The Eve of the Big Day

I know, I know. I’m moving in reverse. I know I live-blogged about the day before our wedding, but I left out a lot of stuff, like about the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.

Oh, and — as Chris just reminded me — how our sink exploded that morning.

Okay, I’m being dramatic. There was a leak and a bit of a mess, right before we were leaving to begin our prep day. We looked at each other and realized there really wasn’t much of anything we could do at that point other than clean it up, have minimal use of the sink, ask our friends who were checking on Graham to make sure nothing fell apart, and hope for the best.

(Nothing fell apart, and all is well.)

We got our nails done, did a bunch of prep with some friends and family, and then went upstairs to get ready for our rehearsal and also some cookie dropoff.

(Guys, our cookie table was epic, and that isn’t an exaggeration, but you’ll have to wait to see that for yourselves in a post or two).


Sister-in-Law Amy demonstrating how to sit down or something, I guess.

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The Big Day, part 1

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


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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I’ve been horrible at being a blogger. Chris and I have been busy with, well, life, I guess. 

Moment of downtime with that a-hole cat sticking his tail in my face.

In honor of my almost-38 years on this earth and another year closer to 40, here are 38 random statements.

  1. We have eleventy million shows we want to watch, and yet, all it seems like we watch are reruns of “Castle” and “Modern Family.” “Modern Family” is on right now. Three episodes and counting.
  2. The balloons Chris got me for Valentine’s Day are going strong.
  3. We live in a really old house, and the shower has been giving us problems. We had one estimate this week and another in a couple weeks. I know we need to take our time and make a responsible decision, but I wish it were being replaced tomorrow.
  4. We went to the home show, which is where we found the bathroom estimators. I love the home show. Love it. It’s always around my birthday, and I drag Chris there every year.
  5. Work has been crazy, which seems like the norm lately. But at least Chris and I get to drive to work together.
  6.  We went for a walk this weekend at the Montour Trail so we could take pictures of this ice craziness in the old tunnel.  
  7. I also took this picture. “Let’s go for a walk on the trail in the snow and do our scratch-offs!,” said at least one person.
  8. 38 didn’t seem like that many when I started.
  9. We have narrowed down our photographer search to a handful of possibilities. We need to set up appointments with them to see which is the best fit, and then it’s another box checked!
  10. Doing that stuff is so awkward. It’s always weird meeting new people, and then there’s the added issue of them trying to sell themselves. Plus…gay couple, which everyone is not always okay with. So that will be fun.
  11. We have pretty much solidified the cookie table, so at least the most important wedding planning is done.
  12. Chris is doing dishes while I’m blogging on the couch. I like that she isn’t upset with me for being lazy. I’m a lucky gal.
  13. Sometimes I get sad that we knew each other for so long (10 years!) before we started dating. But, really, neither of us was ready back then. Life leads you in interesting places.
  14. For instance…I used to blog for a gay-wedding website. You know, that other time I was getting married. Through the years, I have kept in touch with some of my fellow bloggers on the Facebook and seen them get married and have kids. I had a bet with one of them last year, a bet that ended up with me sending homemade pumpkin-spice blondies to her. Well, said friend lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and when I asked her for suggestions on areas to stay for our honeymoon, she offered up a free place to stay, all out of the kindness of her (and her family’s) heart. 
  15. So all of those problems and years of difficulty led to a house! On our honeymoon!
  16. That makes total sense, right?
  17. A new brewery opened up near our house, Spoonwood. These pretzels and beer cheese were freaking amazing.
  18. And this beer. I don’t know which one this was, but the coffee-drip ale was amazing. It will change your life. 
  19. Also, adorable beer samples for $2.00.
  20. This guy is trying to help me blog.
  21. I kept whining to Chris that I didn’t have any presents, so she gave me an early one. A Millennium Falcon keychain!
  22. Thanks, Buzzfeed, for all of your “Top This Many Restaurants to Try In This Place” or “With This Food.” Our honeymoon will have to be seven weeks to eat all of those doughnuts!
  23. I could probably eat all of the doughnuts in two days.
  24. We have also been incorporating more activity into our, well, activities. We are doing twice-a-week Zumba, walking on the trail, Piyo, and I got a Fitbit. And we wonder why we have no free time.
  25. Restaurants we have been to lately — Emporio at Sienna Mercato, Piper’s Pub, Ten Penny, Toscana Brick Oven. This weekend — Primanti’s, Gianna Via, and Piper’s Pub (again). 
  26. Pittsburgh is not always my favorite place, but they do know how to make good food!
  27. I’m headed to Mom’s Monday for more birthday celebrating, so I’m basically extending it an extra two days. That’s always a fun time.
  28. I’m not sure how I got to be 38. Better than the alternative, but still.
  29. That being said, 38 wil be awesome. So many things to look forward to.
  30. So, there’s that wedding of a lifetime, which will be great.
  31. And there’s marrying my favorite person. Also great.
  32. Hey, my favorite person and I get to go on an amazing vacation!
  33. Maybe something like this will happen! This is us watching the sunset at Matador Beach on our “second date.”
  34. The stage production of “Dirty Dancing” is next month, and we’re eating at Meat and Potatoes beforehand, who have the best burger in Pennsylvania, per some random list. They also have bone marrow, which I will not be eating.
  35. One of my favorite things about the upcoming year is that I don’t even know what all the year will bring. 
  36. It’s going to be amazing.
  37. I’m a lucky person.
  38. Thank you for reading all of my 38 points.

Happy birthday to me!

So. Much. Excitement.

So, I’ve had a random couple of days on day shift, which has been wonderful because I get to spend time with this lady.

photo 1

Wedding planning! We’re so organized!

We are currently on day 14 of Whole30. It’s going pretty well, though my Instagram followers are probably tired of seeing pictures of breakfast foods, no matter how awesome they are. Breakfast is the only meal I make by myself regularly, since Chris is usually at work, so I feel the need to share my pride.

photo 2

Frank’s Red Hot is my breakfast friend. So is the Marauder’s Map. Also, you should probably follow me on Instragram.

I feel pretty good, and we’re eating some good recipes, both new favorites and old standards. And a lot of salad. Canned chicken has been my spirit animal of late.

This weekend, Winter Storm Linus was supposed to blanket us (get it?!) with snow, but instead we only got a little, almost like someone pulled the football away before we got the chance to kick it. “Yeah! Snow! Oh…” Good grief.

After some friend and baby time…

photo 3

“I can put my whole fist in my mouth. Want to see?”

…we had planned a cozy weekend in, and it hasn’t failed us. Movie and TV watching, cooking, and wedding planning have been our life, and it’s been pretty great.

And today…we booked our honeymoon.

Wait, that feels kind of tame.

Today, we booked our…

[ As Oprah Winfrey ] HONEYMOON!

Well, the flights, but still.

I’m super excited, and it’s the best thing to beat this winter chill. Twelve days in sunny California with this lady.


From our first California outing together, at sunset at Matador Beach.

All in all, a great weekend. A great week. I’m very happy, and life is good. You know, all that happy jazz.

Also, my aunt texted me this picture, because…I’m adorable.

photo 5

Happy February, friends.

Weekend Aftermath

I had a feeling it was going to be a good weekend, and I was right!

First, lunch and kayaking. Lunch was super yummy, and I didn’t end up in the water at the beginning, middle, or end of the kayaking adventure.

Chris, me, Chris’ cousin Amanda, and Amy. We were a pretty good time. They only made fun of me a little for being terrified!

I didn’t have to crawl out of my kayak, but I did cause the kid pulling me up on the launch to fall over when he pulled my boat. Sorry about my girth, kid, but I’m pretty sure bigger people than me have been in these boats.

If you look closely at that picture of me, it looks like I’m not wearing a shirt. Topless kayaking is frowned upon at North Park, but I guess I’m just a rebel.

