Monday, April 23, 2012

"Thank you!" (part 1)

Oh, and by the way, what am I thanking you for again?

The title and first line sound way more Mean Girls than intended. Let me explain.

Actually, before I explain, let me pre-explain that I have some social anxieties. Oh, and by "some" I mean a lot. This exacerbates any already awkward social circumstance into a VERY awkward situation (at least inside my own head and body - my friends and colleagues claim that I come off "as cool as a cucumber," but inside I am absolutely gut-wrenching, armpit-sweat-drenching terrified).

When posed with meeting new people, especially new people that are not total strangers - so for example, friends of friends, extended family members (my own or others'), distant colleagues, etc. - I turn petrified. It is not even logical how inexplicably scared I am of meeting people and being around large (or sometimes smaller is way worse) groups of people.  For example, let's use this past weekend.

My lady's great Aunt was having her 100th birthday celebration - pretty incredible, right? As a result, there was a weekend full of celebrations for all the family that came into town. Now, this was her great Aunt, so it was not the family that I have spent the last four years getting to know and slowly but surely getting comfortable around. This was a whole different carton of milk that was untouched and unopened - there was only one of her dad's brothers coming who I had ever met before. On Friday night there was gathering at one of her grandson's houses which I did not attend... Not because I didn't want to be supportive and celebrate this momentous occasion, but because I was terrified to:
1) go to a stranger's house;
2) be put in the social situation of being introduced to likely 20-30+ people I had never met;
3) be the "lady friend" of my partner in this particular extended family setting;
4) have to "mingle" with everyone with no real agenda for an undecided amount of time ("mingling" and no end time really frighten me);
5) it is difficult to list out everything that contributes to this feeling of petrification, but I'll try to describe the feeling:
This is my MS Paint interpretation
of how I feel/felt. If only I knew
where the priceless picture
of me on the gondola is.
Imagine riding up a gondola in the stunning Canadian Rockies with your best friend's family as a 16 year old while it is heavily snowing. You have never skied down a mountain, or really even a large hill before. The one time you tried skiing down a (very) small hill you took a traumatic fall and have never skied again since. 10 years later, you as you ride the gondola to a destination you cannot even see from your seat, you turn a corner and can no longer see the parking lot or bottom of the mountain... you only see massive, jagged, and only partially snow-covered mountain peaks around you and the ground is thousands of feet below. You realize you are going to have to get down the mountain somehow, and likely down one of those massive and death-inviting slopes you are facing. 

That, my friend, is how I feel leading up to situation where I will be meeting new people, mingling with new people, or in charge of successfully leading a group of people.


I sound like a real box of cracker jacks at this point, don't I? Well, I want to be fair and be sure to communicate that I am fully aware of the fact that this makes me a little crazy and my thinking is totally illogical. None of the four reasons above were anything that would have actually been all that bad and I would have survived and probably really enjoyed myself. I always end up having a great time and nothing is ever as bad or as scary and uncomfortable as I think it will be. That never seems to make up for the sick-to-my-stomach feeling I get before going into a situation like that, however. Time and time (and time) again I still get the same anxiety. You see, I care way to much about how I am perceived externally and making the right decisions about what I say and do (it doesn't take a head doctor to figure that out, but he sure does help).

You know, talking through this makes me very confident in my initial decision to turn down the job where I would have been facilitating groups of people every single night, full-time (I'm sure it also helps that I know also have secured another job, but still). Dodged a bullet there, eh?

I think this might be a great place for some sort of explanation of the title of this post. However, I have already gone on for quite sometime about this whole social anxiety issue.I think this post might be better used to explain why I am hell bent on having a "small" wedding. I mean, I think the moral of this becomes quite clear when you think about everything I have just described... if I have anyone at my wedding that I am not totally comfortable around and have met at least once, if not several times before, I will be a mess.

Now, you might say, "but you just said that once the anticipation stage is over and you are in-the-moment your are fine and enjoy yourself!" True. However, maybe I need to explain what me being the "petrification stage" is like for those around me, most namely, my lady and love of my life...

In general, I am really difficult to live with. I am very OCD and have to have a lot of things perfect. I have been known to break down if someone fails to use a coaster (only to her, never to company - I know I am crazy and would never project that onto a guest, I get that it is illogical and unnecessary). So, in this "petrification stage" the volume on this behavior gets amplified by about a hundred bazillion (or more). Since usually I am in this stage in the car, as we drive to wherever this experience is going to take place, I start picking at her there... "Blinker, much?"     "Why did you turn this way?"         "I can't believe you didn't check your blind spot, obviously you want us to get hit."      "Why did you turn the radio down, don't you like that song? It's my favorite."       "Do we really need to drive this slow?"     "Looking for a ticket? ...Well, I just don't get why else you would go 15 mph over the speed limit." (Some of these did, indeed, come out of my mouth on the way to the birthday dinner on Saturday evening)

"I'm the Bride that's why *******!"
... I think you get the point. Those are just the quick examples. It's unbearable, and that's just the surface. To my credit, there is usually a point where I realize I am being absolutely ridiculous and may even be able to force a laugh, but not always. Sometimes that doesn't happen until post-event when the anxiety has finally exited my body (or a nice glass of wine or beer never hurts) and I can reflect and see how immensely ludicrous I get.

Three cheers for therapy, right friends?

So, again, moral here is that no one wants me to be like that the days and hours leading up to my wedding. That means no distant third cousins or long lost grade-school friends. Combine this post with the "our wedding shall be small" post and you likely have all the rationale necessary for the size and contents of my guest list (and if not, my lady's picture here can provide the remaining rationale).

Moral or no moral,  I still have shed absolutely no light on the "thank you" title and initial rude-sounding commentary above, given this huge tangent on why I want I small guest list due to anxiety. What a cliff-hanger!

I'll explain another day. It too, is related to both getting married and social anxiety, as you may have been able to piece together (ooh, foreshadowing).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Take 2.

I know I once said I wish I had a backyard. I haven’t quite gotten over that, I guess.

In fact, my mom’s gchat message (yes, we gchat, a lot) the evening after she read that blog entry is still sticking to my brain and likely the seed that has grown into this post formerly known as “I wish I had a backyard.”

