Wedding Wednesday: One Day More!

The day before our wedding my eyes popped open maniacally at the stroke of 5 AM. The sense of calm that had hung over the previous days had been replaced by low level buzz of anxious anticipation. A feeling akin, I must imagine, to waking up on Christmas Eve with just one present left to purchase – the excitement of the holiday being so near mixed with the light panic of the important task left unfinished.I passed the hours until my family woke up chugging coffee, pacing around the house and doing planks, in hopes that some light core exercise might calm my nerves and also transform me to Gisele Bundchen in under 24 hours.

Spoiler alert: it did neither.

I have now seemingly blacked out the next several hours. I remember we packed gift bags into boxes and made a bunch of piles and knowing me, I probably ate some kind of eggs for breakfast but the next moment I remember, it is coming on noon and my mom is asking me to take a look at the wine she plans to bring to the hotel suite and I’m snapping “I don’t care! You just make a call! Pack it all! Or none! I can’t look at that wine right now, I don’t care!”

It was not my finest moment. But also not my worst!

Unsolicited Expert Tip for Brides: Remember, your mom is probably just trying to be helpful and doesn’t mean to get on your nerves, treat her with some grace!

Unsolicited Expert Tip for Moms: Remember, your daughter is probably just a little anxious and does’t mean to snap at you, treat her with some grace!

We moved past our drama and the group scattered to all four corners of, um, Lancaster Pennsylvania. Bernie, Michael, Marge and Aunt Katy headed into the city to check into the Lancaster Marriott, where we’d all be camped out for the weekend, and run some last minute errands, while Brian and I snuck off for lunch at a cool restaurant called Aussie and the Fox for our final romantical date as a non-married couple.

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Months before the wedding we settled on the plan to set aside a few hours just for us on Friday and it was one of the best ideas we’ve ever had. EVER. Another piece of Unsolicited Expert Advice: do this! Try to find a little time in the days leading up to the wedding for just you and your partner to take a quiet minute and recharge – a meal, a walk, a stealthy makeout sesh, whatever. Maybe have some lunchtime wine and a gigantic sandwich, which will surely reverse all positive effects of your morning plankfest but hey, it’s your wedding weekend. You deserve it! This was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. We talked about what we were most excited about in marriage, at the wedding and what we were nervous about, too. Brian even let me take that cute picture of him and normally he finds it annoying when I try to papparazo him during meals!

Imagine that.

Extra glad for this brief moment of calm and wine and Australian food because as soon as we finished, suddenly EVERYTHING. WAS. HAPPENING. We met the rest of our family back at the hotel, where none of our rooms were ready for check-in and we were one of SIX wedding parties dropping off welcome bags at the front desk. We had rented a hospitality suite for the weekend (best money we spent, truly!), which blessedly was open and ready for us to get into. No sooner had we dropped our bags in the suite, than people started to arrive.

First on the scene: bridesmaid / facebook wife Maureen, who kindly devoted her whole birthday weekend to #hottwedding festivities. She’s a gem. As a bridesmaid/birthday/10 Year Facebook Marriage and Friendship Anniversary gift I’d made her a photo book with memories of our romantic life together. I had it shipped to my office and showed it to my assistant, Margaret, and we both gleefully clapped over how nice it was and how it was “totally going to make Maureen cry.

WHY would this make us happy? Like, yes the hope was for good tears but what is with the goal of “I’m going to make someone I love WEEP in front of me.”

HUGE NEWS she totally wept. So did I. I gave her this gift while she was doing her makeup in the suite’s beautiful bathroom and I sat on the toilet while she sat on the sink counter and flipped through our shared memories and we both totally heaved and sobbed and sputtered “I love you so much!” and laughed about how ridiculous it all was, us hiding in the bathroom crying like a couple of weirdos. It was another of my favorite moments of the weekend.

So favorite, I’m tearing up right now reminiscing on it. Get it together, Hobag!

While Mo and I were sobbing away in the lavatory, my brother took my mom’s car to the train station to pick up my girlfriends who had taken the train down from NYC – bridesmaid Kathleen, stationary designer/wonderperson Jamie and ceremony musician Amy. This is an important, Chekovian note for you to keep in mind for later.

Don’t forget: Michael drives Bernie’s car on Friday evening.

DUN DUN DUNNNN.

And so! Bridesmaids and groomsmen are arriving. Brian’s parents! My dad! Aunts and uncles! Barely anyone’s rooms are ready for check-in! We take turns running back and forth from the 6th floor suite to the lobby to see if our rooms are ready. On one trip I run into a former high school classmate in the elevator. It turns out another E-town grad was getting married in Lancaster that very evening and a whole host of kids I hadn’t seen in 10 years were also staying in the Marriott. I ran into another the following morning and it gave me a perverse sense of pleasure to have all these random high school people milling around and me be able to announce to them “I’M GETTING MARRIED!!”

Adding to the It’s a Small World Disney Ride of it all, our photographer (Kylene! The bestest!) also photographed this kid’s wedding! What are the odds? Probably pretty good, honestly, it’s not that big a town but still. BUT STILL.

The rehearsal was set to begin at 4 PM and by 3:30 my nerves were at an all time high. Not for the wedding, mind you – I was still fully on board with marrying Brian and being committed fo lyfe, but I was in no way prepared for how I would feel once ALL THE PEOPLE started to arrive. This hosting, I guess you’d call it, was actually, for me, the very most stressful part of the whole wedding. Trying to spend time with everyone there, knowing they’d come just for us. Worrying that people were feeling neglected or not having fun. Did I spend enough time talking to my new in-laws? I haven’t seen my dad all summer and he’s telling me about his recent vacation and I’m only half listening because all the groomsmen just walked in and my uncle is sitting in the corner by himself and tomorrow is Maureen’s birthday and my brother’s room still isn’t ready for check in.

Anddd this was just our families and wedding party! Tomorrow’s Main Event would be like 6 times more people.

Ho. Ly. Crap.

