Sunday, February 28, 2010

(Un-) Proven Theory: A Direct Relationship

After a few lengthy discussions with some girlfriends, we've developed a theory. Margaritas may or may not have been involved during the theorizing process (don't worry, we'll be sure to list Chevy's as a co-author if we get published). Our theory is:
The length of a courting couple's engagement shall be directly
proportional to the length of said courting couple's relationship,
as demonstrated in the graph below:

Created by moi on Excel (I know, I'm blown away too)
In other words (that aren't as British sounding), the longer a couple's been together, the longer they'll be engaged. And vice versa; the shorter the relationship at the time of the proposal, the shorter the engagement period will be. We developed this groundbreaking theory based on very extensive research and vigorous scientific observation (or perhaps by gossiping about our own and our friends' relationships [no, it's definitely the scientific thing]).

Has anyone seen our theory in action in their own relationship, or in their friends' relationships? Or does anyone want to challenge the theory? (We dare you!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Other Other Mom

While I wrote about my mom's involvement in the wedding in my last post, I failed to mention the other mom involved: C's mom. I'll tack that failure onto my list of other shortcomings (right after a-the inability to hold a burp in at appropriate times, and b-singing off key and c-drooling when I sleep [I can't help it, geez]).

The mister's mom is AWE-to the-SOME. She's wicked sweet, and she loves loves loves her kids and family (which she's said I'm totally a part of, yay!). Plus, she gave me a fun moniker when C and I first started dating, which we still use today, nearly 10 years later (she calls me C's "special friend", cause she didn't know what else to call me! he he). She is a former professional ballerina (my chosen profession as a little girl, though I didn't even dance), and she is a true beauty. Why here she is now, demonstrating a dance move for us:

As far as involvement is concerned, C's mom has expressed a sentiment similar to my parents; she says she doesn't want to be involved unless we want her involved. And to tell you the truth, even then, it sounds a bit iffy. She says she got worn out on wedding involvement when she made her oldest daughter's wedding gown 2 years ago. I can understand that. I have no idea what type of undertaking that involves (I'm told many many hours and many many headaches). Check out her handywork, though:

Very impressive! (being modeled by C's sister at her wedding in'08)

So, with our parents letting us fully take the planning reigns, we're off and running (okay, perhaps at a slow jogging pace, but off nonetheless).

Has anyone involved in your planning been 'wedding-ed out" by another wedding?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Parental Involvement

Why is it that after 25 years of life, I still don't know that comparing myself to others will never lead anywhere good . . . perhaps something to work on for the next 25 years. In the past year, when everyone and their second cousins' dogwalkers were getting engaged, I began the comparison game: I compared my mom (I think that might be the 8th deadly sin). Once my parents gave us the 'congratulations' and 'well, that sure is swell' (really, my dad said that) after the engagement, my mom and dad generally quieted down about the wedding. They still asked about how C and I were doing, relationship wise, but not so much as a peep about details of the wedding.

This was fine, as I had told myself I would wait to start most of the planning. It was fine, at least, until I started hearing about "other moms", moms of the engaged people in my nursing program. "Other moms" had bought wedding planning books on Amazon; "other moms" had begun meeting with vendors while their daughters were busy. I began to yearn for such an involved mom. Did my mom not care about me?!?! Childish insecurities began to overwhelm me.
Aww, moms (Arthur's mom!)
But just a few weeks after I began my mom-envy, I was given a reality check. During a phone conversation with my mom, I mentioned a venue that my mister and I planned to check out when I returned to California. She told me, "Dad and I already looked at that place- it's no good." WHAT?!? How had she already seen this venue??

Turns out that my mom and dad had been visiting venues, and talking about details together, but didn't tell me about it because they didn't want to impose their ideas on C and I. Now, while I found it a bit odd (why visit sites if you're not going to even tell me?), I also was touched. My mom is interested in the wedding, she just expresses it in a different way than "other moms". It wasn't fair to compare her. It's like comparing

Source 1 and 2
My mom had always allowed me to decide things on my own, and if she had an opinion, she would (generally) hold her tongue. Why had I been thinking that wedding planning would be any different? She wants to be involved, but only as much as we want her to be. And now that I'm back home (I always considered the Bay Area 'home', even when living in DC), and am closer to her, I try to include my mom in wedding decisions. Because we're buds. And I love her.

My mummsy and I (not the most flatter of pics, but hey! we were hiking. No make-up allowed while hiking, haven't you heard?)

How involved are your parents in the wedding planning? Do you wish that they were more involved? Less involved?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Daydreaming of a Green Thumb

When Mr. Pin Cushion and I chose our venue (to be discussed muy pronto, I promise), we were also choosing our caterer and florist. That's because our venue coordinator is also the caterer and florist (with the help of assistants, of course [I mean, she's amazing, but she's not Inspector Gadget or The Flash]).

Before our meeting to discuss flowers, I figured it was a good idea to decide what style of flowers I liked (yes, sometimes NASA does rent out my brain for my astonishing moments of insight [and I ain't cheap]).

During my time of flower introspection, I decided that while I could appreciate the traditional round and sculpted look (Side note: when used to describe a human body, those two words would be an oxymoron. Weird.) of traditional bridal bouquets and centerpieces, it just wasn't my style.

So so pretty. But not what we're going for.

Instead, I find myself drawn to arrangements that say, "Oh this thing? I just woke up and threw this together" (after a year of planning, but we'll keep that part hush hush). Most of my flower inspiration are of pieces more on the "wild side". Perhaps that's appropriate, since the whole "looking polished" thing has never been my forte (hair dryer? Never heard of it.).
[Source for the last 3]

With all these "straight out of the garden" inspirations, I began to daydream about planting seeds and bulbs and picking my own flowers for my bridesmaids' and my bridal bouquet. I even stumbled upon a great post on the Pioneer Women blog about building flowerbeds. Fate was telling me to go forth and garden, right?

I was shaken back to reality when I remembered that:
1. The door to our 'yard' is jammed and I can't even get through it by myself (it requires the strength of at least an ox and 2 body builders.
2. Once outside said door, this is the view that welcomes me:

(Yes, we do work so hard to maintain our yard, thanks for noticing!)

Not much room for building flowerbeds and planting my wedding flowers--barely enough room to contain our recycling bins! Alas, my visions of becoming a bride that grows and arranges her own flowers was not to be. Perhaps for the best, since I have not a lick of knowledge regarding gardening or flower arranging.

Have you daydreamed about things that could never, in a million years, work in the 'real world'? (I laugh in the face of logic and reality! Ha!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


When I got engaged, I was in the first of four semesters of an accelerated nursing program. My cohort was about 45 people (consisting of 42 females and 3 males [public service announcement:we need more murses!]). I was the first to get engaged in my program, but by the end of the 16 month program, 8 more people got engaged! 9 out of 45 people, in barely over a year?!? That seems like a crazy statistic to me (it's 20% of the program, for those [like myself] who haven't taken a math class in a while).

I told myself that I would wait until graduation before I started my serious planning, because I knew it would be time consuming (and mind-consuming, as I've since found!). I am so impressed by all the brides-to-be that are in school full time-grad school, med school, law school-and somehow find the time to plan a fabulous wedding!
Sources: (boring books and wedding book)

While I chose to wait a while before I began planning, most of my fellow engagees got right down to it. Among the 9 people in my program, I was the first to get engaged, but will be nearly the last one to get married this year!

How do you balance their wedding planning with school? Or with you job? Are you choosing a long engagement to allow yourself time to finish school?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wedding Overload?

C and I are in a bit of a pickle (a good pickle, but a pickle nonetheless). We have been invited to two weddings this summer. And wouldn't you know it? Those two weddings land on the two weekends immediately leading up to our wedding.

A quick rundown on the weddings: The first wedding is C's high school friend, and C was asked to be a groomsman. The second wedding is a good family friend of mine. Both weddings are local.
Now, the question is: Do people think it is absolutely crazy to try to attend both weddings in the weekends leading up to our wedding? Are we going to be too busy with our own final details? Are we going to end up pooped out on weddings by the time our rolls around, and will I end up looking like the above bride, totally "over it"?

From what I can see, the options are:
A. Go to both and enjoy ourselves!
B. C goes to his friend's wedding while I work on our wedding stuff, and the reverse for my friend's wedding.
C. We both stay home from both weddings, because we'll be too busy with our own things.

Does anyone have experience with this situation? Which option should C and I choose?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

POP Goes the Question-The Conclusion

My chilly November morning had been filled following the clues of a scavenger hunt, with my final clue leading me to the Lincoln Memorial. I now began to walk up the long steps of the monument. I didn't know what I should be looking for, and so with each step, I peered around suspiciously, waiting for something or someone to appear.
When I finally made it near the top, I looked up to see Mr. Pin Cushion walking through the crowd towards me. He had transformed since I last saw him, and was wearing a suit. As he walked down to me, his dress shoes and the cold marble steps made for a bad combination, and he nearly slipped (this story would probably have a different ending if he had fallen).

Before I knew it, Mr. PC was standing on the step above me. And he got down on one knee. And he told me wonderful things (that I only wished I could remember [I curse thee, brain]). And then he brought out a beautiful ring and asked me if I wanted to go get some fried chicken for lunch. Nah, not really. Mr. PC would never do that to me. He knows I hate fried chicken. What he did ask was if I would be his wife. To which I cried, and managed to croak out a "yes".

For your viewing pleasure, the video of the proposal is below. Mr. Pin-ster had asked our dear friend to assist him with the set-up, so she was there to capture the moment on video. The good stuff starts around minute 3 when I first see Mr. Pin Cushion, so feel free to skip ahead (unless you want to watch me walk up the steps for 2 1/2 minutes, looking concerned and perplexed [in which case, be my guest]). You can't hear much in the video, so feel free to supplement it with the dialogue of your favorite romantic movie. Sleepless in Seattle would work. As would The Princess Bride. (But if you prefer the romance between Mel Gibson and freedom in Braveheart, go right ahead.)

Post proposal, we snuck in a few photos. If you get squirmy with seeing other people snuggling, you should avert your eyes now. And if that's the case, then I hope for your sake you didn't watch the above video. (All photos are our own).

Mr. PC's face is completely overcome with emotion.
Though he still manages to look dapper with his hand in his pocket. Suave.

Please don't ask me about my alien fingers. It's a sensitive subject.

After all the excitment, we realized we were starving. We headed over to the McDonald's in the Air & Space Museum to celebrate over a chocolate milkshake!
We asked a nice gentleman to take our picture, explaining that we had just gotten engaged.
I don't think he believed us.

Don't tell me that we're the only one who had a non-traditional way to celebrate their engagement! What did you and your love do to celebrate when you got engaged?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

POP Goes the Question-The Story Continues

At the end of the last proposal post, I was headed towards a sculpture in the National Sculpture Garden. I was in search of a particular sculpture (a tongue in cheek take on Rodin's Thinker) and when I found it, I saw a small card taped to the name plaque (the small blue paper in the right lower corner of the picture below).

Personal Photo
I looked around to see if I anyone was nearby, but as far as I could see, I was alone. The card contained another love note, and further instructions to make my way to the Carousel along the National Mall. I was on an official scavenger hunt! I have loved these since I was a child, and they have played a part in many gift givings between the mister and I.

My heart started beating at this point. I knew something was up, and the only conclusion I could come to was a proposal. But I kept telling myself that it didn't make sense: I had always thought we would wait until I was back living in California again. And I thought that C would propose when we were at home. So, with this logic, I kept telling myself, "No, C is just being romantic. He can't be proposing now!"

With my pounding heart, and sweaty palms (despite the freezing weather), I made my way to the Carousel, to find another note.

Personal Photo (My note in red)

I began to wonder how long each of these notes had been waiting for me, and was amazed that they were all there for me to find! (Thank you wind and passer-byers for not picking up and taking my cards!) From the carousel, I was "told" to head down towards a tree behind the Washington Monument. Here is where a bit of real-life crept into our proposal story (not all stories play out exactly like movies now, do they?): my cell phone rang, and as I fumbled to open it with my numb hands, I saw it was C calling. Before I could say anything, he quickly instructed, "Now, you're not allowed to ask me anything, but I need you to stop where you are. Wait until I text you before you keep going." And then he hung up. I had no idea what to make of the situation, and all I could do was wait. So wait I did. It was cold, and my nose started running. And I was left to ponder the options of what was going on. (Which, I'll admit, believing he wasn't proposing led me to the decision that he had bought me a puppy. And I thought "Well, that is rude, since I'm in school and can't take care of a puppy right now!" Ha.)

I finally got a text telling me I could continue (a long 15 minutes later). I found my 4th note in a nook of a large tree.

Personal photos (the card in the nook, and me reenacting picking it up, post proposal)

This card led me to my final note, which was perched on an informational sign along the reflecting pool. (Seriously, how was it possible that nobody had walked by and picked up the cards? A miracle, I say!)

Personal Photo
I picked up card and found a line from Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech. This was my clue to go to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where nearly 50 years ago, MLK orated his famous speech. My hands were shaking, because I felt that something big was about to happen. I took a few deep breaths and headed towards the monument .

Was anyone else sent on an adventure during their proposal? Did you know it was going to happen before your love popped the question? Who convinced themselves otherwise?

Friday, February 12, 2010

POP Goes the Question-The Start

Let me set the mood for the proposal story: imagine it is late November, just before Thanksgiving in Washington DC. The air is cool and crisp (well, let's be honest, it was more cold and biting, but I'm trying to romance it up a bit). Mr. Pin-ster had just flown into DC to spend the holiday with me, while I was in nursing school at Georgetown.

The mister and I set out early one morning for the Museum of American History on the National Mall. I wanted to see Dorothy's slippers and Kermit the Frog, while Mr. PC wanted to see Lincoln's top hat and anything involving air travel (perhaps these differences explain why he's brilliant at every category of Trivial Pursuit, and the most I can say for myself is that I'm hit and miss with the pink "Entertainment" questions)

[Source-all 3]
We wandered the museum for a while, but I soon began to feel tense (which goes back to my deep rooted fear of either trampling or being trampled by children while in confined, crowded spaces [that's a new DSM V diagnosis, right?]). I wanted to just skedaddle and get something to eat, but Pin-ster tried to insist we eat at the museum, despite my non-stop complaints about paying $9 for a sandwhich (some might call me cheap, but I prefer "thrify"). After a 10 minute debate about our lunch plans with no apparent resolution in sight, Mr. PC finally just sat me down on a bench and told me he had something for me.

Mr. PC handed me an envelope and instructed me, "Please wait here for 10 minutes before reading this." He then rushed away into the crowd. And so I waited. And waited. But 10 minutes? Good gracious, no. I'd say I was able to hold out for about 7 1/2 minutes. (Besides, I'm pretty sure my watch must have been working on some alternative time system, because the seconds hand was moving at about half speed.)

Inside the envelope was the first clue of a scavenger hunt. I can't be sure, but I might have done a cartwheel or two, or at least a karate kick, out of excitement. I have a love for scavenger hunts that could rival that of a pirate's. With a zip in my step, I headed out on my search . . .

At the beginning of the scavenger hunt in front of the Smithsonian. The first clue led me to . . .

. . . a dog/rabbit "Thinker" sculpture in the National Sculpture Garden. The next clue (the blue note in the bottom right corner) directed me to . . .

. . . a carousel along the National Mall. This next red note pointed me towards . . .

. . . a gnarled tree behind the Washington Monument. This was turning out to be no poor-man's scavenger hunt-4 clues and counting. This hint told me to keep walking along the reflecting pool . . .

. . . where I spotted another clue atop an information sign.

This note (which I was beginning to hope was the last, since I think I was developing frostbite of the nose) was simply a line from Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech. This was my hint to head to the Lincoln Memorial, where MLK had orated his famous speech.

At this point, my hands were shaking (from cold or excitement, no one will ever know). I took a few deep breaths and headed towards the Memorial . . .

What made your proposal story special? Dish out the good stuff in the comments!