Some Things Never Change

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The air conditioner at home didn’t sound like this. The sofa was lumpy in different places, there was no carpet, and family members (furry four-legged ones included) were never far away.

All of that has changed. I’m curled up on a new couch, listening to the air conditioner compete with my instrumental playlist. I’m the only person here tonight. No matter how many times I imagined it, or how much advice I was given, I couldn’t know what moving out really felt like.

As it turns out, it feels like my entire life has changed. Everything, from where I store cereal to the route I drive each morning, is different. Some people seem to thrive on change, and while I appreciate that change is necessary, I don’t always cope well with it. Too much at once leaves me overloaded and anxious… like tonight, when I called my mom in tears over a malfunctioning fridge and soggy waffles.

I’ve filled countless journal pages with the changes that have come in the past couple of years, so I won’t belabor that point in my blog post. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed and a lot of it has been to my benefit.

In two days, another one of those good changes will happen when I walk into a church as Miss Munson and walk out as Mrs. A. I’m excited, thankful and a little astonished over this season in my life. Yet as wonderful, memorable and joyous as this time is, it’s also a little overwhelming. (Hence the weeping over refrigerators and waffles.)

After agonizing over kitchen appliances, a stain on the sofa, and more unpacked boxes, I was convinced that my life had changed 100% and would never settle down. Did I mention that I’m a tad melodramatic when things get overwhelming?

Since writing is my therapy, I typed and backspaced several captions about “Change,” and started to ponder what had really changed. Then it dawned on me that even though so much has changed in a short time, some things haven’t. In life, nearly everything changes but there are a few things that remain. Reflecting on those steady things in chaotic times helps to anchor me. Some of my unchanging things are:

Love. My relationships look a little different now that I’ve moved out and I’m getting married, but I still deeply love the same people I did before this season. I’m still confident they care for me. It’s reassuring to know that even when I’m not down the hallway, my parents and brothers love me. It’s comforting that even when I’m overreacting, my soon-to-be husband loves me unwaveringly. I’m truly thankful for the friends, church family and work family who have sacrificed and supported me through this time. I’m in a different place but I’m still connected to many of the same people. That hasn’t changed.

Words. A one-in-the-morning blog post proves I still need to write. Even when I have no idea what I’m trying to say, my brain needs to clear itself onto paper (or a screen.) I used to dramatically say that I was born with ink in my veins. While I’m very much red-blooded, I agree with Lord Byron: “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

Chocolate. Just kidding… Maybe.

Community. The people we’re surrounded with cycle through changes, but I think it’s inherent that we all need community. Even when some friendships fade away, we need friends. I’m stubbornly independent and absolutely an introvert, but even I can’t change that I need others. While this forces me to be vulnerable and open, it also reminds me that I’m not alone in stressful times.

Jesus. Everything else could completely pivot, but we have the assurance that He is steady. He is faithful, until the end of time. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV). Even though it’s a few years old, I love the song “Remain” by Royal Tailor right now. The lyrics are a perfect reminder that no matter what happens around me, God’s love will remain true.

The sky could fall
The ground could shake
The stars burn out
And seasons change
The time will pass
And beauty fade
But all my love will remain

If you’re overwhelmed by changes right now, know that you’re not alone and that despite all the differences, some things haven’t changed. Acknowledge the changes and start to get comfortable with them, but also reflect on what’s remained the same. Let those things be your anchor as you chart the course for your new adventure. Remember… some things never change.

Knot Another Book Review

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Is it just me, or is wedding season in full swing? Every time I turn around, it seems like there’s another engagement announcement or invitation arriving! Fortunately, I do love weddings. I’ve been planning imaginary ones since I could marry off my Barbie dolls. Pinterest has only fueled my mild obsession.

This is not a wedding blog, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, this is possibly the only wedding related post you’ll ever see here. The reason being, it’s also a book review. Since my last post was also a review, I apologize for the repetition. You can even feel free to skip this one. However, if you’re curious about The Knot: Little Books of Big Wedding Ideas, do read on.

I first spotted this adorable collection in Barnes & Noble, and I loved the idea of a miniature wedding encyclopedia. The Knot blog is one of my favorite wedding websites, so if the books were equally charming, I knew I’d love them. When I had the chance to review this set, I couldn’t resist.

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There are four little books in the collection: Cakes; Bouquets & Centerpieces; Details; and Vows & Toasts. The printing quality alone is fantastic, with hardcovers, glossy pages and a tidy little box to contain the volumes. Each book is sectioned off in a way that makes reference easy. There are also a lot of lists in each, which pleases me immensely. The books are brimming with vivid images, giving the collection the feel of a magazine. It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words, and so there’s a great deal of inspiration from the photos alone. It’s easy to flip through and see what appeals at first glance. The books are light reading, and would be fun for a bride to browse through with her mom or girlfriends.

As I read over these bitty books, I was fascinated by all the details. There are a great many ideas presented for each topic. More eclectic brides may have to employ their creativity, as these books tend to focus on a rather traditional, lavish style. The ideas here aren’t all budget friendly, but with some adaptation, they could be used as DIY inspiration or mimicked for less. Even if the specific examples are not used, they’re excellent for sparking more inspiration. Each design idea comes with an array of photos, so the details aren’t left to unclear imagination. The options presented are also various enough that most brides will find something to suit them- including a chocolate section in the Cakes book. 😉

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Besides inspiration, there are practical helps included. There’s lingo breakdown and definition sections for cakes, flowers and stationary; questions to ask during planning; and lists to simplify organization. My favorite part of the collection was the book on Vows & Readings. It includes a very useful ceremony order, and an excellent selection of both traditional and modern vows. I liked seeing the different options written out, and having suggestions on how to personalize vows and the ceremony. There’s also an excellent section on toasts and speeches, to make that aspect of the reception painless for the wedding party!

Although not (knot?) everything will apply from these books, they’re fabulous for inspiration. There are so many little details that go into the big day, and this collection does a terrific job of gathering those tidbits into a tidy set. The Knot: Little Books of Big Wedding Ideas can be referenced over and over, whether for the definition of dais or a checklist for invitations. It’s a wonderful collection, and well worth buying for yourself or as a gift for a newly-engaged friend.

Best wishes!

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