The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

I’ve got an idea… August 31, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:30 am
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I was listening to NPR the other day and they were talking about those Chilean miners that are trapped underground and probably won’t be rescued for three to four months.  Aside from the sheer awfulness of being trapped without light, stuck underground with strangers, and not having any privacy (I can’t bring myself to think about the bathroom situation), they talked about how their families are handling the situation.  Of course they were elated when they found the men alive and were able to establish contact with them, but then they got to worrying about the mental state of those poor men.

Let’s take a break in the action so that I can take this moment to speak directly to The Mister:  please stop reading.  Seriously, I think it’s super sweet that you subscribe to get these posts in your email, but you’ve got to stop reading.  Right. Now.  Really.

For real.  Close it and send it to the trash.

Okay, now that I’ve taken care of that bit of business, back to the Chileans.  The NPR lady then interviewed their families and so many of them were feverishly writing letters to their husbands, boyfriends, and brothers in order to keep their morale up.  Then I thought…what if I did the same thing?  What if I started writing The Mister letters everyday to tell him about my day, and how much I loved him, and how I just couldn’t imagine my life without him?  I mean, if he were trapped in a mine…or just gone for a long time, I’d probably do it.  Why should I wait until something awful happens in order to try it out?  The miners’ families talked about how close the writing made them feel to the men because it took time and you really put more effort and heart into it than you would an email or text.

I’m going to try to do it everyday…we’ll see how good I get at it and I’ll keep you guys updated.  What do you think?  Is this a crazy idea or what?

 

real talk: marriage remix August 28, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:25 am
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Here’s a link to a great article titled, “8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage“…it’s a good one, check it out!  I’ve been having that I-suck-at-this-being-a-wife-thing feeling and it made me feel much better.  Here’s a quote from the end of the article (with my thoughts included):

But I am completely clear in the knowledge that many of the deepest frustrations in your relationship are an opportunity for you to confront yourself (from Dawn:  Ewww, who wants to do that?!). That can be difficult to accept (from Dawn: Ya think?!)— after all, it’s so much more comforting to keep a running tab of your hubby’s deficits (from Dawn:  Got my list right here!) and tell yourself that his failings are the only thing standing between you and a better marriage (from Dawn:  They’re not?). But if you let it, this bumpy journey toward self-awareness (from Dawn:  Self-awareness is for suckers) can be one of the more fulfilling rewards of a committed, long-term relationship — you’ll learn to love your quirks (from Dawn: My “quirks” are pretty annoying and I wonder why anyone is my friend, let alone how I got someone to marry me!) and be compassionate toward yourself (from Dawn: I could probably use a little of that compassion), just as you’re learning to do with him.

That’s the strange beauty of marriage: It’s full of hard times (from Dawn: Full?!!!!  Sheesh!) and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for (from Dawn:  seriously…NO ONE). But in the end, those are the things that give richness to your life together (from Dawn:  I agree.  The Mister knew about me and my quirks and still wanted to be with me.  He loves me and my annoying habits.) — and make your love even deeper and stronger than when it began (from Dawn:  I want that!!).

Anyhoo, check out the article, then come back and let me know what you thought.

 

searching for community August 26, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:16 am
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So I’ve never been one to have tons and tons of friends.  I’ve got folks who’ve been in my life for years, but mostly from times when I was forced to be around strangers and interact…like college and right afterwards when I was too poor to live by myself.  Those strangers I was obligated to be around because they were my roommates are now some of my best friends, so you would think making that connection would make me step outside of my comfort zone more often in order to meet people.  But it doesn’t.

Why?  Because I’m an introvert.  I enjoy being by myself.  All of the things that I would consider “fun” can be done all by myself:  reading, writing, blogging, farting around on the internet, running, lifting weights, etc.  I was so excited to receive my Psychology Today in the mail yesterday (what?  you don’t subscribe?) and the main article is about introverts!  Yippee!!  Finally some validation that I’m not a crazy person because I’m internally rather than externally motivated…which, in fact, is what introvert and extrovert means.  I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it when I do.

I’ve thought about joining a book club, but my work hours are crazy…plus there are all of those strangers there.  I’ve thought about asking someone to workout with me, but I’m pretty particular about how and when I exercise…a potential OCD issue there.  I’m in a sorority, but they meet on Saturdays and I work every weekend from August through May…and they don’t meet in the summers.  *sigh*

I know that I need to get motivated and try to meet some ladies, but whenever I have that thought it’s always followed by a heavy sigh, lol!  It just sounds like so much work.  I did meet a lady at work who sounded pretty desperate for human interaction and I immediately thought, “score, surely she’ll be my friend!”  It’s still up in the air, but we had her over to the house about a month ago and she still hasn’t called me back.  I just don’t think she was that into me.

What advice do you have for me to get some girlfriends?

 

more baby talk August 24, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:12 am
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The other day when I was getting my nails done, the lady doing my toes started chatting with me and asking about my new marriage.  Then, predictably, the convo turned to babies.  Now I go to this shop all of the time:  went there with my bridal party, have taken my step-daughter there…they know me by name.  And here’s one of the things that I hear a lot from the ladies:  have a baby to solidify your marriage.  I mean, she didn’t say it just like that, but that’s the gist.  She actually said that marriage would be “better” once we had kids.  For unmarrieds, this is generally seen as being the most ridiculous thing ever, but for marrieds…apparently not.  It seems that anchor babies are all the rage.

Another thing that I’ve heard since I was a youngin was when folks marry who’ve already got kids, they need to have their own right away to make it harder for one of them to leave.  I guess the reasoning is that if you have a kid between the two of you, then you’re more invested in the relationship.

Surely I’m not the only one who’s heard this kind of stuff.  Am I wrong to think it’s hooey?  Call me crazy, but I’d hope that The Mister is all in with me already and I don’t have to trick him into staying with me by having an anchor baby.   Plus, I’m pretty sure I read in a Psychology Today that folks who have kids have more arguments, less money, and have less bedroom shenanigans…that’s a better marriage? Now if I remember correctly, the article also said that even with all of those negative characteristics, people love being parents and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Of course The Mister and I plan on having some kiddos, but I’d hope that the desire behind it wouldn’t be to make sure the other person doesn’t go running in the other direction.

Have you guys heard of stuff like this?

 

an ode to autumn August 21, 2010

Filed under: Fun with hubbie,Home life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:31 pm
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Booooy, it’s football season y’all!  I know there are only preseason games on now, but I’ll take what I can get.  I love hearing that NFL theme song, it just gets my heart to humming.  I can watch it on tv or I can listen to it on the radio, but however I get it, I need my football fix.  I know that I can’t be the only lady out there who loves her pigskin weekends.  And as much as I love the tactics, the athleticism, and the emotion of the game…I like the way the dudes look in their uniforms just as much!  Shhhh…don’t tell The Mister.

But I learned to love the game as a young girl, sitting on my dad’s lap (he was a former collegiate football player, just like The Mister) and hollering at the tv with him.  He would patiently explain the different offensive packages to me and why this or that player was doing what he was doing.  And when we’d visit family, and the ladies were in the kitchen gossiping about whatever, I just wanted to be in the living room with the guys, watching the game and debating the merits of who was the better running back or corner.

These days, The Mister and I can spend all day Sunday with the games on and both of us are happy.  I enjoy hustling back from church and lazing around with him, watching the games.  Him, getting work done on the computer with one eye on the game.  Me, looking through the Sunday paper while getting dinner cooked, with one eye on the game.  Or, when I’ve begged enough to wear him down…heading to get wings and watching all the games at once.  Sheer joy at the football overload!

So welcome football season and welcome autumn.  To me, they’re one and the same.

 

wishes and things August 19, 2010

Filed under: Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 6:19 pm
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Things I don’t get

  • Homeless people with dogs.  I went to Walgreen’s the other day and there was a dude outside who was clearly homeless asking for money…and he had a dog sitting next to him with a little water dish and food on the ground.  Seriously?  So you can’t take care of yourself, but you can take care of a dog and you want me to give you my loot?  Try again, partner.
  • Moms with neck tattoos.  Some friends of ours pointed out this trend to me and now I can’t stop seeing it!  One second you see a cute little kid and the next you see them calling for Mommy and here comes ole girl with “Hot Tamale” printed in cursive on her neck.  *shaking head*
  • People wearing camouflage.  Are you off to war?  Are you huntin’?  If your answer was no to both of those questions…I just don’t understand.

Things that I wish I could do

  • Wear skinny jeans.  I’m not a big person, but I sure look like one in those jeans!  When I see them on other ladies, they’re so cute…on me, they’re fatty jeans.
  • Dance like the people on So You Think You Can Dance.  They’re amazing…I really love that show.  They’re such well-trained and amazing and skilled dancers…awesome!  Plus they have to take such risks week after week, it has to be hard and thrilling all at the same time.
  • Not get tickled during a pedicure.  I love getting my toes done and the massage and just having someone else dote on me.  Until they get to that part where they scrub the bottom of my feet.  Then I’m making faces and trying not to squirm…and I’m pretty sure the lady doing my feet laughs at me on top of everything.

Thing I’m happy I have

  • Health.  I know it sounds cheesy, but so many things can go sideways in this lifetime and I’m blessed to be basically healthy as a horse.
  • Beer in the fridge.  When I get home, I’m cracking on of those suckers open…I’ve been working like a field slave around here and it’s time to get a tasty beverage.
  • Other marriage blogs.  I don’t have a ton of married homies, so I’ve learned tons from other ladies online…y’all are the best!

Anything you want to add to any of the lists?

 

finding community August 17, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:37 am
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You are not the only one
Who feels like the only one.

–David Crowder Band

That quotation is from one of my favorite songs and it always gives me tingles to hear it because so often, we feel like we’re the only one’s thinking certain things, or feeling certain things, or worried about those things.  And as much as we feel those things, we don’t talk about them.  We stew, we mope, we agonize…but we don’t talk.  So I wanted to talk a bit about things that have vexed me over the different stages of my life.

Single: I remember worrying that I’d never meet anyone who “got” me…who not only tolerated my quirks, but embraced them.  I remember thinking that I would never get married and trying to wrap my brain around that…but I was too embarrassed to actually talk to anyone about it.  Then I remember fighting those thoughts off by openly admitting that I did want to be married.  Lo and behold, a got introduced to The Mister and the rest is history…the man who God brought to me.

Engaged: So I finally met a great guy who understood me and loved me, then I started worrying about the wedding.  I’m sure everyone does the same thing when they first get married:  go buy up a mess of bridal magazines and go online and look up weddings in order to get ideas.  Those are the places where I first learned to feel inferior about the wedding we imagined and looked forward to…because it wasn’t nearly fancy enough.

Then I felt comfortable being the anti-bride and not falling for “the man’s” idea of what a wedding or bride should be…or so I thought.  Then I fretted over not wanting to do DIY projects and not recognizing gays in some meaningful way at our ceremony…because that’s what the cool brides were doing.  *sigh*  In the end, our wedding was so much fun and it was touching and memorable in our own way.  Turns out all of the worry was for nothing, but I probably could have save myself from it in the first place by just talking about it.

Married: Obviously I haven’t been married long enough for this list to be super long, but I will say that I worry about sucking at being a wife.  I pray every morning that I’m the wife that The Mister needs me to be.  I’ve seen so many bad examples (wives yelling and belittling their husbands, couples fighting, husbands cheating) that I’m pretty energized to not be those people.  I want him to look forward to coming home, not “work late” so that he doesn’t have to hang out with me like some of the dudes I know.  I want the two of us to create a home that is comfortable and welcoming…for us as well as others.

What about you?  What are those things that you’ve blown up to be a bigger deal than they should’ve been because you worried yourself to death?

 

no more drama August 15, 2010

Filed under: Building a life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 7:27 pm
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From my girl Michelle Obama in the latest Essence:  “If you want a life free from drama, then you can’t hang out with people who thrive on drama.”

I’ve got a girlfriend who’s been married over a decade and she just recently had to clean house.  Why?  Because the single ladies she was hanging out with enjoyed drama too much.  You know what I mean…booty calls, dating married men (ahem!), outside of “the club” shenanigans, breaking up and getting back together…all too much for a wife and mother to add to her plate.  Quite honestly she just got sick of getting their phone calls, trying to give them intelligent advice, only to have them do the exact opposite…and dial her number again.  It seems that some people truly like drama.

Just like the old cliche says:  you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink…so don’t spend your time trying to explain to that horse how to drink and why drinking that water would be really good for her.  She doesn’t want to drink the water…she just wants to talk about drinking the water.  Years ago, before I got married, I had a friend like this.  Always complaining about being alone and why she was alone, yada, yada, yada.  Our phone calls would always be about an hour and a half to two hours long…and I was always saying the same thing.  But once a week, we had the same convo.  First I tried diverting the conversation, but she had ninja convo skills that always brought the chat back to her favorite subject:  her, lol!  Then I tried ending the phone calls early, but she was hip to that trick.  Finally I (embarrassingly enough) just ignored her calls.

Do you have any energy suckers in your life?  Those ladies that when you see their name on your phone, you already know what the conversation will entail.  How have you handled them?  Did it work?

 

fire starters August 14, 2010

Filed under: Home life,Meals/Meal planning — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:27 pm
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I love to grill.  I mean I really love to grill…I’m pretty sure I haven’t cooked one meal in the house this summer.  I just believe that summer was made for grilling.   Also, as I’ve written on here before, I have a love affair with charcoal…boy does it make food tasty!

