Monday, November 21, 2011

happy holidays giveaway!

Well folks, the holiday season is upon us. And whether you're in full swing already or, like me, still in denial because you're slacking on shopping and decorating, it's still a pretty good time of the year.

You know what would make it even better? A sweet giveaway!

Well, how convenient that I've got one for you. Well, not me. But I'm participating via my Etsy shop, sparrowgrey.

And the lovely rikrak studio is hosting. It's the Happy Holidays Mega Giveaway, to be more precise.

There's a ton of awesome prizes available from a variety of sponsors and I'm among them... so when you enter, you've got a chance to go home with a pair of earrings made by yours truly. Oh yeah, and about $600 worth of other prizes. Told you it was sweet. So go enter and best of luck!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

plenty of lessons

Lesson #48: Marriage isn't the end of anything (other than being single)

It seems to me that a few people out think marriage means that, from the moment you sign that piece of paper, you will never get the chance to experience the world, or anything for that matter.

Aside from being incredibly pessimistic, this kind of idea isn't even accurate. In fact, its unbelievably wrong. Well, duh, you say. Of course its was wrong. Married people still get to experience the world. There's no doubt about that, right?

But actually, I had a lot of doubt about just that in the months before our wedding. I wondered how getting married at 22 would impact our lives. I worried that I would regret our decision to commit myself to another person at such a young age. I worried even more than he would regret it too. Age aside, I worried that my choice to chain myself to another person would ruin my life. I worried that I was ruining his. I wondered how significantly different our lives could be in 10 years if we called off the wedding and went our separate ways. I didn't want to regret the choice we were about to make.

Now, don't get me wrong, it clearly hasn't been 10 years. I have no idea what the future holds. It's been a little over a year. But hey, I don't regret it yet so that's a plus, right?

All I can say is that, at this point, all the things I spent time worrying about before we signed the marriage certificate are things that I embrace now.

I worried about being so attached to another person because it might limit my individuality?

Now, I'm thankful everyday that I've made that kind of connection to someone and still get to be me.

I worried about how marriage would impact our education and career paths?

Well, I'm still on the same path and so is he. Marriage didn't de-rail anything there.

People say we won't get to experience all the world has to offer?

Actually, we still do. Every day. And what's even better is that we get to do it together. Don't get me wrong, our experiences may be significantly different than they would have been if we'd remained single, but just because they're different doesn't mean they're bad. Any given human could spend hours debating what their lives would have been if they'd gone down a different road or taken a different path in life, but how the hell is that useful? Oh yeah, it's not. We've chose the life we've got and we like it just fine, thank you.

Lesson #65: Marriage doesn't make life easier, but it does make it better.

It is incredibly stressful to simultaneously control the path of two lives at once. It forces you to consider options you normally wouldn't have to. One income need to support the two of us so it means waiting (im)patiently for a new car. I need to move to a different city in a year to finish my education so we have to figure out how his job fits into that.

It gets trickier to think of two people instead of one. Marriage is not for the selfish at heart, of that I am sure. Life decisions are harder these days. But I am firm in my belief that they are also so, so, so much better. We learn from one another, receive constant encouragement and have someone to shoulder half of all the difficulties life throws our way.

We have to be less selfish, we have to be a little more stressed, we do a lot more juggling, but what's the payoff? The joy of having a partner with whom to share all that is wonderful in life.

Pretty good deal, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, August 15, 2011

not equal enough

If you haven't seen this post over on A Practical Wedding yet... you need to.

The inequality behind it makes my blood boil.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

more lessons

Lesson #86: Everyone should have the right to marry.

Okay, so this isn't exactly something we've come to realize since we were married. I've been behind marriage equality since I realized that people had different sexual preferences in middle school. However, since we've been married, the importance of marriage equality has become even more evident. For months, I heard fellow bloggers/newlyweds go on and on about how different it feels to be married. And for months, I didn't believe them.

Well, they were right and I was wrong because it is different.

In addition to the heightened emotional connection and the fact that I get to use the word "husband" when I introduce him to people, the legal rights we've been afforded are comforting. It's not like I'm claiming his pension cheques, but even little things like the fact that he can call in a prescription for me or the fact that I get a "spouse card" for his health insurance through work make me feel more connected to him. My elation over the spouse card may be silly, but nonetheless, I can't even begin to imagine how I'd feel if I were denied these connections to the person I love.

I knew marriage inequality was a big deal before we got married, but since we were afforded the privilege of signing that marriage license without question, it feels even more unjust that so many people are denied that same privilege.

Which is why I'm thankful to live in a country that became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide and why I'm happy to see our neighbors to the south making strides in the same direction.

When you look at the big picture surrounding this massive political, ideological, religious (etc.) debate, it makes me wonder why it's a debate at all.

Lesson #109: Sometimes being selfish is a necessary evil.

Although we started to realize it well before we were married, compromising is a necessity. (Most of the time) we both do our best to compromise our needs with those of the other. It's tough, but necessary. We've been and continue to be around other relationships in which one or both partners are terrible at, or simply unwilling to, compromise and we've seen the kind of strain that puts on a relationship so we do our best to avoid it. (Plus, I tend to think my husband is fundamentally incapable of ignoring the needs of others for his own in most cases. Stupid Mr. Awesome.)

The lesson we've come to learn since being married, however, is that this desire to take the needs of another above those of your own can be difficult. With a case of the flu a few weeks back, there was no end to the feelings of guilt I experienced when I needed to depend on him for everything. I do my best to be independent, but when you're up at 3am unable to leave the bathroom for fear of throwing up everywhere else, you don't have much of a choice but to rely on someone else. So I got over it and realized that for the next few days at least, he would have to pull double duty. In addition to working a full day, he would have to pick up my responsibilities of cleaning and cooking. Add onto all that a wife who is (even more) whiny and needy when she's sick and I'm surprised the poor man survived that week.

But ultimately, I realized that if the situation were reversed, I would want him to depend on me so he could focus on getting better. The feelings of guilt persisted, but they were toned down ever so slightly.

Besides, I took comfort in the fact that in next 50 years of so, he'll likely manage to pay me back for it. Probably 10 times over, since he's a big baby when he's suffering from a man cold.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lesson #1: Vacations rock.

Seriously, they do. Take one.

Lesson #17: Merging finances isn't hard, it's just annoying at times.

Since I'm still in school and the husband is the sole-bread winner, merging our finances wasn't too difficult. We spent an hour signing papers and voila! I'm attached to his account and mine was soon to be closed. Joint accounts all the way. For us, there was no alternative. However, being the spender of the relationship, talking to the saver of the marriage is tricky sometimes. Its a little (more than a little, sometimes) annoying to discuss every financial decision with one another. But that's the selfish part of my personality talking. I know, in the long run, it's better to make decisions together so neither of us is blind sighted. Plus, we help reel one another in, which is always good for our pocketbook.

Lesson #54: Baby families rock, but they're work to make.

I've talked about it before and I'll say it again... drama goes with weddings like cookies go with milk. Yesterday on APW, wedding undergraduate Nicole was talking about the two extremes of family relationships that seem to emerge in the course of wedding planning. On one hand, you've got the fluffy loveliness that accompanies a close family and on the other, you've got the dreary heartache that can be attached to families that ain't so cuddly.

We happen to fall mostly into the latter group. Although our issues don't stem from ideological differences like Nicole's, they still stink. We've come to learn that our new family has to be priority. And trust me, that's a hard lesson to learn and an even harder thing to constantly keep in mind.

Like Nicole notes, it's extremely tough to balance the boundaries created by the families we came from with the ones we're trying to create for our own family. Thankfully, I also find this difficult process to be one of the most rewarding parts of marriage. I love being connected to my family of origin while having them realize that we're creating our own family that has its own needs. Because the needs of our new family often clashed with those of our other families, we've constantly been emerged in a dialogue about what works for us, what absolutely doesn't, and how we respect ourselves without disregarding the needs of our families of origin.

In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the guest list drama we went through before the wedding. (Ugh, the guest list. Shoot me now.) Every side had an opinion but ultimately we needed to make it work for the two of us. We were made to feel as though we were being selfish, we were put on guilt trips, we had to deal with crying mothers, and pissed off relatives, but at the end of the day... it was our wedding. Not theirs. Just like this is our family, not theirs. If we don't prioritize our needs, we'll never be happy. So it's a constant balancing act.

Just my luck. I was never one for juggling.

happy anniversary to us!

It's official, we've been married over a year.

(So what if it's only been a year and two days? Saying over a year makes it sounds fancier, so sue me.)

And because we spent our official anniversary dog sitting for my grandparents, we decided to skip celebrations on Sunday and enjoy belated anniversary fun yesterday. Thankfully, we'd had the foresight to know that taking care of 8 dogs and 16 puppies (side note: this is normal... my grandparents own a kennel, they're not pet hoarders, I swear) for 3 days would probably take its toll on us and booked Monday off work. So we ignored the fact that our car needs to be cleaned and that we have a giant pile of dishes in our kitchen and left town for the cottage where we had our wedding.

Lovely sun, freezing cold water to swim in, and dinner on our way home = one sweet first wedding anniversary. That's one lesson we've learned in the past year, sometimes ignoring responsibility to be spontaneous is an excellent way to enjoy time together.

Speaking of lessons learned, we've been taught a few more things by the world of marriage and the world in general this year. There's been a lot going on. School, changing jobs, family drama, the possibility of a move ... uh, the list goes on and on.

In light of these lessons, many of which we're still living through, I decided to come back to the blogging world for a week to go through some of the stuff we've learned in our first year of marriage.

Don't get me wrong, we're not experts. Far from it, actually. Before we got married, I figured we had a pretty good sense of what our lives would be like and how we'd handle the crap that was flung our way. Pffft, what the hell did I know?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DIY: Pom Pom Tutorial w/ Mr. FP's Formula

Hey all, long time, no see. I'm still alive, I swear. Unfortunately, the demands of university, marriage, and keeping apartment often interrupt my ability to stay connected with the blogging world. And although I'm not writing, I'm still reading all the lovely words from fellow bloggers about wedding planning, newlywed life, babies, and the challenges that come along with it all.

Today though, I have a good reason to write. I've been getting tons of comments and e-mails lately about the process of making pom poms for our wedding and the formula we used to alter the standard tutorials on the internet. In my original post on the subject of poms, I talked about Mr. FP's amazingness and how he managed to make a formula which allowed us to customize the size of our poms without ruining the ratio needed to make them look proportionate.

And after losing it once, then twice, then three times, I've finally recovered that formula and decided to commit it to blogging because 1) people have asked and 2) so I can never lose it again and Mr. FP won't have to have a heart attack every time I ask him to make it again from scratch.

So here we go. This formula is based on the original one found on Martha Stewart's website, here. That tutorial uses 20 inches as the width (w) and 30 inches as the height (h) and worked out in a formula, the original looks like this:

w X h
(h/3) x 2 = w
(w/2) x 3 = h

(30/3) x 2 = 20
(20/2) x 3 = 30

(little 'x' stands for multiply, just in case that's not clear)

With Mr. FP's formula you replace the (w) with a smaller number you want to use as width (because the width in the original is smaller than the height, obviously) and use h = (w/2)x 3 to get the bigger number that will correspond to the height.

For example, if you want to make one with 10 inch width, you need to use the formula to find the proportionate height or it will come out oddly shaped. So the formula would look like this:

(w/2)x3 = h

You know the width is 10, so you can input that, divide it by 2 and then multiply that number by 3 to get the height:

(10/2) x 3 = h

And when you work out the math, that gives you a height of 15. If you did it in reverse and knew you wanted a height of 15 and needed to figure out the width, you'd just use the other formula: (h/3)x2 = w ..... (15/3)x2 = w ..... (15/3) x 2 = 10.

And even with the formula, the process isn't easy. I played around with the numbers for a while before deciding which size worked best for us. I do remember liking the 10x15 size and one that was slightly larger but alas, I entirely forget the actual sizes we used. But never fear, the formula is here to help, at least a little.

Explaining it in writing can be difficult so if you are confused, don't feel bad. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, just let me know and I (and by I, I mean Mr. FP, math genius extraordinaire) will do my (his) best to explain more clearly.

Hope this helps! Happy pom pom-ing.