Thursday, December 18, 2008

go on over!

I posted at the new blog - please check it out!

more recap right here...

Monday, December 15, 2008

*slinking back...*

My profound apologies to the few of you who have been anxiously awaiting wedding recaps, as well as the others who have just wondered "where the hell is she?" Well, the honest truth is that I'm so sick of weddings that I can't handle blogging about mine.

It's not like I'm violently tearing wedding dresses off mannequins at David's Bridal, although I admit I received my MOH dress (not from DB but from Dessy via the amazing for my best friend's wedding and haven't tried it on yet. I haven't even gotten to the point of unsubscribing from all the wedding blogs that provided so much inspiration for my own wedding, though I do simply delete almost every post from my Google Reader every day rather than pore over all of them. It's just that I haven't had any desire to do my own recaps here, or for the blog that might post a little feature on my DIY and earth-friendly projects. My dress is still hanging in our garage/basement. I haven't attempted to sell any of the tchotchkes I so lovingly created and collected. Some gifts are even sitting unopened because I know what's in the boxes and don't want to deal with putting them away (ungrateful wretch). And I certainly haven't gotten close to finishing thank-you notes.

Tim and I are going to Milwaukee in a couple weeks (Dec. 28) for a post-wedding celebration with many of my family's friends who weren't able to attend the wedding. I think it'll be a nice way to end the whole shebang. But for now, dear readers, I'm going to officially end this blog, rather than drag it out even longer. A picture-heavy and text-light wedding recap will soon be here. I hope you'll join me.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

wedding recap #1: pre-ceremony

After 2 weeks of the flu (+ ear infection, + sinus infection) and generally loving life ;-), I'm back and ready to show you pictures! Sorry that some of them have the watermark of our fabulous photographer, and also that many are unedited - Laura gave me a bunch of them without the watermark and with more vibrant colors, but then I couldn't help adding more. :-)

One more time: I love Laura and Peter. Love them.

Here we go!

The banquet room, pre-ceremony: you can see the tent through the doorway, where the chuppah is set up and waiting for us.

Honestly, I have no idea how this all got done so beautifully. Well, no, that's not fair at all - Tim, my mom, the Fontainebleau staff, the caterers, and the wedding party were working incredibly hard for hours making everything look beautiful. But I saw very little of that! I was feeling so sick the couple days before the wedding and the day of the wedding that all my list-making aspirations went out the window, and that morning I just haphazardly assigned tasks to the wedding party and was totally spaced out. But they outdid themselves. The guys were given the task of hanging the paper lanterns (in addition to setting up all the throwies Tim and I had made), and I'm fairly certain they spent an hour just figuring out an algorithm that would make them look best. Yes, our friends are nerds.

Here I am with Ariel, who's wearing the crown I made to match our ribbon ties... I did the ribbon part, and Audrey (flower lady extraordinaire) made a gorgeous wreath-type thing that fit perfectly onto the ribbon crown.

My fam - grandpa, mom, (me,) dad, aunt Merle (affectionately known as Auntie M)

Pop quiz: guess how old my grandpa is. No fair if you already know. Answer will be in my next post.

My husband, looking so happy - yay! The guys had forgotten to put on their boutonnieres. They did it a few minutes later.

Our "first look," very representative of us: silly.

Look at those trees in the background! I was so sad for a month before the wedding when I saw fallen leaves, because I was worried everything would be dead for the wedding. Such an optimist. :-)

I love that Peter caught this shot. Are dragonflies good luck, like bird crap? I'd rather have a dragonfly, thankyouverymuch.

Chrissy, Melissa, me, Gabby, Hillary - they're wearing their gorgeous shawls by Jes. I opted not to wear the beautiful jacket she made for me, because I was apparently sweating out a fever. Our bouquets are decorated with the ribbon ties I made!
The guys ran down the hill to the lake and dock, and somewhere in the process Tim lost his boutonniere. But it sure is a great picture.

At this point, I've handed my bouquet to Tim so I can go find straight pins to fashion a makeshift bout. But Hillary's dad, Terry, managed to find the original!

On the table is our ketubah by our friend Paul. It is SO awesome. The painting was done on a reclaimed wood tabletop, and the wood things on the side (when hanging, they're on the right) are sliders for the English and Hebrew texts of the ketubah to fit into. Our rabbi (the wonderful David Regenspan) is holding one of the texts.

