Tag Archives: friends

Forgoing the “Party” to Focus on the “PAR-TAY!”

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In one of our many efforts to keep our wedding simple and laid back, Zach and I decided not to have an official “wedding party.”  It’s not that we don’t have friends who we’d love to honor with this position, as I think both of us could easily pick a few close buddies to stand up with us.  It’s more that we just don’t really see the point.

I mean, dressing alike is cute when you’re toddlers…

Source: allposters.com

And then all of a sudden it’s cute again when you’re a fully-grown adult if you’re in a wedding?  I don’t get it.

Source: hitfix.com

We didn’t want to boss people around and tell them what to wear and what to help with for our wedding.  Honestly, we hope that our friends and family will voluntarily step up and help us out of the goodness of their hearts, not out of obligation because of some “title” we’ve bestowed upon them.  We’re still involving some special people in the ceremony by having them perform readings, and both of our best friends will still be giving toasts at the reception.

Another factor in our decision was that our wedding is only going to have about 60 guests.  The more people you put up front the emptier the seats will look!  I don’t want our ceremony to look like no one is there because there are no butts in seats!

​Anyone else forgoing a traditional wedding party for a more casual approach?

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#WEverb12: Catching up again!

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18. soak [LISTEN]: What have you soaked in this year? (Baths, sun, ideas?) How did it affect your mentality?

This year I soaked in uncertainty.  Traveling, living in Ohio for a few months, and then moving out here.  It was constant motion, lots of changes of plans, and not knowing what to expect.  It was hard for me, as I’m very type-A.  But it was good for me.  Uncertainty and second-guessing and plans changing are all part of life.  You could also call it FREEDOM!

19. exercise [LIVE]: How did you live actively in 2012? What will you change in 2013?

While we were backpacking, I didn’t make any effort to work out or anything.  But most of our days involved lots and lots of walking, sometimes with all of our crap loading us down.  We also went on a lot of epic hikes, went surfing, swimming and ziplining!  Travel is the best because exercise feels like an adventure!

Since getting back, I’ve done something I never, ever expected I would do.  I started running.  Not just lame-o occasional 30 minute jogs either.  Over the summer, I actually followed Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan all the way through, although I never did run a half marathon.  Working my way up to running 10 miles without any breaks and without dying made me really proud.  It was weird how easy it was, too.  Unfortunately towards the end I got a weird muscle strain in my thigh and when we moved I had to stop running for awhile.  As soon as my leg healed, I started the plan all over again, making sure I really stretch and cross train a lot to try to avoid injury.  So far so good!  I’ve gotten faster (which means a 9:35 mile, still really slow!) than I was in Ohio and I love running along the Sunset Cliffs!  I’m about halfway through the plan this time and I’m hoping to run my first half marathon in January!

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The view helps me run fast!

20: reminisce [GROW] What distant memory/time did you find yourself longing for in 2012?

I’ve found myself reminiscing about college a lot this year.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been OUT of college for longer than I was IN it.  I graduated almost exactly four years ago.  College was just so much fun and so easy compared to real life.  It’s funny because when you’re in it you think life is so hard!  It’s pretty awesome that you get to live with your friends, learn about things that interest you, do whatever crazy clubs and activities you want, and you somehow still have enough energy to party it up!  More than anything, I miss my old roomie Erica.  She truly “gets me” and is one of the best friends I will ever have!  It sucks because we’re on opposite coasts and rarely get to see each other, but sometimes we’ll still text each other random, “Remember when…” texts.

Roomies for life!

Roomies for life!

(Hey Erica, remember when we met Mr. Belding?)

Location, Location, Location: Debates on What State

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I’ve got this dream wedding location in my head, and I’m hoping it’s not imaginary.

You see, we have a really small budget.  But we still really like to party.  We’re not opposed to DIY.  And we want to spend as much time with our friends and family as possible.

So, our A+, #1, ideal wedding venue would be some kind of camp, B&B, or conference center that we could take over for a whole weekend and have everyone stay in the same place!  Someplace that included a beautiful outdoor ceremony site, a kitchen we could use to self-cater, someplace for people to eat, drink, and dance, and cabins or a lodge that everyone could stumble off to after partying all night.

Look at this gorgeous summer camp wedding!
Credit: http://www.theweddingwarriors.com/?p=1012

I know, we dream big.  But I can’t help hoping that if the amazing Sara and Matt of 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding (a HUGE inpsiration to me!) can do it, than so can we!  So that’s the goal right now.

With that in mind, the first thing we had to do was decide which state to get married in!

Option #1: Ohio. 😦 See, Zach and I are both from Ohio and so our families naturally assumed we’d be getting married there.  However, while we both agree that Ohio was a great place to grow up, we’ve since broken away and don’t intend to live there long-term again in the future.  Honestly, it’s just kind of (REALLY) boring.  However, most of Zach’s friends and extended family still live in Ohio.  AND wedding stuff is significantly cheaper there.

This is Ohio. We’ve got some corn. And some barns.
Credit: http://kellybanik.blogspot.com/2011/04/other-peoples-lives.html

Option #2: California!  Although we’ve been working summer jobs in Ohio this year, the weeks are quickly ticking by and our planned move to San Diego, California is getting closer!  We both love San Diego, the sun, the waves, the perfect temperature, the proximity to Mexico!  This is where we can finally see ourselves “settling down” (which, for us, may only mean staying somewhere longer than a year, who knows) and where we’d like to get married.  It will be so much easier to plan a wedding close to where we are living.  Plus, I have a lot of friends and family scattered around the country.  When I sketched out my side of the guest list for our wedding, I realized that more than half of my people will have to get on a plane, whether the wedding is in Ohio or not!  Do I really want to make those poor people pay for a plane ticket and take time off to go to Ohio?  Heck no!  The downside to this, however, is that a lot of Zach’s extended family may not be able to afford to come to California.  The brutal-but-true upside to that downside: it would definitely help keep our numbers in check since his family is HUGE.

Option #3: The Arizona back-up plan.  Before we left on our long Latin American odyssey trip, Zach and I were living in northern Arizona.  See, his parents bought a house out there that they are planning to move to when they retire.  But, they haven’t retired yet!  So we got to live there for a year and house-sit for them!  During that year, we really grew to love the area.  The house is within an hour of the Grand Canyon, Sedona’s red rocks, mountain climbing, swimming holes, and tons of other awesome stuff!  Plus, the house is pretty big and we could definitely clear a section of the yard for the ceremony.  The problem here would be that we’d still be long-distance planning, we’d have to rent all the tables and chairs, and people would have to stay in hotels that are at least 15 minutes away from the house.  But it’s a good backup plan because we know it won’t book up and it’s still an awesome vacation spot.

View from the back porch of the Arizona house

What do you think, people?  We’re clearly leaning towards having the wedding in California, and hoping to find a great venue there.  If you were in our situation, what state would you choose?

The Whole Cheesy Story, Part 1

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Disclaimer: I’m probably going to talk about wedding-planning a lot on this blog.  BUT fear not, it is not going to become exclusively a “wedding blog”, especially because our wedding is probably not going to be particularly blog-worthy.  (The very wise Meg says it doesn’t have to be.)  I’m still going to write about a little bit of everything.  I’ll be back more once we’re back in the U.S. this summer.  But I’m going to want to write about the planning process here, as we try to have an “awesomely-us” and very A-typical wedding.  So what better way to start that with our whole cheesy story?

This is how much life has reinforced to me that my plans don’t mean anything.  I distinctly remember being 18-years-old, sitting at Hounddogs Pizza with two friends from high school, our departures for various colleges imminent on the horizon.  We were talking about the exciting possibilities of college guys, of course.  I remember saying something almost exactly like this: “You’re not going to meet any decent guys at parties or bars…that’s trashy.  We should try to meet guys in classes or clubs or something.”  Oh, how wise I thought I was!

Fast forward 3.5 years.

February 11, 2009 was a pretty average Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio.  I had recently graduated from college, finally broken up with my way-too-long-way-too-wrong college boyfriend (who I met at orientation…how wholesome!), and moved back home to my parents’ house for the six months I had before I would be leaving for Peace Corps Tanzania.  I had just gotten my first serving job to fill my time, and was focused on enjoying my friends and my newfound freedom before leaving for Africa.

This Wednesday was to be a girls’ night with my BFF and some of her college friends near OSU campus.  And as much as I hate to admit that this was the scene of the crime, where else would we go on a Wednesday night but out for $10 fishbowls????

