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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.

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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.

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.

the 44 days project.

Posted in bff, i love my life, the engaged life on June 24, 2009 by drbolte

when it neared the end of 2008, i was also nearing the end of my journal pages. i’d bought it around the middle or so of 2006, and it had basically seen me through the bff’s mission and all that came with that two-year span of personal development.  it was obviously full of a lot of important stuff.

once i got back to gville in 2009, i wrote a few things over the first two weeks, but then dropped off as life sped up.  i wrote about the big milestones here, so things were recorded, but very little of the really deep internal stuff got recorded, fleshed out.

as the wedding has gotten closer, i have felt more and more compelled to record.  the blog is different. i feel like the blog has become, in some ways, a way to record the excitement i feel about what’s going on, to update you on what’s happening. it has drifted from personal introspection because, for whatever reason, that introspection has become increasingly deep.

in short, the divide betweeen blog fodder and journal contents seems alarmingly large.

this realization lit a fire under me, if by fire you mean it took me about a week and a half to do something about it.

but i bought a journal today.  and as i was thinking about why i felt so almost desperate to get one and start writing, i realized that the most priceless gift i could give myself and my children is to record all that’s going on right now.

there’s a lot more to getting married than buying a dress and having a party.  it’s the joining of two people, two families, two worlds that can be very different.  it’s the figuring out how you want to raise your children and how often you want to have breakfast for dinner.  it’s coming up with a financial plan and deciding which color comforter you both like.

for me, it has been a road paved with a lot of realizations that i’m only now understanding.  it’s the confronting of a lot of the things that i don’t like about myself–learning how to change those things or how to be kind and accept them as a wholesale lot.

i think these are the things that no one really tells you about being engaged.  i think these are the things that i never want to forget about being engaged.

so, for the next 44 days, i’m going to write in my journal every day (or try as much as i can). so much happens every day.

my little red journal, then, will become the story of our engagement from my perspective.  i think that will be a beautiful gift to give myself–and to all of the little bffs that come along.

i am excited about it.

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.

bridal diaries: in which i introduce and illustrate what i call “bride brain.”

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, me, the engaged life on June 15, 2009 by drbolte

this weekend, the bff and i went to otown to get some things done.  basically, it was wedding gown weekend. i was going to meet with his grandma to get measurements taken, to find a pattern and fabric, and to show her my dress so that she could make the bolero that she said that she would be willing to make for me. i also made an appointment at david’s to get my alterations done, since i was told that they wanted two months to do them. we were only planning on being there for a little bit over a day–we left on friday afternoon and would leave to return to gville on saturday night.

we left a bit later than we had intended, and i packed only after i ran home from work.  i felt like we needed to hurry and leave because we were running late, but we got there safely and were intending to make some good use of the pool once we did.

(this may explain my hurry to leave.)

when we got there, the bff’s mom told me that she had found a dress for the bff’s sister, who is one of my bridesmaids, and wanted me to see it. it looks a lot like mine in design, which she was worried would bother me (it doesn’t.), and when the bff’s sister got there, she tried it on. we were all standing in the guest room and the bff’s sister said that she really wanted to see my dress. i began to reply that she could see it sometime and then it hit me. it literally felt like something hit me.

I LEFT MY DRESS IN GVILLE.

all of my worrying about what shorts to wear and whether or not i had flip flops that properly matched mattered very little when i forgot the one thing that was absolutely essential to the success of this weekend.

i was horrified. i was already exhausted, headachy (i feel like i’ve had a headache for about a week straight), and hot.  now i was stupid and forgetful.

i went and grabbed my purse, intending to just go back and get it.  the bff’s parents were horrified at this, worried that i would be too tired and suggesting that i just come down another weekend and get it done.  a light of realization glimmered in their eyes when i told them that there wasn’t another weekend before the wedding that i could do it.  every single weekend was occupied.

i don’t think they really understood before that how busy i actually am.

there were many options tossed around about how to fix the situation: go then and stay in gville overnight and come back in the morning, have the bff and the bff’s dad wake up very early in the morning and go to gville to get my dress, hang out for a little while and then go get it, or go then and get it and turn around and come right back.  though the least popular option among the bff’s family, the last option was really the only one i could deal with.

see, the minute i realized that i had left my dress, a colossal wave of “i can’t believe i did that” and “how stupid can you be?” and “what a huge waste” crashed down on my brain.  the idea of waiting around just made my skin crawl. i had to fix it. and i had to fix it then.

bless him, the bff, when we talked about what to do, totally understood and just grabbed the keys and said “let’s go.” i was surprised–it seemed unnecessary for him to come. it was my mistake. i was very okay with just going and coming back. i wanted him to stay and hang out with his family.  it would have been fine, truly.

but he would have none of it.  so we drove up, grabbed the dress, tore a loop off of our paper chain, and got back in the car.

he is a saint, according to my mom, because he never once, even for a moment, seemed irritated or critical of my MASSIVE mistake.  he just understood.  he probably understands better than anyone how fried my brain is right now.

so luckily we got all of  the stuff done that we needed to do. and my alterations? take two weeks.  NOT two months.  oh well.

as we were pulling into the parking lot of my apartment building on saturday night, the bff turned to me (who was driving) and said “i left my keys in your car, right?”

nope. left them on the keyring in otown.

(luckily, the bff’s sister is coming back today, so his keys will be arriving soon.)

with a roommate out of town and no spares to be found at 11pm, the bff was relegated to camping on our couch and wearing whatever he had in the car.

it happens. apparently, lately, it’s contagious. i thought that was an appropriate way to end the weekend, actually.

oh dear.

bridal diaries: favor quotes.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, me, the engaged life on June 10, 2009 by drbolte

i was going to write today a whining post about how MUCH I JUST WANT MY BODY TO FREAKING ADJUST to birth control already, and about how i am experiencing just the tiniest bit of what it must be like to have morning sickness and i’m NOT a fan (that’s stupid. is anyone?), and about how when i was 130 pounds heavier, somehow birth control was not this horrible, and about how periods are absolutely NOT easier (yet) because i woke up this morning, after mercifully sleeping well but dreaming about weddings all night, with literally everything except my chest and my feet in some degree of pain, and about how that, on top of whatever else it is that is plaguing my body by making me randomly feverish periodically, made me think that this was just the suckage.

BUT.

things are looking up. i ate an apple and it tasted good. i actually got more cheerful when i got to work with students at work. the time passed more quickly than i thought it would because of the aforementioned students.  my bff is the most amazing guy ever. i read weddingbee and got wedding excited. and my night will probably consist of laying on my futon mattress, sprawled out in the middle of the living room floor, watching reality television. i might possibly eat banana pancakes. or poptarts.

things are looking up.

so here’s your wedding planning update.

favor bags.

i bought some, off of oriental trading, in red and yellow (or maybe i got them in red and white? i can’t remember now…). i will fill them with some kind of candy that has yet tbd, and they will be lovely. they look something like this:

14_302

but i want to personalize them somehow.

basically, i want to schmaltz them up with a quote and something with our names and wedding date. i’ll probably use the same font as i did on our invitations, so that’s not hard.

but choosing the quote…THAT’S hard.

i randomly saw this on someone’s facebook status. it’s from wuthering heights.

“he shall never know how I love him: and that, but because he is more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

it’s a lovely sentiment and very true for us, but i’m not sure i want my wedding tainted with what is perhaps the WORST AND MOST UNHEALTHY relationship ever captured in print.

i have had this quote on my facebook wall for ages, and i used it in the bff’s valentine’s day extravaganza gift.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.–Lao Tzu.

i love that quote, but it’s not really over the top romantic, is it? just true.

so i went to the google and i googled some stuff.  these are rather lovely.

Two human loves make one divine.–Elizabeth Barret Browning

True love stories never have endings.  ~Richard Bach

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.–Aristotle

anyone have any others? i’m not sure i’ve found the right one yet. i haven’t even hit the song lyrics, though…that’s always an option…