Archive for June, 2012

Remember that stress I was telling you about? Well, I wish I could say it had subsided, but I’d be lying.

And apparently I’m not very good at hiding it either. BNF told me this morning that my face looked like “a bundle of nerves,” which, I suppose, is technically accurate, too.

(Side note: I wish my face also showed him how excited I am. But apparently it can’t multi-task.)

I’ve found that when it comes to wedding stress, like with most things, you can divide reactions into two categories.

First, you have the traditionally supportive group. These are the friends, co-workers, and parents who ask you how you’re doing. And they accept it when you say, “Everything’s going great – I really feel okay.” But they’re also not surprised when you go on a ten minute rant about all the little things that you know no one is going to notice but you.

In fact, sometimes they tell you, “I think you needed that. You looked too calm.

And then you have the other group, who likes to “lighten the mood.”

These are the friends and family who joke, wouldn’t it be funny if [nightmare x] happened? Or, wouldn’t it be funny if so-and-so stood up during the ceremonyI could totally see that happening!

Or, the text message I received from my younger brother (an usher for the wedding) yesterday.

They scheduled me [at work] over the weekend i cant make it…sorry.

Now, did I, for one second, believe that it was true? Of course not.

Do I want to smack him anyway? Maybe just a little bit.

Will it stop him from making jokes right up until the ceremony?

Not a chance.

I just hope he remembers this when it’s his turn.

*A coworker shared her favorite piece of advice: “‘Worry until Thursday,’ because after that you really can’t change much. You just have to let it happen.” So that has been my mantra. 

Read Full Post »

My dad is 71 (you’d never guess it, though), and I’ve realized fairly recently that I don’t know nearly enough of his stories.

I know about our family, yes, but I don’t know his stories. The fun stuff.

I don’t know the craziest thing he’s ever done.

I don’t know who his best friends were (or are).

I don’t know what he’s most proud of.

And until recently, I didn’t know something as simple as who his favorite baseball team was growing up.

Usually, when I call home, I talk to my mom. We talk about anything and everything at length, and she humors me, even though I know that I’m the one dragging the conversation out.

When I talk to my dad, it’s usually about sports. Depending on the season, we’ll dissect what the Eagles or, right now, the Phillies are doing wrong. I’ll rant about Kendrick and Qualls as he listens patiently. And though I knew he grew up in New York, rooting for “anyone but the Yankees,” I never actually knew who his longtime favorite was.

So when he and my mom came down for my graduation, and we spent the day walking around Arlington National Cemetery, I took the time and simply asked.

The Cincinnati Reds,” he replied.

I wracked my brain to think of the connection, but couldn’t come up with one.

Why the Reds?

He thought for a moment before answering. He always does, and his answers are more intentional that way.

Maybe because they were really great while I was growing up. [beat] Or maybe because they were the ones who recruited me.

I’m slow sometimes.

Recruited you to do what?

To play. In 1959 they offered me a signing bonus to come up through their system.

As you might expect, I had a million questions, not least of which was, how have I never heard this before?

I guess the short answer would be because he didn’t take the offer. But the fact that something so amazing, so potentially life-altering, is in his history and I had absolutely no idea is mind-boggling to me.

It makes me wonder what other stories he has hidden up his sleeve.

And now seems as good a time as any to ask him.

Read Full Post »

When BNF and I got engaged and we started planning the wedding, I heard more advice than I’d bargained for. And occasionally more than I desired.

I was told how hard it would be, and how stressful. I was told how I’d have to do everything on my own, and how there were all these little details that I wouldn’t even think of.

Just wait,” PiC told me, “it’ll be a few days before the wedding and you’ll be writing out all the place cards by hand, while your fiance sits in front of the TV.”

I nodded and smiled, secretly thinking that I would be the one bride who would escape the stress.

After all, wedding planning was my happy place. When I was procrastinating on school work (and really, when wasn’t I?), I looked up table arrangements. When I was bored in class, I emailed vendors and nailed down schedules. And, contrary to PiC’s prediction, it wasn’t just me doing all the work – BNF has been amazing. Not just supportive, but involved.

But now we’re less than 20 days away, and apparently my psyche feels the need to make up for lost stress.

A sample:

    • Is it really okay to seat these relatives over here? Are they too far? Will they feel slighted?
    • What if someone shows up unexpectedly?
    • Will the set-up all go smoothly? Will I know?
    • What if my bridesmaids don’t like their presents? What if the flowers are wilted?
    • What if photos take too long? Or the ceremony takes too long? Am I allowed to give my pastor a time limit? (Note: I actually tried. He smiled, nodded, and gave me a figurative pat on the head.)

Logically and rationally I know that these things will be fine.

And I know that they are not what the wedding is all about. Not by a long shot.

But it is apparently impossible for me to not have something to stress over.

When everyone was giving me this advice, and telling me how stressful it would be, they also shared the “positive” side.

With all that stress you lose, like, five pounds in the month leading up to the wedding.”

Oh really?

Does the cheesecake sitting in my fridge know about this deal?

