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MUSINGS, PICTURES OF DOGS & SARCASM

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Woops! Forgot to blog.

Self: Husband! Do you remember any of our wedding? It occurred nearly eighty days ago. Besides your epic rendition of ‘Baby Got Back’ and our reality show-esque lives? And how about a blip on married life so far?

Mark: I certainly do, wife. Our wedding video helped me remember exactly how good we are at dancing like 8th graders. Excellent form.  Also, I’d describe married life as lots of passive aggressiveness over toilet paper, Wii Party, and cleaning up dog pee. Would you like me to do all the laundry and clean the toaster oven?

I’ll let you spot the lie in that response. But he’s about right: lots of dog pee, also lots of Disney World honeymooning (Disneymooning), and lots of amazing memories. It’s been everything and nothing I’ve expected it to be. That marriage isn’t for you guy is pretty much right, but as I’ve said before, it’s more about having someone available ROUND THE CLOCK to make you breakfast food, should you ask for it. I have yet to abuse the privilege, but just knowing it’s there makes all the difference.

I should elaborate on the dog pee. Exactly one week after tying the knot, we traveled out to Muskegon, exactly 7 million miles away, to pick up our newest best friend. He’s an Italian Greyhound, named after Stephen Merchant, and is subsequently starting to resemble and behave exactly like his namesake - lots of legs, lots of sass. He is my absolute favorite thing on the planet, and Mark and I cannot imagine life without him, but we unanimously agree that he is the textbook definition of a jerkface. At times he also resembles a Picasso painting, and constantly tests Mark’s limits as to exactly how much space he can take up in bed. Amusing for me, holy war for him, body heat for Wheatley.

That’s a puppy for you, though! I’m pretty sure he’s a human being, so he doesn’t fare well when he’s not invited to eat at the table with us. Still, furry children > real children. Sorry not sorry, but you might be receiving a Christmas card with Wheatley’s mug on it. Good thing he’s adorable and has great outfits.

So we’ve been adjusting. Some days I think to myself, “Wow, all my dreams came true,” and others I’m more like “..wait, what?”

I get asked what my favorite part of the wedding was quite often. It’s gotta be seeing everyone that I’ve ever known/really cared about/loved in one place. That’s just amazing and irreplaceable. 

In short, newlywed life is 10/10, and I’m apparently turning into this at a much more alarming rate than anticipated (aka, my mother.)

completely surreal that this was our wedding! what! (kate middleton has nothin on this, jk love ya grl)

I suppose the most ideal time to get married would be spring, or the early, more tolerable months of summer. Now, we see weddings all throughout the year, with brides taking inspiration from the changing seasons to include in their bouquets or invites.

But I still received a good deal of “why August?”. True, I wanted time to finish school, enjoy summer, get settled in our household and plan this wedding. That was an easier answer than reciting this quote verbatim:

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

As nostalgic Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting is, a main theme is the inevitable passing of time, and the thrill of moving on. After pondering this for a bit, I realized nearly all of childhood/teenage favorites have something to do this very theme.

So, this should be more than enough motivation to wade through the humidity (but everything’s indoors, anyhow :) )

To start, it is imperative that I mention that I have been itching to decorate my own home since utero.  Beautiful interiors intrigue me, and with utilities like Pinterest and Tumblr, it’s never been easier to start a drool session over different styles and textures. Most of these spreads are usually fanciful and built with an endless budget, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to mix and match concepts and apply them to a more modest space. I’m actually pretty sure I just unintentionally summed up IKEA’s mission statement… but who doesn’t dream about a tree house shower/chic womb chairs/stainless steel everything?

After scoring some real estate success in a carnivorous seller’s market, it would appear that we hit the ground running. The day of closing, we stopped in for lunch at our favorite sandwich spot nearby the new abode. It was a curious, quiet, everyday sort of moment in the midst of a total life change. We were thrilled, and so ready to roll up our sleeves and make it our own.

It’s quite the exercised cliché, but a fresh coat of paint does wonders. From here, we found that the tone of place got set pretty quickly. We were hoping to with something warm and earthy, while still introducing a variant of colors. Open concepts are pretty popular right now, but no one tells you how tricky they are! By using color, it is a bit easier to define natural borders, while maintaining the room’s unique flow. My biggest challenge would have to be finding colors that all complimented one another.  

We were thankful that our seller kept the space very clean and didn’t have expensive issues with the property (water damage, faulty wiring, etc). Most taste related decisions were remedied with paint, but we had one glaring matter. It came in the form of a very eclectic spare bedroom decor choice. Now, I am quick to defend this spare bedroom, as I understand the appeal for a kid/grandson, but since we have neither…

 

It took three coats of primer and two of paint (Flagstone, pictured above), but we were victorious. Next post (be careful, I’m teetering on the edge of the infamous white hole of wedding planning, and that requires all seven of my brain cells), I hope to share home décor choices and options – because we all know that’s the fun part!

 

I don’t know about you (no, really, you could be any age) but I guess I’m 22.

So, thinking that it’s entirely downhill from this point. No more monumental birthdays until, say, 30. Or at least that’s when you can buy kitschy decorations from Party City. Though when Mark turned 25 recently, I had a good cliché laugh at the fact he’s a quarter century old.

This summer is going to be very special. During the course of our engagement, I’ve evolved from largely indifferent and focusing on other things (finishing college, a slew of internships) to finding myself absolutely ready to get married. There are some glimmers of sadness, but mainly excitement. That’s how it should be.

I’ve been the target of advice from nearly everyone. I’ve actually enjoyed it, and think of advice and opinions of others as precious, and usually very helpful. I have Baz Luhrmann and the Class of 99 to thank for this perspective:

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But if there is one piece of advice I can grant to those recently engaged, thinking of marriage, or starting their planning: It’s not that hard once you realize you’re creating your own family. Sounds a like a hefty task, and it is, but you’ve just got to enjoy it. And wedding planning is really not that difficult, in fact, it’s only as difficult as you make it – like most things in life!

I usually worry about the mental health of people that to have to constantly barrage social networks with updates on their ‘happiness.’ I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum. I need to vocalize more on how thankful I am.

What a beautiful month, what a beautiful life.

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I was going to have a fluffy post about how wistful I am about 2013 and how special the holidays were, but that paled in comparison to what I’m about to throw at you.

I have a lot of feelings about Honey Boo Boo.

Nearly all of them are overwhelmingly positive and swelling with (and absent of ironic) love.

Yes, there are moments where I’d like to vomit. They’re not particularly clean eaters. They don’t blink at the idea of mud under fingernails, or care if a chicken defecates in their living room. Thank you, The Voyeurism Channel (formally known as The Learning Channel/TLC.)

I also want to point out some trivia about TLC and their humble origins. They were founded in the early 70’s thanks to backers like NASA and the Department of Education and Welfare.

 Fast forward to now, when my entire family huddles around our TV to watch a 7 year old smear butter on a raw turkey. I honestly regret nothing.

I understand June Shannon receives a lot of flak on the parenting front. I know virtually nothing about parenting (though every person on the internet does, lest I forget), but as a person, I am envious of her. I’m not even being a little bit sarcastic or antagonistic – I genuinely love her.

I do find it hard to understand the merit of people who have reality shows about their personal lives. Anyone who does a commercial or any type of tease where they stand next their name and the programs air time with their hand on their hip and a sassy look earns my suspicion.

Here’s looking at you, Kardashians. It should be a new frontier of schizophrenia if you honestly believe your life can be accurately documented in 22 minutes. Your life does NOT have a complete story arc. Working with the media/part of the media/alongside any PR or marketing team has ruined the mystery for me. There is no such thing as reality TV.

But there is no arc to Honey Boo Boo. It is a mere anecdote of country life. They go couponing. They roll in the mud. They do not fret about ratings or bathing. It is refreshing. They are extremely happy.

I wish I had that level of confidence. I’m neurotic about being constantly professional, organized, and sometimes I’m not too sure if my jeans look right tucked into my boots (you feel me on this, right? The task of tucking jeans into boots is torture.) Everyone else on reality shows are in full blown makeup and try to pose and look casual at a completely staged brunch, but June Shannon doesn’t worry about that.

