Giving a Voice to Invisible Illness

I participated in this incredible project where a group of individuals across the United States and Canada read a poem. We tried to shed a little light on the invisible illnesses, diagnosed and undiagnosed, that we deal with every day. You can learn a little more about each of us here. Many thanks to Leah Holstein (who has a second blog about all things Disney because she’s awesome) and Catherine Richardson for crafting the poem and bringing us all together.


Who Am I?

You’d think, with its deep historic roots, that changing a woman’s name to her husband’s name would be an easy feat. It is not. In fact, the directions are so convoluted that they may send you to a million different places in the wrong order. Or you might end up at the county courthouse with everyone staring at you, which luckily did not happen to me (thanks to a couple friends who’ve already jumped through the hoops ahead of me). But it almost did, and I don’t want it to happen to you. So here are the basics to changing your name, and (let me warn you right now) if you’re a guy it’s infinitely more difficult. Some couples decide which last name to take on or choose to come up with their own name. If you’re a male trying to change your name go straight for the courthouse paperwork. Alas, I cannot help you until after you get a judge to sign off on it. It stinks. It takes longer. Mi dispiace.


1. Send off your state marriage license request before your honeymoon. Most businesses give you 30 days to make changes for life events (marriage, birth, death, etc). About half of that time is spent waiting on the red tape paperwork to be processed. If you don’t get that form in ASAP you miiight just miss your deadline.

2. Make sure you have your birth certificate and social security card. If you were born before a certain year and have laminated versions…boy do I have a surprise for you. It’s invalid (even though it doesn’t say “do not laminate”). Request the new documents because you’ll need them. I strongly advise calling a parent to help. It’s easier for your mother to say, ” Yes, I gave birth to him/her/it/an idiot and need a new birth certificate” than scrambling around trying to prove you are you. They’re not very trusting.

3. The Social Security Office is your first stop. You’re going to need the state certified marriage certificate, government ID, and social security card. Just in case, I’d bring your birth certificate as well. Fair warning, social security is never open when you’re available. In fact, they’re open less than 40 hours a week, which is quite unfair because the lines are twice as long as my lunch break. Luckily, I’m magical and Dumbledore cast a spell of darkness upon my office building conveniently on a Wednesday. Or a thunderstorm knocked out the power. It’s debatable. Personally, I’d like to think it was Dumbledore, but I wouldn’t rely on him too much. I’d recommend saving a vacation day or “coming down” with the flu to get everything done at once because once you have a certified form with your new name on it you need to head on over to the DMV!

4. Oh, the DMV! The crying children, the teenage drivers trying to kill you in the parking lot, and the screams of the doomed who waited in line for an hour only to find out they left their proof of insurance at home. Welcome. Every state has a different way they distribute licenses, but you’ll need all the documents from social security plus the social security proof of name change form. I got another horrible picture of me taken and was given a supplementary slip of paper to keep with me until my license came in the mail.

Once everything ever arrives and you’re TERRIFIED of someone breaking into your mail box at any point because your whole identity is in the hands of USPS (who¬†conveniently just discovered an employee hoarding 22,000 pieces of mailIT COULD HAVE BEEN YOURS), you finally have your new name. (side note: where were they keeping all that mail?!?) Your name plate can be changed at work and benefits will recognize the existence of your spouse. Congratulations! Here’s to still receiving mail with your maiden name for the next decade!



That Time I Got Married

Reader, I married him.

(When in awe, why not go with a little Charlotte Bronte?)

Three and a half years after our first date.

Two years after our first apartment.

One year after graduation.

Thanks, baby sister, for capturing this ;)

Thanks, baby sister, for capturing this ūüėČ

We made it! We survived the craziness of driving 3 hours with our loony dog talking away in the back, last minute table decorating, and (the crowning achievement of the evening) nobody forgot their pants. Somehow I even managed to keep my anxiety in check and was able to enjoy the food and drink (yay wine!).

A lot of credit goes to our wonderful photographer, Danielle Vennard, who honestly made my day as stress 11182143_10153733597864239_2616020139747808658_nfree as possible by keeping things moving and having fun with our photos. I knew that the special moments were going to be preserved. I mean, look at this picture of my best friend and I.


That’s like our whole 13 years of friendship wrapped into one gorgeous black and white frame.

My family (the new and the original!) and friends who traveled from near and far truly made our day. There’s just something special about having everyone gathered in one place and it wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Now that it’s over, however, I am looking forward to getting back to my blog. I still have a mound of “Thank You” cards to complete, but I’m hoping to sneak away and throw out a few posts. So keep an eye out because I’m back!


Easter is a Comin’

With terrifying bunnies taking up residence in the local mall, my mind has drifted back to my childhood. Mainly, it has strayed to the memories of me in various¬†frilly frocks my mother loved to dress me in. As a teenager I used to think, “What was she doing? I look ridiculous.” Now I’ve reached the age where I squeal and say, “I can’t wait to potentially torture my own daughter! She’ll look so cute.” And she’ll hate those outfits too.


Whenever I see a bunny like the one pictured above¬†I want to scream. Is it any wonder that children scream and cry when placed in this weird mutated bunny’s lap? I mean, it has buttons sewn into his/her skin. Why has the bunny been tortured with pom pom limb additions?

This was the simple little bunny from my childhood–>

If I go to the mall down the street and see a bright pink girl Peter and then travel across town and see another Peter decked out with his blue “buttons” I’m going to wonder how they completed that surgical procedure so fast with such a short recovery time. I can just see my future spawn peppering me with questions that I can’t (and really don’t want) to answer. My vote to avoid this dilemma is for an androgynous bunny. In the movie (yeah, that’s right, who remembers this movie?), our furry deliverer of goodies, Peter Cottontail, is a boy, but in¬†reality Peter can be a guy, girl, or androgynous. We need more androgynous names in the world! Help me add Peter to the list. Or put some clothes on the damn bunny so it doesn’t matter! Guys can wear dresses, girls can wear trousers, and we’ll all go home happy. And now I’m done.



Who Done It?

I am a huge mystery lover and have recently indulged in picking up one of the most renown mystery authors, Agatha Christie.

agatha_christie_80This woman was an incredible badass. Excuse the language, but it is literally the best adjective I have in my vocabulary to describe the genius that created Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, and the husband and wife sleuthing team, Tommy and Tuppence. Christie takes the art of a Who Done It novel and crafts an elegant piece of writing filled with wit and charm. Despite being introduced very quickly to a plethora of characters, I feel as though I know them all!

I began my journey with¬†The Murder at the Vicarage, which is the first in the Miss. Marple series. In an interesting twist, the novel¬†is written from the first-person perspective of the vicar- a mystery that does not follow the actions or point-of-view¬†of the detective! Despite being considered an older mystery novel, I didn’t find the writing style difficult to follow. Passages and language flowed and though the phrases were a bit outdated I was perfectly able to take a gander at their meaning or look them up. With the stress of planning a wedding (7 Weeks!) and the host of spontaneous¬†fires going on in my life I found myself escaping into this novel frequently. It was an absolutely fascinating experience, and one that I plan on repeating over and over again. I can not wait to pick up the next Miss. Marple.


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