Thursday, March 31, 2005

Marriage Try-Outs

Ok, so I know it’s the cool thing these days to get pre-marital counseling. At least that’s what every single solitary person in my life (as well as the cashier at Publix) is telling me. “Have you started pre-counseling yet????”, like it’s an underlying public fear that Ryan and I are getting married soley based on his cuteness. (…and he IS so cute!) I’ve asked several of these concerned friends what exactly makes pre-marital counseling so darn non-negotiable. (Note: I’m not against pre-marital counseling, I’m actually for it. I just want to know why everyone gets thrown into a sudden panic about it, like not doing it would cause fire to rain down from heaven and our first child to be a delinquent by age 7.) They all tell me the same thing – it’s to open the lines of communication. People, I was born to communicate. I’ve made Ryan talk about his fears, his finances, his expectations, his past relationships and his favorite brand of macaroni and cheese. And it goes without saying that I’ve been babbling my issues to him since minute one. We’ve covered all the major issues as well as the minor ones. As well as some issues that I made up just so we could keep talking. To me, we’ve been pre-marital counseling each other since our first date when we talked for hours and hours and never got bored. But, getting pre-marital counseling would help our parents and Bell from Publix sleep better at night – so off we go.
Most couples choose to get their pre-wedding wisdom from the pastor who is going to marry them. Sorry…I’m not going to talk about sex with Ryan…WITH MY DAD. Therefore, we needed to find someone else suitable to discuss the “marriage bed” and other such you-have-to-talk-about-this-before-you-get-married-or-else topics. I emailed my pastor, who is cool and 30, to get advice about it. He directed us to Pastor Tom, the staff member that handles the counseling department. Upon hearing this I thought “WHO? Pastor TOM? ANNOYING TOM? Pastor Tom who is loud and tells lame jokes and talks over you so that all you can get out is ‘but I’ and ‘you mean’ or ‘yes but’ and did I mention he’s annoying?” I immediately decided this would not do. However, Ryan Friend-of-All-Nicest-Guy-In-the-World thought it would do us good and set up an appointment.
Did I mention that Annoying Tom is annoying?
Did I mention that Annoying Tom drives me crazy?
Did I mention that Annoying Tom’s wife is a sex therapist?
Did I mention that Annoying Tom and his family were on DR.PHIL a few weeks ago on an episode entitled “weird families”? Tom’s family made it onto the show because they are SO OPEN ABOUT SEX.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Two Freckles

Sometimes I think I could go without food or water - as long as I could look at Ryan Illingworth's face.

A Good Blend

We had (what might become an annual) Easter dinner together this year. And by we, I mean the Harris family and the Illingworth family. The Tarter family was invited, but didn’t come because they all had the flu. I was no so fortunate. My mom, Betty, organized this hoorah so that everyone could hang out. Get to know each other better. Blend. She even threatened to make nametags for everyone. All I could envision was Easter egg shaped nametags with cute nicknames for everyone. Small talk and “you’ll have to give me that recipe” nonsense. It made me anxious. Nervous. Sweaty. And no one wants to attend an Easter Blending Celebration with sweaty pits.
My only job for the dinner was to get ice and drinks, namely sweet tea. Ryan and I stopped at Kroger on our way and NO TEA. We went up and down every aisle. Searched every nook. Every cranny. THERE COULD BE NO BLENDING WITHOUT SWEET TEA. I started to panic, loudly. Ryan thought my body had been overtaken by an alien from Planet Overreact. In fact, that’s what he said. “There’s no need to overreact”. Just because I was shouting WHERE’S THE SWEET TEA and breaking out in hives in aisle 3, doesn’t mean I was overreacting. Maybe he didn’t know what a stress the Easter Blend was for me. Could be that it was stressful for him too, but it’s hard to say since his range of emotion tends to shift wildly from “I can’t tell if he’s asleep or not” to “I think he might have stopped breathing”.
And nothing too terrible happened. Betty only made five or six comments that made my cheeks burn. Betty and Dawn (Ryan's mother) only talked secretively long enough to give me gas – just short of talking long enough to give me a full blown ulcer. My dad only wore my cousin Marsha’s pink Easter bonnet for two minutes. Maybe three. All in all, it was a good blend.

