Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm still alive!

I've been one of the worst bloggers ever.

In the midst of wedding planning, things got busy - work, family and living life, on top of some dramas (mostly friend related). I'm now feeling excited, happy and content, but dwelling on it in the blog wasn't helping, so I left it. I've had a different blog for many years, and never thought I'd be one of THOSE bloggers who simply abandoned their blog, but I think I needed to, for my sanity.

And yet here I am ... with just four days til my wedding! FOUR DAYS. We are very excited, and I think we're 100% organised. Just a couple of beauty appointments over the next few days, and then it'll happen.

I'll be blogging after the big day... perhaps after the whole family have gone home. You see, it's not a traditional wedding/honeymoon, because all my family will be visiting for the Wedding and Christmas - so we're having the wedding, then a few days together, then Christmas, and then honeymooning in January.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I wish you all the best for Christmas - if you don't hear from me before then. And I welcome any good wishes for our weekend. I get to marry a pretty amazing woman this weekend, and for that, I feel very blessed!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The dark cloud

I started my PhD a few years ago, but had no idea what I was meant to be doing. My supervisors weren't very involved, and doing it by distance, I figured that didn't matter. I'm a pretty good writer, with over 40 published articles and 2 books, so a PhD? Piece of cake?!

Except that it wasn't. My response to that was basically to pretend I wasn't enrolled, scraping by with the bare minimum of work on it. But it always hung over me like a dark cloud. This year I changed where I'm doing my PhD, changed supervisors, and now I'm seriously working hard. I have a light at the end of the tunnel, a manageable timeline, and I seriously think my supervisors are wonderful.

As a result, I haven't been blogging a lot. And I hate blogs without new posts, so I apologise for this. This is mainly because I'm so engrossed in writing academically that writing about my wedding seems a little ... frivilous, perhaps. We have nearly everything planned, but there were few difficult decisions in our wedding planning. We spoke to one baker, and accepted the quote. One reception venue, one photographer and so on. The hardest decisions so far have been about the guest list and whether or not to have a videographer. We hired the videographer, jury's still out on those friends of mine, but I'm leaning toward inviting them. Not because I think they deserve the invitation, but because I'm not quite ready to close that chapter of my life. And C supports my decision, whichever way I go.

And so that's where we're at. There's about two months to go til the "big day" and things are still really good. I feel lucky to go home to my girl each night, and a weekend with her is simply never long enough. This is in direct contrast to my last experience as a wife-to-be when the relationship seemed doomed even before we said I do. We work well as partners.

I see this increasingly as I work on my thesis. Last night I worked, while she silently sat at the table doing a jigsaw. Some people complain when their partner works long hours, but she seems to enjoy the time to herself, and looks forward to me putting the books down.

She's a wonder, that girl.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The shoes

I've been such a slack blogger - my PhD is heating up for one thing. But first the shoes! They're sky high, though the picture doesn't really depict it because of the angle of the shoe on it's side. It has a silver heel! And they're black, which means I can wear them again and again.

That is, of course, assuming my body doesn't hate me after the big day!

Because I had an ankle injury this year, I'm planning on having another pair of shoes for the reception.
I nearly bought the shoes (above) in red, but the red didn't match our bridesmaid dresses... it's a shame. I kind of had my heart set on red shoes poking out from under my white dress, but black is a good enough substitute. I wore white shoes for my first wedding and have never worn them again!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bridezilla returns

I'm an incredibly calm bride. And before you go telling me it's because it's my second wedding - shut it! A bride to be I work with reckons I'm only calm because my wedding isn't legal. I gave her the filthiest look and explained that we're still in the limelight, still catering for many people, still organising all the stuff the legal wedding requires. Oh, and there's the fact that some people find it weird, which could even make it more stressful. I also explained that this is my second wedding and my first WAS legal and I wasn't Bridezilla then. So that shut her up. Biatch!

Anyway, I digress.

I've had one Bridezilla moment. Unless you count the underpants tantrum which will be blogged about in the next couple of days. I'm digressing again... I've had one real Bridezilla moment, and that was on Friday. The invitations had arrived in the one hour I was out of the house, and the courier left a voucher saying we had to rearrange delivery. I wanted them on Friday, dammit. So I rung the company, got nowhere, rang again, got nowhere, rang a third time and told the guy I wasn't impressed that it was my parcel and I made up some reason for needing it (a lie). The guy said that the truck had to return to the depot and I could have the parcel on Monday. Monday?! Three whole days away?!

C suggested we stalk the parcel at the depot, so I texted a friend who used to work for the courier company for advice and he told us to just go there. So we arrived, planning to sit there for an hour if we had to wait for the truck to return. But we got the parcel immediately. Took it home, opened it and Bridezilla was calm. Hopefully not to return again.

So now we have the invitations ready to go. We wrote our guest list out again. Local people on one page, non-local people on the other. And we decided to personally deliver a few of the local ones - to people we knew would be home. The feedback was so positive!

The rest are going in the mail. They're about a month early, assuming we send them out this week. We figure that's okay, given the time of year (just before Christmas) and the fact that every guest needs to travel if they're coming.

It was really hard for me deciding the invitation list.

I've mentioned before the changes in some of my friendships this year. I was really torn between whether to invite some people or not. Friends who haven't really been supportive of my relationship. They haven't even supported me over the past 18 months or so when I was going through a major crisis with that friend that I had to cut all ties with. I don't want to offend them by not inviting them, but I also don't see the point in having people there who couldn't honestly say "I'm happy for them". I asked C to decide, but she refused, and told me I had to make this decision on my own... she listened to me outline pros and cons, she listened to me come to a decision, and change it many times, but she's trying very hard to avoid telling me whether she feels they should be invited or not.

We're having a small wedding, but the numbers aren't small. We both have big families and we have friends we want there. By small I guess we mean intimate. Our ceremony is incredibly personal, our song choices, our speeches. Everything we're doing is about us. I don't want anyone there who is likely to roll their eyes at any of this.

I do have a couple of family members I'm worried about, but they've chosen to come and I actually think they'll come out of this with a greater understanding about what a same-sex relationship is all about. They'll understand that we're IN LOVE, not just FRIENDS. They'll understand that our whole relationship isn't simply friendship with sex thrown in. They'll understand that we are a union, partners in every sense of the word. Maybe I'm hoping for too much, but I expect this through our day.

But... in terms of these friends... I don't want to end friendships through not inviting them. I'm ready to defend my decision, and explain my reasons, but unfortunately I don't even think it'll come down to that. I think it'll come down to the fact that they see it as a rejection, and end the friendship completely. The potential threat of that makes me wonder if I should just invite them... but then I think that I'd be more concerned about what I do and say in front of them. I don't want to feel censored on our day. I want to be completely there, with C, with our family and friends.

I'm really struggling. I'm not sure if I'll completely make up my mind til the deadline for sending invitations out in terms of etiquette passes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Money, Money, Money

I lost 0.7 kilos this week. Which is what... about 1.5 lb? The weight isn't falling off me, but I'm losing on average 1 kilo a week (which is 2.2 lb I think?)

It's not coming off me as quickly as I thought it would, but it's going down each week, and that's a plus. I won't be at "goal" for the wedding, but I'll be a good 10 or 15 kilos lighter (25 - 30ish lb) than I am now, and I think that's ok. I should be at goal by the time C's sister's wedding rolls around in March, so I can wow the family at that and wear a smoking dress.

I'm proud of this weight loss, and it's probably better if it comes of slowly. At least, that's what they tell me. (I have lost 3 kilos a week before - back when I lost weight for my first wedding, I was losing about 20 lb a month for a couple of months til I got to goal! That was serious low carb though).

Last night, C and I had an argument. We normally get on so well, and are so calm, and talk things through. I always get really shaken by a fight. It was pretty horrible.

We were fighting over money, of all things, which is so crazy, because in the grand scheme of things we're doing pretty well financially. We have half the wedding paid for, and I'm due to earn the other half in the next couple of months (I get bonus pays ever so often). But then I'm of the opinion that everything works out in the end, financially.

C manages our money, and sends me a weekly account of everything that came in and everything that went out. She stresses about money, where as I'm more laid back. So I was chatting to one of my sisters and organised a night away in Sydney - in a hotel, etc. She was shocked I did it without consulting her. The way I saw it is that I have to go to Sydney for work. I normally got there and back in a day. I don't need a hotel room, but it'd be more fun if my sister came and we spent a night there. C gets pretty frustrated because I travel quite a bit for work, so she has more alone time then she'd normally choose... and then I opt to go away with family every now and again.

But I said "My family is interstate. It DOES take time and money for me to see them". She gets that... it's just... hard. Sometimes. Most of the time it's not hard. But on top of work travel, I do have to travel to see my family, so I am away more. She's not gone out of town without me in the whole time I've known her, but I've spent a fair bit of time apart from her. I guess it looks like sometimes I'm CHOOSING to be away from her, but I'm not.

So the argument got pretty heated and then we both apologised and said we wanted to work through things. She wants me to be more considerate in terms of spending money, and chat to her first. I want her to be more understanding in terms of me travelling to see my family. We ended up chatting about things and I think things are okay.

I'm still not 100% sure whether the argument was money related, time related or both. Don't they say the biggest stress in a marriage is money?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To do, or not to do...

I mentioned in my last post that we'd finalised the invitations - this is the video invitation and I have to say it ROCKS.

It's a secret. We haven't told anyone, which is unusual for me. Wait... we haven't told anyone but all of you. C's family were over the other night, and we'd just finished it. It was sitting in the DVD player, and I was thinking "I wish we could show them". Apparently C was too! But as we hadn't discussed it, neither of us suggested it, so after they went home we thought it was a shame... but now I'm excited. When they receive them in the mail, they'll see them for the first time.

C's little sister is getting married a few months after us, and wanted to get her invitations printed at the same place we are. We had to explain that she couldn't do that, and she didn't really understand why. Because we're not printing them, we explained. She didn't get that. How can you not print wedding invitations?

I also have some decisions to make...

A couple of years ago, I belonged to a "group" of friends. I pretty much manufactured the group myself by hosting a bundle of functions and soon enough we were a close knit group of eight. They thought I was bi, but when I came out as gay, I have several different reactions. I actually kissed one of the girls in the group. She was the supportive one! There was one single straight guy in the group and at one point I'd asked him out. He'd declined (thankfully) and we remained very close friends. Till I met C. You see I'd never really been a good girlfriend... even when I was married to my ex, I wasn't really devoted to him. Friends and family came first, and I think the single straight guy figured we could stay single forever and be "mates". He has pretty much decided to be single forever, and he knew I was dating, but I don't think he realised how hard I could fall. So when I did, he couldn't handle it. Started sending C some horrible messages, wouldn't pay me money he owed, said horrible, demeaning things about me, and it was so much drama that after six months and some counselling, I ended the friendship. I miss him, some parts of him, of course, but I haven't looked back. I'm happy, and I don't need that drama in my life.

There was a time that I thought he'd be my Best Man. Now he won't even be at the wedding.

The supportive girl and her partner will be there - C and I are friends with them both. In fact, that girl is easily one of my closest friends.

That leaves four others. Four others who were very supportive to my guy friend and less supportive to me when I ended the friendship. But time has passed, and from time to time I socialise with them. It's nothing like what it was before, but I've moved on. I was very hurt at the time, but now they mean less to me than they did then, so I'm no longer hurt my it. I'm not in a position anymore where they're so important to me.

At the moment I have invitations getting made for them. I'm just not sure if I'll send them. Part of me wants them there, and part of me doesn't. I know our ceremony and speeches will be emotional and intimate. I don't know how much of that I want to share with these people, but then I also think they need to realise how intense my feelings are, and how mutual C's are....

I think many of them are convinced I just can't find the right man. The fact that I asked our mutual friend out convinces them that I'm into guys. At the time I came out, I tried hard to convince them that I had come to the realisation that I was definitely gay- not that it matters anyway. That's what I realised after trying hard to assure them about my sexuality... it didn't matter in the end. I know that what I'm feeling now is something I haven't felt before, so it doesn't matter what people on the outside think. I'm thrilled that my parents and sisters support me, and see that this isn't some kind of phase I'm going through. I'm just not certain why my friends struggled with it so much. And therefore, I don't know whether to have them there or not on our special day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

European honeymoon

We booked a honeymoon to Europe a couple of months ago. We're planning on spending time in England, France and Switzerland. I'm particularly excited, because although I travel quite frequently, it's mostly to Asia. A bit of New Zealand and The US thrown in the mix... but I haven't been to Europe since I was 21. That's 12 years ago now (Agh!)

I've mentioned before that C hails from England. We're investigating how easy it is for the two of us to marry legally over there - gay marriage is legal over there, and we figured it would be lovely to legally marry in my girl's home country, but time will tell. We'll be visiting family but also having time to ourselves. We're aiming for a 50/50 mix of hotels vs. family visits.

So imagine my surprise when I've been given the chance to do some work while I'm in England at the same time as our honeymoon is booked. I can have a small amount of our accommodation/ internal travel/ food etc paid for. Though it's work related, the work wouldn't detract us too much from having fun. The question is... do we take the work money and have it contribute toward our honeymoon, or do I not work at all?

I was inclined to not work, but we see it as an opportunity to go to a different part of England... and me get some work done, so my whole trip isn't considered holiday leave. I think we might end up doing it.

On another note... I posted the order for the invitations today, so they're getting made as we speak. Our favours are also being sorted as we speak (more on that later). Finally, I booked a videographer! I was going back and forth on whether to hire a professional video person, and then they contacted me to say there was a special on. I booked it then and there.