Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kids. Kids! Kids?

Adam and I had our second pre-martial counseling sessions with our pastor last week.   Before we started, we had to take a relationship survey online and our pastor uses the data from that to base our discussions on.  The results were pretty accurate and interesting to see.  While there were a few things we were surprised about and/or disagreed with the results on, we pretty much knew exactly what are core issues were.  The first major one came up last week:  children.

Adam and I are pretty much in agreement on this; we don't want children.  I guess this seems weird coming from a teacher, so rather, we don't want children...now.

I like kids.  I wouldn't spend my entire day with them if I didn't.  I like holding babies and watching them fall asleep in your arms and making dumb faces that get them to laugh.  But when I think about going home and doing that for the rest of my evening, it seems exhausting.  I like not worrying about anything but myself and what's for dinner.  I like the fact that if I have grading or lesson plans to work on, Adam can entertain himself with videogames and I'm not neglecting my children.

Adam most certainly agrees, in fact, more than I do. Adam doesn't really like kids.  He avoids my school-related functions like the plague.  He doesn't really know what to say to these kids (they're high schoolers, but it is all the same to him!), and you can tell he was the youngest in his family. Unlike me, he was never really around children. Adam doesn't think he'll ever want kids, and this is where we differ.

While I know that I am, in no way, prepared to children at this point in my life, I imagine that will change.  Will I ever feel that emptiness/longing for children or will I be able to fulfill it vicariously through other people's children? Most importantly, if I do develop this desire, will Adam do the same?  Are we both just young and have been together for so long that we are just longing to take the next step into marriage and could care less about what happens next, including children?

Clearly, Adam and I have no clue what will happen in the future.  We've discussed this whole children thing, long before the pastor-talk.  It does make me curious for the future though.  I've pretty much declared that if I ever want children and Adam still doesn't, I have to be okay with that.  I can't pretend like it was ever a surprise that Adam wouldn't want children and I didn't know what I was getting myself into.  Children are a large enough task when you have two committed individuals.  It makes me kind of sad to think of us as the childless couple, but then I think of all the puppies (no metaphor, just puppies) we could raise, I think we'll be okay.  Adam likes dogs.

So, that's where it's at.  I know as soon as the wedding is over, people are going to start asking.  It seems like there is no filter for people when it comes to babies.  They act like they've never raised children before and it's the most lighthearted of decisions.  I can just imagine the barrage of questions we are going to get asked:
- When are you going to start a family?
- Are you guys trying yet?
- You don't want to have children?

My and Adam's mothers are no help either;  both of them are in Grandma Mode. While I am the oldest in my family, Adam is the youngest in his, with no grandchildren on either side.  We tried to warn the both of them, but they don't seem to take us seriously!  I'd hate to leave them grandchild-less, but that's what our siblings are for, right?

So what do you think?  Am I doomed for disappointment when mother nature starts calling? How did you feel about children before marriage...and after? Were you and your significant other on the same page about children?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DIY: Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Here is the much awaited (since I announced it yesterday) tutorial for my Will You Be My Bridesmaid? Wine Bottle and Goblet Project

The "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Wine Bottle and Goblet Project:
Wine glasses - I purchased 4 from Dollar Tree.  They are a bit on the large size!
Contact paper - I also purchased this at Dollar Tree.  You don't need that much so I would recommend purchasing the smallest amount necessary
Etching cream - Hobby Lobby
Foam Brush
Cutting surface
Craft knife

Wine of your choice - something that has a removable label will make your life easier
Martha Stewart Labels - I purchased a pack of 6 removable labels that were 3.75 x 5.2
Computer and Printer

1.  Find a font that you want to use and print off several different sizes to see what will cover up the wine glass the best.  I chose to use the font Fashion Victim that can be found at dafont.com.

2.  Trace the letters onto the contact paper.  Make sure that you trace on the plastic side rather than the paper side or else you will cut your letter out backwards.  True story.

3.  Cut the inside of the letters out with a craft knife and position on the wine glass.  Press down well and remove any bubbles around the edge of the letters.  It won't matter if there are bubbles on the outside edges of the contact paper, but it needs to be smooth where the letter is.
The top left corner looks like a bubble, but I actually just cut the contact paper and overlapped those edges because there previously was a bubble that I couldn't smooth out.

