Sunday, November 27

12x12 Recap 2016 (So Far)

Guys, it's late-November, and I've been struggling with my 12x12 project this year! As of today, I've only read seven books this year - so I still have four books to go. Is it impossible for me to finish? No, but it'll be tough!

Since I haven't blogged about my project yet this year, here are the seven books I've read so far in 2016:

The Other Boleyn Girl
by Phillipa Gregory

What I Loved:

So, full disclosure, this book is one of my absolute favorite books in the world. I am a total nerd for anything Tudor-related (thanks to a diverse Young Adult section in my hometown library), so when I found this book by Phillipa Gregory when I was about fourteen or fifteen, I was in love. 💗

Phillipa Gregory writes almost exclusively historical fiction about the Tudor era, but it's not "historical fiction" in the way you think. I guess when I think of the historical fiction genre, I basically think of fan fiction where the author takes a bunch of liberties with the actual timeline of events and doesn't care about accuracy. Phillipa Gregory isn't like that at all. In the back of every book, she includes pages worth of all the books she consulted in order to get details right in the books, and (my personal favorite thing she does) everything that happens in her books is at least based on real rumors or theories historians have about what happened. Everything's based in reality, but Phillips Gregory manages to make everything relatable, humanizes characters from book to book, and focuses particularly on women in the era. They include a few really nice sexy moments in each book (if you're into that), but the focus is the story - it's historical fiction with elements of romance, not the other way around.

This book in particular is my favorite she's written, and for good reason. The Other Boleyn Girl is about Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn. It covers Mary's perspective about Anne's rise to power as well as Mary's life before and after. As a kid, I was obsessed with Anne. She was fierce, intelligent, stubborn, and changed the course of both religion and countries because of her ability to manipulate Henry VIII in a time where that was (literally) the best a woman could do to effect change. In many ways, she was my hero. As I get older, I relate a lot more to Mary. Although she was a lot more powerless, she made the best of every situation she could. As an adult-ish person, that really speaks to me.

The hardest part after reading this book is seeing these weird, demeaning representations of Mary in different Tudor accounts. Mary was Henry VIII's mistress for five years and (potentially) had two children with him. By all accounts, he adored her and (in a 1500's way) respected her... Then I'm watching "The Tudors," and she's portrayed as a whore who slept with Henry for like, two nights and gave him a blowjob before he got sick of her and cast her off. I get legitimately pissed about that, because I almost feel like it's a form of misogyny - recasting a woman in history who had a legitimate relationship with a man (albeit sexual) and turning her into this one-dimensional whore character. It's demeaning, and although I love "The Tudors" for what it is, I wish they had been more detailed in a variety of ways, not just relating to Mary.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

This is a perfect book, so there's literally nothing I don't like about it. However I feel obliged to point out that the movie is shit. I still own it, mind you - but it's terrible. This story is just not a movie-friendly timeline. Mary was Henry's mistress for around five years, and Anne was with him for around seven. Fitting the complexity of those relationships into an hour and a half movie (particularly Anne's manipulative relationship with Henry) just isn't feasible. What makes those relationships so incredible are their length at a time where Henry could have literally chosen anybody for his mistress, but in the movie, you just don't get a sense of that. On top of that, Natalie Portman (who I love) over-acts Anne, and Scarlette Johanson under-acts Mary. Eric Bana does a pretty good job as Henry VIII, but overall the movie just falls flat.

Would I Recommend This Book?

100%. It's a great example of a thoughtful, interesting, sexy historical fiction book. So if that's your thing, buy it and spend every waking minute reading this book!

Yes Please
by Amy Poehler

What I Loved:

Okay, don't hate me: before I read this book, I hadn't ever watched "Parks & Recreation." My only real introduction to Amy Poehler was SNL, "Baby Mama," and references to her in Tina Fey's Bossypants, which I read last year for my 12x12 project. I was hoping it would be about as good Bossypants, so imagine my surprise when I loved it far more. I know. Insanity.