Chris didn’t take many pictures (and I left my phone with her mom) because of nervousness of dropping in the lake. So we made a quick stop at REI for some waterproof phone pouches for next time…which theoretically could be this weekend. Or for our beach trip in a few weeks.

Then we took Amanda home and decided to just hang out until family dinner at Bubba’s. I let a two-year-old dump water on my head. It was actually rather refreshing. And now we are best friends. Well…more like she doesn’t cry when she sees me. A win!

Sunday was our wedding tasting! Yeah! Chris got a dress to wear and looked very pretty.

The Hyde ladies. Photography by yours truly.

The food was all spectacular, and we ended up choosing some things we weren’t expecting. We were reminded of how awesome the event planner, Brad, was. And our mothers and brother/sister got to see the place. It was a great time all around.

Color coordinating like a boss…es.

Next on the itinerary was a small cookout at our place.

Master chefs!

It was no Parmesan-crusted chicken, but it was pretty good.

Ice cream, Oreos, and homemade wine (complete with ghostly floating head).

Monday was lunch out and outlet shopping with Amy and Chris’ mom. We had a good time, like we usually do.

It was a busy weekend, and I feel like I need a vacation. Good thing we are leaving for a long weekend Thursday and I only have a two-day workweek. There were so many things that brought us to laughing tears this weekend that I can’t remember them all. Signs of a good time.

I’m super excited about wedding planning and am having trouble focusing on one thing. “What about favors? Who can we ask to make a toast? Should we have Advil in the hotel gift bags? What will our colors be? What if so-and-so doesn’t come? What if so-and-so does come?”

Thankfully, when I start to do that, this lady reels me back in.

Good weekend. Good life. I’m a
lucky gal.

Date Saved!

That’s right. We set a date — October 24, 2015. It’s not my brother’s anniversary (that’s the next day) or her brother’s birthday (that’s the previous month). As far as we can tell, it’s no one’s birthday, wedding anniversary, divorce anniversary, or death day. Whew!

And we picked a place — The George Washington Hotel in Washington, PA (or “Little Worshington,” depending on who is pronouncing it). The hotel is lovely, and so is the event coordinator, Brad. It’s gonna be a kickass wedding, guys.

We had all but decided on a different place and were just looking at this one because we had to, but we both fell in love with it. It has several different rooms for all of the phases of the day (cocktail hour, ceremony, me having a panic attack, food and shenanigans, etc.), and they are all super nice. Am I a little surprised we ended up in such a fancy place? Yes. Do I think it will still be unique and very, well, “Chronica”? Yes.

We have been looking at the menus and making secret foods and getting used to the fact that this business is even more real. In talking about a toast, I came up with one off the cuff that was so perfect, we both wish we had recorded it.

It did not mention my modesty.

New blog!



The first post is always the hardest.

I’ve been saying for months to my lovely fiancée, Chris, how much I miss blogging. I’m at home today because we are getting some of the very old windows in our house replaced, and I’m pretty much stuck upstairs with three computers and nothing to do. So…blog.

I was engaged about five years ago, and though it didn’t work out, I discovered a lovely community at So You’re EnGAYged, a (sadly) now defunct gay-wedding website. I ended up blogging for them for several months about our wedding planning until, suddenly, there was no more wedding to plan. Signing on as a volunteer with the site helped keep me busy and helped keep hope that maybe I would someday actually get married. I knew that the break-up would be for the best, and I hoped better things were on the horizon.

Fast-forward a few years, and here we are. So. Much. Better.

Chris and I got engaged in November of 2013 here in Pittsburgh — it was supposed to be in December in Germany, but more about that later — and we’re trying to plan a wedding that combines traditional and nontraditional; update our very old house so it fits our modern, nerdy style; keep our giant cat, Graham, from turning on us; and find time to do all of this within a ridiculous schedule that somehow seems to fill up without either of us trying.

Obviously, recording each step of this is clearly the way to go.