Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On a "Green" Wedding

For some reason, our wedding has been labeled 'green' by everyone. Everyone, that is, except us. We aren't trying to be 'green' or 'sustainable' or have an 'eco-friendly' anything. We are trying to apply our normal morals to our wedding, though, and that does include being environmentally conscious.

Plus, I have some serious issues with the words "green" or anything that's called "eco-this" or that is billed as sustainable. I could write frickin novel on my issues with these words and what they have come to mean. First, its super trendy and cool to be green. But a lot of times that doesn't mean actually trying to be environmentally conscious. A lot of times it means buying into new things. Ex: Nalgenes and Sigg water bottles are green in the sense that you don't use water bottles. But how many have you bought, lost, ruined by leaving tea in them over the weekend and not being able to get the nastastic smell out or tried to test the myth that nalgenes are indestructible and had to get a new one? In other words, if you buy enough reusable bottles the 'green' value of them is eventually lost.

Second, a lot of things labeled as green, or eco or sustainable are not. Its just another selling point with too little regulation on who can use those words and how they can be used.* And often too little thought into what sustainability means. Fun story: A boycott was created to boycott any and all products coming from the rainforest. The group was trying to save the rainforest. But by removing the opportunity for people to have income from the rainforest, their alternative was the slash/burn and then farm the land. Not thought through very well.

Third, we need a new way of thinking about the 'environment' and our relationship to it. We are part of the environment. We are not some evil force that needs to be separated and removed from the environment to save it. These key words all link to a separation of humans from the environment - which is false. Being 'eco-friendly' is being 'human-friendly'. The lesson of this is that us changing the environment does not have to mean bad things. The current model of environmentalism is all about reducing our impact. In this model, the goal is zero impact. But that is not going to happen. We have always changed and will always change the environment because we exist. and thats ok. We just have to change it in a different direction.**

That's my rant on environmentalism.***

As far as weddings and specifically our wedding being labeled green, I try to avoid it as much as possible. We are doing what we can and what we have thought of to be conscious of our decisions and their environmental impact. Have we succeeded? I don't know. We could definitely have done more. Actually, not having a wedding at all is way more sustainable than having a wedding. But thats not realistic and I DO NOT think being sustainable has to mean giving up everything.

Sustainability is hard. Its not cheap. And can take a lot of effort and thought. But that is because right now, the current unsustainable system is backed by heavy federal dollars, lots of lobbying, and lots of crazy American culture. Our personal choices make a difference, but large scale change needs to occur for us to truly change the direction that we are going.

In the meantime, we are each finding where our line is. What effort, what cost are we willing or able to give to be a better citizen of the environment? How much change are we willing or able go through to change the way we interact with the environment? Because we don't know where the line between sustainable and unsustainable is. We are all feeling it out our own lines on our own terms.

*Side rant: why should the responsible parties be forced to add the adjective. I think those causing the problems should be given the burden of adjectives. So then you'd see labels such as "Industrial Beef!" "Pure toxic cleaner!" and the 'organic' options can just become the norm. No adjective needed.
Want an awesome, perspective changing read? Check out this book.
***Who was an Environment and Natural Resource major? Me!

Image via mclcbooks and since this is a wedding blog I put a green flower that we will have at our wedding on my post about being green. so clever...

I wanna be perty!

One of the things on my list of to dos is to go browse the beauty section at Target Boutique. I'm thinking of a cleanser, some whitener for my pearl yellows, spiffy eye shadow, foundation, and waterproof mascara.

But why? My daily beauty routine is to rinse my face off. That's it. Maybe moisturize. And then when I'm going out and want to feel fancy I throw on some mascara, a little eye liner and a touch of eye shadow. Very minimal. With the wedding looming, though, I feel like I need to do something special for that day.

I am going to talk to my friend who does magic with makeup and try to find some extremely minimal products to give me a little shining up on the day of...but I want to make sure to look like my normal self. Just a really great version of my normal self!

So less products...more natural beauty! To help enhance my natural beauty, I'm trying to remember a few instant beauty tricks:
  • Smile! This is the quickest, easiest, bestest way to bring out your natural beauty. Plus, its contagious! So you will be helping to make everyone else beautiful as well! Aren't you nice!
  • Stand up straight! Again, super quick and easy and will immediately improve your look.
  • Arms off your sides! Many of us are worried about the dreaded fat arm photos. Its a hard problem to avoid. But instead of trying to lose enough weight to take arm flab off and then buff up arms to look toned (even though women develop muscle in a way that looks like fat, I say just learn your angles and keep your arms off your sides instead! That will keep them from squishing against your side and looking mondo sized!
  • Be confident! Look in the dictionary because confidence and beauty are side by side. They pretty much mean the same thing. So laugh, smile, be yourself and know that you rock!
Thats it. You just read the secrets to beauty! Great, huh? No more need for magazines or commercials telling you all the stuff you need to be beautiful - cuz you already got it! WIN!

Image via sushla

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

60 days away!

