Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On this Thanksgiving Eve...

On this Thanksgiving Eve, it's all grilled cheese and warm socks and cuddling feetsies and West Wing marathons in this household. And egg nog! Finally, egg nog! Because when it's grey and rainy (sleety, really) outside, an afternoon like this is really the only option. Happy Thanksgiving {Eve} too all! Stay tuned for a recap of tomorrow's epic battle, Milan vs. the 16 pound turkey.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

a pretty tune for you.

Artist :: Florida State University AcaBelles
Title :: Royals (originally performed by Lorde)

Remember, folks, you heard Lorde here first.

Also, I love a cappella. My husband sings in an a cappella group. It is not a coincidence.

P.S. In case your blog reader doesn't allow you to view the video, feel free to click over to my actual blog to watch it!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage: Notes from the field at six months (and some wedding photos, finally!)

Greetings from our six month anniversary, or, as Jordan insists on calling it, our six "monthiversary"(since we aren't counting years yet).

May 18th, 2013. That day, as all brides say, is a blur in my memory, but certain things do stick out fairly well. There are the sweet memories, like the way he looked at me over the altar as we both reverently spoke the word "yes" in confirmation of our eternal vows, even though we both wanted to shout it so loudly that it would ring through the halls of the temple. There are the funny moments, like when our grand entrance into our reception was announced, our guests cheered, the music for our first dance started playing, and......we were nowhere to be found! (No, no, nothing like that, I was just busy eating chips and guacamole, he was busy giving me a foot massage, we had no idea it was time yet.) There are the panicky then, silly now moments, like how when I was a little late that morning he legitimately thought I wasn't coming, that I was having second thoughts--but really, it was just that my hair took a while (he's now well-acquainted with this phenomenon). There's even a bit of regret that we didn't sit down to enjoy our cake (and then instead of freezing the top cake layer for us to enjoy later, MY FAMILY ATE THE LEFTOVERS THE NEXT DAY) (still not over it). And there are the truly exciting moments, like the grand exit we made as our loved ones sent us off, sparklers waving, to our hotel, to Mexico the next day, to our life together, forever. Like most brides would say, it was the very best day of my life. And what a perfectly lovely six months I have shared with my love since we were married in Los Angeles that sunny day in May.

Engaged couples and newlyweds are often given advice, solicited, unsolicited, sage, amusing... We love this--if I could pick the brain of every happily married 80 year old (and, for that matter, every unhappily married or divorced 80 year old), I would. In fact, we did just that at our reception, where we asked guests to offer their advice on recipe cards (yes, "recipes for love") and leave them for us to enjoy together later. Pearls of wisdom are contained in that box, people! I'll have to share some of those later.

For now, one piece of advice we received when we first got engaged sticks out the most. One of our relatives counseled us that the first year of marriage would be the hardest, and that the patterns we would establish in that first year would set the tone for the rest of our marriage, so we should create reasonable expectations. For instance, if I don't want to get stuck making dinner AND doing the dishes for the rest of my life (a grim prospect, admittedly), I shouldn't try to impress Jordan with my domestic goddess "I can do it all" skills during year one, only to be left wondering why HE never does the dishes years two through fifty. So the idea is to not over perform in this first year, setting ourselves up for a lifetime of exhausting overachievement (or disappointing underperformance) in the years to come.

Respectfully, we disagree.

We have spent the last six months trying our very hardest to set only the highest expectations for ourselves and each other, knowing that, just as we were counseled, we are establishing precedents against which we may be measured for the rest of our lives. We are trying our hardest to make sure that we are giving each other our best, from the littlest acts of kindness to the biggest gestures of generosity we can muster. Now, before I risk sounding arrogant, I freely share that even as I write this, I can think of five, ten, twenty times where one of us has failed the other and/or ourself. Even in these blissful first months, some days it has seemed like we're failing more often than we're succeeding. We're quite different, he and I, and we're both very stubborn when we want to be, which is often. And yet I know how dedicated he is to this cause, the cause of our life together, because I feel it and see it everyday, and I hope he could say the same. As it turns out, most days it isn't actually that hard at all--if this easy breezy year is somehow supposed to be the hardest, bring on the rest!

Anyway, I know that sharing my thoughts on marriage is something akin to a six month old sharing his views on life, so I won't go on. But I do hope I've managed to share an inkling of how much I treasure my marriage and love my sweet husband.

Now just a few more photos of the two of us from that wonderful day (more of our reception, wedding party, guests, and details coming soon).

^ I always make fun of wedding photos like this (for goodness sake, it's your wedding day! look like you love each other!), but I admit that I love this photo. I mean, the wind! My veil!


More wedding photos here!

All photos taken by the lovely and talented Linda Arredondo--LA (and everywhere else) people, book her and tell her we sent you! Photos taken at the Los Angeles LDS temple, where we were married, and a private residence in Beverly Hills, where we held our reception.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A drive to see some leaves.

A few weekends ago Jordan and I took a day journey around the Virginia countryside before the last of the gorgeous red and golden leaves fell to the ground. I could go on and on in raptures about the fall foliage in this part of the world, although I'm reminded that not all are as entranced as I am. As Jordan put it on a phone call to his buddy during our drive, "Milan wanted to go on a drive to see some leaves." (Side note: On the same call, I caught him doling out some timely relationship advice to his friend: "You need to be able to enjoy long drives together." I don't know, I just thought this was kind of sweet.)

Well, yes, Milan did want to see some leaves, and see some leaves we did! We also swung by Old Lucketts for lunch--it's a shabby chic antique store (emphasis on shabby, in my opinion. meow.) that secretly also has some of the best biscuits and melt sandwiches around.

^ Just the cutest, isn't he? I love my drives with him. We sing, we listen to our audio book, we talk about everything (thanks to him, I'm informed on the latest science world news, while he is thrillingly up to date on the fall recipes I'm dying to try). Sometimes we talk about nothing, and we still, as he said, enjoy long drives together.

^ As IF I could resist an open road/golden foliage twirling opportunity.

^ "Take a picture of me jumping over this ditch!" said the former hurdler.

^ "Wait, take another of me jumping back over it!"

...we're working on our posing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A few photos from Halloween and Jordan's birthday.

Bon jour! Continuing my love of all things French (combined with my total costume preparation negligence), I dressed us as classic Parisians this year. They were easy costumes--we pretty much had it all anyway (my outfit, minus the red accessories, is one I wear to work often), so all we needed to grab were a few quick accessories and a striped shirt for Jordan. We further accessorized with a few French kisses, not pictured.

We spent the evening at a Halloween party thrown by our friends Ellen and Gabe, marveling at costumes much more creative and cute than ours.

Halloween was also Jordan's birthday! He is now a whopping 29 years old, dangerously close to 30--and then 40!--as I have been gleefully reminding him.

^ Surprised him at his school with cupcakes. The look on that guy's face when I swooped in from out of nowhere and tried to kiss him--utter revulsion (he thought some random girl was trying to kiss him, so this was a good thing), then confusion, finally replaced by delight. Mission birthday surprise accomplished (special thanks to Brooke, my birthday elf companion in crime).

^ We finished the evening just the two of us, over chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting--he's a simple, easy to please guy, and he knows what he likes, alright. Let's not even GET into the debacle of last year's birthday cake, when I thought I'd get creative and add a little touch of peanut butter. Let's just say two cakes and two batches of frosting ended up getting made that day.

Here's to many more birthdays together!

Friday, November 8, 2013


In the name of making all things pretty, flower are my number one go-to way to instantly prettify a space. There are two spots in my apartment, above and below left, where I always make sure to have fresh flowers on display (although every now and then, I admit I leave them out a few days too many). When I'm out and about, my eye is always drawn to flowery pops of color, like the ones below, which I spotted recently in a gated Soho courtyard and a downtown NYC restaurant.

Happily, Jordan is supportive and complicit--thank you for this week's roses, love!

Join me in this flowery crusade! Flowers everywhere, flowers for everyone!

P.S. As the first photo reveals, I'm FINALLY getting around to reading Breakfast at Tiffany's. Coincidentally, my book club is reading a book about Audrey Hepburn this month, so it's Audrey 24/7 around here!

P.P.S. Speaking of flowers, how about four tons of them? Reminds me of this.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Apple picking in the Maryland countryside.

Last month we trekked out to Homestead Farm in Maryland, where we spent a lovely afternoon picking about 20 million pounds of apples (weeks later, I still have at least seven left--apple pie/sauce/tart/bread/cake anyone?). Happy to report that the experience lived up to all my my Pinteresty expectations. We went with a good friend of ours, Elle, and her parents, Jen and Kimball, who asked me to take a few family portraits while we were there.

A few of the family photos:

They really are the sweetest little family, aren't they? I die over Elle--she and I just recently moved into the open-mouth kissing stage, where she opens her teeny little mouth wide and plants it against my cheek. I hope it's exclusive, but I can't be sure.

^ A throwing contest (boys will be boys).

^ We countered with some juggling.

^ Sigh, the engagement photo we never had...
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