Thursday, April 29, 2010


The race is on. Job hunting, apartment hunting, everything.

I used the first check of my last checkbook today. I am determined that the next set of checks I order will be for our joint account, and have both of our names on them. Or I will use freaking temporary checks.

See what wedding planning does to you? It makes you excited for checks.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moving Talks

It's time. Sean and I both graduated from our perspective schools this past December, and have been debating back and forth what city we'll live in, as well as how soon it will happen. We've decided, and now the plans ready to be put in motion.

I'm currently in CoMo, and Sean is in StP. Sean has been applying for law schools, and has been put on the waiting list for several. Law schools are complicated in this way - there are some that put all prospective students on wait lists, others put very few. One of the schools that Sean has been wait listed for is UMKC. He really wants to go there. He's had an interview, and is fairly high up on the wait list.

We had to make a decision. We can't stay in CoMo - I can't work 2 part-time jobs, and there aren't many full time jobs here. CoMo has been wonderful for the last four years, but it's time to move on. We're both ready for the next stage in our lives. We could move back to StL, but it's so expensive to live there. We need space from our families - space for us to create ourselves. Both of us love our large, close-knit families, but we've never actually gotten away and we need the time to define ourselves. We've been taken for granted a lot (example: Sean's grandma was in the hospital yesterday - we weren't called until nearly 7 hours later, and even then it was after everyone else had gone to visit), and we're tired of it.

We decided to just go ahead and move to KC. There's a pretty even chance that Sean could get accepted or rejected, and we're aware of that. But KC is less expensive city than StL, but still large. Another bonus? There's a train that goes to and from StL and KC. I have to be out of my duplex on July 30th, so ideally, the move will start around then (or even July 1st). We (thankfully) have enough money to live off for a while, but I'll start job searching pronto. We have several friends that live in KC, so they'll help us narrow down our options as far as apartments go, but hopefully at the end of May or beginning on June we'll be able to take a trip out there to search. What would we do without the internet?!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Registry Debate: To China, or Not to China?

It's one of those classic "registry items." Fine china. Everyone talks about how you must register for it. However, most people I know are skipping the fine china phase, and going for goodies such as TVs and video games. Definitely more likely to get used, right?

Sean and I both grew up in households where our families' china was used regularly. I've been eating off Waterford since I was four. Mary busts out her china every day - they're her "standard" plates. Sean's family only uses china on holidays, but since his parents' house is the biggest, we often end up eating there. And wine glasses? Well those are used on a regular basis.

On one hand, if we chose china, we would have to move and store it in an apartment for the next few years, and rarely use it. On the other hand, we'll never buy it for ourselves and we will want it in the future. This is the one time that people are going to be willing to buy us something so expensive, and well, frivolous.

We went for china. We almost didn't, because we couldn't pick out a pattern we both liked. I wanted something plain and minimalistic, whereas Sean wanted fancy stuff with intricacies. I didn't want lace and flourishes - Sean did. We decided to veto china at Macy's, but as we thought about it, we decided to browse online. After nearly an hour of searching and shooting down patterns - we found her. The perfect china pattern. It fits us, and is both modern and classic. Meet Lauren, by Ralph Lauren.

We LOVE the detailing on the china - it looks like the band of a watch. The saucers are all clock faces (um, awesome?!), and actually sold us on the set. It's modern, but classy and funky at the same time. We wouldn't have to use the saucers, and we love the teacups because they're more like coffee mugs, which is much more us. We registered for 12 place settings, though we 'd be happy with just 8. We'll be getting salad plates as well, which are smaller versions of the dinner plates. 

As far as wine glasses go, this is what we chose: 

They're whimsical, clean, and modern, at least in comparison to the other wine glasses available. 

The only thing we haven't chosen yet? Flatware. The Macy's in CoMo didn't have a good selection (nor do they carry furniture). I didn't realize the Macy's in our hometown was so large. We want to buy flatware in large sets also, so hopefully we'll get a chance to register for that in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sean and I completed another, much anticipated, wedding event this weekend - the registry!

Sean's been bouncing off the walls lately, asking me to do it (seriously, since January). I didn't want to set them up too soon, because I know the risks of items being discontinued and such. I finally agreed that we could do them in April. Some people argue that it's still too early, but we have a couple of reasonings. First of all, there's no guaranteed chance that we'll be back to St. Louis before the wedding. Seriously. It's highly likely that with any new job I get, I might not be able to get back more than 2 days or so before the wedding (most new jobs don't allow for vacation time). While we'll probably be in town for a few days for Christmas, we probably won't have extra time. We've pretty much come to grips with the fact that we probably won't have any showers or other parties in this case, simply because no one else sees this aspect/considers it a possibility. Essentially, there's no guarantee that we'll have a shower or anything unless it's this summer. Yes, if we're in KC it probably won't be a big deal - but if we're anywhere else (and right now, Little Rock is a distinct possibility), there's a good chance we won't be home again. On the off chance that someone scrapes together something, we wanted to have registries set up though.

In any case, we decided to do two main registries. We registered at both Macy's and Target - the first mostly for kitchenware that was reliable and higher class, and the second for the funky versions of ourselves that our poor college friends could afford. What are we looking forward to most on the registry?
(because, one day, we will have a deck to eat on in the summers and I LOVE this summer dinnerware)
(How else do you easily know how think your pizza crust is?)

(Check these out. They're copper bottom pans, but they're covered with stainless steel so they're dishwasher safe. Awesome!)

And from Target, we chose to put more homegoods on the list:

We also registered for a lot of linens, board games, and picture frames. I'm really excited about all of things we put on the registry. A  lot of them are dreams, but things that we couldn't possibly afford for ourselves. There are some things we might not have a place for, but we can always return them for gift cards. We made sure to add items from stores that we knew we would always shop at. 

We'll probably have to revamp the registry after we move, but at least we have a jumping point. Anything you'd suggest that we absolutely add on that we might have forgotten?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Something Sweet

It's official folks, one big check is off our list! A few weeks ago, we ordered our cake. I posted a while ago about our cake inspiration, but like always, they were just inspiration.

We decided to go for a second cake tasting at the lovely Wedding Wonderland. This time, we took my mom and sister (our lovely junior bridesmaid) along with us. Incidentally, we managed to go at their open house, so there were many cake samples just laid out for us to try. We tried several flavors this time, and we've now officially tried every flavor that will be in our cake. The flavors tried this time were: Red Velvet with cream cheese, yellow cake with strawberry filling, spice cake with bavarian creme filling, lemon cake with fudge, carrot cake with cream cheese, and chocolate cake with bavarian creme (don't worry, we didn't choose all of them!).

Despite the fact that WWCakes was packed (seriously, there were 9 other couples there besides us), we were able to design and price our cake, as well as meet with the baker/designer. The cake feeds 264, which is well more than what we need for our estimated guest list of 230. To be fair, however, we do intend to save the top tier (which is 12 servings), and the kids in our family (and adults too!) are more than likely to take multiple slices. Plus, we like cake - it'll get eaten. Besides, if we were to down-size the cake, we'd lose some of the visual elements that we really wanted.

We ended up scrapping the first inspiration photo, and stuck with these two for our primary design inspirations.

And what are we getting for our final cake? Dum Dum Duuuuum....
(the drawing from our "cake artist")
 The bottom tier is a 18" square cake, with the ribbon/swirl design. The ribbon will be black, and the swirls be green. It will be yellow cake with strawberry filling (Shanon's choice). The next tier is a 12" round, with vertical stripes of black, green, and white. This tier has spice cake with Bavarian cream filling, which is my personal favorite. The next tier is a 9" hexagon (how cool is that?!), and matches the design of the bottom tier. This tier has lemon cake with fudge filling, which was mom's choice. Finally, the top tier is a 6" round cake, and it has little tiny swirls around the bottom of the tier (we wanted it to be low-key because our topper will be on there as well). This layer will have Red Velvet with cream cheese filling - Sean's favorite (aren't you jealous?). As disgusting as it sounds, we will be saving and freezing our top layer. We think it's a fun tradition, and since it's only a 6" cake, it won't take up too much room in the freezer. Who knows, maybe we'll give up and just eat it after one month?

The cake comes on a silver board, but a cake stand would be awesome. Luckily, that's something that I won't miss if it's not there. Maybe if I run into one that's really inexpensive, I'll pick it up, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I can't wait to see how it turns out in real life!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A little something inspirational

Need an inspirational read? Or maybe a good, happy cry?

Read this blog:

The first post (the link at the top of the blog) is nearly heartbreaking, but the warmth and love that follows in the blog just...makes you cry and swell with happiness.

It's amazing.

In the News: To Russia, for Love

Have you read these articles?

Artyem is a 7 year old Russian boy. He was adopted by a U.S. family six months ago, and last Thursday his adoptive mother put him on a solo-flight back to Russia. For all intensive purposes, she just returned her child. Like clothing. Really?

When a person adopts a child, he or she becomes their parent. There's no option to say, "sorry stork, I really didn't want this one - could you take it back?" with the birth of a child, so why should a parent be able to return an adopted child? I think it's ridiculous. There are many support groups for adopted children and parents, including FRUA, which specializes in support for adoptions of Russian and Ukrainian children.

I think what frustrates me the most about the actions of this woman is that it could impact the adoption of future children. There are approximately 700,000 orphans in Russia alone, according to the United Nations Children Fund, and many of them (83% according to UNCF) are children taken from their biological parents who are deemed unfit to be parents. According to the U.S. Embassy in Russia, there have been over 50,000 successful adoptions to American families in the last 16 years. There are many many families in the country who have adopted children from Russia.

Two summers ago, I was a nanny to a boy who was adopted from Russia. Like any 6 year old boy, he was energetic, noisy, and hyper. However, he was well-mannered, and would listen to anything he was told. Behavior problems are often times as much a parent's fault as the child's - and there's no difference between an adopted child and a biological child. When a child is adopted, they have huge challenges to overcome - they must change their language, their diet, their living conditions, their family, and more, all while adjusting after an international flight to the United States.

