Happy hearts and happy bellies

Sitting across from my best friends at breakfast Sunday morning, I’m struck by how beautiful they all are and how lucky I am to have them in my life. Yes, they are all pretty women, I’ve always known that. But over the past year or so I’ve realized that my friends are all around beautiful people: they are strong, smart, funny, kind, driven, loyal, caring, comforting people and my life wouldn’t be the same without them in it.

In high school and through college I think I took my friends for granted–often opting to spend time Mike and his friends instead of my girlfriends.  It’s not until I graduated from college and moved away from them all that I realized how precious friendships are, how much girlfriends add to your life.

We had an amazing weekend together.  Planned about a month ago to celebrate Jordyn’s birthday and her return to the east coast (she moved from LA to DC in January), we were all so looking forward to the girl time. We each had our own reasons for looking forward to the trip, and I think it was exactly what we needed.

The girls got to DC on Friday night and the grown-up slumber party began with dinner at my apartment. (I made this.) Having us all around my kitchen table was a bit surreal. If it was in a movie a slow happy song would play as the camera slowly pans over each of our faces as we smile, throw our heads back in laughter, and raise our glasses for a toast. It’s crazy to think that we’re all adults now and our conversations focus on work, serious relationships, being moms some day, finances, goals, and dreams.

Saturday morning my living room was covered in air mattresses, blankets, and luggage just like my bedroom was in middle school when these slumber parties began. I made my favorite pancakes and we went to my favorite yoga class. We got back around lunchtime and Mike made us all homemade pizza. Then we just veged in our gym clothes for the afternoon, read magazines, books, took naps, watched a movie. Because we really didn’t have to do anything.  We just wanted to be together. 

We put ourselves together on Saturday night for a night out on the town. We had an 8 o’clock reservation at Zaytinya and after two sketchy cab rides we all arrived at our destination. We shared a few carafes of the Pom Fili (white wine, vodka, and pomegranate juice) and sampled a lot of menu items: salads, fritters, spreads, meats. We left dinner with happy hearts and happy bellies.

Next, we headed to POV at the W Hotel just a quick walk away from the restaurant.  We felt pretty baller walking in and when we got to our table I was so excited we were there.  POV, the rooftop bar, is one of my favorite places in the city and I’d been wanting to take girlfriends there for a while.  Unfortunately, our stay was short-lived.  As we began ordering our first drinks, the server said “did anyone tell you about the policy?” “No,” we said, “what policy?” “It’s a $50 per person minimum or you have to do bottle service.” WHAT?!?! Since we were all pretty full and not wanting to spend $60 on drinks alone, we left our table and headed back to my neighborhood. We had a drink at a neighborhood bar before coming back to my apartment, making Pillsbury cinnamon buns, and going to bed.

And so quickly it was Sunday morning.  Of course, I had to take my friends to my favorite breakfast place: Open City in Woodley Park. As we chat over coffee, I get a bit emotional at the joy of the experience and wish that I could be surrounded by these girls all the time.  These are girls I’ve liked since middle school but have come to truly admire in the past few years.  Luckily, the conversation quickly turns to when we can have another weekend like this and we brainstorm places we can travel together.

As I gave them hugs at the train station, I had to fight back tears.  I really hate to see them go.

Luckily, one’s still here for good and we’re already planning our next girls weekend.

Advertisements

We found a little Christmas

I think we all have two options: you can control your mood or you can let your mood control you. I often fall victim to my moods–like a few weeks ago when I literally was in a grumpy, tired, unmotivated, blah mood until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

This weekend I had two experiences where I decided what my mood would be instead of letting my feelings take over. It made me feel really powerful and happy (because I obviously chose a positive mood). I hope that by sharing these experiences, you may be inspired to choose your mood the next time you’re in a crappy mood.

After work on Friday I was super motivated to sit down and put the finishing touches on our wedding album before meeting friends for dinner. I walk in the door of our building and head to the elevator when who do I see coming up the stairs? Mike.  “What are you doing?” I ask. “Doing laundry.  I found another bed bug.” My first thoughts: “You’ve got to be kidding me.  Why are you looking for bugs?” I was kind of angry.

I head to our bedroom, asking Mike where he found said bug.  I’m fuming as I lift the mattress to look for others but then decide “I’m not going down this road. I’m going back to my positive and motivated mood and will finish our wedding album.” Two hours later, I sent edits and approvals to our photographer, checking off a big to-do that’s been on my list for months. I was so excited, relieved, and felt accomplished.

Saturday, Mike and I planned to get into the Christmas spirit by going to the mall, going to see the National Christmas Tree, and watching a Christmas movie while making gingerbread men.  We head to the mall to start our Christmas shopping.  Within an hour 30 minutes, I’m overwhelmed and tired and, aside from two small Haagen-Dazs ice-creams, we haven’t bought a single thing.

Instead of the holly-jolly spirit we intended to get from the mall, (I know, what were we thinking??) I feel more like the grinch. I’m ready to call the whole day off and go home. We decided to go into one more store before heading out.  We end up purchasing one gift, so that makes us feel successful but I’m still kind of exhausted.  When we start discussing the logistics of paying for our Christmas gifts like which account we’ll use, I say something to Mike, he doesn’t understand exactly what I’m saying and I snap at him in the middle of J Crew saying something to the effect of “What, am I not speaking English??” He decides to wait outside.

As we walk to the car, Mike says we can just go home if I want to, and that at this point, it probably won’t even be dark when we get there. I consider it as I pull out of the garage figure that by the time we get there and find parking, it probably will be dark.  But I’m so tired and kind of just want to go home.  And then I decide no, I can turn my mood around.  We’re going to see the tree!

We found parking pretty easily and Mike suggested we stop to get hot chocolate for our walk. “My treat,” he says. We stop at Caribou Coffee for a hot chocolate, and then walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House and Treasury making our way to the Ellipse, the site of the National Christmas Tree. As we were walking back to the car Marine One flew overhead and landed on the White House lawn. It was so cool!

We picked up pizzas from a place in our old neighborhood, came home and watched Home Alone while we ate our pizza and drank our favorite wine. What could’ve turned into a really sour day ended up being exactly what we hoped it would be.

the day after the rings

when you’re planning a wedding, there is so much talk about every detail of the day. we make inspiration boards, read magazines, books, and blogs, chat with friends, family members, and co-workers about each decision. but after you’ve picked your dress, your first dance song, hors d’oeuvres, readings, favors, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, your honeymoon destination, etc, that’s where it ends.  no one talks about what happens after the wedding. probably because it’s not that happy. so here’s how it went for me.

i woke up on the morning after my wedding overwhelmed with emotions.  of course, one of them was pure joy. another was love–for my husband, for my family, and for all the friends that came to show us love and support the day before.  another was shock–wow, did that really happen? that amazing day full of love and happiness that i looked forward to for years and thought about for a good portion of every day for 13 months, that happened? another was sadness–sadness that it was all over, sadness that all our friends and family were on their way. i thought that on the morning after our wedding, i wouldn’t want to see anyone.  that i would just want to sit in bliss with my husband.  but no, i wanted them all back with us. to talk about the wedding, to laugh, to extend the experience just a little bit longer. it was the best day of my life.  and it was behind me.

i spent most of the day crying.  tears came to my eyes as mike and i relived our favorite moments over coffee and bagels.  i was tearing up while texting my mom, and reading our cards.  and at other points i laid in our hotel bed and sobbed. part of this was pure exhaustion.  but it was also the release of all the emotions that had built up in the weeks and months leading up to our wedding.

the tears flowed into the first part of our honeymoon. i got emotional in the airport and in the van on the way to our hotel. as the week went on, the tears became less and less frequent.

but it didn’t end there.  over the next week or so, i’ll be writing about similar emotions i’ve experienced since my wedding: coming back to work after my honeymoon, responding to the questions “how was your wedding” and “how is married life,” and how i feel when i hear our first dance song.

waiting for daylight savings

this time of the year is really challenging for me.  my energy levels are low and motivation to do things is minimal. my attention span is super short and i have a hard time concentrating. (honestly, i’m pushing myself to get this post written.) all i want to do is get in bed and stay there and i’m kind of down overall.

it’s because the sun comes out so late in the morning.  i’m usually a morning person and wake up when it gets to be a certain lightness out/somewhere around 5:30. for spring and summer these times are very close to each other and i’m high functioning, happy, and energetic. but from now until daylight savings on november 6 that’s a lot later than usual and i struggle to feel like me. it will be better for a few weeks after daylight savings but by january it will be difficult again.  this experience is not uncommon.  in fact, it’s called seasonal affective disorder–funny that the abbreviation is s.a.d.

i’m going to have to work extra hard to take care of myself and manage my mood during this time.  for me that means making a concerted effort to get to the gym (difficult because i’m a morning gym person but am having trouble getting up), cooking and eating foods that will give me energy, and spending time with friends. hopefully doing these things will help. if not, i may need to find a plan b.

talk to me

do you feel tired, unmotivated or depressed at certain times of the year?  what helps you feel like yourself again? 

50 have been chosen

after quite a while, we finally chose our 50 wedding pictures!

i’m not going to lie, i’m really sad that our wedding is over.  i can’t believe that more than 3 months after, i’m still so sad. sad that’s it’s just a memory now instead of my greatest dream.  i know that we have many many more dreams to dream together and it’s just the beginning but that was one that i held onto for so so long.  i wished for it, i prayed for it, i hoped for it every day for the past 8 years, and probably a little bit before that too.  i always wanted it to be him.

i guess now i continue to hope that we have a long happy love-filled life together. that’s one hope i’ll always have.

(photo credit: amanda kraft photography)

"allow time for transitions"

this nugget of wisdom came from don’t sweat the small stuff in love and is something i’m trying to remember right now.  it’s funny that though i’ve just committed my life to someone, i’m still in a state of transition.  we’re moving next month and have boxes of wedding presents waiting to be used piled in our apartment.  i’m changing my name and every time i sign a credit card receipt with my standard signature i remember that it won’t be that way for long and that i should practice my new one.  we’re going to combine our finances (something we’re very excited about) but that has to wait until my name is changed and even after we get our accounts in order it will take a while for direct deposits to change. we need our own car insurance policy (i’ve been on my dad’s) and will have to register our car in DC. i want these things to be done.  they are all things that could be done in a day (or so you’d think).  but no.  i’m sure all of this won’t be settled until at least august.  so, when i feel overwhelmed with these changes and a never-ending personal to-do list, i remember “allow time for transitions.”

“allow time for transitions”

this nugget of wisdom came from don’t sweat the small stuff in love and is something i’m trying to remember right now.  it’s funny that though i’ve just committed my life to someone, i’m still in a state of transition.  we’re moving next month and have boxes of wedding presents waiting to be used piled in our apartment.  i’m changing my name and every time i sign a credit card receipt with my standard signature i remember that it won’t be that way for long and that i should practice my new one.  we’re going to combine our finances (something we’re very excited about) but that has to wait until my name is changed and even after we get our accounts in order it will take a while for direct deposits to change. we need our own car insurance policy (i’ve been on my dad’s) and will have to register our car in DC. i want these things to be done.  they are all things that could be done in a day (or so you’d think).  but no.  i’m sure all of this won’t be settled until at least august.  so, when i feel overwhelmed with these changes and a never-ending personal to-do list, i remember “allow time for transitions.”