2019-11-19 Signed, Sealed, and (being) Delivered

Today’s post is brought to you by the least bridezilla bride to be of all time. Yours truly, Miss SugarCookie. I literally have to be the most easy going bride to be of all time. Either that or I have not hit that wall yet where I’m freaking out about every detail getting sorted.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had plenty of freak out moments, days, even weeks. But all of that has everything to do with actually getting married and not a drop to do with the wedding planning. Every time something needs to be done or decided, the angst is always coming from a place of doubt. But when it really comes down to it, those little things haven’t really been a big deal.

From “save the date” cards to ordering and sending back like 6 pairs of shoes to finding the right dress (also online), it was just a matter of going through the motions. We picked a venue easily enough, decided on the right person to officiate, and as of today, finalized the invitations.

That’s right, the invites have officially been “assembled”, stamped, and dropped at the post office. This time tomorrow people around town will start to get them and the days to follow will have those arriving at friends and family who live farther away. Dropping those in at the post office took more than one very deep breath.

In truth, putting the invites, return envelopes, rsvp cards, welcome reception cards, and a little note declining gifts all together in the addressed envelope took way longer than expected. After putting stamps on everything I was kind of glad to get that mess off my kitchen counter. Now all I have to do is wait for those RSVPs to come back.

What else? We still have to decide on food and desserts. I don’t have a photographer yet. And I still have to put more thought into decorations. A seating chart for the reception if we are going to have one and an agenda for the day. We are also still working on collecting pictures for the video we are going to play at the reception. I’m sure there’s other stuff I don’t know I’m supposed to do. I’m also sure it doesn’t matter much. Unless it’s something like forgetting to apply for a marriage license. Ha!

There are 75 days left until February 2nd but between now and then it’s a fast moving calendar with lots going on. Next week is thanksgiving, then the next big thing is the office holiday party which we are hosting here at the house again this year. Then it’s all the stuff leading up to Christmas including finishing out this semester, both for the kids and I. Quick on the heels of Christmas is Winter Residency for my MFA and when that’s done and in the books, there will only be like 3 weeks to go before the big day. That’s a lot going on and a lot to distract me from thinking about those pesky vows.

(I love it when I type the word vows and Evernote auto-corrects it to “cows”. Yes, those pesky cows are quite troublesome! 😂)

That’s it for now folks. 75 days and counting. I foresee lots of deep breaths in my future.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-26 Much Ado About a Wedding

It’s official.. the final countdown is here! It’s 99 days until I make a vow to spend the rest of my life with another person. Like a lot of big decisions in life, I have doubts and fears but I think that’s always going to be the case. It’s just the Way of things.

Am I ready? No. Will I ever be? No. That’s also the Way. That’s what having faith is about and trusting your greater instincts. I recognize how wonderful things are and just have to allow myself to not get too bunched up with little annoyances and doubts. At the end of the day I believe we were meant to be together and as life moves forward plans unfold and life just happens. Just like this whole wedding thing is going to happen.

99 days and the train is rolling and there are no brakes. We have most of the big things taken care of.. we have a place to get married and a reception hall and someone to marry us. I have a dress and shoes and he has a suit and just this week we found the perfect shirt for him that matches the dress. I also received the invites in the mail this week. Once those go out, there’s really no stopping the train.

Last weekend Jim and I went to a wedding which was sort of serendipitous. A few weeks back I received a text from a guy I used to work with at Methodist Hospital with a pic of an invite he said was returned with a wrong address. I’ve moved several times since he and I hung out on a regular basis so that makes sense. I haven’t talked to this guy in like 10 years, but we decided to go to his wedding anyway to experience the vibe and pick up on anything we might be missing with regard to our own planning.

Probably the biggest worry at this point is timing and logistics for that whole weekend. We’re planning a party at the house and also of course the ceremony and reception. We also want to put together music and a cute video that can play while people are arriving. My plan is to get all that sorted in November so we can go into the holiday without lot of loose ends or stuff to fret about.

