I’m feeling down in the dumps and have a strong urge to get my hair cut in a drastic way. I’m thinking bangs, which, as Allan reminded me, would require me to actually do something to my hair every day. Which I think he probably wouldn’t mind.

Now that the happy focus of my life for the past six months – my wedding – is over and done with, I’ve had time to ponder the unfortunate part of my life: my perpetual joblessness. In looking back over my resume, I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t progressed professionally in years. It’s discouraging and disheartening and depressing and all kinds of other adjectives that don’t start with the letter D.

We have a plan. And yes, I say we because this plan wouldn’t be possible without Allan and his love, encouragement and support. In a way I think I’m willing to give the plan a try more for him than for me. Right now I’m so defeated by that part of my life, I have virtually no energy to make any sort of move, let alone one this enormous and one with such far-reaching ramifications. But when I called him at work to whine about how scared I am and remind him about how this plan impacts him directly, he reminded me that we’re a we now. And that we’re going to do this and get through this together.

I’m not trying to be weird or secretive or cryptic about our little plan, but there are a lot of pieces that have to come together to make it possible. I have a lot of work to do and I need a lot of luck. And I don’t want to jinx anything by being specific on here. I also don’t want to be held accountable, which should tell you what a coward I’m being.

We’ve been waiting for forever for it to rain here in Raleighwood, and all of a sudden we’re in the midst of a chain of thunderstorms and it feels like December. The temperatures dropped almost 30 deg in the course of a day and we’re freezing. Allan’s perched on the couch with a blanket wrapped around him, which is, I think, only the 2nd time that has EVER happened.

And in case you’re wondering why I’m not downstairs being all schmoopy and lovey-dovey with my new husband, it’s because when he’s home, I’m able to be on the computer without Murphy begging and pleading for my attention. I try to take advantage of these situations as much as possible.

So, we’ve been married eight days and I still get a thrill out of looking down and seeing Allan’s left hand adorned with a shiny, palladium band. I think it’s the sexiest thing! And my new favorite phrase is my husband. I’ll make up reasons to throw it into conversations. Like, oh, your favorite color is blue? My husband has a blue shirt! It’s pretty silly. But all-in-all, our relationship doesn’t feel extremely different than it did before. It feels more solid, but we were already living together, already had a ‘child’ together (yes, Murphy is our child), already shared our lives with each other. The wedding bands just add an incredible feeling of permanence to it all.

Because my husband is quite the outdoorsy fellow, I agreed to go tubing with him and some of his friends yesterday. Keep in mind that I am NOT an outdoorsy gal, that I’m afraid of water with things swimming in it, and I’m especially afraid of snakes. Despite those things, I climbed into a giant inner tube and floated down the Dan River. For hours and hours and HOURS. What was supposed to be a 90 minute trip lasted over three hours. It was most likely because of the drought; the water levels were incredibly low – only ankle-deep at some points – and it moved very slowly. And it was cold. We all looked like giant raisins with goosebumps by the end of our journey. But the boys had coolers loaded with beer strapped to their tubes, so they didn’t mind the cold much. They were nice and warm and buzzed.

There were about three spots with ‘rapids’ and as a result, I’m bruised in quite a few unmentionable places. If you wanna see how exciting it was, I made a video while going down one of the ‘rapids.’ Oh, and if you’re wondering why the camera ended-up under water, it’s because I had to start paddling with both hands to avoid going directly into some trees.

Oh, and remember that drought I mentioned? Well, at just around the same point that we realized we were only about 1/2 way through our trip (thought the exit bridge was just around the next bend), the heavens opened and a freakish, random cloud dropped freezing raindrops on our heads.

And Murphy had projectile vomit on the way there. On I-40, while driving at over 70mph, our dog started puking all over the car. It was awful, but at least we were able to laugh afterwords. (In case you’re wondering, no, we didn’t take Murphy into the river. He stayed at the house and was completely spoiled by the dozen or so people who came to the party post-tubing.)

So. I’m married. I’m now someone’s wife. It’s surreal.

If I wrote about my weekend in its entirety, it would take up at least a full page on this blog. You’d get down to the bottom the post and be prompted to go to earlier entries. It was simultaneously the longest and fastest three-day stretch I’ve ever experienced. And I don’t know how that happens. At one point, I was looking at my Uncle Billy, trying to figure out when he got to Raleigh. Was it the prior day? Earlier that day? I had absolutely no idea how long he’d been in town because I had no grip on time.

We’ll start with Thursday, shall we? And these will all be high-level overviews of the day’s events, mind you…

Ok, Thursday. My parents came into town and we paired off and did errands; me and my mom, my dad and Allan. In the evening we relaxed, made fillet Mignon topped with crab meat on the grill, and watched football. When going to bed that night, Allan and I (correctly) figured it’d be our last moment of privacy and relaxation before the wedding, so we exchanged gifts. I successfully kept my gift a secret for NINE MONTHS: a pair of engraved Tiffany cuff links. And he got me a beautiful pair of pearl earrings wrapped in sparkly little diamonds.

On Friday the craziness officially got started. Within a three hour period, we probably had 25 family members filter through our house. Grandparents, parents, cousins, siblings. People were sitting on stairs and on the floor, laughing with each other and having conversations that spanned the entire house. It was loud and wonderful madness, and Murphy loved every single second of it because he was lavished with attention and affection. Then we went to the rehearsal, which went quickly and smoothly. Lots of laughs, lots of silliness, but we did what we needed to do.

And then we learned that we were given the wrong order from the restaurant catering the shindig, so Gregory and I went into downtown Raleigh to rectify the situation. I was fixing that issue, Allan was fixing another issue, and all the while our guests were enjoying their dinner and the party that we – the bride and groom – had yet to get to! But once we did, it was fantastic. It was held at our community clubhouse, and we had food inside and tables on the wrap-around deck outside, which overlooks our pool. Fans were whirring, people were chatting, candles were flickering – it was great. At one point the guests went around and told stories about me and Allan. Then Gregory – speaking on behalf of him and ‘Big Ginger’ (Jason) – gave a speech that moved me to tears and made everyone in attendance laugh hysterically when he revealed that it was ME who took him to his first adult book store and enabled him to buy clearance sale porn. Funniest thing: it was Allan’s grandmother who laughed the hardest.

The guests trickled out, then I joined my family and closest friends at the hotel bar – which my father paid to keep open – for drinks until close to 1am. We ordered pizzas from Papa John’s and I sat there, feeling total joy, while I looked at the people I loved most in the world and listened to hilarious stories during which they harassed the crap out of each other. Allan left for our house and I went upstairs to a suite I shared with my cousin, Sara.

I didn’t sleep well, and I woke up at 7am on Saturday morning. I found my mom and some of our friends and partook in the breakfast buffet at the hotel. I figured I ought to stuff myself because I knew I wouldn’t have much of an appetite later in the day. Then I rounded up my bridesmaids and we all headed off to a salon in Wake Forest where they fed us sandwiches and champagne and beautified us. I loved being able to look around the room and see them getting makeup put on or with their hair in rolls of curls. A total treat.

Then it was game time. We headed back to my house (where I found a beautiful card from Allan on my pillow) and got dressed. The photographer arrived and I can’t say enough good things about her. Not only does she take beautiful pictures, she also acts as resident therapist and task master on your wedding day. Anyway. My bridesmaids and my mother helped me climb into my dress and we all rushed around like chickens with our heads missing to get out the door on time. Without a doubt, it was the most stressful time of my entire day. People were early, other people were late, and suddenly we were running out of time… which would have made our entire wedding start behind schedule.

I cried when I saw my father for the first time, and while waiting for the wedding to start, Carrie, our photographer, set-up a shot in which Allan and I could be together without seeing each other. I was on one side of a door, Allan was on the other, we held hands and I cried. And much to my surprise, that was the end of my crying. When my father was walking me down the aisle, I was totally focused on NOT FALLING. And when I finally reached Allan and the realization of what was happening hit me, I was nothing but happy. No tears, no nervousness, nothing but joy. Allan, on the other hand, whispered that he couldn’t look at me or else he would cry, so I kept squeezing his hands while he looked everywhere but at me! And then, just like that, we were married! It is entirely too easy to get married, people.

In case you’re wondering what a married couple’s first conversation is, ours was about how Allan wished he got Dr. Shoal’s gel inserts!

We rushed through group photos so we could get to our reception more quickly. When I walked into the reception, I couldn’t believe how pretty it was. And pretty is the best word to describe it. Soft light, candles, white tables, white chairs, brick, hardwood floors and blue hydrangea. Nothing else. So simple and so pretty. I couldn’t get over it. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor wedding – the DJ even said it was the best weather he’d ever seen for an outdoor September wedding – mid 80′s, no humidity and a star-filled sky. People danced until the very last song, walked around drinking straight from champagne bottles, ate tons of cookies and raved about the dinner. I danced like crazy, had meaningful conversations with NO ONE and kept having to remind myself that I was at my wedding. That this was my reception. That he handsome guy in the ivory tie was my husband.

It was perfect. Absolutely, positively, perfect. I loved every single minute of it. It was the best day of my life.

And on Sunday, my husband (tee hee!) and I got up early to have breakfast with our parents, then we stuck around the hotel to say good-bye to everyone who hadn’t yet left. Let me tell you, I have never been so tired in my life. It hurt to move. And later in the day, I was so tired I started feeling sick. We decided to push through the early part of the day and then nap before the Lady Gaga concert. Helping to make that decision was an invite from my friend, Liz, who was in from California for my wedding. Her wedding is October 10, and we’re going to head to California. But I didn’t get to talk to her much during the wedding, and I know I won’t get to talk to her much during her wedding, so we met her and Shel and Tiffany at a bar to watch the Steelers game. Then we took a 2.5 hour power nap and headed to Gaga. We didn’t want to regret not going, and we’re glad we did it because it was a hell of a show.

To end our wedding weekend on a sweet note, after the concert we went to Krispy Kreme, had doughnuts and milk, and dragged ourselves up to bed.

Yesterday we were still exhausted and accomplished nothing. Annddd today Allan’s back to work and normal life resumes.

I’ve stuck a few pictures in this post. The ones that are really good and decorated with a watermark are the teasers our photographer had ready for us the day after the wedding. Enjoy!