Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.

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Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Back in October, we went bridesmaid dress shopping.  At the time, I hadn’t started this blog.  I had my other blog, but I didn’t write in it very much.  As a result, I only have one good picture from the day.

I had picked out a style that I really liked from David’s Bridal.  I had toyed originally between the girls wearing yellow or gray and decided on yellow since our wedding was set for the summer.  I wanted something bright and cheery and fun.  I had thought at first that they wouldn’t want to wear yellow and I really wanted everyone to be comfortable, but as it turned out the yellow worked well.

When we went to try them on, I couldn’t believe how fast it was.  We had an appointment and were in and out in literally 10 minutes.  Ok not out, but the fitting part was done within 10 minutes.  Everyone seemed happy and the price was right, so it was a great experience!  You hear (or see on TV) horror stories of miserable bridesmaid dress shopping experiences, but mine was totally painless.  I think I just lucked out that the girls all like the dress I had picked.

my bridesmaids: my sis-in-law Nicole, sister and MOH Amanda, ballet friend Mindy, and high school friend Steph

Obviously those are not yellow.  They didn’t have a yellow dress in any of their sizes to try, but it wasn’t a big deal.  (After the dresses came in and I saw the yellow on my sister, I totally loved it).

What was your bridesmaid dress shopping experience like?



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The Proposal from the Guy’s Point of View

 I asked Mat to write this post for the blog that I would post on our wedding day.  As you read it, we’re either getting ready, waiting for the ceremony to start, saying I Do, or dancing the night away.  Enjoy!


So Melissa wanted me to do a couple of guest blog posts and she recommended I blog about how I proposed and from my point of view. We both knew that at some point we were going to get engaged and we both knew roughly the time frame that we would be getting engaged. Early on in our relationship Melissa and I agreed on always talking and keeping communication open. This almost bit me in the butt since I stupidly told Melissa how much money I was planning to spend, how much I was saving each month, and how much of a bonus I was getting around Christmas time… I know… I’m a special kind of dumb at times.

Anyways, the day after thanksgiving I went into Custom Jewelry Inc. in Whittier and talked to the owner Jeff about making a custom engagement right. We came up with an idea based on some rings that Melissa liked and I put down a deposit. Up until that point in my life this was one of the biggest decisions in my life. I was super excited, nervous, scared, but most of all happy. I went home and showed my Mom and sister the receipt and needless to say they were excited. Since my Dad utterly lacks the ability to not blurt out what you had just told him I decided not to tell my dad my plans.

Now during this time Melissa had the habit of telling me that I would NEVER be able to surprise her with a proposal. I actually doubted my ability to surprise her but I knew I had to step up and do my best. At this point I had absolutely no idea how to surprise her. Would I just do the normal “date night during dinner proposal” or try to be creative. I realized that if I had tried a nice dinner proposal that Melissa would see right through it. I mean how obvious would it be if I asked her to a nice dinner and made sure she dressed nice? I realized I had to take myself out of the picture entirely. I texted our friend Steph and said I may need her help in surprising Melissa. I came up with the idea of being called into work to cover for a coworker who had covered my Christmas Eve shift. I knew Melissa would not be too happy about my sudden shift and would likely hang out with Steph. To throw her a bit more I told her that the bonus I was going to be getting was actually not coming, and the whole thing was me getting confused about the letter work had sent, something that isn’t out of the norm for me. Melissa bought this completely and was a little upset I had gotten mixed up. I nearly told Melissa that I was lying because I absolutely hate when I upset her. When the bonus arrived the next day I finished paying off the ring.

I finalized my plans with Steph and I set it all into motion. I texted Melissa, told her that Saturday plans would be changing since I got called in. She was upset that we couldn’t hang out like usual and texted Steph. Steph said they could hang out and maybe do a picnic (which was my idea), and Melissa was completely sold on it. I texted Melissa’s dad Steve and asked him if we could meet for dinner to talk. When we got to Panera he knew I was nervous, made small talk for a little bit, and finally says “So I know why you asked me here but I’ll let you get to that.” I laugh and tell him that I love his daughter more than I ever thought possible to love anyone. I tell him that she means everything to me, and that I wanted his blessing in asking Melissa to marry me. True to his character, Steve says “You know I never knew why guys ask the father for their blessing. It’s not really our decision, but I really respect that you asked me and of course you have Nancy and my blessing.” (Insert fist pump here).

So the night before I propose Melissa and I go to Chipotle and I mention I want to go to Disneyland on Sunday. Melissa says she doesn’t know and may not be in the mood (I suspect she’s still not too thrilled I have “work” the next day). She looks at me and asks why I have a weird look on my face and I freeze. My plan was to go to Disneyland the day after I proposed since were both Disneyland geeks and I wanted to get the “Just Engaged” pins. I tell her I was just really hoping to go since we couldn’t hang out on Saturday.

Anyways I wake up on that Saturday and take Steph to the park to plan where I’m going to propose. We find a good spot, give her a bunch of stuff for the picnic including a card for Melissa, I go home and clean up, Steph goes back home, gets ready, and goes to pick up Melissa. I head to the park and hang out in my car waiting for Steph to text me telling me they are at the park and that she’s leaving the picnic to “grab her camera”. She texts me that it’s time to make my move and I jump out of my car and start walking towards Melissa. Melissa is just finishing reading the card and she’s trying to straighten her hair and starts to look for me. I walk up to her, give her a hug, and tell her I love her and she means the world to me. I get down on one knee and ask her to marry me. All this time I’m wearing my sunglasses… Yes I proposed while still wearing my sunglasses… Like I said, I can be very special at times.

Melissa says yes and is in full excitement mode. I tell her that my family is at her house and that they are waiting for us. She’s in complete utter shock that:

1) I just proposed

2) That I COMPLETELY surprised her

3) That both my family and her family knew the whole time.

4) That we also have dinner reservations that the Summit House, a very fancy restaurant that we really like (and will serve as our reception venue for the wedding)

It was an amazing day that went off basically without a hitch. Neither of us could really eat that day due to nerves and excitement. This was a little more than a year and a half ago and as I write this it is 3 days till the wedding and I cannot wait.




And I’m not talking about the song from “Annie.”

Tomorrow is our wedding day!!!!  Tomorrow I’m marrying my best friend.  We started with 510 days and now we’re done to just ONE!!!

I can’t believe it’s finally here.  I thought it would never come.  Tomorrow I become Melissa Kolbeck.  Weeee!!!!!!!!!!!

And since we’re, you know, getting married tomorrow and therefore will be a little busy, my posts will fade out a bit until we get back from our honeymoon on July 15th.  But I promise to be back at it after that!

Countdown: 1 day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Words of Wisdom

This is a fantastic guest post by Rebecca Woods, a published writer!  Her brother is my godfather and my dad’s lifelong best friend.  You all should go google “Living Through Charlie” and buy it!  And google her blog.  It’s pretty darn cool.  I’m honored to have her as a guest blogger.


This Friday, Melissa White (whom I have known since before she was born,) is getting married. She has asked me to write a guest post for her blog while she gets her nails done, practices aisle walking and whatever the hell else girls do in the few days before their weddings. Fortunately for Melissa, I love, love, love weddings and giving unsolicited advice so I’m super excited to write this post!

I married my husband Bill on July 29, 1984. Although 1984 was a regrettable year for fashion, it seems to have been a fine year in which to have gotten married. And July 29 is evidently an awesome day to get married. I share a wedding anniversary with such notably happy couples as Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, and Pamela Anderson and one of the dudes she married. What are some of the things that have kept Bill and me together for twenty eight years? One reason that we’re still together is that we haven’t gotten divorced. Unsolicited tip number one—stay married by not entertaining other options.

(First, a caveat for the random reader- if you are in some sort of self-destructive, hellish marriage, for God’s sake stop reading this blog and see a professional! I’m not advising you, I’m advising Melissa anyway.) I have been the wedding coordinator at my church for the last six years (times three weddings per month, times twelve months per year, times six years—you do the math, ‘cause you’re a math teacher and all) so I pretty much have the ceremony memorized. At the risk of revealing a matrimonial secret, the priest gives the same homily at every wedding. One of the best lines in it refers to the times when the bride and groom will hurt each other, not if. Because you will hurt each other. You will fight and you will argue and sometimes you will hate your husband’s guts and wonder how cereal can possibly make that much noise while it’s being chewed and you will want to beat your husband with the spoon he’s using to shovel it into his mouth because his chewing is drowning out the sound of your soul. Okay, maybe that last thing only pertains to me. But stay. Work it out. Take the option of divorce off the table. Keep that table clear so there’s room for better options. Use those. But 50% of all marriages end in divorce, right? Divorce is a really common and accessible out. Well, yes and no. Divorce is common and accessible but that 50% statistic is kind of inaccurate. You’re a math chick, you should appreciate this—in your demographic, you actually have a better than 80% chance of staying married!

The reason we’ve all heard that 50% of all marriages end in divorce is because a lot of the people that get married are idiots and they bring the average down. When you add everyone’s marriages together including teenagers, Dr. Phil guests and Kim Kardashian, then divide or multiply or whatever you math teachers do, you get 50%. But for a college graduate, over the age of 25, getting married for the first time, who has an already established source of independent income (sound like anyone you know?) the divorce rate isn’t 50%, it’s 20%. And the other good news is that the divorce rate has been on its way down since 1980 and continues to fall. So if you have an 80% chance of succeeding now and your chances are increasing every day, those are some really good odds! It’s also a really good thing to tell someone when they tell you that half of all marriages end in divorce. Because they don’t.

What if Mat’s a totally different person in a few years? He will be. He should be. You should be too. I don’t know why anyone is surprised when his/her spouse changes over the course of a marriage. Being married doesn’t freeze time (insert obvious joke here) and a person who doesn’t continue to grow and learn wouldn’t be all that much fun to be married to. I would even argue that you don’t have to change in the same directions, just “complimentary” ones. Learn new things, pursue your interests, fulfill your dreams, pick up weird hobbies. Don’t be afraid to be alone and explore things on your own. Boring people have boring marriages- come on, you know who they are. Don’t be boring. If you keep developing as an individual, you will strengthen your bond as a couple.

So, what did we learn? Change but stay married and the odds are in your favor even though you will hurt each other. This is not the kind of advice you’ll find in Cosmo, The Secret, The 17 Day Diet or any other publications the cool girls read but it’s worked for me. I wish you many, many years of happiness with the least amount of hurt and loud cereal chewing possible! Congratulations!

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The Last Day Before the Festivities

I’m a bad blogger today.  Though in my defense, I did mention yesterday that my posts would be much fewer in the new couple weeks.

Today I did a 3 mile run, took my time getting ready (partly because I was chatting a lot with my mom), and basically just relaxed.  I read quite a bit of my book, browsed on Pinterest, and also went up to the fabric store to get something to fix my bathing suit top that had broken.

Then, later this afternoon, my mom and my aunt and I went to visit my grandma (their mom).  She’s been in a nursing home for several years now and just last week went into the hospital for the second time in a month.  She keeps getting infections that require intense rounds of antibiotics to treat.  It was terrible timing for my mom, but grandma is now back in the home, still on IV antibiotics, and hopefully nothing bad happens from now until our wedding is over.  Fortunately, my aunt is being awesome and is going to deal with any grandma things that come up between now and Monday so my mom can relax and enjoy.

One of the main reasons for going to visit her was my aunt wanted her to give me her wedding present.  Many years ago, my grandma had told me that one day she was going to give me her opal ring.  We both have October birthdays and she has always wanted me to have that ring.  A few months ago, my aunt and her talked and decided to give me the ring as a wedding gift.  That’s what happened tonight.  It sounds like it’s a nice thing, and it is, but with how much grandma’s health has declined recently, it was really hard on me.  She only sometimes recognizes me, and can’t communicate in full sentences anymore.  My mom said that today she was the most vocal and lucid she’s been since getting these recent infections.

When we got home, I lost it.  I cried.  Mom cried.  We cried.  We know what’s going to happen eventually, but we don’t know when.  Mom is glad I got to see her today and that she was a little more alert than usual.  I’m glad too, but I didn’t know it was going to be so hard.

I suppose there’s also just too many emotions going around in my head right now.  I feel better now that a few hours have passed, but I’m looking forward to reading some more and then attempting to get some sleep.  Busy day tomorrow!  Early 5 mile run, going with my mom-in-law to the airport to pick up her brother, lunch with both of them and Mat and sis-in-law Nicole (Mat finally comes home to his parent’s house tomorrow!!), taking my ring to get cleaned (and grandma’s opal to get sized and cleaned), and then our nail party tomorrow night!

It was a pretty emotional afternoon, but my wedding festivities start tomorrow!  It’s finally here!

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Calm, Cool, and Collected

Considering that my wedding is about 3.5 days away, I’m pretty calm.  I went for  a 5 mile run this morning along the same route I used to do early in the morning before work.  It was a nice change of pace, but still familiar.  I even ran into my mom-in-law while she was walking – just like old times.  🙂

Mommy made oatmeal for breakfast, and I enjoyed mine with peanut butter and chocolate chips.  I really did take a picture this time, but my phone failed at sending it to my computer and I deleted it too soon.  😦

My mom and I went to get the wine bottles to the florist and then hit Michael’s and the mall to get a few more things.  Some of those things were for one of our tables of stuff at the reception – frames for our parent’s wedding pictures and stands for our wooden yellow M’s.  I set everything up on the dining room table so I could take a picture for the people at The Summit House when they set up the reception.

I’m not going to be posting as frequently for a while – I’ll do what I can the next few days until our wedding and might be able to squeeze in a couple before we leave for Fiji, but I’m not going to stress over it.  This is our wedding, after all!  We’ve waited a long time to get to this week!  I will, though, have some posts scheduled to go up while we’re gone.  My goal is every day, but it might be less.  We’ll just see how it goes.  But I promise to be back at it mid-July when we’re back!

Countdown: 3ish days!!

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Home for Wedding Week!!

After church this morning, I went home to my parent’s house.  I spent some time when I first got home reorganizing all the wedding stuff.

ready to go to the church and the summit house on thursday

more stuff, including my suitcase AND duffel bag so i can function this week (run, go to ballet at my home studio, and go to our nail party and rehearsal dinner!)

the last few things

When I first got home, I saw the gift table my mom set up in the living room:

Presents are exciting!!!!  One of those boxes is actually empty with a hole cut in the top so that if guests bring cards they have a place to go that’s more secure than just a basket or sitting on the table.

My mom also bought this and hung it:

we had a totally lorelai and rory moment of giggling when she showed it to me

I finally stopped to eat lunch? Late breakfast?  I’m not sure what it was.  I had a pb&j with a banana and nutella on the side:

Later on, I took the 2 mile walk that I used to take a long time ago.  When I got back I was greeted by buddy cat!

buddy cat!!

Buddy cat is not his name.  Mat and I dubbed him that because he always came up to us after a walk or jumped in the car when Mat would leave for the night.  Generally speaking I’m not a fan of cats, but I’ve missed him!

Another fun thing I came home to: my dad put a hook in the wall to hang my dress from on Thursday after it’s steamed, and he also cleaned the walls and vacuumed so my dress won’t get dirty.

my daddy rocks!

Dinner was turkey tenderloin (yes, I ate turkey.  I can’t really avoid chicken and turkey while at home, and honestly I’ve been craving it anyway), salad, and grilled squash.  My mom and I split the last of the port wine so I can take the bottle to the florist tomorrow with the rest of the bottles, and I had a couple of squares of dark chocolate with it.  Delish!

It’s wedding week!  Tomorrow: 5 mile run, get all the wine bottles to the florist, hang out, and ballet at my home studio!  And then possibly hanging out with my bff and bridesmaid Steph at her new apartment!

Countdown: 4 days!!!!