Our Programs, or How I Learned to Make Do with "Fine"

Scene: 5 am two nights before Hot Cocoa wedding.  Miss Hot Cocoa on the floor of Hot Mama Cocoa's house, boxed in entirely by programs.

Action: She opens one of the programs, and curls, slow motion, into a fetal position.  Program grows legs, kicks her in the shin, and runs off laughing.

Voiceover: "Program 5; Hot Cocoa 0."

Flashback: Four days before Hot Cocoa wedding.  Miss Hot Cocoa picks up printed program insert from printing company.  Insert looks like it was printed by a dot matrix printer; somewhere in the process of pdf'ing the document, sending it via email to the printing company, and the company printing it out and copying it, the resolution got unacceptably anemic.  Mr. Hot Cocoa looks at program, dryly notes that it's not 1990.

Voiceover: "Program 1; Hot Cocoa 0."

Flashback: Three days before Hot Cocoa wedding.  Miss Hot Cocoa hauls ass to Kinkos to redo the program inserts.  Kinkos manager gives her the proof to look over; she signs off.  Five hours later, she returns, looks over the proof again, realizes there's an incorrect page break . . . on a document she's "proofed" at least ten times.  Oh yeah, Miss Hot Cocoa was once an editor and teaches writing for a living.

Voiceover: "Program 2; Hot Cocoa 0."

Flashback: 8 pm two nights before Hot Cocoa wedding.  Hot Mama Cocoa, Hottest Sister Cocoa, and Miss Hot Cocoa sit down to assemble programs.  Miss Hot Cocoa notices that one of the groomsmen's names is spelled wrong.

Voiceover: "Program 3; Hot Cocoa 0."

Flashback: 3 am same night.  Rest of the Hot Cocoas have gone to bed.  Miss Hot Cocoa still stamping cherry blossoms on the inside of the programs.  The programs begin to spawn.  She keeps stamping, but there are more and more of them.  Meanwhile, the cherry blossoms are not drying; purple ink smudges everywhere.

Voiceover: "Program 4; Hot Cocoa 0."

Return to original scene: 5 am.  Miss Hot Cocoa surveys the scene around her.  180 programs. Punched.  Folded.  Glued.  Stapled.  Stamped.  Picks one up.  Finds one more spacing error.

Program wins.  Hot Cocoa gives up.

In my next post, I'll share the details of making the programs.  I'm off to nurse my wounds.

Did one of your DIY projects take on a life of its own and try to consume you?


A pReview of our Chewish wedding

One month ago on this date . . .

a blissful bride and an emotional groom wed under a cherry blossom chuppah;
two proud, happy families laughed and cried together at a tea ceremony;
264 enthusiastic wedding guests danced their socks off during a record-breaking hora;

[Click here to watch this video on high def on Studio West's site.]

and one diligent and unobtrusive videographer was thankfully there to capture it all.

As I've said before, I initially wasn't sure that we had room in our budget for videography, or even that we wanted it.  But if not for Dirk of Studio West Video, we would have missed so many wonderful moments: the festive dance of the lanterns moving in the breeze during our ceremony; my funny muppet-like movements as I nervously approached Mr. HC at our "first-look"; the wonder and delight in the "wow" that escaped my husband's mouth after we exchanged rings; the pure joy on our flowergirl's face as her father carried her proudly on his shoulder during the hora . . . .  

With his calm, reassuring personality and inconspicuous, but steady presence, Dirk made it easy for us to be natural and in-the-moment.  And because of his work, we'll have hours of footage to supplement our memories.

I think Mr. HC and I will watch our wedding highlights video today and will make a tradition of watching it on every anniversary.

How will you celebrate your first month anniversary?  And newlywed bees, did you have any last-minute expenditures that you ended up being very pleased with?


DIY by Numbers

Some people suffer from post-wedding depression.  I suffer from post-DIY nostalgia.

I look longingly at my box of craft goodies.  I spend an unhealthy amount of time window shopping at Paper Source.  My heart palpitates when I hear of other people's craft projects.

Someecards never ceases to amuse me.

It's a sickness that can only be cured by medication . . . or an occasion to craft.  Thank goodness for my friends R & M, who came to rescue by letting me do the table numbers for their May wedding.

R & M have a fun color palette of french blue, yellow, and raspberry, so we got pre-cut circle cards from Paper Source in rhubarb.  We also got text-weight paper in curry and quartz.

Using Adobe Illustrator, I printed out the numbers in "Army" font (available for free download from dafont.com).  I then reversed the numbers, so that I could have a cutting template without any lines showing up on the final product.

