Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Hustle and Bustle

Ahhhh The joys of Christmas. We had a busy one this year. We had three Christmases, Phil's family, my family, our family. Christmas has different meaning to different folks, and for me, it's always been the same. Celebrating the birth of my savior and gathering with family and friends. I'm a winter baby and I love this time of year. I absolutely love it. I'm like Buddy the Elf. My husband. . . Not so much :-) But he gets in the spirit <3

This was our first year as a married couple and our first Christmas living together. As I sit here in our lovely home and look at our tree I'm reflecting on how blessed we are to even be here and be together. I remember my last Christmas before I got sober. I was pretty much living in the bathroom, and trying to escape my family so that I could go do what I needed to do to make it through the day. No amount of money and no gift could ever be as great as my sobriety. I don't hurt my family anymore. I get to show up today, be present. I get to be a daughter, a wife, an aunt, and a friend.

We spent Christmas Eve with my Dad and we went to the church that I grew up in. We spent Christmas Day with my Mama.... Last year, we spent Christmas with my Mom, but she was in the ER with bronchitis. It was not the way that I imagined we'd spend the day, but my smart, and sweet husband made the point that we got to spend the day with the person who needed us most. This year; my mom made a beautiful breakfast and her home was filled with friends, my dad, my stepmom, my grandma. I just have to sit back and thank God for all these blessings.

It has been an eventful couple of years with lots of joy, some sorrow, but the most important thing is that we are all together. God is good, and life is beautiful any way you slice it. I have a life today that I didn't know I wanted. I am present, I am aware, and I am grateful.

Justice is getting what we deserve, mercy is not getting what we deserve, and grace is getting a life that we don't deserve. Merry Christmas, and let's have a wonderful 2014, shall we?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Driving in the Valley - A Road Rage Rant

Driving in Las Vegas is like a combination of Death Race and the Demolition Derby. It's just re-damn-diculous. Every day.... I feel like I am my worst self when I'm driving to work in the morning. It's not because I'm upset about going to work, I love my work. I just get tired of these wingnuts behind the wheel!!!

Every morning on the 15 south, there's at least 3 or 4 cars that break the double line to get into the express lane. If people do this in CA, it's a $350 fine. But out here in the wild wild west, it's a bloody free for all.

Last week, when attempting to change freeways, a car was STOPPED in the lane with its blinker on to change lanes... STOPPED!!!ON THE FREEWAY!!!! Then there's the loves who won't let you in, or ride your bumper because 85 just isn't fast enough. That's always fun. Or when someone stays even with the car in front of you so you absolutely can not pass. Super pleasant.

I can't tell you how many times I've had a perfectly wonderful day and as soon as I have to deal with humanity on the road, I'm mothertrucking everything... calling these folks everything but a child of God, and sometimes rolling down my window to flip them the bird so they can know just how mad I am, and they deserve to be punished for breaking an unknown Joanna law.

I'm also guilty of driving like an a**hole. Shocking, I know. When I was younger, my cousins called me "Crash" because I was always getting in fender benders and getting tickets and what not. So, driving has always been a bit of an adventure for me.

Vegas is such a melting pot of folks, and quite transient. So, it's just a hodgepodge of the worst driving ever...

I will end this rant with a quote from my friend who suffers from a case of the road rages as well: "I have to remember that everyone, including me, does stupid $#!t on the road ALL the time. When you really think about it, it's amazing that any of us survive a 10 minute trip down the highway"

Deep breaths.... and be nice :-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goin' To The Chapel...

He proposed . . . You said yes, and now the planning fun begins!!! I can speak on this because I have been married for exactly one month and twelve days . . . Which obviously qualifies me on an expert. ;-)

Phillip and I had a wonderful wedding. We had tons of family and our best friends all there to celebrate our union. Our wedding was huge. We invited close to 240 people, and our final count was 200. Not sure how many of those actually showed. We think it was about 180. Wowzers!!!

After he proposed I was a little lost as to what to do. My Mama told me that the most important things to lock were a date and a venue. We decided on our anniversary, and thanks to the recommendation of a great friend, we checked out a beautiful venue. Once I saw the grass, the trees, and the lights... I was sold.

There are approximately 11billion websites, blogs, pins, opinions, and feelings related to weddings. Themes, colors, favors, place settings, gifts... OH MY!!! It's all very overwhelming, and I felt like I had to do everything. Also, weddings are expensive. We were blessed, lucky, and beyond grateful to have financial support from our parents.

Date. Venue. Budget. These are three very important things when it comes to wedding planning. The rest is just frosting on what is going to be the best cupcake ever. I'm a super Type A personality. I'm ridiculously organized and prepared, and I get anxiety if things aren't just so. Learning how to let go, and trust that things would be okay were big lessons for me. There were some arguments (there will be) and a few meltdown moments. But ultimately, we were planning a huge party, and parties are funsies!!

Phil & I are huge sports fans. So, deciding our colors and theme was easy. Blue (of the Dodger variety) and silver (let's go Dallas). I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted, and it took me all of 19 minutes to find the dresses I wanted for my bridesmaids.

I used a few resources for wedding stuff; the knot, a great book by Colin Cowie and I used some ideas from Pinterest. I also went to my sis in law for ideas as well. We had a lot of help and we had a lot of fun. I knew what kind of shower I wanted and my friend graciously offered to host it. Phillip's awesome sister hosted our engagement party and our rehearsal dinner. The 10 months that we spent planning our wedding were filled with love, laughter, an awesome vacation, and wonderful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

We picked our playlist, we picked our food, the invites had been sent and responded to, and there wasn't much more to do other than kick back and wait for our day.

A word on invites. We sent them 3 months before our wedding date. We didn't send save the dates because we felt 3 months was adequate notice, and save the dates were an added expense. There were a lot of folks who didn't respond and after about a week after the rsvp date; we got a hold of them. There were last-minute dropouts and a some no shows. The best thing to do there is just roll with it. I was so happy about who was there that I didn't have much time to focus on who wasn't.

My girls stayed the night with me the night before and Philly went to a hotel. :-( it was the first night that we had spent apart in months and I missed him terribly. However, the anticipation of not seeing him all day was wonderful. My girls and I stayed up way too late talking, and I finally fell asleep at around 3. We went to breakfast in the morning and around noon my house was full of females!! 2 makeup artists, 2 hairdressers, 3 bridesmaids, 1 photographer, and me. It was an explosion of hair, and make up everywhere.

We decided to do our pictures before the wedding to give us more time to enjoy our reception. I'm so glad that we did this. I'll never forget the butterflies in my tummy when my husband saw me for the first time. We had a lot of fun doing pictures and once guests started to arrive, I scurried off to the bridal room.

The ceremony was wonderful, the music was perfect, and I vowed to love this man no matter what for the rest of our days.

The reception was super fun and my only regret is not getting to spend more time with everyone there. We also didn't eat much, but we had a great time. We danced to the music that bonded us and we basked in them love of our family and friends.

I write this as an experience that I had with wedding planning, but I write this as a thank you. Thank you to everyone whom came to our wedding, to our wedding party. You all were amazing in every way. Thank you to our parents and our families, without whom, we wouldn't have been able to have the wedding we did. Ultimately, I thank God for bringing us together, and I thank my sweet Phillip for this wonderful life. I love you, dearly.