Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Take a vow.

I posted this yesterday on the "family-friendly" wedding blog - I thought y'all would want to see it too. ;)

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We worked long and hard on our ceremony and vows, drawing from many sources, rewriting, and at times writing from scratch. Only a small handful of people got to hear them in person, so we thought it would be nice to share them with you all here in writing. We hope you enjoy.



Higher far,
Upward, into the pure realm,

Over sun or star,
Thou must mount for love.
Where unlike things are like,
When good and ill,
And joy and moan,
Melt into one -
There Past, Present, Future, shoot
Triple blossoms from one root.

There need no vows to bind
Whom not each other seek but find.
They give and take no pledge or oath,
Nature is the bond of both.

Not with scarfs or perfumed gloves
Do these celebrate their loves,
Not by jewels, feasts, and savors,
Not by ribbons or by favors,
But by the sun-spark on the sea,
And the cloud-shadow on the lea.

Is none so high, so mean is none,
But feels and seals this union.

The throbbing sea, the quaking earth,
Yield sympathy and signs of mirth;
Even the tell Furies are appeased,
The good applaud, the lost are eased.
Their cords of love so public are,
They intertwine the farthest star.


Dear family and friends: Today Jonathan and Melissa have invited you here to witness and celebrate the public declaration of the private commitment they have already made to one another. Let us support them with our hope, love, and respect.

Marriage is the promise of hope between two people who love each other sincerely, who honor each other as individuals, and who wish to unite their lives and share the future together. In this ceremony, they dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other in a union of mutual caring and responsibility.

As we gather here to join Jonathan and Melissa in marriage, it is fitting that you, their families and friends, be here to witness and to participate in their wedding - for the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their partnership are rooted in the love, friendship, support, and guidance you have given them.

Jonathan and Melissa have chosen to be joined in marriage on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring; a day when, in spirit, all things are equal. May the partnership that is solidified between them today be one governed by equality and balance, wherein the strengths of each of them will, together, form a more perfect whole. And like the new spring which awakens today, may their love grow ever stronger to weather the seasons of their life together.

Jonathan and Melissa, please face each other.

Jonathan, are you ready to enter into this marriage with Melissa, believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?

I am.

Melissa, are you ready to enter into this marriage with Jonathan, believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?

I am.

Will you please join your hands.

Jonathan, if it is your desire to become the husband of Melissa, then repeat these words to her:

I, Jonathan, take you, Melissa, to be my wedded wife and partner, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward. In this moment I promise to love you and care for you for all of our days. I accept you with your faults and with your strengths. I promise to support you when you need support, and to turn to you in times of need. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

Jonathan, do you take this woman to be your wedded wife and partner in all things, to love her, comfort her, and honor her, and forsaking all others, keeping only unto her, for so long as you both shall live?

I do.

Melissa, if it is your desire to become the wife of Jonathan, then repeat these words to him:

I, Melissa, take you, Jonathan, to be my wedded husband and partner, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward. In this moment I promise to love you and care for you for all of our days. I accept you with your faults and with your strengths. I promise to support you when you need support, and to turn to you in times of need. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

Melissa, do you take this man to be your wedded husband and partner in all things, to love him, comfort him, and honor him, and forsaking all others, keeping only unto him, for so long as you both shall live?

I do.

Do you have a rings that you wish to exchange?

We do.

A circle, having no beginning or end, is a symbol of infinity, eternity, and wholeness. These rings which you give and receive, then, will from this day forward represent the infinite, eternal, and complete love you will share as husband and wife.


Jonathan, please place the ring on Melissa's finger with the words:

With this ring, I thee wed.

Melissa, please place the ring on Jonathan's finger with the words:

With this ring I thee wed.

Let these rings be given and received as a symbol of your affection, sincerity and fidelity to one another. Jonathan and Melissa, please step forward to sign your marriage license.

Signing of marriage license - Melissa and Jonathan approach table and sign, followed by Josh and Monica who sign as witnesses. All four then return to their places in front.

We know not what the future may bring into the life of this couple, but together may they be equal to the needs of their tomorrows. May they have patience in times of strain, strength in times of weakness, courage in times of doubt, and above all, a growing love to sustain them.

