Friday, February 27, 2009

Preparing for Marriage with Lent

Lent has begun. This is the time of year that I really try to put some extra effort into growing in faith and conforming my life to Christ. This Lent, Daniel and I are both giving up all television. I’m also planning on saying a daily Rosary, and Daniel and I are going to add Night Prayer (of the Liturgy of the Hours, which neither of us has ever done before) to our evening prayer time together. I’m really glad that the last couple of months before our wedding, for which we have been preparing for what seems like a very long time, includes the season of Lent.

Here’s why. suggests the following: “Take at least six months to intensively prepare for your marriage. This goes beyond choosing a date and church, reserving a place for the reception, and picking out dresses. It means using this time to delve more deeply into your relationship and approach this momentous day with prayer and reflection.”

Of course, Daniel and I had an engagement much longer than those six months. But the thing is, the last couple of months before a wedding require a lot of little (and big) preparations for “the big day” This causes a lot of stress, and can make it difficult to put the right emphasis on preparing for the marriage of which “the big day” is only the beginning.

Easter Sunday falls on April 12 this year, only one month and four days before our wedding. Lent, then, will be for Daniel and me a time of spiritual preparation for the sacrament of marriage in addition to the preparation for the joy of Easter. This time of fasting, sacrifice, and prayer will allow us/force us to focus on our relationship with God, both individually and as a couple, as being first and foremost in our lives now and our new life together that is soon to begin. And I love that our wedding is taking place during Easter, an appropriately joyful season.

FYI, here are the things I have crossed off my list recently:
- Make hair appointment (yes, I know I did that super early)
- Plan photographer shots
- Go bridesmaid dress shopping

By the way, I really appreciate all of your comments from the last few weeks. I love hearing your suggestions and kind, encouraging, and inspiring words. Thank you so much, and keep them coming!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Rings

I’ve got a serious case of wedding-on-the-brain… and it seems to be getting worse by the day. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’ve got my to-do list running through my head like the credits on the screen at the end of a movie. Talk about distracting! It seems as though I have completely lost my ability to focus. And there are still almost three months left for me to be like this!

I do have some exciting news to share, though: Daniel and I bought our wedding bands last weekend! Daniel’s already fit him perfectly, so we were able to take it home on Saturday when we bought it, and I picked mine up on Tuesday after it had been sized for me.

I would like to have the rings engraved before the wedding, but we haven’t been able to decide on what to put on them. We thought about “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” which is what we will say when we put the rings on each other’s fingers. I think that would be beautiful, but obviously it is too many letters to be engraved on a tiny piece of gold.

Then there’s always the option of doing our wedding date and our names or initials, but I feel like everyone does that. Maybe something in Latin, or even initials for a Latin phrase, like the classic Jesuit motto “AMDG” (Ad Majorem Dei gloriem), meaning “For the greater glory of God.” Others in my brainstorm include—with a little help from Wikipedia’s “Latin Mottos” page and a free online English-Latin dictionary:

Pari Passu, which means “with equal step,” “moving together,” or “hand-in-hand;”
Semper Fidelis, translated as “always faithful;”
Nihil Sine Deo, or “nothing without God;”
Amor et Fidelitas, meaning “love and fidelity;”
In Nomine Domini, which means “In the name of God.”

I guess we will have to make a decision on this fairly soon; I’m not sure how long it takes for the engraving to be done once we take the rings in. Hopefully it’s not too expensive either! I would love to hear what others have engraved on their wedding rings. Anyways, the clock is ticking… pray that I keep my sanity! God bless.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Best Friends

Who is your best friend? If you are married, engaged, or even just “engaged to be engaged,” I hope that you would say that the reason you want to spend the rest of your life with this person is because he is your best friend (or she, I’m just speaking from the woman’s perspective here).

I personally have quite a few “best friends,” colloquially speaking. I still have my “best friend from elementary school,” “best friend from middle school,” “best friend from high school,” and a few “best friends from college” (my roomies). Then there are my siblings, especially my sisters, who I consider to be my best friends, plus a few “best cousins” for good measure. The fact of the matter is that if I actually take the meaning of the word “best” seriously, then none of these people actually fit the bill (sorry to all of you that I mentioned).

