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She Planted Something In My Heart

Two weeks into our little marriage, we went to a hardware and garden center and I saw, amidst beautiful greenery, a little arrangement of succulents in a brown woven hanger. Before I continue the narrative, let me share with you a sad secret.

I am a flower pots' worst nightmare, a serial killer to the green and growing. I have, in the past, murdered every single plant I ever owned. My poor mother tried to instill a love of gardening in me. From a young age she showed me bulbs and seeds, cuttings and vines, taught me the difference between annuals and perennials. She had gardens at all our houses, beautiful, luscious, cottage gardens, absolutely wild in nature and yet perfectly planned and executed. At White Grange, she gave me a bit of earth to tend and manage myself. She bought me plants, helped me design the layout, and told me how often to water. Needless to say, nothing really lasted except the English ivy, who nobody could kill, not even the bazillion felines we own that consistently urinate or sleep on it. Deep down inside, I just didn't really care enough to prioritize it. I liked the pretty blooms but not enough to remember to water or tend to them.

So I stood there with Caleb in the summer sunshine, knowing this about myself and owning it. The succulent arrangement was calling my name, and I, in turn, fought a little battle as to whether or not I should reach out and answer. I decided to take on the adventure.

"Caleb. I want this succulent planter. I know I kill everything I touch, but something in me just needs this." As the words came out of my mouth, I fought back a choke in my throat. Good heavens, was I getting emotional about a plant? Who was this? I felt I barely knew myself. The Katie of six months ago would have laughed in my face. Caleb, being more than a good sport and feeling generous, climbed up onto one of the display tables to reach the perfect little pot I had specified. At 6'3", the boy has long arms but it still took quite a bit of work to fetch the one I wanted. I was grateful, we bought the plant, and went home.

I placed it in the middle of our living room while we put our other purchases away, tidied up, ate a snack, and cooled off. After actually buying the thing, I avoided it like the plague. I didn't want to face the plant. I could feel myself becoming vulnerable around it. I honestly kind of started to hate it and wondered how long I could leave it there and not have to look at it.

"You going to put that thing outside or what because it can't stay there." I hear from the bathroom.
Oh, husband. Curse your practicality when I'm on the cusp of an emotional breakdown.

I went into the living room, plopped on the floor, held the plant a second, and burst into tears. Sobs shook me, my nose began to run, and those awful little heaving noises I always make when I'm crying really hard started erupting. Caleb ran from the bathroom and threw his arms around me, demanding the reason I was so sad. I could tell he was trying to refrain from smiling when he asked "Do you not like the plant? I bought it because you said you really wanted it!" Fresh tears, no words. Finally, I choked out

"My mom. It reminds me of my mom."

I bought the plant because my mother loves plants. As a 21-year old newlywed who hadn't ever really moved out before and had the wonderful company of her mom nearly every day of her life before marriage, I was missing her something fierce. I can't just hop in the car and drive through Dallas every day to see her. If it weren't for modern technology and her recent conversion to the world of texting, I really don't know where I would be. I daily think about her and when I do, I try to remember some of the happiest and most helpful moments of our relationship before I was married. Our biggest talks, secret laughs, and my favorite memories happened while I sat on the rock wall or wooden bench, watching her head bob up and down from amidst the growing things, her hands filthy, knee pads on, and a smile spread across her face. That pot filled with dirt and succulents connected me with my mother's happiness, it reminded me of home.

Since that day, I have spent approx. 10 hours researching hearty cacti, succulents, and houseplants that don't need too much water and can survive Texas heat. I bought my first watering can and hand trowel. I went to White Grange and got some cuttings of my mother's Wandering Jew and Cosmos, which she bundled up with care along with a wildflower bouquet, farm fresh eggs, and cucumbers and green beans we harvested from her vegetable patch.

 I went back to the garden center today and bought some clay pots, good soil, and 5 new plants to add to my collection (Caleb uh...doesn't know about that yet so let's keep it our little secret, mmkay? :) and began propagating one of my original succulents. I bought the first plant because I missed my mother, but as I began caring for it, I began loving it for it's own merit and the joy it was bringing to me in my house, staying alive and looking cheery on my porch. Some little light bulb finally turned on.

For you see, my mother the gardener planted a love of the growing things in me long ago. I thought I wouldn't ever care, I thought I was a plant killer, I thought I had a brown thumb. What really happened is that the seeds she had dropped and covered so gently in my heart just weren't ready to start growing yet. It took me leaving her house and starting my own for that appreciation to take root and poke its head into the sunshine.

Thanks for planting, Mother. Those seeds did come to fruition but I have always been, as you know, sort of a late bloomer.

Life Update - I'm Getting Married

Well, folks. I'm getting married. My mind is sorta still in shock and I'm beyond excited so I thought I would write this little post to fill you all in (if you like this sort of thing. If not, skip it, it won't hurt my feelings!)

Who is the lucky guy?
His name is Caleb (I call him Cat). You may have seen him in some older videos. He's been around for about 3 years now and I um....well, quite frankly I'm head over heels in love with him. Imagine a nice combination of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice with a few hints of Bagheera from the Jungle Books and sprinkling of Jim Carrey's humor and you've pretty much got Caleb.

How did I meet him?
Funny story, I actually met him at a homeschool dance I wasn't even supposed to be at. One of my girlfriend's invited me to go with her and I did. The moment I clamped eyes on him, I told Karoline "I...am dancing with that one." Turns out, Caleb wanted to dance with me too, He walked up to me, didn't say a word (didn't even ask "Would you dance with me?"), took my hand, and lead me to the floor. The rest is history.

How did he propose and when?
He and I have always enjoyed parks and our favorite has a little secluded alcove under a weeping willow tree and next to the pond. So, on March 19th, 2016, as the sun was setting and butterflies flitted about in the field surrounding us, he pulled out a little ring and said "Katherine White, will you marry me?" I laughed, cried, kissed his cheek and said "Yes, yes, of course!!"

Can we see the ring?
Of course you can! The ring is called a Claddagh ring and is a traditional engagement ring for people of Irish heritage. You wear the heart facing out when you're engaged and in, towards you, when you're married. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.

I don't wear a lot of jewelry usually and I'm a big fan of the simplistic, less expensive pieces. For me, it isn't about the rock or what was paid for it, it's about uh...if I actually like it (haha) and meaning behind the ring itself. He knows that I've always loved the Claddagh symbol, my Irish heritage, and the importance of symbolism.

When's the wedding?
Caleb and I have been together for quite awhile and have had a lot of time to think about this decision so our engagement is going to be relatively short. His job is flexible, so is mine, so we decided to get married on May 21st of this year.

Where is the wedding going to be?
I wanted an outside wedding and so did Caleb but we also wanted it to be very woodsy and secluded. My parents live on 11 acres of land with trees surrounding the entire property so with their permission, we're going to be married on the porch of Butterfly Cottage.

Am I moving from Butterfly Cottage?
I am. I've only lived there for six months so parting from my dear little cottage is not going to be easy. But my parents are going to use the space for guest living quarters and an office for my father. Also, my brother will still be living there. 

Where am I moving to?
Caleb and I need to be more central to the DFW area so we'll be living about an hour east from where I currently live. We'll be renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment and one of those rooms will be exclusively for my business!

What about Royalty Soaps?
Royalty Soaps will be doing nothing but expanding, getting even more organized, and growing bigger! I will have an entire bedroom and bathroom dedicated to filming, creating, designing, etc. Caleb really wanted me to continue doing what I love and is helping me achieve my goals and dreams for YouTube and Etsy. :D Hopefully I will be doing wholesale orders too!!

What about Wit and Whimsy?
Now that Karoline and I will be living closer there will only be more Wit and Whimsy videos! Also, I will be posting anything honeymoon/wedding related on that channel so if you aren't interested in more personal videos, I suggest you head on over that way and check us out! Also, I do have 3 videos that need editing for the channel so you can expect it to be pretty busy!

What's your wedding theme?
It's a nice little mishmash of book-inspired decor, garden party vibes, and a really intimate connection with our guests. We wanted the entire day to really express who we are as a couple and what we value. My father is not only walking me down the aisle but also performing our ceremony and my best friend Karoline will be my maid of honor. It will be a really quick ceremony too! Only about 30 minutes long and then on to the cake and coffee reception (plus my mom's world famous sugar cookies made with her super secret recipe!)

What do you plan on filming?
We aren't having a professional videographer come film our wedding but I do plan on vlogging bits of that day, like getting ready with Karoline, all our decor, the cake, etc. She will probably do this the most since I will be busy being a bride ;) but we do plan to have some footage of that and also of our eclectic cottage honeymoon in central Texas. Plus, there's all the decor set up, the cookie making, etc. All of these will be up on Wit and Whimsy eventually.

How can I be apart of your wedding day?
Caleb and I really contemplated this because it's super important to me. So here's what we came up with.

Our wedding hastag is #CatterflyinWeddingland and what we would love you to do to celebrate with us is just this. On May 21st, do something that makes you happy. If that means reading a book in a cozy place, great. Going out adventuring somewhere new, fantastic. Spending time with your family, awesome. Just do something wholesome that makes you happy because that's what Royalty Soaps and Caleb and I really want to convey through my videos and how we are going to live our lives together. Use our wedding as an excuse for you to get some much needed pamper time in! Mark it on your calendar! Then, take a photo and tag us using our wedding hashtag. This would mean so much to us!!

What the heck does Catterfly mean?
It's a weird smash of our nicknames. I call him the Cat, because he's cuddly, introverted, quiet, and a little snarky while he calls me the Butterfly, because apparently I'm beautiful and like to interact with others. ;) Put them together and you get Catterfly.

Where are you registered?
I've been getting a lot of emails and Facebook messages about this so I thought I'd just put the link here and on Instagram as I can't reply to every single inquiry but I'm absolutely touched to the core and didn't want anyone to feel ignored.We have a Honeyfund and you can access our page here. We're still adding things along the way but a good bit of the "needs" are already on there.

So yeah. I'm getting married and quite frankly, my excitement is beyond what I can control. I was practically bouncing when I filmed the announcement video. I hope to bring nothing but new excellence to Royalty Soaps and my personal life with this giant change and I can't wait to update you all along the way! :D

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