“You can always use our backyard at the farmhouse, you know.” Yeah, I know. If only the farmhouse wasn’t a full state of Nebraska, Iowa (can we please spend a moment thinking how absurd it is that Iowa is a place in which two women can get married? Iowa? really? Come on LGBT civil rights activists, couldn't we have prioritized anywhere else?*), Illinois and Indiana away. I really do want to get married here in Colorado. That being said, especially after continuing to look at vacation houses to rent, recreating a family friendly feeling backyard is not as organic as you might think (or not think).

the place we really like
I am a fan of, if you have never been, you should go. Vacation Rentals By Owner(s). I’ve mainly been looking at places in Estes Park and outside of Colorado Springs. I would LOVE to do it in Estes Park but it seems like places are significantly more expensive for no good reason. They also tend to be much more keen on doing the 6 night minimum stay during peak season and most places in the Springs are only 3 to 4 day minimums during peak season. 

There is this one place I absolutely love and we actually already looked at - it is within walking distance to town (Estes Park) and right on the river with this beautiful little spot in the back to do the ceremony - but to do the full stay of a week is way out of the budget. They have special things for weddings so you don't have to do a full week, but I am sure that since it is for a "wedding" the cost certainly won't go down, most likely. Nevertheless, there's hope! There are so many gorgeous little places and even if they don't sleep quite as many as I had once hoped, oh well! That's why god made air mattresses (and hotels), right? I mean, who wouldn't want to stay in the infamous Stanley Hotel (the Shining is based on it) and attend our big ol' party? Sign me up.
this is the area in the backyard of the place we
went and saw... I have a picture that I took, but
I can safely say that Estes Park in the summer
is a huge step up from Estes Park in February...
(it's on Fall River)

Then again, of course, we could just buy a house before next June that has a nice big backyard... but that's really not the same. A backyard in southeast Denver and a backyard overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park... hmm... tough choice when thinking about a wedding... RMNP, please. 

another option
This just got really fun! Not that is hasn't been, but actually emailing with hotels around reserving rooms and looking at cabins/lodges to do the ceremony at (and stay in) makes it so exciting - how do people not have the time of their life doing this?! I was worried about everyone finding places to stay in Estes Park because it is so small, but it turns out that there are like a billion little inns and hotels in Estes Park - none more than 2-3 miles away from each other. 

another place... elk are good, right?
I think I especially enjoy looking at actual "wedding" packages and reception sites (which I don't really want to use, but I think it's a good idea to know my options) when they have a "bride's name" and a "groom's name" place in the information/contact form. It always strikes me as odd that they would have this as such a staple part of their form, but I suppose it's fair. Honestly I'm not sure why it shocks me that it is there. I do enjoy pointing out that we are two brides. That's part of the reason I want to use the place on Fall River because it is owned by the couple that own the antique store where we bought our engagement rings. I feel like they really took away some of the anxiety I had around buying rings as two women at a ma-and-pop store and ended up being really awesome and supportive.

So, here it is. You know, I feel like places that up the charges when they hear the title of "wedding" really need to re-think that when it is two women. I mean, if we can't actually be legally married on your premises, you probably shouldn't charge us for it (or at least throw in a free tchotchke?). Consider that my PSA for the day. Deep.

I think I will especially enjoy finding out and sharing how this all works out - if only trying to have a "backyard wedding" when you don't have a backyard was easier. Maybe I should start a wedding planning service for mountain backyard weddings to help brides figure out the complications of all this? That would qualify as outside of education, most certainly. Hmmm...

Ideally I would love to find a cabin with a beautiful backyard that sleeps about 12-16 people comfortably. Then, have family and friends not in the wedding be able to stay in nearby cabins, inns, and hotels - none more than a mile or two away. The best part is how close we would be to Estes Park lake... which means a run of at least 3.75 miles the morning of the wedding for everyone involved. I am still hoping for at least a 10k or a half marathon for everyone to do (run, walk, bike, parade float, however you wish), but 3.75 miles is a starting point. We shall see what we end up with!

*Nothing against Iowa, really. Corn and cows are the heart of this fine nation. That being said, if one midwest state was going to legalize gay marriage, I could think of others that would be more alluring destination for the gay population of the midwest (+ Colorado).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's a really good day.

So life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately, and to be quite frank, the last thing I have wanted to think about was planning and paying for my wedding. The only wedding book I have been able to bear looking at is the Bridal Bargains book I was given on Saturday afternoon (thank you chica!). Bargains = REALLY appealing. Especially when thinking about planning a wedding when I...
a) didn't have a job
b) had a terrible job
c) was so upset about not having a job or at least a good job that I just decided to stop planning a wedding, period.

However, as so many of my close friends and family have attempted to drill into my head over the last two months... everything was going to work out.

And it did!

Not the way I was planning or would have liked it too, but the end result is likely exactly how it would be even if I would have still had several options to choose from (as I did last week). Certainly a few too many emotional ups and downs - but my decision is much easier given that the job I thought I might likely take was off the table and the job everyone told me I should be taking anyway, is the one I get to accept (and already have!).

I get to do what I love most, research, design, and innovate... every single day. Better yet, I still get to work for the same amazing organization and have the same incredible benefits and flexibility (and I actually get to amp that flexibility way up!).

So now that I can wrap my head around things other than my future career prospects, I can return to self-indulging myself in the endless stream of conscious writing I was really growing to love and find oh-so-cathartic.Get excited.

Also, speaking of my lady (I totally was, right?)... As she just got home from work (I called her mid-class to give her the news) to congratulate me, I said, "Thank God, right? Because you probably couldn't have handled me in this state much longer, huh?"

Her answer? (get the kleenex and wine out to go with the cheeese...) "I can handle you forever."

:cough:  :cough:

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I promise I will have direction again with the next post.

Today, however, I have no theme or direction. Today, like this past weekend, has been a bit of an anxiety whirlwind in the non-wedding realm and, as a result, it sort of incapacitates the wedding half of my brain from working (not that I am devoting a whole half to my brain to wedding planning, I'm just referencing the half that does that sort of thing... however, I think both the left and the right are pretty involved given the nature of things, so just disregard it entirely).

Today, after being thrown a few bombs today in the world of what-brings-home-the-bacon (and, quite frankly, the world of what makes our country a better place for kids, hmph), I feel pretty spent. The horizon is looking borderline terrifying for a girl who is about get married, likely buy a house and you know, maybe have a kid of my own.

Security = desired.  Security is not what I have.

I got to the moral so quickly today! Weird. So, what is it? Well, as I have learned so very much the hard way in the last several weeks and months, just because things are going really well in one part of your life, this does not guarantee you anything similar in any other facet of your life. I don't say this in a "woe is me" way, but simply matter of fact.

