Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buying a Home

After months of searching, and two failed attempts at the contract-signing stage, we've reached a mutually agreeable price on a house!  It's been a stressful process, and I can't help but be a little nervous that something else might go wrong, but I am just so excited!

It has a pretty kitchen with granite countertops, brand new appliances, plenty of cabinets, and a large pantry!

One of our must-haves was a fireplace.  Even though we live in Houston, we still love to cozy up next to a warm fire in the wintertime, on the rare occasion that the temperature drops below 40.  And check out the nice wood floors - installed throughout the living room, entry and dining room!

We really wanted a big yard, for Dozie to be able to run around and play in.  We both fell in love with this 12,000 sqft lot!  It backs up to a quiet park with a walking trail, so there are no neighbors behind us.  Of course, the landscaping needs some work: we've got to get some trees planted, and Dozie's petitioning for a squirrel-feeder...

Hopefully everything will be smooth-sailing from here on out - our closing date should be mid-March.  Just in time for us to move out of our apartment before the lease ends.

It's going to be a busy month!  And then we're getting married in April! Woohoo :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Since today is centered around love, I have a wonderful poem I'd like to share with you.

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away. This is both an art and a fortunate accident to have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from the branches you realize that you are one tree and not two.”

-Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernieres.

We plan to include this as a reading in our wedding ceremony!

Instead of including the typical bible verse from 1 Corinthians or Romans 8, we chose something a bit more unique and personalized that relates to marriage.  I will enjoy looking back on this poem in the future, as a reminder of our wedding day.

We're also re-wording the speech our officiant will give before the ring ceremony because neither of us wants to hear how a ring is an unending circle like the sun, moon and earth or that love freely given has no giver or receiver.  Don't get me wrong, this speech might be just perfect for someone else, but for us, it's confusing and isn't very symbolic of the commitment we are making to each other.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Planning Bloopers

Things are destined to go wrong when you're planning a wedding.  And the best way to deal with these events is with a smile on your face, or to laugh it off.  Thus, here's my series of Wedding Planning Bloopers.  Let's start from the beginning:

- The night we got engaged, my fiance called to tell one of his best friends the news, and his response was, "Yeah man, I just found out that my girlfriend is pregnant, so we're getting married too".  So, we set our date specifically to allow for said groomsman to be able to attend after his baby is born in February.

- The weekend we picked happend to coincide with the biggest festival in my home town, thus ruling out our first pick for the ceremony venue, which happened to be in the middle of the festival location.  Then we picked another location for the ceremony that was still on the same street as the festival, in the naive belief that it was far enough away that it wouldn't affect us.

- Four months later we were notified that the streets surrounding the chapel would be blocked off, and that we would be provided with zero parking spaces.

- We could not change our date because 1) then the groomsman with that baby wouldn't be able to come and 2) I'd already bought my plane ticket for our honeymoon to Ireland.

- Therefore, we attempted to get married at a small church near our reception, but they wouldn't allow it because our officiant was non-denominational.  Finally, we changed our ceremony to be outdoors at the same location as our reception.

- We set up our tuxedo rental on-line for Men's Wearhouse, then sent out the colors & styles to each guy individually.  When my dad went in to get measured, they told him they couldn't measure him until we went  into the store and set up the colors and styles ourselves.  So we did that, and then my dad went back in to the store and they ended up asking him to pick out his style tux, shirt, shoes, color anyway, against their own policy.

- Three months before the wedding, the groomsman with the baby due in February told Austin he wasn't going to be able to make it.  We offered to pay for his plane ticket, but his wife still didn't want him to be gone all weekend.

- On the exact same day, one of the ushers also backed out because he changed jobs and wasn't guaranteed time off.

- Two months before the wedding, my maid of honor still hadn't ordered her dress.  Then she finally ordered it, but she kept receiving phone calls asking her which color purple she wanted...after the third phone call, I became suspicious and discovered that the website she ordered from was not an authorized manufacturer of the bridesmaid dress I had chosen.  Thus it would be a different shade of purple and the style would probably be a bit off as well.

- Eleven weeks before the wedding, I asked my maid of honor to cancel the dress and re-order it from a legit website.  I warned her that she would probably need to use rush-shipping, and offered to pay for it.

- Ten weeks before the wedding, my maid of honor e-mails me saying she thinks I should ask someone else to be the maid of honor because she can't afford it.  And that she doesn't want this to affect our friendship, that she's sorry that it's "kinda late notice".  Then she ignores my phone calls.