Us Weekly

Sometimes I just want to read a trashy gossip magazine and go to bed. Is that so wrong?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Incessant Ache

My head hurts...
It's Tuesday afternoon and my head has been hurting since Friday morning. It hurts.
Take some medicine, you say. I have. It doesn't work.
Go to the doctor, you say. I have. It doesn't work.
Drink some water, you say. I am. And what is it with you people and water. Can't we all just drink Diet Coke and get along?
Get some rest, you say. I try. It hurts to lay my head on the pillow.
Think happy thoughts, you say. Aren't you listening? It hurts to BLINK.
Get some exersize, you say. Are you kidding me? I just said that IT HURTS TO BLINK. Why would I want to do anything more strenuous than that?
Rub your index finger and thumb from one hand in between your index finger and thumb on your other hand - HARD. Well that's just ridiculous. (and I tried it, and it doesn't work)
Maybe you should eat, you say. Hey, any excuse to eat and I'm there. I just ate 26 pretzels and now I have a headache and I feel bloated (what with all the water and the pretzels).
Maybe it's allergies, you say. I'm starting to think that "allergies" is a made-up word used by the medical community to control our minds. I also believe it's an excuse that they use when they just don't know what's wrong with you. "Maybe it's allergies."
My head hurts.
My head hurts.
My head hurts.
My head hurts.
My head hurts.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I Need, I Need

Lately my heart is full and empty. I'd like to quote Josh Bales and his brilliant songwriting for how I'm feeling tonight:

I Need You
by Josh Bales
as performed by The Swift

My heart is restless in me
My wings are all worn out
I'm walking in the wilderness
And I cannot get out
I need you
Oh, I need you
Blessed Savior come
I need you
Oh, I need you
Fill the empty longing of my soul
Oh, how I need you Lord
I need your perfect Word
With tearful eyes to see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed you just today
My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end
A downward spiral of despair
That I keep falling in
I need you
Oh, I need you
To you my sould shall fly
I need you
Oh, I need you
Yaweh, how I love you more than life
Your silence is like death to me
So won't you hear my desperate plea
Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They're all just passing by
It's not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yaweh's lifted me in his own strength
Oh, how I love you Lord
I love your perfect word
With tearful eyes to see
The God who always will endure
Now I will celebrate
For all the thousand ways
That you have shown me grace
And made my heart to stay
You've made my heart in grace to stay
I need you
Oh, I need you

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What we have here is a little bit of a weight problem......

John and Nivah just spent four glorious days in New York City while I sat in Nashville stewing about not spending four glorious days in New York City. John took Nivah there for their 3 year anniversary. Good man. Their flight left Nashville on Friday morning at 5:30am. Why they chose this flight, I will never know. But here's what happened.
Before boarding, the flight attendants let everyone know that the plane was having some "issues" and they would need some people to volunteer for a later flight - vouchers included. The Eckerts signed right up since later flights and vouchers are what life is truly about, and waited while everyone else boarded the plane. Eventually, the flight attendants changed their mind about the "issue" and informed the Eckerts that indeed, they could board this flight and be on their way. By this time, everyone else had already been on the plane (remember it's 5:30am) and were QUITE ready to get on with it. John and Nivah excused me'd themselves to their seats and settled in. More waiting. Then the pilot came on the intercom and said:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry for the delay. We're experiencing a bit of a weight problem on this flight and will need to remedy that situation before we can take off. Thank you for your patience." Immdediately the flight attendant came on the intercom and said "Will Mr. and Mrs. Eckert please press your flight attendant call button?" John looked at Nivah. Nivah looked at John. They pressed the button. A 78 year old woman in a flight attendant's uniform approached them, as well as 100 pairs of eyes, and whispered "we're going to need you to de-board the aircraft".

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My Crack is Getting Bigger

Saturday Ryan and I drove to Chattanooga to meet Baby Bingo on his third day of life outside the womb. (What an interesting feeling that must be.) Once we got into Chattanooga, three seperate people cut me off, veared into my lane, and cut me off again - all in a row. Ryan and I were shouting about stupid Chattanooga drivers and waving our fists in the air right as a Jeep cut us off. We still had our fists mid-air (and mid-anger) when a giant rock flew from the Jeep directly at our angry faces. CRACK! It scared us both. It sounded like the car had split in half - although I was still driving 75 mph down the interstate. Immediately, a small crack formed on the windshield. The further we drove, the further down the crack crept. It felt like we were in slow motion - watching the creeping of the crack. Once we got to Laura's house, we inspected the car for further damage - but all we had was a growing crack. I told Ryan I would call the insurance company on Monday and see if they really are "on my side".
Monday night I got into my car and thought "DANG! I forgot to call Nationwide!" And the crack had gotten bigger.
Tonight I got into my car after work and thought "DANG! I forgot to call Nationwide!" And the crack had gotten bigger. It's slowly making its way across the entire windshield, taking over. Getting worse. During the day, while I'm working, I forget about the crack. I forget that my windshield needs repair. I forget about the giant rock that crashed into us at full speed. I forget until I get into my car and notice that the crack is getting bigger.
Of course, this makes me think about the creeping crack in my relationship with God. I think it did sort of start out as a huge crash that startled me and made me jump with fear. I think I thought "I need to do something about this." And then I forgot. And the crack got bigger. There are many days that have come and gone and I think, "DANG! I forgot to pray!" And the crack gets bigger. There are entire days spent thinking exclusively of myself - and the crack gets bigger. Creeping - slowly. I'm terrified that one day I will wake up and not even realize the chasm between us.

