Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why size doesn't matter.. to me.


When I was younger, this is what I pictured for my wedding:

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Big wedding, big ring expectations:
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And while we are at it, this is what I expected my house to be like:

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with a closet like this, duh:

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and my car:

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As you can see... quite a materialistic young thing I was. As I got a wee bit older I realised that all of these things are completely unattainable as they cost a shit ton of money, and I prefer food, paying the bills and travelling to being broke.

The point of this post, you ask? My engagement ring.

I have seen some people look at me in pity when they see my ring. "Don't worry" they say, "you can get a bigger and better one when you all make more money." And to that I say, you're a virgin who can't drive.

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KC and I are different than most couples. We had a deadline, a 'you'll get deported if you don't get married' deadline. So we started talking about marriage as that deadline approached, and while it's not for everyone, and I know some people look down on me and find it hilarious that I picked out my own ring, I say eff you to them as well, because pick out my own ring I did. I went to the store, found the cheapest, prettiest one and asked them to hold it. I told KC about it and went on my merry way.

It wasn't the Serendipity/Disney fairy tale ending I had dreamed about, but I was older and I knew what was important. What's important to me is that this guy and I spend the rest of our lives together. Simple. The difference is our story wasn't an ending, it was just the beginning (aw corny vomit).



I don't care what other people spend their money on - I really don't. Do what you want. What I do care about is when people think they have a say in how my husband and I spend our money. Yes my ring is small. My wedding was small. It was bigger than we would have done if it was just us paying for it, and it was awesome, but to some I missed out because we didn't do this or that. Some people looked down on us for Honeymooning in Vegas, instead of say, Europe. Some people look down on us because we have a small house, where the only people walking into our closets are the cats. Sure, we don't have brand new cars. Sure, I don't have designer clothes, and I'll probably never have a kitchenaid. Well, I do have a kitchenaid, but it's not as fancy.

But my point is.. You'd be surprised how many people think they can have an opinion, that they can comment on how we got engaged or the size of my ring.. You'd be surprised how many people think it's their business. And I hate to admit it, but sometimes they get to me. I feel like I got gypped, I feel like I am not doing enough, that I'm trying to compete against people I'm not even in the same league with. It gets me down, and that's not cool. It's especially hard when you are a blogger, I think, because it seems everyone in blogland is doing better, and you want to show off your life to make your blog more entertaining, and let's face it - we want people to look at our lives and be slightly jealous. Not change your life to copy it jealous, but to be like 'oh I wish I had that, wish I could do that, wish my house looked like that'. It's natural, but comparing is no fun.

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Recently, I did some yearly recap posts and that was probably the most eyeopening thing I have done on this blog. Finally, I realised how much we have done. How much we have accomplished because we didn't waste hard earned money on things like rings, houses and cars. I traveled to America and back to Sydney 6 times in 2 years, with a trip to London thrown in as well. I went to football games and music festivals. I was able to move across the world and some people never leave their hometown. And when my mum came to the country I was living in, I was able to meet up with her in another state. To have the ability to do that - it's just priceless to me.


I am able to sign up for races, celebrate holidays and special occasions with loved ones. I am able to squeeze in weekend trips away with friends and my husband. I am able to shower my friends babies with gifts and kisses, because I'm not working 3 jobs to pay for simply living (like I was in Sydney). I can waste money on pretty books. I was able to pay a silly amount of money just to spend 5 minutes with 2 of my favourite actors (and it was so worth it). I have been to Derby twice and Oaks once. I have been to 22 of the US states, plus DC. Heck, I was able to go back to Australia, so my husband could see where I'm from. 90% of people I meet say they want to go to Australia, and they might never get the chance.


That's not even half of the stuff we have done. Isn't that amazing? Would we have done these things if we had paid double for my engagement ring, or if we had a higher mortgage? If we had 2 car payments instead of 1? Who knows. If you had paid less for your house, ring or car would you have a different life? Everyone is different, every lifestyle is different, every bank account and every marriage. What you want is different from what I want. And that is ok. Each to their own, different strokes for different folks and all that jazz. Everybody wants something different.

Looking back on my life so far, it makes me smile, it makes me happy. Looking down at my ring makes me happy. That's what I want. That's all I've ever wanted. To be happy. I'm not saying the size of the ring is in direct correlation to my happiness (though there's this), but people butting in and telling me that it is and I would be happier if I had a bigger this or that.. well that doesn't make me happy. Not having to work all the time, like I used to, makes me happy. Looking forward to an amazing (albeit short) trip to NYC where I get to meet my blogging bestie makes me happy. Spending a whole day reading, or perusing a used bookstore makes me happy. Not being sick makes me happy. Buying used furniture to save a buck and make it ours makes me happy. Having 3 cats makes me happy.


Sure, sometimes I wish my house was a bit bigger so I could turn a formal dining room into a library. I wouldn't mind a shinier car, and a bigger closet. I wish I could drop everything and travel the world. I want a new couch, and to turn our current 'junk room' into a pretty office. But you know what? I freaking love my life. What a great life we have! I wouldn't change a thing.

Small engagement ring and all.

Does your life make you happy? Do you have people judging decisions you've made?

86 comments:

  1. Wow! So incredibly well said! People always judge. It's just ridiculous. Every single little thing you do, or don't do, have or don't have, there always someone wanting to judge you because of it. I'm tired of all that and just try to live my life how I want and do what makes me happy. Just as we all do, I think. Loved reading this post. It made me realise just how much I freaking love my life too!

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  2. So very true! People each have their own way of life, I am with you, I would chose travel and experiences over a fancy house and ring!

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  3. Beautiful post. I shudder to think there are people out there who place have told you about the size of your ring. Like ... really?? For the record, my sister has a small engagement ring, they wanted to get married soon. With that small ring on her hand she managed to live in two countries (now Australia), fund her PhD, buy a house in a country clear on the other side of the earth from where she is from and love a VERY happy life with her first boyfriend, her one true love, the man she married :) People really need to get a life.

    Also. I may have just hijacked your comment section with this long ass comment haha

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  4. Hey, my engagement ring is only a half carat. I love it and I think it is perfect and I picked it out as well! I too had delusional dreams of a Tiffany's ring. I would actually leave the ring as a screensaver on Marc's computer. It gets better, the reason I picked out my own ring was, because I didn't like the one that Marc chose. It wasn't because it was too small. I just didn't like the style or band. I like things very simple. I was also pregnant with my first son and 20 years old. It was a little sad, I know I hurt his feelings , but at the same time I had to speak up about it. When I tell the story people generally hysterically laugh. Which I'm ok with. It is what it is. Not everyone can have a fairytale engagement story. I also have no intentions of trading it in or upgrading it either. I can definitely appreciate a gorgeous ring, but I think mine is practical and beautiful. xo

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  5. EW! EW! EW! To those horrid people down grading your beautiful engagement right. That is so horrid and rude and just awful. I'm so, so, sorry you had to endure that, it's just wrong.

    Your post is 100% on point, lady. Bigger isn't always better. Would I love a huge home right now? HECK YES! But, we're still renting a small lil apartment until we know where we want to live.

    Your year posts were so fun to read and I"m so glad you did them. It provided a unique view into your life, letting us learn a little bit more about ya. So thanks for sharing.

    And btw, I thought I was having Jessica Simpson's First wedding, growing up. Then I learned about the wedding price mark up, rude!

    Love you, lady!

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  6. First, I am so offended on your behalf that people would even judge or comment on the size of your ring. So rude!! Second I think it is so smart to not go into debt and to live within your means. To spend your money travelling which you love is more important in the grand scheme of life than having bigger material things. I tend to spend my money in my house, but that is what makes me happy. That is what matters in life. Do you, girl!

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  7. Love. Love. Love. I have never really been a materialistic person...maybe because I didn't grow up with money? To me experiences & memories are SO much more important than things. And screw everyone else who thinks they get to have an opinion on your life. It's YOURS! People focus on all of the wrong things when it comes to weddings & such. When I was young I imagined my life much like you imagined yours. Now, granted I'm not even close to having a ring on my finger, I just want a low-key, simple wedding because that's over in a day...your marriage is what's supposed to last forever.

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  8. I think the way you're doing things is a much better way! Why in the world would you want to drop so much cash on things to hang out at home? It's better to go out and experience life! The people that want to put you down because of YOUR choices are idiots and probably if they were honest with themselves would like to do the things that you're doing, but feel like they have to live up to some standard of society which is bull.

    Also, my brother and his wife got married just the two of them and their immediate family on a beach in South Carolina. It was cheap, fast, and beautiful. It doesn't make them any less married than if they had a Kim K sized wedding on the cliff of a foreign island somewhere. Everyone is completely different in their tastes and what they prefer.

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  9. people will always judge. most of them have the tact to keep their piehole shut but some don't. my engagement ring isn't even 1ct; it's like .81 or something like that. it could even be a fake cubic zirconia and i wouldn't give a shit because that ring doesn't signify his love for me; everything he does on a daily basis, does.

    to be honest, i was a little upset that my husband spent that kind of money on a piece of jewelry when that could have been put to better use like a vacation or mortgage or whatever. FYI, i'm a very non-fussy, practical woman so that materialistic shizz doesn't mean anything to me.

    how i stay happy (actually, this is a post i was thinking of drafting): I GIVE NO FUCKS. seriously. ask anyone who knows me and they will say that i seriously don't give a shit about what anyone has to say (in a negative manner). the only opinions i care about are my mine, my family and true friends. everyone else is just noise.

    like you, i'd rather experience things with my loved ones than have some fancy metal on my hand. in the end, you'll be able to look back at all the memories you created with your husband and that's all that matters :)

