Easter/Wedding Weekend

I have a brand new sister-in-law! Matt’s youngest brother married one of my favourite people in the world on Saturday. It was the first time in ages that all six boys were together, and I was a bridesmaid, so we tried our hardest to balance childcare and fun between the two of us.

Wedding

Lucky for us, M did great with abandoning her carefully maintained bedtime schedule and routine for the weekend. She had one exhausted screaming session when we attempted to go out for dinner, but after that she was a-okay. She even stayed up late for the wedding, and warmed up to Matt’s aunties completely, allowing him to socialize a bit, too. We’re so grateful for all of the family who chipped in throughout the weekend.

In terms of Easter, we didn’t do much. I had a little basket for the baby on Sunday, containing socks, a sunhat, some bibs and a bag of M&Ms for us. I figured it’d be the last time the bunny could get away with bringing socks! My stepmother-in-law sent over some grown-up candy, too, which we demolished pretty quickly. Usually, Easter is our time to come out of hibernation, but there’s still a ton of snow on the ground this year — we even got stuck in the hair salon driveway on the morning of the wedding, and needed the hairdresser’s husband to push us out!

Aside from the wedding we had an impromptu BBQ here, and another dinner last night. It’s been a lot of fun having people over and hopefully it’s a preview to what we can do this summer (which will be even better, once the firepit area thaws out!).

Family has been gradually heading home since Sunday morning, and we said goodbye to the last brother this morning. There were a few people we didn’t get to see on their way out, but that just means we have some visiting to do the next time around! We had an awesome time, all around, and can’t wait for the next party. I’m dying to see wedding photos, too — we actually got some full family photos which are a rarity!

One Down

One year ago yesterday, I pledged to, amongst other things, not follow Matt around Canadian Tire complaining.

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I remarked, after breakfast on Sunday, that it seemed fitting how we were spending our actual anniversary — visiting every single hardware store in Dryden, in which I dutifully looked at — and discussed the merits of — various trims, toilets, carbon monoxide detectors, interior thermometers, woodstoves and woodstove accessories… oh, and I bought Matt a splitting maul. And then I carried it in the house. 😉

We had our fancy celebration the evening before. Delicious food (note to anyone local: the walleye at the Riverview is likely the best fish I’ve ever had — it was better than the steak, and I don’t even really like fish that much), a bubble bath for me (possibly the best part of the night if you ask my sore body), a fireplace and king sized bed, ciders and conversations and reflections.

But of course, there’s a balance to be found. You can’t spend every day dining on gnocchi and luxuriating. You also can’t spend every day looking at toilets, metaphorically speaking. The last year has been full of change, learning, and growth — figuratively and literally, in my case.

I would say that every day we get better, but truthfully, we don’t. Some days it’s all ‘will you PLEASE stop coughing I am exhausted’ or ‘can you just leave me be so I can get stuff done?!’ But overall, all the time, we’re becoming a bit more patient, a bit more kind, a bit more lenient and forgiving.

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Guest Post: On Marriage

Catherine blogs at Cakewalk, and I’m pretty sure she’s who I want to be when I grow up. Her writing exudes wisdom, so when she mentioned using her decade-long marriage to give advice to newlyweds (like me!) as a blog topic, I was excited to see what she’d come up with. It’s great advice — and she was a gorgeous bride!

Ryan and I have been married for ten years, but since we met in high school, we’ve known each other for almost twenty.  I can’t believe it’s been that long, but sometimes, it feels like we’ve been together forever.  I don’t consider myself particularly romantic, and I’m by no means a relationship expert, but, after sharing my life with someone else for quite a while, I’ve found a few things that work well, at least for us.  There’s nothing earth-shattering or even unique about my suggestions, so please take them with a grain of salt. Congratulations on this part of your journey, Shayla, and I wish you and Matt a wonderful day!

Always Apologize:
Love Story got it wrong, in my opinion, and if you really love someone, then you should always apologize when you’ve hurt them.  This definitely applies when you’re married, and it can make such a difference when you are trying to work out a disagreement, which will definitely happen.  I also think it’s okay to apologize even when you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, because it might be just what your spouse needs to hear.  Marriage is a huge commitment and takes a lot of work, and being able to give a little will save a lot of heartache.  Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, so being strong enough to admit that to the person you love most in the world is absolutely essential.

Pee with the Door Shut:
I know it sounds crazy, but just trust me on this one!  Living with someone for the rest of your lives obviously involves tons of intimacy and a lack of privacy, and I really think it’s important to keep some things a mystery.  Sure, Ryan witnessed the births of both our sons and he knows I sometimes wear “support undergarments,” but he doesn’t have to know absolutely every single little thing I do, in the bathroom or anywhere else, for that matter.  I’m not suggesting that you keep secrets from your spouse, but I do think it’s okay to keep him guessing, just a little, and he should do the same for you.  Plus, nobody really likes bathroom noises, no matter how much they love you.

Spend Time Apart:
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “For better or worse, but never for lunch,” and I tend to agree with its message.  Just as it’s important to put each other first and spend time together, it’s also necessary to live your own lives and take time apart, doing things you love and spending time with friends.  To be totally honest, Ryan and I have very little in common, as far as shared interests, and I think this has been really beneficial to our marriage.  We don’t share the same taste in movies, he’s really into homebrewing (I don’t drink), and I love to blog (a solitary activity).  Still, we make time to spend together, and being apart gives us more to talk about.

Laugh:
If you don’t follow any of my other suggestions, please take this one to heart.  Marriage is serious business, and with it comes a whole load of family issues and responsibilities, so if you don’t keep a sense of humor about it all, you will literally go crazy.  When things get really harried around our house, which is often with two little boys, Ryan and I will just look at each other and crack up, because it’s the only sane thing to do.  When times are tough or you’re mad at each other, put something funny on television and watch it.  I promise it will make things easier, and you’ll be spending time together along the way.  Ryan’s sense of humor is one of his best traits, and our ability to laugh, both with and at each other, has seen us through some hard stuff.

That’s my sage advice for any couple contemplating marriage, for whatever it’s worth.  Being married is an experience that, with a little elbow grease on the part of both partners, can truly be a wonderful thing!

Blogging for Weddingbee

I’ve been keeping in some exciting news since Family Day (February 20 for you non-Ontarians out there)! Everything is in place now, so I can freely share. I’m Miss Dragon on Weddingbee!

Some of you (most of you) are probably now scratching your heads and wondering what the eff I’m talking about. Allow me to explain.

Back in September I started a separate wedding blog, mainly to keep my ramblings about flowers and dresses and invitations from taking over everything else on this blog. In January, I sent in an application to Weddingbee, which hosts a multitude of bloggers from all over the world who write specifically about planning their weddings, followed by recaps of the wedding itself.

I didn’t tell anyone I applied because I didn’t think I’d get accepted — most of the bloggers are American or European, though there are a few Canadians (but even at that, the Canucks are generally from major centres like Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary). I did not in a million years think our little backyard shenanigans coming from our middle-of-nowhere town would make the cut!

It took just over four weeks for them to respond and about three weeks in I gave in and told Matt I had applied to be a wedding blogger, namely because the wait was killing me and I had to tell someone. On Family Day we were lazing around in bed and I had just finished explaining a bit more about the site to him when my phone buzzed with the email letting me know I was in! Between then and now they’ve been working on my alias icon (Miss Dragon!) and I’ve been getting my old blog posts updated and properly sourced (I didn’t realize how terrible of an image sourcer I was prior to this!). If you go to the front page of the site my introduction is live, and my actual posts under my name should start up soon.

I’m really excited that my blogging is going to be shown to such a huge audience. I’m also kind of terrified but I’ve been trying to remind myself to just keep doing what I was doing when it was only a handful of people reading my posts.

That being said, if you’re curious and want to read about our wedding, feel free to check it out! The posts going up now will look familiar to anyone who followed along on my old wedding blog but new content will start going up as soon as the archives are finished.