Blog

Mrs Spear

EPIC WEDDING POST!!!

Hey, Everyone!

Okay! This is the post you’ve ALL been waiting for! lol. Strap in. It’s a long one (plus there are over 50 pics and 2 videos!).

Before I start, I’d just like to thank all the people who took photos during the wedding (and remembered to send them to me afterwards): Dad, Brian, Rochelle, Leslie, Nicole, Ray, Christi, and Mike. They took ALL of the photos below… but I’m not sure who took which pics anymore because they all got jumbled together in my Downloads folder. Whoops.

Anyway… wow. Where to begin?

Getting Ready

The entire week was just endless prep. I admit it: I got overwhelmed and cried pretty hard on Wednesday night. Trying to balance my full-time job with all the wedding prep just exhausted me to the point of tears. I wasn’t sad, persay, just…so so SO tired.

I was SO glad I asked for the Friday before the wedding off from work MONTHS in advance. I probably would’ve died if I hadn’t LOL.

Friday was just endless prep. SO much house cleaning. It was intense.

That’s also when our out-of-town guests flew in (Christi and Leslie). I’ve known Leslie pretty much my entire life (since I started elementary school) and she was my childhood babysitter. But it was our first time meeting Christi (my Maid of Honor!) in person.

Christi has been a cherished friend of Frank’s and mine since the very beginning (over two years ago). We all worked at the same publication once upon a time. I was the Senior Editor, Christi was my Junior Editor (despite being a decade older hehe), and Frank was a staff writer. Basically, Christi and I got paid to boss Frank around. Then, after the publication went under and we were all let go, we all remained inseparable online pals.

Sweet Christi! Oh goodness. She was everything we knew she would be and more. She’s even more vibrant and wonderful in person than she is online. The only thing we didn’t anticipate was her Texas twang. LOL! As soon as she started speaking we were like “WHOA! We didn’t see THAT coming!” XD It was friggin’ adorable though. And now Frank and I can’t stop saying “y’all” ’cause we spent so much time with her over the past few days hahaha.

Anyway, Friday went by… Frank and I got about 2 hours sleep apiece that night. And then it was the BIG DAY!!

The Wedding Day (4/27/19)

Before the Ceremony

Before I begin this section, I want to give a special shoutout to the wonderful “Helpers” who arrived early: Mz. Tovar, Leslie, and Christi.

I didn’t get to see Mz. Tovar until after the ceremony, but I know she arrived extra early to help with all the food and things.

And just… thank GOD for Christi. I would’ve seriously been lost without her. My parents and Frank say the same thing. Gurl was ON IT. Best Maid of Honor EVER. She brought over balloons since we couldn’t afford decorations, she bought me waterproof mascara (thank goodness! I kept crying tears of joy throughout the day and my face would’ve been a scary mess!!), and took care of soooooooooooooooo many other little things that I lost count by the end of the day.

And Leslie was an enormous help too. We needed at least two people to get me into my wedding dress! I’ve lost about 20lbs since I bought my dress and it did NOT fit the same way anymore. It fit better in the waist, but the chest area and straps were all over the place. I had to be cinched, safety-pinned, and liberally taped (with double-stick fashion tape) into my dress in order for it to work properly.

And then, since Christi, Leslie, and I all had on acrylic nails, we were absolutely flummoxed by the clasps on my jewelry. We couldn’t get on my accessories to save our lives! Fortunately, Mom came to the rescue right on time.

I had my something blue…

I call Frank my “yeti” because he’s large, white, and thrives in the cold. He calls me his “unicorn” because I’m the purest, rarest, most magical being alive. (Can you tell which of us is the romantic? lol).

I had something new…

All of my moons glow in the dark! The bracelet has the moon that was shining when Frank was born (7/7/89) and the moon from when I was born (1/7/85 – full moon baby!). And the ring has the moon that shone on our wedding night (4/27/19).

And, of course, something old/borrowed…

That’s a prayer cloth from the 1920s belonging to my mom. Mom wore it pinned inside her dress on HER wedding day (6/18/83) and then I borrowed it so I could do the same on mine.

I tied my medicine bag to my bouquet (which was made of fake flowers, so I get to keep it forever – yay!):

We put the rings in the ring box:

And then Christi and I did the “Please, Jesus, don’t let us trip in our heels!” prayer…

Dad snapped one last “prep” pic…

And then it was GO TIME!!

The Ceremony

Okay…so…a lot of people were a bit confused by our ceremony. lol. I’ll explain it all here.

First of all: we had ZERO rehearsals of any kind. We had sort of a vague idea of what was gonna go down, but no specifics. Neither Frank nor I had a clue what was going to be said or…pretty much anything. lol. We didn’t even know where we were going to stand and stuff until THAT morning. 😀

Sooooooooooooo… the Cherokee stuff!

Leslie (who is known by a different name among the tribe) is a Tsalagi Cherokee. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve known her pretty much my entire life. She took care of me when I was younger (childhood babysitter). I always viewed her as kind of a “second mom” or “kooky/cool aunt.” We’ve always been close. Even when she moved across the country to be with her people, we stayed in constant contact.

She views me as her fourth daughter. And, since the feeling of “family” is so strong between us, I was given a tribe name and am an honorary Cherokee. So is Frank. As are my parents. We can only share our tribe names among the tribe, family, and closest friends though so…shh.

Rather than “Here Comes the Bride,” I walked out to a native drum beat.

The unity ceremony was a traditional Cherokee union ceremony.

Then, we had the main part of the ceremony, which was performed by my dear friend “Magic” Mike. Michael was a cardician (a magician who specializes in card tricks) who ended up becoming a minister.

Mike knocked it out of the park! It was short and super sweet. At the time, Frank and I thought at least half-an-hour must’ve gone by, but it was only 9 minutes for the entire ceremony (including the unity ceremony!). What?! lol. You seriously have NO concept of time during a wedding… The after party lasted 7 hours and I had no clue! (My FitBit Versa step counter later informed me that I’d walked 2.3 MILES just from running around the house chatting with guests!!).

Also: I had a death grip on my bouquet and forgot to hand it to Christi. Oops! lol.

Anyway, here’s the FULL video of the entire ceremony:

Oh! And someone (I forget who) took this neat picture of the back of my dress (See? Corset!) as Dad was leading me out to give me away:

I know that’s kind of a “whatevs” lil detail, but it took us so long to cinch me into that darn thing I was happy there was a photo of it! lol.

The Reception/Party

This section is going to be mostly pictures and I’m not entirely sure if they’re going to be in order…

We had 14 guests total. Everyone was on my side — total strangers to Frank for the most part. Frank had met Mz. Tovar, Minister Mike, and Uncle Mike each once before; and he knew Christi, Leslie, Ray, Rochelle (sorta), and Chris (sorta) from the internet. But that’s it!

Anyway… here we go!

This was the food table at the start of the party:

This was our personalized cake topper:

My dad baked the wedding cake and all the cupcakes. My mom decorated them. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the cake had edible glitter on it so it sparkled. It was really pretty! And DELICIOUS! My dad bakes the BEST cakes!

Here’re some pics of Frank and me cutting the cake, feeding each other cake, and posing with cake:

The paparazzi inside…

…and outside…

The Spears (Frank and me) + The Tharps (Mom and Dad):

Nicole and her husband, Eric. I’ve known Nicole since the first day of first grade:

And I’ve known Rochelle since kindergarten:

Nicole and Rochelle were in the same Girl Scouts troupe. I never joined the Girl Scouts, but I got invited to ALL their little events and whatnot as a “guest of honor” or whatever. lol. Basically: I got to do all the FUN things the Girl Scouts did, but I didn’t have to wear an itchy uniform or do any of the work (sell cookies, etc.).

Ray was basically Frank’s unofficial Best Man. He came early and took care of my hubby pre-ceremony. Got him all jazzed up on ice-cold energy drinks and brought a tube of glue with him to try to fix Frank’s glasses. Frank’s glasses got destroyed right before the wedding, so he was blind to anything that was further than a foot in front of his face. They weren’t able to fix them at the time (one of the pieces had gone missing until much later), but Ray had Frank’s back throughout the entire day. Frank was so grateful.

And, of course, my Maid of Honor (Christi) pretty much never left my side. She was always hovering close by JUST IN CASE!

Chris (ginormous super buff white dude) has been in my life since he and I were 12, but we weren’t always friends. lol. Seventh grade boys can be sooo annoying, y’know? But, once we went to high school, he grew up a ton (literally and figuratively) and we’ve been super close ever since. He’s now one of my best, sweetest, and most reliable friends. I can always count on him. And we have some wild stories to tell! Like, one time, we were out driving around in Chris’ first truck and a gang member started throwing signs at us and tried to run us down and Chris did some truly fancy driving to get us to safety. It was amazing. I have a framed photo of Chris’ truck to this day (two actually lol). And, one time, after I was attacked while working alone during the nightshift at one of my old jobs, Chris came by every night to be my bodyguard until my final two weeks were up (I resigned the night I was attacked). Also: one time I saw him lift an entire four-seater couch over his head with one hand!!

His husband, Matt (who would’ve been guest #15), was sick on our wedding day and couldn’t make it. But their good friend Eduardo came and he was a delight. I’d never met him before, but his smile was infectious…

And, of course, Mike… Always, always, always so sweet. You’ll never meet a kinder human or a better minister:

Mz. Tovar!! She’s been one of my dad’s best buddies since the early ’70s. I met her for the first time in 1997. She’s fantastic — always. We all call her “Mz.” Tovar because she’d get really mad whenever anyone would call her “Miss” or “Mrs.” She’d really emphasize that she was a “Ms.” to the point that the “s” sounded like a “z.” Anyway… she was a HUGE help to my folks pre-ceremony and it’s always great to see her:

^ My glasses were starting to steam up in that photo because I was boiling. You’d think that a sleeveless, just below-the-knee, dress would be thermally “cool,” but NOPE. That dress was THICK and I couldn’t stop sweating.

Leslie had me go outside. Which helped a lot.

And, of course, the VAPE LIFE never ends — not even during a wedding!

Here’s my dad, looking super proud:

And here’s my mom, exhausted but happy:

I honestly have no idea when this was taken, but it’s cute:

Ahhhhh! Brian! Also known as “Tall Brian” sometimes (for obvious reasons). I met Brian while riding a bus back in 2007. I had just watched Speed the night before and was looking around having bus-related action fantasies when I noticed Brian. I thought, “Oh wow. That dude actually looks a bit like a young Keanu Reeves!” annnnnnnnnd…I have a bit of a staring problem. So he noticed. lol. He was like “Uhhh…hi? I’m Brian!” and we started chatting and have been friends ever since. He’s a sweetie.

And, of course, I couldn’t resist making Brian (tallest guest) stand next to Christi (shortest guest) for this amazing photo:

Brian and Christi also served as our two witnesses — so they played a large part in making Frank and me LEGALLY married. Here they are signing the documents:

Brian also BUSTED Dorian drinking champagne! LOL! But Dorian is over 21 years old in human years (and over 120 in cat years) so he’s definitely old enough to legally drink:

And he snapped this pic of Flex hanging out on one of my doll shelves. Tina stayed hidden for the entire party (only appearing once to angrily meow at Frank before retreating back under the bed). Flex just seemed mildly annoyed, but never scared:

I also know Brian’s the one who took this pic of the polaroid pictures I was snapping throughout the wedding (I wanted a tangible wedding album!!):

Very meta.

These were my two favorite polaroids…

^ We actually had over 100 props that people could pose with (that I painstakingly assembled the night before), but Christi and Ray were the only ones who used them!

Speaking of things I painstakingly put together the night before… We had a TON of goodie bags (we had 15 guests planned, so I made over 30 of these things in case anyone wanted extras!) and almost NO ONE took any home with them:

Oh well. Good thing I like buttermints, I guess!

Anyway, I tossed my bouquet, but it was a bit awkward. The only other unmarried ladies left super early, which meant poor Rochelle was the ONLY person I could chuck my tossing flowers at…

She caught it though! So that was good. lol. And, like my wedding bouquet, my tossing bouquet was super fake so she got to keep it as a souvenir.

And then Frank did the garter toss thing. We had a bit of a struggle because, by that point in the evening, my legs were hitting failure from running around all day and I could barely lift my leg up for him to get to my tossin’ garter (I kept the fancier one, on my other leg, as a keepsake).

Ray got the garter. But the only person who took a pic of that as evidence was my dad… who didn’t realize he’d run out of digital “film” when he snapped the pic, so…there’s no pic. But Ray looked rad with my garter around his arm, posing with a flexed bicep.

Ummmm… I think these were from much earlier on in the day. I know Christi took these. Ring pics!

That’s actually the SECOND wedding ring I bought Frank! He’s been losing SO much weight (healthy eating, etc.) that the first ring I got him ended up being WAY too large. And the original ring was tungsten, so it couldn’t be resized. Whoops! So I got him another one. And even THIS ring is getting to be too large on him!! Thankfully, I bought the second one in a resizable material… He’s gonna wear one of those thingies (I forget what they’re called) on the underside of it to keep it from slipping off for now and then, when he finally plateaus re: weight loss, we’ll get it resized to fit him properly.

Towards the end of the evening, Frank and I folded up the blanket (and the red leather cord) from the unity ceremony and crushed white sage, sweet grass, and tobacco all over it:

Rochelle is mildly terrified of cats (because of their claws) so, of course, Dorian decided she was his new best friend:

She has kind of a “please help me” smile in that pic. lol. But she was a good sport, and Dorian is just such a sweet old man. <3

Also… this was the food table later on in the day (right before it got packed into the fridge so it wouldn’t spoil). Isn’t it just totally bizarre that there was more food at the END than at the beginning?? I’m not entirely sure how that happened! LOL!

And the iced bowl of caviar never even made it to the table! LOL LOL!! Whoops! We found it still in the fridge afterward and facepalmed.

And I’m not really sure when this pic was taken, but I know it was towards the very end. Our darling Christi was the first to arrive and the last to leave:

After it was all over, Frank and I were absolutely exhausted:

But, of course, Frank was then tasked with the job of getting me out of my dress. It took THREE people to get me INTO that dress, so it was a pretty hefty job for one thoroughly pooped young man. SO much tape and safety pins and ribbons and whatnot…

Once he finally got me out of my white tulle prison, I gleefully tossed it aside…and Flex claimed it as her own:

Anyway… Frank and I briefly eyeballed each other and waggled our eyebrows, but, ultimately, decided to follow Rochelle’s sage wedding night advice: “If you’re too exhausted…don’t…just don’t. You don’t want your first time to be lame.”

We have our entire lives for that stuff. 😉

We got into our comfiest PJs and fell asleep…HARD. We didn’t wake up until nearly 3pm the next day.

The Day After

I have a new last name!!! I’m now Mrs. Lauren Spear!

Christi commissioned this adorable piece of art by Rhode Montip for us to showcase our new status as a married couple:

Isn’t that just adorable? I can’t get enough of my new last name! She also got me a personalized robe!!

Frank and I also had so many cards to open, and gifts kept being delivered (Amazon delivers on Sundays!) from people who weren’t even AT the wedding… Thank you, All. Y’all really didn’t have to do that. We feel so very blessed.

And then there were little things that I hadn’t even noticed the day before. Like these real flowers from Chris and Eduardo! I had NO IDEA they brought me flowers, but they’re so very pretty:

And, of course, Christi came by one last time before heading back to Texas and was with us deep into the night. Every hour she kept saying “Okay, I really should be going…” and then she’d stay for another hour. lol. She didn’t want to leave. And we didn’t want to let her go. We miss her already.

My parents absolutely fell in love with Christi too, and adopted her into our family as my sister. Christi was super misty-eyed, and my parents were jazzed that they now have two grandchildren (Christi is a mother of two).

Here’s a cute/silly pic of all of us in our pajamas:

Not the best pic of any of us (you can tell we’re all tired), but you can still feel the warmth and love radiating from our tiny lil family.

Leslie decided Christi was family too and gave her a tribe name as well.

What a wonderful weekend!!

Side note though: Did anyone get any decent pictures of either of my uncles? lol. Both my biological uncles (Dad’s older bro and Mom’s older bro) made a very brief appearance at the wedding, but I only have two cruddy photos of them (which I didn’t want to embarrass them with by sharing).

Anyway… I think that’s it! I hope this EPIC WEDDING POST was everything everyone hoped it would be.

It’s time for me to sleep now. Frank and I didn’t get to have a honeymoon of any kind, soooooooooooooooo… I gotta rest up for work!

Until next time,
Lauren*
(AKA: Mrs. Spear)

Mrs Spear

Six Days

Custom Shirts by Eileen

Wow! WHERE has the time gone?!

We’re coming down the home stretch, wedding-wise. We’re getting married THIS Saturday (4/27/19)!

I’m sorry I’ve been so terrible about updating. I was ill for, like, forevvvvvvvvvvvvverrrrrrrrrrrrr…

I first started feeling sick the day before the cats arrived…

AH! Tangent. The cats arrived! lol. Tina and Flex have been with us here in California since March 19th. Yay!!

Flex (left) + Tina (right)

Tina is my sweet little angel. Flex and I… have some adjusting to do. Heh. She was downright violent for the first few weeks (she’d go out of her way to attack me, even if I wasn’t touching/near her!!). However, we took them to the vet last week and they were both dewormed (tapeworms) and now Tina is even MORE of a sweet little angel baby and Flex is…less violent. Flex still seems a bit miffed/jealous about my relationship with “her” Frank, but she hasn’t gone full rage-chimp and latched onto my arm to draw blood in about a week now, sooooooooooooooooo… progress?? I was even able to pet her briefly the other day after I made an offering of catnip, so I have high hopes for the future.

But, yeah… I was sick from about March 18th onward. Ugh.

EVERY dang week, I was back at the doctor’s office. First I had tonsillitis, then I had the stomach flu (which Dad, Mom, and then Frank caught – but they got better quickly!), and then I just… didn’t get better.

On April 12th, I went back to my doctor AGAIN. But I threw up on his floor while he was examining me and he was like “NOPE!” and admitted me into the ER.

I was in the ER for a good seven hours getting tests done. My doc is sweet though. He stopped by to visit me while he was on his lunch break (12-2pm).

They ended up taking ten(!) tubes of blood, urine, throat swabs, sinus swabs (very painful – I cried), X-rays… the works!

In the end, they discovered that I had an antibiotic-resistant strain of strep throat (probably what caused my initial tonsillitis?), severe acid reflux (GERD), and 3 ulcers (2 in my stomach and 1 in my esophagus).

I was given HARDCORE antibiotics (they were HUGE!!), anti-nausea meds (to take as needed… mainly after taking the antibiotics), acid reflux meds, etc. Whew!!

I’m also supposed to be on a very blaaaaaaaaaaaaaand diet for at least 3 more weeks. So I guess I won’t be hitting the salami tray at the wedding.

Anyway, I’m all better now! I went back to see my doc last Thursday (4/18) and my throat culture came back negative. I finished my run of antibiotics anyway though just to be extra sure. Took the last one of those honking big pills this morning! Woo!

My doctor was like “Make sure you don’t stress” and yadda yadda. Ummmmmmmmm… that’s kind of impossible?? This is my first day back to work (starting in about twenty minutes!) and I only have five days left to prepare for the BIG DAY on Saturday. “Don’t stress.” Please.

I’m glad to be back at work though. It’ll be good to DO something besides rest/recuperate. Also, I used up all of my PTO after the first week of being sick soooooooooooo… it’ll be very nice to start earning money again. April has been ROUGH with me not earning anything due to illness. Plus, April is always my folks’ slowest month (all the monster peeps spend their dosh at Monsterpalooza instead of collecting). So poor Frank has basically been the only earner this month, paying all the bills and whatnot…

HUGE thanks to my uncle, Mike, for the early wedding gift of CASH. Thanks to him, we’ll have FOOD to serve on Saturday; and Frank was able to buy wedding pants. Thank you!!!

Speaking of guys named Mike…

Frank and I met with “Magic” Mike (cardician-turned-minister) on Saturday (4/20) to discuss the ceremony. Mike is going to be officiating for us!

Our minster, pictured here, holding a wooden sword (circa March 2007)

Mike is going to be great! He also promised to keep the ceremony short and sweet – no droning on and on. 🙂

Also, if anyone has a deck of cards on hand, I encourage you to approach Mike during the reception. lol. As a former cardician (a magician who specializes in card tricks), I’m SURE he’s still got a few great tricks that’ll dazzle you. 😉

Anyway, I’m running low on time here (work starts in just a few minutes!!), so I’m going to wrap things up.

This week: work, pick up the marriage license, more work, and then Friday off for last-minute prep.

Christi (Maid of Honor) will be flying in from Texas on Friday. And Leslie (my childhood babysitter, who will be performing the unity ceremony) will be flying in from Illinois that same afternoon. Everyone else with an invite who RSVP’d should be showing up on Saturday. Exciting!!

The next time I write, I’ll be Mrs. Lauren SPEAR!!! 😀

Until then,
Lauren*

Mrs Spear

It’s March Already?!

Hey, Everyone!

Frank and I are both ALIVE and doing well!

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last made an update on here. Dang! Where did the time go?

Neither one of us has much to report… We’ve just been super busy with our full-time jobs and wedding planning.

Frank fits in beautifully here. It’s like he’s lived here for years and years.

In our (very) limited free time, we play video games and watch movies. And we’ve been playing a lot of board games and card games. We’ll probably play a round of Munchkin with my folks after dinner, provided we don’t all immediately food coma from the giant Sunday night meal Mom has planned (pot roast, baked potatoes with all the fixin’s, etc.).

Frank and I try to leave the house once per week so he can explore his new city. Sometimes we get so caught up with our work that we forget though. haha. On Friday, we looked at our Uber receipts and realized we hadn’t left the house in 12 days!! So we took a quick trip to a local restaurant that was serving breakfast, ate, grabbed some bagels from the bakery for Dad, and then came back home… and got right back to work. LOL!

We’re super exciting. I know. 😛

Actually, we do have ONE exciting thing to announce: Tina and Flex (Frank’s kitty girls) will be arriving in Los Angeles VERY soon!

