A whirlwind

Abby and I have been home for a month and it’s gone by in record speed. One thing that hasn’t changed – it’s still 100 degrees (approximately) outside.  It’s November, and I packed fall/winter clothes, so it would be GREAT if it could cool down a bit. (Note, while it may be 70 this Friday, it is actually supposed to snow on Sunday. I love you, Ohio.)

The first weekend we were home, the timing worked our perfectly and I was able to meet up with a few law school friends who were in town to show off their darling baby girl.

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And the next day one of my closest friends from high school had a party to introduce her new baby girl, and our whole group was reunited for a few hours!

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A few days later I flew to DC to join JR for a long weekend. I barely took any pictures of the weekend – womp womp, but most of it was spent eating at some of our favorite places and relaxing. I did get one picture of our reunion with Amy, our dear friend from Kosovo!

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Meanwhile in Orrville, Abigail was having the time of her life with my mom, stepdad and brother doting on her and attending to her every possible desire. They went to story hour at the library, a pumpkin patch and a farm, and had tons of fun.

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Abby enjoyed multiple Halloween events dressed up as Doc McStuffins. She was thrilled with all the candy she received trick or treating. It’s hard to teach your child to only take one piece when the generous people passing out candy kept telling her, “go ahead, take a few pieces!”

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Could these kids be any cuter?

Then it was time for my little sister’s wedding! JR was able to get home early and he surprised Abby and I at the rehearsal. She was so cute when he snuck up to say hello. She did okay with her flower girl duties at the rehearsal, but she was perfect at the wedding! She tossed all of her flowers and at the end of the aisle she threw her hands up and triumphantly announced “I did it!” She earned herself a fancy cupcake which she promptly devoured.

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My sister was a gorgeous bride, and she and Mark had a wonderful time celebrating with their family and friends.

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After that crazy two weeks, I was happy to welcome one of my best friends from law school to Ohio for the weekend. We splurged on a hotel room in Columbus and visited some of our favorite places (Roosters and Bexley Pizza Plus!), and did a little shopping. Since we both have toddlers at home, we thought the best possible way to spend a Saturday night was at the movies and then going to bed by 10pm.  And it was glorious.

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JR had to return to Tbilisi for a little bit, but he is back with us now and we’re both teleworking for a little while. It’s hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving, and we’re just a few weeks away from my due date!

2 years down and a lifetime to go

It’s crazy that JR and I have only been married for two years.  We’re coming up on 9 years together, and in some ways our wedding feels like so long ago.  But I can remember so many wonderful details of that day that it sometimes feels like it was only yesterday.

We used the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Columbus for our wedding room block.  Because of that, JR and I were able to book a two-story suite for ourselves.   It was a huge, gorgeous room and we had it for 3 nights.  After our rehearsal dinner, we invited guests back to our room to continue the fun.  It was nice to have extra time to hang out with our family and friends because many had traveled from out of town, and in some ways it was also the start of a farewell as we knew we’d be in DC and then overseas within the next year.

In the morning, JR was going golfing with some of his family and bridal party.  He forgot his phone charger in our room, so he texted me pretty early and then wanted to stop by to pick it up.  Since we’d agreed not to see each other, I stayed upstairs and tossed the phone charger over the balcony/loft area for him to catch below.

I was then wide awake and not sure what to do. I didn’t want to start getting ready too early because my hair stylist wanted my hair wet when she arrived.   I went downstairs and saw a card underneath the door.  It was from my mom – a Taylor Swift card that played “Today was a Fairytale” when I opened it up.   It was beautiful and perfect and made me cry.

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Photo credit:  Azar Photography

Since I was already feeling all emotional and had time to kill, I crawled back in bed and pulled out my laptop.  I started searching YouTube for old videos of Nick and Jessica.   Specifically, I wanted to see the opening from Newlyweds to relieve the moment that Nick sees Jessica walking down the aisle (something I’d mentioned to JR for YEARS).  I wound up watching all sorts of clips and old videos of them and literally sobbing in my bed.  I mean, if they couldn’t make it, what hope did anyone else have?!

You should watch the whole clip, but if you’re in a time crunch, start at the 00:55 mark.  I can’t even.

Seriously, goosebumps and tears watching it to this day.  Sorry Vanessa and whatever-his-name-is, those two were meant to be.

I texted Elizabeth to tell her what I was doing and she arrived shortly after that to help me pull myself together.  We had so much fun getting ready with the rest of my bridesmaids and my mom.  I was so, so nervous on the way to the church.  Not about getting married, but about tripping down the aisle and just standing up there in front of all of our friends and family.  The wedding coordinator advised me to walk the aisle very slowly, but when those doors opened I booked it as fast as I could!  All the pictures of my dad and stepdad walking with me show them lagging behind because I’m basically running to the altar.

And then we were married and it was wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  Even better than our wedding is the fact that I married a really great person.  He makes me laugh every day.  He vowed to laugh and cry with me, to cherish our friendship, and to love me faithfully.  He’s done all of that and more.  Seeing him with Abigail has deepened my love in a way I didn’t realize was possible.

I watch our wedding video more than a normal person should, and when I watched it most recently I cried all through our vows.  JR – as I promised 2 years ago, what may come, I will always be there.

Here’s to us, babe.  Love you.

O-H! I-O!

Last week we went back to Ohio for JR’s sister’s wedding. I was excited to see our family and friends, and also excited to eat at some of my favorite places! We left on Wednesday morning, and after 3 flights and 19 hours of travel, we landed in Ohio. JR and I were torn on where to eat first, so we played Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide between Marion’s Pizza and Penn Station. I won, so we headed to Penn Station, which was an excellent decision I must say.

On Thursday, I got to see some of my friends and do some outlet shopping. Oh and we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which was amazing. I was actually at the Cheesecake Factory 3 times total on Thursday and Friday, but it wasn’t really my fault and I only ate there twice.

Friday I got my hair cut (woohoo!) and then the whole family headed over to the wedding location for the rehearsal and dinner. There were over 60 people at the wedding rehearsal alone if that tells you the size of the immediate families involved.The lovely bride realized that she didn’t really have anyone to coordinate the rehearsal (lining people up, telling people when to walk and all that jazz) so I volunteered. Organizing and bossing people around is right up my alley – I learned from my mom and my aunt!

Saturday was wedding day (and I managed to sneak in a quick lunch at Chick-fil-A!). It was a beautiful ceremony, and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with Meredith and Andy. They put so much thought into every detail of the wedding, and it looked wonderful.

We had a surprise baby shower for JR’s brother and wife on Sunday morning, and after that we got to visit my family!

A few things I learned from a short trip back. First, we didn’t have working cell phones at home and it was AWFUL. I realize I’m too dependent on my iPhone, but even an old school flip phone would have let me text friends and family and it would have helped with making plans. What did people do before cell phones?? The second thing is that we need to get rich so we can fly business class. Immediately. Airplane seats are just not that comfortable when you’re sitting in them for 9+ hours, and it’s a clever form of torture by the airlines for economy passengers to walk through business/first class upon entering and exiting the plane.

Finally, we thought we were saving some money and shipping costs by stocking up on a few items while we were home. We bought cans of cream of chicken/mushroom soup, Manwich (you have no idea how much I love a sloppy joe), teriyaki sauce, and JR refused to leave any beer behind at his parents, so we packed a 12 pack. Well…when we picked up our bags in Kosovo, the large duffel (why is spell check telling me this isn’t a word?) bag was wet and had the delicious smell of teriyaki. All of the soup cans were dented. And we lost one beer (I think this bothered JR the most, not the fact that his good suit was now beer soaked, or that two of my bras were marinated in teriyaki).

Lessons learned! Most importantly, it was clear this was just too short of a trip, and hopefully we can stay longer next time!

525,600 Minutes

That’s how long we’ve been married. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband JR!

A few wedding pictures:

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We spent the day yesterday doing some of our favorite things. For me, that meant sitting poolside with my friends, drinking a strawberry margarita, and discussing celebrity gossip. JR hung out with his friends and learned how to bottle homebrew. Everybody wins!

Although we didn’t plan it this way, we are considering our anniversary gift to be the plane tickets we bought for our next big trip to be our gift to each other. We’re going to Paris over the holidays!

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