Day 30 of #30thankfuldays

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Day 30: I have saved the best for last. I am eternally grateful for my favorite person in the whole world: my husband, Brice.


Before we got married, we were asked by our celebrant do some “homework” — a letter, telling her why each of us wanted to marry the other person. I’ve never revealed the entire letter to him, but I want him to be able to read it.

“Why I want to marry Brice…

…he’s kind, thoughtful, honest, and wants nothing more than to make me happy. He works so hard each day to be a better person, and would never want to disappoint his family, his friends, or me. He makes me laugh every day (he’s very witty and makes clever jokes, but will still say something incredibly silly and goofy). He inspires and encourages me to work as hard as he does, yet wants me to work harder at achieving a better balance between my work and home lives. He is supportive of my choices and strong when I am not. He loves me, he loves my family, he loves my friends, and is not jealous of any of these relationships. He balances me — when I’m completely irrational, he’s the voice of reason; when he’s feeling negative, I can see something good about what’s happening; when I am nervous, he can be social for both of us (and vice versa); his family is tiny, mine is massive… 😉 And, he’s really nice to look at! 🙂
He and I met in a Political Science class during the spring semester of our junior year at the University of Colorado. I had left for class late, and by the time I got to class, my usual seat was gone. I looked around the room for an open seat, saw one next to Brice (I noticed his eyes from the front of the room), and so I smiled and sat down next to him. He and I started “talking” by writing little sarcastic remarks on each other’s notebooks, and he’d walk me to my next class together. He came to a sorority function of mine, and then I went to hang out at his house with him, and it didn’t take much more time for me to know that I was hooked on him.
This description doesn’t do him justice. Nothing can. He’s my match. I can’t wait to marry him.”
There are people who worry endlessly about their choice to marry someone. They ask themselves if their chosen mate really is “the one” or if they are prepared to spend their life committed to only one person. They panic on their wedding day and are unable to enjoy the day. I was not one of those people. On the night before our wedding, I got organized in my hotel room and slept soundly. When our wedding day arrived, I was serene. I ran in the morning and spent time with friends for breakfast. I relaxed throughout the day and when Brice sent me a text about forgetting ties for the groomsmen, I was unfazed. My wedding coordinator and my friends and family all commented on how calm I was and on how at ease I seemed. I was calm, I was at ease. It wasn’t an act. I was ready to marry him, and I knew it was what I wanted. I wasn’t worried about my choice at all. my groom 3
When I walked down the aisle, he was all I could see. I have no idea who was at the ceremony — my tunnel vision only let me see him. He looked amazing — so handsome in his navy suit and with his blue eyes gleaming. He was smiling at me, with his quiet, reserved smile that I love so much. The rest of the ceremony, and even parts of the reception, all seem to blur together, but I’ll never ever forget how he looked and how sure I was that I was supposed to marry him.
My initial description still doesn’t do him justice. He brings me joy and makes me fall in love with him every day. Brice is my friend, confidant, love, and match. Happy Thanksgiving, Love. You are what I am most thankful for, this year and for all of my years to come.
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Day 5 of #30thankfuldays

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Thank you LovenJoy Photography for this picture.
Thank you to LovenJoy Photography for this picture.

Day 5: I am incredibly thankful for the relationship I have with my father. My dad and I have been through a lot together, and there were times in middle and high school when I thought we’d never be close. But, during my junior year of high school after I broke up with a boyfriend who was bad for me, I turned to my father for comfort, and I am so happy that I did. Dad was choked up when we all chipped in to buy him an iPad at Christmas 2 years ago, he was at a loss for words at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding to my wonderful husband, and he turned me into a bucket of tears during our dance at the wedding. Love you, Dad.

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Santa Fe

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Brice and I LOVE Santa Fe. We went once in March, during my Spring Break, and fell in love with the place. It’s so relaxed. And, when you’re a little ball of stress (or, in Brice’s case, a taller ball of stress), a place like Santa Fe is a great place to mellow out.

We left on Friday morning around 9, and actually hit the road around 9:30 or so. It’s an easy drive — just a straight shot down I-25 until you see the signs for Santa Fe, and it only takes 5-6 hours! We use Jetsetter to find great deals on hotels, and we have been fortunate enough to stay at the Hotel St. Francis each time we’ve gone to the city. (It’s a cool, gothic-looking place with a warm feeling, clean rooms, and a welcoming staff.) This hotel is perfect for us — it’s about a block from the Santa Fe Plaza and surrounded by tons of cool restaurants (including my new favorite, Cafe Pasqual’s), museums, art galleries, and there’s no shortage of little shops to peek into or street vendors to haggle with (if you’re into haggling — I stink at it and would rather just pay the price on the little handwritten tags). Fortunately enough, it was also a few blocks from the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where my good friend Josh married his love, Daniele, last night (which, of course, was the reason for our trip).

