Archive for December, 2009

Yesterday Mike and I sent an email to several friends and family asking them to participate in an important part of our wedding ceremony. Awhile ago I was looking for a symbolic gesture that would, well, symbolize our unity. Like the unity candle. Only I don’t really like the unity candle or the mixing of the sands because it’s just two people. And even though we are definitely the primary players in this marriage, it’s also the merging of two families and networks of people. We wanted to somehow symbolize that.

So eventually I stumbled upon the quilt ceremony (sorry, I can no longer remember where I first saw this). Here’s how we explained it in the email:

We read about something called a quilt ceremony, in which the couple is wrapped in a quilt made from fabric from all their loved ones. This seemed like a perfect addition to our wedding ceremony for a couple reasons:
1) We want to symbolize more than the joining of two individuals, but the joining of two extended families and networks of people.
2) I (Shannon) am so crafty anyway!

Here is the plan:
– We will collect pieces of fabric from all the special people in our lives.
– We will keep track of from where and whom each piece comes.
– Shannon will make a quilt from this fabric.
– At the ceremony, the quilt will be used to symbolize the merging of our lives, families and friends.
– At the reception, the quilt will be displayed.
– We will have the quilt as a keepsake forever… 🙂

Then we asked everyone to send us a piece of fabric to add to the quilt. And we’d like to ask you to do the same. You all mean a lot to us, too, since this blog has been such a fun part of our wedding planning, and you guys always offer great ideas and encouragement.

So, if you’d like to contribute a piece of fabric to our Unity Quilt (I just made that up, I really have no idea if these things have a name), leave a comment with your email address or send us an email (shanmikeblog [at] gmail [dot] com), and we’ll get you the info you need.

Thanks, you guys are the awesomest!

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One night last month I was g-chatting with my friend Katie, and we eventually started searching for shoes I could wear to the wedding. With her help, I soon landed on a gorgeous pair of ivory 1950s boudoir slippers on etsy. With shipping they were only fifty cents over what I had budgeted for shoes ($40)! They got here a few weeks ago, and they fit perfectly. I haven’t tried them on with my dress yet, but I’ve held them next to it, and I think they’ll be great.

(I didn’t realize until I almost published this photo that my legs hadn’t been shaved in far too long. So that’s my quick Picnik fix to save you from the horror.)

Here’s a pic from the seller.

Do you like?

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Mike’s wedding ring

Mike’s ring came in this weekend, and it came with all the same excessive packing that mine did.

I think our rings look nice togther even though he is Tungsten and mine is white gold.

Mine is a dainty size 5.25 while he is a 12. I was kind of hoping I’d wear a 6 because then our sizes would be 6 and 12, and our wedding date is 6/12. Oh well.

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Wedding planning has taken a backseat in the last month. Hell, wedding planning is way in the back of a damn stretch limo. Besides the holidays this time of year, I’ve also had a birthday, we’ve celebrated our anniversary, I started a new job that includes a long commute, and my sister brought my beautiful new nephew into the world. There’s very little time for anything wedding.

People at the new job know I’m getting married though, so they keep asking about the details of the wedding. Which is nice, except I realized I’m a terribly boring bride. I think I’m supposed to spout off about colors and flowers and 3-tiered cakes, but all I can usually say is, “Um, well, it’s in my dad’s backyard. And, um, it’s just gonna be really small and low-key.” Oh and the date. I’ve got the date down.

We’re pretty well on track as far as our Wedding To Do timeline goes, except I had wanted to settle on what decorations, if any, we were going to use by the end of the month. Not because it’s necessary to decide like RIGHT NOW! but because just about everything could be put off till the last minute, and I didn’t want to do that. So decoration decisions got put toward the top. I made a list of ideas, but then we never made any concrete choices. We don’t want to spend a lot on decor, so I think we’ll be using a lot of what we have on hand. Like the neatly stacked piles of wood in my dad’s backyard, the tiki lights my stepmom already owns, and the piles of fabric and tissue paper I have in my craft case.

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Happy Holidays!

I don’t think everyone got that we were trying to be over-the-top cheesy with the holiday regalia and decor in our card. That’s about right though, since my wit and humor seem to go right over people’s heads quite often.

The best part of this is that just as we were getting ready to create the “set” for this photo my phone rang and I ended up in a 45-minute conversation. The whole time I was on the phone, Mike was hanging the beads, lights, stockings and ornaments. Up until that point I thought he was just humoring me by going along with this idea, but when he went to great lengths to get those damn beads to stay in place and the stockings hung just right, I knew he was totally into it. He didn’t even hesitate when I told him to put that Christmas rug over his lap.

Oberon on the other hand? Not amused.

(And don’t worry, I returned that god awful shirt the very next day.)

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Celebratory slip-up

A couple weeks ago…

S: So should we celebrate my new job?

M: We celebrated last night with ice cream.

S: I thought we could go out to dinner.

M: Well we’re going to a movie on Saturday.

S: You don’t want to go to dinner?

M: Yeah, I guess we could go to dinner…

S: What’s wrong?

M: I just feel weird because you had to suggest it.

S: What do you mean? I figured you’d suggest it since I took you out when you got your new job.

M: You did?

S: YES! We went out! I bought you dinner!

M: You did? Where did we go?

S: Ok, so not only did you forget that I took you to a celebratory dinner, but you also didn’t suggest taking me out, AND you got annoyed when I suggested it.

M: I don’t think annoyed is the right word.

And then I didn’t talk to him for 10 minutes until he spelled out “I’m sorry I love you so much” on my foot with his finger.

But see, even the good guys screw up sometimes.

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Anniversary Adventures

One year ago (yesterday), Shan and I met. Crazy.

We went on what started out as a typical first date. I picked her up for dinner, and we went out to a semi-fancy tapas restaurant downtown. We drank sangria, ate interesting food, and played the get-to-know you game. What’s your favorite movie? How many siblings? What is your job like? But I don’t remember what questions were really asked, or how she answered them. I remember watching her walk away to the bathroom. I remember her eye contact when she talked to me. I remember her spilling her water…twice (and being glad/surprised it wasn’t me).

After dinner, we thought we’d get a drink at a local bar. But the roads were sloppy, and the bars were busy, so we couldn’t find a parking spot. This is where the date started becoming truly memorable. We decided to drive for a little while, and ended up an hour away from home. We actually only turned around when we hit water. My most vivid memory from this part of the date is Shannon’s Monster Eye acting up, and watching her take her contacts out on the highway. Shortly after that, we also had to pull into a McDonald’s so she could pee. When this didn’t bother me, I think I knew she was the one for me.

After the road tour, we arrived back at Shannon’s apartment. This is where I thought the date might end. We sat in my car for a minute, and then I decided to walk her to her door. I figured I might be brave enough to try for a kiss goodnight, but the date would have been a success either way. Instead, Shannon invited me up, and we spent another five hours talking on her couch. I started to get my shoes on to leave when the conversation died down. Mid-lace-tie Shannon matter-of-factly said I should I probably kiss her now. That was how we ended up kissing on her couch, with one shoe on. She was so brave to come right out with it, and I admired her confidence right away.

Eventually, we went to bed. We slept in the same bed after our first date (don’t worry…all we did was sleep) and Shannon called in sick to work a few hours later. We got up the next morning, ate cereal, and watched a movie on the couch. Finally, somewhere around the 19-hour mark, our first date ended, we said goodbye, made a date for the next day, and I went home to get ready for work.

So that was our first date. It’s definitely the only first date that I remember that vividly.

Tonight, one year and a day after our first, we have a date at the same tapas restaurant. I think we’ll skip the 2-hour drive since Shannon has to do that all week now, but I hope the rest of the evening is just as much fun as last time. If she spills her water again I might just marry her this weekend. But then again, it’s probably my turn to spill my water.

Ain’t love grand?

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Christmas With a Family

It’s fun to have a family at Christmas. Not that I never had a family before or anything. What I mean is it’s nice celebrating now that I’m engaged, living with Shannon, and doing the holiday thing with our little family.

Last Sunday we went out and got our first Christmas tree. When we got it home, we realized that the trunk was too wide for the tree stand we bought. So we went out and exchanged the tree stand. That night we trimmed the tree and listened to Christmas music. On Tuesday, the tree fell over. But don’t worry, Shan re-trimmed it, and Oberon was unharmed. It turns out the tree with the crooked trunk is not the one to get. It was much more fun than it sounds.

Shan and I have been sneaking around hiding gifts from each other for the last couple weeks. That’s not easy to do in a 1-bedroom apartment either. We’re both like secret agents right now. We are also using Shannon’s advent calendar. It’s shaped like a house with little doors for each day, so we filled them with little gifts for each other. I give on even days, she on odd. The doors are about 1 inch square, so it’s been a challenge to find gifts of the appropriate size. So far we’ve seen lotto tickets, little pipe-cleaner worms, chap stick, and a Toy Story stamp pad.

We also took a Christmas photograph to make into a card for our friends and family, which turned out hilariously. Perhaps the photo will make an appearance later. For now, lets just say Oberon is wearing reindeer antlers.

We’ve got a full schedule for the holidays between our families, and we’re looking forward to heading over the hills and through the woods all weekend.

Do any of you have special Christmas traditions?

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

Throwing Rice
The throwing of rice on the couple symbolizes prosperity and good luck. Wheat and other grains are sometimes thrown in addition to rice, thereby also wishing prosperity and lack of want. Today, however, there are many variations on the throwing or rice including blowing bubbles, holding sparklers, etc.

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

Toasting comes from an ancient French custom of placing bread in the bottom of the glass. The person giving the toast would drain the drink to get the “toast.” According to legend, when a bride and groom drink their wedding toast, whoever finishes first will rule the family.

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