It is blindingly clear (at the moment, this will fade) to me why some brides-to-be turn into total and utter monsters leading up to their wedding. Now, let's be real, I am not naive in understanding that planning (and paying for) a wedding is likely stressful, and stress turns some people into ugly little critters. However, it is also one of the very best times of your life (well it should be, anyway) and you should be happy and joyful and full of love for everyone in the process, not the bride of Bigfoot (who could very well be a pleasant lady, so please do excuse my assumption). I've never quite understood the ladies who go down that dark and festering path of fist clenching, hyperventilating, crazy-eyes bride-to-be.

see, this is NOT what is happening (sadly... they seem so happy!)
used from:
News Flash! (to me, I am going to give anyone reading this the benefit of the doubt that I am the one out of the loop on this)
Brides aren't just sitting in their parlor lounging in their bridal skivvies with their best girl friends eating tootsie rolls and planning every detail of their wedding for ten months straight. 
They have things to do and get done in the non-wedding realm as well. And, as a result of you know, real life happening, things get a little hectic. People drive you a little crazy. You turn into the scariest thing dressed in white since a beekeeper mixed with Marilyn Monroe.

Just letting that sink in.

Moving on.

Now, I am no where near the stages of constant decision making, phone calling, following up, and feeling the budget pull. However, I get it. On top of that, I am ridiculously thankful we decided to have our wedding next June so that hopefully (oh dear goodness do I hope) all of my job issues will be figured out (as in, I will have one and I will be happy in it) and I won't be a basket case covered in a white napkin (getting married to another woman in a state that doesn't recognize it all while hearing 'Friday' by Jessica Black played on the ukulele on repeat).

So what's next?

Well, I am going to lay in the puddle of crazy I have going on this evening and soak it up. I am going to hope that the bombs dropped on me today all are happening for a reason, and that everything will turn out as perfect as possible and as intended. I know life isn't always a fairytale with a happily every after ending, but I would like to think that what ever the plan is for me, I am making the decision that is the right one and will end up getting me closer to whatever my version of happily ever after is.

Additionally, I am also going to read through the new beautiful engagement card that greeted me when I got home today way more times than necessary and be really thankful that I have such an amazing soon-to-be-wife, family, and friends. I'll distract myself from the bacon-world and "what am I going to be when I grow up?" tizzy by searching for wedding cabins/venues and filling my head with 180 more ideas for our wedding that will only continue to make the decisions making and planning process more difficult.

Thank goodness for the distraction of wedding planning. 

Wait. Maybe I'm giving those bridezillas way more credit and understanding than they deserve... they should be thanking their lucky stars they've had something to be preoccupied with for a year!


(see? it faded)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

it's official now (right?)

I must say that at times I have felt like this whole being engaged and going-to-be-hitched soon thing isn't real, as in R-E-A-L. The reasons for why I feel like this vary on any given day (and sometimes I don't feel this way at all!), but I think the three staple reasons are as follows:
  1. The lack of recognition of the joyous occasion by some of our loved ones (see, "telling the family and friends").
  2. Getting married in June of 2013 is really great because it gives me months to create my rockin' celebration... but it is also still 14 months away. That's over a year. I mean, it is closer than "never," yes, but it seems far off. Things like booking places (and people... and dresses... woo hoo!) won't happen for at least another month or two - those types of "officially" things will likely really help take the imagination station out of it (anyone? anyone?).
  3. The fact that we actually CAN'T be married in the eyes of the state and knowing it will be "pretend" for (quite possibly) many years to come... (Agh? Yes. I know it is silly I view this as such, but I do. Maybe we'll travel to Iowa a lot... irony)

So all that being said, get serious. I am getting married, bitches!

That is more like it.

Now, the three reasons listed above are (for the most part) logically acceptable and understandable reasons for why I have felt this way. Having been engaged almost a month now I feel confident in those three reasons explaining this phenomenon of how I feel on frequent occasions. Yes, phenomenon.

As of yesterday when the mail chic came, however, this whole ballgame took a serious turn. It's official now. Yes now, not Yesterday at 3:45pm when the mail chica had not yet come, but now. Now as in now. Between the bold, italics, and underlining, I am sure you get it now (now).

She brought us two gifts (well, not her personally, we aren't that tight with her). One in package form and one in envelope form. It is these two items that changed the weather so dramatically around my head. And, to be perfectly fair, I suppose they do actually somewhat (kind-of) work towards meeting the basic needs missing in my life given reason #1 and reason #2 above. So maybe it is not so surprising.

But, essentially, it is kind of absurd that they made me/"it" feel so much more official. 

The first thing I open was a personalized stamp. Apparently, once you become "engaged" per Facebook, they take it upon themselves to make sure that every ad you see alongside your profile and feed is very directly related to your status. Weddings, weddings, weddings, (and more weddings) is all I ever see on there. Wedding photos, engagement photos, wedding favors, wedding cakes, wedding registries, wedding venues, oh and so much more (things I didn't even know existed in wedding-land...).

In one of the first few days that these ads started to reside on my screen, I noticed an ad for something I had also gotten an email about, wedding Groupons. Now, if there is one thing I love almost as much as a good bottle of Andre champagne it's an extremely well-timed and useful Groupon. Clicking on this ad brought me to a special section of Groupon... all weddings, all the time. Seriously! There were Groupons on for almost everything wedding-related that I can think of. One of which was, indeed, this personalized stamp. "A personalized stamp?!" I thought... oh yes, this is indeed exactly what we need.

I bought the Groupon without hesitation and was chomping at the bit to be able to use it. The next day I was able to log into the website, design my stamp, and it was on its way (it was actually too easy, I would have liked to savor the experience a bit longer, fyi). Why was I so excited for this damn stamp? Because I knew I could design a stamp that did not commit me to any wedding colors, theme, people, favors, shoes, dress, or anything else. We both have names. First, middles, and last. That wasn't going to change before the wedding. I was going to get to buy something very personalized, usable for all things wedding related, and still not commit to anything wedding idea related. How great is that?
the beautiful, wonderful, and
oh-so-official stamp
"the sign," as my lady just
coined it*

I went around the house stamping everything in sight when it arrived yesterday. I was a five-year-old with a new set of Crayola markers  ready for Kindergarten (certainly not me as a 5 year old with a new set of markers, I would have never wasted my markers on just anything - but some 5 year old that is not me). When my lady came home I am confient she thought I had gone a little cray-cray (aka "crazy"), but she was clearly happy about it too. I mean, hello. It's a stamp (awesome), self-inking (awesome), it has a big ol' 'B' on it (double awesome), and both of our names (double awesome). It's permanent. I'm in love with it. Call it ridiculous, but after using the stamp and seeing its mark, everything just seemed less pretend.

This pales in comparison to the surprise in the envelope (hard to believe, right?).

When my lady got home and opened up the mail we found we had a card, addressed to both of us, from her Aunt and Uncle. With Easter the day before I assumed it was just a late Easter card (don't worry, it's not that we get a lot of Easter cards and you don't, it was just the only occasion I could think of).  There was a note tucked inside that went on to say how happy they were to hear we were getting married and how excited they were to be at our wedding. Now this my people, was big. I leapt up to get a look at the card... was it still actually an Easter card, with just a nice note?

real-life, 100% gen-u-ine cardstock.
Oh no... what to my wondering eyes should appear?

It was an engagement card. A 100% genuine "Congratulations" bearing engagement card. Our first of its kind.

On top of that, for it to come from her Aunt and Uncle just meant the world (and then some) to both of us.

It was like killing two birds with one stone, if you will. We are talking a real-life engagement card here. And then, most importantly, a real life engagement card from my lady's Aunt and Uncle. So happy. True tears of happiness found their way on to both of our cheeseball cheeks. Yep, it was one of those moments.

So really, I think this goes back to what I said very early on and apparently just don't live by. In time, everything will be golden. People, including myself need time (and boxes and envelopes filled with surprises).  Our engagement will feel "real" (our wedding will be real, ahem), family will be genuinely excited as though we were any two opposite sex peter, paul or marys, and life will be just rainbows and puppies.

I'm not a patient person.

*Her last name is blocked only for some ridiculous sense of privacy. I realize it is in vain.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

missing at my wedding.

Every Easter I spend the day thinking about and remembering one person. One of the single most intelligent, talented, hard-working and beautiful women I will ever know. I missed the last Easter that my grandma was with us - I was in Canada skiing with my best friend and family and we were having the time of our lives.
my grandma with my brother and me

That June she passed away.

For the last ten years (which is unbelievable) since she passed I have spent every Easter (and so many days in between) just feeling overcome with guilt and regret that I wasn't there to spend our last Easter with her. In the last year or two, and especially today, I realized that instead of feeling sad and full of regret, I should spend the day thinking the happiest, most wonderful things about my grandma... about all of the things that made her such an incredibly special woman (who also raised a pretty incredible daughter or four, if I might say so myself).

As I was just sitting on the couch, thinking about how much I miss her and how much I wish I could just see her, talk to her, get a hug from her one more time (wouldn't that be great with anyone we love so much that has passed?), I had another realization.

One of things I always think about when I think my grandma is the last note she ever sent me, that to this day makes me fall to pieces when I read it. She gave it to me for my 17th birthday, May 1, 2002 (well, shortly thereafter). In the most fragile writing I had ever seen from her she wished me a belated happy birthday and told me to "have a great senior year."

In telling me to have a great senior year she was speaking a million words she would never get to say to me, acknowledging a thousand conversations we would never get to have, and surrendering to all of the life events we had left to experience together. 

my grandma and my brother
Today I realized what one of those events is. I know it has crossed my mind before, but today it really sunk in. I no longer am just "going to get married one day" and she would miss it "one day." I am getting married next June, and she will miss it next June. Only physically, yes... to each their own on anything beyond that. I know she's with me everyday with everything she taught and shared with me before she passed away, and also through my mother with the beliefs she instilled in her that she has also passed onto me. But she won't be there and it isn't some far off fairytale event, it's real and it's approaching.

I miss her now as I do every day, and I will deeply miss her not being at my wedding. I will miss her showing up in what I know would be the most fashionably fantastic over-seventy-I'm-heading-to-church outfit. This woman knew how to dress-up and accessorize. On my wedding day I won't get to have that moment that I always thought was so awkward when I was kid but miss now, naturally... when she would walk in the door and see me she would hug me and then she would always also kiss me. I would always think she was going to kiss me on my cheek, but then she'd kiss me on my lips, and of course she always would have just put lipstick on (which then came off on my face/lips) and I was generally totally and completely mortified.  It's funny the things you remember so vividly, isn't it?

"To a beautiful granddaughter,
We wish you a very belated congratulations on your engagement. We love you very much and have a wonderful wedding. 
Grandpa and Grandma Lang"

(I wish :)

I love you. I miss you so (so) much and think of you everyday. I know you'll be there in my heart. I don't think these tears will ever go away when I think of you, but know they are not just sad tears, but also happy ones as I think of all the amazing things you left behind in this world to carry on.

And P.S., you would just love "my lady."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

puppies and rainbows (and miley cyrus's attire choices?)

My anxiety has been so high about things unrelated to wedding planning for the last couple of days I actually thought I just might resign from posting for a few days. Then, as I was lying in bed this morning, reeling through all the crazy in my head at the moment, I realized that part of the reason I am so anxious is actually both directly and indirectly related to my upcoming plans of matrimony and wedded bliss (that sounded great, didn't it? ... a little beach bungalow with the breeze blowing the white curtains...). Explanation immediately forthcoming.

Explanation: (see?)
I'm on a job hunt. In February I discovered that I had redesigned myself right out of my current role and the role I was being offered as a replacement I was less than thrilled about. Aside from it being a lot of facilitation, I would be spending three days on a semi-weekly basis living in Colorado Springs and would be working until 9-10pm on Tuesdays through Thursdays whether I was in the Springs or not. For many weeks I simply felt "out of job" and was frantically searching for my next step in life. I was planning to make these kinds of decisions in the coming 1-2 years, but I definitely saw one more year of myself where I was (am).

Granted, I was lucky (some people might say "blessed" in this instance, but that's not really my style). I was not jobless, I had an offer. Now, at the time I saw it as a terrible offer, but an offer no less which is more than many people can say in our fine nation. I would have loved to have found out sooner (much sooner) that the roles my manager and I invented were going to put me out of a role myself (or into that very role we created), but I didn't. I found out in mid to late February. Taking the necessary steps to apply to business school and actually get into business school were not an option given that it was already February (this is one of the things I am seriously considering, that was not just a random fact).

