Let’s build a bench…err Marriage?

So a big thing happened this weekend, Mr. and I moved in together! This is the first time I have ever lived with a boy, including family members so I am interested to see the things how the stereotypes live up, so far I would have to say living with a boy is AMAZING. But I am also only 4 days in.

So what does this bench have to do with my marriage?

Well we built it.. no kit, not precut pieces of wood, nope just a youtube video and a trip to home depot later and we were making a bench. This took both of our strengths and some I don’t think we knew we had in order to accomplish it.

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Here I am at home depot, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to construct our very own bench, something that will hopefully last 30 years so we can pass it down to our children, as his parent just did with a picnic table Mr.’s Dad built 30 years ago.

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Did I mention we decided to build this bench on the day it snowed in May? No? Oh well here I am bundled up in our garage waiting for the snow to melt as we begin sawing.

But we get underway constructing this bench and just like I imagine we will in marriage, we started to hit some bumps, my bright eyed and bushy tailed turned into curse words and we were soon doubting if we could put this bench together at all. It started when we realized we didn’t charge the drill, and were left screwing most of the screws in by hand, do you know how many screws it takes to put a bench together? Way too many to screw them in by hand I tell you that.

I started to think that this was Ben’s fault and that it was his drill so he should have been responsible for the charge of the battery and as my wrist became more and more sore, I had two choices to continue blaming mr. and become resentful, or realize that this is something we are in together, realize we both will make mistakes and that as a team we will work through them, so on I went screwing in screw after screw by hand. ( And to be fair, he was also participating in this, it wasn’t like I was left with a screwdriver on an abandoned island or anything)

And I am sure he was thinking that I could be helping more, or stop nagging him about the directions, I am sure I screwed a screw in wrong, or measured the pieces of wood too small ( ok  I know I did that one once) And he could have taken those things and created a list, an arbitrary checklist of the ways I was failing him and allowed that running record to eat away at his faith in me. in us. But he didn’t every time no matter how frustrated he was he would look at me, smile, say “you are doing great babe”, and move on… EVERY time.

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And then we screwed the legs together wrong, leaving us with what would have been a seatless bench, not very effective right? So unscrew the pieces, and start again, this time following the directions. This is where we could dip deep down into those gender stereotypes pull out the one that says men don’t follow directions put a big ole check mark on it and slip it back into our pocket of low blows to use next time. But if we are going to create a marriage that is built to last, what we really need to be doing is digging into that pocket of stereotypes and low blows and throwing them in that brand new recycling bin we just got and let someone else compost those. Because holding on to these things just creates an environment where both Mr. and myself could be digging deeper and deeper at each other until one of us breaks.

Now 50 years into this bench building marriage we will have so many of these things we could be throwing at each other that there is no way to survive all of those bad experiences, but if instead we choose to recycle that crap, chalk it up to a mistake we both made and move on, then in 2,5 or 50 years we won’t be counting all the ways our spouse has messed up over the years right?

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It was starting to look like a marriage…. I mean bench, the pieces were all where they needed to be, it had legs it could stand on and a sturdy seat two people could sit on. But there was something missing, just like our marriage which has 79 days until it becomes official ,our bench was missing some crucial pieces to it’s structure. But this is where it really got tricky, the video said to put the back at a slight angle so that it would be more comfortable to sit on. The guy used a fancy tool to measure and then drill sideways through the posts in order to accomplish this with ease. However here we were with our dead drills, no fancy tool and only the few screws that we had purchased which were now to short for this job. How were we going to accomplish it?

And then Mr. had an idea, he said why don’t we use extra wood, create a back for the ends and use that to nail into, that would cut down on the amount of screws we need and allow us to create the comforting angle we had heard about in the video.

There you have it folks I am marrying a genius this is where I got to celebrate with him, think about how I never would have thought of that on my own and rejoice in his accomplishments, I could do this without fault because I had already thrown my earlier reservations in the recycling with our bench building mistakes.

So that is what we did, and it worked!

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And there it was our beautiful bench, it is still not perfect all the pieces don’t exactly line up, the wood is not sanded or painted to perfection, the back angle isn’t exactly even or at  the magic comfort angle that was prescribed, but let me tell you what…it is sturdy,

And in 30 years when our marriage has seen the test of time,  I hope we will look at this bench think of all the things we could have held onto over the years, all of the little mistakes that could have torn us apart but instead made us a better team and think it all started with this bench.

❤ Kelsi Rae

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What is it about 24?

I turned 24 on Tuesday, Tuesday is the least exciting day of the week in my book its not Monday so it doesn’t have any true suckage excitement you have heard everyones weekend stories already, it isn’t Wednesday so we aren’t even halfway through the week, it is just a day you have to get through to get 1/5th closer to Friday.

This is also how I feel about 24. . the least exciting birthday to date.. given Ben did take me on a wonderful Tuesday adventure. But in order to do that we both had to call into work.. which leads me to the real point of this post..

Why does 24 make me feel like such an adult.

It was like magically overnight on Monday, I was supposed to evolve into a fully matured, put together, soon-to-be wife adult. I should have a career and a nice car and stable house and income. I should not be going out on a weeknight, or lets be real any night much past 10 or 11.

Honestly, I fit most of these qualifications anyway, but I have never felt like I was supposed to fit them until now.

I have started cooking myself dinner 3 nights a week, I cannot remember the last time I went out on a weeknight, Even on the weekends you will find me in bed by midnight, a group of friends went out the other night and we were drunk and ready to leave by 10 pm. I would much rather drink a bottle of *cheap* wine or expensive whiskey than any of the nasty drinks I used to drink in college

So why 24, there is no major life event that occurs at 24,

21 – I could start drinking legally, that clearly means I am not going to have my shit together for at least a year.

22 – Graduated college- so I would logically think this is when I should start pulling my shit together, get a real job, move out of my college town. Live without roommates for the first time. Stop going out on the weeknights. .

Let’s look at how that really went down, graduated college moved to Denver . Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.45.55 AM

Lived in a tiny studio apartment with one of my college roommates for three months before they moved to Seattle, so halfway Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.45.55 AM Then I promptly added a cat, I don’t know if that counts as alone.

No real job to be had, I first worked as a day program staff with adults with disabilities, wonderful summer job but not a career. Then I worked as assistant teacher which lead me to my career.

I can distinctly remember a Tuesday night that I got so drunk I lost my phone, I made Ben walk back to the bar to try and find it. . . when all along I had left in my bed. . so no check there.

23 – No major universal life moments. I guess in theory you should be in year number 2 of your chosen career. I was heading back to college, as a grad student that is. .

24 – Nothing major, however here I am feeling like an adult. So lets look at what I am doing

I will graduate grad school in June. . .

I will start my first official adult job in August

I will become a Mrs. in August. . .

I will move into my first “married” home in June

So I guess all these things feel pretty adult like, and yet I still don’t feel like I live up to an adult. We will see how the year progresses maybe I will evolve into a mature adult.

Maybe  I will be a perfect wife by the time I get married. but Hell probably not, I have never even lived with a guy in any capacity before.. but that is a whole other blog post.

So what is it about 24, why do I feel the need to possibly prematurely age myself now? Is this some unwritten rule that I am not aware of? You hit 24 and you are almost halfway through your 20’s better pull yourself together

❤ Kelsi Rae

What would Betty Draper Do?

il_570xN.319696541         Betty-Draper

Think Betty Draper via season 1, the domestic goddess that she was before shit really started hitting the fan.

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Ok so these are all really funny and I love to poke fun at the domesticity that was instilled in the women of the past. But to be honest I love many of the aspects of the domestic goddess like Betty Draper with a few add ons

1) I love to cook dinner, but you better believe you are going to help clean up.

2) I will clean the kitchen. . you can clean the bathroom.

3) I will do the dishes. . .you can dry.

4) And you better believe that I am going to keep my full time job, and still work when we have children.

I love my job and I think a way to maintain is to be fulfilled with yourself in order to bring the best you to a relationship.

5) When those kids are born we will both be waking up at 3 am

6) And hopefully I will never have to start popping Valium like candy!

But this side of me falls under a lot of scrutiny in the modern age. How could I be content taking care of my husband, ensuring that he is fed, clean and has nice clothes to wear. Where is my feminist streak that screams, he is a grown man he can take care of himself?

Well damn right he can, and he has been taking care of himself for 7 years after he moved out of his parents before I came along. He is more than capable of taking care of all of these things on his own. (I do have to admit that his apartment is full of dishes, and it smells like a man cave most of the time, but he is surviving just fine without me) But what is a better way to show him that I love and value him than by doing these simple things that I have been doing for myself anyway.

And what right is it of anyone else to tell me that, this action is antiquated or anti-feminist?

But this is exactly what happened yesterday. A colleague of mine is in the process of getting a divorce, a younger man that we work with asked us both why we choose to get married as opposed to simply living together. And she went into a diatribe about how she got married because of societal norms and how marriage sucks the all of your personality as you try and conform to social norms.

While this may be true for her, to say that this is the case is all marriages places another stereotype on them. A marriage is a union between two people those two people have to know each other and value what they bring to the relationship, a marriage does not have to look like mine, or eerily similar to the women of the 50’s. A marriage has to look like two people working together to get through life. They are communicating and working as a team in order to succeed. That team can take on many different looks but each person has to feel valued in the team.

It is time to stop stating that I am anti-feminist because I happily sing while I cook and wash the dishes for my future husband. But it is also time for people to stop feeling like a marriage has to look any certain way.  A marriage is as unique as the two people in it.

I have never been happier than I am when I can come home to make dinner before Ben gets home, my friend Shannon’s goal for next year is to get home in enough time to freshen up before her husband gets home, and my colleague that is getting a divorce needs to find a man that as she put it “lets her be the hippy that she is.”

In the end even Betty Draper started looking out for herself.

So remember don’t forget to be yourself and when in doubt, What would Betty Draper Do?

❤ Kelsi Rae

Dreams and Debt

Dreams

Do you have a dream job?

I don’t mean like I want to be a famous actress or a Kardashian ( is that really a job even?) But a job in your field that you could potentially actually obtain. Maybe the job that inspired you in the first place, the job that when you think of yourself, doing what you do, that is where you are doing it? (Does that even make sense) Well I hope everyone has a dream job, even if it seems impossible right now or far off from where you are in your career, but it is attainable. I believe that everyone needs to have positive mental imagery in order to keep moving forward in your personal and professional life.

Well I have a dream job, and my dream job i dangling right in front of me, I am a finalist in the interview process and I do my teaching demo next week ( the final step in the hiring process in my district) I worked in this school as an assistant teacher before I entered my masters program, I have been removed from the school in order to fulfill the requirements for my residency year and now that that is coming to a close, I am back applying for lead teaching positions. The position that I have envisioned myself doing all year, the thing that kept me going when I was at my lowest with mild/moderate education. I was not feeling fulfilled, I didn’t think I was truly making a difference and was unsure if I would last the entire residency year in the placement I had been given. I thought of this job, I thought of what it would be like if by some miracle the teacher left and I could work with my team in my school with those students. I got through the residency and now here I am applying for jobs, when I get the call, that job the one I had been dreaming of, is opening up. . it could really be a possibility for next year.

There is just one catch. . .

As a part of my residency program we are offered full tuition reimbursement if we meet certain qualifications after we finish. . one of which is to work in Title One school in this specific district. . my dream job is not at a title 1 school., not even close. . But the program I would be teaching is still one of the hardest to staff positions in the district, working with the students with the highest academic and social needs, but I will still not qualify for reimbursement. . So here I am stuck in a pickle.

If I was single I would say, done I will take the job, I was lucky enough to only take out a few thousand in loans and the district still offers loan reimbursement so those would still get paid for, I would have to pay my Mom back for the help she gave me. . and my mom is way less scary and interest ridden than the federal government.

But I am not single. . or at least I won’t be officially by the time my next job starts in August, I will be a married a married woman with a family of two to think about. So the pickle gets worse. . .

I know that my fiancé will do whatever he can to get me my dreams, just like he knows that I would do for him. So it is not about permission it is about commitment and compromise. We have to look at our finances and make sure that this is something we can reasonably afford to do. That on top of the new higher rent we will be paying and his existing student loan debt we can take on another large amount of debt. I have done the math for my single income and I believe I could do it.

But is that what is best for my family? Will that be the way that we are the most fulfilled in life and able to begin saving for our long future together?  Is it completely selfish of me to put this on my new husband to burden him with this debt so that I can what, be in a school I know? What if there is another school that I will do just as well at? Is it ok for me to ask for something this big? As much as I want this job, I want a happy marriage more, I want a life that we can say we are both fulfilled and please with the decisions that we have made as a couple. I want us to be able to tackle whatever comes our way together, and I don’t want to start our relationship off with resentment.

I don’t know if that would happen, he loves me more than money I know, And he wants me to be happy but I am just so torn on what is best. We are supposed to sit down and talk about it soon.

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But is this what American higher education has come down too. .Dreams and Debt?

Do they have to go together, even with this debt I will have less school loan debt than most of my friends that only have undergraduate degrees? How is that just in a world where a higher degrees is becoming more and more necessary that this is what it comes down too

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My life with the Editor Ben

So my wonderful fiancè is going to share his take on the world with us!  Check him out at

https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/83004854/

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He is a video editor, ok that is not the correct term, but I can rarely understand what he does. And he gets to spend his days working at coffee shops and having mid day meetings at the Denver Cat Cafe. Cats and Coffee, I don’t know how I feel about it, but check it out!  ( http://www.denvercatco.com/) He also gets to travel the country and more recently the world in order to film different promotions and videos for clients. . .

I am making this job sound very glamorous, and I guess from the teacher perspective it is he gets to do all of this AND make way more money than I do. . NOT FAIR!

But he also has to work any hours of the day that the client needs, he is pretty much always on call, even our on vacations and date nights. Setting aside time for us means letting emails pile up and the annoying ding ding sound on his phone as we eat.

Being in a relationship with him means, spending my Friday night, Saturday morning and occasionally Sunday afternoons at the coffee shop with him so that he can meet the deadline. It is being happy to go to sleep alone while he finishes the last 30 seconds of animation on the project that has to be done by 6 am.

And I love all of this. . It is something that has become a part of our relationship, it is like his work is the third wheel on all of our dates and I am happy to have it their, given i probably talk about my students just as much as he talks about his work, so maybe there are really four wheels at every date. Well Hey with four wheels we have a car and we are cruising

He accepts my constant concern for my students even when it is a Saturday night and we are at a bar, and I accept his never ending work day and ever-changing schedule. Over the next 40 years or so we will perfect this system and it will be like we each have two careers and three loves, each other and our respective careers!

I think that this is what makes us work, our eyes both light up when we talk about the things that we are passionate about and we both love that fire in each other.

So to wrap this up with my real purpose. . .Ben made a blog!!! We should all read it and hear the wonderful things he has to say. . yes I may be biased so you better check it out yourself!

Ben’s blog: https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/83004854/

What Say Yes to the Dress doesn’t tell you. . .

Dress Say

For years I have been obsessed with Say yes to the dress, I mean who doesn’t love a 20 minute episode where you get to watch women try on 10,000 dollar dresses, where Mom and Dad just fork over whatever dollar amount it will take to make their little girl happy. I am pretty sure that I never saw a dress budget less than 2,000 dollars on that show, and whenever a girl said her budget was 2,500 dollars you could see the consultants internal eye roll and sigh as she tries to think of what dresses they have that will fit within that teeny tiny budget.