Amy Poehler is a fantastic writer, and a little more blunt and straight-forward than Tina Fey. She came across as appropriately self-deprecating, intensely relatable, a fierce mother, honest (but kind) about her divorce from Will Arnett, and generally a person who we all wish we could become - or at least have as a best friend. I learned so much about improv, about improv troops, about her childhood, about service to others, and how much I wanted to "grow up" to be like her. There was a lot about "Parks & Rec" in the book, which is the reason I watched it for the first time this August. Now that I've watched every episode (and was devastated by the end of the last season), I really want to re-read Yes Please again; there were so many bits in there about the show that I feel it would mean way more to me now.

Basically, it's just a really great book. I laughed out loud more times than I can count and the book flows effortlessly. I loved it. Want to read it again, will read it again. 💗

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

Really, nothing. I'm not huge into biographies or autobiographies, but if I loved this, you will too. I'm just sure of it. Unless you're a monster or something.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Yeah, clearly. 😊

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"
by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

What I Loved:

Being back in the Harry Potter universe! Reading a new "book" in the world I love so much was overwhelmingly charming. I was willing to forgive almost anything in my joy. Thankfully, I didn't have to forgive much. 😊 I heard a lot of people complaining after the "book" came out that it wasn't a book - it was a play, and they somehow felt screwed over. So, if you're expecting a book by J.K. Rowling, you're going to be sorely disappointed. It's a play and it's definitely not by J.K Rowling... but it's been officially approved by her, so it's canon and I'm not complaining.

As a play, I was thrilled by the story. I've read plays before, so I understood the format and was comfortable filling in the blanks myself. There was a lot that wasn't explicitly explained. Most of the characters do magic in the play, and I found myself totally able to picture what they were doing, but excited/confused about how they would make those things happen on stage. The themes of the play were really obvious, and it made me think that although I loved it in book form, it would definitely be better performed than read in my own head.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

As a storyline, it's hard to follow because the play involves time travel. There were times were I was trying to figure out what year the scene was in, which wasn't immediately obvious to the reader. The time travel, like some other aspects of the story, would be a lot easier to understand when performed because the use of costumes and makeup would help explain to the audience what year we were in or what scene happened before another.

I also had an issue (that I'm still dealing with/thinking over) with the idea of Voldemort as a willingly sexual being. I won't say more than that in case you haven't read it yet, but in my understanding of Voldemort as a character, he wouldn't necessarily use sex or sexuality for anything except a tool - certainly not for pleasure or fun. I'm actually going to write an essay about this for a different forum, so I won't go into this more now, but think on it.

Would I Recommend This Book?

YES. Ultimately, this play felt true to the series. I loved the relationship between Albus and Scorpius, I liked the overarching themes of fatherhood/son (-hood?), and it felt whimsical to me in the same way that the first few Harry Potter books felt whimsical. I'm dying to see the play, and I loved being transported.

In the Company of the Courtesan
by Sarah Dunant

What I Loved:

I should preface this by saying this book is not smut. I think I got it when I was in high school, but this is only the second time I've read it. I have another book by the same author that I love, but that's a little darker, so I have to be in a particular mood to read it. I read this around June of this year while I was studying for the bar and needed something as different as possible from the law. I succeeded.

What I love about this book in particular is that it's not a hard read. It's from the perspective of a little person who works for a courtesan in Italy, around 1500 (I think. Years are hard. Don't quote me on that). There's actually a surprising lack of sex in the book - it's more about their business, trying to attract clients, save themselves from dangers, etc. I understand that sentence is not a sexy sentence or likely to make you want to read the book, but trust me when I say that this is a good, distracting read. It has elements of mystery, romance, action, and it flows well as a book. I also really like that it's from the perspective of someone who is "little," as well as disabled, because as an able-bodied white woman, it's good for me to look at things from another perspective.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

While I'm glad this book isn't difficult or heavy reading, it's definitely not something I'd suggest for someone who wants a serious read. It's a good distraction, it does involve some history, and I'd definitely say it's enjoyable - but it's not something for a philosopher.

Would I Recommend This Book?

That depends on who you are and what you like. If you like reading historical fiction and you'd like a quick read that doesn't challenge you, I'd say go for it. You'll probably like it, but you probably won't write home about it (I understand the irony of saying this on a post where I'm literally writing about whether to read this or not, but that's what this blog post is about, so, oh well).

A Wind in the Door
by Madeleine L'Engle

What I Loved:

Again, to be upfront, this is one of my favorite books growing up. I had this, A Wrinkle in Time, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (which I have somewhere, but I have no idea where and I would actually love to read again). I. Love. These. Books. They're engrossing, thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, and generally just great books to read. They're meant for children in particular, but they're probably the books I've re-read the most except for Harry Potter. Madeleine L'Engle doesn't treat children like these dainty, fragile beings that need to be coddled and given easy literature - these are heavy and dark, but also uplifting. They taught me that it was more important to be smart than beautiful (but also that it's okay to want to be both) and that my instincts were powerful. They taught me that love and light always conquer hate and darkness in the end, which I truly believe.

This book in particular is the second book in the "series," and focuses around Meg saving her sick brother. I honestly can't get any deeper into the story because (if you haven't read it) you're just going to be like, "Oh my god, this girl is insane; what is she talking about and was she high on drugs writing this blog post?" I promise you I'm not high. If you're an adult, I'd honestly suggest reading all three of those books. If you're a parent and your kid is old enough to read chapter books, please please please give them these books. They changed my life.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

I don't mind this, but all of these books are ones you need to re-read to really understand them (if you ever do). They are emotionally and mentally heavy, they are full to the brim with difficult concepts, and you need an active imagination to keep up. All of these things are not downsides, but something to keep in mind if you're considering reading them.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Absolutely! Go out and buy them right now.

What Kind of Nation
by James F. Simon

What I Loved:

This was a book recommended to my 1L law school class my first semester of law school in Civil Procedure. I think I bought it my 3L year (which was actually still this year - it feels like ages since I graduated), and read it late this spring. I was inspired to finally read it because I took a class on Federalism where I was learning a ton about the founding fathers and how their particular views influenced the law, the Constitution, and our government. This book is about Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall (probably the most notable Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court ever), how they interacted, and how their opposing views influenced the country.

Honestly, I loved it. I loved it so much. It solidified my belief that Jefferson was a huge asshole, and it made me fall a little bit (okay, a lot) in love with John Marshall's brain. Jesus, if I was half as smart as some of the people I read about, I would be golden. So much of my Federalism class was about how the justices of the Supreme Court made calculated decisions about whether or not to hear a case, how to decide it, and how to actually write the opinions. Marshall single-handedly created the power of the Supreme Court because he wrote an opinion that honestly makes no sense... except to give the court power to interpret the Constitution while also appeasing Jefferson, who hated him. It's genius. I can't say it enough. Also, Marshall really liked Jane Austen, so.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

Even though it's not a thick book, it's a lot to process. While it was nice to have the themes of the book tie in with the themes I was dealing with in Federalism, it was also a little exhausting to be reading about Federalism for 6+ hours a day, not including class. If you can handle all that, awesome. I did okay.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Sure, as long as the subject matter interests you. If reading about the law and the founding fathers doesn't interest you, stay far, far away. If it does, you should check it out!

Bad Feminist
by Roxane Gay

What I Loved:

When I bought this, I didn't have any idea what to expect besides the fact that I had seen a couple of girls I know and admire online reading this. I had no idea who Roxane Gay was. Two chapters in, I was totally sold. It's a collection of essays she's written, all about either being African American, a woman, a feminist, or sometimes all three at once. The title "Bad Feminist" is based on an essay in the beginning of her book about how (especially online) we try so hard to be perfect feminists. Sometimes it feels like there's this set of rules that we have to adhere to, and if we slip up, we're "bad" feminists (or not real feminists at all). Her point in that essay was essentially that there is no perfect feminist, and that just because we're not perfect doesn't mean we're not feminists. Sure, maybe we're "bad" feminists, but fuck it - we're trying, we're making an effort, and we're always learning. So let's embrace being "bad" feminists and just try our bests to be good and do good in this world, as feminists.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

There were things in the book I just couldn't relate to. Ironically, it wasn't her essays on being African American, because I found her perspective deeply fascinating and eye-opening; it was the fact that she loves Scrabble and joined a few tournaments. I wanted to be into the Scrabble essay(s), but I just couldn't. I'm sorry. I'm the worst. I know.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Totally! Overall, I thought she was funny, endearing, thoughtful, and the book was enjoyable. I would definitely suggest it.


