Monthly archives of “July 2011

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Wedding : Immersion

Fullscreen capture 7292011 124556 AM 

This is how I feel almost every waking moment of the day.

 

I think it’s high time to admit that the wedding has taken over my life, as well as this blog.

 

At less than two months out, I don’t think that this is unreasonable.

 

But I’m still trying not to give in, I’m still trying to plan drink dates, and evenings on the town, and we are thisclose to buying tickets to see Bill Bailey two days before our wedding.

 

Denial?

 

Maybe.

 

On the blog front, I feel a bit like I’m drowning. There’s dozens of half-written posts floating around in my head… and in my drafts folder… in Evernote… on my phone… I’ve totally the lost the planned-a-week-in-advance editorial calendar I had grasped briefly somewhere around mid-June.

 

But on the other hand, the slight panic that has set in about how much there is to do and how little time to do it in has launched me into super get-it-done mode. 

 

Tasks are getting crammed into every waking moment that isn’t occupied with vital functions like eating, sleeping, showering, working, or daydreaming about our honeymoon (in the name of blog research).

 

I’m not sure what the point of saying this is, other than yea, that’s what I’ve got going on.

 

Hopefully this coming solid weekend of at-home productivity—after the last two weekends of reunions and day trips—will get me back on track with this here blogging thing. Get ready to hear lots more wedding (and a few other things) soon.

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Honeymoon Diaries : Novice Wife

I am very excited today for our second-ever Honeymoon Dairy by Novice Wife partly because she and her husband visited Tulum, Mexico (which is the very same part of the world Scott and I got engaged in), and partly because it is a very funny account of how the little snafus make the best memories.

So go read Novice Wife, talking beach bungalows, life without electricity, bribery, margaritas, and human sacrifice…

1 - Deck tub

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Wedding : Registry

As I type this, there are 3 large Crate & Barrel boxes sitting outside the front door that I have no freaking clue where I’m going to store in my house. (And ok, you will not believe this, but in time between when i started writing this and went to take a picture of what’s outside another random—huge—box showed up!

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You see, we registered.

1. other registry stories

Registering is a strange and painful thing, and I was heartened to know I wasn’t alone in thinking this. But that alone wasn’t exactly helping me get off my ass and register.

 

2. we need things

The irony is, we need shit. People always talk about how, oh we’re adults, we’ve lived together for years, we don’t need anything. Well, you know what, eff that. We do need things.

 

I’ve been living on my own for ten years this year. And Scott for twice that. Anything we have is at least that old. And it’s all breaking.

 

In this year alone we’ve lost a toaster, toaster oven, grill, the pans are blackened, the blender has exposed wires, the vacuum hardly sucks, you do not even want to see the bristles on my broom…

 

We need shit.

3. so i pick some sites to try

 

Thus registering was kind of a given—people expect it, we’d already put a freeze on buying new housewares…

 

So after some poking around the interwebs and polling Twitter, I did exactly what my dear friend Aimee did and set up registries on MyRegistry and HoneyFund.

 

As far as I could tell they were the only truly free sites that allowed you to 1) compile a registry from different sites, and 2) set up a honeymoon registry. And so far, they’ve worked out just fine.

 

4. but im not fast enough

So there I was, shuffling along on my registering plan, when my friends began repeatedly  informing me that I needed to put things on the registry.

 

And then when I did that, that there weren’t enough things. This is very difficult for a girl such as myself, who will happily comparison shop for a dustpan for 3 hours, to do in any kind of timely manner.

 

You see, my dear friends were planning a shower, that I was trying my hardest to be grateful for, difficult though this is when they first harped on me for the guest list (yes, one month in advance is enough notice when 98% of the invitees will already be in town for another even the day before), and then for a registry.

It was then, on a Friday morning at 10am that my lovely and hilarious boss got involved.

 

Completely unaware of all the crap I had already gotten over my half-assed registry, and of the stressful week I was having, she announced that she had seen the registry, there wasn’t enough on it, she didn’t want any excuses, I was to spend an hour that day adding to it.

 

So of course I burst into tears.

 

Because when people are nice to me I get embarrassed and cry.

 

(I am just slightly terrified of the shower and wedding in this respect.)

