Our First Thanksgiving as a Married Couple

This time last year looks a lot like the pictures below. I didn’t take pictures last year, so you know I’m not just reusing photos. Just like last year, Reilly’s mom and sister cooked a ton of amazing food.

This year, Reilly’s sister-in-law brought a homemade pumpkin cake. Reilly and I brought cheeseballs and crackers. We also helped “make” celery sticks stuffed with Redi Cheez.

Also this time last year Reilly and I tried to keep quiet while we made out in a spare room of his parents’ house. This year, . . . it’s harder than I thought finding differences between this year and last year.

Kidding.

The main and biggest difference is that we’re married. I wasn’t wearing a ring this time last year, but we began talking about one. This year, we have an apartment to snuggle in without being sneaky about it.

I was also less nervous this year. And I wasn’t scared that Reilly would break up with me if I didn’t go Black Friday shopping with him.

That last sentence is also a joke.

But the similarities between then and now hold their own: the warm cozy house, excellent food, the friendly, funny and generous family, the super cute man that I fell in love with. It doesn’t even have to be November for me to be ever grateful for the constancy.

Here’s the now-familiar drive down:

Here’s West Mountain, which all the time reminds me of one of the first images from the Little Prince:

Here’s Utah, a place I like most of the time:

Here’s Reilly’s hometown:

Here’s Reilly’s childhood home:

Here’s food and family. Hover over the photos for commentary:

I’m Looking Forward to Friday

Back in March, a couple from church invited me over for snacks and games on a Friday night. The game was fun. We played “Hand and Foot.” It’s a card game, and for the life of me I cannot remember how to play. A single guy friend of ours also played, and we split the teams, boys against girls. We ate cheese and crackers and bean dip and chips. We drank soda and mango nectar and water. We ate a pretty awesome strawberry dessert with whipped cream and some sort of spongy cake. I couldn’t finish mine, because my slice could have docked at 38th Street for Fleet week, it was that big.

The conversation was good. Turned out we learned quite a bit about each other’s personal lives. That’s what happens when everyone is interesting and the cards keep stringing us along until the right moment comes. We also talked a lot about music. By the end of the evening I had scored two albums by Shawn Colvin. I remember seeing her in concert not even two weeks before and being quite impressed with her voice and her writing and her personality on stage. We mentioned a lot of the artists we like, even ones we don’t like, our favorite concerts, our favorite least-produced studio recordings. It was almost snobbery. Almost. It was fun.

The game was good. We girls demolished the guys by over 7,000 points. It was the perfect ending to my evening.

Well, last week, this same couple invited me over for dinner and games again. We exchanged a couple of emails:

From Me:

Hey, [Friend]. How’s it going?

It is about high time to pay you guys another visit. Let’s see. I’ll be out of town June 17-23, but I think I’m mostly free outside of that. June 12? June 26 or 27? A weeknight? What sounds good to you?

I hope everything is going well for you. Looking forward to hearing from you.

The reply:

Why don’t we plan for June 12th?  Dinner and a game or something?

Then I happened to be looking around for music to attend for the summer, because that’s one of the wonderful things about New York City this time of year. I looked at the Central Park Summerstage schedule, and I replied:

[Friend], I feel it is my duty to inform you and [your husband] that a FREE concert is at Central Park Summerstage next Friday, June 12, featuring Josh Ritter and the New York Pops. Would June 13 work for you?

I had heard a couple of recordings of Josh Ritter, and I listened to some broadcasts on NPR, and I knew I wanted more. And he’s one of the artists we talked about a couple of months ago. Plus, free!

The reply:

Yea, so we’re totally going to Josh Ritter.  My mom’s babysitting.

I’m not so sure the 13th will work for us- but maybe we could meet up at Summerstage??  I’m not an experienced picnic packer, but I’m happy to do it! 🙂

Then I said:

Yippee! I’ll be picnicking with some friends of mine, so maybe we can set up near each other. I’ll probably try staking a spot sometime around 6? My number: [not public info, you crazies], so that we can find each other.

Oh, my unemployed life. My friend’s reply quickly followed:

Ohhhh, yes.  That sounds great.  Would you mind staking a place for us, too? (we’re only 2 people!)…. We’re hoping to be able to leave our apartment by about 6….

THANK YOU! P.S. We still want to have you over at some point, though- although it may have to be in July at this point. [She leaves her phone number.]

Then about a half hour passed. I chatted with some people, then I replied:

A friend warned me the weather might not be the best on Friday. We are no longer friends.
Rain during the day, but clear by evening. We should be fine.
 
I’d be happy to stake out a spot for all of us.
 
Yay!

Then, her final reply:

For FREE we might be willing to brave the rain- since that concert price actually fits in our budget and all.

Yay! See you Friday!

So, in about 75 hours, a few of my favorite things will converge:

Friday
Music
FREE Music
Friends – marrieds and singles; uptown and downtown
Picnicking
Potential summer rain

This is going to be SO cool.