The weather was better this year. The sort of crispness in the air that warms immediately under the sun’s gentle bath. The breeze was nearly impossible to notice, but there enough to stir the air up and keep the day moving. The day was a no-hurry day. The type of day best spent walking the length of a wooden fence, down to the vines where you can hide in between the grapes and let the rest of the world just disappear. It would’ve made for a perfect wedding day.
It wasn’t the same this time. We melted in with the crowds, just another couple escaping to the mountains for the reds and oranges in the trees, a glass of spectacular wine, and a break from life. The tasting room staff pitched their wine club to us, along with the couples to our left and right. To our left, an overweight couple straight out of cheap wine-ville dumped practically every ounce of their tastings. To our right, a young couple, perhaps our age, downed their tastings as if it were a race. After our tasting partners dispersed, paying their $10 tasting fees and moving along, we gently asked for a bottle of Petit Verdot to take home and discreetly let the young man pouring know that we already, happily, are wine club members.
It was someone else’s wedding day. And we preferred it that way. Because as the bride and her maids lined up alone the side of the building, posing for picture and picture, and the staff busily lined rows upon rows of chairs for the ceremony, we sat with our cheese plate and simply remembered.
Sometimes it’s good to keep a low profile. Moments become more special when you know that nobody else is watching. And so it was, a little over a week ago, that we celebrated our 1 year anniversary, back on the same ground where we said “I do”, with nobody watching.
…. and we sat on the porch steps and watched the wedding unfold. I can’t think of a better way to spend our first anniversary.
Did you miss wedding recap week? You can see all of the pictures and all of the memories here.
IT’S FRIDAY! Not only Friday, but a no-work Friday over here! It’s looking like a great 3 day weekend!
Dear Hubcap, I love you because you go to three stores looking for Octoberfest, find it, and buy them out because Sam Adams is done with it for the year.
Dear Pre-K friends, You are ridiculous. You speak English (a little) now. But I’m still either “Byland” or “Mister Byland”. I’m going to begin pulling small groups to teach you how to properly say “Mrs. Byland”. Yikes.
Dear Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Thank you for giving us our wedding day off last year. And thank you for giving us a long weekend for our anniversary this year. We know you did it jussstttt for us. ;)
Dear Renaissance Festival, Turkey legs aren’t good. I’m disappointed Now that I eat meat, I had high expectations. You let me down.
Dear Alex, One year ago, you were the best groom ever. You don’t make a bad husband, either.
Dear Sara, Katie, Erin, Ariel and Stephanie, Thank you for putting up with me last year. You were the best bridesmaids ever. I had so much fun with you. And you don’t make too bad of friends, either. ;) I love you.
Dear our entire wedding party, You were awesome. To this day, my favorite memory of the wedding was sneaking downstairs to the cellar and passing the Gentleman’s Jack around while everyone was upstairs enjoying the reception. Thanks for that.
Dear Jodi & Kurt, We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. You are the world’s best wedding photogs. Thanks for that!
Dear Readers, Thank you for indulging me this week with all of my wedding memories. We’re off to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow. That way this blog can get back to normal.
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 it’s 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.)
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).
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!!!!
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.
How about a smackerel of honey? (now is the time when you press play and read on…)
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!
Wedding photography courtesy of Jodi Miller Photography.
I’ll have you know I am only on day 3 of 6 of our Whirlwind Cowboy Adventure to Texas. And we haven’t even gotten to my birthday and Phuongnhu’s wedding yet! It’s coming, I promise. But the house is getting dirty, and behind, and so today we’re playing ketchup. And mustard. Or simply “housekeeping”. Here we go….
1. Have you noticed my friends over there——————>? That’s my sisterhood. Except we don’t share traveling pants. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Kristin, from Kristin’s Veranda, is most likely the sweetest girl in blogland. I absolutely love her slice of internet paradise and I spend maybe a bit too much time on her blog. And did you see these? If you follow me on Facebook, you already know how much I’m in love with them!
Sheila, from The Failte House, is my other sister. It’s Gaelic, by the way. For “welcome”. Don’t you love it? The Failte House! My Irish heritage just squeals with excitement! She’s my go-to for positive energy and inspiration. Did I mention she’s a photographer? Yeah. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been harassing her a bit too much about my new toy….
So, anyway, these ladies and I have a busy month planned for you readers. So expect to be seeing some guest posts over here, as well as a giveaway. Giveaway?!?! I know everyone’s ears just perked up!
2. My 1 year anniversary is in a week and a half. So in T-minus 4 days, this blog is putting on it’s Halloween costume and becoming all wedding-y, gushy, mushy, and pretty. So if you like wedding posts, which hopefully you do, stay tuned. Not to mention… I’ve got a video or two as well as some never-seen-or-spoken-about before info from our big day to share! I hope you won’t mind. Oh, and you’ll be hearing multiple plugs for these people. Because they captured moments like this:
3. KELLY!This girl is amazing. I hope to be her when I grow up. So she was my Fall Friendship Swap partner and talk about luck of the draw! Hand sketched artwork that matches my house EXACTLY? Misha likes the squirrel the best. And that stack of recipes! My husband could take a hint from her on the way to my heart. :) My treasure box of fall goodies just came on Monday so I haven’t had a chance to be too domestic and utilize the recipes, but I’ll be letting you know how it goes. I’m especially looking forward to the butterscotch pudding and the pumpkin cheesecake. I have such a sweet tooth! Thank you, Kelly! The gift is perfect!
4.Lanaya! More thanks for my Liebster Award! The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. She also gave me a few questions to answer, which I will get to later once my ducks are all in a row. She has another blog that I just love to explore and I can get lost wandering through everything it has to offer! Go say hello!
5. Stop over to Lauren’s blog and wish her the best on her nuptials this weekend. October weddings rule!
6. My big girl camera! So I’ve had it for a few weeks now. I promised myself the moment I bought it that I would not snap a single shot in auto mode. I’m doing alright and I feel like I made progress on our Texas vacation, naturally, but I know I’ve got a ways to go. Plus, I doubt I’ll see my wish-listed lens before I open my stocking Christmas morning. So, please, bear with me as I keep at it. I’m trying to keep it real, here. I mean, for every picture you see that looks like this (Haha, Baci is ridiculous! I had to show it to you!):
there are two pictures that look like this:
7. Link it up! Chelsea from Yours Truly has kindly asked me to co-host this week’s link up. So add your Twitter account and meet some new friends!
(Are you still with me? I told you I had a lot of housekeeping…)
What a week. I miss vacation. Here’s to the weekend. Cheers!
Dear Natalie Portman, I didn’t say anything to you. But all I wanted to say the entire time weI stared awkwardly at each other you at Snack Bar last Friday was this: “I don’t want to make a scene. But I just want you to know that Garden State is my favorite movie ever. Thank you.” Oh… and this “You have the most adorable, perfectly groomed dog ever. Adorable.”
Dear Ashley, Sometimes you read this. Hopefully you do this time. Hi. :) My hair dryer broke during our trip to Texas. And then you vlogged about Hana. I thank you. So do my CU Rewards Points. My husband, however, does not. But the credit card and my hair outweigh his thoughts. Thanks!!!
Dear Austin, You kind of rocked. I love you so much.
Dear Readers, I still have so many Texas adventures to share with you! Stay tuned!
*this next part has been updated because SOMEONE is using the internet on her honeymoon*
Dear Phuongnhu, Turn the computer off. You made the perfect bride. I’ve never seen you so happy. You were gorgeous, inside and out. But what’s new? You shouldn’t be reading this right now because you are on your HONEYMOON! We had a blast in Austin! And, yes, I stole this photo from Facebook because I didn’t do too well with taking pictures at your wedding. I was too busy crying I can’t-believe-we’re-all-grown-up-now tears. I love you.
Dear Fire Ants, So apparently I’m allergic to you. And no, I won’t be sharing any images of what you did to my feet with blog-land because it’s just too disgusting. And it’s more scary on this side of things realizing that I was heading toward anaphylactic shock. You solidified my beliefs that I do not belong in the south. Find a predator and go die off now.
Dear Prednisone, I hate you. Yes, I said that. You are the worse medicine I have ever had to take. However, it’s been four days now with you and my feet are finally starting to look like feet again. So thank you for that.
Dear Husband, Thank you for dealing with me and said prednisone this week. I am sorry I’ve been so mean. Well, mean-er.
Oh, and in case you missed any of this week’s posts:
Welp, the first official week of pre-k is in the bags. Whew. Here we go….
Dear Readers, You should go shop my closet. Really. I’m parting with some good stuff.
Dear Wolverines, You’re going to have to do better than that… Hail! (P.S. How do you like my new M22 hoodie? I picked that sucker up this summer and I wore it last weekend… even though it was unbearably humid).
Dear Munchkins, You could’ve waited a month or so before infecting me with illness. This is a new record: strep throat at the beginning of September? We need to sit down and have a talk.
Dear Throat, These blindsided derailments must end. Or else I’m yanking those tonsils out.
Dear Misha, Thanks but no thanks for your help cleaning out my closet. I really appreciate the cat fur on my sweaters.
Dear Closet, I had no idea you had hardwood floors! Thanks for being so cooperative when I cleaned you out. And I’m deeply loving my surprise hidden treasures…. these wedding mementos didn’t belong in the corner of the closet, anyway.
Dear Labor Day Weekend, You rocked. And I couldn’t be happier to welcome September into my life. Once I get rid of this horrible strep throat, we’ve got quite a busy calendar in store.
In my mind I had this perfect plan for revealing our honeymoon on the blog. It’s right there, in my iPhone calendar under November. A whole week of memories. One year later. A Thanksgiving Special. Because, well, I give thanks for my husband and my life with him, and our honeymoon. And also because we took our honeymoon over Thanksgiving.
But Costa Rica keeps coming to me in my daydreams. It keeps creeping up on the computer screen thanks to some habitual fingers that have memorized the clicking pattern and location of our honeymoon photos. Costa Rica keeps popping up on Facebook, thanks to a handy dandy “like” button pushed down on Finca Rosa Blanca and Tabacon Resort and Spa. It keeps coming up when it rains, when it’s hot, when the sun sets in sherbet smooth hues of oranges and reds.
It keeps coming up.
And so I needed to write about it. Considering we’re just on the other side of summer vacation (an amazing break from reality at that) and we’ve been traveling quite a bit recently, and will travel again soon, I know that our honeymoon is not coming up due to wanderlust.
No, it’s not wanderlust. I can’t exactly pinpoint it. Do I miss it? More than anyplace else I’ve visited. But that isn’t all of it. Alex and I have our little routines that take us from day to day, weekday to weekend, mornings to evenings. We graze through each day with our routines, woven in and out of each other. Yet, some days, while I know we are together, I know that we aren’t together. And it’s that bond, that isn’t broken, just…. well, forgotten in the rhyme and rhythm of our routines, that keeps drawing me back to Costa Rica. After all, you can find the word “rut” if you look reaallllly hard into the word “routine”.
But no, I’m not going to spoil your Thanksgiving treat. I have many memories and, believe me, I won’t be forgetting anything between now and then. Doesn’t this happen to us all? Sometimes I worry that my life is strewn together with a bunch of days, months and years that separate each great adventure. I grow tired and restless. I lose sight of my life today, the beauty of my routine, the blessings of ordinary life. And with that loss of sight, relationships and friendships are difficult to foster. We get in ruts. Routine ruts. So, perhaps, it truly is wanderlust after all.
But, until Thanksgiving, here’s a few old Costa Rica posts to keep you happy: