How involved should you be in your engagement ring process?

Were you like me growing up?

After seeing proposals as a kid on telly and stuff, I always assumed that the entire process of getting engaged was a giant surprise.

Whenever I would see those jumbotron proposals, I would always think to myself, “What if she says no,” not realizing until a teacher told me later, that a proposal, and an engagement, generally, were discussed at length prior to it happening.

So all that said, when I got into a relationship, the sort where I felt like I could share my life with this person, I had no idea how we were supposed to go about choosing a ring.

Wasn’t I supposed to be surprised?

DID I want to be surprised?

And then I thought about it.

I love Austin so deeply.  However, throughout the course of our nearly four-year courtship, it became apparent that he might need some help picking out the jewelry that would symbolize the start of our relationship together.

For one, he was colorblind.  When colors, especially those on the same note, were mashed together, he couldn’t tell the difference, which I learned after we spent a weekend painting together.

For two, he was a straight male engineer.  Engineers are notoriously no-frills.  He likes his hair buzzed.  He doesn’t like fancy clothes.  And fashion isn’t one of his main concerns.  And knowing that, I still decided to try the whole “going to pick out a genre of ring, and letting my man decide” thing.





My husband didn’t know what to do.  He didn’t know what was a pretty metal.  He didn’t understand why I liked the stone in a certain shape.

So off to the jeweler we went.

We went to a custom jeweler in 5-Points who sat down with both of us.  Austin gave him his budget on the DL, and I gave him what I wanted, after I figured out what I wanted.  The day Austin got down on his knee, I was surprised, happy, and I think Austin was happy with my answer 🙂

So to answer the original question?

It’s really a matter of individual preference.  But for me?  I liked having my hand in the design process.

What do you think?  How involved will you (were you) in the engagement ring process?


Wedding Wednesday: The Engagement Sessions

It’s really fun to do these Wedding Wednesday posts now that I’m married, and I’m not taking any time away from doing any wedding things. Yes, I could be writing some more thank-you notes at this precise second, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

So I have a confession to make.  A big, huge, horrible confession.  A confession that I’m ashamed to make.  But…years and years ago, I asked myself as I looked at a friend’s engagement photos, I thought to myself – “What is the point of engagement photos?”

Even after we were engaged, I wasn’t necessarily sure what the point was of getting these photos done.

Couldn’t we just save the money, skip the photos, create a really cute save-the-date without our faces being plastered all over them?  And I suppose we could have…until we saw the engagement photos of this gorgeous couple I went to school with.  The engagement photos literally took your breath away, and suddenly, as we were gathering a down payment on the house that would be our first home together as a married couple, I envisioned a home with zero pictures of us when we were young and freshly-engaged.  And I couldn’t do it.

So a year after we were engaged, I contacted the gentleman that I knew wanted to do our photos, and explained our weird situation to him.  He seemed open to the idea of it, even a year after our engagement, and he agreed, with all the grace that a human being could have with a silly couple like us.

image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios
image via Blest Studios

And once we spent the afternoon with Cole of Blest, it became extremely clear why engagement photos were important, perhaps even necessary, when you’re getting married.  

  1. Luckily, I knew Cole, and Blest Studios long before I was engaged, and I knew that the quality of his work was head and shoulders above what I’d seen from other photographers.  However, taking this photos really got me comfortable in doing photos with my husband.  You might think you’re really comfortable with someone – until you have to take photos of you making out and groping your husband on camera.  It really, really gets you comfy with each other. 
  2. Taking these photos gets you comfy with your photog.  Especially in cases when you don’t know your photog or his or her work, this can be really important.  I mean, you don’t want someone to eff up your memories, right?  If it takes some money for you to find out that you don’t jive at all with your photographer, why not, right?
  3. They serve as memories of an incredible times with your spouse.  We didn’t take the photos right after we got engaged, however, even after waiting a year, the pics, even taken a month-and-a-half ago, remind me of a beautiful time, where we met up in a park and met up with a friend to take some photos.  I remember being nervous, I remember showing Cole the spot we got engaged at, and I remember feeling so close to Austin as our story seemed to unfold for Cole. I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon. 
  4. You know what you’re gonna be getting for your wedding.  Direction, organization, light, editing.  We got the good stuff – and we knew that. And you will know that with engagement photos. 

I can admit when I’m being kinda rude, and kind of judgey.  Engagement photos?  Worth it.  

Check out Blest Studios, whether you’re engaged, pregs, celebrating an anniversary, or if you just want some gorge photos of yourself.

Annnnd they’re not paying me to say this.  I mean, it would be cool if they were.  And I’m opening the floor now for some payment 🙂 but Blest is just that good. 

Did you do engagement/pregnancy/anniversary photos?

Things I will do on the 4th of July…

I’m sitting here, and I don’t really know what to do with myself.

After I taught my Thursday night Zumba class at the Y, I actually had time to hop on the bike and ride for a while, and lift because…I had nowhere to be early on Friday morning….because it’s the 4th!

I feel so fortunate.  I am a global thinker, and I am going to love, once we get married, to travel all over with my hubby.  But my parents both come from developing nations, and because of that, I feel like I have an appreciation for the States.  I get really up in arms about politics here, about decisions the Supreme Court makes, about things I see on social media, and especially during elections – presidential and midterm, but once in a while, I have to step back and marvel at the fact that we live in a country where that sort of thing can do down, and you won’t get your head chopped off for voicing your opinion.  Let’s not take that for granted.

So one cool thing about the 4th is that my agency is closed, meaning that I have Friday 100% off.

A day in the middle of the week off?  YAAAS HONEY.

So in order for this day to be 100% successful, I have to make a list to make sure I hit everything to make this the best best best best best 4th day off in the middle of the week ever.

Things I will do on the 4th of July:

  • Give my hubby-to-be a kiss before I forget – the 5th of July is our 1-year anniversary of being engaged, and all I have is pee-in-my-pants excitement about getting to marry Austin.  Eep eep!
  • Work on my blog, and go read some other blogs.  The past few days, what with invites and all, I have not gotten as much time to read, and I’d love to catch up on some of my blogging babes.  I have some really amazing chicks I look up to, and I’m so so fortunate to have them in my life.
  • Run the Raleigh Downhill Mile.  It’s a race that consists of…one downhill mile.  I’m not sure how fast I can do it – it may be really hot, and my poor tendon might not be feeling its best, but I’d like to gauge how I do a mile when I go balls to the wall for a mile.
  • Visit a newly-married friend!  A friend of mine and her new husband bought a house, and we want to head over to her place to give them something for their nice, new house!
  • Nap. NO explanation required.
  • Do something wedding related. Idk what that is yet, but it couldn’t hurt right?
  • Download ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ on my Kindle. A librarian told me I MUST.
  • Go to the pool and socialize with young thangs drinking beer and chicken fighting with each other.

What are your plans on this beautiful 4th?  Anyone experiencing any nasty Arthur weather? 

Wedding Wednesday!


Okay, so I was planning for my Wedding Wednesday (hashtag Wedding Wednesday on the Twitter) posts to continue maybe only through my wedding, which is in August.  Well we get to continue these posts cause guess what?

20140412_111714 unnamedMy little sister is engaged, and I could not be more happy for her!

More posts!  More wedding stuff!  more helping her figure out the stuff that I need!  And guess what wedding nerds?  That means more posts for you! (Provided she doesn’t elope).  I’m not making any guarantees though.


I don’t think that I’m a major bridezilla, but something happened today that was no one’s fault, but I felt myself melting down a little bit.  Ladies, do everything you need to do early cause I promise you, this will happen.  But yesterday, when I called to check on the save-the-dates, a mistake had been made (not on the part of the paper shop), and the pre-invites were not ready.  And I almost burst into tears.  I don’t know why exactly, but I’d planned to have this finished weeks ago.  Why this?!

I talked to my mom, and one of my bridesmaids, and they both assured me it was fine, and that we had plenty of time.  Okay.  But it still really freaked me out.

Anyone else run into planning issues?  Also!  My sister is engaged!


Things every bride-to-be goes through.

But before that – look how gorgeous I looked at the gym yesterday!

photo-1I had to run my 7-miler on the treadmill today, and I paused to snap a pic of my gorgeous sweaty face before I finished.  Once I broke through the first 4 miles of horrific boredom, I was able to finish.  But I’m begging the gods of weather, please, please stop with this horrible weather.  I can honestly say I’ve never logged so much mileage on a treadmill, and this winter has been awful.  I really thought last winter when I was afraid I was going to lose a finger was the worst, but this is the absolute worst.

Moving right along!

So, this thing is not going to turn into a wedding blog, but you will get a few little morsels of wedding brownie.

Wedding stuff is really fun.  I love my husband-to-be, and I bring to you today, things that future brides go through.

  1. You’re not yet engaged, but you swear you’re gonna be the coolest effing bride to ever walk the face of the earth, should someone want to marry you.  “I bet you we’ll just get married at the courthouse, and have a great big huge party later!”  You swear you’ll wear like a white dress from ModCloth, and you don’t even need a diamond to be happy.
  2. The ring is on your finger, and you’re blissfully, unadulturatedly happy.  I literally called people that I hadn’t spoken to on the phone for years.  I would tell the cashier at Whole Foods.  We didn’t have a venue, but I was doing backflips and envisioning me in some insane dress.
  3. “I am an independent woman! I will NOT be changing my last name because I make my own money and pay my own bills so kiss my ass!”
  4. OMG I’m getting married.  What does this mean?!  Any bride who wants to pretend like they did not feel mortal anxiety at some point during their engagement is a liar.
  5. Oh em geeee I’m getting married!  And all you do is dance around all day cause you’re so excited.  And I’m confident that we will be together for a looooong time.  ::evil laughter::

So I’m not at the point where I’m freaking out stressed.  But did I miss any of the phases?  Especially you married ladies!  

I think it’s important…

To note those little things that make you happy.  They can be stupid as all get out, but they’re not stupid if they’re important to you right?  And here it is, my list of little things that have made me incredibly blissful as of the past few days.

  1. This song, called the “Story of my Life” by One Direction.  It kind of sounds like Phillip Phillips, and I’m not shy to admit that it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  I told you guys earlier that I’d added that song to my running playlist, so you know it’s serious.
  2. These two Redboxes I got, Behind the Candelabara and the One Direction Movie.  I watched them on nights when I was doing a kind-of “Cheri” night, and it’s so nice to lay around and watch movies that you can dance and sing along to.
  3. This cat.
  4. photo
  5. This ring I found on Etsy the other day and I can’t find anywhere else.  And if anyone feels inclined to buy this for me, I would love it.  I’d ask Austin, but he recently bought me another ring – I think there must be some sort of statute on how long I have to wait before I ask him for more of my finds.
  6. photo
  7. Clean workout clothes.  None of which I have right now.  I need to throw a load in, but I’m busy chatting it up with you all!  But I did make a New Years Resolution to be a better housekeeper, right?  ::sigh:: Being a grown-up without a housekeeper totally blows.
  8. This brown microsuade blanket I bought when I was in college on clearance from Target.  As cold as it’s been, I’ve pulled that thing out of the guest bedroom, and I love waking up with the under-blank temp between 75-80 degrees.  Caliente!
  9. And finally, this trashy television that I’ve DVRed.  I’m a sommelier of fine tasty reality television, mainly anything that Andy Cohen has touched, but I really don’t have a whole lot of time to watch it during the week.  Laying on the bed with the cat, with Austin puttering around while I catch up on all the bad telly I’ve missed during the week makes me so insanely blissful.

So what’s making you happy this week?  

Engagement anxiety – a wedding post.

I was, and am thrilled to be getting married.  Absolutely thrilled.  I’m still in disbelief that someone wants to marry me, but that’s another discussion for another day.

We finally put a deposit down on the venue, and I feel like such a huge weight is lifted.   I literally, to the chagrin of me darling neighbors, did a Rockettes-styled dance when I hung up the phone with Jeremy, my point person at the venue.  The search for a venue was a frustrating one – especially because there’s no real indication of whats in your price range and what’s not until you visit a place.  And then they tell you it’s a $20,000 food minimum.  And then you die kinda.

Here it is, the beautiful place where we will be getting married August 23, 2014.

Kudos to all you brides that make it look like you spent a year to a year-and-a-half enjoying making wedding plans over a bubbly pedicure with little flutes of champagne, and your wedding binder in your lap, but whatever.  I am SO not that bride.  Well, not yet.

There’s a little bit of anxiety that comes with being engaged, anxiety about the fact that you’re in this state of limbo, not a girlfriend, but not yet a wife, and you’re expected to run around with clouds around your feet, singing songs, and spreading your arms wide when you hit the high notes.  And any shred of anxiety is supposed to mean that you’re making a huge mistake, right?  Wrong.

Yes, I’m wearing a beautiful diamond ring, and I literally cannot wait to walk down the aisle and become an official family with Austin.  But the diamond doesn’t transcend all, and daily things and logistics about the wedding will create anxiety.  In the span of time since I’ve gotten engaged, I lost my grandmother, moved apartments suddenly, and started a new job, so arrest me for being a little off-kilter.

Additionally, the pressure from other people adds to this.  People making demands as far as their invites, worries about money, logistics of getting 150 folks into your city and housed, fed, and drinked for a night, complaints from family members about your choice of dress, hairstyle, the venue – these all will add to some of your anxiety.

So brides-to-belisten here.  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, and you’re worried that your worry is a sure sign that you’re a freak, destined to be alone forever, chill out.  You’re not the only one and your worry is normal.  Relax and remember that in a few months, you’re about to throw the party of the dang century.  Cheers!

I fell in love at the gym.

Ready for a bombshell?  Your favorite running/lifestyle/healthy-living blog can also add to the lineup, a wedding prep blog.

Cause…I got engaged on Friday.

I am engaged.  I am getting married!  I am.  Getting married!

It sounds so weird to say. (And don’t worry ladies, I’ll put some ring pics up for you to drool over in a bit).

So.  I fell in love at the gym.  My fiancé (oh my gosh I have one of those), used to teach cycling.  I used to hear his 90’s rap music floating down the hallway from his class room.  Who is that?  Gotta be some young black guy, listening to all that music I love.  When in actuality, it was an Engineering student who worked in the fitness suite as well.  Who happened to be a white guy.  I wonder if he thinks I’m cute?  Nah.  No way.  I teach Zumba, he teaches cycling, we could never make this work. 

Fast forward to a beer date we were on as friends.  The cute guy from cycling asks me on a date.  One date, and I was a smitten kitten.  Two dates, and I was thinking about our future.  3.5 dates?  And I was in love.  So in addition to running, running safety, apparel, race prep, charity work, 2.5 years after I met the cutie who played 90s rap in his cycling class, my blog will feature a little bit of wedding fun.  I am so excited!  Stay tuned for some sick-ass wedding/running/toning/Pinterest posts.  We’re getting married!