After talking with my managers and doing some exploring and information interviewing, I applied for a Director of Design role on the national side of things in TFA and was (am) super excited about it. The turn around time was quick to get my application in but within a week I already had my hat thrown in to the pool for that job and was on my way. It was a great fit for me and I felt (slightly) more optimistic.

I continued to network and search job boards high and low across the state in non-profit and even ventured outside to other sectors. With how well I know my strengths and what I enjoy doing - what drives me - finding a really great position with so much on the line and such a finite timeline was not going to be easy. Again, however, all was not lost, I have a back-up. I was not going to be  (or rather, did not have to be) a newly-engaged-wedding-planning chica with no job (and no money).

As time passed I started feeling serious pressure around continuing to have the back-up role held for me, and decided I need to choose: if I didn't get the director of design role, would it even be something I would be happy taking, given the hours, travel, and heavy group facilitation aspects of the role? I thought my answer was an easy, "no." However, after two trips to the mountains and back, sitting in the car with my lady discussing the pros and cons of it all, I became surprisingly optimistic about the role I had been offered on the regional team to replace my current role. In fact, I was downright excited about it. I may have even said, "why am I even applying for this other director role anyway?" (that was short-lived). The excitement was not short-lived, however, and I went back to work the following week (the one day I was alive before bronchitis struck) and was able to say that I would more than likely take the regional role if I was not offered the national director of design role.

Whew! I was not going to be jobless. Thank goodness. [serious amounts of relief]

However, I remained in limbo. I still had an interview for the director role to get through and the timeline for that role was not going to complete itself until mid to late April, as it stood. Then, of course, something new falls into my lap. An opening to work with two of the people I respect in education (and in general) most at a school that is doing some incredibly innovative and exciting things. My ears immediately perked up when my partner explained what the role was and boom, the wheels were in motion. What had become a moderately bearable limbo-of-uncertainty was thrown (very much) off kilter. The plate spinners lost their plates, if you will.

This past week was a whirlwind. I fell in love with the job I just mentioned and I had my first interview for the director of design role (the last several weeks have consisted of pretend-project creation and whatnot). With the new job prospect everything has been getting re-examined with a fine tooth comb. There is an extensive Google spreadsheet of pros and cons for all three job choices living on my desktop and being discussed and meticulously gone over (and over) by me (with the help of my family and my lady). There is bold-type and color-coding and likely more elaborations to come. Yes, definitely more elaborations to come since I just checked my email and found out I have been offered the second (and final) interview for the director of design role as of about 10 minutes ago.

this was not a girl for whom it
mattered if she had good
benefits or an extra several Gs
(me as a 4th year in college
doing god knows what)
OK, so you have the explanation. Why is my body overflowing with anxiety and almost borderline unable to function? There is so much indecision! This isn't five years ago when I was able to just say, "Well golly gee, Denver sounds like a nice place to live, who cares what I will make in salary or what kind of benefits I will have... who needs a doctor? who needs extra-money?" etc. I am trying to plan a wedding here, people! Weddings cost money. And beyond that, and to be quite honest, on the much more important side of things, I am part of a "family unit" (as it was put to me this week :) and things like a higher salary and benefits that will actually cover us having a baby (whew! I threw that out there!) are really important to us. They matter. An extra several thousand dollars a year does make a difference, especially when we are talking about choosing between two jobs that are both great. Things like being able to work from home and from anywhere do matter. However, things like "what I would be happiest doing everyday" also matter. It's just that instead of that being 95% of my decision like it may have been 5 years ago, it is more like 60%-70%. How much weight do these things carry? How much should certain things matter? Ahhh! It's terrifying. Does that fact that is would be great to have an extra several thousand dollars to put towards the wedding factor in to my decision? Well, I don't think it should, but it is. That's what happens, and that is why I am feeling borderline crazy this weekend.
us telling our "puppies" that we were
getting married

There you have it folks.

see, this is a puppies and rainbows
kind of moment
So the moral of this is that I am really feeling like a puppies and rainbows decision would be really (really) great right now. And, more importantly, what is up with the paparazzis' obsession with what Miley Cyrus chooses to work out in? Get serious people.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

thunder stealers.

from "nestorcation"
Whew! First official wedding decision complete (and I am so excited). I know, this is unexpected and seemingly spontaneous. Not really. This is (quite possibly) the only thing that my lady and I have been sure of since (before) day one of the engagement. This is the only thing that my head doesn't have a thousand ideas floating around for. Just one.

There has been no question who we want to officiate our wedding, aka, be our minister. No ideas on Pinterest or inspiration from wedding books and magazines needed or desired. Just pure gut instinct and what makes my heart happy (and my lady's, too).

Not a ton of people I know (who aren't LGBTQ) have a huge repertoire of gay couples as friends, but my dearest "nestor" not only has many, but, coincidentally, also had another of her close friends get engaged to another woman on the same exact day as us. No joke.

                           stealing. my. thunder.

I joke. Sort of.

Well, I was joking... until tonight, when (after two weeks of her and I being unable to actually see each other face to face due to me coming down with bronchitis and her having work take over her life) she announces that these two other lovely ladies asked her to officiate their wedding.


Disclaimer: To warn you, I am about to sound a little chemically imbalanced... (and straight up high maintenance, but its really just that I am an emotional emily and really get my heart set on things, I admit it.)
So, I reacted like a small child and/or crazy jealous girlfriend and just started crying when I read it (on Facebook, at that!). Now, to be fair, I had to read it online because we kept not seeing each other due to us canceling on each other like flaky flakes. She really had been trying to tell me in person for two weeks - mostly because she knows how jealous/small-childish I can be - but she finally burst after our plans fell through again last night. I love her and she was totally doing the right thing.

Talk about stealing my thunder. Not her. Them. Clearly, I don't blame her, I blame the other lesbians (actually, not really at all). Seriously though, what are the odds that you get engaged on the same day as me and then also ask one of my best friends to be the minister at your wedding?

Come on coincidence, try being on my side. Just for like, one day. That's all.

Moving on. I called her tonight (at the request of my love who was a little appalled that I was crying like a five year old reading Facebook) to ask her (and let her know that I didn't hate her). She was jubilant (although skeptical I wasn't just messing with her) and accepted, and we are thrilled. Significantly anticlimactic in comparison to how I wanted to ask her, but momentous and happy nevertheless.  