Of course I’m sure there are things I’m not thinking of.. but I’m not too bothered by it. Again, I’m more nervous about just the idea of getting married again. That’s way more important. You know.. committing the rest of your life to one person. That’s very scary. Life is so unpredictable and you just never know what’s going to happen next.

I suppose things have just been so good and the last year and a half has been so different than anything I’ve ever had. It’s also gone by so fast I wonder what I might just not know or have not realized in the haze of falling in love. Am I missing some red flag? Am I the red flag? Perhaps that’s what is at the heart of my doubts and fears. You see how thinking too much about stuff can really mess with a persons head?

Tomorrow when I wake up, it will be 98 days to go and the day after that it will be 97 and February will be here before we know it. Yup. It’s happening.

Cheers to the Final Countdown! 🥂

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-09 I Went Shopping for Shoes and Came Home with a Laptop 👠->💻

I finally pulled the trigger on a few items I’ve been toiling over for quite some time. I spent several hours driving around town. And yes, of course I also did the dishes. Where does all the god damned time go?!

I drove to village point and I swore at the steering wheel “I’m not leaving this stupid shopping mall empty handed”. Who decided outdoor malls in Nebraska were a good idea? Idiots.

I can’t buy shoes online. “That way lies madness” (a favorite saying of one of my former co-workers). So I spent about an hour in DSW trying on shoes, for my wedding. It’s like the very next thing on my list and I can’t get the dress altered until I know how tall I’m going to be in the shoes. Spoiler alert. I didn’t find any.

What I did find was a brand and style I liked and the sales gal said they have other colors online. I wore those 6 and a half black heels up and down the aisles and all through the clearance section. They passed the test. Too bad nothing else in the store worked. I suppose if I was getting married for the first time I would have a white dress and the shoes would be a slam dunk. As it is, my dress is slightly off-white, not white, and not ivory so I’m not even sure what goes or how to match that.

Jim’s been buying dress shirts online and just sending them back when we open them to discover they clash. Like I said.. madness. After all that jazz at the DSW, I went to the Apple store. Still determined to NOT leave empty handed.

Yeah.. I dropped some cash there and felt a twinge of regret as I drove away with my new laptop. What else was I to do though? My current laptop is from 2012 or 13 (it was a refurb I bought from my previous employer in 2015) and it threatens death every time I need to use it. Which is pretty much all the time. It won’t run unless plugged into the charger and sometimes it acts like it won’t turn on at all. Yadda-yadda. But that’s already too much ado about that topic.

I did my research and almost went with the Dell XPS but my Apple fan girl heart just can’t buy a windows machine. No apologies on that one, but wow those apples are pricey. I looked into an Apple certified refurbished one but they are almost as much as brand new. I haven’t had a new machine in like 9 years and the hope is that this one will last a long time. Call it an investment I guess.

When I arrived home I did more research on shoes and bought the pair I wore in the store, only in a blush pink. I saw some others online which may also work, so I guess I’m going the way of madness anyway. /shrug

In any case I checked a couple boxes and felt like the whole day didn’t amount to much. I guess they can’t all be winners. Just like this blog post. 😉

Tomorrow’s Gonna be Great.

Just Wait!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-05 The One About Dresses

I’ve been awake since 6am and it’s 10 til 9 and I’m finally getting down to some serious thinking. Serious like cats milling about the living room deciding on the best place to nap. So, yeah, pretty serious.

The weekend went by like a bullet and I dodged a direct hit, for the most part. I had a lot of swell ups yesterday about this and that, but no time to stop and capture any of that with words. Any attempt today would probably be in vain, but what else have I got to work with? Just the same ole’ castle life musing so I might as well rewind the clock and replay Sunday in my mind.

The biggest swell came as I walked out of a dressing room wearing a wedding dress and stepped up on a low wooden pedestal and took my first look in the mirror. Seeing myself in that dress made the fact that I’m supposed to be getting married in 6 months really real. Naturally, I started to cry.

Those poor women at the little family owned store probably thought I was just so in love with the dress. They had no idea that it was actually a combination of angst, sadness, happiness, and sheer terror. How is that even possible?

My friend Sam was with me and she knows. She’s the one who suggested that we go. She’s been in my corner for years and a solid source of common sense and wonderful advice. We went to happy hour about 6 weeks ago and she asked how planning was going. My reply was something like “it still isn’t”. That was the truth.

Jim and I have been engaged since August of last year and all we had done was pick out a date. We didn’t even have a place to get married. I had done some work on “save the date” cards, because I was solid on that, but that’s it. At that time she urged that we needed to get started. She asked if we had talked about what we would be wearing. I had thought briefly about this too and left the thoughts alone in the back of my mind. I replied “not really”.

That’s when we set the date to go dress shopping and I made the commitment to have a place booked. Two weeks ago before we went to NYC, Z and I went and looked at a place. I told Jim it was just perfect for our needs and so we booked it. It was that easy. What else is there? Oh yeah, back to the dress.

I’ve never been wedding dress shopping before. The last time I got married it was 1993 and my future mother in law handed me a large black trash bag (literally) and inside was the dress she got married in. I took it home and tried it on. It fit. That was it.

That’s pretty much how all that wedding planning went. I was in the last semester of a two year associates degree program and taking like 16 credit hours and doing an internship at FDR. I didn’t have time to plan a wedding. My mother in law did, and it was really her thing and I just let all that happen. I didn’t care much about flowers and cake and decor and food. It would all just be forgotten anyway. That was my line of thinking.

Actually, my way of thinking about the topic hasn’t changed much. It’s not the wedding that’s important, it’s the marriage. The wedding is just a celebration of our love and lifelong commitment to each other, that commitment is where the gravity is. As such, it doesn’t really matter what we eat or if we have flowers or what we wear. Right?!!

Oh yeah, but back to the dress. I’m a dresses kind of girl. Short dresses, long dresses, fitted dresses and light flowing dresses. Black and white dresses and dresses with flowers, green dresses and cream colored ones too. I love to wear dresses and have always liked beautiful flowing skirts. Ones that waft up when you twirl around are the best. I also like ball gowns and princess dresses. I really enjoyed when my daughter went through the “Disney Princess” phase, and wanted to play dress up every day.

I thought I would just wear a simple party dress, but seeing all those beautiful wedding dresses kinda made me want one. Maybe I do want a special dress and have just not been able to admit it to myself. Then I saw my reflection in the mirror.

Maybe, just maybe, it WAS the dress I was crying about after all.

I proceeded to try on about 3 or 4 others that they had at that shop. What I found was the the more uncomfortable the dress was, the better it looked on me. Go figure.

We didn’t have an appointment. We didn’t even know you needed an appointment to try on wedding dresses. That shop let us try on because they didn’t have any other clients coming in that day. The second place we went didn’t have any open appointments so all we could do was look. I guess the wedding dress business is really serous. I also think that contributes to the fact that these dresses cost hundreds (even over a thousand) dollars. How can anyone justify spending a down payment for a car on a dress they are only going to wear once? Seriously.

Maybe that’s what I was really crying about. The cost of the dresses!! What a rip off!! It does make me quite torn.

Talking with Jim about it last night I said it was good for me to go see in-person what I might want and how it would look. I may do a little searching online for similar styles or something more reasonable. He joked and said he’s wearing shorts and a polo shirt so not to get too fancy. Point taken.

Of course it is not the first wedding for either of us so that’s a case for not doing all the traditional things. We could do something silly and fun instead. Whatever it is, we just need to start figuring it out.

But who has time for that anyway? I sure don’t.

There’s a lot of work that needs to get done here at the castle and what I really want is to find a nice spot to take a nap.

Everything else can wait. Including wedding planning. It is just Monday after all.

Exes and Ohhh’s, Yeses and No’s,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-02 Things that Can Happen When You Blink

And just like that, the majority of the summer is gone. I blinked and it came and went. It’s four days until school registration and 12 days from the start of it. It just doesn’t feel like we’ve had enough time. Sure, we’ve done some incredible things, but having some lazy, relaxing summer days just doesn’t seem like one of them. It’s always hurry up now, and onto the next thing.

Today is actually the first day in over three weeks that I’ve been able to wake up and enjoy my regular morning routine — chores, treadmill, writing, chilling with the cats. And what is it about never having time to pick up a book to read? I honestly thought when I quit my job, the reading would happen naturally. But my new gig is pretty demanding.

Yesterday I had all day, but ended up spending hours in the garden doing some much needed weeding and tending to my tomato’s that have become overgrown and were falling over. There went my afternoon. But it takes as long as it takes, you know.

I did get to ordering my books for the semester when I arrived back from our NYC adventure. They are now arriving on my doorstep daily and I’m craving to dive in, but I also have my first deadline this Sunday and so that’s a priority. It’s what I should be focusing on now instead of musing about my life. Still, getting back into my normal groove is important. I need to get this hour of walking in. I need to find my center of gravity. I need the music in my ears pointing me in some right direction.

Today I’m listening to Arcade Fire which was introduced to me by a new acquaintance from Res. Interesting guy.. and like so many people and experiences from Res, not enough time in life to explain them all. In any case, the color of this music has been shaping my thoughts for a couple of days.

It’s Friday today and that means the weekend is so near. This one is already shaping up to be a busy one which means that the summer slowdown I’ve been craving is nothing but a sweet daydream. The Summer office party for Jim’s work is on Saturday and then Sunday I have a date with my friend Sam to have lunch and go dress shopping. I’m trying not to think about that too much, or it will consume me.

Today is exactly 6 months from our wedding date.. which, as I am well aware, will also fly by in a blink. I’m far from prepared and feeling very different about the whole thing depending on the day of the week. On Tuesday I’m excited and by Saturday I’m downright terrified. This weekend will be a good time for me to talk with Jim about it, and I need to not chicken out (again).

Well, there you have it folks.. August 2nd, 2019 in a nutshell. Time to get moving and actually be productive doing something.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-17 The One About Marriage – Part 2

It’s Monday and the weekend went by too fast. We had a house full of teenagers again this go-round and it feels like I spent the entire weekend cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes. I don’t want this to turn into a rant but I just feel like I’ve gotta get it out. Every single time I walked through the kitchen, there was another mess waiting for me. I say “me” because clearly I’m the one with the lowest tolerance for mess.

In my head I’m all like “how hard is it to rinse your dirty dishes, wipe up spilled cheese or Ketchup, and not explode things in the microwave?” Apparently it’s pretty tough. And they seem fairly oblivious. It’s as if nobody has ever suggested they pick up after themselves before. Don’t even get me started on the lack of attention to recycling. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled empty soda cans and plastic cups out of the trash. I have to fight my own disgust but I do that because I hate to see recyclable materials go into the trash. But, again, I should not dwell here too long. Life is too short.

Among other things we did this past. weekend was the forward progress on wedding planning. I think it was Friday night when I finally breached the subject about my wedding angst with Jim. In truth, I put more weight on the wedding than the marriage, just like I did when I first opened the topic here in “Part 1”.

I began with the story about my first wedding and how it all just happened and I was a tangent in my own life. I never dreamed of a wedding growing up. I never had visions of what I wanted. I never even wanted to get married, as I grew up in a household in constant transition because of failed relationships.

When I was 19 and was unexpectedly proposed to, that set the wheels in motion and it was like a train on the tracks with no brakes. It was all sort of too much and there I was, outside myself and watching it happen. I was focused on finishing my associates degree and navigating a long distance relationship with my betrothed. All the while my future mother-in-law was planning our wedding.

Food, cake, flowers, balloons, centerpieces, bows for the end of the pews in the church, invitations, drinks, glasses to toast with, a knife to cut the cake, and some cute “precious moments” cake topper. No detail was too small and it was all just taken care of. I picked the color theme, midnight blue and black, but I guess midnight blue was tough to accommodate and we ended up with a bunch of stuff that was a lighter shade of blue – bridesmaid dresses, balloons, cummerbunds, and all the bows on everything. I picked the invitation, which was a black rose next to the text and that was the extent of my contribution.

The truth is that they probably asked me and I didn’t care. I was the anti-bridezilla. I didn’t even have my own dress. His mom gave me her dress and it fit and was good enough so I went with that. It was great because then I would not have to spend time dress shopping or spend any money on something I was only going to wear once. I digress.

On Friday night I told Jim I wasn’t sure about the whole wedding thing and that spending thousands of dollars just doesn’t seem justified. Let’s just say we rented a hall. That’s like $1000 right there. Catering will likely be $2500 and I have no idea how much decorations or all the little details will cost but I can easily see that the whole thing could cost $5000 or more. That’s enough for a really great vacation. Poof, gone.

We didn’t get very far with that conversation because there were other goings on and it just melted into the drama of other thoughts. He just said, “well just keep looking at the options and see how we feel”. We were seeing our first possible venue on Saturday so i agreed and so that was it.

On Saturday we went to check out two possible celebration locations and seeing those did nothing to sway my feelings. It didn’t make me excited and I had a hard time visualizing the event despite One of the spaces being decorated for a wedding reception already. The gal showing us the spaces was nice enough and provided a lot of detail for both. She even showed me pictures on her phone of different ideas.

All I kept thinking was that on top of everything else, the lions share of deciding how it should look is going to fall on me. Knowing what you want is sometimes the toughest part of any decision. How do you choose your job, your weekend plans, what to eat for dinner?. I’m so “go with the flow”, I don’t typically care. Perhaps it was good My now ex-MIL planned the last one.

I just did the math. That was 26 years ago. Good grief!!

One of the venues was ruled out completely because it was presumably too small for the amount of people we will likely invite. The other was large enough but I just didn’t get the right vibe. I could not tell if that was just me or because I didn’t like it. The best thing that came from the whole affair was the conversation that it spurred.

We talked about the guest list, what we both think about the entire weekend and what might be best in light of different dynamics involved. It was good for me to hear his thoughts. It makes it feel like more of a joint effort where both of us are involved. It makes me think that at the heart of my trepidation lies fear of divided and targeted roles and lines in the sand.

I don’t want to be the sole person responsible for always deciding things and always cleaning the kitchen. I’m looking past the wedding to the important part.. the marriage. It needs to be a partnership and a team and this whole wedding planning thing is a great litmus test. Though I have no idea what I would do if we fail.

By my latest estimate, we have about a month before the “save the date” postcards need to go out. That’s a thing now. I spent some time on Sunday going through hundreds of pics I’ve taken in the last year looking for good snaps we could use in the announcement. It was a nice reminder that the last year of my life has been pretty freaking great.

I know all of our years will not be like the first one we met, but if I hold the past year up as it’s own test, the marriage we are planning will be wonderful. I just need to keep that in mind. The wedding is just a blip in time, the marriage is what really matters.

I need to count myself among the fortunate ones. I’ve already figured out what I want and what I need and finally found that. So much of life is perspective and perception.

This “Part 2” is not the conclusion. There is more. I’m just peeling back the layers which will hopefully lead me to the answers I seek. It’s who I am. It’s why I’m here. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m no longer procrastinating thinking about it. Baby steps, you know?

The minutia of the day plays a part in all of it of course. And that will be fine as long as I don’t get stuck there in an endless “while” loop.. washing piles of dirty dishes and fishing soda cans out of the trash. Can I get a line of code with a conditional exit please? 😜

That’s all for today I suppose. T-minus 24 hours until I’m “on the move” again. Tomorrow’s agenda will be another change of scenery.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie