Monday, February 22, 2010

I don't even need drugs

So the past couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least. My brain has not been functioning properly. It started in the last few days of my visit to Canada. I started having dizzy spells which progressively got worse, to the point where I felt like I was drunk. I was having trouble saying my sentences properly, and I was having trouble focusing - both mentally and visually. It was both frustrating and scary. It's gotten better bit by bit, but I still don't feel completely normal.
However. After working til quarter after 2 a.m. Saturday night, I had to be at work at 10 a.m. Sunday morning. Running on 5 hours of sleep, something happened towards the end of my shift on Sunday that really stressed me out to the max. Fortunately it was resolved within a few minutes, but in that time of stress, I was literally seeing spots and my ears were ringing. That's when it dawned on me: Could this whole thing be totally mental and caused by stress? If me getting stressed out at work caused me to see spots, it's a definite possibility. I'm working, I'm in a serious relationship, I'm planning a wedding and honeymoon, and I'm looking for a new place. It doesn't look like much in writing, but wedding planning is by far the most stressful thing I've done in years. The thing that's the most stressful is not organizing everything, but having to deal with everyone else's input of how they think your wedding should be. And listening to their expressions of disappointment that your wedding is not what they want. A friend of mine that just got married recently wrote me to suggest a wedding photographer. In that email she also thanked me for being so nice to her and her husband a few days before the wedding. She expressed that weddings bring up a lot of ugly stuff so it was nice to have someone around that was genuinely happy for them. I sort of understood what she meant when I first read it, but as time goes by and the wedding date gets closer, I understand more and more. Engagements and weddings are supposed to be a celebratory time, but the only thing I feel like celebrating is that it's going to be over soon and I can just be married. 
If anyone has any suggestions of how I can de-stress enough to just feel like I'm in a normal headspace, that would be appreciated more than I can say.

Monday, February 8, 2010

All Wedding, All The Time

I've been in Canada for the past 2 weeks visiting family and friends, with the main goal of designing and getting fabric for The Dress. The trip has been delightful. Full of tea, home-cooked meals, family and friends. There was a bachelorette party and bridal shower thrown in there as well. I'm going to miss tea, my friends, and - especially - my mom when I leave but I'm comforted by the fact that I will see many of my friends and my mom at my wedding in a little over 3 months. And then the lightbulb goes and I realize: HOLY CUPCAKES I'M GETTING MARRIED IN JUST OVER 3 MONTHS! I'm going to be white-dress-wearing, aisle-strutting, vow-exchanging, picture-posing, cake-cutting, first-dancing, bloomin' MARRIED. How crazy is that? Crazy cool.

A few things I'm excited for in married life:
*Our own place. It means our own bedroom, our own kitchen, our own washer and drier, our own stuff. Making meals for each other and even being able to walk around stark naked if we want!
*The Honeymoon. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, saynomore. Of course, I'm talking about getting to take a really nice vacation with someone I love...
*Developing a married life routine. Most married couples cringe at the word and I can understand why, but I am a creature of routine and some can be nice. Like having breakfast together every morning.

I've gotten some really good marriage advice while I've been here which has been both comforting and empowering. Everyone has been really nice and thoughtful as well. A few people have offered to contribute their own art as a wedding present which I think is really cool. I've always wanted to have a lot of art around my house and it's even better that I'll have some by people I know and love!

Well I must be off now to bed since I have to wake up early to drive to Toronto with my mom to look at dress fabric. Woo!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sigh of Relief

It's all coming together. Thankfully I'll only be getting married once in my life (fingers crossed), so I'll be able to look back on these wedding planning months with a smile. We have the ceremony and reception sites booked! We're having the ceremony in the back yard of James' parents' house, where he grew up (and proposed to me). His mom and step-dad were really excited and sweet when we told them our plans for using the back yard for the ceremony. James' step-dad even said he'd build a gazebo for us to get married in! So James is planning on heading down there for a couple of weeks, after he finishes school in the spring to help get the place ready. The reception is going to be held at a place called Angel's Landing, which is a part of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I lived at Best Friends until I was 6 so I think it's pretty neat that the ceremony and reception are both happening in places where we grew up. Angel's Landing is beautiful, so I'm really excited to be having our reception there. Here's pictures!


