Wednesday, October 1, 2014

That time where I married my best friend. Oh, and surprised everybody.

I feel like I have to start out with, "Sorry I didn't tell you I was getting married," but let's face it, I'm not. I mean, I wanted to tell everybody (because who wouldn't be so grateful to get to share their life forever with their bestie that they'd want to tell the world?), but we knew that surprising everybody would be way more fun.

I have no idea where to start. 

Let's see. I fell in love with Paul around July of 2013 during a poorly executed fireworks show in Waco. Meh, I probably fell in love with him before that, but I distinctly remember laying on a blanket and looking over while he was making some sort of witty comment about the bad show, and just knowing that I was so thankful he was in my life. Err, then I moved to San Antonio and he moved to Washington and life got in the way. Luckily, life brought us back together (okay, so we texted everyday regardless) and in June, we decided to elope.

Well, kind of? We decided we should spend the rest of our lives together. I was dead-set on getting married in Hawaii since my parents got married there (also an elopement!), and Paul was alright with just walking into a courthouse in downtown Seattle. I convinced him it'd be more fun to make a vacation out of it, and he shrugged and said okay. You can see how well this partnership is working thus far. ;) 

We first got plane tickets, then hired a wedding planner to take care of everything. We chose Maui because there's a direct flight from Seattle, plus it's a little less touristy than Honolulu. Our wedding planner took care of the beach permits (you have to obtain permission from the government to perform any event on the beach; permits because she had a backup one in case weather on our side of the island wasn't great), the wedding license application, leis, and hooking us up with an officiant (more on him later). She also recommended the hotel we ended up booking, a Marriott that had an infinity pool we went in only twice. Besides a Hawaiian wedding, my other only stipulation was that we hired an amazing photographer, and with a little Googling, happened upon Naomi Levit. More on her when we actually have our wedding photos, but let's just say nobody else could have made Mr. I Hate Photos as comfortable and willing to smile. 

All of these were booked in late June or early July, so all of July, August, and September were anxiously awaiting our trip and keeping the secret (My parents knew for logistical reasons; my mom actually went wedding dress shopping with me but didn't see me in the dress I ended up wearing. Oops). It was the longest 70-odd days ever.

And then we got married.

This photo is from before the wedding, and I can tell because you can see my right hand: I'm wearing my mom's engagement/wedding rings (ring finger) and my grandmother on my mom's side's ring (pinky) to have a little bit of my family with me for the ceremony. If I had a bouquet, I probably would have tied them to the ribbon, but we ended up going super simple and just held each other throughout the ceremony.

And, also before the ceremony, with palm trees in the background.

Our ceremony was beautiful (see the recap video below if you want a description), and we exchanged leis (a Hawaiian tradition). Our wedding was right on the beach (we were barefoot in the sand!) and got to feel the sun on our faces while exchanging rings and vows. It was perfect.

After the ceremony, we took what Paul considered "18 hours of photos" (more like 45 minutes'  worth) and then walked back to our hotel (all of a 6 minute walk) where we passed two other couples getting married and a bunch of other people who told us congratulations. It was getting dark and we weren't hungry so we went up to our room to call my sister-in-love, who I had told I needed to "talk some things through" with her so that she would be available for my call. I'm giggling just thinking about it.

We called my Sandra (with Scott in the background, who mostly hid off camera) and had a hilarious FaceTime conversation in which Sandra thought 1) Paul was in Texas on vacation to visit me, and 2) we were going to announce a pregnancy (no, we're not pregnant). Once we announced that we got married, Sandra started at us with an open mouth and my brother was less than excited ("But we don't get to dance at your reception?!" Don't worry, that didn't last long.). We waited to call Paul's sister, father, and mom Wednesday morning (since Texas is 5 hours ahead of Hawaii time and we kept waking up at 4am) who were all super supportive (although I've never met any of them!), and then decided to grab some breakfast and break it to people.

We talked a lot about how we wanted to share the news, and came up with a few plans. Paul's genius idea was to make an Instagram account of our trip and then share it with people after the fact. We kind of did that, although we shared it almost immediately once we announced that we got married.

The announcement was supposed to be sly--I changed my twitter name to @thesarahhagan and tweeted this photo with the caption "My view this week. Life is good, y'all."

Immediately, Syndal and Kaitlyn asked me where I was, and I responded, "Maui, HI!" with this photo:

And it erupted

Insert A TON of our friends immediately text messaged or tweeted us, and we kept sharing our marriage Instagram (which then got similar comments, the most often was, "WAIT, WHAT?! Congratulations!" or something similar). We sat at breakfast and wore down our phone batteries reading tweets and comments to each other mid-bite, or predicting reactions out of certain friends/family members. It was so much fun to continue receiving phone calls, emails, texts, and tweets throughout the week when someone new realized we got married, and I imagine it's going to continue being fun when I introduce Paul to my very large extended family (luckily he's already wooed the matriarch of my mom's family, my Aunt Heide, so I'm not worried about him). 

If you missed our FAQ video that we made during our honeymoon, here it is. We both answered a few questions that our friends kept asking, then mashed up our answers together in this 17-minute clip (ugh, sorry it's so long guys, I tried to cut it down shorter). We're going to be making a recap video of our trip and some fun times we had together soon (long story, but my iPhone won't connect to my computer and a trip to the Apple Store is in order), so be on the lookout for that. I'm also sure that my blogger husband will at some point grace us with his side of the story, so be ready for that too!

Thanks for loving us and being so interested in our story, y'all. We're so lucky to you a friend, and so grateful to have you in our lives.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One book/movie/song

Today's prompt for the #blogeverydayinSept challenge is to list off the book, movie, and song you'd listen to for the rest of your life. Just one book, one movie, and one song. Challenge accepted.


Chuck Kolsterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Firstly, I love a man who uses a serial comma. Secondly, it's an entire book about pop culture mixed with Klosterman's (probably marijuana-induced) philosophy mixed with thought-provoking analysis to things like MTV's The Real World to Britney Spears, or why he hates John Cusack. It's magical, and I always find something new every time I read it. 


I'm sure this would change dependent upon my life situation, but I've gotta say, I could watch Mean Girls any day of the week and still giggle like a little girl. (I was gonna try to pick something more thought-provoking, but let's be honest: if I had to watch the same movie for the rest of my life, I'm not gonna pick something sad, I'm gonna pick something that makes me laugh!)

This one's easy. Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al." It's ridiculous and awesome. I listen to it at least twice a day already while listening to my Spotify playlist at work, and it always makes me want to dance. (Also, watch Chevy Chase's hilarious acting in this video. Genius.)

What book/movie/song would you choose?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fave birthday memories

Today's #BlogeverydayinSept prompt is to write a little about our best and worst birthday memories. Gotta be honest, I don't have any "bad" birthday memories--birthdays are made for celebrating! I do, however, have a favorite birthday. 

On my 27th birthday, I decided to do 27 acts of kindness. I love random acts of kindness (although these were definitely not random), so I felt like sharing goodness for my birthday sounded like just the ticket for an awesome birthday.

In turn, I asked blogger friends and some IRL friends (via Facebook) to do an act of kindness in my honor for my birthday. The results were outstanding. At least 31 people did an act of kindness (and that was just what I knew about by the end of the day--a bunch of people told me in the weeks and months thereafter that they did one a little later, but in my honor). It was quite possibly the coolest way to share a birthday; I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Ever done anything fun for your birthday? What are some of your favorite birthday activities?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I'm empathetic, okay?!

The real title of this blog post wouldn't fit:
5 of the times I've cried at things that are fictional; 
I'm empathetic, okay?!

Today's #blogeverydayinSept prompt is to talk about the top 5 times I've cried at movies. Since this happens a lot, I'm just going to list off 5 random ones that I'm sure you can relate to, 'cuz it's easier that way.


[Spoiler alert, and don't say I didn't warn you.]

Grey's Anatomy.

Okay, not a movie but relevant 'cuz I just finished all the seasons that Netflix has (don't judge me). I've been hesitant to watch it because everybody comments on how it's "sooo Seattley!" and it makes me want to vomit (Also, what's up with them saying "ferry boat" instead of ferry? Do people not from water-heavy areas not know what ferries are?). I gave in, and instantly regretted it when I became hooked. Then bawled when Denny died. And when Ellis was mean to Meredith. And when Ellis died. And when Christina got left at the alter. And when Adele forgot about Richard and fell in love with someone else at the nursing home. I could keep going, but it's depressing just thinking about it.

The Notebook.

