Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Q & A Day!

I've been getting quite a few comments lately, so I figured this might be a way for people to get to know me better. Ask any question you'd like me to answer; nothing is off limits! No need to leave your name.


  1. Hey! It's Sarah from LaSalle. I know you mention periodically that you work... I assume it's education based, but I actually have no idea what you do. Would you mind sharing the details? hours per week, if you need a babysitter, etc. If not, no worries. You seem to be doing great!

  2. yes, it's education based :) i privately tutor mon-thurs from 9am-3pm. i tutor from home so i can be with the kids which is so lucky! i'd like to be a stay-at-home mom one day, maybe after my hubby finishes his master's degree it will be possible.

    i love teaching too, so i hope to return to the classroom setting one day maybe when the boys are school-age (we would have the same vacation days, etc). for now i want to be with them because their only little for such a short time.

    what are you doing? are you back to the east coast to stay?

  3. Tutoring from home sounds like the perfect job! Do you tutor home schooled students? My mom is currently going for her education degree because she enjoyed home schooling my brother and helping out in my sister's classroom so much. I know she would be interested in tutoring from home once she is done.

    I am back on the east coast...Dahlgren, VA right now, but Ryan and I will be in Norfolk, VA in a month and a half. He is in a naval school. We go to my parent's house on the weekends because there isn't much to in Dahlgren and we don't have any friends or family here.

    I had to resign from my job in San Diegoc because the company does not have an office in the VA area. I actually just applied to ODU for an M.A. in Econ today! Hopefully I will get in and be able to complete my masters in a year! Other than that, I have been looking at houses, writing thank you notes, studying for my GMATs, and looking for employment opportunities once I get to Norfolk.

  4. Hey Marjorie, Ive been following your blog for some time. You are such a wonderful person! Im getting married this summer and its not as easy as I would have liked. I dont talk much to my mom now and his dad started hating me when we got engaged. On top of them, my once was best friend is telling people she has was looking for a good reason to end our friendship. SHe lives in Pitt but her Aunt is dating my fiances dad and since we are not getting along with his father, she decided to hate me. I know my friends will come and go but we were friends for over 15 years. All this drama doesnt make getting married any easier. I am also a teacher and my co workers suggest eloping but I already have a hall booked and all. Do you have any suggestions as to how can I pull my life together or get these people off my back? Its hard because when we first got engaged everyone agreed to help pay. Now that we are months away, Im stuck paying for everything. We originally were saving our extra money for a house and eventually kids. So i guess my question is, how do you do it? Did you have this many issues getting married? Whats the best way we can save money for our future? My fiance is an unemployed accountant and works with money but we are just so frustrated with the economy and ppls attitude towards our special day. Thanks Marjorie, your such an inspiration!

  5. well, first off i should say that i experienced much of what you're going through during our wedding planning. i think it's just a very stressful time for family and friends can get jealous (i'm going to lay it all out there). personally, i felt very isolated by friends once i announced i was engaged. i was 20 and my husband was 23. i was still in college and was on a completely different stage of life compared to my peers (they were doing the whole college scene which is fine, but couldn't understand me). i was actually confronted by a lot people who said "i was flat out too young to get married," "didn't know what i was doing" and "making the biggest mistake of my life." and you know what? they were ALL wrong! my marriage and kids have been the best thing that's EVER happened to me and ever will. so, as for dealing with people i would be straight up saying this is what you want and what you're doing with your life. if their not there for you, then move on. it's their loss. you really find out who has your back.
    saving money: we don't own any credit cards, so if we can't pay for something outright, we go without or get used. we never eat out, unless we have a gift card. same with clothes. i haven't purchased any new clothes for my 2nd son, just used hand-me-downs. we only have basic cable which is $11. no home phone. our cell phone plan is the cheapest the company has, no text, pics, internet on it. we've been working really hard on paying down my hubby's school loans (mine are paid off) to save payments on interest.

