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Tomorrow is my husband’s 30th birthday. In honor of that, I have compiled a list of 30 reasons why I love him. The list goes far beyond 30 but I doubt he’ll live to 10 million.

30 Reasons Why I Love You

1.      Whenever you get up before me in the mornings, you push your pillow up against my back because you know I don’t sleep well without something to cuddle with.

2.      You’re so unbelievably smart about computers and math and all of those left-brained things.

3.      You make me feel beautiful every single day.

4.      You laugh easily and loudly and truly enjoy life.

5.      You don’t let things ruffle your feathers and whenever shit happens, you deal instead of having a meltdown.

6.      You always tell me the truth, even when it hurts.

7.      You have beautiful eyes.

8.      You dance with me in parking lots and catch me when I trip because I’m wearing flip flops.

9.      You hold me when I need you to.

10.  You clean and go through closets and organize because I ask you to.

11.  You don’t get mad when I move things and you can’t find them.

12.  You dream with me.

13.  You always kiss me goodnight.

14.  You don’t expect me to pack your lunches but you’re always appreciative when I do.

15.  You are good at compromising.

16.  You worked your way through JustFaith even though reading isn’t your thing.

17.  You love the Colts and very vocally watch them play.

18.  You make me laugh.

19.  You care about the people in your life and make time for them.

20.  You’re good at what you do and, even though you’re confident about it, you don’t let it go to your head.

21.  You care about what happens to people in other countries and those who have less than we do.

22.  You do things for the right reason because you believe they are the right thing to do.

23.  You honestly don’t give a damn about being popular or cool or any of the high school antics that people should outgrow. In fact, you didn’t care even when you were in high school.

24.  You aren’t concerned about keeping up with the Joneses.

25.  You show me that you love me even in the smallest of ways.

26.  You have strong convictions.

27.  You are willing to grow and change.

28.  You deal with all of my neuroses and OCD quirks and the millions of things I do that would drive most people crazy.

29.  You think for yourself.

30.  You chose me to be your wife. 🙂

Happy birthday, beloved. I am so lucky to be married to you. I love you!

Ran across this song on a friend’s blog and since it pretty much describes how I feel about my husband, I thought I’d share it here. (Commence the gagging!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7M7cJ4DydQ

I love you, Shane!

Him: So do you want me to pull your hair and call you names?

Her: No. I’m your wife, not your bitch.

Him: I know. I’m your bitch.

And don’t you forget it. 😉

Nothing about our big wedding is going to be typical. For starters, it’s not the day we’re getting married. We will have been married for a year (which will hopefully take at least a little of the stress out). We’re also not registering for gifts. We’re not renting a regular reception hall and we’re not getting married in a church. In fact, I plan to give the bridal industry as little of our money as possible.

Yes, that includes my wedding dress. And my bridesmaid’s dresses. I told the 5 of them to pick out a dress that they loved and felt beautiful in in a certain color. I gave them some guidelines for what I’d like to see so that they don’t all look COMPLETELY different. But we are not going to David’s Bridal and picking out a style that everyone likes and looks good in. I don’t have the time or the patience to do that again. I’ve been a bridesmaid too many times.

Which is what led me to the decision that I am not buying my dress from a traditional bridal store. Absolutely not.  The practices of bridal salespeople alone make me want to shake them.

“No, I’m not going to tell you my budget because then you will bring out a more expensive dress than I told you I could afford because you know that women generally fall in love with the first dress they try on!”

Not to mention I have experienced the RUDEST women working in bridal stores. They suck up to the bride but the bridesmaids get looks and eye rolls and short answers to their questions. (I’ve also heard stories of the BRIDE being treated rudely. Um, she’s about to give you hundreds to thousands of dollars for a dress that she will wear ONCE in her life. I’d be nice if I were you.)

Originally I didn’t want to even enter a bridal store but I have since realized that I probably should at least try some on so I know what looks good. Then when I either A: order it online or B: make it myself, I can do so with much more confidence then I can right now. I generally know what looks good on me and what I want but that’s a lot of money to risk going completely blind.

Also, my mother-in-law expressed a desire to go with me when I try dresses on. So off the bridal store we shall go.

Though this will probably be me torturing whichever unfortunate associate gets stuck helping me. 😉

Him: Do you feel married yet?

Her: Not really.

Him: When do you think you will?

Her: Probably when we have our first big fight and I realize “Oh crap, I can’t leave! I have to stay and work this out.”

Shane and I had this conversation the day we got home from our honeymoon. I’m not sure why but I guess both of us were expecting some switch to flip and that we’d magically feel married. Shane does somewhat. It still doesn’t feel any different to me. (Maybe that says something about how hard of a time one of us has been giving the other? …..nah!)

In all honesty though, not much has changed. We have more activities to choose from when we’re bored at night (*wink wink*) and I am in the process of getting my last name changed. (Curse the man who decided that women had to take the husband’s last name! As if we don’t already deal with enough!) So far I have my new Social Security card and everything at my bank changed over. I’ve been putting off getting my new driver’s license because I’m vain and the picture that is on my current one is actually a really good picture. I can’t get that lucky twice! (Don’t think I didn’t hear that collective rolling of the eyes…)

Anyway….as I was saying, not much has changed. Shane and I already lived together (*gasp*) so even that isn’t new. We’ve already been working on the “How do I live with this other person who has different ideas about how things are done and what should go where and whether the clothes hang on the hanger this way or that without killing them?!” thing.

And no, I’m not kidding about the hanger issue. We have no problems with the toilet seat being up or down because we both think the seat AND the lid should be down when not in use! But he hangs his shirts with the tip of the hanger facing the left shoulder and I hang mine facing the right. And since I do most of the laundry, guess who has to remember which way to hang each piece of clothing! 😉 I know. Such a First World problem.

I’m sure we will hit snags. We are both sinners and can be selfish and eventually, that will have us fighting about something. But for now I’m thankful for my saint of a husband who didn’t kill me on Sunday when I dragged him to every store imaginable because I couldn’t find towels in the colors that I wanted. Or a dress for my cousin’s wedding. I was having quite a day.

For now I am going to enjoy our honeymoon period. And speaking of honeymoons, here are some pictures from ours!

And one from our wedding:

Shane and I got our first two “preparing for marriage books” from our pastor yesterday. One is ‘As For Me and My House’ by Walter Wangerin and the other is ‘Marriage Made in Eden’ by Alice P. Mathews and M. Gay Hubbard. However, anyone who knows me knows that when I am starting something new, I love reading and reading and reading about it.

When Shane and I started trying to figure out how to “go green” (further than recycling and even how to better recycle), I immediately went to the library and got all the books I could find on it. When I started learning to cook, I immediately started gathering all kinds of cook books. I am, at heart, a nerd and love reading about things that I get interested in.

Now obviously our marriage is not just a passing interest. This is a lifelong commitment. But I am still a nerd and still want to read everything I can. (Okay, wait….everything good. Our other pastor gave us a book full of Christian-ese crap that I already knew from growing up in church. We don’t need a book that is just telling us “Don’t have sex before you get married” and “Your marriage is you, your spouse, and God”. Yes. We know. Now tell us how to have a successful marriage.) <— side rant. Anyway, if you have read a good book that has really helped you in your relationship/marriage, please leave a comment with the title and the author. (And I want one that you have actually read. Do not recommend a book that you have not even read yourself.)

Also, even if you don’t have a book to recommend, feel free to leave any advice that has helped your relationship. (Even if it’s what not to do. 😉 )

Because we are incapable of doing anything the typical way, our wedding is not going to be very traditional. For starters, we aren’t having the big ceremony and reception this year. Shane and I don’t want to have a long engagement. We know we want to be married and there is no point on dragging it out for years. (We have nothing against people who do this, it’s just not for us.) However, I am trying to graduate by next May and don’t want to be dealing with the stress of planning a wedding in a few months on top of getting good grades. Plus this will give us time to save money and not go into debt for a one day event.

So what we are going to do is get married this coming May. We’re going to do a very small thing, without a lot of fanfare or fuss. Just family and a few close friends who have been an important part of our relationship together. It is probably going to be a 10 or 15 minute deal, no one standing up with us, no party afterward. Then NEXT year, somewhere around our first anniversary, we want to have a “vow renewal” where we do the big ceremony with everyone there and a reception afterward. This is the one that we want everyone to be at. Neither of our mothers will probably be able to come to the one this year but we want the celebration next year to be the thing that everyone puts on their calendars. (Not that our actually getting married isn’t important. That’s kind of the entire point. But it’s going to be so short and we want everyone to come have fun with us next year.)

Another thing that we’re doing differently is the “gift registry”. Shane and I have discussed this and we both feel as though there isn’t much that we need. Shane has his own house which is pretty much furnished. While new sheets and towels and dishes would be nice and pretty, we really don’t need them. We are incredibly blessed. So we have decided that we aren’t going to register for these things. We are still working out the details of what we want to do but we think it is going to involve a charity of some sort. (Which will make wording invitations that much more fun! I’m sure Emily Post will be having my hide.)

That’s really all we know for now. We will keep you updated as we figure more things out!

Last night, Shane and I went to the Pink Tie Ball which is a fundraiser to support breast cancer awareness and research. We had gone last year and had a great time so we wanted to go again. At one point I had thought to myself that it would be cool if Shane proposed at the ball. But because of how we got my ring, I thought it wouldn’t be until March or April. So I was completely shocked.

I told Shane that he could propose after we took our vacation to LA last November. I wanted to make sure that we traveled well together and that he didn’t stress out easily and lose his mind over little things. (That, apparently, is my job. :-P) But we traveled just fine together so I told him that I was comfortable with us getting married. This began his four month search to find a ring for me.

We had gone to a number of jewelry stores, just looking to see what was out there, and I was so not impressed. I found the rings to be ugly (looking more like a class ring than an engagement ring) or they just didn’t wow me. I wanted a ring that I would love, since I have to wear it for the rest of my life. I ended up finding two rings online that looked like flowers that I thought were really cool and told Shane that if he could get one of those or something similar, that was what I wanted.

He tried to get both rings and neither were available. He searched for about 40 hours trying to find someone that had something similar with no luck. So he decided that he was going to have to get my ring custom made. This began a whole process of finding someone who would do custom work, finding a diamond that both he and I liked, finding someone who would set the diamond, etc.  Four months, six jewelers, and four labs later, he finally had the ring.

He got the ring on Friday, after cracking the whip on these people to get them to beat their usual 8-10 week time frame. After the design had been finalized, he got them to get the ring done in 2 weeks instead of 2 months. I knew he was getting the ring custom made and had some say in the design. But I thought we were stuck with the 2 month time frame, so I was completely shocked when he had the ring at the ball.

We got to the ball and walked around looking at the items they were auctioning off to raise research support. Then we wandered off to look around the Scottish Rite Cathedral. It is a beautiful place with multiple ballrooms so we snuck off to a dark empty one. Shane started dancing with me (which is what we had done last year in the same empty ballroom) but what I didn’t know what that he was working on getting the ring out of his pocket so he could propose.

Earlier that night, I had taken the ring that he gave me for Christmas in 2008 and put it on my left ring finger as a joke. He started laughing and asked if I was going to be his fake fiancee for the night. So when we stopped dancing, he said “Will you stop being my fake fiancee?” I thought he just wanted me to move the ring to my other hand so I was like “Oookay”. Then he said “Will you be my real fiancee?” At first I thought he was just joking around but then in the faint light I saw a flash of metal and realized he was holding a ring. I was all “Is that really it? Is it done?” He grinned and said “Will you marry me?” I started to cry a little and hugged him and kissed him. Then I realized I hadn’t actually given him an answer so I said “yes”. Then we walked out into the light so I could actually see my ring that he worked so hard on.

The diamond is a lab grown blue diamond. Shane and I both feel very strongly about not supporting blood diamonds and since 90% of the diamond industry is owned by one company, we didn’t want to give them money even for a conflict-free diamond. I also love the fact that the diamond is blue which would have been next to impossible had it been a mined diamond.

So that is the story in a nutshell. I had absolutely no idea that he had the ring and was going to propose last night and since I am very hard to surprise, he did a very good job. 🙂 We couldn’t be happier and our families support us completely. Both of our moms said that we seemed “perfect for each other”. 🙂

Wedding date is yet to be determined. We have my school schedule to take into consideration, which of course throws a huge kink in things. But we’ll work it out. 🙂

Listening: ‘Mixed Bizness’ by Beck

Enjoying: Ro’s and my getaway car. 😉

Thinking: The world does not need me bearing children…

How to Annoy Me: Go out and buy expensive toys for yourself when your family is living off of food stamps. It is crap like this that makes me go “No, that’s okay. Singleness is fantastic!”

How to Charm Me: Dub me “tiny dancer”. 😀

Quote of the Day: I don’t think God will tell anyone they loved too much or judged too little. – Anne Marie Goodrich

1000 Words: daily-21

Listening: ‘Better In Time’ by Leona Lewis

Reading: ‘Dr. George Bebawi Lectures on Islam’ (Dude…google George’s name sometime…)

Thinking: Still not sure how I feel about putting toilet paper on the cross.

How to Annoy Me: I’m not going to say because it would be blogging at someone even though I doubt they read my blog. I just need to let it go. Again.

How to Charm Me: Hug me tight, tell me I’m a divine beauty, and that American boys are blind if I’m not married. And then offer to marry me. 😀 I love George.

Quote of the Day: Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. – C. S. Lewis