Pregnancy and Meltdowns

The pregnancy is much better now. I’m starting to get a belly and I can eat again! My next ultrasound is this week and we should be finding out the gender. I feel the baby moving a lot. It’s kind of amazing. Exciting!

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But with the extra hormones come extra sensitivity. I don’t like being touched anymore. If I don’t give you permission to touch me, I don’t want you to touch me. Don’t touch my belly. I don’t remember a day in my life that I have been so anti-touch. It’s an odd thing for me. But wait! There’s more! For the first time, that I can remember, I don’t want to spend any time with my friends. Not any at all. It’s too stressful. I’d rather just be home alone. If I spend time with them, I have to pay attention to their problems, give them advice, and deal with their emotions. It’s exhausting. I have to work harder to be a good friend and pretend that I want their company. It’s a terrible thing to fake. I hate it. It’s not their fault. It’s not that I don’t care for them or that I don’t like them. I’m just so much more easily overwhelmed right now. I’ve started having Meltdowns again. It’s not fun.

With one friend, there’s no avoiding it. She’s living with me right now. I can’t ignore phone calls and texts because she’s in my livingroom. I can’t fake sleeping all day because I don’t feel like being around anyone. I no longer have a box to retreat to. It’s stressing me out to no end. Not to mention that my husband has been gone, in the field, while most of this has been happening. (With him, it’s just different. He doesn’t overwhelm me. He doesn’t make me feel like hiding. He’s a part of me and it’s just not the same as with other people.) 

I feel like a horrible person and a terrible friend, but I honestly have zero control over how easily overwhelmed I am at the moment. Just yesterday, I curled up in Moises’ arms and told him “It’s gotten worse. My Asperger Syndrome has gotten worse.” I didn’t know that it could change so drastically. It took me a long time to get to where I’m at, and pregnancy hormones have dropped me down quite a few notches; overnight and without warning. As if everything else in my life weren’t enough to incapacitate me.

It’s hard and it’s hurting the people I care about. I guess pregnancy just isn’t easy on me, period.

Exhausted,
Allie.

This entry was posted on October 5, 2015. 3 Comments

BIG Changes

It’s my dream. To be a wife and mother. It’s all I’ve really wanted out of life. It is a literal dream come true. My husband and I recently found out that we’re expecting. AND it’s nothing like I thought it would be.

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Morning sickness is terrible. I feel sick all the time. For a week and a half, all I could keep down was mac n cheese. Even though my diet had expanded now, the “wrong cereal” (as decided by the baby) or stepping out into the heat can cause me to throw up at the drop of a hat.

I feel gross and tired and emotional. I feel bloated and it’s really hot in El Paso right now. Moises is being a trooper. He’s helpful, understanding, and he holds me when I cry (even if I’m crying for no reason).

This thing that I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember is actually happening and I can’t believe it. It almost doesn’t feel real, even with the constant reminder that the nausia has become. And for the first time in my life, I’m questioning whether or not I’m ready to be a mom. Am I prepared? Am I really ready or have I been lying to myself all this time, thinking that I was going to be ready and the best mom there ever was the second it happened? I don’t feel ready. I don’t even feel like getting out of bed or waking up most days. I’m so tired all the time, it’s almost difficult to function.

And I felt guilty for a while because I don’t really feel attached or connected to the baby yet. I’ve since heard that it’s normal. It’s typical to not feel that connection until you feel the baby moving.  Even knowing that, I wonder why my dream come true doesn’t illicit a greater emotional response. Or maybe it does, but I don’t know how to label or process those emotions yet.

The first time I felt the excitement I expected was two days ago. I almost cried when I saw the baby’s reaction to my giggles during the ultrasound. He/she moved around like crazy. It felt like the baby was happy that I was happy. And it was magical.

As happy as that appointment was, it brought up old concerns. The fact that HFA runs in my family is almost scary. I still don’t 100% know how Moises and I will handle having a child with AS. Especially with how often we will be moving around during his career in the Army. Uprooting a NT child is difficult enough. How much more difficult will it be to move every 4 years with someone that understands less and is less equipped to deal with the changes?

When push comes to shove, I know we’ll do our best. Who knows? A HFA child may have a better chance at a happy and full life because I am the way that I am.