    luckily, i didn't have any money problems when it came to our wedding. my parents took care of everything. both of our parents have been very generous to us. but, i wouldn't pull from your home savings for wedding things. i would try to look into ways of doing what you want more cheaply.

    the economy is really rough, but also really good in some ways particularly with buying a new home. did you know the government will give you $8000 if you're purchasing you 1st home? go the purchasing home route as soon as possible to get rebates from the government as well as paying towards something you own. whatever you purchase should appreciate with time, so eventually you can move up. i would have your fiance look for ANYTHING available as far as work goes. it may be humbling, but you do what you need to do and make money. it's not forever. haven't something come in, even if it's not much helps. any spare time spending job hunting major.

    finally, you'll make it through and don't let others steal your joy. people will try to suck your joy out of everything if you let them, so don't let them! don't sweat the small wedding stuff it all comes together and don't lose sight of the whole purpose of the wedding which is getting married, not the dress, food, etc. hope this helps!

  6. btw-you can expect to get a few thousand dollars in gift money at your wedding. we put every penny of that toward our house. if you close your registry before your wedding, guests will be more likely to give you cash as a gift which is what you need.

  7. To comment on the Anonymous post:
    You are not the only one who has had drama surrounding wedding planning, but you will get through it and your day can be beautiful despite it all! Unfortunately the drama with family can be the most hurtful, but Marjorie is right, don't let anyone rob you of your joy. At the end of the day you have to make the most of the gift your life is and can't live to please other people. The truth is that there are people out there who just aren't happy and seem to thrive if they can make others unhappy too. Don't let them get you down!

    My husband and I got married last April and had a very tight budget. We both had astronomical school loans and neither set of parents could help us out. My advice would be not to go into any debt for your wedding, it's not worth the stress you'll feel after the day.

    There are plenty of ways to save money too. Keep in mind that back in the day weddings weren't totally extravagant affairs. Much of the pressure we feel to "have everything" is a result of commercial advertising. You can still have a beautiful day at an affordable price. Here's some of what my husband and I did and we had our day for around $5,000. People laughed in my face when I told them that's what we were going to spend, but we did it and you can too!

    For your dress, consider going to a David's Bridal and looking in their $99.00 section. I only spent $150.00 on my dress and I felt stunning in it. For your hair, you can also opt out of a veil and try some fresh flowers in an up do.

    For invitations, consider printing your own. We printed ours out from one's we found at Walmart. People just throw them away anyway. For the response cards, consider doing a post card. It saves tons of $ on the return postage. We also skipped out on "save the dates".

    For flowers google vo-tech schools for your area. We found a local vo-tech with a horticulture department who did our flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, reception arrangements) for under $200.00. If you go with simple bouquets and use seasonal flowers this also saves some $.

    We printed our wedding programs ourselves as well. Places like Kinkos will print mass quantities at an affordable price.

    For catering, you can consider sandwiches instead of a turkey dinner. Most catering companies will allow changes pretty close to the date was well. We were able to skim down our cost from $40.00/person to about $12.00/person. We also opted not to have alcoholic beverages.

    Our catering company also did our cake. We had a small ornamental one for us to cut ($20.00) and then had sheet cake for the rest of our guests. No one noticed the difference!

    We also opted not to have favors. They're a nice gesture, but I've forgotten mine on the table at the reception hall at most of the weddings I've been to.

    In leiu of a limo, we contacted a few classic car clubs in our area and found a couple willing to drive us around in a car from the 1920's for free. That saved us about $700.00.

    We also cooked the rehearsal dinner ourselves and had a small gathering at my Mom's house instead of paying for the bill at a restaurant.

    Anyway, these are just a few tips that I hope are helpful to you. Best of luck with the rest of your planing and rest assured you're not the only one going through this. I'll be sure to say a prayer for you!

  8. Thats guys, your tips are extremely appreciated! LOL its hard pulling this off when none of my friends have had a wedding. I am the first to do this so I havent gotten many tips. It doesnt help that my fiances mother has been filling my head with expensive suggestions... the first hall she took us to was the Merion in NJ. If you have ever seen it, nothing else after it compares. We settles with a little dance studio in Bensalem, La Luna. Its really cute and fits our theme. Its reasonably priced, provides us with a cake, food, and drinks. I really appreciate the flower suggestions because everyone is pricing me at 1500.00 which is ridiculous. I am making my invitations, having my friend take pictures and video tape it, and made my save the dates through VistaPrint. I got my dress from Davids and I LOVE it. When you fall in love with a dress, I didnt mind paying for it myself. I dont have any credit cards but together me and my fiance have nearly 200K in loans from college! Its alot I know, but by some act of God I am paying it off and making my wedding payments. We are currently living with my father and will probably do so for at least a year after the wedding. My fiance did get a job this week... it only lasts a month but its better than nothing. I know everyone experiences this type of drama but its so hurtful that the people I love would feel I was making a bad decision. Yesterday we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. I dont think its crazy for us to get married. Im going to be 23 and he just turned 24. I have no kids and a job. I went to college, worked hard, and graduated... sometimes they need to understand I need a break and to do something for myself. Ive lived abroad and have no regrets about my life. Some events in my life didnt come out the way I would have liked but I have everything I ever wanted with my man. This past weekend we did our precana class and I realized something...Ive never been super religious. I went to catholic grade school and was an alter server but never became a super church goer... I think I want to start off my new life by being more open and accepting of my faith. I pray and everything, but I think I want to start attending church regularly. I want to have children and looking at how my life went and how my fiances life went, we'd like to opt to a better and happier route. Everyone has problems but Id like to start our life on a positive note. Your a real good person Marjorie and Im sure you have your moments, but Id like to "grow up just like you" lol sort of speak. Your always so positive and optimistic. Anyway, thanks for lifting my spirits. Talk to you soon.

  9. well it sounds like you have a good bit of order and you've done/are doing things the right way: school, job, marriage, kids!

    faith is a huge part of our lives. it guides all of our decisions and is so important to a happy marriage and family. i definitely have "moments" and hard times, but it's my faith that "gets me through it all." wonderful gift you can give yourself and children.

    you must not live far from me. i also checked out the merion and know where la luna is! what a small world. i know what it's like being the 1st of friends to get married, you're a "trailblazer." what i found was that a lot followed my path pretty quickly after and now we have kids and playdates, etc. fun stuff.

    thanks for sharing about yourself, it was interesting. i love hearing from readers!

  10. Marjorie,
    I was just wondering how long you and Chris were dating before you got engaged? and after that how long was your engagement? did you opt for a "long" engagement or get right to the planning and marriage right away? I have a friend that is getting married soon and I have my doubts about the timing of everything (engaged after four months tops and will be married a little over a year after their first anniversary). I am not judging my friend by any means, because if she is happy than I couldn't be happier for her. Maybe its just the pessimist in me, but I feel like this whirlwind of a romance could be setting her up for failure.

    Also, your sons are BEAUTIFUL. I love seeing new pictures of them, especially the ones of Christopher and Drew together.

  11. we "talked/got together" for a month or two before dating. we dated a year before we got engaged and then were engaged for a year. so we had been together a little over two years before getting married.

    i personally think you need a year to plan a wedding. it can be done faster than that, but would be super stressful. i can see how you could be concerned. i'm the same way when it comes to those "whirlwind" relationships. but, what i found is that it depends on the couple. i've seen people who were together for years before they got married get divorced and people that had fast tracked dating/engagement/wedding relationships that worked out. you never know i guess. it depends couple and their reasons for getting married so soon like age, distance, etc. what i've found is that even if you don't agree with it, there's very little you can do about it anyway, other than hope for the best.