075 // I Want to Feel Like a Bride Too

We worked on a few wedding things tofay the most significant of which is that I may have finally figured out what I am wearing.

It’s hard being a genderqueer bride, you know? I don’t want to wear a dress but I still wantwto feel like a bride. I want to wear a suit that has a slightly feminine feel to it. I found a floral print suit I wanted, but it was out of stock. Then I thought about wearing pink but then we would have to change the bridesmaid’s dresses.

But then it occurred to me that, as a bride, I should simply wear white! I found a white suit but I’m still feeling anxious about it. The next step is measurement and alterations, and as a genderqueer woman who feels most comfortable wearing masculine coded clothing but who has a body that is curvy and feminine, trying to reconcile what I want to wear, and what I can wear can be frustrating and humiliating.

I wish the world wasn’t so segregated by gender. I wish that it was easier to find women’s clothes that fit men’s bodies, and men’s clothes that fit women’s bodies. I wish there was no such thing as men’s and women’s clothing at all, and that we could all find the clothes we want to wear in sizes that fit us comfortably. I wish I could be seen as a bride even though I won’t be wearing a dress, and I wish there were more places for me to go where I would be treated as normal and beautiful in my own right.

Sigh.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

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070 // Staying In

Went to bed last night feeling like a cold was coming on. I had a sore throat, I felt pressure in my sinuses and ears, my breathing was difficult, and I had a cough. So, in the morning I made the decision to stay in for plenty of rest and fluids, just in case.

Well, of course I feel all better now and I’m regarding my own body suspiciously. Is it possible I made it all up without knowing? Could I have been in so desperate a need for a mental day that my body manufactured a sickness all on it own to keep me home? It might sound crazy but it’s honestly more likely than my immune system was strong enough to fight off a cold before it got nasty. That just never happens.


I spent the day doing blog things. I tweaked my “About” and “Contact” pages. My “Now” page will go live tomorrow and hopefully my “Completed MOOCs” and “People I’m studying” lists too. I started a draft for the next Weekend Coffee Share and for my review of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. By the week’s end I hope to have a real writing portfolio started too!

In the evening we worked out a few wedding things. We got the application for our ceremony site permit filled out and sent off, emailed all the first choice caterers, finalized the guest list, and made a to-do list to get me through the end of the month. We’re freaking out but we’re holding each other accountable. We promised each other that wedding work would be done every day, no matter how tired, overwhelmed, or terrified we feel!


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // Low-Key and Beautiful

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

Even though I knew it was coming, the time change still threw me off this morning. I forgot to set my alarm last night, which has been unnecessary for many weekends in a row now and got up almost exactly one hour later than usual. So, instead of losing an hour of sleep, I lost an hour of my day. I haven’t been able to catch up yet.

But coffee always helps and I, thinking of one of my favorite quotes from Terry Pratchett, plan to pour a big cup of cold brew and get that hour back not from the past, as that would be impossible, but from my future self, who probably would have wasted it anyway.

So, please, pull up a chair and help yourself to a cup too. It’s not a particularly warm day, but it’s nicer than usual so I’m airing out the house while I can and letting plenty of sun in while it’s shining. Let’s talk about last week.

Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.

― Terry Pratchett, Thud!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this was a refreshingly unremarkable week, or, the beginning was at least. My workload had reduced to nearly nothing, and I got to spend my free time reading, writing, and organizing the first notes and ideas of a new project I’d like to start. I caught up on my favorite podcasts, made important phone calls, and even took a nap!

The week was low-key, but that isn’t the same as stress-free. The reason my workload was so reduced was that my team’s schedule kept getting shuffled and pushed. We showed up every day thinking we knew the plan and every day we were told a different one. We couldn’t shake the feeling that the work would never get done but that even when it did time constraints would make doing good work impossible.

Now I’m afraid the coming week will have twice the work to do with the same amount of time. I expect bad moods and flaring tempers all around.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as the week wore on we got busier and busier as we approached my brother’s wedding date Friday.

My sister and her kids flew into town on Wednesday and I spent the evening at my mother’s seeing her and her kids, my other sister, and my brother’s children who we left in grandma’s care for the evening. We had a great time and I went home and got to bed much later than was healthy because I was simply having too much fun.

Thursday I still had to work and afterward had to rush across town for the rehearsal dinner. My family was too worn out from the rehearsal before to keep the night going and honestly, I was worn out from a long cold day at work to keep the night going. We all went home, and to bed, early so we’d be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the big day.