So yeah it's a pretty nice place. There's a little river underneath the arch as I recall. If any of you creative types have any ideas for decorations, please feel free to give me your input! Instead of having the reception catered, we're going to give the guests maps of the city (with the programs for the ceremony) that have all the restaurants marked on it, and let them explore the city and eat where they want. Then, at the reception, we're just going to have a bunch of candy and treats for everyone. One of the general themes for the wedding is playfulness/fun/childhood, since we've known each other since we were kids, so I think the candy fits in well with that.

I've also got a pretty good idea of what I want my dress to look like. I'm flying up to Canada next week to visit my mom and go fabric shopping with her, since she's making my dress. Here's some pictures of the dresses I like :)

All of these are actually by the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings bridal line, which is why they have the names of Disney Princesses on them.

I like the Belle one the best.

We've also decided to use an iPod instead of a DJ (which I like because that means we can pick our own songs instead of relying on someone else), so if anyone has song suggestions then let's hear them!

I guess that's it for now!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I now understand Bridezillas

So you know how some people say, "Ohmygosh I had SO much fun being engaged and planning my wedding!" Well, I'm pretty sure all those people had wedding planners or coordinators. Otherwise, they're crazy. This is the most stressed out I've been in a while. What's our wedding budget? Who do we invite? Where are we having it? Who are we going to get to officiate? Is the reception going to be dinner or buffet? Who are we going to get to cater? What are our wedding colors? Who's going to be part of our bridal party? Where are our out-of-town guests going to stay? Where will we go on our honeymoon? Who's going to be our photographer? Who's going to make our cake? Who's going to be the videographer? Will the wedding be paid bar, dry, or B.Y.O.B.? And the question that immediately comes after every single one of those other questions: Can we afford it? Other thoughts we've had: Crap, we need to join a gym so we can look sexy by the wedding. We need to whiten our teeth.
I've noticed - in my wedding research - that the more expensive and big everything is, the higher the wedding is rated. 1,000 guests and a $50,000 budget = super great wedding. According to bridal magazines and websites. And the word that I most often see is "lavish". Lavish proposal. Lavish wedding. Lavish reception. Lavish bridal shower. Lavish bachelorette party. Lavish wedding dress. If it's lavish it's considered good. Well, James and I have never been especially lavish people. Right now we want to have our wedding in the back yard of James' parents house in Kanab, with the reception in this natural ampitheatre where I first lived in Kanab. We'll probably end up only having about 100 guests and have it catered locally. Not lavish, but very meaningful. Just like the proposal wasn't especially lavish. No rose petals everywhere, no horseback riding on the beach. But it was very meaningful. And I'd rather have a wedding/reception that is intimate and meaningful so that we can save our money for a - say it with me - LAVISH honeymoon.
Now that we have an almost-for-sure date set and an almost-for-sure wedding and reception site, I am much happier. That was the only thing that needed to be decided immediately, just so I could book the sites and tell everyone that lives out of town. I have yet to send out an official "save the date" but hopefully that'll be coming soon. So now that I don't have to worry about being lavish I can just concentrate on being genuine. And that is much less stressful.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Guess what?

I'M ENGAGED! Oh yes, my friends! It happened! James proposed tonight in front of his entire family, and I - of course - said YES! Wanna hear the story? Well, if you don't then stop reading now.

It was Christmas Eve and all through the house, everyone was excited because the family tradition is opening one gift on Christmas Eve! It's typically pajamas, which is what I got (thank you James) but then James' mom handed me another gift. I opened it, and it was my very own, handmade, personal stocking, with my name written on it. This was extremely special because usually people don't get a stocking until they've married into the family. So I cried because it was so sweet and it meant I was part of the family already. Then we watched his other family members open their pajama presents, while I hugged my beloved stocking to myself. After the presents had been opened, someone said, "Well, is that everything?" Everyone nodded. Then James said, "Actually...I have one more gift...for Emma." He pulled out a medium sized present and handed it to me. I started shaking. I thought, "Oh. My. Gosh. Is this it? No no no...don't psyche yourself out Emma. He told you he couldn't afford it yet. This isn't it." So - shaking - I unwrapped the present. Inside was another, slightly smaller, wrapped present. I laughed and unwrapped that present, only to find another - you guessed it - slightly smaller wrapped present. This happened a couple more times before I came to an oval, wooden box. Breath held, I opened the box and saw...nothing. I showed the empty box to James and he laughed. He said, "It's a promise." I looked down, trying to figure out what that meant, and when I looked up he was down on one knee - ring in hand. I threw my hands over my face and started sobbing happily. Then James said,"Emma, I love you. And I would be honored if you would be my wife and become a part of this family. Will you marry me?" Squeals from his family ensued as I managed to sob out a, "YES!" We hugged and both cried together and after a very happy kiss, he put the ring on my finger. His brother filmed the entire thing. And even though my hair has that weird I-had-my-hair-in-a-ponytail-earlier look, and I'm crying throughout most of it, I'm still very happy that it was filmed. Afterwards his family (and I mean his WHOLE family. All of his 6 other siblings were there, 2 with husbands and children, along with his grandmother, his mother, and his step-father.) came up and hugged us and congratulated us. And, of course, pictures were taken.
I am elated. Walking on a cloud. Still in a little bit of shock. I can't stop looking at this GORGEOUS ring. I'm the happiest, luckiest girl in the world.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Every Christmas season for the past several years now, I kind of get a little down because I know that my Christmas wont be like most other peoples'. Usually my Christmases have involved opening my dad's presents to me at his house, then driving to my brother's and watching his family opening presents. Sometimes I'll spend the night at my brother's while my dad drives back to SLC to go to some party his friends are having or something. It's not that I have any complaints about it, I just know that it's not the normal...thing. It's not a huge family deal with lots of relatives and food and traditions and presents. So it always made me a little sad to hear about everyone else's Christmases and how, well, normal they were.
This year, however, is different. This year I'm spending Christmas with James' family. And, from what James has told me, they have some pretty long-standing Christmas traditions. Now, call me old fashioned, but I have always wanted to have a Christmas surrounded by a big family with a bunch of cool traditions. I love traditions. For example: James' dad passed away 12 years ago in early December. Today, I asked him and his brother why there were apple and strawberry ornaments on their Christmas tree. His brother told me that, after their dad passed away, some people came and put up a tree in their house and decorated it like that. They've decorated it the same way every year since. It's a little heartbreaking, but I think it's also very sweet. I am so honored and excited to be spending this Christmas with this big, loving, happy, fun, funny family.
At the same time, there are also things that happen every Christmas season that break me out of my pity party and make me remember what the season is about. What every season should be about: Love. I have always been surrounded by so much love. Whether it's friends or family, I've always had so many people that I love and who love me. There have always been so many people who have been so kind to both me and my mom. It's often the only reason we've gotten through difficult times. Last year, one of my friends brought my mom flowers for Christmas. This year another friend brought her a very generous and thoughtful gift. I've had other friends that will call my mom on Christmas to wish her well, because they know that I'm out of town and she misses me. No matter how untraditional my Christmases have been, I have always been reminded of my greatest blessing and gift: Love. I have the most wonderful and extraordinary people in my life, and that will always be the best gift I could ever ask for.
So, to all of my friends who have been so wonderful to both me and my mom over the years: Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and have a wonderful Holiday :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Winter

I can't believe it's already December. It's absolute madness! I feel like it was summer last week. Where did the time go? I've been living in Utah for almost a year, working at G.S. for 6 months. Which is quite a feat for me since I never usually stay at a job for longer than 4 months.
While looking up flight prices to visit Canada in January, I took a peek a cruise prices. They're actually kind of cheap! Although I just did a general search with no specific dates or destinations, so there's probably some sort of sneaky fee hiding somewhere if I looked into it further. But now I really want to go on a cruise! I've never been on one, aside from when I was 16 and me and my mom took a "cruise" on this really crappy boat. Not a cruise ship, I refuse to call it that. It looked like a tugboat compared to the other cruise ships. But we did get to go to the Bahamas. It was one of those time share things where they trick you into thinking you're getting a really good deal but you're actually not. Anyway. I want to go on a real cruise. Someday.
Since it really is December, that means it really is winter now. I decided to make a little playlist of songs that make me think of winter. They're not all necessarily about winter, but they're just songs that - in some way or another - remind me of winter.

Bloc Party - Signs
(I think it's the bells in this that make me think of winter. Winter = songs with bells)

Joni Mitchell - River

Iron and Wine - Cinders And Smoke
(The harmonies in this feel like winter to me. Plus cinders and smoke = fire = winter)

Feist - Mushaboom
(She talks about "knee deep snow" in this song.)

Rogue Wave - Eyes
(I think the main reason this reminds me of winter is because it was in the movie Just Friends and the whole movie is set during the winter.)

That's all I can think of...but if I think of any more I'll be sure to post them throughout this winter!

P.S. The beauty of living in Utah is that it's only snowed once here. It hasn't snowed at all in Kanab. Hahahah!