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  10. Ugh people suck right? Wedding planning and the engagement period can already be stressful enough. I hate that that happened for you. We had a lot of people at our wedding (which I am grateful for), but the wedding itself was not a crazy expensive production. There are things that weren't perfect, things I wish could have gone more smoothly etc. But it was perfect because a wedding is about marriage, not a wedding. (which people tend to forget). I think it is awesome that you want to live within your means and be able to do the things that are most important to you! We lived in campus married housing for a year and a half just to save money. It was TINY, didn't have central AC, old etc. But we made it work, and we paid half the rent we would have otherwise, plus some of our financial aid covered it! It wasn't glamorous but it works, and I have really fond memories of living there! Right now I feel like many people I talk to are judging my decision to work part-time. (though we've been so busy at work I am actually working full time quite a lot...). They're like, 'Oh that's too bad, have you found any real jobs that you want?' - I chose this, intentionally. My MIL recently said that I should see if my supervisor would make me full time so I can get benefits, and wouldn't it be great for me to have a full time job? -holy cow. I'm good with this right now. It's what I need. Despite all of the people weighing in and the perfection perception, I am so happy! I love our little (still bigger!) apartment, I love shopping at thrift stores for treasures, gifts and wardrobe steals. I love getting to use our money for travel instead of expensive payments and items. I like carpooling to work with KC. It's all good. Great post! So glad you are happy with your life as it is! That's all anyone should ever want. :) XO-Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  11. Beautifully said! Being content with what we have is the way to happiness. I can't belive people would even comment on the size of your ring or where you honeymooned. That's so rude and ridiculous!

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  12. Those kind of people are idiots. Experiencing life together is much more important than the size of a wedding, ring, house, or car. Hell, being happy and healthy is way more important than those things. Judgy people really piss me off!

    I think you have an absolutely gorgeous life!

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  13. You go girl! Life is so much more about experiences than the material possessions you have.

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  14. Love love love this. :) Way to go and very well said. People sometimes look down on me when I say we live in a condo, not a "real" house, but we are saving so much money and we own it. We've been able to take trips and live comfortably and that's what matters to us right now. I think we can all relate to this post in some way and it's hard to not let the 'keeping up with the Joneses' mentality get to you. Judgy people are rude! Don't let them get you down!

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  15. First of all, I think your perspective is beautiful, lady. Ryan and I had a deadline with our wedding, too, and we just couldn't imagine dropping thousands upon thousands of dollars on one day. People have judged and ridiculed us for only having 19 people there, but you know what? We loved it! We saved a TON of money, and we took a trip to Mexico, and at the end of the day, it's our choice. LOVE this.

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  16. I so love this post... in so many ways.
    People are so judgmental of others & the funny thing, their lives aren't brilliant either. Why do we expect everyone else to be?
    Being a wedding photographer, can I tell you - the people that focus on all the petty small stuff - they are miserable. They don't even seem in love - I've already heard of a few of those couples marriages have ended in divorce. So sad.
    Life is about finding HAPPY in whatever you have... that's good enough.
    I see your HAPPY all the time... keep shining it lady!!!

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  17. i think this is GREAT! you shouldnt have to explain yourself (or your ring!) to other ppl -- i cant believe how rude some ppl can be. Life shouldnt be about keeping up with what other ppl have -- it's great that you realize that its not the THINGS that make you happy but rather experiences. As for a small wedding -- I saw this quote on pinterest and i love it: "I want a marriage that is more beautiful than my wedding"!! sounds like you have that :) xoxo

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  18. This post gets a standing ovation from me. Your life is YOUR life; not anyone else's and just because so-and-so believes they absolutely couldn't live or be happy without X, Y, and Z, doesn't mean you can't or that you aren't (and you clearly are). We all have people judging us for one reason or another, and if that's how they prefer to waste their time, that's their prerogative. Do what makes YOU happy. Feel free to disregard any unsolicited advice, and tell the people who insist on offering it to kick rocks.
    ~Gianni~

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  19. I can't believe that there are people out there that think they have a right to express their opinions about how you live your life!! I absolutely adore this post, adore you and love reading about all your adventures!! And could not agree with you more that material things DONT matter, it's the experiences that you share with others that you'll be able to take away when it's your time to go (sorry morbid) but you get what I'm saying!! xoxo

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  20. Amen sista! Your life, your decisions, your happiness. I completely relate to you as well. We got married at 19 and 21, paid for it all on our own which you can imagine how much money a 19 & 21 year old have. It was the perfect day to me, but I can imagine what people would think of it now or even maybe said then. Don't care! Same thing here too, as I was putting together my post for our 6th wedding anniversary in Aug I was overwhelmed with joy at everything we'd be so fortunate to do just in the last 12 months, let alone the last 8 years we've spent together! You and KC keep on doing you :) Being able to say I freaking love my life is what it's all about and really all that matters!