Read Full Post »

Don’t act like you weren’t expecting this. You know how I love me a list.

If the 26 list had several items requiring attitude adjustment (letting go of grudges, judging less), 27 is a little more concrete.

So, as I march into my late-20s, I want to:

1) Get married!

2) Go to Phillies spring training in Clearwater.

3) Learn to drive stick. My younger cousin tried to teach me once. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to give me another shot.

4) Make my own creme brulee. (I already own the blowtorch!)

5) Run Boston (which will also mean fundraising, because try as I might, I’m not qualifying).

6) Stop talking about doing more yoga and actually DO more yoga. Let’s aim for once a week.

7) Read more. Last year I set the bar at 10 books, and finished 18. So let’s go for 30 this year. With my new Kindle Fire I’m unstoppable!

8 ) Try a new recipe every other week.

9) Travel somewhere new, even if it’s a neighborhood in DC I’ve never been to before. Though I would like to branch out a little more than that.

10) Create a bucket list. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t done that yet.

11) Learn to fear the ocean less.

12) Eat dimsum. It just sounds fun.

13) Get involved with the youth program at church. For all the work I do with camp, you’d think I could do a little more locally.

14) Visit the Statue of Liberty. I was sick the day of the middle school class trip and I’ve never made up for it. Maybe we could even throw Ellis Island on there for good measure!

15) Replace my computer. My trusty MacBook is 5 1/2 years old and the hard drive has crashed twice. It’s time.

16) Host a seder.

17) Learn to make challah from scratch. (Do you notice the trend of food goals?)

18) Visit at least one new state.

19) Finish all the “thank you” notes within 2 months of the wedding.

20) Set a new half marathon PR.

21) Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon.

22) See all the Oscar nominations for Best Picture (before the Oscars).

23) Get involved in international volunteer work.

24) Volunteer at a race.

25) Explore my career options. (Yes, this is intentionally vague.)

26) Give blood. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you have to wait a year after getting a tattoo, so I should be eligible in May 2013.)

27) Set a new 10k PR.

I suppose this list could be summed up in three words: food, running, travel.

And I see nothing wrong with that.

Read Full Post »

I didn’t do quite so well on the birthday list this year.

I’m proud of a few things, but others, like I mentioned, are a little harder to measure.

For instance, I don’t think I’ve turned into a bridezilla (#19), but would anyone really tell me if I had?

On the positive side, I have…

…planned the better part of my wedding (#5).

…kept track of restaurants, even if I haven’t made it to all of them on my list (#21).

…taken more pride in my personal appearance (#25). I still sometimes leave the apartment with wet hair, but I also bought some hot rollers and can now leave home with sexy curls. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

…minimized job complaints (#26). Maybe because I’m happier at work, or maybe because there’s only one person who truly gets my goat, but complaints are down significantly.

I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t make the time for a Duck Tour (#13) or a DC United game (part of #24), but hopefully I’ll get to those by the end of the summer.

So I’m 18/26 with just the weekend to go. Not the best completion rate.

I do, however, still have about 72 hours to get my Duck Tour, stop judging and grudging (for real!), play golf, go to 4 different restaurants, and check out DC United.

Totally doable, right?


Okay. Maybe just the driving range, then.

Read Full Post »

Not for you. Don’t worry.

For me. Or rather, I am the spoiler.*

To say that I am impatient is an understatement. I like to think that it’s part of my charm, but I don’t ask just in case that’s not the case.

The thing is, I don’t think of it as “spoiling.” I think of it as enjoying the journey once I know the destination. I might already know the outcome, but I love finding out how we get there.

I do it with books, movies, TV shows – not all of them, but a lot. And occasionally I’ve even played Nancy Drew (can “detective” be another word for spoiler?) when I know BNF has a surprise up his sleeve. Which I suppose would only count as spoiling if I were ever able to figure out the surprise ahead of time.

But in preparing for this coming weekend I gave my inner Nancy Drew time off.

This weekend is my bridal shower and bachelorette party up in Philly, and I know next to nothing about what’s involved. Cla, the bridesmaids, and my mom have skillfully kept all details to themselves.

At one point, early on, I was talking to my mom, trying to weasel out some information.

Oh, do you want me to pass anything on to Cla? Any details or thoughts?

(I don’t remember my exact wording. I like to think I was sneakier than that. I probably wasn’t.)

No. I’ll call her myself.

Well played, Mama.

The thing I’m realizing, though, as I go into this, is that I’m SO excited to be surprised!

I mean, of course the control freak in me is dying to know every last detail, but the bigger part of me is as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. (A normal kid, who didn’t sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to dig through her stocking and try to peek at presents, and thus know what to expect.)

Now, does recognition of this feeling mean that I’m a reformed spoiler, and that I’m not going to look up the episodes of Game of Thrones anymore before I watch them?

Don’t be ridiculous.

But maybe I’ll resist the urge to guess the next time BNF mentions a surprise.


*For the record, I only ever spoil myself. I fully realize that not everyone shares my “must know now!” attitude.

Read Full Post »