Remembering our Engagement

All the memories that are making this the most special time of my life.

Heidelberg

So I went off to India to plan our wedding. I wrote you a letter before I left and everything, enclosing a lucky charm of mine. I was all ready.

I get to the gate in Frankfurt and… BAM. Visa expired a month ago. So I have to wait here in Frankfurt for the consulate to open tomorrow.

Today I went to Heidelberg for the day just to kill time and seize the day. I missed you, and it made me realize that you are going to be my travel companion from now on… and I got so excited for that! I just savored the moment, took in the scene, read a book, drank a Weissebier.

I love you. You were so supportive of me yesterday when I discovered the visa fiasco. You even said that the way I handled things made me go up in your eyes, if that was possible, and even more excited to get married. Well, that makes you go up in my eyes! This is a virtuous cycle of thinking more and more of each other every day. That is a good place to be.

So, my darling, I love you. Thank you for being at the other end of gchat or the phone. Thank you for signing in from the gym on your ipod because I was back at a computer. Thank you for calling my dad to stay in touch while I am out of town.

It is such a lovely thing to feel connected even though I am randomly in Germany!

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and the venue is…?

We are down to two! This is awesome. Tonight we went to see Bridgeport Art Center. It is so badass. Just a big space with lots of potential things to do. We loved it. We also loved the Harold Washington, and both (after our initial list of 50 venues), are really the only two that passed our main criteria:

1) capacity (big)

2) general cost range (lowish)

3) somewhat unique, i.e. not a midrange hotel

4) dates available that we would like

Sooooo I’d say we’re down to two great options!! One is obviously our preference at this point in terms of uniqueness and novelty factors, but I would say if I found out the all-in cost was much higher than Harold Washington, it would totally turn me off and HW would be my #1 again. Which was amazing to begin with, so either way we win.

I AM EXCITED

Also I leave for India tomorrow and I can’t believe I’m not going to see you for 10 days. What I can’t believe even more than that is I once didn’t see you for 10 months, while I loved you. That must have been really hard on us, though I can hardly remember because I think my brain blocked that whole aspect of it! I just can’t imagine ever doing it again and thank god I won’t have to.

Tonight you had veggie burgers with my parents and I, and when I stepped aside to help my mom with something I just said to her, “I got so lucky. Hari is amazing and you know it’s right when you are sad to leave for 10 days because you have so much fun together. Isn’t he amazing?” And my mom said, “Yes, he is.” So there you have it!

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Bottom Drawer

My mom has certainly gone out of her way to make this process fun and special for us, and especially for me. A few weeks ago she asked to meet for a coffee on a Sunday afternoon. I went there and she presented me with a card that said that she began a “Bottom Drawer” for me ten years ago. Yes, 10. Meaning when I was still 16, barely able to think beyond myself, she was off starting a collection of things that she would build for the next many years so that one day, when I got married, she would be able to present them to me and make me feel really, really special. Well, I do.

In the gift  bag were a hand-painted mirror from Hungary and a set of fine bone china mugs from Scotland. A couple of weeks later, just this last weekend, she gave me a  faberge egg locket form Russia while having a drink at Lovett’s with her best friend. Later that day, she and my dad presented me with a mosaic glass lamp from Turkey. Not only is this bottom drawer idea just so special and wonderful and fills me with so much gratitude, but it also means so much that the items were collected from all over the world.

I’ve shown you every item so far, and you have loved them all. Can you believe that 10 years ago my mom was already thinking about you and me, even though she didn’t know you yet? The funny part is that when I told you about all this, you said that I am the same way – already thinking about the children I don’t have yet, wanting to take care of them in advance.

It was sweet of you to notice that, but more importantly I was so happy you saw the pure beauty in this idea my mom had.

Plus, there is a lesson in that for you and I – she came up with an idea 10 years ago, and stuck to it – so we can too 🙂 For me, that starts with this blog – I’m going 25 posts strong now, celebrating all that is wonderful and good about this time in our lives!

P.S. I was looking at registry ideas tonight, and now that I am reflecting on the bottom drawer, I really can’t get behind the idea of a registry where we pick out different items. It’s just not us – or at least not me – to pick everything in advance. My family has taught me many things, one of which is that you should save room for the things that you love, wherever and whenever you find them. That is the opposite philosophy of a registry, where you force fit many things now simply because you have the opportunity. So I am glad I am reflecting on this tonight – I think we will get much more creative with this, or eliminate the idea altogether.

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ICE CREAM

I just got back from my first night of volunteering. As I was on the bus heading home, I almost texted to to ask if you could pick up some dessert for me. I was literally sitting there thinking about thawing that piece of birthday cake from the freezer, making some really sweet tea, or seeing if emily had some milk for me to melt some chocolate into to satisfy my sweet tooth. Then I thought, ok self, be good. So I didn’t.

Then I get down from the bus and see you pulling up to park. When we meet in the street, you tell me you were late because you were looking for ice cream for me!! But it was closed. Then you said, let’s walk to CVS. Even better, let’s go to Baskin Robbins. I said I’d run inside to drop off my stuff. You said you’d pull the car around and we’d head out to BR.

