Starting in the Middle

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I opened this blog months ago, then neglected to write anything in it because I couldn't come up with a good way to sum up my entire blogging life that had otherwise been on LJ.  It will continue to be there, but it will also be here in duplicate for those of you who aren't LJ'ers.  I finally gave up on finding the perfect way to sum up everything, because there isn't one.  The best summary I can give you of my life is to plop you in the middle of it.  It seems fitting, as the rest of us are just plopped into this world and into various situations, often without context and we're just meant to wing it.  So... welcome to my blog.  It picks up shortly after I got married, which interestingly, was about a month ago.  Enjoy.

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Well, I am married!  I have been trying to unpack everything I've felt about last weekend.  In a word, it was amazing.  In lots of other words... it was like this.

Last Thursday, in the middle of the day, I realized that the delusion I had about working through half of Friday was... insane.  Also, my work friend, Zeena, basically flat-out told me that I couldn't work on Friday and that I seriously had to leave the office.  Thankfully, Alix (one of the docs I work with) agreed, and after a quick meeting and making sure that Ro and Wendy knew I wasn't going to be in on Friday or Monday (and therefore had to cover me if any biobank samples came in), I made my exit.  I ran around like a crazy person on Friday night attempting to print programs, and ending up at Office Depot because my printer spazzed out.  Thankfully, Hannah at Office Depot is my hero, and was able to print the program pages for me.  In the meantime, I went to the movies with Lindsey to see "Sinister" because I seriously needed about two hours to NOT think about wedding stuff, haha.  Also, holy scary movie.  One of the better ones I've seen in awhile.

Friday, I slept in, and then ran around like a crazy person once again trying to print program covers, among other things.  Once again, Hannah of Office Depot saved my ass, and then we had programs!  Well, programs in pieces, that I delivered to my mother and her friend Joanie for assembly.  I... also had to run to Philly because I had a waxing appointment and then had to pick up some stuff that I had printed for the tables at the wedding.  I kind of forget what else I did that day, but it ended with me getting an amazing, hot stone massage and exfoliating foot wrap.  I felt so much better afterwards... I seriously need to get massages more frequently.  Friday night... I think I went to dinner with Ken, my mom, her friend, and my brother... and then Ken and I were up until 5 am doing various things, writing vows, packing bags, and getting things ready for Saturday morning.

After sleeping for 2 hours, I got up and felt relatively human.  I packed the car and set off for the Philly airport to pick up Sarah (AKA: LF).  After I found her and we squealed at exceedingly high decibels for awhile (and probably scared a lot of people in the vicinity of the airport), we headed back into the city and got mani-pedi's, picked up some last minute place cards for the rehearsal dinner, had lunch, and picked up Ang, my amazing day-of coordinator, from the train station.  After repacking the car, we were on our way to Lancaster!  We made pretty good time and got to the hotel right around the time when lots of OTHER people (like my dad!) were getting to the hotel.  Sarah and I checked into our room and hung out until Emily got there, at which point, more squealing and hugging and giggling occurred.  I grabbed a cup of coffee with my dad and we caught up for a bit, and then I headed back upstairs.  My mom and her friends had the room next to ours, which we did on purpose (so that on Sunday we could all be in one central location for hair/make-up) but she was driving me NUTS so at one point, LF, Emily, and I went out to run some errands.  We found AC Moore and picked up more ribbon (for program construction), as well as a bunch of random craft things (princess coloring book, grow-a-panda (those things you put in water and they grow?), Mad Libs, and random bandanas (obviously).  We also had to go to the liquor store because my alcoholic mother requested more wine.  I was in a pretty terrible mood because she had been pissing me off and then I couldn't find the goddamn wine and WHY the hell was I getting WINE for my mother the day before my wedding?? In the end, it didn't matter, and LF, Emily, and I had a fabulous time wandering Lancaster.  We even made friends with Ivor (yes, Ivor) the grocery store clerk who told us where to find a liquor store and drew us a mostly useless map.  We also named our grow-a-polar-bear Ivor.  Obviously.

Once we got back, it was time to start getting ready for the rehearsal dinner (sans rehearsal).  I managed to scorch one of the skirts that I had brought to wear, but luckily, I had another one.  Also, what the hell, hotel room iron??  Thanks to Emily, people had place cards (because you can't just send two sets of divorced parents into a restaurant and have them sit wherever), and I didn't kill anyone!  We got to Carrabba's a little before we were supposed to be there, and somehow I got all of the place cards on the table... except for Violet's (Liam's girlfriend), but luckily, we had extra and Emily made her one on the spot.  Thankfully, everyone got along and Ken's mom bailed on saying Grace, thank God.  (She had thrown this big fit because we had told her she couldn't say anything at the rehearsal dinner because we didn't want three people speaking - Ken's dad, Ken's mom, and then my mom b/c we couldn't tell her no if the other two got to say something - and then she threw a fit to Lynn saying that she didn't want to do the mother-son dance and all this other CRAP, so Lynn called Ken and somehow it got decided that Cathy, Ken's mom, would be allowed to say Grace... and this somehow ended up with me having a huge friggin' meltdown about how much I hate our parents... but she bailed, so it was ok!)  Ken's dad didn't even get to do his real toast because it was too loud in the restaurant, but I think everyone was okay with that.  The food was really good, and the surprise groom's cake that I had ordered for Ken was awesome:

Of course, it was Sonic the Hedgehog


It would have been even better if the top tier hadn't fallen off in transit in Levi's car and been put back together with tweezers and toothpicks... but luckily, no one could really tell that from the front.  But yeah, totally awesome and Ken was SO surprised and loved it.  And it was delicious!  Vanilla cake with cannoli cream filling.  All home made by, Ashley of Beachy Cakes.  There are more pictures of the cake there, prior to falling over, so go check them out!  Also, she's SUPER reasonable and basically made this cake from a photo I sent her.  Basically, she's awesome and if you need a cake, you should order it from her.

Anyway, after the dinner, we went back to the room and hung out for awhile.  Ken and I practiced our dance for the wedding, and then Emily and Sarah made me go to bed.  Sunday morning, we got up and I ate breakfast with my dad and Ang before Shelbi, the hair stylist/make-up artist got there at 9.  We somehow managed to get everyone in our room to get their hair and make-up done, and we had a pretty awesome time drinking champagne, listening to random music (mostly Michael Jackson, Prince, and Justin Timberlake), and giggling.  Lots of different people came by and I was so happy to see everyone.  Constance arrived around 10 am, and I was SO stoked to have her there.  She helped Ang put together centerpieces and get other wedding things together, and by 1:15 or so, we were ready to walk out the door to the venue... except that the shuttles weren't there.  And then when they got there, they weren't exactly wedding party friendly... in that they were 14 passenger vans, not really shuttle buses or anything.  Somehow, we got all of our dresses, flowers, and selves into the van and away we went.

We got the venue and took all of our things up to the bridal suite.  The girls started getting dressed and it became incredibly evident that Karin's dress wasn't going to zip.  There are some pretty amazing photos of five girls trying to get Karin into her dress, and I can't wait until the photographer gets them back to us.  It finally got zipped, but then the zipper broke... so that was fun.  Somehow, Emily and Constance figured out how to fix it by using the sash from Julie's dress (that Julie wasn't using) and sewed it up over the broken zipper in a zig-zag, faux-corset back, design.  And magically, Karin was in her dress!  I got into my dress and put on the jewelry that my grandmother had sent to me from Florida (GORGEOUS pearls with a diamond clasp and matching earrings), and we took a few photos before heading downstairs to do a first look with my dad, and then Ken.  And then I started crying, haha.  Not a lot, but I cried when I first saw my dad (he cried too), and then when I saw Ken (who almost lost it).  Ken and I took bridal portraits on the grounds of the venue after our first look, and thank God Victoria was there to carry my train b/c it was kind of giant, haha.  We had a moment where I thought I was going to die because there was a giant bug on my gown, and this happened:

Me: I think there's a bug on me.  ::looks down and sees giant bug:: OH MY GOD, THERE IS A BUG ON ME.
Katie Jane (photographer): Ok, don't move, it'll be ok...
Victoria: I don't even like bugs, but I am going to get rid of - WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

At this point, she grabbed a tissue, somehow picked up the bug without squishing it, and threw it on the ground.  And then life continued...

