Finishing Planning, Celebrating Birthdays and Halloween Costumes

Now that we are just days away from October (still finding that hard to believe) Todd and I are making ourselves busy with finishing the final details of wedding planning. The goal was to be completely finished by October so we could relax the final month before the wedding.

Since he has the day off today we have a day full of errands planned. Tomorrow we will finally have our engagement photos done, the weather has been less than agreeable when we have tried to do them in the past. Yesterday was arts and crafts day for me. There are various signs that we will have at the ceremony site and reception area and I am making them all by hand. I have one finished, the next is still a work in progress but I have a vision.

choose a seat not a side I am happy with the way this first one came out, of course there are a few details I would maybe do differently looking at the finished product now but I don’t want to fuss with it.

 

October is birthday month in my family, part of why we wanted to be done with wedding stuff before the month starts. We have 4 just in my immediate family. Todd’s is the big one this year, he turns 30 on the 17th. I will be baking him a German chocolate cake, not quite sure yet how exactly I will go about doing that, but I will figure it out. I asked him what he wanted to do for his big day, cannot say I was surprised that he wanted to keep it low-key, that’s my introvert. I have a nice dinner planned downtown, I felt the same way last year when I turned 30 so I get it.

We also have Halloween plans that we are looking forward to. We are going to a costume party that we can bring Lucy to so we are all going to dress up together. I started constructing my costume yesterday.

Here is the thing about Halloween for me, I have always seen it as a day to dress up in fun/quirky outfits, often times I make my own or at least parts of my own costumes. I have never fit in with the mainstream of what female costumes are. I remember one year early in my high school years I went to a costume party with a then boyfriend, I went as a milk shake. I thought it was cute and funny. I was wearing a huge cup with a straw coming out of the top, little embarrassing now that I think back about it, but that is OK it was quirky and cute and that is true to me.  When we arrived at the party every single girl there was dressed as a princess (this was before the time of revealing costumes and I shit you not, EVERY girl was a princess but me). Apparently I did not get the memo. I was immersed in a sea of pretty flowing gowns and tiaras and peasant tops and velvet. They all looked so girly and lovely and I was a milk shake. I still had fun and the quirky costumes continued in years to follow. Sometimes I will go the girly route, never the revealing route though, it just isn’t me. I love wigs too. Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a good wig.

This year I am going as a raven/crow/black bird in general. The construction of the beak is posing a challenge but I have an idea of how to bring it all together. I realized after I came up with the idea that I was bird last year as well, I went as a peacock. What can I say, I do really like birds.

 

As an aside I am proud to report I currently have A’s across the board in the program. It is all coming very naturally and I am loving every moment. Yesterday was my first mid-term exam, I was first to finish, I found it really easy. The remainder of mid-terms are next week, we’ll see how it goes.

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Missing What was Never Mine

Every autumn it is the same thing. I see pictures like this, fall1   and this, fall

and oh my God like this, fall2.

 

Suddenly I am sad and nostalgic and missing places I have never been. When I was a child and into my adolescents we would take family vacations over fall break from school. These family vacations always took the shape of road trips up the east coast, through the mountains along roads covered in beautiful scattered autumn leaves. That is where the nostalgia comes into play because as any fellow Floridian knows we do not get fall in Florida. Yet somehow every year towards the end of September/beginning of October I begin to feel home sick for a home I have never known. I feel sadness over a loss but it was something I never actually had in the first place. I mourn autumn. I think many Floridians do.I want that to be the leaf covered street I live on, I want that to be my window, my city.

Yes, we have beaches and warm weather year round but we miss out on so much I feel. Like quiet winter mornings when snow is silently falling outside your window, I experienced this a few winters ago for the very first time and I was truly struck by just how quiet the world outside was. It was as if it was in respect for the beauty of the moment, no man, animal or machine dare make a noise that would shatter the moment. We miss out on the color and the feeling of millions of leaves crunching under our boots as we walk through parks that are painted gold before the winter. We don’t know these parks though, these are not our parks. We don’t know the thrill of apple picking season and corn mazes of cool breezes knocking red leaves off of tired trees preparing for winter.

When I was in Chicago two years ago for Christmas I played in the snow with Todd multiple times. One afternoon while the snow was blowing and swirling magically outside we met a few friends for lunch before walking around a quaint downtown area of a small town. At lunch one of the friends was surprised to hear I had never seen snow before and laughed as Todd recounted all of my escapades in the fresh fallen snow. He reflected on how long it has been since he played in the snow and how Todd’s stories of my fun time in the snow helped him to appreciate again. He said I was seeing the snow through a child’s eyes and in that way it is magical and exciting. I still see it that way.

