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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Life (82)

Wednesday
Mar072012

The Perfect Storm

Sometimes a perfect storm of friends happens. Lots of times it happens at weddings, whether it’s your own wedding or someone else’s.

This past weekend, I had the perfect storm of friends. A friend from college and a friend from my late twenties/early thirties – and all of us friends in Chicago. There was a time when we were thick as thieves; every weekend spent going to parties, throwing parties, making a party just about everywhere we went.

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Jamie got married first. I remember when Dave moved in with her, I thought she was stupid. At the time, I thought living with someone before you got married was a mistake.

I was wrong.

Next was Scott. For the nine years I’d known him prior to him meeting his wife, I’d only met ONE girl he dated. And I knew she wouldn’t last. She didn’t.

When he introduced me to his now-wife Val and they kissed in front of me, I realized I’d NEVER seen Scott affectionate with anyone before. It was so was cute. I also knew that his girl was a keeper. Their wedding? I brought The Candyman along after only three months of dating. How could  I not? The wedding was held in Wilmington, the hometown of the bride as well as The Candyman. Those two are like peas and carrots when they get together.

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And they all came to our wedding. Well, Val missed it, but she was 800 months pregnant.

They all have the kiddies now. And they are growing up so fast. Up until this past weekend, they’d never met – all the kids. As soon as they they converged in one spot, it was instant playtime.

Insta-pals. Kinda like their parents.

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We stayed with Scott and Val that night and were woken up by their kids, screaming into the guest room, asking for playtime. They loved The Candyman something awful.

After our good-byes, The Candyman and I met up with my old boss,  his daughter and her boyfriend for brunch in downtown Raleigh. More old friends, new friends and time together.

The time. It’s important. So very important. Though short, I was so happy to have spent the happy hours with my people; the people who knew me at my worst, my best and all the me’s in-between.

The night we spent in Raleigh there was a horrible storm in Charlotte. Storms of the tornado variety. 

For me? The storm was in Raleigh – a perfect storm of old friends, good food, drinks and long talks that went well past bedtimes and hours we meant to be “on the road.”  Because when a perfect storm happens, you take cover with provisions. You gather your loved ones near. 

Wednesday
Feb292012

A Working Title…

I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet, people.

You can color me employed.

Yeah, like the real deal. Like, I’m heading back into the world of bi-weekly paychecks, 401K’s, stock options, health insurance and daily alarm clocks.

And guess what? I get to go back overseas on the regular! Watch out, China…I’m coming back!

Everything was firmed up today and I swear, I still can’t believe it’s true. My dad happened to be around this weekend after I got the offer and we all went out to dinner to celebrate. Even after all that, it still doesn’t feel real. At all.

But I’m excited and I start on MONDAY!

I’m not sure what’s going to be happening around here as a result, but I GOT A JOB!

One thing I can tell you for certain, there is such a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. After I got the offer, I had a horrid case of the dry sobs for several hours. I am such a giant baby.

So chew on that y’all. I’ve got some more celebrating to do!

Monday
Jan022012

2012

Really? Already. Was hoping to delay the new year a bit longer.

I’ve made no resolutions. I would like to be better at everything this year and that kind of karma request isn’t really fair or specific enough for all the little karma fairies who make sure what goes around comes around.

The year creeped into my world without any amount of fanfare or excitement. We watched the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Netflix. We paid too much money for a so-so lunch at a farm-to-fork restaurant in downtown Charlotte. The service was appalling, though the hostess was managing the rotation of cattle, I mean people, like the pro she apparently is. It’s too bad our waitress was a bitch. And not good. At all.

We did get some much needed down time as a couple. There was no fighting, nitpicking, nagging or marital disputes. Me and The Candyman oozed The Love.

However, there have been things, little poking sharp things, at the base of my skull that are creeping into my frontal lobe now that the holidays are over.

These sharp things are things that I don’t want to think or talk about, like at all.

  1. Congress voted to extend unemployment insurance for 2 more months. Yippee! for 2 more months! And then what if there are no more extensions?  Options include:
    1. Finding a part-time and/or minimum wage job doing…what exactly? Exactly what am I over-qualified for in that regard? What am I physically capable of doing (my knee and my back aren’t always healthy and let’s be honest, I’m no spring chicken)?
    2. Working in marketing for The Candyman to help him and his firm. But my husband would be my boss and I hear the pay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
    3. Find myself a dark, empty corner somewhere, curl up in it and await December 22, 2012, when the world blows up.
  2. December 22, 2012. The Mayans have been kind of spot on for like, the last billion years, right? 
  3. Having enough faith in myself to accomplish, oh anything.
  4. The gelatinous look of my thighs.
  5. Wondering whether or not the fact that I have been unemployed for a year totally discounts me as any kind of true applicant to any job whatsoever.
  6. Becoming a permanent stay-at-home wife with no kids, which most people might just call lazy. Or stupid. Or unmotivated. Or [insert your insult here].
  7. Figuring out my delinquent North Carolina State Sales & Use tax, of which I had NO IDEA I was supposed to file. Or how to file. Or when to file.
  8. Our 2011 taxes. Fuck. Someone just shoot me now.

