movin’ on up

wheelmudSo, we’re here. On Long Island, and home. As I write this, Dave is finishing up one of our last tasks, hooking up the TV in the living room, and with that, we’ll have everything almost set. Not too bad, right? Less than two weeks later and we’re done with the move and everything. Did it all go off without a hitch? Not exactly, but in the end it all worked out.

The morning after our wedding, tired and headachy from a hotel room with the worst ventilation ever, we said goodbye to a lot of people: out of town guests traveling back home, friends hitting the road, people from home I would be leaving in a few days. And I did not handle it well. The excitement of the wedding, I think, kept me from thinking too hard about the fact that I was moving away from everything I know. There were a lot of tears.

Also a lot of manual labor. There was still some packing and cleaning to do, and on Monday, a giant U-Haul truck to load. That eventually went really smoothly, but not before we drove it back from the rental site, pulled up to the house… and promptly got really stuck in the mud. And when you get an enormous 26′ moving truck stuck in the mud, even a little, there’s really no simple rock-back-and-forth solution. The more you try that, the worse it gets. You’re stuck. I mean, we had a trained archaeologist on hand, and even she couldn’t dig us out (thanks for trying, though, Jen!). But an hour or so of panic, a tow from a slightly smaller U-Haul truck later, and we were back in business. Everything got loaded up and the guys hit the road, and Dave and I spent one last night in an empty house, said goodbye to some good friends, and got up Tuesday morning and left, kitties in their carriers, car loaded to the gills.

IMG_1805It wasn’t that bad of a drive. The cats didn’t like it, and didn’t eat or use their litter box, or drink anything other than a few drops of milk, but they were calm the whole ride. And we made decent time, and kept each other company. It was okay. We arrived home in Smithtown in one piece, home to a house already full of furniture and boxes, thanks to our amazing family and friends who’d unloaded the truck, and a nice welcome home surprise from my new mother-in-law.

IMG_1818The days since have been busy. We’ve taken some breaks here and there, but I think we both felt the sooner we could get rid of the boxes and get everything set up, the better. We went room by room and got it all done, including moving in The Couch That Almost Wasn’t — if it wasn’t for a terrific new neighbor, that couch would either still be stuck in the hallway, or gone in sawed-apart pieces.

The cats in particular have calmed down a lot now that the boxes are gone. I strongly suspect they don’t know the difference between packing and unpacking, and this has just been a continuation of the disarray their life has been for a month. Georgie is very okay now, exploring and playing all the time. He’s a little too excited and won’t settle down to snuggle, but he will eventually. Freddie has taken a little more time. Spatial relations have never been his strong suit, and there have been times he’s forgotten how to find his water bowl, or even me. But he loves his fireplace, just like I knew he would.

And me? I’m okay. I’m happy, of course. I waited for this day to come for a long time. I love our new home, and I love Dave, and everything is good. But if I’m telling the truth, I’m a lot more homesick than I thought I’d be. I miss everyone. I miss everything. I keep picturing my room in my house, my yard, my driveway. My ride to work. My neighborhood, my stores, my familiar places. It’s not anything against here, but I find myself wishing I could just do the aisles at the NF Boulevard Wegmans, go to bingo, and then come back home here again. And I wish I could do that whenever, and not once in a long while. I love the changes I made, and I love it here, but I miss the things and the people I had to leave behind, maybe a little more than I’d planned on.

the perfect day

IMG_1802The past week or so has been a whirlwind. We got married, we packed up my house, we drove across the state and now we’re here, in our home in Smithtown. It feels like we haven’t stopped moving the whole time but it’s all been wonderful, even the crazy parts.

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The bus to take everyone to our rehearsal dinner at Chef’s, Friday night.

We got engaged at Thanksgiving 2011, so this wedding was almost two years in the planning. And — if I do say so myself — it showed. Everything turned out exactly as we wanted it to, as we’d imagined it would, as we’d hoped, all that time. I have to admit, though, that just having everyone in our wedding party there with us made us happy; we knew that no matter what else happened we’d be celebrating that day with the people who mean the most to us, and nothing else mattered. I hope they all had as much fun as we did.

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Just finished getting hair and makeup done at Salon 716.

For me, it was all a bit of the blur they say it’s going to be; Dave says it wasn’t like that for him, but I kept having to remind myself this was really it, that we weren’t just planning anymore. The first part of the day was a little surreal. I got to spend some downtime in my bridal ready room with Paula, until it was time to get dressed and go down… and that’s when it hit me that I was getting married right then. It was happening, and soon. In the meantime, we took pictures, we laughed, I cried for not the last time that day, and then we went over to wait for the ceremony to begin. I may be biased, but I think it was fun and beautiful and amazing. I cried a bit more, which everyone tells me is normal, but my nose was running too, which is icky — they never talk about corollary issues in the movies, you know?