Lesson learned: Never worry that two other women can steal your thunder. My wedding will be fabulous and no one can ruin that by just existing.  Ignore others. Well, that's what "nestor" claimed anyway (pretty sure when she started throwing around "whores" and "nothing else matters" she was just trying to make me feel better - but you know, it worked). 

our minister and me :)
Now I just have to figure out how I am going to ask my other ladies and gents that I want to be in the wedding to be part of the fiesta. I know everything does't have to be a big deal, I just want it to be perfect and oh-so-special (not to mention we have to actually figure out what we are going to call the wedding party and what they are going to do, as I don't see us going by the book on this). This will be the only gay marriage a lot of these people are witnesses too and I want perfection. Not in the bridezilla way, just in the ashley boven way.

Here's to more decisions!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I wish I had a backyard.

Well, I sort of do. To be clear, I really wish I had a backyard and I kind-of sort-of already have one.

Our backyard-park (Garland Park)
More clarity (and why the hell I seem to be caught up in a tizzy about backyards):
  • Our backyard is a 7' by 9' patch of dirt that for about 25% of the year I attempt to plant grass in and then for the other 75% of the year I watch die. I have probably spent over $1,000 dollars on this 63 square foot patch of land trying to make it be grassy. Dirt 1, Boven 0.
  • Our backyard also has a 10'ish by 9' cement patio.
  • Neither of these entities are large enough to host 75 people for a ceremony and/or reception ("Ohhhh!" you might be saying).
  • Our backyard is a stones throw from the park pictured here, which could possibly sort-of count as our backyard. But it isn't. 
So, to repeat: I wish I had a backyard.

I want this imaginary backyard because I would love to be able to just say, "oh, of course dahhh-ling, we'll just have the soiree in the backyard." No idea why I want to say that or sound like that (if you were able to hear the "dahhling" in your head), but it is what I would like. Trying to re-create your own homey, down to earth, backyard-esque wedding in a stranger's house is not only not the same thing (at all), but turns out, really expensive.

This is me, cutting our
grass - this was probably
my best grass-growing
attempt,  ever.
Mom and Dad, you totally want to move out here to a nice mountain home (with a backyard) before, oh, say... late June 2013? Great. Problem solved.

Wouldn't it be great though to rent a big six or eight bedroom mountain house for the week or weekend and have the whole wedding party able to just hang out in the house, all together - big happy family style? Playing drinking games, word party, hiking, relaxing in the sun (and by the pool and hot tub...), oh man...  I think so. I am hell bent on this just being a really freaking good time for all.
Did I mention I was using scissors?
(and that I am in my bridesmaid
dress from my brother's wedding?)

(Oh don't forget training for the half marathon we will all run the morning of the nuptials! Seriously. I will permit walking, to be fair. And likely parade floats, too.)

Too bad I don't own that house (and by "that house" I mean "some house in the mountains that would fit this description"). Nevertheless, I live in a great place where there are plenty (even like the one I described) to choose from! The six night minimum in the summer for so many places is getting to be the only issue (not that I wouldn't love to stay for six nights, it just makes it really costly!). I suppose when we are talking about housing for 15 to 20+ people, it is probably more realistic than I am wrapping my head around.

I would cook sweet potatoes nonstop, all week, in this figment-of-my-imagination-mountain-house I need to reserve in the next one to two months. Each day I would pick a different form to cook my sweet potatoes in (sweet potato fries, sweet potato chips, mashed sweet potatoes, cubed sweet potatoes, sweet potato crisps, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato...) and then serve it all at the wedding reception. It'd be like Bubba Gump Sweet Potato Co.... Dreams can come true.

Dreams come true in backyards, to be fair (like getting your dream swingset? trampoline? Mmm hmmm).

In other news:
Based on the fact that I literally sat at my kitchen table this morning crying like I lost my puppy, I really want to share this article that came across my news feed this morning. It is truly moving (and if you are a parent, be warned, you may be even more touched - maybe, who knows). The letter is from a mother (and includes a letter from her son) in response to an article that was written several months ago.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sad, but true.

After a late night out last night and just getting home tonight, I will likely keep this post very short (if I spend all my time blogging instead of with my lady I may stop having anything to blog about, ahem). It is, however, the late night out yesterday that sparked this story/reflection/group of thoughts/whatever you want to call it.

Jen and Julie Goldman
We went to go see a very close friend who is a stand-up comedian perform at a local club we frequent on occasion when we feel like kickin' our heels up. In honor of the women's final four being in Denver, two great Denver organizations, Babes Around Denver and Hip Chicks Out, put on a myriad of events over the course of the weekend in celebration of the occasion (as you might be able to imagine, there are a lot of "allies" in women's sports...). Last night was a comedy show with Julie Goldman as the headliner, and our dear friend Jen Sculley as the MC. They both did amazing, naturally.
Jen and Julie

I had never heard of Julie Goldman before (I'm not necessarily the "hippest chick out," if you will), but she seemed like somewhat of a big deal, at least in the community of people we were with. She ended her routine with an apparently pretty infamous little song she does called "commitment ceremony." Given that, if you are much of a detective, you can likely see where this post is headed. Now, the song is actually very funny. Sitting in a room full of women-loving women it was clear the song was not only a hit, but rang very very true in all of our ears, given the very genuine and hearty laughter that filled the space (which is saying something, as it was a pretty massive dance floor turned into an odd stage-space). It struck a lot of chords, to say the least.

So, pause.
You may want to stop and quickly watch what I will title as "I want to commitment ceremony you" by Julie Goldman or this option for the on-stage version, but you should skip to 1:05 and likely not watch the beginning part (it isn't rated G) if you opt for the second choice - they are both the same song. Just different settings. Oh, and regardless of the option you choose it still is not going to be G. Just a heads up.

Carrying on.
I started out laughing pretty loudly with the rest of the audience. As the song went on I got a little lost in thought (this is something that happens to me a lot, you might say). All that kept going through my head was...
"if only it wasn't a joke"

I mean, here we all sat laughing as though Bozo the clown himself was on stage (not sure that is really a good analogy, but just go with it - pretend you are your 4 year old self for a moment)... and what were we laughing at? Our own lack of civil rights in the state and country we call home? Check. Before the song started, she asked a room full of couples, "who's married out there?" Well, obviously no one was legally, but only one couple cheered. The two women had gone to Canada and gotten married. One couple out of hundreds... they traveled all the way to Canada (yes, Iowa is closer now), and yet there they sat and they technically were not married. The comedian went on to ask the audience just about couples, period. Trust me, there were many couples in this room (32 years together, 17 years together, 8 years together, 12 years together...). Out of all these hundreds of couples, one couple was "kind-of" married. 

