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Just Say Ahh…

by Taryn S. McColpin

Ahh, April…While most of our thoughts are turning to the warm weather ahead (finally!), visions of white lace, flowers, and cake are dancing in the heads of brides-to-be and tormenting the dreams of many mothers-of-the-bride.

June, the wedding month, is not too far off. But given the amount of planning and preparation involved in a wedding, it probably seems to all involved that there’s just not enough time in the world to get everything done.

For what other Life Event do we spend so much time and money as the ceremony uniting two people? The birth of a child runs a close second, but for most that preparation period is a scant nine months, while the average prep time for a wedding is sixteen months. Lots of people plan for the next Christmas starting on December 26th, but that is only a year, and even milestone birthdays and graduations are far back in the race.

The wedding to-do list is so mind-boggling that it’s amazing more brides don’t elope, and explains the huge success of the wedding planner industry. You start out with setting a date and before long you have to send cards to save that date, book a venue, make out a guest list, shop for a caterer, florist, photographer, and band, pick your wedding party, and visit

As the Big Day gets closer, you have to Say Yes to the Dress (after dieting for six months, which really improves your mood), spend hours addressing invitations, plan a bachelor/bachelorette party, and try to devise a diplomatic seating plan for the reception that makes everyone happy and won’t start a minor war. There’s the honeymoon to book, champagne to order, rings to buy, and another credit card to max out.

And just when you think you have everything under control, the weather forecasts let you know that there are things you really can’t control. Many North Texas couples found that out some years back when they planned outdoor weddings for the beginning of April. It snowed.

In the midst of prepping for all of the pomp and circumstance, some couples find time to remember what they are actually getting in to, and schedule premarital counseling. In the olden days, this consisted of The Talk by mother to daughter and father to son. Now, the purpose is to prepare for a compatible marriage, although if the bride and groom elect have made it through all the wedding planning, it seems that the hard part might be behind them.

We all know better, though. The wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime of better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health. Some make it, some don’t. While nobody wants to mention the D word, it appears that the ease of separating the couple who have vowed to have and to hold ‘til death do they part has taken the place of powering through the rough spots (of which there will be many) and honoring the commitment of marriage.

So to those of you who have that Big Day looming in June, stop for a minute in the rush of all that planning and think about the love that started all the hoopla. When they throw the rice (or the politically correct birdseed), step into the limo and your new life together with your eyes to the future of a lifelong beautiful friendship. Don’t give up, but don’t always give in, compromise, and find a way to keep what you have on that day in your hearts.

Right now, though, brides, there’s still time to hire a wedding planner. Your mother will thank you, and so will your blood pressure.

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Denton Happenings

Denton Happenings

Holiday Open House Weekend
November 9th & 10th

Shop and dine around as more than 20 stores and restaurants feature new holiday merchandise, specials, refreshments and a festive atmosphere to kick-off the holiday season. Beat the hustle and bustle and start on your list early as you relax, shop and dine in downtown Denton. Stores open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday (store hours and participation may vary).

Beaujolais & More Wine and Food Tasting
November 21st

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the Civic Center. Enjoy Beaujolais Nouveau shipped directly from France and sample cuisine from various local restaurants. This event is held as the only fundraiser for the Campus Theatre. Tickets are $25.

First Friday Denton
Galleries around West Oak Street and in downtown Denton every first Friday evening of December host a free event featuring art, fun and music for the community to enjoy.  Visit to get details for each month.

25th Annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival
December 6th

The event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a community sing-along and the lighting of the giant Christmas tree. Musical performances begin at 6 p.m. all around the Square, on stages, and in businesses and historical buildings until 8 p.m., when the Holiday Music Spectacular closes out the evening. Free admission. Bring an unwrapped gift for the Denton Community Toy Drive. Take the Wonderland Express in Carrollton or Lewisville for $3 one way. or

Reindeer Romp
December 6th

4.2 Mile Run & 2.5 Mile Walk, located at South Lakes Park. See Christmas lights and holiday decorations up close during the Reindeer Romp as you run or walk through South Lake neighborhoods. The entry fee includes a T-shirt, fruit, snacks, and beverages at the end of the run. Register by December 4th. $15/person. The race begins at 7:30, and check-in starts at 6:30. There will be a FREE HOLIDAY FUN ZONE for your kids as you participate in the run. Activities will be from 7-8:30 and will include a giant bounce house, face painting, and arts and crafts. If temp falls below 38o, we will not host the fun zone.