As I walked up to  my door, while you walked the other way to get the car, I said to myself out loud… yes, out loud, “I have the best f***ing fiance in the world.”

I LOVE YOU. AND ICE CREAM. AND YOU AND ICE CREAM.

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Invitation design is in!

I am about to open the proof for our wedding invitations. It has been a long and fun process – from choosing border patterns, layouts, fonts, wording, color schemes… and we are so lucky to have a close friend of ours, Katie, designing them for us as her wedding gift! It has been one of my favorite aspects of the wedding planning process so far. I can’t wait to open them up, and for you to see them too. So much suspense! This is the card that everyone will be seeing that announces our big day! Ahh!

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my man….

yelp review of the day! you’re amazing. i know that’s a really silly thing to be super proud of you for, but you are a great writer and i’m glad you got that bit of recognition!

also when i said you should write more and make elite status, you said you already are elite, you’ve got me on your arm.

AWWWWWWWWW. nice.

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These are the days

I was just at the bank, and since I was there I asked them about what I will need in order to change my name on my accounts (if we end up keeping any of them when we sit down to figure it out). And the song “these are the days” was playing. It was so crazy. I don’t really even like that song, but it’s been on 101.9 since about 3rd grade and it’s always just sort of there, like anything by Sheryl Crow. Anyway, I was standing there listening to this song, asking about this amazing thing – realizing I would need to have my new signature by then – and realized that for this moment I should just enjoy that mediocre song because really, these are the days. Sappy, I know, but actually true! 🙂

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That’s all!

You just called me at work. You asked how my meeting went, and I told you a little about it. You asked if she noticed all the work I put into it. I said I thought so. Then I waited for what you were calling for – and you said “That’s all!” You just called to ask about my meeting. Do you have any idea how much that means to me? You are an angel. A complete angel.

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a great night

Last night was awesome. We met up and went over to Japonais for dinner, but on the way stopped off at your work bar that you always go to with your colleagues and I finally met someone you work with that you’ve talked about a lot! It was really nice to put a face to the name. Plus he was really sweet, so I was glad that you have great company at work. Japonais was also a lot of fun – I’m glad we finally made it out there. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other though, since I’d been out of town a few days, and we were getting a little naughty at the table. Oops!

You also noticed that I was much more laid back about the topic of our exes coming up, which happened really naturally. I have always known that after getting engaged, I would loosen up a lot and be less sensitive to things. But that decompression time didn’t happen over night – it happens slowly as I allow myself to feel the security I know I have. So thank you for noticing.

We talked about your potential plans to enroll in a certificate program. I loved being able to talk to you about what you want to do, what your aspirations are. You told me you wanted to have a grad school application package that would allow you to get into schools outside of Chicago… and I know you meant because I want to apply to schools out of state. It means the world to me to hear that you are thinking about our future together that way, that you understand and think about the interdependence of all these different factors. I don’t expect either of us to have the answers or know what compromises will need to be made, but we are starting off from a place of thinking as a team and that goes a long way. So I know things are going to be great no matter what happens.

After dinner we went to meet up with your sister and her fiance, which I was really excited about because I haven’t seen him since their engagement weekend about a year ago. The crazy realization is that I probably won’t see him again until they are married – which is 6 days before we will be married. Just let that sink in! We had a great time just talking over drinks and being silly. I’m really glad to have that kind of relationship with them. It is going to make life really fun. Also everyone seemed super cool about our weddings coming up back to back, and I appreciated that so much. I feel a little shy talking about it, so thank you for thanking them on our behalf! Also, thank you for the naughty present on the drive from the city to meet up with them, which you gave me by sliding your right hand down my jeans while you were driving and going to work…

So needless to say when we couldn’t find parking when we got back to my place, you told me you’d go park the car somewhere while I go inside and maybe slip into something. I put on a little thing I know you like, and we had a very very wild next hour or two.

I’ve just come back this morning from an orientation at the community garden where I am going to have a plot. You were sleeping when I got back but woke up when I came in and smiled. You wanted 10 more minutes of sleep and I asked, aren’t you hungry? You said “No, I am a robot. I want naps. Feed me naps.”

Which is obviously a ridiculous comment, but the point is that you always put things in such funny or pleasant ways that it’s hard to get ruffled about it. And I am learning a lot from you about how to do that.

Also I love that you are sleeping in my bed right now and I could walk iin and kiss you at any time. I just layed there this morning running my fingers through your hair and thinking about how much I love just seeing the back of your head when you are sleeping.

We’re off to look at wedding venue number 5 today, and I pointed out it is down the street from Wildberry… cocoberry salad in my tummy please now. And then tonight is our big night at Pensiero! 3 years together… I can’t believe it and yet I can’t imagine it any other way.

So all in all, we are fucking awesome and life is amazing. I am living exactly the life I would have wanted for myself, and it’s all because you are in it!

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Pensiero!

You just texted me asking what I am doing tomorrow night. I said you tell me. You said “Pensiero for two.”

Pensiero is where we went for our first date, and where we talked about going for our anniversary this year – which is right around now! I am really touched that you thought of this and remembered our conversation, and suggested we go tomorrow. It makes me feel really loved and cherished and also is one more thing to savor about this unique time on our lives!

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