Wedding Budget: Modifications

This evening was a bit of a stressful one talking about budgeting woes, both with our household budget and our wedding budget.

B (aka not Mr. Communicator of the year) and I were apparently not on the same page about some things. When we set our wedding budget, he thought that what we decided on included the honeymoon. Now I have had to explain to him that typically the words “wedding budget” mean just the wedding itself, and the honeymoon would have a honeymoon budget.

Soooo I have to now reduce the budget I thought we were working with for the wedding by $3000-5000. Sort of crazy. I am actually quite frugal and a good budgeter, and I am really not that much of a diva, but at first I felt really sad, just disappointed, as most people would be. I didn’t feel like our budget was that high to begin with, though moderate. Fortunately we got a great deal on our venue.

I am focusing on this as a challenge and I think the main thing that will help is cutting down the guest list. I am using theknot’s wedding budgeter tool (and also the one at but that one doesn’t do as much of a breakdown and it is actually virtually the same numbers).

So I looked at the guest list. I had planned on 125 and had already written down all of the people we were planning to invite. I added them all up and it only comes out to 105! So I guess I don’t have to cut anybody after all, yay (I just can’t add any more 😉 ).

I found a GREAT photographer yesterday on the recommendation of a friend but he is about $1000 over my budget so that’s a no-go. Guess I will have to find someone else. One of the most frustrating things has been not getting enough information from our parents to help with planning. I have asked repeatedly for both sides to get me a list of people they want to invite that we could go through and consider. My mom got me hers but B’s mom has taken forever and after she gave us it and I thought we were done with that, she suddenly e-mailed us a whole other list yesterday. I’m sorry but those people won’t be coming now! 😉

The other thing is that I just have to ask my mom how much her and my dad are planning on contributing. Right after we got engaged, she gave an offer to help and tentatively offered a third of what our original budget was. At least this is what she hinted at. I just have to ask her again and find out what exact amount that really means or what specific things she wants to pay for so I can really PLAN. Hard to do with parents sometimes; B had a hard time discussing this with his parents today —> don’t want to go into that, but they will just be doing the rehearsal dinner.

It’s so hard to hold in my almost rage at his mom. She is the monster-in-law who was totally fine until right before we got engaged. Then she decided she needed to hang on to her precious son. When we told her we got engaged, she said to me, “Congratulations, I guess. You seem to make my son happy so I guess that’s good.” I almost feel like she just thinks we are being so extravagant with the wedding because she thinks B is a bad money-manager (he’s not and more importantly I am not and I manage us fine). This makes me mad because if you knew our budget, you would NOT think it extravagant at all so that makes no sense. I just wish he wouldn’t have asked her for money. I really think one shouldn’t ask, you should just take them up on their offer if they do (like my mom did). {Sorry, I have NO one else to rant about her to. All I do know is that I have to stop talking about her to B because it’s really stressing him out. I need to hold this all in sometimes, but I just get so passive-aggressive about someone treating me that way.}

As for the household budget, we just need to LISTEN TO ME basically! I am the voice of reason with money around here. 😉 We are okay month-to-month but we can’t put much at all into savings right now and we have to be careful not to spend too much on fun stuff because we are on only one income. [Major guilt problem with this for me.] I know that this is only temporary though. I am comforted thinking that most everyone has it a little rougher when they are first starting out together than they do years down the road when they have built up assets and savings.I really know what I’m doing; I just feel like such a nag doing it so I hold back sometimes lately, but I need to stop that.

We are sticking to a $70/week grocery budget and I am in charge of planning all that out. Might blog about that more on here. And then just having one night of take-out and one fun activity (like a drink out or a movie) per weekend. I cook the other nights. It’s hard because there are so many fun things we want to do around here and I am always wanting to get OUT of the apartment because I am stuck here so much! We can do that, it’s just things coming up with friends. I think B has a hard time just saying, “We can’t afford that” to people because it’s embarrassing or something but I always read that you can’t be afraid to say that. I just said that we should say, “Oh, sorry, we can’t because we are saving for the wedding.” I have been trying that lately and it gets a really understanding reaction out of people.

