Love Story

In lieu of my usual Wednesday Things post today, I’m debuting my beautiful new look and name for my blog! I’ve created lots of new pages (check out the links and menu on the top!) and created a new name that allows my blog to be more of a self-brand. I’m also creating a fabulous banner/logo, Facebook page, and buttons for sponsoring! Keep an eye out for the finished product.

Today, enjoy one of my new pages, dedicated to My Love Story! (Cue the mush)

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This man is the love of my life.

His name is Luke (also sometimes known on here as L) and, yes, he is genuinely named after Luke Skywalker.

And this is how we met.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Wait, no, that’s not it.

Our first interaction is one I definitely remember every moment of, but L doesn’t even remember me from.  It was a party that one of our mutual friends was hosting. After some time with the usual fun of Apples to Apples and other games, some one had the idea to go outside. Somehow, we ended up playing this dumb camp game where everyone gets in a circle and puts their hands in the middle in a jumble. The goal is to grab a random hand, and then everyone has to work together to get untangled and ultimately end up in a circle with everyone holding hands. I hate this game. But L was playing. Therefore, I jumped right in for the chance to hold his hand. Despite my efforts to deliberately grab his hand in the beginning instead of a random one, I was not successful.

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The next time we ran into each other, it was at yet another friend’s open house. All of us teenage kids hung out for a bit and then everyone decided to get up and go to Steak N Shake for dinner. When I stood up, I realized I was now taller than one of my good guy friends.

“Is there no one left that’s taller than me?”  I exclaimed. And, to my utmost joy, a handsome voice responded behind me.

“Helllllooo.”

I whipped around and L was standing right there, a good 4 or 5 inches taller than I am – which is an amazing thing because I’m very tall myself “Hi! Wanna be my friend?” (Wow, I’m such a nerd).

“Of course!” he said.

We sat at the same table at dinner and got along famously.

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Our third meeting was yet another get together at a restaurant that’s always open late. At this point, I totally knew I wanted this boy and I flirted shamelessly. We talked about science fiction shows and  I found an excuse to write a list of my favorites for him to watch, and I ended the list with my phone number.

Because L is just soooooo smooth, he read over the list, and asked out loud in front of everyone, “Is this your phone number??”

That was definitely a moment. After we all left the restaurant, Luke had texted me before we even left the parking lot and we texted up a storm for the next couple months. However, the texting did slow and we hadn’t talked much lately when we met for the fourth time.

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Our fourth meeting (the third one he remembers) is the instance that, if you asked either of us, was the moment we both new we really liked each other. We were inseparable, I tried that lame put-my-hand-weirdly-next-to-him-doing-nothing thing hoping he’d make the move and hold it (spoiler: he didn’t).

After this, we knew we had to spend more time together. We started going on dates, and five years later, we’re getting married on May 4th, 2014. (National Star Wars Day… What else?)

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You can read about how he proposed here.

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Options and Contentment

Okay, first of all, I have to tell you about my lovely weekend! This past weekend I was able to have the honor of seeing my best friend play in her senior recital (she’s a piano major) and we got lots of time to go shopping and eat Thai food. It was just an awesome weekend. Also, her (actually down-to-earth and very sweet) sorority sisters welcomed me right in with their hall and sat with me during the recital and basically I feel like I made about 25 new friends this weekend. They were all super excited that I was engaged, even though they didn’t know me, and it was great to feel instantly brought in by a great group of girls. The bottom line is that my bestie is awesome and an incredible pianist and has great taste in friends (I mean, obviously!).

Now for the think-y stuff.

Even though I’ve only actually been back in my own house for about an hour an a half, I’m beginning to feel some anxiety again. Yes, a lot of it has to do with wedding planning, but most of it has to do with things I can’t control – people who I know will or won’t be willing to attend, the distance between us and my amazing photographer of an aunt (leaving us with only one weekend as an option for engagement photos by her, conflicting with other plans), and the fact that I have to just nail down a date and run. I’ll be touring some more reception sites this week (and hopefully choosing one) and I’m just hoping I can be guided to know when all of my upcoming decisions are correct. For example, I really hope it’s as easy as falling head-over-heels for a venue that seems too good to be true and they just happen to only have an opening on one of the two main dates we’ve been considering.

This brings up a whole philosophical discussion and struggle about whether or not people are happier with the more choices they have. Personally, I don’t think so. I firmly believe that more choices and options lead to dissatisfaction, second-guessing, and discontent. I’ve even read a couple studies that have backed this up.

Another example of this that happened today is that I submitted a take-home final exam for one of my classes. Two days early! Initially, I was all, “Go, me!!” but then I thought, I had more time. Maybe I should have proof read it again. Maybe I should have checked my math. Maybe I should have added more to the essays. It’s not like I was rushed. I could have done something different. When I submit assignments right on time, I feel more able to accept the fact that there’s nothing else I could have done – that I did what I did and had to submit it when I did. Having extra time makes me feel so anxious and like any points I get marked down are just all the more shameful and ridiculous because I could have theoretically put more time into it and should have (theoretically) no excuse to get any point at all taken off. It’s not like this for in-class exams because the moment the test starts, there’s a sense of calm I get when I know there is nothing else I can do – no cramming, no studying, no flashcards. I know what I know and I’ve done what I can and the only thing that is left is to answer the questions I know the answer to. But take-home tests, with all of their glorious benefits, still have that subtle, strange different layer of pressure, because they’re take-home.

I don’t know – am I the only one like this?

Put all of these feelings on top of getting to plan the biggest party I’ll ever throw, and there are so many decisions and different ways everything could go. I have to learn a new coping mechanism for making decisions other than “well, I finished it just before the deadline so it’s not like I had any more time to make it perfect.” This contentment strategy will not fly in the real world, and planning my wedding is my first big taste of it.

Really, I plan to commit to just sitting and writing any time I feel like I have to talk about or debate different decisions in my head (or when I’m laying awake trying to figure it all out in my head). Like, right now I need to go type up a specific conversation with myself about photography sessions and dates. I obviously also call my mom and friends when I need it, but there are so many decisions where there’s no real right or wrong way to do things, and they can’t really make the calls for me.

Do you experience this dissatisfaction with increased options? What’s your go-to decision-making strategy?

Just so we didn’t go the whole weekend without getting pictures together, I made sure to wake her up with some before I left!

My Engagement Details/FAQ

So, I have my own engagement story now! And, since many people have been asking me for details, I have created an FAQ for the occasion!

MY RING!

My ring!

When did you get engaged?

I got engaged Sunday, December 1st.

How did he propose? 

Well, we went out on a romantic date to a fancy-ish restaurant in downtown Rochester, MI. Every holiday season, they are notorious for having every inch of each and every building and storefront covered in Christmas lights. They’re all different colors – some patterned, some solid – it’s really beautiful. At dinner, we were lucky enough to be sat a table by the window so I could see the town from my table. This particular restaurant has paper as table cloths and crayons at each setting. I always love this and have fun drawing and writing things to him across the table. It’s fun seeing how well I can or cannot write mushy things upside down. Our food was great, and then we head out to walk a block or two along the lit-up town.

A small, bad angle of our restaurant.

A small, bad angle of our restaurant.Our dinnersOur dinnersI just adore that smirk.I just adore that smirk!

Trying to write upside down on the paper table cloths!

Trying to write upside down on the paper table cloths!

Some were more successful than others at writing upside down ;D

Our next stop was this fantastic dessert and coffee shop that has a significantly artsy, cafe ambiance and atmosphere. They’ve got everything – house-roasted coffee, cheesecakes, mousse, etc. We decided on chocolate fondue for two, and settled into a love seat by a coffee table. We talked while our chocolate melted and got warm, and they brought over the dish of our fruit and cookies to dip. Once we had finished, we began discussing logistics and timelines of getting married. Luke then began an adorable little monologue about things he loves about me and how he doesn’t want to ever be with anyone else, and proceeded to get on one knee in front of me (still sitting on the couch). He pulled out the ring box, asked me to marry him, which I answered “yes” and we hugged and it’s pretty typical from there!

Our yummy dessert - chocolate fondue!

Our yummy dessert – chocolate fondue!

Our last picture of being just boyfriend/girlfriend.

Our last picture of being just boyfriend/girlfriend.

His car has bluetooth capability so we ended the nigh by sitting in his warm car, calling our families on speakerphone together to tell them we were engaged.

It was perfect, and even though it was technically a public engagement, because we were sitting and he just shifted his weight to get on one knee on the floor, it really wasn’t obvious at all what he was doing. It still felt very private and intimate. No crowd applauding, no congratulatory comments on our way out. It was perfect.

Did you cry or scream?

Haha, no, I didn’t. =]

Did you know it was coming?

Yes, I did. I had known for a while because we discussed it a lot. Nevertheless I had been feeling held in such suspense! It’s been surreal that it’s actually happened.

Do you have a date planned?

Well, we have a couple in mind. It’s been less than a week, so any planning that I’ve/we’ve done has been really spontaneous and kind of up-in-the-air still. We want to make sure the date we choose works best for the most important people to us before we move forward with plans and announcements. We are looking at May or early June, though. I’ll keep you posted.

Where are you getting married?

I also have no clue about this yet. Like I said, it’s been less than a week. He proposed on Sunday, and it is Friday (technically, it’s the wee hours of Saturday morning).

What’s the best part about being engaged?

The best part has really been the fact that I have been feeling so special to have my sister and two best friends so excited for me and so enthusiastic about everything, and that Luke’s family has done absolutely nothing but welcomed me with open arms and excited smiles. It’s been very sweet.

Also, I like being able to actually discuss/toy with plans and ideas without looking like a lame person for planning her wedding before even being engaged. I’m not gonna lie, that was definitely happening a little bit. Guilty. Sue me.

What is the most difficult part about being engaged?

In the moment, I want to say the most difficult part has been trying to nail down a date. Luke and I are both anxious to just be able to have a date decided and run with it. I feel like everyday I’ve been making calls trying to figure out what day works for our immediate families and best friends. Once we can just get a solid date decided, we’ll feel like we can actually get started on some other solid plans and begin to flesh out the actual wedding.

Another really difficult thing is still dealing with the recent passing of my wonderful grandmother (my mom’s mom), and figuring out how to make room for all the happy and excitement in all the grief and pain and complicated family matters that arise from such events. Luke told me the night he proposed that he was hoping to propose on my birthday (September 16th), but nothing about that really went right (the weather was awful, and our plans involved a lot of outdoors – and also I hurt my ankle very badly), so he held off. The first thing that popped into my head at that time was If he had proposed on my birthday, I could have called Grammy about it. I did tell Luke this. We’ve talked about it and he actually told me it came up in a conversation with her and he got to tell her how he had a ring and was planning to propose ASAP. That makes me really happy, that she knew. Grief comes in waves, and more than once in just this week, I’ve found myself looking at one thing or another that made me think of her, or even just thinking about how excited and adoring she would be over the situation and crying. But it’s okay. Ultimately, right now I’m so very glad to have a reason to bring my family together for something to celebrate, considering a funeral was cause for our last gathering.

Additionally, I’m having a terribly difficult time getting used to calling him my fiancee. So, that’s pretty hard. Words are hard. whomp whomp.