I wonder if stealing the Bible is a sin. I really hope not.

In Chicago we get all of the seasons… and the longest is definitely winter.  Or maybe it just seems that way.  Either way, we’re well into March and there’s a lot of snow on the ground.

I think it’s rather pretty!  My Frye boots would disagree.  They are covered in salt residue and could use a summer vacation for sure.

(Our little Monster loves the snow.  He thinks he’s a snow-dog *that should be a breed*)

cold

In other news, the Husband and I really want to watch The Bible, which is being shown on the History channel in 2 hour increments for the next few weeks.  Unfortunately, we don’t have cable.

And we couldn’t find the episode online.

So we had no choice but to ‘steal’ it.  Or borrow it.  Yeah, let’s go with that, I prefer the term ‘borrow.’

I think God will understand, right?  

(I mean, it’s far better TV-watching than the Millionaire Matchmaker shows that I’ve been occupying my time with lately….)

How I ended up with a Turkish rug I never knew I wanted.

I’m any seller’s dream customer.

I can’t help it, I’m easy to convince that I absolutely need a product.

Even if that product is a $1400 rug.  No, we didn’t actually pay that much, but that was the starting price!

The Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!

Our little Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!  He usually charges for appearances, but because we fed him today he did this sitting for free.

It all started with a scarf.  We were in Istanbul and I decided that I needed a souvenir scarf, since I hadn’t bought any gifts from Tanzania or Turkey.  So, to the scarf stall we went.

This is when I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman showed me the cheap scarves (the 15 dollar scarves that I wanted to choose between), then he showed me the more expensive scarves (100+ dollars) and then he brought out the $350 scarves and that’s when I drew the line!  But, I must admit I did splurge for the moderately expensive scarf.

It’s beautiful and silk, darn it!  

Anyway, the salesman (at this point realizing I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch) told us that his uncle has a rug store, and quickly escorted us to the small shop down the road.  The Husband wasn’t the most willing participant, but I wanted to see actual Persian rugs.

Well, at first I thought for sure that I would never actually buy one of these rugs.  I mean, I didn’t love any that I was seeing but I did like hearing about how they were made and seeing all the different types.

Then I saw one I wanted.  DAMMIT ALL!  I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman picked right up on my changed expression and went into official ‘sales’ mode.  The Husband was great at saying no.  I wasn’t quite as good.

We told the store owner that we newlyweds and therefore broke.

The price came down.

We told him we didn’t even need a rug (lie, we totally did need a rug – I just hadn’t realized it until the very second I saw the one I loved in this small store in Istanbul!).

The price came down even more.

We told him that we had no room in our suitcases to bring it back to the States.

The price came down further and the man pulled out a tiny bag and somehow managed to fit the rug inside of it!  Magic.

Basically, by the time I was invested in the conversation and really needed this rug.

The Husband thought I had completely lost my mind.

The salesman was mostly talking to the Husband, who kept referring him to me since I was going to be actually purchasing the goods.  Ah, sexism at work.

Anyway, we finally all agreed on a price.

The Husband shook his head quite a few times.

OK, he shook his head more than a few times.

But now I have a rug, and a beautiful rug it is!

It really is one of the best ‘souvenirs’ I’ve ever bought myself, and by far the most expensive.  Take that, cheesy shot glasses – you’ve been replaced!

love

What I HAVEN’T been doing.

I feel a strange sense of calm lately.

Which is super-strange for me, since I’m one of the least calm people I know.

For (almost) 27 years I’ve felt the intense need to be productively doing something at any given second of the day.  And when I’m not doing something I’m almost always thinking of 80 million things I need to do, or I should do, or I want to do… you get the idea.

But now, in 2013, I’m calm.  And I have multiple theories as to why.

Theory #1

It’s entirely possible that during 2012 I somehow forgot what it’s like to be a normal non-wedding-planning human and now that I’m back to being that type of person I feel born-again.

Theory #2

My new years resolution has worked magical wonders on my life.

Theory #3

Aliens or other things supernatural.

Yep, let’s go with theory #2.

Along with that awesome new years resolution I made, I’ve been making a conscious effort to not do certain things in 2013.  Because I figure NOT doing something is easier than actually DOING something, right?  (I know this is not true in all cases, but just go with me on this)

**Side note: I’m constantly giving our dog a lecture that goes something like, ‘Monster, it is far easier to not bark at the neighbors than it is to bark at them.  The absence of action is the lazy-dog’s way!  Just don’t do that!  Please stop!  It’s not hard, I promise!  You have to TRY to bark… stop trying!’  This strategy has not worked at all.**

If the Monster could speak in human-words, "I know you're talking about me and I don't like it, I don't like it one bit.  I'm watching you"

(Because I can read the Monster’s mind) “I know you’re talking about me and I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit. I’m watching you.”

So, the following is a list of things I haven’t been doing:

  •  I haven’t been checking social media in bed (although I do still check email.  Baby steps.)
  • I haven’t been rushing out the door in the morning
  • I haven’t been allowing myself to feel guilty for not being good enough, productive enough, saying yes enough, not working out, spending too much  money, etc
  • I haven’t been worrying about the future
  • I haven’t been procrastinating
  • I haven’t been allowing our house to become too disorganized
  • I haven’t been staying up well past midnight on a school work day
  • I haven’t been going to work without showering/doing my hair/with my makeup well put on
  • I haven’t been over-booking myself
  • I haven’t been eating crap
  • I haven’t been taking life as seriously
  • I haven’t been stressing out on behalf of others and letting other people’s life situations affect my own happiness (for the most part)
  • I haven’t been holding grudges
  • I haven’t been (as) hesitant
  • I haven’t been keeping to a strict diet or prohibiting myself from things I enjoy
  • I haven’t been sitting all day at work (I try to stand at my desk as often as possible.  This is especially easy because I’m pretty really short)
  • I haven’t been internalizing my thoughts and feelings
  • I haven’t been afraid to take some risks
  • I haven’t been (as) timid at work

I’m sure this list isn’t quite complete, but those are the things that I thought of right away.  None of these things were specific resolutions I had at all, they just kind of came about when I thought of how I wanted to live my best life.

And really, the reason I haven’t been doing these things is because of my resolution!  I finally decided to allow myself to be free from  the self-criticism and obligations and constraints I had always imposed on myself.  These last few months I have been making a very big effort to be the best person I can be each day, without worrying about what ‘best’ might look like to other people and only focusing on what my ‘best person’ looks and feels like.

I’ve noticed huge improvements in every area of my life, which has been amazing and I’ve been feeling very blessed indeed.

Anyway, in this season of Lent and for 2013 in general, I hope you’ve been able to give up something that you’ve found to be game-changing!

I just had the most delicious weekend.

I had a phenomenal weekend this past weekend.  The kind of weekend where I can breathe a sigh of relief and contentment on Sunday night because I finished everything I wanted to do and feel caught up on life and saw friends and ate great food and drank quality drinks and all-around feel fulfilled.

I am savoring every second of these happy and content feelings because some weekends are frustrating and sad and lonely and unproductive, but this weekend was not one of those and for that I am thankful.

I won’t go through every single thing I did, but actually I’ll probably end up listing it all anyway.  Sorry about that, just bear with me.

Publican

On Friday the Husband and I went out with a high school friend of mien and her husband at a place in Chicago I’ve been meaning to go forever – The Publican.  It was fantastic.  I was happy that they had seafood dishes because it’s basically known for its  meat and beer and I don’t eat or drink either one of those.  It was tapas style and the dishes were delicious and we shared so much great food and laughed over beers and scallops and hams and mussels in beer broth.

Dave and Rachel dined with us on Friday.

Great friends, great drinks, great food… nothing beats this!

Speaking of which, you’ll be happy to know (well, you probably don’t care, but I’m at least happy to tell you) that I’ve settled on my ‘adult drink of choice’ which is Ketel One and water with lemon.  Perfection in a glass.

I spent my Saturday shopping on Michigan Avenue with one of my absolute favorite people ever, Miss Brittany.

Well, first we went to Xoco.  I had never been there before and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I got the fish stew.  To-die-for delicious.

I got the fish stew. To-die-for delicious.

Now, I really don’t go shopping very often (I promise!), but lately I’ve really been figuring out things I need to buy and have been going at this list with extra-enthusiasm.  Our stores-of-choice for this shopping expedition were Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom Rack.  The things I purchased included: a cardigan (yes, another one), raspberry jeans, an ‘&’ sign for house decor, a candle, conditioner, blush, bronzer, exfoliator, moisturizer, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow, lip liner, lip gloss, a winter coat…. it was exhausting.  I found some awesome deals, too!

