Thursday, September 20, 2012

44 days!

I found this on a wedding blog I follow and thought it would be fun to post it on here :)

1. What are your middle names? Rachael & Kiva
2. How long have you been together? It was one year on September 2nd :)
3. How long did you know each other before you started dating? haha! My first memory of him was a month after I turned 12 years old (nearly 16 years ago, now). We met during the church Christmas musical production. We grew up in the same youth group and were in the same group of friends through high school.
4. Who asked who out? He asked me :)
5. Whose siblings do you see the most? His probably... but with Aaron being best friends with my older brother, he actually might see my siblings more than I do. ha!
6. Do you want children? We are excited to have some someday... but hopefully a day several years in the future :) We are just excited to be married and get to live life the two of us for a little while!
7. What about pets? No pets... We are dog people though. However, we agree our lives are too busy for a pet. Maybe when we have kiddos :)
8. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? He's a quick processor and I am slow processor, but we are learning to meet in the middle.
9. Did you go to the same school? We never went to the same school, but we were in the same youth group. He was two years ahead of me.
10. Are you from the same home town? yes... sort of. I grew up on Tempe, Arizona and he grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. We lived 30 minutes away from each other, but I spent so much time in Phoenix, I feel like it's apart of my hometown. 
11. Who is the smartest? Aaron for sure! He was Validictorian in High school and went to Grad School and everything. He is also just generally wiser than I am. I mean I hold my own, but he is definitely the smart one :)
12. Where do you eat out most as a couple? He has been introducing me to a lot of great Phoenix Restaurants. I don't know if we have eaten the same place twice! Except Mr. Sushi's on Northern and the I-17 and The Vig. Food is definitely and interesting thing in our relationship, we have very different tastes in food sometimes... I am mac and cheese... he is tofu and hummus. But it helps that I am willing to try new things a lot and he has no real problems with a good cheeseburgers and french fries :)
13. Who has the craziest ex? that is a complicated question... it is a tie, but neither situation was an official relationship and therefore neither was considered an official "ex".
14. Who has the worst temper? I really don't think either of our tempers are particularly bad, maybe a tie, but a good tie.
15. Who does the cooking? Aaron! I don't feel fully capable as a cook, so he does a lot of it... or we eat out (see question #12).
16. Who is more social? both of us are home bodies and introverts. But I think we are equal in our socializing. We both care very deeply for the friendships we have.
17. Who is the neat-freak? I am a deep cleaner, which means I wait until it is really messy and then clean every inch of everything... which will probably mean he will be more neat than I am overall. ha
18. Who is the more stubborn? depends on what we are being stubborn about. I think both of us are able to concede and serve the other person... at least right now/ Ask me again after a couple years of marriage. ha!
19. Who hogs the bed? In 44 days we will know for sure, but knowing how I normally sleep and how he normally sleeps... the poor man won't stand a chance. I sleep diagonal across my double bed with my arms and legs in all directions. He says he sleeps in the fetal position. hm...
20. Who wakes up earlier? He does for sure!!! I am NOT a morning person... but our work schedules will mean that I will have to wake up about 30 minutes before he needs to... but I guarantee you, he will still be awake long before I am most of the time.
21. Where was your first date? Well we went to Liberty Market in Gilbert for dinner the night he asked me out, but it was supposed to be just friends and we each paid for ourselves. A week later he took me out to Culinary Dropout in Scottdale and then we saw The Guard at the Camelview theaters. I remember it feeling so strange to hold him hand and for him to put his arm around me. The thought still makes me giddy.
22. Who has the bigger family? I do! I have big families from both my mom and dad. Aaron's mom's family is pretty small, but his dad's family is big.
23. Do you get flowers often? I definitely get them more often than I use to! I like the irregularity of his flower giving, it is a surprise every time!
24. How do you spend the holidays? Good question!! With the wedding being at the beginning of November and all our focus being on that, we have yet to discuss what we are going to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I stresses me out when I think about it... so I choose not to think about it at all.
25. How long did it take to get serious? I tell people it feels like Aaron and I started dating on the 9th month of our relationship. After knowing each other for 15 years, we didn't have to learn a ton about each other's family or past or like and dislikes... so we dove into the serious stuff right away. We also are both in a place in life, where we didn't want to waste time. So we said I love you about 2 months in and started having talks about marriage 4 months in. He proposed just short of 8 months.
26. Who eats more? Me! Haha... I also eat WAY less healthy than he does. 
27. Who does/did the laundry? Ladies laundry is way more complicated than guys laundry, so I'll probably take over and do it... or we'll do it together. 
28. Who’s better with the computer? We have never really tested it... but I would say me... or maybe its because I have a newer and nicer computer. ha 
29. Who drives when you are together? He drives more. It is a 45 minute drive from my house to his (which is where we usually meet up), so since I drive so far to get out there, he does the driving when we are together.
30. What are you most looking forward to as a couple? I think right now I am just looking forward to the blissful calm of finally being married. No more wedding planning taking away mental space, no more having to say goodnight by my car and having to drive 45 minutes before getting to sleep, no more scheduling time to see each other because we are busy and live so far away from each other. I am also looking forward to decorating our home... making it ours. I am looking forward to the holidays as a married couple. I am looking forward to Disneyland and Mexico for our honeymoons! I am also looking forward to the vacations we have planned in our heads before we decide to start a family - Thailand, Europe, New Zealand... hopefully we can do at least two out of the three in the next few years. I am looking forward to always being associated with Aaron and being Aaron's wife. I look forward to the day when no one remembers a time he and I weren't together. I love that man and am so proud to belong to him and that he belongs to me :)

Hope you enjoyed a peek into our relationship! This weekend is my first bridal shower thrown by my amazing bridesmaids!!!!! I am so excited that the festivities have begun! From this time out we have a wedding event nearly every weekend until the wedding!!! YAY!

And in BIG exciting news! My friend Carla is coming for the wedding all the way from London, England!! I met her when I studied there and we instantly became amazingly close friends. We have stayed close through Skype, email, and facebook. She came and visited me a couple years ago for a week and I was able to do a ton of fun day trips and showing her around the city. I even had a welcome party for her where she got to meet Aaron (but at that time he was just a friend who came to the party). She is excited now to meet him as my fiance and then husband. I am so excited to have her at our wedding!! To have her there as my guest of honor for the week leading up to the big celebration! I am so thankful that our friendship has lasted nearly 4 years and an ocean away. Excited to get to share this moment with her :)
Me and Carla (AKA Chels and Tilly)!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Charity Shoes!

Many years ago my friend Laura and I went out to coffee together. I remember hearing her heart for giving money to charities and how she wished she could always do more. Then she said something that has literally played in my head over and over again ever since. She said "I don't have more money to give, but I figure, I need shoes, so why wouldn't I buy TOMs?" What an amazing idea! I immediately started looking at different charities out there and specifically looking at their stores that sell Tshirts, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories which give their proceeds to the organization. What I discovered was amazing!! There are countless places to buy one-for-one items or clothing that is for a good cause. Then you have the many many partner companies that will create a line of jewelry on Etsy just to donate the profits to a charity! You could nearly complete a wardrobe with the stuff that is out there and know you gave a bit of money to people who need it.
In addition you also get to tell people about charity you gave to. When people ask me where I got my favorite 31bits bracelet, I get to tell them about women in Uganda who make them and who get to have an education because of the money I spend. Or when people see my Charity:Water T-shirt, I get to tell them about how there are people who have never had a sip of clean water. Or when people comment on my Falling Whistle necklace (which Aaron and his sister Ashley gave me for my college graduation last year), I get to tell them how children in the Congo are kidnapped and forced into child armies.

Last Christmas I decided to give my families only gifts that were charity based because 1.) I thought they would love the stuff I found and 2.) I wanted them to hear the amazing stories I have heard! My family loved the gift ideas and I cried giving each one to them and telling the stories of the people their gifts were helping! Even for Elsie (who was barely 1 year old at the time), I donated money to World Vision to buy a family a goat in Africa and got a little stuffed goat in return! Elsie loved her stuffed goat! I even donated the remainder of my Christmas budget to World Vision to help other causes.
My family was so amazed by the gifts they got, so this Christmas we all decided to forgo getting each other regular gifts (movies, toys, etc) and instead give each other charity based gifts! I am so excited for my family to do this! I know for me the process of gift giving forever changed me!

So when it came to my wedding, I was wanting to do what I could to give back. First stop - my shoes!!!

This was actually a little selfish of me :) I had wanted Sseko shoes since I first heard about them from my roomie and friend Elisabeth! She went to college with the girl who started the organization. Click HERE to read the story.
They were so cute and after watching Elisabeth wear her's around Disneyland for a whole day, I was convinced they must be beyond comfy! (and I thought TOMs or Crocs were the only comfy enough shoes for Disneyland)

So without further delay - here are my shoes!! Champagne Pink straps :)

Pink Champagne Wedding Sandals

I love them!! I tried them on when I got my dress fitted and they are so comfortable. I am going to have fun styling the straps in different ways till I find the wrap I love :)

I will also be buying additional staps to wear them all the time afterwards!

They also now have accessories!!! So as you wrap the shoes you can have a clip to accessorize and style up your sandals!

I love that a piece of my wedding attire will help these women in Uganda and bring awareness. When people ask me where I got my shoes, I will get to tell them these women's stories. Such a sweet reminder on my special day!

If you are looking for some fun charity gifts for the holidays or upcoming birthdays... or just for yourself, check out some of my favorite store below!

Sevenly (This place is amazing!! Every week there is a different Tshirt which gives money to a different charity! They are pretty stylish Tshirts too :) I have one for Mercy Ships and several times people have asked where I got my shirt or what it means, and I have raved about this organization and Mercy Ships alike!)
31Bits (These pieces of jewelry are SO affordable and fun!)
Given (This is a clothing line associated with World Vision)
    World Vision is an amazing organization where you can also sponsor a child for a monthly donation. You can also check out the charitable donation that can give families anything from clean water, to a goat. You can also give money toward their efforts to rescue woman and little girls from sex trafficing. Powerful stuff!)
Chains of Grace (associated with Love146)
Roozt (this actually links to several different companies)
To Write Love on Her Arms
Charity Water
Invisible Children
Falling Whistles
Compassion International (This is another organization that allows you to sponsor a child financially)

There are so many more, so please feel free to share any in the comments section!!!