Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas has completely derailed the wedding planning. I haven't posted much in the last week because I haven't really done anything that is wedding related. I've been going back and for the the mall buying christmas presents, cleaning the house in anticipation of a xmas potluck I'm throwing and attending Christmas parties. It has been quite nice actually. I'll be nice a recharged by the end of December. And 10 lbs heavier, but whatever. I will either be ready and raring to go on the planning stuff, or I will be thinking, "Oh, my freaking God, there is only 5 months to W day!" One or the other.

I shouldn't say that I've done NOTHING wedding related. I've been stalking because I recently discovered the amazing array of jewelry they sell. I have fallen in love with this cuff bracelet:

At close to $75 dollars after exchange rate, taxes and shipping, it is a little pricey...but I know that I would wear it after the wedding. And if I'm willing to spend $30 on earrings that I won't get much wear out of...

We'll see.

And these shoes are making me reconsider my idea of wearing flats:
This is kind of a problem because I'm a huge clutz. This shoes is a serious falling hazard, but I don't care because it is just so pretty (and on sale!!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why this man? Why right now?

I just finished reading a great post by Miss Cheese on weddingbee that was centered on "Why marry this man? Why now?" and I'd like to answer these questions for myself.

Why this man?
Well, the obvious one first: I love him. I am in love with him. I love being around him. But love can be a tricky thing. Plenty of people stay in bad relationships, abusive relationships because they love their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. So while I think that you must love someone to get married, I also think that you must have something else besides that love to back it up. So here they are:

He treats me well. Better than I think I deserve sometimes. (Just my insecurities talking, never mind it) The normal stuff, like he respects me and my ideas. He is a good listener and a good friend. He is considerate of my feelings. He is thoughtful. Cute things like giving me the same amount of food on my plate as on his because he doesn't want me to have the inferior plate of food, even though he is much bigger person that needs a higher caloric intake. This is the most important thing to factor that should be present before you marry someone. If you marry someone that does not treat you well, you are not being kind to yourself.

I trust L implicitly. My parents divorced very early on in L and I's relationship, and I think that it actually made our relationship stronger because I took it very seriously. The first thing that attracted me to him when we were first dating was his almost old fashioned sense of honor, not as a means to an end, but as a personal code that one holds themselves to. I honestly can't imagine marry anyone else because I can't imagine trusting anyone much as him. It will be what I hold on to when things get rough as they inevitably do. Because no matter what else is going on, no matter how we squabble, have money problems, depression problems, family problems, job problems, I trust that he will do the honorable thing. He won't fuck off and leave me high and dry.
My life is richer for having him in it. L challenges me. Challenges me to think harder about my view points, challenges me to be a better person.

I want my children to grow up to be just like him. WEll, just like him, except with a smaller head...because I'll have to push those kids out! I think he will be a wonderful father, and I look forward to the time when we are both ready to embark on that stage of our lives.

L is fun to be around. He doesn't take life too seriously. We both like camping, and running and watching geeky tv shows.

We compliment each other well. He's great cook, but not so hot at the cleaning part, and while I think that shake and bake chicken is gourmet, I actually clean the apartment. I'm good with not spending larger amounts of money when I shouldn't, but I nickel and dime myself to death, where as L know how to make $50 last a week. I am fairly good at communication, which come in handy during cranky times, and L know how to just listen when I go on PMS fueled rants.

Why now?
I had to think about this for a while. L and I have been dating for 5 years and living together for the past four. We are getting married during the year between my finishing school and him starting a two year degree. Let's just say that money is tight. We've definately had to cut somethings that we'd like because they were too expensive (oh, my Costa Rica honeymoon, how I mourn you) and I do lay awake fretting about paying the bills once L is in school, so why are we doing this now instead of in let's say 2 years?

First of all, I feel like the time is right NOW. 3 years ago when I first wanted to be engaged would have been very exciting, but I wouldn't have been as confident in the two of us, as thoughtful and present in my decision.

My mom says that if you wait until you have enough money to have children, you never will. I'm thinking this applies to marriage too. It means that we can't go all out, but that's okay.

I feel like we've are already married because we live together as a married couple does. We enjoy the good times, support each other during the bad times, pay the bills, chase the cats around the apartment, etc. I'm sure that we will feel somewhat different after we are married, and yet also largely the same. I feel like our marital status does not match how we feel about each other.

We want to have children together someday. That day is not today :) but not that far off either. I'd like to take one thing at a time. I'd like to enjoy being married for a while before kids enter the picture. So in the general time line, now is right on target.

This is the part that was slowest in coming to me. I read on another weddingbee blog someone asking why get married and spend all that money if you feel like you are already married. For me, this answer is all tied up in divorce. Marriage is a lot of work. It is about love, and loyalty and romance, but it is also about forgiving and asking forgiveness, about swallowing that "you never do BLANK," and replacing it with a "can you please do BLANK?", about pulling tight and not pushing away when life gets tough. Entering into a marriage is dilibrate. I am saying that I will do all these things. I am saying that I will try to be a better person, and show L my best, not my worse. I will acknowledge the fact that life's surprises are not always happy, and that I may momentarily resent him, detest him, feel ambivilant towards him, but I WILL NOT GIVE UP. I will get up infront of all of the people that matter most to me and they will hear me say these words.

A relationship is often not delibrate. People end up together and stay together out of a multitude of reasons. I want to move out of chance and into deliberate. Maybe some people can have that without being married, but I want that daily reminder that I didn't just end up with L. I will choose him over all others, and I will choose to work at our marriage, never let it wither or stagnate or grow unrecognisable.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How much is too much?

My plan for the guest book is to make it look more like an old fashioned photo album. I always thought it was silly to have someone sitting at the guest book table, bc they never actually do anything. Why do people do that? I'm going to get my guest book people to take a picture on a digital camera of everyone that signs the book. That way I am guaranteed to get a picture of most people that come. And its fun taking people's mugshots.

On each page I'm going to draw on a squares where the picture will go and lines beside it for people to write on. And I'm a big sucker for those old fashioned triangles that hold pictures in place. I'm not a real big do-it-yourselfer. This is about the size of project that I can manage.

I hope that people don't feel bombarded with pictures. I love pictures and I can't get enough of them. We are going to have pictures as part of our table numbers, on a home made card everyone is going to get at the table, and we are probably having a slide show as well. Is this too much?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Ring and the Guilt

I love my engagement ring. Like really love it. It was the only ring that I put on my finger that I didn't want to take off. I'm usually not the kind of person who believes in metaphysical mumbo jumbo, but I swear that ring gave off fantastic vibes. It is an old fashioned ring, and even the stone is cut in a way that they no longer do anymore. I can just imagine that the woman who wore it was happily married for 60 years.

The problem? It was expensive. L and I live on quite a modest budget because we've been in school for years. The ring cost over 30 % of his ANNUAL earnings. He worked a second job for year to save up for it, and it makes me feel guilty. The diamond is also quite a bit larger than I would have normally picked for myself. I feel a little uncomfortable with expensive things because I'm afraid that I am going to lose it or ruin it. But there wasn't any ring like it that was smaller and more affordable.

We ended up leaving it at the store that day, and I told him that it was too expensive. Princess Bride was saying 'I love it. I love it. I love it.' She was even let loose by too much alcohol, and I drunkenly told my girlfriends about this beautiful ring that I absolutely loved, but that was too expensive and I could never have.

Budget girl was more practical, "That is too much money. We can't afford it. We could buy a car with that kind of money."

That day I left the ring store and got ready from work, and as soon as I left our apartment, L raced back to the store and bought it. I guess I feel guilty because there wasn't even another ring that was in the running. All other rings were nice, but not me. So I feel like I didn't give him any other options, but this insanely expensive ring.

And I would have said yes if he'd taken my claddagh that I had been wearing as a promise ring of sorts and asked me with that. For those of you unfamiliar with the claddagh, here is a picture and a short history lesson:

According to Murphy, Colin, and Donal O'Dea (2006) The Feckin' Book of Everything Irish,
Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart pointing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the heart pointing inward toward
the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured
their heart". A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, pointing outward away from the body,
generally indicates that the wearer is When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and pointing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married.
I joke about being a princess bride, but really I'm not a princess. I feel bad that he went to all the trouble and through all the stress of working 2 jobs when he didn't have to. Most of the time I don't think about it, but I came across the price in our insurance paperwork, and it has me fretting again. I guess I'll just have to get over it.
And I do LOVE the ring. I have been wearing it for over a year, and I still stare at it dreamily.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How the times change

L and I visited his Nana last week. Nana is 94 years old, and not only does she live alone, she played scrabble with us until 4:30 am! I learned some new words (the xu is a type of vietnam currency), and it got me thinking about how much different it must have been for Nana when she was approaching her wedding date.

L and I have been building our lives together for the past 5 years, and we've been living together for the past 4. I can't imagine marrying someone that I haven't lived with. Nana probably hadn't spend any unsupervised time with her 'beau' before they were married. How can you really know someone if you've never seen any thing but what they show everyone else? No, perverts, I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about a person's quirks and bad habits and grumps.

