Monday, January 19, 2009


I picked up yet another wedding book at the Border's Outlet this weekend (read: I had a gift card): The Everything Creative Wedding Book. So far (I'm almost halfway through) it's been a fun read.

Example, from page 159, regarding planning a destination wedding: "The weekend wedding is also ideal for Type-A personalities, as this type of celebration requires intensive planning, a high degree of organizational skill, and plenty of follow-up to ensure all the details are in place."

Wait. Did I write this book? Sounds like I'm on the right track.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

101 Reasons...

I know it's a bit late in the resolution-making game, but perhaps you're still wondering what kind of change you can make in 2009.

101 Reasons Why I'm Vegetarian

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comment Moderation

It's very cool that people who are currently residing in Brazil, Israel, India, Ireland, the Bahamas, and the UK have read my blog this week. And a few of you have even posted here. That's one of the great wonders of the World Wide Web... and also one of the great wonders of Site Meter.

Unfortunately, my blog has also attracted a lot of comment spam recently, so I'm placing some comment moderation on my account. While I mainly write for my own reflection, I truly enjoy a thoughtful comment from time to time. However, I don't consider a list of words (such as "prada bag," "handbag," "shoes," "necklace" etc.) to be thoughtful comments. These comments have since been deleted, so please take your business elsewhere.

As for you devoted readers (and you know who you are), please feel free to continue commenting, but understand that your comment will no longer immediately appear after posting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our Wedding Year

2009 marks what Jolyon has deemed our "Wedding Year."

The term is cute, despite the fact that his using it connotes his original protest to having a wedding in the first place. Having a wedding means planning that wedding, which requires effort and, more important, money. And in American culture, most weddings take a year, or longer, to plan... mainly because the couple has to reserve their ceremony and/or reception venues very far in advance. I'm looking forward to the planning aspect; as you know, I love to plan. Thus, Jolyon and I have entered our Wedding Year, in which our current effort is focused on finding the venue for our tropical destination wedding... a venue that doesn't require maxing out our credit cards, taking out a loan, or selling off the cats.

Over the weekend, I saw the movie Bride Wars. (It had been awhile since I'd seen a chick flick, so don't judge me.) While the majority of the ladies in the audience were obviously relating to the two young girls' dreams of having the "perfect" wedding at The Plaza in Manhatten, I caught myself thinking about my own childhood wedding dream in which I realized... I never had one. I must have been too busy getting grass stains on my clothes or playing whiffle ball with the neighborhood boys.

In fact, I didn't start thinking about wedding traditions or wedding details until Jolyon proposed. And even then, I didn't know what you were supposed to DO at a wedding, or what would be expected of you (I have only been to 1.5 weddings).

I started browsing through some over-priced wedding books at the book stores back in October.

Your Guide to a Picture-Perfect Wedding. (Wouldn't that depend on the individual's definition of perfection?)
How to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less Than $10,000. (People spend more than that? What the hell.)
The Ultimate Wedding Planner. (This book was heavier than my college astronomy textbook.)
Bride on a Budget. (Aren't we all on a budget?)

Needless to say, I was a bit jaded by the whole wedding idea after reading articles in some of those books. Did I say jaded? I mean overwhelmed. Overwhelmed at the thought of spending that much money on one day. Overwhelmed at the thought that somehow, for some strange out-of-character reason... I wanted to spend that much money on one day.

I feel guilty for wanting a wedding. And I'm having trouble figuring out the origin of this guilt... and the last thing I want is to feel a guilted weight as we plan this milestone day. Maybe it's because I know Jolyon doesn't want a wedding; he would kiss my feet and carry me directly to City Hall tomorrow morning if I let him. Maybe it's because my parents have offered us a large sum of money to pay for the wedding in a sub-par economy. Or maybe it's because I'm more traditional than I'd pegged myself to be. My original desire to have a casual beach wedding keeps getting distracted by magazine articles, bridal shows, and wedding websites. Ok, Wedding Industry. I give. What else do you want to throw my way before I decide that maybe Jolyon's suggestion to elope ain't so bad?

The wedding industry plays a mean little game with us brides-to-be. For example, I found this pretty spectacular-seeming location in Captiva Island: South Seas Island Beach Resort. They claim they can work with "any budget" and can "customize" most "packages." And, of course, they plaster their site with beautiful pictures and venues, appealing to my easily-persuaded emotional side. Naturally, I got excited, like the thousands of brides before me, I'm sure... until my requested information packet arrived via email, in which their per person price for the reception dinners was $200 each. For that kind of money, the food better be served on solid gold plates by the hands of Jesus himself.

I did, however (thanks to my stepfather's research), find a quaint beach inn, also located on Captiva Island: 'Tween Waters Inn. The location and amenities for an informal beach wedding seem almost too perfect, and their reasonable prices equally so. Perhaps their prices are cheaper than the other locations on Captiva Island because at this resort, you have to deal with a sales manager who speaks and writes in vague brevity, and from the reviews I've read, treats the brides as part of a wedding factory: several weddings per day with no special attention paid to the bride and groom. For her, it's truly "strictly business."

Truly, if the location is right for us, and is within our budget, I don't care if she doesn't become my pal. I read some positive reviews as well, though I suppose I will form my own opinion after Jolyon and I see this resort in person on the 31st. I've always wanted to venture to Captiva Island, so even if 'Tween Waters turns out not to be the location for us, it will be fun to see a different part of Florida.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: Open Eyes and Open Heart

Hey there, 2009.

At the risk of introducing my favorite cliche (sorry, but there's really no other way to sum it up): 2008 was one heck of a roller coaster ride--the vertical climb, followed by the lets's-scream-our-head-off drop, and a dozen crazy bends and twists, culminating with a screeching halt and an easy glide to the exit zone.

Let's gloss over the highlights...

In January, I helped my best friend, at the time, cope with the ending of her marriage. I coached her through the final stages of the divorce process; she had the inner strength to get through what seemed like the end of her universe... and I made sure she realized this. In turn, she helped me reach the clarity that I had been blinded to for years: I, too, was in an unhealthy relationship, denying myself true happiness by staying with someone I knew wasn't right for me. I truly believe that my friend and I met for a reason. We were each other's crutch during our lives' turning points.

In February, I sought the help of a therapist to promote my personal growth.

In March, I confessed to Jolyon, whom I had fallen in love with in 2007, that I didn't want him to date other people, and that I certainly wouldn't be able to either, because he had enhanced my life in every possible way.

In May, Jolyon moved in with me.

In June, I started playing soccer again. This was both a blessing and a curse, as I realized that my true "glory days" were long behind me; my body simply wouldn't let me perform on the field the same way it did when I was 18.

In July, I attended Liz's wedding, the first of my childhood friends to tie the knot.

In August, I ended what had been an incredible two-year friendship with the woman I had often referred to as my sister. This was an extremely difficult move for me, mainly because I was still hurt , angry, and confused... and not completely confidant I was making the best decision by shutting her out of my life. I never would have expected her to lie to me, and I eventually accepted that our friendship would never be the same, even if I did attempt to contact her again: "We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger " (Tad Williams).

In September, Jolyon and I went on our first cruise. On our first night at sea, he asked me to marry him.

2008 will be tucked away in its own separate memory box, in case I need to reference any of the many life-lessons learned. I'm moving forward into 2009 with open eyes, an open mind, and an open heart.