Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Wedding Week

The week leading up to the wedding was hectic but fun!

On Sunday, October 15, we raked leaves all morning (oh, so many leaves! Poor Roger worked on them for days leading up to the wedding!), and then took a break by heading to our favorite used bookstore in the area, The Country Bookshop, to buy some books for our tables capes. We also met up with Emily and James for some must-needed Positive Pie!

On the evening of Monday, October 16, we enjoyed one last evening of "relaxation" before full-tilt wedding preparations, and dropped off the welcome bags we'd made for everyone at the hotels. I know these are kind of silly and superfluous, but I was really, really excited by them, and it constitutes the only craft I actually worked on myself. I bought the white bags and the blue tissue paper from Amazon, and stamped them myself with blue ink and a rubber stamp. We then filled each with water bottles, a map of the area and suggestions for fun things to do the morning of the wedding, and two of our favorite regional treats, Cloud Nine kettle corn and Big Picture Farm goat milk caramels

My parents, sister, and Courtney flew up from Florida on Tuesday, October 17 to help with wedding preparations, which mostly translated to some shopping for items for the weekend and cleaning up our house and property. Oh my god, they were such good sports, especially considering that the guest room, which needed a coat of paint on the ceiling and some cleaning up, looked like this when they arrived:

But they were absolutely vital to helping us out and making sure the whole space was in tip-top shape for Roger's bridal party, who spent the weekend in our house, and for everyone who was coming to visit for the welcome dinner and day-after brunch. 

On Tuesday night Jill, Courtney, my mother and I went to Nefertiti Nails to get manicures and pedicures for the big day. I'm a total convert to gel manicures and I'm going to be so sad not to have an excuse to keep splurging on them now that the bridal shower and wedding is over! I choose Essie's "Mademoiselle" color for my nails, which is very close to my natural color but made them look just a bit fancy, and "Really Red" for my toes, as an homage to the classic glamour I tried to cultivate in our wedding outfits. My mother and sister went with colors that matched their dresses (a lovely plum color for mom and a royal blue with gold party nail for Jill), while Courtney also did a natural beige.

essie mademoiselle bridal gel manicure

On Wednesday, October 18, we surprised my parents with a cooking class at King Arthur Flour. They've been getting into making their own bread and pizza dough, so we thought they'd like the Baguettes 101 class. We had such fun at the whoopie pie class we took last winter that even then, I thought, We should really get this for my parents as a thank you for the wedding. I think they had a blast! We were hoping that Jill and Courtney could also spend some time exploring the Upper Valley, but they ended up running more errands for us, like picking up Roger's pants from the tailor and getting last minute groceries. I honestly can't thank them enough for their help during the week. I don't know how we would have done it without this amazing crew.

On Thursday, October 19, I took a half day at work, and met up with Molly, who took the Dartmouth Coach up from Philadelphia (by way of New York). Once we got back to the house, we did a little more cleaning (Molly helped us rake up a ton more leaves), and then the whole group went for dinner at the Norwich Inn, where my mother and I realized we'd dressed like twins:

Then it was back to the house for one more sleep before our decorating extravaganza began!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

We're Married!

On October 21, 2017, Roger and I said, "I do!" (Or, more accurately, "I will.") I've always thought that people who say their wedding day was the happiest day of their lives were exaggerating, but I couldn't imagine a more perfect day. On a beautiful sunny autumnal day in New England, we were surrounded by friends and family who had all traveled many miles to celebrate our partnership and my heart was filled with joy.

I'll post more about the wedding in the coming weeks, but I wanted to share a few of Amanda Summerlin's spectacular photos, since she just posted them on her website. I can't wait to see the full set, and start sharing some of the details of our day with you!

In the meantime, to everyone who took time out of their lives to help make this day so perfect, thank you! We love you so much!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Laura Beers

Laura Beers spent most of her childhood with a nose stuck in a book, dreaming of becoming an author. She attended Brigham Young University, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. 

Many years later, and with loving encouragement from her family, Laura decided to start writing again. She is the author of Saving Shadow, a romantic thriller that takes place in the Regency era. Besides being a full-time homemaker to her three kids, she loves waterskiing, hiking, and drinking Dr. Pepper. Currently, Laura Beers resides in South Carolina.

Laura Beers, Author of Saving Shadow

Who are you? Hi! I am Laura Beers, a thirty-something California native living in South Carolina. I am an author, wife, stay at home mom, friend, and a Dr. Pepper connoisseur.

Where can you be found online? How would you describe your author sites to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? You can find me online at: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. My author sites are meant to fun, light-hearted and informative. I want my friends to enjoy my posts and in doing so, they might be inspired to buy my amazing book, Saving Shadow.

