Cresting the Hill

Like all important life events, law school sort of ended with a whimper rather than a bang. I mean, there was a pretty significant bang when I typed my last keystroke and slammed my laptop shut. (Probably could have absorbed more of those “taking care of your things” childhood lectures.)

Most of it was an awkward timing issue. My darling friend Kirsten was getting married in Sacramento on 4/28…the weekend in the middle of finals. There was obviously NO way I was missing her working that white dress, so we took our first three finals and then booked it back to California on that Saturday morning, touching down in time to attend one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever witnessed. Seriously, it was fantastic. Kirsten looked beautiful, the venue (the downtown Citizen Hotel) was seriously swanky, and I might have cried during her dad’s speech. For like a second, whatever, it’s not a big deal.

The library. Quite possibly my favorite ceremony site ever.

My photos do not even approach doing it justice, but the whole event enveloped us in the best possible wedding feeling: that you are a true “loved one,” invited to watch as two people celebrate how much they love each other, with all the people that they love, and with crab cakes and dance parties. We even became insta-friends with our table-mates and crammed eight people into the photobooth to take a (quite inebriated) Table 4 picture. I kind of just wish I could live full-time at weddings. Maybe if this whole law thing doesn’t work out, I’ll explore the wedding-planner world. You know, with my abundance of skill with details and returning phone calls. Right.

We peaced out super early for our flight down south, and studied for out last final: Prison Law. Or, my poor husband studied, while I did my best to distract him with photos and pleas to do anything else. You know you’re a horrible study partner when your own mother is sending you texts telling you to stop bothering your husband. Whatever, Pup. Who taught you to text anyway?

And then we woke up at 4:30am on Monday to take that final. I don’t want to talk about it.

Which left only the foster care paper, aka the albatross that has been around my neck since literally SEPTEMBER of this school year. In other news, I received my official placard for Procrastinator of the Century, if anyone wants to come over and look at it. It’s really shiny, because I didn’t want to work on my paper.

Instead, I wanted to drink almond milk lattes at hipster coffee shops in Long Beach. And M wanted to play chess with those gentlemen in the background. So we did.

But obviously we also finished our papers. Isn’t it kind of sad how much you hate your own written work by the time you turn it in? So stoked about the idea to start with, and then I always end up hitting the “send” button with this weird mixture of resignation and relief. And you always have to stand up with extreme gravitas and say, “Well, it’s in the hands of the gods now!” At least you do if you are a child of my father.

M and I were literally actually giddy when we finished. I pranced out of the Starbucks yelping, “We’re done! We’re done!” until M hauled me to the beach to run off my cray. And then we went to Costco and did this:

That’s his guilty face. I don’t think he’s had a churro in like five years.

And we ended the night at Javier’s in Crystal Cove with some of the homies who have seen us through this entire crazy process.

Darren. Get in some pictures.

And that’s all, folks. Until the next graduate degree.*

*Oh man, I slay myself.

A Frozen Yogurt Prophecy Fulfilled

I knew I wanted to marry him.  I told Smash that once, a long time ago, accidentally, during one of our “wedding nights.” We would drive to the drugstore and purchase at least four absurdly expensive wedding magazines and some frozen yogurt, and then spend the rest of the night passing the tomes full of lacy dresses back and forth between us.

“No WAY!” “Would you EVER?” “He is wearing a grey suit or he is not marrying me, I’ll tell you that much.”

There were no men in our lives, only boys. Boys from college. Boys from work. No one involved was anywhere near ready to commit to adulthood, to promise anything on that scale.

But she showed me some dress, some concoction of frothy, brilliantly white chiffon. “Oh, as IF!”  I squealed. “If I wear that, I’ll look so pale, M won’t even recognize me.”

I didn’t even realize what I had put out into the world, but she slowly lowered her magazine and stared at me, smiling. “You just said it,” she laughed. “You said you’re going to marry him someday!”

She was right.

