We Are Getting Married in 12 Days and This Blog is CLOSED, CLOSED, CLOSED

Friends, after two and a half years of planning we are in the final stretch of wedding planning! Dilly and Mim are sufficiently thrilled that they will no longer be the children of a sinful household and I have called my mother no less than eight times today about my shoes, flowers, timeline and Etsy purchases respectively.

All of this to say YES my Bachelorette Party was wonderful (see below photo), YES my Aunt/Godmother is turning 50 this weekend and we are going to Atlantic City to party and YES I am beyond thrilled to be marrying the love of my life.

This is also to say that while I love you (and this blog) I do not have the capacity to blog until after the wedding. I just can't do it! I have a To Do list that is making me anxious and I am having the MOST vivid nightmares.

When I was in college, I used to always say that things made me nervous. I said it so much, that my friend Jay (who is a groomsman!) used to say "I think when you were a kid, someone told you that happy meant nervous". And so, I am nervous, nervous, nervous. I cannot wait to share everything with you after I am a MRS!

Six Years Ago Today & My Bachelorette Party

Six years ago tonight, John and I went on our very first date to a Brazilian restaurant that he picked. He wore a tie and a new sweater and I wore these shoes that I loved that made me slip as we were walking to our table and this adorable grey pull over sweater that I have since lost and a borrowed necklace from Stephenie. I even got flowers. It was the lovliest.

Tonight, John is going to our friend Dave's house in Connecticut because tomorrow morning our home is being taken over by bridesmaids and friends for my Bachelorette Party. Did you know that Bachelorette is not a recognized word? Blogger and Microsoft Word keep asking me if I mean Bachelor!

I have been instructed that when I go to sleep tonight, I will not be allowed in the downstairs of my home again until 11:00AM at which point we will be leaving for some sort of activity to which I should be wearing leggings and a top (so says my sister). This it an email I got from Becca last weekend:

Then yesterday I got a gchat from Becca at work asking what Mim's morning routine is. I told her it didn't matter because I could just deal with it before they got there. She told me she is arriving at 8:00AM (so early!).

I told her I would write her a detailed email. Seriously, this is the email I sent to all of them.

Dear Friends,

Per Becca's request, I am sending this email RE: Mim's Morning Routine as apparently I am not allowed in the downstairs of my home from 8AM until 11AM when I will be "lead to my doom" (says Becca). 

  • Mim eats one full heart measuring cup (yes my measuring cups are hearts) of dry food. The measuring cup is in the bag of food, which is located in the cabinet to the left of the sink (bottom). If I remember, I will leave it out the night before.
  • Please add approximately 7-10 seconds worth of warm tap water to her bowl. Its going to look like a lot of water...don't worry, that's how she likes it. If she needs to be out of the living room, she can also eat on the rug by the back door, she just can't do slippery surfaces while eating! 
    • She'll start meowing when she has to go, but its usually safe to put her in like 30-45 minutes after she eats...she'll let you know if she needs to go sooner. The litterbox will be totally cleaned with new litter by John tomorrow morning. 
    • You basically just lay her in the box, with her head toward the bookshelf. Hold her neck while you put her in, because sometimes her head bobs a lot and then she gets litter in her eye, which is the worst because then you have to flush it out in the sink. If that happens, just bring her upstairs to me and I'll deal with it in the bathroom. 
    • And then you just leave her in. Sometimes it takes her a few minutes to get started. You kind of have to watch her while she pees and maybe fling some littler on it while she goes so that it does roll back into her butt fur (seriously, my life).
    • If she needs to poop, she'll start digging her arms. Just watch to make sure no poop gets on her (sorry, I know). Again, if she makes a mess, just run her up to me and I will deal with her! 
I think that's it? If there are any problems, I can give you directions verbally (i.e. yelling) from upstairs while still not seeing anything you're all doing. 

