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We’re going to Iceland on our honeymoon! Iceland was something we bonded over from the beginning of our relationship, but I don’t know if I expected us to visit so soon. When we got engaged, Justin insisted on planning and paying for the honeymoon himself. He would always just say, “I’m working on it,” when I asked him, plus he’s a full-time student, so I was starting to worry that we would end up in Branson. I’m still in shock.
The best part was how he told me. We had just returned from visiting both of Justin’s parents, who don’t celebrate Christmas so much as they throw their own version of “Oprah’s Favorite Things”. I grew up in a disabled family, so Christmas was pretty tame when I was a kid and I’m still a little freaked out by their generosity. I won’t get braggy and tell you what I got (okay, except for my yellow Fjällräven Kånken), but I was basically already like this:
and then Justin asked if I wanted to know where we were going. He pulled out a binder with Iceland on the cover, and told me that we’d be spending 7 days in Iceland with our own travel agent, a rented car, a full itinerary, all expenses paid. He saved up and paid for everything himself and planned it all in secret. Then he pulled up a video of the glacier that we get to stand on. I just sat there, looking at the TV and the living room full of presents and my sweet, adorable future husband, then I literally burst into tears like he proposed all over again.
Okay, so I got braggy. I’ll keep going! This is all the stuff we’re going to see!
A Geothermal Spa!
The Great Geysir!
Oh, the next day Justin left to go BACK to his dad’s, so aside from a couple hours at my grandma’s house, I got to celebrate what will probably be my last Home Alone Christmas. Next year, I’ll have three families, and while they are all a total blast, I’m going to miss spoiling myself rotten … as well as any excuse to use my favorite burglar alarm:
I know that usually I make a big effort with my annual or monthly resolutions, but last year’s goal went right out the window when I got engaged on New Year’s Eve. Also, while I’ve logged 1200 miles if you count walking, my goal to run 1200 miles in one year had to be put on hold after multiple injuries.
So this year, I only have a few goals, at least until my wedding:
1. No drinking in January.
2. Make it through my wedding alive.
3. Blog weekly, even though no one really blogs anymore and my life can easily be summed up on Facebook/Twitter.
4. Lose 20 pounds (I mean it this time?).
New Year’s Eve was pretty great, even if it was lazy. Justin and I went over to Rob’s house for his annual chicken dinner, where we saw a lot of old friends, talked about even more old friends, laughed our asses off and ate some amazing food. (I’m pretty relieved we left right after Keith showed up with bacon-wrapped dates because I only had time to shove three in my mouth.)
Most of the Squids have either moved or had some sort of falling out, so we never get together the way we used to. Last night made me really nostalgic, and also very grateful considering the Squids are how I met my future husband.
Speaking of Justin, we’re both getting over colds so we decided to leave at 9 and just take it easy for the rest of the night. We had a little mini-celebration for the year anniversary of our engagement by watching “The Five-Year Engagement”, drinking champagne, and toasting the New Year.
This was the first time we’ve rung in the new year with our cat, so we joked that we should make him a hat. Then while Justin was in the bathroom, I whipped this up with a piece of origami paper (in Squid Colors; hay):
Even though my body is tricking me into being sad right now, there are still plenty of reasons to smile and I’m grateful for all of them:
1. Baby Viola
Jen and Ron, my favorite people in the world, a love which is well documented on this blog, have procreated. This is great news for humanity, but more importantly, it’s great news for them. She is beautiful, Jen is rocking motherhood, and Ron somehow has even more enthusiasm and energy than usual which, if you know him, is pretty remarkable. I’m secretly a little jealous of this baby because she has some of the best parents a kid could ever have. Seeing them with her made me happier than I’ve felt in weeks.
2. Kendra and Jane and Pi
Jane and Kendra and I try to get together for drinks and dinner every few months. I’ve never had girlfriends that are, you know, “girlfriends” that do lunch and vacation together and stuff, so I get a big kick out of it every time we hang out. They live far away from me so it’s rare that I see them, but it’s always a highlight when I do. They’re so awesome. Also awesome: Pi. Yum.
