Peaceful, The World Lays Him Down.

June 25, 2009

“All cats love Heaven,
they know the way there,
they know where the angel cats fly.
They’ll run past the stars
and the moon and the sun…
to curl up with God in the sky. “

Jimmy 2002-2009


Optimism Can Take You Anywhere.

June 21, 2009

Good golly I really don’t write enough on here anymore…

Lets seeeee…..
Basically just been working lots and planning wedding things in my spare time. Finally hired a DJ, attempted to get the baker but intimidated her instead. Apparently our cake is just too out there for her, even though it would be fairly simple to make. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll find the right place!

My dress has just come in to the dress shop so I’ll be headed there to try it on again sometime soon. Other than that I’ve designed our invitations, response cards, flower arrangements, and started planning a few other fun decorative items as well. Those will probably take some time to complete but I’m really trying to have some fun with this whole thing. Mostly because I need to distract myself from the reality of how nervous and uncomfortable I am with the idea of a entire event focused on me, who would really rather not have all that attention.

But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do, and I certainly love Adam enough not to let my own insecurities ruin what is truly just a day about celebrating our love with the people we love.

So suck it up I shall.

Summer is already coming and going. The solstice was last night and although that is the demarcation of summer, I look at it with a little sadness since it also denotes a shortening of the days from here on out. I have a tremendous longing for a week all to myself, reading & lounging around in the back yard like summer vacations long since past. Growing up and working full time leaves little room for this. Sadface.

BUT, all is not lost. I am rediscovering more enjoyment in my job–getting more responsibility and also getting better at what I do is proving to be key in keeping me happy. Today was the Life is good Festival on the Boston Common and I had the privilege of working a huge & impressive mural project with (fellow volunteer for the day) Adam & artist Russ Bennett. He brought along a great crew which made it lots of fun. We were also blessed with perfect weather and a huge turnout so it was a super positive experience all around. Much improved over last year which was such a miserable day I half-way contemplated quitting my job altogether just to escape the 100 degree weather. What a difference a year makes (and having it in June rather than July!)

I’ve been having great pangs for creativity lately, which is clearly telling me I need to draw & paint & sketch and stuff or I’m likely to start hating everything. Dare I say I think I actually want some freelance work to appear out of the blue so at least I have some sort of direction….It’s virtually impossible for me to navigate the whims of my own short attention span long enough to see any idea to completion. Maybe I just need to set a sketch a day goal and try that for a while.

But if I didn’t have all these wedding related things to do I might just be able to do it!

Hmmm…..guess I’ll go sketch something!


April 16, 2009

No blogging since February? That’s simply unacceptable!
I’m sure I’ve done many things worth remembering, but alas–my memory has been calibrated to ‘goldfish’ and I’ve gone and forgotten things.

Last weekend was Adam’s 24th Birthday so we had a nice gathering of people to the apartment to celebrate. Much eating, talking, and laughing took place as always. The highlight of the night was most definitely the escalation of the seemingly innocent (and newly acquired Bananagrams) into an all out orgy filled word fest. Perversions abounded as we used every word in the book (and some not in the book) and every letter in the Banana to form a master crossword of nastiness. It was absolutely hysterical.

Easter Sunday was much less so, but nevertheless a nice day. It was the first holiday spent with Adam’s family over my own. I can’t say how fond I am of the prospect of sharing holidays between families from here on in, but I guess it goes with the territory. I love his family but it goes with out saying that there’s just no comparison to the comfort you feel when you’re with your own…

More than ever lately I’ve been filled with the desire to paint but haven’t had the attention span to actually make anything of it. My mind bounces from one thing to another, wasting time and accomplishing nothing. I almost wish I could go back to school just so I can learn to focus again…

I want to be an artist all the time. Working full time on things that are not creative is leaving me with a massive void of fulfillment, pride, and purpose.

Oh, to be an illustrator with enough projects to pay the bills and enough dedication to keep growing and improving…

I just want to be good.

Ahhh, Free-duhmmm!

February 18, 2009

Deep breaths! I made it!

