The Great Ball and Chain Acquisition (or, I’m Married!)

Howdy everyone!  I’m happy to announce that I’m now married!  It was an amazing time, from our parents meeting a few nights before the wedding to the rehearsal dinner where I got a chance to meet some of B’s cousins, all leading up to the most perfect wedding day ever!  It was not only a lifetime commitment ceremony for B and I, but a family and friends reunion that I relished and savored for the few hours we had together.  I am still on cloud 9 just thinking about it!

I’ll write a more thoughtful post soon, but remember how I said it was an aeronautical theme, which is why I had boarding passes invites and luggage tags in the shape of airplanes as thank you gifts?  Well, it’s because the reception was held at an aeronautical museum!  Is it because we love travel?  Sure, let’s go with that… but really, after seeing some ho-hum venues where the pics looked better than real life, once we saw the planes at the museum we knew that this was it.  Everyone loved it, from kids to adults, and the food was amazing, as well.

I won’t get pics from my photographer for 6 or so weeks, so enjoy these (horribly botched up) pics in the meantime.  I’m going to catch up on some much needed sleep, but I hope everyone has a wonderful week! xo

I’m Ready to “Give Birth” to This Wedding!

Hello everyone – I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  My cousin had his wedding this past Saturday and it was a blast – both of them are really outgoing and hilarious, so there was a lot of dancing, festivities, and general hamming up all around.  B and I are pretty shy so ours will be a lot more mellow, but I’m definitely ready for ours to happen and I just hope that things will go as well as they can be.  I figure we have the priest, the food, and the booze, so everything else is just icing on the cake, yes? 😉

1) Timelines for the vendors and bridal party – Michelle hooked me up with her wedding timeline/ vendors/ bridal party instructions, so I’m modeling mine after that.  The ‘duties’ are pretty light, but I’d at least like my bridesmaids to remind me to eat at regular intervals to avoid the Anna-Monster from being unleashed.

Menu2) I am semi-DIY’ing the ceremony programs and menus.  I tried to find a free template for our ceremony programs and menus since we didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but I found the process really overwhelming and time consuming.  Instead, I chose this design from an Etsy vendor, who was affordable, extremely responsive, and helpful, so I highly recommend her!  She made our ceremony programs in Regency (purple), and our menus, place cards (I got lazy and thought this would pull on our color themes better), and table numbers in Apple (red) since we’ll have purple table cloths.  My friend who made my invitations gifted card stock for us that matched our invites, so we’re very thankful for that.

3) My SD girls surprised me with a mini-bachelorette party!  It was a hilarious sight, as we went to one of my favorite wine bars, though none of us drank since I’m trying not to until the wedding, and all of my friends who went are either nursing or pregnant. 🙂  It was so much fun and thoughtful, and I don’t have to buy underthings for practically the next two years – yay!

4) Reader/groomsmen/parents gifts.  I have now learned that my soon-to-be-hubby is quite the procrastinator, so I had to basically throw out ideas to him with clickable links so that he could figure out his groomsmen gifts (personalized beer mugs with funny sayings).  Since our readers are my brother and best friend, I gave them the same thing, and we bought personalized frames for our parents.

5) B is ‘sponsoring’ me for another half-marathon for his Valentine’s Day gift!  He doesn’t understand my love of overpriced races (#Iamasuckerforpinkraceshirts), but he at least supports me.  I think it’s the perfect stress reliever for after the wedding, and if I become injured, at least we have a long plane ride to our honeymoon to help me recoup… at least that’s how I justify it!

6) Not gonna lie, the bridezilla has been emerging somewhat.  For the most part, it’s containable, as I mostly get snippy at B for not communicating things in an effective manner (I quickly apologize when I know I’ve crossed the line, though).  However, I am up to my ears of people who make this about them with some family drama that went down.  I won’t get into it, but I honestly don’t understand some family/cultural dynamics sometimes.

Alright, enough about that vent – for the most part it’s just all the communication and time involved with this, from dinner with our parents meeting, rehearsal dinner communications, to actual day of communications with vendors.  As much as I enjoyed the process, this end month is a lot of work, and I’m just ready to ‘give birth’ to this wedding.  I asked my friends if this is what being pregnant is like, and my favorite answer came from my friend who said, “Nope, you get more sympathy and casseroles when you’re pregnant.” Love it!

To those that celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I’d love to hear if you have any plans!  I’ll probably put B to work with cutting up our place cards and menus since I’m a big romantic like that. 😉

Transitioning the “Me” Thinking Into “We” Thinking

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen making dinner when B suddenly entered and said, “There’s a great house that just listed!”  We usually check at house listings from time to time just to watch what the current pricing ranges are, but there was an eagerness in his voice with this one (which for B, is a big deal).  So I followed him back to his computer, and there, indeed, was a great house being listed for a really unusually “low” price.

By all accounts, it had all that he would want in our ‘forever house’ – an ideal layout with the master on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second, a canyon in the back, and a real fixer-upper to get his MacGuyver on.  It had most of the things I wanted, as well – not in a cookie cutter suburbs so we’re not subject to mello-roos or HOA, close to both our workplaces, and on a cul-de-sac.  So after he received my nod of approval, while I thought we were just going back to what we were doing since we originally thought we’d be able to buy a house in couple years, he started crunching numbers.  Aggressively.