I'm a 10.

Who gets to decide what normal is and is not? Who makes the rules about jeans sizes and the difference between S/M/L? I think maybe the problem is - there's not one person who maintains the reigns on the rampant disproportions in sizing. The other problem is, women tend to identify themselves by their jeans size - at least in our own heads. Instead of thinking "I'm creative" or "I'm funny" or "I can cook a mean lasagna" I often find myself thinking "I'm a 10".
I've worked very hard for the past few years, very hard in fact, to feel good about my size (whatever it happened to be at the moment). To be honest with myself about my body and its good parts and not-so-good parts. It's important to me to feel good in my own skin, whether or not that skin is considered by pop culture to be fat or thin. I don't want my life to be ruled by a constant fear of gaining five pounds or the constant guilt to lose five pounds. Instead, I want to love my fiance and my family and my friends. I want to figure out how to passionately pursue God with my life. I want to be good at what I do, I want to be a better writer. Eventually I want to be a great mom. I don't want the size of my jeans to even be a thought to think - because there are more important things.
So lately I think I've had a great and healthy attitude about my body. I think I've been able to view it honestly - mostly because of my amazing Ryan and his ability to help me see past myself. God gave me great arms and a thin waist. I have a nice nose and pretty eyes. I have nice feet. I have adequate breasts and an ample rear view. My thighs are rounder than I'd like them to be. I have tiny wrists. I'm a 10.
I say all of this, because last night I was humiliated in a way I never have been in my life. And it wasn't anyone's fault. No one was mean, no one laughed at me. AJ and I were asked to be part of a fashion show during GMA. We both thought it would be fun so we said yes, sure, we'll be models (all the while giggling about saying "yes, sure, we'll be models). Last night we went to the fitting at the store sponsoring the event. I walked in wearing size 10 jeans and a size M shirt from The Gap. I left feeling one burrito away from Lane Bryant. AJ and I shared a dressing room, while a guy brought us various things to try on. The first pair of jeans he brought me, I couldn't get past my knees. The second pair was worse. After the fifth pair (and one of the largest sizes the store carried), I started to cry in the dressing room (while wearing an L shirt that was so tight you could see my hair follicles). So I politely excused myself and ran out with Ryan in tow.
Then I cried all night.
I was humiliated and embarrassed. I felt like everyone was whispering, "what are we going to do about the fat girl in dressing room 1?" And maybe they weren't. Maybe they didn't realize what was going on. Maybe the guy who said to me, "don't worry, we'll find something that will fit you" didn't mean to make me feel like a side-show attraction.
And here's the truth. I am not fat. In fact, I am below average. Yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds and I could be in better shape. Yes, there are people out there (and close to me) who think I am fat. Yes, there are people out there (and close to me) who think I'm thin. Yes, in some stores I wear a 10, and in some stores I can't get a size 10 past my knees.
I'm not sure how to end this. I just wanted to write something that says - IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT SIZE YOU WEAR. I have friends who wear enviable sizes but are empty and hollow. I have friends who wear sizes larger than me, that are gorgeous and talented and amazing in every way. I guess I wish there wasn't a stigma to be thin. I wish I truly meant what I said when I wrote "there are more important things".

