We’ve survived six weeks!

Yay! We’ve been married for six weeks! Being married is very weird, but it’s also kinda nice. 🙂 Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:

  • It was a great idea to get a two-bedroom apartment. I thought I was introverted; for every half hour of alone time I need, Fernando needs an hour. He just goes and hides in the office until he’s ready to talk to me.
  • We are not good at sharing covers. After a few rough and chilly nights, I started bringing my own blankets.
  • The man snores like a tractor.
  • I really like being married to someone that loves to drive. He’s like my own personal chauffeur! I just have to get myself to work and back and he takes care of the rest.
  • He can’t read my mind.
  • We watch a lot of TV. That’s probably partly due to the fact that he’s an IT guy and has all kinds of contraptions to make TV even better. We can stream stuff from our tablets or phones to the TV- no cable needed! Yay!
  • We’re both equally messy. I have piles of craft supplies and he has piles of computer supplies!
  • I think he likes the fact that I cross-stitch more than I do. The list of things he wants me to stitch is quite long.
  • He’s pretty fun. 🙂
  • I much prefer being married to being engaged.

 

 

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Mischief Managed.

Well, friends, it’s true! We up and got ourselves hitched! I’ve had a lot of questions about it all- some wondering whether our parents were present (mine were; his weren’t because they live in Texas and Spain) and others wondering whether it was legal (it was). I figured I’d throw together a little post for those of you dying for the deets.

Both the job I have now and the one I left earlier this year involve a lot of event planning. Some events require minimal effort and some involve 1552+ people. I quickly realized that while I can manage event planning as a day job, I absolutely didn’t want to orchestrate a major event for what’s supposedly the biggest day of my life (that last point will have to be discussed in a future blog post someday).

We got engaged in July and spent a few weeks discussing potential ideas for locations and guest lists. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we wanted a small wedding. Neither Fernando nor I enjoy being in large groups of people, and I definitely don’t enjoy public speaking, even if it’s a declaration of intent to spend the rest of my life with someone. That’s an incredibly private matter to me, and as much as I adore my friends and family, I’ve been to quite a few weddings, and in most weddings, I barely even get two seconds to wish the bride and groom my best wishes before they’re rushed off to take care of something or pulled away by another guest. We both admitted that we’d rather save the money we’d spend on a lavish wedding day and use it to go on a sweet trip or buy some really awesome beer. Or even put it toward Fernando’s dream of someday owning a Ferrari.

We threw out a couple of ideas, but none seemed quite right. One day while on Google Hangouts with a friend, she jokingly mentioned that we should get married at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, a place that holds a special place in our hearts because, as I like to say, it’s one of the few places on Earth where I feel like the normal one.

We called (ok, confession: I had that friend call because I hate calling people) and found out that they had a few openings in their Secret Garden, which could hold up to 12 guests. Because the Ren Fest only operates seven weekends out of the year, we had to make a choice: get married in a matter of weeks or wait a year. We knew we didn’t want to wait.

We settled on September 21st in honor of my darling Grandma Bonnie’s birthday. She passed away five years ago, and I miss her so very much. She was the best grandma in the world, and I know she would have loved Fernando. Especially his funny accent that cracks me up, like when he says “Burnsbill” instead of “Burnsville” or when he goes to “put fuel on the car,” which inevitably makes me picture the gasoline fight in Zoolander.

I immediately bought a dress on Modcloth in my favorite shade of blue. I’ve already worn my wedding dress three times in the almost three weeks we’ve been married, and I couldn’t be happier with my practical choice. I knew I wouldn’t want a traditional dress because I don’t like to store things that serve no purpose. And because the shade of blue was just perfect to be a Ravenclaw blue, my Harry Potter senses started tingling and it all spiraled from there.

My mom knit me a nice gold shawl to fit in with the Ravenclaw theme. I found Harry Potter-esque jewelry and wedding rings on Etsy and had them rushed to me. I bought a pair of brown shoes at Goodwill for $4.99 because the Ren Fest is muddy and dusty and I didn’t want to ruin a good pair. I didn’t wear makeup to our wedding because I don’t wear makeup. I did, however, douse my hair with a good dose of hairspray because apparently I equate helmet hair with being fancy.

I emailed a college friend and asked if she happened to have a last-minute opening to take some no-nonsense, no-jumping photos for me. Photography is her hobby- and she’s awesome at it!