Jonathan and Melissa, you have exchanged your promises, and given and received rings in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, your families and friends. You have made your marriage legal in the eyes of the law. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Jonathan, you may now kiss the bride.

Bee is for Breedlove. (What?)

So it seems that when you get married, there are a few questions that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD simply must ask. There are two in particular that no one can resist.

1) Are you having kids? This is sometimes phrased as, "When are you having kids?" As if reproduction is not only something that everyone wants to do but is also something everyone is able to do. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to get me started on this one. Jonathan and I have a variety of ways to rebuff this inquiry, more or less gently depending on the inquirer.

2) Are you changing your name? This one's just for me of course, and is significantly more fun - particularly because the answer is yes! In this instance I am doing the "normal" thing and taking my new husband's name. In my creative pursuits I will continue with my chosen nom de plume, but how was I ever going to turn down Breedlove? Please. Best name ever. Half of why I married him. (Kidding. It's only a quarter.)

Names... have always been an issue for me. For a long time I didn't even really identify with my first name. I went through a stint in middle school where I dabbled in having people call me by my middle name, Michelle. Apparently I look more like a Michelle anyway - people have accidentally called me Michelle my whole life, not even knowing the validity of the misnomer. Then in high school there was my brief obsession with the name Zoe, Greek for life. Why? Who knows. Everybody knows all cool names start with Z, I guess.

At some point in my late teens the world decided I would be called Mel, and though I never particularly liked it I embraced it. I wore it like armor: a name for the personality that walked around out there in the world for me while I hid inside of my head. It came with a bonus, in that many people assumed my name was Melanie. A cloak of anonymity, even as I dyed my hair pink and purple and walked the streets in giant boots and wifebeaters.

In the past couple of years, though, something new has happened. I've stopped being a persona and began to just be a person, and as such I no longer need that false name. Slowly but surely, even to me, I became Melissa. Which, though quite common among women my age, is actually a pretty interesting name. Mel means honey, and Melissa means little honey bee. I have a thing with bees these days; they're a fairly good symbol for my life, now that I've started to get over the phoenix thing.

Bees are the symbol of fertility and sexuality.
Its honeycomb, a hexagon, is
the symbol of the heart and
represents the sweetness of life found within
our own hearts.
It is also the symbol of the sun and all its energies.

The bee reminds us to extract the honey of life and to make our
lives fertile (productive) while the sun shines.
No matter how great the
dream is, there is the promise of fulfillment
if we pursue our dreams.

If a Bee has shown up in your life, examine your own productivity.
Are you doing all you can to make your life more productive?
Are you
busy enough?
Are you making time to savor the honey of life and not becoming
a workaholic?

The Bee is the symbol of accomplishing the impossible.
Aerodynamically, its body is too large for its wings and should not be able
to fly. Although now we understand how it does fly (high rate of wing
movement), the Bee remains a symbol of accomplishing anything you put your
mind to.
So there you go. To pursue, and sometimes accomplish, the impossible; to stay busy, almost too busy; to appreciate what is sweet in life (what I call the little things) - for better or worse, it's sort of me in a nutshell.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wrong. (But it's alright.)

It is wrong of me to have kept y'all waiting for so long - after all, the wedding was a week ago. Trouble is, honestly, I haven't really wanted to talk about it.

See... for a person of my given neuroses, it is a very dangerous thing to spend two years focusing on the potential events of one day. It is essentially impossible for something not to go wrong, and it is then equally as impossible for my crazed little mind not to fixate upon what was not perfect. This kind of tendency is one of the many, many reasons for my weekly psychotherapy sessions.

You've all been hearing about the laundry list of near catastrophes that has accrued in these many months of preparation. The week leading up to the wedding, and the wedding day, was sort of that in great concentration. I seem to have this incredible luck in life - things that never ever happen just, well, happen. To me. But before you go thinking I'm doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself, let me throw in that my luck goes both ways: I get the bad, but I also get the good.

