Sadie, Sadie

photoWell it’s all over now, and what can I say except it was the most delicious and magical night of my life. It’s hard to say what the best part was, maybe when The Boy tried to kiss me before the ceremony was even over, or when my officiant nearly burst into tears, or when it rained for exactly thirty seconds after a whole week of dire weather forecasts, or when everyone decided to light off their sparklers underneath the tent, so that I spent my entire first dance wondering if we were going to light the thing on fire. I think it was right after the ceremony, when The Boy and I had a few minutes alone to take a walk down the block. We paused in front of his neighbor’s driveway, the same driveway that The Boy drew in this picture so many years ago, and I thought about how much and how little had changed, how we were all grown up and yet still just two kids running around in the yard, making trouble. And then his neighbor drove up and chatted with us for awhile, and I was amazed to see that the whole world was trucking along as though nothing had changed. But I knew the truth, and so did he.

Beautiful photo by Maggie Jo Shapiro

The Last One

Four years ago today, practically to the hour, The Boy picked me up for our very first date It was the first day of summer, it was Father’s Day, and I ate tart lemon sorbet by the water with him.

It’s always seemed so fitting that our anniversary was on the solstice, the longest day of the year. We fell in love in a haze of green, and gold, and lawn sprinklers, and trampolines, and popsicles, and fireworks (literal and figurative). I took great pleasure in telling people that our anniversary was Midsummer’s day, and I became as aware of the impending solstice as a child before Christmas. As you may remember, we originally planned to get married on this day next year. But when we started wedding planning just a few months ago, it quickly became apparent that June 21st was out for both this year and next, so we picked another date. Still in summer, but lacking the delightful symbolism.

So this is my last Midsummer anniversary, and in a way I feel like that’s emblematic of where my life is at right–where our life is at right now. We’re not kids anymore, and our love is less about popsicles and fireworks, and more about wool socks, and reading before bed, and remembering to pick up seltzer on the way home, and making the bed each morning; about my feet in his lap on our yellow couch, and all those soft little noises of domesticity. But of course, there’s still the popsicles and fireworks, too, and always that shimmering haze of green and gold.

Image source.

The Rush

Sometimes I freak out. I start thinking about how I’ve been in Los Angeles for over a year now and I’m still not acting as much as I want, or writing as much as I want. I think about The Boy’s new job, which is so far beneath him. I think about all the plans we have, and how far away they still feel. I think about the sidelong glances and clucks of disapproval I get when I say, “Yes, we’re getting married, and yes, I’m only twenty-three.” I’ve always been a girl of convictions, but lately I’ve been overwhelmed by this feeling of where are we going, what are we doing, is everything going to be ok? With the wedding right around the corner, everything feels so filled with consequence, like every choice is a building block in this life we’re creating, and there’s no going back or moving bricks once they’ve been laid. And of course this is a very serious decision that The Boy and I have made, but I think it’s also important to keep reminding myself: there is no rush.

There is no rush to figure this out. That’s why we’re doing it together, one step at a time.

There is no rush to have our perfect life, the life we always dreamed about. We cannot skip the beginning and jump to the middle, and we shouldn’t want to.

There is no rush to know exactly how to love each other. We are going to learn, and it will be just right, because we will learn it together.

There is no rush. On the one hand, it feels strange to be heading into this major life decision and still feel so unsettled about so many things in my life. On the other hand, I am so lucky to have a partner along the way. And the older I get, the more I realize that you’re never really settled the way you thought you would be, but you make it work anyway.

Getting married has weighed me down with this pressure to have all the answers right now, right this second. So sometimes I have to remind myself: there is no rush. Let’s just spend the morning talking and laughing in bed. I’ll make you tea if you make me coffee, and then we’ll go from there.

Or, as the great oracle Buffy Summers once said, “I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking.”

Image via.

Pigs and Paper Goods

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Our wedding invitations mailed just a few days ago! Aren’t they fantastic? The Boy and I came up with the artwork ourselves and then sent it off to Sparkvites to make a giant stamp. I got the idea from one of my favorite local restaurants, Plan Check, where they stamp their menu onto butcher paper. It gives the menu a really nice vintage-y feel that’s hard to replicate with print. Honestly these pictures don’t even do them justice, they’re just so darned gorgeous. My mom was skeptical about the stamp at first, but the invites came out so beautifully that I think it was worth the extra effort. The Sparkvites folks were absolutely lovely, I would 100% recommend them to anyone, and when our stamp came with a minor error they handled the situation very efficiently. They also do more traditional print and letterpress invitations, if that’s your thing.

