Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Traditional Marriage, what is this?

Check this out ! What a classic...

But more importantly, it raises a very important issue of the traditions we choose to follow in this day and age. Do we still wear chastity belts and pay off the parents of the bride with goats? Do we still think that lesbian and gay relationships are not as valuable or as "right" as heterosexual ones?

We have chosen to legally marry at a Registry Office as we do not agree with the part of the ceremony where it is required by law that "the Monitum" must be read aloud (without which the marriage is not valid) the part that hits our nerves is the part which reads:

"Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a
man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily
entered into for life"

We have felt very strongly about this declaration and the political anti-gay statement it makes for quite sometime. And I'm sure that some reading will find it quite a shock that this has been one of the reasons we have put off getting married legally for some time. Once we finally got to the decision that we wanted to be legally married, we came up with the alternative of having this read only in the presence of our witnesses and ourselves.

Due to the strong feelings of our immediate family, we have decided in the end to have our official marriage ceremony performed in front of our parents and siblings only. Present will be us, our bridal party (of 4), my mum & dad, D's mum and dad, my brother and D's sister. D's mother & sister felt quite strongly that this was the "actual wedding" and that they would not want to miss this formality. However, it is known to them that this is just a legal formality to us.

Our wish is that our other guests understand that we do not want this statement read in front of them as it goes against our beliefs, and that we have chosen to marry officially not in their presence. They will be included in a more heartfelt and "real" ceremony where we declare our true vows to each other in front of them and then perform a "Hand-fasting Ceremony" which involves members of our community giving their personal blessing to our union.

This is only one of the many things we have chosen to do that doesn't go with "tradition"

Friday, May 29, 2009

So close now

I can't believe it is only 9 more sleeps until I am a married woman! It's just so exciting and I am looking forward to the day immensely.

I also can't believe that, with so much going on in the lead up to the wedding, I have not blogged! I think this is partly because a lot of the stuff I would blog about is very detail oriented and ... for those of you reading who will be there on the big day, I don't wanna spoil anything!

My gown is finished and looks fantastic thanks to my Mother-in-Law-to-be who sewed it, and my Sister-in-Law-to-be who helped out a lot in putting the final design touches together.

Shoes have been purchased finally (what a mission to find just the right pair and decide between the super expensive designer pair and the super cheap pair) and I am wearing them in... I wear them when I am washing the dishes and hanging out the washing! They're still a little tight but we're getting there.

The Guests have all been confirmed, we are expecting 100 of our family and friends to share in our big day ! The Seating Chart has been finalised - what a drama that is - don't sit Aunty Enid with any of the relatives... where do we put the singles? Which is the quiet table for the older guests? Who do we sit near the bar/dance floor/door/etc? Luckily for us, the main course will be served at the tables and the desserts will be serve-yourself from the tables. This means people can mingle and eat dessert from another table if they choose. Food choices - another fun task !

With 9 days left, all we have to do is finalise the vows and the music choices for the day. Confirm all of the people helping us out on the day - flowers, hair, make-up, suits, cars, drivers, etc. etc. etc.

Surprisingly, I am feeling quite calm and relaxed about it all. I have my lists - the best way for me to get all the voices in my head to be quiet so I can sleep! The tasks on the lists are slowly but surely being ticked off. Now for the fun stuff ahead next week - pedicure, manicure, massage, hair, facial - and home come brother and sister - yay!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And getting Mother-of-the-Bride organised too and girl-time!

Today, we had a great day in the City with Mum and her neighbour who had caught the train down from North-Central Victoria for the day. It was a great time to spend all together. Mum - who rarely comes to Melbourne, my sister Fi - who is moving to the UK shortly and myself... the girls of the family. Catching up, chatting, connecting and enjoying being women in the city.

About 2 weeks ago Fi and I travelled up to North-Central Victoria for the day to take mum and dad shopping for their Mother- and Father-of-the-Bride outfits. It was a very successful day with them both getting fantastic outfits for our Black and White themed wedding. However, due to limited time we encouraged mum to come to Melbourne for the shoes and accessories.

Today we had another successful shopping trip, getting mum's shoes (the 3rd pair she tried on - $20 off at Sandler) and her bag (also $20 off!) and a new thing for mum - ear-rings! She doesn't have pierced ears and so doesn't wear earrings., however she couldn't walk past a gorgeous pair of clip-ons and Fi's favourite Jewelry shop, Jeeba (at Australia On Collins) We lunched at a gorgeous little Italian Bistro in the city and had a glass of wine and were rather "Sex and the City" !

Tonight, a dear friend took me out for dinner for my birthday - some more girl-time - at a gorgeous little restaurant called Oyster Little Bourke. What a fantastic night with chats, oysters, more chats, oyster shots (mini bloody Mary's with and oyster in a shot glass!) some more chats and giggles then delicious mains - Baramundi for Fi, Veal for Lani and I had the special - Blue Eye! Delicious! Followed up by some more chats and giggles and a chocolate liqueur affogato for dessert! Yum!

What a great way to top off a great day ! Lots of fun had by all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oooh oooh ooh ... forgot to mention the photographer!

We have secured ourselves the most amazing photographer... Shazzah !

A dear friend who we love love love and who is stepping up into her passion of photography is going to be taking our happy snaps on the big day. And we couldn't be more thrilled to work with such and enthusiastic, hysterical and delightful person.

Now, we just need to see how good she is at hiding all of those chins and Fudubadas !!

Seriously, I am delighted that Shazzah is doing our photos as she is someone who we can feel comfortable with and I am sure ... being the happiest, smile-filled day of our lives ... will make us look great regardless of the chins and flabby arms.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wedding things are happening

Things are happening very quickly in the lead up to the wedding. In fact the last few days have been a marathon effort of wedding organisation combined with the delights of Easter socialising.

We have scouted out all of the City and Chadstone to find the girls' shoes, bags and wraps. Shoes and wraps were finally purchased today (at 20% and 25% off thanks to the sales), bags/clutches have been chosen and yet to be purchased. They have had their dresses since before Christmas, so it was just a matter of accessorising. Phew ! *wipes brow*

The boys have chosen their suits for the evening and been fitted etc.

We have decided on design, wording and creation of our Wedding Invitations. Purchased the materials and set about putting them all together this weekend. Between the creative genius of Tam, the cheerful determination of Fi and one semi-Bridezilla moment .... 20 hours or so of work and now we have the finished product.... perfect.... enveloped.... stamped.... posted today ! Yippee *raises arms in glee* (I will post a pic of the invites here after thems that are expecting them receive them in the mail.)

My dress and wrap are being made by my Mother-in-Law to be as we speak, already the bodice and toile have been made and fitted. The fabric for my gown has been purchased by my M-I-L2b on her recent trip to Vietnam (She got it at 10% of the price of similar fabrics in Australia). Today, we purchased the final piece of adornment that will top it off.... a piece of fabric I have been dreaming of for the last month or so since seeing it in Franke Stewart Fabrics on a fabric shopping expedition with Fi and M-I-L-2b.

Next for me is getting my shoes, having a make-up and hair trial and finalising our accommodation details. Also, finalising the flowers for the day. Next for D is finalising the honeymoon details.

Next for the girls is finalising the Hen's Night details and invitations; I have no idea what they have planned for me for the day and I am looking forward to the surprise. Boys are in a similar situation with D's Bucks Night activities!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Money and Experience

This is a great email that was forwarded to me today. I think it is a perfect account of what is happening in our society today and how we can choose to live our lives - from a place of lack or a place of abundance and valuing each and every one of our experiences rather than the financial implications of them.

Enjoy !


Money has no memory. Experience has. You will never know what the total cost of your education was, but for a lifetime you will recall and relive the memories of schools and colleges. Few years from now, you will forget the amount you paid to settle the hospitalization bill, but will ever cherish having saved your mother's life or the life you get to live with the just born. You won't remember the cost of your honeymoon, but to the last breath remember the experiences of the bliss of togetherness. Money has no memory. Experience has.

Good times and bad times, times of prosperity and times of poverty, times when the future looked so secure and times when you didn't know from where the tomorrow will come… life has been in one way or the other a roller-coaster ride for everyone. Beyond all that abundance and beyond all that deprivation, what remains is the memory of experiences. Sometimes the wallet was full… sometimes even the pocket was empty. There was enough and you still had reasons to frown. There wasn't enough and you still had reasons to smile. Today, you can look back with tears of gratitude for all the times you had laughed together, and also look back with a smile at all the times you cried alone. All in all, life filled you with experiences to create a history of your own self, and you alone can remember them all.

The first time you balanced yourself on your cycle without support…

The first time she said 'yes' and it was two years since you proposed…

The first cry… the first steps… the first word… the first kiss… all of your child…

The first gift you bought for your parents and the first gift your daughter gave you…

The first award… the first public appreciation… the first stage performance…

And the list is endless… Experiences, with timeless memory…

No denying that anything that's material cost money, but the fact remains the cost of the experience will be forgotten, but the experience never.

So, what if it's economic recession? Let it be, but let there not be a recession to the quality of your life. You can still take your parents, if not on a pilgrimage, at least to the local temple. You can still play with your children, if not on an international holiday, at least in the local park. It doesn't cost money to lie down or to take a loved one onto your lap. Nice time to train the employees, create leadership availability and be ready for the wonderful times when they arrive. Hey! Aspects like your health, knowledge development and spiritual growth are not economy dependent. Time will pass… economy will revive… currency will soon be in current… and in all this, I don't want you to look back and realize you did nothing but stayed in gloom. Recession can make you lose out on money. Let it not make you lose out on experiences… If you are not happy with what you have, no matter how much more you have, you will still not be happy.

Make a statement with the way you live your life: How I feel has nothing to do with how much I have.

-Author unknown (although I would love to meet such a wonderful, eloquent, insightful writer)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby Showers - no, not a weather forecast

Yesterday, I attended my 2nd ever baby shower. However, this was the first of my close friends to be having a baby, whereas the other was an aquaintance who I didn't know especially well.

It is so exciting to have a close friend just about to have a baby, she is due in 4 weeks. It is a magical process to follow their journey through the early days of sickness and relative normalcy of their routines. To the "showing" part where it is really much more obvious that there is a baby growing inside... and those first flutters of movements growing into movements that the dad (or we) can feel from the outside. To today, where there is a bump that appears more baby-sized and that the little person who is inside might just be getting ready to make an appearance on the outside world and come to meet us all.

The wonder of the growth of a baby in the womb has been something that has awed and amazed me since I was 6-7 years old and my mum was pregnant with my little brother. And I'm sure it was there earlier than that growing up on a farm and being very much involved with the birthing of lambs and feeding of new babies (lambs) every spring! And being the chief babysitter for all of the ladies at the weekend tennis or netball matches - so they could enjoy their games knowing thier little ones were taken care of.

The amazement of the human body had me choose to study about the human biology and how it works at University and even take an Embryology elective - which taught me the intricate process of the formation of an embryo ---> fetus ---> baby from those original 2 cells that join together in the extraordinarily precious act of conception. Let me tell you, it is beyond words and sometimes beyond our capability to imagine how the act of procreation occurs... and that it occurs at all!

After University, I worked for Obstetricians for a number of years and fell in love with the beauty of meeting pregnant women and the delight of meeting that little person that grew inside them and came back to be showed off at their 6-week check up! I even went on to work in a research field in one of the biggest maternity hospitals in Melbourne and witnessed many births (natural and Caesarean) in the process.

Through all of these experiences, both good and not-so-good, I have unwaveringly "known" that I would always hold a high fascination for the creation of our offspring and be involved in this process, by either working in the field or participating in the conception-birth process myself. I look forward to the time in my life when I get to experience being pregnant and bringing a new little being into the world and assisting them along their journey.

This is why I LOVE having one of my very close friends going through this process under my nose. It excites me and reminds me of one of my great purposes in this lifetime. This is why it was such a great pleasure to celebrate this impending arrival with a "Baby Shower". To show her how supported she is, so that she will know that our energy, support and love will be with her always, through the birth and beyond.

What a beautiful afternoon we all created for her, with presents and food and lovely conversations and games... Did I mention lots of fun and laughter? The opportunity to be creative was there too - painting plain baby singlets with fabric paint for lingering gifts with personal touches, to be used with this baby and the next and possibly handed along to other friends with newborns too.

The energy in the room was so loving and nurturing and knowing that all the women there were in their own part of the female cycle was delightful - the single women, the women in relationships, the married and the soon-to-be-married, the mothers-to-be, the mothers and the grandmothers. It was just perfect in its simplicity and wonder.