I have had a hard time getting it together to write anything after that last post. I'll be honest - it took a lot out of me. It was very freeing to share how I was feeling and finally open up. But it did something more.
It opened the door to some really wonderful, but very emotional conversations with great friends via text, e-mail, Facebook message, and phone call. Friends who have experienced their own loss. Who are navigating their way through their own life transitions and figuring out how to do so without the loved ones that they miss. There is something about having a shared experience that connects people. And while I wish that we didn't share this particular one, I have found that being able to have an open, honest conversation about missing a dead parent, spouse, or family member helps in the healing. So thank you. My tears were flowing that night. But they were good tears.
These last few weeks have been pretty crazy. When you work in education, the start of the school year is sort of a whirlwind, but in this awesome, high energy, "This is a pretty cool job" kinda way. I have been going in high gear for so long that I am looking forward to a little bit of a break. To read books. To sit around in sweatpants. And to get back to a bit of wedding planning. Because guess what the next step is? Cake!
We are also getting our engagement photos taken in about a month, and I am pretty excited. Because I have a new accessory for my pics.
My engagement ring is here! Isn't it pretty? I love it.
We had actually ordered the ring a few months ago from Rare Earth, a fine jewelry shop on Etsy. It arrived in August, and I immediately fell in love. It's beautiful, personal, and ethically sourced/conflict-free - something that was important to me. Melanie actually uses 90% recycled metals, which I think is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, we did not do a very good job on the sizing, and the thing practically fell off my finger. The designer was great to work with though, and let us reorder the correct size. When I got home today, my little furball greeted me at the door with a bow tied around his neck. He's a great gift giver (as is Chris)! But Bucky was just as excited as I was to get the thing off of him and onto my finger instead. : )
There is one other reason that I am excited for our pictures. No, it's not the fact that we have to be all lovey dovey in public. That part is going to be hard. You might also recall, it means I can shop! Anything wedding related. Right?!
With my schedule, I honestly have no desire to go to the mall and struggle through trying on a bunch of stuff in a fitting room. Per the recommendation of a friend, I signed up for an account on Stitch Fix. It is sort of like Birchbox, but better. Because it's clothes and accessories! You pay a $20 styling fee and get a box with 5 different items. Tops, skirts, jewelry - all kinds of stuff. When you sign up, you create a custom profile, where you give lots of details on your preferred sizes, styles, price range, etc. You can also share a Pinterest board with them, so that they can get a better sense of your style wish list. Plus, you can specify any special things you are looking for - like clothes for a trip...or engagement photos!
When your box arrives, you have three days to try on the items and decide what you want to keep and what you are going to send back. The $20 styling fee is applied towards whatever items you want to purchase, and you pay the difference. They give you a prepaid envelope to send back whatever you don't want to keep. And they are totally okay if you send a bunch of stuff back because they want you to give feedback on what worked and what didn't, to help make future boxes better.
I got my first box last night and had a ton of fun trying on the clothes. One of the nice things that they do is provide a guide for some different ways to style each of the different pieces. I got a few things that I wouldn't likely wear, but a few that I love. And one thing that will be totally perfect for our engagement pictures. And I loved that it arrived at my front door, picked out just for me.
Who knew that I'd get so excited about some wedding things?