Somehow admid the chaos, which I think was actually mostly just imagined chaos inside my own brain, we rounded up the wedding party and our families and walked the pretty two-block walk over to the wedding venue and rehearsed and it all went fine. It went FINE! I cried the entire rehearsal – good tears! – and though I never quite calmed the whole way down, the act of rehearsing, of seeing how the ceremony would proceed and getting positive feedback on our choice of readings and vows helped bring me back to earth and center me. It was all going to be OK!

LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!

We bopped it back to the hotel and hung around the suite for a while- we popped open bottles of wine and champagne and gave gifts to our family and wedding parties. Instead of going the traditional route of giving the same gift to all members of the party, we gave each of our attendants (ugh, I hate that word) gifts that were unique to them, that we knew (or hoped!) they’d like. I’ll do a whole separate post about this because I am VERY SMUG and proud of the gifts we gave and I want everyone to know how thoughtful and great we are.  But here’s a sneak peek:


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That’s right folks: more free books! (But also other nice things that we paid for. I swear!)

Ok where were we? Oh yes: DINNER TIME! Our rehearsal dinner was very intimate – just our parents, siblings, officiant and the wedding party along with their significant others, a total of 23 people. We did have beer, wine and some snacks in the hospitality suite for any out of town guests but did not open up the dinner to everyone. We did this for a number of reasons – a main one was budget yes, but also we wanted to have a little time to spend with just our parents and the people we’d chosen to stand beside us. OF COURSE I felt guilty not inviting out of town guests to the dinner, because I feel guilty about literally everything, all the time, and these people had travelled all the way to see me and was it rude not to invite them to dinner? Possibly! But buried in here is another lesson I learned/Unsolicited Expert Tip: You don’t “owe” your wedding guests anything except a wedding and even that doesn’t have to look like what tradition would dictate. These people travelled to Pennsylvania (hypothetically! or wherever!) for YOU and your partner because they love you and want to see you take this big step OR maybe because they feel guilty and obliged to be there but either way, they are there of their own accord and they love you and are happy just to be there and as long as you are gracious and warm, that’s all they need. I hope, anyway.

Ok lesson over. But this long ass recap? STILL GOING!!!

We held our rehearsal dinner at a super cute place in Lancaster called Commonwealth on Queen. By day they are a coffee shop / cafe and by night, they provide space and catering for private parties or events. We really wanted the night to feel like an intimate dinner party – but without anyone having to cook or open their home. Well, someone did cook, obviously but we paid them to do it. CoQ is about a five minute walk from the Marriott (best part of our downtown city wedding, everything was within walking distance! No worries about shuttles, cabs or drunk driving. Drunk walking, though…another story.) Apparently the third Friday of every month is Live Music Friday (or something like that…I’m too lazy to look it up) in downtown Lancaster. And they are NOT hurting for participants. Essentially every other sidewalk square housed some sort of performer of increasingly questionable musical skill. As we walked the five short blocks from the hotel to the dinner venue we were serenaded by the sounds of a one man troubadour band, several saxophonists andat least four steel drummers. A disco ball inexplicably flashed in the window of the local noodle shop. In the parking lot of my mom’s office, a Fleetwood Mac cover band scratchily warbled “thunder only happens when it’s raining…” while across the street, a man with an accordion lingered in the shadows of a parking garage.

Whether he was a sanctioned member of Free Music Friday or just a creep, we may never know for sure.

It was the most magical five minute walk of my lifetime, and I think at least one of our guests believed us when we said we hired the musicians as part of our wedding weekend, to liven up the rehearsal dinner commute.

The restaurant was perfection. They set up a long table at front of house with beer, wine and BOMB appetizers – all sourced from local farms and vendors! –  including antipasta, some kind of cucumbers stuffed with dip situation, mozerrella caprese skewers and these white bean crostini that I still dream about.

Here are some photos taken by our sweet friend Ankita (betrothed of the Best Man!) to illustrate this story:

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Father of the Groom, Father of the Bride, Laurie! 

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Maureen, Jayne (my mom’s bestie who also officiated our wedding), Brian’s mama, Amy (in a dress I’m not sure I complimented night-of but girl, dat dress!) & Jamie

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Best man Vai & groomsman Adam

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Adam, Sandy, Kathleen & Vai 

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Almost married!! 

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Super cute venue made xxxxxtra cute with the addition of amazing banner hand made by Maureen. She texted me earlier in the week “if one was to have a banner on their wedding day, what would it say? asking for a friend…” haha. We then proceeded to have a conversation about her “friend” and this “banner” and I don’t know how that imaginary person felt about their imaginary banner but this real life friend LOVED her banner. 

As you can see from these photos, the restaurant has big glass windows (as opposed to what, Liz, concrete windows?) on all sides looking out onto the intersections of Queen and Walnut Streets – geographical details which surely mean nothing to 99.9 percent of you (hi to the other .1, Bernie & Angie!) but it’s a relatively bustling area of downtown. As we sophisticatedly sipped vino and noshed on appetizers, a commotion gathered outside of the window. We’re still not entirely sure what went down but from the best of our collective guesses, a (likely inebriated) man in a purple car (stuffed with so much stuff, he may have lived in it) attempted to turn the wrong way down one way Queen Street, blocking traffic including a HISTORICAL TROLLEY. Lancaster, I love ya. Also somehow involved: a well-dressed businessman type driving a black SUV, now pulled over cattycorner from the restaurant and US service member dressed in full camo and driving a big white pickup truck. Cops raced to the scene…on bicycles.

BICYCLES!

Purple car man was out of his vehicle and pacing around. White truck Army dude was talking to bike cops. Businessman just leaned against his SUV.

Somehow the trolley navigated the mess and pulled away, much to the mutual dismay of the 23 members of our wedding party, now gathered around the window, faces pressed to the glass. This was the most exciting thing any of us had seen since the finale of Braking Bad. Soon some cops in motor vehicles arrived and the poor bicyclists – first on the scene! – were sent back to whence they came…probably patrolling Free Music Friday and making sure faux Stevie Nicks didn’t get too out of control on her keyboard. Inside, we all huddled together, coming up with theories on what was going down.

