2020-02-06 A Serious Reality Check

Spoiler Alert… It’s not all rainbows and butterflies (though I’ve had a lot of both very recently).

There is a story that most of us are taught, about life. A story that starts with beautiful beginnings and continues to wind its way through a path of happiness and wonderful moments. We are told that if we do everything right, life will be full and satisfying. It’s true, but as we also learn, through the act of living out that life, that it comes with ups and downs and bumps and bruises. I’ve spent a fair bit of time these last few days trying to balance out the way I am feeling. I’ve got mixed emotions and I’m trying to reconcile my grumpy mood and the empty/lost feeling that I’ve been having. I should still be riding on high from the celebrations this past weekend. But I’’m not.. It is quite the opposite. Though I’m still getting so much love and well wishes from people (mostly social media because I posted pictures of our day), it feels fabricated. Like, only one side of things is visible.

I need to take a little time and step through the days – not the Wedding, or parties, or all the things leading up to that (which I should also do), but what has happened after. Rewind to last Sunday at 3PM. Picture this…

The bride, standing at the bar with a drink in her hand having a conversation with a friend. There’s a small plate with a half eaten piece of cake and two macaroon cookies positioned on the bar next to her and several family members close by. She glances around and notices that people, most notably the man that she has just married, are scrambling around the room collecting decorations. Him and his children and a few others are dumping water from vases and putting flowers back into the bin she so carefully filled and carried and used the day before to decorate the space. What’s she thinking?

“What the hell is going on? Why are they doing that?” She looks at the plate with the cake and around the room again and then lifts her left wrist to look at her watch. Only she’s not wearing it because it’s her wedding day and she wore a bracelet instead. “What time is it?” She asks her friend.

“About 3PM” is the reply.

“Already?” Yes, already. A horrible feeling washes over her. It’s all over and what now? She had not thought much about this moment, other than wondering how she would feel. She looks at the cake again.

This is what I remember. Of all the things to remember from the last time, this is the same. I didn’t get to enjoy my own cake and I didn’t get to really talk to the people who came to support me because it all goes too fast. And then people rush around to clean up, and I’m all like “hey, but I’m just getting started”. Of course, I kicked into gear and started helping clean up too, because that’s what I do (and I wanted to make sure certain details were not missed).

An hour later all the stuff has been dumped in a room off of the garage in the house and we’ve changed out of our Wedding best and are sitting in the living room. We realize one of the cats is missing. We start to look for her. She’s nowhere to be found.

We spent what was left of the afternoon searching and even thinking she got out of the house somehow. Jim and Z and I walked the neighborhood calling to her and I carried food in a food dish, clanking it as I walked (as that is how I used to get her to come to the door when she went outside at my old house). This is not how this afternoon was supposed to go.. we were nervous and worried and thinking if she did get out, she could be long gone. She’s not used to this neighborhood, she has never been outside the house here. It was a terrible sinking feeling.

Several hours later the sun is down and we are back in the living room on the couch. The kids have retreated to their rooms and the mood is low. Jim has childhood trauma from a lost pet, and I’ve had several scares in my life to reflect upon. How do we even proceed with our day/evening. We should be happy and celebrating and falling into each others arms. We sit with anxiety and share our stories.

Jim goes to do a few chores as we had not yet had time to address the aftermath of the party at our house the night before. In the midst of doing that, he spots the cat slinking down the hallway. We have no earthly idea where she could have been sleeping that we did not find her but all of a sudden, there she was. We were elated and relieved. It was all so overwhelming it was like I had not exhaled for hours. All of a sudden, there we were in the kitchen and I was just sobbing uncontrollably. How could it all be over? How could this be happening? What now?

We continued to clean like it was a regular day after a party and I was already checking social media for pictures of events. That is when I started to feel a bigger let-down. I wanted to share the news of our day with the world, yet, I didn’t have any pictures. I wanted to keep the party going, but that’s not how it works. We had a few good snaps from friends and I posted the “life event” on FB.

1 day after (Monday), Jim goes back to work and the kids go back to school and it’s like nothing ever happened. Except that I have more cleaning up to do. I spend the morning sorting through the pile of decorations and vases and boxes to put some stuff away. I solicited for more pictures and kept my eye on FB for comments and other people’s posts. I had coffee and a chat with my friend Sarah who was still in town and that was really great, and felt like the best conversation I had all weekend. I guess I’m just better at one on one interaction (or at least that is what I prefer).

2 days after (Tuesday), Jim is at work and the kids are at school again. I space off my 10AM work meeting and spend the morning sorting through the party trash cans and separate the recycling from the trash, rinsing out glass and plastic. The kitchen smells like alcohol and I notice it is getting cold. By 4PM, I realize the furnace is not working. I’m exhausted and have not slept well for several nights.

3 days after (Wednesday), the living room and kitchen are cold and none of my troubleshooting efforts have paid off. I take one of the cars in for its regularly scheduled maintenance checks. I continue to obsess over pictures and frantically put together a scrap book of all the paper artifacts from the weekend, as if my life depended on it. I troll social media for more comments and post some of the pictures I’ve received of our big event. When Jim comes home from work, he looks at the furnace and we decide to call a service tech. I finally get my period (I had been spotting for about 7 days straight), and begin having bad stomach pains, which is not normal.

It is now Thursday, 4 days after, and the service tech has been and gone and the house is slowly warming up. Jim is at work of course and the kids are at school and I’m finally getting to sit down and really write what is on my mind. I’ve got a lunch meet-up today with a friend who was not at the wedding and plans later to grab a drink with my other friend who was. It feels very much like back to business as usual. But again, it’s strange because I’m not ready for it to be over.

You know, you work for weeks and months to plan something and when it is over and done, there is an emptiness that happens. I know I’m happy because I feel happy, and I am looking forward to lots of future stuff, but it’s like I’m so sad it’s gone. I thought I would feel relief. I thought I would be happy to get back to “normal life,” but I’m just not. I’m just sad.

Some of the flowers are in vases in the kitchen and they are starting to droop and wither. Soon, they will be too far gone and I’ll have to pitch them into the trash. That’s depressing.

For all the wonderful things and for all the happy moments, there is a balancing act that takes place. An equal and opposite feeling, a yin to the yang, a low to match the high. I’m definitely experiencing that. I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but I can’t ignore it either. It’s just a part of the big picture.

I have more to say, of course, but I’ve already gone on too long today. If you are still with me, thanks for reading. I’m going to try and break away from this funk today and just start enjoying married life. Married life??!!! I wonder what that’s like?!

Cheers through all the laughter and tears,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-02-02 At Long Last! It’s Here!! 🥂💍💕

We’ll folks, this is it! It’s finally here!!!

No, I’m not talking about Groundhog Day, though that’s today too and Im happy to report Phil did not see his shadow so we are having an early spring!! 🌷🌷🌷

No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl either, though that is also today and I’m sure the Chiefs and 49ers are going to put on a good show. 🏈🏈🏈 It won’t be as good as what I have going on today.

I’m talking about my wedding!! The countdown hit zero at midnight and just a few short hours I’ll be walking down the aisle arm in arm with my children. I’ll be greeted by the man of my dreams and a whole room full of people will be there to witness as we pledge our lives to one another. 💍

I have so many emotions, where does one even begin? As you might guess, I don’t have a lot of time to write today. I’m just taking a few minutes alone, while the house is still sleeping to reflect on the last 24 hours and think about everything that’s happening today.

The most overwhelming feeling I’m having right now is love. Last night we had a house full of guests and there was so much joy and energy. To think that all these people came here to celebrate with us and support us, is quite incredible. I’m just so grateful, and can’t even find the words right now.

Time and it’s fluid relativity is a constant factor in all things. When life is tough, it serms like it slows down and you feel every ache as it creeps by. When things are good, it speeds by and you wonder what happens to all those days and nights. At this point I’m on the highest of highs and I know I’m my heart this day will be gone in a blink. It’s going to move so fast that I will have to remind myself to stop and breathe and just be present, in the moment.

