Tuesday, January 25, 2011

welcome to my budget friendly life

There's going to be one word that Aaron is going to start to hate. Despise. Annoy. Frustrate. Agrivate.


This semester, I have donated my time on Fridays to my practicum experience (donate is not the right word. Forced as per my graduation requirements with my M.S). The point of a practicum is to experience a new office setting and environment; last semester, I experienced the department of art advising office (I've become quite used to it, actually. Weird) I wanted to honestly try something different than I had in the past and New Student Services (NSS) is a new office that I haven't really dealt with, on the other side of the coin. Being the art advisor, they contact me daily to set up appointments for students who are interested in visiting with the department of art. Perhaps, at times, I've been frustrated with their office. However, let the record state that my frustration was due to someone else (ahem: helicopter parents). I needed someone to blame. Opps.

So, in the spirit of following what the desired outcome is, I signed up for a practicum with NSS. This impacted my work schedule, as I needed to dedicate a good amount of hours with this office (NSS). I made the (risky financial) decision to not work on Fridays and drop from full time to part-time status (32 hours/wk). My paycheck has dropped, as well (obviously). $200 less. Ouch. This led me to 1) invoke the assistance of Dave Ramsey financial god and 2) create a budget so I can see in black/white just how close I need to play the financial game this semester. I'll be able to play the game. I just need to keep budget on the mind, at all times.

Aaron covers the phone bill and I cover groceries. After mass on Sundays, we go to Wal-Mart and play the "Is that the cheapest?" game. We plan out our dinners through the week. I've budgeted $50/wk for this trip (that includes all the toiletries, etc that I get, so not just food). Here's hoping that we can make it work on that, but I'm more willing to purchase the 97 cent Great Value Chicken seasoning as opposed to the "Shake-n-Bake" brand name that it's $1.97.

Poor, Aaron, though. I know that "budget" will be a word that he'll start to cringe at and will roll his eyes when I say "Is that in the budget? If not, then forget it" God, when he proposed he was proposing to all sides of me. The frugal side (which I never realized how deep the frugal bone runs in me), the dramatic side (which I always knew was there and strong), the pissed off side when we go to Aggieville for the first time in months and I'm pissed because I've made the SMART choice to not fake tan this season and all the other so-hos have. However, I'm still pissed about it and feel insecure, because I've tanned every other year. He proposed to all sides and he'll learn to love it. He already has.

On a sidenote: any words of wisdom in saving pennies @ the grocery stores? And don't waste the typing power on suggesting generic brands: I was raised on generics, baby.

Monday, January 24, 2011

who's to say you should take your shoes off

Saturday morning Aaron asked if I wanted to start our wedding registry before our 12:30 lunch reservation @ Longhorns Steakhouse, here in Manhattan. I was astonished that he, the male in the relationship, would offer and seem to want to start this process. Of course, he had wanted to use the clicker. That, he said, was the whole reason why he wanted to start it. Mmmhmm. I have learned several things about Aaron during this experience and one of them is that he is as dedicated and loyal to this wedding planning process as I am. He was the one who suggested that we start making our invitation list a few weeks back. Which was smart, seeing how when we got engaged, our seven month countdown to the big day had already begun. In short, we're pumping behind schedule it seems at times.

I quickly showered and met him @ "Bed, Bath and Beyond" (he had beat me there and had begun scoping out the place). We met with an amazing sales associate who asked us to fill out the general information that is needed to establish the registry. While I was filling out the paperwork, she started going over the china options for us. In that moment, I thanked God for Aaron Leiker. He was paying attention and was actively interested in the options and amazing credit points you can earn w/their registry. I was filling out my name and address for the 3950th time in my life and was zoned out. Aaron was zoned in. It was awe inspiring. Then ironic when he said to me "I don't care what you pick", when in reality he really did care.

I think my initial hang up on registering for gorgeous china was that, when we used it, that meant that it was a snazzy reason. That snazzy reason spells anxiety for me, because the high mark of performance in preparing food that is set when one is serving food on expensive Vera Wang china. However, we narrowed it down to two sets that we both liked that wasn't too frilly or colorful, but classic and timeless. My question that I am sure Aaron is going to be exhausted of by July 30:

"What's the price difference between the two?"

That sealed my decision.

Then, when I thought we could breathe and be finished, Tiffany (amazing, again) pulled out a catalog of flatware. Then stemware. Then "normal" dining ware. My guidelines for the "normal" dining ware was that it wasn't heavy one color, that it was a general neutral. And the chosen winner is a cream colored w/light coca on the rims. The plates are heavy and now I am envisioning plates falling on the floors on toes and the dreaded screaming that occurs after. I guess I should be ecstatic that it's heavy, because that means that it won't break easily if dropped. I apologize to my toes, Aaron's toes, and the future Aaron Leiker family toes. If and when a plate falls on any of my family members' toes (that is so weird saying and it not meaning my sisters or parents), I'll have the old standby that Mom always would say "Were you wearing shoes?!" And if we weren't, she'd have no sympathy for us. At.all. That's why it's weird to me still taking my shoes off when I enter someone's home. We grew up on a farm and there is dirt everywhere. And sand. And mud. We could honestly care less if you didn't take your shoes off; we would find you odd if you did take your shoes off at our house.

Is that odd?

So, if you're reading this and I have been in your house and did not take my shoes off and it offended you, I am sorry.

I get it from my mama.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

it's a great day to be alive

Oh the promises we make to ourselves that blow up in our pretty wittle faces.

While utilizing my time in one awesome great way (facebook chatting with an old friend), he had asked how the wedding planning was going. I had told him that everything seems to be humming along well (it's fabulous when your fiance is just as into it as you are, although he'll never admit it) and that I'd never in a million years dream that I'd be planning a wedding reception/dinner/dance outside and actually WANT it that way. It's true.

I sweat like a whore.

And I'm wanting and planning a reception OUTSIDE. Not in December or January. But in JULY. JULY. The dog days of summer, if you will. Luckily, the summer heat in Colorado isn't as fucking muggy as it is here in Kansas. Still, it'll be warm. Which is hard to describe now with the snow on the ground and Uggs on my feet. My roommate reminded me that I'd be freezing as I was getting ready for work. I am wearing grey tights with my classic Uggs. Any other girl, yes, would be freezing their skinny asses off. Me? Hell, it's like a walk in Palm Springs.

The point of this is that one should never make promises or plans to themselves. Again, never thought I'd be planning a bash outside for a wedding. I mean, the sunset will be to die for. The open prairie. A beer in my hand and a husband in the other. Life will be kick ass, even if I'm sweating. And even IF (when) I'm sweating outside, I know that I'd be sweating even if our reception was in a meat locker.

Second, never in a million YEARS would I think that I'd be moving back to the farm. And, honestly, being psyched beyond my dreams. The farm was not my most favorite place growing up. I hated it. Despised it. Almost even embarrassed by it in high school. My high school was private and we were the only family who legitimately farmed. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb. Now? I love it and adore throwing it around, as if it's some private ritzy club. Our own little country club. Nothing calms a soul then a spacious sunset and peace with quiet.

Life is changing for this HV County Farmer's daughter. I may be pulling up these stakes for another in Colorado, but I'll always be a HV County girl in my soul. Even if my plates read different (preferably a K-State Powercat plate).

One thing is for sure, I'll never let this blog go. So, it will be interesting to watch and read back as we start planning for this new chapter in our lives <3

Buckle up slackers. Shiz is getting real.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

four eyes

I am rocking my glasses for 13 more days. I am having my eyes measured for the LASIK lasers and for the measurements to be accurate, the eyeball needs to be untainted. This is Day Two of wearing sex advisor glasses. To be honest, I was a bit relieved when I was told @ my consultation that I'd have to wear my glasses for awhile. Perhaps, it's because I'm tired of dealing with putting contacts in every morning and the random burning that's associated sometimes with it. I have astigmatism in both eyes and my eyes seem to dry out faster than eggs on a sidewalk in Texas during July. I've never been in Texas in July, but I am assuming that's it's hella hot. By 6 pm, my eyes would start to hurt and discomfort would ensue. So, being told that I have to wear glasses was a bit reassuring.
My mom used to wear contacts and have longer hair, befre she had kids and moved out to the farm. She said one morning, a contact went down the sink and she decided then and there to say "Fuck contacts" (my words, obviously) and hasn't worn them since. After I was born, she cut her hair short and hasn't grown it out since. It's funny to be when Moms try way to hard to mask the fact that they're older than 25.

I feel sorry for them, because I can testify to the pain, money, time, effort, frustration that goes into looking put together. It's stressful. I estimated that Aaron gets an hour more of sleep than I do (if I were to have to be at work as early as him). His alarm goes off at 4:45 (I obviously have never been there when his alarm goes off. We're not married, duh..........) and he'll roll out of bed around 5ish, jump in the shower, and out the door smelling so sexy (again, I'm just guessing) with his "Curve" cologne by 5:30. Now, If I had to be at work by 5:30, I would have to be out of bed BY 4:15-4:20 at the latest. Think of it, guys get more sleep than girls by a LOT per day. No wonder they believe we're crankier. Probably because we are, because we're running on less sleep than them.

It's science.

What is also science is that my glasses give me the sophisticated edge that I desire and need when I'm looking at hollywoodgossip.com while at work. And the obvious, book of face, that is my lifeblood during the hours of 8-12 and 1-5.

I have no idea what the hell "life blood" means. It just sounded modern, but is probably more "Twilight" than HV County Farmer's Daughter appropriate. Eh, fuck it.