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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He Writes My Name in Cheese


It occurred to me that I've said a lot about myself and not so much about Derek in this blog. Because I respect his privacy, I won't reveal too much about him, but I decided to write a "Top Ten Things to Know About Derek" list so that you can get an idea of what kind of person he is.

1. He's a nerd. Well, not exactly. He's a pretty cool guy and if you saw him you wouldn't think, "God, what a nerd", but he has nerdy tendencies. For example, he knows everything there is to know about both animals and the Civil War. If Animal Planet is on, he knows the obscure animal before they even mention its name, and if there is something on TV about the Civil War and he hears an inaccuracy, he pauses the Tivo and goes on a rant.

2. He's a pilot. He actually has a pilot's license and graduated with two degrees: Aviation Management and Business Administration.

3. The guy can cook! He worked at a Mexican restaurant as a cook in high school and college so he has some pretty mean cooking skills.

4. He tans way too easily. Everytime he goes ANYWHERE, like a vacation, or a camping trip, he comes back super tan and his tan lasts forever. My dad is like that too, and as a little pale Italian girl it ticks me off.

5. He loves dogs. He is CRAZY about dogs in general and out of his mind over our dog, Dylan. He loves brushing him, taking him to the dog park, teaching him tricks...obsessed!

6. He surprises me in funny ways. For example, for my last birthday, he made me Mexican lasagna and wrote "Happy B-Day Jen" in cheddar cheese before he baked it. Awww.....(see pic above).

7. He is a really loyal friend. He's had some of the same close friends since elementary school and would do anything for any of them. He also makes new friends easily and everyone says how nice and down to earth he is. He is the most un-phony person ever.

8. He has strong opinions. He goes on "rants" sometimes while we are watching TV and we end up pausing the TiVo a million times. It takes an hour to watch a half-hour show sometimes!

9. He's really smart, but not a show-off. That's important to me because people who show off their intelligence just to show off really bug me. He's also a hard worker and never complains.

10. He's just a great all-around guy. He's a funny guy with a sick sense of humor and he's always doing something funny. I can totally make an ass out of myself in front of him too.

If I ever thought about a guy that I would be with forever, I couldn't have designed a better guy. He's just so cool.

Posted by tsch0020 at 9:28 AM

What I Learned at Puppy School

Derek is going on a trip to the Boundary Waters in a few days and it will be just me and little Dylan holding down the fort. Dylan just turned a year old on May 16th, and so far being "puppy parents" is turning out to be pretty fun.

It was only recently that Dylan started acting somewhat normal and less like a psycho puppy. The first few months with him were really hard. He's a Collie/German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix and he has a great deal of energy. His little puppy teeth would scratch my skin every time I got near him because he had that chewing puppy fixation that most dogs outgrow pretty quickly. In Dylan's case, he still hasn't outgrown it altogether but its gotten better.

When Dylan was about three months old we took him to "Puppy School" and he graduated with a diploma, a little graduation cap, and "Pomp and Circumstance" playing on the boombox....Yea, a little overboard, but the teacher seemed normal in all other respects.

One of the first big challenges that Derek and I had to deal with after getting a puppy was how to come to an agreement about how he would be disciplined and cared for. I hate to admit it, but Dylan is the most disobedient little puppy I've ever had, so it was frustrating to try to get him to do what we wanted him to do without ticking the other person off. I was less about spanking him, but Derek seemed to get more respect from Dylan when he did that. So we had a whole big thing about whether we should be smacking him when he does something bad (like chew, bite on hands etc.). We agreed to go to obedience school with him every Saturday for eight weeks and the results were really pretty good. He learned certain commands and he was much more manageable, but we still had problems with him from time to time.

In general, I'd say that if you really want to test your relationship and your ability to make joint decisions (like the kind you have to make when you have kids) get a dog. Obviously, only do this if you are *sure* you want to be with someone forever, because the last thing you want to do is have one of you get attached to a dog and then break up. But if you are in a serious relationship headed toward marriage, try a dog before kids if you can. The skills you'll learn in negotiation and compromise will mean a lot later on.


Dylan at his "Puppy School" graduation. Derek is trying to put his little cap on.

