The “Yucky Love Stuff”

There’s this great scene in one of my all-time favorite chick-flicks (My Best Friend’s Wedding) where Julia Roberts says “This is not about longevity. This is about me being comfortable with the yucky love stuff. And I am.”

The whole film is about her facing how she’s ran away from love (and the “yucky love stuff”) all her life until her best friend, Michael, meets and proposes to the love of his life (played by Cameron Diaz). And yet Julia always took for granted that Michael would be there for her and be in love with her. He wasn’t. Now she had to stand in his wedding and she spends the whole time trying to ruin the wedding so he doesn’t marry Cameron.

But really, Julia doesn’t want to marry Michael and she’s probably not really that comfortable with the yucky love stuff. She just doesn’t want to be alone and grow old without her best friend. And that makes sense. But she still spends the whole movie trying to ruin his wedding.

There are a lot of people like Julia. Many of them are internet commenters (although I have some great commenters here, lately) and sometimes, your own friends surprise you and are those “Julia’s.”

***

Not entirely unrelated, I was just watching this Ellen clip about Mila Kunis and her pregnancy/engagement to Ashton Kutcher (celeb gossip–so sue me.). Mila’s keeping her baby’s sex and name private and she and Ashton kept the engagement ring private for two months. Something I’ve learned in life is that not everyone is supportive of happy people and sometimes it’s just best to keep your happiest moments private. The minute you start sharing how awesome your life is, the minute haters come on the scene. Let’s be honest. It’s just natural if we’re feeling shitty about our own lives to feel like no one’s life can possibly be THAT good. But sometimes life can be THAT good, and sometimes those are perfect MOMENTS (no one’s life is perfect 100% of the time), not an indication of a perfect LIFE. Either way, happy people want to be around people who are happy for them, not around people who are critical of them. And that’s why Mila and Ashton (and every other celebrity couple) keeps their private lives private–because really, one’s private life (and the up’s and down’s everyone goes through) shouldn’t be fodder for public scrutiny. Our personal lives aren’t the Hunger Games, so why should we share intimate things with the public if we don’t feel like it?

***

All this to say, I’m in love and I’m happy. I’ve also kept it pretty private and am going to keep doing that until I feel like sharing it. There are a lot of reasons I wanted to do the private thing, and one of them had to do with people’s reactions to me when I first announced I was “on the market.” The amount of married/taken men on the prowl for sex seemed to jump sky high and I was getting propositioned like a straight whore during those few weeks. It was baffling. It was insulting. It was enough to make me reconsider sharing intimate details of my personal life on Facebook again, so I pulled back and kept dating, but doing so on a more low-key level.

I told the boyfriend that before I met him, I wasn’t planning on doing a public relationship–not on Facebook, not on the blog, etc. Considering how public I am with things here, I feel like it’s most respectful of him if I don’t blog too much about him/us (yet). It’s new. It’s magical. I don’t need to disclose all of those moments with the world. Maybe I will one day, but right now the story is being written and it’s all ours. It makes it more intimate to know that those memories aren’t being blasted through social media. They aren’t being hated on. They aren’t being discussed. They’re just building.

I realize the private relationship thing isn’t for everyone, but to me it makes it more sacred. Knowing that there’s at least one thing I don’t share openly with the world–moments I have all to myself with someone else, and feelings that I don’t spoil by opening up for internet opinions. This is what makes things between he and I more magical right now. It’s all ours.

What I can say is that we’ve had some magical dates and we have a lot in common–more than I expected to find in someone, to be honest. And also, I highly recommend the “yucky love stuff” because it can be pretty fucking fantastic–even (and especially when) your whole head turns to mush.

soul

Why Is “Normal” The Enemy?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how a “normal” life has been the “enemy” for so much of my life. I’m not sure exactly where I got the idea that working a 9-5, having a husband/kids/house/dog would be awful, but I lived a lot of my life craving adventure and something I was passionate for. Absolutely nothing else would do. While I still love adventure (and can’t live without passion, of course), I think I’m starting to realize that normal feels right for me right now. I’m craving stability, routine–like my puppy, Olive–and realizing this isn’t a bad thing.