Yes sirree, we went to the oh-so-fratty Ugly Tuna Saloona!!!  An OSU legend.  What can I say, we loved fishbowls.  (Still do.)  We managed to snag a high-top table, and were just enjoying ourselves chatting and dancing.  At the table next to us was a group of three guys.  Eventually somehow these guys ended up at our table, introducing themselves.  (Zach claims he was the one who made it happen.)  The first guy I talked to was one of Zach’s friends, but somehow in the middle of our conversation I got distracted by the curly-haired blonde kid talking to my BFF on the other side of the table (Zach).  There was probably some liquid courage involved, because I’m normally not at all outgoing, but I found myself moving over there and sidling up to him.  We talked for awhile (more like shouted at each other over the blasting music) and discovered a few common interests in movies, music, etc.  And I definitely thought he was beyond attractive.  Eventually Zach’s friends wanted to leave (guess they weren’t having as good of luck as he was!) but before they headed out, Zach asked me if I was free to go out on Friday night.  I told him sure I was, trying to act all cool like I was a pro at this dating game (I definitely was not), and we exchanged numbers.  Of course at the time I was not looking for a relationship (I was about to leave for two years in Africa!) but I was excited for a date (my first after breaking up with my ex, so I guess you could call it a rebound) and some casual flirtation.

Another funny tidbit: I must’ve been on fire that night because after Zach left some other guy came up and offered to buy me a drink.  I got him to buy us all another fishbowl (after Zach had totally mooched a lot of our first one!) and then told him to go away.  He was a frat-guy greaseball.  Lol.

That night when I got home I got a text around 2am.  “Don’t forget you’re hanging out with me Friday night!” from the newest contact in my phone, Zach.

Goodbyes

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“And I try not to worry, but you’ve got me terrified.  It’s like you’re in some kind of hurry to say goodbye…” -emo song lyrics courtesy of Death Cab for Cutie

Goodbyes are strange.  My life has been full of them since these phenomena called “adulthood” and “wanderlust” have taken me over.  First I moved to New York for college: goodbye party #1.  During college I went to Kenya for a summer which I think also warranted a goodbye party: #2.  College graduation of course came with #3, a “Goodbye-to-New-York” party.  Then I went into the Peace Corps, so #4 was a big shebang.  After returning from the Peace Corps, Zach and I lived in Ohio for awhile then we moved to Arizona.  That was my #5 and his #1 for goodbye parties, and don’t even ask about the stories from that night!

Anyway, I’m a spoiled brat with my goodbye parties.  My friends make fun of me for how many I’ve had, so this time I decided not to have one.  I’ve just spread the goodbyes out over the last couple weeks in Ohio.  It’s weird.  With some people, it doesn’t bother me too much.  I’ve done it so many times.  But with others, like my BFF and her hubby, who we’ve had so much fun with for the past few weeks, it’s hard every time!  I get so spoiled by being in the same state as her for a few short weeks but then it’s time to leave again!  Makes me sad.  Also, grandparents.  Every time I say goodbye to them for a long period of time there’s just an apprehension about it, you know?  One of the harder things to do in life, I’d say.

I’m not really sure where this post is going.  I guess I’m just processing all the goodbyes of the past few days.  The good news is that “my” goodbyes are officially over since we are out of Columbus and staying with Zach’s parents in his tiny town until our bus to Chicago leaves on Wednesday.  So my goodbyes are done, and his are just beginning!  Mwahahahah!

For more info on what we’ve been up to, and to read our awesome packing list, click here.

New Series: Photo Favorites

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I was racking my brain for inspiration today and I thought of a cool, easy, post series idea.  I love looking through my old photos because so many of them tell great stories, are super silly, or just bring back good memories.  So every once in awhile I’ll just post a photo I’ve taken, tell you the where/when/why, and maybe say a few more words.  Hopefully this will also encourage me to take more pictures so that I have continuous fodder for this series!

Here’s the first one:

Me and MoMo, one of my Peace Corps besties, during one of our “under-the-mango-tree” Swahili lessons.  Probably still our first month in Tanzania (June or July 2009).  What do you think of my braided hair?  I actually really liked the result, but it took HOURS of sitting still while my host aunt pulled on my head to get it done! ❤ Kibaoni (the name of our homestay village, where we lived with host families during Peace Corps training).