Friday, December 31, 2010

looking to november...

A really quick follow-up, wondering if it's too late to change my blog name to something completely different. I feel like since we're not getting married April 2012, 'Looking to April' is deceptive and doesn't make sense any more...

But I can't think of anything else right now. Suggestions?? (and I'm not keen on "Looking to November"!!)

omg he's wearing sneakers to a wedding....!

I snapped at a girl at work today.
A girl who is completely infatuated with a man she's known for 6 months, where she's decided the date they'll be getting engaged, that they'll be having a 100k wedding (yes, $100,000), she's picked out the ring she wants, etc... It's all very fast, and she's not yet 21. Eek. Anyway, this isn't the point, because that's fine- you have the right to do what you want, and what makes you happy, and good on you... which is the point.

She was looking at, I assume, wedding blogs today. Or pictures of weddings. Or something. And I hear from across the room:
"Oh, they're a really gorgeous couple. Don't you think? Look, he's so handsome... and she's pretty too. Don't they make a really pretty couple...?" Silence for a minute then a shrill shriek; "Oh, she's SO ugly!!! And she's not wearing makeup!! Why wouldn't you wear makeup to your wedding!? Don't you think she's ugly?!!?" (this to another coworker, who responds: "Um... I think she looks fine...") "Well, I don't understand why you wouldn't wear makeup to your wedding. Yuck." And I'm thinking: I don't see the problem with it...
Then there's silence for a while longer.... and I hear another shriek.
"OH MY GOD.... he's wearing SNEAKERS to his WEDDING. What an IDIOT!!! Why would you do that?? You can't do that!! You can't wear SNEAKERS.... to a WEDDING!!! That's just so stupid!!"
At which point, I had to chime in.
I said: "He can wear whatever he wants to his wedding. It's his wedding. That's the point. If he wants to wear sneakers he can wear sneakers if it makes him happy. You don't HAVE to do anything at a wedding. There's no rules, you have to do what YOU want or it's not your wedding. Nic wants to wear converse to our wedding, and that's awesome."
I laugh.
"I take it from the silence that you're unimpressed."
She says; "... SERIOUSLY... You're going to let him wear converse?!?!?!"
"Sure. If he wants to, why the hell not?"

And it just made me cringe. The blatant judgements, the shunning of these women on their beautiful wedding day for something she doesn't deem appropriate. No wonder the Wedding Industrial Complex is what it is, and there's such criticism of women by women. We're always judging. It's impossible to turn off, I think, but jeez it peeved me off. Just because your wedding will cost $100k doesn't mean ours has to. Just because you want heels doesn't mean I do. And you know what? My wedding, my MARRIAGE isn't going to be any less kick-assingly-awesome because of it!! In fact, I'll probably have a more awesome time because of it. Feet not killing me from wearing heels? Check. Budgets in-tack after wedding? Check. Happy FH who got to wear wicked shoes? Check. I think I'll take that, and you can keep your criticisms to yourself, if that's quite alright.

(And by the way, I have nothing against people wearing heels, or not wearing chucks, or whatever... but I hate the idea that things are going to be worse because of, or despite those things..It's so insignificant, surely.)
(Also whenever I write WIC I think "Walk in closet")

Putting some awesome pictures below the cut just to prove my point.

reality sets in..

Despite the title of this post, I'm actually really enjoying the sense of 'realness' that having a date has brought. It's funny, the ring didn't do it, the announcement didn't do it, even trying on dresses didn't do it (maybe because I knew we were only there to see what styles I liked, and would never have bought one, particularly for $4k+)... but now, a girl at work has been asking me about this and that to do with the wedding and I'm airing my ideas. My left-of-centre, not traditional, totally us ideas that until this point had been only that: ideas... and now it's sort of like; hey, we can actually do these things. And they're not crazy, really. They're seeing each other before the ceremony, going to a walk together, having pies instead of a cake, they're not wearing heels and maybe having a dress with green on it, having bridespeople instead of restricting it to gender. They're Nic asking if we have to walk down an aisle, and couldn't we instead meet each other in the middle, coming in from the sides, and me saying: sure, why not!? I'm speaking them aloud and seeing reactions and realizing that we can actually do this...