I already spent too many days of my honeymoon obsessing over what went wrong, and especially because some of it isn't fully resolved yet I'm not even going to get into that crap. Instead I'm going to present you with the laundry list of what was simply wonderful. These are the things I want to remember, and the things that matter anyway.

The rehearsal dinner. It was amazing. Several of my friends were able to be there, three month old darling Mackenzie stole the show, the vegan entree was divine, Jonathan's parents loved the restaurant we'd chosen, the room they put us in was perfect, the service was flawless, the weather was awesome, the view of City Park from the balcony was stunning... it really couldn't have gone better.
The rain. Yes, it rained on our wedding day. All afternoon and all evening. It's good luck, right? And at times I got to have a polka dotted wedding dress. ;)
The shoes. I positively loved the shoes I ended up wearing. I will be happy with that choice forever.
My hair. Man, do I have some gorgeous hair, if I do say so myself. I grew it for a long time so that it would be at such a length for the wedding, and I felt that it looked lovely. We put these amazing white ranunculus clips in it that were just right. Fear not, pictures forthcoming, eventually. I was so happy with it that day that I've decided not to chop it all off... for the time being at least.
My bouquet. As I've already declared, the flowers were the single thing that I only had to do once, for which I will be eternally indebted to Fleur Rouge. My bouquet is so beautiful, I want to look at it every day for the rest of my life. And I just might.
Our limo and its driver. The limo was so gorgeous! A 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud - a car to die for. And the driver, George. In so many ways he made everything OK. He brought us champagne after the ceremony, held an umbrella over our photographer as we took pictures around the park, drove us around when we didn't feel like going home, and provided a source of cheerful respite throughout the evening. We love you George.
Our friends. So many of our friends joined us from distant locales, and though many could not do so we know that they wanted to be with us and were sending us their love.
The food. It looked great, it was delicious, contrary to what everyone claims I had plenty of time to eat it, and everyone at the party said it was marvelous. Any skepticism of the all vegan reception was quickly put to rest - after all, it's hard to cast dispersions with your mouth full of Mushrooms Rockefeller.
The cupcakes and the cakes. They were gorgeous! They were delicious! I will FOREVER be grateful and indebted to KC and her fab shop, KC's Babycakes on the Northshore, for making that aspect of our wedding happen. Everyone raved, and all 50 of the gift boxes we'd assembled went home with happy, cupcake loving partygoers.
Him. Jonathan. My husband. He approached the "altar" with the most beautiful grin; he delivered his vows with his voice clear and calm and steady and strong (even as I cried and choked through mine); and on our wedding night he made me feel like the most beautiful, most loved woman to ever walk the earth. Plus he looked totally hot in his suit.

So there you have it - some highlights of happiness from the big day. There was more - like the jewelery that I made for myself that I'm now in love with. I'll probably have a few final posts of the details to make here once I sort out some things with the photographs... but let's not get into that, shall we? ;)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Eight.

OK. We're eight days out. And yes, there was the party at work, which was lovely. Last Saturday I'm pretty sure I was relaxed and happy - I hardly even remember what I did. (Oh right, we got our taxes done {I owe $2k} and then went out to dinner. Thank you date book!)

Sunday I had a VERY successful and productive shopping day with my maid-of-witness Monica. We went to mega-Macy's and got undergarment thingies - weird but apparently necessary. And then we went to Moo Shoes where I got two GORGEOUS new pairs of shoes, both brown. Go figure. My rehearsal dinner dress is brown, see.

And then, on Monday, the panic returned.

I woke up pretty anxious. And by lunchtime it had swollen to I-have-to-go-out-to-lunch proportions. I in fact ended up at Le Pain Quotidian, because they always have vegan pastry, and it's a pastry kind of week, and they always have vegan soup and soup sounded nice too. By Tuesday I was a full blown wreck; I got exactly zilch accomplished at work all day. I'm sure things would have been much better if I'd stopped thinking about the wedding and focused on work instead, but the nature of panic is to perpetuate itself, not to look for solutions.

