Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honey, You Were Right.

Our favorite NYC brunch spot? The one where we totally lucked out that perfect nyc weekend and got the special table on it's own little deck? Where I fell in love with watermelon + feta salad, and we walked around soho + went into the students art fair?

You were right, it's called public. I forgot.

A Response to Recent Breakups

First & foremost, I feel like I need a disclaimer. I do not know any of these girls, or relationships, personally. Only they can speak to their situations - and I'm not trying to judge what is obviously a heartbreaking & painful time in their lives. I just feel the need to comment on it.

In the past few months, there have been some very public engagement breaks. First, Crystal Harris & Hugh Hefner. Then, Kristin Cavallari & Jay Cutler, followed a few days by Kat Von D & Jesse James. I've also seen (via Facebook) that a few acquaintances of mine who were also engaged have recently decided not to marry. This, to me, is very different than divorce - there have also been many of those as of late. Each of these "break-ups" have struck a chord with me - they were all "out of the blue" to one or the other, and all were either very shortly after getting engaged, or right before the nuptials themselves. As far as I know, there was no cheating involved - that is a different story entirely.

I'm proud of all who called it quits - they did a very difficult thing, risking disappointing many and stepping away from the "hype". They all did what was right for them. But I can't help thinking that these individuals must lack some self-awareness to have gotten to where they are.

Tyler proposed on the 16th of February, 2010 on bended knee (in the snow!) with a beautiful diamond ring. But we had talked about that moment for four years prior to it. When we were first falling in love, first moving in together and really getting to know each other, we gushed to each other how we wanted to spend our lives together. Our first Christmas together, Tyler bought me a very small diamond ring. My mom kept asking what it meant - and although it was significant and had meaning (I guess you could call it a promise ring, but that's not really it...), it was not an engagement ring. We were not technically "engaged". Did we want to and plan on getting married? Yes, absolutely. But we were in no rush - we had already moved in together only 4 months after knowing each other, and I was 19 when we met! Knowing, truly knowing we would be together, we saw no reason to rush things. We would be husband & wife forever, why not enjoy the boyfriend & girlfriend stage a bit?

When Tyler asked me to marry him, I said yes. I said yes not because there was a gorgeous ring in my face, or because it was so romantic, or because I thought I had to. I said yes because I had thought long & hard about this man and our future together. I said yes because we were proving, by our current successful & happy lives, that we could make a life together work. I said yes, and with that yes, was my promise that I meant it, that I was ready, and that I would try with my entire being to be a great life partner, a great wife.

I guess these "celebrities" did not feel the same way. I can't know. But I can't comprehend not figuring all of this out before you buy the jewelry, before you answer the question. It's a question - answer it. And answer it honestly.

On September 9, 2012, I will become Mrs. Hayley Denker. I will legally be bound to Tyler - I will be his, and he will be mine. But, to me, I am already his. He asked - and I said yes. The wedding & marriage is just a celebration of that. The engagement is the big deal - that is the moment when two people decide to spend their lives together. At least, it was for me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chatham.. the first few days in pictures

We had such a great time in Chatham this past weekend! Me, Tyler, my mom & Peter, Brad, Beepa, Dana & Michael all drove down on Thursday. Dana & Michael were only able to stay through Friday afternoon, but we filled the first day with the beach, lobsters, oysters, drinks, ladder ball & sunshine.

I think we are all at perfect ages to go on vacation together - we're all "adults", and it was so great being able to all hang out together.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Greetings from Cape Cod!

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"Having a great vacation in Chatham. We spent all day today at the beach, and have been eating nothing but oysters, lobsters & yummy drinks. Will be posting more later! Happy summer :-)"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Bucket List

Eat lobster
Read a book
Eat outside... a lot
Spend a whole day at the pool
Take Ebony on long walks
Have a picnic at Castle Island
Get a mani/pedi
Make cocktails in Ball Jars
Scrapbook the summer
Spend a whole day at the beach
Eat steamers
Go to Ikea
Sail on a boat
Go on a hike
Build a sandcastle
Scan all polaroids onto computer, upload
Start a wedding idea book
Make a dinner entirely from farmers market foods

My Bridesmaids

I'd like to take a moment to appreciate the six ladies who will stand up for me on my big day - six ladies that I cannot imagine my life without. Whether we talk daily or once a month, live down the street or across the states, have known each other for 18 years for just one, you all make my life easier, more beautiful, and more inspiring with each moment I have with you. You are the women in my life who I can say whole-heartily have my back - and genuinely want me to be happy. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is to me.

Jackie A. - We met in 2006 in the most ridiculous math class EVER - our professor would literally take off points if he didn't like how you wrote your name. I was initially intimidated by her rocker style and thought she was super badass (which she is!) - but we eventually partnered up for a project, and I got to know the sweetheart she is. Throughout our years at UMass, we always made sure we were in at least ONE English class together, and thank GOD for that! We read lots of novels (, really, we did.....), wrote lots of papers (usually the night before they were due...), but most importantly, we got to know each other. We fell in love with a few professors together (Dyson! Hasratian!) and hardly paid attention - I wish I had saved more of the notes we wrote - we filled NOTEBOOKS with silly doodles, boredom countdowns and venting sessions. Our love for Bret Michaels is something no one else understands ;-) Jackie is someone you cannot judge by appearance - I thought she would want nothing to do with me, that I would be too "preppy" for her - but Jackie is loving, outgoing, and kind to everyone. This is a girl who goes with her gut no matter what other people think, and I respect that as one of her best traits. We've supported each other  through rough times, and I think we both know we are in each others lives for a reason. I highly doubt I would have graduated without her... she is kind, selfless, always learning, growing & challenging herself. And she's totally badass.

