My husband took my last name when we got married.

Did that get your attention?

It’s a long-standing tradition, dating back to who-knows-when, for women to take their husband’s last name when they were married. In much of history, wives were considered the property of their husband, and taking on their last name was just one little part of that. Even in our relatively recent American history, married women were unable to get a credit card unless their husband cosigned, even up until 1974!

While marriage is an important institution, one that has (slowly) changed along with our society, it has such a deep history connected to female oppression and male ownership of women. The assumption that a woman will change her last name to that of her husband is a part of that history. It’s also super heteronormative.

Okay okay, I know I’m not writing an essay for a women’s studies class. 

It can be a beautiful thing to take on someone else’s last name. It shows that you’re creating a new family unit, that you are a part of someone else’s life so deeply and truly, and it just generally signifies marriage and lasting commitment. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the desire for a woman to change her last name, but I do think that it shouldn’t be an automatic, this-is-the-only-way-to-do-this notion.

So, when Ben and I got married, he took my last name.

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Summer snaps – day forty six


I’m thoroughly enjoying these beautiful roses my sweet hubs gave to me for our one year anniversary! The peach ones are extra special because our wedding flowers included peach roses.

The lost photos of Ireland 

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to spend the summer living and interning in Dublin, Ireland. It was an unforgettable few months and I miss the city every day! If I could live there again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Being surrounded by the beautiful green countryside, friendly people with great accents, and a city full of life was incredible – I felt so alive in Ireland. But anyways, enough of me professing my love for the country.

After my program ended, Ben came to visit me for a week and we took trip allllll the way around the coast of Ireland, stopping each night at a B&B in a different town. It was magical. And what made it even more magical was that he proposed to me right in the middle of the trip, on August 6th, at the Cliffs of Moher! It was a complete surprise and he even hired a photographer to capture the moment. (another anniversary in August!)

Ben Margaret- 9
Credit to

I loved having those photos of us, and I took photos with my DSLR the whole trip as well – it’s so nice to have those to look back on, and to have prints of them around the house. Like all millennials, we have lots of phone pictures too, but the quality of those just can’t compare. On top of all of those photos, that took me so long to go through, it turns out that we have even more Ireland photos – from Ben’s camera!

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It’s been almost a year since Ben & I got married, and a few days after that will be a year since we moved to Dayton. What the what?!?????

Time is FLYING by, and I’m not sure if it’s because life has been generally good and we’ve been keeping busy, or if that’s just what it’s gonna be like as I get older. Either way, I still can’t believe it.

It’s been quite a year. We got married (duh), moved to Ohio, bought a house, have been slowly furnishing the house and making it ours, adopted two cats, I started a new job (almost a year ago there, too!), Ben started grad school, we’ve traveled, made new friends, found communities, and have explored this new area that now feels so familiar.

I feel like the only thing that could have made this year even crazier would be having babies, but don’t worry, that’s not happening for a few years. (Really Mom, I’m not pregnant, I promise!)

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about where I was (both physically and mentally) last year, how many aspects of my life have changed, and how Ben & I have grown together. It’s been a wild first year, but there’s no one I would rather have spent it with. Here’s to many more crazy years ahead of us!


15 things I learned about myself in 2015

Another new year, another great moment to reflect on myself and how I’ve grown and where I can still improve. In no particular order, here are 15 thing I learned about myself in 2015!!

  1. I miss being in school a lot more than I expected (it’s a big change since I’ve been in a classroom since I was 3)
  2. I’m not so good at making new long-lasting friendships (maybe this will improve in 2016! I have hope!)
  3. I’m really not so great at keeping in touch with people – sorry, Mom! (and Claire and friends and everyone)
  4. I’m good at customer service and getting better at making coffee drinks (yay barista job!)
  5. I am capable of teaching a class full of young children and maintaining classroom management – but maybe it’s not my destined career path? (yep, typical post-grad confusion)
  6. A part of my soul will always be in Ireland (and I can’t wait to return)
  7. I’m good at baking, and getting better at cooking! (and I’m becoming obsessed with cookbooks)
  8. I have an addictive personality (I knew this before but it’s been hard to ignore in 2015)
  9. I am capable of working chaotic 8/10 hour shifts at the coffee bar (maybe because of the loads of free caffeine)
  10. I freaking love Gilmore Girls (how had I not seen this show before?)
  11. I need structure and the motivation of a class to be able to exercise often (yay Pure Barre boo expensive)
  12. I’m an okay driver! (licensed driver, baby)
  13. I’m loving married life and all that adult-ness (hi Ben!!)
  14. Blogging consistently is not my strong suit (so many ideas, so little time so bad at putting in the time that it needs)
  15. I’m not as good at dealing with change as I thought (granted, I’ve had a lot of huge life changes in 2015, but still, it’s helpful to know about myself)