After our productive afternoon, Brit & I went out to dinner to celebrate our most fantastic and successful shopping day of all time at Vermillion with our significant others where I got the most AMAZING vegetarian dish I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not even being dramatic, it was that delicious.  We all belly-laughed and enjoyed cocktails and dined on Indian food (and other infusion-type dishes) and stayed for hours and hours.  I even ordered three desserts and we finished every morsel.

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Today I woke up and went to CrossFit and the Husband and I ran some errands and bought a piece of furniture and some frames and then we went to church and ate dinner.  Perfection.

My credit card is a bit overwhelmed after all of the use its gotten in the past few days, but I am so, so happy that I took care of so many things I’ve been saying I needed to buy for weeks.

And now I’m watching the Blackhawks and I’m about to read and cuddle with my little monster.

Perfect weekend?  I think so.

I hope everyone else has had an equally wonderful weekend.

A lovely little quote on forgiveness.

apology

(via Unfundamentalist Christians)

This is one of the first things I saw (on the internet, anyway) when I woke up.  Beautifully stated, don’t you think?

It made me think of the apologies I probably never gave or didn’t know I needed to give and the friends who forgave me anyway.

Because I have awesome friends and that’s kind of what friends do.  And spouses, for that matter.

Actually, the Husband usually sends me super heartfelt apologies.  I say ‘sends’ because they’re often via ecard.  Nothing says ‘this is genuine’ like an ecard!

husband apology

The Husband sent me this gem the other month. I think he was hoping it could cover a multitudes of wrongs and will continue to be relevant in the future, so he’ll never need to come up with a unique apology again.

Now, go apologize someone who you owe an apology to!  Or, decide to forgive someone who owes you an apology.

What a winning way to start a Tuesday.

 

If at first you don’t succeed, continue baking the damn eclairs.

In case you haven’t noticed or aren’t fortunate enough to live in the midwest during winter… it’s fucking really, really cold here.  Today feels balmy in the 20’s, that’s how bad it’s been. Take Friday for example… I woke up 10 minutes earlier than usual to put on all of my layers, just to jog a half mile to the gym.

I ran in a full winter jacket and snow pants.   I used to be tougher than this and could handle any run in a few long sleeves and tights, but now I’m a wimp. Don’t judge me. 

My body wasn’t cold (it was a 5 minute jog!) but my lungs were screaming and I think I developed brain freeze by breathing.  Awesome.

*Sidenote, I must admit, I think reading ‘Game of Thrones’ is causing me to become more paranoid about the cold weather.  All I can think of is ‘WINTER IS COMING!  OH NO!’  Uhhh, duh Lisa, it’s February in Chicago. Winter has been here.*

The lock of my apartment complex froze and refused to open. Luckily, there is a used bookstore across the street from me and I was able to hang out there until the Husband came to rescue me.

The lock on the gate of my apartment complex froze and refused to open. Luckily, there is a used bookstore across the street from me and I was able to hang out there until the Husband came to rescue me.

Anyway, this weekend I spent my time doing plenty of indoor activities:

  • Reading ‘Game of Thrones’
  • Watching hockey and eating pizza and drinking beer with friends
  • Wearing my new sweaters/cardigans
  • Drinking butterscotch schnapps and hot chocolate
  • Eating dinner and going to a bar with my girlfriends
  • Watching the Superbowl with the Husband and his family

What I also did was bake chocolate eclair cupcakes from scratch.  You see, it was the Husband’s dad’s birthday yesterday and we all went over to the Husband’s parents’ house to celebrate, and he likes chocolate eclairs… so I figured I would make them into cupcakes!  I should really get some ‘wife points’ or maybe even ‘daughter-in-law points’ for this.

Anyway, I found a recipe for the cupcakes so I thought baking these things would be super-easy and take about an hour.  Any recipe found through random Google searches must be great, right?!

Wrong.

The recipe I originally used was awful and I created two batches that had to be thrown away.  Then I made filling that had to be thrown away.  Seriously, the filling somehow turned into a solid omelette.  This is never a good sign.

Well, finally I wised up and created my own recipe from lots of other recipes on the oh-so-wise internet. In the end, everything turned out great.

It only took about 5 hours.  Oy vey.

Please direct your attention to the top right picture... see how flat the first batch turned out compared to the second?!  But, eventual success!

Please direct your attention to the top right picture… see how flat the first batch turned out compared to the second?! But, eventual success!

It was a good thing I had plans to go out drinking after this ordeal, because I have a super-low tolerance for kitchen mishaps and was in desperate need of vodka after taking the second batch of ruined eclairs out of the oven.

