Monday, August 31, 2009

Spontaneous Camping Trip

This past Saturday was a beautiful day in my neighborhood. The temperature was right around 65-70 all day. The skies were clear and blue, and it was as if nature was calling to me. So, on a whim, we decided to go camping, and the fates aligned just right. We were able to borrow everything we needed from my older brother and his girlfriend and buy food and drinks for the night. It was spectacular, and it was my fiance and my first time ever camping together. It was also my first time camping as an adult. It was just as fun and relaxing as I remember it from the few times I went with friends. I was inspired to write while I was out there, so you can read that now.

It is exactly on week before my wedding. It is 9:03 pm, and my legs are warm under my fleece sweats from the fire a few feet in front of me. The pre-Fall cool night is setting in around us as Verdict* plays on our car stereo. I am surrounded by to of my brothers, my older brother's girlfriend, and my soon to be husband...husband...husband...

How strange? Some day 20 years from now, I will look back on my life before my marriage and remember this very camp out. I will remember the nerves settling in. I will remember the excitement about having all my family together. I will remember the warmth of knowing at the end of every day, there is someone on my side, by my side, to hold my hand, to take care of me, to smile at me and kiss my forehead.

I will remember being able to camp out instead of being frantic and up to my ears in wedding planning. I will remember putting up my first tent, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, eating my first camp fire cooked hot dog, and laying under the stars, warm in my anam cara's arms (my soul mate ;o) ).

There is something magical, something enticing, something indescribable about the radiating warmth of a fire. The flames lick and hug the tree limbs almost lovingly just before burning them into nothing but a pile of forgotten ashes, permanently erasing all the growth and history that tree limb held. The heat permeates your skin leaving a tingling across your being as the coolness of night fights with it to hug you. There is a oneness with nature as the plants and animals continue their existence as if you are not even there. And the peace, oh the peace of letting the real world slip away and nature's healing set in, there's nothing like it.

I do believe this was the perfect way to spend my last weekend as an unmarried woman.

*My fiance's best man is the vocalist for Verdict. They are a little heavier than my normal taste, but these guys hold so much talent and so much passion. It blows you away every time, even if you don't normally listen to that sort of style. His best man writes most of the songs himself, as well as much of the actual music. It is an amazing skill I cannot even begin to wrap my head around.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Leka Quilt Givaway...Hand Made Purses!!

My friend Micki in Ireland posted about this hand made purse give a way, and they are so pretty!

Go check it out for your chance to win. You just need to leave a comment for one entry, post the button I have here for another entry, post a blog for another entry, and become a follower for two more entries. You get a total of five entries and you can even choose your color of purse if you win! I think it would be a great crochet accessory if I need another of those. ;o) Make sure if you can't read Norwegian to choose your language in the right side bar. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

7 Days and Counting!

Hello all!

I cannot believe I am getting married so soon. That's not the only thing happening in my life right now, though. A few of you may remember my post about last March when I decided to completely withdraw from my classes and spend some time trying to find myself. In this process, I have started to crochet like a mad woman because I found out that I love it! I have opened my own store online to sell some of the overflow of my projects. I have even had my very first booth with my sister at a flea market. I have learned very much about myself in that aspect.

However, I am still unsure of what to do with my education. As many of you know, I work at a chiropractic office now. My boss is great. He and his wife are wonderful, inspiring, positive people that have helped me immensely even in the short time I have known and worked for them. They have taught me about healthy eating, healthy living, thinking well and being well. They have opened my eyes to the fact that no one can help me if I won't help myself, and I am also learning a lot about compassion from them. The atmosphere is wonderful, even when they aren't getting sleep while they stay up all night with their new baby. I definitely want to stay in this atmosphere and continue to do well for myself and for others. I still feel like it is a huge blessing that I am able to be there, and I still feel like God is calling me to reach out to others and help them.