I was just talking to Paul about this after watching Adele's decline with Alzheimer's on Grey's Anatomy, and couldn't remember the name of the movie because I had blocked it out of my memory since it was so traumatic. Back in college, a guy invited me to his dorm room to watch a movie (that sounds dirty but I promise it wasn't--read on), and when I showed up, he surprised me with the previous year's biggest chick flick. I had heard it was sad so I was delaying the experience, but he was so proud that he did something not typically guy-ish that I begrudgingly agreed. I'm pretty sure he regretted this decision soon thereafter, however, because towards the end of the movie when I started realizing that Rachel McAdams's character had Alzheimer's and Ryan Gosling's character was telling her about their love story in the bed? I bawled so hard that I was hysterical. Probably my best worst first date ever. (Ahem: sorry, Kyle.)


First off, you can't not fall in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the guy next door (like it?! I Joseph Gordon-Loveit!). Anyway, Joe's character gets brain cancer and has to deal with it, and at one point feels super lonely and contemplates dying. I can't tell you any more of the story line because I was hysterically bawling so hard in the theater that I made my then-boyfriend help me cover my sobbing mouth and we immediately left the theater. [It reminded me of Chris's aneurysm.] Worst movie theater experience ever. (Ahem: sorry, Nick.)

This Olympics P&G commercial.

I teared up watching this and I know what's coming! I just love my mom, okay?! Even if she didn't raise me to be an Olympic gymnast. #missedopportunities

This sweet Sesame Street clip. (This one isn't fictional, but it still makes me tear up out of love.)

Paul just showed this to me as I was writing this blog post (not even kidding) and I teared up because I love it and it's sweet and I hope that little girl is just as fun and whimsical and full of love as she was back then. I just want to hug her. And Jim Henson. And Kermit.


I cry a lot, okay? It's never at things that are emotional for me, there's just something about others' joy or sorrow that I feel! What has made you cry?!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A day in the life

Today's #BlogeverydayinSept prompt is "A Day in the Life." 

To make it more fun (ahem, more fun for me), I'll be posting photos on my Twitter account at random intervals, then be posting all of them up on this post at the end of the day. (I'll be using the hashtag #dayinmylife, and attempting to also use the #blogeverydayinSept tag.)


My day usually starts out by checking email and drinking a cup of coffee.

Then, on Mondays I head over to the laboratory (which is across the hallway from my office) where we run experiments on participants. Here, you can see the computers that control our participants' computers, and if you look carefully, there's an awesome biohazard cooler with some blood samples about to be transported over to the mass spectrometer.

After my morning in the control room/laboratory, I head back to my office. Today, I worked on some data...

...and then did some writing.

This afternoon, I received an awesome text message photo from my mom, who was showing me my dad's horrible MC Hammer pants zubaz pants [I didn't know what these were but I was corrected via Twitter]. (If you can believe it, I'm pretty sure these are from the 90s.)

After work, I head home to relax. Today, I watched some Sherlock.

Usually, I run in the evenings but today was my rest day, so I decided to work on some goals and then have an after dinner snack. 

I realized I forgot to pick something up at Target, so I made a trip before it got too dark out. Target has the weirdest stuff, right?

And that was my day! I live alone and don't know very many people in San Antonio, so the majority of my days look like this. (There are some Chloe cuddles mixed in, but she conveniently hides when the phone comes out because she hates photos.) 

And that's my day!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elves with...attitude.

Today in the #BlogeverdayinSept series is a #throwbackthursday--childhood celebrity crushes. 

I'll start off easy, 'cuz if you didn't have a crush on JTT in the 90s, you weren't living.

I also loved JC Chasez for way too much of my adolescence, and loved him more than Justin Timberlake in 'N SYNC.

I didn't have very many other celebrity crushes, but I did have one that was kind of weird...did y'all see The Santa Clause? I had the biggest crush on the elf who said they were "Elves with...attitude."

He was the leader of the E.L.F.S., so I guess I have a thing for guys in authority.

Please don't judge me too harshly.

Did you have any weird celebrity crushes when you were a kid?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First day of school!

Today's #BlogeverydayinSept prompt is your earliest memory, but that would require a little too much self-reflection for this Wednesday afternoon. Thus, I've decided to give you a sweet memory of growing up: the first day of school!

Miss SassyPants and Mr. SmartyPants

Here are my niece and nephew, who are quite possibly the cutest 1st and 4th graders you've ever seen, on their first day of school this year (today!). I haven't had a first day of school in a while, but I remember loving to get new school supplies (and mechanical pencils, thankyouverymuch) and meet my classmates. I once cried because I was terrified of my fourth grade teacher, and she ended up being my favorite--so much so that she came to my college graduation and still sends me Christmas cards. :)