Monday, January 27, 2014

Updating The Ol' Resumé Soon

So I filed my tax return about a week ago, and I'm not going to sugarcoat it, people. I am going to be getting a ton (for me) of money back. I claimed ONE of the boys this year (since we moved out in the middle of the year, and my parents took such good care of us when we lived with them, I'm going to let them claim one of the boys one last time), and named myself head of household.

It felt nice.

Anyway, I've been trying to decide what to do with it all.

Use some of it for last-minute wedding costs? Absolutely.
Pay off some debt with it? Hopefully.
Further my career? I THINK SO.

I'm going to register for a few classes with the Gemological Institute of America. Which, if you know anything about diamonds or the 4C's (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight)... these are the big guys. They created the diamond grading system that all other companies now use.

With a Graduate Gemologist degree (which I also plan to complete, although not at the moment because it's an approximately $1500 investment)... I could do almost anything I wanted. I could be an appraiser for an auction house, I could be a jewelry designer, I could be a buyer, I could own my own jewelry store... the opportunities are endless.

This would help me further my career so much, and I'm so excited.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fitting Rooms Selfies, Goodbyes, and Road Trips

Let's start with the fun stuff... fitting room selfies!

Got this.
Regret not purchasing. I thought it was fun. :) 
Didn't purchase. 
Loved this blazer. 
Did not purchase. Regretting. Although I would need some shapewear underneath.
LOVED. THIS. (Totally purchased.) 
Did not purchase.
Over the course of two hours at my favorite resale boutique (Clothes Mentor), I tried on at least 100 different things. I got a gift card from Steve's brother's wife for Christmas, so I went and shopped my heart out. The women who were running the fitting room were all smiles at first when I came up but by the end, they hated me. Luckily, I don't care about that... and I ended up with some super nice pieces. I think I bought about 15 things all together.

Now the sad part: the goodbyes. My favorite manager at work, Rick, left our store and transferred to a different location closer to his home. This past Saturday was his last day. He was a great manager, and I learned so much from him. He was also one of my best friends at work.

We sent him off with a bang, a few of my co-workers and myself took him out and had a few drinks, and closed the place down.

More pictures were taken, but of course they were on other peoples' cell phones. Maybe I'll get copies of those one day.
It said "Good Luck Rick" before I cut it up... I didn't have any!
Rick and myself. </3
In other news, wedding planning is still in full swing!

I paid a deposit on the DJ's services yesterday, and we're planning a trip down to San Antonio for January 29-31st. While we're down there we're going to check out rentals, meet with the venue's event coordinator again and sign any paperwork that's left, possibly meet with our photographer, and reserve hotel blocks at a couple of good locations.

We have a TON on our plate planning this from a distance.

I'm also in works with my maid of honor to get my bachelorette party planned (that'll be April 5th) and a bridal shower put together down there (April 6th). I'm also hoping to get another bridal shower organized for my friends and family up here... because I know at least half of the people I'm inviting won't be able to attend the actual wedding. Destination wedding problems!

I'm also trying very hard to get off some of this happy weight I've gained in the past year or so. I've lost about 6 pounds since I started seriously watching my calories and trying to be more active in my day-to-day. It's a miracle. I'm still about 8 pounds up from where I was when I first bought my dress last February... but I think I can get that off in the next month and get into the dress again with only minor alterations! When I first picked it, all that needed to be done was have it taken in at the bust (the girls are small lately), and take it up in the cap sleeves, they're a bit too long.

I'm so excited about everything going on. Things are happening quickly!

Friday, January 17, 2014


If you based your impression of me off of the first 15 or so posts I've made here on this blog, you might be surprised to learn that I have an anxiety disorder.

But I do. It's there. From what my mother tells me, it's been a problem my whole life. She said she thought I just had very low self-esteem growing up, but I was just really anxious about everything. And that led to stress eating, which led to weight gain... and maybe it was a little bit of low self-esteem at that point.

These days it manifests in different ways. I avoid phone calls, break out in hives when there is any type of confrontation in my life, break plans because I hate going out, I second-, third-, and fourth-guess absolutely everything I say, and most times if a silence becomes too uncomfortable when I'm left alone in a room with someone, I couldn't break said silence even if I wanted to.

I know it sounds like I'm making light of a condition that I actually have, but really this is the tip of the iceberg. It's been taking a toll on my social life for years.

Now, around friends? I can absolutely be a lovely human being, but my crazy former fat girl brain thinks, even to this day three years out from weight loss surgery, that everyone is secretly laughing at me.

You might think this strange to hear because I'm in sales, and I do believe I've mentioned before that given my personality it is an odd choice for me, that I'm basically socially retarded... but there you have it.

The whole point of this blog is that: my anxiety is starting to freak me out. I've been under a ton of stress lately, and I've begun to develop a certain habit that I hate.

I pick at my face almost constantly. This is not good. I'm getting married in four months. My skin needs to look nice!

When I was a teenager, my skin was very bad. Not cystic acne level, but maybe one step below. So I'm no stranger to the thrill of the pick. However, this particular quirk is not because of any acne I might have... it's purely self-inflicted psychological torture.

I go to bed at night and my face basically bleeding, because I've messed with it all day. It's a little easier when I'm at work, because I have a full face of make-up on. (Lord, I can't mess up my make-up!)

It would be so easy to say, "I need to go get on some medication for this issue." But I even have a reserve about that because I've been on SO many in my life: Lexapro (which worked the best, but my old insurance carrier wouldn't pay for it), Celexa, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin... the list could go on, but I've forgotten the last few.

It's been years since I was able to get into my general practitioners' office to get a prescription that might help, so maybe the answer is biting that bullet and going to see her.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Busy Week

When I first started this blog (a month ago, but who cares?), I was all, "Honey badger don't care, she blogs what she wants." I've found myself censoring lately. And that pisses me off, so I haven't blogged in a while.

But anyway... here's where I'm at:

We went to David's Bridal on Sunday! My lovely bridesmaids got their dresses (well, two of them did... my third has an appointment on this Saturday to pick hers out!), my mom picked out her dress, and I got my garter and some fabulously tacky track pants that say "Bride" on the ass.

Here are two pictures from Sunday. None of myself, of course.

My mama in her gown. <3 
And Mari in her bridesmaids dress. It was a size too big, so
they had it pinned... hope it looks that great when it arrives!
Then yesterday was Stephen and I's two year anniversary! We went out to a fancy dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. I loved the atmosphere, and I loved our steaks. We also got a cheese plate and some sides. Oh, it was WAY too much food. That's totally my scene, though. I'm a fancy lady.

We got free cheesecake to go for it being our special day!
I guess I should probably stop there. We're sending out save-the-dates today - so I have to get addressing these puppies!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"How Did You Lose The Weight?"**

When you lose a substantial amount of weight, every once in a while you see someone you haven't seen since "before." And when they barely recognize you, or are startled by your appearance, they invariably ask you this ridiculous question. (Okay, fine, not invariably... but at least half of the time.)

What do you say?

Personally, I respond with... "Hard work. Dedication."

Fine, having weight loss surgery three years ago probably helped. But you know what? It didn't help me make all of the good decisions. I did that.

I'm the one who said no to the cakes and cookies, or the extra piece of pizza that would have made me miserable, or the last couple bites of something I was actually too full for. And let me be clear: I did not say that I said no every time, or even most of the time. But sometimes I did, and when that happened: it was me, not some piece of plastic wrapped around the base of my esophagus.

Sorry for my rant, but just needed to be said.

** I know this isn't supposed to be a weight loss blog, but every once in a while... this subject needs to be broached in a life blog.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Food-Ordering Phobia

Have I mentioned that I am horrible on the phone?

Or just talking to people in general? (Except when I'm at work, obviously.)

It's probably my crippling anxiety, a result of my former fat girl status.

Any time we go out to eat I make Stephen order for me, because I suck at it. I will either completely confuse someone in the blink of an eye.

