Thursday, December 14, 2017

16 Days & Counting: A New Name is Born

We are 16 days away, people. SIXTEEN DAYS. This is not a drill. I will be a married lady this time 16 days from now.

It seems so soon, yet also impossibly far away because I'm so excited. For the most part, the wedding is planned, minus a few last minute to-dos. I ordered table place cards today and my mom left this morning to transport "the dress" back home after she generously offered to drive seven hours to come pick it up. (I don't trust an 11-month-old, 50-pound puppy and an expensive gown to coexist in the backseat of a Prius when we drive home next week.)

I've been so busy finalizing plans, finishing up work for the year, and partaking in any and every Christmas-related festivity that I don't know that it's "hit" me that I'm getting married in 16 days. In reality, we already feel like we're married so maybe I won't have an "oh my gosh, I'm getting married" moment. We'll have a "finally, about time" moment. 

We just want to be married already. We may or may not wear our wedding bands around the house every now and then. There is nothing better than watching J do every day tasks, like check the mouse trap, while wearing a wedding ring. And it will be a million times better when he isn't wearing it illegally. (Or, when we don't need a mouse trap.) 

The only thing that's "hit" me recently is that my name will change. I decided I would take J's last name after the wedding and it hit me a few weeks ago while I was filling out an online form. (Ok, ok, I was online shopping.) Like, I knew my name would change, but it hadn't sunk in that my name would change. I've spent 32+ years as Lindsay de Castrique. THIRTY-TWO-PLUS YEARS. I remember having to "sing" my last name aloud when learning to spell it in kindergarten because it felt frustratingly long. And in 16 days, I become Lindsay Vivian. I don't even have a song worked out yet for V-I-V-I-A-N. 

I know this sounds weird but, to me, the strangest part is that I'll now have a name someone else has. I've always been the only Lindsay de Castrique. Well, actually, deCastrique. I don't have the space in my name like other members of my family. Long story. 

In fact, I've never in my life encountered a deCastrique (or de Castrique) to whom I wasn't related. When you google Lindsay deCastrique, it's pretty much all me and then some results about my dad. But, when you google Lindsay Vivian, you get a whole buncha ladies! One of them has her own IMDB page as a makeup artist. Another has published research on Aquatic Vertebrate Predation Threats to the Platte River Caddisfly. 

Am I ready for such a world? I don't know crap about Caddisfly.

I guess I'm going to have to work extra hard to stand out in a world full of Lindsay Vivians. But I'm ready for the challenge. And I'll have a handsome, mouse-trap-checking man by my side. 

Now, if you'll excuse me. I have to go practice my signature. I've never had a last name that starts with a capital letter before!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Happy List

There has been so much sadness in the world lately. It's hard to process it all. You get sad and then confused and then angry and then your heart breaks all over again. People keep saying "It's too hard to watch the news, so I just can't anymore." But we can't turn a blind eye to everything. We can't stop being empathetic and compassionate, writing the donation checks however small they may be and hearing the stories. Don't the people living through it wish they could just choose to ignore it. And though I have many, many thoughts and opinions about our country right now, that isn't what this post is about. This post is about silly, trivial things that lift my heart ever so slightly when it seems like the world is constantly weeping.  

In college, my roommates and I started a "happiness list." It was a list of tiny things that make us smile. We'd email it around, each person adding a numbered item when something came to mind. It was especially helpful during exam time and when we were all abroad in different countries. The list included things like, "when friends take care of you like your mom would when you're sick" and "when there is no wait for the elliptical machine at the gym" and "sitting on the porch on a fall day." By the time we graduated, I think the list was in the hundreds. Some were seriousrecognizing the happiness of family and discovering self-worth and independenceand others were silly, like eating chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. 

I decided I need a happiness list right now. It doesn't fix anything happening in the world. It doesn't add anything constructive to the conversation. But it helps me to keep my sanity and perspective so I can keep watching the news and hearing the stories, and identify ways that I can legitimately help. It's the self-care I need to be able to hopefully help others. I'm privileged to be able to celebrate the little things right now, when many people cannot. So that's what I'm going to do. Here's the start of the list I'm creating. I encourage you to do the same. 

