Grief

It’s no joke.

I’m not even sure where to start with a post like this.

My cousin Payam passed away 3 weeks ago.

I’m in shock… still.  I’m pissed off and angry almost as much as I’m just plain sad and depressed.  Our family has been through a lot in the last 23 years. Last week we stood at the same grave that we buried my other cousin Payman (his brother!), 23 years ago. Life is not fair. You are not supposed to bury your children and you sure as shit are not supposed to bury them both. I look at my aunt and I don’t know how she lived through the first one…except I do. She lived for Payam. Everyday she got up and she got through it for him and now he’s gone too. LIFE IS NOT FAIR. And to just add to the absolute unfairness, now their are two young kids navigating this world without their dad.

Payam was one of a kind, in an almost unexplainable way. He married us 6 months ago. That’s how important this man was to me. He wasn’t just my cousin, he was probably the closest thing I ever had to a brother. Everything he did, he did with good intentions and his whole heart. He had a way of making you feel immediately comfortable in any situation. He was a fantastic husband and an even better father. He taught me how to pitch a tent and camp, granted he did most everything when we went camping. We talked about cars, horsepower, torque (still not clear on this), and our love of driving and fishtailing fast cars. Every time I hear Reggae and Bob Marley I think of him, he must know I need it because I’ve been here all kind of Marley songs over the last few weeks.

I don’t know if I ever talked about how close we are as a family, but I like to think that we are special. The way we all love each other so much and love being together; we actually choose being together as a family over most other things. Maybe it’s because my dad immigrated here when he was 15 and slowly brought my aunts, unlces and cousins here to start a new life. Maybe its because we were all we had or maybe it’s a cultural thing. I have no idea what it is but I will forever be grateful and thankful to have been born into this family with these people. We are truly lucky.  And at the same time we are also unlucky. Cancer has taken two from us, a car accident, one, and now Payam’s heart has beaten it’s last. F*ck. It’s heartbreaking.

Over the last 3 weeks we’ve all been together a lot. Us cousins used to always congregate in an area and talk about life, now we are down one and the void is enormous, unbearable really. It’s so hard to be together as a family and be missing one of our “lights”.  Always, watching the door waiting for him to walk in. Glancing around the room and swearing that you caught a glimpse of him or heard the deep rumble of his voice. The reality of it is deafening. Part of me wonders if our bodies are keeping us in shock because the reality of the loss is just to great to bear. I feel like we may never get over this, but then I know we have before. And even when I say that, this time feels different…the void is great.

I wonder if the light will even come back to my aunts eyes. It took so long before…of course it did, but eventually the light was there again. If you met her, you would love her. She bears her soul for all to see… her heart and kindness are unmatched. She is something special. The ones who have seen the darkest of dark really do shine the brightest and she is one of those bright lights. I hope we get to experience it again.

I was talking to my girl friend about life and all of this and she told me to write about it, so here I am, writing about it and working through my grief. I feel like this post doesn’t do him justice, so maybe I’ll revisit when I’m in a better place about it.

Lyrical Love: All of Me

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Life Lately

Life lately seems to be completely consumed with work. Are you all crazy busy at work too?! It’s non stop and I’m over it. I’m also determined to have a work life balance of some sort….which is why I headed back to this little space. And as you can see, the work life balance hasn’t exactly happened just yet. So here is a little summary of what I’ve been up to lately.

{Thinking About}

Maybe this one should be in bullet points…

  • How to have a career/job that I absolutely love…holy grail right
  • Doing a new DIY. Maybe a succulent wall in the backyard or a wood bench. 
  • Vacationing. After our long weekend in Cabo, I have the travel bug. This year I need to figure out a way to get myself here.
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Banff, Canada

and here….

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Tulum, Mexico

{Watching}

My favorite garbage reality TV shows are on right now. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Bachelor. It was obvious he was going to pick Vanessa, but that after the rose episode was nothing but awkward for me. We all want love to prevail and people to be happy, but something about that situation felt awkward to watch outside of the show.

{Reading}

A few weeks back I read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and I absolutely loved it. It went to a place that I never imagined it going, but I loved it. If you haven’t read it, definitely pick it up. 27362503

{Looking Forward To}

We have two wedding coming up the next two weekends and I couldn’t be more excited. The first is Scott’s buddy from Davis and past roommate, him and his fiancee will be getting married in lovely San Francisco. Fingers crossed that the weather man is wrong and we have clear skies that day.

The second, is Scott’s cousins wedding and she will be getting married in Palm Springs. Scott and I haven’t been to Palm Springs, since we went with his mom about 4 years ago so we are very much looking forward to warm weather, family time and wedding that is sure to be nothing short of a fairytale. We have 2 nights scheduled for Palm Springs and then we are planning on heading to our favorite beach town of Laguna before we fly home Monday evening.

{“Learning”}

I’m trying to get myself back into using my DSLR, hence the quotes in the subtitle above. Now that it’s light out when I get home I should be busting that bad boy out and taking better photos. Cooper is a pretty great subject. (Did I tell you all that we got a dog!) If anyone has any tips for shooting weddings, I’ll take them too. The bride of the SF wedding asked if I could take photos of the rehearsal and of course I said yes. And for myself I’d like to take some photos of both weddings. Send me your pointers.

