“Words That Changed Me”
_a record of the process_
A snow day in Florida?! I am so hopeful. From what I can tell based on my highly scientific google research, the last snow accumulation in Tallahassee was in 1989. On average, the return period for measurable snow is once every 17 years…...
Have you seen the Feminist Taylor Swift twitter account? A Taylor Swift fan (and Brown University student) edits her famous lyrics to have feminist messages like: I don’t know about you / but I’m feeling twenty-two / cents...
I’ve heard your whole wedding day can be a blur. I was prepared for an evening of three second conversations, fleeting moments, and no dinner. Fortunately, even though we were overwhelmed with emotions (gratitude, excitement, you know),...
Exactly one year ago today, Bret and I said, “I do” at a beautiful vineyard right outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
When I think back to the morning of our wedding, I mostly remember feeling relieved because Bret was at our venue early in the morning setting all the centerpieces.
…Let’s read that again: instead of playing video games, hanging out with his groomsmen, or having breakfast at Mr. J’s as planned, my husband-to-be was at our wedding venue early in the morning setting up centerpieces while I was getting my hair and make-up done.
After our original table decorations plan fell through, I imagined my mom and every bridesmaid I could grab were going to have to rush over before the ceremony in full-on crisis mode. Instead, Bret just drove out there and took care of it with the help of our amazing mistress of ceremonies, Leeanne. I think this just says so much about who Bret is as a person and partner. He is my hero.
Our wedding was exactly what I’d hoped for. Everything was lovely and comfortable, and the whole day was smooth sailing.
The days leading up to our wedding, however, were not so smooth.
It’s been a whole year, so I can laugh about it now… but there was a blizzard in the forecast!
Four days prior to our wedding, the forecast was grim. Bret and I packed our 4-wheel drive snow-ready rental car with our two suitcases; my giant cosmetic bag; the wedding binder which included scripts, directions, and thank you notes; my wedding dress; our bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts; a box of wedding programs that Bret designed; a bag with wedding rings and jewelry; a box with ceremony speakers, the guest book, pens, place cards, table journals, the infamous hand-painted WRTClove sign; and of course a bag of snacks to sustain us for the 13 hour car ride.
I did a little anti-snow dance, and then we started the drive up from Florida with these precious things in tow.
Our drive through sunny Florida and Georgia was beautiful and peaceful, but punctuated with texts from our friends and family. Some were encouraging well wishes, but most were WARNINGS alerting us of the blizzard that was currently packing FEET of snow all over Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Bret’s parents had already driven down from Pennsylvania to Virginia as a precaution and they were staying at the hotel where our guests would be staying. They sent us pictures of the snowplow working hard to clear the hotel parking lot, and assured us everything would be okay.
I had my doubts.
We made it to Harrisonburg safely… but 24 hours before our rehearsal,
I won’t lie, out of everything on this list, I was most upset about the Duke Dog Road Dawg.
Ever since I became a Duke, I decided getting a picture of me with the Road Dawg in my wedding dress was a priority. Even though the university was closed and the Road Dawg office was not answering phone or email, I had to try. I went inside the building just to check. My heart skipped a beat when I found him in a locked case inside a locked room, and I gazed sadly through glass just hoping that maybe someone would show up with a magic key.
After a several minutes, I saw a man walking through the hall and I explained – desperately – that I was getting married on Saturday and I was supposed to pick up the Road Dawg but the office was closed. He had NOTHING TO DO with the Road Dawg process, and just happened to be in the office obviously with his own work to do, but he said he understood how important it was as he was a JMU alum himself. He said he would make some calls.
A couple hours later, my phone rang and I cried joyful tears. He got the magic key. His act of kindness made me so grateful.
I know this sounds silly if you’re not me, but at THIS VERY MOMENT, I knew everything was going to be okay. As a worst case scenario, I was ready to have the whole shindig in our hotel (which happened to be under renovations…) but who cares, the Road Dawg would be there.
On the eve of our wedding, we felt RELIEVED when our whole bridal party make it to the rehearsal. Travel delays, cancellations, and car trouble made me nervous. Most of our groomsmen (and a lot of our guests!) were traveling from the winter weather in the northeast: Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Boston. My cousin walked in right on cue when I said, “and this is where my cousin Jessica will stand…” and Bret’s best man, Dan, walked in seconds later. He’d taken a plane, a train, and an automobile through the snowy Boston, Pennsylvania, AND Maryland. And he made it!
It was like a movie. A really, really, happy movie.
The rehearsal dinner was fun and intimate and I got to tap on a champagne glass to make an announcement. #DreamComeTrue
And magically the temperatures warmed up, most of the snow melted, and the winding rural roads leading to the vineyard were safe and dry. In the end, everything worked out beautifully.
We spent the whole day surrounded by love and feeling so grateful to spend the evening with our families and some of our best friends and, of course, the ROAD DAWG.
It was so NEAT to have both of our families, and friends from different points in our lives all together in one room. That will probably never happen again so I’m glad we grabbed as many pictures as possible.
