Archives for category: Wedding

It is currently pouring outside my house. We’ve got severe thunderstorms forecast all day. And I’m supposed to go do laundry this afternoon… we’ll see what the weather has to say about that…I just saw a flash of lighting and heard a crash of thunder within 2 seconds of each other, so I’m staying inside for a bit.

Jarak and I have a deep commitment to local/sustainable food and businesses. We try to shop locally whenever possible, and to avoid big chain and box stores for most of our groceries. We’re part of a CSA from The Alleged Farm. If you ever hear me talk about “Grumpy Farmer” that’s who I’m referring to. He sends out grumpy and sometimes political missives about what’s happening on the farm, and is often quite funny. We also go to the Schenectady Greenmarket every week, which is open year-round, and get our milk, eggs, most of our meat,  and some veggies there when our CSA ends and before it begins in the spring.

Smith/Cyd Pottery made our goblets for the reception. We decided that we wanted something extra-fancy to drink out of, and since “His and her’s”  Champagne flutes are so not our style. (We aren’t even having champagne.) We decided to ask a local potter to make them for us. They’re entirely custom and they’re beautiful! My camera is currently dead, or I’d take photos.

I got an email just now from Buhrmaster Farm stating that, after talking to some other farmers and seeing what they’d have available, they will be able to provide flowers for the wedding! There was some question as to whether they’d be able to have cut flowers in time for June 22, but they will! Yay! This is the great thing about local: if you want something, ask, and they will really work hard to get you what you need. My aunt agreed to help with the flowers, and we’ll sit down the night before and make my wreath, the bouquets and the boutonnieres for the boys. Yay!

The honey for our mead, which we are using instead of champagne for toasts came from Lloyd Spear, Beekeeper, who’s based in Schenectady. We are friends with one of his workers and often go visit her at the Greenmarket on Sundays.

We’ve brewed (almost) all of the beer for the wedding, using mostly local grains from NY and Mass. Almost all of the grain came from ValleyMalt in Hadley MA. They are super amazing. Jarak’s uncle is providing another case. Our wines will come from LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH, where I was born, and Altamont Winery  in Altamont, NY, which is about 30 min from here.

We are borrowing a bunch of beautiful, mismatched yardsale plates from a family friend, and then supplementing them with other plates found at estate and yard sales. We’re borrowing silverware used in my friend’s wedding, and linens used either by them, or by their friends for their wedding. Lots of borrowed/reused things. The only thing that is being bought new is the glassware, which will be sold after Logan and Mariana’s wedding in September. Pooling resources is a wonderful thing!

All of our food is being supplied by friends and family, which saved us thousands of dollars in catering fees, and means that every dish will have a connection to us in some way, being that it was made by people we love.

I’m so completely excited about this!

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No, really, STUFF! We have SO MUCH STUFF! And this whole wedding thing, with it’s showers, and registries etc, means MORE STUFF! If I seem a little “ack!” about all of this, consider that our apartment is currently full. I’ve posted pictures of how full our pantry is, how full our bookshelves are, and the general level of clutter. We have roughly 900 sq feet in our apartment. We have roughly 2000 sq feet of stuff.

Jarak and I have been pretty good about trying to simplify, getting rid of duplicate kitchen implements was one of the things that we did when we first moved in and unpacked. I suppose this is what happens when there are two grownups who have lived in their own apartments combining households. But then there are the books, and the art supplies and the beer making materials and all the things that you can just get rid of, what if you need to use it someday?

Added to the challenge, is that both of my parents have moved out of the big house that we all grew up in, and into houses where they have much less room. So they keep offering me things. And I keep having to turn them down. As much as I’d love the dining room table, or a big overstuffed chair, we have no room for it in the apartment, or in storage. I’m also the keeper of some of my brothers’ bigger things that haven’t been shipped out to them on the west coast, like the djembe and the heavy bag.  We still have books that haven’t been unpacked and are sitting waiting for space.

Yet I keep adding books… I brought home a tomato box full of books from my mother’s house last weekend. There are a bunch of puzzle and game books for Jarak, herbal medicine, organic gardening and knitting/knot-work books that I cherry-picked from about 7 boxes that my mother is getting rid of. I decided I didn’t really need any art history or art theory books at this stage in my life.