I challenge you to come up with 15 things you’ve learned about yourself in 2015 – it sounds like an easy task, but might be harder than you’d think! It’s been a nice way to reflect on my personal growth, and lack thereof. I’m looking forward to discovering all that 2016 holds in store for me!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

TMAYW: The Venue

This is a part of a series of blog posts about my wedding and the planning process, called Tell Me About Your Wedding (TMAYW) – to catch up, view all of the posts here.

Personally, I think that the venue is a pretty key part to a wedding. Your venue will give off a certain vibe to your guests, and sets the mood. If that’s important to you, like it was to us, then you’ll want to put a lot of thought into where you get married.


For us, once we settled on the location, everything really started to fall into place. I can’t tell you how many venues I considered, but I’m fairly sure I came across just about every wedding venue in DC and Virginia (and even Maryland) during my search! I used WeddingWire, The Knot, Facebook, Instagram, numerous wedding blogs, and even plain old Google to look for wedding venues. I typed up lists, made a binder, and scratched out overview pages on every venue we were seriously considering. I sent tons of inquiry emails, got freaked out over prices, and in the end, only visited about four wedding sites. The tours were exciting, since they let us imagine all of the possibilities of each unique site, but I definitely felt the pressure of expectations from some of the event managers. Not to say we felt pressured into making any rash decisions, but they all clearly have deadlines and want to book their sites up as quickly and smoothly as possible. As it turned out, we had what was considered a short timeline for planning, mostly due to the time of year we got married (August) and the in-demand location (DC area). I mean really though – a year is a short timeline?! The wedding industry has a bit of a skewed point of view, but more on that later…

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After four wonderful years together, Ben and I got married on August 9, 2015 at Whitehall Estate in Bluemont, Virginia. It was one of the best days of my life!!

We got engaged in August 2014 and started wedding planning around November 2014. We wanted a simple, personal wedding, and worked hard to make that happen with the support of our families and friends. Planning the wedding was incredibly exciting, but a little overwhelming, and I’m glad to be done with it and moving on to the next big thing in our lives.



WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 9, 2015 ranks pretty damn high as one of the best days of my life. Ben and I exchanged vows (that we wrote ourselves) in front of 100 of our closest friends and family members. We got married and had the reception at Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, Virginia. Everything came together wonderfully and we are so happy – it’s been a week and a half and we still can’t stop grinning ear-to-ear!

Four days after the wedding, we moved out to Dayton, Ohio, which is where we will be for the next few years. Ben is currently stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is attending graduate school with the Air Force Institute of Technology here for a year and a half. His next assignment might be here in Ohio as well, so we’re excited to start putting down some roots. We’re staying in temporary housing on base (and counting the days) until we can move into the perfectawesomebeautifulamazing house in Kettering, Ohio that we just signed the lease on yesterday! I’m still looking for a job, but I know I’ll find something I enjoy doing soon enough. We are quickly finding our favorite parts of Dayton and already have coffee shops we’re planning on being regulars at. Before we moved here, people kept mentioning how nice Ohioans (Buckeyes?? I don’t know what to call them) are, and that is definitely true so far. We are being welcomed with open arms and I’m really looking forward to the next few years here!

I’ll write a more in-depth post about the details of our wedding and the vendors we worked with when we get the rest of the pictures back from our photographer! By the way, our photographer is the best photographer in the world and everyone should hire her. All photo credit goes to her!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret