Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Dangers of Hope

The sky threatened to snow, but it was only half serious about it.  Tiny flakes sputtered sporadically and looked more like dandruff than magical snow.  Grey clouds added beautiful contrast to the glowing morning sky and the shadowed mountains took on a more dramatic look than their usual, plain, yellow shrubbery.  My surroundings were brilliant.  I couldn't help but think that there was a reason for the brilliance.

That had been happening a lot lately; me looking for meaning in everything.  In fact, just a few hours earlier, I had decided to indeed put on a full face of make up, straighten my hair, and put on real clothes.  So I disrobed of my yoga pants and Matisyahu t-shirt and put on skinny jeans, boots, and a nicer shirt.  I was full of anticipation that in a very short while I would find out officially that I was to finally be a real mom.  You can't look like a slob on the day you find that out.

The thirty minute drive to the clinic felt miserable.  For a few minutes I would be calm and hopeful and even sure that the news would be good.  The test would show as positive.  I had done all the right things, not just to get pregnant, but in life.  I looked back on my life and made a mental list, that I shared with the glorious sky, of why I deserved to receive this miracle; this miracle aided by science and desperation.  All at once, just as quickly as the sky changed too, I had darker thoughts.  During the last three years I had not received one thing that I wanted or needed or pleaded or waited for so why now?  I started to cry a little, anticipating bad news and what that would mean.  It would mean that today would not be the day that I looked in the mirror and knew I would be a mother.  It meant considering going through all of this again.  It would mean having to have hope again.

For the past two weeks I was instructed to go home, take it easy, and just 'know' that I was pregnant.  So I did.   I stopped taking ibuprofen and Zyrtec, ceased eating or drinking anything on the list the internet provided for pregnant ladies, didn't go through scanners at the airport and everyday I looked at the picture of our microscopic embryo and just 'knew' it would grow.  I shared with my friends and family and I had hope.

Hope is difficult for me.  Hope equals vulnerability.  You can't brush it off.  Once you are publicly hopeful, people know if things don't work out that you are sad.  They pity you.  If there's one thing more difficult for me than having hope, it's being pitied.  I prayed that this would turn out right, not just to avoid being pitied but because I truly wanted my shot at raising a family. Also, I wanted to give my husband his second chance at parenting with someone who would stand unified with him and create a healthy family dynamic.

At the clinic, I signed in.  My hand shook as I wrote.  I took a deep breath and decided it was okay to be excited and nervous.  It would be positive, I just knew it.  Well, maybe.  No, it would, it would.  breathe  Before I was called back for the blood draw I decided I should use the restroom.  Having frequented the clinic weekly and sometimes daily over the last few months, I made my self at home and entered the back of house to find the restroom.

Blood.  Blood everywhere.  How could I not have known this was happening during my drive?  I was too caught up in my own head.  Oh that sharp pain?  Probably a sign that there's life.  That hot burning feeling?  Probably normal.  Nausea?   Early pregnancy sickness.  It had to be.  Luckily the restroom in an IVF clinic is equipped with everything a woman needs in a situation like this and I was wearing a long wool coat so I could hide what had happened when faced with people.  I shook.  I grabbed the handle of the door and couldn't bring myself to open it.  If I left the room, I thought, then it's real.  I have to tell someone.

Of all the things I 'knew' that day, the only time I was confident was in the restroom.  I knew there was no pregnancy.  I burst through the door and into the hallway where I collided with a nurse, Natalie.  She was my favorite nurse, actually.  She could tell that I was on the verge of crying and asked if I was okay and I couldn't speak.  I leaned against the wall with my face in my hands and shook my head and then I was pulled into a nearby office.  Behind closed doors, I squeaked, "There's blood." Natalie rattled off statistics. Sometimes this doesn't mean anything.  11%.  Take the test anyway.  Then, she gave me a shot of progesterone, just in case.

I took the blood test and thought for a moment, Maybe it's fine, I hoped.  They said they would call me before noon with the results.  I called my husband.  I texted my friends and my mom.  My mom called me.  I drove, stunned, and then would burst into tears, and then I would stop- repeat.  Once at home, I focused on work.  I knocked out everything I could, crying all the while and then received the call.

"Hi, it's Natalie.  We ran your test first, as soon as you left.  Are you doing okay?"

"Mmmm hmmm."

"I don't have good....news.  I wish I did..."

She said other things I didn't even want to think about at the moment.  Things that included scheduling an appointment, going through the process again, and that sometimes this happens.

"Do you have any questions?"


I couldn't bear to do the formal ending of a phone call.  Okay, you too.  Have a good day.  Bye.  So, I just hung up.  Natalie would understand.

Hope is dangerous because it can shatter you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

For My Aunt Janice: Two Years Later

Your broken body cannot weather the years your youth longs to spend 
    So go down graceful 

    Sleep with the angels, and wake up whole again 

    'It was not your time'  
    That's a useless line 
    A fallen world took your life 
    But the God that sometimes can't be found will wrap himself around you
    So lay down, sister, lay down

-Bebo Norman

She greeted me with a smile as she physically strained to pull her blankets higher, tucked under her chin.  She didn't look like herself, her shell was weak and small.  I sat at her bedside hesitantly, realizing she was not just sick, she was dying.  I had planned this visit to say good-bye because I was moving to Idaho in two weeks and was not sure when I would be back for a visit.  And she was sick.  I didn't know she was dying.  

She didn't look like herself but when she greeted me, her beautiful brilliance shone through.  Her eyes were a little brighter as she said, "Hello, Dearie."  She would have hugged me but she was cold so I put my hand on her shoulder ever so gently and told her it was okay.  In true form, she was not focused on herself, rather she wanted to hear about my engagement, upcoming marriage, and I showed her my ring.  We talked for about 5 minutes and I could tell she was getting worn out so I said good-bye and I love you and left the room.  

Seeing her and realizing she wasn't just sick, she wasn't just weak and recovering, left me in shock.  I managed to spend the afternoon with her family and not break down and then Hospice arrived.  Hospice came in and set up.  She was dying soon.  How could I not have known?  I still struggle with some guilt from that.  

My last moments with her were sweet.  I left a letter with her husband to read to her later, that I knew she didn't have the energy for while I was there.  The letter was about her.  It was about all she had done for me, unknowingly.  It was what I wanted her to know before I moved 1,500 miles away but it ended up being what I wanted her to know before she left us.

I have been trying to write about her for two years.  She passed away two years ago today.  I have six drafts and each starts differently.  Each says too much and not enough.  I have this analogy in my head that when she died, I sustained a wound.  The wound is healing very slowly.  It hasn't started to clot.  The bleeding has stopped, but it's still open and requires a bandage.  As time has progressed, the wound has become part of me.  I am used to cleaning it, babying it, ignoring it; it's normal now but sometimes it festers.  Sometimes just the reminder of saying good-bye, sometimes the memory of her in my life, sometimes something insignificant reminds me of how much I miss her.  I'm reminded of how much I miss seeing her with my Uncle, with my cousins, in the pew on the other side of the church, at family functions. I miss her comments on facebook and that she used to read this blog and encourage me to write.  I miss that she is on the earth with us.  

I received the call the day after I said good-bye to her.  I was driving home.  My route redirected to her home where I embraced my cousin, her youngest son, in a desperate attempt to remain calm but to also try to transfer his pain to me, which didn't actually work, but I wish it had. 

I spent the whole rest of the night, into the early hours of the morning with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  I couldn't help but feel a little thankful that I was able to say good-bye, to spend time mourning with my family, and attend her memorial service  before I moved away.  

For feeling thankful, I felt guilty.  I wish she would have recovered.  It wasn't her time.  Two years later, I mourn differently.  She has met her Creator.  She isn't in any pain.  I am happy for that but find it difficult that a disease took her incredible spirit from us.  The finest moment, no man can measure, is to look your Savior in the eyes. 

Rita, by Bebo Norman

Lay down softly in our sorrow
Lay down sister to die
And cover over, my sweet Father
Cover over her eyes

Your broken body, it cannot weather
The years your youth still longs to spend
So go down graceful, sleep with the angels
And wake up whole again

'Cause it was not your time; that's a useless line
A fallen world took your life

But the God that sometimes can't be found
Will wrap Himself around you
So lay down, sister, lay down

Slower passing are the hours
To tell this tale that takes it's time
But the finest moment, no man can measure
Is to look your Savior in the eyes

So take her tender to Your table
Take her from this killing floor
To taste the water that is forever
Let her be thirsty no more

It was not her time; that's a useless line
A fallen world took her life

But the God that sometimes can't be found
Will wrap Himself around you
So lay down, sister, lay down

And the God that sometimes can't be found
Will wrap Himself around you
So lay down, Sister, lay down

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wedding Stories: The Processional

The processional was very important to me.  I decided if I was going to have a wedding, it was going to be meaningful and symbolic.  I didn't just want to have my friends, all dressed up, walking down the aisle. Every aspect of the processional was carefully selected, not totally for reasons of aesthetic perfection, rather to be meaningful.  When I look back at my wedding I will remember that it was beautiful, but more than that, I will remember how deeply meaningful it was.  I will be able to tell my descendants that I took this union seriously and that it was an outward expression of that commitment.  

The song A Page is Turned, by Bebo Norman, was performed by my two cousins, David and Seth, and my close friend DA.  They are some of my very favorite people and very talented musicians.  Unfortunately, I don't have a recording of them singing the song, but I do have a YouTube of Bebo Norman singing the song. This song is so close to describing Charlie and I and our lives before we met.  The line that says, "boy with curly grin," is cool to me too because curly grin means that he has dimples.  That's definitely Charlie.  Charlie and I both got second chances in multiple areas of our lives.  I love how this song celebrates that.  

Click the video below and scroll down through the pictures of the processional (slooooowly, it's a 5 minute song) and it will be kind of like you were there, but not really :)  


My Soul Sisters
These women are my soul sisters. Until the rehearsal and wedding day, they had never all been in the same room at once.  I told them each for years, "If you all met each other you would get along like old friends," and that's exactly what happened. It was so cool to see my very best friends become friends with one another. These ladies are women of integrity, intelligence, wisdom, and deep faith.  They are also quirky and insanely fun!  Most importantly, they are the friends who I know will counsel me to keep working at it when marriage gets hard.  Pretty dresses and walking down the aisle are fun, but the real purpose of a bridesmaid is to support the marriage covenant.  

My BFF Jessie

My sister Myranda.

My BFF Abby

My Cousin/Soul Sister/Friend, Laura 

My BFF Amy

Building of the Chuppah

Flowers are expensive and they die but not having the bridesmaids carry flowers might have increased the chances "what do I do with my hands" awkwardness and we just couldn't have that.  I decided that they would assemble the Chuppah.  So, if you're wondering why, in the previous pictures, they were carrying huge poles, that's why. 

The beautiful covering that they attached to the poles was hand sewn by Laura.  She is amazingly awesome.  She put in 18 hours (or more) of hard work to make the perfect Chuppah covering.  

The "Flower" Girl:  Ellie
She thought it was cool that she got to carry a lit lantern down the aisle.
You can't see me (which was the point) but I sneaked out of the Bridal room before the processional started so I could enjoy it too.  I hid on the staircase and peeked over the top of the gift table until it was my turn.  I didn't want to miss anything!

The Ring Bearers:  Axton and Bunny
Why is there a triceratops and a bunny in our wedding?  Click here  

Finally up front, we had David, Seth, and DA play/sing Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson.  We love this song because even though it's not totally accurate of us (1st verse) it is accurate, overall, of anyone who has been married whether they stayed married or not.  Marriages in all phases, no matter the number of anniversaries, have struggles and sometimes they seem insurmountable. It's about making a choice to keep your promise. What better time than at a wedding to hear something truthful, humble, and convicting versus cheesy, sappy, and idealistic?  I hum this song all the time.  It's my vow.  "I'll walk with you in the shadow lands until the shadows disappear."

So when I lose my way, find me
And, when I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith to the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wedding Stories: How a Bunny and a Triceratops Became a Special Part of Our Wedding

While still living in Overland Park, Kansas, my nephew Axton spent the weekend with me.  His weekend visits usually consisted of trips to the park, the mall, Target, watching movies on my laptop, reading a thousand books before bedtime, and eating out at a sit down restaurant of his choice.  He chose On the Border.  

Axton had learned, not too many weeks before that day, that I was engaged to Charlie.  He had spent time with Charlie when Charlie flew into Kansas City for Axton's 6th birthday party.  Axton loved Charlie instantly.  I learned, that day at On the Border, that his excitement for the impending wedding ceremony was a lot more than I had ever anticipated it would be.  Just after ordering our drinks, Axton became very serious.

"Aunt Jessica," he said with his hands clasped on the table, "I want to have a business meeting with you."  He knows the way to my heart and he had also apparently retained a conversation from a year or so earlier when I explained to him what lunch meetings were and that sometimes I had them at On the Border.  Suppressing a smile, I put on my serious face and nodded at him to proceed.

"My friend Rogan was a ring bear and I want to be a ring bear in your wedding," his eye contact never wavered.

"Perfect!  Charlie and I already decided that you are going to be our ring bearer."  He smiled and I started to look at the menu.

"I'm not done, though."  I closed the menu.  "Bunny wants to be a ring bear too."

I had anticipated this and had even thought to offer it up.  Bunny has been Axton's favorite stuffed animal since birth.  He has infused so much personality in his stories of Bunny and what Bunny says or does that most of the adults in Axton's life feel like Bunny is alive too.

"Okay," I say.  

"Really?  Can he wear a tux too?  Do I get to wear a tux?"

"Yes, you get to wear a tux.   We will have to try to find a tux for Bunny.  Maybe they have one at Build-a-Bear that will fit."

"Wa-hoo!"  He picks up scraggly, dirty bunny  from the seat next to him.  "Did you hear that Bunny?  You get to be a ring bear!"  Bunny was pleased.  

"Anything else?"

"Yes.  Uhhh...do I have to carry the rings on a pillow?"

"Well, I don't really like the pillow idea but I don't know what else to do.  So, I don't know."

His eyes lit up.  "Well, I was thinking maybe I could carry them on a triceratops.  You know, on it's horns."

I laughed and said, "That would be awesome!" 

We discussed the possibilities of finding just the right triceratops and that he would have to walk very carefully so the rings wouldn't slip off the horns.  I also texted Charlie to let him know about the idea and make sure he didn't think it was weird.  Although, regardless, we would've ended up with a triceratops anyway.

We found a tux for Bunny at Build-A-Bear.  He wore both a tie and a bow tie since Axton couldn't decide which looked better on Bunny.  Charlie found the perfect sized triceratops at ToysRUs and it now lives with Axton.  

Axton practiced very very hard, the day before and the day of the wedding, to walk carefully down the aisle with our rings around the triceratop's horns.

Axton and Bunny were the coolest ring bearers ever!

That conversation with Axton set the tone for how I wanted our wedding and wedding planning to be.  I wanted the people involved, who had to sacrifice time and money, into being part of our wedding to have fun.  Why not have a bunny and a triceratops in the wedding?  The ring bearer should get to have fun too!  Some brides might be focused on everything being perfect and matchy, but having Axton's input and excitement is part of what made our wedding perfect.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Failure to Connect

One year living far, far away from my friends and family, co-workers, favorite dining spots, routine, and I find myself more than a little shocked that I am exactly where I started one year ago.  Uncomfortable, unsure, hoping to fit in, and totally void of personal connections here 1500 miles away from home.  Shocking.  I really thought the being open to making friends and putting forth effort would have helped in some way, but it hasn't.

What's wrong with me?  What's wrong with them?  I have racked my brain and can't figure it out.  I'm sure stage of life has something to do with it.  People have demands with work, family, and extra curricular activities, but didn't my friends and family back home in the Midwest?  Didn't we all have things going on that could keep us apart for long periods of time?  Sure, we did but it didn't keep me from making new connections on a regular basis, acquaintances at least.

I feel more perplexed than bitter, for right now.  More hurt than angry.  I feel very lonely and I feel guilty saying that because my marriage is awesome.  My husband is awesome.   I have a best friend here and he's proven to be totally willing to be my fill-in shoe shopping buddy, my coffee date, and my all-things-vain consultant.  I'm here, away from everyone and everything I love, because of my connection with him.  That is what keeps me sane.  This is right for me.  He is right for me.

I am lonely.

I crave the random moments when my schedule would magically sync up with a good friend's and we would excitedly meet up for an evening cup of coffee or fit in a dinner date, or even show up at each other's homes for chips and salsa and a movie.  All the while, talking about life.  Sharing joys and frustrations, making jokes, and feeling free and comfortable to be vulnerable, even stupid sometimes, knowing we weren't judging one another.

Connection is much more complicated than I thought.  The lack of it has stripped me of knowing who I am when I'm here.  Where do I fit?  How do I act?

Throw in the complications of being thrown into a Just Add Water Family, a job with no co-workers, a church with no one my age, and crazy deep longing to be able to see my sweet nieces and nephews more often and it equals a difficulty I never imagined.  I thought all my difficulties here would be external; they would be learning to be married, learning to be a good step mom to teenagers.  I did not think the struggles would be so deeply internal and complicated.

One year without connections is devastatingly difficult but I still have this hope, this drive, to figure out how to find a semblance of home here, maybe a different kind of home, to find something that drives me, and just one objective, impartial, cool person who gets me so that my poor husband can go back to doing manly activities.

For now I have failed to connect.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Rosh Hashanah Story

I almost missed Rosh Hashanah this year.  Normally, I plan for it.  I plan the food I will prepare, the people I will share it with, and I plan for time I will set aside to consider what Rosh Hashanah means.  Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, the birthday of mankind, but it is not like the secular new year with drunken parties the night before and well-intentioned but meaningless resolutions; rather, it is a time of reflection and then action.  It's really a time of spiritual accounting.  I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of Rosh Hashanah.  You all have Google and are capable of research but I will say this:  as a Messianic Jew, I'm sure that I celebrate much differently than what is traditional.

When I first started really celebrating Rosh Hashanah, I was studying with a friend who is also a Rabbi.  He told me to go to a quiet place, to pray, to meditate, to worship God, and to ask myself four questions:
  1. What did I accomplish this past year?
  2. Do I spend my time efficiently or do I waste it?
  3. Am I involved in my community and ultimately bettering the world?
  4. What are my goals and aspirations for the coming year?
As early as last year, my responses were resoundingly positive.  I had a long list of accomplishments, I could honestly say I didn't waste time, I was very involved in my community, and I had a long list of goals.  This year, though, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, I panicked.  I hadn't prepared, I didn't know where I would go for personal reflection and prayer, and I didn't know what the answers to the questions would be like.  I considered just forgetting about this holiday.  It would be too difficult to explain to my new family and what if they think I'm weird?  

I felt something urging me celebrate anyway so I decided to go ahead with it.  After my workday, Charlie and the girls would be going to Bible study at church so I would have the evening to myself and that seemed to work out perfectly.  I found my great grandfather's prayer book, a fresh journal, and my Bible and anticipated the evening with excitement.  Then, my workday was horrible and I ended up working late and some situations in my personal life were causing me stress and it all came to a head today.  Of course.  But, after my family left, I climbed into my truck and drove 16 miles to the Snake River Canyon, literally in the middle of nowhere.  

Tradition took over.  I prayed and I worshiped.  I meditated in the stillness and wonder of the vast expanse of beauty surrounding me and I felt. . .empty.  I've been feeling empty for a while.  Alone, censored, pressured, uncomfortable, afraid, awkward.  I jotted all of these things down.

What kind of Rosh Hashanah is this?  This is depressing!

So I sat back and put my notebook down.  I just sat there and it was like God said, "Hey.  Jessica.  It's okay to feel this way."  I was like, "I know, but I hate it because I'm super happy but something is. . . off."  

Did you know that it is customary to wish a "good new year" and not a "happy new year"?  I love this.  Having a good year has nothing to do with having a happy year.  To have happiness usually means you are receiving or taking and in return, feeling happy.  Good tends to mean that you are fulfilled, despite set backs, and fulfillment is usually found when one gives to others.  To wish someone a good new year is to hope that their year is fulfilling and that they contribute something positive to others.  I am feeling alone, censored, pressured, uncomfortable, afraid, and awkward because I'm seeking happiness.  I'm seeking to receive and I had, for the short term, forgotten that I need to seek fulfillment.

In answering my four questions I had to come to terms with the fact that my community involvement went from super charged in Kansas City to absolutely no activity in Idaho.  Blerg. I went from having a diverse group of friends to no friends.  I had a church I had grown up in, a bible study in my local community, Shabbat at a nearby Synagogue, and studies with a Messianic Jewish group and I was constantly learning and growing.  I'm feeling a little stagnate, a little over educated, and I'm yearning for community.  

Then, I started focusing on my accomplishments this year!  To name a few: I met my future husband and didn't have any weird commitment issues in our early relationship (yeah!).  I did a big scary thing and moved to Idaho, away from everyone and everything I know, and despite feeling lonely I actually really love it here.   Oh, and the big one?  I am no longer ill.  I AM NO LONGER PERPETUALLY ILL. This past year, I was brave and I succeeded in my endeavors and as scary as they were, I did not die. 

What are my goals?  Well, they are between me and God and the Snake River Canyon.

At this point I was really starting to feel refreshed and encouraged that although this recent transition can be difficult and weird, it's totally normal to feel this way.  It won't be this way forever and I need to stop censoring who I am to fit in to this new place.  

I began to sing.  It felt cool to sing into a canyon while sitting on a rocky ledge (yes, Mom, a rocky ledge over a canyon) but then I looked to the other side of the canyon and thought, "Laura (my bff) wouldn't be singing into a canyon, she would be singing to the other side!"  So I belted it!  I sang every song I had memorized and then I resorted to iTunes on my dying phone.  I didn't care who heard me, if anyone.

You know, over the years and very recently I've taken some criticism from people about my celebration of Jewish holidays, my Jewishness as a whole, and sometimes it bothers me.  After today, I don't think it will ever bother me again.  I gain so much from my observance of these holidays.  They aren't frivolous or selfish.  They are God centered and encourage positive growth. 

How sad would it be if I had let the disappointment of almost forgetting about Rosh Hashanah allow me to just cancel it?  I wouldn't have had any time of reflection that I so desperately needed, but failed to recognize.  What a blessing to have a time set aside each year where I can refresh and realign the direction and perspective of my life.  It's not about the perfect answers, the best accomplishments, or the sweet treats.  Sometimes it's just about a quiet, peaceful, validating conversation with God on the edge of a canyon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Some Random, Scattered Thoughts

I cannot seem to formulate a complete blog post with a beginning, middle, and end.  It dawned on me that this blog is called Mind of Me so why not just throw out some random things that have been on my mind?

On My Mind #1
I read through some old blog posts and some of the comments readers left for me.  It was fun!  On a few of the posts my Aunt Janice had commented.  I sat and stared at the light hearted, simple comments she left to  validate me and couldn't move.  I then frantically searched through my photos on facebook to find her comments there too.  Just seeing "Cute! Love, Aunt JLW" made my heart ache in a happy and a sad way.

I am going back to Missouri in a few weeks and dread attending church with my family because every time I think about it I expect to see her.  I expect her to spot me from her pew and make her way toward me to say, "Hello, Dearie!  And how are you?" and give me a hug.  I know she won't be able to so a major part of me doesn't want to be there to witness my own disappointment.  I bet she didn't know how much that simple yet consistent interaction meant to me over the last 11 years before she passed away.

On My Mind #2
I learned a few weeks ago that my ex-fiance whom I haven't even spoken to for 8 years got married.  I felt like I'd been punched in the gut, not because I still have feelings for him, but because I had started planning a life with him.  Even though I am quite sure we would be divorced now had we gotten married, and even though I am crazy happy with my soon-to-be husband and with my life as a whole, I still had that horrible feeling of not being good enough.

Do you know what's awesome about the whole situation though?  I have an amazing fiance who let me spill all of these emotions to him and he didn't get all weird about it. In fact, he told me it's perfectly normal to have those feelings.  Being good enough had nothing to do with the demise of that relationship, it was about the two of us not being the right fit.  I know this to be true.

On My Mind #3- this one might turn into a whole stand-alone post.
Why is it that people can't let me plan my own wedding without jumping in with opinions about the venue I chose, whom to invite, the time of year?  The worst part is that most of this is going on behind my back and I hear about it later, usually by accident.  Seriously, everything else about wedding planning is going so smoothly it's ridiculous so I am trying not to let people, who should be supporting me and letting me throw my own party, bring me down.  For real, friends, if you know someone who's planning a wedding, smile and nod and tell them that their ideas are awesome or don't say anything at all, unless of of course the bride asks for your opinion.

On My Mind #4
It seems that most of my random thoughts are on the negative side.  Hmmmm.  I guess I should have title this: Things I've been struggling with quietly that I want to get off of my chest.  That title is too long so I will keep it as is.