Christmas tamales. Holy yumness, Batman.

After we checked in to our hotel on Friday, Brice and I went to the downstairs bar for our first margarita of the weekend, and ended up spending the entire evening wandering from one restaurant to another, walking and talking, and eating and drinking well (in moderation, obviously). Our friend Dan joined us later that night, and we spent some time just catching up and enjoying each other’s company. The next morning, Brice and I went to breakfast at Cafe Pasqual’s before meeting up with Dan, another good friend, Jillian, and her husband, Laith, to wander around the Plaza, eat more good food, and find Dan a cowboy hat. (Did you know that a good one can cost $1000? Holy smokes. I had no idea!)

Before too long, it was time to head over to the wedding. Jill, Laith, Dan, and Brice and I went our separate ways to get ready, and we all met up again at the Loretto Chapel for Josh and Dani’s wedding. This was the first wedding Brice and I have been to since our own, and it was really, really nice. We were able to sit and enjoy someone else get married, and I really loved that I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, I love this idea… stealing it” or “I don’t think I’ll do that one…” for a change. It was so fun to hear Josh and Dani’s vows, and it made me think of my own to Brice, and how happy I was to exchange them with him. I had forgotten what it was like to simply observe a wedding; to simply sit and watch two people make a commitment to one another that will change their lives forever… I really appreciated the chance to do so. And, after having the opportunity to work on a ceremony and vows, I loved hearing the vows that Josh and Dani chose for themselves — very traditional, very simple, very elegant.

My favorite part of the whole wedding was getting to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I was able to catch up with Grant, who I haven’t seen since he joined the Navy and was deployed to a ship that traveled all over the world; and introduce Brice to Sam, a friend who lived in the same neighborhood as Josh and I (around the corner, in fact), and who I hadn’t seen in at least 10 years. We talked and it felt like we were picking up right where we left off, and it made me so grateful to have such old friendships that could just continue from the last time we’d seen each other, and that were still so much fun and not the least bit awkward.

This trip to Santa Fe was even more fun than the last time we went, because I was there to celebrate a wonderful couple and spend time with great friends. Here’s to a fabulous city and weekend, and I can’t wait for another one in Santa Fe.


The Next Chapter

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wedding party
Our wedding party

It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it.

I’ve spent about a year and a half trying to put a wedding together. (Not by myself, of course. I had Brice and Jazmine, our wedding coordinator, without whom a wedding would not have happened.) And then, the day is finally here and people that you love are asking you how are you are, and talking about “your big day.”

Then there are people doing your hair and makeup, photographers taking pictures of your clothing and your bridal party getting ready, and friends and family tying ties, buttoning dresses, and holding your train as you run down the hotel hallways.

I remember taking pictures on 17th and Stout in my wedding dress and thinking, “Wow, I’m actually doing this right now.” And then I was in the hotel lobby taking more pictures, getting into a SUPER packed limo – which only got more packed later on – and talking to my bridesmaids and mother and mother-in-law. Before I knew it, I was at the Pavilion in Cheesman Park, standing next to my father and trying to make him laugh so that we wouldn’t both cry (I saw him starting to well up, so I said, “Don’t you dare” – it worked like a charm). When I was walking down the aisle with my dad, I remember seeing a few of the faces of our guests, but the face I remember the most is Brice’s. He looked so amazing in his suit and tie, and despite being uncomfortable with all eyes on him, he was all smiles… I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way that he looked.

Our ceremony was beautiful and perfect – exactly what we wanted. I managed to hold it together throughout most of the ceremony; when I started to well up a bit, Brice caught me and whispered, “You’ve made it this far…” …I stifled a laugh, he put a ring on my finger, and I put one on his. We kissed as husband and wife, and walked back down the aisle together.

After pictures, it was time to party. We had great food, great wine, wonderful toasts from our friends, and fun dancing. I was, as Jazmine put it, “a bucket of tears” when I danced with my dad. I laughed through my entire dance with Brice, and he swears he’ll never dance again, which I hope isn’t true… The day, while I remember all of it, went by in a flash. You spend so much time preparing for the day, and then it’s over before you know it. Amazing how quickly the day you’ve spent the last year and a half planning for is over. In a flash.