I used to think normal and routine were boring. How dull and unfortunate those people were who led predictable lives. How sad not to have passion driving you to do everything you possibly can do in a short amount of time.

I don’t think that’s true anymore–or at least not in the same way I once thought it was. Having lived my 20s as one of those zealous, unpredictable people, I can tell you that the road to that much passion is paved with burnout–usually more than one burnout. For me it also involved a lot of moving and constant emotional upheaval when my passions changed or shifted (as they so often do). It wasn’t until recently, actually, that I was talking to some people (explaining this drive to constantly move and switch jobs and feel trapped in relationships) that one of them said “that sounds like a textbook case of adult ADD.” I was a bit stunned. I had never ever considered ADD as a possible reason I felt compelled to move around a lot and live on a whim and a passion.

As a group of us discussed it (and our possible ‘symptoms’) I realized there was a real possibility I had ADD. In fact, one of the group’s members shared a test you can take at home and I scored really really high on it, meaning I need to see a professional about it soon. My point is, sometimes being adventurous and passionate are amazing. Sometimes they can also come with the inability to focus, feelings of boredom or feeling trapped, not finishing projects, and sometimes instability. Sometimes the glory of adventure brings with it a lot of negative things, too.

ADD kind of makes sense for me. I’ve moved a lot. I get bored with jobs easily, especially when they’re not an intellectual challenge for me anymore or if I don’t feel I’m able to grow professionally within a company. But the most scary symptom happened to me recently and it’s what made me speak up about this pattern in the first place. I realized I had accomplished most of the things on my goal list for writing and I was starting to feel almost…bored. With my dream job. I panicked. Here I was at the most successful point in my professional life and I was starting to wonder what was next and I couldn’t find anything writing related to put on the list. The only thing I hadn’t accomplished was in-progress and going well and otherwise, there wasn’t anything left for me to try. The only thing that kept coming up on the list was to learn computer animation and start a web comic. That doesn’t mean those are bad dreams–it just meant that my whole identity was having a crisis because those aren’t writing-centric.

Writing has always been my identity and my savior. When I was a child, writing was the thing that drove me to dream. When I was depressed, writing was the thing that drove me out of bed. Writing hasn’t just been something I’ve done; it’s part of me. It’s been the thing I’ve defined myself as for years. When someone asks who I am, “I’m a writer” follows.

It still is part of me and my identity. In fact, I’ve been taking a social media break this past week to work on my writing projects. But before I considered I may have ADD, part of me was really sad that I might be getting bored with writing. Or at the very least, I wasn’t sure where else to go with my writing career. And that was very stressful.

Maybe more than that, what worries me is that my priorities are shifting. Money is now a priority for me. I’m 30 and the things that I used to consider “old people” priorities really are 30 year old priorities: houses, health insurance, 401Ks, savings plans, investments, big back yards, and vacations. It feels weird. Being in ministry meant that I was in debt, and then leaving ministry meant I was behind in earning my degree and figuring out how I wanted to make a living. Being a writer meant I could steal be an idealist, but it meant that I would be poor. I’m sorry, but I did the poor minister thing and I can’t do the poor writer thing.

