Why getting married two weeks before starting my career totally rocks!

So I got married on August 7th, this year and then exactly 10 days later I started my teaching career most people think this sounds like a super fast turn over and I should still be relaxing by the beach with my new husband not spending my nights pouring over IEP’s and schedules and student work while my husband is at home. However I am so grateful that I made both of these transitions within a month of each other.

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  1. My husband is totally amazing! He has sat up with me while I was almost in tears over an IEP I had to write in 24 hours… my first IEP by the way, and then let me cuddle up next to him to make myself feel better
  2. I came home today to a CLEAN house, he works from home and used his time to clean the house, so instead of coming home to the same mess that I left I got to come home to a sparkling house.
  3. I have someone to bitch to about everything that happens throughout the day even when it is totally unjustified he will nod and agree and tell me that it will all be ok.
  4. I don’t have to worry about being the best first year teacher I can be, AND dating, and honestly I am so excited to never have to worry about dating again, and that is the best.
  5. I missed the Tinder time of dating, Ben and I frequently joke about “wait which way is yes, swiping left or swiping right?”
  6. I get to feel like such an adult I get to be married and a full fledged teacher, I am officially in a new stage of life and I will get to look back in 40 years and remember this time with that same man and look at how much my career and marriage has changed.
  7. And Ben gets to be there with me every step of my “adult” way.
  8. And most of all, I get to come home to my best friend every single day, I get to drink a beer with him, I get to brew beer with him, I get to watch him grow, we get to grow together, we get to be together and I couldn’t think of a better way to start this new stage of my life.

❤ Kelsi Rae

A little walk down history lane . . let’s look at my marriage.

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9 days ago this happened!! I married the love of my life in a beautiful ceremony with all of the most important people in our life and no one said one word about the little black girl marrying the white man, but that wasn’t always the case. We as a country just won another monumental history battle for the LGBTQ community by legalizing marriage for their community but in the not so far off past we were fighting for my marriage and for some people this is still the first thing that they see when they look at my new husban and me.

Mr. first pointed this thought out to me on our honeymoon, there was another interracial couple at the resort we were staying at and he pointed them out to me, he stated that ever since we started dating more than 2 years ago he notices these couples more and feels some sort of camaraderie with them, a little head nod in the direction of the guy, a bromance over the love they found with women of different races.

We have been lucky enough to go through our relationship without any real push back or fights over these fact. HIs grandfather when we first started dating famously asked his dad if ” I was just really tan.” And then was equally confused when he met my white mother. But there was no maliciousness to this request just wanting to get his facts straight.

And when a white man walked me down the aisle and gave me away there were murmurs of confusion, questions if I was adopted and where this man came from, but that was it at the end of the day we have had a very easy relationship in this field, and I am grateful for that but that doesn’t mean it was always, or even stil is the case in some places in the world and in this country, so lets look at that.

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50 years ago… Hell 20… probably 10… years ago this card could never have been made.

The United States Supreme Court did not legalize interracial marriage until 1967… 1967 my mother was 7 years old and probably already having first grade crushes on the little black boys in her class but that sort of relationship was illegal.

In 1958 the Loving’s broke this law and wed anyway and were faced with several days of jail time and persecution for falling in love.

When I was given this card for our wedding i was overjoyed I had never seen a card like this, and then I got to thinking why haven’t I?

I can remember a few years ago that my friends went from target to target looking for the glimpse of the first gay and lesbian wedding cards that were being premiered at Target Stores across the nation it was a mini-victory in a fight that they had not won yet.

And yet here I am 50 years after that supposed battle was won for us and I am surprised and beside myself to find an interracial marriage card?

I think that when we are crying love is love, we have to remember how very true that statement is and always has been, people have been falling in love with people they “aren’t supposed to” for ages and every time they have to make this fight, that love is love no matter what

They had to fight between classes, between families, between bloodlines, between races, between genders, and through all of this they cry love is love. This cry is not political or aggressive it is simply a cry to let us love one another.

The same cry we hear over and over again through Jesus’ preachings,

” Love one another as I have loved you. ” No rules, regulations or stimulations. Let us love and be loved.

