Monday, November 1, 2010

Freezing my Palladium Off

I am crazy sick of freezing at work every day. I honestly don't know why I don't just get about 10 pairs of of footie pajamas in some nice conservative colors and some tasteful accessories and just wear them to work every day. More and more I fail to see the point of putting together anything that resembles an outfit only to wear my coat all day long. Seriously, I'm wearing a sweater, slippers, and a blanket and one of my coworkers has the window open. Gah.

In other news, we ended up ordering fiance's wedding band yesterday. CHECK! Yay! Sadly I'm almost as excited to just have it off the list as I am for the significance. It did make me kind of sad to be the practical couple watching this other couple that was just crazy giddy about the whole thing. Picking out her ring and then his. They were young, though. Is it youth that makes them giddy when we aren't or is this a bad sign?

He was pretty funny about the whole thing. First, we ruled out doing cobalt or tungsten or any of those. They can't be resized and as apologetic as he was about the increased cost for a resizeable metal, both of us want to be able to spend the entire marriage with the same rings we got married with. He wanted white gold because it's what my ring is made of but ultimately we opted for palladium because it is hypoallergenic and with his skin being kind of sad these days, it would suck for him to react to the white gold and to have to get a new ring.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Entire Face Hurts

My whole face hurts from a full day of making my squnch stress face. This is one of those days that I hate my fiance's job. I'm having a freakout and I can't even call him because he's flying. I literally haven't even felt like eating. Which, if you don't know me, is big news. I love grub.

Why am I having a freakout? Rewind to yesterday. I finally heard back from the photographer I'd been waiting to hear from and we were leaning towards choosing. Yay! Then, a friend and I went to a charity event that is a really cool party with both silent and live auctions. Swanky, fun, good cause, all around fantastic. I was excited to run into my planner there then froze and wanted to run like a spider that's been spotted when I saw that she was with her friend, the other finalist we are not choosing. Oh shhhhhiiiii. But my friend told me to deal, she wanted to meet my planner. So we made our way over. Thankfully the photographer went off to watch the live auction. I loved her shoes. And the fact that ten minutes later she came back and announced that she had just bid on and won a bachelorette party. She's way married. It was just so damn funny, I fell in love with her. Before when we met her, it was my first photographer interview (which I kind of suck at apparently) and I was all nervous. This time we'd both had a drink and were relaxed.

When I finally got home, I was once again undecided on this photographer business. Soon after crawling into bed, it became glaringly obvious that sleep was out of the question. So I pulled on my sweats and did what any logical person does at 12:30 at night: called my mom and drove to Jack in the Box. After sitting in the parking lot talking to her for an hour, (and she's one hour later than me...) I got a chicken sandwich meal and went home. Between the food and the time I was finally able to get to sleep at two - with no creepy dreams to speak of!

But I woke up with the same squnch face. I've had it all day. I'm ashamed to say it's seriously affecting my productivity. I've spent hours now that I'll need to make up later obsessively comparing their portfolios. Alllllmost deciding one way, getting squirrely and going back to zero. Why are seemingly simple decisions so difficult?

I think the bottom line is that I want her to take the pictures he does.

I'm nauseous.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm at another burn out point. After agonizing over photographers, we kind of chose one and emailed him two days ago. Now, I'm not one of those bat dung crazy ladies who thinks that he's been anxiously awaiting my email and has nothing better to do than to fire off a speedy response. I know he's got all sorts of work stuff to do nevermind having a life. Does that knowledge make me watch my inbox any less? Heck no. Does it make me any less disappointed when I see it go up one only to find that it is just more David's Bridal spam? No. And, total duh, I'm just now realizing that since I took so long to get into looking for photographers, then so long looking, then choosing, by the time they have time open for an engagement shoot, it's going to be completely hideous outside.

Oh. Whoops.

Maybe we'll have to go snowshoeing or something. But is that poser-y? I've only been snowshoeing once before. I don't even own shoes. I just used rentals. Maybe it's bad lighting for us super-pales, too.

In other news, I've accomplished notalot and I'm already so over cruising the web for cheap bridesmaid dress options and shoes and paper goods. Snore. Maybe I'll put my next dogsitting money towards just subsidizing Aria dresses ( or one of the other halfway decent bridesmaid lines. Really, I think that I would wear one of these again, too. Flats and a cardigan. Right? Or have I gone around the bend?

It just sounds so much easier. It's hard to first find things in the colors I want and then find them that are cheap and flattering to everyone. Especially since two of them are tall ladies and need a little extra length.

I guess I need to start getting up earlier and maybe doing some of this for an hour in the morning. By the time I get home from the gym at 7ish, make dinner, clean up, and shower, I'm ready to crash.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, the last photographer we talked to had awesome (for me) prices on his website when I initially contacted him. We're talking $2,250 for coverage, engagement, and album credit. I was really surprised that the pricing was so low when he was clearly worth more. Unfortunately, I waited too long for my great photographer search and was just in the process of raising his prices when I discovered and contacted him. Shoot.

