Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching, Cotillones, and Wedding Planning

Hello Monday! For most people Monday sucks but for me it rocks. One of the perks of being an English teacher is that you get to plan out your schedule. You do classes when you want to do classes and with the wedding fast approaching, I decided to book Monday off so I have it completely free! This means that every weekend is a long weekend in my world! Yaaaayyy :) However, now that I do have a lot of classes and booked them all from Tuesday to Friday, I do end up running around like crazy on those days going from class to class as fast as I can...Okay I'm not going to lie, I don't have it that bad. Even though I have lots of classes on those days, I still have plenty of time to go sit at Starbucks and have breaks throughout the day. But I'm fine with not working like crazy one month before the wedding. Next year when things calm down and everybody is done visiting, I'll try to work a bit harder...but just a bit ;)

So what do I do with my Mondays? I start the day with a nice long early run. Now that I teach early the rest of the week, I don't run as much as I used to so it's awesome waking up on Monday and starting the day with a run. Then I have all day to myself. So far my Mondays have been dedicated to housework, wedding planning, and cooking. One of my favorite things to do on Monday is to try a new recipe because I actually have the time to do it. I think everybody needs a three day weekend. A two day weekend is not enough time to do anything and E and I barely make a dent in the list of things we need to do every week. And when you add time for friends and family somewhere during the weekend, it practically dissapears in seconds. This weekend for example, we went to get together with some of E's friends on Friday night and got back at 4:30am. We slept almost all day, then that night we had a wedding and got back the next morning at 5:30am. Then slept as much as we could but had to go to E's parents for lunch and by the time we got back to our apartment, it was 6pm and hadn't accomplished anything. It's so frustrating! This is why I am so happy I have my Monday free. Now I can take care of all those little things we needed to do on the weekend, or at least take care of some of them.

And now for a wedding planning update. We bought the "cotillones" for the wedding. I have no idea how to translate that in English, especially since we don't use them in North America. However, they are types of festive party costume type deocrations like crazy hats, masks, necklaces, etc...that people put on in the middle of the wedding party to get the party going. This moment of the wedding is typically accompanied with funky music like cumbias to boost everyone's energy and get them all on the dance floor. We had so much fun buying the cotillones. We went to this place called "Meiggs" (sp?) which is a place in Santiago where you can find really cheap "made in China" type shit including all types of party supplies. That's where most couples go to buy their cotillones and we had a great time trying everything on and making asses of ourselves he he. They have some crazy stuff there! I think we bought a good variety of things.

As usual, we have been having so many problems with the Catholic Church...this time with my baptism certificate. The secretary told me I needed a recent copy of my certificate and so I had to get my mom to get it from the Church in Canada where I was baptised. That church scanned me a copy to give to this Church in Chile because mailning it was going to take too long but this stuffy old lady would not accept it, even though my Church back home told me that they send these all over the world and Churches should accept a scanned copy or a photocopy. However, this lady is so difficult so we now have to wait for the mailed original copy. However, we can't do any other paperwork until I have that copy so everything depends on it. We also can't pay for the Church where we're getting married until we have that certificate and if we don't pay for it soon, we're going to lose our reservation. Actually, E had previously called 3 times to confirm our reservation there and make sure it was all good, which it was, and then he called a few days ago to confirm again and they said they didn't have our reservation! So E told the secretary to put us down for that date and time but she told us that she couldn't because the Church office hours were over so it wasn't possible and that we wouldn't know anything until the next day. So we went the whole night freaking out not knowing if somebody else took our reservation. Thank God the next day we were able to re-reserve and everything turned out to be fine! However, if we don't get my certificate to them soon, things might really get screwed up. Arrghhg!!!! I never expected the "Church" side of things to be the most complicated part of wedding planning. This isn't even the half of what we've been going through with them! I'm starting to be convinced that the Church does not want people to get married.

E and I both have our bachelorette parties planned on the same night for only 2 more weeks away! I can't wait! I have never even been to a bachelorette party before so I have no idea what to expect, let alone a Chilean bachelorette party. And word is there is going to be a male dancer ha ha! I am very curious as to what kind of a show male dancers put on and I can't imagine keeping a straight face while watching one dance lol.

Up this weekend: confirming wedding guest numbers (though we haven't even got out all the invites yet! uff...), seating arrangements, paying the vendors, and working on our bloody first dance that we haven't even started yet!!! If we don't get this going soon we're going to end up being stuck with the normal waltz. Not that the waltz isn't great, but we had a good idea in mind that we wanted to try out. The problem is that to execute this idea, we need time, and we don't seem to have enough of it lately.

Alright, no more time for blogging, must.get.stuff.done! Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wedding Flowers

Here I sit, at my favorite Starbucks with hours to go before my next class. My morning class cancelled so instead of going home, I came here. Oh well, I happen to love sitting at Starbucks. It allows me to catch up on things such as blogging for example. The weather has been crazy here. A few days ago it was almost 34 degrees celcius and then yesterday was only 17 degrees and cloudy. Today looks the same as yesterday: cloudy and cool. And I am loving it! They're even predicting rain for the weekend. Winter is giving it's last hurrah. This morning E told me that it was because of La Nina which happens to be in effect this year and results in wetter and cooler than normal weather. That explains a lot. If this is true, this summer isn't going to be as crazy hot as it normally is. No complaints here! I really cannot stand Santiago in the heat. I love the heat back where I'm from (a small city in Canada) because we're surrounded by mountains and lakes and green so you don't feel like you're living in a city of concrete. Here however, with the herds of people everywhere and the concrete buildings that saturate this city, heat makes me miserable. Especially when you're an English teacher and have to walk around this city all day giving classes. I don't think it's particularly attractive arriving to my student's offices dripping with sweat. Ew. So for now I'm happy with this extended winter. I'll take as much of it as I possibly can before the heat arrives!

Today is a special day because it marks just 1 MONTH UNTIL MY PARENTS ARRIVE!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!! I still can't believe it's real!!!! Oh my god I miss my parents SOOOOO MUCH!!!! We're going to have such a fabulous time here together too. They get here a week before the wedding so that week will be full of catching up and hanging out and taking care of last minute wedding details with my mom who, despite living on a different continent, has helped me out more than I could have ever possibly imagined! She is a god send and I love her! We are also going to have a big dinner/party/rehersal dinner the week of the wedding to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday and to have a chance for our two families to get together.

Then, the weekend of the wedding my family, along with E's, are all staying at the little mini resort that is our wedding venue. My family and I are staying there the night before the wedding, the night of, and the night after to have three days of relaxation together. Then E and I are booking it to a wonderful 5 star hotel for a wedding night package given to E by his company before setting off to the beach for a week to just relax after all the wedding planning stress. During that week my parents are off to Buenos Aires and Mendoza, my sister is off to travel with a friend of hers to somewhere in Argentina. Then we're all meeting back in Santiago for Christmas and after that taking off to the beach again and then hitting up Vina for a few days to celebrate New Years there. After that it's just some more family time in Santiago before my dad has to go back home at the beginning of January while my dear little mother is staying until the end of January so she can be here for my birthday :) December and January are going to be AWESOME!!! I'm pretty sure while my mom is here we will be hitting up Starbucks every day as well, something that my mother and I do religiously back home. I can't WAIT to have her here with me again!!!! And only one more month!!!!

On Tuesday we completed another fun wedding planning task and we chose the flowers for the venue and the church. We didn't go crazy in order to save money but we got just enough I think. Plus our reception venue is really beautiful and has enough decorations as it is so we really didn't need to add too much more. But it was fun meeting with the florist and chosing the flowers and the colours. I also chose my bouquet! I really didn't know what I wanted when I went in there, I just knew in general the colours and the style I liked. I like having a natural feel for things and like warm earth tones so we went with these family of flowers that are related to sun flowers (and including sun flowers) and we went with warm tones of oranges, reds, yellows, creams, and then greenery. The church and the reception venue have a lot of wood so these colors really go well and warm everything up nicely. For my bouquet I chose these soft orange/red calla lillies with these weird green bulbous flower thingies. It might sound weird but it looks really cool! At first I was just going to ask the florist to make a bouquet out of the same flowers we used to decorate everything else but then we all decided that the brides bouquet should be different and special. So there you have it, our flowers for the wedding :)

We were originally planning on going to the terminal de flores (a big market where you can buy flowers in bulk and for really low prices) and doing the flowers ourselves. But then we met with the florist, since she works for the place we're having our wedding reception, and when we saw all the work and effort that goes into making flower arrangements and actually transporting them, we decided to forget it. I really don't want to have to worry about all that the day before the wedding. And the price for everything she gave us was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be (in an awesome way) so we are happy. The actual price for all the flowers was actually half of what we thought it was going to be! Score!

So everything seems to be going along swimmingly...except for one thing...the Roman Catholic Church!!!! I never expected things to be so complicated and stressful!!! First of all, we are foced to deal with all the church paperwork at the parroquia (kind of like cathedral per neighborhood) that corresponds to us based on where we live which makes no sense because whose to say you're going to live in that one area your whole life, let alone the year. So anyway, because of this we have to deal with this totally obnoxious unpleasant woman who is the secretary of the parroquia. In general, the type of person that dedicates their life to working as a secretary in a church is a special type. We've delt with a few of them here in Chile and they all seem to be the same. They are all old unhappy women who crave attention and power and have nothing better to do with their time than sit in a dark dusty old office making people miserable and as a result, giving a bad name for the church and making it difficult to have any part of it. And people wonder why nobody practices Catholosism anymore. The church is so behind the times on so many levels. I am Catholic and I respect many beliefs of the Church, but I think they really need to wake up and adapt to modern times. However, I'm not going to get into what I think about the Church right now. Let's just hope we get through this with no problems!

Alright, now I better start figuring out what I'm going to do for my next class. Just a warning, most of the posts for the next month will be primarly of the wedding so bear with me.

Only two more days until the weekend! This weekend E and I plan to perfect the dance we are doing for our first dance at the wedding. Well, more like start practicing the dance. Enjoy the last couple days of the week everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

This and That :)

I miss Halloween. I know Halloween was yesterday but it didn't feel that way at all. All the spookiness of Halloween is lost when celebrating this day in the spring. Last night there was a warm night breeze that carried so many delicious flowery aromas and it was therefore impossible to think of Halloween. On top of that, there is no real hype over this day here. For me Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I would plan my costume and the Halloween festivities all month. I love that back home whenever you enter a mall or coffee shop in October it is usually decorated from head to toe with pumpkins, fake spider webs, and other creepy things. Here in Santiago I haven't seen a single Halloween decoration so I was kind of bummed. Halloween was always the best party of the year and I love that crisp, fresh, smokey autumn air and the falling leaves that accompanied this day. The fact that my favorite time of the year is the fall might have something to do with this. Knowing that I was a little bummed about Halloween, my wonderful E brought back a little Halloween surprise when he came back from buying produce at the market. He brought me back a pumpkin!!! It was just so sweet and thoughtful and I was so happy I almost cried. Okay, granted the pumpkin was white and might have actually been some kind of squash hybrid, but it's the thought that counts and it made me happy :) We put it up in our living room for decoration ha ha. Our one little Halloween decoration.

It's the same in Chile with Christmas. I am so not looking forward to spending my 4th consecutive Christmas in Chile. I mean, it's going to be a blast sending it with my family who are coming down for the wedding, but it just won't be the same. It seems that people don't really celebrate anything here. Christmas is over in just a few hours here and nobody goes out of their way to decorate or bake or do anything special for the month of December in preparation for Christmas. E's family puts up their fake plastic tree a couple nights before Christmas eve but that's about it. Back home I'm used to preparing for Christmas all of December. We bake all month and have plenty of get togethers with family and friends. But oh well, enough complaining. I guess I'm just starting to miss a few things from back home. It was bound to happen.

In happier news, the wedding preparations are going along wonderfully! We had our food tasting on Saturday and invited E's parents and sister and her boyfriend. The food was amazing and they served big portions which I'm so happy about. I hate going to weddings where you're served a tiny portion and are hungry the rest of the night...it's suprising how many weddings I've been to where this has been the case. Anyway, back to the food...it was a tough decision but we finally settled with two options: a lighter option and a heaver option. I was so tempted to chose the big delicious lomo (filet) as an option but we finally decided against it (though it was delicious) just because that's what most people eat at weddings. So we went with another option that was a bit different, but I hope people will like. Well, all the food was excellent in my opinion so I'm sure it won't be a problem. We also had a meeting with the wedding planner who works at our venue and we went through a list of things we have to take care of and he gave us a break down of the evening.

After talking to him I now have so much more confidence in everything and am so much less stressed. It turns out they take care of most of those little details I was worried about which is great! And the wedding planner is there to make sure everything goes according to plan that day and there are different people in charge of music, food, and all those other little details so that we don't have to worry about a thing. Deciding to have our wedding at this place was the best decision we ever could have taken. To anybody planning on getting married, I highly recommend a venue that takes care of everything for you...it's amazing how much time and effort and stress you save yourself! Of course we get to tell them exactly what we want but the point is that they do it all for you. Such a relief!!!

I can't believe it's only a month and a half until the big day! My parents are going to be here in practically a month!!! Where did the time go?! Wow...


Alright, now I'm off to work on some more wedding details and then tonight we're meeting with our priest. This long weekend was a godsend for getting things done. On top of that we had some much needed down time and spent some quality time with some great friends one night and had a movie night another night. I just love vegging out with some wine and popcorn and watching a good movie.

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend as much as we did!