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something to cheer about

Well hello. It has been so long!

But let me explain. Since last I wrote here, the following occurred:

-I wrapped up my job in Grand Rapids.

-Ben and I got married! It was wonderful and beautiful and so very happy. Simply having all of our people congregated in one place was amazing, as, considering my numerous and diverse circles of interaction, this would never otherwise happen. There were small bumps throughout and ordinary moments alongside the wedding magic — but such is life, and so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We had an idyllic evening for our rehearsal dinner, complete with food truck and beer brewed by a friend and perfectly appointed decor in Ben’s backyard.

Rehearsal dinner
And thenthe wedding day! The ceremony was meaningful, with loved ones involved in every step and plenty of tears shed all around. The party was exuberant. Surrounded by people we love, we ate delicious food and danced (well: mostly, our guests danced, but this is fine, because we ate, after all, and I think perhaps you can only ask for so much, even on your wedding day) and talked and laughed, twinkle lights sparkling overhead as twilight fell on the downtown streets of our beloved city.

It was a lovely, lovely blur. I recall snapshots, like going with our photographer and attendants to take photos by the lake in the sweltering heat of the afternoon, and walking down the aisle with my parents, and seeing the faces of people I’d not seen in years, and entering the enchanting reception space — noticing details we’d planned over the past months, perfectly executed by friends and family that day.

And I remember what I thought as we drove away from the ceremony and toward the reception, listening to our guests cheer and whistle and shout as they waved ribbons and blew bubbles: These people are cheering FOR US. They were cheering for our future, and for the fact that this day had finally come. And they were cheering, too, for love and for partnership and for hope. I felt so undeserving, and grateful. I wanted to cheer with them, for all of this goodness, for Ben, for them. But in that moment, in the sudden quiet of the car, all we could say was, “What just happened?” And, “We’re married!”

Which is, of course, the point, and the most important thing: at the end of the day, we were married. And this, my friends, is a very good thing indeed.

-And so, in following, the husband (!) and I honeymooned briefly in picturesque northern Michigan. Summary: big blue skies, good meals, wine tasting, sweet lakeside towns — and absolutely NO wedding planning! Bliss.

Left Foot CharleyBlack Star Farms pizzaHouse on the Hill
-Home again, we packed all of the belongings lingering in our respective living spaces and strategically placed them in our glaring tangerine orange U-Haul U-Box.

-We said numerous goodbyes, wrapping them in happy moments and laughter as we gathered in some of our favorite Grand Rapids spots. We cried a healthy amount of tears.

Goodbyes at Marie's
-In the span of the next four days, we drove from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Oakland, California.

Road trip sunset
-We (partially) moved ourselves into our new home! Our first collective space: further bliss.

-Ben started his new teaching job, I started making a home for us in these new rooms we call our own and we began to explore our new city — all of these ongoing processes.

-Our U-Box finally arrived (yesterday!), and I deposited the bulk of its contents on our dining room floor. Ben helped with the rest after work, and we sat on the futon with gratitude. That dang box is already gone, and I am glad, even though much remains to be unpacked.

It has been crazy. We are exhausted, my mind is still swirling with thoughts formed and unformed and my arms are very sore.

But I will return soon with further thoughts — and food, finally! — but for the moment, I wanted to at least mention the recent highlights, and to thank you, dear friends and family and readers, for your support during all of these changes and transitions. Thank you, thank you. I am blessed.

As these things go, I have plenty to cheer about.

Photographs from the wedding by our dear friend Gerard Van Halsema. All others my own.

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