4.  Apply a layer of etching cream to the exposed areas of the glass where the letter has been cut out.

5.  After the etching cream has set for 5 min, rinse the wine glass completely.  There are warnings against getting the etching cream on your skin so be careful!  I removed the contact paper, did a little drying/polishing and then your glass is set!

Now onto Part 2!
1.  The Martha Stewart labels are made by Avery which means that in Microsoft Word there is already a template for the dimensions of the label. So it starts out looking like this...and then I worked on the design.



2.  I ultimately decided on Style #2, trying to match the color of the blue to the border on the labels (the borders on the labels came blue and green - three of each).  Since there were only three of each color and I have 4 girls, I used a green border for my MOH's label.

3.  I printed off the labels using a regular inkjet printer.  I did have some issues with printing!  I don't know if the labels were slippery, but my printer kept printing too high up on the labels and then they were off-center.  Since I didn't want to go out a buy more, I just ended up cutting the labels so that they were symmetrical. (No picture, so sorry!)

4.  Remove old wine label.  My new labels were smaller than the original labels on the wine bottle, so the old one had to go.  Thankfully, Relax Riesling uses a clear plastic label, so it came off really easily.  I did wipe the bottle down to get rid of any remaining residue with a warm, damp cloth. 

5.  Add the new labels on and smooth!  I worked in an X shape to smooth down the labels so that there weren't any bubbles.  These labels are actually removable, so if you mess up, you can peel it up and start over.

6. Combine with the personalized wine glass and you have yourself one classy set!

7.  To finish if off, I wrapped the wine glasses in tissue paper and then put both items into paper gift bags that I bought at Dollar Tree.  I also wrote each girl a letter, printed off an envelope with their name on it and added it to the bag.

I wrote each girl's name on the front of the bags with a silver sharpie.   I kind of wish that I would have put more effort into decorating the bags, but I didn't!  In hindsight, I would probably stencil their initial onto the front and maybe throw some glitter in there!

8. Now they're all ready to be sent out into the world!

Price Breakdown:
Wine glasses - $4
Contact Paper $1
Etching cream - on hand (but it had a $7.99 sticker - take a 40% off coupon with you!)
Gift bags $2
Wine $40
Labels $3                 
Total = $50 ($12.50 per bridesmaid!)

So what do you think?  Is there anything that you would have done differently?  How would you have decorated the gift bags?  Have you done any similar projects?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Won't you be my bridesmaid?

I really wanted to do something special to ask the girls to be my bridesmaids.  I realize that simply asking would suffice, but I thought going above and beyond would not only be nice, but it would show them how much it means to me to have them be a part of my wedding.

Thus, it was decided.

I had several options in mind that I had seen on Pinterest or Wedding Bee...
the card (source)

the necklace (source)

the ring pop (source)

...but none of them really spoke to me.  

Something that has been pretty popular these days is making your own wine labels as table numbers/wedding favors for the reception. 

So, I decided to branch off that and make Will You Be My Bridesmaid bottles of wine and personalized goblets. I put the bottles and goblets into a gift bag with a note for each of the girls.  I basically handed them all the bags, let them peek and told them they couldn't read my note until I had left (because I'm awkward).

All the girls seemed to really like them, which made all of the work completely worth it!  

How did you ask your bridesmaids?  I'm absolutely terrible about asking people for help, so I felt super vulnerable!  After they read their letters, everyone was really excited and emotional which made me feel dumb for feeling so insecure.  These are people that I have spent years of my life getting to know, but I was still so worried!

I'll post a DIY for this, but it was all pretty simple and self-explanatory.  Hope you like it! Share your Will You Be My Bridesmaid stories!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Now Introducing...

We are about nine months out from the wedding.  We are also nine months in to this engagement.  Needless to say(I'm a terrible person), we now finally have a wedding party!  Adam asked everyone to be a groomsman by February of this year.  Adam and I both only have brothers, so picking the males came down to siblings and a long-time friend.  For me, the choice wasn't so easy.  We had a clear lack of sisters and I used to have a hard time maintaining female friends.  As an adult, I think I can declare that has changed, but as I look back through my childhood friends, we've either lost contact or we were only really close for a short period of time.