That’s it for now. I’ve gotta start getting ready to get me that new last name! 💃❤️💃

With Peace and Love, Gratitude and Mindfulness.. Always,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-29 Ahhh!! The Final Countdown… 💍💕🥂

The past few days have been all about gettin’ shit done. We’re kicking ass at this point and hopefully by Friday no detail will have escaped out attention.

The numbers keep getting smaller and today it’s now 4 days until I throw the biggest party of my life! I mean, we’re gonna start partying on Saturday night and keep the good vibes going straight through to Sunday when Jim and I promise to love each other for the rest of our lives. Whoa!!

I would say I’ve had my fair share of anxiety this past few days which has been exacerbated by some work stuff. Some sales pitch one of my bosses wanted me to run. They basically wanted me to demo a new software system I had not even logged into before. I had to spend several hours working with it and putting together a script of how best to navigate through the app and talk about all the features and functions. The whole time I was doing that, I kept thinking, I still have to review and tweak the script for my wedding. Not to mention write my vows!

The work stuff?? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! 😂 But you do what you gotta sometimes and I put in the work and did the demo yesterday. I mean, the actual demo was only 30 minutes but the prep time was like 5 hours total. I think it went well so I’m already anticipating getting to do it again. 🤷‍♀️ That’s fine as long it’s not until after I’m back from the second part of our big adventure (yeah, shortly after getting hitched it’s honeymoon time!!).

In related news.. when I picked the wedding date 02022020 the one and only thing on my mind was the date itself and the numbers. I mean, it’s a rare palindrome for an 8 digit date and works in North America AND Europe (where they typically do ddmmccyy instead of mmddccyy). What I was not thinking of is the fact that it’s Groundhog Day AND the Super Bowl!! Jim and I didn’t even realize it was the super bowl until a couple months ago. That goes to show what kind of football fans we are. Which is to say, not at all. 🏈 We are so meant for each other! 😂

Anyway.. one of the things on my to-do list today is to run through and time the script and tweak it and oh yeah, write those vows. We want to keep the actual ceremony brief. Neither of us like to be the center of attention. One of our questions for the event space coordinator was “where can we hide while the guests are arriving?” Yeah that.

In related news, the wedding video is not done yet and it’s tough for me to press on the person I hired to do it because it’s my darling daughter. She’s been complaining a lot in the last week how stressed she is with applying for scholarships and filling out applications, not to mention another 5 hours on Monday going to the senior picture session her grandmother set up and paid for. That’s 5 hours of our lives we will never get back. At least the pics turned out well. I’ve asked several times what the eta is on the video and she’s going to go ballistic if I ask again. I just hate things being out of my control. Ugh!

In other related news, I think by this Saturday this house will be in better shape and cleaner than it has been in a long time. Jim and I have both been working on our respective projects. Not to mention the person he hired to fix some stuff that’s needed attention for a long time. It’s funny to me the things he thinks are important and how different that is than my list. I want things to be picked up, clean, and of course have been freaking out about the actual wedding details. He’s more concerned with fixing stuff wrong with the house.

In my head, nobody is going to notice some of what he’s focused on. But.. I’m not complaining because those things are finally getting done and the house will be in better shape. I mean, the faucet in the master bathroom leaking on the counter a little would not be noticeable to a guest, but I’m happy to have it taken care of.

And yeah.. I also don’t think running a broom and mop on the b-ball court in the basement is necessary, but it’s important to him. I’ll probably be doing that today (among other cleaning tasks). 🏀

Originally I was planning to go to Jazzercise every morning this week and eat right so I feel great this weekend, but that has not happened. I’ve been preoccupied with other things and have not even had time to hit the treadmill much. And every meal seems to be just grabbing whatever from the refrigerator and cupboards (which is a lot of snacks that aren’t so healthy). Oh well.. it all is what it is. I’m sure that come Saturday, what exercise I have gotten or not gotten and what I have eaten this week will not matter. That is what I have to keep telling myself…. whatever I’m freaking out about in the current moment will not matter.

