Britt is married

This past weekend, Brittany and Eric got married. The entire wedding itself was a blur. They go really fast, so enjoy every moment before the wedding, because you won’t remember it at all.

The night before

The night before, Britt and Eric rented out Jersey Shore BBQ for their rehearsal dinner. It was really great. The entire restaurant was filled with their friends and family, and JSBQQ served each table family style. Mark and I were sitting at a small table with dad, and we had: Salad, ribs, mac and cheese, kielbasa, pulled pork, brisket, pork belly bites, and berry cobbler. That’s at least what I can remember them passing out. Definitely worth it if anyone ever needs a catered dinner! BYOB and it was ~30 a head. I would do that for like my next birthday. And the staff was awesome as always.

The day of

Britt and I stayed in the hotel together the night before, and then we had a very early morning wake up call. Her bridesmaids, mom and dina all spent the morning and afternoon drinking mimosas and munching on cold cuts and fruit as we had our hair and makeup done.

By 3 we headed out to the venue and took pictures. At 5PM we were getting ready for the wedding itself, and that’s when someone hit fast forward.

Weddings are too fast to comprehend

Suddenly, we were lined up outside the ceremony door. I forgot Brittany’s handkerchief but couldn’t run upstairs. The maître d’  was instructing us, you go – wait – now you go – wait. Within what felt like 5 seconds, I was the last one to walk down the aisle. I smiled and didn’t look at anyone, and I don’t even know if I walked too fast but I think I did.

Eric’s abuela was in the front row, crying hysterically. Hayley, who I never expected to get emotional, started crying next to me – and then I started crying. As Brittany walked down the aisle I tried to take it in, but it was just so much at once! She was beautiful, look at my dad, DON’T LOOK AT ABUELA, take her flowers, pass them down, fluff the veil, get the flowers back, stand still, are you smiling? – don’t cry.

It sounds silly, but honestly so much was just happening at once.

Then, it was over. It was a really nice ceremony, it was quick, it was sweet, and then the pressure was off. They walked down the aisle, lalala, John and I grabbed arms and we all made our way to the cocktail hour. Then someone pressed fast forward again.

Cocktail hour minute

It’s really hard to be at a wedding where you virtually know every single person there. My family on both sides, all of Brittany and Eric’s friends (many of which are also mine)… it was hard to eat. It was hard to walk 5 feet without being stopped, or making eye contact and needing to stop. It went really really fast, but I was able to grab one plate before it was over. Mark was able to find a table of our friends to sit with, and I found refuge there for 10 minutes before being pulled away to prepare for the entrance

The entrance and the speech

All the guests were ushered into the reception room, and we were pulled some where else. The lovely maître d’  brought in a plate of food for Eric and Brittany, since they hadn’t eaten at the cocktail hour.

Then, we were lined up again. John and I were last to enter so we didn’t see anyone else’s entrance, but we were told Mark and Marissa’s was the best, and we were second best? I’m just glad we didn’t look like idiots – those entrances can be awful.

At this point, everyone in the bridal party was done. Nothing left to do but eat and drink. Except for me and John. Now we were really sweating because it was immediately time for speeches. Oh God dammit, that speech!

I had worked on mine for the last month. I practiced it for Mark once and he gave me a lot of notes. Basically he told me to remove or fix every joke I made. So I did, and I practiced the new speech every day in my car on the way to and from work. I had it memorized, but I was so nervous I would get stage fright and forget it once I was up there.

  • First, my dad gave his speech. And he did forget it in the beginning… it was a little rough but then it was sweet, and he cried, and everyone in the room cried, and everyone commended him.
  • Second, Che goes. Che has to follow her crying dad. When I first went up there, I was still crying so I had to give myself a moment. Then – I went into public speaking mode and it was pretty great. I didn’t miss a beat, and everyone “aww’d” at the right moments and laughed at my new jokes. I’m definitely self centered because now I can’t stop reciting my speech. I really liked it and I like the attention, and I liked all the compliments. I’m a monster. I know this. Mark gave me such a sweet kiss afterward. He was so proud of me and was absolutely more nervous than I was, which is wonderful of him
  • Third, John goes. And it’s hilarious. My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard.

And then it was over. I danced, I ate (the prime rib was ACTUALLY DELICIOUS and wedding food is never good), I drank, I tried to spend time with everyone. I went to each table I knew and talked for a bit, and I feel like I didn’t spend much time with anyone at all.

It really was a very very fun night, but it was also an amazing view into what my own wedding will be like.

Lessons learned

The wedding is about you and the person you love vowing to spend your lives together. Then, its about celebrating with your closest friends and family, and the obligatory people you also need to invite. As such:

  • There is no need to spend $30,000 or put yourself in a financial hole. It is one day of your life and you will barely remember it or get to enjoy all the things you spent so much money on.
  • Remember what is important – marrying the person you love. Don’t fight with your friends or family beforehand. Do not become a bitch or a crazy person. Those things you let upset you now will not matter at all in the end.