Next, using a sky blue ink pad and clear embossing powder, I stamped and embossed cherry blossoms on the back of the paper (the side without the numbers), making a chiyogami-like pattern.

The printed side, as you can see, remains unstamped.

I then cut out the numbers.

Here they are, flipped right side up, so that the numbers are no longer reversed and the cherry blossom pattern is visible.

With a glue stick, I affixed the numbers to quartz paper.  I then cut the numbers out of the quartz paper, leaving a 1/4 inch border.

Finally, I glued each number onto the rhubarb circles and handwrote the appropriate text in silver.

And voila!  Table numbers done.  Craft urge satiated.  

For now, at least.

Anyone else itching to take on other people's tasks to satisfy your post-wedding DIY longings?


Left at home, but not dis-CARDed.

Jellyby, our shih tzu, is 50% sweetheart, 25% spoiled princess, and 25% psycho.  When she's with people, she's all sunshine and lollipops: loving, gentle, and happy.  

But dog forbid she gets left at home by herself.  

Without company, she becomes completely unhinged.  She'll squawk like a dying chicken, attempt to claw her way out of whatever room she's in, basically have a total, Telemundo-style meltdown.  

We've tried a dog shrink ("a canine behaviorist"), expensive medications (liver-flavored Prozac, anyone?), natural remedies (Mr. HC's still giving me a hard time about my purchase of the "anxiety wrap"), kongs and other puzzle toys . . . all to no avail.  It's okay, you can laugh: I have reconciled myself to the fact that I am more Meg Swan than Cesar Milan.

Anyway, this self-flagellation is just context for why we ended up not taking Jellyby with us to our wedding.  I wanted so much for her to be "Canine of Honor" -- I even bought a darling pearl collar for her from a fancy schmancy pet store -- but because of her separation anxiety, we just couldn't figure out what we were going to do with her post-ceremony.  So Jellyby stayed behind in Boston with her godparents, our wonderful neighbors, who spoiled her silly while we were off at our Chewish wedding.

I was determined to include our little drama queen in our celebration, somehow.  So I had Moo business cards made with a dozen of our favorite Jellyby photos.

On the back of each card, we printed a note asking our guests to upload photos to our Shutterfly wedding website.

Unfortunately, I didn't do such a great job making sure they were distributed in a timely manner to our guests, so half of the cards never got handed out.  But it made me happy to know that Jellyby made an appearance, if only in 2-D form, at our wedding.  And it gave me an excuse to get Moo cards, which, you might remember, make my heart go pitter patter.

Will you be including your pets in your wedding or honoring them in absentia?


Why is this night different from all other nights?

Why was last Thursday night different from all other nights?

Mr. HC and I hosted our first Passover seder as a married couple . . . like the real grown-ups that we are now.  What made this Passover so meaningful is that not only was it the first event we collaborated on as part of our newly Chewish household, it also was the first Jewish holiday I have celebrated since my conversion to Judaism in March.  

We read from various haggadot (compendia of, among other things, the story of the Exodus); sang annoyingly catchy songs loudly and off-key; ate cardboard . . . I mean, matzah; and drank four goblets of overly sweet, oddly viscous "wine," which I think was Welch's grape juice that someone already swilled and spit out.

We also got to use one of the most generous, lovely wedding presents we received: a pomegranate seder plate by contemporary metal artist Michael Aram.  We filled it with the customary seder accoutrements: karpas (parsley); z'ora (roasted shankbone, Jellyby the shih tzu's favorite); maror (horseradish); chazeret (a bitter herb, in our yuppie case, arugula); charoset (an apple, walnut, and honey mixture); beitzah (hardboiled egg); and salt water. These items have symbolic significance to the retelling of the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

All in all, it was a looong, drunken, delicious, and raucous night.  Hope you all had a fabulous Passover, Easter, or long weekend!

Newlywedded bees: was there an event that you celebrated together as a couple that made you feel like you were really a familial unit?  Engaged bees: what holiday are you most looking forward to celebrating together?


I'm ball, he's chain.

The reports are true: the Hot Cocoas are maaarrrrieeeed!

Thanks to Luna Photo and Leigh Miller for making two stale marshmallows like us look toasty.

The unexciting old fogeys that we are, we spent a few days lazing about our wedding hotel and then promptly flew home to work (dissertation = albatross).  But we had a blissful, loving, memorable weekend, and I can't wait for the pro photos to come back so that I can share the highlights of our Chewish Wedding Spectacular with you.  In the meantime, I have a few last-minute projects that I never got a chance to blog about, so you still have a few opportunities to read my blah blah blahs without having to see our silly looking mugs.

Kiss kiss, MRS. Hot Cocoa.


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