Thursday, May 19, 2011

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

What's in a name? If you care to explore this topic philosophically, I found this article that will make your head spin. I didn't leave it feeling any more or less confident about my current state (and now I might suggest to Dan that we both change our names to "Maluma"), but it was interesting if you like that kind of thing. But I digress.

I Became Julie Griffin
Today, the last pieces fell into place and I officially fulfilled the title of my blog in all functional areas of my life.

If you have ambitions to follow my path to changing your name, here's how:

Changing Your Name After The Wedding: Ten Steps
Step One: Get married. time: one year.
Step Two: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your certified "Record of Marriage". time: four weeks. When it comes, fix it and mail it back because the date of your marriage was illegible on the original and they need it re-submitted. tip: make sure you and your officiant print legibly on your marriage license the first time around.
Step Three: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your (legible) certified "Record of Marriage". time: three (more) weeks.

Step Four: Print out a name change form off the U.S. government's Social Security website and prepare/collect all supporting documents. time: two days.
Step Five: Go to the Social Security Office and submit the form and tell them how you want your new name to read on your social security card, which will be mailed to you within two
weeks. time: one hour. (while not thrilling [see photo], it was actually pretty painless, I think they've really improved their process!)
Step Six: Wait two days for the state computer system to update. time: two days.
Step Seven: Go to the MVD for a new driver's license. time: thirty minutes (also fairly painless, I guess I got lucky, I did not have to wait long at all. And my photo turned out pretty cute too :). Make sure you hold onto your old driver's license even though they hole-punch it because all your credit cards still have your old name on them.
Step Eight: Wait for your new Social Security Card.
Step Nine: Provide a copy of your new Social Security Card, Driver's License, and Marriage License to your employer and all financial institutions. time: this could take days, depending.
Step Ten: start using your new name and email address at work and for all other grown-up things. :)

Bitter Sweet
I felt a twinge of sadness as I turned in my old badge to the security office at work to receive my new one. My badge was my last photo I.D. that daily identified me as the person I was for the first twenty-seven years of my life; a proud carrier of my father's family name, the name on my old volleyball jerseys, diplomas, the signature I perfected when I first learned cursive. So many memories.

I shed no tears, but I did stop and reflect. 

I have a new NAME. I am having a hard time letting go of my old one. Dan understands, he said he would feel nostalgic too if he changed his last name... it's kind of a big part of who you are, it's your NAME. It feels so weird to say "oh, that's my maiden name. Now my name's...." I can kind of see why so many women hyphenate, although I have always felt conviction to take my husband's name, I think it's symbolic.

I don't want it to seem like I felt obligated, or that I'm not excited; I didn't, and I am. I just am being realistic about the mixed emotions that come with such a significant life change. It's one of many transitions that I'm experiencing right now, and they are all great, but great does not always equal easy.

Anyway, my new signature is kind of awesome. I love the symmetry of the "iffi" in the middle of Griffin, and I like how all the letters balance out. I am kind of a nerd about it. I practiced a lot before I got my driver's license. Typical.

Today also marks our second monthiversary. Have we really been married for two months?!?!? Last weekend we went to the first wedding we've ever attended as a married couple, it was a little surreal but very cool!

Monday, May 9, 2011

but I'm all the way fond already

Looking for silver lining about being out of town this week (marking the first time we've been away from each other for even a day since we got married, went on a honeymoon, and moved in together), Daniel offered the cliche about absence making the heart grow fonder. That might work for some people, but I don't think we could possibly grow any fonder for one another so I playfully rejected it.

So here I am all alone in our big messy house (don't get any ideas bad guys, Justin and Shane are just up the street!) trying to decide what to do with my night. I just ate a frozen burrito for dinner. Turned on the tv for some noise, only to be reminded that... oh we don't have tv. Sigh. So I turned on some country music, started a load of laundry, and decided to update my four faithful blog readers with some tidbits from our lives these last couple weeks. Mini blogs within one big blob of blog. Enjoy.

A wedding is worth a thousand pictures... Daniel and I re-lived our wedding day with delight as Jane Zarzynski walked us through all the photos from our wedding day. There are fourteen hundred, but we picked 250 and I arranged them in iMovie with some added narration. You can view this slide show masterpiece and re-live the day if you'd like at our YouTube channel: BeingTheGriffins. I think we have almost 100 views on it already! I kind of feel like a rock star, is that dumb?

