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Congratulations on a successful first week! Of the more than 60 of you who signed up for the Challenge, I only heard results from 29 of you. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in that. I’m not going to nag or hold anyone accountable, this isn’t school! But I want you all to remember that the point of doing the Challenge this way and sharing weekly results…weight loss or not…helps keep you motivated to continue while inspiring others.
Stepping off soapbox.
Please direct your attention to the new Challenge page, where you will find a list of participants, their goals and accomplishments. Eventually I hope to include blog links, but I didn’t realize how long the updating would take so I’m a little behind. Please continue to send me your Week 1 updates if you haven’t already.
Since I organized this whole thing, I think it’s only fair to pull my stats to the forefront and be honest about my journey. At my yearly physical a few weeks ago, I weighed in at 129, a 5-6 pound gain since this past winter. I was sedentary for most of the season, alternating between unemployment depression, aversion to the cold, and just plain laziness. My goal is to lose 5 pounds before my brother-in-law’s wedding at the end of August, tone back up, and conquer the running loop near my house. I also have a long-term goal of lowering my cholesterol.
Week 1 brought two runs and daily workouts OnDemand. I tried to mix it up…I did yoga, pilates, cardio and A-List Arms, which I really enjoyed. I am disappointed in myself for not running more, and need to stop making excuses for not doing it. (The heat, being the main one. I can run in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.)
I don’t know how much I weigh, because my scale crapped out on me. But to stick with the Challenge goals, I will be heading off to Walmart today to buy one. I think I’m going to go old school and forgo the digital scale this time for one with the needle I can calibrate. I think that will give me more accurate readings each week.
My stumble was a bar crawl last Thursday, where I had three mojitos and the aforementioned big cookie. I don’t want to think about how many calories were consumed that evening.
As I read through the amazing emails and comment updates, a common thread I noticed was that many of you had the same problem I did. You worked hard all week, then gorged on the weekend on drinks and summer food. So I think this week’s topic should be tips on how to avoid flushing all our hard work from the week down the toilet when the weekend comes. What are your thoughts?
Next week: share your best “anyone can do it” workout tip. Starting thinking!
Wednesday, October 22nd
The Wednesday before my wedding I took a half day from work. Which basically means I did my best to finish up my work week while simultaneously thinking omigod…wedding, wedding, wedding!
I headed off to the pedicure you all recommended and let me just tell you, I was 99% in heaven the whole time. Bubbles, wine, a thrown in parafin wax treatment just for being a bride. I may have even texted a few of you saying yessss, you were right!
Until the lady slipped while pumicing my heel and scratched my ankle. Like, really scratched my ankle. As in, I still have a really ugly scab on it.
Afterwards, I ran home to finish last minute things and wait for the arrival of two wonderful bridesmaids.
Thursday, October 23rd
I woke up bright and early and rolled over to face Michael. This is the last morning we’ll see each other before we’re husband and wife, I thought. Just then he opened his eyes and smiled at me. “Good morning, my almost wife,” he said.
Unfortunately, there was no time to swoon, as I had to wake my poor, jet lagged, west-coast bridesmaid and load up the car with 800 pounds of votives, votive holders, pillar candles, hurricane glasses, rose petals, and more odds and ends. We arrived at the venue for 9 a.m. and while it was a beautiful day, it was COLD.
(OK this was actually taken the morning OF the wedding, but it looked the same the day before!)
We walked into the venue, arms full of stuff — and walked into a construction zone. Boards and paint cans filled the lobby, a table saw whirred somewhere in the background and my heart? Officially jumped out of my chest, ran across the street and threw itself into the ocean.
As I stood there, momentarily paralyzed, the venue coordinator assured me that they were just doing some work on the outside of the building and it would be perfect by the next day. Deep breath. OK.
More bridesmaids began to arrive and we headed off for our manicures before heading back to the hotel to get ready. I walked into the hotel room, saw my dress hanging on the closet and realized that the wedding had really arrived.
