Friday, December 11, 2009

Rock You Like a Hurricane

Tonight is one of my favorite celebrations of the holiday season- Kevin's company holiday party. This is now my third year attending, once as his girlfriend, once as his fiancee and this year as his wife. We get to have a well known Chicago museum closed just for us, with dinner, cocktails and dancing in swanky evening attire. It feels like a totally glamorous wedding where you don't have to buy a gift.

....Until this year....

This year, Kevin and his social committee have decided that they would like to do something different for this party, and thus, an 80s theme was born, complete with an option to wear 80s formalwear to the event. So, in the spirit of all things hilarious, and ready to make an idiot of myself, I have borrowed an '83 peach, lacy, ruffly prom dress with bows and a wider girth than my wedding dress was. Now, if you've been paying attention to this blog at all, you know this is not quite "me". I tend to be more of a hoodie and converse kind of gal. i just hope I can properly rock out to Dirty Diana and Like a Prayer in all that taffeta.

My dashing husband will be rocking a mullet wig. We're either going to make him employee of the month or the village idiot. I just hope we end up looking something like that couple....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cheap and Glorious

No, this isn't a post about sex. Just making sure you aren't disappointed later.

What this is a post about is far more mundane, but also fabulous in its own way. While thinking about the direction I want to go with this blog, I've been looking at a lot of other marriage blogs, and I have to say, a lot of them are boring. Once, I even found myself reading about (I kid you not) do it yourself guest baskets for your guest bathroom full of tiny guest samples of lotions. I've also found many, many posts about babies, cooking, house re-doing. What I haven't found a lot of are blogs about what it's really like to really, honestly go through the process of keeping the girlfriend hotness while becoming the wife. Even though I just got married, I didn't morph into Martha Steward when I said "I do" and I don't plan on it. However, I've broken down and made a cheesy list about something I'm interested in hearing about from other people. I promise, no potpourri needed.

Back when Kev and I first started dating, we spent (and still do) a LOT of time and money out with our friends at the bars. Being in the vast minority of people in our circle of friends who were dating, we were often forced to be wingman a lot for some sad cases. (Example: Waitress comes to table, friend says "What do you have on special, besides, of course, you?" ....dead silence)

However, with a condo to save up for and grad school nerdery pressing in on us, we've lately been forced to cut down on our spending for fun things, which has forced us (in a good way) to start getting more creative about our date nights, and I know many co-workers who are struggling with the same thing. Below, find a list:

Cheap and Glorious Dates
1) Sweatpants, bottles of cheap champagne, and videogames. (Note: this is best not attempted while playing Mario Kart for the Wii.)
2) Cooking something complicated with many steps and spices
3) (stolen from my friend Erica) Tournament of board games (winter) Tournament of sports (summer) in a best of 5 best of 5 format (e.g. best of 5 at each event gets to claim winner to the event, must win 5 overall to be champion: twister, yahtzee, trouble, catchphrase, and twilight the boardgame)
4) Drinking Jeopardy (partner beats you to the answer? wrong answer? drink)
5) Playing with puppies. Anywhere.
6) Sitting on the stoop, making up stories about the people that walk by.

What else goes on this list? It's winter....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Big Kid

Today is the "observed" Halloween holiday at my school, and my kids have been screamingly excited about it for weeks. By screamingly, I mean they literally get up and dance when we do calendar every morning, as our pumpkins get closer to the big candy corn I put over the end of the month. My students in my afternoon literacy groups are just as excited. So, naturally, we celebrated today with a good old fashioned corny grade school party. We did the mummy wrap, we ate cupcakes and cookies at 10:30 in the morning, we had a parade wearing our Halloween costumes (I was a birthday party), and we watched the first ten minutes of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. To top it all off, we played freeze dance with a mix CD that our music teacher let me swipe. While many of the classic Halloween songs were on there, I was out of my seat faster than you can say "who you gonna call?" when the Ghostbusters theme came on. Watching my stellar dance moves, one of my kindergarteners looked at me studiously and pronounced that I was "really just a big kid."

I've been feeling this way a lot lately, particularly in relation to being married. While I do a lot of grown up things like go to grad school, chase down goals in my career, and babysit friends' kids, I don't really feel any older or fuller of knowledge now that I'm a wife. When Kev and I would attend friends' weddings, I always thought that those couples looked a little more serious, a little more bonded, and a little more responsible than I. However, I've come to realize that marriage is the best kept secret ever- if people knew that it feels like having a sleepover with your best friend EVERY SINGLE DAY they would be rushing down the aisles.

A friend of mine brought her 6 month baby to work today, a baby whom I adore and babysit quite often. The baby even looks like me, and many of the kids and newer coworkers at school asked me if she was mine. While my heart was tugged by this tiny creature in a plush butterfly costume, I know I'm not ready for kids yet because I'm busy having too much fun. I love feeling like I have a partner in crime, and I don't think it's immature to admit that I love kicking Kev's behind in Jeopardy for hours on end, eating mac n' cheese when we feel like it, and drinking champagne just because we can. When I was younger, I was jealous of the big kids because they got to stay out trick-or-treating until 10 o'clock, when all the scandalous things happen. Now I do that every night and it's just plain awesome. Turning into a big kid was definitely worth the wait.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Being Needy

I'm very spoiled in the fact that Kev almost never has to travel for work. A few times a year he has to go to conferences or sales ride alongs, but it's usually pretty rare and pretty far between. However, this month Kev has been gone a lot- two business trips, and now this weekend he is going to visit his siblings at college, and sadly, I can't take the time off of work to go with. Last night, Kev told me "I know you'll miss me, but I also know you're fine without me." To tell you the truth, he was right. Rather than stay bummed about not going to Minnesota, I decided to crash some good friends' moms' weekend and head on out to Iowa to do something I've always wanted to do: squish wine grapes with my feet. I am so pumped about this (even though I have to bring thank you notes and grad school homework in the car) and the fact that I have Monday off of school (thank you Jewish holidays) that rather than missing Kevin tonight, I'll be plotting the perfect vineyard outfit and figuring out how to pack the tiniest bag possible. Pictures will be forthcoming.

I have friends on all different aspects of the traveling-apart spectrum in a relationship. I know some that have never spent a night apart, and others who routinely take long vacations with others, or travel often for work. I like to think that Kevin and I are in the middle. I want him with me for all the best days of my life, and when I'm happiest is when I miss him the most. However, I also know that cracking a bottle of wine and filling each other in on time apart can be just as good for the marriage as therapy. Hopefully, this time it will be wine that I personally contributed to.

On a side note- does one get a pedicure pre grape stomping? Does one go in without toe polish? Obviously I will be doing some feet prep before exposing them to the grapes, but should I wear flip flops in order to take the shoes off easily? Closed toe to keep my feet clean? Who knew channeling my inner Lucille Ball could be so difficult? Pictures to come...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gettin' it Together

Kev and I have spent the last few weeks getting organized. We had some scary talks about budgets, buying a place someday, and grad school plans. I even applied, and got accepted, to start my master's. I've been feeling very grown-uppy and it's not all bad.

One thing I have been terrible, horrible, no good very bad about is working out. Somehow, once the wedding was over, the gym lost all of its appeal. So did running. So did everything fitness related. Kev and I have been making some great dinners (well, mostly Kev, I'll be honest he's a fabulous cook) and I just haven't had the urge to work out. When I was discussing this with my married coworkers, they were like "well of course not, you were nesting" Is this common? Once you get married does it make it harder to be motivated to work out? All I know is, I ran two miles last week and it about killed me-and last summer I was training for half marathons! I start class next week, and with it, I'm going to find a way to start a new fitness regime. I REALLY need to get more disciplined with this one. I can tell you right now it won't be fun either...well maybe a little fun

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Not Hiding

Today I was accused by a good friend of being mad at her, which I'm definitely not. The truth is, I haven't been avoiding anybody, I've just been really, really busy. You see, I'm a teacher, and for the first time ever I am teaching kindergarten, which has yielded some gems of conversation including the following:

"Mrs. G. what color is bald? My mommy has brown hair, I have brown hair, Zach has black hair and my daddy has bald hair." ~asked while coloring family portraits

"I can't wait to go out and play on the drunkie bars" ~he meant monkey bars

"V? what?" ~spoken by TWO students who had never heard of that letter before.

My kiddos are ridiculously cute, and while we're having a good time, it makes me so relieved that we don't have kids ourselves-mostly because I recuperate each night by falling asleep at nine o'clock at night. Poor Kevin. My sleeping habits are like those of a ninety year old woman these days. I'm hoping to use this weekend more as a recovery zone.

Side note, while juggling my new position, figuring out if I'm starting grad school (damn transcript mixup) and trying to stay awake for Top Chef, I recently found out from my mother that I'm in the doghouse. Apparently, my grandmother and her sister find it appalling that I still haven't sent thank you notes for the wedding (it was two months ago TODAY and I have 200 to write) and a birthday card that I received LAST WEEK. Apparently I'm using my three day weekend to write the notes and rescue my poor mom from the guilt trips she's getting from HER mother. Sigh....

Monday, August 10, 2009

So, you're, like, married?

Well, we’ve been married for 37 days now, and we’re still going strong. While this number isn’t impressive compared to the dozens of wonderful and happily married couples I know, it feels really good to be married.

Whenever I talk to my friends now, however, a new refrain has become increasingly common. “Well,” they’ll say when discussing plans, “I know Kevin wants to do _____ but let me know if he’s allowed to.” Or, from one of my girls, “You wouldn’t understand why I want a relationship so badly, you’re married. It’s always been easy for you.”

Quite frankly, I’m a little mystified by all this. Yes, Kevin and I are married, which means we have made a pledge to walk through life together, and to put each other first. I’m in the process of getting a new last name, our finances are now together, and if Kevin gets hit by a bus tomorrow, I’m now the one who makes the big decisions should they be necessary. However, we’re still US. We spend more time at a dive bar near our home than strictly necessary, we still irritate each other in the same ways, we still spend an absurd amount of time during the day sending over the top emails to our friends, and we still have champagne, sweatpants, and videogame date nights.