Luckily, third time’s the charm, and I can proudly say I defeated the chocolate eclair cupcakes.

Domesticity is within my reach….

I hope you had a warm and delicious Superbowl weekend!

It’s Friday! (So I have some links to keep you busy while you’re pretending to work).

Gratuitous safari picture!

Gratuitous safari picture! (You’re welcome)

This week the internet taught me:

Real life: The Jimmy Johns man ran away with my cardigans.

Remember the other day when I talked about my love of online shopping?  Well, (and I know this is shocking) sometimes things don’t always go as planned and I end up getting a letter saying I should go to the courthouse to be a witness against the man who stole my cardigans.  Yep, thank you internet for making this excitement possible.

The small drama started earlier this week. I had to call Banana Republic because I didn’t receive a package that I had ordered weeks ago.  The website said that the post office delivered the package to me on the 23rd, so of course I’m all like – ughhhhh the sweaters have gone missing! and I was also a bit concerned that I would begin to hate Banana Republic as much as I loathe Express the store I shall not name (where I will never shop again) because of awful pricing policies and customer service and packages-I-never-received-even-though-they-were-shipped-twice…

I don’t even want to talk about that drama. I apologize for even taking you down that road.

Anyway, I called BR and the lovely customer services person expressed sympathy that my package didn’t reach me and promptly re-ordered the items for me.  Now, I was a little sad because certain items were sold out in my size or color I wanted, but they re-ordered what they could and credited me for the rest.  They even adjusted the prices to reflect a sale going on right now.

Happy day, right?!

I was so overcome with gratitude that BR handled the situation so much better than some other stores (yep, still thinking of Express) , that I wrote them a quick ‘thank you’ email.  I was hoping that it would at least make someone’s day a little better since I cannot imagine being a customer service representative at a retail store!  I usually write nasty emails to airlines, so this was a nice change of pace for me, too.

Well, this morning I received a call from a lady who told me that my original package from BR had been located.

Say what?!

Ah yes, my beloved sweaters were delivered to be in an evidence bag.  What an adventure online shopping can be!

Ah yes, my beloved sweaters were delivered to be in an evidence bag. What an adventure online shopping can be!

Evidently it was stolen on the 23rd by a Jimmy Johns delivery guy!  I cannot make this stuff up.

A doctor working in his office across the street saw the rogue delivery man jump over our 10 ft tall fence and take all of the packages that were left outside by the mailboxes.  The doctor wrote down the license plate number (of the Jimmy Johns ‘getaway’ car) and called the authorities, who found the man and my package.

There are many questions I have regarding this ‘operation.’

The main one being: why the heck would a person steal shit in his work clothes, using his work car?!  I mean, that is definitely the way to draw attention to illegal behavior!  And evidently he didn’t even deliver a sandwich to our complex!  At least if he had been making a delivery he could have been legitimately buzzed in and left a little more inconspicuously with the packages.  I can only assume that the police contacted his employer who gave up his name.

I bet he was fired and arrested on the same day.  That would suck.  Not that I feel all that bad for him, but seriously, he doesn’t appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t steal because you will get caught
  • Write nice letters when you receive great customer service because karma is a very powerful thing
  • Don’t get Jimmy Johns delivered (well, OK, you can still get Jimmy Johns delivered… we’ll assume this was an isolated incident for the sake of sandwich cravings)
  • Get packages delivered to a secure location if you ever want to see your cardigans

I must say, it was worth the drama.  I am wearing one of my brand-new BR sweaters today and I look quite good, if I do say so myself.

‘Cockhawks’ and other things I’m willing to put up with to save $50.

We’re a hockey-type family (meaning the Husband and I love hockey and the little monster doesn’t like anything on TV because he feels threatened by anything or anyone that moves faster than him… but he can still be a fan by association, right? Right.)

This is us almost exactly 2 years ago at one of our first Hawks games together. Time flies!

This is us almost exactly 2 years ago at one of our first Hawks games together. Time flies!

Anyway, I was convinced that the NHL was about to be no more for the 2012-3013 season, but just when I was about to lose hope, hockey started again!  Then the problem became: how the heck do we watch hockey games now that we’ve canceled cable television?!

Ah, first world problems at their best.  I’m actually rolling my eyes at myself.

We solved this problem the way we solve all problems, we decided to illegally stream the game from someone who decided to purchase the NHL game package or something like that.  I don’t know, I’ve never looked into it.  I am far too frugal to think it’s a great idea to spend $50 on hockey for the season when there are perfectly good ways to watch the games for free.

Actually, first we decided to try to stream the game from someone with a Slingbox… this has worked for us before and it’s amazing, but for some reason it didn’t work for us last night.  Oh the pain and inconvenience this caused!

Then we found another method of watching the game and this particular method involved some man watching the game  and streaming it online so that other (cheaper) people could watch it with him.  Now, we’ve done this before and it usually works without incident.  However, last night we were watching ‘with’ an especially annoying interesting individual.  At random times during the game he would yell things about the goalies (the Husband says he just used a microphone to do this… I have no idea) and other off-color comments.  Let me tell you, in case you have yet to experience this particular event, it’s super-strange to be watching your TV and hear a random man who is not a TV announcer commenting!  It’s like having a third roommate again, but one that you don’t know and don’t particularly like.  I wanted him out of our family room, immediately.

Then, and this was our favorite part, during game breaks this man actually opened up the Paint program in his computer (do you all remember this gem?!) and started drawing.

So, instead of watching hockey, we were listening to hockey and watching our modern Van Gogh. His specialties appeared to be drawings of mascots, scores from other NHL games, and even a penis or two.  Because no hockey game would be the same without a penis drawing.

What are we, 14 years old again?

Seriously?!

Oh, this man was a clever one. This was taken right before he drew the penis.

Oh, this man was a clever one. This was taken right before he drew the penis.

Maybe we do need to spend the $50 and watch the games like normal people.

 

I’m still thinking about that wedding thing we did.

I recently got an email from a college friend who was filling me in on the details of her boyfriend and their relationship and a wedding she recently went to and her thoughts on weddings… And as it oftentimes does with most of my friends, the conversation led to her throwing out the idea that she will probably elope if she decides to eventually get married.  Actually, more of my good friends have eloped (or had a super small wedding) than have had a more ‘traditional’ ceremony/celebration.  Before I met the Husband, I had always assumed that I would elope or run off somewhere and just get the whole thing over with.  However, he wanted a wedding.

Not a bad spot to start 'forever' together, huh?

Not a bad spot to start ‘forever’ together, huh?

On a tangent – I do not think that men should get to throw out the whole ‘I want a wedding’ card if they do not actually want to plan the wedding.  The Husband really and truly thought that it was every woman’s dream to spend every waking hour for months planning her wedding.  He also thought every woman naturally loved to cook and clean.  I set him straight on all of these accounts and more, don’t you worry.  Anyway, when we started talking about getting engaged he told me that he wanted a wedding and basically got super pissed when I told him I had no interest in planning one.  After thinking about it for a few more minutes (it doesn’t take me too long to make a decision) I decided that since getting married is a two person thing, I should probably agree to a wedding so we wouldn’t have any regrets.  We compromised and decided to have a destination wedding in Jamaica.  BUT, I still ended up having to plan almost the entire thing.  While the Husband helped me accomplish some tasks (stuffing envelopes!) I had to do a majority of the work and scheduling and stressing and talking to families/friends and coordinating… you get the idea.  I’m still bitter.  He’s lucky I love him and that it turned out to be worth it!

Now, there were times during the planning of our wedding that I wanted to rip my hair our / vow never to speak to anyone ever again / call off the wedding and elope in a private ceremony … you get the idea.  I practically burst into tears (wait, maybe I did burst into tears) multiple times a week over the anxiety this one day, November 17 – to be exact, caused.  So, I totally and completely understand why women wouldn’t want to put themselves through this torture.

But, the thing that kept me going was knowing that in the end I’d probably be glad that we ended up having a wedding.  Isn’t there some quote about how we only regret the things we didn’t do?  Well I think there is a quote like that, and although I know that it’s not true in all situations (I can think of quite a few dates I wish I hadn’t gone on!), I definitely applied it to this event and am very glad that I we went through with it.

Yep, I’m going to say having a wedding was one of my very best life decisions.  And we all know I have made A LOT of excellent life decisions. (Feel free to roll your eyes at this point.)

Reasons I’m glad I did NOT elope: (I would write a list of reasons to elope, and I might later, but basically if you go on any wedding website and look at the ENDLESS lists they have, that should convince you.  If it doesn’t, look at how much this list of things will cost to implement).