For instance, at Jimmy John's the other day:

Me: "Hi there, I'll have... a #12!"
Cashier: "Okay, great. Would you like a drink?"
Me: "Nope, thanks!"
Cashier: "That'll be... [insert random cost]."
Me: "Oh, sorry, I meant to say I wanted that to be an unwich."
Cashier: "No problem!"
Me: "And if I could get no tomatoes, and add bacon?"
Cashier: "...sure." [frustrated sigh]

Why couldn't I just say, "I'd like a #12 unwich, with no tomatoes and add bacon"? I knew that's what I wanted.

Or I do the following:

Say you're me and you're at lunch. You only have a few minutes, thirty, to be exact, to scarf down whatever unhealthy crap you were planning to eat at McDonald's (or Sonic, or wherever is convenient, because about once a week you're too frazzled in the morning to make yourself a lunch). You go up to the counter to get some food, and the person taking your order is good-looking, or thin, or whatever would make you the most self-conscious... so you modify your order. Instead of getting that double cheeseburger with no bun and a side of ranch dressing like you wanted, you end up with a freakin' side salad and water, and you're hungry the rest of the day.

Does anyone else have this weird ordering mindset? (Mostly talking about the second one, no one else has to admit to being as socially awkward as I am in the first example.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wedding Planning Underway

(Fair warning: I'm going to probably be talking about my wedding a ton here. I had a wedding blog, but doing both? Who's got time for that?)

Just this week, I've started planning the honeymoon. So excited! Traditionally, from what I understand, it's the groom's job to do this, but if I left it to Stephen... we'd book our flights at the airport the day we wanted to leave, and I just can't live like that. I'm a planner.

The good news is: Stephen's cousin was gracious enough to donate some of her frequent flyer miles to book us a trip to and from New Orleans (which is where we'll be going - obviously). What a wonderful wedding gift!

We've got our flights, now I'm trying to decide on a hotel. (One of his aunts actually might be able to get us a comped weekend at Harrah's... which from what I gather is close to the Quarter, and that's where we're mainly wanting to be.) We have a Pub Crawl and eatery tour all planned, etc. So fun. Yes, I love to eat.

We've also started comparing prices for rentals. We need close to 200 chairs, 10 tables, linens, etc. (The venue provides most of the tables and chairs, which is a lifesaver.) We haven't decided if we'll get an arch, or just decorate the branches on the tree we'll be getting married under. It almost forms a natural arch where we've decided to get married, but not quite.

We're trying to sign a contract for event insurance, which will allow us to officially book the venue (she was just reserving it for us until now, we haven't officially signed any contracts). That will be such a relief there! But my venue event coordinator is a pain in my ass, so it's slow-going. I had to e-mail her twice to get the information as to where to obtain the insurance. But I'm finding out it's about $550 for liquor liability plus special event insurance. Yeah, I'll be shopping around. I don't want to hear any nonsense about they only accept one particular insurance carrier, or I'll switch venues faster than they can say "reception."

Anyway, not much else going on. We're deciding what type of centerpieces now, but we're thinking some simple lanterns and maybe a very minimal flower arrangement on each table.

That's all I've got!

2013 - A Year In Review

So 2013 wasn't that bad was it?
  1. I got engaged, and am planning a wedding for the middle of 2014.
  2. I moved out of my parents' house and into an apartment with my young men and future husband.
  3. I left my old job (voluntarily - even though I LOVED it) and got a new one (for more money; never leave JUST for more money).
  4. I let go of bad friendships, and forged some awesome new ones.
  5. I started this blog.
  6. Bought my wedding dress and immediately gained 15 pounds.
Okay, so those last two were a bit reaching. Not really life events, but it's my blog and I'll give significance to whatever I want!
Overall, it's not been bad. I've eaten good food, struggled financially, blossomed career-wise. It was a relatively good year.
So I'm asking myself if I want to make some New Years' Resolutions. And if so... how deep do I want to go with them?
Commit to paying off my credit cards?
Lose all the weight I want to? (Those 15 pounds plus another 10, please!)
To say "no" more? God knows I'm too much of a people pleaser as it is.
My resolution from 2012 was to find my joy. I did that. I can't even remember what my resolution for 2013 was.
Maybe what I need to work on is being positive. I want to be the best possible version of myself this upcoming year. I want to read more books and eat less sugar. But mostly, I want to really live.