She is 100% herself. She understands she’s mocked, but doesn’t pay it any mind. She and her daughter are constant sources of one liners and GIF worthy reactions. I would go as far as to say June Shannon is a totally self-actualized person.

You’ve heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy, surely. Basically it suggests your motivation and quality of life depend on whether or not certain needs are filled. There’s the bottom of the pyramid – sleep, food, water, etc. Then you work your way up to more complex needs like security, to rewarding and healthy relationships, to unshakable confidence.

Lots of us like to think we’re at that top rung, when we are actually not. Individuals like Gandhi sit at the top of the triangle. He and June.

I’m actually pretty serious. It’s easy to blow her off and quickly cringe at how crass she and her family act, but at the end of the day, they likely lose zero sleep over whatever feedback you feel inclined to share about them. She has a seemingly stable relationship with Sugar Bear, who colorfully shares with us how often he’d like to “jump bones”, and vows that her other children are still his daughters. Speaking of daughters, the “pregnant-est” one received a bit of a lesson from June when her labor pains kicked in. She comforted her, yes, but she asked if she’d recommend pregnancy to anyone else that might be 17 and looking for a lifestyle change.

June frequently reminds us that “it is what it is” and has totally held her own in overly syrupy, try-way-too-hard talk shows (…and here’s looking at you, Access Hollywood). High fiving her has been added to my bucket list.

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We could learn a lot from this.

Things certainly did get dusty and dormant around here. But as anticipated! Life has trotted on, and my final fall semester has been nothing short of boring. I’m an antsy person by nature, but I’ve been doing a great deal of reveling and enjoying this time. Still, I must quell the longing to have normal 9-5 availability and a degree in my hands. T-minus one more semester!

Keeping in stride of reveling and wistfully enjoying all these “lasts” and eventual “firsts”, I’d like to point out a topic that nearly no one talks about.

I understand newlywed life is exciting, full of independence and decision making with your new spouse, now your new family. Sounds good. I’ll sign up for that.

There are a few things I don’t want to sign up for. One of them is leaving my dogs behind, and my twin bed. I am an only child, and my borders of personal space are quite unique.

We have vacationed together a few times, and naturally had to share sleeping quarters. You’d think it would be either scandalous or love nest-y, but alas, the polar opposite of both. There was a lot of eating (which mean crumb infested sheets), rouge socks, blanket and sheet swiping, and outright sleep deprivation. Happy vacation!

The Things No One Tells You About Sharing a Bed
(AKA Things I’m NOT Looking Forward To)
:

Lucy and Ricky are on to something.

  • 1. Say Goodbye to the Cold Side of the Pillow. The worst thing I’ve experienced is rolling over into a seemingly barren space of sheets and blankets, and it’s already luke warm. I would equate it to sitting on a warm toilet or grabbing a wet doorknob. Already distressed and used.
  • 2. Cuddling Doesn’t Happen: It’s just too hot. Move over. Stop.
  • 3. No Room for your Body Pillow: Is it sad I prefer its presence over a live person? Usually there is zero room for my favorite thing in the world.
  • 4. Sig Other Complaint, Hair: I’ve always said there are days when I’d like to shave my head and delete all my email addresses, but then I eventually get my split ends cut and get through my inbox. I digress, but apparently stray long blonde hairs are annoying to find on your pillow.
  • 5. Snoring: I will join the league of wives that will complain about this for as long as they can draw breath. This should be number 1, as it might thwart Lucy and Ricky’s genius approach. I’ve had to share a room (or a conjoining room) more often than a bed, but this issue permeates the test of time and walls.

And so you don’t think, “Hmm, you’re a complainer”, here are a few things I look forward to come August 16th, 2013.

  • 1. Getting a Puppy: This is something I talk about, always. Dog Mom Duty > Real Mom Duty.
  • 2. Our Own Christmas Tree / Decorations: Blame all the Christmas marketing that’s been in full effect since before Halloween, but it’s got me itching to buy “P” monogram ornaments.
  • 3. Last… but not least: Being a dynamic duo: Being our own little unit, a powerhouse that shares a last name and secret handshakes and a freezer full of awesome (obviously) frozen food.

