in case you haven't been on twitter, facebook, instagram, or in the same room as me for the last two months...I GOT ENGAGED. i have a super phenomenal hubby-to-be named Jared, a shiny thing on my finger, and dozens of magazine cut-outs and to-do lists sprinkled around my apartment. it's a ridiculous mess. and being engaged is all the things they say it will be. but it's mainly a surreal whirlwind where you make more decisions than you ever have in your life...and that's saying a lot coming from a type-a control freak like myself. i have chosen flowers and dresses and stationary designs and pictures and suspenders and napkin colors. i have picked buffet tables and open bars (!!) and twinkle lights and yellow shoes and times and dates and flights and hotels anyone else out of breath?

and oh, i know. i'm not the first to ever plan her nuptials. i'm not a pioneer on DIY weddings, and i won't be the last. i am just one more wanderer on this path they call Marriage, and i am not the only one who has watched the budget rise and the countdown lower. there are enough details to drown in, even though we established early on that we would not get caught up in planning The Day. we picked a few things to hold as important, and decided the rest would just fall into place. and for the most part, that's happening. thanks to a phenomenal support group of moms, dads, best friends, and random strangers i meet on airplanes who give me earth-shaking marriage advice. (that only happened once. okay twice.)

anytime someone goes through a season of enlightenment, it is tempting to write a self-help post. like "8 things i've learned in 8 weeks of being engaged." and believe me, i started to do just that. but what really matters is that you know the main thing i've learned: being engaged has taught me how important it is to be engaged.

i know, i know. but hear me out.

i have gotten caught up in the details. i have cried twice about the cost of our wedding. i have tried, as i often do with everything else, to over-prepare for my marriage. i have spent hours chiseling away at the corners of every piece of this puzzle, just so i can know that i am fully ready for That Day and the Happily Ever After. i have been so overcome with how to fit into the role of Jared's Wife, that i've forgotten that he is choosing to marry Rachel As She Is. and i forgot how important it is to be present.

and it took our pre-marital counselor 5 minutes to diagnose my chronic fear.

and he said, "marriage is the only preparation for marriage."

and a Yale student died before anyone thought she would -- before any of her plans came to fruition.

and a sobering visit with a not-so-sober brother shook my core.

and the woman on the airplane made the most beautiful analogy about being engaged.

and i don't know which one of these things brought me back from That Day into this very moment, but i put down my Bride To Do List and i'm painting my nails "peach daiquiri" and i'm making a thank you list while listening to Feist because those are things that make me feel alive and present. engaged.

and i don't want to get wrapped up in the details anymore. and i don't want to make any more decisions with a furrowed brow. i just wanna be here, today, As Is.

and isn't that what it's about, anyways?