Wedding Update

I’ve been engaged for just over 7 months, and I’m getting married in 4 months!! I’ve been pretty awful at blogging, but thought I’d post about some of the things we’re working on. Right now, my to-do list includes setting up four different meetings for this fall with various vendors for “8 week” check ins and hair/makeup trials. I also am trying to pin down my aunt for a visit in August for my first dress fitting, because she wants to help me pick out my veil/hairpiece. I need to chat with my dad about our father/daughter song (I hate the song he picked, which is a generic ‘made for weddings’ song). We need to schedule premarital counseling sessions and dance lessons. Allll the things. At some point, we’ll also have to start buying some decor items and procuring our guestbook stand-in and cocktail hour activity items. Oh, and we need to pick shooting locations for our engagement photos.

Planning a wedding isn’t easy! I feel like I’ve been kind of skating along until now, though. We booked a lot of vendors immediately – venue, dj, florist, photographer. That was easy for me since it was a concrete task. We did an engagement session with our photographer and realized we had creative differences, so we ended up booking a second photographer, done. Bought a wedding dress quickly and still love it. I’m a little regretful that I didn’t go for the blush color, but I love my dress anyway. Invited wedding party, rehearsal venue booked, made website, booked hotels, made a registry, sent save the dates, bought my wedding band, collected addresses for guest list, all done. One bridesmaid did a sample of our favors, and that’s done – we’ll order supplies in bulk and spend a night on that in October to finish that part off. My MOH has the shower venue booked and invites are pending, and the bachelorette party flights and hotel are booked. (We’re going to Puerto Rico, yay! Hopefully Zika won’t kill or maim all our future babies, for those that plan to have them.) 2 of 5 bridesmaids have ordered dresses, but my MOH is on it for tracking them all down and making sure that happens.

At some point, I also have to figure out day of transport, signage for day-of (menu, program), song list of do/do not play, day-of schedule, card box, photos for decor, head table decor, rehearsal cake tasting, altar flowers, ceremony reading (if any), my vows, bridesmaid gifts, gift for my dad and for my fiance on day-of, a shot list, table personalization, table numbers, mani/pedi day-before booking, week before waxing and facial, marriage license, rehearsal outfit, a slideshow for rehearsal (if I want it), invites, and name cards. We also need a list of who to tip day of with envelopes set aside with cash, and a chart of which vendors we owe money and when during the last few weeks.

I have plans underway already for shoe, bra, and lingerie procurement and floor plan and linens happen at our 8 week meeting.

This is why people get stressed about weddings! So many things. Most of them requires sitting down with my man and just making some decisions then purchasing things. Some require much more thought, like my vows…I am going to see what things on this list I can delegate…perhaps the shot list first draft, do-play first draft for dj, and mani/pedi booking, at a minimum. If I gather photos, I can perhaps have someone do the slideshow too. The ridiculous part of all of this is that I just want to be married and have a fun party and pretty day, I don’t care about a lot of this. It still has to happen, though, sadly.

The one thing that has definitely be the most fun to plan is our honeymoon. We both love traveling, and had a huge list of options. We debated the UK, Australia, and more. Ultimately, we ruled out Europe since it’ll be November. We were thinking strongly about Africa for safari, but decided early morning (5am) wakeups was better for another year. We then moved onto Nicaragua, since this travel show we went to had a great option, but it ended up being more money than we wanted to spend. We moved to Florida/Disney combined with an island (I wanted St. Lucia), but there are NO flights from Orlando to remote islands, go figure. We ended up deciding to go to California and do the Pacific Coast Highway. We’re pumped!

Our plan is to fly into San Francisco, then do Napa, Route 1 south (Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Solvang, Santa Barbara), and end in LA. We get to do great food, wine, hot air balloons, beach, scenery, cooking class, studio tours, disney, and more…and lots of sex in unique inns and B’n’Bs. We’re hoping to check out the Armory and Wicked Grounds in SF too to indulge a bit in my kinky side. We may splurge on some toys at a local shop to add variety to the intimacy those weeks. We just finished booking our last hotel, and we can’t wait!

