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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wedding March 2

After my dad made the announcement (and he did so, beaming with pride), I knew we were off to the races. Or at least I was. Planning the wedding would be my project and Mike's involvement would be bare minimum when I needed him. He wanted to participate in the big stuff, but not the fine details. I had never planned anything like this in my life so it was a pretty big deal. I wasn't even real sure where to get started. I bought a bunch of wedding magazines and used the internet the best I could. The internet then, wasn't anywhere near what it is today. So searching for ideas was a little limited.

First thing was first. Location. We had talked about different places to get married and had agreed that we wanted it outdoors, but we weren't quite sure where. I figured a golf course wedding would be beautiful because no matter where you look, the scenery was perfectly manicured. I had already gone out to lunch with Jen at New Castle Golf Course to see that location, but Mike and I weren't millionaires. On average, that place cost $50,000 for a wedding. No thanks. Then we remembered where we lived. Gleneagle Golf Course. I called the golf course and talked to the lady about available dates, what they offered, and prices. At first I was quoted $500 for the Reception Room. That alone was super cheap. Then I mentioned that I lived in the community and paid Homeowner Association fees and thought I should get some sort of a discount. Mind you, I said this teasingly and she offered me the Reception Room for $300 and threw in the outdoor tented area for free. This was awesome! Mike and I were penny pinchers and realistic with our funds. While we did fine financially, we had just bought a house. Our logic was this: people often get married before buying their home and ultimately their $50,000 that went towards a BIG PARTY could've actually gone toward the down payment on a home. We did things backwards and that ended up saving us.

So, now we had a location for both the wedding and the reception. Awesome! That made it feel real. Then I did the next big thing to make it feel real. It was time to look at dresses. My memory isn't perfect, but I know Jen was there with me and I'm pretty sure Mariah was too. I couldn't remember if Evie or Bree were there, though. In any case, my mom wasn't there for round 1 because she and my dad were on a cruise with Grandma and Auntie Dianne and Uncle Mike.

When I was first planning my wedding, I was thinking "keep it simple and cheap". That was just my way. So, I passed all the big beautiful dresses and went to the clearance racks. After trying on a few of them, I picked one that I loved. It was a spaghetti string blue diamond chiffon dress that flowed beautifully. It fit my boobs and then the rest of it hung in different layers. I put it on hold so I could have my parents look at it. They were paying for it, so I was going to keep it cheap. It was selling for about $100. Perfect! Well, not so perfect when my parents saw it.

Mike and I had originally thought we'd keep the wedding light and informal. We (or maybe I) figured maybe he'd wear some nice slacks and a lightweight dress shirt (kind of a Tommy Bahama look) and in flip flops. I thought I'd be wearing my blue diamond chiffon dress, with my hair down, no shoes, and carrying daisies. Picture a pretty hippie. That was my vision. The vision did not impress my parents. They thought my "let's keep it simple and cheap" idea was going a little overboard. Looking back, they were right. I wasn't having a backyard, BBQ, jeans and a t-shirt wedding...I was having MY wedding. The one and ONLY wedding I would ever have! So, my parents got me refocused when they arrived. They came along to the dress store and I modeled the chiffon dress. They weren't impressed ESPECIALLY when I said I wouldn't be wearing shoes. Mom went around looking for dresses in my size and told me to stop looking at the price tag. It bugged me because they were retired and I didn't want to have them spend retirement money on a dress that would be worn once. I'm quite practical.

I tried on a bunch and it came down to 2. One was a mermaid style dress that was very form fitting and the neck line came up around the sleeves. I didn't like it as much as they did. I didn't want to walk down the aisle looking 15 years older than I was (because that's what it made me feel like I looked). I didn't want to look super sexy either. Something about just wanting to look pretty was more important to me. So I picked the other dress. It was a strapless princess style dress. It was form fitted around the bodice and then it flared out a bit, but not too much. It had beading around the bodice and at the bottom of the dress. It was simple and elegant. It was perfect. The dress changed my entire vision of what my wedding would look like. I was now going to plan the rest of my wedding around my dress that I loved.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wedding March

I'm going to do my best to remember as much as possible about one of the biggest, most important, and special days in my life. Tomorrow is my 8 year anniversary to my husband, Mike. There was a lot that I experienced up until the BIG DAY and I thought it might be fun to try and reminisce about what all lead up to that moment when I said, "I do." Many of the things I post here are for the people I care about to reflect on and try to remember right along with me. Also, someday I will lose my memory of some of the best years of my life due to old age and simple forgetfulness (and I might just end up remembering them so incorrectly that I end up telling someone else's story instead of my own). So, here is how it all began...

Mike and I had been together for 5 years. We'd had a strong, fun, loving, and intense relationship with its normal ups and downs, just like everyone else. However, there was something just a little different about us. We couldn't (and probably won't ever be able to) put our finger on it, but you would've noticed it when you knew us. We were just a different kind of couple.
In our 4th year together, it was time to sell our beloved Lynnwood home. The one we met in. The one the motorcycle was parked in the dining room leaking oil. The one the dogs decided to turn into their kennel. The one where we had a ghost that would give us the creeps from time to time. The one where Mike took a sledge hammer to the wall one fine morning to begin THE project. The one that we worked endless hours tearing things apart, rebuilding them, and eating Safeway's China Express or Wendy's...EVERYDAY. The one that was our first home together and where many memories were made and kept.
Once we sold the Lynnwood house to a friend, we found the house that was meant for us in little Arlington. At the time we were purchasing our house, the conversation came up that we should probably consider getting married. I couldn't buy a house with my "boyfriend" and think that my family would think that was cool. There's a bit of a traditional side to my family, and it is one that I've always valued and respected. I'd been living "in sin" for quite a while and thought, "this is a big step for me and I really want to marry this man." We talked about it and how I thought it was only fair that if we were to buy the house, I should have the same last name as him. I wanted to get married.
For as long as I can remember, Mike didn't want to get married. It wasn't something he ever wanted to go through again (the failing marriage part, that is). But I just didn't see myself ever being with anyone but Mike or ever WANTING to be with anyone else. I had done my shopping and found my perfect match. No refunds and no returns. I could live with that choice...forever. So, when we had finally moved into our home and were settled, it was just Mike and I lounging on our couch watching TV alone, when I brought up, "So, now that we have the house...are we going to make the next step? Are we going to get married, or what?" His response? "Sure. When do you think we should?" "Summer. I'd like an outdoor wedding" "Ooo, I like summer, but it can't be in June." "Agreed. How about August? We're pretty much guaranteed awesome weather anytime in August." "Cool. Let's look at the calendar. How about the 17th or the 24th?" "Those sound good to me." "Well it's settled! Looks like you get your wish, Kathy. We're getting married in August!"

This was such a funny conversation and so nonchalant. No big deal. But then I realized, I'd been patient, understanding, loving, and tenatious enough to get all that I wanted. The Moody name. The name of the man I love. How cool is that? We'd been together for so long, the conversation was like we were planning a little dinner party with some friends. Not the case. It ended up to be a bit bigger than that, but that's to follow. The conversation took place in October. We were already calling our parents to let them know. I remember Rita was at our house over by the pool table we had just put together when Mike told her. She was very happy. When I called to tell my parents, it was a different story. It wasn't that my parents weren't happy for us, it's just that they didn't believe me. My dad is VERY traditional. He's of the era of giving a girl his pin to show the world they were going "steady". What does that even mean??? Whatever. In any case, my dad's comment every time the topic came up, "You're not engaged until I see a ring on that finger. It's all talk as far as I'm concerned." Well, for Pete's sake! I finally got this man to agree that we were going to live "Happily Ever After" and NOW I had to get him to buy me a ring right after we bought a whole house?!! This could be a while before my family believed we were planning a wedding.

Christmas was coming right around the corner. Even thought I didn't have a ring, I was still planning my wedding. At the time, I was working at The Escrow Group in Everett. It was fun because I worked with ALL girls and they were so helpful and playful with ideas for me and my day. Also, one of the gals I worked with had the same kind of timeline with her boyfriend. They, too, had been talking about marriage and were looking at the same time as us, so it was fun bouncing ideas off of Lori. Every Christmas Eve, my extended family had a party where we ALL got together for gift exchanges, great food, and lots of company. Well, we had a roommate at the time, Eric George, who was going to be spending his Christmas with his family so he decided to give us our gifts on the 23rd before he headed out to be with his family. My gift was in a very large box. I began to unwrap it (all the while feeling a bit guilty because I hadn't got him anything). The box had various pieces of random paper, lint from the pool table, and a bag of old oranges. And at the bottom...a very pretty wrapped box. This was NOT from Eric. There was a small box at the bottom of the very large, very poorly wrapped heap of garbage. The small box was wrapped in thick red paper with flowers on it. Butterflies in my stomach. Tears in my eyes. I opened it and found the ring that I had imagined and always told Mike I had wanted. I love clusters of diamonds and white gold. It looked like a bunch of grapes (only they were diamonds). Mike gave me my engagement ring the day before our extended family Christmas party so I could brag away. :)

Now, my dad was thrilled. So thrilled, he made an amazing announcement and beautiful toast. He was all smiles and so happy for us. And now the planning was to begin...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Oops

Today, Farrah said a bad word. A very bad word. THE bad word. We were playing with the "Talking Tom Cat" application for the iPad. It's a cartoon cat that mimics what you say but in a silly high-pitched voice. So, Farrah loves to play with this thing and yell into it and make it repeat the things she says. And today she said something... terrible. She was hanging on her Dad's right shoulder and squealing into the Tom Cat and then it got kinda quiet after she said, "F**king idot, f**king idot." Oh my gawd. "What did you just say?" And she said it one more time and it took everything I had not to laugh and strangle her at the same time.

So, Mike and I pondered where on Earth she learned how to say that. This, unfortunately, was not the first time Farrah has dropped the eff-bomb. But this was her first time using it in this context. "Who do we know who says that? We know someone who says that all the time, don't we? I know it's a girl who says it. Who is she?" And then it hit us. Mike was the one who remembered who the foul mouth girl was.

"Kathy! It's YOU who says 'f**king idiot' ALL THE TIME!!!" Oh my God, it was me. I am the one she learned to say that awful statement from. It was from the countless times some "f**king idiot" cut me off on the road or someone who was out and about being a "f**king idiot". I always make some sort of announcement using those exact words to let myself know that they're out there. However, I clearly have forgotten that I have a passenger in my car 95% of the time. And she's LISTENING...