I have two favorite posts that go hand-in-hand. My absolute favorite, number one post is from the morning of my wedding. It’s my “I’m getting married today!” post to the hive.
When I think back on that day, on being cuddled up in that big down blanket in the still of the morning, typing that post on the little silver keys of my BlackBerry, it brings me right back. I’ve never felt so much joy, so much happiness, so much fulfillment, and so much peace. It embodies what the day was about: our love, and not all of the lil’, stressful logistics or even the fun, but superficial, design details. I’ve never been so in-the-moment and that post is a great reminder of that tiny piece of time I had to myself so that I could reflect on the reason why we were there.
Dear Hive: Today’s the day! I am writing from my BlackBerry because my little, rustic (yet luxurious) cabin doesn’t have wireless. It’s a brisk 25 degrees out now, up here at 8300 feet in the mountains of Colorado, but the sun just crept over the peaks and is starting to defrost this little patch of earth and warm it to a comfortable 60 degrees.
I am sitting on the deck of my cabin, snuggled in a huge down comforter. Before me, the light stripes through the pines and makes the wheat-colored grass appear to be standing at attention. Beyond the stand of trees, there is a very still pond in a meadow, a forested hill beyond that, and a snow-capped 14,000 foot peak peering into the meadow. Birds are calling to each other in sweet chirps.
Well, hive, I think I’ve finally written my final posts on Weddingbee. My recaps are finished and I think you can officially call me “an old bee”, with respect to those who have blogged before me.
But, I’d never sign off without keeping my word. And my word is that I promised you the portrait that Mr. CB was painting of me in my wedding dress. Note: It’s a wee bit sexy, kind of like our version of a boudoir shoot.
To give you a sense of how large this painting is, here’s a shot of Mr. CB’s studio (see that tiny bottle of soda on that miniature-looking table?):
The benefit of getting married? Among other things, you don’t have to hem and haw over what to get your parents the following holiday season. It’s obvious: A photo album. There are so many websites to go through (like Blurb and Snapfish and Shutterfly), but if you have a Mac, you can also order a book directly through iPhoto.
That’s what we decided to do. I checked out Blurb (because so many bees had given it rave reviews), but I was actually scared away by the design process. Instead, I opted for iPhoto’s super simple drop-and-drag process. You can customize every page to hold up to four photos and even set it to have just one image bleed off the page. Want to see my favorite layouts?
Mr. Cowboy Boot left yesterday for an overnight raft trip on New Mexico’s Rio Grande. This is a fairly common affair—he’s a part-time raft guide—and overnight trips come up about once a month. That also means that once a month I can expect an adorable surprise.
Last night, as I was crawling into bed, I pulled back the covers to find this note:
Nine months. Can you believe it’s been nine months since our wedding? It feels like yesterday I was still stamping out-of-town bags and collecting jars for our centerpieces. No matter that married life has taken a hold of us, I can’t stop noticing wedding-related goodies—and I’m feeling the need to share. Here are a few things I kinda, sorta wish I had when I was in the planning process.
For the decor…
A wedding planner. Not just a day-of-coordinator, but someone to design the event for you. I had fun DIYing, don’t get me wrong, but it would’ve been fun to have had a life the summer before our wedding, too. Who would I have chosen? More than likely, local Santa Fean Jessie Abrams Baca. Just get a look at this eye candy.
Well, hello, hive. How have you been? It’s nice to see you again. We’ve been uber-busy training for a marathon (using this training plan from the magazine I work for), getting ready for Mr. Cowboy Boot’s show this October (he’s an oil painter) at this gallery, and most of all, moving! No, we didn’t purchase a home (I wish!) but we moved into a great two-bedroom, unfurnished place.
We’ve lived in partially-furnished homes for the past three years so it’s amazing to finally feel like we have a fresh canvas we can make our own. While we’re not completely finished decorating, we’re close, so I thought I’d share our new home with you, here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The best part? It’s on three enclosed acres and comes with a dog door, so you know our pups—who graced our Thank You cards—are smiling from ear-to-ear.
Okay, before you all gasp in fright, let me reveal the reason why I wish we lived with my parents: they’re both psychologists. Psychologists who specialize in couples and, even, love. For the four years of the Cowboy Boots’ relationship, my parents have indirectly and directly guided us through some of our tougher times.
While growing up under the scrutiny of the ever-analyzing eye means getting away with, well, nothing (consequences involved passive aggressive guilt trips), it also has its perks. You learn how to be emotive (if not overly so), how to vocalize those emotions, you encompass a particular compassion for other people, you develop an ability to listen at exhaustive lengths, and, unfortunately, you are often unable to put a filter on raw emotion. In your world, in your little psychologist household, raw emotion is accepted, even celebrated.
So, when Mr. CB and I fight (Scorpio vs. Sagittarius—two fire signs—for you astrological types), it’s stubborn. We’re both strong-willed, we think we’re right, and when you look up our compatibility on astrological websites, it says: “An affair without a future.” I like to think they’re wrong, that we’re simply human and can work through anything—if we can work as a team.
