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!

The Big Day, part 1

I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but I did get married last October.

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This is how I felt about it.

It was the best day of my life. Not an exaggeration. I wish I could have bottled up the feeling and sipped on it slowly when stress and doubt and other generic badness entered my life in the weeks and months after.

I live-blogged the day before the wedding, and it the room and person prep we did on our wedding eve. It’s fun to go back and read about the day that I didn’t know what Oxford heels were.

Like I said, our wedding was amazing. It was beautiful, touching, meaningful, amazing, and all sorts of other positive adjectives. The road leading up to it had a few bumps in it, though. I’ll mention a few of them briefly, and then I’ll get to the good stuff.

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Happy Birthday, Chris!

This past weekend, my lovely fiancée, Chris, turned 35 years of age. Here are 35 random things that will probably involve her! 

  1. So, I love presents and birthdays, so I made her open a gift from me that I had been keeping a secret since February. It is a necklace with a cutout of the United States, and there are two hearts on it in LA & Pittsburgh. Since we were long distance for so long, I thought it was a pretty good gift.
  2. We started early on Wednesday with dinner with Heather and Ryan and their supercute kids. I love all of these guys. We had a delicious Italian dinner and followed it up with some frozen yogurt.  Yogurt is messy business, folks. 
  3. The official festivities started off at the Carnegie Science Center for an over-21 night. We were joined by my brother and sister-in-law, her aunt, and two of her cousins, and we ran into a couple other friends.
  4. It was a good time but a little scary.
  5. I realize they are not actual Stormtroopers, but I was still a little nervous. Which I know is ridiculous, because if they tried to shoot me, I would be just fine. Not known for their accuracy.
  6. And I used all of my restraint not to say, “You’re a little short for a Stormtrooper.” 
  7. We played in some water, making sure to use proper safety techniques.  
  8. We learned all about rivers and woodland creatures, which was fun. Then we got to pretend we lived in a log.
  9.   Hey!
  10. Everyone got in on it!  Might submit this one to Awkward Family Photos.
  11.   The one that started it all.
  12. We walked around some more, and I got so many steps on my Fitbit!
  13. Then this happened.   I got to hold his lightsaber. Not a euphemism.
  14. Then we played air hockey against a robot, and I was the only one of the four of us who won. No big deal.
  15. Except…   I broke it.
  16. Time to head home! It was a really fun night. It was an interesting crowd, with equal parts extreme geeks, hipsters, and lesbians. Unexpected but welcome.
  17. We snuck out a back entrance but were held up because someone didn’t know how to work the ticket gate. Like, really?
  18. I had intended on making a birthday cake from scratch when I got home, but it was really late, so we stopped at the store and got a box mix. Chris requested white cake with blueberries and a lemon buttercream icing.   I even bought this milk that seemed to have been created just for me.
  19. We baked the cake, and though it looked pretty good, it majorly stuck to the pan. I had a bit of a meltdown, I’m ashamed to say. I felt stupid that it didn’t work out. But we made do the next day, and it tasted pretty darn good, even if it wasn’t a beauty.
  20. What it lacked in looks, it made up for in substance.  The self-deprecating part of me wants to say “much like myself,” but that’s inaccurate. I’m a hot piece of ass.
  21. Bedtime was 2:00am for us, and then Chris saw a spider, which made her stay up even later. I wish she would have woken me up. One more present I could have provided!
  22. Early 8:00am wakeup because who wouldn’t want to do a 6-10 mile bike ride in the unseasonably cold morning air with some friends? Happy birthday!
  23. We took part in East End Brewing’s Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride, which was super fun. They are a near zero-waste, environmentally sustainable brewery, and each year, they host an event that transports their Pedal Pale Ale by bicycle. It was their 11th year and our first (though Jake the Experienced Cyclist had done it before).
  24. The idea is that you show up at the brewery and then do a 6- to 10-mile bike ride to an undisclosed location, where they tap the new keg.  Why does my head look so freaking giant?
  25. Then you have to find your way back by bike, which I was really nervous about. 
  26. Oh, and did I mention we had to ride 6-10 miles first? 
  27. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The ride was only 6 miles (Chris and I did a practice ride last weekend with her new bike and did 8), and…we ended up back at the brewery.   I may be making that face because my butt hurt. No one knows for sure.
  28. Also, there were 450-plus people, and most of them looked like hard-core cyclists. Very intimidating for this guy. But I kept up and didn’t embarrass myself. Yeah!  
  29. Most importantly, Chris had a great time.  It looks like a car is on fire in this picture, but I think it was delicious-smelling barbecue. I hope.
  30.    Bike madness.
  31. Then…our reward.  The birthday girl took the picture. Sorry, honey. Also, I apparently love shirts with zippers. Can’t wear too many at one time!
  32. We made our way home after that, and friends and some of Chris’ family came over for pizza and cake (which I quickly prepared and applied the icing). Lots of laughter, lots of stories, and lots of delicious food. For some reason, I took no pictures of this. Sorry, America.
  33. Sunday was a bit of lazing, a bit of yardwork, and a bit of cooking.
  34. It was a great weekend, and I think Chris had an even better birthday!
  35. Oh, one more random thing? How about some gushing. I love spending time with Chris, and this weekend was no different. We have so much fun together, whether it’s cycling, posing with Stormtroopers, or cutting down trees. She makes me so happy, and I hope that she felt even a fraction of the happiness she makes me feel every day.  I hope you enjoyed your last birthday as a non-married person, my dear. Because next year at this time, you’ll be married to this dork.

Star Wars Made Me Gay

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Happy Day After Star Wars Day! I wanted to write this yesterday, but I took a couch nap with the lady instead. And it was time well spent. So, here we are, a day late.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan as long as I can remember. I used to play with the action figures as a kid with my brother (pictured above, next to Chris and me), have seen the movies multiple times, and have more Star Wars-themed kitchen accoutrements than I ever thought possible (also thanks to that guy in the picture).

Star Wars is also responsible for the first inkling I had of being gay. I realize it isn’t very original, but I was extremely fascinated with Return of the Jedi Princess Leia and her gold bikini. I remember cutting out a picture of her — operating the gun,
I think — from TV Guide and putting it in one of those children’s lock boxes. Apparently, it was a prized possession. I would take it out and stare at it. I was going to take it to the theater with me — don’t ask why. I was six years old! — but decided at the last minute that bringing it was a little weird. Yes, even then, I felt like my feelings toward certain women weren’t quite the same as perhaps the norm.

I love all of it for reasons other than Carrie Fisher, but she’s definitely one of them. When I wear a Star Wars t-shirt to work, I often think it will be a good day just because of that.

Now is time for the obligatory Whole30 update. We are on day 4, and it’s going okay. Here’s today’s breakfast:

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We agreed to make cookies for a friend’s sister’s wedding and ran out of time before Whole30, so we made 9 dozen Cool Whip cookies on Saturday. It wasn’t super difficult to skip trying them, but it was really hard to remember not to lick the spoon, lick the powdered sugar off my thumb, or eat a crumb that had fallen. Apparently, those things are second nature to me. But we did it, and the cookies are sealed up. They’ll be out of the house this afternoon.

It’s required a lot of planning and cooking, with mixed results. And I’m back on afternoon shift today, so we will see if that helps or harms things.

Hopefully helps! It’s for two months!