Life Update: Aikin to Yates

It’s Gonna Be May

First things first… I finally got married on May 4, 2021 and everything turned out amazingly beautiful. Everyone had fun, it was everything I could have hoped for. Married life is awesome, but here are some mountains we’ve climbed shortly after we tied the knot.

Lost Job Turned Promotion

That’s right. The week after the wedding went along the lines of something like this: I was trying to get some help at work for my health issues, when I had come to find out that my position would not exist in about a month. So my options were either apply within the company for a new position or take a demotion. I quickly applied for a new position within the company, and shortly received an email from the building manager asking me if I had to for a quick visit. I went over to a building I had never been in before for the interview, and received the job offer a few days later – which I eagerly accepted. I then trained half a day in my new building and spent the other half at my old building. By June 1st, I started my promotion and a few months later I still love my job.

Mini Vacay Turned Nightmare

Before we went on our “mini-moon” or mini honeymoon – my dog, Sugar, (one of my Shih Tzu) wasn’t feeling so well and there was blood in her urine. My mother-in-law encouraged us to leave for our mini-moon, that she would take Sugar to the vet while we were gone. The vet found that Sugar had two bladder stones the size of hard boiled eggs and had to have emergency surgery to get them removed. She came home for one night before my in-laws had to take her back to the vet the next day. This was going on while we were on our trip.

We got a call Monday morning, my mother-in-law was crying and I knew Sugar had passed. Before we got that call… Let me explain something, I saw her in what I call my “happy place.” In my subconscious, my happy place is the house that I grew up in, it’s where I’ve visited loved ones who have passed away. So seeing Sugar there, I was confused – I thought she was there because I was so worried about her. In my happy place, we played and had a good time; I gave her treats and lots of hugs and kisses. Then I woke up, and we got the call a few minutes later.

On the way home, I called my sister and my dad to tell them what happened (I had already told my mom as soon as I got the call.) On the drive back, I had decided to order a pillow with sugars photo on Esty. Once we got back, not having Sugar there to greet us made it all real. We went to the vet, said goodbye to the sweetest fur baby I’d ever had the pleasure to call mine.

House Hunting

Let’s just face it, the house market is trash right now. Mainly for first time home buyers, anything thing we can afford is in a bad neighborhood, bad condition or we get out bid. Needless to say, the house hunt is to be continued… stay tuned.

Wedding Planning: COVID Edition

“…they can eat corn dogs and sit in their cars.” ~ Iliza Shlesinger Unveiled Netflix special

That’s pretty much how I feel right about now when it comes to wedding planning. It’s overpriced, overrated and would not recommend. One star. Before I go any further talking about wedding planning during the second part of a global pandemic, let me go back to August 2019.

The Proposal: August 31, 2019

Eric and I have been together a little over a year and a half. I had moved in with his family the month before, right after my parents had moved to Florida and I had started a contract job hoping it would lead to a full time position (Spoiler alert: it didn’t.)

At some point, one of Eric’s family friends had given us tickets for a cruise on the Belle of Louisville which we had been saving for a fun date night. He finally had a Saturday off, so we seized the day and got ready for a day on the river. We didn’t have the lunch cruise ticket, so we got some snacks on the concessions and ate lunch – we’re pretty low maintenance.

We were sight seeing on the boat and I was talking about angles for photos, when he abruptly told me I might what to put away my phone. I turned around and there he was on one knee, proposing to me with my mom’s ring. I was so happy, I immediately said yes. Then I FaceTimed with my parents a few minutes later and then my little sister when she was on break; I just could not contain my excitement.

When we got back to the house, we drank sparkling juice and went out to lunch to celebrate, our friend Libby (who gave us the tickets for Belle of Louisville) came out with us to celebrate the news. I soon found out the story of how he had asked my parents permission about five months earlier, I was so happy and touched. We then told our remaining family and friends before we made the official announcement on social media later that day.

The Planning

The original wedding date would be our three year dating anniversary, January 2, 2021. That would give us a year and a half to save up. Then March 2020 happened: COVID came to Kentucky.

I was unemployed for almost six months when I started a retail position at the end of March; so I had to train for a new job while being six feet away – which is probably as awkward and effective as it sounds. Through all of the societal changes though, we were still planning the wedding as usual. Hoping things would be better as it got closer.

