All posts filed under “thoughts

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Words from my desktop, circa January.

It’s not entirely untrue, although it’s almost June. I am, after all, relaunching this.

Other stuff has been coming along, slowly, as everything that isn’t instantaneous is.

My words and goals for 2014 are HABITS and SYSTEMS. As in, I want more of those in the everyday so that the THINKING and DECIDING can be saved for the stuff that matters.

More on all of this, as this small corner of the world where I can do and be All the Things at once unfolds.

Here’s what’s happening in my life right now:

acting : Last fall I was in a short written and directed by the marvelous Alix Bannon, and the existence (dare I say success?!) of that has motivated me to get my act together and get headshots and cobble together a website. Simultaneously, I’m also working on a web series and a small workshop of a play. goals : actor website. maybe take another class? look into this whole audition and be a real actor thing.
businessI’m working more than ever right now, which is nothing to complain about. The money comes in faster, but the other stuff gets done slower. I’m learning a ton, and planning to organize my copious collection of books, podcasts, and webinars so I can learn even more without that feeling of drowning in the internet.
goals : experiment with hiring a very PT assistant. find the time and energy to get one just more work project off the ground.
food and health : This is one place the systems and habits come in. I’ve been cooking more and I enjoy it, but sometimes it feels like a huge time suck. Sometimes just eating feels like a time suck. goals : Finally conquer meal planning, and develop systems and habits around eating, exercise, meditation.
home : We just wrapped up a massive renovation project, and S insisted we take a break before plowing forward with other things. There is still SO much purging I could do. goals : PURGING. kitchen. front garden. back garden. ugh.
style : Speaking of purging. Sometimes I feel like our bedroom is a clothing management center with a bed in it. Sometimes I feel like a sizable chunk of my life is devoted to clothing management. goals : Do something about the above?
thoughts : I have them. About kids/no kids, goals, feminism, dreams, life.
travel : A very brief getaway is in our future. After that, who knows. It’s like when you have money saved to go shopping and there’s nothing to buy and you just lose interest.
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Camp Mighty 2012

I’m going. Here is my life list. I’m sorry I don’t have more to say about this right now. I’ve got shit to do.

1. Learn to play drums.
2. Hike Macchu Picchu.
3. Get pink/purple ombre highlights.
4. Blog/photography project of NYC facades and eventually other cities.
5. Write, pitch and publish my first ever article for a “real” publication (print or online).
6. Hang out with lemurs in Madagascar.
7. Start up a stuffed animal swapping/adoption site. Because I still can’t just give them
away to anybody.
8. Have my own business.
9. Own a Fiat 500.
10. Eat at least 1 extravagant dinner a year.
11. Learn how to meal plan and grocery shop really effectively.
12. OR Make enough money to afford food delivery.
13. Act in a play.
14. Visit Iceland in the summer and also in the winter.
15. Drive around the SW in a vintage convertible.
16. Visit all the beachs in Croatia.
17. Visit the Trulli in Italy.
18. Go to Israel with Nicole.
19. Visit Marfa, Tx.
20. Return to Ozona, Tx.
21. Dance on pointe again.
22. Fly first class on one of those fold-down beds.
23. See the pyramids (for my mom).
24. See Petra.
25. Be photographed by Bill Cunningham.
26. Stay in the ice hotel.
27. Hole up on a cliffside in Greece.
28. Become a lawyer.
29. Own a pool.
30. Try living in South America.
31. Stay in that treehouse hotel in Dominica.
32. Go to Carnival in Trinidad.
33. Save, share and celebrate historic homes (like La Selva) in a lucrative way.
34. Sail down the Amazon.
35. Hole up in the English countryside – preferably where Doc Martin takes place.
36. Stay at that hotel in Kenya where the giraffes stick their heads in the window.
37. See orangutans in the wild.
38. Learn to sing one song that won’t embarrass me at karaoke.
39. Visit Komodo Island and see the dragons.
40. Stay in an overwater bungalow in French Polynesia or the Maldives.
41. Get my yoga certification in Bali.
42. Learn archery.
43. Buy a crumbling building in Italy.
44. Swim with whale sharks.
45. Learn massage.
46. Write a fantasy novel.
47. Publish a book.
48. Go on a spiritual pilgrimage.
49. See the gorillas in Uganda with my college anthro professor.
50. Go yachting in the Mediterranean.
51. See blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos.
52. Go glamping.
53. Open a bar.
54. Write a screenplay from one of my favorite books.
55. Appear in Vogue.
56. Visit Hagia Sofia.
57. See a capybara in the wild.
58. Run a marathon.
59. See one of the ideas on my very long list turned into a tv show. (J.J. Abrams, where
are you?)
60. Birdwatch on every continent.
61. Learn spanish web/silks.
62. Drive from LA to Seattle on PCH with Scott.
63. See the pigs in the Exumas.
64. See Great Whites breach in South Africa.
65. Teach personal finance to high school/college kids (and their parents).
66. Open a gourmet milkshake shop.
67. Join Mensa.
68. Visit Djibouti because well, have you seen it?
69. Somehow transform my love of hotels into a career.
70. Flip houses.
71. Live like a king in Patagonia
72. Live in London.
73. See the non-touristy part of the Great Wall of China.
74. Have a purpose that makes me excited to get out of bed every morning.
75. Get my teeth fixed.
76. Take a cooking class with Carla Hall.
77. Swim with dolphins.
78. Make a quilt.
79. Brave a small plane in Belize.
80. Live for a while in Merida, Mx.
81. Act in a movie. Act in a movie that people see.
82. Learn ballroom dancing.
83. See marmosets and tarsiers in the wild
84. Cage dive with sharks.
85. Learn to scuba dive.
86. Go to Martinique.
87. Show Scott Hawaii.
88. Learn fencing.
89. Find out who my grandfather’s birth parents were.
90. See the Northern Lights.
91. Go hiking in the Himalayas.
92. Volunteer with the sloths in Costa Rica.
93. Stay in every room at the Roxbury Motel.
94. Take my 10 best friends on vacation somewhere amazing for my 40th birthday.
95. Get a PhD in history or cultural studies.
96. Take a writing class from Erica Jong.
97. Learn Spanish.
98. Learn about Ayurveda.
99. Visit Easter Island and see the statues.
100. Help renovate a French chateau
101. Trace my roots in Ireland and Germany.
102. Visit Yves St Laurent’s house in Morocco.
103. Work on an HGTV show.
104. Visit Philip Johnson’s The Glass House.
105. Own a dog.

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Birthday : Goals

photo of yours truly by the mr, scott eric johnson

For the past few years I’ve been doing a year in review .pdf thing courtesy of Marcus Buckingham after I read one of his books and signed up for his mailing list. (It’s the only thing I’ve ever gotten from his mailing list, and it has just now occurred to me that I hope tons of good stuff hasn’t been trapped in a spam filter or something.)

Essentially you write down the highs and lows of the past year, what you learned, what your goals are for the coming year and how you plan to achieve them.

Because I’m a procrastinator, doing this exercise gets later and later every year, and has now settled around my birthday, which I think is as good a time as any. My outlook on the prior year has gelled, and I have a decent stock of where I am and what I can get done in the next 8 months. Sometimes my goals are Mondo Beyondo level unrealistic and others have been downright manageable.

In an unprecedented move of transparency, this year I’ve decided to share some of them.

Here are the juicy ones:

1)  Create business plan, packages, website and take on 1 new client.
Now that I’ll be working from home and the proud owner of an extra 10 hours of time a week, I’ve decided I want to officially brand myself as a business manager, and reach out to creative solopreneurs and tiny businesses who are finding they can no longer do it all themselves and need administrative and strategic help, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring “staff”.

2. Focus on Honeymoon Diaries as a blog people might actually read, and/or as a potential business or stepping stone to other career opportunities.
Here’s the thing. I’d like my work to entail looking at photos of hotels all day. Yes, this sounds like a ridiculous thing to do for a living, but there are lots of bloggers and others doing ridiculous things for money, so why shouldn’t I be one of them? And yes, asking the universe for this scares the crap out of me for several reasons. Mostly because I don’t do well with good things happening to me, and so I can’t handle or imagine how GOOD it would be. How happy PLAYING in the world of pretty travel dreams makes me. Happy like a little kid happy. Summer mornings happy. Even though I’m now putting it out there for the world to see, I can’t imagine actually letting myself want this, this thing that I already do day in and day out, at least when I’m not actively avoiding the things that make me happy. (Which is a big issue for another post and possibly a therapist.) At the very least, if Jetsetter’s recent Pinterest contest showed Aimee and I anything, it’s that we’re not the only ones that want to look at travel photos all day.

3. Continue taking acting classes and find out what it is I’d have to do to do more with it:
Well this is a BIG and SCARY one. Perhaps the biggest and the scariest. The thing is, I like acting. A lot. I’d like to see what it’d be like to do more of it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, except the little voice that’s told me since childhood that the bananas-ness of “being an actor” is so, well, bananas, that I might as well not bother. Except that I have started bothering and all I want to do is see what it would be like to do a teensy bit more, so that stupid voice can shut the fuck up right now.

4. Write article about orphans and investing. Look into whether there are any personal finances blogs or components of personal finance blogs for high school and college kids out there. Get involved.
This is a good one, in two parts. See, I’ve been really into $$$ this year, and specifically I’ve been thinking about how us young adult orphans react to investing for retirement. When, you know, we saw our parents not make it to retirement. This feels like a real article, meant for somewhere bigger than this blog. And thusly, I’d like to make it so. And then keep that ball rolling.


So that dear readers, are my big scary goals for 29. I should probably try to have some fun in there too.

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Birthday Update

Boy, if this were a paper journal, it sure would be dusty right now.

In other words, it’s been a while.

A lot of things have been afoot since the wedding and I never quite got around to “announcing” them, possibly because it felt like they deserved announcing and not offhanded mentioning, which is more my style.

Yesterday being my birthday, it seemed as good a time as any to make a list, and then we’ll all be up to speed in a matter of minutes…

1) I never quite got my mind back the way it was, but I’m doing better.
Sometimes I miss the single-minded pursuit of things that academia and film—and the wedding—gives me, but I never miss the catatonic state the end of a project leaves me in. Especially when I don’t have a winter or summer or otherwise unemployed break to binge drink and get reacquainted with my inner monologue.

2) Starting in July, I’m going to be doing one of my jobs from home.
This was decided sometime last year, but it was so up in the air that I was in a perpetual  state of “I’ll believe it when I see it” until there was a definite deadline. But now it’s happening, and I won’t have to commute 3 whole days a week, meaning I’ll have an extra 10 hours to do exciting things with, plus the new setup should make my time that much more efficient in general.

3) I’ve already allocated all my newfound time:

3a) I’m starting a business. It’s going to be me, doing what I do, providing administrative, logistical and all-around support to solopreneurs and tiny companies (ideally ladies with world domination in mind!), who don’t yet have the need or funds for steady staff, but who are no longer able to do it all on their own.

3b) I’m already starting to work with a company that markets the historic mansions and museums here on Long Island (an awesome intersection between history, architecture, interior design, and luxury that I’ve loved since childhood).

4) Scott lost his job.
We saw this one coming, and were wondering if it’d be before or after wedding. Turns out it was after, the week before Thanksgiving. Meh. It was a bit of a financial blow after paying for a wedding and a honeymoon, but we were lucky that we hadn’t gone into any debt from that, just didn’t have quite as much in the bank as I’d have liked. On the plus side, we spent most of December taking some super fun weekend trips. Ok, that didn’t help the budget, I know.

5) We took our third acting class.
More on this in a future post. I know, that’s the problem I’ve been having with not getting everything on here, but this one I’ve already started writing. And I’ll finish writing. Pinkie swear. Anyway, we did and it was maybe the best one yet, and I’m so happy that we have this extracurricular and the group of people that comes with it in our lives.

5) Scott found a job.
I should probably back up a bit, and this should probably get it’s own post, but we have this secret plan to be able to work from anywhere and spend a few months out of each year traveling/living abroad. Soo…I wasn’t took keen on him getting another full-time job, when he could take unemployment and spend the time beefing up his portfolio to begin doing freelance work for himself. But then a recruiter found him on LinkedIn. And the job sounded like a step up from his previous job. And he mentioned working from home and/or part-time. And they seemed amenable to that. And it was going to work. And then it wasn’t going to work. And it was a stressful couple of weeks, but in the end he got exactly what he wanted – 2 days in the office, 2 days from home, and Fridays off. HUGE, I tell you.

And that’s where we are.

~ We’re going to Googa Mooga this weekend. Super excited. There will likely be lots of instagramming.
~ We visit Zan’s farm before she and the Cowboy head off on a new adventure!
~ I finally sort of mostly finish cleaning out the last room in the house (to become my office) , though we still have bins in the shed and it’s all going to drag on longer, that’s for sure.
~ We go to Mexico in July – a few days on a catamaran and several days at a resort that looks like we shouldn’t be able to afford it.

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Thoughts : Commute

Thursday, April 26

I’m mostly writing this because I feel like clicking keys are the only defense I have right now over obnoxiousness. Clacking keys drive Scott crazy on the train but I have a feeling they won’t drive the guy next to me crazy because he’s so drunk I can not only smell it on his breath, but he sat on an empty soda bottle that was on the seat next to me. I mean, sat on it. I don’t know how that’s possible. I don’t think anybody’s ass is large enough to flatten a plastic half liter soda bottle enough to mitigate sitting on it for an hour. This is what is breaking me.

That anonymous comment this morning on my half-joking, half-true LIRR rant only upset me momentarily, until I had formulated a fair but firm response to it. But it + my usual shitty commute got me thinking about the part that’s not in that post, the part I don’t like admitting to because who likes to admit their weaknesses?

I wish I had meant none of what I wrote there. I wish I had a smaller personal space bubble, I wish I wasn’t claustrophobic on places like trains and airplanes. I wish I could ignore or—even better—not notice people’s rudeness. I wish, like sooooo many New Yorkers, I was blissfully OBLIVIOUS.

But I’m not.

And my frustrations with all of those things can leak out as snark. I don’t think that’s such a harmful way to deal. At least it seems better than other options—like the excessive drinking of the seatmate mentioned at the beginning of this post, whose initial muttering to himself dissolved into unintelligible gurgling noises by the time he got off an hour later.

(And at least I’m not alone in my frustrations or snark, as the comments on this Gothamist post happily reminded me.)

For the past month Scott has been “trial working” for a company that was looking for a full-time designer, but seemed open to negotiating to work-from-home and/or part-time, and then the owner said “never mind” after Scott had already worked out an agreement with the guy who would’ve been his boss. When this all came down on Monday, there was a brief moment in time where he was considering agreeing to full-time.

And I almost lost it—on the train, appropriately enough. Because I thought we were getting out of this. I thought the commuting was almost over. I thought the living in NY would be over in the next few years. I thought we had a plan. And then for a scary moment I thought—like those horrible stories of people’s whose partners leave them with no warning—maybe I had been planning all of this alone.

And I realized, I am so far at the end of my rope, with commuting, with NY, with having the same life that has not changed in 5 years, that I would do it alone if it came down to it. Maybe this is taboo, but my sanity is more important than anything or anyone, and it’s slowly crumbling under the the mind-numbing monotony that is my day-to-day existence. I look at all these people on these trains everyday, and they all look as fucking miserable as me. Just older. Worse for the wear. Often drunk. I can’t wake up in another 5 years and be one of those people.

I know right now I’m talking about a lot of big changes and plans that I haven’t even mentioned on this blog, and I know I’m horribly out of the loop and wrapped up in my own shit. (Wasn’t the selfishness supposed to recede after the wedding?) But I had to get this off my chest, and out into the universe. Changes are coming, and I don’t care if none of it is “safe”, financially or otherwise. Y’all can just point me right back here, to this day and this post, when we’ve living in a van down by the river.

And now back to my blogging sabbatical.

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Wedding : Lost, One Mind.



Somewhere around three weeks before our wedding, I lost my mind.


If anyone’s seen it, I would very much like it back.


The last time I remember being okay was for Yay NY! The next week was so chock full of WEDDING the stress adrenaline obliterated any faint traces of a hangover.


And so it would be until October. (Because yes, our honeymoon was at least as stressful as the wedding, if not more so.)


The task-juggling was so bad that from waking till sleep I did not waste a breath on anything that wasn’t “productive”. I might as well have had my To Do lists tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.


It sounds awful but it felt like I was flying. I have never before gotten SO MUCH DONE. For once in my life I had a single clear cut purpose. WEDDING. Oh, and keeping the rest of my [our] lives afloat.


That was the hard part.


As the scales tipped more and more in favor of WEDDING, I started to get a wee bit absentminded about other things. I’d forget to pay a bill here or there. Things at work would fall between the cracks.


One night when I attempted to slow down for a moment, as we were watching TV a commercial came on and while I was staring at it, a million and one things running through my brain, I completely lost my mind.


I turned to Scott and asked him what show we were watching, because honest to god, I could not for the life of me remember back to a moment earlier. He thought I was kidding and began laughing at me, while I struggled to overcome the greatest brain fart in the history of my existence.


But I couldn’t remember. He had to tell me. It was terrifying.


I thought immediately after the wedding my mind would come back. I mean, ALL THE THINGS are off the calendar and the To Do list.


And then when this didn’t happen right away I figured it would just take a bit of adjustment.


Well now it’s January, and yesterday morning I flat out forgot about a dentist appointment until it was too late to go.


Scott said everyone does that kind of thing occasionally.


Not me. I’ve never done something like that in my life.


It’s been nearly four months.


I’d like my mind back.

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Taking a break.



The reason I think Scott’s a tremendous photographer, even without much practice or training, is that he manages to capture the essence of people in those moments where they don’t have have any kind of mask up.


Like this photo, which, in all its tremendous hilarity and irony, is me.


I am so stressed out.


Even in Ravello, looking at that view, on my honeymoon, I’m just so stressed out. *I* don’t even know why—because I’m breathing maybe?


And it’s gotta stop.


Before I get wrinkles.


So I’m taking a break.


I really wish it meant I was going somewhere like this.



(I’m not, but thankfully there is a little pool and spa time in my future.)


Or even taking a four-day weekend off from work.


But I can’t.


Instead my break’s going to have to be a little more metaphorical.


For the holidays, until at least January 4th and possibly forever, I’m going to take a break from trying so damn hard. A bit of a break from the mentally constructed have-to’s, if you will.


See, I have to work. But it doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass. In fact, it can be easy. I said I’d go in today to install some computer programs. Maybe I’ll answer some emails. But I’m not going to let anybody bother me or turn anything into an emergency. Monday I might work from home or not work at all.


I don’t have to blog. But that doesn’t mean I won’t. Maybe I’ll actually feel like it. (I probably will feel like it when it comes to the nosy bitch gift exchange!)


I might read or do laundry. Hopefully I’ll read a bunch of blogs and magazines. But who knows, maybe I’ll nap or watch movies the whole time. It would be good to do some mending. I’d love to fix that hole in my sweater poncho so I can wear it again…


Because despite being in a constant race to discover what I should be doing with my life, I’m not really getting anywhere.


So I’m going to see where giving up and giving in gets me.


And if it’s nowhere but three months of sitting on the couch older, then I’ll reconsider this new approach.

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Weekend : Asking for it.


Fiat 500 me and the Fiat500. getting to it, getting to it…


As we have previously discussed, I have a jest a touch of social anxiety.




For example, the other day at work my boss offhandedly mentioned needing to get in touch with the building dog-walker because the friend that was cat sitting for her over the holidays would be away for a few days around Christmas. A few hours later I happened to be in the lobby waiting for the elevator when I overheard a dog walker arrive and mention filling in for the regular guy. Now a normal person would’ve easily walked over to her and asked about getting her or the regular guy’s contact info.


And so for 5 minutes I was a normal person.


Because I did just that.


And that was HUGE for me. Seriously, embarrassingly huge. I was beaming proud of myself for a half an hour.


It’s like, which is more embarrassing, right? Approaching a stranger being a huge deal, or wanting to tell everyone I know that I had the courage to approach a stranger?!


But in all seriousness, I realized that recognizing/acknowledging my achievement as such, was huge in and of itself. What I more often do is berate myself for being such a wuss—regardless of whether I take action or remain frozen with fear. So yea, apparently mental congratulations are apparently way more rewarding and motivating.


Because not two days later did I get even gutsier.


We were going away for the weekend on Friday, and on Thursday morning I looked out the window from the train at the parked cars and idly wondered to myself, Wouldn’t it be awesome if our rental car was a Mini Cooper…or EVEN BETTER, my personal reachable dream car, a FIAT 500?!


Well, as the Universe would have it, we roll up to Enterprise the next morning and sitting in the parking lot is a shiny white Fiat 500. Scott and I both ogle in unison and wonder aloud if it could possibly be a rental. He is convinced it belongs to a person.


“I’m asking,” I announce.


It has suddenly become glaringly obvious that it doesn’t really matter if the car is a rental or if we can rent it. (Though in my heart I’m already convinced it’s there for me and me alone.) What matters is KNOWING if the car is a rental or not. I knew I had to ask because the thought of sitting through a 3 hour drive upstate in a Ford Focus wondering if we could’ve been in a Fiat 500 was just unbearable.


And so we went inside and the second sentence out of my mouth might have been, “So, is the Fiat yours and if so, is it available?”


And you know what, ladies and gentleman [hi Scott], IT WAS.




My question was greeted by a room full of grinning women (it’s a whole nother story about why I was happy to be in a room full of women but suffice it to say that a previous Enterprise rep who made fun of myself and my friends for chatting about a Fiat 500 3 years ago is something I’m still angry about), that were over the moon about renting me the Fiat.


And so we took the little lady for the weekend, and were honestly just as happy with her comfort and driving skills as we had hoped to be—but I’ll save the car review for another time.


And then, because I am on a fucking roll here people, I asked if it was possible to request the Fiat for our next rental New Year’s weekend. And it was noted in my reservation.


And THEN, between drafting this last nite and posting it tonite, I totally grabbed yet-to-be-stocked polenta out of a carton in Trader Joe’s because I wanted it for dinner, and dammit if they’d yet to put it in the freezer case.


Apparently, I’m breaking all the rules here people, so just try and stop me.


our little buddy

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Wedding : Something Blue


Keriann & Scott 0044 © Jimena Roquero Photography

© jimena roquero photography
doing my hair. myself. (with help.) the one thing i was afraid of…


I hate losing things.


And by hate I mean, I have a sneaking suspicion I have some strand of mental illness centered around losing things.


I hate it so much I simply do not lose things.


Except sometimes I do.


Not so much “lose” as “leave somewhere I cannot retrieve them”.


The last thing I lost was a grey American Apparel circle scarf that I left at a bar on Nicole’s birthday in February this year. It was pretty devastating because the scarf that I thought (for once!) was easily replaceable apparently was not due to a dramatic backslide in the quality of American Apparel’s fabrics since I got it several years ago.


But what does all this have to do with the wedding you ask?


Well as I was getting ready, my ponytail holder broke, and my friend Aimee lent me one of hers with the apology that it was blue. But hey!, my something blue!


After the wedding I intended on taking it off and putting it in the pile of things to scrapbook, silly as it may have been, Except I continued using it instead. Hey, I don’t lose things, remember.


So I wore it to Italy and have been wearing it everyday since, right up until yesterday.


When I lost it.


Or rather, left it at the hotel.


I think.


And it’s not like housekeeping is going to not throw out a nondescript ponytail holder.


So I have been forced to come to terms with losing it. Mostly by berating myself for being so overdramatically sentimental and attached to objects, and publicly shaming myself in this forum.


Cruel, but I think that that worked.

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Weekend : Awesome

I had a really great weekend.

It was fun, but it was also meaningful. Friday on Twitter there was an ongoing discussion about weddings [imagine that], and loving or not loving one’s wedding, including whether it felt huge or not.

While I haven’t talked about it much yet, I can decidedly say my wedding did not feel huge. And oddly enough, for better or worse, this weekend felt more quietly huge than the wedding certainly did.

So I’m probably going to talk about it a lot. But not right now. Because I don’t feel like talking about much of anything. Which I will also talk about later.

I’ll leave you here with that photo that pretty much sums up what I’ve yet to talk about.

Sorry for the mystery…