Jarak and I spent part of today before he went to work rearranging the kitchen so that we could put away all of the wonderful things that we have received as wedding gifts so far.  We found a home for the new Kitchenaid Mixer (seriously huge thank you to Biscuit and Rick for that!) which involved moving a shelf on our wire rack to make it fit. One of our challenges was figuring out what to do with all of the new containers we now have, and whether to keep or get rid of the ones we had. We decided that 20 year old Tupperware can be recycled, and that the newer stuff we use all the time stays.

That’s when it hit me: a wedding is really a huge marker of adulthood. You get “nice” things because you’re somehow more of an adult when you get married than you were just out of college, or puttering along through your twenties with the mismatched set of dishes that you inherited from an aunt. Wedding gifts mean upgrading from the hand-me-d0wns and having new/better/ your own things for the first time. We have a relatively small registry because we have a lot of the basics, and we really don’t see a need for a matched set of towels, or more teaspoons or spatulas.

One of the things that we’ve struggled a bit with is how to ask for what we really want: help buying a house. Etiquette around that is a pain.  How do you phrase it so that it doesn’t come across as “gimme money!” We settled on “One of our biggest goals in the next few years is to buy a house” and then having a section in the registry where people can contribute to a down payment. That way, it’s directed towards something, not just nebulous money being thrown at us.

There are probably more thoughts out there about this whole process, but that’s all that I’ve got right now. My brain is seriously all-wedding-all-the-time now. We’re 3 weeks out. I suppose it’s not surprising.

There’s another post about being the center of attention, asking people to do things, and accepting that people really do want to help us make this thing happen, but it hasn’t come together yet.

I am fortunate to have many very talented, caring and involved aunts. Jarak has almost as many. And then there’s my Easter family, so that’s another bunch of involved and awesome people. They are volunteering to make food, dye cloth, find silk, help with setup and cleanup and generally be awesome people who aren’t *in* the wedding party, but are very close to it. If we didn’t have aunts, I don’t think this wedding would be happening. We are very much powered by aunties. So thank you all so so SO much!

On the not-so-wonderful end of things. I’m starting to get planning fatigue. It seems like the decisions to be made are never-ending, and the money to be spent is never-ending as well. Things that I thought were settled in one way, Jarak assumed were settled another way. Our communication has been breaking down, which has been tough.

Added to that is the stress of not seeing a whole lot of each other, and the times that we do have together, we are doing wedding planning, talking about money, one of us is half asleep or otherwise not focusing on us as a couple. We barely see each other during the week. Jarak is doing a bunch of web design work, partly for wedding stuff, and so he’s focused on that during his free time.

Part of me wants the wedding to just hurry up and get here so that we can go on our honeymoon and spend a week together without any more decisions to be made than when we should get up and what we want to do that day. We’re planning on taking a couple of days in a week or so to just spend time together

I also want the wedding to just hurry up and get here so that I can go back to having a normal life. I feel like I turn down so many things with the excuse “I can’t, I have to save money for the wedding/plan for the wedding/do xyzq for the wedding.” Fortunately, I’m told that not being able to do anything except wedding is pretty normal. My friend Kels told me, after I was lamenting about not getting my cousin’s wedding present put together and in the mail, that there is no way to do a very do-it-yourself wedding and get anything else done in the meantime. That made me feel a bit better.

I’ve been dealing with some serious shit recently. One of my clients died a week ago. He was a little guy, under 10. If you live in the Capital Region you’ve probably heard about it, but I’m not going to go into detail. Suffice to say, I’ve been caught in a maelstrom of grief, anger, disbelief and worry. I found out while I was on my on-call week. I got a phone message from CPS asking for information about this kid, and that he had died. I had to kind of sputter into the phone to the answering service that this was *my* client. I hung up the phone and promptly burst into tears.

Jarak was home as it was Saturday. I told him what happened and he just held me while I cried. All I knew at that point was that I needed him to be there for me. And that all that was keeping me held together was his touch. If he hadn’t been there last weekend I honestly don’t know what I would have done. He was there in between all of my phone calls to hold me. He didn’t ask a lot of questions, he was just there. After 3 years, he knows what I need when I’m upset and I’m so grateful for him.

The grief keeps hitting me in waves. I’ll be ok most of the day or evening, and then it will slam into me and I can’t work or do anything except go home and cry. And Jarak is just there for me. More than any other time, I’m realizing why we have partners. We have partners, husbands, wives to support us when things go to shit. To hold us when there are no words and the only thing that will make us feel better is human touch and connection.

We drove down to Maryland for my cousin’s wedding this weekend. The wedding was amazing and beautiful, if absolutely nothing like ours will be. I’m so very happy for them. We spent Friday night in Philadelphia with one of my college roommates and our cake maker. I haven’t seen her in 6 years, and we picked up right where we left off. There is a reason we were such good friends in college. And our cake is going to be Epic.

Going to a wedding, visiting old friends, and seeing family after this past week was a welcome break, but probably the best part of it was spending 3 uninterrupted days with Jarak. I fell asleep on the couch last night snuggled up with him. I’d been anxious since we got back into New York, but something about touch makes it all go away. We’ve been through a lot as a couple, with 2.5 years of long-distance and financial issues, and learning to communicate, but this week and this weekend has really hammered home to me that there is no one in this world who I’d rather have with me than him as I tackle the rest of the adventure of life. He makes it better just by being there, and that’s what makes him the perfect partner for me.

I totally missed my 1 year blogging mark. I haven’t blogged since before Thanksgiving. December was a whirlwind of 80 client caseloads, 3 day a week workouts, cooking, baking, travel to York, PA for Christmas, creating our wedding website and making our registry list and finally mailing out our save-the-dates. It was all very boring, and also very tiring. I have tended to want to plop on the couch, watch Netflix and knit after work instead of blogging. So here we are on February 10th, the last day of my 20s and I have 2.5 months of blogging to catch up on. Except I won’t.

Today I want to talk about milestones, specifically birthdays. I turn 30 tomorrow. Whoa… 30. Except that I’m not freaked out about it at all. It helps that almost all of my friends are 1-10 years older than me. 30 doesn’t feel old compared to my friends who are in their early 40s. In fact I’m happy and excited and feeling very proud of myself for all that I have accomplished in the past 30 years. I’m approaching it in a “Woo! I rock!” kind of way. I went to a Goth Night on February 1st and if it was your birthday month you got a tiara. So I now own a plastic silver tiara with pink stones. I normally hate pink, but it’s a tiara and it’s awesome. I wore it at my birthday potluck this past Friday. It was fun.

In terms of accomplishments, there are some things that I wish I’d been able to get around to already, but life conspired against me, and I just have to make them happen when I can. Namely, studying abroad never happened, and when I was 18 I was convinced that I would be married and finished having kids by the time I was 30. Instead I’m engaged and will not end up starting a family until I’m 31 at least. (Although things may change.)

What have I accomplished in the past 30 years?

-I completed both my BA and MA by the time I was 24

– I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and am working towards my Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist certifications.

– I have dated enough people to know what I needed and what was toxic for me so that when I found Jarak I knew that he was perfect for me.

– I have made many good friends who will still be my friends in 10 years (I hope)

– I made two major moves, one from college to grad school in Boston, living on my own for the first time, and then the second one from Boston to Schenectady to live with Jarak.

– I financed a good (used) car that will last me for at least 10 years.

– I learned how to bake bread, from my parents’ recipe.

– I weathered a horrible relationship, graduate school, being perpetually broke/underemployed, dealing with demons of my past and my parents’ divorce, with the help of my absolutely fantastic therapist in Jamaica Plain. 6 years of work means that I now know how to ask for help when I need it.

–  I Grew The Fuck UP. (seriously, I want to smack my 15, 18, 22 and 25 year old selves…)

I think that’s a pretty good list. The last one really kind of sums everything up. I’m much more calm, settled and patient than I was even 5 years ago.

So what does this year bring?

-Jarak and I are getting married!

-My cousin and our good friends are also getting married.

– I get to welcome my niece into the world in April.

-I get to meet my cousin’s awesome baby.

– Travel to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, ME and Halifax Nova Scotia (our honeymoon!)

Maybe I will start a garden, start a compost pile/bin at our friend’s newly purchased house. We will also begin saving for a house and hopefully will have a house before we start our family. In addition, I hope to move into private practice for more flexibility and more money with less pressure to work 45 hour weeks with no breaks.

Wedding planning is kicking into high gear. We’re starting to design our invitations, and have brewed our first batch of Wedding Beer, a Robust Porter. We went suit shopping for Jarak yesterday, and I’m trying to find some sort of bodice/bustier thing to wear under my dress to smooth out any (perceived) lumps under the satin. We’re doing cake-tasting with my college roommate in Philadelphia at the beginning of March. We’re starting to shop for things like dessert plates, cocktail glasses and napkins. I joked to Jarak that now I’m actually allowed to bug him about wedding plans every weekend, now that we’re less than 5 months away from the wedding date. He agreed. The crazy thing is that I’m not super-stressed about anything right now. A little worried about how we’re going to pay for it all, but other than that? Meh… All that really matters is that the people who we love show up, we declare that we are madly in love with each other and want to stay that way, and then we eat and drink. I refuse to worry about tiny details like whether all the shades of purple and blue match, or that we “should” do thing x, y, or z.

And now I’m off to continue reading Game of Thrones, which I started last week and am thoroughly engrossed in. Tomorrow after work I will go have a beer or 3 at Bier Abbey to celebrate actually being 30, and hopefully will remember to blog more.

Tomorrow will be my last Thanksgiving as a “single” woman. Next year at this time I will have been married for almost 6 months. It boggles my mind a bit. Our save-the-dates came in, correctly done this time. Hooray! And I picked up my cousin’s bridesmaid’s dress for her brother’s (my cousin’s) wedding. The dress is in NY, she’s living back in PA, but we’re going to Thanksgiving at my grandfathers/father’s place in CT. So it’ll all work out. Remember the “3 weddings in 6 months, one of them mine” thing from a few weeks back. One of the weddings is my cousin’s in March.
I’m making apple and pumpkin pie to bring for tomorrow, and oatmeal-raisin-chocolate-chip cookies for Friday’s fest.  I made pie crust on Monday night, and did my annual search through all of the recipe books to find the one that doesn’t use shortening/lard. ( The only time I’d ever use shortening is pie crusts, but once a year. It’s not worth if to keep in the house.) I always look through at least two before remembering it’s in Moosewood. My pumpkin pie recipe is from Horn of the Moon, and the photocopy that I have has “The Best” written on it. When I was younger, my mother and I would look through cookbooks trying to remember what recipe we liked the best. We finally remembered to just write it on the recipe. I unfortunately slightly scorched the top, but it’ll be yummy anyway.

I accidentally bought too many apples. I’m used to needing at least 10, but the apples I got are GINORMOUS. I have no idea what the farm adds to its soil, but both their apples and their sweet potatoes are huge. I’m guessing it’s just floodplain.

I’ve been hanging out in my house alone this evening. No siblings, no fiance, and hardest of all: no Mom. After my parents split up, making pies with my mother for Thanksgiving stopped. (We did thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family, and then immediate family only for Christmas. It’s a big family thing on my dad’s side, and it’s important to see them, so Jarak and I go to that, and then do Christmas with his family.) One of my favorite memories from growing up was having the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off from school and spending the day in the kitchen with my mother making pie. My share of responsibility has grown from simply peeling apples and mixing pumpkin pie filling to completing whole pies on my own, with minimal assistance from her, to now making them entirely on my own, including making my own pie crust. And it’s a social thing, hanging out in the kitchen working.  When my brothers were both on this coast, they’d come to my house on Wednesday and we’d make pies together.  So it just feels strange and wrong to be doing it all by myself today.

I appear to have taken the collective baked yumminess of my parents, and what they have traditionally brought to big family/community functions and adopted it. I bring pie on Thanksgiving now that my mother no longer comes to Thanksgiving, and I bring bread to Easter, now that my father no longer comes to Easter. It’s my mother’s pie, and my father’s bread, and in some ways doing it this way means that I maintain my family connections even when they’re not there.
Tomorrow we pack up the car and drive the 2.5 hours to just outside Hartford with pies, cookies, homebrew, local beer and local whiskey (Yay Coalyard!) This year the cousins seem to have scattered to the four corners of the earth. My two brothers in Colorado and LA, with girlfriend’s family and son, and girlfriend’s family respectively,  a cousin in Maryland with his fiance, and a cousin in Geneva Switzerland with her boyfriend. We will have one child from each family with the parents this year. Yup… we’re grownups.