Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I have money paranoia

It's true. I hate money and love budgeting. I blame it on my dad. I always knew I was abnormal, from the first time I was given a credit card by my parents, in high school, and was told to use it wisely.

That's not true. Actually it was when my dad gave me $900 as a freshman in high school and told me to figure out how to make it last the entire year. I had to write out a budget for EVERY EXPENSE I planned to make in the year, from new sneakers, to buying Christmas presents, to clothes and movie money. It was hard.

The credit card came when my dad thought it would be easier to track my spending if it were on a card, instead of cash. And apparently I was a good test case for his experiment, because I was a wise spender, but boy did I become paranoid about money. It caused me to get a job in high school for supplemental income. It caused me to get good grades so I could apply for every college scholarship imaginable. It caused me to work up to 4 jobs at a time when I was in college, so that I could pay off my student loans. It made me choose a PhD over other graduate programs where you pay tuition. It made me choose to buy a condo rather than pay crazy amounts of money in rent. And it made me choose to become an RA in an undergrad dorm for free rent, and rent out my condo.

But I realized today how lucky I am to be this paranoid. I have been helping a friend set up a plan to get out of credit card debt. She comes from a family who is used to living paycheck-to-paycheck, and she thought she was supposed to do the same. And when she got a new job that paid her more than she ever earned, she went out and bought a new car, and got eye surgery, and a credit card, and didn't look back. That is until she realized that she had practically maxed out her credit card, and could only afford the minimum payments. And we worked really hard together to make a realistic budget and a set of goals to get her debts paid off. And she is excited about the prospect of a better situation, and I am excited to see the end of it. Because I have money paranoia. Even about other people's money. Maybe I should be a financial planner?

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's over!

The wedding is over, and the husband and I are still trying to figure out how the heck to fit all our new stuff in our apartment. But the most exciting part so far has been watching our wedding highlight video, which I have probably seen at least 15 times now.

It was a beautiful day, we were surrounded by wonderful people, and everything worked out perfectly. Oh yeah, and the food was DELISH! And my dad cried. I have never seen my dad cry. What a day. What a great way to start a new family.

Lorenna + Justin's Wedding Highlight Film from Boston Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The first home

I know that for many people who are in a situation similar to my fiance and I, they are still in school/just finishing school/just starting out in the real world when they decide they are ready to get married. They may or may not have student loans, they may or may not live at home.

But I think for most people our age, when they get married they are looking forward to buying their first home together. This is one thing FI and I cannot share. We are both homeowners who acting as landlords. We have houses, in different states, and we aren't living in them. Now don't get me wrong. If we live in Boston after we finish grad school, we will undoubtedly live in my condo. I love it and it's beautiful. And if we live in Colorado, we will undoubtedly live in his townhouse there. We have great properties in great locations. It's just funny to be daydreaming of owning our first home TOGETHER that won't be a first home for either of us.

What firsts are you excited to share with your partner?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unity Ceremony

When it comes to the unity ceremony, there are many options for a ritual that symbolizes the coming together of two individuals into one marriage. This is the short list:
1. Unity Candle - The bride and groom each take a lit candle and together light a third candle.
2. Sand Ceremony - The bride and groom pour different colored sands into a single vessel.
3. Wine Ceremony - The bride and groom pour wine a single vessel and drink from it.

There are many permutations of these types of ceremonies out there and, being the nerds we are, we had to create another one. We like to call it 'chemistry'.

Before I share the idea, I want to make sure that all credit for this idea goes to my fiance. He thought of the idea, he found the chemicals, and he is just plain awesome!

We plan to each pour a clear liquid into a vessel together. The nerdy magic trick comes when these to liquids mix, because they turn blue upon contact. Cool, huh? So our chemistry unity ceremony will hold the same meaning that the other unity ceremonies hold, but has a personal touch to it. And hopefully we can get some excited faces and cool pictures out of it too!

What unity ceremony are you using, if any? What meaning does it hold for you?

Where would you get married...

...if, between you and your fiance, you had 11 siblings with 27 nieces and nephews who live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, and California? (just remember, this does not mention parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.)

This is the first question we sought to answer when we began planning our wedding.

Being nerdy engineers, our first strategy for making a decision was to minimize travel costs for our large families. So we made an excel spreadsheet and looked up flight costs from all the places our families live to all the potential wedding locations. At this time, our potential wedding locations included Denver and Phoenix (fiance's family), Delaware and Philadelphia (my family), and vacation destinations such as Hawaii, Nassau, and Orlando. All we knew for sure was that we didn't want to get married in our current city of Boston. Tooo expensive!!!!

Our flight cost analysis led to us narrowing our choices to Philadelphia, Denver, and Orlando. And that is where I began my venue searches.

How did you decide on your wedding locale?

Friday, June 5, 2009

DIY Fabric Flowers

Here is my first attempt at making Tsumami Kanzashi flowers. They are relatively simple to make and soooo cute (though they require much patience)! I want to attempt more complicated designs like the ones in my previous post. A tutorial can be attempted once I take pictures to document the process. But I am pretty excited!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nerdy Elements

As a couple of engineers, I know that there will be incorporation of some nerdy science-y elements into our wedding. One good place to start is in the attire.

Here are some fun ties I found that the groom might get a kick out of (all from self-proclaimed nerd doesn't know the value of pi to 50 places?
Nuclear physics - classy!
Good old trigonometry and calculus - very important to engineers
But the best (and most subtle) might be this graph paper!
And one more example. I think this could be a really fun way to incorporate our nerdiness into the wedding (and make for fun pictures!)

What do you think?