Amsterdam, Day 1

Here’s the thing about day 1 of Amsterdam. A lot of it was spent sleeping, on a plane, or in the airport.

We got up at 2:00am to drive to the airport, after about an hour of sleep. Happily, I slept on the flight. Chris wasn’t so lucky. We ate lunch at the airport because check-in wasn’t until 2:00pm, and we made our way to the hotel. After my Atlanta debacle, I was a little gun shy about picking a place to stay, but it turned out well. They let us check in a half-hour early, upgraded our room, and gave us a voucher for free drinks since we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary, which was truly lovely of them. Even if they did wake us up to give us that…and wished a happy anniversary to me and my husband. 😶

After naps and showers, we looked around Amsterdam a bit, and it was a little terrifying. Bike culture is a big deal here, and unlike in the US, it seems they always have the right of way, regardless of lights, crosswalks, pedestrians, etc. We are both cyclists and fully support bike lanes, cyclists, and everything that goes along with that, but here it’s intimidating and not what we are used to. And someone yelled at us because we crossed in a crosswalk and he came barreling around a corner and got mad at us. I mean, sure, right of way. But there’s no need to be a dick about it.

We had a mediocre doner kebab near the train station and a spectacular holiday drink at a Starbucks that was built in an old bank. We collect the city mugs and were able to add to our collection. There’s just one more that exists somewhere that’s on the list. Fingers crossed!

The canals are lovely, especially at night. One of my favorite views.

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Iceland, Day 3

How has it been three days?!

Today we put our rental car to the test and went from Reykjavík to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon — a 5-hour trip one way.I hardly slept last night so, to no one’s surprise, I was a little grumpy. But Chris took the wheel after an hour, and I got a nap. And then some lunch. And then my mood improved. Oh, Monica. How does she put up with you?

Our first stop was Reynisfjara, which also happened to be the wallpaper in Chris’ computer for two years. Bucket list item for her.

Next we stopped at a crazy diner/gas station/mini mart that I dubbed Icelandic Sheetz. We had delicious lamb soup and a lamb burger.

Our last stop was Jökulsárlón, a lake that had bits of glacier bobbing in it. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

One of the best parts of the day was the scenery along the way, so here’s some of that.

Also, our first task of the day? Getting gas. It’s 6am and 3 degrees Celsius outside. I pay with my credit card, and it asks for a pin.

But…I have no pin.

It’s freezing, I’m exhausted, and we are in Iceland. I shrug and enter the pin to my debit card, thinking if I ever set one up, that was probably it.

Bingo.

Oh, and I thought I locked us in a bathroom for 20 seconds before Chris saved the day.

Tomorrow’s our last day here! So much lamb soup, so little time.

You Can Tell Everybody That This Is Your Card

Happy anniversary, my love.

We’ve done a lot of walking and worn a lot of shoes in the six years we’ve been together, but these shoes from this day — always my favorite.

I’m sorry I didn’t get you a card. Did we have any idea when we got married what a whirlwind our lives would become? And that we would have no free time and be bad at planning stuff and basically be living life flying from one thing to the next? I certainly didn’t. “After this, things will calm down.” False.

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I love that dress so much, and you looked so amazing. You look lovely every day, but that day really took the cake. And doughnuts. And cookies.

You have made my life so much better, and are so supportive of all of my fangirling, even if I’m not always the best about dividing my attention. You even agreed to a Star Wars theme for part of our special day. Who does that? You do. And you are amazing.

So I’m sorry that I didn’t get you a card, since my free time during the week was spent writing, doing pod prep, dealing with plumbing business, and trying to do laundry to prep for Iceland in the middle of our busiest season at work. And also reading fanfic, because please see above regarding “bad at dividing my attention.” And then on the weekend, we hate to spend any time apart, because we are those people.

You made a day I was sort of low-key dreading because my father wouldn’t be there one of the best days of my life. He would have loved you.

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He would have loved your sass, your wit, and, most importantly, your all-encompassing love for his daughter, the giant nerd.

And he probably would have wondered how I landed such a hottie.

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I also wonder that.

You’re my protector, my biggest fan, my best girl, and my occasional makeup artist.

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So I’m sorry our lives were so hectic that I didn’t get you card, but I hope this blog will do.

We’ve certainly had our share of rain, but there’s no one else I’d rather be under the umbrella with.

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Here’s to the next two…hundred.0937

I belong with you, you belong with me. You’re my sweetheart.1091

#CHRONICA2015 FOREVER!

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Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become of Me

So I’ve blogged two days in a row (!) and it feels weird not to do it today. But I have to get ready for work 15 minutes ago, so nothing substantial is coming out of this brain. And I really thought I’d catch up on a lot of this while my wife was out of town, but I feel like I had even less free time than when she’s here! Hopefully in the next few weeks, here are the things you have to look forward to.

  • More in my new favorite blog installment, Monica’s Unnecessarily Long and Detailed TV Recaps (just for Wynonna Earp and not Orphan Black, evil friend who keeps telling me to write about OB)
  • More updates on the #TravelingFandras movement (and when I buy my new shirt, because that’s definitely gonna have to happen. Maybe I can crowd-fund it!)
  • My inability to choose normal blog titles (but Susanna Hoffs, am I right?)
  • Finally finishing blogging about my wedding in 2015 (sorry, honey)

  • Finally writing about ClexaCon and this amazing, epic photo op

  • Also this one

  • And this one, which is in some ways the most important one

Hope to see you soon, friends.

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Monday, Chris and I celebrate one year of marriage. The optimist in me wants to say “one year of wedded bliss,” but anyone who’s a regular human knows that that’s…a bit of a stretch. Honestly, going into this, I thought, “I’ve got this marriage thing in the bag. No problem.” We had been together for four years when we got married (and had lived together for three of those years), and I assumed that we would just continue on, business as usual.

I was wrong. Marriage is wonderful and amazing and glorious. It’s also hard, frustrating, and aggravating. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else, nor do I want to be. I have never loved anyone like I do my wife, but on the flip side of that coin, no one frustrates me anywhere near as much. (I just read her this, by the way, and she laughed — because she agrees with me, I assume.)

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Queer Fangirl AF

Today is National Coming Out Day. I officially came out years ago, and (let’s be honest) unofficially way before that with all of that flannel I wore. Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that it was a rough process for me. Growing up, I felt alone. I thought that no one could possibly feel the way I felt, and I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it. It led to some dark times for me, but I eventually accepted and embraced who I am. I wish I could go back in time and tell this girl that it does, in fact, get better.

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One of the roughest things was that I felt like I had no one to talk to about it. I almost kind of did once, that time my “friends” started a rumor about me that I was gay. I introduced myself to a friend of a friend with “I’m Monica, and my friends think I’m gay.” Her response? “I’m Beth, and I don’t care.” (Still friends, by the way.) But after that rumor was shut down, I shut down about it. No sense drawing attention to the thing that almost ruined (and ended) my life.

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One of the great things about the internet — and, yes, there are many awful things, but so, so many great ones — is that, no matter what community you want to be a part of, you’ll find it. And with lesbian spaces disappearing, that’s more important than ever.

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The Big Day, part 2

All pictures below are courtesy of the amazing Laura Kathleen Photography. If you need a photographer, look her up. She was part of what made our day so amazing. Laura, if you’re reading this, I’m still sorry you didn’t have time to eat dinner and you had to take it to go. I blame the hotel.

Guys. Remember how I got married last year? I’m biased, but I definitely think our wedding and reception is probably the best wedding I’ll ever attend in my entire life, or that anyone will attend in any lifetime. But maybe I’m biased.

I woke up early that day and couldn’t sleep because of excitement. I walked down to a coffee shop — our event coordinator’s suggestion and one of the few positives about her — and got us breakfast. The rest of the morning is a blur, quite honestly. The only standout to me is when I stood, naked, in front of the sink in our kitchen and ate leftover wings from the night before. And, yes, Chris still married me.

Chris, Amy, and I all kind of got ready together. Chris did my makeup, and she and Amy did their own makeup and got their hair done. Dawn did my hair, too, but it seriously took about 30 seconds. Chris’ hair looked amazing. If you have a special day needing special hair, give Salon Sartori a try.

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Photographing proof of me wearing makeup. Also, look how awkward I am when just holding Chapstick!

Then my mom came and hung out with me while the girly people took 17 hours to get ready. And Laura took some shots of our jewelry, our clothes, and my mom and I trying to overcome our awkward German nature and touch each other.

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Then…it was time. Time to marry my most favoritest person in the world. If you’d like to know my feelings about that, please see the picture to the above left.

To be continued!