May 2017 Life Update – Wedding Planning and Traveling

May 21, 2017 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Travel by Kristina Horner

Life has really been a sprint lately. I wrote a blog post recently called Adjusting, about how I’m trying to chill out and not run myself ragged, and I thought it might be a good time to check in on that. Really, I’m still exhausted and super busy, but I do think I’ve made incremental changes that are worth noting and celebrating.

I’m going to run through a few bigger life categories both to catch up on what I’ve been doing, and to measure if I’ve made any sort of positive progress.

GENERAL: My biggest hurdle in terms of lowering my stress levels and breaking free from the cycle of “always being busy” definitely falls in this personal fulfillment category. This is where I suffer from guilt for not making videos, for not having an Instagram with a strictly defined visual theme, for having cosplay photos on my computer that I’ve never posted anywhere, for never being up to date on all the good new TV shows, for ever watching TV at all, for not having made enough progress on my book… the list can go on forever, if I let it. My goal this year is to not let it. These things are

These things are bonus. These things are the cherry on top. And I’m slowly learning how to be okay with that.

Lately, I’m not sure if people have noticed, but I’ve significantly slowed down making YouTube videos. So far I’ve made 6 videos in 5 months, and honestly, I feel great about it. I have a few more that I’ve filmed but still need editing, and I have some ideas for others, but YouTube has become a hobby again in a bigger way than I’ve ever let it before, and it feels really good. Goodbye, shackles!

I’m trying to keep this blog at least updated a couple times a month, with one of these larger life updates each month. I’ve embarrassingly behind in #wordbound, but that’s becoming a priority again as we phase into summer. My Instagram is still probably my favorite social account, and I try to keep it updated – including doing Instagram stories, which is new for me! That’s been kind of fun. I’m starting to get it.

I don’t have any cosplay plans until PAX (end of summer), so that’s a relief. That leaves me to happily work on my book for the next couple of months in any free time I carve out. And to just… hang out with Joe. Play games with my friends. Be a guest on a super fun Sailor Moon inspired tabletop stream. Go to the gym. The things I so often had to pass up or feel guilty about doing, before.

WEDDING: We’re still 11 months out from our wedding, so I am trying to take baby steps. Make incremental progress. I’m a planner to my very core, so I’d always rather over-prepare and then take a breath closer to the deadline than save things for the last minute, but the wedding industry is one of very mixed messages. I wish people would do studies on the pressures of being a bride, seriously. Maybe they do. It’s a very, very weird space.

Almost every day I am hit with so many opposing points of view. “You have so much time, you don’t need to be thinking about this yet. It’s too early. Your weight is going to fluctuate, you shouldn’t be ordering things yet. This is your day, do whatever you want and whatever makes sense for you. We don’t even need to meet until fall. You have so much time. Literally stop working on your wedding it’s too early.” And in the same breath, I also get, “What is your wedding theme? What are your wedding colors? Why haven’t your out of town relatives gotten save the dates yet? Where are you going for your honeymoon? You know a dress can take 8-10 months to arrive, and then you need another 2-3 months for alterations. You should really have ordered it by now. This day isn’t just about you so here’s the list of seventy-six traditions you should consider doing arbitrarily because that’s what people expect. Where’s your hotel room block?”

*falls down dead*

I am a very organized person, and I’m trying to do this whole wedding planning thing at the rate that makes sense for me. It’s very difficult not to lose my mind sometimes, but I already plan events for work and I feel like I am doing an okay job. I’m just going to keep repeating that to myself.

For inquiring minds, here is my actual progress: At 11 months out, Joe and I have selected our venue and the date. We’ve talked with a friend about designing our save the dates. We have some ideas about fun things we want to plan for during the wedding reception. We’ve mostly selected our wedding party but we haven’t asked them yet. I’ve picked out a dress, even though I had given myself another month or two to make that decision. And now that I have a decided on a dress, I am pretty sure I am set on our wedding colors.

Now that those things are decided, I think I deserve a tiny break.

Then we’ll start addressing envelopes.


TRAVELING: Work has been so, so busy lately – so I am extremely happy to have a few trips lined in the coming months. Last weekend, Joe and I went to Vegas with his family, which was a total blast.

The trip was for a combination of Joe’s mom’s birthday as well as mother’s day, and we did such a unique combination of activities for a Vegas trip. We started with the Beatles LOVE Cirque show, which I’d seen before but not since my 21st birthday. Sidenote – that was a long time ago.