I am nervous because we have to go to San Diego again next weekend to meet my parents there (they are flying in from Denver for their anniversary), and that’s okay, we will just go out to dinner with them, but we won’t be able to go on this whale watching cruise with them (my mom is an idiot anyway because the whale-watching season down there is December-March but she is insisting on going in mid-October). Maybe they can come up here and see our place in addition to dinner down there or instead. I might suggest to do that instead, because we have to go to SD again the NEXT weekend to see B’s friend anyway. But I AM going to see my parents no matter what because I miss them. And I will make a budget for seeing his friend with a cheaper dinner and beach time/walks. It will be okay.

It will be okay! That’s the motto of the day. I rode through a lot of tears today (not really just about money, about other things that are more serious) without doing negative things and it’s so hard and feels terrible! But I still feel better than if I did that because at least I feel more comforted.

I just do feel calm about the money part because I (ME) feel in control of it and know we can stick to the budget because I am the budgeter! It’s a good feeling to feel in control.

Refreshing Strength

Can you believe it’s the first day of October?! Wow, this last month went SO fast, the fastest in recent memory for me. 😉

This weekend we went down to San Diego. B’s friend from the Army (and college) that he commissioned with was visiting there so we got to meet up with her on the Embarcadero and go to a bar downtown. I got a couple of walks on the beach boardwalk in too. 😉 I had a really good weekend. I feel strong coming back.

Update: I asked and got one more letter of recommendation! Now only one to go! Problem is I have absolutely NO idea where to get it. I tried looking up two of my professors from when I did some graduate work two years ago in a teaching discipline, only to find that they are no longer at that school. So I will have to do some brainstorming… I just can’t get psyched out about this. I am almost there! I plan to finish my essay this week and then turn in the application.

I scanned in my TB test to the volunteer organization so I can e-mail the coordinator tomorrow and probably start Tuesday or Wednesday. I can’t decide how many days a week I want to do it now. I was thinking three originally, but now I am at one or two. I am excited though. Probably Monday’s and Wednesday’s.

Tomorrow morning will post pics from the weekend and more… 🙂

Just to Talk

Today I just feel like talking.

I so often feel that I have to have a concrete topic for my posts, and then I just end up not writing anything. I do want to have some sort of focus, but this blog is also for me and today I just want to talk/write and just go with it.

First topic is about my just one thing a day thing. Yesterday I felt so overwhelmed, but today I am actually getting things done on my to-do list. I feel calmer today for some reason, so I am able to do those things, so that feels nice. But I am still just going with the one thing a day role (which is actually several things a day… I just make the short list and don’t think beyond that). So that’s going well.

What have I gotten done? Quite a few doctor things (made a primary care appointment, started figuring out how to transfer my records before I got cut off, and changed Ralph’s vet appointment for this Thursday); talked to the lady at the nursing school about how to start the disability accommodation process; and put in the load of laundry I needed to do.

Still need to: order my test scores to the nursing school, finished that records thing, make dinner, and perhaps make one more appointment.

I started the book “The Help” yesterday and I finished it today. A really good read; I plan on doing a review of it tomorrow.

I am right now watching one of my shows: “Real Housewives of New Jersey”. I LOVE DVR! So often to be able to record stuff.

It was encouraging to talk to the nursing school disability services office today. I am still kind of nervous about getting a doctor to tell them what accommodations I need, when the doctor is a completely new one, but I feel pretty supported her by the school. I can believe I could be starting at the end of August. It really hasn’t sunk in yet. It doesn’t feel real yet. But I am taking the steps to get there.

I have been having a flare-up with my neuritis symptoms in the last few days. It’s frustrating, but I’m trying to be patient with it. I can only swim for 15 min. today, but it still felt good.