I know that L is a water sprite-whether he is washing the dishes, his hair or his hands its water, water, everywhere. I leave my socks everywhere. No, I actually leave everything everywhere and have a pessimistic view of house cleaning (its all just going to get dirty again anyways). L puts his dishes into the sink, it ends up filling with water from washing hands, getting water to drink, etc, and the dishes sit in the dirty water for days at a time. I leave cat vomit on the floor until it is hard enough to scrape off the floor so that I don't have to get cat bile on my fingers that has seeped through the paper towel.
None of these things are deal breakers, but I like the fact that I know that marriage isn't a 1950's sitcom. Real married life is about love, loyalty and trust, but it is also about laundry, cat vomit and dishes. Real life must have been quite the surprise to brides back then - I don't imagine they were warned very often about how hard it is to be married or to run a home or forgive or ask for forgiveness. It must have been unimaginably hard to be newlyweds back in the day. You'd be struggling to do all the housewifely things that I am not good at, as well as nuture this new relationship this is so different from the one that you use to have with your beau.

The L that I fell in love with wasn't the one that he showed everyone else. Now that I do know the real him, I can see it whenever I look at him, but at first it showed in the quiet spaces between outings, comfortable silences during long car rides and how comfortable I was doing absolutely nothing with him. He saw me through wild mood swings, nights when I drank too much and migraine headaches. I know that he will take care of me and I of him because we've already DONE that. I am so comforted to know that we've already seen hard times and weathered through them (university, depression, being fired from a job, poverty, parents divorce, drunkenly telling off divorced parent, etc).

It must have been exciting for brides from long ago to get married, but also terrifying. They didn't date as long as we do now. After 5 years, I think I would know if L had a drinking/ gambling/womanizing problem, but if they only had chaperoned meetings for 6 months they would have no idea. Talk about a rude awakening when you realize that your husband is womanizing alcoholic, you're pregnant and he's drinking you into the poor house. Terrifying.

I am so thankful that I live in a time that I can really get to know the person that I am going to marry before I promise to stand by him for the rest of my life. I am thankful that I feel secur in my love and life with him, and that I approach my wedding day with no fear of the unknown. Our future holds unknown and possibly dark possibilities but at least we know each other and know that we can weather the storm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've got a bit of a problem. I'm an introvert at heart. There is a part of me that says "Look at me! Look at me!" but that part remains buried most of the time. This stage dancing attention whore never sees the light of day and is generally only released by copious amounts of alcohol.

The real me is nervous. I have no reservations about being married to L, I'm worried about the PROCESS of marring him. When I picture us at the alter, I get that 'I'm going to pee my pants' feeling. Not because I'm afraid of being married, but because EVERYBODY WILL BE LOOKING AT ME. I have this crazy notion that I will say my vows wrong. (I will be repeating why the minister says-how can I screw it up?) I'm afraid I'm going to open my mouth and say purplemonkeydishwasher instead of what I'm supposed to say.

I realize that the whole point of the big white dress is to draw attention to myself. And I'm okay with that at the reception, but the ceremony freaks me out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am a Gigantor with ski feet

What was very first wedding decision? Was it the venue? Nope. My dress? No way, that took months! The rings, the church, anything that most people would notice. No, no and no. You have to peak under my dress to find my first purchase. My very first wedding decision was to buy these babies:

It may seem strange that I bought my shoes over a year before our wedding, but if you knew me and my feet you would understand. At 5''9' I am not abnormally tall, but my feet are a size 10-11, which is almost impossible to find. American stores seem to order the same number of sizes regardless of the % of people that have each size. Up here in the land of snow and ice, they seem to undersell the higher sizes. Finding a good deal? I'm possible. Finding a shoe that fits? Improbable. Especially because my feet are unusually narrow. (While I think I have very attractive feet, other people like to call them ski feet. Whatever. I should become a foot model and show them)

I tried them on last spring and they met all of my criteria: they were white, they fit and they were flat. They have almost a pearly sheen to them and I'm hoping that they go with my ivory dress. (Why didn't I bring to the dress shop when I was trying on dresses? I don't know. )
Each time I tried on dresses at the store, they would have me wear a pair of heels to get a better idea of what my dress would look like with heels. I'm wondering if they were doing that to incourage me to need alterations, because almost every dress I tried on was the perfect in my stocking feet. I told them that I was going to wear flats and they always said, "Oh, no, everyone always looks better in heels."

Here are the reasons why this is not the case for me:
1. Dum dum dumdum..dum dum dumdum, crash bang I've tripped on my way down the isle, I have fallen and I am now lying on the floor. I am a clutz. If you give me the opportunity to fall, I will take it.
2. I don't normally wear heals, and people that wear them when they haven't had practice usually end up looking like teetering chowawas (how the hell do you spell that?) Okay, maybe that is just my mental picture, but it never looks good.
3. I would be 6 feet tall and I would feel like a gigantor with the largeness of my dress. I wouldn't necessarily let that deter me because as my FSIL says, I would look like a glamizon, except that:
4. My tallest bridesmaid is under 5''2. In group shots my hair is often cut off. It just seems silly to make me a foot taller than my bridesmaids just because most people where heels. We all know that I would take them off super early because I'm all about the comfort.
I'm very happy with my shoes. Like most shoe purchases, they found me when I wasn't really looking for them.