joining forces.

Hard to believe it’s been a few months since I’ve set aside time to write here. Hard to believe it’s been a few months and I’m getting married in a few days. I’m so glad to be joining forces with someone whose natural kindness and huge heart show in everything he does, and whose humility and thoughtfulness are assets to our household. The fact that he chooses to be present with me and Morella every single day, and show up for us consistently, has blown my mind and continues to blow my mind. How rare and amazing when you’re both crazy about someone romantically, AND they make your day-to-day life easier rather than harder because they come alongside you and pick up part of your load. I could burst from sheer joy.

We visited New Orleans in January, which was a first visit for both of us. Predictably, I fell easily in love with the city. I felt at home there immediately, and I’m glad we went when we did because it gave us plenty of time to navigate the Marigny and the French Quarter on mornings in the dead of winter, without all the customary hustle and bustle. We walked and ate, and visited museums and ate, and rode the streetcar and ate, and had cocktails and ate. The whole trip was amazing but some of my favorite moments were from the day we took the St. Charles streetcar over to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 (me clicking and clacking away with my camera of course), walked over to Magazine St. and shopped most of the afternoon, then went out to Audubon Park (spanish! moss!) and back. Riding the streetcar back toward our dinner destination, it was like 73 degrees, around sunset, all the streetcar windows were open, we rolled past mansion after mansion, and some guy on a bike with a tiny dog in the basket kept riding up beside the streetcar and hamming it up for the girl sitting in front of me, who was laughing and taking a video of him. Another favorite part of the trip was having drinks with our friends Andrew and Emi in the original French 75 bar, then stealing up the stairs to the well-hidden little museum full of carnival garb from years past (cocktails in hand), having frozen Irish coffees in a crowded pub down the block, then venturing down Bourbon St. for a few blocks on our way home, because according to Andrew, “c’mon, you just gotta do it.” Lest you think we’re strictly high-class tourists, we also visited the location of the “compound” from The Originals, our fave vampire show, and took fangirly selfies in front of it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, we’re having king cake at our wedding. We really, really liked New Orleans.

At the airport as we were getting ready to leave that lovely place, we started talking about getting married. After a couple days of discussion / non-discussion / misunderstandings / decompressing from our trip, we were ready to pick out some rings and look at potential venues for late spring / early summer. One of the front-runners got back to us right away though, letting us know that if we were willing to get married in early March, they would give us a hilariously great deal. I hadn’t anticipated rushing to plan a wedding, but also couldn’t find any reason not to since it’s just a small family affair and I wanted it to be as unfussy as possible. So that’s how we ended up planning a wedding from start to finish in about six weeks. My organization skills have been stretched to their limits, but let’s face it, if I had an entire year to obsess about planning a wedding (or any party for that matter), I would take the entire year. So it’s good to only even have the six weeks. The whole thing has been made immensely easier, too, by the fact that Matt’s been right here next to me, taking care of to-dos big and small, the whole time. Magical.

* * *

Morella is much the same intense, unfiltered personality she always has been, but nowadays her increased communication abilities are taking that personality to new heights. She wonders hilarious things aloud, makes ridiculous demands, and shares profuse declarations of love. She repeats anything Grandpa says, for better or worse. The other morning, she said “Mommy, even though I like to do things by myself and I don’t need you and Matt’s help, I still love you.” Thanks, kid. That’s reassuring.

They say “the days are long, but the years fly by.” Man, have I found that to be true. Every time I look at Morella I’m amazed at how big she is, and not just physically big, but a big spirit as well. Thoughtful and serious and whip-smart, and also rambunctious and careless and assertive — all the hallmarks of a 3-year-old, and very much her own person.

Life has been great lately. We had a wonderful Christmas, and we were enjoying the cozy winter months (and especially being snowed in one weekend) just fine with lots of board games, movies, and cooking together.

This year’s early spring has given us the opportunity to get outside more, and last weekend was particularly blissful. Matt made a delicious dinner of coquilles St. Jacques, honestly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. We did lots of yardwork and cleanup and repotted plants in the 70-degree weather, with Morella helping intermittently. We checked out a new ice cream shop in town, which was branded to the nines and also had delicious ice cream. Morella liked it so much she did an interpretive dance in the middle of the shop. I was off on Presidents’ Day, and after a Korean lunch Morella accompanied me to the nail salon, where she had her first pedicure. We topped it all off with dinner at our sweet friends’ place, which Morella didn’t want to attend in the first place and then complained when we had to leave.

This weekend was nice too, though as always when she’s gone I missed Morella dreadfully. We had some time though to wrap up some of the wedding things that needed to get done, to do further outdoor work, and to just relax too. My sister came over for some wedding crafts last night, and we all pitched in and had a great time. Despite having the most unavoidably, crushingly stressful day at work today, I can’t wait to walk to dinner with my little family tonight. I’ll be back up to wedding snuff by this weekend, when finally I’ll be able to answer “YES!” when Morella wakes up like she does every day and says “Is it your wedding day?”

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