Santa’s Snap Shots
December 7th

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at MLK Jr. Rec Center. Kids can meet Santa, tell him what’s on their wish list, and have their picture taken with him. There will be games and activities in addition to Santa.  Pictures are $4 per kid, and $2 for an extra print.

Breakfast with Santa
December 21st

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Civic Center. This will be the highlight of your holiday season! Enjoy the morning eating breakfast, getting your kid’s face painted, jumping in the bounce house, and making holiday crafts. The kids can also write a letter to Santa and visit with him, while getting a commemorative picture.  Adults are free, but if you want to eat breakfast, it’s $3 per plate. Kids are $10. Following Breakfast with Santa, there will be the Holiday Drop ‘N Shop.

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Create Your Ideal Life

by Mardi Allen, Life Coach,

I’ll Start on Monday…

Two Things to Never Put Off

I have been studying procrastination for years and the truth is we all tend to postpone or needlessly delay taking action in certain areas of our lives. In working with thousands of clients, I can tell you procrastination impacts us in all areas, to a greater or lesser degree. In the September edition of Lifestyles, I wrote about procrastination and how to banish it, so if you missed it, check it out. In this article, I want to share two things you will never want to procrastinate.

First, never put off taking care of your health!  Men often dislike going to the doctor and tend to put off annual physicals or seeking treatment for health problems. Women on the other hand, tend to put themselves last on the “to do” list and often put doctors appointments and checkups on the back burner. Can you relate to either of these scenarios?

Self-care is not selfish in any way; in fact, it is the most unselfish thing we can do! Not only do our friends and family want us to be healthy, it impacts them greatly when we are not healthy. So please, make your health a priority; it is not something to be procrastinated!

Secondly, never delay telling someone how much you care. When I grew up, I was blessed in that my family always said, “I love you.” When we disconnected from a phone call, when we went to bed, or when we were leaving the house, the last words spoken were “I love you.” When I married my husband, he was not in this habit, but he was happy with adopting that practice in our marriage.
Last year, both my mother and my husband passed away unexpectedly. It has brought me great comfort to know that the last words I spoke to both of them and also heard back from them were “I love you.” Even though I knew they loved me and they knew I loved them, being able to recall that those were our last words, has helped me through the process of grieving.

We all want to know we are loved, cared for, and appreciated. Please let me encourage you not to hold back your love and to let people know how much they mean to you. Everyone has challenges in life and we all struggle. I am so blessed that I frequently hear those words from my family and friends. How comforting and heartwarming it is to know that we are loved. I realize more than ever that life is short, no one is promised tomorrow, and there is no time to delay either of these very important activities. I appreciate your continued support by reading my articles.

Mardi is available to speak to your group, club, organization, or as a keynote speaker, on a variety of topics. She conducts workshops, breakout sessions, and corporate training, and offers coaching to groups and individuals. Her latest book on the topic of procrastination will be available in early 2014. Visit Mardi’s website,, email her at, or call 214-649-1320.

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Just Say Ahh…

Just Say Ahh…

by Taryn S. McColpin

Ahh, November…The trees are brown (going with a neutral outfit rather than that flashy yellow/orange/red combination), the State Fair is over so we won’t get any rain for a while, and the checkout lines are growing at stores all over Denton.

Folks hate standing in line. It’s just human nature, nobody is born with patience; if so, parents of newborns wouldn’t be sleep deprived and twitchy from all the feed-me-now, change-me-now, impatient crying. And considering that the average American spends a total of about three years over their lifetime waiting in line, it’s easy to see why that gets old pretty quickly.

And waiting while you’re driving? Please. That’s where the real impatience kicks in. The approximate 34 hours a year urban drivers fume in traffic jams doesn’t help, not to mention the six months of our lifetime spent sitting at traffic lights. Road rage is a symptom of our impatience; how dare that driver not let me merge in front of him, or that other car try to merge in front of me? Given that American drivers develop a sense of “owning” the piece of the road upon which they are driving, the car trying to merge in front of us is, in our minds, stealing from us, if not really a piece of the road, then definitely our time. Yeah. That big five or ten second difference between their arrival time and ours.

This brings us to the basic selfishness that fuels all of this impatience. Humans are intrinsically selfish; it is a matter of survival to put oneself first. But at what cost? It’s the opposite of Pay It Forward: Cut in line in front of someone and as their survival mode kicks in, their mood plummets, and there are harsh words or accusing glares not only to you, but to the next people they encounter. Swoop in to a parking space where another driver has been waiting to claim it, and their driving habits for the next hour become aggressive and dangerous.

The list goes on. It happens everywhere: school parking lines, public events, and lane-ending areas on the road. What happened to “After you, ma’am (or sir)?” Have we become a culture of Me First? Has our survival instinct translated to a society of rudeness and inconsideration? Do we really believe that our time is more important, our convenience is primary, and our needs outweigh those of everyone else?

While contributions of time and money to charities seems to be on the rise, thanks in part to the age of instant information and social media, our personal values seem to have skewed towards the self-involved and self-important end of the scale. This causes concern for future generations; we are teaching our children how to behave by the actions that they observe and absorb every day.

It is definitely food for thought during the holiday season of thanksgiving and just-plain-giving. We can find the time and patience to be kind and selfless a couple of months a year, so wouldn’t a good New Year’s resolution be to slow down, be considerate, think of others a bit more, and not be so worried about always being the first in line?

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Just Say Ahh…

Just Say Ahh…

by Taryn McColpin

Ahh…the highlight of summer…the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  A lot of us Baby Boomers have such fond memories of long days at the lake, cookouts in the evening, and fireworks that night, and are creating those memories for our own children.

But the significance of the day is a celebration of our nation’s independence, which brings to mind the question: What does freedom mean to you? What would you pay for liberty? At what cost do we gain independence?

By definition, independence is freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on, or control by, others; self-subsistence or maintenance; direction of one’s own affairs without interference; sufficient means for a comfortable livelihood.

As children, we wait impatiently for independence from parental control, and, when that is achieved, often long for that once-hated dependence when real life sets its hungry eyes upon us and we begin to pay the price for our freedom, both financially and by having to live with the consequences of our independent decisions. As adults, we long for liberty from boring jobs, stale relationships, high debt…and as we age, sometimes we look forward to freedom from pain and suffering.

So are we ever really free?

Some quotes about independence:

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.  – Franklin D. Roosevelt

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. – Henry Ford

Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.  – George Bernard Shaw

True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right. – Brigham Young

…those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal cord would have sufficed. – Albert Einstein

The price for independence is often isolation and solitude.  – Steve Schmidt

Men say they love independence in a woman, but they don’t waste a second demolishing it brick by brick. – Candice Bergen

It’s easy to be independent when you’ve got money. But to be independent when you haven’t got a thing — that’s the Lord’s test.  – Mahalia Jackson

So on this Independence Day, take a moment and reflect on what freedom means to you, both as an American and an individual. We may never actually achieve true freedom from any and all, but as they say, it is not the destination, it is the journey.

Taryn McColpin is Newsletter Editor for Denton ABATE, the local Motorcyclists Rights Organization.  For more information on joining, or on rides and events, call 940-595-1144 or email

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Current Issue March/April 2011

Current Issue March/April 2011

You can now view Lifestyles of Denton County online!

Springtime in Denton!
- Denton Redbud Festival
- Community Takes on The Fight: Relay For Life
- Looking Inside: Equine Thermography

Click here to view the current issue.

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