I’m Not Normal

“You’re not normal.”

“I know.”

“That’s why you love me.”

“It really is.”

I’m so lucky, you guys, to have someone like Brian who not only loves how weird and me I am, but encourages me to let my freak flag fly.

adorable engagement photo with board games and a picnic

Photo credit: Being Joy Photography

I wasn’t always this sparkly, shiny ray of positivity that make my coworkers think I’m in my early to mid twenties (bless their wonderful hearts-and not in a sarcastic way). But something about Brian (who is not sparkly or shiny, by the way) makes me want to be better. Makes me see the world from another angle. It gives me hope. It puts my faith in humans. It helps me believe in magic when most would say that magic isn’t possible.

My dad used to say to me, “Christine, you’re really book smart, but sometimes your common sense could use a little help from your brain.” I never took offense at this, because, let’s be honest, I’m a little bit flighty. I walk into no parking signs when I’m too busy looking at my phone. I drive my car into the middle of a snow bank. It took me three months to realize I had gotten my period. But you have to be flighty if you’re ever going to fly. Too much logic can kill imagination. And I happen to love my imagination. My little world, where skies are pink and I’m a cool girl. Where I create a snow beach in my parents’ front yard. Or where I cry at Disney World because I’m so happy and overwhelmed with memories that I can’t think straight.

Brian was baffled when I told him he was partially to blame for my rose colored glasses. “But I’m not that happy or positive.”

He doesn’t realize it’s not his demeanor that emboldens me to dream big and picture all the wonderful magical things I can do. It’s how he sees me. It’s how he tells me that I can do all these amazing things. He believes in me. He thinks I’m adorable. He encourages me, and he inspires me. And he’s everything I ever wanted or needed in a partner.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Planning a Wedding is Hard Work

It’s been a little over two months since Brian and I got engaged.  We (and by we, let’s be honest here, I mostly mean me) are deep in the throws of the planning.

Since Brian has been telling me we would get married this year since last January  (why yes, he did wait until December to pop the question), I knew we didn’t have a lot of time to waste. So we jumped right in.

It’s gone a little something like this:

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Read wedding planning book. I did this last summer, before Brian proposed, when my wedding guru friend Alessandra hooked me up with her amazingly helpful and real book.


Leave book on bedside table, let boyfriend wake up next to you reading book, and make notes in the margins when you know he’s looking.

*Results may vary, engagement not guaranteed by buying or reading this book.

Get engaged. Sometimes,  this will happen before the wedding book reading. You do you, Boo.

Drink champagne.

Ask mom to stop blabbing to the world before you get a chance to tell some of your besties before they hear about it on Facebook.

Tell the Internet.

Drink champagne.

Start receiving wedding advice from anyone and everyone. Choose wisely which advice you listen to and which advice goes in one ear and out the other. So far the best advice has come from my boss: “Don’t let the details stress you out. Don’t get caught up in Pinterest.”

The worst advice comes from everyone else (and let’s be honest here,  I’ve offered this up to a lot of people, myself, and even try to convince Brian it’s true, but it’s likely a do as I say, not as I do situation): “Don’t worry about what other people think. It’s your wedding. You’re paying for it. Do what you want.” Yeah. Right. You know how many people have already told me how irritating they find a wedding without cake? Fucking Pavlovian responses. Wedding bells = cake. Even when the bride and groom don’t particularly love cake.

Drink champagne.

Re-read wedding planning book. Alessandra encourages a do what you want mentality but she also understands that it’s not always possible and to focus more on the not stressing out part. She’s realistic about that shit.

Make future husband read the groom chapter of wedding book.

Binge watch Gilmore Girls.

Drink champagne.

Start making actual decisions.

Like the where: I started emailing venues for pricing, capacity, and other details. I plugged it all into a fancy spreadsheet I created and mathed the shit out of the prices. I narrowed it down to three places, found out availability for the general season we wanted, visited the venues and scoped out details, and ultimately made our decision.

And the photographer: This was a factor in our location as well. The photographer we (I) wanted was available on certain dates, which narrowed our venue options further.

And the DJ: We were so close to skipping this and just making a playlist, but decided the cost was worth it for someone who could actually read the crowd and manage the tunes to keep the kind of atmosphere we want.

Drink champagne.

And now here we are. Exactly 7 months from our wedding. We’re not completely on track with the timetable mapped out in the book, but it’s more of a guide than a rulebook, which is what we needed. With a lot more to do, I’m still not stressed. I’m excited. And in the grand scheme of all the things, the ONLY thing that matters at the end of the day? Is that Brian and I are pledging to spend the rest of our lives together.

So, fine. Let them eat cake.

