2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

It was a tame year for the hubby and me since we spent most of it drowning in the deep end of planning a wedding. We were able to sneak in some valuable moments, though, and make some pretty great memories.

Here are the highlights of our year:

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Not Your Average Marriage Proposal

Not Your Average Marriage Proposal

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird.
And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.”
— Robert Fulghum, “True Love”

Justin and I are weird.

OK, perhaps weird is a strong word to use to describe us. But, we do like to think of ourselves as not average and different from the majority of couples our age in that we have done life a little backward and out-of-order.

And our engagement story is representative of our weird life together.

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Planning Our Walt Disney World Honeymoon with Tips & Secrets

Planning Our Walt Disney World Honeymoon with Tips & Secrets

Truth be told, I did not want a Disney World honeymoon.

Because we visit the house of mouse every other year (on average) I wrinkled my nose and shook my head from side to side whenever someone asked if we were planning to do Disney for our honeymoon.

“We want to do something different, something we have never done together before,” I would say to anyone willing to believe me.

For several months I researched cruises, Sandals destinations, and numerous other tropical getaways. I pitched idea after idea to my fella, but I never truly felt excited about any of the options I presented.

Finally, one day, we reached a decision. We were going to go as far south as we could in the United States. We were going to Key West.

We picked out our hotel, started a list of restaurants to grub at and bars to stumble out of, and we even saved ideas for fun excursions.

Then, we totaled it all up and our jaws hit the floor.

“We could take three Disney vacations for the cost of this one,”
were my exact words to Justin.

And that was that — that is the story of how we decided on Disney World for our honeymoon.

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Wedding Registry Tips for Couples Who Already Live Together

Wedding Registry Tips for Couples Who Already Live Together

Four years. That is how long my fiancé and I will have lived together when we tie the knot this September.

As soon as we announced our engagement, one of the first questions folks asked us — after the who, what, where, when, and how — was whether or not we would have a wedding registry.

In my mind I thought, “Well, yeah, why wouldn’t I? Just because we live together does not make me any less of a bride. I want a traditional bridal shower just like anyone else.” Super defensive.

They were asking because Justin and I have already begun to make a home together and in their eyes, we have everything we could possibly need. What they don’t see, though, is that nearly all of our furniture, kitchen tools, decor, etc. are hand-me-downs that don’t necessarily fit our style and much of what we bought ourselves is cheap and not of good quality because that’s what we could afford.

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours

Merry Christmas from our family to yours

This year has been full. We are abundantly thankful for the blessings we have received and for the time spent enjoying life with family and friends.

As we look ahead to the excitement next year is sure to bring, Justin and I want to take some time to reflect on the moments that made 2016 special.

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Stocking stuffers for him

Stockings are possibly my most favorite part of Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I look forward to rummaging through that oversized sock more than anything else — slowly reaching my hand all the way to the bottom to reveal all sorts of prized knickknacks I probably do not need.

I don’t just love getting a stocking, though, I cherish stuffing Justin’s stocking, too. And yes, the 13-year-old that lives inside of me is fighting the urge to make an inappropriate joke out of that statement. I’ll spare you, though.

Even during the Christmases that Justin and I were already struggling to put food on the table each day, we still managed to fill our stockings with small trinkets in an attempt to keep this holiday tradition alive.

So, believe me when I say that Christmas stockings are my thing and I believe that I have mastered the fine art of filling them — sometimes even over filling them — with goodies. I take the time each year to find a variety of items for my fella’s stocking — from toys and games to candy and coffees and CDs and socks and beyond.

stock-stuffers-for-him-01

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A house divided: Democrat vs. Republican

A house divided: Democrat vs. Republican

One of my favorite questions that Justin, being the proud Republican that he is, gets asked by his family and friends is “How can you be with a Democrat?”

First off, that question is disgraceful and appalling, but the answer always is simple. Justin tells them that I am not just my political views; I am not just a Democrat. I am a strong, intelligent woman who has shaped my opinions based on my own experiences, and he is proud to have found someone who challenges him on many levels, but particularly in the political arena.

As election day creeps closer (Early Voting begins today in North Carolina) and heated political conversations are ending friendships left and right, I want to take a moment to discuss how our divided house has gotten through this volatile election season without calling it quits on our impending marriage.

One word: Respect. I’m not talking about Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. No, I mean that each day I wake up I make the conscious decision to listen and take into consideration my partner’s political views and he does the same for me. I respect him as a human, therefore I respect his opinions even when I don’t agree with them. Yes, that means it is possible to disagree with someone but still respect them.

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Disney World, baby bumps, and the fear of being a motherless mother

Disney World, baby bumps, and the fear of being a motherless mother

I want a baby.

I have made this statement to myself and then out loud at different points over the past two years, and I mean it when I say it.

It’s difficult, though, when you want so badly to bring another life into this world but you know that your job will not provide you with the financial means or schedule flexibility needed to properly care for a tiny human.

So, you postpone turning your “want” into a “have,” and you take the necessary steps forward to plan for a future that includes children.

You find a new job — one that does grant you the peace of mind you need.

You move into a house, and though it might be small, it is perfect for bringing home your firstborn.

You finally get to a point where you and your partner feel ready to build a family.

You plan a vacation to Disney World and decide to make that trip the official baby-making kickoff.

Then, you return home, the excitement of vacation wears off, and you realize that planning for a baby when you’re a motherless daughter is more emotional than you ever imagined.


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Stop asking me when we’re getting married

It’s rude.

At least once a week I am faced with the tired question, “When are you getting married?” or “Why aren’t you married yet?” and I have to pull out my list of prepared responses:

  • “Justin hasn’t asked me.”
  • “When are you having another baby?”
  • “When you agree to pay for it.”
  • “Maybe we’re already married and nobody knows.”

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That one time Justin took me above the Mason-Dixon #tbt

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Yes, we realize that after five years together it is the “expected” next step in our relationship. However, we’re not concerned about setting a wedding date, and you shouldn’t be either. What we are concerned about is paying our bills, planning our next big vacation and making a life together that’s full of adventure. There was a time when it didn’t bother me, but now I avoid people who I know will ask these questions.

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