 

5. it all gets done eventually

 

Anyway, later that day, after I got over myself, champagne was uncorked and I was strong-armed into filling up a registry.

 

Eventually I later added the rest of the things on our do-not-buy-because-we-should-register-instead list, and created our HoneyFund. The HoneyFund was fun because I’m excited about our honeymoon, and embarrassing because now the world pretty much knows how much it’s costing.

6. and the gifts start pouring in

 

Not exactly. First I got to chuckle to myself for 3 weeks as the same people who were harping that I create a registry DIDN’T BUY ANYTHING.

 

(Let me assure you, I don’t really care. The way I see, if you buy me a gift, that’s awesome and I love you. If you don’t, that’s more room in my house, and that’s also awesome, and I love you. Gifst are why people go through all the insanity of buying a house before they get married.)

 

Which brings me back to the beginning.

 

I better go find somewhere to put the boxes.

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House : Kitchen Difficulties

This weekend my lovely girlfriends are throwing me a bridal shower. This required registering. That we’ll talk more about tomorrow. But first, why I didn’t feel ready to register.

To stock up a kitchen full of nice things, we should probably have a nice kitchen.

And right now? We have a very not-so-nice kitchen:

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These photos are about a year old now, and actually paint a fairly nice picture compared to its current state. Let’s just say we got ambitious and decided we should do an “interim fix up” of stripping the wallpaper and cabinets and repainting, and then we, uh, didn’t get past the “stripping” stage.

Last year when the bathroom was being remodeled and the electricity updated we started constructing a plan for the kitchen.

My lovely boss was so kind as to draw up our house, kitchen included:

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Unfortunately, her ideal kitchen plan would’ve involved some serious moving of the plumbing (think moving the kitchen sink, washer/dryer and adding a dishwasher), something that our home improvement grant didn’t cover.

But her plan did give me a great starting point for tackling the IKEA Kitchen Planner.

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After playing with many, many different versions, what I finally settled on was fairly similar to the original. The sink, stove and washer/dryer are in roughly the same places, but the fridge is freestanding (I hate covering the window, but it is really the only option that allowed us to keep the sink in the same spot and still have room for a washer/dryer).

It’s a solid plan, but unfortunately 2011 became the year of the wedding, not the year of the kitchen, as wedding planning (and budgeting) took over our lives before it could be executed.

Eventually, I hope it’ll look something like this…

kitchen

But first we have to:

1) Figure out what to do about our sinking slab floors and asbestos tile. Self-leveling concrete and some respirators, I think…

2) Decide whether to make do with the existing walls work or re-drywall the whole thing. Based on the state of the peeling ceiling, it’ll probably be option B.

3) Upgrade some of our appliances, as our current vintage sink and stove are far too large for the space. Fabulous, but impractical. And our washing machine is neither fabulous not practical, but it does work! Eventually, I’d also like to upgrade the fridge to a counter depth model that will block less light.

4) Save up & buy those IKEA cabinets.

5) Do all the work.

So it’s a long road until we have a place to proudly display a KitchenAid…

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Life after Wedding

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me in Mexico

 

As I was writing my Honeymoon Diaries post on “doing” vacations, I started to ponder why I’m that kind of “doing” crazy.

 

Not to justify my own insanity—and it is insanity, as I’m sure you read—but I think this comes out of wanting to squeeze every ounce of amazing out of every moment of traveling.

 

When I’m on a trip, I’m constantly afraid of missing out on something great, I always wanting to be doing, and seeing, and exploring and making the most out of every second.

 

Even if every second is spent at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

 

I want to incorporate more of this kind of passion into my daily life, and I think after the wedding is going to be an easy time to start.

 

There is so much I CANNOT WAIT to do come October—some of it productive, like get in touch with a couple of possible mentors and brainstorm and test some new career paths, and some of it is indulgent, like reading magazines again. (God, I miss magazines.)

 

And that’s also part of why I think this honeymoon is going to be perfect for us. One part doing, and one part stopping to enjoy the view (guilt-free) equals a happy life.

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Rings and Things

It’s another outline!