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What was it like when you planned your wedding? If you’re not married yet, what are you most excited/worried about? What was the best wedding you’ve been to like? The worst?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Worth the Wait: The End of an Era

It’s been five months since I last wrote about The Handsome Grown Up that you came to know and love this spring. If you don’t feel like reading through the whole story just yet (you will soon, if you haven’t already), we met on this very day many years ago. We flirted, we dated, I worked like hell to fuck it all up, and yet he still stuck around. When last I spoke of The Grown Up, he was driving away from my house as I drunk cried myself to sleep. Make no mistake – I was the one being an idiot. It was the drunkest I ever got in the presence of The Grown Up…and we dated for a long-ass time. He called the next night, after I panicked like a teenage girl for about 12 hours, and all was fine (except for the lost wallet from my fall at the bar).

I’m going to fast-forward a little bit though because dating life is pretty much, you know, normalcy, and I can’t imagine you wanting to sit through all the ins and outs of a relationship from yesteryear…and quite frankly, it’s time we brought this story to an end.

The Grown Up and I dated solidly for many years. We met each other’s families. We traveled a bit. We fell madly in love. He made me laugh more than anyone on the planet, and I was surprised how much time I could spend with him and not want to kill him. After that first date, I never went home, much to the chagrin of his incredibly understanding roommate. He always told me, “Home is where your cheese is” because after our first weekend together, he bought me a bag full of fancy cheese. But he was wrong. Home was where he was. He was everything.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

He is everything.

He is the first page of my book and the last. He captured my heart and never once dropped it. He encourages me to follow every last one of my dreams, no matter how ridiculous. He pushes me to be my better self. He IS my better half, and without him, I wouldn’t be where I am.

So when he asked me to be his bride, the only answer I had for him was, “Yes!”

When he asked me to be his bride...I said yes.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tonight and the Rest of My Life

As our date was coming to a close, I walked a little closer to The Grown Up, briefly grazing his hand with mine. We made our way from the pub to the car, and I knew I was a little tipsy, but far from drunk. I was giggly. Honestly, I was probably fucking adorable. He HAD to be falling in love with me. How could he not?

Tonight and the rest of my life

The car ride home was the complete opposite of the car ride to the restaurant. We chatted the entire time. I’m pretty sure I did most of the talking, but it seemed so easy…and he appeared to appreciate my ridiculous quirks. He laughed at my bad jokes and cracked a few of his own that I’m sure most people would cringe at. It was the most natural thing in the entire world.

When he pulled into my parents’ driveway around 11:30 pm, I wasn’t ready to get out of the car. I wasn’t ready for this night to end. So I kept talking. And talking. And talking some more.

The Grown Up reached up to my neck and started gently running his fingers through my hair. I lost all control of my heart rate and started thinking, is he going to kiss me?

We kept talking. I moved a bit closer to make kissing me easier. He’s not going to kiss me, is he? Why isn’t he kissing me?

And then he blurted out something that seems so peculiar, and yet completely fitting.

“I’m not good with people,” he confessed. He’s definitely not going to kiss me. What the fuck? He keeps touching me as if he likes me…you know what? Balls out, Chrissy. Balls out.

I was thrown back for just a second before I responded, “That’s okay. Just be good with me.” And then I kissed him. And it was magical. We kept kissing forever. Was it five minutes? An hour? I couldn’t tell you. But do you remember those days? The dating and kissing, and JUST kissing for hours? I loved that. I needed that.

Kissed Him

At some point, we resumed talking, with interspersed kissing. The Grown Up realized how late it was, and asked if I wanted to come home with him. Nevermind we had driven from a bar nearish his house back to my house which was in the opposite direction. Nevermind it was our first date. Nevermind he had to work the next morning. Nevermind every last bit of reason. Because wherever he was going, I was going too.

I confirmed that I would go, but I would NOT be banging him that night. It was just to sleep. And he agreed. I’d like to tell you it’s because I wasn’t that kind of girl. But really, it’s because I didn’t want to be that kind of girl. Not with him. There was something about him. I liked him. A lot. More than one should in the midst of a first date. But that didn’t matter because he liked me too. Well…at least he liked me at 1 o’clock in the morning when I was kissing him with fervent adoration…One could only hope that the feeling would continue through to morning, but only time would tell.

I ran into my house, grabbed a toothbrush and a few other essentials, and returned to the car with eager anticipation. I was going to see where this Grown Up lived. I was going to spend the night snuggled next to him. I was going to kiss him until I fell asleep. And I did all of those things. It was quite lovely. His room was small and just a little messy. But he didn’t share his room with anyone like a previous boyfriend. And he didn’t live with his grandparents like another guy I had dated. He was…a motherfucking grown up. We kissed some more and eventually fell asleep. I don’t entirely know how much sleep I got, but I slept in his arms the whole night…and for once, didn’t hate it. Who WAS this guy?

Someone pinch me, I think I fell in love that night. Of course, with my track record, I couldn’t help but think…how long would it last?

Think back to the last best first date you’ve had…how did it end? Did you scandalously spend the night or chastely make your way home? What are your thoughts on copious amounts of kissing? What’s the most magical kissing experience you’ve had in your adult life?

Read the next episode of The Handsome Grown Up, How to Lose a Guy is 6 Steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!