To end this post, I’ll leave you with these two adorable guys who love cuddling with Mark and absorbing all of his body heat. In the winter time, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Like a barnacle on a whale.

always, hannah.

Excited that my first solo baking venture went smoothly and was an overall crowd-pleaser. I’m obviously new to baking (and cleaning messes) but found the payoff and even the process to be nearly therapeutic. It might be a hobby objected by no one.

The trick with these guys is quickly shearing a fine “x” immediately after they come out of the oven, and plopping a Lindt truffle in the middle so it can properly melt into the center of the cupcake. The incision was covered by white chocolate/cream cheese frosting, made with a melted white chocolate Ghirardelli baking bar. Melting the chocolate provided a unique challenge since the recipe called for it to melt in the microwave. I had a small ‘all is lost’ moment when it was revealed that in these 30 second intervals of stirring and putting it back in I had burned it somehow. A depressing, mournful moment when Ghirardelli goes to waste.

At any rate, it was a triumphant moment for white chocolate fans, as there are so few of us out there.

In other news, we are exactly one year out from our wedding day. It’s a strange, giddy feeling, but there’s much to be done still & enjoyed. August is an underrated month, as I associate it with well-deserved leisure and family/friends time. I’ve also had the time to polish up my website for my LLC. It’s been such an incredible experience thus far, and it might be my passion to get to know local businesses that might not have the time or resources to do their own social media advertising. Running my own little biz from home is for sure my dream!

Or be a pastry chef. But I might lack the patience. I’d rather watch cupcake wars than live it. :)

I get some looks when I reveal my age and soon-to-be new marital status.

Instantly, replays of MTV’s “Engaged and Underage” theme song runs through my head, complete with animal silhouettes and some 17-year-old’s voice over narration explaining their dire race to the altar. I moderately wish that we had higher stakes in our relationship, that society’s reaction or parental expectation would merit a good reality show arc. But alas, consent all around.

So, I get some raised eyebrows, coupled with generic excitement, and I always sheepishly give a quiet thanks. The only shock I seem to receive is that I am apparently willing to give up my 20’s for around the clock monogamy. While I do live vicariously through some of my girlfriend’s exciting plights and eventual early courtships, I’m inwardly thankful that I get to pay 30% less attention to my mascara or clothing ensemble. However, I am fully aware that we ladies dress for one another, and more importantly, for ourselves. This will never stop my reoccurring quip that I am ‘too lazy to get to know anyone else’.

I digress. This blog, like most, will contain attempts at recipes, Pinterest envy, and accumulation of run on sentences that document this strangely pivotal time in life.

I’m 21, facing my last year in college, and consistently adapting to LinkedIn rhetoric (i.e “customizable solutions”, “quantitative” and exactly what qualifies “good communication and written skills”). I like to read, look at puppies and other baby animals on the internet, and enjoy nature from a car window. I’m also in the phase of my life when I’m everyone’s intern, but along with that comes the absolute thrilling realization of figuring out what I want to do, which is essentially public relations / marketing / making the most out of the wild frontier of new media. Here’s hoping!

He’s a sort-of recent college graduate, works at an ad agency, and enjoys getting overly emotional about sports and occasionally plays them, too. Pragmatic and patient, Mark doesn’t understand Facebook politics but probably knows how to change a tire and survive in the wilderness.

We collectively enjoy premium cable, high fives, and baking. He is the buff ying to my neurotic yang.

We’re a little crazy to get married in this economic climate (that’s it! I’ve found our stakes! I should join the club, though..) but we’re both hideously responsible, and slightly uptight, but never, ever taking ourselves too seriously.

Here, you can observe our cardboard cut-out body language and the evolution of my hairstyles (a trending twitter topic).

This corner of the internet will be faithfully devoted to capturing vignettes of our process of becoming a ‘we’, and in turn, fully fledged adults. Worry not, you won’t find overly emotional ramblings about our love and devotion (boring, even to me), but hopefully something you could use/laugh at/consider.

Even if I collect a faithful reader following of my mom on her lunch break, a few crickets, or even a thin layer of dust – this blog will be worth it!

Always,

hannah.