August 14, 2005

Movin' On Up!

I just want to update anyone who has been reading my blog about what has been going on recently. I haven't updated the blog lately, but that is all going to change once I move it over to Blogger....

This blog was meant to be a class project, but it took on a life of its own. Rather than let the project die with my graduation, I thought I would move all of my entries to a different blog and continue from there.

So please drop by the new home of my blog....you might notice that there are some older entries there already, so feel free to catch up on what I was thinking about before my class project started. I'm going to slowly add these entries to the new blog and write a few new ones here and there.

One other reason for moving my blog is the difference in the Terms of Service that exists between a University blog and a private blog. Quite frankly, I want to have the option of putting Google ads on my page, along with some referrals to resources and businesses that I feel are worth a mention. The University just doesn't allow that, and in light of the fact that we are trying to save for our wedding, if I have the opportunity to earn a buck or two and also help out my readers, well.....you know how that goes.

So, I plan to continue my blog from its new home at:

http://jenplansawedding.blogspot.com

Please update your bookmarks, tell a friend, and stop by!

Posted by tsch0020 at 11:12 AM ˇ About Me

June 9, 2005

Those Last 10 Pounds...

I haven't started dress-shopping yet because I want to lose some weight first. That's the plan anyway....to lose some weight, find a dress, and hopefully keep it off until the wedding.

I lost weight once before. Two and a half years ago I went crazy with working out and dropped about 15 pounds in two months. Way too fast! It all came back about a year later. But it was nice while it lasted, even if it did mean that eating was a total letdown. I ate peanut butter on toast for breakfast everyday with grapes or strawberries, and then a yogurt in the mid-morning, a Lean Cuisine thing for lunch with some fruit, a snack in the afternoon (peanuts or yogurt) and another Lean Cuisine for dinner. BORING! It worked, but it was really not fun.

I don't know when I decided that eating had to be fun. Maybe it was after Derek and I met, because once we started going out, I started eating foods I normally wouldn't eat. Suddenly, everything had extra cheese, and most foods came out of a deep-fryer instead of a microwave. I also started eating ice cream all the time because Derek is a HUGE ice cream fanatic. Somewhere in all of that, eating became fun. I just wish is wasn't SO fun, then I'd be able to lose some weight.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:25 PM ˇ About Me

June 8, 2005

If it Happens on TV, it MUST be True...


Does anyone remember that show, "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" that was on FOX a few years ago? To refresh your memory, Rick Rockwell, a supposed millionaire was selected as the ultimate bachelor, and several women competed for the opportunity to marry him at the end of the show. Darva Conger, a nurse, competed on the show and won.

What happened next was pure TV. Darva Conger wanted out....not just, "Maybe we can still be friends-out", but, "You're creepy and I never wanted this in the first place-out". Of course, she knew what was involved, went through the whole process of applying for the show, being interviewed, winning a place as a contestant, and fighting for the big prize. Later, she claimed that she didn't know what she was getting into and that this isn't the type of thing that she would do....blah, blah, blah.

I don't know why they popped into my head today, but it seems that marriage to a lot of people is just a big joke or a game. Now I know that I shouldn't take what happens on TV too seriously, but between "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" and "The Bachelor", it seems that marriage is seen as a gimmick.

I normally don't watch "The Bachelor", but I did this last season and I have to say that for the first time in a long time I was happy to see someone on TV have a little self-respect and restraint. Charlie O'Connell, brother of actor Jerry O'Connell, was this past season's bachelor. He actually decided to forego most of "The Bachelor's" traditional conventions and decided that rather than ask someone to MARRY HIM (after like a month) at the end of the show, he would ask for additional time to date these two girls and decide which one he really liked. Then, he'd decide later whether he and the winner are marriage material.

Now, I could go on and on about how dangerous a show like "The Bachelor" is to women, and about how it exploits women into thinking they need to ruthlessly compete with other women for a certain man, and that they can only win him over by conforming to his tastes, etc....but that's for a different post or a different blog. I think these women know what they are doing, but aren't clear on whether they *should* be doing it. Whatever.

Rather than rant about the show or the women, I just want to say something about the concept in general. Marriage is not a prize at the end of a competition. If anything, its the beginning of a long process that requires endurance and patience. What these shows tell people is that if you are married you have won, if you haven't you suck.

As an almost-married person, I am looking forward to getting married, but I don't see it as the end of a "game". I see it as the beginning of a challenge, an adventure, and a time that will present us with many rewards and changes. As a single person, I often felt like society was saying to me that unless you are married you simply don't count. There were plenty of times when I know some of my married friends didn't invite me somewhere because I didn't have a guy to accompany me...it wasn't couple-y enough for them.

That's why I hate these shows that both show distain for singlehood and a total lack of respect for marriage...They perpetuate these myths that single is bad at all costs and marriage is always preferred. These "either, or" assumptions make it impossible to live up to the media standard of what is "normal". Just by televising these shows, "normal" gets skewed...who even knows what "normal" is anymore?

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:02 PM ˇ The Institution of Marriage

June 7, 2005

80 Steps

I found a great list of things that every bride needs to do in order to plan a wedding. The list is from MN Bride, a magazine and website that is published locally. I've found that these local resources often have the most up to date and relevant information, and this is a REALLY good one.

The list is located at: http://www.mnbride.com/feature1.shtml but I'll give you an idea of what is involved.

It breaks down the jobs by the time remaining until your wedding. I like these types of lists because it helps me to see things in a countdown-style.

My favorite to-do was item #69. It reads:
"Have a big, tension-relieving fight with your mother. At issue should be something unrelated to your wedding, fiancé, or marriage. You're both stressed out. She thinks she's losing her baby. You think she's losing her mind. A fight is inevitable. I only include this item here because as long as it's going to happen, you might as well have the satisfaction of crossing it off the list. "

At least that's one item I know I will get done in time.


Posted by tsch0020 at 3:08 PM ˇ Planning

Follow-Up: Perfectionism/Procrastination

I came across a page that describes perfectionism in a much more accurate way rather than my version that says, "if you don't meet your own demands, you suck".

The page lists several irrational beliefs that perfectionists have. Here are a few that stood out to me:

1. You are a loser if you cannot be perfect.
2. There is no sense in trying to do something unless I can do it perfectly.
3. Don't ever let anyone know what goal you're working on. That way they won't consider you a failure if you don't reach it.
4. Everything in life must be done to your level of perfection, which is often higher than anyone else's.
5. The ideal is what is real; unless I reach the ideal I am a failure.

I really identify with these statements. Even if I know that they are not realistic or helpful, I catch myself saying versions of these things to myself, particularly when I am really stressed out. As a result, I create even more problems for myself than when I started.

What is strange about this whole thing is that there are areas of my life where I do fine. It seems to come out particularly when I am putting myself out there to be judged, either in school or in my work. When I have a job that requires me to work and get tasks done, and I have a boss who monitors them, I do fine. In fact, I excel in that type of environment. But when I am left to my own devices, doing something on my own, that is when I am the most self-destructive for some reason.

I know this is a little off-topic, but I'm concerned that it might affect the planning of the wedding. Does anyone else ever feel this way, or am I the lone weirdo here.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:20 PM ˇ About Me

Imperfect at Being Perfect

One of the things I've struggled with over the years has been a crippling state of perfectionism. Most people who meet me think that I'm really laid-back and easy going, but inside, I rip myself apart. If you came to our house you wouldn't think that I'm a perfectionist. The house is messy sometimes, I don't go crazy about dust or laundry....but inside, when its something that pertains to me specifically, I am incredibly hard on myself.

I'm a little concerned about how this might play out as we get closer to the wedding. My coping mechanism has been to "shut off" or "avoid failure" and that comes out as procrastination. It's something that I've been dealing with ever since I was a little kid. When I was in Kindergarten, I was one of the only kids in the class who was reading at a pretty high level, practically fourth grade level. Now in elementary school, all subjects hinge on your reading. If you are a poor reader, things are difficult, but if you are a really good reader, everything is deathly boring. To compensate for the fact that everything was easy, I decided it had to be perfect in exchange.

Both of my sisters also had the same problem, but their's didn't manifest itself as perfectionism and procrastination like it did with me. Maybe being older, I am just too hard on myself because I always had to be responsible. Whatever the reason, this is still a huge problem in my life.

For right now, with over a year to go before our wedding, I don't really have any anxiety. However, if we don't start getting some things planned soon, I'm going to feel like a total failure. That's how perfectionism works in people....there are arbitrary benchmarks that only you understand that must be met....if you don't meet them, you suck.

