Yesterday, Alana, our engagement photographer, our photographer’s husband, and I drove half an hour North to a beautiful park where the Fall leaves were perfect. And there we spent three hours doing our engagement photoshoot!
The shoot went fantastically. It was so much fun. Our photographer posed us on and against many different architectural structures, landscapes, and terrains. In a few shots, her husband held a pile of leaves in his hands, and let the leaves blow in the wind to cascade over us. We took several different shots with the seven Harry Potter books around us, some with our heads bent, reading. We took shots of us near a river with ducks, against an old red barn, on many different benches, in the sun, against trees. The four of us just walked and walked, and wherever our photographer saw inspiration is where we headed.
I’m so, so, so pleased with how this sneak peak turned out. I can’t wait until our photographer finishes editing the rest of our shoot!
We’ve been engaged for a year and a half now, so to finally have this shoot done is so exciting! It was the first step of our wedding planning, right after booking our venue.
Now comes the save-the-dates. Now comes the final invite list being prepared.
This shoot has started a whirlwind of wedding planning that’s about to start now that it’s been finished.
Getting the rest of the edited photos will only be the start of it all!
My 27th birthday was the perfect day, even though it was a gray, overcast Tuesday.
Alana and I both took the day off of work to celebrate my birthday (because we’re young. Because we can. Because, why not?) and that morning she drove us both to Spa World. We’ve already been there twice, but I could never get tired of that place. We’ve only ever been there on a Saturday, before now, and the huge lack of a crowd was completely perfect. I soaked and sat in different kinds of hot tubs, and the wade pool, for hours. I kept floating around to different jets with different levels of pressure and stationing my feet, hands, or shoulders in front of them to provide some release. Alana treated me to a thirty minute shiatsu massage, and it was fantastic! The massage therapist walked on my back for about ten minutes of it and I was in complete heaven.
Alana and I wandered out to the Poultice Rooms and we tried a few that we’ve never tried before, such as the red clay ball room, which was utterly fantastic. I took a headstand in the middle of the room. We found a quiet, cozy corner, and we sat and talked. We talked for a while about things we’ve never talked about.
We’ve talked about wanting a family in the future for a while now. We’ve talked about having kids after getting married next Fall. But the type of talk we have about it these days is different. I don’t know if it’s because the wedding is less than a year away now, or if it’s just starting to be that time. Probably a little bit of both. But now we’re starting to talk past simply wanting a family. We are discussing parenting methods that we’re interested in. We’re voicing worries, and fears, that neither one of us have voiced before now. We talked about what we both want out of life, and we talked about how we don’t want starting a family to limit that. (As well as ways to stop any limiting from happening.)
We’re even discussing whenwe think we’d like to start trying. And maybe we’ve discussed this before, but it’s just a bit different now. A bit more serious. It’s just blowing my mind that we’re talking about these things, even though I know it’s perfectly normal. Expected, even. We’ve just been together that long. It’s just getting to that time. We aren’t 23 and 25 anymore.
We had some time to kill between leaving Spa World and heading to dinner, so we stopped at Jared’s to browse wedding bands. And even though I hadn’t yet fallen in love with any wedding band that I’ve shopped for anywhere, I finally found what I think I’m looking for.
The band I fell in love with is both rose gold and white gold, which was something I was having a huge dilemma about. I’ve been trying to decide if I wanted to go with a rose or a white gold band, but this one is both! It’s gorgeous, and it’s different, and it’s definitely not something every woman has on her finger. We are going to buy two to wrap my engagement ring in. The really exciting part is that both rings are extremely under the budget that we had set aside for my bands!
For dinner Alana took me to The Melting Pot which is my very favorite restaurant. The fondue is just amazing. It’s very expensive, and you’ve gotta cook your meal yourself essentially, but it’s so worth it.
Alana gave me this beautiful necklace as a birthday present. The stones are lab created opal and pink sapphire, and I just adore it. Between this, Spa World, and The Melting Pot, my birthday was the best one I’ve celebrated with her yet! Finding my wedding bands and the unexpected baby talk was just the icing on top of the cake.
Another year to be alive. Another year to have adventures. Twenty-seven is the year that I’m going to become a wife! It’s going to be full of (probably stressful) wedding planning and learning more about myself than I have yet. I’m excited for it. I’m ready for it!
It feels like so many things have happened since my last post on September 25th, and all of those things are positive. This Fall has honestly been just a series of good moments, followed by awesome moments, followed by even more amazing moments. The good just keeps piling up, the laughter and excitement just keeps rolling in, and I’m honestly living in that glow that happens when everything in your life is well balanced and you just feel good.
Alana and I reached that three year milestone in our relationship last week, which means that our wedding is less than a year away! After already being engaged for a year and a half, after almost a year of her not having a permanent job and us being unsure of any short or long term future for us, we are finally under that year mark.
Last weekend, to celebrate, we took a yoga class together, went shopping for our engagement shoot, and then went to dinner and a movie. We saw The Maze Runner, and we both really liked it. My birthday is on Tuesday, and this weekend my Mom is having the entire family over to celebrate, and she’s making homemade Indian food! On my actual birthday next Tuesday Alana and I both took the day off. She’s going to take me to Spa World all day before taking me to dinner at my favorite restaurant (which is not cheap).
Our engagement shoot is going to be happening sometime within the next three weeks. We’re not exactly sure when because our photographer is judging the changing color of the leaves week by week so that we shoot on a weekend when the leaves are perfect. My yoga practice is on fire right now. The 2-3 classes I’ve been making weekly have been so easy to get to. I jump out of bed when my alarm goes off at 7:00 AM, ready to face traffic and get on my mat. My body is still changing. My shoulders sit on top of my hips more, my sacrum is more tucked, my pelvis less tilted. My arms and back are getting stronger. My headstands are unlike they ever have been, strong, effortless, and I hold them for longer than three minute periods. (Longer than I’ve ever held them before).
On the random times that I do try for a forearm stand or even a handstand, I’m there. I always reach the pose, even if I only hold them for a moment or two. I’m ready to get serious about my inversion practice this Fall and really try to master forearm stand and handstand before our wedding next Fall. The strength required of my body for these poses is almost there, or possibly, there. Every season I grow more acquainted with the feeling of finding my center of gravity while my body is upside down. I reach it more quickly then ever now, my head reaching the floor only a few seconds before my toes leave it.
My schedule at work is busy, full, and full of personality. The clinic constantly gets complaints about how full my schedule is and how hard it is to book an appointment with me. I’ve been getting more sleep, drinking one soda or less a week, and Alana and I have been getting along shiningly.
Like I said, things are great. I’m looking forward to all my birthday celebrations and our upcoming engagement shoot.
I hope this Fall is treating you all well as well as it’s treating me. Peace, love, and light. =)
As I woke up and started my day today I felt different. Very different, even though nothing had changed. I felt a sense of calmness and peace, an almost serene type of peace, though I had nothing to attribute this new sense of peacefulness with.
I took it in and enjoyed it because it felt so great, but all morning I racked my brain trying to figure out where it came from. (I’m one of those people who look for meaning and symbolism everywhere, and who thinks that everything is connected.)
About an hour after I got to work it finally hit me. A week from today will be the three year anniversary of Alana and I officially being a couple. But, that’s not the significance here. The significance is that it was exactly at this point in my last serious relationship with a woman, exactly a week before our three year anniversary, when I found the courage to end it and leave her. It was at this exact point in that past relationship when I decided to leave my abuser.
Alana wasn’t the first woman I’ve had a very serious relationship with. There was another, one in my past. I met her when I was nineteen years old, and we fell hard fast. We moved in together on our one year anniversary. I ended up living with her for two years.
Soon after moving in things went quickly downhill. She became first verbally, and then physically abusive. I didn’t see it at the time (or maybe I didn’t want to) but there was so much about that relationship that was unhealthy. She isolated me from my family and friends. She controlled what I wore. She wouldn’t let me go to massage school, which was the key thing I wanted to do in my early twenties.
The morning that I left her was any other typical morning. I hadn’t woken up knowing that I was going to end it that day. It just kind of happened, and I’m so happy that it did. It had taken me some time, but I had finally found the courage to leave.
I’m happy that I left. I’m happy that I’m happy now. I’m even happier that in a week I’ll be hitting that three year anniversary mark with someone who loves me, and respects both my body and I in a healthy manner. That past relationship taught me so much about myself, life, relationships, and human behavior. Alana and I work hard to try and keep our relationship healthy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of what I’ve been through I have a much better idea of healthy and unhealthy relationship habits. Because of what I’ve been through I’m able to be a better woman for Alana.
I still feel that same sense of serenity and tranquility that I’ve felt all day. If anything I feel it even more deeply after writing this blog entry. I have a feeling that it’s a feeling that’s here to stay, deeply embedded into my bones. Perhaps I’ve been missing it all these years, needing someone else to take up that much time in my life. Someone who is gentle, kind, and tender. Someone who has never and would never raise a hand against me.
I just had to share all of this. If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for reading. And please, if you know anyone suffering from any type of abuse, get them help. It took me a while to climb out on my own. I’m one of the lucky ones.
This past weekend Alana and I went to Dave & Buster’s to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend. We all got a table and ordered food, but mostly we drank. They had these jello shots that were in huge syringes that were only $5.00 and that tasted amazingly.
After that, some of us tipsy, some of us drunk, we went to the all the gaming rooms and played game after game. I can’t remember if Alana and I have ever been to an arcade together before, but it was really enjoyable. We played round after round of skee ball, side by side. We shot baskets into hoops, shot zombie after zombie, and we kept filling up our cup of tickets like two giggling kids at Chuck E. Cheese.
At the end we took our cup of tickets and bought nothing but candy with it, munching on it all on the drive home.
I was exhausted most of the day on Sunday, but it was worth the jello shots and the laughter.
Today my friend James came over and we played video games. And then we watched World War Z, followed by a bunch of documentaries from the series Ted Talks. We pigged out on McDonald’s and rubbed each others shoulders. He was over for about seven hours total.
It’s that weird Autumn time, when the feeling of Summer hasn’t quite left, but the coolness of the Fall is just starting to set in. Everyone is falling back in to their school, career, and work routines.
My friends are stressed with new moves, new parenting obstacles, or financial struggles. Alana and I are starting to really grind down and cut down on our expenses to prepare for a year of saving up for our wedding.
It’s just that kind of weird in between period. People are sick, people aren’t feeling well. I’m noticing a lot of lower spirits and tired eyes. This is an exciting time of the year, but it’s also a stressful one. As the weather falls colds here, we tend to cover up more, stay inside more. Perhaps, withdraw into ourselves more.
I’ve been feeling much better since I wrote my last entry “Little Miss Sweet Tooth”. Aside from the McDonald’s today, I’ve stayed away from soda, and sugar, and sweets. I’ve started drinking more clear liquids again and I’ve started heading to yoga classes on a bi-weekly basis. I feel good, but I also feel in transition. That weird in-betweenness, like we’re all in between time.
Waiting for Fall to really start. Waiting for the holiday season to really start.
Waiting for our three year anniversary, the engagement pictures, for the leaves to start changing…
…waiting for my next burst of real energy and for the Autumn doldrums to pass. I hope the leaves start changing soon.
For a while I had fallen into a really healthy trend, or at least a healthier one than any I was ever use to. I was taking two or more yoga classes every week. I stopped drinking diet soda, then I stopped drinking regular soda, then I stopped drinking soda all together. I started to drink more water and more clear liquids. I drastically reduced the amount of junk/fast/dessert foods that I usually constantly ate. I was feeling great. 2014 has given me some of the happiest times of my life.
But over the last few weeks it’s all begun to dwindle. I started drinking soda again, slowly at first. But then I started drinking it a little more frequently, and then I started drinking diet soda again. I’ve started to stop at Georgetown Cupcake and Baskin Robins on a weekly basis, and I wasn’t even doing that before!
I’ve begun blowing off yoga classes, which happens from time to time. But, it’s not like me to blow off more than one class in one week. Or, to only take one yoga class a week, like I’ve done for the last several weeks. The worst part are the cravings. The constant daydreams and desires for cakes, pies, chocolate, ice cream, chips, Indian food, what have you. It’s all reeking havoc. My skin looks horrible. I’ve begun to loose that naturally high, joyous feeling I usually harbor. I’ve been becoming frustrated more easily. I just don’t feel as good.
Today I’ve started to get back on track. I went to the mall before work to stock up on makeup, and I bypassed the Indian food and the jalapeño pepperoni pretzel dog that I badly wanted from the food court. I got a strawberry banana smoothie instead. When I got to work there were a tin a sugar cookies in the break room. I took three initially…but than I put two back, and ate only one. I’m going to go to yoga tomorrow and Saturday, and I’ve already gone Tuesday. I almost never have a bad week on any week that I take at least two or three yoga classes.
I’m ready to stop feeling moody and sluggish and to start feeling like my usual, perky self again!
On my day off yesterday I went over to Leann’s to trade massages with her and James. I’ve traded massages with other therapists on my days off plenty of times before…but not two other therapists, at the same time! We each had a turn on the table, and the other two worked on the therapist on the table simultaneously. We split the body into upper and lower, and gave each other four-handed massages. It felt pretty awesome, and we had a blast, and I was so chilled and relaxed by the time I left. I’ve been running low on eyeshadow, so I stopped at Sephora on my way to work. I bought myself the Lolita eyeshadow pallet from Marc Jacobs. I’m now going to proceed to search google and pinterest for makeup tutorials with this particular pallet since I’m one of those women who are makeup ignorant.
Trying to still take care of myself through massage, self-care retail therapy, and in many other ways until I start feeling better. I have to admit that I was definitely in better spirits today than I have been all week.
I hope all of you are feeling a bit more balanced this week than I am! Namaste.
I walked out into our living room this morning and was startled to find how brisk the room felt. I knew instantly that the temperature had dropped outside overnight, and I was right! It was in the low 50s. The high temperatures this entire week will only reach the mid-seventies. It’s coming. Fall is coming.
And with this Fall comes our ever impending wedding which will be happening early next Fall. Time is dwindling. That year mark until our wedding will be upon us very soon.
Alana and I sat down this past week and really planned out our wedding budget. We sat down together and really looked at how much it was all going to take. I honestly think I’ve been putting off doing this for weeks. I’ve been nervous that crunching the numbers would only provide us with a whirlwind of stress and anxiety that would only deepen as the weather grew colder. Instead, I’ve felt very calm since planning our budget. I’ve felt good, even. Confident.
A year ago I was so heartbroken and bitter about having to pay for my own wedding. I felt gypped that I couldn’t be handed a beautiful, pristine wedding like so many of my friends got without paying for it themselves. (spoiled brat much!?).
So to feel powerful, and responsible, and good about being able to do this for myself, and for my fiancé, feels amazing. Not only do I no longer feel bitter about paying for it, I feel grateful. Grateful that I’m able to. Grateful that I have a career that I love that allows me to pay for my own wedding.
Alana and I were going to go to hot yoga Saturday morning, but I slept in until 11:00 AM, and we decided to skip it. We also meandered out for some amazing Indian food for lunch. We also bought a bottle of white wine and opened it, even though we already finished a bottle of red wine between the two of us earlier this week. We also started season 1 of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix and fell into that for several, several hours.
I honestly think that lazy weekends and lazy vacations are my favorite thing in life.
I’m happy that Alana and I are able to pay for our own wedding. I’m grateful we’re getting the wedding that we both want. I’m thankful that knowing just how much were investing into it hasn’t caused a whirlwind of anxiety that’s going to last over the next year. I’m happy that I’ll be marrying a woman who loves Indian food as much as I do.
I’m happy the weather is getting colder. For with it’s coldness comes many new journeys to embark on.