Music Friday: Romance in Unlikely Places

For this week’s Music Friday, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite romantic songs in honor of the upcoming wedding of my two favorite Coloradans – Ezzy and Nico.  I’m dedicating two of my favorite “unlikely” romantic songs.  I say unlikely because at first listen, these songs might sound as though they weren’t intended to be love songs, but I believe that at their core, they are.

The first song is older, but a favorite.  Death Cab for Cutie’s Passenger Seat is probably one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard.  It is so simple in its description of two people enjoying a moment together.  The emotion that develops out of that moment is touching and results in a favorite line: “when you feel embarrassed, I’ll be your pride / when you need direction, I’ll be your guide / for all time”

Check it out below then buy it (actually, do yourself a favor and buy the whole Transatlanticism album) at iTunes or at Amazon:

The next song is a new one off of Vampire Weekend’s latest album Modern Vampires of the City.  At first listen, I loved this song for the beat.  But, after a few more plays and hearing the lyrics repeat, it seemed to be about a partnership.  This song gives me a sense of “us against the world” and I feel like there’s nothing more romantic than that.

Take a listen, then pick it up at iTunes or Amazon:

So, what do you think?  What are some “unlikely” romantic songs that you favor?

-mjh

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Always a Bridesmaid…And Loving It

For my inaugural Wedding Wednesday post I’ve decided to write about a topic on which I consider myself to be a bit of an expert. This month, I’ll serve as an attendant to my tenth bride. That’s right folks, 10 – I’ve hit the double digits.  While some gals might lament this fact and complain about the money spent or collection of questionable gowns, I count myself lucky to have so many friends who consider me special enough to include in their wedding day.

One of the early weddings, though not the first, was for my dear friend, Angela.  Note the disposable camera in my hand.  Many of the pictures from those early days are "analog" and not available for posting.

One of the early weddings, though not the first, was for my dear friend, Angela. Note the disposable camera in my hand. Many of the pictures from those early days are “analog” and not available for posting.

I was in my first wedding at age 21 in 2001 and my 11th wedding (including my own) will be this month at the tail end of my 33rd year (2013). Over the span of these dozen years, I’ve experienced and seen it all.  I’ve been maid of honor (3x); travelled for weddings (4x); thrown countless bridal showers and bachelorette parties (many of which took place in that bachelorette haven of Las Vegas); worn ball gowns, long dresses, short dresses, tea-length, strapless, halter tops, spaghetti straps, and v-necks; had my hair done, did my own hair, and re-did what someone else did to my hair; basically you name it, I’ve worn it or seen it or heard it. For years, friends used to joke that I should write my own Bridesmaid’s Survival Guide.

Well today, in honor of all those beautiful brides I’ve served and in preparation of my 10th attendant duty, I’m making my first attempt at sharing my advice for wedding attendants.  I’ve got a wealth of knowledge that could extend into a lengthy post, so in order to keep things relatively brief, I’m sharing my thoughts with a bit of a theme.

The wedding day can be an emotional one – for everyone involved.  When watching your BFF/sister/cousin/female soulmate marry, all sorts of things can come to the surface.  Here are my thoughts on how to navigate an emotionally charged weekend and make it the best!

“But, I Thought We We’re BFF’s!” – Managing Multiple Relationships

The childhood playmate, favorite cousin, college roommate, new in-laws, etc. – ladies (and gents) representing an important  period in the Bride’s life typically make-up the bridal party.  It’s not uncommon for members of each of these groups to be oblivious to the existence of the other or worse, oblivious to the value of the other’s role in the Bride’s life.  On more than one occasion, I was the “johnny-come-lately” amongst a group of childhood friends who held a set of shared beliefs and inside jokes that I simply didn’t get.  I could either (a) sit in the corner and pout about being “left out” or (b) dive-in and enjoy learning more about the friend whom I loved so dearly.

The important thing to remember is that the bride picked you for a reason.  Have confidence and faith in your friendship and it will free you up to enjoy the company of others.

I introduced this bride (Sandi) and groom (Matt) to one another.  I was so honored to be included in their special day.

I introduced this bride (Sandi) and groom (Matt) to one another. I was so honored to be included in their special day.

“I Flew All the Way Out Here and I’ve Barely had a Conversation with the Bride.”

Have you looked at a wedding schedule lately?  From the start of events at the rehearsal to the time the bride and groom depart the reception, there is always something happening.  Pictures are being taken, hair is being done, toasts are being made, dances are being danced, guests are being greeted – and somewhere in all of that the happy couple is getting married and trying to sneak in some alone time.

I have to confess that some of my most cherished memories as a bridesmaid/maid of honor are those just before the ceremony began and I gave the bride a big hug before walking down the aisle.  It was a special moment between my friend (or in a couple of cases my sisters) and me.  In a weekend of go-go-go, I had one second to slow down and express my love and support.

Instead of wallowing in the lack of interaction with the busy bride and groom, let the excitement of the weekend (and the myriad of activities) sweep you away.  As a member of the behind-the-scenes crew, there will be a chance for a special moment.  When it comes, take advantage of it and cherish it.  Then, hold the bride and groom to plans to connect in the future when things are less busy and they aren’t out of their minds with stress/plans/wedding afterglow.

Here I am walking with the Best Man at my sister's wedding.  I was so happy with my hair - that might be why I'm smiling so big!

Here I am walking with the Best Man at my sister’s wedding. I was so happy with my hair – that might be why I’ve got such a big, cheesy smile!

Remember My Golden Rule for Wedding Attendants: It’s Not About You

If you make this your mantra, no matter what you encounter, things will go smoothly.  So, you may not like putting your hair in an up-do per the bride’s request.  But, if it’s her preference, go for it.  It’s one day and such a simple request to fulfill.  Over the years, I spent so much wasted time worried about how I looked in my bridesmaid dress.  The truth is, the majority of wedding guests probably didn’t give me a second look – they are at the wedding for the bride and groom.

*An extra note here, if you do decide to suck-it-up and deal with something you don’t like for the sake of the bride (i.e. a dress you don’t like) don’t spend the whole wedding complaining about it to the rest of the bridal party.  Those girls/guys are there for the bride, too, and they don’t want to spend every spare moment listening to you whine about how “salmon is not your color” or you “detest open-toed shoes.”  Let the little things go and enjoy yourself!

Ultimately, I hope you’ll relax and have fun.  That’s my plan for the upcoming nuptials of my good friend.  I’m so happy for her and I know that by being there to support her and help her in any way I can, I’ll make her day that much better (it’s already going to be great simply because she’s marrying the man of her dreams).

So, what are your thoughts?  What is your advice for managing the emotions of the special day of your friend?

Changing Lanes

Well folks, sadly it’s been a few months since I’ve posted to this blog.  Since my last post, work was at its peak.  The spring semester is most often the busiest for me, and while I love the work, it leaves little time (and energy) for extracurricular writing such as this.

During this hectic time, I found myself in need of reflection (via writing) on my work in addition to the other things I typically write about (like crafts and home life).  But, at the time I did not feel that this blog was the appropriate outlet for writing about work.

After a while, though, I started to question this.  Why couldn’t this blog be a place for me to write about my work or anything else in my life for that matter?

I was so proud of my leadership students presenting at a conference in Portland this past spring. This is something I would have loved to share with the Merging Lanes readership.

I originally created Merging Lanes to document and reflect on the process of joining two lives together (my husband’s and mine).  Why couldn’t it also be about the merging going on within my life?  Certainly there is a convergence of my work and home life.  And not only is it appropriate for me to write about this experience, but it’s also healthy.

The main concern is, of course, that a reader who is interested in what I have to write about regarding challenges and successes at work, may not be interested in the latest DIY project I completed at home, and vice versa.  However,  I’m interested in both of these areas (and more) – we are a complex people.  Surely, I’m not the only person with a passion for higher education and DIY wedding crafts.  And if I am, today’s technology makes it possible for a fan of either interest to quickly and easily find what he or she is looking for within these webpages via categories and tags.

Ultimately, I realize that this blog is mostly read by me and therefore is written for me.  I am not so self-inflated to think I have an audience of hundreds to serve.  However, if anyone out there in the ether is reading and is upset by the changes that Merging Lanes is about to undergo, I offer my sincerest apologies.

Finally, I am also aware that this month marks the two-year anniversary of this blog – a definite record for me.  In honor of the anniversary and to keep things from going stale, I believe some changes are in order.

You’ll first note that I’ve made changes to the appearance of the blog.  Over the course of the next month or so, I will also be adding some additional pages to help organize the new content I will be adding.

I'm currently reading this memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin along with my dad.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the book in a new book review feature.

I’m currently reading this memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin, along with my dad. I’m excited to share my thoughts on it in a new book review feature.

 

As for the content, here are some things to expect:

  • Wedding Wednesdays will be a new feature, highlighting projects completed for my own wedding as well as things I find interesting around the web.
  • I’ll continue New Music Friday’s (instituted this past year).  It has been a fun addition that I enjoy writing.
  • Other content areas will include: reflections on work, continued posts on completed crafts and other home life related topics (like entertaining, decorating, etc.), and the addition of book reviews.

I look forward to continuing to share the merging process with you.  Thanks for reading.

-mjh