20 6 / 2013
I did not do a ton of wedding-y things when we got married. I bought a short white dress, I hired a photographer, I made a reservation at a restaurant. On a whim one Friday I thought it might be kind of fun to hold some flowers. I found a picture of something I liked and said to the sweet lady in a local shop, “I like funky and organic and I like this picture, but if you have some fun stuff lying around and you want to throw it in? Do it.”
She did a fabulous job.
taken the day after…still looking pretty decent.
For the detail oriented, she used peonies, ranunculus, stock, succulents, some spiky things that kept poking Tyler the whole time, and some fun velvety leaf that I don’t know the name for (ideas?).
What impressed me most was that it held up through a thunderstorm as well as being laid down on rocks because I couldn’t hold an umbrella, my shoes, jump over a puddle and hold that thing at the same time. I think I dropped it once, as well. A succulent or two lost a few petals. Not bad.
Flowers die. But succulents can be rooted! Huzzah! So I consulted twitter and the internet and found that succulents can be rooted by basically pulling off a few base leaves, letting it “callous” and then plopping it on some dirt and back off.
I did all those things except for the last part… I don’t back off well. I potted three of them and so far they have all rooted very nicely. Know how I know they rooted nicely? Because I didn’t back off. I keep lifting them up to see that yes, those pinky-white roots are still there and shooting out all over the place.
I’m crossing my fingers for these little guys. They make me happy.
19 6 / 2013
When I drove away from Tampa for the last time, I bawled. Ugly cried. I cried for several miles out of town because I had become so attached to that place and I felt like I had worked so hard to make it feel like home.
The transition to Arkansas was easier; I got comfortable faster. I knew what to expect when I moved there and didn’t spend so much time wondering when will I make solid friendships? At what point will I be able to navigate this city without yelling at my gps? when will I find the places that are My Places? I didn’t get all weepy when I drove away. Maybe I didn’t have to work so hard in Little Rock. I think I also had a lot more that I was driving towards this time.
So this transition to Philly should be a piece of cake, right? “HA!” said the universe! Because the universe don’t play, ya’ll. The universe is all “this is going to be not just a transition but a TRANSITION with the caps lock on and everything.’
It’s not enough just to move. I got married, moved, and gained a roommate with whom I have an invested and committed relationship (a whole different animal than having a friend/acquaintance roommate.) So, yes. I’m tired of circling blocks to find the post office. I’m saying things to Siri I’m not proud of. I’m searching online for gender neutral decorative pillows. I’m balancing the part of my brain that’s longing for my job to start with the part of my brain that says, take a nap, crazy person, that’s what a summer is for.
Speaking of naps. It’s on my schedule tomorrow.
17 6 / 2013
Several weeks ago Tyler and I talked about taking a weekend trip after I arrived in Philly. I thought maybe a bed and breakfast in somewhere like Connecticut or Vermont sounded fun. I mean, I have no idea what I would do in either of these states but a b&b in these places sounds like A Thing, right? I don’t know. People from Mississippi go to Gulf Shores for a vacation. YES, some Mississippians (not all of us) vacation in Alabama. It’s a sad state of affairs. In comparison, Vermont and Connecticut sound awesome.
I had heard good things about Airbnb…from the internet. So I felt that we would either be robbed and murdered, or we would have a fantastic time! Vermont sounded pretty and relaxing and has a very low murder rate, so I did some searching and found this:
This gorgeous place is in the middle of Beautiful Nowhere, Vermont with mountains all around and it is owned by the sweetest couple from Switzerland. We rented their upstairs, private-entrance apartment for the weekend and were welcomed with breakfast goodies and a bottle of something celebratory since I had said we’d just gotten married. Their hospitality was beyond what we could have ever expected and after a few conversations and being given a tour of their gorgeous farmhouse and downstairs artist studio, I secretly dreamed of being best friends with them.
You know what we did for fun in Vermont? We ate. Like champs. And, no, I do not regret all those blocks of cheese I ate at the creameries. Or the maple syrup I funneled down my throat at a sugarhouse. Or the caramel made from goat’s milk that I later ate with a spoon out of the jar I bought from that goat farm we visited. (ps. Who wouldn’t love a small goat farm with a strong social media presence? I’m looking at you, Fat Toad Farm)
My only regret of the whole trip was that I did not return to Philly with my own baby goat. Over the course of our married life, I think I can wear Tyler down on the goat issue. One of these days, people.
