Thursday, August 4, 2011

How Not to Stress the Small Stuff

*Breaths a big sigh of relief*
Today many of my co-workers left to embark on the 5th annual Great Lakes Independence Ride or IRIDE as it is called around here. It is a four day, fully accessible, inclusive cycling ride across the state. Their departure marks the end of a two-week long whirlwind of chaos: a fundraiser for the event, planing the after party and ironing out the details. I have been left behind to host an event on Sunday. Which means I am sitting still, in blissful silence, for at least the next 15 minutes.

So I figured what better time than now to update my blog. Especially since several important events have happened since I last communicated with you and at least half of you probably thought I jumped ship. Well, I am not a shipjumper, I tend to drown in deep water, so those of you that bet against me better cough up the cash.

Betting aside, you have missed a lot in the last few weeks, all of which I promise to update you on. The first order of business though is my bridal shower.

My bridal shower was hosted by two of my very favorite ladies, my twin sister Angela and my college roommate Stephy. This was not my first bridal shower, but it was (obviously) the first bridal shower in which I was the guest of honor. I sincerely hope that it is my last.

Not because I hated it.

No really.
My shower was lovely; Stephy and Angela did a beautiful job dolling up both me and the room. They made awesome punch using frozen fruit and juice. Ordered a huge, and what I am sure was delicious, cake, and had fun games planned for my guests. Stephy even coordinated her outfit to match the decor. And Angela saved the day by shopping for a new shower dress for me (in Indiana) while I sat on the couch, almost in tears, over the old one just 3 days before the event. Three cheers for sisters!

But there is one thing that I hate about large events, one thing that keeps me awake at all hours of the night, one thing that makes me stress about things when I should be able to have fun. What is that one thing you ask? Only everything you can’t fix/control.

In case you aren’t aware that encompasses quite a few things, some examples might include:

Weather and or Room Temperature
Late/lost/stuck in traffic guests

Guess what?  These are three things that happened on the day of my shower. I did enjoy myself. I laughed, I hugged long lost friends and relatives and met new ones. I chatted about babies and weddings and other life changing events people chat about in casual conversation. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking that everyone else was wondering why I wasn’t making the room cooler, breaking out my traffic control flags or sending out a pack of bloodhounds to search for my missing guests.

Obviously no one actually expected me to do any of those things, but that didn’t change the way I was feeling. I did my best to smile through it, to push the negative thoughts to the back of my mind, but I couldn’t shake them entirely.

Then I got to thinking about the wedding. Surely there would be even more uncontrollable factors at the wedding than at the shower and I certainly didn’t want to be fretting on my wedding day. How was a going to let go of all those things and enjoy my day?

I got my answer when I got home. I was reading through a journal that Angela and Stephy had my guests write in. They were asked to fill it with words of wisdom, advice, etc. I came across the page written by my Step Mom. In her scrawling, barely legible handwriting, she had written: Remember for the wedding: People look at you for how to act. Smile and stay calm, be happy and everyone around you will be happy too. It seems a little too easy right? But I thought about it. Have you ever looked at a laughing baby and felt angry? Or watched a bounding, joyful, puppy and felt sad? Moods are contagious. If I am happy on my wedding day, my guests will be happy too.

Now that the shower is over I can see that I am very lucky, I have some of the best friends in the world. My family is loving and supportive. My new family truly loves and appreciates me for exactly who I am. How could I have possibly been so worried about the little details when the big picture was so awesome? I will remember this for September.

For the all the other days of my life I have found this list of 50 things I can control right now. Hopefully, it will give me some perspective.

Now for your viewing pleasure: 

My beautiful cake. Surrounded by cupcakes. I bet it tasted AWESOME

The centerpieces at each table

Gifts from my generous family and friends. There were so many it was a little overwhelming. They were all lovely.

Me, with my practice bouquet. I didn't break a single ribbon.

Five of the most important woman in my life. Top photo: me and my two sisters Cassandra and Angela Bottom from left: Christy, Stephy, me, Angela and Martha. I am so lucky to have them in my life.

What bridal shower is complete without toilet paper wedding dresses? I lost the contest. I think it was rigged.

Thanks to my friend Jen for taking the photos. It wasn't easy, the lighting was not so great.

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