Just Some Pre-Marital Musings

getting-married

image courtesy of The Knot

Less than one week from now, I’ll be attending my own wedding. Two days from now, I’ll be boarding a plane for said wedding destination. And that’s more information than my brain can absorb at the moment.

I don’t respond constructively to change. Never have. And this arguably is the most monumental change I’ve encountered thus far in my 25 years. Becoming not just someone’s partner, but their most significant relationship on earth—hello…pressure!

Now is a good time to state for the record that I’m a perfectionist. Like the most perfectionistic perfectionist you’ll have the discomfort of meeting.

I think too fast, and I think too much. I enforce impossible standards and crave the competition—the intoxicating rush—of pushing harder,  going further, reaching higher, being greater. I use independence and individuality as defense mechanisms against the indelible wounds that trust can leave behind.

Nobody’s gonna tame this free spirit or crush this spitfire persona. That’s been my attitude for longer than I care to admit. Not exactly the conditions you’d associate with marriage material.

But I’ve realized something: when I approach the altar next weekend, I’m changing more than my last name, street address or relationship status on Facebook. I’m casting aside over a decade’s worth of deluded—and because why pretend otherwise, isolating—thought patterns.

This union doesn’t just signify a circumstantial shift…but a heart shift. Or in my case, overhaul.

The guy I’ll soon call “husband” is about a hundred traits I don’t deserve. Patient. Gracious. Romantic. Sincere. Devoted. Understanding. And then there’s me. Compulsive. Rigid. Obstinate. Snarky. Unemotional. I’m a complicated wreck of a human, but he accepts those complications without hesitation.

My anxieties have driven other men away, and still he remains. My sarcasm would be a deal-breaker for the average person, and still he forgives. My stoicism can alienate even the thickest skins, and still he gazes past the facade. These barricades don’t dissuade him, so why this power struggle to relinquish them?

That’s the million dollar question—with a deceptively basic response.

I’ve never considered myself lovable. Which makes receiving love an awkward proposition. But only two options remain: force him to the brink with my neuroses…or invite him into those chaotic, imperfect spaces most people don’t know exist. And believe he’s prepared to take that plunge.

The decision is mine alone. So, from this moment onward, I’m choosing “door number two.” Because a wedding passes in just a blur. But a marriage—that’s for life. Might as well make it meaningful.

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V-Day Gifts You’ll Truly Be Crate-ful For

For anyone, who hasn’t been keeping tabs on what month it is lately (ahem…looking at you, man-apes of the world!), Valentine’s Day is exactly T-120 hours away.

Now, ladies, we love our men.  Which basically means that we try our darnedest to tolerate their endearingly clueless behavior. 9 times out of 10, we succeed. But, when they won’t even flip the hooray-my-brain-actually-does-work switch in time for V-Day…well, we can’t overlook EVERYTHING!

Nope. Sometimes, a girl’s just gotta take control.

And relieve her cave-dweller significant other of all Valentine’s Day gift giving decisions.

So, instead of practicing our most believable “fake smiles” in preparation for yet another generic box of chocolates or roses, how ’bout we offer this male sub-species a crash course in LOVE 101?

That’s where Man Crates can help. This creative new company not only commiserates with our Woman vs. Blissfully Ignorant Man plight, it also has the solution — customized “date crates” filled with trimmings for a romantic evening, which will guarantee lifelong V-Day memories without any *certain somebodys* muddling things up.

And, on the off-chance any guys out there feel like planning a “Night of Amore” for yours truly, here’s what I expect inside a Man Crate…

(Just kidding, I’m taken. And my man is one exception to this “Romantically Challenged” stereotype. In fact, he’s more mushy-gushy than I am. WAY more. Like, why am I even writing this? I’m kinda set!)

But, seriously, I still do have expectations. So, my Man Crate better include the following:

1. Chick Flicks. We’re talking Legally Blonde. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She’s the Man. Because nothing says “I care about indulging your ‘happily-ever-after’ fantasy” like suffering through a girly movie marathon.

2. Scented Lotion. Rub those vanilla bean-smelling hands together, fellas, and massage your lady to her heart’s content. Which means forever, by the way. She’ll never let you stop. But you’re cool with that, right? Right?!

3. Take-Out Menus. Whether it’s pad Thai, loaded nachos or extra-cheese pizza, sometimes a girl craves her favorite “cheat meal.” So, when her guy is all “Yeah, baby. You go right ahead and pig out,” THAT’s devotion.

4. Monopoly. It’s my fave game across-the-board (see what I did there?!). I’m also guaranteed to win. If this bruises your ego — oopsies! A real man accepts defeat. Just play Monopoly with me. Consider it quality time.

5.  A Wine Bottle.  The most memorable, intimate moments between me and my boyfriend involve downing moscato and tipsily inventing inside jokes. Many of which we still laugh about. Yup, wine makes everything better, people. #Truth.

So, in closing…

To my fellow females, I’ll leave you with this: Man Crates understands your struggle. They’ll transform a Romantically Challenged Neanderthal into a bona fide Prince Charming (plus, the crates only open with a crowbar, so…you know…at least he’ll be exerting a little effort!).

Answer the call. Grasp the lifeline. Struggle no more!

man crates

image courtesy of mancrates.comWha

*No males were intentionally belittled in the writing of this blog post. Advance apologies for that unfortunate possible side-effect.*

New Year. New Moi.

2015

image courtesy of specialevents.com

On the off-chance that anyone will bother reading this (or, find it remotely interesting, for that matter)…behold, my Resolutions for 2015:

  1. I will integrate a 30-minute yoga practice into my regular routine, starting with once per week, then gradually increasing to every day.
  2. I will divorce my tendency to restrict calories and, instead, eat balanced portions of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
  3. I will put a small sum of money aside each month in order to afford an adventure abroad by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.
  4. I will learn how to play a musical instrument or explore a potential new hobby that I’ve wanted to try but have never made time for.
  5. I will curb my sarcastic tongue, compulsive need for control, superiority complex and judgmental attitude in my dealings with others.
  6. I will root excessive anxiety, stress or fear of the future out of my life, and focus on counting my blessings instead of uncertainties.
  7. I will make a conscious effort to form new friendships in my area, as well as reconnect with old friends, with whom I’ve lost touch.
  8. I will pursue professional writing opportunities, learn how to become marketable in this industry and, of course, network my ass off.
  9. I will participate in the Whole-30 nutrition program at least once, which will be an extraordinary feat, considering my love for wine.
  10. I will get back into the habit of regularly posting on this [sniff…sniff…all-too-often neglected] blog, at a minimum of twice per week.
  11. I will become more sensitive and respectful toward my significant other’s needs, and flex my “romantic muscles” more frequently.
  12. I will practice open communication with loved ones, demonstrate vulnerability and accept help, instead of  relying solely on myself.
  13. I will read 5-10 classic novels from Time Magazine’s 100 All-Time Best Literary Works list, even if this makes me sound pretentious.
  14. I will continue my current exercise regimen of 5 days per week–1 hour per day, focusing on a balance of cardio and strength training.
  15. I will regularly attend a local Bible study and set aside between 10-15 minutes on a daily basis for spiritual “quiet time” and meditation.

Got any Resolutions of your own? Discuss…

Give the Gift of Yoga!

Yoga is not only fabulous for spiritual serenity and physical flexibility, it’s also a proven couples’ bonding activity. Practicing yoga regularly with your significant other offers tons of benefits: a shared hobby, an inexpensive and out-of-the-ordinary date, an exercise in syncing with one another’s mind and body.

My boyfriend, Brandon, and I have recently started discovering yoga, which has given us even more common ground to talk about and participate in together whenever he visits.

Last week, our yoga journey conveniently coincided with our 1 year anniversary, so I wanted to incorporate this newfound interest into my gift for him. After some extensive deliberation, I came up with the following DIY project: a personalized yoga workout that corresponds to standout moments from our past year of dating, decoratively written on a yoga mat.

Brandon loved the finished product (because…well, he’s easy to please…but seriously, this mat was adorable!), and he’s actually finding it functional too. Mission accomplished.

So, next time you and your S.O. celebrate a major relationship milestone, instead of the stereotypical roses or another been-done-before sentiment, give something totally unique and embark on a new pastime together.


  •  What You’ll Need:
  1. 1 standard size solid colored Yoga Mat (approx. 72″ x 24″)
  2. 1 package multi-colored Puffy Pain Pens*
  3. ready access to your Romantic Side!

*I used Scribbles brand neon Puffy Paint. Find it here or visit any art supply dealer, such as Michaels.

  • Time To Make It:
  1. Roll the yoga mat out on a flat and sturdy work surface.
  2. Using the puffy paint, write a personal message across the top of the yoga mat.
  3. Think of approximately 10 intimate aspects of your relationship (they can range anywhere from silly to sentimental – see my list of brainstorming suggestions below).
  4. Assign a yoga pose to each of these 10 relationship-isms (based on your partner’s yoga skill level, they can be either basic or challenging – I went with basic since my boy is still new to the practice).
  5. Using the puffy paint again, write the first 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses on 1 side of the yoga mat (i.e. “For every time we _____, do a _____ pose for 30 seconds”).
  6. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  7. Flip the yoga mat over onto its other side and write the remaining 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses, using the same format.
  8. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  9. Tightly roll the yoga mat back up, then secure it with a ribbon.
  • Ideas To Get the Creative Juices Flowing:
  1. Do you and your partner have a special song?
  2. Do you and your partner enjoy certain activities together?
  3. Do you and your partner have a favorite date spot?
  4. Do you and your partner watch any TV shows together?
  5. Do you and your partner share any inside jokes?
  6. Do you and your partner make fun of each other’s quirks?
  7. Do you and your partner show each other new things?
  8. Do you and your partner swap childhood stories?
  9. Do you and your partner have any “couple” traditions?
  10. Do you and your partner end up on misadventures together?

 And, for your viewing pleasure, here’s what my creation looked like upon its completion (plus, Brandon showing off his moves…eat those hearts out, ladies!):

yoga mat 1

yoga mat 2

yoga mat 3

yoga mat 4

yoga mat 5