I think that’s what some of this is about. For so long, “normal” (houses/health insurance/401Ks) meant that I was “settling” and I was “giving up.” The people who influenced me told me I couldn’t have “normal” things AND passion. I don’t look at it that way now. I know I haven’t given up. I’ve gotten a lot fucking smarter. I know that to finance my writing career, I need a “boring” 9-5 and some health insurance. And guess what? I have actually found a day job that pays well and makes me happy to go to work. But it’s not writing. That means I will be writing into my retirement years to get everything accomplished and that means that my day job will look pretty damn different from my night job as a writer, but after a great deal of soul searching and experimentation with “dream jobs”, I realized that I like money and stability. A lot. I like safety and safety nets. I like savings accounts and low amounts of debt. I never really realized that I would turn into what the 20 year old version of me despised and love it. But I did. And I’m okay with that.

fought to become

I love who I am, even if it looks boring to someone else. I don’t care what people think about my life’s choices, because I’ve learned that the secret to my happiness is stability. It’s to feel safe, to be prepared, to have a routine. It’s to be a bit normal. Sometimes that means wishing I could just write all day every day and instead having to go to a job that has nothing to do with writing, but I wouldn’t trade that stable feeling for anything. It’s my happiness. 

 

When Activism Turns to Hate

I’m beginning to notice that it’s very normal for former fundamentalists to become loud-mouthed, opinionated activists. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or activists for that matter. In many ways, activism is a natural progression for those of us who have been repressed and oppressed. Liberalism does represent hope, equality and fairness for all, and that’s why we’re drawn to it. In other ways, though, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself and of other people’s feelings when you become an activist. Liberalism can be as vitriolic, blind, and one-sided as the Tea Party. And liberalism is not ever 100% right or unbiased.

I know this is a contentious subject and this is the internet, so there will be hate-filled emails filling up my inbox soon. Because I don’t have time to enter into debate with so many haters, I won’t be allowing comments on this post. I also don’t give a fuck if you don’t like that. I don’t have time to have a heated debate on here. I simply am not interested in a battle, because if you want to have a battle of intellect, that’s one thing, but a battle of hatred, I can’t and won’t participate in.

It’s important for me to write this, though, because I was such an outspoken activist for so long. Although not all activism is bad, sometimes when we’re activists we’re less concerned about how many people and friendships we plow down in the way to our goal. We are driven, idealistic, and we feel we need to “save the world.” This isn’t unlike my days as a “soldier for Christ” in a cult. The passion-fueled idealism is actually quite the same. The blind zest to change the world and change other people’s views (as opposed to accepting them) isn’t far removed from fundamentalism. So, I guess, the questions I’m interested in putting out there is: At what point do we examine our activist ways and compare them to our fundamentalist ways? Are they the same in some ways? In what ways are they different? Will we wake up one day to realize that being a moderate doesn’t mean being the enemy? That maybe the world is less black and white than we think? And maybe being able to look at subjects with fairness (and from both sides) might actually help improve the world, the media, journalism, and debate more so than zealous activism? Maybe normal isn’t the enemy–maybe it’s a remnant of what we were taught as fundamentalists. 

Over time, I have damaged a lot of people I love because I was close-minded. I damaged friendships–some of them are irreparable and some of them meant a lot to me. I need to say sorry to those I hurt and also say that I’m more self-aware now. I’m more open to meaningful dialogue with people I care about and I’m more open to meaningful dialogue with most people now, because no one is ever above learning from someone else’s humanity. I’m interested in hearing another side of the argument. I’m interested in debate, only as long as it doesn’t damage my friendships with people I deeply care about.

Essentially, I prefer people over politics. I don’t want to live a life where I assume I’m 100% right about everything and the “Other” side is made up of idiots. That’s just not true. (It is true that there are a LOT of stupid people in the world, but they exist on both sides.) And I certainly don’t want to continue to make the world a vitriolic-filled place where only one side of the conversation is respected and others are bullied into silence. That’s not democratic. It’s also dehumanizing. All of our voices should be heard, and I hope we all aim for constructive dialogue and debate. I hope we all open our minds to people who are different from us–whether liberal or conservative–and really work on bringing more thoughtfulness and less hate to the table.

/end rant

Are Weddings The End of Friendships?

