Tag Archives: wedding

Something I’m Afraid Of

 

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My grandfather died just before I was to be married. He was sick, very, very sick. I didn’t see him just before he went, but when my mother told me he looked like a different person then, I was glad I only had the memory of a big, burly man to hold on to.

I love(d) my grandfather, as I love the rest of my immediate family; but the truth is, we rarely see each other. As a child, there were more gatherings, more visits, even dinner at someone’s home. Then things faded to holidays, and when I moved out, to nothing. Phone calls are rare now, except to say “Happy Birthday” or “I’m so sorry”; the “necessities”. And then, there’s barely that. At my grandfather’s funeral, the photo collage by the front door included a picture of me on his lap, young and plump. Nothing within the past…ten years or so.

We headed to a cigar bar after, for food and drinks and cigarettes. I’ve quit smoking, but I bummed one from my mother. It felt okay to indulge after the stiffness of the morning. As our shoulders loosened we shared stories. I smiled, laughed, and then I considered how each story I played a part in happened before I ever knew who I was. I was just a child. A silly, moody child that said all the wrong things, still scolded for making mistakes. Every scenario my aunt recounted involved a time she’d been babysitting while my parents were out with friends. She was still calling me “kiddo”. If I saw more of these people in the present, would they realize I hadn’t been frozen in time as a forever-twelve-year-old? The Jack Daniels in my hand and cigarette in my lips wasn’t enough to break the image.

Maybe I’m digging too far into things. Or maybe, just maybe I’m onto something. Now that I am twenty-five, a full-fledged adult with a husband and a house, I realize my part in it all. Communication needs two  outlets to work, and I’ve come to realize mine needs some rewiring. But then, so does the other side’s.

Life is too short; taking nothing for granted; cherish your loved ones; etc., etc. All of this is true. But who takes the initiative? Me, perhaps, since I’m the one considering it all, here. But when you’ve been hurt, do you bother? I’m good at holding grudges. (Not a specialty I am necessarily proud of.) While there is a lot of love in my family, there is also a lot of hurt. Every family can relate to this.

My grandfather died just before I was married. Death happened, mourning happened, recovery began. Several people once close to me – still closest to him – were invited. None came. Fine. This is the hardest of times.

None acknowledged. Not then, not now, will not, likely, ever. I am hurt. Am I selfish? I don’t know. But I will not feel bad for feeling hurt. The time of calling for the “necessities” has come to a solid, grim end. Death happens, we hurt, we heal, life never stops.

So now I slink backward into my hole and think, every day, about whether or not I am right, about what it all means. I don’t even wish to be right, I just want to know why things are how they are. Is this love? If we don’t celebrate our milestones, then how do we define this dynamic? I want reason. I shimmy back and forth between anger and sadness, all the while not doing a damn thing about it. Not speaking out, not making an effort to yell, to ask “how are you?”. For me, now, it’s pointless.

Some who may get a hold of these words may be upset by them. But then, if they are, they’ll only feel that way if they were the ones who ignored the most important day of my life. I’ve never posted something I was afraid of. I didn’t need an audience – a man died, an important man, death shadowed everything, how can one celebrate a new life when one had only just come to an end? But words – so important. One word makes all the difference. Congratulations. Instead, nothing.

There may be some form of love there, but still, we go on in damaged silence.

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Pure. Bliss.

Well, the craziness is over. The planning, the praying for sunny weather, the hope that all goes smoothly, the anticipation of stepping into a whole new level of awesomeness with the man I love. The weather was perfect (a monsoon set in the following day!), the alcohol flowed, tears and laughter were in abundance, and wearing black meant whatever was spilled on my dress that day – well, who the hell cares.

Friends, I return to you as a married woman.

joe&i

Isn’t he the cutest? Those suspenders! ::swoon::

Things were relatively intimate – about 75 people flowed in and out of our home and backyard that day. And what better place to hold our special day than the very place we are building our life together? (My dad totally put up that fence in 2 days. Need a fence? Let me know.)

All the bawling I did didn’t even make my eyeliner run! The red lipstick on the other hand….let’s just say Joe was rockin’ the Joker look at the end of the ceremony.

I couldn't help but do way too much of THIS.

I couldn’t help but do way too much of THIS.

Some hilarious – and awkward – speeches were made from our best friends and family, and I even managed to make my father cry. Twas the best day EVER.

Like our toasting flutes?

Like our toasting flutes?

So in love with our cake.

So in love with our cake.

And now the really fun part begins; spending the rest of my days with my best friend.

xoxo

tears

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The Best Year Ever

balloons

 

Ah, twenty-five. It stands alone, that number, unsure of whether to take a step forward or back. It shivers in the cold while everyone else has it figured out already; twenty-five is just now finding solid ground, settling in for the night, closing its eyes and dreaming about the future. My twenty-five’s pavement may be a little rocky, but both feet are planted as firmly as they can be. This next year is all about change, and it’s all good.

Somewhere during twenty-four I lost it – motivation, I mean. I started with it packed tightly away in my chest but somehow it managed to escape and the end of twenty-four faded into a blur of day-to-day dullness and routine. The color has drained from my kaleidoscope eyes and suddenly I’m seeing the world in honeycomb shades of black and gray. But I have big plans for twenty-five; twenty-five is going to be splashes of color and light and inspiration in gusts of wind and night air. What does all of this translate to? Writing, people. Lots of it. I temporarily lost the spark, the energy, the emotion…and this has to end now These past few weeks I became best friends with my couch and my wine glass (nothing new there), and abandoned something very, very dear to me. 

So twenty-five – ahem, tomorrow – marks more than one special occasion. One year older, (hopefully) one year wiser, one more year of love and family, of life, of breath, of the chance to become who I want to be while enjoying every step.

Oh yeah, it marks one more thing too. 

My Bachelorette Party.

Guess who has two thumbs and eleven tattoos and a blog and is getting married this June 22nd to an amazing man? THIS girl. I was waiting for the perfect time to tell you guys. And now that my head has momentarily stopped spinning, here I am. I can’t wait to post pictures, and share more details with you guys. And my epic ’80’s inspired outfit for my party tomorrow night is the kewlest. Photos to come, duh.

I love you guys. Thanks for stickin’ around.

xoxo,

Nicole

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So…do you wanna?

Joe and I did the usual running around in the few days before Christmas this year: liquor store for all the ingredients for Bloody Marys, martinis and spiked coffees; the grocery store for lunch meat and cheese; Sam’s Club for sticks of pepperoni, more cheese and some crackers.

I’ve eaten from so many cheese trays this season, I can feel my love handles growing.

Christmas Eve arrived and we picked Joe’s parents up from the airport for a slightly teary reunion. It was so good to see them, since it’s been a whole year.  Once we were settled into the car, it was off to the cemetery so Joe’s mother could visit her parents. Joe’s sister had recently put poinsettias by their headstones; it was very nice.

Back into the car and back to more driving around all of South Jersey before heading back over the bridge and dropping me off for work (yes, unfortunately I was among the thousands who were stuck working the eve before Christmas – which turned out to be a good thing in the end, if you know what I mean $$$). Back to Jersey for them, to work for me, then back to Philadelphia for Joe once again, to pick me up around 10:00.  All of this running around from state to state just so I didn’t have to be alone at any point before going to work. Nice, eh? 🙂

We arrived home that night, bringing in the cold air with us, and I immediately snuggled up in my comfy Grinch pajama pants with a glass of red wine. The four of us (Joe, myself, and his parents) talked for a while, ate some candy, cracked

One of Joe's favorite hobbies is taking pictures of me sleeping in awkward positions. He claims he was taking a picture of the tree. Pft.

open some nuts (one of Joe’s favorite things to have out on the table around Christmas time) and settled in to watch A Christmas Story – a tradition that I missed out on last year after passing out on the couch.

Well, it’s too bad I woke up a few hours later in a daze and a lying down position on that same couch, Joe passed out face down on the floor between the couch and the coffee table. Yep, I missed it, again. His parents were already in bed, it was already after 5 in the morning. Why was he on the floor when there’s two other couches in the living room? Who knows. He was like my watch dog at the foot of the bed. 🙂

We woke about 9:30, opened some presents (he loved the scrapbook I made him! and I looooved my Chi hair straightener, and all my other gifts, of course), then headed to my parents house with the plan to meet his parents at his sister’s house later that day.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my parents, some Bloody Marys, and a glass of wine or two for me (in my opinion, Christmas is a free pass to drink while it’s still light out). My mother wrapped a can of Lysol wipes and handed that to Joe before handing him his actual present – a very nice tool set. Joe is a huge “germaphobe”, so this was pretty funny. I received a delicious Coach perfume, and a new digital camera. (Plenty of pictures to be posted from that, once I have the program set up.)

We left my parents just as it was getting dark, and headed back to our place to gather the rest of the presents we needed for his sister’s house. I ran upstairs to get changed (wearing tights was already getting uncomfortable), and as I barreled back down the stairs asking if I looked fat, I noticed mistletoe hanging in the doorway that hadn’t been there before. Leave it to me to notice it immediately!

I laughed and asked where it came from, and he tried to tell me it’s been there for days, which he then immediately admitted was a lie. “I forgot I had it, so I decided to hang it up,” he said. So of course, I dragged him into the doorway and made him kiss me. This is what followed:

Joe: “I have to put something else in the car. I think Santa may have left one more present for you on the tree.” ::runs away::

Me: ::intuition kicking in, along with confusion, since we have both made fun of cliche Christmas engagements for the majority of the season:: “There’s too many lights and ornaments on this tree, and I don’t know what I’m looking for. Give me a hint!”

Joe: ::pointing me in a general direction:: “It’s near the top there. A little to the left.”

Me: ::squinting, getting excited, getting nervous::

Me: ::gasp::

Me: ::finds shiny round thing hanging from ornament hook somewhere near the top of the tree. pulls it off. removes hook..::

Joe: ::shakes::

Me: “Is this a promise ring? ::laughs:: (We had been discussing promise rings earlier that day, and how – in my opinion – you should just get right to the damn point.)

Joe: ::takes ring from me:: “No, dear. That’s an engagement ring. It was Mom-Mom’s ring.”

Joe’s grandmother passed away a few years ago. His mother has been wearing this ring since her death. His grandfather passed away in 2000; they were married for 64 years.

Joe: ::puts ring on my finger:: “So…do you wanna?”

Me: ::laughs:: ::tries to breathe:: “Yes!”

We hugged, we exchanged the I-Love-Yous, and then my anxiety shouted into my eardrum, “Hey asshole, why aren’t you crying? Isn’t that required or something?”

Me: “I can’t believe tears aren’t pouring from my eyes yet!”

Cue the flood.

Joe: “Don’t cry!”

The flood immediately stops.

You never know how you are going to react I suppose, until your big day comes along! Every girl dreams of her man down on one knee, the tears flowing, a sappy speech. But you know what? How it happened is unique to us: casual, a little cutesy, but just right. Why do something that isn’t you, just for the sake of tradition? Let’s start our own traditions. 🙂

I am happy, I am overwhelmed with questions and decisions we are nowhere near making yet!! House first. Wedding second.

Oh, and his reasoning behind choosing Christmas?

“We always make fun of it, so I figured this would be the day you’d least expect it.”

Hahahaha.

It’s all still so surreal. When do these things really sink in? 🙂

Lots and lots of history on my finger.

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An Announcement…

Those aren’t silver bells I’m hearing this holiday season!!!!!!!! 🙂

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

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