Wedding Invite_Document Name_09 Wedding Invite_Document Name_13

I feel like I need to say that I’m not one of those crazy people with a pig obsession. I mean, yes, I love pigs, but I don’t have some insane collection of pig figurines taking up my entire house. The pig thing kind of came up organically when we were working with our beloved graphic designer on the save the dates. At one point she asked if there was like one specific idea, value, or theme that I wanted people to take away from the wedding. I think my answer was, “The theme is: everyone eats a lot of meat.” And thus the pig was born. The Boy and I  both loved the new trend of “branding” your wedding with a logo, and then I came up with the fork and knife deal as a riff on a traditional design. I think it was one of my more brilliant ideas. We had a smaller stamp made with just the pig design, which I’m going to stamp on just about everything. Bonus: after the wedding, I think I’m going to keep using it for my letterhead.

More Notes on Wedding Planning, OR Deadhead Problems

With the wedding less than eight weeks away most of the larger components are in place, and now I’m primarily focused on the smaller details. This past week has been all about picking music, and my amazing DJ is going to think I’m insane when he sees the Google doc I’ve compiled for him, with my lists of “danceable Dead tunes” and “non-danceable Dead tunes that are still good to play during dinner”. Next to every song I’ve included the date for the live show from which I’d like him to pull the recording. This is what happens when you DJ a deadhead wedding, I guess. Anyway, this is a really lovely Catfish John (one of my favorites), which is much too long to play, so I thought I’d share it with y’all. And, if you’re in that kind of mood, you can check out Jerry thoroughly enjoying himself in this guitar solo:

Sound Advice

NYT, Social Q’s, 24 May 2013:

Our group of close friends has spent the last few years attending one another’s weddings. We all give gifts to the newlyweds, except for one couple who hasn’t given gifts to anyone. Now the nongivers are getting married. Some of us do not want to gift them at all, whereas others think a more modest than normal gift is in order. What do you think? – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

It sounds to me like these non-givers are completely missing the point of getting married, which is to receive household items and cash. They may be misguided, believing that marriages are about celebrating a couple committing their lives to each other, or they may be malevolent, dooming their friends’ unions to sure destruction by depriving them of tea towels, the literal fabric that holds marriages together.

Or, it may be that the cost of attending several weddings in a short time period makes it financially difficult for this couple to buy a gift on top of funding their attendance, but I don’t see how a little electricity, or dinner or diapers, is more important than the sterling silver Crate & Barrel salt shakers you’ve all earned by falling in love with another human being and declaring it publicly.

Healthy friendships are built on well orchestrated passive aggressive punishments tailored specially for the people you care about most. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that everyone does it in a way that your friends will sort of notice but that you can all sort of deny doing later, that way you can all quietly judge-and-jury each other for the rest of your incredibly fulfilled lives.

Someone made a Tumblr of the best (read: most sarcastic) Dear Abby-type advice column responses. It is just really fantastic. The wedding etiquette ones are my favorites, perhaps because they’re making me feel extra sane and good about myself. Some gems: 1, 2, 3, 4

UPDATE: Turns out this is better than I thought. The creator of said Tumblr actually rewrites ordinary advice column responses to give the moronic submitters the snark they truly deserve. Well done.

via Here’s That Bad Advice You Were Hoping For

The Wheel House

Acrojou, ‘The Wheel House’ from Acrojou on Vimeo.
Wow, and I thought my house was small! Love this sweet little performance piece, entitled The Wheel House, by Acrojou Circus Theatre. I adore the vaguely steampunk aesthetic, which puts me in the mind of the Dust Bowl and Mad Max all at once. This is my favorite kind of theatre–or any type of art, for that matter–where you can kind of fill in your own story. I especially love when the lady cleans the cut on her guy’s forehead: such tenderness in that tiny space! I could do well to remember that right now. The Boy is building a computer that is roughly the size of our entire living room. I can’t walk two steps without tripping over a monitor or a GPU (whatever the hell that is), and I casually suggested the other day that maybe he and the computer should get their own apartment, and just come me visit on weekends.

Speaking of the tiny cottage: I built a box garden complete with four baby tomato plants! I woke up early to take pictures the next day, only to find that construction workers had set up camp on my patio. Pictures forthcoming, once they depart!

And in other news, my wedding band arrived in the mail the other day. It is beautiful with wee little bows all around the edge. 58 days! Gulp.

Video courtesy of Acrojou Circus Theatre. Definitely check out some of their other work, v. cool.

Notes from the Belly of the Pig

It’s official: wedding planning has swallowed me whole. Turns out, planning a wedding in under five months from more than 3,000 miles away is CRAZY. Go figure! People keep asking me bizarre questions like “What are your colors?” (what the heck? why can’t I have all the colors?), and “What’s your signature drink?”, and “What kinds of favors are you doing?”, and up until now I’ve had no answers to any of these questions. There’s just so many logistical moving parts to organize that, until this week, I haven’t even thought about any of the fun wedding things like flowers or sparklers. But all of the big things are locked down at this point, so I’m finally allowing myself to use Pinterest again, and I’ve begun to think about how I want this party to look and feel beyond “well, there should be chairs.” So I thought I’d share some of the exciting details that are starting to fall into place.

I stole this picture from Pioneer Woman, who bought these chalkboard placemats, but my wonderful father is actually making eighty of these babies for all the tables. Aren’t they so sweet? I think my parents have caught the DIY bug, because my mom is going to spray paint a little pig onto each place mat to match our adorable save the dates:

Aren’t they perfect? They were designed by an extremely talented and sweet friend of a friend, and they make me smile every time I look at them.

These are the pretty farm tables we’re renting for dinner. I’m going to do all the flowers myself, with some helping hands, with this as the guiding inspiration (only with waaay more flowers):

That’s all for now, more updates to come!

All images linked to their sources. Special thanks to Danielle Young for her amazing Save the Date design.

The Yard

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When The Boy and I first got engaged, I did that thing. That thing where you become obsessed with wedding inspiration on Pinterest, and your head is filled with images of mason jars, and glitter, and peonies. But as soon as that first wave passed, I realized something important: I do not care about having a real wedding. Do not misunderstand me: I love pretty things, and parties, and farms (I mean, seriously). But it was way more important to me that we have the kind of wedding where everyone has a blast, and eats good food, and laughs a lot, and maybe I would wear sneakers. And I could think of no better place to have such a wedding than in The Boy’s backyard.

That yard was a part of our relationship back before we even had a relationship. It was a long, hot day during a long, hot summer when I laid on the grass in that yard and looked at this boy who was still just a friend, and I thought to myself “I’m going to marry him one day.” That yard was the witness to so many stolen kisses, and late night bonfires, and spontaneous campouts, and Saturday dinners made on the grill, and drunken firework shows. We used to fall asleep on the trampoline on warm summer nights. I used to read my book on his back steps while he fixed someone’s car in the driveway (because there was always a car that needed work). I used to wake up early in the morning, and sneak out to the yard while he was still asleep, and pick raspberries and blackberries for breakfast. And there was a whole other ragtag gang of friends who treated that yard as their own, too, who came and went as they pleased, and the most wonderful kinds of commotions were always happening there. It was the kind of place where you could swing by on a whim without calling, and half of your other friends would already be there drinking beers. In short, it was magic.

So when I got past all the bloggy-glittery-mason jar stuff, I realized what I wanted more than anything was to walk out of his backdoors in my wedding dress, down the deck stairs, and across the lawn. I wanted to get married on a hot summer day in this place that had provided so much context for our love. But there was a hitch: the house was for sale. We just couldn’t bank on it still being around next year.

So The Boy and I did something really impulsive last week, and we’re still kind of reeling from the decision. We’re getting married this year. In July. In the yard. And on the one hand I have not spoken to anyone about anything other than wedding planning for five days, and sometimes I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about table runners. But it doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore, because once all this craziness is said and done, I’m going to walk across that yard and marry my best friend in the exact same spot where we had our very first date. And that feels like magic.