Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Unity Sandwich

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Credit: Offbeat Bride

Today Offbeat Bride featured this hilarious and so-creative take on a wedding unity ceremony.  Click over to read it.  Seriously, how awesome is that?  This couple got the perfect blend of silly tongue-in-cheek creativity and making wedding  traditions their own.  I want our wedding to have this silliness to it too!

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My (Lack of) Style

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Here goes my first attempt at a fashion post.  And I’m taking it OH. SO. SERIOUSLY.

Sometimes, when you’re me, you look in your closet and realize you have no shirts.  Your few trips to thrift stores since coming home from travels have yielded a few cool skirts, pants, and dresses but your tops are all…meh.

So you ultimately decide that it is totally cool to rock a crazy khanga shirt with an unevenly-cut keyhole made by a Tanzanian seamstress that you got in the Peace Corps.  Hey, aren’t the skinny jeans and tunic top a somewhat stylish shape nowadays?  Or is this outfit really something I should not present in public again?

Tanzanian clothing

Weddings –> Emotional Depletion

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In the aftermath of Mark and Sally’s (future BIL/SIL) lovely wedding, I feel surprisingly emotionally drained.  Weddings are just so packed with heart-walloping meaning and jaw-dropping beauty that the downswing afterwards can be kind of melancholy.  So for the past two days I’ve just been feeling kind of blue about regular, non-wedding-land life.  At the same time I’m also feeling super-giddy head-over-heels in love with my Zach.  Probably had something to do with that sexy suit he wore!  Zach said he feels similarly drained but elated.

Does attending weddings of those you’re close to have the same effects on anyone else?  Or are we just extra-susceptible to emotion since we’re in that crazy strange phase called “engagement?”

If I feel like this now, I can’t imagine how I’ll feel once our day is done!  Thank goodness it’s still a ways off and we have lots of planning excitement ahead of us!

Our Very Classiest

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It kinda scares me how good I look with a ‘stache.

This instagram picture is definitely my new favorite picture of us!  We took it right after Mark (Zach’s brother) and Sally’s wedding ceremony yesterday.  Clearly, we are goofballs who can’t dress up without adding some funny accessories.  What a great time that wedding was!  Other than mustaches, highlights included filming the whole thing myself with three cameras, boogying down on the dance floor, seeing Zach and Mark’s dad smile so much, and sleeping in a real bed (thanks Holiday Inn) for the first time since El Salvador (we rock an air mattress in our apartment).  The wedding video (my first ever) will be coming soon!

Appliances!!!!

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Know what’s awesome about having people close to you who are getting married?

Wedding registry hand-me-downs!

So far we have scored a coffee maker and a crockpot thanks to Zach’s brother and his fianceé receiving upgrades and duplicate gifts!  Keep the appliances coming, guys!

Doubles No More

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Well, it turns out working 70 hours a week does not for good blogging make.  But fear not, life will be better now.  I decided that my 3rd job, bartending in the daytime at a failing downtown hotel, was not worth the $10-30 a day I made there.  Plus, I got offered more shifts at the Indian restaurant so even without the third job, I’m still working 7 nights a week.  Still too much?  Perhaps, but weddings don’t pay for themselves!

This post is pretty lame.  To spruce it up, here’s a video from an awesome new British folk singer I recently discovered.

Fun. is just plain FUN!

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Have you heard any songs from new band Fun. yet?  I may be late to board this train but deal with it.  The band features Nate Ruess, The Format’s old frontman.  I loooooved (and still love) The Format but Fun. may be even more amazing.  Their songs blend the typically-clever Ruess lyrics with Queen-esque riffs and African drumbeats.  IT IS SO AWESOME!  They’re most well known for currently chart-topping “We Are Young” but in my opinion, “Some Nights” is the best song on the album and THE best new song I’ve heard in a long time!  I’m not sure if the video lives up to how great the song is, but just take a listen and tell me that it doesn’t make you want to dance!

Sweatier’n’a sumo wrestler in a sauna!

