Friday, December 30, 2011

Wedding Update...

Well, I've made some progress! A HUGE thank you to my parents for looking at venues while I was back at work this week. That made all the difference in the world. Even though I have made the intention to have a more low-key wedding, there is so much involved, and there is an order to the madness. I couldn't really do much until I knew where and when the wedding would take place.

I initially wanted to get married on the Van Meter family farm, but that is no longer a possibility due to natural gas drilling. I was disappointed and took a few weeks away from the wedding planning to restructure my vision. I knew we wanted it to be an outdoor wedding, sentimental, and unique. White Rock Lake has all of those elements to offer, and more. Fortunately, in the event of rain, we will have an indoor accommodation! We booked the last available Saturday and pushed the date up from April 28 to March 24th. That is 4 days before our 7 year "dating" anniversary. I really like the way the date looks, and have had fun envisioning this as our new anniversary.

We are taking our engagement photos with Stephanie Rose tomorrow (OMG) at the Van Meter family farm, to tie it in to our wedding. I am so excited to have Stephanie as our photographer. She is so talented!!!! I also am thrilled we can incorporate the farm into our wedding with this session! The drilling won't start until March, and when we saw that Saturday would be a beautiful, clear, sunny day in the 60's...we thought we better take it while we have it! This is definitely one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning! Less structure, more creativity. I'm very excited.

I applied for our marriage license this week. That was very exciting! I had to double check a few things with George...which despite some obvious sarcasm, hit on a real issue.
L: "And also: birth city, county, are u already married? And u are a man right"
G: "(address). born in dallas county (not sure which city) Not married. Am a man."
L: "...We are not related right"
G: "Correct."

This made me even more aware of the discrimination for monogamous homosexual couples. I just do not understand why this is a legal issue. It's not that I am gay (obviously) or even that I'm condoning marriage between homosexual couples in a church (though I can't say it makes a difference to me)...this is a legal document that has nothing to do with religion. This online document is through Tarrant County in the State of Texas. The sole purpose of this document is for registration and tax purposes.

I'm not ANGRY with people who disagree with my stance; I simply do not understand the opinion. If you don't want a gay marriage, don't have one. If you don't want guns, don't purchase them. If you don't want to drink alcohol, don't consume. What's the difference? I would understand if the argument was about bringing this into the churches...because we need a separation between church and state. I would understand (though I would not necessarily agree) if it was about respecting, honoring, and protecting the sanctity of marriage...

However, if people like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries can marry and divorce within 72 days...

 And people like these beneath this text can marry and divorce within one year...

...I need a reminder on why we think marriage is currently being respected and upheld between heterosexual couples? Granted, these are those in the limelight. But the divorce rate is 50% regardless of fame.

It's not our job to police relationships. It's not our job to decide who's love is "worthy of recognition," either. My heart goes out to the committed, monogamous, loving, and faithful homosexual couples out there. I recognize your relationship as I type these words, and I hope on some level, you know that there are people out there just like me who know it's a matter of time until all Americans are treated equally. I believe this to be the "civil rights" issue of my generation. I truly do not think this will be discussed in the next 30 years, and I hope that my children are just as shocked by the treatment of this community as I was to hear about the treatment of African Americans during segregation. 

"Come senators, congressmen
                                                                    Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside, And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."
-Bob Dylan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A Van Meter Family Tradition, Every Four Years, at Christmas.

Every four years, my grandparents generously take the family out to their timeshare, and we enjoy time with eachother, delicious food, and the beautiful outdoors.

This was my first year as a working woman to attend our traditional "Christmas in Santa Fe." That meant I had to fly out a day later, and met up with my family as soon as I could get off work. I flew out of DFW, and had a surprisingly pleasant time in the airport by myself.

DFW Airport...Beautiful Mosaic Floor
2 hours to kill. Pizza and (several glasses of) wine down the hatch! 
Some EXCELLENT reading material for the relaxing trip.
Boarding the plane to Santa Fe!
We stay at the Campanilla Compound, thanks to my grandparents!!! They have a timeshare and always provide ample accommodations for us when we arrive.

And once we arrived...pure heaven.

Snowbunnies <3

The food....DELISH.

The Van Meter Family in Santa Fe!

Our Unit of 4!

Laura, Me, Mommy 
Bud messing around, looking adorable.

La Fonda, a beautiful hotel in Santa Fe, where we eat brunch every trip.
Gingerbread House at La Fonda

Gotta love how GREEN the people are in Santa Fe!

Beautiful Christmas Decor

Native American textiles. Love the culture here.

My sweet parents. They honeymooned in Santa Fe. 

Cracking up at the "Eyes of the Night" shirt...complete with the Hawk, Bobcat, Owl, Coyote, and Snake.

My boots. The latter two of which I acquired in Santa Fe this year.

Supporting the local artists.

Eating and drinking well.

Laura (my sister) with our cousins, Andy and Allie.

Mimi and GrandDad, my grandparents, who make this awesome trip happen every 4 years.

Absolutely diggin my new kicks.
Ten Thousand Waves. Probably the best part!!!!

Hittin' up a Japanese spa in the mountains. 
Using "ski money" as "spa money" has never felt so right.
The co-ed hot tub.

The bidet. (bi-DAY). bi-YAY. So fresh, so clean. LOVED MY BIDET EXPERIENCE!!!
A little collage of all the greatness Ten Thousand Waves entails.
Sissies lovin' life.
Being silly in the sauna. Laughing about my Spandex, I'm sure.

Back to our Temporary Home.
Not too shabby.

Every Christmas Eve, we eat at the Pink Adobe. 

We always love our Christmas Eve dinner at "The Pink"!
Beautiful firepit at the Pink
Laura and me at the Pink Adobe

Mommy and Laura at the Pink

Okay. The entire town is always lit up via luminaries on Christmas Eve. It truly transforms into a magical Christmas Heaven on Earth.

And then we roadtripped it back home. 12 hours. In the snow and ice...

But there were some pretty photo ops!
Once we got back...George and I exchanged gifts. I got him the shirt he's wearing below while I was in Santa Fe, along with a handmade brass guitar pick with a heart engraved on it. I thought of him instantly when I saw it. He got me these PERFECT wall hangings (they will look so beautiful in my loft on that picture frame wall!), jewelry, and a promise to replace the needle on our record player. I hope he follows through on that last one (no pressure or anything....), because I've been wanting it for a while now and have no idea where to get a replacement.

 The next morning I went to my parents' home and we did our "Christmas morning" complete with Christmas Eve pajamas...on the 26th. 

I loved my gifts! This camera bag (below) is PERFECT!!!! 

Right up my alley! And I always love Volcano (an Anthropologie candle)...

but my favorite gift was the new iPhone. Despite the huge homework assignment! Usually Apple is so good about making transitions smooth and easy. I've upgraded from a "3" to a "3GS" before and had no problems. This time, I've had to talk to both Apple and AT&T, along with restoring multiple times...kind of a drag. Hopefully it will be up and running by tonight. Despite the hassle, I'm VERY excited to capture photos on this phone while I'm on-the-go with the (much improved) camera phone!

I gave my parents a Keurig coffee maker. I know they would never buy this for themselves since they are practical people and have a functioning coffee maker. But I also knew they'd enjoy the convenience this one-cup-at-a-time machine has to offer! I LOVE being able to buy "real" presents now that I'm a "grown up"!

Had to throw in a pic of my favorite Van Meter nutcracker...the adorable dreaded-out hippy! Ha!

Mmm...."Christmas" Lasagna...Thank you, Mommy!

After Christmas with my family, I went to the Tinker household! They spoiled me this year. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude! Everything from jewelry to sleepwear to slippers to face masks to hair conditioner to a butterfly keyring...but my favorite gift was this "Sexy Little Bride" tanktop. 

So cute!
William and his girlfriend, Cassidy. Love these two so much!

Joe enjoying the shirt I gave him for Christmas. The wolf explanation will be another blogpost, for another time.

 I had a wonderful, blessed holiday. I hope you all did as well. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!