In recent months, the topic of reiki has come up in my life a few times. I have a friend who has reiki treatments regularly, and another lady I know has them done once a month. One of the guys I graduated from high school with actually is a reiki practitioner now. What is reiki, though? I know before I looked into it, I didn't have a clue. I had honestly thought it was something to do with cults or Wicca. I was pretty ignorant about it. So, in sharing my thoughts here, I thought I would let you guys all know what I have found about it. This is just one excerpt I have found along the way, and I encourage you to check it out for yourselves as well:

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

Along my path of finding myself in such a busy world, I have learned about my learning style and my passions. I have learned that I don't learn traditionally or by memorization. I don't learn by reading a book or hearing a lecture. I learn by doing. I learn in a hands on approach. When something directly involves me, I am truly focused on what I am doing, so I remember it. I have also learned that my overall goal with whatever education I choose to pursue is to help myself and others around me, especially my family and friends. I want to show people God's love, to reach out to those others look down upon.

For this reason, I feel like reiki may be a path that would work well for me. It is relaxed. It promotes health, well-being, love, sensitivity among many other things. The classes are day long classes or workshops. I can take up to one class a month to develop my skill, with my ultimate goal being to become a Reiki Master so I can teach others. I have actually just got off the phone with the woman whom I would like to teach me. She has been recommended to me by a woman I know and trust, and she has been a teacher to two other people in my area. Her name is Brenda Peterson, and if you just click on her name, you will be directed to her own personal website. She is very open to answering questions people have. She called me back less than half an hour after I left a message with her and was very patient with me while I asked a list of questions.

I know that alternative health care can be very controversial, and I would like to know your thoughts and feelings about this topic. I am interested to hear your points of view as I embark on a possible new page in my life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Plans

Many of you may be wondering how the wedding planning is actually coming along. In truth, it is going rather smoothly. There are some things that are being packed in at the last minute due to my avoidance of all things wedding, but for the most part things are running well. As of yesterday, I got the list of songs to play during the wedding and some of the reception done. Every part of the wedding and reception that needed a song paired with it now has one, thanks to the help of a wonderful friend of mine that let me borrow her computer and her musical knowledge for the long night. I got to choose a few Celtic songs as well as a few that took me back to my childhood. I feel like each song we chose will work out well for our personalities.

Last night, I also finalized the details with our cake. We are going to have a four layer square cake, white with copper ribbon around the bottom edges of each layer, and randomly covered with fall leaves and possibly some acorns. We had some difficulty finding a topper that I liked because I have red hair and my fiance has shoulder length blond hair. Neither of us are the stiff type so the traditional cake toppers were doing nothing for me. Also, my fiance is really into Tim Burton's movies as you can tell from reading his blog at Outspoken85 . He's also really into zombies and video games, lots of stuff I'm not into at all. However, this entire wedding was left up to me to plan, so I planned it to my tastes. In order to include him somehow, I decided with his help that I am going to crochet a zombie bride and groom, in a tasteful manner, from my new book Creepy Cute . The bride is all done except for her veil, and I am so happy with her! They really are cute, and will give us something truly unique for our wedding.

My dress has been dropped off to get pressed and cleaned. All three bridesmaids have paid for their dresses, and two of them actually have their dresses already. Two of the three guys that are wearing tuxes have them paid for, which I think are pretty good odds seeing as how we are speaking of men here. All the kids in the wedding have something to wear as well.

My sister's husband is going to take pictures of the wedding party and during the ceremony. Another family friend is going to help during the ceremony and before with pictures and will also be taking a lot of pictures at the reception for us.

A good friend of mine is taking over DJ-ing even though she has never DJ-ed before. She has the personality for it, and her brother may be helping her out. I'm not sure yet, but I know it will be loads of fun.

As of right now, we just need to get bird seed to make our little bird seed bags for people to toss as we are walking out. We also need a get away car of some sort, which may end up being my old school mutli-colored Buick Park Avenue, and we need to get soda and snacks for the reception. If time and money allow, I'd also love to get a new sundress to wear at the reception when I'm ready to get out of the heavy wedding dress.

It has been a load of stress up to this point. It has been dramatic. At times, it has been painful. I think the actual wedding day will be over in such a blur that I won't remember much, but thankfully I have wonderful friends and family that will help me to capture those memories so I can look back on how beautiful the process will be.

So what was your wedding like? How did your plans go? Was there disaster? I'd love to hear your stories to take my mind off of my own for a bit. :)

9 Days in Counting

...And this day is proving to be an especially hard one. For a swift moment in time, I allowed myself to peek into my hidden anxiety, and I have to say I am very sad.

