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.

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.

as i was packing up things to go to the dry cleaner, i came across mike’s wedding suit. i noticed the jacket by the striped fabric on the inside of the sleeves. i picked it up like it was a childhood blanket, one that brings comfort and security and a twinge of sadness all at the same time. i smelled it, not knowing what smells would still be lingering, not sure what smells i even associate with our wedding day.  it didn’t smell like anything.  just a suit. and still, it brought tears to my eyes.  still is.

i can’t articulate why it’s calling up this emotion.  just nostalgia for the day i guess. i remember how confident he was trying on the suit just days before the wedding, how proud he was of his choice in attire, and how handsome he looked waiting for me at the end of the aisle. this suit takes me back to all of it.

sigh.

the suit.

(via amanda kraft)