Tag Archives: Wedding planning

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?

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.