My BFF Planned Her Wedding In A Week And Here's How It Went

My BFF Planned Her Wedding In A Week And Here's How It Went

What, like it's hard?

My best friend moved to Colorado right after college graduation. A few months after being out there her boyfriend popped the big question! Shortly thereafter she asked me a pretty big, and somewhat intimidating, question, herself: “Shannon, will you be my maid of honor?” Of course, I said yes, and I am so excited to help make her wedding the wedding of her dreams!

Her wedding is ten months away, but since she lives on the other side of the country and we have to battle a time difference, when she was home for the holidays this past week it was wedding central. You should have seen her schedule. Since this past week was most likely the last time she will be in town until the big day the challenge to conquer was to plan as much of the wedding as humanly possible in seven days.

She had her dress appointment, hair appointment, and makeup appointment. She also had scheduled meetings with the venue, photographer, and pastor. It was such a hectic week for her and it amazes me how she didn’t wind up looking like a chicken running around with its head chopped off.

While keeping her focus and her sanity, she was able to pull everything off. Literally, everything for this wedding is falling into place so perfectly. In one appointment we found her dress and all three bridesmaid dresses. Everything using flowers is completed; she decided to use silk flowers because they will last forever, and she and her mother tediously put together every bouquet, corsage, boutonniere, and several of the centerpieces. Plus, she has already picked out all the hairstyles for her bridal party as well.

If you ask me, in order for this amount of planning to happen so smoothly, every star, moon, and planet had to be aligned for this amazing couple! Cheers!, to the future Mr. and Mrs.

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I May Be From A Small Town, But My Dreams Are Bigger Than Its Population

Have dreams bigger than the amount of people in the stands for a homecoming football game.

I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Kentucky. It was there, in the heart of Appalachia, where I was raised from the ground up. I attended school with the same people starting at the age of four up until I graduated high school. While this sounds truly grueling to some, and at times it was, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was spending hours painting a new themed poster each week just to cheer for our boys on Friday nights. It was the science teacher who made me contemplate my future career path over and over but ended up being my greatest mentor. It was coaches who made me realize the value of hard work. It was having a support system larger than my immediate family who saw my potential and encouraged me to chase my goals.

You see, growing up in a small town, let alone rural Appalachia, every single odd is set against you. It’s a poverty-stricken region that also so happens to be stuck in the bullseye of the opioid epidemic.

While derogatory stereotypes run true to many individuals throughout the area, it’s a stereotype that blankets nearly everyone living there. And it’s not all true. Not everyone living there fits the mold of these infamous stereotypes. These cold-hard truths of just one sector of this region prevent many young individuals from chasing their dreams.

Though I don’t speak for all, it’s sometimes hard to see big dreams become reality when the place where you were born and raised only has a negative connotation. However, it’s up to you to change the idea society has about the place that raised you.

Over the years my intelligence has been doubted based solely on my accent. I’ve been called a “Backwoods Barbie” (yes, that actually happened). I’ve even been asked if my family and friends back home wore shoes. Though these things disturbed me, to say the least, they only have been motivation.

I’ve had a dream in the back of my head for quite some time now. I am going to be a Pediatric Dentist. There are no if’s, no but’s, no “if it doesn’t work out.” I’m not stopping until I accomplish that goal.

Of course the road there isn’t easy. If it was then you’d see everyone chasing doctoral degrees. It’s because I want to do whatever it takes to prove all those stereotypes wrong. It’s about having that drive and determination to be a kid from Southeastern Kentucky who made something of themselves.

Against all the odds, you became successful. You’re the underdog and sometimes you just have to be your own cheerleader. You’re just as capable as anyone else is.

You just have to find your passion and chase it without fear of failing. I found that “want to,” and so should you.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram | @visitlakelureblueridgenc

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A Love Letter To Stevenson University

Dear Stevenson...

Dear Stevenson,

Let's be honest, you weren't my first choice. It's true. I was looking at more well-known schools and I came across you and honestly, you didn't blow me away. You were a relatively small private school in Owings Mills and when I asked people about you, they would say "Where?". Even when I first looked you up I even got an ad for Strayer University, but nevertheless, I wanted to find out more about you and figure you out. I found that you had a really good program for design so why not add you to my list of potential schools and apply. Somehow, out of the blue, I got a really great scholarship to go to you and I went.

So now it's been about two years since then and we've been on a long road together. From me wishing I had gone to MICA like I originally wanted to finally feeling at home with you, it's been a ride. Maybe it was the fact that you were very welcoming to me and had people that I could really vibe with, maybe it was the fact that I could really do whatever classes I wanted, maybe it was the fact that you offer a close-knit community or maybe even the fact that I can grab free chicken tenders to take to my dorm after my 10 pm class, but I'm happy with you. I've found that even though you're not the most impressive school out there or the one with the most honors or the one with the highest graduation or job after graduation rate, you're the perfect school for me and that's what really matters.

Sometimes now you still do some things that really irk me off, like the fact that we only have one printer in the design building that acts up whenever I need to print something (and yes, I still salty about it) but hey, you're home.

So, thanks.

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