If you are reading this, I just got married.  Like, right now.  Kim and I are probably taking pictures or saying thank you or heading to the reception.

Kim and I met each other in the beginning of 7th grade – fall of 2001 for those who have known us long enough.  We’ve been a couple since spring of 2002.  In other words, we’ve been a couple since they discovered water on Mars.  Our relationship is older than the International Criminal Court, even! We’ve lived together for two years (and been engaged for the same amount of time, minus a few hours), and today we just took the big leap together. It’s been surreal – a wonderful journey with my best friend.  And we’re just getting started!

This terse blog post marks a significant event but at the same time a small change in a long history of a relationship.  As of right now, we are what we weren’t a few moments ago – married. Our legal status has changed, and taxes will look a little different from here on out,but we’ve also made a huge commitment to each other.  Plus, I don’t feel left out anymore and can finally wear a ring too!  But, we’re also still two people who are in love and sharing our lives together.  We’ve got over eight years of history as a couple – from junior high to high school to college, from parents’ houses to apartment to townhome, but we’ve got a lot ahead of us.

Here’s to the future.


WIP Wednesday: Wedding Edition

Thanks to our wedding, I’m bringing back my one-post-long Work in Progress Wednesday series!  For the past few weeks Kim and I have been working on our centerpieces for the wedding on-and-off.  The goal is small collections of vases on every table, with some sparse stems of flowers in each.  We bought a plethora of clear vases and candle holders at various Goodwills and have been spray painting them white.  We’re excited to see how they come together.  It’s been fun being slightly crafty, and not so fun to see a handful of vases get all crackly and messed up.  All in all it’s been good though.  Tonight we’re putting the finishing touches on a few before our florist swings by to pick them up.   Regardless, we’ve got a garage covered in vases and spray paint, and the florist will be working with them to ensure that it’s all pretty!

A number of vases drying

These are just some of the finished ones

Misfit vases.


No, not the usual B.F.D., although last weekend’s Bridal Fashion Debut was a pretty big fucking deal.

On Sunday, Kim and I took our moms to the Arizona Bridal Expo to see all things wedding.  It was a big day, and I ended up with  roughly a fifteen pound bag after four or five hours of walking around.  Among these things numbered cards, pamphlets, brochures and other such material from 76 – yes 76 – photographers. And that’s not including the half dozen photobooths and countless other vendors I said ‘hi’ to.

Highlights: Got a lot of contacts like woah – we saw quite a few pretty places and talented photographers that should give us a good starting-off point.  Despite seeing some neat venues, Kim and I are still leaning towards a particular location – more word on that later.  Also, I saw Taylor! She is my wonderful photographer-friend whom I hadn’t seen in the better part of a year, so that was nice.  Also also I think I was entered in at least few score sweepstakes and drawings for things from coupons to engagement photo sessions.

Lowlights: That “lot of contacts like woah” statement means we have to sift through 80-odd photography companies and however many other vendors.  In addition to Taylor, I got a hug from another photographer – a woman who claimed she knew me and put me in a place of utter confusion. (Can’t pick her for the wedding!)

Overall it was a lot of fun.  We just have to take the piles of papers and cards and sift them into something manageable.  We’re hoping to get a few more appointments/visits set up and attended to before we get into the thick of things at school.  Got to get moving!

A year in review

It took me less than 72 hours to realize that my intentions of declaring ten goals for 2010 were misplaced.  Why?  I’m not one for New Years resolutions.  I tend to resolve to do things as I think of them, and I decided at the last minute that coming up with ten things on New Years Day just wasn’t right for me.  I’ll try to do plenty of things in the next year, for sure, but I won’t be starting on day one but adding to what I’ve already got in the works.  However, I will make it up to you (as I’m sure you are all tuning in for my resolutions).  Instead of making resolutions, I am going to take one last look back and revisit my old tradition of reviewing the year.  No restrictive numbers or formats, no rules or audience – just remembering.  A lot of this may look like the last post, and I’m sorry for that.  This is just me pouring everything into a post.

This year started off between semesters at school and a couple of months into independent living.  I delved into what would be a very momentous year, but I had no idea at the time.  Kim and I rang in the New Year at the Tempe Block Party.  It was our first New Years together and it was quite a bit of fun despite quite the crowd.  Starting there, the following have happened:

-The Rescue hit.  I joined about a thousand people in a march where we abducted ourselves to raise awareness for the abducted child soldiers in Uganda.  We proceeded to sleep on a field in a makeshift camp alongside 100,000 others in 100 cities in 10 countries.  Several of my friends moved on to Albuquerque, then Wichita and finally Chicago while I called public servants all over the country to help them out.

-Kim and I celebrated seven great years!  Just one big step in a long line of getting closer and closer.  The celebration weekend was a lot of fun and we got to enjoy a lot of things we had wanted to do for a while – a concert, a museum, a zoo and painting.

-I went to LA with Kim, Cristina, and Zach.  The trip definitely had its ups and downs, but it was really nice to be on a trip with Kim again and it was pretty fun running around with Cristina.  California is always fun, but it was especially nice to see Los Angeles, which I don’t see too often.

-I flew to Washington, DC for something huge.  I joined 1600 people in the biggest lobbying effort for an African issue in American history: the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.  For me this was a huge reunion with dozens of great friends and a chance to meet some of the coolest people.  In the end I had a great time and am stoked to do more lobbying.

-Kim and I took a huge leap in buying a townhome in Tempe.  After months of saving and discussing, we have settled down in our very own home and are enjoying it very much.  It’s roomier than our quaint apartment and we’ve got a little garage to match our little patio.

Final statistics are thus:

Places visited: Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC.

Places lived: Mesa, AZ; Tempe, AZ.

Concerts attended: No Doubt.

Altruistic/Political events: Project CURE; Rotary River Rally; Malawi Dinner; The Rescue; How It Ends; Gulu Walk; Rock ‘n’ Roll Paint-a-thon; Hometown Shakedown; Schools For Schools.

Anniversaries: Seven years dating; twenty years alive; one year engaged.

Courses taken: History Methods in the Community; France in WWII; Human Development; SEI Endorsement II; Intro to Violence, Conflict, and Human Rights; Teachers and the Law; Technology in the Classroom; Physical Geography; SEI Endorsement; The Vietnam War; Content Literacy; Religion, Nationalism, and Ethnic Conflict; Global Trends; SGS Internship; Inquiry into Religion and Conflict; Facing the Past.

Blog posts: 14.

People annoyed: Probably whoever reads this and the previous post.  Whoops.

’tis the Season

Christmas has come and passed.  Kim and I have gotten close to calling the first floor unpacked, and have had a couple of guests over to check the place out. Still have some boxes down here to sort through, and a room full of boxes upstairs.  But, in the spirit of secular gift-giving, we spruced up the place a little bit and put up a pretty (fake) tree.

Our holiday tree, with a few of the gifts for giving

We had a work party in the middle of the month, but I was forced to miss the family parties.  After not getting sick for probably a year and a half, I got a cold on Christmas Eve Eve and it has carried through to now. Yesterday I felt well enough to at least be in people’s company and got to see Kim’s family for Christmas Part II and a few of my family members for dinner at my aunt’s restaurant.  Hopefully I’ll be rearing to go with another night’s rest and can get through work just fine.

This week, Kim and I will be looking at some venues for the wedding.  We are still in the far off beginning stages, but need to at least figure out the basics (i.e. venue and date) since we’ll have some out-of-towners and the holiday-season.  Hopefully we’ll fall in love with an inexpensive, easy-to-work-with venue that’s willing to be lax on house rules.  We’ll see! I’ll update after the first few visits.

Winter Wedding?

So, it seems like we’ve made a decision.  It might move a little, but our outlook is that Kim and I will get married on 1-1-11. We’re starting the hunt for venues now, and I think we’re narrowing down colors, guests, and other important things. The big one is going to be the budget. With a wedding there are soooo many different aspects to know, and each one has a price tag.

Kim and I saved up for a while before moving in together. Then we saved up for a while before buying the townhome. Now we’re saving up for  a wedding! The kink in the saving is me. Right now everything’s gravy, but somewhere in the summer I will be abroad, and when I get back I’ll be student teaching without making any money. I need to save better now and find a sustainable way to do everything. Until those trying times come, I just need to keep earning and saving. And getting ready for 1-1-11!

Talking Townhome

On Monday (October 19th), Kim and I signed a number of sheets. We are, officially or unofficially I can’t really figure, homeowners. It’s been in the works for quite a while, and it’s been an option for even longer. I’ll hopefully be dropping off a check this weekend, and we should be getting keys then or soon after. Now, it’s time to get moving.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve occasionally boxed a few things. But it’s time to step it up! The plethora of DVDs and a whole mass of my books have been boxed up. But that’s a far cry from all that we own (mostly my junk). We bought the place a little bit earlier than the end of our lease – trying to reach out to the federal government’s cash-back award for first-time home buyers before the deadline – so we have a bit of wiggle room as far as moving. But with school and work and at least a little bit of sanity, it will be important to get everything over there.