3. Tennis Balls
Remember this? And my 3-day video shoot? Well, it’s finally up! I don’t really want the video to link back to my blog in the stats, and for some reason I can’t hack a Google redirect anymore. So if you aren’t my Facebook friend, go to youtube and put this after youtube.com – /watch?v=hBOVy5GR4to .
4. What High School Should We Call Me
This means nothing if you don’t live in St. Louis, but I won a caption contest on the best blog in STL (out of 95 people) and got a gift certificate to Nick’s Pub. I can drink $1 draft beers for the rest of my life now!
5. Chauncey is Home
There’s nothing worse than a family member in the hospital, and that includes pets. For about 6 hours, we really thought we were going to have to put him to sleep. A sad Justin is the most heartbreaking thing in the world, and Chauncey is one of the few reasons I smile every day. Even after we knew he would be okay, he was still under observation for 3 days and being home alone was the saddest thing in the world.
6. My Back is Getting Better
I’m not at 100% yet and I’m still too scared to run, but at least I can sit down and bend over without crying. I walked to the store today and carried my groceries home, which was a big deal. I went to a chiropractor this week and while she gave me some great stretches and snapped my neck like Sayid from Lost, I was not expecting the length or massive cost of her care. Maybe my vertebrae have been scared straight? I’m hoping I can heal on my own with some TLC and good habits.
It also helps that Chauncey has volunteered to be my neck pillow:
Currently totally paralyzed by … something. SAD? Just plain depression? Whatever it is, it knocked me on my ass about a week ago. I’ve just been eating and sleeping and eating some more. I had one awesome night with my work friends, but that’s been the one bright spot. I can’t run. I can’t write. I can’t even go to the store. I’m practically comatose. Except when it comes to eating carbs. So many carbs. This box of Cheerios has been my bff for several days.
Anyway, move along. Nothing to see here. Except my fat ass and some Kleenex.
EDITED TO ADD: that my house has been spotless this whole time. Keeping up with Justin is no joke.
We finally sent out Save the Dates yesterday. I’ll wait to post them because they’re still making their way to places like Brooklyn and Portland, but for anyone who has one and is wondering, my friend Ben drew that sucker from scratch. We paid him, obviously, but I also got him two 12″ x 12″ prints by Joey Spiotto:
Justin’s stepbrother was killed in a car wreck yesterday. The whole family is completely torn up. He and Justin weren’t very close, but he was an incredibly nice guy with three small children, including a newborn baby. It’s heartbreaking. We’re still going to Ohio to see baby Avery, but we’re going 2 days early to a different town and attending a funeral.
Also! His Grandma (stepmom’s mom) is in the hospital with barely-functioning kidneys, so we’re stopping in another city on the way to see her, so I can meet her.
SOOOO it’s going to be a very heavy 4 days with limited time to run, lots of comfort food, Tolliver booze and (obviously) zero complaining about it from me. I’m going to try my hardest, but it really isn’t the time or the place to care about that stuff. I have my health and my fiancé and that’s all I need. And that’s that.
Also, I didn’t post this week because of all sorts of charger/trackpad drama, resulting in two trip to the Apple Store. I finally got my computer back, and I don’t know why but they basically replaced the entire outside so it feels like a brand new computer. All for free. Hooray for Apple Care!
I went into ACTUAL Bridezilla mode this week and made a lot of progress, namely the Save the Dates are being printed on Monday and envelopes are in the mail! Still working on the DJ.
I made my 100 mile goal for Month 5. I’m hoping that this month I can make up some of the 50 I lost, but with this trip, we’ll see.
Feeling very stressed and sad (and I think my friend is mad at me?), but also incredibly grateful for everything I have.