This is the final installment in my three-part, New Zealand honeymoon posts. So far, we’d been to Christchurch, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Marahau, Nelson, and had started our drive down the west coast to the high-mountain town of Franz Josef.
Once in Franz Josef, we checked into our hotel, Te Waonui. Our room had a wall-size window that looked into a full-on rainforest. It was gorgeous. Moss, intermingling tree branches, ferns, and dampness were framed by this window. I could’ve sat there and stared at it all day. But instead, we woke up the next morning to hike the Franz Josef glacier.
That’s the glacier behind us. From where we’re standing in this picture, it was about a 40-minute walk to get to the base of the glacier. And it was raining, no less.
Here’s a shot of the glacier once we arrived at the base:
So, just to catch you up, we’d flown in (albeit, after a lot of stress), wandered Christchurch, taken an incredibly scenic drive to Kaikoura, and gone wine- and beer-tasting in Marlborough. And, remember, we now had George, an adorable little stuffed bear, along for the ride.
Day 3: Marlborough –> Marahau
We arrived into Marahau in the middle of the afternoon with plans to go horseback riding up into the lush valley. We met our Kiwi horseman and off we went.
Once we finally arrived in Christchurch, on the east coast of the South Island, after our horrible debacle flying to New Zealand, we were ready to start our trip. One of our favorite parts? Our rental car and driving, not only on the wrong side of the road, but on the wrong side of the car! [Note: Mr. CB didn’t let me drive once. Probably a good thing.]
Day 1: Christchurch
Scene: It’s 2 AM on our double-decker 747 airplane. We’re two hours out of Los Angeles, somewhere over a dark Pacific Ocean. Mr. Cowboy Boot and I scored the bulkhead seats (front row with extra leg room) for letting the flight attendants know we were on our honeymoon. Mr. CB is snoozing away next to me while I read and combat heavy eyelids in hopes of beating jet lag. Three crew members, including the flight’s safety manager, are sitting facing us.
The phone rings and the safety manager answers it. She’s a Kiwi with a sweet smile and a primped outfit. Her face drops as she receives word from the person on the phone. She lowers her voice and turns her face into the wall, speaking softly into the receiver. My stomach drops, my palms sweat and I grab for my new husband. What’s happening?
She hangs up the phone and her accent comes over the loudspeaker, falling on the ears of passengers clad in eye masks and itchy blankets.
“It seems there’s been a little problem. Our pilots told me we hit what they think is a pelican. Unfortunately, the bird went straight into the nose of the plane,” she says statedly. “The bird has damaged our weather radar, prohibiting us from being able to see storms over the ocean. So, the safest thing for us to do is turn around and head back to Los Angeles.”
What does that spell? Post-wedding chop!
I did it, everyone. I had to. It was down to my waist and I couldn’t stand the static, tangles, and hair-always-in-my-way. It was heavy, unhealthy, and ready for a trim.
To say that nothing went “wrong” at our wedding would be an understatement.
We ran out of appetizers 15 minutes into our cocktail hour. Storm clouds swelled throughout the day forcing our ceremony from an expansive meadow into a cozy barn. The photo booth backdrop didn’t end up being quite enough fabric to encompass a large group of guests. Our band played for longer than planned (score!) but that meant we had to skip our end-of-the-night dance party playlist which I’d been looking forward to. The bluegrass songs I picked for our band breaks brought the dancing to a halt every time the band took a break; I could never figure out which songs would keep the energy high between live sets. You can’t go from fiddle and washboard to Jay-Z, right?
But calling everything above a “wedding failure” depends on your perspective and mindset. According to me? Nothing went wrong at our wedding. And that’s because I didn’t have a strong definition of the word “right”. Here’s a teaser of our wedding video, made by my brother, to give you an idea of how it all played out (note: you can make it full-screen):
I knew that our wedding was going to be what it was going to be no matter what.
There were two things we really wanted to include in our wedding that didn’t happen: 1) our dogs and 2) our “thank you” signs, done in calligraphy. The reasons we didn’t include our precious pups as ring bearers? Debated here.
Our “thank you” signage, penned by Pretty Pen Jen, never made it out of the cabin where all of the ladies got ready on the morning of the wedding. There was too much going on and they simply got left behind. Halfway through the night, our photographer, Tec, asked if I wanted someone to go grab them, but I declined his offer saying, “We’ll shoot them when we get home.” And that’s just how our thank you cards came to be.
This makes me giggle.
It’s only been three months since our rustic, ranch affair, but I think I might be ready to say goodbye. No, not to you, hive, and certainly not to Mr. Cowboy Boot, but to Julianna, my beloved, floating pool of ivory tulle. She originally came into my life in the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue and made me tingle, flit, and giggle like a school girl.
I love her and adore her, but alas, she hangs there so lonesome and without any future plans in sight. In fact, I don’t really want to wear her again for fear of shaking off the significance of her debut.