Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Francine turns two
September 26, 2012

Things spiraled from we definitely don’t need a color scheme (it’s a dog’s birthday party, for fuck’s sake) to what about yellow? (so fresh, so modern, so cheerful yet understated) to  PINK EXPLOSION in a matter of minutes.

But then again, you probably saw that coming anyway. 




Around the time we put her in her princess crown and Dave lifted her up and we all sang to her, I started to feel like this could possibly be the most pathetic spectacle I’ve ever orchestrated. So, um, there’s no photos of the actual party.

But suffice it to say, everyone enjoyed the pink lady cake.

God help us all if I ever have an actual daughter.

and again with the honesty
August 18, 2012

I’ve been feeling a little bit down recently.

I’m confident it will pass soon.

Occasionally, I get these moments – zooming home in a cab through the lights of the city, laughing at a great joke over dinner in Brooklyn, lapsing into gossip with Meg, feeling Dave’s hand on my back after a few glasses of wine – where it feels like I’m coming up for air.

I’m confident you’d rather hear about those than the ones where I feel like I’m drowning. (From what I gather from Dave and my mother, I get kind of annoying when I’m sad.)

Fortunately, I have some photographic proof from today’s traipse through Central Park, which fell squarely into the Very Happy To Be Here category.


Life really can’t be that awful with that blonde around.

beach day
August 15, 2012

It’s gotten to that point in August where it feels like each and every New Yorker is dashing off to the Hamptons or Newport or, for the ambitious, the few, the Red Sox fans among us, the Cape, leaving only hot stretches of pavement and dripping air conditioners and me behind. After weeks of crying over the parade of beach shots popping up on my Newsfeed, Dave and I finally got our act together and took a day trip to Sandy Hook.

We gathered up two New Yorkers’ idea of provisions (two everything bagels with lox spread) and headed downtown on the 6.

It’s a fun little walk from the subway to the ferry dock, especially if you don’t get down to Wall Street much. Dave, for example, had trouble identifying the stock exchange and mistook the crowds of Asian tourists photographing it for Occupy Wall Street protestors. There’s a chance he hasn’t left the hospital, or at least read a newspaper, since November. Getting him far away from York Avenue suddenly seemed crucial, though I admit fleeing to Jersey did strike me as a bit ironic and disturbing.

I chose to ignore that feeling and board the ferry, which proved surprisingly nice and super convenient (although for $45 for a little chug down the coast, it better be.) In about a half hour we were pulling up to that slightly sunnier, slightly tackier state to the south.

We packed onto a school bus that chugged down a little coastal road. A scenic bike path weaved in between the street and the ocean. Next time, I’d definitely rent bikes…but then again, I would have missed bus conversations like this gem:

“Is this bus going to Gunnison Beach?” – guy who would in five minutes prove himself to be a major creeper

Crucial background info: Gunnison Beach is the “clothing optional” beach at Sandy Hook.

Five minutes later:

“I was told this bus was going to Gunnison Beach.”

“You have to stop at Gunnison Beach.”

“Gunnison Beach is the best beach.”

Fellow, less creepy looking patron: “Why is it so good?”

“It’s just the best,” the creeper said.

I think by “the best,” he means “has lots of tits.”

Sadly, this pair did not make an appearance, as we hopped off at the island’s South beach. It was beautiful and packed and man was I happy clothing was required.

We napped on our towels (which are super gender normative, I know, but whatever) and floated in the cool water and I felt more relaxed than I have in a long time.

It wasn’t East Hampton, exactly. But it was just fine by me.

what happened to all those cake stands
August 9, 2012

You may recall the tale of my mom, the anti-mother-of-the-bride turned rabid cake stand collector.

By the end of the search, the wedding day seemed to be besides the point. But we still had a party to throw, so out came all the glass.

At the day after brunch, we gave some cake stands away to the most special women in my life (though, admittedly, we did not give them the most special cake stands.)

We lost a few to a tragic rolling cart accident while loading up the car.

One of the tiniest cake stands – the one that sat on the sweetheart table where Dave and I had our first meal as husband and wife – is now in our tiniest of New York City kitchens. Its pattern is called “Good Luck” and it was typically given to newlyweds in an effort to send them off into their life together with just that.

