Life: Being and Becoming Catholic

For those who don’t know, I’m Catholic. I’ve received the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confirmation. I go to church every Sunday and I try to pray as often as I can – especially when I see an accident or broken down car on the road. With that said, I am a firm believer of accepting others for who they are and not forcing my own beliefs. So, I don’t bring up my faith unless it’s the focal point of a conversation. However, I would like to share an important event that is happening this weekend for Eddie and I.

To prepare for our wedding, Eddie and I needed go to pre-marital counseling with our presiding priest. It’s a part of the Catholic wedding process, and one that I was looking forward to. A lot of the questions that we discussed were topics Eddie and I had had before, but we learned some things about each other and about our partnership that had never come to light in the past. It strengthened our relationship and made it clear how well we completed one another.

One of the questions that came up was how we were planning on raising our children. For me the answer was simple: they would be raised Catholic as I was. It was important for me to provide my children a faith foundation. Eddie agreed that having faith was importance, but found that he didn’t want his children growing up with opposing beliefs.

Eddie grew up in a family that wasn’t very religious. While his dad was considered baptist, his mom didn’t really have a set religion. Eddie became a non-denominational christian when he was in high school thanks to a past girlfriend’s influence. Eddie’s family didn’t focus on religion, and that’s okay.

I grew up Catholic thanks to my mom, who’s entire family is pretty devout. My mom and her brothers went to Catholic school, and so did a few of my cousins. Though I went to public school, I did have catechism every Monday through middle school and my faith has grown over time. My dad and his family weren’t very religious – to this day, I’m still not sure if my dad believes in anything. That’s okay, too.

So when the topic of kids came up, I was comfortable with having one parents who was Catholic and one who wasn’t. We both believed in God and Jesus, so it wasn’t that crazy of an idea. But Eddie realized that he didn’t want that for his kids.

Now, the Catholic church has some teachings we don’t agree with – and with how I was raised, we shouldn’t agree with everything. As Mom put it, “it’s important to question authority.” That includes God. Otherwise, we’d just be sheep. I think this revelation, as well as the idea of a future family, is what was what helped Eddie to decide to take the proverbial plunge into Catholicism.

So this year he went through the RCIA to begin his journey to joining the Catholic church. All of his teachings and preparation comes to a head this week as we prepare for Easter, the most holy day of the year. Palm Sunday we received our palms and had them blessed. On Monday we went to the Communal Penance to complete the sacrament of reconciliation. Tuesday I went to the Catholic store to buy a cross for our house and will have it blessed on Easter. Eddie went to Holy Thursday Mass and participated in the washing of the feet ceremony. On Good Friday we will take time during 12-3PM to go to church and do the stations of the cross and read the gospel. Then it will all come to a close on Easter Vigil, where I will be Eddie’s sponsor and witness as he receives his sacraments.

I am very honored to have been a part of this process. While I love Eddie regardless of his religion, it brings me great joy and comfort knowing that we share the same beliefs. I know that God has put us in each other’s path for a reason, and this time of year helps me recognize it even more.

 

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LIFE: Murder Mystery Dinner

For the last ten weeks, my fiance has been practicing with his improv comedy group, RPG Comedy, for their upcoming murder mystery dinner theater. The show was titled Holmes and Watson “Parliamentary” He Said, and was part two of a three part mystery. The story for this show focused on stolen legal documents, foreign spies, and a double homicide. However, there is an overarching mystery as to who is Moriarty.

Eddie was cast as Mycroft Holmes, who would be hosting the dinner party and at the head of the case. Included in the cast were Sherlock and Watson, as well as various outrageous characters including a crazy doctor, two suffragettes, and various businessmen and members of parliament. Those attending the show were encouraged to participate by doing our own detective work, which included interviewing the suspects and reviewing dossiers.

The entire show lasted about three hours, which was broken up between a four course meal and an interactive show. By the end of the night, every table made their final guess. Our table hypothesized that one of the suffragette’s was sleeping with the son of a man in parliament, and they conspired to kill his father to rise in power. So, they poisoned the tips of the suffragette pins that were being passed out to everyone. The pin successfully killed the lord in charge, but his secretary was accidentally killed instead of the man’s father. As for the foreign spies and the missing documents, we had no clue.

Turns out the victims had been poisoned as we expected, but not from the pins. What we missed was that several of the suspects and the victims met at a bar before the dinner and the poisoning happened there. A mind-control drug (that actually exists) was being administered slowly, and an overdose cased the murder. As for the foreign spies, it was one of the victims who had accidentally been murdered by her partner.

Needless to say, I’m not a very good detective. But our table did win the prize for the most incorrect (and creative) answer of the night. We won bars of chocolate, so I guess it’s better to be the best loser than anything else!

Overall, the mystery was very well written, albeit a bit difficult to piece together. I learned during the after party that this was due to the previous show being too easy. So, the writer cranked up the difficulty. Granted, it probably would have been easier if it was easier to hear what the actors were saying. There was a birthday party in the next banquet hall over and their music was extremely loud; and while Eddie blew out his voice to project over the music, quieter characters such as Watson tended to get drowned out by the noise. This left a lot of clues go unnoticed.

That being said, the actors did an amazing job of staying in character throughout the entire night and for really acting their hearts out. I’m very excited to see part three of the mystery and finally learning the identity of Moriarty.

While there, I also took many photos of the event for RPG Comedy to use. Some of my favorites are down below for you to check out!

LIFE: My Turn for a Bachelorette Party!