I recently saw this article “Why I Won’t Be a Bridesmaid” and loved the honest take on weddings from a non-bride perspective. Let’s face it, the wedding is all about the bride and rightly so. I love weddings, but there’s a lot I hate about them, too.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been a bridesmaid almost as many times as Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 DRESSES. I’ve had so many dresses and shoe styles and must-wear hair that finally, a few years ago, I decided I would never stand in another wedding again (unless of course it was my little brother getting married before me). There are multiple reasons I said I wouldn’t stand in another wedding again: the rules, the chaos, the Bridezillas, the selfishness of it all, the money, and of course, because I was starting to feel like I’d stood in far too many. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” everyone loved echoing in my ear.

But a close college friend got engaged so I said yes. I couldn’t imagine not standing in her wedding and was so happy she’d asked. And then a close family member got engaged, so of course I said yes. Another friend actually didn’t ask and it was (to me) a sign she just didn’t care about our friendship anymore. Our friendship was over shortly after that.

Weddings are fun and they’re a great ritual in some ways, but this quote below strikes an all too familiar chord with me–about the fact that bridesmaids are expected to stand next to our friends as we begin to step aside and sometimes lose our friends. Things aren’t ever the same, regardless of whether our friends try to keep them that way:

I can’t be your bridesmaid because I think bridesmaids shouldn’t exist. l think it’s cruel to expect your fellow besties to invest considerable funds and time into proving we’re your friend…at the very moment you’re entering a union that, by definition, means we’re stepping aside for your new “best friend and partner.” – Faran Krentcil for ELLE

I speak from experience. Always having been the bridesmaid, it feels like some people use marriage as their cue to forget their old life and friends and forge ahead with someone new (and great) into a space where single friends aren’t as welcome. Especially single women. We aren’t a threat; we’re your friend. If your husband can only hang out with couples, might that be his issue? Or is it that you’re threatened by me, your friend? Why is it that men usually keep their friends but women sometimes abandon them?

I get that I’m the oddball and not chained down. But still, have you ever been a bridesmaid? If not, hear us out. We said yes because we love you and are happy for you. We wish you nothing but every happiness in the world. But after the wedding is over and your gifts are packed away, we will miss you. We’ll miss the nights we drank together, the trouble we got into and the laughs we had before this moment-that-changes-our-friendship. And even though we want to stand by you to celebrate the change in your life, we’re faced with the fact that things won’t ever be the same and the older we get and the more married you become (and the less married I become), the less we have in common.

I’m not advocating for the no bridesmaid law, but I am just telling you this: If you are married or “consciously coupled” and you feel the Stink Eye coming from your friend, consider that maybe it’s not jealousy or resentment but the pain of slowly losing a friend she will greatly miss.

At the heart of the “bridesmaid” concept is an inconvenient truth: If you’re getting married, you’re gaining another half…and also have less time for people who aren’t your One and Only.

 

When Dating Goes Bad

Why men are confused about me, I’ll never know. I’m fairly straightforward and most people who have been around even a few months know the most basic things about me. Why men who want to change me or have a certain “type” of woman even approach me, I’ll never know. But word to the wise, take me as I am or fuck off.

Kisses.

After I posted a photo on Facebook about being on Tinder, an old friend from Texas hit me up. He was cute. An asshole, but cute. I figured, ‘What the hell? I can always just flirt.’ Flirting is fun. He was single. I was single. Fun, right?

Not necessarily.

A few days into things he talks about how he wants four kids. Four. 4. F-o-u-r. Okay, fine. He’s from Texas. I get it. They think everything has to be bigger to be better. The problem is, I don’t even know if I want children. I got a puppy and she’s adorable, but even as I’m writing this, she’s chewing up the lid to my water bottle. The one that I need for MMA class. Yesterday she destroyed a roll of toilet paper and the day before that she dug through the carpet. If a puppy is this annoying, how bad are kids? I was a nanny. I know the answer to that. (Hint: Very.)

I explained to Texas that I wasn’t sure I wanted to have kids and if I did, two would be my max. I was already starting to feel like this was the type of man who thought his ideas, dreams, hobbies, and things he wanted would trump mine. It turns out I was right.