My beautiful best friend made me a bouquet, a veil, Fernando’s boutonniere AND she even offered to officiate the ceremony. She wasn’t ordained, but thanks to a rush order of the somewhat puzzling Universal Life Church, she is now!

I threw together the ten-minute ceremony, complete with a reading by my delightful mom and vows that included the phrase “I accept the terms and conditions.”

The ceremony went off without a hitch and then we attended our favorite Danger Committee show. And that was that!

I guess, to sum up, we’re married now and it’s awesome. The biggest things that will change are that we now live together in a marvelous place with plenty of space for my crafts and Harry Potter paraphernalia and Fernando’s computers, and we now wear these rings that remind the world that we’re stuck together, even though I call it ‘pop’ and he erroneously calls it ‘soda.’ Some things will never change.

Couple 3

For. Ev. Er.

The word ‘forever’ has been flashing through my mind a lot lately. 

When friends that I haven’t seen in years randomly text me and say, “Hey, I’m down the road and haven’t seen you in forever. Can I stop by?” 

When work projects are seemingly impossible, like manually entering over 1,000 records into my new orientation course online. I think, “Holy crap, this is going to take forever.”  

When Fernando puts up with my hypochondria. I’ve had a headache for four days now, and it’s been a very strange one, unlike any that I’ve ever experienced. This is probably due to the high stress levels in my job and in other areas of my life, but of course in my mind, it must be a brain-eating amoeba or meningitis (I should probably be banned from WebMD). Nevertheless, Fernando has promised to stick by my side. And not just forever, but for.ev.er. (Yes, the distinction is very important. At least to us. You might get it if you’ve seen The Sandlot.) I’ve put him through a lot already- I’m quite a handful! Let’s talk about the time we went to Red Lobster and, while talking about my dad’s recently-developed shellfish allergy, I made Fernando text me a promise, “I will take you to the hospital if you have an allergic reaction at Red Lobster and will continue to like you.” See? Now it’s locked in my phone for.ev.er. Muahahaha. Always get it in writing. Errr, text?

I don’t think this post really has a point, or even anything good to tie it together. Just something I felt like throwing out there! Maybe I just needed to write out my thoughts of ‘forever’ to let them sink in a little, because, really, forever is a loooooooooong time!

 

Today was nice.

Today was a nice day. I’ve been stressed (what a surprise!) about work for a few weeks, particularly because much of my work was undone by our tech team. Yesterday, it was restored just in time for a big presentation I had to give to a very intense, intimidating department. 

Thankfully, the presentation went well! Really well, for that matter. I did a decent job of containing my nerves (not always easy), cracked a few jokes, and received rave reviews. As in, there was actual cheering. 

It’s exciting to feel validated for my work. Even though my job is so stressful, moments like these make me feel like I made the right decision with this change and that I’m on the right path.

I also had time to see a dear friend tonight, and we reminisced about our life journeys and the roads we’ve taken to get where we are now. She was a marching band girl that had hot dogs thrown at her while in band uniform. She performed in a jazz choir before glee club was cool. Me? I was a marching band groupie. I wasn’t even in the band- I was a groupie. I was a mathlete- and not just a mathlete, I was the team’s cheerleader!

We’ve both taken such strange and sometimes painful paths, but we’re both so happy to be where we are. Unlike some of our high school (and college) acquaintances that peaked a little too early, we just keep getting better (well, in our own opinions) and more awesome.

Image It was just what I needed today.

Not for me, thank you!

Friends, I’ve had it.

I’ve officially crossed the line into dark territory.

I do not like being engaged.

Let me be clear: I absolutely am thrilled and ecstatic to be marrying Fernando. Oh, words cannot describe how that makes me feel. A bit like this.

But this? This constant everyone-and-their-sister giving me advice? Acquaintances from high school telling me they’ll be expecting an invitation? Friends telling me that I need to make decisions now because we’ve been engaged for a few weeks? None for me, thank you.

I don’t like this at all. No. From complete strangers to people at my new job that I barely even know, everyone is giving me advice. I don’t want it. Any of it. These people barely know me, and yet they judge me. And the funniest thing of all? We haven’t even made plans yet! And they’re judging THAT!