Why? I think the title of this blog explains as much as there is to say here. It's a matter of simply not being afforded the right. Kind of silly, right? Ridiculous? ______? Indeed.  Instead, I get to get "commitment ceremonied" to my lady! 

Now, granted, I will call this my wedding and I will be married. None of this "union" or "commitment ceremony" balderdash. If it hasn't been clear, the title of this blog is a joke - that same joke Julie Goldman capitalized on in her song. The moral of the story here is just that I wish it wasn't - I very dearly wish it wasn't... I mean, jokes should be reserved for things like "Rick Santorum" (if you have the slightest hesitation or confusion around this, 31 Rick Santorum quotes should shed some light on it for you) or perhaps the interrupting cow.

Jen and Me
If only it wasn't a joke, I could be planning my wedding without any hesitation of the social backlash from it. I wouldn't have to continue to answer, "but, isn't it illegal there?" every time I explain that I am going to have my wedding right here in Colorado. I wouldn't be planning my honeymoon around flying out of NY, WA, or some other state where two women can be considered "married" in the eyes of the state. If getting married was a civil right I could count on, I would likely have never worried what my family and friends were going to say when I told them I was dating a woman in the first place... but it's a joke. 

If only it wasn't a joke - a joke that society perpetuates even our own community encourages. I know we laugh because it is so ridiculous, but we still laugh.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I'm not (too) ashamed to admit that I have had a wedding board on Pinterest since the day I discovered Pinterest and started scouring the "Wedding & Events" themed pins several months ago. We are talking early fall 2011 (for you mathematic types, that is a solid six months prior to my lady putting-a-ring-on-it).

If you aren't familiar with what Pinterest is, it is basically another location on this new-fangled thing we call the "internet" (that Al Gore clearly invented) where you can spend (waste) a lot of time if you are the right kind of person. Someone like, oh, say, my brother, for example, likely would not enjoy it (although there is a Geek as well as a Technology theme for boards and pins) as much as me, but it's pretty soul-sucking no matter who you are... I digress.

So last Fall, when the Pinterest soul-sucking first started, is when the another of aspect of my vision for our wedding was formed... "I want to do it all myself." Well, as much as I can do myself and still keep a full-time job and a partner who actually still wants to marry me when the wedding day comes. Trust me, when you start seeing all the ridiculously neat stuff that people do (and then share and then put on Pinterest for me to see and drool over) it is a natural reaction, even if it is a bit batty (yes, batty). The ideas that exist and spark in my imagination around planning a wedding - especially a wedding with two lovely ladies getting hitched and no attachment from either side to keeping to any kind of "tradition" - are endless!! Frighteningly so with the help of the world wide web.

This is not the part that scares me... I am actually head-over-heels excited about getting to actually personally create as much as possible for my wedding. You might say I'm a crafty bitch (and some of you are likely thinking also a little naive knowing how much work it will be - but I do what want). You might not say that, but that's your personal choice. 

The problem that this whole DIY (Do-It-Yourself) fire that has been lit inside of me is creating is that there are like 4,453,789 different ideas floating around in my head that cover everything from the way I tell my girls and guys I want them to be in the wedding, to what I call those people, to the colors, to the flowers (or to the lack of the flowers), to the venue to the ceremony to the table layout to the centerpieces (or lack there of) to the lights to the music to the cake (or likely lack there of).... wheeew! Stop in the name of love there Babbling Bertha. 

Now granted,  before we all get off on a tizzy,  everything I just listed off are all typical, run o' the mill things two brides to be need to be pondering. No doubt (to be fair, is anything "typical, run of the mill" when you are talking about two brides? Hmmm). However! For each category, I have what is likely equal to about 4,572 times the ideas that a bride from the oh, say 1970s may have gotten from her mom, and about 678 times the ideas that bride from 1997 got from a few bridal magazines and a book. Now, to go a step further, I want you to then double each of the exaggerated numbers I just threw out because no matter what idea I see on a blog, Pinterest, in a book, in a a magazine, or hear about from a friend - when I start trying to modify it to work for two women or simply try to accommodate my own personal style - things just get even more convoluted. Endless ideas. Endless.

In case I lost anyone (I think I kind of lost myself there for a moment), the moral of the story is that there are a lot of decisions to be made and simply making even one is really incredibly difficult. It is sort of like when you have to sit down to write a massive 20 to 40 page research paper and you have so (so!) many things to do it is hard to even pick up your pen (or open a word document for all you tech-savvy people) and just put your name on it. It overwhelming, and that's an understatement. This brings me back to Pinterest and why it is way more fun to continue to "pin" (post) things to me "If I ever have a wedding" board rather than actually hunker down and start to pin things to my recently created "So, I'm having a wedding" board (which is clear given that one has over 350 pins and the other has under 5). It's so much easier to just have all of these fun and whimsical ideas... why can't I have a wedding that uses all of them? The theme of the wedding could just be having multiple personalities (I mean, I likely do, so why stray?)...

Eventually I will actually have to start deciding on things... like a "location" and "venue" (pshhhh). But first I will have to finalize the desired "date"...
     ...In reality, we have picked a date and in reality we know where we would like to have it. However, putting that in a stone tablet (we are the Flintstones - didn't you know?) just seems so un-changeable and monochromatic. Maybe this is why people get married 4 or 5 times (kidding, love!), you get to plan 4 to 5 times as many huge and amazingly bomb-tastic parties! Deciding on one theme or one way of doing things just seems so boring and final (who needs just one way of cooking sweet potatoes, after all?). Who knew planning something so fun was going to require so many of my very least favorite things - decisions

I'll start making them soon. I think I want to stay in the brainstorming phase just a bit longer though. You do only get to do this once in your life, after all.

And don't worry, if there is one decisions I will yell loud and proud from every roof top it is that sweet potatoes will not be cooked just one way at this par-tay... Phew.


Just one more thing, did you know it is spelled Flintstones?! I did not.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"our wedding shall be small"

I'm quite sure that anybody who has ever planned a wedding (or attempted to plan a wedding?) already knows everything I am about to carry on about. Turns out this is one thing that gay or not, is likely to come up pretty early on in the wedding planning. Months and months ago when we started discussing the topic of marriage more seriously, I put a single stake in the ground...

