Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bachelorette: Final Days as a Single Ladyfingers

Have I mentioned how amazingly wonderfully generous and hysterical my bridesmaids are? Perhaps in my shower post I may have alluded to it. But they totally nailed it with this whole bachelorette weekend.

I had a few parameters: Nothing crazy like drinkin’ or clubbin’ (which none of us do anyway), no male strippers, beach-centric, and penile paraphernalia. Hey — when else in your life is it appropriate to walk down the street adorned in male genitalia? Never, so let’s get that stuff started up. Side story: When I revealed this choice, two bridesmaids were horrified, and my maid of honor was totally stoked. We were hanging with a friend who had gotten married this past spring, and she told me she thought maybe we should have switched bridesmaids. She was staunchly against that stuff, but her bridesmaids were decidedly not. In fact, they had hired a midget who makes his living dressed as a… well, you know. To walk around with them all night. She got wind of it and called him off but… maybe I’m juvenile, I just found that hilarious.

Back to the bachelorette weekend. MOH Ginger texted me a couple of days before the weekend was to begin and told me that she’d pick me up at 1 on Saturday and I should pack a bag that included a bathing suit, something comfortable, a dress I felt sexy in, and something to sleep in. This is my kinda party, clearly.

MOH picked me up…

As Mr. Ladyfingers wished me farewell.

Ginger drove around downtown a bit to confuse me, then started heading out toward the beach. After about 45 minutes, we ended up at… City Hall! Wait, what? Ah – we’re just doing a vehicle transfer. Apparently we only had a couple of spaces available to us at our final destination… The Alden Beach Resort!

After a leisurely lunch (and maybe a nap), we got ready for dinner while reading trashy tabloid magazines. I now know more about Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s marriage than I ever thought possible.

Dinner was at the pretty awesome Middle Grounds Grill.

Oh yeah, and they gave me a bride hat that looked so much like a real hat that I think people thought I was either crazy or British.

Now, let me tell you about our waitress. Without turning this into one of those “you had to be there” kinda things, she was an overexplainer. As in, “Our salad comes with lettuce, and tomatoes, and cucumbers, and your choice of dressing, and it’s on a plate, and we give you a fork to eat it in. Our bread comes in a basket. Our coffee is hot and roasted from beans, and comes with creamer.” Like, we intimately know about almost every menu item at this place now. Nobody really said anything, but then at one point, I muttered that we were going to have some stuff to make fun of once we got in the car.

And then, all of a sudden, it was like being at a funeral and finding something inappropriately funny. She came over to explain dessert to us — like, EXPLAAAAIN desert to us — and now that the cat was out of the bag at the table, I could not. Keep. It. In.

BM Spotty didn’t intend to get said waitress in this shot, but it accidentally worked out beautifully. The place was delicious, but I might not be able to go back there again.

We randomly drove around and drank way too much coffee. My body was vibrating. We drove through a crowd of hipsters lined up to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, and blared Ricky Martin. Did I mention we weren’t drinking? That in and of itself is scary.

When we got back to the hotel, the real games began. (Potentially NSFW pictures to follow)

BM Preggo brought cupcakes, and the candles were sorta obscene. Then I drew a picture of Mr. Ladyfingers, and they asked me a series of questions they had also asked him. I was correct in anticipating his responses for 8 out of 15 questions – not “half” bad! (Wah waaaaah.)

Ryan Gosling came to the party.

And then there’s some stuff cropped out of this. Let’s just say we played pin-the-something on Ryan Gosling.

It was like a slumber party. We were ridiculous and immature and random. My work buddy plied me for details, and seemed pretty disappointed in what I told her, but it was the best bachelorette weekend I could have ever asked for. Hanging out with the coolest friends in the world, acting like 14-year-olds, eating way too much sugar and drinking way too much Diet Coke and coffee. Practically perfect in every way.

What are you most looking forward to at your bachelorette party? And what’s your stance on the typical “bachelorette” favors, if you catch my drift?

The Numbers Are In: The Ladyfingers RSVP Breakdown

Our final, final deadline was last Saturday, and we spent a couple of days beyond that tracking down some stragglers (like, oh, our Reverend and his wife). Like many before me, I feel compelled to share our breakdown and how we feel about it.

I love charts, so I spent way too much time this morning composing a few.

First, our out-of-town/in-town guest count.

We invited 73 people to the wedding – 39 from out of town, and 34 from in-town. Mr. Ladyfingers’ family is all up in New York, and his whole wedding party is scattered around the country.

However, sadly, more of our out-of-town guests had to decline than in-town guests. We ended up with 23 out-of-town guests and 29 in-town. As we had anticipated, most of our out-of-town guests with children couldn’t make it due to our no-children policy. It wasn’t that we dislike children, but if everybody brought their kid, with an under-80-person guest list, that would have been 1/4 of our list. Given those adults we definitely wanted on the list, this wasn’t feasible. That meant losing two of my cousins (and their subsequent families) and three of his friends he grew up with (and their families).

We have two “assumed” in-town guests at this point. One is for my single bridesmaid’s potential +1. The other is for Mr. Ladyfinger’s friend’s girlfriend… since this friend apparently doesn’t believe in RSVPs, and all he’s told us is he’ll “probably” bring her, it’s  track-down time in these last couple of days before our final count needs to be in.

And we had two out-of-town guests – an old, dear friend of mine and her husband – who never RSVP’ed one way or the other. Last I talked to her, a couple of weeks ago, she said they still weren’t sure they’d be coming from St. Louis. We haven’t heard back, so we’re just assuming “no.”

Other fun facts:

  • Of the initial 73 we invited, four “no’s” came from unused +1s.
  • We lost 10 guests due to our “no child” policy.
  • Then there’s us, who I kept forgetting to count
  • And two vendors, who get meals but no apps, but need to be included in the final count

That brings our grand total of “final” guests, including us and our vendors, to 56: 75% of our initial list, or slightly greater than the “industry standard” of a 20% decline rate.

I had a low point last week where I was mocking up a seating chart and noticed there were many more Mr. Ladyfinger folds than Miss Ladyfinger folks – only six of my family members, versus his 12. Twenty-one of his friends, versus 13 of mine. Then, it was pointed out to me that this is no numbers game, and that really, many of his friends ARE my friends, and vice versa. And family? Well, by the time dinner rolls around, won’t we ALL be family?

I also had a brief moment where I wondered if we *should* have opened up our list beyond that 80 that our venue could hold. Clearly, we wouldn’t have gone over capacity. I could have said yes to my dad’s two random friends. Mr. Ladyfingers could have said yes to his dad’s two set of cousins that Mr. Ladyfingers had never even met. I could have invited a handful of acquaintances I’m not close with, but who might be hurt and confused that they weren’t invited.

And then, Mr. Ladyfingers asked me if I was sad that we weren’t having a bigger wedding. And you know what? Absolutely, no. I am not. We’ll have 52 of our nearest and dearest with us in that room that day. At least one of us will know every single person there. We’ll be able to say hi to most of them, probably all, and hang out with many. We’ll be able to experience the night rather than being carried through it in a haze of introductions and logistics.

And had we gone for a bigger wedding, something in a venue that held more than 80, perhaps 50 or 200? I don’t think I would have been able to do many of the little touches that weren’t a big pain with 80 people. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-address our invitations, or splurge on cute rehearsal dinner invitations. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-make and package our favors. I wouldn’t have been able to make programs, or hand-stamp and write out our escort cards.

No, I’m glad we’re having the wedding we’re having. And with 10 days to go… I’m glad we’re having a wedding, period.

How ab0ut you? Was your RSVP count revealing in any way? Did the final number make you regretful that you’d done it a certain way – whether it was a low count that made you regret not opening things up, or a high count that made you regret bending to the requests of those around you? And were there things you were able to do because of a smaller wedding – or things you could not do because of a larger wedding?

final flower consultation

First in our final series of pre-wedding appointments was our florist. I knew that I was going to be beyond happy that we’d gone with a professional, and the particular florist we did. I’d heard nothing but great reviews, and could handle the price point. They have been nothing but sweethearts to work with, and have clearly understood my vision. I am completely comfortable letting them do whatever they want within a certain constraint.

That being said, I couldn’t have prepared for how excited the final floral consultation went. I met our designer, Stephanie, and administrative assistant, Collette, at their newly opened studio a few blocks from where I work, and brought them my collection of bottles, jars and vases. They were super stoked, which was a big relief because in the back of my mind, I was worried there weren’t enough, they wouldn’t be able to work with them, whatever. Not the case!

Much of what we’d originally agreed upon was the same, with the addition of some elements. And I can’t even describe how exciting it was to see and hear the FINAL FLOWER order and know that everything would be so beautiful the day of!

Customized inspiration board images courtesy of FH Weddings

Our final contract included the following:

  • Bride’s bouquet: freeflowing handheld bouquet of white hydrangea, ivory lisianthus and ivory spray roses with pewter satin ribbon and an ivory lace overlay with pearl pins
  • 4 bridesmaids’ bouquets: small freeflowing bouquets of white hydrangea, hot pink lisianthus, hot pink spray roses and yellow button mums, wrapped with marigold ribbon and pearl pins
  • 2 wristlet corsages for mothers: ivory spray roses and myrtle, accented with pewter ribbon
  • Sweetheart table: bride’s bouquet placed at center of table in 10″ cylinder provided by FH weddings
  • Centerpieces: 3 small vases and 2 milk bottles per table – hot pink spray roses, pale pink lisianthus, yellow buttons, ivory lisisanthus. Add greenery: myrtle and variegated pittosporum
  • Cake flowers: yellow button pompoms to be placed on top of every other cupcake
  • Escort table: 5 small vases of iory lisianthus, hot pink spray roses, pale pink lisianthus, yellow buttons, ivory spray roses. Add greenery: myrtle and variegated pittosporum
  • Bouts: ivory spray roses and myrtle
  • Complimentary toss bouquet

Every day, there’s something new that I’m super excited about. Lately, it’s been the flowers!

Did your final meetings really get you stoked for the big day, knowing just how everything would look? Did you end up going with a professional florist?

Fudgy Favors: The Recipe and Packaging

I agonized over favors! First, there were none. Then, there were many. After writing this post and getting plenty of feedback on my options, I settled upon the one that would require the most effort, but the least amount of money: Homemade fudge.

Let me clarify: By “effort,” I mean melting chocolate, pouring it into a pan, and sticking it in the fridge. Yeah. Sooooo hard.

I used my mom’s fudge recipe, since it was the only fudge I can ever remember liking. I had it so much growing up that any other fudge just tastes too sugary, or too “off” to me.

The recipe:

  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

I picked up a cheap double boiler with a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card I got at my shower, and melted the chocolate and butterscotch chips over a near-boil.

 

Then, I removed it from the heat and dumped (technical term) in the condensed milk and vanilla extract and stirred that up.

Poured it into a pan coated with cooking spray…

And stuck it in the fridge overnight to set. You probably don’t need to leave it in as long, but I did because… I forgot.

I’d also recommend letting it come to room temperature before cutting into pieces, because my trial run was a bit messy. Delicious, but messy.

The fudge kept for about three weeks in a Tupperware, until we ate it all. It might have lasted longer, but I can’t promise.

My little tags took about an hour or so to make while watching “Parks & Recreation” on Netflix.

I decided to go with pink paper/gray ribbon and gray paper/pink ribbon, just for some variety.

You can see how weird and misshapen the test run pieces were. I swear I won’t put what looks like bags of poo on our guests’ plates.

I calculated that to do 5 pieces of fudge for 60 guests, we’d need to make about 7.5 pans of fudge in the days leading up to the wedding. But that sounds scarier than it it, because we have an assortment of Pyrex and other pans around the house, not just the 9×13 we used in the test run. We should be able to make 8 batches in the double boiler with and pour into different containers until it’s all gone and in the fridge to cool. I sort of tentatively plan on starting this the Tuesday before the wedding, chilling Tuesday night, room temp-ing Wednesday during the day, cutting and storing Wednesday night, and packaging Thursday evening. I would try to have it all done by Wednesday, when we’re bringing everything else to the caterer, but the packaging isn’t really airtight, and I don’t want anything to get melty or weird, so we’ll have somebody bring the bags to the venue the day of.

Did you decide on favors? Edible, right?

*All personal photos

Paper Cuts: Get With the Program

Programs were one of those things that I was insistent we did not need. It seemed superfluous to have one for a simple, 20-minute-tops ceremony with no special readings or rituals. People would tell me it would be nice to have something for guests to read while waiting for the ceremony to start, or to let them know who the members of the bridal party were. “Pish posh,” I’d say. “Nobody cares. It’s a hassle! We shall have no programs.”

And then I saw Mrs. Tartlet’s posts on Mr. Tarlet’s program project. And then I knew we needed programs.

Mine would look nothing like theirs. I’m just not that crafty. If I attempted, it wouldn’t look nearly as good! So I searched for something that would work with my skill set, time, and money.

I don’t know when I had the idea, but I decided to incorporate the belly bands from our invitations and the paper flowers from our hanging initial decor (more on that recently completed project soon), with a simple trifold program. I had some leftover ribbon (though I ended up needing a couple of extra spools) and plenty of paper, along with about a gajillion leftover paper flowers and a box of buttons I’d bought off Etsy back in January.

I’d initially priced a printing job that would have fallen at about $1 a program. But then! MOH Ginger casually mentioned she had an extra printer because she’d just purchased a new one, and would I like it? Yes. Yes, I would.

I practically finished this project over the weekend, with just 1 more spool of ribbon and another pack of velcro needed to complete the 10-15 more needed for our full quantity of 50. I decided on 50, even though we’re having about 60 guests (based on early RSVP estimates), because… it’s a nice round number and I felt like it.

For the belly bands, I just hot glue’d the ribbon to the back of the trifolded program, and made another hot glue dot to the left side of the ribbon on the front of the program. This was covered by a piece of velcro, with the other velcro mate on the facing end of ribbon.

It was pretty simple setting these up in Word, just with three columns and a couple of purchased fonts. Funny side story: I sent Mr. Ladyfingers a proof of the programs just so he could see what they looked like, and he diplomatically said, “They’re… nice! Kind of cluttered, though. Do we need the music?” And I snapped at him and informed him EXACTLY WHY we needed every single thing on there, and what was he thinking? Duh.

And then about an hour later, he was looking at it again, and said, “Why are there exclamation points in between the paragraphs there on the right?” Exclamation points? The particular font I’d used there replaced ! with the squiggle you see. And it was then that I realized I’d sent him the Word version rather than the PDF. And since he didn’t have the fonts on his computer, this is what he saw:

Woops. He liked the real one a lot better.

Ready to transport.

Did you have a project you initially rejected, only to take it on later because of some random inspiration? Are you having programs at your wedding?

*All personal photos

The Cut: What Stayed, What Went, and What Made Its Way In

The past 11 months have been a rollercoaster of ideas, inspiration, wants, have-to-haves, needs, and chocolate (the last one more so in the last couple weeks). Along the way, I have semi-committed to plenty of things that I recently had to cut loose. There were also a few things that I swore up and down we had no need for (some of which vascillated between “we NEED” and “we don’t need”). So with 20-something-odd days to go until NUPTIAL TIME, I though it would behoove me to do a quick rundown of the things that have come and gone, as well as some of the minute decisions that we’ve finally settled on. No, really… there’s no time to change our minds again.

1. The cardigan-over-the-wedding dress

Is there any wedding trend more controversial than the bride-in-a-cardigan? I think not. Most of you pointed out that a cardigan on an already stressful and sweaty day, in Florida – whether in November or not – might be a bit overkill. I had been going back and forth over whether I wanted one, or wanted to add sleeves to my dress. What finally made my decision? Seeing how awesome cap sleeves looked at my first and second dress fittings. That, coupled with a complete lack of cardigan-shopping and an aversion to sweaty pits, made the cardigan issue: Abandoned

2. Favor bell receptacles/trays/whatever

Just a couple of short weeks ago, I AGONIZED over what to use to hand out our farewell bells at the end of the night. I scoured websites. I took one too many trips to Home Goods. I finally came up with a few options from IKEA, all of which would have required a financial and craftiness outlay that I wasn’t prepared to make. Then, silversixpence lent her amazing sense of logic to the comment box:

If the idea is for the serving staff to distribute these, why not just borrow a few of their normal trays – they could pass them out like they would canapes.  Use some doilies to pretty them up a bit if you like, or a couple of napkins in yellow and grey to tie it to your theme?

For the amount of time the receptacles will be on show (the time when the servers are handing them out) is it worth it?

You know what? No. It’s NOT worth it. A quick and simple (OK, not really simple, more like rambling and slightly frightening) email to our catering manager yielded our result: They’d pass them out on nice white appetizer trays. Which made the farewell-bell-tray-issue: Solved

3. To favor? Or not to favor?

Storebought Italian cookies? Extra cupcakes? Homemade fudge? Any favors at all? The favor issue may have been the one that changed more often than any other wedding detail. Between what to have and whether to do it, we seriously got sick of talking about it. Hydrangea09 pretty much summed up the majority of the commenter’s feelings: “Who doesn’t love homemade fudge?” True! (Well, unless they’re allergic to chocolate.) Others added other ideas — candy buffet, dessert bar — and then silvergal provided the voice of reason:

I don’t want to be harsh but thinking as a guest, I think it would be very unlikely that I would take an extra cupcake home with me. It’s almost like getting a doggy bag at a wedding – “I couldn’t fit it in now, so can I wrap this to go?” or if I already had one, I would feel like I was taking more than my share.

I had not even considered this, but I think you are right! So, we decided to go the fudgy-fudge route. I cooked up a test batch a few weekends ago, and believe me when I say it was so easy it was ridiculous. It pretty much amounted to melting chocolate and pouring it in a pan. The results were delicious as always, and we’re still eating fudge, which makes the shelf life pretty awesome too (when stored in an airtight container, natch). I’ll be saving the recipe and tag reveal for a later post (I am beyond thrilled with the way these tags turned out!!), but let’s call this favor issue: Solved.

4. Bunting, sweet bunting

Oh, bunting. You held such a special place in my heart. I spent far too much time at the fabric store picking out your patterns and colors. I spent long nights watching episodes of “Modern Family” on my laptop while painstakingly cutting out triangle after triangle. I spray starched each and every one of you until you sat wrinkle free and ready for bunt…ing. And then I handed it off to MOH Ginger, keeper of the sewing machine. And then her life got super duper busy, and I realized I might not have enough length for the whole deck, and I just said, you know what? Forget the bunting.

Her relief was palpable, which made me see even more that I had made the right decision. For the record, yes. I could have gone without sewing them. But at this point, I really didn’t feel like taking on a half-done project in the final month, and came to believe strongly that with an outdoor wedding and as much color as would already be on the deck between the guestbook table, cocktail tables, and venue-provided Christmas lights, the bunting issue was swiftly and soundly: Abandoned

(P.S. The fabric triangles can totally be repurposed into bunting for later use! Backyard barbecue? Baby’s room? Random living room decorations? Not gone to waste, no sirree.)

5. Getting with the program

I was really firm that we would not do programs. I didn’t see the need. They seemed like such a pain. I’m such a stinking perfectionist. I couldn’t just do a one-sheeter and call it a day. Then, I came up with an idea totally randomly, that I got so excited about I just couldn’t NOT do it! The programs are ALMOST DONE, so I’ll be revealing them very soon, but the once-reviled programs are now definitely: Back in the game

What about you? Did you have pet projects that you just had to let go? Did you have others that you took on at a certain point just because you couldn’t restrain yourself?

Won’t You Let Me Take You On a Sea Cruise?

My entire life could probably be retraced and pieced together through a series of shopping and to-do lists. Honestly: If I kept them all, they’d probably serve as a pretty robust basis for my day-in-the-life biography. Which somebody’s totally going to write about me when I die. Duh.

Lately, I’ve been fairly obsessed with the cruise packing list. For those of you catching up, we’re embarking on a 7-day cruise after the wedding, through the Eastern Caribbean, stopping at Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Grand Turk, and St. Thomas. Neither of us have ever been. I’m simultaneously a packs-too-much traveler and a forgets-the-essentials traveler. So I like to turn to handy Google for advice. Today, it was “Cruise Packing List.” Naturally, I found some super long and scary-specific lists. Like this one from Cruise Direct. (Which makes me wonder, what are people doing on their cruises? Krazy Glue? Walkman? DUCT TAPE?)

So, by narrowing out the things we always pack for any trip – meds, toiletries, underwear – I’ve arrived at what I think is a pretty comfortable packing list for the impending honeymoon cruise. The zinger is that, although the cruise likely has any of these items for purchase, it’s not like forgetting deoderant on a normal vacation and zipping down to the local drugstore. I’m imagining the prices are pretty staggering on board, so I’d rather not forget anything.

Which leads me to ask: What do you really need for a cruise that you don’t need somewhere else? In other words, what do we still need to buy?

My starter list goes something like this:

  • Ginger snaps (for motion sickness, and a friend was kind enough to lend me her Sea Bands for same)
  • A waterproof camera
  • A waterproof watch (neither of us owns or uses watches)
  • Actual good sneakers I can walk in (for shore excursions)

And that’s pretty much where that ends. So I’m asking you, hive: What are some cruise essentials? What do you wish you’d packed that you hadn’t? And on the flip side (because I could really use some advice on this, too) — what did you pack that you TOTALLY didn’t need?

30 Days and Counting: A Bad Case of the Crazies

Bride Brain [\ˈbrīd\-\ˈbrān\]:

A less invasive, but more expensive version of a frontal lobotomy. Experienced by most brides, as they enter a catatonic state which renders them incapable of sustaining any thought or conversation that does not involve cake, caterers, flowers, wedding dress designers, Chinese wedding dress knockoff designers, updo’s, hair pieces, color schemes, wedding themes, and personalized M&M’s.
Bride Brain symptoms include, but are not limited to, driving erratically because they can’t stop staring at their shiny diamond ring; being amused by the resentment of all their single girlfriends, rewinding songs several hundred times while imagining themselves walking down the aisle, and starvation induced bitchiness which is generally followed by late night binging at a Dairy Queen. (Note that this can only occur outside of the bride’s native geographic area, where they can’t possibly run into anyone they know).
Symptoms are ordinarily well controlled with valium, alcohol and endless hours of watching youtube “first dance” videos.
Yesterday, it was like a flip had been switched. I suddenly moved from a state of relative yet appropriate obsession of all wedding-related details, to an insatiable desire to answer ALL QUESTIONS IMMEDIATELY. I became acutely aware that by brain is a minefield of loose ends and logistics that cannot be quieted. I yearn for normal conversations that begin with me asking another person, “How are you?” My text messages are pushing my phone plan’s limits. I ask significantly out-of-context questions (“Speaking of game night, can you bring my bag to our wedding-night hotel that day?”). I send rambling emails to our caterer that abruptly start and end.
I’ve got bride brain.
Image via someecards
Nobody tells you that it gets like this. Wait – everybody tells you that. But you don’t know until you get there. Now, mind you, not everybody has a case of the crazies when hitting T-minus 30 days. Some never get there. Some arrive sooner, or later. I’m normally a detail-driven plan-maker, so I really should have seen this coming. I get so bent out of shape when doing dinner at a restaurant for more than 5 people. A whole freakin’ wedding? Puh-leeze. I need a valium drip.
One thing that’s helped a lot is allowing myself to abandon projects that haven’t gotten started or even gotten near halfway done. This means no bunting – in fact, no additional decoration on our deck at all. It means no out-of-town bags (sorry, out of town guests!). And, much to my chagrin, it means no vows in jars, no awesome seating signs, no alternative guestbooks, and no, no, NO additional projects that I originally didn’t plan, but which now seem so awesome to me reading about them one month before the wedding.
I told Mr. Ladyfingers not to worry, that I’d only be like this for a short while longer.
Well, until we start house hunting. And then until we have kids.
Oh, let’s face it: I’ll always have somewhat of a case of the crazies.
Have you started experiencing bridal brain? What are your tips for staying afloat while nearing the finishing line? Anybody want to come to Dairy Queen with me?

Cart Before the Horse: Thinking of “After the Wedding” Before the Wedding

I have this issue  where I always have my head in the future. There’s a saying I love which is, if you have one foot in the yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’re bound to be pissing in today (sorry for the unladylike language). And that’s always what I end up doing: Pissing on today because I’m so busy turning the past over in my head and making plans for the future that’s not even here yet. With me so far?

It happened when Mr. Ladyfingers and I were dating and living separately. All I could think about was living together, to the point that I had to nearly restrain myself from bringing up the idea before it was necessary. It happened when we moved in together before we got engaged. All I could think about was being engaged, planning a wedding, all that jazz. And now it’s happening while we’re engaged and before we’re married. It’s not just that I have my head in the wedding and OMG when will it get here 30-something days feels like FUREVAHHH. It’s, “After we wedding we should start putting aside the same amount of money we are currently for the wedding for a downpayment on a house, the houses in our neighborhood are $100,000 so if we stay on track we should have 15% of that by the spring of 2013 which is perfect because if we renew our rental once more, our lease will again expire in May 2013, and then once we buy our perfect house we can start trying to have babies, and during the pregnancy we can save up for my unpaid maternity leave, but wait is 33 too old to start trying and maybe we should start trying now, nobody’s ever really READY for a baby right?”

If that made you dizzy and uncomfy, then welcome to the club.

We have a joke around here that my head must be a scary place — lots of swordfights and cats covered in ketchup and people singing nursery rhymes in the corners with dunce caps on. In other words, a wasteland of bizarre and otherworldly nonsense. Considering that I have no filter, none, when it comes to the stuff floating around up there, it makes for some stupid crazy conversations. Like my three-year plan for saving, buying, and procreating. Another saying: If you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Right now, God is ROFL’ing.

I so yearn to keep my mind in the present, to focus on the task at hand, to enjoy what’s here before it’s gone. I’ve had all manner of advice in the past, and I try to apply it, but my mind just keeps traveling ahead of me, painting pictures of my family and our babies and our home and our next careers and our trips and everything.

The fact of the matter is, not once in my life, not ONCE, have things worked out the way I thought they would, or even wanted them to. They’ve always always ALWAYS worked out better than I could ever imagine. If my life unfolded exactly to my plan, I would be short changing myself. I’ve made a vow to myself that there will be no more baby talk, no more “house browsing” online, and only a minimum of collecting nursery decoration and kids’ birthday party ideas on Pinterest — at least until after the wedding. We’ll see how well I can stick to that, but my intentions are pure, I’m telling you.

Has anybody else suffered from “future-itis”? How have you managed to keep your head in today and leave tomorrow to the professionals?