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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Important Love Stuff (47)



Even though The Candyman is called The Candyman here in bliggity blog land, he goes by a more common nickname amongst many-a-lady, my mother included, of Shuggah. Cuz he's sweet like that.

This song popped into my head this morning as I was making brunch for me and The Candyman. It perfectly describes why The Candyman is also known as Shuggah.

And seriously? Who doesn't love The Archies?


Give ‘Societally-Approved Bride-ism” The Big, Fat Finger


I know some will argue that I shouldn’t feel obligated to be happy about my wedding. It’s a very
Feministy thing to be “genuine” even if that means showing annoyance at annoying things. Thing is, I want to be happy and excited. I’d love to be the societally-approved Bride who is over the moon about the whole thing (it is my conviction that those girls all have wedding planners and lots of money).

From Monday’s post by The Rogue Bride.

Let’s talk about this for a second.

Specifically, the societally-approved Bride bit. I think that statement above perfectly summarizes why this blog exists!




Can I be blunt? Yes? You must give “societally-approved Bride-ism” the big, fat finger. Even if that means you WANT a reception line.


What if you dream in pink tulle a la Steel Magnolias? Tissue paper bells, pairs of white doves, inter-locking gold bands? Does it get you crazy-wedding-hot? Then rock on with your bad self.

You get what I mean though, right?

Do what works for you and LOVE it. Revel in it. To do so, you will have to make concessions. I had to stop reading certain blogs. I had to accept the fact that I was EXCITED about being a bride and not the oh-so-cool-and-aloof-adult-woman I thought I was supposed to be. Eff that, homies. I decided to get my bride on like Donkey Kong. So whatever that means to you? Do it. Do it hard and don’t let anyone tell you differently.


The Perfect Storm

Sometimes a perfect storm of friends happens. Lots of times it happens at weddings, whether it’s your own wedding or someone else’s.

This past weekend, I had the perfect storm of friends. A friend from college and a friend from my late twenties/early thirties – and all of us friends in Chicago. There was a time when we were thick as thieves; every weekend spent going to parties, throwing parties, making a party just about everywhere we went.


Jamie got married first. I remember when Dave moved in with her, I thought she was stupid. At the time, I thought living with someone before you got married was a mistake.

I was wrong.

Next was Scott. For the nine years I’d known him prior to him meeting his wife, I’d only met ONE girl he dated. And I knew she wouldn’t last. She didn’t.

When he introduced me to his now-wife Val and they kissed in front of me, I realized I’d NEVER seen Scott affectionate with anyone before. It was so was cute. I also knew that his girl was a keeper. Their wedding? I brought The Candyman along after only three months of dating. How could  I not? The wedding was held in Wilmington, the hometown of the bride as well as The Candyman. Those two are like peas and carrots when they get together.


And they all came to our wedding. Well, Val missed it, but she was 800 months pregnant.

They all have the kiddies now. And they are growing up so fast. Up until this past weekend, they’d never met – all the kids. As soon as they they converged in one spot, it was instant playtime.

Insta-pals. Kinda like their parents.


We stayed with Scott and Val that night and were woken up by their kids, screaming into the guest room, asking for playtime. They loved The Candyman something awful.

After our good-byes, The Candyman and I met up with my old boss,  his daughter and her boyfriend for brunch in downtown Raleigh. More old friends, new friends and time together.

The time. It’s important. So very important. Though short, I was so happy to have spent the happy hours with my people; the people who knew me at my worst, my best and all the me’s in-between.

The night we spent in Raleigh there was a horrible storm in Charlotte. Storms of the tornado variety. 

For me? The storm was in Raleigh – a perfect storm of old friends, good food, drinks and long talks that went well past bedtimes and hours we meant to be “on the road.”  Because when a perfect storm happens, you take cover with provisions. You gather your loved ones near. 



Two years we’ve been married now. Today marks that anniversary.

We got engaged on December 22, 2008. The idea of our lives together then versus now? It looks NOTHING like what it did in my head that blustery night The Candyman got down on one knee on the banks of Cape Fear. In fact, I can’t say for sure exactly what was in my head at all. The only thing The Candyman and I really remember is feeling strange. Very, very strange. And we couldn’t sleep. And there was this very uncomfortable, foreign object on my left hand.

Now the only time I notice my rings is when I’ve left them on while making meat loaf and I get ground turkey all smooshed up inside them. Nice, right?

The strangeness rears its head every now and again. At odd times, like when we’re watching Jeopardy or brushing our teeth, either I or The Candyman will suddenly blurt out “We got married!” or “You’re my WIFE/HUSBAND!” and the other will respond in kind. Some days we still can’t believe it.

Right now I’m trying to think of some awesome, sage advice I can give on marriage, after two whole years.

I got nothing. Seriously. Nothing specific is coming through my head and to my fingers. At all. These words here? They’re just filler.

I can say this: lately, we’ve been watching “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix streaming thanks to a recommendation from my Nashville friends Hal and Kim. Has anyone ever seen this show? Its actually really good. I thought it was a movie with James Vanderbeek (turns out there is a movie, but with Billy Bob Thorton. Vanderbeek was in Varsity Blues.). Anyway, we’re watching the episodes back to back and both The Candyman and I recognize a LOT of similarities in the way we operate as a couple compared to the Friday Night Lights couple, Tami and Eric. We laugh together because they fight the same way we do: he gets huffy, intensely stares and cave-man like, pounds his chest on what will be and what will not be. I get obstinate, head-strong and filled with a feministic rage that smacks of condescending logic. And my voice goes up about 6 octaves in the process. It can through air and eardrums like one of the Henckels knives we got for a wedding present.

But they always come back together and reach a truce, as do me and The Candyman. Sometimes it takes all of 30 seconds for this to happen. Other times, it takes 30 minutes. Sometimes a day or two, but we eventually get there, back to a place of love.


So I was online, looking at clips of Tami and Eric to put up here on the blog and The Candyman comes downstairs and sees what I’m doing and says, “Are you looking for clips of Eric and Tami fighting to celebrate our anniversary on the blog?”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“I know you so well.”



So now that I’ve had some time to think over the super-cheesy clips on YouTube (people LOVE them some Eric and Tami!), I’ve come to a place where I think I can find some words about marriage, at least when it comes to us:

  • Marriage is hard work. Totally worth it.
  • We fight over the same things we always did (money, chores), but the fights are less intense and easier to deal with because we practice at managing our emotions. 
  • Our dynamic has changed – he’s now the bread winner and I’m depending on him.It’s a massive undertaking, this shift. I’m sure it’s only the first in many shifts we’ll have in our life together. Managing through them is what it’s all about, right? The best part is knowing that whatever struggle we encounter, we get to do it with the person we love best in the whole, wide world.
  • The sex is better.
  • “Forsaking all others” means a lot more to me now than it did when I made those particular vows. The Candyman comes first. Always.
  • Did I mention the sex was better?

And yes, I’m still going to post the super-cheese Tami and Eric1 video. I don’t care who makes fun of me.

Happy Anniversary, Shuggah! I love you!

1Just for the record, I realize that they are not a real couple.


Forgive Them Their Trespasses


There’s going to be a lot of remembering today, I know. For someone as sentimental as I am, remembering is my pass time, but not this. I don’t like to remember this.

I don’t mind remembering when I first heard about the plane crashing into the tower. I thought it was probably a little Cessna, an inexperienced pilot in a POS plane. I heard the news on the radio on my way to work. I hoped not many were hurt.

But the day went on and the terror continued. We heard about plane #2 and then the Pentagon. I had friends and friends with family who worked at the Pentagon and I could NOT get through. This was all before Facebook and Twitter (I know, hard to image that world, right?) and news didn’t travel as fast. Suffice to say it was terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

I was 31 and single. It was probably one of the worst times in my life for it too. All the travel and experiences and all that I had done up until that point felt moot because I was alone and sad, with family so far away (I lived in Chicago at the time). I had no one to rally with. No one to be comforted by or to comfort in return. 9.11 was an eye opener in that regard.

Three months after 9.11 I went to New York and to Ground Zero. It was still an enormous mess, all the remembrances and “Have You Seen?” bulletins were still posted all over the area. Roads were still blocked. Subway stops inoperable. It was literally a war zone.

I stood in line with a friend and a co-worker to go stand on the platform – then, a hastily built wood thing  where you stood and looked at an enormous hole filled with cranes and bulldozers.

Nearby Ground Zero is St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel, which was miraculously unharmed in the 9.11 event. It was home base for many of the firefighters and policemen working Ground Zero. We had a chance to thank several dust covered and clearly exhausted men on their way in for a break.

The street in front of the chapel was busy, loud – just like any New York sidewalk. However, when you started walking down to the platform, it got eerily quiet. As we were waiting in line, I kept hearing this small, tinkling sound like a wind chime.  I leaned over to Barb and asked her if she heard it too. She did, yet we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. The sound, so very light and airy, almost whimsical, seemed incredibly out of place – like the ringing of a cell phone at a funeral.

I finally found the source of the sound and it was coming from a tree in the small graveyard of St. Paul’s chapel. It was a wind chime – of sorts.  It was a set of office blinds. You know the thin aluminum ones they put in office buildings? Clearly, the blinds had been blown out of some window and were a dust-covered gray, tangled ball, high at the top of this tree. When the wind would blow, the ball would gently sway up and out and then back down on itself creating the small, high sound.

That day it was those window blinds that broke me down. Whose window did those blinds come from? What kind of force was it that crumbled and curled them and then hurled them a block away into this tree?

Other days it was the thought that there are people out there in this world who hate our country so much that they’d kill thousands of completely innocent people to make a point. I’m still not sure what that point is.

Most days it was the barrage of images. The people jumping from the towers. The dead being pulled from the rubble. The families stricken with grief.

What I also remember are the churches FILLED with people, most who hadn’t seen the inside of a church in a long time, myself included. I remember the sense of community too. We were all very much aware of our neighbors, the person next to us in traffic, the stranger on the street. What has happened to that feeling, that bond of country and community? We need it back, in a big, bad way.

We need to come together and stop pointing fingers and laying blame. The GOP candidates are already baring teeth and sharpening claws, fighting over unemployment percentages and who spent more money where.

Enough already. I know that it is impossible to recreate the community spirit the came after 9.11. Too much has happened. Too much is at stake right now. But in honor of 9.11 I know that I will do my best to remember and honor the people who were killed in this terrible tragedy. I will forgive trespasses, as the prayer goes.