Phew! I made it through seven reviews, and I can't believe this blog post is finally complete. I know it's been a long post, but you really didn't want to read seven different posts about these books, did you? Yeah, me neither.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Will you read any of these books now?

Saturday, November 19

Our Wedding, Part 1

On Friday, October 7, J and I had our Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner at Centro, an Italian restaurant in downtown Des Moines. The Rehearsal went off without a hitch (ha), and the dinner was incredible! I've eaten at Centro so many times, but never had a catered or buffet-style meal there. Honestly, it was one of the best meals of my life. So many options for those who were vegetarian (portobello mushroom fries?!), and even though I'm not a huge meat-eater, I had a bit of the steak (which was equally delicious).

The funniest/weirdest part of the night was realizing (midway though the Rehearsal) how much I hated being the center of attention. I consider myself an extrovert, and honestly, I love being the center of attention in small groups - so I didn't think I would be uncomfortable in this big group of my closest friends and family. I ended up grabbing a seat by my girlfriends, at the end of a row near the back, which was basically the most secluded I could be, and I loved it. 

At certain points in the evening, I snuck away with J to the other side of the room, where no one could see us. I'd heard people say, "Make time for just the two of you at your wedding," and in theory, I was like, "Well yeah, no problem." But in the midst of the Rehearsal and Dinner, I finally understood. Just having a few moments to "hide" and be with each other felt like breathing again. 

That night, the wedding party all headed over to the East Village to go to Up-Down (this 90's themed bar). We didn't stay out too late, because the girls all had to be at the hair salon early in the morning, but it was fun to let loose and play some silly games together. As it turns out, I am pretty damn good at pinball and not so good at ski ball. We headed back to the hotel, but not after stopping by Fong's to get some late-night pizza!

The morning of the wedding my girls and I got up early to head to the salon, the Art of Life in Urbandale. Some of my girlfriends and family met us there, but most of us left from our hotel. When I got there, Jillian and Jeanna (my new sister-in-law and mother-in-law) brought me Starbucks, which was desperately needed. Chelsea, my hair stylist in Des Moines, cut my hair a few days before and styled it the day of. My high school friend, Lauren, did everyone's makeup, and the flowers and flower crowns were done by Maya at Plum Event + Design, our wedding planner. I was wearing this beautiful robe that Lauren gave me at my bachelorette party, my favorite Lululemon leggings, and a tank I had lying around.

All the photos below are by Liz Morrow unless otherwise stated. She did an INCREDIBLE job taking pictures of our wedding. We actually won a contest to have her take our photos, and all the begging and pleading we did to in order to win was totally worth it. Not only was she super professional, but she was also just a really, really great person. Funny, interesting, thoughtful, etc. I'm super grateful that we got to work with her, and I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer!

These pictures end right about lunch, before we headed out for pictures and to meet up with the guys (and the first look).

This photo is clearly by me and not a professional :)

Photo by my mom, I think?

Photo from my sister-in-law, Jillian

I was shocked by how nervous I was - not nervous to marry J, but nervous that something was going to go wrong or the service would be terrible or I would embarass myself in front of so many people. J and I created the ceremony ourselves two weeks beforehand (long story), pulling together services from a couple different sources, and with my mom's help with the prayers. Beforehand, I was super excited about it, because it felt so like us - this fun/weird hodge podge of athiest and Lutheran, punk and sweet: J and me! But for the Rehearsal and the morning of, all I could think about was what did we need to do next? Was everyone where they needed to be? Was I wearing the right underwear? Where was the right underwear? Did I plan everything out enough? Did I plan it out too much? Could J see my dress if the door opened too wide? The questions wouldn't stop.

I knew I needed to eat lunch, but I just couldn't bring myself to. I think I had like, two bites of a sandwich, but I just wasn't hungry. I was on hyper alert, and honestly, I was probably the most "bridezilla" at that exact moment. I apologize (deeply) to everyone in the room at the time. You are all saints for putting up with me, and I love you.

There's still a lot of wedding day to cover, so I won't bore you with an elaborate, mushy post about my feelings - I'll save that for another post. For now, I'll just say that I've never been so grateful in my entire life. I'm not used to being doted on or being the center of attention, and I basically had a week of pampering before the wedding. So many people gave their time and their talents to make me and J feel so special and loved, and I still can't get over it. So, thank you - from the bottom of my heart.


