Sometimes it’s okay to go to bed

We are creeping ever closer to the big day– and the food is complete (mostly). The cupcakes still need to be iced and there’s guacamole begging me to make it– but otherwise we’re in fairly good shape. I spent the day ceremoniously preparing. First, I had an appointment with my aesthetician who removed all of the hair that had been collecting on my body for the last two months. It was not pretty.

The highlights of the day went pretty much like this:

  • Had all of my body hair ripped out.
  • Made 72 delicious paleo chocolate cupcakes.
  • Crushed my maid of honor’s hopes and dreams by not taking her to get a mani-pedi. (Seriously, she was pissed.)
  • Tried on my dress for my best friend. (In doing so I learned the origin of the curtsy– bending at the waist is NOT a possibility in that dress.)
  • Ran more wedding related errands and THOUGHT I had done them all–but remembered something that still needs to be done tomorrow… the work of a bride is never done.
  • Gathered an incredible group of women together to witness and honor my passage into the next chapter of my life.
  • Stayed up way too late trying to make a huge batch of icing that is currently refusing to be finished.
  • Acknowledged that sometimes it’s okay to just give up and go to bed (after writing of course).

Today was beautiful. Ceremony is important to me– and the group of women who gathered with me (and those who were present in spirit) held space for me to move into my next chapter. I am stepping forward into a new paradigm. The ceremony was simple and perfect. I do not take ceremony lightly, and I also don’t show my witch to the world very frequently. Today she came out in full force to gather up the heart energy and blessings from immensely powerful women who gave freely to me. I felt like a princess basking in the glow of the intense love directed at me. I will carry it with me into the forest on Saturday.

But for now I need to sleep. I am getting married in two days.

And I’m tired.

THIS IS HAPPENING

It was a full one. I began the day just like any other day– had three really amazing sessions, one Pilates, two energy work. Then I moved into three-days-before-my-wedding-day mode. The time-warp happened again. Leaving the studio I had exactly a half an hour before needing to pick up my maid of honor from school to take her to her dress fitting– exactly enough time to go by this super sweet shop a few blocks from my house and buy some wedding gifts.

Time opened up for me just as it had done the day before. I spent what felt like a huge amount of time pouring over all the different jewelry and sundries in the shop and made two perfect selections, one for my maid of honor the other for the flower girl’s mother and a dear friend of mine. I left without stressing about the time and picked up my little lady. We headed to the shop and she donned her newly-altered dress which now fit her like a glove. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her wearing something that fit her so well. She seemed to age five years in two seconds. She looked beautiful.

Dress procured, we moved on to a few more random wedding errands and arrived home about an hour later to surprise visitors, my soon to be in-laws. I don’t think I hid the shock well– immediately thinking of the catastrophe that is our house and the fact that they were inside of it– but no time to dwell on that fact. It was great to see them and they both seemed to easily grasp my getting-married-in-three-days-with-a-ton-of-stuff-to-do state and didn’t stay long. To be clear– there was a communication breakdown somewhere between me and my partner around their arrival. It’s as if the two of us have some massive life event happening in JUST THREE DAYS…

I moved on to my continued mission of cooking meat for the taco bar, and sent my partner off to get needed taco-cooking supplies. About a half an hour later the arrivals continued as his brother walked into our chaos with the supplies I had requested. I greeted him with a hug and they left me to my mission(s). I tasked my maid of honor with preparing our den for the arrival of my best friend and nephew. (She did a bang-up job). I CONTINUED TO COOK. (Making large quantities of mango salsa is labor intensive.)

Around 8 pm, still cooking and listening to love songs in the kitchen by myself, I started to feel like the one thing that was missing in my wedding frenzy was my MAN. I texted him to let him know that– and he and his brother arrived home shortly thereafter.

At 9 pm I left the house, accompanied by my man-child and our best man, ready to experience the long-anticipated arrival of my best friend. On the drive to the airport we talked about his girlfriend and the fact that he wouldn’t see her for five days (she’s headed out of town early in the morning), his friends and my relationship to them, and my wedding stress– among other things. It was nice to have the time to just settle in with my boy– those times are few and far between these days. Circling the airport several times, finally we spotted her and her sweet boy waiting on the sidewalk. She got teary later when she recounted him getting out of the car to greet her and give her a hug. He’s her first baby too.