The larger issue is that I’m a writer and as such, it’s a challenge to balance motherhood and writing. My writing comes first. I’ve heard plenty of writers who are also mothers talk about this difficulty and quite honestly, I don’t want children badly enough to sacrifice my career for it. And because I don’t already have kids, it’s easy for me to say no. At least for now. It’s important for me to say no for now anyway because I’m so busy. It’s times like these that I wish men could carry babies.

Texas said “That’s fine,” which really seemed to mean, “I’ll convince you otherwise later.” That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works.

We continued talking about kids–because that’s what any normal person would do a few days into talking, right? Turns out he was adamant about breastfeeding. As in, the lady needs to breastfeed or else. His kids WILL be breastfed and that is final!

Again, problematic for many reasons. One being, they’re my breasts. Two, it’s painful. Three, what if the child doesn’t “take” to breastfeeding? Four, again, they’re my breasts. Five, what if I don’t want to breastfeed? What if I want to work?

I was breastfed. I think there’s an amazing case for breast-is-best, but I don’t know that I will have the time to breastfeed a child if I’m say, in the middle of writing a novel. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.

Should this be a deal breaker for a guy?

No, but the fact that he had such strong opinions about a woman’s body and life was a deal breaker for me.

It gets worse, though.

When I first started talking to him, I had been really adamant about not wanting to connect with men with sex first. I wanted friendship. I wanted to see if I liked the person and then see things develop from there. Friendships turned relationships are the absolute best. But there are few men who really can do that without pushing. He was no exception. He kept bringing up sex and finally I was frustrated enough to give in. Big mistake.

There was a moment in our conversation when he asked me if I would swallow his cum and I said no. It wasn’t like I said I wouldn’t kiss him, but he reacted really badly. Almost like he was throwing a tantrum. Almost like he demanded it. I told him he had been watching too much porn. He flipped out. The funny thing is, when I called him out on it, he backed off from what he said. Then I called him out on it again a few days later and he turned the tables on me. I was a hypocrite and had double standards, he said. I was an elitist who showed no empathy, according to him. When I wanted to talk about sex, it was okay, but when he didn’t, it wasn’t. He considered this a double standard.

I’m smart enough now to that any guy who demands I do something in bed, or throws a fit and attacks me when I say I won’t do something, is not going to work for me. If anything, that’s a really dangerous sign. And I’ve had at least one experience with a guy who made me realize that it’s not even worth it to continue talking to someone like that.

Beyond that, doing whatever you want in bed can be fun, but the cool part is that you (as a man or woman) get to decide what you are comfortable with and what you’re not comfortable with. You get to say no whenever the hell you want and usually, the person you’re with likes you enough to just drop it. Maybe they love that. Maybe they’re disappointed, but most guys are just like “Okay.”

It gets even worse, though.

I get asked to mentor people all the time. I can’t mentor everyone. I have a small handful of close friends that I will do anything for, and another small set of writer friends who I help out when they need something. Beyond that, I work with my clients and that’s about all I have time for. My expertise is social media and branding, which is a big hot thing right now. Everyone needs social media credibility and few people know how to make it happen. Those of us who were into social media and blogging years ago have ridden the waves and survived. We’ve grown with the technology and even influenced it. Many of us are entrepreneurs in our own right.

And he wanted to be one. Usually, that’s really hot. In this case, it wasn’t, because you can’t be a great entrepreneur by riding someone else’s coat tails.

I got the vibe that he might not have been as interested in me as he was my “following” and “influence.” (Barf to those buzz words, anyway, but that’s what he called it.) I like giving people the benefit of the doubt, though, so I waited it out and decided to try to suspend my judgment for awhile. I’ve been known to make harsh judgments right away and later end up liking someone. But as time went on, he asked me to help him create a following online where he could share inspirational stuff. First, I think inspirational stuff can be done very, very well. People who do it right: Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Buddhists. But you know those looney self-help people? I don’t like that stuff. He said he’d pay me, but that bothered me even more. I was confused. Was this a professional relationship or romantic? I was offended. Anyone who knows me knows that I have no problem helping friends out, so if he had a question, I could answer it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get paid; but I didn’t want someone dating me just for what I could teach him. That’s just weird. And selfish and egotistical.