I love being married- the small rituals that make up our day to day lives, experimenting with cooking, hanging out with all of the fantastic people in our lives. I don’t love the assumption that now that I’m married I’m fundamentally different- less willing to spend time away from Kevin, less understanding of my friends’ struggles and successes in the dating world. I’m awkward, blunt, clumsy, sometimes immature, absurdly social, and perpetually late for everything, just as I always was, and none of that is likely to change any time soon. Luckily, I have found and married a partner in crime that is more than happy to deal with it. And for all of the rest of my friends and family- I love you, I will be here for you, I will not hide Kevin from you, and we’re happy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Housewifery, thwarted

Since returning from Puerto Rico, with all the wedding madness subsiding, I've found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, and have decided to try some cooking projects this week, as it makes me feel more sane than watching my cats chase flies and nap all day. Here's a quick gchat conversation with Kev prior to me running some errands:

Colie: I'm going to the grocery store to get you cookie ingredients- anything you want me to pick up?
Kosher Salt
Colie: Got it
Kev: Oh, and some Butfers
I think they are out of those at Jewel, but you can check and see if they are in stock at the JERKSTORE

Now, what Kev wanted me to say was "Hmm, dearest, what is a Butfer?" to which he would enthusiasticly reply "POOPING hee hee hee" with that high pitched Grandma laugh he gets when he thinks he's being hilarious.

Really, forever???

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go bake some cookies- the real, mix up dough kind, not the mommy-hates-me-and-buys-it-premixed variety. Happy Friday!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Photo Extravaganza!

I promise to give more of a scoop about wedding weekend, honeymoon and the like, but since I have to go to 6 pack attack class at the gym to get my rear in gear following a fried food and rum filled 12 days in Puerto Rico, please enjoy a brief sampling of photos instead.

On the left, you can enjoy one of my favorite wedding gifts, courtesy of the Holland sisters. Yes, those are really attractive photos of Kev and I. Yes, we wore them in Puerto Rico.

On the top right, you can see that my new mother-in-law (yes I have one now!) rented us a party trolley. We packed it full of people and champagne, and it was awesome. We even convinced him to do a few extra laps before we all had to go in for the receiving line-much needed.

During the course of getting ready, and choosing my accessories, my mom insisted that I MUST wear heels, as it would give me good posture and "complete the look." The heels lasted until just before the first's me kicking them off for some outdoor photos before the reception started.

Last but not least, once of my favorites, courtesy of our fabulous photographer, Harold Crane. We look so much more glamorous than we really are. Was all the wedding planning madness worth it? Absolutely.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Holy Crap...We're Married!!!!!


After a few really, really, really, really crazy weeks we are Married.

We are leaving tomorrow morning for Puerto Rico for 12 days, and I could not be more excited. We'll try to write about everything the past few weeks in those 12 days while we're doing nothing but having fun.

We're there for 12 days and have about 5 days worth of stuff to do, so we're really excited to walk around and experience the Puerto Rican world, it helps that Colie is fluent in Spanish (which also means I hope she doesn't ditch me).

I have never looked forward to ANYTHING the way I am looking forward to this trip.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cats and Dogs

With any wedding in the works, an important weekend arrives. A weekend where the strength of bonds are tested, friends and family gather round, and events are planned to truly celebrate the happy couple. The bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Now, while I’m not a huge fan of penis-wear and lewd comments, I do love a good bachelorette party, and mine last weekend was no exception. We had a wedding movie, wine and nail painting night in, a boat cruise with cheesy dance music, bar golf, showers of wildly inappropriate things that my mother (yes, you read that right) watched me open, and a recovery picnic at the lake. I’ll forever be grateful to my bridesmaids, who started planning back in March or April, and had an entire weekend jam packed with fun things. They cooked, opened their apartments to lots of drunk girls, and made sure all I had to do was sit back and have fun. Apparently, they sent out surveys, emails and had planning sessions. They were fabulous, and it made me even more grateful than I already was to have them in my lives.

While I may have had the jazziest, danciest, and all around plaidest weekend of mayhem on record, I can’t help but notice how different my party planning process was from the boys. Kevin announced he wanted to go to his family’s house on Lake Geneva the same weekend I was having my events, and a week before the party was to start, one of the groomsmen sent out an email telling people to let him know what kind of booze they were bringing to the lake “to avoid duplicates.” The boys showed up, cruised on the boat, played wiffleball drank cases of beer and ate cases of meat. Kevin also had an amazing weekend, and they guys were equally enthusiastic but it makes me laugh to think of the difference between boys and girls when it comes to event planning. Girls seem to need a big series of events to make it a celebration, while the boys are content to just chill with an extremely large quantity of beverage. At least now I know all I need to make a perfect night for Kevin is a cube of Busch Light and an outdoor spot to drink it in. 15 days til the wedding!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rings & License (1 out of 2 ain't terrible)

So last Saturday Colie and I head downtown to our (my) jeweler to pick out our wedding bands.

The door opens on the 4th floor of the Pittsfield Building, and we take a step out of the elevator and see a sign that says, "We'll be closed this weekend...blah, blah, blah." Son of a...

Side Story
On Friday Colie and I spent a good 20 minutes walking around the Lake County Courthouse looking for the ONE door that was open past 5:00 PM. Even the officers in the Jailhouse Visitors Area couldn't help us. Silly us, we've lived in the city for a year now, and expect the numbers of buildings to go in some sort of order. How is 8 N right across the street for 201 N?!?!

I was (naturally) starting to freak out because we couldn't find the Courthouse, and Colie said that she had called to double check that the website was correct, and Friday was the one night the Courthouse stayed open late. This was impressive because 1) this is something I would do and 2) this is NOT something Colie would do. So we did find it, and we're now one pen stroke away from being legally bound...holy crap!