We are going down to Mission Beach, San Diego again this weekend, this time with some friends. I have never taken friends down there before. But I got my dad’s approval. 😉 I’m excited to go down to the beach, and we are going to my favorite racetrack in the world: Del Mar, where the surf meets the turf!

Geez, it feels good to blog today.

Do you like going to horse races/racing track? I love going, one of my favorite things!


Well, this week was really hard, coming back from the 4th in Seattle (we were really outside the city most of the time at a lake house). We actually went down to San Diego to see my family last night – just for a night (they were on vacation there). That was really nice. They got to meet Ralph! I saw my youngest sister and my parents. The middle sister left the night before to go to Montana to see my cousins. I thought that was interesting… As of about a month ago, she wasn’t planning on doing that, so I can’t help wondering if it is because of me. (We haven’t spoken since February.) She also avoided coming over to my parents’ house when we were in Denver in early June to look at wedding venues and for our engagement party. That was okay, I wasn’t ready to see her then, but I was all ready to see her in San Diego and didn’t feel weird about it anymore. I didn’t know she wasn’t going to be there. Oh well…as I just told B, she can’t avoid me forever; I will have to see her around the holidays.

Anyway, San Diego is such a beautiful place. I have been there so many times, but I was able to look at it with fresh eyes this time.

Ralph at the ice luge on the 4th

Do you get the post-vacation blues? I have ALWAYS noticed that I have a really hard time after a trip. I don’t think it’s so much the ‘blues’ in the sense that that term means (where you are bummed that the awesome trip is over and you have to come home and work). Well, I guess it IS that, but it is more too. Like I just have A LOT of trouble re-adjusting to the routine I have at home, and wondering, especially this time, “where do I go from here?” I think that I am so much busier on trips and don’t have to think so much because I am around people. And I like that.

Then I come home and I have nothing to do again. This time I got (am) so overwhelmed with anxiety about how to adjust back and where to go next with my life, and so afraid of the boredom again and of worrying that I will never get anywhere. Just so frustrated.

To compound that, it’s hot here. Which I don’t mind the heat. I just HATE having to have the windows closed and the AC on. I just have always hated not being able to get fresh air. I literally start to feel dizzy and so agitated. I can’t think clearly. It’s weird. I don’t know if anyone else ever experiences that, but I do. I have been freaking out all day. I don’t feel alive like that. Sounds like a stupid complaint but it really triggers and affects me for some reason. Anyway, I feel a little better tonight because B said we can open the windows at night when it cools off. Yay! Okay, sorry, I just had to get that out.

I also feel a little better that I made a plan for my days for the rest of the summer. Like do this, do that, do this, do that. Maybe I will share tomorrow… 😉 I like to make schedules. It’s comforting.

How do you deal with this AC thing? What about when businesses turn it up so much that it’s TOO cold inside so you have to bring a sweater even though it’s 96* outside?!


Wish I could show SO many pictures. Sometimes I debate showing my face on this blog. But I say too many personal things I think…

Life, the experiment

I get ideas for posts, actual ideas, of wisdom I hope to share and explore, and I don’t always end up posting them but I hope this ones makes sense because it’s a good one.

Life, the experiment.

This is something that has been TREMENDOUSLY useful to me in the past on certain days, but that I hope to cultivate as a philosophy that I hold on to for awhile right now.

I have a book that talks about treating your recovery from an eating disorder as an experiment. To explain: Say to yourself, “I’ll try this for X amount of time, and if that doesn’t work, I can always go back to what I am doing now.”

