Tag Archive | relationship

Mental Health Check in at 100 Days

Warning:  This is a text-heavy post!  Suggested reading times include after while sipping your favorite morning beverage, on your lunch break, or at home on the couch.

So last Thursday we hit the big milestone of 100 days until our wedding and it got me thinking about all the things left to do on my list, my relationship with Mr. Sword, my sanity, and my future.  Does anyone get affected by milestones in this way?

It also made me think about our invitations but that’s probably because I mailed them out that same day, yay!  A bit early yes, but I’m trying to beat the holiday gifts/cards scramble and while some Chicago friends have already received theirs, I know the Scottish folk won’t get their’s for a week or so.

For those of you in the last few months or even weeks (eee!) of wedding planning here is a mental health check list to assess how things are going.  For those of you already married, how did you feel around the 100 day mark?

First up, Logistics:

Do you have all major vendors booked and reserved for the big day?

As a bride-to-be who hates procrastinating and has been told multiple times that I’m way ahead on everything (why is that a bad thing?), yes, I have all my vendors booked.  I should probably check in with some of them though!

Do you have time set aside or scheduled to finish up DIY projects and things that can’t be done until the RSVP’s come back?

Yes, I’m spending a week and a half in Minnesota over Christmas and I plan to check a lot of things off my list then!  I also plan on tackling our seating chart in mid February.

Are you starting to think about gifts for your bridal party, parents, and other important people?

Absolutely.  Although it feels like the most stressful and daunting task yet.  We have something like 24 people we want to buy gifts for and it makes me want to vomit a little bit.  I’m very concerned about how hard it is to find something that expresses the gratitude I feel while still staying budget-friendly.  Plus, those of us early 2013 brides are enduring double duty of Christmas gifts AND bridal party gifts right around the same time.

Next up, Relationships:

How are your friendships?  Your relationship with your Mom, MOH, bridesmaids, the men in your life, etc?  Are people annoyed with you?

Umm probably?  But that’s just because I’m ME!  🙂  In all seriousness, I surround myself with amazing women and I’ve been having the time of my life.  Mom Sword, Sister Big Eyes, and all my best friends have been so supportive and helpful.  They’ve listened to me while I’ve vented and offered help when I’ve needed it.  And everyone seems to be excited for the wedding, which I think is my favorite part.  I’ve heard stories of in-laws or jealous friends treating a bride poorly and in turn that makes her feel like no one cares or is excited about the Big Day.  I’m pretty fortunate not to have that problem.

How are you and your partner doing?

I have to digress for a moment and share something that has popped into my head a lot during my engagement.  Have you seen Bride Wars?  No groaning please, it’s a great chick flick.  🙂

image via Amazon

image via Amazon

I totally love this movie and find both Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway insanely gorgeous and awesome, but the part that always struck me the most was when the voice over lady (Candice Bergman?) talks about how some couples become closer throughout their engagement and at the same time some couples seem to drift apart.  It’s the part where they show both couples shopping for wedding bands and for some reason I remember that scene vividly.

While I can’t say that everything is perfect all the time between the Swords, I can honestly say I do fall more in love with him every day.  He’s my favorite person in the world and I would say that wedding planning has brought us closer together and solidified our bond as a new team and a new little family.

We’ve learned a ton of things not the least of which being that we are pretty good at planning a big event together.  We really like making joint-decisions and aside from our first big wedding related dilemma of whether or not we should design and make our own family kilt, it’s been pretty smooth sailing.

Even though budgeting is stressful and it seems like there’s always something else wedding-related to do, we make a conscious effort to have fun and LAUGH together while doing things other than wedding planning.  The closer we get to the wedding the more I’ve been feeling like nesting, having babies, and putting Mr. Sword in a bubble so nothing bad can happen to him.  Is that weird?

How are you doing individually?  Do you like who you are right now?

Most days I’m pretty happy with myself but sometimes I hate my body, my bratty attitude, and my perfectionist steak.  Plus, I’m definitely prone to panicking once in a while, I’ll be honest, but overall I’m really enjoying this time in my life and in particular, wedding planning.  While it helps to accomplish wedding related tasks, I find that sometimes when I make or purchase something it opens the flood gates to all the other things that need to get done as well!  I need to enjoy checking items off my list and relish those moments.

Speaking of lists, I’m obsessed with them!  When I get overwhelmed I put together a list… in my little notebook, on the computer, or on a post-it, as long as it’s written down I’m hopeful it won’t get forgotten.

Miss Sword Wedding Tip: For Brides in LDR’s with their wedding, Google Drive is a tool you should be using!  Before each trip back to Minnesota, I write out a document that lists all of the things I want to get done while I’m there and I share it with everyone in my family (except for my brother, The Glue, he could care less).  I also include dates and times and the people who are involved with each task.  This way, my family doesn’t schedule something during an important vendor meeting or appointment, and by scheduling in time for bowling, family trips, or dinners out, it also ensures I get to enjoy non-wedding related time with everyone and makes for a better trip!  Note: This is also helpful if you are flying home and sharing cars with family members.  I know it’s a pain to schedule out every day but it really works!  When everyone is clear on your plan and what you want to accomplish, there is less room for pointless drama.

Finally, The Future

Are you excited for what’s to come?

It’s easy to get nervous and/or worry about the future when so many things are changing.  Sometimes you start a new job right after getting married, or move across the country, or maybe you get pregnant before you get your thank you cards out?  Some people change their name, their address, their physique, and their lifestyle.  It can be overwhelming at times, you are responsible (legally and morally) to this other person and sometimes that means putting their needs ahead of your own.

Personally, at this point I’m pretty uncertain about my future.  Mr. Sword’s job takes priority and as I’ve mentioned he’ll be in Kansas City well into the summer.  Mr. Sword and I LOVE Chicago but we kind of want to raise a family in Minnesota.  But if Mr. Sword is asked to stay in KC, I might have to move there.  Yikes.

And what will happen with his green card?  How long will it take?  It’s one of those things that could take one month or 9 months.

How will our life change when we have kids?  What will happen to the condo I own in Chicago?  Will I get to be on stage again soon (I miss the theatre more than I can articulate)?  How will I ever leave my nanny kiddos if we decide to move?  When will we be able to buy a house and where can afford to buy one?  How often will we be able to fly to Scotland?

Does anyone else have this many what if’s?!?!

Remember these are just my answers and everyone will feel slightly different!  Just because you and your fiancé suck at event planning or have no desire to have children but have big plans to travel the world instead does not mean you’re doing anything wrong!  The coolest thing about life is that we all have different journeys and they’re all equally important.

The engagement is just one small part of your life, but once in a while it’s good to check in and see how you’re doing!

All I know is my future and my home is wherever that skinny Scottish man is, and the rest doesn’t really matter.  How’s your pre-wedding (or post-wedding for that matter) mental health these days?

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…What a Weekend Baby: Miss Sword Has a Meltdown

This is the last installment in my series (my apologies if you’re ready for me to move on by now).

That said, if you want to read what else happened during my “My Wedding Dress Doesn’t Fit and I Feel Crazy But My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby” posts, then you can catch up now!

First, I showed off my White House Black Market shower dress, then I booked a florist and forced Sister Big Eyes and Mom Sword to make tartan fabric boutonnieres, and finally I shared all about my shower!

As I’ve already shared the good, it’s time to progress to the bad and the downright ugly.

My dress, lovingly referred to as Evie, arrived in late August, but I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment to pick her up until October.  NO PROBLEM.  Mom Sword and I showed up at 5 PM snagging one of the last appointments of the day.  I was a wee bit hangry which put me off to a bad start but BM L Dawg had encouraged me to skip on a  pre-fitting snack and I’m glad she did!

This is what I looked like before my appointment:

This is what I looked a mere ten minutes later:

Evie didn’t zip up Hive.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Here’s the whole (ugly) story:

When I first ordered my dress I was encouraged to buy a strapless bra that would be sewn into the dress to keep the MN twins in check.  Well, both bra and dress were in my room when I arrived so I put on the strapless bra first and slipped into my gown.

But when the girl tried to zip up my dress, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.  She tried really hard but there was no way it was going to zip up to the top.  I feel like I’ve lived through every bride’s worst nightmare and I’ve come out a better person on the other side (said in a sappy, melodramatic voice).

The thoughts running through my head were, This isn’t happening to me!  MY dress is a size bigger than the sample dress which FIT LIKE A GLOVE.  Could the sample have stretched out that much?  Damn my huge boobs, back fat, and wide Scandinavian rib cage!  Damn them all!  To make matters worse I was having my monthly girl thing and I’m sure the extra bloating wasn’t helping my case.  Ugh.

The panic started to set in as the girl helping me went to get the alterations lady.  Mom Sword was sitting quietly on the couch feeling terrible for me, and that’s when the tears started to fall.  There was no way I was going to ask them to take out my dress!  When the alterations lady arrived she suggested we try it without the strapless bra saying that it was a terrible bra with really weird cups that were most likely adding to the problem.  So we went bra-less and relief upon relief, Evie zipped up!

But it was too late to stop the meltdown, because things got even worse.  As I stared at my dress it struck me how wrinkled disheveled it looked.  In my hangry, fragile, and period-driven state, I was starting to doubt why I’d chosen this dress in the first place!

Then I noticed A FLAW.  On the right hip of my dress a small part of the ruched fabric was puffing up.  It looked like there was extra fabric there or that it had been stretched or pulled because while the left hip lay flat, the right side looked like crap.  Of course the alterations lady didn’t believe  me at first and kept trying to calm me down instead.  I’m sorry, but I hate being told to relax, it’s my pet peeve!  I’m an emphatic and intense person, and people have been telling me to me to relax my entire life and all I wanted was some compassion, not someone glossing over things and making me feel like a freak for getting upset!

Anyway, she started to say that a good steaming/pressing would fix the problem on the right side.  On the exterior I was trying to be understanding but on the interior I was getting even more upset!  It’s a flaw!  How could she not see it?!?!  I begged Mom Sword for some support but Mom Sword doesn’t know dresses all that well, and said from far away it wasn’t visible, but as she got closer she could see the imperfection on the right hip.  Just when I was beginning to feel like I was in a dream and clearly imagining things, the alterations lady said she’ll pin the fabric in question down and then sew it, and we’ll be able to pick up the dress in a week’s time.

Excuse me?  Does this mean you’re agreeing with me?  She even went to steam the dress to show me how the wrinkles would come out (they were so bad), and my guess is IF she could have steamed out the flaw, she would have, but it looks like she couldn’t.

When we went to the front desk to schedule the pickup they asked when I could come back and I said, “I can’t!  I live in Chicago; I won’t be back until December!”  We decided Dad Sword and MOH/Sister Big Eyes would pick up the dress the following week.  I asked Sister Big Eyes to try it on for me so she could assess how it looked even though she hadn’t been there to see the flaw in the first place.  It was my best option!

**********

I’m happy to report that the dress was picked up this past weekend and it looks beautiful.  I wish I could say I was 100% happy now, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve fallen out of love with my dress.  I just feel so annoyed with myself for barely fitting her, and I’m frustrated with the delicate fabric and its haphazard look.  I’m sad that I didn’t smile very much when I was wearing her, I’m pissed I started off on such a terrible note, and I’m angry with society (and myself again) for all the pressure I feel to love my dress.

I love my groom more than anything and that’s all that matters, right?  My relationship with Evie is a work in progress, like any relationship I guess.  In the end it was a bit of a blessing that she didn’t fit me well, because if she was too loose, I’d have gotten overly comfortable and relaxed. I would have become less diligent about what I ate, and I might not have had a good fitting come December.

While that whole experience was really difficult, I feel like I learned a lot.

1. Don’t go to your appointment hangry.  Or bloated (although there’s not much you can do about that).

2. Try to look your best so you FEEL your best.

3. Set the expectations bar super low.

4.  Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is super tight and tiny in the bridal industry.

5. Remember your groom loves you for the size you are, and that size is not just a good size, it is the right size for you in that moment.

Mom Sword even got me to chuckle during my meltdown because she started laughing hysterically at me when through my tears I asked her to get a few photos for the blog.  I knew this would be a good story and I want to make a real effort to share the not-so-good parts of wedding planning as well as the sunshine-y moments.  So yea, I was thinking of Weddingbee during this moment:

The good news is I am going to have a family friend do my dress alterations and that already makes me feel more comfortable!  Evie is currently hanging in a closet in my parent’s house and I’m hoping our next meeting goes a lot smoother!  🙂

(all photos personal)

So, that’s my story.  What’s yours?

Kids and Ushers

Here’s how it is, I’m having kids be the ushers at our wedding and I’m super pumped about it.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Cousin Frankie is technically the Head Usher and an adult.  He will be walking my Mom and the Grandparents to their special seats up front as well as rolling out the good ol’ aisle runner, but he won’t be seating people or handing out programs.  I know it’s bit un-traditional to have young ushers but I can’t think of anything better than having my two cousins and my nanny kiddo all dressed up and taking part in our ceremony.

My Mom’s brother has two kids, Cousin Singer, a boy age 14, and Cousin Dancer, a girl age 11.  Together with Nanny boy, age 10, these three will make up our adorable group of ushers.  Now I know we aren’t talking about little little kids here, in fact we’re talking about a teenager and two tweens, but I think their energy and charisma is just what we need in an usher on the day of our wedding.

We definitely won’t have seating sides due to our high out-of-town guest ratio and because we have a ton of mutual friends that wouldn’t know where to sit!  I haven’t decided if the ushers will be showing people to their exact row or merely pointing out open and available seats after handing over a program.  Cousin Singer and Nanny Boy will be in black suits and I’m thinking Cousin Dancer will be in a black dress.  Ideally, all the ushers including Head Usher Cousin Frankie will have some of the tartan fabric on their person, but what that will look like all depends on the amount of extra fabric we receive.

Enough blathering, lets put some faces to the fake names I’ve made up!!  (Blathering is a word I’ve heard my FMIL use about herself in Scotland and I have decided to incorporate it into my vocabulary; it means to talk long-windedly without making very much sense.  Obviously, it’s a word made for me.)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my family.  They are talented, hilarious, loving, forgiving, and always there for me when I need them.  Here is a photo of all the cousins with Grandpa and Grandma at a recent gathering to celebrate G and G’s 55th wedding anniversary in Fargo, ND.

Cousin Singer is front and center and next to him is Cousin Dancer.  Cousin Frankie is standing in the back next to Mr. Scottish.  You’ll also recognize BM Jo (who is sister to Cousin Frankie), myself, MOH Big Eyes holding my nephew pup, FBIL, The Glue, and course my Mom’s lovely parents.

Mr. Scottish, BM Jo, Cousin Frankie, and Cousin Dancer

Cousin Singer spraying The Glue during a family water gun fight, yep we’re one fun family

Now, here are some photos of me and my Nanny Boy.  I’ve known him since he was 5 and it’s been amazing to watch him grow up.  He’s one of the smartest kids I know and truly challenges me to think deeper.  He’s goofy and shares my ridiculous sense of humor.  And the best part is?  He is going to have so much fun hanging out with Cousin Singer and Cousin Dancer at the wedding!

At a restaurant in Chicago.

Hitting the pool!

We’re awesome and we know it.

(all photos personal)

PHEW!  Anyone else doing something unique with their ushers?  Anyone else lucky enough to have the best family in the world too?!?!

Suit shopping with my Dad- it took all of 10 minutes

Dad Sword never wears a suit.  Never.  His dressy look includes black jeans and a button-up shirt.  He hates the feel of ties around his neck and if he could he’d spend the rest of his days sitting on the couch with his laptop, watching a sports game on TV, or camping in the great outdoors.

Case in point.

BUT Dad Sword has a wedding to attend next March (an important one), and then he has ANOTHER wedding to attend next June (equally important).  With two daughters engaged it seemed like the perfect time for Dad Sword to purchase a suit.  Mom Sword thought so too, and on our second wedding planning trip to Minnesota we took an evening to go to Kohl’s (PS I love Kohl’s) to look at suits.  We found him a jacket, the matching pants, and a belt, and with my Mom Sword’s coupons and the additional percentage off for using the Kohl’s card, it was A STEAL.  I think we ended up buying the second outfit he tried on, hence the 10 minute shopping time.

Outwardly Dad Sword grumbled but secretly he was happy as a clam.  Both of my parents are beyond excited for both sets of upcoming nuptials and it was great to see him step out of his comfort zone a bit.  The one thing Dad Sword said (after asking that it be a quick shopping trip), was to wonder whether or not he could pull off a pinstripe suit.

What is this?  A request?  An opinion?  We were not expecting this, but we were excited that he had put in some thought into it and went in search of a nice looking pinstripe suit.  While my wedding is on the semi-formal sides of things, Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding is more on the more dressy casual end of the spectrum, but in the end we both wanted Dad Sword in a suit at our weddings and the man wasn’t going to buy two (obviously), so he’ll be wearing the same suit at both of our weddings.  No.big.deal.   Maybe he’ll even get a third time out of it if it still fits it by the time our little brother aka “The Glue” gets married.

Goofball!

Much better.

After we found one we all liked, I decided I had to see how we’d look together walking down the aisle.  I’m going to be keeping entirely with tradition and have Dad Sword walk me down the aisle on the day of my wedding.  People have asked if Mom Sword will be joining us, but I’ve said no, it’s just for me and him.  It’s something I’ve been excited to do with Dad Sword since I was little and I get to do plenty of special things with Mom Sword.  Plus I don’t want to be crowded walking down the aisle in my dress, plus I’m a big klutz and the more feet nearby the more likely I am to trip, and PLUS I don’t need any reasoning behind my decision!

Sometimes I feel like it’s becoming too “conservative” and/or “boring” to have just one person walk you down the aisle, let alone to have it be your father when so many brides are thinking outside the box by having their brothers, their moms, or even themselves do the honors!  And hey, more power to them.  Everyone should do what is special to them.  I am incredibly blessed to have a great relationship with my father and when I walk down the aisle on my wedding day, there’s only one person’s arm I want to be on.

Umm yea…

OK wait,  NEVER MIND, can I get a sub??  Anyone?  Oh well, I guess I’m stuck with him.  🙂

Success!

Finally we had to see it all come together with the pants.

So handsome.

(all photos personal)

Does anyone else have a Dad who prefers sports and the outdoors to fine and fancy things?  Who is walking YOU down the aisle?