Once Adam and I started to get serious, it was just the two of us for the longest time.  We spent time together because we enjoyed spending time by ourselves, together.  Now as we've gotten bored of each other...kidding...we've become more sociable, our friends circles have grown and I have lots of females that I would consider friends.  The hard part was deciding who to choose to stand up there with me.  Thus, it took me a good eight months, but I'm convinced that these girls will do an awesome job and I am so excited to have their company throughout this journey. I would however, discourage this for fellow brides-to-be as I think I might have unintentionally hurt some feelings by not asking as soon as I got engaged.

So without further ado, I am pleased to introduce our wedding party!

The Guys:
Best Man T (and Bridesmaid V)
Best Man T and Adam have been friends since elementary school.  They both grew up right outside of town, shared bus rides together and even got themselves into a little bit of trouble from time to time. Adam and I shared an apartment with BM T for a year during college (I moved in with them after I had some roommate issues and I applaud BM T for dealing with me for an entire year).  Best Man T and Bridesmaid V started dating 5 years ago.  We spend a lot of our weekends together going out to eat, playing games and generally arguing if Playstation or Xbox is better.  Bridesmaid V and I like to agree that Adam and Best Man T are deeply in love with each other might run off together on us.

Groomsman/Brother of the Groom J
Groomsman J is Adam's oldest brother.  With 7 years between them, they get along exceptionally well. Groomsman J and Adam have similar interests and hobbies, and I can often lose Adam to Groomsman J's house into the late hours of the night (which I can see from my bedroom window so Adam can't run off too far).  Groomsman J is always there if you need something, as thus far he has kindly offered to be the officiant, DJ, speech giver and probably another few things on top of his groomsman duties.

Groomsman/Brother of the Groom D
Groomsman D is the middle brother of the 3 (Adam is the youngest).  He is also the brother that is the most different.  While Adam and J enjoy playing cards and discussing videogames, Game of Thrones, movies and other nerdy things, brother D does not quite feel the same.  While brother D most likely will never find this blog, I dare say he is the brother that is left out a lot and very stubborn. While it sounds all negative, we are very excited to have him as a groomsman and to have him be a part of the festivities.  Groomsman D is a hard worker and has a lot of technical skills that we might put his expertise to use.  He is also engaged and planning to get married in the fall after our wedding.

(Me &) Groomsman/Brother of the Bride B
Adam was originally really set on three groomsmen and three bridesmaids, but we have a fourth to add to the collection, my brother B.  Groomsman B was only eight when Adam and I started dating, so he has definitely grown up with Adam in his life.  I'm a protective big sister, but when there are eight years between the two of you, it happens.  Groomsman B is a senior in high school this year and took all of the athletic talent in my family playing football, basketball and baseball.   He will also be the tallest groomsman standing at 6'4 while Groomsman J comes in as the shortest.  Groomsman B is a pretty soft spoken guy with a big heart and I'm so happy that he gets to stand up there with the boys.

The Girls:
Maid of Honor N (and me!)
Maid of Honor N and I became friends when I started working at the public library in high school.  We went to high school together, but she was two years older than me and in a school of 2000+ students, you just don't get to know everyone.  We worked together for almost 5 years during college, and continue to hang out together with Bridesmaid H.  MOH N is currently in nursing school, so we don't see each other much during the school year.  However, once summer hits, her and I can be found at the pool reading, finding cheap lunch, and at Margarita Mondays at La Fiesta, the Mexican restaurant.  We notoriously have too much fun together which results in Adam having to come and drive us home, but we're working on that responsibility thing.

Bridesmaid H
Bridesmaid H is another former public library coworker and MHS attendee, but was also a couple of years older than me.  We worked together for several years, but really became friends during my freshman year of college.  Adam and I lived with terrible roommates, so I would spend my Saturday evenings with Bridesmaid H's friends (including MOH N) and stay the night on their floor to avoid having to go home (Adam was at Brother J's, of course).  After introducing me to everyone, this eventually became my group of friends and we spend a lot of our weekends together barbecuing, playing games, camping, watching movies, and entertaining ourselves with Bridesmaid H's daughter "the burrito." Bridesmaid H is someone that you can always count on to talk to or to be up for doing something on a boring night.  She loves weddings and I am super excited to help encourage her obsession.