The Bride

I am a crazy cat lady. Dilly won't even want to eat breakfast that morning because she will be in bed with me since John is away...allergies be damned, John (I will change the sheets before you get home)!

Wish me luck!

Houston, We Have a Marriage License!

Last weekend, John and I went to Pennsylvania for four full days of wedding preparation.

Our first stop (after dropping Mim off at her Nanny's house) was the courthouse to get a marriage license. Let's talk about the marriage license, shall we? Namely the fact that I forgot we needed one until about a month ago when I woke up in a cold sweat  basically screaming "MARRIAGE LICENSE!". Wouldn't it have been a kicker if we had gone through nearly three years of engagement, only to not be married?

Obviously as soon as we got in the car I made John take a selfie with me to commemorate the occasion! Doesn't he look thrilled? This is the face of a man who knows that for the next 50-70 years (depending on scientific advancements) I will be taking selfies of us. You're welcome, John!

I thought the paperwork to get a marriage license was going to be way more intense than it actually was. My friend Marni is getting married two weeks before us in New York, and told me they needed their birth certificates. Not in Pennsylvania! All we needed were our driver's licenses and $80 in cash. Only cash. They will not take check or credit card...marriage licenses are a cash only business.

You should also know that there is no paperwork to fill out when you get a marriage license.

No, no, an older woman reads you the questions, you answer them out loud and she types your answers in. Type may be an exaggeration. Really, she pecks them in letter by letter with her pointer fingers while you sit there with other soon-to-be married couples (who you are silently judging if you're me. If you're John you're only thinking nice, kind thoughts about them).

30 minutes later we were legal! T-minus four weeks!

Things I Would Like to Do to My Appearance Once the Wedding is Over

One month from today, John and I are getting married!

I must say, the buildup to this wedding has been relatively non-stressful. I've handled linen decisions, the guest lists, menu questions, dress decisions and cocktail hour additions with relative ease! One of the hardest things about being engaged this long though has been keeping my appearance consistent. Sounds silly right?
Then this list I have been thinking about for weeks will strike you as even sillier!


1. Get my bangs back. It took me what seems like 900 years to grow these freaking things out and I swear that every five days I have to talk myself out of cutting them myself. I am over my forehead and its visible-ness to the world. Bangs come back to me!

2. Dye the underneath section of my hair Kelly Osbourne purple. Obviously a trained professional will have to do this as I think bleach is going to be involved! John says I'm not edgy enough, but that's why I'm only getting the underneath dyed...obviously.

3. Finally get a tattoo! It will be tiny, tiny, tiny and I think it will be on the back of my neck? I haven't totally decided but I'll keep you posted on developments!

4.  Number four was going to be get my nose pierced. That was until I went with Becca to get her nose re-pierced last Monday at this fine establishment. A man literally put a giant pin through her nose. I will not be getting my nose pierced.

One month, one month, one month!

Some of My Favorite 2013 Reads

Remember last year when I tried to read 100 books and I did a review every time I finished one?

I've read almost 50 books this year and I think I've been reading pretty fast...I'm not sure how I thought 100 books was doable last year?

I've read some really incredible books this year though, so I thought I'd share with you! You can find all of the books I've read since my graduation from Penn in 2011 on my Goodreads page (in case you are really interested in my literary opinions!).

I would also like to say at this point (because she's going to call me out on it if I don't) that I read a lot of these books because my Mom (who is a literary trail blazer!) recommended them to me. It is my goal in life to one day say to my Mom "Have you heard of this book?" and for her to say "No, tell me about it!". It has not yet happened and I don't think it ever will.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette (Maria Semple).
5/5 Stars 
This book was totally not what I thought it would be. I loved the characters so much and I loved how it was written. For anyone interested in a little mystery and the dynamics of family.

Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)
5/5 Stars 
I've read the other two books Rowell's written (Attachments and FanGirl) both of which I loved and read this year. I picked Eleanor and Park though because the ending was so intense! And also I just finished it four days ago...but you must read FanGirl too, it was incredible.