I’ve already gotten in arguments with some of my favorite people over this stuff, and I have had it. It’s heartbreaking that such a significant change in my life is causing so much drama. I’m about to ban all wedding conversation in person, via email, via Facebook, via text, via ANYTHING until it is over and done.

I do not like being the center of attention, and these people that barely know me (let alone Fernando) don’t seem to understand that I’m not interested in having 500 of my “closest” friends over for a party. I don’t give a flying fart in space about centerpieces, and I sure as heck do NOT plan to have a first dance. Also? If I haven’t talked to you since we were 14, why do you keep asking me when to expect your invitation? And Facebook- STOP ADVERTISING WEDDING DRESSES TO ME. In two languages, no less!!!!!

Perhaps we shall just fly off to Hogwarts and never come back.

The cliché

Well friends, it happened. The ol’ ball and chain put a ring on it, and we’re officially official. I don’t intend to post a whole lot about it on Facebook for a variety of reasons, but those of you that have found my blog can get the insider secrets. Well, assuming you want them. Think of them like special features on DVDs. (Am I the only one that still buys DVDs?? Heck, I still buy VHS tapes for 49 cents apiece at Goodwill!) I’m also posting the deets here while they’re still relatively fresh in my mind, because I know sooner or later it’ll get hazy.

Fernando and I are media junkies. Aside from our mutual adoration of all things Internet, we marathon TV series on the weekends and now have seen more TV shows than I even realized were in existence, thanks to Hulu Plus and Netflix. We’ve also seen a great number of cult-favorite movies whilst sitting on his awful couch, which probably is a likely factor in the case of Why Holly’s Clothes are a Bit Tight.

Much of our relationship consists of quoting random movies and inserting hilarious commentary into everyday conversation. I mean, we also frequent a few restaurants and, ahem, got bubble tea at the local tea shop not once, not twice, but thrice this weekend due to a crazy sweet Groupon that meant they were practically free. (I have the boy hooked on bubble tea. Welcome.)

I digress. On Saturday, July 13th, 2013, I had returned from a morning at the Children’s Theatre with the family and had opened the garage to let Fernando into the house for our typical weekend hangout session. As per usual, I made him hug me in the doorway, and punched him after he let go too soon. I have a hug rule based on the statement, “It doesn’t count as a hug unless it last 10 seconds!” (Kabletown head Hank Hooper from the show 30 Rock). It drives him nuts. Muahahahaha.

After being reprimanded for cutting the hug time short, he reached into his pocket and pulled out this small, mysterious silver item. He held it up and said, “Would this make it better?” I stared at it for a few seconds, trying to see in the dark of the garage what the heck it was. It finally registered that it was The Ring. I found it on Etsy years ago (oddly enough while dating someone else) and filed it away for future reference. I had emailed it to him a few months ago with my ring size in a not-so-subtle hint with about 400 winky faces. I knew that sometime within the next year he’d ask me, but I had no idea he’d do it so soon- or in my garage!

Once I realized what it was, I was confused because I wasn’t sure if he was giving it to me as a nice gift or if he was actually asking what I thought he might be asking. I awkwardly was like, “Oh… you… you got it…?” Well, then he blurted out, “Well, yeah. Will you marry me?”

At that point, I punched him. (Yeah, apparently I show love through punches. Who knew?) I called him a turd face a few times for good measure, hugged the crap out of him, squealed a few decibels higher than normal, and finally let him into the house. It took me a few minutes to register what had happened, and in those few minutes, I called him a turd face a few more times and then finally answered, “Wizard,” (an affirmative answer from our favorite movie, Juno). I later asked him why he proposed in the garage of all places. His response? “Well, I couldn’t wait any longer!”

It’s still sinking in, over a week later. It’s exciting and weird and happy and very, very real.

Wizard.

the ring

Reflections

Hi Mom (yep, pretty sure you’re still the only one that reads this), 

I figured it was time for another post! Yes, it’s true! I survived my very first commencement season and lived to tell the detailed tale. (The details will not be posted here because I’m sure no one wants to read about commencement.)

I’ve been in a very reflective mood the last few days. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had free time for the first time in months. Perhaps it’s because I spent two solid, joy-filled days with my elderly friends this week. Perhaps it’s because of the loss of a really good family friend last week. Perhaps it’s everything.

