New Category: The Fight

Okay so I want to start capturing our arguments in here. They’re usually stupid, and I think I’ll love looking back to read about how dumb you can be sometimes. Also, there will be more serious ones too, and I want to have a repository of my life like I used to.

So let’s bring it back.


I remember sitting in my apartment in Spring Lake, or maybe my bedroom in Belmar, emailing local businesses asking for a chance to work for them. Hi, you’re an engineering firm, I would like to work as a marketer for you. I want to learn and hone my skill, and I spotted these 4 things on your website that I can fix for your. Please hire me. Anyone.

No one ever wrote back. But I did it out of desperation I’m sure, and out of naivety, youthfulness, and because I had gusto. It’s good to look back and remember how far I’ve come.

We’ve been married for 2 months this Thursday. We haven’t looked at our wedding photos. I’ve yet to change my name. We’ve been enjoying not wedding planning.

But now it’s time to remove the haze of our laze, and get back to it. Back to the regularity of the gym, back to meal planning, back to organizing and preparing for next things. Not relationship wise on that last point, we’re not ready to jump into house shopping just yet.

Where I am now is:

  • I am finally actively job hunting. Looking for a predominantly work-from-home job in marketing at my firm. They exist, I applied, fingers crossed.
  • After changing my name, applying finally to grad school. MBA in Business Analytics. This is good, a must, a something I look forward to.

Here’s why for both:

  • Working remotely: 1) I’m tired of driving 3hrs a day, 2) I am tired of this role and this office and the rules that say I need to sit at a desk 4 days a week to work on the internet 3) I want the freedom to travel with Mark during his busy season, and 4) I’m going to be an Aunt. And I want the flexibility to work from Brittany’s house during the week in PA when Eric’s at work to help her out during maternity leave. She’s all alone out there, and there’s no reason I can’t work from PA, or anywhere else.
  • Grad school: I’ve been interested in this program at  Montclair for a few years and I think it’s time to go back. Reading and interpreting analytics is a very valuable skill, and having my MBA in it will make me a stronger candidate than I am now. I would be pretty competitive, and that’s something I need to reach my future goals of making a certain amount of $$. Also, I would be proud of myself! College was tough for me until Rutgers. I would feel great if I worked for my MBA. And I don’t need the GRE at Montclair. And if I start soon, I will hopefully almost be done by the time we have a baby one day.

Otherwise, we have been kind of lazy since the wedding. But reasonably so. I’ve held 2 showers, been in another wedding, and travelled to 2 bach parties this summer, not including my own wedding, shower and my own two bach parties we threw. Plus our week in Cape Cod.

I’ve been running around so much that I got crazy sick last week. Terrible fever, chills, cough. My boss even told me she recognized I was running ragged. But the majority of the wedding things are over now. We have 2 in November, we’re in both. One in California. But that gives us about 2 months to get ourselves in order until then.

On Monday I’ll be 32. That seems old. But I’m happy with where my life is, so at least we have that. Can’t help getting older. Can help the quality of that life.



Things I’m looking forward to – update update

  1. FINISHING wedding planning
    1. Suits, rehearsal dinner, grooms cake, DJ things (music, extras)
    2. The update: Suits are still coming. But the rehearsal dinner is all but planned, the grooms cake is ordered, and we’re slowly working our way through the DJ options. I feel less overwhelmed by all of this
    3. The update update: Suits are done! Rehearsal dinner is done! DJ will never be done.
  2. All the fun parts of wedding planning: Bach party, family, the shower…
    1. This part is an island. We are alone making decisions. In a few months, more people will be involved in celebrating. This part is quiet and expensive.
    2. The update: Everything is getting close. March is the last month of pure planning. Starting in April, everything ramps up.
    3. The update update: The NY bach party is over and was a shit show in a good way. New Orleans is in 3 weeks! Its going to be less of a shit show. Swamp tours! Haunted mansions! Hurricanes (the drink, hopefully).
  3. The actual wedding
    1. The update: I am still looking forward to the wedding. But now even more so, because it’s all “coming together”. It’s less abstract than before, and I think it’s going to be a little over the top and absolutely amazing. Mark got his wedding band the other day, and it was really neat seeing him wearing this beautiful gold ring from Tiffany’s… yes he gets his own blue box too.
      Cigar roller. Succulents. Mirror booth. It’s going to be special.
    2. The update update: MY DRESS CAME IN. I go for my fitting May 5. I am noticeably thinner than when I ordered it. This is going to be okay. We have paid of most things. Also still owe 1/2 of it. Its expensive. Luckily Mark’s rich (though he says hes not… and he’s not rich.. but he is kind of…)
  4. Buying a house by the beach
    1. The update: Or wherever we end up buying. While we aren’t buying a house until after the wedding, Mark and I keep looking every week. But before we buy a new house..
    2. The update update: I cant wait to move
  5. Finding a new job
    1. The update: I would like a new job and higher salary before we buy the house, so we’re approved for a larger mortgage. Not that we will buy the most expensive thing, but it would be nice to expand our options. I don’t despise my job as much as I did a month ago, I’ve chilled. But I will be ready to look and move on after the wedding.
    2. The update update: I think I might go back to school. I dont think ill get a new job before we buy a house, but who knows. I think an MBA sounds wonderful though.
  6. Getting a dog
    1. The update: Yes still looking the most forward to this! Sandy the Golden Retriever. I am thinking you into existence.
    2. The update update: I’m more excited over Sandy the dog than any future kids we’ll be lucky enough to have.