The Candyman does a good job of deflecting these worries of mine. Sometimes I think he’s too good at it. He’s not the kind to wear rose-colored glasses, but his view of success and failure is WAY different than mine. Our life perspectives are spectrum opposites. My checking account balance is a constant state of worry. For him, his balance is the highest its ever been on a regular basis in his whole life. Boom. Perspective.

Sometimes I just want to give Perspective the big, fat finger because I simply want some money in my damn checking account. Money that I earned by doing things I’m really good at that apparently no one thinks I’m really good at anymore. I was great when I was employed. Now what? I suck because some Douchebag1 ran my company into the ground?

But being bitter won’t help. Granted, I’m getting really good at being so and I’ve always heard you should do what you’re good at. Hm. Maybe I’m missing some new employment opportunity here…..

So I’m going to try to shoot myself up with a syringe filled with New Year Hopefulness. I’m looking for a vein, looking for a vein….

Some things I’m potentially not bitter about. Yet.

  1. Attacking the big bag of vintage lace my aunt gave me. A lot of it is hand made, antique (not just vintage, but truly over 100 years old) and simply divine.
  2. The January issue of Carolina Bride, that TruLu Couture is supposed to be featured in.  Or have a picture in. Whatever.
  3. An email back from the mom who wants to purchase The Emma Veil for her daughter. This mamma could use the sale.
  4. America’s Mart in Atlanta next week. I’m going to network, keep abreast of the décor market and try to convince someone to hire me. OK, I’m not really looking forward to this as it might just depress the hell out of me, but I’m attempting optimism.
  5. The new season of American Idol. Shut up. This girl needs a weekly Steven Tyler fix.

Then there are a few things I’m considering.

  1. A new blog. Thinking totally anon so I can swear and shout and stomp my feet without reservation. I guess mentioning the fact that I want to write privately on a public forum isn’t exactly smart. But you know, I’m thinking about it.
  2. I think about THIS blog all the time and what it exactly means. Is it important at all? If it went away, would the world mourn one less blogger/wedding resource? Me thinks not so much.
  3. Dropping the blog, TLC and everything creative in my life and simply looking for a full-time job that has a 401K and health care. Period.
  4. Pour everything I am into TLC and drop everything else like a hot potato. Solid focus on the ultimate creative effort. That means less blogging, less looking for a full-time gig, more of a world filled with vintage lace. 
  5. Getting knocked-up, just for shits and giggles.

See. All kinds of poking sharp things. No happy-happy-joy-joy (God, I miss Ren & Stimpy) posts about starting fresh and being positive and all that. I’m still my same snarky self, come 2012 or high water.

How’s YOUR New Year shaping up?

1For the record, I totally won the internal battle not to link to a YouTube video I found of said Douchebag from 2009 spouting some bullshit about how the company was poised to dedicate itself to the particular market he was being taped for. We pulled out of that market less than 6 months later.

Monday
Dec192011

Eating Cake

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I couldn’t sleep last night.

I made a banking error that had me tossing and turning well past the time I should have been snoozing away. The error was eating at me. It was stupid. I’d made it before. All the more reason to be mad at myself for not learning it the first time. It’s not my personal banking, it’s my TruLu Couture banking. It’s not a big mistake, but it is a stupid one. It’s got me paying fees and fines and smacking myself upside the head, for those fees and fines are money out the door that got me ZERO in return.  Infuriating.

So I got up  in the middle of the night to send a few emails and try to right the wrong; to give myself some sort of peace of mind that I was fixing what I had inadvertently screwed up. I stayed up until all hours of the night managing what will most likely be about a $75 jack up. Yup.

I look at that relatively small dollar number and shake my head in wonder. It makes me remember the biggest single order I ever personally signed off on, which was just shy of $1M. I mean, I’ve managed millions and millions of dollars in merchandise over the years. How can $75 keep me awake at night?

I suppose it’s all relative. The $1M order kept me tossing and turning then, now the $75 keeps me up. Great.

As 2011 starts to wrap up, I find myself more reflective this year than in years past. Perhaps I’m just more conscious of it; there’s more thinking time at hand, you see.  Or maybe this shit just starts to happen when you get older. It’s hard to determine the cause, I just know it’s happening.

