have some things resolved sooner rather than later.

there are many details to be taken care of…i hope this one resolves itself very soon.

and in my favor.

keep your fingers crossed. keep the prayers coming.

thanks.

subconsciously insane.

Posted in bridal diaries, going quietly mad, sigh, the engaged life on April 13, 2009 by drbolte

i went down south this weekend to visit the bff’s family for easter. it was fun. we bought ties for the groomsmen, two suits and a tie for the groom, and got easter baskets full of fun things from the easter bunny. we ate grilled chicken and ribs and heaps of food. we did the powdered donut challenge with the sweet sixteen donuts (because we couldn’t find the full size ones) and guess who beat the big boys in eating the six fastest?

that’s right.

this girl right here.  one minute twenty five seconds.  six donuts in that time.

and you wonder why i needed to lose 130+ pounds? that’s it right there, folks, but i gotta tell you…it was lovely good fun beating the big boys, including the bff. but while i was the fastest, i wasn’t the most impressive.  bff ate 10 in 3 minutes. he’s a balla’.

i’ve decided that i just don’t sleep well not in my own bed.  and especially when i’m in a place that i’m not sure if i’m comfortable with yet.  not that i’m UNCOMFORTABLE in any way there…that’s not the case at all.  and every time i go, i get more and more comfortable.  but it’s an environment that i am not used to and so i think my subconscious knows it.

the first night, i had nightmares all night long.  the kind that you can’t really remember other than remembering that they were disturbing enough to keep you waking yourself up all night long. the second night, i had a massive headache bordering on migraine status (oh, welcome spring.) so i slept hard.  that was good.

but by the end of sunday, i was crashing seriously. (i’m certain nothing of that had anything whatsoever to do with the massive infusion of sugar and lard that i ate in the donut challenge, eh?) last night, i had recurring dreams about having forgotten about three classes that i was signed up for, and it was 3/4 of the way through the semester.

please note. i have NEVER EVER EVER had this kind of dream before. i know that it’s a fairly common stress dream, but i have NEVER had it.  not once. until last night, where much of my dream was spent trying to remember what class it was that i was supposed to be taking and where it was and explaining to people how normally grad students only take two classes so after the first day i just forgot that i was taking five and trying to figure out a way to get back into the classes and take the exams so that i wouldn’t have a massive 0.0 GPA.

oh, and i forgot…it was a middle school.  i was in middle school again. except i was me.

and at the end of my dream? my engagement ring fell apart.  like the two side stones fell out and, with them, some ball bearings (…what the heck?).  i gathered all of the pieces together and managed to think, in my head, that i was really glad that we had the lifetime guarantee. it didn’t feel like an ominous portent of things to come–more like that it was one more thing that i failed at. and it happened while some girl was yelling at me for not going to biology tutoring (which i had apparently signed up for with a guy named miguel) because they really needed the money because they were getting married and don’t you understand what a hardship it is to not be able to count on that money?

let me tell you, sister, i do.

but i didn’t say that. i was just sheepishly trying to figure out when on earth i had signed up for biology tutoring, when someone had called me, why i hadn’t changed my address with the school, and how this had all happened.

in short (way too late…i know), the whole dream was about letting things fall through the cracks.

so…i’m going to work on lists tonight. wedding lists. i’m going to break everything down into as many small pieces as i can so that i don’t forget something big.

because, obviously, my subconscious thinks that i have that tendency.

did i mention that it’s APRIL 13TH? i thought these dreams weren’t supposed to show up for at least another three months.

sigh.