The good news is that I’m back at the exact weight I hit during my last Mortified Monday. So I’m hoping next Monday I’ll be ready for an update. (My jeans literally fall off of me now. Hooray!)
The other good news is that I was derailed because of a lot of socializing, rest, and Biscoff Cookie Butter from Erin as an attempted apology for abandoning me. I would consider that gift a frenemy move if it wasn’t so damn delicious. Oh my god.
Speaking of delicious, yesterday I had a sweet potato falafel from Lulu’s, a food truck with wood paneling and a garden on the roof, and I think I’m still high from it. Amazing.
Life has been good, even if it sounds boring on paper. I’ve made burning calories a priority, so the majority of my time is spent running at the Y or walking downtown. Thanks to fall, I can now walk to work almost every day, so I do. I’ve burned at least 1,000 calories more than I’ve eaten for six days in a row, which might be a record. I plan to keep going. I feel amazing and I’m starting to love what I see in the mirror, too.
There’s a new niece in the TollivWeir household: little Miss Avery.
Wedding planning is going smoothly; my friend Ben has finished our amazing Save the Dates, so we plan on printing those and sending them out within the month. On to DJs. Anybody know a great DJ? This is what happened when I asked Facebook:
On Sunday, I’m doing the Diabetes Walk. I’m supposed to raise money for it, but my cousin sort of hijacked my fundraising page and also, I don’t really feel like talking about my dead dad on Facebook every day. Honestly I don’t want to do this walk; I’m a little PMSy at the moment and I feel like when I cross the finish line I’m going to have a nervous breakdown in front of thousands of strangers. But, this means a lot to my cousin. She lost her uncle and that’s a big deal, and I’m incredibly touched that she rallied all her co-workers and raised tons of money as a tribute to my dad.
I finally finished all five Game of Thrones books (it’s seriously worse than Harry Potter withdrawal), and have moved on to the insane stack of books next to my bed. I just finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (which sounds like a Katherine Heigl movie unless you know Jeffrey Eugenides), and now I’m moving on to My Heart is an Idiot by my friend Davy Rothbart.
The election has made me sort of insane. I’ve had a couple instances where I left a comment on someone’s Facebook post that offended them. (Coincidentally, these were both loved ones of Jane; sorry Jane!) One was totally forgiving, but the other girl unfriended me even though I took responsibility and apologized twice. It’s worth stressing over because this is a girl that I vacation with and I love her group of friends (and liked her, too), so I’m afraid this will complicate my Girls’ Trips in the future. Sometimes the Webster University in me takes over, and when someone says something like, “political correctness is a socialist muzzle”, I don’t really know how to bite my tongue and let that slide. I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to. Oh well. My apologies to the Girls’ Trip Gang. 😦
I’ll add that Jane is one of my favorite people in the world. She constantly motivates me, inspires me when I am down, and says exactly what I need to hear (whether it’s what I want to hear or not). I usually keep my religion as my business, but I feel like God brought her back into my life and I’m forever grateful for it. I hope someday I can be as good of a friend to her as she’s been to me.
Really, since I’m trying to avoid drinking, life has just been about working, walking, running, lifting, planning and when I have time, watching awesome shit like Fringe, Homeland, Dexter and Revenge. It’s not very exciting. But life is slowly getting busier, the weather makes me want to leave the house, and since I’m finally at a place when I can do Mortified Mondays again, I’ll probably be eager to add other content so my weight isn’t all you see. Haha.
Y’all, Erin is moving. What is up with that BS?
Erin has only known me for a handful of years, so she might not know that when my favorite people move, I write a sappy entry about it, primarily to guilt-trip them.
I sort of discovered Erin before I met her: I was looking though Courtney’s* Myspace friends to see if I knew any of them, and I clicked through to Erin’s pictures. There was a picture of Erin and … my work BFF Veronica! These days, it’s obvious everybody knows somebody you know, but in the Friendster/Myspace era this was really fascinating to me.