Derek is not a procrastinator, at least not to the measure that I am sometimes. I'm sort of counting on him to help keep things on track, but because its wedding planning and not something fun like "road-trip with the guys planning", I'm afraid that I'll have to do most of the work and self-motivation on my own.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:05 PM ˇ About Me

June 6, 2005

Just a Shy Girl

I haven't decided yet if I want to post a picture of Derek, me and Dylan. I'm sort of torn. Derek knows that I'm writing this blog, and he sort of knows what I'm writing about, but I haven't actually sent him the link so he could read it himself.

I'm not sure why I feel this way about this...there are two things going on here: One, I want to respect Derek's privacy and not go splashing his picture everywhere, and two, I feel weird about him reading my blog for some reason. Everything I've written is pretty much public knowledge kind of stuff...no deep dark secrets or anything. But for some reason, revealing my writing to him is strange. It shouldn't be, really....I mean he knows everything about me. But for some reason, taking this blog from "psuedo-anonymity" to "hi Sweetie, this is what I've been writing about for three weeks" is difficult.

I thought about emailing him some individual posts and gauging his response that way. But then its not really my blog, just the stuff I think I want him to read and like.

So for now, the headless picture of Derek with Dylan on his graduation is all you're getting....I need to think about the group photo thing for a little while. As for revealing my blog to him, I'll keep you posted.

Posted by tsch0020 at 5:19 PM ˇ About Me

Everyone Grab a Fork!

Call us crazy, but we want to have Tiramisu as our wedding cake. I am CONVINCED that it can be done!

Some of our family have politely tried to shy us away from this idea. Maybe they think it isn't traditional enough, or maybe they think its weird. I don't care....I LOVE Tiramisu and if there is a way to form it into a wedding cake, by God, we're having it! (By the way, Derek wants it too....this isn't a Bridezilla moment!)

In case you aren't familiar with the dessert, it's a layer of ladyfingers soaked in espresso, and then layered with Marscapone cheese (which is like a creamy, sweet, fluffy cheese and sugar concoction spiked with a little liquor) and then dusted with cocoa powder or a little cocoa and espresso powder. Every place makes it a little differently, but we seem to like it everywhere we have it.

I found a great site (with a strange title) all about Tiramisu. They have a recipe for a Tiramisu wedding cake, so I guess I could pass that on to a bakery if they didn't already make their own version.

People ask us, "why Tiramisu"? I don't know...Derek and I always split a piece whenever we go to an Italian restaurant. It's sort of a tradition with us, so it seems appropriate to share one REALLY BIG piece with everyone at our wedding.

Posted by tsch0020 at 3:29 PM ˇ Planning

If You Build It....

Before Derek and I got engaged officially, I played around a little bit with what I thought my engagement ring might look like. I went to BlueNile.Com and tried their "Build Your Own Engagement Ring Simulator".

It was fun to try out different settings and different stones. After a little while I tried to make the most expensive ring I could make just for fun. The most expensive diamond was a pear-shaped diamond for $1, 161, 368.00!

It should be here in four to six weeks.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:57 PM ˇ Funny Stuff

Movin' On Up....

Derek and I are looking for a new house. We already have a two-bedroom townhouse, but we are looking for something a little bigger with a yard.

In order to accomplish this, we probably will have to buy a house that needs some work. But first, we need to fix up the one we already have and make it suitable for showing.

I've been checking for townhouses in our neighborhood that are for sale at EdinaRealty.Com. The listings usually have a picture of the outside and a few of the inside, so I've been able to see what other people are doing to their houses. After all, we are in direct competition with our neighbors because there are always at least one or two of the 220 units up for sale at any given time. If someone walks into one that's priced at $157,000 and it looks really nice and then they walk over to ours priced at $158,000 its clear who will sell theirs first.

We're thinking of replacing the tile we have in the entryway and kitchen with wood laminate floor, and all of the carpet has to be replaced for sure as well. In general, we have a lot of painting and organizing to do if we are going to get this done. The sad thing is that we have no idea when we might find the right house, so we have to get all of this done as soon as possible just in case.

It's kind of a stressful time because we really don't know how much longer we'll be in our house. I'm excited about it, but a little sad too. Our townhouse is our first house together and I'm sure I'm going to cry like crazy when we leave.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:45 PM ˇ Stress