I spent the morning of the wedding with my mom, my sister, and her kids. We took it easy, relaxing and watching TV, getting ready in bursts and shifts and trying to keep each other calm. We were all nervous for my brother. We wanted his and his fiancee’s day to go off without a hitch, but we were nervous for ourselves as well. We all have our own anxieties, and social functions are a common trigger. Add to that the expectations and the responsibility we each had to help make the day perfect, and we were all on edge and on the verge of tears.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that none of us had any reason to be worried. The day was perfect and everything went just as it was supposed to. The ceremony was short. The couple wrote their own vows and jumped the broom after the kiss. We all filed into the next room for cocktail hour and my girlfriend, who had volunteered to test her photography skills for the day, took everyone outside for pictures.

The food was good and the DJ, the brides younger sister played all the great wedding hits. We drank, ate, drank some more, and then we danced the night away.

By the end of the night, my sisters and I were the last ones on the dance floor and feeling great, but the night had to be cut short after a few had a few too many and we had to rally to get them home safe.

All in all, it was a beautiful day and I’m happy we got to be part of it. I’m also glad it’s over and I can focus fully on my own coming in just a few short months.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have so much to do and I cannot for the life of me figure out why I can’t get it together and get it done. I’m procrastinating bad! We both are. We’re paralyzed by fear and still time is tick, tick, ticking away and still, we can’t help ourselves by taking any concrete action.

My biggest goal this week is to contact all the caterers on the list and to start on attire. We’re quickly approaching a point in our timeline where if too much is left to do we will have to make tough choices and compromises that will negatively impact our vision for the day.

After attending my brother’s wedding though I actually feel a lot better about my own capabilities for planning. He and his wife kept it simple, and it was good to see that simple can still be fun and beautiful. I was also happy to find that his wedding differed greatly from what I envision for my own and I’m even more excited to show people what we come up with.


After all that work and wedding stuff we felt it was important to reconnect with each other and get back to our own lives so we planned a little date night. Dinner and a movie, our old favorite. We saw Captain Marvel and I want to take a moment before I go to urge all of you, but especially those of you with young girls and those of us who were once young girls, to go see it.

I went into it not knowing very much about Captain Marvel. I never read the comics and I only vaguely remember her from the X-Men cartoons I used to watch as a kid. I went into the theater thinking I was about to see a very mediocre story about a very mediocre superhero, damn was I wrong!

The story was well written and well acted. The moral was thought-provoking and timely, and Captain Marvel was a strong, smart, and perfectly flawed. She may just be my new favorite hero and one I think all girls should see on the big screen, old and young alike.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that a week of work and wedding things means that my house is in shambles and it means I have to go now if I want to have any chance of cleaning it up and getting ready for Monday.

I hope this last week was good to you. I hope wherever you are you can smell Spring in the air and that “springing forward” doesn’t through you off too much. I hope that you found time to relax this weekend and that your coming week will be even better than the last.

Until next time. 


Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Two Big Days to Plan For

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

Today is definitely a snow day. We’re cooped up inside away from the sub-zero temperatures and the nearly 7 inches of snow that have fallen since yesterday evening. We woke this morning without water and feared that somewhere a pipe had frozen and would burst soon but after playing with the main valve, setting up a space heater, and opening all the faucets water quickly returned and I could finally make my coffee. Thank God!

So, pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. I’m having blonde roast this morning with a bit of coconut cream but I have cold brew coffee in the fridge if you are one of those crazy people who crave it on wintery days like this. Come, let’s talk about last week.

“Do you ever get really excited about life and then realize it’s just the caffeine? It’s really depressing, but that just means you need more coffee.”

― Stephen Robinson, Mahogany Slade

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this was a refreshingly unremarkable week, or, the beginning was at least. My workload had reduced to nearly nothing, and I got to spend my free time reading, writing, and organizing the first notes and ideas of a new project I’d like to start. I caught up on my favorite podcasts, made important phone calls, and even took a nap!

I didn’t do as much blog writing done as I’d hoped but I did do some behind the scenes stuff like cleaning up categories and changing themes and I worked on a piece for Zen and Pi that I’m excited about. In the coming week, I’d like to finish it and start on a few other ideas too.

Writing here has been great for building momentum and for keeping my focus, but this isn’t all the writing I want to be doing. I have so much I want to say but taking the disordered contents of my mind and translating onto the page as something coherent and interesting is not only difficult but petrifying. This is going to take a while.

I had mistakingly expected to enjoy those unremarkable days for a long while, but three days is all I got. Then the old workload was back, and I’ve already been forewarned that next week will be even worse. We’re understaffed and overworked. A schedule will be difficult to put together and impossible to stick too. I’m expecting plenty of confusion, frustration, and irritability, but I’m looking forward to the end when I can boast of a job well done in the face of chaos.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was getting to attend a fancy awards ceremony at work for a friend who was being honored. This award is for people who work in supporting roles in our school district. People forget it isn’t just the teachers who create the safe, structured and nurturing environment that facilitates learning. There’s transportation, where I work, there’s maintenance, information systems, food and nutrition, and so much more.

Every year we all get together to nominate the best among us to be considered for recognition and in February we throw a party in their honor. I’m proud to say I am a past honoree, and so is my girlfriend, and many of our friends too. It felt good to go and when all past honorees were asked to stand and be recognized again, I felt honored not just in my own past award but to see so many of my friends standing as well.

At that moment I realized I had chosen the right community. I had surrounded myself with people who work hard, who care, who take the job seriously and who want all of us, and all the children we are responsible for, to succeed.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we didn’t make much progress in wedding planning, but only because we had another wedding on our minds. My brother is marrying his longtime girlfriend, and mother to two of my nieces and nephews this week! I’m excited for him, and only a little peeved to be attending his wedding the same year I am planning mine.

My girlfriend has agreed to be the photographer for this event so I’ve been helping her gather her gear, plan her shots, her outfit, and to build her confidence. She’s never shot a wedding before and she is not a professional, but she’s good, and I know her best will be phenomenal.

My sister, the one I was just visiting in Texas, will be here too and I’m thrilled to have the family all together again even if it’s only for the weekend. When I’m not acting as my girlfriend’s assistant I plan to make the most of this rare sibling time while I can. I just know well have a blast.

It’s crazy to think the next time we’ll all be together again I’ll be the one getting married!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am gravely concerned that we won’t have everything done in time for our own big day. In addition, I grow increasingly enraged by the costs and the expectations as we get closer and closer. If you are thinking of having a wedding or planning one already I encourage you to seriously consider skipping the entire ordeal. I wish I had taken the option seriously this time last year.

But, we can’t turn back now. We are trying to remember that this whole celebration is for us first. We can do it however we want. We can blow up every tradition, tear it apart, and reshape it in our own vision. At the same time, we are having to balance that desire to have complete control with the reality that we cannot do this on our own.

We need help, and help comes from people, people with emotions, people who want things their own way because they think it is the best way, for us. We scared to tell people no, that isn’t what we want, that isn’t us. That’s why up until now we’ve been going it alone, but that, to be honest, hasn’t gotten us very far at all. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, it’s time for me to go. This Sunday, rather than being a relaxing day inside, is “deep cleaning day” and I’m already falling behind in my half of the work. I’m hoping to blast through it all and have an hour or two to myself for a long shower, a face mask, a big lunch, and a long nap before evening rolls in. I want to be ready for Monday in every way.

I hope that you had a good week. I hope you accomplished something great and that all the bad was inconsequential. I hope wherever you are it is warm and that you have time to take care of yourself for a change before a new week begins.

Until next time. 


Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Julien Labelle on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // We Will be Married

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m up early this morning but not for any particular reason. There’s not much I have to do today, just a few things I want to do to keep from feeling guilty for wasting the whole weekend. 

I spent almost all of yesterday on the couch. Today I’m refusing to even enter my living room and I’m forbidding the use of social media until I’ve cleaned a few rooms, typed up a few posts, made a few phone calls, and made progress on our wedding planning “to-do next” list. 

But first, coffee! Pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. There is plenty of sunshine streaming in through the windows but don’t be deceived. It’s freezing out there and if you look out, you can still see the 8 inches of snow we received Friday night into Saturday still clinging to the trees and rooftops. It’s the perfect day for a big cup of piping hot dark roast, don’t you think?

Come, let’s talk about last week.

“If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee.” 

― Sydney Smith

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for missing last week’s chat. Last weekend my mother, my youngest sister, my girlfriend, and I drove down to Texas to surprise our other sister for her 30th birthday.

The drive is 15 hours long, and I had hoped to chat with you along the way, but for most of that time, I was either sleeping or without cellphone service at all. By the time we were back in town and I could post it was far too late to.

All in all, the drive was pretty awful, and we all agreed to never to do it again. Our time in Texas, however, was wonderful and I wish it could’ve lasted much longer. It felt good to be there for my sister and to celebrate such important milestones with her.

My sister comes up here to see us fairly regularly, but this is the first time I was able to go to her and see her home and how beautiful Houston is. I was surprised to find so many trees and so much green in the middle of winter.

The warmth and humidity were surprising salves for my soul. I’ve heard the summers there are sweltering and unpleasant, but I can see myself going down there at this time every year for a break from the frigid and depressing Colorado winter.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after our trip I got one more day of rest before I had to return to work. President’s day meant the week was a short one but short weeks only mean concentrated workloads. The extra work and shortened timeline were stressful enough but things have been particularly chaotic following significant staff changes.

The constant schedule changes and last-minute needs of coworkers are sending my anxiety levels sky high! But, I’m good at what I do and I pride myself on doing it with enthusiasm. I got through my work, the exhaustion, through irritation, through frustration, and through disappointment. No, I didn’t just get through it, I killed it!

