Ooh, I forgot about this part.

Being off the Pill after so many years on it is turning out to be like…going through puberty all over again. Or something. Mostly I forgot what it really feels like to go through these monthly processes. (Procees? Isn’t there another way of saying that? I dunno. It’s Friday and my brain is in hyper-overload and doesn’t have any room left for correct spelling. May my college professors forgive me.)

What I am imagining my ovaries look like right now

I never really had terrible debilitating periods like many women have before I was on the pill. Not like it was a lot of fun, granted, but it could have been worse. Periods on the pill were a breeze. Light cramping about a week out, mild cramps on day one, and then I sailed through the rest of the time. TMI, I know. But whatever. You could have stopped reading a paragraph ago.

Now, though, I’ve been off the Pill for…a week? 2 weeks? I don’t even remember anymore, things have been so crazy. In any case, I know I was “supposed” to ovulate this week and right now my ovaries feel like huge angry balloons. To be honest I don’t remember what a pre-period felt like before I was on the pill, so I don’t remember if this was normal or not, or if it’s a side-effect of the Pill hormones leaving my body, or if it’s something that I should be concerned about. I’m trying not to get worked up about it because I know that I’ve also been incredibly stressed this last week and that is probably contributing now that my body is trying to regulate itself and doesn’t have the help of hormones. So, we’ll see. (Obviously, I know that I should go to the hospital for severe pain or other symptoms, but I’m trying not to jump the gun over something dumb right now.)

Did anyone else out there have similar concerns when you came off the pill? How long were you on it? Did everything normalize for you in a short while or did it take longer? I have no idea what to expect from my body right now especially since my stress level is at roughly a 12 out of 10 the last week or so, and that could really be throwing things out of whack. Better Half is convinced I’m pregnant (for God knows why) and normally I would be paranoid enough to believe him, but I have zero symptoms, so barring the absence of a period in the next 2 weeks, I’m not going to jump the gun there and buy a test. But, all that being said, that’s why I’m coming off the pill now so that my body has a chance to figure itself out by the time we are in Hawaii and start the TTC process in earnest.

In other non-icky-body related news, we are encroaching on 7 days out for the wedding. Holy shit! I think everything is about ready to go. I met with our new photographer yesterday and she seems really nice. We decided to do our formal photos before the ceremony even though I’d been set this whole time on waiting to see each other. I think it’ll just reduce the stress level on both of us, get those pre-jitters out of the way, and we’ll be able to get to the reception faster. Plus we’ll get the awesome “first look” photo op without anyone else there. I think it’ll be great. Also yesterday I dropped off my ring to be cleaned (I hate not having it!), picked up my garter and splurged on some pretty things to put in my hair. My mom and I met at the ceremony site to nail down some places and times for the big day and I also found something for Brody (our dog) to carry the rings in. Oh, and I found some pretty glass bowls on sale (50% off!) at Hobby Lobby for us to put the bubble wands in at the tables.

Oh yeah, and I did this!

Handfasting cords

Way easier than I thought they’d be! I’m really pleased with them. We asked our friend Kyle to tie them for us during the ceremony. Kyle introduced us, so we thought it was appropriate. He was there to see us through the beginning of our relationship, now he’ll see us through to the next part.

Anyway, I think all those little details are finally almost wrapped up. I’m just really eager for the big day to be here.  Can’t come soon enough! This weekend I am going to attempt to clean my house, what with relatives coming next week to stay with us. A very kind and gracious friend (actually, someone I used to work for) is giving me her iPhone 4 when her 5 arrives, which is supposed to be today, so I’m very stoked to be potentially getting a new toy this weekend. I will have plenty enough to keep me occupied until next week.

Till then!

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Santa Fe Renaissance Fair 2012

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of returning to Santa Fe for our yearly pilgrimage to the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair. We’ve been attending each year that it’s been in operation and it’s one of our favorite events all year. The fair is put on in conjunction with El Rancho de las Golondrinas (golondrinas.org) and was originally made to benefit an operation called Open Hands, which unfortunately shut its doors earlier this year. Still, the fair is all for helping the volunteers at the Rancho. Each year my folks and I have gone to be on their cast because they only have the help of volunteers to put on the fair. We have so much fun at this event every year. It’s made totally of heart. The site is on a living history museum with a working mill, 100 acres of farm land, a school house, and a host of other replica or renovated historical buildings all of which are still in operation. It’s an amazing little place and someday I’d love to see it when it’s not done up for the fair.