I don’t think either of us have really felt like we have made a big decision yet. It hasn’t sunk in. We have some paperwork to show for it, but we haven’t moved. Even once we move, it will probably feel like another place to rent. So we’re devising a plan of what to do to make it our own. Whether it’s change the locks or paint the kitchen or install a shelf, I think we’re going to definitively own this place by the end of the move.

If all goes well, I’ll put together some sort of photo gallery/video tour of the new place. :)

The First Dance. And Everything After.

So, Kim and I were talking last night and listening to some music (Tom Waits, just so you know) and started talking wedding.  We’ve lobbed ideas at each other about what type of music to play, but I don’t think we really have too much set in stone.  What we do know is that we’re keeping it cheap by using a playlist and not a band or DJ, but other than that we’ve just named some songs – some cliche, some unique, some you might not have heard of. We’ve built on each other’s ideas, but we’ve also vetoed each other a bit here and there.

Tom Waits’ version of “Sea of Love” is an entrancing must, we’ve known that for a long time. Beyond that, we’re still talking.  Kim has found a good song about a boy and a girl in Michael Franti’s “Say Hey I Love You.” And we’ve considered some of the typicals, like Sinatra or the Beatles.  My opinions vary from my love for the 60s in The Doors to my love for unique sounds like Architecture in Helsinki to my oddly strong favoritism for Ingrid Michaelson’s voice. “Lie to Me” always makes me want to jump around and “My Moon My Man” has a cool beat, but what to choose? I’m also trying to keep an eye out for songs that people know and can dance to.

Problem is, I don’t really dance: I don’t know where to begin. As a person who is much more comfortable sitting there humming along and maybe toe- and finger-tapping, I’m not the best at figuring out what’s the easiest sound to shake your hips to. I just don’t have the ear for it I guess. So here’s where I’m reaching out to you, select readers: what do you dance to?

Terms of Engagement (and moving)

It has been 355 days since Kimberly and I moved in together and got engaged to be married.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in this tiny apartment for almost a full year already, it seems like only a little while ago we were unloading boxes of belongings and hauling them across the courtyard.  But we’ve gotten quite a bit used to the space – definitely filled it all in – and are ready to move on to bigger things.

On the flip side, I feel like we’ve been engaged forever. Maybe it’s because we have been. I knew I wanted to marry Kim long before October 24th, 2008, so maybe it’s just the mindset that makes me feel like it’s been so long. 7 1/2 years of being a couple will do that, I suppose. As far as the official engagement goes, though, it’s been an amazing year and I think we are ready to move on to bigger things in that respect as well.

The past year has been a busy one and a relaxed one, a fun and a stressful one, a happy and tense one. But it’s always been perfect. I have loved the year that I have spent in this tiny apartment with my wonderful fiancee, no doubt about it. But it’s almost time to move on.  Pretty soon, we will start moving things out of the vacant town home and moving our things into it. By the end of November we’ll be completely moved! I’m excited, because it will be the biggest step since our move-out-of-our-houses-and-get-engaged stage. We’ll be in the oh-my-goodness-we-are-engaged-and-own-a-town-home stage and I am, albeit a little nervous, very excited. From there I think the next stage will most definitely be marriage which is, well, pretty big.

Home ownership is a pretty big deal, and the coming weeks will be pretty nutty. We’re getting the place for a steal, which is great right now because we’ll be saving a lot of money – which is what is making the whole purchase even possible – and in the future we’ll be able to get a lot more out of it than we put into it. Beyond that, though, Kim and I are going to own a place that we can call our own! We’ll have plenty of room to spread out and really make it ours (it’s three times bigger than our current living situation) and it’ll be nice to fill in the place as we like, not just with what we could scrounge like it was with the apartment. It’ll be a nice move, I think, and I can’t wait to start moving.

In addition to going from engaged to engaged home-owners, we’re getting closer to closer to approximated wedding time. I know we’re far away, but I hope we can start getting some concrete ideas together. I’m definitely going to raid Kim’s wedding binder and magazines. Maybe we’ll get a better idea of something like a place or colors. I think everything will come together as we go :)