While I do understand that not all women are meant to be mothers, I think that this is a terrible situation. I feel as though this mother should have looked into more resources, both before adopting as well as before sending the child back. As a 7 year old, this child will remember this event forever. He will always remember being rejected. We can't possibly know the entire situation behind the adoption, the child, and the adoptive family. However, I don't think any child should ever be abandoned, regardless of their actions. There are therapy classes, support groups, and medications. True to the letter the woman wrote, the child may have been violent. But what if this had been her biological child?

When a child is adopted, I think that the family needs to eliminate the difference between biological children and adopted children. Otherwise, the two will surely be treated differently, leading to situations like this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Headlines don't sell papes, Newsies sell papes!

I'm starting a new segment on this blog, other than wedding. I'm a news addict. I love reading about the news, especially controversial topics. I'm very opinionated (my friends will vouch for this), and debating is something that is commonplace in my family. Instead of gathering around the dinner table to talk about our days, we discussed the news growing up. I've been watching various news networks since birth, and in order to sit at the "adult table" I had to be able to form an opinion and argue and defend that opinion.

While I was never on a debate team, I took an advertising course in college which focused on being able to debate any side of an issue - regardless of how you felt about it. I thought it was a great course. At some point in life, most people work at a job where they don't necessarily agree with the ethics/purpose of the company. In this economy though, it's important to have a job, and many people don't have the opportunity to pick and choose a company that focuses on certain ideals. While I'm opinionated, I like to think that I can position myself to see any side of an issue - regardless of whether or not I agree with the situation.

One thing I am guilty of? Arguing the same point as someone else with different words. I'm terrible about it. My roommates and fiance with agree with me too - it's incredibly common that we argue the same point for hours (and I'm not exaggerating), only to find we're trying to say the same thing. It generally happens when one of us misphrases one little comment...oh the power of words.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Connections

I've been so jealous of people who have connections, especially in the wedding industry. As for Sean and I, 90% of our family consists of nurses and computer programmers - helpful, but only if someone has a heart attack at the wedding or the DJ's speakers short out. Unfortunately, there's a lot of places we haven't been able to cut costs. We don't know a baker, or a DJ, or a photographer. While we pride ourselves on hunting and bargaining for the best deal, our wedding costs are quickly accumulating.

We are planning on doing DIY invitations. I'm a crafty gal - I can totally pull it off. However, there are some things I don't want to sacrifice, even though we're going the DIY route. Example: I want pocketfolds. Solution: I am making my own.

One thing we were having issues with was the printing of the invites. We didn't necessarily want to print them on our own printers, because, frankly we want them to look damn good. We thought about embossing powder, but that's a pain. And then when you consider cutting all of that? Ugh. Serious dread. So then we were talking about having the components of the invitations printed professionally, and then we would assemble them. Now that seems much more feasible.

And then, lo and behold, I learned that Sean's cousins own a printing business! Bryan and Jen own Wagner Graphics. While they don't actually print things themselves, they can get things printed at cost. Even better? They can get them printed using thermography, for the same cost!

Thermographic printing, for those not obsessed with everything wedding, is the shiny, raised printing that's usually used on business cards, diplomas, and greeting cards. It looks much more professional (and formal) that plain inkjet printing and even laser printing. Plus, when you consider the costs that we would have to pay for paper and ink cartridges (when we could get them at wholesale prices through Jen), and the hassle of printing and cutting all of the inserts...letBryan and Jen just might be my new favorite people.

At last! We have a vendor connection! Now, I'm definitely spurred to figure out and finish designing our invitation suite. I've played around with it before, but I've yet to make any final decisions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've been a terrible blogger. Whoops! But I've been very busy to be fair. I started a second job.

The last two weeks, I've been working my normal 20 hours at my first job, plus an additional 26 hours at my new job. I'm still working on the phones all the time (though this time I'm accepting incoming calls, rather than making outgoing ones), but I really don't mind it. I make more at my new job, which wouldn't be hard to do considering my first - besides, minimum wage is the common pay for jobs here in CoMo, which really sucks.

I like my second job, but I still like my first job more. I've gotten to be really good friends with many of the people in the office, and it's much more interpersonal than my second. The new job has pros too though. For one, I get my own desk (which I get to decorate!). I also get paid breaks. Most of the people there have this as their second job too, so it's not a big deal for me to limit my availability so I can work both.

It's definitely nice to have the two jobs occupying my time now though. Since my training has settle down at the new place, and I've decreased my hours at my old job, my life is settling down again. I'm working between 32-40 hours a week, which is wonderful for the bank account and bills, but I'm still trying to save as much as possible. The possibility of moving without having a job is still ever-so-present, and I don't want us to fall into a sticky situation without having anything to fall back on. I'm still scrimping and saving, but now at least I don't have to worry about paying the bills for now.  Also, it's nice to be busy again. It makes the long distance thing much easier - knowing that I have obligations here.