After bridal portraits, we did portraits with our immediate families (and everyone behaved, thank GOD), and then bridal party photos.  We finished 10 minutes ahead of schedule because Katie Jane is awesome.  The Rabbi got there, and he signed our marriage license and then we signed our ketubah, which was pretty cool.  Then I almost punched the Rabbi, because he told Ken and me that we needed to shorten our vows because the ceremony was going to be "too long" at 40 minutes.  I basically told him that "we'd think about it" and after he went to go get ready, Constance came over and said, "Don't you dare change those vows!" so we didn't.  And.... then we went to go get married!

I cried when I came down the aisle with my dad, but not so much that I couldn't get it together once I got up to the chuppah and was with Ken.  Most people listened to our request in the program to not use phones/cameras/recording devices during the ceremony (except my stupid aunt, who filmed the entire thing with her goddamn iPad) and we were only interrupted by one random motorcycle revving it's engine during one of the readings.  Other amusing occurrances include a stinkbug crawling on the chuppah and falling in front of me and Ken, subsequently freaking us out, the Rabbi dropping my ring (thanks, dude), the Rabbi saying he hated e.e.cummings, the Rabbi going on random tangents (like the one about e.e.cummings) and us standing there awkwardly, me starting my vows, starting to cry and then saying "oh god" which made people laugh because it sounded like, "Ken, today I take you to be my husband - oh god", which is SO not what I meant, haha.  In the end, no one died, I didn't sob through our entire vows, and we got married!  Right after the ceremony, we had to take photos with our extended families, which was a lot like herding cats, only worse because cats are cute and probably smarter than most of our extended families.  Thanks to Constance, everyone was where they were suppoesd to be, and it was relatively painless.  Unfortuantely, Ken and I basically missed our cocktail hour, but I heard the food was amazing!  Also, Levi's a cappella group, "After the Bar" was performing, and we missed most of that, which bummed me out... but they were awesome!
We got lined up and were announced, and Ken and I did our first dance to "At Last", and we had such a good time.  Those dance lessons certainly paid off, as our guests seemed to love it (and it was super fun).  And then we had dinner, which was delicious.  My Aunt Kathy gave the blessing, and my dad gave his toast and made everyone cry.  Pete and Victoria gave their best man and matron of honor toasts, which made us cry again.  Then, because "After the Bar" and my DJ are awesome, the guys decided to do another set during dinner, which was AMAZING.  Levi performed "Just the Way You Are" which he had arranged at my request, and once again, I cried.  It was so sweet, and the guys were SO good.  It's the alumni group from "8 to the Bar" which is Drexel's all-male a cappella group, so the guys that sang at the wedding were all guys that I had gone to college with, and most I had sung with in choir at some point.  It was just really sweet and fun to see them all.

After dinner... I think we did the mother/son and father/daughter dances, and I managed to make it through ours without sobbing hysterically.  We then did The Hora, which was awesome because my step-mom and step-sister taught all the people that didn't know how to do it, and then Andrea (my step-mom) broke her shoe (which I guess means you're doing it right?).  AND THEN, Ken and I went up in chairs, and we thought we were going to die, but we didn't!  I cannot WAIT to see those photos, either.  At this point, we started our epic dance party... and talked to a whole bunch of people... and eventually cut our cake (and didn't smash it in each other's faces because we are civilized human beings).  Then... more dancing, dessert, more talking, WAY more dancing... lots of dancing.  It was so fun.  At some point, we took a break to play The Newlywed Game, in which Ken and I sat on chairs in the middle of the dance floor, back to back, each holding one of our own shoes and own of each other's shoes.  The DJ asked us questions (such as "Who would go out for milk at 2 am" or "Who will make sure the thank you cards go out in time?") and you held up the shoe of the person you thought answered the question.  If we got one "wrong" (our shoes didn't agree, haha) we had to kiss.  It was really fun, a nice way to break from the dancing, and our guests enjoyed it too.  Then of course, there was more dance party.  One of the highlights of the night was when Levi requested "Gangnam Style" and he and Emily somehow coordinated doing part of the dance from the video.  Don't worry, there are pictures of that, too.  I basically loved watching all of our crazy friends and family go all out on the dance floor... and I am SO glad there is photographic evidence.

Around 9:45, Ken and I had our last dance (to "A Thousand Years", which was sweet, because I walked down the aisle to an instrumental versio of the song, recorded by The Piano Guys) and then we exited our fabulous reception through arch of sparklers held by our family and friends.  It was beautiful and fun and amazing, and while I didn't really want the night to end yet, I was more than happy to get into the back of my dad's rental car and take my shoes off!  We got back to the hotel and got into our pajamas... and seriously, taking all of those pins out of my hair and taking a shower was AMAZING.  I went and gathered some random items from Karin, LF, and Emily (as they had gotten all of my belonging back to the hotel from the venue), said goodbye to LF and Emily (who were leaving for the airport at 5 am, ugh!), and then went to bed.  The next day, we slept in, ate breakfast with some of the groomsmen, said goodbye to random family, and then finally got on the road back home around 12:30.  Of course, it was raining, but it didn't slow me down TOO much.  The rest of the day was spent unpacking cars, opening cards and presents, going out to dinner, and going to bed early.

I honestly cannot believe it was a week ago.  I also think it's pretty weird/awesome that I'm married.  I can't believe that our families mostly behaved (as far as our families are concerned) and I can't believe that I didn't have a huge meltdown or attempt to kill anyone.  It sounds kind of stupid, but I didn't really expect to enjoy my wedding.  I expected it to be stressful and crazy and that I would just want it to be over.  But... I really loved every minute of it.  I loved seeing our family and friends laughing, talking, dancing their asses off, and having a great time.  I loved hearing how moved people were by our ceremony (even if our Rabbi was crazy).  I loved hugging people I hadn't seen in years.  I loved that our DJ had an awesome time, even though he was working, and I love that one of the waiters at the venue started dancing during "Gangnam Style".  I love that a room full of Italian, Catholics learned how to do the Hora, and that everyone was so stoked to get us up in those chairs.  I love that I got to dance to all of my favorite songs with Ken.  I love that so many people from different parts of my life all got together and pretty much loved each other, especially my bridesmaids and Constance.  I loved that at the end of the night, Ken and I got to leave our amazing, beautiful, practically perfect wedding day in a night lit by sparklers, surrounded by smiling, laughing, faces of our favorite people in the world.

Were there things I would have changed?  Maybe.  There were people missing that I would have loved to have there, and there were some people there I would have loved to delete.  There were a few things that made me go, "WTF?" but none of them really seemed to matter.  All that mattered was that I got to marry the love of my life, and that our friends and families were there to see it, and subsequently have the best time EVER.

And that's how Ken and I got married.  <3

The rest of last week was hugely exhausting, mainly because I went back to work on Tuesday and wasn't prepared for the post-wedding exhaustion.  By Wednesday morning, I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry, but I made it through the week and only almost fell asleep in rounds and meetings twice!  Whoops.  It was a pretty good week though, all things considered. And then this weekend was SO lovely, as I got to sleep in both days and basically do whatever the hell I wanted to do.  This included shopping for clothes that fit (since all of mine are huge, hurrah), cleaning the apartment (YAY!), and going to The Pop Shop for dinner tonight with Mike and Jen.  And of course, spending time with my husband!  Because I have one of those!

And now... it's almost midnight, and instead of being in bed, I'm watching Giraffe Cam on the internet.  No, this is a real thing.

Giraffe Cam

The video feed is of Autumn, the pregnant giraffe at the Greenfield Zoo.  She's supposed to have her baby soon, but so far, all she's done is eat a lot of hay and wander around her enclosure.  I need to go to bed, which means the baby will probably come during the night while I'm unconscious.  Typical, right??  Anyway, check it out.  Maybe there will be TWO giraffes when you go and look!

So yes.  I need to go to bed.  Tomorrow begins a week of work, teaching piano, studying, taking my second A&P exam, and hopefully getting some time to relax and make plans for next weekend.  Ken and I want to hit up a winery for a tasting, and maybe go to Johnson's Farm to pick out a pumpkin and do some other fall-related activities.  Hope you all had a good weekend, and that Monday doesn't hit you too hard tomorrow!

Love,
A

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