Like Ordinary Life

Scroll to Info & Navigation

Seven Hundred and Thirty

photo tina-portraits_098_zpse8934127.jpg

"Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.  And when it subsides you have to make a decision.  You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.  Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion… That is just “being in love” which any fool can do.  Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

May your roots grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms fall from your branches, you find out that you are one tree, and not two.” 

Two years ago today, Captain Mandolin’s words were read over us and our closest family and friends. We’ve had 730 days as husband and wife. And it is only just beginning.

Today is a beautiful day for a wedding anniversary. Because it is ours.

photo tina-portraits_104_zps4a0844ce.jpg

You can see other posts from our wedding here. And you should check out Jodi Miller Photography, too.

On Seaweed Wraps and Naked Advice

photo tina-portraits_116_zps76d359e9.jpg

You want to know a secret? I spent $100 and two hours in a seaweed wrap four days before my wedding day because I’d read that it would “tone you up.” Ehhhh. Not so sure about that one. I mean, I guess it worked. It’s really more of a diuretic. Or was that just the bridal nerves kicking in? TMI?

There’s a point to all of this. One of my very good blogger friends (turned real life buddy), Betsy, will be a missus by the end of this very weekend and she’s reached out for some advice on handling the big day. I must say, I handled my big day rather well. For me, at least. My friends and family even tell me that (like, now, nearly two years later when I wouldn’t melt into a puddle if they told me I was bridezilla).

But let’s turn back again to my lovely seaweed wrap, shall we? There I was, standing completely naked, spread eagle like the vitruvian man, with only this paper g-string betwen me and the possibly straight man wrapping my entire body (g-string and all) in seaweed. Whew. Have I ever told you I fall on the “extremely modest and prude” side of the scale? I wanted to curl into a ball and hide.

Anyway, this is what he told me while wrapping stinky seaweed up and around my limbs.

If only for one moment, block it all out and focus on something small. It can be as stupid as the chicken on your plate or the wrinkle in your maid of honor’s dress. Just focus and breathe. Take it all in. That one, tiny little detail. Because the day’s going to fly by- I know you’ve heard that before but it will. And you’ll forget things. You will. It’s just too busy of a day. But right after you’ve captured that stupid, ridiculous little moment, well, that’s when things come into focus. Only then should you look up. You’ll see. And you’ll be so much calmer.

So. True. Do it.

And, Betsy, you should read this one, too. It’s okay to cry about the day. Just remember it’s the first little memory of something incredible to come.

My best wishes to you and Jon this weekend and every weekend to come. Alex and I will be thinking of you. Hugs. Kisses. Tears.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Miller Photography. If you want to see more posts from our wedding, go here.

The One Where I Share My Wedding With You….

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. As if….

Or…. The One Where I Share 5 Ridiculous Hours of My Life With You In 36 Pictures… no less….

Either way, yesterday was rather text heavy. So I’ll just go ahead and call this throwback Thursday right about now… onward with these amazing pictures… 

image

image

image

image

Celtic hand fasting…. important stuff….

image

Alex not sure how faarrrr to put the wedding band on my finger….

image

image

then we celebrated….

image

image

image

image

& we danced…

image

ate….

image

image

image

speeched….

image

& my grandparents rocked the anniversary dance….

image

oh, we did a bridal party dance….. that we learned the night before after the rehearsal dinner (and quite a few too many cocktails)….

image

image

image

& then we all danced….

image

image

umm….

image

& then I tried to kill Alex with a cake knife….

image

image

image

& we had Klines ice cream, too….

image

image

& I played a prank on Alex and put on a dozen garter belts…

image

image

& then we sang Happy Birthday to our photographer, Kurt….

image

tried to soak in every moment before 11pm….

image

image

& said our goodbyes….

image

So I leave you today with the last song played at our wedding (which has come to mean much more to us than our first dance…), thus chosen for your listening pleasure…

You & Me / [unknown] by Dave Matthews Band on Grooveshark

Have room for more wedding craziness? Just go here. And the obligatory, yet so grateful shout out to Jodi Miller Photography!

The Unspoken Truth About Crying On Your Wedding Day

Photobucket

Katie stayed behind after breakfast so that I could dilly dally. Best friends are good for that on your wedding day. They wait for you to shower extra carefully, shaving slow and meticulous. They talk to you while you brush your teeth for an extra few minutes. They listen to your nervous, excited, random talk about who knows what silly detail to come. And then, double checking that everything is where it should be, they notice you are about to forget your dirty underwear at the foot of the bed. When they are certain (because your head isn’t in a place to be certain about packing up and leaving a bed and breakfast right now), they throw your luggage in the trunk and say “Alright! It’s time to go!”.

We took the quick 3 minute drive from Afton Mountain Bed & Breakfast to Veritas Vineyard at about 10 in the morning. Forty-five minutes behind everyone else. Spears of sunlight beamed down over the mountains, creating a shadow of deep crimsons and burnt oranges over the landscape. The wind was howling in that “stay inside, but near a window because it’s magical out here” type of way. I was doing well.

One, maybe two, groups of visitors stood around the tasting room. Prime time to visit before the weekend rush. The fire crackled and snapped for no one but me. Everyone else was too busy to notice. Hugs, kisses, “happy wedding day!” wishes from each and every staff member as we walk through. We know them by name now. And the warm welcome was just what the doctor ordered.

The morning went slow. And fast. Time. For how planned out the day was from 2pm on, the chunk right there in the morning… well, I couldn’t figure out whether it was going too slow or too fast. I still couldn’t tell you. Until it happened.

Somewhere around 12:30. So early. “Tina. They need you in the bridal suite. It’s time for your hair and makeup.” I quicken my pace. Busy myself. Mutter something or other in the form of an excuse. I’m sure it was decent enough. But it only lasted a few minutes. Someone else. More excuses. It was Katie who finally led me upstairs to the bridal suite. Where I lost it.

Nobody warned me about this part. The part where the bulldozer runs you straight over, without looking back. It speeds up, too. Faster and faster. Once it starts running, it doesn’t stop.

“It’s okay. It happens to every bride. But he loves you so much and you will be….”

“No, it’s not that!” I am not sure how I did it- how I formulated words to describe the flooding emotions that kept me from moving forward with my day. But I did. “I don’t want it to start because once it starts, it will end. And I don’t want the day to end.”

But I let it happen. I let the day start. From here, a year later, I understand why I lost it. But I wish I could go back and tell myself that every day after that day’s “end” will be better than I thought life could ever be because that special, particular day, in fact, “ended”. And now I am my best friend’s wife. And he is my husband.

Being a bride is strange. Obsessive amounts of blood, sweat, and tears feed into that one day. When, really, it’s about the lifelong adventure that follows that one day. So, yes, I melted into a slobbering mess over the fear of October 21, 2011 coming to its inevitable close. And, yes, I am happy that it ended.

(I bet that you were wondering when the pictures would begin. Or, you just skipped down to this point and that’s okay, too.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

P.S. Have I told you yet today how amazing Jodi & Kurt are? Yeah. They took all of these pictures. They made me look beautiful (sorry, it was my wedding day. I’m allowed to say that).

To see more of our wedding, go here. :)

In the Details…..

After much consideration…. I mean, we’re talking months of the agonizing back and forth over how exactly (or even if) to share our wedding day with you, I threw my hands up in the air and said, out loud, looking Misha directly in the face, “Why the heck not?” She blinked, rested her head back down and that was that. Wedding Week. Day 1. (Yes, that means to stop back tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that…) Here we go!

Which is why you get a special treat today. Wedding details. Everyone’s favorite. And I know you’re nosy. I am, too. So the majority of these details are handmade by my mom and I. Hundreds of mason jars. Dozens of lace doilies collected from various antique hideaways this side of the Mississippi. Diamonds my dad gave my mom set in a necklace. My shoes are from J.Crew (Are you surprised? Because you shouldn’t be.) And, oh, my mom did the flowers. She sort of demanded it. I simply obliged. (I’m a lucky girl, aren’t I?) I mean, just look at them!!!!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Oh, and lastly, this is the first of many plugs to come. We had the world’s best photographers. Talk about fortune. A lifetime of thanks and accolades would not leave me feeling satisfied with the level of gratitude we wish to send their way. But this can only help. So go over to Jodi Miller Photography and waste a few hours in their romantic, gorgeous, perfect little photography world. You won’t be sorry you did. 

And more wedding happiness can be found here.

Back to the Days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

How about a smackerel of honey? (now is the time when you press play and read on…)

Return to Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins & Amy Grant on Grooveshark

Among several other traits, some great and some horrible, my sweet tooth came from my father. Boy, the two of us have an appreciation for sweets. And espresso. But if I were to sit here and list all of the traits I’ve inherited from my dad, we’d be here for awhile. Plus, I’m not too sure I want to share all of my bad habits with the world.

Happy birthday, dad. I love you. I hate you. You are my best friend. I can’t stand you. You make me laugh. You make me furious. You know exactly what to say. You are the smartest geek I’ve ever met. You are the coolest old guy I’ve ever met. My best teacher. My biggest annoyance. You’re my dad. And you’re irreplaceable. I am a lucky kid. Thank you for being a pretty decent guy. ;)

Our father-daughter dance was the first and easiest selection made for the wedding playlist. One of those, “well, duh, what else would it be?” sort of things. Happy birthday, dad!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Wedding photography courtesy of Jodi Miller Photography.

A Message in a Bottle

Once upon a time someone took me on a scavenger hunt. My adventure had rhyming riddles, secret hidden boxes, a message in a bottle, quiet walks through the woods, freshly made ice cream, meteor showers and a very extraordinary gift at the end. I traveled far and wide searching for each clue. And each clue had a meaning, a specific meaning, and an importance to my life. I learned patience, used my intuition, and enjoyed every single minute of it.

Turns out a certain someone worked really hard for several months to make sure it would be my perfect scavenger hunt. And turns out he was right; it was perfect.

The last time Alex and I were up at our family cottage on Lake Michigan, we were just dating. That was two years ago, this month. That trip was the start of something very, very special. So special, in fact, that it’s still one of my favorite memories.

image

A typical sunset at the lake. We went for our evening walk and he kept telling me to look for messages in bottles. I was getting annoyed with it. I didn’t care about finding stupid washed up trash.

image

The first of several ridiculous faces found in this blog post. Like my sunburn? If I knew Alex was going to start a week-long proposal that night, I would’ve lathered the sunscreen. The wine bottle used for my “message in a bottle” is from one of our favorite vineyards in Virginia. There’s the ring box. Empty. Filled with a silly little note. And our special piece of driftwood- from our first trip to Lake Michigan together. (One of those crazy couple things that nobody else will understand).

image

Yes, it says “tushi”. I think he’s talking about my behind. So we’re all clear on that one. And off to sushi we went….

image

image

That’s Tsunami, our favorite sushi joint in Annapolis. Cheers to that. (Told ya you’d see some ridiculous faces).

image

There aren’t really any pictures from this stop on the hunt. Rams Head is our favorite happy hour spot in Annapolis. My best friend, Ariel, worked there and was supposed to give it to me with my food. But- glitch in the plan- Ariel was on her family vacation that same week.

image

Then we drove all the way down to JMU in the Blue Ridge mountains… where we met and went to school. My JMU clue was in an ice cream cone that said “Klines” (the local amazing ice cream joint in our college’s town) with a purple and gold box inside. We had Klines ice cream at our wedding. It’s that good.

image

Disgustingly cute yet necessary picture in front of Wilson Hall while on the quad.

image

Meander Inn Bed and Breakfast clue. Delivered at breakfast, in that little bed (do you see it, there center bottom of the picture?).

image

Remember that wine bottle from clue #1? Welp, here we are at Delfosse Vineyard for a clue. See that little box covered in wine corks? He’s a creative man, that Alex. Mmmm…. wine and cheese.

image

Can you see it? At the summit of our hike up Humpback Rocks, at the edge there? That’s another clue in that green box.

image

image

Pointing to our point on the Appalachian Trail.

image

That’s just our dinner view of Afton Mountain. We came back here 14 months later to get married under that view. 

image

Another day, another clue. Crabtree Falls- where he took me hiking on our very first date. It’s where we had our “Garden State” moment (you know, the big, tell all kiss). It’s where we return year after year to visit our beginnings. This was where my scavenger hunt would end.

image

We packed a picnic for our hike. And ate on a rock with that amazing view.

image

image

I find out later that my dad’s advice was “Now, you’re both going to be nervous, so make sure the ring doesn’t fall in the waterfall.” Look at me, knocking that engagement ring out like it’s my job to lose it. What you don’t see is Alex behind the camera going “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

image

image

image

More weird faces. I know, I should stick to smiling.

image

Then, the knee went down and I got a diamond.

image

We took our first fiance picture together….

image

and ate our picnic on a rock.


*Filed under Married Life and Wanderlust Life*

An Invitation…

So…. we received a pretty exciting piece of mail over the weekend. (Consider this my RSVP)

Yay!:

 image

See, that’s Phinu. And her awesome fiance, Dan. When I received my roommate and dorm information for freshman year, I called my dad up and told him I had a problem… I couldn’t pronounce my roommate’s name. And from that moment on, we were a match made in JMU-random-selection-dormitory-heaven. Kinda…

And this is Phinu hitting on my husband at our wedding while her fiance looks on and I clearly don’t seem to care the least:

image

Wedding invitations. It’s a curse word in our household. This time last year, I truly turned into Bridezilla. Combine my Type A personality with a little bit of OCD, a smidgen of perfectionism, then go ahead and put a craft project in front of me. You will definitely get a monster. I try to avoid paper related crafts. You should see what happens when I try to decorated my classroom bulletin boards.

I digress.

I turned our dining room table into an assembly line and f-r-e-a-k-e-d out. Making sure every little number on the back of the response cards matched with our spreadsheet. Making sure I pasted the invites smack dab center on the foldable. Oh, and then there were the silly little enclosures. Lining those bad boys up. On top of that, the Post Office. Do not mess with them. By the time I was in there, hand canceling each and every one of them, I never wanted to set foot in a USPS office again. Ugh. Perfectionist over here was not a happy camper. 

As soon as Phinu and Dan’s invitation came in the mail, I could see that hard work all over again. My heart kind of sunk for Phinu, knowing what she’s been through this past month. But, their invites turned out great! I love them, PN! Plus, it’s all part of a bigger plan to throw me off from my surprise birthday party… right? Just kidding. I couldn’t be happier to spend the rest of my birthdays sharing the day with their anniversary. I’ll probably remember their anniversary better than my own. I say that seriously…

So, because it’s best to let bygones be bygones and move on with life, I will show you my finished product, circa July 2011. Every bride gets a moment of Bridezilla-dom right? Sorry, people. It could have been a lot worse.

I mean, seriously.

image

(this next one is the professional one, thanks to Jodi and Kurt)

image

image

Yay!

*Filed under Married Life*

A Beautiful Day

image

A little over 5 months ago on a crisp, bright, blessed fall day in the blue ridge mountains, Alex and I married in front of the people who make up our lives.  A day doesn’t pass without reminiscing on the laughter and tears from that day.  It was truly a beautiful day.  Charlottesville has a new wedding planning website and somehow we landed a feature role on it with our fall Veritas wedding.  For a peak into our little feature, head over to Borrowed and Blue.

Photography by Jodi Miller Photography.

*Filed under Married Life*