Tag Archive | wedding planning

Part 2: Let There Be Light (and rain) On My Wedding Day

Today is August 21, 2014, 5:00 pm. Exactly one month ago, on top of a mountain, next to a creek, surrounded by loved ones, I made a promise to join hearts with Brad Light forever. After months of wondering how that moment would feel and being open to every possibility, I can honestly say it was the most beautiful moment of my life.

There’s a danger in wedding planning. Many dangers, truth be told. It is after all a multi-billion dollar industry intent on making you feel it absolutely necessary to have that hand-painted rustic backdrop for your photo booth and out-of-season soft pink peony centerpieces. If you want your wedding to be the happiest day of your life, you must have those things. Right?


Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one to denounce the details. I’m HUGE on details. I’m a person who prioritizes aesthetics in life. I relished every moment of planning the details of our wedding. Every late night making paper flowers. Every ounce of stress wondering how to make the seating chart fit into our theme. Every penny spent on the wire hot air balloon card holder. All worth it. However, I have one image for you:


” Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was Singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”

I loved every detail of our wedding. I loved our hot air balloon card holder, and my beautiful centerpieces, and the starry sky seating chart, and my gorgeous precious wonderful dress. But take them all away and I would have still ended the day married to Brad. I would have still shared that moment with our friends and family. That is what made it the most beautiful day of my life. Such a simple lesson, but one that brides seem to easily forget in the yards of chiffon and cake samples. Sometimes we need Dr. Seuss to remind us.

“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”

“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

And she puzzled three hours, till her puzzler was sore. Then the Bride thought of something she hadn’t before! “Maybe Weddings,” she thought, “don’t come from a store.”

“Maybe Weddings…perhaps…mean a little bit more!”

And what happened then? Well…in Leadville they say, that the Bride’s anxious heart grew three sizes that day!

And the minute her heart didn’t feel quite so tight, she whizzed with her vows through the bright morning light,

And she brought back the flowers! And the food for the feast! And she, SHE HERSELF! The Bride carved the roast beast!

So that’s the truth. I married Brad and everything else was gravy. Lovely, fun, beautiful, delicious, gravy.

I don’t want to go on and on. I’ll just highlight a few key details of our wedding day.

1. I had a cinnamon roll for breakfast. And a banana. And a fruit salad. Yum.

2. I had so much fun on “Operation Baby’s Breath” with Dana and Russell.

3. Somehow the keys to my parents rental car got lost. They had to tow a new care from Aspen. THAT was fun. The Treadwells are angels for letting us borrow their car to run errands.

4. I watched Doc Hollywood on TV while getting my hair and makeup done. Dana did my hair and makeup and it looked Gorgeous!

5. I felt a bit rushed getting ready. That darn lost set of car keys put us back.

6. I texted Brad back and forth all day about details, every time giddy as a schoolgirl getting a love note from her crush.

7. I cried. A lot.

8. I cried when the florist showed up with my bouquet. It was so beautiful. Those flowers made it real.

9. I cried when I put on my dress. It was so beautiful.

10. I cried repeatedly when I would look at my mom, my cousin, and Dana, because they would be crying.

11. My cousin said a prayer for me, holding hands with my mom and Dana all in a circle. I cried again. It was beautiful.

12. The weather forecast said it wasn’t going to rain but at about 3:30 it started sprinkling. I didn’t care.

13. At 5 o’clock when it was time to walk to the meadow I couldn’t believe the time had come. Were my friends and family actually all out there waiting for me? Was I actually about to get married? I felt like I was about to go skydiving. A mixture of nerves and excitement tempered by deep breaths and open eyes that would keep my heart open to knowing that in a few minutes I couldn’t think about it anymore. I would just have to jump.

14. As I walked to the meadow strangers around the resort clapped for me, congratulated me, and told me I looked beautiful. My heart swelled.

