I have been AWFUL at keeping up recently, so I owe you girls a milllllion apologies. Please forgive your favorite Jessie?
Life has been just nuts, and I feel as though I’ve sped through the last month entirely without really stopping to appreciate how fun it’s been. I’ll give you guys a somewhat quick round-up, and pause for the really interesting stuff (like Abby’s engagement party #1)!
I guess it all starts post-New Year’s Eve. As far as work goes, January and February are the height of recruiting season for our global design internship program. We make final selections on local interns, review projects for domestic schools that aren’t as local, and choose which international students will be interviewed in person (by my boss, who travels to Europe for this purpose every February).
This year, we are involved with a bunch of non-NYC domestic schools, and I’ve been the counterpoint for those relationships. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to get everyone on the same timeline! Totally rewarding though. I really like working with college kids, and I love how excited they are when they realize they’ve earned this amazing opportunity.
In the midst of this, I’ve managed to make a new friend. There is a redhead who shall remain nameless (you never know who will happen on this blog; I’ll email you all who it is privately) from our Woodson days who hit me up somewhat recently, suggesting we get drinks since we both somehow ended up in New York. He planted the seed a couple of weeks ago, and we met up on Valentine’s Day. More on that in a minute.
I took a break from intern stuff for two mini trips over the last couple of weeks. The first was to Wisp in McHenry, MD for a few days of snowboarding! I was so excited, as I hadn’t been on a board in a few years, and remembered really enjoying it. I went on this trip with my friend Kayla, her fiancee Tony, and a group of their friends (most of whom I ended up liking immensely).
We arrived at Wisp on Thursday morning (I’d taken a couple of days off of work), and exited the car- it was -3 degrees *before* windchill, you guys! BRRRR!! We headed right into the house and started unpacking all of the snacks and booze we’d brought with us.
That first night, I won the drunkest-person-here award, falling asleep with my head on the kitchen table in the middle of a game of Jenga. Apparently Tony bent over to double check I was still breathing more than once, I was sleeping so soundly! I told him later that that trait in particular had nothing to do with my drunken state, actually- it’s a gift! I also was apparently holding hands under the table with this VERY cute single guy who was also on the trip. Wish I remembered that part.
I actually felt great the next morning (my lovely friends had been forcing water down my throat), and I managed to hold it together the rest of the trip. I did my first beer bong, went snow tubing for the first time, and spent a looooot of time in the hot tub. The girls didn’t end up boarding at all the whole weekend though, it was so cold. I was ok with it, and had such a blast regardless.
After returning to the real world in good ol’ NYC, I more than made up the time I missed- I stayed extra hours at work, dedicated more than a few hours to the gym, and spent hours at home just relaxing. I knew I’d need it, since I was in the process of adopting the newest addition to my small household- a 6-month old kitten named John!
I brought John home a couple of days after that trip, and he is just a ball of energy. I had been planning on renaming him, but that little ass hole exited his case as soon as we entered my apartment, looked up at me, purred, and then started jumping around my apartment examining everything! We’re not talking like the normal, meek, exploration associated with young cats, but the I-own-the-land demeanor of an already-spoiled child. Seeing this, it was very clear that my cat was more human than animal, and so John he remained.
He’s settled right in, and as he gets more comfortable, it’s like his energy builds rather than subsides. I love him, but I’m in the process of learning how to discipline him when he bites and bats at humans rather than toys. My favorite of his more recent habits? He whacks at my face (claws retracted- thank God my kitten knows his mom) to wake me up every morning at 7:30 or 8. He’s young still, so he’ll learn.
I picked John up on a Friday evening, and spent the entire following weekend with him. I thought this was a great plan…until I went back to work on Monday morning. By Wednesday, he’d be nice for 10 minutes when I got home after work (until I’d snuggled, fed him, and he’d come back for a minute) until he’d nip at me. Took me a couple of days to realize he was mad I’d gone back to work! He’s very playful and active, so while I love him, I can’t wait til his cute little butt calms down a little. I’m trying to spray him with water when he does something bad, and it seems to just be making him afraid of me, which I hate! Intro to being a parent, I guess.
A week after John’s first weekend in my apartment, I was back in DC to throw Abby’s first engagement party! As you all know, she will have two- one meant for just friends, hosted by myself and Abby’s other MOH, Jeanette, as well as one meant for bridal party and family, hosted by Adam’s parents.
The “friends” party, as it will from here on it be referred to, was hosted at a wine bar/coffee house in the Federal Hill section of Baltimore. It’s called Metropolitan, and it has tons of personality! I’m so lucky Jeanette knows that area so well, because I don’t know what I would have chosen location-wise having as little knowledge of the area as I do.
Jeanette was unfortunately unable to make it to the party itself, as she had a family emergency come up a few days before. Everyone missed her a lot, but I did express her desire to be there in a mini-speech I gave while kneeling on a bar chair halfway through the party. Now, I know you all are thinking “A speech in public! So un-Jessie-like.” Well, don’t you guys worry- I did manage to almost fall over, so I had the Jessie-like bit COVERED.
Abby’s other bridesmaid, Carrie, was super helpful in setting up an hour before the party. I brought sparkly string, photos of Abby and Adam together, photos of them with friends, and little hearts to hang up! The space was already so cozy and homey, but I wanted it to feel quirky and personal too.
I added in a couple of extra surprises- I baked these banana funfetti cake tarts, and topped them with the chocolate mousse I like so much, and Carrie made these AMAZING Oreo cupcakes. You guys, when I say amazing, I mean ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. I think I had 3, and I was still craving more as I left the party. I also brought a ceramic pug bowl (we put heart-shaped chocolate candy in it!), and a big pink scrapbook. Knowing Abs, I left the book empty- we all know how she loves chronicling her life, and I thought this would be a nice place for her to document her wedding planning journey!
When I got back to the city, our old Woodson friend was back in touch with me to grab a drink! We were supposed to go either today or yesterday, but ended up meeting earlier than planned- Valentine’s Day Night. He’d been out for a couple of hours already and was presumably a little tipsy, while I had just finished a workout. I figured “why not,” and met him at a bar next door to my first NYC apartment.
I had a good time! This particular gentleman was in the “in-crowd” in high school, and I’d actually never spoken a word to him before this past Friday! We had a blast telling each other how our DC group of friends are the same as they were 10 years ago, and how grateful we were for that.
Our New York experiences have been a little different, in that I grew up a little before moving here and lot afterwards. Any growing up this kid has done…well, it seems like it hasn’t really happened in the city. He paid for my drinks and flirted a little, and I assume there will be an extension to this story at a later date; I promise to keep you all posted. It was interesting, to say the least, and I’m curious to see where it goes.
I know this all sounds fun, but the last few weeks were unfortunately not without their downfalls- my other friend who was engaged- I was in her bridal party as well- her fiancee left her on Thursday morning. Apparently, he told her that there were too many things they don’t see eye to eye on, and that they shouldn’t be together…then he packed up his things and left. He followed up this revelation with an email to tell her that his move was permanent.
While they *had* been having small tiffs regarding the costs of certain things associated with their upcoming wedding, this was largely out of nowhere, and my poor friend- who has dated this guy for 8 out of the last 10 years- was blindsided. They were about to move into a new house with a friend, they owned a car together, and he makes considerably more money than she does. I can’t even begin to fathom the devastation she is feeling, much less the accompanying necessary complications that only add to it.
I want so badly to be there for her…and yet, what can I really do? I’m totally helpless, and this poor girl’s life is just in tatters. It’s amazing how things can change so quickly, and it makes me so grateful to be self sufficient. I can’t guarantee myself that I will never endure another heartbreak, but I can guarantee that I will always be self sufficient enough that the complications won’t be *quite* as complicated.
Anyway, I wanted to do something nice for her and couldn’t quite figure out what. I wasn’t sure just how much good chocolate or flowers would do on Valentine’s Day- felt hokey and like it might make her feel worse- so I put together a care package of new clothes and some baking stuff. I’ll see her in a couple of weeks when I’m back for Abby’s engagement party #2, and make sure she gets some extra TLC.
I didn’t manage to get a photo of Snowmageddon 2014 2.0, but it was about 1.5 or 2X what Abs showed in her photos. I got pelted in the face with ice (ICE) on my way into work on Thursday, so, there’s that.
I miss you all, and I’m SO excited to see [most of] you in March!