It’s Bali Time

hanging gardens, ubud

We’re off to Bali tomorrow and I’m at a loss to describe my full enthusiasm for this prospect. I haven’t taken a vacation this long since I went to Thailand three years ago and I am looking forward to a long break immensely. We’ve done some research and have a few ideas mapped out of what we’d like to do, but the program mostly consists of showing up and figuring it out. We’re looking forward to being on island time if you can’t tell.

We’re also looking forward to unplugging in our own way. Computers will stay at home, but we are bringing an iPad and our iPhones, so expect the errant Instagram shot, but I’m sorry to say this space will remain stagnant for the next two and a half weeks. I had hopes of preparing posts in advance but a project landed in my lap that deserved my attention, and more accurately, I just didn’t get around to it. I hope you understand.

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going out for pizza and defrosting our fridge tonight (obvious honeymooners here) and packing tomorrow before our late-night flight. I hope that you get up to something wonderful this weekend and start indulging in all those exciting fall pastimes. We won’t be back until the end of September so fall will be in full swing! Pumpkin soup, here I come!

In case you’re looking for a few distractions, here are a few links I found around the web. Bis dann!

A cool song that I’ve been listening to nonstop (really, just go for the whole album)

New slim boyfriend jeans I’ve been wearing nonstop

Also, a tutorial on how to distress denim yourself

A cozy sweater to go with my new boyfriend jeans. I’m obsessed.

Comforting soup. It really must almost be fall!

Kinda gross, but still true

How to set up your home bar cart

Turn your favorite character into a mural–what a cool idea for a kid’s room!

How to use essential oils. I’d love to try the peppermint for energy boosts : )

A list of books for the honeymoon:

Made me laugh

A sweet sleepy chick

Incredible sand art. Like crop circles, but way cooler

A beautiful elopement. Mega swoon.

Bill Hader, funny guy. We should all see this movie. 

Stunning photos of Amazon warriors fighting for their trees.

And lastly…

(image of the Hanging Gardens in Ubud–the first leg of our journey–via)

 

Our Week in the States: The Wedding

altarNow that the wedding is nearly two weeks behind us we’ve had a chance to share our memories with the friends who couldn’t be there or recap some of the night’s best moments with those who could. Reliving one of the best days of my life has been a dream.

A lot of people told me that they didn’t remember anything about their wedding, that it all went by too quickly for them to even process. I can say that happened for much of the week leading up to the wedding weekend, but thankfully the preparations before and both the ceremony and reception are crystal clear. My hair was wrapped up in a ballerina bun in about five minutes (with about 50 bobby pins and 500 spritzes of hair spray) and I had a chance to just read a magazine while Courtney’s romantic low bun was completed. That, and sipping coffee with one of my best friends in the morning, really set the tone for the whole day. It was very relaxed and calm and intentional. Man, I just loved it all.

Below you’ll find a smattering of pictures from the day, but by no means is it comprehensive…

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popOur coordinators at Berg Event Space were trying out a new brand of champagne and Courtney and I got to be models for their promotion. Sipping champagne and laughing with your best friend, posing for pictures all the while, sure is hard work (that I’ll do any day for free).

IMG_4824Look at that sweet family! The triplets were so wonderful walking down the aisle, throwing petals and picking them back up all the way down : )

As we were trying to work out a way to delineate the altar space our florist suggested a hanging installation of loose branches. It sounded ethereal and beautiful and was even more stunning in person. I loved it and thought it was much more interesting than two tall planters on either side, which was our first suggestion. Professionals rule! It ended up looking so cool hanging above our band as the space transitioned into the reception area.

IMG_4842Our fabulous, fabulous parents.

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IMG_4865Courtney, the girl in the middle of this photo is responsible for setting us up!! We couldn’t be more grateful for her matchmaking skills.

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Moms

 

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joeI love this picture of Adam’s dad: smiles all day long.

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lylasThe LYLAS girls–Courtney, Claire, meself, Whitney, Laura and Hayley

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IMG_1580A perfect cake topper

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Above was a big mix of photos taken by Kyle and iPhone photos from our friends. It’s been hard tracking down all the pictures, but they are slowly coming in. Part of me wishes we would have left disposable cameras at each table because I’m sure we would have gotten some gems. This crowd was a really good one.