It was a little weird to be in that room because it was right by the front door, and guests kept walking in as we were trying to do something very serious - signing the ketubah and marriage license. I just felt a little bad that people kept ducking their heads in to say hi, and we had specifically asked my grandpa and aunt to be our witnesses... I envisioned it being a private event. It was still really nice, but it felt really chaotic with lots of people trying to talk to us. Then after we finished (with 5 minutes to spare before the ceremony), Tim noticed some friends come in with their uninvited teenage son. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to hit me right before the ceremony, but oh well.

Our friends Molly and Michael are serving themselves some hopefully-hotter-now-than-when-I-tried-it cider before the ceremony. Luckily, when Tim and I went upstairs for Yichud, it was plenty hot and we sat soothing our throats with hot cider. :-) Awww, how romantic!

I'm so excited to share more with you! What next - details or ceremony?

All pictures by Laura Kozlowski and Peter Ozolins, c. 2008 Laura B. Kozlowski.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New family member!!!

This is my beautiful new niece, No-Name. Her name has its roots in ancient Jewish traditions. Har har. Actually, she'll be officially named and blessed at my brother and SIL's synagogue tomorrow morning. ***Update: Her name is Sara Tikvah - Sara pronounced "Sahhhra" (the Hebrew way), and Tikvah meaning "hope." They plan to call her by her full name. I love it!

Pretty good reason for Josh & Hillary not being able to come to the wedding, eh?

There is very little doubt as to whose family she's part of:
  • hair
  • cheeks
  • size! (21 inches; 8 lbs, 15.5 oz)

Friday, October 31, 2008

leave me unprotected, please.

Copy this sentence into your blog if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by people who think GLBT marriage hurts it somehow.

(Thanks, Stinkerpants!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

first teaser (b&w)

First, I must say again that I am so in love with our photographer and her assistant (& boyfriend), Laura Kozlowski and Peter Ozolins. They had the perfect temperament for us - very chill, definitely not hyper, but still great about getting people revved up for a good photo and about sticking to a schedule - and they take beautiful photos. They're the same two who took our awesome engagement photos

Despite some holdups that made them get to the Inn at the requested time but not come upstairs to do the end-of-getting-ready pics I had asked for, they stayed beyond the contracted amount of time, partied with us a little bit, and seemed to genuinely get along with our friends, which is pretty awesome.

So here's the first teaser Laura sent me this morning. It's b&w, so you can't see my dress yet in its full splendor, but I love the vintage-y look of the shot. I also love the slightly suspicious expressions on our faces... you can tell that we're both a little uncomfortable, and I think that's good. It's the real deal.

Monday, October 27, 2008

that's it!

DESPITE both of us having horrible colds; our cat giving my a four-inch long set of bloody scratches on my upper chest, right on the skin exposed by my V-neck dress; a somewhat overzealous/overexcited flower girl telling the photographers I was having a "moment" (with a motion toward her head) and that they couldn't go upstairs to take getting-ready pictures (resulting in their sitting around for ~45 minutes when the bridesmaids and I were getting ready sans photos, and all other pre-ceremony activities getting pushed back enough that it felt more stressful than it would have otherwise); and two friends/colleagues showing up with their not-invited 13-year-old-son... was amazing.

Certainly didn't start that way, I must say. I really don't want to be that person telling you about how it started SO bad and ended SO great, because it really didn't start THAT bad. It was just kind of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, which is a wedding-day bummer, I'd venture to say. I woke up yesterday feeling absolutely horrendous, which made me really sad... definitely not that first-day-of-school feeling (yes, I'm a nerd). Our rehearsal dinner and welcome party were a lot of fun, but I was already feeling pretty sick and wasn't feeling much like socializing. My outfit was a hit, though! :-) The food at Maxie's was SO great (fried green tomatoes!!!), and Tim had the brilliant idea of using some of my painstakingly decorated jelly jars as decoration there, since there weren't centerpieces. (They have awesome lamps and ceiling decorations, and the food was family-style so big centerpieces would've been annoying.) It was wonderful and made for really nice ambiance.

At home, we had WAY too much food and drink, but oh well! now we have leftovers. Our next-door neighbors, whom we don't know very well but whom we had had apprised of the party a few days earlier (and I got to hold Sydney, their 3-month-old kitten!!), brought over an absolutely incredible cake she made for us. It was a HUGE round chocolate cake with a kind of cream cheese frosting, with piped words like "love," "forgiveness," and "understanding" (and more creative ones I can't think of right now) on the side. It was such a beautiful gesture that really meant a lot to us, especially because we haven't talked to them a whole lot... it feels like a fresh start. :-)  (Not that we had any bad blood, but they're just really shy, and so is Tim, and... I'm just out of town all the time. :-P )

So anyway, my mom did a great job of shooing people out, even though Tim didn't totally understand why people had to leave. (Boys.) Two of his groomsmen stayed and drank scotch until about 1, which was totally fine... I went to sleep and couldn't hear them at all.