Excited and Scared,
Allie.

This entry was posted on August 9, 2015. 2 Comments

I Can’t

In a recent argument with my husband, he told me that I can’t hold everything in and I need to say what I’m thinking. My response was that I don’t know what to say. It’s true. It’s not a desire to not communicate. It’s not a desire to irritate or keep things from him. It’s not out of spite that I say nothing. It is simply an inability. I can’t.

He has called me out before on this phrase. “I can’t.” He’s told me to stop using it when I’m afraid of doing something. He’s told me to stop using it as an excuse. He’s told me to stop doubting how capable I really am. And I’m working on it. But this, this “I can’t”, is just a truth.

People have commented on my ability to put into words what it is that I feel; more specifically, the ability to express experiences and feelings as someone with Asperger Syndrome. Typically, those on my part of the spectrum have great difficulty expressing things; feelings, experiences, reasons why they do something, why certain things stress them out, or reasons why they act a certain way. They have difficulty stringing words together in a comprehensible way so that everyone around them knows why (insert stimming scenario, meltdown, or aversion to stressful things). And I am very good at it. But it doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes I think about it long enough and I can just type it out in one sitting. Sometimes, I have half of it typed out, but just can’t figure out what to say next. In the latter case, the post sits for days or weeks, unfinished. Some posts are never finished. (i.e. a video I made, edited, but never finished in September of last year)

I like to pretend that I’ve come so far and progressed to a point where I’m basically “normal”. But these things still effect me. I have gotten better, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve never been the type to have an instant rebuttal or witty comment. There are times when I just can’t figure out what words to use. There are times I just can’t seem to find a word for what I feel. There are times I feel so many things at once that I can’t think or speak. All I can do is cry. And it’s so frustrating. It makes me angry and that makes me cry more. I feel stupid in those moments and I hate myself. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to express feelings and opinions in an argument. Why can’t I do it?! My brain won’t let me. It feels a bit like a conversation with my own brain.

Me: “Hurry up. He expects me to say something.”
Brain: “I’m not ready yet.”
Me: “He’s done talking. Are you done yet?”
Brain: “No. these words aren’t fitting together right.”
Me: “He’s just staring at me. Say something.”
Brain: “The words aren’t there yet.”
Me: “Well, hurry up!”
Brain: “This takes time!”

The words are a puzzle and my brain is a drunk, blind person. It’s unfair! And by the time the blind person that is my brain finally puts things together, it’s already done, over with, and too late. And if you think it’s frustrating waiting for a response or explanation in those situations, try being on this end; wanting with every fiber of your being to communicate and not being able to.

I usually like to end posts with positivity and encouragement, but the only thing I can do right now is try to work on it and hope things get better.

Discouraged,
Allie.

This entry was posted on June 4, 2015. 3 Comments

The Field

I thought that Moises going to the field was bad when we were in separate states. We texted less, we didn’t talk on the phone at all, and he had less occasion to charge his phone. It is much more of a struggle now that we’re living together. I knew it would happen. I know that other people have it worse. I try my best to not complain. But here I am explaining the situation, because it does suck and it has an effect on my life.

After adjusting to living with another human being (one to whom you have a strong attachment), it’s hard to suddenly live without them. The first time he went to the field wasn’t too long after I moved to El Paso. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know where anything was. I didn’t go anywhere. I was lost. Phone conversations with family and friends help with survival, but can only do so much. I kept very busy during the day, so as to exhaust myself and make it easier to sleep without him at night. I did everything I could, but I still didn’t handle it very well. It was rough. I just want to sit on the couch and have Netflix marathons with my furry babies.

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I don’t even cook when Moises is gone. It feels weird cooking for just one person and I tend to lose my appetite in the middle of the meal. Cup of noodles and canned soups for this girl. When he comes home, though, it’s the greatest feeling ever. I always try to make it special. I’ll make some sort of new food or I’ll buy a new dress from Goodwill and wear it when I pick him up.

He’s been to the field several times since then, and I handle it better every time. It’s still lonely. It still sucks, but I get through it. And I know it’s hard on Moises too. He hates it out there. No shower, no bed, no wife to cuddle with, staying up for missions or because it’s his turn to be on watch, and it may just be time to “practice” (my words) out there, but his men still get injured and he has to take care of them. Every time, he can’t wait to come home.

