The Bride’s Diary – The Bridal Shower

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Words I never thought I would put in a sentence (and actually mean them):

I loved everything about my bridal shower.

Let’s be clear, this is not because I didn’t think we could pull it off, but because I have never been a huge fan of bridal showers. Although I’ve had fun at all of the showers I’ve attended in recent years, I never quite understood the point of them. In fact I’m sure I mentioned once or twice that I didn’t want to have one. They’re A LOT of work, and super time-consuming; especially when your mother and florist are keen on the littlest of details. From making Mad-Hatter hats to cutting the corners of every piece of paper, to flowers and cookies, no detail was left out.

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The theme I chose for my shower was Alice in Wonderland – it’s a book, one of my favourite Disney movies, and after looking on Pinterest I realized that there was so much that could be done with the theme. Over the last year my mom and aunt (who is also my florist) scoured all kinds of stores for the perfect props. With boxes and boxes stacked in the basement I nearly forgot how much was collected until we had to lug it all out again.
After months of planning, collecting, and prepping for the shower I asked my bridal party, mother, and aunt if they could decorate the restaurant without me so that I could see everything put together for the first time. And so they did…

Needless to say I was floored and completely overwhelmed by how nicely everything came together. They created my own version of Wonderland where everything is beautiful and just a little bit weird. As the guests made their way into the restaurant, they were handed their very own hat and asked to play some table games. All of the guests obliged and seemingly enjoyed all of the décor, food, raffles, and games throughout the afternoon. I made my way from table to table to welcome everyone and have a chat or two. I have to admit that I cried. More than once.


When the dessert table opened and everyone was full, I got up to say my thank-yous. Halfway through my written speech, I broke down. I felt such an incredible amount of love and joy in the room that I couldn’t contain myself. All of my family and friends showed up to celebrate Alex and I and the love we have for one another – it left me with a feeling a can’t quite describe. It’s somewhere between undeserving and ridiculously thankful, mixed in with utterly happy and exceedingly overwhelmed.

Thank you again to everyone who attended, to everyone who was there in spirit, and to everyone who helped out. It was a blissful day in Wonderland and I couldn’t be happier.

xo, Vanessa

she rhymes

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She adored the busyness of the city streets even more than the quiet found when nodding off to sleep. She needn’t go away to long for home – she can stay quite put and still feel alone. On and on the days go by; the leaves will change and flowers die. In her heart she feels  the same; her love and happiness are the only game.

There was a time she felt confused, questioned herself, convinced she’d lose. Suddenly, suddenly she’s standing tall, back straight up against a wall. She knows herself and walks with pride through the fear she tries to hide. Her confidence is blooming wide, you can see it in her face that she has nothing to hide.

She says her piece and doesn’t stutter even though her heart may flutter. Perspectives shifted with loads at stake – her mind has strengthened. Her ground won’t quake. She feels like a woman, no longer girl, she feels fucking ready to rule her world. She forgives herself for past mistakes and forgets regrets that have laid their claim. She cares not for foes, drama, or fame: words are her passion, Vanessa is her name.

xo, Vanessa

Push the car 

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My morning commute is generally uneventful. I drive down the same road, turn down one or two streets and I’m already sitting gingerly in front of the office. Since the drive is short, it’s rare that I see something interesting enough to pull me out of my daydreams.

Yesterday I sat patiently at a red light when I noticed a car across the way with its hazards flashing. A frantic-looking woman sat in the front seat. Behind the car was an older gentleman in a bright orange t-shirt and jeans. He looked about my father’s age but a little more worldly. He was pushing the car (which I can only hope was in neutral). His muscles beneath his shirt bulged but his eyes remained incredibly focused on the task at hand.

I drove by slowly as the light flashed green and wondered if he would be late for work; if his boss would believe his story. I wondered what other cars he had to push in his life, what battles he had to fight.

I wondered how many people drove by without stopping to lend a hand. Then I felt like a complete jerk for not stopping either. Worrying instead about getting a coffee and to work on time. I probably wouldn’t be able to push the car but I could have offered to help, to call a tow truck.

We all have a battle that we’re fighting, a goal or a dream to conquer. Some of us shy away or cower, some of us ignore the problem and sit down with a cappuccino as if nothing is wrong, while others..

…others push the fucking car until it gets to where it has to go.

xo, Vanessa

She Counts


She counts on people. Counts the days until Friday; the minutes until five o’clock. She counts on the flowers to grow and the seasons to change. She counts on consistency and perfection. She counts on time to be good to her, to not disappoint.
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She counts other things too; the swipes of deoterant she applies to her underarms, the number of times she’s pulled to door handle to ensure that it’s locked. The number of beeps her car makes when she presses the lock button – hearing it three times ensures safety and security. Her mind is a kindergarten classroom. Repetition keeps her head straight and focused; on the straight and narrow.

one. two. three. four.

She doesn’t remember when she began to count things or why it soothes a startling itch buried deep inside her. She knows that it gets worse when she’s stressed out, when there is something plaguing her mind and her heart. When she feels out of control.

one. two. three. four.

For a woman obsessed with words; she’s encountered so many numbers.

one.

two.

three.

four.

xo, Vanessa

Love Story from the Rearview Mirror

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There are moments when deep in thought or crazy in love that we forget how visible we are. We create a space that is undeniably our own. We don’t think about who can see us nor do we care. We simply love and exist.

On my drive into work the other day, I looked up at my rearview mirror and happened on a moment so private I couldn’t look away. A young couple on their way to school (I assume), were parked behind me at a red light. He was in the driver’s seat, staring at her like she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. She looked upset, her blonde pigtail beneath a baseball cap swayed as she shook her head.

He smiled at her and reached his hand toward her face. He let it rest there until she lifted her own hand to hold it. A hint of a smile reached her lips as she turned her head and kissed his hand; then leaned over and kissed his cheek, once, twice, a third time for luck.

As I placed my coffee back in its holder I realized that I was still driving. The light blared green and I stepped on the gas in the hope that the young couple wouldn’t start honking me.  I looked up every once in a while to see if they were still behind me. For a little while they were, smiling and laughing in their own little bubble. I lost them at some point but couldn’t seem to shake them from my mind.

I focus on the negative things in life. The days and weeks where everything goes wrong and the world appears to be a heaping pile of crap tend to weigh me down. I don’t think often enough about the many beautiful moments filled with love that I’ve witnessed or experienced. I guess sometimes all you need is a glance at your rearview mirror to remind you of how important those moments are.

xo, Vanessa

Reality Check

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There are times when I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the woman in front of me. I’m not referring to the faint but still visible wrinkles under my eyes or the newly nourished softness covering my once toned body. I’m talking about the attitude splattered all over my face.

We all go through phases where we’re pissed off at ourselves, at life, at our choices. Phases where we just want to be alone and the thought of being hugged, touched, or spoken to makes us cringe. It’s during times like this when an attitude finds itself planted firmly upon my brow. A LEAVE ME ALONE sign ceremoniously hangs itself around my neck and rests gently on the arms folded across my chest. Text messages find themselves unread, posts go unliked, kisses go unkissed, and I’m left in my own jungle of bitterness.

Then.

Suddenly.

It’s gone.

I write it out, sing it out, exercise it, coitus (sorry mom) it out of my system. Reality rears its beautiful head and surrounds me with all the things I should be thankful for. It reminds me that wishes are meant for children, hard work is the only thing that yields success, and success is really in the eyes of the beholder.

Reality check: giving up is for losers.

Reality check: you’re doing just fine great.

Reality check: you’re the source of your own happiness.

Reality check: you are not your enemy.

Reality check: you are good enough.

xo, Vanessa