We went ahead and scheduled a meeting. In the meeting we discussed doing a custom package and he was going to send us a quote yesterday. But it hasn't come and I'm dying to get this decided. Every time my little gmail unread count goes up by one, I get all excited. Only to find it's crap.

I hate having people's time and emotions wrapped up in things.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photographers - Again

I haven't the time nor the inclination to write much on this today but I need some sort of outlet. We had the final photographer interview last night. And he was amazing, too. Why, oh, why couldn't any of them been total clowns like the one planner I met with? Crossing her off the list and sending the "No thanks!" email was so easy! Especially after she got somewhat hostile about the rejection. I hate having to say, "Thanks for braving rush hour for us. Sorry about that parking ticket you got while meeting with us (true news). You're amazing and there's nothing you could have done any better or different. We're going to have to say no, though." Efff.

I almost just want to draw straws to have it over with. We kind of have it narrowed down to two and I like the one's pictures just a little better but he's more expensive and she's cheaper and Justin's having a hard time justifying the more expensive guy and she is good friends with our planner and, and, and...

And it will be better when I can sleep a night and when the stress hormones stop racing through my body. I'm sick of my cheeks being flush and chest feeling funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Houses and Finances

Engagement is a strange place financially. When we go out, we still split the check as often as one of us treats the other. Yesterday we got into a strange bit of a quibble over a new rug for what is currently his living room. The quibble started with who was paying for the rug (and the $1 mercury glass votive holders!) which dissolved into something that's been niggling at him for a while. I get to move into a house that he bought almost four years ago and has been making the payments on by himself (I still have an apartment...) and it becomes just as much mine as it is his. Which I can see why that bugs him. Especially since me maintaining a separate household has been a point of contention for a long time (family issues). And here's my issue: if we had house shopped together, this is certainly not the house I would have chosen. All of these other couples get to go buy a house together. I don't actually get any of the pride or excitement of 'becoming a homeowner' it just gradually sort of became mine. Also, while I don't pay directly towards the mortgage, I've bought the majority of the groceries for years now, cleaning supplies, done the cleaning, house sat every week when he's away for work - even when I totally didn't want to, mowed, done yard work... so yeah, while my financial contribution doesn't match his (nor do my earnings) it's not like I haven't contributed to the household.

Really, financially, I just bring about $45,000 in student loans and just enough in savings to pay for the majority of the wedding. But there's not a lot that I can do about that at this point. While I would love to take on an extra job, even I'm not nuts enough to try to take on a part time job in addition to my full time (that includes some business travel) while trying to plan a wedding and get in shape.

Wedding Websites

I finally buckled down and created our wedding website last night. It was the douchiest I've felt in a long time. But I did do it while Justin got to watch the race he had recorded. NASCAR.

I went with I would have preferred Nearlyweds because it's local or Wedding Window because you can password protect the entire site (so I would feel safer putting things like our permanent address on there. Doesn't anyone else get freaked out that your address is available to anyone who looks up your registry? Which are always really easy to find...) but is free. And I'm not about to shell out $100 for a dippy wedding website.

Now I caved and made one even though they're kind of dippy because I love the Tour Guide Barbie aspect of it. Want gyros? It's Greek to Me! Want a huge selection of beers? The Ale House! Hotels? Hotel Murano made a bunch of hot s*** Conde Nast and whatnot lists but The Silver Cloud is right on the water! That part, I love. Both for helping to support the businesses I love and for introducing the people I love to these places.

But writing the how we met story and crap? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. How do I put it nicely that first I went on a few dates with a nearly 40 year old. When things didn't quite work out between us (I'm a little too prudy for him), he set me up with his friend at a party. His friend, Josh* and I had a super drunken makeout, passed out together, and that was about it. Josh and I talked on the phone some but he's kind of a dbag. Then, I ran into Josh and Kevin at a bar and I was intoxicated enough to be excited to see him (it was more the novelty of I had met him hundreds of miles away and had never run into him around here). So I made my way over and said hi and met his friend. Then we went to another bar. All night, Kevin thought that I was into Josh so while he liked me, he instead started dating another girl he met that night, Shannon.

Months later, while he was dating Shannon, Kevin and I ran into each other. In my surprise at him remembering me, he felt like I blew him off. Months later still, just after he had broken up with Shannon and was looking forward to some time as a single man, he and I ran into each other again. This time I insisted he take my number and the rest is history. Ooey-gooey history.

