Happy Anniversary to The Goddess Howe!

Happy 1-Year Anniversary to The Goddess Howe blog! Yep, one year ago today I posted my very first blog as I stepped off into this crazy journey of pursuing my dreams. The Goddess Howe flower pictureTo all of you who have subscribed to the blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Your support means the world to me and has encouraged me on days when I questioned my sanity for doing this.  (And if you haven't subscribed yet, PLEASE DO! It's painless.  You just sign up with your email address and you get an email whenever I do a post.  Which you can read or delete or forward or ignore.) To those of you who have commented on my blog posts, a big huge thank you!  I read once that the difference in a blog and  a website is that a blog is a two-way conversation, so thanks for conversing with me. To all of you who have followed The Goddess Howe on Facebook, thank you!  Your likes, your comments, your shares, and your support have kept me going and inspired me to keep writing and keep posting.  Share it and spread the word whenever you like it!summer fun, beach, 4th of July, swimming And finally, I'd like to thank the Academy.....or more importantly, My Knight and Dr. Smooth, for reading every post, critiquing every post, and for providing so much great material.  We have two new catch phrases in the house.  1- You should blog about this! and 2- Don't you dare blog about this! Blogging is a funny thing.  Putting yourself out there to the entire world (or the portion of the world that will find your posts) and saying, "Here's how I feel.  Here's what I think.  Here's what happened to me."  Sometimes they like it.  They're inspired, or entertained, or encouraged.  Sometimes they don't like it.  They're offended, or infuriated, or bored. But isn't it just the coolest thing?? That I can sit down and write out what I'm thinking, or feeling, or experiencing, and for a brief moment in your day.....you and I connect?  No matter how far apart we might be, and whether we are family, close friends, or complete strangers....for that moment we connect.  Our lives bump up against each other in this big ole' world. So here's to another year of bumping into each other!  I'll keep posting; you keep reading and commenting. And now there is a whole new way for us to connect.  Starting today, The Goddess Howe will be featured as a weekly column in the South Lake Tablet.  It's new material, so check it out! I'm gonna celebrate today with a Diet Coke.  And maybe a cupcake.  But we can celebrate together by taking a look back at the most popular posts from this first year based on the stats.  Just click on the title to read that post.  Enjoy! (and seriously, thank you!)

wedding bouquet from wedding planner, The Goddess Howe#10:  Bizarre Things No Wedding Planner Wants to Hear

Spend fifteen years working weddings, and you wouldn't believe some of the crazy stuff you  hear.

#9: And You Thought Your Handy Man Was Hot

My Knight's incident with acid proved I didn't miss my calling by not going into Emergency Management.

chewing gum on folders for The Goddess Howe post#8: Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum

When people ask why I quit teaching, I tell them penguin eggs and chewing gum.  Here's the gum part.

#7: Perfect Wedding Gone Haywire

Just when you think nothing can go wrong, inevitably it does.  Especially if it's a wedding.

#6: Laundry Lessons Learned

One of my most embarrassing moments.  And I chose to share it online with the world.  And people clicked on it enough to make it in the top ten posts on my blog.  Should I be proud or humiliated???

#5: Known By Love (Why Everyone Should Have An Aunt Zula)

I miss this dear lady so much, but I am so happy that my tribute to her resonated with so many people and made the top ten.  She would have smiled at that.  In fact, she probably is right now.

#4: Tattoos, Pole-Dancing, and Cirque du Soleil

More people get to this post through random Google searches than any other post I have written.  I never knew so many people searched the web for "pole dancing tattoos".  And I can almost guarantee you that this post was not what they were looking for!

snake coming out of the drain in a bath tub#3: Snake in the Tub: An End to All Bubble Baths

This post has definitely caused the most controversy by far.  Many people would not read it based on the title.  Several friends cursed me for posting pics of snakes.  And a few have cursed me because they don't enjoy bubble baths anymore.  And this post garnered my first piece of hate mail.  Some total stranger had very strong opinions on what happened in my bath tub.  To each his own.

#2: Meeting Justin Furstenfeld: Our Blue October Adventure

This is one of those posts that I wrote for me, to get it off my chest and express something I had been unable to express.  I didn't think anyone would relate to it or particularly like it.  But we are never truly alone in our thinking or our feeling.  And it turns out quite a few people could understand admiring someone so much and wanting to express that, and ending up looking like an idiot instead.  Enough to make it #2 on the stats.  (It helped that there are lots of Blue October fans!  #sway)
Blue October Justin Furstenfeld
Me, My Knight, & My Fave Singer

And the #1 post from The Goddess Howe's first year: No Zero Grading Policy

I told my principal when I left teaching that I hoped to do something to help kids on the outside that I was unable to do on the inside.  I am thrilled that this post on a subject I am so passionate about ended up getting more hits than anything else I have written here.  Anytime we can open a dialogue and enlighten others to see a cause, to question an issue, to converse and share information, there is hope for change.  And I firmly believe our public education system needs to change. So there you have it!  The top ten most visited posts from my first year.  I published 80 posts this year.  I am setting a goal to almost double that in the coming year.  I hope you'll keep coming back for more.  And tell your friends. The Goddess Howe Much love, The Goddess Howe      