I was a little shocked and confused by this, since there was no way that I had enough for my part of the down payment (we agreed that if I at least contributed 25-30% of a 20% down payment, then it would be proportionate to our earnings).  However, he was crunching the numbers to see if he could come up with the down payment, what our monthly payments would be, etc., and his whole activity pretty much freaked me out.  Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to process it, these are the primary reasons where I discovered we were not truly aligned in our thinking, both in terms of finances and our views about buying our ‘forever’ place (sorry you’ll have to click, I haz no skillz):


In the end, it all ended up being kiboshed since he stopped by the house the next day, and discovered that not only where there a ton of interested buyers, but there were already offers in cash and way above the asking price.  The latter is an extremely frustrating part all on its own as there’s a lot of investor buyers, but that’s for another ranty post.

Ever since this situation, I’ve noticed smaller situations where I’ve noticed that my ‘me’ thinking gets in the way, like he’ll offer to pay for my car repairs since he considers it “our” car/problem, but I resist and dig into my “savings” since I consider it “my” car/problem.  And I admit, even though it would be in my favor to combine finances, the implementation has been delayed on my part.  I’m guessing it’s because I’ve been on my own for so long, that this change is a lot more challenging than I thought.  He says that while he understands and it’s because I’m pretty independent, others say I’m that to a fault since I have no problem giving/sharing my stuff, but I often have trouble accepting/asking/taking/sharing other’s stuff.

I know over time, this will probably become easier, and I just have to figure out incremental steps in merging our finances, both in terms of logistics and mindset.  I do admit I was slightly disappointed that the house didn’t work out after my initial freak out mode, so if there’s a great house and the timing is right, I’m more open to me perhaps not contributing the ideal amount I would like to.  Or maybe I’m all talk since that situation is currently not staring me in my face, and I would still freak a little. 😉

Did this happen to anyone else when you were in the transition of combining finances?

Half-Marathon Completed, 2014 Goals, and Holy Canoli, Seahawks!

IMG_20140202_143251_963Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you had a great Super Bowl weekend to those that watched.  Mine was awesome since I not only ran a half-marathon in beautiful conditions and a great course (thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus, for keeping the rain away throughout the race… we could’ve done without the headwinds, but thank you regardless!), but I also got a chance to meet Tonya!  Despite lacking some serious sleep for the past few days, she’s as sweet, nice, and funny as she is on her blog.  She’s also a really cool and considerate roomie (gotta love the dynamics of “I’ll pay for this,” “No, *I’ll* pay for this), and we had a pretty good set-up for race day because Parking Karma was on our side.  The course is beautiful, scenic for the most part, and pretty flat, so I highly recommend it.   Plus, we got the cool surfboard medal, which is as stylish as they come in my opinion.

Afterward, I raced back home so B and I could go to his friend’s Super Bowl party.  Since everyone there was a Seahawks fan, the house was totally crazy throughout the game!  Both offense and defense played incredibly, and I thought the win was well-deserved.  Another bonus of running a half the same day is that I was able to get my glutton on guilt-free with the great spread they had – 7-layer dip with lettuce on top that had a sour cream design of a football field?  I’ll take a couple of yards, please!  Chocolate-covered strawberries in the shape of footballs?  Don’t mind if I do!  Angry Orchard apple cider (since Washington is known for its apples)?  Once it hits your lips, it’s *so* good!  Two points if you get the last reference, by the way. 🙂

Other than that, there’s been a couple interesting financial scenarios that occurred these past couple weeks that made me realize that B and I are not aligning (yet!).  They’re not bad or anything, but it made me realize that our past habits or strains of thought do not equate to a ‘we’ thinking as I still think of things as ‘me’ while he still thinks of things as ‘he.’  I’ll post about it once I gather my thoughts (and stop eating everything this side of the Mississippi).  Also, here’s a quick rundown of how I’m doing so far with my 2014 goals:

1) Stay debt-free.  Pass!  Anything wedding-wise has been budgeted, and while my parents have requested some things that would increase our budget, I’ve managed to reason them out of it or just appeased them.

2) Have a ‘savings’ rate of 40-45%.  FAIL!  My savings rate was 32% rounded, which is at least higher than my 25% average last year (though I did have three paychecks this month).  A large part of this was the above and my car needing some repairs (I had funds for this, but since I took out of ‘savings’ this was a negative saving).  February might end up being the same thing, though I’m thinking by March or April that I’ll be able to accomplish this.

3) Read 24 books.  3 so far.  I read “The Reason I Jump” (interesting though not what I expected), “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” (disliked, he seems a lot more negative, and not in a clever way), and “The Fault In Our Stars” (um, yeah, I didn’t realize this was a young adult novel until I started reading the dialogue.  It made me cry, though).

4) Continue with Spanish.  Fail.  I did about 1-2 hours a week, when I should be doing it a day… I get really lazy after work and weekends have been a little cray.

5) Learn one new Filipino dish, and one new German dish, each month alternating-  Fail.  See excuse for #4.

It looks like everyone’s had a great January so far, but if you didn’t do a recap let me know how you did (or heck, if you did, tell me again or what you plan to do in February!).