It may have hit its peak Tuesday night - I couldn't sleep at all. There was wailing, gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes... OK, not quite rending of clothes, but damn close. Poor Jonathan. I can't say it was really tapering on Wednesday. In fact I couldn't actually leave the house Wednesday morning. If I'd tried to go get on the subway I would have had an actual panic attack. So I gave myself the morning off. I did actually put the time to some use, and then I went to work and got some work done. And then I went to therapy.

So finally, by Thursday, it got a little better. I did work, I took myself out to lunch, I did some more work, I got some things done in the evening, and I don't think I cried once all day. I only ate half a pint of ice cream, and I ate three real meals.

Today, I'm actually... kinda excited! There's a bit of a damper being put on it by the crazy amounts of pain that I'm in - I really shouldn't be at work, in fact. But it's my last day before I'm out for two weeks, so I figure I'll just suck it up. Swallow a couple of pills and hope that they help, keep the wrist brace on for whatever the hell is going on with my right side, and do what I can.

I'm getting married in eight days! That Jonathan guy? I like him! A lot! You should see him playing with the bunny rabbit. Cutest thing you ever saw. He's going to be my husband. I'm going to be his wife. We get to have a party about it. I get to wear a pretty dress. Now: pray that it doesn't rain. ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

They gave me a party at work!

So actually for weeks I've been gearing myself up for disappointment. Considering that for five years running my birthday has been summarily ignored, I did *not* expect that any deal was gonna get made about me getting married. But since they do tend to have a shower-type-thing for, like, everyone else who gets married, it at least occurred to me. It popped in there, I automatically assumed it wasn't happening for me, and I started bracing myself for the letdown. This is how my brain works.

So when I went upstairs for the meeting last week, imagine my surprise when the room was full of half the office, flowers, and a cake. I'm not gonna lie - it had crossed my mind that the "meeting" was just a rouse to get me up there. Especially since it was in the big nice conference room. But I thought I was just being ridiculous thinking such things. I always think everything is about me, after all. So I had insurance: I prepared like hell for that meeting.

But this time it was! It really was! It was for me!! One of the girls from my department even baked me a vegan chocolate cake. And it was good! It was really thoughtful. They had taken a collection and gotten me one of those am ex gift card things, and the amount is nothing to sneeze at. The whole thing was well timed, as I was beginning to really hate the hell out of this place and the people in it. I was also having a really hard time walking that day, but the surprise cheered me up enough that I didn't have to go home early like I thought I would. Maybe they need to give me surprise parties more often... or maybe I just need to stop being such a pessimistic hater. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A little relief... are y'all gonna take bets on how long it sticks?

I am happy to report that "the photographer situation" seems to be resolved. Today I got to have a nice long chat with our replacement photographer - she seems charming and fun, and like she'll get a kick out of me and Jon and our goofy selves. (Already I know she is somewhat psyched about my crazy hair and my blue dress.) And from what I can tell the head honcho bossman is going to treat us fairly as far as pricing, et cetera. So.

*consciously lowers shoulders from their stations next to ear lobes*

So until I find my next crisis, everything seems to be going pretty smoothly. An undergarment-and-shoe shopping trip is scheduled for this Sunday with my maid-of-witness Miss Monica - she being much wiser in girlythings than I am. Maybe that day I'll put on makeup before I go out and see how it weathers. I am nothing if not a multitasker.

Last night we worked out seating arrangements for the rehearsal dinner. Today I sent the final version of the ceremony to the officiant. Maybe tonight I'll play with paper things? Place cards, guest book cards, thank you notes?

Yes indeed, moving right along.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And now, the panic.

Alright. We're down to the wire. (If 18 days isn't the wire, I don't know what is.) That considered, I think I'm doing pretty well. Jonathan and I are still getting along splendidly; to be a fly our our apartment wall, about 90% of the time you'd have no idea that we're about to have a huge event and enter into a new phase of our relationship. But ohmyfuckinggod, is there still a lot to do.

On Sunday we went through the to-do list, and then doubled it in size. And then, I took it and integrated it into my date book. Because it's one thing to know what you have to do, and a different thing entirely to figure out how and when you're going to do it. Some things don't translate well into specific date book kinds of times; those just get written in the top of page margins, because I know that they're just going to happen piecewise when the mood strikes me hanging around the apartment. But most tasks got written in, and in ink.

This process was really just one long panic attack on about a three minute loop: PANIC! - Remind myself to take a deep breath. - Figure out how seemingly insurmountable task can be handled and really isn't that big a deal. - Look at next few tasks. - PANIC! - Remind myself to take a deep breath... And so on.

There are at least two situations whose disaster potential are as of yet undetermined.

First, there's the limo thing. I asked my dad to find a cool antique/vintage limo for Jonathan and I to ride around in on the wedding day - a risky move, to be sure. But within two days of the request he'd nailed it: a white 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. Great right? Except that after booking the limo, signing a contract, and sending them payment in full, he couldn't tell me the name of the company he'd booked with - much less provide a copy of the contract he'd signed.

He was of course depending on my mother to keep track of all that, despite the fact that she had no hand in the reservations, and that it was he who had had email contact with them. Well I watched them fight about it and tear apart the house for twenty minutes or so, and then I hopped on the internet and found the company in two tries. (My parents, of course, kept arguing about the situation for another three hours or so.) In my first couple of emails with the woman at the company, I could feel her tension and frustration seeping right through my gmail account. I felt nothing but sympathy - I can only imagine what it must be like to engage in a business transaction with my father. Once she realized, though, that she would now be dealing with me, and that I would do wacky things like answer her questions, I swear I could actually hear her sigh of relief through the screen.

Sometimes I start to feel like I'm bad at handling things. Then I see how they "handle" things, and I feel a lot better - about me, anyway.

So that's one. The other is that we found out on Thursday that the photographer we had chosen no longer works for the company we booked him through. He has already booked another wedding for our date, in fact. So now we'll be working with a photographer who we've never met or spoken to, of whose work we've seen very little. And the wedding is in less than three weeks. So yeah, that's inducing a little panic - maybe more than a little.

Other than those lovely snafu's, it's just a lot of need-to-get-to-it things. Undergarments for the dress rehearsal dinner and the day of. How am I going to do my hair. Makeup - is that going to work out? Like at all? Get my hair trimmed. Shoes for the rehearsal dinner. And so on, and so on, and so on.

And merrily we trudge along...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope springs eternal, in the form of cupcakes.

Darlings. Please forgive the voice of this blog post. It's really written for other blogs of mine. But I just had to share my joy with you! For those few of you who read this blog and are coming to the wedding, I gotta say, you are gonna enjoy these effing cupcakes. :D

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Remember all those issues I was having with trying to get someone to bake me a vegan wedding cake? I had practically resolved myself to baking my own when I got an email from a vegan-network-friend of mine who lives on the Northshore. One of her friends opened up a bakery in Mandeville a few months ago, she wrote, and baked vegan cupcakes pretty regularly.

To which I said, YES PLEASE THANK YOU.

My parents are not so into the idea of a cupcake tower for the wedding, but they'll suck it up. I admit, I did have my heart set on a "real" cake for a while, but a delicious, gorgeous, vegan presentation is what it comes down to.

And after my meeting with KC of KC's Babycakes, I am absolutely convinced that it's exactly what I'll have. She came highly recommended from a trusted source, which is always good. But you just never know, particularly with vegan baked goods I think, until you sit down and sink your teeth in. This is precisely what I did last Monday. KC spent two full hours with me, and as those of you who know me are well aware, that is a LONG time to spend with me when I'm really excited about something. I sampled six (count them, six) different flavors of her vegan cupcakes. Somehow, each was more extraordinary than the last. You want to hear about them, don't you?

Cookies n cream: a crazy moist rich chocolate cupcake with just a hint of almond, topped with an intensely sweet vanilla buttercream speckled with crumbled oreo-style cookies, crowned with a whole cookie nestled in the middle for good measure. This is an excellent showcase for just how good a simple (but extremely well-baked) chocolate cupcake can be.

Coconut and Coffee: a subtly flavored caramel brown coconut cupcake, slathered in rich coffee buttercream then rimmed with a ring of toasted coconut shavings. Gourmet, doubtless; this cupcake is somehow simultaneously exotic and extravagant while also being comforting and homey. It may be KC's favorite of her vegan creations; me, I am having a very difficult time choosing a favorite.

Vanilla Chocolate Swirl: a basic made fancy, two moist and delicious cakes marbled in the cup and topped with a generous helping of vanilla buttercream, finished with miniature chocolate chips. It's hard to describe how decadent this cakelet is as it sounds so simple, so you'll just have to believe me.

Lemon Macadamia: a lightly lemon cupcake punctuated with chunks of real macadamia nuts, topped with a pungent, bright frosting made with real fresh lemon juice, and finally rimmed with colored sugar for a look that is both sophisticated and fun. (This one happens to be modeling the cupcake wrapper I've chosen - "Aloha" from Paper Orchid. Many thanks to KC for cluing me in on this new cupcake trend!)

Banana Split: here's where we really start getting crazy! A cupcake with a banana bread like consistency - because it's made with real banana, making it ultra dense and moist with true banana flavor - but sweeter and with mini chocolate chips in it. Then topped in a lush twirl of delicately banana flavored buttercream frosting. The cupcakes I tasted were sprinkled with pecans and then topped with a cherry, which was a great finish. However, to be more friendly to my nut-allergic guest(s), for the wedding they'll be drizzled in chocolate ganache before being cherried. Too divine!

Wedding Cake: a flavor that I *believe* was developed just for me! In case you don't know, in New Orleans there is a flavor actually known as "wedding cake flavor" - you can order it at any good snowball stand. It's generally a creamy almond flavor, and it's been a tradition at Nola nuptials since anyone can remember. This cupcake did not disappoint. A perfectly dense, moist, rich, creamy lightly almond and vanilla white cupcake, topped with wonderfully rich almond buttercream, and finished with the most darling candy pearls you'd ever wish to see. Simple and elegant, this is the flavor that really made the set for me. We'll also have a 6" cake atop the tower that will be baked from this batter. I really couldn't be more pleased with how this one came out.

I'll stop killing you with cupcake descriptions now - except to say that we actually haven't decided between doing the cookies n cream described above, or a classic red velvet. I didn't get to sample KC's red velvet, but based on what I've seen and tasted, I have zero doubt that it is exquisite. And I can't help thinking of some kind of chocolate-and-strawberry concoction... Maybe a small groom's cake? What can I say? Life is full of so many difficult decisions.

Some day soon I'll tell you what happens when you take a dozen of the fabulous cupcakes described above over to the only vegetarian restaurant in town (Cafe Bamboo), have a couple of Abitas, and start getting generous. But that, loves, is a story for another day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anxiety reigns. (And what else is new? they say...)

So tomorrow morning (early!) I fly down to New Orleans. I'm going to see my neurologist there to see if we can crack the code of the wicked headaches I've been having. But mostly it's a wedding prep trip, and every day is more or less packed:

Friday: The caterer comes by mom's place to scope the layout. Not sure she heard me when I told her it's really not a big place. Then hopefully dinner with Thom and Weber wherein I gently cajole them into their wedding day duties.

Saturday: Go out with dad to buy copious amounts of liquor with which we will stock the bar. Then to Gordon's of Metairie (where I may just have to buy this) to try to find a bird cage type thing for people to put gift cards into? I think? Possibly spray paint as well if it's ugly. And maybe some kind of tablecloth to put on the piano? Still gotta break it to Mom that that's where I want to set up the guest book...

Sunday: massage and facial at Earthsavers! I've never had a facial before. Yes, I am 32. What's your point? Then swing by the bed and breakfast type place where Jonathan and I will be staying on the wedding night and for the week afterward to make sure everything is squared away with the room. I made reservations online, but... it's just not really an online kind of place, you know? Plus they're super nice, and it's in a neighborhood I like to be in anyway.

Monday: neurologist, woo. And THEN, the most exciting thing ever! I get to drive to the Northshore (not so exciting) to meet with my baker about my VEGAN CUPCAKE TOWER!! Totally the most exciting thing ever, am I right? The flavors I should get to try that day are chocolate vanilla marble, lemon macadamia, toasted coconut with coffee buttercream, and banana split. Dear god I am in cupcake heaven. All that, plus a sample of the 6" cake that will be atop the tower: some almond apricot confection that she's whipping up. Yes, I am truly psyched. I'm finishing off the trip with a visit to Cafe Bamboo, New Orleans' only all-vegetarian restaurant. Gotta support, you know.

It should be a fun trip, a busy trip. Hopefully I will continue to *not* feel like crap so that I can actually use my time there. I am excited - I have been really, really missing New Orleans lately. But I'm quite anxious as well. Wedding jitters maybe, but I think my recent health and work issues are making it much more severe and complex than it would be otherwise. Last night I was in Ann Taylor, of all places, looking for a jacket to wear with my dress for the rehearsal dinner, and I just completely lost it. Practically burst into tears while checking out. The poor girl at the register had no idea what to think.

There's nothing particularly wrong - things are going progressively more smoothly and falling into place one by one. I shipped the flowers down to my mom and they arrived unharmed! I'm carrying my dress on tomorrow to reduce the risk of injury. The response cards are arriving daily, all with the answers we were expecting, and there have even been a couple of checks. I think it's just... a lot to deal with. The current status of my life (between my hatred of my job / inability to leave it, and my health issues that I can't get under control) is enough to bring me to tears, so you throw a wedding in there as well and it's really not surprising that I'm getting panicky.

At least I have my bunny rabbit for solace. He is so happy these days that he has begun running a circle around his favorite perching area every time we come see him. It's the cutest thing ever. It's nice to have that little spot of unadulterated joy in my life when so many other things are crazy. The only thing that stresses me about him is leaving him for two weeks! How will I live without that little bunny face? =:3

Thursday, January 28, 2010

INVITED!!

I can hardly believe it, but I saw it with my own eyes. I, in fact, made it happen. Last night, at approximately 11:30 p.m., all 51 square green envelopes got dropped into the big blue mailbox up the block from our apartment. That's right people. THE INVITATIONS ARE IN THE MAIL!

Man, if there has ever been a more complicated invitation mess, I don't even want to hear about it - I think it would just make me nauseous to think about.

The saga:

Designed invites for the NY wedding, were having them printed, had to stop them in mid-production and lose my deposit because oops! No New York wedding. Designed NOLA wedding invitations, got them printed. But they had to be reprinted because of a margins issue, and then because of said issue the invites then didn't fit into the nice printed envelopes. (I *told* the printer this was going to happen, and he was all, no! It'll be fine! Needless to say, I was not pleased. Did he offer to rectify? Mmmno.) So then had to get new envelopes, and then what to do about a return address? OK, got an embosser.

Went to finally assemble, only to discover that my reply cards didn't fit into the envelopes either! (My fault on that part - they were a holdover from the original invites and I just never thought to check. The difference was like an eighth of an inch. Aarg.) So out came the exacto knife to cut 51 postcards down to size.

And OMG the stamps! Went to the post office - you know, the government run business-type organization responsible for distributing mail - to ask them what denomination of stamp to put on a square envelope. "Well how much does it weigh?" "It's just a normal invitation - just a couple pieces of paper. It's not heavy. It's just like a letter in a square envelope." "Well we'd need to know how much it weighs." "Isn't there just a standard upcharge for a square envelope, for the handling fee because it can't run through the machine?" Between three postal employess they still couldn't figure it out. Finally, "Well, I have this one stamp with a wedding cake on it for 61 cents." "Do you think that might be the one for a square envelope?" "Well I don't know..." Got online later to find that, oddly enough, yes, there is a 17 cent upcharge for a square envelope. Go figure.

And then stamps for the reply cards! Those we ordered online, and four days later they still hadn't arrived. So I stood in line for half an hour last night to buy a few sheets of the same stamps I'd ordered. I arrived home to find that... the stamps had arrived.

But none of this matters anymore. You know why? Because THE INVITATIONS ARE IN THE MAIL! I am, of course, saying a little prayer to the postal gods that nothing crazy happens to them in transit. I worked hard for those little squares!