My walk down history lane reminded me how close I was in history to not being able to marry the love of my life because of the color of my skin, the last law again interracial marriage was taken off of the books in Alabama in 2000!! 2000 I was 9 years old and definitely had a crush or two on a white boy by then.

How is it that in my life time we are still crying Love is Love and begging people to hear. . . when we look back on history how far back was it when you are your love could not have been married? Separated by oceans, languages, classes, religions, country, family, race, gender, whatever else could be used to separate you… if we look back far enough we all had a time when we would have had to shout love is love. . ..

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❤ Kelsi Rae

For the Bride who didn’t grow up dreaming of a wedding.

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So you know every chick flick shows the little girl with her barbie dream house playing wedding, it shows the two best friends dressed up in their moms wedding gown singing here comes the bride, it zooms in on the Wedding Dream Book that she has been building since she was 14, with all the colors, flowers, centerpieces and wedding etiquette rules all outlined, years of research to perfect it.

And I am sure there are those girls out there, my bridesmaid and college roommate who got married 2 years ago was one of them, her wedding took exactly 2 months to plan and that was only because that was how long it took to execute the plans she had already made.

However for me, and I am sure many others out there this was not the case, I hated Barbies and their dreamhouses, I often found myself playing with Lincoln logs and running outside, and I NEVER thought about my wedding. This is not to say I was a total tomboy,  I wore a dress to school everyday till the third grade, I have famous pink cowboy boots I wore until the toes began to rip. I girly things and things not so girly, but in all of that, I NEVER dreamed of my wedding.

This might have to do with the fact that I grew up in a single parent household wear weddings were not attended regularly, there were no wedding pictures hanging in the house, and it was never expected that you needed to get married, or that you needed a man in your life at all.

So now here I am 24 and getting married and I am expected to know ALL of the wedding rules, who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner, what does the mother of the groom wear, when you do send out invites, is it rude to not allow guests, what are the traditions, what should a reception timeline look like. . . and my overwhelming answer is I DONT KNOW!

Now I am at that 32 day countdown till my wedding and The Knot and Wedding Wire have definitely been some of my best friends throughout this process, I have figured out every question that I have been asked, but this leaves me wondering,

Why am I supposed to have all of this picked out already?

Why is it assumed that I have been dreaming of this day for my entire life? Because guess what I wasn’t I didn’t even think I would get married until I met Mr. I was perfectly happy on my own and I enjoy that I can take care of myself.

So the world needs to embrace these women too, don’t expect too much of your brides, give them time to plan something they may not already have worked out in their heads, and don’t stare at them funny when they say that they don’t care what you wear, or how you do your hair, don’t make them feel less Bride-like because they aren’t obsessed with having the exact shade of grey throughout the entire venue and when they tell you that everything is going to be ok. .. trust them… not all of us are Bride-zillas to be!

❤ Kelsi Rae

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Let’s build a bench…err Marriage?

So a big thing happened this weekend, Mr. and I moved in together! This is the first time I have ever lived with a boy, including family members so I am interested to see the things how the stereotypes live up, so far I would have to say living with a boy is AMAZING. But I am also only 4 days in.

So what does this bench have to do with my marriage?

Well we built it.. no kit, not precut pieces of wood, nope just a youtube video and a trip to home depot later and we were making a bench. This took both of our strengths and some I don’t think we knew we had in order to accomplish it.

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Here I am at home depot, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to construct our very own bench, something that will hopefully last 30 years so we can pass it down to our children, as his parent just did with a picnic table Mr.’s Dad built 30 years ago.

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Did I mention we decided to build this bench on the day it snowed in May? No? Oh well here I am bundled up in our garage waiting for the snow to melt as we begin sawing.

But we get underway constructing this bench and just like I imagine we will in marriage, we started to hit some bumps, my bright eyed and bushy tailed turned into curse words and we were soon doubting if we could put this bench together at all. It started when we realized we didn’t charge the drill, and were left screwing most of the screws in by hand, do you know how many screws it takes to put a bench together? Way too many to screw them in by hand I tell you that.

I started to think that this was Ben’s fault and that it was his drill so he should have been responsible for the charge of the battery and as my wrist became more and more sore, I had two choices to continue blaming mr. and become resentful, or realize that this is something we are in together, realize we both will make mistakes and that as a team we will work through them, so on I went screwing in screw after screw by hand. ( And to be fair, he was also participating in this, it wasn’t like I was left with a screwdriver on an abandoned island or anything)

And I am sure he was thinking that I could be helping more, or stop nagging him about the directions, I am sure I screwed a screw in wrong, or measured the pieces of wood too small ( ok  I know I did that one once) And he could have taken those things and created a list, an arbitrary checklist of the ways I was failing him and allowed that running record to eat away at his faith in me. in us. But he didn’t every time no matter how frustrated he was he would look at me, smile, say “you are doing great babe”, and move on… EVERY time.

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And then we screwed the legs together wrong, leaving us with what would have been a seatless bench, not very effective right? So unscrew the pieces, and start again, this time following the directions. This is where we could dip deep down into those gender stereotypes pull out the one that says men don’t follow directions put a big ole check mark on it and slip it back into our pocket of low blows to use next time. But if we are going to create a marriage that is built to last, what we really need to be doing is digging into that pocket of stereotypes and low blows and throwing them in that brand new recycling bin we just got and let someone else compost those. Because holding on to these things just creates an environment where both Mr. and myself could be digging deeper and deeper at each other until one of us breaks.

Now 50 years into this bench building marriage we will have so many of these things we could be throwing at each other that there is no way to survive all of those bad experiences, but if instead we choose to recycle that crap, chalk it up to a mistake we both made and move on, then in 2,5 or 50 years we won’t be counting all the ways our spouse has messed up over the years right?

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It was starting to look like a marriage…. I mean bench, the pieces were all where they needed to be, it had legs it could stand on and a sturdy seat two people could sit on. But there was something missing, just like our marriage which has 79 days until it becomes official ,our bench was missing some crucial pieces to it’s structure. But this is where it really got tricky, the video said to put the back at a slight angle so that it would be more comfortable to sit on. The guy used a fancy tool to measure and then drill sideways through the posts in order to accomplish this with ease. However here we were with our dead drills, no fancy tool and only the few screws that we had purchased which were now to short for this job. How were we going to accomplish it?

And then Mr. had an idea, he said why don’t we use extra wood, create a back for the ends and use that to nail into, that would cut down on the amount of screws we need and allow us to create the comforting angle we had heard about in the video.

There you have it folks I am marrying a genius this is where I got to celebrate with him, think about how I never would have thought of that on my own and rejoice in his accomplishments, I could do this without fault because I had already thrown my earlier reservations in the recycling with our bench building mistakes.

So that is what we did, and it worked!

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And there it was our beautiful bench, it is still not perfect all the pieces don’t exactly line up, the wood is not sanded or painted to perfection, the back angle isn’t exactly even or at  the magic comfort angle that was prescribed, but let me tell you what…it is sturdy,

And in 30 years when our marriage has seen the test of time,  I hope we will look at this bench think of all the things we could have held onto over the years, all of the little mistakes that could have torn us apart but instead made us a better team and think it all started with this bench.

❤ Kelsi Rae

What would Betty Draper Do?

il_570xN.319696541         Betty-Draper

Think Betty Draper via season 1, the domestic goddess that she was before shit really started hitting the fan.

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Ok so these are all really funny and I love to poke fun at the domesticity that was instilled in the women of the past. But to be honest I love many of the aspects of the domestic goddess like Betty Draper with a few add ons

1) I love to cook dinner, but you better believe you are going to help clean up.

2) I will clean the kitchen. . you can clean the bathroom.

3) I will do the dishes. . .you can dry.

4) And you better believe that I am going to keep my full time job, and still work when we have children.

I love my job and I think a way to maintain is to be fulfilled with yourself in order to bring the best you to a relationship.

5) When those kids are born we will both be waking up at 3 am

6) And hopefully I will never have to start popping Valium like candy!

But this side of me falls under a lot of scrutiny in the modern age. How could I be content taking care of my husband, ensuring that he is fed, clean and has nice clothes to wear. Where is my feminist streak that screams, he is a grown man he can take care of himself?

Well damn right he can, and he has been taking care of himself for 7 years after he moved out of his parents before I came along. He is more than capable of taking care of all of these things on his own. (I do have to admit that his apartment is full of dishes, and it smells like a man cave most of the time, but he is surviving just fine without me) But what is a better way to show him that I love and value him than by doing these simple things that I have been doing for myself anyway.

And what right is it of anyone else to tell me that, this action is antiquated or anti-feminist?

But this is exactly what happened yesterday. A colleague of mine is in the process of getting a divorce, a younger man that we work with asked us both why we choose to get married as opposed to simply living together. And she went into a diatribe about how she got married because of societal norms and how marriage sucks the all of your personality as you try and conform to social norms.

While this may be true for her, to say that this is the case is all marriages places another stereotype on them. A marriage is a union between two people those two people have to know each other and value what they bring to the relationship, a marriage does not have to look like mine, or eerily similar to the women of the 50’s. A marriage has to look like two people working together to get through life. They are communicating and working as a team in order to succeed. That team can take on many different looks but each person has to feel valued in the team.

It is time to stop stating that I am anti-feminist because I happily sing while I cook and wash the dishes for my future husband. But it is also time for people to stop feeling like a marriage has to look any certain way.  A marriage is as unique as the two people in it.

I have never been happier than I am when I can come home to make dinner before Ben gets home, my friend Shannon’s goal for next year is to get home in enough time to freshen up before her husband gets home, and my colleague that is getting a divorce needs to find a man that as she put it “lets her be the hippy that she is.”

In the end even Betty Draper started looking out for herself.

So remember don’t forget to be yourself and when in doubt, What would Betty Draper Do?

❤ Kelsi Rae

Dreams and Debt

Dreams

Do you have a dream job?

I don’t mean like I want to be a famous actress or a Kardashian ( is that really a job even?) But a job in your field that you could potentially actually obtain. Maybe the job that inspired you in the first place, the job that when you think of yourself, doing what you do, that is where you are doing it? (Does that even make sense) Well I hope everyone has a dream job, even if it seems impossible right now or far off from where you are in your career, but it is attainable. I believe that everyone needs to have positive mental imagery in order to keep moving forward in your personal and professional life.

Well I have a dream job, and my dream job i dangling right in front of me, I am a finalist in the interview process and I do my teaching demo next week ( the final step in the hiring process in my district) I worked in this school as an assistant teacher before I entered my masters program, I have been removed from the school in order to fulfill the requirements for my residency year and now that that is coming to a close, I am back applying for lead teaching positions. The position that I have envisioned myself doing all year, the thing that kept me going when I was at my lowest with mild/moderate education. I was not feeling fulfilled, I didn’t think I was truly making a difference and was unsure if I would last the entire residency year in the placement I had been given. I thought of this job, I thought of what it would be like if by some miracle the teacher left and I could work with my team in my school with those students. I got through the residency and now here I am applying for jobs, when I get the call, that job the one I had been dreaming of, is opening up. . it could really be a possibility for next year.

There is just one catch. . .

As a part of my residency program we are offered full tuition reimbursement if we meet certain qualifications after we finish. . one of which is to work in Title One school in this specific district. . my dream job is not at a title 1 school., not even close. . But the program I would be teaching is still one of the hardest to staff positions in the district, working with the students with the highest academic and social needs, but I will still not qualify for reimbursement. . So here I am stuck in a pickle.

If I was single I would say, done I will take the job, I was lucky enough to only take out a few thousand in loans and the district still offers loan reimbursement so those would still get paid for, I would have to pay my Mom back for the help she gave me. . and my mom is way less scary and interest ridden than the federal government.

But I am not single. . or at least I won’t be officially by the time my next job starts in August, I will be a married a married woman with a family of two to think about. So the pickle gets worse. . .

I know that my fiancé will do whatever he can to get me my dreams, just like he knows that I would do for him. So it is not about permission it is about commitment and compromise. We have to look at our finances and make sure that this is something we can reasonably afford to do. That on top of the new higher rent we will be paying and his existing student loan debt we can take on another large amount of debt. I have done the math for my single income and I believe I could do it.

