Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A married freezer

Marriage is all about sharing. Sharing our thoughts, sharing our love, and even sharing some space the freezer

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Between "Yes!" and "I do."

It’s that time of year. Love, marriage and diamonds are in the air. The gossip magazines and E! tv are bursting with news of countless celebrity engagements. And “we’re engaged” announcements fills our text message inbox and Facebook news feeds. To all you newly engaged couples, a sincere and heartfelt – CONGRATULATIONS! Once the initial shock wears off and the happy tears have dried, here are some thoughts to keep in mind throughout the engagement and wedding planning process.

First and foremost, enjoy being engaged. It is a brief, blissful (well, for the most part) and precious time in your lives. It’s a time that you can be obnoxiously in love without ridicule. Call each other fiancée. Host and attend engagement parties, dinners and happy hours. Perfect the art of telling the proposal story (in addition to fine-tuning various lengths of the story). And waste more time than you probably should just watching your new rock sparkle in different types of lighting (a personal favorite is how the sunlight makes shines off it when holding the steering wheel).

Next, start thinking about planning. (Note: being a PR person and a tad-bit OCD, I was almost as excited about planning our wedding as I was about getting engaged. In fact, on the way over to my parents’ house to announce the news that we were engaged, I made Mr. I stop at a bookstore so I could finally purchase an armful of bridal magazines). Find a binder or notebook and start consuming everything wedding. Pull out anything that makes your heart flutter and keep it in ready for later in the process. Be a bridal sponge. It’s much easier to purge what you don’t like later when you are making decisions rather than searching for inspiration at the last minute. Be open to colors, textures, ideas and everyday things that encompass your personality and relationship. As I said before, purge later.

There are thousands of resources to help you plan and prepare for THE BIGGEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE (ha, no pressure). My suggestion is to pick a few trusted sources and stick with them. A personal favorite was anything and everything by “The Knot.” Their extensive website (we loved the customizable budget and timeline), the magazine and even the The Knot Book of Wedding Lists taught us the basics and the details of a perfect wedding.

I believe a key part of the process is to determine your priorities near the onset of planning. Ask yourself (and your fiancée, that’s probably important too) what is the MOST important thing (or top two to three things) that are essential to make the wedding day everything you’ve dreamed or imagine. A designer gown? An authentic castle for the reception? Fireworks as you drive away in a vintage car? Every resource around will tell you that you need to determine your budget early, as well as tell you approximate percentage of your budget that your should spend on each aspect. But remember that these are guidelines. Mr. I and I decided we wanted a fantastic photographer and a reception hall that had some unique character. These were the things that we could go a little over the “recommended” percentage if we cut some things we determined were a little lower priorities for us, such as flowers and transportation.

Finally, the three “R’s.”

• Be reasonable – Don’t blow your entire budget on one day of your life, don’t think that everything can get done a week before the big day, and don’t try to change yourself and what you can do. If you’re not a crafty person, be reasonable enough to realize that a DIY wedding might not be the easiest.

• Be resourceful: It’s likely there are a handful of people more than willing to help you address, assemble, organize, or lend a helping hand wherever needed. Let them help you, no one will notice on wedding day if you didn’t make every single bow and you’ll be much more sane.

• Be respectful: As important as your wedding day is, remember, it is only one day. It is the start of a lifetime of memories with your fiancée and your families. Don’t start this off by hurting feelings, being disrespectful or simply becoming a bridezilla that no one wants to be around.

Okay, this post is super long. Please forgive me. I just love weddings, planning and helping people create their perfect day. We have another page listing the resources I used throughout the process. I hope this makes the exciting, yet daunting task of wedding planning a little less overwhelming. Best of luck through it all and remember, ultimately your wedding day is about you and your fiancée. At times, flowers, bustles and guest lists might keep you up at night, but something that always got me through was remembering who I would wake up to the morning after our wedding to begin the our lives together. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of that.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A bittersweet New Year

It's January. January 2011.

How did this happen? WHEN did this happen?

For me, it was somewhat bittersweet to kiss 2010 goodbye. (Although an awesome party surrounded by some of my best friends and a tad bit of tasty cocktails did make the evening more enjoyable.)

Last year was the best year of my life. 2010 was a year of big events. There were wedding plans to make, invitations to write, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, marrying the man of my dreams and then honeymooning. The there were the firsts. My first married birthday, our first married summer, our first married road trip, our first married Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, well, you get the point. Big stuff.

