Wow, does it feel good to have internet at home again! It feels like a year....oh, wait. Amazing how one simple tool can change the way I live life daily. No checking weather first thing in the morning (over-/under-dressed), no news feeds (who's Obama?), no myspace (everyone's getting married?!), no recipe help, no instant answers to burning questions at my fingertips, no bill pay, no ravelry, no blogging!!!
Well, you can can all thank Paul for transferring the interwebs to the new apartment!
Awesome changes in the last year:
I survived my first set of graduates-that-don't-come-back at work. :( Mike? Alyssa? Jeff?! Come BACK!
I worked hard, and with lots of help, put on my second conference at work. Wow, who would have thought conservative Christians would get just as angry about global climate change as about gay marriage?
I moved out of the horrible, dirty, poorly-managed May Apartments. Still have a lawyer to deal with that.
I moved into an apartment in the Pearl. It's clean, updated-historic, great neighborhood, and manageable rent. Oh, and, my commute is shorter!
Olive has endured surgery, stitches, being opened back up, more stitches, the Cone of Silence, weird bacteria, hair loss, antibiotics down her throat every night, not getting a bath for months, and many, many trips to the vet. But she's finally healed!
And the #1 Top Change: Paul & I are engaged!!
Yes, part of the reason I haven't sought out the internet for blogging is I haven't had time! Ever since getting engaged, every spare moment seems gobbled up by the Black Hole of Wedding Planning. At first, Paul & I didn't get much sleep--we spent evenings staying up late, trying to decide on a place, writing emails to parents, and getting the budget in order. That was probably the hardest part. But now we've got all the major things done: I've got my dress, we've booked the ceremony & reception venues, got engagement photos done, made invitations, mailed them out, made a website, coordinated with our attendants, got our registry flowing, and last night we made some honeymoon reservations. Ah, the fun stuff!
Some things have surprised me along the way, and my reaction has been somewhat bitter. If the word "wedding" or "bridal" comes out at all, it's suddenly twice the price! A formal dress is $100, but a bridesmaid's dress is $300. A cake is $35, but a wedding cake is $350 (or more). A normal updo is $40, but a wedding updo is $95. You get the idea. Actually, the hairstyling isn't that bad, and we'll probably go there to get our hairs done. But seriously!! The wedding industry keeps pumping out more and more ideas of what you are supposed to have at a wedding, and they just sound like a waste of money to me!
My favorites "wedding must-haves" which we will be doing without: save-the-dates, flower girl, ringbearer, veil, rented tuxes, cheesy slideshow of baby pictures set to "I Can Only Imagine," videography, DJ, first dance, standard invitations, RSVP cards, calligraphy, liquor, valet, limo, wedding cake, bouquet toss, bridesclones, cut flowers, corsages, prenup, after-party, and on no account will we be having a morning-after bunch with our family! Awk. Ward. No. We'll be sleeping in thankyouverymuch.
After planning conferences, banquets, and making many print projects, all the other stuff feels like fluff. I feel so obligated, as a woman targeted from a young age by a particular industry might feel, that we must "choose colors," send out save-the-dates 18 months ahead, order invitations made by someone else, have a champagne toast, a signature cocktail, and a flowery cake, give perfect welcome baskets and favors, buy a new dress, have 10 bridesmaids, have a florist make you $150-apiece bouquets, and a honeymoon in Italy. No. You do not need all of that. All you need is to get married. Legally, that takes very little. So get real. There are way better things to spend $20,000. Even half of that would go far toward a down payment on a home. So think it over.
I bought my dress at a used gown sale. $199. I had tried on $3500 dresses at a nice boutique with my maid-of honor just to figure out what my style dress should be. Paul is wearing a nice suit he owns (boy, does he look hot!). I found resources on how to make bouquets, and guess what? It's easy! Why would I pay $75 for something I could make myself for $20 wit seasonal flowers from our local farmer's market? It's a nosegay, not a national monument! The flowers will die, so why make a big deal out of them? Paul's family is making tons of cookies for our reception--this will save us hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Caterers charge SO much for desserts, and at $1-10/person, that adds up fast.
The one thing we have splurged on is our photographer, Anna Joy. She is a friend of mine, and did some nice photos for my graduation (understand, I never had senior portraits done in high school, so my family all wondered what I look like). She's so amazing and tons of fun! She's bringing along one of my other dear friends as her assistant, so in all I completely trust that our photos will be spectacular!
Anyway, life is not all about the wedding. I have the spring conference coming up in 1 week, and I am stressed to my limits! I have a busy week ahead...