As an Aspie, it’s hard because I’m alone, far from anything I know, and still uncomfortable with my surroundings. I still have to go to work, clean, pay bills, go shopping, etc. without him. I still have to live. Life doesn’t stop when he’s gone. The world keeps spinning.

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It’s gotten easier since I’ve made friends. I can spend time with them while he’s gone, but I often don’t. I guess Moises being gone just puts me in a funk. I don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything. When I do force myself to go out and spend time with people outside of work, it’s fun!

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Being with friends is more a relief than it is a stressor. Human contact is necessary for sanity and survival. It simply is. People aren’t meant to be alone. Not even people on the spectrum are meant to be completely alone, even if other people stress them out. My new friends are interesting and crazy in their own ways, and perfect for the little group that we’ve become. I really appreciate their help in getting through the lonely days, even if it’s just hanging out for a little while and having a Netflix marathon together.

In the end, I survive in any way that I can and look forward to the day Moises comes home.

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So we can play more games together and stuff!

Going Strong,

Allie.

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2015. 2 Comments

Modern Invisible Man

Since my last post, many things have happened. Obviously, since it’s been such a long time. I now work as a hostess at Applebee’s. It’s a struggle. When I told my family about getting the job, the father of my cousin that has High Functioning Autism commended me on my courage. Having AS, casual parties can be exhausting. Having my job be to talk to people and make them happy, it’s even more exhausting. I’ve realized that, in my job, I am invisible. It reminded me of a report I did on The Invisible Man my junior year of high school.

I wear a bright, white shirt with a name tag. I’m standing in the entrance, saying “Hello. Welcome to Applebee’s.” and people still walk past me in silence, without even glancing my way. It’s fairly obvious that if you’d like to be seated, find your group, or be directed to the bar for gift cards, I am the person you should consult. I am there, but people don’t see me. I am invisible. Often, I will be cleaning a table next to some patrons, and they will continue on in their conversations, even when the topic is extremely personal; because I am not there. I hear things that I normally wouldn’t. And it’s strange.

When people do notice me, they’re either very happy with my service or they take a fact/innocent statement/confused look in a totally wrong way. I never know what will happen. It can become overwhelming. I am insignificant, unappreciated, bullied, and criticized. My current job is the least fulfilling job I’ve ever had. BUT there are those occasional customers that will make the job worthwhile. Even if I hate my job, I am very good at it. It is my goal to make everyone smile when I seat them at their table. I don’t even have to fake my positive attitude like most do, because that’s just who I am. I try to think of it as practice for socializing. It is my job to talk to the customers when I seat them, so I get creative with conversation starters. I notice an article of clothing, a certain hair style or color, an accent, or an accessory and go off that. “I like your hair, it’s beautiful.” “Are you from (fill in the blank) or did you recently visit there?” “That is such a bold choice in hair color. I like it.” “Is European beer better than American? No, I’ve never tried German beer. What’s the difference?” (There are German soldiers at the base nearby.)

There are hard days when I make a social slip up and a customer will be super upset with me. There are easy days when all the customers are pleasant and things go smoothly. There are amazing days when people will tip me because they really enjoyed talking to me and they appreciated the quality customer service I’ve provided.

Overall, I think that this job is a good thing for me to experience. I think everyone should work at least one job in the customer service industry. It builds character, helps to increase patience, teaches the value of holding one’s tongue, and teaches humility. For those with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome, it can help you develop better social skills. I do not and I will not regret working this job, but it’s definitely not where I belong. Looks like it’s time to start looking for a job that will better suit me.

Wish Me Luck,

Allie.

This entry was posted on March 15, 2015. 6 Comments

Absentee Newly Wed

My dearest readers,

If you’re still reading, let me first apologize for my absence. A good friend e-mailed me and asked if “no news was good news”, and it has been! I’ve not written to you in months, and the guilt is starting to get to me. Let me update you on everything!

I finished Job Corps. Leaving that place is possibly one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. It was a relief to leave behind the drama and the rude, uncaring people. I got out of it what I could, and I had no plans of staying. Only a few friends made me turn my head in grief. I’m going to miss The Original the most, I think. She was my first friend when I went there and my closest friend throughout.  I’ll miss the companionship of my friend Taylor and talking about his Swedish girlfriend. I’ll miss them, but I’m moving on to a new chapter in my life.

