Category Archives: Wedding

Finding Your Inner Font

It’s a Saturday afternoon and I have nothing to do.

As with most people, I don’t experience this total lack of time commitment often. I have already gone to the gym, watched the Olympic gold medal trampoline competition (bouncy!), and written my daily goal of wedding thank-you notes (two, because I need an instant feeling of accomplishment). Although it’s beckoning to me, if I watch our recording of Bachelor Pad before JB gets home from golf, our brief marriage might be in jeopardy. And running errands just doesn’t sound appealing since it’s 212 degrees outside.

So I sit, with no excuses left to avoid confronting my writer’s block of the past months. Since getting married, I had hoped that I could re-focus all of the time and energy that went into wedding planning back to my blog. I have felt so inspired to write, with ideas running through my head at all times and the unfinished drafts of posts to prove it. I kept starting, but quickly lost the motivation to finish, unimpressed with anything I had written and all of it sounding like I was trying too hard to be witty or deep or both.

But after much soul-searching and reflection, in this afternoon of idleness, I think I finally identified what has been holding me back: FONT. SELECTION.

The idea of writing yet another post in Times New Roman was how I imagine an Olympic swimmer feels when they get out of the pool and see reporter Andrea Kremer waiting for them. Please, not you again! And while I can’t upgrade broadcasters, I can upgrade WordPress themes.

You noticed, right? Look again. Yeah, baby! I think we can all agree that the Balance Overload experience has been revolutionized for blogger and reader alike. (I also updated my “About Me” page, which has been another source of discontent for a while.)

You might be thinking that all of this focusing on the aesthetic aspect of my blog is really yet another distraction to evade the deeper question of what do I really want to accomplish with this site? What is my voice and what do I want to say?

And to that, I respond…. look at this new photo collage site I learned about from Leah’s Thoughts! It’s a great distraction enhancement for blogging! And it’s a great to excuse to showcase wedding pictures. I thought it only fair since all of you have followed me on this wedding journey. (Yeah, I know, who am I fooling, it’s totally for my own amusement.)

Wedding photos courtesy of Tim Hord Photography and printed with permission from JB

while he’s napping.

Look, I know I just wrote a whole blog post about changing my font and then gratuitously threw in wedding pictures. And if you read it and thought to yourself “WTH is she doing wasting my time with this crap, some of us actually have things to do this afternoon”, then please know, I appreciate it. It is said when you have writer’s block that you just have to write. About anything. Get the juices flowing again. So this is my attempt. I’m hoping my font change is just a signal of a new start in blogging.

PS: My new upgrade also allows me to change the color scheme of my blog. If my writer’s block continues, things could get all-out crazy.

How do you handle a lack of motivation, whether in writing or anything else?

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It’s Time To Get Hitched!

When I first blogged about getting engaged, I promised Balance Overload wouldn’t become a wedding blog. Luckily, we had nothing to worry about since it just ceased being a blog altogether!

But such is life. And regular blog postings or not, the wedding week has arrived! When JB and I got engaged back in July, it was hard to imagine that an actual event (and yes, most importantly, a marriage) would happen at the end of the planning. It seemed so far away. And it was.

At the time of engagement, I had just started my new job. I worried about not finding the community I had at my former employer or making friends. Now it’s wedding time, and last week 14 of my colleagues showed up for a surprise lunch/shower thrown for me and JB. I couldn’t even get words out I was so touched.

A few other updates from wedding planning. First, the exercise. All was going great. My arms even had these things in them that my personal trainer called “muscles.” And then my trainer left for a new opportunity. I was worried this would deter me, but by that time I had learned enough from her to feel comfortable doing the workouts (to a lesser degree no doubt) on my own. I have also become quite the Zumba-holic. When I first started Zumba, I resented the women who knew all the routines. Between hip rolls and shimmy shakes, I told them (silently, in my head) that if I had the time, I could know all the routines too. Losers.

It turns out, I am such a loser! I can barely brush my teeth without busting out some Zumba moves. There are unfortunate consequences of this, such as almost liking Pitbull songs, but in Zumba, I have found a cardio workout that gets me excited to go to the gym. Combined with a day of weights, I am confident in continuing this plan even when there is no wedding dress as an incentive.

Oh, and the contact lenses? Yeah, they aren’t happening. I tried. Sort of. Once. And it was just too much. So I dropped it. I’m going naked on my eyes down the aisle. I will see JB clearly once I’m up there with him and it’s probably better for my nerves to not be able to make out all the faces anyway. Once the reception starts, the glasses will be back on. I might even clean them for the big day! Much like my decision to not fake tan, the glasses, like my pale fair skin, are who I am.

And that brings us to right now. JB assures me that for someone who has a tendency to freak out under stress, I’ve been a relatively calm bride. But this last week has definitely been full of emotion. And despite my claims of not being that stressed, my body has certainly tried to prove me otherwise.

I went to the doctor last week for an ache in my side that has persisted for the last couple of weeks. As the doctor poked around on my belly, he stopped in his tracks and told me to listen. He tapped my stomach and said it sounded like he was beating a drum. And then he called it “impressive.” Blushing, I was getting ready to thank him and tell him that it’s simply a combination of eating right mixed with crunches and some oblique twists when he said, “You are full of gas.” Oh. So I guess you don’t want to hear about the Roman Chair lifts I’ve been doing?

(I also foolishly let them draw blood despite knowing my body’s reaction of bruising to this. Hopefully JB’s family and friends will be thrilled to know he’s found a nice little heroin addict to settle down with).

But overall, it was my body’s way of telling me to chill out. So that’s what I have been trying to do. The ribbons are on the programs, the tables are assigned, and the lists have been checked over and over again. As JB and I said to each other on the way to dinner this weekend, it’s time to enjoy and make every moment of this week count. As everyone reminds us, it will be over in a flash.

I can’t thank all of our friends and family enough for their support this last year. JB and I know the real meaning of this weekend is to start our life together and we’re super excited for that and everything, but in the meantime, LET’S PARTY!!

Search Stories

Often times, when I’m really busy and have important deadlines to meet and to-do lists that are four pages long, I stumble upon the biggest time wasters ever.

This week was no exception. I’m putting the finishing touches on a 7-day itinerary for a Spring Break trip I am leading for 14 students to Washington D.C. and New York City. And what do I find… Google Search Stories Video Creator.

I haven’t done a lot of research on it as I went immediately to playing, so I don’t know if it’s new or if I am the last person to find out about it. But either way, I couldn’t step away from it.

These 35-second clips are nothing more than a promotion for Google and a method for forcing users to set up YouTube accounts. Creating a YouTube channel is a little out of my comfort zone. I feel I should start making covers of music like this video I am currently obsessed with. And don’t even get me started on the data “they” are collecting on me.

But when I find something like this, my distraction from immediate priorities knows no bounds and my will must be done. You just input your searches, what Google method you want to use (Images, Blogs, News, etc.) and choose your music.

While I definitely plan to make 1,054 more of these for absolutely no reason other than my own enjoyment, I do actually think they would be great for quick marketing purposes for those with no budget and with no technical skills. This could be useful for us higher education professionals and student organizations to promote events and programming. You could get very funny and creative with these. And they are already online and easy to share. Again, no technical ability needed.

I created two “search stories” about the areas I’m most engulfed in right now.

Perhaps it’s just the need for procrastination, but I am hooked. At least until the next distraction comes along.

What are your favorite time wasters?

Wedding Gut

When it comes to my gut, I’ve never really listened to it that closely. I mean, there’s the gut that tells me that even though I ate the equivalent of two entrees at the Indian restaurant (plus naan) I still have room for frozen yogurt. I listen to that one.

But that other gut, the one that deals with instincts over appetite, we don’t really communicate. I’ve never considered myself “intuitive.” Wedding planning has changed that.

I have a lot to be thankful for, including being able to plan a wedding where I can explore options and try to create the day I have always dreamed about, thanks to the generosity of my parents.

But what I have noticed is that my “dream” wedding is, in reality, very different from what I had once thought it would be like.

Take location. “Every hotel ballroom looks the same.” That was a popular refrain of mine during the days/months/years of planning my hypothetical wedding. Once wedding planning became no longer just for the “One Day” Pinterest board, it was time to secure my hip, non-hotel downtown location.

“What do you mean that price doesn’t include linens?” This — and similar variations — became my new refrain. Downtown just wasn’t working. We were *this close* to signing at my dream downtown venue when JB and I went to Ohio to visit his family. As I showed his parents and others the location, it just felt… wrong. It was beautiful and what I had always envisioned, but quite frankly, it was going to be a pain in the ass. Not to mention, in the wallet. I called my parents on my way home from the airport and it turned out they were feeling the same way, though were tying to make it work for my dream and all. I think we all felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

Resigned to looking at hotels, my sister visited one in a Dallas suburb that puts other suburbs to shame with how much of a suburb it is. But it was PERFECT! The date, the price, the ease for our guests, the staff.  The skyline views aren’t there, and honestly, the ballroom is a hotel ballroom, but it has always felt right.

From the very first decision, the tone was set for wedding planning — just about everything I’ve chosen from dress to invitations has been different than what I thought I wanted — and for a new way of thinking. In that one decision, and after 34 years, I think it finally hit me: When you have that nagging feeling (good or bad) and you listen to it, you feel contentment, peace, and confidence with your decisions. When you ignore it, you maintain anxiety and unease. Not very complicated, obviously, but I have spent my whole life basically disregarding it. I have become more attentive to this gut and what it’s telling me at work, with friends, and just life in general (though sometimes still ignoring it because I’m stubborn like that).

And when it comes to wedding planning, I guess it’s the same gut feeling you get when you know you are with the person you want to marry. And in the end, that’s the only gut that really matters.

In what situations do you rely on gut feeling?

Is Starting An Exercise Program After You Get Engaged Cliche?

It’s not just because I’m getting married! At least that is what I felt compelled to keep saying to my new personal trainer. It’s not as if she ever asked or judged or made any indication that she believed my motivation was anything but genuine or sustainable. But still, I eagerly convinced her, an upcoming wedding was just an incentive for a long-term lifestyle change!

When I started this blog, I stated that one area of balance I wanted to focus on was incorporating more exercise and fitness into my life. I wrote one post about it. And that was about the last time I worked out. A comeback it was not.

Admittedly, becoming engaged has inspired me to re-commit to get in better shape. I am not trying to lose weight as much as tone, be healthy, develop fitness habits and get arms like Jennifer Aniston (okay, that’s mainly just for the wedding).

To help, I signed up with a personal trainer at the university where I work. I’m hoping a trainer can help mitigate the circumstances that usually lead to me failing miserably at a workout regime: accountability; gym intimidation; no idea how to do anything properly; and an intense case of “I don’t feel like it.” Even though I will only meet with her once a week, just knowing I will have to tell her what I did the other days motivates me to press pause on the DVR (during season premiere week people!!) and get active.

My first session was this past Monday and I had to do stuff like this:

Did not smile like this. Or get my knees up that high.

I hope my students were watching me do this. Professionalism at its best!

It’s called a “fully body workout.” This morning, when it took me 15 minutes to put pants on, I had some other names for it. But I know the hurting is good and it will get easier. Sure, I had to stop eating my soup at lunch today because it was too painful to lift the spoon from the bowl to my mouth (I mean, have I NEVER used my triceps in 33 years? They sure are acting like it.), but when I have Jennifer Aniston’s arms feel healthier and stronger, I know it will be worth it.

My biggest hope is that by investing in a personal trainer, I will finally get past my most significant barrier to a sustainable exercise program: time. I mentioned this in my original post about working out, but I’m selfish with my time. It’s not that I don’t have enough time because I know everyone does, it’s that I don’t prioritize exercise enough to make the time for it.

Already I feel overwhelmed with commitments. I cancel one set of plans to make room for a time-sensitive engagement. And then reschedule the original commitment for a later date, so that the calendar fills up quickly. I call this my Ponzi scheme of making plans. To which JB replied that I don’t know what a Ponzi scheme is. To which I replied that he doesn’t know what a Ponzi scheme is. To which we both conceded that we don’t watch the news enough to know who is right.

But my point is, for this to work, I must think about exercise as one of those time-sensitive types of plans. I must schedule around it instead of trying to work it in whenever I have “time “(similar to what I need to do about blogging). So that is my pledge as of right this second. I will keep you posted and share any fitness advice that my trainer passes on that I think might be helpful.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ll likely need to use the restroom in the next hour so I should probably start making my way there now.

What are your fitness goals? How do you stick to them? Or what gets you in trouble?

It’s Complicated… With Facebook

When I was a novice social media user way back in 2007, I had a MySpace account.  I set it up under the guise of planning my 10th high school reunion and needing to find classmates, but of course I knew I was never turning away from this delightfully voyeuristic world.

During this time, I was in a relationship. Being the dutiful social networker that I was, I wanted to ensure people knew everything about me. So I changed my relationship status to the “In a relationship” option. Simple enough.

Until the break-up.

