That Bad Ass Feeling

27 Mar

Every once in a while I’ll become totally addicted to a song. And usually this happens because it makes me feel like a total bad ass. Do you ever have that feeling listening to music that just makes you feel so in tune with it that you feel you could conquer the entire world, and the entire world would worship you for just being that awesome? I’m not sure exactly what it is that makes me fall in love with these kinds of songs, other than it usually is able to produce at least a tear or two from me (I call it being in touch with the reality of melding with my destiny of bad ass-ness) and it makes me forget anything else every time I hear it. SO, naturally, I have found one of those songs, in a most unsuspecting place – a new Muse album (which surprises me only because I really thought I didn’t like the direction they’re heading, but this album is actually pretty good). The band Muse definitely has a few songs that incite this feeling in me – and this one is off their new album, The 2nd Law – I really have nothing else to say about it other than you’ll either love it or hate it. And by the way this song was freaking awesome live in concert – enjoy: 

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Authentically Real

26 Mar

There are times in our lives where we really see ourselves coming to a crossroads, a time where we might feel inspired, rejuvenated, supported. I’ve really had a resurgence (or maybe not “re”, but a surge for the first time ever) recently in my ability to speak my mind. Some may call this tactless, or classless, or obtuse, but I call it being assertive, and it makes me proud. I’m not typically one to be proud of myself in either an egotistical manner, or truly in admiration of something awesome I did, but I am genuinely proud of this new assertiveness because I had a counselor several years back who implored me to understand why being assertive is important and I never quite got the hang of it. Granted, a bit of this new assertiveness might come at the expense of other people’s feelings, but I’ve learned some things recently that make me okay with that.

1. I can’t always be concerned with other people’s feelings. There is a lot of nastiness that bombards us in this world and we just need to learn to put our big panties on and deal with it. Not everything is personal. Not everything that hurts my feelings is aimed at me. God knows I’m a pro at hurting feelings, but hardly is it ever intentional. So, in order to be true to oneself, there are going to be some hurt feelings along the way.

2. Not everyone, at every moment, of every day is going to like what you have to say. Nor are they going to agree with you. But as long as you believe what you’re saying, and you really believe in it and aren’t just saying it because it’s what you think you should say, who cares? Again, you’re going to piss people off. It’s life. Let’s deal.

3. Telling people how you really feel can be damaging. But it can also be incredibly liberating. See, I have had some frustrations floating around my mind for a great deal of time now (picture the pixies floating around in Lockhart’s classroom in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – seriously, that’s what my thoughts look like) and I finally voiced them, and you know what? I didn’t die. And neither did the guy who pissed me off. So, sometimes it’s okay to just let the other guy have a piece of your mind. And speaking of that, you know why sometimes I have such a hard time with that? Because I’m a woman – and I’ve unconsciously felt like it’s not ladylike to speak my opinion, but, whatever…

4. Life is about finding what you care about, working toward that passion, and leaving the rest behind. I can’t walk around fearing that so and so is going to be mad if I’m honest. Isn’t honesty always the best policy? So how can you truly get mad at someone who is honest with you? Just a thought…

So, you might not always like what I have to say. You might not always agree with. I won’t always agree with you. I might not even like you (though honestly, I probably wouldn’t tell you that anyway…even with this newly-found liberation). But I will tell you a few things, and if you don’t like it? *Shrugs shoulders* I think sex before marriage is a really bad idea (and I speak from experience, so don’t call me some stupid Christian with her head buried in her ass), I can’t stand Obama – like, really can’t stand (though I know that’s SO unpopular these days given the fact that *gasp* someone doesn’t like the President – I must be racist), I say the F word – a lot (but seriously, only at home 🙂 ), I love to watch TV and one of my biggest fears of having children is not watching TV, I don’t like everyone – in fact, I probably use the phrase “I hate people” at least 20 times a week, I suffered from a deep dark depression a while back in my early 20s (and speaking of which, most people in their early 20s really don’t have shit figured out, so to pretend otherwise is humorous – though I fully admit that I’m still learning but hey, even when you’re 80, aren’t you still learning?), watching people I care about make bad decisions lends more compassion to the people who watched me make those same bad decisions (and they are bad decisions – so when you’re older sibling, parent, friend, etc. tells you it’s bad, please trust them! But you won’t, will you? Because you know better than everyone else), and I could go on and on and on about all the other things I want you to know, but seriously, what would be the point of this blog? And in general, what’s the point? You already know better than I do 🙂

A Crash Course in Wedding Etiquette

26 Mar

I know I haven’t written in a while, and that’s totally not cool, but a lot of things have been going on recently and, well, I just haven’t had the time – sorry guys 😦 I would like to take a minute to give everyone a crash course in etiquette though, a la the chart seen below (crafted by handy dandy husband). I would first like to reference this link. As we see here, it really is not acceptable to invite “add ons” or to assume you are allowed to bring a date to a wedding, unless they are expressly invited. Never should you assume a significant other, or boyfriend/girlfriend, has been snubbed in an invitation; however, it is absolutely at the bride and groom’s discretion who gets an invitation. This would be like preparing Thanksgiving dinner for those 20 people in your family who said they were coming, and then they all show up with a friend. Not only will you be miffed that this happened, you’ll be embarrassed that you don’t have enough food. Or imagine you invited all 100 members of your family over for dinner, and then you see someone sitting with your Uncle Larry and you go “excuse me, who are you? And why are you here?” Okay, you might not actually say that, but you’d definitely think it! Folks, if you get an invitation to a wedding, and your name is on it (or your sons name, or your daughter or even if it just says “Smith Family”), regardless of any other stipulations the RSVP might state, you are always to assume that unless anywhere on the invitation (including the RSVP card) it says “and guest”,  guests are not permitted. And not only that, but it’s kind of rude to just bring someone along, right? Not kidding here friends, plates of food for weddings are expensive. How would you like to be out at that fancy steakhouse and have some random person plop down and go “you’re going to buy my $80 dinner, right?”

I know, right?!

I know, right?!

And while we’re on this topic, let’s discuss substitution. Under no circumstances is it etiquette-ly sound to allow another person to go to a wedding in your place. If the bride and groom did not want you at their wedding, they would not have invited you. In fact, I think it’s an awesome honor for someone to even want me to attend their wedding! So no matter how many feelings will get hurt, threats are made, or lives literally ruined, just go. Go to the wedding, dance the night away, enjoy the food, and enjoy yourself. It’s only once (hopefully!) in a lifetime you’ll get to see this precious couple wed before God and close friends and family. Go join them in this special day because believe me, they want you there. And if they didn’t, you wouldn’t have been asked to attend. So how would you feel when they look at table #10, the table they deliberately sat you at so they could see your smiling face all evening  from the front of the room, and they saw Sally Shoemaker there? And then they exchange a glance of confusion and go “who is that person??” Yeah, not too cool. This is their day. And if Sally wasn’t asked to join, Sally better not show up. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love Sally, they just don’t love Sally now. See what I’m saying? Don’t over think this – does any place on the invitation say “and guest?” No? Then it’s a no go – stop here – HOLD YOUR HORSES – and move on and enjoy the wedding 🙂

Running – Really??

16 Jul

Ohhh, the things we do to surprise ourselves. I hate running. I mean, like, reallllyyyy despise it (I guess – I mean, I did). Apparently it took me 26 years despising the “sport” (can you even really call it a sport? Isn’t it just something you do to outrun, say, a lion?!) to realize that *sigh* I actually do kind of enjoy it. I always had these awful, myriad, preconceived notions perpetuated by beautiful girls with tiny waists, huge thighs, good attitudes, and 7-minute Presidential Physical Fitness test-times (oh yes, you remember those!). In school, I could barely, barely hoof a 12-minute mile. I haven’t tried since 7th grade, but honestly, it’s probably not much better now. The only thing that has changed is my attitude about it.

