Bridal Everything-You-May-Need Kit

I suppose my nerves got the best of me. I couldn’t swallow a bite of food on my wedding day. This is not a problem I had ever experienced before, (or since,) so it caught me completely off guard. In all my preparedness, I was not prepared for this. By the time our guests began to arrive, I was starving and light-headed. Was I going to be that girl who passed out at the altar?

All I wanted was a handful of nuts – some small thing to fortify and sustain me through the ceremony. After that, there would be food aplenty. Thankfully, I didn’t ultimately faint from hunger, but I did have a few moments when I felt especially hangry, which is extremely unbecoming on a bride.

In a few weeks my brother is getting married. His bride-to-be is fully occupied with wedding plans and preparation, just as I had been years ago. No detail is too small for careful consideration. Nothing will be forgotten, ignored, or left to chance. We will have a lovely lunch for the ladies of the bridal party as we spend the day on hair and make-up, just as I had. Everything will be perfect. (Except for all the small unforeseen things that happen at every wedding.)

With nuts and the unforeseeable in mind, I set out to provide my soon-to-be sister-in-law with a Wedding Day Kit that includes anything she might need on the big day. Yes, I gave her nuts for her bridal shower and I might just give nuts to every bride I know from here on out.

Here’s what my Bridal Everything-You-May-Need Kit included:

Bridal Shower Gift

I found a cute white tote bag embroidered with “Bride” into which I packed all the odds and ends. I printed out this picture and list, rolled it into a scroll and included it in the bag so she wouldn’t have to actually unpack all of the various items at the shower. There’s extra room in the tote for her to add any personal belongings she wants to bring on her big day. She can then use the tote bag on her honeymoon!

If you’re looking for something different with a personal touch for a bridal shower gift, I highly recommend creating your own Bridal Kit. For a head start, click here for a printable of my list.

Remember, friends don’t let brides get hangry.

Bridal Everything You May Need Kit Printable

Summer, I say “UNCLE!”

With the kids around all the time I’m going to seed. I haven’t been working out, eating well, or, you know, showering on the regular. And my hair? It’s gotten bad. It’s been so long since I colored it, that I’m no longer on the root touch-up regimen but in desperate need of an all over do over. Also, I pair my monthly at-home hair coloring with deep cleaning the upstairs bathrooms and bedrooms. I couldn’t possibly just sit and relax for the 30 minutes I have dye in my hair, so I do a speed deep clean. In this way we avoid living in complete upstairs squalor and I have nice hair to boot.

I probably don’t have to tell you, but we’ve been living in complete upstairs squalor.

One look at myself in the dirty mirror this morning and I decided that today had to be the day. After breakfast and some outdoor play time, I gave the kids second breakfast and put on a movie.

“I’m going upstairs to shower. Don’t touch each other or do anything generally terrible.” (It’s best if they don’t know just how much unsupervised time they’re actually going to have.)

Hair dyed, tubs scrubbed, and bedrooms picked up I return downstairs. Before I reach the living room, Sally comes running to me.

“Mommy, can we paint?”
“Are you asking because you want to paint, or have you already been painting?”
“Ummmmm.”
“Not in the living room! Tell me you aren’t painting in the living room!”
“Ummmmm.”

I round the corner. Sure enough, the paints are open; wet painted papers are strewn everywhere; water-logged paint pallets overflow; and there’s a huge puddle of water-color water on the stainable wood of the coffee table.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”
“It was Sally’s idea to paint.”
“Was not! You got the paints down!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
“Come on, Sally. Let’s go play outside.”

I turn on them. Full of fury.

“What were you THINKING? When have I EVER let you paint in the living room? You both should have known better! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? NO! NO! NO!”

I continued random nos, and should have known betters, as I sopped up the water with paper towels. I’m pretty sure there was a visible swirling cloud of expletive symbols circling my head. $#%@#!! The kids stand nearby, possibly paralyzed with fear.

“You know, this table might be stained forever!”

And if I didn’t already feel like killing the little buggers, Luke says in a calm sweet voice, while holding his sister’s damned hand,

“Mom, aren’t people more important than things? Aren’t we, your children, more important than the coffee table?”

Are you freaking kidding me with this, you manipulative little shit?!

“Not right now you’re not! GAH!!! I don’t really mean that BUT I’M REALLY MAD so I’m about to say it again! NOT RIGHT NOW YOU’RE NOT! GAH!!!! AGH! NOW GO OUTSIDE BEFORE I SAY EVEN WORSE THINGS TO YOU!”

And that’s how I lost at parenting today. You?

UNCLE

A Startling Development

Something strange keeps happening around here. On multiple occasions lately, my husband and I notice ourselves having fun. Actual fun WITH OUR KIDS! Not, “oh it’s fun to watch my toddler feed a goat” fun, I mean genuine fun. The kind we generally only have without our kids.

This is incredible news, people!

We like our children!

I think that the ratio of Needy Little Buggers to Funny Little People is starting to tip in favor of the latter. And thank God for it!

We just returned from a mini beach vacation. The water was a balmy 58 degrees, so I can’t attribute our good time to the restorative nature of warm salt water. I guess it could be the restorative nature of cold salt water, but I’m going to take a leap and give credit to the kids. They are becoming less and less unpleasant.

Occasionally anyway. I wouldn’t want them to be perfect. If they were, I never could take pictures like this:

time out with a view

We enjoyed catching crabs, finding starfish, flying kites, building sandcastles, and jumping in the freezing waves together. We had full 20-minute stretches where my husband and I could talk to each other while watching our kids play adorably together! We could fit all this in between snacks and sunscreen reapplications thanks to our growing kids’ larger stomachs and willingness to wear sun hats.

Sure, we had a couple of meltdowns and a few instances of sibling assholery, but the good outweighed the bad, by far, despite overly long car rides, less than ideal sleep situations, and that special brand of exhaustion born from full summer days spent outside.

I didn’t know if I’d ever get to this point. Our baby and toddler years felt long and punishing. Gone are cute pudgy legs and wet baby kisses, diapers and colic, and inflexible toddlers made more impossible when naps are disturbed. I feel the heart-squeeze of nostalgia, but mostly I feel lightened by relief. Here are my long-limbed, capable, humorous, adventuring huge personalities, who can almost wait five minutes until dinner. Hallelujah!