But in the morning, I felt like such absolute shit that I didn't know how I was going to get through the day. I woke up around 9 and started getting ready (whaaaaa? 9?! a bride?!? waking up at NINE on her wedding day?!?!?!), but Tim was still sleeping. We needed to leave at 10:15 to get to the Inn in time to meet the wedding party. Needless to say, with him getting up at 9:50, that didn't happen.

It was fine. We dealt. I was bitchy to the wedding party, especially since I was losing my voice and two of the guys were talking & fussing with paper lanterns when I was trying to explain something and be heard. I believe my exact words were "[cat hissing noise]." That is not an exaggeration.

I think that's about enough for now. Hopefully I'll get some teaser pics from Laura in the next few days so I can do a little more recapping - meanwhile, I'll work on feeling better! But for now I'll say this: I knew things would perk up, and they most certainly did. Here's what started the perking up (sorry, these are cell phone pics of the bouquet as it looks in my kitchen right now):

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

wedding week quickie #2

I finished the escort charts and am happy with them! They took a lot longer than I expected, mostly because I wanted the sandwich boards to have the names listed alphabetically on both sides, and I ended up wiping off a lot of names several times when I realized I hadn't planned it right. That's all very boring. What's more interesting are the details:

  • 3 wood-framed sandwich boards from eBay (contact me if you want more info) for about $20 each, including shipping - We can spray chalkboard paint on them afterwards and use them again (Tim will use them to advertise his Cornell concerts).
  • White and assorted colored paint pens from Michaels (used on all table number chalkboards and the millions of chalkboards that are all over the wedding)
  • 4-5 hours of repeating MSNBC shows (Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews). Chris Matthews NEEDS to stop interrupting people. I'm terrible about interrupting. But he just sounds drunk and annoying, and I usually don't, I think.

In any case, I'm pretty happy with how the charts turned out. I could have done them more neatly, and I also could have been more patient when my white paint pens started to crap out on me, choosing to wait to finish until I could get new ones tomorrow. But I really wanted to get this done, so whatever. It looks like a farmers' market and it's imperfect and fine. I'm cool with that. I think the script/cursive/whatever you want to call it is a little hard to read, but Tim tells me it's fine. So good.

I don't have the energy or ambition to blur out all the names, but I took it with Mac PhotoBooth and am leaving it backwards. I'm pretty sure you can't read it anyway. If you're offended, let me know. I'll decide if I still like you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thank you all [again] for your sweet comments. All is well and my dress is great. Marilyn did an AMAZING job, and I'm pretty stoked.

Off to make the table charts...


Friday, October 17, 2008

mallblograt (warning: vent. with no pictures. read at your own risk.)

I had a rehearsal in Syracuse this morning (10-12:30) and have a concert tonight (8pm). Ithaca is 70 minutes away, and it didn't really make sense to drive back despite how much stuff I have to do. I brought my computer and the paper for the programs, fully intending to find a Kinko's - oh excuse me, FedEx Office - and FINALLY copy the program that I've been putting off for weeks.

Instead, I ended up at the mall. It's a much bigger, much nicer mall than anything close to Ithaca, and I have no problem admitting that I love me a mall. Yes, it's a little depressing, and yes, a lot of stuff looks the same, but I love feeling anonymous - it's especially great going to a mall somewhere you don't live, for that reason! I went to the Apple Store and got my computer looked at (I need more RAM), got Tim some stripy wedding socks with red and purple in them, a $10 pretty green silk sleeveless top from Old Navy, and some yummy-smelling foaming liquid soaps from Bath & Body Works. I'm a total sucker for those soaps. When I got here, I thought it would be awesome to go to a movie (Rachel Getting Married!) and really take the afternoon off if I was indeed going to avoid doing the programs, but nothing there appealed. So I walked until my feet hurt, got cranky looking at Macy's because there's so much shit in there and just generally WAY too much merchandise - it feels like a discount store since they bought out all those other stores, though some of their stores are better than others and this one SUCKS - and got myself an oven-roasted chicken breast sub on honey wheat with spinach, tomatoes, green peppers, spicy mustard, and Swiss cheese. From Subway. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this.

Anyway, I had a minor breakdown last night. For a while now, I've been panicking about my dress. I haven't wanted to admit it (to myself or anyone else), but I was really, really unhappy with how my dress looked when I left Seattle. It was like Chrissy just didn't understand my body. I'm not going to get into all the ins and outs of what was wrong with it, but I did feel like I was pretty clear about what I wanted, and I *KNOW* my measurements were correct, and honestly... she just fucked up. Like, it was several inches too short, it was too small and very awkward-fitting in the boobs, and it just did. not. fit. She worked really hard over the few days we were there to fix it, but I guess she just didn't have enough time to do a really careful job of it - she had machine-sewed a lot of parts that Marilyn (Milwaukee seamstress) ended up taking apart and hand-sewing so they'd look better, and there were some seams in really funky places (like the front middle, on the extra sheer fabric she had to add because she messed up the height/length measurement). I'm lucky that Marilyn was able to do a lot of great work on it, but I still don't have the dress. And it's stressing me out that I won't be able to try it on until Monday, when my mom gets into town. I'm having visions of having to rush-order five dresses from Nordstrom or Bloomingdale's or something, and hope that one fits. I think it'll be "fine," but everyone wants her dress to be better than "fine," right? I mean, even if it fits, it's still not exactly what I envisioned, and it's a bummer that I have this custom-made dress that's just not the perfect dress. Sigh.

So anyway, I was trying to revise seating/table assignments. I had them all done with mostly tables of 7/8/9/10, and those #s all go at the same size oblong table. 9 or 10 is a squeeze. Then we have ONE table of 6, which is round. The thing that bugs me is that we only have 100 guests, so 12 somewhat crowded tables in a fairly spacious room looks and feels strange. I decided that I wanted more 6-person tables. But I really liked the tables as they were, socially speaking. So I was freaking out. And I had only slept 5-6 hours two nights in a row, plus driven 2.5 hours both days, which for me is an absolutely disastrous combination. Tim was sitting there watching me come unraveled, and he offered to do the seating assignments - but he was just like, "oh, just take one couple from each of 3 tables and stick them together." AAAGGHHHHH!!!!! You can't do that!!! I can't even imagine. (Anyway, he took the papers away from me and was dealing with it today. We'll see how that goes.)

So when I panicked about that, I was like, "you want to see something I'm *really* worried about?" and showed him the post with the pics of me in my dress. I know, I know, curses!!! But I wanted to show him that I'm not being *completely* irrational (or maybe get a little encouragement that it's not as bad as I've been thinking it is). He was honest and said he thinks it's cool but will look much better when it fits better, and was really sweet about saying, "well, it's not like I saw 'your' dress - 'your' dress will fit you differently. It's different." Somehow that made me feel a little better.

But honestly, what I really need is several good nights' sleep, and I wish I just didn't have so much going on right now. I have 5 hours of teaching before driving to play tomorrow night's concert, and then drive to frickin' Geneva on Sunday to play a runout concert. And then my mom comes on Monday, which will not exactly bring calm to the masses despite helping out a tremendous amount. I guess this is what happens. Coffee is a good thing. (On that note, let's all thank my cousin for the amazing coffee she gave me...)

Ooh, I lied - I can give you some pictures: my rehearsal dinner dress, which fits me much better than my wedding dress, and the necklace I'm wearing with it. I love that the necklace is so busy and crazy but totally contained to the pendant, and I love the colors. And that it has silver and gold. Love it. I think I'm going to wear my knee-high brown suede boots that have beige stitching at the seams.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I promise to take bunches of pictures this weekend and upload them. I know, that's incredibly lame of me. Tim has been hard at work making more adorable cartoons for our table numbers, as well as constructing our chuppah. I worked last night on the program and keep forgetting to take it to Kinko's (duh). I also finished up the photo display and attached all the pictures to twine with those impossibly cute mini clothespins that break when your hands are too big and clumsy (oops). And I did one trial of a ribbon (beribboned!) bouquet decoration, and made a ribbon crown for our flower chick to which some flowers will be added.

Right now, though, I'm going to eat, practice, and sleep. I start my new job with the Syracuse Symphony tomorrow - good timing, huh?

I'll leave you with the forecast that got my week off to a great start. It's nominally better now, and will undoubtedly change 10 more times over the next 10 days:

People, please. It's October. Are you trying to recreate this?

Monday, October 6, 2008


Do you have certain words that you only saw in books, mispronounced in your head, and now have a hard time pronouncing correctly? For my mom, one of those words is "idiosyncrasy" - she apparently thought it was "ih-dee-AHZ-nih-cra-zee" when she was a kid. (Two little letters get innocently inverted and look what happens.) Now she just mispronounces it to be funny.

"Beribboned" is one of those words for me. I always thought it was "BERRY-boned." Haha!! Fortunately for me, it's not a word that generally comes up in daily conversation.

Anyway, right now I do want to talk about ribbons, and I have a DIY question for you. I love the look of the ribbons on this Ariella Chezar bouquet:

But I don't want to ask Audrey, who's doing our flowers, to do it - I'm already adding more work than I had originally asked her to do. Also... I can't cede power to anyone when I have a really clear idea of what I want. (The truth hurts.) So I was thinking - I have all this ribbon, champagne and bronze and ivory. I think those colors would look so pretty with the dark, jewel-toned flowers we're going to have. I'd like to make the ribbon cascades (for each of the bridesmaids and for myself) beforehand, and I don't think it'll be that hard once I figure out a method. 

So... what should I use to hold them all together? I was thinking of using plain elastic, about 1/2 inch wide. I could staple? glue? each ribbon to the elastic, covering the elastic itself and overlapping each other so the final product is really voluminous. Then the whole thing can be tied around the bouquet.

Any suggestions? Has anyone done something like this before?

Bridesmaid swag

Ladies (M, C, G, & H!), if you want to be surprised, stop reading NOW!!!










Now that they're out of the way, let's begin.

I have a maid of honor and three bridesmaids. I'll just provide short introductions, because I'll be honest - I get really bored reading about other people's friends. 

Melissa, my maid of honor, has been my best friend since the summer before 6th grade. We've been through everything together. She is a much-loved elementary school orchestra teacher in Milwaukee (Shorewood actually) and is getting married in April! By that time I'll be her matron of honor.  :-P  Hate that term...

Christine (Chrissy) is a very close friend from middle/high school. She's a violist like me (though she played violin when we were in school together and switched about 6-7 years ago) and is getting her doctorate in viola performance at UW-Madison. She just got bangs and looks awesome. :-)

Gabby is a friend from grad school in Boston, though it's hard to believe we only met 6 years ago. We became friends really quickly, and we've been on many work-related trips together (Leipzig, Lucerne, Montgomery...). She's a phenomenal violinist who freelances in Boston and all over the world. We wear the same shade of makeup, which proves that we are sisters.

Hillary was there the night Tim and I met! We shared scorpion bowls at the Kong (website = much classier than restaurant). She's a really talented and creative composer who does a lot with electronics, and she's written pieces for Tim, me, and us as a duo. She also plays violin and is a great improvisor. She's working on her doctorate in composition at Harvard. (Tim and I often spend holidays with her amazing family in Maine.)

These amazing women are always there for me. They are really my friends for life. I really wanted to make up for the times that I haven't been able to buy them birthday/Xmas presents, or that I've been so busy I haven't made time for them. Basically, I wanted to get them really personal gifts that show them how much they mean to me. I got each of them a few of the same gifts but tried to personalize them, and then I got each one something personal.

OK, are you four still reading? Go away!!!



The first thing I bought for each of them (and each of the four groomsmen) is actually something Hillary gave me last Xmas in Maine. (Yes, I'm Jewish, but it was given to me on December 25!) It is seriously the BEST travel item I've ever owned, and since all four of them travel a lot, I thought it was perfect. Hillary's was lost with her luggage a year or so ago, so I know she doesn't have one anymore even though she's a diehard LL Bean Mainer!

Each one of them will get the large size in a different color (well, two are getting purple), and the guys each get a medium black one (along with some other stuff).

Then I found some awesome pendants on Etsy, made with antique lace - each one is slightly different:

from Etsy seller WanderLustre, who even sent an extra pendant for me!! I also got matching silver rope chains for each one (from someone else), though unfortunately I didn't spring for very nice ones... so they kind of rip your hair out.  :-(

Each of them will get a silk shawl to match their dress (two are wearing berry, and two are wearing eggplant... both food colors! hee hee), silkscreened by Jes with the allium/fiddlehead graphic. I don't have pics of those yet, but the shawls are a pinky-champagne color, and the ink is the color of each dress.

Then I tried to think of something each of them would need/want that's not music-related. That's hard, because although they have diverse interests, I know them first and perhaps best as musicians.

But Chrissy loves to cook:

Gabby mentioned in passing that she really wanted a new ring to replace the one she's worn for years:

"slender water ring" from Etsy seller JSurine

Hillary loves snowflakes and snow, and she even has a snowflake tattoo:

Demeter Fragrance Library "Snow"

and Melissa has a Labradoodle, Sophie, who is her pride and joy:

gift certificate to Metropawlis in Milwaukee, their fave pet store... I wanted to get Sophie a new collar (I generally really don't like gift certificates), but Melissa's mom told me Sophie is *very* particular!

I'm curious - if you had/have a wedding party, what did you do to thank them? Did you buy all of them the same thing, or did you find specific things that you knew each one would love?

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hey everybody, and welcome! Although I'm bummed about the reason I'm suddenly getting more traffic, I'm thrilled that you're here and hope you decide to stick around. Since I'm only 3 weeks away from my wedding, this blog will soon morph into (wife.) - craziness! But I hope I can be funny and interesting and irreverent enough to keep your interest. And thank you SO much for all your comments and support yesterday. I'm really glad so many of us are feeling the same way about the situation and can create a new kind of community.

I'm just back in my hotel room for a little while between a dress rehearsal and the opening of EMPAC (check out the slide show!) in Troy, NY. It's truly one of the most incredible concert halls I've ever seen and had the privilege to perform in, and it's a fantastic thing for the Albany area. I'm so excited to be playing with ICE tonight and tomorrow at the venue's gala opening. I have to go don my velvet fanciness (it's cold here!) and make pretty, but I'll be back soon with more weddingy goodness.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

This flat-out sucks.

Weddingbee was sold to eHarmony.

I don't know what else to say except that I'm really pissed off right now. I unsubscribed from Weddingbee in my Google Reader a few weeks ago for a number of reasons (mostly that I just wasn't that interested anymore, and the increasing number typos/misspellings/malapropisms really got to me), but I continued to sneak in once a day to feed my addiction. No more.

It's interesting that I read that post immediately after reading this (and all related comments). There are plenty of bloggers (wedding-related and otherwise) out there (here, here and here) whom I relate to much more than some of the new Bees, and with 24 days left until I'm married, I can do without the 'bee.

edited to remove links to Weddingbee, so eHarmony doesn't get lots of extra hits. Blech.

Monday, September 29, 2008


OK, got that out of my system.

Now, back to business.

One of my most difficult projects lately (as far as emotional attachment) has been narrowing down the farmers' market photos and photos of Tim & me that we're going to display clothesline-style. I had hundreds, cut it down to 150, and cut it down again to 70. I'm still trying to get rid of some, but first I need to decide which of our engagement photos to ADD to the pile. Sigh.

We were really happy with how our e-photos (taken at the end of May) turned out, especially because both of us were pretty nervous. I'm usually not anxious in front of the camera, but knowing how uptight Tim was about it made me less relaxed. Laura Kozlowski and her assistant, Peter, were amazing - I'm thrilled with the photos themselves, just not always the models!

So here are the ones still in the running - I haven't decided how many to print (4-5?), but I'd like to try to use one from each location. And I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites. Please comment below!! (Also, question for those of you familiar with Blogger: how can I set up the photos so they display larger when clicked on?)

We started out at an old abandoned barn close to our house:

... moved on to a field of gorgeous yellow flowers that Laura had seen (yes, I'm aware they bear resemblance to Claritin/Tampax/Valtrex ads, but the colors look amazing!!):

... hit the empty farmers' market:

... and finished up at Steamboat Landing, right next to the market:

All photos by the fabulous Laura and Peter. Please credit Laura Kozlowski.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Tim and I are not neat people. It's not that we wouldn't like to be. We have high aspirations. But we have a LOT of stuff, a lot of music, a lot of mail... just basically a lot of shit lying around all over the place that we're not very diligent about straightening/putting away/sifting through. Oh, and doing dishes is an issue too. And when there's so much stuff around, it's harder to clean.

But basically... we're slobs. It pains me to admit it, but it's true. (I'm an uncurable perfectionist, so when I can't do *everything,* I do nothing. Brilliant.)

Since wedding stuff started piling up around and on top of our wood stove (lately, at an exponential rate), we've been a little apprehensive about having people over. I mean, it's basically a freakin' sty. I'll admit it. We get sad about it and flip out that it's a disaster, clean halfheartedly, and ultimately let it get to the exact same condition it was in before.

Balinese and Ghanaian drums not included in wedding paraphernalia. 
By the way, the sculpture on the upper left is by our ketubah artist, Paul!

However. The night before the wedding, we're having a welcome party at our house. I don't know what I was smoking when I had that idea, but we (+ my mom) took it and ran with it. It's all right - it'll be fun. And now we have motivation to get things in better shape before my mom arrives on the 20th. I'm thinking we'll splurge on a cleaning service that week, but first we have to get all our crap put away so they can actually clean. (I wonder how much it would cost to get someone to do the putting away part, too...) I took TWO carloads of stuff to a consignment store and the Salvation Army a couple weeks ago - that was some good progress. And I've been slowly attacking the mail that piles up when I'm out of town and I then forget to go through. (Oops.)

So it's been slowly improving with my little surges of energy. Then today I decided that we should have our friends Chris & Sadie over to watch the debate (IF it happens... don't get me started) and have dinner.

Thus, we started cleaning.

And then...

I discovered my new best friend.

Vacuuming soothes me. I love it. Unfortunately, Tim and I have never had a decent vacuum, so I had been using a crappy electric broom that's a sad excuse for an appliance. When I was growing up, though, it was the one chore I didn't have to be forced to do. 

A couple weeks ago, I got a notice from Amazon that our vacuum cleaner had been purchased off our registry. I was PUMPED, but also perplexed - I mean, I also registered for a backyard composter and have been mercilessly made fun of for it, so why is something equally mundane OK? I went to the registry and discovered that it had been purchased by Kit, my dad's college and law school friend/roommate. I cracked up.

When my parents were dating long-distance (Boston-LA), my mom used to visit Kit and my dad's apartment and be totally horrified by the bachelor-pad nastiness of it. She would take the broom and start sweeping, but my dad was infuriated because sweeping was Kit's chore, and he didn't want her to do it. I don't know. It's convoluted and weird, and a little confusing that my dad would get mad at my *mom* for that, but whatever. Anyway, the story has evolved to some version of Kit coming home to my parents' trying to wrestle the broom away from each other. His note to Tim and me read, "May you never have to fight over the broom."

Seriously, I kind of went nuts with the vacuum. For almost an hour. Only downstairs. But I bet my allergies will improve now.

Anyone else have something they want to air? Please? (By the way, it is taking ever fiber of my being not to make SO many vacuum-related puns right now. But I guess I'm on a self-improvement kick.)

p.s. T minus one month!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Zzzzz

Maybe it's the prednisone (though the dosage is really low), but more likely it's the 9 channels of static that are competing for attention in my head. Tim went to sleep around 12:30 last night, and I said I'd be up soon. We used to almost never go to bed at different times, but my sleep schedule is just messed. up. lately. (OK, that's not totally true. At all. For several years I've woken up almost every night in the middle of the night for at least an hour, but I never had trouble falling asleep, or waking up more than once.) 

I stayed downstairs staring at How Do I Look? on TV and listlessly clicking things on my laptop to see what I'm behind on and/or on top of, wedding-wise. Emailed a few people. Facebooked. Then I trudged upstairs, "read" some US Weekly (I swear I'm not as vacuous as this paragraph is making me sound), and tried to sleep. Woke up at 4 to go to the bathroom. Woke up again at 7 and came downstairs to do the same crap on my computer. Still here. Still tired. Still want to sleep more. (9:15 AM... ahem... yeah, musicians' schedules are a little different from normal people's.) 

But my brain is going apeshit. I know it's because of the wedding, and I know I should shut the stupid computer... I just can't seem to make myself do it. Will it be better once I'm so exhausted I have no choice but to sleep, or am I not going to be able to press pause on the brain drool until October 27?

Any of you have chronic insomnia? Advice?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NWR - in memoriam.

I have never gotten through Infinite Jest (it's been pointed out to me that it might be because there are no major female characters, which is a very valid argument IMHO), but I've read many of David Foster Wallace's essays and short stories over the 6.5 years Tim and I  have been together. I guess I'm not what some (including... ahem... my future husband) would consider a huge fan because I haven't read his entire oeuvre, but I am in awe of his writing. He was a genius on so many levels. Tim, who has read essentially every word DFW ever wrote, said last week, "He wrote how the inside of my head feels." He doesn't feel comfortable having me put that in here, but I feel like it succinctly describes how many people (including A.O. Scott of The New York Times - please read this beautifully written obituary) feel.

David Foster Wallace committed suicide last week at his California home after, according to his father, many, many years battling depression. 

more here, here, and here, and many others.

thank you.

One more thing about the cake...

I know it sounds weird. I know many people don't like beets. But I urge you to read this post (bonus: my grandpa's time-tested actual recipe is there), make the recipe (it's easy--canned beets!--and cheap), and decide for yourself. Comment below when you're done...

my photo

Timmy's first DIY!*

For as long as we've been together, Tim has drawn silly cartoons for me. He's really good at it (though he doesn't like to admit it), but when I decided to set up the cupcakes like a veggie patch, I knew I wanted to enlist him to make the garden patch signs. I wish I could draw well, but he's just soooooo much better at it. I try not to let it upset me.  :-P

They'll be oversized compared to what else is going on in the veggie patch...