One month and 14 illustrations later I can finally get back to having a life after work… even if it means sitting in front of the computer for five hours. At least it’s a choice this time!!

Anyway, not much has happened seeing as how I was all tied up with the illustration project, but several things have happened since it’s completion:

Friday night Adam came home with a dozen of my favorite flowers, beautifully blooming vibrant peach roses, which are still doing very well on my living room table. Bee-u-tee-ful!
He also brought me chocolates (which I had asked for) because when else can a girl eat an entire giant heart-shaped box of chocolate confections by herself and feel awesome about it???!?? I mean, come on. It’s THE best part of Valentine’s Day. Ok, well maybe second best.

Friday night was filled with work, but I finished everything on Saturday before 12:30, so once I was done we drove down to his mom’s to visit with his parents. Then we all went to see Slumdog Millionaire, and for those who haven’t yet seen it, I implore you to do so. It was amazing.

It felt very good to just go to a movie and be entertained for two hours without worrying about work. Ahhh….so nice!

We came back home Saturday night and spent a couple hours going through all of our clothes, accumulating over six garbage bags full of things for goodwill in the process. It feels wonderful to rid myself of unnecessary things. I feel so cleansed!

On Sunday, Brittany & Matt came to visit and we spent all of the day in the apartment playing various games. It was super low key, but since it’s cold out it’s not especially conducive to voyaging around the city. They’ll have to come back when it’s warmer so we can really take advantage of things that are around… It was lovely having them and I love seeing them together. I can tell he’s a good one for her, and Adam and him have so much in common and it’s really cute. I’m so happy for them! Eeeeeee!

I’ve been keeping up a bit on the wedding stuff, and have taken care of some main things so far:
1. The Site
2. The dress (yay!)
3. The bridal party (obviously)
4. Groomsmen (duh)
5. Photographer (BIG YAY)

I’m in talks with a caterer, and we’re meeting with an officiant this weekend. Hopefully those two items will be added to the list sooner than later!

I’ve already got another small illustration project lined up but this time it’s very little work and much more time…well…relatively. One month for one cover. SWEEEEET.

I’m so fortunate to be getting these opportunities on the side, and I really enjoy knowing that there’s more to me than my day job. I crumble without creativity. As much as it can be stressful, I really do need it.

The First 25 Things

January 29, 2009

1. Hugging a kitten is one of my favorite things in the entire world.
2. I love collecting things. I find it satisfying because a collection can rarely ever be completed. Which is ironic.
3. I like to crazy dance as a form of entertainment to my friends and family.
4. I have an unbelievable fear of aliens. Which I think is pretty classic, being the fear of the unknown and all.
5. A few weeks ago I had a dream that an alien in the form of a baby seal pup spoke to me telepathically and told me that he had seen 500 years, and was studying our civilization as we brought about our own destruction. He said the earth was dying and had 200 years to live.
6. I often force myself to smile so as to release endorphins and relieve stress. Every time I end up giggling a little, and I feel better. Smiling is our body’s coping mechanism.
7. I am made terribly uncomfortable by women who have no maternal instincts. It’s just wrong.
8. I have made several important decisions based on a number of prophetic fortune cookie messages. The most important being “All great things start small.” After receiving this message I began dating Adam.
9. I had braces from 5th-7th grade. Probably the most miserable time ever. Smiling with teeth was definitely not an option.
10. I am rather good with accents. My British is particularly convincing. On occasion I can also do a bit of Sarah Palin.
11. I will not drink soda. Or coffee. Or caffeine. I drink only water. This causes me to pee more times per day than I would like to admit.
12. I love the smell of freshly printed magazines and glossy paper.
13. From fourth grade to college I was periodically obsessed with several male actors which have defined certain years of my life. Eighth grade being the most memorable–with Leonardo DiCaprio. The only benefit of these obsessions was that I taught myself to draw through drawing hundreds of their portraits.
14. I have a scar on my bottom lip from a particularly nasty fall down the stairs when I was two.
15. I am twenty pounds lighter today than I was in high school. I attribute it to a decrease in overall stress levels.
16. I cried a lot during school when I was little. I was accused of being oversensitive.
17. I once cried over not getting a turkey sandwich for lunch. I guess they were right.
18. I could watch Practical Magic every day for the rest of my life. I am a romantic in every sense of the word.
19. My two favorite words are soporific and crescent.
20. Just once I would like to spend an entire day in bed. (I’ll let you determine the context of this statement.)
21. My best friends are either people exactly like me, or people with qualities I wish I had.
22. I think the ultimate human attribute is humility.
23. I am marrying my first and only boyfriend.
24. I give thanks everyday for all that I have, and all that I don’t have.
25. I believe that unconditional love and sincere appreciation is the key to true happiness.