I have not had good luck with rings. And with that, let us begin…

1. Long hard road to deciding…

Buying a wedding ring was not a simple thing for me because my engagement ring was so fraught. It was my grandmother’s and I gave it to Scott to give to me and mass confusion ensued. I don’t know if it was the confusion, the fact that we neither of us bothered to get it sized, or that it just never felt like mine, but I’m not super in love with it. (In fact, after 2 years I’m sick of looking at it so I’ve just stopped wearing it. Not wearing an “engagement ring” does not make me less engaged.)

Because of all this I was very much looking forward to buying a wedding ring that I was excited to wear. I wanted something that coordinated with my engagement ring, in case I felt like wearing both, but really wanted something that would stand on its own, while still being comfortable.

Much, much googling later, enter “The Sparkler.”

2. Ok, that’s it, we’re done, right?

Once I made a decision it was a huge weight off. I vacillated slightly over my ring size, but had just been measured in December to resize my engagement ring, (which, as you shall see, thank god I didn’t go through with), so I knew either a 5 or 5.25 was a safe bet.

Scott’s ring search was slightly easier: black, preferably matte finish, plain, the end. A bit of google searching produced some options, we picked one and his $25 ring from Amazon was also on its way.

So on May 31, both rings were ordered with plenty of time until September.

3. Wrong, Or Why People Go to Jewelry Stores

Scott’s ring came first, and I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that it was too big, as we’d used a paper sizer downloaded off the internet and a different style man’s ring I found in my jewelry box to decide he was a 9ish. Which we rounded up. (You may be beginning to catch on—ring sizes shouldn’t be rounded up. Oh well, return the 9.5 and get a 9.

My beautiful ring came at the end of June, and as I sleepily (thank you Fedex for always managing to arrive just as I’ve gotten out of bed) took it out of its beautiful box and put it on, I sleepily realized it was much, much too big. I put it on my hand and shook gently. Uh oh.

And then, I put it back in the box and went to work and tried not to think about it.

I came home and showed it to Scott and he agreed—there was no way I could wear it. I frantically compared it to rings I already owned, and became convinced it was not a 5.25, but a 5.5.

Now at this point you may be asking yourselves what the big deal is and why can’t I just go get it sized. Allow me to remind you that I am the IDIOT WHO BOUGHT A CUSTOM MADE PAVE ETERNITY BAND WITHOUT BEING PROFESSIONALLY SIZED.

Let that be a lesson to all of you.

But on with the story. I got my hands on a ring sizing stick and determined that it was indeed a 5.5, but at this point I am wondering if a quarter size even matters.

I convo the wonderfully understanding Etsy seller, and she offers to remake the ring that millimeter smaller, but wonders the same thing.

Tail between my legs, I pop down to my local jeweler, throw Scott under the bus (can’t bring myself to admit to the tsk-tsk-y LI ladies that I’m the fuck up), and get sized again. They conclude: the ring is a 5.5, and I need a 4.5.

The mind boggles.

Even though I had the 4.5 sizing ring on my own hand, I can’t believe it. I allegedly had a 5.25 sizing ring on my hand in December and that fit too.

More Googling later, and absolutely nothing seems to support the possibility that my hand could be a full size larger in winter than in summer. Not my Reynaud’s disease, not nothing.

At this point, I ship the Sparkler back to Northern Ireland, paying $40 for USPS Global Express and having it sit in custom for a nerve-wracking 3 days past it’s “guaranteed” delivery time. Refund forthcoming, perhaps.

4. Rings Rounds 2 and 3

Being unable to trust my own hands, I decide to go find myself a cheapy sterling silver band in the same width as the Sparkler, and try out this alleged 4.5 thing.

$30 later, thanks again to Amazon, Scott and I both have rings [kinda] on their way to us. Again.

And….wait for it…when they show up, NEITHER FITS.

They did not send a 4.5, but a 5.5, and Scott’s is just still too big.

So, Round 3, I return those, and order a different band from Ebay this time, still $15, and it actually fucking fits. I’ve been wearing it for a week and it’s perfect.

(We still need to just order both an 8 and an 8.5 for Scott’s freaky wee fingers.)

5. What do I do now?

And now, dear readers, I am exhausted and have no idea where to go from here.