Who was driving drunk? Was someone on drugs? Was the US Army somehow involved or was that just a lone soldier, caught up in this hot mess? The world may never know!

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This picture makes me laugh SO HARD. Here we see our friend Melissa (who will play an important role in our ceremony the next day, stay tuned for THAT novella to come) giving her version of the events – “he veered to the left!” she seems to be saying- while behind the gaggle of ladies, Brian’s sister’s boyfriend Andrew gives his play-by-play, including some very emphatic hand motions. I look stoned. Bernie looks startled (and FOXAY in that dress, might I add) while Kathleen ignores all the drama and makes love to the camera. Werk it girl!

A slightly more frame-worth op of the same crew.

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Kathleen, Maid of Honor Margepants, Melissa, BRIDE OBVI DUH and Bernie, continuing to kill it in that dress 

The excitement died down and we all sat for dinner. The venue had two long tables set up and served dinner family style – steak with pesto, eggplant parm, polenta and grilled summer squash. The centerpieces were made by a local florist, too!

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GORGEOUS! 

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Don’t worry, we took them with us when we left.

PS: I love my friends. 

After dinner, dessert was spread out on the front table – mini brownies and cookies, coffee, tea and the MOST AMAZING mascarpone parfaits, layered with fresh berries. I had two. So wild of me, I KNOW. Maureen and I sat and caught up with my dad and his partner Laurie – Mo regaled them with tales of her competitive figure skating career – and the rest of our crew was able to move from their dinner seats and keep mingling.

The restaurant was closed to the public for the evening, but the doors were unlocked and they didn’t hang any signage indicating that it was a private event, so throughout the evening people would wander in off the street, hoping to get a table. Instead of stressing me out, this made me feel fancy and exclusive and I am shamed to admit the great pleasure I took in turning people away.

“Ohhhh, I’m so sorry, this is a private party” I’d say, with a condescending smirk. “I don’t think you’re on the list.”

In all earnestness, though, and with no accompanying Mean Girls gifs, the whole dinner was just so fun and again, genuinely relaxing. I was still worrying about getting in enough time with everyone and making sure people were having a good time but for the most part, I felt like I was able to chat with all my peeps and enjoy the food. It really had the dinner party feel we were hoping for and we’re so grateful to The Scotts for hosting and Bernie for her help getting it set up and Commonwealth on Queen for the beautiful meal! And to those idiots for crashing their cars and providing endless hilarity to us all!

After dinner we trucked it back to the hotel, heaps of leftover alcohol in hand, and partied it UP in the hospitality suite. Some friends from out of town had arrived while we were at the rehearsal and they met us back at the hotel after having dinner at a place called  Yorgo’s which is a restaurant but I always confuse with Yorgey’s, which is the dry cleaners. This has zero point zero percent to do with this story, I just think it’s a little weird to have both a Yorgo’s and a Yorgey’s in the same town, you know?

Back at the hotel  the booze was flowing and we kicked off our shoes and Amy put on a party playlist and cousins arrived from all over – New Hampshire! Atlanta! Upstate New York! – and it WAS SO MUCH FUN. I managed to repress most of my “is everyone having a good time” anxiety (thanks to my dear friend champagne, probably) and just soak up the love and good energy and ooof it was the best. At about 11 PM, my sweet Brian tapped out around to retire to his own room – he is much more the introvert in our relationship, so thinking of how tired I was at this point – as a person who thrives on group energy –  I can not imagine how exhausted he must have been. Homeboy was done for the day. I followed suit around 12:30 or so. Bernie and I were shacking up together in a room adjoining the party suite (nontraditional as we sort of are, B and I decided to spend the night before the wedding apart, it felt romantic!), so our group very kindly took the rest of the fest down to the hotel lobby, save my delightful bridesmaids who took the “maid” part literally and cleaned everything up, so when I awoke on my BIG DAYYYYYY the suite was sparkling and clean and calm. It was a gesture that reminded me for the 80 zillionth time why I was so #blessed to have these women alongside me for the weekend.

And That. Was. The. Day! What a long story! I would make a self deprecating remark like “thanks for reading, I’m sure you’re bored” but as part of my Love Yourself 30’s, I’ve decided I don’t CARE if you’re bored, I loved writing this and reliving the day so I’m not even going to end with a joke!

Ok. ONE JOKE: Why didn’t the lifeguard save the hippie?

He was too far out, maaan!

hahaha GET IT! It’s so funny! My friend Kamran g-chats me every day with some of the world’s corniest jokes, so if you liked that comic styling, there’s pahlenty more where that came from.

Thank you for tuning in to this edition of One Awkward Wedding Wednesday. Liz Hott, over & out!

A Hobag Looks at 30*

 * bonus points to any weirdos who get this reference!

Two weeks ago another grain of sand dropped through the hour glass of the days of my life and I hurtled into a new decade:

I welcome my 30’s at the stroke of midnight on September 14, 2014 from the creaky bed of an old motel in rural New Hampshire, where I was celebrating a friend’s wedding. My brand new husband was in bed beside me. At midnight he gave me a beautiful jewelry box and some pirate themed temporary tattoos. I took a selfie (fully clothed, despite how scando this looks) and we promptly fell asleep.

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I was a little drunk. And a lot happy. It was perfect.

I’m now two weeks into the other side still just as happy, though thankfully slightly less drunk. For the present moment, anyway. I may be old but I still know how to get down. In fact, from all I’ve heard, the 30’s are quite the cause celebre.  Allegedly, women in their 30’s are generally more financially secure, gain more respect in their careers, have more self confidence and have better sex. And I’ve learned that the older you get, the easier it is to avoid fads and fashions, a lesson that helped me skate through all of Summer 2K14 without even being tempted to wear a crop top. Victory! So if this means I’m looking at a decade of self-confidence, great sex and fully covered midriffs, well I am ALL IN. 