Wow – that’s lots of related news. I guess it’s just where my head is at right now. My hour is up and I’m gonna get crackin’ on some more cleaning. 🧹🧽🧼

XOXO, ❤️

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-24 One Way to Start a Friday

I woke up shortly after 3am and was immediately consumed by thoughts about everything going on. A veritable Rolodex of current events.

1. 8 days until the wedding. 😱

2. Cleaning the house for the party.

3. Being so scattered I missed my sisters birthday lunch and wondering if she’s going to hold it against me somehow and not forgive me (were supposed to go to a comedy show this Saturday and she’s not being very responsive over text).

4. The school work I’ve pretty much been ignoring for like 2 weeks.

5. My daughter’s senior picture dilemmas.

6. The endless to-do list I chip away at everyday and continue to feel like I’m not getting enough done each day.

7. Details about the ceremony, decorations, and clothing that’s not been ironed out yet.

8. The ice covering our driveway and sidewalks that needs to get taken care of before next Saturday and the weather is not cooperating.

9. My darling daughter finding a new program she wants to apply for for college in the fall which is a big change from what’s been her plan for just about this entire senior year.

10. My work wanting me to run a demo of some new software for a sales pitch next week and I haven’t seen anything but screenshots of it until this point. The main UX person is on vacation and they are like, we’ll get Shyla to do it. Sure, no problem guys.

11. And for the love of all the cheese in the universe, how I’m going to do my hair on the day of the wedding. Yeah.. that struggle is sadly a real thing.

Needless to say, I could not fall back asleep. When it got to 4am I opted to take half a Xanax. Incredibly, I still had trouble falling back asleep after that but eventually I did.

Then when I had to wake up at 6:30 to roll with the morning routine, I was super groggy. I prepared breakfast in the dark, fed the fishes, loaded the dishes into the dishwasher, and trudged around the house making sure the grumpy teenagers were awake and getting ready to go. Thing 1 is not a morning person and her eyes and voice (when she elects to speak in the morning which normally she doesn’t) are daggers stabbing anyone who speaks to her or crosses her path. Thing 2 is generally in an ok mood in the mornings but has a serious problem getting out of bed and getting ready to go. He takes his meds, puts shoes on, and gives me a hug and tells me he loves me before following her out the door.

Everyday that nobody gets murdered is a good day. 😂

Jim comes in to eat “can I turn the lights on?”

Me.. /shrug “sure.”

By 7:30 everyone is gone and I turned all the lights back off and went back to bed. I still laid there a bit, awake and thinking about everything but again, I eventuality fell back asleep. I really need it. I thought.. I’ll wake up at 9 and go to Jazzercise.

I woke up at 9:30 and was like “whelp, so much for that master plan”. I was still super groggy and probably laid there for another half an hour trying to really wake up.

I mean, I’m not super excited to get up when cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, and dusting is the itinerary for the morning.

Despite how I’m always feeling that I’m not productive enough, I do feel like I’ve gotten a lot done this week. I promised myself I would take a little time Friday for doing something sort of pamper-y. Hey!! Today is Friday!!

I’m done with my morning chores and the bathrooms and basement are behind me now. I had a bite to eat and now I’m walking the treadmill and looking forward to treating myself to a pedicure this afternoon before I pick my son up from school. I haven’t had a pedi at a nail salon in like forever. 💅

***

Eight days from now I’ll be getting ready to walk down the aisle and take a vow.

Sixteen days from now that will all be in the rear view and I’ll be headed to Hawaii.

Twenty four days from now I’ll be coming down off of the high of all of it, facing reality and my new life as a married woman, wife, and looking toward the future and all the possibilities. I have no delusions that life is going to calm down. You always think it will, and then it doesn’t. That’s just the nature of things.

On that note, it’s time for me to roll out.

Cheers to Pedicures, Pampering, and the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-21 Nothing to See Here, Just a Little Clucking Going On 🐥

I know what I’m gonna want to know 5 years from now when I look back on this day. That it was 0 degrees when I woke up and I didn’t want to leave my house and oh, by the way, I’m getting married in 11 days and trying really hard not to freak out.

