Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Life on a Loop

At 3:30 a.m. the morning of our wedding, I woke up to the sound of falling rain. I laid in bed caught somewhere between slight panic that it might continue until 2:30 p.m. when we were supposed to do pictures at the park, and relief that it was happening now and might be over within the next few hours.

If it had rained, everyone would have survived. We would have called it good luck and tried to stay dry as we dashed from cars to buildings.

But it didn't rain. Fortune and the forecast smiled on us and we got to enjoy a nice mud-free couple hours of picture taking. And then jubilation ensued...

The day after the wedding, we drove to Santa Ynez, one of our favorite wine-tasting spots, for a mini-honeymoon. It was pouring so hard on the drive up, the windshield went completely white a couple times.

"We are SO lucky this weather is happening today," I said more than once.

We were so lucky that everything we'd worked so hard to plan went off without a hitch.

We were so lucky that our guests crowded the dance floor and filled the air with laughter—even when I had the DJ play Xanadu. We were lucky they loved our food and our cake and our speedy ceremony.

Before we hit Santa Barbara, Mr. Wonderful grabbed my hand and sheepishly told me he already had something planned for our one-year anniversary.

"I booked us the Caveman Room at the Madonna Inn," he told me.

The Madonna Inn is where we got engaged. The Caveman Room is one of their most popular suites and has to be booked months in advance. I am so lucky to have a man in my life who possesses the forethought—and thoughtfulness—to plan an anniversary trip for us an entire year in advance. Ooga Booga Mr. Caveman Wonderful. I'll find myself something leopard print to wear that weekend.

When we returned from our mini-escape and I (finally!) had some time to read my favorite blogs, I came across a beautiful post from Mandy at You've Got to Be Kidding Me. It's about how much she loves THIS life. This one right now. And how she doesn't want to say goodbye. How she wants to live it on a continuous loop.

Me, too, Mandy.

All this luck. All this love. I want to pass through it a million times and a million times again after that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

One Week In

Yesterday Mr. W and I celebrated our one-week anniversary. Don't worry, we're not planning to celebrate every week, it just seemed like the first 7 days of wedded bliss deserved dinner and a movie. At the very least.

Before we left for our big night out, Mr. W pulled up some video that a friend had shot during our ceremony. It wasn't anything fancy—just a clip taken with a digital camera. I bawled my eyes out watching it.

Our ceremony was only about 5 minutes long. But it was truly the most special 5 minutes of my life, thus far.

Years ago, I attended a wedding at an estate in Cape Cod where all the guests simply stood nearby as the bride and groom exchanged their vows. It was so intimate. So special. It made all of us feel so integrated into the process. We were right there, at the bride and groom's level. I decided that day that I wanted my wedding ceremony to be structured the same way.

So last Saturday, our guests gathered on the patio of Ramsey's, right at our level, right up by our sides as we said our I do's. I cannot tell you what it was like to walk outside into what felt like a giant circle of love. It was truly amazing. Like I had a hundred arms around me. Like I was enveloped by a gigantic hug.

It wasn't the vows that did me in. Or the exchange of rings. I didn't shed a tear as we spoke to each other and looked into one another's eyes.

It was the kiss that got me. That last punctuation at the end of the story.

Once we kissed, we were officially married. I remember thinking that I should stop kissing him because I felt like I could have gone on forever. I was so excited and overwhelmed and warm from the bodies all around us, I wanted to just keep on celebrating with kiss after kiss. As soon as we parted, on came the tear faucet.

I think that was the only time I cried all night. And it was my favorite part of the night. Coming back up that aisle—as husband and wife. We had done it. Our hearts were sealed. And almost everyone we loved was around us, cheering for what we'd done. Rooting on our relationship. Lifting us up beyond the high we were already on. All to the tune of U2's Everlasting Love.

I don't think a day will come that I'll be able to watch that video without crying.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful

Great day. Great catch. Grateful for everything (including the fact that he let me post his face on the blog for what may be the only time ever)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Louder Than Words

Recently I was at a party and struck up a conversation about dating with one of the women there. She told me about how the suitors who were pursuing her had both professed their undying adoration, but weren't making much of an effort to actually see her.

"Actions speak louder than words," I told her.

Such a simple phrase. Such monumental consequences.

The evil ex I had before I met Mr. Wonderful filled my ear with such saccharine, I nearly had to see an audiologist. He told me I was the girl he'd waited his whole life to meet. And then he got someone else pregnant.

When I met Mr. W, I wholeheartedly embraced the fact that he wasn't a words man. He was quiet. A slow mover. But absolutely unwavering in his caring behavior. He never made me doubt how he felt. He always showed me. Even when he let me hang after saying I love you—it took him about 30 days to say it back—his affection and attention were constant. Solid.

Yesterday he returned from his 9-week work stint in London. 7 days ahead of our wedding. We didn't need words. The minute we saw each other, we just smothered one another in kisses.