To be continued…

Calendar Girl Who’s In Love With The World

January 10, 2009

It’s my first post of 2009! But I didn’t even finish 2008!

I’m such a slacker at this thing. But what can I say? I haven’t the time to recount my life. Apparently I’m too busy living it!

Anyhooooo. I shan’t bore you with too much narrative reflection of the last two months. Instead I will list the memorable things here only so that I don’t forget them:

4th: My cousin Ashley’s beautiful baby Olivia entered the world. I got to meet her five days later and loved her instantly.
21: Cory came to visit for the weekend and it was awesome. We hung out and caught up and went to the Science museum where I hadn’t been since elementary school. Had every intention of buying my long awaited astronaut ice cream until I saw the $5 price tag. Went to dinner at S&S. Sunday was brief, dropped her at South Station. Adam and I spent the rest of the afternoon in Brookline at the toy store and Children’s Book Shop. LOVED every minute of it.

Thanksgiving: Spent this year at my house with my Nana, aunt Barbara, cousin Ashley, Bernie, little Bernie, and baby Olivia. It was fantastic to have a baby around! I got to hold her. Helped Amber organize her wedding photos and select those to be put in her album. Ate delicious things as always. Stuffed myself silly.

5: Brittany’s weekend of concerts. Rushed to CT Friday night to see her University Singers concert at the church. Walked in right as they started and didn’t miss a note! What luck! Went to her acapella concert on Sunday Night as well. Very fun, especially the guy group, Di Visi.

7: Onset of month long cold. Pretty miserable and comforted only by the fact that my mom had the same sickness and Adam managed not to get it!

13: HOLIDAY PARTY! The best most fun I’ve ever had while battling a severe cough and cold. My first ever hosting at my apartment. Featured a wide spread of tasty goodies and a diverse group of most of our favorite people. Including Erica & Matt who stayed the night. On Sunday I was sicker than ever so I had to stay home that following Monday. Bummed that I didn’t get to spend more time with Erica.

15: Sketches due for a project I started to work on for a children’s educational reader. (This project has since been postponed or possibly cancelled).

21: Harry & The Potters Yule Ball. Went too early to actually see them play. Instead met Harry Potter Alliance founder Andrew Slack and talked to him for a long time about his organization. Left early and went to the bookstore and found several gems including an illustrated Redwall story.
Took a cab home on account of all the snow.

23, 24: Pried our car out of the parking lot and left for home. Stuck in traffic for two extra hours. Came home and wrapped all my presents. Christmas Eve day spent at Grandma’s with the family & Adam. Adam left at 5, I stayed on and quasi-played Apples to Apples around the kitchen table. Presents were not exchanged and I couldn’t have been happier about it. The best Christmas at Grandma’s ever, probably. Went to Nana’s for part II. Warm and cozy time with the new baby and Nana’s neighbor’s miniature dog. Finger sandwiches and punch. Never tasted better. Even minus the egg salad! Lovley night indeed!

25: Christmas Day! Woke up at 10, waited for everyone else to get up. Snuggled in by the presents, opened gifts. This year with Jon there, too. Had a good time giving them this year. Hung around the house in pjs and my suggle robe, as did the girls. Decorated the gingerbread kit from Brooke with Brittany while the boys played old school Mario on the Wii. Ate a delicious turkey dinner with Nana and the family. Cleaned up. Relaxed all night. Watched Muppet Christmas Carol with Britt and Mom. An amazing, perfect holiday.

26: Bummed around. Went to Time Machine for Adam’s toys. Erica came over late. Great quality time with just her. Played with her new mac. Chatted. Laughed. Giggled. Which mad emy mom happy. Adam returned around 10. We all hung out. Twas grand. I gave Adam the rest of his surprise gifts. He gave me mine. Awesome Shaun Tan books and Aardman dvds. I gave him several fantasy board games. We dismantled the pieces for a long time.

27: Went to get more games at Time Machine. The lady recognized me from the day before and asked Adam “Didn’t she get you enough yesterday?” Later that night met up with long lost friends from high school at Pepe’s. Had a blast catching up with Brynn, Matt, and Jessica. Would have liked more! Happy to have introduced Adam to important people from my past he hadn’t met yet.

Stayed at home a bit, then off to Scituate to see his parents.

29-30: Worked for a couple of days. Distractedly. Eagerly awaited vacation #2.

31: NEW YEARS EVE & MOM’S BIRTHDAY! Gave mom a picture of the “Loving Family” necklace I bought her since it hadn’t arrived yet. Was useless until the party started at 6. Had a blast with Erica, Matt, Brittany, and her Matt. Played lots of games, Rock Band. Dance party. Food. AWESOMENESS. Started to crash at 2:30….the party lasted until 3:50am. Our parents out partied us all.

1: Hung out with Brittany and Matt all day. Played games. Decided to go sledding at Keeney School’s giant hill at 7:30pm. Bundled up. Loaded the tobaggan, saucers, and ourselves into Matt’s van. The snow was perfectly packed down. Frigid, but amazing sledding conditions. We flew down the hill several times over. Laughing uncontrollably all the way. A frozen roller coaster. Exhausted. The best sledding of my life. Bonding. Beneath the stars.

2: Gathered wedding music all day. Watched Barbara and Kevin play Wii fit. Inspried us to use the one we have and don’t.

3: Left for RI early. Met the gang at Brewed Awakenings. Stayed for a couple of hours. Relocated to Adam’s house. Visited with his parents. Hosted an impromptu gathering of all the Scituate kids in his living room. Talked for a long time and ate pizza. Left for home that night so we could have the next day to ourselves. Arrived home to find a pristine Barbie dream house discarded next to our apartment’s dumpster. Quickly and forcefully snatched it away and hid it in our car for Amber to come pick up. How could someone throw away such childhood nostalgia so easily? I knew it would make Amber happier than anything in the world. The first miracle of 2009!

And that’s about it.
Lately I’ve been compiling a giant list of potential songs for the wedding & reception and am finding it difficult to narrow it down. At least we’ve decided on our first dance and recessional song. Lots more work to do. I am attempting to schedule an appointment to try on dressess. I will probably do that in the next couple weeks. Other than that Adam & I have been watching the Pete & Pete dvds Amber got me for Christmas and have been loving them more and more with each episode. We went to Target today and bought two new accent plants and a great new rug which looks super.

I hope the snow isn’t too bad so my family can visit tomorrow!

Finally, Reflection.

November 19, 2008

My apologies to myself for letting so much time go by between when I last posted. I should have known better. I wanted to take a moment to reflect about all that was going on, but I also wanted to give myself adequate time to process it all.

So anyway, I am ready now.

Here goes.

Sometimes I feel so fortunate, so kindly blessed by the powers of the universe, so unbelievably and unfathomably happy that I inversely and overwhelmingly feel terrified that my good fortune will suddenly extinguish back into the void of inexplicable nothingness from whence it came.

But it is against this feeling that I constantly struggle. Everyday forcing those fear-born thoughts back into the subconscious so that I might enjoy this wonderous and mysterious state of being I can only call “joy.”

So anyway.

I’m engaged!
Let’s start with that.

From the first month of dating Adam until now, I have always known that it couldn’t get any better, it couldn’t be any more right. We are the ideal pairing of personalities. He is everything that I could have wanted in a boyfriend, a best friend, and now, as it is, in a life-long companion. He is my loyal supporter. He is my intellectual and artistic compliment. With him I aspire to be a more optimistic and hopeful person. A better person. In the three years that we have been together we have perpetuated growth in one another in so much of who we are and what we do. It is my hope and belief that we will always galvanize each other in this way. To be better, to do better, and to love and support each other and see to it that we do our part to allow ourselves to find and keep this shared happiness.

