The Wedding Planner

Pom pom coordination requires a lot of delegation.

I’m staring down a potential project that has so many moving pieces, I’m quite intimidated.

As I was imagining the incredible organization, management, and effort this will take, I felt that uncomfortable buzz as my blood pressure was rising.

Then I remembered something…and a fierce empowerment washed my nervousness away.

My inner-self said, “Bitch, you planned your own fucking wedding! You can DO this!”

Of course, I had plenty of help with my wedding from friends and family.

But, no matter how much assistance, the insurmountable amount of decision-making (about a huge event which is supposed to be heartfelt, touching, entertaining, and a kick-butt party — oh, and don’t forget that you are requiring two families to merge and you’re forcing every single person from every single circle of your life to exist in the same room together AND you’re supposed to look like a goddamn movie star the entire time) is all up to the bride-to-be.

It’s enough to send anyone into a tailspin.

Also, in my case, I was trying like mad to cut corners on cost so a lot of it was DIY.

DIY sounds real cute and delightful but don’t be fooled. There’s nothing cute about a stressed-out-skeletor-lookin’ bride-to-be having a melt-down over homemade bouquets, pom poms, hair fascinators, and boutineers in her apartment — an apartment she hasn’t cleaned in months.

Anyway, I’ll have to remember this the next time the walls start closing in on me.

Then, maybe I won’t have to resort to this:

Yep, I was THAT bride.

Photos by Ryan & Denise Photography…best wedding photographers in AZ.

Promises, Promises

By cinnamon_girl, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Little did my husband know…

I’m so thankful that, when Lou and I got married, we didn’t write our own vows.

Instead, we just stuck to the big ones: sickness, health, richer, poorer, etc., etc.

I think it’s pretty cute when other couples write their own vows and say, “I’ll let you play video games,” or “I’ll laugh at all your jokes.”

But, had Lou and I made those kinds of promises to one another, there’s no way I could be true to my vows.

Ten promises I’ve broken to my husband:

1.  I told Lou that as long as he put the clothes in the washer and dryer, I would have no issue folding them right away.

2.  I’ve promised Lou that I won’t let the kitties lick my plate after a meal. As I write this, Mia is chowing down on some leftover tomato sauce.

3.  When I became a freelancer, I told Lou that, each day, I’d at least wear mascara. I didn’t even make it to week two.

4.  Because I work at home, I also insinuated that I would take over all the dishes and general house-tidying responsibilities. Psh!

5.  I don’t think I need to explain what has happened with the ironing.

6.  I’ve also promised Lou that I would always, always want to hit the trail.

7.  I’ve assured Lou (countless times) that I will squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. I just checked our toothpaste and in spite of his rolling up the end, I’ve still squished it from the middle.

8.  I also tell him I won’t let hair go down the shower drain.

9.  When Lou bought his guitar amp, I told him it wouldn’t bother me at all when he played. After all, what kind of a wife wouldn’t support her husband’s art?

10.  “If you let me get another kitty, emptying the litter box will be my job.”

Side note: Now I have Promises, Promises by Naked Eyes running through my mind. Listen and watch the rockin’ 80s video here.

My Mom…Sew Awesome

Use these on paper and you will FEEL Roxana's wrath!

I saw a meme today about the consequences of using fabric scissors to cut paper. I laughed.

I laughed because it reminds me of my mother, Roxana. She’s a remarkable seamstress and, though my brothers and I were a rowdy bunch, we knew to stay the f*ck away from the fabric scissors.

Build a fire in the backyard and you will be scolded. Use the pinking shears on your construction paper and you will be so passionately shamed that the mere memory of the incident will bring you to tears decades later, when you finally have the strength to face it.

Roxana never played with dolls as a child. Instead, she designed and sewed little outfits for them.

In her childhood photo album (an absolute treasure not only because all the photography, layout, and captions were compiled by a 12-year-old, but because we lost the majority of our family photo albums earlier this year in a tragic fire), there are a series of photographs of young Roxana in half a dozen outfits. A play jumper, a formal dress, skirts, blouses…these were my mother’s summer vacation projects.

Once in high school and already an expert in clothing construction, Roxana asked the school counselor if she could register for the Introduction to Architecture class.

“Oh, I don’t think you want to do that,” the counselor said. “You’ll be the only girl there.”

It was back to the sewing machine for Roxana. A few years later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from UC Davis.

Then, many years later, she had a little girl.

She taught me the basics but I never really took to it. Not like her.

Instead, I would sketch designs for the clothes that I wanted (mostly my Halloween costumes) and she’d make the pattern and sew it. Decisions for color, fabric, and closures were a collaborative effort.

She made my punk-rock-inspired prom dress out of pleather. She made my beautiful satin gown when I was a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding.

And, of course, she made my wedding dress.

We both knew this was the project we had trained for. We found a Vogue design that was perfect…simple and elegant. The dress had no need for beading or boning and my mother was thrilled.

“If you wanted all that sparkly stuff, I would’ve done it for you…but I would not have been happy,” she said.

What we thought was simple turned into something more complicated.

“Stop losing weight!” my mother told me as she had to take in the dress for the twelfth time.

We didn’t finish the hem until the day before the rehearsal dinner.

I was hunched over in the sewing room, sobbing with my face buried in my hands. To add to this humiliating scene, I was only wearing my nude-colored Spanx and bustier as my mom spread my dress on the floor.