The next morning we got up very early and headed out to Red Rock Canyon for a morning hike. I was very skeptical of hiking in the desert, but the weather was beautiful and there was a slight breeze, so it was actually kind of a perfect scenario. The trail was pretty bouldery, too – which I think makes hiking a lot more fun.

We also spent a good amount of time at the pool, in the casino, and eating delicious food. The gambling method of choice for both Joe and I is blackjack and craps, so we partook in just enough that we came home from the trip about even. There were of course jokes and delusions about winning the money for our wedding in Vegas, but unless you can throw a wedding for $-40, that’s a no go.

One of our biggest regrets is that we didn’t at least try this Dungeons & Dragons themed slot machine. I’m always on the lookout for the funniest slot theme, and this was the trip’s winner.

I started reading The Book Thief at the pool, and while it’s not the most lighthearted summer read, I’m glad I finally decided to give it a try. I am loving it so far. We also went to an ice bar, where they give you a parka and gloves, and essentially stick you in a very social freezer. Everything is made of ice, including your cup. I would show you pictures, but because it was Las Vegas, we weren’t allowed to take any.

Only in Las Vegas would they construct a bar made entirely out of ICE in a DESERT and then not even let you take pictures. The whole situation was very, very poetic. Las Vegas is a ridiculous place.

Upcoming trips include a camping trip for Memorial Day weekend, a jaunt to North Dakota to see relatives, and then a week-long trip to New York a bit later to meet some of Joe’s extended family. I also plan to do some hiking this summer, so I’ll hopefully do blog updates about that as well.


Overall, I’m still a little busier than I’d like to be, but I’m continuing to find the balance. I’m getting there. I don’t think there’s any real “there” to actually ever get though, so it’s just a system of constantly checking in with myself. And right now, I’m okay. 🙂



Emily Graham says:

So know what you’re talking about with the wedding! I got married two days ago (ahhh!), and it feels SO GOOD to not have a wedding to worry about. I didn’t realize how large a cloud of stress it created until it was gone. I’m a planner too, and no amount of detailed timelines and instructions could make me feel prepared enough. BUT it went off without a hitch, so I guess all the stress was worth it 🙂

Good luck!!!

Erinn Lewis says:

Glad to see you are making some progress! I went back and read your adjustments post and can totally relate. I’ve recently been zoning in on just a few things that I have deemed to ve top priorities, and it’s meant a lot of my old pastimes have gone by the wayside. I don’t have nearly as much time to devotw to things like tv, messing around on the internet, and social media, and at times it makes me feel out of touch. But I remind myself that it means I am more “in touch” with important things. I also feel less connected to friends by not being on social media so much, but I know that my most valued relationships are ones where I can reach out and we are still the same old friends, no matter how long it’s been since we last spoke/hung out. And I’m honestly so much happier, sp hopefully you are feeling the same benefits!

For the wedding, I will say that hiring a wedding planner was such a good decision for us. I have planned entire events by myself before, but having an expert to worry about the small details (especially the ones I would have never thought of!) Made the time leading up to the wedding, and the actual day of go so smoothly and not stressful. And I think it made our guests’ experience better too, or at last I hope it did! So maybe something for you and Joe to consider!

Hey thanks Erinn, I really appreciate it!

Crystal says:

Oof wedding planning. While I loved planning mine, I don’t know if I could do it again. And our wedding was very untraditional. Our friend married us at a park with our parents and siblings present, and then afterward we all went out to brunch. That was on our fourth anniversary. A year later, we had a reception for all the rest of our family and friends. We reread our vows, but that was about it. The rest was just a fancy party. And it really wasn’t all that fancy. (We’re just not fancy people. xD) We spent about $7k total, and most of that was on the venue and the caterer.

I think as long as you stick to your own personal schedule, you’ll be fine. Your wedding will be great either way just because it’s your wedding. Anything that might go wrong won’t matter. Once it starts, you’ll be having fun, and feeling very in love and happy.

Nicole James says:

Oh man.. wedding planning is hard! I was way overwhelmed and we had a very simple wedding. I didn’t end up getting everything I wanted but it turned out great. I had most of the people I loved and we danced and hugged all night. It was fantastic. I can’t wait to hear about your wedding plans. I think you’re right though you’ve done most of the BIG things for now, take a rest! Other then paying for the venue, DJ and a deposit on the food everything else was done two months to three months before. You’ve got this!

An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing
a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply
because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this
matter here on your site.

Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this
matter here on your site.

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