L-R My dad, me, my mom (AKA Le Duc du Gasgogne, Captain Zoe d’Arcachon, and le Duchesse du Gascogne–the French contingent on Queen Isabella’s court.)

This fair is unlike most ren faires in that it’s set in the Spanish court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The court is made up of a large multi-national contingent which is great to see. My parents play the [fictional] Duc et Duchesse du Gasgogne, and I appeared as Captain Zoe d’Arcachon, pirate and privateer for hire. In the past I have also appeared as a woodland faerie, Fritzie, and as a gypsy, whose character is currently still in development. While we were there I purchased a beautiful Italian-style gown and plan to appear at the next faire as the lady in waiting to the Duchesse. 

We were very pleased to see how much the fair had expanded this year. It grows larger and larger each year and this year the attendance was over 6,000, which is phenomenal. Its very first year we had just under 2,000 attendees for the weekend and even THAT was above and beyond our expectations. It’s just great to see this thing grow in popularity and see people return each year to enjoy. I already can’t wait to go back next year.

Le Duc du Gasgogne in repose on court, Photo by Daniel Hammond

Regarding Bridal Apathy

Okay. In hindsight, I feel bad about feeling apathetic about the wedding.

In the end, everything is just details. When the day comes, I’m going to be beyond excited. I’m already excited. Now that we’re within 2 weeks (or just about) I am getting a bubbly feeling in my stomach when I think about it. This is the day I’m going to share with my best friend, my Better Half, and it’s going to be perfect–even if things go wrong.

At our engagement shoot

I shouldn’t worry so much. I shouldn’t stress so much. It is going to be what it’s going to be and I just have to let it be.

Now that the little things like–how am I going to do my hair? are coming up, I’m feeling excited. I’m ready for this day to be here–we’ve been planning it for 14 months and I am ready to share it with my family and friends. Makes me wish the honeymoon was right away, but in the meantime we do get to stay at a swank resort hotel the night of the wedding and have massages and breakfast the next morning!

I still have a few things to do, like…make the handfasting cords. Yeep. (And decide who’s going to tie them….) Get my bridesmaid’s gifts. It would be so much easier to do some of the last minute things I need to do if I lived in civilization and had things readily available. Instead, it’s a struggle of “I need to go to Michaels. Do I have 3 hours today to go down the valley? No.” So I have to put things off until I have almost an entire day to spend. Luckily I have a day off next week plus the weekend to get some things done. I also only have to work Monday and Tuesday the week of the wedding, so that should be enough time.

Oh yeah, and I still have to write my vows. Whoops. They’ve been bouncing around in my head for weeks now and I just haven’t had time to write them down. Bad Steph. Luckily, the ceremony has been written, our readers have been chosen, and the program has been typed–now I just need to figure out how best to print them. I think that about wraps it up. I think.

15 more days!

 

Here Goes Nothing

Or everything, I guess.

Today, I come off my birth control. Holy moly. We’re still planning to wait until January to actively start trying, but I just think that the longer I am off my birth control, the longer I have to allow my body back into its normal rhythym (I’ve been on one form of BC or another for the better part of 8 years) and the longer I have to start recognizing when my body is doing what. I know these things are going to be really important for us when we start trying and hopefully it will make the process easier–and faster! I have my fingers crossed for an October baby…I would love love love an autumn baby. (Of course I would love love love a baby at any time…but October would just be wonderful.)

So in any case, I am hoping that this transition will be smooth. Like I said, I’ve been on the pill or had an IUD since I was 16 and I really have no idea what to expect from now on. Hopefully it will be nothing major. But I guess you just never know.

In the meantime, let’s just hope that there are no “accidents” between now and January….not like it would be a problem, but let’s face it–I’d really like to tie on a couple mai tais when we’re in Hawaii! 🙂

Till then!

Does Life Ever Slow Down?

Oh. My. Goodness.