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(Love you, Nena. Miss you, Taylor.)

I actually got married May 23th when I flew out for a weekend visit, but we had a ceremony with family and friends a month later, in my parent’s back yard, on June 28th.

The wedding was beautiful. It may not be what little girls dream of, but it was amazing. Of course, there were bumps in the road. It took a lot of planning. My poor groom had a day-before-the-wedding freak out. We fixed that and continued on as planned.

The day of was fun. First, there was the family BBQ. His family came over and made some food. My family made some food. Some people went swimming, and others didn’t. It went well. Our families come from two very different backgrounds, and he was worried about how it would go, but everyone had fun.

Then it came time for me to start getting ready. I went to have my hair done, then I went back home to get dressed and put on makeup. Whoever decided that the bride can’t be seen until she walks down the aisle is cruel. I watched out the window as my groom greeted guests. He looked so handsome. I wanted to be out there, by his side, but I had to wait for my dad to walk me down the aisle.

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And when that happened, it was almost magical. There were so many people there! They were all watching the procession. First, it was his parents. Then, it was my mom and her sister. After that, it was my little sister and Maid of Honor. Finally, it was my dad and I. Everyone watched, and, at first, I could barely look up. My dog, Maxx, followed us down the aisle. Everyone laughed. I saw my groom, standing up by my old youth pastor, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was my anchor in the crowd of 150 people in my parent’s back yard. All of the sudden, I was no longer nervous about all of the people watching me. I was just excited about being up there, saying our vows, and kissing my husband.

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The service was sweet. The pastor read some scriptures that outline what our roles are in a marriage and how God designed marriage to be. We did our vows in both English and Spanish, and our dads surprised us by coming up and saying a prayer over us before we were introduced to the crowd as Mr. and Mrs. Garcia.

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The rest of the evening went by in a beautiful blur; saying hello to everyone, taking pictures, cutting the cake, dancing, throwing the bouquet, etc. Before we knew it, it was time to leave and check into our hotel for our honeymoon. We stayed at a hotel in Carmel (courtesy of a good family friend, Tutulu), and spent the weekend at the beach, in the room, and going out for dinner.

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Before we knew it, it was time to go back and get back to business. We finished packing my things in boxes, opening wedding presents and packing them, and making sure all my furniture was ready for the moving truck. Next came packing his parent’s truck for the drive to Texas, my new home.

We drove all the way through California and broke down just outside of El Centro. Moises (my husband) and his parents were trying to figure out what was wrong with the truck and I was sweating like a hog in the back of the truck. Eventually, they called their family in Arizona, and they picked us up and towed the truck behind us. We stayed with his family for the night while things were figured out. We ended up taking his cousin’s truck the rest of the way to El Paso and keeping it. We got to El Paso on the Fourth of July; checked into a hotel, went out to dinner, and watched the fireworks on post. The next day, we got the keys to our apartment, moved our stuff in, and said goodbye to his parents.

The next few weeks were filled with unpacking, organizing, settling in, trying to get the stuff on the moving truck here, unpacking and organizing that stuff, finding new things for our apartment, and getting used to living with each other. Each of us has our own quirks, but nothing too bad. Living together, after spending basically our entire dating relationship and engagement apart, is the best thing ever. I cook and clean when he’s at work and he expresses gratitude for it when he gets home. One of the best feelings is when he says to me,”Every day, this apartment feels more and more like home.” I spoil him with lots of different foods and new little changes in the apartment, and he spoils me with date nights and little treats. I love him more than I could ever put into words.

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We have three “furry kids”; two cats and one dog. Moises surprised me and came home with our first kitten, Julius. He’s orange and striped, so we named him “Orange Julius” (I must give credit to my mom, who gave us the idea).

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We were happy to have a little furry soul in our home, but he was always attacking us or causing trouble. I was too busy with cleaning, organizing, and unpacking to always be playing with him. We reasoned that he needed a companion. A dog, since Moises wanted a dog. We started looking and found beagle puppies, but the previous owner wanted money for him (because he’d already had his shots). We said that we’d keep looking, but lo and behold, Moises surprised me again by coming home from paying the rent with a beagle puppy! I wanted to name him Macbeth, going with a Shakespearian theme for our pet names, but Moises didn’t agree. He wanted to name him something else, and we thought of Caesar. It seemed as if we were going with a Roman theme, but his full name is really “Caesar Salad” (What can I say? We’re hungry people. Hahahaha.).

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Our little furry kids were great, even if potty training Caesar has been a huge pain in the butt. They shared “brother bath time”; they slept together, ate together, and played together. Then Caesar grew faster than Julius, and Caesar got rough. Moises wanted to get another kitten so that the cats could “team up” on the dog. I’m more of a cat person, so of course I agreed to getting another cat. We picked her up, and to continue with the food themed pet names, named her Sally, short for “Salt and Pepper Sally” (Moises came up with that one. Quite clever, I think.)

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Now, the cats love each other and run away from the dog together. We’ve trained Caesar to sleep outside, and the cats both find their way into our bed at night. The three of them together are quite the handful! We love our furry kids and the full feeling they bring to our home.

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(Moises is holding Sally, Caesar is trying to play with Sally, and Julius is wondering what the others are doing on his couch.)

Issues. Every married couple has issues.

The most common and biggest one, finances. I really need to get a job. The truck ended up breaking down and we had to take out a loan to repair it. It was pretty bad, and now we have a loan payment to make every month. I’ve heard of women marrying someone in the military for their money, but that’s stupid. Soldiers aren’t paid a lot and it’s hard to live on one income. And, of course, I’ve been unintentionally postponing getting a job, for this reason or another. The reality is I’m scared. It scares me. I’ve had many good jobs and good work experiences, but it’s always been with someone I’ve known for a long time. The last job I had, I was miserable. I was a temp and no one even tried to get to know me. I was lonely, and I hated the work I was doing. Working during my internship was better. I was working for the accounting department instead of the billing department, and I loved what I was doing. Now that I’m living in El Paso, I’m afraid of putting myself out there for interviews and jobs. I’m afraid of being denied a job because I don’t speak Spanish. I’m afraid of ending up miserable where I work again. I’m going to get a job. It’s just the getting there that’s hard.

Misunderstandings are a big one too, and I’m sure you know that there are plenty of those, me having Asperger Syndrome and all. I’ll misunderstand what he means or I won’t be able to explain how I’m feeling, and it creates tension. His job and circumstances surrounding it add stress and uncertainties to his mind, and it isn’t always easy to smooth those out. I know my own insecurities and fears don’t always make things easy, but who ever said that marriage was easy? It’s a constant work in progress, and we’re working it.

Kids are my thing. I love kids and I’ve always wanted them. In fact, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. My dream, since I was very young, has been to be a wife and a mother. I’d have been happy and content with starting a family right away, but Moises, a year younger than I, isn’t ready for kids. Our financial situation isn’t ready for them either. I’ve agreed to wait two years before trying, but that doesn’t stop my heart from yearning every time I see a chubby little face or a mom teaching her toddler how to cross the street. I’ve been to several family things for his work, and all his co-worker’s wives are either pregnant or have kids. I’m the only one without, and it’s a lonely little club to be in. I’m not unreasonable, though. I will wait. It’s just hard to do. And Moises is super understanding and patient. Whenever he notices that I’m feeling sad about it, he’ll give me a hug and kiss. He tells me that my dreams will come true. I just have to wait. (I have my furry kids for now anyways!)

We found a church, not long after moving here, and it’s got a “home” feeling that every church should have. The first Sunday we went, we received a warm invitation to join any of the many ministries available. I jumped right into the women’s ministry, and the ladies now consider me a great help. (Yay!) Moises and I started attending a Wednesday night class called “The Family Project”. It’s fun and makes this place so far away from family feel more like home.

Altogether, finishing Job Corps, getting married, and moving to El Paso has been the greatest experience of my life. I apologize, again, for being absent so long. It doesn’t help that we don’t have internet in our apartment yet, but no excuses. I have more post ideas bubbling up in my mind! I’ll do my best to keep you updated. But for now, the furry kid named Julius insists that I spend a little time away from the glowing box with keys and pet him instead.

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See You soon,

Allie!

Flowers, Invites, and Favors. Oh My!