  1. The few unresolved parts of wedding planning that I need to decide on w/ Mark
    1. The update: I am not annoyed at all. We’re piecing it together, and have plenty of time still.
    2. The update update: We’re fine still. We only had like one argument, and that was over invitations, so I just made the decisions and moved on. And it wasn’t even an argument, we were both just so annoyed. These things get thrown out anyway who cares.
  2. my job, godddddddddddamnit
    1. The update: I’m relaxed. Six hours at the spa Saturday and purposely changing my perspective have helped. Work is going well.
    2. The update update: My job is fine!
  3. how pale I am.
    1. The update: I’ve started tanning. It’ll take months until I’m normal colored anyway. I will never be tan.
    2. The update update: Currently have  a spray tan..

Things I’m looking forward to

  1. FINISHING wedding planning
    1. Suits, rehearsal dinner, grooms cake, DJ things (music, extras)
  2. All the fun parts of wedding planning: Bach party, family, the shower…
    1. This part is an island. We are alone making decisions. In a few months, more people will be involved in celebrating. This part is quiet and expensive.
  3. The actual wedding
  4. Buying a house by the beach
  5. Finding a new job
  6. Getting a dog



  1. The few unresolved parts of wedding planning that I need to decide on w/ Mark
  2. my job, godddddddddddamnit
  3. how pale I am.

Ten years ago today

This is what I wrote on October 12, 2007. It was a Friday:
“Tonight was very good. Me and K.Needs going out was a great idea.

And let me just say, FORGET YOU. I know, that’s so lame.. but honestly.. forget you. i cant believe you were there. Blaaaah..

Josh loves me. So thats all I need I guess, men wise.

Jesus help me.”


  1. That was probably the night Kari and I started to become close. 10 years later, she is still a good friend of mine, but we don’t see each other as much. She moved to New York, and our friendship always has its ups and downs, but I’m glad we went to Escondidos that night or wherever.
  2. I have no idea who I am yelling about. Forget you… who could that be honestly? I know it wasn’t Joe because he is still in Florida according to my next post.
  3. Josh… well I couldn’t tell you the last time I spoke to him.
  4. Jesus. I wrote a lot about God back then. I mean, so much it’s hard to read. I’m actually happy that I’m not like that anymore.

So today at work I went through a little reminiscing and read through my old blogs. I’m so glad life is easier now. At least, we make it easier on ourselves. There’s so much less “what if, what should I do, where am I supposed to be, what’s going to happen, am I the person I should be” bullshit clogging up my mind. Now, things are simple and happy and easy really.

In reading my old terrible blog, I also found this from the summer of 2008:

“I want to be loved and adored and bring a smile to someones face and to be the light of their eye and their best friend and the person they turn to for everything. I know I want to love, and adore, and smile, and have a light in my eye and a best friend and someone to turn to for everything. I want that person to be my other half.”

Well, of all the things I wanted in my early 20’s, this statement still rings true. And I am happy to report, I do have that person. Mark and I have been together now for over six years, which will never stop being crazy to me. When once relationships barely trudged past the eight month mark, six years seems like an accomplishment. And even though more and more couples are reaching six, seven, eight, nine, whatever years… and six is less remarkable… I’m still in awe. I was 24 when we started dating, and now I’m 31, which is also remarkable.

Mark and I have gone through a renaissance. Over the summer, we spent 2 weeks apart. We had to. And it was the best thing we’ve ever done. I have not felt more connected to him than I do now in God knows how long. When you are in a long-term relationship, you ebb and flow sure…but we really needed to re-evaluate. What you want at 24 and 31 are obviously – hopefully – different. And we need to grow together. So I think we just needed to look at ourselves and our relationship and really consider, is this where we should be?

And the answer was a resounding yes. We should be here, together, and we are. And it’s great. It’s great to be in love. SEASONED love, with history and goals and truth behind it. But God damn it’s not always easy and God damn it’s not always fun. But he’s just the best. I’m so lucky to have found such a great partner, because I’m an idiot. When it comes to dating, and granted having started dating Mark at 24 I don’t have a LOT of dating experience… but I was not good at picking men. Like, I put up with being treated like shit a lot. Which is probably pretty normal for most people. You learn your worth as you go on.

But it’s still fun to look back, and be so glad I’m not in any of those old places anymore, but have fondness for them.

Today, I don’t have any toxic relationships in my life. All of my relationships are with people I’ve known for a long time, people who love me, and people I want to be around. I don’t have things I have to do… I live a life with good people and things I like doing. I am 100% content staying in watching TLC and Teen Mom and Netflix docs and HBO. I just am content.

Except for… this COMMUTE. My god seriously… it has to come to an end. So it will. Mark and I are actively working to fix some things so we have more time together at home.

But otherwise, I’m good, and that’s great. I feel lucky.

I did sign up for a GRE prep course. I finished the verbal course, my vocabulary could be freshened up a bit but overall that part was easy.

The math course on the other hand… damn. I don’t think I’ll ever go back for my MBA because I don’t know math at all. I feel too dumb for the prep course, let alone the actual GRE. But maybe I’ll find it in me to try a little harder.

Again. still an idiot, but just a different kind of idiot.

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.


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.


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.



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.


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.