Wife in the fast lane...Getting back to the daily grind after the honeymoon was rough, especially the first couple weeks, but we've been gradually settling into the routine of being a married couple in the real world. We've also been carpooling almost every day which eases the blow of the 22 mile commute from the burbs, and will save us between $1400 and $1700 a year if gas prices stay the way they are. And it means Dan gets to drive in the fast lane when otherwise he'd be with all the single-occupant suckers in the regular lanes. Best part is it also affords us less time apart between our AGONIZING goodbye every morning and our elated daily kiss every afternoon when we get to FINALLY see each other after work. We hold hands and talk cute-talk the whole way too.

Born to Run... nope, not quoting The Boss. On our Easter weekend drive to California, we started listening to the audio book of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This fascinating nonfiction tale inspired me to buy "those weird toe shoes", which I have been sporting around the neighborhood and to volleyball practice, and Dan to order a pack of chia seeds online and start drinking them with a big glass of water every morning. You should read it. Non-runners too. It will blow your mind. We just have one chapter left and it is killing me to have to wait for Daniel to come home on Thursday night so we can finish it!

Waking up with the Joneses... the little ones that is. We got to spend a night with the Jones kids while mom and dad Jones were on vacation at la playa. Kid-friendly cool activity of the night: juicing. Each of them got to pick one fruit from Costco and we made juice with The Griffins' super duper juicing machine. Then we drank the juice (strawberry grape watermelon orange) with breakfast the next morning. The closest thing to motherhood I've felt in a very long time came at 5:30am when I awoke to a whisper at the side of my bed: "Jooohlie. Jooohlie.... Joooohlie... um can you make me breakfast now" . Four-year-old Carsyn in her pink jammies and bed head. I felt such tenderness and love towards this little being who depended on me to meet all her needs (that morning anyway), coupled with complete and utter disorientation and denial that I had to wake up that moment, an hour earlier than I had planned (which was already an hour earlier than I usually wake up, pathetic I know...). It was a good experience for Daniel and I to be pretend parents for sixteen hours. And apparently the kids had fun because they have been asking when they can come to our house ever since.

One last boom with our Dynamite ... Regionals was our last volleyball tournament with our sweet ten-year-olds in spandex, the EVJ Dynamite. They played their little hearts out. For the first time this season I felt a twinge of remorse that we (collectively) opted out of the extended season which would have taken us to a post-season tournament in July... how much more we could have taught them with another six weeks! I cried at the end. Dan didn't understand why. I guess it's a girl thing. Glad we have a team party in a couple weeks so I get to see them again!

"Death by Ikea"... as Daniel calls it. Yes, we endured our first trip to Ikea together. Items purchased: 1 hotdog, 1 slice of pizza, 3 mini trash cans, 1 4x6' rug. Time spent: 3 hours. We've been doing some pretty intense furniture research/shopping since the day we got home from our honeymoon and literally drove straight from the airport to Thomasville to look at bedroom furniture. Our current search is for the perfect kitchen table & chairs, couch, coffee table, window treatments, and custom kitchen island. Oh and did I mention we also get to landscape our entire backyard? I guess the HOA is tired of seeing the dirt and weeds that have been doning the lot for the last five years. Ikea has some pretty cool plant pots...

Vocations Class... Through a random chain of events, Daniel and I were volunteered to go to Seton Catholic Prep to talk to the senior vocations class about relationships and marriage and natural family planning. We came unsure what to expect, equipped only with two boxes of Duncan Donuts' munchkins and my NFP chart. I was thrilled at how Daniel came alive talking to these eighteen-year-olds as we together offered our life experiences and advice to them, from
our newlywed perspective. I was even more thrilled at the percentage of them that were actually listening and engaged. They were shocked that we didn't kiss for over a month after we started dating. Daniel came up with some incredible analogies too, the best one involved one's likelihood to go to the beach every day while living near the beach vs. living far away from the beach but visiting it periodically. Pretty genius I think. This scratched an itch that we both have to minister to teenagers in some small way. I hope Fr. Will will ask us back next semester.

Dan the Installah Ballah... My husband not only knows how to install cabin filters to his wife's 4Runner, he also knows how to install drawer pulls, clocks on stone fireplaces, cable boxes, and even Reverse Osmosis systems. He is so impressive! And now our drinking water tastes so good! He's my hero. Have I ever mentioned that acts of service is my love language? And Dan in a white t-shirt and jeans makes me squirm like a 1960's teenaged girl watching The Beatles on television. All this house stuff is kind of a big deal for me.

Laundry... ding!

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