I’ve been promised a break next week and I’m looking forward to catching up on everything I had to push aside this week, which, it turns out, was quite a lot.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have finally settled on a wedding venue and a date. We found a place in the heart of the city that had just the right look and isn’t far from one of my dream outdoor ceremony sites. Best of all if the weather won’t cooperate on our special day we have the option of moving our vows indoors. Now we just have to plan the rest of…everything else.

When we went to secure our date at the venue, we brought our mothers with us to have one final look before we made it official. They loved the place, but they were eager to know what our plans were for food, decor, DJs, rehearsals, seating plans and a lot of other things we’d barely thought about. We’re overwhelmed, but there is excitement bubbling below the anxiety too, somewhere. 

We are getting married, and even if we mess it all up and every single thing goes wrong between then and now it won’t matter because we will finally be married!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite these long days it seems like 2019 is moving along rather quickly. Soon we’ll be making our way through the third month and approaching the 25% complete mark. I don’t know about you but my goals are nowhere near 25% complete! 

I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time focusing on those big, long-term dreams. I’m procrastinating. I feel lost. I am full of doubt and my mind is all over the place. I’m losing a lot of time to social media, to the news cycle, to the short term and ultimately useless satisfaction of daily internet drama.  

One of my favorite bloggers, Patrick Rhone, has started a new podcast, or rather, a “microcast” called Rhonecast. The first two episodes are up and the first is a small piece of advice that made a big difference to my week wherever I applied it.

Rhone advises us If It Sucks You In, Delete It. He doesn’t advise that you assess the way you use an app, or limit the time you spend on an app, he simply says to delete it. He goes even further to say, don’t just delete it, replace it too.

Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t delete those time-sucking apps off of my phone completely, but I did make them harder to see. I turned off my notifications and took them off of the home screen. Now I have to go to the app drawer and scroll down to find them.

And where the folder for these time-sucking apps was, I made a new folder. I put a note taking app in there. I put Duolingo and Coursera in there. I downloaded a new app called Slowly and put that in there so instead of mindlessly scrolling through endless content, I read letters from faraway pen pals and write them long letters back.

These small moves have helped a ton already! I have given myself much more useful, productive, and fulfilling things to do when I’m bored now. And when even these apps won’t entertain, I’m more likely to just put my phone down and pick up a book or pull out my journal than to look to social media. And when I do feel the need to open Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, it’s for a reason and not just to pass the time. 

If you’re struggling like me I encourage you to give the delete and replace strategy a try.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, it time for me to go. There are only a few short hours left until the weekend is over and so much more I want to do before the workweek begins.

I hope that you had a good week. I hope that you found time for you this weekend and that this coming week will be better than the last.

Until next time. 


Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

052 // Troubling Signs

I’ve been feeling good lately, physically at least. The longer I am off my old infusion medication the better I feel too. I’ve lost weight. I’m happier, more motivated, and enjoying the random bursts of enthusiasm I have for people again. I feel good, but there are troubling signs too. I’m afraid without the infusions to control my ulcerative colitis plus all the stress I’ve been dealing with, a flare is imminent.

It figures that when my symptoms are under control the rest of my body would feel like crap, and when I get my gut under control, then the rest of my feels cruddy. Sigh.


Tonight we secured the wedding venue and our date, and we settled on wedding invitations too. Three decisions down, about a thousand more to go. I am finally feeling more excited, but I’m also feeling a lot more anxious and doubtful. I can’t shake the fear that we are now locked into something over our heads and financially foolish. I can’t help doubting we can pull it off or that any of this will be worth it or as wonderful as we dream.

I just try to remember that at the end of all this I will be married and that, more than any of those thousand little decisions I’ll have to make until then, is what matters most.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

033 // A Good Day and a Bad Idea

Today was one of those good and bad days. Not in between, but both at the same time. The day appeared to be all bad, or at least very bad from my cozy place in the corner of my couch, but after a good meal and a chance to rest quietly, I can see there was actually a whole lot more good than bad.

The good news is we may have made some very significant progress in wedding planning but rather than being relieved I just feel newly overwhelmed, anxious, and afraid. With every step we take a cascade of decisions must be made after. Everything I do means I must do other more difficult and expensive things next. There is so much that can go wrong and have a talent for finding the most devastating ways of screwing things up.

My littlest sister—younger by 15 years!—had to give me a pep-talk and her enthusiasm, faith, and humor have energized and emboldened me.

So yes, looking back, it was a good day, but afterward, hoping to keep the good time going, we decided to go clothes shopping and that was a bad idea. Long story short, my self-esteem didn’t survive, hence the need for the cozy corner on the couch, the quiet rest, and an early bedtime.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren