Friday, August 26, 2011

Seven Quick wedding planning updates: Three months to go edition

1. So, yeah. 3 months. 92 days. A whole lotta hours. (What? Just because I have a calculator on my computer doesn't mean I have to do the math for you.) Fortunately, I seem to have gotten out of the "abject panic" part of the planning, such that I feel like I can totally do this in three months and whatever I don't get done doesn't matter. Unfortunately, that also means Scott and I have basically spent the last week asking each other "Are we there yet?"

(Scott once coded me a page that prints that over and over until you hit a button saying "We're there!" It makes me laugh.)

2. No, I haven't got invitations anywhere near done. What was that? Those are important? Oh. Okay, then.

I did try to start printing them yesterday and got this (the RSVP card is the only part I won't have to censor for identifying information....):

It's a little crooked. What, you can't tell? You fail at OCD. (Hey, sometimes the stereotypes are true. I'm not a neat freak, though; just ask my mother.)

So we adjusted the adjustable thingies (to use the technical term) on the front of the printer and got this:

If you can't tell that that one is crooked, you fail the eye exam. Meanwhile, Mom wanted her computer back, so I stomped off to my room.

Mom suggested that I can wait until Labor Day weekend and have Dad (i.e. The Only Person More Neurotic Than I) feed them meticulously into the printer. Because if they don't come out straight nobody gets to come to my wedding. *sulk*

I'm really not a Bridezilla, promise. I just really really don't like crooked stuff.

3. While I'm posting pictures, meet The Shooz:

They're just $11 "ballet flats" from Wal-Mart (with quotation marks because they have hard soles; I'm not sure that's very ballety). I like them a lot, though.

4. I'm still working on getting the bridesmaid dresses all ordered. That is a long and convoluted story that I will tell you some other time.

5. Relatedly, a rant: Two different conversations have occurred recently (one I was a part of myself; one was between my mother and one of her friends and got related to me because my mother loves to talk) in which the non-me/related to me member of the conversation has learned that one of my bridesmaids is 12 and immediately started referring to her as a "junior bridesmaid." Did I miss some law of the universe that says girls under the age of, say, 16, HAVE to be junior bridesmaids? I always figured it was between me and her, and I decided that I didn't feel like singling her out just because she's a decade younger than everybody else. I call her a bridesmaid without any qualifying adjectives (except maybe "my") and I expect you to do the same, not assume you are so smart and trendy and know better than me what she should be called.

6. Mom and I met with Cake Lady (mentioned in my last update post) yesterday. I wasn't super impressed by her "shoebox of photos on the dining room table" setup*, but she delivers and it's impossible to mess up cake and Mom basically declared that we're using her. The end.

*My photographers work out of their living room. I don't have a problem with working from home. I just like people who work from home to be professional about it.

I did enjoy the meeting, though, because it got me thinking, "How hard is it to learn to decorate cakes?" You know, just in case I need a little at-home business to tide us over until I become a millionaire novelist. I don't really enjoy sewing (and I'm slower than molasses in January at it), so I couldn't do that, but cake is awesome. Cake is my favorite. (There is a possible snag in my plan...making cakes without eating them. Or letting my hypothetical children eat them.)

Log this away so in a little while you can ask me, "What ever happened to that harebrained scheme?" and I can say, "I got bored and dropped it."

7. This has absolutely nothing to do with my wedding but I'm tired and I need a seventh take: I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this afternoon. The fact that I read it cover-to-cover in less than 5 hours says something about what I thought of it.

I do understand why my 10- or 11-year-old self saw the Harry Potter books in the library and put them down unread. The premise still doesn't really grab me. Rowling's world just doesn't really grab me (I'm much more a medieval fantasy or sci-fi girl. Middle Earth, love. Malacandra, love. Hogwart's, meh.)

The characters, though. They grab me. One page of Mrs. Weasley and I wanted her to adopt me and take me home to live with her redheaded children. (If you assume the first book is set in the year it was published, 1997, I'm probably about as old as Ginny. We could be friends.)

The plot is awesome too. Rowling doesn't waste a scene. I was worried during the bit with the dragon but I carried on and sure enough, BAM. Major, crucial tie-in to main plot. Win for Rowling.

Okay, that was random. I'm done now. Visit Jen for more Quick Takes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Seven more wedding planning updates, because y'all seem to like these

1. The caterer is sorted out. Just need to set up some kind of reminder for myself to send her a final head count 3 weeks before.

Relatedly, we might actually be hiring a cake baker. I was figuring we'd just go to Kroger's (That's the proper Midwestern way, Kroger's. Never, ever Kroger.) and get a round cake or two and several dozen cupcakes, but Mom is not feeling enthusiastic about transporting all those baked goods around. So she talked to one of her mom friends (one of my friends from high school is getting married in October) and got the name of a lady the next village over who does cakes for only marginally more than Kroger's. She's free on my wedding day, and she is quite happy to deliver any and all baked goods straight to the reception hall. So we'll see where that goes.

2. Speaking of my friend who's getting married in October, she (or rather her mother) offered us the loan of a bunch of white tablecloths (actually made of CLOTH, not plastic) and fall-themed centerpieces. I am supposed to attend Friend's wedding and basically point to whatever I want.

I'm not sure how fall-themed centerpieces are going to go with pale blue bridesmaid dresses and whiteroseswithpinktips (my favorite flower, it's kind of a long story) bouquets, but I'm not one to turn down free stuff.

3. I'm panicking a little bit about bridesmaid dresses. I have talked styles with three of the four, and amazingly they all decided that the same dress was their favorite of the several I showed them. I have emailed the fourth bridesmaid (the 12-year-old one) a bunch of links in as unbiased a manner as possible to see if she randomly picks the same dress.

I've talked finances with all of them, or their mothers, as the case may be, so that's not the panic-inducing part. I'm more concerned because the current favorite dress apparently takes 9-10 weeks to ship (yes, I'm leaning toward buying online off the Mormons) and we currently have 14 weeks. So I reeeeeely need to get on that by the end of the month, which was my resolution back when I first got engaged. (Well, the resolution was that I wasn't going to worry about them until August, but I've decided that that implied I would have them all taken care of by the end of August.)

4. Scott and I took the FOCCUS. I think it went well. Scott convinced the lady who administered it to photocopy all the questions for us (that makes me feel very naughty, for some reason, having all those in our possession) and we had a blast discussing them. I'd say we'd discussed about 98% of what was on there, so a lot of the discussion was rehashing, but it was still fun.

We're meeting with the FOCCUS couple again in mid-September. We managed to finagle it so we're meeting the organist the same weekend.

After that, the only churchy thing we really have left is meeting with Father again. I emailed him a few days ago; he hasn't responded yet. He's not a big emailer. I plan on calling the rectory next week if I haven't heard from him. (Updated to add: Since I wrote the original draft, Father emailed me back suggesting a day. Not a time, so there will have to be a little more emailing back and forth, but at least now I know my emails aren't going to the spam filter or something.)

5. I got the block of rooms thing taken care of, and the making of my own dress was discussed with Mari. That takes care of everything I had mentioned needing to get done in my last update.

6. Oh, except for invitations. I have not done much address-collecting yet. I did decide that I was going to spare myself some suffering and just buy those printable invitations from Joann's rather than trying to make my own. I have a 50% off any one item coupon that's good for this weekend, so I figure I'll stop by the nearest Joann's on my way to crash at Scott's house tonight before we have to get up in time to make it to Pre-Cana in the Big City by 8:30 tomorrow.

7. Some things I need to do in the next two weeks: 1) Breathe. 2) Actually order bridesmaid dresses. 3) Buy and experiment with Joann's invitations. 3) Pester Father. (There were actually 2 #3's on this list. I'm leaving it that way so you can see how discombobulated I'm getting.) 4) RSVP to my friend's wedding. 5) Schedule engagement pics with my photographer. (I know, it's probably kind of late for that by the usual standards, but they're free with our package and I like the idea of pictures of us being happy together with pretty October leaves in the background.) 6) Sort out who's being an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and who's doing a reading and who's being an altar server and whatever other roles we need for the Mass. 7) Ask a bazillion people for their addresses. 8) Breathe.

Visit Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seven Quick Takes because my fiance asked why I hadn't posted yet today

1. My comfy chair broke. It is this big, slightly homely brown recliner/rocking chair thing and it was the most comfortable spot in the world and it BROKE. I am tragified.

2. My new favorite thing to eat is green apples with peanut butter. I'm off peanut butter sandwiches, though. Gross.

3. Teresa got all her kindergarten shots yesterday, and she was very put out about it. Then at 2 a.m. she woke up with a fever and a stomachache and we were all very put out about it. (Well, I think Andrea slept through it all, but Mom and Dad and I all got woken up.)

4. Tammy-cat has lately decided to pretend to be an outdoor cat. At least 3 times this week she's bolted outside the minute we open the garage or the porch door. Never the front door. We don't open the front door that much, actually. Usually the garage, but once this week Andrea was trying to open the patio door but leave its screen shut so we could get some air. The screen was open and Tammy made a bid for freedom.

The third time, she got smart to our chasing-her-back-inside ways and bolted for the neighbor's bushes instead of our bushes. Sadly for her, the neighbors actually trim their bushes so it was much easier to catch her. (I'm going to get in trouble for saying that, but it's true. We let our bushes run wild.)

Honestly, we wouldn't mind her escapades, since she generally stays in our yard, except the north side neighbors have a Golden Retriever (i.e. a fairly big dog) and the south side neighbors (the ones whose bushes she explored) have a German Shepherd (i.e. an even bigger dog). The Golden Retriever in particular is often left out in the yard with nothing but an electric fence to hold him back from chasing our fat cat. Tammy is pretty fast and does have all her claws, but I still don't much want her to have a run-in with a dog four or five times her size.

5. Speaking of food (I did it up in Take 2, did you forget?) Mom has lately been trying out new recipes almost every night. I am opposed to this in principle. What was wrong with eating the same 30 things every month?? I grudingly grant that some of the recipes have been good, but others have been "I can tell just by looking at it that this is a bad idea." Last night was one of those. But I made it anyway, because if you say, "No, I don't want to cook that dinner; my religion forbids participating in such terrible things," Mom says stuff like, "Okay, go clean all the hardwood while I cook dinner." So I made the dinner I had been instructed to make and then made myself an egg sandwich.

This will never happen when I am married. Scott, you are warned.

6. Speaking again of food, the other day, I mentioned to my mother that we hadn't had green beans in a while and we should have some for dinner. That afternoon, the lovely and brilliant Emily's mother brought over SACKS of food. A bag of green beans, half a dozen zucchini, a couple of squash that look like swans, and some weird lettucy stuff. Notice: A bag of homegrown, fresh-picked green beans, a few hours after I specifically mentioned having a hankering for green beans. So we had green beans that night.

7. I like the weather lately. Here in Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, it's gotten down to the 70's rather than 80's or 90's. Yes, I really do have nothing else to blog about, but there, I have a seventh quick take.

Go visit Jen for more.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven not so quick wedding planning updates

1. We have a hall that I kind of love. We only visited two; the first one I thought might work but my mom was very tepid on it. The second one we walked into and said, "This is it." (To ourselves, while checking out the bathrooms.) I coyly took a day or two to think about it and then went and signed the paperwork. While the contact person was explaining everything to me she kept looking up, apparently anxious. I think she expected me to be chatty or jumping up and down excited or something, not standing there nodding placidly and absorbing what she was telling me about drinks. I tend to be extremely quiet (and apparently rather forbidding-looking), even more so when I'm happy. I'm so busy being happy that I lose track of the body language thing.

2. We have a photographer that I also kind of love. We found them on Craigslist. That seems kind of odd, I'll admit, but they do high-quality work for the price of low-quality work. They're a husband-wife team; the husband is retired Air Force. I went down to meet them with Mom and she had a fun time talking about ex-military stuff and homeschooling and adoption. (They have two daughters about my age who were adopted from Romania, apparently.)

By the way, I'm not linking to any of these places and people because I do want to maintain a little geographic anonymity.

3. We pretty much have a caterer. I need to email the contact lady back today and get some final details settled.

4. Scott and I compiled a provisional guest list. It has a lot of people on it. They'd all fit in the venue and I can just afford to feed all of them, but I'm still a little overwhelmed by how quickly things add up when you're inviting big Catholic families left and right.

5. Of course, we have the church. It's a beautiful church, but you'll just have to imagine it. My pastor is also pretty awesome. We've met with him twice already. I kind of expected the meetings to be more like going to counseling (somewhat unpleasant but ultimately fruitful); they were more like hanging out with a friend. Maybe Father was carefully directing the conversation to find out more about us, I don't know. Maybe he was honestly having fun talking theology with a young couple.

6. Scott and I are taking the FOCCUS on Sunday. (I get to see him tonight, yay!) I've been too busy lately to be nervous about it. I will probably hyperventilate all morning Sunday. Anybody have funny FOCCUS stories to share?

Then we're doing a Pre-Cana day on August 20. I have very low expectations for that. Father told us that if we learn anything at Pre-Cana that's a bad sign. (Another reason to keep my geographical anonymity: My pastor won't get in trouble for saying stuff like that.)

7. Some things I still need to do: A) Call the parish organist and talk music. ("Can we pretty, pretty please not use the Gather hymnal?") B) Figure out if hotels around here do that reserve-a-block-of-rooms thing. (This is the boonies; sometimes we don't do that stuff.) C) Figure out my dress. Mari said she would (try to) make it, but then she got a full-time job at a tailor shop, so now I need to find out if she's going to have any sewing-things energy leftover from that. (If she says no, I need to experience a moment of abject panic and then order something from the Mormons.) D) Figure out bridesmaids dresses. Nobody's offered to make those, and I doubt I'd be able to get all my bridesmaids together for a shopping trip even if I liked most of the stuff commonly available. So we're probably ordering those off the internet. Maybe from the Mormons, maybe not. I've talked to two of the four about styles and price ranges. One of the remaining two is not-quite-12 years old, and therefore presumably has no income, so I need to talk to her mother and basically say, "Hey, do you mind dropping a not inconsiderable amount of money on a dress your daughter will probably only wear once, since she's 12 and 12-year-olds grow too fast to rewear fancy dresses? I promise that at least I won't dress her like a tramp." Yeah. Not looking forward to that conversation a ton. E) Get addresses from everyone on the guest list so I can hypothetically send them invitations at some point.

This is about where I curl up in a socially-anxious little ball of stress, and I have to remind myself that the important thing is that I'll end up married to the man who's perfect for me, and that's all that really matters. (Although, if I do end up mortally offending certain people and they hate me for the rest of my life, that could get a little awkward.)

Visit Jen for more Quick Takes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Holy Grail that isn't

Essential preface: I am overweight. Objectively. BMI charts are stupid, but there you have it just the same. I might even be bordering on obese. I don't know; I haven't weighed myself since last November. I got sick of having the number on the scale being constantly in the back of my mind, so I quit it cold turkey.

Anyway. This doesn't mean I in happy self-esteem land about the whole weight/eating thing. It's been back on my mind again lately because a couple different women who shall remain nameless have mentioned that they NEED to lose weight before my wedding.

The other day, Mari mentioned something about a particular style of clothing making her look fatter and how she was self-conscious about it, and I snapped at her a little bit. Mari is probably 60 pounds lighter than I am; she should never be self-conscious about the way her body looks, right? (She did point out that there is a difference between being self-conscious and having self-esteem issues, which I put here as a way of granting her point.)

That percolated in the back of my mind for a couple of days, until I happened to glance at another blog post by a blogger who is (in my humble opinion) incredibly thin, but who still doesn't totally like the way her body looks and is working out in order to get more toned. (I could probably recreate the random surfing that got me to that blog, but I won't because I'm lazy.)

Lying in bed trying to fall asleep that evening, I suddenly realized what I probably should have realized 7 years ago or so: Being thin is not the answer to my problems. Even if I lost 60 pounds (which would be a slightly bad idea; Mari is a few inches shorter than I am), I would not immediately look in the mirror and think, "Hey, I'm gorgeous." I would probably think that my skin is too oily and my hair is too frizzy and my nose is seriously huge in relation to the rest of my face (see, that last one would be worse if my face was thinner) and and and and.

I'm not saying that losing weight would be a bad idea. I could definitely stand to scoot my way back into "healthy" BMI land. (But not that ridiculous 20 BMI stuff. Nope. Not me and my German peasant hips.) I'm just saying that the only problem losing weight will solve is "being overweight." Not "having low self-esteem," not "being depressed," not "not having a pony." (What? I want a pony.)

How I solve those other problems I don't know, but at least I've eliminated one false solution.