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This weekend, my beautiful friend Jen, married her person, Mike.  
The wedding was incredibly beautiful.  And also..SO MUCH FUN!
We may not actually be related, but this was a family wedding!

I have known Jen since our very first day in preschool…her home was my second home, we grew up side by side:  Montessori, Catholic grade school, Transferred to the public school in 6th Grade, HFHS &  Pi Phi’s at Northwestern.
Her wedding was a chance to see old friends from every stage in our life..and her extended family who feel like an extension of my own….plus, of course the 3 tables filled with my (blood) relatives who wouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness this milestone. 
Such happy reunions.  Such a happy union.
In his father of the bride speech, Mr. H. shared heartwarming stories and his favorite pieces of marriage advice over his 35(?) years with Mrs. H.  
He was far more eloquent than this, but I wanted to document his sentiments, for they captured the spirit of this celebration!
Sometimes it is more important to say “I appreciate you” than “I love you.”  Say both, often.
Discover your partner’s passions…and support those passions wholeheartedly (although, don’t tag along unless invited) 
Dine together once a week.  It is amazing what can be solved while sitting across from each other, in an environment other than your own.
You don’t have to think alike, but you have to think together.
Flip your expectations into hopes.  Expectations have inherent conditions that if not met leave you disappointed.  To move from “expecting” to “hoping”, your attitude also shifts to one of gratitude.
I didn’t know so much love could fit into one little weekend.
Congrats Jen & Mike!

This weekend, my beautiful friend Jen, married her person, Mike.  

The wedding was incredibly beautiful.  
And also..SO MUCH FUN!

We may not actually be related, but this was a family wedding!

I have known Jen since our very first day in preschool…her home was my second home, we grew up side by side:  Montessori, Catholic grade school, Transferred to the public school in 6th Grade, HFHS &  Pi Phi’s at Northwestern.

Her wedding was a chance to see old friends from every stage in our life..and her extended family who feel like an extension of my own….plus, of course the 3 tables filled with my (blood) relatives who wouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness this milestone. 

Such happy reunions.  
Such a happy union.

In his father of the bride speech, Mr. H. shared heartwarming stories and his favorite pieces of marriage advice over his 35(?) years with Mrs. H.  

He was far more eloquent than this, but I wanted to document his sentiments, for they captured the spirit of this celebration!

  1. Sometimes it is more important to say “I appreciate you” than “I love you.”  Say both, often.
  2. Discover your partner’s passions…and support those passions wholeheartedly (although, don’t tag along unless invited) 
  3. Dine together once a week.  It is amazing what can be solved while sitting across from each other, in an environment other than your own.
  4. You don’t have to think alike, but you have to think together.
  5. Flip your expectations into hopes.  Expectations have inherent conditions that if not met leave you disappointed.  To move from “expecting” to “hoping”, your attitude also shifts to one of gratitude.

I didn’t know so much love could fit into one little weekend.

Congrats Jen & Mike!

humansofnewyork:

"I want to study engineering at MIT. I’ve still got two years until I graduate high school, so I’m trying to learn everything I can. I’m a certified cable installer, and I’m also certified in fiber optic cable, but I still need my copper based systems certification. I practice making cables all the time. I can write the perfect essay telling you how to make cables, but I still need to work on keeping my hand steady. You need a very steady hand when you’re working with fiber optic cables. So for twenty minutes everyday, I work on balancing my tools on my hand, just like this."

humansofnewyork:

"I want to study engineering at MIT. I’ve still got two years until I graduate high school, so I’m trying to learn everything I can. I’m a certified cable installer, and I’m also certified in fiber optic cable, but I still need my copper based systems certification. I practice making cables all the time. I can write the perfect essay telling you how to make cables, but I still need to work on keeping my hand steady. You need a very steady hand when you’re working with fiber optic cables. So for twenty minutes everyday, I work on balancing my tools on my hand, just like this."

We spent last weekend in Arkansas.  My dear friend Bordy got married.  It was an architect’s and art lover’s wedding.
She lives in Boston.  He lives in NYC.  But they chose AR because of this place - the Thorncrown Chapel.  It was the most spiritual space I have ever seen.  I was so moved by this hidden church.
It glowed.
The groom’s parents had passed away…they weighed heavily on so many hearts.  You could feel the love/loss in the chapel.
I noticed the best man hold the groom’s hand as the music swelled before the procession began.  They were lifelong best friends…and it was so clear how much they had been through together.  Ag, the lump in my throat just thinking about it.
Another tableaux I’ll never forget: When the doors in the back of Thorncrown opened to reveal a stunning bride…with a forest behind her, on the arm of her father dressed in Admiral Whites.  It was breathtaking.
Simon and I walked away from the chapel, hand in hand.  I turned back to get one more glimpse.. and it had completely disappeared.  From 50 feet back, the structure became part of the landscape.  #Unity

We spent last weekend in Arkansas.  My dear friend Bordy got married.  It was an architect’s and art lover’s wedding.

She lives in Boston.  He lives in NYC.  But they chose AR because of this place - the Thorncrown Chapel.  It was the most spiritual space I have ever seen.  I was so moved by this hidden church.

It glowed.

The groom’s parents had passed away…they weighed heavily on so many hearts.  You could feel the love/loss in the chapel.

I noticed the best man hold the groom’s hand as the music swelled before the procession began.  They were lifelong best friends…and it was so clear how much they had been through together.  Ag, the lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Another tableaux I’ll never forget:
When the doors in the back of Thorncrown opened to reveal a stunning bride…with a forest behind her, on the arm of her father dressed in Admiral Whites.  It was breathtaking.

Simon and I walked away from the chapel, hand in hand.  I turned back to get one more glimpse.. and it had completely disappeared.  From 50 feet back, the structure became part of the landscape.  #Unity

new quarter

Welcome to q3.
A clean slate.  A chance to hit reset.

Self-assess: What’s working?  What’s not?  
Resolve to change
…then actually do it.

It was easy to identify my resolution as we enter the back half of the year: I’ve got to take better care of myself.

I’m not talking afternoon spa visits and cucumbers on the eyes.  I need to, like, go back to basics.

Eat food.  Drink something other than coffee.
Sleep for reasonable chunks of time.
Breathe.

(A low point:  3 weeks ago.  I wedged in a trip to the urgent care clinic between a breakfast meeting and afternoon all-hands.  I had a violent reaction to some antibiotics & was struggling to breathe.  They treated me and when the nurse told me I needed to stay for a few hours of observation…I informed her that  wouldn’t be possible and checked myself out.  Clearly not a best practice.)

I have fallen into this habit where I let my stress escalate to levels directly proportional to the work on my plate….the problem with that approach is that stress doesn’t actually solve any problems.  In fact stress (exhaustion, dehydration, etc) just makes it harder to be awesome….so it is time to get out of my own way!  

9 days into this quarter and I have already felt a shift.  And since any effective goal has to be actionable, here are three must-do components in my plan:

1. Eat superfoods for breakfast (This week a poached egg on a bed of spinach & kale has been like rocket fuel for my body)

2. Conduct one meeting every day while out on a walk….It can be my planning time or a 1:1 with a teammate, but I have to force myself to get out of my seat and move.  A little air & sunshine on my face will do my soul good!

3. Prioritize home repair efforts.  It has been nearly 4 months since our home was destroyed and I have not had the wherewithal or time to drive this project with much tenacity.  This quarter I am dedicating myself to all things home with the goal of being back home by end of September.  Being unsettled has been more stressful than I could have imagined.

I suppose I share all of this with you guys in the spirit of keeping myself accountable.  But also because I can’t be the only working mom (dad) (human) to have unintentionally let myself fall so low on the priority list…I’d love to hear any thoughts/tips/advice on how you manage yourselves and a schedule that is bat shit crazy!

#bestlifeorbust

+5 little good things

  1. Over the holiday weekend, I did not receive a single work email.  Not one.  I was really happy (proud?) that everyone took the opportunity to unplug.  Myself, included.
  2. The way my husband grabs my suitcase for me whenever we encounter a set of stairs on our travels.  He tries to make my life a little easier…in all sorts of ways…I love him for that.
  3. Veep.  Great show.
  4. The dog who kept dropping his rubber ball at Felix’s feet at the dog park* this evening.  He did it like a dozen times.  She would laugh & chuck it as high as she could….and the little jack russell-ish guy would jump up and catch it mid air.  Fee was impressed.  (*We didn’t get a dog or anything…a walk to the dog park is one of those free/effective ways to entertain city kids cooped up in a highrise.)
  5. A walk home from the office.  Sunshine on my face and a 20 minute chat with my mama.  It is a good way to end the work day.

probably not a miracle

On Sunday, I wore a white blazer to a bridal brunch. I debated not wearing it, because I knew I wanted it clean for a client meeting the next day. Wouldn’t ya know…I sure did put my arm in chocolate or syrup or something at the party.  A gnarly sleeve stain.  I was annoyed about it when I got home and tossed my jacket on the bathroom counter.  (I know I should have treated it…but both girls were pulling at me).

10 hours later.  I spotted my spotted blazer while brushing my teeth before bed.  I said a micro-prayer (Jesus, If you are looking for an easy-win, I would love if you could make that stain disappear)…and then I immediately retracted it and felt guilty for even bothering god with a sartorial request.  But when I picked up the white jacket and wiped at the smear with a wet cloth…it came off.  All of it.  It was inexplicable…or, ya know, miraculous.

I turned my eyes up and said Thank You. 

[A related story]
I was young, maybe 4 or so. I remember dumping out the contents of our toy-chest onto my bedroom floor - the toys were everywhere.  I knew I was supposed to clean-up after myself but decided instead to just shut the door behind me and go get a snack or something.  After due procrastination, I headed back upstairs -  negotiating with God as  I marched up each step to the unholy mess I had left. 

I couldn’t believe it.  My room was clean.  But I hadn’t cleaned it.
Neither did mom.  Neither did sister.  
I have thought about that afternoon often over the past 28 years…wondered if young Emily just misunderstood something…or did God really clean up my toys?

It seems like such an unlikely miracle, but that is my favorite of all possible explanations.  And the one that makes me feel most loved.  

humansofnewyork
"I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago— just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care."

humansofnewyork

"I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago— just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care."

Oh and in case anyone was wondering (you weren’t, I’m sure)…
I did not win the family reunion egg-toss this year.  For the record, neither did Z + Fee.

Oh and in case anyone was wondering (you weren’t, I’m sure)…

I did not win the family reunion egg-toss this year.  For the record, neither did Z + Fee.