But is that what is best for my family? Will that be the way that we are the most fulfilled in life and able to begin saving for our long future together?  Is it completely selfish of me to put this on my new husband to burden him with this debt so that I can what, be in a school I know? What if there is another school that I will do just as well at? Is it ok for me to ask for something this big? As much as I want this job, I want a happy marriage more, I want a life that we can say we are both fulfilled and please with the decisions that we have made as a couple. I want us to be able to tackle whatever comes our way together, and I don’t want to start our relationship off with resentment.

I don’t know if that would happen, he loves me more than money I know, And he wants me to be happy but I am just so torn on what is best. We are supposed to sit down and talk about it soon.

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But is this what American higher education has come down too. .Dreams and Debt?

Do they have to go together, even with this debt I will have less school loan debt than most of my friends that only have undergraduate degrees? How is that just in a world where a higher degrees is becoming more and more necessary that this is what it comes down too

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Let’s talk about labeling people thick girls. . .

Urban dictionary

1. thick
nice ass, nice legs, not skinny, with meat on your bones. thickness is the shit.
Damn that girl is thick yo!
by Bryant May 11, 2002

2. Thick
A woman with a perfect body, filled-in in places that are, by nature, designed to attract the opposite sex, such as the thighs, the hips, the breasts, and the most lovely part of all, the booty.

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I have never considered myself fat,  I have always had a booty and ever since I stopped playing competitive volleyball by boobs just seem to be growing exponentially. But despite the doctor telling me that according to my BMI I am obese, I have never felt fat or considered myself hugely overweight, I would never have said that body image or self consciousness has been an issue for me. . Until this year.

I started grad school in June, and by October I had gained 15 pounds, I only gained 20 pounds all of the four years I was in undergrad so apparently the Freshman 15 is really the graduate student 15. . and it killed me. I would look in the mirror and feel like I didn’t look as good in my clothes, they all of a sudden hung it different places and clung to all the wrong places. And getting on the scale. . FORGET IT! I avoided that bad boy like it was the plague.

No matter how many times Ben would tell me I was beautiful or that I looked good in an outfit, there was always a feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t true, That he wold have preferred me 15 pounds lighter like I was when we started dating. And then we got engaged and I thought I am gonna have BACK fat. and you know. . .

You can’t suck in back fat. so

So there I was searching for any way that I could loose this weight while maintaining my grad school/teaching/wedding planning life style. . I have started cooking clean eating meals during the week and eating 5 small meals a day. And I have lost 7 pounds since the new year. It feels good but I still don’t feel great

Then enters this Thick girl  thing. . . I have been boxing for a little over a year now and have become pretty comfortable with my two male boxing coaches, but in the last maybe month they have both referred to me as a Thick or big girl at different times.

One time they were telling another girl that if she was fighting me, I was a thick girl and she would have to ensure that I didn’t get a hit on her because I could lay her out.

The second time was last night and Ryan my coach, First started out with “You look really good, you can tell you have been loosing weight, keep doing what you are doing and by the wedding you will look great.” Then continued it with ” It’s hard because you are a big girl.” . . . EXCUSE ME!

What does that mean?

Now I don’t think that either one of them was meaning this in a negative way? They both genuinely meant it in a nice way. But as a woman that has been struggling with self esteem lately, I am unsure how I feel about these statements.

So I headed over to google to figure out what they exactly mean by calling me thick? All of the definitions are nice and one even is quoting as saying, ” The perfect body.” But something about this word just rubs me wrong. Now its not like I am going to hold this against them or take it too hard, but why should by body type be dictated by thick or thin standards.

Why can’t we just say, ” you look nice today.” or ” you are looking really good, keep it up.” Without associating these with a size difference. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or a size 16, you are not your size. So why does making, “Thick” a good thing make it ok. A girl that is a size 0 may be struggling with her body image just like the rest of us and associating her value with the term thin would just make it worse.

Now some girls may take this as the utmost compliment, I don’t know. But I am not one of them. And if we are trying to live in this body positive culture I think that It is time to stop labeling women, positive or negative by the size of their body.

i am not a thick girl.

I am Kelsi, size 12. And I will look fabulous on my wedding day!

What Say Yes to the Dress doesn’t tell you. . .

Dress Say

For years I have been obsessed with Say yes to the dress, I mean who doesn’t love a 20 minute episode where you get to watch women try on 10,000 dollar dresses, where Mom and Dad just fork over whatever dollar amount it will take to make their little girl happy. I am pretty sure that I never saw a dress budget less than 2,000 dollars on that show, and whenever a girl said her budget was 2,500 dollars you could see the consultants internal eye roll and sigh as she tries to think of what dresses they have that will fit within that teeny tiny budget.

But even so I dreamed of a Randy, of someone that would magically find the dress that was just built for my body, a dress I never would have picked out for myself but sucked in all the right places and pushed out the other one. I dreamed that when my budget conscious, thrift store loving Mom saw me in this one of a kind gown she would fall in love and throw the budget out the window so that I could have this perfect thing,( Now that might have been a little ambitious).

I dreamed of the tears and screams of joy that would come from me, my mom, my bridesmaids and probably the stylist, because the dress was just that perfect. That one moment where you look in the mirror and never want to get out of that dress again in your life. . . (Damn that would have been a lot of tears.)

But I also dreamed that I would probably not fit into any of the dresses on the rack, because well I am a size 12 ( the US average by the way) but wedding dresses just run so small that I would probably be a size 16, and no one would carry that on the rack, only you know those size 6 dresses, that I haven’t fit into since 8th grade. Because again my beloved Say Yes to the Dress taught me well. . what to expect for size.

I imagined that I would have to try on many many dresses, that I would fill up my 2 hour appointment and probably walk away empty handed, that I would need to go to multiple shops and see every option before I would know for sure, before I would get that feeling.

Well it didn’t exactly go like that. . .

Let’s start with the things that did go like my dream, when I walked in to the store my mom did throw out the budget. Meaning that when asked for a budget she looked at me, and said “Well what do you want to see?” And even after that when I gave the stylist a budget she followed up with, “Well if it is perfect and it is a little more than that, I still want to see it.” This from my mom that has never worn a dress a day in her life, and is going to wear a pant suit at my wedding.  From my mom who loves thrift stores where pay 1.50 per pound and whose entire wardrobe was  Thrift Store chic before Macklemore made it cool. She wanted to see the 500-600 dollar dresses.

I also was put into some dresses that I would have never picked out for myself, Some of them pushed in all the right places and pushed out the others. While others just let everything hang in ALL the wrong ways. You know that saying a 2 lb sausage in a 1 lb casing, . . well that was me in some of this professional stylists choices.

I also did have a Randy, and by that I mean I was able to work with a male stylist, he wasn’t over the top excited about what he was doing. He wasn’t in my face about anything and he didn’t try to hard to push his agenda of what he thought I would look good in. I preferred all of this!

Now what didn’t go like my dream . . .

One a budget of 500- 600 dollars was more than enough for the dress of my dreams. I did not try on a dress that was more than 100 dollars over my 500 dollar budget and they were all beautiful. (I picked out a 549.00 dollar dress)

I did not need to be fit into a magical dress that I would have never picked out for myself. I did not need to “think outside of my comfort zone” and I wasn’t too one track minded. I know my body and it looked amazing in exactly what I wanted. I patiently tried on the dresses that were nothing like what I came in wanting. I tried on the tule, the mermaid style, the beads and the ballgowns. . and even liked some of them more than I imagined I would. But none of them were for me. When my bridesmaids walked up with my dress in hand it was exactly what I had told them I wanted on the ride over. They listened to me and picked out my dream dress, fit to all my specific qualifications. ( And contrary to Mr. Randy, bridesmaids, moms, sisters make great shoppers off the rack, they know you way better than a stylist anyway).

I also fit comfortably into almost every dress we tried on. They have rack sizes that range from 0 ( which was the size of the girl standing next to me) to my lovely 12 and I tried on a 14 for good measure. I also was a size 12 in my wedding dress, just like the pants I wore into the salon. There was no up-sizing in any of the gowns I tried on. So don’t be scared of the sizing you will look gorgeous.

And most of all. . There were ZERO tears. I walked out in the dress and took a deep breath in. It was gorgeous, but not tear evoking. My mom, and my bridesmaids loved it, It complimented my body well, it was wonderful. And then it hit me this was only like the 7th dress I tried on. . this couldn’t be it. It was too easy.

