One beautiful year

Wedding

Monday marked one year of marriage — and in my typical fashion as of late, I’m behind the times. Eternally behind the times. But I’m here! And I certainly haven’t forgotten!

You know, we really thought we lucked out with the weather that day: mild, bright and breezy, with temperatures in the mid-60s and plenty of warmth in the sun. As I’m obsessive-compulsive even when I’m not planning a life-changing event for 150 people, I’d checked the Farmer’s Almanac average temperatures like a lunatic in the months leading up to our wedding day. An outdoor wedding in November? Who does that? But their warm predictions held true.

What I remember most about that day was my anxious excitement to see Spencer. And the way that I managed, after months of planning and obsessing, to actually stay in the moment. That elusive idea — that I enjoy the now — is something I’ve tried to cultivate for years. It’s very easy for me to agonize about the future and analyze the past, leaving me clinging to little in the present.

The seconds that come back to me clearly are the times I was actually alone: driving myself from the hair salon to our apartment, then getting my brother-in-law to pick me up headed to the venue; nibbling on a sandwich in the bridal suite when the entire crew went outside to rehearse the ceremony.

I just kept thinking, I’m getting married! And it was all surreal until the moment I stepped out in my gown and red shoes to see Spencer, waiting for me on a shady veranda where we glimpsed each other for the first time.


Dance floor kiss


And we danced. We danced so much. I remember joking with our photographers ahead of time that they were going to be hard-pressed to get any shots of me on the dance floor. Unless under, you know, extreme duress.

But that is . . . not exactly how it played out. Of all the surprises, our endless cutting-a-rug-ness surprised me the most. Not because of my groom, of course — Spence loves to break it down — but me? I’ve never danced so much — and with such reckless abandon — as I did that night, and I love remembering the silliness and happiness that propelled us over and over again. The feeling of having all your loved ones around you, cheering and clapping and smiling, really was intoxicating.


Cake cutting


So what have we learned more than 365 days into this beautiful, crazy thing? For me, I wondered if marriage would “feel different” — like waking as one person and emerging another. Almost immediately after the ceremony, I was greeted as “Mrs. Johnson” . . . and I thought, That’s it? Just like that: in one way, out another?

Though it was strange at first, I love being a Mrs. — and rarely slip up and sign the old name. After 28 years as a Snider, I figured the transition would be rocky. I’d have moments of uncertainty, moments of longing to perhaps return to what was familiar and “normal” and true.

But I haven’t. Spence and I quickly developed a new normal — a normal for us — and often laugh at what feels like our “never-ending sleepovers.” After living at home until the ripe ol’ age of 28, I thought I would panic at the idea of changing residences . . . but we’ve actually moved again, of course, and I’ve adjusted. Very, very well.

Spencer and I are a team. Marriage does feel different — because I know someone is constantly in my corner, always waiting with the porch light on. Asking about boring things like what I had for lunch. Sipping coffee next to me, still in pajamas, and happily wandering grocery store aisles on Monday nights.

Together.

The past year has been filled with laughter and challenges, joy and a little stress. Buying our first home (and renovating said home), moving again, vacationing in California, celebrating our first holidays as a married couple . . . and heading into 2015, life will change and evolve and expand again.

Though we can never know what’s in store for us, I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. It really is a beautiful thing to know, deep in my soul, that I’ve married my best friend. I look forward to the months and years and decades to come . . .

. . . one popcorn-filled, hot chocolate-swilling sleepover at a time.


Wedding


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i carry your heart

I’m a poet at heart.

Back in college, I was the classic English major bouncing around campus with a novel in her hands and newly-released iPod earbuds in her ears. I have incredibly happy memories of wandering the University of Maryland campus, getting lost on the mall — sunny days when I was alone but not lonely.

Because I commuted to school for three years, I didn’t have many on-campus friends. There were times I wouldn’t speak to another living soul until I’d call my mom to check in on my lunch break, my voice hoarse with disuse. But what I did have?

Poems.

I had a creative writing focus in my English program . . . but not in anything I actually, you know, use now. No, friends, I was a poetry student — someone who literally sat in the shade of a tree and jotted down random thoughts because I had an “assignment” — a poem — due in class in an hour.

Those poetry classes, though occasionally tedious, were some of the happiest in my life. They were one of the few times I didn’t feel anonymous on campus, for one; because our class was only 12-15 students, rather than the typical 30-300, I actually felt seen. Even when I was basically told I was a no-talent hack who should have chosen a different major (whatevs), I loved those classes. Loved pouring over others’ words.

We studied poets too, of course. I remember a few of the works I selected to read aloud as some of my favorites, my inspiration. While classmates chose highfalutin never-heard-of-’em writers, maybe to impress the lot of us, I stuck with tried and true classics. Like E. E. Cummings.

When Spencer and I were working with our officiant on our wedding ceremony, I knew I wanted to share a poem. Though my post-college life has been dedicated to my column, humorous narratives and blog posts, I still harbor a deep love of poetry. The ability of writers like Cummings to cut right to the heart of readers with one perfectly-worded, incandescent thought just amazes me.

It didn’t take long for me to come up with the work I wanted read. After asking my matron of honor — my lovely sister — if she’d mind a little public speaking, we settled on “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in],” first published in 1952.

Made famous in a wedding scene from “In Her Shoes,” I’ve loved the poem for as long as I can remember — and love that, on our wedding day, it spoke not only to the love between Spencer and me but also to the idea that we can carry the hearts of so many we love. It’s much deeper than that, I know, but it’s also . . . just as simple as that.

I loved it. Katie rocked it. It was a highlight of our day — and included on half of the bookmark wedding favors that left with our guests.


Katie reading


[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

By E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Reprinted from The Poetry Foundation.
For poem’s original formatting, please visit the link.


Spencer and me


Thank-yous and thankfulness

Organizer and sign


We hung our new mail organizer!

I’m really excited about it. Like, too much. More than any human should be.

Aside from my general obsession with the post, hanging this wedding gift — as well as a sign we purchased on our honeymoon — was our first home improvement as a married couple.

There was the red wall we painted in the living room, and the various photos from Yosemite that adorn the hall. We bought and refinished a set of Ethan Allen nightstands that now house all our nighttime reading material and phone chargers — everything that makes up a life, of course — and the coffee table we grabbed on clearance when a local furniture store closed.

But this? This sign in our entryway? It somehow feels big — much bigger than those things. Perhaps because it’s the first decor choice we’ve made as husband and wife? Maybe because you see these decorations the second your little feet enter our home?

Regardless, this makes my heart so happy. I love it. I’m enamored with it.

Also, I wrote about 60 of our 80-ish wedding thank-you notes between Friday night and Sunday morning. That’s what you see piled up in said organizer, waiting patiently to be taken to the post office by yours truly.

My fingers feel permanently cramped. But on a related note, we are truly thankful — for the overwhelming generosity of our family and friends; for the kindnesses of strangers; for the love and support y’all have shown me in the past few weeks. Sixteen days into our marriage, we feel fortunate beyond measure.

If I could send everyone a thank-you note, I totally would.

(How many Forever Stamps would that take?)


photo


The new normal

Megan and Spencer


Well, I had high hopes for today’s post.

I was going to sit down and craft some gorgeous words on Sunday evening, weaving in so many of the tales from our wedding day — now more than a week ago! — so they’d be etched into my mind forever.

Of course, by Sunday, we were busy restoring the condo to its previous state of almost complete chaos (versus absolute chaos) and just trying to get ourselves into a mental space to return to work after almost two weeks off. I started working on a few scarf orders, pored through our many wedding photos already back from our fantastic photographers (small sampling here), hit a craft fair with my mom and sister and basically ran around doing everything and nothing.

It was glorious.

But none of that got me to where I wanted to be: writing a wedding post, which I desperately want to do. So I’ll have to tease you with a few photos now with the promise of more to come, then offer assurances that write meg! will get back to its regularly scheduled programming shortly. Surprisingly, I have been reading — much more than I expected — and am looking forward to slipping back into “normal life.”

Of course, “normal” is different now.

But it’s super lovely, too!


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Almost a Mrs.

Married


Exactly one week before I met Spencer for the first time, I was driving home from another lukewarm date with The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” pouring through my speakers. It was raining in Annapolis; I had a long drive home. The man I’d met for coffee had been nice and polite, but there was no spark. No chemistry. When we shook hands goodbye, I knew I wouldn’t see him again.

And yet, I felt . . . so hopeful.

I remember everything about that Sunday: meeting with girlfriends earlier in the day; walking through the city; the squish of my toes in my too-small boots. It was a chilly March afternoon and I’d already received my first email from Spencer, though I’d set this Annapolis date up before we’d firmed up ours. I don’t remember when I emailed him back, exactly, but I know it wasn’t long after I got home. I just felt in my bones that good things were afoot.

That hope was not misplaced.

After years of getting-to-know-yous and falling-in-love-with-yous and wondering and excitement and a little indecision and lots of laughter, it’s official — officially time.

I’m getting married. To my best friend, my confidante — a man so thoughtful and sweet and mine that I can hardly stand it. Sunday is our wedding.

It’s been a long journey — one that started long before Spencer and I even met. But I can’t look back on the last decade of love lost and found without a sense of purpose, gratitude and joy . . . because as pedestrian as it sounds, every detour eventually brought me to Spencer. And I feel grateful every day to have him by my side.

I’m taking a blogging break for our big day and following honeymoon in West Virginia, but I plan to make my triumphant return as a married lady on November 18. I’m sure I’ll have lots of moments and photos to share! I can’t wait.

Thank you for coming along with me on this wild ride . . . and, well, every ride we’ve taken together in the last five years. It’s been so fun sharing wedding updates with y’all, and I’m sure I’ll have many stories from the other side!

Signing off for now . . . but so excited about all that’s to come.

See you soon!

xoxo


Red lip contrast

Lips


I like the idea of being the woman in red lipstick.

Perhaps more than actually being the woman in red lipstick.

It takes courage to wear red. Real, tangible, serious confidence. I wouldn’t have had it a year ago, when I was heavier and downtrodden and uncertain about life in general. But 2013, for as tough as it’s been, has also provided opportunities to grow and change and act a little wild.

I walked in from my lunch break yesterday wearing a bright, bright, really really bright red shade. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect kiss-proof shade for the last few days, knowing I want to rock a red lip for the wedding but decidedly do not want my soon-to-be husband to do the same.

A trip to Ulta yielded a sample of a Stila color, but it had flaked and kissed off on my diet soda by mid-afternoon. When Spence and I met to grocery shop in the evening, I “tested” it with a smooch — and, um, yeah. My guy looked freshly kissed, all right. Kind of cute in a romance-novel way, but definitely not going to work before 150 of our nearest and dearest in a few weeks.

A coworker is lovely and quite knowledgeable about all things makeup — and she was impressed with my choice. Though I never leave the house without something on my face, I rarely rock bold shades. I spend way too much time drinking and eating on the job to worry about mussing up my looks and, to be honest, I’m just not that fussy.

But she liked the red lip. With my fair skin, super-dark hair and brown eyes, the red really pops. “You’re high contrast,” she said. “Has anyone ever told you that?”

They hadn’t. But I like it.

Though I feel like a vampy vixen in red lipstick, I also feel a little self-conscious in the shade — almost like I’ve worn a too-revealing dress, you know? Lipstick is reserved for special occasions. And as we draw closer to W-Day, I’ve had to get serious about finding one. I’m having a professional do my makeup that morning, but she recommended getting my own lipstick so I can easily reapply throughout the day. I agreed easily, not too concerned, but I really should have been.

I should have been.

Because finding the perfect no-smudge, gorgeous red lip color ever for my wedding?

Well.

Like always, I’ve turned to the trusty Internet for help with this life-altering decision — and found several lists of recommendations. I imagine I’ll be off to the drugstore on my lunch break for a little research. I’m leaning toward the Revlon or Maybelline products because, well, they’re in my budget. But if anyone has a favorite or some advice, please feel free to share!

I know I’ll find something — and hopefully something my fiance won’t have to wear, too.

And either way, I like the idea of being high contrast . . . a measure in extremes.

I want “bold” to suit me.


Red sunglasses


Making paper roses

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I’m not very interesting these days.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I’m having a hard time coming up with a post topic that isn’t, you know, wedding-related.

Not because I’m an insufferable bridezilla (I’m not — I don’t think). But because, at a month out, I’m not doing much that doesn’t involve moving, ordering wedding things, planning wedding things or generally gathering information for said wedding. The rest of the time I’m working, and that ain’t all that interesting.

I’m in the zone. The wedding zone.

I also feel like my mind is a sieve; I can barely retain any new information because it’s too full of stuff. I live in a constant state of worry that I’m forgetting something, a sensation I know will only intensify in the weeks to come. Even my devotion to lists isn’t helping me now. I need lists to keep track of the lists . . . and I spend a lot of time on Google Drive.

What I have been doing? Making paper roses! Still wedding-related, but let’s roll with it. Thanks to the creativity of my friend Sandy, we’ve been working on those little babies above as part of our literature/science-themed wedding decor. I was perfectly willing to plunk down cash for paper flowers on Etsy, otherwise known as my personal crack, but Sandy was convinced we could make them ourselves.

My sickly wallet thanks me . . . because we totally did. On Friday, we made a girls’ night of folding, cutting and curling vintage book pages into almost 60 roses to place atop our book centerpieces — and they’re fantastic! We followed this tutorial from Capitol Romance, and I was really shocked at how quickly they came together. And how professional they look.

The guide explains the process better than I could ever hope to, but the rough-and-dirty version involves cutting 4″ by 4″ squares from a book page, folding it three times (into a triangle), cutting them into rounded petals, removing a certain number of petals from each, hot gluing them into floral shapes, gluing those together, then curling the edges to give your bud that signature rose look.

But yeah, just check out the tutorial.

And beware the paper cuts.