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On Sunday, Little S got married (I guess she’s not so little any more!)  Since I was the matron of honor, I gave one of the toasts of the evening.  I really liked it a lot, so I thought I’d share it with you guys as well.

First of all, I would like to say congratulations to the happy couple – Little S and JT.  From the day you met, you could see that you two had something that you can only find in fairy tales.  I am so proud to be here today, taking part in your happiest day.  And I also want to thank you for giving me a moment to share some of your stories with all of your friends, family and loved ones.

On December 25th, 1985, my life drastically changed.  At that moment in time, I was not a happy camper.  It was Christmas Day and I was living an idyllic life with my parents as the only apple in their eye.  Oma and Opa were in town and we had just celebrated Christmas as a family.  As a three-year-old, I didn’t comprehend what it meant when my parents hurriedly grabbed bags and disappeared from the house for hours.  The next day, Dad picked us up to meet the new addition to the family.  I remember it like it was yesterday – here were my proud parents holding their new bundle of joy.  Their eyes and faces were lit up with pure happiness when they introduced me to Little S.  My eyes on the other hand were dull with boredom as I had been waiting for hours for my “special” Christmas present. I looked down at my new sister for a second and turned to them and said, “That’s great. Can we go home now?”  Our first meeting was a little rough, but as the years progressed, I realized that my sister and best friend, Little S, was the best gift I could have ever gotten.

Being Army brats meant that we moved around a lot when we were younger, which I know helped strengthen our sisterly bond, especially when we moved to America from Germany in 1990.  When we were new in town, I always knew that I had a friend by my side.  Even after we finally got settled and started making our own friends, nothing changed between us.  We were still like peanut butter and jelly, our circle of friends blending just like it still does –  sometimes sweet, sometimes a little nutty, but forever stuck together.

As you all know, Little S is not one to sit still.  She always had to be doing something – whether it was bouncing the ball off the side of the house endlessly for hours, playing a mock softball game in the driveway (to this day I’m still surprised that no windows were ever broken…), or creating exciting new lives for our Barbies and building crayon roads in her bedroom for our Matchbox cars – she was ready for anything.  Her enthusiasm always ended up dragging me away from my 90210 marathons outside to the imaginary world waiting for us on the other side of the door.  Little S always did end up being much better entertainment than Tori Spelling ever could be.  And that is something that I will always thank her for.

Speaking of our younger years, Little S used to be quite the little tom boy.  My image of her as a child is of a small, freckle-faced girl in a Braves hat with a softball glove glued to her hand. Wait, that’s not much different than it is today, is it?  Anyway, she lived in that hat – Mom had to pry it off her head from time to time so we could actually see her face.  Now when I look at Little S, I see a beautiful mature woman, who occasionally still sports that glove.

It might be hard to see now, especially after she’s had a couple of beers, but Little S used to be so quiet and shy.  Luckily, I was there to be her mouthpiece until she found her own voice.  Now she is a sure-footed, strong woman, who knows want she wants and won’t quit until she achieves her goal.  That is always something I admired about her.  I get frustrated and tend to want to give up when something doesn’t go my way – Little S on the other hand will keep at it until she is successful.  Whether it was being a softball all-star or being the only girl on the snare drum line in marching band to finding the absolute perfect man for her to marry, Little S is one to set her eyes on the prize and get it.  Even though you are younger, I look up to you for your can-do spirit.  If you take that same attitude that you’ve always had, I know you will make a great wife to JT and a wonderful mother to your future quarter German, American, Chinese and eighth Thai and Laotian children.

Speaking of JT, I still remember when you called me after your first few weeks at your first job to tell me about the “cute boy that you worked with who was so nice and sweet and kept inviting you to office outings.”  The second I heard your voice, I knew that you had been bitten by the Love Bug.  Even though I couldn’t see your face, I knew you were smiling and your eyes were shining.  And when I met JT for the first time, I knew my predication was true and I could understand why.  When I was around you both, I saw a happiness that I had never seen in you before, and it made me smile.

I liked JT from the moment I met him, even though he is a Florida fan.  He is a person who exudes happiness.  He has a good heart and spirit and is someone you know you will have fun with.  And I knew he had staying power after I heard the story about your very first date.  Put together first date jitters, beers on an empty stomach, and a dinner consisting of a crepe filled with ham, cheese, and strawberry jelly (I still wonder what you were thinking when you made that selection…) and you end up with an unforgettable evening.  Since JT is a true gentleman, he walked you to your front door.  As you were standing there, trying to unlock it, you turned to him and said, “I think I’m going to be sick!”  I know JT had to feel slightly dejected since you’d had a great evening together, but he did the right thing and said, “If you don’t want me to come in, I can leave.”  As he was finishing his sentence, you shoved him out of the way to Ralph in the bushes.  Poor JT had no idea that was coming, but he was so worried about you that he stuck by your side for the rest of the evening – holding your hand and your hair.  That right there is how you know that you found “a keeper.”

On New Year’s Eve 2010, I pulled JT aside to chat.  After a few champagnes, I’d worked up the courage to tell him that I thought he was perfect for you and I could see the two of you together forever.  He fit right in with the family – he was the older brother I never had, and he was like a son to mom and dad.

Just imagine my happiness last August when JT pulled me aside to “talk to me.”  As we snuck away to chat in secret, he told me he was planning on proposing to you.  When he told me, it was all I could do to keep from screaming with joy for you two.  It was hard to keep my game face on for the rest of the evening when I knew the happy surprise waiting for you on your two year anniversary.   And by the way, I totally spilled the beans to everyone about five minutes after you walked out of the door.

And here we are today, a year and a little less than a month later.  You two have exchanged your vows and are now your own family.  And I couldn’t be happier.

You are my sister, and I will always be protective over you. No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over you and stick up for you.  I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now you’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for you for the rest of your life.  Today, I am officially passing the torch of being your guardian onto JT.

Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you!  I love you both so much and am glad that you found each other.  If I had known that fateful Christmas Day that my “special present” would be a gift that keeps on giving, and that not only would I have received a sister, but one day gain a brother, the look in my eyes would have been much more excited.

So let’s raise our glasses to the special couple and offer them a toast for a long life filled with continued happiness because their love is truly a gift.  Congratulations to my sister and my new brother!!!  Here’s to Little S and JT!!

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Day 7 – Your dream wedding

I don’t ever remember dreaming about and plotting the perfect wedding when I was younger or even before I was married.  Call me odd I guess, but apparently my mind doesn’t work the same way as other females.

My wedding planning began once I had a ring on my finger.  I’d been to a few wedding before I got engaged, so I knew what I liked and didn’t like, but that’s where my thoughts ended.

When T and I got married in August 2008, I would have to say we had my dream wedding.   We tied the knot in a very modern space that was beautifully decorated, and T and I felt like it fit our styles and personalities perfectly.  We had a big party where all of our friends and family could celebrate with us.  The food was amazing, and everyone had a great time.  The best compliment that I received was people telling me it was the best wedding they’d ever been to.  That meant the most to me.

If I could go back and change a few things about that nearly perfect day, it would be that our grandparents who felt they were too old to travel so far (my German grandparents and his grandparents from New York) would have been able to be there to celebrate, our other German and northern family members that couldn’t come for one reason or another could have made it, and that it hadn’t poured rain all day.   If all those three things were changed, the day would have been absolutely perfect.

And now for your enjoyment, some wedding photos:

One of my favorite pictures

Our awesome venue - Lambert Place

My flowers were amazing

My hot husband and me

A couple of weeks ago I received some news that made me so happy and made me beam from ear-to-ear…

Little S and her boyfriend JT got engaged!  I am so excited for the both of them and can’t wait to welcome him into our family.  From the second they started dating, he’s always gotten along well with T and me, as well as the rest of our family and friends.  Even though they’ve only been dating for two years, it feels like we’ve known him forever.

I’m so excited to share my sisterly perspective and wedding advice with Little S while she and JT plan their big day.  I’m glad that I’ve gone through it all before so I’ll be able to offer her guidance and assistance along the way.  She has also asked me to be her matron of honor (which makes me sound so old, haha),  so I know I have some big speech shoes to fill.  She rocked the house with the speech she wrote for my wedding – everyone was cracking up or tearing up.  It may have quite possibly been the best speech ever!

It’s so weird to me when I stop and think about it.  This year, Little S will be 25, and on some as of yet undetermined date between May and October 2011, she will be married.  I can remember the day she was born.  I was not a happy camper.

My mom and dad rushed to the hospital on Christmas Day and left me at home with my Oma and Opa.  Since we were in Germany, we’d already done our present opening on Christmas Eve, meaning that I had many new toys to keep me company.  But after a while, the absence of the parental units was starting to take its toll on me.  I wanted my mommy and daddy, and they were nowhere to be found.  Hey, I was three and had been the only child in the house up until this point.

Finally, on December 26th my dad came and picked the three of us up to take us to the hospital (Oma and Opa can’t drive) to meet my little sister.  Let me tell you, I was less than thrilled.  I took one look at the pink baby in my parents arms and asked when we could go home.  No one paid much attention to my lack of enthusiasm at the time.

As the months and years progressed, Little S began to grow on me.  The older we got, the closer we became.  We were like peanut butter and jelly even though there are three years between us.  We were always running around outside playing when we were younger.  Then when she got older, she’d accompany me to my high school parties and hang out with my friends.  She even came to my senior prom because one of my guy friends said he couldn’t image her not being there since she was apart of “the group” – so she became his date.

In college, I took her to get her first fake ID saying that she was 18 so she could come out with us to the dance clubs when she visited me in college.  I was so excited that she was going to be a freshman when I was a senior, and we’d get to spend more time together hanging out.  That’s just the type of bond we have.

Even though she is my sister, I am as protective over her as I would be over my child.  No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over her and stick up for her since she is my little sister.  I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now she’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for her for the rest of her life.

Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you!  I love you both so much and am glad that the two of you found each other.

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Dear T,

Two years ago today, I remember waking up with butterflies in my stomach and looking over to watch you sleep a few more minutes.  This was our last morning as two separate people, fiancés.  Later that day, we would be united and become a family, forever and always.

It’s sort of weird when I think about how much time has passed since we got married.  It feels like it was just yesterday when we were sitting in our dining room enjoying a romantic meal, and you dropped down on one knee to propose.  We were both so happy and crying tears of joy.  Now it has been two years since we exchanged our vows.

We’ve been through good times and bad.  We’ve fought hard, but loved harder still.  Everyday I think about how lucky I am to have you in my life, and I am so glad my family moved to New York 11 years ago so we could meet.

We’ve known each other for so long and been through so many milestones, and I can’t wait to see where the next steps take us.

Happy anniversary babe!  Love you!

Whoever said that married life is all rainbows and cupcakes, is either a liar or totally omitting the gory details.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but sometimes he annoys me more than any other person in the entire world.  And it’s just not cool and makes me want to punch him in the head J-Woww style (Jersey Shore reference – did you see that shit?) – not that I ever would, but still.

For the most part, I do a majority of the household tasks.  I usually do the shopping, most of the cooking during the week, laundry, kitchen straightening, etc. because I get off work a lot earlier than T.  I don’t particularly love it, but it’s not the end of the world either.  When he’s around on weekends, he’s pretty helpful – for the most part.

Now here’s what gets me freaking angry.  I hate feeling like I’m being a nag or acting like “the mom” in the relationship, but Jesus Christ, sometimes the hubs makes me feel that way.  Nothing gets under my skin more than when I ask him nicely to do something, and he tells me he’ll take care of it.  Only he procrastinates on it FOREVER or just doesn’t do it at all – “oops, I forgot.”  Then I get all bitchy and snippy and yell at him.  But I do have to say, my outbursts make him get the job done.

So let’s take yesterday for example.  T had off and I had to work.  Sometime in the afternoon I asked him if he’d mind running to the store so I wouldn’t have to stop on my way home.  He said sure.  I also asked if he would mind starting dinner so we could eat earlier than 7:30 or 8, and we’d have time to take down our Christmas tree then relax afterward (Yes, it’s still up.  I’m having a hard time letting it go because it makes the house feel so festive and cozy.  And we’re lazy.)

Anyway…I got home a little after 6, and T was not home.  In fact he was still at the store.  This only meant one thing – that he left a lot later than he said he would.  So of course, there was no dinner on the table.  The kitchen was a disaster from when we had friends over this weekend and the garbage was overflowing.  I know it was his day off, but damn son, couldn’t you get off your ass to take out the trash?  It’s not like it has to be taken very far – the can is right behind our patio, about 10 steps there and back.

When he finally got home, groceries had to be put away.  I ended up doing the kitchen cleaning and he started the food, but that was not the point.  I wanted, for once, to come home to a fairly clean kitchen with dinner on the table – like it is on a regular basis for him.  Needless to say, we didn’t eat until 7:30 and the Christmas tree is still up.

It just seems like taking care of the household is the major source of our arguments, and it’s driving me insane.  I know no one enjoys cleaning, but we all have to do it.  If I ask you to help me with something, don’t talk back to me like a 15-year-old or I will treat you like one (I should not be tested on this.  That shit didn’t fly in my parents house, and it sure as hell won’t fly in my house now).

I don’t care how late you work or how much money you bring into the household, this ain’t 1950 and I am not Susie Homemaker.  It’s 2010, we will split this shit evenly, like it or not!  And in case you’ve forgotten, I also work a 40 week on top of all the crap I take care of at home.  Enough said…

So here is where you come in, lovely readers.  How do you handle household chore related drama with your significant other (or hell, even roommates)?  Does it cause arguments on a regular basis?  Does it make you want to punch somebody?

Flickr Photos

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