Well, that kind of thinking works for me. It follows something I was taught in my DBT group almost two years ago (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long – that group changed my life, it is how I am here today). They talked about how when you are suicidal or think you can’t go one more day, just treat life as an experiment. Say to yourself, ‘I’ll just try life for one more day. If it doesn’t work out, I still have the option of exiting this life, but I can try it for one more day.” It gives you a sense of power, because, really, you always have a choice. It helps makes things not such a big deal, if you are just trying an experiment day by day. I have used this when I didn’t want to live anymore, but I don’t think you have to be on the suicidal end of the spectrum to use it. Like now, I am using it as an experiment to give up negative coping behaviors (saying, I can give up my negative coping mechanisms for one week, and giving myself permission to use them again when that week is up). I am using it as an experiment to not take everything so seriously. To just take care of myself the best that I can and make it to the end. Sometimes when I am having a really hard time, that is comforting. Just thinking that if I make it to the end of my life, I get a reward, and I just have to try to take care of me as best as I can until I get there. Everything won’t always be great, but I have to make things as pleasurable for myself as I can (ie. in each moment, don’t hurt myself more than life itself is already hurting me, don’t beat myself up). I should enjoy as much as I can because I am here and that’s how it is.

I want to participate in life.

Why do I feel the need to do this? Ugh…disclaimer: I am not an expert on anything, although I think I am, so don’t blame me for anything.

Had a good trip to San Diego this weekend. In some ways rough, in others really awesome. The best part is that it taught me something about myself and I came back yesterday with a really good sense of what a full life we have that I CAN be present in and fully grasp. I came away with a good sense of how to grasp it to. Having this full life doesn’t mean that I won’t struggle with frustrations about my medical illness and unemployment and boredom (and that makes me sad, that that part won’t go away), but it means being PRESENT in my life, the many full and great things my life with B has in it.

Some pictures from the weekend:

downtown San Diego

Coronado bridge

Naval shipyard

view of downtown from the harbor cruise

Okay, so as ya’ll may or may not know from last summer, I have been to San Diego many times because my grandparents have property there, but we went on a harbor cruise of San Diego harbor and it was awesome. I hadn’t done one since I was about 13 and we usually just go to the beach when I am there with my family so I had never been downtown or anything. The cruise was gorgeous. We were out for an hour and saw the south part of the bay (Coronado island, the naval shipyard, etc). You could do two hours and see Point Loma and some more scenic stuff on the north side as well.

PS – Watch this! It’s awesome… makes me wish I had read the books first…I never watch something before I read the books but DVR is awesome and I am trying to let myself watch more TV (seriously) and I got hooked on this show.

Does anyone else watch? Fantasy isn’t my normal genre, but yeah, it’s good.

An ever better plan

Update on the San Diego trip.

To be honest, I was still really waffling (I really like that word, lol) between going or not even after I wrote my last post. I could see a lot of pro’s and con’s to both sides. [For instance, last years I was also worried about staying home alone but I had the greatest week of my life – having alone time gave me so much less anxiety that I was actually able to follow my meal plan and make huge steps in recovery…unfortunately I lost this after they came home, but I learned a lot that I still carry with me.] Both choices this time seemed equally challenging in very different ways.

Then my dad came up with a great plan. Why don’t I just come for half the time (3-4 days instead of 8) like my parents suggested to me last year? I thought about this and my dilemna was solved. 🙂

You see, this gives me the best of both worlds. I am going Sat-Tues. I will get to see the ocean and get out of my house, but it won’t be so long. Then I will also get my alone time here to study and feel some peace before they come back home. I don’t really do well with long trips. But I do okay with weekend trips.

Anyways, I feel good with this solution. I think it will be awesome to get out and then get on a good kick before the vacation starts driving me crazy so that I can bring the kick back home to carry on with. 🙂

Misson Beach, San Diego, California

I love the beach. I am from Colorado – lots of mountains, but I don’t see that many big bodies of water, just rivers. So I am fascinated by the ocean, bays, etc. I know people visit here and get the same fascination with the Rockies. I had to move away to Tennessee and then come back home to really appreciate them. Now I look off my front porch and smile at their majesty every morning when I do my affirmations, so thankful for where I live. Anyway, my grandma’s vacation house is really close to both Mission Beach AND Mission Bay. My boyfriend is from Seattle and he always laughs at me when I get so excited about boats. I have been on a real boat a total of 4 times in my whole life (not including ferries). Also kind of foreign to me are big lakes. I am used to lots of rivers. Yes, we have some lakes here, but my family was always too poor to have a boat (or to have friends with boats) so we never got to one much.