I can’t wait to see the professional photos, however. I’ll be sure to share those with you when they come in if you’re interested : )

Overall, the day was incredibly magical and wonderful and as perfect as possible. We loved it, and we loved having the opportunity to share our love and commitment with our closest kin. I had a few flashbacks to our first wedding and how intimate and special it was. I’m so happy (and feel so lucky!) to have both experiences to look back to. In fact, I might just recommend this strategy to everyone! Get married alone a year before your actual party–it makes the day feel so relaxed and FUN!

Our friends and family made this day amazing and we owe them heaps of gratitude and love for all their support and encouragement. Thank you so, so much for making it such a treasure.

 

A Movie Tip: Like Crazy

Have you seen Like Crazy? It’s a beautiful romantic drama featuring one of my new favorite actresses, Felicity Jones (don’t you want to see her in this movie?). She plays a British student who falls in love with an American (Anton Yelchin) while studying in Los Angeles on a student visa. She is eventually forced to return to England and complications arise when the two try a transatlantic love affair.

It is such a lovely movie, very romantic and aching at the same time. I have been feeling under the weather nearly all day and I’d love to curl up and watch this movie again for the first time. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

What are some great movies you’ve seen lately?

 

Tuesday Book Club: The Signature of All Things

signature of all things

What I’ve (re)learned through reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s most recent novel, The Signature of All Things: it’s OK to not like a book, especially a book everyone else seems to like.

This has happened dozens of time, most notably when I cried on about how stupid I thought Catcher in the Rye was until I reread it nearly ten years later and promptly decided that I loved it. That experience was actually transformative. But, there was a long time when I despised that much-loved and immediately canonized novel and everyone acted really grumpy about my thoughts on the book. It was just, like, my opinion, man.

Opinions change, however, and I eventually wholeheartedly came around to enjoying and appreciating The Catcher in the Rye, which is a great thing for me now. But, there’s no shame in not liking a book. Similarly there should be no shame in not really liking The Signature of All Things, despite all my best intentions of wanting to like it, not to mention its overwhelming critical success.

I suppose I was underwhelmed by what transpired during the well-over 500 pages of Alma Whittaker’s life and I just always wanted something more, something deeper. Though the book covers the entirety of Alma’s life I still never felt true empathy or sympathy for her and was more often than not bewildered by some of her choices and thoughts. I never fully identified with her and lacking that prevented me from becoming invested in the novel.

Does this ever happen to you? Does it affect your reading of the novel? How do you get over it? I’m curious to hear from anyone who has read the book. How did you feel about Alma and the curious trajectory that was her life?

On another note, I’m trying to get my books for our honeymoon organized. I want to bring, like, seven but I know that’s absurd because I anticipate that Adam is going to want to spend some time together on this vacation. What we should do is pick three and them swap books with one another. It makes the most sense not only for our marriage but also for packing purposes. Until then, I’m furiously trying to finish this book before I interview the author on Thursday for an article I’m writing. I feel like I’m in grad school again!

Our Week in the States: The Rehearsal Dinner

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Immediately after the rehearsal, hosted in our living room, we snapped a few pictures in our backyard. Above is my sweet younger sister Courtney and Adam’s best friend Kyle, the matron of honor and best man, respectively. We kept our bridal party tiny, especially because we are already married, and I love how much support we felt from these two. They’re just the best.

Adam’s parents hosted a beautiful rehearsal dinner at J. Gilbert’s in Overland Park. It’s a wonderful steak house with a warm and moody interior and dynamite food. We were cozy in the back room and has tons of privacy, which made for an easy and wonderful evening. From my spot in the middle I was able to look around the entire room and see how much fun everyone was having: laughing, chatting and enjoying perfect Kansas City steaks. I loved this night.

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^^Adam and I with his dad. Joe knows how to work a room! He is seriously everyone’s best friend and such good company.

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Swiss Sunset

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Last night after dinner on the balcony Adam and I scrambled across the street with our bottle of wine to catch the sunset. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do this summer and I’m so happy we made it here. Clear evenings and comfortable temperatures are not always a given, even in summer, so we felt like we experienced something special. Below are a few images if you’d like to see.

