Friday, April 22, 2011

Big News

Whoa. I (Anna) am "done" with my dissertation. I write "done" in quotes because the work of an academic is never over. It's always a work in progress. I can't wait to get feedback from my committee and reviewers on my second born, 190 page baby! The hardest part is over, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've been reborn!

At the Kudak home we're now moving onto projects that have been neglected since we moved and I've been working double-time on my dissertation. Decorating! Just yesterday we had Dr. Carol Bruess (did you know she should also have a PhD in decorating? It's true) over for a consultation. And to solve a little marital dispute. My hubby happens to have many opinions about the way things should look in our home. He was also the type of hubby who also had opinions about our wedding. Things like flowers, songs, colors, invitations, and everything else imaginable.

Because decorating and wedding planning are typically done by women, I've often thought of his involvement as a curse. After all, this means I don't get my way on all these decisions. Every detail is negotiated. But then I got to thinking: maybe my hubby is just ahead of most married men in this area? He's after a truly equal marriage, on every level, which is one thing I've always loved about him.

I'm choosing to view this frustration as a gift. I've realized, when we both love a piece of art, sofa, or chair, we both get giddy. It's an excitement I would have had on my own had he not cared, but instead we get to share the satisfaction. No pain, no gain, right?

Stay tuned for pics and tales from the journey.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Give Us Wings

One of our (both mine and Carol's) favorite neighbors, Betsy Davies, is involved in one of our favorite causes: Give Us Wings. Give Us Wings helps build African villages. Betsy went to Uganda and Kenya in January and blogged about her experiences. Very though-provoking, heartbreaking, and enlightening stuff worth checking out:

Looking for a fun time with friends? Support Give Us Wings while doing so! They're having a benefit dinner and silent auction that would make for a great double date. C'mon, Happy Couples! Betsy will be speaking and she's incredibly funny and touching. It's sure to be a great time for a good cause. Purchase your ticket online:

As a bonus, you might just meet the one and only Carol Bruess; there are rumors she'll be in attendance! Oh, and there's Happy Couple Co giftware to bid on, too. It'll be a night to remember.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Break, Scissors and A Sister

Last week I (Carol) enjoyed another of academic's fine offerings: spring break.

Three cheers for SPRING BREAK!!

While many believe spring break is a time to head south, head west, head to the slopes or head, well, somewhere else (yes, we still had a foot of snow on the ground in MN last week so it's worth going, well, anywhere but here), I've come to relish spring break for the week of regrouping, resting, refreshing (oh, and grading papers that I always assign to be due right before spring break. Dumb).

But this spring break was none of the above. It was BETTER than traveling and resting! And ... as you might guess since I'm making spring break the topic of an entire happy couple blog ... had something to do with happiness + couples + anticipation + planning + celebrating + a bride-to-be + a lot of cutting and stitching.

Indeed, it was a week of all that and more. My sister arrived on Sunday. My mom came shortly before. We traversed the cities with ideas and visions for assisting in the prep for my sis's upcoming destination/beach wedding. Armed with ideas, tape measures and notepads, we set out to descend upon the best shops and stores in the metro area. The pinnacle moment was purchasing fabric. Crafting a dress-making plan. And then tackling the project.

A day or so later, I emerged from the new basement sewing room with my sis's 100% cotton (beach-friendly!) wedding dress:

Cute, eh? But shhhh ... don't tell her soon-to-be-husband. He's not supposed to see (yet)!

How fun to be in the middle of the happy+couple+planning! After the wedding (June) I'll post pictures and updates (with bride wearing above gown, of course). Ahhhh ... the beginnings of a happy couple. Three cheers for THAT!