Winding Down…or Winding Up?

Things have become very busy for me lately. It’s surprising how quickly things become busy as a school year winds down. If you’re reading this, it’s been a couple weeks since I posted, and I meant to get back to this quickly. Guess what? I got distracted.

So here I am, waiting for my car to finish being serviced at the dealership. It seemed like a good time to post after I completed some other online errands. It’s amazing how many online errands we have, isn’t it?

Check your email, submit work assignments via email, make reservations, surf social media, post on social media, and everything else that catches our attention. We’re always busy in our online lives.

Well, I’m finally winding down a bit at least in my work life. Why is that? Because tomorrow is my last day of work for six weeks! I’ll be completing a full year of teaching ESL and hopefully getting lots of time to myself to organize that horrible extra bedroom. Yes, you read that right.

I have yet to completely organize the extra bedroom of doom. I’ve made progress in other areas, though. I managed to go through every area of my wardrobe and thin it down immensely. On Monday, I took a car full of bags and boxes to the local organization that helps homeless people as a donation. And when I say a car full, I mean it. My trunk was packed, and I had to fill up the passenger seat with bags and boxes as well. When the man brought out the rolling bin to help me, I filled it to the top with no problem.

I plan to go through all the things in the extra bedroom and our storage closet, not to mention the additional things in my closet and weed out more donation items here during my summer break. I actually feel so much better about being more minimalist when I do this.

Speaking of weeding things out, Fernando and I bought some new dishes because our original set were becoming a bit frustrating to work with. Besides, we really like Fiestaware. I’m really just becoming my mother since she uses the same kind of dishes. In any event, I suppose it was expected that we would eventually get new dishes. We took the old ones, including some nice wine glasses and put them aside as a donation.

Now we’re making them a friend donation because a couple of our friends are moving back to the area after being in Hawaii in the army for the last couple of years. My friend was so excited about having actual dishes when she moves back I started thinking about what other things I could offer her from my stash of items that I no longer want. I think I like the idea of being able to give my things to someone I know who can use them better than I do just donating to an organization that resells them to random strangers. I know Fernando enjoys it.

The one thing I have been doing in my extra bedroom is organizing my school stuff. I spent a long time trying to put as many of my school supplies into a state of organization based on type of worksheet and what part of the curriculum I would use them. I did this over several days and finally got to the point where I could store everything outside of the rolling bin and lockbox I was assigned from the school system. It was good timing because I returned those to the supervisor yesterday in an attempt to be done with them early.

Phew! Writing all that out is tiring.

And, guess what?

Next week I have to spend my time cleaning and getting ready for a beach and Disney trip! I spent my morning here making dining reservations at Disney for our December trip there. But we actually plan to go to the beach with my parents for a few days and then drive further south to Disney after the beach trip.

I’m going to be very busy!

I won’t really get to relax till after our vacation. Isn’t that the way it always is?

– RaeNezL

License and Registration, Please

You get pulled over, and the first thing a cop asks for is your license and registration.

You get engaged, and these are not some of the first things you think about. In fact, they’re not things you really want to think about at all if you’re me. I mean, fine… sure being legally married is kind of important. Maybe. If I go to the hospital for some reason, it would be nice if Fernando is considered family and able to come visit me at the time I want to see him so I’m not screaming at a nurse about the unfairness of it all.

Granted, that’s hopefully not a likely scenario.

But registries? I mean, it’s exciting, and yes, by all means, come to my wedding and drop off a gift (or three!) at that shiny gift table we’ll lay out for your viewing pleasure right next to the entrance. In fact, come to a bridal shower and bring a gift, and then bring a gift card to the wedding if you don’t mind.

For the uninitiated, let me let you in on a little secret: registries aren’t like 27 Dresses AT ALL.

Seriously.

It’s depressing. My views of registries have been completely unhinged by this experience.

Okay, melodrama aside, it wasn’t that bad. But I’d like to give a couple of tips for anyone planning a wedding registry here in the next, oh, you know, six months to six years.

Welcome to…

RaeNez’s Tips for Registries (Family Welcome, Friends By Invitation Only) 

Plan Ahead; Register Online – Of the stores I’ve visited so far, the only ones that haven’t expected me to already have registered online before coming in were, oh wait…none of them. Yes, this should have been obvious, but hey, I was living in the haze of thinking things were like the good old days where you could still just walk in and do fun things like registering in a store. Do yourself a favor and start the process online before walking into a store. The store will thank you if they don’t already have a kiosk set up for this specific purpose. And it will shorten your trip a little.

Only Take People Who Won’t Put Fish-Themed Decor On Your Registry – I’m only half joking here. If you plan to take friends, even close ones, on your registry hunt, take a moment to reconsider. They may be the ones who have suggested the trip or invited themselves, but this will take time. Do you really want your friends subjected to you walking around for hours on end asking them what you should get for your future home? Not to sound catty here, but it’s just asking for fish-themed (or worse) decor added to the registry should they learn how to access your online registry or get hold of the scanner when your back is turned. The point is that if you’re going to take friends, make sure you take them after the bulk of your registration is done, not when you’re just starting. Perhaps have them come to help you iron out some ideas you weren’t sure of between bathroom themes and kitchen themes. And never make them stay too long.

Wear Walking Friendly Footwear – Have you ever been inside a Bed, Bath & Beyond before? No? How about a Target? Perhaps your regular shopping trips take a short amount of time because you already know what you want. Planning ahead in registering will only get you so far when you have that shiny beacon of power, namely the scanner, in your greedy little hands. When your future home is only a laser beam away from being filled with pots, pans, turkey basters, toasters, shower curtains, plungers, vacuum cleaners, and that never-gonna-get-it-but-can’t-help-hoping expensive duvet cover, it’s easy to suck away hours of time in the store you only intended to spend a little time in. Four hours later, you step outside the doors squinting into the rays of the sun as it reminds you how hungry you are when you thought of all the delicious meals you’d cook on the George Foreman and the cookies you’d mix in your brand new peacock colored KitchenAid Mixer. And then it hits you. Your feet are killing you! Why on earth did you wear heels out there?!

Take An Advisor With You – Yes, this advice might clash with what I said about fishy friends earlier. But this is different. I took my mom and my “aunt” with me. Between the three of us, we tackled a lot of things I would never have thought to add to my list for my registry, especially in my kitchen area. Just make sure your advisor is someone who’s close enough to you to love you enough not to get bored or tired of dealing with your registry. This is why I advise close family because they’re not allowed to get so frustrated they run away… at least, not in my family.

Know What You Need – Do you already have a house with most of your furnishings? Great. You may not need the mega registry I do. I happen to have very few things already covered. I’m coming into my wedding with little to nothing as far as a bedroom and bathroom set go. I have one chair to contribute to our future living room, and I’ll be furnishing our kitchen table and the majority of our kitchen tools that we’ve collected to date (with the exception of the knife set Fernando has from a job he had selling them years ago). As you can imagine, I’m putting a lot on our registry because it’s my hope we’ll be able to get quite a bit without having to purchase all of these things right off the bat. It’s definitely helpful to know what you need and go into it with an itinerary planned of the things you’ll need for your registry.

When In Doubt, Scan It Out – Okay, so it rhymes and makes little sense. The point is that if you don’t know whether someone will buy you something but it’s an item you’d like to have, scan it. You see a turkey baster and don’t have one? Scan that sucker. Grandma may need something to cap off her gift for you and that might be it. Don’t know if someone would actually buy you the gilded fruit bowl? Scan it. Think that overpriced appetizer tray looks pretty neat for a party? Scan it. Your registry is your wish list, and people are not required to buy off your registry; nor should you expect them to. Your job is to give them ideas and thank your lucky stars that you got gifts (and-please and thank you-a gift receipt) from the people who are coming to your wedding. If you’re that concerned that your registry be perfect and representative of what you want and need, you’re going to be disappointed anyway, and I say skip it and ask for gift cards because you’ll be doing a lot of returns otherwise.

If you’ve read all of this, you’ll notice it’s a bit tongue in cheek. I know, I tend to do that.

It’s also good advice.

Registries are worth doing, but they’re also ideas more than anything else. It’s important to keep that in mind. I had to remind myself of that a time or two. There are some beautiful things out there, and I’m hopeful Fernando and I will get some gifts so we can make whatever apartment we get a cozy home before we even move into it. But if not, I’ll be thankful for the people who come to my wedding because it’s ultimately the celebration that matters to me.

Though…a little gift card wouldn’t be out of place. 😉

Just saying.

– RaeNez