Posted by tsch0020 at 8:50 AM

June 3, 2005

A Job for Everyone

One of the issues that we haven't yet dealt with is who will do what in our wedding. We sort of decided that we would do "three and three", with his three attendants being his brother, and his two best friends, and mine being my sisters and Derek's sister.

We also need to find ushers, personal attendants for me, and flower-girl/ring bearer-type people.

We have only given one person a definite job. Kameryn, Derek's niece who is now 4 but will be 5 at the time we get married will be our flower girl. Derek has another niece and a nephew so we also need to find jobs for them too.

My two closest friends from high school will probably be personal attendants since we only have three spaces for bridesmaids, so hopefully there won't be any hurt feelings. I wasn't a bridesmaid in either of their weddings so it should be fine.

The big issue is who will be the Best Man and Maid of Honor. We kind of decided not to do that, and just make all of the attendants equal, because he would have to choose between his friends and his brother and I would have to choose between my sisters and my new sister-in-law. It's just too hard, and the role is mostly ceremonial anyway without a great deal of meaning. We care about everyone and just want things to be equal, even, and simple.

We went to a wedding last summer where Derek and one other guy were the only groomsmen and there wasn't a Best Man, so the idea to do this came from that experience. It was nice and simple.

Posted by tsch0020 at 10:18 PM

June 2, 2005

'Till Divorce Do Us Part

Derek and I both come from families of divorce. Neither of my parents have remarried, but Derek's mom remarried several years ago.

The fact that we both know what divorce is like makes us very careful about marriage. We talk at great length about how we need to do everything we can to continue to communicate and work out any problems we encounter.

I actually dated someone who came from a family with happily married parents who said to me, "I don't usually date people whose parents are divorced. I think they tend to think of divorce as an easy way out".

Can you believe that?!

Easy way out? How easy is it when your dad moves out and lives across town in a yucky apartment while your parents try to work things out? How easy is it when you are responsible for carpooling your little sisters around because there is one less parent around to do it? How easy is it to have to decide whose side to take in an argument?

In many ways, I think the fact that we both have divorced parents makes us an even better match than a couple whose parents are still together. I have friends whose parents are still married, and they take for granted the fact that their parents are together under one roof. Now, whether or not their parents are happy is another story, but at least they know that when their parents go to sleep at night they are at least together and looking out for one another. I worry about my parents all the time.

I'm curious about what other people have to say about this...does your parents' marital status make you think about marriage differently?

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:46 PM

Etiquette Hell

I have to admit that I don't know a great deal about weddings. I was never the little girl who had her whole wedding planned out by the age of nine like some people.

When the subject of wedding etiquette comes up, I'm pretty clueless. I know there are certain ways in which you are supposed to plan things, and that you have to consider special circumstances like how to seat divorced parents and the like. But when I did a search on wedding etiquette I came across the most hilarious site ever. Its called "Etiquette Hell" and it chronicles the absolute WORST examples of etiquette faux pas imaginable.

I particularly like the section on "Bridezillas". My favorite story was the one about the bride who sent her wedding invitations out SEVEN MONTHS in advance and then changed the location of the venue without sending out a new invite! Can you believe this?

The site is really funny, but be prepared....you might find yourself reading for a while. Be sure to check out the Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator.....hilarious!

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:27 PM

Perfect for Each Other

Derek and I were in Wal-Mart one day, and while he was looking at something I perused the book section. There was a book there about birth order, that basically said that the order in which you were born into your family, and the order your future spouse was born can help determine the success or failure of your relationship.

When Derek met up with me in the book section, we skimmed to the part that talked about "First Born Females" marrying "Last Born Males". To refresh my memory about the way the book worded everything, I did a search on Google and found a story that recaps the author's findings.

The article says, "If you want the absolute best match, it's female only or first-born marrying a male youngest child who has older sisters. "

The reasoning behind this theory is that, "The last born with older sisters is going to be the sort of person who brings out the maternal instinct in women, and the oldest sister is likely to have great maternal urges. He would have grown up with girls who have doted on him. This is similar to the treatment he seeks in a wife, and the best place he'll find it is with an oldest sister. The match works both ways. The first-born needs someone to show her pleasures of sunsets, rainbows, and to remind her that it can be fun to let her mind wander and do something mad or different. The last-born needs someone to show him that while having fun is a wonderful thing, it takes hard work and perseverance to make those daydreams into reality."

We talked about this, and in a lot of ways this is true about us. I am very maternal. I have two younger sisters and I'm used to always looking out for people and taking care of them. Derek is used to being taken care of to some extent as well. This does not mean though that there is a mother-child thing going on with us. Derek is incredibly responsible and level-headed. I'm the one who is actually a little more flaky in some respects.

I'm more organized, but Derek is more driven to get things done right. I'm more of the type of person who just wants to get things done and check them off my list and hope they turn out.

I think that this theory holds true for us in some ways, but not as much in others. We both have aspects of each type of person, but what I think works well for us is that we seem to balance each other out when we need that balance.

If you are wondering which birth order combo is one of the worst? First-born and first-born....the butt heads like crazy!

Posted by tsch0020 at 1:47 PM

Wedding costs revisited...

A recent CNN.Com story revealed that the actual average cost of a wedding in the United States is closer to $30,000, not the $20,000 I referenced in another post.

This means that at this rate, I would need to save $60.12 each day, starting right now in order to afford the typical American wedding.

Did I mention how screwed I am now?

For more information about this new data, check out the CNN article.

Posted by tsch0020 at 1:33 PM

June 1, 2005

Living in Sin

Derek and I have really gone about this all wrong.

First, we got a dog.

Then, we moved in together.

Now, we're looking for a new house.

Finally, we will get married and have kids.

My friends, on the other hand, did everything the "right" way. They dated, got engaged, got married, moved in together, bought a house, got a dog, and had a kid.

Its hard sometimes to ignore the idea that there is a "right" way to do certain things. I've spent a great deal of time and energy (wasted time, actually) worrying about what other people thought about what I did or didn't do.

When Derek and I met, almost all of our friends were paired up or married. Now, all of them are married and starting on the other stuff like dogs and kids.

In a way, Derek and I have some unique insights that our friends don't have. We know what its like to stay up all night caring for a scared little puppy on his first night in a new home. We've already established the whole "division of labor" thing that cohabitating people have to figure out. We've already learned so much about each other by living together that some newly married people take months to find out.

In a lot of ways, I'm really happy about the way things have worked out for us. Our parents are all really supportive of our "lifestyle" and seem to really embrace this whole living-together, dog-owning, house-buying idea. Not bad for a couple of sinners huh?

Posted by tsch0020 at 4:39 PM

Set Scanners to "Buy"

I have to admit that one of the things I am looking forward to the most about planning our wedding is registering for gifts.

Now, don't go calling me greedy, but the idea that I can walk around a store, scan things with a little gun, and actually receive a great deal of them for free is very appealing to me.

Derek and I are registering at Target, Marshall Fields, and probably one other place. That "other place" is still up for debate because we are trying to bridge the gap between being practical and downright frivolous.

We probably should register at some place like Home Depot for our house stuff (we have a house but we are planning to buy a fixer-upper). But I like the idea of registering at a cool place like The Sharper Image for really fun, useless things.

Since we already have a house and most of the stuff that goes into one, we don't need all new kitchen stuff or the other things that other couples typically register for. We just need nicer versions of the stuff we already have.

Take towels for instance....Derek's towels that he brought into our relationship are bright orange and a weird tan-ish-brown. They are clearly from the 1970's and were handmedowns from his parents. We could use a few less of those and a few more nice white towels like the ones I brought with me. That must just be a girl/guy thing....the standard by which we judge our towels, but I like the idea of having fresh new towels every three or four years or so, not every thirty years.

Posted by tsch0020 at 4:30 PM


The average wedding in the United States costs $20,000.....

I'm getting married in 499 days....

At this rate, I would need to save $40.08 per day, every day, starting at this very moment to afford the typical American wedding.

Wow, am I screwed or what?

Posted by tsch0020 at 4:19 PM

What Exactly is Being "Defended"?

I’m getting really tired of hearing about the “Defense of Marriage Act”. Basically, what this law says is that each state gets to determine what it considers to be a marriage, but it also recognizes only “marriages” between one man and one woman at the Federal level.

Some states have decided to try to push through legislation that would allow “civil unions”. Vermont is one state in which residents can enter into civil unions and have most of the same benefits that married couples receive.

Taking it a step further, the Netherlands allows same-sex marriages to have the exact status as opposite-sex marriages.

What exactly are politicians trying to defend anyway? As a soon-to-be-married person, I don’t feel threatened in any way that a homosexual couple could have the same benefits and responsibilities that my husband and I would have. Who cares?

Some people argue that it’s the word “marriage” that is at issue…that somehow allowing homosexual couples to call themselves “married” is an atrocity. I personally couldn’t care less…whether called civil unions or marriages, these partnerships are all just that: partnerships. Who one chooses to pair up with should be nobody’s business but their own.

I just get sick to my stomach every time I think of a couple, who could be together for twenty-five or thirty years, and if one was admitted to the hospital, the other could be denied visitation or the ability to make decisions for the other. I think back to a movie I saw called, “If These Walls Could Talk 2”, that told the story of an elderly lesbian couple. One of the women died suddenly, and her family basically threw her partner out on the street and out of the home they had shared for decades. The film took place in 1961, but these types of incidents probably still occur. Thankfully, domestic partners can now have legal documents such as Living Wills and Power of Attorney so that they can give some decision-making ability to their partners, but there should be implicit benefits given to partners based on a legal marriage.

As a side note, one of the most aggressive “defenders” of marriage locally is Senator Michele Bachmann. There is a great blog called, “Dump Michele Bachmann
that explains the paranoia that she seems to have about the gay community. Some of you may have heard about how she crouched down behind some bushes to covertly observe a gay rally a few months ago. In case you didn’t see the pictures, the person who took them has his own blog.

Posted by tsch0020 at 4:15 PM

Dress Distress

Ok, this is actually the third time I’ve tried to write a post about my search for a wedding dress. Every time I publish the post, it somehow disappears. I can only assume that this is some cosmic way of telling me that either the dresses I’ve chosen so far are too ugly for public display, or that talking about the dress and putting pictures of it up on a blog where my fiancé might see them is bad luck.

Tempting fate, here are two dresses that are serious contenders. The one above is a more elaborate version of one that I found in a wedding magazine a few months ago. It’s might be a bit too much for my 5’ 2” frame, so the one below is also a possibility.

What I like about both of them is that they aren’t all flouncy and frilly looking. I hate that. I hate going to weddings and seeing brides covered in lace and tulle to the point where they look like they were caught in a marshmallow fluff explosion. I like dresses that are more simple and elegant, with no a whole lot going on. That’s why the first one could be a little too much.

Whichever dress I choose, I need to do it soon because I read that it’s a good idea to order your dress at least six to nine months in advance. Since I haven’t yet lost my pre-wedding weight, I’ll have to order it small so that I’ll be forced to lose the weight in time…but that’s a whole other post.

Posted by tsch0020 at 2:11 PM

The Church Search

Our search for a church is continuing. Derek is Lutheran and I am Catholic, so we are trying to find a church, officiant, and ceremony that will satisfy everyone. The church I went to as a child (picture above) is located near my parents in the Saint Croix Valley, so its location is not ideal for us. Derek's church that he attended when he was a kid is located close to us, but it is so big that I'm not sure it will have a cozy feel that we are looking for.

The "church or no church" debate always comes up when we are trying to make definite plans. Even though I am Catholic, I would have no problem getting married at our reception site by a Lutheran or non-denominational officiant. What is surprising about this is that I am the one that actually attends church sometimes, and Derek is the one who doesn't, yet he is the one who wants to get married in a church.

At this moment, we have not attended a single church together, which presents a problem because we pretty much need to nail down the church and reception site in the next month or so if we want to be able to relax and feel confident that some of the big decisions are out of the way. In my old Catholic church, we are required to give them notice of at least one year, and attend several counseling sessions and a couple's retreat. Derek is not thrilled, and neither am I.
By contrast, if we get married in some Lutheran churches, we are only required to meet with the Pastor and possibly attend one seminar. Much more do-able....

So, the church search continues. Hopefully we will have this part figured out in the next few weeks so that we can select our reception venue and other vendors. It's making eloping seem all that more attractive....

Posted by tsch0020 at 1:44 PM