As the wedding creeps closer at an alarming rate, my weekends are growing increasingly busy with appointments, family events, and last minute planning. This weekend we had my bachelorette party with my closest friends and family. The day started off with lots of cleaning and preparing the house for guests. Eddie was kind enough to surprise me with a small gift for the evening, a Mooncake plush from Final Space. Ever since the show came out I’ve been wanting a Mooncake, and I was surprised to see him appear on the kitchen table.

Shortly after my Matron(s) of Honor showed up to help decorate the house with blue and orange balloons, streamers, and candy. It’s a good thing that Eddie’s birthday is in a few days – I don’t have to worry about decorating!

Slowly, people started arriving at the house and we all went to Painting with a Twist! We had about thirteen of us painting a sunset that I had picked out. It was great getting a to listen to Panic! at the Disco and paint with my friends. Everyone’s pieces turned out great, and I hope they all liked the painting that I picked out for us.

Once we were done painting, we went back to the house to eat dinner and play games – particularly, Cards Against Humanity. The night ended with opening some gifts, both family friendly and not-so-family friendly.

I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who want to celebrate this moment in my life and spoil me with their love and kindness. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for them in my life, and I’m glad to share this special moment with them all.

Life: Engagement Photos!

Back in August and September, my good friend Kaiden took me and Eddie’s engagement photos. We’ve been waiting patiently for our photos to be edited, and they’re finally here! While we ended up getting about 80 proofs back, I’m going to share some of my favorites with you guys. I’m so very happy with how they turned out and am thankful for having such a talented friend who was willing to help us.

All photos credited to Kaiden Dunn. You can check out more of his work at his deviantart and instagram.

 

LIFE: North American International Auto Show

As a perk for working with GM, my office purchased tickets to the Auto Show in Detroit. We took some time out of our day to ride the people mover over to Cobo Center to check out all of the new vehicles.

It was my first time ever attending, since I never really cared much about cars until I started working in the automotive industry. I was ill prepared to take photos of my experience (left the DSLR at home) but I did manage to snap some pics to share on my instagram! Overall, I had a pretty fun time walking around and seeing JUST HOW MANY CARS COULD FIT IN ONE BUILDING.

Then, I suddenly won a free ticket for having the most social media posts at work and ended up going again, this time with Eddie, Nancy and Jay. Our double date was, and while this time I chose not to bring my DSLR (because I really didn’t feel like carrying it around) I had way more fun.

Overall, would I want to go again? Maybe not for the cars (since I’m honestly not a huge car person) BUT I loved the photos that I was able to take and for that reason I’d be happy to go again in the future.

 

 

Life: Living with Emetophobia

TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post may contain topics, words, and experiences that may trigger anxiety or panic for those with emetophobia.

 

I think it would be safe to say that winter is the worst time of year for someone with emetophobia. Flu season is in full swing and it seems like everyone around you is sick. Catching a stomach virus and vomiting seems like an inevitability, and my anxiety is always telling me that my luck is running out.

I’ve been living with a fear of vomiting for almost 20 years now. It was something that I developed as a child and continue to struggle with on a day by day basis. For the longest time, I thought I was crazy. I was the only one I knew who had this fear. I didn’t even know there was a name for it until I was in college.

Imagine my surprise when I suddenly stumbled upon a website (this one to be exact) that opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t crazy or alone in the world. As Anna S. Christie states on her website:

It is a fairly common phobia, manifesting mainly in women and more acutely in adolescents than adults…symptoms range from mild disturbance to acute panic attacks (rapid heartbeat, rush of adrenalin, difficulty breathing, choking sensations, derealization, dizziness, fear of dying, numbness, sweating, trembling). Most emetophobics….would rather die than vomit…In severe cases, emetophobics will show symptoms of OCD and agoraphobia. Since the phobic fears her own body, this disorder tends to be particularly debilitating. Avoidance of the stimulus is impossible, and thus without treatment the emetophobic is continually re-traumatized, ritualistic behavior intensifies and the condition worsens.

Imagine fearing something that is a normal bodily function, something that your body does to remove toxins from your system to save your life. You can’t run away from your fears like someone who may be afraid of mice or clowns. Your fear is your own stomach, your own mind. Continue reading

2017: Year in Review

With all of the holiday parties I’ve attended in the last few weeks (seven in total if I’m counting correctly), I haven’t had the time to write a proper blog post. There were quite a few big events that took place in these short 12 months, and everything seemed to fly by. Here is a brief review of the milestones for this year as we look forward for 2018!

January – March:

  • Went through an Escape Room for the first time, and survived!
  • Started playing the Neebs and Associates D&D Session.
  • Saw Aaron Carter in concert.
  • Nancy and I got engaged to our boyfriends within a week of each other!!
  • Saw Green Day and Simple Plan in concert.
  • Shared an Artist Alley booth at Shuto Con.
  • Met Mystery Skulls!
  • Won a signed copy of The Burning World by Isaac Marion.

April – June:

  • Mark and Catherine got married!
  • Saw Aaron Carter (again)
  • Saw Markiplier’s Show.
  • Bought my wedding dress!
  • Nancy got married, and I was one of her bridesmaids.

July – September:

  • D&D Birthday Celebration.
  • Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with Jen.
  • Eddie and I purchased our first home together!
  • Went to the Ren Festival with Nancy and Brianna.
  • Took a two-day vacation to Toldeo and Sandusky, OH.
  • Started new Social Media position

October – December:

  • Went to a Lions Game with work friends.
  • Halloween House Warming!
  • Youmacon
  • Five year Anniversary
  • The Art of Falling was published!