It’s gonna be fine, ya’ll. It’s all gonna he just peachy. But really I’m having a hard time with my brain. The lack of focus is serious and I’m sort of like that chicken with its head cut off or trying to cross the road and not knowing why or something else like that which has everything to do with being a chicken and making excuses for my behavior.

Yesterday I had a date with my mom and sister for lunch for my sisters birthday (which is today) and I completely spaced it. That’s so not like me. I’m typically a really reliable human being. But there I was, standing in my kitchen at 11:42am trying to decide what to eat for lunch. Then I get a text from her “you coming?”. Total face palm.

I felt like such an asshole but what can I say. There’s no excuse really. I’m not actually a chicken so there’s no excuse.

In related news, I’m supposed to go to a comedy show with her Saturday courtesy of her fiancé and when I told her I’d take her out to dinner before the show she says, “what show?”. Double face palm. Was that supposed to be a surprise and nobody told me?! Whelp, that one is not really on me I think.

Anyway, I’m wandering around like I’m from Iowa and tried this morning to put together a to-do list. Today that involves one last meetup with the gal from the event space to finalize preparations and check the AV setup and make sure that all works smooth with what we have.

As I type this I’m taking video of the cats in the kitchen to see how much video I can get on the memory card I have. We’re doing our own since it costs like $$$ to hire a human being to push a button. I’m so cheap.

It does bear repeating though that anything and everything with the “W” word attached costs like a gazillion dollars more than it should. Literally hundreds to thousands of $$& to get someone to take pictures for a couple of hours. I called this morning to see how much the cleaners near our house charges to steam the dress (it’s kinda wrinkled) and she said $85. Wut??!!

That’s 85 bucks to produce some steam near the skirt and get the wrinkles out. I bet I can do it for free. I just don’t want to ruin the material but how hard can it be? As long as the hot iron does not get pressed down on the dress. That’s the kind of thing I’m wandering around thinking about.

Oh, and I missed Jazzercise this morning because I was pressed for time to get some progress on a work project before my 10am meeting but now that’s being moved to Thursday. But it’s ok I missed Jazzercise cuz it’s still single digits outside. Brrrrrr. I do have to go to Nuri at 11 but now I’ll have time to take a shower and get dressed like a proper human.

What else? Oh yeah, because it’s my sisters birthday today, that means it’s also my exes birthday. That would be Matt not Brian. I was thinking about him last night and a little melancholy. I hope he’s well. He probably does not know I’m about to get married. I mean, he knows I’m engaged but there’s really no reason he would have insight into when. We have a few mutual friends but nobody that’s coming to the wedding.

I always thought we would get married someday, but that life never happened. It’s strange to be thinking about that with about a week and a half before I marry someone else. It’s strange to know you still have love for someone like that. I wonder if I’ll ever really be over it? And is that ok if I’m not? Does it take anything away from Jim or our life together? I don’t think so.

I think the depths of the human heart are vast and the capacity for love is great. I don’t have to let go of anyone I’ve ever loved. I can just hold it all in a special place inside and know that it’s just a part of who I am.

I wonder if I should wish him happy birthday? There’s no harm in that right? I dunno.

***

I’ve got to go check the video camera and move my 10am meeting to Thursday. Perhaps there will be more clucking from this chick later. (Probably not).

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-18 In Two Short Weeks

Yesterday we got our marriage license. Isn’t it amazing it only costs like 32 dollars to get legally married and potentially thousands of dollars to get legally divorced. Alternately, it costs potentially thousands of dollars to get ceremonially married and just two cents to get ceremonially divorced.

Today we met with our officiant and he seems like a pretty great guy. The ceremony itself won’t take more than about 15 or 20 minutes. I suppose the actual ceremony doesn’t cost much either. It’s just all the stuff we think we have to have— decorations, food, cake, flowers, drinks, music, a guest book and pen. Yeah and when it comes to weddings, nothing is cheap. That guest book and pen cost like 15 bucks.