It was so wonderful to see all of the friends and family who came to spend the evening with us. If any of you are reading this, Brice and I thank you so much for celebrating with us.

And, now that the wedding is over and we’re back from our honeymoon, we’re ready to start the next chapter of our lives: marriage.


Been married for 1 month, y’all!

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Irises from my husband of 1 month.

Sadly, I had to get rid of my old MacBook – the first generation, sleek and black little number that my parents got me for graduate school – and have subsequently lost all of my old website postings! (Mac OS X Lion doesn’t support MobileMe, my previous host. Sad day.) I’m working on restoring them to this site, but it’s going to take some manual reloading, which is a bear. To that end, I’m working on making this site as cool as the old one was (well, as cool as I thought it was).

I’ve also been gearing up for the new school year by making some new classroom posters and creating the online tests I’m planning to use this year. It’s taking some time to make those, and I can’t believe that I created those during the school year – they can be really time-consuming to make. Of course, the benefit is that they take no time at all to grade! I’ve made one 80 question exam that I can pick and choose questions from for the actual test. Got a few more to make this summer. (Need to get on that.)

I’ve also been working to change my maiden name to my married name. Holy frijoles – that’s an awful process. Never mind the fact that I had a few reservations about doing it in the first place, because I have a pretty cool name, really. (My husband actually has a cool one too, and I decided that taking his new name meant more to me than keeping my old one.) But, now that I’ve started the change, I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like the process is the biggest pain! Step 1, social security office. Step 2, wait at least 24 hours for the change to take place in their records. Step 3, DMV. Step 3a, take a letter-number combination that make sense only to the DMV employees, and then wait for-freakin’-ever and try not to let the stench of the friendly older gentleman sitting next to you make your eyes water. Step 3b, register to vote with your new name, take your new picture, then cry because it’s not as nice as your old one… but I digress. Steps 4-∞, update your new name with your bank, credit card companies, employer, insurance companies, passport office (there goes $110), and every single other thing that has your name on it. It’s a long process, and I’m not halfway done yet.

Sorry for slackin’ – I’ll get on it.


2 more weeks!

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The pool at the Monte Carlo in Vegas. Can I please go back?

Yes, that’s correct — Brice and I are getting married in 2 more weeks! Crazy soon!

Last week, my bridesmaids and I all had our final fittings. Most of them went well — only 1 dress snafu — and my dress is stinkin’ perfect. PERFECT. I didn’t want to take it off once I was all zipped in! On Tuesday, Brice and I went to our reception space and mapped out the room with Jazmine (the Great). We’ve “arranged” the tables, dance floor,  cake table, etc. and are really happy with they way that the space will look. I’ve got a few more details that I need to iron out (escort cards and table numbers, mostly), but otherwise, things are really coming together.

May has been eventful in so many ways. Matt graduated from college on the 11th. I was in Vegas with my dear friends Rachel and Nay to celebrate Rachel’s graduation (got her Master’s — go lady!) that weekend, and then a week or so later, Mollie graduated from Overland High School! My parents are probably going crazy with all of the different events to go to — at least it’s all fun stuff…

Finally, I’m wrapping up my first year with 6th graders. I think they’ve definitely gotten to a point where they’re “over” school, and I’m just as eager as they are to take a break and enjoy my summer. I’m very nearly done with my grades, and I’m starting to pack up my classroom (only the things that the kids don’t see, like my cabinet — yikes), and gearing up for a wedding and some lazy days.

1 week until summer, and 2 until our wedding. Whoa.


A quick update…

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Wedding stuff is totally picking up steam lately; it’s made me slightly unavailable! I’m working on getting flowers and stationary, and cake-tasting and dress alterations… the list goes on (and makes my head hurt). I knew there was a lot that went into planning a wedding, but I don’t think that anyone really knows just how much until they start to plan their own!

Brice and I finally took our engagement photos in January. We took a trip to CU in Boulder and spent time wandering the campus with our photographer following closely behind us. Brice — always uncomfortable getting attention and even more so getting his picture taken — was upset about the entire experience, and I spent my time laughing and and elated that he was even tolerating the process. There were a few moments of awkward pictures, and a few where Brice and I relaxed a bit, and out of those moments came some truly great photos. You can check a few of them out here if you’re interested!