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Beholder

I'm average. I don't view this as a negative, just truth. I'm not a great beauty. Not a show stopper. Strangers don't make a fuss or look embarrassed when I enter a room. In fact, entering a room is usually a non-event. And that's ok. I've come a long way to now understand and accept that I have my strengths. There are parts of me that are pretty. But overall - I'm average.
Ryan would disagree. He thinks I'm beautiful, sometimes even says that I'm gorgeous. Who, me? The first time he ever said it, I thought he was being mean. But he wasn't. He really thinks that I'm pretty - all the time. Really, all the time. And lately I've been so focused on him, that I've started to believe him. I've started to think that maybe I am pretty. Maybe I am sexy. Maybe I am "kind of a big deal". I haven't spent too much time, lately, looking for my imperfections in the mirror. Instead I've just been looking into the face of one who loves me, and listening to his voice tell that I'm beautiful and loved. And I'm convinced.
Tonight I was looking at some pictures of Ryan and I that were taken last night. Last night when Ryan thought I looked beautiful - and last night when I believed him. But tonight, looking at the pictures, I see that I'm average. I see my flaws. I see all the little things about my face that I don't like. The things about my body I wish I would change. And I wonder.
Maybe this is a small piece to the puzzle with God. Maybe to understand who I am and whose I am, I should listen to the One who loves me. The One who made my face and thinks it's beautiful. Maybe the more I look at Him and listen to Him - the more I will believe what He says to me. Maybe the longer I gaze at His face, the less time I'll have to gaze at my own.

Friday, March 18, 2005

To Drink or To Die my Dad is a southen Baptist preacher. If you know anything about southern Baptists and their preaching, you know this - drinking alcohol is forbidden. And by forbidden, I mean damnable by hell fire forbidden. I've known this fact my entire life - from the womb. It wasn't until I was 20 that the thought ever occurred to me that you might not actually go to hell if you drink a beer. I met some people who were godly, passiontely loved Christ, and liked to party like it was 1999. This threw my "drink and die" theory into a tailspin. Now I'm 30, and my views are different than they once were. I have many friends who partake of the vine - and I get it. The don't get drunk. They don't act a fool. They don't drive under the influence. They just enjoy beer. Or margaritas. These thirty years I have remained a teetotaler - but have loosened my grip on the black and white line. I'm perfectly happy being a non-drinker and feel sure that I will remain so for life.
Until today.
Today I read an article on (my main news source) titled "Moderate Drinking Appears to Cut Diabetes Risk". Apparently, studies show that I am at a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes because I don't have a glass of wine for dinner. Because I don't drink green beer on St. Patrick's Day. Those at high risk are teetotalers and heavy drinkers. So now I'm being lumped in with the heavy drinkers? Aren't I supposed to be the opposite of that? Aren't I supposed to better for never drinking? What am I supposed to do now? Drink a cocktail every night before dinner?

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Last night Ryan and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner - YUM! Before our meals came, while we were devouring their heavenly homemade biscuits that were sent straight from God, we started discussing weight. Ryan proclaimed that he's fat, and he needs to do something about it. I shrieked that he is indeed NOT fat - and on the contrary I think he's sexy and devastatingly handsome. Indeed, I want to kiss him constantly. He went on to explain that I was wrong and he was right and he's fat and needs to do something about it. I argued. He persisted. I then said, "well if you think you are fat, then you think I am fat." His eyes widened as he shook his head no and attempted to speak. I, of course, interrupted him. "I'm not saying I'm fat, but you say that you think I'm skinny and sexy - when the truth is I probably outweigh you by at least ten pounds. So for you to say that I'm skinny - and then say that you are fat - is simply wrong." Then we started shouting at each other (in the Cracker Barrel, surrounded by camoflouge and senior citizen discounts) something like this:
R: That is ridiculous! You are HOT!
J: Then you can't say you are fat! YOU are HOT!
(then we shook hands to seal the bet on who is fatter)
R: NO!
J: NO!
R: NO!
J: NO!
At that moment, the waiter brought our meals. Our large, large meals. We sat in silence as he kept putting more and more dishes on the table. We had to scoot things down to make room. We had to push back from the table to make all the side items fit. People started to stare. When he was finally done unloading his extra-large tray, the kind waiter said "will there be anything else?". Ryan and I stared at each like scared rabbitts and mumbled "no, that's all...thanks....".
Then we ROARED laughing.
Then we ate all the food on the table.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

25 Things

Here are 25 things about me:

1. I have delicate, feminine hands
2. Sometimes when I laugh, I annoy even myself
3. If it was possible to OD on Diet Coke, I would
4. This is why I do not drink alcohol as I believe I would surely become a wino in the gutter
5. I worked at Chick-fil-A all through high school and during college breaks - back when Doodles was the mascot. Yes, I was Doodles
6. Lately I wake up feeling extremely fat (like a whale) or extremely thin (like a supermodel) and never anything in between
7. I do not eat broccoli
8. I used to drive a pick-up truck - and I loved it.
9. I am not a redneck
10. I do not drink coffee
11. I have never fallen down a well
12. I have never been convicted of a crime
13. I love a man named Ryan
14. Once I jammed my elbow up into my wrist and had to wear a sling
15. I like to think I'm good at basketball, even though I'm not
16. I do not watch football, nor do I care to
17. I have lived in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Maine
18. I lived in Maine for 7 days
19. One summer I was a house painter by day, and a bookstore clerk by night. People at the bookstore always wondered why I had white paint streaks in my hair.
20. Lately I find it hard to be inspired about anything other than my own personal agenda
21. I just bought a house with my fiance, Ryan
22. I worry that relatives I don't particularly enjoy will want to frequently stay at our new house and I will have to come up with a polite way to say "no way in hell" - then I worry whether or not that would be considered cursing
23. I'm getting married in 110 days
24. I worry that I might never get out of my faith-slump
25. Writing this random list has made me aware that I am
a) boring
b) wasteful with my time
c) unconcerned about the things that should be concerning me most
Nivah asked if I wanted to join our small group with another group of two girls, thereby making it a group of four. She said it might be a good way to help us grow, be accountable, get a different perspective. My immedaite reaction was "NO! I DON'T WANNA!" I told her I would think about it. Then today my friend Lori sent me an essay she had written about wanting to strip away all the extra faith fluff and really get down to what God is about. It made me blush, realizing that I want to strip away all the extra faith fluff and just avoid God altogether. What does this make me? Who have I become? I currently feel no desire to grow or pursue or try. I just want to be left alone, to live my life the way I want to live it. Yes, I know this is a catastrophic statement that would make my mother cry out in agony. But I'm just being honest. I don't neccessarily want to feel this way - but I do. Am I just selfish? Do other people really have a longing to pursue God? Or are they just afraid to admit that it's sometimes a hassle.
OK, and yes. When I think about the gospel, the true story of what Christ did, I want to die a thousand deaths for being so small and menial and gross. So here I am, in a constant state of knowing the truth and knowing what I should do and feel - and doing and feeling the way that I currently do. It's a strange place. I feel like someone else - not myself. I would never want anyone to know this true side of me for fear of it becoming true. I guess I think if I don't tell anyone, then I'm still a good Christian like I should be. But all my Sunday school learnin' has at least taught me this - God knows my heart. Even when I don't ask Him to search it - He knows it. What must He think of me?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Spare bedroom

I added photos of our house to our wedding website today. All my friends and family are emailing saying ooohh and aaahh and is-that-spare-bedroom-for-a-baby comments. I reply back with a hearty NO! it is NOT! for a baby! I think it's funny that because Ryan and I bought a 3 bedroom house everyone thinks we are trying for a honeymoon baby. Here me now, we are not ready for a baby. We are ready for a wedding and a house with more than one bedroom, but not a baby. Babies are cute from a distance. Kids are funny when they are someone else's responsibility. Right now I want to revel in marital bliss, not dirty diapers. I want to sleep-in on Saturdays and eat my dinner while it's still hot.

Dead Relatives

Why is that every random person in your life comes out of the woodwork when you set the wedding date. Ryan and I were reveiwing our growing guest list today, looking over the names his mom sent over, when he shouted, "I thought they were dead!". Relatives we've never heard of are "so excited about the wedding and can't wait to come!". Why is it that when you throw an inexpensive party and invite everyone including your weird half-friends, 80% respond with "no thanks I'm bored" but when you have a wedding that costs more than your first year of college, dead relatives that are apparently still breathing hop on the next flight? The food for our wedding costs more per person than any dinner Ryan and I would ever eat, and we're buying dinner for people we don't even know. AND we have a "tight" guest list. What if we actually invited all of our friends? What if we invited everyone who has casually mentioned "can't wait to get my invite!" or "I'll be there with bells on!"? It makes me squirm and look in the opposite direction and eventually just run away. We decided that maybe we should include our bank deposit number on the invites. Or the RSVP card should be a money envelope.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Ryan and I went out and saw our house this weekend. Our house. It's still weird to refer to things as "ours". For thirty years I've been a "my" and now I'm about to be an "our". We bought a house that is still in the building stage, so we get to see it as it all comes together. Right now the foundation, wall frames and roof are done. There's a front door, but no knob. No counter tops or cabinets yet. All of the insulation is still exposed. We wandered from room to room taking pictures of everything single thing. I suppose every 2x4 looks the same, but we took pictures of each room anyway. It's our house. Our first home. Watching it come together is an exciting experience. I feel the same way about us. I've been thinking about what I might want to say to him on our wedding day, which makes me think back over the span of our relationship. Much like our house, it's being built. Frame by frame. Day by day. And as each step comes together, as each new layer of trust and compassion and love is added, I realize what an amazing gift this man is to me. The true love of my life.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Table By the Door

