And they’re all made out of ticky tacky, And they all look just the same.

And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

 “Never change who you are so that other people will like you. Just be yourself and the right people will love you just for being you.” –Unknown

For years now, I have been criticized for being too blunt… although mostly by my mom. (She will want me to include that this is partially due to a few of my sailor-like habits.) But, recently I have noticed more and more people commending and thanking me for my honesty. While I am still surprised/concerned that this is praise worthy, I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity to express myself. Most people think the more struggles you admit to, the weaker you are. To be represented as strong, you must hide all of your inner struggle truths. I have a few problems with this. Mainly, I don’t hide anything well and the phrase, “Shut up and look pretty,” never really worked for me. But, in order to be honest about yourself and your struggles, you have to be 100% vulnerable, 100% of the time.
So here’s my truth.
Up until last night when I had an epiphany, (FINE. An ugly cry melt down that rivals the likes of Kim K), the idea of planning a wedding made me nauseous, agitated, sad, mad, angry and CRAZY. “But, wait,” you say, “Didn’t you like JUST get engaged?!.” YEAH, sister, I did. And immediately following the BEST proposal night EVER, I was overcome with this variety of emotions I did not want to deal with. I’ve struggled for the last month to even want to talk about my future wedding. Every negative thought I had just made me feel more and more guilty. I truly WANTED to be happy. I WANTED wedding planning to be fun. BUT, I have spent my whole life in the wedding industry and I know all too well some of the ups and DOWNS that come with wedding planning.
And you want to know the hardest truth to stomach?!
I don’t want to drain my closest family and friends of money and energy.
I don’t want to spend the next year and a half fighting with my mom.
I DON’T want to become “THAT” person.
…You know what I do want?
I want to wake up every day for the rest of my life staring at my best friend.
I want to build a future and family with him.
I want to spend every day honoring this man that I love. Because he is THE greatest person I have ever known.
I want to wake up in 50 years, griping with that same old man, arguing about why some of us STILL feel the need to shop in bulk. (.0001 savings per use does NOT constitute a year’s supply of toilet paper)
I want to fight, cry, grow, learn and LIVE with this man EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For the rest of my life.
And now that I’ve decided this, and accepted the fact that my toilet seat will forever be upright, I want to

Got swept up by a Cowboy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So why is this such a problem?
I’ll tell you why: EXPECTATIONS. If I have to hear, “OMG, I cannot wait to see what your wedding is going to be like after growing up in the bridal world!!” or “I can just imagine, you are going to have the most picturesque wedding ever,” one more time, I might full blown HONESTLY lose it. I know people mean well, I really really do, but a BIG ornate “drain Rodney Calvert of every penny he has left after raising me” wedding, AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! A bunch of you probably just sighed, feeling bad for me, because my daddy won’t buy me the biggest pink pony. Guess what?! That man would buy me an entire rainbow pony farm, (and then live in a box), if he knew I wanted it. So then why?
I spent the last month trying to wrap my mind around all of these expectations, and judgements. I was trying to find a way to conform to these preconceived “Wedding Must” Notions.
You know what I finally realized?
No matter how many flowers my daddy buys me, they will die the next day.
If someone brings me a filet mignon on my wedding day, I’m going to wish it was mac n’ cheese.
If I wake up the day after my wedding with perfect makeup, I’m going to wish I had sweated it all off on the dance floor to Rhianna.
I don’t even like cake, but I will gladly get it smacked into my face.
Even after I design, build and make my own wedding dress, I’ll bet you $100 right now you can find me at Jack ‘N the Box, barefoot, dancing in the parking lot, drowning in Cat Nip Tacos, after my wedding.
So go on and hate, and go on and act all “BOUGIE.” BUT, a big fancy wedding? That just isn’t me.

But, prancing around in a ‘stache and this shameless shirt last year for my Birthday, yeah this is me 100%.
(P.S. I turn old enough to round up to 30 in one week. CRYING.)

I hope and pray that when this is all over I walk away with torn up feet, sore muscles, sweaty hair, a dirty dress (SORRY MOM!), an epic video of me singing Celine Dion, and a lifetime of MEMORIES, as strong as the bond I have with the man who helped make them.
From here on out, I am going to be blogging my unique way through wedding planning. All of the DIY projects I will attempt, and inevitably fail a few (I will post those fails too!). My new healthy lifestyle…… ***Month Long Crash Diet because, CHERRY PIE.*** I hope you will join and support me in this adventure, but I warn you it may involve me in a wedding dress, eating mac n’ cheese out of a solo cup.
Because in the real world, Jell-O always trumps Crème Brule.
Nina Esclava
“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” –St. Catherine of Sienna

This Blog is dedicated to my parents, because they ALWAYS pushed me to think different, act different, and BE different. They taught me to view life as a giant puzzle that ALWAYS has a possible outcome. And (even when I would fight/cry this one) they taught me my first idea was just a rough draft to spark a bigger and brighter idea. If they would not have criticized (FINE. “Coached” as they always say) me to be a smarter, stronger, more creative person; I wouldn’t have the confidence to go out in the world as a uniquely thriving creative weirdo.
Thanks for inspiring me to be weird guys. I love you for it, really.
BEST Examples of what Marriage is all about right here!!
Both my parents (on the right) ROD “Money Banks” Calvert and Momma and my future in-laws (on the left) Angie and Mark Halfmann. Both couples have been married for over 30 years. They have both had there fair share of trials, but this crew is tough, hardworking, compassionate, and determined. If we are half of what these peeps are, we will be WAY ahead of the curve.
And of course, I couldn’t leave out our BOMB siblings. I FINALLY get two AMAZING sisters. (You both are better than the ones I pretended I had when I was younger) and J gets two baby brothers!