Woah, kiddos! Our wedding is only 60 days away! Time is just cruising away! And there is so much left to do! I really do need to kick in gear and get some stuff done... so here is my To Do List for the next week or so.
  • Finish making the pom pom garlands (and write a DIY post about it!)
  • Get my hair cut and talk with the lady about styling the day of. (I'm not going to have any styling done per se - just washed, blown out, and made delicious with all their nummy aveda products! mmmm....aveda....)
  • Decide what is going to hang from our tree limb where the ceremony is taking place and buy any necessary items (lanterns, ribbon, etc)
  • Buy fabrics and material to make my flower for on the dress and in my hair
  • Do trial run of flower making
  • Visit the flower supplier and pick out flowers. place order? (totally leaning on my aunt here. I have no idea what to do with flowers!)
  • Add more music to our playlists
  • Work on writing our ceremony more
Ok, I'll stop there before I get overwhelmed! Because instead of being more productive when there is a ton to do, I get overwhelmed and shut down. No good!

At least there is a long weekend coming up where we can get some stuff done but also have some free time to relax and play in the (hopefully) sunshine! This pasty Minnesotan needs some vitamin D hardcore!

Monday, June 28, 2010

More of the Ushy Gushy stuff

Angie over at One Cat Per Person wrote about that one big topic the other day. Yup, its love, folks! I wrote a little bit about love, she wrote a little bit about love, Meg writes a lot bit about love... ok, everyone writes about love. Cuz come on! Its LOVE for crying out loud!

But before we get going, can I first just say that love is the best? Really. Its amazing. And I hope we never fully understand it and that it remains this wonderful mystery that we are always writing songs/poems/blog posts about.

Love means so many different things to different people. And to the same person it can mean different things at different times. Its this slippery little bugger that just won't sit still and won't be boxed in. Plus, our cultural notions of love have evolved over time and are still evolving. All this to say, omg, love is huge and amazing and crazy and powerful. I can't even touch such a subject, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

Because we are starting to write our ceremony and I'm starting to form my vows in my head. So what do I want to say in those vows about love? What do we want our ceremony to feel like? What readings do we want to include?

I'm trying to balance my need for honesty (aka sounding like a downer) and my need to have a meaningful, thoughtful ceremony that is going to have people passing those tissues! (It is literally one of my goals to make everybody cry. And laugh and smile and think, too. But cry. Is that mean or whats with that?)

So far, here are some key thoughts that we want to focus our ceremony on:
  • The idea that we've been together for a long time already (will be 6 years!) and are solidifying a commitment to each other and that we will continue to grow together.
  • The family and community that helped make us who we are is now needed to continue supporting us as we form our new 'baby family' together.
  • That a wedding does not make a marriage. Lots of hard work and love make a marriage.
  • That we love each other! Yay! And that love is, indeed, the best.
I've been browsing tons of poems, stories, essays, quotes, anything really to try and find some delicious readings for our wedding. The following are some that I've pulled together that I enjoy. I'm sure you've seen some of these before but hopefully there is something new in here.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility, it is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom. In the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of the ebb and flow of intermittency.

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take.If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

- excerpt from The Irrational Season, Madeleine L'Engle

To love very much is to love inadequately: We love- That is all.
Love cannot be modified without being nullified.
Love is a short word but it contains everything.
Love means the body, the soul, the life, the entire being.
We feel love as we feel the warmth of our blood, we breathe love as we breathe the air, we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts.
Nothing more exists for us.
Love is not a word.
It is a wordless state indicated by four letters.
- Guy De Maupassant

We may include an excerpt from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry. Its chapter 21 where the little prince and the fox discuss what ‘tamed’ means. Its a cute story with a cute message and cute characters...and something else cute too, I'm sure! We'll edit it down to be a bit shorter, but with the same gist.

Finally, have you all seen the ceremony that Peonies and Polaroid’s wrote? Magic. Just beautiful magic. And I’m pretty sure we are going to take a lot of inspiration from their ceremony.

Specifically, I’m in love with these three sections:

Throughout time countless millions of people from many cultures, religions and societies have gathered among friends and families to celebrate their love for one and other and their commitment to each other. Each culture has symbols and rituals to celebrate marriage from the Japanese tea ceremony to the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass, a rich tapestry of traditions from around the world combine to symbolise the meaning of marriage. And today we should try to remember that a wedding is a symbol, a beautiful, heartfelt and meaningful symbol but a symbol nonetheless. This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments The Boy and Peonies have made to each other, both large and small, in the days since they first met and recognized their connection to one another. It is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others.


Peonies and The Boy, the symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this - is my husband, this - is my wife.


No one but you can declare yourselves married. You have begun it here today in speaking your vows before your family and friends and you will do it again in the days and years to come, standing by each other, sharing all the sweet and the bitter of life. Each tender act, each loving word will be the declaration of what was made here today.

Phew! Whole lotta realistic, yet ushy gushy love going on! Ya?

Peace, all!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday POP!

Oh, Friday, I love you! Just having you here makes me feel so much better!

Today I got some lovey, poppy feelings going on where I just wanna snuggle and tickle and giggle and feel care free! With that in mind, I've got a song with so much pop you'll think you were actually chewing bubblegum. Add on top of that the 'ouch' factor of bad 90's hair and fashion, enthusiastic boy band dances, cheesy acting, and cheesier lyrics and we've got a classic, folks!