I know this is somewhat ridiculous, but I think it'll be totally adorable and just couldn't resist. I bought the 3 sections of the fence, wheelbarrow, tool set, and watering can. Sorry, no fairies. Since my mom and I are making the cupcakes (it'll only be 3 batches or so), we're saving a decent amount of money on the cake. Hello, rationalization!

...but I want people to see the signs in their full glory (lettering is mine, which is why is looks sort of like D'Nealian... and sorry for the terrible cell-phone-camera video):

Here they are, before being cut and put onto popsicle-stick stakes! Pretty adorable (and random/bizarre), no? Just like Timmy...
If you listen carefully, you can hear me snickering and the sweet sounds of What Not To Wear in the background at around 0:50.

*As a percussionist/professional tinkerer, Tim actually DIYs stuff ALLLLL the time. But this is his first wedding-related DIY, aside from teaming up with me to make the %^*#$&^ throwies that are FINALLY done!

The flower chick

I wasn't sure we could have a flower girl until fairly recently, because our prospective flower girl's mom, Katherine, teaches preschool and had to make sure she could get a vacation day (for the day after the wedding). But YAY, they can come! I'm sad that husband/dad Michael can't come because of work, but it will be awesome to have Katherine and Ariel there for the festivities. And I hear that Ariel is pretty excited to be a flower girl for the second time in four months... and get a new dress for it! :-)

K&A eating fondue on a trip to Paris and the Netherlands this summer!

I've known Katherine for about 17 years - she lived in Milwaukee during my teenage years (she's about 10 years older than I am). She moved to NYC just before I went to college, married Michael, had Ariel, and I only just reconnected with her about 3 years ago when I started making more frequent trips to NYC. It's hard for me to believe it's been such a short time since we got back in touch, because they're a huge part of my life - I stay with them in Brooklyn for long stretches, get my own space in the basement of their great house, and have a fantastic quality of life that's hard to match when you're crashing on friends' couches. (I've recently reconnected with other friends with extra space for me, which is wonderful, and that way it takes a little longer to wear out my welcome with one friend/couple/family.)

Anyway, the best part of it has been having this extended Brooklyn family and a little sister-type I never had. I *LOVE* Ariel. She is spunky, cute, smart, and majorly fun. She's also 9 years old, which enables us to have a slightly more grown-up relationship than I might have had with a tiny tot flower girl. Ariel plays violin scarily well, and she usually plays for me when I'm there.

I wanted her to wear a teal dress to match the Holy Grail teal in my dress (it has been a little hard to match), and the color will look amazing on Ariel. Also, although it didn't work out to have the bridesmaids wear "real-life" dresses, I absolutely didn't want K&M to spend a lot of money on something she'll grow out of in 5 minutes and only have worn once. The dress she wore for the other wedding was really fancy, and I told Katherine it was probably a little too much for our less formal wedding. I didn't want to leave her hanging, so I started hunting. Rarely do I have trouble shopping, but I was hard-pressed to remember stores with cute tween clothes! I looked at a few stores I often search for my own clothes online: Nordstrom, Macy's, and Boden. Here's the first one I found:

So cute, and a reasonable price - Boden also has coupons for some % off and free shipping, so it would have been a little under $40. Katherine thought it might be a bit too little-girly for Ariel, and I also thought the corduroy might not be dressy enough, especially next to the chiffon bridesmaid dresses. So the search continued.

I looked on eBay and found several great options, which I promptly emailed to Katherine, and one of them was from Limited Too. I've often walked by that store and thought they had really cute  stuff. I always shopped at The (grownup) Limited when I was a teenager. I checked out their website and found two promising options:

source (both dresses)

I hoped K&A would like the solid teal one more, but honestly I really just wanted Ariel to be happy in what she ended up with. So - here it is:

Doesn't she look fabulous? She got some cute black shoes, too. I think she's going to wear a flower crown, though perhaps not this one - here she is practicing her [very serious] flower girl routine:

Since Jewish weddings don't traditionally have kids involved as flower girls and ring bearers, Ariel is going to serve both functions and carry a single one of these with our rings tied to it:

I received it the other day, and it is even cuter in person! You can personalize the ribbon color, so I got purple & red that just so happen to match quite nicely and also make it plenty girly for Ariel. The "pillow" looks bigger in the picture and is actually only 4" in diameter, so it's a perfect size for a kid to carry. The best part? $10!