Fall in July

Yesterday, after escaping the cold, gray afternoon (in July!) in a cozy bar in SF, we visited Deputy Commissioner Bress’ apartment.
I was immediately struck by the incredible library of books. DCB and his brother have amassed an impressive collection of literature that spans several beautiful built-in, floor-to-cathedral ceiling shelves. It felt like a library-David and I both checked out a book!

Anyway, of course when we got back home, to our sweet but still very bare apartment, I started dreaming about bookshelves and decorating. We have a tiny space and I worry that most bookcases could make the space look smaller. I love the idea of floating shelves since they’re light and take up little space, but I don’t think that will work in a rental. Not sure how I feel about these wallpaper or fabric-back shelves-can’t tell if they help lighten things up or are just borderline-tacky. Either way, it’s fun to let my brain wander, free from moving logistics, wedding logistics, all sorts of logistics, and just imagine:

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Officially a Family

Saturday night, David and I exchanged vows and rings and promised ourselves to each other and our family for all of time.

It was everything-beautiful, moving, overwhelming, happy, intense-all of it. Yesterday, I told David one of the most amazing, unexpected elements of it all: I now understand what it means to be truly present. Every moment in my life, I’m present, but seconds or minutes later, something else jumps to mind, or I’m shuffling through observations-even in the most quiet, subtle moments, I’m thinking-not worrying or anything bad, but never fully, fully present for a sustained period of time.

But from the moment I held my dad’s hand and we began the walk down the aisle, to the moment David and I, now husband and wife, turned the corner near Haines and ended the recessional, my mind quieted, and every ounce of my mental and physical energy was there, in that moment, without a thought to anything else. It was extraordinary.

So many other thoughts from the incredibly ceremony, the awesome reception, the overwhelming generosity and enthusiasm from our family and friends, and now our beautiful honeymoon in Santa Barbara. For now, just soaking it all up. Thinking a lot about our vows, the promise we made with our rings:

I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. With this ring, I give you your freedom and my trust in you. I give you my heart until the end of time; I have no greater gift to give.

and the sheer wonder that I am now David’s wife!

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1 day

Tomorrow!!

Rehearsed, dined with family and friends, celebrated with the BEST and now some rest.

Let’s do this! So excited to marry David tomorrow.

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5-2 days

The last time I spent the night on campus at UCLA was late August, 2007. I hardly slept, filled with anxiety about starting law school in Baltimore, and flying to Maryland the next morning.

I’ve been back to campus several times since, but tonight, it was a pretty surreal to look out of my hotel room, see the McGowan Theater, and know that once again, I was staying back on campus.

Equally eye-popping is that the wedding is the day after tomorrow. It’s exciting. Felt great today to arrive at UCLA, be with David, car dance on the drive up with Janou, wrap up more tasks, and get ready to welcome our friends and family to the weekend!

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6 days

Goodbye, 4th of July holiday weekend! Thank you for providing a day off right when I needed it.

Abu and Mom have been wedding-prep powerhouses and this weekend was much less stressful than I anticipated thanks to their efforts. I’m so grateful. It was still busy, but productive and it was a relief to see different pieces coming together.

In addition to offering an unprecedented amount of time to commit to wedding errands and tasks, this weekend was nice because:

1) A quick flight and poof! Home in Don Bren country:

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2) Listening to Dad read the Declaration of Independence on the 4th:

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3) Learning how to use the juicer:

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4) Returning to Oakland to one more day off and an assembled butcher block:

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5) First dinner outside on our bitty landing/entryway/deck:

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6) First A’s game with David and DCB (Deputy Commissioner Bress):

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9-7 days

Reporting once again from the flight from SNA to Oaklad-this time on the seven day mark!

Absolutely terrified of jinxing something by sounding too comfortable or confident, but overall, have greater peace of mind from this trip than I have in a while. Mom, Abu and I got a LOT done. I’m really hopeful that when I come back Tuesday night, there will be odds and ends, but really hoping to be able to relax and soak up the moment.

Also, and this is beyond embarrassing-I was waiting in-line for security and was thinking about how excited I am to see David tonight. I started to think about how I’m excited for the wedding/move/etc. to be calmed down, so David and I explore our neighborhood, enjoy our time at home, and not think only about the next task to take care of. And then-this is the embarassing part-I thought-Yeah! That’s why where doing this! Not to have a party, not to try and think of every logistical issue and drive ourselves crazy, but for all the life after the wedding. Of course, I know this, of course think this, but honestly, it hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind these last few days, and it was an important forehead slap moment.

And THEN, I got on the plane, saw the battery dying on my ever weak phone, and realized the last audiobook chapter would have to wait. So, I curled up (as much as one can on a SW flight) and scrolled through MK’s book for a fun distraction.

Of course, with all that’s on my mind, her chapter, Married People Need to Step It Up, caught my eye. It hilarious, of course, but this passage in particular made me smile:

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(Reprinted without permission from Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (2012)-will gladly remove if, it turns out that, anyone is in fact reading this and the reprint is some sort of violation).

Isn’t is just a sweet passage? Picking a random chapter from that book to zone out and laugh always puts a me in a better mood.

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12-10 days

Back home again! Flew home after work for the last trip before THE trip. Can’t believe it’s 4th of July weekend. I remember when we picked the date, long before we knew we would move, thinking, ok, I’ll fly back 4th of July weekend and from there on out-I’ll be home and it will be wedding zone.

Feeling much, much better about that zone today than a day ago. Monday, the 12th day, was kind of a blur of work and planning e-mails/calls.

Then, yesterday, I hit a wall of stress. All the anxiety-will it all go smoothly, will everyone like it, am I overlooking any guest’s needs-swirled in an anxious stress thought loop.

Thankfully, Janou was free for a call, so I stepped out into the sunny plaza in front of City Hall and let allllllll the stress out. It helped so much. I miss Janou and Katie so much. It’s hard not being able to go get a drink after work or go on a walk and just let it go.

Anyway, I felt a million times better after my Janou call, but by the end of the day I was exhausted. It was definitely a get-home-from-work-crawl-into-bed and read Mindy Kaling interviews and book excerpts evening. David came home from work, I detailed the stress again, and we went out for burgers. Maybe I just needed protein?

Either way, the combination of a call with Janou + trying a new restaurant with David + face-timing with Mr. Bress (and hearing a sneak peak of his ceremony script!) really turned the day around.

And now, after a good day of work and a quick flight home, it’s practically 4th of July weekend and single digit countdown time…wild.

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17-13 days

Less than two weeks!

In my mind, I’m trying to tell myself that this is all going down next weekend. I want to get stuff done this week, so there’s not a million things next weekend. Also, need to be sure to sleep-totally nervous about getting sick…

The past few days have been BUSY. The week was mostly work + planning e-mails and calls. Wednesday night, David finished the dresser-hooray!-and our apartment is one step closer to liveable. We had a Blue Apron order, and enjoyed delicious pan seared salmon, Israeli cous-cous and a fava bean relish. Our first home cooked meal in the new apartment!

Thursday night I met up with my friend Jenn from college at a bar near work. It was great to see her and catch up-it’s been years. It will be interesting getting used to a new happy hour scene. I didnt go to HH all the time, but I did get so comfortable at a few places in DC. The bar we went to on Thursday was really cool (delicious Moscow Mules!), but just new and different.

Explored my first Bay Area farmers market Sunday-the Friday market in Old Oakland. Tons of incredible produce and the pies and baked goods looked heavenly. Can’t wait to try more.

Never did I ever think I would be able to make ramen, but thanks to Blue Apron, made it for dinner Friday. First time cooking with garlic scapes and the combination with spicy ginger, spicy arugula, lemon and soft boiled eggs in a veggie broth-verrrry good.

David and I spent the rest of the night on wedding tasks-only two more weekends to get stuff done…

And certainly took care of a lot this weekend. Flew down early Saturday morning. I don’t ever want to forget how psychologically thrilling it was waking up Saturday morning, knowing I was going home, and home was just an hour flight away. I’ve literally never experienced that before-an hour flight from one home to another-and I never want to take it for granted. It is just awesome.

Took care of a lot of errands and in-person meetings in this short trip. The highlight-sneaking in a quick breakfast with my mom at the Fairmount before a day packed with tasks. It was nice to have a few quiet moments to just catch up. And then, just before getting on the plane tonight, Mom, Dad, Abu and I had a rapid-fire wine tasting before I left for the airport. Most of the wines were really terrible, but I think we found a few good ones. The rest will be perfect for buckets of sangria :)

Still lots to do-I fly back in a few day for one last trip-but made a good dent in the down-to-the-wire tasks!

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23-18 days

Incredible that there’s less than three weeks till the wedding. Getting really excited!

Lots going on in the last few days. Getting used to work, exploring the neighborhood and a quick Saturday trip to the beach.

In the last few days…

Explored Sacramento and went to a few meetings. Met up with Eric and Molly for dinner at Hock Farms. It was delicious and so fun to walk over to a bar to meet up with friends after work on a Friday.

Caught up on wedding + apartment to-dos on Saturday and explored Point Reyes:

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We had an awesome picnic and just soaked up the excitement of being outside, by the water and not packing. Felt great to feel the wind and sun.

Caught up with our awesome friends, Alex and Rebecca on Sunday. It was neat to start the day having breakfast with friends in Stockholm. Budak took a screenshot of the moment G chat froze on us-ha!

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Mr. Bress-friend/officiant extradordinaire-came over and we watched the USA game at a local bar:

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So, so excited for him to lead our ceremony and to MARRY us. In just a few days!!

But now, bedtime for bonzo.

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27-24 days

Is that right? 24 days until the wedding? Unreal.

Equally unreal-I live in California now. Feeling so completely foreign and new in the state where you grew up and lived for 22 years is-likely an experience unique to a Californian.

Since I’ve been an Oakland resident for all of four days, hesitant to make any generalizations about what this means or what it’s like here-all I know is that it’s new. And different. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve moved home-this is a completely new place.

However, unlike the last time I moved across the country, I don’t have that haunting, terrifying sense of total loneliness. When I moved to Baltimore, I felt completely alone-like I had to do everything and figure everything out. Which was basically true.

This time around, I’m astounded at how different the change is psychologically. Not being alone, having David here, makes the whole thing completely different. And the fact that his family is close by and my parents are drivable just puts everything into a completely different mindset.

It doesn’t mean that this isn’t a lot-it just doesn’t feel insurmountable. It’s been intense-when David met me at baggage claim, I just wanted to collapse. The feeling of exhaustion is wearing off, but still having the new-kid-in-school moments. Just trying to be patient with everything and take everything slowly.

One thing I do know-I don’t ever want to take this weather for granted. It is gorgeous here. Each morning, when I wake up to sunlight! Shining through the widows (byeeee basement apartment!) I remind myself of how awesome that is. Every walk that doesn’t end drenched in sweat feels like such a gift. It’s brutal right now in DC, and I feel a bit obnoxious writing this. But this is just incredible and I don’t ever want to be blasé about it-it’s awesome and I hope I’ll continue to be awed and grateful.

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