Down the Aisle: 365 Days and Counting!

One year from today, JB and I will become husband and wife!

I’m starting this series on wedding planning to share my experience and hopefully make wedding planning easier for lots of other brides out there.  When JB and I first got engaged, I quickly became overwhelmed with all of the details that needed to be addressed.  However, as someone who has worked as a professional project manager, I’m confident that I’ll be able to coordinate all of the details and make our wedding truly spectacular.  Look forward to posts on invitation selection, ceremony details, reception planning, DIY decor, and more!

But at the end of the day, the reception decorations and ceremony programs aren’t what really matters.  What matters is two people becoming one and creating their own family.  What matters is promising to be there for one another always, through the great times and the terrible times.  Regardless of what the decorations look like, I can’t wait to stand in front of our family and friends and publicly declare our commitment to each other and to God.

I’ve been praying a special prayer for JB and I as our wedding date draws nearer.  “Father, please bless our union. Allow us to serve You, bringing us closer together as we draw closer to You. We are thankful you brought us together and unite us for life.”

One of our very first photos together!

One of our very first photos together!

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Leaving Facebook for My Father

Yesterday, I took a break from Facebook.  This may not seem like a big deal, but I did it in remembrance of my father.

My dad passed away five years before I even opened my first Facebook account–it didn’t even exist when he took his last breath.  So you may be wondering why I chose this way to honor my dad instead of something more conventional.

If you’re anything like me, you check Facebook at least a few times a day.  So I had quite a few instances where I stopped and thought of my father.  His smile.  His nickname for me, Lil’ Mama.  His love of Motown.  Watching him drive my pink Power Wheels convertible up and down our street.  Him hanging out and cracking jokes with his buddies.  His silly dancing.  Eating garden fresh tomatoes with him.  The hospital bed in my grandmother’s house.  How thin he looked the last time I saw him alive.  The light blue suit I wore to his funeral.

While some of my memories made me sad, most of them made me happy.  Either way, I’m glad I had the opportunity to stop and think of him so many times.  I hope he looked down from Heaven and saw his little girl, now a grown woman, who still treasures his memory.  Even though he’s not here, he’s still my daddy.

Daddy and me on my first birthday

Daddy and me on my first birthday

Getting Ready for Halloween

I can’t believe it has almost been a full year since we purchased our home! Last year we missed out on decorating for the holidays, but this year we swore we would do something to the house (especially since the boys are with us). Our first step–a Halloween door cover!

Hanging this decoration has really ramped up the excitement regarding Halloween. The boys can’t wait to get dressed up; one of them wants to be a vampire Superman (points for creativity). JB wants to get some pumpkins for carving. This is the first year in my entire life that I’ve lived in an area populated enough to get trick-or-treaters so I can’t wait to hand out candy and see all the costumes.

I know this decoration isn’t much–it was $2 at Walgreens and only needed some clear tape and JB’s long arms to put it up. But it has made preparing for our first holiday as a family of five even more fun!

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Overnight Mom

I never knew I’d be a mother of three at 27.

And I guess –technically–I’m not. My fiancé has three sons from a previous relationship who came to live with us full-time this summer. So, practically overnight, I became a mother figure to three kids.

I must admit I have no clue what I’m doing.

It’s not as though I’ve never been around kids before. I worked at a day care for a while in college and I’ve babysat a number of times. But I’ve never been responsible for another human being’s life 24 hours a day. Certainly not three very energetic male human beings.

I’ve never had to go to parent-teacher conferences (as a parent anyway). Nor have I had to pick a sick child up from school or line up after school care. I’ve never had someone call me Mommy. Now all of those things have happened and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

Part of me is thrilled. I love seeing what they learn each day at school. I love helping with reading (something I’ve always loved to do) and playing games with them. Watching them interact with their father is heart-warming. Sometimes they can be so adorably hilarious I can’t stand it.

But still, part of me is adjusting to how different life with kids is. As someone who’s spent the majority of her life just taking care of herself, learning to take care of someone else (especially three someones who need constant supervision) has been hard for me. I miss my Saturdays, my “me time,” when I could wake up when I felt like it and do what I wanted all day long.

I worry that I’m not doing it right. That I’m too strict on them. That they aren’t where they should be in terms of school. I worry that I’m not providing a good example for them or setting them up to be successful adults.

But overall I think I’m doing okay, that WE are doing okay. I may not be their biological mom, but I think they are starting to see me as someone they can count on. We aren’t a traditional family, but we are a family nonetheless.