Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Golden Nutshell

That is me, coming out of hibernation. It's been a long time, friends. Too long. My brain needs a break from the real world, and what better way than by reflecting on my two months of silence? Shall we begin?

(And, as you know, I tend to narrate these posts in my head. Have you seen The Mask? Why is it so awesome? And why is it what comes to mind here?)

On that note, we should move on.

1. My best got engaged. I hate knowing secrets. Me choca, me choca, me choca. And perhaps the hardest one I've ever known but couldn't tell was that of Monique's engagement, which had me BURSTING at the seams for a full month. J and Monique have been dating for a third of my life - their time is due. I couldn't be happier, prouder, or more excited for them. It's not often I'm a mush machine, but this wedding makes my heart flutter. The thought of getting to watch this amazing woman who is more like my sister than my friend plan her day, with me along in the peanut gallery, is one of the happiest things I can imagine.

There were about 30 of us packed into a bedroom hideout while Monique got engaged. What a sneaky sneak surprise!
Beyond the mush, I get to hang out with these crazy ladies, so that's a win for everyone. November 2013 can't come soon enough!

Now, if we could just work on this Ninimal, my life will be complete.

Clinton McGee, we love you.
2. You should try Colombia. I'm partial to Mexico, for obvious reasons. But Colombia comes in at a close second on my list of favorite Latin countries to visit. We went to Cartagena in February for the wedding of one our our sweet groomsmen. He's French, she's Colombian, and they live in Panama. Most of the guests were Swiss. You can imagine the head spin that combination creates. And, it wouldn't be a reunion with Gooses's Panamanian colleagues if the wedding night didn't end with an alarming Colombian rash spreading at terrifying rates up each of my arms and Goose's custom tuxedo split up the bottom seam due to his aggressive Michael Jackson dancing moves. Pretty standard in our world.

And felicidades to our sweet friends, O + M. We love you guys.

3. Our house has cabinets. Do not build a house. Just....don't. I'm not sure why I ever thought that after 18 months of planning a wedding, I should transition into 9 months of planning a house. I've heard people say that if your marriage can handle building, you're in the clear for the long run. Um, but what about my MIND?

Much like wedding planning, this perhaps wouldn't have been such a scratchy process if I weren't such a Type-A control freak. But, alas, I am. And so after almost a year of it, I'm ready to roll over and scream uncle.

All of that aside, the house is beautiful, and we're very blessed to own it as our first home together. With my birds-eye focus on the small (unimportant?) details, combined with our magic maker's big picture direction, we've managed to create a masterpiece in the midst of the muck. A few things we've picked up and out along the way:

And here's our Magic Makers schematic board for the downstairs. Hold on to your horses!

4. We've become the most popular people in the world. Me and Goose are in a combined EIGHT. EIGHT. weddings this year. And have I mentioned that they are all out of town? Just give me a vodka tonic and point me in the general direction of where I'm supposed to be. After eight prior trips down the aisle as a bridesmaid and once as a bride, I got this s*$t down.

In all seriousness, what a fun time for us. The older we get, the more we learn who we actually want to hang out. Lucky for us, these guys appear to feel the same. Each of them tells a part of our story, and we're stoked to help add to theirs. Cheers to you eight!

P.S. If you give me wedding hair, our friendship is over. And I will spit on its grave.

5. End of the road. I just recently returned back from the Deep South for the first time since summer 2012. I was long overdue. My baby brother met me out there, and we were able to handle a few of the final outstanding items related to Mom, plus celebrate her life in a way that we know she would have loved. It's funny, this grief thing. Have you ever been in one of those tidal wave pools at a water park? The kind that simulates waves? They start out gentle, then increase, then explode, then return to gentle? For me, that's what grief has been. There are some days where my only thoughts about Mom are happy ones. And then there are days where I'm utterly consumed by it. And then there's that range of everything else in between.

Anyways, beyond that, my trip was a stellar one. My Deep South family never ceases to amaze me. Their kindness, grace and strength are immeasurable. On that note, a few highlights from the weekend:

That's me and Baby Brother with our tree. Then, Kaylee Bug, the little rascal. I convinced her to stand still for about 3.2 seconds: "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese." Moving east, that's the door to my mom's childhood room, as decorated by her younger sister fifteen years later. The "Nana" (for us Southerners, that's pronounced "Nuh-Nuh") is what Mom's siblings and nieces and nephews called her; the "DE" are my aunt's initials. What sweet reminders of two women both taken from us too soon. Then, southward, the normal speed at which Kaylee moves. Exhausted just looking at that picture. And, finally, a spring trip wouldn't be complete without my Uncle T's amazing crawfish boils. Don't be jealous.

6. Oh, and this happened. I love Adam Levine. That is all.

So, that's the last two months in a golden nutshell, with a little side of glitter. Hope you've enjoyed.

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