I had myself a little revelation of sorts a week or so ago. I realized that I have been spinning my wheels, spreading myself too thin. I’ve been spending too much time on things that are completely peripheral. Tasks. The minutia. I realized I’m approaching my life right now the same way I used to binge-eat. I’d want a piece of cake and instead of eating the piece of cake, I’d eat everything around the piece of cake in order to not eat the piece of cake. Now substitute that piece of cake for my career and I think that metaphor is clear.

In order to get at the cake, I had to remove those snacks circling the cake. Those “snacks” are actual things though. They make up  people, projects, expectations and deadlines – most of which make me little to no money, but take up an exorbitant amount of my time. They fill me up with something that isn’t cake, invoking a sense of fullness, but not satisfaction.

What sucked about this little cake revelation is that I had to make a few difficult phone calls. I had to explain to people why eating the cake was more important and profound than snacking. I had to let some people down in my honesty, but honest I was. I’m sure there will be a ripple effect to some of these decisions. I’ll deal with them as they come, I suppose.

I’ve made some mistakes this year in running my new business, on this blog and in my life. Mistakes in a small business are more blindingly apparent than they are when working for someone else, where mistakes can be fixed before anyone realizes you made one. You can work furiously behind the scenes and emerge shining and sparkling, like it was an effortless task that brought you this nugget of more shine and more sparkle. There was that moment of the big reveal.

Those moments nowadays are few and far between. There’s less to judge myself with and by. Where is the bar to be set? What is the measure of success today? Tomorrow? Better goals must be made with means to accomplish them, that I know for sure.

There are some interesting good things that have happened this year. Save a day where I had a terrible migraine, I haven’t been sick this year. I used to get sick all the time: sinus infections, bronchial infections, stomach flus, laryngitis. I felt like I was constantly battling some sort of something. Perhaps I’m less susceptible now since I hardly ever leave my house. Perhaps it’s because I sleep more and better (with the occasional restlessness like last night). I get to see my parents more often since we live only a few hours away now.  I’m better able to assess my needs versus my wants. Those are good things, right?

On the business front, there have been successes. I got mentioned on SMP as well as several other blogs who believe in me and support me (thanks y’all!). I’ve been told one of my pieces will be in the January issue of Carolina Bride magazine. I’m for sure featured in Premier Bride magazine come April. I’ve sold some stuff and have hopefully, made some brides happy on a day where they deserve to be the happiest they can be.

It’s these small accomplishments that I need to keep me moving forward towards my cake.

And as you brides (past and present) know, a slice of cake can sometimes cost you $75.

Thursday
Nov172011

Cast Your Vote for Crazy!

A dear friend of mine requested this post and I am obliging because I believe….

A while back, I wrote a post on mental illness and a theater program called Erasing the Distance. You can find that original post here. It’s a long post so I’ll summarize here:

Erasing the Distance, a theatre company in Chicago, uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health. The company collects the true stories from people whose lives have been affected by mental health issues.  The group then crafts these stories into theatrical pieces which they then perform for schools, faith groups, community organizations, and the general public. After the performances, they hold discussions so the audience can create dialogues in a safe forum.

The point is that this is an incredible charity organization that sheds light on mental health issues through theatre. ETD was founded in 2005 and has been seen by over 26,000 people! The organization is in the running to win a HUGE grant through Chase Community Giving. Chase is giving 100 small charities over $3M in grants, and your vote will help decide which one!

When my friend asked for my help in soliciting votes, she included several links to several other blog posts doing the same thing. One of these posts particularly resonated with me as the title made me laugh: If I’m Crazy, Do I Get More Clicks? The post made me think. She has a point. Many of us in the blog world eventually get to the point where we can write about our troubles. Not the kind of troubles like budgets or RSVP’s or in-season flowers. I mean serious troubles. Some of my favorite wedding bloggers have touched on the subject of mental health on more than one occasion.  I’ve written about my own body image issues and eating disorder before mostly because after a while, you feel safe on your blog. You feel compelled to share, to help through your own personal experiences. To work your shit out through the process of writing and self-examination. You draw strength from the sharing and receiving feedback from followers. That’s empowering on a certain level.

Sadly, not everyone has that same outlet; no safe place to discuss. Erasing the Distance provides that safe place for a lot of people. No judgment. No blame. I think that’s a good thing.

So I’m going to ask y’all to help them win this grant. All you have to do is click a few links and you’re done.

First, click on the button below. It will take you to the voting page for Erase the Distance. Before you can cast your vote, you have to hit the “Like” button at the top of the page for Chase Community Giving. Then cast your vote for Erasing the Distance. As an extra favor for me, link it on your Facebook page and ask your friends to help too. Tweet it. Blog it. Share it anyway you can.

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Erasing the Distance has made it into the Top 100 and there are only FIVE DAYS left to vote, so PLEASE help this amazing charity and vote today!

Thanks, y’all!

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