It is for that reason in particular that our relationship has remained as fresh as it was all those days and months and years ago. We have not allowed ourselves the comfort of taking what we have for granted. Instead it is treated as something precious that must be appreciated and maintained so that it will last.

And it is for all those reasons that marriage has never intimidated me, even at twenty-four years old. It is a natural step that we must take together. And I for one could not be happier or more excited to do so.

So on Sunday, October 19th, two years, eleven months, and thirteen days since he first asked me to be his girlfriend, Adam proposed in the most befitting way imaginable: Sturbridge Village, next to the barn, surrounded by freshly grazen sheep, and accompanied by two of the loveliest ladies ever, Casey & Ayla. Up until then the day itself had already been perfect. Colonial atmosphere, farm animals. A baby calf. The smell of wood stove and hot apple cider. Chocolate chip cookies. Crisp, cold air. And autumn leaves crunching under our feet. SO many of my favorite things. And around 4 o’clock, the sheep that had been out to pasture all day finally came back to their pen in the center of the village for an early supper. Adam suggested that we go over to them, so he led the way. Then he suggested that the two of us take a picture in front of them. Once the onlookers were out of the way, he handed Ayla the camera (which was on video mode). He then proceeds to get down on one knee, hand reaching into pocket to reveal a little black box. It all happened rather quickly, but in the seconds that it took to take this ceremonial stance, I was in not only disbelief that the moment was actually happening, but in absolute shock that my suspicions had been right!

All day long I had the most indismissible feeling that he was going to propose. From the moment he wouldn’t leave his bag in the car at the begining of the day, to all the extra hugs and kisses peppered throughout the afternoon, to the few seconds prior when his hands were hidden in the pocket of his jacket.

I was so distracted by the fact that it was happening, I couldn’t fully process the reality before me. So rather than get overly emotional, I was surprisingly calm. It was so surreal. And funny. And ironic. And happy. And perfect. And to make it even more perfect, the ring was upside-down when he presented it, which I subsequently had to turn over myself. But once I finally glimpsed the ring, I was more than surprised. It was stunning– more beautiful (and generous) than I could even have imagined for myself.

So of course I accepted! It was really meaningful to have Casey and Ayla there to share the event with us, especially since we have a video of the whole thing which is pretty cool. And although I’ve wondered how it might have been different had it been just us, I wouldn’t trade that sequence of events for any other. It was absolutely perfect.

After he proposed we made our way arm in arm back across the village green where we saw old fashioned hot air balloons lifting off in the center of town. Again, how ideal! Then we spent some time riding a sheep statue and taking pictures. After that we visited the bookstore/gift shop, browsing the children’s books and me all the while in my head thinking: “WOW. Did that really just happen?” It was the most exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced.

After our adventure at Sturbridge Village, we all met up with my parents at Kahula’s chinese restaurant (my parent’s favorite) and I had the pleasure of sharing the good news with them. They were of course very happy for me, but they had been forewarned that it was coming so they were definitely more prepared for it than I was. After dinner we drove back to Scituate and told his parents the happy news. It could not have been a better series of visits. Sharing our happiness with our parents really means a lot to us both.

The only downside to it all was that I felt a bit guilty for not getting more emotional during the actual proposal. I was worried that I had disappointed Adam by denying him some kind of epic reaction. But even Adam admitted that he had planned to say a lot more than what he was actually able to get out in the moment. Anyways, I certainly made up for my lack of emotion since then, crying unexpectedly from happiness every night for a week following.

So here I am. One month and one day later, finding myself making preparations for our wedding. And as surreal and daunting as it feels, it is really quite enjoyable. I am finding it fun to think about the planning of it all– its really just another creative outlet I suppose!