Bizarre Things No Wedding Planner Ever Wants To Hear

As a wedding planner, you pretty much have to be able to take whatever comes at you and roll with it in order to make the wedding go smoothly.  Some times that is easier said than done.  Here’s a list of things no wedding planner ever wants to hear, but each of these really happened to me or a co-worker over the course of my career. 1.  “You might want to call the courthouse because the groom for your wedding this weekend is already married.  Here’s the case number.” That can cause quite a bit of stress a few days before the wedding.  But more so for the bride than the wedding planner.  Especially if this is news to the bride.  Worked out really well for the former Mrs. though.  He was willing to sign the papers and give her whatever she wanted to expedite the divorce.  Timing is everything. marriage license and divorce decrees and wedding planner blues 2.  “The groom for this wedding is wanted by the FBI, and they plan to arrest him on the wedding day. But try and act natural.”  Guess he should have used a fake name on the invite.  Not exactly smart to print exactly where you’ll be and at what time if you’re wanted by the FBI.  It was a bit nerve-wracking to have extra plain-clothes security on hand, but not as nerve-wracking as the large silver (i.e. bullet-proof) briefcase the father of the groom carried around all day.  He wouldn’t let it out of his sight and wouldn’t put it down for anything.  (Our source said later it was guns.)   At the end of the day, both the bride AND the FBI got their man.    3.  “You should have plastic cups in the bride’s dressing room.” This one sounds harmless enough, right?  Well, until you know they wanted the plastic cup because the bride was having a hard time hitting the toilet with all those layers under her dress to hold out of the way.  Turns out they used a glass candy dish that was sitting on a table in the dressing room.  The mother of the bride was sure to mention that they washed it out really well in the bathroom sink and turned it upside down to dry.  That’s real classy right there.  Aside from the obvious WTF questions that arise with this one . . . I’m thinking the size of the hole in the toilet HAD to be a bigger and easier target than a small candy dish.  Of course, someone held it to make it easier to hit.  I’ve NEVER seen that on a list of Maid of Honor duties.  And what if her bladder could hold more than the candy dish????? Red Solo cup and a candy dish to torment a wedding planner 4.  “Is it possible to change the groom’s name on the contract but leave everything else the same?” Like, change his name as in a completely different groom and therefore a different name.  Within a couple of months of the wedding day.  With everything already booked and planned.  Well, it’s a relatively easy change to make on the computer.  But it speaks volumes about what kind of person you are, what this wedding will be like, and the statistical probability that this marriage will fail.    5.  “My last wedding I had with you guys was great.  Can we do all the same things we did last time?  But let’s not tell my new bride I already did all this, okay?” Similar to #4, it’s relatively easy to do on this end, but it says a lot.    6.  “I don’t think I can do this.  I don’t want to marry him.” This would be awkward enough for a wedding planner during any point of planning someone’s wedding, but when I opened the door of the limo to escort the bride into the ceremony (where everyone else was already seated and all bridesmaids and groomsmen were already at the altar with the groom), it was more than a tad bit awkward.  I don’t have the proper degrees or certificates on my wall to answer that question, but if you can ask it at that particular moment, that’s pretty much an answer in itself, dontcha think?  (She went down the aisle.  I think about her often and wonder how it all turned out.)        7.  “Could you take a few pictures for me?” This one sounds harmless too, until you know that the bride asked the wedding planner this question while wearing only her veil and her heels.  Maybe a garter. High Heel Shoes and a Lace Garter for Wedding Planner Surprise Photo Shoot 8.  “The power just went out.”  Or “We missed the exit.”  Or “I’m in the middle of a lake.”  All three of these have been explained in an earlier post, but they had to make this list, so I rolled them into one to squeeze them in.   9.  “The parents of the bride have decided that since they're paying for it, the bride is not allowed to make any decisions for the reception.  They have asked me to share the information with you, but you can’t tell her what we discuss.” Awkward meeting with a catering manager when the bride (who hired you and signed your contract) is sitting right next to you when this is said.  Family dynamics are wonderful to deal with when planning weddings.  An equally awkward part of this catering meeting was the bride saying to me, “Can you at least make sure there is something on the menu I will eat?”   (There wasn’t.)   10.  This one requires a bit of set-up.  The ceremony has started.  The guests are all seated.  The groom and his men are in place at the altar with the minister.  The bridesmaids have all gone down the aisle.  The maid of honor is headed toward the altar and I am headed over to the dressing room to get the bride so she can walk down the aisle.  She is in the restroom.  Says she may be a while.  Says her stomach is upset.  Not good news.  I go back and motion for the organist to stall before starting the song for her big entrance.  After what seems like an eternal pause, I head back over to the dressing room and ask if she is ready.  And through the bathroom door I hear. . .             “This is really embarrassing, but I’m holding up the dress with both hands, and I can’t reach to wipe.” You better believe I marched back over and got the Maid of Honor off the altar right quick-like.  It probably made the groom nervous as hell after the long unexplained pause he just waited through, but there are just some things I don’t do for a bride. Maalox Advanced for a wedding planner toolkit

Being a Wedding Planner is Fun . . .isn’t it? (Haywire Part 2)

I thought some of you were going to lynch me for ending the first part of this story with “To Be Continued”, so here you go—the much anticipated ending. We pick up where we left off with the church lady complaining about smoking FOOD in the boys’ room, so if you missed it, click here to read part one first! “Yes, ma’am. I’ll go talk to them right now.” I smiled through gritted teeth.Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France I called my assistant to update her on the photographer situation and learned that the electrician would not come out on a Saturday. (Wonderful.) However, it was possible that they might be able to use one of the generators to at least get some of the kitchen equipment going. Whew, what a relief! They’ll have food to eat! In the dark. With no air conditioning. And no band. (And for the first time, I was happy that there wouldn’t be pictures.) Continue reading "Being a Wedding Planner is Fun . . .isn’t it? (Haywire Part 2)"