Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our Mini Honeymoon

Immediately following our wedding, we had a 1940s Bentley cruise us across the state to Bartlesville, just an hour away, to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Price Tower.  We didn't have time or funds to jet off to a big fancy honeymoon so we opted to find somewhere close and unique that would allow us to unplug from the world for a few days.  We found it.
We did absolutely nothing fancy and after months of planning, that was perfect.  We did a bit of exploring and found Dewey, Oklahoma just up the highway.  Dewey is full of some great little antique shops that I continue to visit when I travel up north.  We found many fields that lacked any other signs of people.  We loved it.  We ate at local restaurants and found local parks to galavant in.  
The weather was stormy and overcast most of the trip allowing for some great naps to be had and great excuses to stay holed up in the amazing tower.
We were newlyweds and were soaking in that newfound title together.  We were disconnected from the busy world that we were so heavily connected to just days before.  Not having to answer a phone for two days was one of the best wedding presents I could have asked for.
Also during our stay, we took a guided tour of the Price Tower.  Did you know that it is Frank Lloyd Wright's only skyscraper?  Did you know there are daily tours?  Did you know that there are no right angles in the building?  Did you know that those elevators are incredibly difficult to fit into with luggage?  ;) 
A honeymoon doesn't have to be extravagant and pricey.  It doesn't have to rival anyone else's experience.  Just like your wedding, it should represent you and your partner.  And you should enjoy every minute of it.  We did.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Wedding Ceremony, Four Years Ago

Four years ago today, my dad walked me down the aisle to my mister.  I felt no fear.
 The weather was chilly, with a slight wind and the sky was beautifully overcast.  We stood among my sister, my best friend (and the baby in her belly :), my brother-in-law and my mister's best friend.  The cutest and sweetest Tulsa Court Judge officiated while a dear, dear friend from college was our spiritual leader through the service.  She read words from Khalil Gibran and shared beautiful thoughts on us and our union.  My sister read a Cherokee wedding blessing
Our ceremony by the water was sweet, free of religious teachings and perfect.  I wish I knew what had made us belly laugh so hard :)
 Rings were exchanged, kisses were shared and that was it.  We were married.  
 Four years in and I can still say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  Our journey thus far has been amazing.  We've laughed, we've cried, we've learned, we've loved.  We've grown.
And we're still truckin'.  Too many more, my dear Handle!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: Out of the Trenches

This week is Spring Break.  A much needed break.  Last week was one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where you feel like you can't do anything right but have no idea what you're doing wrong.  You know the kind.
I had to force myself to take outfit photos last week.  I had to wait until last week subsided in me before I could share these outfits.  They're not my favorites but that's not what this outfit project is about.  I share whatever I've worn in the classroom, well thought out and loved or not.  
On Monday, I wore an Anthro clearance top, old suede Target clearance skirt, Gap tights, gifted booties and necklace made by me a few years back.  And the tree branch in the top picture?  We found it on the lawn when we ventured out to take photos.  It was my weapon for the day.  Fitting, really.
Wednesday was filled with Progress Reports and marathon grading.  It was also filled with a thrown together outfit to incorporate a quick skirt I made the night before.  
Target belt, clearance top and sandals.  Skirt and necklace made by me.

The necklace, a bit closer.  One of these days I'll sell it.  Maybe.
This past weekend helped shake me out of my funk.  Had a friend in town on Friday who allowed me to unload on her.  Friends are special like that :)  Saturday we cheered the mister on at the St. Patrick's Day Run and spent some time exploring the Flea Market and estate sales.  Sunday the mister and I took in an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show.  It was JUST what I needed.  Upbeat, positive, happy, uplifting.  Necessary.

This week is proving to be much more tolerable than last.  I'm getting caught up on my ever-growing to-do list and I'm having fun working on upcoming projects...365-day project coming up soon, anyone?! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Wishbone Collection

One of my favorite compliments regarding our house is when people notice things they never noticed before.  As you know, I like odd things and love to decorate our house in those odd finds.  One oddity that people are always shocked when they finally notice is my wishbone collection.  
Yes, I have a collection of wishbones.  True blue wishbones.   Some people notice them on their first visit and others take years to notice them. 
These wishbones have moved with me to four different locations over the past ten years and, let me tell you, trying to move wishbones without breaking them is no easy task!  I've always displayed them above a doorway or window in my kitchen simply by resting them on a long piece of hemp, with the largest in the middle and working my way out.  
So why do I have such a strange collection?  Because I have strange (and amazingly awesome) kinfolk.  

Growing up, I'd often spend warm summer days visiting my 'backwoods' family in Jay, Oklahoma.  Many of my distant relatives lived in close proximity on this lot of land and they literally lived off the land.  I'm told that as a child, I dined on turtle soup, rattlesnake, squirrels aplenty and who knows what else.  The stories that come from this land are epic and some could be considered folklore in our family history.  

(See that metal tub?  I used to bathe in that.  Okie born and bred ;)
So the wishbones.  The family members who lived in the little red house were my kind of decorators - cover the walls with everything.  As you can see, they even covered their walls with wishbones from the random birds they found and ate.  My parents have the other half of the collection displayed at their cabin and gifted the remainder to me.  Some of the wishbones they have are marked with tags stating the type of bird and year eaten.  Amazing really.
Nowadays, that red house sits empty slowly falling in on itself and the land that once housed so many of my relatives is barren of people.  
I'm thankful for those memories I have as a young girl exploring, swimming in the freezing creek, taking in the memory-covered walls.   

I'm thankful for those wishbones.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The beast wanted to share some green greetings with you!  It's a favorite holiday around this house :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Wedding Beneath the Surface

On the surface, our wedding looked like a typical American wedding.  Looking a bit beyond that though, you would find sprinklings of traditions from other cultures around the world.  Throughout my ESL teaching years, I have asked some of my international students how popular these traditions are.  Some had never heard of them and others knew them well.  These conversations have also brought to light other new-to-me traditions from other cultures that I find fascinating.  Seeing the reactions of sharing some of our American wedding traditions has been equally as fascinating :)
After spending some time in India a few years before our wedding, I fell in love with Indian wedding traditions.  I mean, a three-day wedding celebration full of color?!  How could you not love that?!  A few days before our wedding, my mom, my sister, my best friend and I picked up some delicious Indian cuisine, popped in a Concert for George, and had the sweetest little gal create the most beautiful mehndi designs with henna for our big day.  I still love that we did that. 
 The mister and I chose to see each other before the wedding to help ease our nerves and to get some photos while the sun was still out!  In Iran, the first sight of the soon-to-be-newlyweds is traditionally through a reflection so we met in the bathroom with our photographer in tow to capture that first glimpse.
 In Ireland, it is tradition to carry or wear a horseshoe charm of some sort, upright, to catch the well-wishes and love from your guests.  Since my mister's family actually has horses and they are of utmost importance to their family, we loved this tradition.  My in-laws were gracious enough to pass along one of their old horseshoes that we had our florist link onto my hanging bouquet.  That same horseshoe hangs in our home to this day.
 Our cake has no special cultural symbolism but, like our henna covered feet, it showcased some of the same traditional Indian designs that I love so dearly.
Finally, when the mister and I shared our first dance, we asked that our friends and family join hands and form a heart shape around the dance floor as per Mexican tradition.  Our ding-dong DJ initially asked that everyone be seated while we shared this dance but, because we had shared the multicultural traditions in our programs and because our guests were awesome, we were quickly surrounded by those we love.  It warmed my heart.  

Ironically, I was not too keen on one of our most popular American wedding traditions - the garter and bouquet toss.  Being a single gal for so many years among a sea of partnered friends, I always hated being forced to fight for a good luck wedding charm.  In keeping with honoring ALL traditions though, both were tossed but my garter came off in private :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: Shifty Zips