It's like everyone else's stories are these "We met and it was magic!" I don't know if a lot of those are just plain BS or if ours is weird because when we got together, neither one of us was expecting it to work out. We thought it was a fun temporary thing. I even kind of balked when he said he wanted to be exclusive. And about five months after we started dating, he dumped me twice in one week.

But he is mine and I am his. Like puzzle pieces you didn't think would fit together and when you give it a try, it just snaps into place and is this comfortable pair.

*Names have been changed to protect the totally guilty. And, in my defense, that was a long time ago and compared to a lot of other college kids, I was pretty tame and together...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I am stressed but relieved to say that in eight days we will have a photographer chosen and a contract sent in.

Although the goal we set was to have a photographer booked by October 1st, not surprisingly, it isn't done yet and sadly, I dilly-dallied around until some of the photographers I was interested in were booked. Even though I already have five interviews lined up, I was shockingly devastated when I finally heard back from one photographer that I had gotten prices from initially over a month ago and only got back to them after I had A) obsessively researched over 250 photographers and B) given up on our original budget goal.

FYI, $2,000 doesn't really buy you shit for photography in the Seattle area.

I blew it.

For some reason I hadn't realized how emotionally fraught photographer shopping was going to be. Just because I hadn't thought about it. I started by finding the names of every area photographer I could. Alphabetizing and plugging them all into a spreadsheet. I was certain that if I just invested enough time, I would come across the perfect undiscovered talent. S/He would be an amazing photographer who just needed to build some more portfolio before charging their true worth. It would be a win-win. We would get affordable photography and in turn sing this person's praises from the rooftops. So would the planner. Life would be beautiful.

You'll be surprised to know that no, I don't do any illicit drugs...

I doggedly visited each and every website, finding out first, if we could afford them and if not using the rule of don't even look because you'll fall in love and be heartbroken. Those who didn't have pricing listed, I looked at and if I liked them, I contacted them to ask about pricing. Many have contact forms on their website that ask some getting to know you type questions. One asked how important photography is to us. I struggled with answering the question and my sleep-deprived (I was staying up until 3-4 some nights working on this) mind decided to try to joke with one particular photographer. I joked that it was important enough to me to research 250 photographers. She snapped back telling me that she's usually in the top one or two photographers for people, not one in a list of 250. Best of luck (read: eff off).

I'm not assigning blame to either party. We both could have done differently. But that email was the last straw and I dissolved into a hyperventilation-style sobbing mess.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We Just May Have a Venue

So it was semi-finalized a couple weeks ago - but that was while I was driving out to the coast to my friend's wedding and just a couple days before leaving for Thailand. We're doing it at the zoo. Which I initially wrote off because it seemed easily tacky and childish. But... the wedding planner encouraged us to go see it and we were running out of options. It actually has real potential. I think if we just keep the rest of the class factor high, we're good. Their events coordinator seems really nice and like she really has it together, the money goes to support the zoo - the zoo that is right by our house and we will take our kids too, and it's in a park that we've visited often throughout our courtship. Duh. It's perfect.

I just woke up the next morning with a completely renewed energy. Hooray! There's still a lot of work ahead and, I'm certain, more times where my champagne tastes and frat beer budget will clash but for now, I'm happy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's always funny how people who don't even know you feel compelled to chime in on incredibly personal matters with their own two cents.

This week it was a complete stranger telling me not to get married. Even better, he wasn't even saying to just be single. Just stick with the same person but don't get married. For yeaaarrrsss. But I pointed out that if you're with someone for that long, even though there is no legal technicality to go through (and no laws to actually help you out), your lives are intertwined and separating the two is going to be a big damn deal. Even after Justin and I hadn't been together for more than two years, it once occurred to me how hard it would be to go our separate ways. And I'm not just talking about emotionally - I'm talking about my bike in his shed and my groceries in the cabinets and my bathroom drawers and all of my kitchen goods since they kept migrating to his house as I needed things. We don't even live together. So this guy thinks that just not formalizing the commitment is the way to go to make this all easy. Thanks for the advice dude. Here's my advice to you: do a better job of choosing and if you're going to make a commitment, make a commitment. I don't know what happened in his past but... I'm kind of thinking that he played a role in the downfall.

The question of whether or not I've chosen the right one is something I do think about. Because I take this really seriously. We're talking the rest of our lives and I think that is serious. I love Kevin. I can't imagine being with anyone else. While he drives me absolutely insane sometimes with his undending fretting, he also does things that make me smile from ear to ear while tears of happiness sting my eyes. He's my partner. We respectfully make decisions together. We thoroughly enjoy each other's company but we respect that we each need time to do our own things.

I think what worries me is that I'm not all gooey. But I think that I'm just not a super gooey person.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm optimistic!