April, May, and June Catch Ups

April:

Frugality – I injured my knee at the very end of this month (torn meniscus at a trampoline place…), which resulted in emergency room fees putting me over budget. Otherwise, I was proud of how I’d accurately predicted expenses going into the month. I also got promoted this month (Yay!!) which boosted my annual predictive savings, which was exciting.

Fitness – Didn’t win on this one. Was really pumped about an active date night, but that ended up killing my knee.

Friends – Was a great month for this. I had a double date with one bridesmaid and her SO, had a girls spa day to celebrate mutually occurring birthdays with another bridesmaid, had a movie night with my cousin who lives locally, saw friends in Philly while we went to town for a quick jaunt, and continued monthly dinners with grad school friends. Overall, good! I also went over to my cousin’s one night for Shabbat and saw my aunt, which was nice.

May:

Frugality – The knee injury caused lots of issues with my budget this month. I had to pay copays, and then was told to go to physical therapy 2x/week for 8 weeks at $30 a pop. Then, to make matters even more fun, my brakes made a horrid sound and ended up needing to be replaced for another $700 hit. Joy.

Fitness –  This is sort of a good/bad this month. Since I was injured, I couldn’t really do much in terms of the gym. I suspended my membership. But, on the other hand, PT is actually a pretty good workout (weighted leg lifts/raises, bike, squats, lunges, etc.). I 100% got my workout in the two weeks I was on crutches because those things are a BITCH.

Friends – My friends really pulled through this month. I was sad and drugged, and friends came over to telework with me so they could get me lunch (the kitchen was a different level in our house and I couldn’t manage stairs the first week injured). One friend far away sent me an awesome care package with a coloring book. The Fiance was amazingly caring and helpful. At the end of the month, the Fiance and I went to visit my aunt and uncle in another state. I didn’t grow up knowing them well, so we wanted to foster the relationship. It was a great trip, relaxing and nice to learn more about them and my mom’s family. I also celebrated a bridal shower for a good friend.

June:

Frugality – Another month of PT expenses and, because of ongoing digestive issues (possibly from the vicodin), medicine and doctors appointments. Then, I decided to do a diet change (see Fitness for more) which meant a ton of extra grocery expenses. AHH!

Fitness – Decided to do Whole30 with my man from June 20 to July 19th. Whole30 is an elimination diet where you can’t have added sugar (including honey), dairy, legumes, grains, and most processed foods. Even corn and soy are out. This required a major refresh of our pantry and recipe planning. I’ve been having digestive issues since late April, and haven’t felt well pretty much all year (continually getting sick with one thing or another), and wanted a reset. My doctor did a bunch of tests on my blood and stool to see if anything was wrong, and didn’t find anything. Before I go to a GI doctor and end up with lots of testing, I wanted to see if diet could help some of it. I’m on probiotics, prilosec, and my gallbladder meds have been doubled, alongside these diet changes. I’ve seen improvement thus far, so fingers crossed I’ll be good to go. I’ve been doing more at my PT sessions and getting the sweat on while there.

Friends – I’ve seen a lot of my local friends at some point this month, which is good. I celebrated a friend’s bachelorette party, and have plans to go away for July 4th with some others. I’ve traveled a lot this month so there hasn’t been a TON of local activity, but still some fun where I can. I also helped my MOH find her wedding dress, which was super fun!

March Recap

Frugality: This month was odd. I definitely over budgeted for some events, and I redeemed some credits from surveys I take online and my credit card, so in theory, I should’ve had a lot of extra cash. That said, it was my birthday this month, so I definitely splurged a bit. I also had unexpected expenses, namely, sending some sympathy gifts to a friend who lost his mom and buying a mattress topper since our bed has become so uncomfortable. I managed to save more than I spent, and had a tiny surplus for the month. I should’ve had more leftover, but I’m glad it all worked out. We also made a major Costco run this month, which of course contributed to the spending. 