One of my all-time favorite vintage clothing items to hunt for and own are shift dresses that button or zip down the middle.  Back in high school and my early college years, I had lots of luck finding these guys but in the past ten years, no such luck.  I don't know if they had a surge in popularity or if I just had a surge in good luck finding them for a few years but in the past decade, I've only come across ONE that is to my liking.  Fortunately, when I was in my shifty heyday, I was able to accumulate enough to wear a different one each day of the week...and boy do I wear those dresses!
 Both of the dresses seen in this post have literally been around the world with me.  I've worn them with pants, no jackets, shirts underneath, tennis shoes, flats...you name it, I've tried these dresses with it.  To me, they are indispensable and incredibly versatile.  
 On Monday, Oklahoma had some pretty fierce winds, so strong that they knocked the power out at school!  I was teaching Speech class where I videotape EVERYTHING so we had the outage and our collective freakout on video :)  We ended up relocating class to outside which was absolutely perfect.  
 Monday's outfit was composed of a vintage shift dress, gifted BRIGHT tights, Target clearance booties, Anthro clearance sweater and vintage coin necklace.
 After last week's rather *rowdy* classroom atmosphere, this week was smooth sailing.  Thank goodness.  
 Midterms were taken (much to my students' dismay) and Group Discussions were completed.  One discussion focusing on the qualities that a good president should have was particularly interesting.  Put eight students from eight different countries in a room and let them talk about American politics and you're bound to get some eye opening insight into your government.  Have I mentioned how much I love my job?  ;)
This outfit is pretty much a repeat of the last, just in different hues.  Vintage shift dress, gifted tights, gifted booties, ooooooold clearance Gap sweater and vintage coin necklace.

And yes, it has officially become warm enough in Oklahoma for us to start watering, hence the garden hose.  Although yesterday we had moments of sleet.  Oklahoma has bipolar weather.  Truly.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our Anniversary Month

March is a special month for me.  For us.  Not only is it my mister's birthday and my half birthday (our birthdays are each other's half birthdays...something HE figured out!), it's also the month we got married.  I'm one of those people who likes to celebrate things for days.  I've gotten flack over the years for being pro-birthday months and honestly, give me all the flack you want because I think things like that ARE important to celebrate more than just one day!  

This year, the mister and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary and I plan to scatter a few wedding posts throughout the month to honor that accomplishment!  
 I absolutely loved planning and preparing for our wedding.  When we were wedding planning nearly five years ago, I had just started reading blogs.  I enjoyed Offbeat Bride quite a bit but other than that, I used my noggin, experience and creativity to plan our wedding.  I think now, people are heavily influenced by blogs, Pinterest and 'what's cool' waaaaaaaaay too much when it comes to event planning and really, it drives me slightly batty.  Making it sing true to you and your special someone is all that should matter.
 We had traditional components and some not-so-traditional components to our union.  I loved that mixture. We ate, we drank, we danced like fools and we had a kick ass good time with our family and friends.  Parts of us wanted to run away and elope to keep our private feelings just that, private.  I think we both would tell you now that we're glad we didn't.  That we're glad we shared that day with those close to us.  That we outwardly professed our commitment to each other.  
 Would we have changed anything?  I don't think so.  Although I probably would have hired a different DJ or had nixed one all together.  Other than that, it was perfect.  For us.
A wedding is just a day though, an important day but just a day, all the same.  What's most important are those days after the wedding.  All of them.  They're not always easy but for us, each one has brought us closer together and, I truly hope, they will continue to do so.  All of them; the easy days and the hard days for those are what strengthen our union.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: A Bit of Floral

We're officially over the halfway point in the ESL semester which is crazy and exciting all at the same time.  This semester's load has been light but at the same time, my two classes are FILLED with students with very bold personalities leading to some interesting classroom situations.  I love never knowing what each semester will bring, so I'm certainly not complaining but all of this has led to a pretty intense week in the classroom.  I welcome the challenges though :)
 This really was one of THOSE outfits, as the mister likes to call them.  I found this dress, along with a matching shirt a few years back, I think at a local vintage shop during one of their half price sales.  It's a little oversized and I've always planned on taking it but I've yet to get to that.  One of these days.  Topped it all off with my last Anthro clearance piece - a green cardigan, Verde Squared necklace, an ooooold belt that I don't recall where it came from and my vintage snake skin cowboy boots I've had for a good decade or so now.
 The last day of February, a leap day at that, brought about some unbelievably beautiful weather.  
 The beast and I wore black.  Classic.

A bit more specific though, I wore the final $1 estate sale shirt (!) with oooooold Banana Republic slacks with an edge and gifted booties.  
 This may not be the first time you've seen this top.  I *famously* wore it elsewhere....
 Thursday brought about even MORE amazing temperatures.  So much so that I spent a good while in the hammock after work, reading handed-down magazines and watching the squirrels chase each other in the trees.  The mister and I finished the evening with freshly made BLT sandwiches on the back porch.  Perfection.
The fuzzies quite enjoyed the weather, and open windows, as well.
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