It took us a long time to get here. There were some patches that rocked my serenity, that made me question whether I was ready, whether the path we shared then would translate into a road we could walk on all the way into the future.

I didn’t need to worry.

Our families taught us what we needed: how to build a home for each other out of love, no matter where we are.

The people we surround ourselves with give us strength and a joy I can’t even begin to quantify.

These loved ones have helped us carve that path that I once wondered about into a road I would follow anywhere.

Baby, I would follow you anywhere.

Sometimes the enormity of what we’ve signed ourselves up for doesn’t hit us until much later.

And when it does, we’re not sure we can ever be grateful enough.

Austin

Chillin at the rooftop pool. God, I love you Lala!

I have to wait for the professional wedding pictures to come back, and for M’s parents to bring their camera so we can sort through the memory cards from Maui, but I can document (in the most skeletal way, since apparently we took next to no pictures) the second leg of our honeymoon: Austin–> Chicago–> back to Boston.

Austin was super fun and offensively hot. Lala’s parents have a condo there so they can be close to her sister and the kids, but since they’re out of the country all the time, it was just open, waiting for us to use it as a base of operations in exploring. Well, maybe it wasn’t waiting for us, specifically, but they were nice enough to let us use it.

Brunch at Perla's

We tried to explore a lot of the city, but the issue of not-having-a-car collided with the other issue of it being-over-105-every-day, and so we ended up seeking sanctuary in a lot of air-conditioned restaurants and coffee shops. Which was not at all the worst thing that ever happened, and suspiciously like the best. (See above: mimosas. After which came oysters. After which I got really really excited about coming back to Boston and going to Marliave’s happy hour).

We saw some live music at the Continental Club the first night, an amazing bluesy-country woman named Toni Something. The venue is pretty famous, and apparently Willie Nelson strolls through sometimes and casually takes the stage.The clientele was hilarious, though…we were easily the only people under 40, and among the few under 60. This made a lot more sense once we realized that our cab driver from the airport (no spring chicken himself) had been the one to recommend it as the place to be on a Tuesday night. Whatever, old people can still party (and in Austin, they most certainly do).

My personal faves in Austin (as in, if we lived there, I would be making the employees extremely uncomfortable with my perpetual presence) were G’Raj Mahal and Joe’s Coffee. La demanded (extremely sweetly) that we check out G’Raj Mahal since it’s right outside the condo and she hadn’t made it there yet. Verdict: Resounding, amazing yes, please. Tables are outside, it’s BYOB, and you can inhale curries while debating what on earth the dinosaur skeleton bike contraption on display is used for. Or, you can use that time to convince your new husband of all the reasons he should be a law professor and then open a paleo restaurant in his free time. Results pending on that one.

We also sought sanctuary from the heat at Alamo Drafthouse more than once. Ok, three times. But tell me you’ve come up with a better idea than dinner and a movie (wait for it) together. If that’s not legendary, I don’t know what is. I mean, granted, the food is pretty terrible, so the real benefit here is drinking during a movie. BUT, when that movie is Starship Troopers and you can combine Guinness, a young NPH and people pretending they would ever, ever fly on a spaceship Denise Richards is piloting, well…yes. It was as good as it sounds. (Although I did have to exit reality briefly during the brain-sucking sequences. Apparently I’m even more queasy while schwasted.)

So Austin was great, and is even greater when you can go outside, according to the 50’s-ish guy M randomly befriended in the condo library and talked to for an hour (of course). I definitely tried to approach the heat as if it were a Cross-fit challenge (“I am hot, but I will just work through that!”), but I guess that is a fail. Turns out you just get heat-stroke-y if the temperature is high enough, regardless of your mental state. Good thing there was so much fun to be had inside! (Especially the book La’s mom left in the condo, not knowing that I would try to devour it whole: Emperor of all Maladies. Even I was not woman enough to read all 400-odd pages in 5 days, though. I need to get myself to a library so I can finish it!)