Monday, May 16, 2011

Giggles and Nostalgia

I have been so bad about posting lately. I thought I was on such a good roll but then I went and disappeared again. Woops! Life has been rather crazy lately. I had my entire family in town--my father, all three of my sisters, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nephew, and neices--a couple of weeks ago. My sister Beth graduated with her masters degree and it happend to coincide with my sister Lauren's trip to Disney with her twin daughters, so naturally my twin sister Meghan flew out here from Texas to join in the fun. It's such a rare occasion to get all four of us in one state, let alone one house. Between the four of us, we're spread out across half the country and it takes some serious fancy footwork to make a group gathering possible. But we made it happen and even got to all spend a night in my house together.

We kept meal times as low key as possible, which was a lifesaver. It was much easier to order pizza and make sanwiches than try to go out for every meal. My neices, who are twins, are only 18 months old and into everything. They were so much fun to have around and possibly two of the silliest little girls I've ever encountered. I spent the entire weekend laughing and laughing at their words, their giggles, their impish smiles, and their flowery personalities. We were initially a little worried how they were going to react to our dog Nella. Nella is actually a big pile of wimpy mush and is basically scared of her own shadow, but to the unsuspecting she's still a large dog with teeth. The girls were a little skiddish at first, but luckily Nella remained freakishly calm the entire time they were here (I was such a proud mamma!), and by the end of their trip the girls were constantly petting her and offering kisses and hugs and telling her repeatedly the word, "Soft!".

On the one night that everybody stayed over at my house, I discovered a small issue. While I certainly have room for several people to sleep in my house, I realized very quickly that I don't own nearly enough pillows and blankets. Everybody kept telling me not to worry about it, but I felt so bad and pretty embarassed. Between the spare room, the couches in the living room, air mattresses, and the floor, I had people EVERYWHERE. I was literally scrimping to find things to cover people with and was having to resort to using couch cushions for spare pillows. I've had people stay over at my house before, but never that many at once, and for whatever reason it was the one area that weekend that I was very unprepared for. Lesson learned! But overall, it was a very successful weekend and a lot of fun to have some time with my dad and my sisters.

Tomorrow is my 3rd wedding anniversary, which I cannot believe. I still feel as if I got married just yesterday. Actually, that's not true. I feel like I've been married to David forever (which I take as a good sign), but I feel like I just planned a wedding only yesterday. Weddings are such funny things. You spend so much time pouring over these small, ridiculous details (at least I know I did) to the point where it consumes the majority of your life and time, and then POOF!, it's all done and overwith in a day and you never have to deal with it again. I single-handedly planned about 97% of my wedding all myself. I was one of those brides that didn't want anybody helping me. It wasn't to be a jerk, though. I was merely very practical and knew what I wanted and didn't want. We were on a modest budget for our wedding. I wouldn't call it tight, but for today's typical standards for weddings, it was certainly modest. Both sets of parents contributed, as did David and I. We contributed quite a bit actually. We were able to pull off a very beautiful wedding, complete with excellent food, open bar, and an unbelievable Hawaiian honeymoon for a pretty reasonable amount. I discovered during the wedding process that there most certainly is something to be said for limited choices. I think when you're on a budget that could probably pay for a mansion in Boca Raton you might find yourself with a rather ridiculous amount of things to choose from, which often leads to "whoa, whoa...we're getting way over budget here...this is getting out of control.." moments. But when you know that the line is drawn very sharply, you have no choice but to keep your feet on the ground. Plus, you get your creative juices flowing like you never realized they could! We were able to cut so many corners on some of the details that weren't that big of a deal to us that we were able to afford some of the things that were a big deal. A friend of a friend of mine actually paid something like $4200 for her wedding invitations. That was the craziest thing I had ever heard. I actually saw that invitation. It was very pretty, yes, but how many of those ended up in the garbage can? I bet quite a few of them. We made our invitations ourselves. I paid about $30 for a boxed set of simple invitations with envelopes and responses cards from Target, in which we added a beautiful font in chocolate brown ourselves. I even borrowed David's exacto knife (it's an artist tool that is similar to a doctor's scalpel) and cut two tiny slits at the top of every invitation. I bought a reel of satin chocolate brown ribbon (for about $2.50) and slid a small piece of ribbon into the slits which I tied into perfect bows, adding a pretty touch of color (I considered pink since that was my other wedding color but the brown was much more elegant). Voila! Invitations for less than $40. It really isn't hard to plan a wedding. You just have to be decisive, creative, and have a plan of action. Do I miss those days of pouring over countless Knot magazines and bridal websites? I thought I would, but heck no! Looking back, it was fun at the time, but I would never want to do it again. Besides, it's everything that comes after the wedding that's the best part. The flowers are beautiful, the cake is delicious, the party is fun, but it's not all about the prime rib and champagne cocktails. It's the love, love, love! Did I really just say something that sappy? Yes, I believe I did. Can you tell that my anniversary is tomorrow?