Our guests arrived hungry– so we did another successful taco tasting around 10pm, the whole family cramming into the tiny little living room amongst the wedding detritus. It was a sweet scene, my son sat down saying “well, it’s nice to have you guys here,” and my partner echoed his sentiments, “so this is the crew for the next few days.” Family. Slowly everyone filtered away. The boys went downstairs, my daughter adjourned to her room. The three of us, me and my two soul-people hung out on our massive king size bed, giggling and recounting stories. Heavenly.

My best friend began feeling the three hour time difference and shuffled off to bed with her boy. My man kept me company in the kitchen as I continued cooking our wedding feast, love songs blasting, new wedding vows running through my head– begging to be written. Love poured into the food I was cooking, just as I imagined. I thought of all the people gathering in just a few short days to celebrate with us. We danced and sang into the wee hours– filling the kitchen with the acknowledgement of our love.

THIS IS HAPPENING.

So many orbits are intersecting at this junction. The vision I had back in the Fall of our wedding is beginning to take shape. All of the love that surrounds us is coalescing into our space. We are gathering it all up and bringing it together in acknowledgement and support of our union. This sacred bond that grew out of consistency over a period of time is asking to be honored and acknowledged– and we are obliging.

Just THREE days and counting…

It’s getting REAL.

Lists really are a magical thing

We’re officially one week out with a re-vamped menu and everything’s coming up ROSES!!

That planning brain of mine is really working for me. My partner’s cousin after reading my last blog post suggested that we do a taco bar for the wedding– and I am taking that idea and RUNNING WITH IT. One thing I observed about myself today is that I like having puzzles to solve. Another (that I’ve known for a very long time) is that I am extremely motivated by deadlines. (Not unlike most other human beings).

Getting down to the wire– these days are packed full. Here’s the run-down of my wedding-related accomplishments on this day just seven days and counting:

  • Woke up and realized my body needed to take a Pilates class.
  • RE-REinvented the wedding menu after a great suggestion from a soon-to-be family member.
  • Listened to my body and TOOK CARE OF MYSELF (i.e. went to Pilates). [SLOW CLAP]
  • Came home and took my maid of honor to get her dress altered.
  • Somehow convinced my partner without any threats or coercion to go with me to his most favorite place on a Saturday, Costco.
  • Bought and priced wedding related items and inched ever closer to feeling totally on top of it in terms of this wedding. (Lists really are a magical thing).
  • Took more steps towards KEEPING IT SIMPLE. (So hard for me to do)…
  • Met with one of my dear friends to strategize the next week as it relates to our nuptials, and gave her 10 lbs of chicken to cook for me. (talk about some delegating)
  • Realized that I’ve actually got it together so much more than I knew when this day began and all I was aware of was my back hurting.
  • Had a very important meeting with my flower girl and tasked her with finding the perfect basket for her flower petals. (She’s already got one in mind).
  • Decided, along with said flower girl, what type of flower petals that basket of hers was going to have. (cherry blossoms)
  • Went out on a date with my man.
  • Ordered serving trays and cupcake storage containers that will make me very popular in certain (as of yet undefined) circles.
  • Got one day closer to marrying my most favorite person on the planet.

That about says it all. My exhaustion is real and my planning brain is currently not interfacing well with my writing brain– and my dreaming brain is doing its best to take over for the both of them…

 

Flying by the Seat of my Pants

I am really pushing this post up to the wire– almost missing the eight day mark and heading into seven– but I’ve got this… eight days and counting at least until this post is finished…

One of the many wonderful things about completely doing your wedding by yourself is you can make massive changes right up till eight days before and it’s TOTALLY FINE. It’s actually way beyond fine– it’s liberating.

I made flank steak, roasted potatoes and salad for dinner this evening. Our wedding dinner, minus the mangoes in the salad. The last 48 hours I’ve had my planning brain on. My planning brain isn’t a part of my brain that generally gets very much attention. As a matter of fact, it generally likes to sit around and eat bon bons and watch silly television. We’re not super close and we don’t talk very often. But, tonight my planning brain put away the bon bons, turned the television off and started speaking some reason to the other parts of my brain who actually seemed quite eager to listen.

As I made dinner, planning brain began to think about the wedding-dinner-making game plan. In my not-really-planning-brain-but-pretending-to-be, a month ago I had decided I would make the flank steak a couple of days ahead. I hadn’t put any thought into the salad or potatoes. Tonight I realized there were some serious flaws in my “plans.” As we ate dinner I started talking through the logistics with my partner and daughter. Planning brain was making mental notes about the amount of work I was creating for myself and all of my dearest friends who are a part of the exclusive “helper club” for the wedding. Neither flank steak or potatoes are “make ahead” kind of dishes. This is less than ideal for the eating situation we are creating.

I finished my dinner and got my shoes and keys to go and pick up my son at the gym. As I opened the door to my car I was STRUCK by what felt like an INGENIOUS idea. (this must be what happens when planning brain is allowed to stay online for more than a couple of days at a time.) MIRACULOUS! In the course of about five seconds I COMPLETELY CHANGED our entire wedding menu. Instead of flank steak, potatoes and salad I decided to make Indian Butter Chicken in the Instantpot. BOOM. I immediately called my partner. (He was just inside the house).¬† He didn’t answer, inevitably in a different room from his phone.

I drove to the gym ridiculously excited at this miraculous feat my planning brain had just conquered. I can make this DAYS ahead, it reheats easily, and it’s INSANELY YUMMY. I told my son when he got into the car. He was not particularly excited, not that he ever really gets excited unless it is somehow related to basketball or fantasy football– and this is not. At all. We arrived home just a few minutes later and I ran into the house and called out to my partner who was in our bedroom watching a show with our daughter. I told him my planning brain’s fabulous idea and he responded to me in a very positive but measured fashion saying: “I think you’re onto something here…”

The translation for that is, “whatever you wanna do, baby because I know you’re gonna do it anyway.” Talk about someone knowing me…

My daughter who was lying next to him said “NO!” and then her face fell and she said nothing more. Butter chicken is not her favorite thing. It’s spicy. I assured her I would “make a mild version” as well. She continued to look sullen. Butter chicken is in no way a part of her wedding plan. However, she’s eleven and not doing all of the work. She’s also not (although sometimes she acts as if she were) the bride. That’s ME! The crazy lady who just changed her DIY wedding menu eight days before the event.

I am FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

 

I’m talking REAL PLANS, not just Visions

So, at this point I’m going to say that we’re getting down to the wire– and I am definitely feeling stressed. 10 days and counting, and I find myself trying to find time in between time to pack in the much needed organization of my time (and all the other stuff that needs organizing). And then there’s just my regular life that is continuing on as if it had no idea that I’m getting married in ten days– the nerve.

This morning as I was in the midst of juggling my life, sitting in the orthododontist’s office with my daughter while writing a general to do list for the wedding, I was called to send a “help me!” text to a friend.

“Hi. Can I ask you for your help in a general sense? I don’t have specifics yet– but I know that I need help…”

His response came a few minutes later, “Of course. I’m always happy to help…”

Massive sigh of relief. Wasn’t that easy? Just knowing that someone out there who I trust and love is willing to help me is enough to ease my anxiety.¬†Next I sent a text to my assistant asking for help more specifically in brainstorming the blessingway. Another quick and affirmative response, and I was feeling downright un-anxious.

Here are the wedding related things I accomplished today: (bear with me– this is actually incredibly helpful for my sweet little wedding-addled brain)

  • Made a list of wedding things that need to be done (I know this seems like something I probably should have done weeks or maybe even months ago– but let’s stay positive and just say “good job, Mandy” for doing it at all. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
  • Reached out and asked for help from TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. (Never mind that one of them is someone I actually pay to help me– bringing that up right now seems almost like rubbing salt in the wound, and that’s not a positive thing to do)
  • Concretely planned my blessingway (I’m talking real plans, not just visions), I actually wrote stuff down.
  • Made the invitation for my blessingway– just a few more email addresses and that baby is going OUT INTO THE WORLD!!
  • Filled out the online application for our marriage license (in doing so finally nailed down in my head how to spell the word license– ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • Planned a trip with my husband-to-be to procure said license tomorrow morning.
  • Set up a meeting with my awesome friend who is “always happy to help” for tomorrow afternoon.
  • What’s that you say? How could there possibly be more bullet points? You’re right. I’m stretching it at this point– but really– today was a turning point.

I’ve always been a deadline oriented type of gal. There’s something about that ticking clock that actually makes me begin to take things seriously. Tomorrow we’re into single digits with the days. That is NOT MESSING AROUND. This wedding is HAPPENING SOON. And it doesn’t really get much more DIY than this.

My lesson for the day, quoted from my dear, always happy to help friend,

“You may be over emphasizing the y in that concept. It’s the royal y.”

So, here’s to the DIroyalY, may it make the next ten days ever easier.