So back to Saturday and the ring. Here's the thing...I CALLED THE JEWELER SATURDAY MORNING AND GOT THE MESSAGE THAT THEY WERE OPEN!!! Now, she didn't say it, but I know she was thinking it, "I remembered to call and double-check, but did you? Nope. Moron." Karma was a cruel misstress this weekend.

I just got off the phone with the jeweler himself, and they're open on Saturday for us.

He better be...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things that Last

We’re 38 days away from the wedding and the last minute bills are starting to pile in, particularly ring buying and finishing the payment for the photographer. While I started to hyperventilate about the amount of money we are going to spend on those things this weekend, Kev patiently reminded me that we knew all along we wanted to upgrade these things, since after the day is over, these are the things that we’ll still have to remind us of the promises we’re making to each other.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my aunt, who is forty, exactly between my mom and I in age, and a generally fabulous person to talk to about everything. I was telling her about the cooking Kev and I do at home, and how our date nights have gradually shifted from big events out to making a ridiculously big meal with our cell phones and screens turned off. My aunt commented that she thinks it’s important we build traditions that center around being at home, since those are the things that will last throughout building a family (someday) and the various shifts in our lives. Now that she has her young children, she says that she and her husband are trying harder to make date nights things they can do at home, to make sure they continue.

Since that discussion, and while pondering the mere month between now and the very lasting commitment we are about to make, I’ve been thinking about the routines we used to have and the current rhythms that our lives have been taking. I can’t help but wonder if we are choosing home centered dates because we are appreciating the time we do have together more, or if we are so exhausted from the whirlwind that has become our shared life the last few months that we just need to flop. I think part of marrying somebody is being ready to say that you want that person to be a part of all your traditions, and that you want to build new patterns of being into your shared life. I’ve heard it said that many people get so focused on the wedding that they forget the marriage, and while I don’t see that being Kev and I, I do wonder how things will change after the wedding. As Kev discussed in the last post, we’ve gone from dating, to living together, to marriage, and while the core of what we are together has stayed the same, there have been changes along the way to the ways we choose to spend our time, or the things we find ourselves talking about. Through it all, I continue to be fascinated by him, and excited about our life.

Last night, one of our good friends asked us if he could still come over and hang out after we are still married. We’ve lived together now for almost a year, and honestly, while I know marriage is going to bind us together and hold us accountable to each other for the rest of our lives, it made me a little sad to think that our friends are worried about us changing post-wedding. I tend to think that marriage is going to increase the number of best parts about my life, and help us to keep our day to day lives in sharper focus-friends included. I’m hoping to keep all the things I love about my life the same, while having a fantastic partner in crime to experience it all with. Change is good, but I hope my life doesn’t become unrecognizable after the wedding, since I feel I already have great days most of the time. I hoe I come back to this post after we’ve been married for years and laugh at the worries I’m writing. I guess I’ll just have to let you know when I get there, though.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Marry Someone You Like

"Kevin, marry someone you like."

That's the advice I got from a very funny coworker today. The funny thing is, the more I thought about it, the more it really made a lot of sense.

I don't understand how people can marry someone after just a few weeks or months of knowing that person. I know that it does happen for some, and it just works for them - but it blows my mind. Those first few months of dating someone are so different than those next few months and years. The first few months are just constantly exciting, learning things about the other person, experiencing old and common things together for the first time.

Everyone's experienced that, and everyone's seen how time and comfort makes those things change. How that change happens, and how the two people respond, is what will shape that relationship. People will either grow tired or bored of the person, or they'll constantly find new things about the person that draws them in closer.

Colie and I have experienced them both over the course of knowing one another. After "semi-dating" in High School, to being friends in High School, to only talking occasionally in college, to dating, to living together, to being engaged. That's a lot of LIFE covered there!

That's why I really get the "marry someone you like" idea. We've been through everything together, and I'm still amazed at just how much fun we have together. All the quirks we each have, and how there are some that the other person just has gotten used to, such as:
  • I say, "Can you close the light?" when I'm asking someone to turn the light off. I got it from my dad, and yes I know it makes no sense. Colie used to literally stop and just stare at me, but now she'll just crack a smile while thinking, "there is NO way our kids will pick this up from him."
  • If we're watching someone on TV past 9 PM, Colie will fall asleep. Not a deep sleep, but that fading-in-and-out sleep that means she'll wake up at the slightest noise or touch. She can fall asleep during a Blackhawks' Playoff game...while we're currently talking! My grandpa's the only other person I know that can pull that off!
We've known each other for over 10 years, and Colie's still the person I like spending time with the most.

We're off to the Hawks' game tonight, and desperately need to hear a lot of this:

Also...Detroit Sucks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Internet-less-ness...Week 2

So we've been without internet in the Apartment now for 2 weeks. Comcast has what's known in the business world as TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Hopefully it will be back on tonight, so Colie and I can start blogging much more frequently.

Also, with less than 7 weeks until the wedding, all I can say is....PLEASE GET HERE!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Other Loves

The past few days, I’ve been rather stressed out. Others can tell because my shoulders are so hunched that they appear to the casual observer to be earrings, rather than body parts. During times like these, I feel it helps to remember the things I adore in life, besides the obvious. I’m dedicating this post to some of the things that keep me sane in life.

Hockey- The Blackhawks and their young, quick team are in the Western Conference finals, ready to take on the Detroit Redwings. Although the game schedule poses a serious conflict with my wedding shower on Sunday, I intend to invest a LOT of time watching this series. The speed, the hits, the goals, the fast pace- I love hockey. On a less grandiose scale, the Friar Puck floor hockey team is quickly moving into championship position, and I have the bruises to show for it.

Reading-I am quickly accumulating an amazing stack of to be read books, and am always on the lookout for more. Kevin and I are planning a day specifically devoted to shopping for honeymoon books, and when summer comes, I plan to spend some major time next to the lake, completely absorbed.

UPS Package Tracker-I think this is one of the most amazing inventions ever. I bought a book for book club online, and within a day, I had a tracking number. A few weeks ago, I tracked my running shoes as they came from California to Chicago, with stops in between. Every time I buy something online, I obsessively track its progress to my stoop. Way to go, UPS.

Running- I love running, which is funny because I’m really not into participating in most athletics (except for floor hockey, above). I’m currently training for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, obsessed with running blogs (yay, Maria), and praying that the weather starts cooperating so I can get more running in. Next weekend, I’m running the Soldier Field 10 mile, and I’m a bit nervous because all of the wedding/work madness is really keeping me from logging as many miles as I had hoped. Which brings me to my last love of the day…

Countdowns- I have 18 school days left until summer break. Summer will mean running, reading, and more time for all of the things I adore, and less wedding stress. The wedding is in 50 days and I can’t imagine how fast this last little bit of time will fly.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whoa! First Presents!!!

So I walked in the front door yesterday and there were presents awaiting us!

Our first shower gifts from Bed Bath & Beyond were just sitting my apartment, begging to be opened. Our first shower (yes, our families are throwing us two), is this Saturday so we were not sure of protocol - could we open it before the shower? We decided we should at least open the FedEx shipping box to see who they're from.....

The first one was from our two friends, and we were having dinner with her that night! We could clear our Conscience if she said it was okay we figured. So after a lovely night of tapas, we got home and tore them apart.

With a little over 2 months to go, seeing the gifts was a very real wake-up call that said, "HOLY CRAP - THE WEDDING IS REALLY REALLY REALLY CLOSE!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

68 Days and Counting

Yes, you read that right. In a mere 68 days, I will be somebody’s wife. It seems to have snuck up on me with alarming speed, and, quite frankly, I’m exhausted. All of the sudden, I find myself worrying about the “enoughs”. I feel not tan enough for my fittings, skinny enough to eat my favorite foods, and coordinated enough to pull off slow dancing in front of all the significant people in my life. To top it all off, I’m trying to choose a grad school for the fall, am gearing up to tackle a new position at work next year, and I’m worrying about fitting in enough runs to PR in the Rock and Roll Marathon August 2nd. Sigh….

To top it all off, lately I’m hearing anti-wedding banter everywhere I turn. Girls at a recent after work happy hour announced their intentions to never have wedding showers, big, formal weddings, or weddings in which they would have to invite people they didn’t want to. Many of our friends, while trying to be supportive, end up looking slightly bemused at our never ending Google calendar of events, and proclaim that they never want a “production” for their weddings.

I, on the other hand, when I can let enough be enough, am more than happy when I think about our plans. What people forget when they think about our 250 person, Catholic ceremony, country club reception traditional wedding, is that Kevin and I do everything big. We hold hands, and we jump in. We have lives full of enormous south side families, friends that we’ve known for more than half our lives, and two insane kittens. Our lives are not the quiet lives of people content to live out their routines. We switch job positions, intermural sports teams, favorite bands, and go to items of clothing with alarming frequency. It’s who we are.

I guess what I need to remember in the middle of all the details, battles with my mom over wedding shoes (I WANT FLATS DAMNIT) and finalizing the linens, is that when it’s all said and done, Kevin and I will be married- partners in crime for whatever adventure we choose to jump into. For me, that’s more than enough. Everything else needs to come in second place for now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

RE: Clothes Woes


I used to be a much more organized person, I believe it all started to go downhill when I lived in the city, and my apartment became Colie's weekend get-away. Suddenly, I had my own clothes and a lot of very tiny girl clothes all over the place. Yes she would take most home with her, but I would still find random pairs of sweatpants that do not fit me (there have been a few times when I've put my feet through a pair of black sweatpants only to find out that they're juussttt a bit short).

Now just yesterday, I got home from work and got three loads of laundry done in 4.5 hours and put most of them away. Now, Nicole beats my home most days by at least an hour so I'm not sure HOW all these clothes can pile up as frequently as they do. It seems that there's more than enough time for both of us to do them in such a way that there isn't 3 hampers full of clean clothes at a time!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Clothes Woes

We have a serious issue with clothing in our house. While neither of us is particularly stylish, we have clothes everywhere. Jeans lurk under coffee tables, baskets of white undershirts peep out from behind closet doors, and stray sweat absorbent articles are more prevalent then carpeting on our floors. There’s no way around it- our home perpetually looks like a yard sale.

Over Spring Break I decided to get in touch with my inner June Cleaver and really tidy things up. I did the deep clean that I normally reserve for post-party films of gunk FOR NO REASON AT ALL! I folded sports bras, washed hoodies, and left stacks of fluffy, warm, fresh breeze stacks of goodness for Kevin to come home and savor before filing them according to his indecipherable man system of drawers.

Well, he came, he savored, and now we have clean clothes in the same spots that the dirty ones used to reside in. And while I am just as guilty as he is of lackadaisical housekeeping, I wonder, what more could I have done? Maybe next time I’ll hide his whiskey in the bottom of a clothes pile, just to see if it inspires him. I’m going to St. Louis to run as part of a marathon relay team this weekend, and (hint, hint, hint) it would be glorious not to come home to the clothes baskets still sitting full of his clothes. Kevin, if you are reading this, please for the love of all things Jim Beam, do not make me hide your sauce.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pretty much identical to Superman

Yeah, that's me. I saved some lives today, granted it wasn't as "impressive" as Superman swooping in to stop a train, but it's basically the same - I donated blood.

So for about the next week, I will look down with scorn upon those who HAVEN'T saved someone...until my asshole coworker who donated a kidney puts me in my place with THEIR story about it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wedding Banned

One of the many great things about being a second grade teacher is Spring Break. Due to the many “to-do” items on my long list and a ridiculously small amount of funding, I decided to stay home in Chicago and bum around. As I began to revise my to do lists and ponder what the ratio of being productive vs. laying around and reading would be for the week, I realized something- Kevin and I need wedding bands.

A few days later, we walked into “our” jewelry store in the loop, ready to browse. I adore, ADORE, adore my engagement ring from their shop, and they have worked with a majority of Kev’s family. As they pulled out rings, we found Kevin’s band fairly easily- plain white gold with a hint of finishing. I admit, seeing him wearing a ring really made me realize how close the wedding is- in a good way. He, on the other hand, deemed it sufficient to warn the ladies that he was taken, and decided to just wait patiently while I tried on a ton of rings. After a lengthy search, I found one I adored that matched his well and looked great with my engagement ring. Alas, it costs four times what his ring does, and is way out of our budget. Isn’t that the way things always go?

In the days that followed, we tried going to the mall to find something similar but cheaper, and found nothing. I searched the internet for ideas, and found nothing. I guess Kevin was right- I’m more expensive than I give myself credit for. I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to do, but I do know one thing- with 82 days until the wedding, I need to decide soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Too Much at 7:45 AM

So this morning walking to my office, I got a chance to see how wonderful the 1st Amendment really is. I get off the L, and walk a few blocks and have to pass through 3 blocks straight of 5 foot high pictures of aborted fetuses and people handing out flyers about how "God doesn't kill" and all that.

Now I support the Constitution and all that, but you've got to be kidding me with all this.

I'm fully aware that not everyone in the world shares my opinion on things, although they should - I rule, but why does this have to be before 8 AM? I'm glad that there are people out there who truly feel the call to fight for their beliefs, but please don't throw it in my face. I can't believe there are a lot of people out there who suddenly change their beliefs because you see something on a poster or read it on a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We Passed!

If I have learned one thing throughout this wedding process, it is that things are complicated. K and I met, fell in love ten years later, decided to get married for a multitude of reasons, and figured that we’d have a beautiful wedding in a sun-filled church, per our values growing up and family tradition.

That last sentence is where things get tricky. K and I both come from a long line of south-side Catholics, which means we will have a lengthy, traditional wedding mass. To have said mass, we are required to go to a nine hour premarital counseling session. Yes, nine hours, which we completed last weekend.

Now, before you read further you should know that I don’t think it’s a bad idea to require counseling before marriage. With the divorce rate the way it is, and the amount of people that rush into marriage because they dream of having a wedding, I think it’s a good idea to have an outside party guide you through the tough questions. In fact, I was a little nervous as I pondered what “sticky” discussions we’d have to have before earning our PreCana diploma. K and I woke up bright and early, and arrived at a church in a nearby suburb ready to settle in for the next few hours.

The teacher in me is frustrated by how the day was actually conducted. We spent eight hours filling out worksheets, comparing our worksheets, and discussing what we wrote. EIGHT HOURS. They didn’t even give us lunch. We sat in a big room, with our workbooks, forty other couples, led by a “real life married couple” who didn’t seem to have any chemistry or interest in talking to each other, let alone us. While going through topics such as finance, children, communication, common goals, and housework, what truly surprised me about the whole experience was the number of couples who HADN’T discussed these issues ahead of time. There were couples having major discussions and seemed surprised by their partners’ answers. How can you get engaged, or be in a serious relationship without discussing these issues? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

Long story short, K and I reaffirmed that we’re on the same page, spent a lot of time sitting knee to knee without much to talk about (since we didn’t have any shocking revelations), and set some goals. We’re going to run a half marathon together soon, and I’m pretty sure Jesus called my lovely husband-elect to get me a puppy. 88 days until the wedding- now let’s not lose our index card that says we passed the class.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hell Spawn

Every single morning at 5:30, the moment the alarm goes off, the Hell Spawns begin clawing at our bedroom. I then attempted to outsmart them, yes - I had to type "attempted." I started bringing our squirt bottle into the bedroom, and would open the door a crack and start spraying them, causing them to scatter.

This worked for about 4 days...

Starting the 4th day, the cats would still claw at the door, but then as soon as they heard me get off the bed, they would scatter. I would open the door, bottle in hand, and there would be no cats. As soon as I closed the door, they would come back to scratch! As soon as Colie gets up and starts showering, they're done clawing for the day! I cannot figure out a way to stop them. I'm getting outsmarted by two brains that combine to be the size of my fist!

They've come a long way from this:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friggin' CTA

So Colie and I are thinking about where we want to live. We love our current location, and the apartment’s awesome – leasing company notwithstanding: it’s run by a combination of Satan & the 3 Stooges.

Since Colie takes the Metra and I take the CTA, it works perfect for me and works for Colie. I’m 2 minutes from a Brown Line stop that takes me 4 blocks from my office. Colie can take the Brown Line North a few stops then walk a block to the Metra. Here’s the kicker though, my office is located in the building connected to the Metra station downtown – so it would be quicker for me to actually take the Metra to work than the L with only a small additional cost. So we’ve talked about moving more north to Ravenswood-area eventually because it would really be easier for both of us to commute to our jobs.

One thing that is a definite PLUS for me to actually move is no longer having to deal with people on the L. It’s almost a daily occurrence that someone commits one of the Top 10 things I hate people do on the CTA:

  • Entering a car, and then standing against the door – move in
  • People w/ giant backpacks – take them off your back before you plow over 3 more little old ladies every time you turn around
  • Let people exit the train before others board – physics won’t allow you two to pass through one another
  • Turn your music down – if you have headphones on, and I can hear the lyrics, it’s too damn loud
  • Turn off the phone – a simple “Hey I’m on the L” is fine, hell a 2 minute or less conversation is okay, but I do not need to know your entire line-up for Fantasy Baseball from your keeper league that you and “Big D” are commissioners in
  • Please don’t sing – this combines #4 and #5, I heard the majority of Act I of Phantom of the Opera last week, and it wasn’t sung by Kristin Chenoweth
  • Eating things on the L that by definition, will create trash – ex: sunflower seeds, pistachios, bananas
  • Take your stuff off the seat – I literally saw this take place the other day. Lady asks “man” to move his backpack, man says, “No” and proceeds to look out the window
  • People who think personal hygiene’s a passing fad – please brush your teeth in the morning and apply deodorant, that’s it! Nothing revolutionary is needed
  • People who want to talk about the book I’m reading – I don’t mind a “How is that?” or “Are you liking that?” I’m talking about the “You’re reading ‘Brave New World? Oh man, that book sucked – why are you reading it? Didn’t you read it in High School?” Yes, this happened.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cat Scratch Fever

A few months ago, K and I decided that we desperately needed a dog. We went to the puppy store, cuddled with a few, considered curbing back our time away from home to make it a part of our tiny family. Then....we woke up. It was almost winter, and we don't have a yard. We also both work long hours, making a dog tricky. Therefore, the next logical move was to go to the shelter and adopt two tiny, ten week old kittens. I chose an orange and white striped pal, who I named Felix. KG chose a black and white purrer who he dubbed Dante.

Five months later, the cats are a force to be reckoned with. Now in their teenage years, they reflect their owners' personalities to a T. Felix is relentlessly friendly, always causing mischief and messes, and is probably the clumsiest cat I've ever seen. Dante hides when others come over, and hates any change to the usual house routine. He also pouts when things don't go his way. We adore them both, even though K adamantly refuses to admit it.

I mention the other two residents of our apartment for two reasons.
1) K is working from home today and had to put Felix in his crate for a time out because he refused to stop tearing down the framed posters in our front room.
2) Yesterday, while working on the previously mentioned wedding website, I created a badass site that briefly made us sound cool and funny while also giving all 8 billion of our wedding guests the registry and hotel info. It even had pictures....for about 6 seconds until Felix stepped on the control button and deleted the entire thing. I guess we'll just have to actually TALK to all of our loved ones instead. Sigh....

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Wedding Website?

So I get an IM from Colie today, "should we set up a wedding website?" Oh crap.

Have you ever seen a wedding website? Here's the story of our loooovvvveeee. Here's how he proposed, "it was the most romantic thing ever." Blah, blah, blah... Yes, I know - this is our blog about getting ready to get married - shut up. And yes, I was the one that volunteered our story for our high school alumni newsletter - shut up.

I'm fairly certain that Colie's going to set it up whether I want to or not, I'm just hoping that she'll tell me the password, and that she won't mention the fact that the day I was going to propose I came home and fixed the toilet prior to asking for her hand.

Also, I checked the mail the other day and saw that there was an invite for the "Proud to Run" race the day before the Pride Parade. It made me smile, because last year "Proud to Run" was the day that I told Colie's parents that I wanted to marry her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Such love...

Gastank: When's your Spring Break?
Colie: two weeks from today
Gastank: Want to come meet me for lunch and we can look at wedding bands?
Colie: today?
Gastank: wow
Gastank: no, during your spring break
Colie: that sounds perfect
Colie: I'm going to engrave yours with "you are a big smelly assface"
Colie: but it will be written lovely
Gastank: yeah, italics adds a touch of class

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

107 Days?!?!?

Holy crap! 107 days until the wedding. I can't believe when I proposed on August 1, 2008 I thought that July 4th was so far off.

I actually think we decided to get married on that day a few weeks after the proposal - although both mine and Colie's family were asking us what day "THE DAY" was on August 2nd. The day after I proposed we stopped by my parents' house, then went to my soon-to-be sister-in-law's High School Graduation party. It was fun to see everyone right away, although I should have just printed up how I did propose and hand it out to everyone. I'll tell the story some day when I have more time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

True Colors

Quick post while K is in the shower. It's St. Patrick's Day (observed) today, and K comes from a long line of Southside Irish Catholics. He himself is second generation. We have already received multiple Irish themed gifts for our engagement- we even have a bowl shaped like a shamrock with the Irish Blessing in it.

I, on the other hand come from a long line of loud, fun Polaks. We confuse left with right, we sing happy birthday in Polish, and we make foods with long names for every occasion. I always feel a little guilty wearing Irish pride items to go drink on St Paddy's Day, so this year I solved my problem. I have made a bright green t-shirt that says "You bet your DUPA I'm Polish"

I figure this is perfect, because K can't complain since it's green, and I get to show my real pride. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go put this wonderful creation on and start drinking. It's almost 9 am.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who DOESN'T Watch the Watchmen?


I tried to read The Watchmen a few times in the past, but always found it to be really difficult to follow. I recently picked it up again because I heard about the movie, and I loved it. I thought it was wonderfully done, and an incredibly griping story. I find it fascinating that people can come up with plots like this: the artwork, the characters, the "Tales of the Black Freighter" novel within a novel.

So now the movie's out, and have I seen it? Nope. I understand that the novel couldn't be contained within 90 minutes, but THREE HOURS?!?! There is no way that I'll be able to convince Colie to see this movie. I love the movie V for Vendetta - Colie hates it. I love Sin City - Colie hates it.

Notice a theme here? There is zero chance that I'm getting her to the theater! I think my only option to get Colie to pick up a graphic novel is to recommend it for our book club.

What I Know Getting Into This

Yes, I figured this out thank you very much. However, before we continue I want to make it known what I already know about my lovely husband-elect going into the home stretch before our marriage. We have been friends for ten years and dated for a smidge under two, so I feel well qualified to present the following 25 facts as the truth.Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what we're in for.

1) My fiancee is the most punctual man alive. He is always at least 15 minutes early for everything. I, however, come from a long line of people who are at least 20 minute late, which continues to drive him crazy.

2) He doesn't eat condiments.

3) He has the best laugh ever- more like a ten year old's giggle, and occasionally if something is really hilarious, he will clutch his chest as though imitating a scandalized grandmother.

4) He also knows more about Excel than any human being really should. Our guest list is color coded, with separate sections for invitations sent, RSVPs and gifts received, courtesy of him.

5) He claims that I talked him into getting our two kittens, but the truth is our neighbor is a vet student, showed him one, and he melted.

6) He is a very methodical, detail oriented person. I'm fairly certain that I arrived in his life like a tornado. I also think he would be really bored without me.

7) He is obsessed with zombies, and has already planned our emergency plan should they invade.

8) He is sneakily athletic at just about anything. I'm always impressed.

9) Going along with this he is extremely competitive. I once achieved pro status at Wii Bowling. He kept playing me one-on-one until he single handedly took it away. If anyone besides him has the high score on one of HIS video games, he will not turn it off until he reclaims the title.

10) He has the distinct achievement of studying in Rome for an entire semester and coming home knowing less than 15 words of Italian. I'm actually being generous when I say 15.

11) He loves stupidly happy pop music, and if you feed him enough beer, will dance and sing along.

12) He likes to test people he has recently met by saying horribly offensive things just to see if they take the bait. Most do.

13) He has a big heart, and is extremely loyal.

14) He has had many of the same friends since kindergarten, and we all went to high school together. Embarassing stories abound.

15) He can spend hours in a book store with me, although he usually manages to find the most boring seeming book in the economics or finance sections and then purchases it. I think I've fallen asleep just looking at a few of them.

16) We talk each other into the most ridiculous pursuits. He has talked me into playing floor hockey, polar plunging twice, and taking shots of Jamison when extremely ill-advised. I have talked him into eating sushi, running 5 mile races, and buying sweaters that have never appeared on the Cosby show.

17) Speaking of apparel, he owns a pair of the whitest shoes I have ever seen. He has worn them into Lake Michigan and they are STILL gleamingly white. Also, they are Rebocks which should say it all.

18) He has amazing taste in television. We watch SVU, Top Chef, and Tool Academy.

19) He had a nervous breakdown while registering because he didn't know so many types of plates existed. He was similarly amazed when he found out exactly how many variations of white there are while picking out his tux.

20) Deep down, he is a very traditional person. He doesn't like things to be unsettled, and tries to keep his world as black-and-white as possible.

21) When he grows up I think he should wear bow ties.

22) He is truly incapable of separating his under shirts from his polos before doing laundry.

23) He loves puns. He ALWAYS follows up the question "Did you get your hair cut?" with "No I got them all cut"

24) I can't stay mad at him, and I'm pretty sure nobody can. I've tried and it doesn't work. Something to do with the giggle I think.

25) I cannot possibly envision my life without him.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Are We Doing Here?

So I sit here, watching the last episode of Tool Academy, and need to kick this blog off. Colie and I though about doing this because we both thought it would be highly entertaining for us and for our friends/family/kids one day. I actually first thought about this because my future sister-in-law got us these really nice leather-bound journals for Christmas, and told us to use them out first year of marriage. The biggest problem is that Colie and I have terrible, terrible, terrible handwriting!

So we're going to try this out! Which loosely translates to "I'm going to need to teach Colie how this whole things works."