In recent weeks, Mom’s managed to carve out a few more from the collection; they’re currently sitting on the dining room buffet, labeled and catalogued, waiting to be distributed to more ladies we love.

But of course, at least 15 remain in her kitchen cabinets, displacing china and stemware that I don’t foresee ever regaining their spot in the limelight. We are, very firmly, cake stand people now.

say cheese
August 8, 2012

We had a photo booth at the wedding.

Everyone seemed to like it — it kept the children busy, it produced some adorable photos of Dave’s grandfather wearing a king’s crown and a huge grin, it nearly got Amruta a date with the hipster operator, A.J. A lot of good things came of it.

But this, by far, is the best.

the aftermath
August 7, 2012

I was going to tell you all about the day after the wedding, in which I woke up before Dave (unheard of!) and bounded up to my parents’ room clutching a copy of the New York Times to find my dad with his hair sticking straight up and my mother still in bed at 8:30 at the morning (unheard of!) and how I sat on the corner of their bed and we talked about the evening and kept saying things like “just perfect” and “wonderful” and “lucky, lucky, lucky.”

But dude, even I am getting a little bit tired of these 1,000 word-plus wedding-related blabs.

So instead I will just give you the highlights. I will tell you that I did not get that cheeseburger, sadly, but I did eat an entire plateful of bacon at our post-wedding brunch.

A few pieces ended up on this dress and left distinct grease stains but I didn’t really care.

At the brunch, I flitted from table to table, taking in all these people who had come so far to see us get married, now in the rosy daylight.

Neither the boy who vomited on the bus nor his entourage made it to the brunch. Evan made it, but only after enduring a car ride with my aunt and uncle (both in their 70s) yelling at their GPS. Sometimes watching your worlds collide is poignant and stirring and sometimes it’s just hilarious.

Dave and I took the train back to New York, lugging with all those outfits I had insisted on bringing for no apparent reason, and ran into Tracey and Aaron and Evan too.

We got back to the apartment and ate the same sushi I’d been eating nearly every night pre-wedding and sat in our same living room, but everything felt different. We read the wishes and congratulations everyone wrote on their cards and I cried.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the post-wedding buzz or the promise of Hawaii the next morning. But man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt as happy as I did that next day, when it all started sinking in.

Previously: the pre-wedded state, Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 1; Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 2; Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 3

Next: the honeymoon, duh.

Rach & Dave get married, part 2
August 3, 2012

Once we leave behind the packed lobby and beseeching relatives, and it’s just me and Dave, I’m a very happy girl.

We wander down the streets of New Haven and soon learn that my cathedral-length veil is serious business.

It has a mind of its own and is kind of hamming it up for the camera. Instead of staying behind my head, where it seems to me veils generally ought to reside, it gets all brash and needy and  starts tangling up in Dave’s legs.

My veil is an attention whore.

It’s awkward for everyone involved.

Once the veil is put back in its place – literally and figuratively – Dave and I get back to our jobs: walking around and looking at each other adoringly.

Eventually we get to a big courtyard — Yale’s Old Campus, where I partied with Meg many a night freshman year.

All those girls I forced to wear mint green show up, along with our families. We fit in some group shots in lightening speed and round out the hour with the proven Three-Prong Approach to Solid Candid Photos in mind: giggle, smile, walk. Repeat.

We head back to the hotel and board a bus that takes us to the totally non-exclusive club where we’re holding the wedding. The veil gets all demanding again (seriously, whose wedding day is it?) and I require assistance to de-board.

We set up camp in the bridal suite and the girls immediately start fretting over the veil and the skirt of my dress. All that tulle has gathered dirt and debris and possibly even some baby animals after the outdoor photo session and the bridesmaids are determined to make it perfect before my walk down the aisle.

They start out handling everything in a pretty PG manner.

But soon they’re all up in my business. They’re under my skirt, attacking every layer. Someone finds a lint roller in the bathroom baskets. The photographer says she’s never seen anything like this.

I’m initially a touch skeptical, but soon feel nothing but pride and gratitude as my best friends swirl around and below me like little cleaning nymphs. I remember all the times they’ve been there for me, through breakups and hangups and all manner of catastrophes — now, including a dirtied bridal gown. My love for them has never been so palpable or infinite.

Next up is the signing of our ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract. We get a few family members arranged in the room, and we sit, and we wait. The rabbi – the only guy required to get this show on the road – is late. I’m a little panicky and implore my mother to perhaps just “reach out” to him. She scorns my PR speak and brings in the wedding coordinator, who tells me clergy of all denominations are inevitably late, too busy answering to a higher power and all that to pay attention to the time.

Lo and behold, he soon arrives, and we sign the small but beautiful papercut document with an intimate group watching.

Two of our old friends act as our witnesses, including my dear friend Meriel, who used to eat dinner at my family’s house every Tuesday night growing up. Afterwards, we would either go to Hebrew School or, if I could convince Meriel to ditch, the mall. It’s hard to believe we’re two grown-up Jewish women now, but somehow, here we are. I’m feeling stunned and grateful for her signature and her embrace and her fierce haircut. The day is turning into a blur of joy.

After signing our lives away, Dave and I have a few moments to decompress.

And just as the severity of what we’re about to do comes to me, it’s off to the races.

Let it be known that my father, through all of this, appears elated. In person, my mother looks ravishing in her navy and black off the shoulder Bergdorf cocktail dress and I can only assume that, deep down inside, she shares my father’s joy. But the photographic evidence points to something…less than happiness. My mother and a handful of other relatives radiate not glee but confusion and disapproval. Their looks range from Extremely Low IQ to Stroke Victim to Utterly Disgusted By The Event That’s About To Take Place.

Some people just have resting angry faces or lack control of their facial muscles, my mother explains as we scroll through the pictures.

Needless to say, there are lots of photos of my dad in our wedding album.

Anyway, like I said, we’re heading into battle.

We’ve opted for a theatre-in-the-round type set up for the ceremony. We pat ourselves on the back for our untraditional approach only to later find out that the chuppah in the middle thing is actually a longstanding Sephardic Jewish tradition. We’re not Sephardic and thus decide we still get points for creativity. Besides, everyone seems to like the cozy, inclusive feel it creates.

The rabbi, who we’ve been working with for over a year, leads a lovely, moving ceremony that apparently makes Bridget’s parents beg her to marry a Jewish guy. We circle each other seven times as part of a mystical, ancient tradition. We drink wine from two silver kiddush cups – one that belonged to my great grandparents and one that Tracey got us as a wedding gift. We’re wrapped in a tallis – Jewish prayer shawl – and feel the hands of our parents on our heads as they give us their blessing.

Then it’s time to do that thing we initially tried to avoid but were coaxed into by our very wise rabbi: open our mouths.

They’re not vows exactly, just little statements of love and devotion. I’ve been working on mine in a Gmail draft stubbornly labeled “ceremony thoughts” (the word “vows” makes me kind of want to “vomit”) for upwards of five months, often with Call Me Maybe blaring on repeat in the background. Dave started and finished his the night before — and I have it on good authority he exceeded our recommended word count.

Mine are short, sugary sweet, and made Megan cry when I let her take a peek at them the Thursday night before the wedding.

I am convinced that mine are going to kick Dave’s ass. I am a writer, for God’s sakes. People pay me to do this.

Instead, Dave, speaking first, busts out a set of perfectly sappy, shockingly well-written sentences, referencing life and death and love. The crescendo comes with a hospital anecdote that revolves around an elderly patient’s UTI.

The crowd (packed full of nephrologists) goes wild.

My own reaction slowly evolves from incredulity that he actually just said that, to slight agitation at the realization that he’s upstaging me, to, finally, just giving in and laughing along with everyone else.

Of course, now that it’s my turn, the spoken promises and memories I’ve woven together seem to fall on deaf ears — they are poignant yes, but they lack references to pee. Not as fun, seems to be the audience’s consensus.

Whatever — before we know it, Dave breaks the glass and everyone’s screaming Mazel Tov and we’re booking it out of there as Eight Days a Week plays in the background.

We head straight to our yichud, a Jewish custom that ensures a married couple’s first moments together will be shielded from their elderly relatives’ piercing New York accents and that they won’t have to camp out in front of the kitchen door with the other old Jewish men in order to ensure access to the passed appetizers. No, instead we are whisked away to a private room with our own hors d’oeuvre tray.

We sit down, I shrug off my shoes, we start to process the fact that we’re going to be together forever…and then the rabbi busts in.

“Oops!” he says, averting his eyes and hurrying off the way he came.

Fortunately, we are not engaged in any inappropriate behavior, unless you count examining our new wedding rings and stuffing our faces with Mediterranean sampler appetizers.

And besides, so what if we were? We’re married now! Three years of living in sin and wearing red dresses at the wrong time have come to a rather official end and while I doubt very much that my penchant for sarcastic statements or fashion risks will be casualties of the transition, it does feel like something really wonderful and new is starting.

Next up: We make our grand entrance to a rap classic, we start to suspect we’re throwing an amazing party and someone throws up on the bus home, thus confirming our suspicions. 

Previously: the pre-wedded state, Rach & Dave Get Married Part 1

All photos by Elisabeth Millay.


Rach & Dave get married, part 1
August 1, 2012

I wake up the morning of the wedding feeling both characteristically like myself (giddy over the big pile of tulle hanging in the closet) but  also, in other, shocking ways, most definitely not like myself (absence of hunger.) The big pile of tulle, aka my dress, gets flung over my shoulder and carried upstairs to the little penthouse space of the hotel, where I am the first to arrive.

It’s the perfect backdrop for getting ready. Slowly, my closest girlfriends, a few female family members and the people we’ve hired to make us beautiful arrive.

Surrounded by all of my favorite girls, fielding a few poignant emails from friends detained in Africa or Michigan and wishing us well, I’m pretty content. For about two hours. Then I start to get extremely antsy. Everyone else is getting their locks curled or giggling over mimosas while I, slated last for hair and makeup and equipped with my newfound disdain for food, am just kind of sitting there, very ready to get this show on the road.


Suddenly, in a flash, everything starts happening. The four-course lunch my mother and I planned, while under the delusion that either of us would be capable of eating roasted tomato soup and smoked salmon sandwiches, arrives. The florist is here, carrying big boxes of blooms. And it’s finally time for the professionals to have at my face and hair.

In the midst of this flurry of activity, the elevator doors open and my dad’s childhood friend emerges. Apparently unaware that this is a ladies only zone, he parks it and starts gabbing with my mother. He’s eating a big green apple. Loudly. The photographers think he’s my father and start snapping away. I start to lose my shit.

Sensing trouble, my friend Courtney starts administering sips of champagne as the hair dresser and makeup artist step it into high gear and double team me. The girls also force feed me mini muffins, ignoring my insistence that I’ve evolved into some sort of superhuman creature that doesn’t require sustenance. Somewhere in there, the baby’s breath headband that the florist designed to look just like the one my mother wore on her wedding day gets pinned in my hair.

The maids of honor throw their mint green dresses on and Megan and I each take a second to contemplate our appearance. I’m not completely enthused but decide just to go with it.

We’re running 15 minutes behind schedule now, which sends That Girl Who’s Always 15 Minutes Early into a tailspin. I throw off my clothing in the bathroom and stomp out into the windowed room in my underwear, ready to confront my dress.

I am intent on getting this party started immediately.

My mother helps me put on my grandmother’s watch and starts to cry a bit. It is very delicate and very beautiful and a reminder of all the people who aren’t here.

We move on to my other jewels (all borrowed, with my mother’s reluctant blessing) and are confronted with a knot emergency. My dad – my real dad! – is summoned up from the suite where the boys are getting ready to help. He is highly photogenic. The photographers start snapping away with purpose now.

Downstairs, my brothers are in need of backup from my father too. Much more comfortable in climbing harnesses than tuxedos, they require some assistance getting dressed. Dave is looking happy and confident, though he tells me later that both him and my dad ordered the egg white frittata at breakfast, a sure sign that they’re affected by the same No Food Necessary bug I seem to have caught.

Dave gets downstairs first. Waiting patiently for his bride, he runs into our good friend who promptly launches into a story about a post-rehearsal dinner hookup that took place the evening before.

And that is exactly the information that Dave is relaying to me when we see each other for the first time in our wedding garb.

I’m vaguely aware that the lobby is filled with dozens of our guests. As soon as I hear my aunt with the loving yet extremely screechy voice call my name, I decide it’s time to book it.

And off we go.

Next up: My bridesmaids throw themselves under my wedding gown, we sign our lives away in an ancient Jewish tradition and Dave makes a references to UTIs in his vows. Stay tuned.

Previously: the pre-wedded state

*All photos by the wonderful Elisabeth Millay, except for the third, fourth and sixth, which are from my dear friend and devoted documenter of our lives, Tracey.

the pre-wedded state
July 30, 2012

Ready or not, we’re kicking off the wedding posts. This is part 1, which reduces April 2012 to a series of frenetic bullet points before breaking into a nice light jog (in the form of a group nail salon trip, estrogen-soaked sushi luncheon and wine-soaked rehearsal dinner) leading up to the main event. I know you don’t really care, but indulge me, ok?

To understand exactly how this wedding went down, it would probably be helpful to witness the shape I was in going into the whole thing. And, seeing as I wasn’t exactly keeping you current in real-time on this little blog, some catch-up is probably in order.

To summarize: April was a crazy ass month.

To whit, I remember the following:

-Spending several late, lonely nights in my office, working on the biggest story of my silly little fledgling career and wondering, why, in god’s name, this had to happen now. Trying to enjoy the excitement and frustration and fleeting accolades anyway.

– Eating boatloads of sushi takeout from the place down the block; relatedly, starting to consider my kitchen a foreign country where pots and pans went to die.

-A few lucky midweek moments with Dave: one where he got out of work oddly early and met me, giddy off another big byline, in the park with Franny on one of the first perfect days of the season; another after his hospital-mandated alcohol training program in midtown, where I met up with him and all the residency guys ironically indulging in bootfuls of beer in celebration. I downed his.

-Celebrating my mom’s birthday with dad and Dave at the restaurant at the Pierre…and then sneaking into the Pierre’s ballrooms with Mom to take a peak at that which we hadn’t let ourselves see in the beginning stages of wedding planning, for fear of falling in (very expensive) love. With the preparations for the April 21 bride swirling around us, all I could think was one more week, one more week.

-Eating macaroni and cheese in a hotel restaurant in Washington, DC on a rainy Sunday evening with an old, old friend who would, in a few short days, carefully sign our ketubah.

The week of the wedding, I covered a Supreme Court hearing, dashed back from DC on the train feeling 100 times lighter, and worked one last crazy day from our apartment (that ended with a much-deserved nap).

By mid-week I was off from work, picking up the entirely fantastic, entirely frivolous outfits (Hawaiian-print Nanette Lapore dress and electric blue pants) my mother  had insisted on buying me for my honeymoon. (Hot Jap tip: buy your dress at Saks and your mom too, overcome with love for her bride and the proximity of the DVF section to the bridal salon, just might take pity on you during your final fitting and respond with lovely, lovely gifts of the fashion variety.)

On Wednesday night, I went back to Connecticut, where the reality of my insane Type A ways set in: I had pretty much already taken care of everything. With only a few errant wedding errands left on the list, there was really nothing much to do, and the main task at hand became simply to sit and wait and mull in the house I grew up in. Get here, get here, get here, I kept thinking. Also: 20 months is far too long of an engagement.

Fortunately, Thursday night closed with a precious few hours spent with my very best friend, flouncing around in various lacy dresses and crying over my vows, and Friday arrived as if hopped up on amphetamines. Suddenly, Sarah was on the correct coast! Plans that had previously just been itineraries in an email were swinging into motion. And all of my favorite girls were flocking to the nail place I’ve been attending for years, the place I got my toenails painted for prom.

We got sushi at That Sushi Place We Always Go To After Getting Our Nails Done. It wasn’t fancy but it was tradition.

We directed the out-of-towners up to New Haven and I drove back to my parents’ house and found my family gathered around old photo albums, showing Jacob’s girlfriend just how weird we all were as children. Dave called and we realized the train he was on would be passing through Fairfield in a few minutes. No need for him to trek all the way up to the city in which we would be wed alone – I got in the car and retrieved my groom from the station.

A few minutes later, all the kids piled in the car for the ride up to New Haven. We played Call Me Maybe and Meatloaf ballads on repeat and when we got stuck in a little traffic, everyone sang.

The hotel was just as cool as Dave and I remembered. We scoped out our little suite and then headed upstairs to pile on Jon’s bed and eat macarons. Sarah and Tracey were prematurely drafting our announcement for the Penn alumni mag. Everything seemed to be propelling us forward.

I slipped on the red lace dress I had bought during a BHLDN sale. (Why red? you ask. Isn’t that a little untraditional? you say. To which I respond: jig has been up for a long time, bitches.)

I had also, for some unknown reason, brought my entire wardrobe to the hotel, including a white wool winter coat, which I sensibly abandoned in the closet after determining it was at least 65 degrees outside. I couldn’t walk in my satin peep-toes and internally commended myself for at least choosing a pair of sensible, if sparkly, flats for the actual wedding day.

We walked into Zinc to find Megan and Bridget and Courtney at the bar, already through one bottle of champagne. I began to suspect it was going to be an excellent night. Evan arrived and picked me up when he hugged me, like he always does. Grandma Lottie was sipping a glass of red and beaming. Dave and I surrounded ourselves with those who came from farthest away (California! Paris! We are so lucky.) My brothers’ toasts were ego-bruising and hilarious. Chelsea and Amruta stood up and said words I wasn’t planning to hear, in a very good way. It all nearly made me cry.

Afterward, everyone else headed to a dive bar for beers and fries while Dave and I snuck back to the hotel.

We had decided the best approach was just to stay together, as we had done every night for nearly three years and were, apparently, on the cusp of promising to do for a lot longer than that. I remember our bedtime routine – brushing teeth, laying out clothes, pulling back sheets – feeling both incredibly surreal and incredibly familiar. I was giddy, but also content and sure and comfortable — enough so that despite being on the brink of that which I had thought about for so very long (a bride) I fell right to sleep.

*Next up: Someone slaps fake eyelashes on me for the first time, Courtney feeds me bites of a blueberry muffin and crucial sips of champagne, and a green apple almost sends me over the edge (all with professional photographic proof!) Stay tuned.

*Most photos here are either crappy little snippets from my iPhone or the product of other people commandeering my dslr. Rehearsal dinner photos borrowed from my lovely, camera-obsessed friend T.

reasons why we’re not having kids anytime soon
July 11, 2012

The long answer: Because I’m convinced that it’s kids, not marriage, that fundamentally changes absolutely everything. Because I still sleep until noon on Saturdays. (Yes, still.) Because I’m pretty sure I had postpartum anxiety just from getting a puppy, and I didn’t even give birth to her. Because I’m absolutely terrified of vomiting (both the idea of me doing it because of an alien being growing inside of me and the idea of that alien being eventually emerging from my body and doing it – gah!) Because I want to enjoy being married for a bit. Because I’m addicted to the spicy crunch tuna roll from the sushi place down the block. Because I’m terrified I’ll start deeming those absurdly mundane baby-related Facebook statuses cropping up on my Newsfeed socially acceptable, or, god forbid, start posting some myself. Because I really love my skinny white jeans and skinny neon blue jeans and short shorts that just fit around my only-hiding-that-breakfast-sandwich-I-ate-this-morning waistline. Because I hate the idea that people think they have the right to automatically ask you this question as soon as you have a proper husband. Because we have so little money in such an expensive city with such fantastic food that really, I believe, deserves the portion of my paychecks that I suppose would otherwise go to diapers. Because David’s still in training and I refuse to cop out from my career until I’ve tried at least a little bit longer, a little bit harder to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Because, wow, I’m so not ready.

The short answer: Because one is enough, thank you very much.

*No, we don’t routinely swaddle our goldendoodle. (She’s nearly two, after all!) She’s just 1- pretty obsessed with my best friend, Meg and 2- pretty obsessed with the the futon that Meg slept on while she was crashing here for a few weeks. Someone had a hard time letting go when we stripped the sheets and put the futon back up into its upright position.