My wedding is in 9 days. In 9 days I will be a 20 year old wife. In nine days I will be starting in on a whole new life, a secure life. In nine days I will be promising to love and cherish someone for the rest of my life. And in 9 days, my mom will still not be here.

Today, at work, I talked to my boss because I have been having bouts of dizzy spells for the past three days, ridiculous dizzy spells. It never really set in that this was my wedding I'm planning because I never let it set in, but as the days draw nearer, I am realizing that is my dress in the closet, those are my flowers, my shoes, my candles, my table cloths. All of it is mine for my wedding. I keep pushing those thoughts under the rug as soon as they settle in though, and when I told my boss about the dizzy spells, informing him that I do have sinus problems, though I'm not feeling much right now, he asked me about stress and anxiety...

Stress and anxiety? I chewed on that for about 30 seconds before I apprehensively admitted to having them both. In that same moment, I realized I have been refusing to think about this wedding as my own for one reason. If I dwell on the fact that this is my wedding, it will eventually lead into the thought that my mom is gone. Somewhere along the line, I refused to associate my wedding with my mom's death because I want the day to be happy. It doesn't help that my mom's death anniversary is two weeks away from the wedding and that this is only the second year since she died or that I am only 20 years old. I knew all of that when I started planning the wedding, though, so it is no fault but my own.

However, I have had a constant headache for about a week now. I have been losing sleep or not sleeping well. I have been reverting to many of my old controlling ways. I have been having more arguments with my fiance. I have had much more tension in my shoulders. I have had a lot more neck pain. I have lost my ability to focus, and I have all but put my relationship with God on the back burner. I'm still showering and cleaning my house, but with those to facts exempt, these are all my tell tale signs of missing my mom.

There is a huge part of me right now that is terrified of admitting that. I am terrified that if I allow myself to be sad right now in the midst of all the chaos, I will lose sight of what is happening in my life. Even more so, I am afraid of having the depression set back into my life and take control of me again because I do not take medication for depression. I don't ever want to be back in that place again. So somewhere along the line, I started refusing to allow myself to talk or think about my mom in relation to my wedding. When I realized that thinking about the wedding itself brought on anxiety, I went on planning the wedding as if it were not truly my own. It hasn't been until this week that I have truly felt like this was my wedding.

I tend to over analyze everything, even more so when I am dealing with anxiety and stress. Every step of the way, I have over analyzed people's opinions, feelings, emotions, etc about this wedding to the point that it became not my own but a pile of what other people want. Yesterday, I think the woman that is making our cake for us as our gift got frustrated with me because I was so laid back about how she did the cake. She was looking for some real decision, and I was giving her pretty much free reign as long as the cake looked like it belonged at a fall wedding. At one point she jokingly said to me, "I'll just do whatever I want then since you don't care." It has come to a point where I feel like I can't make any decisions without asking someone else. It is such a strange surreal feeling.

What really brought all of this on and to the forefront was not my questions about my dizziness, though. Since I work for a new business, we need to do an open house. We need to get people in to see what we're all about. During our meeting today, we were going over details for the Open House, and we had to choose a date. The dates were between September 19th and September 26th, and the moment I heard the former date, my heart sunk into my stomach. The former date is the 2 year anniversary of the day my family lost our mother. I didn't realize I even felt any anxiety about it until that point. I had honestly hoped to not even bring it up at work, to keep it to myself so I wouldn't have to explain myself, but I couldn't do that. I gained a little composure, and through a shaky voice asked them if we could do it the 26th instead because that is my mom's death anniversary. Everyone agreed and moved on quickly, but I have not been able to get my thoughts off the way I felt when I was asked to work an Open House the day my mom had died.

I don't know how the next 8 days will go. I do know that I cannot ignore my pain, though. My problem now is finding that outlet that is healthy and does not send me into a downward spiral.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do you remember?

Do you remember me? I wouldn't be surprised if you said no! I have been gone too long. I'm sure some of you are thinking I dropped off the face of the earth... assuming you all think about my blog on a regular basis... please don't burst my bubble.

Anyway, what I really want to ask is do you remember the few weeks before your wedding when you could actually count down by days without people thinking you are being completely ridiculous? Do you remember the stress? Do you remember desperately wishing you had taken what little money you had and saved it/used it to go away to Ireland (Insert your own Destination here.)? Do you remember freaking out because there was no more money left and no money coming in? Do you remember feeling like there are only 2 people in the world that care about you? Do you remember desperately missing your mother and feeling like you are just a child about to take on the world?

You don't? What's that you say? You weren't 20 years old when you got married, not even old enough to drink legally in the US? You hadn't lost your mother? You still had a steady income? What in the world is this?!

Here's my take...

I feel as though Big T and I are soul mates. We drive each other crazy. We make each other laugh. We don't mind seeing each other naked. (ha!) We support each other. I feel as though, even though we did not necessarily go about this relationship as God might have wished, we still have His blessing. He still wants for this wedding to happen. He wants us to have a family. But I truly feel as though Satan is doing everything he can to keep us from being happy. I feel that he is wants to sabotage this because if we are happy, and we are seeking God, we are ruining his plan for us. That simply won't work for him.

Well, guess what Devil...I am closer to Five than I am to 40, so here's what I have to say. "Na na na na na! You can't catch me!"

I do have to say that yesterday was one of the most stressful of all. I do have to admit that I did not take it in stride. I do have to admit that I am sick of worrying about the bills, and I have only been doing so for a month. I do have to admit that I came home after getting our marriage license, yes I said it, and collapsed on our bed and cried and cried and cried. I do have to admit that I barely even made it through filling out the application for our marriage license without having a complete break down.

I am not sad to be getting married. I'm scared. I can admit that. I'm sad that my mom is not here. I'm sad that her death anniversary, 2 years, is less than a month away. I'm sad that every day until then, I evaluate what I was doing in her final days that did not include constantly being with her. I'm sad that she didn't get to help plan any of the fun stuff along the way. I'm sad that I don't even get to hear her say, "I'm so proud of you. I love you." Or even something that would have been more befitting to her as, "I told you so," when I'm feeling totally and completely overwhelmed.

I wish I could go to her house and lay my head in her lap and pretend I was four again. I used to love to lay my head on her belly so I could hear the way her voice sounded as she talked to her friends over coffee. Your voice sounds very different when you are listening through your belly. There was something so insanely comforting about having one of her friends over on Saturday mornings for coffee, during the Saturday morning cartoons. I could watch them peacefully and here them chatting about all the stresses in their world just a room away. I didn't understand what they were talking about, but I loved to see them together. They were truly happy and relieved when they were together. I must say, I think my mom had some of the best friends ever.

A lot has been happening since I last blogged. We finally got Internet back at our house. We got a new kitten. Her name is Luna and my fiance posted a nice blog about her at his blog Outspoken85. I started eating healthier, fruits and veggies at every meal, more nuts, practically no dairy or wheat, gluten free mostly. I'll tell you more about that later. My job has been going well. I've been learning loads and loads of stuff. I've been given the role of Communications which puts me in direct contact with the patients. I'm also working on a decent amount of marketing. I honestly don't think I ever thought I would get into even the most basic form of marketing, but it's not terrible. My boss had her baby yesterday, 9lbs 9oz and healthy! Another friend of mine had a 6lb little guy with loads of hair the week before. I have been able to use my skill in crochet to make a few things for them. I held my first sale at a "flea market." My crocheting has been booming. I had a wonderful bridal shower which I fully intend to share pics from. Today I am going to have a very fun, very relaxed bachelorette party at my apartment with lots of snacks hopefully.

Oh, and did I mention I am getting married in TWO WEEKS?!

Life is busy right now. Life is stressful right now. Life is teaching me a lot right now. God is my rock, and if I would just depend on Him more, I would not feel so absolutely crazed all the time.

Please pray for a job for my fiance, a job that God wants him to have, a job that will bless us and bless others. Pray for a beautiful blessed wedding. Also, please pray that I would consistently shed myself in place of God and allow him to continue breaking down barriers and show me what he wants me to do with my life.

Thanks for listening everyone. I can't wait to get back here and give you some individual blogs about all my endeavors over the past month or so. I miss you guys!