Jackie B. - One of the only 2 good things to come out of a rough employment at a south end restaurant that shall remain nameless is Jackie. Jackie came in as our intern in 2010 and brought life and fun to an otherwise sucky situation. As Jackie's time in Boston came closer to an end, our relationship got stronger. Summer patio dinners over sangria turned into late nights - I could talk to this girl forever. We have an absolute blast together, and we both seem to genuinely care about the other, even though we haven't been in the same state for very long! We have similar personalities, and we both know that sometime in the future, we will get to live closer so we can really hang out like the pals we are ;-) Her life goals & what she's accomplished seriously blow my mind - and inspire me to reach a bit further than I think I can. We totally have a "weird" bond - we we're somehow linked, and I'm so happy to call her my friend.

Jenn - Jenn was hired as my supervisor in 2006, but it didn't take long for us to be singing "I can show you the world" (with Jenn doing the male parts, of course!) at our place of employment. After we weren't working together anymore, we continued our relationship (that mostly revolves around eating unhealthy but oh-so-delicious food) with mario kart races, board games, lobster trips & playing with Ebony. Jenn, you are my most level-headed friend. When I need an honest, grown up, no BS answer to something - Jenn is where I turn. What's been really awesome about my friendship with Jenn is that through our many dates (and their mutual employment at Trader Joes), Jenn & Tyler have established their own friendship, which makes plans with the three of us that more fun. I had no idea a simple Aladdin song would turn into something so meaningful to me. I am a very energetic, high-energy person, and sometimes that high-energy can be nervous-energy - but Jenn's energy is calming. It's always so much fun seeing Jenn, something Tyler & I both look forward to. And I love finding the random things we have in common, especially music tastes. (Ace of Base much?!)

Jess - The ying to my yang. Born on the same day (2/22), Jess is my pisces twin. We have so many funny things in common, both big & small. Jess & I met in 2010 (I think we just celebrated our one year anniversary! hehe) Jess & I were in a pretty sucky work situation together; this is the OTHER only good thing to come out of a bad job. I have learned so much from Jess - thank goodness we met when we did. She is thoughtful about everything she does, and can also be just as silly as me. Having her at my office made an unbearable situation something I looked forward to - I actually wanted to go to work, knowing Jess & I shared an office. We would get yummy lunches, play music, laugh, and get through the day together. I'm so happy that we've evolved outside of the office - it's so great to see the both of us in better situations! Jess, you are my sister from a different mister. I could laugh with you forever. So glad you're in my life.

Meg - Oh, Meg - I have so much to say. I have attempted to write your little blurb too many times to count. Meghan would do anything for me - and she has. From driving me to the ER at 2am (and not saying one word when I begged her to take me to the one in Cambridge thats closer to my mom rather than the one down the street) to getting me little gifts every Monday to get through my winter blues - this girl is the best best friend a girl could ask for. I mean it - because even if she didn't do all the things she does (and she does SO MUCH), she would still be the most selfless, caring & dependable person in my life. I could go on forever, but there is more to Meg than just being an amazing friend - she will not settle for less than she knows a person can be. She pushes herself - and others - to reach their full potential (which she sees, even if you don't). She is not afraid to be wrong, she just wants to make sure she has thought out all options. She has gone through more than most, but still continues to find beauty in small things, and knows to trust her heart. Her faith in God, life - and me - keeps me going. Meg, you are my hero in so many ways. And I am so glad you kept a napkin from the first time we hung out. Yup. She did.

Dana - I remember when Dana & her twin brother Michael were born - I asked my dad, "What did they name the girl?" ..... I was already pumped to have a girl cousin (who would be living DOWNSTAIRS!!) to play with. Growing up, we were always close - having her downstairs made her more of a sister than a cousin. We put on plays, played at the beach, were able to deal with our "hilarious" family holidays together, played in the snow, baked cookies with our moms, went shopping.... you name it, we did it. But lately, Dana, you are not only my cousin & my sister, but my best friend. Dana understands me to my core. As she's gotten older, she's grown into someone I look up to (even though it should be the other way around!) - she is smart, beautiful, confident, thoughtful and caring. She is not afraid to be who she is - and who she is is fricken awesome. Thank God for Dana - she gets my sense of humor (which is that of a 6-year old) and laughs along with me. Our Meema is so proud of the relationship we've built, huh, Danadoo?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wifey To Be - part one.

Thanks to this article, I am going to select 5 things to do for the next month or two, without telling Tyler, and report back to see if he noticed, and to see if it improves our (already lovely) life.

1. Shaving - I often neglect shaving my legs, so sue me. I think Tyler would really appreciate it if I kept up with smooth legs, and hey, it is summertime. So I will have smooth, shaven legs.

2. Speak Kindly -  This is something that is really important to me. Sometimes I take things out on Tyler, and he is the most important person in my life. He deserves the best version of me, so I am going to make a point of ALWAYS speaking kindly. Even when I'm frustrated. Or PMS.

3. Clean Up After Myself - Yup, I am a slob. Like, in the worst sense of the word. I want more than anything to be that girl who has the adorable (and clean!) house, and I am really going to take that seriously when we move next month. I want Tyler to know I take our marriage seriously - and I want to make a great home for us.

4. Make Special Time For Us- I've notice Tyler wakes up at 8am (when he just got home from work at 1am) just so he can see me. I think I can wait up for him a few nights a week.

5. Pay Attention - To sports, to Trader Joes, to Nebraska, to him. Not that I don't, I just think I can do better.