Since when did life get so crazy? Has it always been like this? Or is it the fact that the wedding is 18 days away and therefore makes everything else just completely insane?

I feel pretty bad about neglecting to write even the smallest update over the last few weeks. It has been hard enough to find time to make it upstairs to my office to find my credit card bill, let alone sit down and form coherent blog!thoughts. So here’s a couple brief recaps.

My new job: I really love my new job at the bank. The hours are great, the stress is virtually nil, and at the end of the day I get to come home and cook dinner for Better Half. The people are nice and helpful and I actually came back from our recent mini vacation wanting to go back to work.

Mumford & Sons at Red Rocks: Have you seen the music video for M&S’s new song “I Will Wait?” Yep, I’m in that, somewhere. My brother and I got to go to Red Rocks and see them live which was a blast. I am so excited for the new album to come out.

My Manuscript and The Agent: Still nothing back from the agent who is perusing my manuscript. I’m inside the window now, which means I panic every time I open my email. Hoping it will be this week.

Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival: The crowning festival of the summer season here in Estes Park. I believe it’s the largest Scot/Irish Fest in the country. For an entire weekend hundreds (if not thousands) of Scots and Scot/Irish enthusiasts flock to Estes to celebrate. Which is awesome for me, because I happen to love a man in a kilt. I’m also Scottish on my mother’s side and will be by marriage, so it’s pretty cool to have a bit of my own cultural heritage right here in my town. There’s a massive parade with pipe bands and clans and dogs and dancing girls and it’s just a lot of fun. I even got Better Half to wear his kilt. At the end of the festival I was pretty sunburnt, but I did have a good time.

Image

Trip to NYC: Last weekend we got to go on a trip to New York. Unfortunately, the reason we went is because we had to go to Better Half’s mother’s funeral. She passed in March but several of his family members were in Europe during the spring and summer so this was the first opportunity the family had to all be there together. However, we did get to spend two nights in New York City, where I had never been despite living in Syracuse when I was a kid. That was pretty exciting. Better Half’s cousin took us out to the Seaport and we got to see the harbor and the Freedom Tower. We also got to scoot north to western Massachusetts and see some family of mine that I haven’t seen in years (and most of whom are not able to come to the wedding), so that was really nice. We spent the rest of the time in Wurtsboro which is near Monticello, and is where Better Half grew up. The funeral was there and afterward we had a get together with all his family (most of whom are also not coming to the wedding) so it was nice to be able to meet his other side of the family. It’s really beautiful country up there and sometimes I miss it, but I was definitely eager to get back to my mountains. The pace of the city is crazy! Give me my mountain quiet any day.

The wedding: Oh, right. The wedding. Is there a term for the bride who is the opposite of the bridezilla? Apathetic Bride? Not quite the same ring, is it. Anyway, I am definitely feeling the wedding stress. At this point I’m willing to just crawl under a rock until the day comes because it seems like every day there is something else that needs to be fixed or changed or figured out. A couple of weeks ago we received the estimate for the cost of the reception rentals (tent, tables, chairs, the lot) and it along with the food doubled our budget. My parents are gracefully paying for this thing and I was not willing to let them do that, so back to the drawing board it was. We had planned to have the reception on the ranch right after the ceremony, thinking it would save money by not having to rent a venue, but we were dead wrong. So we eventually found a place that happens to be right down the road from the ceremony site that is way cheaper. On top of all that I feel like there’s a huge laundry list of things that still need to be done–probably bigger in my head I know–but in the end I’m just ready for this day to be here and have it over with. A lot of times I think it might have been easier to just elope or go to the courthouse. I love Better Half and I know that nothing is going to change once we get married so there’s no real sense in being this stressed out about a single day in our lives. But, ah well. I know it will be great once it gets here. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited yet and I don’t actually feel excited. I just hope it’ll hit soon because I want to be excited.

In any case, that’s about it for now. This weekend I’m going to Santa Fe for a rensaissance festival, which I’m really stoked for. I’ve missed the last 2 years of this wonderful event so I’m really glad my schedule worked out for it this year. It’ll be nice to have a chance to blow off some wedding steam for the weekend.

Till then!