Monthly Archives: March 2010

Craft it forward

Yay craftiness!  I’m not sure that the things that I craft are considered, ahem, “good,” but they are things that I enjoy making and that bring me a lot of peace, and get my mind to slow down.  Part of my problem is finding the motivation to make something, and then to stick with it even if it doesn’t come out just right the first time around.

But Ellie from Wedding for Two is helping me out with the inspiration piece of this!  A couple of weeks ago, she posted about crafting it forward. The idea is that you get something that someone else has handmade, and then you make something for five other people.  Ellie got picked by someone else, and then offered to craft for the first five commenters, and I got picked, so she’s going to make me something.

And now I’ll make something for five people who comment on this post!  So get commenting!  If there are only five of you, you’ll totally get something, but if there are more than five I’ll just pick people at random (using a fancy randomizer or something).  If you do comment, tell me your favorite color or animal or something interesting… yay!

In the meantime, I’m going to try to run with this inspiration thing while it’s here and go make brownies. Yum.

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Happy pretty things

To make up for my Sad Post of Poordom and the fact that I don’t have the time/patience to commit to a real art project, I bring you Pretty Collage of Wedding Inspiration!

1. Photo by Jose Villa; 2. Photo by Janae Shields; 3. Photo by Wentzu Chang; 4. Photo by MacheteNSons; 5. Photo by Amanda Bevington; 6. Photo by Allison Bank; 7. Photo by Jose Villa; 8. Photo by Amanda Bevington; 9. Photo provided by Kaleva Lodge; 10. Photo by Janae Shields; 11. Photo by HensinDaisies; 12. Photo by The Back Porch Shoppe; 13. Photo by Rachel Zahumensky; 14. photo by Unruly Things; 15. Photo provided by Kaleva Lodge; 16. Photo by Allison Bank

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I have abandoned you

Dear Blogland,

I have abandoned you for two days because I have been panicking.

It’s not your fault, I just want to fill you with goodness and good moods and “Yay my nose isn’t broken!” and “haha I let big hard issues roll off my back, no problem.”

And, okay, for real my nose is not broken, and that is definitely good.  And for real there is a lot of stuff that I can let slide, like the mean people at work and the crazy people at work and the not making much money but it’s okay because I love my job.  But sometimes after a yelling client and a demanding client and a just plain crazy client, someone comes in with an accent and I can’t understand what they’re saying, and it’s not their fault, but they’re the fourth really difficult person to deal with and I just can’t do it anymore.

And that is sort of how these past couple of days have been going.  The rain and the wind don’t help, and having to walk a dog in the rain and wind don’t help.

The big issue that we’re facing, and that a lot of people are facing, is finances.  This is not something I know how to talk about well somewhere like a blog.  Turtle and I are struggling to learn how to talk about it well just between the two of us, and I think that this is also something a lot of people deal with.  When Turtle left her job, we knew that it would put us in a very tight place financially, and we were awesome at budgeting for the first month.  Well, today we got some bills in the mail and it turns out that while we stressed about it more this past month than we did the first month, we did not budget nearly as well.  And after that realization we went and met with a caterer and had to talk about money some more. I’m sure you’ve heard that weddings are not cheap.

This is another one of the times where I stop and say, “Is this what we want?”  Do we want to be married somewhere other than the church we go to, or my parents’ backyard?  Do we need all these people there, or could we do with just our immediate families and very close friends?  Do people really need to eat food?

And the answer I keep coming back to is that, yes, these things are important.  We love the location of our ceremony and reception, and it is so affordable that cutting it out wouldn’t save us much at all.  We do need all of the people we want there to be there.  They are our community, our family, the people we want to affirm our relationship and promise to support our marriage as a community.  We need them there.  And rumor has it that people like to eat.  I like to eat, and Turtle likes to eat.  And if we’re going to have food, we should just go ahead and have good food, right?

It’s a struggle to do what we want with our wedding and to keep our head above the “OMG it’s a wedding you have to have everything you are a princess for one day it’s your only chance everything must have diamonds on it omg!” chaos.  It’s a struggle to accept that feeding our guests might mean that we can’t hire movers for our move next month.

