Sunday, October 12, 2014

one year down, hopefully a million to go


i can't hardly believe it's been a year since last october 12. both in the way that i can't fathom ever not being married, but i also can't believe that we're no longer newlyweds.

navybridesmaidskatelynjameswedding


weddingdetailsgreyandnavy

everyone told me the day would fly by, and it did, but i tried my best to be as present as possible. i remember how the comb in my veil was loose and i was getting panicked that it would fall out in the middle of the ceremony. so 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave, my mom carefully took it out of my hair, and sat quietly as she sewed the comb back into that beautiful lace veil; the very same veil that she so carefully picked out for her own wedding day. i can't imagine what she was thinking, and i've never asked her. i'm sure it was surreal. holding something that her father brushed off her shoulders when he gave her away. something that had been with her since before my dad even proposed. (eileen is gangster like that) and right after the ceremony, one of my moms best friends, paula, gave me a big hug and whispered "that veil has been good to it's brides" and she reminded me that it was her "something borrowed," over 30 years ago. 



and i was so so overwhelmed, with everything, but mostly the rain and how there was not a single thing i could do about it. until a little something whispered to me "whenever it rains, you will think of this day" and the funny thing is, i do. when it rains on a saturday i smile and say those very words out loud to the universe, hoping that every bride that is getting married that day hears them. i smile whenever the sky opens up on my home from work and think how excited i am to see pat after being apart all day. and i think how absolutely lucky i am, that the only thing i didn't plan for, is the one thing that stays with me the most. 


i love being married. i love him more now, than i could have ever imagined. i love that it might have taken me a solid 8 months but i fully embraced the fact that i am anna maria lewis heckel (that's right, no hyphen!) i love that everything changed but we're also still very much the same. we watch the same shows, and love the same things. we still find compromise to be our go to solution for 99% of our fights and we try to avoid the words "never" or "always" in arguments. he still hates thai food, i do the majority of our cooking, he walks polly in the mornings, and when we desire alone time there are no mixed messages (iPad games for him, law & order/criminal minds/shonda rhimes television shows for me) 

it's a beautiful balance, being comforted by the promise of forever, but still being excited to simply hang out together. 



a year ago today, i got to marry my best friend. and every day after, no matter how frustrating or hard or difficult it might have been, has been the best day of my life. 


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

happy 3rd adoption day, polly!

we became a family of three, exactly 1095 days ago. 
and every single day since, our lives are better because of polly lewis heckel.


she cheers for our favorite football teams.


her favorite thing to do is relax


or politely ask for a french fry


she misses us when we are away


sometimes she wishes we could all just go to sleep


she likes to mingle with the local wildlife



she agrees, leonardo dicaprio deserved the oscar! 


she is a small but mighty watch dog


she helped us move into our new house


and she has, quite possibly, the cutest puppy dog face in the world

i never once thought that i would meet the love of my life in chicago.
how lucky am i to have found two?

 happy adoption day, polly!
we hope you like your life with us, because we can't imagine ours without you.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

lunch bowls

i have started making a weeks worth of lunch on sunday afternoons. it saves me so much time during the week, and i find it rather relaxing and a nice way to prepare myself for monday morning. loosely based off my obsession with chipotle, i have found that i really enjoy making "bowls" for lunch. i kind of made this up as i went but basically i chopped up two british cucumbers, half a red onion, and a ton of garlic. tossed that into a big mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper. i made a cup of gluten free israeli couscous with chicken broth instead of water (adds so much more flavor!). when that was done, i tossed it into the bowl with the veggies and added maybe a tablespoon of 'simply dressed' roasted tomato dressing and a little bit of feta.


i like eating this cold, but you could keep the israeli couscous separate to heat up and then toss everything right before you eat. 






so easy and so so yummy.


also, i usually make a big batch of hard boiled eggs, and so i chopped one up right before i dug in. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

all alone in a big ol city.

i lived alone from 2008-2010. for 18 glorious months i was the (only) head of my household. it was a chapter i didn't plan for, with a roommate quite literally moving in the middle of the night. i was scared. still somewhat new to chicago, i wasn't seriously dating anyone, i had a very very small group of friends, and all of a sudden i found myself 23 years old and living by my lonesome for the first time in my life.

i had about an hour long commute on a bus and a train to work, i would walk/run (in fear) the half mile from the el to my desk, a desk that was located in an office, in a homeless shelter, in a not so great neighborhood on the west side of chicago. have you ever been to a homeless shelter? you probably have. and you were probably so grateful to leave after you were done volunteering. i don't blame you. it's depressing. and emotionally draining. and downright scary at times. my job was very much all of those things. but i loved it. and i loved going home. because it meant that for the rest of the evening i didn't have to worry about those 63 souls who were down and out on their luck, drug addicts, pregnant and HIV positive, mentally ill....whatever horrible thing you can imagine happening to you or someone you love, had happened to them. and i was forced to be grateful for the job that i had, the little apartment that i could afford and humbled by the fact that i was so fortunate to have the life that i did.

i was still worried i would be lonely. i was worried i would get bored. but in those 18 months i was anything but lonely and bored. i learned about myself just by puttering around, making my own food, drinking wine by myself (that hasn't changed), watching documentaries and listening to books while i cleaned. it was peaceful. in my teeny apartment, in the middle of my adopted city, i learned that my own company was enough. i fulfilled me. and what a wonderful lesson to learn at the age of 23.

Monday, April 7, 2014

well, hello again.

i have woefully neglected this little blog in the last few months. and it's for all the same reasons anything gets ignored: work has been crazy, life has been busy, trips were taken, boxes had to be unpacked, etc. etc. etc. it kind of blurs together, doesn't it?

we are settling into our new place - and are so excited that two of our dear friends are coming at the end of the month! they will be our first overnight guests, and i can't wait to show them around charming winter park. we used to spend every single weekend with them, and we haven't seen them since our wedding, so we're pretty excited!

these two nuggets. xo.

polly in the wild.
i recently spent a long weekend in new orleans celebrating the sweetest bride-to-be, becky. we had so much fun! any city that prides itself on the 9283982983 ways it cooks shrimp and the fact that you can walk into a bar and order a big gulp sized gin and tonic and then jump in a cab, with said big gulp gin and tonic in hand, is okay by me.

new orleans - bachelorette - party


becky's shower is also coming up and so i offered to fulfill a bridesmaid duty by ordering the invitations.  i've mentioned this before, but i love paper. in my dreams i own a little shop where i spend my days designing and printing invitations and stationary. i happily took on this task and scoured the internet for the perfect invite. with the approval of becky's MOH, i ordered the below invitation. i wanted to make these extra feminine so i ordered a blush pink envelope that matched the invite, hand addressed all 50 of 'em with a gold sharpie, and because my personal motto is "everything is better with a monogram or a bow" i tied tulle bows around each invite. i'm quite proud of how they turned out.



bridal shower-invite-etsy-DIY


invite: etsy
printing: lydia's. if you live in the fredericksburg area and are getting married, throwing a party, in need of personal stationary...they are the best
blush pink envelope: paper and more
polka dot tulle: leftover from my wedding. i love that stuff.