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?

Burrr…Thursday rant.

I’m so cold. All the time!  Right now I am sitting in my office with the space heater running at max, trying to over-ride the air conditining that my manager has blasting in this place. It makes me so sleepy though… this blog post, while perhaps quite useless and uninformative, is my attempt at making it through the next few hours of my shift without taking a desk nap.

It’s summer time here, and the weather is great..it’s hovering around 30 degrees (that’s 86 in Fahrenheit, according to Google..which might not seem hot for some, but for us, it’s pretty standard. It sometimes might get to about 35 (or 95F), but that’s about the max). It’s also insanely dry here and there’s no ocean…so the heat feels a bit like a desert. But guess who LOVES IT? This girl. Maybe I need to move somewhere I hear about on TV where 100F is the norm…mmm…let’s cook an egg, shall we?

You know that feeling of climbing into a scortching car after it’s been sitting in the sun all day? Lovely..only a few more hours..haha  James thinks I am absolutely nuts and we constantly fight over the air conditioning level in the car. Air conditioning sucks. Give me hot, hot, sweltering, unventilated car heat anyday over AC.

P.S. I am getting married in two weeks.

On that note, let’s unleash the Bridezilla for a bit, shall we? I’ve never been to a wedding, and this is the first one I’ve ever been a part of planning…so please correct me if any of my stated information or feelings are wrong.

Say someone invites you to a wedding.. a wedding that has specifically stated (through both word of mouth and their beautiful wedding website) that children will, unfortunately, not be invited to the event due to space constraints, as well as the fact that the venue does not allow minors. Now,  would you think it would be reasonable to ask the host(s) if you could PLEASE bring your kids? “No one else even has to know”.. Or, how about request that you please ADD ADDITIONAL PERSON(S) to your invite? I’ve had several inquiries lately, ranging from “My husband can’t come, so I’m bringing my child in his place”, “My son wants to come, and he is bringing his girlfriend”, “Will there be booze at the ceremony??” to “I think it’s absolutely unfair that my children cannot come and we will not be attending since our family comes as a single unit.”, and even “I am thinking of leaving my husband, but I am unsure. Would it be okay for me to put an alternate name down as my plus 1, just in case?”. <– That is real.. I swear it is.

Crazy. Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe they are. Everyone has told me since the begining of this planning that I cannot be worried about other people, that “this is [our] special day”, and “not to let it get to [me]”..but I feel like a bit of a psycho/meany-pants/bridezilla/control freak when I have to say “no”, “no”, “no”, “yes”, “okay”, “maybe”, “sorry”, “sure”, or, “I’ll get back to you”, to each of these requests.

I get it..but please understand, folks… I’m truly sorry you can’t bring your kids, and (as a non-parent) I cannot begin to imagine how horrible it must be for you to have one free night away from them (I’ve offered to pay for a sitter).  I’m also sorry that our venue only allows us to accomodate a small number of people, and that we have chosen to have an intimate wedding with only our close family and friends. I am also sorry that your 14-year old son wants to bring his girlfriend, but unfortunately I am not interested.I am sorry that you feel the need to drink during our ceremony, but that, unfortunately, will not be available until afterwards. I’m also sorry that I’ve never met your five year old golden retriever, and I’m sure he’s lovely..but we are not having animals at the wedding (other than Monkey and Benjamin, because they are my soul babies). <– okay, I guess that answer’s it.. It’s me who’s crazy.

Oh wait, no I’m not sorry. We invited each and every single one of you to share in our special day because you’re important to us. Please come, and pack a smile and well-wishes…that is all we ask. If you don’t agree with the way we are organizing our big day, we truly hope you can get over it, but if not, you will unfortunately not be welcome (and no, your sister’s cat cannot take your place).

So, my special friends, that ends my crazy rant (sorry if I offended anyone).

In closing:

I promise that if I am ever invited to a wedding I will come as I am, and if Jamie is not available (or even not invited!), I will come alone. I will not ask if I can bring my sister’s cousin’s friend and his entire family. I promise. I will cheer when you kiss, and I will probably cry too, even if you are wearing black and ONLY invite children–I want your day to be perfect–for you. Good luck fellow brides, try to remember to breathe..

 

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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“45 Days Out”

It was a long, hot day. I got home around 6pm and had mentally prepared myself for the gym the entire ride home. I was hot, sweaty, and my feet hurt. “Why can’t it just be Saturday?” crossed my mind more than once (rest day!). I got home, opened the door, and my two crazy monkeys came running over to see Mom. My goodness they make me happy beyond words (that’s another post..or seven).. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

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After our workout, we came home and devoured these delicious, extra-lean, grass-fed beef burgers on lettuce buns (something you wouldn’t have caught him dead doing when we met) that my wonderful man made for us. The patties were weighed out and ready to grill! He isn’t 100% ready to be a passenger on my ‘ I weigh my food ‘ train, but he does what he can to support me and for that I am grateful. So, so good…and worth the workout, even after my long day. I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, but that’s just the way it is for me some days. Some weeks I sleep for probably about 70 hours..others I sleep for about 35. Hashimoto’s you’re silly..and a pain in my ass.

On another note: Today marks exactly 45 days until I walk down the aisle! I’ve decided to spend the next 45 days doing WHATEVER it takes to feel like (at least) 2- million bucks on that day. It’s time to step it up a knotch! I’ve always struggled with my body image, and although I am now at a ‘healthy’ weight, I still feel like I am that 220-pound girl who was too shy to even glance up from my own little world. I know that for myself, the better I feel about myself, the happier I am. I want to ROCK that honeymoon bikini with NO fear, no regrets, and a huge smile on my face.

My lunch today was DELICIOUS. I tend to get sick of salads, especially since I don’t eat salad dressing, but this was just perfect. It’s really just a normal salad..but the avacado ‘dressing’ is TO DIE FOR (and guilt free!!)

  • Cut up half a ripe avocado and “mix” it with your greens ( I used spring mix and baby kale) until they’re ‘coated’..I find it easiest if you use your hands for this 🙂
  • Add some lemon juice (I used half a lemon), salt, and pepper (this made a delicious, creamy, guilt-free “dressing”)
  • I also added some basil from my garden into the greens..this is optional, as you have to like basil. I LOVE basil..
  • I also added 3/4 of an apple as my carb (the other 1/4 went directly into my belly while chopping..apples are my weakness!)

I also used snap peas, cucumber, baby tomatos and orange peppers, but just throw in whatever you have/like. That’s the beauty of salads.. haha

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(I ate this along with a leftover burger patty with mustard and sirracha–PROTEIN is important 🙂 )