At four on the dot, we arrived at the church to begin the rehearsal. Even as we walked our way through, it didn’t feel real. Like oh yeah, we’re doing this wedding thing. Some day. What DID feel real was the fact that we still had no music. Still, you ask? Yes, still. You see, on Tuesday I had received a call from the Reverend saying that when they went to practice playing the CD of our music, it had somehow slipped off the tray and fell INTO the CD player.
Yeah, I don’t get it either.
I had supplied them with a backup CD in case something happened, but as of the time of our rehearsal, they still weren’t sure if the CD player would work. They actually had a tech guy there during our rehearsal pulling apart the system and saying that he would return by 6:30 a.m. the DAY OF OUR WEDDING to keep working on it.
I wish I had a picture of my face when he said that.
Pretty bridesmaids at the church.
We left the church and headed to dinner, which was one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend. The food was delicious, the company was outstanding, and the speeches? They were so heartfelt and moving. I made it through all of mine without a tear (mostly laughs!) until I got to the ones I had written for my parents.
Then I started to choke up.
By far my favorite part of the rehearsal was during my dad’s speech. He began to talk about how when my sister and I were little, we used to sing songs in harmony. One song in particular: Going to the Chapel of Love. Suddenly, my dad pulled out a little harmonica, hummed the first bar, and began to sing.
“Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…”
And everyone — all 45 guests — joined in. Suddenly the room was full of song and as my sister and I joined in for the harmony, I felt so very loved.
As we said our goodbyes to everyone at the end, I headed over to Michael for one last embrace as an engaged couple.
“Are you ready?” he asked me?
“Absolutely,” I replied.
That night, I lay in the hotel bed next to my sister and tossed and turned, unable to sleep. It wasn’t really the idea of getting married that was keeping me awake. It was one nagging question.
Would we have music at the ceremony?
Tomorrow begins the wedding weekend. Tomorrow, we will rehearse our ceremony, eat good food with good people, and toast those who matter the most to us.
And then, on Friday, I will marry the man I have loved for six and a half years.
I cannot believe we’re here.
Thank you all so much for your kind words, congratulations, and talking me off the ledge when I freaked out over silly things. (Envelopes? Did I really worry about envelopes?) And to those that have been reading since long before the day he asked me to be his wife, thank you for sharing the wisdom that I couldn’t yet see — it was going to happen.
Friday I become a wife. Friday he becomes my husband. Everything is how it should be.
We don’t leave for our mini-moon (big honeymoon in St. Lucia this winter woo hoo!) until Sunday, so you bet I’ll be back with a teaser picture before we leave.
I have also left you with three recently married wedding bloggers to keep you busy next week.
Off I go! See you as a Mrs.!
Hi there. It’s Monday the 20th. As in, the week of my wedding. As in, four days from now I will be leaving at this very moment to head to the salon. On my wedding day.
Everyone keeps asking me, “are you ready? Are you excited?”
Well, yes. I’m basically ready. It’s just tying up lose ends right now. And YES, I’m excited, although it really still feels like I’m planning for a wedding still months away. How did we get to four days? So what’s left?
Tonight: assembling favors with Michael’s grandmother.
Tuesday: Pre-wedding massage (on the house because our massage therapist ROCKS.)
Wednesday: Leave work at noon, get a PEDICURE (oh yes, you convinced me), finish any last minute cleaning around the house and start to greet some of my bridesmaids, as two arrive!
Thursday: Drop off stuff at venue, drop off welcome packets at hotels, manicures with even more bridesmaids, family arrives, rehearse, eat, go back to the hotel and freak out to my sister that OMIGOD I’m getting married TOMORROW.
I also have to convince my brain to do some actual work in the 2.5 days I’m here, although that will be very, very hard.
So, my rehearsal dinner dress? The super cute black and white one I wore to Clink’s wedding? The one that I paid a lot for and was excited I’d have another place to wear it? Does. Not. Fit.
Sure, it’s a blessing (because what they say about losing weight without even trying right before your wedding is totally true), but it’s also a curse. Because that is the dress I planned on wearing. And I cannot go spend money on another dress, nor do I have the time to go shop for one. So I’m going to have to play around with is and see if with a cute red sweater and adjusting the belt I can make it work. Tim Gunn will be proud. I hope.
Also, randomly, as you know I’m a big fan of drug store hair products. They’ve never done me wrong and I prefer to spend my extra dollars on shoes and grande soy chais. I had to go return the ion hair dryer (that WAS making my hair flat), so I decided to stop in CVS and see if they had any new mousse.
I picked up the Weightless Body Extra Hold Mousse from TRESemme. Yesterday I decided to give it a try and let me just tell you, I’m hooked. My hair? Is BIG. And this is rare.
OK, done with my product placement now.
Off to make tea, as my office is FREEZING.
Some of you have noticed the new link over there on the left indicating that I finally caved and joined Twitter. Because if reading once daily about the inner workings of my crazy brain isn’t enough, you can now see almost hourly updates of what I’m thinking about.
You’ve been warned. Sometimes it resembles something along the lines of “Hungry. Would like chocolate. Or mashed potatoes. And a new pair of shoes.”
Speaking of potatoes, we had dinner at Michael’s mom’s house last night and she called beforehand to ask what kind of potatoes we wanted — mashed or roasted.
I debated telling her that I only eat my potatoes in the form of tots.
Can you tell I’m not sleeping? I’m not, really. I mean, I sleep for an hour or two, then wake up, then sleep, then wake up – usually from 3:30 – 5:30 a.m. with no sleep in sight, only to crash for a few hours until the alarm angrily wakes me up.
Only nine more days of this no sleeping thing. I hope!
Maybe I should go make something caffeinated…
Of course this can change in a heartbeat. It is New England, after all. But hey, for now, I’ll take it!
I don’t know why it’s so tiny, but that says mostly sunny, high of 55 degrees.
Do you know what happens 10 days before your wedding? You start buying really random things. A hole punch. Two taper candles. Four red and four purple umbrellas. You’ll also spend the weekend prior assembling three-quarters of your programs, only to have your fiance notice a typo that you hadn’t seen the 40 times you read through it. You will then end up pulling out ribbons, discarding inserts and quite possibly having a good cry, only to start over from scratch the next day.
Ten days. Six and a half days of work. And then it’s wedding time.
I’m having the crazy wedding dreams again.
I dreamt that I woke up the morning of the wedding to pouring rain. (This is a very good possibility, being that it’s the end of October, so I’m trying to psych myself up for it and think, rainy day pictures! Can be cute! With red umbrellas! Right???) I look at the clock and think, “I have plenty of time”, so I spend the morning reading an issue of Glamour.
Suddenly, it’s 4:30 (my ceremony is at 4) and I haven’t so much as put curlers in my hair. I’m rushing around trying to get ready and people keep calling me on my cell phone to see where I am.
Frustrated, I grab my dress and run out into the parking lot, where two random wedding guests are waiting for me. I get in their car and they drive me to a banquet hall, which is not where my ceremony is, but where there is a county fair going on.
Wake up. Fall back to sleep.
Next scene: one of my bridesmaids tells me she doesn’t want to be in the wedding anymore, and instead of just leaving it as is, I decide to find a replacement. To avoid hurting the feelings of any guests being asked last minute, I write a quick blog post offering a spot on the alter to the first person that can get themselves to Rhode Island.
Cindy, Barbie and Dreamgrrl all arrive at the same time and start duking it out to be the one to put on the red dress. Each claim they were the first to start reading my blog and therefor should hold the coveted position.
When no solution can be reached, Cindy puts on the dress, Dreamgrrl takes the flowers and Barbie wears the shoes.
Wake up. Fall back to sleep.
It’s the morning after the wedding and I wake up in a hotel room. Michael is watching TV and I roll over to kiss him good morning. I reach for his hand and realize he’s not wearing his wedding ring. I look and see that I’m not wearing mine either, nor my engagement ring.
“Where are our rings?” I demand.
“Our what?” he looks confused.
“Our wedding rings!”
He starts laughing and tells me that yes, someday we will get married but we have to wait until after the recession, which is why I don’t have my engagement ring, incidentally. We sold it to pay for all those bananas.
Have I told you lately that I love you? Because seriously, you people deliver. I think I’ve picked a winner too (omigod so hard) and as long as Michael agrees to it, somebody will be getting a very gushing thank you letter.
This weekend is my final dress fitting and there’s something very real about that. Three weeks from today is going to be the day before my wedding. I’m sure I’ll be running around like a mad woman, dropping things off at the venue, making sure everything is together and squeezing in a nail appointment with two of my bridesmaids before running off to the rehearsal. I hope I can take a minute to breathe and let it all sink in.
Last night, laptop on lap, I wrote my thank you speeches for the rehearsal dinner. Seven bridesmaids, seven relationships, seven stories. I didn’t cry — yet — but I think I will when I read them. The speeches for my parents were harder. I haven’t even written my mom’s yet because after writing my dad’s I was emotionally (and physically from all that pilates deep breathing) spent and knew that there was no way I could get through it. Tonight I will write hers. Tonight I will probably cry.
And then there’s the task of writing my vows. I always thought that this would be the easiest part of all. I mean, I express my feelings for Michael weekly right here on the blog.
However, the more I think about it, the harder it is to come up with just a few sentences that encompass everything I want to tell him. Everything I want to express. I mean, while this might work:
Hey, I love you.
You rock my socks.
Can’t wait to be your wife.
As long as you put your glasses in the dishwasher.
And vacuum up the dog hair.
It doesn’t really fit the bill, hmm?
There’s one thing I wrote about a while back on the blog that I think I want to say again in our vows. I won’t share it now, but if you’ve been reading for awhile you would probably recognize it. Along with a good majority of our wedding guests (hi, wedding guests! See you in three weeks!). I hope they forget they’ve already heard it!
Did this post have a purpose? I have no idea.
Things I learned from you yesterday:
a) I am not the only one who listens to country and cries.
b) I may or may not have to see P.S. I Love You. I should probably wait until after the wedding, though, since my emotions are already sky high.
Because, um, it’s OCTOBER. Like, the month I’m getting married. In 24 days. Three weeks and three days.
I’m thinking you can help me tackle on thing on my list because you all rocked the house yesterday. We need a song for our recessional (the music that will play when we leave the church.)
Background: The music for the wedding party and my processional are not your typical church or classical songs. They are two covers of songs by a very popular band played by a string quartet. I’ll share them after the wedding, but my point is, they’re different. So I don’t want to recessional to be the usual bridal march or Trumpet Voluntary. While beautiful, it doesn’t really fit with the rest of our ceremony.
I’m not opposed to lyrics in the song, as long as they’re not like, smack my bitch up. That will be saved for the bridesmaid intros.
So…help me out. If I actually use one of them I’ll send you a handwritten thank you note because I’ll be so relieved to have a song and also, who doesn’t like getting snail mail?
On your mark, get set…suggest!
Exactly one year ago today — on September 24th — Michael took me to one of our favorite spots and asked me to be his wife.
I still think about that day, often before I fall asleep to calm my mind. It is the purest joy I have ever felt. I loved him more in that moment than I ever thought possible.
I love him even more today.
Exactly one month from today — on October 24th – I will become his wife.
For the past year this end result has felt so abstract. I was of course always aware of the end result, the ultimate goal, but it often felt like I was planning something that would happen one day.
One day is upon us.
I’m taking today to reflect on how lucky I am to have been in a relationship for almost seven years with someone who makes every single day better. I’m taking today to thank him — my Michael — for being my friend, my partner, my rock — and for asking me to continue our lives together hand and hand.
We are getting married in one month.
I cannot wait.