I give to you: Color Me Badd singing All for Love! WOO! Hit it, boys!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deadline: Wedding Day

I just got a quick little thought that has been playing around in my head about the wedding date that is zooming closer and closer (a little over two months!?!? AH!)

I used to feel like the wedding was a big deadline. Like, forget all the actual wedding stuff. I saw the wedding as a deadline for me to become awesome. To become the full version of myself. To be the strong individual I was intended to be. Or whatever. For some reason I thought this all had to happen by the time I got married.

I think its because of the idea that you shouldn't be with someone until you know yourself first. Which I think can be true and is good advice - definitely know yourself first because it makes knowing someone else intimately and them knowing you intimately so much easier! But life doesn't really work like that all the time.

I met my future husband when I was 18 and he was 22. wowza, huh? almost six years later (can you do math and figure out how old I am? I hope you can!) we are getting married. Now, do I wish we had met when I was just a wee bit older? yes. I totally could have used some more growing up time on my own. There is only so much developing you can do by 18. But we met when we did and can't change that. And I definitely knew he was a good catch and did not want to pass up on such a great guy.

So we've had a long relationship with me growing up a lot (both of us growing up a lot, really) within this relationship. That is going to happen regardless. Relationships make you grow up and grow together. I just happened to have lots more growing up to do since I was just a wee little one when we met!

Anyway. Whatever gave me this idea that I had to be my all-star self before getting married? Whatever gave me the idea that I could reach my all-star self so early at all? I dunno. But I've definitely learned that I am going to be growing up for a long, long time. Until I'm dead, in fact. So this wedding deadline that I had in my head is silly.

More than that, I've learned that this other person I've chosen, he helps me grow in ways that I never could grow on my own. He challenges me and makes me confront aspects of myself that sometimes I would rather not. Plus, I like the challenge of trying to grow as my own individual person while at the same time growing as a couple. :)

The wedding date has started to look less and less like a deadline and more and more like a kicking off point of a new joint partnership that will bring both of us higher.

And I can't wait!


Hey all. I'm going to be a bit MIA around here - I'm trying to get a lot of stuff done and need to step back from blog land to help me get it done.

But I had to share this today.

I don't know what to say anymore about this damn oil disaster. It makes me so angry and so sad and really doubtful about our future. Everyone is pointing fingers and trying to shake off blame when in the end I think we are all to blame.

That's all I got today.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Oh! I'm so excited! I had some serious thoughts to share today but they were completely wiped out by a nice little package that came in the mail for me! A necklace! WEE!!

Some of you may remember a post a while back about necklaces and other accessories. I wanted to add some color (green specifically) to my outfit and searched and searched through tons of necklaces. Lots of pretty stuff out there! But I was looking for something very specific.

In the end, I have actually purchased two candidates for my wedding necklace. And I'm going to keep both because I love them both. But I just got the second one today and I'm so happy with it and so excited that it turned out just like I hoped! Check it out!

Gorgeous, right!?!? and the absolute perfect green!

So here is how it went: I bought this string of bright green pearls
to have something classic (string of pearls) that was still fun and me (green). I get the pearls and they are beautiful, the perfect color, and just like described on the etsy listing, but it turns out sometimes I suck at reading the details of said listings and they are really small. Smaller than I expected. In other words, they don't provide the POW or impact I was hoping and instead looked kinda like a child's string of beads. So I was bummed out.

I continue my search for perrty necklaces and come across this beautiful and unique necklace on this amazing etsy shop by Galit Barak. She is awesome and agreed to incorporate my beautiful green little pearls into one of her beautiful crochet silver necklaces. I sent my little pearls all the way over to Israel, she worked her magic, and the necklace turned out better than I could have expected - its, dare I say, perfect!

Major thanks to Galit for wonderful work and for being such a doll to work with! Definitely check out her super unique jewelery - its like nothing I've ever seen before!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fine and Dandy

Happy Friday! And it couldn't have come soon enough! I was convinced (multiple times) that yesterday was Friday. Severely disappointing (multiple times) to find out it was not!

Anyway, as with every Friday, I got a tune for you!

There has been a lot of talk in blog land among those of us who are doing our own dance music about how hard it is to put together a versatile playlist to make a wide range of people happy. We have tons of fresh dance music on our playlist, but its mostly comprised of hip hop, club mixes and slightly techno stuff. Not quite the best to get Grandma groovin.

Plus, we are trying to stick mainly to songs that people know. Yeah, this means cutting out a lot of the quirky music that we love, but we want people to dance...not just us! And people like to dance to stuff they know! So lately I've been exploring some older music, some more slow songs (because I don't know any good slow dance songs apparently), and trying to get some variety.

So for this Friday, I'm playing an old classic and a great slow dance song. By none other than Van Morrison. This dude's got some amazing songs and I'm sure a few will make it into our playlist. For today: Someone Like You

Romantic, not too cheesy, has a nice sway, and Van's smooth voice. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


OMG, guys, I've got pimples. Like everywhere. They are little baby ones but they are finding strength in numbers!!! AAH!!! I dunno what to do!

See, I've never really had any acne problems or ever really gotten pimples (yeah, boo hoo me, I know) so now I am completely lost! And freaking out that I'm going to be a pimply mess on the wedding day! Of course stress is probably a factor, so freaking out doesn't help... but I'm freaking out.*

Should I find a cleanser? Figure out a new face routine? Go meditate? Buy foundation? (yeah, I don't own any) Call an exorcist? Or just eat this nummy chocolate that I happen to have in front of me...? We'll try the chocolate since its the closest possible solution to me at the moment.

Speaking of, have you ever had Chocolove XOXO num num bars? They are my FAV! I almost always have a dark chocolate and raspberries one stashed away. And not only are they delicious, but they come with super amazing love poems inside the wrapper! Its like a delicious lover serenading you and your taste buds at the same time!

Wanna read mine today? Here it is:

Meeting At Night

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Robert Browning

Yeah, I don't really get it. But I love them because they are usually really cheezy and just plain epic sounding love poems! Hearts flutter and chests pound and yadda yadda epicness.

Well, I ate the entire bar. Heres hoping that is enough to clear up my pimple army!


*only mildly. I'm just being dramatic.

Awesome pimple art via ambird

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bitchy Bride and the Bridal Veto

I was having a discussion yesterday with an unfortunate bride who is having serious mother-in-law issues. Her MIL issues make me feel like my MIL is a little cherub angel sprinkling dust and fancy on us and playing the harp. I was trying to think of helpful advice but was coming up pretty short. Its a shitty situation and shitty to deal with and there is only so much that we can do to make it better. (Keep with it, dear! Sending good karma your way!)

But one thing did stick out in my mind. She mentioned feeling "bitchy" when dealing with her tough MIL.

First, I want to talk a tiny, little bit about that word: bitch.

What a word, huh? Lots of history, lots of cultural meaning, lots of changes and attempts to reclaim it recently. But to being with, I'm going to borrow from an article that Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch magazine, wrote for the Washington Post. She wrote:

Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's catcalls or smile when they say, "Cheer up, baby, it can't be that bad." We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back down from a confrontation.

So let's not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we've done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine -- and sees uncompromising speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world.

Whenever I hear that word, I have the feeling of silencing. Its one of the many ways our culture tells women to quiet down. To not be so strong. Not be seen or heard so much. Not to make so many waves.

Sure, sometimes people are actually being bitchy (aka jerks), but I'd say most of the time when I hear that word, it is simply being used on a female who is not playing along with prescribed gender roles that say women should be quiet, soft, gentle, forgiving, please others, passive, or whatever other bullcrap. Women are bitches when they act like men and that is dangerous territory that makes patriarchy very uncomfortable. So how handy to have a nice little word to shut down those types of unruly women!

And how well it has stuck. I know for myself personally that I often feel wary of being bitchy. At work when I need to get something from someone and they aren't getting it done... or while planning a wedding and dealing with demanding family members. I'm always aware that I may be stepping out of the "soft, gentle, passive, feminine" realm and into the "bitchy" realm and I tread lightly. No one wants to be labeled a bitch, but I definitely do not want to live my life in a passive manner either.

I'm still learning how to navigate this issue for all the variety of situations*, but I wanted to share a nice little method I've come up with to avoid feeling bitchy (and hopefully to avoid being labeled bitchy) while wedding planning.

I call it my Bridal Veto. Unsolicited advice that just won't quit? Bridal veto! Way too many varying and stubborn opinions? Bridal veto!

On almost every wedding decision, we've had differing opinions from both our parents. I always try to be gentle first and let them down easy, but often that just isn't enough. They start debating and arguing - and I start trying to debate back, giving them all our justifications, reasoning, or whatever defense I can throw at em. At a certain point, though, debate has to stop and decisions have to be made, and sometimes things just aren't up for debate at all.

That's when we need to be able to say no and stop worrying about being bitchy.** Saying "Bridal veto!" is one way I've found to remind others that hey! I'm the bride! This is our wedding! and we get the final say! Thanks for your ideas, input and suggestions, but you have all been denied by the Bridal Veto.

And so far everyone has responded to Bridal Vetos way better than just me laying down the law. ... What am I going to do after the wedding when my Bridal Veto has run out!? Actually deal with people!? WHA!?


Peace out, holmes.


*It doesn't help that Minnesotans are notoriously passive anyway. We are always saying kinda, sorta, maybe, I think and never giving full, firm statements that may get us in trouble later. Some call it Minnesota Nice, but its I kinda think its maybe, sorta Minnesota Passive.

**Its silly that we should feel bitchy for taking control of our own weddings. That is not fair to put on ourselves.

Image via superbomba

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Defending your own

Yesterday I came home to see my mister on the phone. After a few seconds observing, I knew it was with his mother. I sat down to start putting our stamps on our invites (SQUEE!!) and heard this, "No, that's actually the opposite. Blogs have helped her deal with the wedding in a good way. Its the other mainstream sites and magazines that were driving her crazy!"

Apparently my mother in law thought I should stop reading blogs. She couldn't understand why I read them so much and thought they were bad for me.*

This made my defensive hairs stand up and I wanted to grab the phone and defend all you thoughtful ladies in the really amazing community and defend myself from such allegations... but I didn't have to.

The mister went on to describe (and very well, might I add) how there are so few good resources out there for brides. How the first wedding resources you find are insidious pooh heads that have no heart and no soul and just make brides feel bad about how ugly their wedding is going to be unless they include one of the latest "hot color combos" or have a "stylish theme"! Or how they have to put on a show to "wow your wedding guests"!**

Ok, he didn't get into that much detail, because I'm pretty sure hes actually never looked at The Knot or Martha Stewart Weddings or any other general WIC thing. But anyway.

In this conversation that I came home to yesterday, he defended me and my blogs. He also defended our so far limited inclusion of his family in the planning process AND he defended our choices for our guest list.*** Good job, baby!

I was so proud and so happy! First of all, he does an amazing job of moderating between his mother and I. I know he is on my team and prioritizes us as a couple and as a new forming family first. This is not the first time and probably won't be the last time that we have to deal with in-law issues, so its such an amazing relief that we are on the same page and can effectively deal with these issues. He naturally followed Lisa's advice from A Practical Wedding post that in dealing with in-laws,

The most important thing is that,

1. your partner is on your side.
2. your partner navigates.

When he got off the phone, I pounced him and attacked him with a million kisses and much praise for his wonderful dealings with his mom and not making me deal with it.

That's my story for the day.


*I will agree that at some point, even reading blogs gets to be too much. I've learned to limit what I read and to stay away from the ones that make me feel our wedding is inadequate in any way. I'm passed gathering 'inspiration' for the most part and just want to crank this thing out. The blogs now are serving as just a great social community to share with and connect to.
** Burn in hell, Knot! I hate you! ok...just a little venting...
*** Apparently his mama had a lot to get off her chest!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Invites? Check!

They are IN! Printed, done and beautiful!

Many thanks to my wonderful, designer cousin who was our friendor for these (or "cousinor"? "cousindor"? Naw, those sound weird.) She both designed and printed our invites for us (hello sweet deals working in a print shop!) and I couldn't be happier! They look nice and happy and cheery and like a little party is going to happen under those two trees!

Check em out!
This is what they would look like when you pull them out of the envelope. All three (invite, RSVP postcard and directions) are standard postcard size - 6x4 - and are bundled with simple paper wraps (the blue strip).

Then we got the full invite with our info blobbed out:
The RSVP card and the mailing label side of the RSVP card:

I'm so excited to grab some stamps today, finish bundling little packages, get someone with nice handwriting to address them (my mom says if I address them they won't get there...sad...) or figure out how to print on the envelopes maybe, and send them out! Then I'm gonna grab that red pen and go check crazy on our to-do list! bam! bam! BAM!

WOO! I love productivity!

Hopefully this productivity high can carry me further down our to-do list that is hanging and taunting us on the wall. Our list is such a wienie head.

Peace, kiddos!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Felicity

Happy Friday, friends! I have a great band and a great song and a great video to share on this Friday. While I'm at it, I'm going to make this another double. Because its Sigur Ros and they are magic in my ear. The songs for today: Hippipolla and Glosoli.

The songs alone are great, with such emotion in them, but then add some beautiful story telling in the videos and they just capture me completely. Good luck not getting lost in these. Oh, and can I just say how cute all the people are in these? Both the adorable elderly and the adorable children. Loves it.

Sigur Ros has a special place in my heart. They make up a significant portion of the soundtrack to the beginning of our relationship when we would stay up late together listening. Often not talking much, just letting the music speak for itself. We were just enthralled with each other and happy enough staring into each others eyes.

This was also when I saw that certain look start to come across his face. I'd ask, as innocently as I could, "Whatcha thinkin?" and he'd say, "Oh, just enjoying the music" with a little shy smile. But I knew what he wanted to say was "I love you".*

So thats what I think of when I listen to Sigur Ros. I'm also hoping to find an appropriate song from them to have our first dance too.** Their music is just pure emotion and I'd love to think of both of our 'beginnings' when I hear them: the beginning of our relationship and the beginning of our marriage.***

See you next week!

*all together now! "Aawwwww"
**any suggestions? The tricky part is knowing what they are singing about - I'd like to avoid sad lyrics. Also, a lot of their songs start really quiet and then built into a crazy crescendo and aren't quite the typical pace for a slow dance. Maybe I just have to expand my dance song boundaries?
***Again! "

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ushy Gushy (or lack there of)

I was reading Another Damn Wedding's post on music and cheesy love songs today (totally agree, Lyn!) and it reminded me (in a back asswards kind of way) of a post I wanted to write. So here goes, kiddos. Beware of tangents and blabbering!

I just recently finished reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and I would love to do a full book review of that, but I just don't know how. She brought up so many great issues that I fear I'd babble on and on and on and couldn't stop. Also, I flew through that book! So I'd like to read it again and process it a bit more before trying to put together something meaningful to say.

But I do want to touch on one topic: love. (yeah, ok, just the biggest topic EVER!)

Gilbert pretty much says that love is a horrible reason to get married and I am going to go ahead and agree with her. Love is flimsy. Love is changing. Love is an emotion held in a human heart - not the most stable of carriers. In fact, one of the most unstable carriers. Love offers no security, no guarantee. Love is indeed blind.

But I think Gilbert, in this instance, is talking about love in the sense of romantic love. The love that washes over us when we first meet someone, when they fill our brain and consume our thoughts. That love is not stable and can come a go, leaving a broken marriage behind. That kind of love is dangerous to marry for.

Gilbert tells the story of an elderly couple who lived by her while she was growing up. They were married for years and years. In her old age, the lady had alzheimer's and her husband took care of her. He did things that she used to enjoy, trying to provide whatever happiness he could to her now.

Talking to the old man one day, Gilbert asks him how he and his wife fell in love. But to her surprise that’s not how their story went. He was young and trying to start up his own farm. Someone gave him advice, saying that he must have a good wife to build a successful farm. So he choose a bride and they got married.

No love in the beginning of that marriage, but what love evident in the end while he cared for his wife. The moral of that story: love does not a good marriage make, but a good marriage fosters love.

That’s where my head is at right now. Love. What loves means, what love should provide for a marriage, and the different kinds of love. As Helen Fisher, a scientist of love, tells (check out an awesomely interesting 30 minute TED talk by her), there are three kinds of love.

1) Lust
2) Romantic love
3) Attachment

Lust is that basic desire that Fisher describes as evolving to get us out there looking for potential mates. Romantic love is that obsession, that craving to be with someone that Fisher describes as evolving to focus our mating energy. Finally, attachment is that sense of calm and security with your partner that she describes as evolving to “allow you to tolerate another person long enough to raise a child.”

We praise romantic love and that ushy gushy crazy kind of love, but leave out the less glitzy phase of ‘attachment’. (maybe it just needs a new unattractive sounding…) But that's what marriage is. And the mister and I are there. We've been together long enough (5.5+ years) to get past that romantic love stage and into the nitty gritty how-do-we-stand-each-other phase of working out the details. How do we manage money? How do we maintain that spark of romantic love? How do we deal with each other's family? Do our long and short term goals align? How do we make them align? and so on and so forth.

And this is how Lyn's post at Another Damn Wedding got me thinking (see, back asswards). We are not an ushy gushy couple. We don't really like ushy gushy songs. But that's what everyone expects. The honesty of where we are at in our relationship doesn't really sound so good in a song! I'm thinking lyrics along the line of "Merging our accounts and taking on your debt! Fighting over space in our one tiny closet!" Not so great. So how do we choose music for those important and 'significant' moments - like a first dance?

Or how do we write vows? Whenever I start them in my head, it always sounds like such a downer. Because when I think about our marriage honestly, I'm scared. And to get over those nerves, I have to think honestly about the trouble we will face and about why I'm willing to face that trouble with him. Thats what it really comes down to, but again, doesn't really sound the best. "Baby, shits gonna hit the fan, but I want you to be there with me when it does! And darn if we won't clean up that mess together!"

Pass Nana a hankie, folks, cuz this ones a tear jerker!

We will proceed carefully and take time to pick music and write a ceremony fitting for us. It will be romantic in some senses and I'm sure we will jerk a few tears, but I'm guessing that our vibe will be less of an ushy gushy ridiculous love fest and more of a happy, honest, thoughtful ridiculous love fest.

Cheers, all! Hope this made some sort of sense. Next time I'll pick a topic a little less large than 'love'! ;)


Photo via adwriter


Hey! I'm back! I had a wonderful long weekend up north in the woods. My parents and grandparents and uncle all own lots on this little lake in the woods up near Grand Marais, and my grandparents built a cabin there. When I was little we were up there almost every other weekend in the summer and apparently it has had a lot to do with my development. Whenever I take people there, they go, "Oh, this explains a lot about you!" I'm not completely sure what that means...but I'll take it as a compliment.

And I'm so glad that my mister fits in with my family and can get into the cabin groove. Because its definitely a different kind of cabin. Its tucked away, there is a pretty small motor limit on the lake, no jet skis are allowed, restrictions are set so that no development is near the lake - aka on the lake you can't see any cabins, just woods. And when we go there to have a relaxing weekend we do things like build a stone wall.

Its place where we watch the squirrels during breakfast as they do acrobatics to get on the bird feeder. Then we go down to the dock to examine a pile of poop. We think it might have been an otter because there are rumors of an otter taking up residence on the lake. We are still investigating this rumor. After that, the real excitement starts - a trip to the gravel pit! Yay! And while I say that with a little bit of sarcasm, in all reality I love it. We pick out all the 'best' rocks, bring them back, and then find them homes in the forming rock wall. After dinner we go fishing and catch a bunch of the world's smallest walleye, maybe a few keepers, and then we go in to warm up and enjoy a game of dominoes.

But that is my little slice of heaven right there. I get to run around in the woods, not confined in my office, and do whatever I please. Sometimes relaxation comes in the form of reading a book on the dock and sometimes it comes through using my hands and my body and building a rock wall.

And not matter how hard I try, I just can't be stressed there. I brought some items from my 'to-do' list with over the weekend, but didn't even look at them. Didn't even think about them. And didn't even care.


Just wanted to share a little piece of 'real life' with ya'll. Because apparently "that explains a lot"!

*This photo is an old one, but I like it. It was the fall of 2004 and this is when I first took the mister up to the cabin. I had been wading in Lake Superior and am now concentrating on walking because I can't feel my feet. That lake is ridiculously cold.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday's Tender

Lets slow it down a bit with some Ray LaMountain and his steamy, dreamy voice. I've got two songs for you today from this dude. First, a nice slow song that, despite its title, is quite sweet.

Then we got one with a little more groove. This song is bomb and so is that beard. Way to be awesome, LeMountain.

See you tomorrow when I come back from my northern MN vacay!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Movin'

I'm off on a long weekend enjoying the fresh air of northern Minnesota but I wanted to send you all a little something today and tomorrow! I've been slackin over here and I apologize. I'll try to be more thoughtful soon. But for now, I'm just gonna keep sending you some awesome tunes from our playlist to enjoy! We can never get enough good songs and I hope you like some of our selections!

I'm all about a good dance song and try not to discriminate, but it seems like I have. All the past songs in the Dance Dance collection have been newer, with lots of hip hop or techno beats. We are working really hard to include music that everyone will enjoy - to get the grannies grooving right along side all our friends! That's a tough slot to fill though.

Here is one for the older gen. that hopefully gets younger booties moving, too!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Frenzy

For this Friday's sound, I'm hitting up one of my favorite dance tunes ever. And it is by none other than Madonna! woop! woop!

This song makes me want to open my own dance club. A club where drinks are strong and cheap, where there is no pretense, sweaty people just wanna have fun dancing, and where the songs just won't quit! If I had any interest in owning my own business, that's what I'd do. But instead I'm kinda lazy and would rather stick to a minimal 40 hour work week. :)

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope this gets you pumped for the weekend! Rock out with your socks off!

(Can we just give props where props are due? Madonna, how can you still be rocking that high cut leotard? Not my first choice of attire, but rock it if you wanna!)

(oh and PS, I'll be out for a trip up to the cabin this weekend - be back Wednesday! Peace, all!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I was reading Angie's post over at One Cat Per Person today and got to thinking about categories. About how we need them, love to put everything we can in them, and how hard they are to ignore. For wedding planning there seems to be the indie camp and the traditional camp. Two categories of weddings that wage an "Us" vs "Them" war.

But what about the in betweens?

Some days I feel like people are going to look at our wedding and go "WTF!? They call this a wedding!?" because we are skipping a lot of tradition and sometimes even subverting it. Then the next day I may be feeling like, "Holy crap, our wedding is so WEDDINGish! WTF happened? I thought we were going to be unique and special and have a wedding that is totally us!? OMG!" *spaz spaz*

First of all, if I were to describe us as a couple...I would not use the word indie OR the word traditional. We are somewhere in between. So our wedding is going to be us and be somewhere in between.

But like I said, we all love to put things in categorizes to help us better understand them. To give them a framework so we can say, ok, I see what is going on.

When planning our limited decor with my mom and my aunts, they kept trying to put a 'theme' or category to it. I'd say how I liked birds and saw this cute little bird that I wanted to hide in the branches of our centerpiece and suddenly they were off planning a bird themed wedding! Our wedding is involving trees in a few ways and is going to be kinda low key, so at one point they decided this meant it was an eco-garden party! Off they went, super excited about all the garden or bird theme items we could include.

They really, really seemed to want a cohesive 'theme' or category to be able to decorate by- something easily identifiable. So I had to keep reigning them in and explaining that no theme (besides my declared theme of "happy") was going to be happening. It was just going to be a mix and mash of pretty things that generally go together. Colors, fun poof balls, maybe some lanterns, some tree pieces worked in....but nothing really easily identifiable.

Now, I'm kinda pointing my fingers at my poor mom and aunties about their need to categorize, but its me too. In some aspects we are having a "eff it" wedding and in some we are having a traditional wedding. And I need to get over trying to fit our wedding anywhere. But that's a hard natural urge to get over - the desire to fit in, to be 'normal'. And for something as public and personal as a wedding, its no wonder that desire is stupidly strong. Even when I thought I was a big girl who was over the junior high insecurities and could be comfortable in my own skin... I think I finally am comfortable in my own skin, but I'm not so comfortable yet in my wedding/couple/public declaration of love skin.

So brain, take some notes, because heres the biz: Forget trying to fit our wedding into any category because 1) it may not fit anywhere 2) it doesn't need to fit anywhere.

I do hope that people come to our wedding and say, "Woah, I've never seen a wedding like this!" Some will say that with a smile on their face, thinking how fun it is to see a unique wedding, while others will scowl at our disrespect to the sacred institution of marriage!


It is what it is and its our own.

Image from ChernobylBob

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Last week I went a bit MIA because I needed a break from wedding planning. Not because I've been stressed or freaking out about something - actually just the opposite! I've been feeling great lately! Just really enjoying where we are at and getting really excited for the day to hurry up and get here already! I'm looking forward to putting the wedding behind us and moving on to being MARRIED!

It feels like I've found the elusive wedding zen! Lets hope it can hold...

This new zen has come from a major shift in our planning and the fact that my mister is now on board with the wedding.

So that may sound odd. Wasn't he on board before? Kinda. And I haven't talked about this for a lot of reasons. 1) It made me feel dumb. All you blog ladies have seemingly super involved, opinionated, and engaged FHs. Mine wasn't. and I felt like something was wrong with us. 2) I didn't know what to say about it because I was busy trying to deal with it. I hadn't been able to process it and probably didn't fully know what was going on. Its hard to be objective when you are in it.