Do I?

Contact the lovely and patient Vintage Goldsmith about making me a 4.5? Even though I’m feeling more confident in my ring size, it’s still a little unnerving that it might not fit AGAIN (and that style-wise, I will never be able to get it sized.)

The only other ring(s) I’ve seen that’ve spoken to me in quite the same way are by this Etsy seller:

 
Honestly, if I had to start all over, I’d ask for something like this as an engagement/band set. It’s the only kind of engagement ring that I’ve seen that feels like ME. It’s a little different, a little blingy, a little nod to the vintage, while still being contemporary (I love estate pieces, but the swirls and filigrees are a bit much for everyday for me), and not over the top.

But right now? It’s not exactly in our budget. Womp womp.

And I don’t want to just get the band cause I don’t really like it on its own. (Cue the part where I remind myself that my love of the “Sparkler” was because it really stands on its own, while still being practical and comfortable.)

I could always keep my little sterling silver band and worry about getting this, or something else, later. But that sounds like the same kind of laziness that got me into this ring mess in the first place…

Help?

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Wedding : Save the Dates & Website

I actually outlined this post.That made me feel like I’m getting all official and shit.

That’s really not the case at all though. More like, in the spirit of Rachelle’s postathon, I’m trying to power through on topics that I’m glad to be moved on from, but want to share in the hope it’ll help someone in their planning.

In this same spirit of helpfulness (and humor), I’m leaving in my original outline:

1. First serious case of wedding envy

Yes, this. As we hit the 4-month mark, our procrastination relaxed attitude was starting to tick off our guests, who wanted more actual information regarding our wedding beyond the casual email I’d sent back in January with the date.

This led me to start seriously thinking about a website, and to start bugging my artist fiancé about a Save the Date. Said fiancé informed me that he needed to see what I liked, and what kind of look I was after for the whole shebang. (Apparently an entire tumblr was not helpful enough.)

Sigh.

Thanks honey, cause more work is exactly what I needed.

So I spent a couple of weekends immersed in wedding porn while trying to solidify the tone of the wedding. This is not good for the endocrine system. Hormonal bridezilla breakdowns ensued as I collected more and more images of professionally executed dreams.

2. the good and the bad: it’s all comparison

This hysteria culminated in my stalking googling my [aesthetically] favorite weddings to convince myself that their websites were crappy templates too and not life changing masterpieces. I was indeed correct about this, but was still finding it hard to get over the life changing masterpiece wedding websites out there. These, however, are generally executed by a professional designer in the family.

This we do not have.

3. forging our own path

So I got over my website issues and settled on finding something nice enough that fit our big old mansion in the woods filled with random ephemera and an overgrown garden theme.

I made some inspiration collages in Picasa to show Scott the kind of graphics I liked, along with the colors and decor ideas I was digging…
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Color Inspiration
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I’ll be the first to admit I did a crappy job archiving my saved inspiration photos. And yes, I do feel immensely guilty about this. If you see your little picture up here amongst the mess, and would like me to credit or remove it, please please comment or email. Thanks for understanding!

4. how to [not] manage your fiancé’s talents

At this point, Paperless Post was a given, because I couldn’t bear the thought of gathering addresses and mailing anything, and other electronic invite sites didn’t offer enough classiness (envelope liners!) or design flexibility for my tastes. Plus our 50ish emails were only $20.

Based on my favorite element on the inspiration board (the Thin Man lobby card), Scott came up with this:

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What ensued was an embarrassing several weeks of back and forthing where I micromanaged every filigree, despaired over how we were to coordinate it with my chosen website theme and eventually decided I wanted the whole thing to take a nature illustration/cabinet of curiosities twist.

And then?

5. saying fuck it and just getting it done

After a million different versions of the same thing, we pretty much came back to the original idea.

I decided to go with a WordPress site so we could take full advantage of our amazing engagement photos, and tied it in to the STD by using Paperless Post’s paper background as the site background.

In the end, they were cute, it was done, and everyone complimented them.

Sigh.

I sure love making things more complicated than they need to be.

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Wedding : Photography : <3

I had a much meatier post planned to kick off Rachelle’s NaWePWriWee Post-a-thon, but alas, life got the better of me and it’s getting pushed back to tomorrow. So, a little pretty for you today…

 

As if I haven’t gushed about our photographer Jimena Roquero enough, we got an adorable package from her in the mail with our hi-res images this weekend.

 

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So cute, right? And uncannily reminiscent of the invites we are working on right now…

 

Seriously, presentation is everything!

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Wedding : Weirdness

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In the past week I’ve learned just how EASY it would be to keep the whole truth and nothing but the truth out of one’s blog.

Last week was really fucking hard. My best friend decided she was suddenly moving across the country, all my other friends—and my boss!—were breathing down my neck for me to REGISTER already (more on that later), I had to work late every night, and oh yea, I had a complete breakdown over what-the-fuck-is-really-the-point-of-this-whole-marriage-thing.

But I had planned in advance (imagine that!) my little week of pretty photographs, and fashion, and more pretty photographs. I said I was going to do it, so by golly, I stuck to it, often crying into my laptop as I put last minute touches on posts. The sheer volume of irony involved in choosing my favorite happy, smiley, lovey engagement pics while telling Scott through gritted teeth that marriage is stupid was not lost on me.

I usually make a conscious effort not to talk about these things. Because people talk. Even (especially?) if they love you. And they’re not quick to forget. So in real life? I keep my mouth shut.

But as I thought about what to post this week, I realized that after everyone’s amazing and brave comments the other week, I couldn’t possibly not share what was really going on:

As I began to allude to last week, marriage is an incredibly foreign concept to me. (And a wedding even more so.)

If I think too long about it (like more than 30 seconds), it seriously makes my brain hurt in its attempt to wrap my head around it.

Mostly, it seems a ridiculously long-term commitment for a life that, as I’ve repeatedly witnessed firsthand, is really quite fleeting. Now I know that a lot of people who’ve experienced their share of illness and hardship and death are often more likely to reach out, to commit, to seek stability, but I am not those people.

Like people who are afraid of dogs because they didn’t grow up around them, so I am with marriage.

My parents weren’t married, my grandparents were for 50 years but with more than a few choice words that a young girl can internalize and in doing so choose to grow up never seeing a long term relationship, much less a marriage, in her future.

So when I met Scott, with his—bless him—romantic notions of marriage it was, err, interesting. Convincing me to be his girlfriend was a complicated process, moving in together only slightly less so (it was my house after all), but on a day-to-day level we were (and still are) fine. Better than fine, awesome, great, perfect.

Eventually, I decided that since marriage wasn’t that important to me, it was a gift I could give him. (See Ben Affleck in He’s Just Not that Into You.) Plus a wedding would be fun. (Hah!) And so I proposed.

And then things got complicated. Because THEN I started, for the first time in my life, actually THINKING about marriage. I thought, and I researched, and I read, and I found that it doesn’t have to be what the stereotypes make it, and that there are many amazing people out there redefining marriage and words like “husband” and “wife.” People who have lives that were beginning, not ending, after they got married.

And in my head and my heart all of this sounded totally awesome.

But my gut is still fighting to reconcile this newfound knowledge with the life story I wrote as a 13 year old girl, the one that involved high powered careers and torrid affairs, and uh, no marriage.

This has not been going so well, as more often than not, my gut is ordering me to run at the thought of “in sickness” (uhh, been there too many times), “for poorer” (yup, there too), and definitely, definitely, definitely, from “till death do us part.” It flinches every time we send an email or a check that keeps this wedding train rolling.

As we get closer, the stakes seem to get higher, and the panic a little more…terrifying. Some people may read this and think, “Well, she’s clearly not ready.” And who knows, maybe some years down the line, they’ll find themselves to be right. But right now? I find comfort in the fact that I may never be “ready” or “sure”, because I am not a “for sure” person, and I’m not alone in that.

The kind of person I am, however, is someone willing to take a leap even if it is scary, because I don’t want to live a “halfway” kind of life.

I fly, even though I hate flying, because I don’t want to be the kind of person who lets fear stop them from seeing the world. I will get married, even though I don’t understand it (and so fear it), because I don’t want to let fear stop me from experiencing one of the greatest bonds one can have with another human being.