Having that extra day together yesterday was great. We got a ton of stuff done and then got to spend the whole evening together kid-free. It kinda felt like a Saturday and so today kind of feels like a Sunday.

We are doing some cleaning and putting the finishing touches on some things here at the house.

Two weeks from right about now, I’ll be at the event space decorating. Probably my mom and sisters will be helping. Probably I’ll be freaking out. Probably it will all be all right.

I need to walk but I really don’t have much on my mind right now, strange enough. Just happy wanderings. It’s good. Life is good.

Peace,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-17 The Perfect Storm for Dissolving Doubt

It feels like a Saturday because everything is closed. The radar when we woke up today looked like something from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”. A storm cell covering 1/4th of the country, starting in Minnesota and going all the way down into Texas, covering all of Nebraska moving slowly into Iowa. School was called off last night before I went to bed and this AM I was surprised that the alarm did not go off, which meant that Jim’s Office was closed too.

It was perfect timing as we really needed this extra day together to kick the final wedding prep in high gear. We’re making the most of this snow day and have already checked a bunch of boxes. I’m feeling good about things, finally. Mostly I just needed to check with him to review and get buy-in on what I’ve decided- readings, decor, cake, etc. it’s all good.

We are running a few errands today and among them is the courthouse. One of our to-do tasks was to apply for a marriage license. I was sort of on a caffeine/wedding planning/butt kicking high but then the form happened. Nothing kills a good vibe buzz like having to mine your past looking for your divorce date. Why is it with all the paperwork I’ve saved over the years my divorce decree (the official one with the dates) is not in my possession? I literally have my taxes saved back to 1993. I also have most important events in FB back to 2008ish, but not that. Why?

I Ended up digging into my old journal entries to find the exact date. But wowza if reading the surrounding words aren’t a mood killer, I don’t know what is. Not only that, but I found the reason none of it was on FB. I apparently deleted all of it. Or rather.. cut it and pasted it all into that word document at the bottom of my journal entry from March 14, 2010. All the surrounding posts with thoughts, poems, likes, and comments all retained just for this very moment for me to find.

So my divorce was final March 15, 2010 (the Ides!! How appropriate!!!). I kinda remembered that but now I know for a fact that was it. 10 effing years ago almost. And scrolling back through the last 10 years of ones life on FB is trippy.

The last 5 years I’ve not been very active since I hate FB and social media in general. But before that, I apparently posted a bunch. Events, check ins at restaurants, vacations, holidays, etc. I scrolled back through past relationships, Matt and SV and my jobs at OTTR and Methodist Hospital. Lots of pics with people I don’t see or hang out with anymore. Lots of history and also sadness for losing touch with people. Also sort of holding my breath on a few folks I’ve invited to the wedding, hopeful they will show despite not getting RSVPs back (looking at you RH!!!)

Reading that journal entry reminds me how conflicted and confused I was. I was pulling the trigger on a big life decision and yet still held so much doubt. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s exactly how things are now. Doubt is just a part of life I guess and you can never be 100% solid on your decisions.

Things are more 20/20 in the rear view. Getting married at 19 was naive, but i wouldn’t trade it or my life to follow for the world. Getting a divorce was also the right decision. No two ways about it. All the big decisions before and after that have all been good ones. Leaving the hospital after 17 years was good. Leaving OTTR after 5 was one of my best decisions ever. Leaving Matt was also a good call, and now, thinking about all of this, I have gained more clarity on what’s going down 15 days from now.

(Yes.. 15 days to go! 💍💕)

It’s the right decision and my doubt is fading fast. Maybe it’s the adrenaline of this caffeinated snow day that’s got me in this mood. Maybe it’s the worry in me that’s just giving up the fight. It’s losing/lost the battle and walking away. I’m finding myself in the sweet spot between doubt and party/wedding day anxiety.

Jim being here probably has a lot to do with that. He’s such a constant stabilizing force. He’s just amazing. I’m a lucky girl. 🍀💚🥰

That’s enough mush mush for today. What a wild ride for a Friday. Looking forward to the weekend.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie