Category Archives: Adventures

Engaged!

I meant to write this awhile ago and I just didn’t (I even wrote a draft in a notebook that now I am completely ditching). But, if you don’t follow me on social media, here’s what’s up: I’m engaged.Pink with Diamond Icon Photo Engagement Announcement

The past few months have been filled with peaks and valleys that are just a part of life but all the while my relationship with C has deepened. He is an incredible teammate, kind, patient, and funny. It’s been a few weeks since he proposed and it still feels surreal even though we are in full wedding planning mode.

If you would have asked me if this is where I would be one year ago, I’d have laughed. And I know that C can say the same. The way God knit together our story is so unique. Parts of it are so special that I am keeping them private. At the same time, I want to share our joy and excitement with you all since you have been with me through other seasons of my life too.

We are better together than we are apart which is what makes it so cool. At the same time, I’m very aware of the parts of myself I am stubborn or prideful over. Like all things, God is using this relationship to sanctify both C and I. I’d just say this feels very intense at times. And from what I’ve been told from what married friends, that will only become more intense. I’m more aware of my need for Jesus than ever and we are both keenly aware that our relationship needs Him too. He is, after all, the author of it.

So, some questions you may have…

How did he do it?

I always say I want to be surprised but I also am so impatient that they never work out. So the day it happened, I knew it was coming. But when he told me the plan for the day he talked about going to several places that are important to us and dinner. It made me think he would do it then obviously. Instead, he surprised me as I was getting ready for the day as in if he would have done it two minutes later, I might have been wearing a face mask and there was a podcast blaring as I settled in to “get ready.” So I didn’t imagine I would be in the middle of washing my face with wet hair but it was perfect. He ended up actually proposing in front of a piece of furniture I helped him to make. (He is a woodworker as a hobby and I was his assistant on his project). I cried. He cried. I whispered the word, “Yes,” way more quietly than either of us imagined and then leaped into his arms.

When are you getting married?

March! C is a teacher so to a certain extent we are the mercy of that calendar. Originally, we considered doing it over winter break but the way the holidays fall this year would have made it very difficult for the people we love and would like there so: looks like Spring Break!

How is planning going?

In fits and bursts. A lot of things have (thankfully) fallen into place in a beautiful way. C has been helpful and both of our families have also been supportive. The main stuff is booked and now we just have random things to nail down.

We are also making the conscious choice not to just be planning for a wedding but a marriage. So it means premarital, financial courses, etc. That’s really important to us, building a foundation, and knowing that it doesn’t just happen. But that’s something that is just important to us. Everyone and every relationship is different.

Dress?!

Not yet. I’m waiting to be able to share the day with my mom, who isn’t local. So that will be in a few weeks. I have no idea what I want except that I would like it to be flattering and comfortable.

To be honest, one of the biggest challenges to wedding planning has simply been that I never really thought I would meet the guy and get married. So I never really was that little girl who pictured some things. I had some vague ideas like I would like for it to be in church (Spoiler: it’s not because of my chronic illness we are doing everything in all one place because I want to make it through the day and to my wedding night too! I’ve waited a long time. Ha. So that means cutting down on anything that would expend more energy than necessary and one of those things is travel in the city. What a nightmare.).

But anyway, because I hadn’t dreamt of this day my whole life, only just hoped I would someday be married, I didn’t really know what I liked or wanted. After a lot of talking with C and pinteresting, we definitely have a vision and a vibe.

But as for a dress, I just want to be comfortable in the dress and in my own skin

Where’s the ring?

I’m a little paranoid so I have been really careful about what I post on social media and here too. I did want an engagement ring but I had no idea what I wanted so C suggested I go look. I fell in love with a yellow gold setting but he surprised me with the shape of the center stone and I’m so in love with it. It’s everything I never knew I wanted and I can’t imagine anything else on my hand. Although I am still getting used to having it on my finger and will be for a long time. I feel like I can objectively say it’s beautiful and classic with a twist (which is the perfect mix of me and C to be honest. Ha!)

If you made it this far, you’re kind and sweet. I am so behind in announcing it here but I do want to chronicle the wedding planning process to a certain degree. So…here we go.

xo

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The Truth about Ghosting.

The Truth about Ghosting

For the record, I have said I would never ghost someone. For the record, I also said I would never do online dating. I am online dating. And I have ghosted. I had reasons. So here we are: the truth about ghosting.

But first…

(Please know I am writing this because I was asked too. I want to respect everyone, really. Also, the graphic is not a real conversation…I made it up on a website LOL but is perhaps inspired by real events).

For those of you who did not know what ghosting is, the urban dictionary defines it as: “The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.”

Now, based on that definition, I guess I have not ghosted.

Let me explain. I never thought I would ghost someone because I really do seek to treat people the way I want to be treated. It would hurt my feelings, no matter how invested I was or wasn’t, if someone just ceased talking to me. So I made a policy to never ghost.

But did I mention that I made that policy at a time when I wasn’t really dating, let alone internet dating?

What I have come to understand about internet dating (and, in some cases, dating in general) is that sometimes I have to go with my gut. I am all about meeting sooner rather than later (safely though) (and I should probably do a post on that concept too!) but depending on if they are close or far away, you may not meet them before your gut is telling you: uh oh. I’ve gone on plenty of dates from online dating and even briefly dated someone from it. But in the two cases where I ghosted on purpose, my gut was going off like a car alarm.

Ghosting Case Number One:

Let’s call him Sam. Sam seemed super nice and intentional…at first. We had a skype date after communicating for awhile. He was a couple of minutes late because he wanted to iron his shirt (he confessed with embarrassment to me). This endeared Sam to me. I share these details to show you that Sam was and I am sure, is not, a monster. He appeared sweet and kind. After the skype date, we started to text. This is when things went to a place I was not comfortable.

He started talking to me a lot, including many selfies and pictures of every part of his day…and I do mean every part of his day. This would still not be reason enough to ghost for me, especially with my relatively little experience with internet dating at this point. He started asking me for photos, specific photos. Nothing totally dirty. Sam is a Christian. But when I said no, I will not send you a picture of me in my pjs (!!!), he did not respect my boundaries.

He also started using terms of endearment as soon as we finished with the skype date. Again, this would not be reason enough for me to ghost someone. But when I was really upfront about the fact that it made me uncomfortable because we had only skyped once, he argued with me. Continue reading

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Hello, Adele.

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Hello, Adele.

On Monday night, I saw Adele in concert…which was not supposed to happen.

When tickets went on sale they were too expensive and honestly, they were hard to get even if I had the money. Meanwhile, through a crazy set of circumstances, two hours before the concert, my roommate and I were able to score tickets with a limited view. As you can see, it really wasn’t a limited view. Considering what tickets were going for, it was a great deal…an incredible deal. And the experience itself? Honestly, I think it tied with the time I saw Sir Paul McCartney. And Adele is by far the greatest vocalist I have ever seen or heard in person.

I just feel so fortunate that it happened at all because so many things had to fall into place. I mean, we showed up at the United Center Box Office without tickets.

 

I’m still on a high. Her voice live did not disappoint. #Adele #Chicago

A video posted by Nina B. (@nbwearsflowers) on

I had so many feelings throughout the concert. I’m still processing it. It was like therapy. I know that sounds dramatic but dannnnnnng. That girl can sing and her songs make you feeeeeeel. If you have the opportunity to see her, don’t miss her. Seriously. I just…I am a writer without words. She sang them all.
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Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie.

free people miss american pie 1There have been three or four times since I turned eighteen when my life came to a major crossroads and every single time, before I hit that crossroad, before I even saw that fork in the road coming, a certain song followed me everywhere. It haunted me in the way that good songs do but also in a way that was impossible to ignore. The song was Don McLeans’s American Pie.

I am not a person who believes in “signs” like this but maybe I have started to believe that God makes sure I hear it, a gentle early warning device. Let me explain.

The first time it happened I had just turned eighteen. Back then, a clock radio woke me up each morning and in one week I heard crackle and static and the words: “A long, long time ago/I can still remember how that music used to make me smile/And I knew if I had my chance/That I could make those people dance/And maybe they’d be happy for a while.” Each morning I blinked my eyes open like a struggling baby owl, the song starting in a different place, and thought only: how weird, but at least it’s a good song to start the day.

The next week it continued to wake me up and followed me on the car radio when I drove to and from school and friends’ houses. I could not get away from it. “Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry and good ole boys were drinking whiskey n’ rye singing this’ll be the day that die…”

It got to the point where I honestly wondered if it did mean something. Was I going to die? That sounds dire but if you know the background of the song it wasn’t that farfetched (except that this whole story is farfetched) and this song was following me everywhere I went.

Slowly, though, it faded away and all of a sudden some major decisions that would affect the trajectory of my life came into view. I forgot about the song. There were bigger things to worry about. I made good choices and I made bad choices. But there can be no regrets because they led me here and God was and still is good. I put the song out of my mind because I simply forgot about the way it followed me around.

Until several years later when I heard it two days in a row and I remembered that brief time in my life and a buzz started inside of me. “No,” I thought. “This can’t mean anything.”

Did you write the book of love/And do you have faith in God above/If the Bible tells you so?/Now do you believe in rock and roll?/Can music save your mortal soul?/And can you teach me how to dance real slow?”

Again, the song haunted me. It’s a song that makes me both happy and sad. It makes me want to sing along, and to dance, and feel nostalgic all at the same time. It has no particular personal meaning except for what I am explaining here. And yet, again after a few weeks of hearing it everywhere I turned, it faded away abruptly. In its wake, I was left with big career questions, and I ended up across the country in San Francisco.

There have been other, smaller times where it’s followed me that have been precursors to something. But to be honest, it has gotten to the point that when I do hear it, my ears perk up and my soul feels like an antenna. I wonder: is something about to happen?

I was talking to one of my best friends this weekend as she celebrated her Bridal Shower and she was a mix of emotions. At one point, I said, “In simple terms, a new part of your life is beginning and an old part of your life is ending. It has to end in order for the new to be born and so, of course, your emotions are all over the place.” On the way home from the Bridal Shower weekend in the country, guess what song I heard?

I happened to be caravanning with her younger sister for part of the long ride home, who would shortly after the song ended, take the fork opposite me to go back down to school where she will graduate in a week–a part of her life has to end in order for the new part to be born–and as I sang along with the words I wanted to cry.

Here are two of the Miss American Pies in question aka Free People models:free people miss american pie

“I met a girl who sang the blues/And I asked her for some happy news/But she just smiled and turned away/I went down to the sacred store/Where I’d heard the music years before/But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.”

Because being at a crossroads is the same thing as something ending in order for something new to be born. I was tenderhearted to leave my good friend, only to see her in a month at her wedding, and to say goodbye to her sister, who is at a particular crossroads I remember well. I wondered what was to come for all of us, not in scary way and not an exciting way. But where would be in a year? In two? In ten?

At the same time, I was reminded that some things don’t change but evolve into something rooted so firmly and completely that despite endings and beginnings, that one thing remains perfect with all its imperfections–like the love and devotion between sisters like these. So very many things will change in our lives and if we want to grow, we will change with them. And yet what remains is something altogether marvelous in its simplicity like a spring sunset and strong like the heaviest of anchors.

But then I started singing Bye, bye Miss American Pie…

Love,

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P.S. The part that is strange this time is that I don’t have a car because I live in the city and therefore don’t listen to the radio. I choose the music I listen to and so the one time I drive for an extended period of time, the song came on. Life is a mixture of the bitter and sweet which is perhaps why the song itself is such a catchy tune and yet tells the story or allegory of the death of three musicians in a plane crash.

P.P.S. I could take pictures of these two gorgeous gals any day of the week. In fact, I just want them to play dress up and let me take photos of them.

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Moving: A Drinking Game.

wine1My roommate tells me every girl should own a power drill. I did not know this and have been using elbow grease but it makes a difference. Still, even with a power drill, bolting a bookcase to a plaster wall can be an adventure. I don’t remember exactly when we decided it was time to go out and get refreshments but for this story’s sake, it make sense that it was about the time that we had a hole in the wall deep enough to go through the plaster into the wooden stud and into plaster again. About one inch in diameter, it would have been the perfect place for a secret camera. Since that was not our intention, we were thirsty.

We were suckers but sometimes it pays to be suckers. We laughed at ourselves when we fell for the display of the wine and cheese pairing. “This just looks delicious,” we said, knowing it was ridiculous. Hey, guess what? This random wine is now, I think, my favorite white wine I’ve ever tried. The recipe, when putting together bookshelves and realizing the parts you got to replace the ones that don’t fit still don’t fit, also calls for white cheddar (aged 6 years, from Canada).

Cut to another night of putting up the draperies in a a bay window. We had to go back for more wine and cheese. We binged Making a Murderer while sipping and snacking at night…a show with many themes, one of which is the bearing of class and wealth in the justice system. We drank our wine and and ate our aged white cheddar like huge jerks.

But we also move rugs and furniture. I unpacked (or started to). I put together a headboard. We (mostly my roomie) held the power drill high above our heads for long periods of time for projects (which is much harder than one would expect). We balanced precariously on stools to unscrew lightbulbs. We didn’t drink through all of this, of course. Through some it? Yes.

But some nights, after work and some serious manual labor, we opened a bottle. Turns out there was a sale on the very wine I loved when we went back for it. So I bought five bottles only to be informed that if I bought another, I would receive 10% off. I’d actually done my research and knew what major liquor stores sold it for (actually, to be honest, in a moment of delusion, I wondered how much a case would cost and googled it so that’s how I found out all that pertinent info…which is crazy because I think I have bought less than a case of wine in my life). We ended up saving almost four dollars a bottle.wine

MK, the roomie, says this is a nesting phase. Whenever one moves, one likes to get all fancy and go through a wine phase. I believe her because I have never been much of a drinker. Honestly, not much appealed to me outside of champagne (taste-wise) and that’s so snobby. When I lived in SF, and took day trips to Napa and Sonoma, I learned to appreciate wine for what it is. I also learned that expensive wine really does (usually) taste better.

Our little wine is not expensive, especially how we came across it. And it’s the best. Maybe this would have been a shorter phase if I would not have fallen in love with the taste. And maybe after everything is resolved and life feels “normal,” I won’t be rearranging our fridge based on wine bottles.

So. This moving thing? It’s kind of like a drinking game.

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