So I walked around, made sure I could go up and down stairs and sit comfortably. I made sure that the train would look good with my shoes an d that I wasn’t going to be worried about my boobs all day. I had the alterations lady come to the bustle for me. And I added a sash for a burst of my colors. And still when everyone else told me it was the one, I was nervous that it was too easy.

So like that I entered the dressing room, removed the dress and the terrible corset of an undergarments that you have to wear with them and stood with my wonderful maid of honor and asked her if it was too easy. She has known me for 10 years and told me that ” You are the most sure of yourself person I know, it wasn’t too easy, this is just you.”

And in that moment, I knew. . this was my dress. So I said yes to the dress just like that, no frills, no tears, no screams. It was my dress and I can’t wait to get married to my best friend in it. It didn’t need to look like a neatly packed 20 minute episode of Say Yes to the Dress to be perfect. It was perfect just for me. .

❤ Kelsi Rae

An open letter to my last name. . .

Magisano, I have always been a Magisano, I have always been unique, a name people have to stop and say “Wait how do you spell that?” Or will look at me a black girl and say, wait are you Italian?  So confused by the conflicting look of the girl standing in front of the them and the last name they are being forced to pronounce. Why yes I am, and proud of it. But soon I will no longer be unique, I will know longer be the only one in my family in my generation, I have to get ready to share my last name with many. . And I have never been super great at sharing . . . So what happens to my last name?

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This topic came up when my future mother- in-law made us those adorable ornaments for our tree, some of them have our initials, well my future initials, B +K, H. She mentioned to me that she wasn’t sure if I was taking his last name. Which I am, because it is very important to my fiancé, and I will be proud to be the Mrs. that idea makes me so excited to be a Mrs. and to share in his last name.I want nothing more than to be connected to him in that way. We will be a part of our own little family and I want everyone to know that I was lucky enough to find the love of my life, and that he loves me in return.  But I am still grieving about my name, that is normal right?

So then last week I came up with the idea, I will just move my last name to be a second middle name, that way I will be a complete version of myself, I will have my new me combined with the girl I have been for the last 23 years, the person I grew up to be, independently before I was a half to our wonderful whole. And also be the grown up woman that I am becoming with marriage. As I start a family, I get to bring in this new part of me, a woman that is both connected to my tiny family made of 2 ( At least within 1000 miles). and connected to the large 25+ person family that all live within a 10 mile radius of each other, that is my fiancè’s family. I get to grow up, and yet not loose the self conscious, adolescent, fatherless, mixed race girl in an all white family Kelsi that I have always been. As that girl becomes a wife, and eventually a mother, all of those aspects should still be a part of me, and to me that means holding onto my last name in someway.

I shared this news with my mom over Christmas, thinking it would make her happy, she has been very upset about my last name disappearing. I am the only member of my generation of our family, I have no cousins. So when I become a Mrs. H, there will be no more M. on our side. However my excitement was not shared by my mom, the reaction was simply, you can do that if you want, but don’t hyphenate your last name that will just be way to long. Well, not the reaction I was wanting, but I think somewhere underneath she was excited, I mean it did take her a month to come around to the idea of me getting married, so I guess we will check back in a month and see if the excitement level has changed.

So then I started looking into the process of changing my name, and discovered that in 2008 Colorado passed a law that you cannot change your middle name, which would completely derail this plan that I have created. . luckily enough newly married women were upset that they changed the law back within 3 weeks. . . Crisis averted.

I have found myself wondering if this grieving process is normal? Do I have an strange attachment to my last name? Am I the only one that feels like my mom created a beautiful combination of sounds with my name, and now I am unsure if it will sound as sweet with an attachment at the end?

I guess I will have to see how the long name I will have in 8 months will sound rolling off the tongue. . luckily my new last name will be much easier for my students to remember. . .

Hope everyone has a wonderful last few days of 2014, it is a freezing end to the year here I welcome 2015 with open arms, on to the next exciting year, I graduate grad school, and get to become a wife. . how wonderful is that.

Remember all the good times and bad of 2014 and then get ready for the new year. .

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