That’s about if for now. Thank you all for checking in when you do.

Lyrical Love: All of Me

 

 

 

 

Engagement Shots & Save the Dates

Since my last post before I vanished was about all the things I was excited about while wedding planning, I figured I should go back and touch on a few of these. It is kind of incredible to think that all of this was exactly a year ago

First off, engagement shots…we had quite the little roller coaster with this one. First off the weather in February and March was horrible. We kept having to cancel and reschedule. My biggest driver for getting these done were the Save the Dates. I absolutely wanted a photo of us on our Save The Dates so I kept pushing to get them done but we were getting late on our save the dates. We ended up doing a test session with my sister, who actually has no photography experience. And quite honestly a few of them turned out beautifully and if you follow me on instagram you probably saw them. So here are some of my favorites from that session. By the way, my sister made that flower crown with fresh flowers from our garden….first one she’e ever made. Major heart eyes.

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Next up was our session with our photographer, we met with her on a Sunday evening and we took photos in 3 different locations with 2 different outfits. She had promised us some sneak peaks in a week and we were excited. After a little over a week I reached out to her and she said she was going to call Scott and me that evening to discuss. I thought to myself, “this can’t be good”. She called and proceeded to tell us that none of the pictures we had taken that day had been saved. Something happened with her SD card and it was corrupted. She tried everything and even took her camera to the shop to see if anything could be recovered. Everything failed. She was embarrassed, distraught and so upset. In that moment I had two choices, to be a bridezilla or to be a human. I know that sh*t happens and things go wrong and sometime it’s absolutely out of our control. I also know that when all that stuff happens to me, I want the person on the receiving end to remember that everyone is human, mistakes happen whether they are in our control or out of it. The news she had to deliver was incredibly difficult for us and for her. She wholeheartedly believed she was going to get fired that day. Honestly, I wasn’t that upset about the photos but all I could think was what if this had happened to our wedding pictures. She informed us that her camera has two SD card ports and that she always shoots with both for weddings but that this had never happened to her before so she didn’t typically use both for engagement shoots. She does now. She offered us a discount off of our photography package and we moved forward with her as our person. It took a few weeks to reschedule, but we did the shoot and honestly, we got a bunch more pictures and poses the second time around than we did on the first. Here are some of our favorites.

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So because of timing and everything mentioned above, we went with one of my sisters, which we both loved. And the winner for the Save the Dates was…

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Please excuse the grainy photo 🙂

We used Minted because we had a $50 credit and we were not disappointed. The cards were beautiful and the addressed envelopes were the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Hope you enjoyed this little flash back as much as I did, I really enjoyed looking through all of our photos again and reliving the moments.

Lyrical Love: All of Me

I miss this space…

I’m going out on a limb and sitting down at this space in hopes that there might be someone out there who just might still read.

It’s been over a year since I’ve sat down to write a post. Work and wedding planning definitely got in the way and blog life just took a back seat to everything else. Nevertheless I still follow all my favorite blogger gals along on instagram which helps me to still feel somewhat connected to this world.

Bottom line, I miss this. I miss having an outlet and a space to call my own; to write whatever I want when I want. Lord knows that I was never great about posting on a daily basis and for awhile I felt bad about that and bad about myself. Then I realized that its ok to post at my own pace and if people read, great! And if they don’t, that’s ok too. I’ve been noticing lately, that as I’ve been sucked into the blackhole I call work, that I’ve been losing things and parts of my life that make me happy. I read and article the other day about being burned out (which it appears that I am) and one of the recommendations was to start something new/do something you love. Of course this place was the first to come to mind, well that and The Bar Method. Which I’m happy to say that I scored a groupon for an unlimited free month for $44. I haven’t been to barre in over a year so I was eligible and thank G for that!

So…if you’ll have me, I’m going to come back at my own pace and talk about all the fun stuff that has happened since I disappeared into thin air. I’m going to try and bribe you all with wedding photos because I know those are some of my favorite posts to look at.

P.S. I’m transitioning over to WordPress…talk about fish out of water…not sure how this is all going to work so bare with me!

Lyrical Love: All of Me

Wedding Planning: Things I’m excited for

On my first installment of Wedding Planning I talked about some of my woes thus far. 
I have to say that now that we have the venue, photographer and DJ booked, I feel much better. 
I’m such a planner by nature that I want to rush through all of the planning but need to remind myself that I have lots of time. 
Some of the things I most excited for:
{Engagement shots}
We are planning on taking these at the end of February, hopefully when everything is blossoming and beautiful. I was trying to rush to get these done and I was totally bummed because the scenery around here is not pretty right now. Then I realized that save the dates don’t need to go out until mid-March. So, I slowed my roll and spoke with our photographer and we are going to do end of February shots and I can’t wait! What am I going to wear? Help!
{Save the Dates)
I see all you blogger ladies out there raving about Minted and I am so excited to finally get to use their site and create my own! When I first visited Minted was doing a promotion that if you set up a wedding website through them you would get a $50 credit. Sold. As I searched around their website, I saw all the fantastic things that minted included like addressing your save the dates for you. They give you a wonderful form to download your guest list and addresses and you just have to upload it and go. Genius I tell you. Also, if you prefer, you can have your guest RSVP through your wedding site.  They also will send you this beautiful sample pack showcasing all of their beautiful papers, fonts, envelopes, foiling, etc. Get this for sure.