Monday, November 7

Life Lately {vol. 55}

I've been so behind, but let's try to catch up from the rest of my summer since the bar exam!

My bestie, Kendra, sent me cupcakes to celebrate me finishing the bar exam - how sweet (no pun intended) // The week after the bar, J and I headed to Hilton Head to see my family. I indulged in some cake ice cream when we went out on a boat // First and last time I was in a bikini this summer

One reason I love being "home" is that I have tons of down time and can read! I finished Yes, Please by Amy Poehler while I was there // J on the boat - what a hottie! // J at the farmer's market, looking deep and introspective (while he was really just sweaty and hot, haha)

My mom bought me "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and I read the whole thing while I was home // My dad & I both really love to cook, and it's one of my favorite things to do when I'm back home - it's kind of "our thing," which I love. :)

My mom and I checked out some fancy lip colors for my wedding lipstick, and this is the color we loved! It was a mix of a darker lipstick (which, spoiler alert, I ended up wearing alone on our wedding day) with a brighter red lipgloss over it // I was caught up in that Delta disaster when their computers messed up (J had already flown home, so he was fine), and I got to stay in Hilton Head another day - which was fine, until it took me all day the next day to get home. Ugh! // Also, sorry for the creeper pick, but is anyone else obsessed with "About Time?" It's one of my top 3 movies, and Domhnall Gleeson has quickly become one of my favorite actors. And on my second-to-last flight that day, I sat next to a guy who I swear to God was the American-accented Domhnall Gleeson. It was spooky, but I didn't want to be a creeper since he was on the flight with his wife and kids. So I decided to be even creepier and take a secret picture of him, haha. I had to send a picture to my friend, Abby, and make sure I wasn't insane!

Despite what a disaster it was trying to get back to Denver, I was really impressed with how Delta responded to the chaos. Everyone I spoke to was compassionate, kind, and they brought out pizza and free foods for passengers // The weekend after I got back, two of my favorite people from law school came to visit J and me! Tyler was in town for work, and Jay (and their dog, Ella) came with - I think mostly because they know how much I missed them! We went out for drinks, which was actually the first time we'd gone out since being in Denver // The sign on the Occidental spoke to me

The next morning, the five of us went out for breakfast at Snooze // After breakfast, we headed into the mountains to explore - we ended up stopping in some tiny mountain town to walk on a short trail, because J had to head back into Denver for work // That afternoon, Tyler, Jay and I went to the Denver Botanic Gardens

That evening, the four of us (sorry, no Ella) went to dinner at Sushi Den // The next day, Jay, Tyler, Ella and I headed north to Estes Park while J worked again. I'd never been, but I got to spend all day with some of my favorite people, in a convertible, driving through the gorgeous mountains! // The town itself was adorable - a little kitchy, but really cool! We got to drive past the Stanley Hotel, from "The Shining," which was a dream for me. Jay and Tyler insisted we take one of those old timey pictures, and I'm SO glad they did, because the pictures turned out hilarious!

I had a few interviews this summer! // I went back home to Des Moines at the end of August. Mostly it was for Liz, one of my best friend's, wedding, but I also used being home to get my wedding dress fitted! // The space Liz got married was gorgeous! It was this old, refurbished barn in the country, but they really dressed it up and made it seem special - and totally them!

Liz is married!! She has never looked happier or more beautiful! :) We got to ride in a party bus right after the ceremony and get some drinks in town, which was super fun // Kissing my "date" for the evening, Lauren! Both of our partners couldn't make it to the wedding, and since we were already besties, it just made sense to be dance partners! // SUCH a beautiful and fun wedding!

After the wedding, I drove back to Denver and started getting back in the swing of things! Since I didn't have a full-time job, I was doing work for two law firms doing contract work - basically, they gave me work when they had it, but I was working from home. While doing that, I also went to an employment law retreat for two days! It was a total blast and I learned so much while I was there // Laundry is one of my least favorite things (avoiding doing it as we speak), but it's one of James' favorite things // J and I got our wedding rings in the mail, and he loved his so much!