If you’ll recall, in prep for the big 3-0 I made a big ‘ol to-do list, as I am wont to do, with 30 goals or items to achieve between September 14, 2013 and September 14, 2014. How’d I do? Let’s check the list!

1. Run half marathon HAYLLL YES! COMPLETED 4/26/14

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. YES! COMPLETED 10/4/13

3. Get a bikini wax NOPE.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course NOPE.

5. Submit something for publication. YAAAAASSSS. COMPLETED 5/30/14

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!) NOPE.

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.) NOPE.

8. Find a regular volunteer program NOPE.

9. See a play on Broadway NOPE.

10. Watch The Sopranos 1.5 SEASONS. (Unpopular Opinion Alert: That show is a snooze.) 

11. Learn to shuffle cards NOPE.

12. Stop biting my nails UGH NOPE.

13. Take a trip with my mom NOPE.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (i.e. biography, poetry, graphic novel) NOPE. WHOOPS. 

15. Visit Storm King OBVZZZZ. COMPLETED 10/6/13

16. Get Acupuncture NOPE.

17. Roast a chicken NOPE.

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it NOPE.

19. Zumba NOPE.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party NOPE.

21. Add at least one more state to my list YES! Unblerghed but B&I took a trip to Maine 9/12/14. Trust me, it happened. 

22. Solve my stomach issues GROSS BUT NOPE.

23. Trapeze class NOPE. (What even was this one?!) 

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!) HALFSIES? I’ve been emailing with my very first childhood friend Becky but we’ve yet to reconnect in person. I’m giving myself a .5 for this one. 

25. Decorate our apartment NOPE.

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC NOPE.

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!) NOPE.

28. Make an IRL blogger connection COMPLETED sometime in December, blogged about 3/17/14

29. Hike 5 new peaks NOPE.

30. Skinnydip. ANDDDD NOPE.

 Officially, without loopholes or fudging the rules, I completed 6.5 out of 30. That’s slightly over 20 %, if my math is correct…which it usually isn’t…but I used a calculator so I’m feeling pretty confident. By the standards of the Common Core and most other methods of grading and judgement, 6.5 out of 30 is an epic failure.

But eff that noise. I’m chalking 29 up as a roaring success.

29 was the year I got engaged and married. The year I ran a (fast!) half marathon. The year I ate a lot of hard boiled eggs, attempted to wear red lipstick and went to a nude beach. The year I first shacked up with my boyfriend (then fiance, then husband!) and moved to Park Slope. 29 was the year I got paid to write an article – for Vogue (…ok, dot com, but whatever)! 29 was the year I saw friends get married, change jobs, move cities and get unscandalously knocked up. At 29 I drank too much wine and spent too much money on organic food and always kept my fingernails painted bright colors and totally pulled off ankle booties and almost always wore the same chambray button-down and learned – and then forgot – the difference between brie and Camembert cheeses and got 2nd place in Fantasy Football and finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit my lanky face and tried Pilates and instagrammed my food and spent time with my best girlfriends, laughing til our stomachs hurt.

29 was great. It was SPECTACULAR! I may have technically failed at most things I set out to attempt, but I’m still giving myself an A+.

So what is on my list for the next year? I have but One Before Thirty-One: Stop Making Lists.

If I’ve learned one thing about myself in the last 29 years, it is that I need to be a little kinder to myself. No more creating arbitrary to-do lists and then beating myself up when I don’t check off every box. No more panicking over things left unfinished, milestones yet reached. No more worrying about where I should be, more focusing on where I am.

No mas!

At 29, I did only 6.5 items on my list…but then 6.5 bajillion more, without even trying. Imagine what great things I can do at 30 without all that time wasted worrying over things not done?

There are things I’d like to achieve, sure. I won’t just be sitting about waiting for the world to present me with adventures. I’d still like to hike more, to move up in my job, to quit biting my nails, to run more races. I’d also like to keep writing – perhaps not more but better. Which may mean a little less of the usual business here. Blogging is fun and exciting and I love the attention, sure, but at the end of the day it’s really just a hobby. And one that’s maybe not as fun as it used to be. I can’t tell you the number of Thursday nights into Friday morning’s I’ve sat stressing and scrambling for “funny” content for fear of letting someone, anyone (probably just myself) down. As much as the world loves and SURELY NEEDS yet another weekly roundup of me covered in random food stains, I’d like to think I can do a little better than that. I’m not abandoning the awkwardness of it all, but just going to see what I might be able to do if I spent just half of the time I put into photographing avocado blobs into writing or reading smart content.

I hope you’ll still come along with me.

But, BUT! If none of these things happen, if I don’t write a word or hike a peak, if I never ever roast a chicken as long as I live- that’s OK. I can trust that my time will be spent elsewhere, doing other meaningful things I haven’t even though up yet.

I do think we can all agree, though, that though no one ever sees it, what with the no-crop-tops rule and all, it’s really, really, REALLY time to get rid of that belly button ring.

So here’s to being 30. And chill (ish). And THRIVING. 

xoxo Liz Ho

 

 

 

Wedding Wednesday: It Begins!

The first Wedding Wednesday, whee! I barely know where to begin, so I’m taking a tip from my gal Maria von Trapp neé Ranier and starting at the very beginning.

A very good place to start!

Without further ado, a look back at the final few days leading up to THE day.  When you are wedding planning, everyone likes to give you unsolicited advice and sometimes it is good advice and other times you are like:

And it is important to keep in mind that most of the advice comes from a well meaning place of good and take everything with a grain of salt. Or a lot of salt all over the rim of a large margarita. Whatever works.

One of the best pieces of advice I received from a recently married friend was to try to get as much of the little nitty gritty details out of the way before the last minute, so you could spend those last few days before the wedding enjoying family time and one another instead of being a frazzled monster. I took this advice to heart and I think it paid off. There were OBVI no duh a few moments of stress and some snippy words but overall everything was just calm and fun. It was FUN!

Seriously. Ok enough, Liz, get to the point.

WEDNESDAY:

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#Hottwedding kicked off Wednesday morning, August 13, when the future Mr. Hobags and I hauled booty from Brooklyn to Lancaster, PA in our chariot, which was a rented Kia SUV of some make and  model. I wasn’t really paying attention. Our initial plan until about 2 weeks pre-wedding was to just take the Amtrak, but upon realizing exactly how much crap we had to lug with us, we wisely decided to rent a car – and a big one at that – and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. In our whole lives!

I also fully intended to carry my wedding dress via Amtrak, a prospect that horrified my mom.

“Um, it’s fine,” I reassured her. “I already took it on the 3 train.”

Whoops? When I picked it up from the salon (lol “salon”) I didn’t feel like paying for the taxi all the way home, so I just lugged it on the subway with me. I thought I’d be the talk of the train but no one so much as blinked an eye. Which makes sense. You’d basically have to be a 300 lb male midget wearing a wedding gown while singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and selling gummy bears for jaded NYC commuters to so much as blink an eye at you.

How’s a bride supposed to get any attention in this town?!

Also my mother helpfully pointed out the irony of refusing to spend $40 on a taxi after shelling out close to a G for a wedding dress but hey! Any savings to the wedding budget count, right?

RIGHT!

Anyway, all of this is just pointless backstory to tell you another pointless fact which is that Brian and I drove a car from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania on the morning of August 13, 2014.

Cool story, bro.

I’ll speed to the good parts.

Our main objective for the day was to acquire a marriage license. In the state of Pennsylvania, you need to apply for a license no more than 60 days and no less than 3 days prior to your wedding date. Because we live out of state and the court is only open on weekdays and also we’re kind of ridiculous, we decided to just push it to the absolute last possible moment instead of taking a vacation day to get it earlier with in that window.

And so, we rolled into the Lancaster County Courthouse at about 1:30 PM on 8/13 a mere 2.5 hours before the legal final deadline to acquire our license.

Should we have been worried about this? Meh. Probably! Were we? Clearly not. I know this doesn’t seem like an example of “do things early so you don’t have to stress,” but if you look at it from another perspective, I think it shows just how oddly calm we were throughouth this whole week. This was like THE ONE THING we had to do for our wedding to count – eff flowers, appetizers, seating charts, this is a legal document – and we just casually made it happen, like a trip to the drug store or something.  Cool cukes, we are.

The whole process actually took much less time than I thought. We sat with a nice, matronly woman from the County Clerk’s house and she asked us a series of questions: middle name, parents’ names, parents places of birth. Being a people-pleasy A student, I kept getting nervous I was answering wrong but she didn’t really seem that concerned about what precise town my dad was born in or whether my mom was “a lawyer…or attorney? They’re the same thing, right?!”

We completed her quick questionnaire, handed over $40 cold hard cash (see! Good thing I didn’t spend it on that taxi!!) and they printed out our marriage license right there. We signed it and boom:  done.  I don’t think they ran any sort of background checks or anything. All we needed to do was have our officiant sign it post-wedding and we’d be officially hitched.

FACT: It is very easy for straight people to get married in this country.

At that point, the clerk turned to me and said, in a between-us-gals tone: “Now, honey, when you go to change your last name…”

No question of if I might, just right on into it. UGH. She was a sweet lady but seemed a little set in the ways of yore.

Which made me all the MORE delighted to spot the couple behind us: two broads.

That’s right, folks. Lined up behind us were two ladies. Brian turned to me and said “Oh I thought you had to bring your fiancé, I didn’t know you could just bring a friend” and I said LESBIANS, MORON and to his defense he had momentarily forgotten that PA is one of the cooler states in the union, offering marriage rights to all consenting adults.

Rock it, PA. Rock it hard.

It took all the power of my being to control my tendencies to be overly intrusive and somewhat offensive in demonstrating my liberal viewpoint and not go up to them an hug them and say “I’M SO HAPPY  YOU ARE HERE, GOOD FOR YOU, LOVE IS LOVE” and start crying and cause a scene.

Also, I would have la-hooooved to see Ms. “now, honey” interact with this couple. The paperwork literally said “Bride” and “Groom.” Do you think she asked which one was which?

Honestly for all I know she’s the most open minded lovely lady in the land and I’m the real asshole – I definitely fall into that “everyone is entitled to an opinion unless I don’t like it” trap from time to time.

I’m the worst, I KNOW.

What else I know is, 2 gals or not, they weren’t the best couple to walk through the doors that day, we were.

OBVIIII.

I then posted the above picture to facebook and spent the majority of the rest of the day watching to see how many “likes” it acquired. 158! But who’s counting?

Humility is my middle name.

Brian and I hop-skipped away from the courthouse and met my mom and brother for lunch at the local brewery and for the first of many, many, MANAYYYY times that week we remarked on how surprisingly relaxed we all were.  And we stayed that way. The rest of the day we did ZERO wedding tasks. We went for a run, watched HGTV, read magazines, napped. My mom grilled a delicious dinner, which we casually ate on the back with glasses of wine. It was a treat.

THURSDAY:

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Don’t worry, this part will be short & sweet because Thursday was another calm, easy day. We leaned hard on gender stereotypes – Brian and Michael went golfing, while my mom and I went for manicures with my aunt Katy, who had just arrived from California for the festivities. I spent way too much time waffling  about what color to do my nails – I wanted something bright and festive, but would that be too much? Would it look dated? Should I pick something more simple and “timeless?” I kept thinking about this senior photo my mom has of me in her living room where I’m wearing stacked platform sandals and GREEN NAIL POLISH and how goofy I look. But also, when that photo was taken, that was my jam – tall shoes and hideous nail colors. And my jam now is bright, colorful fingertips. I ain’t no French Mani kinda gal.