We’ve even already found our IDEAL location, and will be putting a deposit down soon to reserve our date: Friday, October 2, 2009. It will be held at Webb Barn in Old Wethersfield, CT… just minutes from my house! It is a big, beautiful, old barn on the grounds of an historical house museum, on a very colonial historic New England Main street. There is a beautiful back garden for the ceremony, and plenty of pretty places for pictures. We want the wedding to be elegantly rustic, simple, and clean. Autumnal and intimate. And most of all, full of everyone we love!

So that’s that. I’m sure to be spending a lot of time planning and preparing over the coming months, but I know it will all be worthwhile!

In other news. Just a few things to note so I don’t forget anything:

Last Friday I spent the day giving three presentations to the 5th, 4th, and 3rd graders of Keeney Elementary School. It was my first ever illustrator visit and I was unbelievably nervous! In the end I got through it just fine and really did enjoy myself. I also learned a valuable lesson that kids have a lot of questions and the best thing you can do as a presenter is to let them ask them. It was really rewarding to be able to go back and talk about my experiences and share my artwork with students at a school that I went to. It was my ultimate hope that I might spark some sort of inspiration to them, and I like to think I might have. Its a really good feeling to get to be part of such a postive thing, and I think they really enjoyed it. It was really funny to be autographing books and postcards, and getting asked by several kids if they could have my paintings. It’s especially nice to be able to do something like this while I’m still relatively young, because I think it really invites a different kind of respect and level of interaction with kids. So yeah. Kids are great and I’m so fortunate to have something exciting to offer them.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. I am totally excited for the holidays and although there’s much to be done at work, I’m trying my best to enjoy everything after hours. Cory is visiting this weekend and it’s sure to be AWESOME.

Over and out.

One Heart Out of Two, One Life Me and You

October 22, 2008

Words can do no justice to the thoughts in my mind nor the feelings in my heart.
This will take some time to compute.
Stay tuned.

To Love, and Be Loved

October 15, 2008

Never before have I felt so connected to my family and my friends. I am so lucky to have so many amazing people with whom I have the pleasure and good fortune to spend my days. And although distance often makes it difficult to see everyone I love as often as I would like, I still feel bonded and connected to everyone no matter how far apart our visits.

This weekend was perhaps the best of all Martin Family weekends thus far. In fact, I must say that the Martin Family has never before felt so small in size and yet also so big. Our family unit is growing. Our modest five is infinitely expanding. And I couldn’t be happier.

My sister’s wedding was last Friday evening. It was amazing. And beautiful. And inspiring. And emotional. And elegant. And classic. It was everything I could have wished for her, and for our family.

Last Thursday Adam and I headed to Manchester early so as to make the 5:30 rehearsal. He and I got there around 4, and were promptly greeted by my sister, who threw her arms around me and immediately began to cry. I felt similarly. I was so excited for her and so glad to finally be with my family, and with her, to share all that she was feeling together. We all met up went over to the country club where we briefly went over the following day’s ceremony. Erica, Brittany, Adam and I spent some time walking the grounds in the perfect warm fall weather, admiring the vibrant foliage by the reservoir that provided the splendid backdrop for the scene.

When we wrapped up there, we all went to my house for pizza, a rehearsal dinner in perfect Martin & Mayhew family style.

That evening, I had the opportunity to get to know Jon’s brother, Brian, who I had never met before as he and his family live in Guam. I was more than impressed with his friendliness and politeness, and found it very easy to interact with him. I found him very interesting and greatly appreciated is articulate and intelligent perspective on the state of our military and missions in Iraq. It’s really too bad that he lives on the complete opposite side of the world– he would be a great person for Jon to have around, and I’m sure would be a great Uncle to Jon’s (and Amber’s) children. I hope he’ll be able to relocate to the mainland before too long.

Also that evening, I was in my element hanging out with the flower girl, Jon’s cousin’s daughter, the four-year-old cabbage patch doll look-a-like, Bailey. She was absolutely precious. I had so much fun interacting with her. We played hide and seek and painted her nails. She made us all black ribbon necklaces. I wanted to hug her a lot, but had to control myself. She totally adores my sister, and constantly asks for “Ambuh.”