“Oh, Lilia,” she said. “I’m so sorry…I didn’t want it to be like this.”

I reassured her. I wasn’t mad. I was just overwhelmed and probably suffering from malnourishment.

Today, we laugh together about the whole thing.

“I’ll never sew another wedding dress again,” she always says.


I want this one to be just for us…

Photo by Ryan & Denise Photography.

"Phew! We made it!"

Photo by Ryan & Denise Photography.

My mother's brilliant work.

All wedding photos taken by ryan & denise photography. Hire them because they are totally the best ever in the world, I promise.

Give It Ten Years

Photo by Ryan & Denise Photography

People are disappointed to learn that we are still this happy.

“Give it ten years.”

I want to take a moment to express how much I adore hearing this from other married people. Oh, man, it’s the best!

When Lou and I were planning our wedding, I’d often share my excitement for my upcoming marriage.

I quickly learned not to do that.

After hearing countless versions of, “Just give it ten years,” or, “Enjoy it while it lasts, ” I made a conscious effort to scale back my expressions of happiness.

Not because I felt like a braggart. But because it felt gross when other people (some of them “friends”) openly damned my marriage.

We’ve been married for over a year now.

“How’s married life?” someone will inevitably ask.

“Totally awesome. I love it,” I always reply (because I’m not a liar).

“Yeah…talk to me in a few years,” they say.

“Go fuck yourself!” I [wish I could] say back.

I assume this means that people want me to say that marriage is harder than I thought it would be and that married life isn’t romantic or that my husband is a dick and we never have sex anymore.

Sorry, everybody, but this will never happen.

And I mean that. Never.

It won’t happen because I made a promise. Sure, I promised Lou I’d honor him in sickness and in health and blah, blah, blah…I take that seriously. But that’s not the promise I’m talking about.

Way before I met Lou, I was in an unhappy relationship. This man and I stayed together over four years and even though we fought constantly, we got engaged.

I broke it off.

I put him through hell. I disappointed our families. And I flipped my life upside-down.

I decided all that mayhem had to amount to something. So I promised myself I would never be in an unhappy relationship again.

Since settling would have broken my promise, I could have easily spent this life alone. I am extraordinarily lucky to have found Lou.

So, no, I will never hate on my marriage. No matter how much other people want me to.

Besides, how could I hate a husband who does this?

I found this on my desk this morning. Lou printed out a picture of himself. Then he made himself say, "Lilia Rocks."

Olive Branch

By Adamina, flickr Creative Commons

I suppose it's time to extend this thing.

For the first time in over a year, my best friend, Lisa, talked to me.

I don’t know if she said, “I miss you,” or if it was, “Fuck you,” or it could be something as simple as, “You look like a praying mantis.”

This kind of thing can only happen over Facebook. I was stalking her page the other day (I admit this without shame) and I found a picture of me.

At least, I assume it was me. It’s a painting of a praying mantis titled “Lilia.”

The painting is a part of a series she’s working on in which she crafts portraits of little animals and pets. I adore them. And so does Perez Hilton.

She painted a portrait of Hilton’s dog and sent it to him. Then he blogged about her.

Here’s another thing about Lisa: She’s goddamn clever.

And she’s always been a fantastic artist. In fact, she’s the reason I gave up painting. When I met her in the 7th grade, I was blown away by the sketches and doodles she could whip up with such ease. She made me realize that while I may have had the technical skill, I lacked that feverish need to create visual art. So I quit. Which was a good thing because I began writing obsessively in a journal the next year.

In December 2010, we got in a really dumb fight about our weddings. We were married within three weeks of one another. Armed with 15 years of a friendship riddled with the inevitable mutual resentments that come along with such longevity, something had to blow.

These days, I could care less about the details of the fight. In fact, it’s quite embarrassing — we stopped talking to each other because of some fucking cupcakes.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that it wasn’t about the cupcakes.

So I suppose I’m no genius. Because it took me over a year to finally realize the reason I was so angry.

I was convinced that I loved her more than she loved me.

It hurt. And my pride couldn’t take it. So I screamed at her over the phone. She yelled back. We decided to end the call so we might both cool off.

It’s been 16 months and neither of us have picked up the phone.

Yes, I miss her. I’m stubborn and unforgiving so I’ve tried not to admit it, but it’s true.

I’m always caught off guard when those moments hit me. It’s so visceral when it happens that I can never shake it off.

I first felt it when Lou and I watched a spectacular movie called Heartburn starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. If she watched it, she and I could have a three-hour-long conversation about marriage, the 1980s, divorce, infidelity, and career moms. I’m still dying to have this conversation with her.

When my grandmother passed away last October, the grieving was tough. During a conversation with my husband about how much I missed my GJ, I suddently burst into tears and sobbed, “I want to call Lisa!”

Just a month or so ago, I read on Facebook that during an Icelandic horse-riding adventure (it’s so her to have an Icelandic adventure), she flipped off her horse. She wasn’t injured but the thought of anything happening to her made my insides crumple up.

And pretty much every day when I drive home from work, I have the urge to give her a call so I can laugh my way through the 30-minute commute.

So even if the praying mantis is a “fuck you” from her, I don’t care.

It’s just nice to know she’s thinking of me as much as I’m thinking of her. Because if that’s the case, maybe it means I was wrong.

Maybe she does love me as much as I love her…

By Simply Knot Photography

Us. On my wedding day.