Bridesmaid V
You've already seen Bridesmaid V above, but she is the lucky lady to Best Man T.  I met Bridesmaid V on the night of my college graduation when the two of them came over to celebrate with us.  I remember she wore these crazy red heels and that night we ended up walking to campus and climbing on the roof of one of the buildings.  Bridesmaid V is my fashion girl.  While I love shopping, Bridesmaid V puts my style-sense to shame.  We always have fun when we get together and can sit around and talk or we can ditch the boys and go dancing.  Bridesmaid V and I have quite a few differences in taste (dubstep, really? haha), but we never seem to run out of things to do together or get tired of hanging out (unless she falls asleep on us...which tends to happen)!

Bridesmaid L
Bridesmaid L is my long-time, long-distance friend.  When we were kids, Bridesmaid L lived in Oregon with her mom and she would come and stay each summer in Manhattan to visit with her dad.  Since she wasn't a native, a lot of the time it was just me and her hanging out during the summer.  I remember that we would take turns playing at each others houses (but hers was better because she had the Super Nintendo and these amazing Snackwell's Chocolate Chip Cookies that I would destroy).  During the summer before our sophomore year of high school, Bridesmaid L came to live with her dad and we became really close after that.  We fell out of touch during our senior year of high school and didn't talk much until we reconnected around the time of my college graduation. Since then, we email each other and hang out when she is in town. She lives in Parsons which is several hours away, but we still try to make an effort to see each other once in awhile.  What I loved about Bridesmaid L during high school was that we could have fun and I could be myself, and I am looking forward to having her around and enjoying the wedding festivities with her.

So there you have it, the Lindsy/Adam wedding party.  We still need to lock down ushers and flower girls so that should be coming soon! 

Next time...I'll show you how I asked the girls to be my bridesmaids.

(all photos personal and/or STOLEN from Facebook)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Chandler, what is wrong with your face?"

Oooh goodness, welcome back!  Did you think I was a goner? I might have thought that myself these past few weeks.

School has officially started back up and my relaxing life of leisure has gone out the window.  With my 40 minute drive to work, it makes for some really long days.  Plus trying to get in exercise means that I get home at 6:00pm and have 3 hours to cook dinner, eat, update lesson plans, email students, watch a smidgen of TV and then go off to bed for my required 8 hours of sleep.  Annnd repeat.

So blogging...it's been kind of put on the back burner until I get readjusted to working life again.  Also, wedding planning has been pretty slow, so there's nothing I have really planned to share quite yet!

However, Adam and I are on the countdown for our engagement pictures.  We are just over 5 weeks away and I am starting to get a little nervous.  Let me tell you why...

Adam doesn't know how to smile.

Now, this seems absolutely ridiculous, but it's true!  Adam can smile.  He had braces in high school and now he has a very nice smile.  But you cannot ask Adam to smile and then receive one because he cannot force it.  In essence, he has the Chandler Bing Smile Problem (YouTube won't let me embed it, so you must click the link instead).

Let's see some evidence of this:

See what I mean?  We have been together for almost 9 years and I have more fingers than good pictures of me and Adam together.  Seriously?  We can't take a single good picture a year?  My mom has experienced my pain as any time she tries to take our picture together, she ends up taking 15 shots, looking at the camera each time, and then saying, "really Adam?"  It's actually become a joke in their household and you can expect to double the time needed for picture taking when Adam is, well, literally, in the picture.

Of all the terrible photos, my favorite is the Angry Adam by the Christmas tree.  We spent probably an hour a couple of Christmases ago trying to take a picture together.  I finally got frustrated, and clearly so did Adam, so I took a picture of him by himself in front of the tree.  We have not sent a photo Christmas card since.

While Adam clearly never had to take pictures as a child, I do think he partially tries to sabotage the photos to keep me from taking more. But he should have learned by now that it doesn't work and it just makes the process longer and more painful.  (I'm going to tell myself that he does some of this on purpose so that I don't feel like we're wasting our money by getting engagement pictures.)

So what do you think?  Are we doomed to have terrible engagement pictures?  I talked to our photographer about Adam when we had our sit-down(you know, mob style) and he didn't seem too concerned.  His suggestion was to get Adam loosened up a little bit by means of alcohol...haha.  So I guess Adam and I will be celebrating on a Sunday afternoon in October with Long Islands before we take our engagement pictures.  I probably should avoid drinking because I get a really cheesy smile once alcohol takes root in my system, but who can really turn down a Hibachi Hut Long Island Iced Tea?

How was the picture-taking process for you?  Any suggestions for a poor, worried soul like me?