December 31, 2014

2014, a year of opposites.

After 2012, a whirlwind, and 2013, a year of so many firsts, these past twelve months have been a lesson in balance. For so many reasons it felt like an in-between year, with twenty-seven feeling like an in-between age. I'm not very young, and not very old. Not single, and not a parent. These days, and this year, felt like mine to spend as I wanted, which seemed both liberating and sort of terrifying. There was a lot of work — my three-year anniversary at PopSugar! — and a lot of adventure — three weeks in Europe! — but more than anything else, there was a lot of simplicity. Everyday-ness. A gradual settling after years of so much change. This year, I learned that I like to be still.

January: Award-show madness, PopSugar parties, and the time Zac Efron charmed our office.
February: A quick trip to Chicago and a long weekend in Cabo. Beers with our best friends. BBQs and bikinis in the wintertime. (Re)Falling in love with California.
March: A big stack of books I'd been dying to read. Coffee and crosswords in bed. Sunday brunches. Birthday surprises. Long, hilly, hikes in our backyard.
April: Confetti in my hair, friends at my sides. A picture with Jamie Foxx. The time Andrew Garfield thought I was 18. Giants games and palm trees and ice-cream dates on weeknights.
May: A Disney World family reunion. Matching orange t-shirts. Nieces and nephews and enough popcorn to make you sick. More hikes, more BBQs, sunburns on our cheeks.
June: Spontaneous date days. Late-night dance parties.
July: Writing, writing, writing. A long weekend with friends in Denver, a long weekend with family in LA. Chris Pratt in our office and trying very, very hard to keep it together.
August: Beyoncé. Europe. The return to Oxford, and the adventure of a lifetime with the person I love the most. Paris at sunset, Munich beers the size of our heads, rainy London nights spent walking and talking and ducking into dark, cozy pubs. Castles, Will and Kate's house, morning strolls along the Seine. Buses and trains and a well of gratitude so deep I couldn't put it into words.
September: Baseball, football, repeat. Radley's face during the first game at Levi's Stadium. Sunny weekends, girls' nights, and watching some of the people we love say "I do."
October: Rolling fog and hot, hot days. Drinks on the deck, dinner by the bay. Sunsets and Napa and laughing so hard my stomach hurt while Lena Dunham read her essays aloud.
November: Back to basics, and back to the book. Gorgeous beach days with our favorite people. A fancy party. A trip to Mexico. The most special weekend back at our wedding venue.
 December: Parties and sequins and the latest, most festive nights. Three years at PopSugar! Home, family, and more Portillo's than anyone should ever eat. Hockey games. Board games. Old friends and old home videos on repeat because you just cannot, will not stop laughing.
2014, you were a special one.
Cheers to 2015!

December 8, 2014

home, here and there.

I write a lot about home, both the one I come from and the one I've built, and part of me thinks I keep writing about it because I haven't quite captured how I feel about things yet. For me, it's hard to understand the divide between here and there, and now and then, and where everything overlaps and intersects. I'm still trying to figure out what it means to miss something old while loving something new. How do you describe that feeling? Optimistically nostalgic? Happily melancholy?

In any case, I found some words I've been looking for — someone else's words, that is. A writer named Renee Dale, in a Self essay called "Homeward Bound," perfectly describes all the awful, wonderful feelings that go along with returning to you childhood home, then coming back:

"Sometimes, going Back Home makes me feel understood; sometimes alienated, as if it no longer represents me at all. But this means it worked. This is the job of home: to teach you how to go out and make your own . . . My Back Home self still lives with me here, with her insecurities and melancholy, but she's accompanied by grown-up confidence and gratitude for just how lovely home can be. In this place, I can be who I was then, who I am now, and who I may yet become. This is home, at last."

December 1, 2014

33 wedding-day memories i hope i never forget.

Over the weekend, we made our first trip back to our wedding venue since the big day. We live only orty minutes from the Napa resort, but for whatever reason, we haven't stopped by. Maybe because it feels a bit sacred, somehow, as if it needs to be saved for a special occasion. In any case, we were able to stay the night thanks to a sweet anniversary present, and I was surprised by how surreal it felt. We (of course) felt nostalgic, and as we stood beneath the arch of oak trees where we said "I do," I thought about all the things I don't want to forget about our wedding. And so, two and a half years later...

33 Wedding-Day Memories I Hope I Never Forget

1. Waking up to my mom's voice as she sang, "Happy wedding day to you, happy wedding day to you, happy wedding day, Mrs. Almost Meyers, happy wedding day to you!"

2. All the bridesmaids sipping on canned Sofia Champagne while getting ready.

3. My dad walking in with a shrug and his signature smirk, saying, "Looking good, kid."

4. Stepping into my giant dress, all the girls and my mom around me.

5. The silence, and the sound of my dress rustling against the brick walkway as I approached Radley for our first look. And how he raised his hands up in the air when he turned around.

6. The bridal party packing into a white van to go take pictures, my dress spilling onto Radley.

7. My dad taking my arm to lead me down the aisle, and the clouds parting right in that moment as he said, "And there's the sun, Marie. Just for you." (That was my cue to cry.)

8. Radley's tight-lipped, trying-not-to-cry smile at the end of the aisle.

9. Scanning the crowd and feeling, in the most surreal way, buoyed by our friends and family.

10. Finishing my vows, catching Radley's eye, and cracking up as he joked, half to the crowd and half to me, "This isn't fair. She's a writer!"

11. This line of Radley's vows: "I promise to always find time for our love."

12. My veil slipping off as we made our way back down the aisle, delirious with joy, and Radley catching the veil as it fell. The most perfect imperfection.

13. The biggest, best hug fest in the entire world as everyone came to congratulate us.

14. Slipping away with Radley to take pictures, and the look of sheer amazement on his face as he whispered, "Can you believe this? Can you believe it's really happening?"

15. Joining the cocktail party and laughing at all the drink chuggers.

16. The bridal party's really, really incredible dance moves during the introductions.

17. Swallowing so, so hard as my dad delivered his toast, and the ridiculously sweet look on my brother's face when he gave him a birthday shout out, since he turned 30 the next day.

18. Bursting out with a big cackle-laugh in the middle of our first dance when Radley whispered, "Damn, I didn't realize how long this song was..."

19. *NSYNC playing right at the start, and everyone being just as excited about it as I was.

20. Radley's uncle pulling up his shirt and tying it at his chest, then standing on stage to lead the most ridiculous, amazing "YMCA" singalong in the history of YMCA singalongs.

21. Rocking out to Salt-N-Pepa like our lives depended on it.

21. Cutting the cake, then walking over to the cookie tray, where Radley and I both ate giant peanut-butter cookie sandwiches in one bite. (Nobody does it like Susie Cakes.)

22. The DJ turning to me and saying, "I've had a lot of wild groups. This one takes the cake."

23. Everyone throwing their arms around one another and stomping really, really hard and really, really loudly to the beat as Mumford and Sons's "Little Lion Man" played.

24. My adorable nieces and nephews twirling across the dance floor, giddy and tired.

25. Rapping onstage alongside Radley and my friends, because nothing says elegance and sophistication quite like a bride rapping E-40's "Tell Me When to Go" in her lace gown.

26. Ducking behind a few cars nearby with Kira and Heidi, who helped me (somehow) slip into the shorter dress I'd bought in case of 100-degree weather. (It was about 60 degrees.)

27. My parents stopping me on the dance floor so that we could stop and cry and repeat again and again that this was the best day in the whole world. Wishing one another a happy anniversary.

27. Ben and Eric hoisting Radley and I up on to their shoulders, and Kel swooping in to adjust my dress so that the pictures would all be PG.

28. The DJ ending the night with "Time of My Life," and asking the crowd to form a big circle around Radley and I so that we could have a Dirty Dancing moment... then everyone mobbing into the dance floor as soon as the song picked up, and thinking it was the best moment I've ever had.

29. Running off with Radley to jump into his aunt's incredible Studebaker, then thinking of that epic Father of the Bride goodbye scene as we drove down the resort's long driveway.

30. Approaching the hotel mansion and being can't-breathe, out-of-control shocked by the sea of sparklers in front of me. (Shout out to my mom, who pulled all kinds of strings for that one!)

31. Friends and family dishing out all kinds of emotional, slurred, perfect We love yous.

32. Walking away from it all with Radley and turning back, some of the sparklers still aglow, the sound of everyone we love laughing and cheering and shouting in the distance.

33. Ordering Domino's pizza to be delivered to our suite, because we're nothing if not classy.

You can see all our wedding pictures here, and our wedding videos here.