Monday, November 21, 2011

The Proposal...

...the proposal, though hopelessly romantic and utterly perfect...pales in comparison to all that has gone unsaid. Sitting at dinner with my parents and his parents, I was a little nervous. He silently shared a wink and grin...with that dimple...and I was at ease. 
(In hindsight, there was nothing to be nervous about. Our parents are all great, and we have a lot to learn from them! I really am very grateful that we all sat and broke bread together. It made everything seem even more REAL.)

My heart flutters when I think about all that has gone unsaid...

...the first kiss after the proposal
...the way we looked at eachother in the car right after I said yes
...deciding to turn our phones on "airplane mode" and have the first couple hours of our engagement entirely to ourselves
...slow dancing in the middle of the afternoon in my loft


Hearing my phone chime over a hundred times on Friday, Nov. 18, made me smile. Each chime represented a person out in this world who was wishing support and love. Facebook has allowed us to feel support and love INSTANTLY from ALL of our family and friends ACROSS the GLOBE! What a blessing. 

My late grandmother's ring (left) and the act of changing our "relationship" on Facebook (right).

I would've picked out a vintage ring (it's more my style!), but to wear Ma's ring around my finger gets me very emotional and sentimental. George's grandparents are all alive and will be present at the ceremony. Both of my paternal grandparents will be there as well. I'm so grateful we will have them all there. However, my heart is slightly heavy, because neither of my mom's parents are with us. I feel like wearing her ring allows her to be every bit a part of this wedding. 
My late (maternal) grandparents
 John and Rose Petrilli
(Baba and Ma)

I gab online every single day. I am completely addicted to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and in spurts, this blog. I love connecting to others in the comfort of my home, or on the go with my mobile. It's EASY. It's stimulating. I uploaded a picture of the ring on Instagram (that's how I edited the first photo above)...but I find that pictures evoke more emotion than status updates.

I thought about making the cliche status, "WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!" and I definitely thought about uploading the ring on my Facebook (especially after requests to do so!!). But I couldn't cheapen what this meant to me. A status update would run the risk of turning my feeling of pure bliss into any other status in the social media world... quickly being buried beneath the multiple status updates in the Facebook minifeed. I knew I needed time to gather my thoughts and emotions, and express my feelings and this news through writing. To put it bluntly, I didn't want "We're Engaged!" and a photo of the ring to be pictured beneath "TGIF, starting happy hour early!" or "I hate my job," (either of which I welcome on a normal day, and probably have typed myself).

Of course, the romantics have asked how and when he proposed. The planners have asked when and where the wedding will be. The traditionalists have congratulated me as "The Future Mrs. George Tinker"!!!!

How did he propose? Romantically and lovingly. Authentically and with integrity. He went to my parents the evening before and asked for their blessing. And when he proposed to me, yes, he got on one knee.

When did he propose? On our way to a formal event, when he got to introduce me as his fiance to dozens of people. It was about 10:30 AM on Friday, November 18th. In the parking lot at my job! I will ALWAYS remember that moment, and the following 24 hours! It was THE BEST DAY of my entire life. We celebrated that evening at Mi Cocina in the Dallas Galleria. I felt more lit up than the towering Christmas tree.

When will the wedding be? We are hoping for March 17th, but have lots to do before we can confirm that date. Sometime between March and May.

Where will the wedding be? We are hoping at the Van Meter family farm, but are still open to a few other options. The farm would have the most sentimental value, and I've always pictured it there, so that's where my heart is leading me at this point. With that being said, there are certain things that seem better in theory than in reality, and I'm open to exploring other venues.

I have not decided if I'm taking his last name. So, the "Future Mrs. George Tinker" might not be accurate...I don't take offense to these comments because I know they are made out of love and excitement for us. 

*Soapbox begins here. Feel free to scroll past, and remember, I am not subjecting anybody to these views! You are here, reading on your own accord! I am very grateful for each person that cares enough to read my story and I have no desire to offend, annoy, or irritate. Thanks! 

But originally after getting married, women were seen as the property of the man's. I don't know for CERTAIN that it's true, but I've heard (and until proven otherwise, I believe) "Mrs" began as "Mr's" (note the possessive apostrophe). That doesn't sit well with me. I don't want to own George, and I know he doesn't want to own or possess me! I think most people don't think about it, and go along for the sake of tradition. 

If I take his name, the only reason will be for our future family. I wouldn't want to hyphenate (let's face it, "Van Meter-Tinker" is not only too long...it also sounds ridiculous when uttered aloud). My children would all be Tinkers, and I'd be the black sheep Van Meter. I want our future family to be one solid tribe, so I might take his name if for no other reason than to unite us. I asked if he'd consider taking my last name, and the answer was a respectful "no." He said he has no problem with me keeping my name, though. A lot of men (I think) have a problem with a woman not willing to take his name. I'm glad George understands where I'm coming from.

Ultimately, my current last name is not my mother's; it is my father's. And my father's last name was his father's last name. Even my mother's maiden name was HER father's last name; not her mother's! All American mothers' last names have been lost in history because a long time ago, men had rights and women didn't. Today, we think of ourselves as equals, so I would think keeping my last name wouldn't be as big of a statement as it seems to be. 

Also, when looking at a name in writing, "Mr." does not imply if the man is married or single. Most females are "Mrs." which implies "married" or "Miss" which implies "single." Many people assume "Ms." means divorced or widowed, when in fact it is a NEUTRAL feminine term that doesn't give away her relationship status, just as "Mr" is a neutral masculine term that doesn't give away his relationship status. 

Food for thought. I'll get off the soapbox!

I'm getting very excited about the little details in the wedding. I'm already addicted to Pinterest, so the "Wedding Musings" board is currently exploding as I continue to pin ideas and inspiration pieces. But the "big picture" things are still floating around. More than anything, I want to nourish our relationship and keep us healthy, and keep us growing upward. I want to utilize this incredibly short "engagement" period as a symbolic time for us to really grow and mature as individuals, and together as one. I want our wedding day to be sacred and unique to us. More than anything, I want our wedding day to be the FIRST day of a long and healthy marriage. 

I think we are prepared for the changes that are ahead. George and I have gone through many major life events together already. We were a couple when I graduated from both high school and college. We were a couple when I started my career, and when I put in my two weeks' notice to move back to Texas. Despite being a couple for almost seven years, we have never shared a home. What am I most looking forward to...the bouquet toss, or moving into a home with this man??? Cutting a cake, or waking up every single day next to my best friend??? I cannot WAIT to be married to George. My only true hope at this point in the wedding planning process is that our wedding is an opportunity for the two of us to be genuine, authentic, and supported. Based on the support and love we have been showered with since Friday, I am confident that will be the case! 

Summers with George
Winters with George
Our most recent adventure together
Babysitting my Co-Worker's daughter (and me, photographing, playing house of course!)
Austin City Limits Festival Go'ers from 2006-2011
George has been helpful to me in so many ways
Halloweens Past
(Hank and Peggy Hill...A Witch and her Black Cat...)
I have been looking up marriage advice intermittently while I've been searching flowers and vendors...and I really like "The Art of a Good Marriage" by Wilferd Arian Peterson. Here is a small excerpt:

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

I love you, George, my handsome fiance! We're getting MARRIED!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Biggest Fear.

As I was driving home tonight, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I had such a productive weekend, and I felt plugged in to people I love, and hobbies I love. I was proud of my body for bouncing back so quickly from a 24 hour virus, and proud of the 10 trash bags filled with clothes to donate (way to go, Denton Women's Collective!). I enjoyed time by a fire with friends, put time in on the clock on a Saturday, fit in two photoshoots this weekend, listened to my cousin play guitar (and chimed in with the flute!), worked for hours editing the images, did 5 loads of laundry, went to a DWC meeting, and walked the dogs.

