Stress Management for the Bride-to-Be

Next Saturday I am getting married. Next Saturday! It’s crazy! I got engaged a year ago and it’s been a lot of small details and planning since then. I have had to deal with way more people than I ever wanted to, I had to deal with a lot of mistakes, ups and downs, and unexpected craziness to say the least. With only 8 days until the wedding, I feel as if my head may pop off.

I do not know how many times people have said, “Oh, you must be enjoying the engagement process… you and your fiancé can just relax until the wedding and enjoy one another.” Every time I hear that, I want to say, “In what reality are you living?” Planning a wedding is far from relaxing- it’s a stress test. Sure, there are some fun times- like the crafts you get to make, the bachelorette party, and the shower- but in between those events comes a lot of picking and choosing and making sure everything is in order.

If there is one thing I learned through out this whole process, it would be how to let other brides know how to manage their stress levels leading up to their wedding. It took me until this week, a week before of the wedding, to figure this one out- so get ready ladies…

My Stress Management Tips for the Bride-to-Be:

  • Be Silly– This wedding planning stuff can be very serious. Typically families expect a lot and expect the day to be planned perfectly, bringing a lot of stress on the bride. When you get home from a long day of planning- act silly. Let it all go- start tickle fights with your fiancé, tell bad dad jokes to your family members, do something that would encourage laughter.
  • Stretch– Most times, people make the suggestion to exercise if you are stressed out- I recommend stretching. When it comes to my life, pairing wedding planning with a sit down office job makes even more stress. When I get home, I force myself to stretch for 15 minutes. I focus on different parts of my body, starting with the legs and inner thigh muscles, then move to my shoulders, arms, and back muscles. By the time I am done, my body naturally relaxed itself.
  • Write It Out– Have you noticed that I have blogged a bit more than usual this week? It’s because I have been feeling the heat with planning the wedding. Writing makes me feel relaxed and composed. If writing isn’t your thing, maybe singing, playing an instrument, painting, or reading would be your solution.
  • Schedule “Me” Time– When you are so focused on planning an event, you almost forget to give yourself some attention. Take time out of your week for just yourself- take a bubble bath, paint your nails, stick your nose in a good book and get lost in it, watch one of your favorite TV shows (I watched Gilmore Girls this week and vegged on the couch), or go for a walk.

All these things may seem simple, but they truly do help you cope with the changes going on around you. They help you to be able to see things more clearly and help give you an appreciation for the work you have been doing.

To all the brides out there about to pull your hair out- don’t worry, you can do this!

God Time is Precious Time

It’s been a whirlwind of a week. With moving, my family arriving, and last minute wedding duties to fulfill- not to mention a full time sales job- I am wiped out. I am so tired, that I could sleep for days. My fiancé is so tired that he could sleep for weeks. I may be over exaggerating a little bit- but I am not far off- I won’t lie, I definitely cannot wait to relax on my honeymoon.

I know I have needed to spend time with God. Through the ups and downs of this week, I am feeling more of the downs. Every time I would think of God, life would pull me in a different direction- “You need to write thank you cards, you need to wash the countertops, you need to make dinner, you need, you need, you need….” What I really needed was to sit down and talk to God- the one who knows it all. He knows, and I take comfort in that.

I sat down and opened my Bible. This has happened more times than I can count, but the first verse I read, summed up exactly how I was feeling. I read this verse and I wanted to just yell it out loud- I wanted God to take from me everything that was weighing me down and I wanted Him to help me.

“Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with your love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, O Lord, have done it.” – Psalm 109:26-27

Through the planning, there has been a lot of frustration. I have acted selfishly, I have been quick to become angry, and I was harsh to some of those around me. My human nature took over me in my stressful hours, and only I could choose to let it control me. I would bounce back the next day, trying to be more calm, asking those for forgiveness, and asking God to help me through my day- but most times, I slipped back into my glum. Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with your love. Don’t save me because of the good I have tried to do in life- no, save me because of your mercy- I need it. I need You.

Lastly, through this process, I have been looked down on by the world for the fact I am getting married in the Catholic church. Why don’t you just hire a justice of the peace? Why didn’t you elope? Why didn’t you just have a normal wedding? Why didn’t you just get married at your venue? Because that’s not who I have chosen to be. Who I have chosen to be, God has inspired. God has given me a heart that longs to do what is right (even though I fail), but He has given me that desire, as well as to my fiancé. Let them know that is it your hand, that you, O Lord, have done it. 

I am tired Lord. But You have a plan. And even though I am not perfect, You still love me.

Making Home: Simplistic Office Space

We just moved into our new house last weekend and we still have some boxes piled up waiting to be unpacked. Making a space yours is important when you have things out of place- so that’s just what we did. One of the spaces we decided to spruce up first was our home office. Now, home offices can tend to be pretty upscale and can cost thousands of dollars to make pristine- but we decided for now, we just want something simple, clean, and cozy.

