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.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The wedding isn't making me feel blah, just the planning of it

Lately I have been stressing out about the wedding a lot. We've got all the major things worked out, and now I feel like I'm drowning in the little details. There isn't one BIG thing that needs to be done, just a kindergarden class full of little things that are jumping up and down, waving their hands, saying 'pick me! Pick me!'
I'm feeling very overwhelmed and not very excited about the up coming wedding. And then I feel bad. I've told L that it isn't the getting married or being married that has me feeling blah, but the fuss and the rigmarrol that I'm not excited about. Its times like these that I think we should have just eloped.

I'm worried that we've planned a wedding that we can't afford, or can just barely afford. L starts school 7 months after the wedding, so money has been weighing heavily on my mind. I've been trying to save money, but that leads to us never going out and doing something. Maybe a romantic dinner date chez moi is in order. I work nights/evenings, so I rarely see the sun, so maybe thats why I feel so craptastic. And, as always, that b@#% PMS has been harrassing me. L was kind enough to make me laugh by singing PM&S to the YMCA song. The human race has put men on the moon. Why can't they figure out the cure for PMS?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Budgetgirl vs the Princessbride

Looking for wedding jewelry has been one the wedding searches that I actually enjoyed. I wasn't looking for anything to big or outrageous. I seriously considered buying a pearl necklace because they are so elegant and classic and would go well with my dress. High quality pearls look fantastic, and 'bargain' pearls look like the kind that I used to play dress up, so not so nice. And since our wedding budget is definately closer to the bargain end of the scale than high end, I decided against the pearls. Sigh.

And that's why these earrings make me happy. They give me some pearl, and they are down right awesome.

I usually don't wear big dangly earrings. I actually don't own a pair. And I do have pair of white gold and diamond earrings that L got me for christmas last year. I love them and I wear them whenever we get dressed up and go somewhere nice. I could wear them again...but I think I want something that is a little more costumey. Does that make sense? I want something a little more theatrical because there are not many days that I could get away with wearing big dangly pearl earrings. And they are $30.

Budget girl says, "Don't get 'em, wear the fancy ones you already have."
Princessbride says, "$30! That's a steal! Look at them, they are gorgeous. Buy them. Buy them Buy them"

The necklace that is the top contender is only that, a contender. I'm not 100% sold.

I like the close up on the necklace. It has pearls, but is not entirely pearls, and it has some sparkle. It is very pretty. The picture of it on the model doesn't sell it for me though. It is too sparkley. I don't want so much shine around my neck for pictures, and I don't know if the photographer could deal it. It is $60, which I don't think is that bad in the wedding world, but...I'm just not feeling it for that price. The neckline of my dress is strapless, pretty much straight across the top, and the bodice is quite busy: lace and crystals and ribbon. I think it might even be better to go necklace free, especially if my earrings are bigger.
Either way I should probably wait until the Canadian dollar is a bit better. Why couldn't I have been ready to buy wedding stuff when I went down to the States last year? Our dollar was on par!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Invitation Rebellion

Invitations are my next big thing that I am tackling. Everything that I have read says that guests should receive their invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. I think that is insane. Or if you are a conspiracy theorist, just a ploy to make all us engaged folk send STD's and invitations. Here is a thought: just send your invitations earlier!!

Our wedding is on a budget. We are not renting a limo. Nor a videographyer. We are probably not having a cake. Why? Because these things do not matter to us. Why do something just because everyone else does it? Especially when our budget is as low as reasonably acheivable.
Save The Dates have likewise fallen to the wayside. We are pretty much inviting all of our family members, so my mom has been emailing and msn'ing away, so they know the date. Is this breaking some etiquette rule? I don't know. I hope not.

So I'm throwing tradition to the wind. My wedding is May 17, 2009. I hope to have my invitions ready to go out in the beginning of January, and will have the RSVP date as April 1st. This is 4 months too early but I can't see it being too much of a problem.
There is nothing I hate more than being late. It makes me very anxious, and dare I say, I little bitchy. So in efforts to keep my inner bridezilla firmly inside my brain and not rampaging out of my mouth, I am setting my wedding to do schedule early. That way if things don't go as planned, and they never do, Bridezilla won't even rattle her chains. Its like changing the time on your clock 15 minutes fast so that the 15 minutes you inevitably sleep in every morning isn't a problem.

We fell in love with some invites that we found on line, but are made right here in Winnipeg:

They are fun and cute and the perfect color. The price was reasonable too, something like $2.80 per invite. The owner of the company was so helpful and awesome in general. If we weren't trying to be on a budget, we would have gone with this design and company, hands down!

But then we found a bargain that we couldn't pass up. Invitations and RSVP card set with envelopes that cost $1 dollar per invite. They are cute, simple and totally within our budget. Please excuse the crappy pics - i couldn't get the lighting right. But it gives you the idea. These aren't in the same league as the polkadot ones, but the $1!

I just try and keep in mind that I am probably the only one that is going to remember the invites and that these still fall within the feel we want for the wedding : simple, cheerful and fun. Do I REALLY care about the invites, or am I being sucked into the wedding hype that everything must be mindblowingly awesome? 'Cause we can't afford mindblowing!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bridesmaid dresses have FINALLY been decided

My to do list is located between the bermuda triangle and the pile of socks that my drier has eaten. So to actually find said list and cross something off of it is HUGE. For those of you that have read my past posts, you know that the bridesmaid dresses were a huge issue. I'm just so indecisive and a little unsure of my ability to know if two colors clash.
When I realized that the 6 months to the wedding mark was fast approaching, I decided to go to the store that I was getting my wedding dress and not leave until a decision had been made.

The decision: the girls could pick any dress they liked as long as it was floor lenth, satin dress from Impression. May I present the bridesmaid dresses:

My MOH is wearing the dress on the left. A little more sexy than most BM but I love it.
And my FSIL C is wearing the dress on the right. Also awesome.

My friend S is wearing it. Ladies, if you are worried about having a bit of a tummy you should check this dress out. S was 4 months pregnant when she tried the dress on and you couldn't even tell.

The color is very similar to the first picture. The picture is mocha and the color I chose was bronze. I have the lady at the bridal store to thank for this decision, because i couldn't tell whether it would go with the hunter green and brown kilts that the groomsmen are wearing. I admit that it was a little out of my comfort range, but I'm loving it.

The flowers are going to be yellow, white and green at least they were back when the ladies were going to be in brown. I have to go back to my florist and see what she thinks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rings and Germs

I'm back!! I'm sorry my little blog, that I've neglected you so!!

I've been working at one hospital 4 days/nights a week for the past couple months, and about a month ago I started training at another hospital 2 days a week. Working 6 days a week may not seem that bad for some people, but when you add in changing your sleep patterns from nights to days every 4 days, its a freaking disaster. I had to give up fun things like computers and blogging and concentrate on sleep and not being a grump monster. My training is done at my second hospital is done, so I'm here to stay.

We actually got some wedding things done dispite the hectic work schedule.

L picked out his ring and I'm kicking myself that we didn't take a picture of it. It was a hard decision bec L doesn't wear jewelry of any kind, so a lot of the chunkier rings irritated his hand. I really liked the one that he picked, and I can hardly wait until he wears it full time.

L works at a hospital, as well, and I'm not sure if he is going to wear it there. I don't wear my engagement ring, and I am fairly far removed from poop, pee, etc, but L is right in the thick of it. Eventually I would like to have a thin plain band that is just my work ring. This sounds silly and like I am just angling to get another ring, but technically you are not supposed to wear rings with stones or grooves in it at the hospital, and my engagement ring and wedding ring will have both. It is not just a stupid rule for the sake of rules. Germs collect around the grooves and stones and the idea of having a germy ring kind of grosses me out. Whenever i forget to take my engagement ring off before work I wear gloves all day, but then I am terrified of pulling my ring off when I pull of the gloves and throwing it out. I tried to design a ring that would fit with my engagement ring but still fall withing the hospital rules, but my engagement ring is quite full of stones and grooves:

I was unable to come up with something that would suffice, and there is no way I was going to stop wearing my engagement ring ever because I LOVE it. So we are designing a ring for me that is in the style of the engagement ring. And one day I hope to have a very simple ring that I can wear at work because I don't like the idea of wearing the ones that have stones, and I don't like the idea of neither of us wearing our wedding rings at work. I'm okay if my ring is a germ colony, as long as its my own (fairly harmless) germs.