Husband, husband, husband, wife, wife, wife…

Hehehee. We are married!!!

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Yeah, that’s us!! ^^

It’s been a crazy, crazy month. Things flew by! Roadtrip home, last-minute wedding stuff, wedding!, honeymoon, snuggles, home, back to work! Yikes. I can’t believe it’s all over!

The wedding went amazing. Perfect, actually. We had a few people show up who had RSVP’d ‘no’, and we didn’t actually have enough seats for dinner (lesson learned..), but we were able to fix it quick and everything was great!  It was a beautiful day, my “husband” made me feel like a princess, our vows went perfectly, the Canadian geese flew overhead during our ceremony (yes, this is ACTUALLY our picture!), and it will be a day we’ll never forget..

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All the tiny things didn’t matter at all once the big day arrived. I didn’t care about the flowers, or the napkin colors.. I barely ate any of the food. My shoes, which I obsessed over (but got on sale for $25 😉 ) were off immediately after the ceremony, and I was a barefoot bride all evening (don’t worry, my dress was too long for anyone to notice).  Oh, and guess what? Not ONCE did I think of how big, or how small, or how skinny, or how fat I looked. Not once. I was just beautiful!

Everyone tells you to enjoy the day, and that it will be over before you know it..but I didn’t realize how true that was!

The moment of getting out of the car and walking down the aisle towards James (who may have shed a tear or two) seemed to take forever. I wanted to run! I just wanted to hug him…and take a moment to calm. I knew it would make us both feel better. Other than that, the rest seemed like a daze. Cake cutting, garter tossing, first dancing, speeches…can we please go back and slow it down?!

 

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Shoes off, twirling in a field. Could this day be any more magical?!

P.S.  This was not a photo-op, I just figured (in my love-drunk state), what kind of princess doesn’t twirl?

25 days..

Our wedding is coming up fast..like really fast. It feels like yesterday that I was sitting on the couch with Jamie discussing vendor payments that were due at the 6-month mark. Well, we definitely don’t have 6 months anymore. I’ve put in four solid months of healthy eating and exercising, I’ve been praticing trying to be a ‘wife’ and do laundry (without waiting for 10 loads to be ready..) and make dinner, and pack lunches with fresh baked goods. I’ve started cleaning up every night after dinner (instead of leaving the mess for the next day), and the dish washer hasn’t sat clean for more than an hour before the dishes made their way back to their place in the cupboards. I am starting to feel like a grown up.

And then last night it finally hit me. I am getting married in just over 3 weeks. We are no longer able to use the word “month” when describing the distance of the wedding. Not even “one month away”. Nope, we even passed that. We are now at weeks. Weeks away. We were sitting on the couch, facing one another, and I grabbed both of his hands. I think I squeezed almost too tight for comfort, and all I could say was “I’m so glad you’re going to be there.. it would be way too scary without you”. It brought tears to my eyes. Not sad tears, just happy, nervous tears. We are really doing this.GOP-Engagement-18-XL

I’m not going to lie, the whole thing feels strange. It feels a bit scary and it feels a bit too ‘adult’ for me. It feels right, don’t get me wrong, and I am ready to get married, and obviously I am completely sure of what I want, but it still seems a bit surreal. I mean, we are planning our WEDDING and subsequently our MARRIAGE. I am going to be a WIFE and have a HUSBAND. Next we are going to be flying away on our honeymoon, just the two of us. Soon we will be planning for children (don’t tell James I said soon…it makes him panic, too) and I’ll be having a little baby with cute little dimples, just like it’s Dad.  In a way, I just thought I’d feel different when this time came, I’d feel prepared and ready and like a real adult.

When I was 20-ish and in my second year of University, I remember asking my Mom when I would start feeling like an “adult”. To me, that meant feeling truly independent, not wanting to cry to my Mom when I was upset, and not craving hugs from my family when I was away from home. It meant being confident in my decisions, and not having a mini panic-attack when signing mortgage papers with James without my Mom present (yes, I actually had that thought). I remember her telling me that I was a grown-up. That my mindset was probably pretty much developed, my views and opinions were there, and all that was left were some life lessons and some time to grow internally. She said I would always need my Mom (and that she still needed Grandma), and I’d never stop having a tiny part of me that didn’t feel fully ready. Man, she was right. I don’t think I’ll ever get over needing hugs from my Momma, or stop missing the fresh, comfy, safeness of my bed at Grandma’s house.

Anyways, I guess that was a bit of an aside (^^) sorry… hahagop-engagement-7

I can’t wait to put on my dress, and get my hair all done up and be surrounded by everyone I love and care about. I cannot wait to walk down the aisle towards James and see his face. I will probably start running once I see him (towards him, of course) so I can sneak in a quick hug before I pass out… Here’s to the next three weeks!

Just because I am SO curious…do my quick poll. I’m having a deep day, I want some deep advice.

 

Love,

Ashley.

 

 

Defining Moments

Yesterday, my Dad must have been taking a trip down memory lane as I received a few consecutive pictures in my Facebook inbox. There I was. A beautiful, dark haired little girl with her bangs cut straight across, wearing my early 90’s finest and blowing out the candles on my birthday cake. What was I thinking in that moment? I bet I was excited it was my birthday, and even more excited for cake.

I wonder what my wish was?
I wonder what my wish was?

The picture made me sad, almost instantly. I’ve never seen it before and I feel like I have no idea who that little girl is. I can see my round little nose and my big brown eyes and my dark hair..I can see it all. That’s me. That’s where I started. It made me wonder where things changed. When did I stop being this innocent, happy little girl? When did I become this person who is so critical of herself? This girl who spent years crying when she looked in the mirror, wishing she could have a different nose and a skinnier body, and no stretch marks, and even longer agnoizing over her future and what it would be like. What changed?

I wasn’t born fat, but I got there pretty quickly. I was a chubby kid (not quite unhealthy, but plump). When I started kindergarten I was bigger than the other kids, but I was always tall and had a large structure (I won’t say big boned, because we won’t go there…haha). I didn’t feel weird or out of place then.

My Dad left when I was 3. I have no memories of my family as a perfect little “unit”. My mom went to school and worked a night job–I spent most of my younger years at my Grandma’s. She fed me whatever I wantedfood is love, you know. It is abnormal for a 7-year old child to feel like I felt. I developed OCD and ate like crazy. Food made me feel safe. Hiding in my room made me feel safe. My Mom was stressed and she was busy.. She had so much going on, but she still did everything she could have done. She yelled sometimes like any normal parent, but I don’t think it ever crossed the line of ‘normal’. I hope one day I will be as amazing of a parent as she was. I don’t know what distinguished me from the other kids, or what made me have these feelings, but I don’t believe anything my family could have said or done would have changed it.. It was something deep inside of me. It’s who I was. By the time I was in my first year at University, I was 220lbs and miserable. I was just existing.

There are several, defining moments that stick out when I think about when everything changed. When did I loose that happiness, and that innocence? When did I stop feeling like that happy little girl in the picture and star feeling like the fat, unhappy  girl (the one that still lives in a big part of my heart and soul). Now of course, my life isn’t defined by these moments but they definitely made an impact. They are so small and so seemingly insignificant, but I think they’ll always be etched in my memories.

I remember in Second Grade, measuring the school field with a partner–we had one of those wheels on a stick that clicks for every meter travelled? I was pushing it around and he was walking slightly behind me. He said he was cold and I said I wasn’t.

“It’s because of all your whale blubber.”

It’s funny now, I guess. It was a witty comment for a second grader, but man it hurt.. I remember waiting until I got home after school, locking myself in my room and crying. I’m sure that little boy doesn’t remember that. I’m sure he said it, and that was that. Funny how that works.

I vividly remember standing outside my fourth grade classroom in my purple leggings and having kids tease me as they walked by.  I remember leaning up against the hard, brick wall with my backpack in front me, feeling so alone and trying to hide my pants from the kids as they walked by. All the other girls could wear leggings..but I was different. I was fat. I remember trying to hide the fact that I got teased. I didn’t want my Mom to think less of me or to be embarassed of me. From such an early age I was so worried about disapointing her..I didn’t want her to know she had the fat daughter that no one liked–she deserved more.

And then there was  back-to-school shopping. The one, dreadful year that I transitioned into adult clothes. I hated them. I didn’t want to wear old lady clothes..but I didn’t fit into kids clothes anymore. This was probably around Grade 5. I remember my Mom standing outside the change room while I tried to hold back my tears, telling me it wasn’t her fault I didn’t fit in kids clothes–I was just too big. I remember this day so vividly. I remember the feeling I had, and being so hurt by my Mom.  I’ve never told her this, and I’m sure I never will.

I wish I could go back to that happy little girl blowing out her candles and tell her she was beautiful. I wish I could help her become a confident, happy young lady. I wish I could go back to that 14-year old who quit basketball because she didn’t want to wear shorts and tell her she was GORGEOUS. I wish I could run back and tell her everything would be okay, and she’d be getting married to the man of her dreams (who is SO, so, so, SO, SO, SO handsome), and that she’d have a beautiful home, and beautiful puppies, and a happy, happy life. But I can’t go back, all I can do is go forward…and going forward, my outlook is going to change.

I can’t explain how this strange, random sequence of thoughts has occured in the past few days since receiving those pictures…but this is one of those moments. All I’ve been thinking about is how I wish I could go back and change so many things, but I can’t. All of them are just thoughts, and feelings, too: I wish I had more confidence, I wish I was happier and that I’d made different choices. But maybe I don’t need to go back, maybe all those things made me the woman I am today. I am learning to love her. She is a beautiful, compassionate person. She has more empathy than a lot of people, and loves deeper than anyone I’ve met. From this day forward, I am going to start loving that girl. I’m going to eat chocolate when I want and not feel guilty, and I’m going to run like the wind. I’m going to wear a bikini on my honeymoon and rock it, stretch marks and all. Everything is going to be okay. I’m going to make that little girl proud.

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