Day 4 of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge

1. I am grateful for this babe in my belly. Every kick amazes me. Even the not so great parts of pregnancy are still wonderful to me. Sometimes I am completely dumbfounded when it hits me I am making a PERSON! He's half of me and half of Will which is incredible enough but he will be an individual with his own personality, hopes, and passions. It's crazy. I was ambivalent about having kids for much of my life but now I'm so excited to meet him and I couldn't be happier.

2. I'm grateful I have a job. It's not a dream job and not what I expected to be doing but it's a good job and I actually feel accomplished and appreciated. Plus I have insurance!

3. I'm grateful for my kitty cats! No matter how my day goes, coming up the stairs to my home makes me smile because there's always a furry face or two peering under the door's crack waiting for me. They're always there waiting for me with mews and purrs and big fuzzy hugs. Even Bob who used to hate me!

My meaningful event from the past 24 hours was Ms Salina going out of her way to give me a ride home from work last night because I was without an umbrella. It was a great reminder of how rich I am.

Day 3 of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge

I knew doing this first thing Monday morning would be rough...

1. I'm grateful for this challenge! Workday mornings are tough for me, but I already found myself trying to think of positive things instead of anticipating all the things that were going to suck once I got to work like I normally do.

2. I'm grateful for my mom wanting me to feel beautiful during my pregnancy and buying me way more maternity clothes than I can wear. Today, I'm wearing a dress she bought and washed for me before bringing it this weekend. It smells like her soap and makes me feel loved and comforted.

3. I'm grateful for Spotify! I listen to music every day and with Spotify, I don't have to plan ahead. I can listen as my mood demands.

The meaningful thing from the past 24 hours was my friend David stopping by for a visit yesterday afternoon. It was short but lots of laughs as usual. It's nice to have people go out of their way to show you that they care, even if he did remind me I'll probably have to wear a diaper after I deliver this baby.

*posted August 4th

Day 2 of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge

1. I am grateful for my husband. He makes me laugh every day and always encourages me. I know without a doubt that he'll always defend me and put our family first.

2. I am grateful for sleeping in. These lazy days will soon come to an end, so I mean to enjoy the hell out of them while I can!

3. I am grateful that my mom instilled a love of food in my brother and I. She made sure I knew how to cook and was open to trying everything. Therefore, I'm not a picky eater and have a wealth of possibilities at every meal.

The meaningful moment from the last 24 hours was my mom and stepdad coming to my niece's birthday party at my sister-in-law's. It means so much that our little family was folded into theirs and now we can all spend time together.

*posted August 3

30 Day Happiness Challenge: Day One

I decided to do this 30 Day Happiness Challenge.

I figured I should post it here, too, so it didn't get lost on Facebook over time.

I *just* realized this is supposed to be done first thing in the morning. I was planning to do it before bed, but as I'm not a morning person, maybe this will help my days start off a little better! Anyway...

1. I'm grateful for my in-laws. Half my family lives in Italy, the other half I don't know at all. Growing up, it was just my mom and my brother. Myhusband's family welcomed me with open arms and I really feel a part of the family. I'm happy that my son will grow up surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who will shower him with love.

2. I'm grateful for this day. There was a time I didn't even want to be alive anymore and I have worked hard since then to change my negative mind-set. Life is far from perfect or easy, but it's fucking beautiful!

3. I am grateful for my friends. I have some truly wonderful people in my life who are supportive and loving - some of whom I've never even met in real life! I always have someone to turn to for advice or to share a laugh. That is a gift and I treasure it.

Weddings are dumb

I'm getting married in June of this year. We just started planning because we like living dangerously.

This whole thing has been frustrating in ways that I have trouble articulating. Part of it is not being wealthy enough to do the things that would be cool to do. Part of it is worrying about not being wealthy enough to afford the things that you have to do. Part of it is that it's less than 6 months away!

And then there's the idea that there exists this whole world that I know nothing about. I'm supposed to know all about it because it's just bits and pieces of fairy tales force fed me since birth because I have a vagina. I thought that I had grown past all of that but I see that I haven't, so it's causing this conflict and I hate it.

I put on a dress and it made me cry. Do you understand that? I put on a dress, just a bunch of poofy fabric in soft colors and fucking tears came. "I actually feel like a bride!" Barf.

As much as I thought I hadn't embraced the princess fantasy, it was disturbingly clear that I had. A lot of girls have had their weddings planned since they were kids, down to the most specific details. I thought if I ever did get married, I'd have a dress with a train and that was pretty much the extent that I'd thought about it. But I realized that I cried in that dress because I felt like Cinderella. I loved her when I was a kid until I grew up and realized how bullshit Disney princesses were. That fantasy is buried deeper in me than I thought.

Now, I didn't grow up with good models of marriage and family. My mom's been divorced twice. She's married a third time to a super great man but that happened when I was an adult. The Kens that were married to my Barbies always died a tragic death shortly after the wedding. Usually Barbie was pregnant and he didn't always know!

I can't say I ever really envisioned myself in a wedding dress and being a wife wasn't ever a life goal. They always seemed very frivolous to me. People take out loans! Even my purposely cheap wedding is mind-bogglingly expensive. I don't like the idea of making my friends spend their time and hard earned money making my personal princess fantasies come true. I feel fine having a wedding but not having attendants and registering and showers and making my friends buy dresses I picked out. I've never stood up in a wedding but everyone I know who has, complained about it. Why would I subject people I care about to that? I was asked to be in one wedding and she wanted us to have dresses specially made. I couldn't do it because I couldn't afford it.  It's sad and I would be hurt if someone I cared about wanted to be there but couldn't afford to. I can't imagine asking my friends to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars because my fiance and I decided to add a legal contract to our love. That just seems like a dick move to me. If I had an absurd level of expendable cash, I would have an absurd level of wedding nonsense and no one would have to pay to make it happen for me. I was asked to be in a wedding where the bride wanted us to have our dresses made by some seamstress she'd picked out. I couldn't do it. I was in no financial situation at that time to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on clothing that I didn't even like just because this girl fantasized that's what would make her special day even specialer. Evidently it's a dick move not making my friends do that.

My friends are completely baffled because they don't understand my directions. People have argued with me when I say, "Don't bring presents, just come to our party, wear what you want, eat a bunch of food, drink a bunch of beer, and fucking dance." People have gotten upset at me for saying such a thing. That is unreasonable. THAT. Just come to my party and have fun is shitty. Instead, I should be forcing 8 of my friends to wear a dress in a color to which I have ascribed meaning, regardless whether said color or said dress suits them. Instead, I should hand them all lists of things that I want them to purchase for me that I spent hours picking out. Instead, I should demand choreography and rehearsals. Instead, knowing that they're single parents, or having trouble with their mortgage, or going through a divorce, or just lost their job, I'm supposed to ask them to spend money on outings and gifts and clothes and things. Simply because I decided to get married. That is reasonable.

My rebellious nature makes me want to say fuck all y'all and I told my fiance he could wear a tuxedo shirt and shorts if he wanted to. It's his day, too, after all. You would think I'd suggested he slaughter a litter of newborn kittens as I walked down the aisle the way people reacted when I told them. 

I told my brother, who is designing my invitations that I wanted them to say, "Please come party with us in honor of our nuptials. Wear what makes you feel your best, whatever that is. Just like us, our wedding will be non-traditional, silly and tacky. If you feel inclined to be judgmental about it, stay the fuck home."

I don't think he'll go for it.