There were tears. There was anger. And then there was the awful task of having to change my status back to single and tell the whole world (yes, EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the world) that I was dumped. At least that’s what it felt like. All of a sudden, I didn’t like sharing everything with the online community. In my heartbreak, changing the relationship status on my profile was too much to bear. So instead…

I deleted my entire account.

In hindsight — and even about three days after I did it — I could admit it was probably a little dramatic. But at the time, it was just easier.

In late spring 2008, I was re-born online with the help of Facebook. I vowed to never change my relationship status on a social media profile again. I have always left that area blank. But as I am now engaged to a wonderful man who makes me forget about any heartbreak except when I need to recount it for a blog post, I feel pretty confident my relationship status isn’t changing again, except to “married” next summer.

Source: Pinterest

But yet I still don’t know if I want to add the relationship status to my profile. Clearly, this quandary falls pretty low in comparison to just about anything else you could possibly ponder. It’s just interesting because I had no problem telling everyone via status update that I was engaged. And the well-wishes we received online were so amazing and meaningful. I tear up reading some of the kind words people left as a comment.

I recognize the paradox of writing about online privacy on a personal BLOG! While I have my limits (politics, for example), I’m not terribly guarded on Facebook and I’m trying to push myself to dig deeper on this blog.

So why not simply change my relationship status? Or post a picture of my ring? Or the adorable picture we took at dinner the night we got engaged?

There is definitely the element of JB not being on Facebook. I don’t post too many status updates about us or pictures out of respect for his privacy. He chooses not to be on Facebook. It’s not really my place to put him on it anyway.

When people asked me to post my ring, I just couldn’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, more power to those who do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. And I was quick to text and email out a picture of the ring to those who asked to see it. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever owned — it deserves a Facebook fan page if you ask me! But just a post of my hand somehow seemed to trivialize the emotion I was feeling.

I’ll continue to search for the balance between social media, blog and real-life sharing. But just for the record, I love my relationship and I would shout it from the rooftops. As long as that rooftop doesn’t have wi-fi.

How do you balance what you post on social media and what you keep more private?

I’m Getting Contact Lenses!

Which is another way of saying… I’m engaged! JB has decided that there is permanent room in his life for college football, golf, and ME!

Upon arriving home from work last Friday, he presented me with a Romero Britto figurine I fell in love with back in December when we visited Miami. And when I realized what it was and turned around, there he was, one knee and all. It was romantic, perfect and surreal.

Fast-forward through the celebratory weekend and wedding planning is in full effect. All my mom and sister needed was the green light of an actual proposal and it was game on.

Part of this journey includes getting contact lenses. I get all Rachel Green (I have actually had this exact experience with a glaucoma machine) when it comes to my optical organ. While I am grateful for my sight and everything, I think eyes — and all their affiliated lids, balls, retinas, etc. — are disgusting. I can’t even watch people fiddle with their contacts, much less handle them in my own eyes.

So I have chosen a life of spectacles. And I love them. They are me, and I barely remember a time when I didn’t wear them. People mistake me for intellectual and this engagement only proves the naysayers wrong — boys most definitely do make passes at girls who wear glasses.

But I have always said the only event that could inspire me to stick plastic in my eyes and then remove it every night (I’m honestly shuddering thinking about this) was my wedding. Yes, I want to be “me” at my wedding, but there’s something about a gorgeous wedding gown paired with black-rimmed glasses that just isn’t festive. Let’s face it, there is only one person who could pull that look off and I envy her.

Unfortunately, my sight has deteriorated enough that I can’t get by without some type of visual aide. JB and his brother look strikingly similar and it’s best that any potential for awkward moments is avoided.

So soon I will go to the optometrist, freak out, and start trying to reconcile my relationship with my eyes so I can be totally comfortable on my wedding day with the foreign circular objects floating in my eyes.

After the engagement on Friday night, on our way to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, JB and I looked at each other and told each other to hold on to the absolute joy we were feeling at that moment. For a brief time, it was all about us. Soon enough, the madness would begin.

But I have made some promises to myself. I will attempt to keep perspective. I will remember that venue, band and flowers are not as important as JB, family and friends. I will keep a picture of me and my mom smiling and laughing nearby (as reminders of happier times in our relationship might be necessary). I will not turn this into a wedding blog.

And when I get stressed choosing cake toppers, I will remember that of all the questions I will be asking and will be asked throughout this process, the most important one has already been answered.