After 11 months of engaged bliss, Andrew and I got married! After going back and forth may times about if we should elope or not, we decided on a small mostly-family backyard wedding. My parents live on 2 and 1/2 acres and have a beautiful backyard, so we knew that would be the perfect spot. We wanted to keep things simple but beautiful, so we really tried to let that lead our decision making.
In the end, we had around 100 people who traveled from Hawaii, New Mexico and even Australia to celebrate with us. We served organic wood-fired pizza from Stella’s Pizza Pie for dinner, and had the best cherry pie and apple pie for dessert. We did not have bridesmaids or groomsmen, just some cute flower girls and a ring bearer for good measure! M dress was $500 and it was hand-made to fit me – and I didn’t even order it until 2 months before the wedding!
Well I’ve actually had the ring since 2015 if we are going for accuracy, but this is the year that Andrew and I are getting married!
We don’t have an exact date nailed down yet, but up until now we’ve always said “We’ll either elope on New Years Eve or well get married next fall”… aaaaaaand New Years Eve came and went and we didn’t elope. Not that I wasn’t tempted. If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you probably know that I’ve actually already been married once before. And needless to say, it didn’t end so well. But to make a long story short, I moved on, tried online dating, went on ONE date and met the love of my life. I know, I know, go ahead and hate me. I have the most untypical online dating love story of all time, but it was actually kind of awesome for me so don’t hate me too much, mmmkay?
I knew that starting a new job was going to be tough – there is always so much to learn – but I really had no idea just how big of an adjustment it was going to be. I have officially survived two whole weeks in the Emergency Room of a major Los Angeles hospital as a Medical Social Worker. It’s been absolutely bat-shit crazy and I’ve only cried twice (coincidentally, the two times I cried were in the same day and that day was this past friday). I have never been busier in my life. There are days where I have been trying to talk on my office phone when my work cell phone rings so I answer that one too and then someone is knocking on my door. It madness but I am starting to get the hang of it, I think I am making a few friends, and I like working with the patients.
Do you ever feel like you don’t know who you are anymore? Like, your life gets so wrapped up in this or that and suddenly you don’t know where you begin and this other thing ends. I’m an expert at getting lost in things. Books, movie marathons, the aisles at Target… but then something always wakes you up. Maybe it’s something a friend says to you in a casual conversation, or your pastor preaches at church, or you hear a particular song lyric that speaks to you. I remember a time in college when I was absolutely certain that Lifehouse’s “Who We Are” cd was written just for me; Every single lyric seemed to hit a soft spot in my bones. Other times it more than a conversation or a lyric, it’s being awoken from a deep sleep from the jolt of an earthquake. It’s a phone call at 2 am that breaks your heart. For me, I’m petty sure it was the boat accident with my family on Christmas Eve. It’s been months now and sometimes it feels like that whole thing was a dream, or a nightmare, like it didn’t really happen. And then other times, the memories of floating out there in the bay, so helpless and small and alone come back to me. The indescribable fear I felt when I couldn’t see my Dad anymore and I honestly thought he might be dead or unconscious or drowning. How hard I I had to fight away those fears and just keep swimming for shore, as car after car drove by without seeing the little floating blobs of yellow in the bay who were waving and yelling for help. It’s absolutely stunning how much time can slow down in a situation like that. An hour of feeling those feelings and thinking those thoughts felt like days. Every single second hung in the air and fueled the fear. I’ve never had so many thoughts in my life. And yet, I was being carried. My boots that filled up with water should have pulled me under the water when we first went in and I was hyperventilating. Instead, I sat there floating in the water, crying and screaming and without any kind of flotation device. I wasn’t even treading water. I was literally just floating, water-logged boots and all. My hair never even got wet the entire time we were out there. I didn’t swallow any water and my eyes didn’t burn with the sting of salt water. The current carried us first into the heart of the bay, and away from the waves in the ocean, and eventually towards the rocks where help would be waiting. We were scared and we were wet and we were tired, but we were ALL OKAY. I was the first one in the ambulance and I remember hearing that everyone was okay and out of the water and I just started crying. i was shaking from the cold, but also from the sobbing and the sheer thankfulness that I felt. I calmed down a bit when Isaac (my brother) joined me in the ambulance and gave me a hug. In an effort to comfort me he said “It’s okay Adriana, we are all okay. We are all safe. Everything is going to be okay” and I just lost it again. Similarly, when I saw Andrew walking and talking with the paramedic, I felt immense relief. And when the EMT’s told us, “We got your Dad, he is okay, but he is a little bit colder than you, so he is going to go to the hospital” I broke down again.