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From the Bridesmaid Drunk Tank, pre-ceremony. They claim they weren’t drinking yet, but I’m very dubious.

After a cocktail hour that I think was pretty hopping — tons of food, drink and socializing — we were introduced for our reception, our first dance, and cutting the cake. Despite an earlier Magic 8-Ball prediction, no one fell the whole night, whoo hoo! There was yummy turkey dinner, not that I could eat more than a few bites (Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t kidding; you can’t eat much in those corsets), and then lots and lots and lots of dancing. I had all the fun I could, no matter how tired I got, or how much my leg hurt after awhile. You only get married once, and I wanted to enjoy every minute, so I did.

So did a lot of the rest of you, apparently, I might add. Greg, you clearly have a career as a professional wedding dancer waiting for you, any time. My new mother-in-law, Estelle, was out there with you, tearing up the dance floor, as was Stephen, Fiona, and just about everyone else there. Paula did a mean MC Hammer that was legen — wait for it — dary. The show-stopper award has to go to Jake Oztan, though, for his impromptu Gangnam Style:

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Can you spot Fred & George on the cake?

We put on a great wedding, but not without some help. The Millennium Hotel has exceptional event staff, Michael and Ron especially, and our photographer, Glena Photography, gets our highest recommendation. We have only the most wonderful memories, now, because of them both — for providing such an amazing venue and for documenting our day, all so perfectly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

At the end of the night, the remaining stragglers sang along to “I Got You Babe” with us and thus ended the most well-planned, happiest day of my life… so far. When you’re married to a guy like Dave, someone this terrific, after all, there are bound to be lots more wonderful days to come.

it’s just my turn

My wedding is four weeks away. I’m 41 years old, and I’ve been waiting for this for quite a few of those years. So I’m not going to apologize for being excited, anxious, or even a little wedding-obsessed. I’m no bridezilla, but it is my turn.

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It took a long time to find the right guy. I didn’t kiss a lot of frogs, per se — I just waited, hoping he was out there, but not willing to settle if he wasn’t. And Dave is more wonderful than anything I could have imagined, and worth all of that wait. And then some. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a little lonely sometimes.

I’ve never begrudged my friends or my family their turns. I’ve been genuinely happy for each of them as they found love, got married, had kids, did whatever it was that made them happy. I’ve been to their showers and weddings and christenings with a glad heart, and truly wished them well. But you hit a certain age, where the showers all turn to weddings, and those turn to christenings, and then it’s the birthday parties, and then graduations… and you’re still soldiering on, on your own. Thinking, I don’t want to be greedy or ask for too much, but I wish I wasn’t always the one attending. At some point, just once at least, I’d like to be the one celebrating.

So it’s my turn. Just this one day, me and Dave. And after that we’ll go to christenings and graduations and other weddings, just as glad for our friends and family as we were before. Just doing it together, which makes all the difference.

chipotle

200px-Chipotle_Mexican_Grill_logo.svgWhat can I say about Chipotle that I haven’t said before? How can I pay true homage to the wondrousness that is them?

It’s the rice, really. I never thought much about rice in a burrito before, but it’s amazing. And while I know cilantro isn’t everyone’s thing, I love the lime in the rice. It makes the whole thing yummy. Also, I’ve recently become addicted to the medium salsa. Spicy, but sinus-clearing. 🙂

Before you wrinkle your nose about the insane caloric count of a Chipotle burrito, let me say this: I never eat one without budgeting. As a Weight Watchers convert, I don’t believe in deprivation. When we deny ourselves our favorite foods, we’re doomed to failure, sooner or later, in our healthy eating goals, because it’s just about willpower, then, and not about developing good habits. So I have Chipotle, not every day but now and then, and without guilt. With a bowl of cereal for breakfast and a low-carb, low-cal lunch, a Chipotle dinner isn’t anything to worry about.  (Just for the love of god, watch out for their chips. If you want them, go ahead but keep in mind that a single chip serving is the same as eating half a chicken burrito. Personally, if I want chips, I get Baked Tostidos at the grocery store.)

And I have such nice Chipotle memories. It was a Chipotle in Manhattan where the fabulous Amybeth showed Amy and I her engagement ring that first time. It was a Chipotle here in Amherst where I told my brother and sister-in-law that, well, there was a guy I kinda had a thing for, and that I’d tell them more soon. And a few years later, it was another Chipotle in NYC where we went the night after our engagement, out with family and friends. (Amy, you were there then too. What is it with you and Chipotle and marriage?)  Coincidence, yes. But all nice ones. Chipotle, I’m not going to go so far as to give you credit for the many nice things in my life, but I will say, you’ve been good to me.