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Archive for October, 2022

The Air Out There

We are two days away from Halloween – and I just can’t get in the mood.

Every year I look forward to October (my favorite month!) and to Fall and to Halloween. But this year, I’m just not feeling any of it.

I have been extremely sleep deprived lately; having another onset of insomnia episodes. I’ll fall asleep fairly easily, most of the time, but waking up as early as 1am, without the ability to get back to sleep. My mind reels, and then I get angry, and I lay there. Wide Awake, waiting to get up and start my damn day. And with the sleep deprivation comes emotional roller coasters. It’s terrible. I don’t feel like myself a lot of the time; and the last few days I’ve been going through a depression that 100% got the best of me yesterday. I cried off and on for most of the day, to the point I was sobbing in a restaurant (which resulted in our server asking twice if she could give me a hug), sobbing in my car in the parking lot of a grocery store, sobbing in my bathtub, and sobbing in my husband’s arms. On top of sobbing at work and having minor meltdowns throughout the day. Last night, however, I had a few glasses of wine with a girlfriend after work, and then taking a few sleeping pills before bed. I slept about 10 hours, with the exception of a 5am wide awake, staring at walls session, before drifting back off. My body and mind needed the recoup.

That’s who I’ve been lately. That’s not who I am normally. And it’s affecting my outlook on everything, including my love and excitement of Halloween.

We have also been experiencing an Indian Summer of sorts ’round these parts, with warm weather and humidity, and it hasn’t felt too much like autumn weather this month. With the exception of today. This morning we woke to frosty lawns and air so cold we could see our breath. And of course, the sunshine and changing colors of trees and falling leaves have all left us with the impression of a regular October, for the most part, it’s felt like an extension of summer, complete with mosquitos.

I haven’t even participated in any spooky movies for October. Although, we did watch the new Halloween a few days ago and it sucked terribly. Honestly, whose idea was that? I was rooting for Michael Myers this time.

But yesterday. Let me tell you about yesterday morning. When I left my gym shortly after 7 am, I came outside to darkness, as the sun struggled to come up, and as I walked to my car, I took a deep, long inhale and it smelled like Christmas! The air was crispy, but not cold, and I could taste cool December and cloves and chimney smoke. And I am so entirely in the mood for Christmas. I cannot wait to start watching Hallmark movies and decorating and sharing glasses of spiced wine while sugar cookie candles burn. Maybe Christmas is what I need to bring me out of this funk that I feel I have fallen so deep into. I crave the noise of carols playing while we roam streets, and the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, and the crowds of people who walk by smiling while struggling to balance their bags of presents and food.

I cannot wait to be in it. To be in the air of Christmas and the full fledge of holidays. I am not looking forward to cold weather and wearing boots (and pants!) and having cold toes all the time. But I am eager to become overjoyed with the abundance of love and gratefulness that oncoming Christmas makes me feel.

The air out there changes me. And I am desperate to breathe it in.

My Covid Fail Wedding

Tomorrow is my first Anniversary. 

And I thought, what better time than now to tell you about my long-awaited, Covid-fail wedding.

We got engaged three years ago in September.  It was a beautiful and completely unexpected proposal for me. 

It was the last night of summer (before kids went back to school) and Hubs and I were on vacation.  In the early evening, we went to the beach and walked the sand in the earliness of the sunset.  We were walking and talking and hugging, when, out-of-nowhere, he whipped out a tiny box and asked me to marry him.  I promise there was more to it, but it’s our little story and I’m not ready to share it all here yet.

I started planning the wedding almost immediately.  I picked out my wedding dress a few weeks after our engagement.  It was the second dress I tried on. I kept going back and forth between the first and second dress (the first one had pockets!), but the second dress won.  In fact, when I tried it on the first, second, and third time, the entire wedding store gasped and stopped and stared.  And I fully believe I made the right choice.  My dress is a designer, and the only one sold in Canada.  It was basically a one-of-a-kind.  And it suited me to a T.

I still love this dress…..
…but the world knows I love shit that glitters!

Hubs and I had chosen May 2, 2020 as our date.  I had always dreamed of a May wedding.  Right in the smack-dab of Spring.  Neither of us wanted a summer wedding…too hot.  And the Fall has too much going on (my Birthday, for starters, and we all know how I feel about my Birthday!).  It’s also the season of my parents’ anniversary, my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary, my SIL’s birthday, my nephew’s birthday, my aunt’s birthday, Thanksgiving (here in Canada), and, of course, Halloween.  So, a May wedding was set.

My friend Kim was also planning her wedding at the same time.  In fact, we got engaged on her birthday.  Soon after, she got engaged and we decided to plan our weddings together.  This was her second wedding, but we were flipping ideas off each other.  We had already been spending Wednesday evenings together since August, as we were having date-night to watch the 90210 reboot.  So, we decided to extend the date.  She would come over early and we would start scrapbooking our wedding ideas.  We were printing off everything we loved that we’d pinned on Pinterest, and gluing them in our books while we sipped wine, and Kim was pestered by the cat, before watching our show….while Kim was still being pestered by the cat.