15. It was still raining. Damn. Oh well, I don’t really care. It will work out.

16. The ceremony began. The sound was great. I was so worried about the sound. No reason to worry.

17. I stood with my Dad, waiting on the bridge. Waiting to walk down the aisle. Grateful to share this intimate moment with my Dad. Feeling like I could lean on him. My Dad asks me “Are you nervous?” I say, “Yes.” And he just smiles. Somehow my nerves are spiced with peace. There is grace present. I feel something present in the rain drops and the sound of the creek and the sun poking through the clouds. Something magical.

18. It’s time. The music begins. “Here, There, and Everwhere.” My favorite song. Everyone stands. I breathe and I cry. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of seeing everyone’s face. I make my way over the bridge. Through the raindrops I see only one face. The world around me is swirling and transforming in a vortex and Brad’s face is the tether on the other end of the line. I hold onto his eyes, the only eyes I want to see right now. I feel everyone else looking at me and how grateful I am for their presence. I can’t believe they’re here for me! For us. I can’t believe it. I can never be thankful enough.

19. I make it down the aisle with my Dad. We hug and kiss, and then let go. I feel a wave of peace wash over me. I’m ready.

20. The ceremony begins and it’s perfect. The rain still gently mists its way down from the sky. My aunt begins the ceremony with a blessing. A Cherokee blessing calling on the elements. As she speaks of the sky and water, a drop of rain falls on her page. It’s serendipity. The blessing ends, and the sun begins to peek its way out from behind the clouds. There are little stubborn raindrops that don’t want to be left in the sky and they fall down in the sunbeams, making the air on my Brad’s face sparkle. The air is glittery with water and sun. It could not be more beautiful.

21. Instead of lighting a unity candle we water our “wedding tree.” A tree which signifies resilience, patience, endurance, and flexibility. We named our tree Wilbur. He’s now planted in my In-Law’s front yard in Buena Vista, CO. We hope he is not eaten by a deer but if so, hey, circle of life.

22. Brad’s sister reads from The Alchemist. Our dear friend Joe reads ee cummings’ Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Gladly Beyond. My brother sings “Storybook Love,” the song from my favorite movie. My step-dad plays the guitar. My uncle, the officiant, speaks so beautifully about love and marriage. He has such poise and grace. The perfect officiant. I look at him and think, he was there for my baptism (he is also my Godfather). How right that he be here now in this role.

23. We read our vows to each other. Brad puts my hand on his heart. My favorite thing to do is to listen to Brad’s heartbeat. We exchange rings. We say our I Do’s. Each step completely surreal and FUN. How fun to partake in these rituals. I do! My proudest two words.

24. My Uncle pronounces us husband and wife. How did that go by so fast?! We kiss! I’m so happy. I feel a wave of bliss. We turn to our friends and family. Everyone clapping and smiling. I wonder if the recessional music will begin. It does. Mr. Blue Sky by ELO. “The sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight, it stopped raining… It’s a beautiful new day.” Could the song be MORE perfect?

25. We dance down the aisle. I almost trip on my dress. That would have been bad. I didn’t though. I’m still smiling and dancing.

26. We’re married.



There’s a perfect metaphor for the anticipation of our wedding day, and that is the Colorado summer weather. It rains almost every day. I spent the last year worrying. I worried SO much that it would rain on my wedding day, as if somehow my worrying would make a difference. I just wanted to have the ceremony outdoors so badly. I would fret and worry and stress and plead with the sky, but when you get right down to it there is nothing I could do to control the weather. To some things we must simply surrender. Things like whether or not it will rain on your wedding day. Things like how you will feel on your wedding day. Surrender.

You know what? It did rain on my wedding day. And it was perfect. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.




Beauty in the Chaos

When opportunity knocks… it’s probably going to be when you’re incredibly busy and don’t have time for opportunity but it’s opportunity and you don’t want to say no so you figure out how to get it done and politely and enthusiastically say “yes, come on in.”

My life right now is chaos, but there are two definitions of chaos:

chaos : complete disorder and confusion.


chaos : the formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe

What I’m experience right now is incredibly profound. I feel that I am swirling in a turbulent yet somehow welcoming and pillowy ocean storm. I’m shedding layers of myself left and right, not sure what I’m about to transform into or if I’m going to regain any sense of identity at all, yet I hold on to faith. Faith that the one thing I can count on in life is change, and that change requires transformation, and that transformation requires at least a brief moment of chaos. So with that, I’m quite fond of the second definition of chaos. I exist in some sort of liminal state but what I’m about to do is create something amazing. I’m about to become someone’s wife. I’m about to forge my own family with another person. We’ve been together almost 7 years but marriage makes things different. I’m 30. I’m learning what that is like. So many things.

So in brief I welcome the chaos, as I must if I want to create the universe. I welcome the chaos of this post, bouncing from subject to subject and thought to thought. I welcome the chaos of my apartment, with its stacks of boxes, candles, flowers, croquet sets, and gift bags. I welcome the chaos of work, and the uncanny sense that every huge project I could possibly have has reached a fever pitch NOW. I welcome the chaos of my family, which is a topic for another day, but trust me, chaos.

Somehow out of this, love will mold the universe.

So why was I talking about opportunity? Oh yeah, because of course Murphy’s Law would suggest that since I’ve found myself in the most chaotic stage of my life thus far, now would be the time for opportunity to come knocking. And I’m grateful! Again, I simply embrace it all and laugh! Laugh as I see all the balls in the air. Somehow they’re still in the air!

Last week I was contacted by Buick with a fantastic promotional opportunity for my blog. I won’t go into the details here. Right now I’ll just tell you that it involves running and traveling, which are the exact topics that spurred the creation of Running to Tahiti. I want to devote an entire post to this project so look for that tomorrow. Today I simply wanted to set the stage of my life. Beautiful chaos.

I had the opportunity to see an original Jackson Pollock today at MOCA with one of the museum educators. This piece could not have been more perfect right now. I may as well be looking in a mirror.



The guide really took us through the painting. I would say that I’ve always “liked” Jackson Pollock but mostly because I didn’t really see a reason not to like him. He obviously made a strong signature on the art world. But today I really got it. I saw that the painting itself is beautiful chaos. That within the “mess” is the act of creation. Looking at that painting was like looking at a song being orchestrated or a city being built. There is motion in it. The layers, the colors, all playing different parts and evoking different feelings. Kind of amazing. Good job Jackson.

Beautiful chaos. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Beautiful chaos!

The Truth about Wedding Planning

I’ve led a charmed life. No major tragedies (knocks loudly on wood), no nasty breakups, lots of friends, good family, good college, ability to GO to college, happy childhood, etc. So when I say that putting together the guest list for my wedding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’m being only half hyperbolic. Perhaps nursing my mother through breast cancer takes the top spot, but guest list makes a close second.

I haven’t written much about the wedding planning process. Not sure why. Maybe I’m worried that people are tired of it. After all, aren’t brides on social media almost as annoying as runners on social media? Oh wait…

So maybe I’m annoying. But I need to vent! So if you’ve been waiting for the scoop on my wedding planning process, this is the post; and probably the only post, so bookmark it.

Where to even begin? Why don’t we start with the guest list since that is the item currently keeping me up nights. It seems so easy. You make a list of the people you want to bear witness to this significant moment in your life, and then you invite them. Easy as that, right? I wish. Want to know the #1 advice that I’ve received as a bride? “It’s your wedding day, you’re the bride, do what you want and don’t care what anyone thinks.” Such good advice. Such goooood sound advice. I just wish it were that easy. It probably IS that easy for some brides. I’m not one of them.

There are a million and half people who have come into my life at various points throughout my life and touched me in special and wonderful ways. I love people. I love the people that I know. I’m part of a community of people that I count my stars to know. If I could invite these million and a half people to my wedding, that would make me happy, because I love them all. But I can’t. Right? No. I can’t. We’ve got a budget, we have to stick to it, I can’t, I can’t. So then I try to choose some people. Ok, but who? Well, close friends. Ok. But then this close friend is related enough to this other slightly less close friend, but still a friend, to warrant an invitation to that friend. It would be weird to invite one and not the other. And then if those two are invited it kind of creates a set so really I need to invite this other person who isn’t as good of a friend but I still really like a whole lot and they’re part of the unit so they really need to be invited and plus they’re really fun, and if that person is invited then I really have no justification for not inviting this other person who is part of a different unit of people but is on the same plane as a person in that other unit and so I really need to invite them and plus they’re also super fun, and if I just invited that person then there’s this other person who is related enough to that person that it wouldn’t make sense for me to not invite that person since they are also kind of a friend. And then there’s this other floating person who is not part of any one unit of people per se but who I’m actually closer to than I am to this unit person I just added so it’s weird for me not to invite them but to invite this other person, even though I probably wouldn’t have invited them at all if I hadn’t opened the door to this unit of people. It’s like putting together a guest list exposes your inner thoughts about your web of friends and where they fit on the totem pole. Except that’s NOT the case at all because it’s so much more complicated than that and there are so many other factors but a bride worries that that’s what a guest list comes across as: a hierarchy of friends. It’s not. It’s not.

Oh and then there’s the groom’s friends. Same process as above, new units of people. Except there’s some crossover which changes the logic of how you put together your list of friends so now you have to go back and revisit your list to make sure it makes sense with your groom’s.

And then there’s family. Let’s invite this cousin because they’re obviously close family so they need to be invited. And let’s also invite this other cousin because they’re like a 2nd cousin once removed or something but you actually talk to them more than you talk to this other 1st cousin so we need to invite them. But this other 2nd cousin doesn’t realize that you’re closer to her sister than to her so it would be weird to invite one 2nd cousin and not the other. So are we inviting 2nd cousins? Or can we just invite this one 2nd cousin? If we’re inviting all 1st cousins and a couple of 2nd cousins then we should just invite all our 2nd cousins right? Ok what about nieces and nephews…

And so all of these friends and family are kind of a random smattering and I’m sure if they saw the selection on paper they wouldn’t be able to make sense of it but it makes sense in the bride’s head. The bride has only a certain number of people she can invite and she has to include a selection of current friends, old friends, college friends, family friends, work friends, family, extended family. Each group having its own rules and interpersonal politics. Some groups crossing over into each other and further complicating said rules and interpersonal politics.

You get the picture. Essentially what a bride is trying to do is put a puzzle together with all of the pieces turned over. With a blindfold. And the puzzle pieces have feelings. This corner piece gets allll offended that you invited this middle piece but not him, and then the middle piece is kind of surprised she got invited because you’re not that close but what she doesn’t know is that she got invited because she’s part of a unit of people that the bride thought would be weird to invite only part of and so decided to invite the whole unit. Even though the bride was concerned that this middle piece might ultimately think it’s weird that she got invited because it’s true, they’re not that close. And now the middle piece DOES think the bride is weird and maybe just after more gifts, so the bride lost that gamble, and the corner piece’s feelings are hurt.

Oh, and then there’s this, who the hell do I think I am? What do I think this is, the royal wedding? Most people probably A) don’t give a crap, and B) wouldn’t come anyway. So meanwhile I’m crying in my cake samples and wondering why we didn’t just elope while everyone else is sending back their Reply cards saying “Declines with Regret” and going on their merry ways.

And the final layer of neuroses to this puzzle is me writing this post. Because of course I’m worried that even saying all of these things is going to make the people I did invite feel bad that I’ve undergone such angst. Oy. Do a bride a favor and don’t feel bad. I love you and want to celebrate with you and if you can’t make it we TOTALLY understand but I love you and that’s it. This is all just a silly vent so that I can enjoy these last few months before the big day. A bride is allowed to be a little bit gauche right?

So when people say “you’re the bride, do what you want,” that is very sound advice, and PLEASE keep telling it to me because eventually it will sink in. Ultimately that is what I will HAVE to do (because it’s impossible to read the minds of 150 people, and trying to do so is literally driving me insane), but maybe now you understand why it’s a bit harder than it sounds. People say, who cares what they think? Who cares if they get offended? If they get upset that you didn’t invite them to your wedding then they weren’t good friends anyway. That is true. That is all true. But nobody likes to be the cause of someone’s hurt feelings, whether or not they are justified. No one likes people to be mad at them. No one likes a grudge held. Well, maybe that isn’t fair. Maybe some people aren’t bothered by those things. I don’t really think that Brad is (thank God!). But I am. I just am. I’m very sensititve and I’m a people pleaser and I like people to like me. So maybe this whole wedding guest list is just a challenge for me to work through those aspects of my personality. Maybe the challenge is, piss someone off, even if they never forget it and secretly hold a little grudge against you. Piss them off anyway and then WILL yourself not to give a shit.

(I do give a shit)

In closing, I implore you to take this advice. From here to eternity, if you know a couple getting married and you’re wondering if they’ll invite you to their wedding, give them a pass. If they don’t invite you and you really felt like you should have been invited, give them a pass. They have their reasons. They have their very complicated puzzle they are trying to put together and you don’t know the circumstances and parameters for that puzzle, so give them a pass. They are not trying to hurt you. I’m sure they would love you to be there if it was possible. Maybe they are on a tight budget or maybe they really want the wedding to be within a certain size, or maybe there are circumstances you couldn’t even imagine. Give them a pass.


Flustered Bride (give her a pass)


In other news, I tried on a sparkly tiara. So not my style, but it was pretty. And sparkly. And I felt like a princess. Totally get the tiara thing.

In other news, I tried on a sparkly tiara. Not my style, but it was pretty. And sparkly. And I felt like a princess..

When a Vacation Becomes… a Honeymoon!

Hi friends! If you know me or have been following Running to Tahiti for a while then it’s not actually news that Brad and I are engaged to be married. If you don’t know me or this is your first visit to my site, hi! I’m engaged! It’s all very exciting. Wedding planning is super fun (albeit stressful and at times surreal). Love is grand. The grandest thing there is.

When one is planning an epic vacation to Tahiti wherein the very nature of the trip-planning has spawned a blog, followers, social media profiles, and a new savings account, well, it’s a big deal. We’ve spent years already dreaming of crystalline blue waters, pristine coral reefs, thatched roof huts sitting on the ocean, shark dives, lush green mountains rising from the Pacific. This trip has build-up. So when one is trying to decide with one’s new fiance where to whisk off to for a honeymoon, any place that is not Tahiti will undoubtedly be a bit of a letdown. So, that leaves one option.

Honeymoon in Tahiti!

It’s gonna be a honeymoon folks. I have to tell you, I always had a hunch. Back when we started this running adventure three years ago I pondered to myself, hmmm, I wonder how the timing is gonna work out on this one? I was right 😉

As if getting to Tahiti did not have enough pressure, we’ve added in the honeymoon factor. The running is ON. If we slack off on our mileage schedule not only do we not get to Tahiti, we don’t get to our honeymoon. The pressure! It’s a good thing.

Back to those people who are reading for the first time, or maybe those who need a refresher course, here’s what this whole blog is all about.

I wanted to write about running and travel. I didn’t have money to travel. Brad got the idea instead to pick ONE place that we wanted to travel to, figure out the number of miles between Los Angeles and that place and run those miles. Put $1 in a savings account for every mile run. Once we have finished running the miles it will be as if we ran there, AND we’ll have the money saved away to GO there. This has been one of our better ideas. Although we’re not there yet.

Gotta get back on track. Of course the best way to do so is to sign up for a race. Accountability. In just over two weeks we’ll be running the Big Sur Half Marathon. I can’t wait to visit one of my favorite places on earth with my favorite person on earth! The central and northern California coastline is heaven. Pure heaven. This is the very spirit of why I started writing this blog; that the best way to explore a beautiful place is to run through it.


I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written. Wedding planning and work and running my own little side business. It’s a lot! The usual excuses. But they’re not good enough. I can’t tell you what writing this blog gives to me. Thank you for reading and giving me what feels like a worthwhile platform for my writing. Until next time.