But hold the phone!  When I was buying more charcoal the other day, I ran across the things that are pictured in the photos above.  They’re fire starters and they. are. amazing!  It takes a quick moment to light it up and it stays lit for about fifteen or twenty minutes…plenty of time to get a high quality fire going.  The set up is just like normal.  Pyramid your charcoals, just put the fire starter at the bottom of the pyramid and leave an open space so that you can reach it with your lighter/match.

Not only does your food taste better, because you’re not adding chemicals to the coals in order to get them started, it’s easy!  I’d always resisted the chimneys that some people use to start without lighter fluid because that’s just another step in the process.  The fire starters don’t require any extra effort and you’ll still get the tasty results.

When I used these last week, my first thought was, “I’ve got to send these to everyone I know!!”  So that’s impossible, but I probably will send them to my mother and brother…who’ve got the grilling bug just like I do.  They’ll be amazed and then think I’m super awesome.  Anyhoo, if you get a chance to try them (or some other version of fire starter that’s out there), I’d highly recommend it.

What’s your lighter fluid-free way to grill out on your charcoal grill?  I’m sure there are other ideas out there that I haven’t heard of.

 

Favorites August 12, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings,Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:20 am
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My work life is about to really get fired up here pretty soon.  Between that and starting a work blog about coaching female athletes and team building, I’m crazy busy…and oh yeah, I just got married and would like to have time to spend with my new husband.  So I’ve given myself a post schedule in order to not drive myself (and others!) crazy.  From now on, I’ll post new content on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturday and/or Sunday.  That was just an informational sidenote for y’all.

I’ve been wanting to talk to you all about some of my favorite wedding posts for a while and have finally compiled my list…so here we go.  Happy clicking!

Black brides: Dirty Little Secret was about the absent women of color in the cool (non WIC) blogs & the first Tale of the Tape about the lack of women of color in bridal magazines.

Marriage: Both of these were written well before we got married and I still like them.  Check out John Lennon was about imagining a different way to be married and Dear Married People about honesty in talking about the institution.

Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC): Sanity was about my conspiracy theory that the wedding vendors and bridal magazines are in cahoots, and I Think I’ve Figured It Out talked about not getting caught up in the pretty pictures and feeling badly about your wedding.

My dad: As you guys know, my dad passed away in 2008…about a month after I met The Mister so they never met.  Here’s a post I wrote before the wedding, Dads, and one I wrote afterwards…on Father’s Day, Daddy’s Girl.

Haters: Every bride planning a wedding has the nay-sayers.  I didn’t talk about them a lot, but Things was dedicated to them.

Looking back, I’m happy I did this stuff: Custom stamps!  People loved them, I loved them, and I wrote about them here and here.  Honoring my father during the ceremony…Giving Honor talked about that.  My ceremony reading was a Nikki Giovanni poem called Resignation, which talks about being an independent woman who falls (completely and totally) for her man and realizes what it’s like to put someone else’s needs ahead of her own.

DIY: I’m not crafty or do-it-your-selfy, but we did do a couple of things that turned out pretty well…and saved a ton of loot.  I made eight cake stands for less than $20 using stuff from the dollar store.  Have you priced out cake stands lately…they’re crazy expensive!  We did our own invitations (STD’s, invites, reply cards, inserts, envelopes, ceremony programs…everything) and they were pretty awesome, in my opinion.  Finally, my bridesmaids did all of the flowers for the ceremony and reception…and they were gorgeous!  I estimate that we saved about $2500 just by doing these things.

Things I fretted over that I shouldn’t have: Having cocktail napkins with our names and wedding dates on them…I still have a whole mess of those things left!  *shaking head*  Though the ribbon that’s on this same post, Weddingy, was pretty awesome.  We used it to hang our pew balls (flowers) and on our reception favors.  And here I openly acknowledge my worry as pointless…but continue to worry, lol!

Week of: My favorite post from our wedding week.  Mostly because I was dizzy with pure, 100% fortified tired.  It’s when I acknowledged that I was a little batty…Weddingese was posted the Sunday before our Friday wedding.

Wedding picture: This one isn’t even from our photographer, but one of my bridesmaids.  It’s our first dance and shows how happy I was to marry The Mister.  I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) stop looking at him.

After the wedding: I took two cell phone pictures of The Mister and I’s stuff together and I like looking at them both.  The first was our rings sitting together and the other is my wedding dress and his wedding suit hanging together on the same hanger…very powerful images.