Something blue

Source: amazon.com via Rose on Pinterest

 

Planning a wedding is hard. It’s the details that are killing me, and we are deliberately keeping it simple to avoid such debilitating details. But it’s okay, these are mostly fun details: shoes and jewelry and tartan silks. The big stuff was fairly easy, maybe because the decisions were clear  and we knew what we wanted. It sort of went like this: Let’s get out of town and keep it simple. Okay…Destination wedding, we love Scotland, let’s go there!…there are castles in Scotland, let’s rent a castle!…bagpipes are Scottish, I’ll book a piper!…god-stuff creeps us out, let’s find a Humanist celebrant, done! …We like food, oh look a lovely nearby restaurant, reception booked! …Ooh, shopping…found a dress, love it, bought it, done. That all happened within about a month of getting engaged. And all of it (except buying the dress) took place on my couch from my laptop. Since then, I’ve planned and booked more of the honeymoon, invited the guests, and uhm…that’s about it. Am I missing something?

But it turns out that buying The Dress is not the end of the The Dress saga. There are all these fussy little details that I have to shop for and make decisions on: shoes, smallclothes (that’s Winterfell for underwear, it just sounds more delicate, and the irony is that in my case they are everything but), jewelry, hair accessories. Obviously I’ve found the shoes (see above!) but the perfect smallclothes continue to elude me despite months of order-a-size-try-it-on-send-it-back-order-another-size *lather rinse repeat* and I’m still trying to find earrings and a necklace that I like. Not to mention the wedding shawl I’m knitting and the lace shrug I plan to knit. I’m a bit envious of Matt being able to rent his entire outfit in one fell swoop when we get to Scotland.

However, the biggest most important aspect of the wedding plan has finally fallen into place: we found a dog-sitter! It was really hard getting excited about the whole adventure while we were still worried about who would stay with the dogs. Thanks to Barb’s suggestion, I asked the vet tech at our vet clinic if the clinic had any pet sitter recommendations and it turns out that she herself did a lot of dog-sitting for other clients of our vet. I’m so relieved the weenies will be safely cared for in their own home so we can relax and enjoy our wedding and honeymoon! I’m even more relieved that Matt’s relieved because when he’s anxious…hoo boy.

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2011: The year in review

2011 was a pretty good year.

We rang in the new year with a housewarming/NYE party at our house, I made Indian appetizers and burned myself with the hot oil, as usual. In January, I was still working in home hospice and not yet miserable there. Lil’ Ardie was about four months old, scampering around the house, and frolicking with his buddies as often as possible. I reminisced about my 2008 trip to Egypt while watching the riots in Tahrir Sqaure.

In February I had a fun trip to Vancouver with another hospice nurse/friend for a conference. We shopped, ate Japadog, ate at Vij’s, ate Japadog again, knit, and watched many hours of crime dramas on TV. We even made it to some of the conference lectures. Matt and I spent a weekend in Bellingham visiting my folks at the end of the month.

Matt would probably rather forget March, as he had to travel to St. Louis twice in two weeks for work. We got a major bit of landscaping done in the backyard when Matt’s parents helped us build our fence. The photos of homeless dogs in Japan, following the tsunami, left me a bit verklempt.

April started out with some nice weather allowing extra trips to the dog park for the weenies. I spent nearly a week in Bellingham after my mom’s knee replacement, to help out around the house and remind her to take her pain meds on time. Little Ardie gave us a scare when he ended up in the doggy ICU for a couple of days, but with some IV fluids and antiemetics he recovered well. I didn’t stay up till 2am to watch it, but of course I DVR’d the royal wedding to watch in entirety. I loved Pippa’s dress and was aghast at the hatless audacity of Mrs. Cameron.

In May we celebrated Matt’s birthday at Sun Mountain Lodge in the beautiful Methow Valley, I got to go on a private trail ride and we pretended that not having a television in our room was really relaxing. I was really starting to have a hard time with the long hours and poor management at work, so I applied for and was given a position as a float nurse (still with home hospice), a welcome change from the responsibilities and overtime I was putting in as a case manager.

June was a weenie-ful month. Steph and I did the Furry 5K in Seward Park with the weenies, then headed to Ellensburg for Weenies on Parade and found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of dachshunds. Matt flew off to St. Louis again, but maybe the successful re-pipe of the house made up for that? I passed the CHPN exam for working, adding a $1/hr and more credentials to my  job title, but I was miserably counting down the days until I could start my new role as a float nurse.

