We had a crazy December. The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year, but they can get pretty hectic. Kate and I are lucky enough to have families that are close, emotionally and geographically, as well as a network of deep friendships, so we had a lot of places to go and people to see before we set off on our big trip.
Add to that the pressure of packing up all of our belongings and putting them in storage, while letting go of the unnecessary or unwanted, and selecting the exact minimum amount of stuff that we will need to sustain us for six months of travel. Factor in the inevitable change of seasons sickness, the miniature freak outs from stress, and the abandonment of any kind of exercise routine or healthy eating and we had an intense month.
It finally caught up with us on Christmas Day. After days of being double booked and running around Long Island to see everyone, we planned to spend the morning with Kate’s family and the evening with my side. But as the sun was setting it became clear that Kate couldn’t keep going. I had to choose between being with my family on Christmas, or staying with her. But then I realized it was a false choice, because Kate was my family now. I had vowed just ten days earlier to “put her before me, and us before everything.” Oh yeah, we also got married in December.
If you can marry your best friend, I highly recommend you do it. And if you can get a hundred something of your closest friends and family together to celebrate, do that too. Our wedding was an amazing time and authentically us. Kate and her Mom, Tina, get the bulk of the credit. I kept telling people that Kate was taking care of the wedding and I was taking care of Kate. I helped with the music, the menu, the rehearsal dinner, quite a bit actually. But it was nothing compared to the design and detail Kate and Tina put in to make every element beautiful. It was moving, meaningful, and we had a lot of fun. I can’t remember a time where I’ve felt more gratitude and love.
And now we are beginning the new year, our first as husband and wife (the words still sound strange to us and make us laugh) by setting out on our honeymoon adventure. We’re planning on touring the country in our little hatchback with our National Parks Pass in hand. We’ll do a lot of camping and cooking, to make the money last and stretch this out as long as we can, but also to be in touch with nature and ourselves. It will be an adventure, with ups and downs, sunny days and storms, new discoveries and getting ourselves lost, and we will do it together. I hope to make it as beautiful and fun and as our wedding, filled with love and gratitude, to keep it authentically us.
If you want to see more of our wedding, check out our wonderful photographer Tom Schelling’s website.