So I went for bright! And I’m so glad I did – they totally pop in the photos and make me beyond happy. So here is some unsolicited advice from ME to YOU – who cares if something might be trendy or look dated or be too bright or not bridal or too bridal or whatever. If you like it, just do it. What does “timeless” even mean? I’d rather have bright orange phalanges than do something just because it seems like the “proper” thing to do.

Also no one asks or cares BUT I went for this gel manicure thing which is like, a special kind of nail polish that lasts 3 weeks without chipping and I highly recommend if you are the kind of moron who tends to chip their nails immediately (like moi) but ANOTHER unsolicited piece of advice is that when you’re ready to take it off, you should go to the salon and have them do it for you or else you’ll still have weird gel build-up on your fingernails a full month later. JUST FYI.

The rest of the day was devoted to some final wedding tasks. We alphabetized the escort cards…and realized we’d made a few printing mistakes, whoops. THE WEDDING WAS RUINED!!!!!! Just kidding! We reprinted them!  We put whoopee pies and homemade cookies into gift bags for out of town guests and wrapped gifts for the wedding party and assembled piles to take with us the next day. Margepants arrived from Philly and Bernie grilled us steak and crabcakes for our final pre-wedding feast.

WHAT AN EXCITING DAY!!!

Ok I was also going to include a recap of Friday and the rehearsal dinner but this is already long and boring enough, even for me and I’m the star of the story so I’ma cut it off here. Try to contain yourselves for the next installment which includes me finally losing my cool and snapping at my mom, cops on bikes, champagne and a Fleetwood Mac cover band.

Toodle-oo!

 

Another Awkward Week [9.19.14]

Oh mylanta. Is Friday finally here?! This was my first full five day week since Memorial Day – we get half day Fridays during the summer (I know, I know, I’ll never complain about my job again), then it was Labor Day, then we did some travelling and I don’t know what it is about this oneee extra day of work but I am struggling.

Woof.

Case in point: I just wrote a whole blog post about my week but only one of the stories was even remotely funny so I deleted the rest. Excellent use of my work time, methinks.

What’s the winning story that was keeping it awkward this week?

These Shoes:

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I’ve mentioned before that I have a bad habit of sitting pretzel style at my desk. This causes the foot under my behind to fall asleep, so when I get up to go to the printer – or, more likely, the vending machine – I have a hard time walking and occasionally stumble.

Wa-hellll. This week I was rocking these sassy tall wedges like a boss bitch and also eating canned lentil soup like a cheap lazy person and also sitting full pretzel like a Liz Hobag. I finished my soup (meh) and got up to bring my dishes to the kitchen and my left foot was in full REM sleep. I walked out of my office, turned towards the kitchen, attempted to put weight on my left leg but the combo of sleep tingles + 4 inch wedges was too lethal and I bit it.

Like…fully fell down, to the ground, sprawled on the floor,lunch dishes scattering…including a paring knife which nearly impaled me…bit it.

One colleague ran out of his office to see if I was OK.

Another, who knows me better just laughed at my plight.

“Did you actually just fall down?” she asked, as I lay on the floor.

SHO DID.

It was quite the scene, guys.

I have also apparently learned zero lessons as I currently sit here typing with one wedge encased foot pretzelled up under my buns of steel.

Bets on how long I go before I faceplant on the carpet again? I’m hoping I can make it a full week but that might be too bold a goal.

THE END.

Cool story, bro. I know! I’ll do better next week, I swickety swear. Now I must go hide in my office and speed-read 100 pages of our office book club book before our meeting at noon today. Wish me luck!

And how was YOUR week? Long? Short? Sexy? Delightful? Perplexed? Obtuse? Any other cool adjectives I can’t think of at the moment? Do tell!

xoxo Liz Ho

PS – on a more serious and personal note, an uncle of mine passed away last weekend and his services are being held this morning. I wasn’t able to make the trip to be there, but my mind is in PA. If you wouldn’t mind turning your thoughts there as well for a brief moment to send a little love & care to my aunt and family, I’d surely appreciate it.

 

One Awkward Month!

Brian and I have officially been married for one month! And, honestly, the only awkward thing is how earnestly cheesy and romantical I’ve become.

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

I can’t even bring myself to type “barf.” Marriage is ruining me.

Kidding. Kidding. It’s the best ever.

Before I ramble on any further – and y’all know I’ll be a-ramblin’ – a quick note that all photos shared here today are from our professional photographer Kylene Lynn Photography. Kylene is amazing and I’d recommend her in a heartbeat to any Central PA brides-to-be (or grooms-to-be! #gendernorms). If you are going to share any of these in any way like pin them or I don’t know, email them to your grandma or whatever, please credit Kylene! NO I am not so vain as to actually think you’re going to like, create a whole magazine of my personal wedding photos but I don’t know how the internet works and just want to make sure I’m giving credit where credit is due!

OK I’m a psycho. MOVING ON!!

What have I learned in the month we’ve been married? Well! Did you know that during World War II the US Armed Forces trained a regiment to fight on skis in the traditional Alpine style? This skill was used but once and doesn’t actually seem to have been that successful but, the more you know!

I realize this has nothing to do with me, or with Brian, or with marriage but I learned it last week, post-wedding so…it counts?

To be honest, not much has changed in the day-to-day in the last month of our lives. We were already living together (whoops), had a joint checking account, and shared a closet. We’ve felt “married” for a long time and now it’s just legally binding. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of ladymag worthy insights on marriage in the months and years to come but for the past 30 days, I’ve just been enjoying the ride.

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

It’s so much fun to call Brian my husband. I find any excuse to bring it up – on the phone with random work colleagues, in line at the grocery store, to my coffee cart guy. I especially like putting on a sort of character, the lovingly exasperated wife. This past week I was in a taxi at 6 PM on my way to meet Brian at the airport and my driver asked me what time my flight was.

“Oh, not until 9:15” I said. And then, with a knowing chuckle and a slight shake of the head, “But my husband loves to get to the airport hours early.”

Oh, that husband!

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

Did I mention he’s a part time GQ model?! Like, seriously.

I also enjoy coming up with clever new nicknames playing off husband. I think hubby sounds so cheesy…we can do better. Some gems:

  • Husbo
  • Hubba Bubba
  • Hubarino
  • Hubble Telescope
  • Barney Hubble

and my personal favorite:

L. Ron Hubbard

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

I crack myself up.

Honestly, if I have actually learned one thing in the month since we’ve been married, it is that I really, really and I mean REALLY like looking at photos of myself.

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

Oh wait…I already knew that.

I actually think I look like a total goofball in that photo. I’m vain enough to admit I can work it with a grin but the smize? Niet zo much. America’s Next Top Model, I ain’t.

I have officially decided to change my last name, though I’m planning to continue using my maiden name at work. Though I’ve gone through zero of the legal steps to make this happen, it has been very fun to gradually transition into my new identity. Receiving birthday cards in the mail this week has been a hilarious example of my general confusion over the matter. I received cards addressed to: Mrs. Elizabeth Scott, Liz Scott (!!!), Elizabeth Hohenadel Scott and Elizabeth Hohenadel/Scott.

I think the Hohenadel – slash – Scott is my favorite and most accurately representing of my current state.

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

Why pick one when I can just mix and match! Keep it fresh!

I am planning to do some little recaplets of some wedding business and by recaplets I really mean recap + whatever suffix means XXXXXXTRA long because, let’s be real here. I’m going to do these once a week on Wednesdays because Wedding Wednesday is alliterative and like any basic bitch, I love me some alliteration. Also, doing wedding posts once per week allows those who don’t care about weddings AT ALL to not read and those who ONLY care about weddings to only read those posts. And, most importantly, it helps me continue my previously stated goal of extending this JUST MARRIED attention as long and strong as I can.

Except this week I’m doing Wedding Tuesday because our anniversary is Tuesday and  twice per week is more than my lazy bones can handle. I guess I could do like…non alliterative wedding posts on Tuesdays from here on out but that’s just not as cute. Ugh, life is so hard sometimes. Am I overthinking this whole thing?

NEVER!

Ok so just one more gratuitous smooching shot…

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

and, OK FINE a photo of the wedding party…

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

and ALRIGHT ALRIIIIGHT, a hilarious dance scene…

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

A little bit softer now!

View More: http://kylenelynn.pass.us/brianlovesliz

My brother is the best.

And I’m out of here. Stop begging me to post more wedding photos! I’m going to look like I’m obsessed with myself and my HUSBANDDDD or something! How embarrassing.

Blowing this exit, Liz. Shut it down.

xoxo M(r)s. Elizabeth Hohenadel / Scott

Another Awkward Week [9.12.14]

Hiii guys! What’s up?! Guess where I am?! MAINE! Pretty cool stuff, huh? I posted this from my cellular phone because I am a hip millennial. I know what’s up.

JK I don’t have a clue. But it’s OK because I’m turning 30 in TWO DAYS so I don’t need to worry anymore about technology and apps and twerking and any of that young people stuff. I’m officially and oldster and THANK GOD. I’ve been patiently awaiting the day when I could start unironically wearing holiday themed sweater sets and listening to Joni Mitchell all day and my time is almost here. BOOM. But enough about my impending old age for the moment…I have some deeper thoughts to share on that next week.

Do try not to die of anticipation in the meantime.

Ok enough jibberbabber, these lobster rolls aren’t going to eat themselves. Let us all gather round, join hands and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Chocolate Fountain:

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HOLY YUM.

We went to a wedding last weekend (and are attending another tomorrow!) and they had so much amazing food, I honestly think I gained 14 lbs before the day was through. hashtag worth it. hashtag bigtime.

One of the highlights of the evening was the chocolate fountain and then another highlight was watching me try to scrub chocolate out of my dress.

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Oh did I mention the dress was borrowed?! 

Sorry, Mary! I love you!

Don’t worry, I took it to get dry-cleaned.

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The cleaner was super impressed with my spillage skillz. In addition to the obvious chocolate stain, there was another lighter blob running down the front of the skirt.

“What’s this?” He asked. “Water stain?”

“WATER?!” I chortled. “OH that, good sir, is wine.”

You literally can not take me anywhere.

#literally

This Cup:

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Guys, I went to get an iced coffee yesterday morning and when I tried to put my straw in the lid it had no straw hole!! WHAT! So I went to the counter to ask for another lid and she exasperatedly told me those were the only lids they had.

Like I was the obnoxious moron asking for a lid with a straw hole.

Am I living in an alternate reality? Are we no longer doing straw holes? Out of trend for Fall 2014?

Help me.

This Finger:

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Good news is the knife set we received as a wedding gift is S-H-A-R-P!

Bad news is I’m a spaz and now missing a large chunk out of the top of my finger.

Oucherson.

I was rushing around to get dinner on the table because despite my protestations to the contrary last week, I do NOT know how to go with the flow and was having a light about how it was Sunday night and I needed to eat a healthy dinner and it was already 8 PM and I need to go to bed at 9 PM and there’s so much to DOOO and slice: right into my fingie. It hurt so much! And bled all over the place.

Lesson learned: CHILL OUT.

JK but I’m working on it.

Also thank GAWD this happened after the wedding, seeing as how it’s my ring finger. Would have looked real cute.

Some women like to draw further attention to their engagement/wedding ring fingers by adding a little gems or designs to that finger nail (I like to judge these women because come on, girls, you already have a ring…we get it) but I’m taking it a fun, sassy step further by accessorizing with a gaping wound and huge bandage.

Now THAT is what’s Hot for Fall 2014.

This Shirt:

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Photo taken on a different day…same week…as the photo above. I think I need to spice up my wardrobe.

This shirt unbuttons really easily around the booble region. It’s not a huge deal, it is barely noticeable and usually I catch it but apparently not always. The other  morning I came up out of the subway lugging my big bag, walked a few feet and caught the eye of a woman and thought she was smiling at me so I smiled back and then I realized she was actually silently mouthing something at me.

I focused.

“Youuurrrrr braaaaa” her mouth said, soundlessly.

I looked down and sure enough, my entire left boob was hanging out.  And I mean all of it. OUT.

The shirt had not only unbuttoned but fallen fully open and the whole thing was out there for the world to see.

Luckily the actual boob itself was still covered…but by THE most sensible nude bra imaginable so…maybe worse?

Oy yoy yoy! Happy Morning, New York.

This Hot Look:

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OH YES the laundry backpack still lives! I decided to multitask the other night by getting happy hour beers with a pal whilst simultaneously doing laundry at the laundromat across the street, which resulted in this SEXXXXYYYY look of me sipping IPA’s with my laundry backpack strapped high and proud.

2 KEWL!

And that was my week! If you would like to read more about awkwardness, someone wrote a hella long, boring, overly introspective article about it for the New Yorker this week. Apparently people enjoy awkward humor because we live in a post 9-11 world and something about our parents never teaching us about sex? Or something? I don’t know. I couldn’t get through it. A little too intellectual for my taste but maybe you’ll enjoy it?

You snob!

Just kidding. Have a fabbo weekend, my chicklets. Any fun plans?!

xoxoox 29 YEAR OLD LIZ LIVE FROM MAINE!!!

Another Awkward Week [9.5.14]

Hi guys!!! TGIF! Except I forgot it was F because of the FDW!

(Four Day Week)

But now it is the weekend and we can part-ay! H!

(Hooray!)

Acronyms don’t always work, do they?

Actually I kind of forgot it was Friday because I seem to have lost complete track of what day it is, where I am, what is going on. After travelling for the wedding (I just got married! NEVER FORGET!), Fire Island and Labor Day I am having a hard time getting back onto a normal routine. And life will continue to be nutty for the next few weeks. Tomorrow we’re going to New Jersey for a wedding for someone else, which people tell me means I’m not the one walking down the aisle? I don’t really understand what that means…I’m not the bride and center of attention? WHAT?!

I may need to be restrained.

J to the K – congratulations Kathryn & Mike! Can’t wait to celebrate!

And then next weekend we’re going to Maine for one day and then New Hampshire for another wedding (bitches be really committed to stealing my thunder) and thennn it is my 30th Birthday! Old lady alert. And then it is Brian’s 30th Birthday the weekend after! (I’m a cougar.) So basically my life will continue to be kind of crazy for the next few weeks and I have decided I am ok with this. Normally this would stress me out, because I like clear cut routines and schedules but I am “going with the flow.” That’s a thing right? I am just going to be “casual” and “fun” and keep drinking too much and eating crap and not worry about the gym and do my best at work and not have a heart attack if I don’t get my meal plan written out by Sunday night and (gasp!) don’t know what I’m eating every meal every day and maybe even stay up past 10 PM on weeknights (!!!) and just go with the flow.

It’s happening!

As a result of this, I’m not super organized for my usual recap but here are a few things that defined my week:

Marriage:

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We’ve been married for a mere 21 days (traditional 21 Day Anniversary gift is over sharing about your personal life on the internet) and are already fulfilling so many Married Couple cliches. Por ejemplo:

  • Last weekend we went bowling with another couple Saturday night and then Sunday…we went to Lowes.
  • Foregoing intercourse because “it’s just too hot out to try.”
  • Calling it “intercourse.”
  • JK I always call it that, it’s hilarious.
  • The other night when Brian was in one room doing his Fantasy Football draft and I was in the other room vacuuming and looking at Pinterest.
  • “Babe, I appreciate that you did the dishes and hate to be a nag, but how many times do I have to tell you, if you just stack the bowls like that they won’t dry!”

We are basically the living version of Everybody Loves Raymond. HELP!

Fantasy Football: 

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Speaking of Fantasy Football! In addition to the league he was drafting for while I was wifeing it up in the other room, Brian does a league with his high school friends, which I have played in for the past few years. It’s too hard to get everyone together to draft so we do an Auto Draft, which is where the computer just picks teams for you. It’s not ideal but I usually finish in the top 3 so I’m all aboard.

UNTIL this year! After the draft, I went to Yahoo to check my team and saw they had a “Draft Report Card” and I’d gotten a B.

A B??? But, I’m a straight A student! What is this, 11th Grade Math? (Actually, if it was 11th Grade Math, I actually would have gotten a C minus and my teacher would have humiliated me in front of the entire classroom by telling me that maybe my younger and smarter brother should have tutored me…but that is a different story for a different day. CLEARLY not over it.)

But seriously…a B? The pain got worse. The Report Card includes notes on your draft. Mine begins: “Susan B. Anfernee was handed a solid draft position and apparently they saw that as an opportunity to blow it.”

WHAT!!! Screw you, Yahoo!! I didn’t blow it! YOU blew it! I didn’t even draft…the computer drafted for me and now the computer is telling me that I BLEW IT?! HELL NAW.

Offensive.

I do realize that I’m yelling at a computer about a fake football team and that’s a little insane but no one has been that mean to me since my 11th Grade Math Teacher!!

I might need to get over it…

Also yes my team is called Susan B. Anfernee. Because of Feminism. And Mean Girls. Duh!

Coffee:

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I really need to give up coffee because A) I’m addicted and B) it gives me a tummy ache and C) I keep spilling it all over the place.

Also do you like how I artfully styled that photo with the roses and the mess? The juxtoposition of beauty with disaster is a reflection of the mysogonistic humanitarian struggle affecting the earth and also it is about death. And sex. And my mom.

JK it’s just a stupid picture.

I don’t really care for art.

Annnd that’s it. THAT IS IT! What are you beauties up to this weekend?

I am going to go do some work and then go to happy hour and then go to this wedding and then who even knows what, I sure don’t because I’m going with the flow! I’m just a laid back cool cat taking life one day at a time, who even cares what happens and OH MY GOD where is my day planner and what’s for lunch and I haven’t checked weather.com in 4 minutes AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Smoochies!