I’ve had a very rocky relationship with running this last year. I’m the kind of girl who gets bored ridiculously easily with routine – so while on my desperate journey to lose weight the year prior to my wedding, and bored with my current routine, I decided to try running. Actually, it just kind of fell into my lap, though I don’t even remember how. Somehow, I heard of the Couch to 5K program. I checked into it and thought “well, yeah, I can walk. And, yup, I can probably do some running a minute at a time. *Sigh* I guess I’ll try.” This, compounded with the fact that my plethora of running friends all seem happy, healthy, fit, firm, blah blah blah, encouraged me to try to take up this glorious activity. I started C25K, got to week 2 at least 5 times (ahem, repeated week 2 because well, it was easy). Then I quit…true to form. For like…months. Then, I took up another activity – also true to form. Then I got bored (see a cycle here?) And then, when I was feeling down and out I looked at Aaron and said “I liked running didn’t I?” He said, “yes, it seemed as if you did.” Then I said “why did I quit?” He shrugged his shoulders, to which I expounded in systematic form as to why I stopped:

Thought to Self: I’ve always hated running.

Response from Self: Then why do you do it?

Response to Self: Because everyone looks like they have fun doing it, so I thought “I like fun!” and so I tried it.

Response from Self: Was it fun?

Response to Self: NO! It was f-ing miserable, but I felt really strong after doing it.

Response from Self: So why did you quit?

Response to Self: Because I hate running.

Response from Self: Maybe you just have convinced yourself you hate running. Maybe you just need to give yourself permission to like it.

Response to Self: Shit.

I knew Self was right, of course. I had convinced myself my whole life, to such a great degree, that I hate running, that I actually talked myself out of doing something I actually enjoyed because I felt guilty enjoying something I told myself I hated.

I’ve hopped on and off the running bandwagon a few times since then, mostly through external distractions (Vampire Diaries addiction – eeek!), but ultimately I always return. Why? Because it’s miserably good fun and it makes me feel like a superhero. I still haven’t surpassed Week 3, but I have this handy dandy little app on my phone that tells me when to walk, when to run, and when to stop so that I don’t get caught up looking at the treadmill display because I swear to myself that I am quite literally dying. I also purchased some beautiful, wonderful new running shoes. The ones I had been wearing cannot even be constituted as “running” shoes. I cannot express enough how important it is to get properly fitted shoes – endurance has increased, and pain has declined. I seriously don’t know why I didn’t consider this sooner. I even got some nifty running shorts – the kind I see the skinny bitches I used to hate running in – and um, I shamefully hate to admit that they’re super comfy and super effective.

So, today, my running journey commences again. I’ll be starting on Week 1, mostly because it’s been a month since our wedding and I’ve been super lazy since then after all the hard work I put in, and my poor heart doesn’t feel like it can take a more advanced run (as if week 3 is really that much more advanced). And I tell myself, it’s only 9 weeks, surely I can stick with it. And my motivation? I really want to run The Color Run – mostly because I want weird strangers tossing paint at me, or whatever it is, because it looks cool.

And my major driving force? I saw a girl at the park – she had massive, huge, runners thighs. I want those thighs. Yes, I want huge thighs.

Because the Question Arose…

28 Jun

And for the last post of the evening (clearly, I’m so excited to be blogging now – that I can’t stop!):

Dear Mother asked today “why is your blog called Navigating the Wormhole?”  and the answer is this:

1. It just came to me one day in October 2011, and…

2. The more I thought about it I found it a neat, fitting title. The definition of a wormhole:

A hypothetical connection between widely separated regions of space-time.

There is a lot going on in my brain – they say we have around 50,000 thoughts per day. Those 50,000 thoughts of mine reside in a hypothetical region of my brain (is the mind part of the brain? Is it part of the soul? What is it connected to?) often hurried, flustered, distracted, or simply passing through, each distinctly separate from the actual physiological workings of this knotted mess of gray located between my ears. For this reason, I have likened my mind, my brain, my psyche, whatever it may be to those elusive holes in our vast universe – my thoughts are elusive, my wonders and inclinations are elusive. This blog, which I have used for the purpose of commencing organization of all these wild musings of mine, will be my attempt to navigate through my life, my questions, my answers, my epiphanies, my hopes, my dreams, my joys, my sorrows, and everything in between. And on the way, it will be moving evermore steadily toward the answer – what’s at the end of the wormhole? Where will we finally end up at the end of the journey? Where will our lives take us? Well, we don’t really know, do we? The beauty of life is in the journey – and we must enjoy navigating our way toward the end.

Wedded Bliss

28 Jun

Before too much time passes, I need to address the biggest event in my life to date – my wedding! First off, take a look at me and my handsome hubster:

Photo Credit: Daniel Nordick Photography

So cute! Dan did an awesome job on the photos! So that brings us to the main point of this post – shoutouts!!

1. Daniel Nordick PhotographyDan’s wife and I lived on the same floor my first year of college – after I transferred from the University of Akron, to Virginia Tech in 2005 we lost all touch completely.  After Aaron and I became engaged in 2011, I happened to see Emily post something on Facebook about her husband’s new photography business. I inquired about wedding photography, was quoted an absolutely awesome price, and we went from there! Dan and Emily are so fun, so open and willing to try new things, and so excited about photography. Dan had 25 images up on Facebook already the day after our wedding. He’s absolutely fantastic, taking all kinds of fun and unique shots. We haven’t gotten the rest of the pictures back yet, but I’m sure they’re amazing 🙂 Thank you so much for all your hardwork, Dan! Friends, check him out here.

2. KMK Exposures: I met Katie by chance – when I first moved to Ohio again in 2010, I went to an upscale, all organic salon a couple times to get my hair done. The first time I was incredibly pleased. The second time sucked…sucked. Let’s put it this way: my haircut was SO bad, I went home and chopped my own hair off. When it came time for another hair cut, I made an appointment at Sam Wanna Salon (mostly because the building is super cool!). When they told me Katie would be doing my hair I thought “hmm, Katie is a cool name, so she must be cool.” She is SO cool 🙂 I still have my hair done with her (mom does too!), but I also found out she takes pictures – really great ones! Katie took the pictures some of you saw in our guestbook at our reception. We already had our engagement photos taken last year by my uncle’s cousin, Lisa Pflaum, but I have lost a lot of weight since then and wanted some pictures of a thinner me sitting on our coffee table forever. Katie did an awesome job – thank you for all your hard work! Katie and I are now becoming great friends. Her husband, Mike, and Aaron are pretty cool too 🙂 Check out her work here.

3. Pastor GirardNothing happens by chance. We were planning on getting married at another church, but that fortuitously fell through – in swoops Pastor Girard! My family attended St. Mark Lutheran Church and suggested we speak with Pastor Girard about marrying us. Long story short, he’s now an awesome mentor and friend. We couldn’t be more pleased with Pastor Girard and all he’s done for us. It is truly an honor to have our marriage sanctified by such a man. We love you ♥

4. Williams-on-the-LakeThe absolute most wonderful reception venue! We can’t thank Mark Williams and everyone at Williams-on-the-Lake enough for all their hard work and dedication to make our day as spectacular as it was! We’ve said it many times – barring distance, there is seriously no reason anyone should ever look any further than Williams. The food was amazing, the views were awesome, everything is all-inclusive and the  price is phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for better!

5. Carl Fernstrum: Carl was our organist/pianist at our wedding. We heard him play at the church we were going to get married at before circumstances prevented it – wow…he absolutely took our breath away. I had a special, complex piece played for my aisle walk and I knew Carl was the best there was to pull it off. He’s also a super nice, wonderful guy. We’re so blessed to have him share in our special day.