What kind of scenery do you live around? Do you like where you live? What’s your favorite thing about it?

I am going to see the ocean

Well guys, I made a decision today…

As I said before, my family is going to my grandma’s vacation/beach house in San Diego on Saturday. I was not planning to go. Although they go every summer, I have not been for 4 years.

I swore off family vacations three years ago after a trip to Montana to see my cousins. This all has a lot to do with my general anxiety about travelling, which in the past was ridiculous because I could walk and escape anywhere I wanted to – – – why didn’t I take advantage of all of that before I lost it? Ah, the lessons God teaches us in being thankful and appreciating what we have.

So, to get to the point, I decided to go to San Diego today. We leave in two days. I found a ticket cheaper than my family, to the annoyance of my mom, haha. Sometimes that happens on spontaneous trips but not that often.

I am really scared. But not as scared as I would be here all by myself, stuck in this house because I am unable to drive.

I am going to go in the ocean, even if it hurts.

I am going to walk on the bay.

I am going to try riding the beach bike even if it hurts, maybe go for a ten minute ride in the morning as a routine instead of my swim.

I am going to take lots of Aleve and pain meds. 😉

What am I scared of?

  • I am scared of not being able to do my swims. It feels like I won’t be able to exercise. But you know what? Swimming for 15 minutes like a snail using only my arms isn’t really exercise anyway. It’s just my routine. And I can make a new routine.
  • I am scared of having to eat around my family. But would I rather stay here in this binge/purge cycle? Emphatically, No! It will force me to get on a normal plan. I will not have any opportunities to do ‘that’. I will really only have to eat dinner with them. I can do what I want in the day, and it will be so much more normal than what I do alone here all day.
  • I am scared of feeling sad that I can’t run on the beach, walk for miles on the boardwalk, go deep into the waves and swim, and feel pain walking on the sand. Some of these things, I am going to try anyway. Beyond that, I will be more sad to miss out on dipping my toes in the water, sitting in it, going on mini-walks on the boardwalk, going to the zoo (San Diego zoo is the BEST ever – trust me, I am a freak about zoos and visit one in every single city I ever travel to, it is my thing), feeling the sea breeze and smelling the salty air.

In general, I am tired of feeling dead, not alive, scared, self-doubting. I am going to go. I am going to go to pharmacy school too. For all the times I think about suicide (sorry to be blunt), it doesn’t make sense to not just enjoy things while I am here. So I am going to go. I am going to do what I want to do there and ignore my sisters. I can study there, I can be with my dad. Sometimes changing the scenery is enough to change things. Sometimes this can go in reverse too, make things worse, but how can they really get any worse? What do I have to lose? I know what could make it worse and I am not going to do that there. I am going to shock myself into reality.

I am feeling happy right now that I just got to talk to my boyfriend on skype! So thankful for modern communication to be able to talk to him so much while he’s deployed.

Also started taking Valerian capsules, an herbal anxiety remedy. I used to drink the tea but the capsules work a lot better (and don’t taste so bad). I recommend these as an alternative to benzo’s. Disclaimer to of course check with your doctor. Of course I didn’t because I think I am a smarty-pants pre-pharmacy student. Oh, I make myself laugh. But I do my research. They can theoretically interact with some things though, just to put that out there for other people.

I have to remember: San Diego and being around my family really won’t be that different from here, except that it will keep me on my toes. Being annoyed by my family happens here all the time, I will just go down to the beach (a block away!) when I need a break, like I walk to the school a block away here.

Thank you for all of your support!

Do you have trouble with travel or a change in your routine? What holds you back?

Are you going on any trips this summer? Or have you already?

Do you get sick of your family too? Man do I! But as my mom said, we are all adults now and can opt out of any activities we want. Means I don’t have to go to Disneyland with my sisters (age 19 and 23). I hate theme parks. No, I have never been to Disneyland, but I still judge it. But I refuse to go, and my children can go with their aunts because I will never take them. Why do you want to drive over an hour to stand in lines for $80?

Heat haters, Heat lovers

Pretty day today, a little cloudy and not as hot as they said. I don’t know why this heat bothers people, I love it. My family is all going to San Diego next week except for me. When they are gone, I will be turning the swamp cooler OFF and leaving all the doors and windows open…whoo hoo! 😉 And I will be watching the dogs as usual.

My grandma has a vacation house in San Diego, a block from the beach (she lives here in Colorado). When I was a kid, we didn’t have much money, so that is the only place we ever went on vacation. We would drive there to save more money. It’s like my second home.

Nowadays, my family goes there every summer. However, I haven’t gone with them for FOUR years now. In the past, I just couldn’t handle family vacations. Now, I feel sad about that sometimes, as I do about a lot of the travelling I missed out on from anxiety, because I could have WALKED, SWAM IN THE OCEAN, done all kinds of things that I love and been okay. I realize this now. That said, this year I am not going again. Part of me wants to go, is finally ready to do a family vacation again, which is good, especially to a comfortable place that is familiar to me. But I decided not to go because it would make me too sad – I won’t be able to walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, escape to walk on the bay or ride a bike — it’s all too physically painful. I didn’t want to have to be sad about all the things I cannot do, to sit on the boardwalk and watch everyone and cry. Next year, I hope I am better enough both physically and mentally to go. That is going to be a major goal of mine. I have one more medicine I can try but I keep holding off on it for some reason – like its my trump card — I am afraid of the side effects and also afraid that it won’t work and that I will have no more options.

I am also kind of worried about being lonely while they are gone, although last year my week alone was one of the best of my life (I really pushed myself in my recovery and just overall enjoyed being alone)…I will have to invite friends over (the few I have around here) and stuff and just enjoy my alone time. I’m disappointed one of my friends went to Europe for two weeks. Well, it’s awesome for him that he got to go, but I would have liked to have him and his gf (and puppy!) over for dinner a couple times.

Just went swimming and it felt good. My shoulder is still bothering me, BUT…it’s in an entirely different place than before. Now it’s in my shoulder joint, before it was in the lower part of the anterior deltoid muscle. That part just went away, or moved, or something….makes me think it is fibro pain maybe? If you have fibro, does that stuff happen to you? I understand a lot about the disease and science behind it in general, but don’t get how it works in MY body still. Or I just second-guess things.

For some reason I feel the need to clarify something from yesterday. I don’t binge/purge to maintain weight or lose weight – it is more of a self-harm thing, like cutting; I do it on purpose to hurt myself or because I am mad or frustrated. Restriction is a response to anxiety, a way to give myself a feeling of worth, and a weight maintenance thing. A couple weeks ago, I found out from my therapist that my diagnosis is “anorexia – binge/purge type”. This brought up a lot of feelings to me. It’s interesting…can’t really articulate my thoughts about it right now, but I am going to try to process what that means for me. I get confused about what it means because I know I am underweight for my height, but I still get my period and have weighed almost the exact same for two and a half years.

Actually, I think it means that while there isn’t necessarily a huge problem with my weight, there IS a problem with the WAY I eat. My dietician seems to agree with this since that’s what we are trying to work on, changing the WAY I eat and exploring why I eat this way, not focusing on weight.

Don’t you like it when you just talk yourself into a “lightbulb” moment as you blog? 🙂

Today I have therapy…I don’t have any real plans for what to talk about (I hate that) except for the dietician appointment and how to deal with being alone next week. I know I will find something to say! So I will be riding the bus all afternoon (an hour and half there, an hour and a half back!), which I actually enjoy. Since I am able to get around a little better now, I am thinking about applying to another volunteer job out of the house. I enjoy my work for the dog rescue at home, but I feel like I need to get out more. I am considering this unpaid internship one day a week at a science museum, and also something with senior citizens.