3 weeks.

the countdown has officially begun…and i couldn’t be more excited.
the events of the past few weeks have put it all into perspective.
the telling of our story. the writing of our story. the making of our story.
it’s here. it’s finally here.
the preparations have been made, the plans have been put into place, the day is on the horizon.
it seems surreal…yet all too real.

and i wonder how i’m supposed to feel at this point,
wonder what i’m supposed to think.
i’m just not sure…
but i am very aware of how i feel and what i think…
regardless of how i’m supposed to.
everyday, i feel more and more…
everyday, i think more and more…
everyday, i know.

i know that i have made the right decision.
i know that i have found what i have been looking for, what i have been waiting for, what i have always wanted.
i know that it will be hard, i know that thoughts and feelings might change, but i know that it is worth the risk. i know that he is worth the risk. and i know that i want to go through the hard times with him.
i know that he balances me. i know that he values me. i know that he respects me. i know that he loves me. i know he takes the good, along with the bad. i know that he is good for me.
and i know i want him by my side for days to come…
i know.

…and i am ready.

I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you. ~author unknown.



it isn’t about the emotion,
the feeling,
the passion…
even though that does factor in.

it isn’t simply about attraction,
or a spark.

it is a choice,
a decision,
a calculated (or not-so) risk.

it is about companionship,
finding the similarities that will bridge the differences.

it is about choosing to love all of someone…
not just the loveable parts at loveable moments.

the good,
the bad.
through the peaceful times,
through the difficult times.
standing your ground…
until you both make concessions.

it is about loving someone–at times–in spite of who they are.
it is a choice,
an act of the will.

it’s tough…
but worth it.

ready for the simple.

after a day like today?
after one meeting following another?
after making numerous decisions and clarifying others?
i guess the simplicity comes in doing a day’s worth of meetings rather than dragging it out over weeks, a day full of wedding rather than every day full of wedding.
relax. let it go. leave it up to others. take time away. simplify.

one more meeting…please no.

today started out with a startle. i spent the night at mom’s and was soundly sleeping (after staying up way to late) until…
the newest alarm clock guaranteed to wake the dead.
the newest alarm clock that sounds like a house alarm, looks like an ambulance with it’s flashing lights, and feels like an earthquake as it vibrates.
and i am not even kidding. problem is, i had no knowledge of this new alarm clock.
so imagine my surprise when this thing goes off at 6:15am. i could not even think about going back to sleep. i was up at 6:15am…after less than 6 hours of sleep. finally rousing from bed after 1 more alarm clock went off 3 more times. it seems i kept snoozing it instead of turning it off.
tired…looking like i got hit by a truck. a headache. feeling nauseous.

meeting numero uno: breakfast with carrie.
8:30am. panera.
catching up on life, relationships.

meeting numero dos: wedding coordinator.
11:30am. olive garden.
easy enough. over lunch. answered a few questions. asked a few of my own. done.

meeting numero tres: the venue.
2:00pm. the oaks.
met alice and susan in order to finalize venue details on the rehearsal dinner and reception. number of people. number of tables. layout. flow. done.
and a little time for some photo ops.

meeting numero quattro: the florist.
4:00pm. the shop on mitchell.
clarification. changes. discussion of the layout (and subsequent flowers). prices. done.

meeting numero cinco: the musicians.
5:30pm. the guitarist’s house.
song samples. celtic music. traditional music. a little bit of both. the playlist. reception tunes. done.

so at 6:30pm, as we were walking to the car, mom says, “where to next?” “home,” was my only response. i could not think. i could not decide. i could not make one other plan. i was DONE.
we came back to mom’s, wrapped the attendant gifts , put on our pjs and watched a movie.
perfect ending to a way-too-packed day.

onto the next…

some friends of mine, some mom friends of mine, and some of mom’s friends all got together to throw me a bridal shower yesterday afternoon. i walked in and saw people i had not seen…in years, people i haven’t kept in touch with, but people who mean so much to me. it was fun just to catch up with these ladies. and time flew by, i didn’t even realize it. i had some great helpers open gifts for me so i could just talk to the guests…and then stop by to see all the nice things people brought for us.