But now we have mostly resolved that issue and I have processed it and better understand it, so I feel like I should talk about it. This is a place for all parts of the wedding planning process: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain crazy crap that goes on. So here is a story I was avoiding telling. Be warned: this is not gonna be short!

The mister and I dated for 5 and a 1/2 years before getting engaged. We'd talked a LOT about getting married and were just kinda slow to get to that decision. For whatever reasons, it took me five years to be sure that he was the one I wanted. It took me five years to give him the green light and say, "Ok. I'm ready. If you proposed, I would now say yes." (As opposed to the previous status of "take a rain check".) Then we worked out the details of the engagement ring (huge ordeal! not ready to post on this still! lol).

So the proposal wasn't a surprise exactly. I was surprised when it happened but not that it happened. If that makes sense...

Before officially getting engaged, I had already found A Practical Wedding and was already gearing up to start wedding planning. I thought I was so ahead of the game - and maybe in some aspects I was. I was so confident that I could breeze through wedding planning and come out with a simple, relaxed, beautiful wedding that cost around 5,000 bucks with 100 or so of our nearest and dearest. Oh, self, how naive you were!

When we were finally engaged, I hit the ground running with wedding planning. We immediately talked about what was important to us (not going into debt, local food, not being introduced to anyone at our wedding, supporting local vendors, etc.) and what we wanted our wedding to look like (dinner with our first ring relatives and close friends + fun party time!). Then we went into making it happen.

Turns out that, for what we wanted (dinner, 100 people, rented out space), 5,000 was not a feasible budget. So the budget ballooned to 10,000. I freaked out. Lots of tears. We contemplated eloping. But we had already gone through the process of deciding what was important to us and what we wanted. The only thing standing in the way was a few extra thousand. Luckily I had a bunch of savings and my parents were going to cover half that cost. So we moved forward with our original plan, learning to accept the realities of how frickin expensive weddings are.

Within this process, the mister and I made all the major decisions together. Venue, catering, guest list, officiant, choosing to iPod DJ the wedding, etc. There was no decision that we were not both a part of. But we were at totally different places when we thought about the wedding.

I had dove into the planning and become invested in the process. I had read all about beautiful, meaningful, community based weddings on A Practical Wedding and I wanted. I saw that we could have a wedding on our own terms and that it could be somewhere between indie and traditional - that it could be us. And I was determined to get there.

The mister, on the other hand, had not put much thought into it and was very unengaged in the process and was not invested in the wedding. And it drove me crazy! I could not put all the thought, money, time and effort into planning a wedding for US if he was not present in the process. I could not give the care needed if it was apparent he did not care. So what was the deal?

Money. (boo money) The mister hadn't been working much (construction sector was not happening) and was watching his savings dwindle. I was paying for our portion of the wedding and because of this, he did not feel as if he could/should have a say in the wedding. I told him otherwise and tried to let him know that that didn't matter, but to him it did. And understandably so.

So because he was not financially invest in the wedding he did not feel his opinions should be given as much weight. His lack of financial investment dissolved his emotional investment. And without him engaged in the process, I was unable to engage in 'our' day either.

Insert more crying and freaking out and debates about eloping. Insert honest discussions. Insert the mister starting a new job where he actually works 40 hours a week and has the ability to save money. And our planning is back on track.

After many discussions, he now gets that - regardless of his financial input - I need his input in the wedding. It needs to be a day built by us otherwise I just don't have the energy to put into it. And that being emotionally invested in the planning will help him feel more emotionally invested in the day - making it what it is supposed to be - a meaningful day for us.

We are now in it together and planning as a team. We are both (slowly) progressing along our to do list. We have both been crafting for the wedding (check out his awesome work!) and are both going to be able to see the fruits of our labor on August 28th.

I know that the stereotypical model of wedding planning is a demanding bride who obsessively plans the wedding while a spacey groom just shows up on the day without doing anything. But that stereotypical model just does not work for us. I could not function in that stereotype. I might kill someone in that stereotype and that would really mess up the details of a wedding!

So thats my long story. About how at first, I dove into the wedding planning, dragging him along and did not give him time to catch his breath. But now we've found our wedding planning zen together - which will hopefully make for a wedding day also full of zen!

Lessons learned: 1) Communications, as always, is key! I can never say that enough, but just talking it out can solve so many problems. 2) Be sure you are ready to talk it out. We talked about this a lot throughout the last few months, but as I said, I couldn't quite see what was going on clearly enough to be able to communicate it effectively. So we talked and yelled and cried. But once we were each able to communicate our feelings effectively, then we actually made progress. So GOOD communication is key. 3) I'm super lucky. I've got an awesome guy who loves me and wants to marry me. Even if sometimes I'm a nut job. :) I must have been an excellent person in my last life because he is just too good!


PS Hope everyone had an awesome long weekend! Mine was a perfect, relaxing time that nourished my little soul! Canoeing on the St. Croix river on Saturday, celebrating my dad's birthday on Sunday, and chillin on the boat with our besties on Monday. Nothing productive was done and thats just fine by me!