My wedding band was super special to me - the diamonds and emeralds are from my mom's wedding band, since she's basically upgraded her ring, haha. Since my engagement ring has J's grandma's diamond in it, my rings are that much more special! // Since I was working from home, I mixed it up for a few days and worked from a coffee shop // J and I went to a "Thursday" show during the week! It was a blast, even though my feet were killing me by the end. It's one of J's favorite bands, so part of me wished I knew their music better - but I still had so much fun! I've never been to a show with J that wasn't amazing. What can I say? The guy has great taste in music.

Doing more work! In my experience, real-life law work isn't much like law school, but one of my bosses asked me to basically brief a bunch of cases for him. I was thrilled to do it, because it was just like a throwback to law school! // My little brother, Chase, got J and I these two lamps from our registry! It was weird for my little brother to get me a wedding present (he's an adult???), and I was shocked by how much more "adult" it made our bedroom. At the time, we still didn't have a bed, but it really did made our room feel more pulled together // I got another Stitch Fix in the mail!

J and I discovered pretty recently that the Whole Foods by our house has some pretty killer sushi. This has been a dangerous discovery // I also started drinking some green juices again! I totally forgot how addicting they are - in Concord, there's a juice bar where I got fresh-pressed juice all the time, like when I was hungover or had been eating badly and needed a reset. Whole Foods has a bunch of really delicious local juices, and this Green Zinger is one of my favorites! // Speaking of Concord, both of us have been missing the nachos from Hermanos. They're not traditional, but the Betty and Shirl's nachos (picked jalepenos, chicken, garlic oil, avocados, and baby portobello mushrooms) are what dreams are made of. J had been having a rough week, so I surprised him by recreating these nachos as well as I could! I also made a pickled jalepenos salsa to dip the nachos in.

((Apparently I posted a picture twice - oops)) // I went to a networking event for young attorneys and loved my outfit - it's cold enough now that I can wear boots, and having a nice shirt paired with rolled up jeans and nice boots is basically my perfect outfit // I went to another networking event-slash-attorney education event, and during a break, I went to this really cool "grocery" store with a few friends. It's this building where they have a bunch of different permanent stalls - one is for coffee, one is for meats, one is for breads, etc. I just had coffee there, but I can't wait to go back!

Frozen grapes are the best, and I read A Wind in the Door, one of my favorite books by Madeleine L'Engle. I'm still doing my 12x12 project, but I don't know which book I'm on // J and I headed to Iowa for our wedding! We left a week early so we could relax and get a few last-minute things done. // The cats came with us, and they were perfect travelers!

J and I had to finish some last-minute shopping, including presents for each other! I was really into the illustrated Harry Potter books, but I couldn't justify getting a book that I already owned (despite the fact that I have two copies of Anne of Green Gables and want another copy, haha) // While doing errands, J and I stopped by our wedding venue! // My mom, J and I went to get our marriage license first thing in the morning on Wednesday

Thursday morning, I found out that I passed the Colorado Bar Exam, and I burst out sobbing at the HyVee Market Grill (the restaurant attached to this midwest grocery store). I'd been so stressed out about passing, and had tried to come to terms with the fact that I just didn't pass so that I wouldn't be as stressed out - but it turns out I passed by a LOT. It meant so much to me! // Thursday night was my bachelorette party and J's bachelor party! My favorite part was seeing all these women who I dearly love in the same place, getting to know each other. Plus, it was Harry Potter themed, so it was literally my dream party // My friend Erin was in charge of the games - she made me a scavenger hunt at the bars that was the Marauders Map, with folding pages and secret flaps!

Erin also made us a Harry Potter board drinking game, which was SUPER fun! We didn't get through much, but it was one of the most fun nights of my life. After games, we headed out to my favorite bars in Des Moines, and at the end of the night, met up with the guys // Do my girls know me or what?! They put UV Blue in these fancy bottles and called it Polyjuice Potion. My inner and outer nerd were the happiest // The next morning was ROUGH... but to be fair, that's why we chose to have the bachelor and bachelorette parties and Thursday night instead of on Friday night. We knew we'd need a buffer between the parties and the wedding, haha.

It's been one hell of a summer and fall - and still more to come! We have a TON of wedding pictures already, and I'm really excited to post about it. Until then, I'm just relieved I got through almost four months in one recap, haha.