During the summer, we had our original plan and a back up plan in case COVID was still a thing come 2021 (Spoiler alert: it is.) I was having a Sunday call with Mom, she could tell I was overwhelmed and stressed about essentially planning two weddings. So Eric and I talked and we decided in October we would make the call if we should move the wedding to a new date or not.

October came and we decided on May the Fourth for our wedding day, for obvious reasons – the wedding and reception is Star Wars themed. So having the wedding on May the Fourth (aka Star Wars day) made sense and felt serendipitous. We decided to have the reception that following Saturday. I know this means I would have to do hair, make up, wear my dress and all that jazz twice, but we have to adapt.

We decided to have a small in-person ceremony and live stream it for our other guests. I created a group for the virtual wedding on Facebook and I created an account on a streaming app. Then I just share the link so guests can sign up for notifications on when it starts. (Reach out if you want pointers on how to do this!)

The Nightmares

THE VENUE

We had three venues we liked. The Louisville Planetarium, my church, and the Olin Guest House. The planetarium still isn’t open, due to COVID they may not open until the fall or spring of next year. The church will be in the middle of remodeling during that time. So luckily we still have the guest house.

THE FOOD

I am so tired about hearing about issues with food. Yes, I want people to have good food. I wanted a pasta bar, well there was an issue with people not wanting to get red sauce on their nice clothes. I compromise and say, okay I’m doing a taco bar. No body wants to eat finger foods at a wedding reception. Mexican food and pasta are my favorite foods (not at the same time though.) Here’s my thought… eating food can be messy, accidents happen sometimes people spill food on selves and that’s why it’s called accident. You can be the cleanest person and still have a drop of queso on your shirt, it happens.

THE NEW SOCIAL RULES

I think this speaks for itself, *ahem* CDC guidelines.

What I’ve Learned Throughout This Mess

You can’t make everyone happy. It’s our day, I want to do want makes us happy. And this experience pointed out it’s important to be flexible and I’ve learned to adapt, like really adapt, to challenging situations. In the end it’s about Eric and I getting married and wanting to spend the rest of our lives together, not the venues or food. I just want to be happy and have a good time. That’s all.



Coming to a Podcast Near You

Alex here with some exciting news about “Whatcha Thinkin’?” Season Two! I’m going in a new direction with the show, things are going to get a bit more personal…

During my Introducing Me episode, I mentioned I’m on the autism spectrum (Aspergers Syndrome or Aspie for short) and I’ve decided that I want to do an episode about Aspergers. Not enough people know what Aspergers truly is, or how it impacts my daily life.

With this new season of “Whatcha Thinkin?“, I’m focusing on Aspergers and sharing how I’ve overcome obstacles such as college life, dating, being engaged, job hunting/job interviews, and the current global pandemic. I’m going to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years that help me thrive in everyday life.

Click the link below to check out the trailer for Season Two!

Whatcha Thinkin’? – Introducing Alex

Hey everyone, my name is Alex and I’m the host of a podcast called Whatcha Thinkin’? I started this podcast on January 31, 2020 with some goals in mind.

I’m from a small town in Kentucky, moved to Louisville in the summer of 2019. I graduated from Western Kentucky University (May 2019) with my bachelors degree in systems management and got engaged a few months later. I am a huge nerd and I say that with pride. And I have Aspergers or high functioning autism.

I love attending comic cons where I’ve met the cast of Powderpuff Girls, Arrow, The Flash, My Hero Academia, Belle and Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and so many more celebrities. I love watching comedy specials on Netflix and I got to meet my favorite comedian Iliza Shlesinger. (Still can’t believe I met her!)

I enjoy swimming, baking, writing, cooking, spending time with my family and friends – and I have a passion for learning. In 2017 when I finished community college, that’s when I started listening to podcasts. After a few years went by, I found an app that allows me to create my own podcast.

I started “Whatcha Thinkin’?” so I could have an outlet to talk about everything from the history of basketball, lightsabers meanings in Star Wars, to the difference in dorks, nerds, and geeks. But these topics are just the tip of the iceberg to what I plan to share with y’all.

Breeze through Season Oneout now – and prep for a more in depth look at Alex Aikin in Season Two, coming soon!