The scrapbooks came in handy when we met with vendors, or needed visuals.  I still have mine and will likely keep it forever because I’m basically a hoarder.

The next thing on my list, and part of my dream wedding, was booking a venue.  I have always wanted a church wedding, and to have my reception at the Ballroom at the Cornwallis Inn in our town.  The Cornwallis Inn is a castle-like creation that was a built a century ago as a hotel.  Eventually, it was turned into apartments, with the lower levels hosting businesses.  But the Ballroom has remained just that.  And it’s remained the dream for little girls like me, to have their wedding in that glorious room.

So, a few weeks after our engagement, we went to check out the room.  This is the first of things that could go wrong with my wedding.  The room was being renovated.  It was half-torn apart, with no kitchen.  And the owners could not guarantee when the renovations would be finished.  Maybe by May, maybe not.  The room was very expensive, and we could only have it for one day – from 10 am to 1am the day of the wedding.  That means, all the decorating and clean up would have to be done in that time frame.  If we wanted to get in the day before or the day after, we would have to pay the entire day’s fee again.  But, I had my dream, and so we booked it.  

Then we tried to make arrangements to book a kitchen.  So, let me mention that not only was the ballroom kitchen not available, the manager would also not allow our caterers to come in and use it.  We were told we could bring in the cake, but that was it.  Another kitchen would have to be used.  This is not ideal for anyone, but we attempted to figure it out.

My mom, who is a Saint, by the way, was my co-planner.  In fact, she did most of the planning. She helped me book all the vendors (with the exception of the DJ).  We went to see decorators and photographers, and talked to caterers.  She did everything for me and she deserves a damn medal.

Eventually, with the shit-show booking the ballroom, we decided to book a different venue.  I was heartbroken that my ballroom dream was being shattered.  But, without a kitchen and without a guarantee that renovations would be complete, I had to make the decision.  When we met with the decorator, I had taken my trusty scrapbook with me and showed her my ideas.  My statement was “I want people to walk into this room and believe they’re in a ballroom.”  And she did just that. 

We got everything else booked by early January.  In early February, I changed jobs. Three weeks later, Covid hit.  And we were sent into lockdown.  And, my May wedding was cancelled.  For the first time.

My work had us split into teams and I had to work only two days a week.  Some weeks I didn’t work at all.  So, in that time, I was supposed to be packing up my home (in preparation to move in with Hubs).  But I had a difficult time with the Covid isolation.   I had not seen my parents or my nephews or my friends, my wedding was cancelled, I wasn’t working, and I did not fare well with being that isolated.  I was walking and working out a lot.  Thank goodness for Amy (Whoreface) because she was working out with me by Zoom almost every day.  In fact, I was doing a lot of free bootcamp workouts daily so that I could have some interaction with people.  

I wallowed in my wedding cancellation pity.  But, we had picked another date in September and continued to prepare.  I did NOT want a September wedding.  Not at all.  But, we picked one anyway.  By the end of June, the isolation had lifted and I had gone back to work full time.  Thank goodness.  Things were getting back on track, and I was looking forward to the September date.  In August, I moved in with Hubs.  A short time later, our September wedding was cancelled due to the rise in Covid numbers and the restrictions.

I should also mention that our vendors were great, with the exception of the decorator.  Our decorator booked 2021 and 2022 weddings before her initial 2020 weddings were rescheduled.  She had a huge deposit from us (the biggest, actually) and refused to work with us to rebook our wedding fairly.  Therefore, our new wedding date(s) selections were minimal because she was a money-hungry cow! (I said it, and I stand by it.)   

So, we moved on to booking a third date…..May 15, 2021.  This actually turned out to be a great date, and I was getting my May wedding again.  However, restrictions were still tough and people were not permitted to travel.  One of my bridesmaids was my cousin Anne, who lives in British Columbia.  She and her husband had booked their flights as soon as I had asked her to be in the wedding, right after our engagement.  We also had more family from BC coming, as well as Hubs’ sister in Ontario, friends from New Brunswick, and even from Cape Breton, at the far end of Nova Scotia.  Covid restrictions was not permitting people to travel outside their communities.  We also had about 160 people on our guest list, and restrictions at times allowed for 5, then 10, then 50.  Who do we nix?  It was devastating.