Tina (left) and her daughter, Flex (right)

Frank’s girls have been patiently waiting in Ohio this whole time. Frank’s been missing them like crazy these past couple months; however, we’ve finally saved up enough money to have them (safely) transported out here to be with us. Woo-hoo!

Here’s hoping they get along with Dorian, the Tharp Family cat…

Dorian Gray (21+ years old)

Or, rather, that Dorian gets along with them! :O

Dorian is a former feral (it took us over a decade to befriend/adopt him!) who pretty much just beat the crap out of every other cat who crossed his path. We’re HOPING that the fact that he’s an old man now, and that Frank’s cats are lovely ladies, will encourage him to be mellow and play nice. We’ll see! Dorian never ceases to surprise us (he gets along with the pet rodents living here!), so we’re all crossing our fingers.

No matter what happens, Frank is going to (literally) have his hands full (of cats). Frank’s kitties are needy daddy’s girls, and Dorian is ALSO quite taken with Frank and demands a lot of his love and attention. In fact, as I’m writing this, Frank is taking a nap and Dorian is happily asleep on Frank’s belly.

Well… that’s all for now, I think!

I’ll try to write another update after the girls get here and are more-or-less settled in.

Until next time,
Lauren*
PS: Wedding invites went out a couple weeks ago. If you got one and haven’t RSVP’d yet… please RSVP. Thanks!

Mrs Spear

Meeting and Engaging

Hey, Everyone!

Frank arrived safely in Los Angeles on the morning of January the 4th.

Coming from a very small town in Ohio and landing at LAX was very overwhelming for poor Frank. One of the first things he said to me when he landed was “I’ve never seen so many people in my entire life!” I told him “Get used to it.” lol.

Fortunately, Frank didn’t have any luggage with him (he’d mailed everything he owned ahead of his arrival) so he didn’t have to deal with the usual airport nonsense that usually comes along with landing. So that was good. All he had to do was hail an Uber and take a ride to his new home.

I was waiting outside my parents’ house, under a giant WELCOME HOME banner my folks had put up in front of their home. I don’t believe in posting pictures of where I live online for obvious reasons, but it was this 9-foot bright red banner with giant white letters. Very easy to spot.

Frank’s ride pulled up. I was super excited. He thanked his driver and she pulled away. We waved at each other and he hobbled up to the driveway. (Frank’s leg was injured not long ago and has to be bandaged — and the long trip had made him a bit sore).

I met him at the edge of the driveway and he said: “Well. I did it. I told you I would. You believe me now?” And I laughed really hard and agreed that, yes; he absolutely DID travel almost 3000 miles to be with me, just like he promised he would.

Then we hugged for pretty much forever. And then we pulled back and had our first smooch. Nothing too scandalous, of course. Nothing that would shock the neighbors or make Jesus wag His finger. Very pure and sweet. Then we hugged and laughed about stuff for a few more minutes and headed inside.

Frank met my folks and all the pets. Got the tour of the house. And was finally home.

Mom, who couldn’t resist peeking out the window to view our first meeting, said it was one of the sweetest things she’d ever seen. She said, with Frank’s wounded leg and me standing under that banner, it was like watching a soldier returning home from a long war.

As a bonus, when the mail came about an hour later, so did his personal belongings from Ohio. Great timing!

We also took our first picture together. It’s a little blurry because we were still giggling and happy and a little shaky from meeting each other in person for the first time, but yeah. Here it is:

Settling In

To be honest, Frank and I (as well as my parents) settled in really quickly. Frank and I had known each other for over two years and talked about 15 hours a day, every day, during that timeframe. And he’d frequently communicated with my folks over the past six months as well. We were all quite comfortable with each other.

Frank joked: “I’m just like I am online, I just take up more space.”

Very accurate assessment. lol. Though, personally, I think he’s even BETTER in person than he was online. Which I didn’t think was possible, but there you have it. He’s just so adorable. I love being able to hug him whenever I want. And I love making him laugh — it’s my favorite thing ever. I love seeing his face squish up and watching his laughter jiggle his belly. He’s so sweet and cheerful and has a great sense of humor.

My family and I have been have been having a blast teaching Frank about our crazy California ways. So much of what’s “normal” for us in Los Angeles is mind-boggling to Frank.

We’ve especially been having fun introducing him to new food experiences. For example, Frank had never tasted an avocado (our state fruit!) before. Watching his face as he took that first nibble was a blast. The texture really threw him for a loop, but he ended up liking it. Which is good because we have avocado-based everything at our house pretty much (avocado oil, avocado mayo, etc.).

So Frank’s had our local fast food, avocados, sushi, and some other treats just in the 4 days he’s been here. He’s a hip Los Angeleno now. 😉

Best Birthday Ever

Monday, January 7th, was my 34th birthday. Dad mercifully restrained himself from making too many cradle robbing jokes (Frank’s 29).

My birthday was just lovely! Frank was impressed by how super popular I am. 😉 hehehe. I was getting calls and emails and texts and social media messages all day long. (Side note: Thank you all for doing that!!)

Frank ended up sleeping through part of the afternoon because he’d been tossing and turning with anxiety all night… My birthday was the day he’d chosen to have a very important conversation with my dad and Frank, being Frank, was overthinking it.

While Frank was taking his power nap, I was hanging out with my parents in the dining room. Then, I looked out the window and, to my surprise, I saw my mom’s roommate, Cyndee, from the way back days coming up the driveway. I hadn’t seen her in 19 years, but I recognized her immediately. I told Mom, and Mom got super excited.

Cyndee had lost Mom’s phone number, but was in the neighborhood and miraculously knew where we lived still, so she stopped on by. She had no idea it was my birthday, or that I’d moved back in with my folks. haha. Oh man. Mom was so excited to see her old friend. It was so cute to see them reunited.