But even so I dreamed of a Randy, of someone that would magically find the dress that was just built for my body, a dress I never would have picked out for myself but sucked in all the right places and pushed out the other one. I dreamed that when my budget conscious, thrift store loving Mom saw me in this one of a kind gown she would fall in love and throw the budget out the window so that I could have this perfect thing,( Now that might have been a little ambitious).

I dreamed of the tears and screams of joy that would come from me, my mom, my bridesmaids and probably the stylist, because the dress was just that perfect. That one moment where you look in the mirror and never want to get out of that dress again in your life. . . (Damn that would have been a lot of tears.)

But I also dreamed that I would probably not fit into any of the dresses on the rack, because well I am a size 12 ( the US average by the way) but wedding dresses just run so small that I would probably be a size 16, and no one would carry that on the rack, only you know those size 6 dresses, that I haven’t fit into since 8th grade. Because again my beloved Say Yes to the Dress taught me well. . what to expect for size.

I imagined that I would have to try on many many dresses, that I would fill up my 2 hour appointment and probably walk away empty handed, that I would need to go to multiple shops and see every option before I would know for sure, before I would get that feeling.

Well it didn’t exactly go like that. . .

Let’s start with the things that did go like my dream, when I walked in to the store my mom did throw out the budget. Meaning that when asked for a budget she looked at me, and said “Well what do you want to see?” And even after that when I gave the stylist a budget she followed up with, “Well if it is perfect and it is a little more than that, I still want to see it.” This from my mom that has never worn a dress a day in her life, and is going to wear a pant suit at my wedding.  From my mom who loves thrift stores where pay 1.50 per pound and whose entire wardrobe was  Thrift Store chic before Macklemore made it cool. She wanted to see the 500-600 dollar dresses.

I also was put into some dresses that I would have never picked out for myself, Some of them pushed in all the right places and pushed out the others. While others just let everything hang in ALL the wrong ways. You know that saying a 2 lb sausage in a 1 lb casing, . . well that was me in some of this professional stylists choices.

I also did have a Randy, and by that I mean I was able to work with a male stylist, he wasn’t over the top excited about what he was doing. He wasn’t in my face about anything and he didn’t try to hard to push his agenda of what he thought I would look good in. I preferred all of this!

Now what didn’t go like my dream . . .

One a budget of 500- 600 dollars was more than enough for the dress of my dreams. I did not try on a dress that was more than 100 dollars over my 500 dollar budget and they were all beautiful. (I picked out a 549.00 dollar dress)

I did not need to be fit into a magical dress that I would have never picked out for myself. I did not need to “think outside of my comfort zone” and I wasn’t too one track minded. I know my body and it looked amazing in exactly what I wanted. I patiently tried on the dresses that were nothing like what I came in wanting. I tried on the tule, the mermaid style, the beads and the ballgowns. . and even liked some of them more than I imagined I would. But none of them were for me. When my bridesmaids walked up with my dress in hand it was exactly what I had told them I wanted on the ride over. They listened to me and picked out my dream dress, fit to all my specific qualifications. ( And contrary to Mr. Randy, bridesmaids, moms, sisters make great shoppers off the rack, they know you way better than a stylist anyway).

I also fit comfortably into almost every dress we tried on. They have rack sizes that range from 0 ( which was the size of the girl standing next to me) to my lovely 12 and I tried on a 14 for good measure. I also was a size 12 in my wedding dress, just like the pants I wore into the salon. There was no up-sizing in any of the gowns I tried on. So don’t be scared of the sizing you will look gorgeous.

And most of all. . There were ZERO tears. I walked out in the dress and took a deep breath in. It was gorgeous, but not tear evoking. My mom, and my bridesmaids loved it, It complimented my body well, it was wonderful. And then it hit me this was only like the 7th dress I tried on. . this couldn’t be it. It was too easy.

So I walked around, made sure I could go up and down stairs and sit comfortably. I made sure that the train would look good with my shoes an d that I wasn’t going to be worried about my boobs all day. I had the alterations lady come to the bustle for me. And I added a sash for a burst of my colors. And still when everyone else told me it was the one, I was nervous that it was too easy.

So like that I entered the dressing room, removed the dress and the terrible corset of an undergarments that you have to wear with them and stood with my wonderful maid of honor and asked her if it was too easy. She has known me for 10 years and told me that ” You are the most sure of yourself person I know, it wasn’t too easy, this is just you.”

And in that moment, I knew. . this was my dress. So I said yes to the dress just like that, no frills, no tears, no screams. It was my dress and I can’t wait to get married to my best friend in it. It didn’t need to look like a neatly packed 20 minute episode of Say Yes to the Dress to be perfect. It was perfect just for me. .

❤ Kelsi Rae

An open letter to my last name. . .

Magisano, I have always been a Magisano, I have always been unique, a name people have to stop and say “Wait how do you spell that?” Or will look at me a black girl and say, wait are you Italian?  So confused by the conflicting look of the girl standing in front of the them and the last name they are being forced to pronounce. Why yes I am, and proud of it. But soon I will no longer be unique, I will know longer be the only one in my family in my generation, I have to get ready to share my last name with many. . And I have never been super great at sharing . . . So what happens to my last name?

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This topic came up when my future mother- in-law made us those adorable ornaments for our tree, some of them have our initials, well my future initials, B +K, H. She mentioned to me that she wasn’t sure if I was taking his last name. Which I am, because it is very important to my fiancé, and I will be proud to be the Mrs. that idea makes me so excited to be a Mrs. and to share in his last name.I want nothing more than to be connected to him in that way. We will be a part of our own little family and I want everyone to know that I was lucky enough to find the love of my life, and that he loves me in return.  But I am still grieving about my name, that is normal right?

So then last week I came up with the idea, I will just move my last name to be a second middle name, that way I will be a complete version of myself, I will have my new me combined with the girl I have been for the last 23 years, the person I grew up to be, independently before I was a half to our wonderful whole. And also be the grown up woman that I am becoming with marriage. As I start a family, I get to bring in this new part of me, a woman that is both connected to my tiny family made of 2 ( At least within 1000 miles). and connected to the large 25+ person family that all live within a 10 mile radius of each other, that is my fiancè’s family. I get to grow up, and yet not loose the self conscious, adolescent, fatherless, mixed race girl in an all white family Kelsi that I have always been. As that girl becomes a wife, and eventually a mother, all of those aspects should still be a part of me, and to me that means holding onto my last name in someway.

I shared this news with my mom over Christmas, thinking it would make her happy, she has been very upset about my last name disappearing. I am the only member of my generation of our family, I have no cousins. So when I become a Mrs. H, there will be no more M. on our side. However my excitement was not shared by my mom, the reaction was simply, you can do that if you want, but don’t hyphenate your last name that will just be way to long. Well, not the reaction I was wanting, but I think somewhere underneath she was excited, I mean it did take her a month to come around to the idea of me getting married, so I guess we will check back in a month and see if the excitement level has changed.

So then I started looking into the process of changing my name, and discovered that in 2008 Colorado passed a law that you cannot change your middle name, which would completely derail this plan that I have created. . luckily enough newly married women were upset that they changed the law back within 3 weeks. . . Crisis averted.

I have found myself wondering if this grieving process is normal? Do I have an strange attachment to my last name? Am I the only one that feels like my mom created a beautiful combination of sounds with my name, and now I am unsure if it will sound as sweet with an attachment at the end?

I guess I will have to see how the long name I will have in 8 months will sound rolling off the tongue. . luckily my new last name will be much easier for my students to remember. . .

Hope everyone has a wonderful last few days of 2014, it is a freezing end to the year here I welcome 2015 with open arms, on to the next exciting year, I graduate grad school, and get to become a wife. . how wonderful is that.

Remember all the good times and bad of 2014 and then get ready for the new year. .

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The bad bride blues. . .

So I think I am a bad bride.

I don’t love the spotlight, I don’t want to tell everyone every detail of the wedding and gush about the flowers and the colors and the dress. I love my fiance and I am so excited about our wedding. And its not like I am not on top of the planning, because believe me I am. I have the venue booked, the flowers picked out, dress ideas up the wazoo, the menu created, but I just want to keep all of that to myself. I share it with my fiance, my mom ( she is paying for it after all), and my best friend ( sometimes I even forget to include her.) And that is all. . .

People will find out I am engaged and immediately want to know all of the details, this seems to happen more to my fiance though, girls ask him all sorts of questions, and like really he is a guy he knows a lot but why as him about the wedding. But they want to know all of the details, I just give them a look like please random physical therapist that I just met, no I don’t want to share every detail with you.

Even people that I am close to and gladly share the information with when they ask, I generally don’t volunteer the information without prompting. I just feel like this is my thing, I get the pleasure of planning a party that is just about me and my man, and why do you need to know all of the details now, 8 months in advance? Most likely you are not even invited so you won’t see any of this executed. Now I love a good wedding pinterest board as much as the next girl, I think I am just uncomfortable with the direct attention that I receive as a result of this new found status in my life. My future father in- law so nicely reminded me that this day will be all about ME! Oh god, I thought to myself.

Then we took engagement pictures last weekend, two hours of a camera in my face and I was so uncomfortable. . but according to #theknot, that is supposed to prepare me for 8 hours of photos of me on the big day . . well #FAIL!

Speaking of The Knot, they have things on their wedding checklist I can’t even imagine, having the time, money, or desire to do for my wedding. They have suggestions like start a pampering week, getting a massage, manicure and pedicure ( ok this one I might do) hair done. . all weeks before the wedding for a trial run and then do it again. I don’t even think I will trust someone else to touch my hair the day of my wedding, but that is more a result of my hair- crazed ways than anything else. But I have no time to spend weeks focusing on “pampering” myself. Will I look good, yes, but that does not take weeks of preparation. Is this something women do on a regular basis? Maybe this is why my wedding won’t even cost 1/4 of the average cost of a wedding in America which is over 25,000 dollars!!! That is the cost of a new car, that is over double what my future hubby just spent for a car. That is ridiculous, who is paying for these weddings, I get anxiety thinking about the few thousand dollars people are dishing out for mine I couldn’t imagine spending four times that much, what do you even spend all that money on?

With all of the pinereset and instagrams dedicated to weddings and brides and engagements I feel like I am the only one that feels this way, do all women automatically crave attention when they get engaged? Do we all become a little narcissistic for 8 months of our lives? Is there a secret bridezilla ready to spend daddy’s, mommy’s, hubby’s and her own money on center pieces and massages, and the 1000 dollar wedding shoes I used to crave so much, inside every woman. Maybe I just haven’t let my bridezilla out yet, we will see when she surfaces over the next 8 months . .

Signed . . . the bad bride

❤ Kelsi Rae

Friendsgiving . .. this is how family is made

So last Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we did our friendsigiving, which I know for many people takes many different forms, this could be a party after the family thanksgiving, an excuse to get drunk really at any time. But for us, it involves the 6 of us getting together and having a true thanksgiving meal and then having our annual ginger bread house competition. Which you are welcome to vote in. . . FullSizeRender

In order not to sway your opinion I will not tell you which one was ours. .. but needless to say we won.

In a way Friendsgiving is all I have ever had, my thanksgiving is not a large family gathering, my family does not gather in that way, my mom and I are the only members of our family for over 1000 miles and no one really puts in the effort to come see us, given we have stopped putting in the effort to go see them as well. But thanksgiving has always been a hodge podge of about 4 families my mom became friends with in her early 20’s as these friends, got married, had children and at this point, as their children are having children the gathering as grown from about 6 to over 20.

And has become my favorite day of the year. I long for the loud political discussions, where no one agrees. The potluck style meal in which we have all been bringing the same pieces of the glorious meal for as long as I can remember. And since my mom hates to cook this means we bring olives and pickles to eat before the meal. But this is what I look forward to, none of the awkward forced family relationships, well at least minimally. We all want to be there. And when asked about my family, these are the people I discuss. When writing family narratives in college these were the people that filled so many pages. And in August when I get married, one of these men will be the man to walk me down the aisle and give me away. Maybe more traditionally since my father is not in the picture this would have been done by an Uncle. but this man is as close to a father as I have ever had and if that isn’t family then I am not sure what is.

On Sunday, I began wondering if this is what their first thanksgiving’s together were like, a gathering to share in friendship and give thanks for the people we choose to have in our lives, that God has placed there so that we can make our own family. And I hope they were I hope that the beautiful gathering I hold so dear grew from something this simple. Because then I can imagine in 20 years, when we all have growing children we can still be gathered around a table, in a family home and not an cramped 1 bedroom apartment like we are now. But as we sip wine and watch the children make the gingerbread houses we can think back on the simplicity of how this day began. And remember the days over the years, where Friendsgiving became a day we cherish, where Friendsgiving became a day for family. . .

❤ Kelsi Rae

No, your grandma cannot come to my wedding!

So I am getting married next August in the most beautiful chapel that I have ever seen. It has been my dream to get married there for a few years since I learned the history of the chapel. Give me a good history and I will fall in love with most things, and this one has a great history.IMG_0062

It was build in the late 1800’s and as a result it is the size of an 1800’s chapel that means that it sits about 85 people and we are going to push it to 90 for our wedding. This means that my ceremony guest list is very exclusive :). But apparently people think they can invite anyone they want, including themselves and grandparents. So due to this limited size we are not allowing plus ones at the ceremony.

Since becoming engaged I have discovered there are two types of people when they hear the news, (these people exclude your close friends and family that display a normal level of excitement)the people who are like oh congratulations but give you the side eye like they are not super happy for you, thats fine I don’t need their happiness. I prefer those people to the second type of people, the second type of people,  these are the people that maybe you used to be really close with, or you were coworkers a few years back. The people that haven’t talked to you in about a year, these people become overly excited and begin asking for all the wedding details, the location, the date, the colors, what is your dress going to look like, way more information than you were wanting to start announcing when you updated your “life event” on facebook.

They do these large show of excitement of feigning friendship in order to be able to end the conversation with the epic statement, ” I will be looking for the invitation.”

Well that is awfully forward of you. . lady that I have not seen or heard from since you moved in with your boyfriend despite the numerous attempts I have made to hang out. Oh you will be expecting the invitation, to the couple that cannot make the 45 minute trip for anything even birthdays are you sure you will be able to do that for a wedding.  What, no you may not bring oyur Grandmother that lives in Arizona that I have met once to my wedding. T

hank you for assuming that I need to use my limited seats on you and spending money to feed you and not inviting someone that has probably seen my in the last 6 months. Maybe someone that even knew I was going to get engaged. I have discovered that this is the most annoying aspect of  the wedding planning so far. I hope these people don’t become to upset when over the next 9 months that they continue to not speak to me that they don’t receive a wedding invite.

I am assuming that the level of friendship will not change before the wedding, and will not change after the wedding, so really what am I hurting by not inviting them. My great aunt that my mom wanted me to invite, that I will concede to, Great Aunt, here is your seat at my wedding. However to the “I will be waiting on the invitation” friends I am sorry, you will be waiting a long time for that invite.

#isthisevenmywedding?

#becomingaHarris

– One in a million Budget Brides,

❤ Kelsi Rae