  • Fall weather (come back, Fall!) and sitting on the deck in a sweater
  • When our puppy blissfully sticks his head out the window while we're driving
  • Respectful discourse on controversial topics
  • Caramel Apple Spice tea. Tea in general. 
  • When J volunteers to take the dog out in the early morning even though that's my time to take the dog out. (Because sometimes you just can't fathom getting out of bed and putting on shoes at 6:30 AM.)
  • Checking in on the "countdown clock" to our wedding (85 days, but who's counting)
  • The opportunity to vote (PSA: Research your candidates for fall elections. Know where they stand.)
  • Addressing wedding invitations 
  • Watching parents be proud of their kids
  • Actually doing 10 er, 8 real push-ups in barre class when I used to be able to do 0
  • Friends having babies
  • My bachelorette party this weekend and getting to spend time with incredible women I've known for decades (and wine)
  • Watching little kids learn to read
  • The satisfaction that comes from cleaning with those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. (They really are magic, y'all) 
  • A nice strong hug, when you didn't realize you needed it
  • When the puppy puts his head on my leg at the end of the day and lets out a big sigh. (Me too, Norm. Me too.)
  • Almond croissants

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Operation: Plan a Wedding

I've been asked to provide more wedding planning updates. Truth is, everything is running pretty smoothly.

*knocks on wood*

J and I decided as soon as we got engaged to not "overthink" the wedding to the point that it overshadows the marriage element. (I know, we're cheesy idealists in love). Sure, I enjoy a beautiful Pinterest wedding, and I see how brides can get lost in all the gorgeous magazines, DIY projects and aspirations for a magazine-worthy wedding. But that seems like a lot of stress.  I want it to be beautiful but more importantly, "us." We decided that our "vision" for the wedding would be: a good time with people we love that ends with us being legally married. Plus, our wedding is at Christmastime, so how could it be anything but magical? There will literally be a Christmas tree at our wedding reception. It's a dream come true.

My mom and I are both planners, so we got a lot done early on. Plus, I've planned large events in previous jobs so I'm no stranger to a to-do list and a timeline. Much like Santa, I love making my list, checking it twice, and then moving on and not looking back. 

Even before we got engaged, J and I knew we wanted a short engagement. However, aligning calendars with families, churches, and venues meant the shortest engagement we could have was nine months. That didn't feel that short but people said, "You wouldn't want less than that anyways! You need at least nine months! That will be tight!"


So, here's the update I'm sure you've all been anxiously awaiting: We've now moved into what I consider "Phase 2" of wedding planning. What's Phase 2 you may ask? Clearly, I'm an expert since I've never done this before and will never do it again, but here's how I see it:

Friday, July 28, 2017

So a girl walks into a barre. Literally.

I'm doing that thing where you try to get in shape. You know, when you don't eat candy at every meal and you try to exercise. Apparently people actually live this way.

I do love to try to eat healthy. I swear by a farmer's market to stock up on fruits and veggies and I avoid highly processed foods. But I have a sweet tooth like you've never seen, so it's a constant battle.

I like exercising too. I just don't always get around to it. Ok, so I don't enjoy exercising as much as I enjoy a trendy work-out to karaoke-worthy soundtracks. I've written about this before, I think. Probably long ago on one of my many previously-failed blogs. I love sweating it out to some Whitney Houston or Ariana Grande. Don't give me a generic techno soundtrack. If I can't sing it, then I also can't plank to it. I need those sweet Justin Timberlake lyrics to soothe me while my muscles spasm and I sweat more than any 5'2" female should.

So, I'm back on the exercise train. I promised myself I would not get stressed over dieting or losing weight for the wedding. I think that's stupid and causes unnecessary anxiety during a time that is supposed to be happy. But I am going to try to tone up and get in shape. If it happens, then great. If not, then that's OK too. I purposely picked a wedding gown I felt beautiful in now, so then if I have Michelle Obama arms and Carrie Underwood legs by the big day, then that's just icing on the cake.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Securing my digital future

Recently, I renewed my URL for this blog as well as the URL of my own name. You should always try to maintain the URL of your own name, just in case you become famous or something. Or, to prevent your own identity from being hijacked by someone who builds a website filled with horrible things -- like parallel parking and olives.

I rent my house and I lease my car but, gosh darn it, if I don't own URLs. Does it get any more "millennial" than that?

Anyways, as typically happens when I'm looking at URLs and protecting future me from the humiliation of having a website dedicated to parallel parking under my name, I fell down the rabbit hole of looking up what other URLs are still available. This may sound like a boring activity, but it's actually pretty intriguing. For example, did you know that is still available? It would be perfect for when I start my restaurant specializing in wine and jelly bean pairings.

In the end, though I was tempted to purchase, I opted to just add various versions of my soon-to-be married name to my URL arsenal. And I threw in a new email address.

This is something I think is missing from all these "So You're Getting Married, Here's a To-Do List" lists you are bombarded with when you get engaged:

If you're gonna change your name, you gotta scoop up that domain. 

(I should trademark that! Searching as we speak...)

This is where I should note that you don't have to change your name. I just want to make it clear that I do not believe women/men need to change names when they get married. Have different names. Switch names. Make up a new name. Whatever. 

If I thought J would go for it, I'd suggest we become "The Aaawesomes." Triple A to ensure any future offspring will be in the front of the alphabet for things like Line Leader Day and Graduation. Then we can grab that diploma and skip out for ice cream faster than they can say Bueller, am I right? 

But back to my original topic. 

I'm neither an internet nor wedding expert, but you can't neglect your digital presence just because you are buying wedding magazines and picking out colors. C'mon, people, have some priorities.  We had our wedding hashtag within three days of getting engaged. We didn't have a venue or a date but, gosh darn-it, there was a hashtag. 

And now I have a URL and an email address to throw into the mix. The whole marriage thing seems very real when you see your new name in an email address. I'm ready. Let's do this.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Things I've learned about puppyhood

Jordan and I have been woken up every two hours for the last four nights by our five-month-old puppy, Norman. I won't go into the details but let's just call it a "bowel situation."

Every two hours.

For four straight nights.

The fact that Jordan and I are both slightly dying more and more with every 3AM outing does not bode well for any children in our future.

Every two hours.

For four straight nights.

(At this point, will the moms please spare me the "girl, you have no idea!" comments. Puppies are not the same as babies. I know this. But I'm still tired. Just let me have this one, please.)

Really, the fault is ours. Let this be a warning: Don't ever go on vacation without your dog. He will know. He will know and you will pay.

I suppose we should be honored that Norman loves us so much. The feeling is mutual, after all. In my unbiased opinion, he's the very best, most adorable, sweetest, kindest puppy that there ever was.

But, MAN, can he hold a grudge.

Monday, June 26, 2017

An open letter to Bumble and The Hallmark Channel

To Whom It May Concern at Bumble and The Hallmark Channel:

You may already be aware of this fact: Weddings are expensive. Like, really expensive. We want a simple-yet-classy wedding but I've also always wanted to invite all my loved ones, which is quite a few (#blessed). So, even though we're pretty laid back about the aesthetic and vision of our wedding, it adds up.

That's where you come in. I am presenting you with a unique opportunity to put a price on love.

I am inviting you to sponsor our wedding. Here's why:


You're the reason for the season. We met because of you!

We're your classic, modern day love story:

  • Girl sees boy on Bumble. Girl swipes right for boy. Boy sees girl on Bumble. Boy swipes right for girl.'s a match!
  • Thanks to Bumble, girl has all the power and comes up with some pithy, intriguing line like "Hi." (I'm not actually sure how our convo started but clearly I #nailedit).  
  • Boy and girl meet for drinks so that they have an easy out if things get boring/weird/etc. 
  • Boy seems nice. Boy makes girl laugh. Girl is intrigued. 
  • Next day, boy and girl text and immediately set up second date for later that week. 
  • Eleven months later, ENGAGED.
  • Boy and girl live "APPily" every after. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

Of all the (often tedious and exhausting) dating apps out there, you finally came through for us, Bumble. Like a breath of fresh air. He flew into my life. The buzz of our wedding is all because of you! (See, I have so many bee puns you could use!)

I'm back...again. This time with a fiance & a puppy.

Me again.

I'm still here. Boy, have I had a year. (This is not going to be a poem. That was a coincidence).

I finished grad school, got a new job, and, as you probably know because you likely clicked through to this blog from my social media and/or you're my mom, I'm getting married in December.

And my fiance, Jordan, and I got a puppy.

And we moved across the river to Alexandria, Virginia where we're renting a town home and do things like trim hedges and hire gutter cleaners.

See, do I win for life updates or what?

I keep getting asked (hi mom) about the blog and if it's coming back, so I've been thinking about it. I mull it over. Then, I get distracted by things like drinking wine on the deck and I stop thinking about it. But now I'm on a wedding diet and I don't have as many happy hours and so I'm thinking about it again.