{Registering}
As you all know, Scott and I already have a home and it is full of almost everything we could ever need. I’m still so excited to register. There are so many things that we wouldn’t buy for ourselves but would love as gifts. We won’t go over the top and we may even do an Amazon registry to include some not so standard registry items. Anyone ever done an amazon registry?
{Invitations}
See “Save the Dates”
Pretty much excited about this for all the same reason. Oh…also! Back in December Home Sweet Ruby was doing a Minted giveaway for $150 and I WON!!! I’ve NEVER won a giveaway before and this one was EVERYTHING!! So a special thank you to Cait for that giveaway and for helping us with our Wedding Invitations…every little bit helps!

{Bachelorette and Bridal Festivities}
The other day my bestie asked me about where and when we should do the bachelorette. I started to get really excited about all of the fun festivities to come. We also just attended a bridal shower for my cousin and it was so fun to get some shower ideas and imagine what my shower will be like.

{The Wedding}
Obviously.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the planning and the details, but its important to remember that in the end its all about me and Scott and our love; past present and future.

Netflix Orinigal: Grace and Frankie – A Must Watch

If you are looking for a feel good binge watching session THIS is your show!
Ever since 9 to 5, I’ve loved these two! When I saw this show come up on the “recommended for you” page I was sold. I knew I would like it but ladies, I LOVED IT! I was hooked in the first 5 minutes and laughing out loud on the couch. 
The show is about Grace(Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), their husbands have been business partners for more than 20 years. In the first scene the ladies are meeting at a restaurant (they clearly don’t like each other much) and waiting for their husbands to arrive. Once the men arrive they proceed to tell Grace and Frankie that they are leaving them and that they are gay…together.  
There are definitely moments where your heart strings are pulled for Grace and Frankie, but for the most part the show is pure comical feel good genius. I want to hang out with these two. 
Here are a few gifs to get you excited!
You know you want to go watch it!! Half hour episodes, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. I can’t wait for seasons 2 and 3! 
Enjoy!

Best and Worst Eyeliners-IMO

I have been wearing eyeliner since I was about 15. I was inspired by a woman I worked with who would line her eyes perfectly with a nice crisp line, similar to how Adele does hers. I’m pretty sure she used an expensive liner but being 15 I headed to Longs (local drugstore/pharmacy) and bought my first liquid eyeliner.

I used this liner for most high school and college and I can’t recall having too many complaints. I do remember feeling like my lines weren’t black enough. I used the blackest black, but the lines tended to look dull and my cat-eye tails would always smear off. I was on a budget and this was good for budget. 
After college another coworker introduced me to my next love affair liner. Learning to apply it with a brush took some time, but after a few days I was in love. I would recommend getting a longer brush, it makes application a lot easier but it’s nice that they give you one for travel purposes. I wore this creme liner for years but eventually I started noticing that by midday my lines weren’t as crisp. Apparently I have sweaty eyelids or something because my cat-eye tails were smearing/disappearing. 
I decided to try another drug store creme liner…why not right? Wrong. I will say that this was the second time I tried this gel liner. I couldn’t remember if I had tried the waterproof version the first time, so I figured I’d give it a whirl. This one was not great at all. I swear I would have barely anything on by the end of the day. And I’m sorry, I think $10 for drugstore liner is a rip off, especially if I could pay $6 more for Clinique. I like Maybelline but this liner is not good. 
After that disaster I went to Sephora for some new liner recommendations. I had super high hopes because the girls in there have killer eye liner. First recommendation was Tarte Claypot Waterproof Eyeliner. I’d heard of this eyeliner before so I was excited to have a “professional” recommendation. I scooped it up and went home to try it out. It was waterproof, it was from Sephora, good recommendations, it had to be good.  Not so much. Again, by the end of the day this stuff wasn’t crisp and my little tails were either fading or non existent. I was shocked, for being waterproof I thought it would be better.  Again, maybe I just have sweaty eyelids or something.
Bridesmaid to the rescue! I was at my girlfriends house for dinner one night and she was raving about her Stila eyeliner and that it stayed on all day and she loved it. I took myself back to Sephora and exchanged the above product for this liner. Now I was back to a more liquid application, with a new application style. This thing looks like a grinch finger and at first is a little intimidating, I definitely had to pull out the q-tips the first couple of days.  After wearing it for 2 weeks, I love it. I feel like my lines are super crisp an stay on all day.  It is waterproof, but it comes off so easily with my makeup wipes, which I love. 
If you are looking for a liner, here are my top 3 recommendations starting with the best.
#1 Stila
#2 Clinique
#3 Tarte

I would love to find a drugstore version so once this runs out, I’ll be on the hunt and report back, but for now I’m super happy to have found a fantastic liner from Stila.