All I know about love

Because I am coming down off of the wedding high and still very much in sap mode, and also feel the need to add my two cents to the deluge of wedding/love advice on the internet for all the people who aren’t 22 and starry-eyed but still feel like embarking on the journey that is wedded life, and also because I’m trying to get back into the swing of regular blogging and this is an easy post, I thought I would share the vows I wrote — and the words I wish I wrote.

The ceremony was simple, short, and pretty stock. (I’m a fan of brevity. Which is why I love Twitter still.) To round it out, I asked the officiant to read this poem by Neil Gaiman, which speaks to love as someone who has been in love and watched it die and dared to bother with the whole mess again. As such, it means a whole lot more to me than the promises in the vows; I’ve heard, and said, those before, and know they hold no special power in and of themselves. I’m sure few younger/less experienced people would ask for this poem to be read at their weddings. But from where I stand, it’s beautiful. And I’d say that even if Neil hadn’t written it.

For the first dance, I chose The Book of Love (the Peter Gabriel version; the original is awfully…morose). Lyrics are linked above and, I think, pretty self-explanatory. It’s the sweetest, most true song about love (not lust, but the real deal) that I know.

Having shared all of those words, here are mine. Because of course my vows were in list form. Only they’re not really vows so much as a few of the many, many reasons I married the man.

  • I love that you buy me just-because flowers.
  • I love that you listen to me ramble — or at least pretend to listen — when I’m talking through something.
  • I love that you repeat things I’ve said back to me, because it proves that you are at least sometimes listening.
  • I love that our goals and values are so closely aligned.
  • I love that you support my goals even when you don’t share them.
  • I love that you remember to water the plants when I forget, and where I parked the car, and that you check if the front door is locked before we go to bed because you know I’m going to ask.
  • I love that you make me take me time, and remind me that sometimes I need to buy things for myself, too.
  • I love watching you play with the kids.
  • I love doing things as a family — playing games, going on outings, or just snuggling in bed watching Wreck-It Ralph for the 50th time.
  • I love that you are so good at fixing what’s broken, be it a garbage disposal, a computer, or a car.
  • I love that we laugh. Every day.
  • I love our life. And I can’t wait to see what we do next.

I also gave him this necklace, with our initials and the date stamped in the back. It’s an inside reference, this necklace. When we were first dating, he gave me this plush heart from ThinkGeek. A week before the wedding, I saw this pendant and realized it would be the perfect gift for him. And Wendy, bless her, made it happen with half a week to spare. Go order things from her. She does great work.

So…it wasn’t your ordinary wedding. But it was very much us. And that was the goal.

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I am writing this on Small Business Saturday. So, still on my honeymoon. Life’s pretty sweet right about now.

NaNoWriMo word count:

32,275. I haven’t written a word in a week, and it’s thus not looking like I will win NaNo. But that’s okay. I’ve still written 32,275 words I don’t hate. My goal was to finish the book before I turn 44; there’s still time for that.

Wedding freak-out level:

Up a last name. Still have to change my name on all my cards, though, so I’m not done. I just don’t have to plan a wedding anymore. Ever.

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The wedding was amazing. Married life, thus far, has been amazing. Life is wonderful and I am high on carbs and I know we’ll come back down to reality eventually, but for now? Amazing.

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Loving:

Anya, five minutes ago: Is today a special day?
Me: Well, it’s Saturday. So no. But we’re going to do fun things later. Go to a bakery, see the decorations at the Pink Palace, and maybe go to the Botanic Garden tonight.
Anya: Yay! I love today!

Reading:

Nothing much. I’ve barely even been on social media. It’s been…nice.

Watching:

I picked up an episode and a half of Dirk Gently, and am really eager to find the time to binge the rest. I loved the books, and the series, imo, does them justice.

Listening to:

Christmas music season is upon us.

Working on:

The food binge has passed. The house is (mostly) decorated. Time to buy presents! Though this year, I’m finding I am more excited about holiday events than the big day itself. Yeah, presents are nice. But lights and food and music and fun are better.

Anticipating:

All that stuff we’re going to do today. And tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…

Making me happy:

Being happy. :D

NaNo — blog? No.

I have, you’ll notice, added a couple of Novembercentric metrics. This entry is also brief; I am laying down the lion’s share of my words elsewhere this month.

NaNoWriMo word count:

29,687

Wedding freak-out level:

Nearly all invited guests have accepted. I keep changing my mind about the menu. Which, remember, we’re cooking ourselves. We have not selected the music yet. Nor have we worked out the logistics of the wedding day. I have done nothing about the honeymoon except for reserving the hotel room.

Loving:

The weather. It’s been alternating between bright sunshine and cool rainy/misty. Both showcase the changing leaves beautifully.

Reading:

The Handmaid’s Tale. Finally. And very slowly. (It’s an eventful month.)

Watching:

Falling leaves. I know I’m supposed to be watching fall TV, but it’ll still be there in a few weeks. The leaves won’t.

Listening to:

Spotify, in search of wedding tunes. When I was 18, I could have filled a shelf of cassette tapes with love songs. But I’m 43 and a mom and my playlists don’t skew so heavily to the sappy side these days. This ish is hard.

Working on:

The house. I know we won’t have many wedding guests coming by the house, but we will have some. And the week after the wedding will be a freight train, between the honeymoon, Thanksgiving (which is to be a family affair — all grandparents on deck — at our house), and the start of the Christmas festivities. I would really really REALLY like the house to be clean the day before the wedding, so that it is relatively clean the day before Thanksgiving when I am cooking and doing familymoon laundry all day.

Anticipating:

Not planning a wedding anymore.

Making me happy:

I was contacted by a potential client the other day. I do so like it when the work comes to me.

 

November: NaNoWriMo, nuptials, noshing

I just can’t resist a chance to inject a little alliteration. Forgive me.

Loving:

These two babies. (Though they don’t like to be called babies anymore.)

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Reading:

I keep downloading Kindle books. And Mom cleaned out her read shelves and sent a bag of books home with me. Once I’m done writing this month, I’ll resume reading. I have to; I’ll drown otherwise.

Watching:

Still haven’t gotten back into the TV thing, but I watched twin babies notice each other the other day and it made me just a little sad I won’t be having twins of my own. (Just a little, mind you. Because twice the cute also means twice the tantrums and twice the poop, and I’m already up to my ears in both.)

Listening to:

In the mornings, when the kids are asleep and the furnace isn’t running, it’s quiet enough in here to hear the fish stirring the gravel at the bottom of the tank. It’s amazing to me how much noise I tune out during the course of an ordinary day.

Working on:

NaNoWriMo. Since I’m cheating and using last year’s book (which was cheating even then, as I’ve been working on this book off and on for my entire adult life), I’m over halfway to the finish line. I’d be further along if I would quit reworking the existing passages before I add more. (I’m an editor; I can’t help it.)

Anticipating:

Not planning a wedding. I can’t even imagine how sick I’d be of this wedding if I were planning a “real” wedding. As it stands, I’m at the “well, if they’re that frickin’ hungry, they can grab a sandwich” stage of planning, so it’s a good thing the wedding is just around the corner.

Making me happy:

Anya wants to have Thanksgiving at our house this year. Mom and Dad are down. (Duh. All the food, but none of the mess? Yes, please.) And we’re talking about inviting the in-laws over, as well. Do I have kitchen enough for this? Not sure. Am I up for a large family gathering, after spending most of my Thanksgivings in a smaller setting? Again, not sure. But I’m looking forward to it anyway.

 

I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead. From exhaustion.

Kai has been up since 5. I have been up since 3, and awake (according to my Fitbit) since 1:50. Kai is sick. I am wearing a cute — and almost entirely seasonally inappropriate — outfit. Kai keeps wiping his nose on it. But he’s the only one around to see me, so does it matter?

Loving:

Kai is trying so hard to talk these days. As he was leaving for work, R tried to talk him through saying “Have a good morning.” But “morning” is hard to say (some would argue that mornings are just hard, period), so he said “Have a good good.” I like it.

Reading:

Anya is rocking the sight words. And showed me last night that leaving the subtitles on does help — she kept spelling out words from the screen she was unsure about, so I could define them for her. So I feel utterly justified in putting the subtitles on for every single thing I watch.

Watching:

I have watched one and a half episodes of the second season of Stranger Things. But otherwise I have been far too busy/tired/distracted to watch TV. I’ll get to it.

Listening to:

What I need to be listening to is music for the wedding. Because I have some half-baked ideas of what I’d like to play, but I’ve not really pinned anything down yet. And even when I have, I still need to run those things past R. Add to this the fact that I’ve still not decided where the ceremony itself is going to take place, and…yeah, I have nothing worked out yet.

Working on:

Insomnia has its perks. This morning I designed the allergy-friendly treats sign for tomorrow night, plus my wedding thank-you cards. I shopped online (fruitlessly, sad to say) for Christmas outfits for the kids and holiday jammies for us all. I tinkered with my Christmas card design. I cross-posted about the holiday card exchange. I researched store-bought party trays (and decided to make my own). I loaded up my Amazon cart with plates and cups and serving paraphernalia. I determined what size cake layers I need to bake. I freaked out over how close the wedding is, and how certain it is that I’m forgetting something. I considered, and ultimately rejected, buying a set of Thanksgiving dishes. I scoped out a couple of new recipes to try this week (sweet potato puffs, dressing bites). I sliced and peeled an apple Kai didn’t eat, and gave him medicine, and bribed him with candy to swallow it. I took Anya to school. I consumed nearly a gallon of green tea. I set out two loaves of bread dough to rise, and threw some laundry in the wash.

All before 8 a.m.

Anticipating:

Dinner tonight. Butternut squash soup, take two.

Making me happy:

This poem by Neil Gaiman, which I really want read at the wedding.

 

I’d watch TV, but who has time for that?

A few years ago, Anya told me we’d been having too much fun, and that she needed a break. At the time, I didn’t get it — but I do now. We’ve had a lot of fun lately, but I’m exhausted and could use a day or two of boring before the next wave hits.

Hi. Lateish Monday post here.

Loving:

Kai talks back to me. It’s nothing remarkable to most parents; he is two and a half, after all. But the memories of Anya’s nonverbal days are still fresh, and I am always startled and delighted when Kai answers me.

This weekend, he was a handful. Which is so not his style, but like me, I think he was in fun overload. At one point, I had to take him outside the restaurant to talk to him. I had to do that with Anya pretty much every time we left the house, but this was Kai’s first time for a private reprimand.

“I need you to sit down, behave, and let Mommy eat. If you can’t do that, we’re just going to leave. Understand?”

“Okay,” he said. And he did.

I never, not once, got this sort of response from Anya. At times I wondered if she even understood a word I said.

It’s the little things you take for granted, people.

Reading:

Haven’t started it yet, but I treated myself to Peter Pan. The real one, not the Little Golden Book of my childhood (which I bought for Anya when she was still a fetus). Say what you want of girls and princesses — when I was a kid, I wanted to be Peter Pan.

Watching:

Nothing. And I’m cautiously tiptoeing around social media so as to avoid spoilers until I have time to catch up/decide I don’t care and look up the synopses for myself. (My guess? It’ll be the latter.)

Listening to:

Parental revenge: In a direct response to The Daddy Finger Song (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably don’t have small children in your life), I listened to Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ “Americano” for 140 miles straight Saturday. Kai slept through most of it, however, so my vindication was brief.

Yes, I need to update my playlist. I’m sick of most everything on it. Though not, apparently, “Americano.”

Working on:

My book keeps evolving. I have known for 20 years how it ends, but never really understood why. As I write, small pieces keep falling into place, making me go “Oh! Well, that makes sense.”

Anticipating:

Pumpkin carvage. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Making me happy:

I saw a post from the NWS saying that today is the last day of 70s before fall weather arrives. Bring it.

 

Peeking down a path not taken

Years and years and years ago, I had a modeling agent chase me down in the mall and give me her card. It was during a really low point in my life, and I wasn’t sure my self-esteem could handle me being treated like a piece of meat, so I never followed up with her. But I’ve always wondered if I should have.

This past weekend, I went in to have my wedding makeup trial run. And nearly fainted. Just as I did during my wedding dress fitting (and every single other dress fitting I’ve had), many hair appointments, the hair drug test I took for a previous employer, and even some of my doctor appointments. I have never actually fainted during these events, but I have come dangerously close: Greyed vision, sweating bullets, and the inability to sit up without assistance. This time I passed it off as a hot flash (peri-m does have perks), but it wasn’t. I just get faint when people are up in my face, messing with me. It’s like I can’t get enough oxygen or something.

This kind of thing would be catastrophic for a model. Imagine how many callbacks you’d get if you needed three times as long for hair/makeup/wardrobe because you had to keep taking breaks so you wouldn’t faint.

Interestingly enough, a similar incident occurred towards the end of my engagement photo session, when the photographer was taking photos of us individually. Now, that could have just been the heat combined with low blood sugar; I was getting pretty hungry by that point, and downing a juice box rescued me for a bit. But still. Talk about vasovagal don’t-look-at-me. There could be no greater career killer for a model.

So obviously I made the right choice by remaining a wordslinger. Good to know.