Faith (Jennifer Haigh)
5/5 Stars 
About a disgraced Boston priest and his sister's attempt save his good name. For anyone who went to Catholic school!

The Universe Versus Alex Woods (Gavin Extence)
5/5 Stars 
Whatever you do, don't read the ending in public...tears everywhere. About a young British boy who was hit in the head with a meteor and his friendship with a local Vietnam Veteran. Great for anyone who is looking for a moral challenge in a book. Might be my favorite book of the year.

Engagements (J. Courtney Sullivan)
5/5 Stars 
I've read two of Sullivan's other books and I haven't loved them but Engagements was really great. One of my friends said they thought it was a little depressing, but the characters were so wonderful and the stories were all intertwined...it was perfect.

The Husband's Secret (Liane Moriarty)
4/5 Stars
It was set in Australia and I don't think I've ever read a book set there. Make sure you read the Epilogue, it makes the entire book!!

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Eve Harris)
4/5 Stars 
A finalist for Man Booker Prize this year, about a young Hasidic woman in England who gets married. The story about Chani's family is wonderful, her mother was my favorite.

And there you have it! Some of my (read: my Mom's) best books that I've read in 2013! My Mom has a Goodreads page, too incase you're interested!

Five Weeks Weekend!

Five weeks until our wedding and this weekend was the last one until November 9th that isn't packed to the brim with pre-scheduled activities!

We had friends stay with us this weekend (thanks for coming, Tim and Julia!) and we had such a nice time! On Saturday, we went to Queens to get the girls' dresses fitted. The dresses look so nice, and I'm so excited to see the girls in them the day of the wedding!

On the drive home, Ashley sat in the front seat to help me navigate home because Stephanie had proven herself a nervous co-navigator and a nervous parker on the way there. Despite my high hopes for Ashley, she proved herself a worse co-navigator as we ENDED UP IN MANHATTAN. Seriously. We went right over the Williamsburg Bridge and suddenly we were in the Lower East Side.

Screaming and laughing ensued when we realized what was happening, along with my frantic instructions to Ashely to get the EZPass our of the center console. Note to you all, you do not pay going over the Williamsburg Bridge OR the Manhattan Bridge, which we went over to get back to Brooklyn.

Ashley and Stephanie both seriously thought I was going to let them get out of the car in Manhattan to get themselves back to Queens and Jersey City. No, I am not letting you out so I have to navigate myself home! They're both out of the wedding, so I'm looking for two new bridesmaid's to tag in (I'm just kidding, but seriously they are terrible co-pilots).

After the dress fitting I went to Nanny's house to have dinner with my parents. Also, I made Holly pants out of my scarf because I feel her butt hole is too exposed. Also YES she is standing on the counter.

On Saturday night we went to our friend Jon's apartment in Long Island City for Game Night! I don't usually participate in Game Night because they usually hold it on Sunday nights (I don't like to do anything but get ready for the upcoming week on Sundays) so everyone was super surprised to see me there!

You should all know though that I kept up my reputation as able to fall asleep anywhere when I opted out of the second game and fell sleep on Jon's couch. I should be embarrassed but really, I am not.

Yesterday we headed to Williamsburg to the Brooklyn Flea!

There were about a million things I wanted to buy. AND we found a slightly creepy playground on the way out!

Hope your weekend was lovely! 

How Handy Would We Need to Be?

Last week, I was reading one of my favorite, favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess and there was a post of Emma's bedroom. I fell is l-o-v-e with this headboard (not so much the American flag).

How handy would John and I have to be to make this? How do we know how big to make it? Do we build it in our bedroom or in our backyard?

For those of you who know us in real life: what is the liklihood that we (as in me and John) could make this bed frame? For those of you who do not know us in real life: based on what you have read on this blog RE: my handiness, do you think I would be any help at all?