This morning, as we lay cuddled in bed, he told me he felt like he was starting a new chapter in his life. I rolled over to tell him how I felt. Ever so gently, he pushed my cheek in the opposite direction. He could have said, "Damn girl! Your breath smells like a sewage plant!" But instead he just quietly turned my mouth hole away from his nose holes.

That's my man of action. Always showing me what I need to know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Upside of All Those Thank You Notes

Recently, Mr. Wonderful asked me to send myself a thank you note for writing so many thank you notes to our wedding guests. It's a task I didn't really think about until I had my first wedding shower and had to write 20 of them. Then after the second, I had to write about 15 more. Then there were the ones after the bachelorette party (Dear sister, thank you for the candy thong. It really made my whole night!) And as more and more gifts come pouring in through the mail, my writing routine remains constant. It's a big undertaking and can be a bit daunting at times.

But then, when I actually sit down to write, I'm totally overcome with gratitude. I truly feel the thankfulness infuse my body (and my pen) as I tell people how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness. It makes me want to be equally thoughtful choosing my words and expressing my thanks to them.

I also think it has been making me more aware of the good things in my life. It makes sense—practice hones skills, right? Thus, practicing being grateful in my notes is making me better at it on a day-to-day basis.

Sure, it may culminate in weepy sessions in the car where I am overwhelmed by how lucky I feel to have such amazing people around me, and to be marrying such an incredible guy. But the tears are a small price to pay for the warm fuzzies.

I may try to continue the habit even after all this wedding hoopla dies down. Or at least I'll write myself that note Mr. W told me to send.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"You Look Like Crap" Is My Least Favorite Sales Pitch

This weekend, my mom, sister and I went to the spa for some pre-wedding relaxation and rejuvenation. As I laid face-down in the massage cradle, trying not to drool, I thought, "This must be what heaven feels like." I really think the best possible afterlife would be back-to-back spa days.

I appreciated that my aesthetician didn't tell me my pores looked like grubby, downtown potholes. She was kind and gentle and whispery.

A huge departure from the dermatologist I met with a couple weeks ago.

I think I've mentioned it on here, but getting married does some funny things to your head. You start looking at yourself a little differently because you know you're going to be taking pictures that will last a lifetime and suddenly you feel like you MUST look the absolute best you've ever looked. I have friends who got nose jobs before their weddings. Boob jobs. Spray tans. Teeth bleaching. You name it.

Well, my wedding hangup was a little bump next to one of my eyebrows. It's not even noticeable in pictures, but it bugs me. So I decided to see a dermatologist about getting it removed.

She was running 25 minutes late for my first appointment. Her nurse told me that was typical—and that sometimes she scheduled appointments only 5 minutes apart. When she finally came in to check out my bump, she was a little hopped up, possibly high from her onslaught of patients.

"What are we looking at today?" she asked, motioning for me to lay down on the table.

"I have a little cyst or impacted pore or maybe a mole that I'd like taken off. I'm getting married in a few weeks and want my face all smoothed out for the wedding."

She leaned over me, inspecting my head. Not a single line creased her face.

"You need Botox," she said matter-of-factly.

Now, I have a fair share of crinkles here and there, but no one has ever pointed them out to me. Or told me straight up that I need cosmetic correction on them.

"I'm not really a Botox kind of girl," I said, wondering if I offended her—there's no way her flawless skin was natural.

"But you're getting married. And that line between your eyes— You should get Botox."

We went back and forth a few more times as I tried to let her down easy. I was not going to buy into a pitch at a doctor's appointment. That's just wrong. She started to sense my annoyance.

"You have very pretty eyelashes. So long!" she smiled, trying to win back any shred of affection I may have had.

"Thank you."

"Do you use Latisse?"

Oy vey...

I think I'll stick with the spa in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doh! My Days Are Almost Up

The other night, I had a startling thought: in less than 3 weeks, I'm not going to be engaged anymore.

Although I'm very excited to finally marry my sweet dream man, I also feel a little sad that our engagement period is drawing to a close. I don't know if it's because Mr. Wonderful has been in Europe since January 10, or if all the wedding chores have overpowered the moments of reflection and appreciation, but part of me feels like I haven't even fully had a chance to enjoy being engaged—and now it's almost over. Poor me, cry me a river, I know, I know.

It's just that there's really something sort of magical about that anticipatory state. It's really fun to look forward to things. As antsy as I was for Mr. W to propose, I also got a kick out of the continual wondering, is he going to do it tonight? Even after I had the ring on my finger, I caught myself thinking that a couple times when we were heading out to nice dinners.

Oh, how important it is to live in the moment.

I'm going to try very hard to soak in the last fleeting days of being a fiancé. And when Mr. W comes home on the 12th, I'll try really hard to focus on him and the excitement of our impending big day, rather than the laundry list of last minute things we'll have to do.

A friend told me Monday that she wishes me peace of mind and presence of heart on the day of our wedding. Seems like a good thing to hope for every day before and after it, too.