16 6 / 2013
T: Thank you for cleaning your closet tomorrow.
Me: What are you trying to say?
08 6 / 2013
Leaving Arkansas today. It’s been a good two years.
06 6 / 2013
Thursday night I tried really hard to play hostess at my apartment. The same apartment where all of my things were packed in cardboard so people walked around a pathway of boxes to get anywhere. A few hours after everyone left, the power went out. Tornadoes. Sirens.
We had no power all day Friday. All my stuff, my clothes, my kitchenaid mixer, my books I’ve collected for my students went on a padlocked trailer. Thought I would be sad, nope. Just hot. And wanted electricity.
Saturday morning, the day Tyler and I planned to get married, it rained the hardest rain I had seen in a long time. I took a deep breath, bought umbrellas, borrowed a pair of rain boots, booked a room in the case of a tornado, hoped for the best. Everyone I saw that day gave me the same raised-eyebrow are you really doing this outside look. Oh heck yes, salon ladies, I will wear rain boots if needed.
3:45 rolled around and I climbed in the passenger seat of my car and looked over at Tyler. Rain or shine or tornadoes or a plague of locusts, we were getting married in 15 minutes. It felt so good. And the most cliche thing happened, I tried to wrap my brain around the fact that all our hard work was bringing us to this point… and then I felt dizzy. It felt so much bigger than I had anticipated.
We stood in the rain, the pouring and thundering and lightning and can-barely-hear-the-person-next-to-you kind of rain. We read vows off of a wet sheet of paper Tyler had folded in his now wet suit pocket. We exchanged rings we had bought for ourselves and then kissed.
And then…we were married.
At this point, four days later, it feels like everything and kind of nothing at all has changed. Tyler is in Philadelphia back at work and I am finishing my last few days with students. Texts, phone calls, emails. Husband, wife, a whole lot more of the pronoun “we”. Everything and nothing has changed all at once. I couldn’t be happier.
photo by kayla raye photography
01 6 / 2013
24 5 / 2013
"Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language."
19 5 / 2013
15 5 / 2013
In about three weeks, I’ll make my third major move since college. I’ve been getting by on just leaving boxes in my parents’ garage “for later” which we all know means “never,” but now I feel kind of bad about the giant boxes of art history books and extra dishtowels just hanging out in there taking up room. A good child would go through her stuff in her parents’ garage. A Perfect and Truly Thankful Child would host a yard sale. Not winning that award this year.
Every time I move, I think it all comes down to two major planning strategies:
1. Sell it.
2. Burn it.
And I don’t think I’m in the mood for selling.
14 5 / 2013
"I got two eyes and two arms. I ain’t a octopus, people!"
13 5 / 2013
First of all, take a deep breath. You’ve been hyperventilating a lot lately and chewing pepto bismal tablets like it’s the last food on Earth. You’re worrying a lot about this Art History thing. In fact, some one is going to tell you that this whole Art History thing is like trying to write with your left hand. You can do it, sure, but it’s going to be more uncomfortable and require a lot more exertion on your part to do it because it isn’t what comes most naturally to you. You eventually find something that will feel more right-handed than anything you’ve ever done.
Want to have your mind blown, 22 year old? In a few years you will get a dream job you do not even know exists yet. Some interview processes will feel kind of long, so long, in fact, that you will start to feel like a contestant on The Bachelor trapped in a never ending final rose ceremony. No crying in the limo for you, though! (No, you don’t start watching the Bachelor at any point, this is just an analogy that works here.) Quit checking your inbox every five minutes. You’re doing it now because you are scared there will be an email from a professor saying “Do it over.” Later, you will incessantly check hoping for news on that application you put in. You’ll drive yourself a little crazy with this bad habit.
What I’m trying to say is, hang in there, kid. It’s going to be fine.
Ps. Go to the beach more while you can. It won’t always be 20 minutes and one bridge away. Also, reading about minority abstract expressionist painters is way more fun when you’re digging your toes in the sand while getting it done.