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Blog — "confessions"

The Anti-Bride

Heidi Shenk "confessions" "keeping it real" "wedding"

Remember this post from forever ago? No? Figures. It took me a while to dig back into the archives and dust it off. And if you do remember the post, which part was most memorable? For me, it was the wood-fired oven and the Frank Lloyd Wright house. But if you read the little side note at the end, you'd probably find out that I also told you we got engaged. In Chicago. In the rain. In Millennium Park. It was one of those little side notes that wasn't super important, but I figured you all would love to know. And I wrote that post, oh you know, almost two years ago. No biggie. Post engagement photo? This is as exciting as it gets.

At this point, some of you are probably suddenly remembering that Oh yeah, she did get engaged. So when is the wedding? Truth? I hate weddings. I suppose I am the epitome of the anti-bride. While others have been planning their weddings since they were a little girl, I have thought absolutely nothing of it. And quite frankly, I get sick of the question, "So have you set a date yet?" followed by the maniacal laughing as if it is the funniest joke that has ever been told.

Here's my thing. I'm not a lovey dovey, gushy mushy type of person. I hate ceremonies of all kinds. I am not religious. I am a complete introvert. Getting married is about me and Andrew, not our family and friends. Yup. I just said that last bit. And I'm not afraid to say it again. It's all about us! So why should I have to have this ginormous wedding just for the sake of friends and family? Why would I want a church wedding? Why would I want to partake in a huge ceremony? And why would I want to be in front of dozens upon dozens of people proclaiming my love from now until forever?

Here's another thing. I did a little research and found this awesome site. Click the link and you'll see that on average, a wedding in Baltimore costs between $18,000 and $31,000. Ummm, excuse me? Say that again? You mean a wedding in this city would most likely cost me more than I paid for my car? I don't think so!

With that same money, I could travel around the world for several months. Or I could purchase ten round trip tickets to Sydney, Australia. And I've been dying of homesickness (even though it's not my original home) since I left Australia after living there in 2005. I think that sort of experience is much more warranted when it comes to celebrating spending the rest of your life with another person.

Speaking of spending the rest of your life with another person, why is it that it is only socially accepted that marriage is what must happen? I think I got more congratulations from our engagement than when we moved in together five years prior. We like to do things backwards-- we moved in together, we got a dog together, we bought a house together, then we got engaged a while later. However, just because getting engaged was the last of these things to happen did not mean that we had already planned on being together for the rest of our lives.

Actually, we got engaged several years prior at one of our favorite bars as we discussed that we would eventually get married. I think Andrew asked me if I'd marry him, and I'm pretty sure I said yes and told him that I should wear a twisty tie on my ring finger from here on out. All joking aside, we are partners in crime for life and always knew that. So why the formality? Well, health insurance benefits would be pretty nice I suppose if I go self-employed. And it is probably a good idea to have all of that legal stuff worked out. However, it all seems a bit of, well, a formality.

So how are we going to get married? We plan on going to the courthouse. I don't really know when-- probably sooner than later. Then, we're going to have a giant cookout with cornhole and beer and grilling and invite our closest family and friends. There. I've planned my wedding! Now for those of you that keep asking about if we've set the date-- you'll know as soon as I do! ;)

P.S. Don't forget to enter the group giveaway going on right now! 

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Letting Go

Heidi Shenk "confessions" "letting go"

It has been refreshing for me to write about things that I truly believe and experience and have others relate to me about this. This was definitely the case last week when I wrote about how I think babies are aliens and my hatred for mom blogs. I think I finally just got to the point where I said, screw it! I'm writing about what I want to write about even if some may feel offended. And you know what? It feels pretty good.

I think I finally let go. I let go of any sort of weird feelings about what I was "supposed" to be writing about. For me, letting go is one of the hardest things to do. I remember my parents constantly telling me to "just let it go" while growing up. I couldn't let go then, and I still have a hard time doing it now.
When talking about letting go, I think about two Christmases ago. I had finally come up with the best idea for a Christmas gift for Andrew. These sorts of ideas are few and far between and it was the best idea for a gift that I'd ever had. I was going to give him a home brew kit. He'd been talking about brewing for about a year and I knew he would never see it coming. I spent hours doing research, but simply didn't know enough to get all of the supplies he needed on my own. I decided that we could go together and pick the supplies out together. Instead, as a lead in to the ultimate gift, I gave him a super fancy schmancy bottle opener along with the explanation that it would be for opening his home brew bottles once we went to get the brewing kit.

The next day, we drove up to Cleveland to Andrew's parents' house for Christmas. We sat in the living room and exchanged gifts. The final gift was one given to Andrew. As soon as he opened it, my heart sank. His parents had given him a home brew kit. Andrew didn't say a word about my gift. He just excitedly thanked his parents. An hour later, Andrew and I were in the car driving to meet up with a college friend of ours for dinner. I told him how upset I was that my Christmas present was ruined and that I wished he would have at least said something to his parents. I couldn't blame his parents-- how were they supposed to know that they had had the same idea for a gift?

In the car, I was literally in tears over this. My gift was meant to be something that we could do together which made me even more bummed about the whole thing. I couldn't let go of the fact that Andrew didn't even mention my gift to his parents. A little over a year later, and I still have a hard time letting go of the fact that Andrew never told his parents about this. Sometimes, when he's brewing a new batch of beer, I actually tell him, "I can't believe you never told your parents about my Christmas gift." In some ways, it felt like he hadn't stuck up for me, and I just couldn't let go.
I know it's not healthy. It's not ok to keep bringing up something of the past or to dwell over something that is probably so trivial. But I struggle. I constantly struggle. I have a hard time letting go of the fact that Andrew never told his parents. That the resource teachers at my school often get the day off from classes when we have an early release day and I lose a planning period. That a friend made plans with me and canceled at the last minute. That I had to leave an entire grocery cart full of items at Sam's Club because their debit card machines weren't working and I didn't have cash (true story and I couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day, poor Andrew, and I still hate going to Sam's because of this). That the lady at the post office told me she wouldn't sell me regular forever stamps for international mail.

I can't let go. I try really, really hard, but somehow it just doesn't work. I've gotten better. Much, much better, but I still constantly struggle with this. However, I have to say that after getting all of these trivial events off of my chest I finally think that I have let go.

Do you struggle with letting go of things? What helps you cope with letting go?

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Babies Are Aliens and Thoughts on Mom Blogs

Heidi Shenk "confessions"

I realize that I haven't blogged much this week, but I'm ok with that. There are things going on in my busy life and this blog has to the be the thing that gets cut out. Either way, I figured I'd get back to my confessions series since it is Thursday. You all were fabulous last Thursday when I confessed my fear of getting my hair cut. I got lots of great recommendations (including one for a stylist in the area! Whoah! Didn't expect that, but that was pretty exciting!) and I also realized that I am definitely not alone. Either way, I learned (yet again) that I have some pretty freakin' awesome readers.

So, today. Today I confess that I think babies are aliens and that I hate mom blogs. Give me a three year old kid and I'll tell you that they're cute, but a baby? No way! Alien. I don't get those people that are like, "Awwwww. Look at that baby! It's so cute!" Gag me. Gag me now. No, babies are not cute. And yes, I get sick of baby book... aka Facebook. I saw two million pictures of your baby yesterday and I don't need to see another five million pictures of your baby today. I started facebooking my animals on the regular to counteract all of the babies. Animals are much cuter than aliens.




Also, mom blogs make me cringe. Most of the mom blogs that I happened across were the stay at home moms that always talk about how amazing being a mom is and that it's the hardest job ever. Ok, I get that it's probably tough and I'm not trying to win a my-life-is-so-insane-and-difficult prize, but I deal with 90 of those things you call kids a day trying to fix whatever wasn't done at home. Like the kid that never had their parent tell them no. Or the kid that was never given any boundaries. Or the kid that thinks it's acceptable to be disrespectful toward adults because their parent never taught them otherwise.

Then I go home, and I worry. I worry about students that I am teaching now and I worry about students that I taught last year and the year before and the year before that and the year before that and so on. And then said students still come back to see me at school year after year to check in and ask for help on writing a paper or for a letter of recommendation or even a letter for college applications. And then I get emails asking me to edit a paper that is due tomorrow or come to a track meet over the weekend or find out more information about summer jobs or learner's permits (those emails scare me the most... trust me! I can't handle thinking about my kiddos behind the wheel of a car!).

You get the point. I KNOW I'll get slack for this post because I don't really know what it's like to be a mom. Yet at the same time, I've done so many of those mom duties-- fed them, bought school supplies for them, made them feel better or even cleaned up after them when they were sick, counseled them, scolded them, taught them love and respect. In reality, I actually see these kids more every day than the parent does. I'm not suggesting that I am their mom (though I've had many a student tell me that I was like their second mom), but just that I do have somewhat of an idea of how tough it must be. So quite frankly, I don't feel like reading it. I don't follow mom blogs. I just can't do it.

The sneak up mom blog frustrates me as well. You know, the one that you're reading and has really great content about DIY, fashion, design, art, etc and then BAM! You get blindsided. The blogger is suddenly pregnant and now every blog post is about how their baby is the size of a grapefruit. Or every style post is of them smiling while gripping their bellies even if the bump isn't big enough to warrant the belly grip. Ugh. I can't do it. I get that you're extremely happy and excited to be having a baby, but I still wanted to read about those delicious cookies you made the other day or the renovations you made in your dining room. I didn't sign up for this!

That being said, we all have or favorite or least favorite blogs. Heck, there's probably someone out there writing about how they hate bloggers that write about their annoyances such as babies looking like aliens and mom blogs.

Am I alone here? Do babies really look like aliens or is it all in my head? Maybe I watched too many alien movies in my lifetime. Oh wait, I watched ET and Signs and that was it. Hmmmmm.

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Confessions of a Not So Perfect Blogger

Heidi Shenk "confessions"

I've been thinking about a lot of stuff lately dealing with this big old world of blogging. I realized as of recently that many of the blogs I read I cannot relate to. That is not true of everyone's blog that I read, but many of them. I cannot relate to the perfect hair, skin, and makeup. My house is far from perfect-- it's certainly pretty bad ass for the most part, but if you were to see my basement you'd freak out and it is usually a total mess. And these things just scratch the surface. I want to be able to relate to people in this world of writing and yet I find it impossible to do most times because I am just simply not in any way the same as others.

Or... maybe I am and I just don't know it. Today I had the brilliant idea to write about my imperfections. Bloggers often want to paint perfection in their lives-- love stories, weddings, child-rearing, fashion, relationships. The list is endless. After a while, I began to feel as if I was not living in a reality and so I want to tell about my own experiences and perhaps provide a breath of fresh air for others. After all, isn't blogging about sharing your life?

Let's start off with a completely ridiculous photo of me. Yes, I love being ridiculous and I pretty much never take a good, natural photo. Moving on.

Now. Let's focus on the hair.

Confession: I haven't cut my hair in two years and two months.

This is true. This may be absolutely horrifying to some of you. It may be disgusting to some as well. Truth? I've had people look at me in a disgusted way if I have mentioned this before. Sorry my hair has the worst case of split ends that you have ever seen, but there is a back story there that many don't know.

After I moved to Baltimore six years ago, I needed to find a new stylist. I went to five different salons of all different price ranges within three years. Each time I left the salon, I noticed something was messed up. Usually, the problem was entire chunks of my hair that were at different lengths than the rest of my hair. Chunks. Or, one side would be significantly longer than the other. Not ok. I didn't want to waste money anymore and I was completely freaked out to be honest.

Finally, the last of these five places that I went to was very judgemental. I had to work up the courage to go because I was afraid something horrid would happen again. The stylist was awful. She made rude comments about the fact that I had waited more than six months between haircuts and that my hair was a mess and that I needed to go at least every two months, and blah blah blah. AND she did the same crap everyone else did! She left an entire chunk in the back of my hair that was longer than everything else!

After going almost two years without a cut, a close friend of ours recommended I go to the salon at which she worked reception. I loved it! The stylist did a great job, she didn't judge me for my mess of hair, and I went back for a second time. The problem? The price tag. I had found a great place to get my hair cut and to be honest, my friend gave me a discount on the price. Now said friend doesn't work there as she had found a better job opportunity, and the price tag is a whopping $75 plus tip and anything else I may want to add.

Holy shit! How do you justify spending around $100 every three to four months for a hair cut. Is this normal and I just don't know it?

Hair issue part two: My hair is a constant frizz ball. It will never look nice no matter what styling tips I try. I think I actually have some sort of problem in which I am physically incapable of making hair look nice because it is always smooth a pretty when I leave salons. However, I can't figure it out on my own. Best solution? Always put my hair up and never do anything to it.

And there you have it. Not so perfect confession #1? My hair sucks. Every day is a bad hair day. The end.

Anyone else have hair issues? Seriously. Let me know that I am not alone so that Andrew will stop acting like I am crazy every time I freak out about my hair.

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