Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On Changing My Name

When we got married, I changed my last name.

This surprised many including Andy (I think) because I am not really a "traditionalist" and I fall into the category "feminist." Several people have asked me about it, and I really do have reasons. Here they are:

  1. First, I do not like the last name I was given at birth. I love my father. I love my father's family and our wonderful family legacies, but I do not feel that that legacy is connected to the name that provided for all kinds of name-calling and obscene jokes from elementary to high school. I did not like having to spell my last name every time someone asks because they cannot believe that's really my name. Andy's last name is prettier and easier and way less conducive to name-calling. Period.
  2. I have four parents. They have different last names. We have no real "family" name.
  3. In this country, we have no matrilineal heritage through a name. I find this very sad, but that's the way it is. As far as I'm concerned, I traded one male name for another. There's no reason to be loyal or emotional or nostalgic about that.
  4. I am not famous/published/career-oriented (yet?). Might as well change now.
  5. Connected to Number two, it is important to me to have one family name to signify Andy and my new family together. I like the signs people gave us that say "The _ Family," showing that we're embarking on a unified journey together. I strongly believe in individuality (we did a unity candle at our wedding, but left the individual pillars burning to signify that though we combined our journey together, we remain unique people along the way), but I also believe strongly in community. I believe that people can be true individuals only in community (one of the wonderful paradoxes of life), and I like that we are signifying our marriage as unification through one name. Sure, we could have combined our names and achieved the same unity, but see Number 1 again.

It's interesting what an emotional, complicated issue this is for many people. It is also interesting how much I've thought about my decision in these few weeks of marriage. I have never regretted my decision or thought about changing my mind, but it is a strange thing to change your name. My name is such an integral part of my identity, and changing it is an odd thing. I am proud to sign my new name, and to be changing it everywhere, and to think about my new family and my new identity.

And really, no matter what last name we choose when we get married, all of us always get a new name. Now, Andy is Husband. I am Wife. Those are names I do not have any trouble getting used to.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting Inspired About Decorating: Kitchen

As we embark on our journey together as a family, my instinct to send down roots has been growing strong. Evidence? I cannot stop looking at design blogs/magazines and thinking about our home. I really want it to be the cleanest, prettiest, homiest, happiest place ever.

We have an apartment. A really nice one. And it is FUN thinking about how to put it together. All of those fabulous wedding presents are finding a place (you know, "a place for everything and everything in its place"--look Ma, I learned!). However, the kitchen is a tough one. It's shockingly tiny cozily quaint. I mean really cozy and maybe less quaint. And there's a desk in it, taking up needed cabinet and counter space (I don't know why).

But I love kitchen gadgets and dishes and cooking (because I love food). Our wedding registry was fun, but really hard. We had no idea where we were going to be living or what it would look like or how many bedrooms or bathrooms we would have we registered blind. For a LOT of things. Here are the fabulous kitchen things we got from our registry that I love: red KitchenAid mixer and several attachments (I got it! Yay! #1 reason to get married**), red and yellow Fiesta dishes and lots of accessories (that's fourteen place settings of Fiesta dishes--thanks, mom-in-law!), an ice cream maker, a set of new pots and pans, 12 Fiesta glasses, wine glasses (see the footnote here for more about those wine glasses), cookbooks, and, ahem, etc.

Back to that tiny kitchen...

What's a girl with fabulous new kitchen necessities, accessories, and appliances to do with her ridiculously small for such a large apartment quaint kitchen?

I'm not quite sure, actually. For now, I've made an inspiration board:

Sources and info for Mosaic:
Left picture: found here, don't know about the original source. Lovely BIG kitchen. Ahem.
From top to bottom: 1) The perfect kitchen fabric from Michael Miller (red mixer! smiling stove! :-) from Home Grown Pillows Etsy Shop), that I may use for a type of "curtain" to cover up the desk shelves. 2) Organized pantry (guess how big ours is...) from Real Simple (how I love you, Real Simple). 3) Ornamental Chilly Chili. I fell in love with these at Andy's apartment complex, where they grew so beautifully that it took everything I had not to rip one up from the ground and take it with me. The picture is from Homes and Gardens, but I found a really useful chili article on the Better Homes and Garden site with some other lovelies.

Maybe this will be helpful. Maybe it's just fun to entertain me for now.

**I'll tell you later about an embarrassing moment using this phrase at my bridal shower. Think twice about making these kind of statements in a public place.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Weeks Married

Andy and I were married September 5, 2010, at 12:30 PM. See?

Since then, we have: changed cities, changed jobs (well, Andy has), changed names (well, I have), gone to New York and Canada for a honeymoon, and started unpacking our home.

And before the wedding, I finished up that pesky English Lit degree.

So... more on those things coming soon. And other things, since I have now finished with the school/work/wedding-planning trifecta. Hooray! The future is here!

Unpacking is Fun...

...I mean it; it really is!

Thursday we picked up a couple of furniture items (dresser, sideboard?) at Ikea and some home decor items (curtains) at Target and got to work organizing and unpacking. Our house is quickly changing from the "dumping ground" look to the "home" look. We've got curtains hung, red and yellow fiesta dishes in the kitchen cabinets, and lamps on either end of the couch.

I am absolutely stunned by the amount of wedding gifts we got. Twelve place settings of china! Fourteen place settings of fiesta! Unholy amounts of wine glasses.**

It is fun opening a box and going over what's inside. Andy and I took our combining households opportunity to each get rid of a lot of stuff, so each box is the very best representation of what we had as individuals--our most treasured keepsakes, our nicest clothing, our sturdiest pots and pans.

**In a stunning lack of foresight, Andy and I registered for all types of wine glasses, sure that no one would buy them for us. We used that merchandise gun at both Dillards and Target, selecting casual wine glasses, crystal wine glasses, burgundy wine glasses, white wine glasses... we thought we'd get some wine glasses. Well, we got all the wine glasses, including twelve crystal goblets and champagne glasses that match our china. They're beautiful. We'll use them. (In our next apartment, with a kitchen and dining room four times larger than this one. At the five course dinner that I'll learn how to make.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Changing My "About Me"

For about two years, this has been my "bio" on Facebook:
Office Manager and English Lit Student. I live in a small apartment with a very large dog, giant stack of books, huge pile of yarn, and growing stash of fabric.

Well, now I'm a married woman. At the end of this month, I won't be an office manager anymore since we've changed cities. I'm not a student anymore. I live in a larger apartment with a husband and a small dog in addition to my large dog. My books, yarn, and fabric still exist, but I also now reside with a collection of jayhawk paraphernalia. We're a family, not a "me and Rox" anymore! :-)

So, today, I change my bio. Hope I can come up with something snappy...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Old Apache Wedding Blessing

Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now each of you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

The week of my wedding, I find this quite beautiful. :-)