I briefly woke up Frank to let him know that there was a guest over (so he wouldn’t be caught off guard if he had to leave the room to pee or something) and he acknowledged me and fell back to sleep. So, since Cyndee couldn’t meet Frank in person (this time!), I showed her pics of him instead. She said he was “VERY cute.” I happily agreed.

After Cyndee left, I woke up Frank legit and we all ate the birthday dinner Mom had prepared. Ribeye pot roast, homemade risotto, and veggies. Mmmmm.

Frank was very quiet and fidgety and eyeballing Dad throughout dinner. Then, Dad got up to take the dishes back to the kitchen and Mom reached over and took Frank’s hand and said, “Just talk to him. It’s going to be fine. I’m psychic. I know these things.” That seemed to put Frank more at ease. He left the room to hit his vape a few times for courage and then came back and tapped Dad on the shoulder and asked to have a private conversation with him.

Frank was asking my dad’s official permission for my hand in marriage.

I knew it’d be fine, but I was still a jittery mess myself, just knowing that conversation was going on in the next room. haha. I went back to Frank and my room and hit my vape a few times as well. But, when Frank came back smiling, I knew it must have gone okay.

Anyway, after a brief break, we headed back out into the dining room. Dad had baked me a cake (which Mom decorated). Triple chocolate fudge with cream cheese frosting. Yum! I was pumped. I hadn’t had any cake since my 33rd birthday.

I wasn’t sure what to wish for on my candles! I already had everything I could possibly want! haha.

But, my family and Frank sang to me and I blew out the candles. And Dad motioned for me to look to my right (at him) to pose for a picture.

Then, when I looked back to my left (at Frank), Frank was holding an engagement ring. My jaw fell open. And Mom excitedly said, “Oh my goodness!! Is that what you wished for?!” lol.

Frank: “So…ah…I was wondering… You down?”

Me: *nodding* “I’m down.”

And then I got up and gave him a kiss and my parents were snapping pics with my cellphone and their digital camera.

I was happy crying and laughing (Frank joked, “I think I broke her!”). My dad was like, “I’m confused. Sooooo… was that a ‘yes?'” and I was like, “YES!!!” And Mom said, “Frank! She said ‘yes.’ Put the ring on her!” And Frank was like “Oh right!!” and slipped it on my finger. Perfect fit.

After that, everyone hugged everyone and then we all ate delicious cake.

Then, we played Monopoly. Mom crushed us all. Frank came in second. I was out of the game a good half an hour before the timer went off. lol. Completely lost at the board game, but still satisfied because I was winning at real life.

Frank and I watched some Twin Peaks and tucked in early. Busy day!

Officially Engaged

So hey! We did it! We’re officially engaged now.

Probably won’t update again for quite some time. After our last few days of paid vacation, Frank and I will need to get back into the swing of things doing our full-time jobs.

So…until next time (whenever that may be),
Lauren*

Mrs Spear

A (Literally) Healthy Relationship

Hey, Everyone!

Okay. First off… Yes! That’s the hat I’m going to be wearing for Frank and my wedding in April 2019. 🙂 You can’t see my dress, but there were no superstitions/rules regarding hats so… there ya go! Sneak peek!

I’ve never been fond of veils for some reason. They tend to make me think of Halloween ghost costumes. But then I saw the movie Hello, Dolly! when I was a wee one and I got really excited: “She’s wearing a HAT! For her WEDDING!!” And I knew, even at that young age, I had the solution to my aversion to veils. Haha.

Plus, as my good friend Khris Tovar once said back in 1997: “Lauren just isn’t Lauren without a hat!”

As for the dress… I have it. It’s beyond gorgeous. I can’t wait to wear it for the Big Day. But, oh my goodness. If I lose any more weight, I’m either going to have to hire a tailor to take it in a bit, or everyone who attends is going to get an eyeful of my boobs when they come flopping out the front. :O Yeah… I’m either gonna need to stay plump or hire a tailor. Probably the latter. Definitely. (Apologies in advance to anyone who was hoping for a free show lol).

Speaking of weight loss… I wanted to talk a little about the title of this post, if you don’t mind.

Better Together in All Ways

I know I brag a lot about how fantastic my Frank is. Those of you who follow me on social media are probably sick of it already lol. But, honestly, I’ve never really gotten into the specifics of all he’s done for me.

Frank is truly the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. My partner. My soulmate. In addition to making me the happiest I’ve ever been in my LIFE (and that’s a biggie!), here are a few of the things I’ve accomplished thanks to his love and support:

I was able to leave an abusive home life. I won’t go into too many details on this one because it’s more-or-less a private matter, but things with my former roommate got very ugly and I was being abused (verbally, mentally, and emotionally) on a daily basis. Things have since simmered down and said roommate and I are on tentatively friendly terms, but, when it was happening, it was really bad.

I reconnected with my family in the best way possible. I’ve never been this close to my parents! Moving back in with them (Frank’s suggestion!) at this point in my life (when I’m happy and healthy) has been amazing. We’re all the very BEST of friends! Plus, I’ve gotten closer to my two uncles as well.

I recovered from PTSD. I suffered from horrific PTSD for over a decade. Frank encouraged me to seek treatment, and then supported me as I went through it. The treatments were beyond brutal, and I often wanted to quit; but he stuck with me and helped me every step of the way. Now, according to the tests performed on me by my team of doctors, I no longer, medically-speaking, have PTSD. (My original tests rated me at 98% afflicted and now, when last tested, I scored a 3%).