Yay honeymoon!


Where did you go on your honeymoon? Share a picture and your favorite memory in the comments below!

How to Cure Vacation Withdrawal… More Vacation

Brad and I just got back from a glorious week-long mountain adventure in Colorado. Activities included whitewater rafting, exploring a ghost town, hiking to the top of a mountain to discover a heavenly meadow of wildflowers and a trout-filled lake, touring our wedding venue, and taking on some serious trail runs at 9,000 feet. To sum up, I need a vacation from my vacation. Answer: Disneyland in 5 weeks.

You thought I forgot, didn’t you? It’s Disneyland Half Marathon time!! The most wonderful running time of the year. I’m so excited to be participating in our 4th straight year of running 13.1 miles through the Happiest Place Race on Earth. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Last week I got a taste of paradise and now Monday has brought with it some serious vacation withdrawal depression. What a relief from the back-to-work blues, knowing that I have this race to look forward to in just a little over a month.

The stakes are higher this year. In case you haven’t heard, runDisney has introduced new madness to Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. For the first time ever they’ve introduced a 10k to the weekend’s activities, the Disneyland 10k specifically. The 10k is a great distance because it’s accessible to pretty much everyone. For those who don’t quite have the motivation to train for a half marathon, the 10k (6.2 miles) is a worthy challenge. And for seasoned marathoners and half marathoners, 10k is still a great workout and provides the perfect opportunity for challenging speed work and the chance to PR time and again. This 10k is going to be particulary fantastic because it’s short enough that most of the race will actually be in the Disneyland resort instead of sprawled out onto the streets of Anaheim. In short, it’s going to rock and I hope you signed up.

But I’m not done! Not only did runDisney introduce a 10k into the mix, but they’ve officially laid down the west coast version of the Goofy Challenge, only slightly less totally insane Goofy. Brad and I are training for the Dumbo Double Dare, which means we’ll be running the 10k on Saturday morning, and the half marathon on Sunday morning. We’re Dumbo! I’ve never run that much mileage back to back, but I’m not too worried. We’re going to take it real easy on the 10k, stopping for photos and enjoying the gentle jog through the parks, and then we’ll really let the motors go for the half marathon. Besides, we ran at 9,000 feet altitude last week (you can feel the the oxygen deprivation!) so our runs at sea level from here on out will pretty much make us feel like superheroes. I understand now why Olympians train at high altitudes!

We had a great 8 mile run last night at sunset. Hard to believe we were in the Rocky Mountains on Saturday and gazing out at the Pacific on Sunday. I really can’t complain about life. It’s really really good. 

Here are some pics from our mountain adventure! 

Hiking in the San Isabel National Forest

Hiking in the San Isabel National Forest

fields of wildflowers on top of a mountain

fields of wildflowers on top of a mountain

St. Elmo ghost town. One of many old abandoned mining towns in the Rockies. Spooky and beautiful.

St. Elmo ghost town. One of many old abandoned mining towns in the Rockies. Spooky and beautiful.

lots of hummingbirds at St. Elmo

lots of hummingbirds at St. Elmo


There's a corner of St. Elmo home to hundreds of friendly chipmunks. You can buy feed for 50c and these little critters will crawl all over you nibbling away at their seeds. They are incredibly adorable.

There’s a corner of St. Elmo home to hundreds of friendly chipmunks. You can buy feed for 50c and these little critters will crawl all over you nibbling away at their seeds. They are incredibly adorable. What do you think? Is this little guy Chip or Dale?


My first experience whitewater rafting. I'm hooked.

My first experience whitewater rafting. I’m hooked.

big drop

big drop


Touring our wedding venue! That meadow is where we'll say "I Do!"

Touring our wedding venue! That meadow is where we’ll say “I Do!”


Bathing in warm natural spring water at Mt Princeton Hot Springs. Yeah, our wedding is going to rock.

and of course...

and of course…

... running

… running



Have you taken a vacation yet this year? Where did you adventure?