My favorite day of 2015

I’m very grateful that 2015 has ended a lot better than it began. I spent most of last winter confused, hurt and generally lost in life. I still can’t claim to fully know where I’m going, but I think that’s fairly normal for most of us. For as many days as I spent in a depressed state of mind though I have spent just as many, if not more, days as happy as any of us can ever be in a world gone awry.

By far my favorite day this past year was Dec. 5th. That was the day I got married. I don’t think a day that required such limited planning could have turned out more perfect. I loved every element, from the non-traditional blue dress I wore, to the more traditional smashing of cake in each other’s faces. The day was so low-key and fun that I don’t think I would have done it any other way if given the opportunity to redo it.

Many people questioned why I did not announce it prior but instead told the world via Facebook later in the day. Quite simply because I did not want people playing 20 questions with me about it. I told a select few who I deemed deserving to know in advance, and I also liked keeping it “under wraps” because it was so much more fun to see the surprised responses.

Another reason I never announced the wedding prior was due to us not having what most would consider a formal engagement. Personally when two people live together for a few years it seems a bit silly to me to try to plan a surprise proposal. Sure it’s “traditional” and “romantic”, but if two people have committed to living together for a period time, I think it tends to be a given that they will likely get married at some point. We basically just had discussed it and agreed to it and set a date to be married. I believe the idea of proposals and engagements made more sense years ago when it was taboo to live together before marriage; to each his/her own though I suppose.

Above all I love that the day was our own. I had never felt more gorgeous than I did in my dress even with having done my hair and makeup myself. At no point did I feel that I was having to entertain others as often seems the case in large weddings and receptions. By keeping it small we were able to interact with everyone and celebrate each other. The wine ceremony we included enabled us to involve our families and make the ceremony more fun and interesting. Our vows were a combination of various vows the mayor had provided as examples as well as others I found online. They encompassed what a relationship truly is to us – a joining of two individuals who maintain individuality while supporting and loving each other. I give Jason credit for coming up with a more preferred term to the traditional “I take…” – I had been struggling to find a phrase that did not seem so controlling when he suggested I choose. It fit exactly into the theme of the vows. The reception dinner we had at Loxley’s was very nice because they put our party in a back private room without us even requesting it. It was quiet and allowed us to have our cake smashing fun without strangers watching us. While we did not get to enjoy the traditional honeymoon following the wedding, we are making up for it by visiting friends this spring who live out of state.

I know 2016 will not have a day in it quite as special as Dec. 5, 2015 was, but I’m hoping it will have just as many fun and memorable days!

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Letter to Freddie

Dear Freddie,

While I had only known you for a few years and only actually got to interact with you a handful of those times during those years, your battle with cancer and passing has affected me greater than I thought possible. I’m not sure if it was because you were so young, or because you were a veteran, or because you were the best guy to ever come into Lindsey’s life. Maybe all of that and more.

You were the first person I’ve ever gone to see while sick. I have had grandparents pass away from cancer and could not bring myself to visit them while in the hospital/near the end of their lives. I preferred to shelter myself from those images and instead remember the last times I had seen them when they were healthier.

The Sat. night before you passed I cried a lot. All I kept picturing was Zoey and Kenzie and how unfair it was for them to have to grow up without their dad. I battled myself internally wanting to come see you and being afraid as well. I didn’t know what you would look like nor did I know if I could hold it together and not cry the entire visit. I knew if the roles were reversed though and Jason had been sick that Lindsey would’ve been there to support me and I owed it to her to come see you.

Little did I know that would be the last time I saw you. I knew you were struggling and I doubted your ability to push through until Christmas which saddened me. Still I was shocked when I received the text that evening from Linds that you had passed. I am only grateful in that your suffering did not last for days or weeks on end like my grandparents’ did and that Lindsey and your family was not forced to endure days of watching you struggle further.

I do have the image of the last time I saw you burned into my mind, but I also have the images from Kenzie’s first birthday party when you were doing a bit better as well as all the cookouts and bonfires at my parents’ house. You were the greatest guy for Lindsey and while she complained about you at times at the end of the day the love you had for each other was apparent in all ways. I know you haven’t truly left her or the girls though. While I don’t believe in the traditional Heaven, I do believe you are in the spirit world and have the ability to watch over them and help guide them. I also believe that while we all question why this awful event happened you now have the understanding of it and we all will someday as well.

I wish you had gotten to see and do all that you had wanted in life. It’s not fair that you didn’t especially after you gave so much of yourself for our country and communities. You inspired so many of us along the way though and for that I say thank you. No one should have to battle the way you did for the care you needed and I intend to help Lindsey in her quest to make sure other families, particularly veterans, do not deal with all the red tape that you did. You touched so many of us Freddie, more than I’m sure you ever imagined you would and your memories and legacy will continue. RIP

Writing Resolution

Every year as New Year’s approaches and I reflect on the past year, I debate if I want to make any resolutions for the upcoming year.  I seem to have a recurring resolution of writing more, mostly because I tend to not ever follow through on it as well as I would like.  It shouldn’t be that hard to fit it into my day and yet it is. 

I’ve come to realize I am a top notch excuse maker if for no other reason but that I have perfectionist habits.  I put activities like writing on the back burner to make time to clean, organize and yes, waste too much time on Facebook.  I did write more when I deactivated Facebook in 2013, but now I find that I rely on it too much for various articles of interest and to keep in touch with certain people that I do not know that I could deactivate it again.  Limiting my time on Facebook tends to not be an option as I am very much an all-or-nothing type of person.  That is why I am unsure if I could set a goal of writing X amount of time per day. 

I do not want writing to become a chore; it is a passion of mine and I would not want to dread doing it.  I also know though that the more often an activity is done the more likely it is to become a habit.  I have always wanted to write a novel.  I’ve woken up from dreams that I’ve thought would turn into great stories yet I’ve never put pen to paper and seen where I could go with them.  I guess I just let everyday life get in the way too often. 

Somehow certain tasks seem a lot easier when you are younger, not that I am very old at 29.  I just recall being able to hammer out stories in school and 20 page papers in college without as much struggle as I find in trying to write a few paragraphs of a story now.  I find the creative juices do not flow as readily.  Whether that is because our dreaming diminishes as the reality of the world sets in or because everything else in life takes priority too often I am unsure.  I just know that writer’s block is more frequent now, and all the wild ideas that used to flood my mind seem to have dried up.  Apparently creativity is like anything else in life – if you don’t use it, you lose it.

I’m determined to get mine back though.  It may never be as vast as it once was, but I know if I truly commit to writing more that it will come in time.  I wrote this blog this evening, that’s a start right?