Matt and I got engaged on December 19th of last year. He proposed to me after a horse drawn carriage ride and sugar cookie decorating at my grandparents’ house. It was magical and wonderful and documented by my best friend Megan and her boyfriend, who were hiding out at my house with the Scrabble board and Prosecco, ready to celebrate.
It has been a whirlwind trying to prepare for one of the best days of our life over the last 2+ months. There’s so much to think about and even though I thought I would have a leg up by working in the wedding industry (with Catherine Rose Floral last summer and interning with the Buffalo Bridal Association years ago), it’s been a humbling experience.
I’m trying desperately to focus on our love and our happiness, rather than the cost per plate and senseless fees. Holding on to the fact that the most important people in our lives will be there to witness us promise ourselves to each other, rather than succumb to the politics of who didn’t make the cut. It’s so hard. My Pinterest boards never included everyone else’s expectations.
I found my wedding dress at Bridal Chateau with my mom, nana and sister Jenna last month. I would describe it, but since Matt is one of my biggest fans (both on and off the blog!) I better not. I look forward to recapping September 10, 2022 after it happens.
My ring is a gorgeous emerald cut sapphire, surrounded by little diamonds on the edges, band and even underneath. The peek-a-boo diamonds are Matt’s favorite feature to mention. My colleagues compared it to Princess Diana’s wedding ring… He did an amazing job picking out this elegant vintage symbol of our love. I cherish it.
Both Lindsey Fetterhoff Photography (our wedding photographer) and Photography by Anna (images included in this post) embraced our unique style in photo shoots in honor of our engagement. I can only imagine the amazing moments that will be captured on our big day.
I didn’t dream of this day like a lot of young women. I admired the fashion of it the same way I would appreciated gowns on a runway. I have had a Pinterest Board called Just in case being a cat lady doesn’t work out for over a decade, because marriage seemed like it was never meant to be in my path. Now I have a man who made his own Pinterest Board call Just in case being a dog man doesn’t work out and we are literally planning to spend the rest of our lives together. I remember feeling like nobody would ever love me enough to marry me. Now I can’t imagine my life without this love, without Matt. I’ll try to save the rest of my cheesiness for my vows.
Life has been moving along so quickly, I can hardly believe it. At the end of April I closed and moved into my new house. I love it! But the work that comes along with a crumbling chimney and flooding in the basement has certainly kept me on my toes. I’ve also had way more interaction with wildlife than I anticipated too -bats and skunks and stray cats oh my!
I much prefer the interior decorating side of owning a home. I painted my once lime green guest room a light gray and have plans to put a bold black and white floral wallpaper up in the closet… Maybe with some framed wainscoting. I love hunting at estate sales and secondhand stores for the perfect pieces for my home. Some of the most wonderful pieces, like my porch swing and 8×10 dining room rug were discovered by the side of the road. Check out these fun frames that I thrifted and hung in my office!
Matt and I pulled out a section of wonky fencing in the yard last month.. replacing that fence is rapidly approaching on the never ending “to-do” list. I would love to put in a patio of pea gravel and pavers in the backyard, as well as finish my driveway that I’m currently mowing. It’s fun to dream, but also humbling. Who knew wood, stones and dirt were so expensive?
Not to mention that now that the world has a hint of normalcy, with concerts and events resuming, it’s harder to save money. Working at home all day means I make a mad dash for the door when the clock strikes 5pm and the treat yo’self mentality after 8+ hours of isolation is hard to shake! But I’m hustling to make up for it, freelancing with the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and assisting Catherine Rose Floral Design with wedding flowers.
I feel tired more quickly than I used to. Is it post-Covid burn out? Is this just life at 26? I love the people in my life, but I don’t remember socializing being so mentally draining before. I find myself mindlessly scrolling tiktok, reading books and going on bike rides or kayak adventures. Crowds feel overwhelming and bars seem unimpressive. Life has a different pace than it used to.
It’s difficult to stay present at times, but that isn’t a new challenge for me. The house could always use another improvement, as could I. That’s the downside of constantly wanting more. Shauna Niequist wrote a great book called Present Over Perfect, a wonderful resource for those of us fighting against the need to “do all the things”. I’m holding her life lessons close to me as I stumble less than gracefully through adulthood.
It’s mid January in Western New York, but there has been barely any snow to speak of. I’m adding this to the list of things that just feel “off” about the last 10 months. On Sunday my pastor at church called 2021 “2020 with a fake ID”, I don’t think I’ve heard of a better comparison. The clock struck midnight on January 1st and corona virus continued to plague the earth. It’s still a weird feeling, living through monumental historic events like a pandemic and the storming of the Capital building. This prompts the question; could this really be the same life I was living not so long ago?
It’s clearly not… and although there is a hint of sadness in that realization I am also so thankful for the changes that have occurred in my life during this heavy season.
I’ve sheltered my boyfriend from my blog long enough, here’s a formal introduction complete with adorable winter photos by Lindsey Fetterhoff Photography. Matt is wonderful and truly the highlight of 2020. He loves board games and over committing his schedule almost as much as I do. We talk constantly and keep an ever expanding list of date ideas. Cooking dinner is actually an enjoyable activity with him around. He’s also made football more interesting ***GO BILLS*** and has shown me that crossword puzzles are really fun.
By societal standards Matt is a unicorn. I heard guys like him existed, but in a sea of wild ponies -not even stallions- it seemed far fetched. I never thought I would find a faith filled man, who surprises me with flowers and reads biblical devotionals with me everyday – even on the phone if we’re not together. He makes me a better person.
Like any relationship though, it takes work. I clung tightly to my identity as a fiercely independent woman, so naturally there are times I feel a little lost without the security of that label. One of the incredible things about Matt is that he never wants me to apologize for being a strong self-sufficient person though, he loves me because of it. And inevitably we approach some situations differently, so as the analytical intellectually driven person that I am, in uncharted territory, I do the only thing that I know how.. when the going gets tough, the going does research. I take Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other personality tests. I read books on our Love Languages (I’m “Acts of Service” and he is “Quality Time”) and dig into scripture for guidance from my Father who clearly has a better idea on how to navigate all things than I do.
On Saturday Matt and I celebrated 6 months of happiness together. So while the world is at a standstill and panic and fear saturate the headlines everywhere, my mind keeps spinning in another world; one immersed in love and goodness. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, the government moratoriums and foreclosure regulations have kept my job pretty slow right now, but my personal life is so fulfilled. Thank you for letting me share this with you.