Listed Tuesdays: 5 Ways I’ve Changed Because of My Wedding.

Hey, everyone! Today’s post is a link-up with the lovely Erica Jaquiline! Every Tuesday, she does a “Listed Tuesdays” link-up and I’d love to get into the habit of participating each week!

So, here’s my list: 5 Ways I’ve Changed Because of My Wedding!

1. I’ve become more flexible and level-headed.

I’m aware that, for the majority of my life, I’ve been the high-strung, inflexible girl who stresses out easily. However, throughout the wedding planning process (and especially the wedding day), I had to practice being calm and patient almost constantly. Being zen was a choice I had to make every moment during the wedding (particularly during the post-ceremony family shots? Ugh, those can be a nightmare, am I right?). Even during the honeymoon, with all the flights, confusing navigation, language barriers, and packing it would have been easy to lose my cool. To be honest, I think all that practice has really stuck with me since the wedding in my day-to-day life, and I try to consciously choose chill and calm as often as possible.

2. I’ve become more grateful.

My wedding was as wonderful as it was because I had so much help getting everything put together, planned, and set up. Sure, it was amazing just because it was my wedding day, but I feel so humbled by all the generous people (friends as well as family) who really went above and beyond just to do what they could to help. Whether it was absolutely stunning paintings done especially for me by my sister-in-law, Erin (see below!!) or getting the reception hall set up or contributing financially towards the wedding, I feel so blessed my the generosity and kindness of the people in my life.

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3. I love more.

Between cards and video messages and bridesmaids and new family and conversations and hugs, I’ve grown to know just how much more love I’m surrounded by than I thought. This, in turn, has made me feel more full of love than ever, and I feel like I try to speak and act on it more in my day to day life.

4. I spend less.

Uhhhh…. duh? Like, for real. I can’t jump at every impulse or promo code or flash sale anymore. Part of me misses this, most of me knows this is for the best (okay, all of me knows it’s for the best), especially since it’s been an issue for me in the past. That’s a whole other post for me to write. Maybe. Bottom line – it’s uncomfortable to have a joint account and share a budget, but it’s so good for you.

5. I more strongly advocate staying true to yourself.

Planning and envisioning a wedding involved a lot of soul-searching and pondering what’s really important to me and coming to understand what really isn’t so important to me. We wanted a first look. Many people thought that was crazy, but we knew it’d be important to us. I didn’t want to wear a blusher going down the aisle. I wanted dancing – no question (no way was I giving up my daddy-daughter dance opportunity!). All being said and done, I’m so happy with the way things turned out, but it took a lot of courage for me to be conscientious and self-aware enough to be able to discern what felt true to myself/ourselves and not get caught up in things “because they’re tradition” or because I felt it was expected of me. A handful of my friends are also planning weddings right now, and this has generally been my main piece of advice for them.

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Go check out Erica Jaquiline’s Listed Tuesdays and participate yourself! (I know I’m getting this post up late, so maybe ponder about a list for you to write about next week!)

Erica Jacquline

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Why I Turned Down a Job Offer

All in the span of a couple weeks, I finished my undergrad classes! I graduated! I had my bridal shower! I got married! I flew to the Dominican Republic! Not gonna lie, life has been pretty awesome.

But… What’s next?

I blog because I feel a strong desire to open up to the great community of my readers and fellow bloggers, and I’ve gotta be super vulnerable with you guys right now. I knew this was coming, but I didn’t think about strategically planning for it: I’m coasting. I don’t have a full-time job; I finished school; I finished putting my new home together post-wedding. What now?

A month before the wedding, I made the big decision to quit a job I hated. I was waitressing, but it wore on me far too much to let the dread of my next shift weigh me down in the midst of so much joy and love and community in my life right before my wedding. It was a great decision and I definitely don’t regret it. And, to be honest, not having to worry about coming right back home to a job after the honeymoon allowed me to get everything unpacked and put away in our home, and easily readjust. L and I have known that the plan is for me to find work soon after getting settled – both for the monetary reasons and for the fact that I’m getting so bored sitting around the house all day! So when I found a great want ad for a marketing management opportunity, I was stoked.

I wrote a kick-butt cover letter, updated my resume, read their entire website, and psyched myself up for the idea of a new job (Yay! Something to do! Money to make! People to meet! Goals to reach!). I nailed the first interview, which was over the phone. Apparently this job was a bigger deal than I realized – from 140-200 interviewees, I was chosen as part of the top 10 to have a second, in-person interview. But that’s where the great stuff ends. Don’t get me wrong, I rocked the second interview, but seeing the job up close and getting the nitty-gritty details (L called this “talking turkey,” which makes me giggle) made me realize that this job isn’t something I wanted to wake up and do everyday. However, I was already on the spot, and uncertain, so I proceeded to nail the follow-up persuasion email, too. It was at this point where they may or may not call me to offer a third, phone interview to in order to finalize bringing me onto their team.

All weekend I knew there was a big chance this call was coming my way. But my intuition wasn’t happy about it. I even found myself telling my mom and my best friend that I hoped I wouldn’t get the third interview so I wouldn’t have to worry about making the call about whether or not this was something I wanted. At about 12:30 today, they did call me, and asked if it was a good time for the third interview or if they should call me back. I requested that they call back at 3 and then reached out to my husband.

I hadn’t been 100% open with him about how conflicted I was feeling. I had been so excited and pumped up over the opportunity that I wanted to be sure it was something I wasn’t excited about anymore before talking to him. I’ve been bored out of my mind and it’d be a huge help for me to contribute a full-time income to our funds, so I felt a lot of pressure to just go for it even if the pay wasn’t awesome and the job itself didn’t sound fun. My internal compass just wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it. He hugged me and reassured me that we’re not anywhere near a situation where we are “settled down” yet, and we’re hoping for him to get a different job in a town we like better by the fall anyway. He said that, for now, he thinks I should focus on finding something I enjoy. This encouragement meant the world to me, and between that and visualizing not having this job in my future, I felt relieved (not a feeling you should experience when visualizing not getting a job opportunity you’re meant to go for). I knew at this point I could stay true to myself with the most important person to me also being on my team (hey, it’s what he’s here for, too, isn’t it?).

When they called back at 3pm, I politely thanked them and declined. I’ve learned that not all opportunities I am able to take are opportunities I should take. I made a tough call to stay true to and honest with myself and to do what’s good for me. I feel like I’ve taken another step towards growing up. Although I’m left still kind of wondering what on Earth there is for me to do next, I’m happy knowing that I have given myself permission to make sure it’s something I enjoy and learn from instead of jumping for another job that feels like it drains my soul and energy.

Have you ever had to make a hard call to stay true to yourself? What did you do?

sometimes it ends up different #quotes #words #inspiration

Ways to Feel Better Instantly

The past 9 months has been a whole lot more on my plate at once than I’ve had to deal with, probably, than ever before. Two deaths, my dad losing his job (and starting to work for himself!), getting engaged, planning a wedding, finishing university, and trying to cope with the fact that my life will look completely different in two months. I am 100% uncertain regarding just about every important aspect of life in the next year; I don’t know where I’ll be living, where I’ll be working, what I’ll be doing, how often I’ll see my mom, what I will be able to afford, etc. In addition to all this, my personality definitely makes it easy for me to get caught up in stress about the future. This is why I decided to flesh out a list of ways I know that I can start to feel better instantly. If there’s ever been a time I need a list like this, it’s right now!

  1. Close out of all of you tabs on the computer, and actually shut it down/restart it.
    I know I’m not the only one who tends to keep tabs open on their laptop because I plan to read or make some sort of use of it in the future. Having a cluttered computer without actually shutting down or restarting it for a few days just begins to feel like being in a cluttered room. Clearing off my computer makes me feel like I can breathe a little bit better, and go about the things I actually need to do on my computer with more organization.
  2. Clear out your inbox.
    No, seriously. How many emails are in your inbox? How many have you already handled? How many are spam? I just looove going through all my emails and mass-deleting useless ones, or unsubscribing from newsletters or subscription emails. On top of all of that, I couldn’t survive if I didn’t label and archive my emails. If my school sends me an email about graduation, I read it, label it, and archive it. Same with important emails from anything else (especially online shopping receipts and such). Archiving in folders means I know exactly where to look for it later, if I ever need to reference it. It’s like deleting everything without having to worry about losing it.
  3. Clean your room.
    Just do it. Start by putting everything all in once place – a chair, bed, the middle of the floor, etc. Play music. I end up reaching a state of flow at some point and just go until I know I’ve either finished or made some significant progress.
  4. Just do one thing. Then do another.
    Mail that letter. Answer that email. Make that call. Set up that appointment. Doing one thing will help you feel like doing the next thing, and soon enough you feel like you’ve been at least marginally productive.
  5. Chocolate! 
    This is self-explanatory. Treat yourself. Be nice to yourself.
  6. Write it out.
    Here I am, doing just that. Whether it’s a blog post, a journal entry, a letter to a friend, or a list of some kind, getting it put down on paper helps you separate yourself from and organize the things buzzing around your brain.
  7. Hug someone
    This one is science, peole. Oxytocin is released in your blood stream when you hug or shake/hold hands with someone for more than 6 seconds.
  8. Look at baby things.
    Watch youtube videos or browse pictures of baby animals and baby people. This is science, too. Don’t pretend you don’t love doing this.
  9. Stretch.
    Whether you do yoga or just need to stretch out a bit, it feels amazing. Put down your phone, take your eyes off of your computer, step away from the to-do list, and just stretch. There’s no way to doubt that this will make you feel better right away.
  10. Work out.
    It’s okay if it’s just going on a walk! You don’t need to go spend an hour at the gym to gain benefits (both physically and emotionally) from exercising your body. Getting up and going on a short walk outside is worlds better for your sore back than pain killers or further resting. (Also science.)
  11. Look at pretty things
    The specific way I tap into this is browsing and curating my Inspiration Board on Pinterest.
  12. Remember that there are more important things.
    Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that there are more important things than killing yourself over not getting 100% on a school project, or being 15 minutes early to everything. Cut yourself a little slack once in a while, and remember that there are people who love you no matter what. That you’re not going hungry. That you are smart, capable, and special.

If you’ve been feeling like you really need a pick-me-up (who hasn’t at some point during this ridiculous winter?), hopefully some of these ideas help, or at least get you thinking about what makes you feel better.

What kinds of things always seem to brighten your day?

Guys I had a really bad day... I found out that one of my friends got hit by a car and died. I was crying like CRAZY in my first class and everyone stared at me. He was so nice and funny. I'll miss him. And on top of that I have a massive headache, I don't feel well, and I failed two quizzes... I'm so sad :'(

January + February Goals

Look, I know I’m already week into February, but it has been pretty chaotic for me so far and that is why I’m late to post my goals for the month.

Reflecting back on January, not a whole lot particularly sticks out in my mind. Some bridal expos, lots of vendor interviews, bouncing between being really bored with school and being really overwhelmed with it. Our music for Chorale this semester is really hard but really wonderful.

Aside from my resolutions, I don’t think I ever really listed any specific goals for the month. A lot of my blogger friends do new goals each month, and look back at how they did the month before. Personally, I really like this system! It’s much better than only setting goals annually. It seems more manageable, applicable, and effective. Also, you can spend one month developing one habit, and then move on to another habit the next month. That being said, here are my goals for February!

  1. Ask for help more often. 
    This is going to be really important. My wedding is going to include a lot of personalization and DIY projects and such. I’ve got a lot on my plate, and even if I didn’t I would need a ton of help pulling a whole wedding together. Fortunately, I have a wonderful community of people supporting my family and we’re all going to orchestrate an amazing day. Even aside from the wedding things, I need to be okay asking for help more often when it comes to school projects, asking for time to sit and focus on schoolwork rather than having to entertain, asking for grace for when I slip up. This month, I really need to try and better understand that I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.
  2. Practice flexibility
    Again, this is very much intended for all sorts of wedding ideas and concepts. However, it’s also important to practice this in my life in general. I’ve never been particularly spectacular at being flexible and taking time to think before reacting to news or a change. Also, money is tight, and practicing flexibility to adjust to more of penny-pinching will be really helpful.
  3. Make a habit of working out regularly and making healthier choices
    I feel like this is almost an obligatory inclusion in every list of goals. Also? I weighed myself for the first time in a long time and I definitely do not weigh what I thought I weighed – which is awesome on one hand because it’s exactly the motivation I needed to actually get back to my healthier and more active habits.
  4. Do a better job keeping up with school
    This one really doesn’t need any further explanation. I have a lot of assignments to get done every week, and I just have to do them.
  5. Really rest more
    I lay around and relax all the time, but I don’t spend enough time actually resting. I mean meditating, getting to sleep earlier, reading books, remembering to breathe – the beneficial relaxation. The kind of relaxation that isn’t continually watching just one more episode of Netflix in bed before actually going to sleep, or hitting the snooze until it’s the absolute latest I can get up and get ready for the day.
  6. Keep trying to be more gentle with myself
    Stop getting angry at myself easily, take breaks when I need to, remember to say no to things I can’t handle taking on right now, not holding myself to unrealistic goals consistently (like never letting my room get messy at all?), not beating myself up about silly little things, and trying to let myself better shrug off negativity.
  7. Learn to be my own hero
    This has been my mantra since one of my absolute favorite ladies said it on Twitter. Instead of always daydreaming about that girl I wish I were or dream of becoming one day, I’m working on realizing that I’m already completely who I who I want to be, and I just need to let that show more often. I already ran 3 miles in a blizzard this week – there’s nothing else I can’t do. I can make myself workout as much as I’d like. I can buckle down and get my schoolwork done. I can be kind to every person I meet. I can dress as nice as I’d like every day. I can plan a wedding. I can make friends. I can encourage others. I can already do everything I wish I could do.

Even though some of these goals are are kind of vague and aren’t “measurable” (for instance, losing X number of pounds, achieving a certain GPA, accomplishing a specific task), they’re all really important, and maintainable (or at least practicable). Every day is just a process to be better.

She believed.