Things were looking good though – well better, in the beginning of 2021.  Plans were coming along.  I popped into my parents’ house to try on my dress.  Something I had not done in about six months.  Something I should have been doing all the time because my dress DID NOT FIT.  Remember how I said it fit me to a T.  Well, initially, it’s as if that dress was designed specifically for me.  But, all the working out had not helped me because we could not get the dress done up in the back.  FML!  After I cried, I jumped on the horn with the wedding shop and talked to the seamstress, who, remembered me and the dress because it was so beautiful and one of a kind.  We made an appointment for me to get my big butt down there and get started on alterations. It had to be let out in the side just a tiny bit, but it still had to be altered.  Fail.

In April I actually got to have a wedding shower.  Spots were limited though.  We had to book a hall for this, which allowed for 20 people.  I was having a great time at my shower, when a press conference began and stated restrictions were going up again and my wedding was not going to happen.  For a third time.  Literally, my wedding was being cancelled again – in the middle of my wedding shower.  What could I do but laugh through the tears?

During the late summer months, word got out that restrictions would be lifted again in early Fall, and so a new date was settled on …October 2.  The day before my birthday!  I did not want an October wedding.  But I really did not want to wait another 8 or 9 months.  So, October 2 it was.  In addition to that, On October 5 a new vaccine mandate was coming out.  If you were not vaccinated and could not provide proof (aka your vaccine passport) you would not be permitted to be in public places, and would potentially lose your job, and could not gather.  We wanted to ensure our wedding was inclusive, although we all had our vaccines.

At the end of August, I had another shower.  This time, my aunt hosted it in the City so that my friends and family from that area could attend.  It was perfect and I was so happy that I got to share this with them, as the first go did not allow for the travel.  That night, however, my uncle passed away unexpectedly, and it was, and still is, devastating for our family.  I don’t think any of us have recovered, and likely never will.  We did pay a lovely tribute to him, and other dearly departed loved ones (including my Winston) at the wedding and I am so glad we did.  It would not have been right to not include them in our day.

In September, as we scampered around to finalize plans and make sure everything was underway, talk of new restrictions was always on our minds.  But, things were coming along.  Until a shit show happened with our venue and the booze certificate.  I had been in ongoing communications with the liquor licensing lady (that’s her official title, by the way), and at one point, a few weeks before the wedding, she said to me “You know you can only have 20 people at your wedding, right?”  FAWWWWWKKK NO!!  I did not know that!  Are you kidding me?  We have 130 people (30 had declined) on our guest list!

That afternoon I ended up at the Emergency Room with severe chest pains and palpitations.  I was hooked up immediately to an EKG.  My friend, who works at the venue, contacted me and got it worked out with the LLL that the certificate would be put in the Venue name – allowing for our full wedding guest roster, and they would take responsibility for it.  Part two of this ended up as a fail because no one noticed, until the wedding reception, that the certificate allowed for booze from 8pm, instead of 5 or 6 pm as we had initially requested.  We had to beg the booze handlers to open the bar early.  

Hubs and I had also completely forgot to get rings.  So two weeks before the ceremony we were scrambling once again.  However, the first ring I tried on was the ring we got.  It matches my engagement ring perfectly.  Hubs’ ring needed to be fitted for him, which normally takes several weeks, but the jeweler worked some magic and had it ready in less than a week.  Once again…Oops.

I had also been working on getting someone to do my makeup.  I had tons of ideas, but the look I had wanted was very distinct and glamorous.  I booked an appointment with a makeup artist, showed her my ideas, paid her a lot of money for a trial, booked my wedding party, but came out looking like another person – a person with a no-makeup on look.  I did not look like myself. I looked plain and weird and I was pissed off. 

Glam makeup I’d asked for…..

What I got. Who is this person?

I cancelled all the appointments, and had to find someone else to my makeup.  The new artist was great…she still didn’t accomplish quite the look I was going for, but she came close…ish.

I’m always staring in the sun….always sqinting

The Tuesday before the wedding, I had called in the morning the suit company to make arrangements for the men to pick up their gear.  Their records did not reflect our October 2 wedding.  Somehow, they had our wedding slated for the following March.  MARCH!  March was never a date we had even considered.  Also, Our wedding was four days away!  I almost threw up.  I panicked.  I cried.  I think I died once or twice.  The manager called me back and said he was on it…he would pull shit together to ensure we had our suits.  Whew.

A few days before the wedding, my cousins and fam arrived from BC.  I was elated.  Anne is just what I needed to calm and keep me laughing and not stressing.

Wednesday and Thursday the suit manager called me again several times to ensure things were coming and the suits would be ready.  

Friday morning and early afternoon, as we decorated and taken care of the last few details, I’d been attempting to get in contact about the suits.  After lunch, the company stopped answering my calls.  Our rehearsal was set for 5pm.  We had not heard anything for hours and I was panicked.  We had less than 24 hours before the wedding and we had no suits!  

As soon as we walked into the church for the rehearsal, I was greeted by our minister, a cool dude around our age, who is hip and funky and we love him.  When he asked me how I was doing, I burst into uncontrollable sobs.  It was now after 5pm and we had no suits.  He took me into a separate room and calmed me down and stopped the flow of tears.  

One of my Maids of Honour, Angie arrived shortly after with her daughter, who was our flower girl.  I had initially bought Haley a dress for the wedding, but then found the perfect one to match.  I gave the first dress to Angie a while earlier and asked her to dress Haley in it for the rehearsal.  When Angie arrived at the church, Haley was wearing a different dress.  She then told me her dog had gotten the dress and ripped it to shreds.  * Sigh *  Sounds about right.

As we were preparing to leave the church after the rehearsal, and getting ready to head to dinner, a few cars pull into the church….guys arriving with the suits!  HALLELUJAH!

The Groom and his men grabbed their suits and dispersed to try them on.  Most of them worked out well…except for my dad’s suit.  It didn’t match and he was missing pieces.

Here is the email I sent to the Suit Company

What an epic fail!  Our wedding was scheduled for October 2.  Our groom and groomsmen had been sized and resized.  We drove an hour and a half each way both times to Moore’s.  We had emails and phone calls and in-person dealings with the store reps.  Last week, our suits were not ready when they were scheduled to be picked up and we found out, just 3 days before our wedding, that the suits were entered for a date the following year (a date not even close to our date).  Our suits did not arrive until 6:30 pm the night before our wedding, after our rehearsal, causing a lot of stress and turmoil.  The store stopped answering our calls that same morning because they had no answers for us.  Once the suits were delivered to us – at the church! – the bride’s father’s colors did not match and his shoes were too small.  The only redeeming factor from this crapshow was Michael the (new) manager (a lovely person who did everything he could to help the situation which included heavily discounting and having the suits delivered).  This was not a favorable memory.  No bride should be bawling at her rehearsal with chest pains because of this kind of mismanagement.  Terrible.  This was supposed to be a happily memorable occasion!  Michael gets gold stars for his efforts, but the rest of the service team gets massive fails!! Awful!”

 We moved on from the church to the dinner, and from there we had a wonderful time.  I stayed at my parents’ house that night with my cousins and they had me in stitches laughing, as always.  As we were getting ready for bed, and I was washing my face, I got the skin underneath my eye caught in the facecloth and pinched it.  I, of course, ended up with a black eye for my wedding.  Because that’s just part of who I am.  I mean, honestly, would anyone expect anything less?

Not to worry, I had a glam pair of Sunnies that I bought the day I got engaged, which I hoarded til the wedding day.

I woke up the next morning – the morning of my wedding – and sent a mayday text to my makeup artist.  She worked some magic that afternoon and most of the damage was hidden.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch…mostly.  Right before I was to walk down the aisle, I had a panic moment.  I started to cry, but thankfully Anne is Anne and started telling me fart jokes and my moment passed.  

Annie-Lou…My knight in shining armour and fart jokes

I walked down the aisle with my dad to the standard Wedding March, until part way thru where I had instructed my pianist to, as a surprise to everyone, switch over to Walking on Sunshine.  I rocked out for a minute, while my dad looked at me like I was simple, and then resumed to the Wedding March.

Shortly after the ceremony started, my (very expensive) veil broke and fell to the ground.  I turned to my guests and said “Of course that would happen!  Of course it would!” 

But aside from that little glitch, the rest of the day was absolutely perfect.  With the exception of the booze time, and the catering staff being cows and made me (with the help of my bridesmaids) carry my own cake from the kitchen to the far end of the room.

We danced til the end of time.  We mingled, we had some wine, and we loved every single person there.  When the night was over, and we said goodbye to our guests, we made our way to our suite.  As soon as we got in our car, I told Hubs I needed a drink.  I was so hot and thirsty.  He was hungry, so we made a 1 am dash to the McDonald’s drive thru.  When we pulled up to the window, the girl looked as us and asked if we just got married.   I said yes, that we’d just left the reception.  She said “Oh my God!”, slammed the drive thru window, and appeared a minute later asking if we wanted ice cream.  OKAY!!

We got to the hotel, stuffed our faces, and hubs basically passed out shortly after.  I had makeup to take off, hair to take out, a dress that I did not want to get out of, and my feet hurt.  I was wound up, and it was also, by this time, my birthday.  I sat on the edge of the bathtub, until after 4 am, soaking my feet and scrolling my phone and reliving the day.

A day that, in spite of all the fails and epic disasters, was well worth the wait.

Did I mention that tomorrow is my first anniversary? Hubs and I had planned to be away for this date to celebrate. Last month we booked the same hotel that we stayed in for our honeymoon and we were looking forward to our vacation. Earlier this week, he tested positive for Covid, and we had to cancel. Again, would I expect anything less?

We have postponed for later in the month, so it will happen. But, I mean, HONESTLY!!