Fitness: I started the month strong, and went to the gym several times. Then, I had out of town visitors, and it was my birthday, and work got stressful…and I made excuses and haven’t gone. I just used a birthday gift card to get some workout clothing, and I’m hoping that will motivate me a bit too. I really wish I was better at staying motivated. I’m not sure why it’s so challenging for me. On the plus side, a couple of my close friends are doing some major diet changes next month (one couple is watching calories, the other is trying whole 30), so I’m hopeful that they can positively influence me. If I refocus on eating in/not going out for lunch, too, I think that’ll help me again too. 

Friends: This year, I decided to have a small get together for my birthday instead of a normal larger gathering, and that was delightfully intimate. I had a second monthly dinner with folks from grad school, and saw all of my bridesmaids again, which made me happy. Book club was a large group this month but lots of fun. I also had a college friend visit from out of town, and I see her less than once a year, so that was really nice. I felt really cherished by the fiance’s family, too, because they sent me birthday cards and gifts, which was unexpected but very inclusive.  I still need to send those letters, though…

 

February 2016 Recap

Frugality: This month, I really wanted to buy some new clothes for the gym/work and some books, but I held off on both. I ended up buying a new pillow, one book that I had preordered months ago, and colorful pens for work for a total of $24.99 (under my $25 budget!). I went over and under in some of my individual budget categories, but ended the month under budget. I was able to tuck away a little extra into savings from a delayed work award, too, which is nice. We kept date night costs down by having breakfast/lunch out instead of dinner during an activity, and by only having a fancy dessert date for our anniversary instead of an extravagant dinner. I also made a homemade gift for valentine’s day instead of buying something, which helped with costs and was equally appreciated by my dude. On the technical side, I canceled a credit card with a high annual fee that I wasn’t reaping rewards from, and opened a high-reward cash back card. I also opened a high interest online savings account (going from .01% to 1% interest – yay!). So far, this area of life is staying on track! My lovely fiance also totally redid my budget tracking spreadsheet into this fancy tool that makes life so so so much easier.

Fitness: I went to the gym at least 5 times. Fiance and I figured out some house rules to motivate one another to go to the gym more regularly, and so far, it seems to be working. Tracking calories didn’t really happen – I started off doing it, but we haven’t kept it up. March will be a reset and attempt 2 at it. I have been keeping better track of my activity in general with my apple watch, and that’s been helpful. I’ve been walking a lot more throughout the day, which is an easy way to burn some extra calories and get more active. On the whole, could have done better, but did better than the previous month, so progress was made.

Friends: I saw all my local bridesmaids this month, too, which is a good trend to continue:). We had dinner with a couple we’d like to continue getting to know better, and it went well, which was good. (Making friends as an adult can get awkward.) I had the first virtual book club with some friends from college and it went really, really well, and I really enjoyed it. It was great to have a way to interact beyond a simple phone call – plus we read/discussed a good book! I had a ctach up dinner with some grad school peeps and we scheduled another one for March. I saw one of my old roommates for a TV night and caught up with her, and it was nice to relive my pre-dude nights. We booked flights for a trip to the midwest in May, which helps on the family front. I also planned a spa day with my future mother in law, and I’m hoping that can help us bond a bit more. I didn’t send mail to people as I’d intended, but I’ve collected addresses (wedding planning for the win) that will make it easier to do so moving forward. Despite falling short on that, I feel like I did well on fostering friendships this month.

Q&A Part 4

  1. What is the most boring thing you can think of doing?

Reading tax law. Or sitting in an empty, undecorated room without a watch or any form of phone/tv/book/game.

  1. What one month on the calendar would you like to eliminate?

June. There are no federal holidays, I feel like I should be on break/vacation and I’m not, the weather gets muggy with the lingering rain and emerging warmth. August is a close second.

  1. What age would you like to be for the rest of your life?

No clue…I don’t mind getting older and having time go by. That said, next year may be pretty swell, so maybe 28 or 29? How stereotypical is that?

  1. What would you like to build if you knew how?

A life-size lego house! Kidding… Maybe a fully customized bed or built in library system, or perhaps even a whole house?