  • The Bridal Shower – I could write a whole post on bridal showers, because generally I dislike them and don’t understand them and never ever wanted one… But I loved mine.  It was my aunts and cousins and love and happiness and a great time to get together with people I don’t see enough.  Although they aren’t for everyone, I think it’s nice to give relatives the opportunity to celebrate you in a way they want to, so I’m glad I gave my relatives the chance to keep tradition and have a shower (or two).
Some of my cousins at my Cincinnati bridal shower.

Some of my cousins at my Cincinnati bridal shower.

  • Engagement party – Our friends came over and met our dog and played games and talked together and we gossiped and had a great time in our new home.  Basically, we used our engagement as an excuse to party, and I’m glad we did!  It would have been super-awkward to celebrate our engagement and then not be able to talk to people about a wedding that would follow… but that’s my opinion and I’m sure it’s possible to have an engagement party and still elope!
  • Bachelorette party – One of the top 5 nights of my life, easily.  My girlfriends are amazing.  Once again, I’m sure this could have happened without a wedding, but it may have to happen after the fact.
  • Cards/Notes – I’ve received the kindest notes and cards from people!  I will keep them forever.  I’m sure if I had eloped people would have sent me cards.  Other people (my mother included!) would have written me hate mail.  I prefer cards.
  • Dress shopping – I bought my dress with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law.  We went to one store, I found a dress, and then we had brunch.  It was such a wonderful day.  Plus, I loved trying on so many pretty dresses!  Maybe I don’t go shopping enough, but I really did enjoy it.
  • Photos – Looking at photos of the wedding week always make me tear up.  I had such a blast and am so glad that I have such great pictures of all of our loved ones together.
  • Community – We had an absolute blast bringing our friends and families together to witness our ‘big event’.  Seriously.  Even though my parents are divorced and I was a little nervous about throwing them on an island together, it all worked out as perfectly as I could have hoped.  Plus, our friends are now friends and hanging out with each other in different cities!  Oh the joy I feel has no bounds when I think of all of my loved ones together.
My bridesmaids cracked me up.

My bridesmaids cracked me up.

  • The dancing – Ohhhh the dancing.  I had the best time dancing.  I never even dance at weddings, but at my own wedding I was unstoppable.  It’s like having a private dance party with all of your best friends but it’s just a LOT of best friends.  It doesn’t hurt that our friends and families are excellent dancers.
My college roommates came to Jamaica and danced with me.  They're pretty stellar.

My college roommates came to Jamaica and danced with me. They’re pretty stellar.

  • Excuses to talk to friends/family for 9 months before the event – Even though dealing with friends and family members were the very worst/most stressful moments of wedding planning, there were some joyful conversations in there!  Planning a wedding can be a wonderful excuse to talk to loved ones who live far away.
  • Memories – Priceless.  My favorite memories include walking down the aisle, hearing ridiculous stories about the guests, dancing, the speeches, our rehearsal dinner, getting ready for the day… the Husband’s parents looking so happy…ok basically I loved everything.
M new sisters and mother-in-law on the dance floor.

M new sisters and mother-in-law on the dance floor.

  • My parents – My mom was so happy the whole time I was wedding planning.  Seriously.  She couldn’t get enough of it.  She didn’t plan anything, she just liked hearing me talk about planning… so she ended up adding additional stress to my life, but that’s ok because having a wedding to talk about made her happy and her happiness is worth it.  My dad was an entirely different story… he hated the idea of a destination wedding and made it known from day one.  If my mom added 2x the stress to my life, my dad added 1000x the stress to the event.  But, I’ve never seen him happier than on my wedding day and he’s still talking about how it was the best wedding he’s ever been to (and he says it in disbelief, still).  I know that my parents would have forgiven me if I had wanted to elope or have a super-small ceremony, but the fact that they enjoyed the day as much as we did means a lot to me.  Plus, we are now all bonded over this one week in our lives.
  • The Husband’s parents (and family) – His dad gave a speech that made me cry.  His brother (best man) gave another excellent speech.  His mom told me that she prayed for him to find a great woman and she’s so happy he has.  Both of his sisters were my bridesmaids. Were these moments worth the stress that his family caused at other times? ABSOLUTELY.

best man

Having a wedding is a big and expensive decision and I can completely understand why someone would be hesitant to dedicate so much of their life to planning a single day… But honestly I am very, very glad that we have these memories to look back on.

Ultimately, was it worth the money?  Yes.

Worth the time it took to plan? Yes.

Worth the stress? As much as it pains me to say this… Yes.

I'll leave you with the sexiness that is my current husband and one of his great friends.

I’ll leave you with the sexiness that is the Husband and one of his great friends.