I got my periods under control. Endometriosis is a hell of a thing. My menstrual periods were basically killing me. I was bleeding myself into anemia (not fun), in horrible pain, and just hating life. Frank encouraged me to seek help. And then he stuck with me when the doctors fumbled around trying to figure out what to do. At one point, it looked like I was going to have to have a hysterectomy. I was very upset. No one wants to have an organ removed. And, even though I don’t plan on having children, I’d like to have the option to. But Frank knew all the right things to say (like how I’d be no less of a perfect woman, even if I was unable to bear children), and comforted me while I waited for a solution to be found. And then, when the solution ended up being an IUD, he helped me through the painful adjustment period. (And now, 11 months later, I’m doing REALLY well!!).

My skin cleared up. I still get the occasional zit (usually from work stress — getting things ready for Black Friday last month definitely did a number on my face! lol), but, overall, my skin has been practically glowing. :O It’s amazing what being HAPPY and not constantly stressed out can do to a gal!

I’ve lost weight. I’m still obese, obviously; but I’ve lost a lot of weight. And Frank has been incredibly supportive. I think that really says a lot about him. A lot of bigger dudes wouldn’t feel confident enough to have their lady slim down, you know what I mean? They’d have an “I’m big, so YOU should be big too!” attitude. Not Frank. He loved me when I was in the 300s, and he loves me now that I’ve entered the 200s. I’ve dropped several sizes, and lost over ten inches on my waist alone — and Frank has cheered me on the entire journey!

I sleep well and eat right. My parents deserve some credit for this one too (especially the eating part — thanks for all the homecooked meals, Mom!!), but Frank is the one who, on a daily basis, reminds me to take time out to eat meals; and, every night, reminds me when it’s bedtime. I get so wrapped up in working on various things that I often forget the “basics,” so having those gentle nudges from Frank have really improved my quality of life.

I got an amazing job. Frank has been my Number One Fan so far as my writing/editing career goes. When a KILLER job came my way… I didn’t think I deserved it or could do it. Frank told me otherwise. And here I am, half a year into the BEST job I’ve ever had in my life, all thanks to his never-ending belief that I absolutely could do the job and succeed at it.

I got off the worst of my medications. Surprise! This is a BIG one, and this is my first time talking about it. 🙂 My mental health has improved SO MUCH since Frank came into my life, that I was able to go off one of my mental health meds (the one with all the truly nasty side-effects!). Before Frank, I was on two daily metal health medications plus additional take-as-needed meds. Now? I take ONE daily pill. That’s it! Boo-yah!!

So there you go. That’s just some of the stuff Frank has done to improve my life. Plus, you know, little stuff like making me laugh and smile on a daily basis and just overall enjoy life a bazillion times more.

I’ve helped Frank in similar ways. He’s a more private person and doesn’t like to openly blab about life stuff like I do, so I won’t get too detailed. However, here are a few of the things he’s already stated publicly that I’ve helped him with (so it’s safe for me to repeat them here!):

I’ve made him the happiest he’s ever been in his life. Woo!! That’s a big one! 🙂

I helped him with his career. I helped him whip is writing into shape. And I passed along a job application to him for an amaaaaaaaaazing writing job. And he got the position! That was all him though, honestly. haha. I just shoved the app at him and encouraged him to try; but he got the position based on his own incredible talent. I’m super proud.

I improved his physical health. Frank’s got a ways to go, physically, same as I do; but, he’s already making major progress! One of the BIGGEST things I helped him with was supporting his journey to quit smoking. Woo! He was a heavy cigarette smoker when we met, but I helped him kick cigs to the curb. He vapes now, and his breathing and whatnot have improved SO much! (Plus, I’m betting he SMELLS a lot better too! hehe).

So… yeah. We have a good “healthy” relationship as best friends/partners/soulmates in the “romantic” sense… but we’ve also quite literally made each other healthier human beings. I think that’s pretty rad.

Anyway, that’s all for now, I guess. Frank will be here with me in exactly 14 days (his flight out got moved to January 4th!!). That’ll probably be my next big update. 😀

Until then… MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

–Lauren*

Mrs Spear

Making Room and Making Plans

Hey, Everyone!

Wow. Things finally feel like they’re moving along at a good clip!

There are 26 days left (including today) until Frank is here in California with me. Taking that big cross-country flight (with his kitties!) from Ohio to here. Can you believe that? We can FINALLY say that we’re going to be together IN PERSON in LESS THAN A MONTH!!

In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot to prepare for his arrival.

The Great Room Cleaning

I got rid of about half (maybe two-thirds?) of everything I own. I know. Shocking, right? But material goods are whatevs. I needed to make space (literally!) in my life for Frank. I kept my Mighty Max toys though. Which are, I suppose, OUR Mighty Max toys now. So… you’re welcome, Frank. 😛

It was a really interesting experience, to be honest. Going through all the things I’ve accumulated in my 33+ years on this planet. I’m not like a hardcore hoarder by any means (there was room to walk!!), but I did manage to hang onto a LOT of stuff… Like the cow I made in kindergarten out of a milk carton. A rather large ball of rubberbands I’d collected at some point. My very first Barbie doll. Several rocks of various shapes and sizes. Hundreds of floppy disks. Math homework from elementary school (I had a habit of hiding my homework in drawers or boxes instead of actually doing it). And just…dang…a lot of stuff, going all the way back to the 1980s.

Cleaning out my things made me realize two things:

  1. My priorities in life. My top priority, obviously, was to make room for Frank. Because he’s the most important part of my life and I didn’t want him (or his cats) to get buried under a mountain of junk. But, as a secondary priority… deciding what to keep in the end was very interesting to me. Like I said earlier: I only kept about one-third of my possessions; and what remains, I think, gives a lot of insight into who I am as a person.
  2. My OCD was REALLY bad before I was medicated. Like…seriously. How on earth did I last 29 years with my OCD not under control? Wow. I had saved SO much junk that “might come in handy someday.” Rubberbands, screws, pieces of string, bits of wire, scraps of paper, shreds of cloth, buttons, etc. Clearly NONE of that stuff EVER came in handy because it was ALL still there! lol. My poor unmedicated younger self. I felt really bad for Little Lauren. What an unnecessary amount of stress I used to carry with me.