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Allow me to rant for one moment.  Did you know it has been over 90 degrees every day for the past four days here, even getting up to 101 degrees at one point?  Holy bonkers, that is hot!  I thought I left Central America!  Apparently this week has been “historic” for high temperatures, as it has been all over the country pretty much.  Running has been pretty miserable as you can imagine.  But you know what the worst part is?  We don’t have A/C in the car, and I have a 20+ minute drive to work.  That’s 20 minutes of sweating before I arrive to serve tables.  I show up looking like I just ran a marathon.  It’s gross.  Also, I have been trying to get a third job, so showing up for interviews after driving in the heat has been a real barrel of fun.  I’ve had to start wearing different clothes in the car, then change, reapply powder and body spray in a nearby fast food place bathroom.  It’s awesome.

Plus, our electricity is not included in our rent, and neither of us has ever had a separate electric bill before.  We have no idea how much we can run the A/C without racking it up to $100 a month.  We’ve been trying to run it as little as possible, but we have to have it at night and a few times a day.  Not looking forward to that bill.

Oh, first world problems.  Well, poor people in the first world problems.  Most people who can afford it have A/C in their car, I think.

The Whole Cheesy Story, Part 4

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First read Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Finally, the end of the “how we met” saga!

When we last left off in my long, drawn out love story, Zach and I had finally said the big “L word”, and the next day I got on a plane to start my two years of Peace Corps service.  I went off to Tanzania to learn Swahili, live in a village, and do my best to contribute something, and he stayed in Ohio, working on his degree.  We left our relationship undefined and I had no idea what would happen.  I honestly expected him to forget about me and find a new girl who wasn’t an ocean away.  But he didn’t.  And the trouble was, I couldn’t forget about him either.  I did my best to adopt a “whatever happens, happens” attitude to the situation and focus on the present.  But I couldn’t stop dreaming about the future, imagining us ending up together.  Every time I got an email or a letter or a super-expensive phone call from Zach I would smile all day.  I had never wanted to be in a long-distance relationship while in the Peace Corps, as I imagined missing someone would make it even harder than it already was to be so far from home.  Well, even though our relationship was unofficial, missing him was still incredibly hard.

My Tanzanian life

So, when my bestie got engaged and told me I had to come back to be MOH in her wedding, I was unbelievably psyched!  Not only would I get to be in her wedding and eat American food I’d been missing, I’d get to see Zach!  So I booked a round trip flight home.  I’d been away for nine months and despite the ups and downs of Peace Corps life, I had every intention of sticking it out and returning for 17 more months.  In the weeks leading up to my return, I couldn’t concentrate on anything besides counting the days and wondering if Zach and I would still have the same chemistry.

Boy did we.  The sparks flew so intensely during that whirlwind two weeks.   The morning after the wedding, I suddenly found myself sitting in a Tim Hortons, hours before my return flight, sobbing that I didn’t want to go back.  Thus began the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  I was an emotional wreck, and Zach was amazing.  He never once asked me to stay.  He told me that all he wanted was for me to be happy.  After a few gut-wrenching hours, crying conversations with my family and best friend (yes, I called her the day after her wedding, I’m horrible), and general stress over the prospect of ruining my whole life plan, I realized that I just couldn’t leave again.

I swallowed my pride and I quit the Peace Corps for a guy.  Honestly, there were other reasons why I wasn’t super happy in Tanzania, but Zach was definitely the biggest one.  If I hadn’t met him, or if I had never come home for the wedding, I’m sure I would have stuck it out for the whole two years.  Like I said, this was the hardest decision I ever made.  Life was all of a sudden full of uncertainty, and I was plagued with guilt and feelings of failure for quitting.  To this day, I still feel badly for leaving.  I never, ever envisioned myself becoming the kind of person who would give up her life plan for a romance.  But, Zach was the first guy I was ever with who I was willing to do that for, and maybe that’s how I knew it was right.  Looking back, I don’t regret any of my Peace Corps service, and I don’t regret my decision to quit either.

Anyway, all of a sudden I had the man of my dreams, no job, no plan, and a scarily insecure feeling about the future.  “What should we do now?” I asked Zach.  “Let’s drive to California.” he said.  So we did.  And the rest is (recent) history.

Pacific Beach, San Diego, a week after I quit the Peace Corps

Did anyone else make an impulsive/irresponsible-seeming/risky/life-changing decision for love?  How did it work out?