Archive for the ‘Doodads’ Category

Over the weekend, I made a map to accompany our invitations (which are SO cool by the way – I’ll show you when they’re done). I wasn’t sure how to go about it, but I found this tutorial incredibly helpful. Basically I pasted an image from Google Maps into PowerPoint, then drew over it, added pertinent information, and deleted the map image.

This image is kind of lame with all the block-outs. But because this is happening at my dad’s house, I didn’t want to give away too much information in this public forum. It looks much better when there are words instead of big grey blocks, trust me.

I printed them four to a page so they’re about the size of a postcard. I just used plain white printer paper – people don’t need their map on fancy paper! Everyone figured out how to get to our Family Meet & Greet with nothing but an address, so I’m not too worried about the wedding. But because my dad’s house is kind of in the middle of nowhere, we thought a map would help.

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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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The recent vote in Maine reminds me how far we have to go in marriage equality. I don’t get it, I really don’t. I don’t think a gay marriage would cheapen my own marriage in any way, and I think that justification is malarkey, quite frankly. It doesn’t compute, it’s not logical, and it’s downright mean.

Mike and I want to do something to show our support of marriage equality in our own wedding somehow. But how? We thought about making donations to an appropriate organization in our guests’ names as favors, but with the very tiny portion of our budget dedicated to favors, this is impossible.

We considered putting a note in our programs, but we’re not having programs, so that doesn’t work. We talked about working it into the ceremony, maybe having our officiant mention it somehow, but we don’t know how to do this unawkwardly (why is that not a word?). Also, we don’t want to be preachy. I hate when weddings conducted by religious officials (which ours will not be) turn into preachy sermons.

All of our wedding guests are pretty decided in regards to their beliefs on gay marriage, so I’m not trying to use our wedding as a platform for conversion. Rather, I just want to acknowledge our support of marriage equality and somehow demonstrate that we know how fortunate we are to have been born with sexual preferences that allow us this right that is denied so many others. In our personal lives we will continue to support the fight, but we know nobody’s going to change their mind at our wedding, so that’s not the goal.

Do you have any suggestions? I’ve been searching for good ideas and nothing seems quite right. Did you do something like this at your wedding? Would you?

Give us your ideas. Please!

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What do you remember most about a wedding? The dress, the flowers, the food, the toasts?

The Etsy Wedding Team says its the bride’s dress, followed by the flowers. And as  much as I love that site, I gotta say, for real yo?

If I’m being honest, I NEVER remember the dress. Ever. In answer to the question “What was her dress like?” I usually answer, “Um, white. Shiny? The usual.” I know brides often spend days and weeks and months hunting for the perfect dress, but in the end, they all look the same to me. Which is probably part of the reason I chose something a little different.

As for flowers, I couldn’t tell you what kind of flowers were at any of the weddings I went to this year. I couldn’t even try to describe them to you because I have no recollection of the flowers whatsoever. Which is probably why we’re not doing flowers at our wedding. We haven’t made any decisions about decorations, so maybe some flora will sneak its way in, but I don’t even think we’re doing bouquets or boutonnieres.

What I do usually remember are the things that happen. The funny or sentimental toasts, the spirited dancing, the bridesmaid tripping down the aisle. For me it’s not all those little details of the day that stick in my head; it’s the events, the often unpredictable happenings, that make it special.

What’s your favorite part of a wedding? What do you usually remember most?

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Have you heard of mint.com? Trying to save for a wedding has really opened my eyes to my money situation. I’ve managed to skate by every month, but sometimes barely, so trying to save a certain amount of money in a set amount of time has posed a major challenge, and it was a big wake up call.

For a long time Mike has been suggesting we set a budget, or at least get a better idea of where our money goes. I’m pretty frugal, but I’m not good at sticking to a budget. Life is too messy and unpredictable for that. But it did make sense to get a better idea of how I spend my money.

Enter my friend Robin (of recent weddinghood), who told me about mint.com. It connects to all your loans, accounts, credit cards, etc. and keeps track of your spending, your savings and your financial goals.

When you get started, you tell mint where your stuff is (accounts, loans, all that), it connects to that site, asks for your login/account info, and pulls in all your information. Once all your stuff is gathered, you can set up a budget and financial goals.

Then there’s all kinds of fun graphs and charts and stuff that help you visual your spending. So when you charge $10 at McDonald’s, mint.com recognizes that you just spent $10 in the “Fast Food” category. And you can change the categories as needed. If you spend $50 at Target, mint might categorize that under “Personal Care” but you know you actually bought a gift for a friend’s wedding shower, so you change it to “Gifts” next time you log in.

You can also set goals. Like, say, for instance you want to save $2,000 for a wedding by June. Tell mint and it’ll help you figure out how and keep track of how well you’re doing. I haven’t figured out if you can merge two accounts though. Since Mike and I are saving for the wedding together, it’d be nice to look at all of our accounts and savings as a whole. Anyone know if it’s possible?

If you want a better picture of your financial situation, you should check it out. It’s all free, the website is easy to use and pretty to look at, and I think it’s pretty safe and secure.

[We aren’t getting paid in any way to promote this site, I just thought it might be useful to others.]

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Wedding planner

So far our wedding planning has mostly consisted of several Google Docs. Right now we have Docs called:

  • Wedding/Reception Guests – it’s a work in progress
  • Wedding Budget – our 2,000 dollars in line-item form
  • Wedding Ideas – just a smattering of random thoughts and maybes
  • Invitation Wording – I’m working on something fun

And I’m sure that’s only the beginning. I like working that way though because everything is online and easily accessible, and Mike and I share all the Docs. We never really planned on buying an actual wedding planner, but my friend Robin had one that she got for free and never used (she gets married on Oct. 3!), so she gave it to us.

Not the cutest thing ever (always with the hearts and flowers wedding industry!), but that doesn’t matter. Because FREE! It’ll be nice to have something to keep notes and ideas in, all in one place. It’s mostly blank pages separated by tabs labeled Guests, Ceremony, Reception, etc.

So there’s not like forms to fill out or questions to answer, just blank pages to fill with whatever. Mike and I are both very organized and listy type people, so I hope the wedding planning is cake for us. Speaking of cake… nah, save that for another time. I think the combination of the Docs and the planner will work out well. Thanks Robin!

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Ring around the canyon

Cheesy, we know, but we did it anyway.

Dang my ring looks huge here. I don’t think it seems so giant in real life, which for me is good. Also Mike’s ring looks huge ON him, but that’s because he has to get it over his giant manly knuckles.

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Months at a time

My name is Shannon. His name is Mike.

We learned of each others’ existence only nine months ago. We met in person only eight months ago. We moved in together three months ago. We started planning our wedding one month ago.

And ten months from now, we plan to be married.

Follow along for the story of how that happens. Oh, and also to hear about other Shan & Mike shenanigans, too.

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