I wonder when I'll stop being selfish. I mean really stop being selfish. Sometimes I walk around fooling myself into thinking I'm a giving person. That I'm the opposite of selfish. But that's a lie. I'm completely self-absorbed. I know there's the argument that everyone is self-absorbed and it's just life and it's just the way it is. But I don't like anything to be just the way it is. Like today, when I went to lunch with Ryan. Sweet, adorable, perfect Ryan who is probably the most unselfish person I know. Maybe this is why I'm marrying him - I'm drawn to his attention on me. (selfish alert) We went to Wild Noodles for lunch - home of the rampantly wild flavors. We ordered Mac and Cheese and then had to sit at the only available the door. The weather in Tennessee lately has been as unprecdictable as my mood swings. And today at lunch (not this morning nor tonight because that was and will be much different than at lunch) the weather was blistery. Or maybe blistering....or blister..I don't know. It was cold and windy. And we had to sit at the only available the door. I kept looking at all the other tables wondering when we could move to one. I kept eyeballing people's meals wondering when they would get up so I could move to their warm table in the back - by the ovens. I kept ignoring the man I love because I had a chill. Sweet, adorable, perfect Ryan who is probably the most unselfish person I know - was focused on me.
I realized my shortcomings shortly after we sat down and decided to focus on someone else for a moment. For a change. And we had a lingering lunch filled with love and promise and smiles. (I'm not intentionally being Hallmark-ish, that last sentence is actually true.) As we were leaving, I realized that I wasn't cold once I stopped focusing on myself. That the table by the door didn't matter.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Beware the Weeper

I don't know what it is about weddings that makes everyone cry. Every sappy romantic comedy has one character whose only line is, "I always cry at weddings". I get it. Weddings are fraught with emotion and high drama and tulle. I'm still 100+ days away from my own blessed event, but rarely does a day pass when I don't shed unneccessary tears. And this has been happening for several months. (note: I've been engaged for exactly two weeks.) Since I met Ryan, I've become a weeper. And I don't mean the occasional eyes-welling-up-happy-sniffle. I mean flat out wailing complete with sleeve snot and abrupt coughing. Sometimes it's warranted - but most times it's not. And it's always a complete surprise to me (and I'm sure an even bigger surprise for Ryan). The wall of wailing pounces on me like that annoying kid at Chick-fil-A who sat in the booth behind me and kept grabbing me by the hair, jerking my head backwards. I don't want to be known as a Weeper. I want to be the girl that can hold it all together. The girl who is brave and confidant and comforts those less fortunate - The Weepers. I think I used to be that girl. Before the ring. Before the wedding planning. Before Ryan. But it isn't his fault...well, ok. It is his fault, but not how you think. It's his fault that he loves me so completely I burst into tears. It's his fault that his unconditional love has my head spinning and my eyes watering. It's his fault that my hard heart has been twisted open like a can of biscuts and all my emotions, good and bad, are spewing forth.
I wonder how long this will last? I say that I want our wedding ceremony to be a short one, but what with all the weeping that I'm sure I'll be doing, I might need to put an intermission into the schedule.

Friday, March 04, 2005


I'm not a listmaker, per se, although lately I've become obsessed. Maybe it's because I'm writing my second book and getting married four months from today and just bought a house and and and and ..... or maybe I'm just getting old and can't remember things anymore. Either way, I'm waking up in the middle of the night to write down "order bridesmaids dresses" and "get homeowner's insurance" and "check web banners for subseven". Maybe tonight I'll wake up at 3am and write "get sleep" on my hand. Or my forehead. And to make matters hazier, I found out today that my publisher has allegedly shipped 10,000 copies of my first book. Ryan pointed out that that's enough people-reading-my-book to fill a football stadium. This makes me nervous and giddy and feel a bit like a paparazzi hounded celebrity. Strangers in mass, reading my thoughts. My public humiliation that I've now made internationally public. It's my own fault. Everyone says "you're so brave" and "you're book is so honest" and I think "I'm a fool".