today’s the day i catch you up

i woke up an hour ago after going to bed at 2.
right now it’s 7:08am and i’m wide awake.

like, totally seriously won’t fall back asleep cause i tried for 30 minutes awake.

i think i just wanted to be up, today will be productive because there’s no other choice… i owe seven people freelance projects today and i’ve been gone the last two weekends at two distinctly different weddings :) and while the weddings were the marriages of some of my closest friends, travel can be tiring in the same way that it’s invigorating. cause ultimately, the awesomeness wins out over any exhaustion that comes from it – i’ll forget today, the waking up early; i will ALWAYS remember standing up with Julie, or Joe and Kendra’s faces when they saw a whole Chicago constituency come rolling on in.

Julie & Chet’s wedding was in rural Iowa.

it was an entirely family affair, totally simple and outdoors. julie’s aunt made the cake, the guys built the arbor… i’m going to keep it short to respect their privacy but it was a lovely, lovely day. wedding in the morning, outdoor frolicking in the state park, pizza hut dinner post-reception and post-getting out of formalwear.

afterwards i drove back to des moines and crashed with my friends paul and laura, who have, like, the coolest marriage ever and i told them so while i was there. they just have so much respect for each other and seem to fit in a lot of little, specific ways. they were great company and graciously put me up for the night :) we had coffee and chatted at Mars cafe in Des Moines – all of a sudden the area around my alma mater is getting trendy, it’s totally weird. modern coffee shops, a tattoo parlor, a little deli, i only graduated four years ago and it’s like a whole new part of town.

between the two weddings was i week i described to my sister as having one foot on the ground between flights…

one week ago i went up to breckenridge for a wedding extravaganza. i somehow left my camera at home so the following photos are credited to the illustrious mandapants…

we stayed at a lodge among lodges, they gather here like giants in the wake of the mountains

and from the balcony i can only imagine what the height of the season must be like

but ultimately we got there with minutes to spare before heading over to the church. the ceremony was intimate, and one of the most personal expressions i’ve ever seen. and let me tell you, i’ve been to my share of weddings, i mean, we’re italian, it’s what we do.

it was really beautiful, the bride and groom wrote letters to each other instead of traditional vows, and one of the bride’s professors actually did much of what would be considered the ceremony instead of the minister, who really didn’t know the couple very well (he came with the church) :)

the reception was equally emotive and stunning – the speeches were, of course, sincere, but the true merit of a speech in that context comes from the tears you shed when you hear something you know you’ve heard before, the ‘we love you’ and ‘we’re proud’ and ‘welcome to the family’… but you’re still (at least i was) bawling my eyes out because it was fresh and felt like the true beginning of something epic.

and then was the party. best picture award goes to this gem

it was a beautiful night, i obviously didn’t know everyone there – our chi-town crew was for sure in the minority – but those who i did know were those i loved, and those i didn’t know were wonderfully nice. if you know this couple, it’s just not a surprise that everyone they know are friendly and interesting.

the night slowed down and it felt like it was over as soon as it had begun. which, you know, i was exhausted so it was satisfying, but you always want to squeeze those last drops out with your friends who you just don’t see that often.

and then you drive home in the morning. back to denver, back to chicago.

and if you’re me, you write several thank you notes for everything that came together for the Colorado Weekend Extravaganza:
• for my friends who put up with my crazy MacGuyver travel itinerary
• to local friends that let us crash friday night
• to the people that loaned us a car all weekend
• to my dear friend Tiago who is an excellent wedding date and a gracious buddy who took me on a walking tour all over Boulder on sunday in search of samba music and had at least as much fun as i did when we instead found a toy shop.

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