Currents

31 days to go!
photo by Liesl from Photo Pink; picmonkey-ed to death by me

Big stuff today, folks: the wedding is officially a month away. ONE MONTH. How is that even POSSIBLE? I can’t really believe it. A month is such a short amount of time, and it’s just so strange and exciting and strange. I think I’ve mentioned that I work at a university, and the idea that when classes are back in session for the Spring semester, I’ll be married is one of the happiest, weirdest, craziest things that keeps running through my head. We’re in good shape, although last night (as we were leaving our final meeting with our DJ), Dan said “can’t we just be married already? I feel like we’ve been planning and planning forEVER and the fact that we still have another month of it feels like too much.” I can’t say I disagree…. But to say I’m not over the moon excited (as much as I’m overwhelmed and over-using the word weird to describe how I feel about the imminence of getting married) would be a total lie. I can’t fucking wait.

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I have the week between Christmas and New Years off, and I’m obviously looking forward to it. Starting a new job in the middle of planning a wedding has meant very few days off and many, many weekends and evenings booked up, so some time off is very¬† much needed. Even if most of the days will be busy with celebrating and family (and a few wedding things, too). Christmas is one of my favorite things, and I can’t wait to wear my giant red snowflake sweater, paint my nails glittery, and hang out with my families.

There are still things I want to do more of before the holiday season is over, namely:

  • drink holiday tea (Tazo’s Joy and Harney & Sons White Christmas) out of my giant hand painted Christmas mug
  • eat pancakes (since we can’t make it to Grandmother’s Christmas Eve pancake breakfast this year)
  • listen to more Christmas music (It’s not embarrassing to say that I need to listen to John Denver & the Muppets every year before it feels like Christmas, right?
  • Wrap the presents (my favorite part)
  • Test out our new holiday jammies
  • Watch as many James Bond movies as possible.

This weekend, we’re hoping to see the Hobbit (I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet; I saw all three Lord of the Rings movies in the theater on opening night!) and get ready for Christmas. Maybe I’ll get to squeeze some crafting in there, too.

I leave you with arguably my favorite non-traditional Christmas song (because let’s face it, Bing Crosby is where it’s at), “Christmas” by Blues Traveler. I downloaded it in college during one of my collecting all the Christmas music I could download fests, and the lyrics get me every year. It’s obscure and no one other than me knows it, let alone loves it as much as me, but the spirit of “peace on earth to everyone and an abundance to everyone you’re with” regardless of what you’re celebrating really hits home for me. And, okay, also this part:
I wish a one horse open sleigh
would come carry me away
but I’ve been waiting here all day

and one just hasn’t come my way

Currents

it's bokeh season, y'all!!!!
159.365 :: lights and bricks
December 27, 2008
holiday bokeh at hibachi
Carlos O'Connors bokeh!
I’d apologize for the bokehsposion but … I don’t care. It’s making me veeeery happy on a gloomy Friday afternoon and I hope looking at it makes you happy, too. It has been a pretty quick week, and I’ll take it, because like last weekend (did I mention that my bridal shower was last weekend? It was AMAZING and perfect and so, so fun. I promise I’ll write about it next week once I have my hands on pictures), this weekend is chock-full of fun, happy stuff.

I got a surprising amount of crafting done this week, between a night of Twilight on dvd while Dan played computer games and scoffed at the tv, and two nights of Dan working until 11:30pm. It felt a little bit like the olden days of living by myself, and as much as I love Dan and having him to snuggle with, I did also really dig living alone.

Speaking of reminiscing, I actually posted some photos to flickr today, and then I got lost in a black hole of my old photos. For example, I had a fun time looking back at my 30 days of shoes at the end of my 3rd year of daily photos, and was retroactively impressed with the creativity in some of those shots. (NOT all of them. heh.) I really need to try to get back into flickr, just as an unofficial online photo diary. I’ve been using it since 2005 and can’t tell you how often I go there first to figure out where I was in my life. So if I just … trail off using it, there also goes the online record. (Even if it’s just for myself.) I’m still taking and printing photos (hellooooo Project Life), but just not cross-posting them to flickr because so much of the community that I used to love there has migrated to instagram and twitter and facebook. I dunno.

We’ve started tallying wedding rsvps, which is really exciting. We’re sad to learn when people can’t make it (although I was honestly afraid wayyyy more would be unable to join us, just because: winter. Sunday. Lots of people who don’t live in central NJ), but I can’t tell you how heartwarming it is to see how people bedazzle their invitations, either by adding hearts or exclamation points or decorating the envelopes (or filling them with glitter! I’m so stealing that one) or writing sweet messages on the back or even just simply adding a few words like “can’t wait”. It really, really brings the happy heart back to the process to remember: DUH you idiot, you invited the people you love best in the world to this wedding, and at the worst, you get a smaller portion of those same favoritest people to be there to celebrate a Huge Life Event with you. Yeah, the to do list drags you down, but HELLO it’s going to be SO FUN. (I’m a little dense, sometimes.)

My brother’s birthday is tomorrow, so we’ve got some cool stuff planned this weekend to celebrate with him, and I’m looking forward to even something simple like my immediate family all being together. I’m not sure the last time that happened, since we spent Thanksgiving with Dan’s side this year.

I leave you with this bit of AMAZINGNESS, because as much as I love Bing Crosby and his true, unarguable Christmas classics (every year I swoon a little when I hear the first few notes of Bing. Love. Him.), this song has been one of my absolute favorites forEVER. It makes me think of my sister and living with Amy in college, and this version is just so … cheery.

Currents

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I’m having a really hard time getting it through my head that Thanksgiving was last week, and December is tomorrow. Broken record, I know, and with the wedding planning happening, I’ve known this fall and holiday season would be like this, but now that it’s here it’s still hard to process how fast time is flying. I’m not usually an early Christmas decorator, but this year I put the lights and decorations up (let’s face it: our living room is a lightsplosion) the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas lights are just so happy, and I just wanted to get as much time to enjoy the happy as I could.

It snowed a little bit this week, the pretty kind, and it was even the kind of snow you can actually appreciate, because I didn’t have to dig my car out, and the roads weren’t too bad. It’s amazing how wintry it feels outside now, all of a sudden.

We have gotten a lot of wedding stuff done this week, including one of the bigger things left on the list: picking out and ordering our wedding bands. It was a little nerve-wracking but we love what we picked and we’ll get to take them home with us in a few weeks like we’re actually getting married or something. Wedding rings! Ack! We also made some progress on our honeymoon, or progress on deciding WHEN we’ll be going. Because I now work at a university in a very (very) small department, being gone for a length of time is going to be complicated, so we’re going to hold off on our honeymoon until Spring Break or maybe even the summer. It sucks that we can’t go right away (I’m sooo in love with the idea of having a Huge Event and then whisking away with my love for a few weeks to escape from the entire world and then coming back, Married and Zen), but having made that decision feels good.

Mostly, though, this week has been a really stressful and frustrating one. And in a strange turn of events, I also can’t fall asleep at night at ALL. I’m normally driving Dan insane by falling asleep on the couch at 9:30 every night; I need SO much sleep to not be a total jerk and my body usually forces it on me. Except this week, in which I feel like I’ve been wound up sometime around 8:30 and I never wind down, and we’re watching tv or I’m laying awake unable to even focus on a book until midnight. It’s freaking me out. Maybe I’m stressed, or something? Big Life Events coming up, maybe? Either way, it needs to quit it because I need me some sleep.

But there’s happy stuff, too, and more coming. Beer samplers and sometimes my growing-out bangs don’t look like crap and my giant striped scarf and really big blankets. So it balances out.

Here’s the song for the week, The Early November’s “In Currents”, because November’s just about over, and I’m feeling a lot like I’m being swept in a current lately… and because it’s why I titled this blog series “Currents” rather than “around here” or “currently” or some such:


Life is an ocean and it moves like this.
So you’ll get what you ask for.
When love is the current pulling from your hands,
It’s all you want, it’s all you’re after.

Currents

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It has been one of those weeks that has me SO relieved that the weekend is (just about) here. This week has included a lot of coffee (now in cute Christmas travel cups!) and a lot of cheeseballs. And a lot of unexpected stress on top of the normal stuff.

Our wedding invitations are out in the world, and that makes things feel very Real. It’s strange, somehow, that even though we’ve been planning this wedding for almost ten months, something small (like getting an rsvp in the mail) can still make it seem real, because that means it didn’t feel fully real before. (I have a feeling there are still quite a few Real-making things ahead.)

I really can’t understand how Thanksgiving is less than a week away. We went to a Thanksgiving buffet at the faculty dining hall this week, and that turned my disbelief into excitement, because let’s face it: stuffing is pretty much the best food ever other than burritos. I probably should start thinking of some creative and impressive dessert to bring to Dan’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m grumbling seeing how many houses in our neighborhood already have Christmas lights up already, and Christmas tv commercials already? UGH. (Does anyone ever really give someone else a CAR for Christmas? I mean, really.) HOWEVER. I was super jazzed to browse the decorations at Target this week, and I think I even got Dan to consent to me buying a cutesy Advent Calendar. I have a plan for decorating this year, or, perhaps the better way to say it is that I’m allowing myself to buy a few new decorations this year and I’m aiming to put them up next weekend to fully squeeze every Christmassy bit out of the holiday season. And you know I already bought my pine tree candle. It’s going to be interesting to see how the holidays fit in with Wedding Planning Crunch Time, and I’m hoping getting some cheer in before wedding things get really insane may help me feel like I’m not missing Christmas altogether.

This weekend should be pretty good: Our engagement photo session is tomorrow afternoon, and me and my bright purple coat are ready to go. (Except for the fact that I’m incredibly nervous. I may take a lot of pictures, but I’m really bad at pretending I don’t notice/acting natural when someone else is pointing their camera at ME. Also I hope my hair looks cute.) Sunday we’re going to watch football with my brother and that’s always a great time. Happy weekend, y’all!

Currents

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It’s been a strange, stressful few weeks around here. Frankenstorm/Hurricane Sandy ravaged our area, and things are still not back to normal almost two weeks later. The first few days were sort of fun – having time off of work, using sunlight to catch up on Project Life, feeling vindicated for owning so very many candles, making sure our phones were charged. But the realities of life after a storm like that have been sobering, starting with small things like knowing Dan is required to work no matter how dangerous the weather is, trying to keep my phone charged in a power outage, having to throw out all of those frozen dinners we don’t eat anyway… and then ratcheting up to eight days without power, a hometown that has had more damage than I can remember ever hearing about (including flooding for my parents)… and the beloved Jersey Shore that I grew up with is battered in a way that’s almost impossible to wrap my mind around. Stories of people (including people I love) losing everything are more than heartbreaking.

We were able to get down to Barbados for Dan’s sister’s wedding, which felt like a miracle after three days of closed airports. We felt guilty being there, getting to escape from the isolation and growing chill of the power outage, but I can’t lie and say it wasn’t nice to relax – really relax – for a few days. The wedding was beyond beautiful, and they were so happy, and I mean: tropical island. I read two and a half books (and only didn’t read more because I was too busy swimming for hours at a time). I took a nap by the pool and another one on a chair at the beach. It was splendid. We can’t WAIT for our honeymoon now.

We came home and still hadn’t gotten power back, but it felt minor. Being back at work this week has been crazy and sad, as I catch up with the internet and see the reality of the aftermath. And then a nor’easter. And we lost power again (only for a few hours; but that feeling as the power went out and the snow fell out the window was a DARK feeling).

I keep finding myself saying that I just want things to get back to normal. I know that’s not really possible for everyone, and that’s hard. I just want to hug everyone I know who has been going through so much these last two weeks.

This weekend can’t come soon enough. My way-too-sweet friends have a pre-wedding hangout planned, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. We’ll maybe watch some football on Sunday. I will definitely drink some beers.

Here’s the song for the week, Capital Cities’ Safe and Sound. The lyrics stick with me, especially now:
You could be my luck
Even in a hurricane of frowns
I know that we’ll be safe and sound

Happy weekend, dudes.

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It finally feels like fall, and I’ve been SO enjoying the colors. It’s hard to spot a pretty tree and not default to Project 365 mindset and think how I can find time to pull over or take a few minutes to get a good shot of the leaves. I don’t have nearly enough photos of the foliage, that’s for sure.

I’ve been having all kinds of really strange subtle anxiety dreams in the very early mornings. Like I’m at my wedding and no one knows who is going to do their makeup, or I’m at a high school football game on the beach and my cousin doesn’t want to introduce me to any of her friends because I’m rooting for the wrong team, or I’m at work and all the bathrooms are flooding, or there’s no copy paper, or I show up at my wedding in jeans. They’re all SO strange, and yet the anxious feeling lingers.

Loving bright yellow coffee cups and hot pink notebooks and bright orange daily calendars.

I am OBSESSED with my new striped circle scarf. Really, really obsessed. I wear it like a scarf, or a blanket, and plan outfits around it. I especially love it with my black and white polka dot sweater.

Last night, we went to an Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at a restaurant one of my brother’s roommates manages, and it was amazing, as expected. Each course was paired with a craft beer, and each course was more amazing than the last: a selection of wursts, braised short ribs with cabbage, and then a mind blowing apple kugan with vanilla gelato and brown butter that had us all unable to speak, it was so, so good.

This weekend, we’re going to the Rutgers Homecoming Game (they’re 7-0 and ranked #15 in the BCS!) with my college friends (who tailgate hardcore with a tricked out Bronco with a grill attached to the back) AND my cousins and brother (who tailgate swanky in a stretch limo) and I’m so excited. I’m also eyeballing Sunday for some serious Project Life time, because I’m more than a month behind and that’s driving me crazy. And I’m trying not to worry about this frankenstorm headed our way early next week.

And since I’m back in an obsessed with music phase (and dudes, it feels SO good, because I haven’t consumed this much music in YEARS and whenever I’m not listening, I’m craving more music), I wanted to start sharing a song of the week, which may not be a new song, but it’s the one whose lyrics are following me around and I just want to listen to on a loop. This week it’s “Simple Song” by the Shins and the video is really creepy but the song is just super, super good.