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  21. I'm seriously amazed daily by how rude people can be! I mean it's like, did your mother teach you NO manners at all?? Why would anyone think it's ok to comment on the size of your ring or where you honeymooned or any of that? Not too mention it's really stupid and shallow of them to think that way! My ring isn't huge either, and I think it's perfect! Anything bigger would look ridiculous on me and probably get caught in stuff and annoy me all the time! :) I totally agree that it's up to YOU what you want to spend your money on, and I think choosing time and experiences with family is a much better use of it than stuff that you may not even use!

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  22. Beautiful post, and so pitiful to all those people downing you. I sometimes feel like I want more and all. But I have so much already. And I can attest to what you are saying. I don't have a house, but I chose to live in a "luxury" apartment and almost pay double what my friends pay, I bought a very nice truck when I started my job and now I sacrifice those weekend outings for a truck payment. I know that if I chose to live differently I could do more as you do. But I didn't chose to live that way as originally it was just me, K was not in the picture at the time. Now that there are two of us I wish I would have downgraded. I agree that it is up to you to spend your money in the ways you do, and everyone has different lifestyles...I think that is what keeps life interesting and people so diverse.
    Thank you for such a beautiful post.
    -Mae @ raymond-rader.blogspot.com

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  23. This is really well said. I'm glad that you're not letting people bring you down with their (rude) opinions of your life; who does that anyways?! A marriage is about so much more than the ring and the wedding and I am finally realizing that. It's fun to imagine big beautiful things when you're younger but the reality is that when you find that person you want to spend a lifetime with, none of the other things matter as much. I think you and and KC have done so well for yourselves!! Do what makes you happy and don't worry about what others think :) I'd rather live a simpler life than over extend myself financially and be stressed every day. Right now Joey and I are getting used to living together and owning a condo... it's a big step! And we're learning that we can't do everything all at once (buying things for it, etc.)

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  24. I can't even express in accurate words how much I love this post. It's basically perfect.

    My husband and I got engaged (and married) when he was in grad school. I was working full time but I was a social worker and social work=no money. My engagement ring was what we could afford (and yes, we got comments on how "small" it is and I'm sure people still judge it but I seriously don't give a shit), our honeymoon wasn't even a week long, and if my parents hadn't paid for a good part of our wedding, we would have had about 16 people there. That said, it still wasn't a huge wedding or the fanciest wedding but it was so us, it didn't mater. I'm hard on myself but when it comes to that stuff, other people's opinions mean absolutely nothing to me. Like you, I know where my priorities are and how I prefer to spend our money because what makes someone else happy isn't necessarily what I need or want in my life. People need to shut their mouths and stop being so judgy and start worrying more about themselves.

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  25. You ROCK. Seriously.

    This was absolutely well written.

    I wrote a similar post on the politics of blogging. It seems that everywhere you turn people are showing their perfect lives off. But it's so important to remember that those views are skewed and everything is not as it seems.

    Two thumbs up for you. It's so important to love the life we live. All that other stuff doesn't matter anyway. It's just STUFF. :) Loved this post.

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  26. I am always shocked as shit when people comment on the size of my ring (good or bad), or expect me to comment (good or bad) on the size of theirs. I love the look on their faces when I tell them I didn't even want a ring, I wanted a trip to Africa instead. LOL. I got the ring, and it's a really nice one, but that's neither here nor there. The ring doesn't define my relationship, marriage, or position in life. It's a piece of jewelry that symbolizes a commitment. A piece of twine could do the same.

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  27. This is so great. All that matters in life is that YOU are happy with your life - who cares what others think at the end of the day? I seriously can't believe that people think it's appropriate to make comments about your ring. I think I'd slap someone if they said that to me! SO rude! Don't let what those people say bring you down because those people suck :)

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  28. I am right in the same boat with you. My mom emailed me the other day saying she hoped Greg wasn't mad at her for something she said about my ring. I honestly had no memory of it, because when I showed it to her it was the proudest / happiest I'd ever been. She saw the size of it and apparently made a comment, but she's pretty old fashioned sometimes. My ring is the most beautiful thing ever to me, I don't care if it's small compared to some people's idea of what it should be! I'd never even thought about it till she said something, and then I did start comparing it to other people's. I had to stop myself, because everytime I look at it, I feel happy and that's nothing to do with those other people's rings. Greg and I both agree we would rather spend money on going places and doing things than jewelry / expensive furniture etc.

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  29. I love this post! No one should live their lives to impress others or gain approval from others. Chris and I didn't even have a fancy wedding. We went to Oak Mountain on a Saturday with a photographer and an officiant and thats it because everyone tried to make it about them. I have a base model, no fancy no fuss car that is six years old. I sure as hell don't have that closet...though I want it! To fill it with all my sales rack finds! I say do what you want. Do you. Do what makes you happy. Comparison is the thief of joy!