We are back on FB until the wedding, we are hoping everyone at the wedding will share their photos with us this way. In the interim our friends from IL are writing posts about sweatshirts and warm socks and I am envious. My mourning period has begun once again. Todd and I have talked about the possibility of moving north in the future. Right now it is just talk, not even serious talk, but the truth is he could work in a number of places for his company, they are a national company. I could certainly practice social work in any number of places.. I just don’t like the idea of feeling like I missed out on something in life and every autumn that is exactly how I feel.

Maybe annual fall vacations up north will help with these sorrowful feelings that rise up each year. I can’t say. All I know is that once again I find myself grieving a loss of something that was never mine to begin with.

Wouldn’t It Be Cool If..

macro practice

 

My nephew says this to Todd and I all the time now, it is his newest thing. “Wouldn’t it be cool if I was a professional baseball player!”, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could make a slam dunk?!”

Today I had a thought, a wouldn’t it be cool if thought. This semester has been great so far. I am doing great at Hospice, learning a lot and feeling engaged in something really special. Plus I have this Loss and Life Transition class that focuses on an area of interest for me. I am also really enjoying my gerontology and social justice classes. There have been some recurring themes this semester and much like I often find inspirations to blog about, I have found an inspiration towards a possible future career path. This one thing keeps coming up in different forms and it is an issue that I am already quite passionate about. I am not quite sure how to effect a change in this area but there is certainly a need and it is worth some research. I don’t know for sure that it is something I could make any money working at in the future but even if I did not pursue it as a full-time job I feel confident it is something I could actively advocate for which makes me really excited!!

These are all very preliminary musings I am playing with and until I research this area I will not know what I am really looking at but the possibilities are exciting. Since returning to school full-time I have looked forward to the opportunities social work will allow me to have with clients on a micro/mezzo level, this could potentially help so many people by making a difference on a macro level.

Wouldn’t that be cool.

DIY Bridal Shower

 

 

 

 

Here are photos from DIY bridal shower. We had a great time pulling it all together!

 

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The pom-poms were made from four different kinds of tissue paper. You just by fold the paper,  tie it in the middle and then poof out the layers to create the volume.

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The Tiffany and Yellow table cloth is vintage, it was my great-grandmother’s from Greece.

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Todd created the balloon wall for us by staggering the lengths of ribbon when attaching the balloons to the table. The yellow lace table cloth is vintage as well.

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My white sangria is one of the three recipes I know I do well, all the ladies agreed.

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My mother made chocolate covered strawberries.

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My wedding banner is made of scrapbook paper and twine, very easy.

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For the favor bags we bought brown paper bags and glued on the roses along with tying on corresponding bird tags as a label.

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My mother made this darling door wreath of tulle and fake flowers.

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Getting ready!

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The sign is just painted canvas.

It was a wonderful bridal shower. Everything is really sinking in now. 2 months to go roughly and  I can feel it. We finished the details with our wedding cake over the weekend. I had my alterations appointment Sunday and dear lord did that take forever! 19 buttonholes for my bustle! That is insane! My poor girlfriends are going to spend half the reception just getting me bustled! This weekend is the bachelorette party and I am over the moon excited! I am ready for a mini-break! I find now it is hard for me to go a day without thinking about the wedding. I mainly just think about walking down the isle towards Todd and taking his hand to say our vows. I am on cloud nine I am so happy right now. Cannot wait for the big day!

Fulfilled

I am finding less and less of a desire to write these days. The truth is I am the happiest I have ever been and busy as can be and just don’t have time, nor a want to make time.

The insightful ponderings and soap box ramblings work their way out of my system during the week at school in classes and after with my classmates. I am loving school and just the whole process. I am surrounded by like minded people who care about the issues and are involved in the community in various capacities. There is plenty of time for deep meaningful conversations during and after classes and I am intellectually stimulated and satisfied.

As far as updates on daily life, things are just good and I am soaking up these last couple of months before the wedding. This past year since becoming engaged has been incredible, exactly what I am imagined being engaged would be like. Things are about wrapped up with wedding planning and we are looking forward to coasting through the last month of our engagement and just enjoying ourselves up to the big day.

The truth is, now that I am in the program and volunteering with an organization I like this blog has become a bit of an after thought. I just want to live in the moment right now and allow myself to fully experience everything.

Sometimes I almost cannot believe this is my life. I have said before that I never had a real clear sense of direction when I was younger, even as a child this was true.. I figured myself out over time but the one thing I did always wish for was just to be happy. Even then I never knew how good things could be. I am living a life bigger than anything I could have ever dreamed for myself with the only man I have ever been able to call my best friend. I have never felt more sure of myself and my direction in life, I feel like the walking talking definition of fulfillment and contentment.