Category Archives: Panic!


whoosh, superhero, wedding, cyanide & happinessI’ve had this sort of mental blockage. I mean, OBV. I haven’t been here in forever and a half. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve been SILLY busy. I’ve been blogging over at Broke-Ass Bride and a little over at Jackson’s newest dining blog, Dishing, and trying to pimp my awesome self out (shameless self-plug) AND maintaining my real job. It’s a little amazing I have my own head on straight right now.

I’m super stoked, because I just got hired by BAB to be the new accounts manager. I’ve been picking up more and more side jobs (you guys, social media? SUPER WHERE IT’S AT). Aussie starts his new job in a few days. Summer is trying really really really hard to break through in the valley. Yeah … it’s all a little cray up in here.

But, I’m leaving in two days. Going on a 10-day vacation. Hanging out with mi surrogate familia. Going somewhere I’ve never been. There’s a possibility of horse races. There’s a confirmation on tons of bourbon and I even get to go to the Louisville Slugger factory (OMG!!!). I get to go watch my girl, one of my favorite people, get married.

I’ve been to a handful of weddings, mostly aunts and uncles. I’ve never seen a friend, at least one my age (I was there for the bride’s mother’s wedding), take the plunge. Knowing how she’s feeling, what she’s going through, the stress, anticipation, anxiety, giddiness … all I want to do is make things easier, more peaceful, for her and those around her.

So, as I told her sister, mother and her, I’ll be donning my superhero cape for the next week. I’m taking away all close cellphones the day before. I’m going to make sure people are where they need to be, when they need to be there. I’ll slip the bride, mom and sister a flask of whiskey if necessary. I’ma do this, because I remember this feeling. And her mom and my best friend did it for me on my wedding day. It’s time for me to pay it forward.

It was nearly a year ago that I was in a similar boat. Though, I think by going to Hawaii, we made it significantly easier on ourselves. Less people, less logistical issues, more chillin’. But, don’t get me wrong, there was still an extremely palpable amount of stress. And so much of that comes from expectations — expectations you put on yourself, expectations from family, expectations from friends, expectations you put on others. When it’s over and that feeling of ease — nay, relief — washes over you, that’s when you realize how many expectations were all-consuming.

So, my job, one that I wasn’t asked to do but will do because it needs to be done, will be to manage those expectations in a way that helps reduce everyone else’s stress. And I’m excited about doing so, because I want my Shannyface to have an amazing and wonderful experience. I want Kellyface to be able to enjoy watching her sis get hitched. I want Mamaface to be the emotional blob I know she will be without any nagging quandaries. I got this.

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Hey!!! You guys!!! Need something to read? Something sane, funny and, um, PRACTICAL?

I think you do. So, you should jump on over to Amazon and pick up Meg of A Practical Wedding’s book.

Meg’s been working on it for a while. And it’s only $9.60 for the paperback and $9.99 for the kindle. Hey, even if you aren’t engaged, it’s worth a read. Because she talks about life AFTER the wedding. I know. Awesome.

Get it here.

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Who knows what's lurking ...

So, the good news with the new apartment is that we have a spare room.

The bad news? We have a spare room. That seems to be a catch-all for … all.

We legitimately are/were working obscene hours and couldn’t be fussed with facing the abyss. But now that it’s cold-weather season and all my cardigans, socks, boots, snowboard gear, etc. are buried within, I have to start seriously considering the possibility of facing the monstrosity.

Also, we have friends visiting this winter. And a spare room really should also be a guest room, right?

Sigh. Good thing I’ll have pleeeenty of time this winter since I was only able to get a 10-day ski pass.

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Throughout the engagement and planning process, much like the question we hear now, nearly everyone around us would ask us the same thing, or a variant of such:

How are you doing?

How are you feeling?

Are you nervous/anxious/ready?

We understood it was all well-intentioned.

During the earlier stages, the question was one that would invite a lengthy response which usually corresponded with more intricate details about plans, ideas, giddiness, etc.

However in the immediate days prior, it became like that damn mosquito that hovers near your ear when you’re trying to sleep, just to flit out of reach as you go to conquer it.

It felt as though every time someone asked us, we melted a little more, and not in a good way.

This all came to a head the night before, during a joint family barbeque put on by mi familia. We were tired, frazzled, anxious, overwhelmed, underwhelmed … we were, indeed, ALL THE THINGS.