And now it is 2011. All of these big events are over.

Now what?

Well I've decided 2011 is going to be about the little things.

2011 will be about happy hours with friends. It will be about weekend-long Netflix marathons. It will be about finally organizing my closet, making the wedding scrapbook and finally mastering some traditional family recipes. It will be about making time for long phone calls with distant friends, writing letters and actually keeping up with this blog.

Life is made up of the a random "remember that one time" combined with a couple "can you believe we did that." This is how I plan on spending the next year; enjoying the moments and making memories. In reality, I think this is probably an even bigger event than all of those of the past year.

As amazing as 2010 was with all its big events, sometimes it is easy to forget how hectic and stressful it was.

So here's to 2011. A year of snuggling for a long time, taking a walk in the rain, attending a few ugly sweater parties, laughing until our sides hurt, staying up late engrossed in a good book, wasting time watching bad movies and learning to simply enjoy life, love and our marriage.

Sounds like a great year to me. Hope it is a wonderful year for everyone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

For Better or for Worse….and to be the Bug Exterminator

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a fan of bugs – cockroaches, hornets and wasps really bug me (no pun intended). If I see one of those the shoe comes out or the paper gets rolled up and the swatting commences.

Those other bugs though, the little small guys that sometimes slip in from under the door or randomly appear from an air duct are harmless as far as I’m concerned. I mean, chances are they’re just going to head back to where they came from soon enough. Sure, I’ve squashed one or two here and there, but they’re not up there on my list of concerns.

However, bugs for Mrs. I are a different story. We’ll be on the couch watching TV, and I might even see the same bug out of the corner of my eye and ignore it, but once Mrs. I catches a glimpse of it, I know it’s squashing time.

Mrs. I: "Ahem"

Me (thinking): If I play the "Ahem" off as her clearing her throat and ignore it, then maybe I can just stay here on the couch

Mrs. I, more obviously: "Ahhh-emm"
Me (I look over at Mrs. I, and see her eyes look at me, then back at the bug on the wall, then back at me. No need for her to say anything verbally.)

What I hate most about the tiny bugs is their speed. Sometimes I wonder if Mrs. I points out to bugs because she really wants them killed, or if she just wants to watch me chase the little thing across the wall, floor, etc. – sometimes I think it’s a little of both.

The other day though, I realized that Mrs. I can actually kill these little guys on her own. I woke up one morning, and it was clearly evident that our office chair had been rolled from the office into our bedroom and back again. After trying to think of why on earth that happened, or when it happened for that matter, I asked Mrs. I. She put it quite plainly and matter-of-factly, “There was a bug on the wall last night and it was too high for me to reach and of course I wasn’t able to wake you up.”

I actually wish I had witnessed this, because chasing a bug around on a rolling office chair, in a dark TV-lit room, probably wasn’t easy but without a doubt it would have been funny. Some little bug sure wouldn’t have gotten me out of bed to chase it around.

So to all the husbands-to-be out there, don’t forget that when you say “I Do”, you’re also signing yourself up to be the household bug exterminator – a task that’s really not all that bad, so long as you’re not a bug-lover!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marriage is the minority (?)

We’ve already discussed what it like to be Young and Married, but the other day when I saw this article in The Guardian, I wanted to share. It discusses the steady decline of young Americans getting married, not only over the past 30 years but also drastically in the past decade.

The study, conducted in 2009-2010 by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) shows that less than half (44.9 percent) of the population of Americans between the ages of 25 - 34 were married. This is down from the 55.1percent just ten years ago in 2000. For the general population, ages 18 and older, the marriage rate fell from 57 percent to 52 percent from 2000 to 2010.

The authors of the study at PRB attribute the decline in marriage rates to the rising income of women. They no longer rely on a husband to pay the bills, and therefore have the option to wait longer in life to marry. They also explain that the economic decline of the past few years has couples delaying an expensive wedding and the costs associated with a new marriage. Both extremely valid points. Maybe in the future people will actually marry for love?

Also interesting is that Cleveland (our hometown) in particular had a sharp decline of the marriage rate in the past decade. In 2009, less than 20 percent of young adults in Cleveland were married, making them one of the least likely to be married in the country.

Apparently Mr. I and I are much more traditional and "against the grain" for our generation than we thought. Who knew that when we said “I do” we were putting ourselves in a minority category? Not that we would change a thing, and as we’ve discussed there are many reasons we made the decision we did, but it is surprising that find out just how “unique” we are.