Blech, sorry for the “woe is me” post; hopefully it’s out of my system and we’ll return to regular happy blogging tomorrow…. that said, I know I can’t be the only person going through this.  How are other people dealing with making the decisions about some big life things versus others, whether it’s a wedding or something else?  This morning I took the Beast and we went for a 2 mile run in the cold wind and rain.  This made me feel better, if a little wet.  Please, share your vices/solutions/tell me I’m not crazy.  Thanks, blogland.

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Weekend lessons, or Weddings Are CRAZY

Lesson number 1 of the weekend: if your dog has especially athletic skills, such as the ability to leap six feet in the air from a dead stand-still, it’s probably a good idea to be careful when you ask her to go somewhere near you.  For example, do not try to teach her that a certain space is her bed by leaning over it and saying “bed” while you are standing right next to your actual bed.  Possible outcomes of this scenario include her leaping over the bed you indicated and onto the bed that is yours, connecting the hard part of her head directly with your nose and resulting in blood pretty much everywhere.  Additional possible results include a crooked nose and a debate about whether it’s worth it to go to the doctor.  Next time you see me, see if you can tell which direction my new nose curves in. Or, as Turtle corrects, see if you can tell me in which direction my new nose curves. This is why I love her, people.

my nose totally curves to the left now. stupid nose.

Lesson number two: wedding related stuff is crazy. CUH RAZE E.  This is not necessarily news.  Anyway, we looked at some wedding rings last week – you may have heard – and were talking to my family about it when we learned that this weekend was Wedding Ring Weekend at a store that just so happens to be on the way back home from my parents’ house (where we spent the weekend).  And who doesn’t want to go to a Wedding Ring Weekend?  Okay, don’t answer that.  In all honesty, I try not to attend events with “Wedding” in the title, because it seems that most of these events are far more about the one day and the showiness of it all than they are about a marriage or relationship or the big life changes you are making.  But hey, we need wedding rings, it was on the way home, it seemed worth it to check it out.

The store was FULL of people, and it was hard to even see all the cases at first; there was a lot of waiting around to look in a particular case or to find someone to show us something.  Once we did, we found that some people were super helpful, willing to be flexible with what we wanted (none of that, “What do you mean, no diamonds? You deserve diamonds, hon,” from the salespeople, thank goodness.), and tried to find us things that were similar to what we were expressing interest in.  Side lesson here, another possible-not-surprise: just because an event is not gay-unfriendly, and some of the staff are perfectly nice to us, a clearly lesbian couple, that does not make an event gay-friendly.  One guy was very short with us and would not make eye contact once it was clear that we were looking for matching rings.  Um, no thank you, sir.

At points it just felt like a feeding frenzy.  A very shiny feeding frenzy.  We left empty handed but full of delicious free cake samples, and ready to go back to the cozy little jewelry shop we saw last week.

Lesson number three: getting married is fun.  Or this process of getting married is fun.  It’s fun to work out the kinks and talk through the steps.  It’s fun to look at readings and talk to our families and be excited about this event to celebrate how much we love each other and that we found each other. We had our first session today with the minister who is officiating our wedding, and it was really great.  Everyone should do some sort of counseling like this.  We took a test a couple of months ago that looked at our compatibility around several different issues.  We took the test individually and were not allowed to discuss it until today.  Today, we talked about the things that we matched on, and the things that we answered completely differently.  It was very educational.  One highlight: our minister saying, “You should get married!”

So besides my possibly broken nose and feeling overwhelmed by the swarming weddingclone swarms, this weekend was warm and cozy and lovely. How was yours?

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The Six-Month Disease

I admit that, in my family, I am known to be a hypochondriac. I’m not sure that my ailments are as imagined as my family members seem to believe they are, but fine, most of the time that I think I am dying, I am not in fact dying. That said, I have been suspecting for awhile that I have what is referred to as “The Six Month Disease,” and evidence continues to point to its existence, this illness raging in my body.

Symptoms of the Six Month Disease flare up every, say, 6 months – hence the name.  Very complex, as you can see.  Some such symptoms include:

  • Wanting big life changes
  • Creating big life changes
  • Whining about what changes one could make in one’s big life
  • Begging for cute things

It should be noted that much of this occurs within the context of one’s intimate relationship.  I may have been infected long before my current relationship existed, but it is only in the past couple of years that it has been pointed out to me that I have this disease.

Let’s review:

November 2007: I joined roller derby.

Six months later brings us to April 2008: I fall hard for a lovely lady, one Ms. Turtle McTurtleson.

Aaaand six months minus just one day takes us to one Sterling Animal Shelter, where I ogle lots of puppies and fall in love with “Luna” (see Case A).  We celebrate our six month-iversary, and I pick “Luna” up from the shelter the next day.

Yes, that is a smiley-face made out of dog kibble, and we are making her practice "wait." Look at her cute forehead wrinkles!

About six months after that, I convince Turtle that we need a kitten.  I guess the true-r version of the story is that I go to therapy, talk about how miserable my job at a rape crisis center is making me, and tell her that the only thing that makes me feel happy is thinking about kittens.  She tells me to go ahead and get a kitten! Why not?  They’re wonderful like chocolate bars, except you don’t eat them so they last forever!  Or some such gem.  I tell Turtle that I have been prescribed a kitten.  We adopt the Finnster.

Aaaaand six months after that little fluffball enters our lives, we decide, all officially and stuff, to get married.  That was last October.

This morning, Turtle asked me how long it’s been since we got engaged.  As of today, it’s been five months and 10  days.  “Nearly six months,” she pointed out.

And omg I want a puppy.

So really: we’re getting this new apartment, and we’re going to have twice as much space as we do now.  Literally.  And we’re going to have a fenced in yard. AND we will be living right next to a dog park!  AAAAND this week we petsat for a young dog and she and Daphne had so much fun together!

All of this points to I will probably die if I don’t get a puppy.

Right?  I mean, I guess other options are just wait it out… maybe something else big and exciting will happen at this 6-month mark.  And I know we don’t want a puppy before we get married.  And I know our new landlord will probably freak out if I say, “We have a dog, two cats, and can we get a puppy in ten minutes?”  And Turtle said we can get a puppy in five years, which is down from the previous 8, which was down from the 10 she was saying before that.

Searching Petfinder is a dangerous thing to do.

Does anyone else get restless like this?  I’m not sure it’s restlessness, maybe it’s a desire for a new adventure.  A new thing?  Well, I’m starting a printmaking class next Monday so maybe this will postpone my puppy dreams.  Some people get baby cravings… I get puppy cravings.  I probably always will.

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In Praise of the Process

Today Turtle and I spent two hours looking at wedding ring options.  It was a beautiful day and we had an entire afternoon to play, so we went to several stores to look at what they had.  In the very first store, a very stuffy – ahem, traditional – jewelry shop, one ring caught the eye of both of us.

“Psst, what about that top one on the left?”

“I was just looking at that!”

Just as the stuffy, I mean, kindly gentleman came over to assist us, we both realized that the amazing ring with the simple band and the interesting texture was not, in fact, a ring, but a nickel stuffed into the tray to fill the space of a previously purchased ring. Okay, so at least we have similar taste, right?  We both like the idea of using a nickel for our wedding bands?

On what may seem like a side note but is in fact completely related, I was talking to a friend of mine tonight who said, “If I were getting married, I would take my fiance and both of our sets of parents and we would go to the courthouse and that would be that.”

I admit that this has crossed my mind.  There are lots of very sweet courthouse weddings!  There are aspects of it that appeal to me: the simplicity, the intimacy, the importance of the marriage rather than the flowers (or tablecloths or food or whatever).

But the celebration feels important to me, and to us.  The ritual of it is important.  And what I keep understanding as we continue the planning process is that it’s not just the celebration and the support of our community of family and friends that is important, but it is also important for us to get through this planning process *together*, and to have a wedding that is *ours* and no one elses.

Back to the rings: We found this lovely little shop in a nearby town and found two styles of rings that we loved.  We spent a long time trying them on and looking at similar rings in different materials and styles and widths, and then we left and came back and spent even more time talking to the jeweler about what we could and couldn’t change about each one and how much they would cost in different materials, etc.

Having this conversation with a complete stranger meant that first we had to have this conversation with each other.  We had to say, “Here’s what I’m thinking about spending, and here’s why that seems reasonable.  Here’s what the ring means to me.  What do you think?”  And it turns out that we both had different budgets, we had different aspects of the wedding bands that are important to us, and the rings have different meaning for both of us.  Something as simple as buying a piece of jewelry (or as complicated as buying a wedding band, depending on how you look at it) turned into a few really intense, interesting conversations about money and marriage and celebration.  And this is just one step in the process of putting together our wedding.

Planning a wedding together means checking in with each other a lot.  It means trying to find something that represents *both* of us, and that means sometimes letting go of something that represents just one of us if the other one doesn’t feel that it fits.  It means trying to be ourselves in the most honest way possible while making space for the other person, and I think that this is one of the parts of getting married that is often overlooked, and it is something that I am currently so, so grateful for.

I feel like planning this wedding is not just about one day, but about the life we are creating together.  We are learning how to talk about money more and more, and we are practicing doing it.  We are talking about our beliefs and the writing that we like and the decorations we think are pretty.  We are shopping for shoes.  We are discussing food and drink and music.  It’s really quite wonderful.

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A ring to wed them all… er, them two!

The engagement ring adventure was a big one, and a mostly fun one. At times it was stressful, as we emailed each other pictures back and forth and debated how much money to spend and whether to buy online or in person.  At one point we just said, “Okay, no more talking about rings until we are holding them in our hands,” and that was the point at which we decided to only go shopping in person, which ended up being a really good decision for us.

The search for wedding rings feels similarly stressful, but somehow more difficult.

What is difficult, I think, is trying to figure out what is important in the wedding rings.  I know that, because I plan to be working with a lot of different animals in my life, I want something that can withstand getting banged around and won’t get pieces of poop wedged in little corners of it.  Sorry if that’s gross, but these are the hazards of the industry, people.  I suspect that I will not wear my engagement ring all the time once we’re married, or at least not on the same hand as my wedding ring, so it’s not important to me that the band match my engagement ring.

But beyond these little things, which rule out a lot of rings, I don’t know what I do want.  With our engagement rings, it seemed most important that I like mine and Turtle liked hers, and it didn’t matter whether they looked good together or to the other one of us.  With our wedding rings, it feels important that they match, in some way.  They are a symbol of our union, of our unity, and this is why it feels important that they resemble each other, or are made from the same metal, or at the very least have the same thing engraved within them.  I want, when people see us together, for people to see our rings and know that we are married to each other.

Today we went to an antique store that I happened across a couple of weeks ago to look at some options.  I was surprised to find myself drawn to yellow and rose gold, and I was not surprised to see Turtle drawn to the white gold and platinum.  For me: simple bands with a little bit of detail or character, like little ridges you don’t notice at first or milgrain on the edges.  For her: diamonds all the way around.  Very different.

And THEN she found a ring for me that is just gorgeous.  Again, it made my heart flutter a little.  I didn’t have a camera and can’t find a picture of it anywhere, but it is a delicate vine with leaves wrapped around and around, and made out of teeny tiny diamonds and white gold. This is so not a good explanation of the ring.  It is beautiful, and simple while intricate, and delicate while sturdy, and costs a little more than 5 times as much as I originally wanted to spend.  And it will definitely not match Turtle’s ring, whatever she finds.

If you are married, what is your ring situation?  Do you have an engagement ring AND a wedding band, and how did you agree on/pick your band(s)? Do they match?  And whether or not you’re married, what are your thoughts/understandings of what a wedding ring “should be”?  I don’t know that I care what one “should do,” but I am curious about the thoughts around these rings, as opposed to engagement rings, and where my attitudes are coming from. Give me your insight, dear readers, and tell me whether I should spend way more than I really want to on a ring that makes me flutter.

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