I’ve been feeling quite bogged down with life over the past few months, if you hadn’t guessed by my whiny rants on Facebook and in person. While I like my new job (if any of my new colleagues are reading this, I promise you, I do like it! It’s just… new.), I don’t like the person I seem to be becoming in result. I work way more hours than I would like to, and yet I can’t seem to stop. My work laptop is seemingly attached to my lap at all hours of the day and night. (And if it’s not my work laptop, it’s my trusty Mac.) I can’t stop thinking of all of the things I need to process and improve and explain- and all of the things I feel I need to do to prove myself in this job that apparently is my first “real adult” job. I don’t even have time to take a proper trip! There’s so much work and so much responsibility. Part of that is life-giving, and part of it is horrifying and makes me want to curl into the fetal position. I survived one round of layoffs just to hear that there’s going to be another in the fall. 

I’m stressed all the time! I never wanted to be a workaholic. I finally got a chance to safely take a few days off without disturbing my systems and processes too much, and I enjoyed them to the fullest by going to the fifth annual Sassy Stepper convention. …Ok, ok, I only call it a convention to make it sound cooler than it is. Really, it should be called the Sassy Stepper sleepover, because 30 of us sassy ladies (plus Dick and Mike) take over the casino with our shenanigans and hooliganism for two rambunctious days.

I have probably talked about my line dance ladies more than you care to read about, but tough cookies! This is my blog! Neener neener neener!

There honestly is no good way to explain my line dance community; I’ve tried time and time again. Essentially, having 20+ elderly friends is like having 20+ grandparents and crazy great aunts and uncles, who tell you hilarious stories about the trouble they’ve gotten into over the years, give you gruesome details about the numerous surgeries they’ve had or will have, and reflect upon the hardest parts of life. Some have very recently lost their husbands and are still raw from the pain. Some are slowly slipping into Alzheimer’s disease. Others, like Lil, are skiing, hiking and kayaking well into their 70s (or maybe their 80s? Classy ladies never reveal their age, and I’m too polite to ask). Either way, they’re way more active than I am, and I haven’t even hit 30 yet.

And then, of course, there’s Monica. She’s my twin (plus 45 years. I know her age- she’s not too classy). We have the same hair, had the same glasses until I got this hipster pair, and are basically the same person. I convinced her to drive my car home after our sleepover, and we got hours of quality time together, plus a posh lunch at the Village Inn with Norma, Elaine, Judy, and Jan.

And you know what I learned in that time? My priorities are all wrong these days. Since starting this new job (well, let’s be honest, even before that, too), all I really do is work, dink around on the Internet, sew and cross-stitch, and eat junk food. (Oh, hey! No wonder my clothes don’t fit! No wonder all recent pictures of myself make me cringe.) This isn’t what I want. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and have been for about a year. 

I read a really thought-provoking article the other day, in which the author muses about her decision to unplug from the Internet – and the busy trap we all fall into – on the weekends and even in the evenings. (And yes, if you didn’t click on it, it is a wedding blog. Yes, I dislike weddings. Yes, I still read some wedding blogs. Two, to be exact. Yes, I am a paradox.) She discusses her need to create space between her work life and other life, for her sanity, for her family, and for the fact that this crazy need to be constantly connected is the new normal for a lot of us. Months and months ago, I thought about doing something similar. I’m pretty sure I even made it a New Year’s resolution. Oops. 

But what if I did it? What if I tore myself away from the computer from time to time? I realize this isn’t an issue that everyone has, but it’s one that I’ve faced for about 15 years, when we first got our very first AOL disc with 10 hours of free dial-up access at home. You see, I’m a librarian. An information junkie. I crave new information all the time. I crave learning about ways to be more creative and awesome and efficient. But what good does it do me if I spend all of my time pinning ideas to Pinterest or reading blog posts of people who are more creative and awesome and efficient than I am, and not actually living?

When I turn 72 and have a 27-year-old best friend (yeah, it’ll happen), I don’t want my stories to be about that one time when my Facebook status got 49 likes, or all the times I fell asleep with the lights on after getting home from work after yet another 14-hour workday. I want my stories to matter. Maybe that’s why I keep up this blog, even though my mom is the only one that reads it. Maybe it means that someday, I’ll read these and remember the journey.

Maybe I need to start doing more things that will be worth remembering.