They are all very good, close friends with whom I truly enjoy spending time, talking, and laughing. We share lots of fun and not-so-fun memories from different phases of my life, including the eighteen years before Daniel even entered the picture. But none of them are my best friend. Daniel has sole claim to that title, which is a good thing. He’s the one I’m marrying, after all!

There are a lot of movies and TV shows out there that seem to tout female friendship as being a relationship equal in value to the marital relationship, if not more valuable. I’ll use an example from Grey’s Anatomy, which is a show that I guess you could call a “guilty pleasure” of mine because—let’s face it—it certainly isn’t going to win any award for modeling Catholic morality (if there was such an award).

This season, friends Meredith and Christina spent several episodes not talking to each another because they were fighting. Meredith was really upset about something and her boyfriend Derek was unable to console her. So he drove her over to Christina’s house and told Christina that Meredith was in the car and wouldn’t stop crying. He didn’t know what to do, and wanted Christina to get over their fight and come out to the car to be with Meredith. Anyone who watches the show knows that Christina is Meredith’s “person,” above and beyond anything Derek seems to ever be for her, even though Meredith and Derek will presumably get engaged very soon. You can find countless examples like this on television, in movies, and in books; each with varying degrees to which this theme is present. After I noticed it once, I started noticing it everywhere.

Sorry if I lost anyone there; my point is that there is something not quite right about that kind of situation, at least in my mind. If you love someone enough to be seriously considering marrying him, then he should be your primary confidante—the only one to whom the statement “we tell each other everything” should apply. At least that’s the way I see it. Not that I don’t confide in my girlfriends, because I do. It’s just not to the same degree as I confide in Daniel, with whom I actually do share everything.

Female friendships are extremely important, but my relationship with my [future] husband is what I am going to be held most accountable for at the end of my life. That’s the relationship that I’m going to focus on. Alright, I’ll get down off my soapbox now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Living in Different Time Zones

I was just looking at the “Do you operate in different marital time zones?” quiz on, and it got me thinking, although not exactly about the content of the quiz itself. My thoughts took a different direction.

Here we go: I get grumpy when Daniel falls asleep when we are “supposed to be” spending time together; this grumpiness ranges from annoyance to full-out anger, depending on the mood I was already in. I don’t know why—I guess it’s because when he falls asleep I feel like he is leaving me alone or something.

In any event, in our current situation Daniel is living with his parents about forty-five minutes away from our house and spends the weekends with me. While he is here, he sleeps over at my parents’ house a few minutes down the road, and we usually stay up late spending time together before he drives over there. The problem is that Daniel is a morning person and I am a night person—and I’m not sure whether this issue will be eased or exacerbated once we are married and living together.

Here is a typical scenario: It is a Friday or Saturday night and Daniel and I are reading, watching a movie, or working on a project together, etc. Somewhere between nine and eleven o’clock, Daniel will start to get tired and often fall asleep if he is sitting on the couch. If he doesn’t fall asleep, he will get continually more tired and grumpy as the minutes pass by.

Then, there are usually various things that have to be done at the end of the day, whether it’s loading the dishwasher, straightening the living room, or locking up the shed. I may get up and start doing some of these things with Daniel already asleep on the couch, but if he is still awake he may do them while I go and get ready for bed, to save time. By the time I’m finished and ready to pray together, which we always do before he leaves, I have to wake him up. This is usually not an easy task, and it puts both of us in a bad mood if we are not careful.

The next morning, if it is a Saturday, Daniel usually wakes up at my parents’ house and drives back over to our house before I am awake. He is sometimes frustrated by how long it takes me to get out of bed once he gets there, but he is almost always nice about it, sometimes even making coffee and breakfast for when I finally manage to get my feet on the floor (a terrible battle I am forced to fight every single morning).

Does anyone have a similar situation and have suggestions for how Daniel and I can start to live in the same “time zone” once we get married? Or is this just an inevitable struggle that we’ll have to live with? Oh well, I guess there are certainly worse problems we could have.

In other news: as I am writing this, on Thursday, there are exactly 100 days left until the wedding!! I also booked a deejay this morning—it felt great crossing that one off my list! Have a good weekend, everyone.