brown paper packages tied up with... twine



I splurged on wrapping accessories today. Tissue, ribbon, twine, bags, and vintage cards.  In planning my wedding I stumbled across a gem of a store in the Sodo neighborhood of Seattle called PS.  This is the site of today's debit card massacre.

Like quick sand for someone, like me, with no decision making skills whatsoever, this store is the mother-ship for the detail-oriented.  And given that the store isn't that large, I wander, retracing my steps over and over, shuffling around in the same general 30 foot radius.  Lovely displays invoke feelings of inadequacy, how could I ever replicate such cleverness?  And before I can do that, how can I possibly decide between the 500 of spools of ribbon? 

Despite the turmoil this store sparks in my heart and soul, I can't ignore the beautiful gold-flecked bags, and fabulous jade polka-dot tissue paper.  And then there's the mother of all indulgences, spools of candy-cane twine.  240 yards of bliss.  

Ironically, I am likely to incur more joy from these packaging details, than their assumably ignorant recipient.  Merry Christmas to me.

early risers



5:45 am was the time that the alarm clock went off this morning. Confusion strikes, "my pillow is trying to say something to me... I can't quite make it out... No, no, wait. That's my phone underneath my pillow. But who would be calling me?" Silly sleepy girl. That's your alarm, telling you it's time to drag your wilted and heavy body from beneath the covers to trudge through the darkness, down the hall, and into the shower (remember to take your clothes off first). But in order to accomplish this, you have to open your eyes, that is indeed essential. 

I've gotten far too used to my schedule of waking up whenever my husband leaves for work, and then proceeding to fall back asleep.  I then ashamedly crawl out of bed at 10:30... "my body needed the rest," I reason.  Now I'll be productive. After I watch the Today Show. And New Day Northwest. I'm only mildly embarrassed by this confession because in a few short weeks I hope to be gainfully employed and getting up at a reasonable hour with the rest of the world.  

Now, here I sit behind the bar at Kakao.  Still sleepy but aided by an americano and the cheerful faces delighting in the knowledge that it's friday.  Oh, and the anticipation of the pampering that will accompany a haircut this afternoon isn't hurting.  Take that 5:45 am. 

Santa's little workshop.



Turns out this year, Santa is working with limited storage space for presents (i.e. hiding places), as well as limited time to covertly wrap said presents with festive paper and ribbon.  Recipients of aforementioned presents are constantly underfoot (or hovering about a foot taller than me).  No wonder the North Pole seemed like a prime piece of real estate. That jolly old-man was sly I tell you.  

Normally Christmas would be beckoned in by the completion of finals and research papers.  The slow sigh of a 'hallelujah' with the realization that the all-nighters are over and weights have been lifted off your shoulders.  However, this year the season has slumped in day by day, one hour at a time.  I feel as though I am still waiting for the final buzzer to sound and the Christmas season to officially begin.  Where's the alarm, where are the jingle bells? 

This sounds silly given that I have been indulging in Bing Crosby since before my wedding at the beginning of November.  And I'm surrounded by an adequate assortment of decorations. There are lights hugging the molding that surrounds our front window.  A small fir named Francis adorned with ornaments (dutifully watered morning and night) complete with a porcelain angel perched on top.  I've done my shopping, both safely online and bravely amidst fellow hardy/grumpy shoppers.  But the spark is absent.  I'm afraid the holiday will come and go this year leaving me a cloud of wilted mistletoe and pine needles. I don't mean to say that I'm not excited for the day that approaches. I just wish I could lasso it and make the coming days drift by like a dusting of snow. Slow, to be savored bit by bit, until it has gently settled around us. I'm sure I'm not the only one.  

However, though that seems unlikely and a bit naive, I'm going to toast to Christmas and the craziness, with an eggnog latte in hand, and enjoy the ride, whether or not I 'hear those sleigh-bells jingling'. 

And away we go.



Home.  A simple, yet pliable word.  I've now resided in my new abode for approximately two weeks.  My body, mind, and senses have adjusted to the point of recognition, and I'm becoming comfortable with the term "we" rather than "you" (i.e. do 'you' have oregano? - I really asked that).  In essence, I'm beginning to feel like a real human being again.  Not a bride, not a graduate, just me, an adult.  I'm finding my space. 

Throughout the past four years I have often pondered the meaning of personal space, particularly while living with fifteen other college students [for all four years].  My life could be packed up into an assortment of tubs and cardboard moving boxes in a matter of hours... to be transfered across the hall, up the stairs, or down south about 60 miles.  I moved every 3-4 months and lived with over 12 different roommates.  A constant, albeit quaint, reminder that home, in the earthly sense, is not constant.  The heavenly is constant.  

First gathering in my new home to take place tomorrow evening. A girls' night soirée, if you will.  What to serve still to be determined, but the important thing to take away is that I am having guests.  House guests. I'm old enough to entertain my own house guests. Can you say 'woah'?  Not in itself a significant right of passage, but it makes me wonder... what else am I old enough to do?  What am I not old enough to do (besides rent a car without incurring an additional daily fee)?  Can one ever be too old to do 'something'? I say nay.  I think age is on my side.  

one month married.



Beautiful plan-b dinner at Luc in Madison. 


Santa, I believe.



"I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor. You know, I... I... I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives. If... you can't believe, if you can't accept anything on faith, then you're doomed for a life dominated by doubt."

Miracle on 34th St. 




Word of the wise: hot yoga... definitely not the same as hot hawaii. One is amazing, the other one wants to kill you. 

Mr. Eliott West.



Mele Kalikimaka



marital... bliss.



Aloha. Honeymoons are an awesome and absolutely necessary invention. On the island of Maui we practiced the complex art of laziness. Slept a concern-able amount. Ordered lava flows at the swim-up bar. And ate coconut rolls in truly tropical bliss.  And the best part? We were more than ready to come home to our tiny apartment and the blustery 42 degree rain of Seattle. Can't beat home.

Elena Joy.



Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are.

Louisa May Alcott.

Home with francis and fern.



Walter, our peacock rug, has a flourish of dandruff about his feathers from our new miniature noble christmas tree (named Francis... we evidently form attachment to inanimate objects). Fern, our baby wreath, is hanging on the front door, obscuring the number of our apartment. Hiding behind me and the couch is everything that four cars (myself, brad, and both of my parents) hauled up to Seattle this afternoon. In the weeks ahead I plan to nest as much as possible, in addition to gearing up in my imaginary Santa suit and making christmas dreams come true. 

A peek at the lively thanksgiving weekend.

2. Wedding "Bliss".



Words of wisdom from Molly Wizenberg & her beautiful book A Homemade Life.

"When people would wish us well, they would often say something like, 'Oh, I just know your wedding day is going to be PERFECT! It's going to be BLISS! It's going to be the BEST day of your life!' Brandon and I would always giggle about that even though the gesture was very nice. For one thing, there's the word bliss, which makes my toes curl. It reminds me of diamond company commercials and bath beads. But even more than that, if the best day of our lives is our wedding day, we thought, what the hell comes afterward? We would have a lot of so-so years to look forward to. We wanted to have a beautiful wedding, but it didn't need to be utter perfection. It needed to celebrate what we bring to each other in the truest way possible, and with some good food and dancing. But it didn't need to be the best day ever. In fact, we sincerely hoped that, in the long-term scheme of things, it wouldn't be." 

(Photo credit: Molly Wizenberg; Orangette)

3. (2, 1, etc...)



Moving on up. 

Today is my last full day living at home (meaning the home of my parents).  Tomorrow we pack up the car and drive (vases, books, candles, cake-plates, and the full bridal wardrobe in tow).  One deep breath, and then another. 

In more ways than one I feel like a ticking time bomb.  Whether or not I explode from excitement or detail induced anxiety is yet to be seen. 

With all of the work and insane planning that goes into a simple day where you say "I Do", I thought I would expound upon the wisdom I've gained, or rather the naiveté I've exposed in myself. We'll keep it to an even 10, because if there's anything I've learned, when planning one can tend to overdue it (that's a freebee):

  1. Keep the sass to a minimum, regardless of how much you would like to tell the church's wedding coordinator how you really feel... 
  2. Do-it-yourself always sounds like a cute chic idea, until you realize you actually have to DIY, then halfway through a project you feel like you want to DIE. 
  3. Professional seamstresses, though adequately experienced, have been known to stab the bride-to-be.  Don't panic, one can receive a significant discount on "the" gown, simply because of a little blood... and a near fainting/vomiting event.  The dress and I are blood sisters now. 
  4. When one has the urge to throw the bridal magazine across the room, it's time to put it away in a box. You cross a threshold when the magazines begin to provoke feelings of inadequacy rather than inspiration. 
  5. Etsy can be your friend, but don't be afraid of the mass market wedding retailers, though options on both ends are overwhelming. 
  6. Let your ideas evolve. Whether as a result of a creative epiphany or a bump in the road.
  7. In some circumstances it's ok to lie. Meaning, that when a well intentioned stranger/acquaintance/family member asks a wedding related question, feel free to simply reply "we haven't figured that part out yet". There's no need to divulge the fact that you've tried on over 100 dresses, that the seamstress stabbed you, that the Tux Shop wouldn't return your calls, that you got a little tipsy during the wine tasting for the reception, or that you met with the florist for three hours at the end of which you wanted to cry. 
  8. When buying chocolates (or any other edible favor) buy some extras for yourself. It will avoid unnecessary temptation and you never know when you'll need an emergency piece of chocolate.
  9. Don't forget to go on dates. "Wedding" can be all-consuming. 
  10. Perhaps most importantly, though it may not be on the wedding timeline, life (or rather *&$#) happens. Whether it be a plumbing backlog resulting in a tub full of murky water, the fall of a feeble grandmother resulting in a broken noise, or a lahar siren (turns out it was a routine test...) resulting in the belief that one's worst fear has become reality. Eat an emergency chocolate, take a sip of diet coke, and go with the flow.
More on wedding festivities to come. 

4. da dumm da dummm.



Meet the ring bearer and flower girl... let's hope they decide walking down the aisle sounds like a good idea. 







Putting on the finishiiing touches. Chalkboards, and favors, and programs oh my. 







In need of a girls night. 




 the weather man remembered we live in Seattle.



10 day forecast finally visible... and holy moly, no rain.  We keep our fingers crossed.

Photo by Lindsay Schuette

10. Etsy finds.






Successful trial run with the bridal hair today. PTL. followed by a PSL. 

12. happy halloween.



12 days left, how scary is that?  pumpkin cider and harry potter tonight. oh and lots and lots of candy (for the trick-or-treaters of course...)




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