The day he told me he wanted to start a YouTube account to make money came after the day I’d posted on Facebook about all the millionaires on YouTube. Naivete makes people think that just because there’s a millionaire doing something that they could be the next. Internet millionaires earn their money, just like all the other millionaires in the world. It’s hard work, great work, talent and knowledge that make people successful. (Unless of course you’re born with a silver spoon. Then it’s your parents’ hard work/talent/etc.) It’s incredibly naive to think that you can just walk onto the scene and own it without having done anything.

People don’t just gain millions of followers by being online. Even celebrities don’t. It insults me actually, when people think creating a following online is sooo simple, and this was the impression I got from him. I got the feeling he thought because I could do it, anyone could do it, which means he didn’t value my intellect and skills. Look, I’m not saying I’m a fucking genius here but I work hard. Throw a little respect a girl’s way if you’re trying to woo her.

And don’t ask me for help creating a Twitter handle.

Leaving Los Angeles For Good

When I was a kid, the first thing I wanted to do after graduating high school was leave my small town and move to a big city. Los Angeles was the closest city to me so it seemed only natural that I would end up there. In 2009, I moved to the L.A. area and settled in for a few years, two jobs, and a college graduation later. This past December I started to really question whether I wanted to stay in L.A. or not. I loved so much of the city but the one thing I couldn’t get past were the people. It seemed so hard to meet really good people who were warm and caring. I’d met a few of them but they were so far away from me that even though we still considered ourselves living in L.A., it was an hour plus drive to see each other. I think the warm, caring types stay hidden from the rest of the city and as a result I met mostly self-centered, fake people who had a really hard time being honest about themselves and life. L.A. wasn’t where I found a good confidant. It was where I discovered the city was cutthroat and you had to hide your secrets from people who would use them against you.

Being a small-town girl, this wasn’t entirely foreign to me. I dealt with the Mean Girls of my high school and junior high while growing up. I didn’t confide in everyone. But after I moved away and joined a cult, I returned for college and reconnected with some really great friends. Friends I could tell anything to and friends who were supportive of me. When I moved to L.A., I did so to start my career as a professional writer. I didn’t realize I would miss my friends so much, but every year I was gone, the ache of not having them to talk to and share life experiences with really hurt.

I saw some of those friends this weekend and on the drive home with one of them last night, my heart felt like it wasn’t dead anymore.

hollywood

In my time in L.A., I’d forgotten just how awesome it was to have friends you can be honest with and can tell things to. Friends who see the best in you and support you no matter what. I’m crying a little just thinking about my talk last night and what it felt like to have my good friends back in my life.

It’s a great feeling.

It’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about them using me or pushing me down to get ahead. When I have issues with falling in love with men who aren’t good for me, they don’t judge me and tell me I’m stupid. They don’t tell me to get over it. They listen and if they can’t say anything else, they say “I’m sorry, friend.”

Of course I do miss L.A. I miss the food, the weather, the beach. I miss the shopping and the mixture of city and desert landscapes. I miss the culture rich with music and film and all things artistic. But for me it just wasn’t the whole package.

A Weekend at Disneyland

Friends are the best. I spent the weekend with some friends at Disneyland and can I just say I haven’t had that much fun in awhile? Besides spending the past two years working my ass off, I didn’t really make a lot of new friends in the area. Thankfully, old friendships are always there. Here are a few pictures from the weekend celebrating my friend’s birthday with California sun, beer and lots of good memories.

disney1 disney2 disney3

Dating Advice from The Onion

Hat tip to my friend Keith for sending me this. I laughed way too hard.

best of the onionSome of the highlights from the article:

  • Remember to relax and have fun! Sometimes, the moment you stop worrying about finding that perfect match is the moment you’ll open your email and find an absolutely vulgar and disgusting email from a complete stranger.
  • Listing a minimum height requirement is a great way to weed out tiny men who would have treated you like a queen.
  • Put a Bible verse in your profile to show other men that you have a stifled, Puritanical sense of raw sexuality just waiting to be let out.
  • First impressions count. Before posting the photo of yourself pepper-spraying Occupy movement protesters, seriously consider if that is the image you want to project to the world.
  • Be willing to open yourself up to new experiences, like going on a series of terrible dates with men you despise.

 

 

When Dogs Are Like Toddlers

My life has been full…of puppy kisses and puppy breath. I adopted Olive, a poochon, last summer. I’m not gonna lie, the first year has been pretty rough. Without realizing it, I adopted a toddler. Puppies require way more work than I ever expected and I’m not going to lie, I have been grumpy all year.

I had to give up my sleep. I don’t think you realize how important sleeping in has been to my life. I love sleeping in. It’s been the number one reason I haven’t rushed into having kids. Sleep is beyond amazing.

After maybe three months, Olive started sleeping in bed with me and she slept all night (most of the time). Unfortunately for me, she would wake up around 5 am. Then 6, then 7, and now 8. I’ve learned to get up at 8 and then come back to bed for a few hours on weekends. Olive’s finally in a good place where I feel like I can let her chase Molly (the cat) around the house for a few hours while I sleep in.

Since I work from home now, she’s been doing amazing at being housetrained. She’s had a few accidents–some defiant ones–but otherwise she’s very well-behaved.

olive faceThe past few months were difficult for me, though. Olive being nine months old really was grating on my nerves. She was misbehaving, running away, having accidents, jumping out of her play area, chewing things up, eating cat feces, eating dead animals. I mean, the list goes on. We kind of hated each other.

Luckily, Olive had a few play dates with people who were not me and we got into a good system where I could leave her in her kennel for a few hours and get out of the house. I don’t know how mothers with toddlers do it. I needed a break and this was just a puppy. I can’t imagine what it would be like with a kid.

She’s been better about keeping herself occupied and not having to be my shadow everywhere I go. I love her new found independence and the fact that play-fighting with the cat entertains all of them. She’s a pretty good little dog and I think we’re going to get along just fine.

Now if only she could start taking four hour naps…

If you’re interested in more Olive, she’s on Instagram.

Wedding Stuff

We’ve been getting ready for a family wedding. It’s been busy around here. From spending days watching the bride-to-be try on bridal gowns to pinning wedding things on Pinterest, it’s been a lot of fun. On the last day we went with the bride to try on wedding gowns, she was intent on this other dress. It was a gorgeous dress. But there was a new gown in the window that she asked to try on that we had all been admiring. When she put it on, I teared up. I could envision her standing in the forest (the location of the wedding) wearing that dress. It was the first gown we all saw that we unanimously felt was “the one.” It’s interesting. I didn’t realize what a magical thing dress shopping could be until I cried over a dress.

Since finding the dress and bridesmaid gowns, things have kind of slowed down. We’re working on the bridal shower next and in the mean time, my mom and I are on a weight loss kick. It’s funny how this one thing kicked our butts into gear finally. Since the proposal we’ve been walking all the time and I even started running (and doing MMA more recently).wedding

Weddings can bring up so many mixed emotions. While I’m so, so happy for them, it’s also bittersweet because someone I love is growing up. A chapter in all of our lives is closing. As selfish as this sounds, we may not be the most important people in his world anymore. Relationships change after people get married, at least from my experience. Most of these mixed emotions have come and gone, but these are the big moments in life when you realize how much you love someone and how much you’ll miss things the way they were. I’ll always have the memories of times we spent together, but it just makes me miss those times even more.