I was also very happy to present part of my gift to Amber and Jon, which was a portrait I had been working on for the past month.

As excited as I was for the day to come, I had no problem crashing as soon as I got into bed. Amber and the rest of my house weren’t as lucky, and slept less than four hours. At 9 Erica, Adam, and I drove to Bradley to pick up Michelle. It was unbelievably fantastic to see her, and to have her there during such an important event. I hope she knows truly grateful I am that she was there to share it with us.

For most of Friday, we hung out at my house, trying not to get ready too prematurely. Erica and her boyfriend Matt arrivied and I was glad to get to meet him– he is a very nice guy which is great! As three o’clock approached we were all busy doing our hair and what not. Thank goodness for Brittany, who did my hair and makeup, helped with Nana’s makeup, and did Amber’s hair, too, not to mention her own! It was a lot of fun buzzing around, finishing everything up and finally putting Amber in her dress. We had a nice little bridal party moment in her old bedroom as we did so.

The photographer arrived around 3, which gave us a couple hours to take photos. The flowers arrived around that time as well and were stunning. Brilliant red roses and white calla lilies. The flower arrangements were also amazing.

We spent a bit of time in the living room taking formal shots of the family, and then made our way over to the country club for the main event.

We all waited down in the women’s lounge anxiously awaiting the start of the ceremony. And a little after 5:30 we made our way down the aisle, surrounded by a setting Autumnal sun, releatively warm October air, and our entire family, that day growing larger, looking on with love and pride!

The ceremony itself was classically simple. Nothing about Jesus. No mention of God. Just two people vowing to love one another. I admired their straightforwardness, and although some might take it for mild sterility, I saw it as honest and sincere. It felt very much in line with how I feel about love and marriage. I also loved the reading Brittany did about Love. I hope my ceremony will be as befitting for me someday.

I must say that I am very glad I could not see Amber’s face during it, because it was difficult enough to remain composed. My mother was crying quite a bit, and I’m sure many other were, too. I’m pretty sure I saw Jon’s face tear up as well….that whole tough guy thing is all an act!

After the ceremony we stayed on the grounds for a while taking photographs. And as the sun was setting, it had grown a bit chillier. So naturally to keep warm we entertained ownselves with our own photoshoot.

When it was finally time to go in to the reception, we were announced and lined up around the dance floor to watch their first dance, to a Janis Joplin song. It was so nice– they truly looked happier than I’ve ever seen them, singing to each other as they danced.

When it ended we were able to take our seats at the head table, and visited with other’s around the room as the salad was served. A delicious dinner followed (I had the chicken) and then we did what we all came there to do: DANCE. We all jumped right in to the first song, “History Repeating,” and Adam and I started crazy dancing our butts off. We in fact danced most of the night– in fact the floor never emptied, which was very impressive! You could just tell everyone there was having a blast. It was fantastic!

Eventually they cut the cake, tossed the bouquet, (Adam ended up with the garter), and finished the niight with more dancing. One highlight of the night for me was the father daughter dance, which Amber had tricked my dad by first playing a bit of Rainbow Bright, a record she played so much when she was little that my dad knew every lyric! He got a kick out of it. And then they danced to Led Zepplin. A perfect fit.

The night flew by, but in a great way. I got to dance with everyone, including little Bailey. And the little ring bearer personally gave me his rose boutineer, instructing me very specifically to put it in a glass of water in my room when I got home. I wonder if I should read more into his romantic gesture….he’s definitely one smooth five year old!!!

So the reception wrapped a bit after 11, at which point we all packed up and headed to my house for a mini after party. But as it turned out, we were all quite pooped, so we essentially rescheduled for the following night.

The next morning Amber and Jon came over briefly to open their gifts before going off for a couple of days to Westerly, RI. I would have much rather they stayed and hung out with us all, but they didn’t have much choice in the matter. In the afternoon Erica, Matt, Adam, Michelle, Brittany, Phil, and myself all went to the Renaissance Faire for a bit. We mostly just walked around gawking at the funny people and browsing the medieval wares. We ate some lunch on a hill next to a tree as a giant ent walked by.

