Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BUTT HOLE

Usually busy months zip by, right? Not this one. This July has felt three months long. We’ve had some something going on every weekend since the beginning of the month. It’s not a bad thing to be spoiled with so much friend and family time, but I may be coming up on fatigue.

For Christmas this last year I told Jim I wanted one thing: get me to a yoga class; at 7:15AM, pull me from my bed and put me in the car no matter what excuses I may give. I want the same thing from every work-off holiday. “What are you doing for the Fourth of July, Megan?” “Yoga.” “Anything else?” “Probably.” “Like what?” “No idea. Not important.”

Independence Day morning we left the house at a quarter to eight and drove up to the lake so Jim could ride the Tahoe Rim Trail. I waited for him, folded origami, and then we drove back down the mountain to yoga class. Dear Reader I have a husband that has three bikes—road, mountain, and commuter. He, like, exercises. In case you didn’t know, this is my second marriage, and I can tell you that the husband I had in the first marriage, well, I’m not even sure he knew how to ride a bike. That’s how often I saw him on a rider-propelled device. I dig this upgraded iteration of a spouse. He likes to sweat and has these things called “muscles.”

That same weekend we had Benjamin’s baptism. Family. Friends. Cake.

The following weekend was the annual Victory Woodworks summer party that Jim and his business partner sort of live to throw. They reserve the Sand Harbor pavilion up at the lake and invite 500 of their closest friends for breakfast and kayaks and crawdad catching and lunch and paddle boards and tacos and ice cream and shade. A full day of all manner of lake things, really. My family came out for it. Nearly all of them. Eighty-percent of my loud and loving family drove out from Utah to experience the fun that is Jim.

A few days later we returned the favor and flew out to Utah to spend days in my mom’s pool, eat grilled pound cake, take class at Brick Canvas Bikram Yoga, visit Jim’s Utah sisters, enjoy our over-from-Belgium family, eat Whitney's perfect cinnamon rolls, drink nothing but diet soda (and probably some pool water), and take the kids to Seven Peaks.

It’s been a good 17 years since I’ve been to Seven Peaks water park in Provo. But Josie read about it somewhere and got her determined heart set on a visit. I am therefore suffering from a burn on my tailbone acquired while going down some terrible slide on which the send-off lifeguard told us to lift our bums in the tubes, which I did not do, and so, at the speed of sound, scraped my tailbone against the fiberglass. The swimsuit I wore? Yeah, it’s in a trash can at the SLC airport. Not lifting one’s butt as one is told may result in a hole in one’s swim bottoms. At least the hole didn’t go through the lining.

Two of my sissies, Cat and Whit, got sitters for their kidlings and came with Jim, Josie, Ben and me to the water park. They were the perfect companions for water tomfoolery, which included but was not limited to: trying and failing to trade places on double tubes while careening down a dark water slide, untying Whitney’s swim top—twice—on another trip down that same slide, getting swimsuit wedgies from very tall and fast water slides (tip: while getting clobbered by gravity, do keep your ankles crossed as the life guard instructs), lazing, and listening to Jim comment at least thirty times regarding how genius it was to get a cabana, for without it the day surely would have been unbearable. We went right from the water park to the airport and made it home at midnight on Monday.

Last week Jim said, “Hey, I think I’m going to need you to take off next Friday. I may have tickets for something.” So tomorrow Jim and I will continue July’s perpetual par-tay with a trip to San Francisco for—wait for it—Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! The delish husband figure knows the way to his lady’s heart: tickets to an NPR news quiz show. I’ve always wanted to go one of the live shows and Jim’s the make-it-happen kind.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

LONE WIFE

I’m always taken aback when a gal says something like “Jeremy and I have been married for a year and this is the first night we’ve spent apart!” Seriously? In an entire year one of you didn’t have occasion to go someplace without the other? Not that you wanted to get away, but in the course of living your lives you didn't have to go on a business trip or there wasn't far-off family to visit and your spouse didn't have the vacation days to spare? I've heard that line often enough, and it's ever sounded rather pathetic and codependent. (Eyeroll face, for independence is, like, my nurtured knack.)

