Single Digit Thoughts


*Warning: This post contains sappy feelings about love, marriage, and what-not.*

After 596 days, we made it to single digits! Next Saturday, James and I will get all dolled up, stand before God and loved ones, and become one. Our souls, tied in a knot, will withstand the trials of this world through grace, faith, love, and lots of prayer. A tremendous and awesome blessing!

A few days after the proposal, James and I developed a mantra we vowed to use throughout our engagement. We promised to remind one another that while we were planning for a wedding, we were more importantly planning for our marriage.

Unfortunately, the pressure to throw a perfect wedding, pick the most beautiful dress, tone the arm flab, invite the right crowd, create the most appropriate seating arrangement, choose the right party songs, make handmade decorations, and of course, stay under budget, while always maintaining that bridal glow, is really too much. No wonder we toss around labels like bridezilla and bridaldemia! How does one expect a relatively normal, usually nice, and naturally patient young woman to not lose it a bit, and neglect perspective? The expectations are overwhelming.

I wish I could look back on the past year and a half, puff out my chest, hold my chin high, and proclaim, “I adhered to our mantra and overcame it all!” But I didn’t. I often succumbed to the pressure and expectations. I was sometimes quick-tempered. Every so often, I lost patience. I cursed a little. I cried a good bit. And I wished time away.

Now, with October 24, 2015 listed in the 10-day weather forecast, I suddenly wish time would slow the heck down. I’m my own recipe of crazy, right? But before you begin whispering those dreadful bride labels, let me defend my crazy.

So many times throughout our very short lives, we repeatedly disregard the present and look to the next big thing. Stroll into your local department store. Red and green decorations are creeping into displays. Turn on the TV. Certain channels are advertising for holiday movie marathons. Listen to the radio; hosts are already promoting winter events. Christmas is two and a half months away, folks.

But by golly, we will spend the majority of these months pushing and shoving our way through door buster deals, recording every ABC Christmas movie, and clearing our calendars for social gatherings. We will spend an absurd amount of time and exert a ton of energy into preparing for a single day. And once the presents are ripped open, the meal is eaten, and the carols are sang, we will sit around the lit Christmas tree and feel a bit sad. How could it come and go so quickly we will ask? Luckily, we can assure ourselves Christmas comes around once a year. Weddings do not.

You have one wedding day. One dress. One party. One husband. One shot at creating an experience most girls dream of since childhood. I believe this is from where the all the pressure stems. Not from society, Hollywood, or Pinterest, but rather, from our experience in preparing in anticipation, then watching the best of times fly by in a single day. So in turn, you strive to make one day the best it can be.

Knowing I cannot speed up or slow down the clock, it would seem my best option is to savor, enjoy, and treasure every step from here to the “I do’s.” I will repeat the mantra, tack it on the wall, write it on my hand, whatever it takes. I will let the pressure of the past months fall away. I will relish in every special moment with family, friends, and my husband-to-be. And I will cherish it all. Then, when the time comes to sit around the tree and look back, I will not feel sad the wedding ended. But rather, grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed time give way to a new beginning. The beginning of our marriage.

So here’s to the coming single digit days, the big day, and every day after. Here’s to #Orangeisthenewharris!

With much gratitude.