So today, things are looking good. I have a lot of stress (as in I can feel the adrenaline) about the next week and a half. Finishing getting ready for Sam and Chuck's wedding and Sam's bachelorette party, getting packed up and organized, hopefully, oh so hopefully nailing down a venue and a wedding date, and oh, yeeaaaahhhh work like whoa for the job that actually pays me money. If I'm going to be gone for two weeks during a busy time, I've gotta get well ahead of the game. And I was already behind. Crap.

But in venue news, we have a date to look at a place on Saturday (the timing of which means that I'm going to miss my class at the gym but that's the way it goes) and the planner brought up the notion of using the zoo. Which I think I had sort of written off as kind of over the top but it supports the zoo, and it's also a venue in Point Defiance Park, where we have a lot of history. It's close to the house, we've biked there, ran there, kayaked there, picnicked there, and are zoo members. So I'm trying to set up a date to go look at that soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Perspective

This may be short-lived but at the moment, I'm feeling somewhat optimistic. Once we come back from Asia, I'm gonna own this wedding.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rough Week

I can't really put my finger on why but I'm having a lame week. I just feel... blah. As in it actually crossed my mind to smack the next person who exclaimed, "Enjoy the sunshine!" Over the weekend we spent some time with Kevin's brother and sister-in-law and got grilled on wedding details something with a light "I haven't been told anything!" guilt trip. Well, lady, that's because there's nothing nice to say. Just headaches and swearwords.

Couple that with the fact that the planner's last facebook post is a pre-congratulations to one of her other brides exclaiming that their locale "has NEVER seen a wedding like this before... :)" And one of the guys at the office is talking about all of the cool fancy tricks that his future daughter-in-law has up her sleeve for her wedding.

Yeah, I got nothing. No fabulous theme. No date. No venue. No dress.

I think the worst part is that I feel like I'm wasting this supposedly really fun time just being frustrated with it and then avoiding the whole damn thing. I'm afraid I'm missing out on wedding planning.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wedding Tears

Oh, what fun wedding planning is. Yesterday I had to leave work and drive to Safeway so I could cry can talk to Kevin.

Kevin and I have been engaged for, oh, eight months now and people are asking about the blessed event. Like perhaps a date. Which they'll all ask you about first thing after you're engaged. I'm talking 15 minutes after when you're still in shock saying, "I thought my hair would be clean! I thought I would be wearing something pretty!" They'll bust in with the "Have you set a date?" It's just bizarre.

But eight months later, it's a legitimate question. And no, we don't have a date. We figured we would let the venue we found sort of dictate the date since there isn't a particular date we really have to have. And no, we don't have a venue.

I have spent the last eight months on researching greater Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area venues - I have a spreadsheet of 135... and I have found nothing that matches on all points. Frustrated, I hired a planner in April (after a tearful outburst of "I'm going to need a planner and Botox!"). Since then, there have been a few places that really got my hopes up... and then crushed them. Apparently the, to me, seemingly extravagant budget we have of $15,000 is sort of crazy for the area. Once the wedding planner broke the budget down, I saw how far off of what vendors typically charge we are. Oh s#*$.

So we went to an open house at The Loft in Bothell and fell in love. The food was delicious. The space would easily dress up. The rental for the space was cheap! Yes! Yes! Yes! Then the food quote came in. Cue screeching record.

Court in the Square? Yes, I hear the guy can be rather difficult to work with but with a planner to keep on top of contracts and everything we should be good. They have a parking garage available. The space is beautiful and they promise big enough. But the food is 'okay'.

Golden Gardens Bathhouse? I am in l-o-v-e love. It's got charm, and trees, and water, and sand, and meadow, and the price is right. Their website says it fits 150. That will easily hold our 130! But does it really? No.

That was the one that kicked off the waterworks yesterday. I got word from the planner that the biggest she had ever done there was 120 and that that was pushing it. Not to mention space for dueling pianos and a dance floor. I forwarded the email to Kevin adding, "I quit." I was really thisclose to saying, "You. Me. Dress. Suit. Flowers. Vegas. Next weekend?" I am so over it. Completely. Yeah, everyone expects wedding planning to be busy and a bit stressful but they also make it out like it's this otherwise just blissed out time.

Wrong. At the same time that $15,000 isn't much in wedding speak, I often question how wise it is to drop $15,000 on one event. But then I think about the people I want at my wedding and who I will miss out on having there if we elope. It makes my head swirl. So I go back to wanting a 'real wedding' - both of my sisters had piss-poor weddings that said a lot about their piss-poor decision making that led them to be marrying piss-poor grooms. They're both divorced.

I just want to have a great party with great entertainment, great food, some amount of style, lots of love and laughs with all of the people I love and care about. Really, it's a way to honor a lot of the people who have helped me along the way and especially through the rough times. So I guess is that worth $15,000 to me? Yes.

I just don't want to spend that kind of coin on a party that ends up being sucktastic.