"our wedding shall be small"

Honestly, in my happy go-lucky little mind I was thinking maybe 30-40 people, certainly no more than 50. Whew, 50. This decision didn't stem from my severe social anxiety or anything related to my psychological imbalances (OK, I'm sure we could trace it there - but in general...). I simply had been to several weddings in the past three or four years and took careful notice of every detail (that's what I do after all - meticulously memorize and absorb the details of everything around me). The number one thing I took away was a feeling of stress from the bride (and usually the groom) around making sure they got a chance to mingle with everyone at their big ol' party. This is totally natural - of course you need to mingle with everyone - they are there just for you (and likely bringing you gifts or traveling long distances... neither of which is *cheap*). The stress is understandable and I think it's perfectly fair  and appropriate to say that the wrong solution to this would be to simply not mingle with all of your guests (aka rude).

My solution is/was to have a small wedding. Well, that was my ideal solution. Ha.

Turns out that unless you are planning to invite only immediate family and like your two BFFs, 30 to 40 people is a joke. The night before we went up (to the place) to buy our rings I was sitting, lost in thought, at the end of a bustling table of friends at the Roo Bar and got caught up in a whim of inspiration (that was sparked by the big white napkin - an empty canvas, if you will - in front of me) and started listing out the people we would invite as guests to our "small" and what I had up until that moment possibly even ventured to coin - naively - as "intimiate."

I do things like this all the time so everyone just let me be while I sipped my beer and furiously wrote names out on the napkin. I started with the closest friends we would want to have in the wedding, in some capacity (not sure what our titles are yet for those people - "chicas and chicos of awesomeness"? No.), and carried on to immediate and close extended family, and then with the rest of our closest friends who we also consider family. And then I counted up the names...

I was like "damn, Ashley, you're good." Then I remembered that people have significant others...

Uh oh... What about that great Aunt always-so-nice and Uncle so-and-so who we just couldn't bear to not invite?! Oh, and that one person you used to work with a few years ago that was such a huge fan of ours that we don't see a ton but would just feel awful to not invite them?

I think (I hope) my point is clear. 30 to 40 people was downright naive. Under 50 was dreamy. Under 75 is optimistic but definitely feasible (if I go over 100 I will call the whole thing off). Ambitious and feasible, just the way Teach For America raised me. I should point out that my partner (or my lady - which she finds downright hilarious that I insist on referring to her as such) nor I have a massive family - we are also not entirely sure that all of our family members even want to attend. We both are one of two siblings and we each have one parent with one sibling and one parent with three siblings. This doesn't create an excessively huge amount of people... I can't even wrap my head around trying to have a small wedding as a child in a large extended family. So our family takes up about 50 of those 75 slots. I feel great about that. Better yet, I am confident the world understands... we want a small wedding which translates to very close friends and family. It doesn't mean I have a vendetta against or dislike for anyone that is left off, I just really want to enjoy my day and weekend of wedding-ness. And let's be real, inviting guests to a wedding who are not super to moderately close with the bride and bride is really (or really can be) just inconsiderate - especially when we are talking about a wedding that is in neither of our home states. The travel alone is expensive, let alone attire, extra expenses, etc.

I'm looking forward to the wedding weekend as a three to four day incredibly festive and celebratory jubilation where I get genuinely enjoy the company of those that have come to kick up their heels with us. I want to cherish every minute of it and not be anxious, stressed, or sad for a single moment (again, optimistic and ambitious!). In planning backwards from that weekend, when I see myself walking down the aisle with a face of sheer joy, I know that part of what will create such a beautiful day/moment is a small enough group of people that I can interact in a very genuine way with each and every single one. I feel as though it is borderline selfish, but I hope not (or as the woman on pinterest the other day who commented on my post of my Tigers flip flops that said, "You can do what ever you want. It's your day!" ... thanks Cindy). 

What's the moral of this?
So why drone on about this if I appear to be in such a good place about it? Well, it's not always that easy. Again, something that anyone who has planned a wedding likely already knows. My lady has had some serious anxiety around even spilling the great news that we are getting married because of this size conundrum (??), in fact. So, the other day, I explained my thoughts on this conundrum of hers. 

I started by first saying that people get that a wedding is something very personal and just because you say, "hi" to someone everyday or may have shared a drink at a work Christmas party three years ago doesn't mean that an invite is assumed. People get it. Even I get it and I have pretty much maxed out on the social anxiety side of things (I did, admittedly, have to take some time to figure this out). Just because you might not be planning to invite all 50+ of your co-workers to your wedding doesn't mean you can't share the news and have some bonding-time giddiness with them. It's fun (which is what this is all about, after all) and people want to be happy for you and genuinely share in your news - regardless of if they know your dog's middle name. 

Of course, with us both being teachers, I then felt the need to go on and model how I shared the news with friends and co-workers. Explaining immediately to people (once the "oohs" and "aahhhs" about the rings die down) that we want to have small wedding is really understandable and something everyone can sympathize with and sometimes likely even empathize with if they have been in the wedding planning shoes before. So we were good to go. You can have a small wedding and people will be understanding as long as you explain it to them... right? 

Wrong. I mean, mostly right. Honestly though, you can't count on everyone. No more than 48 hours after we had this chat last week we were out with some close and not as close friends (or even acquaintances-of-my-lady-and-me might be a much better label). One of the more distant friends had not yet had their moment with my partner to hear the story and get excited for her - clearly one of the best parts of getting engaged is all of these moments (I mean, and of course a billion other things too - like knowing lifelong happiness is in your future, yadda yadda yadda). It was no sooner than the moment this person saw the rings and I heard it...

"well, I mean, I'd like to think I'd be invited, right?" 


I swooped in and immediately started talking, "haha! wow, what a whirlwind... do you know how hard it is to plan a wedding? whew! just getting our family on the list was almost 50 people - and to think I wanted it under 50 people! Ha, silly me. Well we are definitely sticking with under 75... yep, not going to be easy but we know people will understand..."

Not sure it saved the day... but I tried. Chalk it up to me learning another lesson about people and how you just can't bank on any kind of reactions.

Honestly, if I could invite 200 people and still enjoy myself and feel like I really got to interact and celebrate with all 200 people, I would. I really really would. I would love to celebrate our marriage with as as many people as possible... who wouldn't? It's just not that easy, turns out.