Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dating: It's Way Overrated

I was never one into casual dating.  If I was interested in someone, and he asked me out, of course I would go.  If he then became my beau, we hung out.  I don't understand how some women can have multiple beaus, and date different guys at the same time. I got myself this new beau back in the fall of last year.  You already know that story. We did things the proper way:  We *talked* first.  Apparently this is a prerequisite phase of courtship.  Everyone knows that you *talk* before you date.  So we *talked* for a bit, then we dated.  And it was really nice.  It didn't take long before we knew that we were blessed by God to have found each other again after 35 years, and that what we shared was indeed special. Before long we also knew that we were The Ones for each other, and we began to make plans to be married. By then, our dates had gone from one night a week to three, then three turned into five, then into seven.  We single-handedly kept the oil industry afloat with our trips up and down the road.  Our original wedding date of June 17th in some ways seemed far away, and in some ways it seemed right in front of us.

Those of you who know me, know that my middle name starts with "A", and that the letters following my name are not MD, RN, CPA, but rather CF.  Yes, I have control issues.  It is not my nature to delegate tasks... rather I will go without sleep for weeks (depending on the project) to make sure that my project du jour turns out exactly like I want it.  It's a curse.  Somewhere in the branches of my family tree lived a person with Control Freak tendencies, and their DNA is alive and well within me.  Though not the first marriage for either of us, we wanted a special ceremony.  Nothing elaborate, but unique to us.  This meant:  Hand-made invitations, programs, decorations, and of course the wedding cake.  Now, remember my middle initial, and the CF after my name.  Once I decide on a design, I can make things happen in a fairly timely fashion.  I knew the theme I wanted and the colors.  But the actual design of the invitation eluded me... and kept me awake at night.  I spent hours surfing the internet for ideas, and ordering the craft supplies I needed to make it happen.  I measured, scored, and cut reams of paper, wanting something more than just a standard folded piece of card stock upon which to attach the watermarked, beribboned velum containing the text.  I made list upon list.  I You-Tubed cake-making techniques, and made a prototype.  This is to be my last wedding, and doggone it, I want it to be perfect.  (Besides, it has to look good for the scrapbook photos, right??)

The last few weeks brought about a few challenges: Whitney started a new job, necessitating a little schedule-juggling.  She and Dustin gained custody of Dustin's daughter, so we welcomed a new addition to our household.  One of my clients changed some clinic dates without telling me, creating a glitch in my work schedule, a friend who I subcontract for needed me, and I found myself the proud recipient of a jury summons.  Invitation "construction" should have been well under way.  Yet I still hadn't decided on a design.  Trust me.  A stressed-out control freak is not a pretty sight.  I could feel my level-headed, easy-going, composed nature start to slip away, and I wasn't liking it.

Last Monday, after a long day at the courthouse for jury selection, Steve and I were having dinner on the card table in my room at The 409.  We were talking about our June wedding, and we both just looked at each other and said "Why Wait?"  That was it. We decided then and there to Just Do It.   We looked at some destination packages at the beach, in Helen, and in Gatlinburg.  Destination weddings are wonderful.  Just show up.  Say your words, pay somebody, and be on your way.  I know quite a few people who have done it and who highly recommend it.  And we seriously considered it.  However, we really, really wanted our family and a few very close friends to be there with us.  If there ever was a marriage to be celebrated, we truly feel like this one is it.  And we really wanted our pastor to officiate.  He and his wife have been very supportive, encouraging, and have offered wise counseling, and we wanted them to be a part.  We abandoned the destination wedding and decided to put together a small, intimate ceremony.  I can't even begin to tell you how different it was planning for *this* wedding as opposed to *that* wedding in June.  Though I never viewed it as a burden, I was so incredibly determined for everything to be perfect that the stress itself was becoming a burden. Oh, in true CF fashion, I denied that I was under stress.  Not me!  Superwoman can do it all!  But once the decision was made to bump up the date, it really was like a weight had been removed from me.  And though it was an incredibly busy 11 days, I enjoyed every last second of putting things together to make it happen.

And it happened last night.  Friday, April 22.  Good Friday.  I am now happily married to the man of my dreams!!!  It was, to us, the most perfect wedding.  My betrothed looked so handsome, and so happy.  When he said his vows to me, his eyes burned so deeply into my soul with a love so pure and strong that I almost couldn't breathe.  I've never felt such intense devotion.  A moment so sacred that I was humbled beyond belief.  A moment I will treasure forever.

We were surrounded by family and friends who love us, who wished us well, and are so very happy for us. The one and only thing that I would have changed would be that everyone who knows and loves us could have been there!  There are many friends on our guest list who were absent last night, friends who have been so excited and supportive, and we missed them. We're so happy that we want to share with everyone, but the main thing was the keep the main thing the main thing... so it was short, simple, sweet, and it's done.  I couldn't have imagined 12 days ago that we would be doing this.  Even with the short notice, and all the challenges listed above, it came together so nicely, and even though my cake was definitely NOT what I meant for it to be (another post/another time), I never lost my cool, and the stress level was well below the radar.

To address demographics:  We will be living in Steve's home (our home!) in Winterville.  At some point in the future, we plan to return to Statham.  The hardest part about moving is I will miss my daily dose of sweet baby love. For so many years, Corey and Leyland have been the lights of my world, and I can't imagine a day without impromptu sweet hugs and kisses.  But this is as it should be.  Whitney, Dustin and the kids will stay at The 409.  I will miss them terribly, but I'm maintaining *my room* (the enclosed garage that was my office, bedroom, den, and craft room), so we'll have a place to stay when we have babysitting sleepovers.  I'm looking forward to those.

And so this is it.  The rest of my life our lives can start now.  Remember that saying?  "Today is the first day of the rest of your life". Yes.  It is.  It's going to be a great forever.