The Great Room Cleaning has been a grand success. It’s been immensely freeing, and my room (soon to be OUR room until we find our own house) has never been cleaner!

I’ll be sure to post some pics once it’s ALL the way done. Our bed should be delivered later this week, hopefully. And Frank’s stuff still needs to come in the mail.

Wedding Plans

Since we’re getting married in about four and a half months from now… We’ve been doing a lot of wedding prep already.

Nailed down the pastor, the location, the wedding party, and the guest list. Also figured out the menu more-or-less, picked out invitations, found the perfect wedding dress, figured out the cake, picked out a cake topper, made decisions about flowers, chose our wedding rings, etc.

Plus, two people have already sent us wedding/moving gifts!! (Thanks again Jo and Donald!). They used our Amazon wish list – which is over in the right-hand sidebar, if YOU would like to send us something too. No pressure though. <3

Man… wedding planning is TOUGH! :O

Getting the wedding party sorted was immensely hard. Some feelings have been hurt already, unfortunately. But hopefully everything is good now? Cross fingers.

The guest list has also been incredibly difficult for various reasons. The first being that I’m INCREDIBLY POPULAR (lol) and know WAY TOO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE. Seriously!!! Like. Okay. My ROOM was borderline hoarder-esque, right? But my FRIENDS LIST is even moreso! I collect PEOPLE. lol.

But it would’ve been WAY too expensive to invite EVERYONE I know. Plus, it woulda looked a little weird for me to have HUNDREDS of people on MY side of the guest list and only a few on Frank’s. (Since most of Frank’s friends are on the east coast, and the wedding is going to be here in California, there weren’t that many of his pals who could fly out for it…).

So, much like cleaning my room, I had to REALLY prioritize. But dang. It was SO much harder trying to pick the people I was closest to than it was picking which dolls or whatever I wanted to keep.

It was very stressful. Very very very stressful. I really hope the friends who aren’t invited won’t feel too hurt.

But, due to space, money, and our general social awkwardness (neither of us likes being up in front of large groups of people); Frank and I decided to keep our guest list as SMALL AS POSSIBLE. Hopefully everyone can understand that.

It’s crazy though! We were like “Okay. We’ll invite a dozen people or less.” Which sounds great, right? Nice and tiny. Very reasonable. Easy to manage. But then EVERYONE wanted to bring a date. So now we have over twenty people coming! LOL!

But, it’s not like we could say no! It’s a wedding! A celebration of LOVE and UNIONS!! We’re not going to say, “This day is about love and joining together… so make sure you come ALONE.” XD

It’ll all work out in the end. Though Mom did bug her eyes out a little when she saw the finalized guest list and realized how many deviled eggs she’d have to make. Woo boy…

Anyway, I guess that’s enough of an update for now.

More updates as things continue to progress!

Until next time,
Lauren*

Mrs Spear

Six Weeks

So, about two years ago, I met this dude online (through work). We became instant friends. The BEST of best friends.

We loved each other immediately. Reflecting back now, I think it’s safe to say we were in love after our first conversation — though, being rational people, neither of us wanted to admit that until recently.

My living situation was… complicated. My roommate and I had a long and bizarre history that, after over a decade, began to manifest into something rather ugly.

Then, this summer, that changed. I moved back in with my parents.

It was at that time — having moved away from the toxic environment I had been in for so long — that I truly got in touch with my feelings. Namely, my feelings for Frank. I confessed that I loved him. And, to my delight, he felt the same way.

So, in August 2018, we upgraded from “best friends” to boyfriend/girlfriend. It was pretty sweet.

“Let’s take things slow,” we said.

Haha. That seems so funny now.

The more we talked, the more we realized we had ALWAYS been more (even if we didn’t admit it until recently). That we had been “together” for nearly two years. So… wasn’t that slow enough?

So “Let’s take things slow” turned into “Let’s get this show on the road!” And we started planning our future together.

Frank made his intentions to marry me clear. I was hype.

Plans were made for a visit (and engagement!) in January, followed by Frank moving cross-country to be with me permanently come July 2019.

However, Frank’s own toxic living environment came to a head. Plans had to be sped up even further.

Now, Frank is moving cross-country to be with me, permanently, in January 2019! :O

The engagement is still happening then too. 😉

We’re going to stay with my parents for a few weeks while we hunt down a home to call our own. Get married. And then… spend forever together!

Am I prepared to marry a man I’ve never met in person? lol. You bet I am! I’ve never been more sure about anything/anyone in my life.

In just shy of six weeks, both our lives are going to change forever.

And…uh…if you’d like to help us out with this HUGE transition (moving, marriage, etc.), please consider hitting that PayPal “donate” button in the right sidebar. We’d BOTH be forever grateful. <3

More updates as things progress!

Until next time,
Lauren*

 

Mrs Spear

First Post!

Much like our lives together, this website is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust starting out.

There’s not much to see here yet.

In the meantime, you can check out the other websites we own…

  • LittleZotz Writing – Lauren’s multiple award-winning website for writers looking to go freelance.
  • Spear Content Creation – Frank’s writing website.
  • MuseHub – Lauren’s side project to help freelance writers and artists get more eyes on their work.
  • Knarf’s Clouds – Frank’s review website for all things vape-related.

More to come soon!