6. The DJ Crew Oh my goodness, I cannot even express how awesome these guys were! From the beginning of the booking process, through to the very last song of our wedding evening, everything was fantastic. Our lead DJ, Kevin, worked with us and our eclectic musical taste to make sure our evening was perfect and our guests were dancing – and they were! It was so awesome to watch everyone, there for us, having a blast! Check them out here.

7. Jackie Howard: I’ve known Jackie since I was 16 and first got my hair done at a Trade Secret in the mall near my home in Virginia. She remained my hair stylist all through  high school and college and only stopped because I moved to Ohio. Upon hearing of my engagement she offered, without provocation, to come up and do my hair as well as my bridal party’s. Jackie, everyone looked stunning! Thank you so much for all your hard work, your time, your patience, and your willingness to travel. I’m so blessed to have known you all these years!

8. Nicole: My dear best friend – you are amazing, and everything you’ve done throughout our entire wedding process was so wonderful 🙂 I’m so glad you hated me, then decided to love me because I’m as sick and twisted and demented as you are – enjoying shows where people are murdered and their bones end up in some nutjob’s grill. We rock 🙂 I promise to always be there for you no matter where life takes us. As you prepare to graduate with your Ed.S., I pray that life fills you with the richest blessings. I love you so much you beautiful, wonderful heifer!

9. Ashley: I’m so blessed to have you in my life – you’re such a wonderful person and I feel honored to get to know you as we grow older and share our lives with one another. You looked beautiful on our wedding day, and as your own wedding day approaches, I wish you and Miles all the blessings and joy in the world! Oh, and I also wish you many long nights of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural in your near future – without Miles 🙂

10. MirandaI was so mad when you were born, mostly because I had been the only grandchild for 12 years, I’m an only child, and couldn’t deal with the attention of a new baby. However, I’m so glad I grew up and got over that because you are such a wonderful joy in my life. Watching you grow, imparting my wisdom (however much I have), and sharing laughs with you has been a great light in my life. If there’s a bit of advice I could offer you now, it would be to stay true to yourself during these teenage years of your life, never settle for less than you think you deserve, don’t change for anyone, don’t try to change anybody else, and remember that your family always has your back – and as college approaches, no matter what serious relationship you’re in, you must take the time to study abroad 🙂 Love you girl!

11. Stephanie: The beaming light of our lives – as difficult as you are to your mother sometimes, we wish for a beaming, radiant child just like you one day. You’re able to push the envelope, but only because your zest for life drives every bone in your body. We love you so much and can’t wait to share our lives with you.

12. Neil: I know we got off to a rocky start, but I’m glad we met in the middle and became great friends. Thank you for your wonderful friendship to Aaron, and now to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend and peer for my now-husband. Our admiration and  love for you has grown innumerably – we only wish we didn’t live so far away. In fact, I tend to get teary every time you leave – shhh, don’t tell anyone 😉 We’ll see you soon, my friend.

13. Brett: The man with the greatest words – your wedding toast was amazing. It warms my heart and soul so deep that you think so highly of your brother and me. My greatest wish for you is that you one day find the love of your life, someone to compliment you in ways no other person can. Though you may not be sure of your path now, it will one day become clear and dear brother, you need to grab onto it and don’t let go. Follow your heart and your dreams. We love you so much ♥

14. Chad: I’m so proud to welcome you not only into my real family, but my Hokie family! You’re such a wonderful, awesome person Chad. You have such a bright future ahead of you and I can NOT believe you were just 14 when I met you and now you’re a stunningly handsome young man bound to break a few  hearts in the coming years. Stay true to your dreams and remember that your family loves you. I’m so proud to now call you my brother 🙂

15. John: You’ve been such a great friend to Aaron through these years and I’m so proud to call you my friend as well. Though we haven’t spent a lot of time together, I’m so very fond of the memories we do share, especially our trip to Nashville together. And it’s because of you that I have a super awesome Subaru now! (and why don’t you? huh, huh?!) Anyway, it was an honor to have you participate in our wedding, and if there is any wisdom I can impart to you it would be: “O’Doyle Rules”.

16. AaronTo my amazing, wonderful, words-cannot-express-how-awesome husband – you are truly the light of my life, the other half of my whole. God gifted you to me in a time where it felt like my world was falling apart and my life was shattered. He knew I needed you exactly when I did. I am eternally grateful and blessed for the love we’ve shared and the life we look forward to together – our ups, downs, and midget Gottusos. Though some may say that you never know what awaits you, and as I see the marriages around us senselessly crumbling, I can’t help but feel that the common goals, the great communication, the strong will, and the love we share will guide us through every storm. I can’t wait to weather those storms with you, hand in hand, side by side. I love you so, so very much my dear Aarmer, and I could not be prouder to be your wife.

Husband and Wife

And last, but certainly not least to our parents: You guys were the fibers that helped weave our lives and our paths together. Thank you for all your love, discipline, and support of every kind throughout our journey. Words cannot express our debt of gratitude. You guys are amazing 🙂 And Dad (Dennis) – I know Donna’s precious light was shining down on us on our wedding day – and I’m sure she would have loved everything we put together. I would have been absolutely honored to call her Mom 🙂

To anyone we’ve forgotten – please do not feel left out. We’re so honored to receive all of your gracious love and to have been surrounded by those who love and support  us most! Your love was warmly felt and we had the most wonderful (albeit still surreal) days of our lives! Thank you SO much – we love you all ♥

And as a PS – I know our wedding website was very active up UNTIL our wedding day, but please still check back and post comments under the guestbook. For sure, it won’t be as active as it once was, but it’s still a great place to take a look at all our wedding photos once we receive them back!

Kittens & Dog

28 Jun

So – now that I’ve officially started blogging (yay!) I feel SO full of useless, uninteresting information. I don’t even know where to start – I’m not kidding you, this will seriously be the most random (there’s that infamous catch word of the last 2 years again!) dump of all the inner workings of my mind. So, let’s start with this:

I love my pets – like, a LOT. They bring me the most joy (besides my husband of course!) in the world. They’re the most innocent,  non-judgmental creatures I’ve ever known. And SO soft – and cute 🙂 Today, I came home, and all Evie dog wanted to do was run around with me in the backyard, complete with me bounding around like an idiot, waving my hands and making googly-eyed faces at her. And she loves me for it.

Evie Dog!

Then, coming inside, my two lovey doveys, Basha and Thomas, await us on the top step. Basha was Aaron and my first kitty. We saw her at Petsmart in the “please-rescue-me-I-will-soon-die-or-go-to-some-very-undeserving-home” window where they keep the felines. She and Aaron touched hands through the window. Yes, kittens have hands. Yes, I call my cats, “kittens”. Yes, they are adults. Yes, we took Basha home. She has fangs – like a vampire. She also has a cape she dons at Halloween. She hates the cape. She also frequently hates Thomas. But, like a woman, she pretends to hate him for attention. She’s very “girl”…Thomas is very “boy”. I even swear they understand English. I swear they do. Here’s Basha:

Basha Kitty!

Tom’s turn – oh Tom cat. Handsome little devil. Insufferable Mama’s boy. Wimpiest meow on the planet. Little Lion, you see, sounds like a little coward. We thought this would go away after “bye bye balls”, but no such luck. He’s got the face of a lion and the mew of a, well…kitten. I saved him from the doomed life of a trailer-living, mouse-eating machine. Instead, I got rid of some rabbits I had, opened the door and called “Come on Thomas! Yes, I’ve named you,  now come be mine forever…for-e-ver, forever!” (Sandlot anyone?) And so he did. Cutest darn little kitten ever. My father-in-law even loves him. Now that’s saying something!

Tom Cat!

Ahhhhh, I love these guys. The amount of love I feel for my 3 babies – I can’t even imagine how awesome it’ll be when I have REAL babies!

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