I realize we are now a week post holiday chaos and the New Year has started to fall into stride, trotting along, a foal in the spring, bright and new and unexpected; but I can’t help reminisce on the romance, life and joy that the year we just tucked, gently, into the past holds.
As the count down rang out and voices echoed excitedly through the cold wintry air, a dear friend wrapped his arms around Drew and I and exclaimed, “Two thousand twelve is going to be the best year ever!” While there have been some low points, the hills far out numbered the valleys. I would even venture to say, it was one for the record books… shocking I know… but it really was that good.
Here is a little (or big) recap for you-
Drew and I ventured to California for the first time ever.
We celebrated Drews birthday with a stay at The Public, dinner at The Purple Pig and a day of shopping and aquarium gazing in Chicago.
Another trip to CA, this time to find Drew a place to live. The reality of our lives existing apart was incredibly hard to face, however, there was something we both knew in our in most being. This was the beginning, not the end, and something great was just around the corner.
We celebrated being together for 3 years straight (we dated twice before this time around mind you) a true feat for both of us and our commit-a-phobe nature.
Before the month could come to a close Drew packed his bags, boarded a plane and flew to the west coast.
Saint Patricks Day weekend came and Drew arrived back in town just in time for all of the festivities. Cook outs and dancing in the living room followed by The Black Keys and GETTING ENGAGED the very next day! That is a story I will tell you all about very soon… lets just say Drew is a sneaky devil and I was indeed surprised.
More travel to California, photo shoots and Feast Day. Celebrating love and friendship with so many held dear for one day, twice a year, around food, drink, and many many toasts.
Wedding preparation began… we looked to Colorado and tried to find a mountain venue to celebrate our marriage.
My dear friend Stephany came to live with me for several weeks. We bonded over food and wine, danced, sang, and went to the beach to watch the late spring waves crash on the freshly raked sandy shore.
I ventured to Chicago and found my wedding dress.
On May 31st as I applied colour to my last clients auburn tresses my GM came to me and said, “Kelsey, there is someone at the front desk for you”. I turned to see Drew, a smile from ear to ear, standing at the front of the salon. We were supposed to meet in Denver 4 days later and he had surprised me!
Drew and I venture to Denver, realize we aren’t supposed to get married there, made phone calls decide on a magical location in Grand Rapids and got started on our wedding invitations. Ate too much amazing food with equally as amazing people.
During this time we found our life motto, “It doesn’t work until it does”, a truth that sticks to your ribs.
Tubed down a river with friends, discovering Star Water, and helping Caton plan a way to ensnare Kate’s heart (success was achieved and they are together to this day). I worked on an international brand ad campaign and surprised Drew in LA to help sooth his home sick heart.
Drew flew home for his life changing 3 day bachelor party which included running through the woods in their briefs, camping man style, a posh dinner with full wine pairings, a hotel stay, and dancing the night away with all of our friends… the word epic does indeed come to mind.
I had my bridal shower and discovered that Pancake-cake is the most incredible thing to ever be invented.
Wedding prep took over my life, I rediscovered just how amazing my friends are, their love and support kept me sane in those days to say the least. I had my bachelorette parties… more like ladies weekends. There was hotel and cottage stays, wonderful food, advice given, and copious amounts of the OC watched, magical? I would say so.
The weeks moved faster, I celebrated my final day at the salon with all of the amazing people I worked with.
Wedding week arrived. Chaos is an understatement of how we felt. Drew and I mentally prepared and took each day in stride. Decorating, filming, recording, toasting, laughing, and finally waking on the morning of our wedding with the knowledge that after that day we would be together forever.
The day went more smoothly than we could have dreamed, the magic of it gives me goose bumps even now. The story is coming in full very soon I promise you… it was nearly too good for words.
Hugs and tears followed us as we left Grand Rapids behind and ventured across the country to our new home.
Adjusting to our new environment, travel to Mt.Reiner for a wedding of loved ones, learning to simply be, and starting new life projects (this lovely blog you are now reading being one of them). Danny entered our lives and we couldn’t be more grateful. He showed us around LA and convinced us to move into the heart of the city, to say we owe him one is putting it lightly. If we had ended up in Newport I think I would be dead… no offense to those who are of the coastal gem, but sweet lord above is that city made of surf bums and silicone!
I became a year older, Drew and I worked on a major chalk project together and had a blast doing so! We hunted for an apartment in LA and prepared to go home for our wedding reception.
The trip home was both wonderful and exhausting. I worked full time while we were there, finalized party plans and threw the bash of the season. Drew truly made that party happen, he hung lights and set tables like a champ! Bottles were emptied, thousands of photos were taken and DJ ZRocca made us dance until the wee-hours of the morning.
We moved into our new place and began to explore the greater Los Angeles area. Our appetite for all the city had to offer became ravenous as we found gem after gem of local cafes and restaurants.
Jill came to visit and made my heart hurt for all of the friends and loved ones back east. However, she and I grew closer over our demented sense of humor, love of pop culture and hours spent in pillow talk.
Drew and I faced struggles of feeling isolated but good friends came to our rescue over the holidays and we spent Thanksgiving surrounded by incredible people.
… We fell in love with Downton Abbey and spent many a night with episodes rolling one into the next to ease our homesick hearts.
We ended November and brought in December with a little glamping trip in the living room, Christmas lights aglow and the Downton Abbey Christmas special playing.
Holiday cards were placed in the mail, a Cortez brunch became a tradition and the Renegade Craft Fair came to town.
Pine and pomegranates filled our home and we learned a lot about grace and love for each other and those around us.
The week before Christmas we decided to surprise those we loved back home with a little visit for the holidays, which was the best choice of all time (I will regale you will a full recap very soon).
We rang in the New Year surrounded by everyone we love, in a city deceptively charming, all the while cheers rang out and hearts exploded like fireworks from the joy and hope that only a New Year can bring.
And so, here we are… one week in… and I must admit that feeling of joy and hope has lingered. This year, two thousand thirteen, has something about it, I can feel it in every fiber of my being, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Cheers my friends! May the passion and spark of life fill you today, tomorrow, and every day after that.