  1. What signs of aging are you starting to see in yourself?

My boobs are not as perky as they once were, and the corners of my eyes/hands have a few baby wrinkles going…but honestly, I don’t pay much attention and I don’t actively notice or care about any of it.

Q&A Part 3

  1. When home alone, do you shut the door when you use the bathroom?

I wish I could say yes to this…

  1.  If you could afford it at this moment, what would you buy?

A house, a day of spa treatments (including a wrap and a massage, my two favorite treatments), an alarm clock wake up light, new pillows, a new mattress!! (sleep number, preferably), a towel warmer, dinner at Komi.

  1. What is the greatest goal you want to achieve in the next five years?

Get married, buy a house, have a kid, take a couple of big vacations, and get promoted. Easy, right?

Of those, the biggest “goal,” as in something to work towards and that will require effort, planning, ambition, sacrifice, etc. is buying a house. We’re hoping to save enough to buy something in 2017 or, at worst, early 2018.

As for the other things… married in November. I applied for promotion today – if I don’t get it this year, next year should do it. We plan on going on a big honeymoon, but aren’t sure where yet; over the next few years, we have a trip to ireland/scotland/england in mind, italy/greece for a friend’s wedding, and possibly China. We intend to wait until late 2018 to start trying for kiddos, at the earliest, but that obviously could change at any point.

  1. What are five things you are grateful for?

A wonderful fiance, friends that care deeply about me, my job and it’s stability, my and my loved ones’ health, my financial independence and positive progress.

  1. If you could own the world’s largest collection of anything, what would it be?

Board games! Alllll of the options for game nights… Or books. I’d love to own a huge library. However, given the existence of public and academic libraries, that’s never going to happen. Maybe the largest collection of electronic romantic erotica? That’s a random goal, right? But it wouldn’t take up space…

About Me Q&A Part 2

The next  five questions: 

  1. Would you rather be on the cover of Time, People or Food & Wine magazine?

I’d rather be on the cover of Time. To me, being on the cover of Time signifies an acknowledgement that you’ve made an influence on society in some way. I’d love to make a positive change in our society for the better. That said, while my job does inherently serve as a public good, I’m not on a path to make a huge impact on society. I make lots of tiny improvements, but I’m not an agent of change. I don’t run or plan to run a nonprofit or write a new law or something. Could it happen someday? Sure, but my goals aren’t that lofty. I think at most, I’d work to contribute in a big way like that within a smaller community (school board, downtown improvement, social welfare programs, etc), which would never merit a major national publication covering it.

On the other hand, I do cook and entertain a lot, and I enjoy it quite a bit. Ignoring what I’d rather, Food & Wine is more likely. I’m not an expert chef, and I have no plans to be an expert, but I could see some midlife crisis cooking or entertaining project that may merit some press coverage from a food magazine. It at least has a semblance of being a possibility.

  1. What would you do with one week to do anything, all expenses paid?

Travel to France or Italy and take cooking/baking/cheese-making classes. Go to Finland and see the Northern Lights and stay in a glass igloo. Buy, furnish, decorate, and move into a home:). Tour the country to see relatives on every coast.

  1. Would you rather be a painter, writer or musician?

I’ve dabbled in all three of these areas. I think I’d most want to be a musician, and star in a broadway show. I used to sing and dance competitively. I’m not terrible, and more talented than some, but I’m definitely not broadway-level, so I never pursued it at that level. I also used to write song lyrics. My analytical side won out though, so it’s a hobby that was left behind with my young adulthood. 

Nowadays, though, I occasionally ponder the idea of writing erotic fiction. I haven’t even written a short story in such a long time, however, that it seems a far off thing. I’ve also never written anything longer than 30 pages, so I’m not sure my plot/character development would stand up to even a novella-length product.

  1. Do you think you are hard on yourself?

Yes. I’m my worst critic.

  1. Do you have any phobias?

Full on phobia? No, I don’t think so. There are definitely things I’m not fond of, but I can’t think of anything that causes paralyzing fear.