Guide for the bride(smaid)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Last weekend I was in a wedding as a bridesmaid. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but this was actually my THIRD time being a bridesmaid during nursing school (not even two years), and my SIXTH time overall. So I'm basically a professional now. I thought I'd put together a list of the things that I see as important duties which may go unnoticed or forgotten.

Professional bridesmaid, at your service.
1. Plan to eat (and make others eat). I've taken the obligation of food on the wedding day, especially BEFORE the wedding, upon myself. A sandwich platter is a great and easy option to keep a bridal party from hypoglycemia. When my brother got married, we had planned food for the party bus after the wedding but not before. The bride said she was hungry, so I got on the phone and found someone to bring us cheap pizza. Eating pizza in her wedding dress was a memorable moment! The bridal party was so much happier afterwards.

I packed 3 of these in my day bag for the wedding day.
2. Do it or delegate downstream. What I mean is: if you need something done especially the day of the wedding, just do it. If you see a gap, fill it. If you can't drive to get pizza, find someone who can. BUT it has to be someone downstream, meaning, not the bride! or the groom! (okay, mayyyybe the groom depending on their responsibility level, haha), not the moms or the dads or anyone with a title. This takes stress off the family and still enables things to get done.

3. Bring booze (if appropriate) but don't be crazy. Mimosas as you get ready or a wedding party shot after the ceremony may be something fun to remember the day by! A recent wedding I was in had some fun groomsmen who invited us over for fireball shots before the wedding. It was a nice breather and everyone was sober walking down the aisle.

The groomsmen were also on baby duty.

4. Plan some alone time for the introvert in you. Weddings can be busy busy and I need some time away from other people's families and friends. This past wedding I got up about an hour before everyone else each day as some time for me to take a breather, creep on instagram, and process things by myself.

5. Go with the ~fLoW~. This is probably the hardest for me unless I have had a cocktail or ten. But wedding weekend I really try to put on my happy-go-lucky big girl pants and just go with the flow. I plan to drive or get an uber or do whatever I need to do to get from one location to the next. Take pictures, wear a sweater than doesn't fit, run around in heels! I'll do it! Be an hour and a half behind? SURE! In the end, these are the things that make the best wedding memories.

My only photo in my T-Rex sweater.
The beauty of a wedding with the mass is the ability to offer my prayers and reception of the Eucharist for that couple. It is a sweet sweet usually quiet moment that I try to take advantage of. It's also basically a great wedding gift if you are still in college (again) and are too lazy/broke to get a real present.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I was in a wedding last weekend and brought home the sweet gift of a stomach bug.

I fell into a weird hole of the internet.

This was actually a video read by a robot and I could only listen for about 15 seconds. I read the video description and there was nothing helpful on the topic. Don't waste your time. 

Today I was blessed by some time in the boyhood home of Mark Twain, and I spent some time rejoicing in my freedom from the stomach bug. I celebrated with some sort of peanut butter bar delicious thing (snapchat said today is peanut butter day so it has to be true), coffee, and a great book (I finished it!!!). 

It was a good day. 

GEM LIFE: Origins

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Once upon a time I was a missionary. At summer training. Which is like high school combined with summer camp while fundraising 100% of my salary and not having a permanent address. It had its ups and downs. One day at summer training, I was having a crisis (okay, recurring daily crisis) about how I did not have a lot of friends and did not really feel like I belonged at training. I knew I was supposed to be there, and I was decently happy and definitely content and fulfilled, but just not socially super busy. I think the fact that none of my college friends were missionaries made me feel left out, just because the mish culture felt different from my close-knit college friends.

ANYWAY. One day I was voicing these concerns (my lack of social life, essentially) to my fake-teammate-turned-real-teammate, Jess, who had a LOT more friends than I.

Jess and me during her grad school graduation weekend. 
Jess used her positive thinking skills to put a new perspective on the situation. "Katelyn," she said, "here's the thing about us. We are like gems. Hidden gems. People don't really know us that well, but when they get to know us, they are like 'YES! They are a gem!' and they know that they want to be friends with us."

That analogy has followed me the past few years and has inspired the title for this little corner of the interwebs. Through grade school and high school and college I often felt like people make friends so much more quickly than I did. In reality, it just takes a little while for people to know me and for me to know them. And I'm a keeper. That's what it boils down to. My year at Southern was a year of #GEMLIFE discovery with wonderful "gems" around me. People often aren't what they appear to be.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My best friend from high school is getting married this weekend which means I had a (semi-) valid reason to make the phone upgrade I've been wanting and wanting to make. Reasons included: more memory, better camera... And better phone case opportunities (the worst reason to upgrade a phone).

I am hoping the camera will help me see beauty in daily life and give me an excuse to make my blog posts a little more interesting.

After I obtained my new phone I went to daily mass for the first time in too long and snapped this sweet picture of St. Clare.

I sat in the university chapel and awed (like I always do) over the beauty hidden away on this small campus. I hadn't been to daily mass in so long but during the homily I felt myself daydreaming about how many times a week I could realistically sneak away for mass. I have a nice schedule this semester. For now, I'm aiming for daily mass once a week.

I couldn't resist a silly selfie to just to check out my new capabilities. Also, I have no idea what is going on with my outfit but this is kind of a common combination. In my defense, the scarf is just with the coat and is not meant to be an accessory. The rest is my #GEMLIFE style.

Embracing the Season

Monday, January 16, 2017

I read a lot of mom blogs. Like A LOT. I love hearing (reading) about day-to-day life and watching their kids grow up and being a fly on the wall in another person's life. One thing I notice is a recurrent theme to attempt to embrace the season they are in. For wives to embrace the season before they are blessed with kiddos, for new mamas to make the most of their sleepless newborn lives, and for moms of littles to enjoy the crazy chaos of the mess their toddlers create.

So instead of allowing myself to feel like I'm on the outside looking in, I'm working on embracing the season that I am in. This semester, I have no early morning clinicals. Right now I'm not a morning person, and I love love love my sleep. And I am embracing that! Today I treated myself to a long long Netflix marathon, complete with cuddling with Gertrude and leaving the bed only for food. I don't know what is around the corner, but today I have the ability to do that. Right now, I am in a season of fluidity and of minimal responsibilities beyond myself.

So right now, I'm embracing my easy, breezy, care-free(ish) lifestyle.

30430 Update: Rise and Grind

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The other night Blittany wanted to discuss my 30430 with me and I hesitated.

unrelated photo of Blittany and me 

Some of my goals are lofty. Okay, most of my goals are lofty!! I have NOT accomplished a great deal of them. I haven't accomplished ones that I thought I would've by now! So confusing to my love to plan.

ANYWAY. As we discussed all the goals I had not accomplished, I grew disappointed in myself. I'm not sure what I've done, but there is still a lot to do. One item on my list included "become a morning person." I think that my goal has changed, though! Instead of hating myself for not being a morning person, I'm slowly embracing my current season of life.

I have learned that I actually do enjoy mornings... I enjoy them in the sense that I enjoy staying up allllll night working nights and watching the sun rise as I leave exhausted in the morning. During the terrible terrible winter and darkness, sleeping during the day and waking up when it's dark seems worth it to see a pink sky as I walk out to my car.

So I think I'm changing my goal from being a morning person to enjoying mornings when I see them.