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  30. this is a great post and I applaud you for putting yourself and your ring out there. People who care about shit like that need to go blow....sorry, I am getting all defensive for you because it makes me ill. You are a beautiful person and have so many things to be proud of. Keep doing what you are doing and just be happy! Love ya!

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  31. awesome awesome awesome reflection!

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  32. So well said girl!!! No one should ever try to compare themselves to others or try to gain approval from others. You have to live your life the way you want to, not the way others want you to. Don't ever compare yourself to others girl and if someone comments on how bad they feel for you because of how small your ring is, show them another finger. Maybe one next to that ring... they shouldn't be in your life any way!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  33. It's really sad that people make you feel silly for having a small wedding/engagement ring. That's so dumb!

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  34. Bigger is better has been drilled into our heads by the media, our peers and ourselves for so long we feel like failures if we don't get the best, first. It's so ridiculous and none of it matters. I'm glad you guys figured out (early!) what really is important in life. Rings are not :)

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  35. This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read. I really have no other words. <3

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  36. I gave my husband a $500 limit on my ring and he didn't go much higher than that. I used to think that I wanted all of those fancy things, but now that I'm older and I realize how much additional stress some of that brings, I'm not interested. I remember watching The Real Housewives of Orange County and one of the ladies mentioned that she has a fake ring that she wears on vacation because her real ring costs too much. Ugh, who wants to worry about something like that?!

    We have worked really hard to keep things simple and we save and save like nobody's business. I hope it will all pay off so that we can eventually travel here and there once our little one is slightly older.

    My final thought, my very favorite quote: "Comparison is the thief of joy." It's practically my mantra, because I have spent so much of my life thinking that everything would be so much better if I was more like so and so or if I had what they had. It's really a never-ending cycle that prevents you from ever actually having your own genuine joy!

    Anyway, great post! I think many of us can relate. :)

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  37. Some people are just assholes. Honestly, most of the time when people act ugly, it is because they are jealous. They want to pick apart your life, because there is something sad and unhappy in theirs. I'm sorry anyone would make you feel that way, and it made me mad to read that. Some people!
    I told P I didn't even want an engagement ring, that I would rather have a trip...I did get both because I'm spoiled and P wanted me to have a ring. My ring was not over the top and I didn't want too much spent on it because that is not the point. I still don't have a real wedding band though...we had issues with our first two attempts to get something customized to match and then I just didn't want to deal with it. I wrote a somewhat similar post "I would rather", and I'm like you...I want experiences over things. I love this post!! It is so well written and honestly expressed!

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  38. I love this post!! It's so true! We're pretty modest as well when it comes to all that stuff (holla for ZERO car payments!!!) -- and you have money for all the awesome stuff!

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    1. exactly! you gotta do what makes you happy :)

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  39. Also remember that you're living in the South, girrrrl. And for all the good things the South offers, remember that all the other regions of the U.S. make fun of the south for such statements as: "Don't worry" they say, "you can get a bigger and better one when you all make more money."

    Obviously, this is not just a disease in the South, but all over. People like to control other people to make themselves feel better. It's ridiculous. Say you wanted no ring, or a different stone than a diamond--that's your damn prerogative!

    (Don't mind me ragging on the Southern states. I am just AMAZED that an Australian is able to live in that region without going insane! ha).

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  40. Such a great post!! Who are these people!?!? Love that Clueless reference haha

    I'm totally about spending my money on experiences and not things! My boyfriend and I recently gave up our newly renovated house to move across the country and go back to school. We had to seriously downsize and we now rent the main floor of a small house. We are broke students again, but we are so happy! We are doing what we love and got one hell of a road trip out of it, not to mention the opportunity to explore a new corner of the world. What extra money we do have we spend on experiences and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Unlike you, we don't have a deadline and we always get asked when we're getting married. A new one is, "Did you know there are couples who met years after you that are now married and have children?" haha yep, we know! People will question and judge you no matter what you do so you might as well just do what makes you happy!

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  41. Girl YAASSS I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST! Are we the same? Harrison and I agreed early on that there are way more important things to spend money on than giant diamond rings (which actually kind of all look the same to me anyway?), extravagant food at our wedding, and big giant nice things. I showed him the exact design of ring I liked and the exact stone (not buying a diamond saved thousands) and he got some man to make it. And I love it. And everyone else can F off!

    Vegas for honeymoon sounds awesome!

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  42. I really enjoyed reading this post. It's really hard not to compare but it's good that you recognize what you do have...happiness is more important than money or fancy possessions!

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  43. I love EVERYTHING about this post. I could go on and on and on about how much I agree with you, and how much I admire your attitude, and how I wish people would keep their opinions to themselves unless they're actually useful/helpful or asked for, and how we should all be more respectful of other people's innocuous life choices and just live and let live, but you said it all for me. And YAY FOR BLOGGING BESTIES UNITING AT CHRISTMAS OMG I CANNOT WAIT <3 <3 <3 <3

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  44. This is so good. And judgey people need to go away. I mean, it's none of their business. If you love your ring, that's all that matters. It's just a ring! And the older I've gotten, the less I care about a big wedding. I used to dream of the huge wedding and mansion too... now, not so much! I think you're wedding looks absolutely beautiful - you look so happy and you guys have used your savings so well to experience life!

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  45. This is such a GREAT post!! Good for you! It's so hard, especially as bloggers, to not compare ourselves to others. It's even harder when we only show the best parts of our lives. It's crazy that people comment on your ring. In the words of Michelle Tanner, "How rude!" You have a stupendous life and are doing what you want to be doing! Something I've been working on is to be happy and content with my life so that I can be happy for others that may not be doing things the same way as me. I feel like it will always be something I have to keep reminding myself. Hope you're having a terrific day!!

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  46. I LOVE this post!!! You are so right about the cost of things, the amount of things, the size of things (most:) not mattering!!! Being happy with your own life really is the goal!!!
    And, you certainly have done a lot. Plus your blog is awesome in every way!!!

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  47. I love everything about this post.
    I can't believe anyone would comment about the size of your ring. I think sometimes you just have to take a step back, realize that you don't see the world through the same lens as other people (which, tbh, is a good thing a lot of times) and just let them have their opinion. I'm so tacky my engagement ring isn't even diamond (it's moissanite - looks very similar but without ethical implications, woo). AND I picked it out. It's what I wanted and I love it so bye haters.
    I've never been super materialistic but definitely less so the older I've gotten. You obviously value experiences, a lot of which you can't even put a price tag on, and I think that's awesome.
    Also for what it's worth your wedding looks beautiful!

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  48. Preach it, girl! I can't believe some one actually had the nerve to say these things to you! The most important thing in life is that YOU are happy. And I guess KC ;) But forget what everyone else thinks! I know how hard it is, especially as a blogger, because all you ever see is the good stuff and I think it's only human nature to at others and compare. I'm bad about comparing my house but this is such a good reminder to be happy with what we got!

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  49. Yes and yes! Getting engaged shouldn't be about the wedding, it's about what's after that one day - a lifetime of marriage. Good for you for having your priorities in order!

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  50. YES to this entire post! I keep trying to write out a comment and its not coming out as I want it, but I can relate to this in so many ways. I've had a kind of not so great year this year but I was looking back through pictures and had a similar feeling to you-- I had done so many awesome things, how could I possibly be feeling down about anything?

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  51. Also, am I crazy or did you change your site design again? LOVE it, if you did :)

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  52. Ugh this makes me sick that someone would even think they have the right to judge a person on the size of an engagement ring!! This is so well said! I love this post! No one should ever have to compare themselves to others, everyones life is unique and as long as your happy that all that matters! And rememebr some of those people with 5 carat rings are the least happy!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

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  53. This is a great post!!! I don't think I'll ever upgrade my engagement ring-- it's under a carrot and I love it! In Asia I just wear a silver band so I don't draw attention to myself. Who cares if you even have a diamond! I love that house picture too! Does anyone really want a house that big?! I think I may just live in an apartment my whole life lol
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  54. Fantastic post! I've got strong feelings about some of these topics, but I'll focus on one. I sell fine jewellery. My guy is the jeweller. We meets lots and lots of couples looking at engagement rings, wedding bands, and/or anniversary and birthday gifts. My advice always is this: Buy and wear what makes YOU happy. Don't try to impress anyone else. Don't fall for marketing gimmicks. If you think something is pretty and has significant meaning for you and your partner, then that's what is most important. If anyone gives you any grief about it, then they are barely worth the time and effort to think twice about what they have to say. The ring signifies a beautiful union between two people who love each other and want to commit themselves to one another. Other people should not be expressing judgment over such a sentimental piece of jewellery. This goes for the way you buy it too. No matter who picks it out or who pays for it, if the sentiment is there, then that's all that should matter. I'm thrilled to know you are happy with your decision, happy with your guy, and happy with your life! :)

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  55. It always blows my mind when people say things and do not even think twice about how rude they are. It is nobodies business what y'all spend your money on! We are so cheap on some things because we think it is ridiculous to spend money on it, but will drop an absurd amount of money on food, traveling, and anything else we can have awesome memories from. I'm sure your ring is absolutely gorgeous, because it is YOUR ring!

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  56. you do what works best for you. forget the rest! people think something's wrong with me bc i'm not married, no kids, but i got to travel the world and do the things people only dream about. and you are doing what you love!!!

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  57. Well said lovebug! I feel like I've been surrounded lately by people that care way too much about money or what brand this is or what brand that is. Even in the blog world I think we all get caught up in it. I love that you and KC are so in love and are happy because that is truly all that really matters.
    ~Elise @ highheelsglitteringeyes.blogspot.com

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  58. Isn't it just appalling what people have opinions on... and actually say to you?! Who the heck would comment on the size of your ring?! So ridic. I say travel on, girl! I did the same in my 20's and before having a baby. Trust me, you're stuck at home (both because this little person needs you and they take ALL your cash) after wee one's come so live it up now! Your life sounds awesome to me.

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  59. Wait, someone actually said that about the ring? What the hell? (in the tone of jimmy Falon) EW! I love this post AND I love your wedding pic (hydrangeas and all!)

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  60. this post is amazing. i love how you put it, you are so right! I can't believe someone would have the audacity to say that!

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  61. lol I absolutely loved this post. Life isn't like fairytale. and AWESOME you picked your own ring. given that we have to wear the ring forever, I wouldn't want to be stuck with one that I don't like, no?! The person who said that needs to get off their high horse!

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  62. Wow, can you un-friend the people who make comments like that about your ring? Or just move West? As some other commenters said, the South may be a bit more....involved in things like that. Although I've lived in most Western states and within each of them there are small communities that are just as into that stuff. Anyway, I'm so glad you have such great perspective and some positive energy to share with us!

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  63. I love this post. It is very true that people judge about everything and it can be hurtful and rude. All the while, in their pitiful life, they have it way worse than they think someone else has it. And it is true, no matter what size the house or ring, someone else is always bigger or smaller. I would trade a smaller house and ring (I don't even have a ring) for traveling and doing cool stuff. Which is where we are right now!

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  65. The ring and all the "things" have nothing to do with anything important... I swear, the reason so many people care is because they're more concerned with having a wedding, etc than having an actual MARRIAGE. I'd pick a marriage any day! :)

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  66. How terrible to just let opinions fly! I noticed in the last year or so that a lot of my newly married friends (we got married in 2009) have 1 carat+ rings and I have no idea how they are being paid for (along with ginormous weddings) because their husbands have been where Scott was and I know how much money they make! Also, I picked my ring out myself. And my aunt (God love her) told me I could upgrade at some point. The memories attached to the ring are just as important as the ring itself.
    Along these same lines, you're better traveled than most Americans (especially in the midwest) and that's almost kind of priceless.

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  67. I loved reading this! I'm new to the world of blogging: everyone and everything always seems so perfect. Your post was a breath of fresh air. I love how you just don't care what people think of you. I have got to become more like that. So, thank you for being so honest and real. You my friend, totally rock!

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  68. I love this :) I used to dream of a huge wedding too but as I get older I realize that's not what's important to me about that day. It's the guy standin next to me and bein surrounded by family and friends. Also I think it's cool you picked out your ring, you're garunteed to love it :D

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  69. Piss on those judgemental people who give such ruthless opinions that doesn't concern them! How rude! That make me mad for you! I feel like people judge me all the time to. Because I do/don't have this/that. I definitely agree with you that the places you've gone, the memories you've made, and the events your able to attend will be much more worth the materialistic items that don't last forever - like the memories do :)

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  70. The most important things is that you are happy, who cares what other people say:)

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  71. This post is everything! You already know how I feel about weddings. LOL. But I think people spend way to much on the ring when they can't afford it too. It's crazy. I mean, yes it's supposed to be a symbol of love, but it's just that a symbol. It's the actual love that truly matters. So I say all those other people who are judging you just need to get on with their own lives. :)

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  72. I think that people take the opportunity to judge other people's lives because they're trying to see how they're doing. It's almost unconscious with a lot of people. We're all so unsure if we are on the right track, so insecure that we missed something or are missing out. Some people derive pleasure from having more than someone else because they are so insecure about what they have being enough.

    It took me a long time to learn that. I got engaged six weeks after I met my husband. He was still in college and working full time, and so was I. It was all we could afford at the time. 2015 will make 20 years of marriage for me, and I still have the same ring, even though my husband is pretty high up at his company now.

    I take pleasure in the fact that I don't mentally (or with a calculator in hand) tally every purchase I put in my cart anymore, but I still pay attention to prices. This is not something I feel good about because someone else has to keep track of every penny, but because WE are secure enough not to anymore. It's about us, not anyone else. It wasn't ever about anyone else to begin with.

    I'm the one who has to go home and live in this house, these things, with these people. The fact that I look forward to my time with all three, regardless of the flaws, that's my win. Not because it's any better or less than anyone else. The goal is being secure, and happy with what you have - not worrying about what you don't. Achieve that, and you have won - no matter what your income, status, or ring.

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  73. You go girl! I'm not even close to becoming engaged but how you guys went about it sounds valid to me. I think it's way better to spend money on things that actually matter to you.

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  74. girlfriend - rock on! i love this post and how open you are with everything. i love it!!

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  75. This is PERFECT. I know that the first thing people said to me when we got engaged was that my ring was too big. It's beautiful, I love it, and it only makes things absolutely weird when someone tells me that Jason was wrong in getting the size diamond he got... Like, what good is that doing for us?

    We bought an older home (for our town) and it's 1800 sf -small for the homes in our area- but it's a space that I love, LOVE, adore dearly despite it being "too small".

    I realize that I'm never going to feel skinny enough, smart enough, funny enough, demure enough... I think we're all a bunch of Goldilocks thinking nothing will ever be right enough for us. And, well, that's terrible for our own minds!

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  76. First of all, who are these shallow, obnoxious people who look down on you and make you feel shitty? They need to take a hike and get a life – and by "life" I mean one where the highlight is something other than the size of their friggin' engagement ring/car/home. I mean, who cares? That stuff doesn't matter a single bit. Is it night to have? Sure. Does it actually add to the quality of your life, and to your level of happiness? Not a damn bit. It's just stuff. What does add happiness is being with someone you really love, someone who understands you and supports you and for whom you are a priority. And that is the thing that in the end makes you richer than anything ever could.
    So yay on your awesome life, girl!

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  77. Also, mad props for the Clueless reference ;-)

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  78. I can't even tell you how much I love and respect this post!! I mean I agree and believe in everything you said and look at all of the amazing things you've done in life. You ARE LIVING your life to the fullest and get to do so many amazing things. You are building a life. On a sidenote, I'm pissed that people even think that they could talk about your ring or house or anything else that isn't their business.

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  79. I love this post, so so so much. I have a small ring too. I had a small wedding and for our honeymoon we went to disney world... we live in Florida so everyone was like "uhh... you're going to disney world?" YES DAMN IT I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD. I love Disney with all my heart so heck yeah I wanted to spend a week there! And it was a blast! I just hate when people butt in and try and tell you "You should do this" or "it would be better if you did it this way or went here" ughhh but anyways, I agree with you... size doesn't matter. I want a small home and I don't want anything fancy. I'd rather spend my money seeing new places!! Or buying another disney annual pass... haha


    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  80. Love this post! I feel that way many times as well. Especially since I am not married. People make it seem like being married is the symbol of 'making' it in life. My own family pressures me about marriage regularly and I hate it. Those kinds of pressures make you feel inadequate. I agree that what you get to do is more fun than having a ton of things and not being able to do anything else.

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  81. Loved this! Thank you for linking it today so I could read. Well said and I think of this often.

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  82. I really can't believe people would comment on your ring! That's just rude. I mean, really, why do they have to assume that because it's small, it's not something that you would love? Different styles, different strokes. Oh, and I totally picked my ring out too. I'm all about tradition to a point. But if I am going to wear a ring for the rest of my life, I'm going to love it. Oh, and no shame - it was a preowned ring. So we got it at a pretty steep discount. So yes, it's a carat and it's platinum, but we paid less than the simple rings I had been eyeing (I kept thinking maybe a half carat in white gold). Anyway, the point is (a) no one has any business pitying someone for the size of their ring. That's just ludicrous. and (b) I totally helped pick out my ring too. And we weren't working under a time crunch - it's just what I wanted. :)

    As for the rest of the gist of this post... I am so with you. We do have a big house, but it's because we bought a foreclosure in the midst of the recession. In unlive-able shape. We poured our heart and soul into this house and made it a beautiful home. It's definitely not Pinterest perfect, but it's ours and we love it. And we have two cars, but they're both older and we paid in cash for them. We have tiny closets (old house so it's designed for a time when people didn't have as much stuff) which encourages us not to spend a lot on clothes. Anyway, I'm reading over this and it sounds like I'm bragging. I don't mean it that way at all. I mean that we choose not to spend our money on housing and nice cars and fancy clothes because we like to travel and eat. That's where our spending $$ goes. And that's what works for us. But I don't, for one minute, judge my friends who use their spending $$ on clothes or cars or making their home nicer. That's totally okay. Like you said, people are different. I definitely agree. I just think it crosses a line when someone judges you for how you are using your finances. Definitely not okay. So this incredibly long comment is basically just to say "I totally agree!" :)

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  83. Glad I'm not the only one reading this after you linked to it today! My engagement ring is small, just white gold with a small diamond. I picked it out with Michael. The ring was used, and they replaced the diamond with a diamond from a pendant (which was also used) because it was a better diamond. I used to want the huge fancy rings like everyone has but I am so happy with my ring! Our wedding budget was so low and we stayed pretty much right on track. Michael's dad was so proud of us and told his sisters they get the same amount from them that we got...his sisters are not very happy with us for that! Haha.

    So we definitely live simply too. What's important to us is having enough money for us and our dogs to live (throw in a few date nights) and to save up for buying a house and taking a late honeymoon eventually.

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  84. People can be so rude. If you *want* to change out your stone when you're older, that's certainly okay, but people shouldn't be commenting on the size of your stone as it is! Your marriage, your finances, your decisions--no one else's!

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