According to "The Knot," Will and I will be "tying the knot" in 50 days! See what I did there? I'm rusty — don't judge me.
About two months ago I got what they call "wedding brain" or "bride brain." If you haven't heard of it, it's a very real thing and it's EXHAUSTING. I can't seem to get enough sleep, and even if I do get a decent night's sleep it's filled with dreams about wedding stuff. Someone flipped the switch on my brain and turned it onto a channel where they play wedding crap 24/17. It. Never. Stops. I have multiple spreadsheets. Yes, multiple. Checklists, timelines, addresses, you name it. I have gone insane.
Granted, people ask me about the wedding and how the wedding planning is going all the time, but I've started to notice that I am able to turn any conversation into something to do with the wedding. I don't mean to, but I do. Somehow small talk with my friends, co-workers, bartenders, mail men, homeless men, etc. becomes about the wedding. "I don't have any cash on me. And even if I did, I still have a million decorations, accessories and gifts to buy for the wedding. Sorry homie!" You get the idea.
Poor Will gets it the worst though. I'm so focused on everything that needs to be done that I can't seem to focus on much of anything else. It's a constant barrage of, "What song are you and your mom dancing to at the wedding? Why haven't these people RSVP'd? What gifts are you going to get for the groomsmen? Should we just do beer and wine or should we also have a cash bar for liquor? Do you think we need an aisle runner? WHY HAVEN'T THESE PEOPLE RSVP'D???!!!" Ugh.
There was a big blowup in the family where it became very apparent that we were all stressed and hadn't been communicating very well, which manifested in an ugly way. Fortunately we were able to move on pretty quickly and open up the lines of communication. So after moving on from that, and spending a whirlwind weekend in Ohio for dress fittings, a wedding shower, venue visits to ask questions, etc., I feel like things are starting to fall into place. Sure there are still several little details to nail down, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I still have wedding brain, but now I'm getting really excited. In 50 days I get to marry my best friend and the love of my life. That's pretty freakin' awesome. There will still be stressful days, but in the end all that matters is me and Will, the next chapter in our adventure together, and celebrating it with the people we love. And for those extra stressful days there's always whiskey.
This snorty little shadow of a creature came into my life last May, and has completely stolen my heart. I know it's not the same as having a child, so I won't even try to compare it to that. But if the love you feel for a child is much more intense than what I feel for Mozzie, my heart just may explode. Don't get me wrong, there are days where Mozzie drives me crazy, but it's hard to be angry about anything when you come home to a snorty little fur ball that is so freaking happy to see you he can't stand it.
I was talking to a co-worker earlier this week and she said something I had never heard before. "Dogs make you a better person. They bring out the best in you." That comment was really interesting to me, not only because I had never thought about that before, but because I think she's onto something.
Will and I have become more patient people since Mozzie came into our lives. We've had to practice patience with him as he's gone through his varying stages of puppy-hood. Dogs also have a way of reminding you about what's more important in life -- it's really quite beautiful. Sometimes those wordless, simple gestures from them communicate more effectively than the most eloquent humans. Something as simple as a "dog hug" -- the way they lean up against you -- can communicate love.
There have also been studies that link dogs to lowering a person's blood pressure. I can't speak for Will, but mine is definitely more under control now. Granted, that can also be attributed to lifestyle changes such as altering salt and caffeine intake, but still. Sometimes when I start to get stressed out about various things, Mozzie cuddling up beside me on the couch is the best remedy to make me calm down. Or going on a walk when it's windy, and I'm thinking through everything I need to get done that day, but the sight of Mozzie chasing the leaves that are blowing by is so freaking cute and funny that my stress just melts away.
Everyone has their own bias, but personally I think pugs are one of the best breeds out there. Now, you have to be prepared to care for them properly, because they can (and often do) have special needs. Mozzie had to have a nose job when he was younger just so he could breathe better. Yes. A nose job. Apparently his nasal passages -- which pugs already have small and squished ones to begin with -- were even smaller than normal. They have delicate eyes because of how they tend to bug out a bit, so they can get dried out and need treated. And they shed constantly -- I mean CONSTANTLY. There is no off season. My swiffer duster thingy gets a serious workout.
BUT.......here is why I think they're the best:
5) They are the "clowns of the canine world." They have the funniest little personalities and are seriously goofy dogs. They are often referred to as "a lot of dog in a little space." They are constant entertainment.
4) They are super loyal, to a fault. They will even insist on accompanying you to the bathroom. You are not allowed to pee without a pug. They are furry little shadows that will follow you wherever you go -- especially if you have food.
3) Ever considered getting one of those cute little teacup pigs for a pet? Well a pug is a pig and dog in one. We often refer to Mozzie as pig-pug. I cannot tell you the amount of times where he has trotted through the house with his own little soundtrack -- a snort with every step. It's freakin' adorable.
2) I know I said I wouldn't compare him to a child, but pugs really are like little kids, at least in the way they behave. So if you're looking for a child, but not in the traditional sense, a pug is a good way to go. He wants everyone to be in the same room at all times. If you aren't, he will position himself in the middle of wherever you both may be, and pout until you "remedy the situation." He demands attention. If he's decided that I'm paying more attention to my computer or my phone, he'll wiggle his little body in between me and whatever I'm "distracted by." Sometimes he will even bark at me until I put my phone down. Demanding little fur baby...........
1) They have an enormous amount of love to give. Their little bodies can hardly contain the amount of love they will give to you -- it's impressive. If we've been gone for several hours, Mozzie can't control his little body when we come through the door. He loses his ever-loving mind. Then once he's settled a bit he has to be on you, wherever that may be. Sometimes after he eats his food, he comes over and starts licking me -- it's almost as if he's thanking me for the food.
So maybe that goofy little dog has made us better people. Regardless, we love him with all our hearts. And right around Will's birthday we will officially be adopting a 2-year-old female pug from Houston -- Phoebe. Mozzie will finally have a buddy. Having two pugs is going to be ridiculous, funny as hell, and so much cuteness and love that my heart just may explode. We can't wait.
Will and I have gone through a lot of stuff in the past few years that has made us re-evaluate what's really important in life. Maybe part of it is the big move, but we both seem to appreciate our relationship and our time together now more than ever.
It got me thinking about being with the "right person" and what that means. How do you know that you've found the right person to spend your life with? Are they "right" because you love them, you have things in common, they make you happy, etc.? Well yes, but what about the other reasons why they are the right person? Here are a few of mine, as unconventional as they may be:
1) When you are painfully aware that if people saw how you truly behaved together, you'd probably have no friends.
For example, there was a time where we were goofing around in the kitchen (I'm fairly certain I started it), and we started slapping each other on the butt -- back and forth and back and forth. At the exact same time we rushed each other, and simultaneously started slapping each other on the butt while chasing each other in a circle. It's about the equivalent of a dog chasing its tail. Really dumb.
2) When you realize you've been using the same loofa for 4 years and it's funny instead of gross.
I know that at face value using the same loofa DOES in fact sound gross, but hear me out. We have one of those shower caddies with hooks to hang your loofa on, and his has always hung on the left and mine on the right. It always seemed odd to me how my loofa would get worn out so fast and his wouldn't -- but regardless, I would always buy him a new one when I bought one for myself. About a month or so ago we were drinking and hanging out, and at some point I told him that I had bought him a new loofa. This is how the conversation went from there:
Will: "Yeah, I saw the new green loofa earlier. Thanks for that."
Me: "No.....yours is the blue one. Mine is the green one. I always get you blue or turquoise or something."
Will: "Wait.....isn't your loofa on the left?"
Me: "No......mine has always been on the right."
Will: "No.....MINE has always been on the right."
Me: "No.....YOURS has always been on the left -- I know because I'm the one who puts them there..............DUDE! You've been using my loofa!!! For how long???"
Will: (A sheepish look spread across his face) "Ummmmm......4 years???"
Me: "WHAT???!!! (*laughing*) You're kidding!!! No wonder mine always looks so worn out. You've never touched yours! I keep throwing out brand new loofas!!!"
I now use the loofa on the left as to not confuse him further. (*face palm*)
3) When you support each other's passions to the point where you geek out about it to someone else.
Will geeks out about marching band and DCI, and then I find myself carrying on long conversations with other people about it. At one point I realized what was happening, stopped, and asked that person, "I know way too much about this, don't I?" They just looked confused and nodded in agreement.
I'm loving my new work, and I gush about it on a regular basis to Will. He then turns around and gushes about it to someone else. He loves that I'm doing something that makes me feel good. It's actually pretty cool.
4) When you have your own dumb language, accent, etc.
Somewhere along the way the word "foot" became "fooht." "Chicken" and "chips" sound like "cheeken" and "cheeps." "Stick" is also "steek." I honestly have no idea how any of this came about or who started it -- it just did, and it stuck. It's a miracle that we don't butcher the words in public. Somehow it stays within the confines of our little bubble -- thank God. That combined with our weird behavior would surely make us social pariahs.
5) You don't care what you're doing as long as you get to spend time together.
Especially during really busy weeks, we go through a sort of "withdrawal" if we don't get to see each other much. And as much fun as it is to go out and do various things, we seem to always have the most fun just hanging out and talking -- even after 5+ years. I guess that's the advantage of being with your best friend -- as goofy as he may be. But I love that goofball with all of my heart and soul. I'm a lucky girl.
Meet Mozzie. Mozzie is an 8 week old pug puppy. We've had him for 3 days and I'm in love.
On Friday, Will and Jo and I took a trip to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to meet our puppies. The brother (Mozzie) and the sister (Disney) pair of pugs came home with us that night. All three of us were instantly attached.
It's truly amazing how quickly you can get attached to something. It's been 3 freaking days and I find myself struggling to leave the house. Not that I have experienced it personally, but when you have a child there is an instant bond -- it's biology. Oxytocin is released and you instantly fall in love with that child. It's a really cool thing.
I'm definitely not comparing my new found love for Mozzie to that of having a child, but I'm definitely attached.
I never feel like I get enough sleep, and I hate early mornings -- I always have. I'm not high maintenance, so I get ready pretty fast in the morning, which enables me to sleep longer. There's not much that can get me out of bed if I don't need to be up yet. Apparently when I was around 18 months old, I slept for about a day and a half after coming home from a family vacation to Disney World. My parents kept checking on me to make sure I was still breathing.
Despite my love of sleep and sleeping in, a funny thing happened the past three mornings..............I woke up way earlier than I normally would just to make sure Mozzie was okay. He may not be my child, but my maternal instinct has kicked in HARD core. It's super weird.
So why do I love this wrinkly little thing so much after only 3 days?
Well, first off, he's freaking adorable.
Look at that face!!!
Those are just a few of the reasons why I'm already attached to the little gremlin.
And actually, that's one of them. If you've ever played with a pug puppy, they seriously sound like little gremlins. Their smooshed faces make them snort like little pigs, and when they get riled up during play time they make the craziest noises. Sometimes they startle themselves with their own noises, and you can tell that they're not entirely sure where the noise came from. They look at you as if you made the noise. After a short pause, they go right back to spazzing out and making crazy noises. It's hilariously cute.
One of the main reasons why I got attached to Mozzie so quickly is because he's not just my puppy, he's our puppy (mine and Will's) -- and it means something. I realize that sounds SUPER sappy, but I don't care. Judge me all you want. We've been through a lot in the past several years, and getting a puppy has really been a bright spot for us. We've wanted one for quite some time now, but just haven't had the right schedules, the space, or the money. But things are different now, and thanks to my amazing family, Mozzie ended up being an early birthday present.
Best. Birthday. Ever.
As I talked about in an earlier post, my family recently lost Pug (Pugsley). Mozzie will never replace him, but having Mozzie definitely fills a void. And maybe it's because Mozzie is a pug dog, or maybe I'm crazy, but I swear he kind of looks like Pug. There's something about Mozzie and his personality (besides the fact that he's a pug) that reminds me of Pug. It's actually kind of comforting.
On that note, my 3-year-old niece called Jo's pug (Disney) Pugsley's sister when she first saw her. Ugh...................my heart.
Just this past weekend we celebrated Will's 32nd birthday. I don't turn 28 until May 29th, which means that he looks like even more of a cradle robber for another month. I don't think he thinks it's funny..............I think it's hilarious. I'm not sure why I decided that once you cross the threshold of a 4 year gap that someone becomes a cradle robber..............probably just to torture Will. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm the BEST girlfriend ever -- obviously.
But in all seriousness, his birthday made me reflect on a lot of things. This July will mark 5 years for us. Prior to meeting Will, I hadn't made it past about 18 months with anyone. I got bored easily. Plus, I also tended to date people who were out of their goddamn minds. My dating track record is impressively terrible. My friends have nicknames for all of my exes. Among the many nicknames, "Stalker Steve" and "Bipolar Bear" are probably my favorites. Well, "The Douche Nuvo" is also pretty fantastic. I realize that the name is redundant, but that was the point. It was necessary in order to embody the level of douchiness that this person achieved on a daily basis.
Anyhow..........Will is the kind of guy where one of my friends quite literally said to me, "If things for some reason don't work out between you two, we'll probably keep him anyway." I'm still not entirely sure if that meant that they would find a way to be friends with both of us, or if they would side with him in the "divorce." I think I may have been insulted and didn't know it at the time...............
Will is one of the funniest people I've ever met, which is a HUGE factor for me when it comes to being drawn to someone. Funny musicians have always been my kryptonite. I also tend to gravitate towards guys who are about 5'10" ish with broad shoulders. My dad says I'm trying to deplete the gene pool. I'm pretty tall for a girl, but listen...............I don't like having to crane my neck to kiss someone. I'm just attracted to shorter guys -- I can't help it. Their face is right by my face. It's what I like. Leave me alone.
My sister also informs me that I like "the hairy ones." She's not wrong. I think I'm drawn to bearded men because they look more "manly" or something. The "pretty boys" who can't grow facial hair just don't do it for me. Sorry boys.
Back to the point. (My attention span is that of a freakin' gold fish today..............)
Will is awesome. Plain and simple. He's a freakishly talented musician that can play a ridiculous amount of instruments. He's a chameleon -- it's sick. But regardless of how talented he is, he's one of my biggest fans. He thinks highly of me as a musician, and he pushes me musically because he believes in me. I'm sitting over here thinking, "But I only sing and play the piano............I mean, I played trumpet for like 2 years and thought I could play guitar for a few...........but you play ALL the instruments. WE'RE NOT EVEN ON THE SAME LEVEL!!!" But he thinks we are, which is pretty cool.
I sucked at the guitar, by the way. Like, for real.
Will is smart and is constantly, proactively seeking even more knowledge. He makes me think and doesn't let me get away with having an opinion without solid reasoning to back it. That's the journalist in him -- he challenges me.
He loves me unconditionally, even when I'm super grumpy. A not so great trait I inherited is to get super irritable when I'm hungry.
Although apparently he's dated his fair share of crazy as well, because he laughs at me when I apologize for being grumpy. I guess my irritable moments seem pretty insignificant when you've dated someone who tried to assault you on a regular basis and would lock herself in the bathroom if she didn't get her way. And I thought my Bipolar Bear was bad..............yikes.
Most importantly, Will has a huge heart. He's attentive, affectionate, thoughtful, and makes me feel loved every day.
A lot has happened in the past 5 years. When we met, we were both musicians who worked at restaurants to make ends meet. Between then and now we've both been through grad school, multiple moves (including Tennessee and back), several difficult family situations, changes in employment (some chosen, some not), weight gain, weight loss, and financial hardship, among other things. We've been through it all together.
I honestly can't imagine having been through all of that with anyone else. And the craziest part is that through all of that we never fought. We had some moments, but they were always quickly dealt with, because we talk. We talk a LOT. We deal with situations head on and we do it together.
We're not perfect, but we're perfect for each other. That freakishly talented goofball is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I think I'll keep him, even though he is a cradle robber.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."