Final question: does this even match my bedroom? Annnnnnnnnd go!

My Grandfather Lives in My Coffee Pot

Two years ago today, my grandfather died after a prolonged illness and eight months of travels between hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.

Before his illness, my grandmother had traveled the same path: hospital, rehab, hospital, rehab...for eight months until we were finally able to get her home...three days after my grandfather got himself into an ambulance and to the emergency room. Like two ships passing in the night they were, except instead of ships they were ambulances and it wasn't an ocean so much as it was 10th Avenue.

Sixteen months is a long time to have two people you love at death's door.

Sixteen months is a long time to be afraid of the phone ringing, to spend hours in the emergency room, to talk to social workers and home health aids, to sit in an intensive care unit and then in hospice.

Sixteen months is a long time.

In a lot of ways those sixteen months, and in particular his last eight months on earth, robbed my grandfather of his legacy. Instead of being able to conjure up happy memories of him after he died, I often found myself thinking and talking about those last sixteen months. About how strong he was when my grandmother was sick. About how sick he was before he died. I think this must be something a lot of people who experience the death of a loved one after a prolonged illness must go through. For me, it was like I had a brick across my brain that I couldn't see through to happy memories of him.

After Pop died we were all kind of in a haze. No more hospital, no more doctors, no more needles and beeping machines and strangers walking in and out of the room. Just visiting Nanny, in her house, without Pop.

In March, my parents came over with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Richy and my bridesmaids for lunch after we went shopping for dresses. My Mom brought her percolating coffee pot, since we only had the Keurig and I knew everyone would want coffee after lunch. She put the coffee on the stove and turned the heat on. I was in the living room and the smell of the coffee percolating on the stove hit me like a punch in the gut.

I'm pretty sure Pop never made the coffee. But after every dinner, he would sit in the living room while dessert came out. The coffee would go on the stove, the smell would waft through their house and someone would yell some variation of "DAD DO YOU WANT COFFEE" or "KATIE ASK POP IF HE WANTS COFFEE"!

More than anything I had experienced since he died, the smell of coffee percolating on my stove made me feel like he was there. Like he was sitting on my couch, waiting for cake.

On this day last year, I bought myself a Coffee Coolatta (something Pop decided he loved when he was sick) my very first one since he died, and toasted him in heavan. I think that was wrong.

Sick Pop liked Coffee Coolattas.

Healthy Pop, regular Pop, liked hot coffee with a tiny tiny bit of milk (and don't think he wouldn't give it back to you if you made it too light).

Regular Pop liked to take naps sitting up on the couch watching football with my Dad and Uncles. He liked to make fun of Dick Clark (post-stroke) on New Years Eve (ironic since he too was a stroke survivor).

He was literally the worst person to speak to via phone. He said "hello" before he picked the receiver up to his mouth and his notorious mumbling was made even more incoherent by the phone line (and God forbid he was on his cell phone).

He made the best meatballs and these incredible eggs with dried sausage in them. He cooked chicken cutlets and zeppoles and lasangna and macaronni and beans. He loved Chinese food. He was happiest when we were all in his house on Sundays, when he would meet us on the stoop and wave to us as we drove away.

Two years is a long time.

But for me, its enough time to stop remembering all the sad things that led up to his death. Little by little, I am able to remember to remember regular Pop, my Pop, clearer and clearer.

And so, he lives in my percolating coffee pot. Which I refused to give back to my Mom partially because I like how it made coffee but also because the smell makes me feel like Pop is still alive, visiting me in a house he was never able to see.

He lives when I make scrambled eggs in butter and when I have a cold and put a box of tissues in my car next to me. He lives when we sit around his kitchen table with Nanny, when I make chicken cutlets for my friends, when I find a kick-ass parking spot and park in it with my right arm flung over the passenger seat and my left hand open on the steering wheel.

But mostly he lives in my memories, which two years after his death I am finally starting to take back from the grief.

He lives in my heart.