Although July brought Matt to St. Louis twice, we did get to go to Ashland, OR for the Shakespeare Festival on my birthday. I ostensibly transitioned to ‘float nurse’ with home hospice but was immediately told that my first duty as a float nurse was to be case manager for a team in Renton. Time to look for a new job!

August brought many fun weekend jaunts…to Bellingham, Sun Mountain Lodge, then Whidbey Island with Steph and the weenies. Then I quit my job.

In September I started my new job at the cancer clinic and instantly felt happier and less stressed. I’m pretty sure Matt did too, despite his continued scheduled of twice-monthly trips to St. Louis. We spent a wonderful weekend on the Rivett’s sailboat in the San Juans and little Ardie looked especially jaunty in his float coat.

The highlight of October (and the year!) was our trip to Maui, where Matt finally popped the question and we got engaged. We spent a wonderful week in our condo on the beach and the first-class flights were icing on the cake.

November was uneventful, with weekends full of wedding dress shopping. And I wrapped up the wedding plans with lightning speed!

In December we visited my parents in Bellingham then spent Christmas in Palm Springs with the Rivetts.

…which brings us up to date. My highlight is definitely the trip to Maui and getting engaged, the lowpoint(s) are the probably all related the home hospice job. I can’t wait for 2012, now that I have a job I love, and because I’m getting married this year! And best of all, we’re going to Scotland.

 

 

Say aye to the dress

I’m very very happy and excited and thrilled to be getting married to my favorite person and best friend. I can’t wait. But, first there’s this whole wedding thing, which entails a bit of planning. And as much as I scoff at huge elaborate weddings planned years in advance, it turns out that at least a few months lead-time is kind of necessary for sufficient planning, even for a semi-eloping-destination wedding such as ours. That said, we’re trying to keep it simple as possible, so the planning isn’t too stressful. Which is a good thing, but I’m not a party-planner. I do love planning vacations and travel however. I don’t even usually like parties or gatherings, too many people for my comfort zone. Not to mention I’m distinctly uncomfortable being the center of attention, and being the bride that is sort of unavoidable at one’s own wedding. But using the interwebs and email alone, I must say I’ve done a pretty good job so far: We’ve been engaged for one month, and we’ve set the date, sent out save-the-dates (online of course, cheap and easy! I mean eco-friendly. Yep, that’s it.) I’ve booked the wedding ceremony venue (nothing fancy, just a wee castle), our accommodation (same castle), a photographer, and a piper. I found and booked an officiant to marry us (yes, the whole thing will be legal and recognized in the US), she’s a humanist celebrant. She has been absolutely lovely to work with! She lives just a few miles from the castle we’re getting married in, and it turns out she was married there herself so it will be quite special to her. She recommended the photographer and piper and negotiated good deals for us, so I was able to confirm their availability through her. All that’s left, for the time being, are booking airline flights and the reception (“wedding breakfast,” as the Scots would say) venue. Little things like flowers and kilt hire can be done later on.

Oh yeah, and The Dress.

If you haven’t already picked up on it, the overall theme for the wedding is SIMPLE. Well, and Scotland and castles and whisky. So of course I’m thinking I want a very simple dress. I do NOT want to look like a cupcake, or a cake topper. No strapless ballgowns, no trains, no blingity-bling. Maybe lace, maybe a simple sheath style, maybe something vintage…all while being something appropriate for  a castle. Not a tall order, right? I’m pretty sure those are famous last words uttered by every bride-to-be as she embarks on the Dress Shopping Adventure. I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for but I’ll know it when I see it….right?

Lace, simple, ivory, cap sleeves (have to be added)…all things I thought I wanted. But it just didn’t seem to work. Can’t put my finger on it.

After the first couple of dress stores, I do have a much better idea of what I don’t want. No v-necks (too much cleavage!), no strapless (I hate exposing my shoulders. I must have weird Amish blood in me or something). Although one of my favorite gowns was strapless…simply confusing me even more.

Mum says, "A train? Really?"

If I went strapless I could always wear a little shrug or bolero jacket…hey, I could even knit one!

But…then I found the tartan gown. I snickered at first, but kept coming back to it…it is certainly fairly unique, and an ivory lace knit shrug would be nice with it…

Just some tartan thoughts to ponder. So, no decision on the dress yet. Still shopping.