Tent Party/Clothing Swap Fall 2011
The clothesline
The fire
(Photo cred: Richard Rousey)
Despite the non-stop, on-the-go action...in the back of my mind, I knew my constants. My constants have always been there, and always will be there. My mom, dad, and sister. My family. And with the 6 1/2 year history, George has earned himself a place in my family as well. My mom texted me on the drive home telling me she'd watched the video I made her for Mother's Day which made my night...and then when I got back to my loft, my two sweet pups were barking and bouncing (as usual), greeting me and welcoming me back home.

My biggest fear in life is losing those closest to me. 

I'm not afraid to die, but I feel such anxiety thinking about losing those closest to me. I can't let myself get too carried away in my own head...otherwise I start to feel...horrible. I haven't lost them yet, so I shouldn't burden myself with the anxiety...but I'm terrified. I really don't think I could make it without my parents, sister, or George. I just can't imagine my life without them in it. And the split second I think I COULD imagine my life without somebody that meaningful...it wouldn't be a life I'd want at all. They make my life complete. My heart aches for those who have lost somebody so close. Even for my own mom, who has lost both her parents and a sibling. My mom lives my biggest fear, EVERY DAY. And thank God for her strength, because that has taught me that it is POSSIBLE even though it is so dreaded.

My mom. 
My sister and dad.
Georgie, on the night of the clothing swap and campfire.

Even my dogs...and it sounds silly because I know the average human lifespan and average dog lifespan...and I know the day will inevitably come...but I dread the day.

I try to take that energy spent dreading/worrying/fretting and turn it into gratitude that I have people (and pets) that mean SO MUCH to me. Also, I am grateful for the tangible reminders that I know we are all leaving behind. It is such a comfort to me, that now, thanks to technology, I have thousands of photographs of the people I love. I'm so grateful my mom has made scrapbooks throughout our lives that I can look through. Our lives are documented. Preserved. Cherished. I have dozens of songs to choose from when I want to hear George singing. Perhaps my favorite is the song we recorded together, which I've never shared online (one of the few things I've left private!), and haven't even let anybody else hear (sans Jacob, who engineered/recorded the song). It's sacred to me. 

When I was at my parents' house last Tuesday (I try to go each week for Glee and dinner!), I went through my closet (as usual). I found a folder that had all kind of nostalgia inside. My favorite were the two letters my parents each wrote me the day I left for college, and one from my sister. I teared up reading the letters. Those would also fall in the category of "too sacred" to share online, but I am so grateful I have them. 

So for now, I'm thankful. Thankful, thankful, thankful. And I will try to remain present, so that the fear of the future doesn't cast a shadow on the absolute bliss that my family provides me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Holiday for Hangin'

I typed a very long post about George's latest accomplishment, and it disappeared. You can't fathom my frustration! Writing and photographing is supposed to be for fun, not a chore, so I'm not going to retype it all. In summation, I've never been more proud of George, and he's never been more deserving of a relaxing weekend. He's been short on sleep and needed to catch up. I gladly allowed myself to be a lazy dog with him all weekend. Previous plans to see a hot air balloon festival (which I'm sure would have been romantic and fabulous) quickly dissipated into thin air. The OU game, MarioKart, my apartment hot tub, a new SNL episode, loving on our precious pups, and Wonder Years binging took place instead...and I couldn't be happier about it. Daylight Savings Time, you couldn't have come at a more perfect time!

Inspiration for George's latest venture...Bill Graham. 

Bring it on.

Love this action pic of my sweetheart. Even with a photo-delay, I am pretty sure I still kicked his tail in kart!

Sooner Victory. Teddy. PERFECT SATURDAY.

Georgie was in and out of naps. Teddy was content by his side all day. He loves George so much, and it makes my heart melt!

Sweats and TOMS make for a comfy outfit that is still appropriate to go out in. Thank goodness. Despite looking like a disco ball (according to George), I still rock this outfit on the regular.

Sangria and Italian for lunch on this Daylight Savings Day holiday. I am SO grateful for this weekend!

Erin's 25th!

Game night.
Jessica and her boyfriend. My boyfriend. Erin. GAME NIGHT! Bust out the wine.

Surprise visit from her mom (yes, the one who lives in GERMANY!).
Sister Patricia, Erin, and Erin's mom! (Linda, I LUV YA!)

Budding romance that's getting more adorable by the MINUTE.
Kidnapping and surprise Mother-Daughter brunch.
About to surprise Erin!!!
One thing I'd like to say. No offense to the male gender...but how many times have you seen a group of 13 dudes gathered around a brunch on a Saturday morning? They just don't do this kind of stuff! Thankful I'm a girl!!!!
Did I mention...mimosas?
Jess, Erin, and Jessica's mom
(Foreground: Water. Coffee. Mimosa. Between the women and the beverages, this right here is all I need!)

I'd say it was Erin's best birthday yet!

My mom, Erin, and Ashley's mom
(Much like a VILLAGE, all of our moms have filled in as 'temp-mom' on various occasions...we're practically family!)
My "Four Alarm" Santa Fe Omelet and Country Potatoes. Mmmm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Change of Season.

I haven't been writing as often lately because I have been doing more photography. My favorite hobby lately has been making custom videos. I purchased a domain, www.LensofLindsay.com , and business cards. If you know of anybody needing photos or custom videos (graduation, weddings, memorials, anniversaries, etc.), please keep me in mind!

Business Cards!
First Maternity Shoot!

In the meanwhile, I have been enjoying the transition from summer into autumn. This past summer was the most uncomfortable I've experienced, bar none. Of course, I enjoyed the summer activities (riding on boats, swimming, late night walks), but no season can compare to fall. The crisp air, the pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING!!! This is definitely my favorite season. I am looking forward to 11/11/11...the Denton Women's Collective is hosting a clothing swap at my boyfriend's party. The party will be really fun, too. Camping Theme. His parents live in a remote, quiet area, and we will have a campfire, s'mores, and plenty of music. Everybody (male and female) is encouraged to clean out their closet and bring clothes/accessories/shoes they no longer wear...and then all the guests can go through and choose whatever they want to keep. All leftover clothing will be donated to Denton Friends of the Family. Speaking of DWC, we also had a great meeting recently where we invited men to join us in the viewing of Miss Representation. The conversation was stimulating, and the documentary was thought provoking. 

DWC "Miss Representation" Screening

As the weather gets colder, it seems fall just never sticks around long enough. I try to enjoy as much time outside as I can when the weather is as perfect as it is right now. I've enjoyed a perfect family lunch at Joe T. Garcia's (minus my sister, we miss you, Bud!)...beautiful outdoor shows watching George play pedal steel (and dancing with his mom!)...

My gorgeous mom reppin' her boots!
I love the way my GrandDad looks at my Mimi. They are still so in love after so many years and are such an inspiration to me!!! (This was a candid shot!)
My aunt, uncle, and adorable cousins.

Dancing with George's mom at one of his shows in Dallas

Just when the heat finally lifts, the cold sets in. When it gets cold, I tend to be more reclusive, more isolated...it's as though my apartment is a black hole and once I get home; I don't make it back out until work the next day. This isn't all bad, though. When I lived in Oklahoma, at times, in winter, I'd get blue. Lonely, cold, and such a mundane schedule. Last winter was the first in a long time when I felt happy to be cooped inside. I am expecting a similar winter this year. I've already been enjoying Pinterest projects (check out www.Pinterest.com if you haven't yet!) around the house...And with the Wonder Years on Netflix, the complete Sex and the City DVD collection, my sweet pups, and a passion for healthy cooking, I think I'll be just fine hibernating in my loft, thank you very much. 

Picture frame collage...Pinterest idea.
Does it get much better than this?
Roasted vegetables and tofu.
My babies.
Pi Phi T-Shirt Quilt. Perfect for snuggling.
Kevin and Winnie. True Love!