Oh, look, Velveeta and Sadie made it on our wedding cake wearing in matching JMU hats.
I just love looking at all of these pictures…
And just like that, we were married.
My friend, Erik, had the awesome idea of the JMU streamers exit and I’m so glad that he did because it was one of my favorite moments. It was an awesome day.
This first married year has been full of a lot of awesome days. I’m just so grateful to be walking through life with this guy by my side.
Here’s to many many many more anniversaries!Read More
Tuesday was FAT TUESDAY.
To celebrate, I was going to get FREE King Cake from my leasing office, but I didn’t get home from work in time, so I decided to get FREE pancakes from I-HOP, but there was a line out the door, so I settled for a BIG FAT burrito from Moe’s which was not free but oh-so-tasty.
Wednesday was Ash Wednesday which means we have entered the season of Lent. Even though I’m not Catholic, I usually choose to give up something between now and Easter. I think deprivation (in moderation) is a good practice that can be good for the soul and it makes me feel grateful and reflective and such.
In past years, I have given up:
And vending machines.
It’s simple. But it’s challenging. And it’s good. This year, I tried to think of a something to give up, but I just couldn’t do it.
These days, I rarely eat junk food. I eat apples and peanut butter and avacados and spaghetti squash and organic vegetable soup and I drink water and herbal tea. My splurge foods are decaf coffee and strawberries dipped in sugar. I’m serious. Oh, and Girl Scout cookies. But I can’t stop supporting the Girl Scouts!
For a split second, I actually convinced myself that giving up Lentils may be a good idea because I eat them in a lot of soup and stuff and it would help me diversify my lunch options. Also I thought it would sound funny and clever to tell people I gave up lentils for lent. And then I was like WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! Lentils are an easy protein source for your meatless vegetarian self – stop being weird.
Then I read this beautifully written post about giving up something non-physical like:
I thought those were excellent goals, but things would be hard to measure. Then I thought about my blog.
In an ideal world I’d post daily. I usually only post a few times a month. When I thought about the reasons that I don’t post, I saw a connection between that list and my [lack of] blogging:
So, I’ve decided to spend this season of Lent writing a blogpost every weekday, or, at least 5 times a week.
It’s a weird thing to do for Lent, I guess, but I think it’s a good thing because it will challenge me to write more often and about a wider range of topics. This blog was originally supposed to be about positive interactions with strangers, and it’s become a series of life updates and thoughts to keep up with my long-distance friends and family. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, but I feel like WordsThatChangedMe should be more than that. So, I’m going to write more. I’m challenging myself to stay a day ahead and schedule my posts in advance. I hope I can write about things that are timely and interesting and relevant, but I came up with a daily theme so if I get to a day where I don’t have anything new or relevant to write about, I will follow this handy guideline:
And if you’re thinking that those themes of grumpiness [Mon], mischief-making [Tues], materialism [Wed], and self-indulgence [Thurs/Fri] aren’t really in line with the themes of Lent, that’s true, but please remember these are just my clever back up themes and I promise the posts will be uplifting and entertaining and mostly not mean.
So here’s the thing. 80% of my blog traffic comes from Facebook which means most of you get here because you are my Facebook friend and read my status you click on my post.
Thank you for doing that! I love that.
I don’t want to drive everyone crazy by posting a Facebook status every.single.day. about my newest blog post.
SO ….. If you haven’t already ………. subscribe to my blog!
It’s really easy and it will make me the happiest and that way you’ll get these posts sent right to your email:
Here’s to approximately 30 posts in the next 6 weeks!Read More
I’m sitting at my desk at work. It’s my lunch break. I don’t really get a real “lunchbreak” today because we have classes going on and guests in our office, but I’m grabbing a few moments to eat my soup and blog a bit in between phone calls.
I’ve been thinking…
I had my first migraine when I was two. I don’t really remember this, but apparently, I was playing in the bright snow when I indicated that my head was hurting and I felt sick.
As a kid, I would occasionally get a migraine at school that included severe, debilitating pain, and nausea. I didn’t even know what nausea meant, really, but I knew my stomach hurt like it did when I was nervous or uneasy and I told the school nurse I felt “nausey-ous”. I learned to cope by placing an ice pack on my forehead, massaging my temples, and imagining a bright light getting dimmer, and dimmer, and dimmer.Read More
Today I’m participating in the Boys Behind the Blog! This link-up gives Bret a chance to answer some fun questions and take over my blog for the day. I’ve asked him to participate a couple times and we always miss the deadline, but this time, there’s an Amazon gift card up for grabs, so he was all in.
…PLUS one of the questions has to do with the Winter Olympics which we have been watching obsessively. [My commentary is in italics.]
1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?Read More
Remember how I vowed to wake-up at 5:30 every day and spend an hour a day working on my novel?! I’m not doing that consistently.
MOST days, I still wake up at 5:30, but instead of brewing coffee and opening up that lap top, I’ve found myself reading in a chair, poking around on the internet, or laying in bed for a while and just appreciating the fact that I don’t HAVE to be awake yet.Read More