Life is so crazy good these days. And also just crazy. I’m so busy that I can hardly see straight. I’ve been working a lot of overtime at work, which is both awesome and exhausting. Then I rush to Crossfit most nights and drag myself home afterwords for dinner and a shower. I don’t even know the last time I read a book, but I have STACKS and STACKS of them waiting for me. And then there is Andrew. I don’t write about him much, mostly because I feel like I would just sound all mushy-gushy-lovie-dovie because that’s how I feel. So to try to avoid that, I will just say this. Things are good. I never knew it was even possible to be this happy in a relationship. We have a big love.
Well I think it’s about time I tell the full story of Sir Thomas and his rescue. My friend and co-worker, Susy, and I were driving back to the office after a yummy lunch in DTLA at Bottega Louie (fave lunch EVER). We work in South Central Los Angeles, which is a not-so-great part of LA. It’s not uncommon to see dogs roaming the streets and we’ve tried to rescue a bunch before (Susy has been successful – she even carries blankets and water bottles and dog food in her trunk!) but most of the dogs we’ve tried to rescue are too scared of people and won’t let us get near them. But this time was different. I saw Thomas out of the corner of my eye, and the first thing I noticed was how tall this dog was. And then immediately after that, I could see how skinny he was. I mean, he was just emaciated. We pulled the car over and called to him, and he immediately walked over to us.
My Dad looooooves his new nickname, haha! Really though, he’s a good sport. And pretty much the best Dad that ever lived. He can build anything (coffee mug display shelves, for one) and he learned how to french braid hair when I needed it done for dance recitals and choir performances. He taught kindergarten and first grade for over 30 years and was one of the most requested teachers in the district, for his patience and his creativity. Most recently, he agreed to foster Sir Thomas when we had nowhere else to take him, and they’ve become the best of friends. Thomas just lights up and starts wagging his little stub tail whenever my Dad is around. It’s the cutest thing EVER. So anyway, we knew we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate my Dad and the amazing father, friend and husband that he is.
Alternatively titled, How to Incorporate Pet Spaces Into Your Home/Teensy apartment. But the former is probably more accurate.
So by now you might know my story of how Nala came into my life. But if not, here is the short version. I was on my way home from work, waiting to get onto the 110 freeway, and it was one of those on-ramps where only one car can go per green light. So I was waiting my turn and I looked to my left, and I saw a teeny, tiny all-black kitten pressed up against the wall. I mean, she was SO TEENSY. So I yelled OHMYGOD and put my car in park, flung open the car door and scooped her up (because I am not dramatic AT ALL). She didn’t even try to run away, and she clung to me the entire drive home. We would find out later that she was abut 3-4 weeks old. I have no idea how she got to where she was, because she would have had to walk across several busy streets to get to that wall, so as sad as it is to think about, I think someone must have threw her there. I can’t even think about it. I can’t. So anyway, she came home with me and we fell in love the rest is history. Andrew likes to tell me, “She’s the best thing you’ve ever found on the street” and THAT IS A TRUE STATEMENT.
I think that’s what they’ll call me when I’m dead and gone. Or maybe that’s what they already call me. Hey, if the shoe fits… Anyway, I have A LOT of coffee mugs. Like I won’t even estimate a guess because it will probably be embarrassingly high. I love to drink coffee and I love to do it out of a different mug every time – it’s just more fun! Over the past year or so I’ve really amassed quite the collection, and apartment living in Los Angeles doesn’t afford me a very big kitchen (read: I have a teensy, tiny kitchen that is barely bigger than a postage stamp). In this teensy kitchen, I have like 5 cupboards. Okay, maybe 7. But seriously – SO SMALL. So I asked my Dad to build me a coffee cup display that would serve dual purposes of showcases my fab collection and freeing up much needed cabinet space for other important (but boring) kitchen items.
Okay, heading on with the apartment tour. HOORAY for Daylight Savings time and more hours of light! Makes it so much easier to get some good shots of one of my favorite spots in my apartment – my little home office.
So like about a billion other people, I live in a small apartment in the amazing city of Los Angeles. My apartment is actually pretty decently sized (approximately 750 square feet). However, we are considering moving soon and looking into smaller places to save some money on rent. No matter how small your apartment is, you have walls, yes? Unless you live in an apartment made of trees or something (that would be cool!) lets assume you have walls. Even in a teeny, tiny little studio apartment. One of the best ways to get some interior design bang for your buck is with a gallery wall. I love collecting prints from all over and finding the perfect frame to put them in. Aaaaaaand thats what I did for my little home office gallery wall!