Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Own Wedding Snark

Someone posted recently on a discussion board asking for non-cheesy bridal shower games.

Me (outloud, not actually typing reply): Uh, there are no non-cheesy shower games. It's how they work.
Carrie: Yeah, they're in the same category as "bridesmaid dresses you can wear again" and "favors people will actually use"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Announcement & Conundrum

So, to all my loyal, faithful blog readers, who have supported me through the years, I have an announcement to make. And I hope this change in the blog will not affect the journalist quality posts that you have come to expect from me over these past....13 posts. But I am pleased to announce that "Adventures of a Midwestern East Coast Liberal" now has a second blogger. Some of you may have met her. Her name is Carrie.

Yeah, I guess getting married means you share everything?

In sad news, if adding her as a blogger means she doesn't count as a blog reader anymore, then I think my readership may have just declined by about half. Oh well.

Also, this presents a bit of a problem for me/us. You see, the title of the blog is "Adventures of a Midwestern East Coast Liberal" what now? ...Two Midwestern East Coast Liberals? ...Some Midwestern East Coast Liberals? Keep the title and say who cares? Change it completely? Maybe something that reflects our outgoing, partying ways--like "Notes From Our Couch"? Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wedding-planning Perspective

There's way too much insanity involved in planning a wedding. Or at least in websites devoted to planning a wedding. It seems that for every sane person I encounter on, there are a hundred who are completely insane. (This seems to vary by board--the local Twin Cities board and DIY boards seem pretty chill overall, but don't even bother with Snarky Brides. Those women don't even know what "snark" means...hint, it's different from "b*tch"). If you have never encountered that website and have no idea what I'm talking about, count your blessings and move on.

And of course I've gotten sucked into reading several wedding style blogs, with their gorgeous pictures of designer dresses and outdoor receptions with twinkly lights and perfectly coordinated linens and thousands of dollars of flowers. Or the vintage weddings where the bride painstakingly scoured antique stores for the past 12 years to find the perfect vintage accessories that coordinate with the vintage dress she had altered to fit her size 0 self (not to mention the placecards that have 1940s typewriter buttons attached...not 1930s or 1950s models, mind you.) And then there's the DIY weddings, where the bride and her 15 closest friends started a sweatshop to assemble the world's largest collection of paper products, favors, centerpieces, name cards, table runners, vases, drinking straws, flip-flop baskets, and any other number of things that it wouldn't even occur to me to need for a wedding. And she happens to have friends/family who are professional bakers/florists/hairdressers/ministers/bartenders so the entire wedding costs $7.93. And kudos to all those brides for making it work. And I say "brides" because rarely is a second partner or groom mentioned other than in passing--certainly no second person had any substantial role in the planning of this event.

And yet I still occasionally go in spurts of thinking maybe it's not insane. Maybe I want the perfect flowers and the fancy invitations and perfectly-chosen favors and need the colors on the Save-the-Date postcard to exactly match the bridesmaids' dresses. And then I remember that the flowers only last a day, the invitations go on the fridge and then in the trash, the favors either get eaten or go in the trash, and no one is going to hold up that postcard to one of my sisters' dresses on our wedding day (because it too, will be in the trash by that point). And what everyone is going to remember from that day is the fun they had spending time with us and with other friends and family. And hopefully they will remember the love that Carrie and I share, which is, after all, the reason that this wedding is happening in the first place.

I think planning a wedding truly together has involved some unique challenges, but I wouldn't have it any other way--it's how Carrie and I do everything. Pretty much the only thing we haven't worked together on is picking bridal gowns--we're planning that to be a surprise for each other the day of the wedding. But having two people who care pretty equally about flowers, cake, readings, etc. means that a lot more collaboration and compromise are involved. And of course there are two mothers of the bride, so there's even more opinions on everything! But fortunately all four of our parents have been lovely and helpful and very supportive of us.

Anyway, I'm currently on a spurt of "we should spend how much on flowers?" and "can we just have M&Ms for favors?" but I'm sure I'll eventually swing back to the opposite end of the spectrum. But I hope that no matter what, I don't ever lose sight of why we're getting married in the first place because that's more important than any of the details!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catching Up

Well now that it has been exactly six months since I last posted...


Anyway, I don't make any promises to post daily, but I'll try to get back on averaging more than twice per year. :P

So, since my last post, there have been a few events in my life. In reverse chronological order, these events include:

Our 6th (dating) anniversary
Valentine's Day
My Birthday
Carrie's Birthday
St. Nicholas Day *
Veterans Day *

Okay, so I skipped a couple snow days, MLK Day, and Presidents Day. But you get the idea...

Those two starred dates are of particular importance, though they may seem a bit odd to most.

On Veterans Day (November 11), Carrie had the day off work; meanwhile, I had an awful day at work. I came home to find that Carrie had not only made dinner but also made a delicious-looking peanut butter pie. That was pretty much the best ending to a day that I could have asked for. But after dinner, Carrie gave me a book that she had made for me. (Backstory: for our first anniversary, I colored a children's book-style book for Carrie called "The Story of Us", which chronicled our meeting and adventures over the first year.) The book Carrie gave me was called "The Story of Us: Part 2". She had used photos of us to illustrate the important events in our relationship in the nearly 5 years that had passed since I wrote the first book. The book ended with "Carrie realized she needed to ask Becky a very important question..."at which point Carrie pulled out a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring and asked me to marry her. Of course I said yes!

This, of course, left me with the difficult task of trying to "propose" to her in a way that was still a surprise. It's a lot harder to plan a surprise when the other person is expecting it! This did not mean that I didn't have an idea for how to propose...I just had to figure out how to make it a surprise. A couple years ago, I had shown Carrie the pattern for Sheldon, a knit turtle, and she declared him to be the cutest knitted thing she'd ever seen. Over a year ago, I bought the yarn to make him and had been planning to use him in my proposal ever since. The catch? He was definitely the most difficult project I'd ever set out to knit...and despite having purchased the yarn long ago, I hadn't started yet. And of course I couldn't work on him at home (or during my week off at Thanksgiving w/ Carrie's family), because that doesn't do much for surprises.

I ordered Carrie's ring (which I had already picked out) and set off knitting like mad on my lunch breaks, on the bus, before Carrie got home, etc. The ring arrived at the beginning of December, and I finished my turtle on the evening of December 5, just in time for...

St. Nicholas Day!!! What magic--a gift-giving occasion built in right at the time I needed one. Thanks, random eastern Wisconsin tradition! :D (For any of you unfamiliar with the holiday, perhaps Wikipedia can help). So this year, on St. Nicholas Day, Carrie unwrapped her new turtle friend, sporting some nice bling.

Meet Sparkles
And since then, we've kept very busy planning our wedding and trying to keep up with everything else going on in life. But life is good, and I'm very excited for this next chapter in it!