Mark and I have talked about having a destination wedding, and my biggest concern has always been that not everyone would come. And I still don’t like that part of it. But now that I’ve been through this, I have some new ideas I never expected to have.

  • I kind of love the idea of a destination wedding. Just me, Mark, our immediate family, and the few friends who can afford to come. I mainly love the idea of being married outside in Hawaii where he took me 3 years ago. Oahu. Just a beautiful, non conventional (no banquet hall bullshit) and meaningful to us moment. It has so much meaning to Mark’s life and is a part of our relationship. Chi-chi’s on the beach! A traditional Hawaiian ceremony. A pig roast and conch call. Seriously.
  • I also really like the idea of not having a bridal party. Just Brittany and Hayley on my side, and maybe Brendan and Eric on Mark’s. I have a lot of friends I absolutely adore and would love for everyone to stand beside me, but not everyone can. And in the end, no one is more important than my 2 sisters. And Eric is now Mark’s brother, and Brendan is his closest friend. I think that’s perfect. Forget the madness of everything else.

Of course the downside to all of this is money. We would have a very small wedding count so we wouldn’t get many gifts. And I would need to help my sisters throw my shower because it would be too expensive for just the two of them (though I am happy to just throw it in my dad’s back yard). And of course, we would need to help some family who must be there fly out, because they certainly couldn’t afford it on their own.

But, if they aren’t helping us pay, they can take that money toward the traveling expenses. And if we aren’t throwing a huge 150-200 person wedding, we wouldn’t need to make a ton of money back, so the gifts wouldn’t really matter.

And at the end of the day, it would be what we wanted, nothing more or less. And that is what a wedding should be.

  • I also sometimes like the idea of getting married at town hall and then just throwing a huge party, but I don’t know if I would actually like that once it happened. Unless the court was filled with friends and family, then it could be awesome.

Summer 2016

I want to talk about my sister getting married.


 

I don’t know the last time I wrote in here but since whenever that was, little Brittany got engaged. Here is how it went down from my perspective.

  1. Saturday night Mark and I went to a party at John’s.
  2. Sunday around 4pm we are both napping.
  3. Eric calls me twice. I answer the second time.
  4. He and Brittany have just come home from camping, and he learned she wanted a private engagement – not one with the whole family there. Eric had been planning on proposing in front of the entire family. Plans are changing. “Ché – I have the ring. I think I should propose tonight. Will you and Mark come down to the beach and take pictures… or if you’re hurting, we can do it next weekend.”
  5. “Eric – let’s do it.”
  6. I run to Best Buy to grab a new charger for my camera, and beg the battery to charge at least a little before we  leave.
  7. I cry intermittently throughout the afternoon, at Best Buy, sitting on the couch, driving to the shore. I have to get my shit together.
  8. Mark and I arrive in Spring lake around 9. We sit on a bench in the shadows. We wait like an hour. We’re tired, and staring at every stranger who walks by.
  9. There! I see a flash of a camera on the beach. Brittany’s taking selfies.
  10. They are walking to the boardwalk.
  11. They’re under the streetlamp- Eric is hugging her. I’m sure he’s shaking.
  12. I’m shaking.
  13. I snap a photo – it’s loud. I duck behind Mark.
  14. Eric gets down on one knee. I snap more photos. Brittany is beyond surprised.
  15. Mark tells me to get closer – I say I have to hide – he says why? The secret is out.
  16.  I walk closer, taking blurry photos because I don’t have the flash on.
  17. Eric says “Ché and Mark are here”, Britt turns and says “whaaat?”. She lets out one sob. It was funny.
  18. We hug.
  19. The ring is beautiful.
  20. We take more pictures.
  21. We head to CJ’s for a late late dinner and drinks for them.

Since then:

Venue is booked, Wedding is 8 months away, Bachelorette party is in the middle of planning, Mark and I have said yes to being in their bridal party, I started the speech, the save the dates are on their way.

I am learning so much about weddings – how expensive they are, how much coordination they require, and my GOD how sensitive family is.

It’s happening so fast, but I am so happy. I love Eric. We’ve been friends since we were roommates in Belmar. We’ve been best friends. And he and Mark get along really well, which is something Britt and I always hoped for.

It’s so wonderful and surreal and also, stressful at times. But that’s okay. My job is to keep everyone calmed, and I’m doing well. I am the peacekeeper! Mark’s proud, my mom’s grateful, and Britt is breathing easily.


New Car

In late April or early May, the Scion died. Driving on the parkway it just stopped accelerating. I was listening to a podcast in my headphones, because the Scion had no adapter to use, and once the podcast ended I noticed a weird noise. Within 5 minutes I was on the side of the road. It was completely donezo – needs a new engine.

So I finally bought myself a new car! My first ever new car. My mom is a miracle worker and got me approved for a loan at several banks before finding the best rate. I ended up locking in a 2.6% rate which is amazing. My credit is really  good – which is also amazing because 6 years ago it was terrible.

I got a Nissan Rogue. I wanted a compact SUV for storage and space but nothing so big I can’t drive it. I also needed something that wouldn’t be too bad on  gas since I still commute 4 days a week.

It’s black like I wanted and now I have bluetooth syncing so I can listen to all the podcasts I want, and talk on the phone through the speakers. It reads my texts to me, and it has a backup camera. All things that have been available since 2000 or earlier.. but new to me! The Scion didn’t even have an AUX port.. so you know, this is wonderful.and really all I could afford in terms of new cars.

2016-black-nissan-rogue

Mark helped me with the down payment and for that I’m eternally grateful!  I have a 5 year finance on it and then I’ll own it. If it’s still good, I’ll keep it – or I’ll sell it. Maybe I’ll even work close enough to home by then that I can lease a car in the next 5 years — oh the possibilities.


MONEY

Let’s talk it.

  1. In October I’ll get my first ever substantial bonus. Savings.
  2. I’m hoping to get 1,000 for the Scion (the guy is putting in a new engine and thinks he can sell it for 5K). After paying him for his work and my mom for fronting the cost of the engine. Whatever I get – Savings.
  3. Obviously in February I’ll have my tax return – hopefully 2,ooo or so. Savings.
  4. Continue the 100/wk I put aside now. Savings.
  5. I am still working on cutting back spending so my checking can remain healthy and full. I need to spend less so I can save more.

Why? Because Mark and I are getting engaged this year and weddings are expensive. My mom is not giving me nearly what she’s giving Britt. I am hoping for $10,000 from my parents basically. Then, whatever Marks family can give.

Mark will need to front the rest. I don’t like that, though I don’t think he’ll care. But I am saving now so that I can help toward the wedding too, and because a good savings is fucking important to me. If not for the wedding, for the eventual house.

I just get stupid and don’t save enough. Plus with the new car, my finances can be as tight as I let them be. It’s up to me to make it work. I hope to have $10,000 in savings by the time I get my tax return. That shouldn’t be impossible.

 


Mexico.

We’re  staying in a bungalo on the beach, walking distance to Mayan Ruins. Not all inclusive – no we’re staying in  a small town where we can eat with the locals each night. There is no wifi, no TV. Limited electricity. Just Mark and I eating fresh food, drinking cerveza, swimming in the cenotes, and exploring the beaches of Tulum.

We’re staying in this on the La Zebra resort. I just can’t wait to spend 9 days disconnected, exploring and sunbathing with Mark. If there is one thing that rejuvenates us, its a week on a beach, in a town we can walk through.

la-zebra-boutique-hotel-tulum-mexico-penthouse-view

This is my first non-inclusive Mexico vacation. I love that Mark pushes me out of my comfort zone and says, yeah maybe it’ll cost more, but let’s really experience something. It’s completely paid off now, save for like $700 to pay upon arrival. The flight is paid, the shuttle service is ready, the room is waiting.


But First!

Jeff Ward gets married next week. So we have to do that.

I am leading the Twitter handle launch for my department. That is very fancy sounding, or not at all , but its keeping me busy.

We’re going to see the Deftones next week, which is Mark’s band, not mine,  but everyone goes when they’re in town and that’s a lot of fun.


 

The End

Today is my 7 year whoische anniversary, and I think it’s an appropriate time to end this blog.

Practically, I don’t think blogging is safe. I don’t think we live in a world any longer where its wise to confide anything online that you wouldn’t want shared or seen. For that alone, I think secret writing spaces are better kept on your C: drive than the WordPress servers.

But also, this blog was created when I was 21. I very much so did not know who I was, and over the last 7 years I’ve written about trying to answer that question. College, boyfriends, heartbreaks, vacations, new friends, lost friends, moving out, first jobs, roommates… there is so much growth and naivety and questioning encased in these posts. This blog served it’s purpose because it was witness to me trying to answer the question we all face when we’re young; who are we and who do we want to be?

But, life is different now and the things I want to talk about don’t fit in here. I need a new type of outlet. This doesn’t feel appropriate anymore.

So a final recap:

Life is good. It’s more predictable than it used to be, but I love it and the older I get the happier I become.

I am lucky and blessed every single day.

My sister is my best friend, Mark is my entire heart, my family is my backbone and my friends are my joy.

I’m a woman with a sense of urgency and confidence, who is silly and not witty, but sometimes funny, one who knows what she deserves and goes after it, and one who loves and is loved in return, who is humble and forgiving and gracious, and full of life and excited to pursue it, who is insecure at times and has a lazy eye. I am a woman who makes mistakes and has huge weaknesses, who is loyal and friendly, who tries to remain approachable and is never okay with settling. I am a lot of things, and I embrace those things. The good and the shitty.

So there’s the answer to the question. And now, let’s leave this little blog alone to serve as a reminder of the tortures and delights of being in your 20s.

Thanks for reading with me.

I have to update this

But I’m so tired by the time I get home, and I’ve been in trainings for the last week and a half. If I was at my computer alone or my desk, I would update.

Maybe later or tomorrow.

Happy new year though! I never wrote a 2014 good-bye post, but that’s because 2015 whooshed in too quickly and hasn’t slowed down yet- in a good way.

Everything truthful about work currently

I don’t know how I got so good at interviews. I really do think most of my success comes from reading askamanager.org for the last several years. That blog has taught me everything about resumes, cover letters and interviews- and I’m really good at getting interviews  now. What I’m not so good at is finding the perfect fit for me. Either I am interviewing for jobs that are a bit over my head, or jobs that are beneath my skill level. It’s hard to find the right match- I mean, I’m spending 40+ hours there a week, I need to be happy.

But yesterday, I interviewed at one of the top 2 firms in the world. Yeah- seriously. I had a 2-hour interview with 4 ppl (30 mins per person), and I was told, “Your resume is awesome”, “Your cover letter stuck out so much- I could tell you were energetic and vibrant just from that”, “I love this particular line in the cover letter”, “Wow- you only graduated 4 years ago?… Jeez”, “That’s a great answer- ha that’s really a great answer”, “Wow, that’s also a perfect answer, ha”.

I know I’m making my interviewers sound like teenagers, but candid expressions of surprise aren’t professionally scripted.

Oh and here’s something funny- my cover letter which I submitted for a serious copy editing/content management job that PRIDES itself on excellence… it had 2 errors in it, and no one spotted them.

So here’s the deal- I am focusing so much on my career right now. I want to make a certain amount of money so that 1 year from today I am debt free. Also, so that come June I have the money for a deposit on a new apartment. This is my focus. Once I am debt free and making a great living and saving, then I can focus on what’s next. Next is marrying Mark. But I can’t contribute to, yet alone pay for, a wedding right now. This is seriously part of my ambition- I need to get to a certain place so that I can have the future I want.

My dad says it’s dumb to wait until I’m financially secure to get married because there’s always something that is going to be in the way if that’s how I’m approaching it, and I agree. But I’m not in a rush. I’m 28, and happily in love with my guy, I know we’ll marry, but why today? Let’s move in together in June, let’s get our careers on track, and then let’s celebrate our love and life and everything we’ve built in a Beachy- BBQy- Hawaiin themed jubilee with a keg and cornhole and all our friends.

So, this job. Let’s discuss the pros: Huge firm, potential for a career and future growth, good salary, great for my resume, I’ll learn a lot and I’ll the managing editor’s right hand gal. I will be her shadow and I will learn so much about running a website, reading analytics and managing content for a huge professional site. It’s a great great opportunity!

Here’s the cons: It’s 1 and a half hours away (probably) during the morning commute, I have to be in the office every day, and the hours are long (8-10-sometimes 12 hour days). Then, I drive an hour and ten minutes home, sleep and do it again. It sounds very demanding, and right now I work from home 2-3 days a week and work no more than 8 hours ever. Ever.

I will be in shock, I will be tired, I will feel run down… and then I’ll get used to it. And I’ll be paying now for a cozier future hopefully.

I think it’s the time now to make sacrifices like this, so that when I have little babies in the far away future, I can find a local job that pays well because of my experience. I’m just planning over here.

I’m excited and nervous- I can’t wait to find out.

It’s possible I don’t get it- I am still reeling from a job opportunity I had two months ago. I went on 4 awesome interviews, really really believed I had it in the bag, and then last minute found out they wanted someone with a better technical background. I was planning my resignation, and the disappointment really set me back. I was so upset- so so so upset. But then I jumped back, and went on. So if this doesn’t play out, which it very possibly may not, then I’ll feel the disappointment, allow it to set it, then shrug it away and keep on keepin’ on. Maybe I’ll find something closer, who knows.

Summer so far

So far, in June, I:

  • Was promoted
  • Got a raise
  • Went to Bonnaroo
  • Celebrated 3 years with Mark
  • Was gifted with round trip tickets to Hawaii (thank you babe). I’m flying out on Sunday to spend a week in paradise with my boyfraaand

This has been a great month.

I’m very appreciative and am thankful for the good experiences and blessings pouring my way right now, because the good is too fleeting to not truly appreciate it when its there. Thank you for the positivity, Universe or whomever.