Where We Gonna Go From Here.

I have a dilemma. It's kind of wedding related.

You see, I'm fine with having a long engagement. I'm not a particularly girly girl, I have never had dreams of pretty pink floral arrangements or floofy white wedding dresses. What I am though, is a planner. I need things organised. I like being in control.

(If you think that sounds bad, you should see my desk. Everything is in drawers, labelled, or in special compartments. I function so much better when things are sorted.)

With that said, here's where I'm befuddled. How much planning can one do for a wedding while living abroad? I know Janet pulled off a stunningly beautiful destination wedding in Mexico, and that I'm sure there are loads more of you that are much more experienced with all things wedding than I am.

I can look, yes. Thank goodness for websites - I can spend hours searching and exploring and trying to figure out options. But I'm hesitant to actually book anything without visiting first, without being there and exploring and seeing if it 'feels' right. It's the same with the church and the reception, and most other things too.

That being said though, and if I did leave it until I went home before I sorted anything out.. well, that leaves the slightly obsessive compulsive planner in me breaking into a cold sweat. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'm hoping for a May 2011 date - and if we're not heading home for another year, that really only leaves 5-6 months to sort everything out. Is that too short? And what am I supposed to be beforehand?

AAAAH.

I'm not sure what I want. And I know it's early days, but I really want to start cracking along and following some kind of schedule. Or at least making my own list of things to do, so I can feel like I'm doing something, rather than just sitting here staring at my ring all day long.

Anyway, what do you all think? Planning-related thoughts and advice welcomed!

Do Your Thing.

I didn't mean for things to get so quiet around here, but I suppose that's a good thing. I've had a really busy couple of weeks, things have been going well over here.

I've been showing my engagement ring to anyone who dares walk over to my work desk. As in, HI, HOW ARE YOU?! -shoves ring in face- LOOK!! Everyone has been great at the ooh-ing and aah-ing that I've come to expect. It's so much fun!

I got a new job at my work, technically a small promotion, so I've been throwing myself into that. I'm still working in education/recruitment, but now I get to focus on international teachers who are making the transition to the UK. It's fantastic, because I get to co-ordinate international things from here in London, and it's something that I went through myself just two years ago on the other side. I also get to work crazy hours and have a laptop/mobile that I can use to work from home on the odd occasion.

One of my friends from home, Julie, came to stay with us for a few days - she's now off trekking around Europe on a Contiki tour - but it was nice being able to show her around a few local haunts. She managed to take in Stonehenge, Bath, Salsbury, and some central London landmarks, in 2 days: not bad!

I was filmed for television. The Brit version of 'How to Look Good Naked' to be exact - and no, I most definitely was not naked, thank the heavens. We were walking down High Street Kensington doing some shopping, when a whole stack of cameras started walking towards us. My reaction was to swerve and walk around them, but Julie got caught up in them and ended up calling me back. They ended up asking me if I wanted some fashion advice (errrr...) and started to picked my outfit apart.

I should cut in here to give you some background on this: I had woken up at 6am to meet Julie at Paddington after her flight arrived - so I had the world’s fastest shower, threw some clothes on in the dark and was out the door. I was wearing a knee length denim skirt, plain black long sleeved shirt and knee high black flat boots. They told me they liked my boots (as the camera panned down to my legs) and that I needed to put on a belt and a blazer and WORK MY CURVES.

Yes, Gok Wan told me I had fantastic curves and to show them off. Riiiight.

It wasn't until the cameras walked away and we kept on shopping that I realised that I HADN'T BRUSHED MY HAIR THAT MORNING AND IT LOOKED HORRIFYING. One day I am going to be watching Channel 4 at night and the show will come on, and then I will see myself. And then I will die of shame. And my tombstone will read: "She may have curves, but she really should have brushed her hair."

I sucked up the pain since my first try at Spin class, and have now made it my Monday morning 7am pain session. And guess what? I'm getting much better! Last week was an endurance class with a lot of build-up climbs and flats, and I managed to do the whole thing. I think I'm fast becoming obsessed.. but once a week is more than enough for me right now, thankyouverymuch.

Have I mentioned that I've got an awesome fiance? Because I have.

So, back to all things engagement - let's just say that now I have the actual ring on my finger, literally this time, I've started thinking ahead a little more. For the last nearly three months, I've been content brushing people off when they ask about when and where and the details... but I'm actually starting to get incredibly excited at the prospect of planning. Real, actual planning. It's very exciting.

I'm still stuck in the limbo stage of not knowing when we're even moving home, let alone setting a date, but I can start researching - that'll tide me over for a little while. Be prepared for a whole lot of wedding related rambles, and most likely a few fits of frustration along the way - but it wouldn't be a wedding without a few of those!

Stellar.

My engagement ring is finally back!

(You can start wailing with excitement now, I know I have been!)

It's been a long road, with a couple of hiccups along the way, too.

Last week, we received a call from Tiffany & Co saying that the ring was finished its resizing work in New York and was on its way to London to be hallmarked. The message ended with the lady thanking us for our patience, and reassuring us that the ring would be back with us soon.

That message made the wait even more bittersweet - because I knew the ring was nearly finished, but I still had to wait for it to be completed. I snapped about a week later, and ended up harrassing Jason to make a phone call and see what stage it was at. He was told by a customer service rep, that the ring was still in New York and not expected back until late November.

Looking back, I think it's safe to say that this is when I had my first Bridezilla moment. Hey, nine weeks of waiting does not a happy fiance make.

I flipped out a bit, and sent a panicked email to Tiffany & Co - asking them exactly where the ring was and why we'd received two conflicting stories. We got a call the next day apologising for the confusion, and restating the first message: it's in London, but not ready yet. Back to the waiting game.

I got home on Wednesday afternoon earlier than usual, just after Jason got in. He was standing in front of our wardrobe looking like a deer in the headlights, and blurted out 'What are you doing home so early?' He looked so guilty that I asked what he was doing, and he sighed and told me I'd spoiled his surprise - and then pulled out the ring!

So, that's the end of my story. It's strange.. now that I have it on my finger, I feel more 'officially' engaged!  The ring is even more beautiful than I remembered, and seems to match my hands perfectly. And oh! The sparkle. I went to work yesterday and kept stopping mid-typing sentence to just stare at it as it caught the sun.

The boy did such a great job. Enough of my ramblings.. here's the bling!




Forever Autumn.

This is my favourite time of year.

I love the crispness in the air. I love the scarves and tights and knitwear. I love the crunch of the leaves. I love the clearness of the sky. I love the colours. I love looking at forecasts and feeling the weather gradually cooling down.

This is my second Autumn in London, and I'm very much looking forward to it.








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