Wedding planning is hard under normal circumstances. But nothing having to do with me has really ever been normal, so why did I expect more normalcies with this? Silly me.

 

 

Here are some examples of how my wedding is straying from the normal/ list of my complaints/ (let’s be honest) everything about my wedding:

*We can’t have a big wedding and invite everyone we know. We can’t afford it. (Honestly, I prefer it this way. A big wedding would have freaked me out. Can you say “possible meltdown”?) Guest list-under forty.

*We worry about people being hurt or offended because they aren’t invited. We don’t want to hurt the feelings of those we love, but we can’t invite everyone. It’s a delicate balance.

*Do I have my handsome groom here to help me? Not in person, no. I send him pictures; we talk about things and make decisions. But it might be a little easier if we were able to do these things together, in person.

*Isn’t it super nice and easy to plan a wedding where my parents live while I’m in San Jose? No, not really. It’s frustrating. Half the time, I’m messaging my mom and her best friend about the details and all the things I need to check and make sure to do on my short visits with my parents.

*It’ll be in the summer, so I’m wearing a short, flowy dress instead of the usual full length wedding gown. I hate wearing uncomfortable, heavy clothes in the first place. Add summer heat to that, and I’d be a bit cranky. Plus, they’re expensive.

*Bride’s Maids and Groom’s Men? How about no? With less than forty guests, it would be silly to have Bride’s Maids and Groom’s Men. Half the audience would be standing up next to us. (Not really, but you get the point.)

*Who ever said that the bride has to match the wedding colors? We picked purple and white for our colors, but the accents for my bridal getup are blue, to match his dress blues. Whoops?

*I’m doing my best to find addresses for everyone that we will send notifications to; all the people that we aren’t able to invite.

*The wedding is in July. Have we set a date? Nope. Have we sent out invitations yet? Nope. We can’t send invitations until we have a date, of course. All we know is that it’ll be in July some time. From my perspective, this is why-

The Medic: “So, I need the dates for leave. I’m getting married when I go home.”

The Army: “Well, we could tell you, but we don’t feel like it. Maybe come back around mid-June. We’ll give you the exact dates then.”

Me: (all the way in California) “Uggghhhhh!!!! I need to set a date so I can send invitations to people!! I hate you right now, Army. You’re lucky you’re not dealing with me.” (Insert rage face)

*I have a simple and sweet honeymoon planned. Well, mostly. I would have it planned, but I can’t book anything until we set a date. (Rage face continues)

(Breathe, Allison. Breathe. Everything will be alright. Some of the really important things have been taken care of.)

*Our parents have met, approve of our union, and are helping us with the wedding.

*Who needs catering when your guest list is small and your parents are good cooks? Not us, that’s for sure. Yum.

*My bridal outfit is already taken care of and he doesn’t have to worry about getting a tux. He has his dress blues! (Super cute)

*We’re both healthy and feel no need to “get fit” to fit into our wedding clothes.

*We’re going to offer the ability to watch the wedding, over Skype, to those that are too far away/people we aren’t able to invite.

*My old youth pastor has agreed to do the service, free of charge.

*The wedding, ceremony and reception, will be in my parents’ back yard, also free of charge.

*I will turn 21 soon and will be able to sample champagne for my wedding.

*Certain special songs will be done live, by musical family. Awesome.

And on, and on, and on. This small, simple wedding is so much more complicated than it looks. Needless to say, my stress levels are on a rollercoaster that sometimes goes through the roof.

If I had it my way, I would have had everything planned by now so that all that’s left is the execution. But, like most things in life, I’m not going to have it my way. Things are left unplanned and not taken care of, for now, because of things out of my control, and I need to be okay with that. A few mini-meltdowns (or what NT’s consider “stress induced crying”) could definitely be in order; I’m not a super hero.

Add onto this living at Job Corps, working, going to school, and starting the process for exiting Job Corps, and we get a whole lot of crazy. Mucho crazy. How I’m not institutionalized yet, I don’t know.

Well, at least things are moving along. Once this is all over, I’m sure that I’ll look back and think of what a wonderful day it was. For now, I just have to concentrate on keeping calm. Everything will fall into place the way that it should.

 

Breathing,

This entry was posted on May 22, 2014. 1 Comment