 

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I love those wispy clouds that are so fluid they almost look like smoke. And the colors! We certainly weren’t the only ones out admiring the gorgeous sunset. Those visits to the Rosengarten helps us feel more connected to our neighborhood–it’s like a collective backyard for all our fellow apartment-dwelling neighbors.

What are you up to this weekend? We are going to dinner tonight with some friends and then hopefully visiting a farm for brunch on Sunday. The weather looks beautiful so I’d love to spend as much time outdoors as possible. All last week we were living in the upper 90s and this past week it has been in the low- to mid-70s–amazing what a twenty degree difference can make! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Our Week in the States: Part 1

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It’s hard to imagine a better ten days back in the US. Christmas was nice, of course, and we loved being at home last summer before we moved, although that was for a lot longer than ten days. The last week that we were back, however, was truly exceptional: the best people, the best places, and the best times I can imagine.

Adam and I started in Charleston for a long weekend and I wish I had more pictures to share with you other than the two I have, but we were too busy making memories and being present, which I consider a major success considering how much we looked forward to this trip. The whole thing was very bittersweet. With every friend we met up with we continually wondered why we ever left the place. It’s wonderful to know all those friendships are still very much intact and that we could pick up where we left off, but it’s also hard to imagine being so far away from them and not knowing exactly when we’ll be back.

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^^can you see my hair beginning to expand in this photo? I swear, it started out straight! (maybe not really, but almost..)^^

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I met up with a couple of my girlfriends from graduate school for brunch at Husk, a major must if you’re in the city (also, consider visiting the bar next door for wicked bourbon cocktails and the best burger imaginable). We then hit King Street pretty hard and I swooned over some of my favorite stores (think J. Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, etc.) and American prices. Everything felt like a steal! We met up with Adam and friends at Bay Street Biergarten, a very cool addition to the downtown area, and finished with dinner at Leon’s Oyster Shop with a table of even more friends. Insider Tip: go for either the fish sandwich or fried chicken sandwich and don’t turn back. Obviously we couldn’t leave without a quick stop at The Belmont for gin and tonics.

On Sunday we feasted at Butcher & Bee, our absolute favorite brunch spot, and then relaxed at my editor’s house with her kids and husband. It was a hot afternoon soothed by welcome libations and homemade duck prosciutto. In short, they know how to entertain. For dinner, we supped with Adam’s old roommate and a few more friends. It was the perfect cap to the weekend.

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Upon arriving in Kansas City we hit the ground running: errands and shopping; meeting with friends and family; and finding a few moments to relax amidst all the chaos. I was hit pretty hard with some ferocious allergies and didn’t feel like myself nearly all week. It was a bit rough, considering the temperature never went below 90 degrees and that intensity only added to the general fatigue I felt. But, I’m a survivor so we carried on : )

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We visited with the triplets, which was amazing. They still prefer their Uncle Adam to their actual blood relative, but I’m planning to spoil them with candy and credit cards so they will like me by Christmas. I love them like a crazy person.

My friend Jill came in town extra early and she got a manicure and pedicure with my sister, sister-in-law and me and it was a wonderful calm-before-the-storm moment. So was my “bridal luncheon” with Courtney at Rye, a great place for lunch or dinner.

For me, the wedding day is crystalline, but the week leading up to it is the real blur. Every day I felt like I looked at the clock and thought, No, it can’t already be that late! Those days slipped by faster than I would have liked, but it really was one of my favorite weeks of the year. And, it was surprisingly easy to fall back into routines we had left behind. One morning Adam and I left Nordstrom, after buying ties, shoes and makeup, grabbed our iced coffees, hopped in my mom’s Suburban and drove across the street to Target to stock up on a few toiletries and medicines we like. It felt so suburban. So American. We couldn’t help but laugh at how different our experiences are here in Bern.

Obviously we won’t have our professional photos of the wedding for a few weeks but I’d love to share a few that were taken by us and friends and family throughout the day and night. I’ll work on getting some of those photos ready for next week if you’d like to see them. Until then, I’ll be getting as much sunlight as possible to help me return to this time zone. I spent about three hours counting sheep last night and I’d love to get back to a rhythm soon.