Isn't it funny where the turning point happens? I read a lot of blogs and some of them say it's when they first tried on dresses... for me, it was simply choosing a Saturday, and deciding on that.

I know probably only Nic reads this, but if anyone else drops by, did you have a 'penny drop' moment that was unusual?

Since I haven't announced any of this on Facebook, of course my mother is nowhere to be seen, nor has she been the least bit excited or interested in it. Much like the rest of our lives. Hurrah. Enough of that! 2011 is nearly upon us!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

and it all works out so perfectly...

Exciting news!!

I think we have a date!
It's the most 'set in concrete' date we've had, and it feels good. Really good. A bit frightening because it seems as though 'holy hell, this is actually happening'... but also really exciting. And real. Before it had all been a long way off in the future and  something we didn't need to worry about right now (and it's still just under 2 years off) BUT... there's a discernible length of time now. I can say, hey, it's 97 weeks, or 22 months (holy crap)... but now I don't feel so bad looking at wedding dresses (must loose weight) or wedding bands... or town halls, or talking about writing vows or about fairy lights, or considering having a vegetarian menu.
So here it is:

And by the way that date blows my mind. First of all.. check it out. it's awesome. People will be going ga-ga over 12/12/12, but I think 10-11-12 is pretty awesome too... Nic took a little convincing on that BUT his argument was: why have it on a special day? And I say: Why not? Why have it on some random-ass day? Why NOT have it on a kickassly numerical date? Plus we won't forget it... PLUS it's 3 years to the day that he arrived in Aus to be with me, PLUS it's a Saturday, and it's in the timeframe we wanted anyway.
So.... that is awesome.
Tomorrow is NYE... I don't think we're doing anything. Lame? Maybe. But I feel worn out and like I'd rather stay home and hang with the family. Yup.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

friends, dates and life changing...

Last night I traipsed across this site,, which is basically full of a bunch of dodgy 'spiritual' groups, supposedly teaching people how to 'live their best life' (my mum would benefit from joining some of them, no doubt), groups for men wanting to 'attract the most amazing women', and then some little ones for people who like hiking and walking, kayaking, for 20-something women wanting more friends, french speakers, ex-pat Canadians, etc. So I joined a couple. The more I think about it, the less satisfied I am with my group of friends. I have them, and they're awesome, but I don't see any of them regularly (except from the Uni girls, and a few of them are finishing this year so I won't see them in March), and I just don't feel that close. I think about my 'wedding party' or whatever terminology I'll end up using, and feel like I'd be picking bridespeople just because they're people I get along with, and not because I'm hugely close and want to share all my secrets with them over a tub of icecream.

Monday, December 27, 2010

on being normal... or why I don't get smashed at work parties.

Just before Christmas there were two Christmas parties for work- one for the whole company, so where a couple of hundred people I don't know would have gone to get drunk and try and sleep with one another.
The other party was just for our section of the company, so Nic wouldn't have been allowed to come. There was two hours of free drinks provided.

The first, people didn't mind so much that I didn't go, because hardly anyone from our team went. The second, I'd given an indication that I might go, but only until finished work (so I'd be there from about 4.30 to 6ish, then we'd leave. We were driving home together). I don't really drink. They tend to have 'drinks runs' at work on Friday arvo, where people spend their pay on a 6 pack (or whatever), drink it at work, then go home. I don't think I've ever bought drinks in a drinks run. I don't go out, and I never really have. So I'm getting pressure from co-workers to go to this party, get smashed, go crazy. I go, I'll say, but not for long. To which they give me a look. Like I'm being deprived.
When I said I didn't think I'd go to one girl, she looks astonished and says: "Just come out and be SOCIAL!"
And I think about the coffee I'd had with a friend the evening before and wonder how or why that is any less social than going out, getting so intoxicated that you don't make any sense, make a fool of yourself, fall asleep in a pile of drool, and wake up not remembering a thing. Because let's face it, that's what they're taking about. It's not a sophisticated wine at a clean bar somewhere- it's a divey pub with sticky floors.
Maybe I should have gone and said hello, but then as soon as I said I was leaving, I would have gotten the same treatment.
In the end, I was watching people getting ready- a flurry of activity as girls madly straightened their hair in the bathroom, boys smoked outside and cracked open their third can of JD and coke (at 4.30pm, mind you)... and then girls started applying concealer to mosquito bites on their legs. These girls are married and engaged. And they're worried about a couple of red spots on their legs. For a party in a room with minimal lighting where nobody could care less. This was the point I decided 'enough is enough', and very quietly made my exit.

Because here's the thing. By leaving early, my life could continue like this:

Nic drives me home, we have a chat about our day, some nice time with just the two of us (not having to shout over music or getting drinks spilled on us), as we ponder over dinner and miss our furkids.
We get home, greeted happily by Mallei who has been inside all day and is just mega-stoked to see us, but really needs to pee. The kitten hasn't figured out how the front door yet, so gets stuck behind it again, and we have a laugh. We bustle inside and head out almost immediately to take Mal for a walk in the last of the sunshine for the day. This is another nice time for just the two of us to talk and relax and unwind. We head home. Nic starts on dinner while I feed the animals, then spend some time playing with Reya and Mal. We eat, relax, watch an episode of one of our tv shows, then head to bed at about 10 or 10.30 where we cuddle up and talk about nothing for another half an hour as the kitten races around and plays in the bath, skidding around corners and 'glomping' up and down the hall. Mal sighs from his bed, like he's too old for this crap, but is secretly fascinated by Reya's antics. And then we go to sleep. If it's a friday night, we have a sleep in till about 8, and then have the whole day to get out and about, to run or cycle or paddle, to cook or garden or go shopping, or whatever we want...

I think the alternative- of succumbing to pressure and 'getting smashed' at the party- would have been much less enjoyable. I'm just sick of that being the norm, and for me being weird or unsociable for not wanting to go down that route. Were it not for work, I wouldn't speak to or socialize with any of those people, so why is making a fool of myself in front of them apparently a prerequisite for a harmonious work environment? I know, I could go out and only have a drink or two, but then there's still the 'party-pooper' mentality if I try and leave before I'm completely off my face.

Grow up, people. There's more to life than that.
 (and I'm not just saying that because I'm a soon-to-be-grumpy-old-wife ;) )

Sunday, December 26, 2010

imaginary conversations.

Nic is in the kitchen with Reya on his shoulder, making coffee.
He says: "No, you can't go down, benchtops aren't for kittens..." (my rule)
In a higher, squeaky voice: "But they might be!"
He says: "No. They're not."

It was just gloriously adorable.

[Edit again: Nic, opening the fridge and talking to the dog: "There's food coming out of everywhere Mal! It's packed to the gills!!"
Nic, in low grumbly, grumpy 'Mallei' voice: "You're packed to the gills, Nic."]

[Edit again with the addition of below movie: I love our kids...]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

so this is christmas...

merry christmas!

Nic and I started the day with our new breakfast tradition and had tasty healthy pancakes made with wholemeal flour, oats, yoghurt, milk, eggs and a little butter, plus fresh blueberries and maple syrup we bought in Vermont. Yum.

We opened our presents from the stockings then went to Grandma's (Mum's side) for our traditional christmas lunch, only without the normal seafood assortment.

Friday, December 24, 2010

actually something related to a wedding!

Oo, a wedding-related update! Keeping in mind my tendency to trail into tangents at a moment's notice and end up writing about the kitten (who, by the way, is just fricken adorable)(and about whom I get mocked regularly because apparently I was a self-proclaimed cat-hater... I would argue I never went that far, more that I just prefer dogs... I'm more a dog person than a cat person, but hey, my kitten seems about as close to a dog as I could hope. Does she wrestle with Mallei, despite his 200% difference in weight? Why yes, yes she does. Does she kamakazee fearlessly into everything? Yup. Is she unflinching when we drop something noisy or sneeze? Sure is. And at the same time, is she cat enough? Lap sleeping- check (and neck, shoulder, chest, shins...), purring (LOUD)- check, leaping- check, riding around on our shoulders like a parrot? check. In all, she's awesome, moving on). Also, apologies for my extended use of parentheses (I know them as brackets, but parentheses sounds more fancy, despite the fact that I had to look up the term to make sure I wasn't going to look a fool).

Moving on to the actual point of this post (and hidden so Nic won't read it accidentially. Yes, that means stop now, love.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

i keep forgetting what i want to write about...

So I keep having ideas about things to write about here, but then I forget.
Which is a little bit useless.

Today is my last day at work until next wednesday. The opportunity to take friday off came up so I took it. Things are very casual at work at the moment before x-mas, which is nice..

I found a really lovely dress that I like, though it seems a little bit silly to be doing wedding-prep/wedding-planning 2 or 3 years before we're thinking of having it. I'm also bummed out because the designer is in Seattle, apparently lovely, and I was just THERE and didn't KNOW about her, or I would have gone. Argh! Anyway, it's the Wai Ching Eucalyptus dress. I like it because it has colour, it's pretty and silky, but also has some lace, sort of, it's fitted through the hips but then goes out in a flowy skirt, it can be made with a sweetheart neckline, it isn't exorbitant in price, and it looks pretty. Isn't that enough reason? So I need to find someone in Seattle who has the same measurements as me (ie: hip to waist to bust ratio) who can go try it on and see if it looks good.
That may be problematic but I figure there's a bunch of lovely wedding communities with members who should, in theory, be happy to help me out!

Nic and I are trying to put together out Christmas plans. We're locked into lunch with Mum's side of the family... Nic's family have a tradition of going for an hour long walk after Christmas lunch, and Christmas stockings- both of which we're going to adopt. While we were in North America, it felt super Christmassy because it was cold- suitable weather for the season! When we got back here it was warm(ish) and tropical- not very like the season. So we were complaining about that. Then I had a thought: We're not going to be in Australia forever (hopefully), therefore, we're not going to have warm Christmasses forever... so maybe we should make the most of it and do something that you can ONLY do in an Australian (or Southern Hemisphere) Christmas, like kayaking or swimming. So we're going to do that at some point- perhaps Boxing Day... And we want to have a special breakfast, as our own tradition that we're starting. Plus presents for the furkids, of course.
So that's how our Christmas is going to go- our little family, new traditions, old traditions, food, my family, a bit of exercise and getting outdoors (if it's not boiling hot, which it shouldn't be), and probably relaxing at night, maybe some salad for dinner. That sounds good to me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

another for today...

I feel a change in the air.
I can't explain what- whether it's something in me, spurring me on to join the gym and do some yoga classes (finally), or to keep in touch with girlfriends (now that I finally have a couple), or whether it's just being back in warm weather which, let's face it, is always a good excuse to be more proactive about life... Plus I get to eat fruit (stone fruit! Yum) with abandon, and suggest salads as a suitable dinner option because it's not 10 degrees outside and soup makes much more sense.

Yesterday we bought our chicken from the chicken shop, after I'd had a couple of moments while in North Am over where my meat was from. Nic and I are pretty close to vegetarianism- we just use chicken as a staple part of a lot of our meals, we have ham in our rolls and we love bacon on occasion. While we were in North Am we got some (exquisitely delicious) pork ribs and I looked down and there were the ribs of a whole pig shared between Nic and I. (Maybe not so much but it was a LOT). And I thought: My god. This pig gave up its life just so we could have this meal. And I felt horrible. Another time I had a lobster pie, and the meat from the claws was still in the shape of the claws and I thought: Jeez... this was a real animal. Sometimes it's easy to forget- you can't really picture where a chicken breast GOES once it has no skin and feathers and bones attached, and drumsticks don't look anything like legs, and bacon is just meat, hey? But the point was, we came back wanting to try and be a little more ethical about our meat, knowing there's only so many beans and lentils we can eat, and still liking protein and bacon too much... So we found our chicken at the chicken shop because it's free range, grain fed, no chemical processing, hopefully more happy chickens. We'd buy things at the farmers market but it's so, so expensive. So that will have to wait until we both have real jobs. On that note, I desperately want one of these. Because they're cool, and I want to grow year-round fruit and I don't want to have to wait 3 years and for the trees to get too big and to wait until I own my own house so I can actually plant them. These guys are meant to stay little! Nic would be able to reach the tall branches. And I could eat my own apricots and peaches. Yum!!

I also feel like I'm still stuck here at work, doing this crappy job for a crappy wage. The other day we did a 'focus group' where they asked what was keeping us with the company, and I said I stay because if I need to work only 5 hours a week, I can. Then, if I want to work full time, I can. I'd love to somehow work from home though, or start up a business, I just don't know what it is yet. I feel there's a distinct lack of 'indie-friendly' wedding stuff in Aus. I feel that the idea of the 'perfect wedding' is still really big and if you want a left-of-center dress, you'll struggle to find it... Or if you want to get married outside somewhere you have to know somebody with land.. Maybe I need to learn to sew... that being said, wedding dresses probably require a bit of work, and a short course in dress making mightn't be quite enough!!! I'll keep thinking on it- maybe I'm just disappointed in what I've found so far.

maybe not April after all...

Nic and I have been talking a lot lately about where we're going to live.

I finish Uni in October next year (2011), and obviously hope to secure a job for 2012. We've moved away from the idea of going to Canada straight away, as trying to transfer my qualifications to BC will be difficult/impossible without having some teaching experience. Which leaves us here. We're dissatisfied with Victoria and have spoken about the ACT, and more recently about NSW. Some of the coast of NSW could be really interesting- a mix of small beachside towns or small cities, with mountains and bush not too far away. It depends on the type though, and on the towns. We've been thinking we may need an epic road-trip up the coast and through Canberra at some point in order to help us decide (we also need to go back to Townsville to see my Dad, and want to visit NZ and Tasmania at some point. There's a lot of travelling we need to do!) if and where we might like to spend the next year or two, or three, or whatever.

Which, of course, brings up an interesting and difficult proposition: If we move, say in December 2011, to another state... A wedding in the middle of being planned for April 2012 in Victoria may be problematic. Same thing if we wanted to have it in October or November 2012; if we're living out of Victoria, ok, it's doable, but I bet it's more stressful... that being said, if my Grandparents are around, having a wedding in Vic would be accessable to them... but only if it's within 30 mins of their house... so, that rules out anywhere we'd like to go. Now we're toying with the idea of 2013, particularly since Nic's family and friends are all overseas, and therefore would need to send invites at least a year in advance, so they can buy a ticket here... which means we don't have much time to decide where and when we want to do it, and we're just not in a position to do that yet.

That being said, whenever people ask me when the wedding is going to be and I say: "Not for at least 2 years", nobody seems surprised, or like that's an extrordinarily long time... Now if I say three years, that might be different! But it's ok.

Tell you what though, sometimes I'm seriously tempted by elopement.

Friday, December 17, 2010

and they asked, why?

When I told the people at work that I was engaged, this is what they said:

"Really? But why?"

So, I get it. I'm working with kids (figuratively, not literally (yet)). With people who love going out every weekend and getting sh-faced, and when they can't remember what they did Saturday night, it must have been a good night. We get paid every second thursday, and quite often they're 'broke' by Monday, and (god forbid) barely able to buy cigarettes on the wednesday before pay day. They are drifters, who don't know what they want to do. Maybe they'll become a Team Leader (of a team in the call center), because, well, they've worked on the phones for long enough that that's probably the next logical step. They complain about the pay, the customers, and job, but they stay on because it's easy, and if you do ok, you'll get $23 an hour and hey, that buys a lot of booze. Sometimes they leave. Six months later they'll be back, as though nothing happened.
I work here too, right? But for me, it's always been a time-filler. It will have filled 3 years in Feb. That's a little ridiculous, but it's been what it needed to be: A way to save money for my trip to Europe, a way to get out of school for a year or 2 and just make money, work full time, meet people. A way to work very little while I do my Masters, by being flexible enough to let me work when I want. A group of us 'oldbies' did a 'point of view' survey yesterday. One of the aspects we brainstormed was on 'Belonging'- what makes you stay within the company and within the project? My brutally honest answer: the fact that I can work 5 or 10 hours a week while I'm at school. That I can take 2 weeks unpaid leave for teaching rounds. That I can work full time over winter and summer holidays. That I can still take 6 weeks leave and know I have a job to come back to.

But it only just stuck me, 2 months after my engagement to Nic, that some people here had asked why. Not everybody, that'd be a generalisation. But enough.
Why do we do anything? Why date somebody? Why work here? Why move house, or get married or have children either? Some of those have logical answers of course, but why get engaged? I still don't know what the answer to that is meant to be.
Because I want to?
Because I like him? (I love him, this is just a bit of an inside joke)
Because I'm happy?

Because we want to get married, eventually?

I don't know- are you MEANT to have an answer to that question? It's not really a question you get asked! I didn't think so, anyway.
Who knows, maybe they were trying to suss out if I was pregnant or something.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

All it was, condensed.

Our first mountain views...

 Sunsets, mountains, ocean and pebble beaches...

 A story I told for the whole trip about high-5ing a raccoon. So out of my world; this was the first time I'd seen raccoons, and here I was with one grabbing at my hand.
Pulling faces, making inside jokes...

Falling in love with  mountain scenery...

An otter winking at us on our second last day.

I suppose I'm just feeling a little sad that it's all over. I think that's understandable.

the adventure that was, post-trip slump, being back in the real world...

So I'm back.

After 6 weeks of travelling through North America with Nic, we're back at home, back at work, soon to be back at Uni.

And I'm not going to write about the trip (This is a lie. I write about the trip, but not in a Day 1:... Day 2:... sort of way, but much more fragmented) because it would take too long, and be too vague, or too mechanical- I'll distance myself and make it about the facts: We went here, we saw this, we ate that... rather than everything else it was.
I tell people it was full on. And it was.
We drove a couple of thousand kms on the wrong side of the road, through ice, snow, sleet, pouring rain and glorious sun... we stood in countless airport queues, removed our shoes, got patted down, fought for seats, and had four to ourself on the flight home, so we stretched out and slept.
We took 2 ferries... no, 3 ferries! We played cards, watched Criminal Minds in a dozen hotel rooms. We made jokes about the sheer ridiculousness of King sized beds, and how we lost each other in them. I cried over dinner, we taught Bananagrams to our family. We met cats, horses, a llama, dogs, eagles, otters, children, teenagers, brothers and sisters-in-law, friends and random people in airport lines. We searched for moose and didn't see any. We ate breakfasts, stole bagels for lunch, shared dinners and had terrible service because of it. We ate about a hundred bagels between us.
We shopped.
We shopped for boots. So many boot shops.
I lost a magnet that I then cried over losing. Then I found it. Then I lost it again (and still haven't found it again). We walked cobbled streets, J-walked, ran, hunched against rain and wind, sunk in snow, slid on icy trails, went under and overground. I took about 57 photos of squirrels, fat, thin and white. And about the same amount of photos of seagulls.
We saw landmarks but didn't pay for the privledge of entering them. We did a lot of things by the cheap, for free, or just refused to pay (honestly Parks Quebec? We're not paying). We discovered the joy of included breakfasts and still had oatmeal. I became thoroughly addicted to coffee. We ate national or regional 'specialities' - Poutine in Quebec, Tim Horton's all over Canada (best doughnuts ever), a 'butter burger' in Madison, WI, deep fried cheese curds (also Madison, WI)(and OMG delicious), a Criff dog in NYC, bagels in NYC, falafel in NYC... in fact, we just ate a LOT, in NYC. A&W burgers in Canada, pretzels and canelonis from the Green Market in Union Square (again, NYC)...
We contemplated the future as we knew this was our 'scouting trip' of where we wanted to live one day. We watched as our plans for Montreal and QC went down the drain as we intensly disliked the province, and contemplated Vancouver and BC.
I metaphorically fell down, Nic metaphorically picked me up. I planned, Nic fixed. We were barely a moment apart, and if we were, it was in clothes stores where we'd meet up in change rooms with the catch-cry "Bananas?!", people be damned if they think we're weird.

Then we came home.
And we rearranged the lounge on our first day back, after 36 hours in Transit (SEA-PHO PHO-LAX LAX-AUK AUK-MEL Sky bus, train, drive home). After all, what keeps you awake and active like a bit of unpacking a bookshelf, sliding it to every available wall in the loungeroom on towels, finally agreeing on a place, and re-packing and arranging it? We visited kittens. We tried to sleep in, but woke up at 5.30am as our body-clocks figured it was 8.30am (very strange time difference). We tried to get used to being home, to walking Mallei, to shopping at the supermarket again... to not having somewhere to go and something to do and see every single day. To unpacking, sorting through photos and trying to select those which would best represent everything that we'd seen, and the more I uploaded and selected, the more I felt the trip condensing down into those little moments- the moments which probably meant least of all. They weren't the first glimpse of mountains as we drove up the Sea to Sky highway, or the moment Margo and I saw each other through the window of the Moroccan restaraunt, or the mad attempt to navigate Boston's freeways, or me layering up in literally 6 layers of the warmest stuff I could find just so we could go for a Post-Thanksgiving walk in -10C Madison... They were snippets of time, of scenery that I could fit in a frame... And it's not that I don't love the pictures I have, but I suppose I wish they were more. Maybe I'm just too used to them, having gone through, edited, gone through again and flagged, gone through to upload, to show Mum, to show Nic, until I forget about the rest of them...

And we've been trying to get used to being us again. To not relying on one another in the same way. To not looking forward to every single day the way that we were. To having no money, to paying off credit cards and bills, and going back to work and not being together all the time. We got a kitten last wednesday (08/12), so we're trying to fit this ball of fluff into our routine. It's proving more difficult than I thought because she's adorable... so we have to be careful not to ignore Mallei... which means we end up zoning out from each other. And that's been really hard. But we're ok- we admit these things to each other, and then we feel better. I feel in a way that we should have waited to get the kitten, Reya, but she's perfect- she's exactly what we wanted from a kitten, and hopefully she'll grow up to be what we wanted from a cat! It just means that our 'going back to routine' has been interupted and changed...

It's funny because I thought on the trip that being on the trip would be the hardest part for me and Nic. The stress, strain, and constantly being with one another would be bound to cause a fight. And it didn't. Not once. I got so tired once and was being picky about what to eat that we got annoyed at each other in the supermarket and that's when I cried... but it was ok. In the grand scheme of things it was absolutely nothing... It's been coming home, settling in, being 'normal', not adventuring that's been hard.

I've been reading APW a lot lately from work, and there's a lot of discussion about weddings and the marriages that follow... And I think it's probably similar, in a way. You have such a huge lead up to this amazing, fun, incredible event, then you probably have a Honeymoon, which is great, and fun, and amazing... and then you go back to 'the real world', and deal with work, and finances, and stress... and you have to get through that and make it work. That's what's happening now.

And I'm still in two minds about this wedding. I would love to have my idea of a wedding- the fun, relaxed, outdoor, breezy, tree-surrounded event with family and friends smiling and dancing and singing around a bonfire... but I don't feel that much love from my Mum's side of the family right now... and Dad's side are everywhere in Australia, and Nic's family are just -everywhere-, and my family won't meet Nic's family until wedding time, which isn't that big a deal I suppose... And then I don't feel like I have enough close friends. I have friends, sure. And I'm sure they'd be happy to come and have a good time... But I read so many posts on APW about this great community, about everyone so happy and so happy to experience our love, and it's like an overflow of love, love love love.... and I just worry I won't have that.
When I met my sister-in-law-in-law-to-be, I told her that she, and Nic's brother (her husband) are the only married people I know. I thought of one other couple. And that's it. They are literally the only married people I know. Is it that I haven't experienced enough weddings to know how this is meant to go? Do I just feel insecure in my friendship circle? It's a lot about that, I know it is, because I feel like I've fallen out of touch with a lot of people, and after a while they just become FB status updates. I feel like I want more friends before I have a wedding.
When I have more time, and I'm back at Uni, I'll work on making that happen, somehow.

Maybe I'll truck along to some of those APW book club meetings! (Much to Nic's dismay)