We went over to the Habitat for Humanity Restore and bought two long wood boards ($10.00). We then took wooden crates that we already had and stacked them underneath the wood boards. We now have a simple desk for two or more waiting for us to use. We set up our laptops, set up some coasters, and brewed some coffee- perfection.

We now have an easy clean set up, and we could not be any happier. Next to complete is the library in our office space. Once that is finished, this space will be one of the best rooms in the house- in my opinion. 


Puppy Madness… or Should I Say Cuteness?

The past couple of weeks have been crazy. We officially moved into our new home this past weekend, and we are still unpacking all the boxes and cleaning all the corners of the house. Our wedding is coming up in less than 3 weeks and there are still a lot of little things left to do. In the midst of the craziness, my coworker decided to buy a puppy… Yup, a little bundle of adorableness puppy.

Now, a little back story- I work in the coolest office ever, and my boss is amazingly kind to all of us and allows us to basically do anything we want within means. So when my coworker got a puppy, how could he say no? Little Bauer joined our office crew this past week and he’s been amazing to have around. With all the stress and anxiety from moving and planning, being able to pet a puppy has been very therapeutic.

Having Bauer in the office has not only been good for the mind and soul, but also for my physical health. Puppies like to play, and they like to play outside- a lot. Almost everyday on our lunch breaks we all go walk Bauer around the park- therefore, getting a good brisk walk in.


I’m happy to say we are living in puppy madness, full of absolute cuteness. 

A Box Full of Waiting

It’s officially moving week, and by Friday morning, I will be a homeowner. It’s been a long process, the whole, looking for a house, making an offer, and signing the necessary paperwork thing. Two months to be exact. You fall in love with a home and you want to claim it right then and there- but you can’t- you have to wait.

The waiting period has been a learning lesson in itself for me. My personality doesn’t call for patience, so waiting two months is practically a chore in my world. I’m learning that waiting allows you to prepare, and that preparing allows you to make wise choices. Wise choices and being prepared doesn’t always take the stress away though. In fact, the build-up of stress and anxiety since making an offer has skyrocketed above normal- I thought the waiting period would help calm that down- but it doesn’t. I have to rely on other people to get work done for me- the bank, the closing company, our agent, etc. I think for me, that is the hardest part- waiting on others. Through this whole thing, I have cried more times than I had planned, and I felt frustrated more than anticipated. This was hard. This was a BIG adult move for me. It was something completely new and unrecognizable. Almost everyday, the weight of the stress was too much for me to hold, so I asked God to handle it for me. I asked my fiancé and my close friends to say a prayer for me. Without God, without my family, and without my friends, my success through this time would have been nil.

My apartment is filled to the brim with boxes and bags waiting to be moved to the new house. My cabinets are bare, the wall hangings are no longer hung, and well, everything is out of place and everything seems cold. My living situation is in transition, and my new home is right around the corner. My fiancé and I are now waiting through our last final day before we close on the house. The day is almost here, it’s a day we have been waiting for, and it’s a start of a new adventure

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2 Months & Counting

Only two months now until my wedding- it’s getting close. All the big projects have been done, and now on to the finishing touches. Next on the list is to meet with my day-of-coordinator to go over the wedding day timeline, meet with our pianist, and finalize everything with my vendors. It’s all coming together!

This past weekend I had my bridal shower- which was beautifully put together by my sister, bridesmaids, and parents. The decorations were amazing, the people who came were great to see, and overall, it was a very fun day. I even got a date jar filled with tons of brilliant ideas for a night out with my future husband! Here are some photos (Photos by Sara Aynne Photography):

On another note: We are in the process of buying a house. Yes, at the same time as planning a wedding. The house closes just before the wedding, so it’s perfect timing- and so far everything is going smoothly– fingers crossed.

Please keep me and my fiancé, Nicholas, in your prayers as we go through these last final months before our big day! Can’t wait!


Time Moves Quickly & Loves Grows Stronger

This past month has been crazy busy! With wedding planning, family visits, work, and healthy food planning- my head has been spinning. I can’t even believe that it’s been two weeks since I last wrote a post. All I can say is- “I hope all of your lives are going well!

What is on the agenda now? The first thing to do would be to workout like crazy until my bridal shower- which is coming up very soon. Workout like crazy until my wedding- which is less than 3 months away. Clean up my apartment. Keep an eye on the housing market. Plan my meals. Spend time with family and friends. And lastly, but most importantly, pray more.

Typing all of these things that I need to do makes me feel overwhelmed. I now know what my friend Sara went through the months before her wedding. She was tired and her mind was spinning a million miles per minute. She even admits that she doesn’t remember the details of her wedding day because there were so many things going on. When she first told me this, I thought she was crazy- how can you not remember your own wedding day? But now, as I go through the planning process, I completely understand. My coworkers ask me almost everyday, “How was your night? What did you do?” And I always respond, “It was good. I don’t really remember, but I bet I worked on wedding stuff.”

Is this how it should be? Is this what I am supposed to be feeling months before my wedding? Or am I supposed to be more composed? Sometimes I wish I had decided to elope or have a small wedding with only immediate family. Planning for a larger wedding brings about so much pressure to have everything perfect. But the thing I seem to loose sight of is- that God gave me my fiancé and that marriage is what is in the plan for us. The fact that we are ready and willing to commit to one another, for life, is amazing in itself. Even though the planning and preparation is becoming overwhelming, the end result will be worth while- and I know that God will bless us for it.

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

Staying Strong When Your Week Goes Wrong

It’s Friday. And most people are so happy that Friday arrived and that the weekend is beginning. My week, in my opinion, did not go exactly as planned, nor was I really happy my weekend was here. A dark rain cloud hung over my head all week, and it poured all over me this afternoon– torrential downpours.  

I let the little things build up, I let my failures get the best of me, and I quickly gave up on what I used to believe I could do. Life poked holes in my confidence- and when life does that- sometimes it brings you down more than you thought it would. Funny thing is though, we almost always forget that it most likely happens for a reason- a reason that will teach you a lesson- a lesson that God is trying to teach you.

My fiancé and I bickered all week over financial concerns, careers, and life goals. After taking some time to think about things in depth, we realized that we have nothing to worry about. We know that God will lead us in the direction that’s best for us, in the time that it’s best for us. Besides my personal life, my work-life this week was even below par. I work in sales, and my numbers were down this month. I lost important clients, didn’t reach my sign-up goal, and didn’t feel confident in new paths my job was taking me. At the end of the day today, I was so frazzled on my ride home that I barely could hold a decent conversation.

As soon as I stepped into my house, I started to clean and pray. I said a few prayers like, “God, just help me” or “Please God, let me relax”. As I washed the dishes, I prayed. As I continued to fold clothes, I prayed. As I cleaned the bedroom, I prayed. After cleaning the house, I sat down on the couch and heard a car drive up outside. I looked out the window and it was my niece, coming to visit for the weekend. With the stressful week I had just gone through and the exhausted state of mind I was in- I was worried I would be the worst host on the face of the planet for a weekend of fun. I smiled as I opened the door, and I was instantly at peace- my family was here and there were no worries.

God reminded me that nothing is too big for Him to handle and that family is always there to make you feel better. He reminded me that family is a blessing and He reminded me that even though I failed this week, I still have another chance to do better. Sometimes life burns us out- but it’s just another opportunity for God to speak to us.


Restaurant Review: The Treehouse

Welcome back travel Tuesday! This past weekend I went out to eat at a favorite restaurant of mine, The Treehouse, in Portland, Maine. This time, I decided to try some new foods, sit in a new section of the restaurant, and enjoy the atmosphere. If you ever get a chance to visit Portland, climb up the steps to the Treehouse and try some great Greek & Mediterranean cuisine.

What Did I Eat?

I ordered their special blueberry cocktail (which was delicious- I had two) and I also ordered their lamb salad with grape fruit wedges. The lamb was cooked medium and the taste was flavorful and tender. Before my meal arrived, they delivered a bread basket with sour dough bread and rye. I ended the night with a summer dessert, key-lime pie,  (perfect for the hot day it was).

Where Did I Sit?

Typically I sit in the lounge or on the back deck, but this time I decided to sit inside near the front windows. There were lights stringed across the restaurant, colorful decor on the walls, hobbit-like doors and gates leading into different rooms, and cute tables set with candles. Overall, when it came to the atmosphere, the Treehouse was mystical and dream-like.

How Was the Service?

We had a very nice waitress who catered to our every need. She made sure our water was refilled, was attentive, and prompt. Occasionally, other servers would come by and see if we needed anything which was much appreciated.

Overall, I would rate this restaurant a 5 out of 5. It was clean, the food was very good, the service was impeccable, and the atmosphere was inviting. Next time you’re looking for a new restaurant to try, check out the Treehouse.



Sunday Readings: For Everyone Who Asks, Receives; and the One Who Seeks, Finds

First Reading: 

Genesis 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out.”

While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The LORD replied,
“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham spoke up again:
“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”
But Abraham persisted, saying “What if only forty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty.”
Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”
Still Abraham went on,
“Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?”
The LORD answered, “I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty.”
But he still persisted:
“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?”
He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Second Reading: Colossians 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead
in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.


Luke 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?