Jim and I have been married a bit over a month and he had to go out of town. I am spending two nights without him. And I’m fine. I miss him, yes, yes, and I send mawkish texts and he sends mawkish texts, and I wish he were here instead of there, but real, grown-up life means that you don’t always get to spend every night with your significant other even if you’re technically newlyweds.

It just occurred to me that I need ice cream. I’m going to go root around and see what I can come up with. Hold please . . .

Okay, handled. It appears I polished off with the mint chocolate chip a few days ago, so vanilla was my only option. Boring. I like my ice cream to have lots of stuff in it. I think you should be able to chew your ice cream. So I spiced up what we had with add-ins. Butterscotch chips, chocolate syrup, whatever I could find. Now finished, I can say that my dessert was satisfactory, by which I mean that I will regret eating it.

After yoga yesterday, I spent last night, my first solo night as Jim's wife, unwrapping new yoga clothes that came in the mail, trying on the clothes, liking half, and writing “send back yoga clothes” on my to-do list. I caught up on So You Think You Can Dance via Hulu. I did a charcoal/black sugar mask. I had frozen yogurt for dinner; actually with the amount of add-ins I dump in there, it was more like a bucket of candy with a little froyo mixed in. I roasted some artichokes (gag) for Dustin. I logged my calls.

This morning I went to yoga. On the way home I swung through the grocery store because we were out of rice vinegar (totally unacceptable in this household; without vinegar all the vegetables in the fridge will rot 'cause ain't nobody eatin' 'em), Dustin mentioned he likes Asian pears, so I thought I’d be rad and hook him up, and the fridge didn’t have any cauliflower in it. After the groceries were put in their place and Brussels sprouts were roasting, I did laundry. All day I did laundry. (New for me.) Five, maybe six, loads. Not even all of it is folded yet. Will be before I go to bed though. See, there’s a season of Psych on Netflix that I haven’t seen yet and Shawn and Gus will keep me company as I fold what’s left of the stuff.

While the laundry laundered I cleaned out and organized the laundry room. Even though Jim and I got a ton of house stuff done before I moved in, there are still things that need doing. I knock the tasks off when I've got a few extra minutes and am out of avoidance tactics.

Tomorrow it's on to the fridges and freezers. Those cold boxes won't know what hit 'em. 

Typing this out has been painful. My hands are slow on the keys. This because I took an aerial silks class this evening and even though it ended two hours ago my forearms are still trembling and my knuckles are tender to the touch and throbbing. Lifting the spoon to get the ice cream from bowl to mouth was grueling, but I’m no quitter, so shaky spoonful by shaky spoonful I handled that sugary soup with the resolve of a champion.

Friday, June 20, 2014

WEDDING PHOTOS 4 OF 4 • THE PHOTO COUCH

As my little team was doing the last minute pre-ceremony decor, etc., Whit spied an outdoor couch we'd moved from the deck to make room for mingling. She and Ash decided it oughta be used and they moved it onto the grass. It became the impromptu photo booth. 

My pretty, pretty sisters-in-law and mother-in law. L-R: Linda, Janet, Gay, Laura, and DiAnn:


This next photo may be my favorite of them all. Jim loves his sisters like I love mine. And they have just about as much fun together as we do. 


Jim's son one, Dustin— 


Son two, the youngest, Benjamin. Only eight, yet totally, obviously his father's son: 



Another favorite photo of mine. This'n's getting wall space for certain—




Fiddle-ist Evangeline and her dandy, Andrew. Also, I've got guns, yo:


My flower girl. Her hair. My mom did it. Even though her six-little-daughters-raising years are past, Susie can still french braid the hell outta some hairs: 




While I have five sisters, only two were able to make it. The three that weren't there had about the best three reasons you could come up with for being absent. Mal lives in Belgium, and not only was I inflexible on the wedding date, I gave very little notice. Cat's baby Walt just had his cleft palate-closing surgery, thus traveling: unwise. And Haley was 38-weeks pregnant. So I gave them a pass. 

In spite of their absence, we managed to have a good time. It was a near miss, but we put our shoulders to the wheel and committed fully to fun. Whit (sister number two) me (first daughter) and Lo (sister number 6): 


My two best girls, Jess and Amber. From L.A. and Utah they came. They claim they didn't even plan to look like bridesmaids. Sure, sure—


Aunts Robin and Marcy: 


My dad and his siblings, Sue and Robin. Also, cake and the desire for more of it: 



When we Petersons squeezed onto the couch it was snug and I found myself flanked and quite squished by ample bosoms on both sides. 



So there you have it—our wedding day. I think it looks happy. Does it look happy? It was happy! Thank you, Ashley darling. 

WEDDING PHOTOS 3 OF 4 • POST CEREMONY

A last love for Shirl's ring after Gay handed it off to her only son: 


Team, my mother-in-law is a stylish dame: 




For crying out loud, is all—







Oh, and the bride and groom—






Thursday, June 19, 2014

WEDDING PHOTOS 2 OF 4 • CEREMONY

On to the ceremony. 

Our wonderful officiant and friend Bishop Jess McDoniels and the debonair groom: 


Remember how I myself was an officiant at a wedding? Well that bride, my wonderful Evangeline, and her husband made their way from Boston to attend our wedding. She's a skilled violinist and played us down the aisle: 


Flower girl, Miss Violet Ingram:



Best man, Benjamin Elliker, Jim's youngest, and maid of honor, Lauren, my youngest sister:



Rather than having traditional readings, Jim and I decided to ask our parents to talk some. My dad. His mom. This shot is probably just before my dad started crying. (Something about what a wonderful man his eldest daughter was marrying, from a father who knows the stark difference first-hand.) 


Then Jim's mom Gay got up to speak: 


Because she was giving us Jim's dad, Shirl's, ring, it was bound to get emotional. (Sorry for posting a crying picture, sweetheart, but the honesty here was just to sweet to keep to myself.)


 

Man and wife. He and she. She and he.

We!

WEDDING PHOTOS 1 OF 4 • PRE CEREMONY

Photos. Here they are. I hired Ashley Thalman to do the shooting, and while I've got more than just a few reasons for wanting her, here are my main three: 

She shoots real. Ashley doesn't edit the hell out of everyone until they are yes, super hot, but also super not themselves. I might not be a fan of my own face, but it's the one I've got. I think people should look like who they are in photos, even if they're not extra amazingly beautiful to begin with. 

She's patient. Ashley's shot me before and she knows ahead of time that it's very likely going to suck. I don't do pretty all that well, meaning that I'm not serious or lovely or super smiley, and I'm more likely to pull a face than anything else. She endures. It's admirable. 

Ash is Queen of the Candid. The moments on these special days that matter aren't the ones that are posed. They're the in-betweens, the unplanned smidges of honesty. Ashley manages to catch those in every session she does. 

So, in four different posts (because there are simply too many descriptive and worthwhile and photos of The Special Day to share in just one or two posts and because I rarely, rarely post photos here and you deserve a little break from the copy-heavy posts) here's what my wedding photog landed—

•••

I was a stress case before the wedding. Stuff to do and so on. (Not that I didn't have event people setting up tables and swags and stuff. I did. I'm an expert-level stresser. I have honed my stressing to a minute-detail level.) But when sister Whit and my mom and dad arrived the day before the event, I finally decided enough was enough and I'd do some delegating. 

"Whitney, you're in charge." 

"Everyone else, do what Whitney says."

My impromptu wedding-day manager, Whitney Ingram: 


Simple ceremony setup in the backyard:


The dress. Hanging above our bed with a bit of my massive, quirky collection of green glass:




The really, really beautiful bride: 



"Who did your invitations and programs?" 

"Me. Duh."


The dashing Dustin, Jim's oldest son, doing what he does so well and entertaining downstairs during the guests' arrival:


Lookie who made the trek over from Utah! Sandbergs!


The Elliker family hanging out in the living room. L-R: Craig (Fabrizio), Jim's sisters Linda and Laura (the lovely twins), Uncle Alan and Aunt Camille Cartwright, Janet (Fabrizio, sister #2), and Dustin:


Looks like the wind already got to the chiffon swags hanging off the deck—



A quick kiss before all the hoopla. Or mid-hoopla, you could say—