What inspired you to start writing? When did it happen? I have always been a daydreamer and I love making up stories in my head. A few years ago, the same story kept popping up. It was about a daughter of a duke who was also a notorious spy. I kept dwelling on the story and eventually I decided to write it down on paper.

Why do you write? I write because it is fun. I enjoy creating a story and sharing it with other people. My debut novel, Saving Shadow, is a Regency Spy Romance. It is set in 1813 and features spies, intrigue, a swoony love story and a despicable villain. In addition, it tackles issues such as human trafficking, PTSD and living conditions in the slums. Sounds intense, right? Even though it sounds dark, it is meant to be a fun, clean read that will entertain even the pickiest reader!

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? I love Jennifer Moore, Heather Moore, Sarah Eden, Rebecca Connolly … the list could go on. I have been an avid reader most of my life and if I am not writing, then I am reading.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all- expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would love to go to England, Scotland and Ireland. I would love to tour the old estate homes and touch buildings that were built centuries ago.

What is your favorite place on earth? This summer my family went to Northshore on Oahu and it was dang close to perfection. We rented a small house close enough to the beach that we could hear the waves crashing onto the shore at night. During the day, we could walk to numerous beaches with warm water, beautiful trees, and idyllic views.

Anything else you'd like us to know? Saving Shadow is the first book of The Beckett Files series. The second book, A Peculiar Courtship, will be out in December. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: My Nautical Bridal Shower

My bridal party, mother, and future mother-in-law threw me the most incredible bridal shower ever on September 16 at the Peekskill Brewery. I think this photo appropriately captures all the joy I felt that day:

They decided to host the shower at the brewery one of my favorite spots in Westchester, because it's delicious and also close to the train for everyone who was coming up from New York. When I walked in, I was greeted with beautiful nautical decorations, and told to wear this silly apron while I greeted everyone:

Which didn't last too long, as I took it off as soon as someone asked to take my photo. Ha! Little did I know, it was for a game later on, so I made things a bit more challenging for all the guests, who had to try to remember what was on the apron. I will say my only regret from the shower is that I completely forgot to ask for a photo with my bridal party, and with my mother and Sue. I'm so used to being the one with a camera that I completely forgot to ask for my own photos!

After greeting everyone and having a beer, we all sat down to a delicious lunch. I had the mac and cheese, which I am, frankly, still thinking about two weeks later!

As lunch was winding down, it was time for me to open the presents! I was absolutely stunned by how incredibly thoughtful and generous all of my friends and family were as far as getting us gifts to start this next chapter in our life together and help our new house feel like a home. One of my cousins gave me seeds from her grandfather's pear tree, which she told me was grown from seeds given to him as gift from our shared great-grandparents on his wedding day. My mother has been telling me we need to plant a tree on our property for this first year that we live there and get married, and so the pear seeds were truly one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.

And of course there were so many other wonderful gifts as well: the softest sheets and towels you can imagine, cookbooks from my favorite chef-author, champagne and Mr. and Mrs. flutes, and an incredible set of high-end copper pots and pans from all the bridesmaids. Plus, every guest contributed a recipe to a recipe box, including some that reminded me so fully of my childhood I almost cried when I read through them a few days ago.

I will say that opening the gifts in front of a large group of people did feel a little awkward. I was never sure how to react or how much to say about each one, because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for everyone there. And, of course I know that opening the gifts is often a little boring for the people watching, so I was trying to keep things moving fast at the same time. But, other than feeling a bit strange for about 20 minutes, everything about the shower was absolutely perfect and filled me with such joy.

The shower also felt like really good practice for the wedding, because it went so fast and I was left, of course, feeling like I just wanted to sit with everyone and chat with hours. I worked my way around each table and unfortunately didn't make it to the last one before everyone started to pack up and head out (sorry, Liz, Sue, and Roseanne!), so that was a reminder to try and make a better effort at the wedding and the events before and afterward.

Dessert was a delicious cannoli cake from Homestyle Bakery, decorated with the sweetest little nautical saying. A perfectly sweet ending to a perfect bridal shower!

Thank you so much, Shelby, Jill, Sarah, Molly, Mom, and Sue. You made me feel like a princess the whole day and I so appreciate all of the incredible time, effort, and creativity you put into giving me this incredible party. I love you all!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn 2017

I can hardly believe we moved to Vermont a year ago, and I'm now looking at a second autumn in New England. This year has been one of great personal joys, but it hasn't been without its struggles. Autumn, of course, is always a bit sad, the middle age of the year, but it also often brings me a renewed sense of possibility and feels like a fresh start with all those sharp pencils and blank notebooks.

This fall, I'm devoting myself to the wedding of course, and to work as always, but also to reading and walking. I've been trying to do a bit of both each day, to center myself and to make sure I continue to squeeze as much out of every day as possible.