Then we relocated to Gay City State Park to take in all that Autumn in New England had to offer. It was a peacful, playful, day of bonding. I loved everything. Especially as I was finally reunited with my two best friends. It doesn’t get much better.

That evening, we returned to my house where we had a mini club night, which consisited of tasty food and many rounds of Rockband. Before bed me, Michelle, and Adam stayed up to chat a bit with my mom. Then we headed to bed.

On Sunday, we had but a brief time more to spend with Michelle before we had to bring her back to the airport. As short as her visit ultimately was, I am so thrilled to say that this visit had been the best since we graduated. I really felt reconnected to her–and both Adam and Amber agreed. Sadly, we had to say goodbye. It was too short for sure, but at least it was a satisfying visit.

After that, Adam and I went straight to Scituate to browse the Art Festival for an hour. We stopped at our favorite artists, and Adam purchased a beautiful pottery bowl. Then we went to his house to visit with his mom for the rest of the afternoon. Then he and I went to dinner before returning to our apartment.

It was a ridiculously full weekend. Filled with people, and fun, and Autumn, and friendship, and love. I have never been so proud to be a Martin, and so appreciative to have such an extended family of friends.

Whale Tales

September 21, 2008

Yesterday was so great. Adam and I got up a bit earlier than normal for a Saturday and left for Gloucester, MA to catch the reservations Adam had arranged for the 1:30 whale watch (a fantastic early birthday present!). Having just been through that area scouting for another photo shoot, I knew it was pretty easy to get to, and that Rockport was only about ten minutes from there. We made plans to do the whale watch and then grab dinner in Rockport.

The actual whale watch was amazing– by far the best I’ve ever been on. We saw over thirty whales, seventeen of which the guides were able to identify. While most of them were humpbacks, we also saw some minkes, fin whales (the second largest of the whales) and even a basking shark– the second largest shark in the world. A species which is luckily totally nonthreatening to humans as it has baleen teeth like a whale. But boy was it huge! This is exactly what it looked like, but I did not take this photo:

There were just so many whales around us at all times, it was hard to keep up with them. The guide shouted just about every number on the clock to indicate which direction they were. It was truly something to be surrounded by groups of them coming to the surface and trumpeting. It was so noisy!

My favorite part were the rainbows formed by the mist blown out as they breathed.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve never really gotten a very good look at their baleen before– thanks super zoom lens!

The sea was very choppy on our way out to the hot spots, but it didn’t bother me at all. It was sort of like being on a kiddie roller coaster for an hour straight. I don’t think it was Adam’s favorite part though.

We stayed out in the area observing them as they fed, but around 4:30 we headed back to the harbour. We were off the boat around 5 and made our way over to Rockport.

Adam and I walked around for a bit and stopped in a couple of shops. One of which was a little toy store, which ironically carried the Red Farm Studios Paintable set for which I provided the colored versions of the drawings. (Of course we had to buy it!)

Then Adam and I stopped into a little place and hate burritos served to us by a very chatty nice lady. Before we left the shop area, we stopped into the candy store and got some salt water taffy, the perfect souvenir. Then I took Adam up to the beautiful rocky area that overlooks the town. It was very peaceful to be there as the sun was setting.

Then as it was getting darker, we hopped into the car and headed back.

On our way home we stopped at the North Shore Mall’s Barnes & Noble and Adam got me The Office season 4 and Pushing Dasies, which if you have not seen, you should! It’s adorable! We also found a very nostalgic dvd of Jim Henson’s Mother Goose Tales, a very strange but faciniating show I used to wake up super early just to watch when I was little. I haven’t watched it again yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.

All in all, it was the perfect surprise Saturday!!!

And today was also highly enjoyable. Adam and I drove to his house in RI this morning, and a noon I took the car and went to my Cousin Ashley’s baby shower while he hung out in Scituate with friends. The shower was so cute. I mean, come on. Basically six hours of opening adorable onzies, baby blankets, and stuffed animals. I loved it.

This is a picture of the diaper cake my mom made as a center piece.

Did I mention I love everything? Because I do.