We appreciated, and still do, everything everyone did for us. But at that point, we’d traveled for three days, had reunions galore from halfway around the world, partied for our hens and stags, missed one marriage license appointment, had another that very morning, finalized all the details, had some miscommunication meltdowns with the coordinator, done a run-through, were under pressure to see everyone we hadn’t, got lost on the way to the barbeque and here we were. With many asking us how we were feeling.

Cue: Meltdown.

It, unfortunately, was one of my sweet, poor, unsuspecting aunts who triggered it. Luckily, she’s got a good head on her shoulders and took it quite well when I turned to her and said:

“Quite honestly, if one more person asks me that question, I’m going to lose it.”

I then stepped away, with Aussie, and cried. Not for being sad, not for being scared. Just for being so overwrought with emotion and stress and pressure. We tried to return to the party, but we couldn’t even finish a beer. A sure sign we were finito.

Luckily, our amazing photographers who’d been there, done that, and my super awesome pseudo-mama, Sooz, took notice. The three came over and told us, under no uncertain terms, that it was quite all right for us to bow out and go back to the hotel.

So we did.

We flopped on our bed, curled up together and just stared. After a while we put on an episode of whatever show we were watching at the time. And we passed out.

We really did appreciate all the concern and checking in, but weddings are hard. I’m happy we didn’t go ‘zilla, but it wasn’t a graceful moment.

Planning weddings is stressful. Being around a ton of family and friends, especially when you haven’t seen them in a while, can be stressful. Add all the elements together? It’s a recipe for implosion.

We survived, obviously, and being with our friends the next morning helped to ease the tension.

We learned, through this experience, that even though we knew the wedding wasn’t about just us, nor was it just about our families, etc., it was about weathering the storm together. It was likely (maybe with the exception of a moment or two during the hens/stags) our most graceless moment, and one I’m not happy about.

But, it did set up boundaries, boundaries we badly needed. We needed to step away and just have some us time, time we hadn’t been able to have up until that point. It’s unfortunate it took that moment, those actions, for us to realize it, but that set up a template for us to be able to recognize it in the future. Which makes knowing what we need, what our boundaries are, not so tough right now.

Juju Ivanyuk by Ben Hassett for Numéro #128 on Fashion Gone Rogue
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No matter how much you plan and organize and delegate and reorganize and micromanage your wedding day, time is a squirrely little beast. Hell, not just the day. THE WHOLE PLANNING PROCESS.

I had ours worked out pretty well. I figured my hair and makeup would take a couple hours, max, and with the ceremony slated to start at 5:30, I thought 2 would be juuuust fine for Mara to show up and begin the process.


My hair and makeup took right up until 10 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start. Apparently my hair refuses to cooperate, even when full of schlagoo to make it work. The finger waves I’d decided on for my bangs? Yeah, no. It took a good two hours of my hair in rollers, bobby pins, curling irons, etc., before we literally said “eff it and just make it not be in my face.” Seriously, I had such a minimal amount of time to get into my dress, much less take portraits with my side before the ceremony. However, Kat was able to get lots of great detail shots, since there are only so many photos you can get of curled hair.

And then!!! The ceremony was longer than I expected (I read it aloud and with Aussie no less than five times. Each time it took 15 minutes). And we were swept up with photos. And family.
Our 6:30 reception arrival? Try 7:15. It was still an effing blast, though. Impromptu karaoke, anyone?

Planning on planning your day is difficult. Working with your photographer is necessary. We lucked out in that we had Kat and Justin for a couple of days, so we got lots of nifty shots. But there were many I was a bit sad not to get. No matter, just poor planning on my behalf.

Morgan at Morgan Trinker Photography posted a fantastic guideline to planning your day. Really, seriously read it. And make sure that even if you think your photographer knows the key shots to get, you spell it out. Because, let’s face it, no one’s really a mind reader.

No one is saying you have to get up at 6:30 in the morning for a 5:30 p.m. ceremony, but give yourself a bit of wiggle room. We did a great outing in the morning with our friends and I was pretty good to go as far as getting ready by noon. But, my hair is a stubborn little bitch and hindered the progress. Which, honestly, I should have known.

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It Could Have Been Worse.

There are little things that went … off at our wedding. Nothing really wrong, per se, just things that could have gone better or smoother.


But, nothing went THIS bad.

It reminds me to stop my whinging and breathe a little sigh of relief.


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We’ve started the process of figuring out what we need to take.

I know … I know. It’s Hawaii. How much can we truly need? Welll …

Bachelorette party: Dress, fancy shoes, clutch.

Adventures: Real shoes, hat, backpack, long-sleeve shirt, shorts, bathing suit, T-shirt/tank.

Beach: Bathing suit. Duh.

Dinners: Dresses and skirts.

Travelling: Comfy yet smart outfits, books, magazines. But we’ll also have at least two days on the road before flying and possibly the same coming back. Which is harder to plan/pack for.

Logistics: Laptop, iPod, notebook, calendar.

Wedding: Oh god … well … we’ve got a fair amount. Not TONS, by any means, but it’s still enough to leave us scratching our heads about whether to ship a package or just take two bags. As you may remember, we’ve got some decorations we’re taking. And I’ve got all those shoes (oh, and add the flip-flops I got for when my footsies can no longer deal). And then there’s making sure we have everything we need for our respective ensembles. Plus the gifts for my side and his side (more on this later … I don’t want to ruin the surprises).

So … we’re taking two bags. It was really a big debate, but we know we’ll come back with more than we took and it would be helpful to start out with the extra room as is.

Now then … which dresses? Always the hardest part.

Also? I’ll be lounging on the beach sippin’ on a fruity cocktail in 6 days. Whaaaaat!


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Sticker Shock.

Srsly. It floors me sometimes when looking around for something cute/fun/pretty to add to the Wedination and I realize it costs as much as our tickets to Hawaii. Fo real. I mean, if I only paid about a hundo for The Dress, how am I possibly going to shell out $225 for a hair accessory? Not that I would, but it’s the principle. I mean, I know some people can afford it. I know some people wouldn’t even bat an eye at spending an ungodly amount on an effing candlestick. But what about the rest of us poor saps? What if we don’t want to spend $40 on a bobby pin? Or $80 on a guest book that will end up in some drawer somewhere only to be looked at when we’re feeling especially nostalgic?

I know the WIC is part of the reason why brides and grooms feel obligated to go spend-crazy on their weddings. I get that. But what about independent vendors? What about Etsy? Even on there, a community of artists, there are some yikes!-inducing price tags geared toward brides and grooms.

I mean, sure, I could DIY the crap out of stuff to make it *more affordable*, but let’s face it: I’m not crafty. I don’t have much time (though, obv. I find plenty of time for Facebook and blogging). And I don’t feel like getting uber frustrated, as I know I would. I know part of price tags are paying someone else for their time to do something for you. Done. Get it. But … still. I know there’s a lot out there on how once you add a variety of words (including but not limited to: bridal, wedding, matrimony, marriage) to an event, the price skyrockets. Ariel touches on the subject here.

I wonder in earnest how one can still have an uber quality wedding without either DIY-ing out the ass or paying a buttload. I know you can always have friendors hop to it for you, but what if, like me, most of my radtastic friends are far away and living their own fun-filled lives? Must I still suck it up and either get my hands dirty or burn a hole in my wallet?

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Gulp …

Ok, not sure what’s causing this … but

I might be freaking out a little.


Maybe it’s because we really are getting close. Maybe it’s because I have not yet figured out who can alter my dress for a good price. Maybe it’s because I haven’t ordered the pinwheels, or his hat, or figured out what hors d’oeuvres we’re serving.

Or maybe it’s because I’m a tight ass when it comes to money and when I finally sat down today and figured out where we were at and what we have left …


Sure, we’re in a fine spot because we’ve pretty much got all the material shizz we need. But then I realized we have the BIG STUFF ahead of us. Like food. And booze. And hotel. And rental car. Guh.

I know we can do it, but it’s daunting. It’s scary. Sure we have our tax returns and 5 more months to save some cash-money, yo, but it’s still scurrrrryyy.

I know I know. I just need to chill because it’ll all work itself out and it’ll be fine. I know this. But for now, I’m going to hide my panic in some Dr. Who and a bottle of wine. Mmmkay?


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Just be glad …

Ummmm … I’m all for color and all, but this is … wellllllllll …

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