I clicked through to her blog, and not only was it well-written, she was going through a break-up at the time, so I started following it religiously with voyeuristic fascination (also I hated my job and basically read blogs all day, so I was always on the lookout for new material).
One day, she blogged about how much she was dreading a camping trip she was forced to attend. I realized that it was the exact same camping trip I was dreading. Much like the way Jen and I met (we both knew Courtney, we were both nervous about the trip to London), I reached out to her and told her I was in the same boat.
And when I spotted her at, uh, The Spot, she was reading (or rather, re-reading) my favorite book of all time, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. And within 20 minutes, she cracked a joke about my ex-boyfriend. Erin: a keeper.
The camping trip actually turned out to be one of the best weekends of my life (and I don’t know when she decided she liked me, but it was probably when I told her that I had just hit on my ex’s half-brother).
Fast forward a year to when I was throwing a benefit concert for my dad. Our friendship had basically lived online, through IMs and comments, but then she started promoting the concert to her Facebook friends. And even though she was still a reletively new friend to me, she went around to all her co-workers and raised a bunch of money for my family. And then another year later, when my dad died, she came over and baked my mom and I the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had in my life. If you’re nice to me, great. If you spoil my mother, you are a friend for life. And we were. We died together in the zombie apocalypse.
Online Erin is a little different than Real Life Erin. Both are totally hilarious, talented, and a total blast. But Online Erin is tough-as-balls, likes to air grievances (about everything, and it’s awesome), and doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. Real Life Erin is polite, charming, and sweeter than she thinks she is. Online Erin is entertaining and I knew I would like her, but I never expected how much I would fucking love Real Life Erin. I mean, I made her a bridesmaid.
With Courtney, Erin, Graham, Dan, Kerri and Charlie all in Seattle (plus Janet in the close-enough Portland), I have no doubt that I will visit soon. At the very least, I’ll see her at the wedding. Our friendship is 80% online anyway, so it’s not like too much will change. Shit, we have been known to IM each other while sitting next to each other on the couch.
But dammit, Erin. I’m going to miss you a lot. Love you. (You’re so lucky I didn’t cry when I hugged you goodbye; I usually do that when I’m hammered.)
*Courtney is a middle school bus-buddy, McDonald’s colleague and, as I’ve already established, the Patron Saint of Life as I Know It.
Oh, y’all didn’t know that I get a PMS Pass? That’s because I just made it up.
I quit running for a week (except for when zombies chased me through the woods) because I did something weird to my leg. Literally every day it the pain moves to a different location. If that wasn’t enough, my minor arthritis has stepped up its game. I’ve learned my lesson about rest and recovery, no matter how much I hate it.
PMS is the worst time to be sidelined with an injury. But throw in that Todd Akin shit and the Mondays and I just can’t even, guys. That scale will push me over the edge. I control my own destiny, and today ignorance is bliss. Legitimate bliss. Which results in a food baby.
Welp, back to Teen Wolf and this bowl of guac. Seize the day, weeze the juice, etc.
You still can’t see any difference, but I feel different. And that’s the important part … right?
We’re filming a video this week, which means staying late to work on last minute stuff, 5am call times, trips to farms, rigging an elevator, etc. etc. So I took my picture and ran my miles and all that jazz; I’m just beat. I’ll attempt to post tomorrow if I make it out of Illinois alive. (This all sounds like a pain in the ass, but I’m loving that all this chaos is for something I wrote.)
Okay y’all … (I learned my lesson when I tried to get my toes in the picture last time):
I’ve decided to (try and) not drink until I’ve lost the 20 pounds I’ve been trying to lose for 6 months. Literally every time I lose 3 pounds, someone invites me out for drinks or I attend a wedding or I go to a party … and after a few glasses of wine, I morph into Meredith Baxter Birney in Kate’s Secret minus the purging. When it comes to self control, I am awesome until you booze me up. It’s time to take that out of the equation.