even though it was fun to catch up, i felt like the catch up was way too short. i didn’t have time to have any sort of in depth conversations…to get back into the lives of these women. it was encouraging…but i found myself wanting more, wanting more to connect, wanting more to get to know them again (and them to know me). i miss each of these ladies, but i am grateful for just a glimpse into their lives (and in mine) and for our time (although brief) together.

and i am, of course, grateful for the delicious cupcakes (in LA fashion) and the white chocolate covered peanuts i had been dreaming bobbie would bring.

i’m back.

i’m back in ‘bama. i had to come back to do a few last minute wedding preparations…liking trying on my dress that had come in while i was away living in california, check out the wedding rings that had been ordered via the phone and picked up since i have been away, meetings (with the wedding director, the florist, the musician, and some more which have escaped me at the moment), and a few showers.

i was set to arrive in montgomery from my red-eye at 8:30am. due to delays in atlanta, i, in fact, did not arrive until 10am–just 1.5 hours until my first shower. i picked up my luggage, and while waiting for mom to pick me up, i pulled a superman and made a quick costume change in the airport bathroom. since it was freezing here, i rummaged through my bag for the warmest clothes possible…not settling for the springier outfit i had chosen to wear back in a more milder, sunnier california.

mom picked me up. we skipped any sort of greeting and needless chit-chat and went straight to business. i finished wrapping the hostess gifts mom had begun to wrap (leaving them undone when i called to let her know that i had arrived–earlier than the arrival time on the website), wrote out thank you’s to the hostess, and then assembled the gifts. done…now we could relax. or could we?

we headed to dad’s to pick up anne so we could all ride together.
as we waited for a few minutes at dad’s, we discussed not knowing what to do. you see, the 3 of us are normally on the other end of these kinds of things–the giving, not the receiving. we didn’t know what time to show up, what to say, or what to do. never having been in this situation before.
the bride.
the mother of the bride.
the step-mother of the bride.
but we’re here now…

and so we made our way to the shower, which was a lot of fun. a mixture of people with whom i had spent a lot of time–now grown-up girls who were in the youth group, mom’s of girls and guys in the youth group, and moms who helped out with the youth group. it was fun to see them all…even if it had been years. it was fun to spend time around them again. it was like old times…but not. we’re older. our lives have changed. but it brought us back–back to that place, back to the relationships we shared, back to memories of great times we shared in the past.
fun times…a reunion of sorts.

and it was a different kind of shower. we made our own individual pizzas. the pre-made crusts, the toppings, the choices. each on their individual piece of parchment paper then stuck in the oven to cook. yum!!

it was time to open gifts, so i was told. not sure how to begin this, or if i should be the one, i went to the appointed chair, along with my compadres taylor (who was collecting the wrapping paper) and hayden (who was recording all the gifts+givers). i sat there. one lady asked me about faisal, another wanted to know the story. i figured maybe story time was in order. so i began my program.

it felt like old times. spontaneously coming up with a plan. calling the ladies to order. demanding their attention. beginning my program. but this time it was personal. what to say, how much to say, what details to include. so i began to tell the story, our story…and invited the ladies who were already there into our story.

it was good for me to recall. it was good for me to recall around these ladies who had already been on my journey. my journey of dating a previous guy. my journey of being single. my journey of waiting. and now, my journey of beginnings. my journey of engagement. my journey of planning. my soon-to-be journey of marriage.
and yesterday, each lady imparted something to both faisal and i to begin our journey. gifts. and more importantly, blessings. blessings recorded in print for us to read. i am eager to read them all, but want to share these for the first time with faisal. these ladies. their gifts. their blessings. their prayers.

then, the goodbyes…the last minute photo ops and the party favors (uh, yes for all you non-southerners…monogrammed cookies).